Thursday, January 22, 2015

My New Favorite Cookbook

I have always loved the Cook's Illustrated magazines and books - and this one is my current favorite! It has fantastic recipes which are pretty easy by CI standards and so far the results are awesome! I have made two dinners - one a pasta and another a roast beef. I have always been a bit scared of fancy cuts of red meat and so tend to stay away from them - preferring easy chicken breasts. Problem is my family loves red meat and it's the one dish all three kids will eat. So I screwed up my courage and bought a eye-round roast - I still don't know what that means - but it was delicious!! And I used the leftovers the next night for make-your-own burritos. SUCCESS! See all the little tabs sticking out of the top - I have lots more meals planned! Next up is slow cooker pulled pork - will let you know how it turns out.

beef right out of the oven

leftover beef for my salad the next afternoon

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Following up on those New Years' Resolutions to Reduce and Donate

Many of our clients are setting the following goal for 2015:  Make sure your home (however small!) is filled with things both things that have meaning for you and things that help your home to function well.

For most of them (and us, too!), this means purging.  We all have stuff in our home that we no longer need, but it may be valuable to someone else.  Let's round up some local organizations which may be happy to accept your castoffs.

Hope of Northern Virginia takes your used baby items, like cribs, strollers, toys, maternity clothes, and the like.  They are located in Falls Church.

For furniture donations, along with appliances and other household goods, you can schedule a pickup with The Salvation Army.  It's easy and it's tax deductible!

For another option in donating furntiture in good condition, contact Furniture Share of McLean.

Friends of Guest House is a local organization that helps women who are coming out of incarceration to move on with their lives.  They accept women's clothing and shoes, along with bedding, linens, and towels.

Goodwill of Greater Washington's website offers a list of items that they willingly accept for donation at their dropoff center.

Many of us have old books that need a good home!  If yours are in good condition, contact Books for America to arrange for a pickup.  They help to redistribute to those in need.

Magazines?  Contact the Northern Virginia Mental Health Institute.  They accept magazines, along with other items, for donation.

Hope all this information helps!  You will be surprised about how good it feels to give back to your community, while lightening your own load.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Make Saying Thank You A Breeze

Last time I was in Target and Michael's I grabbed a variety of thank you cards to have on hand. I keep them VERY ACCESSIBLE on my desk in the kitchen in an adorable little IKEA container. Very easy to find, as I discovered tonight ....  the kids were writing out their Christmas thank you cards! Half the battle won! Buy a variety for boys and girls (to send and receive) so there are no squabbles when the time to write the note comes! Can't believe how easy it was this year!