DIY: Upgrade Office Storage Boxes

I’m really trying to upgrade our office space in the guest room, as originally, it was super cluttered and unorganized. All of our office things were stuffed into mismatched bins and baskets, so I finally decided to buy a shelf and figure out a way to make it look more put together. Slowly but surely, we are starting to make progress, but I’m not going to post before and after pictures until it’s complete.

I didn’t want to go overboard and spend hundreds of dollars on organization. I almost spent over $100 just on storage boxes from the Container Store, but then I decided I could spent that money elsewhere and instead upgrade some cheat storage boxes from Ikea. These boxes are $3-$5 each, depending on the size vs. the $11-$19 boxes I almost bought (nothing against the Container Store, because I really really love that store, but I just wanted another DIY project). Then I bought some gold tape and gold circle stickers off of Amazon.

The gold tape linked above is Japanese washi masking tape, which is perfect to use for crafts because it doesn’t wrinkle or get easily stuck together like other tape, but it also sticks to the surface that you put it on. I decided to go with a Kate Spade theme with black and gold stripes and then white and gold polka dots.

Additionally, on the mint green boxes I used the gold brackets for the corners to give them a fancier, more regal look. So far, so good! Any other suggestions on office organization?

Office Boxes

Weekend project: Upscale Crates

This weekend, I upgraded a few storage crates. These were a few cheap wooden crates that you can get from Walmart or Michaels or Amazon for $10-15.  I just stained them a darker color and added some corner brackets. Now I use the crates as storage bins for our living room blankets and for my boyfriend’s soccer scarves.

Before:

original-crate

 During:

crate-stain

Staining wood is super easy. I always use this brand because it dries quickly and the color always ends up perfect. To stain the crates, I recommend using an old rag or an old white t-shirt. Mix the stain, dip the rag into the stain and slowly brush the wood stain onto the crate. For these, I used two coats because I wanted them to be pretty dark. A few words of advice: definitely do this outside, as the smell can be strong. Make sure to put down plenty of paper because it’s easy for the wood stain to drip. If possible, wear disposable gloves! Wood stain will stain your hands for a few days.

After:

Crate 1.jpg

I love the way these turned out! As an added bonus, I used some corner brackets that I found off on Amazon to give these crates a more vintage feel.

crate-corner

What do you think? Any other wood staining tips?

Avocado Pasta

I am currently avocado pasta obsessed! I honestly eat this meal at least once a week when avocados are ripe because it’s healthy, super easy to make, and absolutely delicious. This savory pasta sauce is made out of avocados and flavored with garlic and lemon. All you need to make this sauce is a blender or food processor — toss all of the ingredients in the blender and then put on top the pasta of your choice! To go for a fully healthy route, toss your avocado pasta sauce with zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash.

avocado-pasta

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Difficulty Level: Easy

Ingredients:

2 avocados

1 lemon

1 teaspoon of minced garlic or 2 cloves of minced garlic (+/- based on taste)

two dashes of Italian seasoning or whatever herbs you want to use (Basil, Oregano, etc)

2 teaspoons of olive oil

Instructions:

Combine the avocados, juice from 1/2 a lemon, minced garlic, Italian seasoning or herbs, and olive oil using a blender or food processor until creamy and smooth. Taste the sauce and add more garlic or more lemon, depending on your preference, and blend again. Remove from blender and toss with your pasta.

Enjoy with a glass of red wine. Cheers!

Power Breakfast: Egg Stuffed Avocado

On mornings when I do a cardio and strength intensive workout (Cyc, kickboxing, Flywheel, etc) I like to make sure I follow it up with a quick and easy power breakfast. One of my go-to’s is the egg stuffed avocado.  This recipe is super easy to make, healthy (avocado AND eggs!), and absolutely delicious.

egg stuffed avocado

Calories: 281

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Difficulty Level: Easy

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 AVOCADO (SKIN ON, PIT OUT)
1 LARGE EGG
SHREDDED CHEDDAR CHEESE

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Take the avocado with the pit out and crack the egg in the center of the avocado, just like you would if you were making eggs sunny side up. Depending on the size of the pit and the size of your egg, you may need to scoop out a little bit more of the avocado’s center. Pop the avocado in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the egg is cooked.  I waited until there was about 5 more minutes left, and sprinkled on some shredded cheese, but you can use whatever toppings you like–bacon, chives, etc. Enjoy!

Weekend Project – Kitchen Storage

My boyfriend and I recently moved in together, which has been really exciting because it’s given us an excuse to redo rooms and make his condo less him and more us. My old kitchen had open shelves and a lot of the houses we’ve fallen in love with (via open houses and Fixer Upper episodes) have had open shelves. He remodeled his kitchen before I moved in, and there wasn’t really much opportunity to open up the shelves. One day while sitting around brainstorming what other spaces I could redo, a brilliant idea came to mind: put some cool, industrial style floating shelves on the empty wall near the dining table. I did a quick Pinterest search and sent him an example. He was on board instantly. Now, I have more of a classic, chic style and he has more of an industrial style so it’s been fun [and sometimes a challenge] to mesh our wants together. My preference almost always wins, but this time I figured a more sturdy, wood & iron style, mixed with more classic shelf decor would be perfect. He actually found the ones we decided on, and we love the way they turned out!

Before

SONY DSC

After

shelves

We ended up getting these 36″ wide shelves off of Etsy. Yes, we could have probably gotten something cheaper, or built our own, but we really love the way these turned out. However, I have to warn you, these were not very easy to put up. We thought we could accomplish this during halftime of the KU game…we were wrong. Nonetheless, once we finally finished we were all smiles because this little Saturday project turned out much better than we expected.

Winter Essentials

As Boston is hit with a snow storm and Georgia’s low is 28, I figured I’d share some of my winter beauty favorites. It’s kind of crazy I guess because Georgia’s high on Saturday is supposed to be 71…but the groundhog predicted 6 more weeks of winter, so there’s no better time than now for a winter essentials list!

winter-essentials

  1. O.R.G. Mineral Peel Face – During the winter, my face gets so dry that exfoliating it isn’t an option. This face peel has been a lifesaver; you just spray it on your face, let it soak in for 3-5 seconds, and then rub it off. It instantly peels off dry skin without drying out your face. No more cakey makeup!
  2. Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Moisturizer – After using the face peel, I use this moisturizer every day. It’s so lightweight and feels refreshing and even smells refreshing. It’s oil-free, so it won’t make your face super oily but it will instantly moisturize and make your face look more energized and awake.
  3. Anderson Lilley Beach Butter Cream – Okay so this is the second item on my list of winter essentials that is from my FabFitFun box, but no, this is not another FabFitFun box review. I really do use this body butter every day. Body butter does a better job of moisturizing and hydrating than normal lotion, and it helps keep your cuticles moisturized too. Plus this one smells like tangerine and reminds me of warmer days.
  4. Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey – This feels like a mixture of chap stick, lip gloss, and lip stick. I love the way and looks and feels on me. Black honey is the perfect shade for winter, but the best part about this is that it fuses with the natural tone of your lips to create a unique color for everyone.
  5. Travel mug – A cute travel mug is essential for keeping your coffee and your hands warm in the cold. Plus, it gives you something to do with your hands.
  6. Long sleeve running top – This long sleeve top is perfect for working out and for layering. I wore this top under two more layers when I went to my first Big 10 football game in November. It has thumb holes, fits perfectly without feeling too tight, and does a great job of keeping me warm.
  7. Cozy vest – This vest is also perfect for layering. It’s not a fur vest, it’s a fuzzy soft vest and it really does keep you warm. It adds a cute yet classy feel to any outfit. Wear with jeans and booties or with a long sleeve dress.
  8. Blanket scarf – I have three blanket scarves; they not only keep your neck warm, but they transform any plain shirt, dress or sweater instantly, and they’re perfect to use as a blanket in the movie theater or in your cold office. Wrap it around your body or your legs when you’re sitting at your desk, and then move it back up around your neck when you need to get up to refill your coffee.

 

Sprucing up the office

We spend at least 40 hours a week at work, and if you’ve got a job like me, you’re working inside an office. I’m also in accounting, so the dooming busy season is about to come my way – much more than 50-60 hours a week in the office. In an attempt to brighten up our work day, and to find some happiness after the Falcons loss and a rough Monday, my team and I decided to get a plant for our room. I grabbed one of my bigger mason jars and painted it white and gold, and Fran the Fern was born. We know, we know, this isn’t a fern. But Fran really helps to add some happiness in our room. ❤

img_2546

 

DIY – Mason Jar Vase

Items Needed:
32 oz. mason jar
white spray paint
gold paint
paint tape

Instructions:

Spray paint the mason jar with two coats and let dry completely, preferably overnight to ensure the paint tape doesn’t peel off the white paint. Once dry, layer on the paint tape about 1 inch above the bottom of the jar. Paint (either using gold spray paint or gold acrylic paint with a brush) two layers of gold on the bottom of the jar below the paint tape. Let dry completely. Carefully peel off the tape and decorate the room!