Organization Inspiration: The Pantry

Photo credit to Chalon Handmade.

One of my newer clients has the kind of pantry that homeowners dream about.  Once I got over being totally jealous, and having way too much fun helping her get things put away and organized, I started to think about my own pantry...

...Or lack of it.  The house I live in was built sometime in the 1950's, so not only are the closets the size of approximately one day dress, but it is entirely pantry-less.

I'm not sure where people kept food in the 1950's, but those shows you see with Lazy Susans everywhere....yeah, not in this house.

f course the solution to this large and unattractive problem is that we had to use an entire section of our cabinets as the pantry, and now there isn't enough room to put our actual dishes, pots, pans, etc. and all the other cabinets are crammed as a result.

It seems like a constant uphill battle to keep the cabinets organized, and it has almost driven me insane.  Okay, I'm not really THAT much of a type A, but it does bother me.  Anyway, because renovation isn't at option at this time, I'm currently coveting everyone else's amazing pantry spaces!

Because I now have to live vicariously through the pantries of others, will occasionally peruse Pinterest and stare at my favorites longingly...particularly anyone lucky enough to have an entire pantry ROOM.  Seriously?  I'd settle for a skinny stand-alone at this point.

Don't ever take your storage space for granted people!  Some of us live in 1950's homes.

I'm actually planning a pantry organization and overhaul project soon, which I'm sure will include plenty of before and afters, but until then, here are a just a couple of the drool-worthy pantries I have had my eye on lately.

Why shouldn't your pantry be functional and stylish?  {Source}

This is a great pantry remodel/organization project done with IKEA shelving.  {Source}

Last but certainly not least, this might be my favorite, because it's huge, organized and realistic.  Because who can actually keep everything looking immaculate all the time?  {Source}

Those are just a few of my recent favorites, but I'll stop there or I'll go on forever!

Head on over to my organizing-themed Pinterest board right now to see some more pantry inspiration.

What kinds of rooms or spaces do you find yourself coveting?  Feel free to share, and/or follow me on Pinterest!  I have a board dedicated to just organizing, but who knows, there may be various sub-categories to come.  ;)

My Favorite Blogs: Part I

Now that I'm officially obsessed with perusing Bloglovin for the cutest blogs out there, I've discovered a few new ones that I just had to add to my reading list and I want to share some of them with you!  

Because there are some wonderful local bloggers and friends I'd like to link to, I plan to have another post with some of those a little bit later, but for now, here are my top 4 favorite blogs to read at the moment:

Chalk White Arrow

Chalk White Arrow

1.  Chalk White Arrow is probably at the top of my favorite blog list right now, even though I've only been following for a few weeks now.  I just fell in love with this post in particular, because first of all, I'm a sucker for beautiful, simple, colorful photography, and second, pictures of food, comfy homes and flowers are my own personal faves and Sara included all of them in one post.  How could I not fall in love?  Oh yeah, and then there was her bathroom makeover, which is so adorable that I realize how much I've neglected my own little bathroom over the years...project inspiration!

My favorite thing about Sara's blog is that just like life, she includes a little bit of everything.  She shares some of her favorite clothing moments, we get to fall in love with her dog Kramer, and she's not afraid to post real images of her home life that aren't staged or forced in any way.  There's always something down-to-earth, organic and natural, yet full of personality about everything she posts, which is why I look forward to seeing her updates.

Paris in Four Months

Paris in Four Months

2.  Paris in Four Months is Carin's blog about her love affair with the city of Paris, complete with endless, vivid, color photographs of the city and her adventures there as she lives them.  As a fellow Paris lover and someone who has frequent fantasies of picking up, moving there and never looking back, it's an irresistible read for me.

My first trip to Paris was in 2007 and I haven't been the same since!  I have pictures that I took in the city hanging over my bed, and I'm anxiously awaiting my next trip to the city I fell in love with 6 years ago.  Carin's blog only makes me miss it more, but I don't mind because reading it reminds me of all the things I loved so much about it.

Who knows, maybe someday soon I'll be blogging from Paris!  Anything is possible rigiht?  ;)

Breanna Rose

Breanna Rose

3.  Breanna Rose always makes me feel inspired to create something new, and her blog and posts are all so visually appealing, that I never skip over them.  Breanna is such a talented graphic designer and I love that she not only shares parts of her life with her readers, but she always gives us a sneak peek into her creative process and finished designs.  My recent favorite was this post where she shares a moodboard for a recent project.  She apparently doesn't see this color palette a lot in her work, and I'm obviously partial to it because blue + green are my all-time favorites, and my current site design was ocean and watercolor inspired.

Along with design elements, Breanna also shares her favorite things (Wantlist - my personal favorite was "crazy floral"), talks about her collaborations, and gives away some design freebies (like this desktop wallpaper or this one)!  Her blog is never boring, and she always keeps it short, which is refreshing when your reading list keeps getting longer and longer like mine does.

The Fresh Exchange

The Fresh Exchange

4.  Megan over at the Fresh Exchange Blog began writing to keep a catalog of her design ideas (like Breanna she is also a graphic designer gone blogger).  I love the Fresh Exchange because in addition to seeing Megan's newest design ideas, she's also sharing more about her life, career, travels and collaborations with her husband Mike as well as with other bloggers and entrepreneurs.

A recent favorite was this post about how to stay sane when you're working for yourself and life gets busy enough to test your limits - something I can relate to!  Of course I could also really appreciate this post and collaboration with Anna Carl at the Yellow Table for Anna's series on March wellness.  Obviously we're into April now, but it's still a good read, as Megan addresses how she and her husband have tried to create a healthy work from home routine.  This is definitely something I need to do some more work on...

The thing I most enjoy about Megan's posts is her honesty and ability to be candid.  She doesn't sugarcoat things, and she gives you her version of reality, even if that means sometimes admitting that things aren't always sunny and perfect.  I find her attitude refreshing and realistic, and I also appreciate the earthy quality she brings to her photographs and design aesthetic.  Earthy is my favorite.

Well, that's it!  Hope you all decide to head on over to Bloglovin to follow some or all of these lovely ladies, and I'd love to hear what your favorite blogs are.  Rest assured I will be posting again with more blogs to dive into, because I discover new ones every day!

Who are some bloggers that you just can't wait to see updates from?  What is your favorite blog of the moment, and why?

Making It Happen: Don't Let Fear Stop You!

Happen Print by vaporqualquer on Etsy.

Happen Print by vaporqualquer on Etsy.

Too often we let the little things in life get in the way of our happiness, and we stop pursuing our true passions as we tend to the things we think we "need" to do.

I remember being a little kid, and being told ad nauseum that I could "do or be anything" that I could imagine.  Well of course I took that so seriously that I very rarely gave it much thought, decided I'd figure it out someday when I was a grownup, and then went outside to find my bicycle.  Of course that anything dream included me being my boss, but working out the details of that was way too much for a 4th grader.  Back to picnics and waterguns.

Now that I actually am a grownup, I realized I allowed myself to catch the "need" least that's what I'm calling it.  What I mean by this is, I've let my imagine die a little bit, and with it I've kind of lost my zest for far out schemes and the crazy dream life scenarios I used to love so much.  Where did they go?  They got squashed under the weight of the voice in my head, and the pressures of the real world that always tell me I need to tend to this or that first...that if I do what I need to do, then someday I can do what I want to do.

Let's be realistic though...when will someday be here?  It's here now, and here we all are still not doing anything about it.  So, you know what that's the moment of critical choice.  The choice between continuing to concentrate on shoulds (I'm sure you've heard the lovely phrase 'stop shoulding yourself') and putting it off for another day that will never arrive, or taking control and deciding to make it happen.

A very wise man by the name of Eckhart Tolle (someone I will refer to many times in the future of this blog) so wisely said:

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” - Eckhart Tolle

What if we all just started to make NOW the primary focus of our lives, and we stopped worrying about all those shoulds so much?  What's the worst thing that could happen?

What we wanted might actually find its way into reality, but it's not just going to appear once you get everything on your to-do list taken care of; you have to make it happen!