Monday, February 20, 2012

Week #8-Lights, Camera, Action!

For many years, I have always said I would love to watch all the  movies that have won Best Picture at the Oscars. Yes, all of them.  But I never made time for it and then I had kids...enough said.  So in the same spirit, I think I will use this week and watch one Oscar winner movie each day.  I will do this starting today and watch one each day through Sunday-all leading up to this years Oscars show!  Now, deciding which ones to watch....

Here is a link to all previous winners:  I have seen 27 out of the 84 winning movies.  No worries, I will not bore you with that list.  

Here is what I am thinking of watching this week:

  • The Godfather (I know, I am beyond embarrassed to admit I haven't seen this).
  • Casablanca
  • Gone with the Wind
  • Annie Hall
  • Driving Miss Daisy
  • Shakespeare in Love
  • The Hurt Locker

Are there any Oscar winning movies that you've been wanting to see but haven't yet got around to it?

Week #6 Review-Uh Oh!!!

So I skipped a week.  Already.  Only into the second month of the year and I have already skipped a week. Oh well, I am sure it won't be the last time.
Anyway, I did complete my picture framing goal.  I had some glitches along the way (hence the two week lapse) but I think I am finally done.  I know getting pictures framed and hung shouldn't be that big of a deal but when you are about 3 1/2 years behind, it is actually very overwhelming.  Because of that, I actually just had to walk away from this project for a few days and clear my head out.  I am glad I did that because I came back to the project with an exact idea of how I wanted to go forward.  So now every year when we get new pictures taken, I know exactly where they will go and in what frames.  Phew.  Now, I just need to get the husband to hang them all up.

The goal that I ended up bypassing was doing a week's worth of charity work-preferably with the kids.  I skipped that goal mainly because I had not yet completed the previous goal and also because I had not spent any time researching on what we could do.  I still want to do this goal-and I will push it out to later in the year.  And plan better for it!!!

What I learned, gained, wanted to pass on, etc from this week's goal:

  • Do not procrastinate when it comes to framing and hanging your pictures!  Immediately do it once you receive them.
  • I had SO many empty frames I had purchased over the last couple of years but to my disappointment, none of them worked for the pictures I needed to frame.  So now I know, when ordering pictures, make sure they will work with frames I already have.  It was frustrating to have to go out and buy more frames!!
  • For me, it helped to create a "plan" for my pictures.  Specifically, I now have a frame for both kids yearly pictures, a frame for our yearly family picture, a frame for Rachel's yearly school picture (will add one for Cole next year), and a frame that has both of their baby pictures that will obviously stay the same. And a location for all of these frames.  I know for many this is a no brainer and is very simple, and it is.  It just took me a little longer to finally get here.  

I am so thrilled to have this project behind me.  

Monday, February 6, 2012

Week #6-Frame & Hang

I really hope I am not the only person out there who has many pictures-nice, professional pictures-that have yet to be framed, displayed, put in a photo album, etc.  It's really quite sad how many wonderful pictures I have that aren't being displayed for us to admire.  Well, this week's goal should hopefully rectify that.  My plan is to gather all of our unframed photos, frame them, and then find the perfect spots in our house to display them.

My first action item will be to visit some second hand stores and hopefully find some nice-but inexpensive frames.  Similar to my closet project, I don't want to spend a lot of money.  It seems that second hand stores typically have a ton of frames so hopefully I luck out!  Then I will need to figure out where in the house everything should be hung.  I could see this taking some time...Last, getting the husband to help me get everything hung and looking nice.

Wish me luck that I can get this done in a week!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Week #5 Goal...and Review.

I decided to present this week's goal in one blog post because quite honestly, I don't feel it's worthy of two posts.

We moved into our house in October 2006 and I have never really had my closet organized like I wanted it to be.  And once we lost our office when we turned it into Rachel's room, many of our office type stuff moved into our closet.  It has become more and more cluttered over time and I just got to the point of hardly being able to stand in there.  I thought cleaning it out and re-organizing it would make a perfect weekly goal.  And I was right!

Ideally, I would love to completely redo our closet with built in cabinetry and lots of other fancy closet stuff, but that is not currently in our budget so I had to be a little creative and look for deals.  I only ended up buying new laundry baskets and a shoe rack-total $42.  Not bad.  I had been looking at second hand stores for a small desk and / or lingerie dresser for additional storage but didn't find anything.  I ended up moving the majority of the office stuff into our computer stand in the bedroom-it's tight but it works. And then a couple of other bins are now being stored in the garage (stuff that does not need to be in a closet). Just doing that freed up a ton of space and made a huge difference.

Enough writing....I will let the pictures tell the rest of the "story"...

Before-Top Left

Before-Middle & Top Right

Before-Bottom Right

Before-Bottom Middle 

Before-Bottom Left

After-Top Left

After-Top & Bottom Middle

After-Bottom Right

After-Top Right

The pictures really don't convey how much better the closet looks-it is such an improvement!  I am very happy I decided to do this and that it's done.  Now let's cross our fingers it can stay this way.....

What I learned, gained, wanted to pass on, etc from this week's goal:

  • Don't be afraid to tackle a project that seems overwhelming.  You might be surprised it's not as bad as you thought it to be.  I think that's why it took me so long to clean our closet...I was very intimidated.  But once I started, it actually wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be.
  • You don't need to spend a ton of money to re-do a space or room.  I had the notion that the only way our closet would ever look neat and organized is if we invested in a complete closet make over.  And while that would be nice to have (and I hope one day to put something like that in our closet), I think our closet looks pretty darn good-especially for only $42!
  • For me, having a space organized so nicely gives me a sense of calm.  I hope I can eventually get the rest of the house as organized as my closet currently is....but that may need to wait until 2013!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Week #4 Review

Soooo.....this goal was not completed.  In fact, I didn't even last 24 hours on the detox program.  4pm rolled around on that first day and extreme lethargy paired with a pounding headache forced me to throw in the towel.  It was just too hard for me to take care of two little kids while feeling so bad...and knowing that I had to do it for two more days simply petrified me!  Yes, I am sure it would have become easier but I didn't have the gumption to make it through.

What I learned, gained, wanted to pass on, etc from this weekly goal:

  • Be prepared as much as you can prior to starting the detox program.  Specifically, if you are a coffee drinker,  slowly start weaning off the caffeine a few days prior to starting (thank you to my BFF for this suggestion).  Cutting out that caffeine cold turkey was brutal!!!  Also, the program allows many salads and vegetable soups-do as much prep work for these meals before starting the program.  Making a salad is quite easy no??  Not so much when you have a raging headache and your body just wants to curl up on the couch.  Next time, I will have all my salad fixings chopped and ready to go before hand as well as a big batch of soup already made.
  • Pick a time period when there isn't too much going on...maybe a long weekend?  I started on a Wednesday which is typically the busiest day of the week in our family-bad idea.  I thought it would be a good day to pick since we would be so busy I wouldn't have time to think about it....I was mistaken.  
  • Don't be discouraged or beat yourself up if it doesn't happen the first time.  I was a-okay with my decision and think I made the best one for me and my family.  And I will most definitely be attempting this again.
My goal for week #5 will be posted later in the day!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Week #4-A Little House Cleaning....

For my goal this week, I have decided to do a simple body detox.  It's something I've been wanting to do for a while and I thought incorporating it as one of my weekly goals would be perfect.  

I asked around and looked online to find a program that would work for me.  I only wanted it to be a 3-4 day plan because I personally don't think I could do one longer than that.  I also wanted one that focused on food only and didn't require taking extra supplements.  I wanted this to be as natural as possible.  

After looking around for a while, I found one that I think will work and fits in with what I am looking for.   Check it out here:

I plan on doing this Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week.  I am nervous that it's going to be really hard and that I am going to become a crazy woman.....but, I am also excited to see how I feel afterwards.  It's only three days-I can do this!!!
Wish me luck!!!

Week #3 Review

Well, my house is not overflowing with free products but I did come out of this weekly goal with some coupons....and that works for me!  Here is how I made out:

  • Tillamook: Had me sign up on their website to receive free coupons and also informed me that they sometimes offer coupons on their Facebook page.  
  • Applegate Farms:  They are sending me coupons.
  • Daves Killer Bread:  Had no coupons or freebies but suggested I check out Costco where loaves are cheaper (which I already do) and also suggested I visit their store if I am local (which I am) as there are great deals there.  I actually have been wanting to go to their store for a while so....
  • PG (Tide):  The response I received back seemed very positive and enthusiastic...I thought for sure I would be getting something free...but nope, just more coupons.  
  • GlaxoSmithKline (Sensodyne): Was again directed to visit their website for coupons.
What I learned, gained, wanted to pass on, etc from this weekly goal:
Perhaps it was the companies I chose, but receiving free products was not as easy as I was led to believe.   Coupons, yes.  But free stuff-nope.   Oh well, it was worth a shot and I am glad I at least asked!

I will be posting my goal for week #4 very soon!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Week #3-They Say Nothing in Life is Free-Ha!

I like to think I am a good shopper and try to find the best deals.  But in all honestly, I'm not.  I simply don't have the desire to scour websites, blogs, newspapers, etc for coupons.  Nor do I have the desire-or time really-to drive around to multiple stores getting the BOGO deal on deodorant.   I wish I had both the desire and the time because I truly think there is money to be saved.  While discussing this topic with another parent at my daughter's preschool, she shared a money saving strategy with me that I thought was right up my alley.   

Right after telling me how she has never paid for a tube of toothpaste, this parent told me she often emails companies and simply asks them for freebies or coupons.  I replied, somewhat surprised, "You just ask them...point blank?"  "Yep." she proudly replied.  Well, I could do that I thought...So in the name of saving money, here goes!

I decided to pick five companies to email and plead my case.  These are companies whose products I use on a regular basis and that I would really appreciate receiving some of their merchandise.  The companies I plan to email are:

  • Daves Killer Bread
  • Tillamook Cheese
  • Applegate Farms
  • Sensodyne (GlaxoSmithKline)
  • Tide (P&G)

I don't think I would have ever thought to email companies directly for my own personal use.  I am definitely stepping out of my comfort zone by doing this!!!  Check back later in the week to see what products I did-or didn't-score!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Week #2 Review

Yay!  Week #2 is complete!  I made my list, purchased cards, wrote sweet notes inside, stamped / addressed, and stowed them in a safe place! Wow, feels great!  And oh ya, I also put calendar reminders in my gmail calendar to remind me when to mail the cards really, I have no excuses this year.

What I learned, gained, want to pass on, etc from this weekly goal:
*What I gained from this goal was a peace of mind.  I am so awful at remembering birthdays and I always feel so bad when I forget.  Knowing that I have a plan in place to simply mail out a card for a loved one's special day provides me a sense of calm.
*I learned that if I just put a little more effort into it, I can be better organized!

All my cards-ready for the mail!!!

Check back soon to sew what I will be tackling in Week #3!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Week #2-Happy Birthday to You!...and You....and You...

My goal for week #2 was not one I came up with on my own...I'm pretty sure a friend in Facebook land did.  I am so thankful they did though because I am not sure this is one I would have thought of by myself-and I think it's a great one!

My goal for this week is to get all the family birthday cards done for the year.  This means purchasing all the cards, writing the sweet note inside, addressing and stamping.  To some, this may seem a tad ridiculous.  I mean, how hard can it be to send out birthday cards when it's the recipient's actual birthday? Well, call me birthday challenged.  I really stink at remembering birthdays and if I do happen to remember, it's a miracle a birthday card gets sent.  That being said, I am quite excited to complete this goal!

My plan (yes, I tend to have a "plan" for everything):
1) Make a list of everyone I need to buy for (and yes, part of the plans I make include lots of lists).  My family is not big but leave it to me to forget someone.  Sad, I know.
2) Purchase cards
3) Write sweet note, address, & stamp.
4) Find a safe place to store these cards.  And not too safe or I will just forget where they are.
5) Create calendar reminders to mail out the cards.  Because yes, it would not be surprising for me to complete steps 1-4 and then forget to mail them out.  Yep, this is a good goal for me.

Stay tuned for a review of Week #2....

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Goal #1-Week in Review

This past week I tackled purging all of the processed foods living in our kitchen.  I went into this task thinking it would be quick and easy, I mean we really don't eat that many processed foods.  However, I was taken aback at the amount of food I ended up ditching...really quite scary actually.

Some of the items were obviously "bad" foods (cheese dip in a can-gross) but some foods, I was surprised-and a little sad-that I would have to find an alternate or just learn to live without.   Included in the latter-our favorite pickles, Claussen.  Also, A-1 Sauce and Tapatio.  Big bummer.  We use these quite often so I am currently on the lookout for some better versions-home made or store bought.  So, although my goal was to rid the entire house of processed foods, those items will be staying around until I can find a good alternate.  I have to be realistic about this all....

I took pictures of my pantry before and after the processed food cleanse....wasn't sure if I was going to share because I am horrified at the mess my pantry was in prior to cleaning it out...but whatever.  And I think the after picture makes up for it all!

Pantry prior to cleanse:

And after...isn't it pretty???

What I learned, gained, want to pass on, etc from this weekly goal:
*There is a lot more unnatural stuff out there than I realized.
*I am feeling a little overwhelmed with now trying to keep this stuff out of my house.
*I will need to do some research on finding some adequate substitues for some of our faves such as pickles and A-1 Sauce.
*It feels fantastic to have rid my home of all that!!!!

Check back soon for Week #2!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Here I Go....Week #1. Adios Processed Foods

In addition to conquering 52 goals this year, I also have one overall goal to become a more healthy human. I plan to accomplish this by returning to consistent exercise and watching much more closely what I put into my body.  The latter leads me to tackling my first weekly goal of the year:  Eliminating all processed foods from the house.

Luckily, my kitchen is not stocked full of processed foods...but there are some sneaking around that need to get the boot.  While I hate throwing food away, I just don't want these types of foods in our house anymore.  I want my family to be nourished by whole foods.  

I think the hardest part of this task will be having the other members of my household (husband, daughter (4), and son (2) be on board and okay with this change in our diet.  Sorry kidlets, no more frozen chicken nuggets for lunch!  For myself, I am very excited about doing this and looking forward to our venture into the whole foods only world!

Stay tuned at the end of the week with a status report for week #1!