Wardrobe Refresh: Reorganize

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Here we go again!  Ready to tackle that pesky closet.  It’s on to Step 2!

If you’re new in town, and have NO IDEA what I’m talking about, read my first Wardrobe Refresh post, and then take a peek at my follow up post, all about Editing!

Anyway, back to the task at hand.  It’s now time to show you what I’ve been up to when it comes to reorganizing my closet. This is all the items I’ve decided to keep after my Editing step.  And, really, it’s not a HUGE overhaul.  There aren’t new closet organizers, or even fancy wall color.  Just putting things back neatly.  It’s something you can tackle in an afternoon!

To remind you (be brave, Katie), here’s a before shot of my closet.

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Yikes!  I just noticed the fine shot you got of our dirty clothes hanging out of the basket!  Well done, me.  Way to photograph.  But you can quickly see my problems.  The shelves are all completely jumbled.  I’ve got hangers EVERYWHERE!  And that pile of clothes on the shelves was clothes to purge, pre-editing step.

So, let’s get organizing!

First up is my scarf collection.  I had them all jumbled up on a shelf, with more treasures buried underneath.  There was no way I could find exactly what I needed, OR actually find all the scarves I had.

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First, I purchased a scarf organizer online, in the Pearl Champagne color.  We’ll see if it’s effective/worth it, but it wasn’t too expensive, so I figured it was worth a try.  It holds 18 scarves, which is a plus!

Getting them all organized was pretty simple. I just grabbed them all, plopped them on my bed, laid them all out by type, then put them on the hanger!  I, thankfully, have 15 scarves.  *Phew

I put the heaviest scarves in the bottom loops, followed by lighter scarves, and then silk.  I forgot I owned some of them.  20140429-122505.jpg

So, Before/After!  I have them hanging by the door, so I can grab what I need as I head out.  It’s mingling dangerously with my husband’s dress shirts… Hopefully he won’t mind.20140429-122530.jpg

Another project that had to be tackled were my belts.  I’m not a belt wearer, so I wasn’t sure why I had so many!  Several of the skinny belts were from dresses that came with them, but other than that, I just don’t wear belts.  So I quickly edited the collection down to just one casual, wider brown belt, one skinny belt in brown and one in black, and then the remaining belts that went with a dress.20140429-122548.jpg

So after the scarf/belt tidying activity, I was left with a pretty clean corner.  You’ll see the bottom of the scarves hanging in the below After pic.  I also added a small basket for my gloves and a random Duke hat.  Then the small little khaki cube are the belts.  Below that in the brown box are spare buttons from clothes.20140429-122611.jpg

And now, ladies and gentlemen, is an example of why you should have an organized closet.  I found this little pink box under the scarf pile.  I couldn’t remember what I had packed in there… when I opened it up, it was like Sephora exploded!  TONS of travel sized items from Aveda and Molton Brown, plus two compacts, eye liners, lipsticks galor, brushes, perfume, and eye makeup remover from Estee Lauder.  Um… score!

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Ok, excitement over.

On to a few mini projects.

First up, my handbags.  I love handbags!  But, alas, I’ve been carrying just diaper bags recently.  It’s just more practical.  But I do have a nice, edited handbag collection.  I just needed to get them all back in their dust protectors and put away neatly.

Before/After!20140429-122655.jpg

Then a few last to-dos.  I needed to get our out-of-season sweaters out of our dresser drawers (for space!) and into the closet.  So I grabbed two of these lidded storage cubes in Jumbo (I already own quite a few for our linen closet and love them!) and tucked my sweaters in one, and hubby’s sweaters in another.  I tucked the cubes on a top shelf, out of the way.

Next up was just making sure my shoes were tidy (easy!).

Finally, it’s hard to tell in the picture, but I hung all of my clothes on skinny velvet hangers (like these!) instead of large wooden hangers.  I loved our wooden hangers (got some from Costco), but, for my clothes, it just was overkill.  I saved quite a bit of space switching them out.  BUT now I have a large excess of wooden hangers.  #firstworldproblems20140429-122717.jpg

So that’s it!  I did a quick tidy of our dresser drawers, but everything is back all nice and neat.  20140429-122740.jpgI’ll be honest – I’m glad that’s done!  Our closet looks bigger now.  And I have some space for more clothes!!!!!

Kidding.

Last up in the Wardrobe Refresh – time to find new outfits.

I’m not looking forward to this one.  I think this will be hard!  I’m basically going to shop my closet and discover the MANY outfits I know exist in there.  I am currently scouring Pinterest (take a peek at my board where I’m gathering ideas) for outfit inspiration.  Anyway, be on the lookout for that post in a few weeks.

So how’s your closet looking??  Is it in need of a scrub-a-dubdub?  Have you blogged about something similar?  Let me know, and I’ll swing by!  I’d love to see what you are doing!

 

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Birthday Party Menu – Mexican Theme

Hey hey!  Hope you all had a fabulous weekend!  I’m still recovering (and may even be in the beginnings of a cold… boo!) from our wild and crazy weekend.  Saturday was a long church day with many activities, including cooking some food for the potluck.  I decided to do some Pinterest-ing to find some inspiration, and ended up making Tortilla-Black Bean Casserole and Southwest Chopped Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing.

They were both really easy to make and were hits!  I prepared both dishes in advance the day before (love that!), and my dishes were licked completely clean.  I didn’t hold out a lot of hope for the Tortilla-Black Bean casserole, because as I was making it, it looked kind of boring.  But it tasted really good!  And the Creamy Cilantro Lime dressing is “potent” (hubby’s word for flavorful), but it’s really yummy!  And the chopped salad ingredients are really versatile.  Whatever you have on hand, use it!

Anywho, that was Saturday.  Then I was cooking all day Sunday for my hubby’s 30th birthday par-tay!  It was tons of work, BUT we had such a blast.  We’re in that fun time of life when all our friends have kids as well, and it was just a hoot watching them run all over our house, blowing noise makers and wearing party hats 🙂

But, during the whole entire party, I forgot to take pictures!  Everything looked so yummy, but, alas, undocumented.  On Instagram, I snapped ONE picture of my ice cream cake, pre-assembly, and that’s it.  *Sigh.

Bad Blogger!

So, today, no Menu Monday as normal. We are on vacation this week, so no need for our usual menu.  But I thought I would share our menu from last night!

This menu doubled REALLY easily!  And I was able to prep most of it ahead of time, and then either reheat or put in the oven just prior to everyone showing up.  Click on the links to get to the Pinterest recipes.  I’ve jotted notes there as well, because I tweaked a few things in each recipe.  File this menu away for when you’re having a bash!

 

Chips with Salsa and Guacamole

Sparkling Lemonade and Berry Lemonade from Trader Joe’s

Roasted Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas

Mexican Rice

Southwest Chopped Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lime dressing

Mint Oreo Brownie Ice Cream Cake

Happy cooking!  And see you next Monday for a proper Menu Monday.  I’ve got a few blog posts up my sleeve for this week, but it will be a little lighter due to our vacay.  You can follow along with our fun-filled week on Instagram.

Hey Hey! It’s Friday!

Hey y’all! (There you go – a little dusting of the South for you) It’s Friday!  Recap time!

1.  Hope you all had a wonderful Easter last week.  We certainly did!  We traveled to my in-laws, and spent time just chit-chatting.  That’s my favorite kind of getaway.  Anyway, the little one enjoyed her Easter basket, which was a surprise.  She actually dug through and explored each item.  And I can’t get over the fact that she kept those bunny ears on!20140424-150007.jpg

2. Weather around here in the Bull City is finally feeling like Spring.  We’ve been able to do our usual walks every day.  Yippee!

3. Hubby turned 30 on Wednesday – and he wanted to celebrate by going to our favorite burger place, Bull City Burger.  It’s the only place I cave and get a REAL burger.  It is divine!  But, their veggie burger is also one of the best handmade burgers I’ve ever tried.  If you do go, one word of advice – don’t let them talk you into “sharing” a plate of fries.  You will need your own supply.  Do not share.  You have been warned.

4. Little one tried a swing for the first time yesterday.  AND it was hilarious!20140424-150058.jpg

Rocking those sunglasses!

5. It hasn’t happened yet, but we’re having a fun dinner party/gettogether on Sunday to celebrate the hubby’s 30th birthday.  That should be fun fun fun!

What were you up to this week?  Let me know!

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Wardrobe Refresh: Edit

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Wait, what’s that?  You’ve been waiting for an update to my Wardrobe Refresh post a few weeks ago?

My bad!

If you need a refresher, I wrote about how I was desperate to go through my closet and do some purging and reorganizing.  I typically do this twice a year.  And when I do, I do the following:

1. Edit – go through my existing clothes and decide to either Keep, Toss or Donate.  And I’m ruthless!

2. Reorganize – put the “Keeps” back neatly and smartly, and figure out what I need to tackle those remaining piles.

3. Find new outfits – sort through the final wardrobe and figure out what outfits I have, and what pieces I need to fill in the gaps.

This week, I’ve tackled #1!  And I thought I would share my steps.

So, let me show you what I’m working with… below is my closet.

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Gross, right?  We’ve actually got a lot of space in there, but you wouldn’t know it from the jumble of hangers, clothes, etc.  (Side note – that bear… it was a Valentine’s day present from my husband (at the time, boyfriend), and he gave it to me RIGHT after I declared my hatred for romantic stuffed animal gifts.  Poor husband! And I don’t have the heart to get rid of the “Gangster of Love“.)

So, I basically tried on EVERYTHING I owned, and if it didn’t fit, had a funny stain, or I didn’t love it anymore, it went in the Bye Bye pile.  This applied to my closet, as well as my dresser drawers.  What I didn’t want anymore went into two piles – Donate and Toss.  The Donates go into a laundry basket, and the Toss went into a pile to be… well… tossed.

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Basic common courtesy of donation is donate things that YOU would buy at a shop.  In other words, if it has a rip, stain, or is damaged in other ways, put it in the toss pile!  Be nice!  Make sure the items are also clean. Again, common courtesy.

I had to do something different that I hadn’t done before with my clothes donations – I needed to itemize for tax purposes.  At least, that’s what Hubby told me.

Don’t ask me why.

Anyway, that basically means I had to make a correct count of exactly what I was donating, and then as for a receipt when I drop off those donations.

So I just took all my donations and then neatly folded and stacked the clothes, by category.

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It helps if you have a helper.  (I couldn’t resist!)

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Once neatly stacked, I then took each category and counted the items, then made a note of it.

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Yes, a graph paper notepad.  Sticky notes, to be precise!  Aren’t they awesome???!!!

And then, the FINAL step is packing up everything to go to the donation center.  For this, I just used Trader Joe’s shopping bags.  I put each category into it’s own bag, for easy identifying. And then the final FINAL step was typing up my graph paper list to take with me to drop off. Plus, then we could pair the receipt and the paper together, in case we need it for tax purposes (*shudder).

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Badabing, badaboom!!  My closet and dresser feel lighter already!

Actually, now that everything looks like a disaster zone, I need to get on with Step 2 and put everything away neatly!!!  Can’t wait to show you before/after pictures next week! Yay!

Easter Baskets for Little Ones


 

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It came and went – Elizabeth’s first Easter!! I’ll be sharing pics on Friday, but wanted to talk about her Easter basket.

I debated for a while about whether it was worth putting together an Easter basket for her, since she’s only 6 months old.  But once I started gathering items, I had such a good time!  And I think she liked everything, because every single item went straight to her mouth.  Which is baby code for “I love this!”.

I made sure that the items I gathered were not expensive and were age appropriate.  Most of the items I found at the Target dollar section or their separate Easter area in the back of the store.

Where would we be without Target??

First off, some tips on items to look for when you’re shopping for a baby under 1.  I tried to find a few things that were either colorful or moved.  It kept my daughter’s attention!  You also can’t go wrong with books, in my opinion.  Books have legs well beyond that time immediately after a holiday.  And, finally, keep it cheap and cheerful!  Honestly, do babies need expensive things?

So let me show you what I got Elizabeth!  I’ll try to link to what I can!
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