Home Staging Tips via Houzz.Com Sunday, Jun 17 2012 

The Pantry Tuesday, Apr 10 2012 

Whether you are moving to your first home or just doing some Spring-cleaning, having a well-stocked pantry can make throwing together a quick meal much easier.  When cleaning out your pantry (which could be one cabinet to a walk-in closet, preferably away from heat and light), take out everything and check for expired items. Dispose of any expired items and donate any items you no longer use (unless the containers are open). Next, put dry goods in airtight containers that are labeled with the date. Then, organize your shelves by like items (oil and vinegar on one shelf, pastas and grains on another, etc.) Below you will find a list for stocking or re-stocking your pantry. You will then be able to create meals on the fly even if your fridge is bare. This will come in handy if there is a natural disaster, as well.

For a well stocked pantry start here, revise and make substitutions based on your dietary needs and tastes:

  • Vinegar (Balsamic, Red Wine, Apple Cider, Rice, White)
  • Oil (Olive, Extra Virgin Olive, Vegetable)
  • Soy Sauce
  • Honey
  • Hot Sauce
  • Hot Chili Oil
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard (Dijon, Grainy)
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Crackers
  • Cereal/Granola/Oatmeal
  • Rice (Jasmine, Long Grain, Brown, Arborio, Basmati, Etc.)
  • Grains (Couscous, Bulgur, Quinoa, Kasha, Etc.)
  • Pasta (Assorted Shapes)
  • Canned/Boxed Broth (Assorted Flavors)
  • Canned/Boxed Tomatoes (Whole Peeled, Crushed, Diced, Pureed)
  • Canned Soups
  • Marinara Sauce
  • Canned Tuna
  • Capers
  • Jam/Preserves (Assorted — if you bake, include Apricot)
  • Nuts (Assorted)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Raisins/Currants
  • Dried and Canned Beans/Lentils
  • Marinated Artichoke Hearts
  • Olives
  • Olive Paste
  • Canned Peppers (Diced Mild Green, Chipotle in Adobo, Roasted Red, Etc.)
  • Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • Dried Porcini Mushrooms
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Fresh Onions
  • Flour (All Purpose, Cake, Whole-Wheat, Etc.)
  • Sugar (Granulated, Brown, Confectioner’s, Etc.)
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Chocolate (Semi-Sweet and Unsweetened)
  • Corn Starch
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Spices (Assorted)

What’s in Your Toolbox? Friday, Feb 10 2012 

Everyone, even if you’re not handy, should have a basic tool kit for the home. The first thing you should get is a toolbox or tote to store and carry the tools. You can go traditional or be creative. Find something that will work with your tools and where you plan to store the box.

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Next, get some basic tools. Hardware stores can be overwhelming, but they usually have helpful people working that can assist you.

Here is a very basic list that will handle most simple jobs around the house:

  • Tape Measure: I like a 25′ Retractable Tape Measure
  • Screw Drivers: Assorted Sizes, Flat Blade and Phillips
  • Gimlet: You use it to start a hole. This is a handy tool for those of us without drills
  • Claw Hammer
  • Flashlight
  • Wire Cutter
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Assorted Nails & Screws
  • Picture Hanger Assortment
  • Duct Tape & Painter’s Tape
  • Spackling Paste & Putty Knife
  • Flat Scraper Razor Blades
  • Super Glue
  • String
  • Pencil
  • Crescent Wrench
  • Steel Wool
  • Assorted Sand Paper

You will be able to take care of most small home-related tasks with the tools above. Happy fixing!

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