You've got MORE mail!

In my "quest to simplify" my life recently, I have had to address one of the things that can quickly turn into a daunting and mind-cluttering task - going through emails.  When I ignore emails they simply won't go away (how rude) instead they pile up and can take me hours to read and respond appropriately.  One of the reasons this can get so out of hand is the obscene amounts of newsletters, columns and other tidbits I have chosen to subscribe to. 

In the beginning it seemed rather harmless. why wouldn't I want to learn how to keep my skin healthy and beautiful or know the latest fashion trends and how to execute them while clipping coupons and cooking flawless dinners for my family.  But it is all just too much.  Every day since the new year I have gone through new emails and unsubscribed from their lists.  Not every one, there have been a couple I read regularly but the majority have been erased.  Good information all but I do not have the time to read daily, weekly or even monthly.

The next step will be, of course, being a little more choosey when I next decide to click that subscribe button.  Will I want to read it or will it become one more box to mark then hit delete?  Little adjustments can make a big difference in life.  Instead of seeing 40 new emails a day, it's more like 10.  Now that's more like it!

All Linked Up

So I tried this whole link up to another blog thing.  I've done it once before and it worked so hopefully it did this time as well! ;)  There are tons of great 'before and afters' so be sure and check it out!!

Ring around the Candle

I bought these napkin rings on clearance FOREVER ago.  Mainly because they were super cute and I knew I would find something to do with them eventually.
Well I finally did find something to do with them, although I'm not sure why I didn't think of it before!

I recently bought these candles and candlesticks and thought they needed a little bling.  So after a lot of unwinding and holes in my fingers from the wire, I got them undone and wrapped around the candles.

Now I just need to replace the tall candle with a real one (that's one of those fake battery ones) and I'll be good to go.  I still have three napkin rings left - who knows where they will end up!

It's in the Bag!

I was browsing through my Anthropologie issue last night.  LOVE that store....can't afford much but there's so much eye candy and you never know when you can find something great on clearance.  I only wish we had one here.  Thus the catalog. 
So I'm flipping through the pages and come across this cute bag...
Love it!!  Then I think, well that looks similar to the bag I've been carrying for a month or so...

Not an exact match but somewhat similar.  So first I get excited that I bought it then I look at the price tag of the one in the magazine and get super excited because I didn't pay $198 for mine.  I paid $25!!  Thank you Ross (and Kenneth Cole)!  Just goes to show, cute fashion doesn't have to empty your wallet.

Got Milk?

Apparently I don't because during my last doctor's visit I was told I have a Vitamin D deficiency.  Vitamin D?  Who worries about Vitamin D?  I've been worried about taking Calcium and Fish Oil, maybe some Vitamin C but who knew?  Not me. 
I must have been pretty bad off because I have had to take 50,000 units of Vitamin D a day, that's right 50,000!  That's a lot when all I could find were 1,000 unit pills but alas I found some 5,000 units at Sam's Club!  Whew!  Only ten pills a day instead of fifty.
I did a little internet surfing about Vitamin D deficiency and here is part of an article from WebMD:
 Low blood levels of the vitamin have been associated with the following:
  • Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Cognitive impairment in older adults
  • Severe asthma in children
  • Cancer
Research suggests that vitamin D could play a role in the prevention and treatment of a number of different conditions, including type1 and type 2 diabetes, hypertension, glucose intolerance, and multiple sclerosis.

I also read it helps with the absorption of Calcium which obviously helps prevent osteoporosis.  As you can see this is no joke.  My three weeks ended yesterday and I must say there has definitely been a change in my fatigue levels.  Now I'm not feeling zippity-do-dah all day long but I don't feel like I could curl up and take a nap at any given moment either, which was one of the reasons for the blood work in the first place.

Here are my vitamins for the week and I haven't even put in the Calcium yet.  It can look a little much at first glance but I guess it's better than having to take this much medication later on in life.  If you've been feeling bad or sluggish or just not normal, don't be afraid to ask your doctor what vitamins you should be taking.  Cause let's face it.....we ain't gettin' any younger! ;)

Blank Slate

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I am in the process of packing up Christmas - finally.  The thing with me is I never put everything back the way it was.  I have to mess with stuff, change it up, sometimes scratching everything that was there before and starting over.  So you can see why it might take me a while.  But oh how I love a blank slate.  A blank wall or table.  I love to create, rearrange, re-do and then you finally look and say yes!!  That's it!  I love it. 
The living room was on tap today and I think I'm done, although one trip to TJMaxx might change my mind.
Hello blank wall and table!  What shall we fill you with?
(Yes I talk to my furniture)

There!  That's better!  Now I just have to hide that stinking cord!
I needed something to hang above my overstuffed chair and came up with this
 The best part is so far I haven't had to buy anything.  Woohoo!

After pulling out all the stuff for the mantel, I decided to use the same stuff (mostly) and changed it up a bit. 
Here is the before:
And here is the after:
I think I like it.
Here's a closer view, I don't have the best camera in the world!

I'm really loving the whole feather thing right now. 
I'm sure I'll find somewhere else to use them. 
In the meantime I'm off to figure out what to do with this wall!

Packin' up the magic

It is my typical routine to put up Christmas in one day and also take it down the same way.  I started doing it that way when the kids were little, usually starting after they went to bed and staying up into the wee hours of the morning finishing it all up.  I call it hard working, my husband calls it OCD.  Whatever the case, that's how I roll.....until this year.
Maybe it was the new house or maybe I was more busy than usual but it took me a few days to put it all up - we didn't have ornaments on the tree for a week!  Very unlike me.  But AFTER Christmas has been even worse.  Yes, we didn't get home until the night after and then I was sick for two days but even when I was feeling better, NO desire to put it up.  My husband even made a comment about the fact that I had not taken down anything.  I told him maybe I was mellowing and maturing and not putting time limits on myself.  He just laughed - whatever that means. 
At any rate, I finally started the process yesterday.  I always take pictures first so I can remember where I put things for next year (not that I won't change it up) And I really try to pack it up in a way that will make it the easiest to unpack next year.  One way I do so is to label the totes that everything goes in.
I have a chart that I keep in my Christmas binder that says, for example, a1 - Living Room Christmas Tree
Of course then I have a2, a3, a4, etc.
I like packing things by room or tree.

I also keep all my Christmas wrapping materials together as well.  Paper, bags, tags, ribbon.  The last few years I have color coordinated the gifts.  It looks so cute when the all match under the tree.
I would like to say I'm done and everything is packed up and organized and ready for next year....but I'm not.  Let's just say I have a lot of work to do tomorrow!

Living on in my memory

Fourteen years ago today my grandfather died.  Gramps as I called him.  After he died, I wrote pages and pages of all the memories I had of him, so intent on not forgetting one thing that I loved about him.  The way he hugged me so tightly I thought my ribs would break.  Or how he would always brag about how he could get more tan than me in the summer.  How he would dance around the kitchen and sing 'Hello Dolly' or let us fix his hair like Vanilla Ice.  I can still remember how his booming voice sounded when cheering for me at ball games.
I read these pages every year on the anniversary of his death and suddenly it's like he's right there.  The little things I might not have thought about in a while come back and I grieve all over again for losing one of the most amazing men I've ever known.  But I hold his memory in my heart and I always will. 
He was such an important part of my life, I only wish my kids could have known him.  I know they would have loved him as much as I do. 
I found out I was pregnant with my daughter a couple weeks after his funeral.  It was strange in some ways to say goodbye to one life and hello to another.  I will never understand why he had to leave this life before I felt like it was his time but I know I will see him again. 
That will be the most heavenly part of heaven for me.  Seeing those I love again and wrapping my arms around them and never having to say goodbye again.   At times like this I feel so homesick for eternity.
So today I will read my memories, I will laugh and cry and remember.  And I will be thankful that I was able to know a man as amazing and Daniel J. Afeld.  I love you gramps!!

Brown baggin' it....kinda!

One of my "goals" for the new year was to start packing my lunch.  Now that might sound weird since I only work part time but it's so easy when running errands or shopping to just stop and grab a bite while I'm out.  Even when I'm home, I get so busy that I end up grabbing something quick and unhealthy instead of taking the time to make a good lunch.  So I figured if I make my lunch the night before and pack it just as if I was taking it to work I might do better at the brown bag. 
To my surprise, a few days later I found this cutie on clearance!  Like a little sign that I had made the right choice!  haha

Here's to the pretty sack lunch!

I'm it!!

My friend Amy over at Keepin' the Sunny Side tagged me in a little     Q & A game.  I've never been tagged and I think it might be fun.  I'm sure these answers are things you have been DYING to know about me! hehe

Rule #1: people who have been tagged must write their answers on their blogs and replace any question that they dislike with a new question formulated by themselves.

Rule #2: tag 4 people to do this quiz and they cannot refuse. these people must state who they were tagged by and cannot tag the person whom they were tagged by. Continue this game by sending it to other people.

I have been tagged by Amy.

1. If you have pets, do you see them as merely animals, or are they members of your family?

We do not have any pets for a couple reasons.  I am not a pet person at all ( I know, people think I'm weird ) and my husband happens to have some serious dander allergies so no furry things for us!
2. If you can have a dream to come true, what would it be?
Well if you're going to say dream then I'm going big.  I would like to publish a book and my own CD.  Even one would definitely be a dream come true.
3. What is the one thing most hated by you?
I don't know about most hated but I can't stand arrogant and indifferent attitudes in people
4. What would you do with a billion dollars?
Wow I'm not sure where I would begin.  I would pay off all mine and my extended family's debts and buy them all new cars/houses.  I would build my dad a new church.  I would give away money to anyone I heard about that needed it (anonymously of course)  I would start my own home for unwed or abused mothers and their children.  I would pay for my kids to go to college but would expect them to work as well.  I would do everything in my power to make their dreams come true as well as my husbands and family.  That's just the first month!  haha
5. What helps to pull you out of a bad mood?

My kids making me laugh, which they are good at.  Oh ya, and a Rt. 44 Diet Coke from Sonic!

6. Which is more blessed, loving someone or being loved by someone?

Of course we all want to be loved but I also feel blessed to feel such strong love toward my kids and husband like no other

7. What is your bedtime routine?
Depending on the night, sometimes I shower, sometimes I don't.  Take off my make-up, crawl in bed and watch Frasier.

8. If you are currently in a relationship, how did you meet your partner?
I met my husband in college and we have been married 13 1/2 years.  Which is weird since I'm only 23 years old.

9. If you could watch a creative person in the act of the creative process, who would it be?
There are so many super creative women that have blogs that I just want to crawl inside the computer and watch them work!  Too many to name!

10. What kinds of books do you read?
I love to read Christmas books all year round.  I read alot of Debbie Macomber and books like hers.  I'm also into all the paranormal books that have come out the last few years.  Twilight, Sookie Stackhouse, Stephanie Plum and I am reading the Mediator series right now by Meg Cabot.  I also do a bible study book each semester at church.  I recently finished Ruth by Kelly Minter, loved it!

11. How would you see yourself in ten years time?
Wow my husband and I would be recent empty nesters.  I believe I will be starting a new chapter in my life with possibly a new career and maybe do the things I never had time to before.

12. What’s your fear?
Losing my kids or husband

13. Would you give up all junk food for the rest of your life for the opportunity to visit outer space?
Not a chance, life would not be as fun without junk food!

14. Would you rather be single and rich or married, but poor?
happily married and poor - oh wait I have been, lol
the times when we have struggled financially have brought us together like no other time has

15. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
turn off my alarm and lay there thinking about how I do not want to get up

16. If you could change one thing about your spouse/partner what would it be?
the amount of hours he has to work

17. If you could pick a new name for yourself, what would it be?
 would like my daughter's name, Sydni, I guess that's why I picked it!18. Would you forgive and forget no matter how horrible a thing that special someone has done?
I would certainly try.  I'm not saying it would be easy or even that I could do it, but I feel that God asks us to forgive not for the other person but for ourselves because He knows how bitterness and unforgiveness can eat us up.  Now the forgetting part is a whole other story!

19. If you could only eat one thing for the next 6 months, what would it be?
right now I would have to say Old Chicago's Double Deckeroni!! yum!

20.What is the thing you enjoy about blogging the most?
I actually love to write.  So it's been a good way for me to do that.  I also like going back and remembering what has gone on over that past months.  And of course all the other cool blog people out there!

Well that about wraps it up!
I am going to tag
Jaime at Together is a Wonderful Place to Be

Patty at My Chaotic Home
DeNiece at Organzied Homemaking for Christ
Sara at House of Zion
Good luck girls! ;)

My OWN space!!

Let me just say before I even begin that I have never had my own closet.  Well, except those few semesters in college but I wouldn't really call that a closet, more of a small nook with doors.  Plus, friends were in and out of it all the time so it was hardly my own.  Not that I minded, it was part of the fun of college!  But a big closet of my own has alluded me since my beautiful sister was born when I was two years old.  UNTIL we moved into our current house.  I have my very own closet with shelves and space and oh my goodness did I mention it's all mine?!?  As you can tell this was one of the things that sold me on the house. 

I was so excited to unpack and decorate when we moved in I didn't take a lot of time organizing my closet.  I put stuff on hangers and shelves and called it good.  But since I began the P/O of 2011 I realized I needed to make better use of my space.  Of course I browsed some blogs and saw a few great ideas including the one mentioned in my previous post and got to work.  Here are a few before shots....I will say I was purging at the time it didn't always look this bad, hehe
Um ya, so those are all purses and bags on that coat rack....did I mention I might have a slight obsession with them?
That big basket was full of Christmas gifts so that could go and my jewelry was scattered all around!

Okay so I might have an obsession with wallets as well!  I had just dumped all my shoes and jeans to go through, yikes!
But I rearranged and got rid of stuff and rearranged and got rid of stuff and this is the result!!
Okay so I realize you can't see it all and it's very hard to get good angles in a closet but I tried my best!  One thing I did realize while taking the pics is that I want to paint my closet...the white is so blah!!

Here are my most of my jeans, basket of belts, sweaters and my scarves and hats.  I also have my Bible Study bag which I can just grab in the morning and go to my spot to read, pray and be with the Lord.  I even have a candle and matches in there, I love candlelight.  The stuffed bear is mine from childhood, he makes me smile!

Love these shelves I found at Ross, they are adjustable!
Not the most amazing way to hang necklaces but it works!
My nightstand I found at a garage sale for $2.  Now I have a specific place for all my jewelry.
Yes those are candlesticks with my bracelets on them.  I like it when I can see them all at once, otherwise I forget what I have....hey, I'm getting old!!
Well. there you have it!  My new space and since my kids don't go back to school until Wednesday I think it might be my new hiding place as well!  ;)

I'm on a mission....

The great purge/organize of 2011 has begun!  Well actually it began a couple weeks ago but it didn't sound as dramatic.  So here are a couple sneak peeks at what I've been doing.

Need to wrap a gift?  No problem!  I keep a bag and tissue in my car as well.  Oddly enough, I've needed one from time to time.

Where's my black eyeliner?  Oh there it is!  I took one of those cheap craft organizers from Hobby Lobby and stuck it in the bottom of a basket I had.  I love having everything in view and not dig through a bag to find stuff. 
I bought the brush set from Mary Kay years ago and the holder has been a life saver. 
More to come soon!  I've been working on my closet.  Getting a little inspiration from my friend Jaime over at this blog.  Loving it!!

From my family to yours...

Wishing you a new year filled with laughter and blessings!!