Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Closet Reno Part Deux & some Quick Crab Chowder too

I feel like we've been counting sheep waiting for the other half of our closet re-organization to come together. Back in October, I embarked on turning our closet into something other than the remnants of a category 5 hurricane. At that time, I decided to organize my shoes myself in order to save $. We realized pretty quickly, that since we aren't cabinet builders and have no interest in staring at dressers in our bedroom, our best option would be to get custom drawers installed in our closet.

Well, the turtles carrying the supplies on their shells all the way from FL to TX finally arrived, and our drawers were FINALLY installed last weekend! Thank goodness, because we had a couple canvas shelves that were literally hanging from a thread. One false placement of a boxer brief and it was coming down! Check out the before and after's of Closet Reno Part Deux...

AFTER: Option 1- With clothes above
AFTER: Option 2- Space to decorate with mirror, flowers, decorative bins, watch valet?

So, I'm still deciding what to do with the space above the drawers. It looks nice with clothes hanging neatly, but hubby suggested decorating it or using it for something else.  Might be good to keep some space for folding laundry too. If you have any ideas what on earth do with this space, I would love to hear them!

In case you missed the shoe organizing frenzy from a couple months ago, here are the pics from that...


My mission to replace any crappy plastic hangers with wooden and felt hangers is about 80% complete in the areas not pictured as well. So, still some finishing touches left, but all in all WE ARE DONE with the big stuff! I'm a dork about this stuff, but it's just amazing to me what a difference some organization can make in your mood each day. I can just breathe easier. It's easier to get ready and find everything. I have worn shoes I forgot I even had! We decided to make this an anniversary/Christmas gift to ourselves, and it was so worth it.

Speaking of gifts, I also received the sweetest gift from my sister yesterday. We have nothing but fake Christmas decor in our house, so the little burst of evergreen among the roses is so welcome. Luckily, no misbehaved cats have discovered it yet either. Every time I pass by, I stop and take a whif.

Smells soooo good.

And speaking of things that smell good, I'll leave you with one last thing that made me smile this week. I created this recipe for Quick Crab & Veggie Chowder a couple years, but this is the first time I made it with almond milk (in place of half & half) and gluten-free flour (in place of regular flour). It turned out just as good in my opinion. If you are looking for some healthy comfort food that's super easy to throw together, here is the recipe...

Quick Crab & Veggie Chowder

1 small head cauliflower (about 4 cups once chopped)
1 medium onion
1/2 red pepper
2 stalks celery
12 oz. frozen sweet corn
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp. pasture butter
3 Tbsp. flour (I used Namaste gluten-free flour)
1 Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
2 cups lower sodium chicken broth (MSG free)
2 cups original unsweetened almond milk (or half & half)
9 oz. Super Lump Crab meat
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
chopped green onions, optional for garnish

1) Dice onion, red pepper, and celery coarsely. Chop cauliflower into small 1/2 inch bite size pieces. (Cauliflower is a great substitution for potatoes and will give the same meaty texture with very few calories).

2) Heat a large pot over medium high heat on stove top. Add butter and turn to coat pan with butter. Add cauliflower, onion, pepper, and celery. Cook 2 minutes to soften just slightly.

3) Sprinkle with flour and cook 2 minutes more, stirring to coat evenly. Add Old Bay seasoning, sea salt and black pepper. Continue to cook 2 more minutes, stirring constantly to coat veggies with seasonings.

4) Add broth, bay leaves, and stir well. Add almond milk and stir well. Lastly, add frozen corn and lump crab meat and stir well. Bring to boil and boil uncovered 10 minutes. Chowder will thicken slightly upon cooking and standing. Remove bay leaves and serve garnished with chopped green onions.
You can certainly make it with full fat dairy, glutinous flour and add oyster crackers if you aren't on any dietary restrictions. It's quite good the full fat/gluten filled way too! Ha! Let me know if you try it and like it.


  1. I love organizing! and I LOVE your closet!! I'm jealous!! Merry Christmas!!!

  2. The closet turned out so well! It's my dream to have a beautiful, organized closet! The wooden hangers make a big difference too!

    Merry Christmas Emily! Hope you and your husband can rest up and enjoy one another this holiday season! I'm so hopeful for what 2014 will bring you two!

  3. your closet looks amazing!!!

    happy holidays!

  4. Happy Holiday's times two! Fingers crossed. XOXO

  5. Your closet looks fantastic…well done!! I'm totally making the chowder this winter. It sounds D-Lish!!

  6. I am so beyond jealous of your closet! Amazing! Merry Christmas!

  7. Love the closet! I need one of those shoe organization things. Merry Christmas!!

  8. Please come organize my closet... and house! Looks fabulous!

  9. Looks awesome!!! I need you to come help us with ours ;) And what a beautiful bouquet from your sister, how sweet is she! Hope you had a very merry Christmas!

  10. That is one sexy closet ya got there! Totes envious. Merry Christmas! XO

  11. Looks so good. I vote for the mirrors and decor above the drawers. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Looks delish. I'm pinning it.

  12. Emily I've been catching up with your blog and I'm so happy to read such a wonderful entry. I squealed in delight to read your news that I had to explain to DH why I was so giddy. I hope you are having a fantastic holiday! Wishing you a heathy and very happy 2014!!!! Xoxoxoxo

  13. Can you come organize my closet? Seriously? I need a revamp in such a bad way. Love this post and that chowder looks amazing!