Organized Charm: September 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

One Lovely Blog Award


OneLovelyBlog

I am so, so excited to have been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by Dani from Dani Dearest, which is a super precious blog on Wordpress! Some of my very favorite things are her goals page { might just have to steal that idea ;) }, this paint swatch wall, and this motivation wall {which I’m totally looking around for a place to do in my home as I’m writing this}! Definitely check her blog out because it is full of creative awesomeness! And creativity. And cute ideas. And other great things!


Here are the rules for this award...

- Thank the person who nominated you & include a link to their blog 
- List the rules & display the award 
- List seven facts about yourself 
- Nominate another blogger(s) {as many as you want!} & let them know they have been nominated 
- Follow the blogger who nominated you 

And here are the 7 facts about me...


1. I hate e-mail.
If e-mail were magically “uninvented” tomorrow, it would be one of the happiest days of my life. I am one of those people who opens e-mails (and texts), reads them, responds mentally, and goes along with my life. I have literally had the same e-mail sitting in my inbox for 19 days because so much time has gone by that at this point, it’s just awkward. I’m like, should I just pretend I never got it or should I respond and have that person know that it actually took me 20 days to respond to an e-mail?! Maybe I can set up an automated message that says: "Just tweet me”? That would be totally professional, right?




2. I love penguins and turtles.
These two completely random animals are definitely my faves. The penguins probably because they’re adorable. And they mate for life. And Happy Feet. You know, all the normal reasons. Turtles because they’re just so cute and slow and always needing help crossing the street! Nothing breaks my heart more than the fact that Turtle Soup is a thing. PLUS, the week we got engaged in Puerto Vallarta, Derek and I released baby sea turtles! I named mine Warrior. He named his Tiger Shark Bait. Typical.



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3. I’m like the real-life Cady Heron.
The first day of Ninth Grade? Yep, totally my first day of school ever. I had to get Kindergarten shots before I went. I was home schooled from pre-k all the way through middle school. And I just wanted to be around people and get up early and take notes and complain about mean teachers (that were not my mom) and do all the things that all of my friends got to do! I loved the idea of school and the back to school shopping (obviously, I still do) and the rules and the sneaking to pass notes in class and having a consistent schedule every day! I was so happy when I finally started high school! School is so fetch!




4. I’m a vegetarian. 
Well, actually Pescetarian but vegetarian is easier to explain. I don’t eat meat that isn’t fish. I think I stopped eating red meat around 10 years ago. Slowly, I kind of just started to lose my desire for eating any white meat except chicken (because it’s nearly impossible to live in the South and not eat chicken). But then… my parents got Jane, Lizzie, and Mrs. Bennett… pet chickens! So one night at their house, they served BBQ chicken for dinner, and that was just the last straw for me. #barbarians 




5. New Orleans is my happy place.
Well, NOLA and the beach. And Italy. I have a lot of happy places, but New Orleans is the most accessible. It is my favorite of all places. It’s where I had my super-spectuacular bachelorette party! Right now, we live right next to the Memphis train station and every morning at 6:15 the train stops to pick people up on its way to the Big Easy… and I just want to be on that train! The music, the food, the architecture, the people, the shopping, the culture, the drinks! There is just no place else like it! We are planning a trip for my birthday weekend in November and I am so, so, so, so, so, so excited! Yaaaaaay!




6. When I was little, I wanted to be an architect.
Or a Marine Biologist. Or both, if my schedule allowed it (it didn’t… either did the geography). I used to spend hours of my life drawing floor plans of houses, drawing furniture into books of floor plans of houses, and best of all? Model homes! Gah, what an exciting childhood, right? It’s like I was 12 going on 40. I don’t know what it is but I still totally enjoy floor plans, and maps, and globes. Maybe because they look so organized? Or maybe it’s because they’re like new calendars: full of possibility! 




7. I have the coolest "baby brother" ever.
My brother is the best. No, really. His personality is like a mixture of Bill Murray and Kramer from Seinfeld. He recently moved to Flagstaff. to volunteer with the American Conservation Experience for 6 months… they’ve camped in Utah and California. Let me tell you this, if there was ever an antithesis of me, it’s this kid. I like the outdoors in small doses, preferably followed by a 45-minute shower. And you’ve seen the daily prioritized study list that fills up my academic planner, right? He literally wrote things like: “HIST: Start giving a s--- about this class”. Except he never leaves any letters out. 



And those are my 7! :)



I nominate Michelle from Restoration Spring!

…which is a blog all about fresh starts, makeovers, and second chances. It’s also written by the totally crazy, beekeeping, composting, gardening, hippie mother. Or as I like to call her, Kiki :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Style Essentials for the Fall Semester


So, we announced the winner of the Chloe Grace Crochet Giveaway this morning! And even if you didn’t win, it would still be an adorable (and inexpensive) addition to your fall wardrobe! And speaking of fall wardrobes, here are some other essentials totally worth investing in for those upcoming busy and chilly fall walks across campus!  


Boots
Boots are one of those things that you can just never have enough of… right? Wear them with jeans when it’s cold, wear them with dresses when it’s warm. They instantly make your outfit look pulled together yet functional. They are 100% perfect for campus on cold or rainy days!

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Crossbody Bag
These are so perfect for college (or actually, just life in general). Clutches and totes are so cute but also SO annoying to try to carry around all day. Crossbody bags are perfect, stylish, and super functional for the times when you have coffee in one hand and books in the other!

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Leather Jacket
My “leather” jacket (that’s in quotations because it’s really just from Target) is one of my biggest go-to’s during the fall semester! I LOVE that it gives me an alternative to my denim jacket! It also looks adorable with dresses, boots, flats, jeans, t-shirts… basically anything!

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Overcoat
You want to make sure that you don’t freeze to death or anything in those bone-chilling winds of November and December. Having something big enough to throw on over your jacket will really save the day when the temps drop towards the end of the fall semester! 

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Skinny Jeans
I am so obsessed with skinny jeans and I am SO HAPPY that it’s finally fall so I can spend more time in them! These are perfect because they can be dressed down with a pair of Converse or boots for class in the morning. And they can be dressed up with heels and a cute top for going out at night!

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Stylish Flats
And finally, you know that you really cannot have enough flats. When it comes to changing up your daily look, it’s all about the accessories! I literally clear out Target’s shoe department every year because I wear these for school and work (day after day after day…). 

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Happy Fall, y’all! :)

How would you wear this bow scarf?! What are some of your favorite parts of fall? 
What is on your wish list this season? 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Creative Spaces


Well, well, well... It's been 4 months and I am finally (FINALLY) just about finished getting our new loft to look the way I want it. The space is everything we were looking for: bright, open, industrial, not in the middle of the suburbs. And we made a couple of furniture upgrades when we moved (dining table, chairs, and tv stand). We were super adamant about only taking the pieces that we really loved.

We sifted and sifted through our existing items until we had every picture, vase, plate that we wanted and got rid of aaaaall the rest. (Wait was that long enough? What I meant to say was that we got rid of aaaaaaaaaaaalllll of the rest. Yes. That looks much more accurate). We really expected to do a lot of downsizing when we moved out of the house. And we did. 

However, when we got all of our furniture and art and rugs and every thing placed in the new space, it was still feeling a little bare. It just needed a few little whimsical touches here and there to really make it ours. Enter: Creative Spaces.


They had some of the perfect finishing touches to make this place feel like it's totally ours!
...for the next 8 months, anyway :)

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The first project that I wanted to try out with these adorable labels was to reorganize our “pantry” (aka ONE cabinet underneath our kitchen counter). Last January, we got these stackable OXO containers and they have been the most amazing thing ever! But because they are stackable, and because we are looking into a tiny cabinet, we have needed some labels in here for a while! These worked perfectly! 


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The next project that I tried out was one that I desperately needed this semester: a daily checklist system. Now, let me point out that this is a new system that will probably require a whole post of its own (I had to change all of my systems to fit my needs for this semester’s class)! But for now, I’m just going to show you how adorable these little chevron squares made my new command center! LOVE!


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You know how sometimes you just have a little space in your home that could use just a touch of something? That’s how I felt about this space above our kitchen counter. I kept trying to put one more thing in this space and I just really wanted to stay with the black, white, and pink theme. As soon as I saw these little pennants, I knew they would be the perfect solution! Now everyday feels like a party!


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Here is another space that needed… something. This little banner has made the most sunshiny little splash of happiness over our industrial bar cart! Those are black punch-out letters that I taped on with washi tape so that I can change this in the future (total teacher move). I LOVE how happy this makes the space! When I finished this banner, I still had enough of everything to make the whole thing again! 


If you're looking for a way to brighten up a dorm room or a small apartment, I would totally recommend checking out their website! All of the paper products are very good quality and can be laminated and reused! Also, there are *tons* of colors and patterns to choose! We have a blue banner, too that I'm using as a "Go Tigers!" banner for our tailgate party this afternoon! {so more photos to come, obvi!} 

Monday, September 15, 2014

GIVEAWAY: Bow Scarf from Chloe Grace Crochet


So, fall is finally here (or at least, that’s what it felt like this weekend)! And I am SO excited about it! The football... The open windows... The changing colors... Oh, and of course, the clothes!

And if you’re like me, you know exactly what I mean I’m excited for dressing like it’s fall! Boots, jackets, jeans, and scarves! And speaking of scarves… I just happen to be hosting a giveaway for the adorable Chloe Grace Crochet Etsy Shop!

She is a Tennessee girl (just like me) and her items are absolutely adorable! 

{told you!}

I have been 100% in LOVE with this bow scarf ever since I saw it on Pinterest and I am so, so excited that it is the featured item for Organized Charm’s very first giveaway ever! 


Now I’m sure that most of y’all know how these giveaways work, but just in case, I’ll give a mini-description of how to enter! You can enter up to 4 times each day through the widget below by following Chloe Grace and Organized Charm on Twitter, by liking Chloe Grace Crochet on Etsy, and by liking Organized Charm on Facebook. 

And that’s it! The winner will be announced one week from today on Monday, September 22! Oh, best of all? You get to order the scarf in whatever color you choose! Pretty awesome, right?! 

GOOD LUCK! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Saturday, September 13, 2014

5 Blogging Basics


So, this semester has finally balanced out and I am back into a normal routine. (I kind of lost my bearings there, for a minute!) Which means that I am finally getting back into the routine of writing… which means that I am finally getting around to writing y’all’s requested posts

…which means that we’re all happy! YAY!

I am starting with this one since it’s the most common request I’ve received lately. Many of you have been asking for blogging advice and, while I’m certainly no expert, I will share the 5 biggest things that have been helpful for me! 

Let’s get right to it!



1: Be Consistent
I try not to have one post about a closet that I organized and then another about a meal that I cooked and then another about my recent vacation and then another about how I blow out my hair. The more consistent you are (1-3 topics), the easier it will be for people to know what to expect!

This is why it’s SO important to pick what you are most interested in writing about!



2: Be Helpful
This is a super important one! People want to read things that will benefit them! So, if you’re looking for readers, you need to provide them with something. When do your friends seek your advice? Fashion? Decorating? Cooking? Photography? Makeup? Making people laugh?

If your friends notice that it’s a strength of yours, then so will your readers!



3: Be Interactive
This is another thing that’s important. (Even though I’m falling behind right now) I always, always try to reply to every comment, e-mail, Facebook post, tweet... even if it’s just to say, “Thank you”. I think it’s a polite thing to do, respectful to readers, and awesome getting to know new people!

Treat your readers like your BFF!



4: Be Positive
  Very, very important: be NICE. No one wants to read a blog written by Negative Nancy (Annie Anxiety maybe, but not Negative Nancy)! So while you’re writing, just try to keep it as positive as possible! If you need to “vent” about something, write it out somewhere private then let it gooo...

Use your blog to contribute positivity to this world!



5: Promote. Promote. Promote.
I cannot stress the importance of this one enough. PROMOTE YOUR OWN WORK! Sure, it would be totally awesome if you could write a couple of posts and become College Prepster or Sarah Belle. But the (blogging) world just doesn’t work like that. Share your own work all over social media!

People can only read your blog if they know about it! 

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These are the things that I’ve found helpful in my own writing! But different things work for different people! The biggest part of blogging is that it should be something that you look forward to. If you’re interested in writing about something, then just write about it

As long as YOU are happy with what you’re doing, that’s the only thing that really matters! :) 

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If you have a blog, what advice to you have to add to this? 
If you’re starting up a blog, what has been your biggest challenge? 
Do you have any other questions on this topic?!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Inside My Wedding Planner


I am so excited to be celebrating my three-year anniversary with my husband today! I remember our wedding like it was yesterday: The cake. The flowers. The music. The dress. The endless e-mails. The weekly emotional breakdown followed by “let’s just forget the wedding and get married today.” But do you want to know what my favorite part was? Well, aside from becoming “Mrs. Horton,” my favorite part of the whole experience was the planner! *swoon*


Weddings are a pretty big deal. Even if you’re planning to have a “small” wedding… there is still a BIG amount of planning that goes into it (unless, of course, you are planning to do it Carrie Bradshaw style at the Courthouse)! You need checklists, timelines, a place to save receipts, contact info, scheduling, and of course, a patient fiancĂ© to talk you down off the ledge every night while you plan it all! Even though I would never want to do it again, I do (occasionally) miss all of that organization and planning!


As my florist (slash therapist for nine months) told me, planning a wedding is "fun stress”. Even though I’m pretty sure I immediately burst into tears at the time, I now realize that he was right. It is fun stress! And at the end of it, you get a totally fantastic party! YAY!

…oh, and a lifetime commitment to your favorite person ever :) 


Visit Barnes & Noble and browse through their selection of wedding planners (right next to the “self-help” section. Convenient, right?). There are big ones, little ones, simple ones, giant binders… just all kinds of crazy choices! Y’all, there is even a book that is only made up of checklists! Look through all of them until you find one that looks like it can help you accomplish exactly what you want!


Here is the one I used: The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner. I chose it because it was small and light enough that I could carry it around in my purse (because believe me, you will NOT want to leave the house without it)! But it was also detailed enough that I could keep everything in one place!



This planner was such a huge help to me because it provided several checklists (yay!), notes pages, places for inspiration, etiquette, worksheets, and budget trackers! It really guided me and helped me envision exactly what I wanted the wedding to look like. PLUS, there was a timeline-style checklist (which was the inspiration for my Semester Assignment Spreadsheet, btw)! Yes, please! 


In addition to this planner, I kept ONE “wedding folder”, where I kept all of my contracts and receipts. My florist/wedding therapist also told me about this idea. Take a regular two-pocket folder (like, $1 at Target), write “to-do” on the left side, and “done” on the right side. Put all of your contracts/bills on the left side until they are paid, then move them to the right side. This way, they’re all always together. (Does that system sound familiar? It’s the one I now use for organizing my class folders!)


I also created a “wedding” folder in my e-mail inbox to save all correspondence with different vendors or potential vendors. This is VERY helpful because it allows you to look back over details discussed, prices negotiated, dates/times, etc. Remember that, while this is your big, special day, it is also a business for your vendors, so you need to stay on top of things at all times!


When should you splurge? PHOTOGRAPHY! Next to catering, photography was our most expensive thing. Our original photographer got pregnant (and had twins on our wedding day)! So we actually had to go outside of Memphis to find a photographer that was less than, like $6,000. We found the MOST amazing team (yes, team) of photographers who did an absolutely amazing job! 


The other reason photography is so important is because you want to find someone who will really capture your personality as a couple. The photographers that we used felt like they had been our friends forever, which kept us from being stiff or awkward in the photos. Even better? They were just so much fun and blended right in at the wedding, so they were able to get a ton of great candid shots of the reception!


Another place to splurge? Your dress. I never really had a plan for a “dream wedding” when I was little. I never really cared about what my hair or makeup or dress would look like. I thought I would just be happy with whatever. UNTIL I started trying on dresses! I literally fell in LOVE with one of the first ones I tried on. And even though it was crazy expensive, I never even thought about regretting it!


Reception location is another big, big deal… but it doesn’t necessarily have to cost a lot of money. The thing about the reception is that the location just has to fit the look/needs of the wedding! A good friend of mine recently had a private wedding ceremony in an art gallery of a local Memphis museum. We are going to a backyard wedding in a few weeks. Two summers ago, I attended the cutest and quaint wedding on a rooftop of some condos downtown. Use your creativity and make this exactly what you want!


The Ceremony. Kind of a big deal. Stick to the basics. I cannot even imagine how stressful it would have been for me to write my own vows on top of everything else. Also, choose an officiant who knows you personally, if possible! It will just make everything seem more relaxed. Last but not least, have you ever been to one of those weddings where there are as many people on stage as there are in the “audience”? Did you know that there actually is a rule about how many wedding party attendants there should be? Yep. It’s 1 per every 50 guests! This keeps a good balance of attendants and guests!


Just like everything else in life, the better planned out your wedding is, the more you will be able to ENJOY it on the day that it actually happens! And even if things go wrong (like the groom forgetting to the rings or the bride forgetting to eat… two examples I toootally just made up. *wink wink*), at the end of the day, you’ll be married to the person that you love the most in this whole world!

And it doesn’t get much more perfect than that! :)

{Shared on Everyday Enchanting}
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