Fab Friend and professional organizer Carrie Peeples of Neatsmart joined me in our second FACEBOOK LIVE last week, we had a blast. I promised to share her fabulous organizing tips, as well as some yummy wines and my paired foods for Dad on his special day.

Here are Carries easy and BRILLANT ideas for Father’s Day gifts:


Help Dad get the garage organized. It’s what a lot of people see when they first get home so it should be a relaxing greeting when you come in, not a hip breaking obstacle course. Group items together by large category like garden tools, kids toys, bikes, automotive equipment, home repair tools, etc. You can refine and further categorize later but this helps you to create the necessary zones for where things should be stored. Kids toys should be accessible at their level while pesticides should be on a higher shelf with the garden equipment. Open crates and shelves are a great way to group items together while making it easy to see what’s in them as well as put items back. Lids can be the enemy when it comes to putting anything back. You want to be able to navigate the garage easily so make sure you donate anything that’s no longer being used. Other people benefit when you donate so know that you’re helping other people while you’re clearing excess stuff out of your home.


Create a home for your grilling tools and include your marinades, spices, and rubs that are just for grilling. This could be on a specific shelf in your pantry or a drawer but keeping these items together will make for easier grilling (and eating!) because you’ll know where everything is when you’re ready to fire up the barbie’! This also differentiates the vinegars and spices that might be reserved for “indoor” cooking. Life is easier when you know what you have and where it goes!


Get Dad a tray for keeping his keys, wallet, and phone so that he doesn’t lose them. Maybe he’s already a creature of habit who puts these items in the same spot every day but you can add some style to his current spot and dress it up with a wooden or leather tray to keep these items together. If he’s constantly losing his keys, he’ll appreciate having a spot to put everything and love the stress he’s not feeling every day wondering where are his keys/ wallet/ phone.


Cook a meal for Dad. Bring him a nice bottle of wine or some craft beer. Just spend time with him. Time is the one nonrenewable resource that we’d all love more of. There is no better gift than of time spent with loved ones so take time out just to be with him. Plus there’s no wrapping or sizing to worry about. 😉

A Couple of Easy Ideas for Feeding Dad (and the family and friends)

Grilled Veggie Skewers

  • Broccoli Florets
  • Cauliflower Florets
  • Baby or Fingerling Potatoes
  • Small Colorful Peppers, cut in half and seeded
  • Sliced Squash
  • Red Onions in 8ths
  • *Grilling Spice Drizzle

Step One Place the broccoli and cauliflower in a small microwaveable bowl. Cover and microwave for 2 – 3 minutes or until crisp tender.

Step Two Place the potatoes in a stockpot and cover with water. Add 1 TB salt and bring to a boil. Boil for about 20 – 25 minutes or until just tender.

Step Three Create skewers by sliding the broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes and red pepper on skewers. (If bamboo, soak the skewers in water for 30 minutes before using.) Drizzle with the dressing and grill for about 5 minutes over medium heat or until you have good grill marks. Serve with a pitcher of the remaining dressing.

*Grilling Spice Drizzle

There are so many fun spice blends out there – from “Steak Seasoning” to Spice Rubs. Here’s a way to use your favorite to spice up veggies!

  • ½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 TB Dijon Mustard
  • 1 TB Your Favorite Grilling Spice (mine are from Beautiful Briny Sea, a local Atlanta company)

Shake all the ingredients up in a jar.

Roasted Nuts

Raw Nuts, (your choice), into a preheated 400F oven five to seven minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and spray the nuts with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with your favorite spice blend – try your favorite grilling spice!

My Favorite Spray Bottle for Oil is EVO! Its available here: http://www.evooilsprayers.com/about

Romesco Sauce

(not a great picture – I forgot to take it before Carrie and I devoured most of it!)

Roasty-toasty peppers, lemon juice, sherry vinegar and a pop of smoked paprika make this traditional Spanish sauce one that we return to again and again. Super with almost anything – from toast to seafood, veggies to chicken, once you try this creamy dip you’ll make a double recipe and freeze half for later.

  • 1 Cup Almonds
  • 2 1” Slices Rustic Country Bread
  • 1/2 Cup Sherry Vinegar
  • 2 Roasted Red Peppers
  • 2 TB Tomato Paste
  • 1 TB Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 TB Sweet Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 Tsp each Salt and Black Pepper
  • 3/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Step One On a baking sheet, toast the almonds in a 350F oven for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Step Two  Cube the bread, and place in a bowl with the vinegar for 30 minutes.

Step Three In a food processor, grind the almonds; add the vinegar and bread, the peppers, tomato paste, lemon juice, paprika, salt and pepper. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil. Taste for salt and pepper and serve.

Serve it with chicken or shrimp skewers, use it for a dip for veggies or toss the sauce with steamed broccoli florets (Steam in Microwave for 2 minutes) and whole wheat pasta. Grate some Manchego cheese on top.

I didn’t get a picture of the two of us together – but you can see we were having lots of fun!

WINE PICKS for Father’s Day

Father’s day always means a crowd to me – so I targeted bottles that are:


Inexpensive (all are under $20, some under $15)

Easy to Find

Fun to Share!

I highlighted three wines from Charles Smith – the rock star winemaker for Washington state. He was a rock band promoter before he was “seduced by the vine”, so I always think of him as a rock star. I bet you will too, when you taste his wines!

  • Kung Fu Girl (especially if you think you don’t like Riesling, it’s a bottle that may change your mind) Perfect with simply grilled shrimp and fish, salads and slaw
  • The Velvet Devil – for Steaks and Mushrooms
  • Boom Boom Syrah – perfect match for a pork tenderloin with a black pepper rub

Michael David’s wines are from Lodi – a California appellation that’s not as well known as Napa and Sonoma – but produces delicious wines.

  • Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon – steak and roast beast of any kind
  • Petit Petite – This blend of Petite Syrah and Petit Verdot is BIG and jammy – try it with BBQed ribs or chops, just make sure your sauce is piquant not sweet!

Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rose – this is a rose with “stuffing” or lots of big red berry flavor. Beautiful deep rose color and nice acidity. Keep it well chilled and you can serve it from apps to dessert!

We’ve had so much fun hanging out with each other AND you, that we’ve planned our next Facebook Live:

Drinking Wine and Getting Organized – Summer Grilling Edition

Wednesday June 21st, 3 PM EST

Join us for some new ideas to get organized, yummy wine and food and of course, a good time!





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