Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My Cute New Office Nook

I have decided to join one of my favorite blogs in a fun organizing challenge this month, the "New Year's Organizing Revolution".  I am not a naturally organized person, so if I can do it, anyone can.  This first week is Office Organization, and I am really excited to join in as my husband David and I just finished our new desk nook in my newly redone kitchen.  

A brief description of the process for me.  I started my desk project after my husband asked if I would like to remove the built in China Cabinet in our kitchen and turn it into a desk nook.  I was very excited and inspired by the idea and immediately began searching Pinterest for pretty desk ideas.  I couldn't get enough! I finally settled on some budget friendly ideas that I found on iheartorganizing.com and abowlfulloflemons.net .  If you are thinking of getting your office organized, please visit these blogs, they are amazing and not only that but have realistic and affordable ideas to make your house beautiful.  

Honestly, my paperwork and desk space was a mess before our office remodel.  It was located in the middle of my 2 youngest boys' room and it needed to be decluttered and organized.  Here is a photo of the before in the middle of the messy room.  

To start the remodel, we took the china cabinet out, widened the space and took out the wall all the way to the ceiling. It is in the corner of our dining space on the far wall in our kitchen.  We had a very limited budget so even though I wanted to run to the store and buy new everything, we only paid for the new sheet rock. Other than that, we used what we had.   And since we recently redid the kitchen we had stuff to work with.

Then David had the tough part.  He had to put up the drywall to make walls and mud and sand repeatedly until it was perfect.  Finally, he added the trim.  This took us weeks as David works a full-time job and with 5 kids he has very little "free" time.  While David was busy   building the nook, I organized our files using the system that Toni at A Bowl Full of Lemons describes in her Home Organization 101:The Office post that you can read here. I modified the file names a bit to fit my needs, but the idea of organizing my files using a rainbow ROYGBIV system really works out neat.  I also made a mail sorting box by covering a shoe box with scrapbook paper that is handy to sort mail and school papers. I literally tossed over 2 garbage bags of papers and shredded even more.  I found all of our owner's manuals for appliances, etc. and put them in one of our old file boxes.

Here is my newly organized file box.  I purchased the new folders at Staples with my Staples rewards that I get for recycling ink cartridges. The File box was purchased at Target a few years ago but not used as I didn't know what to do with it.  Isn't it pretty?  Notice the rainbow files.  I also found the labels online.

And here is my mail sorter.  It was super quick to throw together one evening.  And Free! Maybe someday I will buy a pretty wire one but for now I really like it. I laminated the outside after I made it to increase the durability.

Here is the desk nook, all ready for me to paint it!

After David finished building the nook I happily volunteered to paint the space, using the same paint that we needed to purchase to touch up the kitchen walls.  It is a beautiful Valspar spring green called "leaf bud" that we bought at Lowe's.  I turned on some rock music  on my computer and had fun painting! Here is the nook, all painted!

And my cute husband :)
After the paint was dry, my husband measured and planned shelves similar to the ones I fell in love with on Toni's blog. Here is a picture of hers, which she purchased from Ikea. Both my husband and I love the look of her shelves with the simple wood brackets.  
We took three of the shelves out of the old china cabinet and I painted them white.  David cut and sanded the brackets and drilled them to the back wall of my desk nook.  I wanted them to go high as I had a ton of crafting and office supplies that I wanted to fit in the desk nook.  My good friend Jan gave us her desk and accessories last year, and we simply removed the keyboard tray and desk drawer and placed the desk into the nook and reattached the desk to the legs.

 David also added a recessed light in the ceiling of the desk nook, as well as several electrical outlets and a light switch.

I cleaned out and organized my crafts and supplies, and found baskets around my house that I could use to organize my desk area.  
Here it is, all done!

One of my quick and easy little organizing projects was to organize my ribbon (rainbow order, of course! Thanks again to Toni for the inspiration! ) I just used a paper towel roll and wound the ribbon, securing with a straight pin.  I put it all on a wooden dowel that I had around the house leftover from another project and added a couple of rolls of ribbons to the ends. The dowel fits perfectly on the brackets of the bottom shelf.
I am really pleased with the results of our office project.  I was really surprised that I could remodel without spending hardly anything.  Please don't be discouraged from remodeling if you are on a budget, it can be done.  And it can be fun to organize, it is one of my newest hobbies.  As Nate Burkus says, "It's free to clean!"

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hot Toy 2012 Battle Tracker

Just in time for Christmas, win a Battle Tracker for your little guy! Grace at Blessed Elements is giving not one, but two of these cool toys away to two lucky readers.  Enter here today, and I hope you have a blessed Christmas.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Get Money Saving Mom's Celebrating & Savoring a Simple Christmas ebook for just $0.99!

I have been a huge fan of the Money Saving Mom blog for years.  She has great meal ideas and her free printables are some of my favorite.  Especially her pretty shopping list.  So, I am happy to recommend her newest book, Celebrating & Savoring a Simple Christmas

Would you like to slow down and enjoy the Christmas season? Would you like to do less and savor more? Then this ebook is for you.

 Here is a quote from one reader:

 "Crystal Paine’s latest ebook is a godsend for me and my family. It came just at the moment I thought my head might spin right off of my body from the overwhelming since of stress that is the upcoming holiday season. Reading her book made me take a step back, reevaluate what is important and what is unnecessary. All the extravagant decorating and overabundance of gifts means nothing if I am too overwhelmed to enjoy any of it. Starting my planning and budgeting for everything Christmas related has taken a huge weight off my shoulders! Thanks again for a great useful read MSM! –Cassie W."

 It’s packed with lots of ideas, links, resources, and practical stuff. Basically it's about the heart of Christmas. Enjoying and celebrating and giving!

 Here’s a bit from the introduction:

 "I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I don’t start any Christmas preparations until after December 1. Seriously. That might sound odd coming from a person who usually is a pretty meticulous planner and to-do list maker. However, I’ve found that waiting until December to start Christmas preparations helps me to keep things simple. And keeping things simple is one of the most important things to me about Christmas. If I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off and feeling completely overwhelmed and stressed, it’s not worth it to me. I’d rather keep it simple, do less, and have time to really enjoy the Christmas season and all that it entails."

If you are interested in ordering this ebook from Amazon or finding out more, please go to Money Saving Mom's website here for more information.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Turbo Fire

I recently purchased a Turbo Fire exercise program. Being a long time Turbo Jam fan, I was super excited to try out the newest series from trainer Chalene Johnson.

I am only on my second week, but I can already see changes in my physical strength and energy levels. It comes with a 12 week schedule, all of the 11 workout dvds, fitness guide, "fuel the fire" nutrition guide, and the 5-Day Inferno Plan to
"See how you can lose up to 10 pounds in 5 days".

I love the recipes included in the guides, especially the family sized meals. I recommend the chicken tacos(but I made my own simple pico de gallo instead of using store bought), flank steak (I substituted with London Broil), and the Butternut Squash soup is super easy and yummy!

I really don't need to lose weight as much as I need to get into better shape and eat better. I admit that I drink too much diet soda and eat too much chocolate, so it is about time for me to take better care of myself. Enough with the excuses, it's time for me to Turbo!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Old Navy Activewear Pants

So, recently I was given the opportunity to try out and share a new pair of Old Navy Activewear pants. I thought I would share a bit about the experience. I got to pick out my own pair in person at Old Navy, and I chose these black Fold-Over Yoga pants, which are not only super comfy, but they are also very flattering. I recommend these pants to anyone who likes to be comfortable while exercising and lounging :) Thanks to Old Navy and Crowdtap.com for this opportunity!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Coupons In June Magazine Issues

Thanks to Super Savin' Momma for this great resource! I have been able to find many of these magazines at our local recycling center. It is totally worth rummaging through other peoples recycling. Last week I was able to save 50% on 2 bags Domino sugar this way, as the grocery store I went to had the sugar on sale AND they doubled both of the .40 coupons I found in old magazines!

And don't forget All You magazine at WalMart. It tons of coupons in each issue :)

Magazine Coupons Available

* Everyday with Rachael Ray:
Page 48 – Save 40% on any one regular priced baking item at Michaels (exp. 7/9/11)
Page 55 – Save 20% at Bed Bath and Beyond (exp. 8/1/11)
Page 67 – Save $1.00 on any Emeril product (exp. 9/30/11)

* Woman’s Day:
Page 110 – Save $1.00 on MidNite or MidNite PM (exp. 11/30/11)

* Good Housekeeping:
Page 63 – Save $1.00 on any Sally Hansen beauty tool purchase of $2 or more (exp. 7/31/11)
Page 91 – Save $5.00 on any 1 Sentry Fiproguard Plus for dogs or cats (exp. 9/30/11)
Page 166 – Save $.55 on any 1 package of Vanity Fair napkins, plates, bowls or cups (exp. 9/29/11)
Page 199 – Save $1.00 on Clear Ears (exp. 9/30/11)

* Ladies Home Journal:
Page 33 – Save $10 plus free shipping at Lands End (exp. 6/15/11)
* Cosmopolitan:
Page 33 – FREE panty at JCPenney (exp. 6/18/11)

* Glamour:
Between pages 46 and 47 – Save $5 when you spend $10 at Ulta (exp. 6/30/11)
Between pages 92 and 93 – Save $2 on any Color Sensational Lipcolor (exp. 7/15/11)
Between pages 104 and 105 – Save $1 on any Garnier Moisturizer or Cleanser (exp. 11/1/11)
Between pages 116 and 117 – Save $.50 on any Carefree Acti-Fresh product (exp. 9/30/11)
Page 145 – Save $1.00 on Herbal Essences or Pantene item, Target coupon (exp. 7/31/11)
Page 145 – Save $1.00 on any Olay item, Target coupon (exp. 7/31/11)
Page 145 – Save $2.00 on any 2 Secret deodorants, body sprays or Venue razors, Target coupon (exp. 7/31/11)

* Cooking Light:
Page 37 – Save $1 on any tea from Traditional Medicinals (exp. 12/31/11)
Page 183 – Save $1 off any Turkey Hill All Natural Ice Cream (exp. 9/1/11)
Page 202 – Save $1 on 1 bottle of Domino Light or Amber Organic Agave Nectar (exp. 7/31/11)

* Family Circle:
Between pages 24 and 25 – Save $5 when you spend $25 at True Value (exp. 7/9/11)
Page 69 – Save $10 when you buy any Comfort Zone product (exp. 12/31/11)
Page 171 – Save $1 on 1 bottle of Domino Light or Amber Organic Agave Nectar (exp. 7/31/11)

* Real Simple:
Page 88 – Save $1 on any 4 oz or larger Banana Boat sun care item (Target) (exp. 8/7/11)

* Redbook:
Page 51 – Save $1 on any Sally Hansen beauty tool purchase of $2 or more (exp. 7/31/11)
Page 65 – Save $10 when you spend $50 plus FREE shipping at Lands’ End (exp. 6/15/11)
Page 147 – Save $.55 on any 1 package of Vanity Fair napkins, plates, bowls or cups (exp. 9/29/11)

* Whole Living:
Page 55 – Save $.75 on 1 bottle of Domino Light or Amber Organic Agave Nectar (exp. 7/31/11)
Page 63 – Save $1.00 on any tea from Traditional Medicinals (exp. 12/31/11)
Page 79 – Save $2.00 on any size Arniflora Arnica gel (exp. 9/30/11)
* Sunset:
Page 49 – FREE Pint Color Sample from Benjamin Moore (exp. 8/31/11)
Between pages 94 and 95 – Save $1.00 on any Marzetti Simply Dressed Salad Dressing (exp. 7/31/11)

* Country Living:
Between pages 32 and 33 – Save $5 when you spend $25 at True Value (exp. 7/9/11)
* Martha Stewart Living:
Page 87 – Save 40% on any one regular price Martha Stewart Crafts scrapbooking item at Michaels (exp. 6/30/11)

* Marie Claire:
Between pages 84 and 85 – Save $2 on any Garnier moisturizer or cleanser (exp. 11/1/11)

* Better Home and Gardens:
Between pages 64 and 65 – Save $5 when you spend $25 at True Value (exp. 7/9/11)
Page 107 – Save $10 when you buy any Comfort Zone product (exp. 12/31/11)
Page 109 – Buy 1 Get 1 FREE at Ruby Tuesday (exp. 7/19/11)
Page 116 – Save $1 on 1 bottle of Domino Light or Amber Organic Agave Nectar (exp. 7/31/11)

(Thanks, Super Savin' Momma!)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My Newest Hobby- Couponing!

Even though I have considered myself to be frugal for years, I never have been very consistent about using coupons. Then recently, one of my husband Dave's co-workers gave me her super nice coupon binder. That was the nudge I needed to get organized! Now, I can find all of my coupons and coordinate them with the weekly store flyers! I found these really nice and Freecoupon binder dividers and table of contents thanks to a friend online that I met on at diaperswappers.com. So, I printed out the table of contents and dividers for my binder, and now I can actually use my coupons before they expire! And thank you Jenny at southernsavers.com! She posts all of my favorite stores weekly deals and matches them up with coupons for maximum savings! I am getting all of the items that I use for a fraction of the cost. I also enjoy watching TLCs Extreme Couponing, but I try to be realistic in my approach. I never hoard my findings. A nice lady at a couponing class at our local public library mentioned that sales run in six week cycles, so you really don't need to buy more than your family will use in six weeks.
Just for fun, here is a picture of just a few of the products I have been blessed with for free or for pennies recently. Not only that, some of the stores actually PAID ME to take some of the products home to use or donate. Nice!