Tag Archives: organization

Today: Currently | June 2015

And just like that, May is over and June has arrived.  Time flies when you’re having fun.  Or attempting to clean out your closets.  Or making a fresh start.  Or maybe just some fresh juice.

It’s been a week now since I’ve been office-less, business card-less, commute-less and fax machine-less.  I hesitate to call myself (or anyone else, for that matter) a “stay at home mom” because, like… we’ve been out of the house quite a bit since I left my job.  

It currently feels less like a life change and more like a vacation, but I think we’re all settling into this new way of being quite well.  I’m resisting the urge to over-schedule and fill up our days, but I also don’t want us to become weird shut-ins.  It’s all a careful balance (I think.  Who knows?).

Either way, here’s what I’ve been up to…

Currently | June 2015

Reading

  • Per usual, I’m late to the party, but I’m nearly finished reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  There are parts that were so funny (made even funnier by the fact that they were intended to be serious) that I cried.  Overall, though, I think it’s worth a read.  
  • When my mom asked for reading recommendations, I came up empty.  Because I can’t remember the last non-how-to-clean-your-house-book I read.  Not good.  Meanwhile, I was attempting to work some life-changing magic on our bookshelves when I came across an unread copy of J. Courtney Sullivan’s The Engagements.  I loved her first two books and am excited to get started on this.  Magic, indeed!  
  • Oh, and magazines.  They’re like books… for lazy people like me.

Watching

  • Lots of sunrises… because Grace has taken to getting up at 4:30 AM for the day, regardless of how early or late she has gone to bed.  The upside? We suddenly have an extra hour or two to our day (or something).  Our pediatrician recommended we check out this toddler alarm clock.  At first I thought she was kidding… but she hasn’t steered us wrong yet, so into the Amazon cart it goes!

Listening

  • Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”  It was playing in the Birmingham airport and I have been blasting it in the car ever since.  One of my first tapes was Whitney — I think I need to go Spotify the entire album.

Eating

  • We’re spoiled with Whole Foods just over the bridge in the South End, and a farmers market just around the corner (which opened for the season today!).  I can’t get enough of the early summer produce available — watermelons, berries, corn and tomatoes!

  • Lots of “hers and hers” meals.  Grace shares my love of snacking and enjoys a bit of variety at lunch and dinner.  I saw these adorable stainless steel divided bus plates on Peas and Crayons (thanks, Jenn!) and ordered a set for Grace.  They are perfect for plating toddler-sized portions of whatever I happen to be snacking on.  

Making

  • Progress on my “stuff to do around the house” list (how domestic, I know).  I’ve been adding to that list since we moved, but barely but a dent into it until this week.  So far, I’ve cleaned out my closet (three bags of clothes went to the Red Cross, and fourth went to ThredUp — we shall see how that goes), hung up our new artwork from Minted, packed up Grace’s 6 and 9 month clothes, cleaned out the super-cluttered, super-dangerous (mandolins!  knives!) kitchen utensil drawer, and purged most of our kitchen cabinets.  Next on the list: Change our wifi network name to Hillary Clinternet (this is a major priority), recycle every single scrap of paper in the house, find a new rug for the living room, make order out of the chaos that is our bathroom cabinet, and wrangle all those books and toys.

Feeling

  • Like this is going to be a really great summer.

Also On Tap for Today:

What is on your home “to-do” list?

Today: The old and the new… bookshelves.

I love my books nearly as much as I love reading.  Which is a lot.  When I came home from Minneapolis to find that Nick had ventured to IKEA alone and built a home for the entire rainbow of them, I was quite the happy girl and got right down to business.

You may remember our built-in bookshelves from our first place.

The old

After they spent a few weeks cooped up in moving boxes, I was happy to liberate Charles Dickens and Martha Stewart and Hilary Thayer Hamann.

The new

We’ve still got a few more boxes to unpack, but I may just curl up and read instead.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Wait… it’s not Friday?…
  • Love this: Super Mario bento boxes from The Kitchn
  • Going a little nuts with the washi tape

Read anything good lately?

Today: White water… crafting.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]Nick spend the weekend with his groomsmen and friends white water rafting.  Clark and I spent the weekend sleeping, eating and, um… crafting.

After finishing up a top secret project (a TSP, if you will) for my lovely bridesmaids, I tackled a few other things I’ve been meaning to accomplish since, like, last August.  From keeping our paint colors organized to finding a way to keep my necklaces untangled, I checked off more than a few (non-top secret) projects over the past few days.

I got my car tuned up (it has officially become a money pit on wheels), had my first wedding dress fitting (I can’t wait to show you pictures, but… I need to wait to show your pictures), cleaned like wild and spent as much time outside as possible.

How cool is that bird’s nest?  Very recycled chic… though I don’t recommend embellishing your home with TP left in a city park.  I spotted the nest while taking Clark on an extra long walk last night.  He was more interested in the mouse running up the sidewalk.

I rounded out the weekend with my first solo WOD.  Lame as it may be, I had never gone to CrossFit alone before this morning.  With Nick two states away, I could have easily skipped the workout and slept in, but I knew I’d be better off (wo)man-ing up and getting after it.  Not surprisingly, I was glad I went.  The workout was really fun, and I love knowing I am getting a little better and stronger each time I show up.

While I may have not needed a helmet or paddle for my weekend, it certainly feels like I got a lot done. (As I write this, though, I just remembered I loaded the washer… but never turned it on… hmmm.  Can’t win ’em all.)

Also On Tap for Today:

Do you have projects waiting to be tackled?  

 

Today: Flashcards for grown-ups.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I wouldn’t have survived 17 years of schooling had it not been for flashcards.  Lots and lots of flashcards.  While I pride myself on being a good listener, I am most definitely a visual learner.  When it came time to pass my finite math final (a class my mom helped me choose because finite means there’s an end, and I hoped that class would mark the end of a tumultuous streak of, um, not being able to add), I stayed up for nearly 36 hours straight, memorizing formulas.  And hoping I could figure out which variables to replace with which numbers.  Flashcards saved my life.  Or more accurately, my GPA.

They still come in handy, now that I am grown-up.  From putting together a workout, to keeping the condo in relative order, to finding a bit of inspiration, there’s a flashcard for just about everything.  If if there isn’t?  Welp, you can make one.

A few years ago, my brother and sister-in-law gave me a pack of brilliance cards with my Christmas present.  I had no idea things like this existed, but I was instantly hooked.  They’re like fortune cookies without the calories.  And crumbs.

I bet you could make a great set of your own with an old deck of playing cards and your favorite quotes, mantras, inspirational sayings, or photos of my dog.

My collection of grown-up flashcards includes Portuguese words and phrases (made that set myself using some good old fashioned index cards), a yoga deck, Jillian Michael’s Hot Body in a Box, and various others.

In my perpetual quest to stay organized at work and at home, I stumbled upon Buttoned Up and their great line of notepads and other products.  They make a set of grown-up flashcards aimed at building better organization habits.

They’re all great for travel, stashing in your over-sized lady briefcase, or for spreading out across the floor like a stressed out coed during exam week.

Speaking of which, good luck on finals, student friends. 😉

Also On Tap for Today:

What kind of learner are you?  

Today: The Organization Station.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]

I work quite a bit.  I am training for a marathon.  I randomly joined a soccer team (and will henceforth be known as Pele Jr.).  I try to maintain a social life, though I know hermit crabs who have more Facebook friends than me.  I usually cook, I sometimes clean, and I regularly walk the dog. People always ask me how I keep it all together, how I get it all done.

Truth be told, no one has ever asked me that.  But I’m going to tell you anyway.  Meet my Organization Station.

Ocho colores are so much better than uno.

Sure, I have a BlackBerry and various other electronic gadgets, but nothing– in my mind– beats a good old fashioned notebook.  If you’ve ever had a computer crash (say, the night before a 20 page art history paper is due), you know what I mean.  Besides, having your whole life written down ensures you’re leaving an overly detailed paper trail, chock full of alibis.  And maybe, when you’re famous, your notebook can become an actual book.  Like, in bookstores.

I love these little notebooks from Target– they’re the perfect size (not too big, not too small) and, bless his/her heart, the designer built in a color-coding system.  With the addition of a few 3M write on Post-It tabs, this notebook helps me record daily to do lists (I do… love a list), keep a running log, plan for mediocre posts such as this, and have other useful resources right at my fingertips.

No need to adjust your bi-focals, folks. My digicam simply loves to hone in on faux wood surfaces.

During the week (the weekend begs, “Give those to do lists a break, crazy lady!”), I list my to do’s on the left hand side and notes and notable moments on the right hand page.  This helps me reflect on the current day, and plan for the next.  Some days I’ll jot down a recipe on the right hand page, other days it’s a quote that caught my eye or a book I want to read, or maybe I’ll note my trusty pedometer count.  Unless I’ve lost my pedometer.  Again.

Who do you think has better hand-writing: me, St. Francis, or the Dalai Lama?

Under the “resources” tab, I keep a few things that I regularly refer to, including the Dalai Lama’s morning ritual and the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi.  Holy cow, I do have a soul!  The “running log” tab, I feel, is self-explanatory.  Some days I run, some days I sit around like a bump on a log.

And that, folks, is how I keep my life slightly under control.  If there was any question as to the level of my nerdiness, I assume your doubts have been put to bed.  Thank you.  Post adjourned.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • If you haven’t switched to Gmail Priority Inbox yet, I highly recommend it.  If you haven’t switched to Gmail yet, we need to have a talk, mister
  • I recently asked my Dad this very question
  • Lay out clothes/gadgets for tomorrow morning’s six miler 🙂
  • Put together some book donations for the Prison Book Program; check out this insightful essay

Are you a member of the Nerd Herd?  How do you stay on top of your life?

Today: Restore order (at a store)

yogaIf I wasn’t in love with our condo (and if I hadn’t vowed to never move again… until we move again), then I would seriously consider taking up permanent residence at the Container Store.

From their punny shopping bags (Contain yourself! …get it?) to their storage solutions to problems I didn’t even know I had, it’s Nirvana for control freaks with questionable senses of humor.

Speaking of Nirvana,  late last week my intern accidentally snapped the head off the Buddha my brother brought back from Thailand.  For over a year, that little guy had been overseeing the karmic flow of my office, making knowing eye contact with me every once in a while to remind me to stop swearing and start recycling, and now…

Broken Buddha

…he rests in pieces.

I am not really sure how it happened, but at some point, he unceremoniously hit my glass desktop, and his holy head went shooting into my lap.  My poor intern looked like she might croak.  I thought about asking her to go to Thailand to find me a replacement (immediately, obviously), but I am more Michael Scott than Miranda Priestly.  Instead, I wadded up a piece of double stick tape, mushed the head back on, and went about my business.  And by business, I mean posting the above picture to Facebook.

Needless to say, this quasi-traumatic incident left me craving balance and order, and there is no earthly place more rife with both than the Container Store.  Nick and I made a pilgrimage to their Natick store (after spending hours and dollars at Jordan’s Furniture. Side note: apparently any color that is not beige is considered a “custom” color.   Please stay tuned for 6 weeks for our living room transformation!  Wooo!) this weekend.  Man, we know how to live.

One giant cartload and several hours of sweat and elbow grease (ew) later, we now have two of the world’s most organized closets.  Once I find my label maker (I might be the only person Type A enough to have a label maker… and yet, Type B enough that it is missing), I can kick it up one more notch.  Bam!

A place for everything and everything in its place.

–Isabella Mary Beeton, The Book of Household Management (1861)

Now I just need to find a place for Buddha’s head.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Seriously consider making one of these, and then seriously consider whether or not this is out of my reach.
  • Dream up some really great birthday presents for my sister and Nick, both born on the 7th of October… sassy Libras!
  • Eagerly await our first Peapod delivery; I will report back on cost vs. convenience.

How do you restore balance?  How do you react when another human breaks one of your toys, with grace and poise?  Or glares and profanity?  Any good ideas for the man and the sister’s birthdays?