Time to Deck Out the Desk

All of this talk about planners has me thinking about a desk overhaul. Nothing makes me feel more organized than having my workspace look clean and beautiful.

The rest of my life can feel like a mess with laundry overflowing, grocery lists growing, and carpools honking, but having a small, sacred place that’s organized keeps this momma quite sane.

If you don’t have a place like this in your life, I highly recommend it. I don’t have a huge house, so I turned the closet in our guest room into my Kate-space. I hired a carpenter, because my Sweet B is not the handiest of men with a saw and other tools. My carpenter-friend created a built-in desk that spans the width of the closet. It allows plenty of room to display and store my things.

Right now I have my computer, monitor, small lamp, day planner, inspirational books and a few vacation pics of the family. I have to admit, though, the area is starting to feel a bit stale. Stacks of paper are piling up as I have been working from home more frequently. I’ve also added new projects to my plate, which means more paper debris in the mini storm on my desk.

It’s officially time for a mini desk makeover.

Here are some items on my wish list at the moment.

{Clear Holders}

I love how an acrylic folder holder and pencil cup can make your space feel bigger. And it allows you to show of your cute accessories.

lucite tray

This lucite tray is from See Jane Work. You could put files or even a stack of copy paper in this cutie.

acrylic kate spade pencil cup

This pencil cup from Kate Spade has a pretty gold bottom.

clear tape dispenser

If you want to feel extra fancy, this clear tape dispenser from Kate Spade would do the trick. Don’t you think? It’s a bit pricey for a tape dispenser, but hey, this is my wish list.

{File Folders}

Now that we have the clear holders taken care of, it’s time to make a splash with some color and fun statement pieces. That’s right, even our desks deserve some bling.

I do most of my work on the computer, but I have the occasional need to print and file things. A few of our bills still come through the mail, as one example. So here’s what I’m thinking for file folders.

file folders

I’m digging all things metallic these days. Check out these polka-dot file folders from Urban Girl Office Supply.

{Paper Clips}

In the same vein as file folders, I have the need to group and organize paper goods. It would be fine and dandy to use the normal silver clips that are shaped like stretched out cinnamon rolls. But a girl needs a few cute clippies in her life, and these are on my must have (and maybe must-make) list.

gold paper clips

These are gold clips from Planner Couture with pretty ribbon looped through for extra pizzazz!

{Pencils}

Call me traditional, but I’m a big fan of pencils. I like the kind you have to sharpen, too. No mechanical business that needs refilling. That’s too high maintenance for an office supply. Give me a solid pencil with a soft eraser that doesn’t smudge, and I’m a happy camper. Sometimes you’ll even find me with one behind my ear. I’ve been doing it since I started my career. It’s a Kate thing, I guess.

gold foil pencils

The tribal print on these pencils from See Jane Work are gorgeous. I would wear these in my hair in a heartbeat!

{Notebooks}

I use notebooks and sketchbooks for many reasons. They’re a great place to jump offline and allow your mind to explore ideas. I like to do this with my writing and brainstorm ideas for posts, books, magazine articles or even craft projects. It can also be the perfect spot for “to-dos” and personal goals. All good stuff.

Here’s a notebook from my new favorite site. Erin Condren is the heart and mind behind the company, and she has so many wonderful organizational products and office supplies. You’ll want to bookmark this place.

personalized notebook

What a joyful message to look at each day. You can also personalize this notebook at the bottom. You don’t have to get Melissa Johnson, unless that happens to be your name. Haha!

{Vase}

Every office needs a vase of fresh flowers. I mean, there has to be a scientific study that shows how having flowers on your desk increases your efficiency, creativity and happiness toward life as we know it. I would believe every ounce of the data, as I certainly know how they make me feel.

All of that to say, here’s a beautiful vase to hold those miraculous little work boosters.

gold vase

This is actually an easy DIY project from Two Twenty One. It’s a clear vase, which we all have tons of in a storage closet somewhere, and it’s masked off with tape and then spray painted gold. I’m totally doing this!!

I hope you have enjoyed seeing what’s on my current office wish list. As soon as I pull all of my new supplies together and get organized, I’ll share before and after pics of my mini makeover.

Until then, have a creative day!

-Kate

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Friday Wrap

It’s Fri-yay! I’m looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and digging in the dirt this weekend. The garden needs some TLC – only because I’ve been up to fun activities like pumpkin hunting and fall food eating. (I know my priorities.) Here are my five faves of the week.

Blogged while listening to my puppy, Leo, snore during his morning nap. #puppylove

{ONE} Mimi’s Punkin’ Patch

The kids and I headed up to my mom’s abundant garden last weekend. We love our visits to Mimi and Pappa’s house. There’s aways a soft hug and fresh batch of gluten-free peanut-butter chocolate chip cookies waiting for us. This time there were also pumpkins!! The kids (and two of their sweet cousins) had a chance to pick their special treat right from the vine. It was a great experience, and the weather was darn-near perfect.

mimis pumpkin patch

{TWO} Pumpkin Dessert Squares

Speaking of pumpkins, I read on Skimm there will be a shortage this year. Uh, oh. Apparently there was too much rain in places like Illinois, which produces 90% of US-grown pumpkins. Who knew?! It’s compounded by the fact that there’s such a pumpkin craze these days. I mean, there’s this and this.

All of that to say, we need to stock up on all things pumpkin while we can, friends. My problem will be trying to portion it out until Thanksgiving, especially when recipes like the Pumpkin Dessert Square enter my life. This originated from William Sonoma, which is your go-to place for Muirhead Pumpkin Pecan Butter. It’s de-vine!

{THREE} Not Your Father’s Root Beer Float

A friend of mine from Kansas City recently introduced me to Not Your Father’s Root Beer. Have you tried this stuff? If you like root beer, you will love this spirited version. It’s pretty sweet on its own, but I couldn’t resist adding a few dollops of vanilla ice cream to make one heck of an adult-beverage dessert. Cheers to that decision!

not your fathers root beer

{FOUR} Pickup Groceries

I must be going through a “growth spurt,” as I say to my kids. I’ve been all about food this week. Good thing I found THIS glorious service.

Walmart started offering pickup groceries at our Neighborhood Market a few weeks ago, and I have already used it so many times the manager knows my name. Lol! I can honestly say this has made the chore of grocery shopping actually enjoyable. They don’t even pay me to say this.

The only downside I’ve discovered so far is ordering the wrong size of things. You have to look carefully at the description online or you could end up with a jar of tomato sauce the size of your head. This actually happened. It’s all good, though. Spaghetti, anyone?

Walmart Pickup

{FIVE} 2016 Planner

Earlier in the week I was contemplating my next planner. I had some great responses on Facebook and even had two more suggestions: the Mom Agenda and Erin Condren’s LifePlanner. As I researched these, I discovered Erin is a Delta Gamma, which is near and dear to my heart. I might have to go that route just for that reason.

I’d love to hear from you, though! What planner have you found to be the biggest life saver? Once I make a decision, I will host a special giveaway for A FREE 2016 PLANNER to celebrate my first blogiversary. (See, it pays to read this whole post!!) The official date will be 10/20, so more and exciting details to come.

That’s a wrap for now. Let’s go have a weekend worth remembering!

Kisses,

-Kate

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Five Fall Garden To Dos

While the temperatures are still mild and it feels pretty darn awesome to be outside, I think I’ll get organized in the garden. Here are five simple things I plan to do this weekend to tend to my plant babies:

{ONE} Clean it up

This might sound like a no-brainer, but now is the time to cut back perennials and clean out any dead leaves or annuals that have called it quits. So I’ll get out my pruners and go to town.

{TWO} Plant some bulbs

I always have dreams of having fields (yes, plural) of gorgeous spring tulips, daffodils and iris surrounding my home. Then I wake up and realize I must first plant them. Now is the time to get those suckers in the ground. The best thing to do is find a sunny spot to plant and set them deep enough in the ground. How deep, you might ask? I’ve actually heard this is the most common question about planting. So…

A good rule of thumb: Dig a hole two times deeper than the bulb is tall.

{THREE} Water everything in sight

We’ve had a dry fall so far, so it’s super important to turn on those sprinklers or my favorite: the hose that grows (not pictured, btw).

{FOUR} Spread some compost

I don’t have an official compost pile at the moment. It’s one of those things on my “to do at some point in my life” list. So for now, when I need to apply a quality compost, I get mushroom compost or something similar and put about an inch in the garden. This will break down over the winter months and improve the quality of the soil. That equals a happy, healthy home for our plant babies. It also means you might not have to fertilize come spring. Yay!

{FIVE} Apply mucho mulch

I might not get to this step until a little later. Once the ground is cold, I’ll put down some mulch over all of the perennials. I like to use fresh fallen leaves. Here’s a great article on how to process your leaves for mulching. Hay from your Halloween decorations makes great mulch, too.

Isn’t this a gorgeous porch?! This might have to be my next “to do”. Have a great week and enjoy the garden!

-Kate

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Time for a new planner (already?!)

Now that we’re into October I’m realizing my planner is about to expire! I’m already receiving dates for school events and family activities that spill into 2016. Crazy, right? I know there are school calendars that begin in August, but I’m a big fan of the classic January start date. So, I’m in the market for my next planner and contemplating all options – well, the prettiest and most helpful options, that is.

I’ve really loved my Day Designer this year. It was my first dive into these “strategic planners for a well designed life” by Whitney English. I started strong by going through the vision and mission exercises, but fell off the map when it came to the monthly exercises. If I go this route again, I need to figure out how to schedule time for those.

Here are options I’m considering. I’d love your feedback on which planner you love best!!

{OPTION ONE}

day designer

I could stick with a Day Designer and go “black spotty” this year. There’s also an exclusive pink stripe pattern from Belle & Blush that has my eye.

{OPTION TWO} 

The Simplified Planner is supposed to be super helpful. I love this "happy stripe". It would be a change from last year, but I'm considering.

The Simplified Planner is supposed to be super helpful. I love this “happy stripe“. It would be a change from last year, but I’m considering. This fellow blogger did a nice comparison between Day Design and Simplified Planner. Good research for me!

{OPTION THREE}

Katie Daisy planner

This is an adorable planner by one of my favorite designers, Katie Daisy. It’s a 17-month planner, which would solve my school-planning dilemma. If I get this now, it would last until Dec 2016, but what do I do until it starts back up in Aug?!

{OPTION FOUR}

Another personal fan favorite is Rifle Paper Co. This planner is also a 17-monther. Its compact size, but has more room than the one above for daily and weekly planning.

Another personal favorite is Rifle Paper Co. This “birch floral” planner is also a 17-monther. It’s compact, but has more room than the one above for daily and weekly planning. It doesn’t have any of the extras like monthly challenges, but I had trouble finding time to do that kind of thing anyway. Hmm.

{OPTION FIVE}

This option gets me back to the traditional 12-month planner. Its not as pretty as the others, but its filled with inspirational qoutes. You know I love that kind of thing. Am I judging these books too much by their cover?

This funky option from Sugar and Type gets me back to the traditional 12-month planner. It’s not as beautiful as the others, but it’s filled with inspirational quotes. You know I love that kind of thing. Am I judging these books too much by their cover?

I’m still leaning toward the Day Designer, because of the extra bells and whistles regarding the personal planning. Let me know what you think. If there’s an overwhelming favorite, I’ll buy and extra one and have a special giveaway! It would be my first, so be patient and kind as I work through the details. But yes, a GIVEAWAY!!

Here’s to a creative and organized day, my friends.

-Kate

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Friday Wrap: Feelin’ Like Fall

The calendar just rolled to October, the weather dipped into the 50s, and Pinterest is blowing up with Halloween crafts and goodies. It finally feels like fall, y’all. I officially love this season and all it has to hold. Here are five things on my current “must have, make or do right now” list:

Blogged while smelling a marshmallow fireside and sipping a Starbucks house blend.

{ONE} Lion Costume

This made me burst into laughter thinking about little Leo being a lion for his very first Halloween. What do you think? Should we do it?

{TWO} Fayetteville Ale Trail

There are some cool little breweries cropping up all over Northwest Arkansas. Someone was smart to organize an Ale Trail that allows you to drive around the area and sample a few flights of brewed beer. It’s complete with a ride so you don’t have to worry about driving and passports that you get stamped at each location. This month seems like the perfect time to organize this with friends. Octoberfest, anyone?

{THREE} Beautiful Pumpkins

This is such a beautiful look. And I adore white pumpkins. All you have to do is take a small tube of caulk to decorate a pumpkin. You could use plastic or the real deal. Once the caulk has dried, spray paint the entire thing for a lovely, dimensional effect. I’m totally doing this tomorrow for a crafternoon project.

{FOUR} Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

Speaking of pumpkins…I want this double layer pumpkin cheesecake in my belly right now. Doesn’t this look like a little slice of heaven?

{FIVE} Simmer Down Now

This is such a busy time of year with school activities, sports and whatnot. If you don’t have time to totally clean or organize the house, it’s totes okay. You can at least make it smell good until you have a chance to pull out those cute rubber gloves of yours.

Cheers to a wonderful fall weekend, my friends!

-Kate

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