Eggs are not my favorite but they have become a staple in my new low carb lifestyle. It is much easier for me to stomach them for dinner than for breakfast so I have been trying new recipes once a week to jazz them up.
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Today I will be featuring the last salad in my Summer Salad Series. I looked through all of my cookbooks and favorite online cooking sites for the perfect recipe to try. There were a lot of steak salads out there but I decided that this chipotle steak salad from the Pioneer Woman would be the best one to try. Her homemade chipotle dressing sounded perfect! She makes a much bigger portion that we would need in our little two person household so I cut the recipe in half (except the marinade). I hope you give it a try!
I mentioned in last week’s birthday post that I made chipotle cheeseburgers for the Chris’ party. So many of you asked me to post the recipe so here it is. I love spicy food and these really hit the spot. Cheeseburgers are a grill staple all summer long, try this recipe for something new and special…
Moving is a great opportunity to clear the clutter and enjoy a fresh start. When a client hires Kuzak’s Closet to help manage their move and organize their new home we take care of all of the details – from the space planning to the unpacking.
We’ve been working on several relocations lately and today I wanted to share my favorite tips and some pictures to inspire you to embrace the opportunity to start fresh.
Tip#1: Sort and purge before you move! So many people pack up all of their possessions and take them to their new home without sorting and purging. Why bring unwanted clutter into your new home? Take the time to eliminate all of the items you no longer use or need. You’ll be surprised at how much easier it is to unpack!
I develop a sorting and purging schedule with my clients prior to their move. We typically schedule 4-5 sessions to work on each space in the home. This helps me understand their storage preferences and gives me an idea of how often things are used which is a great help when it comes to setting up systems in their new home. This is a picture of a toy pile that I sorted through the day before one of my clients moved…
I keep all of the photos used on my blog in organized files in my iPhoto program. Once in awhile I browse through them to remind me what I have been up to, it really helps document my life and I think it will be fun to look back in years to come. Besides all of the before and after photos from my professional organizing projects, recipes are the second most popular topic.
About a year ago I reorganized the recipes that I have posted on my blog under the recipe tab. It really comes in handy when I am sharing a recipe with a friend or looking for an old favorite for myself. Over the weekend I was looking through my archived blog photos and recipes looking for ideas and I was reminded of great recipes that I tried last summer that I need to make again soon. Here are some of my favorites, give them a try!
I tried this Rachael Ray recipe last week and it was great. I changed a few ingredients to make it more simple. I like red meat once in a while and I find it hard to make at home, especially with the grill put away for the winter. I hope you enjoy it! I served mine with a green salad, french bread, and a cold pale ale.
One of my very favorite client organization projects is creating a home Command Center. Every home has multiple catch-all spots for every day items like mail, office supplies, magazines, instruction manuals, gift cards and coupons. I want to help you consolidate everything into one central location, so I am sharing my best how-to tips.
Pot roast is one of the most comforting meals I can think of. It reminds me of cold winter weekends in Michigan, my mom used to make it on Sunday’s after church. I found grass fed beef roast at Whole Foods for only $4.99 a pound so I decided to throw together a pot roast for dinner last night. The recipe I use is so simple and easy, the best thing about it is it only uses one pot so it is easy to clean up.
I’m so glad I decided to write a post each week called Fab Friday. It forces me to slow down for a bit and reflect on the little moments in my week that made me smile.
This week there were SO many fun events. For example, this picture from last week’s Estate Sale cracks me up. The sale was a complete madhouse and a crazy success, we sold $9,000 in two days out of a mobile home park-AMAZING! The streets were lined with cars and trucks loaded with goodies, fabulous! The guy on the truck closest to the camera is named Gary, he is an estate regular and he makes me smile.
Another estate shopper that makes me smile is named Miguel. He is knows the way to my heart (and a good price) is food. He brought the entire estate crew steak tacos on Saturday, fabulous!
After the sale was over we celebrated with a little college football and a lot of pizza. I have been sticking with my diet for the most part but pizza always makes me cave. This pizza is from Skip’s in Los Altos, it’s so good! (more…)
Since last week’s post there have been many fabulous things going on in my life. I am so thankful for my friend Lori who calls to check in with me a few times a week and even manages to get me out of the house for social events once in a while. She called me last Friday afternoon to ask me if I wanted to participate in a fun run that night.
It was a 5k and I’ll be honest, it’s been a long time since I ran that far. I couldn’t keep up with Lori and her daughter Hayley but I’m proud to report that I was able to run more than half of the race. Lori met me at the finish line which was a nice surprise, gotta love fabulous friends!
Hot or Not?! made a surprise comeback on the blog this week. I love that series, so many fabulous ideas and comments from all of you! I shared my new flannel sheets as one of the HOT items, they are fabulous! Look for the Threshold label at Target! (more…)
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French onion soup has always been a favorite of mine. It has such a rich flavor and the gooey cheese on top always hits the spot. I have wanted to make it at home for years but never found a recipe that looked easy enough. I recently spotted today’s recipe on Skinnytaste, one of my favorite blogs, and decided to give it a whirl.
Today is the 7th edition of Hot or Not?! which means this summer series is almost halfway over! Ashlie and I have been having fun trying new products and getting input from our friends and blog readers about what to try next. Today we are actually spending the day together, that is HOT! We only get to see each other a few times every year (that is NOT!) so we are going to have some fun shopping and catching up.
We are ending today’s edition of Hot or Not with a reader’s pick. My college friend (and sorority sister) Ang emailed me to share her thoughts on a new product. If you have a product that you want to tell the readers about please don’t hesitate to contact me!
Catherine, a lovely client of mine sent me a free meal through a local dinner delivery service called Gobble. The thought of a home cooked meal that I don’t have to shop for, prepare, or clean up after sounded like a real treat but I didn’t know what to expect considering the only delivery that I have ever ordered is bad Chinese or local pizza.
Chris and I took a look at Gobble’s site and we really liked the simple layout. It is organized by day and each day has 5-7 dinner options with great photos and descriptions from local chefs. The options change each day and so do the chefs so there is always something new.
We decided to schedule our delivery for last Friday night so we could have a easy dinner at home after a long week of work. We ended up choosing these two meals cooked by Chef Alisa Chotibhongs…
On the day of the dinner delivery I received a reminder email letting me know that dinner was almost ready. I scheduled the delivery between 5:30 and 6pm and it arrived right on time. I loved the packaging that everything came in, aren’t the labels great?
It was nice to sit outside in our sweats and enjoy our dinner with a glass of wine. I ended up eating most of the panang beef (we were supposed to share) and it was so good. It was tangy and spicy and I would definitely order it again…
Chris is all about presentation so I wasn’t surprised when he ordered an entree served in a pineapple bowl. The shrimp and rice were infused with the pineapple flavor and it was just as good as it looks.
This whole experience opened our eyes to a much tastier meal delivery option and we can’t wait to order from Gobble again. I will also keep it in mind as a gift for my clients and friends, it would be perfect as a housewarming gift or a treat for new parents. Thank you Catherine for the meal and opening my eyes to a great local service!
Organizing kids artwork is a BIG challenge for most of my clients. Recently I had a client ask me to organize her son’s artwork and come up with a system that would be easy for him to enjoy and preserve the pieces for years to come.
She dropped off a box full of their favorite pieces from preschool along with these nice art portfolios from The Container Store. She told me that I didn’t need to use them if I had a better storage option but after doing some research online I decided that they were perfect. I like them because they are just they are just the right size for larger pieces and they are user friendly for small hands.
I have a small group of professional organizers that I hang with. You might think we get together and compare label makers – funny but not true! We talk about best practices, give organizing advice, and sometimes we refer clients to each other. I call us the Dream Team because we all have a different niche, experience, and successful businesses. My friend Lori from More Time For You originally met with the client from today’s project for a consultation but she passed the project on to me because she thought it would be right up my alley…messy garage+rat problem = kuzak’s closet, ha! During her consultation she took a few photos to pass on to me and then suggested that the client give me a call.
The client lives in a beautiful home in Atherton that has a carriage garage in the back of the house. The garage is very old so it is difficult to prevent pests from getting in, especially mice and rats. California has fruit rats that are very common and difficult to get rid of. I had them at my old house in Mountain View, you might remember be talking about them in this day in the life post. Anyway, the rats made a mess in his garage and he really wanted help getting the space cleaned up and organized.
Over the weekend I headed to Napa to the annual regional organizing conference with my organizing buddies. I’m sure you are thinking that we all get together and compare label makers and have races to see who can sort through a box in record speed but in reality it is a great event for professional development. There were over 150 local organizers present and I left with some great ideas and a list of to-dos to improve and expand my business.
I drove up with my friend Lori from More Time for You. It was great to chat about the projects that we are working on and brain storm about how to make things better. We drove through San Francisco on our way to Santa Rosa and enjoyed a clear view of the Golden Gate Bridge on the way.
The next morning the conference started bright and early. I decided to wear my cute Zara blazer for the event (sorry I cropped out my head but this picture was taken before I had my morning latte, ha!) I wore it with black slacks and a cute pair of gray striped heels.
The keynote speaker was Julie Morgenstern which was exciting. She is probably the most successful organizer in the industry. Her talk was about reaching your potential and becoming a go-to-expert. I took lots of notes and came away with a good feeling about where my business is currently at and where it has the potential to go.
During the day I attended three breakout sessions. The first was about expanding your business into a multi-person business. I have a few people working for me now but I really need to get to the point where I can have 1 or 2 other organizers helping my clients too.
The second session was about clearing the mental clutter. The speaker reminded all of us how we impact our client’s lives and the value that we bring (we all need to be reminded of that from time to time.)
The last session was about helping couples achieve their organizing goals. The speaker works with hoarders and chronically disorganized clients like I do so I could relate to a lot of her case studies.
I wish I would have taken more photos of the day but there were so many people to meet and lots of things to learn. Lori and I drove home together and didn’t stop chatting about the conference for the entire 2 hour drive. I have been to conferences like this before and have been disappointed with the session topics or the speakers so I’m glad that I was able to come home with lots of ideas swirling in my mind.
These are my top three to-do’s (some long term some short term)
1. Wrap my mind around hiring an additional organizer and begin a search.
2. Drill down and define my niche in the industry and who my target market is.
3. Develop written organizing guides and processes so I can delegate more effectively
I figure if I share these goals on the blog I have all of you to keep me accountable! Thanks! Have a great week and I’ll be back soon with some more great before and afters from last week.
I always start the organizing process with a free consultation because the best way for me to understand the project and my client is face to face. A few weeks ago a couple called me and asked me to stop by to take a look at their garage, it had been 2+ years since it was functional and they really needed the extra storage space. We chatted about their organizing goals for a bit and then they took me outside to see the garage and I was instantly excited. There were boxes stacked to the ceiling and I could hardly tell how big the garage was. Most people would run away from such a big task but I love a challenge.