steal this idea: creative knife block


Over the past two years my knife collection has gained a few pieces, and one day outgrew its block. I looked into purchasing a bigger block to store them in, but found the prices to be a little more than I wanted to spend, and the blocks themselves were kind of bulky and, well, ugly. So I brainstormed and came up with a new storage solution. I found a rectangular ceramic vase at a local house wares store and filled it with … guess what? Un-popped popcorn! The popcorn keeps the knives separated and upright, and won’t dull the blades. I’m pretty excited about my functional (yet stylish) knife block. What do you think? –- Rebecca F.

Photo credit: Rebecca Firlik

From our partners

post off: do you plan a weekly menu?


In our house, we pretty much make everything we eat ourselves. Mostly it’s a budget thing, but I have a few food sensitivities, and find it much easier to cook at home. I don’t know how we’d survive if I didn’t work in a grocery store — it makes it easy to grab the ingredients for what we need on a whim. I’ve tried making a weekly menu and done one big shop, but I find I often deviate from the plan, and sometimes end up having to throw ingredients out. I’ve looked at some of these helpful plans from SimpliFried, springpad, and Organized Home which may help me better stick to my plan. But honestly, I really prefer keeping a well stocked pantry and grabbing my fresh produce and proteins as needed, “European style”, so to say. How do you plan your meals? Are you regimented or flexible? Any helpful tips to sticking to a plan you’d care to share? — Megan B.

photo courtesy of Kletia Garies

From our partners

site we’re psyched about: teux deux

teux deux

My biggest goal for 2011 (other than winning the lottery and retiring): to be more productive and organized. It’s a lofty one, I know, but thankfully I’ve got help — in the form of web-based productivity assistant Teux Deux. Instead of my perpetual scrap paper list-making cluttering my desk, pockets and recycle bin; I’ve got a minimally-designed running list on my browser, which is where I’m spending the bulk of my computer time anyway. Even better, I’ve got it synced up with the iphone app, so I can cross off those nagging to-do’s as soon as they are complete! Best of all, the site is free (though the mobile app has a nominal fee) — and did I mention it’s the brainchild of one of our favorite bloggers, Tina Roth Eisenberg, also known as swissmiss? — Megan B.

From our partners

want it now: coffee bag burlap bucket


Ever since my trip to Waialua Estate (more about that next week, promise), I’ve been obsessed with burlap coffee bags. I’ve been dreaming up lofty projects, like using them as a flooring material in our kitchen, but that, realistically, may never happen — and it definitely wont be happening anytime soon. Thankfully I won’t have to wait to inject a little caffeine into my home decor, as I’ll be picking up at least one of these recycled burlap buckets from etsy seller BeeCountry. They’d be perfect in the entryway, corralling those umbrellas, hats, and gloves that always need a home. I can also envision the larger buckets working well as an attractive (and green) laundry basket. And since they only range in price from $17- $40 each, I can still afford my real coffee fix afterwards! — Megan B.

From our partners

post-off: there’s organized, and then there’s just plain crazy


I spotted these desk organizers by Less & More on Etsy last week, and my first instinct was to fall head over heels for them. The bright colors! The perfect styling! The extreme organization! It was all just too wonderful for my charming Type A personality to imagine.

And then I took a moment and asked myself whether I’d ever actually sort pencils on my desk into individual compartments in a pencil holder, let alone organize them by color and by size. Suddenly, my love was starting to wane. And yet…how fabulous would my desk look if I actually did go to the trouble?

So, since I’m torn, I decided to see if I was the only one: just how organized are you? Does this desk organizer feel absolutely perfect, or just a bit over the top? — Becki S.

From our partners