Nov 24, 2015

Thankful for YOU! Giveaway time!!!

This January I will have been blogging on My Blissful Space for three years. I love blogging and sharing my projects with you, and have had some fun successes along the way. Organizing, creating and writing are truly what I love to do, and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to do all three! This giveaway has been in my possession for a while now, but in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I decided it was time to give it out already! I am so thankful for those of you that read my blog or follow me on social media, for those that support my business venture, and even those that just stop in to check out a project that you found on Pinterest! As a thank you, I'm giving away a $25 Staples gift certificate...just complete the two steps in the Rafflecopter entry below to be entered any time from today until midnight on Thanksgiving! I'll announce the winner Friday. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I can't wait to share Faith's room with you next week!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nov 23, 2015

31 Days, More Delays and Thanksgiving Printables!

I had really hoped to wrap up the 31 Days posts this know, the ones that were supposed to be done in October?? Well, life continues to happen (what the heck?! ;)) and instead of killing myself trying to make that happen, I'm going to just plan to wrap it up by the end of November. Let's hope. I'll try. I am getting quite a bit done, just not any one project completed enough to share on the blog yet!

In the meantime, Dana from emailed me about sharing a fun post for Thanksgiving, and since she was willing to even do the writing for me, taking her up on her offer was a win-win for both of us! ;) I'm going to keep finishing up projects, and I hope you enjoy this fun Thanksgiving label idea!

Fun Printable Thanksgiving Labels!

Thanksgiving is almost here. It is a great time to gather with friends and family and enjoy a big feast together. However, there are many other things you’ll need to consider besides the Thanksgiving menu, although everyone is looking forward to trying that tasty turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie and many other delicious dishes prepared for Thanksgiving dinner. Another important thing people often leave for last minute is the house and dining table decoration. These free Thanksgiving printables will help you jazz everything up and get your guests into the Thanksgiving mood.

After you’ve chosen a tablecloth, plates and cutlery for the table setting, start cutting out the Thanksgiving labels you previously printed on regular or self-adhesive paper and set up simple but awesome decorations. 

Place cards are always a good idea when preparing party for more than ten guests. Depending on the color of your tablescape, chose one of the labels (the colorful turkey label, the elegant pumpkin label or the traditional Pilgrim hat), write down the name of a dear guests on it and place it on the napkin or beside the cutlery. You can even write a warm, thankful message for each person and pleasantly surprise your loved ones.   

Dish decorations for the kids table are a good way to get children to try some of the healthy snacks you prepared for them. Use labels to make the food look fun and inviting. 

Thanksgiving leftovers are another exciting part of this holiday. These Thanksgiving labels will help you send your guests home with leftovers in style. Just pack the goodies in plastic, glass or paper boxes and apply the stickers on the packaging with a thankful note. Your guests will be thrilled to be able to enjoy your delicious food the day after Thanksgiving as well.

Hopefully, these printables will help you set up a warm Thanksgiving atmosphere in your home without spending too much time, and have fun during the process. Happy Turkey day!

Go here and click the download for your free Thanksgiving labels!

Nov 20, 2015

31 Days to an Organized Life: Day 25 {Getting Organized For the Holidays & My Project Status}

The holidays get close and boy do things get busy, am I right? One of the things that has taken my a good that my husband and I are prioritizing more quality time together. Where before I may have worked on the laptop while we both "watched tv", I'm now putting the computer (or whatever) down, and putting off work for another time. It has been wonderful and yet a challenge, because now I have to figure out when to get that stuff done. I am slowly figuring it all out and will share more on balancing priorities next week.

Faith's room is coming along and I hope to finish getting her walls accessorized this weekend. Tomorrow will be a "crafty day" with the bestie, and I have quite a stack of projects to do! Finishing up some that have been waiting for a year or more will feel really good!

In addition to working with organizing clients recently, I've also been (finally) devoting time to some business marketing. That's something that needed to happen a while back and kept getting pushed down, but as I focus my time better on priorities, I've made sure that some of these important things are happening.

Of course we can't forget that the holidays are coming up! Thanksgiving is next week, and Christmas will be here before we know it. Normally I have at least half of my shopping done by this time, but despite being "behind", I'm pretty relaxed about where I'm at. I ordered Christmas cards a week ago while Vistaprint had a sale, and I've started a list for gifts. We're planning to do a good chunk of DIY gifts this year, and Brad has started making some awesome things for our family. Not only will that save money, but they'll be more special than something we would have just purchased at the store.

One month for shopping and DIY means some good planning and organization needs to take place. Not only do we need to plan gifts and cards (if you send them), but it's a good idea to plan decor and any holidays you'll be hosting. What food are you going to make, do you need table decor, and what fun activities or traditions should you have to do?

I've never used a holiday planner before but have had good intentions of doing so the past year or so. Since I'm busy and don't like to reinvent the wheel, I share good ideas when I find them and this is one worth sharing. Ruth from Living Well, Spending Less has really been on my radar this year. She has great advice for living the life you want, saving money, and balancing your priorities. First with her book (which I have almost completed), and now with an email series she's doing (more on that next week), and her new planner and holiday planner (get here), I am a big fan!

Holiday Planning Workbook Slider
Living Well Spending Less Holiday Planner
You can click on the links to get the planner free! Once printed, it has all the forms you'll need to get everything lined up for the holidays!

Nov 16, 2015

31 Days to an Organized Life: Day 24 {Kitchen & Pantry Organization}

I'm so happy! While my husband was off hunting this weekend, I spent some time organizing the kitchen finally. It was quite overdue. Things were getting placed willy-nilly (gasp...I know!), the shelves were in desperate need of wiping down, and I wanted to organize things in such a way that eating the way I want to eat (sugar-free, grain-free, real food) would be easier. The less "bad choices" in the pantry and cupboard, the better. 

Here are some before's...

pantry door

pantry - upper few shelves
lower part of pantry

I started by clearing the shelves in the pantry, above the stove (which I forgot to get before's of), and eventually a cupboard where I keep lunch containers that also needed rehauled. If something was expired, I tossed it. If I wasn't going to use it (because it wasn't "diet-friendly or was too processed or whatever the reason), I tossed it or decided where I could donate it. Some pantry items that could be donated for the Stuff the Turkey collection at school went into a sack for that. Everything else went on the counter or table to be sorted through.

I didn't want to throw away perfectly good flour just because I'm not using it (though that would better ensure that I wouldn't be tempted to revert to what I know rather than try a new grain-free alternative). I also recently read that some flours store better in the fridge or freezer (like whole wheat, and also almond and coconut flours). I decided to take the flours I don't use much but hated to just waste (all-purpose, whole wheat, bread flour) to the fridge downstairs. I currently store all my flours in Tupperware Modular Mates, but if I was able to switch containers to free up a size/shape that would better fit in the cabinet above the stove, then I swapped them out. 

There are other things that I'm trying not to cook with or eat (mostly because of my skin issues) that I am trying not to bring back into the kitchen at all. Those things are...

  • brown sugar - I ran out and decided to let it be gone. I currently use coconut sugar as a substitute for both brown and white, though I discovered we have over two bags of white sugar because I get it for my husband's coffee (still working on training him to be healthier ;)). 
  • beans/legumes-While healthy and yummy, beans are tough to digest and are high in carbohydrates. For someone with skin issues, like me, or "leaky gut" problems, beans can be problematic (here's a tidbit about that here). The Candida Free Cookbook says to avoid beans/legumes in the initial cleansing phase and to bring back slowly later. I'll still probably have some beans now and then, but for now I'll try to avoid. (I am using lentils that were in the pantry in a soup today.)
  • cereal - Brad eats Honey Nut O's every day for breakfast and Faith occasionally eats cereal, but I no longer do. I don't feel the need (or desire) to have three or four different kinds of cereal around, and I think I make better choices for Faith when it's not an option. I reduced the amount of containers in the pantry from three down to one for Brad's cereal. I also have one with oats, though going grain-free I don't eat those 
  • crackers - with the exception of graham crackers for the daycare kids, I try to avoid processed food out of a box as much as I can. Crackers fall into that, too. Previously I had two to four containers for crackers, plus a larger one for graham crackers and another for saltines. I kept the saltines (Brad eats them on soup...or rather eats soup with his crackers, as it turns out). I downsized the graham cracker container and got rid of the rest!

Once I started putting things back, I was happy to see some free space. I may decide that I need to have room for something else (and it occurred to me that having few non-perishables might not be great in an emergency situation), so I'll leave the space for now. 

The white baskets (photo above and below) that hold vinegars (apple cider, red wine, white wine and coconut vinegar), sweeteners (like stevia, brown rice syrup and agave, which I'm also getting rid of, and vanilla), peanut butter and oils (coconut, sesame and olive), finally got labels. 

Most things were working so they stayed as-is. Bread is in a white bin in the pantry but I moved it to the middle of the shelf next to the baskets with onions/garlic and potatoes. To the left was open, so I put my tea kettle (which usually stays on the stove-top) and my French press there. The bottom shelf holds the things I really want to avoid...Faith's candy box, crackers, marshmallows, popcorn, and tortilla chips (which I mostly keep on hand for Brad to snack on with salsa). 

Since I had freed up space, I was able to move our lunch containers and lunch boxes to the pantry (more on that in a bit). 

I didn't get a before of the cabinet above the stove, but it looked pretty much like this only full and dirty. I wiped everything down, removed most of the flours, put things on top that I won't use much (but again, didn't want to just toss), and generally just tidied up.

This lower cupboard (below) is where I stored lunch containers, lunch boxes, daycare cups/bowls, and larger Tupperware containers for things like cupcakes/cookies and cakes. Because we had to bend down to see what was in there, it wasn't always easy to find things, and stuff didn't get put back very nicely (especially if I wasn't the one doing dishes ;)). This was the state of affairs when I started...

...and this is how it looks now...

I need to cut a few more labels but there are less containers here now, which means less tossing and messes. The lunch containers, which we use more often, are in the pantry where they can be more easily seen. Eventually the daycare containers won't need to be here at all. I was able to pull the larger Tupperware containers forward so we can see them better, too. 

I had hoped for more organizing time overall this weekend but we enjoyed a fun girl day Saturday getting pedis and shopping with my mom, sister, bestie and daughter. I'm thrilled to have the kitchen halfway done, and Faith's room is coming along, too...more on that soon! 

Nov 11, 2015

Little Give, Little Take...But Things Are Coming Together!

via HomeTalk

As a business-owner and someone who's trying to create a career out of a passion, I am becoming a firm believer that a positive attitude, a lot of determination, and a whole lot of faith are the key to success. Building a business while working another full-time job is no easy feat...especially when you're trying to balance that and family. I am not a stay-up-til-two-am-I-don't-need-sleep kind-of-girl and I don't think it's healthy to develop habits that can't be maintained long-term, regardless of what they are. So I do what I can, try not to get discouraged, and keep moving forward, one step-at-a-time! 

That tends to mean that for a while I work on organizing and the blog, then have to switch gears to focus on organizing clients and promoting my business. It's a juggling act but it seems to be paying off (and as I get my tickler file up and running I should be even more efficient and productive!). I will still finish the 31 Days series...promise...I need to for myself if nothing else! ;) I can pretty much guarantee that no more organizing will happen today, and maybe not until the weekend, however. I'm working with a couple clients currently, have Jazzercise routines to learn for class, and other scheduled Coffee & Crop tonight! I could take something work-related to do, but I think I need a little mindless crafty time, and hope to knock out two or three holiday crafts I've been meaning to make for quite some time! I do hope to get a lot of organizing done this weekend, however, while the hubby's hunting. If all goes well I should wrap up the series before Thanksgiving. That is the goal! 

Nov 10, 2015

Holiday Organizing Hacks and My Feature!

Several months ago I was contacted by a writer at about featuring the above project that I did as a holiday storage idea. Well, the post went live last week and here it is

Nov 9, 2015

Farm Weekend and Organizing Continues!

We spent the weekend out-of-town, helping my husband and father-in-law set up deer blinds for hunting next weekend. I'd never done that before and it was kind of fun seeing exactly what that entails and the view Brad has when he's hunting! I even got to shoot a little, and did pretty good once we remembered that I have to shoot left-handed (I have some weird issue where I'm unable to focus except with my left eye).

Faith spent a lot of time driving the lawn mower ;)

Remi was in heaven running around!

Brad and Steve sighting in their guns

That's me!

These aren't all mine...but the head-shot and the one in the heart that Brad's pointing the stick at are!!! Right where I was aiming!
Being gone meant I wasn't home to be able to organize, and I spent this morning working with one of my organizing clients. With Brad hunting this weekend I should have ample time to get caught up, though. Faith's walls are ready to be decorated and the stuff is ready to go, but Brad's going to help me hang them...hopefully before he leaves. I also have plans to organize the entire kitchen, and it's time to tidy up the medicine cabinet. I'm sooooo ready...just need the time! Stay tuned because I WILL finish my 31 days of organizing! ;)

If you have not yet "liked" My Blissful Space on Facebook, please do! I have a giveaway ready to go at 500 likes, and we're about 50 away! :)