Category Archives: I’m Obsessed With

My Favorite Organizing Products

With the New Year comes all sorts of resolutions. I usually never keep mine, but one thing I like to keep in mind and strive for all year round is staying organized.

Since we moved into a new house, I thought of this as a chance to hit the reset button. We got rid of a ton of stuff before we moved so we didn’t have to pack things we don’t need or use.

And now I’m going room by room to set up new organizational systems or implement old ones that worked. Here are some of my favorite products to make organizing even easier:

Grey Bins from Land of Nod – These are my go-to storage bins. They work great for kids stuff or other items like blankets and throw pillows, and they look good enough to leave them anywhere in my house. Unfortunately, they no longer carry them, but any bin that you can find on Etsy.com or at the Container Store that looks good in your living room is a good bin to have.

photo (3)

Trofast Storage System

Trofast Storage System for toys from IKEA – They’re easy for H to open and close and keep numerous toys tidy. I like to stick with the white bins only (I think it gives it a cleaner look).

Striped Cubes

Striped Cubes from Land of Nod – These stylish, yet still kid-like bins are pliable making it easy for kids to get things in and out of them, while not crushing the box or hurting themselves. You also won’t mind if your little one starts dragging them across the floor.

Deskstructure Desk Organizer   See Jane Work

Deskstructure Desk Organizer from See Jane Work – There is always a lot of clutter on desks (at least on mine). Keeping it in check is a challenge, but one that can have a lot of style. I’m getting ready to re-do my office in our new house so I’ve been checking out desk accessories and loved this one.

Skyline Bookends   See Jane Work

Skyline Bookends – Also from See Jane Work are these great bookends. I think bookends can keep books nice and tidy on a flat surface, while also styling your desk or table.

Build Your Own   Daily System Components   Espresso stain   Pottery Barn

Office Accessories from Pottery Barn – I love how these units work together. They may be a bit pricier than the others on this list, but they’re so worth it and you can pick and choose what pieces you need and make them work together in an entryway, kitchen, or office.

Large Rectangle Lacquer Trays   west elm

Lacquered Trays from West Elm – I LOVE these trays! They now come in square as well. I use them in my kitchen, bathrooms, and in my living room on my fabric ottoman. They keep clutter (like remotes and coasters) in check and are modern and beautiful as well.

LaqueredRectangularBoxLg_x

Lacquered Boxes from Container Store – I think the colors of these boxes are great for any vanity, bathroom, or dresser (which is where I have mine in several sizes). I keep all of my jewelry in these as they are an inexpensive and stylish alternative to a traditional jewelry box.

EXPEDIT Shelving unit on casters   IKEA

Expedit Shelves from IKEA – For books, I think these shelves are the best. They’re inexpensive, but hefty enough to look expensive. Plus they come in different sizes, colors, and you can flip it on its side and add casters to make a bench.

Elf on a Shelf Ideas

We recently welcomed a new member to our family. Buddy, the Elf. He made his appearance the other day on our mantle and Harrison immediately welcomed him by waving to him.

Although H is a bit young for all that can go into Elf on a Shelf, we have started moving him around to different areas of the house. But I can’t wait until he’s a bit older and we can really get into Buddy doing some funny things.

Here are some of my favorite ideas pulled from around the Internet:

Elf on a Shelf

What fun things do you do with your Elf on a Shelf?

A New Baby Blanket

Baby BlanketsMy cousin Kristin recently sent Harrison this adorable blanket from a new company called Little Balena. Not only do I love the design (simple and classic), but the fabric is great (it’s 100% cotton), it can be used for so many things (stroller, play, etc.), plus every purchase gives back.

When you buy a play quilt, Little Balena and the Arbor Day Foundation will plant a pine tree in the parent forest in California. How cool is that?

I love great products, but I especially love great products and companies that give back. Choose from blue (we received the blue and grey one), red, pink, and yellow with different backings. LittleBalena.com, $54.

A Creative Way to Track Your Child’s Growth

As many of you know, we live in a one bedroom apartment in Manhattan and we definitely plan on moving.

Giant Ruler

I wanted to track Harrison’s growth somewhere, but with the possibility of moving (and soon) I was trying to think of a way to track his height, but be able to take it with us. None of that marking the wall or doorway with pencil marks here.

I did some searching and found these adorable, oversized rulers on Etsy.com in a shop called Growing Growing Gone.

photo (2)

Here are the markings we’ve added to Harrison’s ruler.

I love this so much that I plan on doing it for any future children we have, plus it makes a great shower or first birthday gift. How do you track your little one’s measurements?

Gifts for Baby

Gift-Ideas-For-New-Babies-large

Along with the five weddings we have this year (yes, five), a lot of our friends are also starting to have their first or second babies.

I typically like to do a themed gift or something special that is off of the registry with something from the registry (hey, they asked for those things for a reason).

For my friend Kate’s first child, I gave her a set of monthly onesies and a scrapbook so she could take a monthly photo throughout Emily’s first year and have a place to put them.

My Favorite Gifts (I’ve Received and Given)

A gift card to diapers.com

Diapers! Okay, so no one gifted this to me exactly, but what I wouldn’t have given for a supply of diapers (big or small). You may not think they make a glamorous gift, but boy do you go through a ton of them.

A family heirloom – something that has been passed down (and is still safe for today’s babies) that means something to your family.

Anything handmade – my grandma and aunt both made me beautiful quilts for H

A gift basket for mom – everyone seems to forget about the mom-to-be during showers. I love giving a basket full of lotions, creams, magazines, books, etc. that she can enjoy before and after the baby is born.

A box full of all the little things that were left on my registry. I had two showers and there were a lot of little things we still needed, and one of my friends bought them all. It was so much fun to open everything and some of those things we use still to this day.

A piece of furniture for the nursery – Ryan’s grandma bought us H’s crib and my mom bought us a rocker, but you could go in with a group to do the same and make it more cost-effective. But what a wonderful gesture, and one less (big) thing the parents have to worry about.

A nice frame (or two) – my friend Darcy gave us a beautiful Kate Spade silver frame that says “…And Baby Makes Three” and I just love it. You have so many photos taken of you and the new little one, you need somewhere to display them, right?

There are also some great gift ideas for baby here on homemadesimple.com that I think are fab.

Continue reading

Clever Must-Haves for Mommy

I wouldn’t say I’m anywhere close to being an expert on parenting, being only 7 months in. But I have learned a few tricks here and there. Over the months I’ve had this blog, I’ve shared some of H’s favorite things (which I will continue to do for as long as you’ll read), and some of my favorite items I registered for.

Now that my little guy has gotten a bit older and I’ve settled into mommyhood, there are a few clever items that I didn’t originally think we needed or didn’t even realized existed that I wanted to share with you.

My Little SeatMy Little Seat - This little gem is especially important when you’re little one starts eating solids and needs a high chair when one is not available. It comes in a compact pouch and can easily be tossed into your purse or diaper bag and fits on every chair I’ve ever tried it on.

Boon Spoons

Boon spoons - I’ve mentioned these before, but I think they’re worth mentioning again, these spoons are genius. Just fill them up with baby food and you’re good to feed your little one on the move anywhere, anytime.

Velcro Pocket Bib

Velcro Pocket Bib - This is not just a regular bib that you can wipe off and that velcros around your baby’s neck, the pocket actually velcros and flaps down making it easier than ever to dispose of all of those gross “bits” that fall into the pocket or get crusted down there.

Charlie Diaper Bag

A Big Diaper Bag - This is a point that I fought with my husband on a ton before we had H and alas I lost and wish I would have been more persistent. This is the diaper bag I wanted and we ended up getting a great Skip Hop bag, but this is by far bigger, with more pockets, and would be great especially now that we have food, bottles, toys, books, diapers, wipes, etc. that we need to bring with us at all times.

Pacifier Clip

Pacifier Clips - Pacifiers fall on the floor and ground ALL the time! And sometimes it’s in a place where you can easily wash them off, and sometimes it’s not. Enter the pacifier clip. It clips onto car seat straps, your clothes, his clothes, wherever you need it to.

Pacifier Pocket

Pacifier Pocket - In addition to the pacifier clips, I also recommend a pacifier pocket like this one. Yes, you can just use Ziplock bags (totally fine) but this is great because it attaches to my diaper bag and I always have back up pacifiers – and don’t we all need back up sometimes?

Mommy Hook

Mommy Hook - This is especially great for me in the city, because unlike other moms, I don’t have a car or trunk to keep my bags, but I think this is a must-have for any mom. My purse goes here, groceries go here, shopping bags, umbrellas, etc. You name it, it hangs on the Mommy Hook.

Scrapboxes (Not Scrapbooks)

Scrapboxes

As I promised last week, I’m going to be sharing some ways that I document those special moments in my family’s lives. Long before I started at Martha Stewart, I was a big fan of Darcy Miller, the Editorial Director of Martha Stewart Weddings. While working at Martha, I was lucky enough to become friends with the amazingly talented and sweet woman.

Baby Outfit Scrapbox

One of the things I’ve always loved about her is her ability to celebrate any occasion in unique and creative ways and keep those memories alive in original ways as well. My favorite thing she does is put together scrapboxes. And with some inspiration from Darcy, I started creating my own. Here are just a few of the boxes I’ve put together during my time with my husband Ryan and now Harrison.

Marathon Scrapbox

I always use Dennis Daniels scrapboxes in black (I now use white for Harrison) to keep things consistent.

Bride Scrapbox

The key to making a great scrapbox is having a great photo and then mixing that with mementos in all different shapes and sizes. Darcy is the master at this and I encourage you to take a look at the ones she has put together.

Book Scrapbox

Harrison’s Book of Faces

I have long been a fan of the company Pinhole Press. My friend Darcy Miller introduced them to me when I worked at Martha Stewart Weddings.

Harrison's Face Book

I ordered H’s birth announcements from there, but I also stumbled across this great board book that you can personalize with your family photos and names.

Book of Faces

I love the vibrancy of the photos, how you can customize the book, and how it keeps H in touch with friends and family near and far, even if he can’t see them everyday. The only problem I had with the book is that I couldn’t add more pages (we have a big family)!

Daddy Page

They also have bigger books that you can order as they get older to tell a story about where they were born, grew up, their first year of school, anything that you think deserves remembering.

My Nominations for the Liebster Award

As I mentioned last week, I was honored when my friend Alexis of Spools & Skeins nominated me and The Crafty Mommy for a Liebster Award.

Now it’s my turn to nominate some great blogs.

The Nominees…(in no particular order)

Wren Handmade - Written by a former Martha Stewart alum (like me) I adore her party ideas and activities for kids.

Start Stitching - I have a personal attachment to this blog as I used to write for it. It is as fabulous as the sewing and craft shop it promotes.

Something We Whipped Up - Bloggers Jennifer and Brian share their favorite recipes, ways to decorate, and clever ideas and hot spots in this fun and personal blog.

Sah-rah.com - This is my very creative friend Sarah who is a professional designer, but if I do say so myself, an amazing crafter with a wonderful aesthetic. She even wrote a book this past year called Craft-A-Day.

Feisty Redhead - Another Martha Stewart alum, Ashley is feisty and a redhead, but she is also super talented and shares her creative craft, sewing, and knitting ideas here on her blog.

Eats for All Ages - This doctor (yes, doctor) has a busy work life and home life, but somehow he finds time to cook up some delicious and kid and adult-friendly recipes and shares them here on his new blog.

Make and Takes – I’m sure this has more than 200 followers, but this is getting harder and harder. I love that whatever she makes, can actually be used and it is not that hard to achieve.

Nat the Fat Rat – Love her, love her little boy, and love this blog, enough said!

The Working Closet – She photographs her outfit daily and gives wardrobe, styling, and closet advice. Learn what to keep, toss, and wear daily through this fun blog.

The Gastronomer’s GuideContinue reading

I’ve Been Nominated for The Liebster Award!

liebster-blog-award-1024x5661

I have to be honest, I have never hear dof the Liebster Award, but my friend Alexis, who has a great blog called Spools & Skeins (you should check it out) nominated me. The Liebster Award is an award that is given to blogs with less than 200 followers with rules to follow to keep the award going!  It is really just a great way to help bloggers connect, support one another, and to discover new blogs!

The Rules…

  1. Post 11 random facts about yourself.
  2. Answer the questions the nominator has come up with for you.
  3. Create 11 new questions for the bloggers you have nominated.
  4. Choose 11 new bloggers with less than 200 followers to nominate and link to them in your post.
  5. Go tell them about your nomination!

The Questions Spools & Skiens Asked…

  1. One blog you read every day? – I don’t read any one blog every day, but here are some of my favorites: Apartment Therapy, Merci New York, Oh Happy Day, Wren Handmade, The Crafts Department at Martha Stewart, and Suri’s Burn Book.
  2. Paper, plastic, or canvas? – Canvas, although I do often forget to bring it with me and end up using plastic, which I know is terrible.
  3. Ideal date night? – Dinner and a movie with my husband.
  4. Are you a winter or summer person? – Definitely summer.
  5. Are you an early riser or night owl? – I’m an early riser.
  6. Favorite book? – The Count of Monte Cristo.
  7. Favorite children’s book? – Anything by Shel Silverstein.
  8. Dream vacation spot? – South Africa or Australia.
  9. One item of clothing in your wardrobe that you couldn’t live without? – Jeans.
  10. Favorite board game? – Sorry of my new favorite is Quelf.
  11. Favorite quote? – Don’t cry over spilled milk. My grandfather always used to say that and it’s so true.

Now for My 11 Random Facts…

1. I really dislike my middle name and rarely give it out.
2. After I was born, I was brought home from the hospital on St. Patrick’s Day.
3. My baby is named after the street my mom grew up on and where my grandparents lived. It was my favorite place when I was growing up.
4. I took ballet lessons for 17 years. I also was a tapper, took jazz, and modern, but ballet was my one true love.
5. I was let go from my job over a year ago and in the same week I found out I was pregnant with H. Being let go was a blessing in disguise.
6. I started crafting at a very young age (mostly stuff from Martha Stewart Living where I later worked) because my mom was not crafty, but liked the projects so she put me to work.
7. I met my husband playing two-hand touch football.
8. I don’t like chocolate.
9. My feet are always cold (or so my husband tells me).
10. My mom and I both went to the same high school and were both editors of the same yearbook (although at different times).
11. I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, but disliked the Nebraska Cornhuskers while growing up (a huge problem if you talk to anyone who is from Nebraska or knows about their die hard football fans).

Stay tuned for my nominees to keep this great award going. I’ll be posting about them in a future post. And make sure to check out my friend Alexis’ blog, and thank you my friend for the nomination.