Christmas Craft Paper

I know I’ve said it before, but now more than ever do you need to heed this advice- use CRAFT PAPER for wrapping this time of year!

Go ahead and refer back to my post this summer about Consolidating with Craft Paper.

Craft Paper Dispensor

Please people, don’t fall prey to those gift bags at Michael’s or rolls of paper at Target just because you feel “ahead of the game” and you got the best Santa pattern.  Stay calm, and craft paper it!  Get the kids involved.  Threaten them by way of their Elf!  (by the way, if you are reading this and it’s dark outside, move it! The Elf that is)  I promise that you will have a much better result by way of the Earth and Economy!

Go here for supplies…The Stand by Crate and Barrel plus Paper by Crate and Barrel.  One stop shopping and 15% off of SHIPPING using coupon code SAVE15!

Tis’ the season!

DIAR Signature


Consolidate with Craft Paper!

After recently helping a client  with her mudroom and having to create space for gift wrap, I was reminded of a great resource that helps you rid your house of so many unwanted and costly items.

Believe it or not, it’s CRAFT PAPER!  I could seriously write a book about the 100 uses of craft paper, but for the sake time, I will share with you my top 3 uses.

1.  GIFT WRAP– It is great for gift wrap.  You can stop hoarding those tacky gift bags and annoying sheets of tissue paper that are balled up in some box somewhere…I know you are proud of your collection, but it is so much more fun to give a gift using craft paper and add a simple ribbon or raffia.  I have my kids decorate the paper for their friends’ birthday presents, which gives it so much more meaning.  And when I realize I’ve run out of their cute gift tags by Bon Vivant I can scribble the “To & From” right on the paper.  You can also use it to wrap fresh flowers using the same decorating effect.

2.  KID ART– I always knew that kids were going to be expensive, but I didn’t know that approximately 1.2% of the budget was going to dedicated to owning a vast collection of coloring books.  We have jumbo pads, Melissa & Doug coloring pads and every single Disney character themed coloring book on the market!  And there they sit piled on top of each other with their pages half colored and ripped and stuck together all of which are deemed unusable by my 4 year old.  If there is even so much as a water droplet on a page it is trash in her mind.  So, we use craft paper. I cut only what is needed at the time.  Waste not want not.  And honestly, I have found that children are way more creative when given a blank sheet of paper than with a color by number of Strawberry Shortcake.  And when she is lacking direction, I put a vase of flowers in front her or a car in front of my son.  So fun to see their interpretation of things.

3.  TABLE COVERINGS– This ties back to #2.  I use it for all of the kids’ parties.  Instead of buying cheap table cloths or worse, have them ruin my nice ones with paint and fruit punch, I use craft paper.  You can dress it up with art work to coincide with a themed party or write on it the directions to a craft they might be doing.  I also use it as a tablecloth for the kids’ table during holiday meals.  For example, during Thanksgiving last year I used one of those cone thingys that holds gourds as the Crayon holder and the kids kept busy by playing tick-tac-toe and drawing pictures as we waited and waited and waited for the turkey.

I suggest that you keep a healthy supply on hand seeing as there are multiple uses for this trusty product.  I recommend buying a 36″ roll of white or natural paper,  which gives you about 1000 ft. to work with.  

craft paper

And to make things even easier, go ahead and spring for the convenient paper cutter (also in the matching size of 36″).  The cutter is great

because it keeps it contained and easily accessible.

Craft Paper Dispensor

Plus, think of all the money you’ll save once you stop buying all of the other products that you have just eliminated!  Go ahead, click and buy! I know you love the idea!  What are your favorite uses for craft paper? Let us know!

What’s for Dinner?

I am not a cook…..a cleaner and organizer, yes!  I always have great intentions to cook healthy dinners for my family, but I usually end up coming home in the afternoon, entertaining children, and dealing with one child crisis after … Continue reading

Keep Calm and Wait for Carson

We have a guest blogger this week!  My mom, Carol Cassone, who has been obsessing over storing her silver for years.  She finally tackled that closet and did an unbelievable job (just like the mother of a professional organizer).  Really, … Continue reading

This is truffle season, time for tuxedos for no reason!

PARTY PIC{image via Pinterest}

….according to Jay-Z in his latest song, Suit and Tie, which I love by the way. But, obviously, what Jay-Z is trying to tell us is that it is party season! And in Charleston we will make up any excuse to throw a soiree. Friends and family are hosting everything from Easter brunch to the annual supper club to children’s birthdays to end of school year parties to engagement celebrations to Spoleto events to “my husband finally cleaned up the yard so come and see” party.

And if you, too, are having a party then you need to ask yourself, “is my home ready?”. If you had to stop and think about the answer then I can bet that it is NOT. Do you know where you put those cute cocktail napkins that Aunt Susie gave you last Christmas with the cute butterflies on them? Has that platter that looks perfect with Hamby’s sandwiches on it gone missing? And where is the tablecloth that fits your odd sized table? Did you lend it to Sally? Does she have your beverage tin, too? If these are just some thoughts that are running through your head right now you might want to consider having us help you prepare for your next event. We can offer everything from home/office party preparation to ordering flowers/catering/rental items. You name it and we are there!

However, if you are willing to take on the task of entertainment preparation yourself then let us offer up some unsolicited advice…

Here are a few simple rules to follow even before you send out the invitations (which, by the way, we highly recommend super talented Liza Cleveland of Bon Vivant to style your invitations!):

1) TIMELINE & CHECKLIST- It is a rule of thumb when dealing with any looming date or goal that you start with a timeline of events and establish your to do list. This list will start with the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and then move on to the details. There are several apps that we recommend to help you with your checklist and timeline.

2) CONSIDER SIZE & LOCATION– By this time you have made the guest list. You know your target number of guests. You now need to decide where in your home you want the guests to gather and socialize. For more intimate gatherings this may not be a concern, but for slightly larger events you need to consider seating, space for a bar and food station. You might need to rearrange some furniture in order to accommodate your numbers. Have you cleaned out the dust bunnies under your sofa? This is the time in which you do a deep clean!

3) CLEAN & DECLUTTER– Since your closets are full of random stuff you crammed into them last time you had people over it is now time to find a home for those items (most likely the trash or donation pile) and make room for the kids’ toys and backpacks that have been piling up on in your entry way. We are all guilty of having a “dump zone” in our homes. This is the place where you unload all of your daily essentials including shoes, purses, jackets, notebooks and items that are trying to make their way out of the door like birthday gifts you forgot to deliver to little Bobby down the street. This stuff must go! And if you are hosting an adult party, then no one wants to come over and see your plastic toy collection while they are trying to forget about their own sweet little angels that are up eating chocolate with the babysitter that isn’t doing your dishes. Put the toys away. Now go back through the rooms you are going to entertain in and SWEEP, MOP, VACUUM & WIPE DOWN SURFACES.

4) SERVING PIECES, VASES & GLASSWARE- You need to pull all of these items out of their hiding spaces and make sure they are party ready. If you are like me, I end up using the same wine glass every night, I mean every other night, and the rest collect dust. You must wipe out or rinse the inside of your glasses. Make sure your platters are clean as well. And cull all of the vases or other creative floral containers you are going to use.

5) YARD AND ENTRANCE- First impressions are everything! Your guests should be greeted with a clean entrance to your home. So unless you live in a bubble, you are well aware of the insane amount of pollen that has collected on your front porch. Please get out there and sweep or wash it off of the said surfaces. You don’t need to call in the experts but at least make an attempt to mow the lawn and pull up a few weeds. Go to the next level if you want and blow the yard or plant a few season blooms to really bring your yard to life! Nothing says spring more that some snap dragons!

6) DECOR & AMBIANCE- While I fancy myself a party planner extraordinaire, let’s face it. So do you! Between Martha Stewart, Pinterest and your own personal flair you’ve got this covered. This is the fun part! Enjoy. But please don’t forget to make your playlist ahead of time. A party is never a party unless there is music.

We hope you enjoy the wonderful party season in Charleston that is upon us!