Archive | June, 2011

Weekly Shout Outs {6.30.2011}

30 Jun
~*~ FAVORITE FOLLOWER ~*~
Each week I plan on choosing a follower at random to brag on!  This week I’m giving a shout out to:

Me
Lisa

Congratulations, Lisa, you’re this week’s favorite follower!
She is a wife to a firefighter and mother to a beautiful teenage daughter.
She has also had a tough life but she’s trusting God to be her everything.
Read more about her life’s journey HERE.

~*~ TOP COMMENTER ~*~

This week the award goes to:

Laura of
Confessions of a Recovering Chocoholic

Laura is a self-proclaimed “vegetable-hating, running might kill me, die hard chocoholic” who blogs about her weight loss journey.  I have been consistently reading Laura’s blog for a couple of weeks now and I can honestly say that my favorite thing about her is that she is REAL.  She’s not someone who pretends to have her act together for the sake of putting on a front for her readers.  She shares her defeats as well as her victories.  If losing weight or being healthy is something you want to do, you’ll love tagging along with Laura!

~*~ WANNA GET A SHOUT-OUT OF YOUR OWN ~*~

It’s easy!
All you have to do is BE A FOLLOWER to qualify for becoming a “Favorite Follower” and leave frequent, relevant comments to be in the running for “Top Commenter”.

Basically, just be you and do what you do!
(Cheesy, I know)  😉

Kudos to: Jordan of Jordy Liz Blogs

30 Jun
I have been asking you all to submit your organizing successes so that I can brag on you here on the blog.  When I posted this request on the SITS forum, Jordan was the first person to contact me.  I immediately clicked over to her blog, Jordy Liz Blogs, to check it out.  Her writing is addictive because you feel as if your sitting across from your best girlfriend talking about whatever comes to your minds. 
Also, in addition to the organizing kudos I will bestow on her in just a second, I think she deserves extra snaps (snap cup?  Legally Blonde?  Anyway…) for putting herself out there by starting her own freelance editing business.  I am trying to get a business up and running myself, so I know how terrifying it can be to just jump in with both feet but Jordan is doing it!
Jordan sent me a message letting me know she has a craft space that she’d like to share with you.  When I got her email yesterday, I had to check it out for myself.  Sure enough, it’s absolutely fabulous and I know you’re going to love it!!
Now, I’ll pass the reigns keyboard over to Jordan and let her share the amazing space with you all:
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I am a crafter by nature and love nothing more than to be creative. When I moved into my husband’s townhouse after we got married, space was limited. One bedroom in our humble abode is used for our bedroom and then the other small bedroom is used for our office/craft room/storage space. One day, I plan on having my own space to get crafty. But until then, I’ve had to make do.
This bookshelf has traveled with me from apartment to apartment and now into our newlywed nest. It was built by my great-grandfather’s own two hands nearly fifty years ago. When I was ready to call it my own, my even more-crafty mom painted it and sanded it down showing off my favorite green.
I needed a place where I could store my main craft supplies without looking cluttered or messy. The three black and white bins I had collected over the years and I found the other three bins for no more than $10 each. Each bin represents a different category of supplies: paint, glue, tape, ribbon, notecards and miscellaneous. I simply cut out cardstock, wrote the category on it, punched a hole and tied it to the coordinating bin with a ribbon. Both cute and functional.

The best part about this bin organization is that when it’s time to get crafty, I can just pull the bin I need up onto my desk. And when it’s time to clean up my mess, I can just dump everything back in.
On top of the bookshelf, I have my scrapbook paper collection. I simply used a paper sorter meant for files and just organized my 12″x12″ scrapbook paper by color. It makes it so easy to see exactly what I have stocked up.
We bought these desks from Ikea. My husband’s side is filled with bills and files and just plain not fun stuff. My side, however, is an extension of my craft shelf.
I found these clear plastic bins at Target for $3.99 each. I love how they’re compact enough to stack on the shelves, and again, I can just take down what I need at the time. Since they are see-through, I know exactly what I’m grabbing.
These wicker baskets are from Ikea and were $15 each. They are perfect for storing all of my “junk” without looking messy. They fit perfectly in these shelves and I love the way they look.
How do you store all of your “crafty” items in a limited space on a limited budget?
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Jordan is a born ‘n raised Texan writing her way through a life out West in Arizona. She loves crafting and writing as often as she can and blogs about her journey as a newlywed twenty-something at Jordy Liz Blogs.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Jordan,
I bow to you and your labeling abilities!  Thanks so much for allowing me to share your creative spot with my readers.  If I ever get to write an ebook, I’ll have you edit it, for sure!
Everyone Else,
If YOU have a space in your home that you’ve organized and want to show off, I’d love to help you brag about it!  I know I have some talented readers.  You all are just holding out on me!  😉
Email pictures and details to ourtaylormadehome (at) gmail (dot) com.
If you’ve already written a post about it on your blog, all you have to do is send me the link and I’ll take care of the rest.

Window Shopping @ See Jane Work

29 Jun
About 2 months ago, I wrote my first “Window Shopping” post where I featured my favorite items from ZGallerie.  (To read that post, click HERE.)  It was so much fun to spend all kinds of “pretend money”.  Seriously, I think I enjoy window shopping ALMOST as much as I do whipping out the wallet for real and bringing home my finds. 

Today, I thought I’d window shop over at See Jane Work.  I’m like a kid in a candy store when I hang out on their site.  I mean, just check out this office:

(All photos, unless otherwise mentioned, are property of See Jane Work)
I call this perfection!  Light and Airy + bright, punchy colors + everything in it’s place = My ideal workspace! 
NOTE:
The shopping list for this office can be found HERE and you can find more inspiring office spaces from See Jane Work HERE.
Now, I’m not usually one for frivilous spending because, after all, we’re on a super-duper tight budget like everyone else.  However (and that’s a big however), I would totally buy this if the funds were available:
Webster's Fashion Dictionary
(Currently $180 and can be purchased by clicking HERE.)
Of course, I’d buy the pink one!  Is it weird that I want to decorate my whole office around this dictionary just like they did in my fantasy office above?  No, wait.  Don’t answer that.
2010-2011  Mom Agenda Bound
I’m also eyeing this Mom Agenda Bound Planner.  It comes in Red, Turquoise, and Zebra (my pic!).  It has space to plan your weeks and months, as well as separate sections for each of your little ones.  Plus, it comes with this awesome thing called a “removable Mom Essentials booklet” that stores all of your contacts, medical information, and even special occassions.

Lilly Pulitzer iPhone 3/3G Covers
(Currently $20 each; click HERE to purchase.)

These Lilly Pulitzer iPhone covers are just too cute!  Before I can grab myself one of these babies, I’ve gotta get my hands on an iPhone.  Dear cell phone company, please make me eligible for an upgrade soon!

Jonathan Adler iPhone Case
($20 each; Click HERE to purchase)

If none of the Lilly Pulitzer covers strike your fancy, you can always purchase one of the colorful and graphic Jonathan Adler covers.  I’m kind of loving the orange, blue, and green one on the far left.

Galison File Folders
($8 for a set of 8 folders; Click HERE to purchase)

I’m a firm believer that everything in your home should be BOTH functional and beautiful as much as possible.  Plus, nothing will take the dread out of the job of filing quicker than some cute file folders!

Capsule Highlighters
($8 for the set; Click HERE to purchase.)

I always carry highlighters in my purse.  In fact, I usually make sure I have several colors in case I want to get all OCD and color code things.  This little set caught my eye because it’s just cute for one thing and also because it comes with it’s own container.  Unless you have your own pencil pouch in your purse to corral all those pens and highlighters, you could spend five whole minutes looking for one.  The fact that this thing has it’s own container alliviates that problem!

Another great thing about See Jane Work (yes, there’s more) is their blog, which is loaded with tons of tips, trick and hints to get yourself more organized.

Now I want to know:
What’s your favorite See Jane Work product?

P.S.
I did not receive any form of compensation for this post.
I simply enjoy the See Jane Work site and wanted to share
its fabulousness with you.

Organized Homemaker Linky Party #2

29 Jun
WELCOME TO THIS WEEK’S
ORGANIZED HOMEMAKING LINKY PARTY!!

Before we get this week’s party going, I want to brag on all you lovely ladies who linked up last week.  The idea was to pick my favorites and only highlight those.  However, since there were only four of you who linked up, I’m going to share everyone’s projects this week!!  As more people link up, I won’t be able to do this anymore.  So, I thought I’d take advantage.  Plus, I really do love everyone’s submissions that much!

The first brave soul person to link up their project was “Brave Brooke” (approriately named!) from Wayward Girls Crafts who shared how she labeled some canisters in her kitchen.  Aren’t they cute?  Definitely going to have to add some personality to my own canisters.

To see that post, click HERE.

Oksana is the founder and “Chief Oranizing Maven” (love that!) of a professional organizing company called Order Matters, located in Vancouver, Canada.  On her blog which shares the name of her company, she shared how she put together this perfect little jewelry drawer.  Grab some of your favorite fabric, some long, clear containers, and even a cute tea cup or two and head over to her blog to find out how she put all this fabulousness together!

Click HERE for the How-To.

The next party-attender was Sinea from Ducks in a Row (such a cute name for an organizing blog, don’t you think?), who so kindly shared my linky party with her readers.  THANK YOU! 
A firm believer in the FlyLady, she share how even taking five minutes to clean or organize your home is a step in the right direction.  So, for those of you who can only clean in “spurts”, stop by Sinea’s blog to find out how to make the most of your time.

To make the most of your five minutes, click HERE.

Sinea also shared a wonderful post titled “How to Speed Clean a Room“.  Of course, the ideas in this post aren’t meant to be your regular cleaning routine.  However, they will serve you well when your hubby calls at 4 pm to tell you that he has invited so-and-so over for dinner and you look around your house thinking “Oh-my-gosh-there’s-stuff-everywhere-and-I-don’t-even-know-WHAT-to-make-for-dinner”.  You know it’s happened a time or two!

To learn how to speed clean, click HERE.

And last (but certainly not least) is my new blogging buddy Chelsea, from A Simply Life, who shares how she utilizes every square inch of her small pantry.  She writes about ways to simplify your life and live within your means.  So, she embraces stockpiling.  Well, for those of you who stockpile as well, you understand the issue of storing it all.  Chelsea shows you in this post how to find creative solutions for storing your “stock”.

To find out more, click HERE.

THANK YOU to
 Brooke, Oksana, Sinea, and Chelsea
for helping me celebrate my first-ever Organized Homemaker’s Linky Party!

Now, let’s prepare to get our organizing groove on again, this week!

WHO:
All Homemakers!  However, you MUST be a follower to participate.
**Please Note: Even if you work a full time job outside of the home, you are still a home maker.**
WHAT:
Today’s theme is:
FREE FOR ALL
This means you can link up ANYTHING related to organizing!
Link up as many organizing posts as you wish!
My favorites will be featured sometime next week.

(I am working on some challenges for future linky parties but for now, while it’s still growing, I’m going to keep it open to all organizing projects.)

WHEN:

The linky party will be available all week long.

So, if you don’t have an organizing post ready just yet,
you’ve got time to get one together and link up!
WHY:
The first purpose is to share your organizing successes!
The second, and equally important, reason to link up is to encourage others and be encouraged in your role as a fellow home maker.
PARTY ETIQUETTE:
Spread the news about this linky party by placing a link back to this post somewhere within the post you are sharing. 
Also, please don’t “link and run”.  Take a few minutes to click on other links and comment.  Let’s encourage one another!
If everyone does this, the linky party will get more traffic, which ultimately results in more traffic to your blog!
Let’s Party!!

Disorganization is Ungodly

28 Jun
There.  I said it.  As a Christian I believe it is ungodly for me to be disorganized.  Does that mean I’m always going to have my “ducks in a row”?  No.  Does it mean my house will always look spotless? Not at all.  (I do have a two and a half year old, after all.)  But it does mean that if I am striving to be more and more like Christ every day, I’m going to have to get my act together.
As a part of the SITS challenge, I am supposed to write an opinion post.  I sat and though about what I wanted to write and then remembered a couple of weeks ago I share reasons for a lack of motivation.  One of those reasons was that we suffer from a heart condition.  No, I’m not talking about cardiology, I’m talking about spirituality.  We forget WHO we are serving when we manage our homes and serve our families.  So, I’ve decided to attempt to answer the question: “Is being organized next to godliness?” 
(Get it?  Instead of “cleanliness is next to godliness”? … Oh, never mind!)  🙂
~*~ GOD IS A GOD OF ORDER ~*~
“For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”  – 1Corinthians 14:33 KJV
Other translations use the word “disorder” in place of “confusion”.  Either way, it means that God doesn’t do things last minute or half-heartedly.  He made a plan before the world was created and He has stuck to that plan ever since.  We may feel like He’s doing things last minute, but that’s when we forget that our timing is not necessarily the same as His timing.
One example of this truth is found in the creation story.  Each day He built upon what he had already done in the previous day.  Here’s how it went:
Day #1 – Light (Named “Day” and “Night”)
Day #2 – Sky (Named “Heavens”)
Day #3 – Dry Land (Earth), Vegetation/Plants, Named “Seas”
Day #4 – Sun, Moon, & Stars
Day #5 – Sea Creatures & Birds
Day #6 – Land Animals, People
Day #7 – God Rested
What if God made the land animals before there was land?  Or, what if He created the sun before he created light?  That just wouldn’t make any sense.  God knew what he was doing.  He knew animals would need food so He created vegetation first.  He knew the birds would need somewhere to fly, so He created the sky first.  He had a plan and He carried it out.
Also, on the 7th day, He rested.  I don’t believe He rested because He was tired.  I believe He rested in order to set an example for us.  He knew we would need to rest and He set aside a day for us to do that.
Do you make plans ahead of time?
Do you stick to them?
Do you make time to rest?
~*~ GOD DON’T LIKE LAZY ~*~
I know that in this post I seemed to encourage laziness.  However, if you read it, you know that I was being a bit facetious.  Being lazy is NOT okay.  In fact God has some strong things to say to us about being lazy:
“A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” – Proverbs 10:4 ESV
The diligence the Lord instills in us as Christians is one way He provides for our material needs.  When you slack off and become lazy, you’re no longer utilizing the tool God has given you to provide for your family.  Yes, in my family, my husband is the breadwinner but I am the one to makes sure our dollars are stretched and our resources are not wasted.  Personal example: If I choose to become lazy by allowing my pantry and coupon stash to become disorganized, I am causing us to become poor by having to pay more for groceries than was necessary.
Have you slacked off in certain areas of your homemaking?
“The sluggard says, ‘There is a lion in the road!  There is a lion in the streets!’ As the door turns on its hinges, so does a sluggard on his bed.  The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.  The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly.” – Proverbs 26:13 – 16 ESV
This paints a picture of someone who is so lazy that they won’t do anything for fear of danger (lion in the streets), who stays in bed all day and who won’t even do what is necessary to nourish themselves.  This person avoids everything but still thinks himself to be wise.
Do you avoid doing something out of fear? 
Fear of failure?  Fear of not being perfect?
Do you sit around all day doing nothing in particular?
Do you do what is necessary to nourish yourself?
Do you make excuses for why you haven’t done something?
If you answered “yes” to one or more of those questions, be careful not to think yourself more wise than you really are.
(Don’t take offense.  I’m talking to myself here mostly!)
“As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so [is] the sluggard to them that send him.” – Proverbs 10:26 KJV
Vinegar irritates teeth.  Smoke irritates the eyes.  A sluggard irritates those in authority over him because he is unreliable.  How does that apply to you?  Well, for starters, if you work outside the home then your employer may find it annoying if you are lazy on the job.  When we become lazy at home, our husbands become irritated (at least mine does.  He doesn’t complain but I can tell it frustrates him in a I’ve-been-busting-my-tail-all-day-but-you-haven’t-done-a-thing kind of way).  When we DON’T do everything to the glory of God (even folding socks and mopping floors), I imagine that it bothers our heavenly Father.
Have you become lazy?
Who are you irritating because of your laziness?
~*~ IT’S OKAY TO SAY “NO” ~*~
So far, we’ve talked about God as One who favors order.  We’ve also talked about laziness and it’s consequences.  Now, I want to talk about the other extreme: being a busy-body.
I have a habit of agreeing to do anything that anyone needs me to do.  I love to help others and I SHOULD help others.  The problem arises when my helping other people gets in the way of my responsibilities to my home and my family; when I become too busy.
Patsy Clairmont once said:
“To do too much is as dangerous as to do nothing at all. 
Both modes prevent us from savoring our moments. 
One causes me to rush right past the best of life without
recognizing or basking in it, and the other finds me
sitting quietly as life rushes past me.”
God wants us to slow down.  He tells us how to do so in this verse:
“‘All things are lawful’, but not all things are helpful.  ‘All things are lawful’, but not all things build up.” – 1 Corinthians 10:23
In other words, just because something is technically “good” and you can do it, doesn’t mean that it’s the best use of your time and effort.  This is why it is so important to know what your priorities are and to only take on things that line up with them.  Be picky about what you sign up or volunteer to do.  Learn to say “no” to those things that don’t go along with your values, priorities and goals.
~*~ BOTTOM LINE ~*~
So, going back to my original question: “Is being organized next to godliness?” 
I would say with absolutely certainty: YES! 
Just as God made a plan and stuck to it,
we too should make plans and abide by them. 
Just as the sluggard in Proverbs had consequences,
we too will have consequences when we embrace true laziness. 
Just as 1 Corinthians tells us that all things are possible
but not all of them are profitable,
we are to seek out the best for our lives rather than settling on just “good”.
Throughout today’s post I asked several questions that I hope you will take the time to ponder but I do not expect you to answer them in the comments.  What I would like to know is:
Do YOU think being organized is next to godliness?

Inspiration File: Too Good not to Share!

24 Jun
Every Friday, Kirsten from 6th Street Design School features another bloggers home.  As you can imagine, with the vast amount of talent to be found in the blogosphere, each feature is more inspiring than the next.  Today’s was no exception.
I’m not going to repost the entire tour because Kirsten already did a wonderful job HERE, but I did want to share pictures of Paige’s living room (her blog is Paiges of Style):
Those curtains!
That rug!
The pops of red and yellow are perfect!
I now officially want a white deer head on my wall.
Anyway, I know this is a super quick post but it really was just kind of an extra for today.  Just think of it as some inspiration to get you through your weekend.
You’re welcome!  😉

My Phone is Smart!

24 Jun
Remember when the only option we had for organizing our life was this:

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not hating on those of you who use a day planner or filofax.  In fact, I tend to prefer them myself.  It’s not because I dislike technology.  I just remember things better when I can write them down.  The problem I have though is that I have YET to find the perfect planner.  (I’ve been looking since high school, at least, and I’m approaching my 25th birthday).  I digress.
Today, after some inspiration from my friend Jen over at Get the Skinny on Getting Skinny (a fitness blog) whose post yesterday was all about apps you can use to help you lose weight/stay healthy, I thought we’d take a look at how the smartphone can help us organize our lives.  Let’s face it, these days the smartphone can do ALMOST anything you want it to do.  You can:
Keep a Calendar
Log your Food/Exercise
Track your cycle *ahem*
Look up the Weather
Read Ebooks
Pull up GPS
Get on the Internet
Find a House/Hotel/Any Form of Shelter
If only we could get it to clean the house for us…
Just sayin!  I may enjoy organizing but I DO NOT enjoy cleaning.
See, I am normal!
(For the most part…)
*Side Note: I can’t wait for the day when I tell my son that I remember the day
when the only thing a cell phone could do was call people. *gasp* 🙂
A smartphone (whether Blackberry, IPhone, or Android) can be your sidekick when it comes to getting things done.  Yes, even if you are a full-time stay-at-home-mom who barely leaves her home except for the occasional grocery trip and church service.  (Oh wait, that’s me!)
Here are some things I use my smartphone for: 
(I have an android, by the way.  I would love an IPhone but I’m working with what I’ve got.)

~*~ GOOGLE CALENDAR ~*~


(Credit)

I was introduced to the google calendar by another blogger (Simple Mom, I think), and have never been so amazed.  You see, when I was employed, I worked for a local credit union who used Microsoft Outlook.  I LOVED Outlook for the ability to color code, keep a to-do list, and set reminders all in one place.  I set a reminder for EVERYTHING that needed to be done.  If I didn’t have time to get to it right then, I simply pressed “snooze” and forgot about it.  Well, until it popped up again to remind me!  Seriously, I hardly had to THINK.
What I love about the Google Calendar is that it’s a lot similar to Outlook in that I can keep tasks separate by category.  Whereas Outlook simply color coded them, Google allows you to have a completely separate calendar for each category.
Here are my categories:
Family Events – Party Invite Info, Trips, Etc.
Blogging – Scheduling Posts & Blog Related Tasks
Home Management – Cleaning & Organizing Tasks
Homeschool – Lesson Plans
Meal Plan – Schedule meals according to day’s activities
Church – Nursery/Children’s Church; Women’s Ministry
Another thing I love about this calendar is that I can email my husband.  He’s not one to keep a calendar so often times it’s difficult to keep him organized.  Instead of nagging, I simply schedule an email to be sent (he receives it directly on his phone, BTW) a certain amount of time before the event/task.
Now, to be perfectly honest, I haven’t been using it as “religiously” (for lack of a better word) as I ought to.  I tend to use my paper planner more often than not.  However, I would like to make more of an effort to use Google Calendar more.

~*~ MY FITNESS PAL ~*~

I keep track of my meals and activities with the use of My Fitness Pal.  You can go to their website and log everything onto your desktop, but I tend to use their mobile app because it’s a lot easier for me to be able to update my journal while on the go.  My Fitness Pal also has several great tools for you to use as you strive for a healthier weight:
  • To find out what your optimal weight range and BMI is, click HERE
  • To determine the nutritional information of any recipe, click HERE.
  • To calculate calories burned during an activity, click HERE.  I actually used this one to create a list of easy activities I can do during the day without even having to leave my house.
~*~ AMAZON KINDLE ~*~

Of course I’d prefer an actual Kindle because the larger screen would be easier to read, but I do get some use out of my phone app.  In all honesty, this app really as little to do with organization except for the fact that you’ll have less books taking up space in your home.  Of course, books will likely be around for a long time and I actually am fond of mine, as I am an avid highlighter and margin-note-taker.  I study every book I read as if I’m being tested on it.
As much as I love holding a real book in my hand and flipping the pages, much like online magazines, I appreciate the convenience that these ebooks provide.  Not to mention when I hear about a free ebook being offered by Amazon, I can download it right to my phone so I don’t miss out.

~*~ AK NOTEPAD ~*~
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, if I don’t write something down, I am likely to forget it.  No, typing isn’t technically the same thing but documenting my thoughts, to-do lists and anything else I want to remember keeps me from using scrap pieces of paper and post-it notes all the time.

~*~ BLOGLOVIN ~*~
I already professed my undying love affection for the bloglovin’ app HERE.  But, I’ll say it again.  This app is probably one of the most used on my phone because it keeps all of my favorite blogs at my fingertips, no matter where I am.  (Not to mention when blogger wants to be a pain in the tail and not let me comment on other blogs….boo!)  Bloglovin’ has never let me down yet (knock on wood).

Note: I wasn’t paid to rave about Google Calendar, My Fitness Pal, Amazon Kindle, AK Notepad, and bloglovin’. 
They are simply phone apps that I actually use and find helpful.

That’s all I’ve got for today, so now I wanna hear from you…

What are some of your favorite apps?
(organizing-related or not)

~*~ P.S. ~*~
Right now on Tip Junkie’s Facebook Page, if you “LIKE” the page you’ll score a free downloadable Executive Homemaker Planner.  What included:

How-To for Organizing the Planner
(complete with category recommendations)

Goals for the Week
(You + Honey-Do)

Errands To Run

People to Call/Notes to Write
(Person/Regarding)

Ongoing Problems
(Person to Contact/Phone Number/Etc.)

Important Phone Numbers

Neighborhood Phone List

Babysitter Info

2-Page Special Events Log

“Movies I Want to See” Page

Cute Labels to Print and Cut Out

GO GET YOURS!!

Weekly Shout-Outs {6.23.2011}

23 Jun
~*~ FAVORITE FOLLOWER ~*~
Each week I plan on choosing a follower at random to brag on!  This week I’m giving a shout out to:

My Photo
Ashley

Congrats, girl, you’re this week’s favorite follower!
She’s a full-time college student and brand new blogger who writes at A Balanced Life, where she’s journaling her journey to an organized and healthy lifestyle.
Be sure to pay her a visit and send some encouragement her way!

~*~ TOP COMMENTER ~*~

There wasn’t any one person who commented a tremendous amount more than anyone else, so out of those who took the time to leave me a couple of comments, I randomly chose one person to feature.

That person is:

Chelsea of A Simple Life

(All pics found on A Simple Life, unless otherwise noted.)

Chelsea is a Christian stay-at-home-mom who believes in being a good steward of what God has blessed her, and her family, with.  This faith has lead her on a journey to a greener and simpler way of life, getting out of debt, and saving money wherever possible.

She explains what a simpler life means to her HERE.
She answers questions about her family’s cash only budget HERE.
She provides a list of her How-To’s HERE.

Please take a moment to visit Chelsea’s blog and leave her some lovely comments.  Trust me, you’ll thank me for introducing her to you after to see what her blog is made of! 😉

~*~ WANNA GET A SHOUT-OUT OF YOUR OWN ~*~

It’s easy!
All you have to do is BE A FOLLOWER to qualify for becoming a “Favorite Follower” and leave frequent, relevant comments to be in the running for “Top Commenter”.

Basically, just be you and do what you do!
(Cheesy, I know)  😉

Drool Worthy Office & What I’m Working On

23 Jun
No, that’s not my office.  But, man, I wish it was!  This “girl cave” was featured on Made By Girl a couple days ago and, yes, I had a pool of drool to wipe up after viewing all of the gorgeous photos!  It belongs to Rhiannon, a wedding stylist/planner biz and blogger (Hey Gorgeous), who uses it as her headquarters but I think it would make a delightful space for ME to retreat to daily!  I’m sure her inbox has been flooded with “can-I-move-in-with-you” plea bargains, so I thought I’d spare her mine by mentioning how wonderful it is here! 

WHAT I’M WORKING ON…

Anyways, I wanted to tell you all that I have officially gotten my {Resources} tab filled with plenty of places to find home management printables, organizing inspiration, and products to help you get it together.  I’m no where near DONE with this page, so keep checking back from time to time.  Also, if there is a particular website, blog or online store that you adore, please email me at ourtaylormadehome at gmail dot com.  I’d love to share it with everyone else!
I’ve got a lot of behind the scenes work to do today, so please excuse the lack of an extensive post.  Because this post is so short, I’ve got some ideas of how you can use the rest of the time you’d normally spend reading the rest of this post:
  • Enter this week’s linky party by linking up any and all organizing posts!  Next week, I’m featuring my favorites!  You could be on that list!
  • Read through some older posts and leave comments.  Remember, tomorrow I’m featuring the top commenter of the week.  Reading old posts and leaving relevant comments is a great way to “rack up” entries.
  • Email me an organizing question.  It may be featured in an upcoming “Ask the Organizer” post.  You can also email me with any topic you would like for me to cover.
  • FOLLOW ME!  If you haven’t already done so, take a moment to follow along.  Each week, I’ll pick a “favorite follower” at random to feature.  You could be next!

Get Organized With: Kendi of Kendi Everyday

22 Jun
For those of you who know me in “real life”, you would probably be surprised to learn that I do, in fact, love fashion (clothes, shoes, accessories) and shopping.  For those of you who have never met me, let me explain why that tidbit of information would likely shock a few family members and friends.  Let’s just say that my typical “uniform” is jeans, a t-shirt, flip flops or tennis shoes, wet hair just “tossed up”, and as little makeup as I can get away with.  It’s not that I don’t care (at least that’s not the case MOST days), there are just a few things working against me:
  • I am about 40 lbs heavier than I was 4 or 5 years ago (when I most felt comfortable with my body) – granted, I have had a baby within those 4 to 5 years.  I do often feel like I HAVE to get back to my pre-baby weight before I will give myself “permission” to dress cute again.  I know it’s so wrong, but it’s how I feel.  Plus, most of my things just don’t fit anymore (or at least don’t fit like they used to).
  • The budget is tight.  As my family likes to say, it’s “so tight, it squeaks”.  What I really need to do is set aside even just $5 a week and put it in a jar labeled “Clothing Fund” or, more appropriately, “Girl-Needs-Help Fund”.  I will say, though, I’m getting a tad better in the “putting-on-more-than-the-basics” makeup department because I am using coupons to score fabulous makeup deals at drug stores when my favorite brands go on sale!

Needless to say, my “wardrobe” (if you even wanna call it that) is a little more than lacking in the style and functionality department.  Problem is, as much as I love fashion and shopping, I’m no expert.  Good thing there are other people out there who know a thing or two about building a wardrobe that, not only makes you feel amazing, but is actually functional and is perfect for your lifestyle.

Enter the blog Kendi Everyday:

6.21.11b
(All pics, unless otherwise stated, were found at Kendi Everyday)
6.19.11a
6.13.11b
Isn’t she just cute?!?  Based on all of the wonderful outfits she posts on her blog, you’d assume that she has a huge closet with an limitless amount of clothes, shoes, purses and jewelry.  But she doesn’t.  What’s her secret?  She is a big believer in what is known as “remixing” your outfits.
Four months after starting her blog she had run out of new outfits to post.  What made the problem worse was she had also run out of funds.  What’s a fashion blogger to do?  Some would probably have given up, but not Kendi!  She started what’s called a “30 for 30 Remix”.  Basically she takes 30 items out of her closet and wears only those items for 30 days.  Not only is outfit remixing great for living “green” but it’s also easy on the wallet because you literally shop your closet.
To see her remixes, click HERE.
To learn more about doing your own 30 in 30 challenge, click HERE.

I stumbled upon this blog some time ago, but it wasn’t until coming across her “Create a Working Closet” Series on Pinterest that I click on over and reacquaint myself with her talent.  Her goal for this series was to show us how to create a working closet.  What is a working closet?  Here’s how she explains it:


Here’s how the process works:

I hope her series on creating a working closet has helped you just as much as it has helped me!  Now, I only need to save those pennies and I’ll be in business!
How would you describe your style?
Do you feel like you have a working closet?

“…a closet that works for you so that you don’t stand in front of your closet and feel lost.  A working closet is one in which you can remix what you own into infinite cute outfits. A closet that doesn’t scream ‘go shopping now!’ at you every time you walk in. One that knows when a new piece is needed and when it’s time to let an old one go.”