Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Salad Dressing Bottles and Other Annoyances

So today's challenge - like all Monday challenges - is to prepare for the upcoming week's challenges which will focus on the fridge/freezer.  I opted to get a jump start on the fridge and ended up tossing 6 almost empty bottles of salad dressing.  There's always that last little bit of the bottom so that the bottles aren't quite empty but good luck to the person who actually wants to get that dressing on their salad because it's about as easy as nailing Jell-O to a tree.  Why is that?  You'd think there'd be a better way to package salad dressing right?  Sarah and I prefer the Kraft Fine Herb dressing which is oil based so that one comes out clean but G and Chloe like the Three Cheese Ranch and those just never empty themselves out it seems.

In other news G and I finished Season 3 of Hell on Wheels tonight.  If you haven't seen it I strongly recommend it but must warn you of the rampant racism in Seasons 1 & 2.  It gets a bit better by Season 3 but keep in mind this series is set just after the Civil War so there are some not-so-pretty realities of the times depicted.  We'll be moving on to season 2 of Vikings next.

Sarah is in exam time so I'm running back and forth from work to pick her up in the mornings.  She doesn't have an exam tomorrow which is good because I'm hoping to get some uninterrupted work done.  Her math exam didn't go so well and in fact the whole course didn't go so well but I told her that it's grade 9 which is a huge adjustment and that we'll practice so she can do better next year.  Her issue is speed rather than knowledge.  Maybe I should have pushed her harder; I did offer to get her a tutor and she declined.  I'm figuring it's a good lesson for her to see that sometimes you don't have to just work hard, you have to work smart.

She's doing very well in her other 3 classes which is good because I worry about her anxiety and self-esteem.

Chloe is loving going to aftercare 2 days a week and enjoys going to aftercare for PA days as well.  She's such an easy going happy kid it's hard for me to give her the attention she deserves because she doesn't seem to need it as much as her sister.  I know she does so I try, but sometimes it's hard.  I'm figuring I'll have a reckoning once she hits puberty.

As for me, I'm planning a trip home for my sisters' birthday in February.  I'm going to drive myself which is very scary for me so I'll be sticking to the back roads and pulling over for bad weather.  One of the perks of being married to the boss is that I pretty much get to take whatever vacation time I want.

Anyhow, that's what's new with me.  I'll be finishing the fridge over the next two days going through the drawers and giving it a good wipe down.  Pics to come eventually.  I confess I love seeing what other people keep in their fridge.

Hope all is well with you and yours,

Best,

Julie

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Finally Got To It

So as predicted the production run this week kept me pretty busy.  I was also still fighting with the cold so after work I didn't get much done.  I'm finally starting to feel better and as you see in the photos below, I finally got to declutter under the sink! (It really wasn't bad.. took me like 5 mins tops)




Challenges this week included:  

Declutter baking sheets and dishes - this actually went rather quickly as well and once I was able to get this done I was also able to get all of the baking sheets put away in the storage drawer under the stove rather than having them in the oven itself.  YAY!

Declutter canned food:  To be honest I don't keep much so there was nothing to throw away.

Declutter spices:  I have a ton of spices so I just refilled the empty bottles on the countertop spinning spice rack to make a bit of space.  I learned that tossing spices is very difficult for me.

Declutter pantry shelf.  I needed to do this to make space for some of the things under the kitchen sink.  The pantry is by far the hardest place for me to keep the clutter down because old food is constantly leaving and new food coming in.  Plus the girls move things around all the time.  The pantry is my nemesis!

Fill out pantry inventory:  This is one of those challenges that I really don't think would help me very much so I'm going to pass on this one.

Today we're heading to the recycling depot and Costco.  Chloe is at a sleepover and will be picked up early tomorrow so we can take Sarah to the Reptile Expo so she can get a waterfall and some other things for her new frog tank.  She had her math exam this week and it did not go well.  She is acing all her other classed but really struggling in math.  I'm glad the semester is over now though I'm hoping she takes some time over the next months to keep practicing so that grade 10 isn't as challenging.

I'm still clearing the counters every night and I can't tell you how much that has helped my attitude in the mornings.  Waking up to a dirty kitchen is an exhausting way to start the day.

Hoping all is well with you and yours,

Best,

Julie.



Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday challenge


Today's challenge was the kitchen cupboards. Here are the ones that haven't been posted with the exception of the one over the fridge which is basically long term storage:


The last one is the over the range cupboard.  The first one is the everyday dishes (all the big plates are dirty right now) and the middle one is the plastics/water bottles.  Chloe still isn't ready to give up her plastic cups so I have to keep those awhile longer.  The top shelves are overflow -- stuff I don't use often.  I obviously have a mug problem.  You'll also notice that all my wine glasses (all 6 of them) are up top because G and I are not big drinkers.  What you can't see is that there is a hidden corner in the 2nd cabinet were I can hide stuff we rarely use like gravy boats even more plastic dishes.

I do plan on completely gutting and re-doing the kitchen in the spring and I will be doubling the number of cabinets so I'll be able to make things look a little less busy then.  This works for right now.

I still have to tackle under the sink.  That'll be my project this evening.  The coming weeks are about food storage (pantry/fridge/freezer) so that'll be a bigger project for sure.  I'm hoping I can keep up with those challenges tho some of them might not be up my alley.

Today we're running around to get the office cleaned, return books to the library, bring Sarah to Pet Smart and pick up some groceries.  We also have to put away over 6 baskets of laundry so you can go ahead and start envying me now.

I wish I had a week off to get the house back in some order.  Sigh.  Never ending struggle.  Weekend comes and I need to clean and run errands but all I want to do is rest.

Hope your day is fun is productive!

Best,

Julie

Saturday, January 17, 2015

On the Mend

Well, I did cave and finally went to my doctor.  She gave me two puffers and some antibiotics.  I'm feeling a bit better every day though I haven't quite kicked this thing yet.  I'm hoping not much longer as it's getting really tedious.

In other news, the new production run is about to gear up so things will be very busy at work in the next few weeks.  This also coincides with Sarah's first set of high school exams so she'll need me to be on call to pick her up when the buses are delayed.  Should prove to be hectic and crazy.  Ah well, such is life.

My decluttering has pretty much come to a standstill but I'm o.k. with that since I'm actually only behind by one challenge (under the sink) which I will tackle tomorrow.  It's already a rather clutter free space so it shouldn't be too difficult.  I did spend a few hours tackling filing and organizing filing cabinets this morning.  I have a feeling my home office decluttering is going to take a really long time.  It's just been a catchall for the house junk for so long.  Oh well, you know what they say about the journey of 1000 miles starting with a single step right?

Other than that things are o.k.  The cooking class the girls are in is turning out to be a bit of a bust -- so far they've learned to make cookies and homemade mashed potatoes.  Not exactly what I'd have figured for two hour and a half classes.  Chloe is still loving after care at the school and went for a P.D. day as well. 

Sarah is starting to look into different career possibilities involving animals and habitat design/recovery/preservation which might mean changing high schools in grade 11 and giving up the French Immersion Program.  She's not too keen on the changing school part so I've told her to set up an appointment with the guidance councillor.  We've signed them up for Safari Zoo Camp again this summer and they'll likely be doing a week or two at the Toronto Zoo Camp as well.  Sarah will try to get into the Summer Coop Program in Costa Rica next year when she's old enough to enroll to work with sea turtle environments.  I think this is a more viable career path for her than animation to be honest and I've always figured she's be working at the Zoo when she grew up.  We're also going to see about signing her up a Teen Zoo Ambassador.

Tonight we're going to watch Godzilla which should be tons of fun.  Watched 47 Ronin last night which was a bit weird but not a bad movie.  Got me thinking about Keanu Reeves and how much I'd like a sad Keanu doll.  Also would love to see him and Sandra Bullock get together.  Silly I know but Lake House was one of the more tolerable romances I've watched in the last decade.



Anyhow, that's what's new with me.  I hope all is well with you and yours and if you have a chance, please say a prayer for my friend S who is losing her 10 year old son D to pneumonia due to complications arising from shaken baby syndrome.  It's truly heartbreaking :(

Best,

Julie

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Crazy busy

I haven't forgotten about you blog. I've been sick and busy so to be honest I haven't really been decluttering the way I would like. I have been ahead of the challenges though so I haven't fallen behind.  More importantly, I have kept my counters cleared so that I start with a clean kitchen every morning which has been wonderful!!

Sarah has her drama play tonight so I probably won't get much done today either. I have already decluttered the junk drawer which is today's challenge. If I do get around to doing something more I'll let you know. 

Hope all is well with you and yours. 

Julie. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Two Days in One

I pretty much passed out right after supper last night -- I know my exciting life is just TOO adrenaline  junkie for the rest of you but you'll just have to suffer through all my bragging if you want to see pics of my organized spaces ;)

The challenge yesterday was clearing the kitchen table which is not a problem for me because that space is sacred for me.  I know the big thing now is to have those breakfast bars with stools for the kids to eat at but I'm old school when it comes to meals and I make us all sit together at the kitchen table for meals when we're home.  No screens, no phones, question of the day to stimulate conversation and spend actual time together.  Some days that's the only interaction we seem to get with Sarah who hides herself away upstairs most of the time.

So I don't feel badly about passing out because I was already ahead of the game.  Today's challenge is to organize your kitchen linens.  This is the now organized drawer of linens in the kitchen:



I also organized the kitchen linen cupboard in the laundry room.  I didn't really get rid of much, just folded it and but it away properly.

I figured since this didn't take all that long that I'd tackle a few more cupboards since those are coming up this week.  I did my pots and pans cupboard:


And yes I will assure you that I do quite well with just 4 pots and 3 frying pans (not counting the pressure cooker.)  The pot lids are hung on the cupboard doors.  What I kept was the stainless steel dish that we use for the meat when we BBQ, the two casserole dishes with lids I use frequently, my 4 pots, the pressure cooker which I almost never use but does come in handy every once in awhile, the girls' monster pancake pan (still debating whether we should keep that one,) and I moved some glass dishes over from the bowl/plastics cupboard.




This doesn't looks as impressive but is a pretty good step up.  I have in the impossible to reach corner the things I don't need very often (hand held blender, hand held mixer, juice jug, baconwave Chloe gave me for mother's day, rolling pin and popsicle maker.) then a bucket for plastic lids and a basket for plastic containers.  Top shelf is the salad spinner and plastic mixing bowls, glass mixing bowls and strainer/colander.  For us this is about as good as it gets with the plastic container storage.  They are the necessary evil of the kitchen and I both love and loathe them.  I am happy enough with the cupboard like this.

In other news I'm still sick (arrrrghhhh!!!!) which sucks really really a lot.  Chloe and Sarah had their first cooking class last night and they made chocolate chip cookies.  Not exactly what I was hoping for but it's a start.  

G and I were going to take advantage for the time for dinners out together but since we'd gone out to lunch that day we decided to eat at home.  Then I fell asleep.  By the time I woke up it was T.V. time so we started watching the latest season of Justified on bluray which is one of my favourite shows.

And that's what's new with me.  This afternoon we have to hit the grocery store and I will keep working on the pantry because that will have to be cleared out a bit before I can attack under the kitchen sink which is one of the challenges in the coming week.  Then more Justified as I try to make a dent in the laundry.  It's a thrilling life I know ;)

Hope all is well with you and yours!

Julie

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Clearing the countertops

Today's challenge was to clear the countertops.  I have to say that since this challenge started I've been very good about reloading the dishwasher every night so I wasn't too worried about this challenge which is a good thing because I finally went back to work today.

Here are the countertops cleared off which was basically load the dishwasher and put Chloe's Slushie maker away.  I did leave the meds out on the spice rack because sadly for me, out of sight means out of mind.  I also left the kids' cups on the stove.  They use these for their allowances:  Green is Sarah's money, Yellow is Chloe's money, Red is Charity money and Blue is Combined Savings.

Finally I did leave out the appliances we use everyday as well as the green bin and the fruit bowl and the big jug of Olive Oil.  I'm rather happy with this look:


In other news, G passed his stone and as I said, I finally made it back to work.  I would say that I'm feeling better but it's more that I've caved and started taking cold meds.

The girls start their cooking class tomorrow night so I'm looking forward to having a nice dinner with just me and G.  I had thought about maybe going out to eat but there's enough leftovers from tonight's dinner for us to be fine here.  Maybe we'll light some candles?  

I also bought Sarah her very first vacuum LOL  G was complaining about the dirt from the crab habitat getting on the filing cabinet all the time so I got Sarah a Dirt Devil.  Amazon sent it in a huge box so we made a big production of opening it.  We're weird that way ;)

So that was today.  Hope all is well with you and yours.

Julie