Howdy darlin’! You might remember that in my last post I talked about my “Word For the Year” which is Simplify. One of my goals is to clear any and all clutter room by room in my home. Since I spend so much time in my kitchen it was first on my list. My cupboards, drawers and pantry had become so jammed with way too many bowls, utensils, plastic storage containers and just plain old stuff! I had so many lids for things that didn’t go with anything and yet I was keeping them. Why? I don’t even know! (Oh for goodness sake!). Sistah’s, let me tell you, my purging party had been long overdue! Before I got started with my get-rid-of-all-the-extra-stuff-that-I-don’t-need task, I perused Pinterest to get a little inspiration. I saw lots of neat and tidy cupboards and pantries. Every plate, cup, pot and pan had a “home”. Everything was neat and tidy. That’s what I wanted!!
Clicking on those wonderful images would often take me to their original source so I ended up jumping from one blog to another. That’s when my eyes were opened. I began reading articles about the benefits of using glass for food preparation and storage instead of plastic. I read how toxic chemicals can leach from plastic kitchenware into our foods and can cause some serious health concerns. Now, I already knew about staying away from plastic water bottles with BPA, but according to the experts, there is still a deep concern with all plastics in regards to food prep and storage. (You can read this or google it if you want more details on the potential hazards of plastic kitchenware).
The whole plastic thing got me thinking. I thought about how sometimes I could taste “plastic” from my favorite cup that I fill with ice-water and take with me everywhere. I would even fill it with water and put it by my bed at night. A few times I made the mistake of taking a sip in the morning only to taste plastic. Not good. So, here’s the question I asked myself, if I taste the plastic am I drinking plastic toxins? Hmmmm….just in case I now drink from this cup…
This is my new favorite to-go water cup. No plastic taste! It has a tall slender shape so it fits perfectly in my cup holder in the car and keeps my water colder, longer. And it’s cute and vintage-y! We all LOVE our down-home mason jars don’t we? I call it my Farmgirl Sippy Cup! :D It’s a pint and a half size that you can find HERE (Amazon Affiliate). You can find a wide-mouth lid with a hole for a straw on Ebay HERE. The seller also sell straws.
So anyhoo, in my quest for living a more vintage lifestyle (preserving the best from the past) and also wanting to maintain a healthy home, as best I can, I decided the things that needed to go were the plastic things (I also decided to give up my non-stick coated pans too for the same health-related reasons. I’m sticking to my cast iron and stainless steel pans). The picture above are just a few things that I ended up donating. Now, let me just say that I’m not going Cray-Cray (CrAzY) over this whole “plastic” issue. I just decided since I needed to get rid of some extra stuff, I might as well start with my plastic kitchenware, and of course, if there’s a chance that toxins could be ingested from my kitchenware, then I’d rather not to take that chance. To be frank, I’m not sure it’s even possible for me to get rid of all plastic things in my kitchen, I mean a lot of food comes in plastic. But I do think that if I reduce as much as I can, it’ll be a good thing. We’ll see, I’m still trying to figure this all out.
I do know that I so enjoy the experience of cooking much more with my vintage-style stoneware and ceramic bowls, my cast iron pans and Pyrex glass cookware. I also decided that since I love mason jars so much that I would use them as my go-to storage containers in my pantry…more about that in a minute.
But first, here are my 7 reasons why I’m switching from plastic to glass (and Stoneware) in my kitchen:
1. I feel it’s a healthier choice for me and my family.
2. Glass and Stoneware fit better with my vintage life-style. My grandmother’s and mother used Pyrex so that sounds good to me!
3. Glass preserves the flavor and quality of food better than plastic.
4. Glass will not absorb stains and odors like plastic does.
5. Glass cleans better.( There always seems to be some kind of residue left behind on my plasticware.)
6. Glass is more economical because it will last longer than plastic. Plastic, melts, warps and stains.
7. Glass has more uses. You can bake, serve, re-heat, store and freeze with glass containers.
A few years ago I purchased these Anchor Hocking Canisters that I store my sugars and flour in. I LOVE them. You can find them HERE. They also come in brushed nickel and black lids, although I have to say I do love the red…’cuz it matches my lipstick! Heehee!
My canisters look cute sitting next to my favorite cookbooks too! This cookbook is just as gorgeous inside as it is on the front cover! Feel Good Food by Southern Living Magazine, you can find it HERE on this Amazon Affiliate link.
Come inside my pantry to see how I used Mason jars as storage containers…
I didn’t take a picture of what my pantry looked like before I cleaned it, but I did find this photo which shows how I had it organized. My cardboard boxes of pasta and rice were organized in the oblong white baskets on the middle shelf. I also had snacks in the other basket on the right.Well, when I removed the basket holding the pasta I found some dead bugs underneath it. Lord have mercy! They must have been chewing on some pasta that had fallen out of an opened box. There were a couple dead bugs nestled in the nooks and crannies of the basket too. Oh good gravy! That did it! No more baskets in the pantry where bugs can hide and no more pasta left in opened boxes! Mama don’t allow no buggies! Needless to say, I threw away the pasta and started fresh.
Now as you can see my pasta, rice, bread crumbs and snacks are sealed tight in my mason jars. I can easily see what I have inside and I can move them aside to give the shelves a good scrubbin’.
These extra large Ball canister jars with a push down lid are perfect for storing my spaghetti and lasagna noodles. I found mine at Target. The other jars are half -gallon size with a wide-mouth lid that you can find here. Besides being the perfect way to store food, they are inexpensive and will last for years to come.
When I got these jars I ran them through the sterilize cycle in my dishwasher and they came out sparkling clean. These jars will keep the air out and the food fresher. I like that!
Anchor Hocking sells these darling reproduction Barrel Jars with a wooden handle. I have one up in my pantry that is a vintage pickle jar from an old general store. They are available in a few sizes, you can find them HERE.
Here’s a close up of the Ball Jar Canister. The rim of the jar has a silicone band that when you push the lid down it forms a perfect seal to keep it air tight.
I took a Sharpie marker to record the expiration date on the back since I threw away the original packaging. Even though the Sharpie is a permanent marker, it will wash off by scrubbing it with a wet paper towel. You could use a dry erase marker but I thought it would come off too easily when handling the jar.
On ingredients such as the rice, I cut out the cooking instructions and taped it to the back.
On most of my jars I didn’t feel like they needed labels since you could clearly see what’s inside, but here I did put a label on the Pancake mix so it wouldn’t get confused with flour. I ‘ll be putting my oatmeal in glass jars soon…my pantry is a work in progress.
I also put my baking soda in a glass jar. Baking soda will absorb odors which could affect the taste of what you are using it for, so this will keep it fresher. I got my Martha Stewart labels at Staples.
Some of my favorite back-in-the-day treasures…no plastic!! :D (There’s my vintage pickle jar)
So there you have it…my pantry is now neat, clean and tidy…just the way Mama likes it.
It took a whole day to clean, and fill my new storage jars
but it was worth it!
It’s the little things that make your home feel homey.
Aunt Jane loved mason jars too! :D
A clean pantry and vintage, sun-washed, farmhouse aprons make joy-bells ring in my heart!
Well thank you Sugar Pie for stopping by!
It’s always a treat to have you here!
I would love to hear your thoughts on choosing glass over plastic!
God Bless your darlin’ heart!
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Howdy-do darlin’s! Well it’s been a busy start to the new year! I had a wonderful holiday season with all 4 of my kids, their spouses and babies! I was so thrilled they all came home for Christmas! There was lots of food, fun, games and laughter! We made some wonderful memories that will keep my heart warm for years to come! It was like old times sitting around the supper table every night! Every once in a while I would sit back and just watch as my family ate, talked and laughed…treasuring every moment.
My son J.J. and his adorable wife Tiffany, who came out from California, left the day after Christmas and then I had a second wave of company arrive that same day… my brother and sister-in-law from New York. That evening, after we got back from picking them up at the airport my daughter Summer had an allergic reaction to something so we had to take her to the ER around midnight. (She’s fine now) Then a few days later I had to take my hubby to the ER in the middle of the night. We got back home at 4 in the morning. It turned out to be a bad case of the flu…I’m so glad it wasn’t Pneumonia. (Thankfully, he’s all better now too!). Whew!
Once our company left I had a mountain of laundry, an empty cupboard (like Old Mother Hubbard!) and of course all of my Christmas decorations waiting to be put away… not to mention my little shop at Spring Creek Antique mall that needed attention. Eeeeeek! Boy did I have a lot of work to do!
I usually take the days after Christmas and just before January 1st to sit down and reflect the past year and to plan out my new goals, which, by the way, I LOVE to do! But with all of the merriment of company, frequent trips to the ER and taking care of hubby, there just wasn’t time. Then with the above mentioned and monumental task of bringing order back into my home (which I had to tackle first) I felt like I was so far behind with my fresh start to the New Year. But sometimes things just happen and we have to be flexible! No sense in fretting! It’s doesn’t help anyway! In fact it makes things worse! So I just decided that it was a great idea to use the whole month of January to pray and plan for the upcoming year. That made me feel so much better! Now I don’t feel like I’m “late for a very important date!” like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland! The good news is while I was doing laundry, driving to the market and putting away all of the glitter and garlands, I listened to some podcasts with such great content about goal setting that I truly believe is going to help me become more productive this year! And I’m so excited! (I ‘ll share the links to these podcasts below!)
Like clockwork, a word seems to always pop in my head around this time that becomes my theme for the New Year. My word this year is “Simplify”. Plain and simple. I truly want to pare down, (and I mean way down), any excess stuff. I want to clear out all that extra clutter from my closets and cupboards that requires time consuming maintenance (which can be very distracting) so that I can focus more on cultivating and savoring a simpler life, full of vintage values, and old-fashioned goodness. I want to bring the simple goodness of the Mayberry kind of life back! Serving up homemade pie that’s been cooling on the window sill AND southern hospitality that’s fresh-as-a-daisy-in-a-mason-jar while whistling-a-happy-tune kind of life! I want to preserve the best from the past in every aspect of my life. And I want to have more time to share these joy-FULL, nod-to-Mayberry, down-home ideas, recipes and thoughts with YOU!
So in order for me to simplify and bring back the sweet goodness of that “Mayberry” kind of life, I had to set goals for myself. Not having the best success in the past in reaching all of my goals I decided to search for a little help. One of my favorite podcasters and bloggers regarding personal productivity, is Michael Hyatt. If you haven’t discovered him yet you MUST check him out. He’s got so much wisdom and he shares it generously. Here’s a couple things that I learned from him in regards to goal setting:
1. In order for us to achieve our goals we must write them down. This will clarify what we want. When we write down our goals we determine our destination…our desired end result. It becomes our roadmap. This “roadmap” helps us get to where we want to go. What’s a gal to do if she has a dream but it just keeps swirling ’round and ’round in her pretty little head, and it never comes true? She needs to get it down on paper. And then little by little start taking those baby-steps to making that dream a reality!
2. Ask yourself “why is this goal important?”. (Michael says “You need to answer the “why” or you’ll lose your way…your motivation”). Ask yourself what do I have to gain if I achieve my goal? What do I have to lose if I don’t?
Take our home for instance. We all want a happy, clean, sparkling, nurturing home that smells good, feels cozy and joyful, where nutritious meals are served and where our family loves to be, right? Why? Because we want to provide a healthful place where our family feels loved, blessed, cared for, and comforted in their body, mind and emotions.
What do we have to gain if we achieve this goal? We’ll have a happy, clean, sparkling, nurturing home that feels cozy and smells good (from the yummy meals prepared) which will be a blessing and a comfort to our family! Where happy memories of HOME will be made! That’s a lot to gain!!
What do we have to lose? Well, if we neglect to tidy our nest, letting clutter rule the roost, are careless to provide nutritious meals for our family, have no interest in creating happy memories with our loved ones (including our grand-littles) then what we end up with is a sad, messy, stale, gloomy, and perhaps even, angry environment. We lose out on the best for our family. Oh no! We don’t want that! No-sir-ee!
So you see darlin’, writing down what we want and why we want it makes so much sense! On those days went we don’t feel like doing laundry, cooking dinner or cleaning the toilet we need to go review our “why” to this goal. We need to remind ourselves what we have to gain and what we have to lose. Reading the rewards and the consequences again will give us the motivation to help us pull up our cute, cowgirl bootstraps to get the job done! Can I get a YEE HAW?
Here’s the thing…we have to change our mindset especially if we have a tendency to procrastinate…and that would be me! Somewhere I heard this statement “If you want to be…DO!” In other words, if you want to BE something then you have to DO something about it. For example, if you want to be strong and healthy, then you have to eat healthy foods, exercise and drink plenty of water. If you don’t, then you won’t be healthy. Or, if you want to be organized then you have to clear out the clutter, and put things in the proper place. If you don’t, then your house may look and smell like a pig-pen (oink-oink!). If you want to be the best pie baker ev-ah, then you need to research recipes, techniques and practice making pies. It’s a pretty simple concept really. We must DO whatever it is that will help us BE the person we want to be. It’s our choice!
So, here’s what I did: I got a cute binder and wrote down 10 categories…one category per page… and then made a list of a few goals under each category title:
1. Bless The Lord (My spiritual goals): My relationship with Jesus comes first. I’m getting up early to spend time with the Lord, read His word, pray, and write in my journal. “Seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, then all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
2. Fit-As-A-Fiddle (My physical goals): I made a list of specific things I MUST do every day to stay healthy. This also includes ways to stay emotionally healthy by writing down what I’m thankful for daily.
3. Home Folks (my family goals): I made a list of specific things I can to do bless my family, including praying for them every day.
4. Good Mornin’ (my morning routine): I made a list of everything I MUST do every morning such as, get up early to have my devotions, drink water, write in my journal, exercise, make bed, listen to an inspirational podcast or audio book while getting dressed, eat breakfast, take vitamins, etc.
5. Home Sweet Home (my daily household chores): I made a list of my daily routine for keeping my house clean ‘n’ smelling good and creating a happy home atmosphere.
6. I’m Fixin’ To: This is my simplify /get clutter-free goal page. I made a list of each room, closet and cupboard that I need to clean out. I made an appointment on my calendar for the days I’ll be working on these projects. One by one I’ll be checking them off! Yaw Hooooo!
7. Mayberry Goodness: I made a list of 15 things I can do to bring a little Mayberry back like; make homemade jam to share with friends, keep a good attitude, write something I’m thankful for every day, hum a happy tune throughout my day, be as-sweet-as-sweet-tea to my family and folks I meet, have a servants heart like Aunt Bee, keep on the look-out to help someone in need, live the Golden Rule, go for drives down country roads, sit on the front porch with my hubby, wave at the neighbors, watch an episode of Mayberry with my family every night…and a few more!
8. Sugar Pie Farmhouse: I’ve begun an idea notebook for blog post ideas as well as projects to work on for the 2014 (with deadlines for completion) to bring SWEET, WONDERFUL, YOU, the best content I can give ya!
9. Farm Fresh Dreams: This is where I listed the things I’m dreaming of for the future like raising chickens (in a really cute chicken coop,) building a white farmhouse etc.
10. Nighty Night: This is my list of things I need to do before going to bed to insure a sweet nights sleep.
Life is short and I don’t want to waste a minute of it! I want to fulfill the destiny that the Lord has designed for me on this earth! I know you want that too! If you would like to learn more about goal setting from Michael Hyatt, here are some links to get you started to make this your best year EV-AH!
5 Reasons Why You Should Commit Your Goals To Writing
Replay Of Live Q & A Call About Goal Setting
How to Get Clear, Get Motivated, and Get Started in 2014
The 10 Biggest Mistakes People Make In Setting Goals
Thank you so much for stopping by for some Farm Fresh New Year Pie! I hope my thoughts today give you just the nudge you need to create the life you’re dreaming of! As always, I pray for each one of you! As I read your gracious comments I speak your name out loud and say a prayer for you! God knows your needs and loves you more than you could ever know!
I would love for you to share a goal you’d like to reach this year
or any goal setting tips that have worked for you!
God bless your darlin’ heart!
I’ll see you soon if the Good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise!
Sugar and hugs,