September 29, 2014

A Beautiful Fridge with Fridge Coaster + A Giveaway!


No matter what kind of home you live in - big, small, busy, quiet, just adults, children around - you have a fridge. And chances are high your fridge is one of those home appliances that's hard to keep organized and clean. Or in my case - full of enough food for 3 growing children.

When you have hands going in and out of the fridge daily (or hourly), messes happen. Or maybe you just forget about those remnants and leftovers hanging around in the back until they look downright scary. Maybe something spilled in the back a while ago and you haven't had the patience to deal with all that scrubbing. Maybe you're just too busy altogether to care.

If you have a science experiment gone wrong in the back of the fridge and are looking for a better way to keep it clean and tidy, I have the solution for you! It's called Fridge Coaster!


Yup, this is one of those "why didn't I think of that" products that is going to change your kitchen cleaning routine. Why? Because this is going to keep those drawers, shelves and door bins in your fridge a whole lot cleaner for a whole lot longer…which means less scrubbing when it's time for a clean-up. 

Fridge Coaster is an absorbent liner sized to fit your fridge shelves, crisper bins and door bins. When something drips or spills, simply sponge them off or pull up the eco-friendly Fridge Coaster and replace with another. 

What's even better? The bright, fun colors and patterns add a kick to your kitchen decor. My friends at Fridge Coaster sent over a few sets to try in my own fridge and I couldn't wait to put them to work…


Check out this stunner...


They not only look great and work well on the fridge shelves, they fit perfectly in my fridge door bins too!…


And they are so pretty!…


I may or may not have been caught opening my fridge only to take a peek. Not to grab a snack. ;-) 

My fridge looks and is happy inside…


And it's clean too! It's functional fashion for your fridge!

Fridge Coaster is made of Food Industry grade quick drying hard pressed wood Pulp coaster board (2mm thick). They are eco-friendly, recyclable, biodegradable, and sustainable. If you make a little spill, no worries. They absorb 4-5x their weight within 30 seconds after a spill.

Sweet, huh?

You can choose from a variety of patterns and colors to make your own fridge super happy…

It's easy to order too - just find your fridge style and then have fun shopping!

If you're interested in ordering, Fridge Coaster is having a generous fall sale right now - 25% off sitewide. But what's even better? One lucky Simply Organized reader is going to receive $50 worth of Fridge Coasters! Thank you Ben and Ashlyn for the generous giveaway!

All you need to do is enter via the giveaway gadget below…as always, I keep entry around here easy. Enter as many ways as you wish!

Good luck!….

a Rafflecopter giveaway

September 25, 2014

Outdoor Update: Pillars Are Up!…and More Details


Back today with another outdoor update. This job is definitely a process as there are many people involved. Like I said the other day, it will be easier for me to just update as we go because of that.

To start, my pillar boys (mason's) don't mess around or waste any time. Earlier this week, after they drilled out the concrete to add a sturdier base for the pillar footing

they quickly poured the footing and got to work on the pillars, which are formed out of cinder blocks and concrete…



They added the footing for the mailbox too…

By end of day yesterday I actually had 2 fully formed pillars and 1 fully formed mailbox…


Amazing!...


Let's talk about the gate pillars for a minute. They are each 6' tall (3' x 3' squares) and the lights, which will face up the driveway, will be 4.5' up from the bottom…

You can see we have the conduit ready for the pillar lights at that 4.5' mark. Speaking of lighting, I finally made a choice. This was a tough decision for a few reasons. 1. right now the house looks like a rancher. But when the kitchen remodel happens and the front of the house changes a bit, I'm hoping for a more modern / homey look. Not rancher-traditional. Have no idea if that makes any sense (ha!), but the outdoor lighting on the front of the house will change when that remodel happens….so I wanted to choose lights that would eventually match the house too. And 2. I was seriously struggling because there is like a billion outdoor wall-mounted lighting options. I browsed a few local stores (shoot me!) and bounced around online too. Ultimately, I ended up ordering online because Lamps Plus offers free shipping both ways. Or I can return in store.

Anyway, here is the light I chose



It's the Kichler South Hope in bronze. There are a few sizes to choose from and I ended up with the 17" version. The gate is black (see below), but the landscape lighting is bronze….and the stacked stone on the pillars will be gray…so I think we'll be ok. But you can see why I'm having a tough time making these choices. 

Speaking of the stacked stone, I chose El Dorado Stone in Nantucket

Hard to believe it's not real, huh? That's right, it's not real and costs a whole bunch less than the real thang, friends. Yay for that!

The gate is on order now and I'm waiting on my fence company to come out and place the brackets into the pillars. As I said, there are a lot of moving parts here and no one works for the same company…I've sorta pieced them all together, but it's working out. Once the pillar bases were completed, we have to wait for the fence company to come out and add the gate mounts…then we can move forward. Scheduling this has been real fun - not!

Speaking of the gate, here she is…

The gate will span about 11-12 feet. It's on order and takes a few weeks to come in.

Before I move on, another issue I'm working through are the oleanders on each side of the driveway. These 2 may have to go…

They are not only blocking where the lights will be placed, they may become an issue when the gate is automated. The machines for operating the gate need to go somewhere, and this is likely a good spot for them. I'm still working through it. I love these 2 little trees so much. We may be able to get away with just cutting off a few limbs. To be determined on that topic.

Moving on to the mailbox, it's slightly shorter than the pillars and is a smaller overall square shape - about 26" x 26"…

The mailbox insert opening has been cut...

And here's what will soon be the new mailbox in that beautifully cut hole…

It's the Manchester in black…
It will look like this once it's inside the pillar...

I've chosen not to have a light on this pillar. The mailbox will have the same nantucket stacked stone and I ordered 2 address numbers in stone for either side of the pillar. The old "soon to be gonner" mailbox is looking pretty sad and depressed these days in the new mailbox's shadow :-(…

The final details are being worked out now too, like finishing off the deer fence to connect with the pillars…

And working out exactly how we will get out of the gate to toss garbage…or how UPS will walk through to deliver packages. I'm thinking once this oleander is gone or trimmed down…


...we can add a little gate for coming and going, off to the side of the bigger actual gate. Again, hoping this makes sense to you guys. I have leftover stones from the front path that can be incorporated into this walk-through area...

Just more details, choices and decisions to be stressing thinking about, right?! Hey, there are worse issues in the World. ;-)

There's my outdoor update for today. Back soon to share the backyard landscape lighting…and hopefully more progress shots from the pillars / mailbox. Have a great day!!


September 24, 2014

It Isn't Perfect or Pretty, But It Works!


Doesn't it seem as if most people (you!) are on a never-ending quest to find the "perfect" calendar, planner, personal / home management tool? Maybe it appears to be a big, stressful topic because I spend a lot of time with unorganized folks that are trying to become more efficient, productive…and stay on top of their schedule / tasks. Maybe it's because I spend a lot of time networking / chatting with my professional peers. Maybe you feel defeated when you spy all of those cute printable's on pinterest. Or read blog posts where bloggers make it appear so easy to get and stay organized because their system / process works.

(Not knocking my blogger community when I say that!)

Well, guess what? As much time as I spend around this topic I've learned one thing….what works for one person doesn't work for someone else. Everyone has different things to stay on top of, different priorities, a different way of tracking important items and appointments.

And I'm not excluded from this group.

I've been using the Martha Stewart calendar insert for over a year and it's been working SO well for me. I first shared my binder here in August 2013…

Then I made a few little tweaks (here) in January 2014…

Now in September 2014, I have one more change. But that's ok! I'm only making my system more efficient as I figure out what hasn't been working. It wasn't a big change or investment, but after using this new insert for more than a month - with huge success - I thought it was a good time to share with you guys!

A few months ago I found this great little pad of weekly family planner sheets…

I discovered it at the Container Store, but you can find the pad online at the MomAgenda website. Just click here to head over to browse her site and grab one of your own!…


Why did I add this tear off sheet? 

Because I found I was needing a spot to keep track of each child's schedule. Everyone has a different schedule and activities to track now that school is back in session. In addition, I have a nanny that helps me a few days a week along with my own business schedule…AND all of the household stuff. AND keeping track of home improvement jobs / appointments. I was feeling the need to get something more detailed, so finding this pad of weekly tear off sheets was a Godsend. 

Trust me, you'll see in a minute just how much I need to track weekly. I've got the pictures coming, my friends!

All I do for each week is tear off a sheet from the pad, use my 3 hole punch and add it to the week in my Martha Stewart binder...



Like most of you, I have things that happen consistently each week - like the times the kids are at school, band practice or my gym schedule. So I went ahead and added everything consistent first. Then as appointments roll in, I add them to the calendar…

I love how everyone has their own little spot in the planner, including Sandy (our nanny). 

As far as the Martha Stewart calendar, I'm now using that to track what I eat, my workouts, notes, and things I need "to do" each day….


And I incorporate post-it's when needed. I find the post-it's helpful for writing lists for target, phone calls, errands, and small grocery lists. That way if I need to run to target or the market, my list is ready. Or if I don't get something done that week, I can move the post-it to the next week. 

Hopefully this isn't confusing you! As I said, I've basically taken little things that work for me and developed my own system that has been rocking my world lately….in a good way! 



This Bic White Out dispenser works well within the thin lines of the family planner sheet…

Anyway, as I said, it's not perfect or pretty…but it works for me! I thought I would share in the event you too have been struggling with your calendar since school started up or your fall, upcoming holiday schedule is beginning to drown you.



Have a great evening!