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Friday, October 15, 2021


Happy Friday everyone!  Here is my random group of Five Friday Favorites for this week-

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1. Expandable Drawer Organizers- It's a big project that's long overdue, but I have so many spaces around the house that need to be cleaned out and organized.  Now that both kids are in college and I have a little more undivided time I'm tackling one little space at a time.  Most recently, I cleaned out my silverware drawers. Here's the before-

I think my little $.50 plastic bins and recycled butter bowls that I've probably used for 15 years have served their purpose... ha!  I decided to invest a little in good organizing containers (you know I'm still looking for a deal, though!) as I've worked on each space, and it has been worth every penny!  I actually had a lot of wasted space from my containers themselves- they didn't quite fit just right and the utensil trays were bulky with a design that had a lot of excess plastic in between the compartments taking up space.  

My biggest goal was to utilize every bit of space.  If you've ever organized drawers you know what a challenge it can be to find containers that fit right without wasting space.  I went in search of pieces that I could puzzle together just right to fit my drawer dimensions.  I came across a clear acrylic expandable utensil tray with a streamlined design, I've apparently been living under an organizing rock (I told you it's been a long time since I've intentionally organized drawers!) because I'd never seen an expandable drawer tray like that!  Genius!  

I got two and once I started configuring it in my drawer, discovered that I could make the most of the space if I used it what seemed sideways to me and expanded it all the way to the back of the drawer.  (Similar tray here with slightly different compartments.) In the top drawer I have our everyday flatware, and although the back section doesn't have dividers I lumped all of my bamboo flatware in that open section.  I'm ok with it being in a jumble if it means being able to squeeze another set of flatware in that drawer! And it's obviously an improvement from the before when I just had it floating around loose in a couple of different spaces- ha!  The other drawer has our little bit fancier set with all of the serving pieces behind in the open space.  One of these days I'll add a drawer liner and make it prettier, but baby steps!

Then, the space left on the side was just right for a few of these acrylic organizers that I've used before in my kids' bathroom drawers. I loved their simple, straight design as well and there is a variety of sizes available to create just the right combo for the available space.  In one drawer I used a 9" (vintage steak knives and grapefruit spoons), 6" (corn on the cob holders), and 3" cube (rubber bands and twist ties) to perfectly fill my 18" drawer depth, and in the other I used a 12" for longer things like my straws, candle lighter, and chopsticks, then a 6" for the can opener finished it off.  

I found that my expandable tray tended to slide closed a bit on it's own after repeatedly opening and closing the drawer, so I used a couple of little clear adhesive bumpers and stuck them right in the space where the tray would slide, to prevent it from moving.  They seemed to do the trick!

Little by little I'm getting things organized... more drawers, my closet, the fridge and freezer... I'll share those spaces with you too! 

3.  High Efficiency Fireplace Grate with Reflective Back-  When we had our outdoor fireplace built a few years ago we needed a grate for it.  When shopping we came across a different style than we were used to where the logs are basically stacked vertically in a tall, narrow grate rather than more flat on a traditional grate.  This allows the logs to basically self feed as they burn and more is added to the top, eliminating any real need for stoking, etc., just throw another log on top when needed and that's it!  My husband mentioned how a fireplace they had when he was young had a grate with a reflector on the back, and what a difference that made in pushing the heat from the fire out.  So, he found this fireplace grate and we have absolutely loved it ever since!  So much so that we also bought another one to replace the traditional grate in our indoor fireplace.   We originally saw a much more expensive different brand at the fireplace shop and were happy to come across this more affordable alternative.  Be sure to check all of the measurements carefully, ours barely fit our indoor fireplace with the height of the reflector, slope of the firebox back, and placement over the gas line taken into consideration, but it worked!  Here is a narrower model if you need a smaller size to fit your firebox.  And just a note, this package is HEAVY so the free shipping is awesome!

Glitter Hat-  This hat recently caught my eye... gold, sparkle... sold!  I stepped into the sunlight so you can see it sparkle.  It's a super fine glitter look so it's not obnoxious, I really like it!  

It also has a slit in the back if you like to wear your hair in a ponytail with a hat.  I like to wear a hat to shade my eyes at the pool but a low pony feels so hot on my neck, so being able to do a high messy bun with this hat is perfect!  (I have this and this open top wide brim sun hat for the beach and pool too, but sometimes I just want a simple baseball style cap!)

Salsa Maker-  I'm not a big kitchen gadget person but lately I've tried a few that I wouldn't want to be without now, and this is the newest one!  My daughter especially is a huge fan of Mexican food, and lately we've especially enjoyed making our own salsa.  We love Lillie's Pico de Gallo recipe from her Lillie Eats and Tells Cookbook, but there is a lot of chopping involved, especially if you're making a larger quantity.  (I did get this a while back and we love it too, it is a big short cut!) We really like this salsa maker because it allows you to totally control how chunky or smooth you want your salsa, just spin the handle a few more times if you want a thinner salsa. She had some friends over last weekend to watch the game and we had a big nacho bar, we made a big bowl of fresh salsa and almost every bit disappeared!  It's just a few simple parts that are easy to rinse off and clean, and will be great for other things besides salsa too like coarse or fine chopping nuts quickly, guacamole, onions, etc!  

Foot Peel Mask-  We have officially bid farewell to Summer, and even though some days might still be warm I know my chances are getting few and far between to keep wearing sandals and flip flops!  It was time to give my rough Summer feet some love, so I pulled out a foot peel mask.  I actually don't really enjoy getting pedicures but I still like soft, smooth feet!  It's freaky- literally if you view photos from the testimonials-  how well these work to slough off dead, dry skin.  It's kind of a gross process if you think about it too long, but the results are worth it!  I'll spare you a current photo of my feet which look like a snake shedding its skin, 😝 but the fresh new skin underneath sure is soft and smooth!  I don't know if my feet were extra dry this time or if this brand is better than others I've tried in the past, but this is the best mask I've used yet.  I wrote a little more about the process in this older post, or just read the reviews if you want photographic proof of the results!  (I like to put socks on over the plastic booties while they're on, it helps secure them a little more.)  Let me know if you've tried it!

OK, that's it for this week!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  Caleb is on Fall Break and Emily is headed home after her Friday classes are finished, we're going to see the new James Bond movie and looking forward to hanging out and enjoying the beautiful Fall weather.  See you next week with the final part of my Fall Home Tour!

CC Gold Glitter Hat, High Efficiency Fireplace Grate with Reflective Back, Expandable Drawer Organizer, Foot Peel Mask, Salsa Maker

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