May 29, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Gift

I am not a crafty person at all, so most of my gifts are not homemade, unless it’s food. I’m a pretty good baker. :)

I always struggle with teacher gifts, but my usual go-to gift is supplies of some sort in a fun or practical container, which I decorate and wrap up nicely. Money is tight for teachers these days—at least in our district, and I assume in most other parts of the country—so I’m sure extra supplies are always appreciated.

Before Christmas, I was browsing in Michael’s and found some dollar bin items that were actually on clearance. Score! I think I paid around $5 for the entire gift, including wrapping. I got some black and white monogrammed pencils and magnets and a fun coffee cup to put them in.



I wrapped it up in cellophane and tied a pretty bow around it.


And there you have it—an easy, attractive, and most importantly, inexpensive gift.

May 14, 2011

The Great Shoe Purge

I am a major shoe horse – or at least I used to be. Years ago, I discovered what shoes could do for an outfit. The right pair of shoes can make an outfit shine. So, I started collecting shoes, buying them at the end of season clearance sales. I bought shoes specifically for certain outfits and shoes that would go with most of my wardrobe. One pair of black shoes wouldn’t do. I needed a dressy pair, super casual pair, clogs, flats, etc. I’m sure some of you can relate, no? I ended up with so many shoes that I had to change them out each season.
I finally decided that enough was enough! I got to the point where I was only wearing certain pairs, and many others were looking ragged.
I packed two garbage bags full of shoes to give away—a total of 17 pairs. I don’t think I ever wore the lime green heels and wore the white mules maybe once.
I’m so proud of myself! However, I still have 30-40 pairs left, and I’m not ready to part with any of those yet!

Linking up with:

IHeart Organizing

May 3, 2011

Microwave Cart Frustration

I have a microwave cart that was given to me when I got married. It was handmade, and in that regard, is very special. I don't plan to ever get rid of it. I have struggled to keep it organized, though, especially the bottom part where I keep my plastic containers. I tried Rubbermaid wire risers/shelves, but they just didn't work for me. Finally, I decided to forget about the shelving. I got rid of a bunch of mismatched containers, and this is what I ended up with:

Believe it or not, it stays organized like this!

There is one shelf above this part, and it has been a mess for years:

The blue basket with snowflakes on it contains a mess of papers and coupons. I recently bought a bunch of paper plate/napkin sets that were on clearance at Target. Those were crammed in a drawer in my dining room buffet.

I finally had enough. I remembered that I had an extra plastic container from Target. It fits perfectly in this area and is a great place to store the plates and napkins. I moved the plastic wraps to another part of the kitchen (future post), stored the folders elsewhere, and added this container:

I also had my kitchen towels stored in different places in the kitchen and dining room. That was bugging me big time, so I had this revelation that I could corral them in a smaller storage container that fits perfectly beside the bigger container. And, of course the containers match. :) I got them both at Target.

So, here's the new and improved top shelf of my microwave cart, and there's even a little extra space to the right of the smaller container. I'm sure I can find something to put there. :)

I really can't believe I didn't do this before now. I've lived in this house for almost four years and have been frustrated with this cart from the first day I unpacked boxes. It's amazing how small things like this can make such a big difference.

My next task is to tackle that blue basket with snowflakes on it, which is sitting on top of the ironing board in the hall. ~sigh It never ends!
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