Thursday, January 31, 2013

How Do You Keep Yourself Organized?

How do you keep yourself organized? I write today's post selfishly, hoping readers will take the time to comment and leave some tips. I'll also share some of the ideas and tips I've spotted out on the web for Home and Personal Organization. I seem to be great at tracking down all kinds of helpful tips and tricks, but I have yet to implement any of them or find the best one for me. It's the last day of January, so the organizing theme is still current!


Do you have a planner that works for you? 

I gravitate more towards hand-written notes and reminders, but I tend to lose or forget about my planners when I switch out purses. I've heard wonderful things about Erin Condren planners, but they are out of my price range at $50. But super-cute, right?
Erin Condren Planner

Here's a cheery one from Lilly Pulitzer, just $16:
Lilly Pulitzer Planner

Wall Calendars

Does anyone besides me still use a hanging (paper) wall calendar?

Again, I seem to work better when I write things down, so I still keep a monthly paper wall calendar on the side of our fridge, and this seems to be the only place I keep up with important dates and tasks. It's also kind of fun to look back at the end of the year and see a reminder of all the stuff we crammed into experience in a year. But it doesn't do much for me when we're on the go, does it?

The attractive cousin of the traditional wall calendar is the DIY Wall Calendar:

DIY Wall Calendar

DIY Wall Calendar

Or Framed Dry Erase...
Dry Erase Framed Wall Calendar

Dry Erase Calendar

Family Command Centers

I love this trend. Everything looks so orderly and tidy. The only spot we have to create one is the side of our fridge. No walk-in pantry. No other wall space in the kitchen that isn't "prime time." Here are a few that caught my eye:

Family Command Center

Kitchen Command Center

Family Command Center

Family Command Center

Household Notebooks

I know tons of girls who put together household notebooks and binders. I have all the printables to get started on one. Have I put it together yet? No. Big failure. Writing this post was an epic reminder to get on that!

Household Notebook Printables

Household Notebook

Household Notebook

Household Notebook


Which apps do you use for keeping yourself up-to-date?

I love me a good iPhone app. I love to download them. And then I don't do much with them after that. (Are you sensing a pattern here with follow-through on my part?)

Good Housekeeping at Home

P.D. (male readers, please look away)--this one tracks all your "lady stuff"...very handy

Motivated Moms (Lite--free trial version)--lists daily tasks

I have this one and can't really figure out what it is or how it works.

So, do you have any good tips for me? Any of you use apps to sync between a home computer and your phone? I'm all ears!

Don't forget to bring your party hats tomorrow. Bring your best post of the week...the weekly link party is scheduled to go live at 8 am (ET). Home Decor, Crafts, DIY, Recipes, Tips and Tricks, Party Ideas,'s all welcome. I can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve. Features will be up on Saturday and Sunday, so link up early!

Here's the code for the button in case you'd prefer to use that instead of a text link back:
Weekend Bloggy Reading

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How to Organize and Store Doll Shoes and Accessories (American Girl)

I want to share a quick and super-easy idea to help you organize American Girl doll shoes and accessories! January's not over yet, and I'm still on an organizing kick around here! While I don't spend a lot of time in my girls' room, except to put them to bed, get them dressed in the mornings, and break up fights, they do spend a lot of time in there. One of my "mini missions" has been to create an organized spot in their room so that they can play with their American Girl dolls. Last week, I showed you our new system for storing and displaying doll clothes (the nicer stuff). Today's idea could also easily work for Barbie, Polly Pocket, baby doll items, etc.
Organizing & Storing American Girl Doll Shoes & Accessories, from Serenity Now

When I Pinned this idea from doll diaries onto my Pinterest Boards, I wanted to try it in my own home, but give it a bit of a twist!

I managed to find the very last hanging jewelry organizer at our local Ross store. (Marshalls next door didn't have any!) I believe it was around $12 or $13. Sometimes it's okay to spend a little more to have that peace of mind that doll stuff isn't strewn about the floor, waiting for you to impale your foot in the dead of night as you creep in the room to check on your children....

Oh, wait. Am I the only one who worries about that?

The side of the girls' dresser seemed like the perfect spot to hang the jewelry organizer, as it is right next to their doll clothes trunk and clothesline doll dress display. I grabbed my new bestie, a wire 3M Command Hook, and adhered it directly to the side of the dresser. It made a great place to hang the organizer:
Use a 3M Command Hook to Hang a Jewelry Organizer (for doll stuff), from Serenity Now

The organizer I chose is (yay!) double sided, so I used the back of it to store doll slippers, soft sided shoes, stoles, jewelry, and small accessories. The front holds boots, tennis shoes, mary janes, and slip-on shoes. Some of the tennis shoes and mary janes (from Target's doll line) were too thick to fit in the slots as pairs, so they each got their own slip-in spot. Bags, hats, and purses went to the under-the-bed organizers I set up last year!
How to Keep Doll Accessories Organized, from Serenity Now
Storage Tips & Ideas for American Girl Doll Accessories, from Serenity Now

Kids (my kids, anyways) love to sort things, so I'm hoping Natalie and Michaela Byrd will keep up with this new system. So far, it looks a lot nicer than stashing them in a giant ziploc bag and shoving them under the bed! And I like that it's sort of hidden from view because it's on the side of the dresser.
Organizing Tips for American Girl Doll Clothes and Accessories, from Serenity Now
Tips for how to Organize & Display American Girl Doll Stuff, from Serenity Now

For more American Girl-related posts:

Do you have any tips for storing and organizing toys in your home?

If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, I hope you'll click your Pin It button to add this post to Pinterest, or a +1 to Google+. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Chick Flick Club Picks (Winter)

I miss my Chick Flick Club! Movie tickets are expensive nowadays, so I don't usually head to the theater unless it's a movie I really want to see. I saw Les Miserables in December with a friend, and we both agreed that it was great...with Russell Crowe's lackluster performances being the exception. The winter months are a great time to revive your Chick Flick Club...lots of good chick flicks out to see. Here are a few I've been eyeing (If you're reading this is in a reader or email you'll need to click over to the blog to see the trailers).

Hoping these trailers show up...I was having trouble with embedding yesterday!

Oz the Great and Powerful
Until I read about Sam Raimi's "prequel" to the beloved Wizard of Oz classic, I was very skeptical. I tend to dislike sequels and prequels, but this one looks different. I read that it (like Wizard of Oz) is loosely based on L. Frank Baum's books for children and that Raimi intends it to be a nod to our favorite original film. It follows Oscar Diggs (the Wizard) on his journey from Kansas to Oz. We should see some familiar places (the Emerald City, Munchkinland, the yellow brick road), and I love that the movie begins in black and white and fades into color when Oscar reaches Oz. The trailer sold me:

The Great Gatsby
The girl who earned a degree in English, Speech, and Linguistics still lives inside my brain somewhere, and she is super-psyched about seeing F. Scott Fitzgerald's American masterpiece come to life on the big screen. And, if that's not enough for you, there's Leonardo DiCaprio, people! I don't think he's looked this good since Titanic. Swoon!

Safe Haven
I am realizing as I write this that so far my list includes films based on books. I'm going to be super-honest and tell you that I am not a particular Nicholas Sparks fan. His books and movies all seem to follow a formula. And they make me cry. That's embarrassing.

This formula seems to work for Sparks, so I can't really blame him. If ain't broke, don't fix it. Safe Haven looks like it might be a bit different, so when a friend suggested that we choose it for book club next month and go see the movie together, I agreed that it was a great idea. It's on my Winter Reading List anyways. Trailer? Looks exciting!

Identity Thief
One word: Funny! Jason Bateman always plays a great straight man, and Melissa McCarthy is downright hilarious. "I'm going after Bilbo."

 What do you think? Anything that you've been looking forward to seeing?

If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, I hope you'll click your "Pin It" button to add this post to Pinterest, or a +1 for Google+. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Easy Valentine's Day Wreath (10 Minutes or Less)

I've got a simple holiday craft for you today. I wanted a cute new Valentine's Day Wreath for our front door, but I didn't want to spend a lot of money on supplies. After a quick trip to Dollar Tree, I had the "main ingredient" for my wreath: tinsel. I. love. sparkle. (I am a bit of a magpie.) The store had a whole end-cap with different Valentine themed tinsel garland! I'll show you how to make one on your should take less than 10 minutes.

Simple Valentine's Day Wreath:
Valentine's Day Tinsel Wreath, from Serenity Now

How to Make a Valentine's Day Wreath in 10 Minutes or Less, from Serenity Now

Make a Valentine's Day Wreath with a Tinsel Garland! from Serenity Now

-Wreath Form (styrofoam or natural is fine)
-4 or 5 tinsel garlands
-Coordinating Ribbon


*You may want to spray paint your wreath form beforehand. Mine was already spray painted white to blend with our front door, but the garland covers the form pretty well.*
DIY Valentine's Day Tinsel Wreath Tutorial, from Serenity Now

1. Loop one end of your tinsel garland around the wreath form and tie in a knot. 

2. Wrap the rest of the garland around the form and secure the other end. Repeat with the other garlands until the form is covered. Add another layer of tinsel or hearts on a wire string. 

Your wreath will look like this:
Simple Valentine's Day Tinsel Garland Wreath, from Serenity Now blog

I chose to layer two different ribbons from my holiday stash to hang my wreath:
Layering Ribbon on a Tinsel Wreath, from Serenity Now

If you have a metal door like I do, you can follow my tutorial on how to hang a wreath on a metal door (with ribbon). Super easy, and it works!

And the final look?
Valentine Tinsel Garland Wreath, from Serenity Now
Valentine Tinsel Garland Wreath, from Serenity Now
Valentine Tinsel Garland Wreath, from Serenity Now

Do you decorate for Valentine's Day?

If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, I'd love for you to click your "Pin It" button to add this post to Pinterest, or a +1 for Google+. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

More Highlighted Links--Share Your Best Post!

If you're here to link up to Weekend Bloggy Reading, it's open for new links until 10 pm (ET) tonight. Please share your best post of the week with us...crafts, recipes, home decor, book reviews--all kinds of posts are welcome.

On Saturdays and Sundays, I like to share fabulous projects from the link party with my readers. I add many of these Features to my Pinterest page as well as Facebook, so be sure to link back in your post!

Here are a few links from Weekend Bloggy Reading that caught my eye.

~Open Kitchen Shelving via Domestic Imperfection
Open Kitchen Shelving

~Almond Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting via The Pink Flour
Almond Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

~Inexpensive Sequin Wall Art via LiveLoveDIY
DIY Sequin Wall Art

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Highlighted Weekend Links--Share Your Best Post!

Happy Saturday! Please pop in to link up YOUR best post of the week at my Weekend Bloggy Reading link party. Today's the day to link up because I'm busy rounding up more Features for tomorrow!

All kinds of posts are welcome here: We have recipes, party ideas, room makeovers, crafts, tips and tricks, home decor, fashion advice, and more! The code for the button is near the end of this post, or you can add a text link back to me within your post.

Keep reading to see just a few of the posts that caught my eye so far.

~Valentine's Day Hutch Decorating via Lookie What I Did
Valentine's Day Hutch Decorations

~Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe via Your Home Based Mom
Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe

~Homemade Glitter Chalk Ornaments via The Scrap Shoppe
Homemade Glitter Chalk Valentines

Friday, January 25, 2013

::Weekend Bloggy Reading:: Link Up!

Welcome to my Weekend Bloggy Reading link party. This is the day of the week where bloggers stop by to link up their best post of the week, and readers get to browse tons of fun project ideas. If you're new here, don't forget to "Follow" or subscribe so you don't miss future parties and projects! Please be sure to read my guidelines before you add a link.

This party is a great place to showcase your very best post of the week (home decor, crafts, party ideas, recipes, DIY, etc.) and to see what else is out there.

Here are a few of my faves I spotted around the web this week:
Weekend Features at Serenity Now blog, 1.25.13
sources listed below

~DIY French Vintage Inspired Wire Hamper via Apartment Therapy

~Valentine Wreath via My Blessed Life

~Strawberries and Cream Pound Cake via At the Picket Fence

~Chartreuse Door via DIY Show Off

~And Me? I'd love it if you have a moment to click over. This week featured:

Time to link up your best post of the week!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Man's Best Friend?

They say dogs are a man's best friend, but when I see these two together I'm not so sure....

Of course, Emma knows that this child is more likely to drop food at the table than anyone else in the that could account for some of the goodwill shown here. 

Do you have any "best friends" in your house?

Don't forget to bring your party hats tomorrow. Bring your best post of the week...the weekly link party is scheduled to go live at 8 am (ET). Home Decor, Crafts, DIY, Recipes, Tips and Tricks, Party Ideas,'s all welcome. I can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve. Features will be up on Saturday and Sunday, so link up early!

Here's the code for the button in case you'd prefer to use that instead of a text link back:
Weekend Bloggy Reading

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Valentine's Day Mantel and Vignette Decorating Ideas

Valentine's Day is quickly approaching. While T and I are now classified as an old married couple, we don't do over-the-top, grand gestures on the holiday, but I do like to display fun decorative touches in our home. I  know that many readers (myself included) don't have mantels, so this post is a round-up of Valentine's Mantels and Vignettes. If you don't own a mantel, you can get creative with where you display your seasonal decorations: a sideboard, hutch, media console, side table, or TV armoire (my personal favorite) will do.
23 Valentine's Day Mantel & Vignette Decorating Ideas, at Serenity Now

*Each source is listed below the photo. Please be sure to Pin from the original source.

Colorful Bunting and Shutters

Sidetable Vignette

Love the adorable topiary

A whimsical vignette with fun pinwheels

Feather boa as a garland, mason jar with beads and candle

Yarn "Love" Letters; neat mix of textures here

Barn door and specimen art

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