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Decorating Bookshelves

15 Feb

This has definitely become one of my favorite things to do.   We always collect some sort of knick knack from our travels to remind us of the places we’ve been, and this week I got to open the “bookshelf box” and reminisce a bit.  Similar to our last home, I wanted to fill the bookshelves with books (obvious choice, huh?) as well as our travel tokens.

First, I brought up ALL of the boxes labeled living room, so I could survey what I was in for.  It’s amazing how quickly you can forget what you have!

Next, I took out all of the books and arranged them in piles according to size.  This helps when it’s time to put them on the shelves.

And the last step… Begin placing!  I started with no rhyme or reason…. Just made sure there was a good mix of vertical and horizontal book displays, interspersed with the travel items.  Every once in a while I would take a step back, re-evaluate, move things… But all in all it’s a fun activity with no real rules!

Bottom shelf is empty in hopes that we have more travel plans in the future…. Or in case I find another box buried in the basement 🙂

Now if you’re looking for a little more guidance, House Beautiful has some tips for decorating bookshelves:

Step One
Empty your shelves. Back them with colored paper, or paint the backs a contrasting color. This will help make the objects pop.
Step Two
Sort books by size and subject. Remove and discard any ripped dust jackets (unless you think they might have value). Line books, some vertically, some horizontally, in a rhythmic pattern. This will relieve the monotony of rows.

Step Three
Fill unused spaces with attractive boxes. These will help you (neatly) store everything from photos to computer manuals. The blocks of color will break up the rows of books.
Step Four
Add ceramics and other objects. Place family photos or small works of art against the books to bring the shelves to life.
Step Five
Be daring. Hang a framed picture from the bookcase molding.
Voilà! The finished bookcase — a much more interesting addition to your room.
For more fun bookshelf photos, check out my previous post
The Beauty of Books
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All tangled up!

9 Dec

As the holiday season nears, I’m bracing myself for at least one new technology item to enter our household.  Now don’t get me wrong…I love me some technology!  I better since my day job relies on it 🙂 But what I don’t like is all of the cords, wires, accessories and other unknown items that come with it.

Can we take a moment to look at one of our many random cord boxes?  $10 says we don’t even have the gadgets to go with half of these… but for some reason we are hesitant to get rid of them, just in case the nokia cell phone circa 1999 comes back in style.

So this post is dedicated to one of my favorite topics – organization!  C’mon, lets get a grip on our gadgets!!!

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Click image for source.

It’s no longer trash when you get to the bottom of the roll 😉

This is fantastic.  I HATE it when my phone charger falls behind my bed… I’m scared to go back there.

No more playing the “which one is the the one I reeeeallly don’t want to unplug” game.

Ok, not a cord – but hot damn this is genius!

Oh Crate and Barrel, you think of everything!

New uses for old things!

Are you cord-ganized yet???

Yeah, that’s right… horrible play on words there.  Forgive me, it’s late and I’m considering tackling our cord box before bed!

I love leftovers.

28 Nov

Hi everyone!  Hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving, and hopefully a few days off from work.  I feel especially thankful this year in that I was able to spend the holiday with both my family and my husband’s family.  It was a big in-law-thanksgiving-fest, which now puts this holiday at the top of my favorite list 🙂

So of course there was amazing food (and a great table setting, mom!), but let’s be honest…one of the best parts of a Thanksgiving meal is the leftovers!!!  Who is with me???  

But here comes the problem… You go to grab your tupperware to store the leftover food, and it’s a disaster.  There are tops that have no bottoms, bottoms that have no tops, and pieces of plastic exploding onto your kitchen floor the second you open the tupperware cabinet.  It’s insanity in there. 

So this post is dedicated to some helpful tips on how to get a grip on your tupperware.  I have used many of these ideas myself, and I am a better person today because of it.  True statement.

1. INVENTORY

First things first – let’s get a handle on what you got.  This step might seem overwhelming, but I promise you only have to do it once a year, and you can probably skip the gym because you may break a sweat.  Take out ALL of your tupperware and display it on a large flat surface, like a kitchen table.  Now start putting the pieces together by securing tops to bottoms.  Done?  What’s left?  TRASH that’s what!  Discard (or better yet, recycle!) of all pieces with no matches.  Seriously, do it.

2. LABEL

This one is optional but I think it’s a fantastic idea.  While your pieces are together take a permanent market and number each top and bottom together.  So there should be a “1” top with a “1” bottom.  This will help with those pieces that may look like they are the same size, but the top just won’t fit on the bottom (no matter how hard you push it).  It also helps a year down the line, when you are back to step 1.

3. GROUP

I like to keep like things together (this applies to tupperware ONLY!).  I find it easier to keep things divided this way because it’s much easier to locate them when you’re in a hurry.  So tops with tops, big bottoms with big bottoms, squares with squares, circles with circles, you get the point…  It also helps you stack more strategically, and stacking always saves space.

4. ORGANIZE

Now it’s time to put these beautiful babies back in their home.  There are a ton of clever ways to keep your tupperware looking pretty and easy to grab.  Check out some of these fabulous tupperware organizing ideas!

Click for source.

Use drawer dividers to help with step #3.

Genious! Use a CD rack to keep tops in place.

Got a deep drawer and some plywood?

Perfect example of my group suggestion.

{So how do you get a grip on your tupperware?}

Storage Underestimated

3 Nov

Tony and I are incredibly lucky to currently be living in an apartment that’s got a whooooole lotta’ storage.  It’s funny because I didn’t fully appreciate this fact until we started checking out houses for sale in our neighborhood, and realized that really good storage is hard to come by.  Especially when it comes to the kitchen!

Case in point.  Right now we are spoiled because we have both a large built-in unit in our diningroom and a pantry in our kitchen that I occasionally find myself hanging out in because I love it so much.  Do I need to get out of the house more?  Probably.

Diningroom built-in. 

 Kids don’t come close, it’s fragile up in here.  


And my favorite spot in the house… The pantry!

Here’s a view from the the kitchen so you can see how cute and tucked away it is.

So our kitchen isn’t huge and it’s nothing fancy… and it’s surely not anything like Elements of Style blogger Erin’s new downtown Boston digs.

{More amazing photos can be found here, but fair warning!  You may hate her after you see the ridiculous apartment she will be renting}

But I absolutely love our space because it just works so well for us!  And I would honestly take fantastic storage over new stainless steel appliances any day.  Yes Tony, you can quote me here!

Now I’ve slowly but surely come to terms with the fact that when we eventually buy a house, we likely won’t have the crazy storage that I dream of, or even that of our current apartment.  However with some creativity and of course the help of trusty Pinterest, I know we will be able to make do with whatever we got.

So here are some creative kitchen storage ideas I’m currently keeping on file for when that day comes!

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I looove the idea of using a pegboard for storage.  My parents have one in their pantry to store pots, pans and lids and I always thought it was the coolest.  Such trendsetters, my mom and dad…

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I’m diggin this idea for the freezer food storage, because you KNOW you have lost frozen chicken breasts back there someone.  Admit it!

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Now why didn’t I think of this?

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 How handy!

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You know how I love me some Ball Jars!

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And one of my favorites.  Talk about utilizing all of your space!

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So talk to me about storage, people.
What are some of your creative ideas?

Foldin’ Feaver

1 Aug

Ok, please don’t laugh at me (great start to a post, huh?) but I have been trying to master folding that damn fitted sheet ever since I was old enough to do my own laundry. I mean, nothin says a house full of pretty like an organized linen closet, right?  Right?  Who’s with me? 😉

So I posted what I thought was a helpful video a while back, but still… no dice.

Well good ol’ Martha has offered a step by step tutorial, complete with pictures (I love pictures!) and so I’d like to pass on the deets to see if SOMEONE out there can master it!!

How to Fold a Fitted Sheet…
Because you have THAT much free time!

By Martha Stewart 

1. Stand holding the sheet by the two adjacent corners of one of the shorter edges. With the sheet inside out, place one hand in each of these two corners.

2. Bring your right hand to your left, and fold the corner in your right hand over the one in your left, enveloping it. Next, reach down and pick up the corner that is hanging in front; bring it up, and fold it over the two corners in your left hand; the corner that’s showing will be inside out.

3. Bring the last corner up, and fold it over the others; with its right side showing, it should envelop the other three corners.

4. Lay the folded sheet on a flat surface and straighten it into the shape shown.

5. Fold the two edges in so all the elastic is hidden.

6. Fold the sheet into a rectangle.

7. Continue folding until the rectangle is the size you want it to be.

Ok people, it’s time to try this!  And report back on your successes!

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