Food, Organization

How to keep your kitchen feeling fresh, calm, and clean

The kitchen is a sacred place. Food is a necessity, so shouldn’t your kitchen be a peaceful and inviting space? Whether you are the one doing the cooking, the eating, helping with the dishes, or all of the above, an ample amount of kitchen time is coming up with the holidays being just around the corner. So, here are some tips for keeping your kitchen feeling fresh, calm, and clean.

  • Tip #1: Keep the counters and table tops clear

The less you have sitting on the counter, the better. Put as much as you can away in cabinets. Leave out just a few necessary or decorative items along with any snacks or food. If you are someone who keeps mail, keys,wallets, etc. on the counter- stop! Find a drawer or cubby for these items and stop cluttering your precious counter space. What did it ever do to you?!

  • Tip #2: You can never have too much white

There is something about a white kitchen that just screams CLEAN (Or CLEAN ME depending on the day of the week). But when it is clean, there is no place I’d rather be. There is a freshness and pureness that comes along with the color white that you simply can’t replicate with other colors.

  • Tip #3: Plants!

Plants keep your kitchen feeling fresh. And literally freshen the air with oxygen – shout out to photosynthesis. Some plants even get rid of toxins! I am terribly poor at keeping plants alive, and as you can see in the pictures below, even I have plants! I have an orchid on my table and a hanging plant above my sink called philodendron. There is hope for everyone! You just have to find the easy, low maintenance plants if you’re anything like me.

  • Tip #4: Candles

I have a candle on the corner of my kitchen bench and on my kitchen counter at all times. I light them if I’m having company over or if I’m doing dishes/cleaning the kitchen. Candles can make even the craziest of atmospheres feel calm and fresh.

  • Tip #5: Bake, bake, bake

Nothing makes a kitchen as warm and relaxing as fresh baked cookies. Don’t know how to bake or don’t like to bake? Buy the cookie dough that is already made and throw it on a pan and into the oven. Set the timer, then watch and smell your kitchen transform!

  • Tip #6: The most obvious – clean up

Wipe down your counters as much as you can. I’m convinced that little elves live in my cabinets and spill sticky stuff on my counters every night. I’m sure they have friends at your house too. Take a second to wipe down your counters every day or two (depending on how the elves are feeling). Once the counters are clear, tell Alexa to tell your robot to clean the floors. If no robots show up to vacuum, use an old school broom and dust pan. Throw in some dance moves here and there. You’ll feel awesome and you’ll look great doing it. Side note – Swiffers and Swiffer wet jets are sent from heaven.

Remember, time spent preparing and sharing meals is of great value, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time. Having a clean and tidy kitchen is not more important than making memories with your loved ones. However, I find that keeping a clean kitchen helps relieve my stress when it’s time to cook. I’ve also found that I enjoy being in my kitchen when it is fresh and calm rather than avoiding it and grabbing takeout. So follow these tips and surprise yourself by inviting friends over for dinner and card games. Or, follow these tips and make your kitchen the place to be this holiday season even when it’s packed with uninvited extended family members and in-laws.

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Food

15 minute meal prep for beginners

Do you like the idea of meal prepping, but you’re not sure where to start? If you aren’t ready to commit 3-4 hours on a Sunday to meal prep for the week, I understand. Below I will share with you an easy meal prep I prepare when I just don’t have time. This meal is great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a snack throughout the day to keep you full. It is one of my favorite snacks to take to work. The protein keeps me full and energized. If I plan ahead and pack my meals and snacks rather than finding them from food trucks or vending machines when the hunger strikes, I have more energy, I am more productive, and I stay full longer.

Here are the easy, and simple ingredients for my meal prep for beginners:

  • A hard boiled egg (or two)
    • Not sure how to hard boil eggs? Now is a great time to learn.
  • Cheese
    • I used mini string cheese below. You can go the string cheese route, or mix and match your favorite cubes. Some of you will go for the “Babybel” cheese. I support that choice 100%.
  • Apple slices
    • I am not going to tell you which type of apple to buy. I am sure you already have your favorite. However, I will tell you to buy whole apples and slice them yourself rather than buying a bag of already sliced apples.
  • Grapes
    • Choose between red or green. You’ll be judged either way.
  • A classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You are never too old for this.
    • I prefer crunchy peanut butter. My favorite right now is “Peter Pan Simply Ground” thanks to my fiance.
    • I used to be strictly a grape jelly person, but now that I’ve branched out, I’ve discovered the sweet, sweet flavors of raspberry and blackberry jam. I suggest checking your farmer’s market for local and homemade jams. Nothing can beat homemade jelly/jam.
    • Type of bread is completely up to you. Pictured below, I used wheat bread. Feel free to use your favorite loaf of bread. Or, if you’d like to cut some carbs and have the time, make a handful of pb&j minis using your favorite crackers.

 

mealprep.jpg@jocelyn_drizzy

I know that some of you appreciate having an exact meal to shop for and create, while others of you will want to create your own version. So feel free to create your own combo using different fruits/veggies that are in season. I can’t help myself when dark cherries are in season. I add them to everything. Peaches are another good option if you’re tired of apples. I’ve also done this meal prep before with carrots and peanut butter instead of a pb&j (If you haven’t tried baby carrots dipped in peanut butter yet, you’re missing out). Walnuts, almonds, and dried cranberries are other great options to throw in. Mix and match until you find the meal that makes your taste buds sing. Comment below your favorite version of this protein packed meal!

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