Welcome Brandie Kajino

posted by Aby Garvey on April 7, 2014 7 Comments

Brandie Kajino-headshotHappy Monday friends! Today I am once again over-the-moon excited to introduce you to a new simplify 101 contributor. My friend, Brandie Kajino will be blogging here at simplify 101 about a topic that is very near and dear to my heart — food! (I am soooo excited!)

Today’s post is designed to let you get to know Brandie a little bit. Then tomorrow, we’ll officially kick things off with Brandie’s first post! I can’t wait until you see what she’s cooking up for us! :) But first…let me introduce you to Brandie.  

What topic will you be blogging about at simplify 101 and why is that topic important to you?

I’m going to be blogging about food, and life in the kitchen. I love to cook from scratch, and eat. I think it’s sad that so many people think cooking from scratch is hard or takes too long. It’s my personal mission to show people “it’s easier than you think”.

How do you spend your time when you’re not blogging?

When I’m not blogging, I’m out meeting people quite a bit. I love to have coffee with interesting people, brainstorm, connect and get out. That being said, I also love to snuggle up on the sofa with my family and have a movie marathon. When I’m really motivated, I like to re-organize rooms, rearrange and refresh. I also read. A lot.

What areas of your life have you simplified, and how did you do it?

I tend to say “no” a lot. I like to be with my family, and not be overcommitted. So, I guess that means my calendar.

If you received an extra hour today, how would you spend it?

I would probably spend it reading or relaxing. There’s never enough time to do that!

As a child were you messy, tidy, or somewhere in between?

I loved rearranging my room, and did it often. The insides of my dresser and cabinets were always tidy, but sometimes the outside surfaces were a bit cluttered. So, I guess I was in between.

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to being organized?

My biggest challenge is not taking time to invest in big pieces, but to use what I already have. Sometimes it’s necessary to rework the big structure, and then deal with the small things. I’m very frugal at heart, and sometimes I think it makes things unnecessarily complicated.

Tell us something on your bucket list.

I want to go to Europe and see the Mediterranean Sea. I’ve heard it’s beyond description. Of course, my family would be with me, eating pasta, seafood, desserts, and drinking wine. And sitting on the beach.

What’s your favorite social media and why?

Instagram is my favorite these these days. It’s much like Twitter, but prettier. I love imagining what will look good, and playing with the filters. Instagram is made for food and still life!

Tell us five random fun facts about you.

  • I drink a respectable amount of coffee and tea, preferable with friends and the awesome people I work with.
  • I’m a “swim mom”, which means I’m wearing down the pavement between my driveway and the pool where my son swims six days a week. Oh, and I have to get up before the birds when he has swim meets. (See #1)
  • I am a singer, my best genres being black gospel and jazz.
  • I am a horrible gardener, and long to live in a condo where the yard is taken care of by others. And there is a coffee shop downstairs. (See #1)
  • I speak (nearly) fluent Japanese. I can’t really read it well, but can carry on a conversation and find my way to the best (and questionably clean) noodle shops in Tokyo.

How can readers keep in touch with you between posts?

Please join me in giving Brandie a warm welcome to simplify 101! And while you’re at it, share your biggest food challenges in the comments. What would you love to learn about when it comes to getting real food on the table and simplifying life in the kitchen? Thanks for sharing! 


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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and coaching program

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  • April 8, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Welcome, Brandie! I’m really happy to have you here.

    Your comment, ” I’m very frugal at heart, and sometimes I think it makes things unnecessarily complicated,” hit the nail on the head. That is exactly me! I think most of the time it pays off, but sometimes I definitely spend too much time, energy and effort trying to make frugal solutions work.

    My biggest food challenge right now? My oldest daughter is trying to go vegetarian. We want to be supportive, but she does not necessarily embrace many other good protein sources. I’m just trying to learn and figure this out!

    April 8, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Great question, Jen. That’s still a challenge for me. I’m finding it hard to figure out how to be a vegetarian and a runner. I need more ideas for protein. :)

    • April 8, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      I am just changing to a much more healthier way of eating (organic whole foods etc)
      I am really struggling to come up with recipes that are not all ‘tofu and lentils’ but a nice mix that the whole family will eat

      April 8, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      oppps – and WELCOME !

      • April 8, 2014 at 4:40 pm

        This sounds like a great blog post! I’m mostly vegetarian/vegan about 75% of the time, and also gluten-free 100% of the time.

        Quickly: I use hummus, nut milks and beans a lot. Easy and lots of protein. Firm tofu crumbles easily to replace any ground meat.

        You’ve inspired me to check into this protein thing!

        April 8, 2014 at 7:24 pm

        Awesome – and funny, we had hummus tonight! :)

        • April 15, 2014 at 8:53 pm

          I always love to think about food! :) I’d love to get suggestions on transitioning from a typical American food mindset – no, we don’t hit McDonald’s regularly, but pizza, pasta, and chicken nuggets are faves for my kids – to a more healthful food mindset. I need to know what I need to get rid of and what to try. And things that can come together quickly are a must! Looking forward to reading your posts!