I didn’t feel guilty about making this treat because I had all of the ingredients on hand. Something inside of me said it didn’t “count” as cheating on my low carb diet because I didn’t have to go out and shop for thing. I would actually be doing myself a favor by making it and getting all of the extras out of my pantry so I wouldn’t feel tempted anymore, ha!
search results for label/Brownies
I wanted to make Brownies over the weekend, I asked Chris what kind he would prefer and he said he just wanted something simple, no nuts or swirls or sprinkles or caramel. What a party pooper! I looked online for a simple recipe to try and found this one over at Cupcake Muffin. They were so rich and the frosting was to die for! After I cut them it just dripped down the sides, ooey gooey deliciousness. Most of the ingredients should be in your pantry so give them a try, they a simple but special.
What do you make with caramels, German chocolate cake mix, and evaporated milk? Well, I wondered because those were three of the odd items in my pantry and since we are moving soon I wanted to use them up. I did a Google search and came across this recipes for caramel turtle brownies and they turned out great! I love Google! I put my husband to work and had him take the wrappers off the caramels while I did the rest. Enjoy!
Why anyone would make brownies out of a box after trying this easy and delicious recipe is beyond me. With basic pantry items like flour, sugar, vanilla, and cocoa you can make this tasty recipe and much much more.
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…
Each Sunday my sister Ashlie and I co-write a blog post about our favorite things called Sister Sister Sunday. Sister Sister Sunday is a great way for us to keep in touch every week and stay connected. Each week our theme changes so make sure to visit us every Sunday to check out what we are into next.
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!
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.
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…)
Serving the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley
Mountain View, CA 94041
I cannot believe that July is already here! Because the 4th falls mid week my husband has Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday off, perfect because I could really use his help with my upcoming estate sale in Atherton this weekend. Just what he wants to do with his time off, ha! Anyway, with the 4th just a few days away I know most of you will be hosting or attending fun summer parties you will be looking for summer recipes to try so I put together a list of some of my favorites. Enjoy!
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!
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.
Happy Halloween! I think I gained 10 pounds over the weekend between the candy I bought to pass out tonight and the pumpkin party we went to last night and it was worth it, it is the only time of year that I get to enjoy miniature boxes of milk duds and nerds candy. I hope we have some trick or treaters stop by to take the few pieces that are left off my hands!
Tonight my friends are coming over to take their daughter trick or treating in our neighborhood and then we are going to have dinner, I am trying a new vegetarian chili recipe with sweet potatoes along with cornbread and these delicious brownies for dessert. Hopefully I can snap pics of the chili so I share the recipe with you.
Today I am guest blogging at two of my favorite blogs, The Mode Life and The Big Blonde Hair Blog and I hope you can stop by to say hello! Over at The Mode Life I am adding 2 tasty pumpkin recipes to their list of fantastic posts. The Mode Life shares honest perspectives from a diverse collection of women, every month they have a new book and mantra so stop by and get connected.
The Big Blonde Hair Blog is written by my friend Lauren from Alma College. She covers all of the fashion seen on all of the Housewives shows and I can’t get enough of it. If you love the housewives and fashion bookmark her page right away! She knows that I love to watch Gossip Girl so she asked me to switch things up and write a post about the fantastic fashions seen on the show.
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.
Each Sunday my sister Ashlie and I co-write a blog post about our favorite things called Sister Sister Sunday. Each week we host a “Linky Party” so all of you can share your favorite things with us. Sister Sister Sunday is a great way for us to keep in touch every week and stay connected. Each week we write about something new so make sure to visit us every Sunday to check out what we are into next.
On Friday night our friend Sam and Nick invited us over for a low key dinner and wine tasting. Sam said he likes to open up nice bottles of wine from his collection when the stock market sinks, he said what’s a few extra bucks down the drain, ha! It was our five year wedding anniversary and it was fun to spend some time with good friends. Sam is so high energy and fun and Nick is a sweetie. Our old neighbors Jim and Cheng were there too, this crowd cracks me up because I really stick out…not only am I the only girl but I am also the only one who doesn’t work in high tech.
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.