Monday, September 29, 2008

Organizing my life

I started redecorating my condo this spring and since have moved everything in my house at least twice. I removed all the carpet and replaced it in the bedrooms and installed wood flooring in the living room/dining room. I've undertaken a few other projects to complete the renovation in the main living area. I had been avoiding the second bedroom-until this weekend. I've been torn what to do with this room and finally figured out a happy medium. This is my new guest/craft/exercise room.

The biggest undertaking was organizing all my crafting stuff and getting rid of the stuff I don't need anymore. I'm taking advantage of the bookshelves to store desk stuff as well as all my exercise equipment (videos, weights, etc.)


I know it doesn't look very impressive but I was able to centrally locate all of my supplies and now I can find everything in their labeled boxes! And, lots of extra storage for the future!
Eventually, I'll have a crafting desk I've got my eye on where the sling back chair is currently. I still need to hang up my pictures, bulletin board for inspiration pictures, and maybe a few shelves. In the mean time, I'm looking forward to working out and reading in this room. Most of my windows face north but the two windows in this room face east and it gets great light in the morning. I only have a few projects left until my whole house is done, but this was the last big one, yeah! The couch pulls out so I'm ready for guests if you want to visit Indy!

Chapped Lips Irony

I read this article on Real Age today. I looked up a few of the products I've used in the past and 3 out of the 4 had Phenols. Might be something to check out if you find yourself repeatedly reaching for the balm.

Chapped Lips? Avoid This . . .

If the cooler fall air has you reaching for your lip balm, flip it over and look at the label.

You might want to ditch it if you see this in the ingredient list: phenols. Why? These compounds actually strip the top layer off your lips, according to RealAge skin expert Dr. Amy Wechsler.

Peel Appeal?
Phenols are included in some lip balms (Blistex, for one) to help remove very dry, chapped skin off the surface of lips. But if you’re just trying to keep lips moist, the phenols can backfire by removing your lips’ natural protective layer. That may also explain why some people get addicted to them, Wechsler writes in her new book, The Mind-Beauty Connection -- the stripping effect can leave lips feeling raw, so you reach for more balm.

Careful Lip Care
To break this vicious lip-balm cycle, Wechsler recommends opting for a good moisturizing lip balm instead. One of her personal favorites is pure, simple Vaseline petroleum jelly. (Use it at night, since it offers no sun protection.) If you need to slough a bit of dry skin from your lips, just brush them very gently with a soft, wet toothbrush.

RealAge Benefit: Doing routine self-examinations for skin cancer can make your RealAge as much as 1.7 years younger.

Isn’t it terrific when a drugstore bargain turns out to be great for you? Pucker up and kiss those dry, chapped lips goodbye! Restock your medicine cabinet with a fresh jar of Vaseline, and start reaching for it again. Thanks, Dr. Amy!

References: The Mind-Beauty Connection. Wechsler, A., New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008.

Copyright © 2008, RealAge, Inc. All rights reserved. RealAge shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. RealAge® is a federally registered trademark of RealAge, Inc.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

In the Kitchen

I've recently run across two different offers to share! The first is from Kitchen Aid through REAL SIMPLE. They are looking for great kitchen moments or memories. You can sign up and share your story here. If your moment is chosen you'll win these great prizes!
The second offer is through Kraft and Blogher. Share your favorite "Feel Good Meal" here and you could win a $100 grocery gift card!
Leave a comment if you enter either of these contests and be sure to let us know if you WIN!
Good Luck!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

91 Days

I know this seems ridiculous but hear me out. In the last week I have stumbled across three different Christmas Planning sites and one hard copy manual. I don't know if I've just been under a rock the last few years but I was intrigued. I like them, especially "100 Days of Christmas" because it takes the time to break everything down into small manageable pieces. Organized Christmas breaks down housework and decluttering each space for later decorating. The last couple years I feel like I've been too busy and too stressed to be able to enjoy the season and be thankful for the true meaning of the holidays. I'm confidant that participating in a program like this will help. It also takes time to plan for the holidays between now and Christmas. I don't do what they say everyday but it at least gets me in the mindset. Check them out, they have different levels of planning and include too-do lists too!
100 days to Christmas
Christmas Organizing
Organized Christmas

It may be Fall but...

On Monday, the first day of Autumn, I looked out the window at the office and saw one traitor of a tree that was standing tall and proud in all it's golden glory. It was then that it hit me that Fall was coming and it wasn't going to wait. Cut to today--I was in my friendly neighborhood big box buying the necessities; turkey, milk, the Sex in the City movie. In one last glimmer of summer I then came upon a beautiful sight! Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, YUM! One of my most favorite parts of summer still available. I rushed home and had a big bowl of yogurt and berries for dinner. It may be Fall but at my house it is still summer!
I guess I'm giving my feelings for Fall a bad wrap. I actually like Fall. MY birthday is in the Fall (and I still love my birthday)! Football games, camp fires, waking up huddled under the covers with a cold nose, sweaters, what's not to like? My problem is winter. I hate the Winter and Fall is the last step before Winter. I was thinking about this on the way home tonight-here is my ideal year: Standard Spring with the trees budding and flowers blooming. Warm (but not too hot) Summer with sunny days and playing outside. Fall with cooling days and changing leaves. Then, the best part, Winter would be the month of December only. Cold weather to foster the Christmas spirit, hot chocolate, skating, shopping. Then Christmas morning would have 6" of beautiful fluffy snow perfect for playing in and building a snow man. Then at the end of the month it would start to warm up-Spring! Ah, what a great year. If anyone knows where this exists be sure to let me know!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Take Action Tuesday (or Wednesday as the case may be)

This week's TAT has to do with recycling. Did you know you can recycle crayons? Bicycles? Metal siding? I was surprised to find how many things are recyclable . It may require mailing in small items or doing some research in your community, but with the internet it is really easy to find! So check out the links below and recycle something you never have before!
Real Simple: How to Recycle Anything
Consumer Recycling Guide
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful
Recycling Revolution

Monday, September 22, 2008

I'm Back!

Well, after being really busy two weeks ago and under the weather last week I finally feel like I'm getting back to my normal life (whatever that is!). I was doing dishes and it took a long time because I'd let them sit for too long. I was trying to figure out how my life gets off track so quickly when I stop thinking about it for just a minute. I equated it to a fragile ecosystem. Then I read a blog entry on one of my favorite blogs about a very similar topic.
In the last week I've been able to refocus on what is really important in my life. I learned a long time ago the order is God first, Family second, Career third. When all three of these pieces are balanced so am I! What keeps you balanced? Please share, my blog has been lonely floating out there in the blogosphere. Remember, for every comment left you'll be entered in a great giveaway!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Take Action Tuesday

Thanks to a few good friends I started reading blogs a couple years ago to keep up with their lives and their kids. It has been something that I used to spend just a few minutes with every week or two. Over the last few months I have spent increasingly more time reading blogs and even writing my own now (thanks for reading!). The whole idea of blogging is somewhat strange because you tend to pour your heart out, at least those are the blogs that I enjoy reading the most. A few weeks ago I read on one of my favorites, Design Mom, about another blogger that has quite a following and had been in a small airplane accident. In the three weeks or so since the accident there has been a tremendous outpouring of love and support. So much so that the New York Times and even the Today Show ran stories about it. They have raised money for the care and recovery of Stephanie and Christian and brought to light a special bond that resides between relative strangers in the 'blogosphere' as it is called.
The fact of the matter is there are many such stories all over the blogging world, and each of them are special. Whether it is funny photos of the family pet or updates on a grave situation, everyone is telling their story. So for Take Action Tuesday this week I encourage you to get to know your blogging neighbors. You don't need to have a blog of your own to participate, so reach out and cyber-touch someone (and don't forget to leave comments, blog authors LOVE comments!). A great place to start is with any one of the blogs below-they have a TON of links to others, see where you end up!
fabulously green
I'm an Organizing Junkie
Just Beachy
*BONUS* Leave a comment about what you found! And, for every comment you leave on my blog in the month of September on any of my posts you will be entered in a drawing for a fabulous prize. Tune in near the end of the month to see the prize, but I promise it will be great and something everyone can use!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Great weekend!

This past weekend was (possibly) the last trip to the lake for the year. We tried to enjoy it to the fullest! Sitting on the dock at my parents' house is honestly one of my favorite places to be. I have a hammock I set up where I sun myself and listen to the waves lap up on the rocks. The only sounds of humanity are boat motors!

Above is the new patio we put in this spring, it is a good resting place between the house and the dock!

As you can see everyone was relaxed and had fun; my brother and I swapping hats, Hawkins enjoying a boat ride, and my parents on the deck! Good bye sweet lake house, see you next year!

A funny little book

I was at my friendly neighborhood big-box this evening and was strolling through the book/magazine area and found a book that made me laugh out loud! Don't worry, it isn't dirty! It is a little picture book basically with some great lines in it. Below is one of the pages. If you can't read it, it says "Ooh, look. The NFL playoffs are today. I bet we'll have no problem parking at the crafts fair". While I'd be more likely to want to watch the playoffs then go to a craft fair, the idea is pretty good! It got me to thinking. As Single Gal what would I really appreciate my mate to do? I loathe doing the dishes. I also despise taking out the trash. One of the other pages in the book is a complete hottie scooping the litter box, that would be awesome too! That's about it, pretty much everything else I can tolerate. Mr. Right-if you're out there, please know that I look forward to sharing chores and if you volunteer for these two that will win you BIG points! ;)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Take Action Tuesday

It feels like Monday but it is, in fact, Tuesday. As I mentioned in my last post I've been out of town for the last several days. This afternoon I plucked 4 days of mail out of my mailbox and found nothing that I wanted to open. So, this week's "Take Action Tuesday" involves mail. In this electronic age I treasure a hand-written note all the more and seem to write fewer and fewer of them. This week dig out your beautiful stationary or note cards, take out a loan and buy some stamps and grace 2 good friends or family members with a personal note.
Take Action! Go! And be sure to leave a comment if you participate, ESPECIALLY if you choose to take action in a different fashion. May be a good idea for a future Take Action Tuesday!

I've been around this weekend!

It has been a crazy 5 days! I've traveled 700 miles, been in 3 states and made my bed in 4 different places. Some time was spent on work but most of it was on play. I'll have some great pictures to post later in the week. The adventure began Thursday in Indy and went from there...
Friday-New Albany/Louisville KY
Saturday-Columbus, OH
Sunday and Monday-near Millersburg, OH
Tuesday-Columbus and then finally home to Indy
Hawkins and I are very tired after our big adventure and the kitties are glad to see us (I think)!
Good night!