Sugar and spice and everything nice!

IMG_8481 - Copy

Sweet and Salty Toasted Quinoa




  • 1/4 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 huge pinches cinnamon
  • 1 tiny pinch kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds (unsalted)




  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Mix ingredients and spread out on greased cookie sheet
  • Bake for 15 minutes, remove, and let cool completely
  • Serve with fruit and Greek yogurt


An excellent way to start my week!


Design, Part II


Missed The Before Pictures and Part I?


Remember how unorganized and unappealing our little foyer looked before?  Part of our issue with this little space was that we had no places to put things like umbrellas, shoes, and dog collars and plastic bags.   Leaving everything on the floor looked messy (and drove my Type A personality crazy).


For $60, we transformed the area into a livable space where everything was neat, tidy, and easy to find.


I bought two $4 white shelves and $5 bracket sets from IKEA to create “drawers” that worked in the only 8-inch deep space.  Little potted cactus create visual interest (and hey, I probably can’t kill them).


In the two faux-leather baskets (from Target for $10 each; they are really for CDs) are dog collars and plastic bags.  I love that these items are right next to the door so it’s easy to run back inside if I need a baggie.


Under the shelves is a larger matching basket for shoes and umbrellas.  It’s nice to have a space for our flip flops and house shoes.


Some other small (free) details include our wedding photos and our lucky horseshoe, which catches all of the bad luck we might accidentally bring into our home.  :)  I’ve had a horseshoe above my door my entire life (except the one year I lived in a dorm); I’m pretty superstitious about it!


Most of all, I love the shelving solution because it was 1) cheaper than finding a skinny little cabinet and 2) can work in the next place we move to, either as a doorway organizer or in another fashion.


How do you keep your entryway neat and tidy?



  • claire July 12, 2010, 9:31 am

    The foyer is looking wonderful lady! I still need to try the baked quinoa!

  • Marilou @ Mostly Healthy July 12, 2010, 9:31 am

    Love it! I love how you really maximized that little space!

    I have the total opposite problem .. A big big room with only the computer desk in it … Any ideas?

    • Caitlin July 12, 2010, 9:33 am

      I really love the white square shelf we got for the office. It really takes up a lot of space and creates visual interest.

    • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday July 12, 2010, 10:03 am

      I have a HUGE open basement and I’m trying to use furniture positioning to break up the space into distinct areas. I just got a custom desk for the office section, we have a table for a work/craft section, and some seating for a conversation section.

  • Courtney @ Three Months July 12, 2010, 9:33 am

    Oh I love those shelves – very modern and cute!

    • Angie @vegan food and exercise) July 12, 2010, 11:06 am

      That was what I was going to say,lol.
      I’m going to have to copy that idea Caitlin! That will save me a lot of time not digging for stuff I need handy.

  • Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) July 12, 2010, 9:33 am

    I’ve been wanting to try toasted quinoa for a long time now – sweet and salty sounds great! I love the white ikea shelves – so modern looking!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet July 12, 2010, 9:34 am

    I love toasted quinoa!

    That picture in your entry looks great. I don’t have any framed pictures from our wedding yet and it was 1.5 years ago.

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman July 12, 2010, 9:34 am

    A catchall is absolutely necessary near the door. Without mine, my counter would be one big junk pile. Your entryway looks great.

  • Robyn @ Frugal 'n' Fit! July 12, 2010, 9:35 am

    The foyer looks great! That’s one area of a home that is often left messy, and yours is inspiring.

  • allison @ livingoneday July 12, 2010, 9:36 am

    WOWWWWWWWW!!! such an improvement!! i love what you did with it!! looks great! and i keep an evil eye that i got in greece above my bedroom door. I’ve had it for 3 years now and it comes with me on every move.

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin July 12, 2010, 9:37 am

    Wow awesome job Caitlin!! It looks so tidy and I love the touch of plants!

  • Annie July 12, 2010, 9:37 am

    Cheap shelves! They look good.
    I have those Target baskets. They really come in handy and have been through so many changes- holding snacks, dvds, you name it!

  • Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans July 12, 2010, 9:43 am

    I try to have a place for everything. It doesn’t always work but I do try! (A for effort right??)

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers July 12, 2010, 9:43 am

    I love the shelves instead of a cabinet- takes up less space but still gives you storage!! I just use a basket on the floor to keep my mess “contained”. I’d love to do something more, but there’s nowhere to do it- one side is a window, and the door hits the other!

  • Victoria July 12, 2010, 9:47 am

    I love the foyer. It looks so clean! Your new place looks so cute!

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine July 12, 2010, 9:49 am

    The entryway looks great- so pretty and fresh! I love the look of a nicely organized space. I just got my own apartment and I’m brainstorming ideas to keep things looking good!

  • Gavi @ GaviGetsGoing! July 12, 2010, 9:49 am

    Wow–the foyer looks great! It’s great to develop systems that you know will work for you. I keep ours organized with a two-level shoe organizer and a coat rack. I also have a special place just for keys, my phone, etc. You’ve done an awesome job with the place! 🙂

  • Brynne July 12, 2010, 9:50 am

    LOVE what you did with the entryway! It looks so clean and modern but cute. You’re giving me such great, cheap ideas for redoing my room. I’m absolutely loving the design posts, Caitlin!

  • Carolyn @ lovinlosing July 12, 2010, 9:54 am

    Love Ikea! It was my treat after my triathlon to go there yesterday. We got a coffee table for $20 and two side table for only $8 each. While I doubt they’d hold up long in a well-used room, we rarely use our den so it will be perfect!

  • Camille July 12, 2010, 9:55 am

    Gorgeous! I love what you did with the entry! As soon as I have more space (aka in a month when I move) I am going to be a decorating fiend!

  • Emmanuelle July 12, 2010, 9:56 am

    The foyer looks really great, clean and cosy at the same time, great idea!
    I really have to try baking quinoa, this looks yummy!

  • emptynutjar July 12, 2010, 9:59 am

    Is it dry quinoa that you use? Uncooked?
    I think that would be great with some added nuts/nut butters also.

    • Caitlin July 12, 2010, 10:05 am

      Yup, dry uncooked.

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) July 12, 2010, 10:00 am

    Breakfast looks delicious! As for tidy entry ways, with 4 of us here, that is pretty hard. We do have an antique trunk right there though to put things so it is not so messy. The entry way looks great! Love the horse shoe!

  • Lynn @ The Next Chapter July 12, 2010, 10:00 am

    I LOVE the horseshoe! I’ve never heard of that tradition before, so neat!

    The foyer looks great, very minimal and appealing to the eye.

  • skinnyrunner July 12, 2010, 10:03 am

    we have those same ikea shelves all over our house. they’re cheap but look nice and you can cut them to whatever length you need. score.

  • Gracie (complicated day) July 12, 2010, 10:04 am

    I have a small basket by our door that we toss our ball caps and running gear into (watches, sun glases, even ipods). It’s all in one place, the basket suits my decor, and it keeps my junk from cluttering up the doorway as I pull it off and toss it after a long, sweaty run!

  • Joanne July 12, 2010, 10:05 am

    Great way to make more space and keep it tidy looking.

    I’m not as neat as you. I gave up long ago when my husband
    messed up any neat pile I made. Now we’re both kind of slobbish.

  • Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) July 12, 2010, 10:06 am

    Can you please come decorate my house? I have no eye for decor… and it shows. I get too nervous to buy anything, so it all stays bare and boring.

    PS- I love the horseshoe… so cute!

  • Charlotte July 12, 2010, 10:09 am

    Oh, the black and white theme makes it so classy! What a grown-up apartment!

  • Anne July 12, 2010, 10:11 am

    I’m glad you found something that could be transferred to a new place. That’s one annoying thing about renting. I always feel like I might be buying something that is specific to our current apartment. Then I end up with junk at the next place!

    Our entry is rather neat, but on the tables is where I throw my purse, keys, dog leashes, baggies, etc.

  • Katie (Sweet Tater) July 12, 2010, 10:13 am

    i keep a horseshoe above my door too 🙂

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) July 12, 2010, 10:14 am

    GORGEOUS!!! i like to have a specific place to put shoes…for some reason everyone takes off their shoes when they come over (new to me) and there’s always a nice place to line them all up nicely 🙂

  • Kris July 12, 2010, 10:15 am

    The quinoa looks delish. I just discovered it and love it (first recipe was broccoli pesto w/ quinoa). My hallway organizer is a large ceramic umbrella stand/canister. It holds umbrellas, leash, paw towel, doggie bags, DH’s ball caps. Luckily, the entry either goes out to the courtyard or 2nd door to garage, so shoes go back in the garage although during the day we each seem to leave one pr. of flips in the entry.

  • Jessica @ Jessica Balances July 12, 2010, 10:20 am

    Your foyer seriously looks so good – very clean and tidy! I consider myself very superstitious as well but have never heard of a horseshoe ridding a home of bad luck – perhaps I will have to look into that…

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape July 12, 2010, 10:27 am

    Wow, I was really surprised by how affordable the stuff you bought was! Good job- it looks great 😀

  • Rosey Rebecca July 12, 2010, 10:30 am

    Love the entryway makeover! You’re so organized!

  • Anna @ Doing Good & Living Well July 12, 2010, 10:33 am

    You make me want a house SO badly. Apartment living means little transformable space. Oh well. Also, you’re really making me want to visit Ikea. Hubs and I did get a giftcard for the wedding and we do need a new bookshelf…

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs July 12, 2010, 10:35 am

    It all looks so gorgeous! I can’t wait to have my own house 😀
    Hmm short answer to your question – my house isn’t tidy!

  • Stacey @ Tipping the (Kitchen!) Scales July 12, 2010, 10:40 am

    Love the economical, yet stylish, storage solutions! I admire you’re tidyness, I tend to have things strewn all over the place which drives my husband nuts!!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) July 12, 2010, 10:40 am

    I’m still working on the entry way thing. Our apartment is at the top of a stair set in our church. So we have a closet I need to get a shoe rack for and then we need some sort of shelves like that near the entrance. Currently our dining table becomes catch all for that stuff.

  • Natalie July 12, 2010, 10:45 am

    I love how it looks!
    It is so organized and welcoming : )

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing July 12, 2010, 10:52 am

    Our entryway is super disorganized! We don’t have much space since we’re in a city apt. so our entryway is a collection of a non working fridge, matress pad that won’t go up the stairs, a coat rack, shoes and cleaning supplies. As you can see, it could use some work :).

  • Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker July 12, 2010, 11:00 am

    Gorgeous entry area! Your new place is beautiful! We actually have like zero closets in our house, so we whipped up one using some curtains and organizers (if you’re interested,

    What I love about decorating/etc. is that you can be super creative! Enjoy your new space!!!

    • Caitlin July 12, 2010, 12:22 pm

      Your entry is so cute!

  • Wei-Wei July 12, 2010, 11:14 am

    Great looking foyer! I love the cactus details – so cute 😀 Our family keeps the foyer… not so neat, with all the shoes out. But we do keep plants 🙂


  • Jackie July 12, 2010, 11:15 am

    Does your landlord allow you to put holes in the wall for shelves, pictures, etc? Or will you have to fill them up when you leave?

    • Caitlin July 12, 2010, 12:22 pm

      I’ve never heard of a landlord who didn’t allow you do that as long as you putty and painted when you move out!

  • Maria @ Oh Healthy Day (Formally A La Mode) July 12, 2010, 11:18 am

    Oh how cute! I love you sense of style and design!

    I keep a basket for shoes. We have a strict no shoes in the apartment rule and a basket is necessary to store them all. And plus, I have more room in my closets now!

  • Jenna @ HealthyHoofbeats July 12, 2010, 11:28 am

    Love the new look of the foyer! Your doing an awesome job decorating your new house 🙂

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople July 12, 2010, 11:36 am

    That looks so beautiful! And very functional. I don’t have an entryway in my apartment, but I really want one when we get a house so we have a place to put our shoes and what not.

  • Kellie July 12, 2010, 11:51 am

    Ikea is great for finding things to really add interest and design to your house for not a lot of money. Love the idea of shelves. I have a little table next to my door, but the shelving is a great idea.

  • Anya @ Fitness & Sunshine July 12, 2010, 12:11 pm

    I always make sure my entryway isn’t cluttered… I don’t do much else though. I like a nice clean entry. 🙂

    The quinoa crunch is a great idea, a perfect sub for regular granola.

  • Emily @ For Sweets Sake July 12, 2010, 12:27 pm

    I was just looking for a new quinoa recipe! I loved your coffee one you had awhile ago!

  • *Andrea* July 12, 2010, 12:34 pm

    omg this recipe is amazing! i have a bag of quinoa sitting in my cubbard that i haven’t touched since i got it like 6 months ago haha. recipes intimidate me and i dont have a lot of kitchen equipment (that vitamix is so expensive!). anyways i love your recipes sooooo much

  • Diana (Mymarblerye) July 12, 2010, 12:56 pm

    my front door is currently cluttered with about 8 pairs of shoes…I make people take off their shoes before they come in (it’s an Asian thing) so my bf and my shoes are all near the front door. I need to take care of that ASAP. BTW LOVINGG the “vibe” of your new house!

  • Heather July 12, 2010, 12:56 pm

    Love what you did with the foyer, and I really love the horseshoe above the door idea!

    I just decluttered my entry way, but then I just moved everything into the closet, so now that needs to be organized, LOL

  • Ellen @FirednFabulous July 12, 2010, 1:08 pm

    Well, my apartment is so small, I don’t really HAVE an entryway (it’s practically in the kitchen!), so that helps keep it tidy 😉 I keep a bag of things that need to be recycled by the door, but I’m good about taking it out frequently, so it doesn’t get messy.

  • AngelaOSG July 12, 2010, 1:21 pm

    We only use our front entry way for guests…hehe so it stays VERY tidy. Our garage door entrance however is another story!
    Love what you have done with it.

  • Madison July 12, 2010, 1:50 pm

    I love what you did with the space. It looks zen! Also aother really awesome looking breakfast that I am going to have to try. Thank you for posting so many new recipe ideas lately that are dairy-free. We, lactose intolerant folks really appreciate it!

  • Dynamics July 12, 2010, 1:52 pm

    Looks great! You mom is a genius!

  • christina and mary (sisters running the kitchen) July 12, 2010, 1:55 pm

    i love your house- so warm/welcoming looking! that quinoa looks really good- Ive been wanting to incorporate quinoa into a breakfast meal…this looks perfect!

  • Lindsay @ The Ketchup Diaries July 12, 2010, 2:12 pm

    LOVED the shelving under the window. So simple, yet it adds so much character!

  • Kelly July 12, 2010, 2:17 pm

    I love what you’ve done! It looks great!

  • Sheri July 12, 2010, 2:18 pm

    Your front entry looks awesome! I have to try the baked quinoa one of these days…it looks so good!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin July 12, 2010, 3:27 pm

    Your entry way looks so cute! I love the little cacti you included!

  • Courtney @ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life July 12, 2010, 5:04 pm

    LOVE the new entry way! We actually don’t really use our front door of our house – we usually just go through the garage! But for a future home, I’m totally keeping this in mind!

  • Erin July 12, 2010, 6:22 pm

    I love how the entryway looks! I’m worried about your cute little cacti (well worried is probably too strong a word…) cacti like LOTS of direct sunshine. Try one of these if the cacti start to look a little sad (and brown):

    they’ll grow anywhere!

    • Caitlin July 12, 2010, 6:23 pm

      Do you think they will live if I swap their positions every few days???? I don’t want to kill them!

      • Erin July 12, 2010, 7:05 pm

        well, they really want direct sunlight…warm lovely sun beams hitting them straight on. Does the sun hit those shelves dead-on at any point in the day? If it does then and you can get them some good sunbathing time, it might work out for the little cacti. If they start too look sad, just move them to a brighter window find yourself a pothos plant!

  • Mary @ What's Cookin' with Mary July 12, 2010, 6:42 pm

    Caitlin, your entry way looks SO good now!! WOW… What a difference! I like what you did A LOT better than a cupboard. Definitely more interesting to look at.

    My entry way it more like a landing, so I don’t let the husband keep anything there… I don’t heart piles in the corners of rooms!;)

  • Maura July 12, 2010, 7:05 pm

    So cute! I dont really keep my entryway tidy because theres really no room to keep anything there! I use decorate bowls on my nightstand though to keep that place in check 😉

  • Jess July 12, 2010, 7:25 pm

    I have a horseshoe too! Mine happens to be coated in green glitter however, because some of my campers (when I was a full time counselor at a sleep away camp) wanted to make sure it was a lucky horseshoe, so they “fixed” it for me.

    I love your shelving. I had a great shelf in my condo by the door that had hooks underneath, so I kept a jar of dog treats on top and then could hang the leashes/poo bags and umbrellas underneath. Now I have a yard, so I just open the door! We only use the leash when going to the vet! ha.

  • Candice July 12, 2010, 8:18 pm

    I definitely need to try your toasted quinoa! I’ve never toasted it before, but it looks like it’d be worth a try.

    Great job on your organizing and decorating. It looks so clean and neat.

    Also, I said the same thing when I brought home 3 lovely little cacti from Ikea….3 months later and I’m still barely hangin on to one. oops! I guess no plant can survive my black thumb:)

  • Amanda @ Hungry Vegan Traveler July 12, 2010, 9:55 pm

    That looks fabulous!

  • maria @ Chasing the Now July 12, 2010, 10:41 pm

    The horseshoe is a neat idea. I don’t know if I would use it personally, but I like hearing about other people’s superstitions and beliefs.

  • Lisa July 13, 2010, 1:09 am

    That entryway looks really great! I’d love to do something similar with our cramped garage door entrance. Right now everything ends up on the floor, argh!

  • Michelle July 13, 2010, 10:54 pm

    Love what you did with this space! I’m so not creative when it comes to stuff like this, but I am moving into my very own apartment soon and have to learn!

  • Caroline July 14, 2010, 7:57 am

    Your ‘drawers’ look so, so good! I may have to copy you when I move in a week and a half… my hubs has a terrible habit of losing track of his wallet and keys… drives my crazy. And our dog leashes are currently lying on the floor!

  • Amy July 16, 2010, 7:41 pm

    That toasted quinoa is totally amazing! My new favourite breakfast! Thank you so much for that recipe… I usually just boil my quinoa, but I love the crunch when I eat it over yoghurt with berries and a handful of almonds, yum! Plus you can’t beat the sweetness that the maple syrup gives it.

  • elaine! July 17, 2010, 3:14 am

    We actually hardly ever use our entryway… hahaha. However, our “other” entryway (which is a hallway from the mudroom and garage to the office) has a requisite “settin’ table” with a bowl on top for keys, phone and spare change, and baskets on the shelves for mail, reusable shopping bags, and other miscellanea. And a mirror, of course, to make sure I don’t have chia seeds stuck in my teeth before I leave for the day. 😉

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