The Big Switch {Pure & Simple Organizing Website is Live}

Well today is the day!  The day I have been waiting for!

The announcement of all announcements!

The Pure & Simple Organizing Website is now live!

Now, you might be scratching your head wondering, “Well what was this?”

Great question and I’m glad you asked.

This was a placeholder.  Something I started way back when; when I knew I need an online presence.  It grew out of nothing.  I love WordPress, and I love this blog!  It is bittersweet to leave the simplicity behind.

As my brand and business has grown, so has the need for something more sophisticated and more helpful.  Many people land on this blog looking for a professional organizer to help them get organized.  What they find are my daily posts about life.

Now they will find a beautifully designed website that helps them determine whether I’m the right organizer for them.

The blog hasn’t gone away — oh no, don’t you worry!  It is still there, it’s not the star of the show anymore. 😉

This will be the last post on this WordPress blog.  So long beautiful.

You can catch me at www.pureandsimpleorganizing.com from here on out! 🙂

Until next time…

love-Jennifer

Foodie Friday {Caribbean Chicken Tacos}

I love tacos, but we tend to eat the traditional Mexican versions.

I ran across a recipe a few weeks ago that peaked my interest.  I decided to change it up a little and came up with the following.  Pretty darn good if I say so myself. 🙂

Very light and flavorful.  Perfect for a summertime dinner.

Caribbean Chicken Tacos Marinade | Pure & Simple

Start with a simple marinade.  My opinion?  The longer it marinates the better!

Caribbean Chicken Tacos | Pure & Simple

Use the juice from fancy chunks pineapple in the marinade.  Use the pineapples in the chicken mixture.

Caribbean Chicken Tacos Salsa Verde | Pure & Simple

Use salsa verde in the marinade and as a garnish on the tacos.  We tried the Trader Joes Salsa Verde ($1.99) version and liked it a lot!

Caribbean Chicken Tacos Grilled | Pure & Simple

Grill the chicken, onions, and pineapple to make the taco mixture!  Having a grill would make this a lot easier.  I had to make two batches on the cast iron grill skillet.

Caribbean Chicken Tacos Recipe | Pure & Simple

CARIBBEAN CHICKEN TACOS

  • 1 lb chicken breasts or tenders (thawed)
  • 1 TSP Cholula (Chili Garlic)
  • 1 TSP oil
  • 1 Lime, Juiced
  • 1/2 TSP cumin
  • 1/2 TSP chili powder
  • 1 TBSP salsa verde
  • 1 TSP adobo sauce
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
    • Small container of fancy cut pineapples will work (juice only)
  • S&P
  1. Place all ingredients in resealable Ziploc bag.
  2. Marinate for 2-3 hours or while at work.

———————————————————–

  • Fancy cut pineapple chunks in juice (small container)
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  1. Heat grill or cast iron skillet.
  2. Grill chicken 3 minutes on each side or until done.
  3. Brush onion and pineapple with oil.
  4. Grill 3-5 minutes on each side.
  5. Remove from heat.  Coarsely chop chicken, pineapple, and onion together.

Serve with warmed corn tortillas, chopped cilantro, salsa verde, limes, and chopped lettuce.

We tried flour tortillas and I think corn would have been better suited, and I’m not a big fan of corn tortillas usually.  This flavor combo needs something other than flour.

NOTE: I added mushrooms to our dish.  It isn’t necessary, we just had it available. 🙂

What have you made recently?

Until next time…

love-Jennifer

Creating An Outdoor Space…

I am a seasonal kind of girl.  I love everything related to a particular season and embrace it whole heartedly!

My current season is spring transitioning to summer.  aka Obsessed With Outdoor Spaces

I blogged about my love for Dearness Gardens here.  I also blogged about my Summer Bucket List here.  The theme:  I like pretty outdoor things?

I will be posting about our patio soon!  I have some window boxes to make with my dear ole’ dad before I can snap pictures and reveal. 😉

In keeping with the seasonal theme, I thought it would be fun to write about ways to create a beautiful outdoor space.

Creating An Outdoor Space

Essentials:

  • Sitting area
  • Lighting
  • Plants/Flowers
  • Shade
  • Curtains
  • Outdoor Rug

When it comes to flowers and foliage, I think a combination of both is beautiful.  Also consider planting some in containers to spread around the patio.  The more the merrier!

Using Flowers to Decorate

Flowers in the ground seem to require less maintenance than flowers in containers, but I love the combination.

Go for flowering shrubs to take up more room in the ground.  When planting in a container, vary the heights.  Vary the height of the flowers within the container.  Vary the heights of the containers with plant stands.

You can find very decorative metal stands at Home Goods, Ross, and the like.

My two favorite style of containers/planters are the traditional terra cotta pots and classic urns.

Don’t forget about windows!  Purchase or make window boxes to dress up the back of the house.

How do you create and decorate your outdoor space?

Until next time…

love-Jennifer

Spectator Sport Outfit…

When deciding on what to wear, I highly recommend considering these two factors:

  1. The high temperature forecasted for the day
  2. Your shoes of choice

I prefer to wear Rainbow flip flops when going to spectator sporting events.  If I had cool tennis shoes like Raymond, then I would wear those.

Raymond's FootJoy Golf Shoes

I don’t, so Rainbows are my go to shoe.  I build my outfit around those and the temperature.  I wanted to wear a hat this year to the Masters so that was my 3rd factor.  Dresses and ball caps are not cute, so dresses were rulled out.

I might wear a dress to the Wells Fargo Championship only because I know how the Charlotte market is.  These chicks will wear 3″ heels on a golf course.  They are trying to get the attention of the golfers — and end up getting everyone’s attention.  C’mon ladies.  Dress and flippies will be my attire at that point.  The Masters is much more conservative … it is Georgia afterall!

Spectator Sport Outfit | Pure & Simple

I recommend wearing a sleeveless polo, shorts, hat, and cross body bag.  The bag is big enough for your I.D., cash, credit card, and camera.  Some tournaments have specifications on the size of your bag.  Always check the website before heading to the course.  Be prepared.  Not surprised.

Another helpful hint:  wear a watch.  Most tournaments don’t allow cell phones and/or cameras.  I like to know the time so I wear a watch. 🙂

Jennifer at The Masters Championship

I’m much less cute when hot and sweaty. Hence pig tails and messy shirt.

You want to look cute/attractive but also be comfortable!  Side note:  my entire outfit (minus my Rainbows) were thrifted.

  • Vineyard Vines polo = $12
  • Gap Bermuda Shorts = $4
  • Calvin Klein Cross Body Purse = $10
  • Masters hat = $1.50

What is your outfit of choice when going to a spectator sporting event?

Until next time…

love-Jennifer

Why Go To The Masters Championship…

Raymond?   He loves golf.  He talks about it all day long.  He tells stories about how he hit a 5 iron off the tee with 226 yards to the pin.  Tucked back right.  And how he drained it.

Masters Championship 2013

I have played golf before, but c’mon buddy I have no idea what that means!  No stinking clue.  Anyone else relate?

Raymond Loves His Golf Masters Championship

Should I play more golf  with him? Yes I should.  Do I own any clubs?  No, I sold those 10 months ago when I moved.  *sigh*  Nod, smile, and say “Wow that is awesome!”

Augusta National Sunrise

I love golf.  I really do.  I don’t understand the intricacies of playing it.  However, when Raymond says, “Do you want to go to the Masters again this year?” I say YES!  It is one of the most beautiful places on this Earth!

Jennifer & Raymond at Augusta National Masters Championship

There are zero homes (aside from the small rentals near the clubhouse) which keeps me 100% focused on the course.  The Wells Fargo Championship is played in Charlotte every year.  Another beautiful course.  However, it is packed full of gorgeous mansions!  I tend to stare at the houses wondering and pondering.  What do these people do for a living?  Is it as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside?  Is it packed full of stuff (aka cluttered)? 😉 All the while a golf tourney is going on.

Augusta National Heaven On Earth

I have been to the Masters Championship twice now.  I love the golf course.  Love.  Augusta, GA.  Interesting place.  The golf course is the nicest thing in that area.  It is a bit of a dump.

Azaleas were in full bloom!

Azaleas were in full bloom!

Let me back up a minute.  2011 I attended the Masters and ended up very sunburnt.  This year?  No way buddy!  I lathered that sunscreen on!  One thing I didn’t plan for .. ants?  If you know me, then you know I am allergic to mosquitos, black ants, and fire ants.  I no more stepped out of the car in the parking field and this happened:

Notice the hot red pinky toe?  My foot swells up like a football.

Notice the hot red pinky toe? My foot swells up like a football.

Yep, bit by a black ant!  Are you kidding?  Took a quick burning and itchy foot trip to Walgreens for some Benadryl.  As mom says “You are the only person I know that gets bit by black ants!”  I’m sure Raymond thought I was unbelievably high maintenance and no longer allowed back.   I kept my composure … although I contemplated crying. 😛

So back to the point … why should you go to the Masters?  It is the Best Week In Golf.  Reason enough!

Jennifer & Raymond Amen Corner

The beer and food is cheap.  Reason enough!  It is a 3 hour-ish ride from Charlotte.  Day trip!  Reason enough!

Cheap $18 lunch!  2 beers, 1 wrap, 1 sandwich, 2 waters, 1 cookie.  And what a cookie it was!

Cheap $18 lunch! 2 beers, 1 wrap, 1 sandwich, 2 waters, 1 cookie. And what a cookie it was!

Masters Championship 2013 Beer Cup

Amen corner.  What does that mean?  I’m not sure .. ask Raymond.  But we sat there for an hour having great conversation.  AMEN! 😉

Who are you talking to there buddy? ;)

Who are you talking to there buddy? 😉
Can I get an Amen?

Masters Championship Amen Corner

Helpful Hint:  Don’t take off your shoes and lay down on the grass.  You will get called out.  Well, if your grass wasn’t so perfect and beautiful then I wouldn’t want to woller (is that a word?) around on it all day.  Psh!

My cute videos from our trip .. When did I become so country?!

Masters Championship Augusta National Flagstand

Grass level

Grass level

Jennifer & Raymond Augusta National Masters Leader Board

We rounded out the day with a little Masters Pro Shop shopping.  Correction:  Raymond shopped.  Jennifer was not interested.  😛 Oh the things we do for our men! 😉

If you ever have the opportunity to go to the Masters, then I would say RUN GIRL RUN!

We had the best time!  Stay tuned for a quick afternoon post about my outfit. 😉

What is your favorite golf tournament?

Until next time…

love-Jennifer

You Can Find Me At…

It is a beautiful Saturday here in Charlotte!  I hope you are enjoying this spring weather and beautiful day!

I rarely post on Saturday, so you got a little treat today!

I wanted to keep you in the loop on some things I’m working on down my way.

(1) Guest Posting last week over at SouthPark Magazine.  Topic:  Where Are My Keys?

One of the biggest issues we all face is “what did I do with those keys?”

Hop on over and check it out! 😉

(2) I was asked to Guest Host a radio show this morning! 🙂

Real Estate Today with Renee on WIXE 1190AM radio station.  Thank you Renee!

You can listen to it here!

(3) Lowe’s Home Improvement made a YouTube video just for me! 😉  Answering my question about how to grow hydrangeas in planter/containers on my patio.

Stay tuned for a very big announcement I will be making later this week!  Big BIG news! 😉

Until next time…

love-Jennifer

Foodie Friday {Chicken Marsala}…

I love weeks where I sit in the office and get tons done.  This was not one of those weeks.  I sat in the office on Monday and accomplished a ton!  A ton is never enough in this business though.  I was out all day Tuesday running errands and networking with some of my favorite peeps.  I spent Wednesday at The Masters with Raymond.  Yesterday was spent lunching and networking, relaxing {minimal} and attending a workshop with my friend Amanda.

I cannot believe it is Friday!  The weekend is packed with appointments as well!  *breathe* 😉

Chicken Marsala Recipe | Pure & Simple

I made Chicken Marsala for the first time ever last week.  It was delish!

I used a McCormick Recipe Inspiration Spice Mix.  This was my first experience using these and for the price (on sale for $1) I thought it was worth it.

McCormick Recipe Inspirations | Chicken Marsala Recipe

There are 6 spice pockets/pouches and a recipe card on the back.  I changed the recipe some to make our dinner. 🙂

CHICKEN MARSALA W/McCORMICK RECIPE INSPIRATIONS

  • 3 chicken breasts, sliced in half
  • 4 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 of each spice pocket/pouch
  • S&P
  1. Mix flour, garlic, marjoram, onions, S&P in shallow dish
  2. Reserve 1 TBSP of flour mixture
  3. Coat chicken with remaining flour mixture
  • 1 TBSP butter + 1/2 TBSP (divided)
  • 1 TBSP oil
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup marsala wine, dry
  1. Heat butter and oil in large nonstick skillet on medium heat
  2. Cook several chicken pieces 3 minutes per side or until golden brown
  3. Remove from skillet & keep warm
  4. Repeat with remaining chicken.  Remove all chicken pieces & keep warm
  5. Add mushrooms to skillet.  Cook and stir for 4-5 minutes or until tender
  6. Mix chicken broth and reserver flour mixture
  7. Add to skillet along with wine
  8. Bring to a boil, stirring to release browned bits in bottom of skillet
  9. Stir in 1/2 TSBP of butter and 1/2 basil spice pocket
  10. Cook 2 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened
  11. Spoon sauce over chicken to serve
  12. Sprinkle with 1/2 parsley spice pocket

Serve with roasted potatoes, asparagus, and crusty bread.

Have you ever made Chicken Marsala?  And Marsala wine is not very good drinking wine. blech.

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

Succulents Add Color In The Bathroom…

I asked Dwell by Cheryl for some tips on how to update my bathroom.  I’m still working on her list of recommendations like painting and purchasing a new shower curtain.

One recommendation that I implemented right away was adding succulents.  Wikipedia says that succulents are:

In botany, succulent plants, also known as succulents or sometimes fat plants, are plants having some parts that are more than normally thickened and fleshy, usually to retain water in arid climates or soil conditions. Succulent plants may store water in various structures, such as leaves and stems.

You can purchase them at Lowe’s Home Improvement or Home Depot stores.

Thrifted DIY Succulent Planter Tutorial | Pure & Simple

On a recent thrifting trip with Dwell by Cheryl, she spotted a glass globe for $1.  I walked right by it, but her creative eye suggested I use them for succulents.  SOLD! For a $1! 🙂

The globe would top a terra cotta saucer plate with the plants residing inside.

Thrifted Succulent DIY Planter

The terra cotta saucer matched the color of my counter top, so I decided to update it with a little DIY.

Step 1:  Wash the globe with warm soapy water.  Air dry.

Thrifted DIY Succulent Planter Step 1

Step 2: Prime the terra cotta saucer.  Let dry.

Thrifted DIY Succulent Planter Step 2

Step 3:  Mix up your white wash paint.  White paint + water.  Mix well.  The runnier the wash, the more coats you will need to cover.

Thrifted DIY Succulent Planter Step 3

Step 4: Paint the saucer.  Air dry in between coats.  Paint a total of 2 coats per side.

Thrifted DIY Succulent Planter Step 4

Step 5:  Lightly sand the edges to give it an aged look. 150 grit.

Thrifted DIY Succulent Planter Step 5

I had originally planned to sponge on some gray paint to give it more of an aged look.  That step was omitted — I loved how this turned out!

Step 6:  Add globe.  Carefully add potting mix, succulents.  Gently water.

Thrifted DIY Succulent Planter Step 6

TIP:  Be sure to use the Cacti & Succulent Potting Mix.  I also use a spray bottle to water it — much easier to control the flow and spray. 

MiracleGro Cacti Potting Soil

Thrifted DIY Succulent Planter Final

Thrifted DIY Succulent Planter Close Up

They have a beautiful home in my bathroom!

Cost breakdown:

  • Glass globe = $1
  • Saucer plate = already had on hand (I believe they are a $1 at Lowe’s or Home Depot)
  • Primer & Paint = marginal as I used so little
  • Succulents = $3.98 for a mini 4 pack
  • Succulent Potting Mix = $4.98 for a medium bag (again marginal)
    • Total =  $7-ish

Easy Peasy project!  What do you think?

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

April Resolution {Make Time A Priority}…

April 1st.  I love the first day of a new month.  3 months are in the books for 2013.  🙂

My dear friend Sally commented on my recap post of my March goals.  She mentioned that 2013 seemed to be slipping away and flying by.  I agree with her and always feel the same way.  Where did the time go?  

“If you do not take control of your schedule, it will take control you.  The key is not to prioritize what is on your schedule but to schedule your priorities.”

This was a great quote from my February “To Read” book: Life On the Wire.

Also from the book, “Starting small is easier than starting big.  And starting now is better than waiting.”  

I encourage you to start now.  Commit to a goal — just one goal — for the month of April.  See it through for the next 30 days.  Reevaluate at the end of the month.  How did that commitment make you feel?

I’m a big believer that small is better than never and always easier to commit to than perfect.  If you wait for perfect, then you will wait forever.

New month and new goal.  As I’ve said before, I continue to improve upon my previous month’s goals.  I just add another goal to the mix; I build upon my foundation.  My January goals feel like habit.  February is getting better.  March still requires focus and discipline.

April is the month I resolve to make time a priority.

April Resolutions

I will value my “yes” and my “no”.  I will not die a slow death from a thousand opportunities.   Before answering or committing to anything, I will stop, think, breathe.  Focus.  Streamline. Enjoy.

  • Take better care of myself
    • Continue to drink water, exercise 3 days a week, and eat more fruits and veggies.
  • Get up earlier
    • My wake up time for the month of April is 7am, and it started today.
    • I love my mornings!
  • Read a new book
The Circle Maker Book

Source: Amazon

I worked with Laura Vanderkam, author of 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think, on a time makeover.  More to come on that, but tracking how I spend my hours and days is an eye opening experience   When I feel that my life is out of control with too many “yes”s, I plan to track my time.  I move forward you first need to know where you are.

How do you make time a priority?

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

Foodie Friday {Americano Chicken Pockets}…

I wanted to call them Homemade Hot Pockets — Raymond poo poo’d that recipe name. 😉

Americano Chicken Pockets Recipe | Pure & Simple

We made this awesome recipe earlier in the week and ate on it for several days.  My favorite type of dish is one that allows us to enjoy a few dinners and a lunch.

I also made a crockpot pot roast.  Definitely not as good as I had hoped.  I will keep tweaking that recipe. 🙂

Americano Chicken Pockets | Pure & Simple

In the morning you will:

Step 1: Break out the trusty Crockpot.

Spray the Crockpot with non-stick spray.  Add 3 frozen chicken breasts, 1 TSBP lemon-pepper seasoning, and 1/4 cup chicken broth.  Let the chicken slowly cook for 5-6 hours.

American Chicken Pockets Bread | Pure & Simple

These are my favorite rolls!

 

Step 2:  Lay out your dinner rolls so they can thaw during the day.  Our bag of yeast exploded (oops), so I would recommend laying on a cookie sheet and covering with a damp tea towel.

Ingredients Chopped | Pure & Simple

In the evening:

Step 3: Time to make dinner!   Chop up one onion, 4 oz of mushrooms, 2 roasted sweet red peppers, 2 garlic cloves, and the cooked chicken.

Melt 1 TSP butter and saute onions, mushrooms, and garlic.  Once those are tender, add the roasted peppers, chicken, and 2 TBSP honey mustard dressing, 1/4 TSP each S&P, lemon pepper seasoning, and 1/2 TSP italian seasonings.  Heat through and remove to a bowl.

Add 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese and stir to combine.

Step 4:  Roll out each dinner roll and fill with chicken mixture.  Since our bag of rolls turned into a bag of yeasty dough — we made larger than life hot pockets.  The size is up to you.  I would recommend smaller “rounds” or “pockets” if you have kids.

Press the dough together to form a seal.  You can always press with a fork (similar to making an apple turnover).

Americano Chicken Pockets  Ready for the oven | Pure & Simple

Step 5: Brush tops with melted butter, sprinkle with S&P and bake at 350º for 18 minutes or until golden brown.

Now for the recipe:

AMERICANO CHICKEN POCKETS

  • 3 chicken breasts, frozen
  • 1 TBSP lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth

——————————-

  • 1 TSP butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 oz mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 roasted sweet red peppers, chopped
  • 2 TBSP honey mustard
  • 1/4 TSP each S&P
  • 1/4 TSP lemon pepper
  • 1/2 TSP italian seasoning
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 24 frozen dinner rolls, thawed
  • 1 TSP butter, melted
  1. In the morning, spray the Crockpot with non-stick spray.  Add chicken, lemon pepper seasoning, and chicken broth.
  2. Cook on low for 5-6 hours.
  3. Also in the morning, lay out the dinner rolls to thaw.
  4. In a large skillet, saute onion and mushrooms in butter until tender.
  5. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer.
  6. Add the chicken, peppers, honey mustard and seasonings; heat through.
  7. Remove from heat to a mixing bowl.
  8. Add cheese.
  9. Flatten each dinner roll into a 5″ circle.
  10. Place 1 TBSP (give or take) of the chicken mixture in the center of the circle.
  11. Brush edges with water and press to create a seal.
  12. Repeat with remaining bread and chicken.
  13. Place on a greased baking sheet, brush tops with melted butter.
  14. Bake at 350º for 18-22 minutes until golden brown.
  15. Cut in half to serve.

Serve with tomato soup (we prefer Trader Joe’s Organize Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup), and a spinach side salad.  Raymond is still talking about this dinner and we had it on Tuesday! 😉

Enjoy!  Until next time…

Jennifer Signature