Monday, February 27, 2012

Weekly Money Check Up: 2/27/12

1. The most I've spent this last week was on bills. Not exciting, but of course necessary. :)

2. Today I am thankful for the King Cake my mom sent! It was so yummy!

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did this week that made me happy was spend Sunday morning reading and relaxing with my husband and puppy dogs.

4. I will consider this week a success if I go to the gym twice.

5. The thing I am most excited about Spring is warmer weather and sunshine!

I'm linked up with Ginna over at My Pretty Pennies!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

29 Day Organizing Challenge: 3rd Progress Link-Up

Even though I'm a few days late, I do have some good progress to report! Even though my organizing project has not gone exactly as planned, it has spurred hubby and I into an organizing frenzy. We have been working on cleaning and organizing the whole house and the living room, in particular, looks great. The not so great news is that only the bedroom and bathroom are part of the challenge. ;) There's still quite a bit of work to be done there but it's getting better! Hubby cleaned all the upstairs carpets yesterday and today I'm tackling a junk pile in our bedroom and then getting started on at least one of the closets.

This challenge hasn't exactly whipped my bedroom into organizing bliss, but it has gotten us in a good habit of cleaning and organizing our house as a whole. Of course there is still lots of work to be done but at least we're making progress!

Sorry for the lack of pictures (again) but there will, of course, be some for the final link up!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

40 Days of Self Improvement

Mardi Gras is over and it's time for Lent. I am not Catholic, but I come from a very Catholic culture so when Lent rolls around I always ponder whether or not I should give something up. I know a lot of people who give up chocolate, caffeine, or even swearing. The problem with these is even if I were to give up these things, I feel like I would go back to them three-fold on Easter. As I've gotten older I've started thinking of Lent as more a time of self-betterment through sacrifice rather than a time to "give stuff up." I know that many of you who are much more religious or spiritual than I have probably already come to this conclusion, but I tend to be a slow learner in this area. Because of this I've haven't "given anything up" for Lent is as long as I can remember, but given my recent conclusion of self betterment through sacrifice, I thought I could get on board this year.

This year I am "giving up" going out to lunch during the week.

I spend a lot of money on running to Subway or the burrito place because I was too lazy to pack a lunch. Packing my lunch will not only save me money, but should save me a few calories too. ;) I am, however,  allowing one exception. I will continue to participate in work lunches. For example, next week after our staff meeting we are going out for birthday lunches. I will not be the girl eating a peanut butter sandwich in Applebee's. But I also will not use work as an excuse to consistently break my promise. If a group from the office is going out to lunch for no reason, I'll stay behind with my lunchbox. It's not a big deal and usually at least two people stay behind on these occasions.

I'm hoping that being very conscious of packing my lunch (and having things in the house available for packing!) for the next 40 days will get me in a good habit of packing healthy, low cost meals.

Are you giving anything up for Lent?

Note: I'm certainly not condemning giving something up just for the sake of giving something up for Lent. I just never could find enough motivation to do it just because. Everyone has different beliefs so I hope you'll respect mine. :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekly Money Check Up: 2/20/12

1. The most I've spent this last week was on food and such for the puppy dogs.

2. Today I am thankful for the super relaxing weekend I had. It wasn't quite as productive as I had hoped but it was sure nice to be off the whole weekend!

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was take our puppies to the dog park. Imagine that, warm enough in February in Ohio to take them to the dog park!

4. I  will consider this week a succcess if I go to the gym. I have been seriously slacking and need to get back on the wagon.

5. The last thing I ate was chicken, green peas, and rice. My wonderful husband cooked dinner (like always). :)

Happy Monday y'all!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

29 Day Organizing Challenge: 2nd Progress Link Up

Ok, so I'm a day late. Big surprise. ;) BUT, we did make some progress this week. Well, we mostly made it last weekend but whatever. I also don't have any pictures.....but here's what we accomplished this week.

1. Moved the bookcase and all extranneous books out out of the room.
2. Cleaned off the top of the dresses (AND kept it clean!)
3. Began going through clothes and made a giveaway pile (and threw away stuff that wasn't able to be donated).
4. Began cleaning off nightstand.

I know that's not too much, and I hope to get a lot more accomplished this week. Hope everyone is doing well and sorry for the short update! :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bleeding Little Fingers

I have a new obsession. Crocheting. As I mentioned briefly earlier, a friend of mine helped me get started last week and now I can't get enough. Seriously. On Sunday I only stopped because my fingers were so sore that I literally couldn't do it anymore. But now it's Tuesday, and they're mostly healed, and I've continued to work on my somewhat gimpy, slightly lopsided scarf. I don't really care that it's a little special because it's my first project. Right now, I'm making a scarf completely out of the most basic stitch, but I can't wait to learn more. But for now me, my glass of wine, and my bleeding little fingers are going back to work.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Weekend Recap

If you remember from last week, I had a few things I wanted to get accomplished this week. And since I was feeling a lack of motivation. I thought a good old-fashioned list would help me out.

1. Write 3 letter. Not so much. I did write one though!
2. Catch up on laundry (folding and put-away included!)
3. Vacuum sofas.
4. Plan workouts for next week.

Whew! Not as bad as I thought! :)

In other news, the puppies are getting along great. Seriously, they are BFF. Right now they're curled up together on the big bed we bought them for downstairs. And each morning when we go into the office (which is where they sleep) they're usually both in Ella's bed, even though they each have their own. *heart melts*

I've also started a new craft this weekend...crocheting! I've tried to learn a couple times in the past but never really had the patience. But with a little help from a friend last week I'm off to a running start! I only know how to do one stitch right now but I can't wait to learn more!

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Friday, February 10, 2012

29 Day Organizational Challenge: 1st Progress Link-Up

Happy Progress Day! I must confess that I don't have any pictures for you because my pictures at this point would only show more mess. Admittedly, I've only starting seriously tackling this project in the last couple days. Hubby has decided to jump on the organizational bandwagon and that has really helped. Having someone else who is working towards the same goal can be a good motivator on those days when you just don't feel like it. And since I don't have a picture for y'all, I'm just going to answer some questions Laura posed in her post about the challenge in the link-up and take a look at my "Plan of Attack" to see how I'm doing. (And if you're really just aching for some pictures, you can take a look at my before pictures.)

How are you making out with the challenge so far?
Like I mentioned above, I hadn't done much with the room until a couple days ago. Now that we've started though, I'm feeling much better. We've gotten rid of most of the stuff that doesn't belong and need to start working on purging clothes next!

Are you further ahead or behind than you though you'd be?
To be honest, I'm a little behind. I've always been a procrastinator at heart but I really thought I'd be jumping in head first with this one. 

Do you have a purge pile to show me?
Not yet... ;)

Plan of Attack
1. Clear out cups, trash, and other things that don't belong.
2. Go through clothing and throw away/donate what we don't wear.
3. Purchase/make bedskirt and curtains.
4. Organize closets.
5. Organize bathroom counter/sink.
6. Possibly rearrange furniture. 

Ok, I'm not nearly as far along as I had hoped, but hubby and I plan on spending the night at home working on this stuff so hopefully we'll get some good work done!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Falling Behind

Ugh. I totally forgot to link up my What I'm Loving Wednesday post yesterday. :/ I was busy all day yesterday, then it was date night last night, and then I was busy wtih other stuff when I got home. Sigh. And it's even harder to focus with two dogs on your lap rather than just the one. ;)

I haven't even been super busy this week, but I still feel like I haven't had any free time. I think I need to start using my evenings more wisely. I'm so used to working late that when I get off early, I forget that I can still get stuff accomplished. I've also been quite lazy in the mornings lately...see previous comment about dogs. There's just something about two sleeping puppies that convinces me to stay on the sofa. ;)

Maybe I should start making some weekly goals rather than just monthly ones. Maybe I just want to make more lists. Either way, I'm going to list some stuff I'd like to get accomplished by the end of the week. My goal is to get this stuff accomplished by Sunday evening.

1. Write 3 letters.
2. Catch up on laundry (folding and put-away included!)
3. Vacuum sofas. (the new dog leaves white hair everywhere)
4. Plan workouts for next week.

Ok, I think that's it (for now). Hope y'all are having a good week!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Book #3!

So I've finally started on book #3 for the year. I know for some of you speed readers it must seem like I'm reading at an absolute snail's pace. But I rarely get to read for more than 5-10 minutes at a time and it's usually right before bed so I tend to fall asleep fairly quickly.

Anyway, I just finished reading Confessions of a Shopaholic. Truth be told, I started reading this several years ago and never really could get into it. But this time around it was a perfect little quick read after a heavier book. I may or may not be reading the sequels.

So now I've started A Million Little Pieces. People I know who've read it have either loved it or hated it. Honestly, right now I'm having a little trouble taking it seriously because I know it's a fake. I'm going to give it a little more time and see if I can get through it.

What are y'all reading right now?

Oh, anyone else use Goodreads? Want to be friends?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Weekly Money Check Up: 2/6/12

Hey y'all! Happy Monday! (oxymoron? nah.) We've had a super exciting weekend and you'll see why in a moment. So let's get right to the Weekly Money Check Up hosted by Ginna at My Pretty Pennies.

1. The most I've spent this last week was on Ella and all her supplies. Everyone meet Ella, the newest addition to our family! She's an almost two year old terrier mix and we rescued her from Animal Friends Humane Society!

2. Today I am thankful for my amazing puppies, Louis (like Armstrong) and Ella (like Fitzgerald). I so adore my little family.

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did this week that made me happy was giving our puppies (plural!) a bath.

4. I will consider this week a success if I work out 3 times. *crosses fingers*

5. I cannot start my day without coffee. No coffee, no workee.
photo credit

Happy Monday y'all!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

29 Day Organizational Challenge: Plan of Attack

When I decided to do this challenge and posted the before pictures. I really had no concept of how I was going to get this done. So at the end of the week, I sat down and thought about how I'm going to truly declutter and organize this room! The last few are a little vague, but I didn't want to get too specific before I even get into the project. So here goes!

Plan of Attack:
1. Clear out trash, cups, and other things that don't belong.
2. Go through clothing and donate/throw away what we don't wear.
3. Purchase/make bedskirt and curtains.
4. Organize closets.
5. Organize bathroom counter/sink.
6. Possibly rearrange furniture.

This week I hope to accomplish #1 and #2. I've already taken all the cups and stuff down to the kitchen, now I just need to go through and throw away receipts and other random things that like to collect in our bedroom.

Hope everyone is making good progress on their projects!

Friday, February 3, 2012

MFF: It's Back!

So Wifey over at Wife of a Sailor is changing things up a bit and has decided to do MilSpouse Friday Fill In once a month rather than once a week. At first I was a little sad but I have to admit I'm more excited abut this fill in than I have been for one in a while! So good thinkin' Wifey!

1. What is your favorite winter memory? Gosh. I've only really had a couple real winters (that's what happens when you grow up in southeast Louisiana) but having impromptu snowball fights with the hubby last winter were pretty fun. Unfortunately, snow has been pretty scarce for us this year.

2. What is your current favorite TV show? BONES! Though I just finished Season 6 on Netflix and have yet to watch any of Season 7.

3. What was your favorite thing that happened in January? Hm. January was pretty low-key for us (which was very welcome) but I did really enjoy helping to throw a friend's baby shower.

4. What is the best sound in the world to you? While hubby was deployed, it was the sound of Skype ringing on the computer (am I right, ladies?). But right now...the sound of my puppy heaving a big sigh when he *finally* gets settled in my lap. It's the sweetest little sound.

5. What is the biggest lesson you have learned as a MilSpouse (or significant other)? Don't ask questions. There are no answers. ;) (I've been nagging hubby about when we might PCS. He doesn't know. I don't know. No one knows.)

Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

February Goals

It's February! Time for more goals! Oh, and contrary to what the picture might suggest, it is not my goal to nap my way through February (though that does sound kind of nice). Louis just looks adorable and I didn't have a more relevant picture to use. :)

1. Read 2-3 books.
2. Write 5 or more letters.
3. Work out 3x-4x per week.
4. Lose the weight I've gained since the wedding.
5. Send February birthday cards/presents.
6. Plan for March birthdays.
7. Complete 29 Day Organizing Challenge (hosted by I'm an Organizing Junkie)
8. Set savings goals and begin working towards them! (this may mean more progress bars! *squee*)

Are you setting February goals?

If you missed it, you can find my January Goal Review here.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

29 Day Organizational Challenge: Before Pictures

Hey y'all! I hope you're ready to feel way better about the state of your home! Seriously, when I began taking/reviewing pictures for this challenge I got a little nervous. Having to focus on the magnitude of our clutter all at was once a little overwhelming (and this is only one room! but it is by far the worst cluttered right now). I didn't realize how bad it had gotten! Believe it or not, when my husband came home (not even 3 months ago!) the house was spotless. Not a thing out of place. Now, it looks like a couple of hoarders live here. (That is not meant to be offensive. I have some pretty serious hoarding tendencies myself.)

The room that I picked for the 29 Day Organizational Challenge (hosted by I'm an Organizing Junkie) is our master bedroom. Prepare yourself. ;) It's gonna get a little ugly.

First, a picture of our bedroom from the doorway. The bed is made, but there's no bedskirt, ugly mismatched curtains, and the ever present pile of laundry waiting to be folded. Oh, and a really messy nightstand...but we'll get to that later.

And now my corner of clutter. That stuff has been there since before the wedding. Oh, and the cosmetic and jewelry cases sitting on top of the jewelry stand there? They still haven't been unpacked from the honeymoon. :/

The nightstand. I don't think I even need to explain.

Oh the bookcase. I'm not even sure we need a bookcase in our bedroom, but that's where it's always lived. It's also a great spot to dump junk on. Or leave glasses or coffee cups on (I count three).

Oh the dresser. This thing can look so nice when it's all clean but it too has become a dumping ground for everything we couldn't fit on top of the bookcase.

Another little pile of junk! I'm famous for my piles. Seriously. Ask anyone who knows me really well. If it's in a neat pile, it's organized. ;) Although...this pile isn't even neat...

Just one small part of my husband's closet. It was organized at one point in time. But now it just looks like his closet threw up on the floor.

A shot of the other side of hubby's closet. Notice that I can't even slide the door all the way open. :/ And please notice that the shelf up at the top is nothing but clutter.

Enough picking on hubby. This is the "organized" part of my closet. Yeah.

This is how I store my jeans. It seemed like a great idea at first, but it turns out I can't reach up there very well so this is what it ends up looking like.

Oh and this is where most of my shoes live. It seems as though I'm not taking very good care of them.

And since the master bedroom and bath are (very small) and connected to the bedroom by the closet/dressing area, I figured I'd go ahead and include it, because it too is awfully cluttered.

This space, too, has been recently "organized." Noticed the nice labeled bins...that are open and not containing their stuff. Sigh.

So there you have it! My secret's out (though my hoarding tendencies are far from secret). And OMG I'm so ready to start organizing! Happy organizing everyone! (Ooh, and check out the awesome button on my sidebar!)