Customized Vanity Organizing

Customized Vanity Organizing

Recently, people were asking me about my do-it-yourself vanity.  You see, I share this vanity with my teenage daughter.  She has her side and I have mine.  Guess which side is mine? I think my side tends to be more organized than hers.

before vanity transformation

When we started sharing a vanity, this is how it looked.  I used white drawer organizers that I purchased at the container store. They fit OK but there was about an inch of space in the back that wasn’t being used.  And, you know, how much I don’t like wasted space.  So, this just wouldn’t do. before sticky paper

Oh, by the way, I also used a decorative adhesive shelf liner for the top since the cherry top was a little too shabby for my liking. Here is the before picture of the top.

lifestyle dividers

I went to one of my favorite places, The Container Store, and purchased these Lifestyle Systems dividers 3″ high.  This product comes with adhesive ends that you need to attach to the sides of the drawers.  You then, slide the divider into place to finish. Now, I know I must sound old, but, they have been around for more than 10 years and have used them for a while.  They are my favorite organizing product to customize drawers. If you follow my posts, you will already know that I am all about making things work in my smaller house. I used them in my kitchen drawers post recently. 

Here is how I setup the vanity drawer. 

measure the inside of the drawer

First, I measured the inside of the drawer.  Since I was planing on dividing them like I did when I had the drawer organizers, I measured the inside of the drawer only and took about 1/4 inch off the measurement.  

Measure the length of the dividers

Then, I used my ruler and marked it on the dividers with a pencil. 

mark the divider and then score with a knife.

I then, marked the dividers and used a knife to score it.  I scored it twice and then “snap”.  I snapped into a clean edge. That’s it. Awesome, right! If only every organizing product was this easy.  =) I then placed all the cut items into the drawer and arranged them with the end pieces.  I didn’t adhere them yet. When I determined what I wanted to do, I then removed the adhesive ends. It took about an hour to cut, arrange, and adhere. Here is the finished product.  

after vanity drawer transformation

If you were wondering what I did with the drawer organizers from the before picture, well here you go.

nightstand drawer organized

I hope this inspires you to organize a space by using a little creativity.  Please share your favorite creative organizing project. 

Sabrina Quairoli

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Cucumber Tomato Chickpea Feta Salad

Cucumber Tomato Chickpea Feta Salad

I love no lettuce salads.  Here is one of my favorites I made recently, Cucumber Tomato Chickpea Feta Salad.  I hope you enjoy it and share.

Ingredients:

1 long seedless cucumber about 2 cups cut into small quarter pieces
1 can Garbanzo (Chickpeas)
1 1/2 cups of cherry tomato quartered
1/2 cup of red onion
4 oz of herb feta (I used fat-free)
1 – 2 tbsp Parsley chopped
Favorite vinaigrette dressing (I used white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper)

Cucumber tomato chickpea feta salad

Here is a great blog about how to make these natural salad dressing recipes from Lenie Hokansson. It shows you step by step on how to make salad dressings that doesn’t require chemicals.

Instructions:

Cut the seedless cucumber up into small quarter pieces.

Rinse the Garbanzo beans.

Quarter the Cherry tomatoes.

Dice the red onion. Chop parsley.

Add all the ingredients into a bowl with the feta and add the amount of dressing to your like. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Here is the finished product!  Looks great right?  It was delicious.

Cucumber Tomato Chickpea Feta Salad

 

If you wish to print the recipe, here it is.

Cucumber Tomato Chickpea Feta Salad

Total Time 20 minutes

How Many Served 1/2 cup per person

Serving Size 8

Ingredients

  • 1 long seedless cucumber about 2 cups cut into small quarter pieces
  • 1 can Garbanzo / Chickpeas
  • 1 1/2 cups of cherry tomato quartered
  • 1/2 cup of red onion
  • 1 - 2 tbsp Parsley chopped
  • 4 oz of herb feta (I used fat free)
  • Favorite vinaigrette dressing (I used white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper)

Instructions

  1. Cut the seedless cucumber up into small quarter pieces.
  2. Rinse the Garbanzo beans.
  3. Quarter the Cherry tomatoes.
  4. Dice the red onion. Chop parsley.
  5. Add all the ingredients into a bowl with the feta and add the amount of dressing to your like. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

 

Sabrina Quairoli

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Organizing a Teen’s Nightstand

organizing a teen's nightstand

If you have a teenager like I do, you know that they are really busy with friends, school work, and after school activities.  Organizing their room is the last thing on their mind.

before night stand drawer

Here is the before picture of my daughter’s drawer.  Lots of pencils, pens, markers, a speaker, comb, brush, and small free stuff she received from a store years ago.  Half the items in the drawer were not even used.  It just was a place where she tossed the items when she was cleaning the top of the nightstand.  Basically, it was a catchall junk drawer posing as a nightstand drawer.

empty the drawer and sort items

First, I emptied the drawer and sorted the items. As you can see above, the drawer needed some TLC.  It was marked up a bit.

drawer cubbies

I recently went to The Container Store and found these dividers squares for drawers.  They worked pretty well. All I did was measure the width and “snap”  It broke off nicely and easily.

after nightstand drawer

I first added Contact paper to the bottom of the drawer.  It covered the marks on the bottom and made it look new again.

Then, I didn’t want all small squares as shown on the packaging because she had markers and pens and other longer items that needed to be in the drawer. So I added the thin space on the right side so it would keep the horizontal dividers stable.

What do you think?  I thought it came out cute. Have you organized your nightstand recently?  What is your favorite organizing item?  Please share it in the comment section.

 

Sabrina Quairoli

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8 QUICK TIPS TO OVERCOME PROCRASTINATION THIS SUMMER

quick tips to overcome procrastination

Oh, those summer days, where you can kick back and relax. You may want to lay around, take long weekend trips, and stay out late at night. The heck with organizing, right? Wait just a minute. Clutter doesn’t stop accumulating in the summer. So, why should you stop keeping your home organized?

Here are 8 quick tips to overcome procrastination this summer and stay organized:

  1. Schedule 15 minute each night to do a clean sweep of the house. This is where you go and put all the small items that were left out away. Trash goes in the trash can, plates go in the dishwasher.
  2. Pick the time of day you least like to stay outside. If you don’t like the heat and want to stay inside at 3:00 to 4:00 pm or 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm, use this time to do your indoor organizing projects.
  3. Start with the project you love to do first to get you motivated to continue on with the projects you dislike.
  4. Clear the floors and tables that are frequently used like stairs, hallways, and kitchen surfaces. By doing this, it will make your home look less cluttered.
  5. After you clear a frequently used area, make a system that will help you keep it organized. Here are some examples: Add a table with a bin for mail. Add baskets to stairs for small items that need to be brought upstairs or downstairs. Hang a key ring holder for all the frequently used keys.
  6. Take advantage of the rainy days. Check the weather and see when in the next week it possibly will rain and plan what you want to do on that day.
  7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Keep in mind, this will help you speed up the organizing process and you can get on with your next adventure.
  8. Motivate yourself to do the project by telling yourself you CAN DO IT AND GET IT DONE. Don’t allow negative talk stop you from completing the project. Reward yourself for doing an organizing project. Determine the reward before you do the project. And, make sure you give yourself the reward after you do the project.

Hopefully, this summer, you will have lots of motivation to get your home organized.  I hope this helps you make the most of your summer.

Sabrina Quairoli

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Mexican Scrambled Eggs In A Boat

mexican scrambled eggs in a boat

Here is a quick and easy Mexican Scrambled Eggs in a boat for breakfast or breakfast for dinner.  I made this dish recently for the kids and I when I needed a quick meal to make. It includes pantry items and can be made in 15 minutes. Here we go.

mexican scrambled eggs ingredients

Ingredients:

6 eggs (2 per person)
Splash of milk
3-4 tbsp Your Favorite Salsa
3 Old El Paso Bowls 
1 tbsp of Mexican Seasoning
3 Bacon cooked in strips break in half

mix the ingredients then cook

Scramble the eggs with milk and pour them in a greased warm skillet.  Then when they start to set, add the salsa and then the cheese and continue mixing until it is to your liking. Place in a tortilla bowl like the one below. 

Mexican Scrambled Eggs

Here is the end result. Looks great right.  It was delicious.  It made 3 total bowls (boats).

Here is the recipe if you want to print it.

Mexican Scrambled Eggs In A Boat

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs (2 per person)
  • Splash of milk
  • 3-4 tbsp Your Favorite Salsa
  • 3 Old El Paso Bowls
  • 1 tbsp of Mexican Seasoning
  • 3 Bacon cooked in strips break in half

Instructions

  1. Scramble the eggs with milk and pour them in a greased warm skillet.
  2. Then when they start to set, add the salsa and then the cheese and continue mixing until it is to your liking.
  3. Place in a tortilla bowl like the one below.

What is your favorite Mexican dish?  Please leave a comment below.

Sabrina Quairoli

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Keep Calm and Carry On While Organizing

keep calm and carry on while organizing

I always liked the “Keep Calm and Carry On” slogan when I saw it for the first time about 15 years ago.  It is so simple and easy to read and says a lot.  After doing some research, I found out that this saying was used on posters to be displayed to boost morale because of the threat of widespread mass air attacks on major British cities in 1939. But, apparently, they weren’t used that much.  Too bad, it was a great idea.

As the summer starts, I wanted to revisit this type of slogan to help you stay motivated on those hot summer days when all you want to do is sleep.  I added tips below each image to help you as well.

keep calm and clear the clutter

KEEP CALM AND CLEAR THE CLUTTER

Tip: When feeling overwhelm, start with a small task. If you start with a small task and finish it, it will help you move on to the next task.

stay calm and make a checklist

STAY CALM AND MAKE A CHECKLIST

Tip: When looking at the big picture of what you want to do, breakdown the steps into smaller checklist steps to help you get to your goal.

keep calm and take a deep breath

KEEP CALM AND TAKE A DEEP BREATH

Tip: When we are dealing with stress, we forget to breath deeply. So when you are in a stressful organizing situation, take a deep breath two or three times. It’s amazing how well it calms you down.

stay calm and clear the mess

STAY CALM AND CLEAR THE MESS

Tip: This is for those of you who need a MOM voice yelling at you to clear the mess. Yes, I know, no one likes being yelled at, but some people are so used to a mom yelling, they don’t do anything unless someone is yelling at them. =) Though remember just because the voice may be louder than normal, doesn’t mean it is not done out of love.

keep calm and finish the task at hand

KEEP CALM AND FINISH THE TASK AT HAND

Tip: This is for those of you who need the MOM’s voice to be softer and more nurturing. Both of these statements are, of course, coming from a loving place.

I hope this helps motivate you to stay organized this summer. Do you have other sayings that help you stay motivated? Please leave a comment below.

Sabrina Quairoli

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Quick and Cheap Organizing

quick and cheap organizing

While swapping my son’s winter comforter for his quilt in his walk-in closet, I realized that when I organized his custom build closet, I didn’t get him something to hold his baseball caps. It was not a big deal at the time because we had lots of room to just place the hats on the shelf.

hats on a shelf

So, I went on a hunt for something cheap and that would function for my son’s closet.  You see, my son has a closet that has one entire wall is pretty much useless.  If you put anything on this wall, it needed to be pretty flat or he would bang into it all the time. So, today I went at Marshalls and lucky for me (and him), they had a clearance sale.

Here is what I found.  I got it for… $6.00. Yes, that’s right, $6.00! As proof, I left the price tag on it so you could see it.  It had lots of hooks great for hats and I thought the style and color worked for a boy’s closet as well.  He didn’t seem to mind. hat rack

And, with two nails and a hammer, I installed it in a total of 5 minutes.  Here is how it looks.  Very simple, easy, and organized – my kind of project.  Do you like it?  I think it is great!

baseball cap hook rack

I hope this serves as a good example of inexpensive organizing.  You do not have to spend lots of money or hours to get organized, you just need a little creativity, a purpose and patience.

Tips to Get The Best Deal On Organizing Supplies:

  • Going to discount stores work best to help you save money on organizing supplies.  Walmart and Target are great stores to find organizing items but Marshalls, TJMaxx, and Ross stores get organizing items in all the time and you will probably find items there at a deeper discount.
  • Be patient when looking for these items, you may not find the item right away at these discount stores.
  • Write a list of organizing items you need and what room it is for. If you use a smart phone, write the list in a note taking or checklist app so you have it when you are around.  Include details like the size you are looking for and what color or type of material you want.
  • Be flexible, you might not find the exact color or material you are looking for.

What tips do you have to get cheaper organizing supplies?  Please share your tips in the comments section.

Sabrina Quairoli

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Red Pepper Black Bean Sliders

red pepper black bean slider

Some years ago, I started making black bean burgers. They are so easy to do and you can pretty much make then for a quick meal during the week. Today I am going to share a recipe called: Red Pepper Black Bean Sliders

Ingredients:
2 15 oz cans of Black Beans
6 tsp Egg Whites
2 Tbsp Oregano
2 tsp Basil
1 tsp of Onion Powder or fresh onion
1 tsp of Granulated Garlic
1 to 1 1/2 cup of Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup Roasted Red Peppers (I used Mancini Roasted Red Peppers)

Instructions:

mash black beans

Mash black beans in a bowl. Then, mix the rest of the ingredients together.

Scoop out the black bean

Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop out a a heaping scoop of the mix. Then, form into a small burger. You can make 10 slider burgers with this mix.

Preheat grill. Then, spray each patty with a non-stick spray and then place the sprayed down on the grill.

grilled black bean sliders

Meanwhile, cut cheese slices into 4 small squares. Make 10 small squares. I used Muenster cheese slices.

small cheese square stacks for sliders

Cook the sliders for 5 minutes on the grill. Then turn over 5 minutes. Then, add the cheese. And, start assembling the sliders.

grilled black bean sliders

For the toppings, I then, I mixed Olive Oil Mayonnaise and Sriracha sauce. I used baby spinach as the lettuce.

Here is the recipe to print:

Red Pepper Black Bean Burger Sliders

Ingredients

  • 2 15 oz cans of Black Beans
  • 6 tsp Egg Whites
  • 2 Tbsp Oregano
  • 2 tsp Basil
  • 1 tsp of Onion Powder or fresh onion
  • 1 tsp of Granulated Garlic
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cup of Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Roasted Red Peppers (I used Mancini Roasted Red Peppers)

Instructions

  1. Mash black beans in a bowl. Then, mix the rest of the ingredients together.
  2. Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop out a a heaping scoop of the mix. Then, form into a small burger. You can make 10 slider burgers with this mix.
  3. Preheat grill. Then, spray each patty with a non-stick spray and then place the sprayed down on the grill.
  4. Meanwhile, cut cheese slices into 4 small squares. Make 10 small squares. I used Muenster cheese slices.
  5. Cook for 5 minutes on the grill. Then turn over 5 minutes. Then, add the cheese. And, start assembling the sliders.
  6. For the toppings, I then, I mixed Olive Oil Mayonnaise and Sriracha sauce. I used baby spinach as the lettuce.

Sabrina Quairoli

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Greetings From Mom In Heaven

greetings from mom in heaven

Many years ago, my mom passed and my brother and I were given the privilege and honor to clear out her lovely home. One day, while clearing out her books for donation, I came a cross this letter poem tucked into the pages of one of my mom’s favorite books. I don’t know where she got it. But since it is Mother’s Day, I wanted to share this with you. After reading the letter poem, it resonated with me and my brother and helped us, push through and let go of the sadness and rejoice in her life.

 

To Those I Love And Those Who Love Me,

When I am gone, release me. Let me go.
I have so many things to see and do.
You mustn’t tie yourself to me with tears,
Be happy, we had so many years.

I gave you my love and you can only guess
How much you gave to me in happiness.
I thank you for the love you each have shown
But now it’s time I traveled alone.

So grieve a while for me if grieve you must
Then let your grief be comforted by trust.
It’s only for a while that we must part
So bless those memories in your heart.

I won’t be far away, for life goes on.
So if you need me, call and I will come.
Though you can’t see or touch me, I’ll be near
And if you listen with your heart, you’ll hear.
All my love around you soft and clear.

And then, when you must come this way alone,
I’ll greet you with a smile and “Welcome You Home”.

Author: Unknown

Isn’t it lovely?  Makes me tear up every time I read it.  I have added an image below if you wish to share it.

poem to those i love

Though the letter poem can be for anyone who passed, I related it more to my mom.  I think I may add it to my personal documents so my kids will also have the opportunity to read it.

I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day with or without your mother!  If your  mother has passed, please comment below what valuable lesson did she teach you.   I would love to hear from you.

Sabrina Quairoli

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Monthly Organizing Challenge Setting Up Evening Routines

may organizing challenge

Last month, I talked about creating a morning routine in one of my posts. But, it is not only important to have a morning routine/ritual to make your day start right, it is also important to set up a nightly routine to easy yourself into going to bed.

So, this monthly organizing challenge is to help you setup an evening routine for you and your family.

First, determine what needs to be done in your evening routine. As yourself these questions:

What does your kids need to get done before going to bed?
What tasks will help your next day run more smoothly?
What helps you relax before you go to bed?
What helps your kids relax before going to bed?

Then, write down the tasks on a piece of paper for each person in your household. Each person should have their own tasks on their own paper. Cut the tasks into strips and put them in order that makes the task list flow naturally (like place all the bedroom tasks together) and tape them the strips to another sheet of paper.

Now, it’s time to add the routine.  Starting on a Sunday seems to help make the routine easier to manage for the week. Make your evening routine important for everyone and keep to the schedule.  It takes time to set a new habit, so stick with it.

Here is an example of my evening routine:

6:30 PM to 7:00 PM – Have an Isagenix Dairy Free Shake
7:00 PM to 8:00 PM – Get what I need tomorrow together and place near my pocketbook
8:00 PM to 9:00 PM – Watch a TV or read to relax
9:00 PM to 9:30 PM – Get ready for bed

Here is one of my kids evening routine:

6:30 PM to 7:00 PM – Get a snack
7:00 PM to 7:10 PM – Make my lunch for tomorrow

7:15 PM to 7:30 PM – Clean up, put my instrument near my backpack and put my backpack in the hallway for tomorrow.
7:30 PM to 8:30 PM – Watch TV
8:30 PM to 9:00 PM – Take a shower and get ready for bed

By making evening routines, you are preparing yourself for the next day. It will help you wind down before bed. It will help control the stress of running around in the morning to gather these items together as well.   Try it and then, leave a comment below and let me know how it goes.  Good luck.

 

Sabrina Quairoli

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