While Eric and I planned our wedding, something we really looked forward to was the wedding registry. It seemed like a piece of cake: go to the store, go shopping (!), and point the clicker at plates, bedding, towels, and gadgets. In reality, we forgot a TON of stuff – mostly the less glamorous items, like home organization items and cleaning supplies. Luckily, we could assess our registry online and added (and deleted!) several things. Here are a few.
These Glasslock containers are absolute lifesavers. After we cooked dinner with our fancy new pots and pans, we realized that we needed a place to store leftovers. We bought two sets, and they’re microwave and dishwasher-safe and basically unbreakable. We also take our lunches to work in them, and it works like a charm.
We had a lengthy debate over our shower curtain.. and of course forgot that we couldn’t hang it without hooks and a liner.
Similarly, something else you can live without – until you can’t: an ice cube tray.
We also added a bathroom scale , as well as a bottle brush to clean water bottles, vases, and other narrow items.
What are some other easy-to-forget items to add to a wedding registry?
I love shopping – not for clothes – but for home organization solutions. Creating a beautiful space doesn’t always mean boxes, drawer organizers, and matching canisters lining your pantry. Here are some simple solutions to keep your kitchen space clean and tidy when you’re cooking.
Oxo Good Grips stainless steel mixing bowls are some of my favorites. Nesting bowls are automatically easy to store, and they are multifunctional: you can use them for meal prep, and they’re pretty enough for serving. I use mine to mix ingredients for baking, toss salads, whip up sauces, and even eat popcorn.
I love Pyrex’s glass measuring cups for the same reason – their many uses! I use them to measure out ingredients and keep sauces and reductions until needed. Plus I store my cooking spoons in them so the spoons don’t drip on the stove. Because they’re glass, they can handle the heat better than plastic.
Lastly, these magnetic measuring spoons by Progressive and stainless steel measuring cups by Oxo Good Grips are super efficient and pretty. The measuring spoons, especially, because they stay together neatly and have two ends – a narrow end to fit into spice jars, plus a rounded end for everything else.
I use these to stay organized in the kitchen. What are some products that you like to use?
I used to open my cupboard doors, stare into their depths, and sigh, “What can I make for dinner?” I’m definitely not the creative type that can whip up dinner without a recipe, and I hated that feeling of not having a plan. After Eric and I got married, we brainstormed different ways to do menu planning to make dinner hassle-free.
We decided to assign different themes to the days of the week. This method calls for variety, while at the same time, limiting choices to make it easier to decide what to eat on any given day. Of course, we don’t always stick to these themes, and some dishes fall under multiple categories. We just roll with it.
Monday is “Ethnic Day” – delicious pastas and curry dishes.
Tuesday is “Soup/Salad Day” – soups for winter, hearty salads for warmer weather.
Wednesday is “Rice Day” – really any grain: fried rice, risotto dishes, and quinoa.
Thursday is “Korean Thursday” – where Eric cooks the food of his homeland, like spicy jjigaes or noodles.
Friday is “Sandwich Day” – although its more for foods that wouldn’t necessarily be good for a brown bag lunch to take to work the next day, things like sandwiches, baked potatoes, and the like.
**We reserve the weekends for a more flexible eating plan, since we usually go out. I might make bread or vegetable stock, depending on what we need.
In the beginning, I had a hard time sifting through the many cookbooks, blogs, and websites to find ideas. I began to use Evernote to catalog favorite recipes. Usually, I compile my recipes from blogs online. It’s super easy: find a recipe (love it when there’s a picture!), then copy and paste into Evernote. I even type my own notes on the bottom, in case something doesn’t work, or I added my own twist to the recipe. On the occasion that I find a recipe in a cookbook or magazine, not a problem. I just take a picture and insert it into Evernote. This system is perfect for browsing through recipes quickly. If I add a recipe using my iPad, it’ll sync across all devices, which is super convenient. I also have the app on my phone, in case I need to look up a recipe in the grocery store. I could sing Evernote’s praises for a while..
My Evernote recipe folder
The fun part is picking recipes, finding new ones and rediscovering old recipes. I browse through Evernote to look at the ingredients that I’ll need, compile a grocery list, and stock the cupboards for the week. This system has saved us so much time and effort, plus it helps us stay within our grocery budget.
This system works for us. Thoughts on how you do menu-planning?