5 Creative Ways to Use Contact Paper

5 Creative Ways to Use Contact Paper by Katie from Upcycled Treasures

Do you ever hap upon a blog where every – single – project just blows you away?  And you think, “There’s no way this person can be human!  It’s just TOO creative!” And then, you have the rare and distinct privilege of getting to meet this person, and you learn that not only are they human, but they’re as down to earth as you had dreamed.  And they just exude joy.  Well, this hypothetical situation is my reality. {read more…}

Desk Styling 101: Say Goodbye to Styling Anxiety

Roll-Top Desk Makeover! Such a dramatic before & after. Amazing what fresh paint and a little vision can do!

Hand me a paint brush, and I’ll paint until the cows come home.  Give me a stencil, and I won’t bat an eye.  But mention the word “styling,” and I immediately break out into cold sweats, my mouth dries up like the Sahara Desert, and I start to feel all verklempt.  (Talk amongst yourselves!)   Am I striking a chord of resonance with any of you? Well, lo and behold, I not only survived the process of “styling” {read more…}

One Change I Made That Is Bringing Me More Balance

One Change I Made That Is Bringing Me More Balance

I think it’s easy for bloggers to come across as leading picture perfect lives, when that is so far from the truth.  In fact, the past 7 months have been more trying for me than I like to admit…even to myself. But today, I want to talk about it–about my struggle to achieve more balance in my life–and the small triumph I’ve experienced recently.  My hope is that my story might be an encouragement to you, dear reader. It {read more…}

Baby Shower Gift Package & Printable

Baby Shower Gift Package: DIY Burp Cloths that any beginner can sew! via thinkingcloset.com

There’s something about scrubbing bathroom floors together while belting out angst-filled Alanis Morissette songs that bonds you.  Amidst giggles and soap suds and “you oughta knows,” a friendship can be born.  A friendship strong enough to span 14 years and counting.  This truth is one Gianna and I know firsthand. And to think, it’s all thanks to bathroom-cleaning duty for having the messiest campsite at mission trip training camp. Since then, we’ve journeyed together through {read more…}

Wreck This Journal: A Perfectionist’s Nightmare

Wreck This Journal: A Perfectionist's Nightmare by thinkingcloset.com

Yesterday, I put on my lime green rainboots, ran around in the muddy backyard, and then stomped on an open book.  All in the name of creative recklessness. You see, two Christmases ago, my sister gave me a book by Keri Smith called *Wreck This Journal.  It’s full of creative prompts, many of which invite you to pretty much destroy the book.  Here are a just a few of them: “Sew this page.” “Find a {read more…}

Because You Didn’t Really Want To Be Productive Today, Anyway….

10 Videos of YouTube Gold Status for your viewing pleasure...because you didn't really want to be productive today, anyway.... via thinkingcloset.com

I mine for awesome YouTube videos like a forty-niner pans for gold in the California riverbeds.  With a mission.  A sense of purpose.  A hunger for something mighty. Sometimes I give up on my responsibilities for the day just to seek out after that video that will entertain or inspire.  And when I find that treasure of a video, I don’t want to hoard it away in a private collection like a miser.  No, I {read more…}

31 Questions Birthday Video!

31 Questions Birthday Video

Hello lovies!  It’s your girl Lauren here…and guess what day it is today?  Yes, yes, it’s the last day of winter, but it’s also…my 31st birthday!  {What whaaaaat!}  And it’s my joy to have you over here for a small celebration. Now, for those of you who may have missed it, a few weeks ago, I published a call for questions from you all…31 of them to be exact…so I could better connect with you, {read more…}

Ask Me Your Questions, I’ll Tell You No Lies….

Ask Me Your Questions! I'll Tell You No Lies.... A Video Q & A Project at thinkingcloset.com

Pop Quiz: What is the thing that motivates me the MOST to keep this blog chugging down the railway? I’ll give you a hint:  it’s not money.  It’s not fame.  It’s not a personal sense of accomplishment.  Can you guess what it is? It’s you.  Yes, you, dear reader. You see, I’ve grown quite attached to you all.  Let’s be real, you’re more than virtual friends to me at this point.  Because to me, virtual friends vanish {read more…}

101 Creative Date Nights on a Dime!

101 Creative Date Nights on a Dime! via thinkingcloset.com

I have been truly amazed by the overwhelming response to my 12 Months of Pre-Planned Date Nights Gift.  Since that post went live last Tuesday, the FREE printable has been downloaded a whopping 1393 times!  That’s a lot of date nights.  Which is super duper exciting. And it got me thinking…for those of you plotting out your 12 months of date nights, I’d love to offer some inspiration for you. Because I believe in dating {read more…}

How to Make a Mess: Tips & Tricks from an Expert!

How to Make a Mess: Tips & Tricks from an Expert Mess-Maker! via thinkingcloset.com

I’m sorry, but today, you will not be getting pretty blog photos.  In fact, all of the clutter and trash and mayhem I work so hard to crop out of my photos are the subject of my photos today.  And none of them are Pinterest-worthy. {Gasp!}  Why? Well, one of my ongoing goals here at The Thinking Closet is to keep it real with you all, and that means sharing behind the scenes glimpses at what really goes {read more…}

The Friday Five: Choose the Stairs

The Friday Five! Inspiration for your weekend.

In case you get your days mixed up (like I sometimes do), it’s Friiiidaaaay, friends!  And that bears celebratin’!  Right, Phoebe? It might even merit a jiggity jig a la my favorite animated Christmas movie: Or from another favorite, Love Actually: Yep, it’s November, which means Christmas movie references are now allowed.  I’m even planning to be elbow-deep in some Christmas crafting this weekend.  That and some acting!  I’m going to be playing a cockney-accented, pun-lovin’ {read more…}

10 MORE Tips for Bloggers…One Year Later

Ten MORE Tips for Bloggers

A year ago today, I hit “publish” on my post, 10 Tips for New Bloggers…From a New Blogger. In some ways, it felt strange to be offering up tips on blogging when I had only been in the game for two months.  That’s why I needed to make things clear in my title.  (“I’m still new at this, people!”) But in other ways, it felt right. For one, I’m the sort of person who processes things {read more…}

Amy Butler Origami Bags: Story of a Crafternoon

Amy Butler Origami Bags | Tips, Tricks, and Inspiration from thinkingcloset.com

Do you ever get together with your friends just to craft?  Tackle DIY projects with your better half?  Bake cookies with your kids? If you answered yes to any one of those questions, high five! If you answered no, then I urge you to try it sometime.  You see, not only is it fun, but I find I am so much more creative when I can glean inspiration from the people around me.  And just {read more…}

The Friday Five: Pets in Costume

Reindeer cat.

I dare you to attempt to put a Halloween costume on a cat. In my experience, cats have an innate ability to anticipate such evil plots and flee the premises before you can even get a paw through an arm-hole.  Or…if you somehow manage to outsmart your cat’s natural instincts and maneuver a dress over its head or booties on its paws, the cat will fall limp like a rag-doll.  In protest.  In disdain.  As {read more…}

20 MORE Punny Halloween Costume Ideas

20 MORE Punny Halloween Costume Ideas via thinkingcloset.com

Last year, Mark and I pulled off Halloween costumes that were both last-minute and punny.  {Win-win.}  We dressed up as the Black-Eyed Ps and gave out candy to the 5 kids trick-or-treating in our neighborhood.  We even sat out in the street to lure them down our dead-end.  Our costume was met with a look of confusion, right before the parent would go, “Ohhhh!  I get it.” Because every good Halloween costume requires some brain {read more…}

The Friday Five: Cute Kids in Costume

Top 5 Cute Kid Halloween Costumes via thinkingcloset.com

Earlier this week I shared my traumatizing trick-or-treating story.  Well, apparently, I’m not the only one with tales of Halloween terror to tell. Clearly, we now know Batman’s kryptonite: small, speedy canines. And I don’t blame this little girl for turning and walking away; I have the same reaction whenever I see S.O.U.S. (spiders of unusual size). For others, the horror is more on the “treat” end.  When you get handed a healthy treat like {read more…}

DIY Photo Booth Props & Silhouette Giveaway!

Create your own photo booth props!

When planning our Costume Party for this Saturday, the idea just seized me: This is the perfect opportunity to create my own photo booth! I mean, who doesn’t love a photo booth complete with goofy props and cliche Charlie’s Angels poses? And then, when I received a most-amazing-package-of-goodies from Silhouette full of their specialty media, I thought: this is fuel to my photo-booth-creating fire!  And I set to work to DIY my own props. Here’s {read more…}

10 Ways to Make Your Wedding Guests Feel Welcome

10 Ways to Make Your Wedding Guests Feel Welcome... Help Find Affordable Lodging. via thinkingcloset.com

Welcome to the next installment in Our DIY Wedding series!  To start at the beginning, click here. When Mark and I were planning our wedding back in 2009, one of the things we were most excited about (besides getting hitched, of course), was the fact that all of our nearest and dearest would be gathered together in the same place at the same time. That.  felt.  epic. I mean, when else in life does that happen?  Besides at {read more…}

The Friday Five & Erin Condren Giveaway

Pumpkin Roll by Thistlewood Farms

Happy Friday, dearies!  You made it to the weekend!  Cheers to you. Perhaps some of you are a little worse for wear? Or ready for a nice, long nap? Well, maybe I can make it a bit better.  This is a red letter week here at The Thinking Closet because I have three giveaways going on right now.  You heard that right: tha-ree! Here’s what’s up for grabs: Silhouette Portrait Giveaway – $180 Value $200 {read more…}

Reader Showcase: Summer 2013

Reader Showcase: Summer 2013

Sunday marks the start of a brand new season, so you know what that means?  Yes, I will soon be making mulled cider like it’s going out of style, and it’s time for the next installment of The Thinking Closet Reader Showcase! “What’s The Reader Showcase?” you ask. Well, it started last spring when I started receiving the most uplifting emails from readers telling me they not only enjoyed my tutorials, but had actually tried them {read more…}

The Friday Five: Made for More Than Screens

55 gentle ways to take care of yourself when you're busy, busy, busy.

This Monday was my first day “back to school,” so of course, curriculum mapping, lesson planning, and school supplies have been on the brain of late.  Thus, I shall be kicking off today’s Friday Five with some back-to-school themed gifs!  Huzzah! Here’s what I felt like doing when I opened up my teaching binder to find it still jam-packed with papers from last semester: What?!  A gaggle of little elves didn’t magically clean it out {read more…}

My Week Unplugged & Silhouette Winner

Canoeing on Long Lake.

Prepare to be shocked and amazed: I went an entire week “unplugged” from technology.  Well…almost. With the exception of one hour each day (to tame the email beast and make sure my blog hadn’t gotten sucked up into a blackhole in cyberspace), I closed my laptop and tucked away my phone for some rest and renewal.  I needed it.  And it was divine. And you know who helped make that possible?  These fabulous guest bloggers who {read more…}

Message in a Bottle: Will You Be My Bridesmaid?

Creative idea for "proposing" to your bridesmaids...especially if you're having a beachy wedding. A Message in a Bottle! Via The Thinking Closet

It’s time for Part 2 of my D.I.Y. Wedding Series!  To start at Part 1, Planning a Wedding Before There Was Pinterest, click here. One of the first decisions Mark and I made after getting engaged on February 14, 2009, was who we were going to ask to stand up for us as bridesmaids and groomsmen.  Mark asked 7 guys…and I asked…wait for it…10 lovely ladies!  You heard that right: 10. Now, before you call {read more…}

Haven Business Card Round-Up & MOO Giveaway Winners!

I loved collecting business cards from my blogger buddies turned real life buddies at Haven 2013!

Hiya, friends!  So, I have to say, I was floored by the enthusiastic response to my new MOO business cards last week.  You folk do wonders for a girl’s self esteem.  Thank you!  Also, it just affirms the fact that you don’t have to be a professional designer with fancy software to create biz cards that make a lasting impression. Today, I’m going to share the survey results from last week, as well as a {read more…}