Monday, April 9, 2012

My "Precious"

No, not that "Precious."  What I'm talking about are Office Supplies.  I have to admit I get a little "Gollum-ish" at Staples or in the office supply aisle at my favorite stores.  I have had a love for office supplies even before I had an office.  Back then we called them school supplies.  I've been a junkie for a long time and at this point I do not have the strength to quit.  I have found solace in the fact that there are others out there just like me.  My friend Brandi and I bonded over the release of the Sharpie Liquid Pencil...strange I know!  We are always talking to each other about the newest things that we have seen out and usually end up with the same style and color of whatever we her :)

For some other folks who love office supplies please see exhibit A:

"Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms"
~ You've Got Mail

Great movie, great smell.  Moving on!

So I thought I would write up a post about my favorite supplies and include you all in the nerd-love. 
Here we go...

1. The sharpie retractable medium point pen (that's a mouthful).

I was so so happy when the sharpie company came out with their pens.  I am left-handed and always have the unfortunate "stained hand" at the end of the day.  When these pens first came out I thought I had arrived.  Then, a little later, they came out with the retractable option and then a little after that the retractable option with a medium point.  I've in love.  They do not bleed through paper like the sharpie makers and do not leave with the ink all over my hands.  

2. Wite-Out Tape, Ecolutions

I love the wite-out tape because it is cleaner and you do not have to wait for drying time like with the liquid option before writing on the paper.  What I love about the ecolutions is that they are teeny-tiny.  They are so small I even carry one in my purse just incase (do not judge what you do not know).  I know they made them smaller to save the planet (which I am a fan of) but that's not why I bought 6 packs of them when they were marked down to 64 cents a two-pack after the back-to-school season was over.  What is better than an office supply?  That's right, a miniature office supply...on to the next!

3. Post-it Super Sticky Notes

I am a traditionalist when it comes to sticky notes.  They must be post-it brand, they must be canary yellow, and they must be...sticky.  I have several "posted" to my computer monitor at any given moment.  Currently, there are three of them staring back at me reminding me of the things I still need to accomplish.  

4.  Martha Stewart Home Office 

Martha, Martha, Martha...despite your criminal past, my love for you continues to grow.  Ms. Martha has recently released the most fabulous line of office supplies with the help of Avery and Staples.  Everything is impeccably detailed and beautiful.  The only thing I could justify buying were the reusable chalkboard labels.  That's right...reusable (which means removeable) chalkboard labels.  I love some chalkboard paint, but I do not necessarily want to paint everything with it.  I like the idea that I can stick them on jars and bins and then take them off and use the label on something else or pitch them in the garbage.  Here they are in action in our kitchen:

The first few pictures are of a plain jar that I bought at Target (I think for like $4).  I used it to keep homemade dishwasher soap, but I switched to the Seventh Generation brand and did not need the jar for that anymore. 

The next few pictures are of our kitchen canisters.  They contain sugar, flour, and Stevia.  The only problem was that we could never remember which of the canisters held what, especially the two in the back.  There is also a close up of what the jars were decorated with before. 

Ta, da!  I love them.  The labels revived the otherwise usable and functional canisters.  There is no need to replace them, as they still have a good seal and the latches work.  The labels make them a little better for us and it was a quick, frugal upgrade.  SO cute...anyway...

5. Notebooks and Notepads

This might be considered the same as post-it notes, but I love a good notepad.  I have them stashed all over the house, in my purse, car, desk, you get the point.  The smaller and cuter the better.  Here are a few cute options for you to puruse:

Cute Vera Bradley option

My favorite notepad write now that was a gift from a sweet friend,
and if you love Gilmore Girls like I do you know how cool this notepad is.

So, now that you have wasted 15 minutes of your life reading this list, I say goodnight.  I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing it even though you may not share my affinity for office supplies.  Happy Monday (sorry, it sounded bad as soon as I typed that)!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Great Outdoors

Happy Sunday everyone!  I have for the longest time written exclusively about the inside of our home and have yet to do a post about the front or backyard at Baker's House.  Just like the inside of our home, I love order and neatness.  Mother Nature has a since of humor though and try as I might there's always something. 

For example...have a look at the mutant dandelions I found in the yard this afternoon.  Disgusting, right? 

I have an unnatural hate for these yellow weeds.  They are evil and are nearly impossible to get rid of completely (especially if you are lucky like us and have neighbors who have no grass and only dandelions for a yard).  I spent the majority of my time outdoors spraying a nasty chemical on the yard to get rid of these pests.  That being said, I thought I would give some tips on eco-friendly ways to improve your outdoor space. 

My first green tip for working outdoors is one I recieved from a sweet friend a few years ago.  Many of you know Marypoppins (our fur-baby) and with having a big dog means you are going to have big bags of food.  For years I would just throw the empty bags in the trash, but not anymore.  These bags are great for stuffing yard clippings from your flower beds or from raking the grass.  I have found them to be even stronger than the average lawn bag that you pick up at the store.  I keep them in a bin in the garage (and stock up over the winter) to have on hand when spring time rolls around. 

My next tip involves baking soda.  Geez, I love that stuff.  I use it for cleaning ALL THE TIME.  I was googling around one day and found several eco-friendly options for killing weeds in the cracks of your pavement.  Just take a handful of baking soda and sprinkle it in on the weeds in the sidewalk or driveway.  When I did it, the baking soda went everywhere, but I just took a broom and swept it in the cracks. 

If you doubt my friend baking soda, here is a picture of a weed that I sprinkled on Thurday of this week...crispy and dead as a door nail...victory!

You can also poor boiling water on your sidewalk or driveway to help with these little critters (just be careful).  Something else that I read, that is not eco-friendly at all, but cool, is spraying WD-40 on those flat thistle weeds that murder your feet when you step on them.  When I was little, a friend and I name them "little Joeys" after this mean boy Joey D. in our fourth grade class.  We were so funny...I have to say that I have not tried this tip and would say give it a try but use caution and try to keep it just on those weeds only.  I have no idea what it would do to grass or other plants. 

Well, those are all of the tips I have for now!  Happy outdoorsing (totally just made that word up)!