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Mary Poppins has got nothing on my bag. She might have a lamp in hers and some kind of black magic at work, but I’m pretty sure given fifteen minutes I could MacGyver my own lamp AND a handsome set of nesting tables all from the contents of my bag.

Meet My Bag

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Yes, I normally tote around a bag that looks as if it was used on the Pony Express, and yes, I could probably be subletting it out as a LES studio with a sleeping alcove, but I’ve just grown accustomed to lugging it around. The use of my bag has probably funded my chiropractor’s kid’s private school education, but I like to think of myself as an urban-free-thinking-all-inclusive-boy-scout-LMP that lives by the motto, “Be Prepared.” Over-prepared? Perhaps. But my sensible Marc Jacobs denim shoulder tote has yet to fail me.

Everything is in this bag and everything has to be. I’m all over this city doing anything at any given minute and have to have the things that help make “doing anything” possible. Though it can’t just be thrown all in there. There has to be some kind of method to the madness. I’ve organized (of course) all like things into zipper pouches. There’s one for electronics, one for office supplies, and one for sundries (love that word). Here take a look at what’s in this monster of a bag and how I keep it in line.

Meet My Electronics

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I’m MAC-centric… I blame good marketing!

My iPhone is my life line.

My charger is my savior

My MacBook is my rock.

My iPod is perfection.

I keep a microfiber cloth in there to keep my babies looking good!

And the all important USB, a must!

Meet My Office Supplies

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Post-its for quick note taking when I’ve got to remember what’s what, who goes where, and who’s who.

 Binder clips… you’d be surprised how handy these little guys are. Keeping papers and files in line, organizing electronic wires, or an emergency tailoring fix.

Rubber bands always a must.

Sharpie Marker… is there any other way to write?

 Uni-Ball Pen, because you always need a writing implement AND its the best pen EVER!

An envelope and stationary… because you’ll look like a hero when someone needs it.

Scissors… always handy. Just don’t forget to leave at home when going to the airport.

Mini-stapler… because my mini obsession is a sickness!

Super glue, a great quick fix for almost anything and its easier to carry around than Duct Tape (and less creepy).

Highlighter, it keeps you looking prepared for meetings and adds dimension to your doodles.

Stamps… because everyone asks for a stamp.

Meet My Sundries 

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A Mending Kit because sh-stuff happens.

Mints because no one likes a stinker.

Deodorant for those times you’re UNSURE.

Stain Stick… much like that mending kit.

Bacitracin and Adhesive Bandages, because an ouchy needs tending to.

 A Lighter is useful to have on hand to help set some mood lighting.

Tissues for the sniffles.

Chap Stick to keep those lips kissably soft and works as a good cuticle cream in a pinch.

A wine key… because when you need it, you’ll be happy you’ve got it.

With all due respect, take that Mary Poppins.

 

Post authored by Josh Schulteis. 

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Oh October, the one month curly haired gals are almost guaranteed a straight run of perfect hair days, how I love thee. Crisper than September, but without the impending mania of the holidays, October is for nesting. It always feels like a preparation month. Well, I guess for people like me it kind of always feels like preparation month, but that’s beside the point.

This month on Praxis we will share with you our take on nesting. There is a fine line between storing up for winter and hoarding for the apocalypse, we will help you find it. You will hear from your very favorite Josh and from a new LMP Shavanna, and they will bring you into the season with all of the warm fuzzies – and none of the surplus baggage.

How will I nest this month you ask? Well, I just found out I will be the happy host of a dear friend’s baby shower the first weekend in November, so I think it’s time to tackle the stack of unpacked boxes in the corner(s). It’s true. There are still boxes. July wasn’t THAT long ago in the grand scheme of moving. Don’t judge.

Happy nesting!

Brooke

Have you ever dashed out of the house, only to realize you’ve left your keys / wallet / phone / important documents / anything remotely important behind? Happens all the time? Happens at least once in a blue moon? Ok folks, get ready for the small change in your daily routine (and costs almost nothing) that will actually change EVERYTHING.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce The Drop Off: I come in the door each evening, empty all of my pockets, clean out my backpack, and take less than five minutes to put my daily move-ables into their rightful homes. That’s it. Literally. The only key here is that these objects must have a home. And the big secret is to create a habit THAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU that brings about complete mindless repetition to do this at the end of every long day. Whether exhausted, distracted, drunk, on the phone, or in a rush, I always head to The Drop Off FIRST.

Again: Step one.  Always head to The Drop Off first. Do not pass go, do not run to the bathroom first.  Well maybe pee first. And then head to the dropoff.

Here’s my Drop Off – though many friends have variations on this theme THAT WORK FOR THEM. Mine works for me but might be the complete wrong way to organize your often-sought-after items.

Right by the side of the door to my room lives a small wooden card-table. Mine was purchased at the hardware store, 4.99 – but any bookshelf, night-stand, or flat surface will do. On the tabletop sits one large shallow bowl for keys (make it beautiful, something you love to look at), one recycled glass tray I now use for a wallet and receipt holder, one glass mug for change. Hand lotion, chapstick, ipod, all get pulled out of my backpack in their respective places once I walk in the door. Because tomorrow I will inevitably wear a different jacket, use a different backpack, and all will be lost as I try to book it out of the door in the morning.

The only other key to a Drop Off is to have enough EMPTY SPACE to place the important items for the next day before you go to bed. Step two: Place all important items for the following day into this area before bed.

It seems so simple! But seriously it will change your life.  Since I implemented my Drop Off at home, I have yet to misplace keys, always know where my iPod is before I head out of the house, always have important files ready to go before I leave the house each morning.

Try it out – test out our system, share what worked for you, share what didn’t. But it’ll work… I just know it.

Post authored by Jacob Liberman

Lately I have found myself refreshed and ready for each day since New Years. You may ask, “How do you have time feel refreshed and ready for the past month, when you are juggling jobs, auditions, and life in general?”. More importantly how could you feel this way, while you juggle all of the things you have on your own plate? Well, hypothetical questioner, I have picked up an old book off of my shelves and put it to better use.

There is this great book I was referred to in college. It is a book meant to help artists live better, artistic, creative, and more fulfilled lives. The book is called The Artist’s Way. It proved to make very impassioned guidelines for anyone in the arts, professionally. There is something the book implores all of it’s readers to do called, “The Morning Pages”. These are essentially pages you write when you first wake up. It is sort of irrelevant as to when you wake up, but as long as it is the first thing you do when you do awaken. It is important to write them when you first wake up so that you get all of your first thoughts down on the pages. If you take time to get ready, shower, drink coffee or whatever then you are giving yourself time to process the thoughts inside you. You are also never supposed to reread the pages you’ve written and to let them go as soon as they are down on the page.

The purpose of these pages, I think, is to get yourself out of your own way. They are meant to keep you from censoring yourself. They can be a stream of conscious, a narrative, or anything really. The point is to write and not stop for three pages. The pages are meant to get all of your thoughts, baggage, nightmares, worries, or anything else onto a page and out of your mind. They are supposed to help you feel more present in everyday situations, because you would have emptied your mind of any other things in the morning.

Well, I have been doing these, “Morning Pages” as part of a New Year’s resolution. So far I have found it pretty interesting. I find that a lot of what I write is absolute crap, but that doesn’t really matter. Sometimes I even write down over and over, ‘I have no idea what to write about right now’. So all sorts of things come out on these pages in the morning, but most importantly it has emptied a load of things that usually sit in my brain and fester. These pages empty my brain of worries, impending deadlines, aspired goals, and everything in between. I have noticed that it has kept me open to whatever comes my way during the course of the day.

Now to be honest, there are times when these pages seem daunting. Once you start putting pen to paper the easier the pages come, though. The more you write the easier and more accessible it will be. That is to say, there will be days it is harder to write that not. There will be days when you will want to push it all aside; however, I think if you do push it aside, after doing it for a steady amount of time, then you will notice a strong difference.

Writing every morning can yield different outcomes. I am certainly not saying that you will end up with the same results I have come across, but I am saying that I think it is important enough to try. I think trying something never hurt anyone, and if you are finding yourself clouded with worries, or doubts, or even goals you want to attain; try writing it down! It could change the way you approach your day, altogether.

It is a simple suggestion, but a suggestion all the same. The end result is all meant to help you, and so far it has helped me immensely.

Post authored by Trevor Worden 

Have you ever looked into your closet and made the realization that yours is a black hole simply by definition? Items go in, but never come out. Don’t worry you’re not alone. Here are some ideas to help de-clutter and make sense of the abyss that has become your closet.

Good Lighting

If you are blessed with a light bulb in your closet, try adding an adapter that can create up to 2 more light fixtures for you. These can be found at your local hardware store. If a light fixture is not in the cards, get one that is battery operated. They are easily installed with either adhesive or by screw and come in all shapes in sizes.

Label, Label, Label

Instead of just piling items on top of one another, try bagging or boxing like items together. Label them for quick access and watch your closet transform. For example, pair cardigans with cardigans and V-Necks with V-Necks… you get the gist.

Jewelry & Accessories

Looking for a necklace in a rat’s nest of tangled baubles and beads? A clear hanging accessory sorter is the solution you’re looking for. It’ll allow you to separate and see all of your pieces and your bling should be shown off!

Belts

A 6-prong belt hanger will stop the madness and is a quick fix for this storage issue. If you have the drawer space you might try a sock organizer as a new way to bring order to your belt collection, simply roll and sort.

Scarves, Gloves and Hats

Why not use an over the door shoe organizer to store these small, but very important items.

And let’s not forget the finishing touch, a dryer sheet. It’ll leave your closet smelling fresh and clean every time!

Post authored by Maria Skopas

I’m proposing that Star Wars has potentially solved the single greatest storage conundrum faced by man – holiday stringed lights.

So, I was getting ready for a friend’s “Who’s Your Daddy?” costume party (I know, bear with me) and decided to go as Luke Skywalker. My costume was spot on– a manly shift dress and camel leggings paired with a smart ninja knee-high sand boot. My feathered hair, self-tanner and post-apocalyptic utility Zen belt would have Mark Hamill thinking he was getting punk’d on an episode of Quantum Leap.

Anyway, while practicing my best surprised face for when my name is announced for the best costume, I went to strike my best Jedi pose and realized I was missing the most important piece of my ensemble– a lightsaber. Panic!

What was I going to do? The party was mere hours away and my window for crafting genius narrowed because the party was in Brooklyn (of course, where else would a “Who’s your Daddy” party be hosted?). How could I let this happen? It’s like doing Björk without a swan dress or a Kardashian with class –it is just wrong! I began to see my best costume title disappear like a sand mandala taken by the wind. Noooooooo!

While I was wallowing in the defeat of my oversight and thinking of what miserable costume was to take my title, she came to me; my MacGyver Muse and without a minute to spare. I saw the empty tube from the giftwrap I used for my friend’s present and knew instantly what to do. I gathered my crafting essentials and broke into my holiday stringed lights that I had just a week ago packed away. Of course, the lights had somehow managed to knot and tangle themselves like Virginia creeper in spite of my best efforts  to solve this annual crisis. After several long minutes and more than a few expletives, I finally freed a strand and began to wrap it around the cardboard tube to fashion my makeshift lighsaber

While doing this I had the moment of clarity my Muse had probably always intended. What a great way to store holiday stringed lights and keep them tangle free. They are very space conscious; these lightsabers can be easily stored in the tightest of spaces or assembled for neat group storage in clear, flat containers with the rest of your holiday keepsakes. They’re also a fantastic green solution and with the amount of gift warp we go through during the holidays, I’m sure you’ll have enough giftwrapping tubes to accommodate the number of light strands you need to tame and store.

Feeling as if I solved world hunger I hurried off to claim my title and party down like one does in Brooklyn – holler!

Post authored by Josh Schulteis

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