Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pinterest is Slowly Taking Over My Life

Pinterest is slowly taking over my house. I found myself checking out the latest things I'd been doing and discovered that my house is turning into a series of pinterest ideas implemented. Earlier this summer you saw my menu planner (Pinterest idea). Since then the ideas have only grown. Several decorating ideas for my beach bathroom came from stuff on there. I have cooked many recipes I've found. This is the latest experiment. Meal in a Bag.

I write because I can't not write. I've been writing stories since elementary school. However, I have not quit my 'day job' because I have two things that I want to do with my life. I want to write and get books published, but I also want to help people. I want to leave this world confident that I have done my best to help those around me. That would be the day job. I'm a social worker. I don't always have time to come home and cook good wholesome meals. I have to come up with creative ways to implement things in my life that allow me to continue the goals I set in the new year (live more healthy and budget better were two).

Pictured above is my latest Pinterest implementation into my crazy life. Meal in a Bag. On the weekends I have much more time to cook then I do during the week. Last weekend I decided that I would brown meat, chop my ingredients, and put them all in a bag in the fridge. All I had to do when I got home from work was dump it in a pan and it is ready to go. The kitchen doesn't get messed up, it takes less time to get dinner on the table, and I still manage to have a home cooked meal that is healthy. It got me thinking and searching on Pinterest. to the right is a bag of 3 different sandwich bags with cut up strawberries, two frozen yogurt cubes (used an ice tray for that) and blueberries. When I want a smoothie  in the morning I can take out one of the sandwich bags, dump it in my blender and add a little milk.

What amazes me about Pinterest is that it is a buffet of awesome ideas that I think should have occurred to me (like these two) but didn't. I LOVE it and it is slowly taking over my life with fabulous ideas. I plan to share more as I go. For now I'm on the hunt for recipes I can cook, freeze and then throw in a crock pot. Feel free to share!

Friday, July 6, 2012

New Bahama Beach Bathroom on a Budget

I've been working on redecorating my guest bathroom. It has gone from a dark red NYC theme to my new "Bahama Beach Bathroom". I managed to redecorate this room (start to finish) in two days. The total approximate cost of redecorating this bathroom for me was $250. This includes everything in the room and on the wall (including paint!). I love the feeling of completing a project I've wanted to do for a while!

Want to know how I managed to redecorate and still stay within a strict budget? Read on!
Paint and supplies to paint: $65. This was the most expensive cost. I got the primer/paint combination. I already had the white satin for the door frame and baseboards from painting when I moved in. It should be noted that you should save your paint for touch-ups and such. Store it at room temp.

The mirror I got on clearance at Bed, Bath and Beyond for $29 (with tax). The shells on the ledge are part of a mix of shells I bought on clearance at Kohl's for $5. The sea biscuit and sand dollar I picked up and bleached when I was in the Bahamas last summer.

The soap dish was $4 at Big Lots. The Hurricane Jar with the seascape was $5. I got the jar at half price at Hobby Lobby. (Note-depending on the week, Hobby Lobby puts a lot of their decor items on sale at half just have to go the right week)
The Plug in is a Scentsy Sand Dollar plug in. It was a Christmas free! I got several scents for it at a garage sale for $3.

The free standing picture frames were both on clearance at Kohls and the pictures inside them were ones I took while in the Bahamas. (both frames for $12)

The two picture frames on the wall were half price at Hobby Lobby *again...just have to watch the adds and go on the right week. Frames are normally half off every other week. The pictures were blown up and framed. I got one pic blown up for free using a coupon from Walmart. The other was a deal at CVS for $3.

The hook on the wall was $2.50 at Hobby Lobby (1/2 price that week). The towels I found at Target for $16 total. The baskets were half price at Hobby Lobby totaling $17.50. One basket I just took some wire and nails that I had in the garage and turned it into a wall shelf. The shower curtain, liner and hooks totaled $40 at Kohls. The sandcastle on the toilet is a Party Lite piece and holds a candle. Got it at a garage sale for $5.

The shells on the picture frame are part of the bag that I bought that is mentioned earlier. The bath rug was in my master bath...but as I'm redecorating that, I moved it to this bathroom.

Total purchased to transform my bathroom: $207

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Menu Planner

I realized I've been slacking on my blog. I have no real excuse except my recent Pinterest obsession. Bad enough that I find way too many cool ideas to pin. I've actually been busy implementing them at my house. I wanted to share my first completed project: My Menu Planner.

I got a magnetic dry erase board and day magnets. I got a magnetic pen/notepad holder in black to add as well. It is in the bottom left corner. Using blank business cards from Office Depot, I put the name of the dish on one side and the ingredients needed on the other. They are held in the notepad holder when not on the weekly menu.

I put the ingredients on the back so that once I planned out the meals for the week, I could make an easy shopping list by flipping them over.

Below the menu holder I hung a metal plate holder that I found at a resale shop. I put my favorite cookbooks in it. Below that is a metal magazine holding that has the rest of my cookbooks. The idea was modified to fit my kitchen, needs, and sense of style.

This symbolizes my dedication to some of the goals I've set. Budgeting and organization. Budgeting because of my dedication to eat in and only buy things from the store I'll use. (planning a menu for a week instead of just picking up things really helps to minimize grocery and eating out expenses). The project itself was minimal in cost. 

There is something I just love about finding a project, using my creativity to fashion it, and then completing it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Do You Want to Live in Shallot or Camelot?

Every once in a while I miss having a roommate like I did in college. In college if I wanted to go to Taco Bueno at midnight or talk over my day; my roommate was there. If I wanted to know how an outfit looked or where I should put a picture, there was an easy opinion on offer.

Last night I was debating where to put the Lady of Shallot picture I had purchased. I couldn't figure out the best place. I decided to ask my Facebook Friends and Twitter Peeps. Soon, I had tons of opinions helping me decide where to put it.

Today I went shopping. I was one of 5 people in line to checkout and noticed that the other four people were on their phones. Two people were talking, one was texting, and one was playing a game. Even when the woman ahead of me began checking out she didn't pause in her conversation or even greet the employee ringing her up (a pet peeve of mine). It got me thinking about the time before cell phones. I used to talk to people in line ahead or behind me. Nothing life-altering, but still discussion. We acknowledged each other's presence. Less than 24 hours after I can have someone in Washington State give an opinion on where to hang my picture, it came as a huge contrast.

Technology is constantly changing. It seems that we are left with a choice on how to use it. Do we use it to include others in what we are doing, or do we use it to isolate us from those around us? I can use Facebook to include others in my decorating efforts, show them the places I've been or update them on what I'm doing. I can also use Facebook to tune out my friends at the table when I go out to dinner, ignore the people in line around me at the store, or waste time at family gatherings learning about other people's statuses instead of paying attention to the status of my family. The Lady of Shallot is a poem by Tennyson of a woman who lives on an island alone overlooking Camelot. At first she seems to enjoy her isolation while weaving, but soon realizes it is a curse.

When and where we use technology is a choice. Choose wisely so that technology enhances your life and your relationships, but never takes away from either. Do you want to live in Camelot or Shallot?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Ringo Helps Me Write

This is Ringo. He is my Russian Blue kitty. He is adorable and affectionate. He can also be a menace. He likes to lay on my laptop keyboard when I write. He also likes to eat roses. While I've forgiven him for the occasional unintended addition to my works in progress, one of my friends has never forgiven him for eating her roses.

No matter what faults Ringo may have, I absolutely adore him. Since he keeps me company when I write, he serves as a reminder that no one is completely one way or another. Whether laying over my hands as I attempt to type, or giving up and leaning against my leg; his constant presence doesn't let me forget that even the hero and heroines in my books must be written with faults and imperfections to be real. Without that they are simply flat, card board cut outs. Don't you wish you had an adorable Russian Blue kitty to hang out with you when you were writing?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dying With The Most Stuff

Work Table for My De-Stuffing Project
If the world really is ending this year, I don't want to win the award for dying with the most stuff. I don't want people coming to my house because they figure I have at least two of everything. If a Zombie takes me out this year, I'd rather my family not hate me because they have to figure out what to do with a house full of stuff.

Starting yesterday I put my first goal of the year into action. I decided that this is the year where I 'De-Stuff' my house. I want to get rid of the things that have been hanging out and multiplying in my closets and garage. I don't want to end the year as the woman with the most stuff.

I started systematically going through my things and dividing them up. Consignment for those beautiful clothes  that are now too big. Selling via online or garage sale for those items that I can use to reach goal number 2 (budget). Donating the rest. 

Maybe it was the craziness of Black Friday sales or perhaps it was an honest look at the amount of stuff I had that got me thinking. Maybe it is seeing those people around me that are in need that made this goal so important this year. I don't know, but i do know that I want this to be the year where I end it with less stuff than I started with.

What are your goals this year? Are you taking steps now to reach them? Time flies and I'm no longer content with shrugging off things that I promised myself I would do. This is only #1 on my list. I have more and I'm not discouraged by the number of goals I have. I've chosen that in 2012 I will stop putting off the hard tasks and I'll accomplish what I set out to do. What do you hope to accomplish this year?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Break

I'm taking time during the holiday season to be with my family. I will return to blogging in January!