Spring Clean Series

Since Spring is finally upon us, it is now time to get started on Spring cleaning. I personally look forward to this time of year. I love decluttering, organizing, purging and cleaning. It is very refreshing to get my house back in order. Don’t know about you guys, but I tend to accumulate more stuff during the long winter months than any other time of year. So Spring provides a great opportunity to cleanse my home. Since Spring cleaning is a task that takes longer than just a day, I spread it out over a month. This year I wanted to take you guys on the journey with me. During this journey, I will be posting cleaning tasks throughout the next couple weeks. The cleaning task that will be tackled today is the hall closet. The hall closet can very easily become a dumping ground for all sorts of things. I often find myself throw items into it because I don’t know what else to do with them.

Below is a picture of what my hall closet currently looks like. So my hall closet isn’t the worst out there, but I do have items in there that did not belong, like a TV mounting kit, that I completely forgot I had. I also did not like the fact that I have to wrestle with the coats to pull out my broom and vacuum. You may notice the two baskets on the shelf. I actually bought them a year after moving in to contain the winter items. I also wanted to down size the jackets and coats, since a couple of them I no longer wear.

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So of course the first thing I did  was pull everything out of it. Once everything was pulled out, I separated everything into either a keep or donate pile. Below is my donate pile. Then I proceeded to wipe down the wall, which were pretty dusty and vacuumed the carpet.

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I also decided to place a command hook on the right side to hang my reusable grocery bags and umbrella.

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And here is the final result:

IMG_0172I am very please with the end result. Being able to have easy access to the vacuum and floor dusters was my top priority for this quick project so I am very happy. All in all it only took me 45 minutes to do this, which isn’t too bad. So if you have some time one afternoon, put some music on and get to work. You will not be disappointed in the result. So that concludes todays post. Stay tune for my mega home office clear out next week.

Chicken Tortilla Soup!

Today I thought I would do something a little different and share a recipe that was given to me by a coworker of my husband. Like the title says, it is a very yummy Chicken Tortilla Soup. Here is a picture with a little sharp cheddar sprinkled on top.

IMG_0625Here is the actual recipe. Don’t let this long list of ingredients scare you. Many of the items are probably in your fridge and pantry, since they are used in a multitude of dishes.

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (about 10 oz)
  • 1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped seeded jalapeno pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 (14 ¼ oz) cans of chicken broth
  • 1 (15.5 oz) canned diced peeled tomato’s, undrained
  • 1 (10 ¾ oz) can of condensed tomato soup

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sautè for 2 minutes. Then stir in chicken and the next 9 ingredients; bring to a boil. Finally, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. You can serve with tortilla chips and sour cream. My husband and I usually enjoy it with a slice of rosemary and olive oil bread. It was recommended to me to use a rotisserie chicken, since it contains more flavor. Bone Appétit!

Closet Organization!

Since Spring is just around the corner, I am already planning my Spring cleaning agenda. I thought today I will show you guys how I keep my small closet organized. So if you want tips for maximizing your closet space, just keep reading. Like many girls I love to shop for clothes and cute accessories. The only problem (besides the dent in my wallet) is that I have a small closet. It is so easy to just cram everything in there, hoping it will all fit. But all it does is create a nightmare every time you open it. Below are photos of what my closet looks like.

Here is a picture of the left side of my closet. You will see, I had installed a second bar to give me more space. Since tops generally do not hang very long, adding another bar will allow you to have double the garments! I do strongly suggest hanging all article of clothing the same direction. It not only looks neater, by clothes don’t seemed to get as tangled this way. Now, some people like to organize clothing by color coding, garment type, or even both. Do whatever works best for you. I personally only organize by garment type. I start with sleeveless on the far left, working all the way to long sleeve tops to the right. On the bar below I have tops in this order; open cardigans, button cardigans, sweaters and then jackets. I do strongly suggest hanging all article of clothing the same direction. It not only looks neater, but clothes don’t seemed to get as tangled this way.

img_0186.jpgNext we go onto the left side of my closet. This side only has one bar. I did not extend the second bar to that side because that is where I hang my longer garments like pants and dresses. Once again you can see I organize the items from smallest to largest, or from shorts to pants, then dresses.

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The bottom of my closet is where I keep my shoes. I used to have stacks of shoebox’s sitting on the floor of the closet. Then one day I was tired of the hassle of going through the boxes every morning. I also realized I had not worm half of my shoes in years. So one day I did a complete overhaul of my shoe situation. Now I am so glad I did it. I will only keep as many shoes as my shelving system will hold.

Finally I will discuss storage bins. I defiantly recommend storage bins for the top of your closet rack. For years I use to just throw whatever onto the shelves, only to have them not only look messy, but things like to fall down all the time. Having these bins can save so much time when your getting ready in the morning. Below is how I organize two of my bins. In case you are wondering, I keep my handbags in the two bins that you see in the photo above. IMG_0192The biggest thing to do in order to keep an organized closet is continual purging. I go through my closet twice a year to remove outdated and old items. I found it was a lot less scary, I mean overwhelming when I did it often, versus once every five years or so. Well, this concludes my closet organization tour. Stay turned for more organization tips around the house.

Winter Tea Party!

So some of the women on my husbands side and I have been getting together about once or twice a year to host a tea party for about the past 5 years. Each of use take turns hosting. I was very excited that it was my turn. I love winter, so I was extra ecstatic when the snow began to fall on my day. Now I will admit, it was not the fanciest tea party ever, but all of us women thoroughly enjoyed complaining about our husbands, I mean girl talk.

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All of the pastries for my tea party were purchased at the local grocery store, which consisted of scones, pecan tarts, and red velvet cup cakes. I also made two different small sandwich’s. The first one was just with turkey lunch meat with cranberry spread to add a festive touch. The second sandwich was my favorite. My MIL suggested making a chicken salad sandwich. I have never made that before, so I decided to check out Pinterest. I  was able to find a really tasty recipe that I highly recommend trying. Click the link for the Savory chicken salad recipe. Finally the star of any tea party is the tea! Below is a picture of how I displayed my tea offerings:

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Christmas Décor Tour!

I can not tell you guys how excited I was when the tree I ordered from Amazon arrive 3 days early. Now, I usually don’t put up my Christmas decorations until the weekend after Thanksgiving, but this year I just could not wait. After running out the door without shoes on, I graciously grabbed the heavy box from the UPS guy and happily took it upstairs to my living room. I purchased a flocked tree after seeing so many YouTube videos and Pinterest photos of gorgeously decorated flocked trees. Here is a picture of it prior to decorating.

IMG_0580The only downside from getting a flocked tree is that the white material sheds ALOT! I vacuum under the tree almost daily. Anyway, moving on to my ornaments; which in my usually fashion of decorating, I spread all of the my ornaments all over the living room floor in order to see them all while I am deciding where to place them. I put my other décor on my dining room table until I figured out where else to put them as well.

So, after hours of fussing and tweaking, here is what the final product looks like:

IMG_0584I thought is turned out quite elegant. Next I moved onto my hutch, AKA my mantel.

IMG_0598The gold painted animals were a DIY gift from my sister years ago and they are a beautiful addition to my white reindeer on the left. I also really like the different shaped and colored trees, which gives the look dimension.  Last, but not least is my dining room table. I decided to just keep it simple, yet elegant.

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So there is my Christmas décor tour. As you can see, I pretty much stuck to a theme of gold, white, and silver. For more information about where I purchased the bulk of my ornaments, check out my previous blog page, Dollar Tree Christmas Haul!. The rest of my décor and ornaments I purchased at Target, Amazon, and JoAnn’s. So that is all, happy decorating!!!

Dollar Tree Christmas Haul!

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This year I had acquired a white Christmas tree from my parents. I was so excited because I have wanted one for a while. Now all I need to do is to decide how to decorate it. I spent hours on Pinterest and YouTube looking for ideas. I finally settled on a theme of silver and gold. I purchased a few items from JoAnn’s and Amazon when I found quiet a few Dollar Tree hauls on YouTube. I haven’t been to a Dollar Tree in years and had no idea they even sold any Christmas items. Boy, were my assumptions wrong! They had a huge selection of Christmas tree decorations as well as home décor. Plus everything was only $1!. I strongly suggest checking your local dollar store out, you never know what you might find. Anyway, here are the items I bought:

IMG_0159The Dollar Tree has many different types of snow flakes in multiple sizes. All very pretty with lots of glitter!

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The small mirrored squares add a lovely sparkle to any tree.

IMG_0163I think I might go back and get more of the reindeer ornaments, they are just too cute! The two items at the bottom look are branches that resemble a tree.

IMG_0164And last, but not least white poinsettias that have clips on the back so you can attach them to branches and the garland, pinecones, that are going to be used for my table center piece. All of this only cost $26. So I hope you guys got some great ideas from this haul. The week after Thanksgiving I will post what they look like on my tree.

Vanity Tour and Tips on How You Can Keep it Organized!

Over the three years that I have owned my vanity, I have reorganized it many times because my needs tend to change through the years. Today I am letting you guys get a glimpse of how I set up my vanity to make it easier for me to get ready in the morning. First, here is picture of what it looks like:

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As you can see it is composed of 3 drawers, which provide great storage. As you guys can also see, sitting on the top of the piece, I have a basket, little white tray, a mirror and 2 apothecary jars.

IMG_0144In the basket I keep my HUGE Estee Lauder makeup pallet along with body spray, deodorant, tanning spray, and 2 hairsprays. The only reason I keep the makeup pallet in there is because it is too large to fit anywhere else. Other wise it would only be lotions and sprays. Baskets offer function and come in all kinds of pretty colors and designs.

IMG_0147My tray contains the makeup pallet I use the most often as well as the lotions I really love. And of course I had to decorate it with a pumpkin for the fall. I bought this tray at Target as a set several years ago. Trays are a must have. They make vanities look more organized and can serve as a great way to contain items in one place for quick and easy access. I recommend putting the items you use the most often on it to make getting ready in the morning go smoother.

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Now, These two apothecary jars are my favorite display pieces.  I love the way they look and they also can be used for storing so many things. Now lets take a peak inside the drawers.

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Drawer dividers are a must have for anyone who wears make-up. Nothing is worse then trying to dig through a make-up or container, trying to find products. Drawer organizers allow for all of your items to be easily visible. You can find them at Target, Walmart, Amazon.com and many other retailers.

IMG_0155Both side drawers came with velvet covered organizers. Since they were small I decided to purchase a clear container to store hair clips, ties, etc.

IMG_0141And finally I put my two curling irons and straightener in my right drawer. Keeping like items together make it easier to find them, especially when you are in a hurry.

So that’s my tour. Thanks for stopping by! I hope I inspired you guys to go through and organize your beauty products. Even if you don’t have vanity, it makes getting ready for the day much less stressful when everything you need is well organized.

My Coffee Command Center

I am going to tell you guys a little bit about myself. I am a huge coffee lover! So it was only natural to dedicate an entire side of one of my cabinets in my small kitchen to just coffee. I am usually a minimalist with most things, but there are three things that I do hoard, coffee mugs, handbags, and clothes. While I was still working 9-5, I needed to work in making a huge mug of coffee into my morning routine. I realized it was a pain to have to grab things from different parts of the kitchen, just to make a simple cup of coffee. So one weekend I pulled out all of my coffee related items and decided to put them all in one place. I even put my Keurig below the cabinet for easy reach. This very small, but new change helped keep my morning routine running smooth. Below is a picture of what my little command center looks like:

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As you can see I put all but one of my mugs at the top. The shelve below that houses bags of coffee beans, two more cups and a stray box of tea. Then the bottom shelve I bought k-cup carousel, which I use the most.  The white glass box next to the carousel hold sugar. I am very happy with how it turned out and I how I could give you guys some ideas so you can create your own coffee command center. Happy brewing!

Fake a clean house in 15 minutes!

Do you have unexpected guests coming over in 15 minutes, but your house is a wreck? We have all been there, but don’t despair, below are 6 things that you can do to fake a clean home. 

  1. First go through the areas that your guests will congregate, which is usually the living room, dining room, and/or kitchen. Pick up any items that don’t belong in those rooms and find a closet or another off limits to the guest part of the house. Hide everything you pick up in one place, so you’re not tearing up the house later to find them.
  2. Quickly wipe down only surfaces that have visible dirt, grime or dust with an all-purpose cleaner. My go to is Method Surface Cleaner. Not only does it do a great job, but they come in lovely scents. (you can also dry dust if you own antique pieces).
  3. Speaking of lovely scents, if your home as an odor to it, you can light a candle or turn on your essential oil diffuser.
  4. After you finished in the main area, move onto the bathroom. First check the state of the toilet. If it looks dirt, quickly wipe it down with a spray cleaner or disinfecting wipe. Also don’t forget to give the inside of the bowl a once over with the toilet brush.
  5. Once your finished with the toilet, wipe any toothpaste marks off of the sink and mirror.
  6. At the end pull out the vacuum and quickly go over only the areas that the guests will see. Vacuuming can do wonders for the appearance of your space.
  7. Finally get yourself ready, they’ll be here any minute!