All posts tagged labels

get organized | label all the things!

Happy Monday! Today, we’re talking about labels. Specifically, my awesome new label maker and how awesome it is. This was one of the few things I specifically requested for Christmas and I love it.  Up until now, every label I’ve made has either been hand written or I’ve had to create them in Photoshop. But hand written labels usually end up bugging me because my penmenship is not so fantastic and creating labels from scratch on the computer can be a little time-consuming. It’s nice to have an option where a perfect label is made instantaneously.

get organized | the brother p-touch label makerAfter doing some online research, I decided to ask for the Brother PT-1800 Label Maker. It has generally good reviews and is used by one of my favorite organizers, Alejandra! That girl can organize anything and I do trust her recommendations.

get organized | the brother p-touch label makerSo, what have I labeled so far? Well, first I attacked my stationary boxes. They had handwritten labels that needed replacing. I also added labels to some of our food storage containers. I loved the idea to label the mixing instructions for our pancake mix right on the container. No need to flip through a cookbook or save the recipe from the box. And then, I created some “Willis” labels to put on our reusable shopping bags so the baggers will know they already belong to us. This baby also really came in handy for Josh’s classroom supplies and when I organized all my lingerie!

For my official review, I’d say this label maker does exactly what you need it to. It comes with a few cool features like typing vertical and 2 font selections. My only complaint so far is that it uses a lot of excess tape at the beginning and end of each label. I usually end up chopping some of it off, so that starts to feel a little wasteful after a while. But other than that, it’s a fantastic little label maker that makes organizing super simple!

Favorite way to label things: GO!

get organized for the holidays!

**Update! I’m now teaching a Holiday Prep Boot Camp on atly.com! Because of this I’ll no longer be able to offer free holiday printables in this post! BUT, you can easily register for my e-course to get more printables, tips, and tricks to have your most organized holiday season ever. You can also get more class info from this post, here!**

I don’t know about you guys, but it is a yearly tradition for me to catch the “holiday bug” around the end of August. I just can’t help myself. Fall is my favorite season and I start to crave the warmth and excitement of the later months. And since my husband is faster than me (and also very apt to catching the decorating-crazed look in my eye), I get my holiday high from preparation rather than having to explain why exactly I’m putting up the Christmas tree in September before he has me committed.

My pride and joy as of late has been my Holiday and Party Binder. Its. Got. Everythinggg and it makes my heart happy. Today, I’ll give you a short run down of mine (to help you with yours!) and some free printables so you can get started too! Let’s go!

  • The first tab is dedicated to “Birthdays!” I’m a big believer in birthdays and try my darndest to make sure all my family gets, at minimum, a nice card. Here, I keep a calendar of all family birthdays and a gift planning worksheet.
  • Next up is the “Upcoming Holiday” Tab. With the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas (which get their own), I lump all holidays into one tab. Here, I keep our “Traditions Checklist” and also any decorating and party planning worksheets. Once the holiday is over, I’ll replace the worksheets with new ones for whatever holiday is next. Pretty Simple.
  • The next two tabs are “Thanksgiving” and “Christmas”, respectively. They both contain recipes (we have a different menu for each), menu planner, house guest planner, party planner, and a tradition checklist.
  • “Christmas” also gets a Christmas Card List, a Gift Planner, a General Gift Planner (for hostess/boss/secret santa gifts; we put together a few of one gift to have on hand), and a Gifts Received List (so we can be sure to send out Thank You’s!).
  • A tab dedicated to “Traveling” helps me keep trip itineraries and packing lists organized.
  • The last few tabs contain extra blank sheets, sheets from past years, and, at the very back, I keep an “Inspiration” tab. Thanks to Pinterest, this tab is largely unused, but I do have a few magazine pages I save for reference.

Now for the free stuff!

Here are my Gift Planning Worksheet, my General Gift Planner, and my House Guest Planner so you can start your own holiday binder (or add to the one you already have, you savvy thing!). These printables are uncluttered, work for all holidays, and won’t jack up your printer ink bill. I am hoping to get the rest of the planning sheets mentioned available to print, so stay tuned  for more.

When it comes to the holidays, do you get an early start or are do you love the later December scramble?

entertaining tips for overnight guests

This past weekend, we hosted Josh’s sisters (Rachel and Jennifer) in our new apartment who were in town for Rachel’s college orientation. And even though I am the self-proclaimed “aspiring hostess” in my family, overnight entertaining is a challenge.

Here are a few tips to make it easier!

Set everything out in advance – There are certain things you can anticipate your guests needing. Towels, pillows, water glasses, and extra blankets are a few examples. You can avoid running around to pull these things out after your guests need them by setting them out in advance.

via Emily Henderson

Have a snack basket – We always have one of these set on top of our refrigerator for easy access but if you don’t it would be a great way to make sure your guests are never hungry! We filled ours with granola bars, fruit snacks, crackers, and a few popcorn bags.


via Teal and Lime

Set up your coffee maker to start automatically – It’s hard to get the timing right in the morning with guests. Someone has to wake up first and if it’s your guest(s), you’ll want to make sure they have something to start the morning. Of course, non-coffee drinkers (if any of those exist) need not worry about this.

via Apartment Therapy

Have something to do – With my family, good conversation is usually the primary activity at get-togethers but it’s always good to have something else on hand. We are huge advocates of board games! They’re fun and can create some really hilarious memories. Depending on your guests, you might stick with something classic like cards or dominos or you can go a little bit silly with a game like Quelf (one of our favorites) or Apples to Apples, which we played this past weekend.

our game shelf

Make sleeping arrangements in advance – knowing who is sleeping where early on lets everyone relax a little bit sooner. They can have a designated place to put their belongings and when they’re ready for bed they already know where they’re going!

our bedroom from 1313

And there you have it! Just a few things to consider before your overnight guests arrive!

Do you have any other overnight entertaining tips? Share below!

our home: fun, easy, & colorful kitchen updates

Today, I’m sharing some fun and super simple updates to our kitchen. When we debuted our fun kitchen makeover we shared some temporary solutions to our ugly, apartment kitchen and over the past few months, we’ve added some new functional and decorative accents to make our kitchen space more ‘us.’

First up, I had some fun and painted the ends of our wooden utensils in different shades of blue. I saw these two versions of this project on Pinterest and knew it was something I would be doing. It was fun, easy, and pretty inexpensive.

I picked up some Martha Stewart high-gloss acrylic paint in three shades of blue. The label says it’s a multi-surface paint that works for indoor and outdoor projects. I figured if it had the durability to withstand the weather, it could surely handle our kitchen. I simply taped off the edges of our wooden utensils and gave each one about three coats of paint (with about 20 minutes of wait time between each coat). I let them cure for about two full days before putting them to use. Also, I made sure to put the painted edge far away from the part that actually touches food, just to be safe.

We keep all of our kitchen utensils in a ceramic vessel that sits on our counter. So, while our wooden spoons may look like your traditional conservative cooking accessories, upon pulling one out, you’ll find an unexpected pop of color! I love it!

Next we have something that I’ve been so in love with ever since they arrived. I ordered some vinyl chalkboard labels (plus the chalk marker) from Bugaboo on Etsy to dress up our cereal containers that sit on top of the refrigerator.

Don’t they look fantastic? Of course, I would be able to distinguish the types of cereal by their looks, but I think you can agree that the labels make breakfast a little more fun! They were inexpensive, easy to apply, and whenever the contents of the container changes, so does the label!

And lastly, we have our family calendar which is one of the most functional and useful items in our home. Josh and I are both finishing up school, working, and usually have lots of obligations to keep track of. I ordered this customized vinyl calendar from Say It With Style on Etsy and it is awesome! She provides the actual vinyl; you provide your own frame. I used a cute wrapping paper as the background, but it could be easily swapped for something new should the feeling strike! The vinyl is applied to the back of the frame so you don’t need to worry about cleaning it or it peeling off. We use vis-à-vis markers that wipe off clean with some Windex. With just a glance, we can see what the other has scheduled for the day and plan accordingly.

The best part is that I customized our calendar to have a “dinner list” section as opposed to a “shopping list” which we keep attached to the refrigerator. I write down our planned meals for the week here and it’s a super simple way for us to see our dinner options.

And that wraps up our kitchen updates. Have you done any small projects lately that have you excited? Any pinterest accomplishments? Share below!

P.S. This weekend is our college graduation so we’re getting the place ready for lots of family! We’ll be sure to share pictures and a fun recap of the big day next week!