DIY Metal Stamping

As the holiday approach and the leaves start to fall, it’s a great time of year to start some crafting projects.  I love to craft some things that I can give as gifts.  They are thoughtful, unique and often, inexpensive.  I’ve done a lot of crafts over the years, but I’ve never tried metal stamping.  It was surprisingly easy.  I had some vintage silver spoons lying around (mismatched), and I purchased some metal blanks and keychain attachments from the Etsy store Extremely Charming.

I also purchased a bench block (small metal block) on Amazon.  (They don’t have the one I purchased anymore.) and a stamping set from Plaid Barn. (They don’t always carry the same items.)  I had a hammer already.

From here, the rest is really simple….take the item you want to stamp, place it on the metal block and hit it with the hammer.  There are two tricky parts.  First, make sure you measure out and plan the word you want to punch.  Once you start, you can’t erase it and if you don’t leave enough room, you’re in trouble.  Secondly, you need to hold the item in place while making sure you don’t hit your fingers.  Hit the punch hard enough so that you indent the item you’re stamping and don’t have to hit it over again over again.  Doing so, increases the likelihood that you won’t get a clean stamp.

I made five key chains and four spoons.  The process was fairly quick once I got the hang of it and it’s something that’s customized and special to the person I’m gifting it to.  It’s also something I can do over and over again.  These supplies don’t dry up over time.  Well worth the investment and no training needed!

Metal Stamping

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Beyond the Sink With Dawn

I’m all about using things you already have in your home to solve new problems. I also love saving money.  Dawn Dish Soap can help you do both of those.  There are so many uses for Dawn that go Beyond the Sink, I was amazed!

Please note this is a sponsored post by Dawn. My opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way. 

Laundry Graphic

 

So how does this work? Well, take any stubborn stain you have.  For me, I always have stains from trail running, or playing with my dogs.  As a professional organizer, I’ve also been known to come home with some “organizing dirt” from working in a garage, basement or even dusty closet.

 

AfterSo, I took a stain that I had not been able to get out previously and I treated it with a little bit of BeforeDawn.  Maybe a tea spoon….not much more.  I rubbed it in and then let it sit for about 30 minutes.  Then, I popped it in the wash with the rest of my clothes and washed as I normally do, with Tide.

The stain was a from a liquid blush pen that had leaked when I was traveling.  When I tried to get it out previously it simply made a bigger spot around the original stain.

Dawn Bottle

 

I buy Dawn in bulk and I’m now going to be using it in more areas of my home than the kitchen. One thing I really love is Dawn’s  Saving Wildlife campaign. They’ve been an integral part of saving wildlife from oil spills and other disasters for over 30 years.

My favorite part of telling you about new things is being able to give them away! Check out this giveaway and enter to win a steam cleaner and Ikea gift card!

a Rafflecopter giveawayDawn Logo

It can do more than laundry too!  Use Dawn in the garage, to clean tools, and even in the kitchen!

 

Want to win MORE prizes and learn more about Dawn’s uses?

Join us for some parties!

The #DawnBeyondtheSink Twitter Party will take place on Tuesday October 28th at 9pm EST. Please share this link and encourage your readers to join us and RSVP: http://vite.io/DoubleDutyDivas

To participate, follow your hosts @DoubleDutyDivas, @BridgetteLA, @CeceliaMecca @AngieKcom @WhatMommiesNeed @RamblingChick, and our sponsor @Pampers.

Prizes Include:

  • Prize 1 - Rowenta Iron/Sorter Combo + Dawn ($100)
  • Prize 2 -. Shark Stick Vac ($100) + Dawn
  • Prize 3 - $100 Williams Sonoma GC + Dawn
  • Prize 4 - Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer ($350) + Dawn
  • RSVP-Dawn product

Entering Dawn’s Pinterest contest is easy and fun!  Visit http://sweeps.piqora.com/DawnBeyondtheSink to get started.  This promotion starts on October 27th and ends on November 24th.  Prizes include: weekly prizes of $250 Target Gift Cards and a Grand Prize of a $700 Home Depot Gift Card.

* For best results, use a little less than two teaspoons (9.5 mL) of Dawn in a top-loading washing machine – be sure not to use too much, and don’t use on delicate fabrics like silk. Spot test with a small drop in a less visible area to make sure the material will not be damaged.

** HE washing machines can be sensitive and cycle times may vary.

 

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Do It Now Printable

 

Want a little inspiration?  This printable will do the trick guaranteed! Want more like this?  Check out KateO’s Etsy store.
Do It Now

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Gift Wrap Wonderland Is Here!

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Hope Bags Bring Hope To Those Who Need It Most

I love finding great places to donate items that usually go unused or even get tossed out in our every day lives.  The Hope Bag Mission from Me and My Girls is a great example of that.  They donate bags of necessary items to women who have just received emergency health care due to violence.

Hope Bags

Each bag that is a part of our #HopeBag Mission contains basic essentials that are vital after emergency healthcare has been provided and the victim has been relocated to a safe place to begin recovery. The basic essentials include bath care, hair care, skin care, mouth care, sanitary products, journals, a book of inspiration and a hand-written note of encouragement from the person who volunteered to fill her personal bag.  

So how can you help?

Send products or complete bags based on the guidelines below. Have a girls night to stuff bags.  Have fun and give back!

How you can help

 

“HOPE BAG” SHOPPING LIST

page2image992

  1. TOOTH BRUSH AND TOOTH PASTE
  2. SOAP
  3. LOTION
  4. DEODORANT
  5. FACIAL WIPES
  6. PERSONAL CARE WIPES
  7. LIP BALM OR CHAP STICK
  8. Sanitary PADS and tampons
  9. COMB AND BRUSH
  10. Conditioner
  11. SHAMPOO
  12. SMALL PAPERBACK BOOK OF INSPIRATION OR JOURNALEXTRAS ONLY

-NAIL POLISH AND COSMETICS -HEAD SCARF
-SOCKS
-PANTIES

-BRAS -NIGHT SHIRT

DIRECTIONS FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL BAG:

  1. Please fill each bag with new, full size products (no value size products please)
  2. Please enclose $7 in an envelope in each bag and place the envelope in your bag along with the products. The money is used to help pay for shipping, packaging and administrative costs.
  3. Use the enclosed note card to send words of encouragement. Examples: “Stay strong” “You are loved” “A bag of goodies to make you feel beautiful.” DO NOT include any personal information. Sign your first name ONLY.

It’s domestic violence awareness month so spread the word!

 

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Creating a Charging Station~A Video

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Best Bags

Finding the perfect bag for every circumstance can be difficult.  I’m here to help you decode bags and find the one that’s right for you.  It’s important to have the right bags for the right activity. However, it’s also important not to clutter your closets with so many bags you can’t possibly use them all.

Best Bags

**Please note I received samples of some of these items in order to write this review.  My opinions are my own and were not influences in any way.**

Best Travel Bag

The first bag I want to share with you is the Healthy Back Bag.  Available in lots of fabrics and colors and sizes, it’s chock full of features.  It’s designed so that even with weight in it, the bag rests comfortably on your back and causes no discomfort.      The microfiber version of this  bag is lightweight, breathable and durable.  It comes in four sizes and includes; a non slip strap, a key hook, pen slots and lots of other internal organizing features, and four exterior pockets.  Not only is this great for a mom who always has her hands full, it’s awesome for hiking, running errands and to and from the gym.

 

 ameribag microfiber hbbevo

Best Clutch

Looking for a versatile clutch that can actually HOLD things?  I was lucky enough to try out Alex and Ani’s newest line of leather goods and their amazing clutch.  It’s embossed with a sophisticated design.  It’s stunning and yet subtle at the same time.  The leather is super soft and the bag is big enough to hold some makeup, a phone, a wallet and keys.  The bag got me a lot of compliments as I carried it around.  They have wallets, totes and more available in lots of color choices.  I love the purple!

Alex and Ani Clutch

 

Canopy VerdeBest Every Day

If you’re a mom or a woman on the go, check out the environmentally and animal friendly Willow Shopper from Canopy Verde is an awesome choice.  Its roomy interior is enough to fit a laptop, book, toys, baby supplies, snacks and anything else you need to get through the day.  The bag is made of organic cotton and the even the embroidery is chemical free.  It’s about 15×12, but about 4 inches deep.  So you have a whole lotta storage, but a slim profile so it looks and feels great to carry.  The straps are comfortable and can manage all the weight you pile into the bag.  This bag, and many of their other ones are great for every day use.  They come in lots of colors too!  I love the black because I can put it down anywhere and don’t worry about it getting dirty.

Best Gym Bag

Tania BeeThe Tania Bee back from StorkSak IS a baby bag.  But its features make it my choice for the best gym bag.  I’ve long been a fan of baby bags because they usually have all sorts of compartments and the linings are able to be wiped clean.  (We all spill things in our bags!)  This bag comes in some awesome colors…I was able to try out the gradient pink….stylish and subtle at the same time.  It comes with a padded changing mat and an insulated bottle holder which will keep things cool or hot for hours.  Awesome for bottles, but also great for the cool water you want to take to yoga or the soup you want to take to work.  There are lots of exterior pockets and one that zips, which I like for my phone.  The shoulder strap is removable and there is even a place for your keys.

Best Tote

Swell Caroline BagI love the Aztec Tote from Sweet Caroline.  It’s simple, but has some bonus features that make a difference.  The bag closes with a zipper, the handles are rope (so cute!) and it comes with a little pouch you can use for a charging cord, coins or makeup.  Oh and it’s pretty darn adorable.

Best Backpack

The Social Pact was designed by someone who needed a bag that looked Backpackgood and worked great.  The result is a pack that is ergonomic and sleek….everything you don’t generally think a backpack is. It’s made in the US and is cruelty free.  It’s slim, but holds a lot of gear.  The straps are adjustable and there’s even a front pocket for your phone (and access to your headset)!  Everything is water and stain resistant and something I particularly loved was that it’s cool to wear.  You can carry this without looking like you’re heading out for recess, but it’s comfortable for hauling everything you need for a day on the go.

Best Organizing Tool

Sometimes the best thing to use to organize your bags is more bags! It’s Baya Collectionscounterintuitive, but smaller bags can really help you organize your stuff inside of a larger bag. I love these travel bags from Baya Collections.    They come in a set of three and are available in multiple designs.  They are coated so you can wipe them off if you need to.  These are great for grouping and organizing snacks, cords, pens, makeup or baby gear…anything that you might want to grab quickly or that might leak in your bag.  Baya Collections has lots of amazing options for diaper bags, carryalls and even work bags.

 

Best Eco Friendly

Messenger BagIt’s not often you come across a bag that’s fashionable, sustainable and eco friendly.  The Round Roll Purse from Messenger Bags Plus is the perfect combo of caring for the Earth AND caring for your style.  The bag is a round, small duffel. It fits a LOT of stuff and has numerous pocked inside that close with zippers so you don’t have to worry about things falling out.  It has outside pockets too for things you want to be able to grab and use quickly, like hand sanitizer.  It’s made with sustainable goat leather and the grain and feel of it is amazing. You’d expect to pay a lot more for this purse!  It also has an adjustable strap you can wear over your shoulder or cross body.

Let Us Know:  What’s your favorite bag?  How do you keep it organized?

 

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Own Less, Clean Less

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What to Keep, What to Pitch

I am Sarah Henderson, I have been an organizer for around a year now and have come up with some pretty decent methods for paper filing and organizing. Paper filing is the one people dread when it comes to what to throw away and keep, I have come up with my own little system and put it into the form of an info-graphic. A lot of people will agree to go paperless, which is right, but some things you cannot go paperless like your tax bills and medical bills, so you have to come up with a way of organizing them all, so please check out my method:

Documents-to-Keep-and-Document-to-Pitch

I created this info-graphic purely because at the time I was moving home and needed to get rid of a lot of paperwork, believe me, There was a LOT! This system will keep build up from ever happening and will also allow you to find anything in a hurry, I hope the organization method has been a great help to you. If you would like to follow me, please do so via Google+, you can also visit my latest blog post where I talk about a wide range of health issues. I also do look back for comments, so please feel free to leave any below and I will get back to you.

Posted in Home Organizing Tips, Paper and Office Organizing | Leave a comment

Easy Weekend Crockpot Cooking~Two Spice Chicken

This meal is going to amaze you.  I know you probably read that a lot but in New England terms, it’s wicked easy.  Four ingredients and they are all things I regularly have on hand.  If you love this…make sure you stock up on them.  This is a meal that’s easy to toss into your crockpot in the morning and come home to at night.  The kids could even assemble this.

Two Spice Chicken

 

Okay here’s what goes into it:

1 ounce of taco seasoning.  You can buy a packet, but I always have Penzey’s taco seasoning on hand.  I used my food scale to measure out an ounce.

1 ounce ranch dressing mix.  Again, this is sold in pouches at the grocery store (inexpensively!) but I have ranch mix on hand in bulk from Penzey’s.  Again I measured an ounce on the food scale.

Fresh or frozen chicken breasts.  I put in three large ones.  I buy in bulk at Costco so I can always grab some and make a meal like this.  They defrost quickly and easily in the crockpot.

1 jar of salsa.  I used medium heat.

Two Spice Chicken Step By Step

Put it in and go about your day.  I do like to stir this once or twice before serving.  You can pull apart the chicken so it’s flavored more thoroughly with all the seasonings too.

Serve over ride, in taco shells or with our Easy Enchiladas we made last week!

 

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… I will continue to use Bonnie Dewkett and The Joyful Organizer on projects in our home as our family expands and our needs continue to change…

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Quick Tips

There is a saying, “What gets written down gets attended to, and what gets attended to gets done.” 

Write down your organizing goals and hold yourself accountable for completing them. 

I know it seems like a big chore, but you’ll be glad you did it once you’re done!


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