Tuesday, April 26, 2011


So earlier in the week I mentioned that I had stumbled over a blog called IHeart Organizing. This blog has been such a wake-up call to me.

When I lived in the apartment before I was married, I remember that everything had a place. If I needed to put away the Scrubbing Bubbles, or a rubber band that came off a bunch of mail, or a spare tube of toothpaste I had just bought with a coupon - it didn't matter, I knew where it all went. Not really not just where, but where specifically. But I never really got that far in the house we live in now, and when I had Nora the organization progress that I had already made went out the window when suddenly we had much more STUFF in the house. (Who knew babies take up so much space? They are so little!)

I was reading through IHeart Organizing and remembering how awesome it was to just know where everything in your house goes. And have extra space for the new stuff that doesn't have a spot yet. Freedom from your stuff is a glorious thing (as my pastor tells me all the time) but it is NOT easy, and it won't get done in a day.

My process is four-fold:
1.) Clean out, purge, and reorganize every cabinet and closet in my house. (April)
2.) Clean out, purge, and reorganize the basement. (May)
3.) Clean out, purge, and reorganize the guest room. (May)
4.) Yard Sale and Goodwill Donation (First week in June)

I started this past week on the kitchen. I didn't take any before pictures, but the after pictures are nice:

I haven't labeled the bins and such just yet, but I am still deciding how I would like to do it. Mostly, the kitchen organization is DONE!

I worked this past Thursday and Friday on the closets while Nora was gone at my mom's. I didn't get all of them done, but I got the toughest three done - the mud room closet, my closet, and most of the guest room closet:

All that closet organizing left me with three big tubs of clothes that get stored downstairs, and a lot of Goodwill donations already as well:

Also a TON of hangers! (Anyone need some hangers??????????? This isn't even all of them!)

Now . . . the basement. This will be tricky because I have to work around the construction going on down there, plus the wet spots from the water that came in. But - I can't sell anything in the yard sale unless I get it out to sell it! So it must be done. It will be tough. Especially when my guest room already looks like this:

Now you see why it's the last thing on the list. It's also "Yard Sale Central" until June. Hopefully the one or two guests that I am expecting between now and then won't freak out . . . or get lost.

IHeart Organizing was having a "green challenge" this past week for Earth Day. The way that I am going green is by starting to use these little babies:

Have you seen these in stores??!! They are fabric, reusable snack bags! You know I am going to try and make some . . . someday! Maybe next Earth Day. :)

So that's that! I am so pleased with the progress I have made so far - I just FEEL better. Life functions better. Still plenty to do, but I feel I am on my way. What do you think?

Until next time . . .

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mom's B-Day Present

So, my mom's birthday is this week! Happy Birthday Mom!

Since she is super-busy next weekend, her birthday was celebrated early. On Easter I gave her the present I made for her:

I have had these paintings made for MONTHS. I saw this quote in a Pottery Barn catalog and wanted to make something for my mom with it - what I didn't know. After some thought, this idea came to me.

Making these paintings was SUPER FUN! I used plastic wrapped printer paper (the kind you would buy to make invitations or something) and dipped the edge of it into paint to make the long "stems". I then dotted each stem with a pencil eraser dipped in paint! I really enjoyed making this, and I think it's perfect for my momma!

Until next time . . .

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Basement Renovation - IT BEGINS!

Most of you know this already, but this year something new and different is happening in our lives. We are welcoming the addition of at least one new person to this house - and, NO - I am not pregnant again!! (At least, not yet.) Cory's younger sister Kelsey, who is celebrating her 18th brithday today (Happy Birthday!), is going to be moving into our basement while she goes to school at SIUE for a Nursing degree.

Now, if you have even been in our basement right now you are probably feeling very sorry for Kelsey. Our basement is unfinished, has no bathroom, and is barely suitable for Nora and the kids I baby-sit for to play in without bundling them up in sweatshirts and slippers. Not to mention the fact that it has flooded twice since we moved in! But, all of that is changing . . .

This, my friends, is the first of the basement renovations! WOO HOO! We have worked out a deal with Cory's parents, and a contractor friend of ours has been working this month to build a room for Kelsey to live in (it actually has walls now - these pictures are slightly old.) There will be a bathroom in the future as well, but things are just starting to get moving.

It's pretty exciting! :) Cory and I are happy to have our "new addition" coming to live here in the fall, and happy to have help with finishing our basement. I will post progress on the room as it comes along. Pretty cool, right? :)

Until next time . . .

Friday, April 22, 2011

Granny Car

Well, 2011 has not been great to us so far. The computer went ka-put, the dishwasher went ka-put, and we have had water in the basement twice. Nothing too terribly overwhelming, but stinky nonetheless! It is only April.

Of course, with everything that has gone wrong so far, there has been an equal amount of awesome moments too. We have been so blessed because everything that went wrong ended up working out for the better. Plus, our daughter is actually getting her two front teeth finally at almost twenty months old - those are some answered prayers folks! :)

But . . . this week . . . NOT our week, really. My car has been acting up and having some issues, and we made the call this week to put it in the shop and get this so-stinkin'-close-to-being-paid-off car back into tip-top shape. While it's in there, I get to roll around in this little beauty of a loaner car:

I am not one to worry about my image or what kind of car I drive, but even I laughed out loud when I saw this car. When it comes to cars in general, mainly I just need something that will 1.) get me from here to there, 2.) suits our needs as a family, and 3.) is economical. This car fits the bill! (Although I have no idea what a 1995 Buick LeSabre gets in gas mileage . . . )

So if you see me rollin' down the street this weekend, honk, wave, and get a little chuckle. I will be laughing too because so far everything crappy this year has been turned into something good! (Maybe this car is a Transformer?!) :)

Until next time . . .

Monday, April 18, 2011

Massive Reorganization

Last month I did a little spring cleaning. It was nothing big and (quite honestly) only a little better than my normal cleaning routine.

Something just didn't feel right about my house. It felt yucky to me even after I had cleaned it! Then I figured it out: what was bugging me wasn't the dirt or dust (or lack thereof.) What was bugging me was the lack of organization. All the little "piles". The lack of a clear workspace. All the thrown together junk.

So, I did some research and I stumbled upon this tutorial. I fell in LOVE with the blog that it came from as well. My goodness, this lady is amazing! So I decided to try out some of her blog tips for myself. I am calling it


OK, so not a very clever title, but I have been on Benadryl for about a week. Please forgive me.

I am starting in my kitchen, and it's actually almost done. All I have left to do is label, label, label! I promise to show some pictures next week of all the progress I have made. :)

Until then! . . .

Thursday, April 14, 2011


So we took another trip this weekend. This time it was a road trip to Valparaiso, IN to visit some of Cory's side of our family. My mother-in-law (MIL), Nora, and I headed up for an extended weekend to help them unpack and to do some shopping. It was a LOT of fun! We were also blessed with amazing weather. Nora did pretty well on the car ride up. She was a little restless towards the end, but that is likely because this was by far the longest she has been in a car! She watched some movies and played with her (new) baby doll and bottles. When we arrived we ate out at Red Robin with Cory's aunt, uncle, and cousins and then got the tour of their AWESOME NEW HOUSE! Saturday we helped unpack boxes while Nora and her cousins played. After Nora's nap in the afternoon, the girls had a water balloon fight. Nora just did not know what to think of it! She hardly got wet at all and hid by my leg the whole time. What a goof! She sure did enjoy playing with her cousins though! They patiently helped her go up the stairs . . . and down the stairs . . . and up the stairs . . . and whaddya-mean-you-wanna-go-DOWN-again?? Nora just had to practice the stairs while we were there.
Love this picture! :)

Sunday night we had cupcakes for my MIL's birthday. Nora thought we were all singing Happy Birthday to her. :) Monday we shopped at an AMAZING outlet mall!! It had sooooo many good stores . . . Nora kept us all entertained by dancing around in the stores and charming all the ladies who were shopping.

On the way home, Nora did AMAZING in the car. (I think 6 hours is her limit though.) She played by herself for about an hour and a half, then watched movies on a borrowed DVD player the rest of the way home. We stopped at Cracker Barrel for dinner and she enjoyed that a lot!

It was a seriously fun trip! I just wish I had felt better - my allergies were starting to act up and I slept SOOOOOO badly, which made me a tired, cranky grouch by Monday. BUT - I made some good purchases, and got a lot of nice hand-me-downs from Cory's aunt (THANK YOU AGAIN!!!!!!!!) I am so happy that we went up there - what a nice trip!

Until next time . . .

Thursday, April 7, 2011

M.I.L. Birthday Present

Were you wondering where I was?! :) When it gets nice, things like blogging go to the back burner. No apologies from me though! - I don't regret a minute of spending time outside with my husband and daughter over sitting inside on the computer. I promise I will still try to get on here at least once per week though. ;)

Anyway, I have been working on a LOT of things lately. The reason being is that in this house April is a busy month! My MIL (mother-in-law), SIL (sister-in-law), and mother all have birthdays in April (in that order). So, that makes me a busy bee!

This year I handmade gifts for my MIL and mother for their birthdays. My mom's gift has been done for two months and I will show that off after I give it to her at the end of April. But, since I am fairly sure my MIL will not see this post before I give her the gift I have made for her (on either Saturday or Monday), I will go ahead and show it off today!:

I have had this sign in mind for a LONG time, and I finally got around to making it. I used an old sign that I had already that had been water damaged. It was tricky to work with because this sign had a paper label on the front of it that I had to sand off before I could do anything to it. After I got it off, I painted the wood, painted it some more, painted it some MORE - you get the picture! A final sanding to "distress it", and some lacquer and there you go! Super nice gift for a super nice person. :)

This weekend will be kind of eventful around our house, stay tuned for more info on that! :)

Until next time . . .