kitchen organization

{mini kitchen command center}

The proverbial "the kitchen is the heart of the home" is definitely true at our house. It's basically one big open space connected to our family room and dining room, and it's where I spend the majority of my time...along with the rest of my family. Because of this, I like having a space set aside as a mini command center, where I can keep my calendar, papers, files, mail, coupons, and all those other things that come along with the busy-ness of life. It's where kids bring their school papers, my husband drops off receipts, where I open the mail, and make my lists. I do have an office, but it's far from the kitchen, and I like having it at my fingertips.

All the openness is lovely, but with the 11 large windows alone (I'm not complaining about the's wonderful), it provides no wall space at all for me to hang anything.  There are a lot of great ideas out there for command centers, and I know how I would love to do it if I could, but none of those options are available to me.  Even the side of my fridge won't work! Finding something that will work for your space is the key, and I did!  So, if you're in my position, with not a lot of wall space, this might work for you too.

So...I designated a small corner on my kitchen counter, right next to a walled off space where I could hang my calendar. I used a clear file box, hanging folders, file folders, and printed labels to create a space that's perfect for my own mini command center!


{♥ is for…love blocks}

I just {love} Valentine's Day!  It's one of my favorite holidays to decorate for, and I can never resist making a few new things each year.

I made these cutey cute love blocks this week while I was home bound with all my sick kiddos and rainy weather, and I think they are now one of my favorite things!  You all know I love simple, and this definitely fit the bill. I wanted them a bit more substantial, and able to hold their own on a mantel, so I used 2x8 blocks--perfect!


{fit friday with erica} the scale…friend or foe?

It's that time of year again. January. The start of a new year. The beginning. A time for changes and possibly maybe even some resolutions.This year I haven't made myself a list or contemplated five hundred things I want to work on I've only decided to try. Try to be healthy, try to serve more, try to find joy in the small things, try to say 'no' more to things outside my family, try to read my scriptures better, etc. Trying is all we can really ask of ourselves.
Two years ago my New Year's resolution was to find balance. One of the many things I was trying to balance was my relationship with the scale. Was it my friend or foe? Well it all depended on what it said. If it was a number that I was looking for then I felt awesome, energetic, happy - it was my friend. If it read even 1 pound more than I wanted I was grumpy, mad, depressed - it was my foe. I was in a place where I was so concerned with my weight and what the scale said that I let it run my life and often times ruin it by letting it affect my entire attitude. It got so bad that my husband decided one day to take it away. He hid it. For real. And for a long time. I didn't know what to do with myself. How could I go without ever knowing what I weighed? I literally thought the world might end or that I'd all of a sudden put on 50 lbs. But you know what? It was so liberating and exactly what I needed!

 Here are some important things I learned from my 'break-up' with the scale:

Dry Erase Activity Book |

Dry Erase Activity Books

 I don't know about you, but I am always looking for something to keep my kids quiet and occupied during church,  while traveling, and any other time we have to wait anywhere for any length of time.  I've got some busy kiddos, and I'm sure the people in the church pews in back and in front of us appreciate the effort.  :)

When I came across this darling dry erase quiet book by icandy handmade, I thought it was brilliant, and couldn't wait to make some of my own.  Instead of using a binder, and sliding coloring and workbook pages inside sheet protectors (which is a great idea), I decided to make them differently, for a couple of reasons.  First of all, I wanted mine to be smaller, so they would fit more easily in a diaper bag, purse, or church bag. I also wasn't sure how long the sheet protectors would hold up with my four little kiddos, and since they aren't super durable, I wanted to try a different method. I created half sheets, laminated them, and used book rings to hold them together.  I bought some dry erase crayons to use with it, and I wish I would  have bought them sooner. I LOVE LOVE how they turned out, and my kids are crazy over them. It's a hit!


{simple decorated clothespins}

Decorated clothespins aren't anything new--I've been making them for a long time, and actually first posted about them several years ago. However,  my obsession with them hasn't changed much at all, and I love how they can transform an ordinary clothespin into the perfect accessory for magnet boards, clipboards, and more.

I've used several different methods to cover them, including fabric, paper, paint and stamps.  I'm going to share a method I tried this week--the easiest yet!  It literally takes less than 1 minute to cover a clothespin!  LOVE that!  I'm all about things that are simple, don't take a lot of time, but make a huge difference.


{top posts of 2012!}

2012 has been quite the year!!! I started the year under one name, and ended it with another, but the most important things remain much I love doing this, and how much I appreciate each of you.  I adore all the comments and e-mails, and want you to know how much they mean to me.  Even though I love what I do, and love to share, it does make all the long hours worth it.

It was so fun to look back over the year, and at the most popular posts.  A couple of these posts are some of my all-time favorites, and  I'm excited to share them with you again!