Getting Organized for Back to School

Image result for back to school

Move over, summer!  A new school year is almost here and that means hectic schedules, alarm clocks, and paper piles.  Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with it all, but with a little organization you can create order out of the chaos.  Check out my tips below:

Take the time to transition!  Don’t let the school year sneak up on you.  Begin easing your children into their new bedtime routine gradually.  For instance, begin waking late sleepers earlier and earlier until it’s closer to the hour they will need to awake for school.

Organize their school clothes.  Go ahead and set aside a space in your child’s closet specifically for school clothes.  If your children do not wear uniforms, it may be a good idea to put together outfits a week at a time to avoid a war in the morning.  Or if you need to shop, check out the next tip.

Plan before you shop.  The beginning of the school year is always the biggest shopping time for stores, so it’s a good idea to be prepared.  Make a list of what your child needs so you won’t wander aimlessly and then leave with nothing, or worse, leave with way more than you need!

Create the perfect backpack nook.  This could be in a mudroom, laundry room, or simply inside the door they use the most.  I suggest hanging a coat hook for the backpack and placing a roomy basket underneath for papers and other paraphernalia.  Stopping paper clutter at the door is a must for any organizing junkie!

Make a plan for those piles of paper.  I suggest that you go ahead and devise a plan for what you will do with the paperwork that is soon to bombard you.  I love the idea of scanning coloring pages, A+ grades, and other keepsake pages and tossing the original.  Another idea is to create a display area for special papers and rotate them as needed.

Create a homework station.  Make doing homework more fun by creating the perfect space for your little one.  Let them help by decorating it and then storing it with papers, pencils, crayons, and other school work necessities.

Invest in a large calendar.  If you haven’t already, I suggest purchasing a large calendar that you can put in a central location for all to use.  When you begin receiving special dates from the school and/or sporting teams, put them in the calendar immediately.  I can imagine that nothing would be worse than missing your daughter’s school play or your son’s first t-ball game.

Create a nightly routine.  I promise this will save you from becoming crazed every school morning.  The more you can do the night before, the better.  For instance, go ahead and plan breakfast, pack lunches, choose outfits, scan backpacks for missing homework, projects, or library books, and make sure music and/or sports bags are packed and ready.

Remember…you can never be too prepared!

Happy new school year!!


Utensil Etiquette

First of all, if you participated in this Facebook post, thank you!!  I love seeing all of that interaction on my posts!!  Wasn’t this etiquette quiz fun?  Did it make you want to learn more?  I hope so!  I am planning an etiquette course for adults and children, so stay tuned! If you would like to be notified of the courses, please consider subscribing.  🙂

Ok…on to the answer to my quiz!  Where do your utensils go when you are FINISHED with your meal?  The answer is C!  How many of you got that??

The picture in Exhibit A is what your plate should look like DURING your meal.

The picture in Exhibit B is what your plate should look like if you need to get up from the table and you have NOT COMPLETED your meal.


The picture in Exhibit C is what your plate should look like when you have COMPLETED your meal.

Now, next time you go out to dinner you will be confident and relaxed because you know what to do!

If you have any etiquette questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments!

Thank you for reading!!

Erin Sharplin Love

Panache by Erin


The MUSTS for Being Organized

If you truly want to get and STAY organized, there are several MUSTS that you need to abide by.  First and foremost, it is important to note that you must change your mindset in order to truly get and stay organized.  You have to WANT to get organized and then you will be able to set yourself up for success.   Above all, there are “musts” that every organized person knows and adheres to.  I am sharing them below:

Everything in your home must have a specific home!

After you use an item in must be returned to its home immediately!

Follow the one in, one out rule.

Procrastination will kill your success!

Never leave a project unfinished.

If an item remains unused for more than two years, get rid of it.

Take a few minutes at the beginning or end of each day to put items away.

Make adjustments to your organizing process as needed!

Never go shopping without a plan!

STAYING organized is much harder than getting organized, but not if you follow these “musts”!  I hope they help. 🙂

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post!!  Please feel free to share it!


Erin Sharplin Love

Panache by Erin

The 5 Reasons You Have Nothing to Wear!

How often do you walk into your closet and exclaim “I have nothing to wear”?  My guess is that it probably happens every day, even though there is a closet full of clothing staring back at you.  If this sounds familiar, I can help.  Let’s dissect some of the reasons you may be suffering from “I have nothing to wear” syndrome.  

  1. You have no idea what is even in your closet!   Some of you may know my backstory, but in case you don’t, let me fill you in – I began my career as a fashion consultant, but quickly realized that I couldn’t help people with their wardrobes if I couldn’t see what they had to work with!!  THAT is where my career as a professional organizer began.  I had to organize each clients’ closet before I could help her with her personal style.  The same goes for you!  If you can’t see what’s in your closet, of course you think you have nothing to wear!  My advice = Take the time to get organized!  
  2. You haven’t figured out your personal style.  Personal style is a curious, fun, challenging, and important part of enjoying your wardrobe!  I definitely recommend that you take the time to figure out your own personal style, so here are a few questions to get your started.  What is your lifestyle?  What do you do for a living?  What do you do for fun?  If you could have all of the items from one celebrity’s closet, whose would it be?  What are your best and worst colors?  What was the last outfit that garnered a compliment from someone?  Did you feel like a million bucks in it?   
  3. Your current wardrobe is out of sync with your personal style.  It is not uncommon to want or need to change your personal style every few years, so if you’ve found that you truly have nothing to wear, this may be the reason.  Take the time to redefine your personal style and get rid of anything that doesn’t jive with it.  
  4. You don’t have the right pieces.    In other words, you are lacking a few key staples of every good wardrobe.  Staples include, but are not limited to, the following – Skinny jeans, boot-cut jeans in a dark wash, camisoles in white, ivory, and black, a few trendy tunics/tops, a neutral-colored cardigan and one in a pop of color, black pants in a flattering fit, a little black dress and a fun, flirty dress, peep-toe pumps in a neutral color and a pop of color, knee-high boots in black and brown, fun accessories that will dress and outfit up or down, an every day purse, a cross-body bag, and an evening clutch.  Wardrobe essentials have a lot to do with your lifestyle and preferences, so keep that in mind when adding to your wardrobe.  
  5. You are an impulse shopper.   Impulse shoppers typically purchase items without having any idea when, how, or where she will wear the item(s).  That is a huge no, no!  You should always shop with an agenda and a list!  You will save so much time, space, stress, and money in the long run!  I promise…I had to learn this the hard way.  I LOVE to shop!!  🙂

So, be honest, which of these five reasons speak to you?

Thank you so much for reading!!

Erin Sharplin Love

A Few of My Favorite Beauty Products

From an early age, my Mom taught me how and why skin care is important.  I remember her teaching me the proper way to cleanse my skin and, eventually, teaching me how to apply makeup.  That is where my love for makeup and skincare began!  I have continued to play with and test new products as they come out in stores and I thought that I would start to share my opinions with you guys.  I hope you like this post!

Below are a few of my favorite beauty products.  I’ll call this my March Favorites!

  Freeman’s Facial Polishing Mask (Charcoal & Black Sugar)-  This mask is an exfoliating and detoxifying mask.  I use it every Monday and Friday morning.  I used to apply masks in the evening before bed, but I have discovered that my makeup goes on more smoothly and my skin appears healthier when I apply my mask in the morning.  If you try it, let me know your opinion!  You can purchase this product at Walgreens and most drugstores.


 Signature Club A Inhib-A-Line – I use this product once a day and in the morning, after toner and before my moisturizer.  It is supposed to lessen the appearance of lines (I have forehead lines that are beginning to bother me a bit), and I feel as though this serum has definitely done what it says.  My line isn’t totally gone, but it isn’t as deep as it was and I feel as though this product has stopped the progression of the line.  You can purchase this on Amazon or QVC.

 NYX Dark Circle Concealer – If you have dark circles under your eyes, I definitely recommend this peach-colored, correcting concealer.  The peach counteracts the blue/purple tone perfectly!!  I typically apply this concealer and then apply  a creamier one on top, blend it out, and finish with a powder.  You can purchase this concealer at most drugstores.  I got mine at CVS.

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in White Frost – I like all of these eye pencils, but the white frost one is my fave!!  I use it as a highlight for the inner corner of my eyes.  (If you don’t highlight the inner corner of your eyes, I totally recommend it! It immediately brightens your eyes, as well as, you entire face!)  Below is an example:


 Buxom Lip Glosses – I must admit…I am a sucker for lipstick and lipgloss!!  I probably have one lipstick for every day of the year!  EEEK!  I can’t believe I just admitted that.  Anyway, these buxom lip glosses add shine and plump a little, too.  Don’t worry, though, the plumping ingredient doesn’t burn or sting, it simply cools.  The Buxom line has something for everyone, whether you prefer sheer, matte, dark, or light.  You will find it!

What are some of your favorite beauty products right now?  I would love to try something new!

Thanks for reading!

Erin Sharplin Love

Panache by Erin


Creative Ways to Keep Treasures New & Old

Creative Ways to Keep Treasures New & Old

I know it has been a while since my last post, but I got a bit of inspiration via a Facebook comment,  (Thanks, Sherry!) , so I thought the perfect way to answer her question was through a post.  I hope you find my tips helpful, too.

As loved ones pass in and out of our lives, memorabilia (and beautiful memories) is accumulated.  But, what do we do with all of those little keepsakes?  Package them up and stick them in the attic?  Or set them in a chest rarely to be seen again?  I say “Absolutely Not!”  Those keepsakes should be displayed in a way that preserves the memory, yet keeps it visible for all to enjoy.  Below are a few of my tips for creative ways to keep your little treasures:

Cards & Such – Do you have special cards (birthday cards, love letters, recipe cards, tickets, postcards, etc.) from a loved one that you can’t part with?  I suggest framing them and creating a collage wall or simply place them on bookshelves or in another special place.  I have recipe cards written in my grandmother and great grandmothers handwriting, I have to do this!:
Framed Recipe How to Decorate a Kitchen   Stylish & Practical Ways to Accessorize Your Space

Send yourself a postcard from your trip. | 20 Non-Scrapbook Ways To Remember Your Vacation Forever:

Clothing or Blankets – Clothing and blankets are also kind of hard to give up sometimes, especially when they remind you of your child when he was a baby.  Instead of getting rid of them or packing them into a plastic storage container, choose a few of your favorite pieces and get creative!!  Check out the pics below.

Baby Keepsake Quilt.  Link below is to a company that will make them.  Image was from a FB post:

Teddy bear made from old baby clothes

What a fun keepsake for those favourite baby clothes you can't bear to part with!  NEW Memory Pillow baby clothes quilt Memory quilt by LulasLuvables:

Memory Pillows Keepsake | ... shirts, robes, or dresses make a comforting Sleeved Memory Pillow:

Books and Bibles – In my opinion, there is nothing like reading a good, old book.  There is something about the feel of the pages and the scent of the old paper that makes it so wonderful to me.  With that said, I often run across others who feel the same way about old books, especially Bibles, that were previously owned by a loved one.  Below are my suggestions on displaying old books and bibles.

French books under a dome. what about the pastors journal I have?:

Repro antique glass display case via Miss Mustard Seed (decorsteals)

Love this idea for a display of family geneology items...old Bibles, notebooks, journals and the Christus.  HVÍTUR LAKKRÍS

old books, dough bowl and grain sack

Jewelry – When my grandmother passed away she left me all of her jewelry.  Some of it was great, timeless necklaces, but there were also rings that were too big for me.  Some of them I got sized to fit my finger, and some of them were recreated into stud earrings.  I always suggest trying whatever you can so that you may be able to wear the items yourself, but if that doesn’t work for you and you simply want to hold onto the pieces in their original form, below are a few suggestions.

frame grandma's jewelry on a piece of linen.  I love this idea!:

i LOVE this idea of pinning "momento jewelry" (handed down from grandmothers, etc) inside a shadowbox frame and it doubles as art! :):

75 Ways to Fill Clear Glass Ornaments {Homemade Christmas Ornaments} - Refunk My JunkRefunk My Junk:

Shadow box turned jewelry display - perfect for displaying delicate jewelry or vintage pieces:

I hope this sparks some inspiration for you!!

Have you done something creative with your keepsakes recently?  Please share!

Thanks for reading!

Erin Sharplin Love

Panache by Erin

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

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?


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