Saturday, April 16, 2011

Road Trip! ...and another dorky organizational project

I use the word dorky in the least offensive way possible.  I've accepted the fact that I would much rather be at home organizing something than out at some festival (unless it's a fall festival) or at a bar or concert somewhere.  Been there, done that, it's cool, but so is not losing broccoli in the bowels of your freezer.  I apologize for insinuating that anyone who likes to organize is also a dork - but that correlation is true for me.  So there.

Last weekend, my girls and I took a road trip up to DC to visit Georgetown Cupcake and the Container Store.  Ever since DC Cupcakes aired we've talked about taking a road trip up the Georgetown to visit Sophie and Katherine, and we finally found the perfect weekend when everyone was free from work and other social obligations and there would be no special events in Georgetown.  <-- Too bad we didn't realize we picked the day of the Cherry Blossom Parade until the night before, but we assumed (correctly) that parade traffic would be far enough away it wouldn't affect our trip...

I was a horrible driver on the way up - like, worse than normal.  I started out slow because Crystal was following me in her car, but about 10 minutes in, I asked Bonnie to call her and ask if I could drive like I normally do, and she said Heck Yes!  After that, it was all downhill.  Between the normal Saturday 95 volume, my aggressive lane-changing which led to much honking, and my possessed TomTom iPhone GPS app, we barely made it alive.

We certainly didn't make it there on time.  Bonnie's cousin, Lora, had arrived at our designated meeting time, and had been waiting in line for about 30 minutes by the time we found a parking spot and got to the shop.  Pro:  Lora and her beautiful mini-me, Livi, stood in line for us and was 5th in line, in front of about 200 people.  Con:  Lora had to stand in line for 30 minutes, while we just swooped in at the last minute, pissing off the 200 people behind her.  :)  Thanks Lora (and Livi)! :)

Livi brought her friend, Penelope, along for the ride, so she seemed pretty occupied!  How cute is she?

Our turn to go inside!  There were 2 employees working crowd control outside the entrance - only 6 or 8 people are allowed to go inside at once so it doesn't get crowded and chaotic in there. 

I got a half-dozen cupcakes - a mix of red velvet, Girl Scout thin mint, chocolate2, peanut butter chocolate, key lime, and coconut!

After we got our cupcakes, we took over 2 tables (out of 3) in the little sitting area they have in the front of the shop.  We ate a cupcake and took pictures of the staff who were creating things out of fondant, icing cupcakes, and, I'm sure, feeling like zoo animals from all the flashing and oohing and aahing.  You could tell some of them aren't fans of being documented so much, but that's kind of the nature of their job now, no?


Here are all the girls except Lora and Livi:
From left:  Sharon, Bonnie, Melissa, Crystal, Melissa

Once we were full of sugar, we walked around the corner to their other location.  We learn on every.single.episode that this is their old shop, and when they outgrew it they decided to keep it to use as a lab for special projects.

Next stop was the Container Store - I can't believe we don't have one in Richmond, so we decided to take advantage of the fact that we'd be 10 minutes away from one to visit!  Great idea Bonnie!  This place is my heaven.  Any container that you could ever imagine for any item or group of items that needs to be organized can be found here!  Bonnie and I both had wish lists in hand when we walked in the door - to both control us from freaking out and being overwhelmed by all the containers, and limit our spending.  That last part didn't work so well for me as I picked up a few impulse buys, but for the most part I stuck to my list.

Another savior was the fact that we only had an hour on the parking meter, so when the hour was up, we had to be finished shopping, like it or not.  When the hour was almost over, Sharon went out to guard the car so it didn't get ticketed or towed - we found out later how she occupied herself while she was waiting for us!  Taking pictures of herself on my phone!  Hilarious!

My favorite Container Store purchase is 4 bins meant to hold hanging file folders.  I got the idea from Jen's iHeartOrganizing blog to use these to categorize and organize food in our freezer.  As we learned from the February Food Foray, food gets lost in the layers and goes bad before we even remember it's there.  This method will prevent that.

I Dave measured the freezer width and shelf heights the night before our trip so I knew exactly what size bins I needed.  I even mapped out what categories I needed (with help from Dave and Bonnie) to store in the bins:  breakfast, breads, meat, fruits/veggies.  The 4 bins would take up 2 shelves, so we still have the bottom drawer in the freezer for larger items, like frozen chicken breasts and ready-to-eat shrimp, along with the top shelf for desserts or frozen lunches/dinners.

Here's the before shot of the freezer:

I laid all the food out on the kitchen table to categorize it - see the bins in the background?

I took some items out of their bulky boxes, like the garlic breadsticks - I added an erasable freezer label (also from Container Store) with the heating temperature and time, which is the only use of the box.

Then I just added the food into the 4 designated bins:

Then I put it all back in!  OMG it looks so much better!  Now before we go grocery shopping, it will be SO easy to know what we have and don't have, without having to guess or dig everything out!  Exciting for a dork like me!

Here's a closeup of the bins:
Don't tell anyone, but the label on the breakfast bin is crooked.  I'll have to fix that at some point.  :)

So, while normal people were out enjoying a sunny Sunday afternoon (which I did for a bit on an unsuccessful road trip to Glen Allen in search of a crafty store) or watching baseball/Nascar/SyFy, this is what was going on in my house :)


  1. I love that bin idea. We have one of those bottom drawer freezers and I like looking at it, but hate using it. Sooooo easy to lose stuff in there and bins like that won't fit. Of course, I could find another option if we had a container store! I can't believe we don't have one either. I miss the heck out of that store. There's a huge one by the Plano office if you go down for work. Take an extra suitcase!

  2. Oh, and were the cupcakes worth the drive?

  3. They were definitely better than the cupcakes I've had in Richmond!