Forget about organizing, IT’S HALLOWEEN!

IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR. It’s Halloween!

I thought I’d share three years worth of costumes with you, of varying embarrassment levels. Some were almost completely DIY and some were not at all but for each one the rules were the same: I refuse to wear pants and I refuse to spend an insane amount of money.

Let’s do this thing chronologically, which means we’ll start with my absolute favorite Halloween of all time: Halloween 2006. Where a million of my friends and I all dressed up as DC Comic book characters.

BATGIRL!

I bought a child’s extra large costume because it was $30 less then the adult one, used contact paper on the bat signal because the belt was originally all cheap plastic, and wore boy short bathing suit bottoms to cover my butt because it’s a bit larger then child’s extra large.

My friends and I celebrated what I like to call “Halloween Chanukah” that year….we dressed up for a week straight and took these costumes all over town. From college house parties, to Salem, MA, to Denny’s at 3am. LOUD AND PROUD.

Poison Ivy completely DIY’d her costume- she painted her boots green and sewed about a million leaves onto a corset. Catwoman is pretty crafty as well, I’m sure she stitched up at least part of that suit. And I know she was probably starving herself to rock it in a onesie. And as for the Joker and Riddler, you certainly won’t find those costumes in stores.

Next up is Halloween 2008, for which I only have mortifying pictures. Basically, I was an astronaut- which is pretty hard to pull off when you’ve got a no pants rule. So I DIY’d a metallic silver mini skirt… it worked.

This costume came about because at the time my roommate and I each had two cats (yes, there was a 2:1 cat ratio in our home, no big deal) and then somehow we ended up making a cardboard box into a cat space station. Which we called CATSA. So then this dream was born…

Just walking on the moon… with my red clutch purse. NOTHING TO SEE HERE.

Gaping at the vastness that is SPACE.

Fear not, I landed safely back on earth.

Here’s the break down for this one of a kind gem:

  • I purchased a child’s extra large white puffy winter jacket on Ebay, along with some american flag and NASA patches.
  • I turned the winter jacket into a a space suit half shirt (Mean Girls slut rule applied here) and sewed the patches on.
  • I bought some metallic fabric at Jo-Ann’s and turned it into a wrap skirt, and used the extra material as a hair tie. I then bought white tights and those black boots were the same ones I wore for batgirl (and honestly, everyday life).
  • The space pack is a cardboard box with pillow stuffing glued on the outside, wrapped in a pillow case. The straps are cardboard as well. The hoses and straps are attached with electrical tape- I found the hoses under my kitchen sink, I think there must have been a dishwasher in that apartment at some point in time.
  • I wore a seatbelt belt I had in high school ( <3 Hot Topic) because… I don’t know, maybe I felt like I should buckle up for the take off
  • The blue tank top was $3 at Rave (does Rave still exist anymore?)

Then a few years later I grew up and got lazy and just bought the cheapest pants-less costume I could find:

Army Pin Up Girl at your service, fellas. I won a mister potato head doll for “sluttiest costume.” I make my parents proud on a regular and daily basis….

My roommates at the time: Matt was a ladybug with leftovers from one of my college costumes and poster board black circles safety pinned to a red shirt, Corey was Tigger (clearly), and Kelly was a housewife in a costume she THOUGHT was called “Joan Cleaver” but turned out to really be called “Joan Cleavage” But that pie is a purse, so it’s TOTALLY worth the mix up.

And so my bloggy friends, what are YOU dressing up as this year?

One Month of Organizing: ALL WRAPPED UP

I’m calling it donesville on 30 day blog challenge one day early because tomorrow I’ve got a Halloween post planned. Overall, I may  not have posted specifically about organization every day but I did achieve my goal of posting 5 days a week for a month so I’m pretty happy about that.

If you tuned in late, this whole thing came from Nesting Place where she challenged herself and other bloggers to choose one topic and stick to it everyday for a month. I cheated a bit by not posting on weekends, but hey- I don’t get paid for this :).

 

So for today, a wrap up:

1: Intro to 31 days of ORANIZATION

2: The Massive Task of Planning a Wedding

3: The Built In

4: Kitchen Command Center

5: We’d like some gas, please

6: Painting

7: Christmas Shopping

8: The Guest Room Closet

9: Upcoming Projects!

10: Brief Progress Report

11: The Butterfly Effect of Orgnization (& a chair redo!)

12: DIY Sunburst Mirror

13: Making a Gallery Wall

14: The Guest Room Closet is Complete

15: High 5 for Friday

16: Pinterest!

17: Kitchen Cabinets

18: Other People’s Organization

19: Meal Planning with Paige!

20: Another High 5 for Friday!

21: Easy Eggless Pancakes!

 

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And oh yeah… no big deal…. but my very first giveaway will probably pop up a little later in the week. :) It’s nothing huge, but good things come in small packages, so come on back and check it out!

 

Pinterest Food Challenge: Easy Eggless Pancakes!

Matt & I are both home today while Frankenstorm hits, so I thought what better time to complete my monthly Pinterest Food Challenge! Also, I only have like 3 days left to complete it. Also, I have no eggs which is why I had to make eggless pancakes.

We all pin so many ideas and recipes, but let’s take some action people! At least once a month, cook or bake something that you pinned and link it in the comments!

The original recipe is here, I recommend doubling it if you’ve got more then two people to feed but it makes some pretty heavy pancakes. I stuck to the recipe pretty much exactly, except I only had skim milk so I used a little less of that and a little more oil just to even things out. In case that link ends up dead, here’s the recipe:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice)
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  1. Combine dry ingredients and mix slightly. Add milk, oil, water, and vanilla. Whisk (I stirred with a fork) together until just combined. Be careful not to over mix – it should still be slightly lumpy. Set aside to rest for a few minutes.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. While pan is heating, add butter. As soon as the butter is melted, add melted butter to pancake batter. (The butter that stays in the pan acts as your cooking grease.)
  3. Return pan to stove and stir butter into batter.
  4. When pan is hot, with a measuring cup or ladle, pour 1/4 cup of batter into the skillet for each pancake.
  5. Cook until bubbles form on the surface. Carefully flip pancakes with turner/spatula and cook until golden brown.
  6. OM NOM NOM!

Matt & I found the texture to be perfect but the taste to be a little blah, so I suggest adding fruit or nuts if you have them on hand. Or if you’re like me, chocolate chips and whipped cream.  We just ended up loading on the syrup because that’s all we had and they were deliciously unhealthy.

Be sure to share yours in the comments if you’ve got one! :)

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This posted is linked up to Someday Crafts & 504 Main.

Day 20 of organizing: Another high 5 for Friday!

Photobucket Oh thank goodness it’s finally Friday. Man, this has been a long week- on Monday I was already feeling the itch for the weekend. Not to mention that it is just so dark in the morning, it’s really hard to roll out of bed and get going when there’s still another hour until daylight.

Nevertheless, I’m determined to have 5 solid highlights for the week and they are:

1. My super awesome lovebug of a foster dog, Choco, has been adopted! Next weekend he will be going off to his new home, which just so happens to be my best friend’s home. I’m so glad she and her family are taking him in, both because I know he’ll have an awesome life and because now I’ll get to see him and hear about him all the time.

2. It’s been a fun week of blog hopping around here: Yesterday my favorite attempt at wall art was featured on Interiors by  Kenz, a blog you should absolutely browse around not just because she’s got such a hilarious voice but also because her projects are pretty bad-ass. And don’t forget to check out my handy dandy features section to see where else I’ve popped up around the internets. Also yesterday I also hosted my very first guest blogger, Paige! I hope to have lots more guest posts in the future, so be sure to email me if you’re interested in sharing a project or story (SandpaperAndGlue@gmail.com)

3. I hit this super tiny milestone, which I’m pretty please about. Don’t scoff at me please, it’s the little things that matter sometimes. :)

4. On my very first month of organization post I outlined lots of projects I wanted to get done, and I have really been powering through them. I didn’t blog about every single one, because frankly that’d be a little on the dull side, but I didn’t forget about them either. Here’s the list of things I wanted organized this month and where I’m at with each:

  • Hallway built in (done!)
  • Top shelf of master closet (done!)
  • Guest room closet (done!)
  • Basement shelves
  • Basement wall
  • Linen closet
  • Kitchen cabinets (done!)
  • Entryway closet (done!)
  • Shoe storage

5. Things are moving and shaking with our conversion from oil to gas heat. This week our utilities company came and installed all the pipes we need to connect our house to the gas pipe on the street and they didn’t even have to ruin our retaining wall to do so (no cost to us!). We got our chimney inspected and next weekend the necessary work will be done on it (for $1200…ouch). From what I understand after the chimney stuff is done we need to have it inspected, then get the burner conversion done, then have that inspected, then we’re good to go (all of this is free as well). I’ll write another full post on it when it’s done to outline how it all went.
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Don’t forget to like Sandpaper & Glue on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter!

Day 19 of organizing: Meal Planning with Paige!

Today I’ve got a real treat for you guys (pun intended): a guest post from a an in-real-life friend Paige, who also happens to run a cute journal-like lifestyle blog. Because I basically just had shelled peanuts for dinner last night, I’m in no position to tell you how to organize your meals. Paige is a much better resource for that.

 

Take it away Paige!

Hi everyone! My name is Paige and you can check out my little corner of the internet at Paigetopus. I’m here to do a guest post on something I love to organize! Because…
…It’s the month of October! And for my friend Stephanie here at Sandpaper & Glue, that means a month of posts all about organization! She recently shared a post about other people’s organizational habits that are not only super smart but also super easy. I realized that you don’t need to have stuff to organize in order to be organized.
That brings me to something I love to organize: meals! I’m a meal-planning fool. Every Sunday afternoon you can find me on my couch with my laptop open to all of my favorite food sites and my meal-planning board sitting by my side.
First, I open up Food On the Table, which is a great site for getting recipes, making grocery lists and finding deals in your local stores. It allows you to pick the store that you shop at (I use Safeway or SaveMart [unfortunately Trader Joe's is not on their list]) and it shows you deals based on recipes you add to your “cookbook” or items you add to your shopping list. In the recipes section, you can browse recipes based on your main protein (or vegetarian meals, if that’s your deal). Let’s say I’m feeling like shrimp, I can browse recipes with shrimp and they’ll include what items you’ll need as well as directions (and sometimes nutritional value!), and if you add the recipe, it automatically adds the ingredients to your shopping list! It’s super convenient because it will even include how much you need of each item.
If I’m not feeling the recipes there, I’ll browse my Pinterest food boards or just google recipes based on what sounds good, like “crock pot chicken” or the like. Sometimes the internet can be overwhelming though so I’ll go to my trusty, time-honored recipes in my recipe box. My mom put some of my favorite meals on recipe cards for me so that I always have delicious meals to make!
After finding some tasty recipes to fill my week, I jot down on my meal board what we’re having each day. My meal board is simple: a dry erase board, sectioned off with art tape into the days of the week (lunch and dinner) as well as my meals and my boyfriend’s meals. We live together but we don’t always eat the same stuff since our schedules differ, so it’s helpful to have space for both of our meals.
As I go along finding recipes, I make sure to see what I have in the fridge or pantry. That shrimp recipe calls for lemon, which I already have! I add everything else to my shopping list and then go to my grocery store’s site. If you’re on the west coast, Safeway has a program called Just For U, where you enter your most-frequently-purchased items and it gives you personalized deals as well as coupons. You browse the items and click “add to my card” so that you don’t have to deal with wasteful paper coupons. They’re the same as the inserts you get in the mail, so make sure to recycle those! When you purchase your items, you give them your member card (or phone number) and it automatically discounts the deals you’ve added. Lately I’ve been getting staple items at seriously discounted prices by using this program. I’ve gotten a whole loaf of bread for just $1! Make sure to check out your favorite grocer’s site so that you know you’re getting the best deals.
Finally, I make my way to the store with my shopping list (on my iPhone!) in hand. If you have a smart phone, the app version for FoodOnTheTable is wonderful. It gives you your grocery list broken up by sections of the store. As you pick up your items, you check it off the list! Your grocer might also have an app (like Safeway does) so that way you don’t forget what brand has that awesome 2 for $5 deal or the great BOGO price that you’ve added to your savings card.
A great bonus to having such an organized list is that I rarely deviate from the plan; I almost never buy things that aren’t on my list. That means less impulse buys and having exactly what I need throughout the week for my meals and snacks without having excess, wasted food. It also helps me to avoid junk food. If chocolate-covered, deliciously temping cookies aren’t on the list, then I don’t end up going down the snack aisle.
One final tip to keep in mind when food shopping: if you only have a few things on your list, get a basket, not a cart. When you only have enough room for the items you need, then you won’t go overboard.
So this is how I stay organized when it comes to meal planning and eating healthy. How do you make your meals easier? Do you meal plan? What are some of your favorite organizational skills for making dinner easier? Share them in the comments or visit my blog for some tasty, easy recipes!
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Thanks friend!
And if you’re in need of a push to make a change with your meals, join me my Pinterest Food Challenge each month!
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Are you interested in guest posting- maybe about organization? or an awesome project you’ve been working on? Email me at SandpaperAndGlue@gmail.com …that’s sandpaperandglue (at) wordpress (dot) com . I’d love to hear from you!

Day 18 of organizing: Other People’s Organization

It’s safe to say I’m not expert at organization… just ask my mom. She still imagines my house looking the way my bedroom looked when I was 12 (it’s true mom, you do). So I thought I’d take a day out of this challenge to 1) introduce you to other lovely blogs/websites and 2) show other organizational tricks.

  • Hi Sugarplum! created an awesome drop spot where there used to be such wasted space:

 

  • I Heart Organizing recently shared some tips on organizing laundry when you’ve got kids:

  • This site is totally not in English, but gives an excellent picture tutorial for hanging up your flip flops, which I think is genius.

  • Eclectically Vintage used an old crib spring to create a memo board (use vertical space!)

 

So which one is your favorite? Do you have any awesomely organized spots in your house? Share them in the comments!!

 

 

 

 

Day 17 of organizing: Kitchen Cabinets

I got two requests for this one yesterday, so here you go! And in the interest of keepin’ it real, I totally did not clean my kitchen before taking pictures. I make no apologies for that.

I absolutely love my kitchen, it’s wonderfully spacious and I have just enough room for all my things. I have a lot of kitchen things- my own, hand me downs from mom, hand me downs from nonna, and hand me downs from an aunt. Here’s some views of the “cooking” area of the kitchen (we don’t have a dining room, just a 4 person table and 2 barstools in the kitchen):

I have a crazy amount of glassware: glasses for water, martini glasses, white wine glasses, red wine glasses, margarita glasses, and martini glasses. All I bought myself were two hand painted wine glasses from Pier One, everything else was hand me down. I also have an insane amount of dishes: fancy dishes, clear glass dishes, an Ikea dish set, and plastic dishes. I bought the Ikea set and the plastic ones. Pint glasses, shot glasses, and the George Foreman were also all either hand me downs or Matt’s collection.

Here’s a few looks with the cabinets open:

So. Much. Glassware.

We have 6-7 favorite mugs we use everyday (there’s only two of us but seriously, do you think I do dishes every day?) and plastic drinking glasses that we use everyday- those are stored in here. Nicer stuff is spread out in the other cabinets.

Matt collects the Newbury Comics pint glasses, which is why we have so many. Please pardon those middle cabinets- it’s super difficult to neatly store a George Foreman and the 4 different plates that come with it. And watch out for the zombie next to the stove. He wants your brainsssss (and your splattered cooking oil)

But wait, there’s more!

I have no idea what’s shoved in the “misc. crap” cabinet, and frankly I’m afraid to open it. The miscellaneous that goes with the cutlery is twist ties, elastics, bottle openers, etc. Also, above the fridge is stored just about every jelly jar and pasta jar I’ve ever had. In my life. On top of the microwave is where I store most of my mini projects- things that need to be re-glued, hardware for projects on deck, small things that need a paint facelift.

Are there different words for flat baking pans and brownie making baking pans? I don’t know- but the flat ones are in the cabinet all the way to the right and the deep ones are in the stove drawer.

My pots and pan cabinet is a MESS. So is my plastic bag hoard.

In the spirit of keepin’ it real, here’s my cleaning supplies cabinets:

eep.

And last but not least, my happy little wheel cart on the other side of the fridge:

Let me break it down for you a bit more though….

THINGS I’M DOING RIGHT:

  • Canister set command center
  • Tension rod to double cleaning supplies space (Broke Ass Home did this too, we both did it with a little nudge from Pinterest)
  • I use a partitioned jewelry tray from Homegoods in my  cutlery draw to organize elastics, twist ties, bottle openers, wine corks, etc. (like this one only Homegoods sells them covered in pretty fabric)
  • I keep all the things I use every day in the same cabinets (Batman mug, Ikea plates, plastic cups) and spread everything else around
  • Use a pretty vase (also from Homegoods) to keep my spatulas and other everyday cooking utensils organized next to the stove, as opposed to having them take up draw space.

THINGS I’M NOT DOING THAT I TOTALLY SHOULD:

  • Attach a towel rack to the inside of my pots and pans door so I can keep my lids organized (like this)
  • Purge things I don’t need… do I really need the glass glases I’ve never used? Can I get away with just my plastic ones?
  • Find a better way to store my plastic bags (like this)

If you’re not so fortunate as to have a heck of a lot of cabinets I recommend:

  • Only keeping dishes and glasses you use everyday in the kitchen. Store the fancy stuff in a box somewhere else, because seriously- how often do you use it? Sometimes I wonder why I have a whole china set, and I joke that it’s just in case the Queen of England ever comes over for tea.
  • Store your cleaning supplies in the room you use it most (bath stuff in the bathroom, dustpan in a hall closet, windex in an office or spare bedroom).
  • Make good use of your shelves- most cabinets have shelves with adjustable heights. It took me about 6 months to realize this, and once I did I was able to seriously move things around and make more space.
  • After you’ve lived in your home for a few months, reorganize your cabinets. This will force you to put things purposely in cabinet instead of where you just shoved them when you were unpacking boxes, it’ll also force you to look at everything and evaluate whether or not you really need it.
  • Make use of vertical wall space! Use something cute, like shutters or a magnet board to organize mail/notes/grocery lists (You can get shutters at a Restore Habitat for Humanity store, or even Craigslist sometimes, then spray paint them and voila! And instead of buying an expensive magnet board you can cover an old flat baking tray with fabric and use magnets to stick notes and lists on it!)

Hope this helps!