30 January 2011

Weekly Organizing Challenges

Just a quick note to let you all know that since I have so enjoyed the 21 Days to Organization, brought to us by A Bowl Full of Lemons,  I have decided to join her next organizational challenge. These are weekly challenges, rather than daily. I am ready for a weekly challenge. If you think you might be too, hop over to A Bowl Full of Lemons and join up! This week I will be working on a Home Management Binder. What a great idea, right? Stay tuned to see what I come up with. I'm off to find a binder I can re-purpose.



Weekend Book Review - The Lost Hero

This one is for the boys...


Taking the Percy Jackson series in a new direction - this book is a fast moving adventure. Percy has disappeared, but a new hero has appeared in his place. The only problem - the new guy can't remember who he is. I really enjoyed this book. I had a hard time putting it down. The only thing you should be aware of though: the next installment in the series doesn't appear until late fall 2011 and The Lost Hero definitely ends on a cliff hanger.

28 January 2011

Treasure Hunt!



Come one, come all! 
February 1st begins our Valentine's Day Treasure Hunt! 
Go to the Etsy Mom Team Blog for a chance to win some awesome prizes generously donated by the EtsyMom Team members. 
You do not have to be an EtsyMom (or a mom at all) to win!

27 January 2011

21 Days to Organization - Day 21

organization project of your choice
  
Don't laugh, but this was hard. I mean, I was really loving someone else being in charge of prioritizing my organization goals. 
Very grown up - I know.

knitting corner

before


 
 I keep my house pretty clean, really. You don't need to be afraid to eat here, and of my bathrooms I am not ashamed (most days anyway - I do have two boys). However, when I look around for something that needs organizing and I see areas like the one pictured above - how long has it looked like that? Do I just not see it anymore? Phew. I feel a little embarrassed.

after



 Cool - I found a couple of projects I have wanted to work on and a couple of preemie size hats and a sweater I can donate. I also want to tell you about my favorite knitting organizational tool. It's my handy knitting needle case.

 I can find all my needles! I love it. I got it on Etsy from Made By Molly.
It is the best. I am going to buy her circular needle case too - as soon as she comes back from vacation.
Thanks for a great 21 days Toni! I am looking forward to the weekly challenges.

Oh, and if you LOVE the snowman quilt hanging on my wall - that's my mom's work. She has a little Etsy shop called Grammy's Quilts. Check it out sometime!

25 January 2011

21 Days to Organization - Day 20

photos

I am all on top of this one - thanks to going digital and thanks to Creative Memories. One of my good friends was a CM consultant, and got me into scrapbooking about 15 years ago. What's significant about that? I had no kids. Then, until about 7 years ago, I only had one kid. It's pretty easy to keep up the scrapbook if that's all you're doing. Well, in 2004 and again in 2006 we added little people to the family. 
Scrapbook-wise I think I am about 5 years behind now. Funny thing that. 


Which brings us to digital. Fortunately, I didn't get behind until after we had switched to digital.
Now, I only print out the year I am working on and leave the rest on the computer. 
Of course we also back up the computer regularly so we don't lose years worth of irreplaceable photos.


This is the family photo box. Each kid has a smaller box with dividers labeled by month. 
I'm really not going to talk about why each kid has their own album.
If you do it this way, you understand, if you don't, well, I just can't explain.


This is my working box, again with dividers by month. I use this to hold the photos for the specific album I am working on. It takes up less room.

Now that you have seen how awesome and organized I am, 
I will bring us all back to reality with a photo of my scrapbooking/crafing table and the surrounding area.



I guess this is next?

21 Days to Organization - Day 19

the master closet

shiver

before



  
It pretty much took all day Saturday, but the good news is that my husband pitched in!

after



 
We are also hoping to create an organization system in our closet - more shelves, etc. Until then, well, it's much better. A note about the sharpie mug - it's locked in our room at all times due to the unrestrained artistic tendencies of our middle child. Mr. Clean works great, but he can't do everything. I can still see traces of the smiley face she drew in black sharpie on the guest toilet lid.

Here are our piles - the first is to go to charity - see, 4 pairs of shoes that don't fit me (thanks baby number 2) and two big bags of clothing.
Here is the pile of "fabric" that I am keeping. I use it to make t-shirts, skirts, and other upcycled clothing items for my little kids and for other projects. Jeans make great quilt squares and picnic blankets and many other things.


Now I am off to clean my camera due to large smudgy spot appearing in top left of all photos.
What do you bet it's the finger print of a 4 year old? It's happened before.

Meet Me on Monday!

Happy Monday! Again, brought to you by Never Growing Old, another edition of Meet Me On Monday.

What is your favorite kind of fudge?
 White chocolate, especially at Easter. You can find my recipe here



  Is there snow outside your window?

No, and that's OK. I have to drive carpool tomorrow morning. 
I'm a California kid who lives in Colorado. I don't like driving in snow.

What is your favorite meal of the day?
Oh, how I love Breakfast! My favorite breakfast is steel cut oats and my favorite recipe comes from Fuzz Food
I also love omelets with lots of veggies. Yum!
 
  Do you text on your cell phone?

NO. I'm terrible at it, and I hate it when I'm at lunch with a friend and they text the whole time. GRRR.

 Waffles or pancakes?

 The short answer is YES, but my favorite is probably pancakes, specifically Fly Off the Plate Pancakes from my family cookbook. 
They really are soooo good.

23 January 2011

Weekend Book Review - Sense and Sensibility


I just finished reading Sense and Sensibility for the second time. It has been about 10 years since I last read it. I remembered thinking it was a bit boring and slow moving. I have changed my mind. I thought Elinor was witty (and sometimes preachy) and Marianne was the perfect teenage drama queen. Jane Austen creates characters so clearly that you recognize them, for better or worse, instantly.
Elinor is "sense" and Marianne is "sensibility" and the comparison between the two sisters and their behavior under similar circumstances is very entertaining reading.

21 Days to Organization - Day 18 - Update

keepsakes

before
A couple of things about this photo:
1. it's in the basement and the sun is shining right in the window
2. I've been making a pile/sort of file for years, but not with an actual plan
3. I cleaned up my room and found a giant pile of artwork under my dresser...
It's all right here. If it doesn't look like much, consider that Rubbermaid container in the right corner of the photo. It's full.

during

 I moved all the stuff from here

to here

In the small file box I have hanging files for my two school age children by grade. All the artwork, etc. that I consider a keepsake is going in there until I can work on their notebooks (I am totally sold on the notebook idea). My mom made me a notebook of my grade school artwork and gave it to me about 10 years ago. It is so much fun to look at. My kids especially like to look in it and play art critic.

after

  Nope, the picture isn't better without the sun shining in the window

It's all there, organized, and I went through and did a little work on the photos and things for their scrapbooks as well. 
The scrapbook stuff is pretty well organized. I have been using Creative Memories photo organizing system for a long time. I love it.
I'll show it to you when Toni gets to that promised photo-organizing challenge.

Hold That Thought

I was keeping up on the organization challenges until yesterday. Today, on top of yesterday, will result in my posting days 18 and 19 on day 20. No doubt about it.

Here's what things look like right now...and  the pictures are terrible, just so you know that I know.

keepsakes - before


 keepsakes - during



master closet - before



 Who's got too many clothes? Yeah, we do.

Here's the one thing I am proud of - my jewelry organizer. It works for me - as in I'm actually wearing jewelry now and again.


Anyway, Monday, I will have these jobs done and I will show you the glories of the organized keepsakes and the clean master closet. I will.

22 January 2011

I Love Audrey

 "I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles." Audrey Hepburn (May 1929-January 1993)

21 January 2011

21 Days to Organization - Day 17

the mail station

Here are pictures of all the places in my house where I found a pile of "mail" that needed to be dealt with.

before

  ledge between kitchen and family room

island

telephone station

and... at the theoretical mail station

I put all the mail in one big pile, dusted, tossed, sorted. I made tags for my files at the computer desk so that people besides me know what goes in them (ha-ha). I then reorganized the telephone station so that the file box only holds calendars, notebooks and current magazines.
OK, I also have a couple kid craft books there for emergencies.

after




  

20 January 2011

21 Days to Organization - Day 16

clean out the refrigerator

This one isn't too scary. I clean out my refrigerator pretty regularly, but there are always spills and things I miss. I have not been a huge user of bins in the fridge because the size needs are always changing. I do use a lot of Ziploc bags to store leftovers. We plan our meals weekly, and I always schedule in days for eating leftovers. 
For more on this subject, check out yesterdays guest post from Mrs. Fuzz. It fits perfectly with today's organization assignment.

before


during

after



Then I got a little more inspired, and I cleaned off the front and top of the fridge. I have two clips where I keep things l need to deal with soon - birthday party invites, swim camp, Dr. appointments, etc. Sometimes they get a little crowded. The top of the fridge is another of those places where my husband  people like to stash things. I didn't take a before photo, but I promise, it's way better.