Monday, January 30, 2012

Get Organizing Tips from The Amandas

If you don't know by now I have this obsession with organizing. Since I live in a house with others I try not to be so strict about things going back into there places as much as I would like to. My relationship with my family is the most important. Most times I pick things up and put things away without even giving it a second thought but since I'm raising kids I do have a job to teach them to be responsible and I do a pretty good job I must say.

I don't get to watch much tv during the day and in the evenings I may watch a couple of recorded shows from the Tivo with hubby. It's our alone time.

If you like reality tv like I do and you are an organizing junkie. There is a new show airing tonight (1/30/12) at 8pm eastern on the Style Network.  This show seems to speak my language and Amanda LeBlanc feels the way I feel but isn't afraid to let her Amandas know it.

After Katrina hit New Orleans, Amanda had to start a new life elsewhere. Now she resides in Birmingham, AL and her organizing business is booming. She does work for anyone who needs it including the celebs and her team TThe Amandas help her to get everything in tip top shape. The show is called what else? The Amandas.

Will you watch? I'm sure she'll share some tips as I have here plus much more I'd love to learn.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How to Easily Organize Any Space In Your Home

Each day that I walk home from Aliya's bus stop I chat with one of my neighbors who also has a child that rides the bus with her. We basically share our thoughts on general things like life, kids and whatever we can think of for our five minute catch up as we walk home.

I work from home and I didn't have the previous day scheduled to work so me being my Martha Stewart self (I like to think so) kept myself busy. I told her how I organized Ayanna's entire closet before she came home from school. My neighbor asked me how in the world do I #1 organize and how do I do it before her return from school. It lit up my good idea light bulb above my head to share how easy it can be to organize any room in your home well and rediscover the real definition of time management.

My step by step tips on organizing any space in your home.

1. Go in with a plan. Study the area. Before you begin be certain what your goal is going to be.

2. Things you may need: sticky notes, box(es), pen or pencil and a garbage bag(s). I'll tell you why later.

3. Now that you're prepared. Remember stay focused. I do not turn on distractions like TV's but I do    perform better with my tunes so music is never far away.

4. This is the fun part. Completely and I mean completely empty your space and leave nothing. During this step you may as well clean your space so when you return items they're stored in a clean and beautiful space.

5. Now everything that you've taken out needs to be sorted by the following catagories. This may or may not apply to your space so make your own judgement. "Keep" "*Store" "Donate" "Trash" This is where the sticky notes and other items come in. I used to stick my notes on the wall in the hallway or where ever I have space. I'd prefer to keep the notes and the trash bag as close as possible so that I can stay in my work space until I'm done. The trash label may not be of good use to you, technically what I do is use my trash bag for this step and throw the trash away as soon as I see it. I don't hesitate.

6. Once you really get good at this organizing thing you won't really need to label things for sorting unless you wish to but if you have a partner helping you with the job then its a good idea to keep this step to avoid confusion later.

7. Fill your box(es) with the items that you can donate to your local donation drop off center and donate that day or as soon as possible to prevent sentimental set backs.

8. Now the items you're keeping can go back into the space only if you're not choosing to purchase *bins or *containers. Now you can neatly fill your containers and label them so that the person or people using them knows where to find things and return them when not in use. At this point everything you're keeping should be returned to your clean and organized space.

You'll be proud of yourself that you've gone from something like this.

To something like this. I know what you're thinking. These are not the same closets but you are certainly catching my drift right?

*If you are choosing to purchase bins or containers for your space make sure that you measure the space(s) that you're putting a particular set of items as well as measure those items going into back into that space. That way your items will fit perfectly. If you already have something at home to contain your items. (I love doing this). You can save some big mulah!

Tip: Dollar stores have varieties of containers for a fraction of the cost if your budget cannot stretch enough to purchase some from top organizing retailers. Either way you can still make your space organized and beautiful.

*If you chose to use the "store" catagory. You can use a box or bin to store things away that you plan to keep but just maybe out of season for example. My fave for this step are bins, they especially keep clothes dry and  smelling fresh also they keep them free from critters that are known to be attracted to cardboard boxes.

Now that you've learned how I can organize any room in my home. I hope that this has been helpful to some of you. Please share with me what you think? Do you already have a organizing regimen? Please share your tips.

Always remember.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Yanli Home Quick Tip: Fashion

My girls absolutely love boots. Thank goodness we live in a state that allows us to do that often. Even though each of us (the girls) have at least one pair pair of skinny jeans we are not huge fans. Not that they aren't cute its just that our figures aren't made for them. We feel more comfortable in a relaxed fit jean which most times ends up being a pair of boot cut. Of course boot cut isn't the perfect pair of jeans for an Ugg or the like type of boot. My fix on this has always been to grab the bulk of the boot cut leg and neatly wrap it around my leg and slip my foot right into the boot.

My mini me's have also learned to do this but my youngest fashionista grumbles if everything isn't right from head to toe before school. Recently, Aliya complained about how her jeans ride up her leg and out of the boot before too long.

I came up with a quick fix and she tested it for two days with success. Yay! Gold star for Mommy.

I followed the same technique as mentioned above since it really does work but for her I took two strips of transparent tape. The width on day one was much slimmer than in this photo. I just grabbed what was available and Voila! it worked like a charm. I usually cuff it a little first before I tape in order for it to adhere better. Result a happy little camper on the way to school. Not to mention it was a cold and cloudy winter day. What fashion secrets do you have?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Storage Quick Tip

Hi I'm Delicia and I'm an organized-aholic. All kidding aside I've loved organizing for as long as I can remember. As the season's change I tend to change also. I go crazy switching things around to better organize our home. My focus has been both of my daughters bedrooms this week.

One thing I'd like to share with you is to never take things you have laying around the house for granted, you just may need them someday. When you're consistently finding ways to organize things you tend to collect all types of containers either being utilized or laying around awaiting a new reason to store things for you. Well my creative juices were flowing today and I totally overlooked the containers that I had on hand and created a wonderful idea for the girls old pencil boxes that were stored away.

I lucked out and found two of them so I didn't hesitate to get to work.  I had to scrub crayon marks out of them but once that was done they were good as new.

Both of the girls have the same chest of drawers and nightstands in their rooms. I'm always talking to Aliya about clutter in the drawers after I help her clean them out. Its not her fault you see cleaning a space without an actual home for items in that space totally sets a person up for disaster later don't you agree? Especially for a little kiddo. Keeping the pencil box opened instead of closing it creates extra storage for things like gadgets or anything small that gets used often. Here we put items like her book light, camera, sd card, cell phone for emergency purposes and her little music players in the compartments.

It fits very well in her top drawer of her nightstand. The top drawers on the girls furniture are lined with some sort of felt-like material for more delicate things which is the dark appearance you see underneath but we decided to put the things that she uses often in this space for convenience. So what do you think? What things have you found around the house that come in handy for your organizing projects?

Organize and Decorate Everything

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Quick and Easy Semi Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

I haven't made chicken pot pie for dinner in such a long time but it has always been a fave with the family. Anything that gets kid approval always gets an A in book. Yes I know that chicken pot pie isn't the healthiest meal but the temperature is expected to drop drastically tonight due to our 1st snow of the winter so I thought why not make something just perfect for cold weather. I call this semi homemade chicken pot pie because is. Makes me feel so Sandra Lee-ish.

All you need is Chicken Broth, a family size can of Cream of Chicken Soup, Mixed Veggies, Bisquick. Oh and let's not forget (in my french speaking voice) the piece of resistance..the chicken.

I really like my chicken shredded in pot pie. I've tried it different ways with shredded chicken being the leader of the pack. I prepare my chicken breast by poking holes in the breast to allow seasonings to marinate throughout the chicken then I season it with salt, pepper and a little onion powder. Now I marinate it in the refrigerator for about 1hour. Of course, I washed the chicken before the prep. Then I pour about 1/2 of the chicken broth in a stock pot and boil the chicken. I diluted the broth with a little water but you do not have to add this step.

After the broth comes to a boil go ahead and drain the chicken and allow it to cool to the point of handling. Once cooled enough for you go ahead and pull the chicken apart with a fork. I always use two forks for this process. One to hold and one to pull.

Now you can put the cream of chicken, veggies and chicken in a glass dish about 9x9 in size. Sit the mixture aside and make up a batch of bisquick. I guesstimate the amount here so you'll have to play around with how much to use for your liking. Now just pour the bisquick mixture on top of the pot pie mixture.

Place your meal in the oven until bisquick is golden this can take approximately 25-30 minutes depending on your oven.

Last step! Call the family down to dinner. Let me know what you think? What's your favorite cold weather meal?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Make Grocery Shopping a Breeze Plus Organizing Tips

I know that everyone's starting with a clean slate seeing that its the beginning of a brand New Year and as I was in the midst my weekly menu planning plus grocery list this past weekend I thought about all of you. For some time now we have had a system that works great for us. If I'm not mistaken my hubby came up with the idea and its been a weekly ritual of ours ever since.

In the beginning we would take a scrap sheet of paper or an opened and empty envelope to draw a line straight down the middle, one side would contain our menu and the other our shopping list. We always jot down the menu 1st then we start the list with the the things that we buy on a weekly basis like milk, fruit, lunch items for the kids etc. then from there we'll add anything that we need from the menu side plus miscellaneous if applicable and we're done.

Since the days back when, I've made up a printable to work with instead. It can be printed as often as you would like or to save paper it can be laminated and you can use a washable pen to jot things down. The menu side has the days of the week to easily organize the days you'd like to have breakfast, lunch and dinner (which are initialed under each day). There is a snack section below that can be used separately as you may like to change those items around a bit as we do. I'd like to share this printable with you. Let me know what you think.

                         (download free printable here).

American Girl Bedding

This weekend has been so busy and I don't really feel as if I accomplished as much as I should have. I try my best to make the most of the weekends to spend with the girls since school pretty much takes up their time during the week.

Aliya has been anxious to make an entire bedroom for her American Girl Doll and with a little supervision from mom things went great. Her idea was to make her own American Girl Bedding for her new doll. My darling is a beginner sewer and hubby has taught her so much. She made her doll a bed out of the box she came in by taking an old pair of satin pajama pants and stuffed it. Then she placed it in the doll box for a mattress.

She took an old shirt from her sister with dreams of sewing a comforter. Here she is pinning the shirt in order to prep things up for stitching here.

She sewed this as if you were to sew a pillow. The stitching was done with the shirt inside out on every side that was opened leaving a small hole big enough to stuff toward the end.

Since we were out of Poly Fil we used what was left of some puffy snow for Christmas decorating projects. It worked perfectly. Once she closed the final stitch she then used fabric glue to adhere a ribbon and flower on for a final touch.

Here is her finished product. I brought the bed to the kitchen table where there was more natural light. Unfortunately, we haven't been getting much of that around here lately.

Here she is napping in her bed. So what do you think? Not bad for an 11 year old that has only been sewing for about two weeks don't you agree? Do you sew? What easy projects have you done?

Linked over at     How Sweet the Sound

Friday, January 6, 2012

New Breakfast Ideas For the Kiddos

I don't know if your kids are like mine but they actually prefer to eat right and exercise. Now I'm not saying they're perfect by any means, I have one who loves fruits and veggies and another who hand picks what she likes in those food groups but still she just like her lil' sis wants to do what she can to be healthy so I decided to change things up a bit from the same old same old. You know like grilled cheese on this day, pancakes on this day, oh I know! Cereal on another. By the way Aliya (my youngest is not a fan of cereal or oatmeal) so she's definitely my challenge but she's also the one who loves veggies from raw to cooked and adores any fruit. We'd noticed that our entire family had been packing the pounds but for the girls it was because they were no longer in any physical extracurriculars like they used to be.. Ayanna was a cheerleader this past Fall for her school football team but now the season is over so yeah! (as the girls would say) :)

So I came up with two options this week to add to the breakfast menu, by the way they both contained eggs so I prepared to get creative with how I prepared them. **Notice I use the word so a lot?** Oh well. I've shared some pics of what I made. If you haven't heard about my camera fiasco you can read about it here. Then you'll understand why the shots aren't at there best. I can barely see my images on my screen before I shoot. sniff. sniff.

Since I have one girl in middle school now and one in her last year of grade school the girls have different schedules therefore breakfast for them is as at different times. Ayanna had this for breakfast as well and was on the school bus once I had a chance to snap this. I take turns eating breakfast with each of the girls on alternating days if I have time. Thursday was Aliya's day and yes I ate from a kiddie plate hey I'm sure you've done it too.

Okay so this is what I call our 'Egg White and Cheese Bagelwich' I basically separated the egg whites from the yolks. I learned to do this with the eggshells after I crack them so I don't use an egg separator but if you have one great! I pretty much fry the eggs in a nonstick pan and place them on the bagels with a slice of cheddar cheese. I actually toasted the bagels in the pan 1st before I cooked the eggs. I try my best to balance our meals with something healthy as much as possible so Aliya had strawberries and I had them with bananas. Let's not forget an ice cold kiddie serving of o.j.

Today I made a pretty good breakfast burrito. Here I made the eggs scrambled with only one yolk to  the other eggs which gave them them a slightly yellow color almost like Egg Beaters. I also made bacon on my George Foreman Grill to rid all of that extra fat. Now its time to get creative. Depending on your preference you can add a little shredded cheese, salsa, a dallop of Daisy etc. Roll it up and enjoy. Today we had grapes on the side with a kid sized serving of a.j. (that's apple juice teehee).

My mom gave me this tid bit that if I'm not mistaken she got from my big bro. When cooking on your indoor grill we all know that it can be a mess at times to clean. Just place aluminum foil on the grill plates, cook then throw away when finished. Cleanup is a snap and you see how crispy that bacon is? Love it!

I'd love to here about some of your breakfast ideas.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Another Year is Here

I cannot believe that it's 2012 can you? Well we're four days into it and just like you I've gathered up a list of things that I'd like to accomplish this year. I know that this may not be an accomplishment but it will be to me you see this past summer my oldest daughter mistakenly dropped my new camera on the driveway while playing with her sister it was only several months old, she still gets sad when I mention the word camera because I loved it so much. So I definitely would LOVE to get a new one. I've been trying to doctor the one that was broken but I can only see half of the screen when shooting so we'll see. In the meantime let me rundown my goals for the year as well as squeeze that camera in there somewhere and I'll even show you a pic of what I really yearn for. So here we go:

2012 GOALS

  1. Every year I'd like to be healthier than I was last year. ;-) Cliche I know but true.
  2. Continue on my journey to be green by adding something new to my list of saving the planet.
  3. Make more special time especially for hubby and especially for the girls.
  4. Getting my new blog up and running to share with the world.
  5. Did I mention get a new camera...
  6. Give our family room an extreme makeover.
  7. Reface the stairs throughout our home.
  8. Make acquaintance with you beautiful bloggers that share my interests.
  9. and the rest.... because its a bunch ya know.... we'll just play it by ear.


Please join me in keeping your fingers crossed for me.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Who's Behind Yanli Home

So who's behind Yanli Home? Let me introduce myself my name is Delicia and I'm a wife of a great guy by the name of  Joe and a Mom of two beautiful girls named Ayanna and Aliya their names helped conceive Yanli Home. Ayanna means " beautiful flower" and Aliya means "highly exhalted one" depending on which origin you go by but they pretty much mean the same thing. Joe's middle sister Angela calls the three of them the "A" team which is self explanatory but also because the three of them share birthdays within days of one another how cute is that. We also have a four legged member of our family named Biscuit he's an American Bulldog who's over 100 pounds and loves attention from the ladies.

We live in an old fixer upper that's over 3decades old. So much has been done already pertaining to renovations and updates but we still have so much more to accomplish here and we'd like for you to join us with what the future holds.

I'm no stranger to blogging but what I used to do wasn't fully where my heart really was. Now I can finally say that it is. Like most people I am a lady who's head has been full of dreams since I was a youngster but somewhere over the years after marriage and our beautiful family I put my dreams on the back burner because well life set in and the only way we knew how to stay afloat was for me to go back to work to bring in a second income. That was the way our parents did it and well that's the only way that we knew how to do it. I was a stay at home Mom for 18months before that with Ayanna. Aliya never had the pleasure of Mommy being home with her as a baby poor sweetie has been in school her entire life it seems.

So here's the rundown on those dreams I'd mentioned earlier. You see ever since I was little I always wanted to be an interior designer and never pursued it. Also I've always had a thing about things being in their place so dreams of becoming a pro organizer worked its way into the equation of things that I didn't pursue. I cannnot forget to mention how I've always loved baking and crafts since I was about 12 years old. Now Ayanna is the little chef in our house and Aliya's dreams of designing clothes have already taken off, her Dad taught her how to use a sewing machine within mintues and the same day she sewed her 1st smock. Fancy that how DNA shuffles talents around and they never knew about  my past interests until recently.

My goal here at Yanli Home is to share a variety of our ideas with you from DIY projects, decorating, organizing, designing, recipes and so much more. So please be sure to subscribe and in the meantime if you have a question I'd love to receive it at

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