My kitchen pantry has been a point of frustration for quite some time. It’s not very big, but the kitchen doesn’t have a lot of cabinet space – meaning that we need to utilize every square inch of the pantry.

The pantry has always bothered me, but in the last few months it got out of control. And I mean, OUT of control – like a hurricane had blown there and somehow missed the rest of the house.

On the last weekend in July, I was determined to clean and organize the pantry. I needed this for my sanity.

Toss or keep?

First, I took everything out. I made piles across the kitchen floor: Keep, trash, storage.

The ‘keep’ pile had things like canned food, chips, snacks, and baking necessities. The ‘trash’ pile was mostly just food items that had expired, plastic containers missing lids, and random things that had somehow made a home in the pantry. The ‘storage’ pile was mostly holiday decorations for the dining room, which belong in our Christmas boxes in the basement.

Next, I grabbed a basket and started breaking things from the ‘keep’ pile into categories. My categories included things like snacks and baking, but I also had a pile for protein powder and for party needs. I made one for my roommate and her things, too. Everyone’s categories will probably be a little bit different according to your lifestyle, and that’s okay!

Try to not be too obsessive about what goes in each category – as long as it makes sense to you, that’s all that matters.

Organize

Then, separate your categories into different baskets. You can get baskets that match or try different ones that fit the mood of your kitchen. Also make sure to store the things that you have the most of in the biggest basket!

My kitchen has a rustic feel, so I went with wicker baskets (HomeGoods), wire baskets with copper handles (Target), and galvanized steel buckets (my local hardware store, Little Hardware). They don’t match, but they all have the same vibe.

Once you arrange the baskets or containers, you can label them. This is totally optional and more for looks than anything, but I thought it was so cute that I couldn’t resist.

I used chalkboard gift tags from Target, but any type of tag will work. Write the name of whatever category is in the basket on the tag, using any sort of lettering you want. I went with a loopy script.

Then, grab some ribbon, twine, or yarn and tie the tag to the basket handle or to an opening in the wire.

After I did all the organizing, I steam cleaned the floor with my Swiffer Bissel Steam Cleaner and put in a new light bulb (bad lighting will kill the mood of a room in a split second).

Voila! You’re done! The whole process probably took me 3-4 hours, but I had a lot of trash to clean out.

Does your pantry need a makeover? What kind of organization do you follow in your kitchen?

Follow

Follow

Follow

Follow

My boyfriend and I live in a 100 year-old house.

When I moved in, all I could see was green.

The ugly, dark Kelly green paint flaking off the side of the house.

We lived in a frat house-esque home for the first year, with four male roommates. I went home to my parent’s house often, because I couldn’t quite stomach the idea of sleeping on a mattress that was on the floor.

Then, we redid the living room. I’m not even sure how it happened- but one day there was a dirty love seat and paper-thin rug on the floor, and the next day it was gone. We had a new (to us) couch, a coffee table, and a few lamps.

And that sparked it.

Ever since, I’ve had the home improvement bug. We’ve painted, gone to IKEA, planted trees, drilled holes, stained wood… and we’re not finished.

I’m proud of our home. We have a table that is always set, a fireplace ready to be lit, and a bowl where our keys go. We have throw pillows, baskets, cookbooks, and pictures.

Now, it (kind of) looks like a real house!

Stay tuned for pretty, Southern, ways to transform your house into a home.

Follow

Style advice?

Denim.

THERE IS NO PROBLEM DENIM CANNOT FIX. I cannot stress that enough.

Years ago, I hated wearing jeans. They were always too tight, too short, too dark, or too something. I never wore them, and any pair I owned had to be an expensive pair. I was convinced that they fit better and would change my mind, and expose me to the joy of the blue material.

I was so wrong.

There was nothing that would make me like jeans until I liked myself. After some changes through the last few years (aka college years of eating nothing but cereal and peanut butter) I began to actually like my body. Once that happened, my love of denim flourished. Everything began to fit better and made me actually enjoy wearing them.

I probably own six pairs of jeans now, ranging in colors from black, to white, to a light shade of blue (I still maintain that dark jeans do not look good on me). I wear them at least 5 days a week, because I’m lucky enough to have a job where I can wear jeans.

The style point here is, jeans will save your wardrobe. Those short dresses I wear on the weekends double as tops over a good pair of skinny jeans during the week. A denim jacket can take your sundress from a party to the office. A denim vest makes something girly look edgy. And a solid pair of flares will change your life (maybe it’s just me on that one- no promises).

My other point here is, I didn’t decide to love wearing jeans because they suddenly looked good on a thinner body. The point is that I became happy with myself, and that made the difference. If you think some article of clothing doesn’t work on you, check your self confidence before swearing it off forever.

Follow

Class, dignity, and beauty.

Contrary to popular belief, being born in a Southern state does not make a woman into a Southern belle. Neither a perfectly clean home nor a juicy rum cake can transform someone into the ideal form of a Southern woman.

A girl needs three things before she can be the ultimate Southern lady, and they are class, dignity, and beauty.

Now, no one is born with these things. You develop these over time, through your family and friends, the choices you make, and the way you live. These are things that come from your brain and your heart, and shine through. These traits are exhibited in daily life.

I’m not saying the South doesn’t have any bad eggs.

I’m just saying it’s less likely.

 

Follow

Makeup can be the most fun thing in the world, until you stab yourself with eyeliner. We all know the feeling of buying a foundation that’s too dark, a lipstick that makes your lips feel like they’re covered in glue, and mascara that winds up looking like spiders live on your eyes.

I’ve been there, and I’ve been there often.

But it’s worth it. It’s worth it for that time when you look in the mirror and catch your own eye. For when you are at your saddest moment, but you put on red lipstick and you take on the day anyway. And it’s for when nothing else in your life seems to be going right, you can always look like a million dollars.

Makeup is one of my favorite things, and it’s probably because I like to paint. I like seeing how colors work together, and I like making a canvas come to life in different ways. Does it always work? Absolutely not. 

But it’s worth trying.

My plan is to make makeup videos and post them here, so anyone that struggles with makeup can learn, and anyone with low self-esteem can maybe help that, just a little, by seeing how beautiful they really are.

Suggestions? Tips for me? Want to help? Reach out to me; I’d love your help.

 

Follow

The older I get, the more I realize that being a woman born in the South is a blessing. Not all women across the country, or even the world, are lucky enough to have the manners, class, dignity, and beauty that Southern women do. Now- obviously, ALL women have the power to have these qualities; but, there’s just something about the strength of southern women. The grandmother or mother is often referred to as the matriarch of the family, and my family was nothing out of the ordinary in that way. My grandmother raised me to speak my mind, while my mother taught me how to make that sound a little more refined. Ma taught me to cook, mom taught me how to pick a nice place for dinner. My aunts and cousins have always been a place to run when I want someone to tell me like it is, while my mom is always going to take my side (for better or worse). I’ve been honored to have two intelligent, beautiful, and dignified women mentor me while starting my career– women who told me what and how to do it, but also quickly corrected my mistakes and stood up for me when I was wrong. Is it wrong for me to say those two were also Southern bred? It’s funny the way the women in the South end up shaping our lives- for the better.

I’ve started this blog to show you—whether you have the privilege of living in the South or not— the way I was brought up and the way I was taught to embrace being a women, living in a place that was historically ruled by men. I was taught to embrace, not hide, my style and my intelligence. Yes- you can have both! (This is, unfortunately, a shocking fact to some.)

So, here we go. I will show you makeup and hair tricks, clothes that fit my slightly eclectic style, and the ways that my strong female role models, and my Southern heritage play into it all. Yes, there is big hair involved.

Stay tuned, y’all.

 

Follow

Follow