Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Cure -- Day 22 | Shop for Get Together

Day 22: Thursday, January 31
Assignment: Pick up the things you need for your get together this weekend

Well, this one is easy since we aren't having a get together this weekend. See Day 7 for details.

Tomorrow, after work, my honey and I will pick up the ingredients for a yummy dinner. Just the two of us. The rest of the weekend will be dedicated to a 5K Mud Run (Saturday) and avoiding sports (Sunday).

So is this the last day of the January Cure? I mean, that would make sense, seeing that today is the last day of January.


But what if I'm not ready for the January Cure to end?


It feels a bit anti-climatic.


Now what?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January Cure -- Day 21 | Speed Clean

Day 21: Wednesday, January 30
Assignment: Give your entryway, living room, kitchen and bathroom a quick clean

This assignment is intended to be preparation for the end of the January Cure celebratory get together. Although we aren't having a formal get together this weekend, I still gave this assignment a shot. 

When I read the Day 21 post on Apartment Therapy this morning, I laughed out loud at the part that said, "resists getting distracted..." I am SO easily distracted. However, I am also speedy. Let me take you through the 40ish minutes I spent completing this assignment. 

5:10 pm -- Arrived home from work, unpacked lunch bag & put my lunch dishes in dishwasher, changed into comfy non-work clothes.

5:20 pm -- Cleaned toilet, sprayed counters and sink in bathroom (to be left on for 10 minutes).

5:25 pm -- Put away a few clean dishes from dish drying rack.

5:28 pm -- Distracted by the fact that there were no paper towels sitting on the counter (we still need to hang our paper towel holder, by the way).

5:29 pm -- Went to garage and got two rolls of paper towels. Put one out on the counter and one under the kitchen sink.

5:31 pm -- Took out kitchen and bathroom trash and recycling.

5:32 pm -- Distracted by really weird looking bug on the wall by our recycling bin.

5:33 pm -- Went back inside to get my phone to take a photo of the weird looking bug. Photos:

Weird looking bug.
Seriously, what is that?!

5:34 pm -- Distracted by text from my honey, asking if we need anything from the store, and an e-mail...Returned text and e-mail. 

5:39 pm -- Put away rest of the clean dishes. Except for the wine pour thingy. 

5:42 pm -- Opened a bottle of wine and poured a glass. 

5:44 pm -- Sort mail on our "landing strip." 

5:49 pm -- Clean kitchen counters. 

5:52 pm -- Go back to bathroom to clean counters and sink. 

5:54 pm -- Took a photo of our "green" cleaning products. Photo: 

5:55 pm -- Dusted family room, living room and entryway. 

6:00 pm -- Sat down with the glass of wine from 5:42 pm.  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

January Cure -- Day 20 | Hang Artwork

Day 20: Tuesday, January 29
Assignment: Hang your artwork you chose and had framed earlier this month

This was part dos of the assignment from way back on Day 6.

I had one of our favorite photos from our honeymoon enlarged and put it in a frame from one of my favorite specialty shops...Target. I then put it on top of my dresser and leaned it against the wall. My honey and I quickly decided that we liked the look as is and if we hung the photo it would be too high on the wall. It would definitely break the 57" rule.

So there you go, I completed this assignment by leaning, instead of hanging, my framed art. Those are little tea candle holders lined up in front. They were from Crate & Barrel but I don't think they are sold anymore. They are tall and similar to these and these.

Dresser side note: My college roommate and I shared this dresser and it was a fabulous find by our mothers at a church rummage sale. It is from the early 1900s and has drawers and cubbies and is awesome. It was moved across the country by a now elderly woman who later realized that she was missing some paperwork and a gun (yes. a gun.) and thought they may be hidden in the dresser. 

I still haven't found her lost things.

Monday, January 28, 2013

January Cure -- Day 19 | Catch Up & Take a Photo

Day 19: Monday, January 28
Assignment: Catch up on any assignments that still need attention and take an "after" photo of your goal project.

Done and done!

I was busy upon arriving home from work today, preparing for having two of my lady friends over for dinner. (See Day 7 for more info on that.)

Luckily, I finished my goal project on the "Media Fast" day -- Day 11 -- so I didn't feel any pressure to play catch up. (Although I do still need to organize our paperwork. It'll happen.)

I posted my goal project "after" photos with my Day 11 post. Here is one to tide you over, unless you want to click on that Day 11 link above to see more:

Aaaaaaand, now here we are, coasting into the last few days of the January Cure...

Sunday, January 27, 2013

January Cure -- Day 18 | Weekend Chores

Day 18: Friday, January 25 and the weekend of January 26-27
Assignment: Weekend Chore: Weekly Flowers, Living Room Clean Up, & Empty Your Outbox

We did a living room clean last weekend, in preparation for having friends over so I used Friday to catch up on a few other to-do list items. I had the day off work so I had plenty of time to focus on the January Cure.

First, I decluttered and reorganized the under sink cabinet in our bathroom. This was quick and easy because it is the only storage space in that room and we keep it fairly well organized. I did find a use for a little jar thing to hold some small items that often get lost.

Next I did our hall closet, which houses a lot of our bathroom things, such as towels, medicine, etc. It is also where cleaning supplies live, including our vacuum. To tackle it, I started by emptying it out completely, wiping down the shelves, and then organizing everything as it went back in. This declutter and reorganization felt like a huge accomplishment. Here is a photo collage so you can see how it turned out...

As for our outbasket -- I emptied it on Monday so while it was ready to fill up again on Friday, most bathroom/closet clutter went directly to a trash, recycling or donation bag. 

My honey took care of the weekly flowers on his way home from work. He made a good bouquet decision, don't you think? 

Having my honey on board for the January Cure has been critical. We are a good team. For example, while I am writing this post, he is cleaning our stove...because I haven't figured out how to make paella without making a complete mess yet.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

January Cure -- Day 17 | Lighting

Day 17: Thursday, January 24
Assignment: Assess your lighting in your living room and plan improvements

This is an easy assignment because it truly is an assessment one, not project-based. The main three questions are:

  1. Do you rely only on an overhead fixture?
  2. If you have multiple lamps already, do you have the ability to dim them? 
  3. What is the quality of light?

Our current living room lighting is overhead can lights, with a dim switch, and a small sparkly table lamp. We don't have a lot of "surfaces" in our living room, so table lamps aren't really an option.

Here is a photo I took the day we hung up the curtains. It was obviously a sunny day and one of things we love about our house is all of the natural light. You can also sort of see the sparkly lamp between the sliding glass door and the window. 

I think I can also count our dining room light fixture, which I love and is also on a dim switch, as living room lighting because our living and dining rooms flow into each other. Here is a photo: 

Overall, I like our living room lighting although I do think that a floor lamp may be a nice addition. We will someday move in my honey's piano, which is still living at his parents' house, and will definitely work some lighting around that. I am adding the piano move and accompanying lighting to my project list.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

January Cure -- Day 16 | Bathroom

Day 16: Wednesday, January 23
Assignment: Clean and declutter your bathroom cabinets and medicine cabinet

This one is being postponed until my day off on Friday because I just don't have the energy today and we have dinner plans with my parents and a family friend tomorrow night.

However, I do have a few notes to share about this assignment...

We live in a house with one bathroom which works well for the two of us and our orange cat named Stella. (Stella generally doesn't like the bathroom because there are scary things that spray incredibly frightening water in it.) I have to say that having one bathroom is especially nice because that means only one bathroom to clean.

We don't have a medicine cabinet so on Friday I will focus on cleaning and decluttering our:

  • Under sink cabinet - this will be fairly quick
  • Hall closet which houses a lot of our bathroom stuff, including towels, medicine, toiletry extras, etc. - this will be not quite as quick as the under sink cabinet
Updates on this in a few days. 

Happy Wednesday! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

January Cure Update -- Days 12 - 15

Day 12: February 17
Assignment: Declutter Books and Media
  • I went through our DVDs and Blurays on Sunday and put about 20 aside to donate. 20! That made room for all of our movies to fit nicely in one side of our family room entertainment center. 
The ones that made the cut. Don't judge.

  • As for our books, I went through one shelf of the two bookcases in our office and set aside four books for donation. I will get to the other shelves on Friday. Over the past couple years both my honey and I have been reading a lot more digital books so our book clutter isn't too bad. 

Day 13: February 18 and the Weekend of February 19-20
Assignment: Flowers, Bedroom Organization and Cleaning
  • I already mentioned the flower situation in my previous post. We still have the other two bouquets so I picked up a small bunch of calla lilies and split them up into two little vases for our bedroom and guest room. We had friends over on Saturday night so I moved the ones from our bedroom to the bathroom and ended up leaving them there because they fit in quite nicely. 
  • I took care of our bedroom organization and cleaning on Monday. We keep our bedroom fairly neat (because I couldn't sleep otherwise) so it didn't take very long to finish this task. I did take some time to assess the clutter on top of my dresser (how many scented lotions do I need readily available?!) and moved some things around. I also framed the photo from our honeymoon. The frame is perched on my dresser, leaning against the wall until I decide to tackle actually hanging it. It works.

Day 14: February 21
Assignment: Get Papers & Files in Order
  • Our current system is fair at best. I was already out running errands so I stopped by an office supply store to figure out a better system for the papers we need to keep. I also picked up a shredder that now lives near our landing strip. This is another thing that is a work in progress but I will post additional updates. 

Do not put hands, ties or babies in the paper shredder. Noted.

Day 15: February 22
Assignment: Exercise a Little Cord Control
  • This is something that I look to my honey to manage and he does a really good job. Our cords are controlled. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

January Cure -- Days 12 & 13 | Declutter Media & Weekend Chores

Yesterday's assignment was decluttering books and movies. Today's (plus this weekend's) assignment is the weekly fresh flowers and a bedroom deep clean.

I will be working on all of this in the next few days -- mostly Sunday and Monday because we are having friends over tomorrow night so I'm in party prep mode. I have Monday off work so some things may be rolled over all the way until then.

Oh, and we are running out of vases! (Which is a pretty nice problem to have.) Our flowers from last week AND two weeks ago still look great so I picked up a small bunch of calla lilies today after work. I divided them into two little vases so our bedroom and guest room both got some.

Full updates and photos on Monday.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

January Cure -- Day 11 | Media Fast

Day 11: Wednesday, January 16
Assignment: Do a Media Fast this evening

This one was surprisingly easy. I planned ahead and decided to go media free, except for one of my favorite music apps, while I cooked and while we ate dinner. This included not doing my daily blog post. So I will be posting the day after each assignment from now on, which will actually work out quite well, I think.

I ended up spending over three hours screen-free. I did take a quick, few minute break to call my mom. Because she is my mom.

Additional successes yesterday included finishing my goal project. Yay! I had already hung our diplomas in our office and gathered up all the materials I would need but yesterday I actually hunkered down and got it done. Below is photo proof. (I will post a tutorial later.)

After that I was feeling all accomplished and confident and stuff and so I hung these signs above our stove. They were much easier to hang than the framed photos.

Back to the media fast. It was really nice to listen to music and cook and I even pulled out a cookbook for the french onion soup I was making, as opposed to using the Paprika app on our iPad.

Just for the record, I totally didn't miss anything by being screen-free for a few hours and I highly recommend it. I hear people talk about multi-tasking all the time, as if it is a good thing, but what it really means to me is that I'm dividing my attention so nothing gets my full focus. Now, there are things that don't necessarily need 100% of my attention but I think it is a good practice to intentionally slow down and focus on one thing at a time and do that thing really well.*

Oh, and the music! I recently discovered a new music app called Songza. It is free and fantastic. Seriously. My cooking soundtrack last night was "The New Orleans Sound" playlist. I thought it was appropriate since I had just hung up those signs above our stove.

*Disclaimer: Part of this post was written with the show Castle on in the background. Still working on the one-screen-at-a-time thing.

I'm a work in progress.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

January Cure -- Day 10 | Work on Your Goal Project

Day 10: Tuesday, January 15
Assignment: Put some time and effort into your goal project

Here is a link to the introduction of my goal project: January Cure -- Day 5. I did make a bit of progress on hanging the three framed photos in our guest room today.

When I got home from work I gathered all the materials I will need to hang the frames...

If you can't tell, the materials are: nails, a hammer, a level, a sharpie pen, a tape measure, and parchment paper. (Tape is not pictured but will be needed.)

Then I moved our diplomas (which were hanging where the framed photos will go) into our office. I didn't just put them on the desk either. I actually hung them on the wall. Our framed diplomas only require one nail each so they are much easier to hang than the framed photos...but I still managed to put an extra hole in the wall. (Don't ask.) At first I wanted to take a photo from above, looking down at the frames, but Stella Kitty wouldn't stop photo bombing. She apparently loves sitting on glass frames.

Side note: You may be wondering what she is wearing around her neck. She had surgery about a week and a half ago and was supposed to wear a cone for two weeks. She made it very clear that that wasn't happening. Luckily my brother-in-law told us about inflatable collars. So now she is sporting a stylish, puffy collar until Thursday when she gets her stitches out. 

Back to the framed photos. Here is a better picture of them:

That is the extent of my update for now. I will post more information and photos when they are up on the walls. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

January Cure -- Day 9 | Create a Landing Strip

Day 9: Monday, January 14
Assignment: Create a Landing Strip and Start Using It

This is creating a filter for the things entering our home, near the front door. It includes:
  • A Doormat
  • Coat Hooks/Hangers
  • A Landing Strip

Starting to use the Landing Strip means, upon arriving home: 
  • Hang your coat
  • Put keys and wallet in their spots
  • Take off your shoes
  • Empty the things from your bag that you won't need the next time you leave and hang your bag(s)
  • Sort mail immediately in the landing strip

We already have a lot of this covered...
  • A Doormat -- We have one although I would also like to get some for the other doors in our home. I have added this to our to shopping list. 
  • Coat Hooks/Hangers -- We have a small mirror/shelf/key hook thingy near our front door. 
  • Hang your coat -- I rarely wear a coat (thanks, California weather!) but my honey sometimes wears one and always puts it in his closet when he gets home. 
  • Put keys and wallet in their spots -- My keys and wallet stay in my bag. My honey has a designated spot in our bedroom for his. 
  • Take off your shoes -- When either of us gets home, we always put our shoes in our closet. 
  • Empty the things from your bag that you won't need the next time you leave and hang your bag(s) -- This is a great idea and one I will start practicing on a more regular basis. 
  • Sort mail immediately in the landing strip -- We actually have separate landing and departure strips. Our departure strip is on our entry table. This is where we put things that need to leave our house, such as Netflix DVDs, my car registration sticker and card, or the National Geographic magazine that my parents lent to us because it had an article about Cuba in it. Our landing strip for mail is in our kitchen because that is closer to the side door where we bring in our mail and it is also conveniently close to garbage and recycling cans. We do need a new shredder and it can live next to the garbage and recycling cans. Here are photos of both spots: 

    Departure Strip on our entry table.
    Landing Strip on our freshly cleaned counter.

    Friday, January 11, 2013

    January Cure --Day 8 | Weekend Chores

    Day 8: Friday, January 11...and the Weekend of January 12 & 13
    Assignments: Kitchen Organizing & Cleaning, Find a Recipe and Try It Out

    Oh goodness. This is a big one. But we have three days to get it done. Let me break it down.
    • Buy weekly flowers.

      The ones I bought last weekend still look fabulous. I credit both my good choice of a bouquet with sturdy flowers and the fact that our house is roughly the temperature of a meat locker during the winter. Here are the flowers that my honey picked up at the store on Saturday:

    Sunday Funday will be dedicated to assignments two and three...
    • Clean Your Kitchen and Declutter/Organize as You Go.
    • Find a Recipe and Make Yourself a Simple, Enjoyable Meal.

      I love meal planning and cooking. I've even done a whole blog post about it. Here it is: Weekly Meal Planning.

      For this Sunday night, I am making one of our a favorite recipes (slow cooker cheese stuffed meatballs) but also a new one (from scratch Caesar salad).

    Happy Weekend!

    Thursday, January 10, 2013

    January Cure -- Day 7 | Get Your Get-Together Together

    Day 7: Thursday,January 10
    Assignment: Plan Your Get-Together for the Weekend of February 1-3

    I have to say that it is nice to feel like I have some of these covered!

    I love having people over but it isn’t something that we doas often as I'd like. At the end of the 2012, I made the commitment tohaving people over more often this year and we already have some fun plans inplace for this month, including:

    • Saturday, January 19: Jurassic Park Movie Night
      I will share more details after the party, including photos. Oh, and I hit the dinosaur jackpot in the dollar section at Target today. Super excited for this one.
    • Monday, January 28: Girls’ Dinner
      Years ago, seven of us had weekly girls’ night dinners on Mondays. We gottogether every Monday. Seriously -- ALL the Mondays! We did this for years and itwas always a highlight of my week. Well, life has since brought a lot of changes -- moves, new jobs, promotions, law school, new relationships, marriages, children -- and ourMonday night dinners fizzled out in the process. There are four of us still livingin the same area and I contacted those ladies last month to ask if we could try toregenerate our Girls’ Dinners and plan to get together for dinner one Monday a month. I offeredto host the first and am having two of the ladies over for dinner at the end ofJanuary. I hope that this will mark a new tradition and that we also think ofways to include the other ladies on occasion. I mean, we have the technology…

    As for February, I am doing a 5K mud run with some ladyfriends on February 2. I signed up this past fall in a moment of potentialinsanity and I’m not sure how it will go since I haven’t trained much. Nor do I run. I willreport back after I survive the event. Then, the following weekend, we havefriends visiting so we will be running around town with them and also spendingsome time at our house.  

    Back to today’s assignment… Even with all of these plans already in place, I wanted to feel like I was actually doing today’s task so Ie-mailed friends about a dinner and game night in February or March. These arefriends who we get together with every 1-2 months and it is our turn to host. Ithought this was the perfect opportunity to get it on our calendars.

    2013 is looking fabulous so far with regards to having friends overto our home! I plan to keep this up for the rest of the year – even if it isjust have another couple over for dinner every few weeks.

    Wednesday, January 9, 2013

    January Cure -- Day 6 | Choose a Piece of Artwork to Frame

    Day 6: Wednesday, January 9
    Assignment: Choose a piece of artwork to frame & get the process started for framing it

    I feel like I have this one covered with yesterday's assignment

    However, my honey and I were just talking last night about (finally) printing one of our favorite honeymoon (it has been almost three years) photos to frame and hang in our bedroom. I see today's assignment as a sign that we should get a move on with this and I have since ordered a 20x24 print. (For less than $10 and ready for pick up in an hour!) We will explore framing options while running errands this weekend.

    The photo is one of the first that we took after arriving in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Our driver from the airport, who also happens to be the owner of the place where we stayed, pulled the car over at one point and insisted that we get out of the car with our camera. I'm so glad he did because we captured this: 

    Photography is one of my favorite art forms, which is probably obvious based on yesterday and today's posts. My honey and I also had a nice conversation today about bringing more non-photography art into our home, including some pieces created by my incredibly talented artist honey himself. 

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013

    January Cure -- Day 5 | Select One Project from Your List

    Day 5: Tuesday, January 8
    Assignment: Select a good project from your list to complete this month and take a few "Before" photos.

    I took a look at my list from Day 1 and decided to choose one that I have been putting off but is also on the "smaller" end, as far as projects go. I have a feeling that completing this project may very well lead to crossing one or two other things off the list.

    The project I have chosen is: Hang framed Bosnia photos. Here is the before photo of one corner of our guest room. 

    Caution: It is a fairly boring room/photo.  

    Guest Room -- Before

    Now, you may notice some framed photos on the floor. See them there between the cat scratching thingy and the cabinet? Those are three photos that I framed but that I haven't yet hung up on the wall. One reason is that I need to move the diplomas, currently hanging on the wall behind the TV, to our office. The reason our diplomas are hanging in our guest room is not because we want all of our overnight guests to become familiar with our educational accomplishments -- it is because when we originally moved into our house, we had the guest room and office swapped. Although we switched the furniture months and months ago, we haven't yet moved the wall stuff. 

    These three photos, taken in Bosnia, are very important to me. I have been to Bosnia three times, twice to Sarajevo, and it remains one of my favorite places. The first time I travelled to Sarajevo, in 1998, I was part of a group that volunteered at a "youth house." (A youth house is basically what an after school program/youth center is here.) In 1998 the youth house was in the basement of a partially bombed out building. By my second trip in 2002, enough money had been raised to build an actual building just for the youth house. These photos were taken by young people who attended the youth house and were sold to raise some of the funds needed. The story behind them is cool and the photos are amazing. I will take close up photos of the prints when I do my project "After" photos. 

    The other reason that I haven't hung the photos is because the frames are a more complicated variety -- with multiple little metal hooks on the back. By the way, those little metal hooks are not all attached evenly on the backs. Luckily, there are online tutorials to help with hanging frames onto a wall -- like this one. The materials I will need for this project are: nails, hammer, tape measure, parchment paper, pencil/pen, tape, and a level, all of which we do actually have on hand. I'm going to consolidate the ideas I have found online and will post a tutorial, once those Bosnia photos are (successfully) up on the walls. 

    January Cure -- Day 4 | Get a Fresh Perspective

    Whoops. I drafted this yesterday and then forgot to post it. Day 5 will be posted this evening. Promise.

    Day 4: Monday, January 7
    Assignment: Find a spot in your home that you rarely sit in that gives you a view on a room or area that you feel is especially problematic and spend 10 quiet minutes there.

    There are a number of places in our home where I could have spent my 10 minutes but I opted for our living room. Even though it is called a living room, we don't really do a lot of living in this space. However, when we have friends over, the living room is the best place to gather.

    I sat in one of these two fabulous, 70s, yellow-flower-covered chairs that we got from my parents:

    I'm not being sarcastic about their fabulousness -- I really love these chairs. We even designed the rest of our living room around them. I suppose when you have chairs that look like they do you kind of have to work with them...or else you're working against them. 

    I spent a nice, quiet 10 minutes in the chair closest to the wall and some of my observations included:
    • Our big black coffee table totally covers up our awesome rug. We need a glass topped one. 
    • I really like our couch. 
    • That frame is crooked. 
    • We should hang that mirror that is sitting under the table.  
    • One of the things I initially loved about this house was how open and bright the living room and dining room are because of the floor plan and windows. I still love that. 
    • I should hang those guitars that are sitting next to me in the office and put the cases in the garage. 
    • ...and a bunch of other thoughts that I can't recall now because I didn't write them down.
    When the time was up, and I had since gained an orange kitty in my lap, I got up and fixed that crooked frame. Sort of. It never seems to hang correctly. I need to tape part of it to the wall...

    Friday, January 4, 2013

    January Cure -- Day 3 | Weekend Chores

    Day 3: Friday, January 4...and the Weekend of January 5 & 6
    Assignment: Buy Flowers, Vacuum, Mop, Gather Earth Friendly Cleaners & Use Your Outbox

    • Buy Flowers: A present for our home! This one is easy peasy since I love fresh flowers and often pick up an inexpensive and colorful bouquet at Trader Joe's. I will pick up at least one bunch when I go grocery shopping this weekend. We still have two poinsettia plants, one on our mantel and one on our dining room table so I think the bouquet will go on our entry table -- it will be nice to see them as soon as entering our home.
    • Vacuum/Mop: I included this on my list of projects (Day 1) so this is perfect. I will do this on Saturday/Sunday and will enlist my honey to do some of the work. It is amazing how much cleaner our house seems (and actually is) after even just a quick vacuum and mop.
    • Gather Earth Friendly Cleaners: I will do this gradually as we use up what we already have on hand. We use a mix of products but I would like to transition to more earth friendly stuff. I have made both dishwasher and laundry detergent and I will fill in the gaps with pre-made products. If anyone has any recommendations for good earth friendly cleaners, they are greatly appreciated!
    • Use Your Outbox: This will be ongoing and I will use it as much as possible.

    I will update this post with notes and photos as things progress this weekend!

    Sunday update: As much as I wanted to have a lazy Sunday, I woke up early, went grocery shopping, put away our holiday decorations, and finished up the rest of the January Cure weekend assignments. Our floors are vacuumed and mopped and there are fresh flowers on our entry table, ready to greet us as we enter. Here is photo proof of the flowers (and a bit of clean floor):

    Thursday, January 3, 2013

    January Cure -- Day 2 | Create an Outbox, or in my case, Outbasket

    Well, here we are on Day 2 of Apartment Therapy's January Cure. The cold I have been battling decided to transition to a cough (boo! *cough*cough*) so I decided to stay home and try to mend.  Luckily, today's assignment is another easy one and didn't take a lot of my depleted energy to complete.

    Day 2: Thursday, January 3
    Assignment: Set Up an Outbox and Place One Item In It

    This outbox is a holding place. Items go in it and after a week (at least) you take the items back out. Anything from the outbox that was missed can be put back or, for anything that wasn't missed, they go in the garbage, recycling, or given away. So the outbox is a clutter filtering system.

    First, the outbox: I wanted to put our outbox in our entryway so I didn't want it to just be a cardboard box. Luckily, we have two gifts baskets that were given to us and the empty baskets live on top of the shelves in our office...and are occasionally used by Stella Kitty. Now the larger basket lives my our front door and is our "outbox."

    Second, the first item: I picked a bottle of perfume that I got for free months, maybe even a year, ago. For some reason, I have gotten rid of a bunch of other things but have held on to that bottle for some reason. I don't even really like the fragrance. Now it is in the basket and if I don't miss it after a week, it is going away.

    As you can see, there is plenty of room for more stuff in my outbasket. I'm ready.

    Wednesday, January 2, 2013

    Project: January Cure -- Day 1

    Now I know I just said in my 2012 in Review post that I'm not really a resolutions type person. Well, I wouldn't call this a resolution exactly. I happened upon Apartment Therapy's January Cure via Twitter and immediately signed up for the daily assignments via e-mail. If you are already intrigued then I definitely recommend clicking on that January Cure link to check out the details.

    Today just so happens to be the first day so I'm not even behind! I'm going to track my progress here and although I have every intention of completing each day of the project, if I don't, our house will still be better off if I hadn't tried at all. Right? I will do my best with no guilt attached.

    Back to today's assignment -- it is to make a list of projects. Wait... What?!? Make a list? I LOVE lists. I could make lists all day. This assignment is no problem.

    I walked through our house and using the Paperless app on our iPad, made a list of our rooms and noted ALL of the things that could use a good cleaning, de-cluttering, and/or re-organization. Then I went through and prioritized 3-5 things in each room. Below is my streamlined list but it is not exhaustive -- just the prioritized projects. The expectation is NOT to complete all of these projects in January. That would be silly. And unnecessarily stressful. This is simply a way to focus and start on some of the projects that have been waiting patiently to be completed.

    From the archive. | First day in our house. | June 2011

    Day 1: Wednesday, January 2
    Assignment: Make a list of projects

    Deep clean floors
    Clean out/reorganize hall closet

    Living Room/Dining Room
    Deep clean floors (these are the same ones as the entry)
    Put away holiday decorations
    Reorganize china/booze cabinets
    Hang mirror


    Deep clean floors (see above)
    Hang platter above stove
    Hang paper towel holder
    Purchase/hang light(s) above sink
    Hang photo canvases

    Family Room
    Clean out/re-organize DVDs/Blu-rays
    Paint shelves

    Hang diplomas
    Hang guitars
    Fix closet doors
    Reorganize desk/shelves

    Guest Room

    Hang Bosnia photos
    Clean out/reorganize closet
    Hang mirror


    Reorganize dresser
    Print, frame, and hang photos
    Clothes and shoe repairs


    Deep clean shower/tub
    Purchase/hang new towel rack(s)
    Purchase/hang wall cabinet

    So Day 1: Make a List of Projects. That's it! Make a list. Done.

    Tuesday, January 1, 2013

    2012 in Review

    So I'm a little behind in posting Project 365 photos but I have been taking at least one photo a day and am planning to post a few collages of December photos.

    Until then (and since today is the first day of 2013) I want to do a quick 2012 recap. This past year has been another wonderful one -- filled with quality time spent with my honey, our orange cat, family, and friends. We also travelled quite a bit -- celebrating anniversaries, birthdays, a friend's wedding, and much needed vacation time.

    I think the best way to sum up this year is visually so here are 12 of my favorite photos (and moments) from 2012:

    Wine tasting with my honey. | Paso Robles, California
    Pismo Beach, California

    Tea time with my mom. | San Francisco, California

    Flo's V8 Cafe | Cars Land | Disney California Adventure

    Haunted Mansion | Disneyland

    Watching President Obama's election night speech.

    French Quarter | New Orleans, Louisiana 
    Hurricanes at Pat O'Briens | French Quarter | New Orleans, Louisiana
    Door | French Quarter | New Orleans, Louisiana 
    Bar | French Quarter | New Orleans, Louisiana

    Driving through the only tunnel in Arkansas.
    Hanging out with Rosie.
    Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
    Bentonville, Arkansas

    I hope that everyone has a happy and healthy 2013! I don't generally do the whole resolutions thing so I'm not setting any formal ones for 2013. However, I do have some exciting challenges (including a 5K mud run) and travel (Cuba!) planned and I will share those (and more) adventures here.