Friday, August 31, 2012

August Wrap-Up

Is it just me or does it feel like September? When school starts again I feel like it's September. Though I've been "in school" the entire summer (I'm a grad student, there's no such thing as summer vacation for us :( ), my boyfriend started up his 3rd year of medicine last week, so things have been more... normal since, which I love!

I've been trying to get myself in a routine these past couple of weeks because of that, and that's why I hadn't posted last week. I just didn't feel like it, I wanted to get myself up to gear with other things; hope you don't mind, and appreciate the honesty. We've slowly fallen back into good habits, ie going to bed at a reasonable hour, and waking up early.

I'm also trying to meal plan a little more, though I still need some work on that.

I'm not quite sure what the next month holds, to be honest. See, we've been on strike since March 3. And by we I mean the post-graduate students of Quebec(most anyway), and against the government for wanting to raise tuition fees by 75% in 3 years. Long story short, the strike was temporarily called off last week, and we've got less than 1 month to catch up 2+ month's worth of classes.

Which means I gotta whip up a presentation about what I've been working on for the past 2 years (or close to 2 years), that I'm to present in 2 weeks. One thing about me is I HATE oral presentations, I royally suck at them. So I'm trying to prepare myself as much as possible in this short amount of time. And no I couldn't prepare myself before, I'm also a HUGE procrastinator and didn't want to think about it until I had to.

So that's my life right now in a nutshell. I'm really stressed about the presentation.

To top it off, I caught a cold a few days ago, and instead of being able to work on my presentation, I'm lounging around not knowing what to do with my body. Cold's hit me hard and I can barely think straight. So.... excuse me if I'm a little off my game today with this wrap-up.

The wrap-ups are a way for me to round-up all the posts I've done in the last month so you can catch up if you've missed anything, thank all the lovely people who've featured me, give you sneak peaks of what's to come and little things that are not worth an entire post.

Last month's posts

My First Garden and how I Started from Seeds



and a 2 Months-In Update



FYI, my cukes ALL died the weekend after I posted this :( But I'll still be doing one more update on my garden at the end of the season (whenever that may be, we're still having beautiful and hot weather here!).

The Laundry Shelving Unit Saga! My dad helped me build some shelves for the laundry space in my kitchen, which I had to divide into 3 posts.

The first was all about the planning and how we built it.



The second part was the final product and all it's special features.



And the third was how I've been using it so far as an extra storage space, which was it's main purpose.



The last post of the month was how I organized my cleaning supplies with the pretty new bins I got at Michael's on special.



Features

I'm always so happy when I get featured at linky parties, so I want to further promote these parties/blogs. For a full list of parties I attend from time to time, check here.

My DIY Mug Shelf was featured at:
It's Overflowing

And my Custom Built Laundry Shelves were featured at:


So thank you ladies, again!!

Updates

Speaking of my Kitchen Mug Shelf, I got a small update on that. When we made them, we only sealed them, but didn't varnish. I really wish I had now...



I think it's the fact that my boyfriend loves to stir fry stuff and oil flies everywhere making the wood darker where it fell. I'm half thinking of removing everything from on top of it and letting it like that for a month so the lighter spots can get oiled. Or just rubbing some oil on there. I'm not exactly sure what to do yet... Any ideas?

Next, I mentioned on Facebook that I had bought myself some washi tape a few weeks ago. I'd seen this site being advertised on many blogs and thought it was too good a deal to pass up.

Downtowntape.com sells rolls of washi tape for 2$ each, and, here's the best part, there's a flat shipping rate of 2.95$! You really can't get much better than that! Shipping is always so expensive to Canada, which is why I rarely buy anything online, but this I could work with!

Well my tape finally showed up a couple of days ago! Can't wait to do some projects with these. Are you tired of seeing washi tape projects, or can you not get enough of them?! I was a little tired of them before I got my own, so I can understand if that's how you feel...



Featured on Facebook

I'm aware that not all of you are following me on Facebook, and that is totally fine, I'm not forcing anyone. (But if you do want to follow, go right ahead!) However, I don't want to let that come between you knowing about these great tutorials or products, so I'm sharing them here, too.

If you like these ideas, go straight to the source before pinning!! Click either on the link or the photo to be brought to the post ;)

I know it's still a little early for Halloween (and even more at the time I shared this on Facebook) but I just can't get enough of these Halloween pillows!! (From Michael's, inspired by Craft Wars) They are just way cute! (If you follow the link you gotta click on the Project 8 and then you can download the instructions).


I thought this was a super neat way to transfer text onto cardstock in a really particular position: DIY Rub-On Transfer from Bluebuttonpress.


I love this method for stenciling from Lil Blue Boo! With bleach, looks SO cool!


I found this really nice Etsy shop(thewheatfield) that sells watercolor and acrylic prints, ranging in price from 6$ for a 5x7 to 24$ for a large print. I'm thinking of getting this one for myself (18$)! Soooo pretty!


Lastly, The Homes I Have Made made this vinyl tiled backsplash for her rental home. Reminded me of when I used contact paper for the backsplash behind my stove, one of the very first posts I did on the blog, and now I feel like doing the entire wall!


Coming Soon!

As I mentioned earlier, I'm not sure how much time I'll be able to dedicate to blogging this month, or well for the first half of the month.

I've been working on our bathroom, making it a little more to my taste. So far it's painted... I chose this light blue color (with a tiny bit of green in it, almost aqua but not quite). It's darker than this on the walls, though, but I really like it!


I had a hard time choosing accent colors, but I think I've finally got it down. So I'm gonna do a few projects this month and hopefully get to show you guys!

Apart from the bathroom, I'm probably gonna get back to some seasonal crafting at the end of September, for fall and Halloween, so you can a expect that, too.

And there are 2 birthdays this next month: the Blog's 1 year birthday the 15th, and my own 25th birthday on the 29th. I'm not very big on birthdays, so I'm not really planning anything... (like giveaways- I'm sorry I'm just too poor and shipping is way too expensive, but I still very much appreciate every single one of you!!)

And that wrap's up the wrap-up!

Feedback is always appreciated, whether about this post, the blog design, blog content, etc.



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Organized Cleaning Supplies: Check!

What's better than organizing? Getting to do it with pretty little baskets, of course! Or is that just me? Haha!

At the beginning of the month, I got these really colourful baskets at Michael's. I'd been eyeing them for a few months but didn't want to dish out 25$ a pop on them, but when they became 70%, I just HAD to get them! And I used a 20% off coupon, so I actually got them for 75% off!! Doesn't get much better than that, right? (Well actually it does, got my laundry shelve baskets for 80% off... But that's not the point.)


This photo was originally posted to Facebook. Want to follow me on Facebook so you never miss little sneak peaks like this? Just go here!

I didn't know quite what I wanted to do with them when I bought them, but after a couple of days of thinking, I decided to put them to work in my big closet to keep my cleaning supplies all neat and tidy and contained.

See, I don't have much storage space, so pretty much everything that needs a home has to fit into this big closet. It's not even a real closet, it's just a big hole in the wall that measures 35"x35", and I have a curtain as a door...


Sorry about the horrible picture, this is the best I could photoshop it.

I know, it's kinda odd, but at least you don't see the organized mess I have going on in there...



Alright, let's zoom into the problem area (for today). It's that bottom shelf with all the cleaning supplies.



I think the fact that almost all my cleaning stuff fits on one shelf is pretty amazing. I must say I wish I had a closet that I could dedicate to cleaning stuff, but as it is, I don't.

So let's get started. First thing's first, I had to make sure I could fit both baskets side by side next to the buckets. Check!



In the first basket, I put my little vacuum (I don't even have a normal size vacuum actually...) and all it's attachments. That way when the boyfriend (or I) wants to use it, he can just pull out the basket take it with him and have everything he needs. And hopefully he'll feel compelled to put it back in its spot (not yet tested).



In the other basket, I wanted to put all my rags, microfiber cloths, shamwows, etc. All neatly folded so you can see everything and not just have them stacked one on top of the other, I really love this way of organizing!



But then that meant all the actually cleaning products didn't have a home. Not that I have much. All bathroom cleaning products are under the bathroom sink, and laundry stuff in my laundry shelving unit. Basically I store stuff where I use them.. I think that's the best organizing advice I can give anyone!

So all I have here is all-purpose cleaner, CLR (which I actually rarely use and was a hand-me-down from our old roommate but I don't have the heart to throw it out just yet) and shoe protector (cuz I didn't know where else to put it). I threw out the Lysol spray(other hand-me down, and I've never in my life used it). The rest is an empty bottle that I'm keeping for homemade stuff. And my mop head.



So I thought out the box, and noticed that there was a lot of space still on top of those rags. With a little rearranging and an other small basket, I had found my solution: a basket within a basket! Genius, right?



I've got all the small rags and microfiber cloths in that smaller basket on top of the bigger towel-rags and shamwows on the bottom, easily accessible by removing the small basket. And the space I freed up is for my cleaning products.



The shelves in this closet are pretty deep, 16 inches deep, so I've got space for backup/bulk supplies behind the baskets.



And just like that, my cleaning supplies are all organized, easily accessible, and in pretty pretty baskets that make my heart dance when I open that curtain and see them.



I think it is safe to take those tags off now, don't you?

Now what to do about those other shelves, especially the one right above the cleaning supplies shelf, I've gotta do something about that!



Have you found some cute baskets at a discount price lately? Or have you gotten your organization on? I hope I gave you a little motivation for that, and some creative ideas to utilize the space you have to its full potential!

And if you'd like to see it in action, check out this post. I can easily fit 30 hangers on there, if there's more which has happened then it takes longer to dry is all. Thanks for reading, until next time!







I party at these parties.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Laundry Shelves Organization

It's been a long time coming, but now that I finally have my laundry shelving unit (catch up on part 1: the planning and building of the shelves, and part 2: the shelves and all the details) I can finally get my organization ON! Which is what this post is all about!!



You may not know this, but I LOVE organizing. My mind is constantly trying to organize everything for maximum efficiency. It's been so much on my mind lately that I've even been organizing the lab this week! Being the only girl in the lab at the moment (other 2 girls are on vacation), the guys have been laughing at me, but playing along nonetheless :)

I was having a lot of trouble organizing all my linens and putting away big boxes of seasonal decoration before I got these shelves. It's not like I have a lot of linens, I strongly believe in having only the essentials, especially living in a tiny apartment with barely any storage/closet space. But I really wanted a linen closet/space, and I kept seeing the space over my laundry as wasted space and potential for greatness.



My dad is awesome and agreed to help me build these shelves, all of which was covered in part 1, and part 2

So after I finally finished sanding the surface to remove the rough surface the sealer left behind (last step after installing the shelves), the first thing I put up there were my linens.



These are pretty much my extra linens that I don't use very often. Beach towels and extra towels for guests, as well as extra bed linen. I pretty much only have 1 change of bedding and towels for everyday use, but they are else where (keep reading...) because I needed those to be more accessible.

It might not show, but these shelves are not exactly a breeze for me to get to. Sure a normal height person would have no problem, but I'm too vertically challenged at 5' tall. So it's mostly stuff I don't use every other day that go up there.

And some of those bed linens, ok most, need to be returned to our respectively families; I do not know how they got to be in our possession and we have way too many. Though that lavender floral bed sheet did come in handy a few times to photograph some bigger projects...

Next, I had some big boxes I wanted to vacate from other closets, so up top the unit they went. Look at all these big boxes I managed to fit up there! I didn't realized just how much storage potential there would be up there.



I've got a milk crate with some gardening supplies. I think I will need a bigger box than this once the season is over though... The rest of the boxes there are seasonal decor (2 Christmas boxes on the right, there's more obviously... and the other box is Easter + Valentine's + St-Patties). I'll probably be rearranging this space as time goes by, but for now that is what I have.

Also I'm planning on making a cover for the milk crate (crates if I get more), so I can put them more at the forefront, like next to the big basket I got up there, to hide the stuff behind.




After that I didn't know quite what I wanted to do with the rest of the space. I had the baskets in place but wasn't exactly sure what to put in them.



To be honest, I was quite happy with my other closets at the moment. I didn't think I needed to rearrange much, so I just waited and looked for stuff that needed a home.

That's when I realized I needed some place more accessible for my change of bedding and towels, and they ended up in that basket. I also had my gardening bucket lying around all the time by the door to the balcony, so up on the shelf next to the basket it went! Once the season is over I will be putting it up on the top shelf and will have an empty space there. Some bike knick-knacks are also lying around there...



On the bottom shelf to the right I have my other smallest basket (remember from last post that I got these baskets for 80% off?!) which is still empty, an other even smaller basket I found lying around at my parents contains extra kitchen towels, and a for-now empty vase (that I want to put clothepins in but haven't exactly gotten around to it yet). So yeah, definitely room to grow here.



After the first time I did a load of laundry with these new shelves in place, I quickly realized how useful it would be to have my laundry detergent right there! My parents gave me their leftover liquid laundry detergent when they switched to front load machines, which is why I have 2 different ones up there. I've also got other laundry products (Shout and a homemade mix for washing armpit stains that I'm trying out) beside those.



Finally, that little white basket holds my boyfriend's slingshot stuff (marbles and 3 different slingshots). He can reach it there, but I can't, and it needed a better place than the kitchen table.

All in all, I'm really happy with them. But I thought I would be able to move more stuff from our big closet to here. I tried moving cleaning supplies, but they didn't all fit, and I wanted everything together.



This space is still under construction. I plan on making a curtain for the middle shelf to hide and protect the linen. That's also why I wanted baskets for the bottom shelf. It's still in my kitchen, and my boyfriend LOVES stir frying, but that means flying oil everywhere. So I need to make that curtain pronto! I got all the stuff (fabric and stencil-yup I've caught the stencilling bug!), except the rod to hang it. Will definitely update when that's done!

Ok, a few more things I did to this space so far. I've hung a couple of hooks to hang our helmets and keys. Since it's right next to the rear door where we lock up our bikes, these things always ended up on the laundry machine and then fell when the washing machine was spinning. Also, my boyfriend needed somewhere to hang his keys (I help him find his lost keys WAY too often if you ask me; he's gotten better with these hooks but still not always there).



Also you'll notice there's a big gap between the unit and the dryer. Well I've got an extra drying rack there (one which I still use sometimes for pants), tire pump, and charcoal- again stuff that always accumulates near that rear door that I wanted out of sight.



So that pretty much concludes the tour.



It's really amazing the potential it still gives, and I will definitely be rearranging as I see fit. Expect more Laundry Shelving Unit Saga posts in the future!



Thanks for reading, until next time!


I party at these parties.
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