The Big Switch {Pure & Simple Organizing Website is Live}

Well today is the day!  The day I have been waiting for!

The announcement of all announcements!

The Pure & Simple Organizing Website is now live!

Now, you might be scratching your head wondering, “Well what was this?”

Great question and I’m glad you asked.

This was a placeholder.  Something I started way back when; when I knew I need an online presence.  It grew out of nothing.  I love WordPress, and I love this blog!  It is bittersweet to leave the simplicity behind.

As my brand and business has grown, so has the need for something more sophisticated and more helpful.  Many people land on this blog looking for a professional organizer to help them get organized.  What they find are my daily posts about life.

Now they will find a beautifully designed website that helps them determine whether I’m the right organizer for them.

The blog hasn’t gone away — oh no, don’t you worry!  It is still there, it’s not the star of the show anymore. ;)

This will be the last post on this WordPress blog.  So long beautiful.

You can catch me at www.pureandsimpleorganizing.com from here on out! :)

Until next time…

love-Jennifer

{Guest Post} The Year of Organization Part 3

Hope you all had a great weekend!  I cooked and cooked and cooked.  :)

Let’s just say .. I made an amazing Cinco De Mayo dinner that was out of this world!  Complete with Mango Margaritas and fiesta dance music! :)

Back to the topic .. Sally’s guest post part 3.

You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.  Today she is talking about her biggest project from her Year of Organization — the Arts & Crafts Closet.  Read below! :)

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The last and biggest project that I did during my Year of Organization was our Arts and Crafts closet. This project was the catalyst for all of my other organizing projects and my main reason for contacting Jennifer in the first place.

It took the most time and thought process to make the most of the space.  This closet was initially used to store our miscellaneous kitchen appliances that didn’t fit into our kitchen cabinets.  I was finding that the older the kids got, the more art supplies I acquired, and it really got bad when I found Pinterest!

I was keeping our supplies in the buffet in our dining room, but it was not working well.  So I decided to trade places, and moved the kitchen appliances to the buffet and the arts and crafts supplies to the closet.  {BRILLIANT!}

I don’t have a picture of the closet with the kitchen appliances, but I do have a picture with all of the arts and crafts supplies jammed in before the organization began.

Closet Before

Closet Before

ONE BIG MESS!!  I knew that we needed to find some type of shelving system for the best organization.  So after recruiting my husband (who did all of the hard labor,) we took out the hanging rod and installed some wire shelving.  I laid all of the supplies out and categorized them on direction from Jennifer and this is what we came up with….

Closet After

Closet After

Closet After

Closet After

Arts & Crafts Closet Closeup {It is BEAUTIFUL!}

Most of the storage is from Staples (The Really Useful Box) and I also upcycled some containers (coffee, sour cream, etc) to hold markers, crayons, scissors, etc. for easy access.  We still have a lot of art supplies, but because of the organization we use it much more often because it is easy to get to.  I love that we can also store our board games at the top of the closet so we don’t have to worry about losing pieces.

Does my closet always look perfect and organized? No way! Sometimes little hands find their way in and pick and choose what they want, and sometimes we are in a rush to clean up before mealtimes, but overall it has been a great improvement over where we stored the supplies before.

I believe that organization has been a work in progress for me, some days I do well at sticking with what we have in place, and some days I find piles everywhere for items that need to find a home.  It takes time to maintain organization and it needs to be a priority to work well.

I think it is important to strike a balance for where you are in your life when it comes to organizing. Would I have loved to have decorative fancy boxes and gorgeous paper lined shelves, of course, but not at the point I am in my life with my family’s needs.

This is more of a functional organization rather than aesthetic and I am happy with that.  {What is it I say: function then fancy} ;) Once my children are grown and in homes of their own, then I will have the time (and patience) to work on making it more aesthetic.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing a few of my organizational projects and my hope is that they inspire you to find the right balance for you and your family’s organizational needs.

Sally Sosler Jamie Ball Photography

Sally Sosler
Jamie Ball Photography

Sally Sosler is a photographer located in Orange County, New York. You can follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SallySoslerPhotography or at her websitewww.sallysoslerphotography.com.

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I couldn’t agree with Sally more on several points!

  • It won’t always be picture perfect because organizing takes time every day.
  • Having a system in place makes it easier to keep up.
  • It doesn’t have to be gorgeous and fancy.  If you want to take that extra step, then by all means!
  • So long as the items have a home and you know where to find them and store them, then the system works!

Thank you Sally for sharing those projects with us!  What do you think of the transformation?

Clearly, I love it! ;)

Until next time…

love-Jennifer

Foodie Friday {Caribbean Chicken Tacos}

I love tacos, but we tend to eat the traditional Mexican versions.

I ran across a recipe a few weeks ago that peaked my interest.  I decided to change it up a little and came up with the following.  Pretty darn good if I say so myself. :)

Very light and flavorful.  Perfect for a summertime dinner.

Caribbean Chicken Tacos Marinade | Pure & Simple

Start with a simple marinade.  My opinion?  The longer it marinates the better!

Caribbean Chicken Tacos | Pure & Simple

Use the juice from fancy chunks pineapple in the marinade.  Use the pineapples in the chicken mixture.

Caribbean Chicken Tacos Salsa Verde | Pure & Simple

Use salsa verde in the marinade and as a garnish on the tacos.  We tried the Trader Joes Salsa Verde ($1.99) version and liked it a lot!

Caribbean Chicken Tacos Grilled | Pure & Simple

Grill the chicken, onions, and pineapple to make the taco mixture!  Having a grill would make this a lot easier.  I had to make two batches on the cast iron grill skillet.

Caribbean Chicken Tacos Recipe | Pure & Simple

CARIBBEAN CHICKEN TACOS

  • 1 lb chicken breasts or tenders (thawed)
  • 1 TSP Cholula (Chili Garlic)
  • 1 TSP oil
  • 1 Lime, Juiced
  • 1/2 TSP cumin
  • 1/2 TSP chili powder
  • 1 TBSP salsa verde
  • 1 TSP adobo sauce
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
    • Small container of fancy cut pineapples will work (juice only)
  • S&P
  1. Place all ingredients in resealable Ziploc bag.
  2. Marinate for 2-3 hours or while at work.

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  • Fancy cut pineapple chunks in juice (small container)
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  1. Heat grill or cast iron skillet.
  2. Grill chicken 3 minutes on each side or until done.
  3. Brush onion and pineapple with oil.
  4. Grill 3-5 minutes on each side.
  5. Remove from heat.  Coarsely chop chicken, pineapple, and onion together.

Serve with warmed corn tortillas, chopped cilantro, salsa verde, limes, and chopped lettuce.

We tried flour tortillas and I think corn would have been better suited, and I’m not a big fan of corn tortillas usually.  This flavor combo needs something other than flour.

NOTE: I added mushrooms to our dish.  It isn’t necessary, we just had it available. :)

What have you made recently?

Until next time…

love-Jennifer

May Resolution {Learn To Meditate}…

Today is the second day of May!  Oh I am all off my rocker.

Raymond made me invited me to the Wells Fargo Championship Tuesday and Wednesday.  I love hanging out with him and I love golf courses.  Two days of it and I am officially done.  I’m exhausted.  My legs hurt.  I have zero energy to tackle anything.

Not good when you are a business owner.  Not good.  I have stuff to do and no energy to do it with. :)

May (almost summer) is the month I vow to learn to meditate.  It is the second day of the month and I have yet to tackle any goals.  I even had a milkshake today.  Not exactly in line with January’s continuing goals. ;)

May Resolutions

  • Take better care of my body
    • It is time to wear sleeveless tops and bathing suits.  Working out and eating clean are important always, but even more so in the warmer months.
  • Get up earlier
    • Moving the wake up time back to 6:45am.
    • I struggled with the consistency of waking up at 7am for the month of April.
    • I think getting in the bed at or before 10:30pm will be vital!
  • Read one new book a month
    • Start new book after I finish my 3 typed and printed book reviews.
    • Made To Stick
    • May book to read: Made To Stick
    • Finish book review for Getting Things Done
    • Type book review for The Circle Maker
  • Make time a priority

A quick Google search led me to this amazing article about why and how to meditate.

How To Meditate Daily

Game plan

  • Start with 2 minutes
  • Meditate in the mornings
    • After reading, devotions, and coffee
    • Before typing my book review chapter and emailing
    • If mornings don’t work (Raymond sometimes gets up earlier than I am expecting), then after dinner and before bed.
  • Sit on a floor pillow.
  • Where to meditate
    • Patio seems like an interesting spot
    • Maybe the dining room/lounge if the patio doesn’t work.
  • Eyes closed or open?
    • I’m going to start with open and looking at the ground with a soft focus.
    • If that seems tough, then I’ll try closed.

Do you meditate?  Any words of advice/wisdom?

Until next time…

love-Jennifer

Guest Blogging for The Charlotte Moms…

I’m guest blogging this week over at The Charlotte Moms talking about ways to maximize storage within your home by utilizing furniture.

The Charlotte Moms

It is a 2 part series; please feel free to drop by and check it out! :)

Using Storage To Maximize Furniture | Pure & Simple

Organizing with Furniture & Baskets | Pure & Simple

Part 1:  Using Furniture to Maximize Storage In A Room

Part 2: Using Furniture to Maximize Storage In A Room

Until next time…

love-Jennifer

Monthly Goals {April Check In}…

There must be something about spring that has me all off.  This was by far the hardest month in keeping with my monthly goals.

April Resolutions

  • January Goals (eat better, drink more water, and exercise on the reg)
    • I craved soda more days than usual during the month of April.  I gave in a few times. :/
    • Eating … relatively consistent.
    • Worked out 11 days.  Better than my previous months.  Maybe that is to balance my increased soda content. ;)
  • February Goals (get up earlier)
    • My average wake up hour was anywhere between 7am and 7:20am.  Not sure why that is considering the sunrise is well before that now.
    • I definitely slept in on the occasional day more so than before.
  • March Goals (read one new book a month)
    • I finished my new book for the month in under 15 days.
    • In keeping with my goal, I didn’t move on to another book.  One.Per.Month.
    • Completed the book review for Rhinoceros Success.  On Chapter 7 of Getting Things Done book review.

April Goals (make time a priority).

Rough month with minimal progress to show for the goal.  True to form, I found my calendar over ran with appointments and commitments that (to be honest) I didn’t really want to participate in.

We all have a life to live that we signed up for.  Commitments that we simply cannot change.  Take for instance my networking group.  I have two monthly commitments (minimum) that I cannot change.  I must work around those.  Other requests must be filtered through my priority funnel before answering.

A few weeks ago I had a long conversation with Dwell by Cheryl about time, appointments, requests, and the like.  She offered some great insight.  I recently read Laura Vanderkam’s new ebook; she also had a great point of view.

We are in charge of our time and no one else.  People will ask for lunches, coffees, meetings, ideas, etc.  Only you can determine if that fits your priority list.

We must be stewards of our own time.  I’m getting much better about this.  But it is very slow progress.  Remember Jennifer, Must.Not.Die a slow death from a thousand opportunities.  Just because someone asked, doesn’t mean you have to say yes.

If I say no to your request, then please don’t take it personally.  I’m just learning to manage my time as it slips away so quickly.  Hello, April 30th!

Until next time…

love-Jennifer

Guest Blogging for Habitat Restores…

Recently I was asked to participate as a guest blogger for the Metrolina Habitat ReStores.

Pure & Simple Organizing | Metrolina Habitat ReStore

I’m in great company with 3 other bloggers!

This week I’m showcasing a very easy and affordable DIY project.  TV Armoire turned to Children Dress Up Closet.  :)

Feel free to drop by their website and check out the posts.

In other news, I was also asked to appear on Charlotte Today (again ;) ) on behalf of the Habitat ReStores.  I gave some ideas on how to creatively use items found at the ReStore for organizing projects.

Be sure to watch the video! :)

Until next time…

love-Jennifer