Get Organized For Good!

Have you tried to get organized but always end up in a cluttered mess months or years later?  If so, you are not alone!  Life’s demands, children, and significant others often interrupt attempts to control a messy environment.  But the good news is that there is light at the end of that cluttered tunnel!  I have a few tips and tricks that could help you declutter your home for good! 

Declutter your entire space in one fell swoop!  Sometimes getting rid of clutter in small bits can backfire!  For instance, certain personalities feel as though they will never catch up because they can’t see a huge change with their efforts, so they just stop and let the clutter reign again.  If this scenario rings true for you, decluttering your entire home at one time will definitely help you get organized for good.  Just make sure to plan ahead by reserving a full weekend to tackle the project.  It will also help to create a list with shopping ideas, design ideas, etc. for each room of your home so you can stay on track and be fully prepared.  Another tip is to create an “organizing tote” with items that you will need frequently like trash bags, markers, labels, and a label maker.  If this task seems too daunting, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a friend or even from a professional organizer!

Stop hiding your clutter!  There are tons of beautiful baskets and bins in the stores these days, but if they are not used properly, they only add to the clutter and can make things much worse.   Baskets and bins should each have a definite use, such as for snacks, shoes, scarves, etc., and should never be filled with a myriad of items that have no rhyme or reason.  It is extremely easy to keep adding to a bin until it is practically overflowing, so keep that in mind.  Also, one should always label the outside of each bin with its contents.  And remember, if you can’t see an item, you can’t use it!!

Focus on the keepers, not the throw-aways!  In almost every organizing project, there will be (and should be) items that will need to be tossed and/or donated.  But unfortunately, this knowledge leads some people to immediate derailment.  If this is the case for you, it might help to stop focusing on the fact that you are getting rid of items and instead concentrate on how you want your home to feel.  The things you have in your home should reflect the life you want to live.  They should make you happy and energize you.  By turning your attention to the items that illicit those feelings, you are diverting attention away from the negative and toward the positive aspect of decluttering.

Above all, I urge you to understand that organizing is an emotional project and will take a bit of time and thought to complete, so take it easy on yourself and make a commitment to stay on track no matter what!  It will pay off in the end.  I promise. 

Thank you for stopping by my blog!

Erin Sharplin Love

http://www.panachebyerin.com

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What I’ve Been Wearing Lately

Below is a visual digest of the outfits I’ve been wearing lately.  I hope you gain inspiration from one or more of them!  Thanks for checking them out!

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My favorite outfit is the last one with the pop of pink!  Which is your fave?

Erin

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How to Plan a Crawfish Boil

For the past two years we have had a crawfish boil for my son, Eli’s, birthday.   It’s a great way to get all of our friends and family together and make Eli’s celebration even more special than just your run-of-the-mill birthday party.  Not to mention, crawfish are a must here in the south and my husband LOVES them!  Eli, not so much yet, but don’t worry…we also served his favorite – fried fish!

As a wedding and event planner, I couldn’t help but go all out!  It was so much fun!!  So, if you are interested in planning your own crawfish boil, I thought I would share a few tips and ideas with you.

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First things first – The guest list and invitations!   I always prefer an actual paper invitation as opposed to an evite, because they are more personal, in my opinion.  So, I did a little searching on Etsy to find inspiration for this year’s invitation.  If your budget is limited you could definitely create your own.  As far as the guest list – we chose to invite close friends and family only, as crawfish do tend to get expensive.  *Note – you may want to price crawfish (boiled and ready-to-boil) in your area before deciding on the final guest list.

Menu – Quite a few children were invited to the party, so we decided to fry fish along with boiling crawfish.  Remember, crawfish is a shellfish so some of your guests could be allergic, not to mention, they are an acquired taste so more than one menu option is a good idea.  After deciding on the main dishes, go ahead and factor in side dishes, drinks (crawfish go very well with beer if you want to serve alcohol), dips (some people like to dip their crawfish in cocktail sauce, for instance, but my husband’s family makes an awesome spicy dip.  I will share the recipe later.), and plates, cups, etc.  Also, will you be serving a cake or other sweet?  Since this was Eli’s birthday, we had to get him a cake – red velvet with cream cheese icing, to be exact.  All of the final details tend to add up, so refer to my next tip for a checklist.

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Go shopping!  Once you’ve set aside a budget for your event you should go shopping and begin stocking up on items for the event.  Below is a checklist of items that you may need or want to purchase for your crawfish boil.  We boiled our own crawfish, so if you are planning to purchase yours already boiled you will leave off some of the items I’ve included:

  • Plates (we purchased some cute ones with a crawfish design)
  • Cake plates
  • Cups (check these out!  They also make great favors!)
  • Napkins or Paper towels (crawfish tend to be extremely messy, so we purchased paper towel rolls to set on each table)
  • Plastic utensils
  • Drinks (coke, diet coke, unsweet tea, sweet tea, water, and juice boxes for the kids, also,beer if you so choose)
  • Red potatoes and corn (these are ALWAYS boiled with crawfish)
  • Fish and fish fry
  • French fries
  • Vegetable oil for frying fish and french fries
  • Crawfish boil liquid and powder seasoning
  • Cocktail sauce
  • Ingredients for the “Love Family Special Sauce” (ketchup, mayo, hot sauce, Tony Chachere’s seasoning)
  • Ingredients for any other side dishes you choose to offer (we also had coleslaw)
  • Plastic or paper tablecloths (something that you can just toss afterwards is best for a crawfish boil)
  • Trays, large bowls, and/or buckets for the crawfish and crawfish tails (You can easily purchase these at a Dollar Store to save money)
  • Trash bags (it is advisable not to throw crawfish tails into your personal trash cans as the stench will be excruciatingly painful)
  • Decorative items (to be discussed in my next tip)
  • Ice for drinks
  • Wet wipes (for cleaning crawfish grime and seasoning off of hands)

Plan your decor – Peruse your home and see what you already have that could come in handy.  For instance, I had this old boat-shaped shelf that I purchased a while back for a wedding and it fit perfectly with my crawfish boil theme.  I also had an old wood slab that was perfect as a cake plateau.  However, I did want and need to purchase a few more items to add to the ambiance.  Below are a few pictures of my setup!  Maybe you can get a bit of inspiration from them.

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Don’t forget the details!   Instead of using a typical guest book, for instance, I purchased this book and had each guest sign it as a keepsake for Eli.   Another thing to remember is if guests will be bringing gifts, have someone keep note of who purchased each gift so you can write thank-you notes after the event.

Paying attention to the tiny details is what will set your crawfish boil apart from the rest!  Do you have any great tips to share??

Erin Sharplin Love

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SAINTS Game Day Fashions

I remember when I used to despise football of any kind, but then one day I actually sat down and gave the Saints a chance to capture my attention and the rest is history!  I have been a loyal fan ever since…even to the point of hating the Atlanta Falcons!  LOL!

This year I was lucky enough to make it to the Saints/Packers game with my friends Kim and Bonnie.  We had a great time, although I couldn’t partake in the alcoholic festivities since I am 31 weeks pregnant.  Nevertheless, the Saints kept me completely entertained!

While we were mixing and mingling before the game, we were stopped by a fashion blogger who takes pictures of “best-dressed Saints fans” for the New Orleans Saints website.  Below is our picture!

best dressed saints fan

On that note, I found a few other bloggers who also post Saints game day outfits, so I thought I’d share a couple for a bit of fashion inspiration!  If you are lucky enough to be at the Saints game this weekend, have fun!!   I’m jealous.

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Who will you be cheering for this weekend?

Love,

Erin

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Are You SCARED to Get Organized??

Are You Scared of Getting Organized?

As a professional organizer, I understand how overwhelming taking on an organizing project can be, but let me assure you that it is well worth it!  In the end, one must realize that getting and staying organized is more of a lifestyle change than anything and it takes commitment and self-discipline.  With that said, I do have  a few simple steps that  will get you started on the organizational path and hopefully inspire you to keep going.  Check them out below:

The key to keeping yourself from getting overwhelmed is to start small – Go through your entire house and throw out (recycle) the following items:

  1. Empty wrappers and packages
  2. Expired coupons
  3. Outdated magazines, flyers, and other mail
  4. Spoiled or expired food items (check the fridge and the pantry)
  5. Expired medication
  6. Rusty or broken tools and utensils
  7. Socks with no mates
  8. Anything else that is broken or in disrepair

I suggest setting a timer for ten to twenty minutes, once a day, for eight days to get the list above completed.  You won’t believe how big of a difference it will make and how inspired and happy you will feel.

Love,

Erin

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Best Of The VMA Red Carpet

The VMA red carpet is usually a place where celebrities push the limits a bit when it comes to fashion (remember Lady Gaga and her meat dress?), and this year wasn’t really an exception!  What was Katy Perry thinking with her ode to Justin and Brittany?  Funny, yes.  Stylish, no!  I’m even sort of sad about Taylor Swift’s outfit.  She is usually so ladylike, but this outfit was certainly not.  Anyway, with that said, there were a few people who really took fashion to the next level last night!  Check out my “Best of the VMA Red Carpet” below:

 

Beyoncé at the 2014 MTV VMAs

I love Beyonce’s dress, but would have suggested a different pair of earrings.  What do you think?

Iggy Azalea at the 2014 MTV VMAs

We are just now getting to know Iggy Azalea and her style and I don’t know about you, but this is far from what I expected to see from her last night.  I like it!

Michelle Williams at the 2014 MTV VMAs

Michelle Williams looks statuesque in this black and white flowy dress!  I love it, however, I would have suggested a much softer look for hair and makeup.

Nina Dobrev at the 2014 MTV VMAs

Nina Dobrev is my pick for BEST dressed!  I love this gown and it has just the right amount of oomph to make it worth of the VMA’s!  

 

So what do you think?  Who is your vote for best-dressed?  What about worst-dressed?

Love, 

Erin

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Best Of The VMA Red Carpet

The VMA red carpet is usually a place where celebrities push the limits a bit when it comes to fashion (remember Lady Gaga and her meat dress?), and this year wasn’t really an exception!  What was Katy Perry thinking with her ode to Justin and Brittany?  Funny, yes.  Stylish, no!  I’m even sort of sad about Taylor Swift’s outfit.  She is usually so ladylike, but this outfit was certainly not.  Anyway, with that said, there were a few people who really took fashion to the next level last night!  Check out my “Best of the VMA Red Carpet” below:

 

Beyoncé at the 2014 MTV VMAs

I love Beyonce’s dress, but would have suggested a different pair of earrings.  What do you think?

Iggy Azalea at the 2014 MTV VMAs

We are just now getting to know Iggy Azalea and her style and I don’t know about you, but this is far from what I expected to see from her last night.  I like it!

Michelle Williams at the 2014 MTV VMAs

Michelle Williams looks statuesque in this black and white flowy dress!  I love it, however, I would have suggested a much softer look for hair and makeup.

Nina Dobrev at the 2014 MTV VMAs

Nina Dobrev is my pick for BEST dressed!  I love this gown and it has just the right amount of oomph to make it worth of the VMA’s!  

 

So what do you think?  Who is your vote for best-dressed?  What about worst-dressed?

Love, 

Erin

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