The Casita Office Makeover

DIY office makeover ideas via lilblueboo.com #decor #office #diy #homedecor #organization #thrifting

I’d never heard of a “casita” before I moved to California. It’s a little detached guest room off the house.  Nice because if you don’t use it you can leave the air conditioning off and save money!  We turned ours into a sewing studio a few years ago but then we outgrew it and now it’s the official Lil Blue Boo office.

Here’s the before:

Office Makeover Re-decorating BEFORE via lilblueboo.com #decor #office #diy #homedecor #organization #thrifting

Office Makeover Re-decorating AFTER via lilblueboo.com #decor #office #diy #homedecor #organization #thrifting

 

I love how the neutral palette turned out.  I am still trying to figure out what kind of chairs I want to use….but they have to be comfortable!  This is my side of the office. It doesn’t get used a lot right now because I have my “dining room” office too: [Read more...]

Organizing and Recycling Junk Drawer Contents

 

Organizing and Recycling Junk Drawer Contents via lilblueboo.com #recycle #organization #organizing #diy

I can’t stand clutter around the house….so my junk drawers can tend to get out of control.  I also have more than one. They are located around the house.

 

The first thing I do is consolidate all the drawers in one place…..with a large work area.   I use paper plates to sort through everything.  Then I split the items up by drawer and return everything else to it’s right place.  Anything I’m not quite sure what to do with goes in the JUNK JAR. (see the junk jar tutorial here)

steps to organize a kitchen junk drawer via lilblueboo.com #organization #organizing

 

I like for the containers to match the insides of the drawer if possible (makes the drawer look less cluttered)….so I use spray paint to paint various boxes and containers that will fit well:

how to make drawer organizers via lilblueboo.com

 

My newly organized junk drawers:

how to organize your junk drawer via lilblueboo.com #organization #organizing

 

I went through every single marker, pen, highlighter etc to see which were working and then sorted them into bins within these large wood caddies:

organizing art supplies via lilblueboo.com

 

The hardest part about my junk drawers is that I don’t like to throw anything away because I know it will end up in a landfill.  I found everything under the kitchen sink: medications, over 50 dried up pens, tons of old batteries. These are things I don’t want to throw in the trash because:

:: Over 10 billion writing instruments are sent to landfills every year.

:: Over 100 different pharmaceuticals have been detected in lakes, rivers, reservoirs and streams throughout the world.

:: 3 billion batteries are bought a year…and contain harmful metals that leak into our water and soil.

 

It takes a little more work to recycle and donate….but it’s worth it.  I created a little recycling station in our laundry room to make it easy on the rest of the family. I painted large coffee tins and added a simple paper label:

create a recycling station for batteries and other items via lilblueboo.com #recycle #tutorial #DIY

 

This can is for random items that need sorting: writing instruments, old blades, medications etc:

 

 

Here’s where you can easily recycle items from your junk drawer….the links are below the images.  For office supplies that are still working and in good condition consider finding a local non-profit to donate them to!

 

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How to Import VHS Tapes into iMovie

How to import vhs into iMovie via lilblueboo.com

I’ve been helping my friend Daren transfer some of his old acting demo clips from VHS to digital format. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to create a step-by-step tutorial for transferring VHS to iMovie because I know you’ve been asking for a while now.

First of all…..how cute is Daren?!  I loved watching all of these episodes….brought back so many memories: Wonder Years, Hunter, My Sister Sam, Growing Pains. You can click the image below and see the clips on IMDB:

I’m still trying to talk Daren into letting me run his fan club.

 

Ok, on to the step-by-step:

First of all, it’s pretty easy to import a VHS tape into iMovie for editing….but it involves a few steps because the VHS has to be converted into a digital format first.  I do this using my Sony Digital 8 Handycam. I record the VHS tape onto the Handycam and then import recorded footage into iMovie.  I’ve got two tips to getting this done:

Ok now to get started! To convert VHS to digital format using a handycam you’ll need the following which you can probably find from a neighbor or friend:

Digital 8 Handycam (DVC)
Audio Video TV Out AV Cable
Any VCR
Fire Wire Cable
Fire Wire Cable Adapters (if needed)

 

The first step is connecting the Handycam to a VCR.  This is done with a simple Audio Video TV Out AV Cable….you probably already have one sitting around somewhere. It has the 3 colored plugs on one side and an earphone like plug on the other side.

Here’s a closeup of where to plug each side of the AV cable into:

Next, insert a blank tape into the Handycam (DVC)….or one that you don’t mind recording over.  Turn the DVC on to VCR mode:

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Organizing Ribbon

How to organize ribbon, washi tape etc. via lilblueboo.com

 

This ribbon was out of control. I used to hang my ribbon under shelving using wooden dowels in my old office but there are no shelves in my new office….so I had to come up with another plan. Here’s the before:

Diy ribbon storage ideas via lilblueboo.com

 

And the after: [Read more...]

Simplify With A Monthly Household Worksheet

A monthly Household Organization Worksheet for Finances etc. via lilblueboo.com

 

A few years ago I created a worksheet for my business to help me keep on top of all the moving parts of accounting, taxes, inventory etc. I was a disaster before….but now I am always on top of everything. I’ve adapted it into a household worksheet as well to keep our monthly finances and other things in order. As technical as I am with computers and smart phones, over time I’ve come to the realization that there’s nothing better than handwritten notes and records. A few things I like about this system:

[Read more...]

Yearly Photo Book Ideas

Creative Yearly Photo Book Ideas via lilblueboo.com

 

In addition to our yearly family photo albums, I make a photo book for Boo stocked full of memories. I just finished 2011:

How to make a yearly photo book via lilblueboo.com

My method/thoughts on photo books:

1. I complete the books about 10 months after a year has ended. I like for them to be January 1st through December 31st. It’s an OCD thing. The delay also allows time for missing photos to show up.

2. I compile memories, quotes, etc by going through blog posts, Facebook posts, and even just browsing photos. I usually cut and paste snippets into a word document in order of date.

3. I organize my photos, artwork, etc by month before starting my project. I work on the book by month….sometimes skipping around to the easy months first and then coming back to the hard ones.

4. I never feel bad about going overboard on pages. The bigger the better and I don’t think there is a price I can put on family memories. My books (through iPhoto/apple.com) usually cost about $75 to $100 each. It seems like a lot (especially when ordering multiple copies) but I would rather have a photo book over a few trips to a restaurant!

5. I  save the photo book as a PDF (“Print” as a PDF in iPhoto) and back it up to a hard drive or CD and store in a safe place.

 

Here are a few things I added into this years book:

Boo’s Self Portraits:
Boo asked for a mini tripod a few years ago and she had so much fun taking self portraits. When I would look at the camera I would be surprised by hilarious snapshots she’d taken of herself. I made them into a collage (using PicMonkey.com) and then loaded that collage as one photo into the book template:

Photo book ideas: Self Portraits via lilblueboo.com

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The Office Makeover: Craft Storage (Free Vintage Label Download)

Martha eat your heart out. I labeled 70 boxes yesterday with vintage-inspired labels.  It’s part of my big office makeover. I can’t show you the office yet because it’s a disaster. Anyway, it took almost all day to organize the boxes and create the labels but I feel really organized now:

Craft and Art Supply Storage (with free vintage label printable) via lilblueboo.com

The shelves were an early Christmas present from Mr. LBB.  This area is a hallway behind my office….technically it’s a “butler’s pantry” for serving food and storage but it’s the perfect area to store supplies right off my work area.  The wall space above the countertop was just empty space.  The area used to be a huge sunken living room before we remodeled a few years ago. We added a wall at the end of the room to create the storage space.

Here’s what it looked like two weeks ago:

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Tips for Creating Simple and Timeless Photo Albums

Tips for Creating Simple and Timeless Photo Albums via lilblueboo.com

 

One of the most gratifying things for me is finishing up a yearly album.  I’m always usually about a year behind but that time allows me to make sure every photo is printed and organized.  I always seem to have random photos show up mid-year and it would drive me nuts if those weren’t in the yearly album.  Boo loves to keep me company while I put albums together because I talk about the photos as I go and tell stories:

After I did my How to Organize and Print YEARS worth of Photos tutorial I had numerous requests for a post on how I actually assemble my albums…..so I took photos as I finished 2010′s album up this weekend.  I always find that if you have YEARS worth of albums to make start with the most recent year you are ready to work on and move backwards. A few thoughts about album making before I start with the tips:

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How to Prepare For Almost Anything (with Free Downloads)

How to Prepare For Almost Anything including Disasters (with Free Downloads: household inventory, emergency checklist, financial summary, etc) via lilblueboo.com #organization #household)

 

More organization tips for those of you that love organization! How to prepare for almost anything…..yes, I like to be prepared.  This is just a start…..but it takes away some of the anxiety of “what if”…..promise! And it’s a simple system. I uploaded all my documents and the templates to save you some time!

 

Storing Personal and Legal Documents via lilblueboo.com

We keep a central envelope for all of our personal documents. It’s easy to grab and put back items as they are needed. We keep all the obvious items in the envelope like birth certificates, passports, etc but I also keep photo copies of all of our wallet contents in case a wallet or handbag is stolen (I wrote an entire post on that here!) Other things I keep in the envelope: [Read more...]

How to Organize and Print Years Worth of Photos

How to Organize, Print and Backup YEARS Worth of Photos via lilblueboo.com

 

I think photos and photo albums are one of the only things that really give me true anxiety…..because it’s so easy to get behind!  The only way that I can keep myself from worrying about it all is having a system.  I thought I’d lay out my system since it works well for me…..and maybe it will help someone else!  I’m sure there are lots of ways to do this….but here’s what works for me since I get easily distracted! Most of this is geared towards a Mac system but it can be easily applied to a PC as well.  Let’s get started!

 

 

[Read more...]

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