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. Eva says

    I’m kinda ashamed of this… But I cannot be organized without google. It keeps my mail neat, my schedule on its calendar, my photos in nice albums, and of course, my to-read blogs all categorized in my google reader.

  2. says

    I’m going to second Google Calendar. Hubby and I created a calendar that is shared – so we can both see what it is coming up from work or home. And we’ve imported it to our phone calendars as well. It may seem weird, but we put things like “watch movie, 8 pm” and “sign christmas cards) on there so we don’t forget!

    Michas last blog post..Apfelpfannkuchen

  3. Heidi says

    I try to make sure everything has a place and if it doesn’t it gets donated. I love baskets and containers to keep everything in and a label maker would be great to go along with that!

  4. says

    Okay I so need to win this LOL I would lvoe to have a label maker! I had one a few years ago and was on a pretty good organizing roll but I lost it when we moved last year :( (I know OH NO!!) I also love to cook so the cook books would go to good use! Thanks for the chance!

    Toni-Lynn
    aka @Holly_GPB

  5. Sandra says

    I highly recommend Cozi. It is an online family calendar. It changed my girlfriend’s life……http://www.cozi.com. I haven’t signed up yet but I plan to do so after viewing her calendar and lists.

    Their motto is Family Life. Simplified. and it is 100% accurate.

  6. says

    I LOVE Flylady! But the newest trick I’ve been implementing (and found helpful) is to work from left to right and place what you’re finished with to the right, so you will know where you left off if you get distracted-as is apt to happen when you’re 8 months pregnant and have a 2 year old!

    Hilarys last blog post..A Fresh Start

  7. says

    I have several shallow trays of various sizes that I use to hold projects I’m working on. Right now one hold a Christmas ornament that isn’t finished, another a blouse that needs a button sewn on, a tray with a few cards that need notes added, and so on. I put everything needed for the project into a tray and then can just pick it up when I have a few minutes. This really helps me get things done. And I usually can stack the trays so they don’t take much room.

    Cathy at Wives with Knivess last blog post..Soft Peanut Brittle

  8. says

    My advice is to always put things away in there place right away. If they don’t have a place, make a place. To not allow yourself to do it later, that just makes clutter and clutter just invites more clutter. If you put things away as you get them it only takes a few minutes, wheras if you wait until you have a pile then it will take all afternoon! Same goes with cleaning…clean as you need to do not leave it all for one day!

    katies last blog post..My Struggle with Bulimia- A New Beginning, but Definitely Not the End

  9. says

    the best tip I ever got is to store your plastic shopping bags (because even if you take cloth bags to the store somehow I end up with plastic ones) in empty kleenex tissue boxes! they get SO compact and then if you donate them to the library or food co-op or whatever they aren’t flying everywhere. happy organizing… I could use a label maker for all my spinning fiber, yay :)

    Emmy Lous last blog post..Angry Elephant

  10. says

    My organization tip? Scour the internet … Manda Juice’s budget tips … Simple Mom’s household organizer tips … Fly Lady’s suggestion to break up your house into zones … I could go on and on.

    The internet is my tip :)

    Great giveaway (and that bread looks divine!)

    Naomis last blog post..Birds, birds, birds

  11. Angie says

    I love using letter holders to organize my bills. I can put them in order according to the due dates, and it’s just so convenient!

    That label maker is just fantastic! I can use it for a lot of things.

  12. says

    I am so goign to try that recipe for the bread!! We just moved into a new house this summer and I was a little overwhelmed with all the space in my new kitchen. I had no clue how to organize in so much space. In the old kitchen everything was stacked and that’s the only way to do it. In our new kitchen I was having trouble keeping things like spices in envelopes and chocolate chips organized. I had a couple small plastic baskets that I had and put the encelope spices in the smalles one and put it in the [antry and then my baking goodies like nuts, chocolate chips, raisins went in a bigger basket in the pantry. I went and bought similar containers with lids for cookie cutters and another basket for all my cookie decorating goodies. My husband makes fun of all my plastic baskets, but when I aske him to grab me something he can find it right away. :)
    Hilary

    Hilarys last blog post..Cheese Ball

  13. says

    I leave handwritten post-its all over the place..mostly on my bedside table and the refrigerator. And I write calendars out one month at a time because I feel bad mucking up pretty day planners. It all sounds cuckoo but it works!

  14. April in CT says

    Baskets!! I love using plastic baskets to organize my pantry and linen closet for all the small things. It’s so much easier to pull a basket out to find what I need.

  15. DeLynn says

    Oh, how I envy you getting plastic containers and organizing your kitchen!! Pure ectasy!

    I think one of my favorite tips comes from Flylady. Take ALL of your christmas stuff that is in different places around the house (paper, bows, tape, cards, gift bags, etc) and put them in one big container. Have loved it ever since!!

    Merry Christmas all!

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