Simple Kitchen Organization Hacks

Simple Kitchen Organization Hacks vis Chaos With Coffee

Last time my mom was visiting, she made a comment about loving the way that I organize things. I don’t think I’m doing anything special or ground breaking over here in the organization department, but I figured I would share some simple little tips (or hacks) that I used in my kitchen. Maybe you will them helpful - or at the very least enjoy some more pictures of my kitchen (haha!).

Organize Your Pantry

This is such a simple tip that can really clean up your pantry and allow you to see what’s really in there. I’m guilty of having things hidden and buying too much of something because I later realized I already that item, but it was hidden out of sight.

My pantry is nowhere near perfect, but I do have a few tips to share on how I cleaned it up a bit.

1. Use clear jars (preferably with labels) to store dry goods like flour, sugar and grains. Clear jars not only look more organized, but they also allow you to see the quantity and how much you have left.

Note: you can find cheap glass jars at yard sales and thrift stores or reuse glass jars around the house (i.e. pickle jars, etc.) You can find super cute labels at Little Label Co. here.

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2. This is my favorite tip ever! I stole it from one of my favorite blogs, Clean Mama! Instead of spending a lot of money on those pretty clear cereal containers (that are also costly), file your cereal bags in a clear plastic bin. I love this tip for several reasons:

  1. It’s affordable

  2. It doesn’t matter the size of your cereal box (I always get stressed out about the plastic cereal containers because sometimes I buy the family size cereal!)

  3. It looks super cute when you have cute clips!

Pro tip: you can pick up really cheap, clear plastic containers at HomeGoods & TJ Maxx - plus they have super cute bag clips!

Note: I’ve done this for all of my “clear bag” items - cereal, crackers, pancake mix, etc. I even did it for my chips as you can see and stack them from most full to least full.

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Keep A Tidy Coffee Station

We drink coffee all day, every day in this household - hence the name, Chaos With Coffee. Typically, you’ll only find a Keurig machine on the counter, but lately I’ve been drinking a lot of espresso so I’ve kept the espresso maker out too.

1. Use solid colored jars to store espresso and sugar. Unlike your pantry items, clear jars can look messy on the counter so anything you keep in plain sight should be a solid color - and these jars should be filled with something you use every day so you don’t won’t need a clear a jar to remind you of the quantity.

2. Turn those k-cups into a presentation! Under the theme of keeping your counters declutter, keep the k-cups off! I’m sorry, but I have yet to find a k-cup storage box that pleases my OCD so I stack mine in the cabinet in the shape of a pyramid - this is probably what my mom meant when she said I organize things in a unique way haha. But hey, it works! It hides those ugly k-cups but makes them look presentable and tit’s functional!

3. Place those loose drink bags in a clear jar. We all have those random tea bags or the Emergen-c packs lying around. I organize them into a clear jar so that I can throw away the cardboard box when there’s only 1-2 items left.

Note: I’m still not 100% happy with the coffee cabinet, so if anyone has suggestions let me know!! I don’t like how the tea is organized and I’m open to k-cup ideas!

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Declutter The Counter

As my mother always said, everything should have a place - or a home. I was raised by a very “Marie Kondo” mother. Everything had a place and honest to god, if something wasn’t used and didn’t “bring joy” it was thrown out. My mom would clean out the clutter every season, I’m not even kidding. I hated it growing up! I hate organizing and cleaning (but look at me now, turned out to be an OCD neat freak).

My mom knew we wouldn’t clean out the clutter ourselves, but she wanted a neat house at all times. I vividly remember sitting at my desk, playing on my desktop computer and my mom sitting on the floor beside me going through my stuff - she would hold up an item and say keep or trash and if I said keep to something that didn’t seem important or she felt would likely be trash soon, she’d “Marie Kondo” me and ask when was the last time I used and did I really need it and did it “bring me joy”.

I’m not kidding y’all, my mom is the original Marie Kondo! She would organize her friend’s homes all the time and she was constantly decluttering her sister’s house too. She’s the reason I can easily throw stuff away and keep a very declutter house - sometimes I think I don’t have enough stuff, but whatever.

Back to the point - keep your counters clutter free!

1. Only keep “daily use” items on the counter. We keep our espresso machine (for me) and the Keurig (for Chance) at our coffee station. The white jars between hold the ground espresso and sugar (both for me).

2. Conceal the bad and keep it functional. Winston gets dog treats all day long so I keep them concealed in a pineapple cookie jar. I strongly believe in only keeping what I call “daily use” items on the counter. If you have a cookie jar it should always have cookies in it and if doesn’t then get rid of that jar. Anyways, point is we never have cookies but we always have dog treats and I this pineapple jar serves two purpose - decor and functional daily dog treat jar.

3. Less is more. Like I said above, if you have something on the counter it should be used and if it’s not them remove it. You can still store items in a pretty way. I use a raised dish to store our fruit, but when there is some overflow I’ll place is neatly next to it. This also is a reminder for me to use what we have and not waste food.

4. Get creative. Chance eats bread every single day and I wanted a nice way to store it - I hate bread containers and I hate leaving the bag on the counter so I’ve started using a cake stand. It allows me to keep the bread out, but also keeps it fresh and it looks better than a plastic bag. In addition, it also lets me see when we’re about to run out - I don’t eat bread as often as Chance so it’s not a “daily use” item for me, but I’m the one who does the grocery shopping so I need to be able to see when we are running low.

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I hope you enjoyed some of these tips! I’m no expert, but maybe you’ll find something useful out of this post or at the very least discover some new resources that I mentioned above. Let me know your feedback in the comments below :)

Bold Bathroom Tile I Am Totally Crushing On

Do you follow me on Instagram? If so, you’ve seen the disastrous downstairs bathroom that keeps causing us headaches. Finally, we’ve had enough with the pipes breaking so we’re completely remodeling it to avoid further issues - plus we finally will have a beautiful updated bathroom!

I’ve been scouring Pinterest and Instagram for bathroom inspiration and while we’re probably going to go with a more neutral color scheme, I couldn’t resist sharing these stunning bathrooms that totally caught my eye! If we had plans to stay in this our permanently, then I would likely do something way more colorful and bold. Unfortunately, I have to keep future buyers in mind, but someday I will have a totally insane bathroom!

Keep scrolling for some beautiful bathrooms that I discovered on Pinterest and Instagram! Keep you eye out for our updates as I pull in some of these design elements.

 
 

Frugal February: How To Build A Budget System That Works

Frugal February: How To  Build A Budget System That Works

Disclaimer: We are not financial advisors. We are simply sharing our financial goals and strategies that personally work for us. Please, seek professional financial advice if you need direction in financial planning and goal setting.


Welcome to Frugal February!

Here’s some background before we dive into Frugal February: last year, I really started to look at budgeting because we were buying a house and I’d never made such a big purchase before. Chance has always been really great with money, he has it nailed to to a system that works for him - he saves, he invests, he basically does everything we should all be doing. Anyways, he inspired me to start looking at the big picture and be more financially responsible.

Fast forward, this year I want to improve even more so I’ve been diligently tracking all of my income and expenses - I literally have the entire year mapped out and I’m on track to save a good amount already to help me pay of my car. For me, budgeting is about reaching my goals faster so that I save more in the long run. It’s about planning for the unexpected - and actually if you take anything away from this post, it’s really that for me, budgeting is PLANNING.

Instead of spending willy nilly and having no clue what’s coming and out of my bank account, my 2019 goal is to have a plan. It’s not about restricting myself, it’s more about finding where I am throwing my money away and reducing waste. My goal is to plan for the things we need and put the rest into savings - or towards paying off debt. After buying a house, I reflected on 2018 and realized how often I would run over to HomeGoods and buy something I didn’t need or something that gave me 10 seconds of happiness. I realized I wasting SO MUCH MONEY. I still managed to add more to my savings and start 2019 better than I started 2018, but it wasn’t good enough.

So that’s why we are talking about Frugal February! I’ve been following this system since the start of the year and it’s helped me stay focused and avoid waste. I’m hoping this post inspires you all and hopefully gives some guidance if you’re feeling lost.

Follow us on Instagram below as we provide more tips, help you stay on track and answers questions throughout the month!

Awaken Your Abode

Anna Mae Health

Chaos With Coffee

Let’s Begin…

Frugal February Is Not

  • A miserable lifestyle

  • Being selfish, money-hungry, cheap or stingy

  • A fix-all for your financial difficulties

  • An attempt to talk up the fact that we are trying to save money

Like I said, Frugal February is really just my way of sharing the strategies that have worked for me to stick to a budget and reach my goals. It’s a plan.


What Is Frugal February

It’s essentially a month of zero-waste spend. The challenge is to only spend money on things you need and focus on reaching your larger financial goals through methods and strategies that we have found to be personally successful. We hope Frugal February gives you a heightened awareness to your financial spending and help you hold yourself accountable for planning your future.

I suppose you could even consider this a month-long exercise in self-control. We’ve outline some guidelines and even made some awesome templates to help you navigate your way through Frugal February.


How to Start Frugal February

1. Download the weekly budget and transaction templates

Get the Transaction Template Here | Get the Weekly Budget Sheet Here

To use these templates, simply click File > Make A Copy or File > Download and convert this to a .csv or excel file. These are completely customizable too, so feel free to change the categories/themes and the items within each so it fits with your lifestyle!

2. Write down all of your planned income. Then write down your monthly expenses (i.e. mortgage/rent, utilities, monthly subscriptions, etc.) Don’t leave anything out, no matter how small it is. If you don’t know the exact amount, I recommend rounding up - it’s better to account for more expenses than to be left with unexpected ones.

3. Finish filling out the templates with as much detail as possible. Like I said, keep things conservative if you aren’t sure exactly how much you plan to spend. For example: if it costs about $25 to fill up your car every week, round that up to $30 per week - this helps me save even more because I’m accounting for more expenses and therefore planning with less funds.

Pro-tip: when you see that you’ve saved more money at the end of the month than you “planned” you’ll be more motivated to keep going.

How to Implement Frugal February

Once I have mapped out all of my expenses that were necessary for living along with anything else I already had planned (i.e. hair appointment, dr. appointment, etc.), I have an idea of how much money I could save at the end of the month - aka how much more money I have to pay off my car or put into savings.

The challenge for Frugal February is to cut out all of your other non-planned expenses. So if you walk to HomeGoods and can’t leave without buying something, then try to stay far, far away from HomeGoods - or just do what I do, make a mental note of how much you plan to save and remind yourself of that and how much better off you’ll be in the long run if you don’t by that palm leaf notebook.

Money Saving Strategies

1. Map out expenses and income for the entire month in your weekly budget planner - it’s really more of a monthly budget planner because it has 4 weeks in one sheet

2. Buy groceries in bulk at Sam’s Club or Costco and meal prep your lunches and dinners. We’ve saved so much money by not going out to eat or hitting bars every weekend - this stuff seriously adds up!

3. The Envelope System | Download Printable Envelopes Here

Cris from Awaken Your Abode created customized envelopes for you all to download and use! Print the template (hyperlinked above) to implement this system into your saving strategy! The idea is that each envelope contains cash for a certain category in your budget (ex. groceries, gas, daycare, petcare etc.)

These envelopes will not include bill money if you pay bills online or by check. The amount of money that will go into the envelope is determined by the budget you mapped out for your expenses for the month divided by four weeks (assuming you get paid weekly.) The envelopes will get refilled weekly with that amount. Each envelope has a space to write down the amount you spent and what you spent it on. The amount of money in each envelope is all the money you have to spend on that category for the week so make sure you plan wisely (hint: gas money you should definitely plan accordingly)

So that’s it - as far as the kick-off goes to Frugal February! If you’re following along on our journey, we’ll be posting on Instagram as we go with more tips, strategies and updates to keep you motivated throughout the month!

Special thanks to Cris and Anna Mae for all of their help compiling ideas and strategies!

DON’T FORGET: Follow us on Instagram below as we provide more tips, help you stay on track and answers questions throughout the month!

Awaken Your Abode

Anna Mae Health

Chaos With Coffee

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Other Helpful Resources:

Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

EveryDollar budget app — I use this every single day!

Live Your Life, Not Theirs by Rachel Cruze (this is Dave Ramsey’s daughter)



The 2019 Galentine's Day Gift Guide

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You may have seen the 2018 Galentine’s Gift Guide - it was a HUGE hit with you all and it still has a ton of relevant gift ideas that can be used this year - but I wanted to share an updated gift guide with some new products I absolutely love!

I’ve broken this year’s gift guide into several sections - the first portion contains some thoughtful ideas based on interest, while the second half contains gift ideas that are perfect for anyone - and still very thoughtful, but honestly when is a gift not thoughtful?

I hope you all enjoy this gift guide! Leave your feedback in the comments below :)

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FOR THE CREATIVE SOUL & PHOTOGRAPHER

1. Lightroom Presets

Is your bestie a photographer? Blogger? Maybe you just want to treat your wedding photographer to something nice this Galentine’s Day. Lightroom presets are always a good idea! Who doesn’t love some fun, already-made filters?

A Color Story has tons of gorgeous, Instagram worthy Lightroom presets available here.

A Color Story Lightroom Presets

2. Creative Online Courses

Maybe you have a Galentine who wants to learn something new or refine her skills in something? You can check out these digital courses for photography, social media, lettering and more over at Brit & Co. - see below for some fun ones!


FOR THE BOSS BABE

1. How To Courses with A Beautiful Mess

These awesome online courses by the lovely ladies at A Beautiful Mess will teach your boss babe everything from how to start a podcast to how to build a profitable blog!

You can learn more about the courses here.

2. Social Media & Business Courses from Brit & Co.

Brit & Co. also has amazing courses to help your Galentine grow their social media courses and build their business! Check out some of the best ones below:

3. The Adulting Kit

How cute is this Adulting Kit from Pinch Provisions? Don’t worry, if you keep scrolling I’ll get much more in detail on the perfect Pinch Provisions Kits - they literally have something for everyone!

3. Doormats from Josie B.

Okay, honestly these are perfect for any Galentine, but this Slay Girl Slayy doormat just had boss babe written all over it! How cute would this be outside of your office or something? Shop here!

Slay Girl Slay Doormat via Josie B



FOR THE ADVENTURER

1. Pinch Provisions Kits

You’ve probably seen me rant and rave about Pinch Provisions Kits over the years because they are AMAZING. I’ve given them as gifts and buy them for myself all the time. Most recently my aunt gave me the cutest one for Christmas this year and it reminded me how great they are for gifts.

These “minimergency” kits are super small but packed with everything you need in a “mini emergency” - such as advil, nail polish remover, breath spray, hair spray and so much more! You can buy one kit and make it last forever with their refills - pro tip: if you gifted on e last year then send your friend some refills!

They have so many new kits now that I couldn’t pick just one to share with y’all. Here are my faves:

FOR THE WINE LOVER

1. A Winc Gift Box

Winc is a delivery wine service that delivers really great wine right to your door, while learning about your palette! But, did you know they have a ton of super cute gift boxes - and they are all different price ranges?

If youe Galentine loves wine, definitely take a look at these gift options - because who doesn’t love the gift of wine? You can also give them gift card if you’re unsure on what to give them.

2. Pinch Provisions Wine Kits

Yeah, Pinch Provisions literally thought of everything! Check out these super cute (and v. affordable) wine kits and minimergency add-ons they have available:

3. A Wine Aerator, Pourer & Stopper

My aunt gave me this for Christmas and it’s really cool if you drink a lot of wine like we do. It’s fun to taste test different wines with and without the aerator, plus it’s a 3-in-one with a pourer and stopper! Highly recommend for you wine friends! You can purchase the one I have right here.

Wine Aerator, Pourer, Stopper

And now for the great big gift list of things that are literally perfect for anyone and bound to not fail you if you need an idea for someone this year!



Disclaimer: A few of the links are affiliate links, which means that I may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting the blog!

 

 

12 Stunning Tile Bathroom Renovations

via mydomaine.com

via mydomaine.com

Several weeks ago, the toilet in our downstairs guest bathroom officially broke and needed replacing so off to Lowe’s we went and before I knew it Chance was on a mission to re-do the bathroom. To be honest, it’s entirely outdated, but really ALL of our bathrooms are entirely outdated - we have 3 full baths. The upside to own downstairs guest bathroom is that it has a GIANT oversized shower, but all of the title is this weird beige color and it honestly creeps me out a bit. In addition, our master bathroom, while functional, is a total waste of space. It’s huge, but 75% of the master bathroom is taken up by this huge corner jet tub that 1. is broken and 2. we never EVER use, nor would we ever even if it did work.

Anyways, so Chance was on a roll with planning out the guest bathroom downstairs until a few days ago when he decided (thank goodness) that we should ultimately start with the master if anything! Yay!! I’m super excited because honestly I was fine with at least re-doing one bathroom, but now I am even more excited that we are starting to talk about renovating the master - plus that’s going to be much more enticing for buyers if move in a few years. So in celebration, here are 6 gorgeous tilted bathrooms that I’m pulling inspiration from!

12 Stunning Tile Bathroom Renovations via Chaos With Coffee
12 Stunning Tile Bathroom Renovations via Chaos With Coffee
12 Stunning Tile Bathroom Renovations via Chaos With Coffee
12 Stunning Tile Bathroom Renovations via Chaos With Coffee
12 Stunning Tile Bathroom Renovations via Chaos With Coffee
12 Stunning Tile Bathroom Renovations via Chaos With Coffee
12 Stunning Tile Bathroom Renovations via Chaos With Coffee
12 Stunning Tile Bathroom Renovations via Chaos With Coffee
12 Stunning Tile Bathroom Renovations via Chaos With Coffee
12 Stunning Tile Bathroom Renovations via Chaos With Coffee
12 Stunning Tile Bathroom Renovations via Chaos With Coffee
12 Stunning Tile Bathroom Renovations via Chaos With Coffee

Now that you’ve seen what my inspiration is, I’ll leave you with photos of what our master bathroom looked like when we first saw the house, when we moved in and a few that have some of the small changes we’ve made since moving in. I don’t have a photo, but I can tell you that we did change the vanity color to white and added gold knobs so it’s definitely seen a small improvement!

p.s. - Don’t miss the lovely mural that the previous owners left behind for us - I’m still shocked they didn’t paint over this before showing the house or before we moved in!

 

How To Propagate Succulents

How To Propagate Succulents

Although, I am not exactly sure where spring is, I thought I would show you how to propagate succulents from cuttings and leaves. Sometimes succulents can get leggy (growing up instead of out), which happens when a plant isn’t getting enough light and it starts to stretch out causing the stem to grow long and the leaves to become widely spaced - this is the perfect time to propagate! It's super easy and fun to do as a weekend project.

How To Propagate Succulents
How To Propagate Succulents
How To Propagate Succulents
How To Propagate Succulents
How To Propagate Succulents
How To Propagate Succulents

Start by clipping off a piece of your succulent that has the fewest leaves and then gently remove each leaf from the stem. At this point, you should have a small pile of leaves. Place them on a paper towel and gently pat them dry to remove any moisture. Grab a cookie sheet and line it with foil or parchment paper then add a layer of soil and place the succulent leaves on top. Make sure you place the cookie sheet in a place where they will get a lot of indirect sunlight.

After a few weeks, you'll notice little roots sprouting from the ends of the leaves and then teeny tiny baby plants will begin to sprout. You don't need to water the leaves, but you can use a spray bottle to mist them once a week or bi-weekly once the plants at the end of each leaf start to grow. Let them grow like this until the original leaf starts to wither, then remove the plant from the original stem and place in it's own pot of soil. You may notice that not every leaf starts a new plant, some will just end up withering away, but most will do just fine. I'll try to post an update once ours are ready to be planted! 

 

 

How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets With Chalk Paint

How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets With Chalk Paint

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a glimpse of our kitchen remodel here and there. When we first saw the house, I knew the first thing I wanted to change was the kitchen because I hated the oak cabinets. It took us more than 60 days to close so I had a lot of time to do research - at first, I thought we would completely redo the kitchen with new cabinets, but then quickly realized I could save a ton of money by painting them myself.

Now, I want to start by saying that our kitchen is nowhere done yet, but several of you have been asking for some tips so I thought I would start with a phase one and then post updates as we go! We still have to finish the tile (I'll share a tutorial for tiling later on) - our main hold up on this is that we are waiting for the rest of our copper wall plates to come in so we can measure and cut the right sizes around our light switched and outlets.

After doing all of my research I found a great article on A Beautiful Mess comparing chalk paint to latex paint for kitchen cabinets, which convinced me to go with chalk paint 100% and I am SO happy that I did. All of the cabinets have been painted, which took me about a week, but I will share more on this as we go.

How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets With Chalk Paint
How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets With Chalk Paint
How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets With Chalk Paint

The above photos show what our kitchen looked like completely untouched by us. It's a HUGE kitchen with tons of space and natural light. I love that island is big enough to basically dance on too, but I have always dreamed of a white kitchen so the cabinets needed to be fixed. Using chalk paint was SO easy and anyone can do it as long as you have the time and patience. I am slightly OCD so I ended up using 3 cans of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and giving them probably a total of 4 coats of paints because I needed to get the brush strokes perfect, but the average person probably only needs to do 2-3 coats depending on the coverage you want. Most of the articles I read stressed the importance of cleaning and I do too, however we got really lucky and the previous homeowners were very clean so I didn't spend a ton of time prepping and basically just started painting after a quick wash of the cabinets.

How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets With Chalk Paint
How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets With Chalk Paint
How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets With Chalk Paint

You can really see in this picture how well the chalk paint covers the oak grain. That was another huge reason why I chose to go this route because I knew I wanted the grain gone and everything I read said that chalk paint would do the job without me having to remove all of the doors and sand everything down. I am a little impatient so I don't think I would have gotten through all of that work - I wanted my new kitchen ASAP lol.

How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets With Chalk Paint
How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets With Chalk Paint

Here you can see more of the progress. Chalk paint works so well on wood cabinets, but if you look at the side of my top cabinet, you'll notice that the paint started peel - this is when I realized the sizes (parts that most people don't focus on) weren't actual wood so I have to go back and sand those down in order to get the paint to stick.

When you order the chalk paint, you can also order a special chalk paint brush, which basically (in my opinion) just allows you to hold onto more paint, but because I had so many corners I felt that a regular paint brush worked better for me and I liked the brush strokes better, but I'll leave that up to you to decide. Honestly, I would just buy the chalk paint brush and a small all-purpose paint brush and test out the strokes - even though I didn't like using the chalk paint brush on the cabinets, I have used it several times to redo large pieces of furniture and it was great!

How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets With Chalk Paint
How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets With Chalk Paint
How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets With Chalk Paint
How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets With Chalk Paint

So now you've seen what my kitchen looks like with several coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I chose to go with Pure White because it doesn't have any hints of warmth or blue - I just wanted straight up white on those bad boys and I am very happy with the color! I haven't finished painting the insides of the cabinets or the base boards so that will come next. I started sealing the cabinets that we are using the most with Minwax Polycrylic - it's water-based and won't yellow as time goes on. It's worked great so far and has prevented the paint from chipping, I think it's especially important to call out that our cabinets don't have knobs or pulls yet so the faces of each drawer and cabinet see a lot of traffic and have still held up using this top coat!

I'll continue to update you guys as we make progress, but in the meantime feel free to reach out with questions or tips on how to update your kitchen easily with chalk paint!