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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tuesday Tip

Function beautifully.  I mentioned in my previous post a client stopped by to drop off two items.  The visit was just long enough to grab a quick cup of coffee and show her one possible storage solution for her many pairs of shoes.  As she glanced around my kitchen she commented "I like the way you display some of your food items. " Huh?"  This took me a moment to process because as far as I knew there was no food on display, except for the sad bananas begging to be made into bread.  I realized she was talking about what was under my microwave!

There it was in fact on full display, the contents of our daily breakfast.  It occured to me in that moment I had not thought about this in awhile.  I have always used decorative jars and containers on my countertops for snacks and go to foods since my kids were little.  Not only does it look nice, but it directs them to your preferred choices.  Imagine the time saved everyday if you don't have to rummage through the pantry and cupboards trying to locate everything you need.  Added bonus:  it practically eliminates hearing "Mom, where is the...?"  We can literally prepare oatmeal in a minute!  Of course, before I took this photo I made sure the jars were fingerprint free, no stray raisins lingered, and the items on the little ratten tray were actually facing the right direction!

The alternative: 

I don't think anyone desires their countertops to look like the isle of the grocery store.  That should be the goal for your pantry!!!

Sources:  Each item was less than $15 except the two gifts.

Glass jars with lids: Wal-Mart
Plastic scoop: Container Store
Blue bowls: Anthropology
Pewter spice shakers: birthday gift
Blue salt shaker: Pottery Barn
Ratten Tray:  Smith & Hawkin
Blue sugar bowl: Plow & Hearth
Spoons: wedding gift...not this decade!

In case your minute breakfast:

1/2c. quick oats
1c. skim milk
dash salt

Add ins: Kids
1T. dark brown sugar
1T. raisins
2 shakes cinnamon
Top w/banana slices after cooking

Add  ins: Mom & Dad
1T. light brown sugar
1T. cranberries
1T. walnuts or pecans
3-4 shakes cinnamon
dash nutmeg

Microwave 45 seconds, stir, and enjoy!!!


  1. If only I could get my kids to eat oatmeal! Although this would work just as well with cereal and snacks. Love it! I am really into your blue bowl with the spoons and I think it's jut a sugar bowl sugar bowl (right?). Very creative! That on it's own is a great tip! Marija

  2. Not only are we both displaying cereal (cheerios) in glass canisters on our counter tops...but we are both eating the same exact breakfast! Granted, my children are usually eating cheerios. Really admire your chic breakfast set up.

  3. Great tip...and looks very nice too. I have most of my pantry items in containers to keep them fresh, but they don't look 1/2 as nice as yours. Also, love that beveled subway tile....might we see more of your kitchen someday?

  4. Susie,
    You are funny! Yes, I do plan do show the kitchen and our whole house renovations...kind of waiting till spring when the trees are in full bloom and hopefully at the hands of a pro photographer! The beveled tile not only echos the profile of my cabinets, it was DIY friendly. It was super thin and easy to work with. I will post the source, when I do the "big reveal"!

    I love hearing about everyone's storage tips, so keep sharing!


  5. What a wonderful breakfast bar! It must be so nice to wake up to that and know that you can start your day in such an organized as well as aesthetically pleasing fashion!
    Think of buying in bulk from a green grocer or an organic shop. We have "Mrs.Greens" to buy oats, raisins, and grains in bulk.

  6. My hubs and I are so the opposite when it comes to "displaying" things on the counter. I want nothing on it, he wants everything he will need for bkfst the next morning! Your idea is a happy, beautiful medium. I love the clean, organized look. Very great tip!

  7. Wonderful ideas -- and a great way to inspire healthy breakfasts! And many thanks for including "where-to-buy" and the cost of the items! Helpful for those of us on very tight budgets!

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage

  8. I really like this idea of putting cereal on display. Also encourages the family to eat breakfast! Beautiful glass canisters. I may have to head to Walmart and get them.

  9. Love this tip, it looks great....Anthropolgie has some great unique kitchen items. Love the Martha Stewart canisters. I have coffee with a wooden spoon in one on my counter.

    Your kitchen (for the little you show) looks amazing! Can't wait to see it in it's entirety.
    PS: I am an interior designer (NOVA & Hampton Roads, VA) who also recently is doing interior photography for other designers. If you are interested check out on my blog Laura Jens Photography/Clients. I would love to help when you are ready if you would like.

  10. I like your clients comment and that it caught you off guard.
    What seems perfectly ordinary to one is a delight and surprise to another...

  11. Thank you for proving that even the simplest things in life can be beautiful. I love the care you take to create a wonderful start to your day!


  12. Excellent idea! Over the years we've kept all sorts of food and snacks out in glass jars... nuts and cookies, pasta and rice, breakfast bars and sweetener packets... mostly because it's fun and pretty, but I love your one-stop breakfast bar! Very clever.

  13. Very smart! Even my husband is constantly asking where stuff is...this would definitely be a great solution.

  14. I already had my oatmeal out in a glass container on the counter, and flour in another; but there's a third that I've used for cookies, snacks, and gum. I don't like that set-up because that's not the kind of stuff I want to encourage my kids to eat. Thanks to your post, the wheat squares went into the container this afternoon. Such a good idea. Once we use up this flour, the cheerios will have a new home too. Thanks for the tip!

  15. My bfast is not as healthy, but I have a similar coffee bar area, where I have my coffe beans inside a covered apothecary jar. For a visual go here:

  16. Funny how that happens. We think and function in an organized manner and we don't even realize it until someone points it out. Great post to make people think. I have a designated kid snacks basket in my pantry and it is so fun to see them go in there and look as if they will find a new surprise. It teaches them to eat healthy and also gives them the freedom of choice. I did a post on organizing my pantry and one called Frigescaping. I am here via Averill. I am so glad we are sharing her Sunshine award . Now that I found you I see why she is addicted, You have a wonderful blog that I plan to make a daily read, Have a great day, Loved this post, Kathysue

  17. Hi - I think the pair of chairs you noticed on my post are $12,500. Way over my budget but I love them! Wouldn't it be great if Pottery Barn would decide to make them?

  18. I'm crazy about anything in glass jars, but it is funny what things some people notice when they come into your home, isn't it?

    Glad to have recently found your blog :)

  19. I am with you! I am not keen on the grocery store as it is, so I dont want it staring at me. There are so many gorgeous glass jars about and so affordable.
    Love it.
    Ness xx

  20. Great post and I so agree! I think everything in our lives should be pretty. I try to live by that is too short, not too. I can not understand people that don't care and don't even try...

  21. Agreed...great tip and so easy to do for a sharp look! I'm not one to have appliances on the countertops but do like to style the surface with various and pretty things!

  22. Hi, Acanthus! Great tips post. I love your blog and am flattered that you commented on the stencils on mine! I am cracking up b/c you are so right...the stigma of stencils is the same as that of "borders!" 80s!
    Anyway, thank you for your kind comment. I would love to add you to my blog roll. Would you mind? Have a wonderful weekend...TGIF!

  23. Great tips!! I love jars on a kitchen counter too... My grandmother always had a jar of plain raisins on her counter when we were kids. We LOVED them... I remember just staring at that jar. And now I think back and I"m like "Really?! Raisins??"
    Funny what peoples "preferences" are..

  24. thanks for the sweet comment.
    what did you mean you came out of the closet? not sure!

  25. Joni,
    Too breathe and rest! HAHA! I have been working inside a client's 5 closets for days!

    Nest Egg,
    So funny...I seem to have a vague raisin memory stored too...I wonder if this is why I do this!

    Thank you, you are most welcome, and of course!

    I also have the all important "caffeine" station...necessary to get through even the best day!

    I'm with you, the fewer appliances out, the better.

    That is a fantastic idea!

  26. Great ideas for display and oatmeal! Love them. Have a terrific weekend. xx

  27. I agree. I use glass containers with beautiful lids to store fruit, snacks and coffee. My clients think its over the top and just love it!

  28. I just got at Anthropologie these great spice little jars and they have the numbres of my B-Day... =)


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