Tidying the Nest

Hey!

Earlier in the summer amidst all of the clutter and chaos my house became after we began a renovation on an RV all summer (post to come), I looked around and thought, “This house is a disaster and as soon as the kids move out I’m purging all this stuff BIG time!” Technically, I might have actually said that statement out loud more than a few times. I think my receptors to words like clean, tidy, organized, and stress-free were heightened because I heard these words everywhere associated with Marie Kondo’s book. So, after much hype on blogs and GMA, I drank the koolaid and bought the book.

Ms. Kondo is touted as an organizer extraordinaire. She has developed a method of organizing called the KonMari method that has literally swept Japan’s households clean of clutter. Ms. Kondo describes her methods in detail throughout the book as well as sharing some of her personal history. All of that aside, I was underwhelmed by the book. I’ve read organizing books before, and just maybe I was hoping for a cleaning fairy wand, but I was disappointed.

What I did like about the book:

Her methods for folding are genius. I’m still working through the discarding of my clothes but I’m impressed so far. As a lifetime baller of socks, the idea for storing socks has really helped me save time and helped me to quickly get to the socks that I want. Also, the order and manner of discarding is unique. When I sorted my tops, for instance, the book instructs you to pile all of your tops from everywhere in the house (except the ones in the laundry) together to sort. Instead of room by room or closet by closet, she has you gather all of the like items into the same location before you discard. I found this idea easier than other methods and quicker. Lastly, Ms. Kondo states that the discard will take months. She’s right. Her approach is more comprehensive but I believe it will yield better results. This idea is obvious yet candidly refreshing.

 

What I did not like about the book:

Some of the practices that she would like you to incorporate as you are tidying are unrealistic and are perhaps better understood in a Japanese culture. I found some of them odd and off-putting. For instance, she suggests that you remove all of the contents from your purse each night, thank the purse for its service and allow it to rest for the evening before refilling the purse in the morning. Not going to happen here. Poor purse. She also requests that you verbally greet your home when you arrive and as you tidy your space and discard items that you thank the items for their service. Again, not for me. These practices are probably a reflection of her Shinto beliefs.

Ms. Kondo also shares parts of her personal history to explain her passion for organizing. I found most of these personal stories distracting to the book’s purpose. One story would’ve been sufficient instead of interspersed throughout the book. Perhaps, these personal insights would’ve been better suited to a memoir rather than a book on organizing. In addition, I also found the English translation glitchy at times. While the words were probably translated right, the overall gist was wonky in these places.

 

Ms. Kondo’s mantra to use while discarding is: Does it spark joy?  Overall, I’d say this book is a 2.5 stars joy out of 5 stars joy rating. I’m encouraged to use what I like from the book and discard the rest.

Blessings,

Mimi

So clean house! Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy and hurtful talk. You’ve had a taste of God. Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God’s pure kindness. Then you’ll grow up mature and whole in God.” 1 Peter 2:1-3 The Message

 

From Disaster to Delicious

Hello!

If you’re just joining in, my mom usually blogs on this site but I’m guest posting for her for a few weeks.  I’ve been chronicling my adventures in perfecting my art of cooking.  You can find the first post of my challenge here, if you’d like to start at the beginning.

Since the last crock pot recipe went so well, I decided to try my hand at more slow cooker recipes. I just can’t help myself.  They are just far too convenient.

I ventured out and tried a different cookbook this time, Fix-it and Forget-It Cookbook: Feasting with your Slow Cooker by Dawn J. Ranck and Phyllis Pellman Good. It’s a cookbook that my mom found at a second-hand store. The recipe I used was for a southwest soup.

The recipe was…strange. The soup could only best be described as a kind of salsa soup with potatoes…weird, right??

So in order to salvage it, mom came to the rescue. She’s pure genius.  Thank you, Supermom!  I’m incredibly blessed to have you as my guide.

We cooked some ground meat in fajita seasoning and added it to the soup along with a can of rinsed dark red kidney beans. (The problem with the recipe before was the soup was only potatoes and crushed tomatoes. — Just too thin. ) Then, we added some sour cream, avocado, and shredded cheddar cheese on the top.  The soup turned out to be one of the best taco soups I have ever had!

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Until next time,

Catie

Friday Finds #4

Hey!

I have some fun finds for you today.  Just click on the picture to visit the sites.  Happy Friday!

This peach walnut dump cake looks yummy and easy from Mostly Homemade Mom. The other recipes look really good too!

These pumpkin designs are cool from Alisa Burke.

Halloween and Fall graphics from The Graphic Fairy and don’t you love that they’re free?!

50 Fantastic Halloween and Fall Graphics  //  The Graphics FairyAwesome and inexpensive Halloween crafts from Better Homes and Gardens — I think this wreath looks really easy to make.

Sophisticated Swarm Wreath

I think this idea from My Soulful Home is really clever.

Pumpkins from Scrubbing pads a repurpose http://mysoulfulhome.comBlessings,

Mimi

“Then I was the craftsman at his side.  I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence,”  Proverbs 8:30  NIV Bible

Bonus Room Update and Move In Day

Hey!

Last week was a blur filled with packing up our daughter’s apartment and finishing the flooring in the bonus room upstairs.  My husband was literally installing the last of the baseboards in the room as Catie, Devin, and I arrived with all of their things from the apartment this past weekend.

This remodel began because their initial plans fell through and they needed a place to stay for a short period of time.  Although unexpected, we’re glad that we had a space for them.

A reminder of the room when we bought the house in 1997.

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And a reminder of where we started with this renovation — turquoise walls and pink floors and no real closet.  If you’d like more details on this remodel, click here.

catie room 2

And how the room looked moments prior to their arrival with all of their stuff.

upstairs room

This picture of the closet doors shows a truer color of the flooring.  We went with a bamboo flooring that we found at Lumber Liquidators.  I like the sustainable quality to using bamboo and I think the flooring is pretty.  Plus, bamboo is much cheaper than hardwood and since bamboo thrives in a damp environment, the product is also water resistant.

upstairs room 2

And the room 3 hours later —  I’m so glad that Jack took the above two pictures so I could share the finished room before all of the boxes and furniture were brought in.

move in

Catie and Devin love animals.  So, we also have a few additional pets living at our house.    I’ve forbidden her to add to the mix while they’re here.  They can visit the local animal shelter but NO TOTING the pets home!

Zara, my ‘grand sugar flyer’.  She doesn’t appear in the open often.  Not my favorite.  She loves blueberries and mangoes to eat.

zara

Opie, my ‘grandbunny’.  Opie is a Velveteen rabbit and is very, very soft.  I like him — might be because he is quiet.   He loves spinach, carrots, bananas, apples, and blueberries.

opie

Bella, my ‘grandcat’.  She is a Maine Coon mix.  This breed gets quite large and she is still growing.  Currently, she weighs 12 pounds, likes to perch, play in water, and chirps like a bird instead of meows.

bella

Catie and Devin have fish too.  Thank goodness, she doesn’t like birds or reptiles!

This week has been filled with unpacking and letting our bodies recover from the move and the work on the room.  The bathroom still needs work and the railing at the stairs needs to be finished but for now, Catie and Devin have a space to call their own.
Blessings,

Mimi

“He brought me out into a spacious place”  Psalm 18:19a  NIV Bible

Messes and Mishaps

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Renovating makes a mess everywhere.  Its not only about the drywall dust, the sawdust, the nails dropped everywhere, or the paint splatters on parts that shouldn’t get them or even, the dust being tracked down the stairs and into the rest of the house.  Most of that can be vac’d up.  The bulk of the chaos is all over the house in the form of boxes, bags and stacks from one end of the house to the other because the contents of this 400 square foot room had to be removed and go somewhere else.  Constant rearranging is required to get the one item you need behind the huge stack in front.  Here’s a view of our garage.  I parked my car in here a month ago.

garage pic 2

Our daughter keeps bringing boxes home as she unloads her apartment to move in with us.  Boxes are everywhere.  My patience… well… its hanging in there too.  I see the end in sight. This time the renovation won’t be calculated in years or months.  This time is different.  We will be done in weeks and we only have a week and a half left on our deadline schedule.  If you missed out on the beginnings of this renovation and you’re curious about it, click here.

The room is taking shape.  Most of the plywood underlayment has gone down and hopefully, the rest will go down this week and the flooring can be installed.

upstairs pic 1

Honey Do says DIY is stress reducing.

upstairs pic 2

I’ve learned over the years through our various renovations to always be prepared for it to cost more and take longer than expected. Mishaps happen.

Case in point: My husband dropped the edge of a sheet of plywood on his baby toe.  Doctor said he has multiple fractures in the tip of his toe.  Ouch!  He wouldn’t let me take a picture to show.  He said he has man toes.

Then, as he was nailing the subfloor tighter, he accidentally shot a nail through the wiring.  The power went out downstairs to our living room.  We had to call the electrician to come and fix it.   Between the electrician and my husband, they managed to drill five holes into the subfloor.  I’m sure a joke is in there somewhere about how many it takes.  While the electrician was working, he, also, accidentally cut a wire.  I didn’t have to pay for that one.

upstairs pic 3

upstairs pic 4

When the wire had a nail shot through it, the spark was so hot it left scorch marks.  Fortunately, we knew quickly that the power was out so the problem was noticed immediately.  If it had been a less used area, we might not have discovered the issue and moved ahead with the flooring and had a potential fire waiting to happen.

upstairs pic 5

On a general note, we have an excellent site manager.  She is dutiful to cautiously and carefully inspect the room and its progress every day.  She is a hard task master.

upstairs pic 6

I’m hoping after this weekend, I can dazzle you with flooring and a functioning bathroom.  I sure hope the toilet doesn’t get a crack in it.

Blessings,

Mimi

“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,”  Colossians 1:10,11  NIV Bible

A Whole New Meaning to the word, “Thumb Drive”

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We had an interesting Monday.  Honey Do had time off for Martin Luther King Day and spent the day working on our living room.  If you recall, we ripped out our fireplace wall, built that wall back, and we have painted the beams and installed new lighting on the old fireplace wall.  The current project is building and installing the bookshelves and cabinets that will surround our new fireplace.

living room cabinets2

living room cabinet1

Honey Do had completed most of the cabinet components over the 3-day weekend when I heard him asking me to come and help. I, naturally assumed, he wanted my help to carry in a cabinet from the garage.  He was so calm.  Boy, was I wrong!   He had shot a nail straight through his thumb with the nail gun!

jack's thumb

Fortunately, he was able to get a doctor’s appointment that day for an x-ray and tetanus shot.  He did not shoot the nail through the bone, only a possible grazing.  His thumb is healing nicely and no signs of a bone infection at the present.   Thank the Lord!

Renovation, truly, can require a person’s blood, sweat, and tears, even all in one day.

Blessings,

Mimi

“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;”  Isaiah 49:16 NIV Bible

Living Room Update Part 2

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My house is surrounded by woods and sometimes, taking a picture inside can be problematic.  This morning, the sunshine peeked through the clouds and I took this picture quick while the getting was good. : )

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The painted beams really make the ceiling soar.  The room feels so spacious.  We’re very pleased with the results.  What do you think?  I’m still contemplating the ceiling fan.  Living in the South, ceiling fans are beneficial on our warm days and truly help lower a power bill but aesthetically, they’re not pretty as a light fixture.

While the paint can, ladder, and drop cloths were still out, Honey Do kept painting and did the kitchen sitting area, too.

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I’m also showing off my latest addition and purchase for the living room.  I bought it at a store in town.  Many of you have probably bought their products through West Elm and other retail centers.  They’ve been a wholesale store only for years but this fall, they opened their very first retail store.  Check out At West End.

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What else have I been doing?  Sewing slipcovers.  I’m beginning to see the end.  I only have the sofa left to finish.   My target for completion is Thanksgiving.  I’ll share more in days to come.

Are you scratching your head and wondering where I’m going style wise with my house?  Or, are you thinking, ‘wow, that’s colorful’ with eyebrows raised and skewed?

Blessings,

Mimi

“…may they who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength.”  Judges 5:31 NIV Bible