Dimples and Tangles


Welcome to a new year of My Five Favorites today! Before we dive in to today's topic, I wanted to thank you all so much for all of your kind words on our Better Homes and Gardens magazine feature.  I'm glad you found it interesting to see a bit of what goes on behind the scenes of a magazine photo shoot! 

My partners and I sure do enjoy putting this series together for you each month, and it seems that you all are enjoying it as well.  Pam from Simple Details, Lisa from Shine Your Light, Kris from Driven by Decor and I are all so excited to share some of our favorite ways to organize with you today.  And, for a little twist, we're sharing one organizing idea from 5 different rooms in our homes.  Read on for simple organizing tips from my Laundry Room, Master Bath, Closet, Office/Craft Room, and Storage Closet.

We're thrilled to have Jen from I Heart Organizing as our guest host today.  I mean, when organizing is the subject, there's none better!  I met Jen a few years ago at the Sailing with the Scotts design cruise that we were both guest bloggers on, and she's as sweet as can be.  I don't have to spend much time at all on her blog before I am inspired for a few projects around my house!  I'm always a little hesitant when "organizing" is our theme because it's not my strong suit, but looking through Jen's projects has me ready to tackle some trouble areas in our home.  Look at this clever way she used a magazine file... as an everyday essentials and phone charging station.  And look how cute she made it to boot!  I can't wait to see her favorite ideas that she's sharing with us today.

*Affiliate links used in this post for your shopping convenience.  Read our full disclosure policy here.

Cake Stand on Vanity

I got this idea years and year ago from a friend that I used to teach with when I was visiting her home one time.  Using a cake stand on a bathroom vanity not only helps corral some of my most used items while keeping them at my fingertips, but also looking pretty while out on display.  Although not particularly pretty, but necessary, I like how my box of tissues kind of tucks right under it out of the way.  It also works as a pretty great iPad stand to watch a favorite show while I'm getting ready for the day.  I bet you've got a cake stand or two that you can pull out of the cabinet right now and try this idea!  

Practical Tip:  Make sure to choose a stand that can be easily washed or wiped down.  Things like hairspray and dust will collect on it over time, and it's even nicer if you can just throw it in the dishwasher periodically.  

Hardware Storage Caddy for Earrings

For as long as I can remember I've used a hardware storage cabinet with clear plastic drawers to store my earrings in my closet.  Each drawer actually holds multiple pairs of most earrings, so I can group like kinds together.  They are even easy to stack if you have so much jewelry that you need more space, or there are many other versions available with a combination of larger and smaller drawers if you like bigger statement earrings too.  The drawers are great for necklaces and rings, too!

Organization Tip:  If I were a die hard organizer, each of those drawers would be labeled by category.  ;)

Baskets in Cabinets for Storage

Last year my laundry room was long overdue an organizational overhaul, especially the cabinets over the washer and dryer.  I had stacks of folded cleaning rags and other linens that refused to stay tidy, and cleaning supplies stuffed in wherever they would fit. 

Finding baskets that perfectly fit the shelves was the best solution!  All of the textiles were now neatly contained, and a variety of cleaning supplies each had a designated (labeled!) home.  Another bonus, the baskets were much easier to pull in and out from the higher shelf than trying to reach a single item that had been pushed to the back. 

Shopping Tip:  If you'd like to shop for baskets to organize your cabinet, be sure to take the measurements (and a small tape measure, I never leave home without one!) of your cabinet opening with you.  I found so many baskets that were just too big by a fraction of an inch... "guessing" if they would fit was fruitless.  Also, I recommend shopping for baskets with straight sides. Sloping sides cut down on the storage space inside and waste empty space on your shelf when a basket won't fit snuggly up against the one beside it.

Wall Rack for Ribbon and Trim

Years ago, the second home we lived in had a fairly large hall storage closet with lots of wall space.  I recruited my Dad to build this ribbon rack for me, and it's moved through houses with us for almost 20 years!  It's a fairly simple building project if you or someone you know is handy, the top section is just dowel rods fitted into holes drilled at an angle, and the bottom is dowels that slip in and out of open slots to add or remove rolls of ribbon.  This isn't all of my ribbon stash, I have more stored in a tub, but it helps to have the ones I use most often very accessible. 

Shopping Tip: A ready-made metal wall mounted mug rack could serve a similar purpose, the tulle rolls would work well as is and you could stack several ribbon rolls together on one post.  

Clear Canisters for Craft Supplies

There are a lot of shelves in our office/craft room, and it's been helpful to fill some of them up by putting some of my most used supplies out on display.  These large, simple glass canisters are just right for holding so many different things (rubber stamps, scissors, washi tape, etc.), and I love being able to see what's inside with a quick glance and quickly reaching right what I'm looking for.  P.S.- guess what's in that basket?  More ribbon, ha!  ;)

I hope one or two of those ideas sparked some inspiration for you today!  Several of them are inexpensive, quick and easy to try.  What's one of your favorite organizing tips for a certain room in your house? Be sure to head over to to check out more great tips at each of these blogs, too!

Organization for craft supplies, organized jewelry ideas, organized laundry room, organizing tips, organized bathroom ideas, how to store ribbon

Missed any previous My 5 Favorites posts? Catch up here!

My 5 Favorite Paint Colors
My 5 Favorite Home Decor Accessories
My 5 Favorite Pillows
My 5 Favorite Fabrics
My 5 Favorite DIY Projects
My 5 Favorite Ways to Use Mixed Metals
My 5 Favorite DIY Artwork Projects
My 5 Favorite Tabletop Accessories
My 5 Favorite Recipes for the Holidays
My 15 Favorite- Holiday Wish List
My 5 Favorite Organizing Tools
My 5 Favorite Thrifted Finds
My 5 Favorite Ikea Products
My 5 Favorite Paint Projects
My 5 Favorite Home Gadgets
My 5 Favorite Summer Accessories
My 5 Favorite Beauty and Hair Products
My 15 Favorites- Holiday Gift Guide

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Well, hello there everyone, and Happy 2018!  I hope you all had a blessed Christmas season and that your new year is off to a wonderful start!  I've taken my sweet time easing back into blogging after the holidays.  I truly unplugged from any kind of work here through the break and enjoyed the season with my family.  It was really nice!  However, because of my slower posting schedule I have neglected to share the details of a huge event for us here with you... our Christmas feature in Better Homes and Gardens!  I've mentioned the shoot here and there on the blog through the past few months, but the time finally came and our feature really was in the December 2017 issue (even though we had the shoot, a little bit of me never fully believed it would be published until I saw it in print!).  Many of you saw the feature and have already sent me such kind messages, so thank you!

I've been blogging for over 6 years and have had the privilege to have several small features in a couple of other magazines, but deep deep down in my heart I always thought... some day I'll "make it" if I'm ever featured in BHG!!  For me, it was my ultimate dream feature.

We were thrilled to have a 4 page spread showcasing so many spaces in our home.

As I share the feature with you today, I thought you might like a glimpse of what it was like during the photo shoot.  I know I've always wondered what the process might be like, so maybe you've wondered too and now I can share my experience with you.  I tried to think of all the questions I've always wondered about and answer them here.  If there are other questions you're wondering about, feel free to ask in the comments and I'll do my best to answer.


I think that the editors probably found my images through Pinterest or Instagram.  They were wanting to do features on unexpected Christmas decor, and zeroed in on how I used party store fans throughout my home for Christmas.  From what I understand, Pinterest may be one resource used by magazine scouts to search for possible matches when they are looking for a particular story, and I often use several BHG hashtags when I post on Instagram, so you never know who is looking at those feeds!


All they asked was that I have my Christmas decorations accessible when they arrived.  The stylist and an assistant would be responsible for putting up all of the decorations, managing the shoot, and taking everything down and putting it away when the shoot was over.  They were interested in shooting the Porch, Entry, Dining Room, Living Room, Breakfast Nook, and Master Bedroom.  Whew!  That was a lot of spaces to have ready.  They also wanted to take some shots of me and my family, so we would all need to be available and prepared for that.


The last week in July.  In Oklahoma.  We were fully decked out for Christmas during one of the hottest weeks of the year.  My poor stylist and photographers coming in and out in the 100 degree heat... and who knows what the neighbors thought of my porch fully decorated for Christmas!


Busy!  Granted, everything we did was completely self-imposed... but BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS was coming to photograph MY house!!!  I felt like every nook and cranny had to be spotless and perfectly organized (didn't happen... but be tried our best!).  I hired a cleaning lady for the first time in my life to come a few days before they arrived.  It was heaven and worth every penny to have everything spotless all at once!

We (I) also created a huge to-do list that we worked on for the weeks leading up to the shoot.  Touching up baseboards and cabinet paint, organizing the garage, cleaning the brick on the front porch, washing windows, cleaning out the cabinet under the kitchen sink...

and a few chores that just never seemed to get done, like finally hemming my bedroom drapes after having the hem just pinned up for two years!  It was a lot of work, but GREAT motivation to take care of little jobs that always seem to slip through the cracks.

We also did a few things like having certain "props" ready, and made our usual Christmas trek out back to cut a load of cedar to use around the house.


The magazine sent a stylist, a photographer, and his assistant for the shoot.  The stylist arrived 2 days before the photography guys to begin prepping the house.  Come to find out, my stylist had been the home editor for HGTV magazine for several years before she began freelancing, so I was thrilled that she was assigned to our house when I saw her colorful style.  But let me tell you, knowing she was coming with that resume was intimidating!!  Our photographer was top notch too and has shot some of the most incredible locations and features, but they all couldn't have been nicer or more gracious.

She also hired a local assistant, and when the person she hired had to back out at the last minute, my sister was available to swoop in to save the day!  This is basically a good part of what she does for her job after all- style spaces for photos and videos- and she's very good at it so I was completely confident in recommending her for the job.  I was SO glad at that turn of events, it was nice to have a familiar face helping and I felt like she had an extra critical eye out to make sure everything looked it's best for her good ol' sis.  She and the stylist really hit it off too, and I think that everyone really enjoyed working together.


We were asked to schedule 5 days for the entire process.  The first 2 days would be for decorating, 2 days for shooting, and 1 day for clean-up.

As I mentioned, they requested that the entire family be available for some photos, so the first afternoon of shooting everyone was all ready for their close-ups.  There was a lot of hanging out in the bedroom waiting for their shot...  ;)

Sadly, none of the family photos made it into the magazine.  Honestly, that was a big disappointment for me.  I knew there were no guarantees and not everything they shot would be used, but the whole family worked so hard to prepare for this and I was excited for the kids to be in print and be able to show their friends.

We took a few of our own photos though while we were all dressed, and they sure did look cute!

The shoot was a definite process.  I guess I expected the entire house to be prepped and ready and looking beautiful all at once, but it actually worked in stages.  We would prep one area at a time, and generally the other areas that weren't being photographed at the time were a disaster!  Furniture was moved, screens were put up, equipment was everywhere... definitely not picture perfect just outside of the shot!  We really only had one or two spaces fully ready when the photographer arrived, and as they shot one space we'd be working behind the scenes to get the next space ready to shoot.  And usually, after one space was finished being photographed, we'd clean that area up.  So, I had hoped to take some of my own photos but there was never really time (or it was getting too dark by the time the crew left for the day).  I really just got more behind the scenes shots here and there on my phone. 

The stylist fixed my bedroom so pretty... it didn't make it in either but it looked great!


Yes and no.  The editors and stylist working on my feature worked closely together and had a plan before they even arrived as to what areas would be photographed.  For the most part, they referred to my photos from last year's (2016) Christmas decorations and had in mind tweaks that needed to be made to make each area more magazine-layout friendly.

In the week leading up to the shoot, the stylist sent boxes of supplies and possible props to add in.

For the most part we used my own things, but she did add in some textiles/pillows/accessories here and there.  The garage was our staging area where everything was set up to pick and choose from, it was like a mini decor shop in there!  There were 3 more tables set up too that I didn't get a photo of-

Since we were working from my photos for the most part to recreate the spaces, things were pretty true to what I had done with the exception of some of those different accessories being added in.  Sometimes the stylist would ask what I would normally do in a certain space, and sometimes she would arrange a space how she knew it would look best for the page spread.  What might look pleasing to the eye in real life doesn't always translate the same way on camera, so she and the photographer knew how to arrange things to make the best final shot.


None at all!  Once the shoot wrapped up and we put the house back in order, my part was done.  I was contacted some time later and interviewed by the writer for a few more details, but other than that I didn't see any photos or know what would be included and how the layout would look until the magazine came out.  I was so nervous!  Since I was always busy working on another area to shoot while they were photographing a space, I really hadn't even seen more than a photo or two as they were being taken so I had no idea what things were looking like on camera.


No.  It was such an honor to be invited to do this photo shoot, I didn't even ask about payment in initial discussions about the shoot.  I wanted the experience of having a professional photo shoot in my home and to me that experience and everything I learned by doing it was worth it, payment or not.  That being said, since I knew nothing about the process I did take the opportunity to talk to my stylist while she was here (who has also been an editor in the past) about routine procedures, and she confirmed that in her experience it is very rare for the homeowner to be paid for a feature.


So much!  First of all, a photo shoot is a LOT of hard work!  It was interesting to see what goes in to a home feature in a magazine, and what it takes to get the shot.  Mostly, I learned that people are professional and gracious.  Even though my home is all over the internet, I control what I put out there.  As I mentioned earlier, to have professionals who have decorated and shot the most gorgeous  locations working in my home was intimidating for me, but they couldn't have been kinder, more down to earth, or more professional!  They didn't seem to really care if I had cleaned out the cabinet under my kitchen sink or not.  ;)

And, leftovers from a photo shoot are pretty great.

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From our family to yours, we're wishing you the merriest of Christmases!  

(There they are... the "Dimples" and "Tangles" behind the name!)

Thank you for always being the kindest readers, your encouragement and support mean the world to me, we'll see what 2018 has in store!  

So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them. -Luke 2:16-20 (NASB)

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I photographed the rest of my home last week (after finally putting on the last finishing touches!) and had planned to share the rest of my Christmas home tour with you before this point, but things like hosting parties, shopping, sneaking in some family time and other commitments took all of my time this past week... and I'm not complaining one bit!  However, sorry it's only a few days from Christmas and I'm just now completing my tour of our Breakfast Nook, Master Bedroom, Kitchen, and Patio.   If you missed them, you can catch Part 1 here and Part 2 here

This is somewhat of a monster post since it's everything that I haven't shown you yet, so I'll just let you scroll and enjoy the photos.  I'll provide some sources here and there, but if you have any questions that I haven't addressed please ask in the comments. 

*Affiliate links may be used in this post, read our full disclosure policy here.

I set a simple but colorful kitchen table.  We eat nearly every meal here and the centerpiece is cheery and colorful without being in the way.  The fabric is actually a swatch that I picked up from a designer's sample sale a few years ago, I just hemmed the edges.

Ginger Jars- Ross, similar here or here  ||  Christmas Tree Plates  ||  Plaid Napkins- Marshalls, similar here  ||  Blue Rim Mexican Glasses  ||  Blue Willow Plates  ||  Green Placemats- Ross (old)

At Christmas I switch out my botanical wall to the 12 Days of Christmas prints (great sale right now!) and fill in the extra frames with my Advent Scripture cards.  The wool plaid blanket was an estate sale find several years ago.

 Gingham Settee- At Home  ||  Round Back Chairs- similar (easy spotted fabric back tutorial here)  ||  Striped Curtain Fabric  ||  Fishbowl Stand with this paint  ||  Black and White Pillow  ||  Green Pillow

I added just a few decorations to the kitchen, but it's enough to feel festive! 

Fresh cedar swags, just wired together at the top and tied with pretty satin ribbons.

Lantern Pendants- Habitat Restore sprayed this color, similar fixture here 

I hung more 3D stars (Target a few years ago) in the hall towards the bedrooms.  They aren't lit but since they're hanging from the can lights they appear to glow when the lights are turned on.

The Master Bedroom is pretty similar to last year.  I added some small ornaments to the Juju hat over the bed along with a few pretty ornaments to the nightstands, and called it good!

(See all bedroom sources here)

I added some fresh cedar clippings to patio mantel along with my dollar store metal tray garland.

These star pendant lights are one of my favorite additions this year.  They're great across the back of the patio, and I love that we can see them from the inside of the house, too.

Thanks for stopping by and taking the tour today!  This is the first day of the break for my kids, so after taking care of a few things around the house we're finally heading to see Star Wars (we miraculously avoided any spoilers!), dinner, and plan to go look at Christmas lights tonight.  Hope you all have a great day too!

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