{Recipe Update!} Classic Guacamole

Oh man, these old pictures are SAD.   Originally posted 9/19/12, these photos do NOT do this recipe justice! Look at that Instagram filtered photo! So, let's give this post a much needed facelift!


A few years ago while living in Chicago, my friend Jen and I decided to make only dips for the Superbowl. Jen made a guacamole that changed my opinion on the green goop forever. It is fresh, light, and SO much better than anything pre made or store bought.
I made this recipe of Jen's once before, and at the time I had never made anything with avocado (remember, I'm a newbie!)
It is extremely important to buy ripe avocados. They need to be soft so they are easy mashable. I learned this the hard way last time around. This time? Perfect.

Classic Guacamole
Serves: 4
Cook time according to Jen? No idea what she would say
Cook time according to Rachel? 20 mins + time to chill
How difficult was this for Rachel? Easy! (I did have to google a few things)


3 Avocados
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 jalapeƱos, diced
1 roma tomato, diced
2 limes (I had to use lime juice, Forgot limes)
Handful cilantro
Kosher salt to taste


Scoop out avocado & mash it up. 
I tend to leave it a bit chunkier because that's how I prefer my guac.
Add in onion, tomato, pepper and cilantro.
First time ever dicing a tomato! It was kinda gross. If you know me, I don't do raw tomatoes unless in salsa already prepared. 
Mix and season with salt. Use as much as desired. 
Chill for at least 15 mins. 


52 Spaces in 52 Weeks: Tackling the Master Bath

Let me start by saying this post is not sponsored by the Container Store. But it REALLY should be.

If you've been following along on Instagram today (shameless plug to follow me if you aren't: rachelalyse120) then you know the disaster that was my portion of our bathroom vanity.  A few years ago we remodeled the master bath & I never officially moved back in. I literally just threw everything into the drawers & under my sink. Over time the situation has spiraled completely out of control.  I knew as soon as I decided to do this cleaning challenge (catch up here), the bathroom was going to be one of my biggest priorities. So here we are!
I have to be honest, sharing this space is not something I'm particularly happy to do. In fact, I think this qualifies as being absolutely horrifying to share, but I've always wanted to be honest & real here, so it doesn't get any real-er than this.

So, this is what I've been dealing with/ignoring for the last 6 months few years.






My Approach:
One of the biggest problems I had was that there were no assigned spaces; each drawer was just a mishmash of products.  So as I was pulling everything out from the drawers, I began to create piles of products that went together. I ended up with 11 categories:

1. Hair products (sub category: hair ties, clips etc.)
2. Hair tools (Sub category: brushes/combs)
3. Makeup (Sub categories: lipstick, eye liner/mascara, eye shadow, foundation, blush/bronzer)
4. Makeup brushes
5. Body products (body lotions, sunscreen etc.)
6. Face products (items I use every day)
7. Nail polish (sub category: manicure tools)
8. Travel size items 
9. Medicine
10. Makeup/travel bags
11. Miscellaneous (extra tooth brushes, razors)
While I sorted through all this stuff, I also had 2 different trash bags going. One bag for products that had expired or were almost empty. The other bag was for items that still had plenty of product left, but that I didn't use for whatever reason.  Los Angeles has a pretty decent amount of homeless & in my neighborhood, there is a few places where they go to look for free stuff, so I figured if I'm not going to use it, I'd rather this stuff go to people who need it vs. the dumpster.
Once I sorted EVERYTHING out & had my piles, then I had to figure out what was going to go where.  I had 2 drawers & a massive space under my sink to configure to fit all this crap. It seemed to make the most sense to use the drawers for all the smaller items like the makeup & products I use on a daily basis.  Then under the sink would be basically everything else.
I found this under my sink. Seriously?!
I'm a visual person & it helps me to write things down (I have lists going EVERYWHERE) so I grabbed some post its & began to split up the items that needed to go in the drawers & items that needed to go under the sink.  It took me a minute, but it really helped me get organized by seeing it all written down like this.

Now it was time to head to The Container Store.  I did have a few storage items prior that I was hoping to repurpose.   Below are the items I found & what space I'm using them for.  I pulled in items from ALL over the store, not just the bathroom section & this was KEY.  So many useful items in other parts of the store. 
I'd be lying if I said I got all this at once; it definitely took me 3 solid trips to get everything I needed. The most useful item in my opinion was the lazy Susan I used for ALL my hair products.  For someone who has a lot of bottles, this is the perfect solution to keep everything super organized.
You also might notice the medicine & all the travel bags are missing from the pics.  Since we don't have a medicine cabinet in our bathroom, I moved all the meds into the built-in cabinet in the guest bathroom.  I also stashed my travel bags in the guest bathroom as well.

The Products:
Below are links to every single item I purchased now plus some items I already had. 

Used for: Larger body lotions, sunscreen, travel items, tampons, razors

Used for: Hair tools

Acrylic Accessory Drawers
Used for: Hair ties, bobby pins, barettes

Used for: to add more space!
Used for: Hair products (I have a LOT)
This has been by far the best thing I bought. It makes things SO much easier to have access to while staying organized!

Used for: Makeup & tools

Used for: Really now.

Used for: Not even answering this.

Used for: Hair brushes & combs
Medium used for: Makeup brushes

If you have any organizing or cleaning tips, please share!!!!


52 Spaces in 52 Weeks: January Update

At the beginning of this year, I embarked on a challenge to organize 52 different spaces in my home in 52 weeks. Read the full post here. Today I'm finally giving my first month update along with sharing some progress from a friend who has decided to join me on the challenge!

Space: Bedroom Closet
This was a massive space & a massive project.  I actually started this space right before I decided to do this challenge, but take it from me, it was BAD. Because this was such a big space, I decided to break it up into 3 categories: Clothes/Shoes, Bags & Jewelry.  So far, I've only tackled the clothes & shoes, but 5 large garbage bags later, things are coming together around here! (Sorry no pics of this one)

Space: Middle Shelf in the Kitchen Table
Since the first week was such a big project, I decided to tackle a smaller space this week. This shelf has become a bit of a storage unit for crap.  When you sit on the couch in our dining room, you have a full view of the space & having so much stuff piled up always made me anxious & made our house feel so cluttered, even though it was hiding under the top of the table.  Of course I fucking forgot to take a before picture (I swear, I will remember from now on) but the after...feels SO good!
Someone was insistent on being in the photo

Space: Basket under the Kitchen Table
Since I tackled the middle shelf of the table last week, this week I took a stab at the giant wicker basket on the bottom shelf. This basket is the perfect hiding place for more crap! Since I don't have a set office space in the house, anything that would go in a desk has a tendency to float around in piles in different rooms.  My computer lives on a side table next to our couch,  all my office supplies are scattered everywhere, my camera mainly hangs out either in the kitchen or on this table...it's not good. So I decided to get rid of all the junk I didn't need & turn this basket into my own little office!

All this crap was inside this basket.  That Bloomingdales bag is FULL of stuff I got rid of.

Drawers in the Bar
Since I had tackled the table, it just made sense to stay in the dinning room for Week #4. We have an unconventional bar in our dining room that is actually part of a media console, but given that we have no place for a TV besides above our fireplace, we decided to turn this piece into storage for alcohol. It works out really well, except the drawers just became a another dumping ground for things we didn't need.
(I won't admit how long I've had that 2 Buck Chuck)

LOOK! You can actually see drawer! There is empty space!!!

 I broke the drawers up into categories: Wine Items, Liquor Items, Party Items & Canisters & Candles. Everything in the drawers now has a purpose & space to live.

Since most of these spaces were smaller, I didn't feel they warranted their own post. However, next weekend I'm tackling one of my top 5 BIGGEST projects. Be sure to tune in here & on Instagram as I'll be sharing my steps along the way! (insert shameless plug to find me on Instagram here: rachelalyse120)

My college sorority sister & good friend, Lindsay, is also embarking on this challenge with me. While this may not look like much in terms of a pretty pics to share on a blog, it is SUPER IMPORTANT to acknowledge her achievement of her first space! She's struggling to come up with 52, but at least she's trying!

I have an accordion file to keep important documents organized, and well...it hasn't been organized in quite some time.  With tax season rearing it's ugly head, I decided now is as good a time as any.  I had the file in a closet, along with a whole bunch of loose stuff that I was too lazy to actually put IN the file and was just piled on the shelf next to it.  The first picture is the folder and the additional stack of things that needed to be sorted.  
Then, I went through each compartment one by one, discarding anything that was no longer relevant to me.  (My favorite item was a doctor bill from 2009. Runner up was a letter telling me about my new debit card PIN from a bank that no longer exists.)  
Literally ALL THAT JUNK was in that file folder.  It filled almost an entire trash bag.  
It was actually really nice to get everything in order.  Looking forward to the rest of the challenge...think it will be fun! 

OK Linds, that's ONE space. Time to continue to tackle!!!