Friday, January 30, 2009

Scrapbooking or craft room organizing

When trying to organize some of your craft/scrapbooking supplies - think "up". Use the wall space that may be available to you. This is a rail system that Target carries. You mount the slide bar and then add the different accessories to it to make it your own. You can use it for ribbon, stamps, scissors and other supplies.
I saw a ribbon organizer in Archiver's catalog, but they didn't have an online store to go to - otherwise I would have shown you that one. But that was for ribbon only.
Craft rooms can be difficult to organize because there can be so many little items that need storage. I will do several posts on some different ideas that may help you.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I was given a Lemonaide Award!

I have recently received this award from Beth @ Plus Size Mommy. It was so sweet of her to think of me for this award! I just makes my day!

Well, as with any bloggy award there is usually "terms" behind it to pass it along to blogs that you the recipient think are worthy, I have SOOOO many I think are worthy, but here are the ones I am giving this award to at this time.
The ground rules say I’m supposed to award ten (more or less) of my fellow bloggers with this award, so here goes (in no particular order)! Then link the award back to the blogger who gave it to you as a Thank you back to them!

This award happens to be a "Thank You" award.

Thank you for sharing stories about your children, your struggles, your joys, your giveaways, your money saving tips, your special offers and the wonderful things you make and create!

1) Cynthia - Confessions of a Yummy Mummy
2) Jaunita - Frugalicious Mommy
3) Emily & Jenny - Mommin' it Up!
4) Michelle - Her Cup Overfloweth
5) Doreen - Treasured Giveaways
6) Annie - Flyin' Annie
7) Courtney - Sister to Sister Design
8) Jenreg - Eighty MPH Mom
9) Rebecca - The Copper Brick Road
10) Melinda - Look What Mom Found...
11) Kris - Bubele

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Work On It Wednesday

I am going to be starting this weekly blog and you can join along!!
What do you need to work on that you need help with? I know for me I need others to help me, encourage me and motivate me. It helps to be accountable to others to help achieve our goals. Organizing is not only organizing your home and your is also about being disciplined in other areas of your life.
You may have a goal this year of getting organized. It may be to lose weight or to have more prayer time. Exercise and planning meals is a big one too.
I have several actually, but my main one is to lose the rest of my weight.
I started out just over a year ago with Jenny Craig to lose 50#. I got down to 47 pounds just before my year goal (which was Dec. 30th) But then I gave in to all the holiday goodies! Every year I make all kinds of good stuff that my boys kept saying, Mom you are making the buckeyes and 7 layer cookies and toffee right? I did make the buckeyes, but this year tried fudge and (darn it for my diet) it came out great! I also made haystack cookies (love those) and some hard tac candy. The first 3 were my downfall. I haven't been able to get myself back into full losing mode. I gained...gulp...about 6-7 pounds back. Now I am back at a 10 pound mark. The thing that is the worse is that if in only about 3 weeks I gained 7 pounds then how am I going to keep this weight off? I have been thin majority of my life. Even after baby #4 I was only carrying about 15 pounds more than I did in high school. I am 5'10" tall. I gain in my hips. But after my divorce (which in 2000 I got down almost to high school weight and was actually too thin) I accepted my new life (I didn't want the divorce and fought for our marriage for 2 years) and with the Lords help felt real happiness again. That is when I started gaining. I met Dave and was only 10 pounds from where I wanted to be...but just got too happy. We both gained. I ended up over the next 4 years gaining another 30 pounds. I weighted more than when I was pregnant with any of my kids.
Ok...I will show you my "Before" picture. I won't take my "after" picture until I have lost all 50 pounds.
Yuk!! I felt terrible. I was down to only having 2 pair of pants fit me. They were size 14 Lee (which tend to run I was probably size 16 in other styles) and they were tight. I think that is what finally got me in gear to join Jenny Craig. I would try on my own and last only a few days. I would get hold of something sweet and think .."only this one"...and it was like an addiction. That was all it took and I was back off into eating all my goodies. I was bound and determined not to buy the next size pants.
I am back into a size 10 Lee, but still need to get this other 10 pounds off and then maintain!
Follow me on my journey.

What is your journey? Let's work on it together.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Coming Soon!!

I am going to have 2 new buttons done soon. Lindsey is working on them right now! I am going to have "Work on it Wednesday" where you can get support working on what ever you need help with. It may be organizing, losing weight or exercising (or anything else that you need help with.)
The other one is for "Share your Recipe Sunday". Where we can swap recipes with each other.
My problem is that I have to figure out how to put Mr. Linky on my site so that I can have you add your links to your site!
I will be awarding "Sandy's Gem of the Week" award for each of them. It is going to look sooooo cool!!
I will also be looking for guest bloggers for my site. If you have any good ideas of things you would like to share, please e-mail me!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Scissors and Staplers

I think that being organized and having what you need where you need it work together. If you are trying to accomplish a task and need scissors but have to go in search of a pair...time is wasted. There is some office equipment that are considered "staples" to me. Among them are of course pens and pencils, but also scissors, tape and staplers. I have these items in several areas of my home so that they are convenient and "at hand" when I need them....where I need them.
The above picture is my husband's desk.
This is my desk area where I get orders ready.

This is my "mini office" beside my couch where I sit and do most of my work...out in our family room.
This is the top of our "landing zone" when you come in our front door. My husband's spot is to the left, but I have scissors, pens and pencils at hand.

This is on my dryer. I have scissors there to cut strings or tags or what ever may need to be cut.
This is in the kitchen. I have a pair of scissors with my knives. I use them for everything in the kitchen. I actually have a 2nd pair in another part of the kitchen.
This is the kids craft cart. They have their own scissors. Actually Santa brought them scissors, mini stapler and scotch tape and put them in each of their stockings...Did you know that Santa is very organized too? He would have to be wouldn't he?

Just thinking where else I have scissors. I have some in my bathroom. I also have scissors and tape in my basement in my cart for wrapping presents. So they are there when I need them.
Having these items accessible when you need them will save you time and steps.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Share my Recipe Sunday

I am going to be starting a new Sunday post called "Share my Recipe Sunday". This will be a place where we can post our recipes and pick up new recipes. I will have the full instructions out soon (with a cute button being designed by Lindsey Joy) that you will be able to post on your site to also have Share my Recipe Sunday.
If any of you want to add your recipe feel free to go to the link above and look at my instructions.
If any of you want to use the recipe below...please link it back to my site.
I believe finding recipes that are easy and that we can plan for can help us to organize our families and our daily lives.
I will love lower calorie meals (as many of you may also) and things that are fast and easy to make.
This is not a meal...but a dessert. I didn't get a picture of this before my family dug in. I am sure that many of you have had it before. But this is my lower calorie (not low cal....but lower calorie) version of:

Better Than Sex Cake

1 German Choc. cake mix (chocolate cake will also work)
1 can diet pop (almost any will work)
1 can fat free sweetened condensed milk
1 jar hot fudge
1 tub of fat free cool whip
1 bag of toffee bits

Open your box of cake mix and pour into a bowl. Add your 12-16 oz. of diet pop. I used diet cola. and mix until creamy and consistency of regular cake batter. I used put in the 12 oz. but its still a little too thick. I just added little bits until right.
Put into your greased and floured 9x13 pan just like normal and bake according to directions on box.
While warm poke your holes in it and pour on your melted hot fudge (I didn't use a whole jar) and fat free sweetened cond. milk (you don't need the whole can...I have also used caramel topping instead of the sweetened cond. milk too)
Refrigerate until cool. Before serving put on the fat free cool whip and toffee bits. Serve and tell everyone its lower calorie! They won't believe you.

Friday, January 23, 2009

im_goingtext-only Badges
I am very excited to be able to attend Blissdom '09. It is a conference for bloggers!
I am new in the last year to this blogging world and have a lot I want to learn. I saw this conference right at the end of the year and signed up right away. For me to read a book about blogging helps some, but I am more of a hands on ..."this is how you do it" person. So actually having speakers to teach me in person about what is valuable in blogging will be awesome! It is going to be so cool to meet some of these ladies I have gotten to know through their blogs and twitter.
It happens in just 2 weeks...I will be traveling to Nashville with a blogger Ali of Alidotes and I haven't even met her in person yet!!
Can't wait!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Planning your Day

Do you take the time in the morning to plan your day? Do you give yourself at least 10 minutes to look at your daily calendar and make sure you aren't going to miss any appointments?
I know many of you are going to say that your baby is up before you and you don't have the time, or mornings are just "too crazy" to ever think of such a thing.
But if you want to get a good start on the day and not miss things then it is something that should be done.
There is no reason to say that you can't do it the night before..or even on Sunday sometime, plan out your week. Then each day you can add in the little things that pop up and that may save you some time.
1) Have a designated area that you always plan your day.
2) Use a planner or have a pad of paper that you keep in that spot (so you can find it later)
3) List out errands that may need to be run or chores to do.
4) The grocery list can be started here.
5) List what you need to get ready for your dinner.
6) Plan out times if you have to work, when you get home and then what needs to be done, or errands that you have to run on your lunch hour.

Planning ahead will save you time and help you to stop missing the little things (like sending out the electric bill or forgetting to send in snacks for your "Snack Day" at your child's school.)
If this is something that you have never done, then start slow and with a general list. Work from there and add in the little things.
What is rewarding is when you can cross off all the things that you do get accomplished. If there are things you didn't get done (and there almost always is!) then you add those onto the days that you have a little more time.

This is a picture of the list I use. I made it up to fit my needs. It is in my planning notebook at the front. I have done some adjustments to it (and need to adjust the form itself-but have copies made up and want to use them all up first)but it helps me plan my day.
On the right hand column I have "Home". That is where I write if I work that day, if I have laundry, go to post office etc. Below that is my grocery list. I have it done so that I can cut that piece out and take with me to the grocery. (Watch soon on my review site I will be reviewing the Smart is awesome and I won't need this grocery column anymore with that!!)
The left hand column concerns my business. I separate it out to help keep it straight. My organizing business I have separate from my blogging "To do" list ..then I have my pouchees and buttons (I have some exciting plans for my buttons in the next will be seeing them used for organizing!)
Find what works for you. It may be a preset planner, it may just be a blank steno pad that you keep near by. But I think that you will find by using it daily, your days will flow smoother.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Go Graham Go is interviewing me!

Go Graham Go
Felicia from Go Graham Go has posted an interview with me! She is so sweet. Her blog is great, you need to go see it and look at all she has going on!
Thanks Felicia for your encouraging words.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Organizing your Purse

Does this look anything like your purse?

Our purses: Our lifeline to being able to function!! We rely on having what we need when we need it.
Having that bandaide when Alex falls and scrapes his knee at the playground. A tissue when Tim has a runny nose in church, a brush to brush Elise's hair when we are out and a ponytail holder to pull it back.
Our families look at us as being able to solve every problem such as having the gift cards they got from Christmas when they need them and always having a pen and paper to so we can take down a phone number when our husband's are on the phone.
But can you find what you need in your purse when you need it? If you are like most people the answer to that is no. And not a little no...but a big fat....."are you kidding me"..NO!
Here is the content of my purse minus my cell phone (I left by the couch and glasses that I was just pretend there are 2 more things laying on the table.

There is a lot of stuff there! But I use almost everything at different times. Being an organizer I hate not being prepared.
Finding the right purse to start with is one of the big keys. I have to say that I am more into function and price than I am into style and name brand. I look for a purse that has several pockets. I like the outside pockets, and several compartments inside to keep things separated.
The pouchee has made keeping my purse organized sooooo much nicer!! I have my main items that I need in there. My checkbooks, glasses, cell phone, money, credit cards, pen, and keys. So I can changes purses easily if I want to or I can just grab that and go if I want to run into a store and not carry my entire purse.
(Thank you Anita Crook for inventing it!!)
I have also just recently discovered the card cubby. It is the hot pink item. I am actually having a giveaway on it right now on my Organize with Sandy Review site. You can win one!! It has all my gift cards and discount cards in it along with my business cards.
The other thing that I also discovered that I really love is the Fumi pursehook. It is the bracelet that looks like a zebra. Love it. I used it for real when I went to a movie the other night and there was no hook on the stall. I had it hooked to the handle of my purse instead of wearing it that night and just took it off and hung my purse on the door. Also having a giveaway right now on my Review site.
(Keep in mind that if I didn't really like these 3 products and plan on continuing to use them after these contests...I wouldn't be mentioning them right now.)
The reason I want you to find a purse with different pockets is so that you can separate your items to make it easier to find when you need them. This is how I have mine organized.
(Left) This is one of the zipper sections (not the main compartment). I have my camera, PDA and spelling directory in this pocket.

The right zipper section I have a little bag that I put all the bandaides etc. in. (not shown)
This is the end pocket where I keep my lipstick, brush, hand lotion and chap stick. It makes it very easy to grab my lipstick at hunting around.
In this pocket I have gum and a notepad that has a pad of sticky notes and little colored tabs to mark things in magazines etc.
The main compartment of my purse has my pouchee and the card cubby (left) It is hard to see but I also have 2 pockets inside the purse that I have my little pink multi-tool that I use mainly for the scissors. Also on the strap I keep my new Fumi pursehook and my antibacterial hand gel.
Purse is put back together quickly and with just a little pain (it was very hard for me to just dump everything in the main compartment for my top picture! LOL
Keeping your purse organized will make doing your errand much easier when it comes time to check out at a store. Have fun organizing!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Shelves and Bins

The new year is underway and many of us are in our "I am going to get this house under control" mode. Going through our houses (or even one room that needs done) will end up with items that we do not want to donate or throw away. There might be clothes that the younger child can wear next year, or the cheer leading outfit that will still fit next year but it doesn't need to take up space in the closet until next fall. What ever it is, it needs some form of storage.

I believe very strongly in clear storage bins if at all possible. Can you tell me which bin the box of Ritz crackers is in? was in both, but you didn't know it on the green ones did you? Point made. I love the colored CLEAR bins especially for holiday storage. The colors stands out immediately when you look at your shelf, but you can still can get a general idea of what is inside.

The other very important thing you need to do which takes a few extra minutes initially but will save you time in the future is to label all your bins with what is inside. You don't need necessary need to put down every little thing but get the big things and a general idea so that a year from now you can take a quick glance at the bin at the label to know what is in it. You can use sticky address labels. You do not have to have anything fancy. Then if you change what goes in that bin next season it is easy to peel off or just use another one on top of it.
Now that you have your bins full, you need to put them somewhere. The basement, garage or attic work great. There are many different styles and prices of shelves you can buy. I prefer the heavy duty plastic shelves. They have pieces that fit together easily without screws or nails. Be careful to purchase good ones though. If you buy plastic that is too cheap, it will not hold the bins well and may break. I do not care for the metal ones that may be cheaper for several reasons. They are a pain to put together, they tend to rust, they aren't very sturdy and the shelves dent. (Now there are metal ones with boards for support that are usually over $100 per shelf. That is not what I am talking about here...those are commercial grade and are very nice)

Decide how many shelves you have space for. You will need to measure your space. - width and height. (There may be pipes in basement or low ceiling that you need to account for). Next measure the bins you have. You need to make sure that you have shelves that are tall enough in between shelves for your bins. You also want to be able to get at least 2 bins across on a shelf. So measure the distance with the lids on the bins of 2 across to make sure your shelf will be wide enough.
If you have the shelves first...then measure those before going to buy your bins and buy your bins according to your available space.
MEASURING your shelves and bins and space is an important factor here. If you just go on "I thinks" then you will end up with shelves that don't fit the space, bins that don't fit the shelves and over all wasted space and wasted money.
Plan ahead and get the most out of your space and money for your storage. You will be glad you did.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

FUMI PurseHook Review and Giveaway

You need to go to my review site and check out this great invention!! It is actually a purse hook that you can wear as a bracelet. To see the whole review and have a chance to win it go to Organize with Sandy Reviews

Blog Awards are just the coolest aren't they?

I have been given this award again. This one is from Victoria of Life Starring Ellie and Eve .
I also wanted to thank Ali of Alidotes . She gave it back to me right after I sent it to her! So I didn't post it, but I do want to give her credit for her kindness. Please go see their blogs...they are great!!

Let me see, addictions....(I am not looking back to see what I wrote before! LOL)
1) Husband Dave!
2) Family
3) Chocolate
4) Blogging and Twitter
5) Organizing

The other requirement of this one that Victoria of Life Starring Ellie and Eve is to pass it on to 5 other people!

1) Aimee - Kayleighanne Freeman - who have a blog all about their daughter and the journey they have been on in dealing with a 1 pound preemie.
2) Melissa - Consumer Queen with her blog about getting some great deals. I also enjoy talking to her on twitter!
3) Joanna - Now with Baby has a really cute blog!
4) Angie - Angies Piggybank has started a new blog about saving money!
5) Natasha - The Soothie Ranch has a very cute site that features her son.

Thank you both so much!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bathroom storage solution

Do you ever wonder what to do with all the little things that us woman need monthly next to the toilet? Well...this is a wonderful solution!!
I have been using this for several years. I have seen it advertised for between washers and dryers (which is also a great idea!), but this is how I have used it. It fits into a pretty slim space.
I use the top for all my "girly" things..and the bottom storage drawer I turned into a trash can. I use a plastic bag to line simple!! Everything I need is right where I need it when I need it.
If you have to share a bathroom with the rest of family or it is the main one in the house that guest would can use contact paper inside the clear lid and keeping the lid closed would hide what is in there.
If you don't need the bottom for a trash can, then you can use that for your supplies and the top could be for extra rolls of toilet paper or even magazines. There can be many uses!

Ok..I had several people ask me where to get this. I had to eat my shoe as I realized I couldn't find it anywhere! (If anyone knows where the one above is, please pass on the information. I bought mine several years back and really had no idea that they weren't around anymore. I had one of my fellow NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) member give me the link to this one at the Container Store. The cost is $69.00 (which is much more than I would have ever paid for it.) I will keep looking though and if I find something else, I will post it.
Thank you readers for letting me know my errors.
I have had another NAPO member tell me that she has seen them at Home Depot and Lowe's in the appliance section. She didn't find them on the web site though. So if you are interested, that would be another place to try. I know I will.

Monday, January 12, 2009

This Blog Measures Up Award!!

Annie, gave me this great blog award today! It was sooooo sweet of her to think of me! Thank you Annie for the award!!

Here are the rules that go along with this award:

1.Say one nice thing to a man in your life.

Saying only one thing about my husband Dave is really difficult. He is a WONDERFUL
husband and father. He supports me in every way and makes me smile anytime I see him! I can't even express how much I love him!

2.List at least 6 ways you measure success in your life (or your blog).

1. Being the best wife I can be.
2. Being the best mom I can be.
3. Being disciplined in my job, home and spiritual life and physical.
4. See others learning from me as a professional and mother.
5. Being able to help out financially to our family.
6. Feeling truly happy inside and showing it on the outside

3. Assign 5 other blogs.

1. Victoria - being a new twitter friend and a really cute blog
2. Trisha - For using a blog to bring moms together
3. Sarah - For coming up with all kinds of cute activities for kids.
4. Deni - For having a beautiful blog about her preemie baby and referencing many other blogs of preemies that kept me reading for hours.
5. Nicole - For being a young mom of twins that seems to have a wonderful attitude and had me reading all about her adventures as a mom.