2019: Our New Years Resolutions

Happy New Year! Hope 2019 holds many blessings for you!


This is the time of year when many of us resolve to do something better, or to be better at something. We commonly desire to do different things, like visit a new and exciting vacation destination, or stop worrying about something, or the ever popular “lose weight.” While I have some personal resolutions this year, and I will share those, I have some resolutions for my home and for my blog. Some people would just call these things a “to-do list,” and that’s accurate as well. Whatever you want to call it, I’m more than happy to share them with you.

Personal and family

  1. A healthier, more mindful, and better me

Things have not been the greatest on the homefront. I’ve struggled with mental illness and it has taken a toll on everyone. This year, I’d simply like to learn more about my anxiety and depression, and work toward finding a healthier balance. I’m journaling a lot, I’m reading a lot, I’m in therapy, and I’m learning to handle things through a different lens. And it’s helping, but there are a lot more bridges to cross.

I was in a good place with my diet and fitness journey, but my recent bout of bronchitis and pneumonia really took a toll on it. This year, I’d like to work out at least 5 days a week and get back on my Trim Healthy Mama journey. So far, I’m doing well. My oldest daughter has become my biggest cheerleader and my running buddy.

I’m also working to make more time for what’s truly important: my family and myself. I am practicing saying no and trying to do less. I’m working toward not worrying so much about the trivial things in life- the messy rooms, the dirty laundry, and the crowded to-do lists- and enjoy the little girls who made those messes and that dirty laundry.

And lastly, I’m spending more time reading. I’ve always loved to read and I often find that I’m reading things for work and things to my children, but I rarely read for my pleasure anymore unless it’s summer break. I’ve created quite the list of books I’d like to read in 2019. Will I read all of them? Probably not. My goal is to read at least 75 books in 2019.

Home and blogging

So. many. things. I. want. to. do.

First, I plan on sharing the things we NEED to do, and then I’ll get to the things I WANT to do. Doesn’t it seem we are always sharing our wants and needs, and trying to distinguish between the two?

  1. Finish our bathroom refreshers (WANT)

Currently, we have already started a small remodel/room refresh on our master bath. Last year, I installed plumbing pipe shelving, and changed out the builder grade mirrors and light fixtures for two mirrors and farmhouse style lighting. This year, we plan to change out the faucets and begin planning for our next big bathroom project: new flooring and new tubs. We also may entertain refinishing the vanity. We may even change out the mirror, lights and faucets in our hall bath this year.

2. Replace some of our lost landscaping (WANT)

We lost about ten plants in our front foundation gardens and in our backyard to the crazy, overly rainy weather we experienced in 2018. We will be replacing them this year with something new and colorful.

3. Washer and dryer (NEED)

Our washer and dryer is on the blink. We looked at several different ones this past spring, but never truly lit on one we liked. Plus, we figured we could get a few more months out of ours. Well, we did, but we can’t push our luck much longer. So, we’ll be buying a new washer and dryer soon.

4. A living room refresher. (NEED/WANT)

This one fits into both categories. Does out living room function well now as it is? Sure. But…we are still using the same furniture we bought before Emorie was born, and she is now almost 8. It’s taken a beating from both these baby girls, and it’s time to replace it. Plus, I’ve had this gorgeous antique mantle in our garage for over a year now, and I’m dying to have it installed in our living room. This should be happening soon.

Now, for the things I want to do. This list will be far less detailed.

  1. Gather quotes for new bath tubs and bath flooring
  2. Gather quotes for new kitchen cabinets
  3. Finish our built in bookshelves in the office and convert the office into a playroom
  4. Convert the current playroom into a formal dining room
  5. Screen in our back porch

Do you see now why there are two lists? I’m not saving we will do all of these things, but each year I like to decide what I want to do and what I need to do, and try to balance out the lists.

What are your home resolutions for 2019?

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Happy New Year

From us at Organized and Simplified! We hope 2019 brings you many blessings.

Dollar Store Crafts: Place Mat Pillows

Dollar Store Crafts: Place Mat Pillows

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I have wanted some pretty seasonal pillows, but I don’t always love the price. I was at Dollar Tree when I spotted these pretty placemats.

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They were thin, as far as placemats go, but they were really pretty. Since they were at the Dollar Tree, I went ahead and bought four of them, with the intent of making two pillows from them.

I then took them home and pinned them together where I wanted to sew them. I then turned them inside out and sewed the edges together.

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And after I sewed the edges, I simply turned them right-side out and stuffed them with quilt batting.

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I then sewed the open end together.

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I absolutely love how these turned out! I am now looking for some napkins or tea towels that coordinate with these placemats so I can make some pillows from them!

What Dollar Store Upcycle have you completed lately?

Simplify Saturday: Finding Peace on a Daily Basis

We live in a fast paced, stressed out world and sometimes it’s hard to find a moment’s peace. Who else sometimes finds that they are spread thin, with too much to do and you feel like you have no time to breathe?

There are a few things I’ve been trying to do to relax and destress. They work well and they don’t cost a thing!

1. Pray daily

Prayer makes your day much less stressful. Anytime you’re struggling or stressed out, just talk to God about it. I find that praying about my stressors is a major source of relief. You have a confidant who is always available to listen 🙂 Prayer for me is often instant peace.

2. Stop and notice the beauty around you

Take a moment to stop and notice the beauty in the world around you. I took this picture while traveling to my grandma’s house. Sometimes, we have to struggle to see the beauty around us, but if you’re willing to pause and look, you can usually find it.

3. Spend time in the company of those who bring you the most joy

If you want to find peace and contentment in your life, spend some time in the company of your family or friends. Actual time- no phones, no TV; just conversation and good fun.

4. Forget about what people think and just do something that makes you happy

Is it silly to get in a giant kiddie pool with your children? Sure! But I don’t care. I did it, and my kids loved it…and seeing them happy makes me happy.

5. Do something nice for others

What brings you more joy than doing something nice for someone else?

6. Get a hobby that you enjoy and spend a little time doing it each day.

My garden gives me a lot of joy. I love to water it and spend time working in it. And I love to eat the food it produces. Working in this little garden gives me a lot of peace.

What brings you joy and peace?

A New Home on the Web

A New Home on the Web


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Hi, all. While you’ve known me at Organized and Simplified for a few years now, this is a whole new blog. I experienced a large server crash this week, and as a result lost my entire blog and all its contents.  While I am discouraged and frustrated, it is what it is. I will simply start over, and make Organized and Simplified new, and better than ever.

I wish there was a way to recover all of my old posts and media, but there isn’t. I’ll be starting completely over- fresh and new. Don’t worry, my content won’t change. I’ll still be sharing farmhouse themed goodies, tips for organizing and simplifying your life, and a few cautionary tales along the way.

Thanks for sticking with me. I can’t wait to (re)start this new journey with you.

How to use your vinyl cutter to create farmhouse wood signs

How to use your vinyl cutter to create farmhouse wood signs

Creating Pallet Signs

Wooden farmhouse signs are everywhere these days. They’re available in a number of colors, fonts and sizes, and with a number of words, quotes and themes.  I absolutely love typographical art, and I’d dare say you can find something typographical in every room of our home.

And now it’s easier than ever to make your own. Did you know that both Walmart and Hobby Lobby are selling a plethora of blank wood signs and materials?

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I knew I wanted to incorporate the Bible verse Ruth 1:16-17 into our room somehow. We used this verse in our wedding ceremony, and we have it engraved in our wedding bands. It only seemed right to make signs with this verse for our room.

I have read about how you can create stencils using contact paper, so I decided to give it a try. I hopped on my computer and created a design.

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I then sent it to the Silhouette machine and created a stencil, but I printed it backwards. #oops

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This is an easy problem to fix, though. You can either flip your design around in Design Space, or you can simply flip your contact paper over so that the writing is face down. That’s what I did.

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This is my contact paper face down, with the stencil already cut. You can’t tell, though, so just take my word for it. Promise!

I finally cut out my stencil and popped my letters out. I affixed them to the boards, and filled in the stencils with white chalk paint.

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I then allowed the paint to dry and then peeled the stencils off.

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I absolutely love how these turned out. They also ended up being absolutely perfect for the space.

What farmhouse sign projects are hiding up your sleeve?