Container Store Travel Sale!



Just in time for summer!

Click to save on all your travel gear!

The Container Store

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Prettiest Pencil Cup DIY

I have blogged about them before, but I wanted to share with you another inspiration I had for this ceramic pot from Darby Smart.  I was inspired by Cathy Taylor’s new book, Pigments of Your Imagination, Creating With Alcohol Inks.

Pigments of Your Imagination provides insight into different techniques to create stunning works of art with alcohol dyes.  The book provides step by step instructions, supply lists and even detailed photos.  I will say this project is beginner level.  However, I learned about how to place the dye down and have to get it to bleed so that it created a tie dye effect.

Prettiest Pencil Cup

I was previously unfamiliar with alcohol dyes.  Simply put, you place a layer of alcohol on a non porous surface and then place the dye on top.  The more alcohol you place down, the more the colors will bleed.  You can create stunning images and designs this way…with just a little practice.

Here’s what I needed for my project:

Ceramic cup (at the time I purchased it was $5)

Alcohol dyes in your choice of colors and alcohol blending solution

Foam Brush

Mod Podge

Alcohol Dye Supplies

First you want to paint a layer of the alcohol blending solution onto your project.  The thicker the layer, the more the colors will bleed.

Alcohol Base

Then, start with your first color.  I’m using two colors in my project.  You can go crazy here.  Don’t over do it as the colors spread out.Applying Dye

Allow each dot of ink to sit for a moment so you know how large they will be.Applying Dye 2

Add in your second color.  You can always add more later.Applying Dye 3

This is what the first side looked like.  I let it dry completely, rolled it over and did the other sides.Completed Side

Once you’ve completed your ink paint, let the whole project sit for at least a few hours.  Then, place a thin layer of Mod Podge on it with the foam brush.  This will seal in the color.

Mod Podge

These stunning cups are great as pots for plants, pencil cups, art supply holders, key cups by the door or for use by your little ones who will love the bright colors!Finished Pencil Cup

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Makeup-When To Throw It Out

I get a lot of questions about when makeup and other personal care products expire.  Below is a general guideline for you to follow.  I suggest writing the purchase date on products when you purchase them. This way you can’t fall back on the “I can’t remember” excuse to keep too many products.  Also, make sure that products are kept in a cool, dry location. You should be able to see them so you can be sure to use them!

How Long to Keep Makeup

Liquid and creme foundations can be kept for 6-12 months.

Face moisturizer can be kept for a year.

Eye Shadow can be kept for a year.

Concealer can be kept for up to a year.

Power and blush can be kept for a year.

Mascara should be changed out every three months.  Do not “pump” the brush in the tube.  It gets more air in the tube and allows bacteria to grow.  Lots of stores offer subscription services and you can just have a new tube mailed to you when it’s time.  I use

Lipstick and lip gloss can be kept up to two years.

Eye and lip pencils can be kept up to two years.  (Sharpen frequently to avoid germ build up.)

If any makeup shows signs of mold throw it away right away.  Make sure you keep makeup’s exposure to light as little as possible.

I like to write the date I buy makeup on it’s container with a permanent marker.  That way, when time flies, you never have to try and remember when (and where) you purchased it.

If you buy the same colors and brands over and over again, take note of the names in a safe place, such as your phone. It makes shopping on the go much easier.

Chances are you have a lot of old makeup you don’t wear and haven’t worn in a while.  Start fresh and keep track going forward!  You don’t eat expired food so why would you put expired products on your face?!


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Make Your Choice

Busy is A Choice

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Great Things Never Come From Comfort Zones

Great things never come from comfort zones

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Organizing On The Road With Thirty-One (And a Giveaway!)

You know I love Thirty-One products.  They look good, hold up the constant wear and tear and keep you organized.  Well this month’s hostess special is no exception.  Just in time for summer, these items will keep you organized on the go.

Thirty One Car Organization and Giveaway

In May if you host a party you get all four pieces for $35 (valued at $135).  If you host a $600 party, they’re free!

Large Utility Tote

The large utility tote is one of my favorite traveling items.  I use it for dirty laundry, jackets, shoes, snacks and even hiking gear.  It’s ready to go anywhere you are.  It folds up flat so when it’s not in use, you don’t have to worry about storing it.  Fill it with snacks on your way to your vacation spot, fill it with dirty clothes on the way home.  It’s a multi-tasker you will use over and over again. You won’t be able to imagine living without these.

I’m in love with the car organization pieces….they help you be organized, even on the go.  With summer vacations on the horizon, organizing the car is absolutely necessary.  We all spend so much time in our car, keeping it organized can make a big difference in the enjoyment of a trip or our daily lives.

Car Organization

The Flip Top Organizing Bin is great for backseat adventures.  Fill it with games, books, music and snacks Flip Top Organizerand your tots can enjoy the road trip with everything at hand.  The lid flips over and serves as a lap tray. Great for snacks or writing, this is a tool kids will love on the go.

The Hang-Up Activity Organizer is awesome for home or the car.  It snaps Hang Up Organizeraround the headrest of a car seat and gives backseat riders lots of pockets to fill with magazines, games, toys, sunscreen, bug spray and anything else you may need on the go.  I love using it as a “go kit”….I put in things I’ll need for a hike with my pups…a leash, sunblock, doggie bags, water, and bug spray.  I can fill it up in the house, then jut hang it up in the car.  Easy as pie and I never forget things at home!

The Made in the Shade Pocket affixes to your visor and holds everything you need at hand; sunglasses, cards, hand sanitizer and chapstick.  It’s a great way to have things close by instead of floating around the car.  This keeps your hands on the wheel and not searching in your bag, getting distracted.  I love the fun colors it comes in.  It will make you smile every time you see it.

Pack N' PullI saved my favorite item for last.  The Pack N’ Pull Caddy is a small caddy with two sections.  It’s perfect to store water bottles, sunscreen, diaper changing supplies, snacks, dog gear, technology accessories or even cosmetics.  There’s even a special slot that allows you to pull items out…like tissues or wet wipes.  How awesome is that?  This too attaches to a headrest so the items are easy to access and grab.  Use this for after practice snacks and clean up!

Want to know something awesome?  We’re giving away a set! Enter below to win!  Your choice of embroidery is included in the winner’s package!  The car collection includes: Hang-Up Activity Organizer, Flip-Top Org Bin, Pack N’ Pull Caddy, Made in the Shade Pocket.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Eat Healthy and Quick With #Veggie Fries

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Veggie Fries. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. All opinions and reviews are my own.”

So you’re wondering what a Veggie Fry is right?  They are a delicious combination of french fry and vegetable!  Shaped like a fry, they do include potato.  However, they also include vegetables.  It’s a sneaky and delicious way to get vegetables into your family’s diet.  In fact, you can hardly tell they are NOT traditional french fries!

So here’s why I love them….they go from freezer to plate quickly, and require almost no thought.  They make a great last minute side dish or even snack.  These are amazing for week night meals when you are racing to cook.  This is a frozen food you can feel good about serving your family.

No need to sneak veggies into your kid’s meals with these…they look, feel and taste like fries.  Who doesn’t love fries? Even my fussy husband ate them and loved them!  I showed him the package after and he was quite surprised!

Veggie Fries

Take a peek at the carrot variety of Veggies Fries above. The patty is eggplant parm. and these paired perfectly!

Veggie Fries from in four varieties;  Broccoli, Carrot, Chickpea & Red Pepper and Tuscan Bean & Herb. Broccoli and carrot varieties are available at your local Stop & Shop.

Here’s a peek at the bag in my freezer.  There’s plenty in a bag for a whole family, and the bags are perfectly size to fit into your freezer.

Veggie Fries Bag

All Veggie Fries products are made with all natural, non-GMO ingredients and are gluten-free. Veggie Fries are Vegan and free of soy, dairy, tree nuts, peanuts and eggs so they are even great for families with allergies or special diet guidelines. 

Go try Veggie Fries now and you’ll save .50 off at Stop & Shop.  Pick up a few bags and keep them int he freezer for those nights you’re swamped or just don’t feel like cooking!

The promotion runs from May 15th through June 11th.

Find out more on Veggie Fries’ website!

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Buddhi Box love

If you are or know a yoga lover, BuddhiBox is for you.  It’s a subscription box like no other.  Every month, on the 10th, a box full of amazing products is sent to you.  Every product is selected to help you deepen and renew your yoga practice.

Please note I received a sample of Buddhi Box in order to write this post.  My opinions are my own.

Buddhi Box

It’s rare that you love every item that arrives in a subscription box.  Buddhi Box is the exception.  Every item is carefully selected for yoga lovers.

Most items in the box are organic and vegetarian.  All products come from companies that practice ethical business standards.  That’s so important today.  Know where your purchases come from and what those companies stand for.  Buddhi Box does the research for you!

This month’s box is filled with amazing treats.  There are headbands to wear to yoga, solid perfume, a Macro bar, lip balm and even room spray.  Every item is a delight and just so much fun to use.  These products allow me to take my practice off the mat and into my “real life”.

Some of my favorite items in the box aren’t products at all.  Every month you are given three cards.  One has an amazing recipe on it.  I love the vegetarian or vegan inspiration!

A second card describes a yoga pose, how to access it and the what areas of your body it benefits.  We rarely take the time to learn about our poses off the mat.  These cards help us do just that.

Finally, there’s a card with a quote. I love hanging these near my desk for constant inspiration or tucking them into my planner to use as an inspirational book mark.

Get yourself a Buddhi Box subscription.  It’s a way to treat yourself with amazing products, ideas and feelings every single month. We can all use a little more of special right?

Get mom a special edition BuddhiBox.  It’s $55 and it’s filled with goodies valued at over $105!

Order it here.

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother’s Day is almost here!  It’s time to start shopping for that special woman who has done so much for you.  I don’t know about you, but I wish I could give my mom the gift of naps and time to read a book, neither of which I let her do when I was a kid.  This year I’m trying to give you some ideas that are a little more unique than the traditional flowers or candle gifts that are so popular.  I am focusing on things that will make her feel special.  I’d share with you what I got MY mom, but she reads my blog and I can’t spoil the surprise.

Mother's Day Gift Guide

Please note I received samples of some of these items in order to be able to try out the products and write the reviews.  I only bring you products I love and would use or gift myself.

Treat mom to a little time for herself with simplecare products’ masks.  Their masks are made with real ingredients by a real chef.  You can actually pronounce everything on the label.  They arrive in an adorable glass jar with the awesome labels.  To use, you take out some of the powder and mix it with water, juice or milk.  Then, put it on your face, let it sit and then wash off.  I love using face masks but usually I don’t see as much of a difference as I did with this one.  The little jar I received will last a long time and because it’s not liquid you can even fly with this!  This is a perfect gift to make sure mom is taking care of herself! Masks are available in a variety of seasonal options.

You know I love bags.  Who doesn’t?  I’m always looking for amazing bags to give and use on a daily basis. They make a great gift because they are so useful.  More importantly, what mother do you know who doesn’t always have her hands full? My choice right now is the Essential Neoprene Tote by Built NY.  It’s as adorable and durable as all of Built NY’s smaller options.  However, it’s large enough to hold your planner, sneakers, iPad, water bottle and more.  The straps are long enough to go over your shoulder and even FULL of stuff it’s comfortable to carry.  When it gets dirty throw it in the wash and when it’s not in use, fold it flat.  (Don’t you just love all these features!)  It also has three little pockets inside to keep things organized. I love this as a go to daily bag, but it’s also awesome as a gym bag, beach bag or sports bag….the neoprene dries quickly and repels dirt (just like a wetsuit).  I love the black and white polka dots too!

My first suggestion is a piece of jewelry from Lane Tanner Designs.  I was lucky enough to try out one of their surf necklaces.  Each piece is hand made and inspired by the Hawaii sunset.  While you can’t take your mom to Hawaii, this is a great reminder to relax and enjoy every day like she’s at the beach.  I love that the pieces are created on resin so they can be worn in any climate; wet, dry, humid and so on.  This piece is light weight too so you can wear it without thinking about it.  These are one of a kind, AND affordable.

Give mom something that will inspire her every single day.  The prints by Naptime Diaries are just so special.  Frame them and display them.  They will inspire you all day through.  They are inspiring, delightful and beautiful.  You’re going to want more than one!

If you’re looking for a stylish, do it all water bottle, try out Sigg’s new Viva bottle is a great choice.  It is made of recyclable material and comes in lots of colors to meet your fancy.  Here are some technical specifications:

  • The integrated straw gives you easy access to your beverage without lifting or tilting
  • No matter how you turn it – even upside-down – the New Active Top will never leak
  • Its few components make it quick and easy to dismantle and reassemble, ensuring safe and hygienic cleaning

If you know a new mum, give her the gift of an awesome diaper bag.  After all, she’ll be using it every day! The Gold Label Bowler Bag from Lassig distributed by HABA USA is made of durable polyester and will last longer than the diaper years :)  I love the colors…they are fun and sophisticated…you’d never know this is a diaper bag!  The handles are padded for comfy carrying and there’s an insulated bottle holder.  The bag also has a zippered pocket for damp items and ALL kinds of little pockets in and around the bag to keep you organized.  I love it!  Of course it has a changing pad too.  The included, stand alone bag is great to take to the nursery, fill with supplies and bring it back to the bag.

Send Mom some note cards on Mother’s Day.  Everyone loves a lovely cup of tea, so give her a whole collection of them with Chronicle Book’s Teacup Collection note cards.  Including 20 different note cards and envelopes this is a great gift for Mom to send or even to just display.


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The Daily Struggle & How To Overcome It

I’m a professional organizer and yet every day is a struggle for me, just like it is for you.  We all want to lay in bed a little longer.  I want to sip my coffee while looking out the window, not drink it cold while answering emails.  And at the end of the day, I’d like to have a completed to do list, not one that rolls into tomorrow.  So how do we get out of the daily struggle and start to succeed?  Here are my tips…

The Daily Struggle

1.  Never stop learning.  This may sound daunting but for most of us there is always something we’ve wanted to do or learn more about. Perhaps you want to know more about interior design in order to decorate your home.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn about auto restoration.  With the internet and the endless supply of information at your fingertips, it’s easy to take a few minutes a day to read articles, watch instructional videos or find a blog on your topic of choice. Spend some time learning something new every day.

2.  Build relationships. We are all so busy with house hold chores, errands, school activities and work that relationships actually seem difficult to cultivate.  If you work from home, it’s even harder to meet people. When you meet someone new, make a plan to meet them again for coffee or dinner.  Make sure you are in contact with your friends at least once a week.  Check in with them.  They are just as busy as you are but saying hello and chatting (even via text) for five minutes can make both of your days brighter.

3. If possible, work at your best time.  If you’re a night owl, adjust your schedule so you have some time to get things done in the evening (after everyone goes to sleep).  Likewise, if you’re a morning person, get up before everyone and get a head start on the day.

4.  Adopt an attitude of gratitude.  Before you think I’m corny, I want you to hear me out.  The other day I was folding laundry…again…and I was SO tired of it.  But then I realized we had clothes to fold.  Warm soft clothing to get us through the New England winter.  So how could I complain about folding them?  Every burden is a blessing in disguise.

5.  Do one small nice thing for someone else every day.  Say thank you when you get coffee, hold the door for someone, send a text with a compliment in it…you get the idea.  Good deeds can be small or large and don’t have to cost you a penny.  You will feel better, no matter how stressed you are.  It just might change the whole day for the better of the recipient.

What are your ways to make it through the day?  Tell me in the comments below!

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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…


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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