Thursday, November 20, 2014

Clean Sweep Day 1: The Floors


First, I lit a candle. Then, I started the audiobook "unglued" which is really great to listen to while you are cleaning. Highly recommended if you haven't already listened to it. Next, I began by picking up and putting away everything on each floor, then sweeping and mopping or vacuuming it fully, and finally, I replaced each room's furniture.

The bedroom, a room I hadn't really planned on deep cleaning was the worst and messiest as clothes had piled up in there for awhile. It took over an hour to clean in there but finally, it looked and smelled cleaner than it has in weeks!


Note the freshly mopped reflections...

 Freshly mopped in here too...
 And the bedroom, picked up and vacuumed...

If all goes well (weather cooperating), DH and I are attacking the leaves and debris in the yard today. I imagine this task may take a couple of days!  We'll see...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My Thanksgiving Clean Sweep

For the next 7 days I am going to be getting our home ready, inside and out, for a slew of holiday guests who will begin arriving as soon as next week!

I plan to post my daily goal each morning and then return every evening with photos and details to show what got done! So, what needs to get done around here?

1) Clean the yard
Lots of leaves to rake, lots of piles of debris to bag up and haul away, and one more good mowing of the yard before the winter snow/frost take over for 5 months.

2) Floors
Pick up everything and then sweep, mop, and vacuum all of them
Consider purchasing new rugs and slipcovers to spruce it up for the party

3) Kitchen
Clean the counters and oven top thoroughly
Use up as much fridge food and hide some food in the pantry to make room for party food
Bring out extra serving bowls/trays in case extra food shows up at the party
Clean and organize the serving utensils, plates, and cups for the party
Buy the rest of the food for the party

4) Decor
Take down the fall decorations
Put up the Christmas decorations
Put up the tree and set out the decorations

5) Porch
Clean the porch and prepare it as an entrance and put out 2 boot trays 
Drop off Goodwill items and first round of Christmas presents and cards on a holiday visit

6) Bathrooms
Deep cleaning- sweep and mop, wipe  sinks and showers, and scrub toilets
Sort through magazines and discard any that are from before October

7) Coat closet
Clear it out for guests so they can hang their jackets during the party
Relocate shoes for the party and vacuum it out

Holiday Fun Starts Here

I've been enjoying little sprinkles of holiday fun here and there.

     Ordering Christmas cards when they were on special at shutterfly and addressing them while watching holiday movies this week. I plan to send them out the day after Thanksgiving!

Code:STOCKUP will still get you 30-50% off your order if you have not bought yet

     Watching holiday movies at night and listening to Christmas music in the car.

Oh yeah, we watched this already and still love it as much as ever.

     Sending holiday invitations out and putting together holiday gifts that will bless without breaking the bank (cause who wants to trudge out on Black Friday with a lengthy shopping list?). 

     During the next week there will be some not so fun "holiday" activities- finish clearing the yard of leaves and debris in preparation for snow/frost this winter, deep clean the house one final time in preparation for party season, put away fall decorations, and take out the Christmas tree and decorations.

     Many hours of work ahead but I know it will be worth to get the house guest ready- inside and out- and I may treat myself to some new living room accessories to spruce up the party scene if we get it all done. 

Hope the holiday scene is under control in your homes as well... just over a week til Turkey day-- here we go!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Lately, there has been a lot of whining.

Friends, family, my husband... last week I may have even had a case of the blues and whined to some of the people in my life. But this week I'm realizing (after repeating it so many times to those around me) that it's time to appreciate all that we have. So today's thoughts are about gratitude.

Is it cold where you live? Time to enjoy wearing warm sweaters and socks, express gratitude for a warm home, and enjoy some warm drinks. There are so many people in the world who will not have those luxuries this winter.

Are you stressed out by kids? I've gotten this one from friends a lot lately. Every day babies and children die in this country and parents return home without a child. Every day there are women who get another negative pregnancy test result and wonder if they will ever have a baby of their own. Every day those children are 1 step closer to growing up and leaving home when contact will be far less frequent.

Have the bills been piling up recently? I don't know if it's something in the air but I received nearly $1000 in unexpected bills last week. But, we contribute to our retirement accounts, we are paying off our mortgage (faster than expected), and we have an emergency fund set aside for circumstances just like this. Our financial responsibility prepared us for this and we can handle it and so, instead of getting angry and sad about bills, I choose to be grateful that we can pay them and move on without hardship. Many people live paycheck to paycheck in this country (my parents did when I was growing up) and many more struggle to buy necessities like food, heat, and medicine. 

Are you healthy? Are you loved? Are you safe and warm?

Choose gratitude this holiday season for all that you have.

Friday, October 31, 2014

October Goals

Good news. 

I hit all of my goals this month, getting together with friends and family several times, spending 1:1 time with my husband each week, and getting lots of health appointments out of the way! I also did a lot of reading and went away on a great vacation in addition to working full-time and attending graduate school. All in all, a very successful month!

Host friends once this month
Accept at least 1 social invitation from others
Attend a family wedding

Cashflow 2 more courses 
Submit tuition reimbursement forms for completed courses
Submit tuition reimbursement forms for upcoming courses
Pay for winter heating and cashflow our vacation 

6 appointments with health care providers this month
Run 4 days/week in preparation for my race
Read for pleasure each night before bed
Refocus on time with my husband
·    Go away for vacation together    


Continue full-time work
Attend committee meeting 
Send a thank-you card to a coworker that helped me network (from last month)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Curling up with a good book

It's that time of the year again. The air is crisp and chilly outside, warm drinks can justify a bit of extra creaminess, and my stack of books to read for 2014 is still, well, quite tall!

I've dug into several books this past month and I have another stack to finish this week. I haven't posted about anything I've read since June. So, I thought I might take a few minutes to talk about what I've read and what I plan to read in case they inspire you to pick up a new book or take a pass on one you thought you would enjoy. 

1) The Milennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson
Mixed emotions on these 3 books. First of all, they're long. It took me an entire month to get through the 3 books with several days dedicated solely to reading, eating and sleeping. The heroine, Lisbeth, is amazing and she makes you feel all empowered, GI Jane like as you see her overcome difficult obstacles. But, the writing and the pain inflicted on her during the books is very real, and very raw. I would say I enjoyed the books but at times, I wished they were shorter (too much detail sometimes?) and I can't see myself ever picking them up again. I'm glad I read them, as they had been on my list for some time but I am hesitant to recommend them to others unless you are able to stomach violence against women. They are particularly engaging for those who enjoy mysteries!

2) 52 Date Ideas under $20
I loved this book. It was quick and easy to read and it is a book I'm glad I own because it is fun to reference for cheap date ideas. I may implement these weekly in the next year or two just to get in the habit of trying new things with my husband. Nothing bad to say about this book!

3) The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner
I'm currently reading these 4 books. They're sort of like Hunger Games, but not nearly as good. They follow a group of kids, placed in a maze setting, and trying to survive though they aren't sure why they are there or what is their purpose for survival. I'm working through the first two books right now so I am not sure whether the deeper insight will come in the final books. Right now it feels like an action movie-- which, by the way, is just released this fall in theaters and I bet will be very good because these books were just made to be movies. I hope they're done well!

So, that's a snippet of what I've been reading this year, among other things and I have another large stack of books to read already set aside for 2015. Here's to curling up with good books this fall and winter, sipping warm and creamy drinks, and enjoying the change of seasons! 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ocean getaway

Have a good weekend everyone...

My husband and I are going away for some much needed vacation by the ocean!