Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Items to Help Organize Our Living Spaces

I want to share with you some great organizing products that make any room pop with color.
I love to organize everything. In my home there's a place for everything and once its used it goes back to their original place.
Organizing may seen difficult for many and I understand...yes...we are all created alike in His image but we all have our own individual talents. Organizing is simple place like things together in one compact place. Shoe boxes are great for organizing things but once we have the shoe box then we imagine how can we make this box look prettier to blend in with the decor of my room? So today I want to address that question...take a look.

Beautifully decorative boxes in an amazing array of colors can be found at any home improvement store. Just look for the ones that go well with the colors in the room you are buying for.

Beautiful round baskets are great to stack one upon each other for a tower look either in one solid color or in many colors.

Colorful straw baskets like this one are great for storing socks, office supplies like extra paper, copying papers, or to use as a "To Be File" basket.

These square boxes are fabulous for office papers, small files. pads, book holders and for hiding away cd's. Either way they do come in handy.

Christmas storage bins has been the best invention ever. Put your Christmas decor in them and store them in the garage...DONE!

Small drawer bins are so perfect to store cosmetics and girls hair decorations. There are hundreds of ways these organizing drawers can be used.

 Photos now can be organized by categories using these photo boxes. You can buy them uncovered and you can cover them yourself like these...they will give your room a great modern look.

These covered boxes are lovely and they can be used to hide away your jewelry.

Many people love the vintage look...these aluminum cans are not only lovely for the kitchen but they are lovely to hide away nail polishes, cosmetics, cotton balls and Qtips...I love them.

Beautiful raw straw baskets are so lovely for any room and closet. 

Under your bed you can hide extra blankets, shoes, purses and out of season clothes by using bamboo baskets. 

Using picnic baskets to store away fabric is fabulous, like I did with these baskets...many of my fabrics are in them.

This is my nail polish wall from my bedroom. Shadow box shelves are great to hold all my nail polishes, colognes and necklaces...everything is organized in one area of the room.

I've had these small trunks and they hold all my small paints and painting brushes. All neatly organized in one spot.

I hope this has helped you think about organizing some things in your home.
 Have a great day.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Canning Homemade Sofrito

In every Puerto Rican home you will definitely find a spicy recipe that gives all of their Spanish dishes that exquisite Caribbean taste. This spice is called sofrito.  Sofrito is a mixture of fresh red & green peppers, garlic, cilantro, ajises, & onions. This recipe has been passed down from one generation to another for hundreds of years and it is the most essential ingredient in making most Puerto Rican dish.
This last week I spent an entire morning making sofrito. I only make it 3 times a year and I always end up giving some away to my family.  Sofrito is always kept in the freezer and if you pour it into ice cube trays, you can use as many cubes as you like for any dish your cooking to give it a fabulous flavor.  Sofrito is mostly used in spicing up meats, soups, sauces, Spanish rice & beans, and in any dish that requires a little more spice to make it just right. Like I said you can freeze it in ice trays to use 1 or 2 cube at a time or you can use  freezer jars to store large quantities.  It keeps well in the freezer for 1 year...or you can keep it in the refrigerator in a tight closed container or glass jar. It keeps well in the refrigerator for about 3 to 6 months. Since I can a lot,  I also can my sofrito and it keeps well for 2 years on my shelves. Today I am showing you how to can sofrito. If you don't want to can your sofriot, then just freeze or refrigerate it. 
You will need a food processor or a blender in order to make sofrito.
You will need a tall pot for the jars to boil in & a large cooking pot to heat up the sofrito before canning. You will also need four large quart canning jars. Make sure the jars and lids are washed well before boiling them. Then stand them upwards inside your pot and put them to boil with the lid on for 60 minutes to steralize them well.
While the jars are boiling now you can wash all your ingredients.

Ingredients needed:
garlic (about 3 pounds after peeling).
4 bunches of cilantro...washed well and cut in not use the long stems.
5 large red peppers, cleaned from seeds and cut into pieces...I used 2 large jars of red peppers.
5 green peppers, cleaned from seeds and cut into pieces.
5 yellow peppers, cleaned from seeds and cut into pieces.
1 lb. of ajises...these are small green peppers found in most Spanish stores. They are not hot. They must be clean well from seeds and stem.
2 bag of yellow onions, peeled, washed & cut in quarters
After all your spices are washed & cut now you are ready to make sofrito.
Put into the food processor your ingredients.
Just like this picture below., blend well your spices.
I used an old photo I had of my sofrito being mixed.

Once all of your ingredients are all blended, then put them into a large cooking pot, simmer them for 25 minutes on med. heat, then lower your heat down to low. Once your jars are already sterilized,  do not touch the lip of the jar...use a pair of jar handlers to take them out of the boiling water. With a large cooking spoon pour slowly your hot sofrito mixture into the hot jar, cap the jar with the sterilized lid and tighten it well. Then place the jar back into the tall pot and repeat this procedure until all your jars are filled. Then boil the jars for 60 minutes. The jars have to be completely covered for them to seal well.  
Then once the jars are done boiling, gently take them out without dropping or tilting them. If this happens you will have to reopen and re-close the lid and then re-boil them again for another 60 minutes because the seal will break from the fall. When you take them out of the pot place them on top of a folded paper towel, let them cool off without disturbance. To check if they sealed properly just press the lid down and if the seal doesn't go up & down then it is properly sealed. If the lid does go up & down then you will have to re-boil them again for another 60 minutes. 
I made 9 jars for the shelves and 3 plastic jars for the freezer.  
Once the jars have cooled down then place the date you made them on your jars, 
now they are ready to be stored away in your cupboards.  

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Great Bargin's Today

Hello my friends...
Its so nice to see you again. This week I had a great deal of pain from a pulled muscle in my back. I pulled my back muscle while I was turning in bed and the pain kept me in bed for 2 days with muscle creams and a heating pad. I had a couple of great massages to relax and finally kill the pain but I am up again and back to doing what I do.  

I had to share these great bargains I got from our local Marc's discount store.
 Every morning Marc's cleans out their produce dept. and they price every thing down to $1.00 or less.  This morning I ended up bringing home all of these veggies, fresh spices like Rosemary & Basil and many fresh fruits too. I spent less than $20 dollars including the cans of Gandules (pigeon peas).  Now I am stocked up for 2 weeks and everything was in mint condition. Look at today's lucky find...check it out.

My fridge is bulging with veggies and fruit.

And for a vegan like me, this is a fabulous grocery day.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Painted Baskets and Decorating With Suitcases

 Hi Everyone,

I've learned through the years that you need to be creative when living in a small spaces. Everything in a small home needs to serve either 2 or three purposes. I personally have to live by this concept since I live in a small apartment that I love deeply. I use baskets and suitcases to not only decorate my home but each one of these baskets and suitcases are full of something...for instance the top suitcase on the first photo is my sewing basket. It holds all my threads, needles, scissors and everything I need for sewing. The first basket holds all my ribbons, laces and twine. The lunches boxes has all my small pieces of fabrics. But I changed things around here after redecorating my living room.

Now the lunch baskets on the bottom of this stack got a new look by painting the lids and adding wooden legs to the large basket made them come alive...take a peek.

These are the baskets before

And these are the baskets now. They got new wooden legs and they were painted along with the lids a nice deep cranberry.


and the sewing and ribbon baskets were moved to the large dresser in the living room. They still serve 2 purposes and they look great.

Here are 2 other pictures of how stacking suitcases look like and by just painting a couple of them can change the look of your home.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Fruit Display Ideas For Any Gathering

Each day is going faster and faster and soon Summer will be here. I had been thinking a lot about Summer and of some ways I can serve fresh fruit for our family reunion this year. I found these four fruit displays to be very appetizing. So I decided to share with you these lovely arrangements in case you are also wondering what you can take to your next gathering. Take a look, they are very appetizing.





They sure are lovely and so refreshing.