Sunday, September 22, 2013

Last Quarter of 2013!

It's hard to believe it's already the first day of fall!! Here we are in the last quarter of the year. If you haven't already printed out your calendar to get you through to the holidays, you're in luck... I've got some printable calendars for you!

Download your copy of the October 2013 calendar HERE.

Download your copy of the November 2013 calendar HERE.

Download your copy of the December 2013 calendar HERE.

As always, if you download and use these, I'd love to hear what you think! I have other downloadables available in my etsy shop, too!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Udating Medical Files

In light of some recent medical issues, I recently decided to update my medical files. For me, that meant going to my dr offices and getting physical copies of my files (and my daughter's files) so that I could give the most accurate information possible to drs when I spoke with them. I had my GP, whom I only saw when I was sick, my OBGYN, whom I saw at least annually, but often more frequently due to some hormone imbalances, and, most recently, a rheumatologist. As I sat in the rheumatologist office filling out the same initial paperwork I've had to for every other office, I realized that I left my medical file at home. I had forgotten what an important resource that is!! As I tried to recall from memory all of the various diseases my parents, brother, and grandparents had I missed having my Family Medical History sheet with me. That is important information to have, especially when trying to determine what underlying issues may be lurking in your family history.

Do you have personal medical files on each member of your family? Do you request copies of the Dr's progress notes from appointments? Do you KNOW what is in your medical history, or your family's medical history?

Aside from family history, one of the things that doctors NEED to know is what medication you are on. This is true for dentists, too. It is always a good idea to carry a list of your current medications and their doses with you, because sometimes it is hard to remember exactly what you're on and drug interactions can be very serious! To help with that, I have created a Current Medications card that I will be filling out for myself and recommend you do, too, if you are on any medications. Just print it out, fill it in, cut it out and fold it in half. You can laminate it if you want for durability. Or you can just double stick tape it together so it doesn't come unfolded when you need to pull it out. You've got a choice of 5 colors, which is especially helpful if you have multiple family members on medication. Here's a peek!

To download your copy, go HERE!

As always, I'd love to know what you think!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

It's that time of year again...

Back to school is just around the corner. For some it has already started! Fortunately for me, school here doesn't start until after Labor Day so I had time to do this...

I sorted through Eliana's 1st grade papers and pulled this pile out to be thrown away!!

I also pulled out some things that I didn't care to keep, but thought she might. She gets to sort through this little stack to see what she's still attached to. 

I reset our yearly file tote, going strong on its 3rd year!

And finally, I filed Eliana's 1st grade keepers in the K-12 file tote. 

For a refresher on how I keep Eliana's paperwork organized, read the post HERE!

Friday, August 9, 2013

MIA... but the fridge is tidy!

Perhaps you've noticed that I've gone MIA. No, I haven't decided that organizing and systematizing my home is a waste of time and energy, and no, I didn't forget I had a blog. But for the past few months I have been struggling with some health issues that have interfered with most aspects of my life, and, as a result, this blog has been neglected. I have pondered writing on here, but each time I do I am overwhelmed at the prospect of taking and editing pictures of the laundry room I finished (which would mean doing all the laundry that is currently in there), and working at lightning speed to do the same for all the rooms May through July. That overwhelm stopped me in my tracks and I didn't update the blog.

So tonight I am just going to post some pictures I took tonight. Of my fridge. Because I'm a dork like that. :) I had a few bins that needed labels, so I pulled out my handy label maker and, when I finished labeling everything, decided to take pictures for the blog. So here I am. I may return to the previously scheduled programming and catch us all up by December. Or I might not. I hope you will extend the same grace and forgiveness to me that I am attempting to extend to myself!!

Here's the overview of my fridge. 

On one side of the door we have milk (and various milk-free milks) and some spreads. You know, like jellies and jams.

On the other side of the door we have salad dressings and lemon and lime juices. 

The body of the fridge is where most of our goods are kept, though it seems like we have a whole lot of sauces and things in this section, too. Is everyone else's fridge this saucy??

On the bottom we have a shallow, wide drawer that pulls out. The smaller section houses yogurt, the larger section houses deli meats, cheese, and cheese alternatives. 

Above that we have two climate controlled drawers. One is for vegetables and salad, the other is for fruits. Occasionally, not all our fruit will fit in this drawer and it goes on the shelf above. 

Above the vegetable drawer we have two small bins. One holds butter and sour cream while the other contains "dips." By dips I mean hummus, guacamole, and tzaziki sauce. These are staples in our world. 

Here we have the "catch all" section of our fridge. This is the area that catches the fruit that doesn't fit in the drawer, the pitcher of iced tea that is only occasionally present, the margarine, and in the back, the pickles and olives. It gets filled up with "whatever."

Above the catch all we have a shallow shelf labeled "leftovers." Really this is where any leftovers that are to be eaten for lunches go. Leif likes to take leftovers to work for lunch, and I like to make Eliana's lunches ahead of time, so this is where they go. 

Next to the leftovers we veer into sauce land. Here are two large bins containing the ever important "condiments" and "whipped cream and toppings." Because, really, you need a home for the whipped cream, maraschino cherries, and chocolate sauce, right??

Our eggs live in a small bin on the tiny shelf next to the ice maker. I've heard that you shouldn't keep all your eggs in one basket, but we do. 

And last, but not least, more sauciness. Here we have our Asian sauces, like soy, terriyaki, fish, sweet chili, ginger, etc., and our regular sauces, like Worchestershire, A1, BBQ, and taco sauce. 

The last touch (and contrast of color to my green and white interior fridge design) is this handy "Shelf Life of Refrigerated Items" printable that I found somewhere on the interwebs, printed, laminated, and posted on the side wall for reference. It's handier there than trying to remember which binder it's in when I want to know whether to keep or toss something.

So there you have it. A little tour of my fridge. It might not be the best in the world, but it certainly works for me, and it's much easier when people try to help you clear the table after a meal when you can tell them just to put the ketchup in the bin labeled "condiments." 

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Focus - LAUNDRY ROOM!!

It's no April Fool's joke... this month we're working on the Laundry Room!! Whether you have a laundry room, laundry hall, or laundry closet, this is the time for you to get down and dirty and really figure out what you have going on in there!! If you're just joining us, feel free to check out the whole 12 Months to a Systematic Home series. Then, jump in wherever you're at! This is about progress, not perfection, so don't stress about it, just get in there and do something about it! Need help starting? Here are some simple steps to get you going...

Take pictures of your room. Right now. Don't tidy it up first. Don't hide the piles. Take pictures of your room in all its cluttered glory. This is supposed to be a realistic look at how you're functioning right now. It's a slice of today, a tool to use, not a picture to be scrapbooked and memorialized. 

Take pictures of what works. Take pictures of what doesn't work. Take pictures of what you like. Take pictures of what you don't like. Take pictures of the whole room. Take closeup pictures of specific areas. Just take pictures. They will give you perspective, and that, my friends, you will need as you dive into this project.

Grab a cup of tea, a notepad and pen, and those pictures (which are probably on your computer - don't print them out - that will just become more clutter!). Better yet, here's a printable you can use to help you analyze what is going on in your room... 
Download your copy HERE.

Now look at your pictures. REALLY look at them. This is the time for you to point out everything you see wrong. We're going to spend the rest of the month looking at what is right and what can be great, but for now, feel free to dump all your frustrations about this room onto paper. Analyze it. What's wrong with this picture?

Now that you have all your negative emotions out, it's time to start thinking logically and strategically. Emotions can be good, but sometimes they clutter up our ability to think. So... take a good look at the room and ask yourself, what things do I bring into this room? What things do I take out of this room? 

It isn't the things that LIVE in the room that cause problems. We ORGANIZE those. The problem is the income and outflow items in a room. These are the things we must SYSTEMATIZE. That is what will make this so much more effective than the hundred other times you re-organized your space. 

Here is a sheet that can help you this month... 
Download your copy HERE.
Utilizing the same sheet as step 3, ask yourself what you would like this room to feel like. What is your vision for this space? What would make you want to spend more time here?

The last step is to create the space you want, and the systems that will help keep it organized and useful. We will go over more of what it takes to create your space next week!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Welcome to My Personal Spa!

Well, the month is almost over. Unfortunately for my husband, that means I have spent the last 3 weeks "in the process" of organizing our master bathroom. The good news is that I am done, and I have my personal spa back, new and improved!! Do you remember the BEFORE PICTURES?

Here's a look at the before and after overview...

My goal for this room was to feel like it is my personal spa. I want to feel relaxed when I walk in. It helps that when the windows are open, this is what I see: 

Here are a few other things that contribute to my personal spa!
 (I love to soak in the tub, but I like to watch a movie or plan my week or get some work done while I do. Thus the spa desk! Handy plank o' wood tucks behind the red pillow when not in use...)


(I like to have my skin care out on the counter where I will see it and remember to use it daily, but keeping it on a tray keeps it from running rampant all over the counter!)

I have always wanted to have a vanity, but even when we built this house I couldn't quite figure out how to implement it in our space. So this month I problem solved and bought a bar stool and swivel magnifying mirror... Now I can do my makeup and hair sitting at the counter, which will also keep me from wandering around while applying makeup and leaving eyeliner, lipstick, and mascara tubes all over the bedroom, bathroom, and closet. *sheepish grin*

Do you remember the drawers? Mine have more or less stayed the same, but I took the opportunity to organize my husband's drawers and make better use of them. Here's a look at the before and after... 

Top Drawer

Middle Drawer

Bottom Drawer
(I don't think we'll need to buy toothpaste for a loooong time!)

Another area I wanted to work on was under the sink. Actually, I wanted to work on the areas under both sinks. Here's the before and after, with some details... 

I know there are plenty of people who don't believe in keeping their medicine or cleaning supplies under the sink, but we've found that it works best for our family. I used to keep all the cleaning supplies in one spot, but have found that I am more likely to clean when the mood strikes and put the supplies away if they are within reach in each of the bathrooms (or hallways nearby). So yes, I have triplicate supplies, but that's okay with me. As for medicine... we've talked very seriously with our daughter about medicine and its effects. She knows that she's allowed to get stuff out of the First Aid box (bandaids, etc.) but not from the drawers where the medicine is. It's something each family has to decide for themselves, but we haven't had any problems and do our best to be open and honest about the seriousness of taking medicine.

I could do a whole separate post on how I organize my makeup, but for now I'll just show you a closeup of my bins and how I have my makeup divided. The categories I have are as follows:

(This is actually a bit misleading, since I have my liquid foundation, liquid highlighter, and finishing powder all in this drawer, but they are all things I only use when I wear liquid foundation.)
(Really, this is for the lash things I don't use often, like my heated eyelash curler, fake lashes, lash glue, etc.)
(Pretty much just blush and shimmer powder - I keep my bronzers with eyeshadow right now.)
(Technically I keep my lip mask in here, too, but didn't feel  like putting that on the list since it comes in a set with the balm.)

So there you have it... a tour of my personal spa! I have to admit that I really LOVE my bathroom. It really does feel like a trip to the spa when I put on a mask, soak in a tub with salts, and give myself a pedicure. I'm sure it's more relaxing to get a massage, but it's cheaper at my personal spa and then I can just climb into bed for a good night's sleep!

So... how is your Master Bathroom coming along? Next week (or month, however you want to look at it!) we move on to another part of the house!