Monday, January 31, 2011

A Bit of Thanks

As Kansas prepares for the 'Blizzard of 2011' that is supposed to bring us anywhere from 3-12 inches of snow (seriously...can't all you weather people get on the same page?) on top of the layer of ice that is already on the ground, I was thinking today about how thankful I am that I have the opportunity to work from home. 

When we moved back to Marysville in 2008, my boss was also getting ready for maternity leave, so Turner gave me the chance to continuing working for them remotely while she was out on leave. Those three months went well, and they decided to make it permanent.

Three years later, I am still working remotely, traveling to KC on an 'as needed' basis. All I need is my computer and an internet connection and I am good to go.

Seriously, I love my job.

Love the people I work with.
Love what I do.
Love that I don't have to leave my warm house for the snow, wind and freezing rain happening right outside my window.
And love that I get to sit at home in my comfy sweatpants and sweatshirt in front of my computer with Sirius XM the Blend blaring in the background.
that's my current music fix...changes on a weekly basis ;) 

In today's economic and employment situation, I am EXTREMELY fortunate that I even have a job, let alone an employer that allows me work from home nearly three hours away.

 That's all. Just a little random note of thanks on a Monday afternoon.

What are you thankful for?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Here We Go Again! Challenge Accepted!

In case you missed it, I participated in the 21-Day Organization Challenge over at A Bowl Full of Lemons.  Toni hosted an amazing challenge, and as a result, my house is on it's way to total organization!

ok, well, maybe not totally organized... ;)

Missed out? That's ok, because Toni is getting ready to host a new weekly challenge over at ABFL.  I'm excited for this one, because it will involve bigger projects, but we'll have a week to finish them. 

Ready to jump in and get organized? Click here or visit a A Bowl Full of Lemons to get started!  But, hurry, it starts on Sunday!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 21: Your Choice.....Coupons

WOW!  Today is the last day of the 21-Day Organization Challenge over at A Bowl Full of Lemons!

Hard to be believe just a few weeks ago, my house was in complete disarray and totally un-organized.

And now it!?  It is - but there is still MUCH more to do!

No, truthfully, the organization in this house has greatly improved. The 21 tasks, whether small or large, have made my daily routine more efficient and just down-right easier. 

Thank you Toni for hosting such an awesome challenge! Can't wait to get started on your weekly challenge! There's always something more to do to keep/get this household organized!

Thanks also to all the other bloggers for their supportive comments! And for giving me such great ideas!

Now...on to Day 21.

Toni told us to pick our own challenge for today - to highlight something that we have organized at our house.

So, I chose kind of a weird Coupon Binder. I keep it very organized - it really never gets to out of shape.

I started using coupons in 2008 when my husband and I moved into our first home. Money was tight as we purchased needed items for our new place.  I say that I truly started 'couponing' in late 2009 when I found out I was pregnant with our first child. 

(Isn't there some statistic that says it takes $250,000 to raise a child from birth to age 18? If that doesn't make you want to save money, I don't know what will!)

When I first started using coupons, I used one of these small photo albums. I just grouped like items together. It was small and easy to throw in my purse.

I qiuckly outgrew that binder as I started using more coupons, so I grabbed an old binder from college, picked up some cheap tabs at a back-to-school sale, bought some baseball card holders, and made up this binder.

I have 16 different tabs, such as snacks, soup/bread, baby items, pet items, etc. This is the best way for me to easily find the coupons I need as I am creating my shopping lists.

I am not an 'extreme' couponer by any means, but I estimate that I have cut my grocery bill in half by using coupons and pairing them with store sales.  I also price match other grocery stores' ads at Walmart (since Walmart and our small, local grocer are my only choices for shopping).

Couponing does take time and patience, but has definitely proved to be worthwhile for my family.

And that's a WRAP! We're done!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 20: Photo Organization

Day 20 of the 21-Day Challenge is organizing your photos.

I love digital photography, but it makes it WAY. TOO. EASY. to just put your pictures on your computer and not do anything with them.

I'm just a little behind in printing photos...the last time I printed pictures to put in Hannah's album was LAST Christmas...yikes! I've got a lot of work to do.

I know Toni's organized her physical photos, but before I do that, I need to organize my photos digitally.

I don't have any before and after pictures since I did it all on my computer

In my Photos folder, I made individual folders for each year. Then underneath that, I made folders for each month. Then within the individual months, I made folders for events

For example, September had  Hannah's Birthday, K-State Football Games, etc.)

I think this is the best way for me to organize my photos so that they are easily accessible.

I'm not completely finished (this is a lot more than a one day project!), but I have a great start! When I am done, then I can move on to ordering actual printed photos!!  Now that will be quite the task!


Day 18: Keepsakes

Today's challenge is to organize your keepsakes.

I'm embarrassed to show the picture of where I was storing Hannah's keepsakes.


Yes, that is a Hallmark bag full of stuff.

It's embarrassing.

As I am sure all you mothers out there know, the weeks (and even months) after your delivery is exhausting, hectic, exciting and stressful - and maybe even more so when it is your first. You don't have a lot of time to organize.

So, when Hannah was born, I threw all of her greeting cards, ID bracelet, baptismal items and all other keepsakes in this bag.

And then I just kept throwing more and more in there until it looked like this:

So, needless to say, I was glad that Toni over at A Bowl Full of Lemons included keepsakes in her 21-Day Challenge.  This stuff was in desperate need of organizing.

I went simple - with stuff I already had - since I'm not sure if it will stay this way as she gets older and begins school. (I love how Toni did her binders!)

I labeled each hanging folder with an individual year and put in manila folders for significant events within each year (i.e. birth and baptism in Year 1). I also included pregnancy to have a place for my Belly Book and my sono pictures.

I don't love it, but it is a lot better than it was before!

Check out the other posts at A Bowl Full of Lemons!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 19: The Master Closet

I'm going a little out of order, but this is what I had time for today.  Hope to complete the keepsake organization tomorrow.

Day 19 of the 21-Day Challenge over at A Bowl Full of Lemons is to clean and organize the master closet.

Thankfully, since my back is feeling better, Joe and I were able to complete this task today while Ms. Hannah was sleeping.

Joe and I share a big closet.

My side before...

Joe's side before...

Joe's books from PT school were in there - we moved them downstairs to a bookshelf.

My side after...
(you can't tell from the picture, but my clothes are now coordinated by like colors - great idea from the other posts!)

Joe's side after...he organized his clothes his own way.

Joe and I both filled a garbage bag full of clothes to go to the Habitat Thrift Store.

Got these bins for my clutches/purses. The work great - now I can see everything.

Whew! Glad that task is complete!

Day 17: The Mail

My back is feeling much better today. After three days of twice-a-day physical therapy and very little time out of the recliner, I am moving around better and without a lot of pain. My unofficial diagnosis was most likely a pinched nerve in a muscle in my lower back.  All I know is that I was in a lot of pain and I am feeling much better!!!

So.....on to Day 17....better late than never!

The Mail Station.

Simply put, I don't have one.

Remember my messy desk from Day 2? That's my mail station. Stuff just gets thrown into piles there and I feel like I sort through things about ten times before I do something with it.

So....I have placed an order for one of these (well a couple parts of it).....and it should be here in a week or so...

Gotta love Pottery Barn!

I'll try and post pics after I get it set up.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Taking an Unwanted Break....

So today is Day 18 of Toni's 21 Day Challenge....yet the last task I've completed is from Day 16....hmm.

I really want to complete this challenge.

And I do believe I still will.

But it might be a few days late, because I can't get out of my chair.

Really....I can barely move without excruciating pain shooting from my lower back down my legs.

I worked out on Wednesday night to Jilian's 30 Day Shred (like I've done before) and when I woke up on Thursday, I could barely get out of bed.

And it has now been two days of horrendous back pain.

Every time I bend or twist, it about sends me to the floor.

So I have been confined to my recliner per my Physical Therapist's (aka the hubby) orders. 

I have been following everyone else's progress (and getting some great ideas!) and will cheer along from the sidelines. I'm just hoping that I feel better by Monday so I can jump back in and finish what I started!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 16: The Fridge

Hannah was sick today and had to go to the doc for a horrible ear infection. And our office closed early due to the snow....though I work from home, so how does that affect me? ;) 

It was just one of those days where you just want to curl up at the end of the day with a glass of wine and snuggle  with your hubby.  So.....I was lucky that I had completed today's challenge about two weeks ago and I could do just that!

I don't have any before pictures, but picture too many condiments, food crumbs everywhere, and a big puddle of red wine sitting at the bottom of the fridge.  Gross.

So Joe and I took everything out. We cleaned all of the shelves/drawers and went through all of the food.

Much better now.

I don't have any fancy containers or anything, but to be honest, with just three of us, it doesn't get too messy and unreasonable.

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 15: Medicine & Vitamins

Today's challenge was to organize your medicine/multivitamins.

I keep all of our medicines/vitamins in a large container with a lid with a handle - easy to grab from the top shelf and easy to carry with me to another room if needed. It is nice because everything is in one place.

I keep all of my first aid stuff (bandaids, wraps, neosporin, etc.) in a separate container.

Before....a total mess.

After....much better.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 14: Underneath The Bathroom Sink

Quick post to several meetings tonite.

Day 14 is organizing underneath the bathroom sink.  I actually did this one on Day 5, after cleaning underneath the kitchen sink. After I realized how bad the kitchen was (but isn't anymore - I'm keeping it tidy and organized!!), I couldn't just sit there and let the bathroom stay the same. I did both of the drawers, as well as underneath the sink in the main floor bathroom.



Happy Monday! :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day 13: The Medicine Cabinet

Day 13 of Toni's 21 Day Organization Challenge at A Bowl Full of Lemons involved the medicine cabinet. I don't have a true medicine cabinet, so I chose to organize my built-in shelves in the master bath. I went through this past fall and put a bunch of containers in there to organize my stuff, but never really kept up with it.

I am a big 'couponer', so I often have a pretty good stockpile of health and beauty items. It is important that I stay organized, so that I know what I have/what I items I need to look for on sale.


I got a few more containers (gotta love the $1 shoe boxes!) and sorted everything into 'like' items.  And then of course, I labeled everything!

I threw out an entire garbage bag full of old nail polish, hair products, and just random crap. The pictures don't show it (because everythign is in containers), but this is really quite a change! 

I am fortunate enough to have tomorrow off of work in honor of MLK Jr. Day, so hopefully I can tackle Toni's challenge first thing in the morning, before I start tomorrow's true challenge:  our basement storage room. It is a DISASTER. Dont' worry, pictures to come! ;)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Day 12: The Spice Cabinet

Today's challenge was to organized the spice cabinet - a space that needed a bit of TLC to make it more functional and efficient.

Before...things are just kind of everywhere.

Every time I pulled out the flour on the left, I always had to pull out the stuff in front of it first. I am not sure why I didn't find it a permanent home somewhere else before now.

Boy those bags on the right are a mess!

After....much better.

I had those spices (now on the lower right) on the top left of the cabinet. I always had a hard time pulling the spices down and see what everything was. It never occured to me (duh!) until I started this challenge, that organization isn't just getting things tidy and in order, but also about making things easier for you, allowing you to operate more efficiently in your daily tasks! As Oprah would say, I had a 'ta-da' moment! ;)

I am probably going to go back and label a few things later, but for now, I am going to enjoy a night with my hubby!

It's never to late to join in on the fun at A Bowl Full of Lemons!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day 11: The Freezer

Day 11 of the 21-Day Organization, we are over halfway done!

Day 11 is the freezer.

We bought a bigger chest freezer this past fall to give us some more room to store food. Each year, we purchase a half side of beef from my cousin, which didn't leave me room for much other food. So, it hasn't been that long since the freezer was cleaned/organized - yet amazingly, it was rather unorganized.



The best part of this freezer is all of the bins and separators that came with it. 

After I got everything separated and in its proper place, I got out my trusty label maker and labeled everything. Now, hopefully when the hubby and I unload groceries everything will get put in the correct street and it will stay organized! (Crossing my fingers!)

I just love that label maker! :)

Keep it up fellow bloggers! We're halfway done!