Sep 2, 2014

When It's Worse Before It Gets Better...

The house definitely looks like a project zone, and that's exactly what it is! I don't know why I can't burn it into my skull that everything always takes longer than I expect it to. I swear I tell myself every time I do something that I'll remember next time how things never go as fast as I plan. Schedule conflicts always pop up. Someone will get sick. Someone will be too tired to do a lot (usually me). There's always a delay.

But it's ok. I'm going with the flow (as best as a project-driven girl with more ideas than time and who hates the mess during the process can do).

I got the baker's rack halfway painted. The panels didn't turn out quite as I'd hoped...debating a redo. Usually I get so close to the end of a project and am just ready to be done that there's no way I'll go back and fix anything. But I'm seriously considering it in this circumstance.

I'm almost out of chalk paint and haven't finished painting. Always listen to the experts. My friend who paints furniture (Jess @Blue Hydrangea) said the sample size probably wouldn't be enough. #shewasright #iknewbetter My bestie's to the rescue and picking up a quart (what I should have gotten in the first place) today. I'm anxious to keep going and see the finished product!

I got the fall decorations out yesterday and will share those soon. I have a few more vignettes to create (and possibly some things to make), and will share once I do!

For today be sure to check out the Twitter link party that I'm co-hosting through September and October! This is a great way to get new followers!

Welcome to the The Ultimate Linky's Twitter Party!

Thanks for coming and linking up here at my first Twitter Linky Party! I'm co-hosting with Tammy from The Ultimate Linky every week on Tuesdays through September and October. This is a great opportunity to get more followers on Twitter, so please come back each week and join in! 

For me it's also a kick in the pants to tweet more and figure out what this Twitter thing is all about! ;)

Our goal is to grow this party and have new people linking up every week so that you can continue to get new followers. There are two linkies in this party. You can do just one or both linkies if you wish. On the first linky, you will link up your Twitter URL for your Twitter account so that you can be followed. On the second linky, link up the URL of a tweet you would like to be retweeted.

Please follow me and Tammy from The Ultimate Linky on Twitter, add the button to your sidebar or party page, and then link up and follow the directions for who to follow/retweet. If you are the last three to link up, your links will be manually added to the beginning of next week's link-up so that you get your follows. You can always follow more if you decide to. We would love any shares that you could give to help spread the word about this party!

We would also love if you took a second to tweet about this party!!

The Ultimate Linky
You can also link up one tweet that you would like to have re-tweeted. This is the same concept as above except you only have to tweet the two links above yours. I will make sure I tweet the last link(s). Social media parties every day of the week!

Aug 29, 2014

Happy Labor Day Weekend!


Hope you all have a great weekend, and enjoy a day off on Monday! I'll be back on Tuesday with a link party series that I'll be co-hosting in September and October!

Aug 28, 2014

How I Organize Off-Season Clothes & Creating a Capsule Wardrobe For Fall

Comfy and Cute
Outfit I created on Polyvore
Though the weather hasn't cooled down a ton yet, this is the time of the year that I sort through our off-season clothes bins and start to put away some of the summer stuff. In addition, I've been trying to simplify my wardrobe over all this summer, and buy pieces that can take me into the next season. A little more on that in a moment, but first, how I organize off-season clothes...

It's pretty complicated, let me tell ya. 

Faith and I each have a bin (Brad organizes his on his own...sort of) that we keep in the basement. They're labeled "off-season clothes". When a new season approaches, I go through each bin, pull out what might be needed in the next couple months and put them in the laundry, remove what I no longer want, and put away the current/previous season's clothes. Right now it's still warm enough that I haven't put much away, but going through the bins helps me take inventory of what I have and create a list of what I need to go shopping for. Since I lost weight since last year (yay!) that's especially important.

Faith's bin works the same way, but also includes larger sizes of clothes that I find at garage sales, etc. to put away for future use. Since she's still growing fairly quickly each year, not many clothes go back into the bin for the following year. Clothes of hers (and mine) that we no longer need or that no longer fit go to a garage sale box, to be consigned or donated. (And since I'm trying to declutter I no longer keep a garage sale ours will either immediately be sold on Facebook or donated.)

Ok, back to simplifying my wardrobe. 

This has been my year to simplify overall, and I've read blog posts and magazine articles about how to downsize your wardrobe into mix-and-match basics. I'm not a clothes hoarder to begin with. I usually only have one or two pair of jeans, a couple pair of leggings, basic tees/tanks, and then some nicer tops and maybe a couple dresses/skirts. If I don't wear something or don't like it anymore, I take it out of my closet and get rid of it.

But that doesn't mean there aren't some rarely used pieces in my closet, and it also doesn't mean that I love all of what I own. So when I saw Kate's post talking about planning her "capusle wardrobe" (as inspired by Caroline on, I was intrigued and immediately got to work planning my own. You can read all about Caroline's Capsule Wardrobe plan here, but her definition of a capsule wardrobe is:

It's a mini wardrobe made up of really versatile pieces that you LOVE to wear. 
Caroline limits a capsule wardrobe to 37 pieces.  You can learn how to build your capsule wardrobe on her site, here. I printed off and completed her wardrobe planner, and it was such an "aha" moment for me! Why do I keep filling my closet with so-so tops when I know that I love drapey dohlman tops or tunics with leggings and tanks/tees with maxi skirts?? I can have outfits I love and they'll work great with my lifestyle (read: chasing kids and getting groceries), and they'll be cuter than a boring tee and jeans. (Not that a tee and jeans can't be cute, but mine were more basic and boring than fun.) And even better...I already have almost everything I need to have a wardrobe I love! I just have to weed out the rest and maybe add a couple other key pieces.

Another thing I've realized this past year is that I love grey and brown...not so much stark black. I wear turquoise year-round (it's my "signature" color). I have jewelry I never wear, so that needs gone-through again, too. I've decided when it comes to clothes (and more-so in my home, too), that I like a grey or brown neutral with pops of color from a scarf or a chunky necklace and bracelet. I'm keeping all this in mind as I sort through the clothes.

I've gone through my closet one time and taken several pieces out already. I went through the off-season bin, washed everything, and made piles: To (possibly) keep, to donate/sell, and to try on. Once I've tried on everything and have my "keep" stash, I'll go through it all again to see if I'm close to 37 pieces, and if what I have kept are things that I'll really love. I know I need a pair of jeans and probably another pair of good leggings. Once I've sorted through it all I'll share how it went with you!

As for the house, the kitchen is still coming along! The humidity picked up the past couple days and as I get back on my diet my energy was a bit lower (plus Brad has been sick and not feeling well enough to help with projects). Slow and steady wins the race, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Aug 26, 2014

White "Farmhouse" Kitchen in the Making!

Photo: White kitchen time for open shelving, a baker's rack makeover, and accessories!
White on white kitchen!
Progress is happening, albeit slowly, in the kitchen! I'm shooting for somewhat of a farmhouse/cottage kitchen...without changing much in the room. I'd love to have a farmhouse sink (sigh) and new cabinets and different tile, as well as all new appliances...but they're just not necessary nor in the budget. And if we decide to sell the house, it just won't be worth our investment. So this is a purely cosmetic makeover.

I finished painting the walls today (started taping a week ago). It's totally out of character for me to start a painting job and not just go all gung-ho into it and try to wrap up in a couple days. My energy just hasn't kept up with me and the time isn't always there, so I'm learning to work with it rather than get too frustrated or push myself too hard and then wind up exhausted (and likely with mistakes).

(That unpainted trim in the photo will be painted. The previous owners trimmed the cabinets but left this one end undone. Since they cut the trim incorrectly, Brad had to also replace the adjoining piece. They're done and on, and just need painted!)

Supports for open shelving
If you follow on Instagram you may have seen that I finally convinced Brad to build open shelving at the end of the cupboards (mentioned wanting to do it here but Brad didn't think he could find the studs with the plaster walls...I proved him wrong here). I'm SO HAPPY!!!  The corbels are purchased and just need painted (they didn't come unfinished and the black was cheapest, so that's why we went that route). The shelves are built and I'm debating paint or stain for those. The corbels will be painted the same color as the cabinets/walls so that they blend in. We have nice weather this week so I hope to get the shelf project and the baker's rack wrapped up before the holiday weekend.

Once those things are complete and in place, it's just a matter of reorganizing and accessorizing! The blinds over the kitchen sink broke, so eventually I hope to make a roman shade for that window, but I am ok letting that wait for cold weather days when we can't do some of the other projects.

Can't wait to show you when it's all done!

Aug 22, 2014

Why You Should Never Cheat On Your Diet. Ever. {Fitness Friday}

Ok, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration and not how I'd feel in everyone's circumstance, but let me elaborate.

Pretty sure I never expected to find Cookie Monster on my blog, but he was always one of my favorites. ;)

A couple weeks ago I updated you on my lack of progress on the anti-candida diet that I started to clear up a skin condition on my legs/ankles. I made it 11 glorious days, was so proud and felt great. Until I hit PMS during a week that we happened to have extra treats in the house, I wasn't even really craving anything. But the cravings kicked in...and the cookies were there. I resisted...and resisted...until I no longer could resist. I cheated with one cookie. And then about three more. 

I managed to get mostly back on track the week that followed, but was not giving it my all or having 100% adherence to the diet. And with a diet like this, for the reasons that I'm on it, I have to be consistent and not cheat

That "little" cheat led to another...and another...because I have found I'm an all-or-nothing kind of dieter (and maybe in other areas of my life, too). When I cheat on a diet there's a "well, damage is done!" mentality, and I know I'm not alone. 

I get so angry with myself, especially as it's been so difficult getting back on the diet consistently. I had the momentum going, and had I stuck with it would have been over a month in...and that much closer to being able to reintroduce some of the foods I'd had to give up. That much closer to clear legs. That much closer to not being woken at night by insane itching. And probably that much closer to my weight-loss goals. 

I read KariAnne's post last week about her diet struggles and before I got to the end was like, "Yes, we're in the same boat!". But we weren't...because she stayed strong. She kept her goals and her progress ahead of her desire for Pringles (and Pringles are pretty hard to resist, if you ask me!). 

So if you're trying to eat better or are on a diet for whatever reason (I should say, whatever healthy reason!), take it from me and KariAnne...that cookie or those Pringles will only bring you immediate guilt and disappointment, so step away! Grab a glass of water...or three...busy your mind, and never, ever, EVER cheat on your diet! 

Aug 21, 2014

What I'm Working On...

I'm trying really hard to get back into daily blogging, but I also want to get away from posting just for the sake of doing it (hence why no post yesterday). I'd rather post two quality posts a week than five crappy ones. (Can I get an amen?) I've been less-than-impressed with myself the past few months as my busyness has creeped into my productivity and therefore my better blog posts. But we live and learn and I'm moving on from here, and while I can't post project pictures every day, there are a lot of projects going on...and I will eventually share! So I thought for today I'd just touch base and let you know what I'm working on right now...

  • Last night we completed the ALS ice bucket challenge. Not really a project but it was a "to do" after I was nominated by my brother, and it was a hoot! Check that off the list! 
  • I decided to sell my mint desk so I've been working on moving the contents elsewhere. I think I've found a spot for everything that will still make sense and be accessible from where I work (usually the couch and coffee table!).
  • While my pegboard command station was cute and semi-functional, there were many unused aspects. I'm in the process of transforming it in a way that it will be more utilized. It's going to get a new paint job eventually as well. 
  • Still working on painting the kitchen. Actually I still haven't taped half of the woodwork off. We had hoped to camp this weekend but it looks like it's going to be hot and rainy, so I should have an entire weekend to paint. Sad about camping, thrilled to have time to get things checked off the list!
  • I haven't started on the baker's rack that will go in the kitchen but that's also on the docket for the weekend. 
  • I've been a Mary Kay consultant for about three years now, but I haven't pursued it as a business in a long time. I love (and will still use) the products, and I love the discount, but decided that in the long run I'm probably not making it worth what I'm saving. The little bit of inventory I have (it truly is minimal and at least 30% is stuff I will use myself) is taking up valuable storage real estate, and most of the people that order from me are family that I give a large discount to. By the time I pay for shipping and/or make deliveries here-and-there, I just don't think it's worth my time and money. Soooo...I have decided to sell of my remaining inventory, put in one last order for my customers, and resign as a consultant. I spent some time this morning making a list of inventory so that I know what I have to get rid of, and will be emailing customers today!
  • I've also been trying to get back on top of blog organization and training. I have a slew of online courses to watch, and managed to squeeze in a few training emails/blog posts this week. I love learning and always want to improve on the things I love doing, and I just haven't had a lot of time to do that lately. I hope to gradually get caught up with those things and implement what I'm learning as I go. I'm utilizing my new planner to schedule blog posts (with flexibility, however, because life happens!) and have lots of other things on the brain that I'd like to do as well to make me better as a blogger and make my blog better for my readers. 
Aside from those things, it's the normal daycare week, planning our 4-H meeting for tonight, learning new Jazzercise routines, grocery shopping, school drop-off and pick-up, and housework! Just a few things keeping me busy. ;) I'll try to always post on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook if I am not going to do a blog post so that you know I'm still alive. ;) Lots of stuff in the works so there will be lots to post once I can get it all done!