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Posted on: March 29th, 2015 by Darla | 2 Comments

This Bunny Bread of the Honey Wheat variety is too cute for just Easter, you’ll be wanting to make it all year long. And with the help of a bread machine, it’s a cinch!

Honey Bunny Wheat Bread for Easter

Make the dough in your breadmaker. Choose “dough” setting, because you’ll bake the bunny in the oven.

Honey Bunny Wheat Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Make this easy dough in your breadmaker, and then shape it into a bunny for you Easter centerpiece.
Author:
Recipe type: Bread
Serves: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cup water
  • 2 Tbls butter, softened
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • ⅛ cup packed brown sugar or honey
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1¾ tsp regular active dry yeast
Instructions
  1. Be sure to attach your kneading blade inside the bread pan first.
  2. Add all ingredients in the order listed.
  3. Close lid, plug in, and set to mix the dough.
  4. When done mixing, remove dough and shape into bunny shape.
  5. Optional: Let rise for an hour before baking.
  6. Bake in standard oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

 

Shaping the bunny is easy, but can be a bit sticky. Be sure to have some extra wheat flour to dust the baking tray and your hands with as you shape your little critter.

Start with a large oval shaped loaf for the body, and set it on the baking tray lightly dusted with wheat flour.

Stick four small round balls under the four “corners” of the bunny for paws. Make three deep cuts on each paw to carve out toes.

Honey Wheat Bunny Bread for Easter

Place a somewhat larger dough ball on the front for the face. Make three deep cuts on each side of the face for whiskers. Add two raisins for eyes and a dried cranberry for the nose. (Although, in truth, after baking, they all kind of looked the same, so you can just use three raisins.) Push all three in fairly deep so they stay put.

Fashion two cigar-shapes at the back of the head, laying on the body, for the ears.

Ooops! I forgot the tail on my little bunny! Add a tiny dough ball in the back for the tail. If you’d like, coat the tail with coconut shavings for a little extra fluff.

Bake your bunny in a standard oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Keep an eye on him so the outer bits don’t get too dark.

Honey Wheat Bunny Bread for Easter

With all the candy that shows up on Easter, it’s nice to have this treat that is wholesome and healthy. Of course, how much butter you put on it is up to you.

I’d love to know if you make this honey wheat bunny bread, and how it turns out for you.

 

Posted on: March 28th, 2015 by Darla | No Comments

The most important thing about organizing is being able to find stuff you need and love. Period. But then there’s making it pretty. That’s fun, too. Like when we were organizing this stack of books.

It’s not too bad starting out, but we can definitely make it better. You see a mix of different types of plastic bins and a paper storage boxes, even a shoe box hard at work.

organizing books with containers 3 ways

With just a few simple changes using things already on hand, it gets much more organized. The trick is using the same kinds of plastic bins.

organizing books using plastic bins

If you care to make an investment in new bins, it can get even cuter. Cute, but not any more functional than those clear plastic bins, to tell the truth.

organizing books using pretty fabric bins

This whole organizing exercise only took a few minutes. Do you feel like you could make a big change in your space with just a few containers like these?

Posted on: March 27th, 2015 by Darla | No Comments

If you are lucky enough to have two closets in the same room, consider outfitting one to create a shoe closet. A shelving system with adjustable shelves, like this one from Organized Living, is ideal.

Organized Shoe Closet Makeover

Before:

Shoe closet (1)

After

Shoe closet (18)

Of course, we had to have a furry inspection during the renovation (which took all of 15 minutes).

Shoe closet (5)

With an adjustable system like this one, you can set the shelves as you need them, like closer together for snadals.   Shoe closet (20)

 

I still like boots on the floor. They don’t usually behave this well on their own, standing up straight. But you can get them to stay more organized by stuffing boots with magazines, pool noodles, or even a bag of bags, as we did here.

Shoe closet (22)

This little closet even has it’s own secret, a set of cubbies in the wayback. Notice how we lined up our shelving system with the built-in shelves, but then adjusted some shelves to maximize the storage. These way back cubbies are great for storing things like photos and rarely-read books, or out of season things like the swimsuits that are hiding in the basket just now.

Shoe closet (23)

Perhaps most importantly, we included and labelled a bin for outgrown clothes for this young lady. This will help keep them off the floor and out of laundry circulation. Anyone else see clean clothes end up in the endless laundry loop?Shoe closet (24)

So, really, this is much more than a shoe closet. But you can see that by adding an adjustable shelving system, we get a lot more function out of this extra closet.

Do you have a closet in your house that could be working harder than it is? Do you have room for a shoe closet?

 

Posted on: March 26th, 2015 by Darla | No Comments

This post is sponsored by Just Between Friends- Western Mainline.

Organizing for consignment sales can be a snap with a few key tips. You’ve been hearing me crow about the Just Between Friends sale for the last few weeks, as I helped clients get ready for the sale in Oaks last weekend.

I usually shop the sales. In fact, I don’t shop anywhere else. I can’t remember the last time I shopped for my kids in a retail store. This time I spent $180 and got 6 bathing suits and 2 complete ballet outfits. I’m pretty sure the retail price on just these items would be close to $180.

consignment finds Spring JBF

PLUS over a dozen other outfits and dresses.

JBF Philly 2015 (1)

PLUS all these crafts, games, books, and even birthday party presents for their little friends. The Melissa and Doug stuff is brand new and 25% off at this JBF sale. Score! And did you see all the good organizing solutions I scouted while I was there?

JBF Philly 2015 (3)

So a big THANK YOU you everyone who got their act together and cleared out their kids clothes, toys and books so I could grab these deals. One of my clients made over $987. The average seller makes over $400 at JBF.

If you want in on this action, along with another post on getting ready for consignment sales, here are some things you can be doing now to get ready for the next sale.

How to Get Ready for Kids Consignment Sales

Organize kids closets twice a year. Kids always have 3 wardrobes. Make room for them. Have a fall and a spring box for the sales. And yes, you are actually doing your kids a favor, helping kids manage overwhelm, when you clear out their closets.

Put clothes on hangers the last time you wash them. Eliminates the problem of needing to search for hangers.

Install a double rod in the closet or a clothes rack in a storage area. A large laundry room closet can store clothes to sell. I totally forgot that my attic has a bar already installed by the previous owners! Isn’t this easy DIY rack, just 2×4’s hanging from the basement rafters, a lovely way to keep clothes ready for the next sale?

how to get ready for childrens consignment sales

Zip tie shoes together when you store them, so you don’t have to pair them again later.

Save bedding packaging for toy groupings. Those zippered plastic pouches that curtains, sheets, pillow cases, and comforters come in are great for packaging up Barbies, doll clothes, and sets of cars or baby toys.

Keep a “Too small” bin in the closet for clothes you’ll pass down to the next child, and keep these clothes separate from the consignment clothes.

organize clothes in a child's closet

Keep a bin or drawer for memory clothes, like hand-knit baby clothes or favorite team t-shirts. You can either pass these down to family members or re-make them into things like memory quilts. But keep them separate from your clothes that you are passing down to the next kid, or clothes you might sell on consignment

Have a “Time Out” area for toys. If toys aren’t getting picked up, or your kids fight over toys, send them to the Time Out shelf. Kids can earn them back for good behavior. If toys are still in time out when it’s time for the sale, they are money makers.

The JBF tag system is open all year long, so you can price and prep batches of clothes whenever it’s a good time for you. Get the kids to help you on days off from school, and make it a family affair. They can do things like sort by size or clean and shine shoes, well before you are ready to put them up for sale.

get ready for kids consignment sales

In fact, let the older kids in on the fun, encouraging them to pick toys to consign. One teen earned a couple of hundred dollars this sale, which she’s using to buy high-end shoes.

Find out what supplies your local consignment sale uses. Start saving safety pins, hangers, and zipper bags throughout the year, so you’ll have supplies on hand when you need them, Buy zip ties and packing tape on sale before you need it.
getting ready for consignment sales

I am well aware that some people think consignment sales are “icky”, but the truth is, our kids are blessed to be healthy enough to outgrow their clothes and stuff well before it’s useful life is done. I hope I’ve convinced you to give consignment sales a try, both on the buying and selling side.

What’s your best deal that you’ve ever gotten at a consignment sale?

Posted on: March 25th, 2015 by Darla | 1 Comment

You have better things to do than feed paper into your home or small business paper shredder. My trusty old paper shredder died last week. It lasted 10 years using these tips on how to take care of a paper shredder. Since I’ve wanted this Swingline Stack-and-Shred for at least two years now, I ordered it the next day from OfficeDepot.

auto-feed paper shredder

It does all the usual stuff, like allow you to fed a few sheets in from the top. It will shred credit cards. It does cross-cut shredding, which is better for identity security. But here’s one thing that sets it apart: you can lay up to 60 sheets in the tray, close the lid, and it auto-feeds through the shredder for you, saving time and frustration. It’s a no-brainer for a small office or a home office. And for larger offices, similar models of the Stack and Shred can stack up to 750 sheets.

Why didn’t we think of this sooner?

Here’s my 2-minute show and tell.

 Not in the market for your own home shredder? Remember you can always check our updated list of community shredding events in and around Philadelphia.

Would you consider this Swingline Stack-and-Shred for your next shredder purchase?