Monthly Archives: April 2015

That One Book About Decluttering Your House

Tidying-Up

On Monday, Melissa and Jonathon had us over for dinner and it was such a lovely evening.  During our dinner chat, Melissa told me that she had been reading the life-changing magic of tidying up.  Moreover, she told me that she had actually been putting the principles of the book into practice!

As you all know, I am no stranger to decluttering, but I was intrigued by learning about A New Way, especially as Melissa described banishing clothing from her closet that she knew she would never wear again.  Is that not the same problem we all suffer from?  At the end of the night, Melissa sent me home with her copy of the book (that is True Friend Love) and I started reading immediately.

Just a little more than 24 hours later and I have added four bags of clutter to the two that were already awaiting their Goodwill trip.  Books, odd glassware, clothes, all purged.  Things that I/we have owned for the last six years and have never used.  Gone.  At last.

There are a lot of lines in the book that are hokey, many of them having to do with whether or not various pieces of clothing have enough space to “breathe” or “relax” in your closet.  I do not in the slightest think that rolling my socks into a ball disturbs their energy.  I am not going to store my clothes vertically in their drawers.

But, there was one line that really stuck out to me: Spaces that are out of sight are still part of your house. 

That line is why we re-painted the basement bathroom last weekend.  Do we use it every day?  No.  But knowing that it looked Not Right consumed mental energy.  The same could be said for the horrid blue tile that used to occupy our master bathroom, the shelves of books we have received as gifts, or That One Rugby Dress I Bought At The Ralph Lauren Outlet On Black Friday Six Years Ago.

None of these things improve my life and so they need to go.  While the author proposes what I would consider to be a very ambitious style of decluttering: Deal with an entire category of things at once, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to move from room to room and discard all of the things that have been on the keep just in case-list for years.  I am positive that will be more than enough work to get us started.

What I’ve Been Reading

I have this idea in my head that someday, I’ll go back to my very first Books-post and I’ll make a list of all of the books I’ve read since I started the blog. I am sure there are a few here and there that never made it to The Internet, but overall, this has been a pretty good record of my literary habits over the years.  Much like it has been a pretty good record of my life over the years.

Here’s what I’ve been reading lately.  🙂

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

Better Than Before

My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh

My Sunshine Away

One Plus One by JoJo Moyes

One Plus One

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers

Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

A Running Update

Running

We haven’t had an actual running report in a long time, so I think we’re overdue.

On Saturday, I ran four miles. That is the farthest I have run since I had my mole re-removed in January.   I’ve been really quite happy with running three miles/day, but as it gets nicer outside, I also want to spend more time running outside.  So, more miles it is!

I have yet to make any real race plans for the year (tentative goal: Twin Cities 10 Mile), and I don’t know that I ultimately will, but I am registered for the Brooks Invest In Yourself 5k in Omaha on Sunday.  I’ll be sure to provide a full race report on how that goes.  There is a 100% chance I will not be PR-ing.

I am also ‘Tis The Season for sun protection as of late.

For better or worse, I have never been a Wear Sunscreen When You Run Outside-type of person.  As we all know, this really has to change because I do not have the time or the money for any more abnormal moles.  I bought a can of the spray-on stuff at Target last weekend so that I can start making this a habit.  Just the thought of having to put it on sounds exhausting, but I also know that this is an obnoxiously small thing to be whining about.  If you have any favorite sport-sunscreens, by all means, share in the comments section.

I also bought a UV-safe swim top from LL Bean for swimming at The Cabin.Swim Top

It’s sort of surfer-chic, right?  I may find myself asking, Are we on Big Pine Lake or is this the Pacific Ocean?  As mom put it so succinctly, Your dock days are done.  This is another small tragedy, to be mourned over the course of some months.  I don’t anticipate that this will get any use at all until probably late June (hello, Minnesota summer), but I’ll be sure to report back once it does.

 

Basement Bathroom Updates

Six years ago, when Marcus and I were looking at houses, we saw one townhouse with a yellow bathroom.  Marcus was particularly taken by it and we agreed that The House We Bought could have a yellow bathroom in it as well.  It wasn’t my favorite idea, but marriage is about compromise, right?

So Marcus bought The Townhouse and the bathroom in the man cave was painted a lemon-y yellow color.

And I despised it.  It was too lemon-y for the size of the space and it was just really hard on the eyes.  Of course, the correct course of action in this situation was to Not Deal With It For The Next Six Years.

For the past few months (read: Since we updated the tile in our master bathroom), I’ve been inspired to Do Something about that lemon-y basement bathroom – I even made a Pinterest board!  This weekend I had the energy to tackle it.  This was also an exciting project because I have only helped to paint once before and I was banned from painting after that, so this was a chance to start fresh.

Before.

Snap 1

Since the tile floor is not going to be replaced under any circumstances and it is a rather distinctive shade of blue, my goal has always been to neutralize it as much as possible.

The samples up for consideration.

Snap 2

Once I taped the samples up, I went out to the garage to determine what the initial paint color was, to make sure we weren’t going to accidentally re-paint it the exact same color.  We also agree that if I picked out the same color, the project would be scuttled.  Thank goodness I didn’t!  We ended up going from Behr’s Yellow Brick Road to Behr’s Lemon Souffle.

After painting.

Snap 3

Paint dry + new towels.

Snap 4

I know the color difference is not huge.  I think it was a single colorway up on the Behr paint scale.  I liked the depth/saturation of the color in the space, I just needed it to be a little bit…warmer.  I feel like this color achieved that aim.

My next project is to sand the vanity down and repaint it in white.  I think it will make the bathroom look a little bit fresher.  After this is complete, I’ll decide what we’re going to do about the towel rack/toilet paper dispenser/wood paneled cabinet and if those will be repainted in white as well or if the towel rack/toilet paper dispenser will be replaced all together.  If we replace them, I think I’m going to re-purpose one of the towel racks from our upstairs bathroom, as a part of the continual overhaul that is taking place there.  Stay tuned!

Reverb 15 | April | Daily Life

#reverb15 is the opportunity for us to reflect and project throughout 2015.   Each month, Meredith, Sarah and I will be posting on a new prompt.  Join us by writing, or join us by reading. No matter what you choose, come with us.

Daily Life: Show us a day or a week of your life! Include pictures!

Friday – Friyay!  Please tell me I’m not the only one who felt like this was the longest week ever. 

By the point I realized that I had not taken an outfit snap, there were no mirrors to be found.  So I tried to do that pose that serious fashion bloggers do to show their outfits off.  Let me know how I did.

Snap 1

Marcus has every other Friday off.  Every once in a while, he takes a bit of that Friday to bring me cupcakes at work from Sweet Retreat.

Snap 2

I love him.

I got an e-mail today, telling me that I did not have to volunteer this week (I volunteer after work most Fridays) and as much as I enjoy volunteering, I did not mind the chance to go straight home and call it a day.  Once I got home, I power walked.  It’s Friday.  What else is new.

Snap 3

Post-walk, it was time to change and get going for dinner.  For the entirety of this week, I have been dreaming of wearing Lilly.  Knowing that it was 48 and raining, I still picked out this outfit, but then I chickened out when I looked out the window.

Snap 4

I ultimately ended up with the vastly more practical blanket scarf.  I really thought I would be done with that for the season, but apparently not.Snap 5

On our drive to South Minneapolis for dinner, I cracked open a can of Canada Dry.  I’m usually a LaCroix person, but a 12 pack of Canada Dry was on sale for $3.29 each.  Considering LaCroix is routinely $4.99, I was willing to give Canada Dry a try.  Snap 6

So far, I am thinking I would extend my trial for another 12 pack or so and then make a decision.  It is not disappointing, but it’s also not…LaCroix.

For dinner, we headed out to Revival, which is a new restaurant in South Minneapolis.Snap 7

They don’t take reservations and then you have to wait in line forever.  But that’s okay, because you also order a lifetime worth of food.  Snap 8

Which, after Marcus hocus-pocus-ed it onto our table, we ate.  All of the food was delicious, but honestly, my favorite were the hush puppies.  I am a shameless hush puppy lover.

We have officially survived another week-in-the-life kittens, and I must say, it is exhausting.  In some ways, it’s a really fun activity because it forces me to write less, but blog more at the same time.  In other ways, it’s just…a lot of blogging.  That being said, I’ve gotten a lot of feedback that you really enjoy these posts so we’ll see if I can’t plan another week-in-the-life sooner than later.

Friday Food Round-Up!

What to say about this week. I mixed up two pounds of homemade (turkey) breakfast sausage and froze it in half pound servings.  I made two peanut butter pies.  Since we really didn’t cook this week, I also made a batch of chickpea salad that I completely forgot to photograph.

Wednesday – Better Than Grandma’s Meatloaf from The Williams-Sonoma Bride & Groom First and Forever Cookbook, Oven Fries, Steamed Asparagus

Wednesday

Look at us, trying out a new meatloaf recipe!  This dinner actually called for one pound of ground meat and then another half pound of breakfast sausage.  I can honestly say I wouldn’t have visioned those two together in a meatloaf but it was, of course, good.  I’ve also found that meatloaf is probably going to be the #1 way that we use up our leftover matzo from Passover.  Instant bread crumbs!

Reverb 15 | April | Daily Life

#reverb15 is the opportunity for us to reflect and project throughout 2015.   Each month, Meredith, Sarah and I will be posting on a new prompt.  Join us by writing, or join us by reading. No matter what you choose, come with us.

Daily Life: Show us a day or a week of your life! Include pictures!

Thursday.  Also known as the day where I could not be bothered to take a photo.  It makes doing a Week In the Life…tricky.

I wore this Old Navy wrap dress to work today.  I am pretty sure it is still for sale, if you’re digging the pattern.

Snap 1

Today was…long.  Usually when I run inside, I watch whatever I have on the DVR. On the days when I’m stressed (Exhibit A: Today), I throw on my shades and my iPod and skip the DVR all together.  I’m sure it’s strange to say that I wear my sunglasses running inside, but if I’m listening to music on the treadmill, I wear my sunglasses.  The two always go together.

Snap 2

I will be honest, if there was ever an evening for a perfect night in, this would have been it.  But it was wine night and if I was going to leave the house, it would only be for these ladies.

Snap 5

See also: We are selfie masters and the dress code is elastic waistband pants.

Anna brought this really excellent avocado-feta-tomato dip.  Highly recommend.Snap 3

Emily made a cinnamon butter dip for apples and I brought none other than the peanut butter pie.

Snap 4

When I was snapping this photo, I instructed Becky to be a hand model.  I think she did a pretty 11/10 job, don’t you?