Organized Chaos (a Giveaway and Cinnamon Raisin Bread)

If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you have probably figured out that I can be a little bit scatterbrained. I am what I like to call organized in a very chaotic way. I have a very deep desire to find my inner organized self. I know she’s in there… she used to be the only self I had but that was all pre-kids/pre-chaos. When it was just me and my little life, I could “to do” list and Franklin Planner with the best of them. Now, I have to create situations that make me feel like I am organized.

For example, the “to-do”list. I’ve mentioned once or twice here that I love lists. I am obsessed with lists. I love to read lists (you know when you get a new calendar or time management program and they have examples of how to use it? I scour those reading the lists that are on the example. Anyone else do that?? I am list obsessed.) Often times, I will create lists just so I can mark things off. I will often sit down at night and make my to-do list from the day I just finished and then mark it all off, just so I can have that sense of accomplishment. Yes, I know that truly organized people sit down and write out their to-do list for the next day. That is not the way the “organized in a very chaotic way” folks like to roll.

This past Sunday I did a little pantry organization project. Inspired by an episode of Real Simple Real Life, I decided to buy some nice clear plastic containers from The Container Store. I went to town using my handy dandy new Brother P-Touch label maker and started dumping things into containers and labeling my shelves and the containers. I realized things were getting a little out of control when I labeled a clear, mind you, container full of what was obviously pretzels, “pretzels”. As if you couldn’t tell by just looking at the container that it contained pretzels. Still, it got a label and I was a happy, chaotically organized camper.

During my pantry organization project I realized I had an insane amount of flout and raisins. It was with a thrilling glint in my eye that I decided to pull an issue of Simple & Delicious magazine off of my labeled Cookbook shelf, grab a clear container of raisins marked “raisins” and take my over abundance of flour and put it to good use. This Cinnamon Raisin Bread from the most recent issue of Simple & Delicious is really good and it makes two loaves. Guess what you can do with that second loaf? Stick the bread in a Ziploc bag, take your handy dandy label maker and create a name label of who you want to gift it to. You will feel like you are the most organized person on the planet!

I am giving you all the chance to be “organized in a very chaotic way” too. I have a new Brother PT-80 P-touch Electronic Labeling System to give away so you can be label obsessed just like me. Along with that, Kate from Kate in the Kitchen has two more cookbooks to include in this giveaway. The lucky winner will win the Labeling System, the 2003 Taste of Home Annual Cookbook and the 2005 Light and Tasty Annual Cookbook. Lots of great stuff to snag up here! Enter to win by leaving a comment on this post sharing with me one simple organizing tip. Steal it from FlyLady, borrow it from Real Simple… just share any tip you can think of that has to do with organization. All comments must be accompanied by a valid email address. Comments will be accepted up until midnight on Monday, December 15th.  Good Luck

Oh – and before I share the recipe… did you know that my first guest blogging post is now up at the SC Johnson Right@Home website? Won’t you please go check it out?

Cinnamon Raisin Bread (2 Loaves) from Simple and Delicious Magazine

1¼ hours | 15 min prep

2 Loaves

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, soda and salt. I a mixing bowl, beat 1-1/2 cups sugar and oil. Beat in eggs and buttermilk until combined. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in raisins. Combine cinnamon and remaining sugar; set aside.
  2. Spoon half of the better into two greased 8-in x 4-in x 2-in loaf pans. Sprinkle with half of the reserved cinnamon-sugar mixture; repeat layers. Cut through batter with a knife to swirl. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

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Comments

  1. says

    I am addicted to my calendar on Google; my husband and I share a calendar so we’re always straight on each other’s plans. I also am addicted to menu planning. Since I can’t get to a grocery store during the week (work full time and don’t live closeby to one), I have to do all my grocery shopping for the week in one trip on the weekends. I make my menu and then I develop my grocery list from the menu. This way, I only get what I need and never waste, and also don’t have to make any special trips during the week.

    Carmens last blog post..Tuesdays with Dorie: Grandma’s All-Purpose Sugar Cookies

  2. Terri says

    Kristen, the reason you labeled the container of pretzels is so when you find an empty container on your shelf, you know what to buy to fill it up! I had a moment of deja vu reading this post as I “organized” my pantry stock with tupperware and labels a “few” years ago.

  3. says

    I love iCal on my Mac and my iPhone, but my family’s MASTER calendar is the old-fashioned paper kind that hangs on the wall. That one is the last word in this household.

    I’d love the label maker. Currently I’m a bit of a Sharpie-holic. ;-) (Which reminds me of another tip: I label EVERYTHING that goes into the freezer — item and date — so I can quickly identify those UFOs: Unidentified Frozen Objects.)

    Karens last blog post..Friday iPod Random Ten

  4. Katie says

    It’s important to find an organization system that works for you or else you won’t stick with it. Try out several of the suggestions you’ve gotten and find what sticks or what types of strategies work for your lifestyle. I use a combination of computer-based organization and some filing to keep paper clutter out of the way. That’s my biggest source of trouble. Figure out yours, then sleuth through which strategies work for you and your household.

  5. Melinda says

    I have a Moto Q that has a calendar and reminders that I couldn’t live without. I use the calendar for all the kids’ activities, but I have to have my paper planner for all my college assignments. I couldn’t live without it either.

  6. says

    I’m the MOST organized when we go camping. I have a camping “bible” (a/k/a organizer) that I use for every trip. I plan ALL our meals and keep all our favorite camping recipes in my “bible.” I make a list as to what I have to buy for our meals, and bring my “bible” with me to the store so I have the recipes with me in case I notice that I don’t have something on my list that I need to have with me. I also have a standard “checklist” that I use every time we go camping with the standard items we need to bring and the things we need to do before leaving — like turning on timers, taking care of the chickens, feed the cats, etc. It works GREAT! Now I just need to apply that kind of organization to my house! LOL

  7. says

    I am always trying to organize and reorganize.
    I use large plastic jars from cookies to organize flour, rice,oatmeal etc.
    They are clear and I also label them.
    I use plastic boxes for baking items like pastry bags and tips, cookie cutters and sprinkles. I also label them so they are all easy to pick out once on a shelf.

  8. Emily says

    My 3-Bag Laundry Organizer. Ya know, the one that says, “Dark, Lights, Whites.” I’m a college student and if it were up to me all my clothes would go in the same wash and end up the same color! AND..I have some place to put my dirty clothes other than on the floor!

  9. Jennifer says

    I made up a one-page grocery list of things that we buy regularly, and it is organized according to our local store (in the order I always go through the store). I left blanks under each section to add things but it is amazing how much you buy the same each week. It makes the list-making a lot faster and I forget things less often. Make a lot of copies of it and keep them in a drawer in the kitchen.

  10. Shelley says

    I reuse cookie tins and label the outside. I Use them for my crafts, or for food in the pantry. I have all my baking ingredients in one, my rices in another, nuts and seeds in another. I just pull out the tins when I need an ingrdients. Keeps my shelves neater, the tins look nice and they are easy to grab.

  11. says

    i am the QUEEN of disorganization! lol so please please pick me! my best tip (and it helps me survive, believe me) is to email myself whenever i remember something needs doing…….grocery lists, projects, whatever.

    good luck everyone!

    jayedees last blog post..i think i’m finally back!

  12. says

    Lost other comment. (extra space in email…grrr0

    1. Get rid of what you don’t need. Seriously. This is So Hard for me tho.

    2. Make notes to myself on ICal (or Outlook if on PC) for next year. e.g. now I am adding one for mid-October to get better ornament hooks. I forgot to do one for late August 2008 to buy paperwhites to force. Ergo this Christmas we have no blooming paperwhites for us or for gifts.

    I also note things we’ve done when we do them that dh and I tend to disagree about…e.g. Cleaned Dishwasher Filters.

    Our calendars synch and this has been SO important to us.

    Now do I get the label maker?!?!? ;-)

    Maureens last blog post..When I Win the Lottery

  13. Brandi says

    I know I’m from the dinosaur age, but I mainly keep organized by using one of those big desk calendars. As for “home” organization, I keep little lists…I know, not the best system out there!
    Brandi
    lawyer180@yahoo.com

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