Refining Style

Since I have begun my new journey on living a life of simplicity, I have also begun refining my style. At times I feel all over the place and I am trying hard not to waste and buy smartly. I want pieces and a home that we can grow with and me not tire of in a few sort months or even years. After much evaluation I think I came down to what I am when concerning my home. I think designer Kristen Panitch nailed me right on the head with her gorgeous designs. Her spaces look easy to live in, welcoming, traditional, with a bit of boho here and there. The textures, patterns. and the layering of all her spaces feel like home to me. This is the direction I am slowly going in. I can't wait to share my home soon!

Her goal for every space they design speaks volumes to me... to create homes that will reflect and evolve with our clients’ lifestyle, tastes, passions, and dreams... That is so what I want and am striving towards.

An Organized Life: Laundry Room

My laundry room is nothing special. It is in an awkward space between the garage and entry. It's extremely tight, but at the same time better than just having a laundry closet. The room only contains things that actually have to do with laundry and sewing. The rug tiles are Flor that I got for a dollar a piece years ago hence why they don't match. I would love to upgrade them to these also by flor.

Again I used Emerson Made's idea of using cookie jars for everything. This makes me happy and keeps certain things in constant reach which I love.

I bought this large jar at a local antique shop for a steal. It is the perfect place to store a few bolts and wrapping paper.

Above the washer and dryer I keep all my fabrics that I have reduced like crazy.

I do laundry a couple times a week. As soon as the dryer is done I immediately fold and hang everything in this little room except for the socks, they get put into a basket and get sorted only once a week. I follow up by putting all the regular laundry away. I then put whatever was in the wash into the dryer. Then repeat till it's all done. It seems to be the only system that works for me.

See nothing special, but it was part of my getting organized and simplifying task so I thought I would share.

An Organized Life: The Blog

In my attempt for an organized and simple life I decided that it must extend to all parts of my life not just my home. As you have noticed the blog has been going through a bit of a make over. I tried to keep the same basic feel, but just tidy up a bit. I still need to add my must reads, but that is going to take awhile and time is not what I currently have much of. It will get done though. I also added an about page, but am having a hard time writing it so I thought I would open up to you all. If you have any questions about me then I would love to hear them! It will become more of a faq's page of sorts. You can email  me or ask away in the comment section. Of course if this does not work then I will take another route. Ha.

*Yes, I so just snuck/sneaked in another Disney pic. No worries though, next week I will back to my design obsessed self.

An Organized Life: The Kitchen

Here is my kitchen. Since I learned how to cook last year I quickly realized that our kitchen was a mess. Not necessarily looks wise, but in how it functioned. Here is how it works for us now...

We have two fruit bowls so it keeps access easy for the kiddos and I. Actually seeing the fruit out makes us want to eat it more.

The large basket keeps all our bread at easy access and the small one keeps all our bars like granola, lara, etc bars within reach. I like having all our wooden cutting boards out in plain view, but I keep the plastic meat cutting board hidden away.

This is my baking drawer. It has all my specialty flours and sugars. I keep our all purpose, bread flours and sugar in jars on the counter.

This is an example of inside our cabinets. Everything is neatly lined up and yes we use chinet recycled plates for when we are on the fly.

A few of my favorite cooking books stay out all the time. The rest are kept in a cabinet. I do need to take the time and write down all my favorite recipes on recipe cards instead of having loose sheets of paper tucked everywhere.

The basket is a new addition that I adore. I needed a space for all my table linens and went back and forth with the idea of getting a low cupboard. The only problem with that is that one of our current pieces would have to go in order to accommodate one. I then came across this basket at World Market and new it would be perfect.

The barstools are not new, but the slipcovers are. They were a blue that didn't quite blend into my neutral color scheme and I really wanted a natural linen. I decided before hiring out that I would try to make them myself. The first two went well and the third was a whole other story, but I got it done after much frustration. They are NOT perfect by any means, but they are good enough for me.

*To see a full view of my kitchen you can go here.

An Organized Life: The Office

I thought I would share the office space/keeping room first since it was the hardest to clean out. In the beginning I had this space, plus a cabinet in the kitchen and the bottom of the pantry which adjoin this room. My goal was to whittle it all down to this small area and I did it! Oh, and did I mention it was hard?

This space is what keeps Kellen Jacob Photography, our home, and everything else going. It HAS to be organized. Each ikea magazine file holds paper, office supplies, mini albums, etc. I am hoping to buy a label maker to take this all to a whole new organized level. The drawers house my array of stationary. The binders are from Rusell and Hazel and I adore them. I also managed to move the printer off the shelves into a spot where it is less obvious. Did you notice the jar full of ribbon? I so adopted this idea from Emerson Made. Makes the ordinary so much more special and if I can see it then I am more likely to use it.

This is my new/old filing system. Old as in I have had it for awhile and new as in it is now working for me. I have a file for everything. Things to file, KJP, taxes, school, ideas, and even a file for things I have no idea what to do with. This new system will hopefully keep things from piling up on my desk when I am being too lazy to file it in the pretty little binders. We are also planning on getting a fire safe box to keep important documents and things of sentimental value.

I didn't show a full room view just because I am awaiting our new sofa and that will still be a few more weeks. The fabrics on top of the bench are one's that I plan to incorporate into the room. I am going to try to do a bit of color this year. Hope it works out.

You know how I am trying to not shop for too many new clothes this year? Well, a purse isn't technically considered clothing. I am still trying to decide whether to keep it or not. It's Cynthia Rowley and I bought it at TJ Maxx. I think she is really pretty and I did use my own spending money so it didn't come out of our main account which is the whole goal anyway. Do I NEED a new purse, no, but it has been well over year since I got my last one.  SIMPLICITY.

*Scratch the last part. I pre-post. I kept the purse. I LOVE it.

An Organized Life: Purging

Ever since announcing last week that I was going to simplify my home, well I have been on a mad dash to get it done. I know myself and know that if I don't do it immediately then it won't get done. Hence last years failure. I cleaned out every closet, laundry room, every drawer, and basket, etc. I quickly became thankful that I have a smaller home. Now on to some embarrassing photos...

Okay remember way back when Domino folded? Well, the week before it folded I decided to purge about half of my pile. Regretted it ever since and have been hoarding magazines ever since. I get an obscene amount every month. It's my favorite way to relax. I didn't get rid of all of them but I did whittle it down to a smallish pile of favorites. Now double the pile above and you will get the idea of what made its way to the recycling center. Now I plan to only keep my absolute favorites and with issues that only have a few features I like then I will scan them into the computer.

This X2 is what I cleaned out of my closet and the kiddos. The Mr. still needs to go through his, but he has been extremely busy so it will have to wait. As for toys the kiddos got to keep their top 3 favorites. Not top 3 toys, but top three activities. Ellie choose her doll houses, dress up clothes, and kitchen gear. KJ choose all his cars and trucks, legos, and a marble maze thing. I also let him keep his dress up clothes. Of course I kept the books they read and art supplies.

Now each room had roughly this much trash. So embarrassed, but it's the truth. It wasn't all wrappers and such, but things that were not in good enough condition to give away.

I must say I feel FREE!!! Everything has a spot and nothing extra. I even have empty drawers, cabinets, and such. I still have the garage to do, but that will only happen when it gets warmer and when the Mr. isn't quite so busy. From here on out I will be sharing my newly organized spaces. So excited!

An Organized Life: Master Closet

My first stride into living a simple life means starting the year with a good purge. I decided to start in the closets. I removed around 50 items from my closet that I have not worn this past year. I also did this last year, yikes. I won't even mention how many pieces I took out of Ellie and KJ's closets. Let's just say they dress well. I plan to do this twice a year. My closet isn't anything special. Long and narrow. I get the bottom and the Mr. gets the top on one side. The other side is just big enough for a few shoe shelves that aren't even full anymore do to the purge, yay!

I hang all my clothes by type then color. It just makes me happy. Oh, and yes we have plastic hangers of all colors. So ugly, I know, but they are cheap. I would love to one day do all wooden hangers, but for now I will just try to make them all cohesive in all white.

This year I am going to try to buy only a few new items. I would love to say none, but that's not really realistic for me. My number one want right now is the perfect white v-neck tee that you can't see through. I think it is a staple that can go with just about anything. Let me know if you have a good source.

{image via House Beautiful}

This closet somewhat reminds me of my own although mine is not quite as pretty, but every post needs a pretty picture right?

An Organized Life: Being Transparent

I know you have heard me say before that my word for the year is SIMPLICITY. Did I happen to mention it was also my word for last year? Although I do believe I made huge strides last year I feel as if this year I have some room for improvement on my journey to live a simple life. I am going to share weekly what I have done to get closer to my SIMPLICITY goal. This week there will be two posts instead of one because I figured you all do not want to read a novel.

{via The Polished Pebble old home- LOVE}

What I love about blogging is finding others who share the same goals. The sweet lady over on Lavender and Lilies is also going through some great ideas to simplify on her blog. I am borrowing quite a few for myself such as "only buy it if you love it". She is talking about wardrobe, but I could easily apply this to all areas of my life.

 {via here via the nest}

Emerson Made who was just featured in the nest might just be the posterchild of being organized and living simply. I love how she said "keep only what you need, and keep it in plain sight. No hidden junk". This one may be harder to obtain, but I am willing to try.

 {part of Emma's assessment}

Emma took photos of her own home and evaluated what it is she liked and what needed changing. I love how she said "I feel like I have a road map now of what to tackle next and where to direct my money and energy". I too am adopting this idea. I feel as if I seem to make the same mistakes over and over in my home. There are countless times that I have bought things and quickly regretted them. I am hoping having a well mapped plan will keep me from making unnecessary purchase.

Seleta's 2011 words for her year resonated with me too. I really could just copy her list word for word, but I guess that would be cheating. The one that spoke to me most was to be more "playful". I find myself getting too serious at times and I am afraid that robs moments with my husband and kiddos that should just be fun. I analyze everything which is odd since I am quite laid back on the outside. Oh, and by the way I completely failed at this while doing this blog post. Got frustrated with the kiddos, ugh.

 This year the Mr. and I also talked about our future and what would benefit us most as a family. Well, to make a long story short we are going to try to be even smarter with the money God has blessed us with. We already take living debt free quite seriously. Our only main debt is the house. So we are going to try to dwindle that down in a five year plan. This means my not forever house is going to become my long term house and my love of spending will HAVE to be smarter, not much extra to play with.  I know in the long term this will be quite good for our family financially, but to be honest it will be hard because you all know that I dream of a move, but we are blessed with what we have so I am going to find joy in it.

Like I said a novel...