Friday, November 30, 2012

I did not quit...just been busy. Time to catch up!

I actually started this post on Saturday (Day 21), but just couldn't get it posted and I wanted to post the whole catch up completely.  And I'm not going to lie, I had some projects to make up to make sure all the days were accounted for.  I don't want to fall behind and I had been busy with Thanksgiving prep and recovering from all of that.  So here we go, it's Thursday and I'm going to finish this post now!!!

Day 25: Organize Under the Guest Bathroom Sink

This has been one of those places that in an effort to keep the bathroom decluttered, we just hid stuff under the bathroom sink.  It's a small bathroom so it doesn't take but one unneeded things "out" for it to appear messy. needed some attention.  Also, since my parents visit a few times a year, they have just purchased toiletries and left them here (SMART!).  I needed a place to put them and under that since is PERFECT!!!

I was able to use a diaper wipes box to put all of the toiletries and an old desk organizing box to put the hair dryer and flat iron.  I kept some essentials and that's it!  


Day 24:  Clear Off Scrapbook Room Countertop

You all know that I am trying to organize the scrapbook room.  Doing it in sections, this day was the countertop.  I am proud to say that when this was finished, the room was finished!!!  This room has never been so clean and organized.  Not even when it didn't have a bed and a had the whole room for crafting.  I am so happy.  There are some tweaking I will need to do with my actual supplies, but as for the room as a whole, I am totally stoked to use it.  I did have an incentive to get it done, my parents are coming and I didn't want them to have to stay in it the way it was anymore.  And I couldn't be in the middle of the reorganization when they got here.  Anyone who has really reorganized anything knows that you have to make a mess to clean a mess.  So without further ado, I present my new scrapbook room!
I apologize for the unmade bed.  The bedding was in the washer and if I didn't take the pictures when I did, they wouldn't get taken.  But since the bed isn't the focus, just ignore it! (if you can)  :)

NEVER has my workspace been this neat.  Not even when I first organized the room this way.  The countertop was custom made by my Father-in-law and even when it was installed, there was too much junk on it (waiting to be organized).  Finally, I remembered to ask my husband to hang the peg boards and the set of drawers for my loose letters.  (close ups will come later as I organize my supplies).

Yes I added a litle bit to the closet, but no I did not go back to my old ways.  I did remove the 2 drawer file and replaced it with the paper trays.  (I will post before and after pix in a separate post, trying to get this one finished first).

I noticed after I took the pictures that my bulletin board (plywood, quilt batting, fabric, ribbons, and furniture nails) is a little messy.  But when i went back to look at it, I kinda like it that way.  It just doesn't photograph well.  I LOVE MY NEW ROOM!!!


Day 23: (a boring one) Tie Up Loose Ends on Loans

Like I said it's a boring one.  But my list is about doing the things I put off.  A few months ago we paid off two loans.  Well we thought we paid them off.  We did not realize that there are extra fees to pay off a loan and one we had to send to a different location than the regular payments.  So, I got both of those payments out and they are now taken care of!!!  Sigh...


Day 22:  About 6 months ago, I went through my closet and separated any clothes that I could give away, throw away, put away (maternity so that I would stop wearing them).  I put away the maternity clothes, and I separated the give away and throw away (of course, they didn't make it to their respective destinations).  Sunday, (laundry day) I decided I had had enough of stuffing our clothes back in our "dresser."  (The ""s because we never did find a real dresser when we moved in that we liked that didn't cost an arm and a leg so we just got cubes from Target)  I knew I had plenty of clothes that I did not wear and was not going to wear so I finally mustered up the energy to go through them all.  I found shirts from 10 years ago!!!  WHAT IS MY PROBLEM???!!??!??!??!?

 Needless to say, I am so much happier now.  Don't ask me why I put myself through years of annoying torture when it just takes an hour to fix.

The left side is my side, and the right side belongs to DH.  No matter how hard I try to not let it happen, clothes always seem to gather on the top (probably cuz there's no room inside!!!)

Overflowing drawers!  This was before I put this weeks laundry away.  (Don't worry, you won't see any "unmentionables" it's just bathing suits and sicks)

Shocker!  Another overflowing drawer, t-shirts)

I went through each of my drawers (his aren't bad) and this is what I took out.  Stuff I wouldn't want to give away is in the trash bag, and the rest are going to Community Services.  There was enough to fill 3 reusable grocery bags (I even grabbed the clothes from months ago and took it all!!!  It's all out of my house!!!  Hip Hip)

Finished product.  (the doors don't stay closed)  All of my drawers close.  And not only do they close, but they close with ease!

Tanks are NOT overflowing


I actually separated this drawer for my long sleeved shirts.  It used to have my nursing tanks in there.  When I had Ayden, I got 7 nursing tanks, I had no where to put them, so I just them in the drawer that wasn't packed full.

It's not the best system but it works for me, long pants on the bottom (jeans organized largest to smallest size on the bottom), capri's top back with shorts in front.  I usually just stuff them wherever I could.


Day 21:  Organize Brads & Eyelets

While organizing in my scrapbook room I found multiple locations that I was storing brads and eyelets.  When I do get back to scrapbooking (and yes, I plan on it), it will be awfully hard to find them if I want to use them.  OR just to be inspired by them.  So I put them all in one spot and was actually able to condense into less storage for other embellishments.  :)

Before:  I had some here...

...and there...

...and EVERYWHERE!!!

And NOW, I have them all in this old spice rack.  I'm so glad I didn't throw this away the many time I looked at it and thought I would never use it.  It sits nicely on my shelf (those pictures to come soon) and I hope it will be a great inspiration!

Day 20:  Make an Ice Pack

Now that Ayden is movin' and shakin' he is also bumpin' and fallin'.  There was a time he hit his head pretty good and I was trying to keep a little ice on it, but he wasn't so much into that.  I found these two ideas for making ice packs on Pinterest and I'm going to make both to see which one is better.

There are more ideas, but these are the first two that I found.

One is one part alcohol to three parts water. 

The other is just to fill a zip top bag 1/2-1/3 full of any dish soap.

Wouldn't you know, the next day, the boy child took a dive into the wooden bench at our table.  I quickly grabbed the dish soap bag.  I could form it to fit his little head (although he didn't let me put it on there).  The alcohol and water one was more like a slushy and seemed to be a little messier and I think might turn back to a watery state quicker.


Day 19:  Make Carla Hall's Pumpkin Chocolate Cake

I saw her make this on The Chew.  And since I love all things pumpkin (well almost all), I make it for Thanksgiving this year.

Here is a link to the recipe.

I read the reviews at the bottom of the recipe page and made a few changes.  I put in a little less sugar to the cake recipe, maybe 1/2 cup less or so.  I used Chefmate cake pans (which I didn't think were dark pans, but maybe they were).  I baked them for 30 minutes (switching them at 17 minutes) and they were done.  They looked darker than her cakes on the show (and in the picture), but when I cut them in half, if I would have taken them out any sooner, I don't think they would have been done.

For the filling, I read that many people said that the cake altogether too sweet.  So I added my powdered sugar 1/3 cup at a time.  This also depends on personal preference, I think.  I got to 3 2/3 cups and thought it was ok.  I think I could have put the full 4 cups in and had been fine.  Again, if you like sweet, go for it, if you don't, add a little at a time and taste it.  The recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of Pumpkin Pie spice, reviews said they were ok with 2 teaspoons.  I ended up putting in 3 teaspoons because I was afraid of ruining it, but next time I might put in the whole tablespoon.

I did strain the mascarpone but didn't get much moisture out of it.  The pumpkin is what really needs to be strained.  I didn't let it sit for a few hours because I was waiting on the cheese.  Next time I will leave the cheese alone and strain the pumpkin for a few hours.  Instead I just squeezed some liquid out with a coffee filter, but I know I could have gotten much more liquid out.  For anyone who doesn't know how to strain the liquid...all I did was take a strainer and set it over a bowl.  I put a coffee filter in the strainer and put the pumpkin in the coffee filter.  If you let it sit for a few hours, the liquid will be removed.  I think you can also put it in a kitchen towel and wring it out, but I was afraid of staining my towels.

Instead of using dark chocolate for the ganache, I used semi sweet morsels.

I got rave reviews on the cake and will be keeping that recipe close at hand.


Day 18:  Redo the Apple Pie Cookies

After my first run in with these cookies (located at the bottom of this post), I made a couple mistakes, but nothing I couldn't fix the next time I made them.  So with that in mind, I made them for Thanksgiving.  I made sure to cut 36 crusts (instead of the 26 from the first batch).  And I tried to not put too much filling on the top.  I still had filling left over tho, so I'm not sure what's going on there.  These cookies are amazingly yummy and I urge anyone to try them.  You don't have to make the filling and crust if you are looking for a less time consuming recipe.  I'm sure you can use the pre-made crust from the dairy section and the apple pie filling in a can.  I'm kind of curious of how they would be if I added some pumpkin to the apple pie filling mixture...might have to try those soon, since I still have apple pie filling leftover.


Day 17:  Make coffee station

I used to have my coffee makers on my kitchen counter.  But since I don't drink coffee every day anymore, I rarely used them.  However, they do get used too often to put them away in the china cabinet or something like that.  So, since we don't use our dining room table (and it seems to always become a clutter hot spot), I moved them to the table.  What good are they here if I don't have the supplies at arms' reach?

I would keep the coffee grounds here too, but since I don't make it that often, I keep the bags in the fridge so they stay fresher longer.


Day 16:  Organize kitchen cupboard

Most of my cupboards are in an okay organizational state, but my main cupboard (plates, bowls, cups, etc) and my main silverware drawers (cooking utensils, and everyday silverware) are in need of an overhaul.  When I try to put stuff away or get them out, it seem like I have to move something else or something falls.  I CANNOT STAND THIS!!!  So, a change we will make.

I removed the bottles (Ayden is one now so he doesn't need them anymore).  I took the Keurig K-cup holder and put it with the coffee station.  After rearranging and removing some things (another box for Community Services), it is much better now. 

The drawer on the left has never had any organization.
Improvise!  I cut the big box our trash bags came in and used that to keep some items separate.  On the right, I used a ziplock box to house the measuring spoons.


Day 15: (man...I was really behind) Redo the Memo Board

We have on of those boards that's half cork board, and half dry erase marker board.  It seems to not be big enough (like many things in my house) and gets cluttered quickly ( many things in my house).  I keep meaning to clean it up, but never get around to it.  So, since that is the point for my little list I've got going on became one of the items.

I have tried to have this be a picture board...or a board to hold Christmas cards...or important papers we can't lose.  But all that happens is they go up...and don't come down, ending up in a mess.

I left pictures of the nieces and nephew, the dogs and the baby.  I have a picture of our old neighbor's dogs (we miss them, and the neighbors too).  I left another binder clip on the bottom left corner for any important papers so they are easy to put up and easy to take down.


Day 14:  Clean up the scrap cabinet (the outside)

I tried to keep the items on my list to something that I could do in a day.  Which for most things, "a day" means a couple of hours (while Ayden naps).  Since my scrapbook room needs SO much time and attention, I had to break it up into smaller sections.  As I have mentioned before, I tend to fill up storage space which doesn't make it very easy to use.  I am desperately trying to change that.

So here's what it looked like before...
Rookie mistake, I forgot to take a picture of just the cabinet before I messed with it.  Oops...but it's better than nothing.

And here's the finished product...


Day 13:  Make a healthier version of Pumpkin Bars

I don't normally do that whole swap this for a healthy that when it comes to baking.  If that's the way I get the recipe, then that's the way I make it.  Otherwise, I use oil, eggs, and sugar.  I was going to my Grandma's for a lunch and was in charge of dessert.  I didn't realize these were slightly "healthier" than a normal recipe until after I picked it out.  They were actually really yummy.  I found the recipe here.  I used natural no sugar added applesauce instead of banana (same amount) and Publix non fat vanilla yogurt.  For the icing, I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese and margarine (which I don't normally work with...I'm butter girl).  With these changes I calculated them to be 370 calories per bar (if you divide this 9x13 pan into 18 bars).

I am so bad about stopping to take a picture for use later.  I took a picture of them in the carrier to go to my Grandma's house.  Learning...


 Day 12:  Apple Pie Cookies

Like I said, I was going to my Grandma's house for lunch, and I use these times to try some new recipes.  I can't bake just for us because then that yummy stuff is just laying around asking me to eat it.  And since I haven't figured out how to remove the calories (yet), I don't need to be eating them.

The problem with this post is I didn't make them correctly and they didn't turn out as pretty as the original picture.  But again...I forgot to take a picture of them.  I did the recipe right, but when cutting the crust circles I only cut out 26, only to find out later that the recipe makes 36 cookies.  So I had enough filling for 36 cookies to go on 26 crusts.  OVERFLOW!!!  Needless to say, the apple pie filling overtook the crust.  I had NO complaints about them tho.  Only mine that they didn't look perfect.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 11: Tackle Scrap Room Closet

I feel like the organization in this room will never be complete.  I have never been completely satisfied with the way this room has been organized.  I don't know what it is.  I don't know if it's storage or the way I organize or the mere fact that I just have way too much stuff in there. 

I know that you should have less stuff for the space you have.  This is hard for me because I have inherited the "Strack packing gene" which usually refers to luggage in a car, and has also included clothes in a suitcase.  So my mentality is to fit the "stuff" perfectly in the container.  That is not the best practice when organizing in the home.  It is so hard to get out of that way of thinking.

Another problem I have is holding on to the "sentimental" or the "what if" items.  I have read so many organizing blogs and articles and they all say, that there's a time to let them go.  I have such a hard time with this.  But quite honestly, I've organized this stuff so much that I am kind of tired of moving it around.  If I haven't used it by now (some of this stuff I've had for 10 years or better.  And I'm not talking about sentimental...I'm talking about pads of paper and index cards and what you're going to see later in this post), I ain't going to use it.  Give it away or throw it away.  I still have a ways to go in the room and the closet isn't finished, but I'm going to try my hardest to not over pack it.  I completely (COMPLETELY) emptied this room out in August of last year and organized it (that was the most recent time). 

This is "organized" from last year.  As you can see, I used as much space as I could.  When we moved in, I removed the doors and wire shelf from this closet.  Part of me wishes I didn't remove the shelf, but oh well, I did.  I have wire shelves to the left holding past direct sales attempts, scrapbook magazines, baskets, gift bags, tissue paper, etc.  There are 3 boxes of random pictures next to that.  Then off to the right (facing the shelves) is a 2 drawer hanging file cabinet and a plastic set of drawers.  On top of those is more crap of some sort, 2 empty photo boxes, and junk.  Stuffed between the drawers and the wall are 3-ring binders, and some tote bags.  Outside the closet to the right, you can see my scrapbook paper storage (none of it is organized and it's only about 1/3 of the scrapbook paper I own).  My goal is to get the file cabinet out of there and put the paper tray holder in its spot.  And to get the boxes of photos in correct photo boxes (until I can organize them another day).  Holy...mess Batman!

This isn't the complete finished version, but it's in a "semi-finished" state so I could feel good about myself today.  I only worked on this during Ayden's 2 naps, so maybe 2.5 hours total.  My goal here is to not over stuff the closet.  Just because there is open space, doesn't mean I need to fill it.  There is stuff all over the room and bed, so I really am going to need to get to work and plan on making a trip to Community Services by next week.  I do need a couple more storage containers, but it's an improvement.  The bottom shelf has my scrapbook magazines, which after Christmas I am going to be making my "Inspire Binder" and I cannot wait.  So those will be gone.  And under the shelves is my tissue paper.  This is the only place where I can keep it and it won't get all mangled.  As you can see in the first picture, I had to move a bunch of...stuff to get to it when I needed it.  I promised myself I wouldn't crowd this area.  I eventually plan to get my wrapping paraphernalia on the back of the door. is the scary part.  I mentioned before about things that I have acquired over the last 15ish years.  One of my weaknesses is office supplies...mainly pens.  I had a clear container that had my pens, pencils, markers, and highlighters in it.  I wanted to use that container for other storage.  When I spotted these cigar boxes I brought home from work a while back, I thought that would be PERFECT!!!  I could separate them and therefore they would be "organized."  And one day (I say that a lot), I can craft the outside of the boxes to fit the theme of the room.  How cute is that!!!  Until I started separating them and realized my pens were overflowing their box.  Now I've known I have a pen problem, but I didn't realize it was quite this bad.  I had even gone through all my pens when I gutted the room last year and threw out any that didn't work.  WHY DID I KEEP THE REST???  What if!
What if...
   ...we had game night and we played Pictionary?   (with 5,000 people???)
   ...I went back to school and needed pens for classes    (taking 5,000 classes???)
 and the crazy thoughts continue.  So...since I don't have space for them and I just keep moving them around, they are going bye bye.  I am currently going through them to see which ones work and which ones don't.  I am going to THROW AWAY  the one's that don't work.  Then I am going to keep 10 pens from the working pile and donate the rest.  I even found an unopened pack of pens!!!  And yes...I plan on counting them before I am done.  It's hard to believe that I threw away some last year.  I used to have more than this...

The pile of pens is almost as tall as 3 cigar boxes stacked up!!!

While I am at it, I am going to scale down the markers/highlighters and pencils and put them all in one box! 
Ok, I typed that I was going to keep 10 before I actually sorted them.  I kept 19 plus 4 that were scrapbooking pens.

265 total.  168 pens, 52 pencils, 26 markers, and 24 highlighters.  Madness!!!
I am keeping 23 pens, 8 pencils, 14 markers, and 5 highlighters.  All fits in one box.  7 of the markers are going in the garage for projects.  I threw away 77 pens, 2 markers and one highlighter.  The rest, I am giving to the church and/or school if they need them.

Lesson learned, but I can tell you, throughout this whole process, I can't stop thinking about looking at the pens and pencils when I am in Staples or Target.  Hopefully I won't buy unless I absolutely need them...hopefully

That is all, good night!

Day 10: Next Blog Topic (yes..I'm behind again)

One of my items on my Master ToDo list is to come up with a "meaningful" blog topic for when I am done with this one on November 3, 2013.  I was just going to let that one wait until I felt inspired.  Yesterday, I felt inspired to blog about food.  I haven't decided the number (I don't think I can do 365), but maybe like 200 new recipes in one year.  So, unless something better comes along (and it may, I can never settle), my next blog will be about food.  And it will be all new recipes that I have never tried before, so anything I do this year won't count.

Now...I said I was starting in the scrap room on day 13, but I just didn't so I started today.  I knew I wasn't going to be able to tackle it all on one day and didn't intend to.  So I broke the room up in 3 sections.  The closet, the main scrap area (takes up one full wall), and under the bed (I have 2 under the bed storage under there, but I need to go through and just get rid of stuff, it's ridiculous how much stuff I have in that room.  I desperately want to be able to use it for it's function.  Every time I do a project, I get my supplies from there and work on the dining room table.  Then somehow the supplies never make it back to where I got them from and they end up on the bed.  So, the best tip I've seen for organizing is to have more space than you have stuff.

I spent the better part of Ayden's first nap in there and I guess I need to go back and see if I can finish the closet.  I won't be able to completely finish it to the way I want because I need more storage containers, but will have to make due with what I have.

I will blog pictures later when I officially post for Day 11.

See y'all later!

Monday, November 12, 2012

oops...I forgot

Next on my lists of lists for Christmas planning will be to make a list of stores and supplies from those stores, that way when I go shopping, I already have a list of what I need to get from there.  This list will have prices, so if I find the same thing or something just as good somewhere else, I can get the best deal...cuz I already have it researched.

Happy planning!

Day 9: Christmas Planning

I promise not all of my posts will be this boring.  As you should well know by now, I LOVE LISTS AND PLANNING!!!  So, care to guess what this post is going to be?  Oops...I guess the title already gave it away.  Yes, it's Christmas planning. 

This Christmas is going to be unlike no Christmas for us.  This is the first Christmas that we are going to make the majority of our gifts for our family.  And by "we," I mean "me."  I have made 2 or 3 lists before this list I made today.  I think this is the final.  I have thought/found/seen so many things for so many of our family members, I created a list, came back a couple of weeks later and decided that it was a little too much.  I need to simplify.  And by simplify, I don't mean cut down on the number of gifts per person, but do a little more in the multiples.  So first, I made sections for each person on a piece of paper.  I listed their gifts.  This way I could make sure I had everybody taken care of.  Then I made a list of gifts so I could see how many of what I was going to need.  Now I am making a (tentative) price list so I can have an idea of what I am planning to spend.  The pricing will take a while, but the rest is done.

I would post pictures, but just in case those on my list read my blog, I don't want them to see what they are getting.  It would be like snooping  ;)

Whew, I am caught up, now if I can stay caught up.

Tomorrow, I am going to start in the scrap/guest room.  My parents will be here in 17 days and that room needs to be DONE!!!  Plus, the sooner I get that room done, the sooner I can start on my more fun craftier projects since my stuff will be more organized.

Have a great night!!!

Day 8: Routine Calendar

As I have said before I love routine, but have never really established one in my home when it comes to the household chores.  I desperately want one because I feel that once in a routine, I won't have to "think" as much about the tasks, they will be more "automatic" and everything will get done.  :) to my favorite office supply store (Staples) to get a calendar.  I purchased it back in July so the June-May calendars were there and I didn't have to waste $$ on a Jan-Dec calendar or wait until now to purchase a 2013 calendar. 

I made a list of tasks that need to be done around the house and how often it should be done.  Certain things like "dishes done and kitchen clean" are done every day while "laundry" and "cleaning the fridge" are done once a week.  I put deep cleaning things on there to do every 6 months like "vacuuming behind/under the big furniture" as well as some every other week and once per month tasks.   I also typed my list on my computer and saved it because as the months pass, I throw out my list from that month.  This way I have something to use for next year.  And as I go along, if I see that something didn't work out on that day or it needed to be done more/less, I can just go to my file and change it or make a note.  I like laying it out like this because I could space stuff out for the week so I am doing a little each day.  I didn't want to put the bathrooms on the same day as laundry when I had another day that had nothing on it.  For some reason, cleaning doesn't seem as daunting if it's not all bunched up on one day.

I hung my calendar in the laundry room so it would be in a central location of my house but not out for the world to see.  My only using it.  I have some things on routine, like the kitchen and vacuuming 3x per week and laundry.  As with everything, slowly but surely, I'll get into a good cleaning routine and my house will be clean every day...(I know, I live in a fantasy world...good thing there isn't a timer for one's time spent on Pinterest) ;)

Still behind, today is actually day 9...ugh

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Day 7: What I Knead to know to Bake Yeast Bread (from scratch)

Ok, yesterday I tried something that I've never done before, I baked bread from scratch.  I am usually pretty good in the baking department...until I tried this bread.  It wasn't a complete disaster but it wasn't perfect the first time around.  But I reminded myself that nothing I do usually is perfect the first time around so I researched my problems and will try again soon. 

I wanted to make french bread for our French Dip sandwiches.  I usually use the french bread from the bakery at Publix, but since I went shopping a few days before we were going to make the sandwiches, the bread just wouldn't stay glorious for that long.  So, I found a recipe online and started my journey into the bread making world.  I followed the instructions and everything seemed to be going smoothly until I went to pull the bread out of the oven.  The loaves were very heavy and didn't seem to have risen much (I noticed that before I ever stuck them in the oven).  But, they tested done, so I removed them and very impatiently waited until it wasn't too hot to cut. 

We wasn't bad, very dense, but not bad.  It had a nice crust from the egg white wash.  So, back to the computer I go to research why they were so dense. 
Recipe: Mix dough and let rise until doubled...did that
Recipe: Punch dough, divide and let set 10 minutes...did that
Recipe: Roll out, roll up, and let set for 35-40 minutes (until nearly doubled)...did that (only they didn't first hint)

Upon my research, I found that my dough probably needed more air, so I should hold it up when I am kneading it or it needed to rise more.  So next time (which won't be too far down the road, and yes, it's a separate line item on my project list), I am going to make sure the loaves rise more before I bake them. 

I really need to get better at taking pictures during the different stages of my project.  But at least I have some.

This is actually step #4.  This is after mixing the dough, letting it rise, separating it in 2 and letting it set.  You roll out the 2 sections into large rectangles and roll up, using water to seal the edge.

Rolled dough loaves (they should have been on cornmeal, but I didn't have any).  Here is one of the places I messed up.  They were supposed to sit for another 35-40 minutes to nearly double.  I should have stuck them back outside (where it was a little warmer) for them to rise...oops).
  After the loaves "rise" you score them with a knife, brush egg white/water wash on the top and bake for 20 minutes.  Brush again and bake for another 15-20 minutes.  Remove when they test done and let them cool on a wire rack.
Now I said that not letting the loaves rise enough was one of my's the other one, so simple.  I didn't put all the salt in.  I don't mind dense bread, but the recipe called for 1 1/2 tsp salt, and I'm pretty sure I only put the 1/2 in. 

But, it wasn't a complete disaster!  Better luck next time!!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Day 6: Plan Ayden's Birthday Weekend

Ok, so if you haven't figured out by now, I am a planner.  This...along with many things...I get from my mother.  She is actually the reason I planned like this for Ayden's birthday.  Of course I was going to make a few lists for the party itself, but my mother gave me ideas that took it to a whole new level. 

A few weeks back, I sent my mother a text about wanting to have a Pumpkin Party.  But I wanted to do it while she was down for Ayden's birthday party.  Since I am going to be making everything for the party (foodwise, except for the pizza), I knew my weekend was going to be busy and wondered if it was going to be to much to throw in a small get together of visiting and pumpkin flavored yumminess with some friends.  While on a walk one day, I called her to discuss such an idea.  She told me to plan out the weekend with everything that I needed to do and how long it would take me.  She used the example of a hairdresser planning her appointments, hour by hour (now that's my kind of planning)!  And if there were any large enough gaps to have the Pumpkin Party, then that would help me make my decision. 

So...out came the scrap paper; guest list, menu, to do, grocery list, cupcake recipes, and last but not least...the hourly plan for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  My mother is genius!!!  I can now see a better idea of how those days are going to pan out (of course nothing ever goes exactly to plan, but I there appears to be lots of wiggle room).  I am more at ease having my plan done and it's not for another 3 weeks. 

Have a wonderful and safe weekend!

Day 5: Cross Reference

Let me take a moment to remind everyone about the purpose of my little list.  It is a way for me to finish things I start or say that I am going to do.  I read somewhere that being organized means that you spend less time "looking for things" and more time spending time with the ones you love or doing things you love doing.  I mentioned in an earlier blog about creating a cross reference for my 365 list so I know if I put something on there or not.  I finished it yesterday and let me tell you, it's actually been helpful.  I can look to see if something is already on my list, or look to it when I need to find a project I've completed, to mark it off.  Before I created the cross reference, I would scan my list (of about 90 items), looking for something and scan too fast so I'd have to go back and scan slower.  I actually did waste time by not having my lovely cross reference.

Some may see this as busy work, but for some reason, I've kinda liked busy work.  For those who love making lists (and lists of lists), you would love the cross reference and would appreciate it. 

I highly suggest making a cross reference list, if you are making a extremely long list.  To make it "less work," start it when you start your initial list, and it's not like work at all.  In the long'll be glad you did.

Now...I am still behind and I am determined to post Day 6's project today, so I will be caught up.  Now...if I can just figure out what it will be...hmmm

Have a super fantastic day...

13 days til Thanksgiving
46 days til Christmas (45 if you're MACK) :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day 4: Meal Planner

I know what you are thinking...she already gave up!

Well I did NOT.  My DH was off from work yesterday and I was spending time with him and the DS, I started my project yesterday, but could not get it finished.  I guess I could have stayed up and finished it instead of going to bed when I did, but with DS not sleeping so well, I decided that it would be okay to just finish it and post it late.  So...Here it is.

In an effort to start spending money a little wiser every day, I am really going to try to plan meals ahead.  I would love to be able to plan the week's meals, shop once per week and not have to worry about it until next week.  But we aren't like that.  We usually decide each meal that day, go to the store, and cook it.  We aren't bad with food, but I think there is always room for improvement.  So...with as much time as I spend on Pinterest...I found a menu board that I think would actually work for us.  Originally (months and months ago) I was going to make the cute menu board with the clothespins along the side to hold each meal that was on cute little cards (yes I might have an obsession with clothespins to...moving along), but that wouldn't really work for us as we like to revamp meals and I would have way too many cards to make.  So, for us, the "dry erase" approach seems more appropriate.  Since DH's schedule changes from week to week, sometimes I need to plan a meal I can cook (I'm not the best cook...especially when it comes to meat) and sometimes he will cook (boy am I sure glad he likes to).  So, this way, we can just plan, write it down, and go from there.  At least with this say, I can plan 3 or 4 days in advance, which is better than flying by the seat of our pants.

Also, I must say (again), that I LOVE these projects that I can do with scrapbook supplies that I already have.  As you can see, another coordinating paper pack, which works perfectly for stuff like this, with some rub on letters that I had gotten on clearance when my local scrapbook store closed. 

Just in case you want to do this, this is an 11x14 frame (I would have done bigger, but this was the largest frame at the dollar store).  I chose my papers by what went well with my decor, my kitchen is green so it actually looks kind of nice from the kitchen.  I laid them out in the order I wanted, and cut away.  I cut each piece 2.5" (each section is only 2", but the 0.5" allowed for the tape) except for the bottom piece, it's only 2".  I inked the edges of the paper, I think paper projects look so much nicer and finished when they have been inked.  I used plain ol' double stick tape (which is perfect because it's 0.5" so I didn't have to measure where to overlap, I just had to make sure the tape was at the very edge of the paper).  Cut and laid out my letters and got to rubbin'.  Set it in the frame and voila! 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Day 3: Dawn Dish Soap and Vinegar

I have seen on Pinterest a few times about mixing equal parts blue Dawn dish soap and white vinegar in a spray bottle..."just spray it in your tub and shower, let it sit for an hour, then wipe it with a wet sponge."  Sounded easy, so I got me some, sprayed it, and let it sit for 4.5 hours (had to work it around Ayden's naps).  Took a scrub brush and it wasn't coming off as easy as they claimed.  So I decided to leave it until I took my shower tonight, that way I had running water and could really get to scrubbing.  Come to find out that it did take off the orange hard water stains in the light colored grout of my shower (with a fair amount of scrubbing).  So, I haven't completely written it off.  I am going to try it on the soap scum of the guest tub, maybe that's what the ladies on Pinterest were referring to. 

Well, that's it for tonight.  No pictures, just words.  G'nite!

Haven't decided what I'll do tomorrow...stay tuned!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 2: Weight Loss Tracker...Incentive...thingy

For today's project, I decided to do something easy with items I already had in my house.  It's not the prettiest, but it's functional and that's more important.  I wish I could take credit for this but I did find the concept on Pinterest.  I owe the top line 4 clothespins.  I only had 36 in the house.  And now that I take a closer look at the original picture, I think she used the cute little mini ones.  Oh well, this is what I have and it's done, I'm not going to redo it (I'm not.             I'm not)... :/

 I put this little tracker in my bathroom where I can see it from my mirror.  It will be a good reminder why I am doing what I am doing (as far as weight loss goes).  Since the bathroom is where I feel the worst about my weight, I can just look at the tracker and see that I am making headway toward my goal...slowly but surely.

And I thought it would be fun to show my list.  I numbered the lines 1-365 today which took 5 1/2 pages (yes, that's front and back).  I was able to only fill up 96 lines with projects, I'm sure I will find plenty more projects to do throughout the next 363 days.  I look at the list and want to create another list for cross referencing purposes.  I think of something to put on the list and can't remember if I have put it on there already or not, so I have to look through all of the items.  Therefore, #96 is making a cross referencing chart (my mom would be so proud).  After all, when I was looking through my Pinterest "likes" I saw many things that I "liked" more than once.  If I can't remember if I pressed the "like" button for something, how am I going to remember if I wrote something down on my list or not or if I just thought about it.  Anyway, I was going to make another list with the dates listed so that I could write down what project I did on what day, but when I saw how long it took me to number the lines...SO, I'll just use my calendar.  (I know...psychotic...can't help it)  I've learned to embrace it and so can you!

Well, that concludes today's session of mindless babble.  Tomorrow, I test the blue dawn & vinegar method of cleaning the shower.  Don't expect a before shot of my shower, only an after if it works!

Nite all!!  (will help you get your Z's...I sing that in my head every time I say Nite you are too!)  :)