manage the CHAOS: makeup drawer

I think I spy a receipt in there.  Obvious work to be done! 

Remember the parameters:
1.  Tackle 1 small(ish) project each week.  Complete one week from today.
2.  Set a timer and work in 15 minute increments.
3.  Hopefully, reign in the CHAOS and gain a sliver of sanity.

Our weekly task: 
manage the CHAOS: the makeup drawer.

Only two sorting piles this week.  Keep.  Throw!  Old makeup, unneeded products, crusty lotions, half used tubes?  Toss them and don't look back.  If I remember correctly, in Econ 101 these past purchases are called sunk costs.  Don't feel guilty...just feel free of all that clutter. 

This should be a quick task.  When you are getting ready this week-put aside all the makeup and products you ACTUALLY use on a regular basis.  Choose the essentials you use for a big "night out" and the rest - are history! 


blue eys, full lips, and a dance hall ass

I had to giggle this weekend while reading Bossypants by Tina Fey.  She included a list of attributes women must have to qualify as beautiful in our modern age.

She writes, "Now every girl is expected to have:
  • Caucasian blue eyes
  • full Spanish Lips
  • a classic button nose
  • hairless skin with a California tan
  • a Jamaican dance hall ass
  • long Swedish legs
  • small Japanese feet
  • the abs of a nine year old boy
  • the arms of Michelle Obama
  • and doll tits
  The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes.  Everyone else is struggling."

She then went on to list the healthy body parts for which she is grateful.  While that is a difficult task for most of us, it is probably the healthiest thing you could do for yourself today.  Why not give it a try?

PS.  Also loved this message I saw recently!  Had to share it.  Going to repeat this to myself everyday this week.  I may even write some of it on my bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker.  (Thanks, Becky!)


please, lean on me

 I am reminded this week of a quote I carry in my wallet on a small card. 

"The most important thing she'd learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one." ~ jill churchill

we are all in this together.  lean on those around you when you need it.  be the support for others when you are a strong. (I have been doing a lot of leaning lately.)

have a great weekend! xoxoxo


cloudy with the chance

Umbrellas.  I have been thinking about them quite a bit lately.  Hmmm, I wonder why?
It all started when I spotted this lovely one carried by a prince.  
The London premier of War Horse was water logged.  Catherine's Temperley London floor length gown was gorgeous and I am certain she didn't want to cover it up with a trench.  The umbrella was absolutely perfect!  The shape ~ devine.  With the perfect accent of black, which played off her dress. 

Then I remembered a little something I purchased on my recent trip to NYC!
Isn't it the cutest?  The bubble umbrella is all the rage!   

Want a bubble umbrella for yourself?  I did a little research for you!

One JUST like Kate's!
just for FUN

a touch of teal

Stay dry.  Remain stylish!


spa appointmet on a budget

Took my boys to get haircuts yesterday after school.  I always take them to Rudy's Barbershop on Bellevue Way.  Great cuts, no appointments, old auto garage, kinda hip.  So thrilled to pick a little something up for myself at check out time!
A shower bomb! They come 4 to a box for $9.
The description on the back of the box (and on their website):
Could this be the answer to my "stay on a budget in January"  and still cure the winter doldrums?  Let's hope so!
Want to give 'em a try?  Check out the Rudy's Barbershop website for the shop nearest to you in Seattle, Portland, LA, (and soon to be NYC).  
Or pick some up online- Rudy's Shower Bombs


manage the CHAOS: game closet

I know, crazy how Tuesday is here already!  I have to admit, didn't complete the previous assignment.  With children underfoot all last week, not much got done.  (Well, aside from sledding and watching movies!)   SO, that means double the work this week!

Your weekly task.  
Manage the CHAOS: the game closet-or your equivalent. 

As you notice, I do have shelves.  Somehow everything gets thrown on the floor!  Hmmmm, wonder who does that?

Remember the parameters:
1.  Tackle 1 small(ish) project each week.  Complete one week from today.
2.  Set a timer and work in 15 minute increments.
3.  Hopefully, reign in the CHAOS and gain a sliver of sanity.

Same drill.  Keep.  Donate.  Throw Away.  A big roll of packing tape might come in handy this week.  Many times game boxes need to be reinforced with a little tape to hold their shape.  Good luck!
PS.  I am thinking when my play room morphs into something more grown up, this storage system from The Container Store might work superbly!  


salted brown butter krispie treats

What does one do when home with the children for 7 (unplanned) days straight?  Bake.  Came across this recipe third hand (from blog, to blog, to blog to ME!).  I could not resist it and picked up the essential ingredients to whip up a batch today.  And just in time to take them along to the ski hill tomorrow.

salted brown butter krispie treats

**The following deliciousness is direct from smitten kitchen **

What’s different about these? Oh, just a bit more (coughdouble) butter which you toast until it’s brown and nutty and help along with some coarse salt, just minor things. But it changes everything.

Makes 16 2-inch squares or 32 1- x 2-inch small bars
1 stick unsalted butter, plus extra for the pan
1 10-ounce bag marshmallows
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal (about half a 12-ounce box)

Butter (or coat with non-stick spray) an 8-inch square cake pan with 2-inch sides.

In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Don’t take your eyes off the pot as while you may be impatient for it to start browning, the period between the time the butter begins to take on color and the point where it burns is often less than a minute.

As soon as the butter takes on a nutty color, turn the heat off and stir in the marshmallows. The residual heat from the melted butter should be enough to melt them, but if it is not, turn it back on low until the marshmallows are smooth.

Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the salt and cereal together. Quickly spread into prepared pan. I liked to use a piece of waxed or parchment paper that I’ve sprayed with oil to press it firmly and evenly into the edges and corners, though a silicon spatula works almost as well.

Let cool, cut into squares and get ready to make new friends.


ice to meet you

Our snow storm has turned into an ice storm.  Super fun for getting around. While driving is the uber-adventure, even walking can be difficult.  SO pleased that my mom and dad gave me "super" boots for Christmas.  I included them on my list this year, deciding that I needed proper winter foot wear.  I love, love, love them!  They worked great yesterday while sledding and have been perfect on Ski Saturdays. 

Sorel-Caribou (black and stone)

THEN, this morning I read this article on Lucky magazine.  
Oh, how it makes me smile big when an item featured in a style magazine is already in my possession.  

Stay safe. Remain stylish!


oh, it's a snow day!

In the midst of pulling kids up hills on sleds,  searching for carrots and buttons to complete the snowman, and snapping photos of your perfect snow angels, remember....
happy snow day to you all!  hug 'em, feed 'em, keep 'em warm! 


Manage the CHAOS: linen closet

It's Tuesday.  Time to Manage the CHAOS!  (I sure hope you got that junk drawer cleaned out last week.)

Remember the parameters:
1.  Tackle 1 small(ish) project each week.  Complete one week from today.
2.  Set a timer and work in 15 minute increments.
3.  Hopefully, reign in the CHAOS and gain a sliver of sanity.

This week the beast to tackle is the linen closet.   Oh, boy.  I might need a few rounds of 15 minutes!

Designate 3 piles- Keep. Donate. Throw Away.
Take everything out before putting anything back in.  You may be dying to run to Target or The Container Store to buy storage organizers.  Try to resist.  Use what you already have or be creative.  

Martha Stewart neatly stores sheet sets inside pillow cases. 
Now, there is only one Martha-for a reason.  She is totally unrealistic most of the time and the rest of us just fail miserably.  But this idea seems fairly attainable.  Any other great storage ideas?


long and lean

Long and lean. Two words that have never be used to described me.

However, it is the name of my (absolutely) favorite layering tank top.   Light weight, with the right amount of stretch.  Thin straps and a low neck line, so it is flattering and feminine. 

I love the length.  Just long enough to peek out under winter top layers.   

Where can you pick up these little wonders?  Target!  And at $8 a piece you can get multiple colors.  Plus, they add colors every season-while always carrying the basic black, white and gray.

Remember the new mantra?
Color, color, color. Color me happy!


design inspiration: color me happy, again!

Oh, I just couldn't help myself.  Added a few items to my wardrobe.   After peering into my closet recently, I have put myself on restriction!  I am not allowed to buy anything gray or black!  This sister needs to brighten it up a bit.  (Actually a whole lot!)

here are my latest additions:
floral print and very feminine. I can't wait to wear this. 

GAP-sexy boyfriend jeans(mitchum wash), comes in tall, regular, and petite

I had to order online because they didn't have my size in the store.  A plus...found them in petite on the website.  I really do love boyfriend jeans. They will be a nice change from all the skinny jeans and boots I have been wearing this winter.

GAP-butterfly print scarf- (on sale!
the print on this scarf is great.  the picture doesn't do it justice.

I also picked up an orange top and a skinny braided green belt at H&M.   I couldn't find a picture online, so you will just have to visualize. 

All this color and wearing patterns is totally out of my comfort zone.  What will you do to freshen up your look in the coming months? 


nuts for...

I am NUTS for these Sweet Chili pistachios!  Regular pistachios are great, but these are dangerously delicious!  I leave a bowl on my counter and have to stop myself for eating the entire thing in one sitting.  You seriously need to try them.

Everybody's Nuts are the brilliant masterminds behind this addicting grocery item.  They also have Salt & Pepper, Chili & Lime, and Garlic & Onion. 


color me happy!

pura vida braclets.  my fashion obsession that will not break the bank.

Super cute, right?  $5.  Yep, that's right. 

I originally bought my first bracelet as a way to wear a little neon.  Admit it, we middle-aged ladies want to stay current.  However, having worn neon apparel in the 80's, we are precluded from wearing it this time around.  But, a little pop of color on your wrist -with these super hip bracelets- is the perfect way to do it. 

You can wear them as a single.  Or stack them for added impact. 
They have a little slip knot, so you can easily take them on and off.   With almost every color combination under the sun, everyone can find one they like. 

Check out pura vida!  Read about how it all started with one artisan in Costa Rica and the foundation that receives money for every bracelet sold.  Plus you can find the bracelet that is perfect for you!  Come on. Skip the skinny, vanilla latte and put some color in your life! 

PS.  Use their website to find local shops that sell these beauties. 
A few notables for the areas I know well:
Seattle area- Nordstrom, What to Wear (Mercer Island), Duque (Ballard)
Spokane area- Nordstrom, Gonzaga Book Store


manage the CHAOS: junk drawer

It is the beginning of January and time to clean this place up!  Do you feel like that?  Do you have Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome (CHAOS)?  My house always seems to be is some state of disaster!  It overwhelms me, so I have decided to tackle it in small manageable projects.  Want to join me?

Here are the parameters:
1.  There will be one project a week.  Assignment given on Tuesday.  One week to complete.
2.  It costs nothing.
3.  You may regain some sanity.  (This line item is not guaranteed.)

Week 1
Manage the CHAOS: junk drawer
We all have them.  We can't get rid of them. BUT they must be managed.  I have two in my kitchen alone. 

Your assignment this week is to find 15 minutes. Set a timer if it helps.  Tackle that drawer in 15 minutes or less.  Throw away, recycle, repurpose, move items to a more appropriate place, leave what is essential.  If you have the time and you have more than one junk drawer-repeat! 

**The idea of CHAOS, tackling the organization of your home in small tasks for 15 minutes at a time, and regaining control comes directly from http://www.flylady.net/.  I love the ideas.  However, it is an intense undertaking and I failed miserably.  Check it out.  You might have better luck.


the gold standard

My grandmother left our world two weeks ago today and I feel the space she has left deeply.  Living to be 97, I was blessed that my children were able to not only know their great-grandmother, but to also know the love she showered on all of us.  She lived her life with grace, but also with a quietly fierce determination. Those whom she loved tried to never disappoint her. 

Born 60 years apart, our lives took entirely different paths.  Mine through college and graduate school and finally a career.  She fought to finish high school and had to do so early.  Her father wanted her home to help her mother.  Somehow we ended up in the very same place-caring for our home and family.  Believe me, never in any of my life planning did I think we would share this common thread.  Maybe that is why I don't like calling myself a stay-at-home-mom.  I am a homemaker.  A housewife-just like my grandma.

My grandmother is the gold standard.  I want to share with you a few of things that I learned from her.  Not through her telling me (I don't ever remember her giving me any advice), but through the way she lived her life.

Show your love through small gestures.
My grandmother was the queen of spoiling you in very small ways.  A cupboard in her kitchen stocked with the candy.  (We are talking full size candy bars!)  Sneaking a $5 bill in your pocket when you were leaving.  Meeting you with the warmest hug each and every time you walked into her house.  Never forgetting a birthday or anniversary.  Always sending a card for every occasion with a little spending cash tucked inside.  Standing at the screen door as you left, waving and smiling until you drove away.

Do what you do, well.
She had years to perfect her craft, and what she did, she did almost perfectly.  Hands down, she made the best pie crust I have ever tasted.  When my grandfather was alive, they tended an amazingly huge garden.  Her raspberry jam, made from the berries she grew in her backyard, is my all time favorite.  Even the way she cut strawberries....just small enough to eat with a spoon.  The table was set days before a meal.  The details mattered to her.

Traditions are lasting.
Growing up in an Italian family,  most of our traditions centered around religious holidays and food.  We have our own traditions that we have started with our boys.  And then are some from when I was a young girl.  Most likely, those traditions are from when my grandma was a young girl.  Traditions reaching back to a time much different and living forward into time, seemingly without end. 

Family is first.
There was nothing more important than her family.   While I know she had friends and connections outside our little world, it began and ended with us.  It is an amazing gift she gave.  I thank her every night in my prayers.  I know she hears me. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blogging tips