Tuesday, August 13, 2013

5 REALLY GOOD Tips For Speed Cleaning

I have been SOOOOO behind (as I've already complained about in previous posts) putting the new house together, painting, unpacking boxes and whatnot... add to that my husband's slow recovery from surgery and a sprinkling of family drama and you've got yourself a girl who is completely behind in EVERYTHING.  WHY am I so fatigued and WHY is it so difficult to catch up?  Maybe I just needed a little R&R, a little "me" time to veg in front of the TV.  So off I went, remote control in hand ready to sit and veg except...... OH YEAH, that's right!  I'm behind on housework as well and the dang handprint someone left in the dust on the TV is suddenly a distraction that cannot be ignored.  In fact, its the only thing I can see when I look at the screen.  Time to clean, and clean I did!!!  In fact, I've never cleaned faster and I want to share my 5 tips to speed cleaning (plus a bonus).  And once I got started, a little burst of energy was a welcomed perk.

Pic courtesy of walmart.com
  #1)  Buy a Roomba!  YouTuber Malitose79 has the CUTEST video on a pretty inexpensive model (click HERE) and says EXACLY my sentiment about the Roomba.  "It vacuums for you!"  Let me tell you how freeing it is to be vacuuming AT THE SAME TIME you're dusting!!!  That is speed cleaning at its best when you're cleaning and not actually doing the work!!!

#2)  Set a timer.  No one likes to spend hours cleaning, but when you make it into a game its incredible how much you can get done.  So I set a timer and raced myself.  I wanted to see how much I could get done in 1/2 hour.  I spent about 5 of those minutes actually planning my attack.  First I turned on the Roomba, put a load of laundry in the washer and started dusting.  No joke, I got three rooms cleaned in the remaining 25 minutes and left the laundry for my husband to fold later that night.... GENIUS!

#3)  Do double duty.  When you're cooking, wash some dishes.  It is always recommended to clean as you go, so why not spend 10 extra minutes emptying the dishwasher while you're in there or clean a few extra dishes beyond what you're using to prepare your meal?  When you're in the bathroom getting ready, why not wipe down the sink or clean the mirror?  Doing a little something extra only takes a few extra minutes.  Maybe if I'm lucky, this little trick will become a habit for me.  Fingers crossed.

#4)  Have a cleaning hub.  I actually have a cleaning cart that I roll from room to room.  All of my cleaning supplies are always in one place and I don't have to run back and forth gathering supplies....think of the time you'll save not having to round stuff up!!!  On my cleaning cart is my broom, a large garbage bag, Swiffer duster, Mr. Clean Magic Reach telescoping scrubber, Rubbermaid Reveal mop and a cleaning caddy filled with Comet, Method All purpose cleaner, Home Tech polish for glass (this stuff is a miracle cleaner and leaves a see-through film on all glass/mirror surfaces that lets you clean with just water for 6 months), Pledge, paper towels, microfiber clothes AND.... Microfiber SOCKS.... yes, socks (wait for it).  If you don't have the resources for an actual cleaning cart, a cleaning apron does the trick as well at a fraction of the cost.  Make sure it has divided deep pockets in the front and loops on the sides to hold cleaning supplies to make your cleaning time efficient.

Pic courtesy of gearxs.com
 #5)  Fluffy Socks!!!  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE fluffy socks.  I reserve their use to warm my feet during winter, but fluffy MICROFIBER socks are WONDERFUL for cleaning.  Put a sock on each hand and go to town.  Women's World magazine says that using both hands to clean is the way the professionals do it and gets the job done twice as fast because you're using both hands.  The beauty of socks is that  you can still grab cleaning spray bottles without having to put down and then pick up cleaning cloths.... they are already on your hands.  This one is probably my favorite tip!

#6 Bonus)  Gather yourself for bed.  At the end of each night take 5 minutes to simply "pick up" from the day.  My husband ALWAYS leaves his socks in the living room so I make sure to pick them up on my way into the bedroom where the dirty clothes hamper lives.  Papers are cleared off of surfaces and dishes are placed in the kitchen sink (oh how I HATE the dishes that pile up in the living room!!!).  It is just a nice feeling to wake up to a clean looking house.  It also lays the groundwork for some faster cleaning when you don't have to take the extra step to pick things up.

I'm sure there are plenty more ideas out there on how to speed clean.  Please leave a comment if you have one.  I'm ALWAYS interested in ways of cleaning faster as I HATE CLEANING!!!!  Oh... and one more bonus for ya.  Here's a little video I found on YouTube on how to clean your bathroom in 3.5 minutes (click HERE).  Please note.... this only works if you already have a cleaning hub.

Whew...I'm just a tad bit closer to getting caught up!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Dealing With A Deep Pantry

Well... I am putting things together in the new house.  We've moved and I'm starting to find stuff in the mountain of boxes... unfortunately, my camera cord is not one of them!!!  So sorry in advance for the pics that are coming in the next few postings while I look for it.  But with Kevin's surgery over with and getting out of cramped quarters in the apartment, I'm finally getting my life back and into the swing of ORGANIZING the new home!!!  Needless to say, after such a long time of not posting, I have a few things to show you.  But I'm going to start with the pantry.

When we first purchased the house I had grand designs to turn this DEEP pantry into a step in-pantry by removing the shelving that is currently in there and replacing it with thinner shelving (going from about 20" shelves to 12" shelves).  There is nothing worse than a pantry that hides stuff because things get buried in deep shelving.  But after paying movers and buying window coverings and paying for landscaping, etc., the pantry was going to have to be dealt with on a VERY strict budget.  Luckily for me, the first step in my pantry make-over was already taken care of:  The Lazy Susans!!!

I've actually been utilizing lazy susans in my bathroom and craft room FOREVA!!!  And while we were living in that TEENY TINY apartment I was picking up extra lazy susans here and there  so that when we moved, that expense would already be handled.  And NOTHING handles getting into dark corners of a pantry with deep shelves like a nice lazy susan!!!  Because my shelves are so wide, the 16" OXO lazy susan works PERFECTLY!!!  Pictured is my collection of oil and vinegars.

Now I'm not sure, but I think THIS is just about the most brilliant storage solution that I've EVER come up with!!!  Not only are my pantry shelves deep, but so is the space BETWEEN shelves!  Anyone else have this problem?  I found neat baskets that suspend from the shelf above to create storage out of thin air!!!  Not only did this basket free up valuable real estate on my pantry floor (yes, my potatoes were in a bag on the pantry floor), but now my potatoes aren't touching ANYTHING in my pantry and have all the air they need until I use them!!!  Those awesome suspended baskets come in small and large sizes so I got a couple of each.

Now for the canned goods... I haven't perfected this yet, but this is what I have so far.  First thing's first.  I stock up on Cambell's Cream of Chicken, Cream of Celery and Cream of Mushroom soups for various holiday and party recipes so segregating (wow, that's a big word) those soups from the rest of my canned goods seems like a pretty good idea and the soda can dispenser I got from Home Goods fit the bill to perfection with a $5 pricetag!!!  Then I used an old three tiered spice rack I already had to display the rest of my canned goods. My family doesn't eat a lot of canned food, but if that should ever change, I'm gonna go to THIS baby:

So, here's my bottom line to "fix" my deep pantry... $60 for racks and lazy susans and $30 for the Closetmaid 18" Wall and Door Rack you see in the top pic.  I was originally looking at the Elfa Over The Door Rack from The Container Store, but that alone was going to put me over budget so I picked up the Closetmaid rack and it works like a gem.  The over the door hooks that came with the Closetmaid kit wouldn't work for my pantry door so I just screwed it into the door itself and it works PERFECTLY.   If you click on the top pic to enlarge you might be able to see how I attached it to the door.

That about does it.   My world is finally starting to come together.  I'm painting now, but will definitely have more fun pics to show on organization and decorating the new house.  I also promised to update you on the flower picture I altered.  I can't wait to show you where I put it!!!  It looks WONDERFUL next to the armoire!!!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

From Horse To Chameleon

You got it... ANOTHER house post.  The countdown is on for us to close on our new home.  I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED!!!  Of course I lay up at night designing and decorating my new home over and over plotting and planning every detail.  Of all the details, storage and "hiding spots" is always at the top of my list to keep my Chi flowing and my mind sane (well... as sane as it CAN be).  There is nothing that gives me greater joy in fulfilling all of that than an armoire.  This work horse does it all and wraps it in a beautiful package!!!

HELLO WORK HORSE!!!  Check out ALL that storage!!!  This gorgeous armoire comes with interior drawers and one exterior drawer accented with metal knobs.  This SOOOOO appeals to the decorator in me... that is SO my style!!!  This armoire also came equipped with an electrical outlet strip attached to the inside as well as a place to install a clothing rod:

And if you click on the second pic to enlarge it, you will see a panel in the back of the armoire that is perforated so that it can be "punched out" to accommodate a TV and entertainment components that can then be "hidden" inside this beautiful armoire when not in use.  There are also holes in the side to place pegs to install shelves (I removed the two shelves that came with so they are not pictured).  THIS THING IS BRILLIANT!!!  Seriously you guys, this piece of furniture is so attractive and so functional, I just can't think of anything else that could replace it.  This particular armoire is going to be used for clothing, but as my needs change so can this incredible piece.  Honestly, this work horse is really more like a chameleon, wouldn't you say???

Sunday, May 12, 2013

State of Alteration

HOW does someone leave her blog for so long and actually accumulate more followers???  You guys are WONDERFUL!  Thank you for all the kind words and emails I've received over the past few months!!!   I have not fallen off the earth.  I really am thinking of all of you... I promise!!!   Today I want to share probably one of the COOLEST alteration projects I've ever done, but first I want to share where I've been and what I've been up to because it plays a HUGE role in this project I'm sharing coming to fruition!!!  In a nutshell, we are buying a new home.

Welp... after months of working to sell the home we were in, moving into an apartment (that is screaming to get us on an episode of Hoarders), we are finally getting ready to call the newly built house our home.  Yes, I will have TONS of pics to share as soon as we close and get settled... God-willing we'll be leaving this apartment in three weeks!!!  All the female decorator cells I have in my body are buzzing in anticipation of the upcoming new-home decorating.  So, in preparation of that I got THIS:

Sorry about the pic quality on these pics gang... both "before" and "after" pics were taken with the camera on my phone, but here it is.  This painting was ALMOST the perfect art piece for my formal living room:  it was the perfect size in the perfect frame with the perfect content.... EXCEPT..... the peach flowers were NOT going to match my decor!!!  My living room is gold, brown and red and OF COURSE this artwork wasn't available in another color and was literally the last one in the store (possibly the only one).  I didn't want to pass it up being so close to perfect... there MUST be a way to make this flower red!   So I sent a quick email to an altering expert I know (you are a GENIUS Krista!) who responded with, "Distress Inks!"  Well OF COURSE!!!  Could I do it???  I've never attempted to alter something like this before.  What if it doesn't work?

I'm here to tell you it DID work.... LIKE A FREAKIN CHARM!!!!  Can you believe I actually did THIS???  I can't!  And it was so stinkin simple!!!  Honestly!  The hardest part was the first stroke.  My heart was in my throat as I stood over this amazing piece of art that I could potentially ruin when the courage to make my first stroke with the Tim Holtz Distress Stain in Barn Door Red came over me.  This artwork appeared to be an art print that was covered with a layer of clear acrylic that was then tapped with the tip of a bristled brush... well that's what it felt like.  This really could totally work, OR the color could bunch into all that texture not working at all.   I think I closed my eyes as I swiped a huge red streak across the peach flower then looked to see 1) that the image would be clearly visible through the new red color and 2) that I was actually committing to this alteration project.  Yes... yes to both; project-a-go.  Once the entire bloomed rose had an even coat of the barn door red distress stain (which looked quite pink), I then went in with Distress Inks (the regular pad inks) and a brush adding darker hues of red and brown until I had  the depth exactly the way I wanted it... which turns out was UBER easy because the original image already had the shadows in place.  I was just changing the color.  I finally finished off the image by adding  just a smidgen of Tim Holtz Tarnished Brass Distress Stain to highlight the tips of some of the petals (only on the light areas).  Being that the Tarnished Brass is a metallic stain... I wanted to be sure it stayed in areas of the flowers that would be touched by light if the flower were being seen in the real world. Now my final step will be to apply another clear topcoat to seal this awesome alteration once I've moved in to the new house and it is hung.... just in case I want to make any minor changes after seeing it in the light of it's permanent home.  In the meantime, I vowed to "leave it alone" until then.
Really you guys.... WHY was I so afraid????

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Gay Marriage... Christian Divorce.... What If?

So this post is inspired by the pic above.  It was posted by one of my facebook friends and my response was, "um.... good point!"  And that led to me thinking about WHAT is marriage?  Well, I am a Christian and my Christian friends would say that marriage is a holy and divinely established covenant.  That the "holy" and "divinely" would exclude gay people from marriage based on the whole "and when a man lies down with a male the same as one lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination...Lev. 20:13" keeping the union from being classified as :"divinely ordered".  But then, couldn't the same be held true for divorce?  Why are Christians allowed to divorce?  Doesn't the Bible also say, “So they are no longer two but one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate . . . And I say to you:  whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery” (Matthew 19:6, 9).

Ok, so let's take a quick peek at adultery.  Exodus 20:14:  "You shall not commit adultery."  There you have it... number 7 on the list of the 10 commandments, the foundation of my Christian faith "you shall not commit adultery."  Welp, according to Divorcerate.org, 50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce and USA Today chimed in with an article about Christians and divorce; according to National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, apparently the Christian-specific divorce rate is running at a whopping 42%.  They also researched how church attendance effected statistics.  My point here, PLENTY of people choose not to live Godly lives and are allowed to be married.  Heck, even people who espouse living Godly lives still choose to commit sins.  I personally don't believe that a union that is recognized by our government does ANYTHING to undermine the unions that I believe are ordained and appointed by God.... when they truly ARE appointed by God.  I myself have been divorced and while sexual immorality played a HUGE roll in the ending of my union (yes, my ex husband cheated on me), I can also attest that I don't believe God ordered the union in the first place.  So didn't I sin?  And that leads to my belief in free will.  I also believe that God gave us all free will and our fight to keep gays from marrying goes against the very essence of the free gift God gave us ALL.  Who are we to dictate that sin, ANY OF OUR SIN should take away what God gave us?  Personally my faith transcends anything worldly... INCLUDING gay marriage.  A gay couple marrying does not waiver my faith or God's power in the slightest.  In fact, Christian divorce does more to hurt my faith than gay marriage ever could.

That is all folks.... just my thoughts for today.  My thoughts are not meant to offend any of my Christian family.  My only wish is that we all consider right and wrong with respect for one another.  Do I believe that being gay is a sin.  Yep... I sure do.  But what do I really know?  Do I believe that sin is worse than anything I've ever done.... NOPE!!!  But I know I would NEVER want my church family to condemn me for my sins just as I hate that gay people are so condemned.  Because they are gay, the church decided that they are not allowed to be legally joined... to receive certain benefits that the rest of us get...that sounds exactly like condemnation!   What are Christians really showing the world?  Is that really God's love, or our judgement?  Are we really allowing God to be in control or are we trying to take matters into our own hands?  How did Christians feel when Jesus was crucified and murdered?  What if we would have stopped that ultimate sin of Jesus' murder (commandment #6 for those who do not know, "Thou Shall Not Murder")?  How would anyone be redeemed?  What if what we are trying to stop is something that will enrich the world?  To end this abruptly and rather awkwardly, I'm really just saying please consider "What If?"

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Progress... Well, After The Fact

My cleanse ended YESTERDAY!!!  I officially made it 15 days on the juice cleanse.  Here's my take-away:

  • SOOOOO much easier in the beginning than The Master Cleanse ever was... as in NO HUNGER!!!
  • SOOOOO much tastier... as in there are about a MILLION different juice concoctions you can come up with!
  • SOOOOO not boring...Drinking the lemonade on The Master Cleanse gets VERY boring after about the 10th day.
  • Weight loss was a steady 1 pound a day.
  • Staying hydrated was a snap!
  • Monster Energy.  There are always sluggish days on The Master Cleanse.  This juice cleanse had NONE!!!
  • Skin glowed.
  • NO SALT WATER FLUSH... those of you who have completed The Master Cleanse know EXACTLY what I speak of here.
  • Cleaning the juice machine after EVERY "meal" of juicing got to be annoying.
  • I found that I had some serious cravings... and for bad food!  On The Master Cleanse all hunger and cravings pretty much disappear after the first 3-4 days.
  • NO SALT WATER FLUSH!!!  Ok, so I know I put that in the "pros" list... let me explain (and I'm going to try to keep this as not-gross as possible).  After a while on The Master Cleanse, the morning ritual of cleaning your insides and "eliminating" begins feeling REALLY GOOD.  Its hard to put into words how scouring your insides really feels.  Welp, on the juice cleanse I found that eliminations pretty much shut down.  I was surprised when I had eliminations on day 5 and again on day 11 and it didn't feel anything near as good as my beloved salt water flushes.  It was also a lot less "controlled" if you catch my drift.   The salt water flush is done first thing in the morning.  It takes about an hour or so and when its done its done.  Let me just say that when I say I was surprised on days 5 and 11... I was surprised and very lucky I was near a restroom both times.  It's funny that something I hated so much in the beginning of doing The Master Cleanse turned out to be something I craved.  Well, I just decided that the next time I cleanse (in August) I will incorporate a flush every morning before juicing my fruit.  We'll see how that one works for me.
So yes, this fast was a HUGE success.  I will definitely be giving this one another try toward the end of summer.  I'm excited to see what happens between now and then.  The true test of a cleanse is not what happens during, but rather what happens after its over.  And over the years I've always noticed "something new" about my body after each cleanse was done.  I'm anxious to see what happens now that the juice fast is over.  One big change I'm committed to is that I am going to continue to juice every evening before bed.  The energy I had on this cleanse HAS GOT to do with the fact that the body is receiving so many vitamins and minerals.  Each glass of juice contained a minimum of 3 servings of fruit/vegetables in each glass.  And it isn't the processed crap that you get at the store.  This is straight from the living food right to your system in liquid form and IMMEDIATELY absorbed.  That right there blew me away the ENTIRE TIME I was on the fast.  I kept waiting for the day that I'd feel tired or run down and the day never came.  Needless to say, I am THRILLED with juice fasting, and compared to The Master Cleanse (while I recommend BOTH... with your doctor's supervision of course), I HIGHLY recommend juice fasting and give it 1000 high fives!!!!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Ok... It's That Time Again

Ok you guys... I just saw Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead!  WOW!!!  THIS is the fast I'm doing this year!!!  In the past, I've always done The Master Cleanse, but after watching this movie... I'm ALL OVER giving this fast a try.  I LOOKS DELICIOUS!!!  Instead of daily salt water flushes and choking down the lemon/maple syrup/cayenne concoction (which I won't lie, I personally enjoyed but had heard COUNTLESS complaints) I am going to be undertaking 20 days of fresh vegetable and fruit juices.... only fresh vegetable and fruit juices.... starting tomorrow. The movie made the fast seem very doable and the juices they consumed looked yummy so I'm hoping I won't suffer the INTENSE feeling of hunger I alway have to go through the first few days of The Master Cleanse.  They did mention that you don't feel very good the first few days of this juice fast because of detox symptoms, but I'm hoping that because I fast pretty regularly, I won't have the same issue.  Although, I DID miss fasting last year entirely, so you never know.  Yep... it's that time again.  Time to get my fast on.  I'm planning on swinging by here and posting my progress.  I'm hopeful this will be easy and fun.  And if anyone out there is looking for some weight loss inspiration... I HIGHLY recommend Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.  That documentary was AMAZING!!!  I give it 50 high fives!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Freaking Virus!

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?  I get a freaking virus RIGHT before I'm to leave for Vegas?!?  Ok, so before I go on my rant, I just want to say that I was able to restore my system quickly and easily, but (as is ALWAYS the case when a virus "surprises" us) I was freaked out for a good 10 minutes this morning.  And I will add that with my HUGE to-do list.... yep, I did it up last night.... I was more than a little irked to have to add "Remove Virus Scam" to it.  But there is a little lesson here to add to my last post...

Allow flexibility in your scheduling - hard and fast rules for your daily schedule should just not exist.  There are some appointments or tasks that need to be completed timely and on-time, but allow a bit of wriggle room in your schedule.  That, too, lends itself to relieving a little bit of stress.

Now, with that out of the way... UGH!  I DID NOT NEED THIS RIGHT NOW!!!!  THE DANG THING LOCKS YOUR COMPUTER!!!  But luckily I only melted down for a few minutes before using my phone to go online and get the instructions to do a system restore for my operating system.  Let me share with you how I did a system restore (I have Windows XP).  *Be sure to follow your system's user guide for quick and effective system restore to bypass this virus.*  Here's how I got my system back up and running:
  1. Press and hold power button until system shuts down.  Wait 10-30 seconds.
  2. Reboot while tapping F8 to open the Advanced Windows Options menu.
  3. Select Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
  4. The screen will flash partition commands (don't panic).
  5. The system will start with the welcome screen.
  6. A command window will then open, as soon as you see the flashing command prompt quickly type "explorer" and hit enter.  You do not need the quotes, just the letters for "explorer", but do it quickly.  Unfortunately with this particular virus you don't have much time to bypass before it locks our system.
  7. A screen will then pop up giving you the option to select "No" to do a system restore.
  8. Select a date when you didn't have the virus and allow the system to run the restore and reboot.
Ok, that's it. That is how I got my computer back online after being held hostage for 10 minutes this morning. Scratch one more thing off my to-do list today!  WHEW!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Feeling Empowered

Yep... I've FINALLY discovered the MAGIC that is the Google Calendar!!!  I had NO IDEA that it actually synced to my phone!!!!  FREEDOM!  SWEET FREEDOM!

Now for those of you who are NOT schedulers, let me tell you why schedules are so important and why this discovery, in particular, is so empowering to me.

Schedules free your mind - when you get your thoughts out of your head and placed into some kind of order (or plan) on paper, your brain is not taxed with the job of remembering.

Plans allow you to reach your goals quickly and efficiently - a plan maps out the best course to get you from point A to point B.  For example:  you know that you have to meet Judy on the west side of town for lunch, then be on the east side to pick up paperwork at the office, west side again to pick up flowers at the florist and finally north to pick up dry cleaning.  Well, planning your day allows your brain to go on auto-pilot.  All it has to do is follow the plan once it is made.  And the few extra minutes you took to THINK about your destination, an efficient route and set a plan means that you're meeting Judy for lunch and running to the florist since they are both on the west side before running north to pick up the dry cleaning and ending your day with running to the office to pick up the paperwork you need before heading home.  This plan is quicker, more efficient and flows allowing you to enjoy your day.  "When disposal of time is surrendered to chance, chaos soon reigns." ~ Victor Hugo

Best Laid Plans - Spending five minutes the night before will REALLY allow you to be on auto-pilot and enjoy a smooth day. You won't have the hustle and bustle first thing in the morning when your brain is still fogged from sleep.  You will also awaken with purpose right out of the gate and relieve a little stress and worry getting your day in gear.

A True Feeling of Empowerment - There are SOOOOO many things that we have absolutely NO control over.  How nice it is to set a plan, take control and accomplish some stuff.

Save A Ton Of Time - learning to THINK about accomplishing tasks, setting a plan and then how you will execute your plans really only takes a few minutes each night.  And when I say "a few", I really do mean it.  Gone are the days of writing a note to yourself that you then transfer to a day timer then cross reference with your to-do list, etc.  Oh no.... today I just input my "to do's" with "who to call" into my Google calendar and VIOLA!!!!  Everything is auto-populated onto my phone WITH alarms pre-set.  NICE!!!

And those few minutes you spend each night planning your day tomorrow saves you countless minutes the next day.  Get into a habit of planning your day, and you will get compounded time savings that you can then spend with your family or doing things you love.  Is anyone else excited about this Google Calendar discovery, or am I the last one to know about it???  Welp gang,  I'm WELL on my way to getting me some compounded time for myself.  Yep... EMPOWERED!!!  YAY TECHNOLOGY!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

For My Crafty Friends...

... and for those who aren't so crafty but are curious....

Tim Holtz (a ROCKSTAR in the art and papercrafting world) is giving away new release items from CHA 2013 and there's still time to enter and win.  His last post shows his new Stamper's Anonymous lines (Tim Holtz Blog HERE), but be sure to read his last few posts for an awesome recap of the CHA show.  Honestly, I think I developed a permanent stutter as I looked at Tim's CHA recap... my tongue didn't work and I began to drool.  I'd be quite embarrassed if it weren't for the fact that it was going on 1 a.m. and the house was dark.  But I gotta say, the Blueprint Series is OUT OF THIS WORLD!!!  Check out what Chelle Fowler created for the CHA show!!!

Click HERE to see the rest of her AMAZING creations!!!  When life slows down and I can play in my craft room again, I'm SOOOOOOO scrap-jacking this wonderful card!  Have a great one gang!!!  Good luck to everyone!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

When "I Love You" Doesn't Translate

Too often we say "I love you" with food.  For some time I've been trying to break that nasty habit in my household, but this way of expressing "I love you" is something that has been done to me, and I've done to other people, for my entire life.  And is it just me, or does EVERY celebration have to revolve around food???  Tonight I am committing to ending this behavior once and for all.  The trick is figuring out how to quit associating food gifting with love giving.  Here's a great example:

Once, my husband brought me home a banana split... smiling from ear to ear.  I PANICKED!  For a split (pardon the pun) second I FREAKED OUT in my head thinking, "I've eaten a perfectly clean diet all week.  I'm in the home stretch.  WHY would he do this to me?  Can I REALLY turn down a banana split?  Will I hurt his feelings by turning it down?"  I honestly went through a pretty manic minute and half before asking him, "why did you buy me a banana split?"  He understood right away where the conversation was going, "I don't know" he said.  To which I responded, "Get rid of it."

Thinking back I WISH I would have responded with, "I do.  You were trying to tell me you love me.  But banana splits no longer express that.  I love to hear you say 'I love you' far more than I love eating banana splits.  Unfortunately, I'm associating banana splits with feeling bad and unhealthy."  I think if I had not been so panicked and told him the truth of the matter instead of just reacting, the night wouldn't have ended with me going to bed feeling guilty and my husband sitting in front of the TV eating a banana split and, I imagine, feeling rejected. 

I'm hoping that sharing this with everyone will help someone else deal with those moments when you feel you just CAN'T say "no thank you".  It's hard, but honesty really is the best policy.  I guess the key to this particular puzzle is just not to panic.  And more importantly, I'm hoping this might inspire others to commit to changing those crazy food associations.  Why do we meet everyone for coffee or lunch?  Why don't we meet friends for a walk in the park or a class at the gym?  I think this year I'm requesting a Frisbee tournament birthday party with build-your-own salads instead of cake.... any thoughts???

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

WHERE Have You Been???

I cannot tell you how many times in the past four weeks or so I've heard that question.  Truth is, I honestly haven't been anywhere... still here.  Just VERY busy focusing on making this new year count as things are shifting for me again.

A few years ago I started this little blog adventure because the real estate market was shifting (oh was it shifting... and it seemed like the end of the world) and my career seemed like it was coming to an end.  In an attempt to focus on the positive and reconnect with myself, I started FunAndMentalChanges.com (click HERE to see my very first post from November, 2008).  Well, things seem to be shifting again in my life, I've been busy prepping to move forward and was reminded this evening how important my blog was during the first shift so I thought I owed to myself (and my lovely blog family) to update my blog a bit more regularly going forward.... cuz these changes are, yet again, FUN and COMPLETELY MENTAL!!! WOW!  That was quite a run on sentence but it feels pretty important.  It really is how you look at things and what you make it; so in the spirit of making things great, first thing's first:

I have the privilege of caring for my inlaws!!!  I NEVER thought I'd hear myself saying those words, let alone put that in writing, but I am honestly honored to be that for people who have cared for me for so many years.  My mother-in-law (with tears in her eyes) thanked me a couple months back and my heart flip-flopped explaining to them how it was not only my pleasure, but how I could only hope that God loved me as much as he loves them and that someone will take care of me when I'm their age.  For the record.... I believe God DOES love me that much. :)

Up next:  I got a speeding ticket and had to go to traffic school.  Not exactly something that sounds like fun at first, but did you know there is an IMPROV TRAFFIC SCHOOL?!?  Ok, THAT is awesome!  I mean, if you have to put in the time, why not enjoy it a little.  Ticket cleared and no points on my driving record.... WHEW!!!

Continuing Education:  it was back to class for my required continuing education to renew my real estate license.  Yes, I've done this a time or two before, but this time is monumental as I've never needed it quite like I need it now... I'M BUYING A NEW HOUSE!  Stay tuned for more info on that as the good stuff develops!  I'm so incredibly excited.

MORE SCHOOL:  I'm off for more mortgage training!  Suffice it to say that A LOT has changed in the real estate industry over the past few years and in keeping with excellent customer service to stay on top... it's time for more class time. YAY!

I start my volunteer position at my Curves in a couple of weeks!!!  That has probably been the biggest thrill over the course of this past year!  I had some pretty significant and amazing success in regards to weight loss and credit my Curves solely for sparking the change in my life.  I have also felt a certain sense of fulfillment helping others on their own road and personal journey.  I'm excited for what this year is going to hold for me.  I WILL be doing a post on my beloved rebounder in the coming weeks.  I promise, you DO NOT want to miss that!!! (shhhhhhhh.... did someone say it melts fat away???)

Welp, that about does it.  Hopefully you can see that I'm starting out 2013 with a bang and I have a sneaky suspicion that what's to come is going to make for some interesting posting and interesting reading.  You all will be the judge of that.  P.S. I DID leave out that I have been juggling all of this with a cold from hell.  I wasn't convinced that including the details of my snot-filled mountain of Puff Plus that is currently inhabiting my night stand was going to add anything "fun" to my post.  But then I thought to myself that it MIGHT help paint the picture of just how busy I've been and how impressed you all would be to discover that I was suffering but still managed to attend all my different classes.  But THEN it hit me that some of you reading this might have been in some of those classes and then may now be sifting through your own snot-filled Puffs Plus mountain totally ticked off at me, so I finally decided to skip that part because all of that would be totally "mental" to include in this post.... right? 

I'm off to try and get some sleep.  I ate gluten today in the hopes that it will help me sleep like a baby tonight instead of laying awake coughing.  Fingers and toes crossed; let's see if it works.  A happy little gluten post would be GREAT to kick things off!  hahahahahahaha!

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