Keeping Your Pantry Fresh

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I’ve shared some tips and tricks about the kitchen pantry in the past, and now I’m back to provide even more. In many of our homes, the kitchen pantry can be a bit overwhelming due to its size and all that it stores. Additionally, because you open and close the kitchen pantry many times per day, it can be hard to see it with clear eyes. So a mess builds up, food grows stale, and you just keep on opening and closing that door. Sound familiar? Let’s fix that!

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To keep your pantry feeling fresh, it’s important to have a strategy for organization. My personal strategy is to use each shelf to house different types of foods. How you differentiate and divide your shelves will totally depend on your preferences and habits, but what I do is: breakfast items, snacks, grains and pastas, crackers and cereals, coffees and teas, and then baking essentials.

By separating your shelves in such a manner, you’ll be able to see all that you have much more clearly. This will avoid stale foods slipping between the cracks.

Finally, it’s always a best practice to set aside some time every few months to check out your pantry in full detail. Whether it’s foods you know you’ll never touch again, or maybe items you forgot you had and want to eat immediately, it’s important to review and remember what you have. Of course, if you find anything past its expiration date, be sure to toss it right then and there!

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SFO –> NOLA

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To say that I fell in love with New Orleans would be a massive understatement. From the quaint architecture to the delicious food and everything in between, New Orleans was a trip we’ll remember forever. Here’s what we did in our four days there.

Day 1: We got into New Orleans bright and early because we took a red eye the night before (great idea on paper, not so great when you have to try to fall asleep on an airplane). Luckily, the people at the Ace Hotel were so accommodating and were able to check us in early. Oh, and upgrade us!

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After showering and freshening up, we headed out into the 90 degree and humid heat. We did a group tour of Lafayette Cemetery 1, walked through the Garden District, got drinks from the Columns Hotel, and finally made our way to Audubon Park. Everything was so so beautiful, but I think I liked walking through the park the best. I mean, just look at the weeping willow trees!

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We then embarked on an adventurous journey–from Audubon Park all the way back to the Garden District via Magazine Street. Although it was hotter than I’ve ever experienced, I’m really happy we made the trek because we were able to pop into all of the cute shops and restaurants we saw along the way. We made sure to stop by Domilise’s for po-boys, SnoWizard for shaved ice, and District Donuts for, well, you know.

For dinner, we ate delicious Israeli food at Shaya and I would highly, highly recommend it. Just be sure to make a reservation far in advance!

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Day 2: Our second day kicked off bright and early with a swamp tour out in Slidell, Louisiana. We were on the fence about whether or not to do a tour, but I seriously could not be happier that we opted in because it may very well be my favorite memory from the trip. I loved learning about that part of the state, and seeing all of the alligators and other wildlife didn’t hurt either.

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Following the tour, we headed to the French Quarter and spent the whole afternoon just wandering through all of the charming alleyways. We took a sweets break at Café Du Monde and were in awe over how delicious their beignets are. If I weren’t stuffed to the brim, I would have ordered about twenty plates. And that is not an exaggeration.

Since you can carry drinks on the streets in New Orleans (mind-blowing, I know), we popped in and out of quite a few bars but my favorites were Napoleon House and the Carousel Bar. After all, how could you say no to a drink on a carousel ride?

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We wrapped up our evening with the yummiest dinner at Sylvain and drinks along Bourbon Street. While blocks lined with bars and filled with people weren’t totally our scene, we felt like it was an experience we couldn’t skip out on. Plus, drinking a hurricane on a nice patio while dancing to pop music is definitely not so bad.

Day 3:  For our last full day, we decided to explore a neighborhood that not all tourists venture out to–the Bywater. The area is much more residential, but that was exactly what we loved about it since we felt like we were doing things that the locals do.

We started the day at Elizabeth’s for breakfast and while it did not disappoint, I’d say it’s only worth it if you’re a big seafood eater. I, myself, am not so I stuck with a traditional breakfast of eggs, hash browns, and toast. From there we made our way through the neighborhood, stopping at Crescent Park, Euclid Records, and St. Roch Market along the way.

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One of my favorite places we visited in this part of town was Bacchanal–an outdoor wine bar with live music on the patio. You can just order a bottle of wine and enjoy it out on the patio for as long as you’d like. It was so chill and so quaint and so perfect in every way.

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While I don’t have photographic evidence, we ended the day with a visit to Frenchman Street. Every Uber driver we met during our trip said we had to go there, and we were both really happy that we listened to them. How could you say no to live jazz music and bars on bars?

Day 4: Since we only had a few hours of the day before we had to head to the airport, we decided to stay pretty close to the Ace Hotel. The World War II Museum happened to be just a few blocks away so we spent the bulk of our time there, as it was super educational and really well designed.

As if you couldn’t already tell, New Orleans stole my heart and I can confidently say that I will be back in the very near future. If you haven’t been, you must go!

Fall Decor Inspiration

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Fall may very well be my favorite season (hello, pumpkin spice lattés, tall boots, and gold leafs), and I love the idea of decorating your home to reflect the season at hand. Needless to say, the below photos are serving as serious inspiration as I think about how decorate my home for fall.

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PS: For more posts about Fall and how much I love it, check here, here, and here.

Tricks of the Trade: Bathroom Display

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And the bathroom talk continues.

In my opinion, there’s nothing worse than using someone’s restroom and being faintly grossed out by what confronts you when you open the door. Whether it’s an unclean space or just a cluttered space, it’s not ideal. So, I thought I’d share some of my tips and tricks for how to create the perfect bathroom space that is both functional for its owner, as well as pleasant for all others who visit it.

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Aside from keeping the bathroom cleaner (which is a no-brainer!), the next step is to think about everything in your bathroom as falling into one of three categories: essentials, extra, and personal. Allow me to break each down further:

Essentials. These are items that absolutely must be in a bathroom for it to be functional. Think: hand wash, towels, room spray, candle, trash can, toilet paper, etc. When thinking about essentials, you want to think about both yourself and your guests. While you may not use the extra towels or room spray every day, they’re nice additions for any guest that enters.

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Extras. Think about extras as items that are nice to have, but not totally essential. For instance, I keep q-tips and cotton balls in clean glass jars on display in my bathroom, but they’re not essential. Other examples of extras are items that add a little bit of color and style to the space–anything from colorful bar soap to natural sea sponges.

DSC00220 Personal. Finally, we have items that are strictly personal and should remain hidden in your bathroom. Yes, this includes all toiletries–because, let’s be real, no one needs to know exactly what body lotion you use every day. I like to keep all of my toiletries in baskets, the medicine cabinet, and behind the shower door.

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