Thursday, October 27, 2011

Keeping Up The House

John and I get really busy in the winter. It seems like we are running everywhere and we hardly see the inside of our house. This also means that cooking and cleaning go by the wayside.

I am all for having a "lived in" home. I like a little mess here and there and I do enjoy take out. However, sometimes we get into seasons where we have gone weeks without cooking a single meal and spiders have built resorts in my corners. I have found that a couple of little things (along with a really helpful husband) keep things from getting too out of control.

I'm only going to be home for 30 minutes. I just want to sit on the couch and catch up on Rachel Zoe.
Instead I take 5 and do what I can with that 5 minutes.
In 5 minutes I can put away the clutter on the kitchen table or load the laundry and start the dishwasher.
In just 5 minutes I can give the kitchen and bathroom a wipedown.
Take 5, take 10 - just take a little time and do what you can! You will still have 25 minutes to watch some trashy tv.

I try and schedule days for certain tasks. For example - I try to wash and change the sheets every Sunday.
Monday - groceries.
Tuesday - dusting and sweeping or kitchen and bathroom.
Wednesday - pick up what you can.
Thursday - dusting and sweeping or kitchen and bathroom.
Friday - just relax.
Saturday - laundry and dishes.

This does not mean that these things get done every time or that I don't mix it up but it makes life seem less overwhelming for me. Find what works for you.
Maybe you are really organized and you would like a chore board.
Perhaps cleaning is boring and you need to spice it up making a short "cleaning playlist" with your favorite upbeat music.
I know some people that write down chores and projects on small pieces of paper, put them in a jar and then pick one out when they have a little time.

John and I love eating fresh produce and fresh meals. It seems by the end of the week we have run out cucumbers, salad, fruit, fresh meat and all that is left is dry goods and freezer items. It makes me want to go to the grocery early or go out to eat. So I try and do a freezer/pantry clean out. Bust out the frozen stir fry and brown rice or the quinoa and frozen veggies. It doesn't have to be a perfectly cohesive meal. Sometimes it's fun to have a hodge podge shmorgishborg!

I try to buy products that help me out when I'm cooking meals. I like to buy the premade turkey meatballs at Whole Foods and just add italian breadcrumbs. Cook 'em up in a pan and add some of their tomato basil sauce. It has whole chunks of basil in it! Delicous. Try the recipe on the back of a box. I finally got the nerve to try "French's Crunch Onion Chicken" recipe. It was so good and reallyyyy easy. You don't have to spend hours to cook a delicious and fresh meal. I usually cook dinner in under an hour!

Sometimes it seems like such a simple answer. And it usually is. Just take it one thing at a time and it will all get done :]

What little things do you do around your house to make the cooking and cleaning easier?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Do The Thing That Scares You

My last post was about *that room*. The room that is a junk room that you have high hopes for but just holds your wrapping paper, out of season clothes, and luggage.

I'm turning it into an office.

In order to do that we needed to clear it out. I got all these great frames to put pictures in and make a collage out of once we got married. Then we signed the lease and paid a security deposit and I freaked out about putting holes in the walls.

So I put it off for over 5 months (yes, we just celebrated our 5 mo. anniversary. time flies). I was terrified. I know it sounds silly but I would pick up the frames, obsess over them, clean them and then put them away. I had such anxiety about finding the right pictures, arranging them and hanging them so they were even. So I just didn't.

Until this week.

John helped me with this project. We traced the size of the frames on white wrapping paper and then arranged how we wanted them on the wall above the couch.

However, we didn't have any tape. So we improvised. The first week we were married John and I were unpacking stuff when I cut myself on our knives. John rushed out to get bandaids. He came back with a box of 500.

So we used bandaids to tape up the wrapping paper.

I was so excited. We got on Shutterfly and ordered some pictures. It was kind of stressful trying to figure out sizes we needed for the frames but we kept pressing forward.

Withing just a few days the pictures arrived and I started filling the frames. Then I bought the nails and picked up the hammer. I think I had an anxiety attack when I made the first hole. I hung the frame, stepped back and saw it was crooked. I made six more holes all around the same spot until I got it right. My anxiety started to melt away. I put up the next frame and the next and started feeling...good!

I know I may sound a little dramatic to some. Perhaps you are a DIY Queen and you're going to laugh at my pathetic wall. But I am not a domestic goddess or super confident in my abilities in general.

Maybe you are afraid to finally paint that one wall red.
Or maybe you're afraid to buy that eccentric chandelier.
Maybe it's a recipe you think you can't cook, a new hobby you think you can't do.

Maybe you don't want to to tap into that artist within because you are afraid that failing means you aren't perfect.

Do the thing that scares you. Nail a hole in the wall. Put up beautiful memories of your families all over your walls. Give your home life and love and in the process give yourself grace.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.' We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." -Marianne Williamson

Monday, October 3, 2011

*That* Room

John and I have an extra room in our apartment. It's the room that everyone has.

The one I apologize for when we are showing guests around.

The one I tell people "We just haven't had the time to do anything with it".

The one I call the guest/storage/office/junk room.

The one I crack the door to, throw some odds and ends in, and shut the door without looking.

I always feel so sorry for this spare room.

This fall I am finally going to clean it up and make something of it.

We decided that the best thing for this space to become was an office.

I am so excited and so nervous. I really want this space to work. We are going to try to do this on little to no money. I can't wait to get started.

 my ideal color scheme

I've got a little wooden table desk that I'm going to pain teal.
Hopefully add some mirrors, a couple prints from Etsy.
And maybe a cute printed or white leather high backed chair.

So here's to my hopeful little office. I will keep you updated as things progress.

Thoughts? Ideas? Websites? Or if you would like to donate to the "Emily Wants an Office Fund" just send a check in the mail...just kidding