Saturday, March 31, 2012

365 (march)

I feel like so much has happened this month.
I read 3 books, went to the monster jam, ate lots of sweets (including way too many girl scout cookies), found a new local place to eat (Alpha Dog), did a lot of dog sitting, had Spring break, got lunch with my mom (like old times), caught up with my sister and her kids, wore my pretty green dress a lot, had a lot of needed me time, crafted more, biked more, spent lots of needed girl time with friends, planned for my friend's baby shower, took tons of maternity photos, had Steven's parents visit, watched the Hunger Games movie!!!!, got sunburned, threw our friend's baby shower, and hurt another finger due to basketball.

Thanks March for being so good to me!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

more maternity shots

More pictures introducing Keagan Anthony.
Congrats to my wonderful friends Jen and Joe who are expecting him in June.

And a behind the scenes look:

We tried to get some family shots with the pups too!

Monday, March 26, 2012

52 lists in 52 weeks// week 43

Last year for my birthday I made my annual goal list (24 before 25). I made some loftly goals, but one of them included decluttering my home.

This week I started reading The Happiness Project. I'm only a few chapters in (and am already in love with it), but one of her chapters talks about decluttering her home. In fact, it helped improve her happiness.

So I got to thinking.....even though I've started decluttering, I honestly have barely touched the surface. Now is the perfect time to start. And trust me, Steven agrees. One problem with our living situation is that this has been my home for over 5 years and his for only 1. I've had it decorated the way I've wanted and let's face it, since I'm a control freak, I've kept the apartment pretty much the same. Granted, I did try to get rid of girly stuff (like flowers and posters), but it still looks my place, not ours.

So I went on pinterest. I searched for organizing and decluttering tips. I checked out tons of photos. And books. And websites. And lists.

What I came up with was that this is do-able. I just need to do it. I need to organize my organizing plan and slowly get to it. One task at a time.

The result of all this research are all of these links below (and my own personal organization goal list).

Psst..... have you figured out what the weekly list is??

list 43: What's on your declutter list?

This modern lady blogs all about being a "woman with a plan and routine". She gives tips to her system and how she made it work. It's not just on organizing your home either, but rather organizing your entire life. It gave me a lot of good ideas!

Want a declutter calendar that sends you tips everyday on things you can do to help your system work better? She has a blog too.

There are also some awesome looking books on decluttering that I found on amazon. You can see them here and here.

Then there's "project simplify". Her blog feature lasted for 5 weeks and gives photos and tips. She breaks it down into rooms and "hot spots". It's seriously inspiring.

And lastly, the 21 day challenge. This blogger divides each day into specific spots to clean out and organize, which makes it all a little easier and do-able.

So here's my decluttering list:
1. finish cleaning out the garage.

2. clean out my closet (again).
Like Gretchen mentions, sometimes you need to go back to a place you already cleared and decluttered and see what you might have either overlooked or changed your mind about.

3. work on the bedroom.

4. work on the living room and dining room.
I'm combining these spaces only because they flow into each other and are small since we live in a condo

5. work on the kitchen.

6. combine some things from the house in storage containers in the garage.

7. work on the storage unit outside our condo.
This area is really small, so it ended up being the home of unwanted things that ought to just be thrown away. So no time like the present.

8. take unwanted things to be donated.
Sounds like a duh thing, but honestly there's a point to it, 2 actually. One is that so often I put things in a pile to be donated, but it takes forever to get there, so hopefully this will speed up the process. Two, it's nice to add easy to do and check off items to my to-do lists. That way I don't have a ton of items that take lots of time and energy. I feel more accomplished if there are some I can check off quite easily (especially at the end).

9. something to remember during the whole project: it's okay for the place to look bare.
Maybe this sounds silly, but to me it's something I battle with.
Steven prefers clean, spacious and almost bare looking.
I've always lived in a home where the walls were covered with paintings, and there wasn't a lot of bare space. It also didn't help that when my mom's parents and brother died, we inherited all of their things (including antiques that we didn't have the heart to discard). Because of that, I've always decorated my place likewise. Cluttered. If a wall didn't have a poster or painting, it looked weird and naked. If a drawer or shelf didn't have anything on it, it was awkward looking and needed to be changed.
So I'm trying to change that idea. I'm trying to be okay with bare and uncluttered, because I think it will make me feel less stressed and happier. And I know that's how it will make Steven feel.

10. try new organization idea and techniques. (because i can't leave my list at just 9.....)
something that works better than what I have now.

What does your list look like???

And for more organization tips and ideas, you can check out my pinterest.

5 loves on monday

1. this awesome site, radiant cosmetics. They have some awesome make-up in their shop, and while it is kind of expensive the purpose behind it is amazing. This is really for a great cause!

2. this instagram idea. i know that i've been looking for someway to make my instagram photos into something awesome and this idea is pretty sweet.

3. this blog, marta writes. i love it. you have to check it out!

4. this awesome craft site. its called dollar store crafts and it has amazing, cheap ideas. perfect for teachers and mommas!

5. the invisble children store. i'm sure most have heard about the cause and this is one way to show your support and contribute financially. plus the items kinda rock.



Hope yall have an awesome monday!

Friday, March 23, 2012

52 lists in 52 weeks// week 42

One of my daily blog reads posted an awesome post a couple of weeks ago that got me thinking..... It was 12 things I've learned in 2012. And I knew right away I wanted to do my own version.
True, 2012 is barely really beginning, but I feel like I've already learned so much this year. So I made my list.

My list of 12 things I've learned so far in 2012:

1. Keebler cookies, Coconut Dreams, are almost identical to Girl Scout Somoas. Less money, more cookies. Why did I not know this before?!?!

2. When I cut my hair, I have to do something dramatic. Most of the time I'm not very fond of change, but sometimes I just need something different in my life. Hair is the perfect thing to change. It grows back (and lightens) but in the meantime I have something that makes me feel new-ish.

3. Pizza-ing is not a good way to stop while skiing. The few times before this year's trip that I had gone I always ended up hurting my knees. This year (thanks to Steven) I learned that pizza-ing may be a good way to slow down for some (but not so much for me), it is not how you come to a complete stop. My knees are ever so thankful.

4. I spend too much money on useless things.

5. I have some pretty awesome friends. Granted I knew this before, but this year has yet again reminded me in numerous ways of this truth. I am truly blessed.

6. Big Bang Theory is an awesome, awesome show!

7. Fight fair. This is something I actually am still working on....all the time. And I still have a hard time at it, but I have tried really hard to work on how I fight. For starters, I try to choose my battles. Not everything is worth fighting for, some things you just have to let go. Of course, knowing what to let go of and what is worth saying something is a tricky thing. I also am trying to weed out being passive aggressive. The last part of trying to fight fair is that I try to stay clam. This is really hard for someone with a temper (like me). But I try to watch what I say when I'm angry- so that I don't regret what I say later. I also try not to yell. Even if the other person is talking over me, I try to stay at my normal voice. This is definitely a work in progress, but I've learned that all of it is worth it.

8. To be more selfish. I know this sounds weird...the truth is I've tried to always put others first. Granted I am not that awesome at it, but I really do try. Lately though, I've realized that sometimes because of that I suffer. So I am trying really hard to make sure my best interest comes first (which is what I call being more selfish). Don't get me wrong, I still want to put others first, but for a little while I think I need to make me the #1 priority.

9. Kids are awesome. Seriously- I love being around my students. They brighten my day.

10. When I have a team to route for, I love watching any sport. (It's what's gotten me through March Madnesses.)

11. Drinking and I don't really get along. Most of the time (ok, majority) it makes me sick now. Not fun.

12. New photo shoot ideas. I knew that when I saw this photography blog post I wanted to try it out. And luckily, when I took maternity shots for my good friend Jen I got to try it out. I tried a couple of new photography and editing techniques that day and I honestly loved each one. Whether or not they turned out, it was fun to experiment.

What's on your list?


Monday, March 19, 2012

jen's maternity shoot

This past Saturday (St. Patty's Day) I took some maternity photos for my good friend Jen and her husband. I have to say, it was soo much fun and I actually really like how the photos turned out. Luckily, she loved them too (the most important thing!)
Her are some of my favorites from the day: