5 Quick things to Organize

Photo Credit: BHG.Com
This is the week of goal setting and New Year's resolutions. Before I get caught up in a never ending list of lofty goals, I like to tackle a few easy projects that I know I can finish before January even begins. Here's a few ideas to help spring you into your organization frenzy!

Clean out that make-up surplus.

Time to get rid of the excess. If you're like me, you have your staple eye-liner, shadow, and blush. I try new things but always manage to revert back to my staples. Well, why keep it if you don't use it. Throw out anything you haven't worn in the last 2 weeks (okay, maybe 3 weeks if you count Christmas week).

This includes the gajillion bottles of nail polish you bought for special occasions that aren't that special anymore and are half used up. I have 3 basic colors... done.

Clean out your lingerie drawers.

Nylons with runs, socks without matches, panties that don't fit anymore... even when you suck in... bra's that you don't use... you get the idea. Why keep more in that drawer to search through? Less is more (calming). Simplify.

Inventory your first aid and medicine supplies.

If you like me, you have 6 kids all of whom have got ill while you're on vacation, necessitating another purchase of ibuprofen or allergy medicine. (Okay, maybe you only have half as many kids but they always get sick when you're on vacation!) The result is a collection of half used medicines.

Take inventory. Can you combine 2 of the same kinds of medicine and toss a bottle? Are there a few past expirations? Are you keeping empty packages of band aids (my kids raid the stash but never toss the box or tell me we're out.) or holding onto prescriptions that you haven't used since your last childbirth? Make room for the new year and de-clutter the first aid box.

Toss the junk in your junk drawer.

If you haven't used it in a reasonable amount of time... it really IS junk! Toss the odds and ends, the broken whatchamacallit you meant to glue ages ago, and feel your guilt flee! You can organize it in pretty organizers later... just pare down the clutter.

PPhoto credit:Martha Stewart.com

Weed out your closet.

Photo courtesy of Lane Bryant/Closet Maid

It doesn't take a great deal of effort to say, "No, I haven't worn that for 2 years." Don't bother organizing the closet. Just get rid of the clothes that you don't regularly use. This is a great liberation ladies. I'm queen of this. After 6 kiddos, I have clothes in EVERY size. Literally. Fat clothes, not-so-fat clothes, pretty much happy with this size clothes, wish I were that size clothes, and I remember when I was THAT size clothes. They're officially gone. Simplified! Now my closet is really ready to tackle when the real organization bug hits in January!

What are your organizing projects for the new year?


Welcoming Guests


Sorry dear friends about the lack of posts. I'm working on getting this house in welcome shape for family arriving tomorrow.

Here's today's effort to get my house Welcome ready:
  • Early AM Wal-mart run to buy 3 new strands of lights to replace the 3 strands that blew on our tree. Yes, it's the same tree as the one in my other funny post.
  • Run 6 kids through the chore routine... hours later... I'm exhausted and thinking maybe this house will never be clean. Why do we bother with giving kids chores? They all need a play habitat to tear apart while you efficiently clean the house.
  • Hand the 10 and 12 year old lights and say, "Go decorated the front of the house... make it look nice."
  • Find 10 year old on the roof hanging lights. WHAT!!!
  • Find screen torn in room by roof... the 6 year old was caught trying to escape to help brother. WHAT!!!
  • String 5 strands of lights back on the tree... hang all the ornaments AGAIN.
  • Check on outside lights... WHAT??? They're more creative than my 33 year old brain could wrap around. Looks like Vegas meets the Griswalds.
  • Let the 12 year old lead dough ornament activity. No harm done. Plenty of ornaments since he tripled the recipe.
What do I still have to do?
  • Wipe the boogers off the wall.
  • Sanitize the bathrooms before the CDC shuts us down. (The Department of Defense is watching our house closely. They believe we've managed to cultivate our own super-germ capable of bio-warfare. Of course, we're all immune because we live with it every day.)
  • WRAP!! WHAT??? Yes, nothing is wrapped. NADA. 19 people at my house in 2 days. Gifts for all... multiple gifts. NOTHING WRAPPED! Ahhhh...
  • Clean my room... I can't find my bed, or my closet, or my dresser, or the carpet.
I won't bother you with all the other details.

On a side note... keep checking in. I was just added as a contributor for the Blissfully Domestic Home channel and would love for you to check things out. No posts up yet but be watching in January!

Merry Christmas to all of you wonderful ladies out there! Good luck getting your lists crossed off and I'll check in soon... (as long as the CDC doesn't haul me off!)


Spashes of Christmas around my house

Okay ya'll here it is. This is my second post for the day, or at least in 24 hours so visit the other one below if you have an ugly closet...
Welcome! Oooh, thanks for the invite Kimba to your Open House! And thanks to new friends for dropping in to check out what's been keeping me busy! I've also linked to The Inspired Room for today's Friday Linky Love.  Enjoy Christmas site seeing around blogland!

Without further adeiu... (is that how you spell that frenchy word?)

Spray painted ornaments hanging from my door knockers... wrapped my picture. Sorry for the goofy angle, it's in my hallway.

My favorite mirror... a thrift store find repainted. I love it every day I see it... I still feel the thrill of the kill (or find)!

Life in the backround... Please ignore:) Oh, and ignore the smudge marks on the mirror. Kids cleaned this for their chores... price you pay for responsible children.

Garland over my not-hearth. She's over my hutch. WITH a birdcage... Nester inspired!

Must of had too much of Kimbas wassil when I was taking a few of these shots... pardon. They look great if you squint your eyes!

Banister garland.... My pinecone is almost as big as Kimbas!

The pumpkins again!... How are they holding up?

Just found out... This one got replaced with another from our garden. Funny though, they don't squish until you poke them... I found out when I was trying to move them for the picture.

Wassil effect is getting worse!! Keep Squinting!

Thanks for visiting! Good to meet you!


Closet door band-aid

Swamped with Christmas... Please read my lame"ish" post.  It's a quickie and a  nifty if you have ugly doors:)


After HE bought bamboo placemates and NAILED the suckers to his ugly door!  WHAT?  

Brilliant man... Look him up on hgtv.com Rate My Space under closets! 


I {HEART} Couches!

Nester hearts chairs... I HEART couches!

I settled for a leather set, the color of silly putty (it was on sale) and have made it work for 6 years. I'm tired of silly putty, with pen marks and milk stains (check back again for my bare all cleaning post...) and so I dream of Victorian Beauties like this only with new fabulously fun material...

Scrubby material doesn't scare me... I'm after the curvy shape of this elegant lady. My palace needs at least 2 of these! I might even paint the wood... I'll have to wait until my husband has a business trip for that since he is "guardian of all things wood, protector of the natural grain"... I'm sacreligious with my painting frenzies!
or maybe this...

THIS. is a fainting couch. Ever wonder why all those ladies faint in movies like Pride and Prejudice? It's because they get to lay on these babies! I'd faint every day to lay on this elegant lady!

Oh, my, I feel soo... sooo... ahh...{Faint... THUD}. Ooo where am I? Oh, on the Fainting couch.... Dishes to do?.... {Faint again}.

I stalk craigs list. Ebay. Your garage sales... If you have one of these, you need to guard it!

I grew up with this one... only with cream crushed velvet. MMmmm...

I'm dreaming of reupolstering ladies... Christmas isn't even here and I'm lining up projects for the New Year!



Today's the LAST DAY to order Letters from SANTA. Y'all are sick-O-hearn' me pitch.

So here's my photo pitch...


Whether Santa delivers your mail into here...


or this fancy lady here....


or this unforgettable tower here...

It will all arrive from the North Pole (with cancellation stamp), With a message from Santa about Christ and service, and be personalized to your kiddo. Check out the sample letters at NorthPoleSecretary.com

I'm printing tonight, overnighting them to the North Pole tomorow.

I'm returning to regular posts this weekend! Come back and see how my house cleaning is going... another terrifying post like this one!


For the wives on Christmas...

For those of you worried about what you'll get for Christmas this year! May want to show your sweetie!

Enjoy the video!

Santa Letters can only be purchased for 2 more days! $8


5 More Days Left

I know you are all tired of my infomercials... Here's another one. Only without the lovely hand model. I'll let you think I have my fancy, sparkly Vanna White gown on though! Oh, and pretend I have my nails painted (ignore that it's spray paint).

Santa Letters are only being sold for 5 more days!!! I have to get them off to North Pole Alaska for Santa's approval and the cancellation stamp. Things are getting busy and if you want yours before Christmas you need to go to www.NorthPoleSecretary.com and order!

Please tell everyone you know about NorthPoleSecretary.com and help me take a chunk out of our 40K ... yes you saw that correctly, a whopping 40K adoption tab. (and worth every penny) Any help you could give to spread the word (personal emails to friends.. etc) would be appreciated! I LOVE YOU ALL... REALLY! I have been very blessed and am grateful for all your help... we have had a great response.

Mailed from North Pole from Santa.

Message from Santa about true meaning of Christmas... Christ.
Recognition for your child's accomplishments
Personalized to fit your child... Check out the
sample letters here.

Have you finished your Christmas shopping?

Why leave the house and fight the crowds? Go to my etsy store and dress up someones dorm room, living room, bedroom, bathroom or bookcase (these babys can go anywhere) with a Pretty Organizer! You need these, you really do... for sure you need them more than that singing fish plaque that came out a few years ago or a dancing Santa. These are pretty and useful! You could just wrap your hubby's tie in one and keep the box for yourself!

All money for both of these projects are paying down our majillion dollar adoption expenses for our 2 girls.

Thanks for your patience. I now return you to your regularly scheduled blog programming... I love you blogging friends! Have a super day!

hugs.. Pretty Organizer.


Charlie Brown meets the Grinch... My Christmas Tree

WARNING!!! This post is not for the faint of heart!  It is ugly.  Really Ugly.  IF you're looking for eye candy, scroll down a few posts, or visit my other posts... or head over to the Nester or some other first rate home decorator because... this is terrifying.  and LONG...What?  You're still reading?  You asked for it!!
No, that is not a piece of barbed wire... that is the tip of one of my Christmas tree limbs... and they ALL look that way!  Every side of this tree should go towards the wall.
This is my tree.  If it looks like it's leaning a little, that's because it is.  Severely.  I used to call this our Charlie Brown tree... now it looks more like a bunch of the Grinch's fingertips stuck together.  Doesn't it?... LOOK at it!  THIS IS AN UGLY TREE! 

AND, it's balding.  It's more like a deciduous than an ever green.  It's even losing it's limbs.  

Of course, that might be from the year when the mice nested in it and the hubby vowed he could fix it (I secretly prayed it would be the end) and he hosed the thing down 3 times with bleach (I thought we'd have a turquoise tree!) and let it sit WET for days... then hosed it down again... thus the rusty tips.  I TOLD YOU this would get terrifying!  Yes, we're using an old un-smellied mouse nested tree!  

I'm not sure where I went wrong.  It might have been when I started the tradition of letting my kids help decorate the tree.... to make memories.  This is how they make memories.

That's an ImagiNext guy.  We have a tree full of them....   

and these.......

Yes, amid all the decorations-none of which match because I thought it would be another great memory to give my kids a different ornament each year that was unique to what they did that year.- We house our own Sherwood Forest.  AND each year I unpack the tree, I find a few Merry Men hanging out in the branches that were somehow attached too well to be shaken out like the rest of their gang the year before.

Oh yes... minus the beautiful ribbon (Thank you Costco for your 4.95 per 50 yards of wired ribbon) and the tree skirt, this is it.  Wires and all.  Every year I unpack this tree cursing and whining and dreading the event.  No pre-lit here.  We do this mess ourselves.  My kids hang the ornaments (we all draw straws for the lights...  just kidding...  I do them every year- Don't you just love those cords?  This year I finally passed off the duty to my son). 

 It's not a beautiful tree by any means and I can't ever justify taking $200 out of our budget to go toward a beautiful tree that opens up as easily as an umbrella. (Maybe if you buy from my esty shop I could buy a new tree!!... oh ya, that's to pay off the adoptions...grr.)

Each year I curse this tree, but each year it works.  The kids are STILL excited to haul it out, decorate it, redecorate it, hide their "Guys" in it and redecorate it AGAIN.  And each year as I watch them content to play with our tree I think, "I can wait another year.  They'll only want to play with the tree for a short while, then I'll be trying to keep them home during the holidays instead of out with friends."  Sometimes beauty isn't what adorns the Palace rooms but what love and joy is found within them.  This Palace has beauty, and love, in the same room as the ugly tree... and somehow that tree isn't ugly any more... it's a beautiful memory.


Subtle Touches of Christmas Part 2

I feel more relaxed in simple spaces.  These rooms are simple and festive.  Love the ornaments over this picture frame.

Brown paper packages.... tied up with fancy string.... one of my favorite things!

Tomorrow I'm revealing my tree...which may I add, would be refused at any thrift store drop-off.  I don't think I could pay someone to take it!  It's a cross between a Charlie Brown Tree and the Grinch's fingertips... you'll see...  Isn't this one simple and lovely?  

First, IF I had a canopy bed, I would hang snowflakes.  Second, IF I had a blue room, I'd give it splashes of red just for good measure... 

Lest we forget ourselves and escape reality and think this beautiful scene would work in our house.... these are glass bulbs, on the GROUND... WAITING for your child to come by and toss them into the fire, or at you or a brother...  Yes,  this is a model home... for mannequins.  Honestly, if you have glass bulbs on the ground (and they do look pretty there) and an unattended fire lit...   Let's just say that this would be the last picture taken at my house before it burned.

Still dreaming of a dining room.  

Love this furniture... especially the piano in the back (music degree remember..) Can you see the carved work where you rest the music?  Crazy that my eye was drawn there.  Decorating for Christmas is so much easier if your walls are already red... just add green and  your set.  You don't need a huge formal wreath... just bunch greenery, tie with ribbon and hang over your door... I'm off to whack down the neighbors over grown branches!

Come back tomorrow for my bare all Christmas tree confessional!
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