Thursday, February 28, 2013

Kitchen Organization Wrapup!

Well it's the last day of February- crazy!

This month flew by awful fast- and I managed to complete two BIG projects in the kitchen- organizing the pantry and organizing our tupperware cupboard. I do have more kitchen projects on my to-do list but they will have to wait a little while because I am sure Jen over at iheartorganizing has another room for the March monthly challenge. I am personally really hoping that it will be a closet month because I have a ton of projects to work on in there- but the bathroom would be great as well because I really should clean that puppy up as well!

At the beginning of the month this post showed tons of inspirational images for kitchen organization which definitely gave me the kick I needed to get started with these projects!

So, earlier this month I posted all about our tupperware organization.  I  was able to go through all of the tupperware containers that were stuffed in that cupboard and even purge a few that were missing a lid, or a lid that didn't have a match. It was really nice to be able to organize a space that constantly annoyed me!

I also organized our pantry this month. Not only was I able to pull out a few things that expired, but everything looks so much nicer when it is all lined up and organized. I have tons of ideas for my future pantry when I move out but unfortunately that will have to wait a little while! =)

I have a few more projects I would like to work on in the kitchen- so those might be popping up in the future- so stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Recently on one of my favorite blogs, I read about a great app for organizing a to do list. The app is called Wunderlist and I have started trying it out this week and so far really like it.

On Wunderlist you can have multiple lists going at once which is awesome. Right now my current lists are:
To Do List- to keep track of daily to-do items.
Blog Ideas- any ideas I have for this blog go on this list.
Shopping- my current shopping list.
Movies to Watch- movies i see previews for and want to see.
Wishlist- Items I would like to buy but aren't part of my regular shopping list.
Books to Read- Any books recommended to me!
Scrapbooking/Photos- Scrapbooks to complete...
Ebay/Sell- Items that I need to list and sell on ebay or elsewhere.
Gift Ideas- ideas for gifts for family members and friends.
Movies To Buy- I love having an extensive movie collection and have a list of movies I would like to purchase if I happen to find them on sale.

I use my to-do list most often to keep track of my daily to dos. For example today I had the following items on my to do list:
Get an oil change
Post Office

As I finished each item I was able to check it off in the app, and it was immediately shown as crossed off which was exciting because I personally love checking things off my to do list.

I love having lists for different purposes. I used to keep all these lists in the yellow notepad app on my iphone but I like that this app is easier to delete items from each list then having to manually erase each item.

The number one things that I love most about this app is that I can use it on both my macbook AND on my iphone. When I add an item onto my to do list on my computer, it is instantly transferred to my iphone. That to me is amazing!

I still like having a hard copy of my to do list- and this app allows the opportunity to print one out which is nice. I still love to make my paper and pen to do lists and cross out everything as I go throughout my day.

Sorry for all this nerd talk about to do lists, but I'm sure there are a few more nerds like me out there who want to be constantly organized and make miles of lists every day!

How do you organize your to do list? Do you have an app on your phone or are you an old fashioned pen and paper person?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Beach Decorations...

As you might have guessed, I am huge fan of the beach. I love everything nautical- the color of the ocean, sand, shells, everything about it! I am constantly at the beach collecting shells, and sand. As you saw on this post I have started a sand collection in a huge vase- but maybe you're wondering what I do with the rest of my items from the beach...

I like to use old candle jars to collect shells. I have about 5 jars located throughout my room with shells set up different ways. So far I have just mixed and matched shells from different locations- but as I go on collecting shells- I need to start thinking of different things to do with them! I may put together a few  jars with things I find on specific beaches instead of mixing them up...

Here is one of the many jars I have filled with shells:

Used a Diamond Candle jar and some shells from the beach to make a decoration for my room!

It's great to reuse the candle jars because it is a free way to decorate a space!

My mom has started making shell wreaths and I wish I had a picture of one because they are gorgeous, I will have to share one sometime soon. She is able to make them so nicely- she even made one for me. I started checking out Pinterest for different ways to display beach items and here are some things I found.....

Starfish wreath

neat idea
beach house decorating with shells in jars

I have shells but no sand, so this might be a no go. Maybe I can use them somewhere else.

I love finding items that can be repurposed and beach items are amazing because they can be used in so many different ways. The above are just a few of the many ideas that are out there. My future home will definitely be decorated like a beach house so starting now by making items with beach findings can  only help my future decor budget!

Do you have a certain type of style you find most appealing in house decor? 

Monday, February 25, 2013

New York City Weekend

On Saturday afternoon when I finished work, I drove straight to my friend Rachel's apartment in Guilford CT and then we headed straight away to the city!

Rachel's college roommate Katie lives in NYC and had agreed to host us for the weekend- it was so nice to see her! I think it had been about two years since I had seen her- it's crazy how fast time goes by!

On Saturday we mostly walked around, just taking in the sights of the city. Our dinner that night was AMAZING. We went to a Japanese restaurant which immediately made me a little nervous. I am not entirely adventurous when it comes to trying new food, but it was awesome.

We went to Gyu-Kaku which is a cook-it-yourself restaurant. You order the meats and veggies that you want and you are able to cook it yourself at the table. There is a grill in the middle of the table. We ordered two different steaks, ribs, and chicken. For our veggie we chose garlic spinach, and we also ordered a side of rice (that was cooked for us) that had garlic in it as well. I also ordered a drink with dinner, called a tsunami- it was vodka and blue curaco based and delicious to the last drop!

So the dinner was great- could dessert possibly be better? Well my friends, the answer is YES it could! I had s'mores. Yes, you read that right. I had s'mores. Since we had a grill right on our table- I toasted the marshmallows right there at the table and they were amazing!

After dinner we headed to a nearby Irish pub and had a couple drinks and chatted a ton until about 11:30 when we suddenly became old ladies and headed off to Katie's apartment to crash!

The first thing we did on Sunday morning was get cupcakes. There is a little shop called Baked by Melissa and they sell mini cupcakes and oh my are they delicious!!

We each got two- I had a chocolate chip pancake cupcake and a cookie dough cupcake. Both were amazing and I could have eaten 10 more. However, we needed to save room for brunch. Katie decided to take us to her favorite restaurant for brunch.

Gina's is a small restaurant and made me a little nervous at first, I ordered a tea but as someone who generally eats the same things for breakfast every day I didn't see anything on the menu I wanted to order to eat. I ended up ordering eggs florentine only because they had homefries. I figured that worst case scenario I could just eat the homefries and survive off of those...but I really liked the eggs florentine!

It was really pretty looking too! I only managed to eat one because they were quite filling.

After brunch we walked around quite a bit- we sat on the steps at the MET and strolled through Central Park.

We saw a ton of things in Central Park- the Alice in Wonderland statue, Belvedere Castle, and much more! I was shocked that there was a "castle" in Central Park- it was something very exciting that I didn't expect to see. As always when I come back from New York there are a million things I still want to see- including the apartment from Friends, the door stoop from Sex and the City, the Museum of Natural History, and so much more! I guess that just means I'll have to head back there again soon!

Thank you again Katie for having us for the weekend- it was an amazing time!

What did you guys do this weekend?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Visiting Friends for the Weekend!

As you might have seen in the blog earlier this week, I have been away for the weekend visiting a friend in NYC. I decided to bring little gifts to both my friend Rachel who I am traveling with to New York, and my friend Katie who I am going to be staying with for the weekend.

On Thursday I baked some cookies...

and then bagged up a few cookies for each them. I put them in ziploc bags so that way they would stay fresh. I also threw a few hershey kisses inside.

I had a bunch of M&Ms from Christmas and I fished out a bunch of red ones to throw in the bags as well- close enough to Valentines Day!

Then I stapled up the bags!

Voila! Pretty pretty gifts! I love bringing a hostess gift when staying with someone =)

I'll be back tomorrow to update you on the weekend in New York! =)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Kitchen Pantry Organization!

Well since we are wrapping up kitchen organization month- I decided it was again time to take everything out of the pantry and organize it a little bit nicer.

I had done this right before Christmas since we were leaving for Florida and wanted to make sure we didn't have food hanging around that would go bad and we got rid of a TON of expired food. Some food was so old that it had probably been there for years. We always seem to have things hanging around that no one eats and we don't really know where they come from...

Anyways, the pantry wasn't TOO terrible but I wanted to organize it a little bit better. My mom claims that each shelf has its own category. The top is snacks, the second is baking, the third is pasta and cooking, and the last is soup and other canned goods (and my beloved mac and cheese). However, the third and fourth shelves were a little mixed up and that did not make sense to me at all. I needed to get in there and fix it up!

Here's what we started with:

Do I even need to ask you what the first step of organization is? If you've been reading you know this! Empty it out!

Everything was emptied out onto the floor, I vacuumed out each shelf to get all the little crumbs out of there, and then I inspected each and every item to make sure they were not expired. There were only 3/4 items that had expired and needed to be tossed out. The rest needed to get sorted and placed back inside!

I kept the shelves the same "categories" and since it's not my own pantry I couldn't go crazy buying organizers and arranging everything exactly like I wanted it, but that's okay =)

Starting at the bottom shelf... All of the canned food items are lined up by type and by expiration date so when anyone needs one they can pull one from the front and everything will still be lined up nicely! It also holds all of our pop tarts and mac and cheese!

The next shelf up holds all of our cooking sides and pasta. There are also jars of pasta sauce, extra condiments, and boxes of rice. Basically everything we need to make dinner =)

The next shelf up is our baking shelf. There are all different types of vinegar and wine in the back because they wouldn't fit on the next shelf down but everything else is baking. There is sugar, chocolate chips, and boxes of muffin and cupcakes mixes in there as well.

The top shelf is full of snacks. We have chips, granola bars, cheez-its, etc. This shelf is hard to organize because people are in and out of it all day long and not everyone in my family cares as much about organization as I do =)

And here it is with the doors closed...

Gotta love a nice organized pantry! I wish i could get baskets and plastic containers to organize it even more but I think need my own place first!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Weekly Couponing Wrapup!

Not a huge week for couponing- but a pretty good one none-the-less! I couponed at three stores this week - Staples, CVS, and Stop & Shop. 

At Staples:

3 Pads @ 4 for $1
1 Box of Copy Paper @ $24.99 
1 Ream of Copy Paper @ $6.99
3 Lysol @ $3.99 each

I used two coupons I printed from the Staples website, one for a rebate for the $6.99 copy paper, the other for $4.99 off the box of paper.
With the promotion Staples is running this week, I will get back rewards to cover $20 from the box of paper, and will make back ALL of my money for the Lysol.

Essentially I paid $1 for the pads and everything else I got for FREE! Sweet!

At CVS...

1 Conair curling iron on clearance @$2.37
Qtips @ $3.79
Loreal Miracle Blur on sale for $19.99
Loreal Eye Defense Cream @ $15.29

I used a CVS MCM coupon for $5 off Miracle Blur, making it $14.99
$6 off $30 facial creams from the CVS MCM
CVS MCM coupon for $1 off cotton swabs
30 cent off coupon for qtips
$5 ECB 

My total was $27.04 and I received $10 ECB back, not too bad- not amazing either!

At Stop & Shop....

2 Bounty 6 Packs @ $6.49 each
2 Bounty Napkins @$1.29 each
2 Glade Sprays @ $1 each
3 Hershey Kisses @ buy 2 for $4.19, get 1 free.
Honey Cured Ham @ $7.91

I used a store coupon to make one of the Bounty paper towels $4.99.
I used (2) $1 off two bounty products
I used a $1 off two glade sprays coupon

This order was $31.06 for everything- again not great, but i did manage to save a little bit...

Hopefully next week will be better!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Vase of Sand

Have you ever seen this project on Pinterest?

Vacation Memories
Well, I thought it was an amazing project, especially for someone who loves the beach. When I was in Florida I decided to start things off by collecting a bottle of sand from both the beaches I visited. Then recently while in AC Moore I picked up a vase so I could get started!

I started layering the sand, but both sands from Florida looked very similar so I was a little annoyed- but I followed what they did in the picture above and labeled the back of my vase so I could keep track of the sand and where they are from. Then on Tuesday while bring my dog to the beach, I collected some more sand and layered that on top. Now, I have three different types of sand from three different beaches and am definitely pleased with how this decor item is coming along!

Here's what it looks like so far:

I can't wait till I have more sand to add- I love to travel and see new places and now every time I travel to a beach I will be able to take home a free memory to add to my collection. I'm also a huge fan of how decorative this will become. I love ocean-themed decor so it will fit in perfectly in my future home. I was unable to find a rectangle vase like the one on Pinterest but I do like the shape of this one and how big it is!


I just made some simple labels for the back with my label maker. I can turn the vase either way depending on what I want people to see! =)

Have you done any Pinterest ideas lately?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Rainy Day Runners Workout

While browsing Pinterest the other day I found a workout that I had to complete. I still am having trouble running because I've been so sick. I still am having trouble breathing correctly which means of course running is pretty much out of the question. I needed a workout that is low impact but still gives results and then I found this beauty:

rainy day workout
Not only does it allow me to alternate breathing through my nose (when possible) and my mouth (when it's not possible), but I did manage to work up a little sweat- and definitely felt the burn in my abs which was nice! I really miss working out and being sick makes me SOOO miserable!!! I'm thinking about trying a few yoga DVDs because moving at a slower pace makes it much easier right now!

What do you do for exercise when you're feeling icky? Do you have any go-to workouts when you feel like you can't breathe?! 

I'd love to hear them!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Organizing the Tupperware Cupboard

Our tupperware cupboard was starting to look a little messy. And by a little messy, I mean a lot messy. It was insane. A complete disaster. When I was looking for a tupperware container to store leftovers I was unable to match up a lid to the bottom and I was getting extremely frustrated! I mean, who wouldn't get frustrated about this...

It was seriously a disaster. So what did I do?

Take out everything and lay it on the floor of course! My first suggestion when cleaning out any area is to completely empty it out. This tupperware container was no exception- taking everything out allowed me to see exactly what we had and get a visual idea of how I wanted to put everything back in. 

Some of the lids I found inside the cupboard didn't even have a match. They were just sitting in the cupboard- never used and lonely. See ya later abandoned tops! No reason to hold on to items you'll never use.

Doesn't that look better? All of the tops are matched to the bottoms. The ice cube trays are all together in one box (although I'm not sure why we're insistent on keeping the ice cube trays seeing that we have an ice maker in our fridge)- all lunch boxes and extra items are located on the bottom shelf together. 

It just looks so much cleaner- and now there is no confusion as to what lid goes with what bottom. Because as you can see below- all the unmatched tops and bottoms will be heading off to their next life- I'm not sure where they'll go yet- salvation army or recycled. But they are outta here!

If you follow Iheartorganizing you know that February is kitchen organization month...what have you been doing to organize your kitchen lately?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Book Reviews!

I recently finished an amazing book by one of my favorite authors, Kristin Hannah. If you haven't read anything by her yet- I recommend you get on it immediately!

I absolutely love her writing and this book, Magic Hour, was absolutely no exception. This novel is based around the lives of sisters, Julia and Ellie. They find a girl who is unable to speak and has clearly been through a traumatic experience. Julia, being a psychologist who recently has a horrible situation following her around, is called in to work with the girl, who she names Alice.

The novel has so many twists and turns and when I picked it up I had a hard time putting it back down!  As horrible as the situation with Alice is, I wanted to find out her story as the story continued- I wanted to know why she was unable to speak, or why she didn't want to speak. I was mentally cheering as she said her first words and as Julia was able to teach her new skills such as using the bathroom or not being afraid of the doorknob.

I don't want to spoil the end of the story for anyone- but at one point I began crying and didn't understand how the author could let what was happening happen- and then everything changed for the better and I had to wipe away my tears while I smiled away!

I really recommend this novel to everyone- it definitely was a great book. I do prefer some of the other Kristin Hannah books to this one however. If you are just starting off reading a Kristin Hannah novel- I would definitely recommend Night Road and Firefly Lane, but so far I've liked nearly every book of hers that I have read.

Another book, that I recently finished is Entwined by Heather Dixon.

This novel was based on the children's book, The Twelve Dancing Princesses. It mostly follows the story of Azeala whos mother just passed away and who has a father that is very much not present in his daughters lives. Azeala is the oldest of 12 girls, all of whom share one bedroom in a magical castle. They find some magic one night after their father has banned dancing from the castle- they manage to escape every night and dance at a magical land. Things soon turn scary when the magic isn't always as it seems.

Before reading this novel I read some reviews and everyone that recommended it says it was amazing novel and they highly recommended it. I thought it was pretty good- but it definitely wasn't my favorite story of all time. I liked the concept of it, but it was a little slow and a little long. I definitely won't be re-reading it anytime soon, but I'm glad that I gave it a chance. I wouldn't entirely recommend it but I wouldn't say that you shouldn't read it either!

During the snowstorm last week i spent a lot of time reading...I actually re-read the Twilight series. Do you have books that you constantly re-read because you love them so much? The only books that are really like that for me are the Twilight Series and the Harry Potter Series. When I was younger I used to re-read books all the time. Soon I will do a post about my favorite books/series growing up because I love to share my love of books =)