Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Storage Solution Odyssey: Part 1

So, I've had an ongoing and unsuccessful search to find the most indestructible, attractive and affordable storage solution for the
Closetmaid Cubeical shelving units.
Product Image Closetmaid Cubeicals® 9 Cube Organizer White
I purchased 2 units, one 6 cube, the other 9. The obvious first choice was the fabric drawers that fit nicely into the 12 x 12 x 12 inch cubes. So, I bought some. And they worked... for a while. Now, the drawers are just fabric with some flimsy cardboard, which of course was no match for the boys. I swear they could be product testers. Those wouldn't do. I went about looking for more options, and found a few, but none met the necessary requirements:

1. Would not cause major bodily injury if item was thrown and struck a child. Notice I added "major." Bodily injury of the milder sort is too often an occurrence here. That disqualifies all heavy, rigid materials like wood or metal. I looked high and low for plastic bins, but couldn't find any the right size.

2. Affordable. Yeah, I'm not paying 40 bucks for storage that will hold my boys' matchbox cars.

3. Not ugly. This is when handmade storage can go bad. But did I let that stop me? No!

I concluded one day that the diaper boxes I buy would fit into the holes. So, I went out and bought some gift wrap. I wrapped the outside and bottom, and left a few inches to fold over into the inside of the box. The diaper boxes come with the cut-out handles, so I cut and glued some red foam sheets around the handle to reinforce it.

Thus far, it is an adequate storage solution. The gift wrap has held up longer than I thought. In subsequent projects, which I'll add later, I wrapped clear contact paper around them to protect the paper. It is inevitable that the boxes will get destroyed, but I'll only be out a dollar or so for the tape and gift wrap.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My New Favorite Online Cookbook

Herb-Grilled Chicken With Watermelon-Feta Salad
I've found myself in a cooking rut lately. I've got about a dozen recipes memorized that I put into circulation, mostly to make grocery shopping easier - the same things, every week. Then I discovered, and more specifically, their 1 list, 5 meals under the "quick and easy" tab. They put 5 tasty and easy meals together and a shopping list that you can print out! I'm on my second week. I can recommend weeks 5 and 10. I made watermelon and feta salad (see above) last night (it's really good, I promise), which beat having chicken casserole or spaghetti for the umpteenth time. And it's encouraged my boys to try more things. They're actually not very picky, but this helps.