A Quick Update

Last month I had an extra day off of work and decided to use it to get some things done around the house.  I’m pretty sure I was a domestic goddess.  In the midst of my cleaning, cooking, and laundry, I took notice of a bookshelf in our living room that just kept bothering me.  It simply looked a mess.  But, I wasn’t sure what I could do with it.  Books were neatly arranged on it, but every time my eye wandered over to it, everything just felt amiss.

I wish I had a “before” picture to show you.  Unfortunately, I still haven’t caught on to the need to take such photos.  So, I’ll just have to ask you to trust me on this one.  Anyway, while I was cleaning, I found myself standing in front of the bookshelf and wondering what to do.  And then it hit me.  I had already pinned some inspiration a while back.

I’ve actually got a pinterest board dedicated to my obsession for books – but that’s a post for a whole other day.

So, with my inspiration photo in mind, I got to work. I removed all the books from the shelf and grouped them by color.  I started with basic color groups like black, blue, green, red, yellow, white, etc.  I pretty much started with primary colors.

After I had these main groups organized, I pulled out sub-groups if any emerged.  For instance, in the yellow group, I felt like there were enough beiges and golds that were quite different from the yellow.  So, those colors got their own group.

Finally, I re-shelved the books, according to color, starting with the darkest colors on the bottom and worked my way up to the top.  What I have now, is a bookshelf organized by color but much more pleasing to view.  (This would be a really great moment for a “from this to this” photo.  Argh!)  Check it out:

The completed bookshelf.  Much more pleasing to the eye.

The completed bookshelf. Much more pleasing to the eye.

A close-up of the shelf.  Now, I'm looking for a great piece of art, dominated by light colors to hang on the wall just above it.

A close-up of the shelf. Now, I’m looking for a great piece of art, dominated by light colors to hang on the wall just above it.

I think one of my favorite things about this is that during college I used to work at a bookstore.  On more that one occasion, a customer would come into the store and become infuriated with the staff when we couldn’t help them find a book based on its color. The conversation would go something like this:

Customer: “I’m looking for a book.”
Me: “Great!  What’s it called?”
Customer: “I don’t know, but it has a blue cover.”
Me: “Uh.  Okay.  Who is the author.”
Customer: “I don’t know, but it has a blue cover.”
Me: “Uh. Er. Um. Do you know what it’s about?”
Customer: “A girl. It has a blue cover.  Don’t you know the book?”
Me: “We don’t organize the books by color.”
Customer: “Is there a manager?”

If only that customer could see me now!

What do you think?  Any quick updates or quick fIxes you’ve made lately?

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My Favorite Things Party

As promised, I’m back to share all about the recent party I attended at my friend Renee’s house.  It was a “My Favorite Things” party – something we’d never done before but had learned about on (you guessed it) Pinterest.  For this party, guests are asked to pick a favorite thing, costing no more than $6, purchase five of that thing and bring all five items to the party.  Once there, everyone’s name is put in a bowl five times.  Each person picks five names from the bowl, careful not to pick her own name or any duplicate names.  Next, one by one, each guest shares her favorite thing, why she loves it, where she bought it, etc. and proceeds to pass it out to the five names she picked from the bowl.  Each party goer ends up leaving the party with five different items that are someone else’s favorite thing.

It was so much fun!  We spent the afternoon in great company, eating some delicious food, partaking in some refreshing cocktails (I’ll be back soon to share more on those cocktails) and learning some great information from and about one another.  The information sharing was one of the things I loved best.  I learned all kinds of neat tricks, tips, and bits of info. that unfolded from our conversation as a result of sharing about our favorite things.

There were seven of us at the party, so while I left without two items (one of them I brought), I did get the information about the missing item and bonus – it’s under $6.00!  So, while I’m the jerk who didn’t take any pictures of the great food and decorations that Renee shared with all of us so I could share that with all of you, I am going to share all the favorite things with you – so you can make them your favorite things, too!

#1 – Dark Chocolate Covered Caramels from Trader Joe’s

These delicious treats always do the trick!

This was my favorite thing that I brought to the party.  Darrin and I buy these frequently when shopping at Trader Joe’s.  The dark chocolate is the perfect pairing to the thick, chewy caramel inside.  These candies are so rich that one or two is enough to get you through any sweet craving.

#2 – Walgreens brand DeLish Premium Blend Mixed Nuts

It's my understanding that you can get two of these canisters for under $6.

Renee’s mom, Mary, brought these nuts.  I got to take these home and I can definitely see why they are a favorite.  They have just the right amount of salt and the mixture is perfect – almonds, cashews, macadamia, and pecans.

#3 – Pampered Chef All Purpose Spreader

I can't wait to test out this handy kitchen tool.

Renee shared this tool to represent her love for all things Pampered Chef.  I’m sure I’ll be able to make use of this tool, especially with the holiday baking season around the corner.

#4 – Reusable Plastic Travel Cup

My new cup is quite happy on my desk.

My friend Maria brought reusable plastic cups.  I was so glad she picked my name from the bowl.  The old Fiji water bottle that I kept refilling at work was starting to get a little sad.  As you can see from the photo above, I’ve already put this guy to work.  Maria bought these cups at Joanne’s Fabric and Crafts stores of all places.  If you’re on the Joanne’s email list or use the phone app you might apply a coupon to this cup to make it even cheaper.

#5 – The Story of Ruby Bridges, children’s book

Ruby's story is one of courage and conviction.

Stephanie brought this book, which she used to read to her children when they were young.  This book tells the true story of a young girl who braved hatred and ignorance in order to get a fair and equal education.  It felt really special to get this book from Stephanie.  I know Stephanie’s daughter and I’ve often thought to myself that I would love for my future children to be like her.  I’ve occasionally wondered what kinds of things Stephanie did as a mother to raise such a great daughter.  Getting this book from Stephanie felt like she was sharing a parenting secret with me.

#6 – Suave Dry Shampoo

You really don't have to spend a lot of money.

Leah brought Suave’s dry shampoo.  Don’t think I didn’t use it the very next day.  My hair is very fine and so can get oily, quickly.  This product has been a godsend.  It helps absorb the extra oil in my hair and it smells great – bonus!

#7 – Maybelline Falsies Mascara

Someday I'll get a chance to try this one.

Rhonda, Renee’s sister, a self-proclaimed make-up fanatic brought Maybelline’s Falsies mascara.  Alas, I didn’t get to take this one home.  But, it is on my to-buy list.  I’m always happy to learn about a quality make-up product.  It feels good knowing that it’s endorsed by someone I know and trust.  So, I think I’ll give this one a spin.  And hey, I know it’s under $6.00.

So, thems the the spoils from our My Favorite Things party.  I did come home feeling like I’d hit a jackpot or won a door prize.  I came back to Darrin and displayed all my wares to him.  We plan to have the party quarterly and take turns hosting it.  So, I’ll be back with a winter edition and this time I’ll remember to take photos of the entire event to share with you.

What about you?  Do you have a new favorite thing that you want to share?