Get Organized for Outdoor Summer Fun!

Are You Ready for Summer Fun?

Everyone loves summer picnics! Are you ready for the next one? How long would it take you to prepare your picnic supplies and leave for that last-minute outdoor social?

I recommend packing a ready-to-go picnic basket or container with all the supplies you need beforehand and storing it in an easy-to-reach place, like the pantry, hall closet, or garage. Besides food, think of all the items you need for a picnic: tablecloth or sitting blanket, paper plates and cups, plastic utensils, napkins, wipes, sunscreen, bug repellent, etc. You can also prepare ahead for other outdoor adventures. Here’s a short list that might include these items.

  • Park play dates – balls, frisbee, badminton set, snacks, water bottles
  • Bike rides – helmets, tire pump, sunglasses, water bottles, bright clothing visible to auto drivers
  • Pool or beach parties – swimsuits, swim goggles, towels, sun hats, sunscreen, flip flops, extra change of clothes
  • Hiking trips – hiking shoes or boots, hats, water bottles, snacks, trail maps

Can you think of other outdoor activities your family engages in that require supplies? Add to this list. If you have small children, you’ll want to include things like diapers, of course. If you have dog, you may want to include their water container and food as well. If anyone in your family has severe allergies, you’ll want to pack an EpiPen for emergency bee stings or accidental exposure to peanuts.

Even if you don’t create a to-go basket, bag, or backpack, create a packing list of everything you need, so you can be prepared to exit your home easily without stress. Get organized now; you’ll be glad you did. After all, you don’t want to forget that extra change of underwear after a spontaneous ocean dip!

Portland’s 10th Annual Gluten-Free Food Fair This Saturday

Join me and other gluten-free vendors for Portland’s 10th Annual Gluten-Free Food Fair this Saturday April 26 from 11am-3pm at the Double Tree Hotel at Lloyd Center.

GIG Fair April 2014Visit local bakery and restaurant owners, eat tasty samples, and meet new gluten-free friends. At my table, learn how my organizing service can benefit people with food allergies, especially those with gluten intolerance and celiac disease.

This family-friendly event is sponsored by the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) of Portland, of which I’ve been a member for several years. Well worth the entrance price, I know you will enjoy attending! I encourage you to invite your family and friends, as well.

Visit the GIG of Portland Facebook event page to learn more!

My husband and I would love to see you Saturday at our Work in Progress Organizing booth.

Drop by and say hello!

Tips for an Allergy-Free Kitchen

Welcome to new subscribers who attended the Gluten Intolerance Group Gluten-Free Food Fair on May 18! A little bit about my business – I organize all areas of the home, including offices and garages. What I love most is kitchens. Kitchens are the center of social gatherings, family bonding, and food that supplies health to our bodies. And organizing my kitchen helped me more successfully manage my food sensitivities.

What if you found out you are allergic to the food you eat? Here are some tips to get you started.

First, make sure that you have at least five stations incorporated into your kitchen, including the prep, cooking, serving, storage, and mail center. Other stations can include a recycling and kids’ lunch packing station. Next…

  • Make your entire kitchen allergy free if possible. That means no gluten if someone in your family has celiac disease.
  • Keep snacks in separate containers, labeled clearly.
  • Label shelves with easy to read words or stickers. (Photographs are great for young children.)
  • Dairy alternatives include coconut, rice, or almond milks and yogurts.
  • Peanut butter alternatives include almond, sunflower, or hazelnut spreads.
  • If you cannot make your kitchen entirely gluten-free, then use two toasters, two pasta strainers, two waffle-makers, and separate cutting boards, wooden spoons, peanut butter knives, butter dishes, sponges and hand towels.
  • Place gluten-free flours high above all other flours, since flour can stay in the air for several hours.
  • Do not make gluten-free cookies the same time as wheat-flour cookies.
  • For local grocery shopping, Whole Foods, New Seasons, Trader Joes, Lamb’s Markets and Bob’s Red Mill offer allergy-free foods.

Good luck organizing your kitchen! It will benefit everyone in your family, especially those with food allergies. Now is a great time to begin! Call me if you get stuck in your organizing adventure. I’d be glad to help.

Organizing Tips for Celiac Awareness Month

My favorite part about specializing in kitchen organizing is that I can make a difference in people’s health and happiness. When I discovered my own gluten sensitivity, the fun challenge was how to re-organize my kitchen. Yes, fun for me since I love organizing!

To celebrate Celiac Awareness Month, I want to review tips for an allergy-free kitchen. First, make sure that you incorporate at least five stations, including the prep, cooking, serving, storage, and mail center. Other stations can include recycling, kids’ lunch packing, and gluten-free snacks. Next…

  • Make your entire kitchen allergen free if possible. This is the best way to protect your allergic family members. That means no gluten (no wheat, rye, barley, and contaminated oats) if someone in your family has celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
  • Keep snacks in separate containers, labeled clearly.
  • Label shelves with easy to read words or stickers. (Photographs are great for young children.)
  • Dairy alternatives include coconut, rice, or almond milks and yogurts.
  • Peanut butter alternatives include almond, sunflower, or hazelnut spreads.
  • If you cannot make your kitchen entirely gluten-free, then use two toasters, two pasta strainers, two waffle-makers, and separate cutting boards, wooden spoons, peanut butter knives, and butter dishes to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Place gluten-free flours high above all other flours, since flour can stay in the air for several hours.
  • Do not make gluten-free cookies at the same time you make wheat-flour cookies.

I’m also celebrating celiac awareness by showcasing my business at the 9th Annual Gluten-Free Food Fair sponsored by the Portland area chapter of Gluten Intolerance Group or GIG. Please join us from 11am-3pm on Saturday May 18th at Mittleman Jewish Community Center. Enjoy gluten-free samples, educational lectures, and a community of like-minded individuals seeking better health through gluten-free living. Click on the poster below for more information. I hope to see you there!