In our apartment we hang our keys from initialed alphabet hooks right now, but these ceramic tea tiles, $30 each at Design Glut, present some pretty fierce competition. Perfect for odds and ends, the cup is big enough to hold kitchen utensils, pens and all manner of day-to-day debris while adding a sophisticated accent. They look great in multiples, and bright colors would pop against the clean white ceramic. Pinkies up! — Sarah C.
I have a feeling that having the brocade desktop file from the Container Store would change my life. I could finally put away all my files, organize my home office and stop my husband from nagging about my piles of clutter that I leave everywhere. A little peace of mind for $20 – not bad! If youâ€™re feeling extra ambitious, a matching garbage can, pencil holder , and letter tray can be ordered separately. — Katie D.
Planning a weekly dinner menu is something that I always intend to do but hardly ever comes to fruition. Using these printable menu planners from Alma Loveland (via How About Orange) could help me plan my grocery list a little better (and all that cilantro that wilts when I forget about it could finally see a dinner plate). Here’s how it works: print out your favorite menu and frame it under glass, then use a dry erase marker. Printable and reusable! — Katie D.
Here are two truths about me and money: One, I never seem to have actual cash on hand (my debit card wears out fast). Two, I would be lost without online banking. Being able to pay bills automatically online is a lifesaver for me (not to mention a late-fee saver). The only thing I don’t like about my bank’s online system is that my husband and I can’t log into our shared account using the same password, and we’re required to each have at least one automatic payment under our own password. So that means I can’t log in and see all of our pending payments at a glance. Well, until now. A friend mentioned that she’d been doing her budgeting using mint.com. I was a little skeptical about the security as mint.com works with your bank account to pull in information, but I’m very intrigued by the reminders, the online budgeting tools, and the fact that I can instantly see where the next payments are coming in and going out and even (gulp) how much debt we have. If you want to read up on the security features and decide for yourself, here are three assessments at Elusive Wealth, Money Ning, and Metafilter. Or check out mint.com now. — Mary T.
We have a toddler who goes to daycare, so I feel like I’m constantly packing lunch and snacks for him (and myself). Plastic baggies are a last resort for us, so when I spotted the ReSnackIt ($12.95) at Paper-Source the other day, I had to buy it. It’s a machine-washable cotton bag lined with nylon that’s BPA/lead/PVC/phthalate-free. Perfect for snacks, it’s also big enough for a sandwich. And it’s stylish. I love it, and so does our son. The cheerful prints are appealing to kids, and the velcro closure makes it easy for them to use. I’m planning to get a couple more from the ReSnackIt site where there are more prints and better prices than at Paper-Source.
If youâ€™re handy with a sewing machine, there are also a few cute do-it-yourself opportunities to be had. Weâ€™ve posted before about the Reusable Sandwich Wrap by Betz White from CraftStylish, but some other ideas include this Recycled Reusable Sandwich Bag from Noodleheads (she uses the pocket from pair of menâ€™s pants!), and the reusable Snack Bag from French Sleep Deprivation Study. â€“ Michelle V.K.