January Housekeeping Goals – Pantry

Hey friends. January is one of my favorite months. Like most, I look forward to a new year full of possibilities. I also like the first of each month, and Mondays, for the same reasons! This year, I am determined to get more organized, and (fingers crossed) keep it that way.

One area that I needed to pay particular attention to was my pantry in my kitchen. Little more than a glorified broom closet with shelves added, my pantry is the only real food storage area in my kitchen. The shelves are too deep to be practical, and the closet is too narrow to be organized in a way that would make the most sense. Alas, I am working with what I have until I can expand it.

I used to keep a rather organized pantry. When I lived alone, it was easy to stay on top of it, because what else did I have to do on a random Tuesday night at 9:30p? Nothing. Unless I went to the gym, which I actually did a lot, now that I think of it. Anyway, living alone and cooking for 1 meant that the pantry was almost always organized. Fast forward to last summer, and the addition of 5 more people living with me (SO’s sister was here for the summer, as well as his 3 kids), and my pantry quickly got out of hand. I was too busy (lazy?! tired!!) to keep it organized. I would root around in there to pull out what I needed to cook that day and leave it a mess. I would keep buying groceries and cramming stuff in there with little regard to putting things where they actually went. I knew it was OUT. OF. CONTROL.

Yesterday was the day. I had had enough!! I pulled out every single thing in the pantry, wiped down all the shelving. Took out some of the extra shelves up top that were impractical because it made the shelf too deep and I couldn’t reach the back. I made a written inventory of every single thing in the pantry. Yes, I have 11 cans of green beans, but only 1 can of mushrooms. It took hours. But you know what? It was worth it. My pantry is now organized again. I know exactly what’s in there, what I need to put on the shopping list, and I truly believe dinnertime will be a lot smoother now that I can see what I’m working with.

I think I will put organizing the pantry on my weekly housekeeping schedule so that it doesn’t get out of hand like it was. I figure a quick 10 minute tidy every week will keep things in place and allow me to take a quick inventory of anything I may need. Someday I’d like to expand the pantry and make it a few feet wider, which would provide a ton more space to keep things organized, but for now I’ll work with what I have and hope for the best.

What’s your best pantry organization tips?


New Year, New Goals

Hey guys! I haven’t blogged in almost 2 years. That’s a shame. I remember when I started my old blog in 2008, I was blogging at least a few times a month. I guess my life felt more interesting back then?! One of my 2018 goals is to start blogging on a regular basis again!

So, a whole 17 months have passed since I moved into my Retro Ranch. My family and I worked for weeks on end to update this old place — painting, ripping up carpets, attempting to peel 50 year old carpet padding off the wood floors, updating electrical sockets, etc etc. I moved in all of my possessions. I got settled. I was adopted by a mama cat and her six 4-week old kittens who promptly took over my lovely detached office space.

Last year I met a great man. We fell in love. He moved in last summer. I’m now a part-time step-mama to 3 kids who live here full-time during the summer, and we do the every-other-weekend thing the rest of the year. My backyard is full of toys and a swing set, and my laundry never ends these days. Life has been busy, as you can see.

We have great plans for 2018. We’re daydreaming now about putting in a garden, building playhouses for the girls, landscaping the front yard. We want to fix up the covered patio out back and put a firepit in the backyard. I still want to install a big sturdy clothesline somewhere, but I’ll have to put it inside a fence because my 2 pups will otherwise destroy any clothing I put on it!!

Speaking of pups, my beloved Scarlett passed in December of 2016. She was 16 and it was time. In January of last year, I adopted a new pup, Miss Millie, from the animal shelter. My roadside pup, Macy, really needed a new companion, and while she loved the kitties, she needed a doggy. So, Millie became our new girl. She was a 4 month old smooth collie mix and was the perfect fit for Macy. She and Macy quickly became bestest sisters. Now Millie is over 70 pounds, and poor little Macy is still a wee pup at 22 pounds. They love each other, and Millie was the perfect addition to our family!

So, that’s a quick update of what’s been happening here at the Retro Ranch. It’s been busy, tiring, exciting, and a whole lot of fun. I’m looking forward to a new year full of possibilities and experiences. What are your goals for 2018?

Dining Room Do-over

Dead Muppets

Happy Monday, friends. So, we closed on the house on Friday and immediately began to clean and prep for weeks of updating. One of the first rooms we’ve tackled was this room. It was maybe a formal living room in its past life, but it’s going to be my dining room. Check out this original ‘Wild Cherry’ shag carpet. I nicknamed it the Dead Muppet carpet though, because that’s what it looks like. Horrendous red and pink acrylic feeling carpet, backed in jute, and on padding that had been down so long, it was practically melted to the floor. 


Pink Walls?!?

Yes! Pink walls! I picked out tons of paint chips and went back and forth on whether or not the pink walls would be too overwhelming but finally decided on this particular pink which isn’t too Pepto Bismal and not too Young Infant Nursery Room but a nice soft pink which I believe will look great against the wood floors.


It took 2 coats of Valspar Premium Paint and Primer to cover white walls. We chose the eggshell finish, and used a low nap roller. The color of these walls is called Baby Blush, so maybe it is Young Infant Nursery Room pink. Haha


Original Wood Floors

We were told by the listing agent that there were hardwoods under the carpet throughout the house but the condition was unknown. After the paint dried, we were anxious to rip out the Dead Muppet carpet and see what the floors looked like. The carpet was so old, it was pretty much dry rotted, and it came out easily. The padding was equally dry rotted, and it crumbled when we tried to remove it. Thankfully, it wasn’t glued down and with minimal effort, the remaining pieces came up easily. What’s left was just residual and easily came up with a good scrubbing of Murphy’s Oil Soap.  Unfortunately, the padding left stains so at some point I’ll need to have the floors refinished, but with 3 kids and 2 dogs, I am not in a hurry to fork out the cash to refinish floors just yet. 


Instant Update

Aqua Doors

Hey friends, happy Monday. We closed on my new house on Friday and immediately went over to start the process of cleaning and prepping for the upcoming weeks of updates. Saturday morning, I tackled the job of painting the front and side doors of the house.

The doors were previously white, as seen in this picture:


But with $10 and an hour of time, now they look like this:


This color is called Teal Zeal by Behr paint from Home Depot. We chose a Satin finish in exterior paint, and it took 3 coats to cover the white paint on the wooden door. We only bought a quart of paint, and even with 3 coats on the front and side door, there is still plenty of paint leftover. Admittedly, the door is not in great shape, and it looks like it was previously damaged by water, so that will get changed at some point. I’m on the lookout for a retro door!!

To Paint or Not to Paint

I’m debating if I want to paint the side window too. What do you guys think? I’ve seen it done both ways, and it looks great both ways, but I’m undecided as to whether or not I want to paint it. What would you do?


Home Sweet Home

Hey friends,

Welcome to my new blog! I figured since I was transitioning to a new home, now would be a good time to move my blog to its new home, too!



I am so excited to start this journey of home ownership in this awesome 1960s ranch on the outskirts of my hometown. I cannot wait to bring y’all along on the ride as I do renovations and set up home inside this gem of a house!

Some of you know that I have moved a lot in the last 15 years. A LOT. This move will be my 14th one since 2001. And believe it or not, in that time-frame I have lived in 2 separate houses for 3 years each. To say I am ready to put down roots and finally feel settled somewhere is an understatement.

So, what’s first?

Well, thankfully I am not under time constraints to be moved in by a certain date, so that allows me to do necessary landscaping (cleaning up the yard, cutting shrubs) and interior renovations before I have to face the monumental task of unpacking 500 boxes. I am hoping that we’ll have most of this done within a month. Keyword: hope!

My family will help with the above tasks, for which I am grateful. As you can see from the above photo, the shrubbery is very overgrown, and well, the rest of the yard is pretty much on par with this picture.

Inside, we’ll be pulling up carpet to expose the hardwoods, painting ceilings, painting walls, installing new light fixtures, and generally just sprucing up the place. It has been sitting vacant for several months but surprisingly is really clean inside, all things considered.

Retro Ranch details:

So, as I stated it’s a 1960s ranch with 1400 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 1 small bath, a dining room with red and pink SHAG CARPETING, a sunken living room with hideous kelly green industrial carpet, and best of all — a 2 car detatched garage with OFFICE!! The garage is getting closed off and finished for my inventory storage and of course the office will be, well, the office, complete with a second coffee bar and a mint green half bath!

This house is being sold by the original owner, who had lived there since it was built in 1964. She planted lovely rose bushes throughout the yard, and there are several pecan trees and even a pear tree, which is LOADED with fruit! The house sits on half an acre and thankfully there is plenty of flat, usable land out back to put in a small garden.

Which room do you think I should start updating first?

Thanks for checking out my new home. I’m so glad you guys are along for the journey!!