These are some teas I’ve been testing out. Some I liked, some I don’t care for and wouldn’t buy again. The Tea Trials have begun!

Blueberry Tea from Disney Parks Alice in Wonderland 12 Flavor Tea Variety Pack: Smells like a blueberry muffin while steeping. Doesn’t have a strong blueberry flavor. An okay tea if you want flavored hot water.

Mint Tea from Disney Parks Alice in Wonderland 12 Flavor Tea Variety Pack: Before steeping, the tea bag has a nice minty smell. Once the tea’s been steeped, there’s hardly any flavor or aroma coming from the tea. Similarly to the Blueberry tea, it’s alright if you’re looking for slightly flavored hot water.

Aveda Comforting Tea: I was given a few of these tea bags by a friend, whose favorite tea this is. Before steeping, the tea had a sent I couldn’t place. Turns out this tea is mainly comprised of licorice root and peppermint. I’m not a fan of licorice flavor, but this tea doesn’t have that. The tea also leaves an odd aftertaste in your mouth, which could possibly be the licorice root.

Bigelow Benefits Ginger & Peach Herbal Tea: This tea smells sooooo good, before you even brew it! As a hot tea, it tastes alright. As the tea cools, it tastes better. In addition to the obvious ginger and peach flavor, it has licorice root and fennel in it.

Bigalow Peppermint in the blue box. This is my go-to everyday tea. Along with the Raspberry tea, this tea is one I’ve drunk from the very beginning. Has a strong, peppermint flavor and aroma that I love. Not a fan of mixed mint teas or spearmint. This may offend many tea enthusiasts, but I can get 3 large mugs of tea from 1 bag, roughly the equivalent of 1 ½ teapots of tea.

Lemon-Ginger: First discovered this combo in England. Twinnings, the quintessential English brand, doesn’t stand up flavor-wise as much as Lipton. Lipton brand had a stronger flavor and the tea bag could be reused as least twice. Bigalow’s version was okay, but I’d only settle for it if I couldn’t find Lipton.

Zhena’s Gypsy Egyptian Mint-Rose Loose Left Tea: This is one of my fancier teas. It came in a glass jar with a wooden spoon, and was on the expensive side.

Red Raspberry: I cling to this one out of nostalgia. It was my first foray into herbal teas. I now find it bitter and don’t drink it as often as I used to.  

Tazo Calm Chamomile Tea: This was my first chamomile tea. Right off the bat, I liked how it smelled dry. In my opinion, this is a tea that needs to cool to room temperature or go cold to taste good. I did not care for how it tasted hot.

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In this video, I do an in-depth look at Alton Brown’s Kitchen User’s Manual. It’s a wonder resource and binder to keep your favorite recipes and notes about said recipes organized.

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Clara’s Kitchen reminded me of my Italian great-grandmother for some reason. Maybe it’s because Clara was a first generation Italian-America, whose parents came over from Italy. Anyways, enjoy my video book review:

Clara has her own YouTube channel! I’m slowly watching all the videos. You can find it here.

Thank you for stopping by and spending some of your time with me. If you enjoyed this post, you are welcome to subscribe so you don’t miss any new blog posts or videos.

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This is a follow up post to my Freezer Inventory List post. If you thought I was nuts for wanting you to keep track of what’s in your freezer, hold on to your hat! Now I’m going more radical and tackling the abyss that is the Pantry via the pantry inventory.

I’m aware of all the apps that are available for smart phones. I’ve tried six of them. However, after scanning the UPC code, I still had to input information: volume, description, quantity, etc. I found this incredibly annoying since I can write faster than I can type on my cell phone.

So I quickly noted what a particular product was (diced tomatoes, 14.25 oz, quant: 6), and moved on. I do not mark down brands, which the single except ion of Rotel ® tomatoes.

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After all the notes are made and items are stuffed back onto the shelves (usually I organize as I go, but not this time), I type the full list and tape it inside the door.

There are somethings I do not add to the inventory list: breakfast items, snack pages, and paper goods. I use highlighter to cross-off items as we use them.

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Now, I bet some of you are wondering how I add items to this list and/or do I retype it every time. To add items, I either add them to the margins of the typed list or on a separate piece of paper, which is also taped inside the door. That means I don’t retype the list.

So despite the OCD, Type A groove this post is taking, since I don’t retype every single update, I’m not that crazy, right?

Every couple of months, I do a recount and update. I should probably reprint at that point. We’re actually due for another recount and reorganize. Just need to get the printer working.

How do you organize your pantry?

© Cori Large 22 Oct 2016

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I’m a list person. Always have been. When my husband and I purchased a chest freezer in the Spring of 2015, I was concerned about how we would keep track of what we had stored in there. Having one of the stand-up style freezers growing up, which was difficult enough to keep organized, I was unsure of how we wouldn’t lose food items in a 10 cubic foot chest. Here is how I set up a freezer inventory:

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In my quick video and subsequent blog post, March 2015 Meat Haul, we purchased 129 pounds of meat product. That’s a lot of meat to keep track of. We made a list of how we broke things down, i.e. 5 bags of 5 drumsticks each. After the breakdown, clean up, and sterilization of the kitchen, I typed up the list.

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The intention was to highlight the item when it was removed from the freezer. And as long as we remembered to do that, it was a great system. You’ll notice some stuff isn’t highlighted. Two reasons: either we forgot to highlight or it’s still in the freezer somewhere. I also left additional space at the bottom of the list so we could add additional items.

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Occasionally, when the freezer starts to get frosted over on the inside, we’ll do a quick scrape and clean out of all the built up frost. It’s when we’re putting items back into the freezer, I go through the list and make notes so I can update it. As you can see from the pictures, we’re due for another update soon.

This may seem like a really OCD, over the top, and complicated thing to do, but it has helped without meal planning and grocery budgeting.

Stay tuned for the follow up post on my pantry inventory. Yes, I am that nuts.

© Cori Large 19 Oct 2016

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I was never a fan of sugar cookies. My all-time favorite cookie is the chocolate peanut butter chip cookies on the back of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Chip bag. My brother is quite the sugar cookie fan. So why am I bothering with a post about chocolate sugar cookies?

Well, between the chocolate peanut butter cookies and my topping my morning waffles with peanut butter and Nutella, I have a slight obsession with chocolate and peanut butter. I found this recipe on Pinterest (linked below) and all I could think was I could smear peanut butter on these!!!

I haven’t made sugar cookies in any form in probably 20 years. They were part of the Christmas cookie rotation my mom went through each year during her baking spree.

This recipe can be found at the blog: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2016/03/07/chocolate-sugar-cookies/.

Pre-Rolling:

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On the Cooling Rack:

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The cookie cutters I used were: a witch’s hat, a broom, a maple leaf, an acorn, another leaf shape (blanking on the type of leaf!), and a small half-moon shape to get as many cookies out of that dough as possible. I also managed to get all of them on my large cookie sheet.

I, of course, had to Quality Control this batch. Being the type of cookie lover that prefers a chewier cookie, these passed my test! They were still too warm (read: fragile) to smear with peanut butter.

Once they completely cooled, I added whipped peanut butter. And the result….it was alright. The cookie itself isn’t very sweet, which is fine by me. But peanut butter frosting would probably be a better choice.

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Husband likes them too! Normally, he’s a firmer cookie lover, but he liked how chewy these turned out to be.

My husband and I are both cookie monsters, so I don’t expect these cookies to be hanging around long. Plain or “frosted” with PB, I think these chocolate sugar cookies are marvelous! I never thought about looking for a chocolate sugar cookie recipe. I’m glad this one popped up into my Pinterest feed.

© Cori Large 1 Nov 2016

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Here are this month’s blog links. I haven’t read all of them yet, unlike some months. Enjoy!

Business Related Blog Links:

Etsy Alternatives: 5 Places to Sell Your Handmade Items https://blog.scottsmarketplace.com/etsy-alternatives/

17 Ways to Prevent a Burnout Before It Happens http://personalself.com/preventing-burnout/

How much money to you really need to make? http://erineflynn.com/how-much-money-do-you-really-need-to-make/

Staying Organized & On Task (Even if it’s not your forte) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/women-entrepreneurs-we-nyc/staying-organized-and-on-_b_10616808.html

Cooking Related Blog Links:

Substitutions http://www.blissfulanddomestic.com/2016/06/my-go-to-baking-ingredient-substitution.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BlissfulAndDomestic+%28Blissful+and+Domestic%29&safe=strict

Pear and Pecan Summer Salad w/ Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing http://www.disneyinyourday.com/2016/06/17/pear-pecan-summer-salad-recipe/

2 Ingredient Bread Sticks http://www.onionringsandthings.com/2016/06/two-ingredient-breadsticks/

Salted Caramel Mocha Pudding Cookies http://sequinsinthesouth.com/salted-caramel-mocha-pudding-cookies/

Finance Related Blog Links:

5 Financial Myths Busted! http://www.financiallyfitandfab.com/5-financial-myths-busted/

Homesteading:

Growing Drying Beans http://homespunseasonalliving.com/grow-drying-beans-for-food-security/

Knitting Related Blog Links:

Yarn Shops & Knitting Shops in Florida http://yarnplaces.com/directory/yarn-shops/fl/

Savannah, GA Yarn Shops & Knitting Shops http://yarnplaces.com/directory/yarn-shops/ga/savannah/

Findaly, OH Yarn Shops & Knitting Shops http://yarnplaces.com/directory/yarn-shops/oh/findlay/

Planner Related Blog Links:

WTF is a Bullet Journal https://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelwmiller/how-to-start-a-bullet-journal?utm_term=.mxOwQLNdpl&bffbbooks#.qdB3qpNmRr

You Know You’re A Planner Addict When… http://stationerystarlet.blogspot.com/2016/02/you-know-youre-planner-addict-when.html

You Can Plan Anywhere https://timemanagementninja.com/2016/06/you-can-plan-anywhere/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TimeManagementNinja+%28Time+Management+Ninja%29

What Has Your Planner Done for You? http://myfilofaxblogat.blogspot.com/2016/06/what-has-your-planner-done-for-you.html

How to Use Bound Journals http://www.leatherquillshoppe.com/blog/how-to-use-bound-journals

Webster’s Pages TN Review and Set Up https://thestationerygeekette.com/2016/05/31/websters-pages-tn-review-and-set-up/

Thoughts on Planner Peace http://myfilofaxblogat.blogspot.com/2016/06/thoughts-on-planner-peace.html

Maximize Your Time, Use It Wisely https://thefabulousplanner.wordpress.com/2016/05/30/maximize-your-time-use-it-wisely/

How I Got Out of My Planner Rut http://liveloveplanners.blogspot.com/2016/04/how-i-got-out-of-my-planner-rut.html

Turn Off Distractions—Stay Focused with Your Planner https://thefabulousplanner.wordpress.com/2016/04/02/turn-off-distractions-stay-focused-with-your-planner/

A Year of Planning—How Things Change https://zoeplans.wordpress.com/2016/03/27/a-year-of-planning-how-things-change/

5 Reasons You Do Have Time to Plan Your Day https://timemanagementninja.com/2016/02/5-reasons-you-do-have-time-to-plan-your-day/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TimeManagementNinja+%28Time+Management+Ninja%29

My Love-Hate Relationship with My Planner http://srplanner.blogspot.com/2016/02/my-love-hate-relationship-with-my.html

Five Ideas to Make a Planner Work for You https://thefabulousplanner.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/five-ideas-to-make-a-planner-work-for-you/

How to Make All Those Lists Work in Your Planner http://www.giftieetcetera.com/2016/06/how-to-make-all-those-lists-work-in.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GiftieEtcetera+%28Giftie+Etcetera%29&safe=strict

Traveler’s Notebook Bullet Journal: Finding What Worked for Me http://www.passionthemedlife.com/2016/06/16/travelers-notebook-bullet-journal-finding-what-worked-for-me/

Random Blog Links:

Minimalist Living http://howtogyst.com/minimalist-living/

For the Love of Money or Happiness https://jaycolby.com/2016/06/15/for-the-love-of-money-or-happiness/

How to Find Focus as a Multi-Passionate Entrepreneur http://www.strangecharmed.com/business/how-to-find-focus-as-a-multi-passionate-entrepreneur/

Why are Affluent Millennials Shopping in Dollar Stores? http://www.forbes.com/sites/retailwire/2016/06/21/why-are-affluent-millennials-shopping-in-dollar-stores/#155fc5ee7453

You Don’t Have to Do Anything…Really You Don’t! https://timemanagementninja.com/2016/04/you-dont-have-to-do-anything-really-you-dont/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TimeManagementNinja+%28Time+Management+Ninja%29

The Story Behind the Monopoly Pieces http://coolmaterial.com/feature/the-story-behind-monopoly-pieces/?utm_source=coolhunting.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=pubexchange_article

Writing Related Blog Links:

Freelance Links http://blogalog75.wix.com/queenolinks#!Freelance-Writing/pzst9/574c32220cf23b0100897fad

How to Start Freelancing in 8 Easy Steps http://www.alexiapbullard.com/blog/how-to-start-freelancing-8-steps

Three Reasons Why Writing Matters http://www.iamtypecast.com/2016/04/writing-matters.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Typecast2000+%28Typecast%29

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