Just writing this post makes me breathe a sigh of relief. That’s what happens when I purge and organize – which is a very popular topic this time of year. It’s something that is popular for me all year round since nothing really feels better than getting your home organized and getting rid of that stuff that has accumulated.

I am calling this the year of less stuff. I want to get rid of more stuff; the key for me will be buying less stuff. Yes, I mean you Megan.

Actually, I haven’t been to a store to shop for weeks now and it feels so good.

Every time I get the urge to grab my wallet and head out the door to a store, I stop and look around my house and see what I can do here instead. Maybe try to figure out new ways to put together outfits to curb my clothes shopping appetite (which is quite healthy). Or perhaps organize or style a little corner of the house so it feels new and fresh to stop my twitchy fingers from wanting to snap up home decor items from Target or a thrift store.

Making things I already own seem new to me has really helped me stop me bringing more stuff into the house.

So I have been in the habit of assessing what I have and organizing it to a “T” so I know what I have (so I don’t buy duplicates)! This is most helpful in my crafting world since there are all these little parts and pieces that can get lost in the way so you keep buying them and all of a sudden you have 1.5 million push pins, 25 pads of sticky notes, washi tape for miles, and 50 shades of the same ribbon (but of course they’re not grey).

I decided to tackle my craft corner in the studio. Thankfully my apartment has these wonderful built-in shelves that I knew would be perfect for a beautifully crafted craft organization spot. This is what it was looking like empty and then just moved in with stuff just tossed on the shelves.

I used only what I had in the house and brought together a lot of easy and inexpensive DIY organization projects that I’ve done over the years.

Plus, I FINALLY got some things up on my walls (thanks for washi tape and command hooks) that are apartment friendly (hello no holes to worry about when I move out).

Let’s take a look and stroll through all the little projects that make this a magnificent craft storage area for me.

Who says all artwork needs to be eye level! I taped up a calendar page and a card from my mom on the wall for visitors who stay over and get the oh-so-elegant air mattress treatment that gets them even with this lower level artwork. Plus, two thrifted planters stacked on top of each other leave space for some hidden craft supplies.

Fancy shoeboxes with labels provide great free storage and a dollar store bin lets that pretty yarn shine as its own decoration.

My favorite magazines are beautiful to look at and easy to grab for inspiration. Plus, a brass thrifted container holds business cards of favorite bloggers and vendors.

An open blue plastic basket showcases fabric to remind me what I have and provide pretty eye candy.

My home organization binder cozies up to two magazine holders that actually hold extra colored paper and my favorite recipes torn out of cooking magazines.

DIY Magazines are the base of a cardboard box full of various supplies and my label maker.

A colorful bin holds notebooks, cards, colored pencils, and markers.

All my files are tucked into and precisely organized in this file keeper from Target.

My “Can It” tin made from a holiday popcorn tin holds my paints while dollar store tins hold markers, washi tape, glitter tape, and paint brushes corralled on an upside down acrylic frame used as a tray.

Upcycled metal coffee cans hold ribbon, hole punches, glue, and other craft goodies.

Glitter letters are from the sun room at the house and beautiful 2014 calendar pages are hung with washi tape on the wall beside the shelves.

The organization is not over! As a fun way to keep your organization inspiration fueled (I know you’re feeling it too), hop on through to these other amazing bloggers who are sharing their organization genius with you!

  • Your craft supplies are organized so attractively. I know that you are so happy to have everything in one spot and labeled so you know exactly where everything is. I like how you used washi tape to hang pictures. You can easily switch them out without taking the paint off the walls. (I need to try that tip at school.) Finally, I think you found the perfect spot for your “Be Bold” letters.ReplyCancel

    • Thank you so much Paula! I LOVE how the Be Bold letters look there. It wasn’t until I had the shelves all organized perfectly that I knew that was the place for them! And washi tape is definitely my new best friend with apartment walls!ReplyCancel

  • grammygoodwill

    Your room looks great. I love the colorful way your organized your supplies. I also have travel mementoes in my craft room and was fortunate to win a world map decal recently from Erin on http://diyonthecheap.com/.ReplyCancel

    • Thank you so much! Your world map decal sounds like an awesome win (and I love Erin’s blog)! I love all things travel and putting them into my décor too.ReplyCancel

  • I love that you didn’t have to pay a fortune for super cute and clever storage containers! Love the “Can it” popcorn tin! XOReplyCancel

    • Thank you so much Christy! Yeah, I am just not feeling like spending money on organization these days. I just want to use what I have (in every way)! The Can It is probably my favorite too! :)ReplyCancel

  • I love how colorful this is and brightens up the entire space. you are so far ahead of me when it comes to organizing crafts. Mine looks like a true junkers’ haven in our basement. Love the “Be Bold” message, too! Sharing…ReplyCancel

    • Thank you so much Jeanette! I love adding so much color to my white/beige apartment! The Be Bold is in just the perfect spot too! Just right for such a lively corner I feel. Your craft area sounds like fun though! Junkers heaven!ReplyCancel

  • So cute!! I love how you repurposed what you already have. I need to work on that myself…Also your globe is beautiful!ReplyCancel

    • Thank you so much Carrie! I can’t get enough of globes. I would have a globe (and map) room if possible!ReplyCancel

  • I wish I could come over so we could hang out. (Maybe we can settle for Haven?) ;)
    Your apartment is so super cute Megan! If your coffee cans or Paris/London art or globe end up missing, it wasn’t me!ReplyCancel

    • Aww I totally agree Jen! Haven will have to do! :) Thank you so much for the kind words. Well at least if my things go missing it will give me the chance to visit you!ReplyCancel

  • Megan, Just love the creative ways you organized and stored your supplies! I’m getting ready to tackle my office and can’t wait to try some of your good ideas:) Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

    • Thank you so much Wendi! I do love to organize! Good luck with your office. I know you will make it beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • It looks great, Megan. I love the colorful containers and that globe stand is awesome. Have a great week!ReplyCancel

    • Thank you Angie! I love globes so much! I need a globe room! :)ReplyCancel

One of the things that I have learned as I continue this trial and error thing we call decorating is that a color scheme and a plan are really, really helpful when planning a room and house. I’m one who likes to just buy things willy-nilly when I like them, only to be disappointed when I get home and it doesn’t quite work. On the other side, sometimes I pass by things because I’m not sure if they will work or not and realize, once I get home, that it would have been perfect.

So yes, while I do fully recognize that decorating is trial and error and there is no perfect formula to get it right (nor should there be since it is fun to mix and match and playfully decorate) having at least a color scheme and an idea of what you want the room to look like helps tremendously when decorating. Plus, you will probably find yourself saving money and time in the long run.

This all brings us to the plan in my apartment living room.

Having struggled so much with my past living room, feeling lost in a vast sea of brown and red and trying (and failing) to brighten it up and at the same time love a wall color I don’t think I can by buying the busiest and craziest rug I’ve ever run into, I decided to come up with a plan on how to make this apartment feel more cohesive and very me.

Picking the colors was easy. Ever since I bought my emerald ottoman I have loved everything in this deep jewel tone. I love the idea of playing with deeper colors while still keeping a room light and bright.

For me, it is a natural pairing of emerald to navy since I love blue in every shade. Throw in a metallic (gold of course) with the neutrals of my furniture (not ready to buy new pieces yet but the couch is still not my favorite) and we call that a room color scheme: emerald, navy, gold, and neutrals (tan/grey).

Now comes the fun part of looking at inspiration pictures to get ideas on how to bring it all together. Here are some of my favorite inspiration pieces.

Source

Source

Source

Source

Source

Source

Source

Source

Source

Source

I love looking at all these inspiration pictures and how they mix the colors in both bold and dramatic ways and more subtle and soft ways. Now I just need to figure out how to make it my own in my little living room! I already have a rug and pillows picked out to make it start happening!

Psst: All these images and more are in my Emerald and Navy Pinterest board if you’re interested in seeing more!

  • Jennifer

    That color scheme is perfect for you! Can’t wait to see how you bring the room together. :)ReplyCancel

    • Thanks so much Jen!! I’m excited to start putting it together too! Spoiler alert: I already have the rug!!ReplyCancel

  • I love navy and green together. I think it goes back to middle school when preppy colors were in.

    Can’t wait to see your new rug!ReplyCancel

    • Haha, Paula! Love it! I never really thought of emerald and navy as preppy but now that you said that I do!ReplyCancel

  • carol

    It’s not for me but it sure is pretty. I love your gray chairs.ReplyCancel

  • Hillary

    Gorgeous! I love your inspiration photos and look forward to your interpretation in your cute apartment!!ReplyCancel

New year, new you. That’s a motto you hear swirling around a lot every January.

Everyone is looking to change, slim down, eat better, feel better, and improve their lives. I think that is all well and good but I think it also puts a lot of pressure on yourself. That’s a lot of change (and probably a lot of habits to break) but definitely attainable too.

Yet at the same time I love the start of a fresh year. I always do feel like I have a fresh outlook, feel invigorated, and am ready to just put down the candy already (which I tend to hit a little harder than most).

I’m pretty good with regular exercise and am also training for some upcoming races in the next few months but am still feeling motivated to get more fit and toned. I thought as we all strive for better fitness together I would share a great workout routine that I’ve been doing for a couple of months that is really working well for me. (Big thanks to a co-worker who wants to be a personal trainer for putting this together for me.)

The beauty of it is that it can work for all fitness levels! I’ve put what I do below but you can cater the pounds of the weights and the reps to what challenge you and then build from there.

My 6 Day Fitness Routine

Fitness Equipment Needed:

Day 1: Chest Day

Day 2: Back

Day 3: Shoulders

Day 4: Leg Day

Day 5 & 6: Cardio 

I usually run every Saturday and Sunday morning as my cardio but do what feels good to you! Power walk, bike, elliptical machine, jump rope, a favorite sport…the list goes one. Find what works for you and make it work!

Everyday: Abs

I tend to do the strength training Monday through Thursday in the order listed above, have a rest day on Friday, and then run on the weekend. That’s just what seems to work for me!

I’d love to know how you like this workout routine if you try it. Or if you have stellar workout tips I am all ears! Now stop reading and go burn some calories!

  • This looks like a great plan for staying fit that would work for anyone. If you want to run together on a Saturday or Sunday, please let me know. My running partner is injured and I’ve only run once in 2015!ReplyCancel

    • Thanks so much Paula! We should definitely run together sometime! I’m not promising any fast times though!ReplyCancel

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a blast inviting in the new year, whether that meant being snuggled up at home in your PJs or partying out with friends! I enjoyed snacking, dancing (with a four year old dance buddy), and gabbing with my friends for a few hours on New Years Eve.

To really set the tone of the new year I wanted to do a little craft for my wonderful co-workers that I love dearly. Our office has such a happy, vivacious vibe and a lot of people gave everyone small gifts around Christmas. I wasn’t able to make that happen but I thought that it could be fun and would start the new year off right by doing a little giving myself.

When I spotted these mini disco balls (similar disco balls) at the store I knew I had to make them the star of the gift.

Plus, they have lip gloss inside them (which is so cute yet so middle school and I love that)! But sorry boy co-workers, no gift for you…

I started with the disco balls which conveniently had two little holes on top (I think perhaps to make them into ornaments or put on a key chain?).

Then I cut gift tags out of glitter scrapbook paper. I just cut out a rectangle and then clipped the corners to make it a little fancier. I used a one hole punch to put a hole in the top.

I decided to use my metallic Sharpies to write “Bling it on 2015″ on the white side of the tag.

Finally I took curly wrapping ribbon (I used this because it was pointy and easy to get through those little holes), strung them through the holes, tied on a tag, curled the ribbon, and called it a day!

Can you tell that I had a blast photographing these disco ball New Years presents? Disco balls, ribbon, and glitter make me giddy and camera happy!

Psst — Fun tip: Use a one hole punch and scrapbook paper (the little pieces you thought you wouldn’t find a use for) to make pretty confetti. That’s how I made the glitter confetti in the pictures!

  • i love anything that involves a disco ball! so fun!ReplyCancel

    • Me too! I definitely want to incorporate a disco ball or two into my everyday décor!ReplyCancel

  • Kim

    So cute! Perhaps I will do this for Valentine’s Day! Where did you find the lip gloss balls?ReplyCancel

    • Hi Kim! I got the lip gloss ones at Wal-Mart in the Christmas section…so I’m pretty sure they are seasonal. :( Maybe they will put something out for Valentine’s Day?ReplyCancel

  • Adorable! This is the perfect New Year’s treat for you co-workers.ReplyCancel

    • Thank you so much Paula! It was fun to make a little gift for them!ReplyCancel

My goodness it seems like winter really hit this week. Nor does it help that I spent the last week in sunny LA soaking up plenty of rays in 70 degree weather. My first warm Christmas and this girl wasn’t complaining one bit (but really how could I since I spent a glorious week with my sister and her amazing family?!).

However, coming back to 30 degree weather and possible snow showers has put me right back into a frigid winter mindset. What is one of my favorite ways to endure the cold weather? Warm soup, chili, or curry of course! Really, I could live on variations of soup all winter long. It’s one of my favorite things ever!

When I stumbled across this recipe in a local paper (of all places) I couldn’t wait to make it. Nor did it disappoint. It brings another two of my favorites together: Thai food and butternut squash. Not sure you like the sound of that? Well I brought it to work for my lunch and just by heating it up I think I hooked everyone with the smell. It smells heavenly and tastes even better. I highly recommend just giving it a shot! It’s so delicious (and really is quite nutritious).

Thai Red Curry with Butternut Squash and Chickpeas

Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1/3 cup of Thai red curry paste (easily found in most grocery stores)
  • 15 oz. can of chickpeas
  • 13 oz. can of coconut milk (I use the light version)

Directions

  • Heat a pot over medium-high heat. Add oil, then add the curry paste and stir for one minute, until fragrant.
  • Add the squash and stir to coat with curry paste. Stir in chickpeas.
  • Add the coconut milk and 3/4 cup of water and bring to simmer.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and gently simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the squash begins to soften.
  • Uncover pot and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until the squash is tender but not falling apart and the sauce has reduced slightly.

There you have it! The hardest part is peeling and cubing the squash (why are they so hard?!) but the rest is just adding a bunch of ingredients into a pot. This sounds like the perfect dish for a cozy New Years weekend – plus a healthy and filling meal to jump start a healthy new year!