2014 in 2014 – Update #1

Sometimes getting side tracked is awesome. Like this afternoon… I was playing Diablo 2 (my Christmas present I got myself with my Amazon gift card one of the girls got me) and had to stop for a bathroom break. On my way back downstairs I for some unknown reason ended up in the girls bedroom. It’s a mess, well, it *was* a mess. It’s no longer a mess thanks to me getting sidetracked. Tomorrow I need to vacuum, but their bookcases and toy bins are organized as are the totes under their beds. I even put Sophia side of the closet in order!

Warning: The following pictures are taken with my iPad mini, while they will do in a pinch they are certainly NOT the quality I would typically post. It was 5 minutes until bed time and I was just grabbing quick snaps of it before the two little tornados wake up in the morning and undo all my work. 😉

The closet and "toy bin"

The closet and “toy bin, excuse the closet shelf, I didn’t get all of that done today.

Reading Area - 2 bookcases, 2 learning towers, 2 pillow mats, and a menagerie of stuffed animals.

Reading Area – 2 bookcases, 2 learning towers, 2 pillow mats, and a menagerie of stuffed animals.

The totes under the bed actually have all their lids, the shoe rack is organized, and the dresser isn't covered in paper!!

The totes under the bed actually have all their lids, the shoe rack is organized, and the dresser isn’t covered in paper!!

I’m just going to count all the trash removed as 12 items, because honestly I lost count with all the wrecked art projects and random small/broken toys.

I have 50 items, mostly books and old mittens and hats, set aside to donate.

I also cleaned up a few things downstairs this morning and tossed 13 items.

Total for today… 75!

Only 1,939 items left to go!

Tomorrow is another day to get things accomplished, and I’m kind of liking the neat and order that comes along with this decluttering.

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2014 in 2014

Last year I attempted to do 2013 in 2013, and didn’t do all that bad considering I started really late in the game. I’m going to try again this year! Since we’re hoping to get the rental house I’ll want to pare down what we have *before* we move as not to cart a bunch of junk with us for no good reason. This means I have about a month to whittle down our personal items. I still have things sitting in totes from last year that I never did get out of the house, so I have a solid starting point.

2014in2014

Little bits of trash do not count…

Nor does one rubber band or “c” hook from a Rainbow Loom..

If it did, I would have 2,014 items in like 10 minutes tops. Between my girls crafting with construction paper and two Rainbow Looms in the house I’m swimming in paper bits and rubber bands. Now if I got rid of a whole Rainbow Loom set, I’d say that’s one item. That won’t happen though or I’d have a full on riot on my hands. 😛

Here’s an idea of things I’ll be tossing or donating…

  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Kids Clothes
  • Adult Clothes
  • Kitchen Accessories – mismatched dishes, silverware, and small appliances
  • Home Decor – lamps, candle holders and vases
  • Pantry items we won’t use that are not expired

It’s not going to be easy because 2,014 things is a LOT of stuff. I know that my girls have too many clothes. I know that I have things I either haven’t worn in a year or more, and don’t get me started on purses I don’t even use. While I love books, and David is usually against getting rid of books, we have quite a few that just collect dust. I have even more in a tote for “some day” for the girls. My attempt at getting the whole “Babysitters Little Sisters” collection for them has been really well received. That was dripping with sarcasm, they’ve read like maybe a handful of them and have little to no interest. Junie B. Jones and Diary of a Wimpy Kid trump Babysitters books. I’m still trying to get them to read Ramona Quimby. 😛

Tomorrow I’m going to get started, and hopefully keep better count than I did last year.

Join me in decluttering the home!

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Hey, how’s it going?

I’ve been absent, again, I know.

I have been going to the gym with regularity for the last 6 weeks. I’m sitting at the same weight loss I was when I started, but my muscle definition has increased SO much, and my pants are fitting better than before! 😀

Sophia’s had a few field trips I’ve attended.

I had a Girl Scout bridging party, and the final meetings. Which ended up being WAY more planning than I ever thought possible.

I had quite a bit of dental work done – more fillings than I will admit to, and a deep cleaning on both halves of my mouth.

There have been school functions, and a PTO meeting where I was elected as the secretary for next school year.

Tomorrow is the last full day of school for the girls. They have free day tomorrow, and then the graduation ceremony on Friday. I will cry like a baby I’m sure, but my baby is “graduating” from Kindergarten! How in the crap do I have a 1st grader already?! It’s simply not possible!!

I hove posts to make, updates to past posts to make, and not having a schedule that looks like this – take kids to school, go to gym, eat, shower, pick up Sophia, attempt to clean house, get Nola, make dinner, stare off into space all evening – will help greatly in being more regular with posts. Also next school year.. Sophia is going to be FULL DAY! The moderate gas savings makes me a happy camper. 😉

Spring Break

I took the girls down to Alameda for the first week of Spring Break. They enjoy going to Stephanie’s house because they are a little more free to run around outside there. I enjoy going there because we end up pigging out on something baked, craft, and have quite a bit of fun.

I may also love the Bay Area a little bit…

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Who can argue with that?!

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Imagine

David has 3 guitars. One electric that rarely comes out of the case, an inexpensive acoustic that he’s had since before we were together, and a Takamine acoustic guitar that he got last year (it was very much a splurge item that he’s been holding off nearly a decade to buy). Music is kind of a thing here. I fully admit I like it when he plays the intro to Tesla’s “Lovesong”, and just about any RHCP.

The same day he got his Takamine we got Nola a ukelele. It’s not been used much by her, actually David has used it far more. Nola has been wanting to do a myriad of things for “Community Gathering” (a monthly talent show of sorts) at school for some time now, and I have been telling her that she should really practice with her ukelele and get good. She finally told David she really wanted to have a lesson on her ukelele today. ❤

She's concentrating pretty hard...

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2013 in 2013 – Update #1

Despite getting a late start to this it finally motivated me to go through all my crap. I had clothes in my closet from the girls that they haven’t worn in years! I did keep a couple of nice Gymboree dresses that I am waiting to find the right person to give them to. They’re the more expensive “fancy” dresses, and I can’t stomach putting them in a thrift store (I’m a dork, I am aware of this). I have the same attachment to the shopping cart cover I used with Sophia, but I *do* have a home to send that to, which I need to do next payday without fail. Now if I could just consolidate the craft and fabric bins in my closet…

I also decided to start tackling the garage, and that will remain a work in progress at least through Wednesday when I get Sophia from school. Between not feeling well, birthday parties, and my low paying side job I’m strapped for time and energy. I do have to have it done by Wednesday afternoon, because my parents get in that afternoon. If I didn’t have to get some work done tonight I’d go out and continue tidying up.

I suppose you might be wondering how many items I’ve gotten rid of …

300!

That’s pretty good for not even 2 weeks. I said I’d be on fire at first due to my packrat habits. Tomorrow will bring more for sure! 🙂

Only 1,713 to go!

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Food Revolution and a Giveaway!!

***ETA – This post is “stickied” until the Giveaway is over, please scroll down for new posts!!!***

I’ve posted this before, but please watch this video. It’s 21 minutes and 53 seconds long, but the message is important.

Jamie Oliver has done some great work. He has points that are valid not just for kids, but adults too. As a parent I know I am guilty of not providing the best options to my family at all times. It’s hard sometimes. We have busy lives. David starts two college classes tomorrow, Girl Scout cookie sales are in full swing, plus meetings, it’s also illness season and our family has not been spared. Sometimes the solution is to run to Little Caesars and get two of their $5 pizzas. Convenience is the key more often than not, and it shouldn’t be. I’d rather pull something from my freezer that I got at Trader Joe’s, and while it’s still a packaged meal I can add a frozen veggie and give my family something that offers more nutritional value.

A few years ago I did a food challenge and I did good for maybe a week, and then I slipped, and slipped some more, and by the end of the month I was like “That’s it, I suck!”. Going all out from the start did me no favors. I did it to myself, and honestly I let my slips discourage me too much. I can’t make a promise to only eat home cooked meals from scratch every single day for any length of time, but I can make better choices when I do go out. I can also make a few small changes at home that become a habit, and then change a few more things. For example..

I’ve been buying loaf bread lately. I have a grain mill, and a recipe that my family likes. I need to make bread at home.

I got a new Vitamix for Christmas, and smoothies have been requested almost daily. I know I can make yogurt at home much cheaper.

I know I won’t be able to get all organic food, but I can keep plenty of fresh healthy snacking options available for the whole family.

That brings me to…

FoodRevolution

The simple things I mentioned above to take steps in the right direction to eating better will be implemented by me for Food Revolution starting March 1, 2013. Yes, I know it’s a whole month away, but I want people to join me! I also want time to plan, because I’m a list maker (David says OCD). I want to see tons of other blog posts!

You don’t have to go all out, just change a few things. Eat out less, make something at home that you’ve been meaning to start doing again. Eat more fruits and veggies.

So please join me!! If you decide to participate please feel free to add this little badge to your page, and of course comment right here on this page. 🙂

Also, since Jamie Oliver deserves some well earned credit I am going to do a…

Giveaway

Yes, a giveaway!!

There are rules and stipulations though, of course.

1) Like Gingham Apron on Facebook.

2) Comment here confirming that you completed #1.

3) The drawing will be open from the moment this post is up, until 12:00pm (Pacific) on February 28th. I will put the number of comments received into a random generator and announce a winner soon after both here and on Facebook.

I’m sure you’re wondering what I will be giving away… Well I did say I would be giving Jamie Oliver some credit, so I think that his book Jamie’s Food Revolution: Rediscover How to Cook Simple, Delicious, Affordable Meals is a perfect prize!

Giveaway is over.  Congrats to Elizabeth on her new cookbook! 🙂

FoodRevolutionBook

Good luck, and I hope to see people participate!

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“Is pizza junk food?”

That was the question asked at dinner last night.

Dinner consisted of Boboli pizzas we topped with cheese, black olives, and turkey pepperoni. While we were eating Sophia asked if pizza was junk food. I told her that yes, pizza was junk food. That was cause for an exasperated remark of “We’re eating JUNK FOOD?!”. Yes, honey, we are. What do you think our “Family Dinner Out” to Buffalo Wild Wings was? David piped in at that point with “Do you think mac and cheese is junk food?”, and I pointed out the french fries. She seemed a bit disgusted with this revelation. She may have even said “ew”. I was already plotting though, which I am excellent at.

“How about, no junk food for 2 weeks?”

Starting today, we will not have “junk food”. No eating out. No pizza. No mac and cheese. And no ramen. David even agreed to it.

A caveat. My parents will be in town as of the 6th, and if the only opportunity for them to go to dinner with the girls is before Monday the 11th, then I will just tack a day on at the end. Grandma and Grandpa being here is very special because it was not expected, and honestly I wasn’t sure when we would see them again. So I am willing to cut some slack on that one, but I will encourage the girls to make some healthy choices.

This has me thinking though. Two weeks is a good start. I want to push myself again. I attempted to do a real food challenge 3 years ago, but I didn’t do as well as I know I could have. I want to try again. Later today I will get some details together. I do not want to do this alone though. So fire up your blogs, your kitchens, and yourself!

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