Pre-nesting

I’m not very good at updating this thing, am I? haha We’ve found out our little baby to be is a girl which we are excited about. We only said boy initially because they’re easier. I say that being a female myself, growing up with a high maintenance sister & previously dating a guy who had both a son & daughter. Don’t get me wrong – I loved them both but she had MAJOR attitude from an early age & unfortunately I remember my bad attitude through my teenage years. But we’re VERY excited for her to get here. She’s already been spoiled a great deal because Auntie April (my sister) has already gone shopping for the baby quite frequently already.

No luck on the house yet. We’ve found several that we like from the website but when we get there, we know it’s just not the one. We still look but we’ve accepted the fact that we may still be in my house come December when she will be here.

The budget hasn’t really made much process. I do try harder but honestly I have been ordering some stuff for the baby when I see good deals that wasn’t originally in the budget so that throws things off a bit. I really struggle with self control on deals some days – it’s a known issue. Also being female doesn’t help lol

Paul was a liar as far as doing the dishes but he did buy me a dishwasher which I must say has made a great improvement. I don’t despise dishes near as bad & I’ve grown to love my dishwasher & never want to live without one again haha It’s definitely made cleaning the kitchen much easier.

I don’t want to jump the gun & say I’m in the nesting phase because it hasn’t been major & the house still has a ways to go, but I have made some improvements & I’m still working on it daily. The first 3 months I was too tired & sick to do much of anything but after that I’ve felt pretty good most days. However the fatigue is coming back so some days I struggle to do anything besides throw a load of laundry in. My main thing these days is to get the house in order so it won’t be so hard to maintain plus people will be coming over once the baby is home so I’ve got to whip it into shape before long. It’s coming along, just slower than I’d like.

Paul had complained before about my kitchen utensil basket because the stuff gets dust on it because it’s in an open basket & I had to agree with him. I love my dogs & would never give them up but they cause an ungodly amount of dust even up on top of the deep freezer somehow. Anyway, Paul was right & the other day at the dollar store I finally decided to grab a couple clear boxes that closed which will keep the utensils in arms reach but also keep them clean & dust free – yay for a win (picture below)! Also Pinterest inspired me again with this awesome looking pot rack for the cabinet from none other than a shower rod (picture below). While this looked awesome & I was able to create it at home, it only lasted about 15 minutes before crashing down. I do think part of the problem was I didn’t have the rod tight enough because it didn’t feel like I was tightening much so I’m going to have Paul look at it to see if he can get it rigged up better  hopefully we can still use it like that. If not, it was a good thought I guess lol

I’ll try to update this more, I really will. & I’m sure when I’m off with the baby I’ll want to post every little thing she does but before then –  I have to get my house ready & in order. So here’s to hoping I have more progress pictures soon of my clean & organized house lol

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I’m a keeper – quesadillas

Let me preface this by saying this was my first time making a quesadilla & first time using the quesadilla maker. My sister bought it for my ex years ago & he used it regularly but I never watched him make them. It’s apparent I obviously should have haha It also appears their definition of stuffed & mine vary greatly. Here is the finished product :

While it’s not super pretty & certainly wouldn’t pass on any cooking show for presentation, it was super delicious! & hey that means success in my book. Hopefully over time as I use it more, I’ll get better at it but even if they always come out a gooey mess, as long as they’re delicious – I’m happy.

Bathroom Organizing

When I’m reading DIY or organizing blogs I notice how sometimes they have the “after” pictures but not the “before” & they say how they wish they would’ve thought to stop & take a “before” so they could show the changes. I used to laugh at that & think I’ll never get that caught up in organizing that it would’ve been worth taking a “before” picture but now I find myself there & I love it! I hate that I forget the “before” picture because it does make the impact of the “after” that much better, but I do love getting that into organizing.
 
I moved into my house November 2011 & it had previously been my pawpaw’s house. Old men don’t do updates much less keep things clean so I don’t even want to tell you what kind of slate I had to start with. I’m pretty sure that almost everything in the house (except a few things my dad had bought him over the years) was still the same things my mawmaw had picked out YEARS ago. Let me be more specific – when I say years I mean she passed away when I was 5 & I’m 27 now so most things are AT LEAST 22 years old. & yes I mean carpet, curtains – all of it! I loved my mawmaw dearly & miss her more than I could ever express & I will always think the world of her, but I have to admit our decorating styles are very different. Not to mention you’d have to factor in trends changing & such but that’s besides the point lol
 
The reason I gave that little background was because my most recent organizing spurt happened in the bathroom. When I moved in my bathroom consisted of a shower, toilet, medicine cabinet & a sink on a VERY small vanity. I’m talking the entire thing is maybe a foot wide which left me hmm about no room underneath for storage. I ended up putting a couple cabinets from Target in there that I already had from where I’d lived before & using them for storage. While I love Target dearly, I’d had the cabinets for several years already & lo & behold one of the doors recently broke off. I didn’t want that junky looking cabinet with only 1 door in my bathroom & I’d already been toying with the idea to move it into the laundry room so it seemed like a sign. After doing a switcheroo of moving the laundry baskets to the bathroom & that broken door cabinet to the laundry room I realized something. When you put short laundry baskets where tall cabinets used to be you discover bad paint ideas that you had thought would be a good idea when you first moved in. All I could do was laugh though because I’d forgotten about the time when I thought I wanted to paint the bottom half of my bathroom walls green. Oops. I’ll figure something out for it later because I have many ideas in my head for what I want to do to the bathroom as far as remodel but that’s for another day. Here’s the current view that’s front & center when you’re popping a squat.

So anyway I go from 2 cabinets down to 1 & I figure it’s a good idea to empty all the cabinets to sort & purge stuff I’d long forgotten about. I can’t tell you how good it felt to purge a lot of junk & get the cabinet more organized that it had ever been – even when I had 2 cabinets in there, they weren’t nearly this organized. Of course, I got so wrapped up in it I didn’t get the “before” picture but I do have a lovely “after” that makes me happy. Sorry for the crappy iPhone picture quality – it’s one thing that’s always handy & not ever far from me.

 

Who doesn’t love a clean kitchen?

Is it just me or when you get angry/annoyed do you end up cleaning things you’ve been avoiding? Whether you’ve been avoiding it for a few days, weeks, months etc – you reach that point where you decide to take it out in the form of cleaning. While this is a bonus, I don’t like to reach that point. However, I’ve been ridiculously annoyed lately so I had already reached it. I love cooking on a gas stove but I hate cleaning it! The residue from the gas leaves such gross & terrible marks. I’m not sure if I took pictures when I first moved in but it used to be my Pawpaw’s house & let me tell you – old men don’t clean gas stoves. That thing looked horrible! The first time I super cleaned it & it looked amazing I vowed to keep it that way. Did that last? Of course not. I have every intention of keeping my house clean & organized to the fullest extent but that doesn’t mean it actually happens. But hey – I’m only human, right?

Anyway to say the least the stove had reached the point of looking pretty rough again. So add that to my super annoyed mood & you have a cleaning frenzy. I’m a fan of Spic & Span from the Dollar Tree store – yes the store where everything is simply $1. I’m cheap too – did I mention that? Honestly though I’d really like to get into using Shaklee & that’s next on my list but for now this stove needed cleaned ASAP & you can’t often beat $1 in price. So I decided this time to read the directions just for shits & giggles. Good thing I did because it turns out you’re supposed to let it set for 10 minutes & I’d never done that before. I was very pleased with the cleaning results of the Spic & Span – again, you can’t really beat it for $1. I also cleaned my kitchen counter off too because it was long overdue as well. Sadly my kitchen is probably my biggest downfall when it comes to cleaning.

So of course since everybody loves a before & after … TA DA!

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Also a quick update in regards to fitness I walked 2 miles at the park down the road one evening last week & I owned it! It felt so good to keep walking & the more I walked the easier it got. Not to mention I had some music bumping in my head phones which made the motivation that much stronger. I definitely plan to keep going but the weather has been a little crappy here lately, but I think I might just walk anyway. I love the smell of fresh rain & a little rain never hurt anybody.

-jess

Still organizing – slow but steady

This has been an incredibly busy past few weeks for us & it doesn’t slow down really until June. I’m not complaining – I love that we have so much going on & so far everything has been a blast to do. I have still been organizing more & further purging more stuff in the front room I did for my 30 day challenge.

I have another box of goodies to give away to a friend:

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I have more empty boxes that I love!!:

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& this shows off one of my new favorite finds – reusable zipper ties – looove them

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Sorry this is such a short post but after this weekend my butt is dragging. I’ll do a better post with more goodies later.

-jess

31 Day Organizational Challenge – Final Reveal

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1. What space did you decide to organize and why? I chose the front bedroom to organize because it was absolutely the worst room in my house. When I moved in November 2011 I lost the luxury of having an out building for storage & I didn’t realize the gravity of the situation until everything was at the new house which left me not very much room. I did a large purge – I think I went from 20+ totes down to 12 but that’s still a lot of totes not to mention boxes. The front room became an absolute dumping ground for items that had no specific destination. After reading about this challenge I knew it was time to stop dragging my feet & whip it into a room where I didn’t feel the need to keep the door shut constantly.

2. What steps did you take to ensure you completed the space within the 31 day timeline? I setup a timeframe of what I would like to have accomplished each week instead of each day that way I didn’t feel like a failure if I had a lazy day or 2 during that week, as long as things still got accomplished by the end of the week.

3. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and how did you overcome it? Finding the motivation to actually tackle the room initially was a bit of a challenge. I’m a great planner & list maker but when it comes to actions I can be quite the procrastinator. Definitely something I need to work on! It helped having the link-up’s listed because I felt accountable to have some progress to show for myself. After getting started though, my momentum began to build & now I’m ready to start purging & organizing the rest of my house. I may have created a monster, but I think I like it!

4. What did you do with the “stuff” you were able to purge out of your newly organized space? There was quite a bit of trash (more than I’d like to admit) of stuff that just needed sorted through & tossed that I never took the time to do. It felt good to finally get rid of junk that was just taking up space. There was also a lot of clothes, toys, etc that were just stored in there that basically I no longer have a need for. Instead of tossing them though I took them to a friend’s house to let her sort through & pass on what she didn’t want. There was also the bunk bed that a friend took & I was more than happy to get rid of as it was just sitting & collecting dust. I was happy to give away much more than I threw away :)

5. Tell me one of your proudest moments during this challenge? Let there be carpet! I was very happy & felt that sense of accomplishment when I could see not just carpet but several feet of carpet! Stuff had been strewn about that room in such a mess it should have been embarrassing but it honestly served as great motivation to get that room in order & now I never want it to look that way again.

6. Explain any organizing “tools” you used to help you create additional space and to establish some limits and boundaries? I had some empty totes (which will be my tools) that I’d been storing in that room as I never throw totes out because I can always find something to use them for later or when I do a purge of clothes or other items it’s convenient to take the items to the next destination in totes. However there was plenty of work those totes could be doing yet they were just setting there empty in the floor. I think I ended up using 2 or 3 of them in the black stand to corral some of the randomness of that stand. It not only organized some items on the stand but it also freed up quite a bit of floor space that the empty totes were taking up which gave me even more carpet!

7. What is ONE piece of organizing advice you’ve learned on this journey that you could encourage someone else with? I’ve read it before & realized the pure geniousness of it but never put it into play but I will now. Set up boundaries for yourself! Choose a tote, basket, etc for certain things that will be your limit of what you keep. Or choose it to be a holding area for a certain time frame of items that you aren’t sure of & if it’s not used by that deadline – get it out of your house asap! My problem is keeping items until “one day” or waiting to use them “some day” & then they just end up taking up space not being used & sitting in an empty room when someone else could be putting them to use. Just because it’s still in good condition doesn’t mean I have to hang onto it. I won’t throw it out, but I’ll definitely be passing along more items quicker than I used to.

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I’m obviously still not done – but I need to sell the mattress before I can get it out of there & my out building will hopefully be built sometime early spring which will also store some other items from this room. I’m really excited to continue working on it & the rest of the house & can’t wait to do even more before & afters. Wish me luck!

-jess

31 Day Organizational Challenge – Progress – Part 3

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I can see carpet!! Who would have thought just seeing carpet space would give me such a sense of accomplishment? It feels good to have a lot of space in there now & I’m happy to say that hardly anything got thrown away which is even better because I love giving away good stuff that still has plenty of life left.

As you can see I rearranged some things that are still in the room. The back corner past the garmet rack in this first picture is items I’m keeping in that room & they will be more situated later. The mattress is still for sell so it’s just on the back wall to give me more space for right now.

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Even more floor space – say WHAT? haha I love it. This room is by no means huge but I forgot how much space was really in there when all the clutter & mess was in there. It felt good to get so many boxes & so much unused stuff out of there.

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In the updated picture on the right that corner with the bunk bed parts & the tote with more bunk bed parts will all be gone hopefully on Friday. The trash bag in front of the stand was taken out last night also so that’s another piece of junk removed!

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Also – not sure if you noticed but there was a blog address change. The “jessdaily” just wasn’t me & I’m not sure why I had thought of that anyway – “countrygirlwv” has been my logins/usernames for years & it’s just who I am. It feels good to have it on here now too. :)

More talk has been going on as far as the out building. Dad made a suggestion that we could box in part of my back porch for an “out building” & that way I wouldn’t lose yard space plus it would be much cheaper. He had me hooked at “cheaper” haha No it really did make a lot of sense to just box in part of the back porch & I basically just use that part now to store stuff so it’ll just be boxed in & look better so that sounds like a plan to me! Hopefully we can get that done pretty soon once the weather warms up around here. I’d be happy to get some totes out of my closets & off other parts of the back porch. No worries – I’ll be sorting & purging before putting any totes in there once it’s built so hopefully I’ll get rid of more stuff that I haven’t been using.

Hopefully after clearing a lot of the junk out of the front room I can get my friend Bill to come take a look & see what he thinks & what he’d charge me to put the panel up in there. Yeah – the same panel that’s been sitting in my kitchen since Nov 2011 when I moved in. I’m not even sure if it would still be good to use so I’ll have to get his thoughts on that as well but that room is long overdue for new panel, but then it will look that much better & get me even more excited to get it setup how I want & keep it neat & organized.

2013 has definitely been a brand new year & a brand new me for sure & I am loving it!

-jess