Organizing Part Two//The Closet & Other Drawers


I have to first apologize.  I’m just now realizing that I promised weeks ago that I would share my “How To Organize The Closet From Hades” experience.  I was flipping through my camera looking for a food pic, and I stumbled across all of my before and after closet cleaning pictures.  So that’s what’s happening today.  It just completely escaped my mind.  To get the back story of my organization habits/check out part one of my reorganization rampage, click the link to read Organizing Part One//The Top Drawer.  Showed ya my top drawer and then left ya high and dry…such a tease.

Sooooooo…this is about to get embarrassing.  The good news is it ends well.

I used to take up every inch of my side of the closet, and not in a good way.  If a stack of clothes got too high or out of reach, articles of clothing would get shoved into any nook and cranny I could find.  I just had so much STUFF and not enough SPACE.

Now, I also want to be clear, let me emphasize the word STUFF.  I don’t mean “I just had so much stuff” as in, “oh good heavens I love all of my fabulous clothes, they’re all so perfect, I just don’t have enough room for them, poor little old me”.  No.  I had a lot of stuff.  Stuff I didn’t wear anymore.  Stuff that didn’t fit me anymore.  Stuff that I’ve somehow hoarded over the years because of that one off chance that I “might” wear it again.

Stuff.  Say no to stuff.

I feel like a lot of us have this same problem.  We have a lot of stuff, but not a closet of quality clothes that we treat well and get good use out of.  As I get older, one thing I know I want is a more mature closet.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a good deal and will bargain shop till I drop, and if no one is stopping me, I’m wearing yoga pants 24/7/365.  However, it’s time to cleanse and work towards a lighter and more organized closet space.  Declutter your closet, declutter your life, declutter your mind.  So let’s go over the damage, and cover the rules.

The top half of the closet/most of what’s hanging up.

And what the bottom half used to look like at any given moment.

I know.. this ish was baaaaaaaad.

I spent a lot of time reviewing other articles and blogs and I made a few simple rules for myself.  Since we’re dealing with clothing that’s not of the undergarment nature, unless what I decided not to keep was in rough shape, I either donated it or added it to my Poshmark account {more on that in a minute}.

Here are the rules:

1.  If it doesn’t fit, get rid of it.
2.  Okay so it fits, but do you REALLY like how you look in it?  {I had a few things like this, I thought I liked the top in store, but then when I got home for whatever reason it didn’t fit the same way.  Then I never wore it and it just took up space}
3.  Even if it fits, have you worn it in the past 6 months {or last season depending on the time of year}?  If the answer is no, get rid of it.
4.  Does it fit the style that you’re going for these days?  {i.e.– are you going for a more muted color look? Preppy?  Boho-chic?}  Whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish with your wardrobe, if it doesn’t fit the “idea” you have, get rid of it.
5.  Take everything out and invest in quality hangers.  {if your closet is anything like mine, you need to block off an entire evening or day where this is the only thing you focus your attention on.}
6.  Also, buy wine.  You’re going to need it.

As seen on Insta.

These velvet lined hangers are my go-to.  I always buy 18 packs for like $10 at Marshall’s//T.J. Maxx.  They keep your tops from slipping off, no matter how wide the neck line on the shirt.  They’re all I use.

After going through everything, I had a huuuuuuge donation pile that I ended up taking to Goodwill the next day, and I also had a Poshmark pile.  Poshmark is a great way to sell your clothes online, especially when they’re a little bit higher quality.  To see my “closet” of what I’m selling online, click here.  It’s a little bit of a process to build your closet, so I’m still adding a few things but you get the idea.

And now for the finished product:

I also nabbed a six dollar shoe rack from Target….

For the top of the closet, investing is some type of storage container is key.  After taking measurements to make sure everything would fit, I headed to IKEA for the Tupperware bins.

I designated one bin strictly to sweaters, and the other to flannels, button ups, and jeans.  When it comes to how to fold shirts and sweaters, you HAVE to start doing it this way…

and now for the t-shirt drawer…

Yes.  I have a lot of Marshall t-shirts.  This is actually not a lot compared to what it used to be.

I used to see this t-shirt folding method online and I ignorantly thought, “no, not for me”.  Well, little did I know that this is the ONLY way you should be organizing tops you don’t hang.  It saves much more space than you would think, and you’re able to actually see what your options are, rather than just what’s at the top of the stack.

When you’re reorganizing your closet or purging your clothes, keep those six rules above in mind.  While at times it was difficult to part ways with some articles of clothing, being able to declutter that space felt so much better than hanging on to a couple shirts because I might wear them again some day.  The time for spring cleaning is coming up fast, and I would definitely include closet cleaning on your list of things to spruce up.

Have you guys ever had a cleaned your closets like this?  What were some of the rules you used?

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#FiveThingsSF {February 27, 2015}

It’s Friday, people! Unfortunately for most snow day hopeful’s, pretty much all of the anticipated 7-10 inches is no more {only ended up getting about 2 Wednesday night into Thursday morning}.  No matter…time to talk/think about what your Five Things for the week are!

Deez are mine:

Not Being on My Death Bed

Although I had a tragically scary 48 hours to kick off the week, I am so thankful at how quickly I have recovered…

Now, what to do with all that jello and ginger ale…

You’re lying if you say that alcohol related activities didn’t immediately spring to your mind.

Almond Milk Dirty Chai @ Smellycat

The Smellycat Coffeehouse in NODA has quickly become my go-to coffee shops in Charlotte.  Partly because of location, but also because of how awesome it is.  My favorite bev is easily their Dirty Chai, made instead with almond milk.  If you’re ever in the area, I suggest giving it a try!  Also, don’t be afraid to ask the coffee shop that you’re visiting for their dairy-free alternatives.  They should be up with the times at this point!

If you’re just at home, don’t forget to give my dairy-free chai tea “latte” a try either.

P.S.- Dirty Chai = Chai Tea Latte + shot of espresso

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick

This will always and forever be my favorite lipstick of all time.  It’s literally perfect.  The application is easy, it stays all day {no matter how much you eat or drink}, and you’ll get many a compliment while it’s worn.  Trust me, I know.

I recently wore my “Beso Red #10” while in Huntington and quickly remembered why I love it so much.

I’ll be honest, I’m a huge make-up girl in the sense that I appreciate quality in my products over quantity.  For my day to day, the main reason why I wear any make up at all is to cover up my stupid pre-teen skin and to look like I’m awake.  {Like we’ve covered…body of 25 year old, skin of a 13 year old}.  However, I do love a good excuse to get all glammed up and go do fun things.  My favorite go-to “fun” makeup?  Lipstick.

My favorite lipstick line used to be anything MAC, but this Stila definitely takes the cake.  The Stay All Day line doesn’t have as many color options as MAC, but for what I try to go for, I prefer the Stila.  Expect a full write up soon.

House of Cards

Need I say more?  House of Cards is here, people!!!  Hide yo kids, hide yo wife.  I watched the most recent season finale last night just as refresher, and I am so excited this is back!  If you’re worried you’re going to ruin your life and binge watch it all over the weekend then feel empty and depressed until the next season comes out {because let’s be honest, Netflix releasing something like this all at once totally feeds into our glutonous “gimmie, gimmie, gimmie” culture, and we all buy into it}, do what I do.  Exhibit an ounce of self control, stay off spoiler alert blogs, and limit yourself to one to two episodes a day.  I have to do this with Orange Is The New Black.  As long as YOU can control YOURSELF, it’s a much healthier way to indulge in this quite tantalizing masterpiece.


Kevin Spacey is the man.  In life, and in this show.

Reusable Wine Tote

I’ve had this baby for awhile but I have just recently been using it again and remembered why I love it.  I’m all about reusable bags when grocery shopping, so why not take it to other aspects of life?  This is a  Scout reusable wine tote.  So, when you’re going to a friend’s/picnic/whatever, just slip your bottle of wine into this sturdy, fashionable tote and you’re good to go!

I last used this tote when I went over to my friend, Emily’s, for Valentine’s Dinner.  It’s cute and cheap.  This rings in at only $7.50, and there are a variety of patterns and colors to choose from.  They even have insulated bags, as well as bags that are built to hold more than one bottle!

You would never know that there’s a bottle of wine in here, would you?  Though, if I’m the one carrying it, that’s safe to assume…

Okay now your turn, list your Five Things for the week by commenting below or using the hashtag #FiveThingsSF on any social media platform!

What are your Five Things for the week?  Happy Friday, all!

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I was not compensated for any product recommendations on this page, all thoughts are my own.

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What I’m Giving Up For Lent + Last Second Durham Trip

I tried to be creative with this morning’s title, but I got way too ahead of myself and decided to take it back to basics.  Less is sometimes more.

So, in case you were wondering, we’re going to cover what I’m giving up for Lent, and a last second Durham trip.

On Sunday afternoon, I decided to just go home for a minute to visit with my parents.  Idk, sometimes you just need to go home for a bit, you know?  This is a luxury I haven’t had for the past seven years when I was away at Marshall, so I decided to take advantage of it.  This is one of the first times that I’ve gone home “just to go”, normally it’s for a holiday or some sort of an event.  Ryan wasn’t even with me this time.  It was great to see my parents and my dog and just hang out, especially since we all got more time than we expected.

If you’ve been following the weather, we got snow all the way down here in North Cackalacky.  Due to the snow/freezing rain combo, both of my parents got to leave work early on Monday, and my dad didn’t have to go in until late on Tuesday morning!  My mom, a middle school teacher, naturally had the whole day off!  It was accidentally timed perfectly, like we had our own mini “winter break” together.  The plan was for me to stay until mid-day Tuesday, so that I could get back in time for volunteering, but we were at first concerned I wouldn’t make it back.

Let me just clarify here, this was like NC level concerned…aka everything is fine the precipitation just froze a little, but are tires even built to function on a little bit of ice?????????  I don’t think so, we should probably stay inside for the next few days.  Better go buy some milk, eggs, and bread.

That’s the inner monologue that I had prepared for you all if you’re not familiar with how snow days work down here.  We don’t do winter weather.  Winter Weather WARNING?  Two Hour Delay.  1″ of snow?  Schools out.  I’m not complaining, I’m just saying, that’s how it was growing up.  I don’t see it changing any time soon.

So, since we had some time yesterday morning, my mom and I decided to walk {more like skate, the roads were actually pretty icy} around the hood with Alba to see the beautiful winter weather.

The blue sky even came out to greet us!

And there’s that little diva now.  She had so much fun exploring.  I don’t know what it is about her, but Alba LOVES the snow.  She would probably sleep in it if we didn’t make her come inside.  I chalk it up to a “former Huntington stray” street cred mentality.

Everything felt so fresh, clean, and bright around the neighborhood.  Like it does most times right after it snows and the sky clears.  My mom is Miss. Popular, so we stopped and talked to a lot of the neighbors who were also out enjoying the same landscape.  My neighborhood has a lot of hills– perfect for sledding conditions.  As I watched the younger children in zip down the same monstrous hills I once tackled on a snow day, I smiled thinking about those times.  It was a nice feeling.

I did a little “time traveling”, as Amy Poehler would say.  {Read the friggin book.  It’s awesome}.

Now I’m back in CLT, Lent starts today and I’m ready to take over the world.

So, before we get started I want to make one blanket statement.  I’m not here to judge other people’s religious or spiritual beliefs.  I’m not here to go on a rant about why I give up something for Lent every year and why you should too.  This is my blog, I have my own personal reasons as to why I choose to make this a part of my life, and I hope that you show me the same consideration that I know I would show to you.

Ok, so now that’s out of the way {that was kind of uncomfortable, right?} let’s get on with it.  When you choose something to abstain from during Lent, it should be something that comes with a struggle.  Whether it’s a habit you’re trying to make yourself stop doing, a habit you’re trying to form, or a goal that you have by the end of the 40 days, with Lent normally comes a lot of determination and focus.

I’ve given up all types of things over the years– pushing buttons when I was in elementary school {ask my parents, this was a serious problem when I was little.  Good luck taking me down the toy aisle}, gum, sweets, meat…the list goes on.  This year I did a little recon on what I was really struggling with.  I realized that once again, I’ve been having this insatiable sweet tooth.  However, it’s not because I NEED it in my diet, it’s because it’s around my apartment and I’m bored so I eat it.  Then I get used to sweets being around and then it becomes second nature to always “have a little dessert”.  This always happens after the holidays.  So, this year I’ve decided to give up sweets {i.e. candies, cookies, chocolates, cakes, etc}.  If I REALLY have a sweet tooth, I’ll just eat a piece of fruit.  No big deal.  I’ve done it before and I can do it again. It’s going to be tough though.

I don’t know what my deal has been, but I’ve literally had zero eff’s given when it comes to eating dessert recently, and that’s so not me.  Lent couldn’t have come at a better time.

I didn’t have any type of Fat Tuesday celebration this year, but to commemorate the night before Ash Wednesday, I had a glass of merlot and some semi-sweet morsels while I unpacked.

Now it’s done.  My hands are clean and I’m saying so long to desserts and candies for the next 40 days.

Wish me luck.

Have any of you been experiencing this winter weather?  Do you practice Lent?  What have you chosen to give up this year?

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Winter Run//Playlist

I love snow…snowey, snow, snow…here it goes down… {say it in the Ron Burgundy voice, it makes sense}.

By NC standards, we’re in the middle of an Artic Tundra at the moment.  It’s by far not the worst snow I’ve ever seen here, but it’s something, and it’s icey, and frozen, and cold.  I’ve been doing a lot of yoga recently, and while I’m still running, lifting, and Bodypumping, I wanted to make sure I got a good distance run in before it all came down yesterday.  I quickly threw a “Winter Run” playlist together and headed out.

I’ve said it before, but I can listen to pretty much anything when I workout.  When I’m running for longer than 3 miles, often times I love listening to rock, folk, or indie-type music {think Dave Matthews, Tom Petty, Mumford and Sons}.  I’m not sure exactly what it is about it all, but once I get into my distance running groove, I just coast.  I want my music to match that.  I also like to actually listen to the music when I run, you know, hear the story.  It serves as a nice distraction.  Unless I have some serious thoughts to sort through, I normally spend my running time creating music videos or coming up with movie plots to match the music I’m listening to…hey, to each her own, right?  I just chalk it up to my creative brain that I can’t ever seem to shut off  {Is it okay to admit that? I mean…that’s normal, right?}

So keeping that in mind, as well as what it feels like right before the first snow, I give you the Winter Run playlist.  It’s 56 minutes long.  Perfect for a 5-6 miler, or a good old fashioned run//walk.


Riptide- Vance Joy
Mess Is Mine- Vancey Joy
From Afar- Vance Joy
First Time- Vance Joy
Re: Stacks- Bon Iver
From Eden- Hozier
Work Song- Hozier
Waiting Game- Banks
Marathon Runner- Yellow Ostrich
Dearly Departed- Shakey Graves
What Kind Of Man- Florence + The Machine
Awake My Soul- Mumford and Sons
White Blank Page- Mumford and Sons
Pansy Waltz- Shakey Graves

If you follow me on Spotify, you can follow this playlist and have it sync right to your own Spotify account.  Just as a quick catch-up, here are some other playlists you’ll find:

Along with any and all of the JAMS OF THE WEEK
&& and all of my Half Marathon Playlists
Fall Run ’14
Christmas Grooves
Misdemeanor Here {Missy Elliot inspired} Playlist

Considering that it was about 20 degrees outside, and my extremities were like frozen blocks of ice, I’m not too upset about my time.  Something I definitely want to speed up ASAP.  I think my butt literally fell off around mile 3.5 and I’m surprised my fingers didn’t succumb to frostbite.

Okay, so I’m exaggerating a little bit.  But I’m from the Piedmont area of NC {<—-like how I used my 4th grade social studies state history knowledge there?}.  Running in 20 degrees isn’t normal for us.  In high school, soccer practice went indoors as soon as it hit 40. #truth

Either way, it’s a good base point, great place to improve from!

The snow around here has now turned more into freezing rain/ice.  I know a lot more of my friends up north are experiencing a “snowpocolypse” of sorts, so everyone stay safe out there!

What do you like to listen to when you distance run?  How’s the weather near you?

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How to Build the Best Bride-To-Be Gift Basket

Like I promised on Sunday, today I’m going to share with you all tips on how to build the best “Bride-To-Be” gift basket for your newly engaged girlfriend.  Eeeeeek!!  Between today and yesterday, the blog is filled with love this week…and I love it.

It’s always so exciting when your friends get engaged.  For awhile there I felt like I was going to wedding after wedding, so many people that I knew were getting hitched!  Then there was a bit of a lull this past year {or maybe I just wasn’t getting the invite lol}, but now I feel like holy matrimony time is going to start picking up yet again.  First to kick off the trend, one of my best friends and former roommates, the Liz in Chicago!

Here we are!  #tbt to the college years…babies @ Da U

So, the main goal of a Bride-To-Be gift basket is similar to other gift baskets in the sense that it’s a GIFT to celebrate a great moment in a person’s life!  Of course it will be wedding related, but it’s also about sending items to pamper and support the newly engaged gal pal.  I don’t know from direct experience, but word on the street is, planning a wedding is stressful.  Therefore, include indulgent items in the basket that will help her relax while she’s planning.  You know, all fun pampery//girly things that you know your friend will like.  Tailor it to her!

My other two friends, Jess and Abby, knew that we wanted to get this together for Liz since she got engaged.  However, we all live in different cities, at least 6 hrs apart, so we were a little geographically challenged.  After communicating and scheming for a few weeks through a super secret group text, we waited until I saw Jess in Huntington the other week to put it all together {Abby helped remotely in MIA}.

Here are the four of us in Chicago two summers ago after a Cubs game.  Can you tell? {obviously, Liz, the Bride-To-Be on the far right}.

Ok enough chit-chat let’s talk about what to put in this thing!  Here are the five essentials needed for every basket:

{{Bridal Magazine, beauty products, relaxation necessities, motivational tools, and a personalized note}}

Like I said, tailor it to your friend, but these are the guidelines for any great gift!  First, the bridal mag-

Any bride needs a magazine to flip through every now and then for inspiration!  {just think:  this is what girls did before Pinterest}.

Now, on to the beauty products {plus some relaxation necessities}…

Here we have the following items:

Essie Nail Polish:  color, Ballet Slippers
Buxom Full-On Lip Polish:  color, Sandy {<— Liz has told us that she’s gotten MANY compliments on this, I love the Buxom line}
LUSH Bath Bombs:  pictured here we have Butterball {all white}, Rose Queen {pink}, and Tisty Tosty {heart shaped}
Face Mask && Goji Berry Candle: purchased at Targ`et

And a little more relaxation plus some motivation…

Coffee mug:  because coffee motivates and solves all problems
Champagne:  because how do you relax without it?

All jokes aside, Liz loves tea and coffee, and on top of her day to day, planning a wedding will be exhausting at times {we’re here for ya, Liz!}.  So caffeine is a must.  We found this adorable mug via Pinterest.  It belongs to Etsy shop owner, PrettyLittleVinyls.  Click here to go directly to the mug.

Adorable, isn’t it? In addition to picking out a nice basket for the foundation, tissue paper, etc, don’t forget your note!  We included a personalized one from the three of us to Liz, along with a fun little list of everything we put in the basket and why.

Put it all together and you have your masterpiece!!

This is a special, once in a lifetime moment for your friend, and it’s something that deserves to be celebrated!  Even if you can’t always be there in person for her in times like these, sending something to remind them that you’re there in spirit {or just a phone call//txt away} is just as appreciated. We’re making memories here, people!  Join in on the fun!

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What To Do When You Can’t Be With Your Valentine on Valentine’s Day

Ahhh, Valentine’s Day.  The overly marketed day of love and romance.  I say that even as someone who is in a long and loving relationship.  Now, I’m no Valentine’s Day-hater, I enjoy any excuse to celebrate anything.  I do think that it’s gotten a little out of hand in comparison to it’s history and origins {but really, what hasn’t these days?}.  When it comes to Valentine’s Day, I’ve done it all- spent the day with the one I love, received cute cards and candies from my parents, exchanged Scooby-Doo and Disney Princess valentines with my elementary classmates, gone out and created chaos, metaphorically burning cities to the ground with my other single friends, or with those same friends, just sat in front of the TV with tissues and The Notebook on loop.  All while devouring heart-shaped delivered pizzas, chocolate, and bottles of wine.  Now that I look back on it, I see nothing wrong with any of these options.  I thoroughly enjoyed every single one.

For Jimmy and I, the beginning of the year is a little more top-heavy, so we never go really crazy on Valentine’s Day.  It all starts with Christmas, then New Years {we don’t get each other gifts on this day, but this holiday can get quite pricey depending on what you decide to do}, our anniversary on January 17, Valentine’s Day, and then Jimmy’s Birthday on March 10th, this list goes on.  We aren’t in college anymore, but we also aren’t made of moola, so we made a rule for Valentine’s Day.  Limit the gift to $20 each {we’ve actually never officially honored that amount, it’s kind of transformed into the $30 gift rule}.  Then, ya know, dinner together, etc, etc.

Although I’ve had sOoOoOo many Valentine’s Day experiences {<— slight sarcasm here}, this year will be a first.  Due to our opposite and preexisting work schedules, Jimmy and I will not be able to spend V-Day together.  As the years go on, I’m finding that this is more common with my relationship-clad friends than not.  We all have jobs where schedule is everything, and for whatever reason, companies don’t recognize or honor V-Day the same way they recognize Christmas {<–also sarcasm}.

So, when ya can’t be with your hunnay on the technical day of love, here are some tips on what do to {not saying Jimmy and I followed all of these, just some ideas from one gal pal to another…these tips apply to guys as well}:  This is also assuming you’ve texted//called each other at some point on Valentine’s…

**The key is to plan ahead:

It’s all about communication {don’t worry keep reading, this isn’t a relationship lecture}.  Since you can’t be together on Valentine’s, match up each other’s schedules and see what time works for the both of you to exchange gifts//go to dinner//go to the movies.  Whatever it is you’re going to do.  As long as you’re on the same page, celebrate whenever the heck you want.

**The USPS is your friend {as long as they don’t lose anything}:

Find out the address where your boo thang will be staying and send a little something to them there.  A card, small gift, etc.  Keep in mind they are most likely on a work trip, so let’s keep it both work appropriate and something they can travel back with {no 50 dozen roses or 6ft stuffed bears}.  If the gift you have in mind doesn’t fit either of these options, revert back to number one and give them the gift at another time.  Also keep in mind how many other people might want to mail something on Valentine’s Day.  You don’t want your present to be late, or missed completely!

**Become a little sneaky-sneak:

Probably could have phrased this better, but I’m hitting a writer’s block.  All I mean here is, when they aren’t looking {or are already asleep}, sneak a small gift or card into their suitcase.  Label it, “Not To Be Opened Until Valentine’s Day”, or something to that affect.  If they’re driving to their destination, then you have a little more freedom with what you can do.  If they’re flying, keep TSA regulations in mind.  It wouldn’t be very sweet if your sweetie got held up at the airport because they unknowingly tried to bring a carry-on with a bottle of champagne tucked inside.  {oopsies}

No matter what you do, keep in mind that Valentine’s is just another day.  If you can’t have your Lady and The Tramp spaghetti dinner with your babycakes on the 14th, it shouldn’t turn into the worst day of the year.  Like I said, I enjoy celebrating anything, buttt you also don’t HAVE to blow it out or celebrate it right on the 14th to prove you love one another.  Just relax and enjoy Valentine’s Day any way that you can.  {Those heart shaped za’s are pretty dang good, FYI}.

What do you guys have planned for Valentine’s Day?  What do you do if you can’t be with the one you love?

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Organizing Part One // Drawers

Welcome back to Part Deux for the SF blog today.  Like I said, this is a #TransformationTuesday piece…you’ll fully understand in a moment.

I’ve come to a realization about myself recently.  While I am a very driven, busy, organized, and clean individual, I am by no means perfect.

Blog of Honesty- my drawers and closets are organized to crap.  When it comes to clothes, I am a borderline hoarder, and I only have so much storage space.

I’m just going to be open and up front with everyone {not like I’m not already}, but I know a lot of us suffer from this problem.  While parts of this might be shocking and appalling, I think we will all be able to benefit from my sacrifice of allowing you into the depths of my soul that I normally just cover by closing my closet door or stuffing my drawers shut.

Okay, so it’s not THAT dramatic, but it is pretty bad.  Jimmy {who miraculously just turned into the world’s best purger {not a word} one day and had a freak moment and cleaned out ALL of his stuff} gets on me about it all the time.  I have so much to clean out that this will take up two, maybe three posts, but I promise I will show you before and after pictures, as well as share tips with everything.

Today we will focus on dresser drawers, specifically the drawer of the undergarment sort.  I know this is a problem for a lot of people.  Girls especially, because this drawer holds everything from panties to socks to sports bras to nighites to strapless bras {guys just don’t get it}.  I would like to point out that this is TOTALLY for guys too, don’t you all put things in your top drawer like ties and watches?  Now, I’m not particularly excited about showing you pictures of this, but I think it will help others, so I’m doing it anyway.  Report this as inappropriate if you want, but all you’re looking at is pieces of fabric…in a pile…so get your mind out of the gutter.  This isn’t the Janet Jackson Super Bowl Halftime show.  Your drawer is probably horribly organized too.  So read, and learn.

This is what we’re working with today


Before tackling this I went on Pinterest to consult the powers that be to get an idea on what steps to take {click here and here}.  I also went back and read the portion of The Happiness Project where good old Gretch talked about the how and why behind her closet purging.

After doing a little bit of research, I also ventured over to IKEA to buy some drawer organizers.  I decided on what is known as Skubb, a six piece collapsible set, that fits my IKEA drawers perfectly.

I would also like to point out that this is all I bought when I went to IKEA {are you reading this Mom and Dad?!} Did I walk around the entire store?  Yes, partly because I wanted to and partly because who can actually find their way out of an IKEA without walking through the entire thing?  Dang Sweds.

So, I got home, emptied my drawer, organized everything into piles and made 4 rules for myself.

1.  If there are holes, throw it out {this pertains to everything}
2.  If you haven’t worn it in the past 3 months or if it is dingy, stained, mangled looking, and not saved for a particular time of the month, toss it.  {this pertains to undies…girls, you know what I’m sayinn}
3.  Put it on.  If you jump around and it’s lacking in support, sayonara. {this refers to sports bras.  There’s nowhere to go but down {pun intended} once the elastic starts to loosen up}
4.  If it flat out doesn’t fit anymore…BUH-BYE.  {I say this because I have a bad habit of keeping things even when they don’t fit like they used to}  hint:  if you keep things because you think “oh I’ll just lose 5lbs to get back to what I used to be and then I’ll wear this again all the time!” only keep one or two of these items, they’ll be like your “skinny jeans” of undergarments.  But stop taking up space, let it go…into the trash can.

***And if you actually lose those five lbs, go buy something new when that time has actually come as a fun little reward.***

Once I separated everything into it’s respective piles, I was momentarily overwhelmed…

Where the eff did this all come from??? And how did it fit in my one drawer?!?!?

My one unexpected realization….why do I have so many fuzzy slipper socks?

The crazy thing is, none of these break my four rules.  They all get worn at least once every two weeks and none of them have holes.  I’ll just put them away as the warm weather arrives.  I heart slipper socks.

Long story short, I designated each pile to a Skubb drawer, followed my rules, and went to town.  I then ended up with this….

I had an extra Skubb drawer {as you can see I just gave my socks the freedom to roam}, so I used it to organize my bathing suits in another drawer.

It’s amazing how much better you feel, even after only organizing something like this.  My next project is my side of the closet, which I’ll share next week.  THAT, ladies and gents, will be a true Transformation Tuesday.

What are some of your strategies when you need to reorganize your drawers?  Anyone else struggle with this issue?

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How to Eat With the Guys // Without Eating Like the Guys

Temptation.  It’s all around us. 

In terms of eating, we try to be healthy, but it seems at every turn there is always something waiting to throw you off track.  A chocolatey//melty//cheesey covered something fried…a bottle of wine, etc {how many have already “broken” their New Years Resolutions?}.  When it comes to these “temptations”, there is one situation that I tend to experience quite often.

If you’ve been following along these past few months, you know that I spend a decent amount of my social time with either my brother, my frat bros, or both…aka dudes…aka we do a lot of dude things…aka it probably revolves around alcohol and sporting events.  This generally means copious amounts of beer, nachos, wings, fries…whatever’s on the menu. Ya feel me?

This is actually a picture of Jimmy and I last year at the Jets/Panthers game {he’s a huge, miserable Jets fan}…months before we had any idea we would be moving to Charlotte.  Funny how things work out.

When it comes to the sporting world, there’s always something.  The NFL playoffs have begun {Panthers/Seahawks tonight}, the CFB National Championship on Monday, and college basketball is in full swing {March Madness will be here before you know it}.  Then there’s hockey, baseball, futbol, an Olympic event every two years…it’s an awesomely vicious cycle.  While I enjoy both alcohol and sporting events {just being honest/realistic here}, it’s important to understand how to enjoy these things in moderation.  I’m not saying don’t go to the bar or the game to avoid the temptation, but know how to behave when you do.

While I’m not always a complete angel at these things in terms of what I eat/drink, I try to follow these rules:

**Stay Hydrated-

Sure, sounds simple {maybe pointless}, but staying hydrated is important for a variety of reasons, including understanding if you’re even hungry in the first place.  A lot of times, hunger can be mistaken for dehydration.  When you’re in one of the type of settings listed above, it can be dehydration city.  You’re surrounded by salty, fried, alcoholic things, all notorious for causing a little dehydration.  Not only is it important to drink water throughout the day, but also make sure you’re ordering a water {even if you get a beer}, to drink as well.  If you’re going to an event {tailgate, the actual game, etc}, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water beforehand.  That way, you’re better able to understand the signs you’re body is telling you. Sure, those wings look good…but are you actually hungry?

**Plate Size/Portion Control-

If you’re in a scenario where everyone is splitting appetizers or a few finger foods, make sure you’re paying attention to not only what you put on your plate, but the size of your plate.  Numerous studies have shown that the size of your plate has an outstanding impact on how much you eat.  Essentially, the larger the plate, the more food we put on the plate, the more we eat.  Plate size does a lot to skew our perception of true serving sizes, which can have a drastic effect on our waistlines.  To learn more about that, click here and here.

**Understand what You’re Drinking-

Of course, grab some agua, but if you’re ordering a beer, understand what you’re asking for.  Obviously craft, non-light beers can range anywhere from 200-600 calories.  It can depend on what they’re made of, alcohol content, etc.  Lighter beers range from around 90-120 calories.  Check out the chart below…


Also, notice the info per beer.  Looks like Mich Ultra isn’t as “lowest carb/lowest calorie” as you would think.  If I have to choose a light beer, I prefer Miller Lite, which looks almost identical to Mich Ultra {and would probably be found on special more than Mich Ultra}.  Even though we’re not in college anymore, sometimes you still have to think like a college student in terms of $$$.

**It’s Okay to Indulge a Little-

This one is probably the most obvious.  Watch what you eat, but it’s okay to indulge slightly every now and then.  Don’t over stuff yourself, try to wait 15/20 minutes after eating your first serving to see if you’re still hungry.  Get a burger and remove the bun, get a salad topped with a protein {nix the ranch dressing!!}, choose something grilled over something fried…you get the point.  Sure, these tips are helpful, but when you’re in the thick of things and surrounded by bottomless fries, buckets of wings, and pitchers of beer, are you really going think back to this one Skinny Fingers post and avoid all of it, all of the time?  Probably not.

And you know what?  That’s okay {really}.  What I’ll do a lot of times is order a big salad, a light beer, and then end up stealing 4-10 of Jimmy’s french fries.  Being able to eat just a few fries will often times curb my craving, and after I have just a few, I’m able to practice much better self control and I won’t stuff my face with all of “the bad stuff”.

Case and point– this is a salad I ordered the last time Jimmy and I went out to watch football on a Sunday before the playoffs {a few fries were stolen…but I promise, just a few!}.  Bar food crisis, averted!

Bottom line, none of this is going to be the “healthiest” thing for you, but in terms of the situation at hand, these rules are some of your best friends.

Does anyone else have other healthy tips and tricks in situations like these?  I’d love to hear them!

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New Year, New Resolutions

It’s the last day of 2014.  Let’s let that sink in for a moment.

And now just one more moment…

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, and I’m about to say it right now…but I do not know where this year has gone!  It has flown by so fast.  As I reflect it really makes me think about how precious our time is and how we use it.  This is something I took into consideration while I was coming up with my 2015 Resolution.

When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions I’ve only started being serious about them in the past few years.  I’ve given up soda for an entire year, ran in multiple half marathons, along with a variety of other goals and plans.  I know that some say, “you shouldn’t wait until Jan. 1 to change your life”, and I party agree with them {heck, I’ve even said it before}.  However, I also don’t think that it’s a “poor” excuse of a time to start something in your life either.  We’ve all got our proverbial “clean slate” starting tomorrow, and to me that’s pretty exciting.  I know, I’m full of contradictions.

I went back to my first post ever written about New Year Res’s when I was still writing for the Marshall Rec Blog, I basically admitted to the same thing.  Now that I have had time to reflect, I still stand behind what I say.  When you’re focusing your resolutions on the improvement of yourself and those around you, I believe you have a better chance at succeeding.  Side note:  When I say “the improvement of yourself”, I don’t mean you look at the scale after Christmas dinner with cartoon-like eyes and say “OMG I need to lose 10 pounds”.  I am more referring to a personal goal.  Of course, I always support losing weight {if it’s needed} and living a healthy lifestyle, but if you’re losing weight because it’s January 1st, rather than because you yourself have a burning desire to lose it with a mapped out plan, there’s a greater chance to fall off of the wagon.  That’s why my half-marathon resolutions worked for me.  They were goals, were I had a strict plan to succeed, rather than, “I going to keep running until I can run 13.1 miles”.

This year, I only have one resolution, and it’s not fitness related at all.  This year’s resolution is….

I’ve decided this for two reasons.  Growing up, I was always volunteering- with teams, my family, my youth group, and I loved it.  As I got older, I got busier, went to college, and it somehow just fell to the wayside {horrible excuse I know, but it’s true…and probably true for others as well}.  I’ve been sucked into my day to day routine to the point where I feel like I’m not really contributing to much anymore, and I know there are plenty of things around my community that need volunteers.  I want to help in any way that I can.  I’ve also decided to do this because I love Charlotte, {and also, kind of stuck in my routine/places I go, etc}.  I’m one of those people that if I’m in a place, I want to know everything about it, I’m curious like that.  I feel like this will be a great opportunity to learn even more about my community.  I will also get to meet a wide variety of people {another thing I love}.

I registered with a local volunteering organization, Hands On Charlotte, and I have my orientation on the 10th.  After that, I can volunteer my heart out!  To make sure that I keep my resolution, I’ve decided to give myself one, unbreakable rule.  No matter what happens, I need to volunteer at least once a month.  I understand how quickly time can get away from us, and some months might be busier than others.  Regardless, volunteer once a month.  Of course I can participate multiple times in a month if I have the time, but I think that’s a good rule of thumb.

Also need to give my brother, Ryan, a shoutout…he’s the one that introduced me to this website.  He’s actually already a volunteer for them {such a good kid}.  Anyone is more than welcome to steal my idea in their own community, the more volunteer’s the merrier!

Now let’s go make the last day of 2014 a great one.  Very exciting things are on the horizon, and I can’t wait to continue this crazy journey called life!

Have a safe and happy NYE, everyone!  What are your resolutions?

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Welcome Back, Welcome Back, Welcome Back

Now I have the “Welcome Back, Kotter” theme song stuck in my head.  Never even watched the show, just know the song.  You’ll recognize it too if you have a listen {and hopefully it doesn’t get stuck in your head…if it does, sorry?…}. Anyway…

Welcome back!  I hope everyone had a happy, festive, and full holiday season!  I know I did.  While I had an extremely busy few days, it was full of adventure, laughter, and being with the ones I love {more to elaborate on later}…also taking time to remember the reason for the season.  Unfortunately, Jimmy was unable to make it all the way home to NY for the holidays with his family, so fortunately for the Lavery’s, he came home with me. 🙂  He was a great addition to our normal quad-some ways, and my entire family agreed this was one of the best Christmas’s to date.

Lavery Christmas tree this year

The holiday season always makes me feel so…full…I don’t know if that makes sense.  Everything is so bright, cheery, and warm {figuratively, not literally}.  Now I just feel kind of like there’s a hole in my soul as we’re starting to get back into the day to day.  Anyone else feeling this way?

After spending the morning opening stockings and gifts, {while listening to The Edge of Christmas soundtrack}, and enjoying the traditional Monkey Bread and my mom’s Christmas Breakfast Casserole, we decided to go on our {traditional} Christmas hike.  Are we noticing a theme here?

I guess I should also take this time to mention that I got a camera for Christmas!  A Canon Rebel EOS SL1, to be exact.  While I love all of my presents equally, I had a little heads up from Santa on this one {cough..Black Friday..cough}.  It got to the point where I didn’t even want to post blogs because I new of the image greatness that was to come, and my iPhone 4s was KILLING me {RIP you little white box, I also upgraded to a 5s the other day, so this blog’s picture quality is about to blow your mind}.  I decided to take my camera on the hike with us so I could get comfortable using the thing.

Located in North Durham

The Pump Station Trail got it’s name from the old Durham Pump Station ruins that lie by the river.  The structure transported water to all of North Durham from the late 1800’s to the earlier 1900’s.  I’ve been going to the trail since at least middle school, maybe earlier.  It’s not much these days, but it’s still pretty neat to stop by and explore.

And all I’m doing here is playing with the different focus’s {foci?}

Just a few shots around the trail…

My two favorite Charlotte dudes, who absolutely love taking pictures.  Brother on the left, boyfriend on the right {from your perspective}.

And then a quick little fam pic, Jimmy even got Alba to look at the camera!

When we got back, I couldn’t help but keep playing with my camera until it was time to eat.  There are so many different settings, I found every excuse to click, click, flash.

Vintage Marshall ornament {legit vintage, I’ve always remembered this on the tree}

My sweet, sweet dog Alba.  But don’t let this glamour shot fool you…

this is what she’s really like–

Some pre-Christmas dinner snacking…

And then my mom’s famous Christmas dinner- marinated flank steak, cheese potatoes, seasoned green beans {SO good}

We finished out the night playing a little {family} friendly game of Cards Against Humanity, one of my gifts to Ryan this year, followed by an outdoor movie.  We also used Ryan’s new projector {boy had a good Christmas}, while we stayed warm next to our fire pit.

Don’t forget the holiday lover’s photo by the tree.

Although it flew by, we all truly had a great Christmas, and I am so thankful that we were able to spend it together.  I know this is a little late, but I wanted to throw a last minute Christmas post in here before we got started on the new year.

How was everyone’s Christmas/Holiday Break??

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