Organizing with Martha Stewart Labels

I have been on an organizing kick lately. It's been sparked by the numerous things my kids acquire and/or need as they get older. Whether it be toys, saving clothes for my younger daughter, or my craft supplies accumulating the more birthday parties we have. Recently I bought a Martha Stewart organizing magazine (I rarely buy these types of magazines, but I was in the mood), which had some great little tips in it. Of course it was pumped all of the numerous Martha products, but I didn't mind, because as much I don't want to, I usually love her products over others that are similar.

Lately, I have been struggling with what to do with some of my older daughter's pictures she has drawn or painted (My one year old has yet to successful not try to eat the crayon). I am not one to keep every single little thing, but I do want to look back and remember those times when girls drew me a picture or started drawing actual figures, versus scribble. I saw this idea in the Martha magazine and think it's a great solution that can grow as the girls get older. I went to The Container Store and bought simple white shipping tubes as well as the wire basket. Then I bought the Martha Stewart Chalkboard labels from Staples. They feel more like vinyl, but they really do erase easily...I should know. I erased them numerous times with my poor penmanship!

What I love most about this little project - simple!!! Check out all of Martha's other labels available at Staples too. I bought some of the kraft and white paper ones as well that I am looking forward to using. And aside from the chalkboard labels, most of them you should be able to run through your printer. Bonus!


Hello and Birthday Wishes

It's been, yet again, a long while since I have been blogging. There is something about having little babies, that brings blogging to the sidelines for me. But now my second baby girl just turned one and a little bit of my sanity is returning. There is something to be said for a full nights sleep!

I have planned a few parties since I last posted and wished I had shared them, but here is the latest. My daughter Elise turned one at the beginning of the month and I wanted to make sure I gave her a special first birthday just as I did for her big sister, Vivienne. I am a second child as well, so I know how it goes...

I went with a spring theme with a lamb for the invitation and then took everything else from there. The week prior, a few of us planned a fundraiser for our dear friend battling cancer and I was in charge of the decorations. It was a large undertaking, but something I would do again in a heartbeat. God willing, I never have too. That said, I learned to knit myself a few months ago, and summoned all the knitters I could to help knit all these wonderful sweater vases (idea from Design Sponge) in neutral shades and various patterns. I also had a work party to help make all of tissue flowers to fill the vases. They are super cheap and easy! In smaller quantities of course and not 100+! All of the generous friends and family who contributed were monumental! Given that was the week before Elise's party, I made a few of the leftover vases and flowers do double duty since I was short on time (and energy). Thankfully the color scheme worked for both parties! To round out the rest of the decorations, I did the staple balloon bouquets, made a coordinating garland and party hat.

I pretty much started to really think about the party about five days before hand. Uggh! Thanks to Garnishes fast deliver and reliable and tasteful party garnishes, it was manageable to pull off. I made Barefoot Contessa's chocolate chop cookie dough (always a pleaser) froze the dough in balls and then put them in these Garnish containers with a printed label and ribbon for favors. Then the rest of the menu was a simple salmon salad with ciabatta rolls, sesame snap peas, fruit salad in Garnish soup cups and labels, and last, but certainly not least, Top Pot Donuts. It was all delicious, but there was a snafu with the salad...peppercorns were accidentally used instead of capers. Not all was lost, there was just an extra "bite" to the salad.

This year, I was relieved of the cake duty - yahoo! I have to admit, I am willing to tackle most things myself, but cake decorating is very daunting to me. One of my husband's, good friends has been starting to make wonderful pastries and beautifully decorated cakes. He was gracious enough to make a delicious carrot cake that was SO perfect! He took the invite and made it in to a cake!

It's always wonderful to have your closest friends and family there to celebrate your child's birthday. And no matter how much detail you put into a party, it's the warmth of having everyone gathered that makes the day special. I think that is why I always want to put so much effort in to each event. I want the surroundings to match the appreciation I feel to each and every person attending and sharing their love. With that, I look forward to posting and sharing some more ideas!