Sunday, October 31, 2010

From the Nester?

Anonymous said...
Why in the world are you linked to the "Nesting Place Less Messy" post...your blog has nothing to do with the subject....pretty sleezy way of getting people to your blog....I will NOT click on your site again.

Because it's mean and hurtful.  It really was my honest mistake and I'm pretty sure President Obama outlawed bullying.


Someone asked me once when I knew that I was becoming an adult.  Well, there are a lot of times.  

How about that 2nd grade field trip to McDonalds?  The one where I was playing on the playground with the rest of my class.  The manager told my mom that I had to get out because I was over the maximum height.  

Then there was the time were the times that I wasn't allowed to eat off the 12 and under kids menu.  This happened frequently when I was 8-10 years old.  By 11, I NEEDED the adult portions. 
All those made me feel like a freakishly big kid or a small adult (which is worse), but nothing has made me feel more like an adult than signing 4,873 documents to buy our home.  Then comes the cleaning.  Kids make messes.  Adults clean, and I clean a lot sometimes.
For the most part, I enjoy cleaning.  Not all types of cleaning though.  Not the sponge, mop, bucket,  and bleach kind.  I like organize, put things away, and purge kind.
I have even been asked how I keep things "so clean."  Well, I don't.  I can't remember the last time that I mopped and I don't even know where my Pledge is...or if I even have any.
Instead of actually cleaning, I organize and tidy and constantly find a home for things.  I try to be thoughtful about why and where I put things (method to the madness) instead of stashing  and piling.

I'm so in love with organization that I'm going to make a big fat nerdy list of things that I do to make my house look clean without actually cleaning it.  Maybe I can be on Oprah like Peter Walsh.

1.  Find a home for everything.  This is the most important thing!  Bills, mail, travel size toiletries, magazines, hand towels, gift wrap, spices, and other random items end up getting stashed any odd place.  That became a problem for me.  One day I decided that I wasn't cleaning, I was just moving my clutter to a better hiding place.  Once everything had a home, it became easier to pick up.  And...if I don't have room for something, then should I really have it? {Insert meaningful thought about obtaining too much stuff.}
2.  Keep things off the floor.  I am really bad about throwing my clothes down in my bathroom (which sometimes means the floor).  If I must throw them down, and sometimes I must, I try and go for the chair.  It gets the clothes off the floor (sloppy) and somehow makes the floor look bigger and nicer and neater.  Eventually I have to put them away...the chair can only hold so much weight before it tips over.  Been there.  Done that.
3.  Get rid of piles.  Piles of stuff just aren't cute.  There I said it.  Not even if I throw a Pottery Barn catalog on top of them.  At one point, there was a pile of something in each and every room.  Sometimes more than one.  It was U-G-L-Y.  I don't want to be on Hoarders, so I got/get rid of the piles.  For example, I keep a pile of stuff on the printer of things that need to be filed away.  It's always there.  I hate it.  It is looking at me right now.  Fine.  I'll file you away, pile!!!  Then, I'll feel relieved and happy and stress free and the room will look fancy.  See, it's that easy.
4. Use bigger stuff. My super cool aunt is a really awesome decorator.  She was in my house one day and mentioned "scale."  Like...knowing the scale of my room and accessories.  For some reason, that has stuck with me.  Scale.  Like, don't hang an 8x10 picture above a full size  couch.  I try to think of scale when I decorate.  Instead of 93 4x6 frames lying around my house, what if I used a few 8x10s that were matted?  I've done this once and it worked out for me.  What if instead of 2,655 little nicknacks on my coffee table, I just had one or two big chunky ones?  Check...that worked out too.  Instead of a bunch of free furniture I hoarded, what if I tried to use less pieces, but they were bigger?  Working on that...
5. Talk to people or read things that are inspirational. When I started reading decorating magazines, that got me motivated to keep things in order.  Looking at all those cute homes, I found one thing in common: no clutter.

I found a cool post by Emily who has four kids, runs a little business from home, and has a cool blog.  She made a list of things that she does that help her stay sane.  Below is a picture of her home cute!
Then, I read about how the Nester has become inspired by all the Hoarder shows.  She's making some changes about the way she collects things and how she decorates.  Below is a picture of her main living space.  She has three boys and a white sofa.  In her main living space.  With three boys.  And a white sofa.  Which makes me me feel just fine about my white sofa.  

Now, how's that for rambling???  To be honest, I have more.  Like Peter Walsh's 3 types of clutter...more on that, later!

First four pics from here.

This Week's Menu

Every Sunday, I'm posting my dinner menu for the week.  

A Reminder.
Sharing Ideas.
Trying not to make the same thing over and over and over.

Potato Leek Soup with BLT's
Cream of Tomato with Grilled Cheese
Cajun Pasta with Chicken
Lentil Soup {Looks like prison food, tastes like fall} with Baguette

{Apparently, I have soup on the brain. That's ok.  
The weather is getting crisp and soup goes a long way.}

Friday, October 29, 2010

RIP Cottage Living

Is anyone else still mourning the end of Cottage Living Magazine?  It's been a few years, and I still feel a void in my life.  I'm being dramatic, yes, but I really loved that magazine.  

This is a picture of my very favorite home that was featured in the magazine.  I still have this issue.  It got left in the rain one day, the cover is coming off, and it's on the list of "what to grab in case of a fire."

White couches.  White walls.  Rattan rug. Leather footstool. Bookshelves. Hydrangeas.
Love, love and love!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Getting Dressed

Even though I dress like I don't care about my clothes, I don't want to be the girl who cares about her clothes.  I can't not care.  It's just not right.

Solid T's.  Mainly V-neck or Scoop neck with flare jeans.  If my life had a uniform, that would be it.

Let's say that I'm lacking in the style department.  I know, I's not good to be superficial and want to look cute.  But, show me one person who doesn't care about what they wear, and I'll show you a person that needs to be on meds.  Lots of them. 

We all care about what we wear and how we look.  Even though I really hate dedicating a blog post to clothes, I've gotta get this off my chest.

I realized today, while working AT THE GAP, that I've been seriously lacking creativity in getting dressed.

I'm making a pledge.  Another wonderful pledge.  TO!!!SPICE!!!THINGS!!!UP!!!

Ruffles. Skinny Jeans. Funky collars. Patterns. Flowing tops. Cowboy boots. Dresses. Girly flats.  I want more of you in my life!!! I am ready for a new and improved look!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Footed PJ's

Last week, I was doing some purging and rearranging in Burl's room.  He's only 7 months old, and I constantly find myself overwhelmed with all of the stuff that goes with clothing, bathing, playing, and generally taking care of him.

While I was organizing, I found some footed pajamas and matching hat that someone had given us when he was born.  

Footed pj's are the cutest things ever!  The matching hat had two little ears...oh, I was in love!  I wanted pictures, pictures, and more pictures.  

With John, me, and the camera, Burl was being so wild.  He wanted the camera, which made picture taking exciting.  

The next day, I kept him in his pj's for pretty much the whole day.  When he started playing with the tennis ball, I grabbed my camera for more pictures.  

Side note:  If you look in the background, you will notice that I organize my books and magazines by color.  I've gone back and forth on this.  Color. Author. Color. Author. Color has makes me feel organized. 

Call me crazy, but then organize your shelves like that and see how it feels.

.  Organization by color isn't the point.  Burl in footed pj's is the point.  He is SUCH a treasure.

We still can't believe he's really our son.  I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, holding him, and it blows me away.  I don't know why the Lord allowed us to have him, but I am so thankful.  

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Keeping it Real

Who wants to make a pledge?  It's about plastic. 

Aside from my dependence on baggies and storage tubs, I don't like a lot of plastic stuff hanging around my house.  It doesn't feel right.

Plastic has never done anything to me, but it really hasn't done much for me either.  When I think about homes that I've been in, I think about how nice it is to walk into a home with natural elements.  Wood, straw, jute, glass, metal, cotton, burlap.  

If our surroundings really effect (or affect) our mood like they say they do, then wouldn't we want something real?

This year, what if I gave gifts that are natural.  Do I dare?  Do I dare to make a pledge to NOT buy plastic gifts for Christmas this year?  Can we break free from the hold that plastic has on us?

If you read this blog, I would love to hear your opinion.  Any insights...?

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Surprise on the Floor

Please don't judge me.  I put Burl on the bare floor the other day.  That's not why you might judge me.

I noticed a little something.  By his face, can you tell?  He's making a little poopy, and I caught it on camera.  And I'm posting the pics.  Judge away.

It takes a bit of effort.

Man, does he feel relieved when he gets it out.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

This Week's Menu

I'm trying to be creative with our meals, keep a record of things we eat, and inspire a nation.  Well, not that last one.

What I realize-we eat a lot of meat.


We're eating:

Roasted Chicken, Brown RiceAsparagus (A whole chicken goes A LONG WAY at our house)
Black Bean and Corn Quesidillas
Beef Tips over Egg Noodles, Salad
Bowtie Pasta with Pesto
Boston Butt BBQ, Mashed Potatoes, Limas

Friday, October 22, 2010

Craft Room

Wouldn't it be awesome to have a craft room?  Something about becoming a mom has made me want to craft, craft, craft.  Even though I have secretly judged anyone who has ever told me they love to "craft" (I hate that word as a verb), I love it now.  Craft, craft, craft.

Who wants to look back at their life and say, "wow, I did a lot of great crafting!"  Sounds like a life wasted.  But, here I am, crafting.  A lot.  I justify it by saying that I'm making presents for other people, which saves money.

To be honest, I love making stuff.  Stationary.  Invitations.  Ruffled Shirts.  Baby gifts.  I love it all.

When I see these craft rooms, I fall in love.  A whole room dedicated to crafting.  Man, I would love that space.  I converted a 12x12 mudroom to a little sewing room, which I just adore.

For now, I'll enjoy that little room and dream about the day I have enough courage to get rid of our TV and convert that room into a HUGE craft room.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Who's ready for a letter revolution?  I know it might not be on the top of the priority list for everyone, but it should be.  A letter in the mail GOES A LONG WAY-a very long way.

To get everyone in the mood for letter writing, let me offer some inspiration.

1.  A True Story.
A certain daughter-in-law had her husband's family over for dinner.  She made a house favorite-Potato Corn Chowder with a salad.  The chowder didn't taste as good as it usually does and the d.i.l. felt bad about it.  She wants to impress the in-laws as much as she can.  She hid her feelings and  inside felt embarrassed.  She almost emailed the family to apologize for the food, then realized that would be a bit self indulgent and didn't want to come off that insecure.

Two days after the dinner, the d.i.l. received a card from her mother-in-law.  {The m.i.l. reads the d.i.l.'s blog where she has written about how much she loves getting mail.}   The m.i.l. wrote that the soup and salad were wonderful and it was great to be with the family at the d.i.l.'s house.

The d.i.l. had some feelings.  She felt ashamed for trying to impress the in-laws.  They love her no matter how good the food is.  She felt relieved that she didn't have to gain their approval, she already had it.  She felt loved by the m.i.l. because she did such a nice thing at the right time.  And everyone lived happily ever after.

2.  A Great Book.
This is a great book to encourage and help the common man lady get in the letter-writing game...a quote:

"A personal letter takes longer to write than the few abrupt sentences you bang out without proofreading before you click on "send"; it taks longer to read than the blink-and-delete blitz that helps you purge your in-box...A letter deals with issues that deserve more than a minute of attention.  It aims to strengthen a relationship, not just react to a situation."

"Good letter writing feels much like good conversation, and it has the same power to nourish a relationship."

So, why haven't you written that letter?  Why not do it today?  It would be maa.vva.lus!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Oh No, Feelings

I'm have feelings...a few serious thoughts...bare with me.

1.  I heard someone say to tell if someone is a Christian, listen to what they say.  Christians will talk about God's love for them more than they talk about their love for God.  I don't know how true that statement is, but that got me thinking.  First, I started talking about God's love for me more than my love for God because if anyone is going to judge me, I wanted them to think I was a super great Christian.  Second, I realized I was REALLY missing the point with that thought.  Third, I thought about, and I think about it that the point is God's love for me.  It's so much more than my love for Him.  So much more.

2.  I feel like the whole foods approach to cooking is really taking off at the same rate that junk food is gaining ground.  It feels like people either make it or fake it and there is not much middle ground.  It's exciting and it's scary.  I wish that something could get us to change.

3.  I am getting a good look at how much I'm not real and not honest and I am a fake.  It's scary and it's exciting all at once.  I'm doing a cool women's Bible Study, reading Scandalous Freedom and A Praying Life, and trying to really hard to be honest about myself and my thoughts.  Eeek. That sounds crazy that I'm doing all that stuff, right?  Yeah, I thought so-a little crazy and a little coo-coo.  What if I could change?  What if I was REAL?  That would be so refreshing.

4.  I hate being this serious, but I have to want to get it out.  Thank goodness I grabbed some cute pictures from here to spruce things up.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

High Dollar Pedi

I, like any normal American woman, love a good pedi.  As much as I would love the look of professionally manicured feet, I don't love the money and the time it takes.

That picture is really funny to me.

Instead, I do an at home version.  I don't have toe separators, that dead skin shaver thing, or an electric massage chair.

I only need three things:


Every few days in the shower, I give the bottom of my feet a good scrub.  It's important that the stone and the feet are wet.


When I get out of the shower, I cover my feet in Vaseline.  The sooner the better-I read somewhere that it is good to moisturize within three minutes of getting out of the shower.  After three minutes, the skin starts to lose moisture and dry out.


Then, I pull on some socks.  It's best to leave them on for a minimum of one hour, and anything after that is just an extra bonus.  

It does wonders, ladies.  It really does.  Makes the skin glow.  The toenails look clean and normal even though toenails are not clean and normal.  
I've had people stop and tell me how great my feet look.  Ok, not really, but one can hope...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Baby Bag

So, who likes the new format for my blog???  Who even noticed?  I got a little help from the tech department...aka, John.  I told him that I wanted the text wider, and 

BAAM.  He did it.  To reward me him, I made cookies.  Yum.  Oatmeal chocolate chip from scratch, which Broseph pointed out that the tube cookies are just as good and just a healthy.

Thanks Broseph.  I'm trying to be cool here and make cookies from scratch.  Don't be a hater.  There are a ton just a few left.  They'll be gone by tonight.  But, this post isn't about cookies.  

It's about Burl...and how cute he is when he's in his sleep sack/baby bag.  On one particular morning, he was being EXTRA cute.  I grabbed the camera and got some fun action shots.

In honor of a new wider blog, I made the pictures as big as I can get them.  Maybe this is how I'll make them from now on.  For now, for this post, I'm pretty sure that the grandparents will love them.  My mom will be talking to the Burl on the screen,

I think the cross out function on my blog is cool am in love with the cross out function on my blog.