Monday, February 22, 2016

Pantry Organization

I want you guys to know something: I'm crazy. Oh, you already knew that? Well I mean in a specific way, I'm crazy about clutter. Ask Justin. If something sits around for too long and doesn't find a specific home, it will end up in the trash. This could mean anything. Bills, letters, lamps, whatever. And then sometimes I'll make a donation run and four months will go by and I'm all, I really wish I wouldn't have donated that item because I really need it right now...

I'm not saying my home is Martha Stewart perfect, but as for the clutter the motto in our house is, if it doesn't have a home, it's going in the trash/donation pile. Justin knows when I pile things up on the counter and stick a sticky note with his name on it I mean business. Some folks are ok with stuff stacked on top of the fridge or wherever, but not this chick.

With that being said, my pantry was trying to kill me recently. This picture I'm about to show you are what nightmares are made of.


I mean I really can't deal with this. Not even a little. 

When we moved into our house we didn't have a pantry at all. (New England houses are weird like that) Before I had too much time to cry and complain and throw a BF, as one does, it was Justin to the rescue. He took advantage of the space under the stairs and built some shelves for me. That man rocks my world! :p I would never have found enough room for everything in our kitchen cabinets so this was amazing to me. Now that I cook almost every day, it started getting obnoxious to find certain spices and ingredients. I vowed after the first of the year to organize this space so I could find everything easier and so everything had a home. Mission accomplished! I love this pantry now. If you've been wanting to organize something but have yet to tackle it: JUST DO IT! I hope you read that in your best Shia LaBeouf voice. ;) (If you don't know what I'm talking about, do yourself a favor and google it. You can thank me later)

Here are the afters:

 Nothing too fancy, but it totally works for us. I originally planned to use a fun wallpaper behind the shelves but I was not very frugal with this project, so I called it quits. I think I got to the point of crazy/no return, I didn't care how much money I spent, I just wanted an organized space. I've seen some bloggers wrap cardboard boxes with fun paper and call it a day, but I wasn't feeling it. I wanted a space that I really loved and just decided to go for it. Although I will say this, the organization products were all found at homegoods and they were a heck of a lot cheaper than buying from Target, so I did save a little from there. You can usually count on me to be cheap frugal with projects but in this situation I would have really had to compromise quality (and pretty looks!). This might sound like the worst advice ever, but sometimes you just have to go for it. Spend the extra money and get what you love instead of spending a little and hating it down the road. I've learned over and over in the last year that you really do get what you pay for.

The whole project cost around $250
Paint-Already had
Crates and baskets-Homegoods/Marshalls/TjMaxx
Organization canisters/popup containers-Homegoods/Marshalls/TjMaxx
Labels for crates and baskets-Target dollar spot
Spice holder-Homegoods/Marshalls/TjMaxx
Glass spice (currently on sale!)
(Target has some glass spice jars in the dollar spot currently for $3, you can't beat that!)

This was a labor of love and going in to find what I need to cook with is a breeze. I could barely move after sitting on the ground for two hours with a funnel switching out the spices. My body keeps trying to remind me that I'm not 19 anymore but I'm ignoring it:p

Just for fun here's another before and after before I have to dash off to start dinner:

I'm going to start inviting neighbors in just so I can show off my pantry. Oh yeah, the kitchen is pretty, but have you seen my pantry? Yeah the builtins are ok, but look at this pantry! :p

I hope you all have a great week! Spring is coming!!! Xoxo

Monday, February 15, 2016

How to Become an Author-Kind Of

So Valentine's Day has come and gone and I want to share an actual conversation Justin and I had this year about it:

Last week sometime I mentioned to Justin that I had gotten his gift and I couldn't wait to give it to him. He then said that flowers and candy were a must but he never knew what to get for a gift on Valentines Day. Here's how the conversation went:

J: What am I supposed to get you for Valentine's Day?
B: Nothing really. It's not Christmas. Just something small and thoughtful. No big deal. 
J: Small and thoughtful.....

So do you guys want to know what he got me?

I nearly died. I laughed and told him I would have 100% been fine with flowers and chocolates but man he totally went the extra mile. He knew I ordered a sample of the Kate Spade perfume and loved it so much, he snuck out to get it for me. I was so surprised. It was so sweet. Small (literally, it was a tiny bag) and thoughtful. Oh and funny side note- one year Justin bought me these fancy chocolates and I thanked him but told him I only liked the cheap chocolates (I literally said that) so he could save his money. LOL My mom used to buy us these tiny heart shaped boxes and have them waiting for us at our place at the table every Valentine's Day and for some reason I just love them. They are about the cheapest chocolates out there, filled with fake strawberry and orange cream, but my favorite. Ever since Justin makes sure to get me only Elmer's Chocolate for Valentines Day. :p

For Justin's gift I had a book made from love books and it turned out perfect.

Now who wants to read a story together? Don't worry, it's not mushy gushy. You'll survive. I'll share some of my favorite pages:

 There are a lot more pages, but I didn't want this post to get unbearably long. And besides that, I want Justin to have some all to himself. I feel like I usually overshare on this blog and on social media, and although he never complains the man deserves his privacy. :p

One funny thing about the last page-my favorite inside joke I'll let you guys in on. Justin's middle name is Nathaniel, but when he switched his license over to MA they printed it Nathanie. Now I call him that all the time. The best part is that the name is making its way around and all of his bills are being sent to him as Justin Nathanie Allen. I CANT HANDLE HOW FUNNY IT IS!!!!

I really love this book. It was a blast to make. You can add as many pages as you want and print it as a hard or soft cover book. It would make the best gift for even the toughest to buy for. I'm definitely keeping it bookmarked!

Our Valentine's Day was really special. It started off with a great worship service which reminded me of one of Justin's favorite best qualities, the fact that he is a man of God. We came home and exchanged gifts, napped, and went to dinner. We talked and laughed and I thought about how lucky I was to be married to my best friend.

I hope your Valentine's Day was just as special!


To order your own book, click this link: click here!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2016 Goals

Hiii!!! I haven't written or read any blogs since December 15th and I gotta say, I enjoyed the break. It has been go go go all year and so to be able to just sit and do nothing for a few weeks felt really good.

But I'm back-ish. I won't have any monumental projects at the Bradshaw house this year, we tackled the majority of them in 2015. We will be tackling a couple of bathrooms but that's basically it. So house goals are not on this list. Which is ok with me. My goals for 2016 are all personal. I'm not calling these resolutions because I'm not making them a concrete thing I HAVE to do. Whenever I do that I feel like I get discouraged and quit easier. So instead I'm just making a list of goals for myself.

Drink More Water-Easier said than done for me. It's not that I hate water, it's just that it's easier to grab almost anything else that has more taste to it. Soda is the worst for me because I crave that carbonation, but I don't love sparkling water. My goal is to keep a pitcher of water with various fruits in the fridge at all times so it will be more appealing.

Eat/Drink Less Junk-this one goes along side drinking more water. I just want to swap out unhealthy choices with more healthy options. Instead of a can of soda, I'll grab a cold glass of lime water, instead of a handful of cookies, I'll grab an apple with a side of peanut butter, etc. I'm not setting myself up for all the pressure that comes along with wanting to lose -- pounds, I just want to make healthier choices.

Walk More- Now that we have a fenced in yard, it is so easy to let Hudson out the backdoor and let him get his exercise that way. Which is great! But that means we walk less, which isn't so great. So this year I'm hoping to grab that leash and head out the front door more. I think Adele will help with this too. :p

Find More Time for Intimacy in my Marriage-Don't get grossed out yet, I'm not just talking about physical intimacy, I'm talking about pillow talk. Last year we were so busy it got pretty hard to communicate on a level outside of house projects. There were times one of us would say, "oh I forgot to tell you about what happened to me last week" etc. That's not normal in our house, we talk about anything and everything. I'm going to make sure to make more time for that this year.

Cook More-I love to cook and I have a great new kitchen to do so. I'm hoping to do a better job meal planning and grocery shopping. I'm ready to put this kitchen to good use!

Make my Bed Every Morning-I'm taking a page out of Kim's book here. I love her thought process on making your bed. I'm hoping if I do this it will allow me to be more on top of the chaos that sometimes gets started in our room. (ie-50 drinking glasses piled up on our nightstands)

I want to try to remind myself that just because I might have a bad day, that doesn't mean I should quit. Every day is a second chance. Whether its January 4th or September 1st.

I will probably be blogging less this year in an attempt to spend less time on social media and more time being connected at home. It's way too easy to get sucked into a world of comparison, (I'm talking to you Instagram) where suddenly your house feels like a dump and your marriage doesn't seem as magical, or suddenly you might feel the need to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on cuter clothes for your kiddos because GASP, THEY ONLY HAVE TARGET CLOTHES RIGHT NOW. It kind of makes my heart hurt that these sites that are supposed to make us feel connected often leave us disconnected from our family, wishing we had more, better, different things.

 I've said it before and I'll say it again, I want to collect moments, not things. 

The life we live here in our small town suburb is very different then the life you live. And that's ok. In fact, that's GREAT. Our differences should be celebrated, not compared. Because if we were all the same, how boring would that be?

Whew. Honestly you guys, I have no idea why I got off on that little tangent. :p

The point is, I feel good about 2016. I really do. I hope all of you do, too. Xo

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Living room and fireplace makeover-DIY BUILTINS

Once upon a time we lived in a beautiful custom home on the outskirts of Orlando, Florida. That home had stone covering the front of the house that was so beautiful you would spend hours outside petting it. That same stone lined our floor to ceiling fireplace. It was a dream come true. The only thing missing were builtins. But I would never ever get those builtins because that fireplace was strategically placed in the very corner of the room. And that's where this fairy tale goes to die. In the corner of that same living room.

Sorry you guys. I'm all about the drama lately. Anyway, dream shattered, I moved on, blah blah blah. Aren't fairy tales all pretty much the same anyway? But I didn't get my happy builtin ending? What's up with that?

Well I'm here to tell you, that they all lived happily ever after- after all. :p

Fast forward six years to the second we walked into our prospective MA home's open house. I saw the fireplace and practically shouted, BUILTINS! BUILTINS! Justin dragged me away and apologized to everyone who watched my episode. We bought that house and I finally got the thing I've been dreaming about for years.

But before I show you, let's take a look at the before photos, shall we?

We were so excited about closing on our house we camped out on this very air mattress and ate junk food and dreamt about all the things we would do to make this place home. Ahh now I'm getting all misty over here. 

 Are you ready to see our living room now?!? Of course you are!

I mean, can you believe it? Ahhh I love it so much! Right in time for the holidays. I cannot wait to snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie while the fire is crackling. I really didn't see this room coming together, but here it is. All dressed up for Christmas and I couldn't be more in love. I also can't say enough great things about Justin. I mean he built me BUILTINS. Also, did you notice the herringbone marble we snuck in? I love it so much. My favorite part is the shiplap. We chose the wide planks and I'm so glad we did. I think it adds a lot more interest to the wall than if we would have left everything flat. You know? I think JoJo would approve. :p

Justin really did most of the work, although I did do the grunt work. (Caulking, sanding, grouting, etc) I was happy to do it because look what I was getting in return! The most stressful part was styling the shelves. I just stood in front of these enormous shelves and cried. Ok not really. #moredrama But you know that episode of How I Met Your Mother where Marshall is standing on the ledge of the roof wanting to jump to the neighbors sweet rooftop with the hot tub but he's too scared to? That was me. I was like, ok I'm going to start styling it nnooow! Nope. Ok, riiiggghhttt nooowww! Nope, not then either. Eventually I just went for it and I think it turned out ok.

I also wanted to take out a section to give the biggest thank you ever to my friend Michelle. She is one of my favorite internet friends, we connected the second I stalked her online and sent her an email a few years ago. (insert evil laugh here) Her and her husband took on this task last year and their posts were so helpful to Justin. In fact, every time I have ever shown him any tutorial on the internet, he always ends up doing his own thing because he finds too many things wrong with it in the first place. But Nate and Michelle have got it going on and we have nothing but good things to say about them. She is a new mom and when I would ask her random things like, what kind of hinges did you use? She would go snap a picture and send them to me when I know she's got far better things to be doing. (Like snuggling the cutest baby). So thank you thank you thank you, Nate and Michelle. Xoxo

Should you build your own builtins? No. Kidding. Yes. You should. Because it really is worth all the trouble. I mean just look at these bad boys. Now listen up kids because I'm about to leave you with one very important life lesson:

Don't grout your tile and then forget about it while you are off writing some blog post because when you go back to wipe off said grout it will be like concrete and you will want to say bad words. :p

So I gotta know, WHAT DO YOU THINK??? Do you love it as much as me?! What's your favorite part?

One more before and after, just for fun:

Merry Christmas, friends! We are taking a big fat break from house projects and I couldn't be more excited about it. Squeeze your loved ones, eat all the sugar cookies, watch all the Christmas movies, and remember the reason for the season. Xoxoxo