Not your ordinary storage and office supplies…..

Ok, so I get positively weak in the knees when I see stylish storage and office supplies. It may be a sickness, but I’m willing to admit that there is something about a useful and eye-catching product that makes me swoon! So, I thought I would share some with you, so you could revel in them as well! : What’s not to love about a company that sells stylish products for the woman on the go. Out with the black and brown leather man-ish products and in with the colorful and fresh! : Sometimes you just want a product that is straightforward and simple! Just make it useful, make it easy and make it cute! If you’re moving, getting a handle on your life, tracking your valuables or just trying to get some stuff done – this may be a good product for you! : So, have you ever walked out to your car and had to climb in the sunroof, because the car next to you had blatant disregard for the parking lines? How about giving them a parking ticket? Or, you’re out at the park and there is no soap anywhere around, but you have got to wash your hands? Try Paper Soap! Or you love french press coffee? Try a press for one! You can find all these things, and some other outlandishly brash and entertaining products here. Ok, and they have some organizing stuff too…..

russell+hazel : Stylish and functional, what’s not to love? Their “Audrey” line is breathtaking and worthy of the red carpet!

OFFICE : Located in Portland, Oregon, this quirky and style-conscious “office supply” store has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens! The owners are fun and the brick and mortar location has a fabulous vintage feel. Their website is well stocked and full of innovative products. Go check it out!

What’s YOUR favorite office supply or storage resource?

Product Review: Naturally Knotty Totes


Product:  Naturally Knotty totes

My Experience:  Just arrived in the mail today!  The two sizes are great for many different uses, mine will be to haul my laptop and other mobile office type supplies around in.

My Favorite Thing:  The lamination on the bags will help them last long term.  I also love all the pockets and the great long handles!

My Least Favorite Thing:  That I didn’t find them earlier!

Overall Rating:   Recommended!  I love the pockets and the overall styling of the products.  Best of all, they are sustainable, recycled and renewable!  Eye-catching styling and great overall design.  Love it!

Where To Find It:

Disclosure: These products were sent to me as free samples.  No compensation was received to write this review.

The Green, Eco-Friendly Office

Recycle - Reduce - Reuse

It really is easier than you think. Start with a few things, and change as you go. If you’re just starting out, here are some eco-tips to get your office more “in the green”.

  1. Choose green office supplies: Choosing “green” products only takes different choices in the store and online. Most office supply stores carry “green” supplies. It’s pretty easy to find printer paper, filing supplies and binders in ranges of 10-100% recycled content.
  2. Sort the mail immediately: As soon as the mail comes in the door, take 30-60 seconds to sort and file it. Junk mail goes right into the recycling bin (or the fireplace basket) and doesn’t pile up. Recycling your junk mail will cut down on the overall trash that is quickly accumulating in landfills (and hopefully makes it into new products!).
  3. Get off the junk mail lists: Make your life easier and just get off the direct marketing lists. Keep in mind this does not include companies you have or will do business with in the future. Be sure to use the “opt-out” option with these companies. Here’s a form to help you out: Mail Preference Form
  4. Scratch paper: Do you print reports that use a lot of unnecessary paper? use the leftovers for scratch paper. Put it by the phone or wherever you need something to write on. No need to buy separate paper – it’s already at your fingertips!
  5. Print smart: Use “draft mode” and double sided printing for less important documents. You’ll use have the paper, your ink cartridges will last longer and you’ll spend less of the greenbacks (bonus!). Also, be sure to recycle your ink cartridges.

For more information:

“Green” office products:

Learn more about recycling:

Organized to Shop: Bags, Bags, Bags


So have you been using your own bags for grocery shopping? You certainly can, and it saves all those bags from going to the landfill. If you must use the store’s bags, they can be reused in many different ways. Here’s a few tips to using your own bags and reusing the store’s bags:

Use your own high quality bags: Canvas, plastic, totes or even your local fave store’s logo bag will do the trick. Using these bags prevents that oh-so-horrible feeling of the milk poking its way thru your heavy load, and dumping it all over the ground at the MOST inopportune time.

Re-use your “free” bags from the store: How about taking that handled paper bag and reusing it? Many of them are great quality, and can be reused many times. Then, when it’s looking a little haggard, toss them in the recycling bin.

Forget your bags? No problem! I recently went to my favorite Wild Oats store and was kicking myself for not bringing my bags. The cashier had a great tip (and yes, I’m stealing it): use the bags people bring in to be recycled. It was a light-bulb moment, and hey – it’s useful! Just grab a handful of the bags people bring in and set at the front of the store to be recycled. (Of course, do this at your own risk.)

Keep bags ready to go in the car. Take the groceries in, unload them, take the bags directly back to your car. Then, they are ready to rock and roll when you get to the store (planned trip or otherwise).

Give those bags new life :
Re-use plastic bags: replacing your trash bags in small garbage pails (I do this, and I haven’t bought those little bags in 4 years), use them to protect things during home improvement, for storing wet swimsuits, for dirty clothes or shoes when travelling, anything else you can think of!

Re-use paper bags: let the kids paint on them, use them to wall-paper your bathroom (ok, I haven’t done this, but I saw it done!), cut them up and use them inside out as wrapping paper, use them to protect delicate plants during unfavorable weather, and the list goes on!


I was referred to this article by Paul Graham.  I thought the article was very interesting.  The author explores how our possessions have increased in number and (in some ways) our value of them has decreased in a way.  He also talks about how stuff used to be less accessible in generations past, and as a result, people had less accumulation.  As opposed to today, when industrialized countries have access to more and more stuff at continually lower prices (and many times lower quality).

More stuff doesn’t equate to satisfaction.

Isn’t it amazing how you can buy and buy and never feel satisfied?  Shopping addictions are pretty common, and difficult to overcome.  The deal is, no accumulation of stuff will ever fill the hole that we are trying to make it fill.  It’s about the value of life, people and experiences we come into contact with that should fill our days.  When it comes down to it, stuff will never love us back or help us when we’re down.

No amount of organizing or redesign can hide the fact that one has too much stuff in their home or office.  It’s not something that can be contained by a new product or process.  Really dealing with how much we have, and how much we bring into our lives is paramount.  It’s not worth having if it’s not useful.  It’s not worth the footprint in our space if it doesn’t bring value to life – it’s just stuff.

Buy with purpose.

I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that I like a good quality handbag or a nice pair of shoes that will last.  (For me, quality is more important than brand names – I could care less about what people think of the name on my bag.)  However, unconscious purchasing (which runs rampant in the USA) is a real dead end.  Buying stuff should be something we do with purpose, keeping in mind how it will serve us as a useful possession – NOT how it makes us feel when we buy it.

What’s your thought on “stuff”?

Barn House Flea Market: Shopping, Bake-Off, Chili & Fun!

Oh wow, where do I begin?  I had a wonderful time at the Barn House Flea Market over the weekend!  I’ll be doing a series about organizing with found items, but for now here’s some highlights of the event.

Krista Colvin, my BlogTalkRadio show co-host invited myself and a couple of her friends to come along to this even.  Boy, I am sure glad you did, sistah!  Krista was a judge in the sweets bake off and I was judging the chili cook-off.  Yum!  This candid shot is the judges getting their plates.  Krista is on the right and Tracey Buxton of Notes from A Cottage Industry is on the left.

Krista Colvin & Tracey Buxton

This is what they were judging, the poor things.  (Tracey posted some gorgeous shots of the full desserts here.)

Bake-Off Sweets

We did a little shopping (more on that later) and then it was time for the chili cook-off:

Chili Cookoff

There were some great entries including ingredients like chocolate and smoked pork.  Yum!  I was really asking one of the Barn House Boys about his secret here…. It was delicious and even went back for seconds!

Chili at Barn House Flea Market

I also got a quick shot with Tracey since she was headed back out of town.  It was so great to meet her!

Tracey Buxton & Brandie Kajino

After all that food, fun and shopping we were lucky enough to get a private tour of the house on the property.  Krista and I have decided that we’d like to be boarders!   This is a the entrance to the garden…

Barn House Garden

I love this idea of using a large wardrobe with baskets and fun accessories in side.  This is the bathroom, don’t you love it?  I could curl up in that chair and read for hours…

Barn House Bathroom

The living room was also to die for, such a warm and welcoming space without being fussy.  Love that!

Barn House Living Room

Best of all?  I walked away with some great stuff like this fabulously stylish chair and the vintage phone dial below from the sale!  The chair is going right in the corner of my office in my soon-to-be coffee/reading area in my home office.  I am totally in LOVE with it and plan to reupholster it at a later date…. or not.   🙂  (Thanks Lynne!)

my new vintage chair

Seriously, how cute is this phone dial?  Queen of Tarte had it in her booth, and had some great ideas about using it as an ornament.  I even thought I might be able to use it as a photo frame.  Fun!

vintage phone dial

I for one can’t wait for the next Barn Sale in August!

Like what you see?  Check out the links below for more info, photos and the fabulous vendors at the event.  ( And cross your fingers that we’ll get to see some more recipes… *hint hint* )

Barn House Vintage Home & Garden (the hosts of the event + peach cobbler bakers + chili makers)

Notes From a Cottage Industry

Krista’s Organize In Style Blog

Queen of Tarte

Antie Joy (posted her poppyseed Cake Recipe!)

The Silly Bear

Little Byrd