MARINATED FETA CHEESE

Don’t you hate when you open a package of feta, use a little bit, put the rest on a container and next time you take it out is to put it in the bin because it has gone off? It used to happen a bit too often in my house to the point when I stopped buying feta cheese. But feta cheese is amazing in so many things that we  missed it terribly so I had to come up with a different solution.

A jar of delicious marinated feta - OrganisingChaosBlog

Marinating the feta will not only make the cheese last longer, but it will also infuse with amazing flavors that will in time improve your salads, frittatas… anything where the cheese goes.

No more waste – just delicious food

Ingredients

200 grs feta cheese
2 garlic cloves
1 bay leave
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
olive oil

Ingredients to marinate feta cheese - OrganisingChaosBlog

Directions

Carefully cut the cheese into cubes.
Put feta in a jar with a top and add the rest of the ingredients to the jar.
Pour enough olive oil to cover cubes of cheese.
Let marinate in refrigerator for 2 weeks for an amazing taste but if you can’t wait, overnight will do.

Olive oil and feta cheese - yum, yum. - OrganisingChaosBlog

You could also use sun-dried tomatoes, rosemary, thyme or capers for the marinade. Chop and change. It will never be boring.

Serve it topping your favorite salads or simply on fresh bread. Simple and delicious, what real food should be.

Marinated feta cheese with bay leave - OrganisingChaosBlog

Have you got a favorite recipe for your feta?
Don’t be shy. Share!

Chaotic Itzi

OCB

LOSING WEIGHT WITH SMOOTHIES – WEEK 2 : SPINACH & KIWI

This week’s smoothie for my personal challenge of Losing Weight with Smoothies is (drums roll for dramatic effect…)  a Spinach & Kiwi Smoothie!!!

I am already in my second week of my personal challenge for February and I am delighted to say that I have lost 1.5 kg last week (3,30 lbs), 50% more of what I was planning, so feeling pretty good about myself, I have to say. And all thanks to smoothies! who would have thought?
Lose weigh with smoothies - Spinach and Kiwi Smoothie @ OrganisingChaosBlogI have to admit that the first week was easier than anticipated. In all honesty, I was worried that I would get bored with effectively having the same lunch every day but I didn’t. The kale & pineapple smoothie kept me full until dinner and I didn’t even feel like snacking between meals. I think that also knowing that in every smoothie I was getting plenty of nutrients, vitamins and all sort of goodness helped me stay strong until dinner.

The dinners were had with my family. The same dinner as everyone so no extra work. On Tuesday I even shared a brownie with Mr B after dinner! And I still have managed to lose weight, so I am truly delighted and very much fired up for the second week!
Lose weigh with smoothies - Spinach and Kiwi Smoothie @ OrganisingChaosBlogAs predicted, the weekend was the most difficult time to fit the smoothie into my diet but with a bit of thinking ahead I made it work. It’s all about being prepared. I have been making the smoothie in the morning and I take it with me if I am going out so there is no chance of being tempted while out shopping, or if you feeling hungry earlier than usual – there smoothie is right there with me

This week smoothie is another nutritional delight full of vitamin C, iron, folic acid and calcium, and also delicious, because there is not point in drinking something super healthy if it tastes yucky, right?
Lose weigh with smoothies - Spinach and Kiwi Smoothie @ OrganisingChaosBlogWEEK 2 : SPINACH & KIWI SMOOTHIE

100 ml of coconut milk
1/2 cucumber
1 banana
1 kiwi fruit
2 cups spinach
1/2 teaspoon chia seeds
1 to 2 scoops of vanilla protein powder

The cucumber and the kiwi make this smoothie so fresh!
Lose weigh with smoothies - Spinach and Kiwi Smoothie @ OrganisingChaosBlogThe original recipe of this smoothie does not include chia seeds or the protein powder so feel free to leave out. I like adding chia seeds to any smoothies as they are high in omega 3 and healthy, and the protein powder bulks it up and helps me stay full until dinner.

I am so ready for this week’s challenge. What about you?

Chaotic Itzi

DISPLAY YOUR PHOTOS IN A BIG WAY ON A SMALL BUDGET

I love having photos of the family around the house. They are everywhere. In the kitchen, the hall, the bedrooms, the sitting room…

Photos are memories. Of course, we have all those memories stored somewhere at the back of our head but we are often too busy to be able to access them. Photos remind us of those memories, those silly moments, the family moments, different places, the fun we had on holidays, how the kids were so small at one point…  As cheesy as it sounds (and it is going to sound cheesy) photos warm my heart.

For the sitting room, I knew I wanted to make a statement display with loads of photos. I was really inspired by Ashley’s one from TheHandMadeHome  but it had to be smaller as my sitting room is not as big (or bright, or lovely, or have her couch, or…) as hers.
Display your photos with a statement piece on a budget @ OrganisingChaosBlogI knew I didn’t want a permanent fixture on my sitting room so it had to be a frame that could be moved, but where to find a frame so big without having to give up one of my organs at check-out? I had to think outside the box.

One day, I was walking around a furniture shop dreaming of a new kitchen when the light bulb when on!!! I could get a kitchen door glass cabinet as a frame! (like this one, or this one). It is always worth checking out the second-hand kitchen shops for these kind of items. As well as having second-hand kitchen furniture they also tend to buy the remains of stock from big companies or builders so you can get brand new kitchen counters, fab sinks and other bits and pieces for half the price. It is in my local shop that I found my one for only €10!! I think I danced in the shop!!
Display your photos with a statement piece on a budget @ OrganisingChaosBlogDisplay your photos with a statement piece on a budget @ OrganisingChaosBlog
I wanted square photos but not too small so I decided to print the photos in 8×6 and cut them to fit the frame. I then cut a large piece of cardboard to fit in the frame and I attached the photos to it. Once everything is ready, fit it in and secure it at the back with some tape.
Display your photos with a statement piece on a budget @ OrganisingChaosBlogIt is a lovely collage of memories that can be updated as often as you want, although I don’t think I will be updating my one anytime soon. The kids love looking at the photos, trying to remember when they were that small, listening to us telling them stories about the photos or making up their own one. It’s so sweet.

It is very personal, you made it yourself and for little money – that is officially categorized under Win/Win/Win… Totally!!!
Display your photos with a statement piece on a budget @ OrganisingChaosBlogIf you want to go ahead and decorate it also, you can find the tutorials for the paper flowers and the colorful paper garland on the blog.

I hope you are now inspired to look at different ways to display your photos. They make you smile.They are good for the soul.

Chaotic Itzi

I love to hear  your comments so please feel free to comment below and share the post with your friends to help us create a community.
Much appreciated. Thank you!

3 NEW USES FOR A PAINTBRUSH THAT WILL MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER (AND HOW TO MAKE THEM PRETTY)

It’s funny to see how different things are in every family. What is normal in one household might be something totally alien to another. You really get to appreciate all these differences when you start living with people, be friends, partners… everyone brings something different and new to the mix.

Where am I going with this? In my parent’s house in Spain, there has always been (or at least as far as I can remember) a painting brush in the kitchen. This “bug standard” painting brush was not for painting… oh no! it was to clean out the breadcrumbs left after cutting the bread. So, we would have the bread board, the bread knife and the bread brush. Perfectly normal. Or so I thought. Mr B always found it amusing. Useful, but amusing.
Paint brushes are not just from painting - OrganisingChaosBlog
This got me thinking about what other uses I have around the house for painting brushes that were not, well, painting that are totally normal to me but other people may not know?

1. GETTING RID OF BREADCRUMBS

Brushing the breadcrumbs will make it easier to clean them as they will remain dry, not scatter around the place and won’t get stuck to the cloth making it all yucky. Also, you’ll be able to get the breadcrumbs that tend to hide in the corner…. the little feckers that make you stick your tong out when you are cleaning… those ones! They will be brushed away with your dignity intact!Paint brushes are not just from painting - OrganisingChaosBlog

2. CLEANING KEYBOARDS

For those moments after haven shaken your keyboard upside down and you realize how filthy it is, clean between the keys with the paintbrush to get out the hard to get dirt bits of stuff (or whatever they are!).  Easy! Paint brushes are not just from painting - OrganisingChaosBlog

3. CLEAN THE VENTS IN YOUR CAR

By using a brush to clean the vents, you not only will you dust them but also you will push out any bit of dirt that might have got into them.Paint brushes are not just from painting - OrganisingChaosBlog

How cool is that? and how simple?
But I hear you (or maybe it’s just me!): Do I really want a manky old brush around my house in plain sight? Of course not!!! And that is why someone invented washi tape – to make everything prettier. By covering the silver part of the brush with washi tape and adding a pretty ribbon at the end, you have transformed a plain boring painting brush into something useful and pretty that you don’t mind displaying in your kitchen or your office.
Paint brushes are not just from painting - OrganisingChaosBlog
So next time you are in a hardware store, get some brushes for home, give them some love and they will love you right back. As simple as that.

What do you think? Would you give it a go?

Chaotic Itzi

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MAKE YOUR OWN PERSONALIZED SIGN

Once upon a time, we had some very crappy table nests in the house. They were bought when we were very young, foolish (somethings never change) and we didn’t have much money. We needed little tables around the house so the nest was bought.

The years passed by and the tables survived few moves and many different uses before the legs broke. Despite having no emotional attachment whatsoever to these not-so-nice set of tables, I decided to keep the top of 2 of the tables as they were made of solid wood and I knew (ok, I thought? I hoped!)  they could be up-cycled at some stage and become a whole new product.  6 years later, I feel vindicated.
Make your own personalised sign - OrganisingChaosBlog.comI always liked old signs. Whenever I see an old sign in a second-hand shop I have to stop myself from buying it because, as much as I like old signs, I don’t want a sign that says nothing about my family in my house. I feel like I need to have some sort of personal connection with it, something that reminds us of something but as that was looking very hard to find, I decided to make one myself.

I knew exactly where I wanted to place it : crowning the gallery wall (does it sound posh or what!?!).

I wanted the sign to feel like an extension of the gallery wall but a tad bit different. Same but different, very clear, right?
Make your own personalised sign - OrganisingChaosBlog.comFor the “same” part, I decided to paint the background of the sign, aka the top of my table, with the same colors as my gallery wall: grey and white. I painted the stripes with Autentico Chalk Paint (Soft Grey and Casa Blanca) and then I distressed it by sanding it with fine grit sandpaper to make it feel old. Lastly, I gave it a coat of clear wax to seal the paint and to make it smoother. I love it!
Make your own personalised sign - OrganisingChaosBlog.comMake your own personalised sign - OrganisingChaosBlog.comI just wanted a simple but meaningful sign, a number and a letter. I got the 4 because there are 4 of us and the letter B because all our surnames start with B. It doesn’t get any more personal and simple than that, right?

I  also painted the letters with Chalk Paint. First with the grey and then some pink (Antique Rose) so when I distressed the edges by lightly sanding them you can see the grey underneath ever so slightly. To give it a more romantic tone, I added some floral washi tape to the letters. That’s just me, a romantic at heart…
Make your own personalised sign - OrganisingChaosBlog.comMake your own personalised sign - OrganisingChaosBlog.comI then only had to glue the letters to the sign. It was a tough decision though… 4B or B4… I ended up going for 4B thus avoiding having to explain that the sign did not say “before”… which of course was going to happen…

I totally love the contrast between the rough grey and white background, and the vintagy (totally a word!!) and romantic feel of the letters.

So there it is, my very own, personalized, hand-made and full of meaning sign.
How easy was that? very!

Chaotic Itzi

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MAKE A PLAIN BLANKET CUTER WITH POMPOMS

It looks like I was a good girl last year because Santa brought me good few presents and it looks like Santa knows me quite well because one of the presents I got a blanket and I LOVE blankets.

As everyone knows, the world is divided between blanket people and not blanket people. Since I was a child, I have always been a blanket person, I was always the one sitting on the couch with a blanket, summer or winter, I always had my blanket with me on the couch.
Make a plain blanket super cute with pompomsI don’t know if it is the heat they provide or just the comfort, but I love being wrapped up in a blanket while watching a film sitting on the couch. And if you get me a chilli hot chocolate, I’ll be your best friend forever!

The blanket I got this Christmas is super comfortable, a Footsie Blanket, it has little “pockets” to slide your feet in so they are nice and cosy and never become uncovered. I love it so much!
Make a plain blanket super cute with pompoms 1As the blanket itself was a bit plain, I decided to pimp it with pompoms. It has been stated once or twice how much I love pompoms (here and here), and in fairness, a super soft blanket and super soft pompoms are a match made in heaven!

As Big Monkey would say: I don’t like it, I LOVE it!!!
Make a plain blanket suMake a plain blanket super cute with pompoms Make a plain blanket super cute with pompoms 3It is now a functional, cosy and pretty blanket that I know I will have to fight Mr B for. And the Monkeys. And all it took was some pompoms.
I told you pompoms make everything better.

Have a great day!
Chaotic Itzi

HAPPY LUNCH NOTES

The boys are tired. We all are really.
happy lunch notes - Organising Chaos BlogThe weather has really turned from cold to just pure evil in the last couple of weeks. We’ve been having storms, strong winds, rain, rain, more rain and when you thought you couldn’t see any more water… yes, you guessed right, more rain! The skies are grey and the forecast is not looking good. Between the weather, the extra-curricular activities and the darkness, we are all exhausted and very much looking forward to the break at Christmas. And did I mention we are going to Spain for Christmas? I am so excited!!!

In order to make things a bit fun for the kids until we get the holidays, I made some notes to go in their lunch boxes and cheer them up at lunch time with random notes from their mum.
happy lunch notes - Organising Chaos BlogThey were very easy to make and they can be as goofy or as deep as you want, whatever you think will put a smile in your kid’s face. I used colored paper, punchers, reward-chart stickers and markers. Some cutting, some sticking, some drawing. That is all.
happy lunch notes - how tohappy lunch notes - Organising Chaos BlogThe boys are loving them. They are coming home with big smiles and are then looking forward to seeing what they’ll get the following day. I have been instructed by Big Monkey not to give him cards that say I love you, although he does love me. I guess I’d better get used to get to that, it is the age. As long as I keep getting big cuddles and kisses at home, I’ll play cool mum outside.
happy lunch notes - Organising Chaos BlogSometimes I even put a little note in my lunch at home to cheer me up. It really is the little things…

Chaotic Itzi

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NOVEMBER PLANT : A SPIDER PLANT

This month’s plant is a Chlorophytum, better known as a Spider Plant. (spider plant, spider plant, spider does what a spider can...)

My monthy green purchase - Spider Plant 3

I have been wanting to introduce plants to the boy’s playroom for a while now but I was worried about where to place them. By the window, where most of the light is, there is no shelving other than the windowsill and plants would not be safe there. On the other side of the room, where the shelves are, there is less light and loads of toys, so there was no guarantee that the plant would be safe there either.

My monthy green purchase - Spider Plant 1My monthy green purchase - Spider Plant 2So what do you with a plant you want to place in a children’s playroom? You hang it! close to a window if at all possible.

With the location decided, I then had to decide what plant to get. Hanging plants look great when first hung and as they start growing they turn amazing and they really become a feature in the room. I love them.

This amazing plant will have more leaves coming out at the end of the leaves as it grows and that it both weird and cool, which makes it perfect for the boy’s playroom. And it’s a spider plant in a room full of SpiderMen, that’s cool right? It is in my house…
My monthy green purchase - Spider Plant My monthy green purchase - Spider PlantI used a little plastic yellow bin to add an element of fun to the piece, made my macrame hanger and hung it close to the window. It looks so fresh! I love the different greens on the leaves – so bright!
My monthy green purchase - Spider Plant
The boys haven’t noticed it yet. I wonder if they ever will… 😉

Chaotic Itzi