Tag: wedding

DIY Spice Rack: Reorganizing My Kitchen

DIY Spice Rack Detail 2

I love my cute, unique, 1940’s home. It has interesting doorways, built ins, beautiful hardwoods, and a lot of charm. It’s the perfect first time home for Nick and me, but despite everything I love about it, it does have it’s downsides.

As soon as we moved into our house we outgrew the kitchen. We both enjoy cooking, and as a result of our hobby and recent wedding, we had acquired a great deal of kitchenware. Our cabinets immediately filled up, and items began spilling over into garage storage.

Kitchen storage and organization has been a battle since day one, and I recently decided it was time to reorganize our impractical spice cabinet, and try rearranging things. First we tried moving our mugs to our spice rack and our spices from the narrow cabinet next to the oven to the more spacious top shelf of our glasses cabinet. This arrangement lasted a week before I decided it wasn’t going to work.

After a lot of brainstorming I decided I should make my own spice rack, or spice shelf, for easy access to my spices, and as an unconventional way to decorate. A stainless steel shelf was already installed in the kitchen when we moved in, and my goal was to find a match to the shelf, lower the original one by a few inches, and add a new one above it. Based on a hunch I checked Ikea to see if the original shelf was from there, and I was lucky enough to find it, three years after the original shelf was purchased. As soon as I returned home from Ikea the spices were cleared out of the cabinet and I got to work.

DIY Spice Rack-Cabinet Before and After

I consolidated the spices into small jars, only $3.99 for a set of four from Ikea. In addition I found small oil containers, which I decided to use to store olive oil, red wine vinegar, balsalmic vinegar, and apple cider vinegar. These containers were an added bonus, and convenience while I cook.

DIY Spice Rack-Before and After

Unfortunately the oil containers didn’t have a stopper, so I fashioned my own out of wine corks. The end result of rearranging are my spices on display on my brand new shelf, and our wine glasses and medicine stored on the top shelf of the glasses cabinet, which allowed more space in one of our lower cabinets.

DIY Spice Rack-Oil Holders

DIY Spice Rack-Kitchen

I am very pleased with our new arrangement, and I think it makes the space with the shelves look more complete. Our cooking lives are easier, and I have a new addition to our kitchen to admire. This project only took one day and a few tools to complete. It was worth every penny and minute I spent on it!

If you are struggling with organization in your kitchen, or any room in your house, try to think outside of the box. Not everything has to be hidden in a closet or cabinet, think of ways to display items on shelves to allow space elsewhere. I love the decorative quality my multicolor spices have!

I hope you enjoyed my spice rack organization suggestions! Please help me spread the word about my blog by liking, e-mailing, sharing, subscribing, and of course commenting! I would love to hear about your kitchen organization nightmares and solutions. Thanks for stopping by!



Guest Post: Kalin Jordan’s Visual Journal Page

Before I move forward to “A Day in the Life of A…” I have one last post from “Beginnings, Endings, and All Things In-between”. However, it’s not a post from me, but from my former student, Kalin Jordan. She asked to make a page in my journal, and I happily handed my book over to her, excited to see what she would create. When I finally got it back, I instantly fell in love with it. She made an beautiful page and focused on something very personal to me. If you are new to journaling don’t be afraid to pass your journal to others, have friends and family make pages for you. It is yet another memory, an important person, to add to the pages of your journal. From here I hand this post over the Kalin…

It was second semester of my sophomore year when Miss Ward became engaged to Mr. Panetta and the rest was history…

Well really that was the inspiration for this page. I’m a bit obsessed with love stories, weddings, and happy endings. I think finding your true love is one of the best things that can happen in life.


Like Mrs. Panetta, I also love to create visual journals and one of the magazines I use is all about weddings which is where I found the pictures I used for this page. The blue ribbon happened to be a left over piece I found in our supply closet and the green checkered background is just scrapbook paper you can find at your local Hobby Lobby or Michaels. I used sharpie to write the words “Your treasure will be where your heart is,” also one of my favorite verses from the Bible-Matthew 6:21 (I switched the words ‘heart’ and ‘treasure’ for this) and “something borrowed, something blue” around the ring and the dress. And for glue I used rubber cement.


 When layering different images you really just have to play around with it before you commit to any one set up. What I like may be different than what someone else likes and that’s ok. In my opinion, I think having the diamond and flowers behind the dress help the dress to stand out more instead of it being over powered by the shiny ring and bold color of the flowers. The dress is very classic, therefore you don’t want to lose it when your page becomes busier. Don’t get me wrong… sometimes images or words are supposed to be part of the background and not so much the focal point, but that wasn’t the purpose for any of these pieces for this page.

Why these images? Well they stood out quite a bit to me when I was searching for pictures in my magazines. The hot pink, the sparkles, the style of the dress. The blue ribbon comes in because of the saying “Something old, something new. Something borrowed, something blue” and I wanted a part of that to be represented.

As for “the rest is history,” I wish Mr. and Mrs. Panetta a lifetime of happiness. They are absolutely one of the cutest, sweetest, most in love couples I know 🙂



Visual Journal Page 66: Honeymooners

Our wedding was over. Six months of planning, and it was over in an instant. It flew by, I barely remember it, and it just happened. It practically felt like it never happened. All that time, money, and stress, gone.

            I think I would’ve been a little sad about the wedding being over. But, there was no way I could be sad because I was in Costa Rica. I was on my honeymoon with my husband. Husband, it stuck to my tongue, it felt so new I could barely get it out. Husband, it made me feel like I was one hundred years old, and I loved it.

Our honeymoon was amazing. We flew to Costa Rica the day after our wedding, and arrived at the airport Sunday afternoon. We spent the first half of our vacation nestled in the Costa Rican mountains, up in the jungle, and across from an active volcano.

We arrived at our first hotel, and I couldn’t have been more pleased. There were exotic flowers, trees, plants, and animals everywhere. We had to follow a winding path through the amazing foliage to get to our room. It was a beautiful room, full of charm. There were exposed beams in the ceiling, a huge waterfall shower that tumbled over rocks before it hit your head. Best of all there was a huge Jacuzzi tub on our porch, which was surrounded by the exotic plants I was already in love with.

We spent the first few days lazing around, floating in the pool, eating delicious food, and drinking frozen, brightly colored beverages. After a couple of days of rest and relaxation we decided to try out some excursions. Zip lining sounded interesting, so we gave it a try.

I knew what zip lining was, but I don’t think I really understood. We were strapped into harnesses, given helmets, and sent on a trolley to the top of the mountain. At the top we did a short test run, they strapped us in and sent us down a thick, metal line. Piece of cake, I could do this. However, the next line was hundreds of feet long and went between two mountaintops. The trees were hundreds of feet below; we were literally flying above the jungle.

I was terrified. If Nick hadn’t jumped in and volunteered to run the line first, I don’t think I would’ve done it. Suddenly he was gone, on the other side, waiting for me, so I had to do it. Practically jumping out of my skin, I allowed them to attached me to the now seemingly flimsy, thin wire, and send me on my way. It was nothing short of amazing. I felt like I was flying, it was an experience I will never forgot. We got to go down seven more similar lines, and we zig-zagged down the mountain.

In addition to zip lining we also took a trip up the mountain one night to see if the volcano would erupt. We pulled to the top of the mountain, opposite the volcano, and waited. We waited a good thirty minutes, and were about to pack up and head home, when bright orange liquid shot up and illuminated the night sky. Nothing short of amazing, I couldn’t believe I was actually seeing it; our honeymoon was off to a good start.

Our next stop was a coastal resort situated on one of the few shell beaches in the world. The sand was literally made up of shells, the water was a clear, crisp blue, and the resort was all-inclusive. This meant I stuffed myself with food and frozen, bright colored beverages until I practically burst.

We ate breakfast, the brunch buffet, lunch, ordered room service, ate dinner, and had late-night second room service practically everyday. I think I visited every swim up bar at the resort, multiple times a day. This half of our vacation was meant for indulging, relaxing, and spending time together. And I believe we meet all of those expectations.

            We rented snorkels one afternoon and explored the reef right off the beach. We had hour-long couples massages and sat in the sauna. We rented a cabana for the day, essentially a covered bed by the pool, ate, drank, and had our poolside butler running around all afternoon. We were basically honeymoon blobs, and I loved every minute of it.


  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement
  • Scissors
  • Printed photographs


I created this page using photographs I took on our honeymoon. I printed them on computer paper, so I could rip and cut them easily to create a cohesive collage. I decided to focus on our mountain vacation on the left page and our beach vacation on the right page.

On the left I collaged the volcano at the top, and overlapped it with green treetops, exotic flowers, and a monkey. On the right I decided to only focus on the beach, I layered various images to create one large beach image. I took my pictures of the water and carefully cut around rocks, leaving the large spans of water, and overlapped them. I loved the shell beach, and I had multiple far away and up close shots of it. I decided I would rip up the various pictures and layer them going from small to large.

I loved the beach page, I thought it came together incredibly well; yet still maintained the patchwork quality that I love so much. The mountain page is not my favorite. I wish I overlapped it into the beach page, or found a way to bring the two together. They are so separate. The left page is too cluttered, and having it next to the simple beach page makes that even more apparent.

Although I’m not in love with this page, I am in love with our honeymoon. Even though the journal page isn’t perfect, it makes me think about the best vacation of my life, which makes this page better than it actually is.


Create a page that tells two sides of one story. Separate them to the right and left sides of the page like I did, or combine it into one image.

Visual Journal Page 64: I Mean I Think You Really Like Me

This journal page is tied with only one other page as my favorite in my book. I absolutely love it. Perhaps I love it because it took hours to make, or because it’s my favorite wedding photograph, or maybe it’s because it reminds me of my wedding day.

The entire day was amazing. I slept like a rock the night before, and I woke up refreshed and ready to go. There was never a moment I questioned what we were about to do. The only cold feet I got was thinking about all those people looking at me, waiting for me to screw up the most important words I would ever say, my wedding vows.

I spent the day with my bridesmaids and family members. My parents prepared an amazing spread of brunch foods, with my favorite brunch beverage, mimosas. I was pampered all day long. I had my hair and makeup done, people brought me food and drinks, and before I knew it we were on our way to the venue.

I climbed into my giant dress, had pictures taken, and was whisked away to the bridal room to wait for my cue. Suddenly, I was standing at the door with my Dad, about to walk down the aisle. I couldn’t have asked for a better moment. Before I knew it I was making my way to the altar, I grabbed my fiancé’s hand, and prepared myself to make him my husband.

I would’ve been fine. I wouldn’t have cried, I think I could’ve made it without a single tear. However, as soon as I looked at Nick his lip began quivering like nobody’s business, and I lost it. I dolphin squeaked, stuttered, and hiccupped through my vows, but I didn’t mess them up. We were husband and wife.

Things moved quickly. One minute we were saying I do, the next minute we were taking more pictures. We did a few group shots, and moved onto our husband and wife pictures. We sat on the front porch swing, ignored everything for a moment, and enjoyed each other’s company.

I have no idea what I was looking at. Maybe someone was walking across the street, maybe the breeze was blowing the trees, but I love that I was looking away, and I love that Nick is looking at me. This is the perfect moment. The moment when we had a chance to sit down, spend a minute together as husband and wife.

This picture is framed in my house as well as held in my visual journal. I know this will be something I cherish forever, look back at, reflect on, and share with our future human babies. It is one of my favorites because that moment is one of my favorites.


  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement
  • Scissors
  • India ink
  • Book pages
  • Printed photograph
  • Calligraphy pen


 This may look like a simple page, but it was complicated. I knew I wanted a page that incorporated this photograph, and I wanted to remember various aspects of our wedding, but not take away from the picture.  I finally decided to incorporate our wedding date and a few lyrics from our first dance song.

I loved the way the brown colored book pages looked in my invitation page, so I decided to do the same in this page. I ripped the pages up and glued them down to fill up the background. I thought about making a tape or mod podge transfer of this image, but in the end I decided to leave it as is. I positioned it so that we are on the right page, but the picture overlaps to the left page, and I glued it down.

I kept the picture as is, which meant it looked like I just slapped it down, and was done with it. I wanted to break it out of the rectangle shape, so I decided to add scribbles around it. Sharpie was too thick and not black enough to blend in with the rich blacks in the picture. My final option was India ink. I used a calligraphy pen to get thin lines, and I scribbled away. I did have issues with the ink, and went through a few picture mess-ups. It kept bleeding into the edge, and interfering with the image. I kept dripping the ink as I moved across the picture. Even with this final image, I still had a few drops on it, but I let it go, and left it slightly imperfect. I made the scribbles very dense around the image, and slowly spread them out.

I also used the calligraphy pen to write out the song lyrics. I wrote them on a separate sheet of paper, ripped them out, and then glued them down. Because the pen sometimes dripped too much, or created inconsistent lines, I had to write it over and over. Because I did it on a separate sheet of paper it allowed me to select the best looking pieces. I placed the lyrics around the page, and ended with the final line of the song and our wedding date in the corner.


         Create a page that uses your favorite picture. It does not have to be a picture of you; it can be anyone or anything, as long as it’s your all time favorite. Think about how you can keep focus on the image while still incorporating other materials into the page. Try to break the image out of the rectangular photograph shape.

Visual Journal Page 63: My Definition of Love

Visual journals are a big part of my teaching. Every Friday is visual journal day, a free day for my students to use whatever material and subject matter they want to make pages in their books. This project was something I inherited from my fellow art teacher, and I fell in love with it as soon as I saw how much her students loved it.

         One semester one of her students decided to make a visual journal as her final project. However, rather than create pages about herself, she passed out half sheets of books pages for other people to write, draw, collage, or do whatever they want. There was only one guideline; it had to express your definition of love.

She handed them out to other art students, friends, family, and one to me. I was excited, what a fun spin on our traditional project. I brainstormed, had some good ideas, and never got around to actually doing it. She did make her book, I loved flipping through it, but I was disappointed I didn’t get mine finished.

Later on, long after her project was complete, I found the half sheet of paper. I decided at that moment I was finally going to make my page. It would have to be put in my book rather than hers, but the important thing was it was getting done.

         My definition of love is very simple. My definition of love is you, my husband, my Nick. He is my best friend, fellow homeowner, husband, confidant, Father of my puppies, and go to person. I don’t know what I would do without him, and can’t remember what it was like before I met him. He is my everything, and of course my definition of love.


  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement
  • Scissors
  • Book page
  • Printed photograph
  • Sharpie


 This was an easy visual journal page to make because I had a topic to work with. I was excited when I ran across that small piece of paper. I didn’t entirely fail, because I would get the chance to turn it into something. Since I knew I wanted to make the page about Nick, all I had to do was find a picture to incorporate.

Since Nick and I have a little family, I decided to use a family picture. We had recently had an engagement picture session with our wedding photographer, Manuel Llaneras, and we had a few shots taken with Jacob and Kody Bear. Even though neither of the pups are actually looking at the camera, this is one of my favorites.

I glued the half book page down first, so the photograph would overlap it. I wanted to keep it simple. I only wanted to include the photograph and the piece of paper, but I didn’t want to simply glue down the rectangular print out of the photograph. Ripping up pieces of the picture immediately popped in my head. I had ripped paper on the brain, a lot of my pages incorporated ripped paper, and it was the perfect solution.

I carefully cut out our little family, making sure I cut right next to our bodies. I then took the leftover from the picture, ripped it up, and glued it down. I left space between the background and us, to bring even more focus to us. I made sure the background was properly placed, the trees lined up with where the trees where in the picture, and the same went for the grass.

I finished the page by writing my definition of love with sharpie. I kept it simple; love doesn’t always have to be complex, and my definition certainly wasn’t. I can sum up love in one word, you.


 Let’s keep the project going. Take a book page, cut it in half, and write down your definition of love. You can decorate the page with images or write your definition down. Incorporate it in a journal page in your book.