February 25, 2011

52 Weeks of Organizing: Week 8

This week I have been extremely tired.  That is what happens when you have a baby, you never sleep again....  No one tells you that upfront because if you really knew how little sleep you'd get you would think twice, maybe six times about having a baby!  But, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat because I am totally in love with my sweet girl!

So, I needed a really simple project for this week and last night I spotted it:

Cords, cords everywhere!  What a mess, huh?

So, I used a Sharpie to label the cords and then found a container to CONTAIN (hee hee!) them:

And now it looks like this:

Much better!

February 22, 2011

OYtamOL: Week 8

It's Week 8 of the One Year to a {more} Organized Life challenge at Unsolicited Advice which has us evaluating our routines this week - what's working, what's not. 

I kind of get a chuckle from this because just last night (before I read this week's post) I was coming to the conclusion that I've got a lot of "not working" right now!  In fact, I actually started a new (hopefully) habit today of getting up before my 8 month old daughter.   Considering how little sleep I get that is a hard pill to swallow but I honestly think it is the only way to bring some balance back for me.  I need some time to myself in the morning.  I work full-time and I need to look presentable when I show up to work everyday.  I need to actually put on make-up.  I need to do some things for me before my day becomes all about what I can do for everyone else.  And, most importantly, I desperately need to get back into some kind of routine with God.  That relationship, my most important relationship, needs more attention...who am I kidding?  It needs attention is not getting any!  So, I am working on a new morning routine.

I'm also re-evaluating how many irons I have in the fire, so to speak.  What things have I committed to either externally or internally and which of them are keepers and which of them need to be cut?  That is the question!  I'm not sure yet but I know that I have too much going on right now.  I'm thrilled to be part of a new (literally just starting) ministry at church but it requires some time and I don't have much of that so I really need to re-evaluate how I spend my time currently and what I can do to make sure I am allowing time for this new adventure.

I'm still working on developing routines in general so that will be something I think about more this week as well.  I'm not too worried if I'm not perfectly in synch with everyone else - the fact that I am working on anything related to organization in itself is a "win"!

February 21, 2011

Let's Revisit Booking It in 2011

We are now almost done with February (where does the time go?) so I think it's a good time to revisit my apparently lofty goals for reading in 2011 and do some course correction!

I have come to realize that I am in a season of life where I just cannot plan for the entire year - my life is way too wishy washy right now.  For example, I would love to get up before sweet baby girl so that I can take care of my own personal morning routine and be ready for her when she awakes but that has been impossible for the last several months.  I've had to come up with "work arounds" to make sure I get dressed in the morning because most of the time my baby is in bed with me in the morning and 1) I need more sleep, 2) Getting up would cause her to wake and 3) it bears repeating, I need more sleep!  So, you can find the schedule I previously posted for 2011 here and below I am posting an UPDATED schedule for 1st quarter only with no firm dates.  I have decided to only commit one quarter at a time for right now and I might have to scale back to one month at a time but we'll try this and see what happens!

The Pirate Queen by Patricia Hickman - completed and wrote the book review for Blogging for Books
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin - still reading
Listen by Rene Gutteridge - my first ebook on my new NOOK!
Like Dandelion Dust by Karen Kingsbury - trying to get ebook since I let my hold expire on the hard copy at the library by accident
Sisterchicks On The Loose by Robin Jones Gunn - this is for my March book club
Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois - also for March
TBD book for Blogging For Books - update - I have requested my next book and the request is in process

February 19, 2011

OYtamOL: Week 7, Routines

It's Week 7 in Unsolicited Advice's One Year to a {more} Organized Life challenge and this week we were to look at our routines. 

I did make some notes about my morning and evening routine but I think the take home message for me is that I really need to work on developing more structure at home and continue with organizational and decluttering projects - these are the things that I believe will bring more joy to my homemaking role (the role I get to do when I'm not working full-time!).  Also, I continue to struggle with basics for myself like regular showers!  I think I need to develop a schedule for things like that and really be intentional about sticking to it even if I am tired (the common cause of me not taking showers!).

52 Weeks of Organizing: Week 7 (missed 5 and 6)

Well, I've been one sick puppy the last few weeks so I managed to miss weeks 5 and 6 but I'm trying to get back on track now with Week 7 of the 52 Weeks of Organizing Challenge by Org Junkie.  This week started out with food poisoning so I looked for a relatively simple project since I was short on time and energy.  I came up with the bathroom cabinet in our master bath. 

Here is the before: 

And the after:

February 18, 2011

Book Review: The Pirate Queen by Patricia Hickman

Disclaimer:  I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review; however, these statements and opinions are entirely my own.  This statement is required for compliance with the Federal Trade Commission.

First, I have to say that reading books post-baby is a totally different experience for me and I am struggling with it!  I am used to reading a book in a few days or maybe a week, NOT THREE MONTHS!  Yep, you read that correctly, it has taken me almost three months to complete the reading of this book that was so graciously provided to me by WaterBrook Multhoman Publishing Group.  I'm so embarrassed.  They will actually suspend your account if you do not post your review within 90 days so I am skating on thin ice right now!

Okay, so onto the review....

I actually enjoyed The Pirate Queen and would recommend it.  It grabbed my attention right from the beginning when I saw that the story is set in North Carolina, my own home state.  And if that was not enough in the first chapter the main character, Saphora, is about to leave her cheating husband, Bender, when she finds out he is dying.  This definitely set the stage for good "chick lit".

I see so many reviewers telling the book's story so I'm just going to jump to my thoughts.  Overall I was pleasantly surprised that the storyline took the direction it did because from the outset I was sure it would be just about the relationship between Saphora and Bender with a large focus on his illness.  While the book was about that, it was about so much more.  The characters in the book are well-developed and interesting.  There are alot of different stories going on throughout the book that kept me curious as to how things would turn out.  Honestly though I was fairly shocked at the point where the storyline shifts to another character - I did not see it coming at all.  That is when I picked up speed and pushed ahead to get to the end.  So, I would say the book intrigued me at beginning and end but maybe was a little slow and less interesting in the middle.

And lastly, I loved how the final chapter of the book was a look forward years ahead to what had happened with the main characters.  I like to know "what happens next" when I read.  I'm geeky in that way!

The one disappointment I had with this book is that the spiritual component was not as developed as I would personally like but that makes the book more attractive to a larger audience so I am okay with that.

February 09, 2011

Menu Plan Monday ~Feb 7th

Yes, I realize it is Wednesday but I have been sick as a dog since Friday so just hush!

First, let's review a few from last week:

Slow Cooker Pineapple Pepper Chicken Stew - this was a beautiful dish but the flavor needed a little something more.  We might make it again but I don't think I'll make it for my February food exchange.

Pot roast - this was good but it really needed to cook longer than 8 hours, the meat was not tender enough.  We have had this issue alot so we have also decided our crockpot is too big.  We just purchased the most adorable 4 quart that I will be trying out this week.

Shrimp and Cheese Grits with Okra - hubby thought this was okay, I thought it was delicious BUT it is very labor intensive so I would not likely make this again.

Now, this weeks meal plan includes:

Monday:  Thai Shrimp Bisque
Tuesday:  Turkey Taco Night
Wednesday:  Black bean soup and cornbread (received at monthly frozen food exchange in January)
Thursday:  dinner out
Friday:  Herbed Artichoke Chicken (crockpot)

February 07, 2011

2 Year Subscription to Parenting the Early Years for 2 Bucks

We love Amazon Mom which allows us to save 30% on Amazon's already discounted diaper prices using the Subscribe and save feature. Which we then cancel after we recieve the product. What we love more is the ability to stack coupons with the discount. Almost monthly there is an Amazon Diaper coupon in magazines like Parenting and Parenting the Early Years for 20% off diapers at And the kicker is that if you have coupons starting with different letters they too can be stacked together for even more savings. Right now the two codes that are circulating start with "YT" and "YJ". So if you get one of each you combine them on the same purchase on top of the 30% off discount from being an Amazon Mom.

So today I found out that I could get a 2 year subscription to Parenting the Early Years for 2 bucks. So of course I order a couple more subscriptions just for the coupons.

You too can save big by clicking on this link and using the code "TOUCHDOWN" to save $3 off the $5 deal price.

February 03, 2011

OYtamOL: Wk5 Cut, Combine or Delegate

It's Week 5 of Unsolicited Advice's One Year to a {more} Organized Life challenge and this week Brenda has asked us to think about what we can cut, combine or delegate in our lives.

Truthfully, I just now printed out the worksheet that goes with this week because I cannot even begin to imagine what can be cut, combined or delegated in my life right now.  I feel very overwhelmed with all that has to be done for others and not taking care of myself is beginning to snowball.  I'm tired, grouchy, eating terrible, living life off of caffeine, spending no time with essence I am surviving, not thriving. 

Today I came across this guest post on Life Your Way and when I got to the section on "Are You Overwhelmed?" every item fit me and that is when I realized that something has to change.  What? you ask....I have NO IDEA!  But I'm going to figure it out....soon.  Stay tuned....