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Posts Tagged ‘decluttering’

Happy Birthday to Me! My birthday was this past Monday (11 January), and I’m officially 52 years old. I do not feel it mentally or physically although I’m sure I look it. No matter, because I’m happy and grateful to be alive another day and can celebrate another year of life. Despite my special day being brutally cold (thankfully, no carpool duty) and having to work, it was a terrific birthday. I received cards from my fabulous co-workers, a gift and card from my fantastic roommate Julia, and lunch was provided for me by two of my fab friends who work in the school library, Kathryn and Debbie. Throughout the day, I received numerous happy birthday messages, texts, and emails. I even received cards in the mail.

When I arrived home from work later in the afternoon, I had a Desert Beauty plant (succulents and cacti) and a card waiting for me from my sweet friend Denise. Andrew and I had our regular take-out dinner Monday evening from Kirin (sushi for me and ramen for him). My gift from Andrew was a book that I have been wanting by Mary Higgins Clark called Piece of My Heart. (Barry, Jr. is getting me Spellbound by Estée Lauder, my favorite perfume.) I relaxed for the remainder of the evening, reading and responding to birthday wishes. I thoroughly enjoyed celebrating the day of my birth. However, since my birthday fell on a Monday, and my hubby was out of town, my birthday celebration extended into this weekend.

I requested that Barry take me to the movies and then dinner afterwards at a new restaurant. Yesterday, he and I went to the afternoon screening of Wonder Woman 1984. While it was not as good as Wonder Woman, the first movie in the franchise featuring Gal Gadot, Barry and I still enjoyed it. After the movie, we went to dinner. Originally, I wanted to try One Thirteen in Hammond. Unfortunately, we did not make our reservations soon enough to dine inside, and neither one of us had the desire to dine outside in the cold. Therefore, we did a little research and ended up dining at Paolo’s Restaurant and Wine Bar located on East Pine Street in Ponchatoula. Paolo’s features northern Italian cuisine. This is my first new restaurant of the year (#18 on my 21 for 2021 list). What an excellent choice! A terrific atmosphere, a friendly and experienced restaurant staff, and delicious food made for a wonderful dining experience.

Our waitress for the evening was Haylee. Since it was our first visit, I asked her for recommendations before I ordered anything, and everything she recommended was AWESOME. I wanted a birthday cocktail and couldn’t decide between the Blood Orange Cosmopolitan and the Moscow Mule. Haylee recommended the Blood Orange Cosmopolitan which contains Vodka, Blood Orange Liqueur, Cranberry Juice, Triple Sec, and Fresh Lime Juice. Yummy! Barry ordered a Bud Light. Barry and I skipped an appetizer, so that we could save room for dessert. I ordered one of the specials for the evening, Grilled Atlantic Salmon over braised brussels sprouts, and Barry ordered the Blue Crab Ravioli. Both of our entrées were scrumptious. Of course, we had to try each other’s entrée. Finally, to end a perfect evening, we ordered the Crème Brûlée which we shared. It was heavenly! Furthermore, since we were celebrating my birthday, our dessert was complimentary which made it even sweeter.

In Other News

I am still tracking my time for the week. Weekends are also tracked even though they look differently from the rest of the week, Monday through Friday. My week technically ends at 4:30 tomorrow morning (Monday, 18 January). I will analyze my time log to see what it reveals and share my findings with you, dear reader. I have already started jotting down some ideas of how I am going to divvy up my time based on the first few days of my log. I have to be realistic.

Also, the room in my house that I am focusing on this month is my office. Andrew and I share this room. I use it to write/blog, and he uses it for school work. The office has furniture in place and one framed print hung up closest to the door. The goal is to clear out the piles of paperwork on top of my desk and in a couple of boxes under my desk. I also have a box of memorabilia that needs to find a home in my house. Eventually, I will hang a bulletin board in this room and possibly a white board. The ultimate goal is to declutter and organize each room in my house by the end of the year (#6 on my 21 for 2021 list).

There is not much else to share at this point, dear reader. I’m grateful to have tomorrow off (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day). Andrew and I both have eye appointments with a new eye doctor in Ponchatoula. In the meantime, I will enjoy the rest of today which includes catching a live stream of Kelsi on Twitch at 2:00 this afternoon. I hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend. Happiness!

Be happy and enjoy your sacred time on earth.” ~ Lailah Gifty Akita

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Empty RoomNo, I am not referring to my nest which is my temporary status at home this week while my hubby and I are on vacation. (Andrew is in Europe with STA.) I am referring to the spare room in my house that will soon become my scrapbook room. It is officially empty of stuff and is in the process of being rejuvenated. Today, the ceiling was repainted. Tomorrow (fingers crossed), the walls will be repainted. Instead of the off-white color which we painted the entire house when we built it 20 years ago, I chose Blue Shock to beautify my space. Crown moulding was purchased over the weekend, and my Daddy is coming over this Friday to help Barry install it. The air vent needs to be replaced, and I’m considering a new light fixture. Once the baseboards, trim, and crown moulding are spruced up, I can move in all my scrapbook supplies. The timing could not be better since I’ll be settling in my new creative digs around the outset of summer break.

Some other tasks that I will be attending to this week include bringing Comet aka Tooty (my dog) to the vet to get his teeth cleaned, addressing Andrew’s graduation announcements and enclosing senior pictures, and getting my first colonoscopy. Of the three items that I will be crossing off my to-do list, I can bet you can guess which will be my least favorite to complete.

In Other News:

Since The Walking Dead is on hiatus until the fall and the fifth season of Fear the Walking Dead does not start until the beginning of June, I started watching a new television series called A Discovery of Witches based on the historical-fantasy novel by Deborah Harkness. The story centers around Diana Bishop who is a professor visiting the University of Oxford for research purposes. She also happens to be a witch although she has chosen not to practice witchcraft or associate with other witches. Through her research, she accidently discovers an extremely well sought-after book which has her crossing paths with dangerous creatures including the handsome and charming vampire Matthew Clairmont. I like an alluring mystery with intriguingly magical creatures, so I’m hooked.

As for my 19 for 2019 list, I completed:

#8 Read one book a month for self-improvement. For April, I chose Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis. I borrowed a copy of this book from my BFF Shelly who had not actually finished reading it (not her cup of tea). I was curious about it because while I knew nothing about Rachel Hollis or her writing, she was making quite an impression on many people in the social media arena. Mixed reviews, really. Some love it while others hate it. I wouldn’t say I hated it, and I appreciated her candidness about her life; however, it isn’t my favorite self-improvement book either. Honestly, I wanted to like it more than I did. The one nugget I took away from 213 pages of text is summed up in one paragraph which appears on page 212 and that I’ve included as my quote at the end of this post. I can see her appeal and believe she has motivated many, but for me I’ve heard her message before just not as preachy. Finally, I listened to the podcast episode (11/28/18: Girl, Wash Your Face) of By the Book where Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer spent two weeks implementing some of Hollis’s advice for approaching life by not buying into the lies we tell ourselves. It was interesting to hear their perspectives, especially Kristen’s. I found myself agreeing with her assessment in a number of areas.

Today, dear reader, was such a beautiful day on so many levels. It also happens to be Earth Day. There is a great deal to be thankful for concerning our planet. It provides many wonderful gifts for our lives. It is up to us to protect our Earth not just today but every day. Happiness!

“You have the ability to change your life. You always had the power, Dorothy. You just have to stop waiting for someone else to do it for you. There is no easy way out of this; there is no life hack. Just you and your God-given strength and how much you desire change.” ~ Rachel Hollis

 

 

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I am writing to you today, dear reader, from my favorite hot spot Books-A-Million. Sometime last night, my Wi-Fi router decided to conk out for good. Therefore, since it is Sunday and our internet provider is closed today, my household will have no internet service until tomorrow afternoon. And, that is if our provider has the items we need (router and modem) in stock, and I can figure out how to put everything together and activate my new router and modem. Aah, the joys of modern technology!

Today marks the end of March and the end of the first quarter of the year. What a whirlwind of a month! Slowly, but surely, I am clearing out the front bedroom. The closet has been cleared, cleaned, and the baseboards inside it finally painted. As soon as the room is cleared and cleaned, it will be repainted and a ceiling fan and crown moulding will be installed. It would be nice if I could complete this project by the end of April. I’m itching to get some scrapbooking done prior to my annual convention in June.

SophieAndrew is officially registered to attend Southeastern in the fall. Over the Mardi Gras break, he applied for housing and just this week selected a roommate. Thankfully, Dane is a friend from high school and someone he has known since Pre-K. Andrew also applied and was accepted to the Honors Program and scheduled his orientation for June. In four and a half months, my baby will be officially moving into his dorm and starting his college career.

March ushered in Daylight Savings Time and was a month of birthdays for some important individuals in my life, including my hubby, some awesome friends (two turned 50…Jeff and Georgia), and Sophie (our German Shepherd). She turned 11 years old on the 27th. For being an old lady, she is still a beauty.

In Other News:

Since our evenings now have more daylight, I have been walking almost every evening with my BFF Shelly. Sometimes, her hubby walks with us. If we cannot coordinate our schedules, then I walk by myself and listen to the latest episode of the podcast Levar Burton Reads. Yesterday, I listened to an excellent short story called “Jackalope Wives” by Ursula Vernon and read by Levar Burton.

As for my 19 for 2019 list, I completed:

#16 Take a voice-over class. At the beginning of the month, I attended a voice-over class with Marc Preston. It was an introduction to voice-over with a ton of good information. I am interested in studying with Marc during the summer.

#8 Read one book a month for self-improvement. For March, I chose Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter & Organize to Make More Room for Happiness by Gretchen Rubin. I am a fan of Rubin’s writing and her new book did not disappoint. It is a terrific little book chock full of advice on how to declutter your home, office, etc. and create a happier environment. The suggestions that Rubin gives are practical and easy to follow. Before I even finished the book, I had already started implementing some of her tips. For example, “follow the one-minute rule” is one of my favorites. If you can do a task in less than a minute, then do it at once instead of delaying it. This book, along with Marie  Kondō’s book, has gotten me even more excited about decluttering.

In two months, it will be summer break and a chance to catch my breath before helping Andrew get ready for college. However, the next two months are going to be busy for both Andrew and me. In the midst of all the excitement, dear reader, I will continue my quest to create outer order in my home so that I may achieve inner calm in my life. Happiness!

“Once outer order emerges, take the opportunity to enjoy it, to experience the ease, space, and growth that come from inner calm. Revel in it! Take time to pause and feel happy.” ~ Gretchen Rubin

 

 

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Tomorrow wraps up the second month of the new year. For being a short month, my family and I packed it with plenty of experiences. While the month was eventful, and we had many memorable moments (Fleetwood Mac, KISS, Mrs. Carol & Mr. Mike’s Wedding, BETA State, Literary Rally, BUNCO), I am ready for a break. And, that break begins this Friday. Yee-haw!

Fleetwood Mac

My number one goal during the break is to declutter one room in my house. This room is located at the front of my house and was once used for exercise but now looks like a storage unit. It is a combination of everyone’s stuff. I plan to take everything out of the room and its closet. I want to clean the room, paint it, and finally add crown moulding. Afterwards, I want to use this room for scrapbooking. I acknowledge that this project will take a few weeks to accomplish, but if I can clear everything out of the room this next week, it will be a terrific start.

Of course, I will not spend the entire week decluttering. I am attending a Voice-Over Workshop on Saturday. My friend Kathryn and I plan to record ourselves singing “Edelweiss” together. I have an appointment to see my accountant to get my taxes filed. And, later in the week, we plan to celebrate my hubby’s upcoming birthday.

In Other News:

Tomorrow evening, Andrew and I will attend SLU’s Scholars Showcase. He was invited because he was awarded a Priority Scholarship from Southeastern. Earlier in the month, I was supposed to attend a Housing Event, but it was cancelled because so many students in the area were either at BETA State or at a soccer tournament. Unfortunately, it was not rescheduled. We will be applying for housing during next week’s break.

As for my 19 for 2019 list, I completed:

#2 Get eyebrows waxed. I’m having a new headshot taken soon, so my eyebrows needed a bit of tidying.

#8 Read one book a month for self-improvement. For February, I chose the life-changing magic of tidying up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing by Marie Kondō. I enjoyed it and gained a few helpful tips; however, I do not see myself following the KonMari Method. And, I guarantee the guys in my house will not follow it. The premise is to declutter your home by categories starting with clothing. You hold each item that you own and ask yourself if it sparks joy. If it does, the item stays. If it does not, it goes, either in the trash or to a donation center of your choice. I am open to trying to tidy by category after I declutter my future scrapbooking room. I also want to try her folding technique for clothing stored in dresser drawers. In addition to her book, Marie Kondō has a television show on Netflix where she helps people declutter their homes using the KonMari Method. I find her fascinating, so I watched the first episode and plan on watching the rest of the series in the near future. Finally, I listened to the podcast episode (06/07/17: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up) of By the Book where Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer spent two weeks implementing the KonMari Method. It was interesting and pretty funny to hear their experiences of decluttering using Kondō’s method.

I’ll keep you posted on my decluttering project, dear reader. I have committed this year to getting my house in order, and my hope is it will carry over into other areas of my life that need attention. Happiness!

“The best way to find out what we really need is to get rid of what we don’t.”         ~ Marie Kondō

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