Fluffing Off the Excess

You know that feeling where you start to feel overwhelmed? Not just with out To Do List but life in general. Where things seem a tad bit out of control, or unbalanced. I am at this point. A very special 30th birthday for a friend, a very special 2nd birthday for my daughter, and this little thing they call everyday life has thrown off my game a touch.

The mountains of paperwork on my desk are about to fall down.

The DIY To Do list is getting a little out of control.

Attempting to plan a lunch date is looking like mid September.
My house is in serious need of a deep clean.

Did I mention we are potty training this weekend?

When things feel this way, I begin to look around me. And it is not looking good.

I am in need of a serious purge. Some organization and reorganization is past due.

There is something really amazing the effect of a clean space can have on your psyche. So I am dedicating this weekend to going through every drawer, every cabinet and having a gigantic Pre Fall Purge. 

I will be at home, and in the bathroom every 30 minutes, as it is. What a perfect time to de-clutter my living space in an attempt to re-balance my life.

Wish me luck?

Feb. Recap // March’s Project List

Can you believe it is March. I may be in denial. First part of the year is almost over! And barely any rain!

I have not been the best about keeping up on my goals but I am back in go mode so I think we will be seeing some real progress started! First a recap, then on to new challenges!

February’s Short List Progress Recap:

Tax Preparation for 2013. Done and Done. Look at me being all adult!

Picture Frames. From January and still NO new frames on the wall. Sad. Sad Day.

February’s Running List Progress Recap:

Babe’s Baby Album. Ugh. I can’t event talk about it. I want it done so badly but it is just NOT happening.

Bedroom update. I cleaned, does that count?!

Hoarder Room. We tend to through everything we want hidden into our office. Which then makes it not such a useable space. This has been an ongoing project to sort, organize and purge from this room! Oh- and decorate. It needs major decorating!

Blog Facelift. Okay, so I started a new blog. New name and everything. Feels more “me” or true to myself. But I can’t seem to make the transition over. Thoughts? Should I just live here and continue to find my voice? If you are eager to compare check out http://www.onmebecoming.wordpress.com and let me know your thoughts!

Health. I am super proud to share I am now a contributing author over at Beyond The Clothing! Which means not only do I need to focus on my health, I need to write about it! Yikes, but so exciting to be surrounded by a supportive, strong group of women! Please, please check it out HERE.

March Short List:

Order growth chart before the babe turns one and a half. Boom, check that off already! It takes two weeks to get here so we are missing our deadline a bit but at least it’s on order!

New Day Planner. Check! Look at me, ahead of the curve. But seeing as it is March and I am just now getting around to ordering one, that also makes me a bit behind. Details!

Switch Cable Providers: To none. Yep, that is right, our goal is to get rid of digital cable asap. We are spending way to much for a handful of shows. As long as I can continue to watch Pretty Little Liars when we are all good!

March Running List:

See all of the above. I feel like I have zero room to add anything new when these huge looming projects are still on my list. Things like “paint the bathroom” are going to have to wait.

What is on your To Do List?

Jan. Recap // February’s Project List

January’s Short List:

Organize all photographs from the babe’s first year. Done. Bam.

Clean out the Nursery. I have organized our binder (where I keep toy warranties, furniture instructions, medical bill summaries, etc.), cleaned out clothes and gave them to friends with babes, dumped old supplies and toys. So sad to see some of the baby things go but so nice to feel like I have a handle on all things Babe again!

Clean out my clothes. This really should be added to my running list. I have a hard time getting rid of clothes because you just never know when you may want that one black sweater again, or if those too big jeans may fit during the winter hibernation months. But I am consistently pulling out pieces and discarding them as I go, mostly to make more room!

Picture Frames. Ha. This has had zero progression. Oops. So much for harping on the husband!

January’s Running List:

Once pictures are organized, begin the babe’s baby album.Haven’t. Even. Started. Bad me.

Bedroom Update. Progress on this was halted during the flu sickness but should be picking back up after my trip. I am still trying to justifying buying 8 of these beauties. When I know I should be more practical and settle for these.

Blog Facelift. I hope ya’ll have enjoyed reading a bit more of my personal life; struggles, successes and what not. I have lots more planned for this year!

Keep up on my Health. Again- getting sick through a huge bump into this one. But we have started hiking again, both at work and at
February’s Short List:
Tax Preparation for 2013. Wow, I sound like such an adult! Scary.
February’s Running List:
Hoarder Room. We tend to through everything we want hidden into our office. Which then makes it not such a useable space. This has been an ongoing project to sort, organize and purge from this room! Oh- and decorate. It needs major decorating!

Seeing as January’s list still needs some attention and February is a short month (with two mini trips planned!) this is it. Wish me luck.

Project List // January

My To Do list in insane. Pages long. If I go over it I can usually remove 5-10 items that I either decided I no longer want to do or have actually done but then add at least 15 more. Time management isn’t the problem really- more like needing more hours in the day.

My attempt to break some of the more important tasks down into months is in hopes that I can finally get some of my projects accomplished. Of course some of the items will be things to accomplish throughout the year (running lists), quotes to remember, mantras to live by. Here we go!

January’s Short List:

Organize all photographs from the babe’s first year. This means cleaning out the blurry and making sure everything is dated and tagged properly.

Clean out the Nursery. Get rid of every item that is no longer in use that has zero sentimental value.

Clean out my clothes. I did attempted this recently. Then did laundry (I tend to let it pile up) and realized I still have WAY to many clothes. It is time to purge. Just because it fits and I wear it once a year is no reason to keep it.  Maybe a future blog or Instagram sale in in store?

Picture Frames. Harp on my husband to help me hang the 20+ picture frames (okay, maybe not that many) so I can begin deciding what pictures to have printed. I am more visual, I need to see how they look on the wall.

January’s Running List:

Once pictures are organized, begin the babe’s baby album. This is a running project because not only are there about 5 zillion pictures- I also plan on editing each one to bring out the best quality possible. This project has daunted me from the beginning. But it is time.

Bedroom Update. While we have made some small progress in updating the look and feel of our room, it needs help. I have big plans for shelves to be build, picture frames to be purchased, and bedding to be found. This will take time but I want to do it right.

Blog Facelift. Besides making this a more personal space for me to share how I try and live my life, I know it is time to make it a more beautiful space to visit. I have lots of ideas in the works but I want to make sure that I am staying really true to moving forward and not settling. I hope you will all stay tuned for things to come!

Keep up on my Health. I tend (like so many other moms) to put myself last. I am the last one to sit down to eat dinner and usually the first one to put down my fork. I drink one glass of water a day if I am lucky (SO BAD!). Since having the babe keeping up on my own health has become so much more important, as I feel it more then I used to. A coworker in kicking my butt up and down the hills on a lunch time power walk and I cannot tell you how nice it feels to have sore muscles again!

As you can see so much of this comes back to streamlining my life and gaining back the organization I used to live by. Some of these tasks seem so overwhelming but I know once I dive right in I will feel so much better!

Wish me luck!

12 Ways to Add Happiness to Your Life Right Now!

20130707-205407.jpg, happiness, 12waystoaddhappiness, lifestyle

I recently read a great article on ways to gain happiness over the next year. It was full of simple ways to change your lifestyle over the course of the year. But for me, I cannot stick to resolutions. I need instant gratification, plausible changes that I can make every single day. I was inspired by this wonderful article to list out simple changes we can all make today to promote a happy, healthy, full lifestyle. Work the below suggestions into your life right now, and see if a bigger smile is added to you daily life.

1. Cook Dinner at least 3 Times a Week

There is something that makes me really happy about cooking and eating my own meal. Once I get over the stress of figuring out what to cook, and who is going to run to the store, sitting down at the table with my family is one of my favorite ways to wrap up the day. With a little planning, aim to eat in at a minimum of three times a week. I will let you in a well known secret: There is nothing healthy about eating out. Cooking your own food is the best way to measure what you are putting into your body. Even the finest dinning establishments overload just about everything with butter. (There is a reason it’s that good!) Find a cookbook, a website, or the family recipe box and take the stress out of cooking. Planning a week ahead and making the trip to the grocery store prepared will help you achieve your goal.

2. Clean Out Your Closet(s)

I often find myself putting together a bag of clothes that I no longer wear only to stop myself. Well, I might wear that shirt again, find a top that looks cute with that skirt, need that 50th hoodie. And guess what, I never do. Same goes for the hall closet and kitchen cabinets. I find an excuse every time. Then each morning when I go to find something to wear, I am bombarded with a row of things I won’t even touch. It’s time to purge. If you have not worn it, used it, or needed it within the last 6 months, get rid of it (seasonal things are the exception). Don’t stop and justify why you should keep it, because you shouldn’t, and deep down you know it. Gain a little cash for new items and host a garage sale. Whatever doesn’t sell immediately take to your local Good Will or thrift shop. Repeat this process every six months, or as you notice items are starting to accumulate. Less clutter will result in less mess, which I can guarantee will put a smile on your face.

3. Get Organized

See item 2. Now take that a step further. We all get busy and counter space becomes storage space. Shoes are left on the closet floor instead of their boxes. Paperwork and mail liter the house. Baby toys are left where they are thrown. When our house is a mess, my husband and I are on edge. He is much more tidy then I am, and I can tell that a messy house annoys him. Which in turn makes him grumpy. When in turn makes me defensive. Which in turn puts us both into bad moods. Truth me told, there is time to clean up, if you make it a priority. I read not long ago that every time you walk out of a room take a item that needs to be put away with you. This is beyond brilliant advice! It makes cleaning up manageable, not so overwhelming. A “clean as you go” concept. Before you go to bed at night, make sure your main traffic area is clean. For us, our bar top receives the brunt of the damage. Before going to bed, taking two minutes to quickly clear it off means waking up to a fresh house. On the weekends pick one project to tackle. Organize old photos, make a binder of important information, dust the back room, set up a new way of storing your makeup, whatever it is that needs to get done that is not your usual household maintenance. Once you set up a way to be organized you will be amazed at how routine it comes.

4. Plan a Girls Day/Night/Lunch/Brunch/Trip

Whenever I go out with the girls I always go home thinking I need to do this more often. A simple coffee date, shopping trip, or a weekend getaway always leave me feeling relaxed. Your girlfriends know you like no one else. I know there are things I will share or say that I would otherwise keep inside. They give me advice, perspective and an outlet. They make me appreciate my own life as I reflect on it. We all get insanely busy, and we all have a lot on our plates, so planning ahead is key. And don’t cancel. Unless the sky is falling, try not to be the flake. We all have things come up but time is precious. Once you write it down on your calendar stick to it! You will never regret spending some bonding time with the ladies.

5. Get Active, Every Day

There is no excuse to not do something every single day that promotes a fit, healthy lifestyle. We make it a priority in our household to go for a family stroll every evening after dinner. Getting outside and stretching our legs for a quick walk helps settle our meal and gives us time to reflect on our day with little distraction. No time in the evening? How about on your lunch break? Hit a class at your local gym. Do it even if you need to leave early. Make going a part of your daily routine. Have 5 minutes before you hop in the shower? Get in a quick ab routine or yoga stretch. There are enough hours in the day to fit in some sort of activity, as small as it may be. You will feel accomplished, your energy levels will go up, and it will up put a smile on your face (and make the dimples on your butt vanish!)

6. Set a Budget

The number one thing couples fight about is money, so the study says. In my household, that is not the case, but I would say in my own personal top 10 stresses, money is one of them. My husband and I have very similar views on money, spending it and earning it. But still I stress over student loans, working full time verse being home more, and the balance of savings accounts. So I set up a budget on Mint.com to track where all my money is going. This is not to say I limit myself, not yet at least. But it is a way to see how I spend. I notice I was spending a lot of money drinking coffee and random food for lunch. So now when I am crunched for time I opt for the free cup at work and pack some snacks instead of walking to the store. I limit myself to $50 worth of new clothes a month. Sometimes I spend over this, other months not a dime. Once you get a handle on where you money is going, it becomes a lot easier to manage where you can cut back.

7. Make a Summer (and Winter) Bucket List

I feel like once again, summer is slipping away from me. I mark the downhill decent to fall with Fourth of July. Don’t ask me why, it just seems like once the fireworks hit, we are staring to wrap it all up. I know I need to be a better planner. There are so many fun, festive summer activities I want to do but time starts slipping by. So this year I am starting a bucket list. And I am taking it one step further and marking the calendar. (Found this lovely free printable here) I refuse to spend the end of the summer bummed that we never made it to the zoo! And the same can be done with winter. Don’t let the seasons pass you by!

8. Start those Pintrest Projects

I have about 800 pins on my personal Pintrest board. Some are inspiration, quotes, cute outfits, but a lot are recipes and DIY projects. It is time to stop pinning and get to it. We can easily live our lives as lookers, pinners if you will, but where is the fun in that? My goal is to attempt one new recipe a week and one project a month. What an amazing way to get out of a cooking rut and add some beauty to your home! I will be sure to update on my progress and share any amazing foods I discover as long as ya’ll do the same!

9. Make some “You” Time

I have always loved some good ole quality time with myself. But with a baby, a hubby, and a job there is very little “me” time in my day. So I gotta get in where I fit in (I think that is a lyric reference…?). I stay up late. The best solution, no, but it does work for me. Staying up an hour or so later gives me that little extra time to play online or watch my Pretty Little Liars obsession. I try to limit this to once or twice a week, as my husband and I like going to bed together. Find some time that you can fit in you! And don’t feel guilty about it. We all need to unwind and have our own list of things we would like to get done. Chill during nap time for a half hour, take a stroll on a work break, wake up 30 minutes earlier just to watch part of a movie. Whatever it is that gets you alone with you, make the time!

10. Be Passionate, Live Passionately

There is the passion we see in the movies (Hello The Notebook sex scene) and there is the passion we feel toward a certain non profit organization. There is no reason our lives should not be full of passion of all types. We should exude passion for the things and people we love. Never fear putting yourself or your passions out there. Find what it is you really care about and go for it, whole heartedly.

11. Soundtrack Your Life

Looking through my high school mixed CD’s titles were often “Summer Boat Mix” and “Break Up Mix.” With everything digital these days don’t leave the days of playlists behind. Create a mix that lifts your mood and gets you ready to conquer your day. Sunshine by Atmosphere is always number on my list. Something about the sweet beat makes me smile every time, regardless of a crappy mood. Music is a mood changer. Don’t let yourself wallow, when you are having a shitty day, pick yourself back up with your own personal mood changing melody.

12. Get Outside the Box

Put your phone down. Okay, wait, finish reading this, then put your phone down. We spend so much time checking in that we are really just checking out. Yes I know that this is the most overheard advice ever, but you aren’t listening to it, so I am saying it again. There is a time and a place for Facebook, Instagram, Pintrest, etc. It is not while driving. It is not at the dinner table. It is not while talking to someone. It is while unwinding at the end of a long day. It is while waiting in the doctors office. It is while you truly have nothing else is front of you. Make it a game. First one to pick up their phone pays for coffee. First one to update their status buys lunch. I love my social media as much as the next person, but I am learning to put my phone down and pay a little more attention to what is right in front of me.

Create you own version of Happy

No two lives are the same, nor should they be. The above are ways to spread some smiles, make life a little easier, and have some fun from time to time. It is what works for me, but that does mean that any of it is right for you. We all need to create our happiness, whatever that entails and whatever our own definition of happiness is. My hope for this list is a little inspiration to list your own plan of attack in putting a smile on your face right now. Because why stretch out something over a year that we can accomplish every single day?

Organization or Bust

I am trying so ridiculously hard to get organized. I love organization. I thrive off of organization. I may have a slight addiction to post it notes and other freshly opened packs of office supplies. However, if you look through, oh lets say my housepursecar you would probably come to the conclusion that I am ridiculously unorganized.

But it’s not my fault. Well, okay, it is. But I am a busy lady. Working mom on the go. Attempting to start a small business and work 40+ hours, and take care of home, hubby, and child makes for an interesting mess. (Did I mention I also make my own baby food, yea, I’m that mom.)

So I write lists. Lots of lists. Checklists, shopping lists, To Do lists… I keep them in my work notebook, my day planner, my iPhone. Sometimes these lists help, but mostly they add to the list of chaos. I kid you not one of the items I have jotted down is “Get chalkboard for kitchen” so I can make more household lists. This has to end!

I need to get organized. I have to get organized. My marriage and my sanity may actually depend on getting organized.

Step one for me is my day planner. I need to write things out, see it visually. I fell in LOVE with my  planner this year. She is dreamy, bright, happy. Everything and more you could possibly need in a day planner. She can be found here. (Yep, she is definitely a she isn’t she!)

Step two needs to be managing my lists. I feel like it may be time to go digital on this one. I have such a massive list of projects to get accomplished (not to mention a Pinterest page overflowing with ideas) I need to keep it together somehow, and find a way to manage it.

So I started a Springpad account. Downloaded the app everything. Now all my lists and ideas and notes can be in one solid place. Time to get shit down! Their motto is “Everyday life, better.” Hopefully my “Every which direction” life can get a little better!

Wish me luck! And if there is anything out there that helps you stay on top of it, please(!) share!