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!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Prayers Needed

It came a few days after the deep cleaning finished. Was it Feng Shui? I may have made just the right connection for that first internship class-- prayers please!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Life Update

I'm still running strong in preparation for my race at the end of the month. My feet are really hurting now. I've started wearing vaseline and socks at night to combat the blisters.
But the views, the leaves, and the beauty of my runs in fall-- incomparable.

My new doctor has really helped with my energy and mood levels. I'm so excited about how I'm feeling right now and hope this carries through the winter. I've cut way back on coffee (to 1-2 small drinks daily) and I'm hoping to cut back further before this is over.

I've really built some good friendships around me. Friends are reaching out to me to talk about major life events and hurts and to ask for help. It feels good to have a secure, core group of people in my life that I could turn to if I need help as well.

Work is going alright but it's mostly on the back burner so I can focus on classes. School gave me a bit of a butt-kicking this semester and now the hard work begins as I try to find an internship placement. I cannot proceed in my program without an internship so I'm going to amp up my networking and try to make a contact who will oversee my work for 4 months. Then, in the spring, I'll need to do this again- network, find internship, do 4 months of work. One step at a time is all I can do. Worst case scenario I have 1 more class I can take in lieu of an internship but since I'm eligible to do the internships I really wanted to get them out of the way since finding them and finishing them is demanding and I've scaled back other commitments (like my volunteer group) this year to accommodate that already.

An Apple pie candle is lit and I'm planning to finish the deep-clean on my house this week. I'm planning to dedicate a few hours everyday this week to it and I'm going to feng shui myself into an internship! HA!

Here's my cleaning schedule:

Yesterday I ran 4 miles and then cleaned the house for 3 hours, picking up stuff in each room, sweeping, and scrubbing the bathroom thoroughly. 3 hours... and it still was not finished. Today I plan to clean out our deck area and turn that into my donation space so I can keep all the boxes to be donated there (and out of our way here in the house until I have time to get them to our preferred donation spot next month). So I hope it will only take a couple hours to clean it out, sweep and mop it and then I can spend the last 30 minutes or so moving the donations all into a central location there.

Tomorrow I plan to sweep and mop all the rooms in the house and possibly entertain friends for a movie night. Which means I'll also vacuum the central living area and furniture and attempt to make it look super clean, like we live like this all the time. Scary movie anyone?

And Wednesday I'm hoping to get around to that closet cleaning I talked about a few weeks ago, switching out old clothes for new and summer/spring clothes for fall/winter clothes. Lots of ironing, washing, and maybe a few donations if it's done right. Oh, and along with all that, yard work with my husband for a couple hours each day to clean up leaves and finish getting all the weeds out from around the house- a project we started weeks ago and need to finish desperately.

So, lots of physical activity and maybe some visits with friends in the next few days as we enjoy the cool, crisp days of fall...

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September Goals

A few things got moved to October, out of necessity, and the beginning of October is focused on some heavy projects for school I need to finish. But overall, my goals went very well and I'm feeling good!

Reach out to at least 1 friend by email, phone, or in person daily
Host friends at our home 2x- We entertained friends 3x this month!
Accept at least 1 social invitation from others- several dates made
Stay in close contact with both sides of our family

Dropoff my completed retirement contribution for the year
Finish the final mini home reno project for this year
Cashflow 2 more courses - moved to October
Submit tuition reimbursement forms for completed courses- moved to October
Submit tuition reimbursement forms for upcoming courses- moved to October

Eat healthy this month- we loaded up on fruits and veggies every trip to the grocers!
Run 4 days/week in preparation for my race- only running 2-3 days/wk :(
Read for pleasure each night before bed- most nights at mid-month, fell off this a bit at the end
Attend our annual physicals
Refocus on time with my husband


Continue full-time work
Attend a committee meeting- it was cancelled but I was ready to go!
Thank you card to my coworker who helped me network for school last month- moved to October

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Favorites: Fall TV

I just love the new shows on tv in fall!

So, for my first time, I'm linking up to Friday Favorites with Andrea, Narci and Erika.

This month is transitional, as I say goodbye to old favorites, and welcome some new shows into my regular lineup:

1) Farewell BB16

This was a really fun season, especially cause I had pegged Derrick as one of my favorites early on (along with Nichole and Christine!). 

2) Farewell Bachelor in Paradise

I really didn't enjoy this but I watched the whole season. If they ran it again, I probably wouldn't tune in. I really just prefer watching the Bachelor with my girls.

3) Carry on Y&R

This is my favorite soap and I've been watching for over 20 years so I love catching up on this. I normally don't get a chance to watch every day so usually I tune in for a few episodes in a row a couple times each week!

4) Welcome Back Grey's!

Hey there Seattle- welcome back to my weekly rotation. Almost a decade with the doctors already? Time flies. Remember when...

5) Welcome Back Survivor!

Blood v Water is entertaining. I wasn't intrigued by the first episode but I'm willing to stick around for a few more and see if it engages me. At least the first vote went the way I wanted it to. I didn't actually finish the last season because I felt it was dragging.

and last but not least...

6) Hello newcomer... How to get away with murder

I'm not sure how I feel after the premiere but I'm willing to give it a few weeks and see if it grows on me. Cause Shonda is pretty awesome. But if it's no good I may tune in for some Biggest Loser instead this fall although the cast of professional athletes does not appeal to me.

What are you watching this fall?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Deep Clean and Declutter: Week 4

This month, I'm deep cleaning and decluttering at least an hour a week. I spent time recleaning several areas of our house where we welcome guests. And my focus was drawers and closets, with a start in the bathroom since I had cleaned those for guests the past 2 weeks.

10 items I decluttered:
6 bottles of expired sun protection (I honestly don't know WHY I kept them all summer but now that summer is over I feel okay letting them go)
2 board games we have never played since we moved 4 years ago
2 books related to games that we have had for 5+ years and never read
And, as a bonus, a bottle of liquor we brought out for a gathering with friends and will not replace

Once again, probably too easy but it's done and I felt good about getting rid of more clutter and looking at how far I've come in the past 2 years.

As for recleaning, here was my plan:
_x_ vacuum the living room
__ vacuum living room furniture
__ wipe down living and dining room baseboards with bleach wipes to clean them
_x_ sweep the kitchen and dining room
__ sweep the bathroom
__ wipe down the bathroom counters
__ clean guest toilet
__ switch out fall/winter clothes for summer/spring clothes

As you can see, the plan did not get finished. Health-wise I've had a bit of a rough week here as we enter a new phase of treatment to try to get my issues under control and it has left my energy zapped. BUT, the good news is that in addition to 2 more days of work this week I will reattempt my cleaning plan later this week and still try to get it done "this week". I'll let you know Monday before our guests arrive if I was able to whip the house back into ship shape 1 more time this month!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Deep Clean and Declutter: Week 3

MoneysavingMom challenged us to declutter this month.

I already worked on my living room and bedroom and have tossed more than 2 dozen items. This week, I tackle the kitchen.

Insert photo of 3 full garbage bags here (use your imagination but trust me- yuck)

It's scary how easy it was to find 10 items. Does anyone else find they save random foods that were purchased or gifted because it seems so wrong to throw the food out? Then they expire. Including really random food and condiments you apparently NEVER USE in your kitchen? Check this list out:
1) 6 months expired, unopened blue cheese dressing (sadness)
2) 2 years expired, unopened, saffron
3) 2 years expired, unopened, remoulade jars
4) a can of stuffed grape leaves we were gifted but never used
5) a can of expired cranberry sauce
6) 6 months expired, unopened, flavored mayo
7) several bags of almost empty dog treats which I emptied and condensed down to 1 small jar and the box from the protein bars that I noticed had just 1 left so I finished that off, to keep my energy up and propel the decluttering forward
8+9) a jar of pepper jelly that we hadn't finished from months ago which I rinsed and gifted with another empty jar to a friend who uses them
10) 2 plates that my husband had put away in our cabinets weeks ago that actually belong to a friend

Because it was so easy to get rid of things this week I refocused my energy on cleaning the main living areas of our home since we are entertaining 3 times in the next 2 weeks! This task list took about 4 hours and my husband helped by taking on half the kitchen work. While this was not an easy task my house looks (and smells) fantastic which was my goal in taking on this challenge this month!
_x_ cleared countertops and thoroughly wiped them before replacing stuff to them
_x_ returned items to the walk in pantry area so as not to crowd the kitchen
_x_ scrubbed the microwave and stovetop
_x_ swept the kitchen and dining room floors
_x_ swept the guest bathroom
_x_ cleared the guest bathroom counters and wiped them down with wipes
_x_ cleaned the guest bathroom toilet

Next week I hope to do a once-over cleaning of the main areas again (to keep it fresh for guests) and to declutter the closets and clothing drawers. This is a good time of year to switch our clothing out (READ: take down the sundresses and hang up the sweaters). I also use this time of year to really examine each piece of clothing and decide whether I wore it at all since I hung it up and whether I need to keep it or let it go. Does it fit? Is it stained? Is it outdated? Is it too young for me and is it time to let it go? Those are the types of things I consider. 

I usually make my husband carve out a few hours of time to try all of his clothes on and ask him to pare down his tshirt collection as well. So I suspect next week's list will have at least 10 items too... though it's always a challenge to let go of our clothing (especially since I tossed quite a few things away just last week!). But I'm sure we can do it. I also found some things in the bathroom and plan to declutter in there a bit. And if all else fails, that basement always has a few great items to toss.

Do you have tiny closets that require you to reexamine your wardrobe seasonally too?