How I’ve Spent the Last 48 Hours

I’ve been a busy bee the last 48 hours. I don’t know what has gotten into me, but I’ve been going non-stop!

After this Frye tote arrived recently, I decided I wanted to add a bag organizer to it so it would have more support across the bottom whenever I carry heavy items like my laptop. I researched online forever and even contacted Frye. No one makes an organizer for this bag, but I found one that was a pretty close fit and works great!

Frye Campus Leather Shopper Tote Bag

 

I settled on this one in the X-Large size, but they have them in stock in various sizes. I ordered it in brown so it would coordinate with my bag, but it comes in several colors. 

I placed my laptop and iPad in the bag so you could see how those fit. There’s a ton of space left over for whatever else I would want to add, and I can still access all the pockets that are part of the bag itself.

Bag Organizer Insert for Frye Campus Shopper

 

 

If you have a large tote, consider adding a bag organizer to it. They keep everything from bouncing around inside the bag, help you find what you need quickly and in general, give the bag more structure and support, which is good for the bag itself.

I know it’s a bit hard to see down inside my bag. You can see a lot more photos of it here: Bag Organizer. This organizer has pockets all around it. It comes with an insert that divides up the center area if you should want to use that. I wanted to keep the center area open, so that’s why you don’t see the center insert in place.

 

Bag Organizer Insert for Frye Campus Shopper

 

I also purchased this to protect the bag from rain. It’s available here: Weatherproof Cream.

Frye Weatherproof Cream for Leather

 

Worked on the Dining Set for the Deck

I assembled all the chairs for the new dining set I purchased for the deck. That’s the table top leaning against the deck in the background.

It was a fun job while listening to one of The Great Courses (The History of Egypt) on Audible. I would love to see the pyramids and the Nile River in person one day.

Next, I ordered THIS to clean the deck so I can restain it again. I hope to start work on that next week, unless I’m assembling cabinets. More on that in a sec!

 

Here’s where all the cushions for the chairs are right now. I tried one of the chairs (with cushions) and they are very comfortable.

 

About Those Holes and Ruts

Made some calls and found out the best thing to fill ruts and holes in Zoysia sod is river sand. (Read more about how these happened, HERE) Some folks use play sand but river sand is supposed to be better. There are quite a few of these deep gouges in the yard from the big tree that landed here.

 

River sand can be a bit tricky to find. The one place that had it near me, doesn’t sell it in bags. They told me to bring some buckets and I could fill those.

They forgot to tell me that I was going to have to shovel it all up from their big sand pit myself. It’s strictly self-service at this place. Unfortunately, since I didn’t know how it all worked, I went dressed in a summer skirt and sandals. I wish you could have seen me out there shoveling sand this morning dressed in a pretty summer skirt and heeled sandals. Ha! I got it done!

The sand was wet from our recent rains, so I couldn’t fill the buckets to the top and still lift them up and into the back of my SUV. They were around 40-lbs each filled to this level.

Now I just need to get out there and start filling the holes in the front yard. My lawn guy suggested I also mix in some top soil, although the place where I purchased the sand said their river sand is very loamy, as is. I’ll probably still mix in a little top soil.

River Sand to fill holes and low spots in Zoysia Sod

 

After the sand digging, I showered and headed to an eye appointment in Atlanta. Once back home…

Repaired the Toilet

Remember the Kohler Highline Classic toilet I purchased for all three of my bathrooms a few years back. Well, turns out the reddish/pinkish “Canister Flush Valve Seal” inside the tank has a tendency to fail after a few years. Mine failed inside one toilet a couple of nights ago, it was just too deteriorated to keep the water inside the tank.

 

Did a bit of research online and found out this is the new, improved seal for this toilet. It’s available here: Yellow Seal. Don’t use the red seal again if that’s what you find available in your hardware store. It’s the YELLOW seal that is the new, improved seal.

Yellow Seal to Repair Leaking Kohler Highline Toilet

 

I changed out the seal and now it’s working better than ever. I had noticed the handle on that toilet was starting to stick a bit even before the seal failed, probably because the seal was so deteriorated it had become gummy and was sticking to the mechanism that raises inside when the toilet is flushed. That part is working great now, too…no more sticking handle. If you have this type of toilet and need to replace it, there are several videos online on YouTube. This was the one I watched: Kohler Toilet Repair.

The biggest tip I can share is that when you unscrew that skinny, black thing in the center of the photo where the white hose is attached (it’s called the Aqua Piston) instead of trying to twist it loose by grabbing it at the top, lift the black canister up and unscrew it from the bottom.

The aqua piston is apparently prone to snap/break when twisted at the top, so it’s better to loosen it by twisting at the bottom. I learned that trick in the comment section of one of the videos at YouTube, and it works great! It’s really easy…did the whole repair in two minutes once I knew the tip on how to take it apart.

Kohler Highline Classic, Repair a Leaky Seal

 

New Cabinet Strategy

I’ve got a new strategy on getting the rest of these cabinets ordered for the garage. Walmart finally got some more in, so instead of ordering them on Amazon, I ordered them from there. You’ll find them here: Cabinets.

They will deliver them to a Walmart near your home for free. Actually, they will deliver the one on the left right to your home for free via UPS, but I’m not going through that again!

I have a Walmart Market about 1/2 mile (if that far) from my home. I’m having them deliver one of the cabinets with the drawers and two of the cabinets without drawers, to that Walmart.

Here’s my plan: I’m going to drive there, have them help me open each box to inspect each cabinet, and if they are damaged, I will return them right there on the spot.

If they are okay, I’ll have them load one box at the time into my SUV. I’ll drive the few blocks home, open the box back up in the back of my SUV and take out each of the pieces one at the time. I’ll repeat that process for all three cabinets.

I definitely don’t want to get one of these big boxes home and find the cabinet is damaged and have to deal with getting it back in my SUV and back to the store. I’ll let you know how this tactic works…hoping all goes well!

Cabinet Storage for Home, Garage, Office, Basement

 

Tablecloth Change

Remember how I had stored all my tablecloths in one of the drawers in the garage cabinets? (See that post here: Storage Cabinets.)

Tablecloth Storage

 

In the wee hours of the morning, I sorted and cleared out my upstairs linen closet and found 7 more tablecloths! Don’t know how I missed those the other day! This closet is much larger than it looks in this photo, it’s actually 42 inches wide and 18 inches deep.

After I cleared out this closet and donated some things to Goodwill today, I decided to bring the tablecloths back up from the garage and put them back in the closet. I so rarely use a tablecloth, there’s no point in letting them take up a drawer (or two!) in the garage cabinets that I could be using for something more important. Now that I’ve gone through this closet and sorted/donated some things, I had room for the tablecloths all on one shelf.

Closet for Linens, Sheets, Blankets and Tablecloths

 

Humidity Solution

Remember the drawers filled with napkins? Several folks suggested putting something inside the drawers to help with humidity, etc… since these cabinets are in the garage. Fortunately, my garage doesn’t get extremely hot, it has a heated/cooled bonus room above it and a heated/cooled laundry room on the south side of it. There’s a huge magnolia shading it on the north side so the only sun it ever gets is the early morning son from the east. I guess that’s why it never gets extremely hot in the garage.

For example, the other day when it was 94 degrees outside, the thermometer I placed in the garage to check the temperature showed 83 degrees. The hottest it got in the garage that day was 84 degrees. But I like the idea of adding something to the drawers to fight any humidity since it can be muggy here in the south.

Actually, now that I think about it, I’ve been storing my napkins in a chest-of-drawers from my son’s old bedroom for the last 6 years (since I turned his old room in my home office) here in the garage, and they have done fine. So they should continue to do well here.

Store Napkins on their edge

 

I ordered these and they are perfect for high-humidity type areas. I tossed one in each drawer. I love that they don’t have any odor. If you need something to fight dampness or odors from moisture, you’ll find these here: Bamboo Charcoal Bag.

Bamboo Charcoal Bag Absorbs Moisture, Odors, Humidity

 

Big Sale

Talbots has a huge sale going on right now, 60% off Markdown Accessories and Shoes. They also have sales going on a ton of other things. I ordered this shirt for 1/2 off, HERE.

Blue and White Striped Shirt

 

 

I also ordered this linen one. I love a blue and white striped shirt. I already have this shirt in white and a taupe/tan color and love it. I know linen wrinkles, but it’s so comfortable on hot, humid days, I can’t resist it for summer. You’ll find it here: Linen Shirt.

Linen Striped Shirt

 

I’ve been waiting all summer long for Talbots to stock some white jeggings and they finally did! They aren’t part of the sale but I saw a code on the Talbots website earlier today that said you could get 25% off any full price item with the code: SUMMER25. I didn’t see that message again later in the day, but I tried it at check out and it worked!

Hope these fit as nicely as my dark blue jeggings from Talbots. You’ll find these here: White Jeggings.

White Denim Jeggings

 

Okay, I’m tired…definitely time for a good night’s rest.  Looking forward to sharing a wall of tablescaping cabinets with you very soon! Keep your fingers crossed they all arrive in good shape this time. So hoping they do!




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Comments

  1. You amaze me! Not only do you have all this energy to get these projects done, but you know how to do all these handy things. I think you deserve some kind of award! I will say that you have inspired me to do some organizing of my own linens. I cleaned out the wardrobe where I hang my tablecloths, edited out the ones that I don’t use, and organized the ones I kept by color. Now I need to tackle my drawers of napkins and tea towels. I’ve done some organized of these recently, but am rethinking where and how I want to store these. Slowly but surely I might get it done. 😉

    • lol Thanks, Sarah! That’s really it, just approaching every thing in small bits. I felt overwhelmed thinking about all those holes/ruts that needed to be filled this morning in the front yard, but I decided to take it one rut/hole at the time and do what I could do. You will definitely get it done and it will feel so good! I just finished filling all the ruts, took a couple of hours but it’s done. I’m whipped! lol

  2. And…HOW MANY cups of coffee did you have today??!!?? Good night Irene…that was a marathon!! I need a nap!! franki

  3. I wondered the same thing……how much caffeine did you consume??? Just reading all that tired me out!! You are one amazing woman…….

  4. Cynthia Raines says:

    GREAT JOB SUSAN~ YOU GO GIRL! 🙂

  5. Oh, my! Your day tired ME out! Susan, you have more “get up and go” than most anyone I’ve ever seen. I’ve got a couple of closets in total disarray with editing things and redoing what is stored where. It’s good to go through and edit fairly often. I keep telling myself that! I love your purse organizer and the charcoal bags. Great items! Your new deck set will be so nice. I imagine we’ll see some tablescapes out there one of these days. I’m so happy for you that you found your cabinets. Your method of checking them out and bringing them home are perfect. Best of luck on getting them all assembled. It will be worth it in the end; keep telling yourself that!

    • That would be fun…putting some tables out on the deck on the not-so-hot days. Editing is so hard, but I’m getting more ruthless and better at it. lol
      Thanks, Martha…I hope that will work for the cabinets. I talked again yesterday to my UPS guy and he said right out…that all the damage is happening in their facility…right there in the UPS building. I just can’t figure out why companies continue to use them (like Walmart, Wayfair and Amazon) for those cabinets if they are all getting broken like mine. Hoping this new idea I have will work!

  6. Oh my goodness, I need a nap after reading this. You are an inspiration I think. 🙂 I feel lazy compared to you.

  7. I surely do like you.
    So often I am struggling with ideas and plans and determining, weighing, thinking/rethinking…analysis paralysis!
    Your get it done attitude is inspiring, as is your practical approach. No grass growing under your feet (well, hope your lawn repair works and that you WILL have that grass growing!).
    Your article on washing Hermes scarves was marvelous—I’ve washed and restored my scarf collection and they are all now freshly and neatly tucked away.
    I just reorganized my linen closet, and it has made a big difference (including state of mind). Amazing how organizing will free your spirit—another little box checked off…and gone from the worry list.
    Thanks so much for the help and inspirations! Keep it all coming!

    • Aww, thanks, Sally! So appreciate that! I’m so glad the Hermes scarf post helped. Makes my day to hear that!
      I feel that say way, so free when I get things organized, like it clears your head and opens you up to do other things. It’s definitely a good feeling!

  8. Where did you learn to do all that?!!

    • lol Diane, you can find anything online these days. I think if we needed to do brain surgery, we could probably find a tutorial for it online. 😉
      YouTube is a great source, as well…just recommend watching several videos because some tutorials are way better than others on there.

  9. Good grief you’ve been busy!!! Thanks for the toilet ring suggestion. We have terribly hard water here and have to replace that pink ring every few months. Next time, we’ll try the yellow one.

    You deserve a nap (on the porch, of course). Have a great day!

    • Susan, I purchased the yellow one in HomeDepot, but then found them later online. So look for them whenever you’re in there. The guy who helped me there was so nice and I could tell I was the billionth person coming in asking for that. Hardly got the words out of my mouth and he was leading me to where they were on the shelf.

  10. Brenda Bot says:

    Love reading your blogs all the way from Canada. Sometimes it is difficult to purchase things you have links too as it is US sources only. I.e. The Barbour jacket…
    You are very inspiring with all of your knowledge and ability to do all the things you do.
    Love reading ….cannot wait for the next blog…
    I am having trouble receiving the metamorphosis Mondays…not sure what I am. Doing that I do not receive them?

    • Thanks so much, Brenda! Truly appreciate that!
      I didn’t realize that about Barbour Jackets. Do you know if department stores like Nordstrom ship to Canada? Both Nordstrom and Tuckernuck carry Barbour jackets. Orvis does, too. Those companies are really missing out if they don’t ship to Canada.

  11. NEPA Gina says:

    A-M-A-Z-I-N-G……as I mentioned several times, you are my “Go-To” gal! You remind me of my mother, although I’m older than you are! She was a single working woman with us 4 kids to raise. There wasn’t anything she couldn’t do. I remember helping her hang doors, do drywall, mix concrete, can veggies, fruit, make jelly. The summer before she passed away from breast cancer (2003, she was 72), she stained her whole deck, which had lattice & railings. And she did it 3 months after her 2nd hip replacement. Hopefully I’m cut from that same cloth! You are an inspiration for me to get moving & get things done!

    • Gina, I truly admire women like your mother! I’ve heard that hanging drywall is a HUGE job so my hats totally off to her! Wow! She sounds amazing! Such an inspiration for us all!

  12. Wow…that was a marathon!! you get things done!! Thanks for all the great tips you share with us!!

  13. rebecca dexter says:

    I hang my tablecloths from a drapery hanger…they have very wide tubes. It works remarkably well. They don’t get stacked up and squashed and are very easy to see. Do any of the cabinets you order have a hanging rack? Drawers or shelves don’t work for me with tablecloths…they also get too creased. Just a thought.

    • I wish I had a good spot to do that. You know, now that I think about it, the teeny little closet in my bonus room would be a great place to do that. I may consider doing that. I need to clean that closet out first….that’s the one closet I haven’t really done anything with in a while and it’s time!

  14. What a burst of energy; you are a driven woman, Susan! Can’t wait to see all your cabinets built and filled. Gotta shout YAY for vertical stripes–they are so hard to find. Off to reorg my small and crammed linen closet.

  15. Charlotte says:

    Wow, you are one busy Lady! I wish I had a quarter of your energy! You inspire me for sure! Don’t do too much at once, pace yourself!

  16. Patricia says:

    wet sand! I needed a nap just from reading those words. Love purse organizers. Perfect for changing bags quickly. I also am a fan of base shapers to help keep totes from sagging. They a plexi glass bottoms with smooth edges that are made to fit inside many name brand bags or can be custom made too. Etsy has several options.

  17. Susan, all I could think of when you were in a whirlwind was the commercials for Super Beets. LOL I can identify. Being single, if I don’t do it, it won’t get done. Being older slowed down an impatient woman, but I still run circles around friends. Re: Walmart. I had a terrible experience with them when I ordered (prepaid) bookcases online. When I found them in another store, they said I had to wait until my order arrived in the store and then return them. When they arrived, the store said ‘online’ was a different company and didn’t want to take them back. Then, they said they would only take one of two. I asked for a manager and told her “I don’t care if you have to whistle Dixie standing on your head, I am not leaving this store until you refund my money” Not only that, the ones from online were taller than the ones in the stores.
    Good job on organizing not only your bag, but the linens.

    • lol I haven’t seen that commercial, but I do love beets. Now I’m going to have to buy some next time I go grocery shopping! 🙂
      What a nightmare with those bookshelves! Good for you for sticking to your guns, I’m the same way in situations like that!

  18. cindy in ok says:

    I tried to sew my own organizer and think I permanently scrambled my brain! I should have sketched it out or created some sort of specific pattern first. But no, I just started sewing. Lesson learned? When winging it don’t use the fabric you chose for the project. Use scraps..ha!

    • I can’t imagine making one, that’s awesome that you went for it!
      Cindy, not sure your age, but when you were in elementary/grade school, did you have book bags (is that what they were called?) those fabric bags with individual pockets that tied to the side of the desk?
      I remember every year I would get one of those, seems like they were hand sewn/handmade, although I don’t know why I’m thinking that.
      Anyway, I loved those things, and they worked beautifully on the side of the desk to hold books, crayons and other assorted goodies. Gosh, I miss those cute things. You would never leave your personal items like notebooks and crayons on the side of a desk these days in schools, I bet.
      Those were kinda the first “organizer” that I remember. Seems like I even sewed one later on…maybe in Home Ec.

  19. Peggy Kuppers says:

    Thanks for all the great tips and information. Those cute wedges you bought from Talbots are on sale for a great price so I could no longer resist! Can’t wait to get them.

  20. Jean Sprimont says:

    Susan,
    Where do you get your energy? You are astounding!
    Have you plans to tell more about your new furniture for the deck or am I behind in reading your posts?
    Many thanks for all,

  21. Bonnie Gutierrez says:

    You are a true inspiration! I don’t have half that energy.I like the phrase that another reader used “analysis-paralysis” …that’s me.

    I just yesterday ordered that laced stripe shirt in red!

  22. Smart fore planning on unloading the laminate. Don’t hurt your back before the trip!
    Thanks Susan! learned something and bought 2 shirts you suggested. I always quickly google for store coupons before checking out and didn’t find any additional promo. What a great shirt for the summer!

    • Very good point, Teresa! I remember before one trip, I was racing around the house packing and doing last minute stuff and twisted my ankle jumping over something on the floor. Fortunately, it felt better in a day or so, but that’s not smart right before a planned trip.
      You’re so smart to google for extra coupons. Sometimes I remember to do that, but not always.

  23. Susan! Just want to say that I SO enjoy your blog! Woman where do you get all that energy though? LOL I enjoy reading about all your projects, shopping and decorating! Thanks for sharing! You GO girl! 🙂

  24. You make me tired! I want some of whatever you eat for breakfast.

  25. Cute bag. It is heavy? My daughter had a Frye once and it was heavy but very well made and sturdy. I like the bag organizer but I’ve never used them in my totes. You got a lot accomplished. Table cloth and napkin storage is always a challenge isn’t it?

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