Organizing your life, but taking it one room at a time…

It seems like the biggest craze these days is getting organized and getting rid of the stuff we accumulate overtime. I have been working on doing this in my apartment because I am a little bit of a hoarder. OKAY, not that stuff everywhere, can’t walk in the place, could be housing extra critters than my two dogs, hoarder, but I get attached to certain things and think I’ll need them at some point in my life, a little cluttered, hoarder. (Affiliate Links ahead, please see my contact page to read my full disclaimer)

But I’m working on it! Having a boyfriend like Thomas, how loves clean lines and ZERO clutter, I have had to get outside my comfort zone and minimize slightly. And I do mean slightly, some people may look at my pictures and think I am still holding on to to much crap, but trust me, it is a process!

First room I started with was the bathroom, and that’s what I will show you today. I wish I had before photos, but like I said this has been a process over the last few months, and it slowly was more and more organized.

Bathroom Drawer

Here is my only drawer in my bathroom, I try to organize everything in a way that I can see everything, and each item has a place. My make up is separated into different categories/shapes, my lotion pots are in an area, and my smaller items are corralled into sections. I used two of these acrylic organizers in the bottom right corner to hold things such as hair ties, chapstick, make up sponges, and a few of these baskets in different sizes to hold makeup brushes, lotion pats, and items that are too long to stand straight up in the drawer. But I will say the key to keeping everything in their place is command strips! This is a must. When you open and close your drawer, the baskets move around and it doesn’t seem to organized anymore.

Since we don’t have the biggest bathroom, I try to make the items we do have look presentable and organized as well, especially when they don’t necessarily fit in a drawer or in the medicine cabinet. I keep all of Thomas an my perfumes/colognes on a decorative tray (this one matches the minimalist theme) and it makes it seem a little more put together than a bunch of bottles just sitting there. Next to our sink, I have an additional acrylic container, but this one has 6 compartments and can house little items such as flossers, q-tips, and bobby pins. I also have this soap/lotion combo because I love the smell and it looks nicer than just a bottle of soap sitting there.

Medicine Cabinet

The medicine cabinet is not organized to the level of my drawer, but I tried to rearrange the shelves to make sure everything could fit easily, and I can grab the most important items without moving a lot of things. On the top level I have my cleaners, toners, and deodorant. On the second level I have smaller items such as face serums, face masks, toothpaste bits (if you are curious about them check out my blog post here on them – THEY ARE AMAZING) and on the bottom level I have smaller items including mouth pieces, floss, lip balm, and CDB creams/balms.

The last area, and probably the most unappealing to the eye, is the storage space under the sink. But I promise even in the chaos, everything has it’s place! On the left I have all our extra items (bars of soaps, extra deodorant, spare shampoo/conditioner) in a big plastic container on the bottom, and then I have other smaller plastic containers that house items by category. I have a mouth category which is extra toothbrushes, flossers, toothpaste, and floss. I have a medicine category. I have a nail polish category that holds all my polishes and tools to do my own manicure/pedicure and an extra category which holds my almond, jojoba, castor, and argan oils for when I want to make my own products. On the far right I have all of my hair products and a few other odds and ends that don’t fit anywhere else, which is crazy to me I have so many because my hair is usually up in a pony tail or down slick straight. I used a sliding storage shelf like this one, and I fill it with products standing tall on the top, and then my hair irons and dryers are down at the bottom. I also have my grab and go items such as a big bottle of lotion right at front.

So ultimately you just have to start; put some music on and start with a room! If one room is overwhelming to you, start with one drawer and see where it takes you. Here’s to organizing your life!

Decorating a Christmas Tree like a Pro!

Growing up my mother always took pride in decorating a huge, 9 foot, artificial Christmas tree. I believe, if I remember correctly, that it started out with multiple colors, different assortments of ornaments and bulbs, but the majority of the years it was a a gold and white tree with twinkling white lights with a beautiful electric angel that sat on the top with lit candles that moved when you turned her on. I think the thought of having any other kind of tree, but Gold and White, would just not be the Christmas that I remember. 

My Momma’s Tree

The last few years I didn’t have a Christmas tree because to be honest, we just didn’t have the space to store it. Thomas and I lived in a couple different apartments before the one we are at now, and before now we never had ‘extra space’ in any of our closets to store a Christmas tree box or a bunch of decorations, so I was limited to a small tote that had a few ribbons and candle holders. But this year we have room! 

This year will be the hardest for me since I will be celebrating Christmas solo, well with our two French Bulldogs, but Thomas won’t be able to make it up to Georgia until New Years, so I needed to decorate just for me, you know to keep my spirits up! I told myself, ‘this year no matter what, you will put up a tree’ and did I ever! I am so proud of my beautiful tree, not only because I did it by myself, but it includes a collection of beautiful ornaments that were bought and some that were homemade from me. I’ll show you a quick one I made a couple years for the puppies’ first in a later post, it was simple and came out so good. 

Ok, so back to the tree! So the type and look of tree is completely up to you as well as if you want it pre-lit or not. I chose a Pre-Lit Windham Spruce 6 Foot tree from Michael’s because they were having a big sale after Thanksgiving and the size is perfect for our apartment. I ended up going with the pre-lit tree because my mom told me it is a better option, but I think if I did it all over again, I would have done a tree without the lights because on my tree the lights don’t go all the way up on one side and I wish that they twinkled, but in the end it looks great and doesn’t matter. 

Building a Color Scheme

Next, you have to start with deciding on a color scheme, for me I wanted Gold and White which can include clear, some silver, the more glitter the better, and different textures, but mostly all Gold and White. I decided to buy 4 different kinds of bulbs in two different sizes, some gold and white jingle bells, and some hanging gold snow flakes. I also wanted to personalize my tree with some homemade ornaments, as I mentioned earlier, so I have my ornaments I make for our puppies each year, some hand painted ornaments, and some  that I bought from the store. I specifically chose a Silver Wonder Woman to give my mom a place on our tree (she dressed up in a homemade Wonder Woman outfit for halloween when she was my age and it just stuck with her because she looked so amazing in it and she is of course Wonder Woman in so many people’s eyes) a turtle for a nod to Florida, a slice of cake that I actually received a few years back from my sister in law because of my true passion baking, a gold and silver king/queen crown for Thomas and I, two reindeer heads, and a few older ornaments I had in my tote. 

I then wanted to embellish the tree with different kind of ‘picks’ things that are on a stick that usually are used in wreaths, but can easily be used in trees to add drama and dimension. I decided on some golden stars, gold poinsettias, white and glitter dipped pine cones, and white glittery beads on sticks. These all came together very nicely to fill the tree up and make the tree full and eliminate empty space. 

The last thing to decide on is the tree topper, the ribbon, and the tree skirt. The tree topper was a cheap $5 glittery gold topper from Target, and although it looks great, I wish it was just a little bit bigger. Next year I may get one that lights up, or an angel that reminds me of my childhood. The ribbon I added to my tree, and truth be told you should probably put this on BEFORE adding ornaments, but I just didn’t have the right one I wanted at the beginning and I wasn’t going to settle, was in place of where someone would put tinsel. You could  use tinsel, or a string of popcorn/beads, or anything else that will add some extra decoration to your tree that brings your eyes around your tree and from top to bottom, I just really fell in love with this ribbon. Here I used a roll of gold and white, non wired, ribbon (I feel like the wires make it look messy after year two because it gets bent out of shape) and draped the ribbon around the tree ( and actually didn’t even cut it off the roll – the rest is sitting on a branch in the back waiting to be rolled up after New Years! ). I started from the top behind the tree topper and then draped it down the tree in circles at an angle. I personally like when it moves in an angle down and around the tree because your eyes keep moving to something different that way, but if you like horizontal circles, that works to! 

Tree Topper and Ribbon

The last and final thing I added to the tree was a tree skirt! Ok, I guess this is the first time paying for everything that went into this Christmas tree and boy was I shocked when I found out good tree skirts were anywhere from $30-$75! NO WAY! I tried going to JoAnn’s Fabrics to see about making my own, but even then the fabric I wanted was $40/yard. so I kept looking and fell upon a cheap $10 throw blanket at Kirkland’s which was the perfect size and color. Ta Da! I have a tree skirt. I actually just draped it around the base, but next year I will cut it into a circle shape and maybe fill it to make it more prominent at the base of my tree. 

Quick Recap:

  1. Pick a Tree – You can choose from Artificial or Real, Pre-lit or Without Lights, and if you are daring Green or Color
  2. Choose a Color Scheme – Good options are Gold and White, Red and Gold, Multi-Color, Teal and Silver, Silver and Gold, and Purple and Teal.
  3. Start with a base of different sizes bulbs in your color scheme
  4. Add accent ornaments, homemade ornaments, festive picks, and fillers
  5. Add a decorative ribbon or tinsel
  6. Top the tree with a great topper 
  7. Finish the tree with a tree skirt – or in my case a blanket draped to look like a skirt
  8. ENJOY!
My Beautiful Christmas Tree

So there you have it! A tree that could easily be on the page of a magazine, or top of your Pinterest board, or whatever. It is easy with a little thought, doesn’t have to be crazy expensive if you work with things you already have, watch the holiday sales, and do some shopping after Christmas is over. I hope your Christmas tree brings you as much joy as mine has brought me! Merry Christmas everyone! 

DIY – Lavender Linen Spray

I currently work in an all-natural spa on the weekends and the other day this woman came in and asked me about a lavender pillow spray. We didn’t have any in stock, so I did some research and found a bunch of people have made it with the same formula so I wrote it down for her, gave her a bottle of our lavender essential oil, and sent her on her way to make it.

Later that day when I got home I decided I needed that lavender pillow spray and I was going to make it, so here is a quick how to on a universal linen/couch spray, that you can use with any combos of essential oils that you prefer.

Linen Spray

What you will need:

  • Lavender essential oil – we make individual sized ones from large bottles of the oils at the spa, but you can easily use this one.
  • Witch Hazel – Or you can use alcohol, a combination of both, or vodka, but I prefer the witch hazel since it is less harsh than alcohol and when used on your pillow, I feel like it will be better for your face and complexion.
  • Water – I used a bottle of water, the Atlanta water seems to have a lot of red clay sediments, and I want this to last a long time if I don’t use it right away.
  • Finger pump spray bottle – this was NOT easy to find at a store, I went to Dollar Tree and CVS and they didn’t have them, and then went to Walmart as a last resort and they only had one! So I had to take a cheap perfume and clean off the label so I could make two.
  • Funnel – this is only necessary if you don’t think you will be able to pour out of your container into the small bottle.

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is a natural astringent used for many, many years. I like to use the Witch Hazel that doesn’t contain any alcohol in it on my face because you can use it around your eyes, the one picture above, is acceptable for your face but make sure you do not use it around your eyes. I also have the lavender witch hazel spray that I like to use on my face before bed. You can use it on your body, like your back or booty, as well if you have any breakouts.

Pour in 6 tablespoons of water and 2 tablespoons of witch hazel into a container, mine has a corner to make it easier to pour into the spray bottle, but you can always use a funnel if you don’t have something with a pour spot or you don’t feel like you have a steady hand to pour with out spilling.

I would put 8-12 drops of essential oils, lavender in this case, directly into the small spray bottle, because the water/witch hazel mixture makes enough for two bottles. I also put 6 drops of eucalyptus and 6 drops lemon grass in the other bottle to make a couch spray. Pour in the water/witch hazel mixture to fill up the bottles. With my couch spray, I added more water to top it off just so I would have a full bottle. Shake and start spraying!

Lavender Essential Oil

The lavender essential oil is great on your linens because it is a relaxing/calming scent that helps with restful sleep. I like to use the eucalyptus/lemon grass mixture on my couch to cover up the lingering dog smells in the home and I just love it smelling like a spa when I walk in.

Let me know if you try any of these! I’d love to know your favorite essential oil combos that you use in your home.