10 Quick Kitchen Organization Fixes for Easier Holiday Meal Prep

Thanks to Country Living again for great tips on organizing…perfect timing for #Holiday #Entertaining but useful all year




Preparing a holiday meal for the entire family is hard enough without fighting a leaning tower of pots and pans or bracing against a pantry avalanche. Before you get started baking and cooking, set up your kitchen for culinary success with these easy DIY organization ideas.



Before you chop and dice your way to all your festive fixings, get your cutting boards out of a cumbersome stack and in to an easy-to-access space. Lifehacker shows how to mount a magazine rack on the inside of a cabinet door to house boards of various sizes.
Get the tutorial at Lifehacker.


If you’re looking for a way to keep cutting boards accessible yet out of the way crafting weblog Art Love Fashion recommends placing a magazine rack on the inside of your kitchen cabinet door.

Of course this tip only works if none of your cutting boards are larger than an average magazine and pretty thin, but if your boards meet that description then you may work great for you. Take the cabinet off its hinges, drill the screw holes for the brackets, and mount the rack to the cabinet door taking care that the rack doesn’t interfere with interior shelving before you drill any holes.



Keep recipe staples at hand, but off the countertop, to minimize trips to the pantry as you make dish after dish—after dish. Post Road Vintage shows how to hang Mason jars filled with regularly needed cooking supplies under cabinets.
Get the tutorial at Post-Road Vintage.
RELATED: 101 Kitchen Design Ideas


My Fav from Post Road Vintage Blog


Materials: Jars with Lids, power screw gun, metal drill bit, 3/4″ screws (must be shorter than wood you’re drill to), tape measure, and cupboard or shelf to affix to bottom.

Use pint and quart size antique jars; use whatever size and style works for you.
If you want the blue mason jars Etsy is a great place to find them.
Just make sure your lids fit snuggly. Wash and dry.
Collect the rest of your materials. Find a good work surface. If you’re like me.. and your kitchen table is your work bench please find a scrap piece of wood so you don’t drill right through it.

Drill a hole in the center of each lid.
Measure and mark on your cupboard where you will be drilling the covers to.
*update* one of my brilliant readers figured out that if you drill TWO
holes in each lid and screw in at two seperate places the lid won’t spin!! Which is awesome because
then you don’t need two hands to unscrew the jar!

Fill those jars! Whatever you think is handy for you.. you can always change on the fly.
Remember that for some things.. oils etc.. it is best not to keep these near heat.
I didn’t worry about it too much though as it is still an improvement over my last system!




Need to convert ounces to cups in a new figgy pudding recipe? Hang all your measuring cups and spoons on the inside of a cabinet door papered with a handy measurement conversion chart created by Infarrantly Creative.
Get the tutorial at Infarrantly Creative.


Not only do holiday parties require more storage space for food, but what about the extra plates, napkins, and placemats—not to mention yummy drink mixers? Create extra prep space and storage like Golden Boys & Me by hacking a Billy bookcase from Ikea into a kitchen island with a butcher block top.
Get the tutorial at Golden Boys & Me.

Baking dozens of Christmas cookies again this year? Use tension rods set vertically inside cabinets like Lizy Bakes to make cookies sheets easy to slide in and out.
Get the tutorial at Lizy Bakes.

Call me anytime to chat about the updates that will add value to your #Home…#AnnCorrigan , #RoyalLePageRealEstate…905-338-3737

House For Sale-Etobicoke-Alderwood…24 Westleigh Cres.,#Toronto M8W3Z7

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FOR SALE…..Most Sought-after crescent in #Alderwood-#Etobicoke. 3 bed, on an amazing 168′ + Deep, sunny,private,wooded lot,overlooking Etobicoke Creek. Yard is fully fenced.Updates include Kitchen with Granite+ SS Fridge + SS Gas Range, Main Bath with heated floors, separate tub + shower with rain head,Windows ’09, Freshly painted.


Finished basement with Office, newer 3 pc bath with shower, huge Rec Room, Cold Room, Storage Room, Utility Room. CV is roughed-in. Roof ’12, Furn.+AC’09. Great family + Commuter hidden gem of a “Pocket”…Steps to parks, trails, Sir Adam Beck French Immersion School,Pool, Rink, Library,Shops, restaurants, Transit +GO…minutes to TO…



Call #AnnCorrigan, #RoyalLePageRealEstate   905-338-3737 to see this amazing property


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Holiday mantle–there’s nothing like it

What a holiday statement, having a gorgeous decorated Mantle.

Easily Construct a Faux Mantel for the Holidays


Not everyone has a fireplace mantel for hanging stockings, so why not make one? This shelf is easy to build with some basic tools and can be customized in color, style and size to fit any family and decorating taste.

Faux Mantle

By: Marian Parsons


Materials Needed:

  • 36″ x 8″ pine board (back)
  • 36″ x 4-1/2″ pine board (shelf)
  • 6′ length of chunky crown molding
  • 1-1/2″ wood screws (4)
  • D-ring hangers (2)
  • clear adhesive-backed spacers (4)
  • cabinet knobs or hooks (4)
  • desired paint finish and color (and primer, if necessary)
  • 2″ sash brush
  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • wood filler
  • brad nailer or hammer and 3/4″ brad nails
  • miter saw or hand saw and miter box
  • drill and driver bits
  • pencil
  • tape measure
  • router and decorative router bit (optional)
  • safety glasses

Cut and Rout Boards

Cut pine boards to size or have them cut at a local hardware store. If routed edges are desired, use router bit in desired design (ogee bit was used for this project), rout both sides and front of top of shelf (36-inch x 4/5-inch board). For back of shelf, start routed edge approximately 1 inch down on both sides to allow for crown molding. Rout front of both sides and bottom of back board. Sand edges and faces of each board.Tip: Routing is optional and the shelf will still look great without it. Thin detail trim can always be glued or tacked onto shelf edges for additional detail.

Join Shelf and Back

Lay shelf with top side down and front facing away from you. Stand back of shelf on top end with front facing away. Tack into place with brad nails. Reorient shelf on work surface, so back of shelf is flat and shelf is hanging off surface. Drill four pilot holes sized to wood screws through back of shelf into shelf. Insert four wood screws to securely join boards.

Cut Molding

Use miter saw or miter box to cut molding to 36-inch lengths with both sides beveled and mitered in. Cut return piece to join molding to shelf for both sides. Sand cut edges smooth with 100-grit sandpaper. Tip: Cutting crown molding isn’t as simple as cutting a 45-degree angle. It needs to be beveled, as well. The saw or miter box should come with a guide to follow for outside left and outside right cuts, which were used for this shelf.

Attach Crown Molding

Using a brad nailer or hammer with 3/4-inch brad nails, attach molding to face of back of shelf. Make sure molding is at proper angle and centered on shelf. Put return pieces in while nailing molding to ensure tight fit. Secure molding to bottom of shelf with brads, then nail in return pieces. Fill holes with wood filler and sand smooth. Tip: Your finger is the best tool for applying wood filler to curved surfaces.

Apply Paint

Apply paint with a 2-inch sash brush. Milk paint was used for this project, so primer wasn’t necessary. If latex or acrylic is being used, prime first. Apply additional protective top coat if desired. Allow paint to dry before moving to next step. Tip: This shelf can also be stained.

Painting Mantel Red

Attach Hardware

On back of shelf, measure approximately 5 inches in from each side and 2 inches down from top. Drill pilot holes for D-ring hangers. Insert screws and tighten to secure. Stick clear adhesive-backed spacers onto back four corners of shelf. This will provide “bumper” between shelf and wall. Measure board, evenly spacing desired number of hooks or knobs to hold three to six stockings. Mark each spot with pencil. Drill pilot holes in pencil marks and insert knobs. Hang on nails secured in studs or screws and anchors. Always use caution and wear safety glasses when working with power tools. Tip: Use knobs with a flat screw backing so shelf will hang flat against wall.

Crafty Outdoor Holiday Decorating Ideas

#Christmas is on it’s way…here are some great #Decorating ideas…I know I’ll use some….

From front-door wreaths to traffic-stopping displays, give your front porch or yard a holiday makeover with one of our 25 do-it-yourself outdoor Christmas decorations.

By Camilla Smith







Let’s chat about how to create great #Holiday #CurbAppeal…call #AnnCorrigan 905-338-3737

#Kitchen Island makeover

Have you always wanted a great Kitchen Island?  


Here is a great DIY makeover you can do.  

From Country Living Mag…..



A Small Kitchen Island Gets Way More Functional…


Not to mention, much more colourful.
By Lauren Piro

A kitchen island is a boon for any family that loves to cook, but this one (which we spotted on Hometalk) is more of a missed opportunity than a helpful piece of cabinetry. First of all, there’s no room for stools, and while the extra drawers and outlet are nice to have, the island’s stocky, builder-grade design turns them into eyesores. Kristi, the blogger behind I Should Be Mopping the Floor and owner of this kitchen, thought the same thing (she was also driven crazy by dirt collecting under the island’s toe-kick) and so she decided on a DIY upgrade.
Now, this one-time ugly duckling is a worthy kitchen focal point. A new IKEA countertop, beadbord, molding, and bright coat of paint give the piece the style it was craving. And genius move alert: Four decorative posts-turned-legs double the island’s size and make room for chairs without having to an install a whole new cabinet.

Take a look at the result:






Let’s chat about Kitchen updates before you start your project so you know what will add value and what might not….#AnnCorrigan 905-338-3737

Top 10 Cheapest Ways to Increase the value of your #Home.

Thinking about #Selling your home.  Don’t do any #homeimprovements until you chat with me.  This list is a good start but each home is unique so has different needs.


I will bring the #Buyer’s perspective to the best Marketing Plan for your home.


Thanks to Romana King and Cupolasnmore for this great infographic.

Call #AnnCorrigan at 905-338-3737 to chat about #Home Updates.

Increase The Value Of Your Home - Part 1





increase the value






Increase The Value Of Your Home - Part 3

How to Sell Your Home During the Holidays

I have this discussion every #Fall…”Should we list now or wait until after the #Holidays?”  

The reality is, there are always #Buyers looking…yes, maybe fewer over the Holidays, but the ones who are tend to be serious.  

Additionally, there is much less competition because so many #HomeSellers will wait for the #SpringMarket.

Christmas Lights Decorating Houses at Sunset --- Image by © Royalty-Free/CorbisSelling your home during the holidays can present different challenges than during other parts of the year. Are buyers out and about? When is their time to see the house amidst all the holiday events and family. Are you or your agent available to show your home?

Keep Your Holiday Decorations Simple

Over the top decorations might turn some potential buyers off and may actually crowd your spaces which can also be a turn off to a potential buyer. Buyers may also be of a different faith than you and celebrate different traditions. If you overly highlight your traditions, they may be less inclined to purchase your home. If you add too many decorations, your home may not present the available space that the new buyer has to work with when moving in to your property.

Make Yourself Flexible

When selling a house, buyers are requesting to see your home at all times during the day. So during the holiday season, it might be best to visit with family or attend holiday festivities at your friends’ homes. Hosting a holiday party when trying to sell a home, may cause challenges when buyers want to see your home while you are hosting an end of year event.

Find a Real Estate Agent that Understands Holiday Sales

Finding a quality real estate agent is important during the process when selling your home. Ann Corrigan has years of experience that will help make your Listing as stress-free as possible.  Ann Corrigan can help with the details of selling your home so you can focus on the holidays. Ann Corrigan and her Team of #RealEstateProfessionals will be available during the holidays to help you through the process.

Make Your Home Welcoming

When potential buyers are walking up to your home, giving them a welcoming entry can make all the difference as to whether they are interested in buying the property. Winter is tough with very little color to brighten your front entrance. This is a great time to use holiday décor and colorful winter plants like poinsettias to brighten up your front entrance.  Adding light timers to the exterior and interior of your home will ensure a bright #Welcome to #Buyers.  Make sure all the #walkways and  #driveways are cleared and dry to #Welcome #Buyers.

Share the Scent of the Holidays

The holidays get our senses in overdrive. Our sense of smell is engaged with cookies baking, pumpkin pies, cinnamon and spices that create a winter warm feeling when someone walks into your house. Try using these scents around your home or making your own scentation by boiling mulling spices with cider and offering it as a welcome treat for visiting your home.

Share the Details of Your Home

Take photos of your home before the holiday décor is out and with the holiday décor. Use these photos to market your home for those buyers who are tight on time during this time of year. For buyers, they are trying to buy a home while also attending to their holidays. Using a detailed set of photos can help the buyers understand and remember what they saw when visiting your home.

Call #AnnCorrigan 905-338-3737 to chat about the pros and cons of #Listing in November/ December.

Christmas Tree Care

How to: Take care of your Christmas tree

By Mary Levitski
Photography Jean Longpre
How to: Take care of your Christmas tree

Everything you need to know to keep your evergreen fresh and contain the inevitable mess.

Nothing announces the holiday season quite like a fresh conifer. But, as it’s often as tall as you are and prickly all over, a Christmas tree can be quite challenging to manoeuvre. Spring for the optional plastic bag for easy transport, and don’t rush to pull it off. Once the tree is indoors, cut a hole in the bottom of the bag large enough to poke the trunk through, and insert it in a tree stand. Pull the bag down, flatten it around the base of the stand and conceal it with a decorative tree skirt. When you’re ready to say goodbye to the holidays, carefully remove the skirt and shake the needles off outside. Then simply pull the bag back over the tree and haul it out with minimal mess.


Needle in a haystack
Vacuuming tree needles out of carpeting can seem like mission impossible, but it doesn’t have to. Sprinkle the area with baking soda to neutralize stickiness from sap. Then, target needles individually with the crevice attachment. In future, to minimize the problem, choose an extra-large tree skirt.

What’s your type?
Before heading out with wallet or axe in hand, get informed about the most popular tree types.

Fraser fir:
Known for its sturdy, well-spaced branches (ideal for ornaments) and superior needle retention, this high-end tree can be pricey.

Balsam fir:
A less expensive alternative to the Fraser, it has similarly stiff branches and a nice woodsy scent.

Eastern white pine:
With slender, wispy branches bearing soft needles and a light fragrance (great for allergy sufferers), it’s a delicate option.

Size matters
Make sure your tree stand is large enough to contain sufficient water. A good rule of thumb is four cups of water per every inch of the trunk’s diameter.

Sap zap
Remove stubborn sticky sap from carpeting and fabrics by hardening it with bagged ice and then scraping it off. For walls, wipe it away with a bit of baby oil; afterward, remove the oil with dish soap and water.

Dos and don’ts
Have a pro make a fresh cut at the trunk’s bottom, and put the tree up right away. Keep it in constant contact with water.
Don’t: Saw the trunk at an angle or in a V shape, or drill a hole in it. These methods won’t aid water uptake.


Fake it
If you opt for a faux tree, mimic the fresh scent of a real conifer with one of these products.


Fill your room with the fragrance of eucalyptus and pine with this designer tool. Jo Malone London diffuser in Pine & Eucalyptus, Holt Renfrew, $95.


Tuck these discreet green stick-shaped ornaments into your tree for a month’s worth of fir aroma. Scentsicles ornaments in White Winter Fir, Bed Bath & Beyond, $14 per pack of 8.


Poured in festive green glass, this candle emits a jolly woodsy scent as it burns. Scented candle in Snowy Pine & Fir Balsam, Indigo $20

Call #AnnCorrigan 905-338-3737 to chat about Holiday Decorating that best showcases your home over the #holidays

DIY project: Winter wreath

#First Impressions really are important to how a Buyer feels about your home.

This is a great DIY project for a wreath that can be outdoor on a covered door or indoor, from #StyleatHome mag.

By       Tara Ballantyne
Photograph    Jonathan Bielaski
DIY project: Winter wreath

Add this festive winter wreath to your holiday decor.



  • 1 small skein of two-toned yarn
  • 1 12” Styrofoam wreath form
  • 17 small straight pins
  • Scissors
  • 8 to 10 felt flowers (see instructions below)
  • 8 to 10 ball-headed quilting pins
  • 1 piece of ribbon 18” long

Secure one end of the yarn to the back of the wreath form with one of the straight pins.

2 Wrap the yarn tightly around the wreath form, keeping the yarn taut as you work your way around the form until its entire surface is covered. Every inch or so, secure the yarn at the back with a straight pin. Cut the yarn at the back of the wreath and tie it off; secure the yarn tail with 2 or 3 remaining straight pins.

3 Cluster the felt flowers at the bottom of the wreath, arranging them slightly off centre; secure with the quilting pins. Hang the wreath with the ribbon (you can prevent the wreath from slipping by pinning the ribbon in place).


Felt looped flower


  • Scissors
  • Fabric circle cutter
  • Cutting mat
  • 2 sheets of 9” x 12” felt
  • Ruler
  • Glue gun and hot glue sticks

Using scissors or a fabric circle cutter on a cutting mat, cut one 2” circle out of one of the sheets of felt.

2 Cut the other piece of felt lengthwise into 6 equal strips (about 1 1/2” each). Fold each strip in half lengthwise and glue together the cut edge.

3 Using scissors, make 1/2” snips into the folded side of the felt strips every 1/4” or so, depending on how big you want your loops. Larger intervals will create bigger loops.

4 Working with the felt circle on a flat surface in front of you, carefully begin gluing one of the looped strips around the perimeter, allowing the looped side to hang over the edge of the circle. Work your way to the centre of the circle with the remaining strips, making sure the loops overlap. Cut off any excess.

Makes: 1 2” flower


Felt Rose


  • Scissors
  • Fabric circle cutter
  • Cutting mat
  • 1 sheet of 9” x 12” felt
  • Glue gun and hot glue sticks

Using scissors or a fabric circle cutter on a cutting mat, cut out one 4” circle from the felt. Working from the outside in, cut into the circle in a spiral motion, gradually moving from a thin to a thicker width as you reach the centre. Carefully trim the outer edge of the spiral, creating a scalloped effect.

2 Beginning at the thin outside edge of the circle, roll up the felt into a small rosette. The centre of the circle of felt will create a tab that will cover the bottom of the rosette. Secure the bottom of the rosette to the tab with glue.

Makes: 1 1” flower


Felt Peony


  • Scissors
  • Fabric circle cutter
  • Cutting mat
  • 2 sheets of 9” x 12” felt
  • Glue gun and hot glue sticks

Using scissors or a fabric circle cutter on a cutting mat, cut out eight 2” circles from the fabric sheets.

2 Fold one of the circles in half and make a tiny snip to cut off the corner of the crease on each end. Unfold the circle and fold it again along the other axis, lining up the small snips. Make a small snip to cut off the corner of the crease at either end of the new fold. When you unfold the felt circle, you’ll have four sections. Cut a small V shape in the middle of the edge of each section so you end up with eight sections. Use scissors to round the top of each section around your circle of felt, creating a scalloped flower effect.

3 Place a small bead of hot glue in the centre of the flower and fold in half; press firmly and hold in place until the glue is set. Place another bead of hot glue in the middle of the crease of the half flower and fold in half again; press firmly and hold in place until the glue is set. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with all but one of the remaining circles.

4 Glue four of the folded petals onto the flat flower; glue the remaining three petals on top to create a full flower effect. When the glue is dry, gently open the petals slightly to fluff.

Let’s chat about how to decorate your home so it will show it’s best…#AnnCorrigan 905-338-3737

The Beauty Of Vintage Farmhouse Windows

Do you love the #Vintage look?  Using old windows is a great & inexpensive way to add that look throughout your #Home.

From ourhomes.ca.


How To Use Reclaimed Windows In Vintage Home Decor

Susan from Must Love Junk created this vintage backdrop
from an old window frame, chicken wire and a clock face.


Reclaimed farmhouse wooden windows with their peeling paint, rough edges, uneven textures and overall weathered appearance are beautiful and versatile items to incorporate into your vintage home décor. In fact, not only do vintage windows make great additions to a farmhouse or country-chic décor theme, you can successfully integrate them into an eclectic contemporary space or an industrial-rustic loft (check out the slide show for evidence).

Farmhouse windows are one of the easiest and least expensive vintage pieces to find at flea markets or on Internet swap and sell groups, making them great options for DIY projects. In fact, take a drive around the countryside and you might even find a window you can rescue from some farmer’s firewood pile. You can use a vintage window in numerous ways – your imagination is the limit – but you might want to consider making a picture frame, memo board, coffee table, bathtub tray, decorative backdrop, headboard, bookcase or room divider. If you aren’t the crafty type, that’s okay because the list of entrepreneurs building amazing products from vintage windows is just as enumerable.

Don’t despair if your salvaged window has a damaged pane of glass. Most hardware stores can cut you a custom piece of glass designed to fit any space. You can also go in a completely different direction and remove the remaining panes of glass for an open look that accentuates the vintage wood frame, or back the window with chicken wire to round out the country farmhouse look. If you can’t find yourself an authentic vintage window, you can always manually distress a newer wood window to replicate a vintage look.

Check out these inspiring uses for reclaimed windows:


Call #AnnCorrigan to chat about #Home fix-up to get ready to List…905-338-3737