Wednesday, January 27, 2016

4 Years Married // 9 Years Together

Back on Dec. 31st, KC and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary, and a few days later it was our "dating" anniversary. Wow, 9 years!

We went to IKEA to look at new beds, and spent the evening at home watching movies and hanging out. :) We don't usually splurge on anniversary dates or fancy gifts, and that's ok with us. :)

This year we had the special opportunity to do a photo shoot with the INCREDIBLE Jennie Karges of Jennie Karges Photography while we were in Arizona! We met in a small business group online and we were just crazy about each other's work! I owe her some prints for her home... but this swap ended up being the greatest gift we could have asked for.

We've never done an official photo shoot together, not even for our engagement! So, this was just the very sweetest gesture, and I'm sure she had no idea how much it touched my heart for her to offer it. Thank you so much Jennie!

We were running a little behind, and we'd been up since 2 am.... we were so worried we would lose all of the light as the sun was setting, but it turns out we ended up with the most beautiful light. It just saturated the whole area we were in. It was a really hard year for us, and I am so grateful she was able to capture some light and hopeful moments to bring that into focus. This is us right now. This is where we are. This is how lucky we feel. Even with all of the hard stuff. :)

It should be noted that a lot of "who I am" is a big spaz and KC makes me laugh so much. It's just real life us. :)

If you live in Phoenix, or ever go to Phoenix, I highly recommend her! She's so fun and easy to work with. She's obviously GREAT at what she does, she chose the perfect time and place to take these photos, and she made us feel so comfortable doing the shoot. Thank you so much for your sweet gift to us Jennie! Find her here.

Thanks for Reading & Happy Wednesday!



Monday, January 25, 2016

Have You Heard? // Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness - "Cecilia and the Satellite"

When I was in high school. There was a band called Jack's Mannequin. It made all of my angsty teen feelings feel so validated. It was catchy, and dreamy, and I loved it. It was perfect for blasting in my car with the windows down, and putting on mix CDs for KC. When I was that age I wasn't plugged in, I rarely knew who was who or which artists had new albums coming out. I also wasn't allowed to go to most concerts. So after "Everything's in Transit" I kind of forgot about Jack's and about the lead singer Andrew McMahon.

Fast forward nearly 10 years... to last spring. They started playing this song on our local alternative station. It sounded familiar. McMahon was back with a new project.

I started trying to figure out what had happened in the last 10 years that I missed.... turns out that right after that Jack's Mannequin album was released in 2005, he was diagnosed with cancer.

He made it through treatments, his then girlfriend stuck by his side, he started a foundation for young adults and teens with cancer, and he's continued to make music. After all that, they were able to have a baby. The doctors proactively had him bank his sperm, and now he's not only 10 years cancer free, he's got the sweetest little girl.

This song is about her. (& this video is adorable)

I love this song. Have you heard it? I think it's been on a lot of commercials.

On Saturday night we got to see 10 Years in Transit, his Jack's Mannequin anniversary tour. It was a miracle that we got tickets!

It was so beyond amazing. I know every word to every song, and it was such a dream to hear it live. Not to mention it was an incredible show. (bonus: I didn't lose my feet to exposure!... will call line was looooooong!)

This summer he will be opening for Weezer as the tour the country with Panic at the Disco! (who knew they still made music..?) Anyhow, if you find yourself out and about, definitely check out his music and his story. Really inspiring stuff. I love Weezer, I'm not in to Panic at the Disco! but I might consider going because the KCMO venue is one I like, and c'mon it's Weezer. We'll see. :)

Are there any albums that meant everything to you in high school?

What are you listening to these days?

(Just found out J.Lo. is playing in Vegas now! I hope she's still there in August!)



P.S. Jack's Mannequin had a song called "MFEO: Part 1" (MFEO = Made for Each Other), I put that on a mix for KC a loooong time ago. I used to think he might be made for me.... let's just say 10 years later it was really fun to belt it out live with him. *heart eyed emojis*

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Book Challenge by Erin 4.0 Initial List // Yup, Another Book Challenge

Reading challenges are And so far I have read some every. night. this. year. WOAH! Majorly awesome, not going to last forever... but I'm loving it.

This challenge runs January 1st, 2016 - April 30th, 2016. See full rules and initial post here.

The Categories:

5 points:  Read a book, any book that is at least 200 pages long.

The Heir by Kiera Cass

10 points:  Read a book that begins with the letter “D”.

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

10 points:  Read a book with a four word title.

True - Hilary Duff

15 points:  Read a book with one of the following words in the title: “mother(s)”, “father(s)”, “son(s)”, “daughter(s)”, or “child(ren)”.

Either Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce OR Son by Lois Lowery

20 points:  Amazon ranks their “most popular authors”, and they update this list hourly.  Based on when you make your book list, look at the top 100 authors, and pick a book to read from one of those authors, but here’s the catch – it needs to be an author new to you…one of the most popular authors, yet you’ve never read them before.

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

20 points:  Read a book set in any country in Asia.

Geisha, A Life by Mineko Iwasaki 

25 points:  Read a book with a “Season” in the title.

The Summer We Read Gatsby by Danielle Ganek

30 points:  Read a book that will make you laugh from the list attached.

Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

30 points:  Read a book that is a friend or family member’s favorite book (or the favorite book of another participant from this challenge).

Kristen's Favorite (one of them!) The Book Thief by Markus Zusak & one of Shea's too!

35 points:  Read a book published the year you were born.

Possession by A.S. Byatt

Any takers? Either way, let's be friends on goodreads.

What are you reading right now?! Have you read any of these?!



Friday, January 15, 2016

Snail Mail Opportunity! // Who Doesn't Love Happy Mail?!

Hi All! I hope that you guys are having a great week, and a wonderful 2016 thus far! I read something AMAZING on Krissy's blog yesterday (if you don't follow her, go look at her blog, so gorgeous, I love her short and inspiring posts!), and I wanted to pass it along!

In rural South Dakota a teacher is teaching his 3rd-5th grade students about the U.S. He is asking for post cards to be sent to him, from around the country so the kids can learn about the different regions and states. Like a road trip through post cards. How fun is that!?! It's especially sweet when you think about how some of these kiddos may never get a chance to leave their home state.

Krissy made an excellent point that it's so important for kids to have a connection to writing in a digital age. I'm getting ready to send some snail mail supplies to my sister Olivia in AZ so she can mail me in addition to face timing and texting. :) (shhh don't tell!)

Isn't this the neatest project?! I can't wait to go pick out a post card. :) I'll write to the students saying that Kansas is not all flat, there are lots of sunflowers, and probably mention The Wizard of Oz. I might even add how much our relatives and friends like getting post cards from us as we travel.

Want to join in? Here is the mailing information:

James Jesser
Clark School District
2200 N. Clinton
Clark, SD 57225

Also, does anyone want KC and I's end of the year post card? I have a little stack left, and I would love to send them to some of my blogger friends! It is pictured at the top of this post, and I think that it would make a fun print to frame or put on your bulletin board. Email me your address, at if you would like one and I will send it your way. :)

Anyone have goals to send more snail mail this year?

Do you ever send post cards when you travel?



Wednesday, January 13, 2016

16 Goals for 2016

I finally finalized my goals for the year. :)

Here they are:
  • Read 50 books
    • 7 classics
    • 2 eco friendly books
    • 25 fairytales, folktales, myths, legends, etc. (some of which may not be full books, could be short stories, poems, etc.)
  • Get TSA Pre Approved - (Oh, the time we'll save!!)
  • Get a New Bed
  • See Coldplay / Get Tickets to See Coldplay - if they ever announce their North American tour dates...
  • Visit 6 New Places
    • 1 on our list for a long time
    • 1 road trip
  • Try 50 New to Me Recipes
  • Plan 12 Date Nights
  • Watch 12 Disney Movies
  • Do Yoga / Dance / DVD Workout 150 times
  • Make a Point to Eat Lots of Veggies at least once per day
  • Get All Dental Work Done - I'm a big baby, and I'm TERRIFIED
  • Learn About (or how to do) 5 New Things
  • Get an essential oil diffuser and eco-friendly candles
  • Save Money - we did great at this in 2015!
  • Find a Treasure
  • Seek Out Water - drink it, be near it, hear it, look at it... you get the idea, as much as possible.

Setting goals yearly, monthly, seasonally, monthly, weekly, and over longer term periods of time really helps me mix things up, track how I'm doing, and notice where I'm changing. Even times when I don't finish a ton of my goals, I notice new things about myself, and feel like I have achieved more overall. :)

What are your goals for 2016?!

Anybody have a great recipe or fairytale I should read / make?! Leave me your links!! :)



November / December 2015 Reads // #allthevampires again (and then nothing)

I realized there was a gap in my reading posts... so I am posting this after the fact. :)

First time linking up with Show Us Your Books (I'm pretty sure!!) ... not the most exciting post though guys, sorry! :P I promise next month my linkup link will be WAY more diverse, and WAY more fun to read!!

Basically all I read over the holidays was almost all of the rest of the Blue Bloods Series. I finished it at the beginning of January, so I'll give a better recap then. But overall I liked the way that it ended, and I would recommend it if you like YA vampire-y things. Also if you are willing to read 9+ books in a series. They were quick and fun, but there are just plain a lot of them. :)

See my initial post about the series here. It will give you a better idea of the plot!

November Reads:

Misguided Angel

My Bloody Valentine

Lost in Time

December Reading:

I started...

Wolf Pact


But I only got a few chapters in to the second to last book. I was making TONS of Christmas Cards and prepping for the holidays. I really didn't read at all in December. But I did get back to it in January. So, real reading posts coming soon... I promise. :)

What are you guys reading?! Anything I should add to my TBR?

Life According to Steph



Friday, January 8, 2016

12 Ways to Travel More in 2016 // New Year State of Mind

Hi everyone! I hope you are  having a great week. I am getting back to my first "full" work week in quite a while, and making time to read and work on invitations in the evenings. I'm still working on my 2016 goals, which will definitely have a travel component... when I thought, why not share some ways to travel more..?!

Since KC and I started traveling together in 2010 we have visited; 17 states, 4 Canadian provinces, taken 19 road trips, and 25 total trips (I'm probably forgetting some here...). 

We have been dog sledding, whale watching, and sculpture garden exploring. We've seen amazing concerts, wandered through the French Quarter, seen glaciers and ice bergs, totem poles and light houses. We've walked too many miles to count, and had so many incredible meals that thank goodness we were walking off. (I hope... )

I get a lot of emails, questions, etc. about how we travel so much. "You're always traveling, what do you do for a living?!" "I wish that we could travel as much as you guys do!" etc. While I don't feel like we have any magical secrets, and we certainly don't have ultra-high-paying jobs... KC and I have been thinking of what allows us to travel more often than others.

We've narrowed it down to two main reasons: creative vacation budgeting and having a good imagination.

Here is our list of 12 ways to make travel cheaper, and more of a priority. Read on for more info!

1) Travel Close By

While it's tempting to write this off immediately, don't! Traveling more often includes exploring places that don't seem "cool" or you haven't heard much about. Or maybe even places that you've been before, but not in a long time, and you can't imagine what there is to do there. Think again! I can't tell you how many times KC and I have taken driving trips 4-5 hours away to places that didn't sound that exciting, but had a GREAT time. We've utilized so many weekends to drive to St. Louis, Omaha, Tulsa, etc. It's the perfect amount of time to explore somewhere you can easily go back to!

2) Take Advantage of Weekends / Long Weekends

This pairs nicely with the first one, using a weekend as your travel days saves on using vacation time, limits the amount of time you pay for things away from home, and somewhat limits the destinations that you can travel to. All-in-all this saves tons of money, and opens your eyes to destinations you may not have thought of before. 1) you can continue saving vacation time for other trips, 2) you can spend at most 2-3 nights in a hotel (that adds up!!), and you probably won't be jetting off somewhere that costs more money! I mentioned above that we take 4-5 hour driving trips on weekends, but we have now expanded into anything 9 or less hours away being a suitable weekend trip distance. That allows us to visit: St. Louis, Omaha, Tulsa, OKC, Iowa, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Indianapolis/Bloomington, Chicago, Memphis, Nashville, or Louisville. - just to name a few.

3) Travel for Events

Travel for your hobbies and interests, and extend those trips into short (or long) vacations. Maybe you love concerts, plays, festivals, etc. Or maybe you've read about a new museum or shopping location that you want to check out. Incorporate that into your travel plans. It gives you another reason, excuse, or justification to travel again. KC and I have taken many trips based around a concert. We will buy tickets anywhere within that 9 hour range if we can make it work. This option is great coupled with 1 and 2. One of the greatest times was when we found out that Bastille (center) was playing in Omaha for $16 per ticket. It was when they were still fairly new, the tickets were cheap, the drive was short, it was my second favorite concert to date. And only second to Coldplay (left).

4) Extend Non-Personal Travel

Often times people have to travel for work, or a conference, or have family vacations that are already planned. These things aren't necessarily the trips that YOU would plan, but that doesn't mean that you can't extend them, or take advantage of time pockets while you are there. We traveled to Alaska last year for work, which meant that everything was covered or reimbursed as far as our flight, hotel, meals, etc. were concerned. We decided to go up a few days early to get in a little mini vacation before the real work began. This left our costs at ONLY what we did on those extra days. Our rental car, our meals, and hotel nights on those days. That made somewhere far like Alaska, so much cheaper! Another way to do something like this could be to tack a few days onto an end of a family vacation. We visited Florida with my inlaws over the summer and had at least one day where we took off on our own to explore. We are planning another family trip for next summer. We're headed to Vegas, but KC and I are talking about driving down to Phoenix to see my parents afterwards, or maybe flying. Flights from Vegas to Phoenix are usually much cheaper than Kansas City to Phoenix.

5) Visit Family & Friends (and Stay With Them if You Can!)

We are fortunate to have great friends and family scattered all across the country. Visiting them is a great way to keep in touch, and to have a multi-purpose, not to mention less expensive, vacation. I find that hotels/lodging is my very LEAST FAVORITE way that money disappears while traveling. When we are traveling, we rarely spend time in our room anyway! When it's possible, and offered (!!) it can be a great way to take expense out of travel. When we visited my family in Arizona, we still had to fly, but because we were able to stay with my parents the whole time. So. Much. Cheaper. On those quick weekend driving trips that include a concert, we've stayed with friends in Minneapolis several times, which always makes those quick trips less expensive too. It's easy to forget, but odds are people would love to see you. Just make sure to offer up something  nice in thanks, pay for a meal, bring a gift, return the favor, something like that. Be a good  house guest. ;)

6) Make a Plan 

KC and I talk about doing all kinds of things, but unless we seriously prioritize it, go for some kind of a goal, achieving it is difficult to do. Find a time that works for you, but isn't insanely expensive to travel. Pick a place that you want to go (don't be too set, see #7). Start to pick things you are excited about doing. This year we are trying to map out possibilities for several times during the year, hopefully that results in better planning and more realized trips. It's like anything else, if you don't make it a priority, and set yourself up for success... it won't happen.

7) But Don't Be Too Set on that Plan! 

Having flexible travel days and locations can be a great way to get good travel deals. It can result in cheap flights, specials, and a new possibility that you hadn't thought of before. Look up cheap flights from your city. Odds are there is somewhere you haven't thought of that has tons of possibility. And the price tag might just be much cheaper.

8) Budgeting 

Estimate your costs in advance. Many restaurants have online menus and pricing, hotels and flights are easy to estimate, as are many attractions. Pick the "free night" at museums and attractions when you can. Look for online coupons as well. Factor in souvinirs, shopping, and things like snacks and coffees. It's easy to forget about things like that! Kristen just did the BEST post on a travel budgeting app she loves, download that ASAP. Her post, thank you for sharing Kristen!

9) Saving Money Quickly

As you save up before leaving, see what you can do without in between now and then. Could you get that book at the library or from a friend? Could you cook at home instead of going out as many times? Use netflix or the library instead of going out to see movies. Or maybe just skip the popcorn. Is there something that you spend money on regularly that you could scale back? One less trip to the nail salon in a few months, limiting how many times you get starbucks per week? Cut costs at home, so you can feel free to spend when you go. I even go so far as to say, "well I really want to buy this ring... but I would rather get to spend that $20 on something more unique while we are traveling." Experiences vs. material items, is another good way to scale back pre-trip. Would you rather have 4 new t-shirts or a set of concert tickets? Or two really great meals somewhere? Or a horseback riding tour? There are endless experience ideas when you travel!

10) Keep Yourself Motivated

Make your plan or dream public, and that will hold you accountable for it. Put up a picture of the place you are visiting on your fridge, or your desk, or hell, taped to your credit card! Blog about it, share it on social media, share your progress, people will cheer you on. People will ask about it. If you must shop or spend money, try to do it on something related that you need to purchase for your trip! Book a tour, get a rain jacket for Seattle. etc. Having this mindset and reminders frequently will keep you focused on your goal!

11) Block Out Time to Plan it

As your trip gets closer, you'll want to spend money, and you'll need to be planning some of your trip. One way KC and I combat this simultaneously is to have planning date nights. We gather up our books and research and map out what we want to do, or at least options. It helps us make sure we're both involved and both on the same page. It also gives us a date night with a purpose, one where we aren't spending much money to-boot. You could do this with family, roomies, etc. If it's a solo trip, block out some fun time to plan it yourself.

12) Prioritize Your Budget

It would be lovely to stay at a nice hotel, eat the best meals, have an endless shopping budget, fly first class, and attend events nightly on every trip. Wouldn't it? The reality is for most of us, we have to choose some priorities. If you want the all of everything trip, this whole post is not for you! We take cheap flights, at strange times, and stay at 3-4 star hotels in convenient and safe locations. We drive when we can. All of those things save us money. In turn, we get to spend it on our priorities, foodie experiences, book shop scouring, occasional drinks out. We buy our concert tickets knowing that our hotel will cost $79 per night. That's how we like it! Maybe you would rather check into a great condo, and spend your money on resort fees, so you buy groceries and eat from the condo instead. That saves you money where you want to save it. We all travel for different reasons and enjoy different things on our vacations, my point is, choose what you WANT your money to go toward in your travels and adjust as necessary.


13) Go Incognito & Clear Your Cache

Browse for flights, hotels, etc. in a Chrome Incognito browser. Or at least clear your cache when you are done searching, this way your flights and hotel prices won't skyrocket next time you search from that computer!

There you have it, KC and I's top 12 tips for traveling more, and traveling on a budget.

What do you guys think? Did you have any revelations?

What are your travel tips?

Do you have any travel questions for us?

Where are you planning to travel in 2016?!



Monday, January 4, 2016

12 Quick Things You Can Do to Start the Year Organized // New Year State of Mind

Hi everyone! Happy 2016!

I hope that you all had a lovely NYE, KC and I had a really nice anniversary together. :)

I've noticed a lot of New Year negativity online this year, so if that's you, feel free not to read! I'm really into it, so I've got a lot of New Year posts planned!

It's the first full week of January 2016! I've been thinking a lot about goals (I'm still working on them!), but I've come up with a lot of mini tasks and projects that are going to make my year a little easier from the get-go. Interested? Read on.

Start the first full week of the new year off right. These 12 easy tasks can help you feel more organized and less cluttered right away. Do 2 per day, or more on a weekend, I guarantee you'll feel lighter. 

These brushes get used daily. They get GROSS y'all. They carry bacteria, they can disrupt the colors you are using at the time. Just give them a quick clean. I love Ursula's tutorial for a natural makeup brush cleaner. In a pinch? Rub them against a baby wipe!

Extra Credit: Take inventory of your products, anything you need to order soon? Toss anything that's REALLY old. There are dates for these things... follow them if you'd like. But I don't use my makeup quickly enough to do that!!

One of my goals for the year will be related to cooking at home more. Whether you cook a lot or not, it's easy to forget about your fridge. Take 10 minutes to toss out old condiments, dispose of moldy leftovers, and take note of what you have in your fridge. Make a list of things you need to re-stock or add. Repeat with your freezer and pantry.

Extra Credit: Wash those shelves and drawers. Even check out the spices etc.

I don't know about you guys, but being a #fulltimefulltime (full time 9-5, full time business of my own) I carry a TON of stuff around every day. By mid-week the bags start to get CRAZY. Take 5-10 minutes to dump them out, toss the trash, recycle anything you can, take stock of what you need to add, and anything you've forgotten about (hello, letter or bill you meant to mail. I'm also looking at you overdue library book....). Make your piles, reduce what you're carrying, restock what needs restocked, and feel so much better. :)

Extra Credit: Make a mini emergency pouch. Get a small zipper pocket and fill it with pain relievers, chapstick, bandaids, hair ties, nail clippers, etc. It doesn't have to be very big, but having that stuff handy can be great. No mid-day runs to CVS for you!

Every. Three. Months. I know that we don't all do this enough, so start the year off with a brand spankin' new toothbrush. Easy peasy.

Extra Credit: Check your other supplies... floss, toothpaste, etc. Restock. If you feel like getting really crazy... take stock of shampoos, soaps, lotions, and other bathroom essentials. Add them to your list!

I don't know about you guys, but KC & I's car gets messy QUICK! And it's small, so we run out of space quickly too. Take 20-30 minutes to clean out your glove compartments, any door bins, under seats etc. Get all of the trash and recycling out of there! Make sure your proof of insurance is in the glove box with all of your other necessary paperwork. Pens, coins, etc. should be restocked as needed. Donate the miscellaneous donation items, bring in any clothing, etc. This will make you feel so much better!

Extra Credit: Take it to a carwash and use the quarter vacuums to vacuum the floors, mats, seats, etc. So. Clean. In the winter... you may or may not actually want to get your car washed. Lucky you if you have a garage/shop vac! #adulting

When was the last time you cleaned out your underwear drawer? Seriously? If it has holes, bad elastic, stains, doesn't fit well, isn't comfortable.... GET IT OUT OF YOUR LIFE! Unless it is a pair not meant to be functional, *wink* it should be comfortable to wear, and decent in appearance. You do not have to wear granny panties if you don't want to either! I am a big believer in comfy + cute. Hanky Panky anyone? (seriously, I would die if I could just wear these every day. $$$$$$). Make replacements as needed. You are worth it. Undie PSA over.

Extra Credit: Bras y'all. Bras. (go get fitted, wear the right size. it will change your life). Bra PSA also over.

Library fines? Pay them. Parking ticket? Pay that too. Late bills or payments? Make those suckers ASAP. One less thing to worry about or remember later on.

Extra Credit: If you can swing it, pay a little extra somewhere this month. Pay double your student loan payment, debt payment etc. Starting with a leg up can be a good thing. Again, only if that is something you can do right now!

Go through those paper piles. You know the ones I mean. Junk mail, mixed with real mail, mixed with chaos. Get those, sort them, recycle/shred that stuff! Junk mail is obnoxious and it creates 10 BILLION pounds of solid waste every. year. That's ridiculous. For free, you can sign up to stop receiving junk mail, here. Totally Brill. Write "return to sender, change of address" on mail that is not yours, junk or not. Put it back in the mail box. Recycle old catalogs, magazines, etc. while you are at it! And please do consider recycling. It really does make a difference.

Extra Credit: No one likes a full inbox. Go through and delete old emails, delete them in chunks by business / email address to get rid of a lot at once. Do this for work, for personal etc. Even go through your folders in your inbox and get rid of the old stuff. A clean inbox is a happy inbox. Unsubscribe from email lists you no longer use! There's no need to have a cluttered inbox!!

Return those duplicate or off-base holiday returns. Many retailers will exchange without a receipt for store credit. Major retailers like Target and Walmart make it especially easy. Take the bag of things you meant to return or exchange and actually do it! Put it in your (newly cleaned?) car so you will remember!

Extra Credit: Take your excess plastic grocery bags while you're at it! Stores like Target and Walmart have bins near the entrances or customer service to collect and recycle plastic shopping bags! You can also take batteries, old cell phones, etc. to these places often. Best buy has even more recycling services. :)

I try my hardest not to throw things away. I recycle what I can, buy used when it's a good option, and I make sure to pass along or donate my old clothes and home items. However, I usually end up with little piles and boxes across the house that need donated. Take 10 minutes to gather it up and put it in the car. Take it to Goodwill, The Salvation Army, etc. Those yellow clothing donation bins are also great! Getting those little things out of the house can totally help you feel less cluttered and more organized.

Extra Credit: Do a sweep through each room of your house. Pick up anything that isn't useful or beautiful in your life, and add it to the donation pile before donating. I bet you'll find at least one thing in each room. Another good place to look is the bookshelf. I resolved in college to only hang onto the books that I LOVED. Since then I have been hoarding books and not reading a ton of them...  but when I do read one, and it's just OK, I sell it to a bookstore or donate it when I am done. Do you need to hang onto a book you didn't even like? Samies for DVDs/Blurays.

Odd socks are a fact of life. If your pile is like ours it grows throughout the year and is never empty. Take the time now, to sort through them again. Match what you can, toss what is wasted (or reuse it as a cloth for dusting, furniture polishing, or surface cleaning), and give the missing ones one more chance. If the mates don't turn up during your next day of laundry. Reuse or toss them! Anything else lying around? Almost empty detergent bottles? Use them up next load and recycle the container. Broken clothespins? Get rid of them! Take stock of what you have and what you need to replace!

Extra Credit: Vow to lessen your budget and get rid of another container in your laundry room by making re-usable dryer balls. They still eliminate static, and can fragrance your clothing if you add drops of oils, AND they lessen drying time. It's better for your bills, the earth, your clothing's lifespan, and they take up less space. I followed this tutorial, and we haven't bought dryer sheets in 6 months! Let's not even get into the nasty chemicals inside of the dryer sheets... :  /

We recently pulled all of the junk off the front of our fridge. So. Transformative. I took down all of the papers, clips, magnets, coupons etc. I washed the fridge, I donated old magnets, I put up some sticky dry erase boards, and now we are menu, grocery, and calendar planning on our fridge. I put up the magnets I was keeping in a much more orderly way. Now it looks SO much cleaner!! Plus, it's keeping me organized. Another great place to do this is bulletin boards, or by the front door catch all areas. Re-think what is there, and get rid of the excess. You'll feel so much better.

Extra Credit: Use the front of your fridge to "publicly" track other goals as well. Tracking your workouts, weight, budgeting, etc? Put it up on the fridge and you and your hubby, roomie, etc. can keep each other accountable and work together to achieve those goals. :)

What little things are you doing to start the new year out more organized? 

Anyone tried any of these lately? What are your tips?

I would love to hear what y'all are planning for 2016!