Organization

Cooking in a Really Small Kitchen

I learned so many tips  cooking in our small camper kitchen!

We have moved and are living in a  camper this summer. Our camper has a very small kitchen with teeny tiny counters. So while  I love to cook I have had to get very creative. My instant pot has become my best friend. Both because it takes the place of many different appliances in the kitchen and because it is cooler cooking with it in the kitchen.


So here are some tips on cooking in a really small kitchen.


Eliminate unnecessary items in the kitchen

Make sure everything that is in your kitchen you’ll actually use. A lot. I have packed many of the items I only use on occasion like cake decorating supplies and specialty pans. I packed most of my bigger pans and duplicates away too. I also only kept out about half of my utensils. I just have to wash dishes more. But since we don’t have a dishwasher, that way I have to keep up with it too

. Make what is in your kitchen do double duty.

As I said my Instant Pot is my best friend in the kitchen. I have made roasts in it; taco meat, custards, cakes, potatoes, eggs, breakfast casseroles, and so many more things. Just search for IP recipe of whatever you are looking for. You can find either a Youtube video or recipe for just about anything you want to make. My daughter wants to try steamed bread next week.

Keep Up with the Cleaning

Make sure you keep up with the dishes. When you only have two feet of counter space you don’t want it covered up with dirty dishes. Keep the dishes washed after every meal. I know it’s something that I should have always done but it hasn’t always been. But when there’s not a dishwasher and you have to look at them you’ll be glad for empty sinks and counters. I’m hoping this habit will carry over to our new house.


Watch How Much You Buy

The hardest thing for me cooking in a small kitchen is not actually in the kitchen. It’s in the grocery store. I have to watch how much I buy. I used to love stocking up on great bargains. But it’s not a great bargain if you have no room for it or end up throwing it out. And that’s no matter what size your kitchen is.


Simpler Cooking

While I love to cook, camper life is not always conducive to gourmet or even large recipes. I’ve learned to cook pizza on the grill. I didn’t want to turn on the oven when it’s 90 degrees. We make a lot of grilled meats for easy cooking. I make a lot of 1 pot meals either in the Instant Pot or on the stove. We try not to turn on the oven.  I still want to eat healthy though so it’s not all sandwiches and s’mores. If it’s not a one-pot meal it’s usually a grilled meat and vegetable and maybe rice or potatoes for the children. I try to keep fruits and vegetables on hand for snacks.

Be Thankful for the Kitchen You Have

While I know my kitchen is temporary, I know many of you have permanent tiny kitchens. My daughter, when she moved into her apartment felt ready to cry when she saw her kitchen. It’s very small. But she is efficient and makes the most of what space she has. She even puts meals up in her freezer each month. She uses a seal a meal to make as much as possible fit in her freezer at a time. She uses her kitchen very efficiently.

So, what tips do you have for cooking in a really small kitchen?

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Review of Productivity Boot Camp

:This post contains affiliate links. When you click through, I receive a small commission at no cost to you. 

What I Liked About Productivity Boot Camp

Jordan had so many great tips and tricks she pulled out of her “Mary Poppin’s” bag. With high energy, I now know how she pulled them out of her bag and learned how to block schedule. She has a great preview of block scheduling on YouTube.

She takes you by the hand and helps you personalize a schedule just for you, finding the pain points you need to solve to make your day, month and year run smoothly. Jordan is funny and sensitive to many issues that all moms go through. From getting everyone out the door to getting her children fed, she has some grat mom hacks.

Why You Need Producivity Boot Camp

I have gotten more done after using Jordan Page’s Productivity Boot Camp than any other method I’ve ever heard. I’ve been using Pomdoro method and it seems like just when I’m on a roll, the timer dings. As a mom of 10, I think I’ve learned a lot about getting things done but, I now know even more. I was using some of these techniques, but this puts them all together. She walks you step by step and week by week into becoming a productivity ninja.

But Is it Worth the Money?

Yes. Definitely, yes! If you have ever felt like you’re floundering and not getting enough done. If you’ve ever felt like everyone else has it more together. And if you have dreams and goals that aren’t fulfilled and now all you can dream about is getting the laundry all done. which, btw, is never all done. Then, this is for you. Jordan states repeatedly that perfection is a myth. And while every day has not gone exactly according to plan, I have still accomplished more than usually do.

So, check Productivity Boot Camp out.

What is your main productivity problem?

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Get Ready for Christmas Early and Enjoy December

Get Ready for Christmas Early and Enjoy December

I found this out quite by accident, I didn’t know how much getting ready for Christmas early would change my life. Pregnant with a baby due in November and I knew I wouldn’t want to take time from snuggling and my other children to finish up all the many things to do with Christmas. So my plan was to be done by November 1st. I think it took a little longer but by the time baby was there and then December rolled around and I had nothing extra to do! The presents were wrapped, the baking was done and in the freezer, even the turkey was ready. One of the best things I ever did was to get ready for Christmas early and enjoy December. Let me tell you how to make this happen in your life.

Gifts

Make a list of people in your life that you’re buying gifts for and what they like and their sizes. I carry this around with me. Now, every time I go shopping I look around, especially the clearance section. You can buy something that fits in with their likes and your budget that way.  I don’t think you should buy something just to have something to give. I think it needs to fit that person. Wrap when you get home and put it up. Now I have a basket in my closet for gifts and then I write it down. Who I bought for and what I bought. That way I don’t forget. So,  I also keep a few extra in there just in case I need a last minute gift or someone extra shows up. Even a few kid gifts, just in case.

Baking

Now is the time to start baking.  In October and November, baking supplies are on sale. Start stocking up and start baking favorites. Wrap them well for the freezer and you’ll have less to do in December. Some doughs I just make and freeze so that the children can help cut out sugar cookies or gingerbread men.  But then this is a fun planned project and not the last minute have to that you’re falling behind on. I make extra for gifts too.

Srock up on snack food

Now is the time crackers are on sale and cheese and summer sausage.  Do you have special foods planned that you only make this time of year? I know we do. And I know I have run to the store at the last minute for something I forgot. Make a list of these special foods and buy early and on sale.

Make ahead for busy days

I try and do this all year long but it seems more important this time of year. We have programs and recitals and places to go. Having dinner ready to put in the oven or crockpot can feel like a lifesaver. It’s definitely a budget saver.  So either plan for a cooking day to put some meals in the freezer or double when you cook. This is what I like to do. It doesn’t feel like a huge increase in the food bill to do a couple extra each week and it doesn’t take a lot more time either.

Holiday Meals

This is a biggie. I make as much of our holiday meal ahead of time as I can. Because I want to spend time with my family, not spend it in the kitchen. I make my turkey ahead of time.  For one thing, it doesn’t take up as much room in the freezer. But it tastes good too. Make your turkey as you normally do. THen debone it, cover with broth and melted butter and freeze. When you reheat it, it’s moist and then you use the broth for gravy.  You can make and freeze most of your sides. I freeze my green bean casserole and candy carrots. You already have your desserts made and froze. Now it’s easy.

Decorate

We used to have a tradition of putting the tree up the Friday after Thanksgiving. I’ve been trying to move it up more and more. I love Christmas decorations. The light, the sparkles, the smells. I would put it up as much of the other decorations in November as possible and be all done by Thanksgiving weekend.  A lot of neutral decorations that can be put up in November before Thanksgiving.

Enjoy

Now it’s December and the calendar fills up quicker than you think is possible and you have all this done. You’re not stressed. If you have a last minute potluck you have something ready to take.  If someone shows up with a gift you don’t need to feel bad, you have extras ready to give. You have time to give your children since you’re not in a big hurry. Plus,  I know in my case I was kinder and didn’t yell since I didn’t always feel behind. You have time to spend with your husband or friends and can really enjoy it.  I know the best thing I ever did was get ready for Christmas early and enjoy December. How about you? What things do you do early to enjoy December?

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Essential Oil Storage

Essential Oil Storage

Here is the cabinet I use for essential oil storage. I was able to find it at a garage sale for $10! I used to use it in my old kitchen for tea storage but now it’s for oil storage. Essential oils should be stored out of direct light and this is tinted so it keeps the bright light out. I use these all the time.

Some Essential Oil Uses

My favorite oils are from DoTerra and Young Living.  They make great therapeutic grade oils and I even use some for cooking.

We use Thieves oil when anyone is sick, rub on the bottoms on their feet and in the diffuser.  Ot if you have been exposed to someone else sick. It doesn’t always work but it definitely helps.

I use lemon for cleaning the air. Run it in the diffuser or of ou don’t have one put water in a spray bottle and a few drops of lemon oil and spray the air. I’ve also used it when I’ve made my own cleaning supplies for that fresh lemon scent.

Lavender is great for helping you sleep and wonderful for burns. I had a friend who when canning had a jar explode when she opened up her pressure canner. Using lavender oil not only kept her from blistered but healed her in just a few days.  I keep a bottel in the kitchen just for that purpose.

essential oil storage

Eucalyptus helps breathing difficulty’s and colds. I use it for bronchitis too.. It gets rubbed on chests, back and feet. It also gets ran in the diffuser.

Peppermint is a great pick me up. It can also help when you are hungry, just take a whiff and it helps suppress your appetite. My children use it when studying for tests too to help stay alert and focus.

Orange, I love orange! Mostly to cook with. A few drops in my chocolate muffins are amazing! Enhances recipes with orange juice and love chocolate protein shakes with a hint of orange.  You can also use it with cleaning supply recipes.

Essential Oil Storage

Since these oils can be costly it is important to store them correctly. Keep them out of direct sun. Rotate new stock and old. Make sure they are for therapeutic use if you use them on your skin or take them internally. I have bought some less expensive oils when I have run out or to use whren making cleaning supplies.  How do you use your essential oils and how do you store them?

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Entryway Closet Makeover

Entryway Closet Makeover

This entryway closet makeover was needed for a long time. But now it’s pretty and functional.  We can’t add to much because we live in a rental apartment but this works well.

Storage

I added baskets on the shelves for storage. Two hold all the tools we need around the house.  The black bag that has all my organizing things in it I use to keep thing neat and easy to use. I love all the pockets. I even have an empty basket that I’m sure to fill up later. Probably stuff for the pool this summer. And an organizer box with different hangers for pictures, etc.   On the top shelf is a basket that has fishing equipment in it. Yes, it’s necessary. At least right now the worm farm isn’t in it. We live on a pond that is near a river and fishing several times a week is an for my son. There’s also a tackle box up there. Another one holds fasteners-tape, glues, staple gun and staples.

Entryway Closet Makeover- Baskets

Pretty

A pink ribbon through the shelf makes it pretty.  It makes me smile too. As does the black and white wrapping paper I taped there for some pizzazz. And the cute little chalkboard labels.

Shoes

We have a shoe rack that we keep all the shoes in. We have a no shoe rule for in the house. This helps with tracking in so much dirt through the house but doesn’t seem to help with the leaves.

Just In Case

When I was doing the entryway closet makeover I wanted an area for emergencies-just in case. We live in an all electric apartment so I wanted to have heat and water in case we lost electricity. We just put a rack on the wall in the closet. I bought it for another area and it didn’t work so I have been looking for place to put it.  The tops shelf has lights. Flashlights and candles in case the electricity goes out. The next shelf has bottled water.  These we use and replace them. We also have a small heater that fits on the tops of a LP tank in there for emergencies.  We also have a Coleman camping stove in there. The tanks are on our back patio. The heater and camping stove will go to the garage when winter is over to make room for summer things. We also have gallons of water in there for washing.

Entryway Closet Makeover Finishing Touches

We have a bench in our entryway that we keep all hats, gloves, scarves in but I’ll show that later. I’m still working on that project.

I have only wooden hangers  in here as winter coats tend to be heavy. But I did take them all down so you can see the cute wrapping paper. I love using wrapping paper in closets as there is a lot of selections and it’s easy to put up and down.

I’m really pleased with the entryway closet makeover.  I love opening it and seeing everything organized and pretty.

 

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