Saturday, December 21, 2013

Sometimes it just feels good to throw it away

I am SUCH a procrastinator, but sometimes I get in these moods and just want to GO GO GO!  So while folding laundry today, I decided to separate the items that don't fit anymore.  And that turned into going through my closet, the playroom.  Just grabbing items that aren't used anymore and throwing them into a 'DONATE' box. 

I guess I'll end off 2013 a little lighter, and I think that's a great way to start off 2014!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Time for some professional help

I finally bit the bullet and accepted that I can't do it alone.  I've tried.  But I really can't do it. 

So I contacted a professional organizer and had her come in for a consult.  And it turns out I'm not that far gone!  There's still hope!

I have a list now and have already gotten started on it.  Hopefully by Christmas, the upstairs will be more manageable and I can tackle the office *shudder*. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Time to start at the end

So in all my back and forth, I've realized that the reason why I have so much trouble keeping the house organized is because I don't know how I want it to end up.  Like I want it clean, but I don't have a designated spot for everything.  So as I go through each area and 'clean' it up, I end up having the same items in different areas of the house.

Before I can really start going through everything, I need to start with a plan.  Where do I want to store items for business one or two, where do I want art supplies, or towels, or extra blankets, etc.  I need a central SPOT for everything in the house, and once I know where everything goes, I can start clearing items out.

I guess it's time to go back to square one, by starting at the end.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Time to start Christmas

Last year I posted about our felt Christmas Tree for the playroom.  Read that post here.

Today I bought a new pack of command strips and put it up.  I can't wait for the kids to see it tomorrow, they're going to LOVE it!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Caffeine (and Starbucks) during pregnancy

In a recent discussion about the safe amount of caffeine during pregnancy, I was told to go write a blog post.  So here it is!

DISCLAIMER:  I am NOT a doctor.  Do not take anything written in this post as medical advice, it is simply information.  I do NOT work for Starbucks, though I was an Assistant Store Manager from 2006-2012.  I am NOT being paid by Starbucks or any other organization.  I am NOT promoting caffeine consumption during pregnancy, I am simply providing the information and knowledge that I have about safe amounts and caffeine contents.  ALWAYS consult your doctor or midwife if you have any concerns about safe amounts of caffeine during pregnancy.

In 2006, I was hired as an Assistant Store Manager at Starbucks Coffee Canada.  A few months later, my Store Manager became pregnant.  She loved Americanos and would order them either half caf, or full strength.  The baristas (myself included), not aware of safe amounts of caffeine during pregnancy, would make her drink decaf.  She always argued with us, but we didn't believe her.

A few months after she gave birth to a healthy baby boy, I became pregnant, and since I worked at Starbucks, I did some research.  Here is what I found (links will be added when I have time)

MOST websites (NOT DOCTORS) recommend consuming not more than 200-300milligrams (mg) of caffeine per day during pregnancy.  I followed (and for the purpose of the math in this post, will follow) the 300mg/day recommendation.

So if you are pregnant, or know someone who is, and follow this same recommendation, here is what you can order at Starbucks!

Each one oz of coffee has 20mg of caffeine

One TALL (12oz) brewed coffee contains ~240mg of caffeine
One GRANDE (16oz) brewed coffee contains ~320mg of caffeine
One VENTI (20oz) brewed coffee contains ~400mg of caffeine

If you drink brewed coffee, stick with a tall or grande/day.

Now onto more exciting things-ESPRESSO DRINKS!

One shot of espresso contains 75mg

This is easy math!

A short or tall beverage has one shot of espresso (75mg), grande and venti have two (150mg).  So, you could have 4 shots of espresso/day!  WAHOO!

Not comfortable consuming that much?

Order your grande or venti with only one shot!  You can do that?  Of course you can!  You could also order your drink half-caf (the espresso machine will mix decaf and regular espresso beans to make your shots) or decaf!

That's right, my pregnant friends, you can have a DECAF gingerbread latte this holiday season!  Or need a little bit of a kick, order it half caf!

Know what else is neat?  You can ALSO DO THAT WITH FRAPPUCCINOS!  Yup-half calf or decaf!

Is your drink too sweet now that you're pregnant?  Order it with half of the regular amount of syrup.  Or one pump less.  Work with your barista to make the perfect drink for you!

Don't want to be THAT customer?  Trust me, it isn't any harder to make the drink, plus you get exactly what you want!

Now onto tea!  It isn't AS interesting, but still good to know.  Caffeinated tea has between 30-100mg/cup depending on the type of tea you order.  Green tea has less, and black tea has more.Starbucks Nutritional Information found here.

Monday, July 29, 2013

40 Bags in 40 Days: Days 1 and 2-Entryway Closet and Entryway

I hope everyone had a successful day yesterday cleaning your entryway closets.  There were some great tips on the Facebook Event, including to not only consolidate your reusable bags, but go put some in your car, right now, ok when you're done reading this.  I ALWAYS leave them at home, so this way they'll be there when you need them (thanks Anne!). 

My weakness yesterday was our shoes.  We have too many, well the girl and I do!  So I moved shoes that are too big into the closet, unseasonable shoes (winter boots) into the bench storage, shoes that are too small either went into a donation box or in the garbage, like the boots that had holes in the soles.

I also couldn't just do the closet, since I was organizing our shoes, so I started on our shoe rack.  It's just a cheap one we got at Walmart, but the is shoes are too small to fit on both bars, so I took some cardboard pieces to put on top.  But since the bars are at an angle, the cardboard would just fall off, SO I hot glued some spots on the bottom so it would sit nicely against the lower bar. 

One of our family weaknesses is just putting stuff anywhere.  So we need to find a way to keep the bench clear, and the other surfaces in the entryway.  I DO have a hanging mail organizer that we need to start using more.  Cleaning that out is one of my tasks for today.  And organizing the kids coats on their coat rack.  I'll also do the regular cleaning in that room, so cleaning the window, the mirrored closet doors, dusting, then sweeping and mopping.  I'm so excited to finally have my entryway organized.  I HATE walking into the house and being instantly overwhelmed by the clutter right as I come in.

Feel free to share your tips and struggles as you work through your entryway.  And join the Facebook Event for more conversation!

40 Bags in 40 Days: Days 3 and 4-storage and deep freezer

Our under-the-stair storage area had become a dumping ground for stuff that we didn't need right away.  It's mostly our Christmas decorations and camping gear, so not stuff that we can get rid of, but not stuff we use all the time.  The back of the area is organized, since it's just boxes, but the front, well, we had just shoved stuff in there.

SO-it just took a little bit of organizing and rearranging to tidy up.  For example we keep gift bags, and they had been randomly shoved into two (now broken) bags and were all over the floor.  So I tidied those up and it looks like a whole new room!

Today is the deep freezer.  The reason why I stuck it on the list is because I KNOW we have stuff at the bottom that we won't eat, so why are we keeping it?  Also-the little frost check thingy is TOTALLY covered meaning we need to defrost the freezer.  But we use it regularly and it's fairly full, so moving the stuff upstairs into our (small) freezer won't be easy.  What better way to tidy up the freezer and see what's in there than to clean it out!  It'll give me a good idea of what to make for dinners for the next week or so so we can work through the food in there before shopping again.

And I really feel like I'm making progress!  My whole entryway area is tidy and easier to manage on a daily basis!  Which means it doesn't get messy, and I don't have to clean up.  Mind you it's only been 4 days, but still.  Taking one area at a time and working through it is a LOT easier than just jumping in at random and trying to do it all.  BUT-the rest of my house has become a bit of a mess, so I do need to spend some time tidying up the rest.  It's great to REALLY deep clean these areas, but it kind of defeats the purpose to just let the rest of the house go crazy.

Time to get back at it!