Friday, August 27, 2010

My daughter’s room

I promised pictures, so here you go! She LOVES the new color, and promises me she will actually keep it clean (which I doubt) but at least if nothing else I had a chance to get rid of a ton of her misc. junk that she’s had in there. This is honestly the cleanest her room has been in YEARS!




Started on my son’s room today, and hopefully will finish it over the weekend!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I am a little more than halfway, I would guess, in painting my daughter’s room. I would have to say my lack of attention to detail is pretty staggering, particularly around the ceiling edge, but oh well. That’s been the case in every room I’ve painted here, and we’ve all survived. I’m really hoping to wrap it up tomorrow so I can put her room back together on Friday and start on my son’s room. Mommy fun never ends! Pictures when I’m done.

Monday, August 23, 2010

How I spent my day

We’ve decided to repaint the kid’s rooms. In order to do this, we really had to clean out a BUNCH of stuff from both rooms. Being as I actually wanted this to happen today, I decided I HAD to help them. This was literally all day long. I lost count of how many trash bags we filled, but at the moment they are all still piled up in the loft in front of the pool table.

The accumulated clutter that used to be in the kid’s rooms. Honestly it’s hard to believe this all fit in their rooms before, because quite frankly it sure doesn’t seem like their rooms are lacking for stuff without all this in there.

Painting begins tomorrow. Woohoo!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Easy Fried Rice–a Review

Alright, so hubby is not home, kids have been down at a friend’s house, and I was trying to come up with something yummy to eat. I regularly buy from the various home party type food companies, so I figured I would dig through my stash of that and pick something. What I came up with was Homemade Gourmet’s Skillet Fried Rice. YUM!!! And SO easy – just needed water and two eggs (optionally I could have added meat, but I preferred to leave it plain). You basically just throw the rice mix in with the water and included seasoning in a skillet for 20 minutes, then scramble the eggs and mix them into the rice. Done. And did I mention the yum? And since it’s just me eating it, there is PLENTY leftover for tomorrow. Sweet. I can tell you from experience that HG makes a TON of other good stuff, too, and if you’ve never tried it, hop on over to my friend Clara’s Homemade Gourmet website and give something a try. I can also tell you that the Mini Pecan Pie Muffin Mix and Baked Potato Soup Mix are a big hit in my house, too. Delish!!

Friday, August 20, 2010


That’s pretty much the word of the day here today. I decided to tackle the silverware drawer. Well, we actually kind of have two. One silverware and accessories, and one for rarely used accessories. Luckily I was able to throw out a LOT of stuff. Amazing how many duplicate items we had. And duplicate of stuff that we hardly ever use anyway. For example, the following duplicate items were tossed:

  • 2 egg white separators
  • an apple corer (why would I need more than one of these??)
  • about 10 knives from a mediocre knife set we had like 10 years ago
  • 4 beer bottle openers
  • 3 grapefruit peelers
  • 3 spatulas (and I still kept 3 more!)
  • 4 ladles (and again, still no shortage on those I kept)

Now I’m off to clean the bathrooms, a chore that I never enjoy. How old do my kids have to be before I implement a slave labor program with them??

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

(almost) Wordless Wednesday

Well, ya’ll know that I can’t ever just swing completely wordless, and honestly I think this requires a bit of explanation, anyway. Yes, it’s a baby pool. Nope, I don’t have a baby. Or at least not a human one, but I do have my 8 month old Mastiff, Moose, who insists on splashing like a toddler in every puddle in the yard. So we decided maybe if he had his own splash pool he would play in that rather than in the muddy water. Just got it last night, so I don’t know yet how effective it will be.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Getting Organized

Organization is one of my passions, as anyone who has spent much time with me probably knows. Here are a few fun statistics for you, mostly taken from the National Association of Professional Organizers:

  • People spend, on average, 6 minutes a day looking for their keys.
  • Getting rid of clutter eliminates 40% of housework in the average home.
  • 23% of adults regularly pay bills late because they lose the bill.
  • 80% of clutter in the home is a result of disorganization, not lack of space.

Does any of this sound like you? I used to be there, honestly, but over the years have evolved a variety of systems that have helped me to overcome some of this. A few tips that have helped me:

  • Admit that you’re only human – while you may have the best of intentions, you’re not always going to do it 100% all the time, so cut yourself some slack and realize that good enough is sometimes just that – good enough!
  • Even if you have a file cabinet where you file bank statements, paid bills, etc. how often are you actually filing stuff there? I found that the hassle factor of taking up everything to file was deterring me from doing the filing, so I bought a cute 18 pocket accordion file and labeled each pocket with one of the categories that would eventually get filed (think Taxes, Power Bill, Bank Statement, etc.) and that way it’s cute enough to keep out, so I could keep it conveniently located, and I can easily file bills and statements as they come in, then only have to hit the file cabinet every six months or so.
  • One word: containers! I have all different sized containers, particularly in the kitchen. Cereal Storers for each different cereal, a tight lidded container for sugar, for flour, for cookies, for pasta, etc. All these match, in various sizes, so my pantry has a nice put together look to it and it’s very easy to see when I’m running low on something.
  • Evaluate just how many of something you need. Do you have 42 different coffee mugs (you know, those ones that you got as a giveaway at the bank, at the health fair, or the ones from a company you worked at 6 years ago, etc.)? Does anyone really need all those? Toss all but about 12 of your favorites or those that have sentimental meaning to you. This declutters your kitchen cabinet and allows you more room for the stuff you DO actually use. The same holds true in all areas of your life – some of the biggies are the underwear drawer (are you ever going to wear the pink leopard print thong again, seriously?), the sock drawer, the t-shirt drawer, etc.)
  • Take a look at your CD collection. Do you ever listen to most of what is in there anymore? Even if you can’t bear to part with them, you might think about getting a large CD wallet for them and trashing the jewel cases. This will take up SO much less room, and if you do it in an organized manner, the CDs will still be just as easy to find when you do want to listen to that old Bell Biv Devoe CD from back in the day.
  • Set up a landing pad nearby whatever door you come in in your house (front door, door from the garage, etc.) This space should have a place to put the mail, your keys, your purse, and anything else you typically have with you when you come home. If you always put it there, you will always know where it is. Sounds simple, but sometimes simple is the best solution. Hang hooks on the wall near that door – one for each member of the family, that they can hang their backpack, purse, baseball cap, etc. on.
  • Have a junk drawer (or two) in your kitchen? Just because it’s a junk drawer doesn’t mean it has to be a mess. Pick up a couple drawer organizers from the office supply store, and sort your junk. You might find that you have multiples of the same item and can get rid of some (I believe last time I cleaned out my junk drawer I found five tape measures, which truthfully is about four too many.)
  • If you find that clutter tends to collect on every flat surface of your home, put something decorative in those spaces. For example, if the kids are always throwing their stuff on the coffee table, put a pretty candle arrangement or a nice fruit bowl there. Give them a small basket in the laundry room or on the stairs that they can throw their stuff in. Naturally this stuff should be taken upstairs with them to their own rooms whenever the basket is full.
  • Check out Flylady, if you’ve not heard of it. She’s got a ton of ideas on decluttering and cleaning your home.

So that’s it for today. I will be the first to admit my house is very rarely spotless, and I would contend that it may never be, with a husband, two kids and five furred creatures, but at least I know where stuff is!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Big Brother

Okay, really, I could not be more hooked on this show. And unlike the entire house, and most of America, I actually liked Rachel. I know, I know…but seriously, a strong chick that has a brain and wins competitions? I dig that. But now that she’s gone I’m torn. Kind of pulling for Brendan, but at the same time think he might be a bit psycho. I’m glad he won HOH, though, so he at least has another week cause I know Rachel will be happy to see someone other than him come through the door at the Jury house.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Comparison Shopping

I LOVE working as an independent director for Thirty-One. I adore our products, and I love that there is really not much in the way of competition in the field for our products. If anything, we most often get compared to Vera Bradley, as far as the look and feel of our bags. Having never owned a VB bag, I have been meaning to check out their items for awhile now, and in the spirit of procrastinating both grocery shopping and my workout, today I have done just that. I have to say, they do have a couple cute things, but I can’t believe how much more expensive they are than Thirty-One. A couple relatively close comparisons, size and functionality wise:

VB Hipster – $58


Thirty-One Organizing Shoulder Bag – $39

So for a third less in price you can get a cute Thirty-One bag that’s within 1/2 inch size-wise, AND get it embroidered with your name or initials. Let’s look at another one.

VB Baby Bag – $125


Thirty-One Cindy Tote – $68

These ones look almost identical, both in size and fabric, even. But Thirty-One’s version is half the price, and again, you can personalize. Did I mention I love my company!? lol. One more…

VB Messenger Bag – $84


Thirty-One Messenger Bag – $38

Once again, dimensions within a half inch of each other, but price miles away. AND, one of the things that makes the Thirty-One Messenger Bag a particular favorite of mine is that the entire front flap of the bag zips off completely and is reversible, so when you buy it, you automatically have two looks, and can buy additional reversible flaps in other designs for $10 each. Meaning that for the price you’d spend on one VB Messenger Bag, you could have the Thirty-One Messenger Bag with a total of 5 flaps for 10 whole new looks for your bag! Hell, personalize one for every day of the week at that price!

Alright, so now that I’ve done my research, I do totally get how people compare Thirty-One to VB as far as style goes, and I’m thrilled to see what a great value Thirty-One is for the price, esp. in comparison.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Not just the butt of a cat

My daughter went on a picture-taking spree throughout the house. This is something she does fairly regularly, and thus far she’s not proven to be the next Ansel Adams.

The turtles, in their tank (capturing the almost wildlife, maybe)

A ceiling fan, as seen from far below (this one could almost pass for artistic)

An attempt at a self-portrait

The cat, running away as she tried to take his picture (apparently he’s a little camera shy)

The only furry critter that would sit still long enough for her to snap a picture

I WILL sit still long enough for a picture, but only if one of the kids are taking it (now that’s love!)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Another Giveaway

I am participating in a Blogmania giveaway on the Little Yaya’s site. One lucky entrant will win a $25 gift certificate to be used on my site.
There are also Blogmania giveaways from Votre Vu, Bellabeads, Partylite and many others. Read more and see how to win here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I’m back

Not that I was ever technically GONE, just busy. Friend in town, working my business, lots going on. Even though I was, in fact, home the whole time, I still feel like I have a billion things to catch up on, and like I kind of need to get into my routine all over again. Nothing ever seems to be a seamless transition for me. But that’s okay, it’ll all get done eventually, right?

Sunday, August 8, 2010


I have a friend in from out of town, so I might not be around too much (at all) for the next couple days.

Take care, blog world. I’ll be back.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Any Day Now…

Any day now I will pull the weeds that have sprouted up around the pool.
Any day now I will clean out the kitchen cabinets and get rid of the 6.2 billion cups, glasses, mugs and containers that we haven’t used since we moved in 9 years ago.
Any day now I will go through the papers in my “to do” pile.
Any day now I will update the kid’s birthday books with the last two years of birthday pictures.
Any day now I will follow through on my threat to take away half my daughter’s toys if she doesn’t clean her room (gee, wonder where she gets that).
Any day now I will actually organize the pantry so we can perhaps actually eat some of this insane volume of food we have.

What’s on your Any Day Now list?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Biding my time

You know how you get an idea in your head and then it kind of nags at you over and over until you do it. I’m currently suffering from that very affliction right now over my kitchen chairs. I HATE my kitchen chairs.

They are beat to hell.

They need to be, at the very least, repainted.

Ideally they need to be replaced.

And yet, I cannot possibly act on this right now. Why not, you ask. Well, for the simple fact that if I were to do anything with them now, they would just get ruined all over again. Such is the life of the mom of the Moose. See, the vast majority of the problem is that they’ve been chewed on. Badly. By a certain puppy in his teething phase. Which yes, he has technically grown out of the teething, but not of the chewing. Not yet. I’m hoping soon. In the meantime, I wait. And suffer the fact of having to look at the damn things every day and think about how much I hate them.

I’m thinking once he hits a year, that might be the magic number at which I can safely replace the chairs and move on with my life. That’s not until December, mind you. So I’ve got a lot of waiting ahead of me. If only I could be the type of person who could just let this go. But I’m not. So I continue to obsess.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Weekend Getaway

Looking to get away from it all for the weekend? Here’s a bundle I’ve put together featuring all you need for a quick get up and go weekend.


This bundle features four of our hot new products from the fall line: The City Weekender Tote in Black Pocket-Full-of-Posies print, our Clear Liquid Travel Pouch in Black Tailored Strip (so much cuter than a ziplock bag, and better for the environment, too!), our Pull Apart Cosmetic Bag in Onyx Medallion print, and a Luggage Tax in Onyx Blossom.

Purchased separately, these would retail for $130.50. Purchase them through me via email at and mention that you saw the bundle on this blog, and get them for $105. AND August is $1 embroidery month, so make them uniquely your own by adding your name, initials or message for just $1 per item. Ask me about additional coordinating pieces that are also available!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A post about why I didn’t post today

Today’s lack of blog posting has been brought to you by the fact that I didn’t have an internet connection most of the day. Had email, no problem. Just not any sites. None. Not good. Also don’t understand that. The lessons I have learned from this experience are as follows:

  1. I should not assume that someone, somewhere is “working on it” and that it will come back in it’s own sweet time.
  2. I will have to be transferred no less than three times when calling support. Each time I will need to tell them who I am and why I am calling.
  3. When attempting to reset the router, you have to plug that back in before the hub, or nothing will work. Seriously, people, am I supposed to just KNOW this?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Beach, anyone?

Now that summer is at it’s hottest, who doesn’t love a trip to the beach to get some rays and enjoy the water? Thirty-One has some great must-haves for beach going, and with our new prints that just launched yesterday, the options are better than ever!

IMG_0563Pictured here are our Large Utility Tote in St. Andrew’s Garden fabric, Picnic Thermal Tote in St. Andrew’s Tartan, and Mini Zipper Pouch in Floral Fanfare. With just these three items, you can pack up for a day at the beach, without having to haul the whole house out of your car. The Large Utility Tote easily hauls your towels, beach toys and accessories, while the Picnic Thermal Tote will keep your drinks and snacks cold all day – just add a couple ice packs before you leave the house and you’ll be good to go. And the Mini Zipper Pouch is just the place to put your cell phone and keys (you know, those things you DON’T want in the bottom of your bag covered in sand when the day is done).

These are each available in several different patterns, and all can be personalized with your name, initials or message for just $6 per item. View the complete collection in my online catalog.

Regular retail on this three piece set would be $68, but order by email and mention you saw it here on the blog and I will give you these three pieces, in your choices of fabric colors, for $55.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Evolution of a Moose

Our sweet, not-so-little puppy Moose is 8 months old today! Commemorated in pictures…

At three days old

At three weeks old

At two months old

At three months old

At four months old

At five months old

At six months old

At seven months old

Today, eight months old