Sunday, February 2, 2014

Weekly Project: Holiday Storage!


Happy Sunday, everyone! As you probably know, one of my New Year's Resolutions was to have weekly mini-organizing goals in my condo. Since I started this project 12 days into January, (that darn flu!), and the closet project took me close to two weeks (a mini-project, it was not), this week's mini-goal rounds out January with two mini-goals down. Well, make that one mini-goal and one big-ass-project.

This week I was shooting two videos for Pantene's YouTube channel, and two for my own channel, so that combined with some pretty long work meetings left little time for organizing. That being said, I still managed to get a mini-goal accomplished. This week's goal was to round up all of my holiday decor, of which I have a lot, and consolidate them into one spot. My condo doesn't have a ton of built-in storage, so my Halloween and Christmas decorations were crammed into any space I could find, taking up valuable real estate that should have been used to house other stuff. 

Blair and I are currently sharing a storage unit that we use to store some furniture that we are saving for use in future homes, and therefore don't want to sell right now. Since we have lived in 3 places since moving to LA, it is hard to find spots for everything in each new home; sometimes rooms are shaped differently and something doesn't fit. For instance, one piece of furniture I am currently storing is my pink chaise lounge from my old bedroom; I love it to pieces, but it doesn't have a spot in my current condo, so for now it lives in the storage unit. As convenient as this is, in a few months I am going to re-evaluate what is in the storage unit and make sure it is worth paying a monthly fee to keep. "Project Storage Unit" will probably be a weekly mini-goal sometime in the future, so be on the lookout for that ;)

I thought if I'm paying for the unit already, and there is room, why not pack my stuff up and take it there until next October? It's not like I'm going to need this stuff before then anyway, right? So off to Target I went, and into my car 2 plastic packers went, and into the packers my holiday stuff went. The end. 


Honestly, it was kind of funny how I kept finding holiday decor everywhere. Most of it was wrangled into my laundry closet, but I kept finding things in the most random places. And as "mini" as I consider this mini-goal, it actually took some time to track down everything and pack them up nicely. I decided one packer would be for my Halloween stuff, and one would be for Christmas decor, and surprisingly enough I was able to fill both packers up to the brim. And these were big packers, guys. A holiday minimalist, I am not.

The Halloween packer has everything shown in my Halloween Decor Tour video, which you can check out if you want to see my place all spookified ;)



It holds pillows, pumpkin and bats hand towels, a dragon costume for Pinecone (cause I mean, he needed to be a dragon-worm, obviously), little tiny candy corn candles, glittery decor pumpkins, the scary antique phone, the marble "hand" bowl... pretty much everything in that video took up an entire packer. 

The second packer holds all of my Christmas decor. I didn't end up decorating my new place this year because I was only in town for a week of December, and spent Christmas in Tennessee, so the decorations I have are from my old place. I do have a Christmas decor tour video, if you wanna see them in action, but all of my Christmas candles, my unused wall plug-ins, my baby Christmas tree, my front door wreath, unused Christmas cards, holiday pillows, extra lights, and more, went into the second packer. 


Between these two mini-projects and the rest of the work I've done in my place in the last three weeks (hello, project House to Home!), I am very happy with the progress made this month. Let's hope February is just as productive on the home organizing front!

Did you accomplish any organizing mini-goals or big projects during the month of January? What were they? 

What are your goals for February? 

Oh, and I'll leave you today with a picture of the blurry, albeit magnificent, "PAH-SGHETTIO THE DRAGON-WORM FOWLER!!!"

No but seriously. Doesn't he look EXACTLY like a dragon-worm?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

My Official Closet Tour!


Well this tour has been a long time coming. You guys may have seen the progress in both my closet makeover post and my house to home post, but this tour goes in way more depth and shows every aspect of my closet - including my favorite pieces! I hope you guys love it!


 
In the spring, I am going to do my yearly closet clean-out, where I go through and try everything on and pull things I don't wear anymore to donate, and when I do I thought I might treat myself to felt hangers. I am really leaning towards the hot pink and gold, but I feel it might be a little much, so the other option I'm considering is white and gold. I don't care for black or beige felt hangers (for my own closet! If you have them and love them then that's great!), but I'm so torn on what color to get. Here are my top two picks, side by side.



Let me know what you think in a comment because I keep going back and forth! The white is more classic, but the pink is bright and fun and more "boutique-like". 

Stay tuned for more home organizational projects, and another house to home episode in the next couple of weeks! I will have movers and painters and an electrician in my house next week, so there is a ton coming up!

xx,
Elle

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Dollhouse: Construction, Organization, and New Buys


Whew, the past week has been crazy busy here at the Dollhouse. Project "house to home" is coming together quite nicely, although not as quickly as I would like, but hey, that's home construction for you. I thought an update post was in order, since lots have been done since leaving you last week with my closet makeover post. Grab a cup of coffee, cause this post is going to be a long one!

First of all, I am on an organizational kick! My energy is feeding off of the changes in my home and making me want to do more and more. To be honest, this is the first month I've even been in LA for a month straight without traveling since moving in here, so it really does feel like the perfect time to go all out and get my place perfected. I'm pumped!

As far as organization goes, this week I continued working in my closet, making small changes to really perfect it. Two changes really stand out to me; one, that I organized my clothes and shoes by color and two, that I pulled all of my books out of my living room and lined them up on the very top shelf of my closet. I was going to use the top shelf as storage for bins but after finding another spot for my bins I thought it would be the perfect place for my books. Not only did it pull some color into my closet, but it greatly reduced the amount of clutter in my living room. I'm not saying books are clutter, but when you don't have a bookcase and your books are just stacked in piles around your media stand then they definitely look way more cluttery than chic. 




Overall I'm in love with the way my books look in my closet. It really added some personality and color and I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out.  

Speaking of organization, after thinking about it long and hard I decided to order an Erin Condren Life Planner. I know I had mentioned in my New Year's Resolutions post that I wanted to start keeping a planner again, and that I had taken one from Glitzy-Glam, but honestly, it wasn't set up the way my dream planner would be, but the Erin Condren one is. The Erin Condren one is set up like my old planner that I LOVED that I would buy through my college, and I haven't seen one set up in the same way since then. That was the deal-maker for me; I knew I had to get one! They are expensive, and trust me, I thought about it for awhile before shelling out the big bucks for a planner, but I think it is going to be so worth it. I absolutely cannot wait to receive it!


This is the exact one I ordered, the Turquoise "Gold Edition" life planner. Picture credit and shout out to Kristina over at PrettyShinySparkly for talking me into getting one of these; it was her review that really pushed me to order it! Plus, I used her link, and received $10 off. If you would like to receive $10 off, you can order through this link here. This link is one of those referral links where you get $10 and I get $10 in credit, but obviously I don't need another planner, so if people order through this link I will use the credit to order a new planner to giveaway on this blog. That way, iheartyoucoffee readers are helping out other readers!  

On the "construction" side of things, I had two major projects done this week. The first is that I finally had my kitchen backsplash installed! It took a total of 3 days; one day to install the tile, one day to grout it, and one day to seal it after the grout had dried. I selected my backsplash with the help of my decorator while looking at my condo decor as a whole. We wanted something that would compliment the contemporary black/brown cabinetry and the white countertops but that would also be soft and feminine. We had previously selected two gorgeous mother of pearl hanging lotus chandeliers for above my kitchen island, so working with those and the color palette for my walls, we picked a beautiful backsplash. The backsplash has a bit of mother of pearl in it as well; not enough to be overwhelming but just enough to add a little sparkle. 

The hanging lotus chandeliers - Gorgeous!

I was lucky in that my kitchen came complete with the perfect wall for a backsplash, but of course, since this place was brand new, it was white, plain, and very unfinished looking. Here is a before picture (although if you watched my old living room/kitchen tour video then you are already very familiar with how it looked to start with!):

Before

During

After!

These pictures don't even do it justice - it is so breathtaking in real life. Every time I see it I think to myself, "Is this what being an adult is about? Getting excited over my kitchen backsplash every morning? I need a life." *Patters over to make coffee*

The second project was that I had my wallpaper installed on my bedroom headboard wall! I was really torn over whether I wanted to have wallpaper just on my headboard wall (with a coordinating paint color on the other walls), or to have wallpaper on all the walls. After talking it over with the wallpaper installer, I decided to just do the headboard wall and then think on it for a few days. After having the wallpaper in the room and looking at it with the paint swatches swatched on the walls, I have decided I am going to go ahead and wallpaper all of the walls. I think when a room is small sometimes wallpaper on all of the walls can "wall it in a bit" (pun intended!), thus making it appear smaller, so that is where a headboard wall with a coordinating paint color comes in handy, but I think my bedroom is big enough to handle all 3 walls being wallpapered (3 walls, not 4, because one wall is all windows). Here is what the room looked like during installation:

I'm sure you recognize the wallpaper as the same paper I had in my old bedroom. I liked it so much I had to use it again - I couldn't even bear the idea of using something else. What can I say, when it's love, it's love! The wallpaper is Margot Amethyst by Designers Guild, if you were wondering. I highly recommend it, if you like the look of it. Like I said, this is the second bedroom in a row that I have had it!

Last but not least, on the "decor" side of things, I made some very important home purchases (LOL). As much as I adore real flowers, they don't live for very long and the nice arrangements are expensive. I still like to treat myself to real ones every now and then, but in order to give my home a girly vibe, I like to have some faux arrangements around as well. I have been on the hunt for the perfect coffee table arrangement, and have been checking my favorite flash sale sites every day in the hopes of spotting the perfect one. High quality faux flower arrangements, the kind that look so real you have to touch them to make sure, are expensive, so I knew I wanted to wait to find one on sale. After a few weeks of checking everyday, and passing up several flower sales when there wasn't one that was "the one", I found her. My beautiful little flower arrangement, peach roses and gorgeousness. I found her on Hautelook, marked down from a few hundred dollars. 


The second home purchase I made were for some colorful rainbow kitchen knives. I needed a set of good-quality knives, as I only have 2 currently, a turquoise and a light pink (not including my everyday flatware eating knives). I have a thing for colored knives, if you can't tell. I found these on Joss and Main whilst searching for faux flowers. Once I spotted them, I knew I couldn't leave them behind... they were calling my name, and at a great price too! Oh, and I also bought a set of striped bamboo utensils, as I have been wanting a striped set for ages and never see them in stores.

The last thing I purchased for my home was a pair of Restoration Hardware chandeliers that I have been eyeing for ages! They are currently on sale, and I thought, now is the time! I plan on hanging these on either side of my bed, as shown in the catalog picture. They haven't arrived yet, but this is what they look like! 




Told you this post would be long! I had a lot to talk about! If you still want more, I put together a video with clips I took as these projects unfolded. I made this video especially for you iheartyoucoffee readers, so make sure to check it out if you are interested! 



I'll leave you with this picture and video of Pinecone. Yes, he knocked that chair over all by himself, and then proceeded to use it as a makeshift bed. Yes, he is ill-behaved, but that's all the more reason to love him :)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Weekly Project: Closet Makeover!

When I left you last Sunday with my New Year's Resolutions post, I mentioned that I was going to start doing weekly mini-goals. In the comments I got a request to do weekly blog posts at the end of the week to showcase my mini goal of that particular week, so here it is… a peek at my weekly project.

My mini-goal for the week was to organize my closet, and man, it was quite the project. When I first moved into my condo there was so much to do all at once that I kind of "half-did" everything. It was more important for me to get my living area looking presentable for guests than to "perfect" my closet, so I did just enough to get by. I hung my hanging clothes and unpacked my most-worn shoes, and then stashed the rest of the piles of clothing and shoes in the depths of the closet, hiding them on shelves and under the hanging clothes. Over time, my closet became a bit of a catch-all for things I didn't want to deal with; bins of stuff I didn't feel like sorting, random bags and shoes that were sent from companies that I wasn't sure I wanted to keep but didn't know for sure if I wanted to get rid of them so into the closet they went. Stuff started piling up, and before I knew it my closet was not somewhere I wanted to spend any time. In fact, I completed avoided it all together when I could!

This week I knew I needed to tackle it. I have this theory that if you tackle the big home projects that you have been avoiding, life becomes instantly less stressful. Even though in the big scheme of life my closet seems trivial, to me it was a battle every single day. And so, for your viewing pleasure… some before pics: 

I started by pulling out all the stuff that was hiding. Stacks of sweaters, piles of shorts, and boxes (yes, like an entire unpacked box from the move plus more random boxes) of shoes came out of the closet and were deposited in my dining area. My kitchen table and floor looked like a tornado had swept through a boutique. 


And, for the sake of transparency (and to explain just how much clutter was in this closet), this big stack of bins came out of the closet too. This pile is everything that didn't belong in the closet but ended up in there, along with a bin or two of clutter that was in my bathroom. This little (big!) pile came together quite nicely to show you how easy it is to accumulate clutter when you are unorganized. 





All of those piles of stuff removed left me with my closet looking like this:



I had random empty shelves and clothing hanging haphazardly off hangers. I had tangled necklaces, bags, and hats hanging everywhere, and I had dresses and tops and jackets and pants all mixed together in each section. There was absolutely no organization to this closet… everything was just in there. Hanging out. Chilling. But not at all useful in its design. 

I spent about 4 days on this closet, sorting, purging, putting away, doing laundry, lint-rolling each individual dark-colored item that needed it, trying on every pair of shoes and purging the ones that didn't fit well, and just otherwise being a perfectionist in the details. I can now happily say that I am 90% done. I still need to find places for about 10 more pairs of boots and I need to pick up some bins for the very top shelves, but for the most part my closet is done and beautiful, and I couldn't be happier. I am planning on doing a full closet tour video on AllThatGlitters21 soon, so be on the look out for that! 

Here are a few "after" shots to help tide you over:



I'll admit… the bathroom "clutter pile" is still a project in itself, and will probably need to be next week's mini-goal, along with continuing to perfect the final 10% of this closet. Overall I am super pleased with this week's goal and result and I can't wait to share all of the details with you in a video!

What do you think of my closet, would you change anything based on what you can see in the pictures?

Did any of you accomplish a goal you had set for yourself for this week?  

Do any of you currently have "disaster closets"? If so, hopefully this post motivated you to clean it out!

Author's Note: The closet project is now done and the closet tour video has been posted! Check it out :)

 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

My New Year's Resolutions for 2014





Okay, so here's the deal. This post is about 11 days late, but I actually started writing this on January 1st. I ended up getting oddly tired that night and saved this post as a draft to finish in the morning, went to bed, and woke up with the worst bout of the flu ever. I've actually never had a full-fledged flu in my entire life, as my immune system is pretty strong, but this one knocked me on my butt for a full 8 days. So here it is, 11 days later, but better now than never, yeah? Plus, it all still applies, even 11 days late. Boo to the flu! 

Let's rewind 11 days...

I think there is something so zen about starting a new year. It's a fresh start, a clean slate, and a new opportunity to better yourself and your life. Lots of people will say that you "don't need a new year to start new goals - you can do that anytime," but I still think that the start of a new year is the perfect time to reflect on what you want to achieve during the year and put some of your ideas into action.

I like to keep track of my resolutions every year, and I love looking back to see if I accomplished any of them. Let's take a look at last year's resolutions:

1) Go on a fun trip for my birthday. Check! I spent my 25th birthday in Cabo. 
2) Go to Europe. Fail. This didn't happen… but maybe in 2014!
3) Get my sleep on a strict schedule. Check! It's been a struggle, but I've been working on my sleep and it is much better than it was last year at this time. Last year at this time was actually the worst my sleep has ever been, so it makes sense that I would add this as a resolution.
4) Do #MakeupMAYhem. Check! MakeupMAYhem was perfect this year, and actually the most successful YouTube series I have ever done. 
5) Reach 1 million subscribers on YouTube. Check!
6) End the year at the same weight I started it. Check!

5 out of 6 is pretty good, which brings me to this year's resolutions… 

I'll be honest, 2013 was a pretty scattered year for me. It was going great up until "the big move", but then I just couldn't get my feet back under me. My life, both physically and mentally, became very unorganized and the more it fell into an unorganized pattern, the harder it became to pull it back together. Sound familiar? I think a lot of people have had times in their lives where this has happened to them. And so, I have decided that 2014 is going to be the year of structure...

…and that means in every area. I want to spend time getting my new condo put together; creating the organizational structure that is key to keeping your place neat. I haven't sat down and done this since moving in, and it shows - I can't find anything ever, it's always a little messy looking, and I always have a clutter pile or two floating around because not everything has a home yet. I know it will take time to get this place perfect, and I'm not looking to do it over the course of a week - I know it will take months for it to be in a place where I am happy with it, but it will be worth it. It's all about baby steps! 

I also want to implement this organizational structure into my work life as well, and step one is keeping an agenda again. I used to LIVE by my agenda, but I stopped keeping one sometime early last year, and it showed. I adopted a Kate Spade agenda from Glitzy-Glam that arrived a bit damaged, so we couldn't sell it, so I want to start using it to keep track of everything in my life. 

So here are my basic new year's resolutions for 2014:

1) Have a mini goal every week in regards to my condo organization. If I accomplish one mini project a week by the end of the year I will have done 52 mini projects - that is definitely enough to have a meticulously organized condo by the end of the year! Goal #1 is my closet. Man, if you guys could see it… it is a MESS! You would be appalled, truly. (Author's Note from 11 days in the future - I've already started on this, and it's slowly coming together. I've started by removing a ton of stuff and putting it on my kitchen table, so now I have a kitchen table full of clothing. It's amazing how big of a project my closet is… you would think I could just tackle it in one day, but it is taking me ages!)

2) Make my blogs a priority. Both this blog and DreaminginBlush have been left in the dust a little the past few months, but I want really make an effort to keep both of these going strong throughout 2014. This blog has an advantage because I will be doing a ton to the condo in terms of decor and organization throughout the next few months, and each project will be documented here. That was actually the whole reason I started this blog, so I could have a place to talk about home improvement stuff! 

3) On the same note as #2, I would really LOVE to start ElleandBlair.com back up. I have some ideas for it, but I'm still trying to decide what I want it to be exactly. For any bloggers out there - any feedback would be appreciated! I'm thinking maybe it can be a landing page for all things Elle&Blair, and also somehow have both my blogs and Blair's blog feed into it, so it's like a mega-hub for all of our content. I would have to talk to a website designer about the logistics, but I think it would be safe to say that ElleandBlair.com will come back sometime this year. 

4) Keep running! (Author's Note from 11 days in the future - I haven't ran since before New Year's, as I have been sick in bed with the flu. The last few days I have felt much better energy-wise, but I still have a deep chest cough so I want to make sure I'm better before getting into it again. I miss it!)

I think those are 4 well-rounded resolutions. So here are some questions for you, my lovely readers. 

What are your resolutions? 
What do you think would make the ultimate ElleandBlair.com website? 
Do you have any feedback for me on either one of my blogs or my YouTube channels on how to make it better? What would you like to see more or less of?

I love you guys so much - truly. I know my content lags sometimes, but honestly - you guys are my people! Heart you!

xoxo,
Elle