Jan 27, 2015

Finding Balance in 2015



I debated coming up with a word of the year but decided against it initially. Last year my word was "simplify". In some ways I felt I failed miserably did poorly at that, but then again, I did make changes. I tried cutting things out of my life that were lower on the priority list to help free up my time. I purged a lot of unnecessary "stuff" (here and here) from our home. I simplified Faith's birthday party for the sake of time and my sanity. I downsized my wardrobe. All in the name of simplifying. I was still busy and still have a lot going on, but having "simplify" in my mind did affect my actions through the year and has impacted my attitude now.

This year, if I have to choose a word, it would be "balance". I am striving to find that delicate balance in life.  I am trying to continue pursuing my dreams and goals without feeling like I'm sacrificing family time or anything else that is important to me, and all the while making time for rest and enjoyment so I don't burn out trying to do it all. Like any change, it's a process, but I feel like I'm getting there.

One of the biggest ways I've been finding balance is by putting less pressure on myself with the blog and it's been soooooo helpful. Occasionally (like today) I get a twinge of guilt that I haven't posted in a few days, but I'm overall much more relaxed about it and just keep doing things as I can. Some nights I feel like totally vegging in front of the tv, and after an 11-hour daycare day that usually includes laundry, cooking, and multiple dishwasher and handwashed loads of dishes, possibly teaching a Jazzercise class and housework, I have been allowing myself that. Having a little of that "I can do this tomorrow" attitude is also making me a better mother, and I'm finding it easier to let stuff go so that Faith can have some of my time to read books or play games.

I'm also stepping back on the DIY. After seeing some cute Valentine's mantles on Hometalk this morning I was tempted to redo mine, but I decided recently that it's kind of silly (and wasteful and time consuming and somewhat expensive) to continue making new every year for every holiday, especially just for the sake of having something to post on the blog. So my mantle this year pretty much looks identical to last year, and that's. just. fine. I mean, really, who cares??

Right now my priorities are spending time with my husband and daughter, organizing the house one area at a time (which is happening, slowly but surely...posts coming soon!), and studying for my certification as a professional organizer. I need to spend my time where it matters most with regards to achieving my goals, so that's what I'm trying to do. I have to say, it feels really good!

Do you have any great tips for finding balance? Please share!


Jan 22, 2015

Organizing Update, Internet Issues & a Funny Video

Thought I'd take a quick moment to update you on my organizing progress...and by quick, I mean QUICK. Our internet has been cutting out every few minutes for a couple weeks now, except for one glorious day with no interruptions in service. Based on friends' comments on Facebook I determined it might not be worth calling our provider to seek out a fix, and instead have a new company lined up to switch us tomorrow. In the meantime it's taking me waaaaaayyyyy longer to do anything online than it usually does.

The Basement

Still waiting for Brad to go through the pile I made him in the basement (maybe a tonight project). There are miscellaneous "parts" that I need to determine if we should keep or not, some things that need relocated to the garage (his domain), and some other things that need to find a home or be purged.

Most of my organizing is done but it's in jeopardy because I've already started taking things downstairs and dumping into a pile to be put away later. No, no, noooooooo...!!! I decided that if it's inevitable that I'll have days where I only have time to run down and drop something...because kids are upstairs unsupervised or it's dinner-time and I just need to clear the table or whatever the case...that I will designate 15 minutes or so one evening a week to go put the pile away before it gets out of control. Tonight will be that night.

I need to label several bins but am in the process of deciding what craft supplies I want upstairs (in baskets) and which will stay down (in plastic boxes/bins). If I could fit them all up here I think I'd do that, but as long as I'm doing daycare that won't be an option, just based on space alone.

Playroom/Office/Craft Space

My Container Store order arrived the other day (cue the hallelujah chorus!) so I can continue the work I started in the room that serves as play room for daycare as well as my office (and eventually craft) space. I've moved some furniture around and began reorganizing a bit. Now it's time to fill baskets and style shelves, which will be more for function now than decoration (more on that later).

Other

Though it was supposed to be its own organizing project (on it's own week), I have started going through taxes and entering that information into my daycare software. I also recently upgraded to Quicken Home & Business, and am in the process of figuring out how to do invoices and business account stuff for My Blissful Space. And I've been working on my certification as a professional organizer, so at least a few hours a week is dedicated to that! I also want to get my recipes organized in my new recipe box! So much to do, so little time!!

There's a lot going on and unfortunately my winter sluggishness hasn't left the building, so some nights I just succumb to lazy TV watching and attempt to do something productive from the couch. I've also recently become addicted to the Whatsupmoms You Tube channel. Have you seen them yet? Love these ladies! You'll have to check out their parodies of Blank Space and Fancy...hilarious! I'll leave you with one of my most recent faves, and will hopefully return tomorrow or Monday with more organizing progress!


White to Bright {Rug Inspiration}

Ever since we painted our play room/office white, then the kitchen cabinets, and then the kitchen walls, I have been ready to keep going and paint our entire upstairs white (except the bathroom, which I'm happy with as is). There's just something about that crisp, clean backdrop. And with multiple built-ins and wood trim around the house (that we're just not ready to tackle painting), white is a safe choice.

"Safe" can also be boring. Believe me, once I started painting walls in my home I never thought I'd go back to white! But the current trend to have white walls and/or furniture is anything but boring, because it allows everything else to shine! I love a white room with pops of bright color. Somehow wood tones seem warmer, colors are more vivid, and though I never thought I'd say this, white can even be...COZY. It's all in the accessories!

Whenever decorating it's helpful to start with an inspiration piece, whether it be an art piece, fabric, or an area rug. Using a vintage rug from Chairish as a jumping off point, I created the following inspiration board. You can view their entire rug collection here. Of course, I love turquoise, so this rug drew me in, even though geometrics aren't usually my thing. I brought more of my personality into the space with accessories.

Chairish Rug Inspired Living Room



Glass lamp / Turquoise area rug / Framed wall art / Bone inlay box / Threshold turquoise throw pillow / Cherry accent table / Oak furniture / Tufted sofa / Pre-owned Large Vintage Leather Bound Books / Pre-owned When Pigs Fly Copper Weathervane / French Provincial "Zebra" Side Chair / Pre-owned Large Silvery Gold Tray / Walnut Wash Silk Velvet Ikat Pillow | Chairish / Bps Paints Grain Sack Pillow | Chairish

I took advantage of the various blues in the rug when choosing accessories, like the Eiffel Tower art piece that mirrors those beautiful shades in the sky and water. The chevron bone inlay box was a no-brainer, and such a piece provides storage as well as decoration! To balance out the white furniture and walls and the different blues, I chose the zebra print chair in white and brown, and carried the browns through in throw pillows. The warm, rustic wood tones in the tables cozy things up. Everything pictured can be found on Chairish, except for the white and turquoise pillows which are a Target fave of mine!

Chairish is a vintage and used furniture site where design lovers can buy and sell not only furniture but decor and accessories as well!

As I was creating that board, I came across this one I made to show of the Pantone Color of the Year, Marsala, and decided that this rug would be a great fit here, too! This room is more my style, too. Either way, you can see how you can take a room from white to bright!
Turquoise and Marsala

Jan 19, 2015

Best of Houzz 2015!!!

You know those emails that you read and re-read and then read again because you can't believe your eyes?!! I got one of those today! I was awarded Best of Houzz 2015 for service!!! How exciting! Thanks to my wonderful clients who took a chance on me and helped launch my business, and who left such wonderful reviews! I'm over the moon!

If you go to my Houzz site here (which for the record totally needs updated...eek!), you can see my fancy schmancy new badge!!!


Cozy Winter Favorites!

We've had a few nicer days around here but it still gets cold at night and winter certainly isn't over! On a cold day I love to throw on something comfy like a pair of leggings and a sweatshirt and cozy up on the couch. Lately my blanket of choice is the thick, squishy quilted comforter that Brad's grandma made for our wedding. It's a queen size so it was HUGE to use on the couch but I just loved being wrapped up in it! We moved it to the bed, but we also keep a blanket of throws and quilts in the living room so that we can easily grab one while watching TV or working from the couch. And to make the experience perfect, I enjoy a hot cup of something delicious...either coffee with a favorite creamer, a rich dark hot chocolate, or tea with just a bit of honey. Aaahhhh. Makes me want to go grab all those things now!

I was browsing Parachute Home's website and would include any of these things on a cozy day for sure! I hadn't heard of Parachute before but was impressed as I read about their commitment to quality here and their mission to give back. Their main focus is their dedication to quality bedding. Just looking at these photos makes me want to jump into bed or curl up with a blanket! What's your favorite cozy day item??

Cozy Room Inspirations from Parachute



Lightweight blanket / Linen duvet cover set / Duvet Cover / Scented Candle | Parachute

*I was not compensated for this post. The thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.

Jan 14, 2015

Organize Birthdays & Don't Forget An Event Again!

This year was the busiest I've had in a long time. Maybe ever. And if I didn't know it before, I realized I can't do it all. Not only was I doing many aspects of my life sub par because I only had so much time/energy/creativity to devote to each, but the little things started falling through the cracks as well. Like birthday cards.

I switched from my Gmail calendar back to a written one this past year because I just needed to see it all at a glance. And believe me, birthdays and anniversaries were written on there and even marked with a cute teardrop sticker! But I forgot to write some down (not sure how that happened), and I don't always look at the monthly view because I LIVE in the weekly one. And sometimes #aintnobodygottimeforthat. Worst. Organized. Person. Ever.

So I'd see a family member comment about another family member's birthday on Facebook (usually my husband's extended family) and realize I'd missed it and we hadn't gotten a card out. (We meaning I because that's my job. Solution coming!)

About that time I read about EverMinder, and I realized that I'd found the solution!!!

EverMinder

How does it work? First, you can create a group. I divided our peeps into Brad's side of the family, my side, friends, and daycare. Then you add "members" and their birthdays, anniversaries, etc. that you want reminded about. If you include their emails, they'll also get reminders for the events in that group, but for now I just have Brad's in there. He's listed in both family groups, so he'll get reminders for all of our family members. Which means that I'm not the ONLY one responsible for remembering and picking up a card...GENIUS! Members can even choose a preferred gift or wish list so everyone knows what to get!

I'm just so glad that regardless of what calendar I use, I'll have this one place to keep our events and be able to get reminders!

Jan 13, 2015

Purging On and Basement Progress



Monday was a whirlwind day and I wasn't able to post, but I'm so happy with the progress we made in our basement this weekend. Brad's been just as much in the purging/organizing mode as I have been, and he was on a roll getting rid of stuff. Finally! He went through all of his clothes and purged t-shirts (seriously, why do men hoard so many t-shirts??), he finally parted with his college textbooks, and a box of old magazines went to the recycling as well. If he wasn't using it or hadn't gotten into it, he pretty much got rid of it.

Meanwhile, I continued listing things to sell on Facebook (a few), got rid of things I rarely-if-ever use, and continued finding new and improved homes for what was there.

As I suspected, however, this "room" wasn't a one-week project, so I will continue working on it this week. Considering it's an entire unfinished basement (albeit small) that is used for various storage, craft supplies, extra toys for daycare, and our laundry area, it's a large project. In addition, I'm working on bringing more craft supplies upstairs so they're more accessible and therefore will hopefully be more utilized, so some of my time has been spent relocating items and reorganizing some upstairs spaces in the process. I'll share all that when we get to those rooms. In the meantime, here's the progress downstairs (you can see the shameful before's here)...

Toy storage area, also "tornado spot" so the blue tub is our emergency tornado supplies. Some overflow daycare toys/craft supplies are here, and I started bins with craft projects to work on for myself. Around the corner is a closet with toys in bins, small kitchen appliances that we don't often use, entertaining supplies, etc.


The pile in the middle is an improvement on the massive mess that was there before. The floor was clear, in fact, but this pile is Brad's to go through sometime this week. We're purging unused electronics, and I need him to identify and make a decision about extra nails and parts for furniture that we've assembled, etc. 

I've had my craft supplies in plastic shoe boxes for a year or so, but I added more and reorganized this cupboard. More changes are coming as I (hopefully) move a bunch of this upstairs where it will be more readily available to me all the time.


Kim and I are planning a garage sale this spring, so this is my garage sale pile. Some larger items have been listed on Facebook and hopefully will be sold. The rest will stay corralled here for now!

These bins are holiday decorations, off-season clothes and one holds baby keepsakes. This floor was a mess as we transitioned in and out of Christmas decor, but I can see the floor again! 

We needed a place for extra pillows that I got on Black Friday as well as our sleeping bags. I managed to find some shelf space, just before Brad told me we have many more sleeping bags out in the garage. (Since when??) So that might be reworked, but for now, things are off the floor. The right shelf has a lot of organizational items, and the baskets I think I'll be selling soon. I switched types and these have seen many years of use, so I put in a Container Store order last night!


I still need to put away a few things on that chair (that I really want to slipcover), and find a place for the pool noodles. That Pier 1 bag has stuff to go to the cabin so it will be gone soon, too.
It's not done but we've come really far!!! And I didn't even photograph Brad's "hunting" closet! I still have to work on the paint closet, as well, but I think with one more weekend at home (hallelujah!) we should be able to finish up. Next week, then, should be the playroom/office space!