Jan 27, 2014

Organize It: Planner Accessories




It's no secret that I'm a paper/planner junkie as you can tell here, here, here, here, and of course at my Etsy shop, but I'm also a collector of many things planner related. My idea of going shopping might end somewhere with me rummaging through colorful office supplies. I'm weak when it comes to  bright pens, tear drop stickers, anything Martha Stewart and of course washi tape. I'm sure any planner addict can sympathize.

Lately as my personal planning techniques grow so does my collection and it doesn't help that I'm on several planner related Facebook groups with fun girls that like to show off their decorated pages, simple techniques to keep track and their love for their planners. It fuels the fire.

Ever since I was little I have toted around notebooks, pens, markers, and stickers... pretty much everywhere I go. Whether it's chaotically thrown in the front seat of my car or neatly stowed in a cute carry on, my planner and several accessories are usually with me at all times.

The organizer in me likes to keep things neat and tidy and that includes creating some order and function to my planning process, supplies, and use.

Now there are endless storage options for just about anything. Totes, plastic boxes, bins, drawer organizers, etc...but for my needs I re-purposed a plastic Plano tackle box into accessory storage. These boxes are similar to the craft boxes you might find at Michaels but ultimately half the cost.



I purchased two boxes a long time ago. One for my labeling supplies and the other for a sewing kit. Since then I moved my labeling supplies to a much larger container I have one of the Plano boxes empty. Empty box + tons of office supplies= organized planner accessories.


The Plano boxes come with adjustable dividers so that you can create custom size sections. Works great for small things like clips or long items like stickers and pens.


This box makes it easy to see and use what I have. I also love the fact that it's extremely portable which means most nights I'm sitting in bed planning my day or week. I have everything I need to make my planner personalized, functional, and fun.



And of course I have to label my box with a cute self adhessive gold book plate..It's so classy and pretty. Love these so much!



I love simple storage. This box makes everything so compact and useful. And not to mention it's so bright and colorful that I can't help to smile when I open it.

How do you store your planner accessories, pens, stickers, washi, etc? Are you using anything from the outdoor section to organize with?


Jan 26, 2014

Introducing The Pocket Source





One of my personal goals for 2014 is to start keeping better track of my memories and our family photos. I have been a scrapbooker for years and over the past couple I have taken it even further with my love of graphic design by digitally creating layouts and photo books. And in the past year I have fallen in love with the pocket scrap-booking method. I have shared some of my lessons learned here, here, and here.

But my plan for 2014 was to take it on full time. Complete a whole book, which I have yet to do since starting pocket scrap-booking. I was really excited about starting this year and staying on track. And then something even more amazing happen. A fellow blogger, and pocket scrapbooker asked me to join forces to create something new and exciting for the scrap-booking craft. A new online community specifically for pocket scrap-booking.

Leslie Harvey from Momma Harvey reached out to a group of pocket scrappers asking for help in a new endeavor. Her idea..a new online community exclusively for pocket scrapping. Several bloggers, designers, and crafters responded and within hours a new community was born, a team was created and a dream was underway. THE POCKET SOURCE is under construction but will be available to you on February 14th.The new member based network will host a gallery for inspiration, a forum for those unanswered questions, and a blog filled with A-MAZING tips and tricks.

For those of you that are into pocket scrap-booking please join the rest of the team, myself and over 1000 others on facebook as we countdown this new and exciting online hub.




Jan 20, 2014

DIY Hanging File Organization


I have been in desperate need of some more office/studio organization especially when it comes to my filing system or better yet lack thereof. My current filing system consist of some plastic file boxes and manilla folders and is in no way shape or form working for me. It's such a mess that I haven't really filed anything in about six months.




Yep, I have no idea where anything is. I discovered this problem over the weekend as I searched for some receipts for taxes. Nothing was in order. My fault, entirely! I'm a slacker when it comes to paper organization. I have a horrible tendency to throw things on top of the fridge or shove them in between the seats of my car as I'm checking the mailbox. But it's truly become a problem now. Now that I have a business and a blog that brings in a tiny bit of income I need to have a proper filing system. I need to be able to file business expenses, receipts, and proof of income. Not to mention I need to have my family's files in order as well. Our taxes, bank statements, and medical forms need some serious attention.

Over the weekend I quickly jumped on the task of sorting and shredding through our current files. I narrowed it down to the important stuff. Bank statements, taxes, all of my shop and blog information, and I made 12 files (1 for each month) to file important things for that month. If your like me, figuring out what to keep and toss may be challenging but I ultimately kept everything within a year range and tossed everything else. Except important tax documents. I kept the last three years. I found that information here.

Now sorting and sifting is the hard part and once that was over with I just had to file everything. I knew I wanted something handy and pretty. But for someone on a thin budget a filing cabinet was  out the question. Even the small cabinets, with two drawers, are over $50. I just can't afford that right now. I'm trying to put every penny into savings for experiences not stuff, remember. And I have a big shopping trip planned for things I have had on my wish list for a while. So a file cabinet just doesn't meet my must haves or my wishes right now. And yep, I did check the thrift stores. Still around $20 to $30 bucks. So, after considering my options for a filing system I came up with a solution that fits my space, budget, and my need for creativity.

I have had this hope chest for awhile now and it's set in our office space filed with junk and doo dads. Mostly tech stuff and random papers. When we cleaned out our office space and made room for my in home studio I cleared out the chest. An empty chest makes for a great place to store files and office supplies.

I purchased two small tension rods for $6.00 and a pack of hanging files for $7.00 {with a coupon). With the chest, files, and tension rods I had an instant filing system. Yay!


These hanging files came with plastic tabs. I printed some colorful inserts and fixed them up.


I color coded them!

PINK-MONTHLY BILLS/RECEIPTS
GREEN-INCOME/EXPENSES
YELLOW-BANK ACCOUNTS
ORANGE-TAXES
RED-MEDICAL
BLUE-ACTIVITES/SCHOOL

I have plans to add some more tabs and maybe another set of files as my need grows. The tension rods work great at keeping the files up. You may need to add some command tacky or something stronger if you have a ton of paper weight.



This file system cost me around $13.00 and works great for my needs. I still have a ton of space in the chest so I'll be adding some additional storage needs. But for now I'm so excited about my new filing space.



What are you DIYing in your office space? Any projects like this? I need to add some additional files, any thing I need to keep besides what I already listed?



Jan 13, 2014

Organize It: Bathroom Closet



Happy Monday loves! Let's get this year started off on the right foot. Last week I shared with you all my hopes for a better 2014 and I'm making strides to keep my targets on track. One of the ways I am doing that is by starting small. Last year I focused a lot of energy on bigger projects like painting and remodeling that I often forgot the smaller areas of our home like the closets, cabinets and drawers. This year in preparation for a move that is coming soon I am bound and determined to get every square inch organized and functioning before tackling any major projects. In fact there are only a few "big" projects on our list before we move. After all we hope to keep the dollars in our pockets and out of the house we are leaving behind. So, I sat down a few weeks ago with a master list and jotted down every single project both big and small that needs to be done before we pack up and move out.

Since we aren't exactly sure when the move will be, I have to be prepared. That means a lot of organizing, purging, and down-sizing has to happen. And even if your not planning a big move spending the first part of the year creating a more happier and clutter free home will ensure a happy family all year long.

My personal plan is to start with smaller projects that only take a few minutes to an hour and knock those out quick. And since I'm a spur of the moment type gal I don't really ever plan my projects out, I usually find myself digging or looking for something and end up organizing or sifting through drawers and closets. Or in most cases when something gets out of hand and ends up spilling over the rim, like our bathroom closet, I usually find myself laying restless in bed thinking about cleaning and sorting. Yes, I am aware that may not be normal but hey I really love that I do that.

STEP 1: ASSESS THE SITUATION

Friday I opened up the family's bathroom closet, which is mostly used to house our cleaning products and linens, and found this...




I immediately slammed the door and ran off to my happy place, which means I skedaddle into the pages of the January/February edition of HGTV magazine, and soon forgot the chaos happening behind door number one. But after a restless night of tossing and turning I started bright and early the next morning.

STEP 2: CLEAR THE CLUTTER, PURGE, and SORT

I ripped everything out of the closet. Yep...everything!


Yikes, what a mess! Random sets of sheets, cleaning product, and pet supplies came out. As you can tell by the bins and baskets I had once attempted to organize this space but failed horribly.

The closet is pretty much an empty hole in the wall. It has no shelves. I knew I needed some sort of shelving system. But in keeping with my other goals I shopped my house instead of heading out to the store. I recently purchased a new bookcase for my office but have yet to put it together. So I snatched the metal Ikea shelf, which the bookshelf will replace, and threw into the closet. You may remember this shelf from my craft closet clean out last year but since reclaiming my studio I don't have the need for the craft closet.


STEP 3: ORGANIZE AND STORE

Once I had the shelf in place it was time to load everything back in. Well not everything. I organized the linens into the larger baskets on the very top shelf. I purged a great deal of missing sheet sets and baby blankets I no longer needed. Cleaners got a shelf of their own and the first aid box got cleaned out and put back in. I don't store medications in this box just swabs and alcohol type stuff.




STEP 4: LABEL, LABEL, & LABEL

Now that I had everything back in the closet in baskets and bins it was time to create some labels. The labels on the larger green baskets were made by simply designing them in Photoshop, printing, cutting, and laminating. Easy peasy, huh? But I wanted to try a different approach on labeling. I have always loved the look of chalkboard labels but every time I try to use them my handwriting ends up looking ratchet. For those of you who were blessed with beautiful handwriting I envy you. But writing with chalk or even chalk pens leave my chalkboard labels looking illegible. But I do love the look of them.

Enter my love of vinyl labels. With the help of my Silhouette Portrait once again I cut some vinyl labels for some mini chalkboards. I used pink to add some more color. The font I used was Sacramento. I made cut two labels, transferred them with contact paper, and voila, faux handwritten chalkboard labels. I'm giddy about them. I may have had the entire family jolt into the bathroom to gander at their marvelous beauty. I know it's the small things that amuse me. And if I ever need to change them I can just cut some new vinyl. And my Silhouette Portrait was used to cut the red cross for the first aid box as well. That was just too easy!




STEP 5: ENJOY YOUR ORGANIZED SPACE

Of course once I finish organizing a space I have a tendency to keep making reasons to gawk at it. As I was jumping into the shower I just popped open the door...yep, for no reason other than to stare at the beautiful order of the closet. It's so awesome what you can accomplish in such a short time. Now when I go to move I can pretty much just grab the baskets and go.




SOME MORE ORGANIZING TIPS

Last year I joined a group called The Silhouette Challenge on Facebook. It's a group of crafting, scrapping, and several bloggers that work together to master the art of Silhouette using. It's been a Godsend this past year for all sorts of Silhouette issues good and bad. Last year, a group of bloggers from the group got together for a 12 projects in 12 months challenge. Each month we showcased one project on the blog and linked to each others as well. You can check out some of my past projects here...Canvas Date Art, Makeup Organizer, Gold Foil Art, Personal Birthday Gift.

Since starting the Facebook group, The Silhouette Challenge has grown tremendously. We now have over 30 bloggers participating and each month it grows. This year we are doing something a bit different. Each month a topic will be chosen and with that topic we will have to create something unique. I am really excited about it because it gives me the opportunity to try different things.

This month, for January, our topic was organization. Of course that's one of my strong points. And the first thing that comes to mind when I cross my Portrait and organization is labels of course. Faux handwritten chalkboard labels!

Now like I said we have over 30 blogs partaking in this month's challenge so I hope you are prepared for some more swoon worthy organizing goodness.


  1. DIY Window Shutter Mail Organizer by Weekend Craft
  2. Kids' Art Wall by Tried & True
  3. Organizing Silhouette and Craft Supplies by The Happier Homemaker
  4. Simple Recipe Organization by It's Always Craft Time
  5. Put a Label on it! Herb Names for Plant Stakes by Get Silvered
  6. Super Simple Linen Closet Labels by Two Purple Couches
  7. Beware of the Animals Vinyl Toy Box by A Tossed Salad Life
  8. Child desk accessories by Architecture of a Mom
  9. Organizing & the Important of Labels by The Turquoise Home
  10. Index Card Organizer for Easier Meal Planning by Chicken Scratch NY
  11. Create Craft Room Labels by Dragonfly & Lilypads
  12. Simple Storage Solution for your Christmas Ornaments by Vintage News Junkie
  13. Organize this: DIY Planner Covers, Tags & Dividers (made with Cereal Boxes) by Black and White Obsession
  14. How to Make a Cut File into a Print & Cut by Create & Babble
  15. Simple Chest Freezer Organizational Board by Nearly Handmade
  16. Vinyl Your Kitchen Canisters! by From Wine to Whine
  17. Nursery Closet Dividers & Silhouette Cut File by Creative Ramblings
  18. Make Custom Box Templates with a Silhouette for Drawer Organization by One Dog Woof
  19. Organizing the Craft Room by What's Next Ma
  20. Vinyl Wall Calendar by Crafts Cakes and Cats
  21. Personalized Toy Storage Bins by Lil' Mrs. Tori
  22. Personalized Routine Chart by Work in Progress
  23. Blog Planner Sheet Dividers + Free Cut Files by TitiCrafty by Camila
  24. Simple Project Calendar by Little Blue's Room
  25. Dry Erase Photo Frame Menu Board + Free Cut File by Essentially Eclectic
  26. Receipt Organization with Free Cut File by The Thinking Closet
  27. Cute and Easy Labels by Life After Laundry
  28. "What's For Dinner?" Menu Planning Board by unOriginal Mom
  29. Mixing Organization and Function: An Easy Conversion Chart by My Paper Craze
  30. Why do my cookies taste so bad? A lesson in baking. by The Life and Times of a TAP
  31. Custom Drawer Dividers by Please Excuse My Craftermath...
  32. The evolution of my labeling system by feto soap
  33. Ikea Drawer labels by McCall Manor
  34. Glass Etched Vinegar  & Oil bottles by Terri Johnson Create
  35. Ombre Butterfly Magnet Board by Sowdering About
These projects are so A-mazing! Happy clicking and pinning of course!

Are you taking this month to get organized? What's your latest project? What's next? Have a Silhouette project to share?


Jan 10, 2014

Goodbye 2013 and Hello 2014

First of all I want to wish everyone a happy happy new year! I'm totally excited about all the awesomeness that twenty fourteen will bring us. I'm certainly planning a lot this year and I have high hopes that it will be my best year yet both online and off. Although I still have a hard time believing it's 2014... and yes it will take me at least half of the year to get used to writing 14 instead of 13. Just when I think I have mastered it...BOOM...it changes again.

But, before we move on to 2014 I want to take a minute to reflect on some of my favorite and most viewed post. With over 100 post it's certainly hard to narrow them down. From organizing to DIY these projects defiantly made a positive impact in mine and my family's lives. 

# 1 PANTRY ORGANIZATION was a huge hit with the fans and fam. A few hours of cleaning, purging, and making pretty made this space a must see and favorite for sure. Simple storage baskets with gold bookplates, pretty shelf liner, and vinyl labels came together to give us a well organized beautiful pantry that still to this day {almost one year later} looks and functions great.


#2 DIY GOLD FOIL ART was personally one of my favorite craft projects completed last year. I love the impact a few thrifted frames and gold cake foil made. With the help of my Silhouette Portrait I was able to create one of kind art on the cheap. I still smile every time I walk by these pieces of homemade artwork.


#3 TEACHER PLANNER: As a first time "school mom" I was so giddy to create and share this with J's kindergarten teacher. She loved it and I have since added them to my Etsy Shop. They're so bright and colorful that it makes me want to go back to teaching just to plan.


#4 APPLIQUED CHRISTMAS PILLOWS: These DIY pillow covers from an inexpensive fleece throw and some iron on letters were a huge hit this past holiday season. They were super easy to make and everyone commented on them. It turned out to be an easy way to add a modern touch to traditional pieces.


#5 LEMONADE PARTY FAVORS: These treat buckets were the highlight on my little A's first birthday party. Once again with the help of my Silhouette Portrait I created fun and colorful lemonade stand favors. These inexpensive party gifts were made with dollar store sand buckets, tasty treats, and pretty printables.


#6 CRAFT CART: Inspired by the famous blue Ikea rolling cart I upcycled an inexpensive wire cart with a little blue and gold spray paint. This is another one of my personal favorites. I even dedicated it my wrapping station during the holidays. It wheeled around with me while I secretly wrapped gifts.


#7 CHORE STICKS: After my eldest went off to kindergarten I realized that it was time to implement a little more structure to my four year old's routine. I created a fun and functional way to motivate L to complete her daily chores.


#8 MONTHLY MEAL PLAN: After making the decision to go clean I created a new meal planning system for my entire family. This worked great. However, after using it for a bit I did make some changes and I will be sharing that with you all soon.


#9 MAKEUP ORGANIZER: 2013 brought a new obsession...makeup. For a few months I couldn't get enough. I think I spent my entire allowance on blushes, lipsticks, and mascaras. My short lived obsession has ended, although I still love makeup, I had to quickly put a hiatus on my spending. My new collection warranted a home so I came up with a pretty pink solution. Vinyl labels and small organizing bins still make me giddy about this oh so girly project.


#10: BEACH BOX: Our family vacation to sunny Florida birthed a new idea of the beach bag. A beach box was born to house five people's beach essentials. Sand buckets, towels, and sunblock got carried in the box, which on a side note makes a great beach side table. ;)

 

With all that we tackled in 2013 I am one happy girl and when you reflect on the past in makes you even more excited about the future. My goals for 2014 are going to be a little different. First off I am setting my priorities straight. What means most comes first. That means God, family, and self before business. Don't worry I'm planning a whole new adventure for the blog and tons of new things for my shop. 

I have never been a strict goal setter. I'm more of a "this is what I want in general type person". But this year I want I mean I need  to do both. With the growth of my blog and shop I need to set some tangible goals or else the year will pass me by and I'll I have nothing accomplished. Yep, I'm that big of a procrastinator. Of course my priorities as wife and mommy come before business. And I have several goals for them, my role as the matriarch, and of course personal ambitions for my self. Like mind and body type of stuff. So ultimately I have hundreds of goals and dreams. But how do I condensed my family's wants and needs, my personal desires, and my career plans into a limited amount of feasible goals? I make a list, prioritize, set time and measurable limits. I'm not going to bore you with my entire list but I will highlight my main goals for this year.

GROW SPIRITUALLY-  I am going to dedicate more time for spiritual happiness. I am going to begin a year long devotion program, read daily, and pray often. In order to keep track of my spiritual growth I plan to journal everyday. At the end of the year I will have a completed prayer journal. This will defiantly be a personal experience but I do have some plans and ideas to share with you all.

BALANCE MY TIME- This means find more ways to work smarter not harder so that I can enjoy more free time to do what I love with who I love. I will devote more of myself to my husband and kids. I will plan family days and keep our time together a work free time. I will eliminate the need for technology as often as I can.

EXPAND MY MIND NOT MY BODY-I will be happy. I will nag less {which will make for a happier husband} I will live more healthier by adding an exercise regime to my daily schedule. I will expand my knowledge of graphic design and other interest by going back to school and researching more. I will schedule time for friends and family {more girl's night outs}. I will write thank you notes after all I have secret obsession with pretty thank you notes.

SAVE- A no brainer, right? I have to find ways to save money and time. Be more creative and resourceful, instead of wanting more, and use what I have.

LESS IS MORE- Purge more (ie., clothes I don't wear, toys the kids don't play with, empty cases hoping to be reunited with the long lost dvd or cd). I really want to create empty space and fill that empty space with experiences not stuff. I love the quote ,"Don't have anything in your house that you don't think is beautiful".

BUILD IT- I plan to build the blog up and increase my brand awareness. I have several things planned including a new line of stationery and personal gifts. I want to create beautiful items that will help inspire people to have a better and more meaningful life. Of course I will have to increase my knowledge on the business front of things and build new relationships with manufactures and companies. I am so excited about it!

2013 brought me many good experiences and I hope that 2014 will bring even more. With my heart, mind, and body set in the right direction I know anything is possible. And of course I am beyond happy to share every trail and error with you-my lovely readers. 

Happy new year and God bless!






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