Food Geek Friday: Time-Saving Prep Tip and Pizza Frittata

I’m preparing to write my next e-guide on meal planning for one so I have been doing quite a few different meal prep experiments recently. Also recently, my schedule has been more packed than usual. Which means two things:

  • More important than ever to prep so that I don’t have to resort to unhealthy take-out.
  • Less time to prep.

Isn’t that how things often try to go? However, I refuse to be thwarted.

Recently I wasn’t able to get to my usual grocery shop and meal prep. If I don’t have any prepped foods I almost always do something else because during the week – especially when I have a lot going on. I need E.A.S.Y. or I just won’t do it.

So as I was doing some meal plotting for the week, the prep tip I’m sharing today hit me.

What are two meals with similar ingredients that I can cook at the same time?

A couple of weeks ago my friend and the owner of Linguine and Dirty Martinis, Callie Salls, posted a picture of a pizza frittata.

Dude.

I’m on a huge frittata kick right now and looooooooove pizza but almost never make it. And feel gross when I order and eat too much of one.

Because I *always* eat too much pizza. It’s pizza.

So that was it. I was going to make a pizza frittata and spaghetti this week. (Among a few other things that would tie in with the ingredients in my fridge and leftover ingredients from this pair up.)

Pizza Frittata and Spaghetti Starter

Spaghetti Sauce and Pizza Frittata - Organizing with a Side of Fabulous BlogIngredients

  • 1lb hamburger meat
  • mushrooms (I used a bag of sliced creminis from Trader Joe’s)
  • Spices of choice (I used Italian Blend)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • Over medium-high heat, brown hamburger meat in large skillet. Season to taste.
  • Chop mushrooms and season. When meat is browned, add mushrooms and continue to cook until done.
  • When mushrooms are done, divide mixture into two skillets.

Skillet 1 – Spaghetti Sauce

Spaghetti Sauce and Pizza Frittata - Organizing with a Side of Fabulous BlogIngredients

  • Jarred marinara of choice
  • Additional spices of choice

Directions

  1. This is pretty quick and easy because when it’s just me I’ll cheat on the spaghetti sauce. Add jarred marinara until desired amount of chunky vs saucy consistency. (I like it more chunky.) Add any additional seasonings. For me this is usually some additional Italian Blend seasoning, garlic, dash of cinnamon, splash of red wine, and salt and pepper.
  2. Simmer until heated through.

Skillet 2 – Pizza Frittata

Pizza Frittata - Organizing with a Side of Fabulous BlogIngredients

  • Eggs (enough to cover fillings. I used 6)
  • Pepperoni slices
  • Spices of choice
  • Leftover jarred marinara
  • Grated parmesan

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Beat eggs within an inch of their life. Add spices of choice. Pour over meat and mushroom mixture. Stir around to make sure everything is evenly distributed.
  3. Lay slices of pepperoni on top of eggs.
  4. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until eggs are set.
  5. Remove from oven and transfer to plate to allow to cool a little.
  6. Slice like a pie. Garnish individual slices with warmed marinara and parmesan. (I would have taken a picture but I ate it too quickly. SO good.)

Now you have some proper meals to eat without having to resort to takeout. The frittata is just as awesome leftover as it is fresh and may be eaten at room temp or even cold. For the spaghetti sauce, you can go traditional and put over spaghetti or mix it up and put it a little in a skillet, create a hole in the center, crack an egg in there and have some breakfast, brunch, or breakfast for dinner. (More info here.)

Enjoy!

Pro-tip: I like to mix hamburger meat with chopped mushrooms because it adds in a veg and stretches the meat thus saving a little scratch in your food budget without really noticing. Also, if you have mushroom issues (taste, texture, holycrapthat’sfungus) the mushrooms really aren’t detectable.

Alternative options: Use the same starter mixture and add Mexican spices instead of Italian ones. Can also add in red kidney beans or pinto beans to make it stretch even further. From here you can use the mixture in tacos, lettuce wraps, taco salad, enchiladas or whatever else your imagination can come up with.

Have you done anything like this before? What ingredients can you think of that can be cooked up then split into two or more different dishes?

Examples like this and more will be in my upcoming e-guide on meal planning for one. Title and release date coming soon. 

She Owns It: The First Three Steps to Clearing Your Clutter for Good

The First Three Steps to Clearing Your Clutter for Good - She Owns ItI’m so happy to be back over at She Owns It. This time as a guest poster. Today I share an excerpt from my book, Fabulous Foothold to Organization: A guide for getting started when you don’t know where to start.” Enjoy!

Read “The First Three Steps to Clearing Your Clutter for Good” at She Owns It.

Quick Tip: Look Forward Towards Your Goals

Sunshines, I’m about to mix Mad Men and organizing. Since it was one of my favorite shows of all time and now it’s over I just have to.

Oh who am I kidding…I don’t need to have a reason to weave Mad Men into a good organizing tip.

And yes, now that the show is over I do need abandonment counseling. Thanks for asking.

In the above scene Don says, “My life moves in one direction. Forward.”

What does this have to do with organizing and clutter?

Oh so often I hear people gripe about how they’ve already gotten rid of so much. Why do they have to get rid of even more?

Well, if your home isn’t to the point you want it yet due to excess clutter then you still need to let go of more.

When faced with a large and daunting task of clutter, don’t think about how much you’ve already let go of. That will only sap your motivation and energy making this task much more defeating than necessary. Instead, think forward to the goal you’ve set for your home. Think of what you want to do when you have the extra time and space because you’re not focused on the clutter and cleaning. Then keep letting go of things until you hit your goal.

Side note: if you want to keep a running tally of how much you’ve sent out for tracking purposes then that’s great. Just don’t let it beat you down. Use that number as a motivator to never have that much clutter again. 

How much you’ve let go of in the past doesn’t matter. Only that you let go of everything you don’t need, use, and love, so that you can reach your organizing goals.

Need help getting to your goals? We offer a variety of services to help every need and budget no matter where you live. Contact Melinda or buy “Fabulous Foothold to Organization: A guide for getting started when you don’t know where to start” today! 

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Update: Freshened up organizing services and introducing a new one.

via Creative Commons License

via Creative Commons License

Back in February I introduced new services: virtual organizing and the Hot Mess Motivation program. Now that it’s been in the real world, I’ve done some tweaking as well as added a new service: the Hot Mess Hot Spot.

When you need help getting organized, you need five things:

  • Solutions tailor made to fit your needs
  • Someone to hold you accountable
  • Empathy for your situation
  • A personal cheerleader and
  • A kick in the ass.

I now offer this in 3 different ways: Hot Mess Organizing, Hot Mess Motivation, and Hot Mess Hot Spot. These services can be purchased individually or in a combination to meet your needs and budget.

Hot Mess Organizing

You and me, one-on-one, digging in and getting to it together. Done either in-person or by phone or SKYPE, we’ll start with an evaluation of the situation to assess the origins, set your goals, create the game plan then make it happen.

Hot Mess Motivation

This is organizing and accountability through email coaching. As above, we’ll start with an evaluation of the situation to assess the origins, set your goals and create the game plan. Then, at the beginning of each week you’ll receive an email from me designed to keep you on track and working towards your organizing goals. You also have the option to upgrade this program by adding a monthly 30 minute phone call. Because sometimes you just need to talk things through while hearing a reassuring voice at the other end of the line.

Hot Mess Hot Spot

Have a handle on organizing but just need a couple of tips? Want to ask me questions about how to get started as a professional organizer? You can also talk to me about running a business, marketing, advertising, event planning, public speaking, writing, or even food. This is your chance to ask me absolutely anything! If I know about it, I’d love to share. Email me (heyred @ melindamassie . com) with the “hot spot” you need help with. If I can help, I’ll get back to you with the next steps. If I don’t think I’m your best resource, I’ll reply back that I can’t answer your question and give you alternative options if I know of any.

The Hot Mess Organizing and Motivation services come with the added perks lifetime access to our private Facebook Group, unlimited email advice during our work together, a follow-up phone call to make sure everything stuck, and more.

Ready to turn your hot mess into something fabulous? Contact me or buy “Fabulous Foothold to Organization” today! 

Now Coaching on Coach.Me

Melinda Massie - Organizing and Productivity Coach for Coach.Me

Have you heard about Coach.Me yet? Previously called Lift, it’s an app and website that helps you keep track of your goals. It’s no secret that I love a good to-do list. Much the way a to-do app can help you stay on top of the things you need to do, a goal-tracker app helps you keep track of new habits you want to develop. Within this program you can also set up reminders to help keep you on target. Keeping a tally of how much you’ve already accomplished is just as important to productivity and success as keeping track of what you need to do is. Coach.Me also covers pretty much any goal you want to set up for yourself from drinking more water to learning a new language to getting organized.

They also have a supportive community that you can ask questions of and support each other while everyone is on their way to accomplishing their goals. Another thing that makes this app great is that if you want additional or personalized support for your situation, you can hire a coach right through the app.

And I’m one of their coaches now! I support people these 6 goals:

  • Set Priorities for Your Day
  • Unclutter
  • 10 Minutes Organizing
  • Organize
  • Evening Tidy Up
  • Clean, Organize, Unclutter

Currently you can hire me for weekly coaching or for a 30 minute phone call. If you use the code: COACHME then you’ll get your first coaching week free.

As a coach I can also create custom plans within the app so look for one or more coming soon!

As a special bonus, I’d like to offer anyone reading this post a copy of my e-book, “Fabulous Foothold to Organization: a guide for getting started when you don’t know where to start.” for free if you hire me through the Coach.Me app. After you’ve hired me, tell me “the champagne spills at dawn” for your copy.

So are you ready to get organized? Contact me directly, connect with me on Coach.me, or buy “Fabulous Foothold to Organization” today! 

In the News: April 2015

Photo by Chris Plavidal via D Home Blog

Photo by Chris Plavidal via D Home Blog

Five Tips for Effective Spring Cleaning – D Home Blog. I was so excited to be asked to contribute my favorite tips for spring cleaning to the D Home Blog. They also mentioned the release of “Fabulous Foothold to Organization!” Thank you to Caitlin and D Home!

16 Expert-Recommended Steps to Spring Clean Your Kitchen – Livestrong.com. Spring cleaning is definitely in the air and y’all know how much I love kitchens and food. Happy to contribute to this piece.

32 Organization Hacks That Can Keep Anyone Organized – DIYReady.com. Another site that picked up my binder clips in the freezer tip. This article includes some of my favorite tips (I’m lookin at you “hang heels from crown molding”) so definitely be sure to check it out.

But I’ve already let go of so much!

A common complaint I hear from people is that they’ve already let go of so much, why do they have to let go of more? Well Sunshine, if your home still feels cluttered and unruly then you need to keep going. No matter how much you’ve already let go of.

Even in an uncluttered home, there’s always more.

Seriously.

Last week I attended a charity event. The entry price was to bring donations. I’m in a small, clutter-free home and had just done my routine spring weeding so didn’t think I had anything to donate. I even told the lady that invited me that I’d just weeded everything out and didn’t know that I’d have anything to offer. However, the afternoon of the event I decided to give it a good faith effort and go through my closets again. I set two guiding principles:

  • Does this present the image that I want?
  • Can someone else make better use of this than I am?

Then I got ruthless.

An hour later I had 3 bags full of donations.There's Always More You Can Let Go Of. - Organizing with a Side of Fabulous Blog

Pro tip: seasonal weed-outs help keep your home clutter free and organized. Once you’re done with the big clutter release and set good organizational systems in place, subsequent weedings shouldn’t take too long. Just a quick sweep to remove anything you don’t need, use, and love then you’re done!

When you’re working through major amounts of clutter, don’t look backward. You can keep track of how much you’ve let go of for posterity’s sake and to congratulate yourself at the end but don’t lament over it. It’s defeating and a useless way to spend your energy. Instead, focus on how your home makes you feel. If you like where things are at then fabulous, you’ve let go of enough. If not, continue to release clutter until you feel good about your home. It doesn’t matter how much has to be let go of to get there.

Are you frustrated that you’ve let go of clutter and aren’t seeing progress? Or are you too overwhelmed to even know where to start? Contact me or buy “Fabulous Foothold to Organization: A guide for getting started when you don’t know where to start” today! 

We can’t do it all, see it all, live it all.

We can't do it all, see it all, live it all. - Organizing with a Side of Fabulous BlogThe other day I was reading an article written by the child of a hoarder. She described the conditions of her mom’s home and how this was the last time she would ever spend the night in the home.

At the end of the article, I skimmed the comments. Yes, this is the second post in a row where I mention reading the comments…which I KNOW better than to do…ESPECIALLY with situations like this.

I’m happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised to discover many well-written, well-informed comments! Hooray!

One that I paid particular attention to was from a hoarder. There was one sentence that struck me:

I see dust forming on things and wonder if I’ll ever live long enough to use it all.

Sunshine, here’s the answer to that in two words:

You won’t.

None of us will. There is far too vast a world out there and far too many things, places, ideas, and more for any of us to be able to do it all.

And that’s OK.

How can we get past this?

  • For starters, know that you can’t do it all. Like the saying goes, “You can do anything but not everything.” This should bring relief not anxiety. If it brings anxiety, remind yourself of this until it provides relief.
  • Think about what you want to prioritize in your life. What are the things that light you up? Make you happy? Bring sparkle? Set your hair on fire? Write them down and keep them somewhere prominent. These are your touchstones when you start to spiral out with things that don’t matter as much.
  • Set goals – realistic ones but some crazy audacious ones too. Make sure these reflect your priorities. If they don’t reflect your priorities, you’re wasting time on junk that doesn’t matter.

Then from here forward, compare everything to those priorities and goals. Activities you participate in. Groups you’re a member of. People you’re friends with. (Oh yeah. I went there. Some people are just toxic and will thwart your dreams.) The items in your home. Everything. Think to yourself, “Does this reflect my priorities and goals?” If not, let it go guilt free. This creates space for the things that will support your priorities and goals. Sometimes this means letting go of good things to make room for that fabulous right fit. It’s good. It’ll happen.

So remember, Sunshine. You can’t do everything. Nobody can. We all have a finite amount of time on this earth so spend it wisely on the things that reflect your priorities and make you sparkle.

Still not convinced or need some help getting started in the right direction? Contact me or buy “Fabulous Foothold to Organization” today. 

Is Your Disorganization Legit or are You Just Being Lazy?

Is Your Disorganization Legit or are You Just Being Lazy? - Organizing with a Side of Fabulous BlogRedheaded Rant Alert.

As many of you may already know, my binder clip tip has gotten some awesome exposure. (Thanks Good Housekeeping and Lifehacker!) With this fabulous exposure, I’ve also made a rookie mistake.

I read some of the comments.

Why in the hell did I do that??? I know better!!!

But I did and here’s what I discovered:

Many people out there are really lazy and they love to bitch.

OK…maybe I didn’t *just* discover this. My stint in retail hell during undergrad taught me that.

I digress…

Since the complainers didn’t see the photos in their original context, they complained that it wouldn’t work for them or was an extra step or wasted space, blahblahblah.

In its original context, it’s perfect. And it works perfectly for me. I’ve never said that tip (or any of my tips) are the end all be all. As a matter of fact, many tips may not work for you. The best tips are the ones that work for your specific needs and home. Not all of them will fit. Like with all advice, take what works and let the rest fall away.

Still, I feel I need to address something that other organizers don’t really like to say but I know many want to and it needs to be said.

I’m known for my “tough love” anyway.

So here it is.

Stop being so freakin’ lazy!!!!

The majority of excuses I read and hear are just code for

L

A

Z

Y.

But we sure do like to get critical and cranky instead of sucking it up, taking ownership and taking action don’t we?

Don’t like something? Fix it or stop bitching. Whichever doesn’t matter but your current course of action is an absolute waste.

Waste of time.

Waste of energy.

Waste of breath.

Why don’t you take a step back and perhaps a nap as well.

So how do we overcome this?

  • Find and address the inefficiencies. – where in your schedule can you delegate, fine tune, or drop altogether.
  • Remove the clutter – creating space gives you the room needed to do whatever it is you want/need to do. Visual clutter is also draining so you’ll have more energy after letting go of what is no longer serving you.
  • Suck it up and go through the uncomfortable spaces so that you can get to the other side with the time and energy to be less lazy.

I’m not saying you can’t be lazy ever. But don’t make that your default. Some specific laziness is good. It’s called downtime and we all need it. But when it’s your default you’re not helping anyone…least of all yourself.

And you deserve better!

What is one thing can you do today to be less lazy and more organized?

Need assistance formulating a game plan or motivation to help you accomplish your organizing goals? Contact me or buy “Fabulous Foothold to Organization” today. 

Did We Invent Hoarding?

Did We Invent Hoarding? | Organizing with a Side of Fabulous BlogRedheaded Rant Alert.

Recently I discovered there’s a book out there with the premise that hoarding is made up by the media, psychologists, professional organizers, cleaning teams, etc. purely to make money.

It’s written by an English professor.

ENGLISH, Sunshines. Were we to Venn Diagram this I’m pretty sure the English knowledge circle and hoarding knowledge circle wouldn’t overlap.

The author even admits he has ZERO knowledge of hoarding itself. He just decided that it’s all made up and he’d write a book about it.

So now tell me who is it exploiting a situation to make money?

I’m so disgusted and pissed by this notion that I can’t even put it all into words to it yet. Other than this:

Spend some time with a true, clinical hoarder. Witness the tears, pain, depression, anxiety, and whole host of negative emotions that come along with this problem and then tell me it’s made up. That’s just the beginning of everything that needs to be parsed through and unraveled.

Then there’s working through the frustrations of the families.

The ever deteriorating conditions of the home.

Let’s not forget the negative effect it has on the neighboring houses and home values. Oh? You didn’t know that happened. Well as we all know, one crappy house can really drop home values. And if that home has pests, rodents, or any sort of animal issue? It’s most likely spread to the neighboring homes. I once had a client who had pest control come to her home every month to stand at her property line and spray towards the hoarder home next door. If not, she’d probably have been in the same state as the home on the opposite side of the hoarder. That lucky home had fleas even though they owned no pets.

Delightful, huh?

Oooh, we have to also keep in mind the first responders. Hoarding presents special hazards for them. Fort Worth’s Mayor told me of a time that fire had to call in for reinforcements because they couldn’t get to a heart attack victim. They had to call in more people so they could hand-pass the victim through the goat trails and out of the own home.  Hoarded homes pose quite a few difficulties if they catch on fire. I’ve read articles written by fire professionals so I’ll leave the finer details for them. Just know that the situation is dangerous for not only the hoarder, but also for the first responders as well as neighboring homes.

All of this? Just a glimpse into the full issue. A mere teeny glimpse.

I’m sure that everyone that has ever come into close contact with hoarding in some way wished it were made up. I’d be happy to find a new line of work if it meant that everyone out there lived in a safe, clean space that supported their life. But that’s not the case nor will it be anytime soon.

I get it. To the outside world it seems odd. How can someone live like that? How can one not notice what seems to be basic trash? But what a hoarder sees vs what you and I see are two very different things. Essentially, asking a hoarder why they can’t just “clean up” is like asking an armless person to give you a hug. It just doesn’t work the same way.

And yes, cleanup is expensive. It can be very expensive. I worked with one home that spent well over $50,000 on cleanup. So sure, it can look like we’re taking advantage of a situation to make money. However the truth is that we’re helping people through what is often some of the hardest and darkest times of their life.

So you, Pumpkin of the English degrees that I’m guessing had too many martinis one day, thought you had the “brilliant” idea that we’re all just making shit up, and decided to write a book that is out of your zone of genius? Time to reign it back in and write about what you know.

‪#‎endrant‬

Are you or is someone you love a hoarder? It’s real. It sucks. It takes a lot of time, patience, empathy, love, and work to get to the other side but it can be done. Need help knowing what to do or where to start? Contact me or buy “Fabulous Foothold to Organization” today.