December 26, 2009

everything must have its place

If there's one thing I've learned about organizing a house over the past few years, it's that every single thing must have its place. Now, I'm not perfect at it, but these are a few tips that I've learned and wanted to remember. I was very proud to have cleaned the house for 12 hours the other day --- I don't think I'll do that again, but my bathroom is so much better for it. I should have taken pictures!

1. Consolidate. Don't be afraid to throw things away. We always think we'll look over those dated notes or that we'll wear those old clothes, but in reality we won't. If you haven't used it or thought of it in months, donate it or throw it away. A great way to remember those notes and keep down on paper hoarding is to take a photo of a card or note with a digital camera and then throw it away. Remember to use the macro mode so you can still read it from the digital photo! This has been saving me!

2. Take note of what you really need. One day, I walked around my house with a notepad and made a list of all the things that were out of order or things that needed a place or receptacle. I had stray hair ties and cups on my nightstand, the dog's leash was never in the same place, the napkins had no home, and our collection of plastic grocery bags was overflowing. There were some simple solutions to these problems, a tray with a few bowls on my nightstand as a catch-all, installing a few hooks for the leash and other hangables, purchasing an inexpensive napkin holder, and minimizing the plastic bag intake for our household (take it back to the store for recycling!).

3. Be creative with what you already have. Rearranging furniture, repurposing old items and utilizing what you currently own is a great way to mix up your decor and organize your home. I received a great print as a gift, and the mat for the frame wasn't being used, so I re-purposed it for another print. Wonderful!

4. When you get something new, give away something else. This is the surefire way to make sure you're not just accumulating things and keeping them -- I've learned this is the easiest way to acquire clutter. I'm still in the process of giving away so many things that I don't need. I've got craft supplies galore and old college text books that are begging to be thrown away or given to those who need it.

5. Keep to the useful and beautiful clause. William Morris was a textile designer and is best known for his quote "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful" and it is very true! All other things are just taking up space! What a great guideline to purging and organizing.

December 24, 2009

merry christmas and to all a good night

Merry Christmas, everyone!

"But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.'" Luke 2:10-12

December 17, 2009

holiday card drafting

Due to a love of paper and letterpress, the Egg Press sale in December prompted me to purchase lots of cards for holiday giving. But since I'd like to see more than 10 designs, my best buddy and I have devised a lovely way to choose from the Egg Press collection. We order 20 cards (two sets of 10) and sit down to a meal (lunch, dinner, something scrumptious) and set out all the cards - then we take turns choosing our favorites! The meal for this card draft consisted of rich and creamy scalloped potatoes, roasted pork tenderloin, and salad with homemade croutons. This was followed by freshly baked cookies, brownies, and hot chocolate. Don't mind our cheesiness - I could not stop laughing during the "twisty arms toast."

Note the sweet "Joy to All" card -- it was by far my favorite. Each of the 20 cards we received from the sample sale was different.

Here's to the the now hopefully ANNUAL card draft! Happy Holidays!

December 14, 2009

four births

In honor of my friends having their little girl today, here's a cute trailer for a documentary that follows the first year of life of four babies in different parts of the world. Watch 'til the end, it's super sweet.

December 10, 2009

cheery iphone wallpapers

Now first things first - I don't own an iPhone. But when I saw these awesome wallpapers on the photography blog From Me To You, I was immediately smitten. These small images don't do them justice at all. Photographer Jamie Beck captured the essence of New York Christmas in these poignant and striking photo vignettes. Check more of them out here, and download them (for free!) for your iPhone if you have one. I know I'd be rockin' these wallpapers for the entire month to keep the holiday cheer going.

December 7, 2009

the holiday train

We missed it this year, but the Holiday Train came rolling into town at 8:05pm, at least we can relive it with this video. How lovely! Christmas sure is fast approaching, I'm going to find more ways to enjoy it before it's over!

December 6, 2009

a lovely holiday

Just watched The Holiday again tonight on television, and it reminded me of how much I loved the set interiors when I first saw the movie. The sets of Nancy Meyers movies are comfortable, homey, elegant, and peaceful - I just want to flop onto one of those sofas and veg out. And the huge windows with the light streaming through them, really gorgeous. Take a look at a few of the set screen shots from The Holiday and Something's Gotta Give, I love them for home decor inspiration.

The Holiday
Something's Gotta Give
Also notable is this very sweet clip of the scene between Jude Law's character and Cameron Diaz's character with his two daughters in the movie. These little English girls steal the whole scene! And I love how proper they are. It's completely endearing! So heartwarming - perfect for the holidays. Enjoy!

December 2, 2009

wonder foodie: eating with your eyes first

One of my new favorite websites to browse for delicious dishes is Tastespotting. You can type in a search for anything from chocolate chip cookies to roasted chicken and it will come up with delectable snapshots of food photos for you to pick from. Then it will link you to the food blog that the photo came from, and the recipe for that dish.

Isn't that amazing? Talk about eating with your eyes first ... what better way to figure out what you'd like to try cooking next? The image above is a simple berry souffle recipe that you can find here. I think I'll be trying my hand at these soon, since I just bought some brown organic eggs at Target on sale. Side note, the Target near us just reopened and it is 180,000 square feet of Targety goodness. Fresh produce and meat? Frozen food section that lights up when it senses someone is near? Get out of here!