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    Reverie and Rule Blog

    I Got This In The Bag, Babe

    I Got This In The Bag, Babe

    In a world full of an ever increasing number of minimalists, I stand alone. I'm a collector and lover of all the things. I pride myself on having something in a pinch whether it be at work, home, or on the run. Does someone need a band-aid, a strand of twine, a birthday card? I gotchu. There's some deep comfort in feeling stocked up and ready for anything. As strong as this desire burns inside of me, I also need to dwell in a neat and organized world, which means no junk or garbage hanging around. My bag is my pride and joy, it's a total Mary Poppins experience. So I thought I'd share some of the most essential things that I carry all around creation with me. 


    1. First Aid Kit

    This is pretty obvious, especially if you're a mom. I've created my own inside a small zipper pouch. I keep band-aids, Advil, tampons, antacid chews, a thermometer, Monistat chafing cream, chapstick, and anything else that finds it's way into the mix. 


    2. Crayons 

    I always have a zipper bag with crayons, pens, pencils and a pocket notebook inside. This has come in handy SO many times at restaurants or in situations where there's a wait with my kids. Most restaurants supply your kids with crayons, but some don't and when you have crayons on hand, it can be a total lifesaver. 


    3. Sewing Kit

    There have been so many times when I've needed a button sewed back on in a pinch or I've been traveling with friends or someone else who needs a sewing kit. They usually have tiny scissors in them too which can come in handy in a multitude of situations, and you don't need to worry about getting them confiscated when flying because they're always under that 4-inch limit. 


    4. Wine Key

    Does this even need explaining? I didn't think so. 


    5. Makeup 

    At least once a week I have an evening meeting following my work day. I don't have time to run home between, so it's nice to have a makeup kit to freshen up. I always use sample sizes from either Sephora or Ulta, most of which I've picked up as rewards. I'm repeatedly so thankful to have makeup on the go. I keep a brush and bobby pins in the bag too. 


    6. 50spf spray Sunscreen

    This is a summertime need but, when you need it, you need it! I have tattoos that I always protect in the sun so if I'm at a yard party, or a flee market and realize that I'm spending a lot of time in direct sun, I'm so thankful to have sunscreen on hand. This is, of course, true with my kids' precious perfect skin too. There are so many times when we don't think of sunscreen ahead of time and it's not until we're baking in the sunshine that we realize we need it. 


    7. Hand Sanitizer

    It's no replacement for washing your hands with hot soapy water, but we've all been there when hand sanitizer is a life saver. 


    8. Baby Wipes

    From spills in the car to chocolate on my kid's faces, baby wipes are essential. They can also be used for scraped knees before putting on a band-aid. Baby wipes are cheaper than wet ones and they're totally safe to use on everything from leather to baby skin! Cheetos are still my enemy but baby wipes help there too ;) 


    9. Tape Measurer 

    I've already told you that I'm a collector so it should come as no surprise that I'm always on the hunt for new art, furniture, and decor. Decisions are made much easier if you have a tape measurer and can determine whether or not your space can accommodate whatever it is that has caught your eye. 


    10. Packing Tape

    Somehow I always find myself in need of tape when I'm on the go. I've found that clear packing tape fits all my needs best. From packing up a flat rate box to posting a sign to wrapping a quick gift on the go. I've used packing tape in all those situations, but it can also be used in an emergency situation to wrap a wound. Packing tape can be used to create a handle or a tag. It's versatility make it something I'm reaching for way more than you might expect. 


    Well, there you have it! Now I will admit that I usually carry these things in a backpack that comes with me wherever I go, but I also use a smaller purse for running into the store. I don't need my Mary Poppins bag when I'm paying for gas. These ten essentials are the skeleton, but I always find myself lugging around many more necessary items. Find what works for you, and never find yourself in a situation with a bottle of wine and no way to open it ;) 


    5 Ways to Get Focused and Knock Out Your To-do List

    5 Ways to Get Focused and Knock Out Your To-do List

    Raise your hand if your rate of procrastination grows at the same rate as your to-do list. I'm raising my hand. I've always struggled with procrastination, the more mundane the task, the worse it is. I'm not great with numbers or precision so if either of those things are involved I like to tell myself right off the bat that I probably can't do it anyway. I'm also a rule breaker, so if something is "mandatory" it's like a guarantee that I'll start walking quickly in the opposite direction. So, my to-do list grows, I dig my heels in more, come up with a million excuses why it can wait, and then end up being rushed and putting out mediocre work.  Because this little sequence of events has repeated itself time and time again in my life, I've had to create a toolkit for myself in anticipation of it. I thought I would share this toolkit with you just in case there's anyone out there who suffers from a similar malaise.

    1. Get In The Zone.

    It's okay to take 10 or 15 minutes to set yourself up and ease into your flow. Depending on the task at hand I'll pick a Spotify station, a podcast or an audiobook to listen to. If I'm writing, preparing documents, paying bills, etc. I usually like to listen to one of the playlists in the "Focus" genre of Spotify. If I'm working with my hands or cleaning I like to listen to a podcast or a book. You'll also want to find the ideal workspace for your task. Obviously, if the task is cleaning your bathroom, you know where you need to be. But if you're doing computer work, find a comfortable spot that will accommodate your materials and give you privacy. Set your phone aside, grab a cup of coffee or a giant diet coke and get started.

    2. Set A Time Limit

    Setting a time limit helps me get focused more quickly because I know I want to complete my task before my time is up. I also like time limits because if the task is particularly unsavory I can tell myself that in one hour, I'll have completed my obligation. Setting a time limit doesn't necessarily mean that you'll fully complete the work within that time frame, but it gives you a dedicated a chunk of time where you can focus completely. For me, the idea of potentially working on something all day makes it feel impossible to begin. If I know I only have to dedicate an hour or two to something, it's so much easier to get started. Sometimes getting started is the biggest hurdle, once you break the seal and gain some momentum you may surprise yourself with how productive you can be! 

    3.  Remind Yourself That You WANT To Do The Work 

    There's this quote that I saw several years ago and clung to like a frightened child. It says, "Nothing will make you feel better except doing the work". I don't know who deserves credit for this quote but I think it's absolute perfection. The more we procrastinate the more daunting the task becomes. It can interfere with your sleep and productivity in other areas of your life. Knowing that nothing can relieve these daunting feelings except doing the work is so freeing! Also, remind yourself that you don't HAVE to do anything. If you're telling yourself that you have to clean your bathroom and feeling like it's just not fair, well you're the one who wants a clean bathroom and doesn't want to live in filth, so you actually WANT to clean your bathroom. See what I did there ;)

    4. Give Yourself a Pep Talk

    Being kind to yourself has long taken a back seat in the world of business. It's important to give yourself some good words of encouragement and not be so hard on yourself for procrastinating. Many times we will procrastinate because we feel unworthy of completing a task. It's not always easy to get to work on something you know will be put out into the world and make you feel vulnerable. Remind yourself that you CAN DO IT! That you ARE worthy and whatever you produce will be worthy. Remember, nothing new happens, if you never step outside your comfort zone. Don't be afraid to get started. 

    5. Schedule your To-Do's 

    The power of scheduling reaches far and wide. Having something in writing, on your agenda is sometimes all you need to knock out our tasks. Creating your schedule in advance will also prepare your mind for getting started. You'll have time set aside to complete your tasks and all other competing to-do's, which will eliminate your excuses to procrastinate. 

    I hope these pointers help you get focused and put some amazing work out into the world! 

    How Complaining Is Holding You Back

    How Complaining Is Holding You Back

    When I began researching the effect that complaining has on our minds and bodies, I was surprised to find that it's actually a pretty controversial topic that has a lot of buzz around it.
    I guess this shouldn't come as a surprise considering how much humans actually do complain. In fact, research suggests that we're complaining once a minute during an average conversation. WHAAAAT? I'm going to take a wild guess and say that no one reading this wants to admit to complaining that often, I definitely don't!
    I decided I would start paying attention to the number of times a day I was complaining and why. I quickly realized that more than anything I was using a complaint to begin a conversation! How many of us can say that we've recently started a conversation by complaining about the weather!? I'm telling you it was a major eye-opener. Complaining is such a negative way to connect with our fellow humans and even though it can feel good in the moment, the long-term effect is going to have the opposite result. 
    Complaining instantly puts you in a victim position, which in turn makes you feel like you're not in control. Allowing yourself to feel victimized takes away all your power, but it can also feel good because it takes the responsibility off of you. Complaining and settling into the role of the victim is a really cheap way of dealing with any problem, from weather to work obstacles. Relying on this as a way to cope will result in spinning your wheels and never making real progress. So what's the solution to saving ourselves from the hamster wheel of complaining, identifying as a victim, losing power, and then back to complaining? 
    The first step to reducing your complaint count is becoming more aware of yourself and the way you make conversation. The second step is to begin retraining your mind from complaint-driven to solution oriented. Some complaints are truly valid and require attention. Instead of spreading negativity and sitting idle while complaining, start searching for the solution. When you consider your complaint as an opportunity to improve the way you feel, you stay in power and can quickly and efficiently tackle the issue and feel better for all the right reasons. You'll no longer be the person who connects through negativity but someone who attracts people and energy because of your solution-oriented, empowered mindset. This is great news! I don't know about you guys but I'm feeling better already ;) So go forth and solve my friends! 

    The Art Of Being Organized

    The Art Of Being Organized

    Have you ever been to The Container Store? I could hang out in that place for hours. I'd argue that if there's anything better than actually being organized it's the prospect of being organized. There are so many benefits to living an organized life, including the simple beauty of it all (as the Container Store displays so well). So why is it so hard to keep up with? There's an art to keeping yourself organized and it's all discovered within learning what works for you. Today I'm going to share 10 tips that anyone can refer to when getting organized, and when staying organized. 
    1. If it doesn't fit, you have too much. 
    I don't care if you're a collector or a minimalist. If your desk drawer won't close, it's because you have too much stuff. Dump it out and you'll probably realize that 30% of it is trash and another 30% is stuff that doesn't belong there. Make sure you only have what you need. Things have a way of accumulating, go through your most used drawers every couple months and make sure you haven't acquired more than whats necessary. 
    2. Follow the One in One Out Rule 
    This rule is so hard to abide by, especially when it comes to your wardrobe! But when you're at capacity in your closet, don't stuff new clothes in without taking inventory of what you already have. If I know I'm going shopping for clothes I'll browse through what's in my closet already (I'm a serial repeat buyer). Remind yourself that you're stocked on bottoms, but could use a few more neutral tops. This will not only help your organization efforts but also be kinder on your pocketbook.  
    3. Invest In A Label  Maker
    I promise this will change your life. And when I say "invest" I'm not implying that this will be a high dollar purchase, one like this will do the trick. When you designate a spot for something, let's say batteries, there is never a reason to throw loose batteries into the infamous junk drawer. It's not only easy to find where you store extra batteries, but it's oh so satisfying to put them in their labeled spot. 
    4. Find Storage Solutions That Work For YOU 
    This is a big one you guys, finding storage that works for you will make organizing and putting things away SO much easier. Finding the right storage can be tricky though because sometimes it requires thinking outside of the box, or realizing that the standard just doesn't work for you even though it may work for everyone else. For example, I can't use a dresser for my clothes. I used a dresser for years and the drawers were always partially open, clothes hanging out, cloths crumped within, I never knew what was at the bottom, it was total chaos. After dealing with this problem for way too long I decided that I just needed to hang every piece of clothing that I owned, well that didn't work very well either, there are some things that just do not work on hangers. I finally started storing my folded clothing on open shelving which was a game changer, but I still wasn't completely satisfied because I wanted that separation that a drawer gives. You know what I mean... socks here, pants in this one, etc. I ended up on a 9 cube organizer, I don't use the basket inserts, I just leave them open. I can designate each cube to a certain type of clothing and it works like a dream for me (until I have too much stuff -- see Tip 1 and 2 ;)) 
    5.) Maximize Your Space 
    A lot of people love the idea of the "open shelf", as in you always have a free shelf in a closet somewhere. This idea, as liberating as it may be for some, does not jive well with me. My family and I live in a 100-year-old farmhouse and besides the bedrooms, we have one closet in our house, ONE. I know, the horror, but it gets worse. Our one "closet" isn't even a closet, it's actually a 3'x3' platform that leads down to our basement (which is scary). My point is, that when you don't have a lot of hidden storage space, you've got to maximize it! Using pegboards or hooks on the walls is a great way to keep things visible and accessible, using shelving or drawers on the bottom half creates more space for storing tools, painting supplies, craft supplies, and other small-scale extras.  Don't forget the ceiling! hanging a shelf up high, a foot from the ceiling can provide extra space for small appliances that you don't use every day (we keep a carpet cleaner on ours). I've also seen people use bungee cords to lining the ceiling to store wrapping paper rolls, outdoor sports equipment like balls and bats, or even extra paper towel rolls! 
    6. Make Your Visible Storage Do Double Duty
    When you have open storage, make it look pretty! Bookcases are a classic example of this. Storing books according to color can make a beautiful aesthetic impact, and not even "read" as storage  (pun intended, of course). This method also works great for quilts and blankets. Many people are opting for open shelving in their kitchens now too, stacking things according to size and color can actually add texture and interest to your space. I store all of our unused mason jars on the top of our cabinets in what we use as a craft room, they're multiple colors, some old some new, and I think it's a beautiful way to draw the eye up and store items in plain sight! 
    7. Keep It Simple
    One of my favorite things about starting a new organization project is that it doesn't need to cost a lot of money or require a bunch of work. Often times you'll find that the best tools for staying organized are already in your house. For example, shoe boxes, make great storage containers, empty Clorox wipes can be used for plastic bag storage, an ice cube tray or muffin pan can store smalls like jewelry, tacks, or clips. Don't forget to explore your basement or garage for other items that can be reinvented and used in a new way! An old shoe hanger for a closet door can be used to store craft supplies, tools, accessories, or even toys. Keep it simple, and using your imagination! 
    8. Use The Inside of Cabinet and Cupboard Doors. 
    The inside of doors is valuable storage space! By hanging hooks, bars, or contained shelving on the back of cabinet doors, you will open up a whole new world of storage. Just make sure you that if you're hanging something on the inside of a cupboard door that you use short screws that won't drive through the entire door!  
    9. Avoid "Hidden Storage" 
    If you're living inside a tiny house, like an actual "tiny home" or an itty bitty city apartment, then, by all means, store things under the bed and in your oven, whatever works! However, if you have a standard living space, like most of us, then I say avoid storing things where you'll never see them. If something gets stored under my bed, even with the best intentions, it's dead to me. The same goes for awkward attic and crawl spaces. Unless it's something that you know you'll come looking for, keep it out in the open, otherwise you run the risk of forgetting it forever. If you're storing it in an awkward place because your WANT to forget it forever, then donate it!! 
    10. Keep Experimenting! 
    Like I said upfront, getting (and staying) organized is an art that is unique to you. Don't be afraid to keep experimenting until you find the right system. You want something that looks great, but that's also easy to use. If it's beautiful but you can't ever touch it, well then keep looking my friend, It's worth the effort, trust me! 
    Thanks for tuning in loves! -C


    Putting Together The Perfect Care Package and GIVEAWAY!

    Putting Together The Perfect Care Package and GIVEAWAY!

    Gift giving is my love language. There's nothing that pleases me more than putting together the perfect gift. So what to do when there's no special occasion to prepare a gift for? Well, care packages of course! The great thing about a care package is that it can come in a time of need or come as a complete surprise and be happily accepted either way. It can be overwhelming to start so I'm going to share my process with you here today! I put together a care package for the purpose of this post and will be giving it away! Stay tuned, and I'll tell you how to enter and win at the end! 
    1.) Gather The Contents. There are a few different ways to decide what to include in your package. If you're preparing the gift for someone imparticular, you can customize it to that person's interests. If you don't know where to start, choose one item and build around it. When I prepared this care package I knew I wanted to make it as part of a giveaway, meaning I had no idea whos hands it would end up in. I chose the notebook as a starting spot and then chose things of similar color and theme to combine it with.
    All the items have a stationary theme and can be purchased in my shop! The wicker butterfly and light leaked vintage photo are special vintage items that I included to give it a more personal touch. Adding old and new can give a gift a more thoughtful and personal feel. The best rule when finding your items is to have fun and pick things that you love, you can't go wrong! 
    2.) Grab Some Packing Materials 
    I collect vintage magazine clippings, old photos, interesting paper clips, stickers, and other ephemera. Whenever I am ready to send something I go to my stash. I totally get that not everyone is a paper hoarder (like me) but I'd be willing to bet that you'd be able to come up with some pretty cute things on the cheap. Either already in your home or by checking out the clearance sections at your nearby craft store. 
    The glassine bags are my go-to when throwing together a little card pack for a care package. I love that they're sort of transparent but also contained. It adds a level of interest and texture. 
    An old box (We'll wrap it so don't worry about it being nice). Just find something that is sturdy and a good fit. 
    I buy decorative shred from the dollar tree to pack most of my gifts. It's biodegradable and pretty and works well as a filler.
    3.) Start Packing!

    Include a special note and use you're paper scraps and clips to create something unique and fun. 

    I like to tie the gifts together with twine or string. Pack it all up with love, that's what truly makes it a care package, right?! 

    4.) Prep the Box

    Pack everything up, nice and tight and secure. I like to fill the bottom with a little packing, then arrange the contents, then fill to the top with more packaging. Save the card for the very top! 

    5. Secure, Prepare and Decorate your Package

    Use packing tape to seal the box, make sure everything is packed securely and that you haven't left anything out! Once you're all set, find a wrapping paper that will be suitable for shipping. Plain packing paper will do the job wonderfully, I have an extra large roll of this packing paper decorated in white dots that I love for shipping packages in. If I remember right I got it from Target a few years ago, the "Spritz" brand. You can really use any sturdy paper, I've even used Rifle wrapping paper, with its matte finish and extra heavy weight it holds up great in shipping.

    I print my own label from USPS.com so that I can decorate the package in my own way, without having it taped over by the postal workers. In this case, I'll print the label later and place it on top the of the yellow accent paper. Then I'll use clear packing tape to secure the entire top of the package before taking it to be posted. 

    I hope this post inspires you to create a care package for a friend soon! They're just as much fun to put together as they are to receive, it's a win for everyone! Now, do you want to learn how you can actually win this one?! Just hop over to my Instagram page and follow me there, then tag a friend in the post about this blog post! Easy Peasy, good luck!