Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Done with Stuff

My family has too much stuff.  I'm done storing it.  I'm done cleaning it.  I'm done letting it stress me out.

It's  been almost 6 months since we moved into this house.  And half of our garage is filled with boxes that still need to be unpacked.  Only half because I made room to squeeze my car in a few months ago.  (Side note: did you know that you can put a car in a garage?  Well, my car has never lived in a garage before.  We feel very special, my car and I).

Most mornings, by the time I get home from dropping the kids off at school, Chloe is napping in her carseat.  So I've been taking advantage of that {short} time and going through a few boxes at a time.  Trash, give away, or put away.  Really, it only takes about 10 minutes max to get through a box.  I'm really seeing a difference.  (Oh my goodness, maybe one day we will be able to get 2 cars in the garage!!! Okay, slow down, Rebecca, don't get ahead of yourself.)

So anyway, this morning I got to a couple of boxes labeled photos and books.  Why am I storing photos in the garage?  I came across a great article a few months back from Orgjunkie.com on organizing photos - I'm going to give her method a shot. 

And the books?  I love my books.  But I'm lucky to have time to sit and read a book one time.  I think I'm keeping them for someday when I have unlimited time to read.  Well, that isn't happening anytime soon.  So, I will keep some of them, but most of them are going away. 

I know getting organized is not an overnight process.  (Although maybe with enough coffee it could be?)
And I'm nowhere near ready to live a minimalist life.  But I've let our STUFF take over our lives, and I've had enough.  My goal is to stop storing our stuff.  Garage stuff will live in the garage.  Tools, holiday decorations, sports & camping equipment...and a car (or two!)

Wish me luck!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Silhouette SD Giveaway

I came across a really cool giveaway on my RSS feed today...check it out!

Silhouette SD Giveaway from Decorchick!

 This is such a cool machine for crafty people, and aspiring crafty people like me.  

Check out Decorchick's post about some of the awesome things you can do with it.  Post a comment on her blog for a chance to win - and read her instructions for more chances to win.  

Laura from I'm an Organizing Junkie is also giving away a Silhouette SD.  

So - plenty of chances to win this uber cool machine.  Good luck!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thursday - Gratitude

Today I am SO thankful for good friends - reliable friends - that I'm able to call in a pinch.

Tonight is a RARE night that the hubby and I were going to leave the kiddos with a sitter and go to a concert.  We don't go out. Without kids.  Like, ever.  So I've really been looking forward to tonight.

Well, because of a miscommunication with the sitter {okay, it was me not confirming times with her} she thought that I wasn't going to need her, and made other plans.  Dangit!  Since locking the kids in their rooms with a snack wasn't really an option that was going to work for us (well, the baby certainly wouldn't go for that!) I was almost resigned to the possibility that I would have to stay home, and send hubby out with someone else.  Either that, or I could just call John Tesh and see if he could reschedule the concert...wait, that probably wouldn't work either.  :)

I have some really great friends, but most of them also have school-aged kids, and it would be hard to ask them to come over and babysit for 4 hours on a school-night.  But then I remembered that I do have 1 kidless friend, who has helped me out in so many ways just in the last week alone.  She comes over and just starts washing dishes, straightening up, offers to vacuum, ran errands for me...seriously, this is a great girl!  5 minutes and 3 texts later, she's confirmed to come over tonight, help the kids with homework and stay til 10 - or whenever.  10 o'clock! As in PM.  Oh, my goodness, we're going to be out past our bedtime!

So, I have a date tonight.  With the most amazing man I know. {Isn't it a great thing that I'm still excited about dating my husband after 12 years?!) 

And I am so grateful to Tracy for making it happen.

P.S.  I am also extremely thankful that Chloe slept ALL NIGHT.  Let me tell you, in case you were not aware, that a full night's sleep makes a HUGE difference in my attitude.  Uninterrupted sleep = happy mom, and happy mom = happy family.  Much better all around.  Take note, Chloe, my dear.

What's For Dinner Tonight

So the hubby and I are going to a concert tonight, and the kidlets are staying home with a sitter.  I wanted to make something early in the day and just have it in the oven when we leave. 

This morning's post from The Pioneer Woman was this yummy-looking Sour Cream Noodle Bake.  Just what I'm looking for!  Easy, just a few ingredients.  Looks yummmmmmy. 

So, we're going to try it.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Hot Spot #2 - Paper Clutter

After last week's de-clutter project of my Master Closet, I've been anxiously awaiting "Hot Spot #2" from Simple Mom.  (Part of the Project: Simplify challenge).  Last week, getting started was the hardest part, and now that it's done I am so HAPPY to go into my closet.  And it's been 4 days and it's still clean & organized!!

So, this week's challenge is Paper Clutter.  And BOY do I have paper clutter!!

And I'm not even going to try to make excuses, I'm just going to get in there and DO IT!  And I'm EXCITED about it!

Here is a before pic of my desk:

Well, that's just one of the desks.  We have 2 desks, plus 2 for each of the (school-aged) kids.  I actually have bags and bags of papers that I've shoved away when I have company over.  Terrible habit.   

Stay tuned for more pictures.  It really is bad.  Okay, here I go...


Smiling all the way!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Well here it is, Thursday again, time to count my blessings.

Today I'm thankful that I made the commitment to do this every Thursday.  Because today is one of those days that it's hard to see past the problems.  I'm tired.  I have bills to pay.  I have work to do.  I'm frustrated.  I'm worried. 

But I am thankful today.

My house is messy, but I'm thankful that I have a house to clean.

My kitchen is a mess from this morning's rush to get out the door, but I'm thankful that I have food to prepare meals with.

I'm thankful that I was able to stay up late last night to finish helping my son with a school project, and spend the rest of the night on the couch with the baby.  (Darn teeth need to COME IN already!! That will make me REALLY thankful!)

I was able to take care of my family last night, and not have to worry about going to a "job" today.

Because my husband is a good provider and that allows me to stay home.

Because even when we don't know how everything is going to work out, God always does.  I have learned to not worry (most of the time that's easier said than done).

"Let Go and Let God"

When I feel that worry holding me down, I realize that I just need to let it go.  Because when I do, when I truly let go of the worry, everything turns out okay.  It always works out.  I have spent so much time worrying about things that I truly have no control over.

What a difference it makes in my own attitude to sit for a few minutes to intentionally reflect on the good things in my life.  My family, my friends, my health.

I'm ending this blog feeling so much better and so much more prepared to handle the rest of the day.

Now, on to happily pay bills, clean the house, cook & bake.


PS - I'm also thankful for the red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting that I baked last night.  Because that means I get to have cupcakes for lunch.  THAT makes me VERY happy

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Project Simplify - My Closet (Update)

Good morning!
On Monday, I posted about my reluctance to clean out my closet.  But once I got started, I really got into it.  I was ruthless!

Here is my stuff to get rid of:
The black trash bag and Spongebob bag are getting dropped off at Goodwill today. 
Brown bag labeled Trash: self-explanatory, I hope
Victoria's Secret bag - 6 shirts from my old employer.  I'm giving them to my friend who still works there.
Brown bags in the back - 1 is maternity clothes and the other I'm going to take to a consignment shop.

And here are my results:






The shelves are organized by size, since I'm still losing baby weight.  The bottom shelf is what I can wear now, the middle shelf is the next size down, and the top shelf is my goal.  I did thin these clothes out to get rid of things that I knew I didn't love and that never really looked right on me at any weight/size.  When I reach my goal weights, I will have to go through these again to try on and re-evaluate fit and style.  But at least I know not to even try the clothes on the upper shelves or else I will just get frustrated.  same with the tops hanging below - those are all my "Mediums" which I really can't wear yet, either. The maternity clothes will stay there for now, until I find someone to give them to.  (Pretty sure I won't need them again, although that's what I said after the second baby).

Drawer - Before

Drawer - After

I got rid of enough shirts that I now have an empty drawer.  Now the challenge will be to NOT fill it back up! 

I learned a few things along the way:

1. I tend to buy things on sale, even if they don't look great on me.  I will NOT be doing that anymore.  If I don't love it, I won't buy it.

2. I hang onto clothes for way too long.  I had shirts with holes, stains, seams coming apart...things from 12 years ago.  I don't wear them, but for some reason I have a hard time letting go of "things" - especially my clothes.  I will be working on that.  

3.  I'm so much more motivated to lose weight now, because I want to hurry and fit into my cute smaller clothes.  I now have a visual of exactly I can wear, hopefully within a few months! 

4.  A clean, organized closet is so much calmer than a chaotic one.  It's only been 1 day since I've organized, but I feel so much better knowing that I can just walk in and throw anything on.  

Looking forward to next week's hot spot!  In the meantime, maybe I will do the kids' closets...