Jan 24, 2013

UPDATE 30 Bags in 30 Days

Several people have told me that they are doing their own 30 bags in 30 days so please let me know how you are progressing.  I will fist admit the 1 a day may have been a little ambitious, but I'm not letting that get me down.  I tackle one as time permits, and so far I've struck 6 from my list.  This is what my list looks like currently:

1       Office
2    Kitchen drawers
3    Kitchen cabinets  ½
      Kitchen cabinets  ½
5    Under the sink cabinet
6     Refrigerator
8    Pantry
9        Front room closet
1       Under the stairs closet
      Entertainment center
1    Console
1     Laundry room shelves
1      Laundry room floor
        Grahams closet
        Grahams drawers
1      Magazines
1      Closet “my clothes”
1      Closet “my shoes”
2    Dresser
       Bedside Table
2    Under the bed
2     Jewelry drawer
2    Makeup bag
2    Under my sink
2    Bathroom top drawer
2     Sewing table
2     Bar area
2    Wine cabinet
3    My car
       I have to admit I am really enjoying the process.  It is so refreshing to get rid of the junk/clutter, and I having things clean and organized simply make me happy.  Not to mention that in my cleaning out I have posted several things for sale on Craigslist, and I've already made $80!  Clean house and making money...who doesn't love that.

      Here are a few before and after pictures to prove that I really have been working!
      Refrigerator BEFORE

Refrigerator AFTER

Under the kitchen sink BEFORE

Under the kitchen sink AFTER

I have also been keeping up with my one new recipe a week resolution, and I will be back shortly to share those with you.

Jan 19, 2013

Like, Love and Don't Like

This week, I like Carmex lip balm. It took nearly 3 years but I finally finished a tube of Burt’s Bees lip balm last month. Julie got me a tube of strawberry-flavored Carmex lip balm and I’m here to tell you that this is one fine lip balm. The strawberry flavor is an acquired taste but I really appreciate the way the Carmex product feels. It’s hard to explain that feeling but Carmex leaves my lips smooth and kissable – just ask Julie!!
This week, I love Julie’s tenacity. Julie and I decided to drop our cable and settle for being entertained by Netflix, Hulu Plus and the internet. At the beginning of this process, we didn’t have all the right equipment and technology we needed to pull off this major change. But that didn’t stop Julie from conducting researching and finding exactly what we needed. A good example of Julie’s perseverance would be the multiple trips she took to Best Buy and Radio Shack to find the right cable we needed to connect the computer to the TV. I shouldn’t have been so blown away – Julie always finished what she starts and if she sets her mind to a particular task, she will not stop until she meets her goal. Just one of her many, many wonderful qualities! 

By the way, being without cable TV is not so bad. Someone in our house hasn't even noticed a difference at snack time.

This week, I don’t like overreacting to snow. Growing up in Camden, I saw snow less than five times. I never saw snow after college when I was living and working in south Alabama near the Gulf Coast. But thanks to global warming (or whatever) I have seen snow during 4 of the 5 years that I have lived in Birmingham. While that’s somewhat significant, all of this snowfall has featured very little accumulation. But once the first tiny, short-lived snowflake falls on Birmingham, panic always ensues. And I blame the schools. Here’s the typical timeline of a snow day in Birmingham:

  • The chance of snow is forecasted 2-3 days before it arrives. No one notices or prepares. 
  • Schools announce early closings the minute the snow arrives. This forces many parents to leave work and drive in conditions that already-bad Birmingham drivers aren’t used to, which causes many wrecks to occur. 
  • Traffic in all locations is terrible for the next 24 hours due to the previously-mentioned wrecks.
  • Schools announce delayed openings the day after the snow passes, causing many parents to miss even more work. Any snow that is remaining on the ground is completely gone by noon. 
It snowed this week and the above scenario played out to the letter. The schools shut down and a lot of businesses have to close because most of their workforce was off picking their kids up from school. This is silly! Really, this is the equivalent of people in the northeast shutting down each time the temperature gets over 100° F in the summer. That would NEVER happen! I’ve always wondered what they think of us when we cease to function because of less than an inch of snow.

The following video is from Anchorage, Alaska. Just kidding - it's a video of this week's snow that I filmed this at my office on Valleydale Road.

Jan 1, 2013


I do typically make New Years resolutions...can't say that I am the best at keeping them, but it makes me feel good to think that I have a little bit of a "plan" for the new year.  There isn't anything really exciting about these resolutions, but they are mine, and I thought I would share them here.  Maybe I will do a follow up post in a few months and see how I'm progressing....

1.  30 Bags in 30 Days - I saw this idea on Pinterest a few months ago and thought that it was a great idea.  Actually the original girl did 40 bags in 40 days, but I could only come up with 30 (our house isn't that big).  Here is the link her blog in case you are interested in joining in on the fun!  I figure it is a challenge and I LOVE to declutter!  They did theirs for Lent, but I hope to get started soon!

2.  Quiet Time/ Bible Study - This past year I have really let my quiet time slip.  Maybe because there really aren't very many times that our house is quiet.  But nonetheless I miss my time each day alone with the Lord and I am determined to find a time that I can be alone each day.  Also I want to get back involved in a Bible Study.  Before Graham arrived I was for the most part always participating in a weekly study.  I always cherish that time with other women and am anxious to get plugged.  I have actually already signed up for the "Idol Addiction" study that my church (Covenant Presbyterian) is starting in January.  If you live in the Birmingham area and are interested in joining me here is a link to all of the studies that are being offered at Covenant this winter.

3.Create and Maintain a House Cleaning Schedule - I have tried to do this in the past, and I never seemed to keep it up, but I am DETERMINED to be better!  If anyone has schedules that work for them please, please share!

4.  Try one new recipe each week - I got two new cook books for Christmas, and I have a Pinterest board full of recipes.  I am going to attempt to try at least one new recipe each week.

5.  Update my house. - Two years ago I was on such a roll.  I began debrassing my house, framed a bathroom mirror, made roman shades, painted my front door black, etc.  I want to continue those projects.  I have a tendency to get lazy and just leave things in my house the way they have been since I moved in over 7 years ago.  Boring! My sister-in-law is an interior decorator, and she is constantly changing up her home and giving it a fresh feel.  She inspires me.

6.  Alterations - I was recently going through my closet and made the observation that I have a TON of clothes but I only wear 1/4 of them.  Mainly because the rest either don't fit or have gone out of style.  After some thought I decided that I am going to use my sewing skills and attempt to alter (if possible) some of the clothes I have so that they will fit and possibly give them a more up to date look.  I admit this one may be a stretch, but hopefully I will at least try.

That about does it for me.  I wish everyone a wonderful start to 2013!