Tuesday, February 5, 2013

10% Tuesday: Fast Forward to February

Pin It Is it just me or did January fly by?!  My husband and I have made good progress in reaching our 10% Less resolution.  Our goal was to get rid of ten items every day (for a total of 310 for the month of January) and we moved 544 items on to a better place.  There was plenty of opportunity in my closet! 

During the month of February, I'll focus on the bathrooms, guest rooms and linen / storage closets.  Again, there's plenty of opportunity to reduce and slim down.  I'll also be focusing on my personal 10% reduction plan - losing 13 pounds this year (5 pounds in February). Fat Tuesday is not going to help - I simply can't resist those once a year Polish Pączkis available on Fat Tuesday. 

Now these are no ordinary jelly donut.  The dough is sweeter and lighter (and with a hint of brandy), and the jelly (super delicious) is stuffed into the dough to make the little ladies extra chubby.  I was first introduced to Pączkis when I worked in Detroit during the late '80s.  Detroit has a strong Polish community and these were among my favorite treats (pierogies being a close second).  When I moved to the Pacific Northwest, no one seemed to know about them (how could that be?!).  Then one day I talked to the right person who now makes them for the bakery in his Seattle markets.  I'll be first in line next Tuesday to indulge in what is now a tradition for me.

If you are not so lucky to have a Polish bakery close by, you might try making your own.  You can find a good recipe here.

How are you doing on your New Year's Resolution?  Still motivated?  Or perhaps you've already met your goal - good for you!


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

10% Tuesday: Pulling the skeletons out of the closet

Pin It This first month of my 2013 10% Less Resolution focuses on our bedroom and closets as well as Christmas decorations and books.  I wanted to start with the bedroom and closet because there is plenty of opportunity to purge (at least in my portion of the closet) and I like the bedroom to be a peaceful sanctuary.  It can only be at peace if it isn't cluttered with things I don't wear, items stuffed under the bed and shoes from a day gone long by.  With my husband's help, we also widdled down the Christmas decorations.  It was a perfect opportunity as the tree and decorations were being put into storage. 

Without much effort, we were able to easily get rid of over a month's worth of items - take a look at the tally in the sidebar!  We filled the car to the roof and headed to Goodwill.  I have to admit - it is a much better feeling to purge, purge, purge than it is to pay the credit card bill at the end of the month :)

I'm keeping a Goodwill box in the closet for the time being as I continue to thin out my wardrobe.  I've also started a box to take to a consignment shop.  I've turned all of the hangers around so that I can keep track of which items I'm wearing and which items are just taking up space.  In six months, those hangers that haven't yet been touched will be strictly evaluated and likely sent to the consignment shop.

Pinned Image
Source: http://modern-eve.com

Other helpful Closet Organizing websites:

Martha Stewart's Guide to Cleaning Out Closets and Drawers

Cleaning Out Your Life: One Closet at a Time

Basic Closet Cleaning Tips

'If you can't get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you better take it out and teach it to dance.' - George Bernard Shaw

Enjoy your week!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Make it Monday #99 - Repeats and Rainbows

Pin It This week's Papertrey Ink design challenge was to create a card using one of the color palettes provided. I used color scheme #4 - hibiscus burst, summer sunrise, simply chartreuse, blueberry sky, winter wisteria.

And a few other little beauties for the Operation Write Home basket ...

Left:  Plain white cardstock cuttlebug-embossed with Happy Birthday
sentiments and embellished with a little banner.
Right: Plain white cardstock with scrap bits and a simple ribbon.

I recently got a cool Seattle Space Needle die and had to find a use for it.
I cut out images from an old calendar showing images from around Seattle.
Scraps of paper used to create a ribbon-like effect for balance.
I like the one on the left a little more and will probably use this design again.

Have a fun weekend!  Who's rooting for the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday? 


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

10% Tuesday: Game On

Pin It Last Tuesday, I shared with you my goal to reduce the things that clutter my life by ten percent.  Now, ten percent may not be measured strictly per se, but rather in the abstract sense.  I simply want to end 2013 with less stuff than I started with.  After much thought, I put together two strategies to help reach my goal.

Strategy #1 - Clear out ten items per day for the first 90 days, and then ten items per week through the end of 2013.  This comes out to 1300 items to either recycle to Goodwill or other favored recipient, use up (and not restock) or toss out.  Necessary food items and hygiene products don't count.  Electronic clutter (files, photos, links, pins) does count.

Strategy #2 - Reduce my Body Mass Index by ten percent.  As it turns out, I need to lose 13 pounds to lose 10% of my BMI. 

I've placed a scoreboard on the blog sideline so you can see how much progress I'm making.  You can see I've made some great progress to clearing out already!  Each month, I'll be focusing a pre-specified area of the house.  January is all about the bedroom and the clothes closets throughout the house.  It's hard to believe that my closet is bigger than my childhood bedroom, and yet there is not enough room to store all of my things!  I think there is a reality show looming.

Here are the game rules I'll play by as I whittle away at that ominous ten percent.  

Game Rules:

1.  Banking points is allowed (if I clear out more than the allotted count, then the extra is banked towards another day).
2.  Necessary food items and hygiene products don't count.  Electronic clutter does.
3.  Touch every single item in my house this year.
4.  One thing in - one thing out.  Purchasing items is permitted, but for every item brought into the home - one must leave.  Same goes for gifts received.
5.  Deal with it when it comes in the door or arrives in my inbox.
6.  Ruthlessly deal with piles and stash. 
7.  If I don't love it, have a use for it or if it doesn't inspire me, out it goes.
8.  If I haven't worn it within six months or it doesn't fit, bye-bye.
9.  Unsubscribe to catalogs and store emails.
10.  Shop only with a specific purpose in mind.  Stick to the shopping list.
11.  Use what is on-hand and in reserve first before buying new.
12.  Implement a trial period if I'm not sure about an item.
13.  Keep score.  Emply SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound).

I'm happy to say that my husband and my Maggie are in on the game too!  Maggie is having so much fun ripping the stuffing out of her toys thereby making it that much easier to send 'em to the trash. 

My helpful husband working on widdling down the library.

Wishing you well towards reaching your new year's resolution!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Make it Monday Challenge #98: Chalkboards

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This week's Make It Monday challenge with Papertrey Ink involves a technique to making cards look like chalkboards.  I really love this effect and my husband especially loved the cards I made.  He actually did a double take to see how it was done.  He said, "You're really getting good!" ...  warmed my heart and scored him some points :)

I liked the way it turned out - so I made two.  Both are destined for the Operation Write Home basket (only 48 more to go to meet my 2013 goal).  I have a few more ideas using this technique so I might hide away in my studio a wee bit longer.

Papertrey Ink Stamps:  Beautiful Blessings, Button Boutique and Winterberry
Button and felt (the best in town!) also from Papertrey Ink.

I didn't send out many Christmas cards this year - just ran out of time.  Instead I opted to send out some 2013 calendars.  I made couple different versions.  The original inspiration came from one of the Papertrey Ink designers but I can't seem to find the link (sorry).

Don't you just love the colors aqua and coral together!  Buttons and bows - can't go wrong.

My mother-in-law was so delighted when she received her new year's surprise in the mail.

This sweet little girl is headed for another Send Love Today sweet 16 in Johnstown, PA

Hope you had a great start to the new year! 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 - The Year of Less!

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Another year arrived at our doorstep this morning and it promises to be a good one.  'How do I know?', you ask.  I know because it was a gloriously  sunny day here in the Pacific Northwest - not a cloud in the sky.  And it screamed out loud, "2013 Has Arrived!"

With the dawning of another year, comes more resolutions.  I've been thinking about what my new year's resolution has been for a while now - and I declare 2013 will be 'The Year of Less'.  Ten Percent Less to be more precise. 

A few weeks back during a bible study, I read about the seven deadly sins.  You know them, I'm sure - Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride.  For some reason, the ugly head of gluttony seemed to strike a chord.  Images of Jabba the Hutt in Star Wars and the Fat People in Wall-e came to mind, and with these images I looked around my lovely home and wondered if I have been unknowingly committing a deadly sin.  If you look into the closets, under the bed and behind the cabinet doors you will see the evidence of a gluttonous life.  My feeble attempt to satiate my desires with clothes, shoes, sparkly bobbles and things that are oh so sweet. 

Well, now that I recognize the sin I have been rolling in, I must make a change and so it will be.  I have put together a plan to reduce the things that clutter my life by ten percent.  In so doing, I look forward to seeing how God fills my life with abundance and joy!

I hope you'll share your new year's resolution and the progress you are making.  Tune in next Tuesday ('Ten-Percent Tuesday') to see read about how I'm doing.  Happy New Year!

“He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.” - Socrates


Sunday, June 24, 2012

PTI Blog Hop June 2012

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This month's Blog Hop is all about floral, ruffles and pleats.

Here's my take on the challenge - a little ditty for the Operation Write Home basket. The photo is not very good.  Using white ink I stamped the flowers randomly on golden harvest cardstock, and then stiched a zig-zag border.  If this card wasn't destined for OWH, I would have glittered the lace doiley for an extra special touch.  I didn't think any sentiment was necessary.

Papertrey Ink Stamps: Flower Fusion #4 and #6
Scalloped Border die, Lace doiley die,
Button, Ink and cardstock also from Papertrey Ink
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