Five on Friday!

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up with Darci and friends for 5 on Friday:)

{one} I bought this cute gold polka dot binder at Target a few weeks ago. My plan is to create a home organizing binder with it, but I haven’t gotten very far, ha!  It’s on my to-do list, though.

home organizer

{two} I’m loving mason jars and all the things you can do with them! I’m even creating Harper’s 2nd birthday party around a mason jar theme.  I picked up these jars at Target (of course!) and have plans to fill them with different spices and herbs we buy in bulk. I’m also going to use them to store homemade taco season and dry ranch dressing mix (soon to come on one of my Pinterest project posts!).  Have you seen the beautiful blue and green mason jars?  So pretty!

mason jars

{three} While this is not a good picture, I made some lasagna soup from the blog, Carolina Charm, few days ago.   It’s a delicious soup with a creamy, spicy flavor! Though it turned out yummy, it’s definitely not a replacement for the vegetable lasagna I make. I highly recommend this taco soup recipe from Carolina Charm. I made it last week and it was so tasty!

lasagna soup

{four} Birthday party prep!  I created two Instagram photo banners displaying pictures of Miss Harper from the past year.  I made the clothespins from washi tape and mini clothespins.

party prep

{five} I love scarves!  This beautiful scarf was given to me by one of my husband’s co-workers.  She recently returned from a rotation in Afghanistan and brought this back for me from one of the local markets there.  It will join my other scarves in my closet, including another scarf from my husband’s co-worker. So pretty!

scarf love

Have a wonderful weekend!

Five on Friday!

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Happy Friday! I’m looking forward to another low-key weekend with my family. Linking up with Darci and friends for Five on Friday!

{one}

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Since Christmas break, I have been on an organizing kick. I started organizing our kiddos’ toys and found these cute baskets at Target. They are the perfect size to contain specific toy sets, like the Eric Carle lacing cards and the Squigz that Will and Harper got for Christmas. We have some bigger toy baskets, but the problem was that the little sets of toys got lost in the baskets. It’s much more organized now and easier to have the kiddos clean up and put away a small basket before getting out new toys. Love it!

{two}

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Going along with the organization theme, I’ve been sorting Will and Harper’s clothes in prep for the spring consignment sales in my area. Here’s an enormous pile of Miss Harper’s old clothes (most were hand-me-downs from my niece). Before I sell at the consignment sale, I’ve been having some co-workers and friends look through the clothes. It’s great because it means less work for me-all that tagging, inventorying, etc…takes lots of time! Plus, I love to see other kiddos in my children’s old clothes:)

{three}

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It’s almost Girl Scout cookie time! One of my favorite Girl Scout cookies are Samoas (called Caramel DeLites now?!), so when I found a recipe for Samoa brownies, I just had to try it! They are a yummy brownie layer (I just used Ghiradelli boxed brownie mix) with a topping of toasted coconut and melted caramels, drizzled with chocolate chips. Yum!

{four}

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Earlier this week, the temps got up in the 50s and it felt like a heat wave! It (almost) seemed like spring was here! Anyway, Will and Harper were begging to go outside to play. Since it had recently rained a ton and the grass was saturated, I took some toys out on our deck and they enjoyed playing there. Fun times!

{five}

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Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it, so Will and I started to get our Valentine’s Day craft on! I found a simple I heart u card to make and created a template for Will to stamp a heart. He (with my help) wrote an “I” and a “U”. I plan on giving the cards to our babysitters-Nana,
Aunt Kathy, and Maw. I’m in the process of making cute (non-candy) Valentines for Will’s preschool friends as well.

Happy Friday!

Oh, Pinterest…

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Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest.  I am a little obsessed with pinning things on Pinterest.  Any time I see something cool on someone’s blog (or   when browsing Pinterest), I just can’t help but pin it to one of my fifty-nine boards.  Yikes! On my fifty-nine boards, I have 4,295 pins (which  I’m sure will increase by the time I publish this post.  My problem is figuring out which project to do next.  I love trying out new recipes and finding fun crafts for the kiddos.  As a result, I created a weekly Pinterest Project post where I feature some of my Pinterest successes and fails.  However, with so many pins, it becomes difficult to decide what to do next.  I’ve been getting overwhelmed with the amount of projects that I would like to try.

What I have decided to do is create a weekly plan of things I want to accomplish.  This list isn’t strictly related to Pinterest and includes activities I want to do with the kiddos, things I need to do around the house, some “me time,” and ideas for blog posts.  Of course, there are the usual chores that need to be done every week-meal planning, grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning the house, etc.-but the things on this list will go beyond that.  For example, I want to become more organized.  I might tackle the kids’ closets next weekend, but the following weekend, I might take a break from organizing and create a Valentine’s Day craft.

I found a cute notepad for list taking at Target’s dollar aisle that I plan on using.  I’ll jot down my ideas at the beginning of the week and go from there.

Another reason I’m feeling stressed is because of my post on 14 in 2014.  There are lots of goals I want to accomplish in 2014, and I need to keep reminding myself that it’s just the start of the year.  I have plenty of time to work on these goals, and if I don’t finish, it’s ok.  They are simply goals.

Any suggestions on how you organize projects so that they’re not overwhelming?!

Five on Friday!

Happy Friday! I’m linking up with Darci and friends for a fun Five on Friday!

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{one} Brrr…it’s been cold here in Virginia!! The overnight lows this week were around -12 with the windchill! So, so cold! We had a two hour delay twice this week due to the cold temps, which was nice. I love being able to sleep a little longer and spending more time with my kiddos in the morning before work. However, the delay schedules make for very hectic days at school.

With these cold temperatures, I’m trying to get creative with activities for Will and Harper. They love being outside, so being cooped up is difficult. Any suggestions on good inside activities?

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{two} I made some delicious banana muffins. These muffins are extra scrumptious, with Greek banana yogurt in the batter and sprinkles on top! I originally found the recipe on Darci’s blog. Will and Harper enjoyed these muffins as well:)

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{three} I have been working on organizing our closets. Here is the closet in our small laundry/mud room that I’m (still in the process of) rearranging. Will loves to do art projects, so I’m giving him several shelves in the closet where he has access to his materials.

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{four} I came across this beautiful dish mat on Etsy via this blog. What a great idea! Wouldn’t that mat look much prettier on your counter than the bulky dish drainer? It would save on space as well, since you could fold it up and tuck it away when the dishes were dry. I might just have to buy one!

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{five} What Does the Fox Say? I’m loving Miss Harper’s new fox pajamas from Old Navy! She got these for Christmas from her Grammy (my mom). Harper’s a little obsessed with her fox and her kitty jammies and throws a fit when we have to get dressed in the mornings, ha! Old Navy always has such cute pajamas for girls and boys. It’s our go to store for kids’ pjs! (*not compensated, just love their pjs!).

Stay warm, and have a great weekend:)

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Weekly Pinterest Project: Week 21-An Organized Pantry

In preparation for 2014 and all the organization projects that people tackle, I thought I’d share this quick pantry organization post. I absolutely LOVE to organize! My mother-in-law has been wanting me to organize her pantry for a long time, and I finally got around to organizing it. We went to Wal-Mart (my least favorite place in the world but pretty much the only place to shop where my in-laws live) and purchased all the white bins they had. When we returned home, I took everything off each shelf and had my mother-in-law go through and throw out any old food. We found some cans from 2009-oh, my!

I organized the pantry similar to how ours is organized, using white bins and sorting food by canned goods, pasta and rice, baking supplies, etc. Using the bins really helps to corral the items and keeps things much more organized. I told her I will be checking in with her periodically and making sure everything is still in its correct place, ha! My father-in-law even created labels for the shelves to ensure that everything stays organized (after these pics were taken).

Here’s the before, with my mother-in-law doing a Vanna-ish pose:

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And after:

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My next goal is to organize our bonus room/playroom and all the toys my kiddos received for Christmas!

Weekly Pinterest Project: Week 11-Scarf Organization

Wow-two weeks in a row of not making a new recipe for my Pinterest project!  I’m on an organization kick around here lately, so I decided to tackle organizing my scarves.  On my Pinterest organization board, I pinned several ways to organize scarves.  I was specifically looking for a no-cost way to display my scarves and saw how you could tie your scarves and hang them on the wall.  I adapted this by hanging them on an empty hanging rod in our closet.  Not only does it nicely display my scarves but it also hides a hideous small shoe rack full of shoes we don’t wear very often (I should go through these and donate some).  I thought I had a ton of scarves until I organized them…maybe it’s time to buy some more?!  Anyway, I need to do more organizing in our master bedroom closet, but this is a start!

scarf organization 1

Oh, I just received a cashmere scarf from Afghanistan!  My husband’s co-worker picked up the blue/purple patterned scarf to the far right (you can see it best on the picture below) at a local bazaar while she was on rotation in Afghanistan.  It’s so beautiful!

scarf 2

Weekly Pinterest Project-Week 10: Organizing the Hallway Closet

For my next project, I decided to do a little organizing instead of cooking or baking! I love all things organizing and have pinned lots of pics of nicely organized rooms and closets. One of the tips I came across was to fold sheet sets and store them inside one of the pillowcases. That way, you wouldn’t have random sheets floating around and not matching up. Genius! Why didn’t I think of that before?

Anyway, I thought I’d give that a try. We store most of our sheets in a trunk in our master bedroom. Our upstairs hallway has a closet, which is full of extra pillows, bedding, a paper shredder (random, I know), beach towels, blankets, and a few other items. I keep Will’s sheets in his closet (just more convenient) and Harper’s crib sheets in her closet. All of our bath towels are in the bathroom closet.

Here’s what it looked like before I rearranged and organized.  Blankets were shoved onto the shelves and it just looked messy.  I also thought I could utilize the space better and add more linens to the closet.

hall closet before

To start, I pulled everything into the hallway and determined what needed to be donated to Goodwill and what I  needed to keep.  I ended up only donating an old, old sheet set to Goodwill; everything else was neatly folded and rearranged.

hall org in progress

Here’s what it looks like now, after sorting and organizing the quilts on one shelf (BTW, those quilts were made by my husband’s grandmother and are very special to us, though some of the color choices are interesting!), towels on another, and pillows on the top.  I added a few baskets (several are on the bottom and you can’t see in this pic) to help with storage.  Overall, this was a $0 cost organization project-I found the baskets in another closet and used them.  Now we will see how long it will look this neat, ha!

after-hall closet

Since my original intention was to organize our sheets, I pulled everything out of the trunk in our master bedroom and organized the sheets inside the pillowcases.  Such a neat trick!  I also took the sheets out of the hall linen closet and consolidated them in the trunk.  I plan on doing several more Pinterest organization projects in the future!

linen organization