K-cup Madness

May 4th, 2012

A few weeks ago we bought a Keurig Coffee Maker.  My first experience with a Keurig was when I visited my wonderful friend Sharon in Texas a few years ago.  The Keurig was an amazing thing, a wonder to behold.  However when I got home and told the Rocket Scientist about it, he was not convinced.  To make matters worse, a year or so later we stayed at a B&B with a Keurig in the hallway and he had a bad experience with it (I won’t go into all the ugly details.)  So it seemed a Keurig was not in my future.

At Christmas, we bought Keurigs as gifts for my parents and for our niece and her husband.  I would live vicariously through them.  I was quite sure that the Rocket Scientist was not going to budge on the Keurig issue, which was really kind of odd since he’s generally a pretty agreeable guy.  But you know, you just don’t mess with a man’s coffee!  Then I started working at church and found that Pastor Jeff has a Keurig in his office.  And I was invited to use it any time I wanted…well, any time he did not have his door closed for sermon study.  I began to take careful note of his schedule and study habits, so I could schedule coffee access around them.  I discovered that it is best to arrive a couple of minutes early to staff meetings to avoid the Keurig traffic jam.  And apparantly I began to talk at home about the Keurig…A LOT…because one day the Rocket Scientist uttered those six wonderful words, “Go ahead and get a Keurig.”  *GRIN*  We went straight to Costco the next day! (After I researched for the best deal of course.  😉 )

Well, as giddy as I was about my new incredible machine,  the Keurig came with a new set of problems…storage problems.  What on earth to do with all those little K-cups?  There was the variety pack of 60 that came with the machine, then there was the huge box of Donut House we went back to Costco for (160 of them!), and the several boxes I ordered from Amazon of decafs and the boxes of 18 I got at Target of my two personal favorites – Green Mountain Nantucket Blend and Breakfast Blend.  Acck the stuff was overtaking my laundry room!

The first order of business was to make room in the cabinet where my Yuban has always been kept.  (And I do mean ALWAYS!)  I stacked everything in there and it was ok, but I really wanted a better system.

 

Next I headed to…where else?…Pinterest to get ideas on K-cup storage.  I saw lots of things I liked (and I pinned and pinned and pinned), but most wouldn’t fit in my 1948 kitchen cupboards. Finally I came across the idea of using Medium Storage Bins from Staples which was originally posted on the blog Whistle While You Work. Turns out these are the perfect size for my cabinets.  They come in black or clear and I opted for the clear.  You can see the black in the original linked blog post.

Ah!  So much better!  I discovered that one bin will hold about 26 K-cups if you put them in willy-nilly or 18 if you are really anal and want them stacked just so.  The top bin will hold a little more.  There’s a  spot for a label on the front of each bin.  For some of them I cut out the variety name from the box and for some I used my P-touch label maker.  Here are a couple views of them on the counter, just so you can get a better picture of what they look like.

And a side view:

For easy access, we keep a basket right next to the Keurig filled with the varieties we use most for our morning coffee.

For now I have the majority of decaf K-Cups in a plastic lidded box on the top shelf of my cabinet.  I haven’t decided if I want to get the Staples bins for those or not.  We will mostly use those when we have company over in the evening, so I don’t feel like they need to be in easy reach.  I do have French Vanilla Decaf in one of the bins, since it’s my favorite and the one I would most likely reach for in the evening.

One more tip on the bins – they are on-line only, not carried in the stores.  We have a Staples very close to us and I excitedly ran over there to purchase the bins and was bummed out to not find them there.  The employees are super helpful at that store and Steven looked up the item for me and told me he could have it delivered to the store the next day with NO shipping charge!  The bins are $4.79 each, but just the right storage solution is priceless!

After my extensive search, I wanted to post this in case it might help someone else out there in the midst of a K-cup struggle!  There are tons of options.  If you’d like to see some different ideas check out my K-Cups Pinterest Board.  Maybe you’ll find just the solution you need.  :)

Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 14th, 2012

Not only is it Valentine’s Day, but today is my first day of training for my new job as Administrative Assistant to the Senior Pastor (Office Manager for short *wink*) at our church.  I couldn’t go in today empty handed, so I made up some fun little treats.  I had pinned this photo on Pinterest of Pretzel Buttons from g*rated.  (Click the link for detailed instructions.) They seemed simple enough, so I made up a batch of them on Sunday and packaged them yesterday.

I used the Peanutbutter M&M’s because my gorcery store didn’t have regular M&M’s in Valentime colors.  OH.MY.WORD!  Have you tried the Peanutbutter M&M’s?  I could eat a whole bag of them.  I will not be able to buy them again.  I have absolutley no will power over them!

I had some printed cello bags on hand that had cute little pink and red cherries on them – perfect for Valentine’s Day!  For the toppers I used Echo Park Be Mine papers (I have lots left from my birthday stuff) along with SU Chocolate Chip polka dot ribbon and TE stamps and dies – Totally Tags Valentine.  I slipped a 4″ square of pink cardstock in the bag.  I didn’t want the pretzels to tumble down into a pile and I thought that if I were using wrapped candy I would be able to glue it to the cardstock square.  I decided to try a little trick and it worked out great!

After all my pretzels were done and competely set up, I cut 4″ squares of wax paper and placed white chocolate chips where each pretzel would sit.  I put the wax paper and chips into the microwave on 50% power for about 45 seconds.  Then I just smooshed the pretzels on topof the softened chips and let them set.  This has the effect of “gluing” the pretzels in place. I just slid the cardstock square under the wax paper and transfered the whole thing to a cookie sheet to fully set.

I used mostly Hugs as the original recipe called for, but I also had some regular Kisses on hand and wnated to try some of those as well.

I made up one for each of the Pastors and current office staff.  Might as well start off on the right foot, right?

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Thanks for stopping by!  I’m off to begin my new adventure.

  One week ago today was my 50th birthday and we celebrated with a BIG wonderful party!  I have a bunch of photos and will be getting more from several friends over the next few days, so I thought I’d share a few of them with you today. 

 Last week was quite a week!  The excitement started on Saturday the 28th as I headed out to Anaheim to meet up with Taylor, Melody, Regina, and Wanda for CHA.  Both Sunday and Monday were spent on the convention floor, with dinners with very special women each evening.  Tuesday I was home to get back on track with all the final party details – and boy was there a lot to do!  Fortunately I had a ton of help from both local friends and from two very dear friends from out of state.  We worked all week long to insure a good time would be had by all!

Oh and just to make things even a little more interesting, the Rocket Scientist had lithotripsy on Thursday to have 2 GIANT kidney stones blasted.  Poor guy had to have a stent put in and the recovery has not been nearly as easy as he had been led to believe.  There was some doubt if he would even make it to the party, but fortunatley he did make it and did well most of the evening.  He had to be taken home just a little while before things ended.

The theme of the party was “Life is Sweet” and the colors were black and white, fucshia and pink. Guests were invited to enjoy decadent desserts and live music.  Here are the favors that were set at each place.

Thes cute little jars (from Specialty Bottle) were filled with pink and white taffy and I had custom stickers printed with my party logo for a personal touch.  As guests walked in they were greeted by my sweet friends Lisa and Lori and they could find their table assignment on this poster. (Papers are Echo Park Be Mine Collection and that was the jumping off point for all the party decor.)

Tables were indicated by a number as well as different photos of me throughout my life.  Some people expressed surprised at having table assignments, but when I host a party I’m all about doing everything possible to make sure guests have fun.  I think part of that is making sure people will get to sit with people they know or people they will be likely to enjoy.  (No one who knows me is surprised that I’m a bit of a control freak!  LOL!)  Here’s what the tables looked like. 

I couldn’t have been more thrilled with how everything looked.  It was really stunning!  We had two dessert stations serving crepes and ice cream sundaes over warm cookies or brownies, plus there were mini cupcakes.  My one party regret is that I never got even one cupcake!  I heard they were yummy though!

We had a photo booth set up where people could get their pictures taken for my guest book.  They could go serious or silly or both.  It was a HUGE hit!

There was a live band called The Balcony Boys and they were awesome!  Everyone loved them!  Curt and I found them playing out on an apartment balcony in Seal Beach last Summer.  I hadn’t origianlly planned to have a dance floor, but decided a week before the party to add one and I’m so glad I did.  More people got up and danced than I had expected.  You know, I managed the Long Beach Arthur Murray Studio in my 20’s and have been missing dancing quite a bit.  My BFF, Ruth, worked there with me as well and we got up and danced a few songs together at the party.  What a blast, despite the fact that we both had trouble remebering the man’s part to lead.  LOL!

We called up everyone at the party that will turn 50 this year and had a special toast.  I’ve known some of these girls since elementary school or Jr. High.

Here I am with my nieces Kira and Britta and their mom Lill.

Here are some very special friends Lisa, Stephanie and Darla. 

And sweet friends Lori Craig and Taylor VanBruggen who I’m sure all of my blog readers know well!  What a blessing to have them here from Missouri and Iowa.  Taylor gave me an incredible gift that I didn’t get to open till the next day.  It included handmade cards from over 25 different “internet friends”.  It was so amazing to open each one of them.  I haven’t had a chance to thank each person, but please know that if you sent a card, I love it and appreciate it and am so grateful!

My BFF since high school came down from Vancouver, WA.  She and her hubby stayed in SoCal for almost a week and it was wonderful to spend time with them.

All in all we had about 90 guests come from every realm of my life to help me celebrate the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!  There are lots more photos and maybe I’ll share some more next week. (I’m hoping someone has a good one of Curt and I together.) From everyone at the party, to everyone who sent cards, to everyone who left me birthday wishes on Facebook – THANK YOU! And a huge thank you to my Uncle Bernie and my Mom and Dad for hosting this big shindig and to the friends on my “Party Planning Committee” who worked tirelessly and kept me sane! It’s been a week and I’m almost recovered. I feel so loved and so special and so happy and so BLESSED!!!!  Really really so BLESSED!  Who knew 50 could be so fabulous???

Easter Table Decor

April 25th, 2011

Happy Monday!  I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend!  Ours was jammed packed!  Easter started out with a beautiful church service featuring an inspiring musical presentation by the choir (including my hubby) and orchestra as well as a message presented by Pastor Jeff.

Immediately after church we ran home to pop the egg casseroles in the oven and finish preparations for a brunch in our backyard for 14 people.  It rained while we were at church, so the tablecloths were thrown in the dryer and we debated about moving the party inside.  Fortunately the sun came out and we went back to plan A!  As we were getting set up I took some photos of the table decor. 

My friend JulieHRR posted a link on Facebook to last minute Easter decorations on Thursday or Friday of last week and it was just the fun inspiration I needed!  I love the way everything turned out!

I purchased the large jars and the little favor jars at Cost Plus Imports along with the grass/shred.  I picked up the candy eggs. peeps, and bunnies at Target.  The little canning jars were in my cupboard and I just had to fill them with peeps bunnies.  Tags were created with TE stamps – Hello Spring and Easter Joy.  The large jar centerpieces were set on top of inverted glass bowls filled with orange Easter grass. Funny little thing about the larger centerpiece…when I started to put it all together I discovered that the white chocolate bunny was too wide to fit into the mouth of the jar.  Oops!  I was dejected, until I realized I could do surgery with a pair of kitchen shears.  LOL!  I just kept trimming till that bunny butt until it fit into the jar! 

 I forgot to take a photo of the buffet table, but I had a smaller version of the centerpiece there surrounded by jars and champagne flutes filled with candy.  After taking these photos, the camera got put back in the house and I was bummed when I realized last night that I never took any people pictures.  Gosh – I used to be so much better about that!  It was a wondersul day with friends and family and worth all the effort that went into it!

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great day!

Hello Spring Easter Treat

April 18th, 2011

**Please press Ctrl-F5 to “hard” refresh if you’d like to make sure you are seeing my latest post. Thanks!**

It’s almost Tuesday!  How on earth did that happen?  LOL!  I have one more project from my class Friday night that I wanted to share.  It’s a super simple 2-4-6-8 box held closed with a mini clothespin clip (thanks to the inspiration of the talented Danielle Lounds!)

 

My class featured the TE stamp set Hello Spring for all 4 projects and this little treat box also used  Spring Wreath to stamp tone-on-tone onto the box itself.  We filled these little boxes with Hershey foil wrapped chocolate eggs.  If you need a last minute Ester treat, these are super quick and easy to make!  Take a 1/2 sheet of cardstock and score at 2″”, at 4″”, at 6″, and 8″.  Then turn a quarter turn and score (what will be the bottom of the box) at 1″.  Make some little 1″ slits at the bottom and fold up and adhere with sticky strip.  Easy-peasy!

I’ll be back in the morning with a very Special Taylored Expressions mid-month release…something we’ve never done before.  You won’t want to miss it! 

Dashing Holidays

December 23rd, 2009

Well hello!  This is just a quick post to let y’all know I’m still alive!  I didn’t intend to take a break from blogging – in fact I have several photos to share – but the past couple of weeks have been so slammed busy I’ve barely been able to breathe!  Seriously!

I spent a good part of the last couple days dipping various stuff in chocolate – pretzels, oreos, peanutbutter smeared ritz…

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The Ritz crackers stuffed with peanutbutter. covered in milk chocolate and covered in Heath pieces are DA BOMB!!!!  Those I will be making again!

Also Curt and I have been working on getting our Christmas cards out  – over 100 of them.  Here’s one of the designs – I made 30 of these using one of my all-time favorite Christmas dp’s – SU Dashing.

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It’s waaaay past my bedtime, but I just had to stop in and touch base with you.  I hope you are having a wonderful week and I hope you are more ready for Christmas than I am.  LOL!

-Jami

 

 

Saints Alive Italian Dinner

April 24th, 2009

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I’m really sorry I missed the TECC this morning.  It seems like so much has happened since I posted last Friday.  Saturday my day started out great, but got ugly in the late afternoon/early evening when I began to exhibit symptoms of food poisoning or stomach flu.  It turned into one of the worst nights ever.  I won’t go into the sordid details, but I just have to say how thankful I am to have a loving husband who takes such good care of me when I’m sick.  I don’t know what I would have done without him!

I was better by Monday, but just completely wiped out.  Monday was the monthly DDA Challenge and I was the hostess.  I had a card half done when I got sick on Saturday and I was so sad not to have it completed for the challenge.  It’s still sitting half done and I still plan to finish and post it at some point.  As I began to feel better, I needed to focus on the Saints Alive Dinner at church this week.  It was last night and I was the event coordinator – my first time in charge of an event since we started attending this church.  This is a twice a year ministry for the senior sa-favor-custom.jpgmembers and I was really excited about it, but I was also very behind from being sick.  Tuesday night one of the gals who was working on the dinner with me, Veronica,  was coming over to help make favors.  I also called on my Club and two of them (Thanks Barbara and Carol!) came over and helped make quick work of the 50 favors.  Veronica had baked cookies and bought cello bags to put them in.  We stamped 2 different Bible verses from a retired SU set and punched them with the scallop oval punch.  We ran Glorious Green cardstock through my CB with the Top Note die and wheeled it with a jumbo wheel to form the topper.  This was an Italian dinner and our color scheme was red and white with a touch of green (based on the Italian flag.)  The favors were set in the middle of the place setting.  You can click on the photo below to see a full table setting.

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On Wednesday afternoon several of us met at church to do some of the food prep.  My wonderful friend Darla was in charge of the food for 60 people and she had never done anything quite that big before.  She’s a great cook and I knew she could do it, but this was new territory for most of us.  Thankfully my friend Lori has lots of experience in this area and she had given us a recipe she uses often for a pasta bake.  So our menu consisted of salad, pasta bake, garlic bread and lemon cake.  Everything was super yummy!

sa-centerpiece-custom.jpg Here is a photo of the centerpeices.  Such a simple idea and it looked so cool.  It was just 3 different sized/shaped glass bottles filled with roses from clearance bin at the supermarket (what an awesome find!) and some tealights.  We had a little game going throughout the evening and the winner at each table got to take home the centerpiece.

I had worked with an initial team of 6 women to plan this event and each person took charge of an area (Darla and Stephanie on food, Denise doing table decor, Veronica the favors and Lisa handled ticket sales and the youth), then we also had 5 more women join us last night to help with execution.  Plus we had a dozen of the youth come to serve the tables.  It was such a blessing to be involved with such a wonderful team of volunteers and to see how well thinsg work when everyone is using their gifts.  Not only were we able to be a blessing to the seniors, but we were so blessed by the building of relationships and the joy of accomplishment.  And those of you who know me or have ever seen me at a StampMania know that I am never happier than when I’m running an event and managing a team!  :)

LOL!  The girls told me I had to take a picture of my Tasks Poster.  I had a big poster in the kitchen listing all of the tasks we needed to accomplish and the order they needed to be done in.  We checked things off as they got done.  Of course I also had a typed up time line to use as a guide.  I was actually shocked at how close we came to it in the end. 

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On Wednesday evening I had the idea that I would really like to have a little thank you gift to give each of the ladies on the volunteer team.  At that point there was only time to work with stuff I had on hand so I searched through my alterables and found a bunch of little note pads that I knew I could fix up quickly – see hoarding can pay off!  *wink*  I simply cut and scored some covers out of cardstock and added some dp and stamped images punched with my Marvy scallop punches.

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Oh and I also found a package of mini gel pens so I incorporated those as well.  It was really fun to have a little token of appreciation to give each lady.  I just wish I would think of things like that sooner.  I am mean, I am a stamper afterall… why do I always think of stamped stuff at the last minute?  LOL!

 I took my camera to the event to take people pictures, but once I got the table photos beforehand we got so busy that I never got back to taking any more.  I really need to have someone in charge of photography!

Just when I thought I would have a day to catch up on bills, groceries, laundry and errands my sweet sweet hubby e-mailed to say that he could get off work early so we could use our Disney passes this afternoon.  So off we went.  All those chores (and hopefully not any late fees) will still be there tomorrow!

 So now you’re caught up on my week.  I hope you are well and having a fantastic weekend!

 

-Jami

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