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DIY/Crafts/ FUN/DIY/ HOME/ Organizing

Organizing Tips With My Pastry Chef


This is going to be a fun post, where I get to show off my little pastry chef and give organizing tips on how to literally organize tips–pastry bag tips that is!

My 13-year-old Avery is my little pastry chef, and has been for the last few years. I’m amazed at her baking skills and have to say, it is quite fun having someone who bakes in the house! Every holiday, birthday, or event gives her an excuse to make something beautiful and delicious. Her creations show so much love & make a simple gathering something special.  The following photo is a cake she made for her Grandpa’s birthday–Chocolate Cake with Cookie Dough Filling, Chocolate Ganache & Piped Peanut Butter Buttercream. Amazing!

Chocolate-Peanut-Butter-Cake (1)

We are having out-of-town company this weekend and she already has decided on what she sweet she is going to greet them with. Vanilla cupcakes with thickened Chocolate Ganache filling and piped Nutella frosting. Oh my!

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As her baking hobby has grown, so has her collection of baking supplies. I have made it clear that I don’t have the space to store all of her supplies in my small kitchen. We have kept all of her baking supplies in her room, but it has been difficult to keep everything organized and carry it all downstairs when it comes time to bake. That is…until now.


I found the perfect solution to her needs while shopping at Michaels craft store. They carry the Creatives Options organization line and it was exactly what I needed. I desired a system that was portable and that would fit a variety of baking items, large and small. It needed to fit measuring cups & spoons, cupcake liners, cake pop sticks, piping bags, piping tips & more. We also needed storage for some of  her larger cake pans. I picked up both the Creative Options Large Rack & the Creative Options Project Box at Michaels, which I knew would fit all of her supplies, big and small.


{To Pin}

The Creative Options Rack comes with individual organizers that have adjustable dividers that worked great to give each little pastry tip a home of their own. I kept the dividers out of middle organizer to store cupcake liners. The individual organizers slide easily into the rack, and there is more great storage at the top of the rack under the lid.


When I showed her the Creatives Options Large Rack organization system with all of her supplies organized, her eyes lit up, and she loved it! Having a little compartment for each size piping tip was her favorite part.



{Creative Options Project Box}

She loved that the Creatives Options organization system is portable, so she can easily carry it up and down the stairs from her room to the kitchen. She can even take it to Grandma’s house to bake with her cousin during sleepovers!

It fits perfectly in her room and even matches the decor. It is the perfect system!



Here are a few other organizing tip ideas for you, using the Creative Options Organization Rack:

Crafts–the obvious

Home Office Supplies

Makeup Storage

Hair bows, brushes, elastics, & headbands

Organizing receipts & coupons

Pantry Storage

Playroom Storage –for all those small toys like cars, doll clothes, dress up supplies


Under the Bathroom Sink

Garage Organization — nuts, bolts, zip ties

Garden Organization — seed packs, plant markers, garden hose attachments

What about you?

Do you have any favorite organizing tips for me?

What would you use the system for?

Keep an eye out for the upcoming post featuring the recipe for Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache filling and Nutella Buttercream!




HOME/ Homemaking/ Organizing/ Simplifying

Documenting My Preteen’s Room Before Updating


We just updated my Avery’s room & I’m in awe of how time just keeps passing us by. I am eager to share the update with you, but before I do, I want to document what her room looked like BEFORE the update, when she was still a pre-teen.

I took these photos January 2015.  Avery requested a room makeover for Christmas so “Santa” brought her the new bedspread you see in the photos, the dot pillow, new containers for her shelves to hold all the things, a soft pink blanket to keep at the end of her bed, and the big furry prop up pillow you see her relaxing on. He also brought her the fuzzy robe you see hanging below, the blue side-table lamp, a soft new puppy with floppy ears, & even those fluffy socks you see on her little feet–that have grown a full size since these photos were taken!  She was really into cozy comfort those days and as you can tell, loves all the “soft, fuzzy, fluffy, furry & floppy” things.  She was delighted!

Her pile of Christmas gifts that year was huge, especially compared to her sister’s gift piles, who are both older so their Christmas gifts turn into Christmas GIFT–singular–like a new phone or a new guitar. If you don’t have teenagers, know that when you do their gift lists get much smaller but more expensive!

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HOME/ Homemaking/ Organizing/ Simplifying

Hot Spots In My Kitchen

Putting out hot spots and organization in my kitchen

{see the hotspot peaking out? Little do you know it is growing into a raging fire!}

Hot Spots

This past Saturday, I spent a couple of hours putting out ‘hot spots’ in my house. For this post, I will focus on the hot spots that were put out in my kitchen.  Are you wondering what a hot spot is?  I learned this term from Flylady, a home management site that I have been famiar with for years and whose language has become my own.  The Anti-Procrastination Tuesdays we have here every Tuesday at New Nostalgia? Well, the anti-procrastination word is another word I learned from Flylady.  I have been quite influenced by her and her wonderful site.

What is a Hot Spot?

A hot spot is an area of clutter that if left alone to simmer will turn into a huge pile of raging clutter & overtake the area. I call them my junk piles.  Not that they are always made of junk, but the items turn into junk and become almost unusable as the are buried while the hot spot grows.

The main hot spot in my kitchen is on this fun little window seat.  There is a corner that cannot be seen from the main door of the kitchen, so I stash stuff there, thinking I will put it away later. Well, “later” rarely comes. We all know clutter attracts clutter, so this pile grows and becomes a hot spot.

Before & After; Putting out hot spots and organization in my kitchen

{ahhh..the ‘after’ is so much better!}

The process of putting out the hotspot always ends up much easier than I think it will be, and these areas usually only take about 5 minutes, but I procrastinate because I think they are going to take longer. When I finally do get to it,  I like to set my timer and try to beat the clock.

Decluttering the kitchen

The silver chargers you see sitting out were used as part of a centerpiece I created for a conference I decorated for recently. They just needed put away, and their home is right under the bench. You can see the knob to open the bench for storing. This is not hard my friends! Why don’t I just put them away right away instead of laying them on the bench? Aye.

The grocery sacks were taken to the garage for recycling, the salad spinner was put away in a cupboard (which I did have to organize a bit to fit it in), the potatoes were taken from their bag & put into a basket, and the crockpot is stored on a shelf in our home office as my kitchen has limited storage. Done!

Putting out hot spots and organization in my kitchen

The next hot spot is my counter. I am trying to get into the habit of drying and putting the dishes away right away. These are dishes that don’t fit into the dishwasher and that I wash by hand. I love using this dish wand with dish soap in it…it makes washing the extra dishes a breeze!  I also love the ease of using a drying mat.  It is the only thing I store on top of my refrigerator to dry in between uses. I bought mine from Target. If you are an Amazon shopper, here is their best seller in Microfiber Dish Drying Mats on and if you buy it using this affiliate link you will be supporting New Nostalgia with no extra cost to you!

Putting out hot spots and organization in my kitchen

{ahhh…feeling so much better getting rid of those hot spots!}

Dealing with hotspots & spots of clutter

On to another hotspot right off my kitchen. This doorway is right across my kitchen sink and leads to the garage and the basement. Did you notice the grocery sacks took a break here on the way to the garage? All because of a hotspot that was in the way of the garage doorway, so I could not even open it to take them to the recycle bin. This is how hotspots work. They start small and you think it’s no big deal, but then they grow and create all kinds of inconvieince…like blocking doors!

The rest of that pile goes to the basement. Boxes, baskets and decor that I used for the conference that I mentioned before. It only took a few more steps to get them to the basement where they belong, so I need to get out of the habit of making this area a dropping place for items that go to the basement or garage and just take them there! Do. It. Now. That needs to be my new mantra when it comes to putting things away in areas that are prone to hotspots!

How to tackle kitchen drawer clutter

Our kitchen utensil drawer was a hotspot that needed a solution. I found that solution in a new organization system for our utensils , and it has been over a month and is still super organized.  I love it when systems work effortlessly and this one has for our family. Yay!

kitchen drawer organization system

{see this post for details on this Kitchen Drawer Organization}

The below image is looking in from our living room, through our dining room into our kitchen.  I love that it captured my Colsie and her Dad in the kitchen. It also captured another hot spot brewing in our living room…can you spot it? I wrote about it here: Hot Spots In Our Living Room.

Organizing hot spots

So what about you? Are hot spots a problem? Where are your main hot spots located?

Featured/ HOME/ Homemaking/ Organizing/ Simplifying

Best Kitchen Drawer Organization

kitchen drawer organization system

Kitchen drawer organization has been on my to-do list for quite a while now.  This past summer, we had a full kitchen update (posts coming soon!) and I have been so very happy with it! Everything works so much better now, but one area that quickly became a problem was my kitchen utensil drawer.

We only have 2 drawers in our kitchen, but thanks to the update they are now nice & wide drawers that give us lots of drawer space.  I keep utensils in one and kitchen towels and knives in the other.

The drawer with the utensils is the one I will focus on today.


As you can see, we were just throwing all utensils in there and it became almost impossible to close the drawer. Even the rubber mat that was supposed to be under all of those utensils was all bunched up. It was driving me nuts!

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HOME/ Homemaking/ Organizing/ Simplifying

Hot Spots In Our Living Room


What’s A Hot Spot?

I found the term ‘hot spot’ from a website that helps you clean and declutter your home, called Flylady.  She describes a “Hot Spot” as a place that attracts clutter.  You know the areas in your home that do this…usually, they are flat open surfaces like a countertop, chair, table top, or can even be the floor…places we put things instead of putting them away.  We all know clutter attracts clutter, so the more things we put there the more things get put there. In time, your hot spot can turn into a wildfire, one that is raging out of control and becomes a huge spot of clutter that eventually takes over the whole surface.

Last Saturday I was feeling like Hot Spots were taken over our home.  I was determined to do something about it, so instead of allowing myself to clean, I decided to tackle my hotspots.  I grabbed my camera to document the process for you, and will share my hotspots with you and hopefully motivate you to put out your own hotspots before they become raging fires!


My Living Room & Dining Room are connected and are the first things you see when you enter our home.  Because of this, I usually keep these rooms picked up and clutter free.  I have spent time minimalizing our Living Room, so we are at the point where this room really doesn’t have clutter in it.

The one area that can tend to attract clutter is the ledge in the above picture.  It is an area that separates the Living Room from the Dining Room and is just an easy place right in the center of our home to leave items that eventually turn into clutter.

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HOME/ Organizing/ Simplifying/ Sponsored

Organize Your Phone In 10 Easy Steps


I get bitten by the organization bug much harder in the fall than in the spring.  The cool, crisp fall weather makes me want to just hunker down in a cozy home, and there is no cozy if there is clutter!  I love sitting under a warm blanket with a fall scented candle lit, scrolling through my phone and doing all the things our amazing phones do these days! I was doing this just the other day, about to instagram my yummy cup of Pumpkin Spiced Chai Latte, but, then…in the midst of my insta moment…the annoying ‘out of storage’ screen pops up.

How many of you have gone to take a photo with your phone, only to get the dreaded little screen that pops up letting you know that you are out of storage?  Ugh, this has happened to me so many times!  Well, no more. It is time for some fall organization of my phone, starting with photo storage in Amazon Cloud Drive



Phone Organization

Step One:

Get photos off my phone and onto the cloud with Amazon Cloud Drive.

Todd and I have been Amazon Prime members for a few years now, and love it. The free 2-day shipping is great, and we also love Amazon Prime Video. What we didn’t know until recently that if you are a prime member, you already have access to Amazon Cloud Drive with Prime Photos, which provides unlimited, secure photo storage as part of your Prime membership!

I was very excited about the unlimited photo storage, especially when I found out there is a handy Amazon Photo App for my phone.  What this means for me is any photo that I take with my iPhone can easily be stored in Amazon Cloud Drive. This can be done by setting it to automatically store every photo you take, or choosing them manually.  I no longer have to take up precious space on my phone and see that dreaded warning screen telling me that I have no space left to take another photo!


As a blogger, this is especially exciting.  I take most of my blog photos with my phone, and before discovering Amazon Cloud Drive I had over 2,000 photos on my phone! Many of them were photos taken for my blog, some I had already used, and some I had not. They are were all screaming to be organized! I had access to another type cloud storage, but it is also being used by my whole family and all of their devices, and is one that is not unlimited, so it stressed me out to upload all my many blog photos to that specific cloud storage.

I plan on using Amazon Cloud Drive for my own personal iPhone photos, my Kindle photos, and my personal laptop photos, paying specific attention to my blog photos.  I can’t believe I will finally have all of my blog photos in one spot, accessible from all devices. Talk about Fall Organization! This is something I have desired for a long time.  Once I get all of my personal & blog photos organized, I will then see to the rest of my family’s photos, which will probably end up on Amazon Cloud Drive, too, since it is unlimited!

Don’t have Amazon Prime?  No worries, I will explain at the end of this post some amazing deals offered for you from Amazon Cloud Drive for non-prime members.

Now that photos are off of my phone and I have freed up a ton of storage space, I can organize the rest of my phone.


{my sweet screensaver…can’t believe they are teenagers now!}

Step Two:

Update Apps

I had not been able to update my apps due to lack of…yep…storage space.  Now I can! I had 37 updates just waiting there for me, and now my phone will work with efficiency.


Step Three:

Voicemails –Listen to & delete all voicemails.  I had listened to all of mine, but had not deleted them.  They were starting to pile up!  I also went in my settings and set them to automatically delete after a certain period of time.


Step Four:

Messages — Read, respond to, & delete all messages


Step Five:

Voxer –(I’m assuming you all have and love this app as much as I do) I listened to and deleted all old messages (these were taking up a ton of space!) I use this awesome walkie-talkie type message app everyday.  It makes driving in the car so much more fun when I am alone. I blab to friends or listen to my messages and just love how it turns car time into connecting time!


Step Six:

Reminders–I took a quick peek at all of my reminders and clicked off items that were finished, and deleted lists that were outdated.


 Step Seven:

Frequently Used Apps –I put frequently used apps on front home screen.  This is my personal preference, then I use folders on the second home screen. There are several ways to organize apps.  Some like to do it according to color, some like to alphabetize them.  On my front page I do a combination of color and type.


 Step Eight:

App Folders–organize rest of apps in folders on 2nd home screen.  I saw a great idea online recently where you organize according to action word:

~look up (yelp, contacts, safari, contacts, weather)

~listen (music, spotify)

~talk (message, FaceTime, ichat)

~shop (amazon, walgreens, iTunes)

~share (snapchat, twitter, vine, periscope)

~photograph (photos, instagram, Amazon Cloud Drive)

~navigate (maps, around me)

~read (amazon reading app, mashable, Bloglovin’)


Step Nine:

Contacts–Go through contacts and update information.


Step Ten:

Notes – clear out notes. Delete unwanted,  file the rest into Evernote


Oh my goodness I can’t tell you how much better using my newly organized phone is!

What made the biggest difference is dealing with my boatload of photos.  It took quite awhile to move over 2,000 pictures using the Amazon Cloud App, but that was to be expected with so many photos.  Now that the bulk of my photos are moved over, doing just a month at a time is super fast.  I find myself keeping about a week’s worth of photos on my phone, as I like to share them on social sites like instagram, so that gives me some time to do just that while still staying organized and on top of my photos.


Want to know more about Amazon Cloud Drive?

Photos and files can be shared via private links from within the Amazon Photo app or by selecting a folder or file to be shared using the web interface on your computer.  Love that! This would be super useful for holidays or vacations, to share with your friends and family.

If you are already a prime member, you have access to Amazon Cloud Drive with Prime Photos, which provides unlimited photo storage as part of your Prime membership. In addition, Prime members get 5 GB of additional storage space for videos, movies, music, and files.

If you are not, Amazon recently announced two unlimited storage plans, both start with a free 3-month trial:

  • Unlimited Everything Plan ($59.99 per year—equivalent of less than $5 per month): Store an infinite number of new and existing photos, videos, files, documents, movies, and music in Cloud Drive.
  • Unlimited Photos Plan ($11.99 per year—equivalent of less than $1 per month): Similar to the Prime member benefit – non Prime members can also store an infinite number of photos in Cloud Drive without worrying about taking up space on phones, cameras, or other devices. This plan also includes 5 GB of additional storage for videos or other documents and files.


What about you? Do you store your photos in the cloud? Do you find yourself annoyed when your phone photos take up all your storage space?  Do you have any more phone organization tips for me?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

HOME/ Homemaking/ Organizing/ Simplifying

The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up


I was at a bookstore this weekend and was browsing through the best-sellers, and came upon this book by Marie Kondo.  I was intrigued and am still thinking about the book on this Monday morning, so I decided to buy the Kindle version.  I’m excited to get to reading it and hope that it will give me the bit of inspiration I need to get my spring organization into action!

Here are some things I have learned about the book from around the web:


The Konmari Method was created by Japanese organising expert Marie Kondo and is described in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.

Kondo’s theory is that we are happiest when we are surrounded by things we love.  The Konmari method consists of gathering together everything you own and then keeping only those things which ‘spark joy’.  You hold every item before you decide what you want to do with it, and items that are not kept are thanked for their service, which, believe it or not, makes it easier to let things go.  Key points in the Konmari method include decluttering by category and using efficient storage methods.


The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up espouses a specific order of decluttering by category.  You begin with clothes, then books, then papers and finally Komono, or miscellaneous items such as CDs, skincare products and electrical items.  You finish up with photos and other sentimental items because they are the most difficult to part with.


Marie Kondo advocates carefully storing items so that they are well cared for and easy to find.  For example, she suggests folding clothes so that sit upright in your drawers and allowing socks to rest by not rolling them up into balls.


{a short video of Marie folding an underwear drawer}



1. Discard first, store later.

You cannot organize clutter.  The first step is to get rid of everything you don’t need.


2. Tidy a little a day and you’ll be tidying forever.

“Tidying is a special event.  Don’t do it every day.” If you do the job right, once and completely, you won’t have to do it again.


3. Storage experts are hoarders.

“Putting things away creates the illusion that the clutter problem has been solved.” But organized clutter is still clutter.


4. Sort by category, not location.

“Tidying up by location his a fatal mistake.” Sort by category instead, in the following order: Clothes, books, papers, miscellany, and then things with sentimental value.


5. “Does this spark joy?”

If it does, keep it.  If it doesn’t, get rid of it. (Important documents not included, but there are fewer of these than you’d think)


6. Never pile things.

Vertical storage is the key.  Stacking has two problems: you can stack much more that you can store vertically (not a plus if you’re aiming for clutter-free:, and stacking is hard on the things at the bottom.


7. Learn how to fold.

Kondo is adamant about proper folding technique, which enables you to store things standing up rater than laid flat.  This method is amazing for visual types, because you can see everything at a glance, much more effectively than you can if your clothes are hanging or vertically stacked.


I’m eager to read the book & will let you know if I use the techniques.

Does this appeal to you? Have you read the book?

For more KonMari inspiration, check out these Kon Mari Pinterest Boards.