How To: Divide Notebook Sections Without Tabs

I had a very stationary/organizer rich Christmas for which I’m very thankful. It will take several posts for me to catch everyone up on all the awesomeness I received and have started using already. However, this is a quick, easy idea which hit me as I was getting ready for a nap.

Let me introduce you to my Magic Notebook.

theme

It’s an adorable lined and themed notebook that my fiance picked up for me from ThinkGeek (available here). Before you run off and buy this book, I do want to warn you that the binding on mine started failing the moment I opened it. I’m not sure if it’s a problem with all of them or if I just received a faulty one. That said, the awesome theme would be worth it if you can snag it on sale (or free using Geek Points).

A couple of days after Christmas as we were watching TableTop and wishing we had a place to record all of the games we wanted to buy and play, and I thought to myself, “Hey, Amber, you just got that nifty notebook.” I promptly began recording a list of games, appropriately titled “This List is Wil Wheaton’s Fault.” Shortly after, I migrated our list of movies to watch from Evernote, where it wasn’t being used and also created a Gift Ideas list.

But then, there was a problem: I needed a way to quickly find these lists. My first instinct was to add tabs, but I couldn’t decide which from my collection would look the best. The more I thought about it, the more I realized the tabs would ruin the theme anyway.

Here’s where the nap came in.

I laid down for a nap and I was thinking about my tabs and my new awesome Magic “ALL THE LISTS EVER” Notebook. I couldn’t decide which of my tabs I wanted to use. My biggest concern was none of the tabs I had would look right with the theme of the notebook… then I remembered a pin from Pinterest, showing how someone took a notebook and washi taped pages together for a smashbook. It hit me suddenly, if you didn’t do the same number of pages for each of them, but rather assigned a certain roll of washi to each list, you could tell your sections apart.

It was the best of both worlds, easy to find sections done in a way that it wouldn’t ruin the style of the notebook. After, all, the washi’d edges wouldn’t be seen from the front. Excited by the idea, I went back and washi’d my three lists. After that nap, of course. I didn’t perfectly get my washi lined up so that it would fold right in half, but it was “good enough”. Look at me conquering that perfectionism!

washi
If you take your time and were using a different notebook with even margins, you’d be able to get it perfectly lined up. Either way, the end result is the same:

sections
Easy to see and flip to sections… without tabs!

Run out and share the news my friends! This is a simple, yet glorious discovery!

pin
So what do you think you’ll use this miraculous discovery for? Have any notebooks that need sections?

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How To: Clean Suede Boots

How To: Clean Suede Boots

A few weeks ago, I made the mistake of wearing my suede Sam & Libby boots out after it had rained. I’d been pretty careful with them, avoiding rain and snow and mud, up until this fateful day. My dogs excitedly greeted me after I let them out, jumping to say hello and not bothering in the least to wipe their feet first. To my horror my boots ended up looking like this:

before

Gorgeous, right? You definitely want to wear these with a pair of brightly colored skinny jeans and a cute cardigan. Or not. I temporarily despaired believing they were ruined and then I thought, “There has to be a way to clean them!” I was right. There is a surprisingly simple way you can clean your suede boots at home with very little expense.

Here’s What You Need:

supplies2      supplies1

  • Suede Cleaning Kit (or a soft brush that has no chemical residue. I’d personally use one I’d never used before)
  • Suede/Leather Water Protector
  • Soft Toothbrush*
  • NON-BLEACH All-Purpose Cleaner (409, Simply Green, Baking Soda & Vinegar mix, or similar)*
  • Paper towels or a cleaning rag*
*optional
How To:
  1. Stuffed and ready to go. (Shhh... ignore I've already cleaned the one on the left. I didn't take a picture of the first few steps!)

    Stuffed and ready to go. (Shhh… ignore I’ve already cleaned the one on the left. I didn’t take a picture of the first few steps!)

    Wait for the mud to dry. This seems almost counter-intuitive. It’s mud! Get it up as soon as possible! But suede is much easier to dry brush. It’s nearly impossible to wipe clean. Not to mention if you wipe it clean, you could press the mud deeper into the fabric, which will just cause problems later. 24 – 48 hours should be plenty of time.

  2. Stuff your boots. If your boots are floppy and don’t hold shape well (which is the case with most suede boots, I think), they’ll be easier to clean if you stuff them with newspaper, shopping bags, fabric scraps… whatever you have handy. After this, I actually started storing my boots stuffed as well, to help lower the wear and tear on the fabric.
  3. Lightly brush the mud off with your soft brush. It came off easier than I expected. In fact, it only took a couple of minutes for each shoe. Even the spots of dog drool (TMI?) were brushed off with no problem. If you have breathing problems or allergies, you may want to wear a mask while doing this, because it creates a fairly impressive dust cloud. Also, be prepared to sweep or vacuum after finishing this step. Dirt will fly everywhere.
    after1

    All brushed! Notice how the suede looks sort of picked out?

    A word of caution: don’t brush too hard. You can ruin the nap on your suede. This should take no more elbow grease than brushing something like flour off your jeans. Short quick strokes in multiple directions seem to work the best.

    At this point your boots should be clean, though the nap of the suede may look distressed as if it’s been picked out. This is where purchasing the suede cleaning kit is a good idea!

  4. Looks better than before, though admittedly not like brand new.

    Looks better than before, though admittedly not like brand new.

    Grab the thing that looks like a giant soft eraser out of the suede cleaning kit. It feels like soft rubber and it flakes off very easily. Take it and rub it over your boot. There doesn’t seem to be one right way to do it, though multiple directions (easiest to achieve with circular motions while rotating your boot), yields better results. This magical eraser restores your suede almost to brand new, causing the previously picked out nap to bunch up and soften again. It’s not a perfect fix as you can tell from my pictures, but it’s pretty darn close.

  5. Optional: use an old toothbrush and your NON-BLEACH all-purpose cleaner to clean the sole of your boot. You’ll want to apply the cleaner directly to the brush itself and scrub to avoid getting any part of your boot wet with cleaner. If your sole is thin and you’re worried you’ll get cleaner on the suede you could simply dry brush it as well, but it likely won’t get as shiny clean as if you use some sort of cleaner. Do yourself a favor and avoid bleach based cleaners just in case your sole is made from rubber. Chlorine can cause rubber to harden, crack, and crumble, and we’re here to save our boots, not ruin them! Once you’ve finished scrubbing use a paper towel or cleaning cloth to wipe the sole dry.
  6. Apply a water proofing agent. Wally World sells several in their shoe section with formulas specifically for leather and suede and some that are all-purpose. I picked up an all-purpose one with intent to use it on my Chucks, as well. Apply 1 – 3 thin coats, allowing a couple of minutes of drying time between each coat. Your boots should not feel wet at all after using the spray; the best description I can give is that they should feel “dusted” with cleaner. These sprays will help prevent stains in the future.
  7. Sit back and relax. That’s it. You’re done. Even as bad as my boots looked the entire process took me maybe 15 minutes in total.

    Left one all finished! Looks good compared to the right, huh?

    Left one’s all finished! Looks good compared to the right, huh?