Six Household Organizational Tricks| Inspiration on Monday

Posted 29 June, 2015 by Trish in Life / 24 Comments


Six Household Organizational Tricks

Hi! Welcome to a special edition of Inspiration on Monday–the week in which I give myself more work than I probably should. Ha! Since there are five Mondays in June, I thought for this 5th week we could have a themed event–Organization! If you missed the memo and have another type of post planned, no worries–link it up! Next Monday will be a “regular” link-up as well.

If you have a favorite way to stay organized (this can be around the house, through planners, at work, time management…anything!!), please feel free to share today/this week.

Six Household Organizational Tricks

I do not consider myself an organized person. In theory…yes…but in reality, it’s too hard to keep everything under control with two little tornadoes running around the house destroying everything faster than I can clean up. While I’m really trying hard to purge the extra stuff in our house, I have found a few little tricks that keep me so much saner.

Cabinet Shelf Risers

Cabinet Organization

We have very high shelves in our cabinets and don’t have the ability to raise and lower the shelves as needed. If I had a before picture of these kiddo cups, plates, and bowls (mostly from IKEA), it would be a giant heap of colored plastic. I got these risers at Walmart and use them in a few different places to keep our shelves looking presentable (and to keep items from falling on my head!)


Expandable Shelf Organizer

Canned Goods Organization

Before I got this tiered shelf system (from The Container Store), I was constantly having to shift around cans to find what I need. Now because the cans sit on different levels, I can find anything with a quick glance.  This is my absolute favorite pantry organizational tool.


Tupperware Wrangler

Keeping Tupperware Wrangled


Raise your hand if your tupperware is absolutely out of control. Been there, done that. Finally, I got this Rubbermaid Bento Storage Box that has dividers that pop in and out depending on what you’re storing. The fit isn’t perfect–the lids for the smaller containers are a bit squished in there, but my tupperware has been organized like this for years and I’ve never reverted to the mess in the cupboard (see cup picture below). I have deep cabinets, so I store this in a bottom cabinet and pull it out when I need to use it.


Pantry Door Spice Rack

Spice Rack Organization


While I do have a fairly decent sized pantry, I have a lot of spices. It was revolutionary when I got this Pantry Door Spice Rack from The Container Store. There are six baskets, and the two bottom ones are large enough for me to store my oils and larger containers. Now, if only I could keep my spices alphabetized. Bahahaha!


Bathroom Drawer Dividers

Bathroom drawer dividers

These clear, plastic dividers allow me to keep my small bathroom items a little bit more organized. While they’re not the most attractive, the clean-up is a breeze. I got them at Bed, Bath, and Beyond (a large package with different sizes), but I can’t find the product link anymore. I feel I should do something similar to this in my kitchen drawers, but my bigger problem is too many kitchen utensils!


Bookshelf Risers for Double Stacking

Double Stacked Bookshelves


And my favorite household organizational hack–the double stack risers. You can read more about the bookshelf risers on an earlier post–Scott has built six of these babies for me and I love the way they make my shelves look.

And lest you think my entire house is in order…this cup cabinet haunts me. The other side of the cabinet is just as bad. One day…one day.

My organization isn't always perfect

So tell me, how do you keep things organized at your house? Any items you love for keeping things neat? I’m ALL ears!


Inspiration on Monday

Welcome to the June 29th edition of Inspiration on Monday! Inspiration on Monday is a forum to share things that we’ve created and things that we are doing to help inspire others. Posts about projects in progress, finished projects, tutorials, and how-tos are all welcome. Feel free to share recipes, crafts, lifestyle, organizing, and DIY tips, and any other idea that can spark inspiration.

Inspiration on Monday

Link-Up Rules:

1. Link up your post(s) below. This can be a recent post or an old post, but please do not re-submit a post you’ve already submitted for Inspiration on Monday.
2. Please link back to Inspiration on Monday or my blog somewhere in the post you are submitting
3. If applicable, please share the source that inspired you in your post. Credit where credit is due.
4. Try to comment on at least one other participant’s post. Encouragement can be so inspiring!

The next Inspiration on Monday will be July 6th. What inspiration has struck you lately?



Sunday Bookish Funday

Posted 28 June, 2015 by Trish in Reading Nook / 24 Comments

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Sunday Bookish Funday

Welcome to Sunday Bookish Funday! I love Sunday Salon…it’s my favorite post to write of the week (when I have a topic!), but I’ve found that many bloggers don’t feel that it’s inclusive. While that’s not true, the only place to link up posts these days is via Facebook. Lots of my blogging friends have given up on the Sunday Salon banner and I found myself wanting to do something fresh.

So Sunday Bookish Funday! Which is basically the same thing as I’ve been doing for years…just a different button. The end.

What’s new in my bookish world? Well, biggest news is that I’m working fastidiously on purging my shelves. I’m up to 125 books and am still pulling them off. In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (are you thinking “shut up about that book already!”?), Kondo says the only way to effectively let go of things is to hold it in your hand and ask if the item brings you joy. I have not done this yet, though I’m guessing I’ll need to for the last round.

Big Book Purge

How did I start? I pulled off all the books that I got at library sales years ago and still haven’t read. Many of these books I know nothing about. Some of them I’m just not interested in anymore. I pulled off a lot of my worn classics (unread, from sales) as I can get them as ebooks for either free or cheap. The first 30 books off the shelf was the most difficult.

After this initial pass, I went back again and looked with a more critical eye. I’ll never look at those college texts again. Off the shelf they came. ARCs that I’ve had for years. I finally went to the beloved “Read” bookshelf and pulled off anything that I’ve been saving because I might like it better the second time. I’m still having a tough time letting go of some classics, and this shelf is my toughest to part with, but I’m making progress.

In fact, on Father’s Day, my dad came to dinner at my house and saw the holes in my shelf. He told me he had some books I could have to fill my shelves up. I was thrilled he noticed…but then I directed his attention to the four boxes full of books on the floor.

125 books. Can I make it to 150?

I bet so!



Books Recently Finished: I just finished my first ever reading of Are You There, God? It’s me, Margaret by Judy Blume. Rather than feeling that I missed my moment in reading this one in my thirties, instead it mad me think ahead to another 10 years when my girls will be going through their coming of age. It was interesting reading through that lens as I’m not sure I’ve experienced that yet in motherhood and reading? I also finished Tibetan Peach Pie by Tom Robbins (a memoir). Raise your hand if you’ve read anything by Tom Robbins.

New Books in the House: Pshaw! Though my new Kindle Paperwhite should be here on Tuesday!! I got a Fire but returned it when I realized it would be a pain in the rear to read Nook/Scribd books using it. I also realized that Elle has a little Samsung tablet that she rarely uses, so I can use that for app reading while the Paperwhite will be perfect for every other time.

New Books on my E-Reader: Lisa sent me In the Midnight Rain, which is her all-time favorite romance–this is a genre she knows I usually steer clear of, so I’m looking forward to reading her favorite. Do you have a favorite romance? According to Lisa, a Romance novel is one where the main characters must end up happily together ever in the end. This basically excludes every book I love where one of the character dies. Ha!

Books on the Nightstand: I’m currently reading A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. I’m liking it, even if I haven’t quite gotten to where all the pieces fit together nicely. I started listening to Drums in Autumn, Outlander #4 and will pick up the book once I finish A Visit from the Goon Squad.

So, what’s going on in your bookish world these days?

Oh oh oh–and don’t forget about Inspiration on Monday tomorrow!! Since it’s the 5th Monday, I offered up a theme of Organizational hacks/tips. Hope you’ll join if you have something to share!



A Summer Wanderlust Wishlist

Posted 25 June, 2015 by Trish in Road Trip, Travel / 18 Comments


Summer Wanderlust

Summer!!! Vacation! Trips! Roadtrips!

You guys–I have the worst case of wanderlust. We are heading on our big trip of the summer at the end of July and it feels like it might as well be in 2016 for how far away it feels. We will be camping in Durango, Colorado (this will be our third year as we love it so much!) and then heading to Bear Lake on the Utah/Idaho border for a family reunion. We’ve talked about maybe heading up to Pennsylvania again this summer, but I don’t know if it will happen. Last year we traveled quite a bit and I’m dying to add more to our agenda.

One of my favorite things about travel is just imagining the places that we could go. I love coming up with itineraries and seeking out the fun local things to do while we’re there. I’m guessing it’ll come to no surprise that many of the items on my list are national parks or outdoorsy type places. While I personally would love to lie on the beach, a beach isn’t a very relaxing vacation with kids and I was blessed with one of those husbands who doesn’t really know how to just sit and relax.

Where would we go? Oh, I’m so glad you asked. Here are 10 of my stateside dream trips.

Fall Creek Falls State Park

Fall Creek Falls, TNFlickr Creative Commons

I’m pushing heavily for a trip to Tennessee this fall–I’ve only quickly driven through the state and mostly at nighttime, but I’ve heard it’s absolutely gorgeous and I have a feeling that the girls would love Chattanooga. May as well add a State Park to the list. Have you explored Tennessee? I’ve got an open ear for recommendations!!


Lake of the Woods, Minnesota

Minnesota LakesFlickr Creative Commons

Minnesota is one of the few states that I have never visited at all. I’ve heard the flies and mosquitoes are vicious, but I would love to canoe or kayak on one of the many thousands of lakes way up north. And you know, if we just happen to venture into Canadian waters, that’s alright with me, eh.


Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon - UtahFlickr Creative Commons

I’m still bummed that we didn’t get a chance to make it to Bryce Canyon last summer on our roadtrip extravaganza, but in a way I’m glad we didn’t go as our trip would have been too rushed. I think our family could spend weeks exploring all that Utah has to offer!


Hwy 101, Oregon

Hwy 101 - OregonFlickr Creative Commons

In a dream world, Highway 101 is a trip I would love to take without kiddos so that I can ride on the back of a motorcycle. Obviously this won’t happen this summer…or possibly the next 15, but one day I’ll cross this trip off the bucket list!


Zion National Park, Utah

Zion NP - UtahFlickr Creative Commons

Again with the Utah parks, but look! And this is just across the riverbend (by a few hundred miles) from Bryce, which is just down the proverbial road from Moab. Utah truly is amazing. And if you need further convincing that these parks need to be on your list, check out Jillian’s posts (from Random Bookish Ramblings) of her recent trips to Zion and Bryce Canyon.


Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite NP - CaliforniaFlickr Creative Commons

Scott and I drove through Yosemite once. It was pitch dark outside. True story. We were driving from Tahoe down to Las Vegas and messed up our timing. One day I’d love to take the girls and explore this natural wonderland!


Smoky Mountains National Park

Smokey Mountains, TennesseeFlickr Creative Commons

Perhaps a bit gentler than the Western mountain ranges, but still beautiful. I also really want to drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway through North Carolina and Virginia (preferably on the back of the bike, but I won’t be picky for this one). And while I’m at it, may as well hike a few miles or more on the Appalachian Trail…another bucket list item.


Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Havasu Falls - ArizonaFlickr Creative Commons

Every couple of years my uncle hikes to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and stays a few nights in Havasupai. I’ve heard this experience is amazing (yes, it’s on the bucket list), but the last time that they went I was due to have Evie the same weekend. One of these days!


Outer Banks, North Carolina

Outer Banks - North CarolinaFlickr Creative Commons

Oh I had to have something beachy on the list! Really you could substitute anything on the Atlantic coast for this one–where are the good beaches? LOL! I’ve heard the Outer Banks are fantastic and we all need some sand in our toes now and then, right?


Somewhere on the coast of Maine

Portland Maine Bug Light LighthouseFlickr Creative Commons

As youngsters living in Toronto, our parents used to take us to Maine to vacation in the summer. My dad tells me that the water was freezing cold but that didn’t stop us from getting in and swimming to our hearts’ content. I’ve only been to Maine once since those summer vacations–and it was in the chilly fall–but I look forward to going back again. Summer at a cottage seems like the epitome of Summer Vacation.


For Lisa’s sake, I’ll add in Strugis, South Dakota to the list because we love riding in the Black Hills, but as I’m pregnant I won’t be getting on a bike anytime this year. Plus she said the little town’s population will swell to over 1 million this year for the 70th anniversary. But if you’re looking for somewhere to put on your travel bucket list, Black Hills is a must! And since it’s “close” I’d throw in Yellowstone, too.

What is on your Summer Wanderlust Wishlist? I’d love to hear where you dream of going.



Misery by Stephen King

Posted 23 June, 2015 by Trish in Reading Nook, Review / 23 Comments

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Misery Cover ReadalongTitle: Misery
Author: Stephen King
Narrator: Lindsay Crouse
Published: 1987 | Pages: 352
Audio Duration: 12 hr, 11 min
Genre: Fiction
Rating: Holy Freakin’ Psycho Woman!

On Amazon | On Indiebound | On Goodreads | On Audible

In Short: Bestselling author Paul Sheldon is saved by his number one fan after crashing his car in a snow storm. Sweet Annie Wilkes helps nurse Sheldon back to health while he writes the next installment to her favorite book series. Bahahahahaha.

Why I Read Misery: For Care’s Misery Readalong! I can’t pass up a good King readalong. If you want to join us in some King-sized fun, we’ll be reading Salem’s Lot this fall (I think October).

Thoughts in General: Even though I never saw the movie in full, it’s hard to ignore Kathy Bates as Annie Wilkes when reading Misery. This one is written in third person so we don’t get to see Annie’s inner thoughts (which I so wish we could read this account from her perspective!), but Stephen King does a fantastic job of capturing her cookadoodie insanity–Annie really is everything that is frightening about Misery. Paul Sheldon is a dud in comparison and one of my least favorite of King’s protagonists.

Misery had a slow start for me and there were bits that I tuned out–I’m never a big fan of a story within a story (in this case, the book Sheldon is writing for Annie), but once the book picked up…I’d say right around the mark that we all think we know based on the very famous scene in the movie…there was no slow down until the very end. And while I think King sometimes struggles with his endings (I mentioned this a bit in my Pet Sematary post), I think Misery is my favorite ending of all. In fact, it might have propelled my ranking in my overall King hierarchy if the whole book had been more like this (vague, I know).

Less vague: One thing that King does well is to perfectly portray fear so that it is draped like a cloak over it’s readers (or at least this one). You know that feeling when you enter an empty and dark room and your mind tricks you into seeing something that isn’t there? The way that your body reacts–pin prickles on your neck or a cold sweat? King describes this feeling so well that I sometimes feel paralyzed when reading these accounts in the book. While I’m a chicken and don’t necessarily like being scared, there’s also something so delicious in these moments of reading. For me this is how IT was–those opening moments of the book when the little boy is walking down the stairs to the basement–classic fear! This type of moment popped up in the end of the book and I would have loved to have had more of this throughout the whole of the book.

There’s another brilliant moment in the book when Paul Sheldon is considering the mania that certain readers feel about the characters in the books they read–they mourn when they pass away as though they are real. This made me think of the books I’ve read where I laid in bed and sobbed after closing the last pages–grief stricken over what happened to my characters. I loved the way that King described this feeling and it made me feel just a little bit less alone in my bookish nuttiness…not that I’m quite the Number One Fan that Ms. Annie Wilkes is!

Bottom Line: A fun and frightening ride! If you’re looking for an introduction to King, this is a great place to start–there isn’t any horror, though there is some horrific stuff that happens in the book–it’s more of a thriller than one that will keep you up at night. Misery will keep you on your toes and it’s short enough to devour quickly. So glad to have read this one!

Notes on the Audio: I mostly listened to the audiobook so that I could devour Misery more quickly. I listened on 1.5x speed and Crouse did a fine job of narrating, but there were weird musical interludes instead of chapter breaks and I found it difficult to pop back and forth between audio and book because of this. I can’t understand why the actual chapter numbers weren’t announced in the audio production!

And a video that was shared on the twitter #MiseryRAL thread. After getting to know Annie, I was brought to tears by this video. If you’re not familiar, it might not have the same effect…Scott just looked at me like I was crazy. But see it out…the ending is the best (you could fast forward the first 30 seconds or so).

Thank you Care for a great readalong! Loved the songs you shared with us on Twitter and the poem you wrote for us on the blog.

Have you read Misery or seen the movie? You up for Salem’s Lot this fall??




On Announcing a Pregnancy: When to Ask if Someone’s Pregnant

On Announcing a Pregnancy: When to Ask if Someone’s Pregnant

  I’ve taken four positive pregnancy tests in my lifetime. One of those times I was over the moon excited. And nervous. And filled with so many emotions. I spilled the news excitedly to our families and started gathering up all of the pregnancy books I could find. I filled out my pregnancy journal with all of the days of my pregnancy leading up to my August 17th due date. For one of those positive […]

Posted 18 June, 2015 by Trish in Life, Mommyhood / 28 Comments

Top Ten Books for Summer

Top Ten Books for Summer

I feel like I’ve come full circle! I just looked back at my Top Ten Books for Summer of 2014 and am quite proud of myself for having completed this list two years in a row. Um, nevermind that I only finished 4 books from the list last summer (and one of them was completed in the fall…or something). I’m one of those weirdos who expects reading to slow down during the summer. Life gets […]

Posted 16 June, 2015 by Trish in Reading Nook / 32 Comments

Cooking Perfect Chicken | Inspiration on Monday

Cooking Perfect Chicken | Inspiration on Monday

Image Credit: Steve Johnson | Flickr Creative Commons I was racking my brain trying to come up with a topic for today’s Inspiration on Monday, and finally last Friday’s post about Chicken Piccata helped spark an idea. Though I’m not sure you’ll find much inspiration in this actual post–rather I’m seeking inspiration from you! Help a girl out, ok? You see, I’m not sure I ever learned how to properly cook chicken breasts. If I […]

Posted 15 June, 2015 by Trish in In the Kitchen / 19 Comments

Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata

One of my greatest dinnertime meal planning woes is that my husband doesn’t like chicken, particularly chicken breasts. I personally don’t like cooking dark meat because I don’t like dealing with the extra “stuff.” Mind you, I’d take a big juicy steak over chicken most days, but I’m always trying to find “inoffensive” ways to add chicken to our dinners so our red meat intake doesn’t get out of control. There seems to be two […]

Posted 12 June, 2015 by Trish in In the Kitchen / 40 Comments

Ten Ways I Talk Myself Out of Getting Rid of Books

Ten Ways I Talk Myself Out of Getting Rid of Books

After reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up last month, I decided it’s finally time to go through my shelves and start culling. I have hundreds of books, about half of them unread, and it’s finally to the point where something’s gotta go. I don’t have a need for all of these books and the sheer number of unread books does not bring me joy. The guilt I feel over having bought these books and […]

Posted 10 June, 2015 by Trish in Reading Nook, Uncategorized / 30 Comments

E-Reader Woes

E-Reader Woes

  Remember last week when I completed the 20 Bookish Questions and told you about my Nook HD? Later that day I was clearing off my bedside table and saw a brand new crack right down the front (the small hairline cracks on the right side were already there, because apparently I’m a child when it comes to carrying my electronics). WAHHHHHH!!!! It’s been sitting on my bedside table for weeks so I was stunned […]

Posted 7 June, 2015 by Trish in Reading Nook / 30 Comments