Monday, January 31, 2011

January Junk Jettison: Last 3 days of the month + bonus items

The last 3 days were a piece of cake, since I had already collected 30 Christmas ornaments and 31 disposable mini meatloaf pans back in December.  I just needed to come up with 29 of something to complete the project!  Success!  

Here's what I collected this week:

29 Mini spools of thread:  I bought these as part of a sewing kit, but have never used them, and have no immediate plans to use them.  I kept some of the more common colors that I might be able to use for repairs and such, but these are outta here.

30 Christmas ornaments:  I didn't take a shot of these - brain fart - but as we put up the Christmas tree back in December, I pulled out some ornaments that neither of us were attached to.  Here are 2 that I thought were funny enough to email Bonnie, perhaps with an "LOL why do I have these" message attached.  Apologies if you gave them to me :)

31 Disposable mini meatloaf pans:  Dave used to make mini loaves of banana bread for his team every Christmas, so whenever I saw these pans on sale I bought them.  Then, Dave got out of the habit of making the loaves so we've had these sitting in the cabinet for a few years not being used.  Even though we're getting rid of 31, there are still at least that many in the cabinet.  I should just get rid of all of them, but Dave's sad puppy face at the prospect convinced me otherwise.  

Total items to be purged in January:  496
Items collected so far:  496
Items left:  0

All done!  My home is 496 items lighter and tidier!

We also got rid of some bonus items, like:
  • 2 small decorative quilts that were hanging in the living room, along with a 'Quilts' sign
  • some random themed and standard cake pans
  • 2 cutting boards
  • a camera bag
  • 3 colanders/strainers
  • blankets
  • 2 lamps
  • etc.
**If you see anything that you could use in your house, let me know and I'll get them to you.  You know what they say, one woman's trash is another woman's treasure ;)

Friday, January 28, 2011

January Junk Jettison: Week 4

Now the hard work is over.  Before January started, I had collected Christmas ornaments and 31 disposable mini meatloaf pans for the purge.  Now that this week is over, I just need to find 29 of something and I'm finished!  Wahoo!

Here's what I collected this week:

22 Tops:  Sweaters and T-shirts (both long- and short-sleeved).

23 Stencils for painting or quilting:  These can be used for stenciling a vine or sun-with-a-smiley-face design around a doorway or where wallpaper borders typically go (do they still do that?), or can be used for drawing a quilting pattern on fabric to be sewn later.  I kept my favorites, but don't need these, mostly because they're letters, stars, hearts, etc.

24 Piece oil painting set (this one is a stretch, I know):  Last Christmas Dave wanted to start painting.  I bought him 12 brushes and 12 tubes of oil paint.  He's never used them.  Buh-bye.

25 Scrapbooking recipe card holders:  These were in a box in the closet full of random scrapbooking stuff I have no other place for.  If they're not stickers, stamps, fabric, paper, or embellishments, they go in this box.  Most of the stuff in the box has not seen daylight in a while, including this set of 25 recipe card holders that can be attached to a scrapbook page.

26 Brads:  When I decided I had a million dollar idea on my hands after making a few message boards, I went crazy buying brads to hold the ribbon to the fabric.  I'm not sure why I bought this particular color/postage stamp designed pack, so they're out the door.

27 Buttons:  I have no idea how I acquired so many buttons, and I probably could get rid of 270, but I'll stick with 27 so as not to mess with the pattern we have going.

28 More stamps:  I told you there might be more stamps purged after the 17th.  Here they are:

Total items to be purged in January:  496
Items collected so far:  406
Items left:  90

Only 3 days left!

**If you see anything that you could use in your house, let me know and I'll get them to you.  You know what they say, one woman's trash is another woman's treasure ;)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Feel free to skip this one - it's about shower organization. :)

You know the morning after a kegger, when there are empty beer cans and bottles laying all over the place?  Even in random places you'd never expect to see one, like behind a curtain on the window sill?  Maybe that's not really a weird place, but it's all I got.

Well, that's what our master bathroom shower normally looks like.  There are empty shampoo, body wash, and face wash bottles, soap wrappers, old razor heads, etc.  I'm not proud of it, but it's a fact.  The bathroom is my least favorite room to clean, and this is just an example of what happens when it is so neglected.

After Bonnie told me about an awesome soap dispenser her BIL has in his shower, Dave and I went shopping for them in an effort to solve our bottle graveyard problem.  Bed Bath and Beyond has a few options, with various numbers of bottles for your soaps, shampoos, conditioners, etc.  We decided to go with the 3-bottle option:
We liked this one because it has hooks that you can use to hang razors or loofahs from.  Also, we don't really need more than 3 bottles between the 2 of us.  He uses bar soap so that can stay on the soap dish, so we just need bottles for his shampoo, my shampoo, and my body wash.  My face wash can stay in a bottle.  It's little and doesn't take up much room.  I'm hoping this dispenser method will force me not to buy specialty shampoos that I'll use once, decide I hate, and leave in the shower for 2 years collecting dust and mold.  Gross, right? If it doesn't go in the dispenser, it doesn't go in the shower.  You have to commit to new shampoos.  Go big or go home.  

I hear it was pretty easy to assemble, although I wasn't there :)  It comes with silicone gel and double-sided command strips to hold it to the shower wall.  Once the gel dries for 24 hours, you can add the bottles and fill'em up.  And fill'em up is what we did:
Eek!  Soap scum already?!?

I have a love/hate relationship with the way the stuff comes out.  Only a little bit of soap or shampoo comes out at a time.  Super-annoying to someone like me who uses way too much shampoo; also good for someone like me in the long run - it's like portion control for shampoo!  I'm not going to pump it 30 times to get the normal amount that I like, so I'll be saving money by not buying a new bottle of shampoo every week!  Score!

The only one with a label is Dave's but that'll change tonight.

Bored yet?  Ok, I'm done.

Wait, no I'm not.  Speaking of shower organization - how did my master bath linen closet get so disorganized?  This is not good:

So I fixed it:

The ironing board cover has seen better days so I replaced it with this cute one that has clotheslines on it!  I get excited over the dumbest things - and this is one of them :)  

Then I got rid of all the expired stuff and organized the rest.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

BFF day and the coolest fabric ever!

I'm so glad to be out of this funk I've been in this week!  I pretty much slept through the last 2 days trying to fight off a cold with the help of my friend, Nyquil!  

Since I felt better today, Bonnie came down today for a BFF day.  We started with lunch at Mojo's downtown - I've never been there but she went there with Ashley and recommended the 'Not YoMama's BLT.'  It was awesome!  Herbed bread, tons of lettuce, fresh bacon, and Sun Chips on the side!  Yum!

After lunch we went up the street to U-Fab so I could look for fabric for new living room curtains.  We didn't find anything I loved and couldn't live without, but we did get a couple samples to bring home for Dave's opinion...

I like this one:

We'll see what Dave says, but I predict the face will look something like this:

We found some perfect fabric for the office while we were there, though!  Currently the window in the office is completely naked - not even mini blinds since the cat broke them during a catnip binge.  I bought some cheap, cheap fabric for that window a while ago that I just liked, and it's just not right.  It's a really organic-looking and tan - it's the same shade as the furniture.  It's really boring - and it's been in the bag ever since I bought it.

The color scheme is perfect and it's just dorky enough to fit the room.  :)

More on those curtains later...

After the fabric shopping, we took a road trip out to Powhatan to Gather, a cool little shop I read about on Ashley's blog.  I was thinking it'd be way far out in the country but it's only a mile past 288 on Midlothian plus a couple of turns.  It feels like it's in the middle of nowhere once you're there.  It's completely silent other than a car passing by every few minutes.  Very peaceful.  The merchandise is very nice but expensive - I just can't justify paying $42 for a cake plate or $24 for a coffee mug with dinosaurs on it.  We left empty-handed other than some scenic pictures:

Then we went to Hobby Lobby, where we talked about so many projects we could do!  It was fun!  Then we came home to have dinner and baked some goodies - peanut butter blossom cookies and Reese's no bake dessert bars:

Lovely BFF day!

Friday, January 21, 2011

January Junk Jettison: Week 3

This week was even harder!  That's what she said.  

Here's the week 3 update:

15 Sets of gift wrapping tags and stickers/seals:  When I organized our gift wrapping closet, these didn't make the cut.

16 Hanging Candles:  This one might be cheating just a little since technically 2 candles are attached by a string, making it 8 items, but I'm making it work :)  These were hanging from a cheap Ikea coat hook in the upstairs landing, and have recently been replaced by my awesome Richmond typography map!

17 Stamps:  If you read this post, you saw how many stamps I have.  It's an addiction.  So I'm getting rid of 17 of them.  There might be more coming before the end of the month ;)

18 Pairs of hole-y unmentionables:  There's no picture.  You're welcome.

19 Pairs of Bottoms:  Capris, skirts, pajama pants, pants.  

20 Tank tops:  Yep, 20.  You should see how many I still have.

***No picture of either 19 or 20, and here's why:  I took the pictures, bagged up all the clothes, took them to Goodwill, came home to load the pics, and they weren't on the memory card.  I also lost pictures of some scrapbooking projects I was working on at the time. Bummer.

21 Rolls of wrapping paper:  I recently overhauled/organized our wrapping closet and found SO many rolls of wrapping paper with designs that make me want to vomit.  So I'm getting rid of them.  We still have several rolls of cuter stuff.

Total items to be purged in January:  496
Items collected so far:  231
Items left:  265

**If you see anything that you could use in your house, let me know and I'll get them to you.  You know what they say, one woman's trash is another woman's treasure ;)

Friday, January 14, 2011

January Junk Jettison: Week 2

Yeah, this is going to get hard.  That's what she said.   I had a harder time finding junk to match the day of the month, so there might have been a piece or 2 that I sorta like and parted with anyways to make it fit that day.

Here's the week 2 update:

8 issues of Real Simple:  Up until this summer, I had so many magazines subscriptions that the issues became this overwhelming pile of paper taunting me from the magazine basket.  Reading them became a task that I had to cross off my to-do list rather than a relaxing break from my day.  So I canceled all of them except Real Simple.  It is perfection.  I've read all these issues but have been keepting them in case I wanted to tear out a recipe or craft idea later.  But let's be honest, I'm not going to.  Off to the recycle bin they go!

9 12x12 Project folders/sleeves:  These are great if you're the type of scrapbooker who plans page by page, grouping stickers, paper, pictures together and put them aside until you can actually create the page.

10 Ikea storage containers:  I got these at a great price, typical of Ikea, but the lids don't lock on correctly which renders the item useless.

11 kinds of cupcake liners:  some of them will go in the trash because I only have 5 or 6 of that design, but most will go in a Ziploc to sell at a yard sale.

12 Bags:  Tote bags, a duffel bag/suitcase, laptop bags, overnight bags, etc.

13 DVD/VHS for movie night:  I bought Friday Night Lights and Mad Men to catch up because we'd missed the first couple seasons on TV, so now that we're caught up and can watch real-time when new seasons air, there's no reason to keep these.  Big Love is AWESOME, and I bought these thinking I'd want to watch them again, but I never have, so they're out.  How I met your Mother - I watched a couple episodes on the DVD, but returned the other unopened seasons we had because I'm not that into it.  It's funny, but not funny enough to watch on DVD to catch up on multiple seasons.  The rest of the 13 are random VHS tapes that we Dave has been holding onto, but haven't watched or upgraded to DVD.  They're vintage.  Now, they're someone else's vintage.

14 Curtains:  Now that the curtains in the house are all set up (except maybe making new ones for the living from a U-Fab fabric deal!), I can get rid of all these random shears and curtain panels that are taking up a shelf in the linen closet.

Total items to be purged in January:  496
Items collected so far:  105
Items left:  391

**If you see anything that you could use in your house, let me know and I'll get them to you.  You know what they say, one woman's trash is another woman's treasure ;)

Best anniversary present ever: Re-purposed

Remember the awesome anniversary gift Bonnie made us back in November?  Let me remind you:

She collected a bunch of pictures of Dave and I taken over the last several years, and displayed them on poster board with a sweet little anniversary wish.

I love all the pictures she chose along with her note, but unfortunately we don't have enough wall space in any room in this house for the large I'm going to switch it up a little, while hopefully keeping its charm in tact :)

Years ago when I first moved out of my parents' house, Bonnie and I started these style books, where we kept decorating ideas, cool lists from magazines (like papers to keep for tax purposes, 20 things to do before you turn 20, etc.), and awesome quotes.  I might just have to write a post to show some of the ideas - might be fun to explore how much my style has changed, or hasn't.  I decided to personalize mine with some stenciled turtles (I was obsessed with turtles) and my initials at the time - KRB.

I'd like to do the same with the pictures from the poster board - buy a spiral-bound scrapbook with either black or white pages, and I'll stencil 5's all over the front and back, since it was a 5th anniversary gift and contains pictures from our first 5 years of marriage (plus some from when we were dating)...

Fun, right?  Stay tuned...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Surprise Graduation Party!

Well, it was almost a surprise - haha!  I had a couple minor spoilers about a potential upcoming event regarding graduation, but had no idea until I walked into the conference room what a lovely event was in store for me!

Bonnie told me a few weeks ago to show up at her house on Saturday, January 8th, at 1pm, and told me not to ask any questions.  That is a very difficult request for me to honor.  I have control issues, so for me to drive to Fredericksburg without knowing what I'll be doing and its purpose took a lot of faith that Bonnie knows what I like and don't like and wouldn't lead me astray.  :)

I should have assumed it had to do with my graduation, but until Eddie let something slip (and was immediately smacked by his wife) and I saw an invite covered in graduation-themed paper on my MIL's fridge Friday night, I did my best not to over-analyze what might be up her sleeve for January 8th.  I'm surprised that I didn't overthink's like a whole new me.  But don't expect that all the time - I must have made an exception or something! :)

Saturday afternoon, Dave and I arrived in Fredericksburg as we were told, and Nate drove us to our destination.  We walk into the banquet room, within Bronte Bistro, within Joseph-Beth Booksellers, and I see all my favorite people!  It was great to have old friends and new in the same place, along with my in-laws!  My girls had decorated the tables with balloon clusters in the colors of the colleges I've attended (JMU, Germanna, JSRCC) and hope to attend (UofR) - so creative!  There were folders displayed on menu stands, again from all my colleges, and at each place setting was a piece of lined scrapbook paper, used as a placemat.  

They bought me flowers and made little graduation-themed chocolates to be given out as favors to the party guests.  So cute.  Also, they got paper mache books and painted one to match each college's color scheme:

Flowers are still thriving, even after I left them in the car overnight!  I have a black thumb - Dave says our house is where plants and flowers come to die :(

I asked people to draw me pictures - and although Dillan flat-out refused because he was busy drawing Mario (the nerve!), Dave and Nate used their placemats as a canvas and created beautiful memories for me.  Nate's depicted the scene of what will be his debut song, "Frozen puppy on Christmas morning," which he insists will be 100% original, even after hearing the Cat Carol....ah, the Cat Carol, which I'll share in a minute.

Frozen puppy on Christmas morning:

...and Dave's personalized SQL script.  I heart my geek.  :)

But back to the Cat Carol...the highlight of the conversation during the party, in my opinion.  The most horrible Christmas carol EVER, written by Meryn Cadell.  Maureen even had to leave the table at one point because I kept humming the melody and she was tearing up - she's the one who introduced me to this masterpiece.

I'm not bashing the artist or music, just the scenario presented in the song.  I would explain why I think it's horrible, but I think you should just listen to see hear for yourselves: 

You're crying, right?!?  If you're not, you're dead inside.  You just are.

After the Cat Carol sharing session I opened some gifts, including a lovely poem my dad wrote for me that told the story of my 14-year (and counting) college journey.  It was so nice of him to take the time to write that for me and it means so much to me! :)  I also got all 4 seasons of Felicity on DVD - the best college TV show ever, if you ask me!  These seasons have been on my Amazon wish list for years, and finally I own them!  Yay!

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the party in any way - it really means a lot to have you lovely people help me celebrate this milestone...can't wait until the next one!  :)