Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Things I'm Loving Lately

Hi there everyone! Today I'm popping in to share some things that I have been loving lately! This kind of post can be filled with a variety of things so you never know quite what you're going to get :)

First up a couple of decor items that I have been absolutely loving in my living room and they were both gifts from my mom!

Starfish Pillows

The first is a set of these pillows from Kohls. 

These starfish pillows are gorgeous! We have two on our couch and I have designated them as decor pillows meaning no one is allowed to squish them! My mom bought these for me for Christmas and I have been enjoying seeing them on my couch every single day since.

RI Home Sign

My mom clearly has great taste because awhile back she bought me this sign:

I believe she purchased this from a store in Charlestown RI called Simple Pleasures which is one of our favorite stores to browse in! I'm sure you could find something similar on Etsy but I think the color of this one is perfect and it works great with my blue/ocean theme that I have going on in my living room.

Grove Collaborative

I just began ordering again from Grove Collaborative and I am loving the simplicity of ordering natural cleaning supplies from their website. I already am obsessed with Method and Mrs. Meyer's cleaning products and love that I can try out some new products from their site every month.

I just placed an order with them so I will definitely be doing a future post unboxing all my items and then share with you how I like them in the future. In the past I have ordered a few things that I have loved...

-Mrs. Meyers Multisurface Spray in Honeysuckle
-Method Antibac Toilet Cleaner in Spearmint
-Method Multisurface Spray in Ocean Waves
-Arm and Hammer Baking Soda
-Grove Collaborative Be Good Dish Brush
-Method Daily Shower Spray
-Grove Collaborative Walnut Scrubber Sponges
-Grove Collaborative Glass Spray Bottle

If you use my referral link you will get a $10 credit to use on your first order! You also get a free trial of a VIP membership which means you get free shipping when you sped $20 which is insanely easy to do!


With the playoffs happening pretty much all we have been watching at my house is football- which is just fine! Both of our teams (Patriots for me and Eagles for Tim) are in the playoffs so we are hoping for a Patriots/Eagles Super Bowl this year!


Back 40 in Exeter RI

Oh my goodness. Last week we went out to dinner and visited Back 40 in Exeter RI for the first time. I tried their Back Mac which is an insanely delicious mac and cheese dish. I kid you not it is the most delicious macaroni and cheese I've ever had in my entire life. My mouth is watering just typing this and I will 100% be going back to have it again.

If you are ever visiting Rhode Island definitely check it out!

Speed Cleaning Videos on Youtube

I have been obsessed with Speed Cleaning Videos on Youtube lately. I first discovered them when one of my favorite Youtubers Vasseur Beauty did a video where she cleaned her house and it was sped up. From there my obsession just got worse.

Some of my favorites lately to watch speed clean are:

Love Meg
Beauty and The Beastons
Erica Lee
Kelly Marie

There's something oddly satisfying about watching other people clean and it totally motivates me to get my home clean too!

Those are a few of the things I'm loving lately- what are YOU loving lately?

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Quick Pantry Clean

Good morning everyone!

Today I'm sharing with you a quick project I did on Friday night. I got home from working both jobs and was feeling really motivated so I decided to take everything off my pantry shelves and put everything back in neatly!

I didn't take a proper before picture but if you head over to my youtube channel you can see a quick video of me emptying everything out of the pantry and putting it all back in. I'm still trying to figure out my Canon Rebel and I think I need to order a new memory card because it got full awful quickly! Anyone out there who uses a DSLR camera who has any tips on memory cards and filming HD videos feel free to send them my way!

Anyways, I moved a few things around in the process- our crockpot has been moved onto our blue table in the middle room. It took the place of Tim's popcorn machine he never uses which was sent into the second bedroom to be stored. (It will be great in a man cave someday!) I also put our blender into the second bedroom to be stored- we hardly ever use it but I feel it's one of those kitchen appliances we need to keep.

Here's what each shelf looks like now:

Our top shelf has all of Tim's coffee on the left. I didn't want to toss anything without talking to him first but we will be going through the coffee since I'm pretty sure some of it is old. I also have some tea samples in the center of the shelf. On the right side is our glass pans for baking. Usually our colander sits in front of this but it was dirty when I took this picture.

The second shelf holds baking items like flour and sugar but also holds my teabags for my morning tea and the toaster. We don't have enough room on our counter for all our appliances so I tucked this inside the pantry for easy access. In the back is pancake mix and extra syrup, a container that normally holds cereal and some refill Brita filters.

Our third shelf holds quite a bit. On the left is some hot chocolate supplies while along the back wall lives all of our pasta, rice, beans and other meal supplies. The bin on the right is full of candy and gum from Christmas. I swear this was empty before Christmas!

The bottom shelf holds Tim's pizza stone. On top of it I placed some snack foods and on the right we have all our bread products.

On the floor my pink bin is still working great for holding water bottles and I keep all of our plastic grocery bags on the right side so I can return and recycle them at the grocery store. 

The door shelves stayed pretty much the same. I did check the expiration dates and everything was still good so I kept everything pretty much where it was.

I did throw out a few snack foods that were past their prime but for the most part this is all the same stuff just placed inside the pantry in a neat and organize fashion. Just goes to show you how much of a difference a small tidy can make!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Goals For 2018

I saw this yesterday and decided that I needed to write down all my goals for 2018. If I post them here then I will feel far more motivated to crush them!

1. Get Healthy! 

I know, I know this is one of those goals everyone has every year and doesn't stick with but I'm putting it first on my list because to me it's the most important. My main reasoning is honestly vanity reasons- I gain all of my weight in my stomach and I can't stand it. I know I need to do a combination of eating healthy and working out regularly and I've already begun to work on that. Once I make a little progress I'll share with you how I'm doing but for now I'll just say that going to the gym and eating semi-healthy are my top two priorities for this goal!

2. Get Out Of Debt!

I have a small amount of debt compared to most people but it's still there. I've been working on decreasing it (it's all credit card debt) but honestly it's slow moving. I know that I can 100% have it paid off by the end of the year but I aiming in the next couple of months to have everything paid off. I think my tax return will help me achieve this and I will keep you updated on this as well.

3. Save For A House

Now originally I wrote "Buy A House" but decided that was a little unrealistic. I know we need to save a hefty down payment in order to buy a house and also need to continue to figure out what we can really afford and find a house we love. It's still a ways off but I want my savings account to increase and know that buying a house is a possibility by the end of the year.

What are your goals for 2018?!

Get out there and crush them!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Creating An Effective Cleaning and Organizing Plan For The New Year

As much as I hate to admit it...I love cleaning.

Please don't tell Tim.

I love making our apartment sparkle and vacuuming makes me want to dance around. I don't know why I'm this way...but I am. I realize that not everyone loves to clean and I also know that most people don't even like to clean. If I'm being honest the last thing I want to do when I come home from work is clean up the apartment- the days I like to clean are the ones when I am home all day to enjoy it. Let's be honest I'd be a great housewife :)

It's no secret I love to organize so let's not even try to justify that.

So today we aren't just talking about my love of organizing and cleaning we are talking about how everyone can create a plan that works for them and their life! I've also sprinkled in some old photos of my apartment looking clean just to inspire!

Clean When It Works For You

This is one of the biggest tips I can give you. There are all sorts of cleaning schedules out there but they may not necessarily work for you. If you have a ton of kids you might have to do a load of laundry every day in order to stay caught up while if it's just you and one other you may be able to just do laundry one day a week.

If you wear shoes in the house you might need to vacuum and mop quite a few times throughout the course of the week and if you don't you might only need to vacuum once or twice.

Your cleaning schedule is completely based on your lifestyle. You may like things super clean and dust daily, you might not mind a mess and let it go for weeks. Decide for yourself what you want your home to look and feel like and go from there.

I personally like my "reset" method. I clean a little bit throughout the week- doing dishes, vacuuming, etc.. but let Tim make a mess of his side of the couch and coffee table. Then on one weekend day I do a "reset" and everything has to be cleaned. I clean out the fridge, change the sheets, do all the laundry, etc.

This allows Tim to live the way he wants to- aka not picking up after himself constantly and allows me to keep my sanity by getting everything completely clean before the start of the next week.

That being said there are some things I make sure to complete daily such as doing all the dishes and getting the kitchen cleaned up but if I'm being realistic it doesn't always happen!

A Place For Everything

I cannot stress enough how this will change your organizing life! I make sure that every item we own has a specific place to go. If something doesn't have a place we either get rid of it or find it one. I am constantly decluttering and getting rid of items we don't want or need. I go through my clothes, I go through papers that are sitting around, I ask Tim to go through his belongings. We don't keep things that we don't want or need and that allows us to be more organized.

I don't follow a specific organizing plan- I go through everything constantly so I don't think I really need to but if you are looking for a specific plan I suggest you make your own! Think about how often you'd like to go through each type of item. Going through your closet seasonally is a great way to do it. See what you didn't wear at all in the last season and donate it! I've also become a big fan of Poshmark and would highly recommend it as a way to make a little bit of money off of used clothing. 

I have also made lists of sections of my home to organize and having a list to check off makes you feel super productive. Think of all the places you haven't organized in awhile. Is it your closet or garage? Go through everything and you will feel so much better when it's completed. Keep a list of all the places you want to organize throughout the year and when you are feeling motivated go get one checked off! No rush on completing a project like this, just get to it whenever you feel motivated! 

Work With Products You Love

I absolutely adore both of my Dyson vacuums! My cordless Dyson (picture above) is great for day to day cleaning. I use this to clean up daily and it works great for all types of messes. When I want to get a really deep clean I use my other Dyson which is great on our carpets and I feel like it sucks up everything! I can't say enough good things about Dyson and would highly recommend them to anyone who is looking for a new vacuum. They are 100% worth the price and Tim always jokes that I'm starting a "collection" by having two and I can't even tell him he's wrong because that is one of the few things I would ever want to collect!

I also have fallen in love with a few multi-purpose cleaners. You have to find scents that you love and it will make cleaning so much more enjoyable. I personally am loving Mrs. Meyers Honeysuckle and Method Ocean Waves. I have also heard that Mrs. Meyers will be releasing a new mint scent which sounds amazing and I can't wait to try it!

I know I've linked them in the past but Makers Cleaning Cloths are amazing and I really love supporting Melissa Maker by purchasing them!

I am planning on doing more clean with me videos on my YouTube and have a lot of big plans to share even more cleaning and organizing with you this year! I hope these tips helped and you can come up with an effective cleaning and organizing plan for the new year. Everyone is different which means your plan will be unique to you- but I'm happy to share tips and help- just comment below or send me a message!

Happy cleaning and organizing!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Some Favorite Gifts of Christmas 2017

Happy Friday friends!

We had a snow day yesterday which meant a whole day off from work! It was so nice to lounge around the apartment :)

Today we're chatting about gifts from Christmas. I'm going to share some favorites that I gave and received. I always like to start thinking about Christmas super early and love making sure that everyone on my list gets something that they love.

Here were a few wins this year...

The big winner this year was my Canon Rebel! Tim bought me this and I have been loving taking pictures with it! I've noticed all the pictures I've taken with it are super crisp and look amazing. I would highly recommend this camera and while I don't know everything about it yet I'm excited to learn how to use it!

My big gift for Tim was the Apple Watch Series 3  so far he's been wearing it every day so I would say he likes it. I did get myself the pink version in the smaller size and have been loving how easy it is to use. It's definitely an electronic I didn't realize I wanted until I had it on my wrist! I would highly recommend it if you have an iPhone and love that as well.

I asked my mom for the small spaces set of Makers Cleaning Cloths from my mom and although she thought I was crazy I love these cloths for cleaning. They are sold out right now but you can sign up to get an e-mail when they're back in stock. Melissa Maker has a Youtube channel and other then having an awesome first name she is an amazing cleaner and has some great tips! She makes a great product too :)

If you are a Harry Potter fan or have one in your life the Harry Potter Illustrated Books  are a great gift idea! These are beautiful versions of the stories we come to know and love and I own all three that have been released so far.

I love to support other bloggers and knew I wanted to get this Color At Home coloring book  from John and Sherry over at Young House Love. They have released two great home decor/diy books and this coloring book was a fun new take on home decorating. I have loved coloring through the pages and seeing what I like as far as decor colors go. (As if I didn't already know blue, gray and white are my jam)

Some all-time favorite hits for presents? Gift cards. I gift a ton of gift cards and also received a ton this year which is great! I love shopping for myself, I love going out to dinner and I love knowing that the person I am gifting to will actually be able to enjoy their gift.

I received so many other little things I love- slippers, bath and body products, scarves, etc that I just don't have room to list here and I gave so many gifts I was proud to hand over. (Like this Beard Hair Catcher I gave Tim- how cool is this?!) This is just a small glimpse into Christmas and I hope you enjoyed these gift ideas!

**Some affiliate links are used in this post**

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Cleaning Up From Christmas

Last week I packed up all my Christmas decor and snapped a few pictures for you guys!

I only have three bins- two small ornament bins and one large bin but know that once we move into a house instead of an apartment I will end up with a ton more decorations! Right now I basically only decorate our living room so our decor is pretty limited. Here's how I organize and store what we have:

I keep two small bins with breakable ornaments. The first is just a random assortment and the second is the majority of our ball shaped ornaments.

The rest of my ornaments are stored in their original boxes or wrapped in tissue paper. I keep those in my big bin.

This bin houses everything else- our tree skirt, stockings, pillows, etc. I just make sure to wrap everything carefully. I find that I don't need to be super organized right now since I have everything in one bin. In the future I'm sure I will be separating decorations into different bins but for now in our apartment this works!

We store these bins (and our fake tree) in our basement storage area the rest of the year.

How do you store your Christmas decorations?

Monday, January 1, 2018

December Empties

I can't believe another year has passed and we are getting ready to start the new year! Today I'm here to share my empties from December- these are the last empties of the year! Next year I will be doing things a little bit differently with empties. I will be keeping track as I finish up items on my Instagram @balancingonmytoes and will be keeping track of how many products I finish up for beauty and household throughout the course of the year. My collection has truly gotten out of control and I would like to see the number of products I have reduced quite a bit. I would ultimately like to fit all my beauty products into my Alex 9 drawer unit but we shall see!

I will be on a no buy starting January 1st and I don't plan on making any purchases unless I completely run out of an item. I will continue couponing for household items since I am not worried about stockpiling laundry detergent since I know I will use it with plenty of time but I am not buying beauty products unless I run out!

So here's my last empties post of 2017:

A good amount of products for one month! Here's the breakdown of categories:

I finished three candles in December. Two were BBW Leaves candles and one was BBW Vanilla Bean Noel. All three were amazing and I would definitely repurchase them in the future. I love Bath and Body Works candles and think they have great scents and a great throw as well. I still have a small collection of candles to get through but will definitely head back to BBW to pick up more when I run out!

I finished two hand soaps. The first is Honey Almond from Good Housekeeping which I absolutely hated. Tim hated it as well and it seemed to take forever but we did it! We liked BBW Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin but it definitely wasn't our favorite scent. I have a lot of other scents I would repurchase before this one.

For other household products I finished a small Dawn Escapes New Zealand Springs dish soap which is one of my favorites and I certainly will repurchase. I also finished two bags of Tide Pods which I really like for laundry but I'm not too picky about which bag I pick up- they are all great! Lastly in this category is Mrs. Meyer's Multi-surface cleaner in honeysuckle which is AMAZING. I absolutely love the scent of this cleaner and it works great on all surfaces and leaves a light amazing scent behind as I clean. I have already repurchased this.

I used up quite a few hair products this month. The Loreal Shampoo and Conditioner are great! I have already repurchased these while couponing and I will definitely continue to use them because they work great for my hair. The Disney conditioner is just okay, certainly nothing special but everyone loves a freebie! The Verb shampoo and conditioner samples were pretty bad I felt they made my hair super tangly. The Nexus hairspray is one of my favorites since it keeps my hair soft but in place. The Mineral Mud Mask made my hair smell great but I definitely don't like it as much as my Macadamia Mask.

I finished up three Chapsticks- I am still loving Cake Batter but I've also been enjoying Candy Cane. I can do without the other summer flavored ones. My Loreal Infallible eyeliner worked great until half of it broke apart. The last bit of it was useless and I don't know that I will repurchase it anytime soon since I have quite a few eyeliners to go through. The Kate Somerville scrub was just okay- nothing I am going to purchase in the future.

For body care I used up a BBW Amber Blush Golden Sugar Scrub which smelled incredible and I loved the scrub itself. I would definitely repurchase. The BBW Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin shower gel was okay- I got pretty sick of the scent after awhile and was glad to finish it. I attempted to finish the Quality Inn Lotion but it was gritty and I couldn't bring myself to finish it so it will be tossed.

That's what I finished up this month, what did you use?