Organizing Love: Some Recent Purchases That Make My Heart Happy

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that we are in the middle of a bit of a bedroom redo with a new bed, bed frame, headboard, and all the bedding. I’ll be sharing more about that soon, but in the meantime, I’ve also been doing a little home organization. I guess it’s the ‘spring cleaning’ bug, because I’ve had the urge to clean and purge and put nicely labeled tags on things.

So, let’s look at two things I bought and love… and one that I HATED:

LOVED: HomeHacks Storage 3-Pack of Storage Bags:


These are currently $11.99 for a 3-pack of organizers and they are fantastic. I was cleaning out all our older bedding out of Jack’s closet and needed somehow to keep things separated, organized, and accessible. These worked out GREAT.

Here they are stored away above my closet:

I have one for crochet quilts, one for off-season Queen sheets for Jack’s bed, and one for a spare Queen duvet, spare Queen summer sheets, and extra pillowcases. They are generously sized, have a clear window, and the zippers work perfectly.

HATED: Fixwal Clear Storage Bags:


Don’t buy these – they are absolute crap! I put two pillows in one of these and immediately the zipper broke. So, I grabbed another one… that one broke too. Immediately! The four-pack cost $23 (double the other kind) and they are absolute trash. These were returned.

LOVED: PowerStrip with Flat Plug:


I have an absolute mess of plugs next to my bed for my iphone charger, iwatch charger, white noise machine, lamp, etc. Once we tidied up the rest of the room, it made this even more of an eyesore:

I found this flat plug power strip for $16 and it has an attractive cord, fits 4 outlets and 3 USP charger ports, and was easily to attach to the wall. LOVE IT!

I currently have everything plugged into the outlets, but can also utilize the USB ports for my iwatch and iphone. I just didn’t do it yet, because I’m traveling this weekend and don’t want to forget to grab the plugs when I go!

The Pocketful of Joules Favorites List

I went through my Amazon orders for the last couple years, as well as items I’ve recommended and made a special Pocketful of Joules Favorites List. If you click through and buy anything on the list, OR if you click through my list and then go elsewhere to make your needed Amazon purchases, I may earn a small affiliate commission. And I do mean small, but it does add up over time to help pay for the annual blog hosting fees I pay.

If you’re planning on shopping anyways, I’d really appreciate it!

You can find the Pocketful of Joules Favorites List here: Every single thing on the list is something that I currently own, use and would recommend. If you have any questions about individual item recommendations, just let me know and I’ll give you my feedback!

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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Kitchen Backsplash DIY: Using Peel and Stick Tile

After I did my little coffee bar refresh, I was still feeling bored with my kitchen. It just felt kind of dark and drab… where I wanted it to feel light and clean. When we moved in a decade ago, I had applied a peel-and-stick backsplash… so I decided for fun to rip the whole thing off and put a new one up.

Because that’s my idea of fun.

One of the questions I got on Instagram when I was posting about this project was: did I consider doing REAL tile and grout. And yes, I did consider it. However, I didn’t want to hire out the job and I don’t feel super confident in my tiling/grouting ability. So I decided to do peel-and-stick again, but a much FANCIER version.

So, what did I use?

The KASARO Peel and Stick backsplash in white hexagon (find them on Amazon here). When I purchased the tile, the cost was $29.99 per 6-sheet box. I purchased 6 boxes to make sure I had plenty, since at the time the Amazon link said it was running low. I ended up only using 4 boxes, so I returned 2. I have 5 sheets left, so I barely needed the 4th box… so I have some sitting around in case inspiration strikes.

Here is what I used on the project:

I had all the tools sitting around (including a fresh pack of razor blades), so this entire project cost me $120 in tile and about $10 for a tube of caulk.

Unlike my last experience with peel-and-stick, this is an aluminum metal composite rather than a rubbery sticker. The tile is much stronger than the previous version, and is more “real” in that it is actual metal tile with a better hand-feel and extremely sticky backing. The difference between this and real tile, is that it sticks right on and no grout is needed. However, get your tile lined up the first time because HOLYMOLY is the adhesive strong!

Here is our old backsplash I put up in 2012:

Once I removed the old backsplash (it just took a hairdryer, a spackle knife and some pulling action), I sprayed some degreaser and wiped down the white melamine backing that was left by the previous owners. Once it was dry, I started laying out my tile pieces. Obviously, I wasn’t lucky enough that a sheet exactly fit my spacing, so I measured out cuts for the top and bottoms of my sheets.

Since the tile is metal, you can’t just cut through it with a pair of scissors. Instead, I used a combination of a level (to measure and as my straight line guide), a fresh razor knife, a pencil and a pair of pliers.

I would mark my exact measurement, go over it 2-3 times with the razor knife, and then clamp on the pliers and snap it on the edge of the table. For every. Single. Hexagon.

My hands were SO TIRED after this project.

Once I had my perfect-sized shape, I’d take off the backing, carefully line it up on my wall, and stick it on. And of course, I’m a perfectionist… so I did the little-bitty points even though only people Jack’s size can see under the upper cabinets.

I ended up covering over our old phone line and cable line — I just took the switch plates off and shoved the wires back into the wall. Cutting around the remaining outlets wasn’t difficult, I just held up the pieces of tile and mapped out where I needed to snip a little:

I worked my way around the entire kitchen and when it was all finished, I grabbed a tube of caulk and did a nice line of white silicone around all the edges. This really took the project from ‘looks okay’ to ‘looks professional’… so I highly recommend caulking as a last step!

Before caulk:

After caulk:

I wasn’t keeping track of exactly how long the project took me, but thankfully the progress photos I took are time stamped. According to my phone, I spent about 3 ½ hours on Saturday night and then about 8 hours on Sunday. Which means the full project took me about 11 ½ hours.

Here’s the “after” for $130 in supplies and 11-ish hours of work:

I am so thrilled with the result!

Disclaimer: This post contains an Amazon affiliate link and ShopStyle affiliate links. This means that clicking on the link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you

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Family Fun: Glass Blown Christmas Ornaments

Back in April 2022, Travis and I had a glass blowing date night where we made our own pint glasses. It was super cool and you can read about it here: Date Night Fun: Glass Blowing. At that time we wondered whether Jack would enjoy the activity as well, but decided to wait a little bit… for maturity purposes.

Well, we went as a family the first weekend of December and had an amazing time!

Before I get into it, let’s get the important information out of the way. The studio we visited was McFadden Art Glass in Baltimore, Maryland and you can find their website here: McFadden Art Glass The workshop cost $40 per ornament – we had planned for each of us to make one, for a total of 3 ornaments (gifting one and keeping two). However, Jack loved it so much I let him take my turn too.

I made a cute video of Jack doing his thing. And NO I can’t believe they let him hold molten glass on the end of a stick and walk with it.

Here are some other cute photos of the process:

We had so much fun making our own ornaments and each year when we decorate our tree we can brag again about that time we went glass blowing.

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