Friday, May 22, 2015

The Un-Pretty Way To Organize a Storage Room

Storage Closet Organization25

Warning- This is not one of those picture perfect organization projects where all of the storage containers match and everything looks like it should be in a magazine.  What this is is an un-pretty way to organize a storage room.  Because for us, this is real life.  And we don’t have the budget to go out and purchase matchy matchy stuff for a storage room that no one will ever see but us.  What this post is is an effective way to get a large storage room organized.  So if you need to tame the chaos in a storage room of your own, but like us do not have the time or the budget to make it pretty, this is the post for you!

We have a fairly large storage room that is in the back of our garage.  And honestly, if it did not exist, we probably would not have bought this house.  Because this house does not have a lot of storage or large closets.  So this is it for us!  The only problem with this room is that when we moved in, we were forced (by the people who purchased our old house) to move in a really big hurry, and everything just got shoved into this room in complete chaos.  Not what I pictured in my mind at all.  In my mind, I cleaned this room while it was still empty, and then everything would be placed into this room in a thoughtful, organized manner.  That didn’t happen. 

Fast forward 2 1/2 years later, and this room was unbearable.  And I swear I took a before picture, and for the life of me I cannot find it.  But just imagine mass chaos and everything just dumped everywhere to the point where you could barely walk in there, and that is what it looked like.  Well, with LC’s new job, we needed to be able to fit a large storage closet somewhere into our house, and it had to be in this storage room.  So, that lit a fire under our butt’s to get this room cleaned out.The collage below is  the beginning of this process.  We moved my car out of the garage, and proceeded to completely empty this room.

Storage Closet Organization5

After we emptied the room, I cleaned the room by cleaning the shelf along the back wall, clearing out all cobwebs, and sweeping the floor with a broom.  The next thing we did was to place various shelves that we already had in this room, and some that were in the garage, back into the room, and then I cleaned the shelves. 

Storage Closet Organization11

When we moved into this house, there was a coat closet right outside of our kitchen.  But there was no pantry in the kitchen.  We made the decision to use that coat closet as a pantry, and we have never regretted it.  You can read about how I organized that pantry here.  Anyway, that left us without a coat closet, so this portable closet was our solution for a coat closet.  Like I said this room is at the back of our garage, so it works just perfectly, because that is where we go in and come out of the house.  And we can even keep hats, gloves and scarves in the bottom.  I usually get the hats, scarves, and gloves out during the winter months and store them in baskets in a bench that is in our downstairs hallway, which is the hallway we walk into from the garage.  But during summer, I bag it all up and place it in the bottom of this closet.  You can see above the closet is where I decided to house all of our gallon sized paint cans. 

Storage Closet Organization10

I had an extra over the door shoe organizer that was not in use, so I hung it on the back of this door to hold my spray paint collection.  It works perfectly, and makes more space on our shelves.

Storage Closet Organization9

Next, we started to bring everything back into the room.  But as we did this, we also purged and got rid of a lot.  We had a large black trash bag full of stuff to throw away, and we took one car load of stuff to Goodwill.  As you can see we placed all of the shelving we had right next to each other on the back wall.  The white metal shelves hold all of our painting supplies. 

Storage Closet Organization14

This blue laundry basket was broken on one side, so I use it to hold painting supplies.  since I never had to pick it up from this spot, it works just fine. 

Storage Closet Organization16

The black metal shelf holds various things, some photographs in boxes, some Rubbermaid boxes that hold the children’s special artwork from when they were little, and my great grandma’s china.  I don’t have anywhere to display it in this house, but someday I hope to be able to have it out. 

Storage Closet Organization17

The blue plastic shelves hold more paint, stain, sandpaper, and various other smaller items that we use for DIY projects.

Storage Closet Organization20

On the left side of the room, most of these boxes hold things that belong to LC.  This is where he keeps all of his “stuff”.  You can also see that we hung some hooks on the walls to hold things that were taking up space on the floor, like this artist’s easel and the bow and crutches.  The box in the back left corner contains our scarecrow, obviously, but underneath of that is all of our wood scraps that were taking up valuable floor space.  We just put this box on the floor and propped all of the wood scraps up, and they take up so much less space that way!

Storage Closet Organization21

The back right corner shelf holds all of my boot boxes.  In the winter I take them out of the boxes and store them under my bed in under bed boxes.  But in the summer, I put them all down here to make room under my bed for summer sandals.  And this is also where we keep all of our outdoor seasonal d├ęcor. 

Storage Closet Organization22

By purging and re-organizing this room, we were able to make room on the left wall to house a large storage cabinet for LC (which has not come in yet).  Across from this spot, and to the left of the coat closet it just blank wall space.  We needed to be able to open the cabinet once it is in place, so we kept that spot open. 

Storage Closet Organization23

And this is the view from the back of the room.  I had some old throw rugs that I placed in front of the closet to make it a little more comfy in that spot, and we keep extra water right inside of the door (LC insists).  We also hung some hooks on the wall right inside the door that were not there before.  And from those hooks we hung some of Mr. 15 Year Old’s hunting gear. 

Storage Closet Organization24

And that is basically it!  And even though it is not pretty, it is so much better!  Everything has a place and we can actually find everything!  We were able to get this entire job done in one day, in the freezing cold.  And can I just tell you how good it felt to mark this one off the list?  We plan on doing the same thing in our garage over the summer.  It is also in desperate need of some major attention and organization. 

If you have a large storage room that is in need of a major cleaning and reorganizing, my advice to you is to just put it on your schedule and get it done!  Start by emptying the room and laying everything out where you can see it.  And then only place things that you need to keep back into the room.  Purge as much as you can.  I promise you will feel like a huge weight is off your shoulders when it is all finished!  Go for it!

This is where I party:


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Jump Start Your Day

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #50YearsofBreakfast #CollectiveBias
Carnation Breakfast essentials3
Let’s talk about Carnation Breakfast Essentials!  To me, this is a throwback to my childhood.  Growing up, my mother drank a packet of Carnation Instant Breakfast, mixed with milk, every single day.  So I grew up with this stuff!  And as I got older, I would also drink it before running out the door to school.  This product was a part of my entire childhood, and even after I left home it stayed with me.  So writing about it today seems a bit retro and nostalgic, because it seems like it has always been with  me. 
Now, I have children of my own- three to be exact.  And while I haven’t kept it as a constant in my pantry, it has still been around a lot.  I like to drink it in the mornings while I am getting ready for work.  Not only does it contain 13 grams of protein, but it also has 21 other vitamins and minerals, so I can feel good about including it in our morning routine.  Then I pack some fruit and some yogurt to take with me and I eat those after arriving at work.  This usually gets me through to lunch, along with a big cup of hot tea.  On the weekends when I am not so rushed, I like to mix a packet of it in as a smoothie ingredient.  It is great with strawberries and bananas!

My daughter is one of those fancy people who like to make breakfast, and she likes to use Carnation Breakfast Essentials as part of a nutritious breakfast.  She is home for summer right now, and yesterday morning as I was working on this post, she was making breakfast for herself, and I thought it was pretty so I snapped some shots of what she made.  Her bacon and egg bagel was perfect with the rich milk chocolate flavor. 
Carnation Breakfast essentials1

Carnation Breakfast Essentials is a great way to start your day, but I can’t write this post without sharing another way that it is being used in our house.  Mr. 15 Year Old is a distance runner for his high school track and cross country teams.  He goes to practice every day after school, and he runs several miles.  Just in case you don’t know, that is him right in the middle of this picture, behind the front two. 
1600 county championship2015
When he walks in the door after that very strenuous work out, the first thing he does is have a big glass of Carnation Breakfast Essentials mixed with milk.  Did you know that drinking chocolate milk after a long run is one of the best things you can do for your body? 
2015 1600 Big Ten champinoship
When he first began running back in the 6th grade, we became interested in helping him eat things that were going to be fuel for his body, because he burns a lot of calories, and I read article after article about the benefits of drinking chocolate milk after a workout.  So he has been implementing this as part of his daily routine for years now.  He would never drink a milk product before a run, but after a run, he drinks it every single time.  It works for him!  So if you are a runner, or you have a runner in your family, you might want to try this.
winning 2014

You can find Carnation Breakfast Drinks in the Breakfast food aisle at your local Walmart.
Carnation Instant Breakfast1

Have you heard about the Carnation promotion?  If not here is how it works:
  • The promotion:  
  • Buy any 2 Carnation Breakfast Essentials products
  • Get a clear photo of your entire receipt and then text with keyword BREAKFAST to 811811 for submission instructions or email it to or upload your receipt to
  • You will receive a code back once the receipt has been verified that you can share with your friends and family for a free breakfast! (up to a $7.99 value). Participants can enter by texting a number, emailing, or uploading a photo of the receipt to the website
Follow Carnation Breakfast Essentials on Facebook

Sweet Parrish Place Style- {Vol. 28}

Have you checked out my 16 Spring Fashion Must Haves yet?

Hey all! Welcome to my weekly style post!   Every week, I take pictures of my outfits and join other bloggers around blog land who do the same. These posts are something that I really enjoy, because I have always had a passion for fashion. I love putting together new outfits, and shopping my own closet to wear things in different ways. I wear the clothes I own forever, but I usually don’t wear any item in the exact same way more than once or twice.  As a middle school counselor, I am always looking for inspiration, and ways to be stylish, professional, and age appropriate, and I hope to provide that same inspiration to other women and mothers in similar professions or lifestyles.

I don't have a normal fashion post for you today, because I have been traveling for most of the past week, both to a work meeting, and then to Las Vegas.  So, I thought I would give you a little glimpse into what I wore in Vegas.  All of these pictures were taken using an iPhone, and with complete disregard to any type of style post so take that into consideration.  In the picture above, I was pretending to kiss a wax Bruce Willis.  He begged, so I couldn't resist.  In the below picture, this is the outfit I wore to fly there, and then to walk around for most of the day.  It was only in the 70's.  These sandals were the perfect walking sandal too.  And I bought this new purse just for my trip.  I had been wanting a fringe bag, and I needed a new cross body bag to use for travel, so I couldn't resist.  It is currently on sale for $55.99, and it is genuine leather, so if you like it you might want to scoop it up!

Fringe bag// black sandals// floral tank- Marshall's// Denim jacket- Gap (old)

I was pointing at a certain object in this picture to be funny, but I cropped it out so as not to offend anyone.  Can you guess what it is?  I wore this outfit to dinner at Gordon Ramsey's Bar and Grille in Caesar's Palace.  Delicious dinner- and Caesar's Palace is to die for.  I had on really cute high heel sandals with this outfit, but of course LC didn't get those in the picture - men!  And big huge mistake on the heels in Vegas, BTW.  Don't do it!  Everything I am wearing in this shot is old, except for the new bag, and you can find a link to it underneath of the picture above.  

We spent a few hours at the pool one day, and it was heavenly being out in the sun for the first time this year (with sun screen of course!)  I bought this cover up and this bathing suit just for the trip. Not a great picture, but I love this black lace cover up that I bought at Marshall's!  It has  three quarter length sleeves and slits on the sides, and it is just adorable.  

This is the bathing suit I had on under the cover up.  I absolutely love it!  I had originally ordered it from Macy's in red, and there was a mishap with my order, so I ended up ordering it from Amazon except I couldn't get it in red, so this is the color I chose, it's called orchid, and I am glad I did.  I also got it for a way better price at Amazon, so win win.  

And here is the bathing suit on me, I debated back and forth on showing this picture, because my body is far from perfect, but I love this bathing suit and feel like it is sexy in all the right places, but it hides the ugly, so I wanted you to see it on a real body.  It is a perfect compromise for a mom who doesn't want to wear a bikini, but it also makes the husband happy, and least it did mine.  

I wore this to dinner and out to explore one night.  I think I may be wearing this red and white tank too much.  But it is my favorite!  I love the fit and the colors, and I can't stop myself.  

striped tank// denim jacket similar// skirt (in black)// sandals (old)

I am also over at The Mummy Chronicles today as Victoria's Co-host for Whatcha Wearing Wednesday, so be sure to click over and give her some love today.  And if you are a blogger link up your outfit post!  You can join the party and link up at the bottom of this post.  

Welcome Vicky from The Mummy Chronicles! She's all about fashion, fitness and cars! So check her out and follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.


Link party:

This is where I party:
Trendy Wednesday// Wednesday Pants// I Feel Pretty// What I Wore// Mid Week Muse//
Jersey Girl Texan Heart// Oh Hey girl// What I Wore// WIWW// Link Up With Lisa

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Easy Spring Centerpieces to DIY

Hi all!  In light of the fact that I have been on a little blogging break, I invited Danielle Hedegus from the website to write a guest post for you today!  It's all about some easy and beautiful Spring centerpieces that you can create yourself!  If you have never checked out before, you definitely should, it is a new home design and remodeling website with so much inspiration to be seen!  I hope you enjoy!

I love spring time, especially after a long cold winter. This one really seemed to linger, didn’t it? It is finally time to soak up some sunshine, enjoy produce at peak freshness, fire up the grill, and enjoy lazy days with friends and family. In addition to spring cleaning, I like to upgrade my home decor to reflect the change in season and to sort of bring the outdoors inside--minus the bugs! I am so excited to share these beautiful DIY centerpieces. I hope they inspire you to create your own spring time centerpiece.

When Life Gives You Lemons...or Limes!
I recently learned that adding an acid based substance to the water in your flower vase can help extend the life of your flowers. Lemon-lime soda works, too but it’s not nearly as pretty. Place your lemon (limes and oranges work well, too) slices loosely in the water to create a whimsical look. For a more simple (and I think elegant) presentation, cut thicker slices, packing them fairly tightly within the vase to surround one or two blooms. 

 Via Pinterest

Feeling a Little Prickly?

Yes, I know puns are the “lowest form of humor,” but I still love them. I also love this beautiful colorful cactus dish. I see beautiful bowls and shallow trays like this at discount stores all of the time. Now I finally have an excuse to buy! Cactuses (or cacti, either is correct, I looked it up!) are very easy to care for, especially if you don’t have much of a green thumb. This colorful arrangement is so distinctive and if you don’t have time to frequently update your centerpieces, you should get a lot of mileage out of this one--until it’s time to transplant!

Usher in the Tropics!

Okay, after the citrus, I am starting to think I may be slightly obsessed with adding fruit to my floral arrangements! Why not, though? The weather is finally getting nice. Farmer’s markets are open again. Let’s celebrate all of the fresh fruits and veggies that are finally in season. This arrangement is super easy, but makes such a bold statement. Simply core the pineapple and use it as a vase. Check and make sure that it sits level on a table, especially after you add the weight of the water and the flowers. You can always make a small cut on the bottom make the surface flush.


Add a Warm Glow

I always like to have candles lit during meals. I feel like it creates a relaxed vibe and signals to my family that shared meals are special. These picture lanterns, combined with a plain vase or jar and some simple flowers, would make a beautiful centerpiece. I found the tutorial to make these on a great blog called Twig & Toadstool. Check it out here. The supplies are very inexpensive--a glass jam or peanut butter jar will do just fine and you can use your discretion to create your favorite springtime images. This would be a great project to work on as a family or with some girlfriends.

Another way to incorporate candles and create a sophisticated look (that is VERY affordable), is to use floating candles. All you need for this centerpiece is three glass vases of varying sizes. I like these simple squared ones. You can find them almost anywhere now, but they are usually by the small bamboo plants. Use super glue to secure silk flowers to one of the rocks that you’ll place at the top of the pile. Vase, rocks, flowers, candles, done! Easy, simple, and chic.

 Via Pinterest

And What Would a DIY Blog Be Without Mason Jars?

Mason jars are having a major cultural moments so who am I to buck the trend? Mason jars really are great though--inexpensive and they conjure up great memories of iced tea and lemonade on warm days and delicious jams and spicy pickles. Maybe that last one is just me! Anyway, this project is super easy and looks great. You can choose any color spray paint, but I really like the gold. Simply spray the jar with a good coat and allow to dry. These pink carnations look great next to the gold jars.

Happy spring and good luck with your centerpieces! I’d love to hear how they turn out for you!

For other DIY decorations and ideas, head to

Thanks to Danielle and Modernize for collaborating with me to bring you this lovely post, so many great ideas, I think my favorite is the colorful cactus centerpiece, Which is your favorite?

This is where I party:

Inspire me Tuesday// Project Inspired// Show and Share// Totally Terrific Tuesday//
Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party// Two Uses Tuesday

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Sweet Parrish Place Style { Vol. 27}

Have you checked out my 16 Spring Fashion Must Haves yet?

Floral palazzo pants, cream blouse, red salt water sandals2

Hey all! Welcome to my weekly style post!   Every week, I take pictures of my outfits and join other bloggers around blog land who do the same. These posts are something that I really enjoy, because I have always had a passion for fashion. I love putting together new outfits, and shopping my own closet to wear things in different ways. I wear the clothes I own forever, but I usually don’t wear any item in the exact same way more than once or twice.  As a middle school counselor, I am always looking for inspiration, and ways to be stylish, professional, and age appropriate, and I hope to provide that same inspiration to other women and mothers in similar professions or lifestyles.

Monday, May 11, 2015

DIY Wall Shelves

DIY Wall Shelves8

Today the project I am sharing with you is a project that my daughter and I actually completed last summer.  But we were so busy moving my daughter into her new apartment at the time that I didn’t’ get any good photos of the shelves, so I finally took my camera back to her apartment and took some.  These super simple DIY Wall shelves are just that- super simple!, and super inexpensive!  Anyone can do this!  And just to let you know ahead of time, these shelves havenot been styled or decorated to look perfect for these pictures.  This is actually how my daughter has them decorated every day in her apartment.  The two metal bins hold school supplies that she uses every day.

You can see my daughter's entire college apartment by clicking here.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

My Favorites for April

April Favorites2015

You know I love this day of the month!  Each month I share my Favorite Pinterest Pins with you.  So today is one of my favorite days, because I get to share my April favorites with you!  This is one of my favorite posts to write each month.  I hope you like reading it as much!  These are my favorite things I was pinning in April.  Please be a responsible pinner, and if you want to pin something I have featured here today, click on the source at the bottom of the picture and pin from the original source.  I hope you find some inspiration!  Enjoy!