Cleaning Foyer and Dining Room (TRT)

Guess what!! I got those pictures for you. No one responded about whether they care or not, but I want proof that my house was clean. This seems the best way to do it. Without further ado - my dining room and foyer before and after:
Dining room before

Dining Room after (you can't tell, but I even hung some more stuff on the walls)

Foyer before

Foyer after

Of course now that I've been cleaning, LOML has decided to get in on the action and is making an effort to clean out his office (hurray!) However, in doing so he has come up with a huge pile of boxes he needed to get out of there. After a meeting last night, I came home to this in the living room:Ahhhhhh! He swears it will be out the door tomorrow even if I have to take it to work and put it in the dumpster there myself.

Moving on to some randomness - here's "Totally Random Tuesday"
  • Check out this guesstimation game. Basically, there's a bunch of stuff and you have to guesstimate how much. Total time waster, but addictive.
  • Wow, this firefighter tool is perfect as a zombie-fighting weapon. I soooo want one to keep under my bed in case of zombie attacks. I don't currently feel really well-armed and prepared.
  • Now, here's a game for you - it's a really hard maze game.
  • Greg Rutter's list of 99 things you should have already experienced in the internet. I haven't reviewed the whole list yet, but do know many of the ones listed. If you don't have time for it, I may share some of the best with you at a later time anyway, if I haven't already.
Lastly, I wanted to share this with you. In cleaning the kitchen I found this little basil plant kit I bought sometime last year. I went ahead and planted the thing. Look, look!! I've got a few sprouts. I hope it's basil. I'm just proud to know that I can grow something.
Maybe it'll stay alive. We'll see.

Weekend Rush (MMSM)

Weekends just fly by, don't they?
It's such a shame. They're the best part of the whole darn week.

The weather was supposed to be crummy all Saturday, so LOML and I (mostly I) got ourselves good and sloshed Friday night, only to discover that Saturday was a really lovely day. We didn't ruin it too much, just slept later than we would normally.

Once we rose from our alcohol-induced comas and had some breakfast, we were out the door to the pitcher plant bog for a hike and some picture-taking, to check out some property a few towns away, lunch, some shopping, and then home again. We covered so much of Baldwin County (largest county in Alabama), it's hard to believe.

Sunday was more simple - breakfast and then I was off to a meeting at my mom's house and then there the rest of the afternoon.

I really wish there was more to the weekend - more outdoor activities, more house-cleaning, more time. And, SOME crafting at all would have been great. It is what it is though, and it is over. Awwww. . .

So now, it's "Made Me Smile Monday." Let's get to it.
  • Here's the 5 ultimate office pranks. I personally don't think they're the "ultimate" or best, but they are pretty funny.
  • The Twittersphere has been revealed for what it really is. If you Twitter or simply understand twitter, you will get this. If you don't, you may not. Hubby got tickled when I showed him this video because as it was playing, it was having trouble loading because my twhirl (twitter client) kept interrupting it. Yeah, he was almost on the floor in stitches. He's not a tweeter.
  • This detention notice is pretty funny. Click on the link or picture to see a bunch of other exams and other school-related paperwork is at the bottom of the page that's also funny!!
  • You think you live in a bad neighborhood? This one must be have one heck of a neighborhood watch
I know I promised pictures of the clean dining room and foyer, but those have yet to be taken. I'll get to it if anyone is really interested. Are you?
I'm simply proud that over the weekend I did not allow the house to fall back into disarray. GO ME!!!
Until next time.

More Cleaning Done - Success! (FGF)

After all that moaning over my lack of motivation yesterday, I finally got some cleaning done.

It wasn't much - just the dining room and foyer. I even took some 'before' pics, but then it got too late (dark) to really get the 'after' ones. So I failed in that respect but am quite proud that the majority of the front of the house is done (superficially.) Both rooms required dusting, so I had to go through the process again to prep myself for the task. I'm happy with the results overall.

As far as the "front" part of the house goes - there's only the garage, sun room, and laundry room left to do the basic cleaning. However, there's NO WAY to get the garage and sun room done without the help of LOML. He's got a lot of stuff stored in both areas and some work to do on the sun room in order to make my work feasible. The laundry room, however, should be a breeze.

Now, it's Friday and I feel pretty good about what I HAVE accomplished. I'm trying NOT to think about the Craft room (saving it for last) and the HUGE, tremendous, overwhelming mess in there. So, let's move on, not think about it, and do some "Feel Good Friday" links:
  • After all the talk I've had on dust, here's some information on how to make your home dust proof (some of it sounds like a heck of a lot more work to me.)
  • Check out this slideshow on the 7 most effective exercises (with tips on the side.)
  • While getting my home in the shape I want, I've been contemplating my own shape. In an attempt lose weight and stay healthy (one small step at a time), I've been working on increasing my water intake. For the past three days I've had 16oz before my coffee and an overall intake of at least 32 oz each day. It's a start. And, it makes me feel good.
Hopefully, I'll get some more work on the house done over the weekend. Of course, I do have another meeting at my mom's house too. We'll see. In any case - it's a weekend and I'm gonna do my best to enjoy it. You do the same!!

Avoidance (ThTh)

I'm having a hard time getting motivated today to do the whole cleaning thing. In fact, I'm having a hard time getting motivated to do anything today, except take a nap. THAT actually sounds exciting!

Eh, I'm just tired. I helped with the nieces last night so my mom could meet with one of the committees. They were actually pretty okay. Homework was a breeze, dinner was a little bit of bargaining, then we CRAFTED!! I took over some of those velvet art things (you know, where you just color in with markers) and my step-dad just happened to have two packages of foam art Easter window decoration things. What a relief!! These two projects kept them quiet, calm, and out of the living room while the ladies met. After the girls were in bed, my mom and I talked for HOURS before I headed home. It was nice, but a really long evening.

Now, I'm just pooped. The running list in my head is shouting at me - "ORGANIZE the dining room, CLEAN the bathrooms, PICK UP the bedroom, OMG HAVE YOU FREAKING SEEN THE CRAFT ROOM."

So, to avoid all of that I'm writing a blog post. Yes, it's more relaxing than all those other tasks. Anyway, let's get to "Thrifty Thursday" while I decide what I feel like doing:Okay, I'm not sure how I managed that, but those are all food-related. Hopefully, some of you are looking to reduce your food bills or whatever, so hopefully this helps.

I guess I've avoided those other responsibilities long enough now, it's time to DO SOMETHING productive. Wish me luck!!

Spring Cleaning Begun (WWWW)

I was so ready to post yesterday, but I completely tired myself out because of something I said here on Monday.
After writing about how much I was ready to 'spring clean' I got nothing done at the house on Monday. This irritated me yesterday morning as I began to work. Since my workload was fairly low, I decided to just take some time to focus on my house instead. It seemed more pressing. So, I spent hours and hours cleaning the kitchen: the oven, microwave, sink, counter tops, baseboards, floor, etc. I also de-cluttered the counter tops. There are two areas in the kitchen that tend to be 'dumping grounds.' One is a large bar and the other is the small counter next to the fridge (just inside the kitchen.) Those two areas were the WORST!! I had to sort through paperwork, put items in different rooms, put crap away in the kitchen, and wade through the trash that had accumulated there. Here's the before and after of each area.
Kitchen Bar before
Kitchen bar after
Small counter before
Small counter after
I know, disgusting!! That's why it HAD TO BE DONE.

As soon as the kitchen was complete, I moved on to the living room. The biggest chore there was dusting. There's a reason for that - it's the chore I most avoid as I'm highly allergic to dust. Basic allergy medications have too many side effects for me to rely on them regularly. I've finally found a method that works. It's uncomfortable, but better than suffering with an allergy attack. Basically, I prep my nose with Chloraseptic Allergen Block Gel and a dust mask. Then, to dust, I use Pledge multi surface wipes (these have an allergy blocker built in.) I know this sounds extreme, but I've tried other products that are supposed to trap the dust as well as all of these methods in a variety of combinations. None of these other combinations have ever not resulted in a massive bout of sneezing, watery eyes, and a nap. This method worked. I was overjoyed - I can now dust my house without worrying about my health (at least not once the chore is complete.) So, with the massive dusting, some vacuuming, and a little picking up; the living room was complete. At that point, it was time to start cooking dinner.

Now, I will admit that I did not get to do all off the sorting and organizing I have intended for both of those rooms. In the kitchen, I want to go through all of the cabinets, the pantry, and the fridge thoroughly as well as sort though some of the items in the living room: movies, bookshelves, video games, and various other stacks. Yet, I want to get the basic, surface-cleaning done in each of the other rooms first.

I exhausted myself with these two rooms and fell into bed without getting to blog about my success. I'm glad I got two rooms done as I will not get any done tonight- gotta keep the nieces.

Well, let me stop blabbering and give you some "Wild, Wild Web Wednesday" to finish this post.
Before I let you off the hook, check out what my horoscope said today (keep in mind the cleaning I'm doing):
Your aesthetic senses are heightened right now, and all day long you will see ways to improve the space around you. Every drab room you see will spark your creativity and get your imagination working -- there should be some redecoration projects in your future. Take another look at your bathroom, bedroom, or kitchen and make some plans. Start sketching out your ideas. Pick up a few magazines for additional inspiration. Beautiful changes are coming.
Oh, the picture at the top is the glass star I bought at the Arts & Crafts Festival. Here's the whole window in the kitchen, which reminds me - that window needs to be cleaned too.

I'm out for now. Happy hump day!!

Weekend, Spring Cleaning, & MMSM

I am so committed to getting a post up today.
I have a list of topics next to me.
However, I'm not at all sure if you will be interested.
Let's see - I guess.

Let's start with the weekend -
Friday I was able to get some thrift store shopping done (for clothes) before heading out for Margarita Friday with LOML and then watching the final episode of Battlestar Gallactica. It's sad that it's come to an end, but there were some previews for a few new shows. One of which is a direct spin-off from BSG. Another might also be related.

Saturday was a meeting day at my mom's house. The girls (nieces) were disappointed that the plan to keep them engaged did not included Libby and her mom. Pawpaw (my step-dad) took them to the beach instead - the disappointment didn't last long at all.

Sunday, I actually got up and out the door by 10am to head over to the Arts & Crafts Festival that's held annually here in Fairhope. It's one of the many reasons I love living here, and I look forward to it every year. I didn't spend long there (a little over 2 hours), but greatly enjoyed looking at the other artists' work and talking to a few of them. My two favorite vendors were side by side and were both from Alabama (yay). The Festival is such an inspiration but also very intimidating. I did make one purchase (I do every year) of a clear beveled glass star for my kitchen window. I've already hung it and may post a picture later.
After I got back; LOML and I ran some errands, I did some cleaning and cooked dinner; then we went to bed.

It wasn't a terribly bad weekend. I woke up easily and thus in a pretty good mood this morning.

Now that spring has come, I really want to focus my energy over the next several weeks on getting my house and self organized and cleaned up.
I was able to start somewhat yesterday with a little kitchen cleaning and doing some laundry. This morning, I weeded through my e-mail inbox (much needed.) However, I really want to get into the Spring Cleaning fever and get the house (and everything else) totally in order.
If I try to tackle one area/chore each evening, it should only take me until. . .next spring. The whole house is a disaster. Of course, my definition of spring cleaning includes sorting through the piles, in the corners, behind cabinets and then scrubbing it all down thoroughly. In addition to the general cleaning, I want to get my meal planning and exercise routines back on track. The intensive cleaning may take care of the exercise portion, for now. Anyway, it's wishful thinking now that the beautiful weather is here.

Let's get on to some "Made Me Smile Monday"
  • This "barking cat" makes the same noise that my cat makes when she sees birds outside. I think that's exactly what this one in the video is doing too.
  • Check out this Disney/ Star Wars mashup. The Mickey-Yoda one is my favorite (those are my two favorite characters.)
  • talented dog/seal
  • More Jack Handy quotes:
    - "One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. 'Oh no,' I said, 'Disneyland burned down.' He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late."
    - "The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face."
    - "Is there anything more beautiful than a beautiful, beautiful flamingo, flying across in front of a beautiful sunset? And he's carrying a beautiful rose in his beak, and also he's carrying a very beautiful painting with his feet. And also, you're drunk."
I hope your Monday was better than you expected too.
Wish me luck on getting something accomplished at home.

Non-Intended Blogger Break (FGF)

I've been lousy this week. Feeling lousy - lousy at blogging - and even lousier at getting anything accomplished (haven't made dinner all week, haven't cleaned house, haven't logged in many hours at work, haven't really crafted even). I guess I needed a break from routine and my body made me take it.
Oh, I did other things:
Monday, I met with the new costumer for our Mardi Gras society;
Tuesday was St. Patrick's Day and LOML and I had dinner with some good friends;
Wednesday was dinner with some of my best friends and then drinks out with one of them; and
Thursday (last night) LOML and I ran some errands to pick up and take items to his sister and then his parents before going out for dinner.
I've had a headache almost all week and was not in a very good mood about it.
Sometime yesterday evening I started feeling better. The vice grip on my head released. Now, I feel like I'm ready to get some things done - start some spring cleaning (it is the first day of Spring and all), hop into the craft room and produce again, and generally be active.
However, my weekend plans are all but set in stone. Oh, there are intervals here and there without an agenda, we'll see how that goes. I'm still looking forward to it in any case.

I don't have much in the way of "Feel Good Friday" but here's what I've got:
  • These 101 easy home makeovers really are quick and easy fixes for a variety of rooms.
  • I'm ready for some new clothes and a bit of new style. I feel like I'm in a fashion rut. So, I've been browsing through wardrobe re-mix on Flickr for inspiration and am now pumped and ready to head to the thrift store.
That's all for now. Have a fabulous weekend where ever you are!!

Lots to Do (FGF)

I've been so busy (and thus worn out) and excited and busy this week that posting here just has not been feasible. My mom became the president of our Mardi Gras society on Tuesday and the whole week has been about that. We've been planning for this for years, now it's time to finalize all the plans, have the meetings, and start acting on the lists. I get tired telling you all this now.

Unfortunately, I had to tell LOML that he's pretty much lost me for a year. He'll have me back in full as soon as it's all over, but for now I need to devote time to help my mom. As far as this weekend, he gets me tonight and tomorrow. On Sunday, I need to keep the nieces out of the house while my mom has a meeting. Then she, her best friend, and I need to make some calls. On Monday, we have an appointment to start designing our costumes. HOW FUN!! But, busy. Next weekend doesn't have a lot of prospects for LOML to get much quality time with me either. Good thing he's got a few friends and lots of hobbies. I do feel bad though.

Let's go ahead and kick this weekend off right with some "Feel Good Friday"
  • These pictures of waves are so very beautiful, They make me want to head down to the beach, but it's way too cold even here to get in the water yet. It does make me happy that I live so close to the beach.
  • We all could use some rest, so here are 10 ways to get better sleep.
  • These time quotes, really help to put some things in perspective.
  • This is another one of those links that I couldn't decide if it belonged in Thrifty or Feel Good, but since it's a weekend guide and most of the ideas will make you feel good, it’s here - a thrifty guide to the weekend.
Now go on out an enjoy the weekend to the best of your ability.
I wanna know what your plans are. People, I need to know you're out there and I'm not just writing to watch my fingers on the keyboard - leave me some comments (PLEASE!!)

Great Weekend, Monday Blahs (MMSM)

Oh what a fabulously fun, busy, and then lazy weekend.
LOML and I got to spend almost all day Saturday with his best friend and some other friends at the beach. It was a really good time.

On Sunday, we were completely worthless. We went out to have an early lunch and then just lazed about the house. I picked up the craft room some (basically just cleared off my working surface) and then crafted for a bit.

I was able to get two blog posts up at my Fairy Creative site. You should go check out what I did with this (see below) as part of my "Making Do" series.
And now, it's the most horrible day of the week and I need some happy thoughts, so here, for your pleasure (and mine) is "Made Me Smile Monday"
  • babies can rock out too
  • yard work hoola hoop
  • cat herding (it's a commercial, but you only notice that at the end, otherwise it's awesome)
  • Lastly, I've been saving this PILE of Jack Handy's 'Deep Thoughts' quotes and just need to go ahead and share them. Enjoy!
    - “If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten lava, let'em go, because, man, they're gone.”
    - “If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.”
    - “To me, it's a good idea to always carry two sacks of something when you walk around. That way, if anybody says, 'Hey, can you give me a hand?' You can say, 'Sorry, got these sacks.' ”

That's all for now. I hope your Monday was a good one!! If not, I hope this made it just a tiny bit better.

The Weekend, Winning, and Some Inspiration (FGF)

Can you tell yesterday's post was written in a rush? Boy, that was awful. I do apologize. I was in a rush to try to get that post up while dinner was cooking.

I don't really have much to say today other than: I'm glad it's FRIDAY and the weekend will be nice.

I forgot to tell y'all that after I posted last Friday I got some good news. I won a copy of "Button It Up" by Susan Bean from Susan herself on her West Coast Crafty Blog. In fact, she's going to sign the book to me before sending it. I can't wait!! I've got so many buttons and need some inspiration on what to do with all of them (especially since I don't really sew.) I can't wait to get my copy of "Button It Up". Be sure to check back 'cause I'll be posting more about getting the book, my buttons, and any projects I do.

Plans for the weekend continue to excite me as does the prospect of Margarita Friday. Therefore, "Feel Good Friday" is in full swing!!!
  • In a perfect world (kindness)
  • All that doodling I did in college and even in meetings during my last job did have a purpose. I did it to stay focused on the class/ meeting/ speaker. NOW they find that it really works. HA HA - I am smarter than I act sometimes.
  • Here's some inspiration for designing your own creative space. Most of these are "fabric artists" (those who use a sewing machine expertly), but the spaces are beautiful and definitely inspiring.
  • art music video
Don't forget that it's daylight savings this weekend - we "Spring Forward" an hour. That means while we lose a single hour, we get more daylight after work!!! Hurray, more beach time in the afternoons.

Well, I'm ready to head into the craft room now if it weren't for the dang paying work that I have to do first. Y'all have a great weekend.

Funny Girls (ThTh)

Not much more has been accomplished on the Etsy adventure. I was able to verify my PayPal account and find some how-to's that I need to review. Other than that, Nada.

I did have a night with the nieces last night and, boy, was that an adventure. It started a little rough as the youngest (Miss Pirate) was in a foul mood but hilarity soon ensued. Following dinner, the oldest (HRH) and I were working on homework when this entered the room:As soon as I started snapping pictures, hilarity ensued.
When homework was done, the fun continued as Miss Pirate began to sing "This Little Light of Mine" while showering. She sang for the entire shower. It was awesome!!!

Moving on. . . It's "Thifty Thursday" so here we go:Guess what? Tomorrow is FRIDAY - Hooray! It's supposed to be a beautiful weekend here: sunny and in the mid-70's. LOML's best friend will be in town and his plans include drinking at the beach. Works for us!!
That's all for now. Later gators!

Getting Started - One Step At a Time (WWWW)

Do you ever get so frustrated that you just can't make a decision? I'm not sure that's the best way to express it, but it's coming out that way.

Yesterday I could not even THINK about work. The task that I had to do from home was absolutely non-inspiring. I did my morning routine - check e-mail, read industry-related articles and blogs, etc. But then. . . I hit a wall. I did NOT want to move forward onto focusing on a client. Instead, guess what I wanted to do - guess. If you've been hanging here long enough you should know the answer.

I wanted to focus on being creative and pursuing the desire to do that full time. So, instead of working, I created a banner for my Etsy shop. There's still nothing in the shop - and I'm waiting for my paypal account to get set up - and my To Do list for this whole venture seems to grow by the minute. I cried a little to LOML about my frustrations, but he offered no solutions, just the suggestion to move forward, do SOMETHING. So, the banner was made. I like it, but I'm not in love with it. It may change some more now that I've had the time to get one made and focus on what I want. It's a step forward in any case.

So, I apologize for my absence yesterday, but my focus was elsewhere.
I'm here today, just in time for "Wild, Wild Web Wednesday."
  • Time magazine has this list of the 99 videos and websites that any self-respecting internet addicted geek has to see (and should have probably already seen) I haven't had a chance myself to review the list.
  • Now, there's a whole blog devoted to showcasing tacky weddings. Believe it!
  • This bring a whole new meaning to the term "shot" gun. It's products you definitely need to check out for your next party.
  • Check out the drawings by this one artist who worked as a waitress and sketched her clients. It kinda makes you re-think how you treated that server that one time.
Happy Hump Day!!

Crafty Update and the Weekend (MMSM)

First and foremost, I posted not one but TWO entries over at my Fairy Creative blog. One is a review of the crafts I did last week and another is the first of the "making do" series I contemplated on Friday. Let me know what you think. I've already had a few friends suggest that I open an Etsy shop. It's in the works, really!
The weekend was nice. No margaritas on Friday, but dinner with friends and then some Rock Band playing and homemade barley wine (sooooo good). It was fun.

I spent most of Saturday with my mom: helping her with some tasks for her upcoming term (if she's elected as expected) as President of our Mardi Gras Society. There's still more to do, but much of it cannot be completed until after the election later in the month. My nieces were at her house and they decided to try to hand sew. I had to show both of them the basics (quickly) and let them just go for it. I was then interrupted ALL AFTERNOON to tie knots, thread needles, untagle thread, and un-sew (quite a few) stitches as the oldest decided to try to embroider with her sewing machine thread. I explained repetedly that embroidery thread would be a better choice for the task she was trying to complete. Unfortunately, I didn't have mine with me and she was intent on trying. What can I say, at least they got something from me.

Sunday was just for for me and LOML. We spent most of the day out and about. He needed some new jeans and we just wanted to be out of the house. Yet, it was too cold to really do anything outside. So, we went to the bookstore, did some shopping, and had lunch before heading home for me to play in the craft room. In the evening we went to our margarita spot for dinner. The waiter immediately offered to bring up two margaritas. He looked shaken when we declined. Hey, it was Sunday night. Who needs a hangover on Monday morning? They're already tough enough.

Well, if you are having a tough Monday (and even if you're not), here's some "Made Me Smile Monday" for you.So, that's all for now. I've a great big TO DO list going of what I need to do and learn to do in order to open my Etsy shop. If anyone's got any tips, ideas, or suggestions - bring it on!!

Winding down the 100DayProject

I awoke the other day with many thoughts about the 100 Day project and decided to jot them down here to share with you. Some of the bits I g...