Kitchen Pantry List {printable}

A small house if full of charm and ultra small cabinets.  Tackling a tiny kitchen has been my battle for 5 years!  I have added bookcases and wall shelves.  I turned my laundry “nook” into additional kitchen/pantry space with industrial shelving.  The one area that hasn’t been touched is the very narrow built-in pantry cabinet.   The cabinet is only about 12″ wide and very deep.  This makes finding items in the back nearly impossible.  I am constantly shoving things back there only to find them in the “once-every-6-months” clean out.  UGH!   I forget what I have stored and I re-buy.  This is such a waist of time & money!

kitchen checklist banner

During my Fall Cleaning weekend, I decided it was time to find a solution to this issue.  I need a easy way to “see” what I had.  I keep like ingredients together – a shelf for sauces and spices, a baking shelf that holds all mixes, flours/sugars and add-ins.  And a shelf for coffee and tea bags (yes, we drink a lot!).  (Canned goods are stored in the laundry nook / pantry.)  I started with painting the inside of the cabinet door with chalkboard paint.    I like this option – it is one way to label the shelves.  Or note what I need on the next trip to the store.

kitchen checklist Collage

Next, I wanted way to record what baking neccesities I had on hand.  I created this checklist in illustrator. (you could easier make this in picmonkey or even just word, if you needed too)  I listed each of my categories : Cake Mixes, Flours/Sugars, Nuts & Chips (chocolate, butterscotch, PB), and Add-ins.    Allowed columns for flavor/style and quantity.   I left a space under each for items I may need to replace or items that I have seen in a recipe that I need to pick up.  Now I can check this before heading to the market.

I laminated it to make it re-usable.  Using a mini clipboard (spray painted bronze!), the list hangs perfectly inside my little pantry!

Here’s the PDF printable!  kitchen pantry list.-free-printabl

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Sharing Positive : Counting my Blessings

Today’s Sharing Positive is about counting my blessings.  Sometimes I think about all the dog hair I clean up, or the dishes I wash or the laundry that there is too be done.  And every now and then, I find myself wishing I didn’t have to do so much stuff.


Think about it!  A house that doesn’t need to be cleaned, a tidy kitchen and an empty hamper.  How lovely that would be, right?  I could have that.  I could get rid of my dogs.  Never have food to cook or someone to cook it for.  Not have the fortune of a closet full of more clothes than I need.

Then I remember the cleaning is just another part of my very full life.  Full of love, happiness, people and pets that I adore – I am fortunate to have all of these things and therefore I should consider myself blessed that I get to take care of these things.

Today during my run (those, by the way, come few and far between these days!), I looked up to the bright Carolina blue sky and counted my blessings once again.  I was hot but blessed by a beautiful sunny day.  Sometimes I wish my thighs were smaller, but today I was blessed by the strength they carry to push me up hills.  It was a great feeling at the end – to feel so tired and know that I am blessed by the ability to go for a run.

Your blessings may not be the same as mine, but I know that we all have more to be thankful for than we realize.

Count your blessings.

Happy Saturday!

Spicy Sweet Bacon Rub

Salty + Sweet = Amazing in my book.  Add a little spicy and I am in heaven.

I love using this rub on thick cut bacon whenever we are feeling a little indulgent.  The bacon is good as-is for breakfast or mixed into sweet baked goods! (We will also be using it on Grilled Chicken salads for dinner this week!)  Oh the possibilities.  When you want something that gives a little extra zing, try this rub!

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Mix together : 1/4 C lt brown sugar, 1/4 tsp ground red pepper, and 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper.  Rub onto raw bacon.  This will cover around a pound of bacon.   Bake at 400 degrees until crispy!   Keep an eye on it.. depending on the type of bacon it could go a little faster – and since there is sugar involved, you don’t want to burn it!

You MUST bake the bacon.  Otherwise you will end up with a mess.  All of the sugar rub would just end up in the grease.  Then you would have a pan full of hot sugar grease. Not what we are going for here.

I find baked bacon to be better.  It is crispier and holds its shape a little better than when fried.  Plus you don’t need to stand over a hot pan spitting grease!

spicy bacon after

Here is it .. hot crispy bacon on top, all the grease to the bottom.  Now, when I don’t use the sugar, I pour the grease into a glass jar and store in the fridge to use for other recipes.  Don’t judge.   : )

Let’s get rubbin’!


Sharing Positive


hello Tuesday!  Monday came and went this week and while I usually loath them, this one wasn’t bad!  So much to look forward to this week and next week is vacation! YAY!

I wanted to start my posting this week with some positive energy.  A positive project, if you will.. and you will, I hope!

At work few weeks ago, I was so impressed by someone I work with – her attitude, her helpfulness – that I emailed my HR contact to let her know.   I shared my joy with her about my co-worker.  And how she made my job easier and how much I appreciated her.    I wanted to share this with someone, and while, I could have emailed my co-worker directly, I wanted someone else to know how great I thought she was.    The response to my email “This made my day.”.  Hearing something POSITIVE about someone else actually made her day.

The point  – Sharing Positive Works.

Today’s positive project – share some joy with those around you.  Say something  kind.  Say something positive.




Girl with a Lens

Recently, while shopping for a camera, my husband said to me “You need a hobby.”… like playing candy crush and cleaning the kitchen aren’t hobbies.

So we bought a camera – used from my MIL.  I love it!  I have been wanting to learn how to take good pictures.  My first new purchase for it was the 50mm 1.8f lens.  Makes me feel like a pro – actually I’m just a girl with a lens.  Most of what I know about photography I learned from The Pioneer Woman!  My dogs are loving it too, I think.. maybe.

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This is Mack.  He is precious and amazingly sweet.


This is Daisy.  If you ever wonder who is in charge, she is.

I need to find new models.

Happy Humpday!


The 7 : Kitchen Registry Ideas

I love making lists.  I think it’s my get it done, mark it off, don’t forget it, stay on top of it personality.  Most of my lists don’t get completed or end up in a pile of papers somewhere.  But, I at least I try.  🙂  Here is my first “list” … a collection of things I love.  The 7 : Kitchen Registry Ideas.  Enjoy!

Registry shopping was such a fun experience.  It was like shopping without the guilt of spending money!  We have such generous family and friends and got a lot of really great gifts.  Here are a few of my favorite gifts for the kitchen.


1.  Crate and Barrel Marin Dinnerware in White.  Love this for everyday and the color mixes and matches with everything!  I didn’t want to be committed to one color pallet or theme.  I wanted something that could be used for all occasions and would allow me to mix in fun serving and seasonal pieces.  I recommend registering for the 4 place setting set as well as additional individual pieces.  This way you give a range of prices.  Some people may want to go in together on a gift (the bigger purchase) while others will want to spend a little less.  Variety is key!

2.  Digital Measuring Cup.  This does standard liquid measurements by volume but also has a digital scale for weight measurements.  It’s a great 2 for 1 item!  Any kitchen gadget that has more than one use is awesome.  I use this a lot for baking but also for portioning other ingredients for cooking (meats, for example).

3.  Digital Oil & Candy Thermometer.  If you are like me and heating up a big pot of oil on the stove scares the crap out of you, then you need this.  I had a non-digital version that I would us but this guy allows you to set the temperature for lots of preset items (for frying or candy making) and beeps when you are at the right temp.  I feel much safer knowing my oil isn’t too hot.  You must still use common sense, but you knew that.

4.  Clark Flatware. Matte finish. Nice heavy weight. Good size.  Perfect for everyday and coordinating with modern kitchens.

5.  Wine Rack.  I love these.  They are inexpensive and look really great when you hang 2 or more together.

6.  Milk Frother.  We. Love. Coffee.  This amazing milk frother was a little indulgent but the great thing about wedding gifts is sometimes you can indulge.  I use skim milk during the week in my coffee and save the heavy 1/2 & 1/2 for the weekends.  The frother takes skim milk and makes it wonderfully warm and frothy.  Makes me feel like I’m cheating just a little : )

7.  Burr Coffee Grinder. This burr grinder stores a lot of beans and grinds at different levels.  It’s great for having freshly ground coffee everyday.  So easy!

What are some of you favorite registry items?

Something(s) Blue

When I started planning my wedding, I knew pretty quickly that I wanted lace bridesmaids dresses.  They are just so elegant!  My next criteria is that they would not cost more than $150 bucks or so.  I really didn’t want to ask my girls to pay that much for a dress.  I shopped around, checked out pinterest, googled images and found this fabulous Adrianna Papell dress from Nordstrom.


The bright cobalt blue was just icing on the cake!  I knew all of my girls were going to be gorgeous in it  … and I was right!  

Here are a few of my fave pics from the big day!

Bridesmaids dresses

One of my favorite details is the full length exposed zipper that ran down the back.  I love designs that are sweet and elegant with a little unexpected twist!





Mark of Mark Potter Photography did an amazing job capturing these pictures!  find him here :





Hello.. My name is Emily.

I got married to my awesome husband this past April. I love being a wife! I enjoy taking care of my current family (husband + 2 dogs) and dreaming of my future family (husband + 2 dogs + children!). I am looking for ideas… and hopefully sharing a few ones too!… for building a strong family and a fun, happy, beautiful home! I love cooking, planning parties, crafting projects (esp when it involves the first 2), and reading blogs! There are so many wonderful blogs and women sharing ideas and stories.