Today I am sharing a quick recipe for shrimp with couscous. I tried it for dinner last week and it was really good. The peas and leeks screamed “Spring” to me and the couscous gave me a little carb fix, I almost thought I was eating pasta. I think it would be great with a kick of curry, grilled chicken, or other seasonal veggies depending on what you like. You could also skip the protein and serve it as a side dish. Here is the recipe…
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Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be sharing one of my dad’s recipes. Now that he is semi-retired he is taking interest in things around the house that my mom has always been responsible for like cooking and pool maintenance as of recently. It is funny to see them switch roles a little bit just because their personalities are so different. My dad has a little bit of Rambo in him, when he wants something done he is on a mission. My mom on the other hand quietly takes care of things, she does it so well you would almost think that everything takes care of itself.
This summer my dad has mastered the art of grilling white fish. He showed off his skills at a family cookout while I was visiting and it was delicious. Before I share his recipe I want to share the recipe for the salad that my mom paired with the fish. It is called the Cape Cod Chopped Salad, a Barefoot creation.
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 have a hard time preparing meat and fish sometimes, there is something about the relationship I make with my food while I shop for it and then prepare it that makes me not want to eat it. Does that make sense? I would like to eat more fish so I gave this recipe a whirl last night, it was so good I didn’t even think twice when I gobbled it up. The ingredients are so simple making the cost minimal. I found the Sole in the freezer section at Whole Foods for $4.29, what a deal! Give it a try, it would make a great centerpiece at your next dinner party.
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.
Last week I teamed up with friend and style blogger Monica from Living In Vogue to host a party Dressing Up the Holidays at West Elm in Palo Alto. Monica brought beautiful clothing, shoes and jewelry samples from Ibiss Boutique in Willow Glen and presented fantastic wardrobe ideas like; glam up your wardrobe by investing in a statement piece of jewelry that you can wear with most of the holiday outfits in your closet. (more…)
Preparing fish at home can be tricky sometimes. I found this no-fuss recipe from Giada, I made it with Salmon but you could use any kind of fish.
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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Mountain View, CA 94041
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!
Besides our time spent on the beach my favorite excursion in Maui was attending a luau called The Feast at LeLe. Most luaus take place at the resorts and there are long lines and tons of people, the Feast is different because you have a private table.
The event was right on the ocean with a great sunset view. When we walked into the luau we were greeted with leis and mai tais, you can’t get better than that!
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 had way too many good meals in Maui and now I’m paying the price, none of my pants can zip! Today I wanted to share some of the tasty treats with you!
There was a beautiful fruit stand outside of Lahaina that I thought we had to stop at. Maui used to produce a ton of pineapples and the company that farmed them went bankrupt so now there is a much smaller supply of pineapples that they call Maui Gold. They are really bright on the inside, tart and sweet. I wanted to buy one but I knew we wouldn’t be able to cut it at the hotel so I asked the man running the stand and he said he could cut and wrap it for us. It was a nice snack throughout the week. I was tempted to bring a few home but I had to be realistic, it would take us a long time to eat 5 pineapples!
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.
Saturday morning we woke up at the crack of dawn, literally, it was 5am when my alarm went off. We had to get on the road early so we could pick up our friends and get to Muir Woods, about 30 minutes north of San Francisco before the crowds.
Originally the plan was to hike a 15 mile loop from Muir Woods to Stinson Beach and back after a little reorganization we decided to park a car at Stinson and then drive another car to Muir Woods so we only had to hike 7 miles. The entire morning was beautiful from start to finish. We were able to see the sun rise when we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, Redwoods, and lots of ocean views so it was well worth the early start!
We landed in California last night after a long flight from Maui. We were so sad to come back to reality but I guess it had to happen. It was out first trip to Hawaii and since I didn’t know where to start I asked my friend and travel agent Kathy Roth from At Leisure Travel to give me a hand. I told her that we wanted to enjoy the beach, some hikes, and lots of relaxation and she suggested we give Maui a shot.
We stayed at the Sheraton Resort on Kaanapali Beach. It had a ton of amenities and the best beach location in my opinion. The waves were very calm so the fish and sea turtles were easy to spot snorkeling and the large cliff called Black Rock protects the beach from the wind.
Here are some photos that I took throughout our visit of the resort, I would highly recommend staying there…
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.
Today I am participating 10 on 10 for the month of June and as I mentioned in yesterday’s post I am going to be sharing photos from the Chelsea Market here in NYC. I know I am only supposed to share 10 photos for this post but after going through my pics I could only narrow it down to 20 so I guess I should have called the post 20 on 10, ha!
The Chelsea Market is right across from our hotel. The first floor is full of shops, bakeries, and restaurants. The upper floors house the offices of big NYC companies like the Food Network. I was hoping to run into some celebrity chefs but I didn’t have any luck.