Thursday, January 3, 2013

January and Organization go Hand in Hand

January and organization go hand in hand in our "fresh start" mindset. Have we been taken in by more than a decade of advertizing? Probably. Will we be taken with all the organization sales? Most definitely. All those pictures with neatly stored items. Just flipping through a Container Store catalog gets the "neater me" juices flowing. 

The next organizing project on my horizon is one of the closets in our Florida condo.  We are going to be updating the bedrooms with fresh paint and accessories in the near future--more on that in as projects come into focus. Here are some of the options I have discovered so far.


The above closet system offers shelf & drawer space plus long & short hanging space.

Oh, this is just a dream closet I couldn't resist. Every girl can dream.

A very basic set up that offers shelf and hanging space. Installation looks simple enough.

This closet again has a variety of storage solutions. I like the bins/drawers and shoe storage.

Having had fun shopping for ideas now is the time to ask some serious questions. When planning a new or existing closet, there are some basic facts you need before you begin.
  • What do you plan on using the space for?
  • What are the dimensions of the storage space?
  • Do you have a dresser for folded clothes storage?
  • How many people will be sharing the space?
  • Will out of season storage be needed in this space?
  • What is your budget?
Plan on paper not in the store. Make a list of the items you will be storing.
  • How many long hanging items will you have?
  • Are most of your wardrobe made of separates or dresses?
  • Knowing the number of pieces in your normal wardrobe will help you decide how many inches of hanging space you will need. 
  • How do you prefer to hang pants, folded in half or straight? 
  • Do you have five pair of shoes or 15? Do you need special storage for your investment or just a space off the floor?
  • Accessories --Will there need to be space for ties, scarves, jewelry?
Once you make you list, and be on the generous side, measure the space you actually have to work with. Take into account the height and width of the storage space.  If you are coming out with way to much space look to see if an expansion is possible or if you need to look for alternative storage space in other areas. The worst thing to happen is to pick out a system that looks great in the store only to find out when you start loading it that it really doesn't have what you need.Follow this link to closet measurement guide. It has helpful information and approximate size allocations for planning how much space you need.  

I hope this inspires you to look around you home for a space to organize! I know I'll be checking out my northern closets just to see what can be improved.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Countdown Calendars. . . Anticipation (part 2) Christmas

Young and old can enjoy the coming of Christmas. The young looking forward to Santa, Christmas Programs, Singing Carols, Cookies. The older of us may be watching the days speed by as we try to get everything ready to celebrate with family and friends the Birth of Christ, and Cookies and Carols. I have found some fun, unusual, and beautiful Advent and Countdown Calendars to enjoy and keep for years to come. So, if you're looking for some inspiration, come along.


Easy Advent Calendar 


Top 10 Advent Calendars


There are five ideas for you to consider this Holiday Season. Three are homemade and the last two are purchased, so there is some inspiration for we who create and we who procrastinate.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Views of Sanibel

Oh, I just can't help myself. It won't be long and I'll be back on Sanibel for a couple of weeks. I'm so in love with the place and people that I want to share it with everyone. Here are a couple of quick photos. See if they don't leave your heart just a little warmer.

Good old pudgy pelican is always one of the first to greet visitors.

Sanibel Lighthouse 

Sand in between my toes, puffy white clouds, and palm trees - oh, what Heaven!

The yellow staked off area behind the sea oats, that is a turtle nest. I hope all those little rascals made it to the water.  I sure would love to actually see that sometime.

Stay tuned. . . looks like it is going to be a photo finish!

Hope I've brought you a little smile on a Monday morning. Remember, you are the one that can make it a great week!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fire Pits for Chilly Nights

This morning there was a definite nip in the air. I scurried back in from my morning outing and sat down with a warm cup of coffee to see what warming fall inspirations I could find.  

Growing up and living in the Midwest, hayrides and bonfires are favorite fall memories.

Here are some amazing fire features for coast, beach, yard, or campground.

The first three fit that WOW factor and would make a definite focal point no matter their location.

This next photo is fantasy, fun, and yes I would love to live next door to the people with this creativity.  Wouldn't this be great in a city where there is no front lawn and just that little fenced in outdoor space in the back?

Ah, now we are getting close to my favorite pyro-style. Great start on the kindling, but not seeing the big logs and turning stick anywhere. This could be it. raised block to start and finish the evening warming hands deciding who will be the evening's fire master. Love the Adirondack chairs, but they are a little bulky to move and turn when your front is hot and your back is cold or the smoke follows your beauty. 

All in all a fantastic set up in my mind.

And here is my winner! The positives: simple, from the coal bed you can tell it started small got bigger, probably a bit too big at one point, and it passes the warm toe test.
There is nothing better than resting you toes on the edge till they are toasty, but not burning rubber. That, if you didn't know is the real reason to keep a bucket of water handy when you have a fire. Oh, how I wish I could be at the most perfect fire pit on earth. Congratulations to the owner of the shoes!

Have warm and toasty dreams tonight!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Countdown Calendars. . . Anticipation (part 1)

Here I sit. My messy piles of stuff surround me in my office/bedroom. No, should be bedroom/office, but you can't find a place big enough to curl up for a nap! So what am I doing about the situation? Happily trolling the internet with a hot cup of coffee. This choice scares even me! 

Fall holidays are staring us right in the face along with the munchkins staring us somewhere in the midsection. Halloween is first on the list of food holidays so here we go down the "Yellow Brick Road" in search of fun to make and fun to use calendars that help us all contain our anticipation.

This might be for the over achiever, but it would be well worth the time!


This one may not be so labor intensive, but beware of the hidden notes behind the numbers!

A Classic

This is a close-up shot, but you get the idea.
Now time to get the spiders and other scary things out of my workspace. 
If you were looking for that kickoff calendar to football season--too bad, missed it already since it started in August! Maybe next century.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My Top 3 U.S. Coastlines

Let's take a quick trip to my five favorite coastlines with their natural beauty and unique character. My personal number one is Sanibel Island, Florida.

 Sunset strolls that make lasting memories.

 Sanibel Lighthouse on eastern end of island.

Gently lapping waves of the Gulf of Mexico
(The beach at our condo. Yes, this is a blatant ad.
Promise not to do it often!)

And that folks is why Sanibel Island will always be my number one choice. 
On to my second favorite coastline, Oregon's Pacific Coast.  As we go along you will notice that I will try to use as many of my own photos. Funny thing about my Oregon pictures, they were pre-digital and my camera took a swim while I was photographing at low tide and shifting sand. At least my husband was amused even if he didn't catch the camera.


Cliffs dropping straight into the unrelenting waves. 
photo credit:
The loud and violent waves show the real force behind them.

photo credit:

Starfish, anemones and mussels in tide pool rocks. It's amazing, the vibrant colors that will soon be back under the sea.
(My photograph would have looked just like that.)

Carla's coastal pick number three:  Lake Superior Coastline in Northern Wisconsin.

Gorgeous rock formations

Water is so clean and so COLD!

Small village with blue sky and bluer water.

You know, this post was titled "My Top 5 U.S. Coastal Beaches", I've done the top three. Enough is enough! But, I would love to here your votes for Top 3 and I'll post up the popular ones at a later date.