Wednesday, March 31, 2010

On Breakfast Foods and Meal Planning

Tonight was low-key. Hubs had his last bowling night of the season (thank you!), and Peanut and I spent the day hosting a little egg-dyeing party. We were pretty tired.

Around 4:30 I decided that we would just have bowls of cereal and fruit for dinner. And I decided that if I didn't have a cup of coffee I would not make it to bedtime.

And then I remembered Amanda posting this nommy little recipe yesterday. So I told Peanut we would also have a little treat with dinner. He may be his father's twin, but he is momma's boy - he excitedly said "Chocolate?!" Yep, little one, chocolate is generally part of momma's treats :)

So we ate.

And then, while catching up on some of my favorite blogs I noticed that Laura planned her entire month of dinners for April. What a fantastically freeing concept!

Instead of dreading meal planning every Monday, I can just do it once and get it done! I can;t believe it never occurred to me before. So simple, but so wonderful.

So tomorrow I think I will focus on planning meals for April, and I'm also going to start planning meals to cook for the freezer so that I'll feel a bit more prepared about the impending arrival of Bun (nine weeks to go!).

Do you have a goal for April 1st?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

future aerospace engineer?

Lately we have been all about rockets.

All day long I hear "3,2,1 Blast off!" And then I usually hear "CRASH!!!"

Crashing is fun, don'tyouknow.

I have been trying to teach JJ that it isn't "blastoff," but rather "ignition." See, I totally remember something from Space Camp - Mom and Dad, consider that money well spent :)

And while I was caught up in the vocabulary, JJ was busy building his own rocket:


See the trailer on the back? That is the rocket boosters. After "blastoff" the rocket flies very briefly and then the boosters detach and fall to the ground. We're not sure where he learned that part, but we think it's pretty fabulous.

Monday, March 22, 2010


On Saturday morning hubs and I dropped Peanut off at a friend's house.

We had a hot a garage sale ;)

Last week when I dropped off my donations for the church rummage sale I spied a ton of furniture. I figured it would be a great place to check for a dresser for Peanut's new room. I wanted something cheap (less than $40) with no particle board. I'd been stalking the local GW, but kept coming up empty handed.

We showed up early and the doors were already open (and it was a madhouse). We kept going down the row of furniture, but nothing caught my eye; I was begining to get discouraged.

And then we saw this:

yep, that's a terrible picture of a beat up dresser

And then I saw this:


Now it's sitting in my garage ready to be sanded and painted!

I'm linking this up to the Thrifty Treasures party
at Southern Hospitality - come check it out!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

be prepared

you never know when a tsunami may hit

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Time to Confess

It seems inevitable.

No matter how hard I work at getting rid of clutter and unloved items, there is a constant influx of STUFF coming into my home.

Last week it was freebies (at least no $ headed out) - books, toys, baby hangers, a shelf (I actually found something with potential on my CL!). I can, and will, use everything - but I can't help feeling that as much as I work to de-clutter, the clutter keeps following me.

I really think it's stalking me.

Should I file a restraining order?

How do you control the clutter bug?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

how about....

We all get together at the Detroit Zoo sometime in late April/early May?

We had a really nice dinner at Sangria, and AJ mentioned to me that she wants to set up a Zoo day, and I said I was thinking about that too!

Who's interested in a day at the zoo? Would you prefer April or May?

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Little More Cleaning

Installment 2 of the "Throw out 50 Things Challenge."

Check out Episode 1 :)

It's really easy to let go of things when I know they will support a great cause. An upcoming church rummage sale is a great reason for me to get rid of a bunch of extraneous "stuff" I have lying around.

Tomorrow I'm heading to the rummage sale drop off with:
11. cookie jar
12. bag of potpourri
13. a bunch of unloved cook books (hooray for more shelf space!)
14. random, hand-me-down metal stand
15. old TV (from my dorm days)
16. old VCR (also from the dorm)
17. bag of random kids videos (no VCR = no need for VHS tapes)

I threw out:
18. handful of expired medications/toiletries

Listed on CL:
19. old yarn stash (time to realize I can't possibly knit all of it, and it is taking up some major closet space)

On Sat I donated this to my favorite little Cub Scouts' Food Drive:

yep, that's some random food

20. bag of random pantry food (for some reason I always buy Hamburger Helper when it's on sale, even though we NEVER eat it, the same with the microwave popcorn and Cream of Shrimp soup - I should not be allowed in the grocery store while pregnant)

I'm working hard to get up a second list for this week so that I'll finish before the end of the month. I'm thinking that cleaning out the china buffet and hall closet should more than fill 10 more spots. And I have a really fun guest-blogger writing a post about clutter in other cultures. I'm excited for it! I think it'll make you stop and think about future random purchases.

Keep on De-Cluttering, it feels so good!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

a reminder

I don't always look like I've been on a 12 year bender.

singing to the birthday boy

J and JJ aren't too shabby, either ;)

A Plan for my Entryway

A month ago I shared my entryway decorating dilemma, I also said I would share my ideas for how to address the space.

But I lied. I never shared my ideas.

Because I was waiting for Amanda's totally cool Show Me The Progress Party. And it's finally here! ( I wish there was cake involved. sigh.)

I got some awesome feedback! Thanks everyone, your comments got me thinking!

Let's start with the Big, Bad, Blank Wall.

There were quite a few votes for turning this space into a photo/kids art gallery. I'm not opposed to the idea, but I have plans to do that in the hallway connected to the entry. Kendall read my mind with her suggestion of the Samantha Collection from PB. My husband is currently building me the shelf (and for a lot less than $229, thankyouverymuch). I think it'll look great and be the perfect place to stash our cell phones and keys, and I know I can find some super cute hooks to add to the bottom.

Unfortunately the bench won't work as there is a register in an awkward spot on the floor :(
What will work is a smaller, open bottom bench. I'm trying to thrift one, and then maybe recover the seat with burlap and a fun number stencil. And maybe some black ball fringe, because that just sounds fun. And I'm going to try to make a small boot tray to stash under the bench, but not block the register. I'm thinking a cheap baking sheet and some spray paint...

Meg read my mind and suggested the umbrella stand project from Little Green Notebook. I loved the idea when I saw it, but never thought I had a good place for it. Now I'm pretty sure it would look excellent next to the skinny window. And it'll be the perfect spot for a monogram.

Let's move to the front door wall. It was a snore-fest.

Big time.

A few suggested I paint the basket, but I paid a lot of money for it back when I though that Longaberger baskets were more important than groceries (I've since moved on to expensive hand bags). So no paint, but I'm happy to report I ditched the wretched silk greenery. I realized I had a little copper tag with our family name that came with the basket, so I attached that to the front. It still looks like it's floating in a sea of nothingness. I do have a few more baskets I can hang next to the door to fill out the wall there. And above the door, I'm planning on adding a wall decal (potentially on a hunk of MDF as we will be painting the walls soon (hopefully)). I was thinking of these cute birdies in all black.

And then there's the floor. I had been thinking of making a very rustic styled (so that it can get dirty and fade, etc) floor cloth from a drop cloth. Amanda also suggested it, so now I'm sold :) I'm thinking a black/white harlequin pattern would look nice.

That's it. My plan, influenced by all of you :) Thanks!

Also, thanks for all of the nice comments on the buffet in my entryway. It's an antique from my great-grandmother's home in Detroit (which, like most of the city, is no longer there). It has some issues, but one day I'll have it restored, I'm pretty attached to it. I also have the matching dining table with a super cool barrel base - Mimi (my great-gram) used to hide her booze and money in it! Isn't that a hoot?!


Sometimes I wake up beautiful.

And sometimes I look like Ozzy Osbourne.


It's nothing coffee can't fix :)

Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Cleaning it out!

Inspired by my good friend Heather (we went to college together!), I'm going to complete the "Throw Out Fifty Things Challenge" for the month of March. Here's a brief summary of the challenge. Heather originally found the idea at Make Under my Life.

Having rooms in transition makes it really easy (and necessary) to get rid of a lot items. Currently, the very large closet in my former office is full of the remnants of a home business I used to run. Since the business is now closed, and a little boy will need space for toys and clothes, everything needs to go! I started the task last week, and was happy with how successful I have been (although there is still a ton of stuff to get rid of!). I also went through my closet, and pulled a few random items from the den.

Here's my list:

1. box of kitchen knick knacks (I listed them on CL twice, with no interest - now they are going to the church rummage sale (next week))
2. giant stack of magazines (freecycled)
3. old business supplies (listed on Ebay and sold for $25)
4. old business inventory (listed on Ebay, the auction isn't over yet, but there are bids - so everything will be leaving!)
5. business samples and a large sample binder (sold on CL for $10)
6. clothing (took it GW)
7. couch from the den (sold on CL for $50 - it was picked up on Sat.)
8. old pet supplies (the guinea pig died in Sept, the Humane Society was thrilled to have a few bags of food and bedding)
9. frog pod, baby bathtub organizer thing (super cool, but we couldn't get it to work at our house :( someone bought it on CL for $10)
10. wine rack (my sister was happy to have this)

This has opened up a lot of space already, and I have $95 in my pocket!

Who wants to join in on the challenge?

heading to the D

I have pics from the birthday extravaganza, and stories of a pregnant lady who spends her time trying to corral an extremely active 2 year old - but those are for another time.

I've got some business to attend to.

I will be in Detroit this weekend! And the best babysitters EVER (AKA Grammy and Papa) have graciously offered their services for Sat night so that I can go out to dinner with my Detroit girls :)

Hooray for Grammy and Papa!

Leave me a comment or send me an email ( if you'd like to get together and I'll be sure to get you the info. I'm thinking maybe dinner at Sangria in RO? Any other suggestions?

Alternatively if you want to meet during the day Sat or Sun I'm game for that (just know that JJ will be in tow). We want to see our friends!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

bits and pieces

I have two big Thank you's! and one reminder to take care of.

I'll start with the thanking :)

Casey at Thrifty Little Blog featured my humble little closet cleanup in her Closet Week wrap-up post. I sent her my link knowing that she wouldn't have room for it, so I was super surprised to see my messy closet on her post. Thank you Casey! I puffy-heart your blog!

Danielle at The Newlywed's Paradise recently gave me a fun blog award! Thanks Danielle!!! I really enjoying reading about what's going on at your home!


I'm supposed to share ten things that make me happy, so here goes:
1. Hubs and Peanut (and Bun - whose arrival is getting closer and closer!), it just wouldn't be my little house without my little family :)
2. Getting random emails from my friends (but not forwards - blahh forwards!)
3. Waking up to a clean kitchen
4. Waking up to a clean kitchen and then eating donuts!
5. Spring!
6. Finishing a project, and being happy with the results
7. Getting comments on my blog!
8. Getting rid of clutter
9. Pens that write nicely, even if they were free from a hotel
10. Organized spaces

And here's my reminder:

Amanda's "Show Me The Progress Party!" is on Wed!
So get your post together!

This is going to be so fun :)

Thursday, March 04, 2010


The birds have begun returning to snowy Ohio, and we're doing our own little migration dance in my little house.

My office has moved into the den (previously the "dead furniture room"), and my former office has begun it's transformation into Peanut's big boy room.

former office/guest room
(in the lower right you can see some of the sofa bed)

We never really did anything with my old office, the plan was always to make it a child's bedroom, so when we moved in we just plunked my old desk (3 stock cabinets and 11 feet of counter-top) on a wall and called it good. Not very inspiring, but I had a great work space and plenty of storage.

Once Peanut arrived we moved a sofa bed (Ektorp from IKEA, AKA the world's heaviest couch) in, so that the former guest room could become a nursery. And we always had a loose plan of turning the dead furniture room into a real den/guest room.

brand new command center

We chopped the counter-top and lost a cabinet - both will be donated to our new Re-Store next month! Hubs needs to drill a new hole for the wiring thread though (and then we need to corral it - do you see that knot of wires under the desk?!). And I obviously need to do some organizing. But it's sort of usable right now, I guess the most important part id that it is one item checked off of the list.

Later this weekend the sofa bed will be moving into the den and replacing an old hand-me-down sofa (sold it on CL). After that we will be painting Peanut's room a manly tan (I'll share a mood board later!). And then moving in furniture, accessories and one cute little boy :)

It feels so good to check off the list!

What's going on at your house right now?

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

How do you...

How do you donate?

I'm not talking about monetary donations, I'm wondering how you decide what/when/where to donate items you are no longer using.

I've got a little system.

I call it "The Bag."

I always have a used shopping bag, with a sheet of paper inside, hanging on a hook in the hall closet. As I find articles of clothing, knick knacks, and general stuff that I no longer love, I put them in the bag and inventory them on the piece of paper. When the bag is full I drop it off at the local GW. It's super easy because I already have a list of items I am donating, and I generally make a weekly stop at my GW. I always ask for a receipt, which I staple to my donated items list and file in the taxes file (then I let Hubs handle it).

putting items in The Bag

Sometimes I will list things on CL before I donate them - anything that requires me to have the GW truck stop by is listed first. Unwanted craft supplies are always listed, and so are items that I think the GW will have a hard time selling (like the sweaters that I felted and decided not to craft with). But I have a CL rule, I will only list the items twice, after that they leave my house. I also never list clothing - I don't know why not? Just a quirk.

How do you Donate? or Do you donate?

Information on donating to Goodwill.
iPhone app to help you track your donations.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

guess what?

Chicken butt.


I'm at 27 weeks today, which means only 13 weeks left to get everything ready for Bun. I feel like we need to kick it into warp speed. Which is easier said than done with JJ running around. It's almost noon, and I've only managed to get him into a clean onesie and diaper so far.

The child who usually tells me his toes are "cold and sad" as soon as I take off his dirty socks is happily running around in underwear. And I keep the house cool, because I like to wear sweaters but hate to sweat. Go figure.

So anyway, this past weekend we headed up to Muskegon and I threw JJ a little party for his family there. And, although the invites clearly stated "no presents, please," he really raked it in. So add thank you notes to my list of things to do today:

1. get JJ dressed
2. sweep and mop the kitchen (and let JJ help) - I DID THIS!!!!
3. thank you notes, complete with 2 year old scribbles

blowing out the candles

This weekend we're having a party here, and my side of the family and some friends will be coming in for it, and since he's two I decided JJ could have two friends over - I think they were impressed by the dump truck invites!

We've also begun the great migration.

The office desk was chopped in two and moved to the den. I sold the old couch from the den (hello $50) and this weekend (when there will be many hands to help) the sofa bed will move from the office to the den, and then we will be able to paint JJ's big boy room. His new bed has been ordered, we're just waiting to have it delivered until after the room is painted.

And that's where we're at.