Monday, September 29, 2014

Space: Kitchen Cabinets & Drawers

Seems like the Bathroom organization was a popular topic, so here's a little peek into the kitchen.  As with my bathroom, I have half size drawers from before and a few less cabinets.  I realize this isn't NYC, and the amount of cabinets I have is still plenty, but it is a downsize from before.  I had to pull everything out of boxes and start over with sorting and figuring out my new space.  Here's a few tricks for maximizing smaller spaces...

My drawers.  They are 9" across, and the hunt was on to find a silverware organizer that would fit in a 9" drawer and hold 2 types of forks, 2 types of spoons, knives and serving utensils. I finally found it at Walmart and squeezed it in.  In other places, I've used this for my silverware and it was all sorted and spaced out...

Now, however this is the largest drawer I have so I filled this up with utensils and tools I use most often.  All of my tea/tablespoons, knives, graters/peelers, tongs and openers.  Yes, a couple of those are antler horn handles.  And, if you have been around here a while, you know my favorite color is green.  That big chef knife in the front, brand is AR+Cook, found at Marshall's and they are great, inexpensive, knives! 

Other drawers I have are for bags/wrap and utensils that don't fit in the drawer above.  The back of this has a few extras, same bins I use in my bathroom drawers to hold things I don't use as often, but keeps them from being in a heap that I have to ruffle through every time. 


Cabinet storage was tricky and I now have my Wilton Armetele collection on display vs stacked in a cabinet, simply due to space. 

Dishes are all stacked in one cabinet, directly across from the dishwasher for easy unloading.  Place setting for 12 with 3 sizes of places, dipper bowls, cereal bowls and coffee cups.  I also have dessert plates and few colored extra bowls here with my dishes. 

Since I am tall, I appreciate cabinets that go as high as possible.  I would definitely put 42" cabinets in a house I designed.  And, a 3rd rack in a closet but that is a separate topic....
Back to the kitchen, I have a couple of wire baskets that I can see through, holding various tools I don't use everyday, stashed on my top shelves. 

For pans, they are stacked, but utilize extra add-in shelves for space and to separate lids, pan size, etc.  These shelves are sold everywhere from the Dollar Store ($) to the Container Store ($$$$) and vary in size, allowing you to easily create additional shelf space and give you quick access to things you need/use on a regular basis without always having to dig through a big stack. 
Finally, the ever popular plastic storage containers that can easily over take a cabinet(S) and said cabinets eat lids.  I separate my square storage and round storage in these 2 stacking baskets.  I realize this is a "small" collection compared to lots of people, but reality is you don't use up all those containers, some don't even have lids, some the lids are microwave warped, and some just need to be tossed.  Make it a kid project and have them help you sort/separate and organize a reasonable amount of reusable containers.  Don't let them overtake your kitchen. 
Final tip....I hardly ever fill the sink with dishwater and wash a whole sink full of dishes.  Though I used to have previously discussed my dishwasher sorting (read: OCD). I typically wash along the way as I'm cooking/baking and use a re-fillable soap sponge.  However, the green tipped ones get so yucky because stuff sticks to them.  Enter the Scotch Brite Easy Clean non-stick really does work and if you do dishes with one of these types of sponges, get rid of the green and yellow one and get this purple one!  I promise you'll be glad you did! 

The arrangement of your cabinets and drawers isn't the same for everyone.  How you use your space is unique to you.  However, finding a system that works where things you reach for regularly are accessible, a drawer/cabinet doesn't explode out onto the floor when you open it and you can quickly put dishes/pans and utensils away will make your kitchen a less stressful place. 

Happy Cooking,

Saturday, September 27, 2014

What I'm Wearing 09.26.14

In case you need some inspiration for your closet, my hope is that I can give you some ideas from what I'm wearing. What fits you doesn't always fit me. What fits me, doesn't always fit you. So, we all know the style of jeans that work best for us, the brands of shoes we love, etc. I'm not a "linker" to buy all of these outfits here. Truth be told, a lot of my clothes are many many years old and I pick up things all around the place. I'm don't update my wardrobe every season with the latest and greatest. I don't have Pinterest, so these are just my daily creations. Hopefully you're just inspired, maybe by something you have and didn't think about putting it together or maybe you are just looking for a simple accessory to add in and these posts can give you some ideas.

It's already the 5th week of school!  One more week and we are 1/3 through this semester and 3 of my classes will be over!  Time flies!

Monday...little on the wild side.  A way old Old Navy snakeskin dress and the booties are back again.  Hard to tell the colors, but both the dress and the booties are a "griege"-ish color, so worked as a change from regular heels with a dress which is my norm. 

Tuesday - Navy Out!  District Volleyball Home Opener!  We have previously discussed my love for wide leg jeans, and they will continue to show up.  Little leopard skinny belt and new Octagon Hoops from Noonday that arrived the day before in the mail. 
(PS...I'm an Ambassador for Noonday Collection, so if you see something you like, let me know!)

So, remember, last week I was shamed for not dressing up...this week was 80's day!  I don't think I've had a side pony-tail since the first day of school one year in elementary (probably 4th or 5th grade) and I can remember standing in Walmart shopping for school supplies after school and my head hurting so bad from that pony-tail.   
The other thing to note about this outfit is this vest, which I found on clearance rack and thought was so cute and cheap "moto trend" addition, which I guess has come back around b/c these were also all over the Google images for 80's wear, right beside all forms of high-cut leotards, colored tights and leg warmers.  Long live the 80's! 

Thursday, wearing a fun necklace I received from a friend for my birthday this year!  And, these Palazzo pants, which have now become a trend.  I found these in a local boutique a couple of years ago and bought them simply because they were long and "something different". Who knew palazzo pants would  take off and show up everywhere.  Though I think "joggers" or fancy track pants are vying for a take-over.  I always have a cardigan on hand and it's usually on by 2nd period because I'm cold.  #oldlady
And, it's Friday!  Yes!!  And, a weekend w/ little to nothing planned which I am looking forward to!! Friday is Spirit day, so jeans and T''s add in was camo flats. I often get asked about my blue stackable rings, never knew how much I would wear them, but it's usually 2 or 3 times a week.  The blue ones are from Brighton and the others are Pandora and some random gold collection found who knows where along the way! :) Oh, and that is my school hoodie which also usually makes an appearance by 2nd period on t-shirt days.
Here's the week in review...long live the 80's!  :)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Link Up: Friday Favs

 Linking up for Friday favs...with Andrea, Erica & Narci
First I want to say Hi to new readers from the link up.  Loved getting comments from you last week and I hope your Target stocked the cheetah looking running tights! 
Happy Friday to you!  Here's a few of my favorites this week...
Monday night I went to a  favorite things party to kick off our Women's Discipleship Group at church. It was so fun to see various things that are people's favorites.  I had to take a dessert, and I took a signature recipe from the 4G (what I call my parents place) of Cheesecake Bars which is perfect for Monday night because it's best when made ahead.  My gift to trade was these cute foil notebooks from Target, they come in several designs.  I added a metallic pen (by Pentel which apparently only Hobby Lobby sells) with each journal. 
And, here's a picture from the party.  My cheesecake bars are top left pic on square platter alongside lots of other goodies.   And, I'm in the bottom left pic, sporting my Nike tempo shorts + hoodie uniform which is no surprise on an evening after a work day.  Ha!
Thank you to our Women's Minister for posting this pic
Speaking of work days, last week I mentioned about compression socks when running.  I first bought compression socks when I traveled full time and spent my days on my feet working trade shows. Sometimes when I would get back to my hotel my feet and legs were so tired. I packed these in my suitcase before I left and wore them lots of nights.  And, while flipping through a magazine (which is another one of my favorite things) recently I saw a note on "feel good socks".  These are some kind of fancy socks they featured, (read: which are 3 or 4 times the price of Dr. Scholl's), but Dr. Scholl's will do the trick.  If you haven't tried compression socks, hit up your Walmart or Target and give them a try.  I still put them some nights/evenings after teaching and being on my feet all day. I realize this might qualify me as old-lady-status, but seriously, give them a try!
I also mentioned about new Buffalo Check shirt my friend picked up for me last week.  This week I picked up some buffalo check for my little friend, though I'm not sure he's as happy about it as I was.  But, for $3, we'll take it!! And, he will be the cutest dog on the block when the cooler weather comes!  Thank you Target $1 bins!
After the summer of mornings sitting at my kitchen bar reading my Bible, a couple of books and doing a Bible Study I have really made an effort to continue that time with the start of school. I typically spend about 45 minutes every morning in study. This has become my favorite time of day. You may not be a "morning person", but I believe you can learn to enjoy this time. It doesn't require talking to anyone, except God, and it's like a workout, you'll never regret doing it. Here's my current line-up...
- Jesus Today - If you need a change from Jesus Calling, this is also by Sarah Young, if you have no idea what to read or how to start, pick up Jesus Calling from just about any retailer around including the grocery store.
- The Best Yes - by Lysa Terkeurst - current read from my books list and lots of insight on making decisions, which I've previously blogged about here and here.
- My Bible - I read from the ESV typically, but usually have my phone handy where I have Bible Gateway installed and I will look up different versions of verses for variation and also check the verse of the day.
- 90 Days with Jesus - by Beth Moore - This is my current study I'm going through. Just finished studying several of miracles of healing Jesus performed. We all have wounds and struggles and need healing, he is the ultimate physician. He doesn't take away the scars, but allows us to live with them and they are part of our story. 


Last thing for this week, my new Texas baseball cap! I  love a baseball cap, especially on days I'm running errands or days I really should have washed my hair.  Unfortunately this isn't acceptable dress code for school (see previous what I'm wearing posts to inspire your closet), but immediately after school when your hair was in a side ponytail for 80's day, this is perfection. (click here for this week's What I'm Wearing including 80's day) The hat is by Judith March and I got it from Southern Trends.  I've shopped her boutique before and was a stalker to find this hat. Thank you to the sweet people at Judith March who told me  places that would be stocking this when orders shipped out, I got on a wait list (almost 2 months ago) and Meagan at Southern Trends told me the remaining hats were sold out in 2 hours when they arrived this week.  BUT, she has other cute Texas hats on her site...check them out here.  Sorry, I'm no big time blogger w/ discount codes, but she posts codes a lot on Instagram, so follow her there!  :)
Oh, and this quote, it's a Primitives by Kathy sign, which is one of my favorites for black and white signs. I have a gallery wall of them but snapped this pic the other day to remember this particular sign and saying.

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Have a great weekend with no regrets!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Story: Replacing the what ifs...

I am fortunate to have always had friendships with women of all ages, ranging in age from several years younger to several years older than me.  Each one of those has taught me great things through various seasons, like being 15 and hanging out with girls who were in college, or being 13 and babysitting for a young mom and wife, or being 23 and living with someone who graciously shared her home with me while I was in transition of jobs, or being 38 and sitting on a back porch over a glass of wine and being encouraged by a friend a few years older.  I am also very blessed that they are people pray for me.  One of my greatest champions is my Mom, in both a role model and is in regular prayer for me. 

Yesterday I sat in a gathering of women from my church, ranging in all ages and stages of life.  The older women responding to questions and imparting wisdom of their lives into the younger. A priceless investment into lives of women who are willing to receive that wisdom and encouragement to persevere in days, weeks and seasons of life. 

I just sat and listened.

There are a few circumstances in my life right now that I find myself in a thought pattern of "what if", logistical planning and trying to work out how all scenarios could play out.  They could be great changes, or leave me just as I am, or lead me into an unknown.  I know the end result of my "what ifs" is nothing but continual spinning in my mind.  But, even knowing that I still do it. 

I felt very clearly the Lord speaking to me to let those circumstances go.   

Let. them. go. 

I need to put my trust in the Lord, and let my faith carry me that He will work those things out.  Timing is out of my control. Decision making is out of my control.  End results are out of my control. But, I want control.  I want to put the pieces together.  I want to know what the writing of the next chapter will look like. 

Most days I read from Jesus Today as part of my morning reading/study time, and sometimes also read Jesus Calling, My Mom typically reads Jesus Calling daily. There are some days she will text me about it and I will read it that day as well.  Recently, (Sept 17th if you have Jesus Calling) the days words spoke so clearly to me.  attempting to control what will happen...peace illudes...unexpected pops up...figuring out is beyond my capability...commit it all to His care.  Just the reminder I needed.  Looking back those words were leading me to the point of letting these things go.  (see also 1st Peter 5:6-7, Proverbs 16:9 and Psalm 37:5)  

The only thing that matters in any of those circumstances is that I would trust He knows what is best for me and that my faith would increase, not my words, conversations, concern, worry, or planning.  So, I need to be silent on those things, I don't need any one else's opinion, I just need to sit back, and let the cards fall as they will. 

This doesn't mean I don't have hope.  I have immense hope. 

While at the same time those things are being called out of me to give up, some new things are being given to me to speak to.  Areas that I have been silent about for months, that I have prayed for right timing/right circumstance to arise have come to be.   These are the things I need to put my energy to.  They specifically use my gifts, they are at an appointed time and have been confirmed by people who didn't even know they were doing so. 

So, while I am in a season of "waiting" for some things to come to be, there is a season of "right now" that needs to be my focus.  I am thankful for people who have specifically poured into me for such a time as this.  For encouragement both in letting some things go and running hard after other things. 

The things for each of us are different.  The race, the timing and the circumstances are unique to each of us.  If we were all on the same course, it would be so mundane.  Fortunately, there are those who have gone before us and those who are coming along beside us, and those coming up behind us -- it takes all of these groups for us to run our race, for the pieces of the puzzle to fit together. 

So, whatever it is is that weighs you down, keeps you spinning with endless answers...maybe you're being asked to surrender it.  Let it go and trust with great faith and great hope in how it will all turn out.  And, on the flip side, put your energy into the thing that you have been called to do, right now with great intention! 

I have seen it work out before, and I know it will again, the pieces of the puzzle come together without us even realizing it. 

via Magnolia Letter Arts

Ultimately in all circumstances, God will get the glory, not (wo)man.  For we were just waiting with hope to see how He works it out, focusing on what we were called to do, not spinning without purpose in a web of uncertainty. 


Saturday, September 20, 2014

What I'm Wearing 09.19.14

In case you need some inspiration for your closet, my hope is that I can give you some ideas from what I'm wearing. What fits you doesn't always fit me. What fits me, doesn't always fit you. So, we all know the style of jeans that work best for us, the brands of shoes we love, etc. I'm not a "linker" to buy all of these outfits here. Truth be told, a lot of my clothes are many many years old and I pick up things all around the place. I'm don't update my wardrobe every season with the latest and greatest. I don't have Pinterest, so these are just my daily creations. Hopefully you're just inspired, maybe by something you have and didn't think about putting it together or maybe you are just looking for a simple accessory to add in and these posts can give you some ideas.

Monday...was a 13 hour day with only a quick run home to let the dog out and maybe pick up a $5 Hot and Ready pizza on the way back to work for a couple of hours before Open House.  At the end of this day...all my words were used up!!  Hard to see, but these are actually navy pants with a tiny pinstripe. 

These pants look a little mustard, but they are just a real great putrid green color.  One of my favorite shades of green!  Finally wore the new leopard heels and navy gingham boyfriend (read: bought in the men's department for lots cheaper than the women's dept) shirt.

Wednesday is Spirit Day and this day was Tacky Tourist Day.  I was shamed for not dressing up, but I couldn't come up with it. I told my Principal "I don't travel tacky", though some may consider cowboy boots, leggings and long hoodie tacky travel wear, that's also not dress code approved, so I just went for a normal work day look. It also monsoon rained this day leaving school. 

Thursday Navy Out!  First Pep Rally of 2014 and that's my Department Chair working hard as Mr. T!  Cowboy boots today for the Spirit day and a floral belt. 

Friday! Spirit Day!  Wearing Noonday Cow Horn Hoops and first school day for the booties.  It is September after all.  Time to break out fall shoes!

The week in review.  Didn't realize until I did this I wore two navy shirts in a row, I usually try to rotate between crimson, navy and white!  Oh well...

Happy closet shopping,

Friday, September 19, 2014

Link Up: Friday Favs for cooler weather!

Linking up for Friday favs...with Andrea, Erica & Narci
Last weekend was the first hint of Fall, a few of my fall favorites all made an appearance...

Friday night -- I love a rainy night!  I had dinner with a sweet friend and family, then a trip to Target, in search of new fall creamers (found!) and pumpkin oreos (not found!).  I love family dinners, it's one of the blessings of being single and one of the places you really get to know people.  I really want some Hunter rain boots, but just haven't been able to bite that bullet for now the Academy specials are still working out.  
First thing Saturday morning, I made a cup of coffee with new creamer!  I love finding new creamers, this one was delicious and the Pumpkin Spice from International Delight is as well!
I also found couple of nail polishes for fall on Friday night whilst walking, talking and browsing Target with my school bestie...Left: Bahama Mama and Right: Dressed to Kilt.  I tried out Bahama Mama and it is much darker color than the purple it looks in the bottle.  I'm definitely a fan! 

Change in the weather means a change in the uniform, so traded in my Nike tempo shorts for leggings while running errands Saturday.  This was the first day "feels like" was less than the "real" temp!  These leggings are a fun change of pace from solid black ones I about wore out last year!

I've mentioned before I love browsing TJ Maxx, Marshall's and Ross for great deals. Found this subtly fancy workout top and tried it out on my jog. It wasn't near as cool on my jog, but this top passed the non-chaffing test, so for $16.99 it's a definite win! And, I keep seeing/reading about compression socks, so even though this looks like a runner outfit ca. 1970, I did like the taller socks/support. 
Saturday night...on the town.  A band playing outside on the patio, breeze, good friends, two-stepping...perfect night.  My favorite in transition is long sleeves and shorts and I couldn't wait to wear this new buffalo check, but it's been SO hot! Best part about this shirt is my school bestie texted me a pic of it and said "$12.99 want it?".  YES!!  Best deal ever...from Ross!  I've hunted high and low for buffalo check, and thankfully my friend had her eye out for me too!  First outing for a pair of booties on this night too!
Who doesn't wish for an endless weekend every now and then??  This is one of Bath and Body Work's signature scents and I have been looking for new everyday perfume, having had several failed attempts.  But, this one...I am liking more and more every day I wear it!   
And, just when the weekend is coming to a close and the 90-degree temps show back up on the forecast I lit up my B&BW Pumpkin Pecan Waffles candle and soaked up a little more of the fall weekend spirit!  Other fun kitchen adds for fall are dishtowels from Dollar Bins at Target and kitchen soap from B&BW too.  Bath and Body Works currently has lots of pumpkin scents, and after smelling all of them I wished I had a pumpkin pie or pumpkin roll at home to snack on!!
Thank you for reading...keep up on Facebook or click link for Bloglovin to connect with me! 

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wisdom vs. Courage - Part 2

Couple of weeks back I wrote on wisdom, as inspired by this quote: 

But, then I've been thinking about courage. 

I've talked about courage a little before, a lesson I learned at a very young age, literally when I fell off my horse (actually I was certainly "thrown" when he unexpectedly hopped over a little water I didn't see) and my Dad made me get back on.  That lesson was defining.  I would have walked all the way back from that point out in a pasture on a 1000+ acre ranch, but instead I had to get back on and ride.  And, despite being SURE my arm or something was broken, I was fully in tact and had no lasting injury from that fall. 

So, John Wayne's definition of courage has stuck with me...
"Courage is being scare to death, but saddling up anyway."

Now, I've passed that lesson on...having helped my nephew when he was scared riding, and literally telling him to hang on and then telling him to let go and I would catch him to get off the horse. 

He had to know I would catch him. He had to trust me.    Wisdom + Courage
Isn't that our biggest fear?  That when we fall, no one will catch us? 

When did we start believing we have to have it all figured out, have to be the master of all situations, resulting into crazy cycle of worry, and that's what we end up hanging on to with all of our energy??

Pride.  Our pride.  That's what gets in the way.  We want control and our plan is better. 

When you have wisdom (as Biblically described) that is pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy, full of good fruits, impartial and sincere then you can let go of the worry and hold on to the hope that is the anchor for the soul. 

And, when the uncertainty/worry sets in, we can WISELY let go and COURAGEOUSLY cling to the Word that will always sustain us despite the circumstance we find ourselves in. 

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
Isaiah 26:3

So, just one time.  Instead of having it all figured out and holding onto your own plans...try something different, swallow your pride, do it a new way...rely on the wisdom you have gained, cling to the truth of Jesus (He will never leave us nor forsake us) and go forward courageously into whatever life brings!

Fall seven times. Get up eight. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Style

I love Sundays. 

I'm usually still up relatively early, thanks to a little white furry dog, who likes to greet the day, and his calendar doesn't distinguish between week day vs. weekend....So, I usually hit the grocery store between 7am - 8am.  If you've never grocery shopped on Sunday mornings, you should give it a try.  No one is there and it's acceptable to be dressed one step up from pajamas while you do your shopping. There's no lines at the checkouts and shelves are pretty stacked, or the stockers are filling them while I'm there.  Then home and ready for church.

As I posted my Sunday Style pic this week on Facebook (click to like and keep up with new blog posts) I was reflecting on the beginning of a new season.  We have pretty much bid farewell to summer, school is back in session, it was actually a little chilly on Saturday night and routines are re-established.  So, is church a part of your routine? 

Are you looking for a church?  Don't know where to go?  Don't know anyone there?  Don't know about church?  Think  you should be in church, but aren't? 

No matter the case, church is always open to you.  I love my church, Bayou City Fellowship.  It's a community of people from all ages and walks of life about one thing: Jesus.  It's not about a ton of programs, a lot of production on Sunday mornings, or making anyone's name known aside from the name of Jesus.  I would love for you to visit if you're looking for a place!  I promise you will leave with a knowledge of the grace and mercy of Jesus!

So, back to Sunday Style...I love dresses and have quite a few in my closet.  So, this summer while mostly living in my uniform, I decided I would always dress up a little more on Sunday.  Before you think you have to "dress up" for BCF, be assured, come as you are is appropriate.  From very casual to hipster to classic to formal to everything in between, clothes aren't a "thing" at BCF. 

Here's a few of my Sundays....most dresses are from Target, they have great deals on the sale racks there and I just pick them up when I catch them 50% or below.  Some are several years old...

white + gray + gold...i love mixed metals

this will definitely be a repeat with a cardigan for cooler weather

basic black dress, flip flops to heels...anything goes!

two separate friends gave me birthday gifts that turned out like a set! fun color add to gray.  this dress is so old, i don't even remember.  it will also re-appear in cooler weather with a cardigan.

Haha - look who snuck in front of the mirror -- he likes the camera and wants everyone to know he's up too on Sunday mornings!

shoes and dress -- target.  

now this...from my Facebook about the jumpsuit:
"All aboard the jumpsuit train!! I've always walked away from these because the
proportion is never right...and I'm just unsure of them, though I always
like on others. Thank you Target for a great fit, super long pants legs and
bargain price! This is likely to become one of my new favorites! If you're tall or
know someone who is...send them to Target!
And, let's all take a risk with confidence this week!"

3/4 sleeves, light weight, perfect Texas fall transition
 Happy Sunday,