Jun 17, 2012

Organizing like Martha

We all know Martha Stewart’s got it going on. She can cook, decorate, garden and organize like a champ. So when I recently came across her office supply line at Staples, I wasn’t the least bit surprised that it was umm… fabulous.  I went in for some metal bookplates for our Linen Closet Makeover (which I can’t wait to show you guys later this week) and came out with half her collection… mostly because it seemed like really great quality but I think it also has something to do with the fact that it’s all teal – my fav. And hold the big spenda jokes as the most expensive piece I brought was the binder, which was only $12.99.

So, what the heck am I going to do with all these labels, you may be thinking? Why organize and label the crap out of my house, of course… especially while I’ve got a fully supply of this nesting crack pumping through my veins.

Martha Stewart Office Organization

So here’s my plan for putting all of Martha’s office goodies to the test:

Martha Stewart Binder

My goal is to turn this beauty into a “home command center” binder. Jeremy and I are famous for throwing all of our mail and important docs into a bin on our kitchen counter or into the junk drawer… which then I don’t file until months later. So to squash this habit, I’m hoping to build a binder that serves as a one stop shop for everything we need quick access to – weekly meal plan, important numbers, schedules, etc.

Martha Stewart Binder

source: staples

Adhesive Metal Bookplates

I’m putting these bad boys to action on new bins that I recently got to help organize our linen closet… which let me tell you, was one hot mess. Be prepared to judge me when you see the disaster I’ve been hiding in this closet. I deserve it.

Martha Stewart Office

Cord Tags

I desperately need these as I have a bin of cords that I have no clue what they go to. Seriously, every time I want to charge my little dirt devil to clean my car, I spend at least 10 minutes testing cords and cussing!

Martha Stewart Organize
Chalkboard Labels

OK, OK, I guess I really didn’t need these but they’re super cool, so I splurged. I have big plans for these in the kitchen!

Martha Stewart Organize

Stick on Labels

Nothing fancy here… umm except for the oval size and teal border. I’m planning to show the 10 bins in our bathroom some love with these. Jer is always picking on me for labeling obvious things (like a clear container of flour… guilty!) but with tall bins that are stored above eye level… labels are 100% required. right?

Martha Stewart Organize

Alrighty guys, I gotta get busy. Check back later this week to see how I’ve put each of these in action! Oh and as a disclaimer, you guys know I’m suppose to give birth to this haus of a baby boy anyday now… so no news (or update on how I’m labeling Smile) is good news!


Jun 10, 2012

Nesting… not just for the birds

Holy smokes, this nesting situation is outta control y’all. Is there ever a reason to clean my oven, refrigerator and completely organize everything “baby” in one afternoon… all while 37 weeks pregnant? Umm, that’d be a no. I’m suppose to be sitting on the couch, eating bon-bons and enjoying this peace and quiet that everyone and their mama has told me that I’ll never experience again. Not on my feet and knees, telling oven grease and dust bunnies to “say my nammmme, say my nammmme, biotchhh!”

Although I’m exhausted and swollen from the organizing mayhem of this weekend, I did have a moment where I visualized myself (yes, as a bird), sitting on my newly constructed nest and letting out a big “ahhhhhh”, because I knew that my baby (bird, in this example) would have a clean, comfortable and organized space to come home to. I’ve gotta give my man Jesus a big shout out for this boost of energy and nesting instinct that hits us pregnant women during the final weeks. I mean how else would one’s oven get cleaned and closets organized? And if your answer to that question is “my husband”, I just laughed out loud.

So as I enter my final weeks of being exhausted, mean, cranky, and borderline miserable pregnant, my main goal has been to get the house and all of Dylan’s stuff uber organized, so that when we bring him home, we can 100% focus on him and all his baby goodness (I’m jaded, I know) vs. moments of “where are the diapers, soothies, bottles and bibs!” Usually, I’ll just attack an organization project head on, but for this one I really wanted to think about how to organize in a way that would really make our lives easier. So although this isn’t “baby tested, mama approved” yet, here’s how I approached it:

Nursery Closet – Originally this closet only had one rack across the top and although I think we’re cookin’ a pretty large fella, baby stuff is small, so that just wasn’t going to cut it. So we installed a pretty simple closet system that I got from Wal-Mart and added some cute bins. And since I washed everything in this closet with Dreft, I can frequently be found sitting in front of it, just a huffin’ in that sweet baby smell. Suppose there are worse things to huff than baby clothes…

Organized Baby Closet

Ok, ok… sure you could just peek in the bins to see what they’re packing, but to make life easier, and ensure Jer knows where everything is, I added a few labels.

Organized Nursery

Again, not yet “baby tested, mama approved”, but I think these clothing size organizers are going to be super helpful, especially since whoever determines the size of baby clothes these days is definitely huffing something a little stronger than Dreft. I’ve got a few newborn onesies that I guarantee Dylan’s head won’t fit through. And… que the “that baby is not gonna be wearing newborn clothes” comments that I keep getting. Yes, I’m huge. We know this.

Also, since I’ve become the dooms day prepper of burp clothes, I thought these guys should have their own little labeled home as well. No clue why I feel the need to hoard these, but I do.

Organized Nursery

Organized Nursery

Aside from a super organized closet, I also thought it would be helpful to have organized “stations”. For the changing area in Dylan’s room, I made the top drawer of his dresser the diaper station and used some nifty drawer organizers from Wal-Mart to sort all of his baby butt and grooming stuff.


Diaper Storage

And so we’re not constantly running up the stairs like crazy people, with poop and pee on us (although I might pay to see Jer like this once), I also decided to setup a changing station downstairs. Since we bought the one pack-n-play that doesn’t come with a built in storage system (DOH!), we got this diaper attachment from Amazon that clips right to the side.

Pack-n-Play Diaper Storage

I actually think this one might be more useful than the built-ins, because we can actually see when supplies is low and it has several compartments for his stuff that Bo can’t jump up and steal.

Diaper Depot

Finally and probably the most difficult to make room for, was a kitchen cabinet for Dylan’s bottles & bottle cleaning kit, eating utensils and eventually food. Although we’re going into this thing with our breastfeeding flag flying, we’ve been given several tins and bottles of formula, so they got their own bin too.

Bottle Storage

So I think we’re finally ready to do this. Now if I could just be as mentally prepared. I just started reading “The Happiest Baby on The Block” yesterday, so at least we’re making some progress in that department Smile

Jun 6, 2012

Packing for the Hospital


So in all reality, I know to get Dylan from point A (my inners) to point B (the world), all I really need is my vag… but hey I’m a planner and want to make sure we have as many comforts as possible to make this birthing process a hit. And yes, to all those that wanna go to that level… I think I’m probably over preparing physically since I couldn’t be more unprepared mentally. I’ve already accepted, owned and well… just clearly stated that. We’re going into this parenting thing so very blind, but I have all the confidence in the world that Jer and I are going to be rockstar parents.

So aside from my who-who, my loving husband (who I strangely prefer to call my babydaddy) and my amazing mother, I’m planning to bring 3 bags with me – 1 that I bring to the labor room, 1 that Jer brings after we move into our postpartum room, and 1 for baby Dylan. Here’s what I’ve packed in each:

Labor Bag:

  • - Bath robe
  • - Camera
  • - Jolly ranchers (since eating is apparently a labor no-no)
  • - Comfy slippers/socks
  • - Basic toiletries: lip balm (EOS is the balm dot com!), toothbrush/paste, headbands
  • - iPhone & charger
  • - iPad (during any downtime, you best be prepared Draw Something friends!)

Post Labor Bag:

  • - 4 nursing outfits. I’m crossing my fingers and toes for a natural delivery and short hospital stay, but I’m packing several nursing gowns just to be prepared. I’ve also packed a loose fitting outfit for the trip home and some granny panties to rock with those super sweet thunder pads. Ughhh. Someone please comment and tell me it’s not that bad!
  • - Nursing sleep bras & supplies
  • - Outfit for Jer
  • - Toiletries (for me & Jer)
  • - Snacks
  • - Boppy pillow

Diaper Bag:

  • - Dylan’s homecoming outfit
  • - Soothies – although I hear they give these away like candy at our hospital
  • - Swaddle blankets
  • - Mittens: I’ve heard the nurses judge you if you forget these. I’ll be judging myself enough, so let’s cut someone else out the judgment equation.
  • - Hat: Probably don’t need this for a summer bambino, but it’s cute and babies are bald, so why not.
  • - Car seat

So ok all you experienced birthers out there… what am I missing? I’ll update this post after Dylan arrives and let you know what I did and didn’t use.


Jun 1, 2012

Relay Foods is my new bff

Being the mama-to-be that I am, I’m constantly looking for new tools, apps, & websites to make my life easier, as I know it’s about to get super duper busy. But there are some necessary evils like emptying the dishwasher, washing clothes, and going to the grocery store that unfortunately someone still hasn’t figured out how to make an app do for us yet – trust me, I’ve searched. And of those three – going the grocery store tops my hate list because it’s literally an exhausting four step process: (1) planning whatcha gotta get (2) driving to multiple stores to get everything (3) SHOPPING for at least 30 minutes (4) driving home & putting it all away. Ugh… typing that made me tired. I can literally think of 1,765 things I’d rather do with this hour and from what I hear, once Dylan arrives, an hour back will be oh so needed.

So when my manager, Lisa, told me about a way to get all of my groceries (AND local produce!) without ever stepping foot in a grocery story, I just couldn’t believe it. I mean how could this exist and every Richmonder and their mama’s cousin’s pizza-boy not be using it? Could it really be this easy? I just had to find out!

Well the very next week I tried it and when I rolled up to the pick up location at my work, I saw this sign on the truck confirming just how easy it is: “Buy your groceries at RelayFoods.com. Pick up your food here”. I think they need one more conversation bubble that reads “Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy”… because that my friends is literally what this experience was like.


So here’s how my first Relay Foods shopping experience went down:

1. I started by meal planning. I’m a weekly shopper, so I plan out exactly what we’re having for dinner and then list out the ingredients for each dish separately. I also list out the the staples and stuff we need for breakfast and lunch. If I’m feeling froggy, I’ll also look up some new recipes and figure out what I need to make it happen.

2. I then went to relayfoods.com and started searching for the items on my list. I’ll admit that I was pretty skeptical that they wouldn’t have the brands I like or the processed foods I hold dear to my heart. The marketing is very local/organic/healthy focused – which don’t get me wrong, I totally dig and buy regularly, but I gotta show some love to my sugar coated cereals too. So I was pleasantly surprised when they had 99% of what I needed. The 1% missing was my favorite flavor of preggo pasta sauce, but I daringly tried a new flavor and actually really liked it.


3. After I added everything on my list to my cart, I simply reviewed my order, provided my information & pick up destination and clicked “order”. Within minutes I received an email confirmation of my order and reminder on when/where to pick up. Directly after checking out, I also had the option to save all of my recently purchased items to “my list”, so that next week’s order would be a breeze… and boy was it. Here’s a screenshot of the experience – all I had to do was hover over the item and increase each quantity to 1. There is also the option to refill automatically, but I just haven’t been able to commit to that level of our relationship yet… Smile


4. Then on Monday around 5pm, I simply swung by the pick up location at my work, gave my name to a super friendly dude named Seth and within minutes I had all of my groceries in my trunk ready to roll. Seth gave me my printed invoice and I was outta there! I LOVE that they have a pick up location at my work and one near Jer’s too. Looks like they have a ton around Richmond – here’s the full list.


So here’s the proof that they had everything I needed! I just realized this spread gets more unhealthy from left to right, but hey… I live with and am likely growing a caveman, so give a sister a break.


I also have to give a special shout out to few items that I would have never gotten had I not ordered through Relay:

Pizza Tonight – A DIY pizza kit that comes with fresh dough, seasoning and pizza sauce. Jer and I had a blast making this, even attempting to throw the dough above our heads to shape it, randomly singing one verse of maybe the only Italian song(?) we know “when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie that’s…” Of all the dumb stuff we do, this is one of those moments I was forbidden to record Smile

Local Basil – Beautiful, leafy, and 10x better then what you’ll find at the grocery store

Organic strawberries – Unless I go to Whole Foods I have trouble finding these at Kroger or Food Lion and these top my dirty dozen list, that I try my hardest to stick to. I encourage you to check out that link and see how much pesticides are on non-organic fruits & veggies these days. If you’re not going to eat the skin, do whatev’s but if you eat it and don’t supa dupa scrub it, then go organic. That’s my rule of thumb, anywho.

So all in all, I’m in love with this service. Thank you Relay Foods for not only providing a stellar shopping experience but for making my life tons easier!



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I'm Jamie, just one new mama organizing her way to a sweeter and happier home

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