Friday, January 28, 2011

Cruel & Unusual Punishment During Diet Season
OK, I am seriously on a diet fitness thing right now because I am sick & tired of becoming grumpy each time I put on my jeans. I am not asking for miracles but I do want to get rid of a little excess baggage before menopause sneaks up and all hell breaks loose.
And then I saw this recipe for the world's most incredible and indulgent and diet-destroying cookies on the planet. Jenny's website is one of my favorites for dinner (and dessert) ideas.
You're welcome. Just eat them while on the treadmill.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Mount Everest of Closets Conquered

Ho boy, this one was a doozy. And it wasn't even as bad as it had been for years! I used to just cram everything random into this closet. Presumably it is meant to be a downstairs linen closet; it's situated next to the downstairs bathroom and guest room. Well, I don't need it for linens, I need it for STUFF, so it is now my craft/school supply /gift wrap closet. And there is room to add more stuff as I go along.
One big thing I did was dig out my old P-touch label maker (circa 2002) and start labeling the socks off of everything in there. Containers for all the little things, baskets for the bigger things. Apparently I used up all of my wrapping paper over Xmas, so I need to stock up again!
Before. Oy vey.

I used an old cafe curtain rod I found on the floor at the bottom of the closet to hold ribbon spools; I just used the little clips to attach it to the (dreaded) wire shelves.

Of course my husband looked into the guest room and saw 75% of the junk that had been in the closet now piled in a corner. "So basically you moved the junk form one place to another." No!!! I boxed it up and it's going to our Social Services thrift shop tomorrow. So there!

Monday, January 24, 2011

A great Storage trick

I came up with this trick last weekend out of desperation: where am I going to put these out of season wreaths when they aren't in use??? If I stack them on a shelf they get smooshed.  At first I was thinking I would put hooks on the walls inside the closet where I keep all my holiday decorations. But that space is PACKED, no wall space to be had. So then what?
 I am sure I am not the first person to think of this, but here's my little idea:
Went to Dollar General and for $1 got 4 stick on hooks. Put them inside a closet door. Hung the wreaths. Closed the door. Sighed.
There's still room for one more. The valentine's day one I guess.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mini Organizing Project
I was inspired last night while browsing the organizing tips on the Real Simple website. I actually enjoy their site more than I enjoy the magazine. Anyway, when I saw this little trick of sorting your makeup drawer by product type, I was in love with the idea because it appeals to my type-A sorting tendencies, and it was an easy solution to a dilemma I have always had: my bathroom drawers have forever been dire, and I hate it because it's the first thing I see in the morning and the last thing at night. So in honor of my committment to organizing the unseen areas of my home this year, let's see how this plan worked for me. And I am laying bare my soul by publishing these photos, I assure you. Try not to judge me too harshly.

drawer 1 before

Drawer 1 after

Drawer 2 before (sorry for the crappy pic)

Drawer 2 after

Drawer 3 before. yikes.

drawer 3 after
Bonus photo! Under the sink. Which actually has no before pic because it wasn't that bad. I keep a ziplock baggie full of mini toiletries ready to throw in my gym bag for those rare occasions I can be bothered to shower after working out and before running around doing errands.

 Well obviously I have too much makeup, especially in light of the fact that most days I go without because I never get out of my workout clothes until bedtime. But let's say some people collect art, I obviously collect eyeliner. My favorite site for a cheap make up fix is, which I talked about at this post.
 So I have one basket that I filled with those products I use everytime I do bother to put on makeup. Those are all together in the top drawer where I can get to them easily. The rest of the stuff is organized by type: eye makeup, skin, nail stuff, lip stuff, mineral makeup, and the hair stuff is in the bottom drawer. (I hate doing my hair. Is it me, or aren't there 50 other things we can be doing instead of standing in front of the mirror blowing hot air at our heads???)
First i vacuumed out the drawers; it's easier and less messy than wiping them out. I shed hair like a dog so the hand held vac it was! I lined the drawers with white tissue paper; it's cheap, can be cut to fit and can easily be replaced. But I love pretty drawer liners so I will keep a lookout for those.
Fingers crossed it stays this way. And I really hope my husband asks where the nail clippers are soon; he will not believe this until he sees it for himself!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A little Motivation & Guidance

Here is a pretty good webpage devoted to helping us get the house in order. It has kind of taken my punch list and put it up a notch. I like browsing through suggestions like these and cherry picking what works for me. I'm like that with all self-help regimes. Basically I am going to do what I want, but I just need help clarifying exactly what that is sometimes!
Today I did re-organize my bathroom drawers (post to follow) and cleaned out one of the closets downstairs that was full of the most craptastic variety of junk ever. Now it is practically bare and begs to be turned into a wine closet. Or a tiny half bath (wait, forget it, I already have too many toilets to clean as it is). I also finished my punch list, or at least the first draft of it. So slowly but surely I am making progress. I guess when a girl has time to worry about closets that means the rest of her life is going ok. Thank You Lord for my blessings.
I have also decided (I think) on the color scheme for the downstairs bathroom makeover, courtesy of my new blog background from Graphics Fairy.

free french picture frame graphic courtesy of the Graphics Fairy
 Have a wonderful day, and good luck with any goals you have!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Great Giveaway!

I saw this great giveaway on  A Vintage Vine. It links to Keswick & Country, who is doing a giveaway of Dreamy Whites items from Maria's new shop. Got all that? Great sites from some remarkably talented ladies! browse and sigh...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Girl Can Dream....

Well, we're digging out of 9 inches of snow. I don't mind and it is so pretty. But it does make me long for mild days full of birdsong. And then i accidently fell into this wonderful blog:

 If you're an anglophile you can read and scroll and dream. And then you can look at this:
Think Spring!

Monday, January 3, 2011

New year, New to-do list

Well, Happy New Year! The plan of course this time of year is to clean out everything: diet, closets, hallway desk, kitchen cabinets. It's a tall order for anyone, especially moms and anyone who would rather be reading on their Kindle. So here is how I am approaching the New Year Urge to Purge:

This month I will take inventory of what needs to be done.
1) Make a Punch List. Room by Room, then outside, I will go through  each area as if I am putting the house on the market (which I am NOT!), and write down anything I think that needs to be done. Painting? Cleaning plantation shutters? Clean carpet? New faucet? Hang pictures? Patch hole in wall? Repair drawer knobs? New patio (think big people!) That kind of thing.
Then I
2) Make a priority list.
We have a big party for the Kentucky Derby in May. My guest bath has NEVER been painted in the (by then) 10 years we've lived in this house. I am ashamed to admit it, but it's true. And so I am hoping to do a little cosmetic surgery on the bathroom while we're at it. So all that will have gone on my list. But also I need to get a handle on the closets and cabinets... good cold weather indoor projects.
Then in late Jan/early Feb
3) Do it in bite sized pieces... and get help
Some of the projects I will write down will be above my head. We have a great handyman who helps us with it. Some of you have husbands who are Handy Mannys. My guy has other talents and we are all special in our own ways. But household projects are not his forte. So we pay a guy.
Also, I will be scouring the web for cute solutions.
4) When cleaning out closets, brutal about what you keep and what you toss.

My rule is: "If I were moving, would I pay someone to pack/unpack this item?" Generally it is a resounding NO, and one of three things will happen: it gets tossed, it gets donated, or it gets sold. I am thinking this year might be a good year for a yard sale. I didn't get that Canon Rebel from Santa: I am thinking a good yard sale in the early spring is just what I need to make a little cash. That and selling about a ton of Boden clothes on eBay.

*SIGH* in my dreams... courtesy of
So that's my plan, and it is one that can stretch the whole year long. Low pressure, people. Wish me luck, and good luck to you join your New Year's endevours.
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