5 Things You Need in Your Pantry RIGHT NOW

This cabinet in my kitchen is to the right of my stove. In it, I keep vinegar, oil and cooking spray. There were also some mismatched bowls that I hid because they’re an eyesore and baking supplies. Lately, things were feeling a little crammed so I decided to de-clutter and make new.

1. Food storage containers I picked up a few more storage containers and it’s amazing how much better it looks. Things are easy to find and I can see at a glance what I have. Just make sure to LABEL!!!
2. Shelf Riser I repurposed my shelf riser to store pantry extras and to give the bottom shelf a little more breathing room. I relocated the mismatched bowls to a corner cabinet (which now makes way more sense).
3. Lazy Susan In a small cabinet like this, a lazy susan is magic. MAGIC PEOPLE.
4. Clear Handle Bin This stores my cooking oils which were too tall for the lazy susan and utilized the ‘like with like’ organizing principle. I can pull down the entire container and get out what I need.
5. Label the heck out of EVERYTHING.

The 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge

A guest blog by Bneato team member Lauren Mang

I first learned of the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge from Pinterest while browsing organization ideas (follow my Hyper Organized Board if you dare). If you haven’t already signed up for a Pinterest account, I highly recommend you do. It’s an amazing and essential tool for the paperless lifestyle!

Back to the challenge… My interest was peaked as soon as I realized it was a giant list of rooms/areas to purge. The 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge has been featured on a couple of different blogs, but I first learned of it on Little Lucy Lu’s page where she states ‘I love throwing things away like it’s nobody’s business. No, you don’t understand… I LOVE IT.’ Is this woman me?! Because I love it, too!

Here’s the breakdown: Rid your life/house of 40 bags of ‘stuff’ during the 40 days of Lent (which begins February 13, 2013 this year). This includes: junk, clutter, garbage, or things you no longer use or love. Bags do not have to mean great big giant garbage bags – they can be any kind of bag: ziplock bag, brown paper lunch bag, shopping bag, plastic bag, or even 95 gallon trash bags (yes, those exist). You can use the list above (from Little Lucy Lu) or you can create your own list according to your own needs. The point is, challenge yourself to really evaluate your items and make decisions of what you need and what you don’t.

Donate your bags to charity, or if you must, put them in the trash. Lent is traditionally a time when devote Catholics repent or fast. According to Wikipedia, today’s Catholics usually ‘give up a vice of theirs, add something that will bring them closer to God, and often give the time or money spent doing that to charitable purposes or organizations.’ It sounds like this challenge covers all three!

So take a page out of a Catholic’s book and give up clutter, give up junk, give up things you no longer love or use. At the end of 40 days you’ll have a better appreciation for the things you kept, and maybe even a small addiction to purging. Trust me, it’s one of the best feelings in the world. We can all learn to live with less… in a matter of only forty days.

*side note: if you read this post after February 13, 2013, feel free to still take on the challenge. You can tailor it to your needs: do 2-3 areas or bags a day, instead  There are no rules other than doing your best to rid yourself of clutter!

How To: Prevent Buying Doubles

how many times has this happened to you? you find yourself at the grocery store and on a whim, you decide to pick up ingredients for a new dish. only you don’t recall if you’ve got the thyme and oregano that the dish calls for. you’re pretty sure that you don’t have the spices and decide that it’s better to be safe than sorry and make the spice purchases. only to get home and realize that you are now the owner of double jars of thyme and oregano. oy vey. for me, this only had to happen once to realize that i didn’t want it to ever happen again. and since spices (in my kitchen) last forever (because I rarely cook)–it would take me a decade to get through them all. my solution? EVERNOTE!! follow along as i show you how to create a quick and easy reference tool for your future grocery shopping trips!

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Canned Good Zen

A guest blog by Bneato Team Member Lauren

With all the Hurricane Sandy (a.k.a Frankenstorm – really?!) hysteria on the east coast, it has us west coasters believing even more that the ‘big one’ is just around the corner. A client I was working with the other day freely admitted that she was having earthquake vibes.

Having lived in California before, I am no stranger to earthquakes. Granted, they were not large ones, so I can’t say I’m necessarily looking forward to the ‘big one’ but I’m certainly not scared. A large part of my assurance comes from the fact that I have a really great emergency stock pile which includes a lot of canned goods!

Unfortunately, there aren’t many options when it comes to canned goods organization. The Container Store has a couple, but one of them makes no sense to me (the step/platform one). It would be fine for a store/window display but doesn’t seem functional in a real kitchen. I do like their three tier shelf system – which holds A LOT of cans – so much so that I bought two! Oddly, they don’t have this on the website, but I have purchased it in two different stores, so they are out there.

This new system helps me keep things in order by category; allows me to see what I have at a glance which is helpful when it comes to inventory and restocking; but it also makes me happy when I open up the cabinet for a can of soup (now that it’s fall). Ahhhh, canned good zen.

kitschy kitchen hooks

spotted the online store, gretel, via stylist this morning and had to take a peek. fell in love with these hooks—not to mention their mantra on all things home,

We do believe in love at first sight (impulse buys), but we don’t believe in excess. Gretel’s collection is carefully curated and uncluttered, so that your home can be too.

now i just have to decide which color i like better… black or white? great hostess gift for the cook in your life (which will pair up nicely with yesterday’s culinary inspired treat).

search your books via EYB

my client turned me onto EYB (aka eat your books) yesterday and i couldn’t be more thrilled to be in the know. they tout it as a “search engine for your cookbooks,” which is pretty freaking cool. and even though my collection of cookbooks consists of a measly bunch that add up to three, most of my clients would greatly benefit from this digital service. how does it work, you ask? a $2.50 monthly fee gets your entire library of books on your ‘digital shelf’. that way, you can search for the best chicken recipe at the drop of a hat. you can do a test run for free which allows for 5 books to see if you want to upgrade. i also think this would make a great gift to the chefs in your life…


simple and affordable pot rack… can you dig it?


i was hanging with my gal pal, abby, before i left town and noticed the pot rack in her kitchen. and while i’ve always noticed it, i guess i really paid attention to it this time. probably because abby moved her office into her kitchen so we  now spend more time in there chatting and hanging out. hers was a gift from her brother found at bed bath & beyond but apparently they don’t carry the line anymore. i did find it online at wal-mart and amazon and really find it very stylish. if i had pots & pans to display, i’d definitely go for this model.

p.s. it’s affordable. like for reals.

maximizing kitchen space via apartment therapy


i’ve been trying to get out from under a major sinus infection since sunday. every time i try and get on the computer to do work, my brain shuts down. but yesterday, i managed to stay on long enough to spot this angelino heights home on apartment therapy, los angeles (my old stomping ground). turns out, i was at this house this summer as it’s right down the street from me. they were having a craft fair which they apparently host twice a year. and while the entire pad is super-duper-rad, i zeroed in on the kitchen where they maximize the heck out of some real estate.

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holy food styling!

i don’t even recall how i happened upon the work of carl kleiner + evelina bratell but now i want to see more, much more. apparently these pics are from IKEA’s cookbook (IKEA has a cookbook?!). it’s in swedish but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to own it or give it as a gift. the first pic are all the ingredients needed to make the square cookies. how rad is that?! click through to see a “before and after” tart.

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new use for velcro

you know how kitchen drawer organizers will slide around in the drawer if they’re not the exact same size as the drawer they’re in?! i was working with a client yesterday and she had a fab idea! attach a couple pieces of velcro to the bottom of the drawer divider–which keeps it from moving around when you open the drawer. priceless.


image; *grant*