decluttering more closets

This week I tackled the two closets in our front hallway, between the front door and the kitchen. We don’t have many closets in this small house, and these two are workhorses. We access each of these closets multiple times a day, and it was driving me crazy that they were so messy. Ugh — you can see why I shuddered every time I opened one of these doors. For closet #1, I donated some of our coats and winter gear. Then I corralled my winter gloves and scarves into one basket and put the girls’ winter…

decluttering the whole house

Do you have a Monica closet? I have about five of them!! And they’ve definitely gotten worse in 2021. Plus, one of my stuffed closets was in the basement, right next to the bed where our youngest son now sleeps. (It’s not ideal, but this is what happens when you have a very cozy (small) house. We’re saving for a renovation and would love to make a big bedroom for the two boys to share.) A few weeks ago, right around New Year’s Eve, I stumbled onto Ruth Soukup’s website…

a new planner for 2022

Lately I’ve been really struggling with time management. Do you feel the same way? It’s ironic because, due to the pandemic, many of us have more flexibility to work from home. We don’t have to spend time commuting, and we can easily throw in a load or two of laundry while we’re working remotely. Life should be easier, right? But I still feel like there are never enough hours in the day. I’m always running around buying cupcakes for school, paying bills on the fly, and making dinner, but I…

spice organization

One of my favorite new organizational systems we implemented in 2021 was also one of the easiest: John bought spice jars on Amazon and we decanted our spices into the jars and organized the jars alphabetically. And, wow, what an impact! The set included a pre-printed label for almost all the spices we already owned, plus it included quite a few blank labels for our more unique spices. (My lettering on our blank labels hasn’t held up well, but I think that’s the fault of the white pen I used and not the label itself…

22 things to do in 2022

Are you a resolution person? I don’t necessarily make resolutions, but every January I get the itch to set goals. The new year is arbitrary, I know, but somehow to me it still feels like a good time to take stock and think about my life. Last year I followed Gretchen Rubin‘s lead and started making a “21 for 2021” list. My final list numbered only 10, not 21, but I found the exercise to be really useful. The idea is to think outside the box and set goals, big or small. Last year…

Visiting the Texas Hill Country

Happy 2022! It’s hard to believe that this next year has come so soon . . . the years seem to fly by faster and faster. Cheers to new beginnings and the freshly-sharpened-pencil feeling of a new year. We rang in the new year in Texas with John’s family. They live near Dallas, but we met them and some of John’s childhood friends in the Hill Country, a collection of small, picturesque towns west of Austin and north of San Antonio. The area was absolutely lovely, and the trip exceeded my expectations in every way…

DIY

Gift idea: framed vacation map and photos

Happy holidays! I hope you had a lovely Christmas holiday, however you celebrate. Taking a break from the holiday content over here to share an easy DIY I made for my dad’s birthday. As I wrote about in this post, we spent a week in Glacier National Park this past August. It was really a dream come true for me (as corny as that sounds!), and I felt so lucky to spend that time with him. When his birthday rolled around in late November, I wanted to give him something to remember the trip, but I didn&#8217…

easy DIY pine cone photo Christmas ornaments

I love to make things this time of year, but I also get overwhelmed easily. Are you the same way?? After seeing the idea below in a magazine (I can’t remember which one), I figured I could handle this type of craft — it’s almost foolproof, and it looked really fun! Here are the steps I followed. I promise, it was really easy! First, choose some old photos that make you feel happy and loved! I found pictures of me as a baby with each of my parents. (Can you handle the 70’s decor…

easy and fun decorating ideas for the holidays

I love this time of year so much! Like, really a lot. We have bins and bins of old Christmas decorations, and I can’t bear to part with any of them because they hold memories of past Christmases. And yet each year we seem to buy more lights, more garland. In sum: I’ve tried lots of different decorations for Christmas, and I’ve found a few special things that make our house feel cozy, warm, and filled with love. Here’s a quick list of the fun, easy ideas I’m using this…

Gift ideas for her — moms, girlfriends, sisters, friends

I hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving! In case you’re scouring the internet for gifts, like I am, I thought it might be helpful to share some fun gift ideas for the ladies in your life! Except for the slippers, which I’m hoping to receive this year, all of these items are things I own and love. 100% recommend! Quay sunglasses (I ordered an extra pair so I’m never without these sunglasses — they’re that good) | leopard-print slippers | sunscreen | apron (I ordered this for my sister!) | nail polish clear coat (Amazon…