Tag Archives: cleaning

An Outdoor Adventure!

7 Jul

Whew! What a weekend! We have been doing house work almost all weekend and today I made a HUGE change up in our front yard. Since we don’t have the budget to do serious major changes in our front yard we decided to do what we could with it until then!

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As you can tell everything is a little bit overgrown and chaotic. Don’t you just love the crazy weeds growing taller than any of the other plants?!

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Brian mowed the lawn and did the trimming which made the front look much better but I still had a lot of work ahead of me. I trimmed up all the bushes, pulled out all the weeds I could, and cleaned up a bit.

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Emma played hide and seek behind the chair and colored with chalk on the sidewalk. I think she didn’t know what to do since we were both busy working!!

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Here’s the halfway point! I’ve gotten most of the weeds up and most of the bushes trimmed. I started pulling out the bricks because they aren’t my favorite – I’ll explain what I’m going to do with them later.

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And TADA! The for now finished front. All the bricks are gone and everything is cleaned up πŸ˜€ I’m so proud of all the hard work!!

078I brought all the bricks up on the patio in preparation for the next phase of their lives πŸ˜‰

I’m going to buy some outdoor brick paint and turn these red bricks gray:

We’ll have to figure out which gray we like the most. We’ll also be painting the gray brick behind the bushes to match. I’m so excited!! Now I know why everyone gets so excited to do house projects! It’s hard work but it’s TOTALLY worth it!

 

Wasted Space Not So Wasted Anymore!

8 Jan

Emma’s closet has been only used for storage since she was born. We have a big chest of drawers for her and since her clothes are so tiny I would just fold them up and put them in there. We also had the changing table drawers for sheets and blankets so there was really never a need to hang up her clothes.

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This resulted in using the closet to put things she wasn’t using in! For a while I’ve wanted to do something differently and I finally got the kick in the butt to change things up around here πŸ™‚

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Emma’s closet has this nook inside of it that I’ve been dying to make a little reading spot out of! So while I was giving the closet a useful makeover I decided to make this part a little place to hide out for Emma.

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On one side she has her spot to sit and read with her books.

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The other side is her stuffed animal pile and puzzles on top of the shelf. Sometimes she’ll crawl into the pile of animals and hide out!

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The rest of her closet got organized and is finally be used for it’s main purpose!! For the past few mornings she’s had a blast picking out her outfits not that she can see them all!

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When it gets quiet around here I know just where to find her!

 

Now I need to make a special spot for me to go hide and get things done πŸ˜‰ I wonder if Emma would let me work on my blogging in my closet?

 

Love Always,

J

 

Unexpected Storage

28 Nov

This week I was rearranging my kitchen and cleaning it out of things we don’t use anymore. Is it just me – or do I do this about every three months or so? Anywho, I came across this container of popcorn that we got – minus the popcorn that is. I can’t believe that I held on to for a while because I liked the way it looked – but I’m so glad I did πŸ™‚

I never had a purpose for it or really a reason to keep it but I love how pretty and shiny it is! Even better now that it’s winter time again so it goes along with the theme of the weather πŸ™‚ After looking around the house for a while I decided where I wanted to put it.

Most of the time when I’m finding a home for a new place I like to replace it with someone older that isn’t serving it’s purpose anymore, or could use a little TLC. I found just the spot I needed to fix!

My yarn basket gets pulled out every time I’m doing a few projects at once. Since I have show coming up on the 15th, I have been multi-tasking with my list of things to finish up. This basket is obviously getting a little too much love because it’s overflowing and not so pretty anymore!

I decided I could easily fit my yarn in the new bucket with no problem. After filling it up I realized I had extra room on the top to put whatever current project I’m working on and still close the lid! Extra space is definitely key for me to keep things organized. If I limit myself – mess happens fast!

Then I put it right where I do my crocheting, next to the couch but enough out of the way that it isn’t bombarding my space. So while it looks like a decorative tin of goodies – it’s really my project stash of goodies!

I love free ways to store items!
Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,

J

Knit Sweater No More!

27 Nov

Welcome to the knit shirt that I’ve worn for about 11 years … whew this baby has lasted a while! After cleaning out my closet I decided it was time to let go of this top and replace it with a newer version. Instead of getting rid of it though – I decided to revamp it!

I cut off the the sleeves so I would create a rectangle at the bottom. I’m saving the top for another project so there’s no waste.

I flipped the sweater inside out and stitched across the top of the sweater to finish off the edge and create a seam.

Can you figure out what I’m making yet? I’m sure you’ve seen it before – except it’s a little different this time!

Since I’m not exactly sure how I wanted to finish this piece off, I decided to temporarily finish it off with velcro. It’s an easy solution for a temporary fix!

I stitched around the edges to keep it on. If you haven’t figured it out – this is the opposite end of my shirt!

And TADA! A decorate pillow from your favorite top you just couldn’t bare to lose yet πŸ˜‰

I’m pretty happy with the end result! Even happier that this project was completely free since I had everything I needed in stock. If you are considering doing this project you’ll need:

An old shirt or sweater: free!

A pillow: $5-$10 depending on the pillow and size.

A zipper: $2-$4 depending on the length

or

Velcro: $6 – but there will be extra left over for another project, so cut the price in half for this project and it’s $3

Thread: whatever you have on hand or $2 that will last you a ton of projects.
This project will probably run you between $7-$15 depending on what you have on hand!

What do you think?

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,

J

Nick Mom, You Crack Me Up

24 Nov

I don’t know if you all have heard of Nick Mom or not but while staying up and finishing chores I decided to watch it one night. I haven’t laughed so hard in such a long time! This show is like Comedy Central for mothers.

 

For those of you who are mothers that love to laugh at all the ridiculous things that your kids get into – this is for you. For those of you who are mothers that get offended easily – don’t watch this!! As for me, I’m a mom that laughs and this made me laugh.

They have two different shows that I’ve seen: Parental Discretion which is basically like SNL for Moms. Some parts are funny some parts are just plain dumb.

Another show is Mom’s Night Out which is stand up comedy, again funny.

Something you probably weren’t expecting, the commercials are even jokes and one liners to make you smile. This was definitely an interesting night for me!

Don’t have time or want to stay up to watch these shows? Oh don’t worry, they have a website! NickMom.comΒ get your laughs in when you want πŸ˜‰

Thought I’d share the fun!
Love Always,

J

Happy Thanksgiving!

22 Nov

This year for Thanksgiving – we are spending time in Front Royal with Brian’s side of the family. We do it potluck style where we each bring Β something, we catch up, watch the game (I married into a Redskins family), and eat!! I can picture it now – the men in their jersey’s hanging out in front of the TV, the women talking about life, and Emma running around like she’s been eating sugar for weeks πŸ˜‰

So while that image entertains you (hopefully as much as it entertains me) here’s a list of things I am thankful for this year:

My loving family.

The ability to do what I love each day.

That even though sometimes we are stressed out and trying to make things work around here – that we are able to do it and we make it through all the hard times together.

 

I know that there is WAY more to be thankful of but right now, those are the most important for me πŸ™‚
What are you thankful for this year?

 

Love Always,

J

Late Night Chats With Myself ;)

15 Nov

Even though you are reading this at some point and it’s probably Thursday for you – technically I am writing this at 11:15 pm Wednesday. So I’ll go ahead and apologize for the lack of pictures and random long sentences.

I’m sitting up after realizing that I have absolutely no clean clothes to wear to my appointment tomorrow. Little Mrs. Has It All Together from my list post yesterday, doesn’t quite have it all together πŸ˜‰ Well at least not for tomorrow!

If you are a mom, you probably understand when I say that I tend to put everyone before myself. In this case, the rest of my families clothes managed to get done before mine. Silly me thinking I’d be fine with raggity t-shirts and leggings. Whoops!!

So tonight I will be sitting up listening for the dryer to stop so I can move loads in order to have an outfit that is allowed to step out in the public clean for tomorrow!

It’s been a long time since I’ve stayed up late and been the only person awake. If you have been a long time follower of my blog then you’d know that I used to do this all the time. It was the only way to get peace and quiet to myself. Emma was hardly napping for a while there and when she was, I was too!

I had gotten used to staying up later just to get some me time and I spent it sewing, crocheting, blogging, catching up on music and tv shows. It’s amazing that an hour or two of dead silence for your brain to think can really change a person! I felt so free, got so much crafting accomplished, and almost felt like a teenager all over again πŸ™‚

My blogging might have even been better because of it! When I have time to think, writing comes so naturally. Like now. I could probably ramble on for hours because it’s like my mind has space to stretch out and breathe! That is if you like it when I ramble πŸ˜‰

Staying up like this tonight is a reminder of all that. It’s also a reminder of why I quit doing it!! Sure an hour or two of freedom sounds so refreshing and exciting, but I was also dead tired the next day. I hardly woke up on time, counting down the hours to Emma’s nap time so I could nap too, and feeling like a zombie. I really don’t miss living like that. I missed out on so many fun things with Emma!! I’m not so much looking forward to that tomorrow – but at least I’ll be clothed properly.

Luckily tomorrow is a day off for me as well. Emma will be playing with Nana all day and I’ll be with my Mom in Alexandria for my appointment, her appointment, and then running a few errands. I’ll be able to not be completely all there tomorrow πŸ˜‰ and if anyone understands that – it’s my Mom!!

As much as I’ll hate this tomorrow – I may just end up doing this again every once in a while. My brain needed it!

Well it’s time to change loads and catch up on shows πŸ˜‰ See you all bright and early tomorrow and probably napping as soon as I get home haha!

Love Always,

J

 

 

 

Keeping It Old School

14 Nov

If there’s one thing I love the most – it’s a fresh pad of paper πŸ™‚ I know that sounds ridiculous but it’s the only thing that keeps me organised!

One Steno pad lasts me about 2 months. So every 2 months I get a fresh new one to re-organize my goals and lists. On the first page I put my Money Goals for the two weeks and the year. It keeps me on track for how much I hope to make in order to make this my sole income. It also gives me a perspective on what my goal was for the past 2 months and what I made during that time.

I also make a list of things I want to finish in that two months. As soon as it’s finished I get the joy of crossing it out!! It also is a way to remind myself to put it in my inventory list, know what yarn I need to purchase to replace the materials, and when it’s sold I mark it out on my inventory list to put it in outright for my taxes.

How can you be organized without a shopping list?! This girl can’t! I write things down in two sections: Home & Work. In order to keep this sheet available for two months I tend to white out what I’ve purchased so I can use it again πŸ™‚ This page gets some serious love by the end of two months!

Then on the rest of the 75 sheets I write my daily lists of what I want to accomplish. It includes: housework, Emma’s needs, my goals, and sometimes even reminders for Brian. Since I’m limited on time I can get projects done, I schedule those during nap time and night time. You’ll see it says crochet during nap time, which today means I’ll be finishing up a boot cuff and making a matching one to create a pair. It then says crochet after bath time, which means I’ll be finishing up cup cozies and starting on a scarf.

It may seems silly to not organize my things on the computer but I can’t always take my computer with me when I’m shopping, I need time away from my computer (especially when I’m trying to get things accomplished), and I like the satisfaction of writing things down and crossing them off my list! It’s a joy I just can’t even explain!

How do you organize your life? Do you make sure to re-evaluate your list after a period of time?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Love Always,

J

What A Show!

26 Oct

I’m Back!!! I missed you all so much! After a super long weekend at the craft show and a long week getting everything back to normal around here – I am excited to say I’m back πŸ™‚

Thank goodness for my trial set up or this would have taken ages to figure out. The PVC pipe held everything extremely well! My favorite part was the bar to hang my scarves on. This was my first attempt at having things up off my table and although I’m so happy with the outcome I do want to do things a little differently.

I want to find different hangers to put the scarves on – it wasn’t easy to get the scarves off and on the hangers which I don’t think is helpful for customers who want to try things on. I also would change up the shelves a little differently.Β People don’t like pulling things in and out of shelves if they have to figure out how to fold them and put them back! I’ve decided to put one blanket in each shelf instead of two and to hang up the other scarves instead of folding them in the shelf.

Other than that I was super happy with the set up!

My most picked up items were my cork keychains, cup cozies, scarves, and burp cloths. It seems like everyone that came through was touching and feeling everything and amazed at how soft everything was. Since comfort is one of my number one priorities when it comes to my items – that made me very happy!

Another thing that was picked up a lot was my business cards. So much so that I’ll be ordering another pack of them as soon as possible! I didn’t expect my cards to go as fast as they did but I am definitely okay with that πŸ˜‰

For those of you who are considering doing an outdoor show there are a few things I wasn’t quite prepared for! Wind was one of them. Everything was secured tightly with zip ties and didn’t move much in the wind but my frames that were hanging from the lattice weren’t on tight. I’m still trying to come up for a solution for that one.

Another was dust!! We were in a wooded area with lots of dirt and when people walk through it – dust kicks up and gets on EVERYTHING! I wasn’t expecting to have to wipe down my items on a regular basis or have to wash & dry them when I came home. I wish I had a swiffer or duster with me so that I could have continually wiped off my items – that might have made my aftermath of cleaning a little easier.

Prepare to spend a day after the show sorting/cleaning/re-organizing everything!

One thing that REALLY helped during this show was sharing it with a friend. This was Ashley’s side from Leapinlilypads. Because we split the space we both saved on money, as well as having someone to be there when we went to go get a meal or use the restrooms.

It also made it easier on my traveling to share some of what we were bringing. We each brought two tables, our chairs, and our supplies so one person wasn’t overwhelmed with too much packing or unpacking. One thing I didn’t expect going into this was all the last minute spending I’d need to use. I planned for gas money, food money, and extra for spending (of course I’d find something I’d want to buy from other vendors).

What I didn’t count on was all the small last minute things for the show like: cash for change, stickers for my bags with my business logo, chalkboard markers (because they work so much better than chalk), 3m hooks to hang my frames, and a bunch of other little things that add up so fast! Next time I’m going to also plan for an extra $100 bucks on miscellaneous things before the show actually happens.

Some things that Ashley did that I love – used wrapped boxes to create height on her table, used cardboard and ribbon to hang her bows, and found things like baskets and vases to use to hold her items. Any way that you can save money by using things around the house as part of your table design is a great way to be budget friendly!

Some perks from our tent that I didn’t see around other ones – bright colors, hanging things from the tent walls, a dedicated table space to use for working on, clear banners so people will remember who you are, and free goodies just for stopping in (I had dum dums for the little ones).

Finding ways to be remembered is key to future purchases. Just having a business card isn’t always enough – so I like to make as many memorable pieces as possible!

We had a fantastic time at the show and are proud to say we’ll be doing it again next year! Hooray for a successful weekend – and hooray for being back home πŸ˜‰ because this girl is ready to get back to being crafty!

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,

J

Prepping for the Weekend :)

5 Oct

This week has been a busy one for the Otey family! Between being sick, cleaning the house top to bottom, and working extra – we are all excited for a relaxing weekend. Well, all except for me of course! I’ve got a ton of exciting things planned to keep me busy this weekend while Brian and Emma relax πŸ™‚

Today I decided to share how I plan and prep for a weekend of crafting!

1. I do one load of laundry a day each day during the week. Since we tend to have three loads – I only have to do laundry three days a week. That ensures a weekend of absolutely NO LAUNDRY!

2. I make sure to unload, refill, and run the dishwasher all week but especially on Friday. That means all the dishes are clean, ready, and easy to find for weekend cooking.

3. I plan ahead for what we are going to eat on the weekend. Whether it’s leftovers or a meal, I like to make sure we have all the ingredients ready and know exactly what I’ll be cooking so I can schedule my day appropriately.

4. I try to get all the other miscellaneous chores done like vacuuming, taking the trash out, and make sure my desk and the craft room are organized and ready to go!

5. I get together all the projects that I want to do and all the pieces I’ll need for each one and have them in ready piles & baskets to pick up and get started. This makes a project ten times faster! Since I am limited to a certain amount of hours in the day – limiting the time I’m running around trying to find one thing (like a ruler) really makes things much smoother!

Having these things accomplished sure makes it easy to enjoy the weekend and get a lot of crafting done πŸ˜‰

How do you get ready for a busy weekend?

Love Always,

J

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