Saturday, April 18, 2015

Our guest bathroom/kids bathroom...imperfect, yet likeable enough.

This room is another lesson in being content with what you have for the time being; another example of a room in my house that I wish I could do a full out gut job/renovation on. We've already done a bit to this room...there used to be hideous shower glass sliding door on the bathtub, so my husband ripped that out and patched it up as soon as we bought the house. We needed to do that so we could give the kids baths! Also, the bathroom sink didn't work when we bought the house, and my husband fixed it with his hidden talent - plumbing skills! I'd like to put in a huge bath tub, new tiling, a better medicine cabinet, new lighting, and of course, new counter/sink console. But for now, my little decor/organizational touches will do until we can throw a ton of cash at this room.

We have 2 bathrooms in our house...this bathroom is the one our kids use, as well as the one that guests use. That is a bit of an odd combo, but I don't think it's unusual....I'm sure plenty of 2 bathroom families do the same. The challenge is that it has to be functional for the kids, yet look decent enough to make guests feel comfortable.

A nice shower curtain does great things for a bathroom. High impact, and not expensive. Our curtain came from Target. Adding in some decorative mirrors works well for when you have a bathroom without a window, that needs some extra light to reflect around. A mirrored bathroom tray further reflects some light, and provides a place to keep the scented oil diffuser as well as other bits and bobs. I got an acrylic counter top organizer (huge fan of these) to wrangle in all of the little hair accessories, brushes, a comb, and other frequently used items. Finally....a sizable plant will do the trick for making the space look not TOO kiddish. Plus, without a window as so many metal fixtures in the bathroom...I think adding a plant brings balance. I know nothing about feng shui, but I feel pretty zen in here despite it not being my favorite bathroom on the planet.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Project 333 Combo - Dressy with a twist

Part of my lifestyle is to live with a small wardrobe of items that I love and fit into my lifestyle. If you aren't familiar with Project 333, please go take a gander at the website. It's a way to do the minimal wardrobe lifestyle that makes a lot of sense, in my opinion. For the past year, I've been paring down my belongings, and in general, I have 30-40 items of clothing.

Most of my clothes are business casual/professional, which makes sense, because my week days are spent working in a corporate office. However, sometimes I have to make my more formal clothes transition to other purposes in my life, like social get togethers, parties, etc. where there is a different sort of look that's not quite business, not quite jeans/casual, and not churchy either.....

My answer to that scenario in my life, using my Project 333-ized closet selections, is this: dressy with a twist.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

My constant struggle: keeping kids clothing in check!

When you separate out all the clothes that don't work from the clothes that do, getting your little ones dressed every morning is so much less painful!!

Kids clothing is so difficult to keep streamlined. They are always growing, and they do need their wardrobes adjusted to the seasons, because they spend so much time playing outside at daycare and at home as well. Also - they wear out clothes pretty quickly, but not as quick as they outgrow them, it seems!

Here are some ways I make sure my kids closets aren't constantly overstuffed with clothes that don't fit, and aren't seasonally appropriate....

1. Keeping clothes in easy-access storage in their closets, that isn't too huge (having millions of tiny clothes wadded up in a gigantic dresser would probably not be conducive to maintaining a streamlined kids wardrobe?)
2. Taking inventory of kids clothing on a regular basis, and removing items that:
  • Don't fit
  • Aren't seasonally appropriate
  • Are stained, torn, or threadbare.
Once I've done this, it's easier for me to identify any gaps in their wardrobes to see what needs to be added in.

3. Having easy venues for the outcasts from step 2. They are as follow:
  • For clothes that don't fit or aren't wearable for the season (and won't fit by next time that season comes), I put them in an ongoing bag that I'll take to a resale shop when it fills up. The items that the resale shop won't take get donated.
  • For out of season clothes that will probably still fit by next cold/warm season, I store them in a separate area that isn't accessible and doesn't get mixed in with the other daily wear stuff.
  • For severely stained, torn, or worn out clothes - I throw them away or recycle if appropriate.
As you may know, I'm not one to hold onto physical belongings for sentimental reasons. I do have a couple of baby outfits from each of my kids that I keep in my "keepsake box", but I'm not holding onto kids clothes. They take up so much room, and I'm not planning to have any more kids, so there is simply no need to clutter my life with that.

Friday, April 3, 2015

How I fit in excercise at work without having a gym.

Climbing 10+ flights of stairs 3X a day, every work day! All you corporate, skyscraper-dwelling folk like me have some free exercise equipment built into your workspace! I calculated how many extra calories I burn every day doing's approximately 150-200, from what I found. That aint can't get much more than that doing 20 minutes on the elliptical machine at a gym.

Welcome to my at-work gym!

 This is not earth-shattering....but it has actually really helped me get back into the habbit of exercising. We don't have a gym where we work, and taking a break to go for a walk or run (in usually hot and humid weather) is not feasible, since I can't come back to work looking a sweaty hot mess. I will say that climbing this many stairs doesn't make me sweat to the point that I'd feel self conscious going to a meeting straight away, but I do have to linger for a minute or so to catch my breath and get my heart rate back down after I get to the top, before I go in.....this way, I'm not breathing heavily, and making people worried that I'm ill.

I wear heels every day to work, but I bring my flats to put on just for my breaks. It takes me 5 minutes or so to do one set, so that's not too difficult to step away from my desk to do this 3 times a day. I was inspired to do this when I started reading all these articles about the sedentary lifestyle, and how sitting at your desk in your office job for 8 hours a day is the devil for your health, even if you exercise every day outside of work. Google it, and you may be inspired to take a stair climb break too!