Organizing: Weekly Outfits

The first step in finding a solution for a problem, as we all know, is to acknowledge there is a problem. In my case, there were two problems that prevented me from looking presentable when doing the school run.

One – I like to have stuff ready
Two – I panic when I have to make split-second decisions

This meant I ended up running out of the house in sweatpants and one of my husband’s t-shirts most days, because nothing in my own closet seemed to suit.

Now, with a little pre-planning, I am hardly likely to make Vanity Fair’s Best Dressed List but at least I don’t look like complete and utter shit while dropping the boys at school.

No, I don’t make a pic like this every week, this is just for demonstration purposes 😀

What I do do is, set up my clothes and accessories on hangers so they are ready to go, and all I have to do is grab them and get dressed.

Every weekend I take 7 hangers for the upcoming week and first hang a pair of pants on the hanger bar, then take out some t-shirts/tanks/blouses and hang them on. If it’s going to be a chilly week, layer on the cardigan/jacket/sweater.

I also add the accessories at this point – any jewelry gets hung on the hanger, as do scarves if needed. Brooches/pins get put on the outer garment. If I think I’ll wear a hat, then I either stuff it in a pocket or lay it over the pants hanging inside.

This is just my little method to look respectable in the mornings. It works for me, it alleviates my panic (I take meds, but I’d rather make things as easy as I can) and I don’t need to think about it too much. Win-win!

I’m linking this up to Amanda’s Weekend Bloggy Reading Party!
Weekend Bloggy Reading

What I’m Watching: Pillars of the Earth

I like my stories to have strong characters, plausible storylines, interesting concepts and, ideally, be set in a period other than the current one. If there’s eye candy, especially if there’s British eye candy, I’m there.

I’m currently watching Pillars of the Earth on Netflix, catching half an episode here and there, when the boys let me. I completely missed this when it came on TV, but I was browsing around and found this, and I am completely hooked!

The summary will tell you it’s about building a cathedral in the Middle Ages but it’s about much more than that. The cast is awesome, including two of my favorite Brits: Rufus Sewell, who caught my eye in Middlemarch years ago, and Matthew Macfadyen, Mr. Darcy from the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice.

I never read the book but now I will definitely read the sequel, World Without End, and hope it is also made as a TV series.

New wall art

One of my favorite stores is Paper Source. I am pretty lucky that there is one fairly close (20 minute drive) and every couple of months I stop by to see what new stuff they have.

Their gift wrap selection is awesome, but I don’t buy it to wrap presents. I buy their gift wrap to frame and hang up around my house. This is the latest sheet I’ve bought and it’s hanging in my bathroom.
It goes with the warm yellow walls and is cheerful and spring-y.

Before the holidays I had this one in the bathroom, and this one hangs on my side of the bedroom. They were out last time I was there, but this world map is coming home with me next time it’s in stock, we’re going to start tracking places we’ve been ;D

For less than $4, it’s a total bargain.

Well Preserved

Well Preserved is the title of an awesome book I got a couple of weeks ago – I am so excited to try some of the recipes! It’s all about preserving food, which is something fairly new to me. I have made fruit jam and frozen lots of stuff but am new to canning/dehydrating.

The author is pretty no-nonsense, there is no pretentious bullshit, the recipes look yummy and the preserving instructions crystal-clear. It’s a really good book if you want to try your hand at preserving food in small quantities.

One I mean to try as soon as the main ingredient is available is the Cherries in Wine recipe – for every preserving recipe there are three recipes on how to use your newly preserved item. Did that make sense? For example, you get a Cherries in Wine preserving recipe, then recipes for Cherry Tenderloin, Seared Duck Breast with Cherries, and Cherries in Wine Soup with Mascarpone. Yum.

Between this book and my newly acquired dehydrator, I think we are going to have some very happy bellies this year!

My first award!

The fabulous and always-stylish Carinae L’Etoile has graciously bestowed on me my first award! I’m so verklempt!

The Stylish Blogger Award Rules

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers.

4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!

Seven Things About Myself

1 – I feel woefully understocked in my nail polish collection compared to Ms. L’Etoile. Really. Go visit her and you’ll see what I mean.

2 – I have pared down my daily cosmetic ritual to three products. It’s what makes me ready to go out the door without frightening children.

3 – I’m turning 40 this year and I am having a real style turning corner moment.

4 – I need to lose about 30 lbs.

5 – I fondly remember my college days with Ms. L’Etoile, us all in black, wearing MAC Veruschka or some blood red colored lipstick. Ah, my Latin Goth days.

6 – My son’s class all singing their Months of the Year song always makes me laugh – it’s the “Decembeeeeeeeeer” part that cracks me up.

7 – I’m trying to tilt our family’s eating habits towards a 70/30 vegetarian to meat/based meals ratio.

Awarding the Stylish Blogger Award to:

Style your Life – Jen rocks with real life, affordable styling tips.
Everyday Makeup with Becky – Gorgeous makeup tutorials and tips.
Kevin & Amanda – Still envious of her craft room!
Little Miss Momma – Love this girl, so real and honest!
The English Organizer – Because organization is at the base of a stylish woman’s closet.
Knock Off Decor – Because style doesn’t ahve to cost $$$.
Le Chateau des Fleurs – Her posts make me smile, so lovely and whimsical.
Absolutely Ladylike – Beautiful images, beautiful words.
La Petite Plume – Gorgeously decadent stationery.

More Sunday reading!

This time I’m linking up my little Valentine-themed mantel.


I made the little mantel cloth from some remnants from JoAnn’s and leftover brown fabric I pleated for a pretty edge.

I’ve kept my mantel pretty simple, some pictures on the sides of my “loves” and a picture from our honeymoon in the center. Target has these seasonal frames for $4.99 and I wish I’d gotten more of the black ones, but I love the pretty red heart one.

A crystal dish on the left for Valentine Hershey kisses and a red candle on the right, and pretty candlesticks with red candles on the ends.

That’s my Valentine mantel linked up at The Stories of A to Z!

Kitchen shelves

My lovely husband got me some kitchen shelves a couple of months ago – I love them!

However, in the last couple of weeks the shelves became somewhat of a dump area:
I mean, honestly, 4 different bottles of Melatonin? We give it nightly to my youngest, and it’s the best spot to store it, but FOUR BOTTLES?

There were also assorted baggies of candy from birthday parties, condiment packets all over both shelves, and endless junk that got put there for no good reason.

I took everything down, gave the shelves a good clean, then decided to tighten the focus a little.

Instead of random cookbooks, I chose a few I mean to use in the next few weeks. This way, I can rotate cookbooks and try new recipes for my family.

I put away all the Melatonin bottles except one, and all the condiment packets went inside a recipe box. The cookbook on the upper right was given to me by my mother-in-law. I love the cheerful yellow, which also repeats in the adorable ramekins and the beignet mix box on the upper left. I left a few items I want to incorporate in our meals in the next weeks, like beignets (yum!), a crepe mix tin, and a garlic aioli mustard sauce I got at Trader Joe’s. This way, these new-to-us items don’t get put in the pantry, never to be seen again.

I love how my shelves look now, a lot less cluttered and I have items I want to try right there, so I can’t forget about them!

I’m joining this kitchen clean up to Traci’s Kitchen Clean Up Linky Party at Beneath My Heart!

Favorite Outfit: warm, cozy, and plum

Okay, I’m going to keep it real here because I couldn’t find any of the actual items I own, so these are the closest I could find on Polyvore, or anywhere online, actually.

The main piece here is the cardigan. Mine is a shade lighter (I was inspired after seeing this post from Kevin and Amanda) and it’s as comfy as a hoodie but dressier. It is so comfy and the moment I put it on I want to make some tea and watch Gosford Park.

I am lucky that both my sister and my mom love to knit and crochet, so I have hats and scarves galore. With this light plum cardie I like to wear a dark pink t-shirt, with black and gray accessories.

Easy peasy, comfy enough for errands but stylish enough for, uh, the red carpet. Hmmm, maybe not. But stylish enough that I don’t want to hide when doing the school run 😀

On dinnerware

When my husband and I got married, we did not register for china. We’re not the china sort, plus both my mother and his gave us china when we first moved in together. In the time we’ve been together we’ve had his green-trimmed dinnerware to see us through.

However.

While the green trim is lovely, we’ve started to lose pieces here and there, mostly due to the kidlets. A couple of dishes are chipped, also due to the kidlets. Having hosted holidays for a couple of years now, it is clear we simply do not have enough service for everyone.

Bit by bit, I would like to add some dinnerware. Given my love for all things fleur-de-lys, I would LOVE these from Anthropologie, but the price is way too scary.

Then I ran into these at Walmart:
I know, Walmart is evil, bla bla bla, but this is $35 for a 16 piece set (4 of each in the photo) vs. $16 FOR ONE DINNER PLATE from Anthropologie.

I can build a set of dinnerware that can see me through everyday and my guests through the holidays little by little. Just hope they don’t discontinue them before I get all the ones I need 😀