Organizing and Crafting, part 2=HIT!

Hey Loves!

So, I am still in Spring cleaning mode and I am steadily working through organizing. After my dresser and jewelry (see earlier post, tags tutorial, organizing, crafting), I tackled my closet. It was a mess in so many ways. I was not maximizing the space, I couldn’t easily access my scarves, belts or handbags and it was a feat to find a good flip-flop. Here is the before. Don’t judge me. Yes, those are bushels… They worked when the Mr. and I lived in this teeny-tiny apartment and since I was finishing grad school when we got our house, they just stayed.

messy, messy, messy

messy, messy, messy

So again, I searched for DIY tutorials as the items I needed ran from $9.99-$19.99. Not that that is a bunch of money but if I don’t have to spend, why should I, right?

For my purses, I used this tutorial and for my scarves, this one. I went to Wal-Mart and purchased 3 sets of 12 shower curtain rings (pictured below-I did not use the metal one suggested in the tutorial), a metal over the door hangar (plastic can break as I have A LOT of handbags…) and (because it was on sale and cheaper than the supplies to make it) a belt organizer. I spent $13 including tax. That is $6 cheaper than 1 handbag organizer.

Wal-mart, $1.16

Wal-mart, $1.16

Wal-Mart, less than $6

Wal-Mart, less than $6

image_9

Wal-Mart, less than $2

Wal-Mart, less than $2

Anywho, I followed the tutorial for the hand bag organizer and that went super quick. I did use a tote to hold my clutches and wallets as they couldn’t be attached to the shower curtain rings. The finished result is pictured below. At first I thought it was a bit cumbersome, but it has been almost a week and I can’t say that I am not satisfied. My handbags are organized and I have maximized closet space. It does not interfere with the bedroom space as we always cracked the door to my closet for proper ventilation. If I anything I would get two singular door hangers to separate the items, but I am pretty sure that wouldn’t change much for me because my handbags are large.

I attempted to follow the tutorial for the scarf organizer but my tape wouldn’t stick. (I didn’t have the tape she suggested and so I tried packing tape, no go). So I used some ribbon I had lying around too attach the curtain rings to the hanger. I was tired and hard-headed so I didn’t make any cute bows or even measure the ribbon, I just made sure they were secure. For $1.16, this is the best storage I have ever had for my scarves! I am thoroughly satisfied.

packing tape, good for packing

packing tape, good for packing

the beginning, I lined up the first row of rings

the beginning, I lined up the first row of rings

all done!

all done!

My sandals, flip flops and some flats, I purchased an under-bed shoe organizer for $6.99 from Bed Bath and Beyond ( and had a 20%off coupon). Again, I couldn’t make one for cheaper and this holds more than just flip flops.

it went in my closet not under the bed

it went in my closet not under the bed

Again, I am in awe of all the crap I had. Good will donations are soon to come. However, now I can accessorize freely! Yay! Comment and share!

Self-Sustainable Laundry=HIT

Hey Loves!

Around the New Year, we decided we were going to crack down on the budget. So, I used this recipe to make our own laundry detergent (if you shred the soap very finely you do not need the food processor) and this recipe to make our own stain remover. We are highly satisfied. For both, I spent under $10 and we are still on the first batch. I have enough supplies to make two or three more. One batch has lasted us more than 20 loads and almost 4 months. So, we never really used fabric softener before because of the perfumes and artificial ingredients, and the price but I saw this recipe and had to try it. It is awesome! $2 got me all of what is pictured below. I used Suave Naturals for the conditioner and added just a few drop of aloe oil. I also used a whisk to mix the ingredients. We tested on a load of sheets and towels and the load felt and smelled amazing! We spent $3 on a downy ball and will use it for every load of laundry! This is definitely a HIT and I don’t think we will ever purchase detergent, stain remover or fabric softener again. The added plus is now, I am excited to do laundy!

The resipe above made all of this and, of course, I still enough ingredients to make another batch!

The recipe above made all of this and, of course, I still enough ingredients to make another batch!


Sundays in the Kitchen=Hit!

Hi Loves!

For those who knew me when, I used to spend Sunday in the Kitchen preparing dinner and breakfast for the Mr. for the week. Well, once I finished grad school, I fell off the wagon and I realized that cooking every night, especially without a plan is difficult. I began meal planning again using this printable and I use this one for my grocery list as it is separated by department. Thus, cutting down time and confusion. But even meal planning couldn’t get me cooking in the kitchen after a really long day. I tried cooking in the morning after the gym but that lasted literally one day.

So, this past Sunday, I went back to Sundays in the kitchen and me and the Mr are very satisfied. On Sunday I made (most of the recipes can be found on my Pintrest page:

  1. Cheddar and Spinach Stuffed Chicken breast, wild rice and green beans
  2. Shake-n-Bake Pork Chops, steamed asparagus, and scalloped potatoes
  3. Red pepper marinara sauce with linguini and grilled chicken
  4. Egg muffins

I didn’t time myself but it took between 2 and 3 hours. Here are my tips

  1. Make one item or meal in the slow cooker, you can set it and forget it.
  2. Try to cook things in the oven at the same time so you don’t forget about it.
  3. Steam vegetables. It is healthier and quicker.
  4. Make enough to have each meal twice (I used to loathe leftovers entirely, but now I love them)
  5. Meal plan and grocery shop a few days ahead so you aren’t hurried and you have all the ingredients.
  6. (this is going to sound impossible) Don’t rush. It will frustrate you and the food.

Hope this helps! Comment if you would like me to post future meal plans.

Chicken, cleaned seasoned, and with cheese

Chicken, cleaned seasoned, and with cheese

with spinach added

with spinach added

All rolled and ready to go in the oven

All rolled and ready to go in the oven

Egg muffins out of the oven ...I added to much to the one the right

Egg muffins out of the oven …I added to much to the one the right

They shrunk! But the Mr. really enjoyed them!

They shrunk! But the Mr. really enjoyed them!

It is safe to say chopping potatoes is not my favorite thing in the world...

It is safe to say chopping potatoes is not my favorite thing in the world…

Cleaning and Crafting=HIT!

Hey Loves!

I have been a busy bee lately and now I am getting even busier. As Spring has sprung, I am in the mindset of Spring cleaning. I composed my “To-Clean List” (will be posted later) as well as the items we need to buy to complete said cleaning. In preparation, I started cleaning out some serious danger areas of our bedroom. I started with my dresser (pictured below) that was full of JUNK! My jewelry was everywhere and not accessible. I had perfume literally collecting dust because I never wear it as they contain artificial scents and are not holistic. So I decided to clean, throw out and craft.

I started by going to Pintrest and search ‘jewelry organizers’ and saw this and this. They looked easy and inexpensive. I went to my local Dollar store and purchased:

dollar store finds

dollar store finds

  1. 2 paper towel holders
  2. Wire (it came in a 3 pack)
  3. 1 picture frame

Then I got to work. I must admit, I didn’t read any of the instructions on the tutorial. I just saw them and said ‘I can do that’ and then did it. You are more than welcome to refer to the tutorials above. I must also apologize. I got so caught up in crafting, I didn’t take step-by-step photos. *gives self two slaps on the wrist* I will do better. I promise. In the meantime here is what I did and what I used for each item. Enjoy!

*Note* For all three items I used left over fabric from other projects so it was already cut and I am unsure of the exact specifications for each. However, I am sure I did not use more than 1 yard for all three projects.

Here are photos of the before and after. The tutorials are below. Thanks! Comment and share!

A dresser of junk

A dresser of junk

Clean and organized!

Clean and organized!

A closer look at the bracelet display

A closer look at the bracelet display

Earring Display

Items needed

  1. Fabric (amount depends on how big your picture frame is)
  2. Picture frame (size depends on how much space you have and how many earrings)
  3. Wire (you can also use mesh wire, they didn’t have that at the dollar store)
  4. Hot glue gun and sticks

Process

  1. Remove backing and glass from frame.
  2. (make sure glue gun is ready to go) measure fabric for frame backing and cover by streaming glue on the frame backing and placing fabric on top of hot glue. Press down to make sure the fabric is securely attached.
  3. Measure wire the width of the frame and cut the amount strips you need. I used three. Secure to the frame by dotting with a small drop of hot glue and holding until secure. Do this for all the strips. Make sure it is secure on both sides of the frame. (This was the trickiest part for me. It may take a little patience as well as trial and error.)
  4. Insert backing covered with fabric and secure.
  5. Organize earrings and hang! You can always add more wire strips as your collection grows. As for placement, I put the longest/biggest earring at the bottom, medium in the middle in small at the top.

Necklace Display

Items Needs:

  1. Cork Board
  2. Fabric
  3. Glue Gun/Sticks
  4. Push pins or straight pins

Process

  1. Similar to the earring display, measure the amount of fabric you need to cover the front of the cork board.
  2. Using the hot glue gun, attach the fabric to all sides of the cork board; make sure it is secure.
  3. Align the straight pins any way that is most accommodating to size of your cork board and the amount of necklaces you intend to display (I didn’t have push pins. #fail They are much easier to use and you can get them in cute coordinating colors. I doubled strait pins and used them to hang the necklaces. If you have really heavy necklaces, the straight pins will not hold. Straight pins are temporary.)
  4. Organize and hang the necklaces!

Bracelet/Watch Display

Items Needed

  1. Paper towel (A horizontal one, not a vertical one)
  2. Paper towel roll
  3. Fabric
  4. Hot glue gun and fabric

Process

(If you can’t tell, there a is a lot of similarity in these projects)

  1. Measure fabric to cover paper towel roll (you can use multiple pieces as the bracelets and or watches will cover the lines) and cover using hot glue gun
  2. Organize and slide on bracelets and watches
  3. Adjust covered paper towel roll to fit in holder!

*Note* I covered the bottom of my paper towel holder with fabric, the same way I covered all the other stuff, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have a high grade sturdy cotton fabric.

*Update* I know accessorize more because I can see everything and I don’t have to dig through that pile of junk to find what I need! yay!

My Workouts!=Hit

Hey Loves!

I have had quite a few friends ask what it is that I do in the gym, so here goes. I try to alternate between upper body and lower body, get in abs at each workout, and push the cardio on upper body days, even if that means going to the gym for high-cardio group exercise class. That does not always happen. Just this past weekend, I just did two interval trainings on the bike and left-no weight training at all.

At any rate, my workouts are a HIT because they keep me motivated, I have significant muscle and endurance gains, and I feel so much better.Any who, my exercises are below and feel free to try them. I am no personal trainer but if I can help, great

5 mins. on the bike,

 incline 2-4

2 sets of:

1. 10 (each leg) kick lunges with 8lbs weights
2. 20 lunge back-kicks with 10 lbs weights on the bousa ball
3. 30 second sumo squat with 20lb kettle bell
4. 20 hip adductor
5. 20 hip inductor
6. 30 leg raises with the versa ball
7. leg press (55lbs)
8. 10 lunges (each leg) with 6 lb medicine ball
10. glute curls (55lbs)

3 sets of:

1. 25 crunches on the versa ball
2. 20 oblique crunches in the versa ball

5 sets of 20 squats with the bar and 20lbs

1 set of 15 walking lunges with the bar and 20lbs

 

10 Mins on the bike (increased incline)

3 sets of 20 squats on the bousa ball

3. sets of 10 kicks/lunges with weights

3 sets of 20 back kicks on the bousa ball

3 sets of 10  one led lunges with weights

3 sets of 20 second sumo squats with 20lbs

3 sets of 20 hip abductor with 45lbs

6 sets of 20 squats with 20lbs on the bar

3 sets of 20 reverse hip abductor with 40 lbs

3 sets of leg presses with 45 lbs

3 sets of 10 deep lunges on each leg

3 sets of 20 first-position calf-rises

3sets of 10 glute cruches with 50 lbs

3 sets of 60 glute pushes with 30 lbs

 

3 sets of

bench presses with 20lbs

10 curls with 25lbs

10 pushes with 25lbs

20 butterfly with 30 lbs

20 seated rows with 40 lbs

20 standing rows with 50 lbs

2 sets of

20 crunches

20 side-to-side-crunches

10 crunches

25 sit ups ups on the ball

20 oblique crunches on both sides

30 rotary torso on each side

 

Trying New Things=Hit

Hey Loves!

Just an update on the whole-head sew-in I blogged about some time ago. At that point, I was unsure if it was a hit or miss. It was my first time trying something of this magnitude on my own. Again, I followed several you tube tutorials and customized them into what I wanted. So far, it has been a HIT! It is super easy to maintain. I have been able to moisturize my own hair (braided underneath the weave) and protect it through crazy weather and lots of workouts. Recently, I have even even been able to style it differently as pictured below. The only qualm I have is this hair frizzes and sheds easily. To remedy this, I have ordered a more expensive Indian Remy hair for next sew-in. This type of hair will frizz and shed less and thus, last longer. I am going to keep this in for another week or so (totaling six weeks) lets my hair breathe with braids outs and marley buns for about two weeks and then attempt another sew-in. As always, I will keep you posted.

sew-in2

pose2

pose1

pose3

pose3

Challenge Update =Miss

Hey Loves!

So you remember that marriage challenge I was so excited about? Well, March 11 came and went, no email about the challenge for that day. Tuesday I went to the blog and no updates. So, I just assumed I had the dates wrong. Nope! Apparently there was a glitch and their email system and I didn’t get an email until last Thursday! 😦 The email did have all of the previous days but, I must admit, the spark to participate was gone. I also have not received any other emails regarding the challenge which tells me they have not solved the glitch problem. Anywho…this challenge was definitely a miss but I will not accept defeat! Another one will come my way soon!

I am always up for a challenge…

I guess God just put a fire in me because I am always burning to do something. Today He led me in the right path with today’s Proverbs 31 devotional by Tracie Miles The devotional discussed ways you can improve your marriage by decreasing marital stress. A lesson I am admittedly always having to re-learn. The great thing about this devotional is Tracy details her own marriage (briefly) so you don’t feel alone. When I finished reading the devotional it encouraged readers to participate in The ’14 Days to a Better Marriage’ Challenge. I signed up immediately! I mean, who wouldn’t want that?!? And, if it doesn’t work, (although If I truly apply myself, this statement is null) what will I loose? Seriously, a few minutes of my life for 2 weeks spent either twiddling my thumbs or improving my marriage. I will take the latter.

Well friends, *laces up tennis shoes and begins stretching* I am ready for this challenge and will share all the hits and misses of my experience with you. If you want to join me, register with Tracy’s blog at the link posted above on the right side. Until next time loves…

two_one

A night at Red Hills

Tonight I was fortunate enough to attend the Red Hills Horse Trials Volunteer Reception. I had no idea things like this even came to the small town where I live!

When my Husband and I decided this is where we would call home, and then purchased one, I vowed to jump into all the things this place had to offer.

The Red Hills Horse Trials brings in riders, trainers and judges from all around the world! I had dinner with two people from Canada! I am so excited to be a part of this great event and can’t wait to experience more on Saturday.

Jumping in and trying new things=Hit!

I will keep you updated.

20130307-200409.jpg