Craft Room Storage

Today I thought I would share my craft room storage ideas with you. I really enjoy making cards and over the years I have collected many bits and pieces that I “really needed” for my craft!

In order to get the best use out of my craft stuff I need to store it well.  I need to be able to find what I need easily or I simply wouldn’t use it because it would be too time consuming searching for things.

Another reason to keep my craft supplies well organised is so that when I go off to Craft Camp I can easily pack it up and use it when I get there.

My storage also needs to be inexpensive.  The craft supplies themselves cost money and although I do spend some money on craft storage, I really try to keep the costs down.

So here are a few ideas that I use for my craft supplies I thought you might like to use for yours too.

This is my craft cupboard.  I try to limit my supplies to this cupboard, but I must admit that there is a slight overflow! I won’t show you that bit!

Closed craft cupboard

I didn’t sort out my cupboard or clean it up for you, this is honestly how it looks.  I realise that I could do better.  I probably should go through it and make it neater, and one day I will get around to doing that. Maybe I’ll give you an updated tidy version of craft room storage when that happens. Stay tuned!

Inside craft cupboard

Ribbons

I keep my spools of ribbons in a tub (top shelf of the cupboard) but I do have lots of little lengths of ribbon.  To keep it organised and tangle-free I use this storage container.  You can purchase these at most department stores or discount shops (I think I got mine from Kmart).  You could also use a fishing tackle container that is usually used for lures and hooks, etc. I wind each ribbon on a piece of cardboard that I cut to fit the storage box compartments.

Ribbon storage container

Ink Pads

I don’t have a huge number of ink pads so I store them in this little tub.  This tub comes from The Reject Shop.  I like it because it closes well and has handles.  The handles are good when I am packing my craft stuff up to take to Craft Camp. I  have second one of these for my punches.

Ink pad storage

Paper

This expandable file is fantastic for some of my papers and is really handy if I am going to a friend’s house to make a few cards, but it isn’t big enough to fit all my papers in. Storing the rest of my papers is quite challenging. In the past I have bought paper sets that have come in square boxes or clear plastic boxes.  Keep these boxes to keep your papers in.  They are already the perfect size and are very handy for transporting paper. I stack them up in my craft cupboard.  This is not ideal and it can be a pain to drag them out and sort through to use them.  I am working on a better way to store my paper.  Do you have any tips for me?

Paper storage

 

Bits and Bobs

I have a lot of smaller bits and pieces, like small scissors, bone folder, tiny stamps, tape, clear stamp blocks,  glue etc.  These things are kept in my little set of plastic drawers on a shelf of my cupboard.  Very handy for easy access because I use these items regularly. I think I bought this little set of drawers from Kmart or The Reject Shop. Other bits and bobs are kept in used chocolate boxes. I find that chocolate boxes are good because they are a good size for small papers and stickers.

Buttons

I don’t have lots of buttons, but I do like to use them on my cards sometimes. I keep mine in these clear plastic cylinders.  I’m pretty sure I bought them at Kmart or Spotlight. I like to sort my buttons and brads into colours and this makes finding the right one quicker. I highly recommend this method of button storage.

Button storage

Clear Stamps

Clear stamps are usually found in a card-makers stash. I like to keep mine in a display book.  Although this makes the folder very thick, it’s really easy to see what is there and keep them all together. It is also really easy to transport them this way. These display books can be purchased in any store with a stationary section and are really cheap.

Clear stamp folder

Clear stamp folder open

Transport

When I pack up lots of my craft supplies to take to Craft Camp, I use this man’s tool box thing.  A few of my friends and I bought these in the early days (most of our craft stuff used to fit in here – Ha! Not anymore!).  I still use this thing each year.  The top section comes off so it fits well in the car and when we arrive at camp I can clip the top onto the bottom and wheel it in to where I need to go. At my craft table at camp, I usually separate the top and bottom again and use my craft supplies straight out of here.  It works really well.

Craft toolbox

What are your craft room storage tips?  Have you got any good ideas that I could use?

Trina xx

Weekly menu plan

Once a week I sit down with a cup of coffee and my shopping list and write up a weekly menu plan. The next day I do my weekly grocery shop and this helps me to be organised and ready for the busy week ahead.

Sitting down to menu plan

I often begin the process by doing a quick freezer inventory.  I have a look and list all the meat I have in the freezer.  I try to incorporate these into the weekly menu so that they are not kept too long in the freezer.  I buy meat on sale and freeze it as I find it in the Supermarket.

I only plan dinner meals and only weeknights.  The weekends are much more casual.  Sometimes we are out and the rest of the time we eat leftovers or BBQ or pasta or pizza……simple stuff.  Dr TMH likes to cook on weekends too which is a nice treat for me!

Monday nights are always Meatless Monday.  We have my brother and sister-in-law over Monday nights and I like to experiment on them with vegetarian dishes.  We also have dessert on Monday nights too.  Either I will make something or sometimes they bring something they have made over the weekend for us to enjoy. The only other night we have dessert is Saturday nights.  We treat ourselves to “Saturday Sundaes”: get out the ice-cream and get creative with toppings.

The rest of the week we have simple meals that are quick to prepare after work and in the midst of after-school activities.

Weekly menu plan

This is the menu plan for this coming week.  You will notice that I also include the weather temperature expected for each day.  That may not be necessary where you live, but here in Melbourne, Australia, the temperature can vary a LOT from day to day.  I try not to plan a comforting stew or soup for a 40 degree C day, instead I would plan for a salad and BBQ or cold meat.

Under “Extras” I list cakes and slices that we bake over the weekend for school lunches and after school snacks.  These are usually special treats and a couple of things will last us all week……once it’s gone, it’s gone! It’s a good opportunity to get the kids in the kitchen cooking up something yummy. Also, if we are going out to something where I need to bring a dish, I will list it here so that I can see what needs to be prepared.

Hot Tip

Once the week is over, I file the menu page in a folder which has month tabs.  This just helps me when I am stuck for ideas and I can see what I made last year in February and where I got the recipes from.  Sometimes I forget delicious recipes from the past and this helps me remember!  I can also reuse weekly menus if I don’t have time to menu plan.

Weekly menu folder

You might recognise a few recipes in this week’s plan from the blog.

Here are the recipes from this week’s menu that you can find on trinamichellehouse.com:

TMH bolognese

Slow cooker roast chicken

Trina’s roast potato and salmon salad

Sticky sausages

Simple banana and white chocolate cake

I must add that sometimes I change the menu plan as the week progresses.  I might decide one day to swap the planned dinner to another night or even to scrap it altogether  and make something else (I might not feel like making that recipe that day!). That’s okay.  The menu is a tool to help me stay organised and it’s certainly not set in stone.

How do you menu plan? Share your menu tips in the comments below.

I hope this post helps you organise your week.

Trina xx

 

TMH Yum Yum Bowls

Over here in Australia, we don’t have Yum Yum Bowls or any sort of Cafe Yumm (they are in the US). So I decided we need something similar – a TMH Yum Yum Bowls recipe. Of course I will probably never know if this recipe resembles the US version or not but that wasn’t really my aim.  I was inspired by the concept so I decided we had to make this here.

The concept is very appealing to me because it’s basically a bowl of rice that you add to, depending on what you feel like and have in the kitchen at the time. Apparently you need to have a special sauce so I developed one exclusive to TMH for use with these TMH Yum Yum Bowls.

I prepared this dish in the following order:

1. Make the Super-Quick TMH Yum Yum SauceSuper-Quick Yum Yum Sauce

2. Cook rice (I used brown rice but you can use whatever you like)

3. Prepare the toppings (the list of possible toppings is endless)

4. Cook the minced beef (I added cabbage this time – totally optional)

TMH Yum Yum Bowls cooking

 

5. Poach eggs (one for each bowl)

6. Serve

TMH Yum Yum Bowls on table

Everyone in our family loved this dish.  I set some aside in a microwave container and took it to work today.  I heated it up in the microwave (toppings and all!) and it was just so Yum Yum!

You could make the TMH Super-Quick Yum Yum Sauce in advance (earlier in the day or the day before).  Just cover it and store in the fridge. When it comes time to serve just give it another whisk and add a small amount of water if you think it needs it.

TMH Yum Yum Bowls

60 minutes

Serving Size: 4-6

TMH Yum Yum Bowls

Ingredients

  • Super-Quick Yum Yum Sauce
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp water
    Possible Toppings
  • Grated cheese
  • Fresh Tomatoes, diced
  • Black olives, sliced
  • Fresh avocado, sliced
  • Sour cream
    For the Beef
  • 500g beef mince
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • salt & pepper
    Eggs
  • Enough eggs for one per bowl.

Instructions

  1. Super-Quick Yum Yum Sauce:
  2. Whisk ingredients in a jug until smooth, adding the water last to control consistency. (At this stage you can cover with cling wrap and store in the fridge until serving time.)
  3. Cook rice according to packet instructions.
  4. Prepare the toppings and place in indivual bowls.
  5. Prepare the Beef:
  6. Cook beef with garlic in the sesame oil until brown.
  7. Drain off any fat.
  8. Add brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, salt and pepper.
  9. Cook for a few minutes for the flavours to develop.
  10. Poach eggs in egg poacher on the stovetop.
  11. To serve:
  12. Divide rice among bowls.
  13. Make a small well in the centre of each and place a poached egg inside.
  14. Top with minced beef, then serve so that everyone can add their own toppings.
  15. Serve with the Super-Quick Yum Yum Sauce.
http://trinamichellehouse.com/tmh-yum-yum-bowls/

Give this recipe a try and if you have ever eaten the US version of these bowls, I am curious to know how different this recipe is from the real deal! Leave comments below.  I’m pretty sure this is nothing like them……that’s ok!

Trina xx

Almond Crisps

I really love the Australian Women’s Weekly recipes.  They are usually pretty easy and use pantry staples.  I have collected many of their recipe books over the years.

On the weekend our cupboard was bare so I decided to try the recipe for Almond Crisps from this book: “Quick-mix Biscuits & Slices”. First published in 1994, it’s an oldie but a goodie! My copy was published in 2004 “reprinted by popular demand”!

AWW Quick-mix Biscuits & Slices

 

This recipe for Almond Crisps was super simple.  No eggs.

Almond Crisps

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

25 minutes

Almond Crisps

Ingredients

  • 250g butter, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
  • 2 cups (300g) self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup (60g) ground almonds
  • 4 Tbsp flaked almonds (optional)

Instructions

  1. Beat butter and sugar in a small bowl with electric mixer until smooth.
  2. Stir in flour and ground almonds.
  3. Roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls, place about 5cm apart on baking-paper lined oven trays.
  4. Flatten slightly with a floured fork to 1cm thick, sprinkle with flaked almonds (optional).
  5. Bake at 190°C for about 10 minutes or until golden.
  6. Stand 5 minutes before lifting onto wire racks to cool.

Notes

This is the recipe with quantities doubled from original recipe. When I made it I used the quantities listed here.

http://trinamichellehouse.com/almond-crisps/

I actually doubled the recipe because I anticipated in advance that they might just be a hit in this house.  Yes, just as well I did!  They flew off the cooling rack before I even had the chance to transfer them to an airtight container. They always taste best straight from the oven but these biscuits don’t seem to lose this quality.

Now, 4 days later, they still taste very fresh and have retained their crispness.

The texture of these biscuits is very soft and crumbly inside, but with a beautiful shortbread-like crispness on the outside.  They are very moreish.

The recipe calls for flaked almonds on top just before baking but I didn’t have any in my pantry so I left them out.  It really didn’t matter.  These biscuits are just as good plain.  In fact, I won’t be especially buying the flaked almonds for when I bake these next time (there will be a next time!).  Plain is good. You could jazz them up by putting a glace cherry on top if you so desired.

These biscuits will keep for a week in an airtight container easily.

They were quick to make and would be a winner at any morning or afternoon tea gathering. I love them dipped in cold milk…but that’s just me!

Give these Amond Crisps a try at your house. I think your family and friends will love them.

Trina xx

Our family values

Dr TMH and I have always felt that it was very important to teach our children good Christian family values. Our family values are nothing unusual. Of course we all want our children to learn how to be kind and loving, generous and postitive.

Our values are based on the 10 Commandments.  These are found in the Bible in Exodus 20:1–17:

The Ten Commandments

20 And God spoke all these words:

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

“You shall have no other gods before me.

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God,punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth,the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

How do you teach 2 and 4 year olds these things? I started to think about this and spoke to friends about it too.  Some very good friends of ours had simplified the Ten Commandments so that their children could understand it and relate to it.  Great idea!

Family values

I looked at the Ten Commandments myself and came up with a very simple wording.  I also included a short prayer. Of course my kids couldn’t read at the time, so I found some relevant little pictures on the internet and inserted them in my document (one picture per commandment). This would help us all to remember them.

These are our family values:

  1. We honour, love and trust God more than anything else.
  2. We use God’s name when we pray, praise and thank him.
  3. We worship God and hear his word, especially on Sunday.
  4. We love, help and obey our Mum and Dad.
  5. We love and help everyone.
  6. We speak and act in ways that are pure.
  7. We respect everyone and their things.
  8. We always tell the truth.
  9. We are thankful for what we have.
  10. Our family and friends are very special to us.

Dear God, Please help us to live like this. Amen.

I printed the document out A3 size and got my girls to colour the pictures in. Then I laminated the page and blu-takked it to the wall in our kitchen.  Each morning while they ate breakfast we read through our family values and prayed that God would help us to live this way.  It was a good start to our days!

You are welcome to teach this to your family or maybe come up with your own version! (BTW our favourite one is No 4!!)

Trina xx