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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  1. Pam says

    I organize my grocery coupons according to sections of the store in envelopes marked “Produce,” “Dairy,” “Meat/Poultry,” etc.

  2. says

    I’m a list reader too. I read the back of hair products for the list of benefits of using that particular product, that sort of thing.

    I really don’t have any great organizational skills or tips or anything! I could really use that labeler, to keep all my clear plastic containers neatly labeled. :-) I also have lots of boxes, with kids’ clothes and stuff, that could definitely use a good label or two!

    Stephanies last blog post..Eggnog Truffle Cups

  3. says

    Kristen, Kristen, Kristen. Stop beating up on yourself! That label on the clear container that so plainly shows “pretzels” are inside is there to deter you from buying another canister when you’re out of pretzels. See, you run out… see the empty canister and then you go grab your notepad that you keep one of your lists on and immediately write down “Pretzels.” You’ve saved yourself from finding where to store them when you buy them next time. *wink* I can rationalize any OCD thing. Try me.

    Organization tip? Hmm… I move a lot so I don’t hold on to things very often. I find a central location for things: like Christmas goodie boxes, gift bags, tissue paper, wrapping extras… and I know that if I need one of those things, I can go right to that shelf in the man-room closet and viola… there it is! I just try to keep like items together.

    Cats last blog post..Stand Up for what you Believe

  4. Rachel says

    I stay organized and orientated by keeping a big calendar on the refrigerator. Each person has their own color pen for putting in their activities. Makes it easy to glance at it and know who I have to pick up etc. Not an original idea but never the less a good one!

  5. says

    I’m not very organized( at least not as much as I want to be),but I make shopping lists, and I write all appointments and activities on a large calender where all can see it.
    Your bread looks wonderful; I’m always looking for new quick bread recipes to try! This will be my next.

    Lyndas last blog post..Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

  6. Susan says

    This bread sounds perfect to have on hand for drop in visitors anytime, but during the holidays especially. I am making this today!

    I occasionally find it necessary to reorganize the way some recipes are written. I like to have as many ingredients combined ahead as possible so that assembly is simplified. This may require reordering the ingredients and the assembly instructions. Many do this in their head..I do too in a hurry, but the editing allows me to give a requested recipe to anyone of any experience level without worrying if they will be successful making it.

  7. Lucy says

    I live in “organized chaos”, too. I try to be very organized and plan ahead for almost everything…sometimes it’s a good thing and sometimes not so much. I, too, need to have a place for everything and put things back when I’m done using them…this is something I’ve been trying to teach my husband for 13 years but apparently, he prefers to look/rummage for things for an hour whenever he needs them! :) The bread looks amazing!

  8. says

    I love your blog. I constantly find myself identifying with your experiences from the list making (my Franklin is sitting next to me…along with an Excel spreadsheet I made with my more extensive list) to your mom getting a Bosch mixer!

    My advice…The less stuff you have, the more organized you look (even if it’s not really true).

    Jimis last blog post..Mexican Chicken Soup

  9. says

    I’m a crazy list person too! I LOVE LOVE LOVE lists! I usually do write my to do list for the next day the night before though. That’s probably because it’s just me with my little life.
    And how I’ve survived this long without a label maker… I just don’t know.
    The bread looks delish! I’m glad you’re all properly labeled now!

  10. Chris says

    I’d have to go with post it notes for reminders in order to keep better organized in terms of remembering to do things.

  11. says

    Congrats on your guest post of the Right at Home site! That is wonderful.
    I Too used to be ultra organized(pre kids), so I feel for you!
    My organizing tip…In my laundry room a have 2 baskets.1 for each of my kiddos. As I take their undies and socks out of the dryer, I put them in thier boxes. IT keeps everything neat.

    leslies last blog post..Another Giveaway..and randomness!

  12. Missy Mary says

    I too was over the top organized pre-kids. We are so busy with the kids sports and activities, dinner is a challenge. I scour the blogs, internet for new recipies. I bought a 6 pack of white three ring binders at Costco and label them (by hand, not with a handy-dandy label maker!!) and organize them by main dish, dessert, sides, etc and as I print off recipies I slide them down into clear sheet protectors so I can read them and quickly thumb thru and find something to make for dinner ASAP.

  13. says

    organization…what’s that? it sounds familiar, but i can’t quite put my finger on its definition. :)
    you’re getting some great tips here, to go along with your great bread recipe. hello cinnamon!

    graces last blog post..back in black

  14. says

    I’m fanatical about organization. I have 25 binders with different recipe categories labeled on them. Each binder has several inserts with more detailed categories within. I’m anal about filing everything in just the right place!

    RecipeGirls last blog post..Cinnamon Bun Cookies

  15. Christina says

    I’m slightly anal with my pantry. I organize all my cans with other cans of it’s variety so that I know what I have.

    I keep all my baking spices in one cabinet and all my cooking spices in another!

  16. says

    I am far from organized, but I’m working on it!! My favorite new thing is a organizer I bought and put on the wall in the office. It has 3 different places to put things, so I can put receipts in one (until I have time to enter them on the computer), unopened mail in another and receipts I need to keep in the last. It’s much better than having receipts and bills all over the desk!

    Deborahs last blog post..Quiche Lorraine

  17. Amyjo says

    I copy and clip the recipes I actually like and use and put them into 3-ring binder picture albums with the plastic coating and sticky pages. I then organize them by category (soup, entree, sides, etc.) and make notes as needed on them. Whenever I need a recipe, I can find it quickly and it’s got a built-in splatter protector!


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