The Make Room Challenge: Week One–The Master Bedroom

I am such a sucker for design/organization challenges!  Sure, I can organize on my own but I tend to get a little ADD and lose steam.  But a daily or weekly goal that’s not set by me?  Bizarrely enough this makes it easier.

Clearly my failure is at goal setting.

Anyways… I saw a big, shiny banner ad for The Inspired Room’s new book Make Room for What You Love and since I pretty much am every click-bait advertisers dream I went to check it out.  I hoped it going to be like the KonMari trend without the talking to your shoes.

So I click on the ad for this book and it turns out they’re doing a promotional organizational challengey thing. SOLD.  And by “sold” I mean “signed up for free.”  Five weeks of organization goals sent to your inbox every week and since I’m in Spring Cleaning mode this works out perfectly for me!

Week One is the master bedroom.  Specifically organizing clothing and accessories.  This was very much on my to-do list anyway so the timing was perfect.

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I am so ashamed to be showing this picture online… this is seriously what the top of our dressers have looked like for months.

 

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My closet is actually fairing a little better thank god.

Step one is to take everything out of your drawers/closet.  I decided to tackle my closet and dresser separately so I didn’t have complete clothing chaos and I started with the closet.

 

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Ooof-duh as we say in Minnesota.

At this point I ever-so-slightly switched gears. Ya’ll have probably heard of capsule wardrobes I’m guessing?  Where you pair done your clothing to around 30 pieces for each season?  While that’s a little too minimal for me (and I am most definitely not a minimalist) I think the concept is solid and the guidelines to get you started can be used for just about anyone to sort out unworn items and pinpoint their style. Try not to get hung up on emotional attachments.  Sure it was a gift, but is it any better for something to sit there unused rather than donating it?  Or maybe it’s something you bought with high hopes but never worn.  It happens to all of us, if it’s really not working, toss it even if it’s brand new.

The first things I put back in my closet were the things I wore constantly.  We all have those things.  After my favorites were hanging up I looked at their overall color selection and style feel. Everything I put back after this I tried to blend with that palette and style. This is the big reason I opted to do the closet first–it’s where my more stylish pieces are (my dressers is more undies, t-shirts, tanks, and PJs).

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Better, right?

 

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And the stuff I’m bidding a fond farewell to.

I did the same thing to my dresser, but the photos are less interesting and I am most definitely am not posting a photo of my knicker drawer.  My shame does have some boundaries. Trust me though, the inside is way better.

 

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And so is the top!  My jewelry was the big killer–I never got a good system in place after we moved so the tops of both of dressers just became my personal dumping ground.  The shelf brackets and hooks are from IKEA and I had a leftover board to use as the shelf.  BAM storage top and bottom!  I didn’t bother painting them because, while I have an idea in mind for the bedroom, I don’t know the exact colors yet. Same goes for the mirror–that was salvaged from our bathroom (don’t you recognize the brown?).  I was trying it out in the space for balance.  I think I have a better mirror for here though, I just need to find it….

I still have a ways to go–I want to get some drawer dividers for my dresser and completely revamp my closet system.  Those are projects for another day, but purging all the clutter is the first step.

Friday Favs: Happy-Hour All Weekend Long

Happy Memorial Day weekend!  While it’s really a time to honor our Nation’s deceased veterans, the focus tends to be a little more a little more on barbecues and booze (….and appliance sales…. go ‘merica*).    The good new is that with a long weekend you can do both!  Attend a Memorial service, spend some beautifying a loved one’s grave site…and celebrate with friends and family.

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And if you like your celebrations on the boozy side, here are some cocktail recipes for you to try out.

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Rosemary Gin Sparkling Lemonade Via Creative Culinary

Matt and I are both mad for Gin + Tonics… although I’m a little more open to variation than he is.  Rosemary-gin-lemonade?  Sounds deliciously summery.

 

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Fruit + Tonic Via A Beautiful Mess

If lemonade isn’t your jam, maybe try a different fruit with your g+t.  I think the blackberry sounds especially amazing!

 

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Peach Sangria Via Tori Avey

Our go-to Sangria recipe is, oddly enough, more winter-friendly, using oranges, lemons, and limes.  Peaches just started appearing in stores here and I cannot wait to try this more seasonal recipe.

 

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Classic Mojito Via Chef Savvy

Mojitos are one of my favorite summery drinks, and I just planted some mint this year (if you do grow your own mint make sure you keep it in a container otherwise it could take over).  You can also easily make mojitos by the pitcher.

 

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Caipirinha Via All Recipes

Ever heard of a caipirinha?  Most people I know haven’t, but they’re all missing out.  It’s basically a Brazilian margarita–delicious, simple to make, and massively boozy (so be careful about how fast you go through them!)

Looking for more?  I’m a little biased towards gin and rum so if you’re looking for something else Total Wine’s website has a recipe index by type of liquor.

And of course, please be responsible people.

 

*I feel like there really needs to be a be a proper sarcasm tag in HTML…

Friday Favs: Kitchen Gear

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Matt likes to cook and I like to bake, but with limited space we haven’t amassed a huge collection of kitchen gadgets (and I’m actually not a fan of super-specific gadgets).  I thought I’d share some of our favorite kitchen pieces though.

 

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Kitchenaid Stand Mixer

Ohhh yeah, the highlight of any wedding registry, right?  If you don’t do any significant baking you probably don’t have to go this fancy, but for me it’s awesome (especially come my annual Christmas Cookie Bonanza).  I haven’t bothered with any of the uber-fancy attachments, but I do really like the flex-edge beater.  I also feel a little lame that I stuck with the classic stainless steel when there are so many color options out there, I just figured there were cheaper ways for me to change up my kitchen color scheme.

 

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Food Processor

The first food processor I got Matt was a little mini-prep one.  It was amazing for dicing onions and chopping up things for guacamole…. but then we discovered the joy of using a food processor to cut in butter so we upgraded to a bigger model.  Matt makes scones every Saturday so he actually uses this one more than me!

 

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Electric Kettle

I’m a big tea drinker, and Matt’s the only coffee drinker in the house so we don’t have need of a full coffee maker.  An electric kettle though?  It makes us both happy, and this one also looks so cute on our counter! Personally I prefer the ones where the kettle is independent of the heating element, but this particular one is a little heavy because it’s ceramic.

 

Pastry Blade
Pastry Blade

It looks so simple, but it’s so useful!  Anytime I’m working with a stickier dough it help to cleanly remove it from my rolling surface and get cut-out cookies off without deformities.  It also will do a great job scraping off cutting boards if you want to compost or just don’t have a garbage disposal.

 

Oxo spatulas
Oxo spatulas

Spatulas are pretty standard cooking gear, but these specific ones are my favorite.  They’re one solid piece so you don’t get ickiness building up in between the blade and the handle.  As I was putting this post together it looks like more places are making solid spatulas… plus some in fun colors!

 

Cookie scoops
Cookie scoops

What’s my secret to perfectly proportioned muffins and cupcakes?  A cookie scoop.  It’s super easy to get the batter from the bowl to the pan and a large (3 Tbsp) is the perfect size for a standard muffin tin.

 

Oxo salt and pepper shakers
Oxo salt and pepper shakers

I have a nicer set on our table, but for the counter I love these because they’re a combination shaker AND pour spout.  Cool, huh?

 

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Parchment paper (in sheets!)

You can find rolls are parchment paper most places, but the flat sheets are kind of amazing.  No ripping, no curling, just easy-peasy.  (Also, if you’re in a bind you can substitute a cut up paper bag for parchment… just never use wax paper as a sub).

 

Ricer Cooker
Ricer Cooker

You know how I said I didn’t really like task-specific gadgets?  This one’s the exception.  Sure, it’s not that hard to make rice on the stove top, but having to get it just right when you’ve got other stuff happening?  It can be a little putzy and this guy takes all the guesswork out it (plus a lot come with a steamer so it’s not totally a single use gadget).  It’s also no more work to clean up after than another pot you would have used to make rice anyway.

 

Spring Cleaning: Media

Another trouble spot for me is Media.

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Music

I have my music pretty solidly under control since I switched to download only for any new purchases and ripped everything else to computer several years ago. I’ve known some music snobs though who still prefer to buy CDs so they can control the settings when they rip them to their computer.  If you’re among the music snobs you may still want to back everything up on an external drive and then rid yourself of the physical  CDs.  Seriously, you Do Not Need Them.

My personal favorite media player is iTunes (yup, I’m an Apple fan girl*).  It’s free, and I really like their sorting options.  Most people know iTunes, but not everyone knows the extent of their sorting options (heck, Matt still complains about their options and I don’t think he’s used iTunes in a decade).  I also have a nice Bluetooth speaker so I don’t have to haul my computer around to listen to music around the house.

Movies + TV

DVDs are my main trouble spot.  Most downloads are protected and will only play on whatever player the seller says (ex: iTunes, Amazon Video).  I don’t particularly care for these restrictions so I continue to buy hard copy.* Unfortunately DVDs take up gobs of space.

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It’s not even that bad, but shuffling through all the boxes was annoying, plus Matt started to complain about my collection so I decided to compact it because I’m a good wife. Matt’s a fan of the disc binders but I think they look kind of ugly.  You can get nicer looked ones, but they’re pricey and the style still doesn’t fit what I’m looking for.  I opted for inexpensive CD sleeves, labels, and a couple small bins.

Labels: $10/350, Mircrocenter

Sleeves: $2 /100, Microcenter

Bins: $6, Target

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Please ignore my slightly dysfunctional curtains…

I have one bin for movies and one for TV (and a third for the extras/special features disc).  I may add some dividers for genre/TV Show Name, but right now it’s just alphabetical.  The movie labels have the movie title, rating, and run time, and the TV labels have the show name, season/disc number, and episode names.  On some I could fit the episode names on the main label, but for others I had to print a second which I just stuck on the back.

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It works for now, but I have dreams of creating a CD sized card catalog style drawer system some day.  I’ve been looking for plain wooden CD drawers that I could cobble together, but no such luck so far.  I may try and make the whole thing from scratch, but drawers are a little finicky.

If you have oodles of free time, you could also rip all your discs to a portable drive and plug that right into your computer.  My current computer is USB only and my old laptop was very slow at ripping DVDs so that may be a super long-term project for me…

Books

Oooh this one’s touchy for me.  As I’ve mentioned before, I LOVE books.  Not ebooks, real, physical books.  I also tend to hoard despite the fact I live right across the street from a library.  Basically, don’t use me as your role model for book storage (but if you do, no judgement here).  I still browse through my collection occasionally and weed out things that no longer hold my interest…. when we moved I think I got rid of about 5 books…

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Also, does anyone else wish amazon paired an ebook with any hard copy books you buy like they do for CDs?  That would make travel delightful for me (which is like the only time I really use ebooks).

Photos

Last time I touched on cleaning up photo files on your computer, but what about preserving your photos?  You take them for the memories right?  So you probably want to go back through them now and again.

I’m not much of a scrapbooker, but I love having nice printed albums.  You don’t have to print off your photos before hand, you can resize as necessary, and they’re so much slimmer than if you scrapbooked by hand.  I tend to have individual albums for big trips/events, but I’ve also been toying with the idea of creating little “yearbooks” to use the random photos I take over the year.  I saw the idea on Young House Love and I think it’s a great idea.  I’ve been using Shutterfly for my printing so far because they always have coupons, but there are tons of options out there.

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If you don’t want more stuff (more power to you!) albums might not me for you.  You may still want to put together slideshows to make your digital photos a little more accessible.  iPhoto has a slideshow option, but my dad (who is not a total Apple convert) just uses Powerpoint and it works for him.  Bonus, if you hook your computer up to your TV you can show off your photos to a whole room of your captive family and friends.***

 

 

*Except for the iPhone… I have an irrational dislike of their charger.  I hit charger Zen when I realized all my small devices took a micro USB.  Why do you want to take that away from me Apple????

**Ok, Doctor Who I still buy off of iTunes so I can get instant gratification

*** I actually like seeing people’s photos, just pleaseplease spend at least a little tend editing them before showing them to other people…and I don’t even necessarily mean like Photoshop editing, just weed out the super blurry ones and the 20 bajilion duplicates, mmkay?

Spring Cleaning: Computer + Internet

Yay, the dining room’s done!!! So now what?  Nothing quite as dramatic unfortunately, but still important house things.  I want to get the entry way and upstairs hallway painted (walls + trim), tackle some landscaping now that the weather’s getting nice,* give the micro-bath a mini makeover, and, of course, tackle some Spring Cleaning.

Dun dun DUUUN

I don’t know what it is about the change to spring that prompts the crazy cleaning sprees in everyone, I mean, wouldn’t winter make more sense because everyone’s holed up inside with nothing better to do anyway?** Maybe it’s because you’re finally able to open up windows and air everything out, and the outside seems all clean and fresh so people suddenly get the urge to keep up.  Either way, I don’t think I’m the only one who goes on a spring cleaning rampage.

I kicked off my rampage with my computer.

springClean_comp1Files

I have a nasty habit of saving random crap all over my desktop.  So periodically I delete the old stuff and move the important into properly organized folders.  My two big computer clutterers are photos and design projects. Photos I break down by year and then any specific events/trips.  I have specific folder for blog related images too.  For design projects I have WIP folder with current projects arranged by title and sub folders for each for Design, Web, and Finals.  Once the project is complete I have a Completed Projects folder arranged by year and then project.  This is also a good time to back up any files on an external hard drive and remove any non-essential files from your main computer.

Email

I love gmail, but the virtually unlimited storage means I get lazy about deleting, and seeing a full inbox kind of drives me a little crazy.  First I look for mailing lists I’ve ended up on and unsubscribe from any that I don’t care about.  I also use the search feature to hunt down specific senders so I can delete whole pages at a time.  I also created a spam account awhile that I use for anything that needs an email but I know will never send me anything useful.***

Facebook

Spring cleaning Facebook?  Boo-yah!  I don’t mean deleting everyone you haven’t physically talked to in the last year (although if that’s your thing, knock yourself out).  I recently discovered the Acquaintances option and I have found Facebook zen.  Have someone who posts what they ate for breakfast every single day?  Have someone who shares every single page/article/video they find?  Have someone who just”likes” a lot of things that that are not at all relevant to you, or gets tagged in a ton of stuff from people you don’t know? I’m fine with this stuff in moderation but it was getting overwhelming!  BAM!  Acquaintances to the rescue!.  Facebook will weed out only the “important” stuff to show in your main feed, but you can always navigate to your acquaintances list if you feel like you’re missing out. It’s not 100% perfect, but it definitely tones the feed clutter waaaaay down.

If you’re logged in you can go right to https://www.facebook.com/friends/organize This will populate a list of suggestions for who to add to your acquaintances list and you can select in bulk.  It’s not perfect though and won’t show everyone on your friends list.

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If you want to add someone who doesn’t show up here, look at the menu to the left of your normal feed.  Acquaintances should be right under the Friends heading.

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If you click on it you’ll now see your Acquaintance feed and to right hand side you’ll see a search box with Add Friends to This List.  Voila!  Facebook Zen.

Other Stuff

If you’re feeling really ambitious you can also tackle your Pinterest boards.  I periodically weed through my Likes and decide if they’re worth assigning to a board, if they actually only link to spam, or if they’re still only in that limbo that is Likes.

Pinterest has basically taken the place of my Bookmarks, but if you’re not a crazy pinner that may be the area for you to clean up.  Do the links even still work?  Are they organized so you can find things?

For phones and tablets you can see if you have apps you never use that are worth removing.  Just be careful if you don’t actually know what something is, and google to see if it’s an essential process.

There’s also the physical cleaning of your computer–vacuuming out keyboards, cleaning screens, dusting out towers.  Depending on your monitor you’ll want to search for the best cleaning method so you don’t end up damaging it. Apple recommends dampening a lint free cloth with only water and wiping off the screen.  Don’t spray liquids directly on your screen though.

Nothing too crazy right?  A few key areas still make a big difference for me in how less cluttered my electronic life feels.

 

*Ok, so it’s been raining all week, but it’s “nice” in that I no longer need my winter coat

**Can you tell I’m so not a winter sports person?  I prefer to hibernate under the couch.

***if you’re wedding planning, seriously do this and get a Google Voice number to give to sales people… I had to lie and tell a David’s Bridal sales person that we had eloped early just so she would stop calling me!  (buying a different dress elsewhere wasn’t enough of clue apparently) Google Voice will automatically transfer calls to other lines, but you can block numbers with a single click.  Also super useful when car shopping.

Vegas Baby!

So we accomplished sod all on the house this weekend, instead we skipped town for Las Vegas.  Neither Matt or I are big gamblers but we had friends who were going and it was 75 degrees there and 20 or lower here.  Plus Matt had never been to Vegas and it’s definitely worth seeing.

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We got in Thursday evening and headed back early Sunday morning.  We came, we ate, we drank*, we gambled (a little and came out very slightly ahead), and we saw some drag queens (Frank Marino’s Divas at the Linq).  The weather was beautiful  which was good because we walked a lot.  If you’ve never been to Vegas, everything looks deceptively close.  Also, because of the wonky sidewalks, wait time for the monorail, and insane traffic on the strip, walking, monorail, or cab takes roughly the same amount of time…. although if you don’t walk you can avoid the random street mime. I don’t do mimes. I also don’t particularly care for clowns.

Vegas

We stayed at the Flamingo which was A) centrally located B) A decent price and C) I kinda dug the fact that it was a little more old school Vegas.  Most of our time was spent on the south end of the strip (Mandalay Bay, The Luxor, New York New York).  On our last night there I hauled Matt through The Venetian which is GORGEOUS!

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By staying at the Flamingo we got free tickets to the High Roller ferris wheel, which was actually pretty cool despite my serious discomfort with heights.  Once you were in the bubble-room-thing it was silent and the ride was totally smooth so I was actually calm the entire time.

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One of my friends hauled the girls off to The Luxor to visit the Pearl Factory where you can crack open an oyster and get a pearl for $15… and then of course they try and sell you on the setting.  Do you have that one friend who’s just an instigator?  Yeah, she was my Maid of Honor and one of our travel buddies.  She had stopped here on a Vegas trip a few years ago brought the rest of us over to the place, must to the chagrin of our husbands.

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I am probably a jewelry sales person’s worst nightmare–I don’t do sparkles (no diamonds for me) and I make most of my own jewelry.  I thought it would be fun to try and do my own setting for a pearl… which didn’t go over too well with the sales lady, but what evs. I got a lovely silver pearl which was probably my best luck in Vegas since I thought those were the prettiest and I didn’t own any dark pearls.  Then I had an idea for a double pearl setting… so I cracked open another one (this one was pink)!  I’ll keep you posted on how my DIY pearl setting goes…. I think it will be amazing!

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We also avoided all the time share pitches… one of the other couples wasn’t as lucky and suckered into it.  They didn’t end up with a time share, but came back way later then planned and “felt incredibly violated.” Everyone kind of wanted to see how Matt would handle the sales pitch since he’s got the lawyer arguing skills down. Neither of really wanted to lose 4+ hours of our life  during a 2 day vacation though.

It was a fun few days and I even stayed up way past my usual old lady bedtime… and then got home and passed out.  Now it’s time to get back to work on the house!

 

*Boozy milkshakes FTW

AT January Cure Week 5

We made it! Full disclosure though, I kinda slacked on this week again…

Monday: Catch Up Day

I actually missed this day altogether, but considering it was a catch-up day I don’t feel too bad.  Sometimes you just get home from work and want to ignore everything for the rest of the evening, right?

Tuesday: Landing Strip

Um… didn’t accomplish much here either.  We already have a landing strip set up in our entry.  A little IKEA RAST dresser fits nicely between the stairs and living room wall and that stores our junk drawer, a stationary drawer, and a drawer for flashlights/candles/assorted basic tools.  On top we have a bin to corral mail.  It could definitely use a mirror and a trash bin but I think I’m just going to have to keep an eye out for some finishing pieces rather than try and force it.

Wednesday: Surface Sweep

Matt took care of this one without even knowing it.  We had people coming over for dinner on Friday and he wasn’t going to be home until pretty late on Thursday so he tried to get in some quick tidying where he could.

Thursday: Empty the Outbox

Not emptied yet…just have to make some time for a Goodwill run.  I spent Thursday grocery shopping and doing food prep for Friday.  We have an awesomely full out box though!

Weekend: Cook a Meal, Relax, and Enjoy!

Friday night we had 6 of our friends over for Bibimbap 2016. We’ve done a bibimbap night once before and it was super successful and V2 was as well.  Food was delicious, kitties were being attention whores, and I think I good time was had by all…. and then Saturday we started to destroy our dining room.  Stay tuned!

AT January Cure Week 4

This was a really light week for me since most of it was addressed when we moved over the summer.

Monday: Media Fast

Ugh, I HATE the media fast.  I tried.  I did.  I spent and hour measuring and hanging curtains in our dining room, I did dishes in a timely fashion… and then I went back the the computer.  Fail.

Tuesday: Lighten up the Living Room

The focus on this one was paring down your accessories… which we did when we moved.  Our decorative objects sat packed away for months after we moved so I was able to be a little more objective when I unpacked and placed them.

Wednesday: Cabinet Clean-out

Again, done during moving.  Nothing makes you more willing to throw stuff out than the prospect of packing it up and hauling it with you.

Thursday: Look Through Your Linens

My closet clean-out choice was our linen closet… but we don’t tend to collect linens anyway so there wasn’t much that needed to be done.

Weekend: Flowers + Bathroom

Wow… I failed at the weekend…or won the weekend… I’m not sure which.  Friday night We decided to try and get into to the concert at Paisley Park.  It was announced on Twitter, tickets were only at the door, and there was no mention of whether or not Prince would be preforming (but I guess sometimes he just randomly does).  But it was funk night with Pho and Graham Central Station so Matt really wanted go.  Participating in a party at Paisley Park with a possibility of a Prince performance is just one of those things you should try and do if you live in the Twin Cities.

So we went, we got in, we danced, and Matt even saw Prince wandering around*.  We left around 1:30 because my feet were killing me** (and it was after the scheduled bands were done) so we didn’t get home until after 2.  As far as we can tell we didn’t miss an impromptu Prince performance, so I don’t feel too bad about being the one to make Matt leave.

Why am I mentioning this all when I should be talking about Cure progress?  Because I usually go to bed around 10 so this was a crazy late night for me.*** I woke up on Saturday feeling mildly hungover, and I had only had wine with dinner the night before.  I then proceeded to accomplish absolutely nothing on Saturday.  After dinner Matt suggested a trip to the hardware store to pick up outlets so we could try and fix that fiasco on Sunday, but I declined because then I would have to put on real pants.

On Sunday we actually Got Shit Done.  Some shit at least.  We went to the hardware store, got new outlets, found a new light fixture for our pantry, and picked up so extra storage bins for the basement.  We also picked up another sheer panel for the dining room and weekend flowers while we were at Target.  I got 3 different vases out of these $5 spray roses and the greenery left over from week 1.  Pretty sweet, huh?

ATCureFlowers4

Matt attempted to replace the kitchen outlets and then we discovered that they’re on the one breaker in our house that’s a 20 amp instead of a 15.  Doh! This might explain some of the earlier issues.  We’re just so goddamn brilliant sometimes. We didn’t want to head back out so Matt tackled the pantry light instead.  We had to convert a wall mounted lamp to add a pull chain and there was success all around!

We also got some assorted crap moved out of the living room, did a general clean of the bathrooms (no deep clean needed since we did that as we did the makeover) and tried to corral the paperwork that has a tendency to accumulate in the dining room… so it’s not like I completely slacked off this weekend.  I also worked on a couple mini-projects that will be putting an appearance later.

Oh, and because it’s bathroom weekend (and I clearly haven’t rambled on enough yet…) here’s my current though for the micro-bath.

microBathMoodBoard

 

*I saw the silhouette of a short guy with a big afro with his back to me, so I guess I did too?

**Matt is under strict orders to never let me wear those shoes again if we’re doing any significant amounts of standing/walking.

***Yes, I know, I’m old.

AT January Cure Week 3

Monday: 10 Minute Observation

Ok, this is possibly my least favorite assignment of the cure.  You tell me to sit quietly and think about a specific thing, I’ll probably space out and think about something else.  Maybe I’m a little ADD…. or just contrary.  Anyway, I tried pondering our dining room since that’s our next big project and within two minutes I was at my computer brainstorming ideas for the bedroom that I had previously been stumped on.  So now I have a bedroom plan in place so I’m still calling this a success.

Tuesday: Clean out a Closet

Give yourself 30 minutes to work on cleaning out a closet and then stop? DONE!  Our hall linen closet was starting to get a little out of hand so that seemed like a good thing to tackle. I organized and boxed all our first aid stuff and medications, refolded sheets, moved extra towels into our new bathroom closet, and pulled out a random piece of wood and 2 light fixture globes(???).  Spencer also decided to help out with this one.

ATCureCloset

Wednesday: Work on a project

I FINALLY got curtains done for the kitchen!  I chose to work on that because it seemed like a nice, doable evening project.  They’re a faux roman shade because, let’s be real here, I’m not going to be regularly adjusting the shade the behind the sideboard.  I hung sheers behind the shade to soften the view (busy-ish street, not too pretty) and provide a little privacy (see busy-ish street) while still letting light in.

ATCure2016Project

Thursday: Plan Your Get-together

I like this idea of having an end goal.  Just spent January getting your house back in order?  Celebrate when you’re done!  We’ve been meaning to have people over for Bibimbap for a while now so this seemed like a decent excuse to get it organized.  We don’t have a date set since we’re trying to coordinate with 3 couples, but the plan is in the works.

Weekend: Flowers + Bedroom

I finally replaced my first batch of flowers… well, added to since I’ve only had to toss a single stem so far.  I picked up a bunch of assorted greenery and some baby’s breath since I’m hoping for long-lasting again and I love the texture of the greenery.  There’s some eucalyptus in there so it smells pretty awesome too.

ATCureFlowers3

The bedroom was more difficult than the flowers… luckily(?) it was barely supposed to get above zero* this weekend so it’s not like I was going anywhere. I finally got my drawer dividers made, put away 2 baskets of clean clothing (that, yes, I have just been digging through in the morning), and washed all the bedding. I discovered the Oxyclean White over the summer and it is ah-ma-zing.  It’s color safe so you don’t have to worry about anything with a pattern, and it makes a HUGE different on dingy whites.

Everything got a good tidying and dusting (my most hated chore ever) and I hauled out everything that had no business being stored in the bedroom.  Ladder? Half of our tool collection? Curtain rods meant for the entire house? Really?

ATCure2016Bedroom

Ugh, I could not get the color balance in this photo to look decent, and this is the first time I’m showing a picture of the bedroom post-move-in.  It doesn’t look quite this drab in person but the yellow tones in the beige paint just bring everything around them down when I try and get pictures.  Don’t worry, I think this room’s up next for an overhaul after the dining room!  And I even have a plan now!

Also, full disclosure: dressers still need to be excavated. But look how good clean this half of the room looks, right????

 

 

*Minnesota: come for the hotdish, stay because your car doors just froze shut.

AT January Cure Week 2

Monday: Make a List of Projects

Oh boy, this is going to get a little lengthy, bear with me.

Entryway

  • Add a boot tray (front door and back)
  • Organize Landing Strip
  • Mirror

Living Room/Family Room

  • Put away Xmas decor
  • Unpack remaining boxes
  • Hang curtains
  • Corral DVDs

Kitchen

  • Frame & hang artwork
  • Add curtains
  • Add shelving
  • Replace wibbly-wobbly outlets
  • Touch up paint on cabinets
  • Remove paint splotches from floor

Dining Room

  • Clear off & demo bookshelves
  • Patch walls
  • Redo moldings
  • Add tin ceiling
  • Hang (and hem) curtains

My Study

  • Fix outlets!
  • Clear out random crap
  • Add shelves to closet
  • Hang curtains

Matt’s Study

  • Hang curtains
  • Remove ceiling tile
  • Connect ceiling light to switch
  • Add closet door
  • Replace moldings

Bedroom

  • Excavate dressers
  • Hang curtains
  • Add jewelry storage
  • Excavate closet
  • Remove closet door mirror
  • Fix baseboard trim

Tuesday: Purge the Pantry

Our pantry is in relatively decent shape at the moment.  This is probably because we only moved in 6 months ago there’s no better pantry purge incentive like moving.  Our pantry is also not very deep so we don’t tend to lose things in its depths.  We do need to tame our tupperware  though and corral some smaller items in bins.  The pantry will get a complete over-hall, hopefully within the next year, but it’s functioning decently for now.

ATCure2016_pantry

Wednesday: Set up an Outbox

We were actually ahead of the game on this one and already started an outbox with a bunch of tupperware from our pantry. I added old hangers some clothes I don’t wear anymore as I worked on other projects during the week.

ATCure2016_outbox

Thursday: Declutter a Drawer

BAM!  I…. didn’t clean out any drawers, but I DID clean out my closet and found some clothes I didn’t even know I had (that’s a good sign your closet desperately needed cleaning).  I also picked up some foam core board to redo the dividers in my underwear drawer though.  I never put my existing ones back after we moved and I just made use of Kohl’s Intimate Stock Up Sale to refresh said underwear drawer.  I disliked my existing dividers (HOFTA from IKEA–too flimsy and doesn’t fit perfectly in a MALM dresser) so I’m going to make my own with the foam core (although I will not be sharing a picture of my knickers on the internet when it’s done.  sorrynotsorry).

Weekend: Flowers + Kitchen

There wasn’t a lot of deep cleaning to do in the kitchen since we’ve only lived here 6 months and I did a full kitchen overhaul when we moved in.  Instead I chose to do a general cleaning and then tackle a couple of the smaller kitchen projects from my list: touch up cabinet paint, replace wonky outlets, hang curtains.

The outlets turned out to be a way bigger pain in the ass than I anticipated.  Our wiring is a little jacked up (yay for old homes?) which makes things incredibly frustrating.  First one of the outlets sparked on me AFTER we cut the breaker.  Turns out it was still getting a very slight current from somewhere (which one of our testers could detect, but the other couldn’t), but we couldn’t link it to a specific breaker so we had to cut the power to the entire house.  Has anyone else had this happen to them?  Because it’s absolutely mind boggling to me.

The other 2 outlets I was working on were easier despite having some weird existing wiring happening.  Unfortunately after we brought the power back on only 1 of the 3 outlets I replaced actually worked.  ARGH!  We have idea what’s wrong with one (see “weird existing wiring”) which should be annoying, but fixable and I’m hoping the other one is just a randomly defective outlet, otherwise I’ve got nothing.

ATCure2016_kitchOutlets

At least they LOOK way better, right? We’ll fix them, but at the moment I’m still swearing at them so it’s probably better to take a break.  I also think I’m going to need to do some drywall patching around the switch/outlet pair since the reason they were all wibbly-wobbly was that the hole for the electrical box was cut too big so the tabs on the top of the outlets aren’t able to brace themselves against the wall.

By the time we were done fighting with the outlets I was all “I hate electrical!” and “Screw the curtains!” but I did touch up the cabinet paint (it suffered from a couple small drips when we painted the walls), remove the splashes of over-spray from the floor (from when I spray painted the radiator), and did a solid cleaning so I’m calling it a successful weekend.

My flowers from last weekend are still going strong (go carnations!) so I’m going to wait to buy more until this bunch needs to be tossed.  Maybe I’ll buy a new potted plant though?  Menards has some nice looking spider plants and Phyllis (my cut-leaf philodendron) is looking all hella sad.

ATCure2016_phyllis

Whomp whomp.

 

Previous Tasks

Week 1