Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Last week I had Helen sit down and help me plan the menu.  I gave her some kids' cooking books.  Had I known how the recipes would turn out I would have been more picky on the recipes.  They weren't so yummy.  One even tasted like plastic.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Almost Moving Meals

So I am in full throttle of cleaning out my fridge/freezer in preparation for moving.  I've got 4 weeks to use up stuff in there before it gets pitched or given to family living close to us.  So here is what I have planned and what each meal includes that I am trying to use before we move.
Mini Hamburgers
- photo taken a long time ago

Monday - Pork Chops & Rice
(pork chops from the freezer, Worcestershire sauce from the fridge)
Tuesday - BBQ Hamburgers
(hamburger from the freezer, BBQ sauce & mayo from the fridge)
Wednesday - Mac & Cheese
(ham & mixed veggies from the freezer)
Thursday - Stir Fry Veggies & Rice
(stir fry sauce and soy sauce from the fridge)
Friday - BLT's
(bacon from the freezer)

Other things I will be using up in breakfasts and lunches this week: vanilla honey butter, jams, buttermilk, frozen corn, and the never ending supply of ice pops.

And there we have it.  I'll be linking up this post with Orgjunkie Menu Plan Monday!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Our New House

 well...er, a new play house.

Pile of moving boxes
+ a hubby who wants to play with gigantic Lego's
- a somewhat clean living room
= 2 girls who adore their daddy.

The Black Table & Chairs Set

So without further adieu, here are the table and chairs I have been working on for a long time.

The table before.
I received this and two chairs from Jake's mom
when she was getting rid of them.
I forgot to take a picture of the chairs
before we pulled them apart.
They were so wobbly & wonky
This is the last of the rungs and a seat
that I still needed to scrape.
Jake's dad, Brian, and I scraped all the of chairs
instead of heavy sanding or chemicals. Thanks, Brian

Here are the chairs all scraped and glued back together.
Now as sturdy as ever!
Apologies for the blurry phone picture.
Here is the finished set.
It is nothing what I had planned on it being when I started,
except the black around the edges of the table.
I stained parts with a charcoal colored stain
and left the rest natural in color.
More views of the two colors on the chairs.
I made this set for the apartment in Jake's parents' barn.
Back of the chair.
The table top.
I had originally planned for all the natural parts
of the table to be a light gray
and the table top to included
a darker stained layout of a card game.
I couldn't bare covering the wood grain though,
or maybe I got talked out of it.

Again the top of the table and seat of a chair.

I liked how it all turned out.  Thanks to Jake's dad for all the help and use of his barn/shop and help, without it, I'm sure the table would still be outside on my patio unfurnished (winter is cold here!).

I already have a list of next furniture projects.  Really praying we get a garage when we move.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

More Organizing & Keeping it Real

Here are a few more projects that I have been working on; some were started before my weekly projects came to be.
I took all this out of my medicine drawer.
They were all expired or medicines we didn't use.
And this is is what I was left with.

I don't remember what was on the top shelf there,
but I cleared it out and put some of my food storage there.
Here is one cabinet before the reorganization.

And here it is after.
There are a few dishes missing - I am going to do dishes after I blog.
Here is the upper cabinet

These are the Ikea boxes I put our DVDs in .
I labeled them so Helen can find the ones she is looking for.
My dresser during the filing process.
Glad those days are over.

My dresser now.
Craft closet before.  Oh, so sad.

So much better.  I love it now!
I can find and access stuff so much easier now.
And it is easier to put things away.
And to keep everything real, because my apartment is far from spotless, here is what it looks like now with boxes and packing supplies stacked everywhere in the corners.

There were some more packed boxes next to these, but I moved them yesterday. I didn't like being pushed into the table so much while eating.

And, sadly, they got moved here:

Goodbye cleared hall.  I enjoyed you for a week.
At least is not permanent - only until I pack up the dining room.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ironic Last Box

In my last post I shared a picture of my hallway. Ignore the top box, I took care of that in the last post (remember my To File Pile??).
The bottom box and Rubber-maid are what this post is about. This is what I refer to as "The Last Box" as in the last box I need to unpack from moving here from Monterey. It never got unpacked. I had desire but no ambition. It was simply full of paperwork from my internship and life from the point that I got morning sickness when pregnant with Helen until we moved. I didn't feel good enough to deal with it, and then once I did feel better I was busy with a newborn, and it just wasn't a priority.

But there is no way I am going to move that mess back to California!

So for my weekly project for week #18 was unpack the last box. Ironic it is because the next week we start packing to move again. Not going to let that one happen again!

Here is what I kept from "The Last Box": Things I found include some picture books that the girls will love, a empty Rubber-maid container, some expensive nutrition software I thought I had lost, and more hanging file folders (still new in package). Add those to the ones I emptied, and the ones I already had empty and waiting equals more hanging file folders than I will ever need. If you need some let me know.  I'm serious, I need to get rid of some and they don't recycle.

 Here is what I recycled and a few things that had to go in the trash (CD's and name badge).  It equaled 24 lbs.  All in all that is 86.9 lbs of paper I have cleared out of my apartment.
 And here's my hallway.  I showed it to Jake and he jokingly said, "Wow! It's like it has always meant to be this way!"  I slugged him in the arm.
Happy Organizing!
Now on to packing everything else up.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cathartic Filing

Back to Project Simplify.

The following weeks had a lot of filing going on. It is not my favorite thing to do. But it really feels good to have it done. This is where I have changed the most in developing good habits and getting rid of bad ones. I still have to prompt myself to take care of paperwork as it comes (mail, receipts, etc.) but I can definitely feel the difference in my house. So here is how week 6 through 17 unfolded at my apartment.

Week 6 - Start cleaning out filing cabinet, drawers # 1 & 4 (also we were very sick in our house)
Week 7 - Still sick, catch up on normal housework, catch up on previous organizing tasks.
Week 8 - Work on Easter skirts & Conference Bingo (didn't finish either until later weeks - that's just how the week went)
Week 9 - Filing drawers #2 & 3
Do you see how crammed drawer #3 was?
Week 10 - Top of filing cabinet - it was a mess.
The top of the filing cabinet before
Week 11 - Another catch up week. This cleaning out the filing cabinet business took some serious time.
Week 12 - Filing drawers # 5 & 6
Week 13 - Update/clean out 72 hour kits. I rotate the food items and try to add a couple of items every 6 months. This time I decided to rotate half the food every six months. Hopefully then it won't be such a big event.  I am so close to having all the items to make our bags complete. The girls and I need bigger bags though - our tiny backpacks are busting at the zippers.
Also this week's organizing task was to clean out the car. I did it. I swear. Just doesn't look like it anymore.
Week 14 - Finish Black Chairs. Still not done, but close. Hoping to finish them tomorrow. I did work on them a lot this week.
Week 15 - Computer bookmarks. I opened everyone of my internet bookmarks, deleted ones that were no longer working, assessed if I still needed some, and deleted and organized a bunch. This was especially helpful in the recipe section of my bookmarks.
Week 16 - Had family pictures. Hosted Helen's first friend birthday party. She turned 4. More on that later.
Week 17 - Back to filing. This time it was what I called my "To File Pile". It was a box (the top one in this picture).

It was a bad solution to my overwhelmed state of filing. I didn't want to add more to the filing cabinets because I knew I would be going through them sometime to clean them out. I didn't want to have to sift through papers twice, so I just piled them in the box when I wanted to keep them. Uh, I still had to go through them twice as I cleaned out this box to file the things I really wanted to keep into my clean filing cabinets. No more "To File Pile" box!  Yahoo!!

Here is part of the mess I got rid of during these weeks:
Part of my recycling pile.
There were more sacks like these,
but I got so excited to get them out of my house
that I forgot to take pictures.

Some random stuff I had been stashing to send to Deseret Industries,
but ended up taking to our church's Put n' Take.

The hanging file folders that I emptied.

1. Bill to be paid (I've always done this on Fridays, but now it is much easier to keep track of.
I go through my coupons at the same time.
2. To File pile - mainly EOB's I'm waiting for to match bills with.
3. Stamps, envelopes, address book.
4.Label maker & currently a DVD on our moving company.
5. The binder I file all the insurace EOB's until the end of the year.

Filing cabinet drawer #3 (pictured above crammed full) with new space).
I weighed each of the paper grocery bags that I sent to the recycle bin.  Here's the breakdown.
Filing drawer #1 - 0.94 lbs (This drawer is mainly empty file folders and computer paper)
Filing drawer #2 - 12.8 lbs
Filing drawer #3 - 16.8 lbs
Filing drawer #4 - 9.75 lbs (Half of this drawer is my piano books so not much to empty)
Filing drawer #5 - 5.6 lbs
Filing drawer #6 -7 lbs (Half of this drawer was Jake's stash of computer stuff)
Top of Filing Cabinet, Top of dresser, and pre-school art projects and worksheets we cleared out - 10 lbs

That's 62.9 lbs of paper folks!

Moreover though, think of the space and relief I have gained.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Easter Dresses

Here are the girls in their Easter dresses I made them this year.

Thank heavens for the green grass and no snow, and that I found shirts to match the jumpers.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Where was I?

When I heard the news about the September 11 and the Twin Towers, I was 3 weeks into my mission in New Zealand.  We found out in the early morning by a phone call from our district leader's companion.  I remember how quiet the air was (we lived near the Auckland airport).  I remember the next time we saw an airplane in the air.  I remember how wonderful it was when I finally got mail from home 3 weeks later.  Jake was on his mission, too.

When I heard the news that Osama Bin Laden had been killed, I was in my recliner in my living room in Utah nearly 10 years later.  My mom had just hung up the phone, but called right back to say what was going on in the news.  (Thanks for calling, Mom.)  Jake was in a recliner next to me.

Where were you?

Mission Organize Apartment