Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Linen Closet

I decided to work on the linen closet first, because it would help me with the laundry closet and the guest room.

I started by pulling out all of the towels and putting them on our bed. I thought if I put them on the bed, I'd be motivated to finish.

I told you it was a lot of towels! We have a king size bed, and it was covered!

Another angle - I counted, and we have almost 50 bath towels (not counting hand towels, washcloths, or beach towels). That's just a few too many for two people.

I decided to box up the bright and pretty ones, because those are my favorites, and I think those will make me the happiest when we un-box them. I kept out the brown ones that we chose to go with our hall bathroom and all of our old towels that we had before we got married.

The closet looks a lot better. We have a manageable number of towels in there now. I also pulled out a few sets of sheets to donate to Goodwill. We have enough for when guests come, and we don't need more than that! There is also room again for extra blankets on the top shelf. I managed to clean out three stacks of towels and some blankets that were in the guest room.

I added a shoe organizer to the back of the door. It's loaded with an assortment of things that were previously in the laundry closet. By using the space behind the linen closet door, I'll have room for more stuff in the laundry closet.

3 Projects

I have three projects on my to do list that I would like to finish over the course of the next couple of weeks. 1) I'd like to clean out our laundry closet so that only laundry supplies are left, along with empty shelves that I can use to store stockpile groceries and toiletries as I find good deals on them. 2) Our linen closet is a little out of control, partly because we have so many towels (there are 3 stacks of towels in the guest room). I'd like to put some of the towels in storage and straighten up everything on the shelves. 3) I'd like to make the guest room a place where guests feel comfortable and welcome. At one point, we had the guest room cleaned out enough that someone could sleep in it. Then we started using it as a dumping ground for anything that didn't have a permanent home. The following pictures show you the chaos. :O)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sought Out

In my whiny post, I mentioned that I just wanted to feel sought out. There are two people in my life who constantly make me feel sought out.

Joseph is the first person. He sought me out for our first date, and he's been seeking me out ever since. He seeks me out to make me feel loved. He seeks me out when I'm hurting. He seeks out ways he can serve me. He seeks to extend grace and forgiveness to me when I've wronged him. He seeks to show me God's love day in and day out. My relationship with Joseph has strengthened my relationship with the Lord, because, through Joseph, I have a better understanding of Jesus.

That brings me to the second person: Jesus. Over the last couple of years, I've learned more and more about His grace. I could have never done anything to earn God's favor, but Jesus sought me out and extended it to me. He sought me out to save me, and He continues seeking me out as He leads me by the Spirit. He seeks me out to make me feel loved. He seeks me out when I'm hurting. He seeks to extend grace and forgiveness to me when I've wronged him.

With Jesus and Joseph both in my life, I really don't have any reason to be whiny - just grateful and humbled.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Organizing My Coupons

I aspire to be a great couponer. For some, that isn't a big deal. For others, you know being a great couponer could mean the ability to save our family a lot of money over the years. Having a good organizational system for coupons is a key element in my goal to be a great couponer.

For a while, I kept my coupons in a 3-ring binder. Rather than clipping all of the coupons from the inserts each week, I just punched holes in the inserts and put them in a binder. When planning my trips to the grocery stores and pharmacies each week, I use southernsavers.com. She matches coupons up with the sales each week. When she matches up the coupons, she mentions the insert containing the coupon. That's the only way the 3-ring binder system worked for me so long. I liked it because it saved me a lot of time by not clipping coupons I didn't end up using.

I decided a few days ago that it was time to change systems. It took a few days, but I'm all set and ready to go now. I bought a plastic container and alphabet dividers. I put an envelope behind each divider (I cut the flaps off). Then I filed the coupons by brand. Pretty simple.

The other thing I did was file my coupons electronically using an Excel spreadsheet. Now when I'm making my shopping lists using Southern Savers, I can search my spreadsheet to see if I have the coupons before I start digging through my box. It my seem like a lot, but I'm hoping it will save me a lot of time as I'm making my lists each week. Yes, it's more time on the front end, but I decided I'm more interested in saving time on the shopping list end.

Mini Meltdown

I had a mini meltdown today. I think it was one of those days where a lot of things had been building up, and one little, insignificant thing tipped me over the edge.

My meltdown happened as I was driving down Woodruff Rd. Joseph knew I was sad, so he said we could go to Michael's to look for baskets for our kitchen. When we left Michael's, he reminded me that I could always talk to him when something was bothering me. I started telling him about the little, insignificant thing that tipped me over the edge. Then it hit me why it bothered me so much, and I started crying.

I cried and told him I just wanted my family to want to come visit us, even if they couldn't. I at least wanted them to want to. We've had our house for over a year, and I'm pretty sure my cousin Johnnie Ann and her family are the only ones from my side of the family who have come to see us.

Please don't read into this that I'm upset with my family. If you're my family, I'm not upset with you. I know life is busy. We're all busy. I know gas is expensive (I had a dream last night that it's going to be $20 a gallon, so prepare yourselves). We're just always the ones who do the travelling. It would be nice to be sought out.

I guess I should have warned you that this post would be a little whiney. I've been a little whiney for a couple of days. I should probably spend some time outside in the sunshine when it returns.

Joseph and I decided that the only thing we could do about the situation of people not coming to visit us is make sure our home is ready for visitors. We're going to tackle the guest room over the next couple of weeks to make sure it would be comfortable for anyone who chooses to head this way.

I could also actually try inviting people to come, rather than assuming they know our home is always open to them. I think I've just been rejected enough over the years that it's hard for me sometimes.

OK, enough. I'm sorry. I know I don't typically write "downer" posts. I guess I just wanted to be honest and show the world I'm not a shiney, happy person 24/7. I do get a little whiney from time to time. :O)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Random Things I Love: Wet Wipes from Quaker Steak & Lube

Quaker Steak & Lube has amazing wings (my new favorite flavor is Louisiana Lickers), and they provide wet wipes to their wing eaters. I love them! Why do I love them? Because they smell like Froot Loops!

Flip It-Fold It

Joseph gave me a very practical gift for Valentine's Day this year, a Flip It-Fold It. Because it was something I've wanted for years, I was totally OK with receiving a practical gift. The fact that Joseph remembered I wanted it was romantic. :O)

Valentine's Day was well over a month ago, and I just used this wonderful gift for the first time today. It wasn't at all because I didn't want to use it. It was because I knew I wanted to refold everything using it rather than just starting with the laundry.

Today worked out to be a great day to get started with Joseph's two t-shirt drawers. I'm going to share the excitement with you using step by step photos! Aren't you so excited?

I hadn't even taken it out of the box yet! I love opening things for the first time!

This is what it looks like, all ready for something to fold!

Start by placing the shirt with the front down (the back of the shirt will be facing you). If the shirt is longer than the folder, fold the bottom of the shirt so that it's flush with the bottom edge of the folder.

Flip the left side.

Then flip the right side. (If you have any excess sleeve hanging over the edge, flip the left side again.)

Then flip up the middle.

You end up with perfectly folded garments that are all the same size and stack neatly.

Isn't that beautiful?

Look how neat they look in the drawer!
Love it! There was enough room left behind the t-shirts that Joseph's shorts will fit there as well. Yay!

Joseph, thank you for showing your love to me through a practical gift that made doing laundry a lot more fun! I love you!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Leftovers Transformation: Yummy Burritos

I made a not-so-incredible dinner two nights ago. It consisted of chicken quarters I cooked in the crock pot with a lemon pepper marinade. The chicken had a good flavor and wasn't dry. That's all I needed in the chicken. I decided to try to make black beans and rice as the side. It didn't turn out quite as well as I had hoped. In fact, it was pretty mushy and bland. Joseph said he liked it, but I wasn't a fan.

As we were putting dinner away that night, I had an idea to transform the leftovers into burritos, and I'm so glad we did! The leftovers made delicious burritos!

We used carb smart tortillas, the mushy black beans and rice, the leftover chicken (pulled off the bones), salsa, shredded cheese (a blend of the remnants of a couple of different bags in the refrigerator!), and Bird's Eye's Southwest corn (yum!). It was a really easy meal, and it tasted really good! It was filling as well.

How do you like to transform your leftovers?