Picks from Zara Home

Back when I was studying abroad in Spain, I remember walking into a Zara Home store and feeling like a kid in a candy store. There were so many lovely decor items everywhere I turned. I was sad to find out though that there were no Zara Home locations in the US, and while that’s still the case, as of this month the line is now available online. I browsed the selection this morning, and found several great trays, boxes, bins and baskets for beautifully organizing the home:

1-phoebe wardrobe box, 2-beny tray, 3-nadia baskets, 4-rato tray, 5-frank tray, 6-lilli box, 7-ludwig baskets, 8-jens basket, 9-zafit tray, 10-jack box, 11-lisbeth basket

Posted in accessories organization, bathroom organization, bedroom organization, closet organization, entryway organization, jewelry organization, laundry area organization, laundry spaces, linen closet organization, living room organization, organizing products, organizing with baskets, vanity organization | 4 Comments

Dinner Planning

When we were newlyweds, my husband and I struggled on a constant basis with not knowing what to make for dinner each night. He’d come home from school, I’d come home from work, both mentally tired, and one of us would ask “what should we make?”, to which the other would reply, “I don’t know….ummm….” Finally someone would think of something, and then we’d check to see if we had the ingredients for it and though sometimes we’d luck out, more often than not we’d be missing at least one or two things. We’d then either, scramble up something with what we did have, make a run to the grocery store, or give up and order take out.

Over time we started to get the hang of things. After trying out a few different ways to organize the process we’ve settled upon this current system (outlined below), which has eliminated excess trips to the grocery store, helped us cut down on food spending, and overall has worked really well for us:

  • We sit down together one day during the week (usually Saturday or Sunday morning after breakfast) and decide on what we’d like to eat each night. If we’re having a hard time coming up with ideas, we turn to food websites, blogs, our cookbooks, and/or Pinterest.
  • Using the (free!) Real Simple Dinner Planner (which to take make things convenient, we keep copies of in a transparent pocket adhered to the inside of our pantry door), we write the dishes in the Menu column (furthest left). When deciding on what dinner to slot on what day of the week, we keep in mind which ones rely on more perishable groceries and/or ingredients we already have on hand that need to be used soon.
dry erase board from three by three seattle,  printable dinner planner from real simple
  • Again using the planner, we write down the ingredients we need to buy for each meal in the appropriate columns to the right (Produce, Dairy & Refrigerated, etc).  I love the way the planner is organized because the columns correspond to the aisles of most grocery stores, making it easy to shop down each column.
  • So we don’t forget what we decided upon for what day, we write the dishes on a dry erase board we have in the kitchen, which serves as a menu. We use the Magnetic Glass Dry Erase Weekly Planner from Three By Three Seattle.  We love it because it’s conveniently labeled with the days of the week, it has a handy little shelf for a marker, and it’s magnetic, so we can post up printouts of any recipes we’ll be using.

Hope sharing this was helpful to anyone out there who may also struggle with dinner planning!

Posted in kitchen organization, lists, planners & calendars | 3 Comments

Washi Tape Calendar

Do like Jensie Jean of Take Two They’re Small and use washi tape in different colors and patterns to beautifully mark multi-day events and projects in your planner. A nice alternative to using highlighters, doing this lets you see at a glance what you have coming up and when you’ll be busiest. Great idea, wouldn’t you agree?

BTW, Russell + Hazel binders, like the ones you see above, are currently on sale on One Kings Lane through Saturday! They’re beautiful and can be customized with their SmartDate system.

image credits: 1-russell + hazel, 2-pretty tape, 3- take 2 they’re small
Posted in home office organization, organizing products, planners & calendars, time management | 8 Comments

Beautifully Organized Magazines Part II

In the last ‘Beautifully Organized’ post I talked about organizing the latest magazine issues – the ones that are current reading material. Today I want to go over a few tips on organizing old magazine issues that you’ve held onto for future reference.  You may have heard the organizing rule that you should only keep the most current issue of any given magazine and toss the rest.  While that may be a good idea for many, I don’t believe it’s necessarily a rule all should follow.  If you’re anything like me, you love your shelter and fashion glossies and like to go through old issues from time to time for a jolt of visual inspiration for a blog post, design project, etc. Oftentimes an issue from a few years ago is just as inspiring as a current one and the tactile experience of flipping through the pages is a nice break from all the digital.

Since new issues arrive to us every month from various subscriptions though, the challenge is not letting the collection get out of control.  Most of don’t have space to store every single issue of every single publication.  What I like to do is, when I get a new magazine in, as I’m reading through it, I fold down the corner of pages that have inspiring content.  If I only dog-ear two or three pages, I rip those out, save them in a magazine clippings binder (more on that later!) and recycle the remainder of the magazine.   If I find that I’ve dog-eared tons of pages though, I keep the magazine.

Here’s a few ideas on how to store the keepers:

Separate them out by type…

Place stacks of them on open shelving in the living room, bedroom, or office.  If done neatly, they can be integrated nicely into the decor of a space.

Alternatively, containerize them in magazine files a la Carrie Bradshaw…

Ikea and the Container Store are my go-to places to get magazine files.  You can either turn them around so the fully covered side is facing towards the front, and label them for a clean, streamlined look…

Or you can turn them the opposite way so that the upper half of the magazines show…It’s a good idea to turn the files this side when you don’t have labels on them. Bonus: Looks particularly nice when the spines are colorful!

Tell me, do you collect magazines? How do you organize and store them?

Hope this inspired some ideas for your own home!

image credits: 1- 7th house on the left 2- mimi + meg, 3- photography by danielle moss styling by alexandra berlin design, 4- scan from your home is a sanctuary via this is glamorous, 5- martha stewart, 6- canadian house and home, 7- hbo’s sex and the city, 8- via lonny mag, 9- via for the love of pretty, 10- deliciously organized, 11- i heart organizing, 12- arianna belle, 13- found via this pin
Posted in bedroom organization, home office organization, living room organization, magazine organization | 5 Comments

How Stephanie Organizes Her Handbags

Today we have blogger Stephanie Fisher of Glitter and Goat Cheese participating in the How I Organize series. She gives us a look at how she organizes her fabulous handbags:

I have to admit – I’ve always been the walk-in-and-throw-everything-on-the-floor type. My poor purses used to find themselves discarded on the floor on a daily basis. But when I became the proud owner of a chew-happy puppy with a penchant for raiding my bags, I knew it was time to find a better solution.

We rent a home without many built-in hanging solutions, so we utilize these over-the-door racks in several rooms. This particular one used to hold towels in our guest bathroom, but now it hangs in my office and is the home for my most-used handbags. (As you can probably tell – I have a bit of thing for black, gold and sequins.) The office is close to the front door, so it’s a quick, convenient spot to unload my purse before I head in to greet my puppy. Plus, I love that my favorite bags are on display instead of hidden in a closet!

Posted in closet organization, handbag organization, how i organize series | 3 Comments

More Living Room Progress

Just recently came back from a much needed 4-day mini getaway. For my husband, going camping every year is an absolute must, so we headed out to Lake Cachuma and took day trips to Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley wine country (see a few snapshots of the trip here).  These past few months have been a bit crazy so it was nice to slow things down for a few days and relax.

Back at home, and feeling refreshed, I’m motivated to make some more progress on decorating our little rental apartment.  You may remember the last post on my living room it was looking pretty sparse (see the move-in post here).  Since then, the main things we’ve added are the rug and mirror. Here’s what it looks like currently:

The mirror was a bargain find from the Home Depot. The rug, also a budget find, is from Overstock.com (bought it using a discount code).

On the list of things to do next:

  • make pillows – on the sofa will be two pillows in aga reverse black with black piping, and two black solid with off-white grosgrain ribbon; on the chair will be one lumbar in zig zag french blue with black piping
  • paint the side table – I’m thinking possibly this sapphire blue
  • make the abstract art I talked about in this post
  • bring in a piece of furniture that will store and hide the TV wires, DVDs, xbox, and games

In an upcoming post I’ll share with you all, the progress we’ve made on the bedroom, so stay tuned for that!

p.s. For any of you who may be interested in getting pillows made out of the same fabrics mentioned, email shop@ariannabelle.com for a quote.

Posted in my home, our apartment | 11 Comments

Double Duty Piece

Pieces that do double duty are so great for small spaces. This piece below, a bookcase turned on its side with a cushion on top, doubles both as a place to store favorite books as well as extra seating.  So clever!

image credit: sous style by pippa
Posted in living room organization, small spaces, storage solutions | 4 Comments

Muji Acrylic Storage

I love finding pieces that can be mixed and matched to accommodate various space and storage needs. My most recent finds are these Muji acrylic drawers and stands. The configuration below shows the 2 Drawer Acrylic Case with the Large Acrylic Stand on top of it, used for organizing makeup brushes, tools, and cosmetics.

For additional storage compartments I could swap out the 2 Drawer Case for the 3 or 5 Drawer Case…or maybe add the Small Acrylic Stand… or this case placed horizontally on top of the drawers… So many possible combos! 

image credit: top photograph by Emily Weiss
Posted in makeup organization, organizing products, stylish storage, vanity organization | 4 Comments

Wicker Chairs

There’s something about wicker that just adds a lovely casual warmth to a space. Love it used in chairs for dining spaces both outdoors and in:

I’m thinking of getting some wicker chairs for our patio. Do you have any wicker in your home?

More wicker: baskets

image sources: 1-found via sacramento street, 2-via pinterest, 3-via pinterest, 4- via houzz, 5-architectural digest, 6-via cote de texas, 7-photography by francois halard for house & garden, june 2004
Posted in dining rooms, outdoor living | 9 Comments

Arianna Belle Pillows in Matchbook!

So excited to see our leopard pillows in the August issue of Matchbook Magazine, out today! Editorial Director Katie Armour used them in the decor of her California apartment, which is featured starting on page 66. Click on over to check it out!

photo credit: cooper carras
Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments