Monday, June 3, 2013

Remembering How My Garden Grows Using Evernote

Big Boys? Early Girls? Beefsteak?
Every spring as the trees bloom and the perennials come peeking up from the ground, I head to the nursery to select my annuals plants.  I love to plant tomatoes, herbs and flowers in the borders and pots around my porch.  I love shopping for the flowers and digging in the dirt.  What always stymies me is I can never remember how many of which tomatoes or flowers worked well the year before or how many bags of mulch I purchased.
Solution: Evernote
I have the Evernote App on my tablet and smartphone and have a link to my account on my desktop as well. The beauty is that I can enter the information where I am and it syncs between my laptop, my tablet and my smartphone so I can retrieve these bits of information wherever I am.  I have been using Evernote for a few years to store lots of random bits of information like gift ideas, measurements of windows for blinds, recipes, notes, my mother-in-law's medicine list, and so on.  You can group like items like Books I want to read, Movies I want to see, and Wines I like.

Input is easy because I can take a picture of the wine bottle at dinner or the plastic plant marker so I can buy it later when I am in the store.  Other input options include typing it in, speaking it as an audio file for playback or speaking to text to read later. All the things you write on post-its all over the place now can be stored on Evernote.  Don't get me wrong I  love post-its but they aren't designed to last and can be tricky to find later.

You can create Notebooks by topic and be uber organized, or you can have one big notebook.  No worries because everything is searchable. Evernote does so much more and scratching the surface right here.  Stay tuned and we will dig deeper next time  So for now I have just added 15 bags of mulch, three tomatoes and four flats of annuals with details to keep me sane next spring.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Simplicity and Paper Products; Gift Wrap and Party Ware

Pinning away on Pinterest, it occurred to me that all the gift wrap storage solutions were for less than a dozen rolls of paper. Usually about 5-6 rolls are featured in the quaint spaces tucked behind doors, in closets, or from the ever popular tension rods.  Reality for many of my clients is that they have a lot more rolls than that.  To get them towards one of the gorgeous solutions, I offer this advice.
Use up what you have.  And do not acquire more until you are down to a more optimal amount.
Discard/Recycle the wraps that are wrinkled and torn. (You can do better.)  
Not in love with the design?   Flip it over and use the white side. 

For simplicity in the future in your smaller gift wrap storage solution:
Use thick brown or white craft paper, white gift wrap or another solid color. 
Decorate the simple paper with sharpies for a quick to/ from tags or  use homemade or store bought tags. I keep silver and gold sharpies on hand for this purpose.
Tie them up with tulle, lace, or ribbon. With the simple paper even a shoestring bow will look elegant.

While we are in the party mood, here are a few more simplifying ideas I love.  When buying paper plates large and small, paper bowls, napkins, and cups just pick a color and run with it.  I usually go only with red party ware. Who doesn't love a red Solo cup? Sticking with one color means after the party you pack up the leftovers and keep them for the next bout of entertaining.  Red works for Valentine's Day, all patriotic holidays (US, Canada, and many other countries), summer picnics, Christmas and here in Ohio, all Buckeye tailgates. I have a girlfriend who has black as a color since it goes with most of her decor.  One color means it always matches and you only maintain inventory. From the looks of my basket I'm getting low on napkins.

If you chose not to go with one color, tuck the napkins in your napkin holder after an event.  Stick the plates on the microwave and use them up. There is no value in saving plastic bags of party leftovers with 2-3 super hero or princess napkins.  You won't use a few leftover invites, or party hats either.  Your photos will show the decorations in the future so saving them to scrapbook is not necessary.  

Choose simplicity. There are lots of details in entertaining. Make gift wrap and paper ware one thing you can take off your plate.

To see the gift wrap storage solutions and other wrap ideas :