Saturday, October 4, 2014

Week 3: House & Holiday

Wow it's been a few weeks since my last post. Not to mention that three weeks of holiday prepping has passed.  Actually this is the end of week five of the HHP countdown. I'm always on the go so it's been a little difficult to get my posts done.   Although I have not been here I have been working diligently on the countdown and today I will sum up what's been happening with my plans for the holidays.  

Week three was Me & Mine week.  The goal was to focus on the master bedroom, set up an area in your home as a  wrap and mail center, schedule personal care appointments and if you've already started, inventory the gift closet.  In week four, Close to Home week, the focus was the kids room, complete the Seasonal Spruce-Up Exercise, think about Halloween costumes and more holiday prepping.   This week, five, is House Room which focuses on holiday guests you may be having during the holiday season and the guest room, do an inventory of holiday decorations and plan decorating ideas.  Also in this week we decorate for Fall (you can see my fall decor here).  Since I'm kid free and do not expect any guests coming to stay with me, other than holiday prepping, I had two bonus weeks to do whatever I wanted.  So I cleaned the master bedroom and the second bedroom

In all honesty, I do very well with keeping everything neat and organized in the master bedroom. The only things that I needed to do was:

*  wipe down baseboards
*  vacuum and shampoo carpet
*  clean windows/window sills.
*  polish furniture
*  wash curtains at the window
*  and touch up walls with a little paint

I really would like to do something dramatic in the master.  Something like this:

Beautifully decorated part of a bedroom

Maybe next year.  Sigh!  Oh well, let's move on to holiday planning part.

For the third (or is it 4th) year in a row I joined the Christmas Card Swap.  Each year I send out and receive cards from my friends at Magical Holiday Home.  I send cards all over the world: England, Austrailia, Canada, Scotland, and of course the United States to name a few.  For this year's swap, I found the perfect cards for my friends at the end of last holiday season.  I really hope they like them. I also bought cards to give out to friends and a few co-workers (pictured below).

Once I get the list of participants, I can print the address labels.  I had to make sure I had the correct addresses of family members as some of them have moved over the past year.  I swear I have one relative who's like a gypsy...always moving!  I can't keep up!  At the end of this month I will start signing and addressing the cards so that they will be ready to go in the mail on December 1st.  It will be great to already have them done.  Especially when there will be so many other things to do to prep for the holidays.

Next, I did a check of wrapping supplies and I'm good in that department.  I have plenty of wrapping paper, some of which haven't even been opened and I cleaned up on gift boxes, tissue paper and gift bags at the end of the holidays last year.  Now if I can focus on shopping for gifts (lol).

And finally...I finished up the weeks doing an inventory of my Christmas decorations.  I purchased a new tree last year and then decided I wanted new ornaments as well.  However, once my tree was up I wasn't quite happy with it.  It looked so naked.  I found a few nice ornaments on clearance last year but I also made a note on my shopping list to look for a few more as well as some ribbon.  I like my trees to look full - pretty - and full.

Tomorrow starts week six of the countdown, Wardrobe Week.  Gotta plan outfits for the upcoming holiday parties.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week 2 of House & Holiday


Actually today starts week 3 of House & Holiday.  I have been so busy (I seem to say that a lot - lol) that I have not had time to post about last weeks tasks.  So here it goes.

Week 2 focused on Calendar & Creativity.  The goal was to create/declutter a space in your home where you will plan for the holidays, work on crafts or use as a wrapping station for gifts.   My designated space is my home office which was decluttered and cleaned in week 1.

On the holiday prep side, we created a seasonal calendar, set up travel plans (if you will be traveling during the holiday season), browse for decorating ideas and recipes, plan homemade gifts and get started on your shopping list.   I set up my calendar back in July.   That's how anxious I was about the upcoming holidays.  From September through December I have noted birthdays, anniversaries, vacations, wrapping parties, holiday events, countdowns, and anything else that needs to be noted.  I have a printed copy that I keep in my holiday notebook and a copy on my portable hard drive.

The only time  I will be traveling this year is in October.  A group of friends and I are spending the weekend in Norfolk, Virginia for NSU's Homecoming.  I can't wait!  I had so much fun last year.

As for homemade gifts,  I have a few in mind. For my mom and a few close friends I am making photo calendars. Those are always well received.  Confetti Bean Soup for my neighbor.  She loves homemade soups.  Kissmas Whisks for a few co-workers. And for my best friend, this ombre glitter vase.

I found this idea on Better Homes &Garden's website.  Her favorite color is purple so I think the purple with lavendar will be really pretty.  She's going to love this! I can't wait to show you all the end result!  Finally there's my homemade cookies for a few folks.  Maybe next year I will try to do more homemade crafts.  I enjoy them so but will need to make more time to complete them.  Perhaps next year I will join the crafter's challenge over at Magical Holiday Home.

Speaking of gifts, I wanted to do some shopping this weekend but it didn't happened. Had to get some work done on my truck so it will be ready for emmissions. Bummer!!!  Except for the young kids in my family, I pretty much have gift ideas for everyone on my list.

I had a crying moment when I came across my nephew Eric's name and had to cross him off the list. I didn't want to do it last year.  I miss my guy so much.  I can't believe it's been nearly two years since he passed.  I find myself shaking my head about it daily.

Okay, I'm not going to get all mushy.  Better stop here.  More holiday fun  to come.

Friday, September 5, 2014

House & Holiday Plan 2014 Has Begun

Week One:  Planning and Paperwork

So this past Sunday kicked off the House & Holiday Plan for 2014.  Each week I will attempt to declutter my home while getting ready for the upcoming holidays.  I was so excited and motivated that I decided to start a little earlier.  Starting with 'control center', my somewhat home office.

One day last week I came in from work, walked straight into the guest bedroom and just started cleaning and decluttering.  I went through the pile of paper that had been sitting on my desk, shredded/tossed what I no longer needed and gathered up and sorted everything else in nice manila folders.  Now all I need is a small file cabinet to keep everything in.  Until then they are neatly stacked on my bookcase.

Next I wiped down my desk, computer and printers (boy do those printers collect dust).  Then Wiped down the bookcase where I store my holiday notebook, recipe books, Christmas cards, etc.  Looks really good in there now.  I can find what I need and everything is at the ready.

In addition to decluttering paperwork, there's the planning to do.  But first, clean out my holiday notebook.   I pulled everything out from last year, stapled them together and placed them in the back of my book.  They will be used as a reference while planning for this year.  I already had the new sheets printed and ready to go in the book: the budget, shopping list, gift list, menu...  So then there was answering a few questions of myself like, How much in total do you plan to spend this year?  What amount will you spend on gifts? What special gifts do you have in mind? What type of food will you be serving Christmas Eve?  And so on.  The only thing left from this week's tasks is to complete the exercise.
Values Worksheet

Right now I'm feeling pretty good at what I've been able to get accomplish.  Mind you this is only the first week.  I'm hoping 'regular life' doesn't de-rail me too much the remainder of this year.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Do You Have A Wish List?

Every year when I am making up my gift lists for family and friends, I'm also thinking of gifts for 'me'.  Though I receive some really nice and awesome gifts (doesn't take much to make me happy), I really like and feel that it's good to treat myself every now and again.  And Christmas is when I like to splurge on myself (well Christmas and my Birthday).  I started making a wish list when I joined Organized Christmas, many, many moons ago.  Every year I write down a list of things and when I had the means, go and get them, wrap them up and put under the Christmas tree come December.  Don't get me wrong, I do share a few of my wishes with family and friends.  It's usually about gift cards to a few of my favorite stores like Walmart or Dollar Tree. Or mats for my truck with the Baltimore Ravens logo. Heehee.

I remember one year, my mom surprised me big time with a laptop and portable hard-drive.  Then another year she got me a wireless printer.  We had been talking , you know, just in casual conversation. She had mentioned that she was getting a new laptop for herself. Couldn't believe she got one for me too! Talking about feeling like a spoiled kid (a spoiled, older kid).  LOL  

There's really not too much I want or need this year.  Just a small list, really:

* The new Samsung 5 phone.
* A new vacuum cleaner 
* Ipod-Touch 

I also plan to treat myself to a few nice pieces of  jewelry and perhaps some designer perfume.  

So what is on your wish list?  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sitting Around Thinking

Day Five of Cold:  Been sitting or laying around getting over whatever it is I have.  My voice is coming back and sounding a little better.  Glad of that.  However, I still have that pain-in-the-throat cough.  It only seems to start up right around this time of the day (5:00 pm).

Since the weekend I have been spending a lot of time on Pinterest...just pinning my little heart away (might as well since I'm confined).  That's when I began to notice that a lot of fall and Christmas stuff was showing up on the boards and that made me smile.  Then I realized, autumn will be here in about 2 months and that Christmas is only 5 months away.  Now a little panic comes in.  I want this year to be a awesome and I cannot procrastinate like I did last year.  So I grabed my composititon notebook and began to take notes.

First I made my usual list of things I need to do, like: print new sheets for my notebook, make a budget, create gift lists, yata, yata, yata. Then I started thinking of special things I want to do for Christmas this year. Something new that I have always wanted to do but never seemed to make it into my plans.   There were two things I found on Pinterest a couple years ago that's been collecting dust in my book and today I decided to pull them out and incorporate them into this year's calendar of activities.

The one that I truly want to do is capturing a moment every day for the month of December using your camera (see here).

December Photo a day Challenge

I'm excited just thinking about it. (Wonder if I can find one to do for autumn)

Monday, July 21, 2014

I Now Know the Problem

Well it seems that when I deleted some of my photos from my google+, my photos were removed from my blog as well.  How this came to be is a mystery since I knew nothing about google+ back when I posted those pictures.  In fact, I don't know why those pictures appeared in my google+ in the first place. SMH

Eventually I will replace them as thankfully I have them saved on my laptop. Not looking forward to that.


I have been sick since last week.  My two week vacation officially started at 4:30 p.m., Friday, July 20th. Instead of getting ready to have lots of fun, I found myself at the doctors office on Friday morning.  As I am typing this, I should be in sunny florida with my friends at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino celebrating me and three other July babies birthdays.  But noooo.  Instead, I'm moving from bed to sofa trying to get rid of this terrible cough.  Not to mention I have no voice whatsoever.  Thank God for my mom. She's been coming by and checking on me.  I'm hoping all is not lost.  My birthday isn't officially til the 26th and I'm hoping I'm better by then, to be with all my friends for a happy hour gathering I have planned.

Once July ends, I'm usually done with summer and am ready for the cooler weather to arrive.  Because with cooler weather means Christmas is not far behind.

Since I'm stuck at home, I decided to go onto the Magical Holiday Home forum and see what my friends have been up to.  I haven't been on there since January.  Then I pulled out my composition book and began to write down a few notes.  One note I jotted down was celebrating the upcoming Rudy Day which is this Friday (and coincidently, my step-dad's birthday).  Since I'm stuck in, I can get caught up on all the holiday movies I missed over the months.  So that's 6 movies total I need to watch.

A Christmas Story
A Muppets Chrismtas Carol
Disney's Once Upon a Christmas
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Christmas Vacation
A Christmas Carol  (any version) 

A good lineup if I do say so myself.  Now I just have to get someone to get me some popcorn and I will be all set. Hot chocolate sounds good too.  Hmmmm

Uh Oh!

Since I've been gone so long I thought I'd come back and do some blogging.

Looks as if something's gone wrong here.  Better get this taken care of.  Christmas is in less than 6 months.

Much to do. Much to do.