Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mini Update and Organizing Encouragement

So it has been a bit crazy around here lately. I've been dealing with a fussy, teething baby and we've just recovered from all being I'm so thankful I was able to have my MIL and other family come by to help. Needless to say, organizing has been put on the back burner as we have all been working to get ourselves back to health.

Since I am still nursing, I have been trying many natural remedies to get better and I feel they have really helped. I'm not normally a fan of medication anyway, especially when a natural remedy can work just as well, or in many cases, better. Although, when I was sick a couple months ago and developed a terrible cough that kept me up all night, I did end up taking antibiotics. After the fifth sleepless night, I got pretty desperate. I was able to avoid the terrible cough this time around I really feel that resting was a big help. The first day I felt sick, my husband and I went to bed at 8:00 pm and each night after I went to bed between 8:30-9:00 until I felt better. I also tried to nap when possible, although the girls didn't always give me more than 10-20 minutes to do that but I still felt that just laying down for 10 minutes was better than trying to do any work. I drank lots of warm liquids (tea, homemade chicken broth) and cut out/down on carbs and sugar. It was hard not to have my dark chocolate and raisins at the end of the day so that only lasted a couple days :) but I still feel it helped. My mom also gave me a recipe for a syrup to help with the cough. It was very yummy, so I took that a few times a day. Its basically grated fresh ginger, raw honey, fresh lemon juice and chopped pieces of lemon. I don't have the measurements but I would start with equal parts each and adjust until it tastes yummy but still has some kick from the ginger. I don't know if this prevented me from developing a bad cough but all the ingredients are very good for you when your body is fighting sickness anyway.

We are all feeling better now, although my youngest is getting some teeth and has been extra fussy lately so hopefully that resolves itself soon. I have started to work on the second week of organizing so I hope to share all that I've done with you soon.

I also wanted to just give some encouragement in case anyone else is struggling to keep up with organizing. Sometimes, life gets a bit crazy and you need to take a break, that's ok! Just get back to it as soon as you can. It may take longer that 52 Weeks to finish organizing but the end result will still be so rewarding! There may also be weeks that don"t take very long because your space is small or just isn't as messy. So let's get back to it, shall we?

In the meantime, I have also been watching some organizing videos on youtube that have helped to motivate me. If you need some motivation as well, they may help!

Alejandra Costello

Do it on a Dime

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Organizing Week 1- The Kitchen Counters

Hello there friends! I am excited to start this organizing journey with you all. I found a great resource that breaks down the organizing process on a weekly basis so that at the end of one year, ideally, your whole house will be organized. Check it out here. There are many ways to go about getting organized but I really loved the method at Home Storage Solutions because it feels very doable. One task per week, I can do that. And it starts off so simply- just the counters and sink. Although it did take me a bit longer to get it done because as I evaluated what needed to stay and what needed to be put away, I realized things needed to be moved around a bit to accommodate some of those changes. But I am happy to say I have successfully completed organizing week one!

I feel that this is very functional for me right now. I know things in life keep changing and I will have to reevaluate  (I learned that from great organizing resource!) but today, I'm happy. Another thing I would like to mention is that it doesn't look perfect like a magazine because, frankly, I don't live that way. I think that was a big hurdle for me to overcome- learning that function is the most important aspect. It does not have to look picture-perfect to work.

Ok, so here are my counters!

I really tried to just leave out the most important pieces that get used daily. This is why next to the sink you will see my Boon drying rack for my pumping equipment and baby bottles. It's not my first choice of decor but it's necessary :). There are things that don't get used daily like my stand mixer but I love it so much and I think it really adds a nice pop of color in the kitchen and ties in with the curtain above the sink. I left out my oil, salt and pepper next to the stove because I need those many times throughout the day while cooking. I do a lot of cooking so that makes sense for me. I also have the coffee maker out and our burr grinder for my daily cup of coffee. I didn't stage anything. This is how the counters look normally...(well, when the kitchen is actually clean ;)). Now I just need to get better about leaving the kitchen like this at the end of the day!

Next week's challenge will deal with the kitchen cabinets and drawers. Looking forward to sharing the results!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

House Update

As promised, I have some after pictures of the house to share. I must first say that the house is not yet "finished". I still have quite a bit of decorating to do and there are many things that are just temporary placements- but for now, it works. One of the reasons things are not yet finished after living in the house for over a year is that I am decorating and furnishing slowly. We just couldn't buy everything we needed right away so some things I have just had to find ways to make do with what we had.

You may also notice there are no pictures of bedrooms or bathrooms. Those still have quite a bit of work. The bathrooms were actually left in their original state. I've used some simple decorations to try and make them feel "new" so I will show you those at a future date. For now, enjoy the rooms that are mostly done. I will definitely keep posting updates as I add to each room and switch things around to help them function better. Sometimes it seems our homes are never finished but I am working toward the goal of a simple, well-functioning space. Enjoy!

                                                             Living Room Before:


                                                           Living Room After:

Dining Room Before:

Dining Room After:

                                                                    Kitchen Before:

Kitchen After: