Friday, February 29, 2008

Take 5 Friday - Makeup Bag

So, how many of you were up for the challenge this week? I gave you the "assignment" of clearing the clutter out of your makeup bags (or whatever you use to corral your arsenal of beauty products). I actually use a plastic caddy with a handle. I stow it under my bathroom cabinet when it's not in use. So it doesn't have to be pretty, but it does need to be organized so I can get ready and get out the door fast.

As I was emptying the contents of mine, I did find some things that were alot older than I expected. I had some eyeliner that I'm pretty sure was around before my oldest was born...dare I say 11+ years ago!?! Yikes! But no funky teal-colored mascara or iridescent lip gloss. Whew! That would be a blast from the past!

I tossed the out dated, worn out items and one item I bought but didn't like. You'll notice I have a small bag (blue one) in my caddy. That's now reserved for everyday makeup (eyeshadow, mascara, coverup, and 2 lipsticks choices). I found another small bag (black one)that I added to store my "special" makeup, like some of the more dramatic eyeshadow and highlighting powder so it's out of my way of everyday use.

How did you do? Did you find anything over 10 years old? Older? How 'bout anything that brought back memories of the 80's??? It's amazing what we can do to get better organized in just a few minutes. How did you do this week? We'd love to hear your results! If you're new to Take 5 Friday, please read the short list of helpful guidelines before posting.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Add Some Ambiance

We've covered sight, smell, taste and touch. Sound is the final sense I wanted to add more of to put a little heart into our home. Now, my kids already add plenty of their own sounds, but I was thinking more along the lines of calm and soothing sounds. So I went in search of a water feature. I found one like this at a local store (got it for $5 on clearance!! But you can usually pick them up for around $20)

I put it on my bedside table. I gotta say, I was worried the sound of trickling water would be sending me back and forth to the bathroom most of the night, but so far it hasn't. :) It's so relaxing and this one's lighted so that it looks like flickering candles. When I brought it home and set it up, my husband came home, caught sight of the flickering "flames" and went sprinting upstairs because he thought the bedroom was on fire! I was, of course, laughing my head off very concerned that I had needlessly scared him. So, you can see this is a great way to add some "spark" to your bedroom!

Pillow Talk

Texture and fabric can add so much to our homes. I love pillows and they combine both of these elements. Pillows instantly add a level of "homey-ness" and comfort to a room. I was shocked though at some of the prices I saw when I went out pillow shopping recently! It was nothing to see decorative "throw" pillows going for $30 or more. I'll tell you one thing, if I pay that much for a pillow, I'm sure not going to be throwing it or letting anyone lay, lounge, sleep, sit or wallow on it!

So, I settled for my old standby; decorative pillow covers. I've made decorative pillow covers in the past and they're great because they're removable so you can put them in the wash and they don't get all "smushed" like regular pillows. You can slip them over cheap pillow forms from a fabric store or update your look by covering your old existing pillows. Plus they are super easy to make.

I'll work on posting a tutorial on how to make these easy pillow covers and post it soon. Darn...might have to make some more so I can get some good pictures during the process!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Take 5 Friday Challenge

Becky over at Boys Rule My Life was up for a little challenge. She suggested that I issue an "assignment" this week to give you some ideas on a specific project to work on for Take 5 Friday. I thought it was a great idea. So...whatcha think? Are you up for a challenge?

This week I think I really have to work on my make-up container. I know there's some out-dated stuff in there and some products that I really didn't like, but just never took the time to get rid of. So, it's time to do some sorting and purging.
Let's make this challenge fun. Posting your before and afters are great, but also give us the scoop on how long you've been holding on to some of this stuff! Have you had that blue eye shadow since the first time blue eye shadow was "in"? Are you guilty of still hanging on to that tube of teal green mascara or irridecent lip gloss from the 80's?

Come on! 'Fess up and join in the fun! Let's clear the clutter outta those makeup bags and join us for Take 5 Friday to post your results! If you're new to Take 5 Friday, you can catch up on the guidelines here. It's a quick and easy way to get organized with projects that are designed to be completed in the time it takes for a coffee break (5-15 minutes--not those hour long type of breaks!) See you back here on Friday!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Super Fruit Bowl

We've talked about how appealing to the 5 senses can help you add heart to your home. It's not that hard to figure out how to incorporate sight, touch, scent and even sound into our decor. But, taste is something we don't always think about adding into our home decorating scheme. I spent some time thinking about this and decided that even the simple act of placing a bowl of fruit (or even some tempting chocolates) on a nearby table is enough to bring some sense of "taste" into our homes. It seems to add this casual "help yourself" atmosphere to our spaces.

I recently added a bowl of fruit to our kitchen table. Instead of keeping the fruit in an out-of-the-way spot on the counter, having it displayed not only looks nice, it prompts the kids to want to snack more healthy. See, I told ya we don't always eat like this! The kids have been at the fruit all week. These left over bananas will end up in a loaf of banana-nut bread in a couple days and I'll try rotating the types of fruit we add to keep them from getting bored.
If you put some thought into it, there's a way to add a little heart into your home in any room with even the simplest of things. How do you added that special touch to make your home more comforting and inviting to your family and friends? Feel free to share your comments and posts here!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Take 5 Friday - Kids Drawers

Drawer dividers are great...but they need to include at least a PG 13 rating. They just don't work well for kids. Kids get frustrated with the exact-ness required to put things neatly into them (let's face it, so do some adults). So, how do you keep those drawers straight without acting like the clothing police? Two words: mini crates.

These small storage crates from Sterilite are great. They "lock" together side-by-side, and they fit perfectly in my kids' drawers. I spent 5 minutes this week and made a HUGE difference in how my daughters put away and find their own clothes. Now that's a great return on investment of my time! Plus, they were less than a dollar each!

Before (left), my daughter's socks and underwear were mixed in with her pj's. Now (right), she has a separate crate for undies, one for socks and another that will be rotating (tights in the winter, swimsuits in the summer). It's amazing how much extra space it actually gave her because the crates keep articles more compact.

I did this in my oldest's drawer, too. But she would just "die of embarassment" if I showed you all her panties! All this in only 5 minutes! How about you? What did you accomplish in the time it takes for a coffee break? Share your posts and comments here. If you're new to Take 5 Friday, please read the guidelines before posting.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Give Away

As you've probably (hopefully) read, I've declared February "Put Your Heart Into It" month. I've been busy bringing warmth and comfort into my home to ward off the cold, dreary weather outside. Well, as part of the month long celebration, I promised some give-aways. And seeing how it's nearly the end of the month (gesh!) I thought I better get my act together!

So, here's the first one: it's a book from Hallmark called Keeping Life Simple: 7 Guiding Principals, 500 Tips & Ideas by Karen Levine. Now, this book was originally published in 1996 (gee, was the reference to pay phones a clue?) but much of the information is very timeless in ideas for bringing simplicity to our homes and surroundings.

So, here's the deal. Leave me a comment here about something you've done to put some heart in your home this month with your blog link or your email. You can put your email address in this format: soandso[at]thisandthat[dot]com so the spammers don't pick up on it. I'll figure it out! I'll choose a winner this Friday and post the update here. Good luck!

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Mom's Work is Never Done

I'm attempting to corral the kids into bed when I notice a mirad of coloring utensils on the living room floor. I return to their bedroom and send my youngest downstairs with the instructions to pick up her pencils.

I realize now that maybe I should have been alittle more specific, because she happily returned with her little bag filled with all of 5 pencils which she promptly dropped off in my bedroom. Don't ask me why. They apparently belong in there along with my oldest's hairbrush, their discarded pjs from this morning, a pair of slippers and a stray stuffed animal.

Meanwhile, in the living room, the remaining crayons and markers sat there, lonely for being left behind. At this point I figure I might as well do it least they'll get in bed that much faster! (Isn't that what it usually comes down to?) So, they're off to bed and I'm left holding the bag, so to speak...and picking up the markers, and crayons, and oh, yeah the coloring books. Let's not forget those.

I think "My work here is finally done for the night." Little did I know I had things to do in the bathroom before I could find some peace. When I flip on the light I'm greeted by the sight of what else? More markers, right next to some of those socks. I'm somewhat dismayed by this. Not because the fact there are markers in the bathroom...but because there's not a single thing to color on in sight!

Believe me, I checked every hidden inch of wall space and no masterpieces were to be found (whew!). I guess I can just chalk it up to another one of life's great mysteries. At least now I can take a well deserved break. I think I'll turn in early...right after I write this post, check some emails, catch up on my favorite blogs, pay some bills...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Take 5 Friday - The Snack Basket

First, I have to say: you must know that we do NOT eat all this junk food on a regular basis. Really. It's just that with the Valentine's holiday and then Girl Scout Cookie orders just coming in, we REALLY have an overload of snack food. The basket I keep for our stash became overly full under the UNUSUALLY (and I stress this) large amount of junk food.

So, I dumped everything and did a quick sort, taking out the Valentine cards, pencils and other non-food things the kids had brought home. I separated each of their candy stash into plastic zipper seal bags. I made sure the chip bags were all secured (Note handy office binder clip closure. Love these!) and just tidied it up. As if they weren't appealing enough, now these snacks are downright irresistible.

I have a rule at our house. Whatever leftover candy is still in the basket by the time the next holiday rolls around gets tossed. In otherwords, if there's Christmas candy come Valentine's day, it's outta there. This works pretty good. But looking at it today I could just tell that this basket was not going to hold out until Easter. By the way, just so you know, I wasn't looking in the basket for anything in particular. Nope. Not me. Just looking, that's all. And I most definitely wasn't even thinking of taking that last peanut butter cup in the bottom of my daughter's Valentine's bag!

What's your Take 5 Friday project? I'd love to see your before and afters! If you're new to Take 5 Friday, please read guidelines before posting.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Finding Sancutary

I found this great blog by Rachel Anne at Home Sanctuary. She shares small things we can do each day to create sanctuary in our homes. This was the perfect site for me to get some great ideas to add some heart into my own home this month. I'm sure Rachel Anne won't mind if we borrow some of her ideas! She makes it so easy with small, manageable projects each day. Thanks Rachel Anne!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Check Out My New Look

I'm back and sporting a new look! Ya like? There I am, up there in the left hand corner, except the short hair and maybe add a few pesky pounds. Trying to maintain peace and sanity while keeping an eye peeled for all those day to day things that can sometimes throw a wrench into it! Is that you too? I thought so. Do you sometimes feel like you need some organizational enlightenment to help you keep all the other things we have going on (mom, wife, cook, chaufer, career girl...) in check? Me too!

What all do you juggle in your day to day ventures that threaten the organization and sanity of your life? Post your comments ( I know you're out there and I'm not alone! LOL!)

Just in case you're wondering...the 'Nap Warden' over at NW Designs created my new look. Literally people...this idea popped into my head and she put it together in a matter of a few hours. Amazing work!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Take 5 Friday - Book Collection

This week I took a few minutes to do a quick sort of my book shelf. I pulled off books that I had previously enjoyed but felt ready to pass on to someone else. I heard about this great site called paperbackswap I was anxious to check out where you list your unwanted books (super easy!). Then when another member requests a book from you, you get credit to request books for yourself. The only cost is the shipping!

I've sent out three books so far and have requested a few for myself. It's a great way to keep your book collection in check and still enjoy the titles you want to read.
What great organizing project were you able to complete this week in 5 minutes or so? Post your project link here and share it with others. If you're new to Take 5 Friday, please check out the guidelines when posting. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

You Light Up My Life

One thing I know for sure, when you want to really add warmth to your home, you have to appeal to the five senses. Candles hit two of those; sight and smell. Candles just seem to bring an ambiance to a room and instantly makes a place feel "homey".

I went shopping today and found some really pretty new candles that have a spicy, oriental scent to them. I don't really care for the perfumed, flowery scents, but give me a candle or room freshener that's woodsy or food related and I'm a happy camper!

I rearranged my shelf in my living room to make room for the candles. An added bonus, this shelf's up high enough so little hands aren't going to be doing any exploring.

Take a look around your home and see what you can do this month to "put your heart into it". We'd love to see what you came up with! Post your link and comment here and share your story!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Put Your Heart Into It

In honor of Valentine's Day, and to pass the time during these dreary winter months (Another 6 weeks! Are you KIDDING me?!?! What does a groundhog know anyway?) I'm declaring February "Put Your Heart Into It" month. Yep, I'm just making up my own month-long holiday. I'm the Organizing I can do that, right? Don't us muses have some special authorities or something?
Anyway...I'm going to while away the winter hours (like I don't have anything else to do) bringing calm and serinity to my home. I know you're thinking "With kids? Yeah, right." But I contend that it can be done. Even if only a tiny part of my home is able to be carved into a peaceful retreat, I will have my sanctuary I tell you!!
I'll add a Mr. Linky to the posts so you can join in if you want to and show everyone the ways you've added a little heart into your home. All I ask in return is that you link back here so your readers can find out more about Organizational Enlightenment.

Copyright 2007, Christine Rice

You are welcome to use any of the information or articles from my blog for your own newsletters or ezines, just be sure to add the following copyright notation:

Christine Rice, Professional Organizer and owner of Organize It Today helps people discover "organizational enlightenment" with the help of her newest book, A Life Less Cluttered: Expert Secrets to Your Own Organizing Epiphany. Visit her website at to find out more about her services and products.