Archive for the Organization Category

Oct 12 2015

Bedtime Routine Checklist

Any other mamas dread the bedtime routine?!  It’s that time of day when the kiddos all of a sudden have endless amounts of energy and go crazy as you are exhausted and need a break.  It usually includes pleading with them to pick up their toys, trying for 10 minutes to get them in the bath and then trying even longer to get them out of it, wrestling them to get their pjs on, and then once you finally get them in bed, you have to sing 50 million songs, tell stories, get water, take them to the bathroom again and then maybe finally you get to rest!  Whew!

This routine gets old really quick.  Don’t get me wrong, I love snuggling with my little man, singing songs together, praying with him and getting sweet kissses goodnight…I just don’t want the bedtime routine to be a long drawn out fight to get him in bed.  You know what I mean?!  So…I had an idea!

My little guy loves structure…in fact all children need it.  I was determined to make bedtime quicker and easier on us both.  So I made my son a bedtime routine checklist.  I simply made it in Word using clip art for the things that need to get done before his little head hits the pillow.  Then I laminated it, and put velcro on it.

bedtime routine checklist2

bedtime routine checklist

My little guy LOVES it!  He loves moving the checks to show what he has done, and is so proud at the end when everything is checked off his list.  It has made this dreaded time of night so much smoother!  And when all is said and done my sweet boy has been bathed and is sleeping in bed, the house is picked up and neither of us have shed tears…at least less often now 😉  It doesn’t always go perfectly, but it has drastically improved this time of day for us.  If you would like a copy of the checklist that I made email me and I will send it to you.

Do you have any tried and true ways to make the bedtime routine easier?  Please share in the comments!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Signature - Marissa

Jan 8 2015

2015 Goal Setting & Free Printables

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday break.  If you are new to our blog welcome!  We are so glad to have you here!  We hope this little space brings you encouragement, inspiration or just a small break from your hectic day.  Check out some of our past posts by selecting one of the categories at the top of the page.  Don’t be shy…leave us a comment or send us an email.  We’d love to get to know you better!

I hope this new year finds you refreshed, energized and hopeful for the coming year.  January is one of my favorite months (okay maybe I am biased because it is my birthday month).  But, I find it is a time to reflect on the past year and see what you accomplished and also what didn’t work so well.  It’s the perfect opportunity to start a clean slate and set some goals for the new year.

Goals Printable

Last year I made a goal setting printable to write down goals for 2014.  I thought I’d create another printable for you to use this year.  It might be fun to sit down with your spouse or your family and write down your goals together.  Talk about how you can encourage each other to accomplish your goals and how you can hold one another accountable throughout the year.  Don’t feel like you need to fill in every line.  If you want to add more details on how you will achieve the goals, print another copy and fill in the details on the 2nd page.  I created it so that you could use this sheet from year to year, simply writing the current year in the dedicated space.  You can download a copy of the printable by clicking on the following link: Goals For the New Year Printable PDF

Last year I shared some tips for you to think about when creating your goals:

  • Specific: What do you want to accomplish?  Include details like what, when, why and how.
  • Measurable: Are you able to track your progress?
  • Attainable: Is your goal realistic? It is important to set challenging goals, but make sure they are within your reach.  Try setting smaller goals that are steps to completing a larger goal.
  • Relevant: Does it align with your vision, values, dreams and abilities?  Is it meaningful?
  • Time-bound: Does your goal have a set completion date?  Create a schedule or time frame to help you reach this date.

Setting goals can be overwhelming.  Below the picture of the printable, I’ve created some prompts/questions to consider in each category that I hope will help you in coming up with your goals.   Choose a combination of few short-term and long-term goals. and don’t forget to think SMART!

Download Printable Here

Goals For The New Year

Download Printable Here


  • Is there a Bible study group you’ve wanted to join?
  • Do you want to set aside more time for prayer or daily devotionals?
  • Is there something you need to give over to God?


  • Do you have a habit you’d like to break?
  • Is there a character trait that you want to improve upon?
  • Are there areas in your life want to be more intentional about? (friendships, etc.)
  • Is there a new skill you would like to learn? (photography, painting, etc.)


  • Do you want to set aside more dedicated time with that person? (date night, etc.)
  • Which areas in your marriage/relationship would you like to strengthen?
  • Is there an area you would like to serve the other person better in?  What is their love language?


  • Is there a trip you want to go on as a family?
  • Is there an activity you could do more often as a family? (volunteer, sports, etc.)


  • Are there conversations with your boss you have putting off? (raise, promotion, etc.)
  • Is there a course you want to take to increase your knowledge on a subject?


  • Is there a weight loss goal you’d like to reach?
  • Are you drinking enough water? (This is definitely going to be one of mine :) )
  • Are there certain foods you want to cut back on?


  • Is there a loan you would like to pay off?
  • Is there something you’d like to purchase that you need to save for?
  • Is there something you would like to cut back on to save money?
  • Is there an organization you would like to donate to or do you want to set a side more money to tithe?
  • Do you have an emergency fund?

Home Improvement:

  • Are there DIY projects you want to accomplish?
  • Are there areas in your house that you want to organize?
  • Does something need repairing?

I added a space for you to note places you would like to travel to or visit.  Nothing energizes me more than traveling and taking some time off…I think that is really important.  It doesn’t need to be somewhere expensive or require an airline ticket.  Just go for a drive one weekend and explore an area you have never been to before!

Lastly, I added Proverbs 16:9 verse as a reminder that no matter how much we plan our life, God is ultimately in control.  Though we may think we know what is best for us, nothing can compare to God’s perfect plan for our life.  No matter how painful, discouraging and confusing it can be when things don’t go the way I have planned, I have to cling to this truth.  It’s what brings me hope and I hope it does for you as well.  One of my favorite song’s “Today is Beautiful” by David Dunn has the most beautiful lyrics that speaks to this.  I created a printable to share with all of you.  To download, click on the link below. A new window or tab will appear with the image of the printable.  Right click on the image and select “Save As”.  Open the file you just saved to your computer and select the program you would like to open it in.  You can then print to the size you desire on cardstock paper!

Heaven’s View Printable

Heavens View Printable

I Hope you got some ideas for your 2015 goals and that you find the goals printable useful!  Print it on cardstock, fold it and put it in your calendar, or tape it to your office wall with a cute piece of washi tape to inspire you every time you look at it!  Please share some of your goals for this year in the comments section.  Today I’m linking up with Bloom Designs.

Signature - Alisa

Nov 19 2014

Chalk Markers by Chalk This Way

Our obsession with chalkboards started as little girls, as we played school together taking turns as teachers writing lessons on the chalkboard.  Combined it is safe to say that we have over 10 chalkboards displayed in our homes!  When we were contacted by Chalk This Way to review their Brilliant Bold and Earthy chalk markers, we knew it was the perfect fit!  Some of our favorite seasonal, party and entertaining decor are chalkboard signs written with chalk markers.  Chalkboard signs are inexpensive, can be re-used for multiple events and the best part is you can personalize messages to fit the occasion.

Brilliant Bold Colors

Earthy Colors

It is really great to be able to buy one pack with so many color options and they are competitive in price with local craft stores!  You can even save money when buying multiple packs!  One thing we really love about the Chalk This Way chalk markers as opposed to some other brands we have used is that the ink really looks chalky and not just like a marker.  It looks more authentic on your chalkboard.  We also found that these markers had low odor; you aren’t breathing in heavy fumes during normal use.

We really like the soft muted tones of the Earthy set.  We haven’t seen chalk markers in these colors before.  They would be perfect for fall party or wedding signage.  They are a bit more elegant than your classic colors.  Two of our favorites from this pack is the deep cranberry and sage green (they don’t name their colors, but that is how we would describe them :) ).  Can’t wait to use them for Christmas signage this season.  The Brilliant Bold colors give a nice pop of color for birthday parties or holidays.  The classic white chalk marker came in both sets, which we loved because we tend to use that color the most.  These sets would be a great gift for the crafters in your life!  With Christmas right around the corner these would be perfect stocking stuffers!

Tried and True Tips:

  • Make sure you shake the markers REALLY well before using them.  If you don’t, it will come out as just greasy wet with no color.  Always shake with the lid on!
  • You have to push the tip into paper several times to get the color to drop down into the tip.  Try to push more on the back of the tip instead of the front so that the tip doesn’t get smashed.
  • Make sure to test markers on surface before use.  They are not recommended on porous surfaces.  (If you use them and something porous and it doesn’t come off you can just re-paint the surface with chalkboard spray paint)
  • The markers come off better with water when you don’t wait too long to wipe it off.  Directions say you can also erase with ammonia based cleaner.
  • Don’t push tips too hard when writing.  This will smash the tip.  To get more color to the tip of your marker, shake every now and again in between writing your message.  Again make sure to shake when the lid is on!

Check out some of the ways we used Chalk This Way chalk markers.  You will see, the possibilities are truly endless!  You can use these markers on chalkboards (including slate chalkboards), glass, plastics, mirrors, ceramics, metals and other hard non porous surfaces.  

Seasonal signage and decor.  The chalk markers worked really well on this slate chalkboard and cleaned very easily with a wet cloth.

Slate Chalkboard

Make signs for different activity stations at parties like we did here at our Fall Festival:

pumpkin carving

Parties galore!  The possibilities are endless with this one.  You could make chalkboard place-mats and let kids (and adults!) doodle.  Or you could write out your menu or make chalkboard labels for food like Alisa did here for her husband’s 30th birthday party:

Menu & Food Labels

Marissa used the chalk markers to make a wreath to welcome guests to her son’s 2nd birthday party.


Monthly baby updates and yearly milestones: I (Marissa) took a picture of my little man each month for the first year with a chalkboard behind him documenting milestones.  You could also do this with Baby bump pictures while you are pregnant documenting the weeks.  I had a lot of fun doing this chalkboard for my son’s second birthday!

b-day sign 2

B-day sign

Leave messages or encouraging notes on your bathroom mirror for your spouse to read in the morning.  This is sure to brighten their day! The chalk markers work great on mirrors.  They wipe off REALLY easy on mirrors with glass cleaner.

Notes on Mirror

Here are some other ways that you could use the markers for different projects:

  • Signs for weddings…all things weddings really anything from seating charts to menus to signage on tables.
  • You can show team pride by writing messages on your car (always test on a small area first!) like “Go Wildcats!” or “Great job Kelsey!”
  • Use all the different colors on a black board instead of just plain old boring white when teaching or explaining things to your kiddos.
  • Decorate your windows with your kids for the holidays by drawing fun pictures for the season.
  • Label glazed pots with plant or herb names.

Be sure to check out other products by Chalk This Way like their Self-Adhesive Removable Chalkboard Labels.

Thank you Chalk This Way for providing us with the chalk markers!  As always, all ideas and opinions are our own.


Nov 3 2014

Mommy Monday: Guest Post-Cooking With Kids

Happy Monday Everyone!

I am excited to have my friend Samantha of Bearcub Creations with us here today guest posting.  Samantha and I know each other from our days teaching and now we are both stay at home moms and bloggers! She is here to share some great tips for cooking with kids.  This is not my strength so I am so excited to use some of Samantha’s tips in the kitchen and get in there and have some fun with my little guy!


Hi! My name is Samantha Jardin and I blog over at I met Marissa 4 years ago, when I took over a 3rd grade class mid-year and we were on the 3rd grade team together. I was pregnant at the time with my son and when the school year was over, I decided that I would be a staying home with my little boy. My son, Aston is now 3 and my daughter Leia just turned 1! I cannot believe how fast time flies by!

Anyways, when I began my stay at home mom journey, I felt very lost. I had worked since I was 16 and struggled with the shift to being at home. I still struggle at times because as Marissa has said before, it is very isolating, but I love what I get to do.

When Marissa asked me to share something for Mommy Monday, I was thrilled and instantly thought about cooking with kids. I have a cooking, crafting and creating blog and cooking is a passion of mine and the teacher inside of me has brought my children into the kitchen on a daily basis.

I love cooking with Aston and enjoy the adventure, but let me tell you, it is an adventure! I have learned a lot in my time cooking with Aston, so I decided I’d share with you some tips for how to best do this, while remaining calm and having an overall happy experience together.


1.     Teach your child kitchen safety first!

One of the first words both Aston and Leia learned was “hot!” Because they are in the kitchen with me at such an early age, we teach them that the stove top and oven are hot and should not be touched. We get their little hands close so that they can feel the heat (not too close of course, just enough to feel that it is hot) and then tell them “This is hot. Don’t ever touch.” Still to this day, Aston is very cautious around both, but we continue to have the conversation. The same thing goes for teaching about knives and other tools. We explain and show our kids everything that could hurt them and make it very clear that they should not touch them. Of course children are curious, but I really believe that if you explain things to them, they will remember especially if they are nervous about pain.


2.     Be Prepared! 

Prior to even mentioning to Aston that we are going to cook together, I gather all the supplies and ingredients that we will need before I even invite him into the kitchen. I have gone into cooking with him before unprepared and scrambling to find all the ingredients I need as Aston is cracking the eggs all over the counter (true storyJ). This ends up being very frustrating for both of us and never ends well. There are times when I start cooking and then he says, “I want to help!” In this situation, I tell him to wait a few minutes and that I will call him when I’m ready for his help. This gives me some time to get things together before he gets in there.


3.     Be okay with the mess.

I am a semi-type A personality. I have lightened up over time, but messes can get to me and I myself hate to get dirty! The thing that you have to remember is that kids are messy beings and cooking with them will get messy! Every time we bake together, there is a fine layer of sugar that ends up on my kitchen floor… every time! If we are making eggs in the morning, there will be some of the scrambled egg liquid on my counter and/or floor. But the thing you have to remember is that they will be so proud of themselves and the item they produced. It’s worth the mess! Plus, I have Aston help me clean things up a bit when we are done. It’s a great learning experience.


4.     Set up simple rules.

Our rules are:

  1. You must always listen and follow directions, or you are out of the kitchen.
  2. You must listen to the amount of ingredients that mom or dad tells you to put in (ie. 4 strawberries, 1 cup of water, ect.) and not do any more.
  3. Do not touch anything that mom or dad hasn’t said that you could. It could be hot or sharp and therefore dangerous.
  4. Mom and dad will do the measuring or cracking, you will do the pouring.
  5. You are allowed to taste, but only if you ask first.




5.     Have fun!

Seriously some of my favorite memories with Aston are in the kitchen. We have now started to bake every Thursday, if we don’t have a play date, during Leia’s morning nap. It is a great time to bond just the two of us and we have so much fun playing, learning and tasting in the kitchen. My goal with having kids in the kitchen is that they would learn the skills it takes to provide themselves great and healthy meals when they are on their own in the future. I was allowed to experiment and play in the kitchen as a kid and teen and ended up falling in love with cooking. I truly hope my children will feel the same way!




Here are some ideas of things to cook with your kids if you feel a bit lost:

Scrambled Eggs: I always crack the eggs, it’s our kitchen rule and Aston knows that but he is allowed to stir the eggs on his own. I always give an example for him to see and then he follows. He also adds in the cheese or anything else we add into our eggs.

Pancakes or waffle batter.

Smoothies: have your kids add in the ingredients and when you are ready, have them push the button.

Cookies, muffins or cakes.

Making sandwiches or simple snacks. I know this isn’t truly cooking but Aston can make his own ham and cheese or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all on his own, after I pull out the ingredients. (I am always standing with him to monitor and make sure the mess isn’t large, but he is so proud of making his own lunch.)


I hope that if you haven’t brought your children into the kitchen, that I’ve inspired you to do so. Start small and work up to larger projects but remember that your job is to encourage and build up these little people and that it should be a positive experience!


Aren’t those some great tips for cooking with your kiddos?!  So many things can be taught in the kitchen.  I am making it a goal to let my son help me more often and be ok with the mess that comes with that!  Do you enjoy cooking with your kids?  I’d love to hear some of your tips or fun recipes to make with them!

To see more of our Mommy Monday posts click around below!  And if you would be so kind as to go like our Facebook page All In Good Twine we would be so grateful!  Thank you for your continued support for us and our blog.

Hope you all have a great day!

Signature - Marissa

Oct 13 2014

Mommy Monday: Busy Bag Swap

Happy Monday to everyone!

Today is my little guy’s 2nd birthday!  I can’t believe he is two already!  I love this little guy so much!  He brings us such joy!  This weekend we had a small party with family and a few of his friends.  It was a train theme, hence the conductor hat and bandanna.  I’ll share more on that later!  :)

2nd birthday

On to Mommy Monday!  I mentioned last week how I was feeling overwhelmed and failing at planning preschool activities for my little guy.  He is only two  so I know that it isn’t crucial to have organized lessons, but I feel like our days are much smoother if we have things planned.  Plus he is ready to learn and loves “learning time.”  He already knows his colors and some of his letters and he even know how to spell his name!  I know I need to keep challenging him so that he doesn’t get bored.

Part of the problem is just time…it is hard to find time to plan and prep activities that he can do.  So I thought, why not divide and conquer.  I decided to organize a busy bag swap with some moms from my MOPS group.  I posted on our MOPS Facebook page to see who was interested.  The idea is to make activity bags that your kiddos can do with little or no help from you.   We had 7 moms who wanted to join in so each mom found one activity to make and prepped 7 (one for each of the participants).  All activities were for ages 2-3.  We posted what activity we each were going to do on Facebook so that there were not duplicates.  We then swapped them at one of our MOPS meetings and all went home with 7 awesome activities for our little ones to do!!  How great is that?!  I only had to think and prep for one!  It’s all about thinking smarter not harder as a mom.  We are all in this together and it’s so nice to work together and help each other out!

Below are the activities that we came home with:

This first activity is helpful in learning shapes and colors.  The paper and shapes are all laminated.  I added the velcro.  My son LOVES this one!

busy bags-shapes


This one practices patterns.  It came from The Measured Mom who has tons of great ideas for educational activities for your little ones.  It came with two different sheets, again everything is laminated so it will last longer :)  The possibilities with this one are endless if you want to make your own pattern practice.  My little guy loves the trucks.  You could do animals, shapes, toys, etc.  It also has velcro which is super fun for little ones too!

busy bags-patterns


You may recognize this activity from a Mommy Monday post I did not too long ago.  If you would like the activity sheet to go with it send me an email (click on contact us at the top of our page) and I would be happy to send it to you.

busy bags-wee sing and learn colors


This activity is a puzzle on Popsicle sticks that when put in the right order will make a picture.  Super cute idea!

busy bags-puzzle


Fine Motor skills is always great to work on with your toddler.  The next activity has the kiddos using tongs to transfer the pom poms from one container to the next.

busy bags-fine motor


This next activity is a great idea and goes along with my last Mommy Monday post about sorting colors.  In this activity,  you can sort by color or noodle shape.  My little guy has enjoyed this one and it keeps him occupied for a while!  :)

busy bags-colored pasta

The last activity uses colored popsicle sticks with magnets glued on to them and comes with a bunch of paper clips.  You can practice counting and colors.  I might even get some colored paper clips to go with it so that my little one can match the paper clip with the colored popsicle stick.  The magnets alone were a huge hit with my little one!

busy bags-magnets

Click below for other Mommy Monday Posts:


Hope you all have a great week!

Signature - Marissa

Jul 30 2014

Kids’ Playroom

Hi Everyone!

I hope that you are all having a great week so far!  Today I wanted to share our playroom with you all.  I’ve had several people tell me I should do a home tour so I thought I would start with the room we are in a lot of the time….you guessed it!  The Playroom!  When my son was born and the toys and gear quickly started to  pile up and take over our small living room, I knew we needed a solution.  We had a bedroom we were using as a den so we converted it into a playroom for my son.  It’s one of the best decisions we’ve made!  At the end of the night all the toys get put back in the playroom and we can enjoy a clean living room.  The only bummer about this room is that it doesn’t get a lot of natural light so sorry about some of the pictures!


I wanted to make a really cheery place for my little guy to play in and it doubles as storage for some of my craft supplies.  It’s a fairly small space so I needed some good storage.  We got two Ikea expedits and that has worked really well in storing toys as well as some craft supplies for me in the white boxes (also from Ikea).  We bought enough baskets to fill every other shelf so that most of the toys are out of sight, but my little guy has easy access to others like his books.  This has worked really well.





The 3 tiered organizer is from Pottery Barn and works well to store art supplies.  I got the mason jars at Walmart and used some chalkboard labels I got at Target to spruce them up a bit 😉


To add some color I made a fabric banner to go all the way around the room.  I got the fabric and ribbon from JoAnn’s.


I also took some of the same fabric in the banner and used my staple gun to attach it to canvases for picture frames.  I really love how they turned out!

playroom canvas photos


playroom canvas photos2

I have always wanted a huge classroom map in my house and the playroom was the perfect spot!  The colors go perfectly!  We got it off of Craigslist and then purchased a mount to hang it.  It’s my favorite thing in this room!



I got some wooden letters to spell PLAY from Michaels and painted them to match the room.



I made this crate stool for my classroom when I was a teacher and decided to make one for this room.  It’s the perfect little chair because it can be stored under the table and it can also be used as storage if you take the top off.  I will do a tutorial on this later.  The magnet board behind it is from IKEA and the curtains are from Target.



Most of the decor like the canvases with the bikes, and family rules as well as the frames, clock, green wire basket, and bowl are from Home Goods….one of my favorite places to shop for accessories!


Thanks for stopping by!  I’m linking up over at Bloom Designs.  Hope you have a great rest of the week!

Signature - Marissa

Feb 19 2014

Organized Craft Closet

Hi Everyone!

Today I’m going to share with you a project I just recently finished that has been a long time coming: my craft closet!  We’ve lived in our home for a little over 3 years.  Since the day we moved in our “office” has been our catch all room.  At times the room has looked like  Monica’s secret forbidden closet (for those of you who love the T.V. show FRIENDS, you will understand the reference!).  We’ve been slowly chipping away at organizing the room and I’m happy to say the closet is now done.  I use the term done loosely as I’m sure I’ll be making changes as I add to my craft supplies and find how the space works best for me.

Organized Craft Closet

A year or so ago we purchased the shelving unit from Ikea, but the project came to a standstill and it collected junk (as you can see in the before pictures…don’t judge!).  My husband gave me the push to start the project back up again.  Poor guy couldn’t stand all the crap craft supplies everywhere.  I don’t blame him it was driving me nuts too!  So, I started the organization process: I cleared everything out of the closet and separated into different piles: trash, giveaway/donate, keep, and keep but doesn’t belong in this room.  Having a large trash bag and boxes for each pile to go in is really handy when organizing.  I then organized the keep pile into categories: Ribbon, sewing, twine, tulle, party decor, embellishments, stamps, ink pads, paint, glitter, glue, washi tape, craft books, magazines, paper, blog stuff, current projects, scissors, markers, paper cutters, miscellaneous, etc.

Before and After

I already had some storage containers, but I needed to purchase a few more.  I took inventory of my piles and approximately how many containers I needed.  My first stop was The Container Store.  They have lots of really neat storage and organization items.  But, the boxes I was looking at was going to cost me over $150.00 for the quantity I needed. Um, no thank you!  So, next stop: Ikea.  I found storage boxes that were nearly identical to the ones at The Container Store for less than $40.00 for all of the boxes; now that’s more like it!  I had to assemble myself, but it was super easy.  I had the 12×12 scrapbook paper drawer unit and the smaller version for 8.5×11 paper, but I have a TON of scrapbook paper and needed one more of each.  My sweet hubby surprised me with them after a trip he made to Target!  I already had the red magazine holder and a matching box so I knew I was going to use red in my color scheme.  I have been obsessed with red and aqua/teal (as you can probably tell from reading my last couple blog posts), so aqua was the obvious choice for my second color.  Lucky for me I found the 2 woven strap totes from HomeGoods in just the right color.  All of the other items I had around the house.

Next, after all the storage boxes were assembled I organized my craft supplies in the storage containers and arranged on the shelves.

Organizing Your Craft Supplies

Ribbon Twine Tulle


I made a list of all the labels I needed to make.  I used my handy dandy label maker for the sides of the drawers.  Instead of labeling the boxes with the boring white label they came with, I decided to add a pop of color…red!  Using a circle hole punch, I created the labels for my marker caddies and tied them on with twine.  I used my white chalk pen to label all the items so the words could be easily read on the dark paper.

Label It

Small mason jars worked perfect to store pencils and the lids coordinated nicely with the galvanized buckets and the trim of the storage boxes.


After everything found a home, I added some fun decor that matched my color scheme like the frame and the stacked books and notebooks.  It’s fun to add color with the craft supplies you are storing too (like markers, colored pencils, washi tape)!

Colored Accents

Washi Tape

It is so nice to have all my craft supplies organized.  Now that everything has a place I am much more likely to keep it looking nice and clean.  Plus the space inspires me to create!

Craft Closet 1

Craft Closet 2

Now that this project is done, I’m excited to start another organization project!  What organization projects are you tackling this year?

Source List:

  • Shelving Unit: BESTA Shelf Unit from Ikea
  • White Storage Boxes: KASSETT Boxes from Ikea
  • 3 Drawer storage Bins: Sterilite ClearView Drawer Unit found at Target
  • Woven Strap Totes: HomeGoods
  • Red Magazine Holder & Box: TJ Maxx
  • Galvanized Buckets: SOCKER Plant Pot from Ikea
  • Mason Jars: Ace Hardware
  • Round Picture Frame: Stein Mart
  • White Paint Can with Lid: Michaels
  • Glass Jar with Lid: Target
  • Black Wire Tray: CostPlus

Signature - Alisa

Jan 10 2014

Chalkboard Door Menu

I don’t know about you all, but dinner time has always been the hardest part of my day.   Before now, I would get to 5:00, have a crying baby, a hungry husband on his way home, and not know what we were having for dinner!  I decided something needed to change!  That’s when I started meal planning consistently.  Every Sunday (or sometimes Monday morning) I plan what meals I will be cooking for the week and make a grocery list.  I do my grocery shopping on Monday.  Meal planning has helped A LOT!  But I was still running into a problem.  I would write my menu plans for the the week on the back of my grocery list, but I could never find it after I did my shopping.  Grrrr!  I would have to try to remember what I had planned each night for dinner.  So….I decided to make a menu board that I could reference every day.

chalkboard door menu

I decided to use the bottom half as a place to write items that are needed at the store.  Now I have a place to write things quickly when I think of them.  Here’s how to make one for yourself:


-old door (yet another thing we found in storage that my dad had saved.  I’m loving using all these things my dad treasured in my own home.  They remind me of him.)

-chalkboard spray paint

-chalkboard marker


1.  Lay your door on some cardboard outside  away from anything that could get the overspray.

bare door

2.  Spray at least 2-3 coats of chalkboard spray paint and let dry.  (Follow directions on the spray paint can for drying times between coats)

spray painted door

3.  Display indoors and write your menu with your chalkboard marker (erases with a wet cloth).  Make sure you secure it to the wall or put it in a place where small children cannot pull it over on themselves.  You could also hang it on a wall.

chalkboard door menu 5

chalkboard door menu 2


There you have it!  Another easy project that anyone can do!  I love it because it’s cute and it solves a problem!  I also find that we are eating out less which has saved us money. Win win!

You can see other projects that we’ve done that use chalkboard spray paint here and here.

Do you have any meal time tips that have helped your evening run smoother?  I’d love to hear them!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Signature - Marissa

Dec 9 2013

10 Tips To Simplify The Holidays With Marcia Ramsland

The Holiday season can be a stressful time with shopping, wrapping, events to go to, hosting family, and just trying to keep everyone happy!  This year with a very busy one year old I am trying to simplify the holidays.

Today, Alisa and I invited the talented Marcia Ramsland, The Organizing Pro, to guest post on ways we can all simplify during this busy season.  She is the author of 7 organizing books including “Simplify Your Life” and  “Simplify Your Holiday Season.”  She is an international speaker, author, and media guest who has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Better Homes and Garden, Woman’s Day, and Real Simple magazines.  She is also a spokesperson for Sam’s Club, and has been on Martha Stewart radio.   And she also happens to be my Mother-In-Law!!



We’re so close to Christmas with so much to do and so little time! I believe with good planning every day and a flexible, thankful attitude, we can handle whatever comes our way. Here are 10 Practical Tips to save you time from my book that’s loaded with more ideas of what to do especially on Christmas Day, Simplify Your Holiday Season.

Simplifying your holiday season is about finding ways to save time and simplify the traditional holiday activities for a smooth, easy flow.

1. Brighten your calendar—and your outlook—with holiday stickers or a red pen marking holiday events.

2. Buy gifts in one major category this year—different sweaters for everyone, appropriate CDs or books for mailed gifts, or personalized restaurant gift certificates.

3. Mark your calendar with two-hour appointments for Christmas preparations such as Thursday bake, Friday decorate, Saturday shop and clean.

4. Enlist a holiday buddy to help you plan, especially one who is better in an area you are weak.

5. When you’re doing the family Christmas card, get an assembly line going. After you have addressed the envelopes, line up envelopes to stuff and stamps to lick for your kids.

6. Shop for convenience, online or at one mall to simplify the abundance of choices.

7. Call or e-mail the person that you just can’t find that special gift. Ask her what she would really like to get this year.

8. Stretch your limited social time by attending a Christmas event and getting together with friends for dinner beforehand or dessert afterwards.

9. Purchase a holiday devotional book or holiday novel to curl up with each night to get you through the season, such as Simply December Devotions: 25 Days to Celebrate the Real Meaning of Christmas.

10. Savor one event or daily conversation by jotting it down in a Christmas journal. Title it “The Best Things that Happened to Me This Christmas.”

Every holiday turns out different in some way—someone moves, someone marries, little children grow up, and older relatives have fewer years ahead of them than behind them. Whatever the situation, I’m confident you can simplify as you prepare your heart and home for Christmas.




A big thanks to Marcia!  Those are some great tips that I hadn’t thought of.  Hope you enjoyed them too and can use them to simplify your holiday season.  You can check out Marcia’s website here

Make sure to check back tomorrow for a Christmas craft idea.   Have a great day!

Signature - Marissa