Amazon scores

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I have decided to start a series on Amazon fashion finds. I love the thrill of the hunt for an inexpensive piece and I feel so proud when I find one that actually fits well and doesn’t fall apart!

I am one of those people that simply must tell you about my deals. If someone says “cute cardigan!” I feel compelled to say “thank you! SEVEN dollars on Amazon!”

I am going to do these just every so often–as I buy new Amazon things. For my first post I’ll just do a round up of some of my favorite finds!

  1. This flattering black jumpsuit. I ordered five black rompers and sent back all but this one for New Years Even two years ago. It fits true to size (I am wearing a medium) and the only change I made was to safety pin the neckline just a tad! Can’t beat that price.

2. This super cheap crushed velvet t shirt dress. I bought it with a sort of nineties vibe in mind then didn’t take the time to style it right for this NYE. I can’t wait to style it in the fall with a choker, tall boots and tights. I think I’ll be buying in other colors for that price. The reviews state to size way up. I am a medium and tried the xl and 2xl and decided to go with xl.

3. This dress. I think I wear this once week. It is so flattering and fitted where it should be and then flairs away in the right area. I have in the green and bright blue. I will buy more. Mine has faded slightly with wash but a dress that you actually LOVE and can wear to work or date night for under $25 is worth buying repeatedly. Fits very true to size-I am in a medium. Bonus Amazon find are those duck boots. I sized up one size and got the standard color, but they have a super cute leopard!

4. This cute comfy workout material hoodie. I am wearing a medium. Love that it’s just long enough to wear with leggings and also cute with jeans. My go-to for a day off work or day time movie theater trip, etc. Comes in tons of cute color combos and feels way nicer than under $20.

5. Next time I do a selfie session I’ll clean my mirror and fix my hair or something…Here is another favorite with leggings. This is a go-to soft and fuzzy tunic for winter car trips and I flew in it once. Cute with riding boots and a cross body bag. I love how long it is. I am in a medium. Another under $20 score!

So those are some of my favorite Amazon finds over the last year. There are two more in my closet I’m thinking of that are perfect for spring so I’ll share those next time with some new finds!

superhero and donut valentines – free printabes

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Since becoming a parent, one of my favorite things is making the little class Valentines to send to school. It’s one of the few times a year I feel like I can pull off Pinterest mom crafts!

Looking back over the Valentines Days we’ve had since having kids brings a smile to my face!

Last year Sam did opt for the tradtional style cardboard ones in the box (Spiderman) with stickers and I couldn’t deny him that…but this year he has not only been excited about the Valentines for his class—but he also came up with Tom’s.

Here are some treats from Valentine’s past:

My first kiddo Valentine! Pretty sure these were Aldi candy coins from Christmas marked down, ha!
Tom was 3 months old and Sam had just got over the flu..handwritten for the win.
This year I had Sam participate quite a bit but he tired of all the hearts and considered this a real pain lol

The amazing watercolor lables are from Smart School House

And these sweet colorful ones are from My Frugal Adventure

This year I tried my hand at making my own labels and they are available for you to print off as well! I took off my kids names and you can either add yours or let you kiddos sign. See the images at the end of the post!

First up are Sam’s Super Valentines! He is into all things super hero and dressing up in costume or mask. These colorful masks were a given and a steal on Amazon for under $9 for 24 of them. Bonus is we have some leftover for our love of dressing like superheros and it came with awesome stickers Sam will put to use.

They are surprisingly great quality too–a thick felt with stitching, little metal grommets, a nice string. I’m impressed. So on these Valentines were about $8 in compared to the $3 box of character but this mask should last the kids a while!

Anyway…here are the Super Valentines:

I love how there are so many bright colors—he has already been plotting which colors work best for which classmate. I am also a sucker for a non-food item (not hardcore though, as you’ll see when we get to Tom’s class
Valentine) mainly because my kids are sweet tooths and mow through candy like nobody’s business if I’m not careful. Then again so do I….

Tom isn’t quite verbal enough yet to put in a specific request. He does love Mickey Mouse….but he loves food more so these are kind of perfect for him. Sam had the idea of giving out donuts for Valentines.

Once he got his superhero option he quickly suggested the donuts for Tom instead. I chose chocolate because I was worried the white powder ones would look messy in the baggie. The chocolate option really doesn’t look great either but it will do.

Even cuter might be just getting the prepackaged tube of mini donuts OR picking up a bunch of nice donuts with sprinkles from a bakery and wrapping up one each.

So yes…we did sweets on that one. But if Tom’s friends play their cards right, they might be eating chocolate donuts for breakfast Feb 15th…

Get yours here–just copy the image and paste into a Word doc to print!

Do you guys ever do Pinterest-y Valentines? Let me know some of your favorites you’ve given or received!

If you want to pass any ideas along here are images ready to Pin! My blog is growing mainly on Pinterest so I appreciate all of your shares so much!

tips for Disney on Ice

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We had our very first Disney on Ice experience with the boys last weekend and we all loved it!! Okay I’m sure my husband tolerated it but he was a great sport.

I really didn’t know what to expect and I am a big planner, so of course I took to the internet to find all the tips and tricks I could before going. I’m no expert after one show, but we did have a zero meltdown night with a new 4 year old and a 2 year old who were up well past bedtime so I’d call it a success!

Here are a few things I’d recommend:

1. Before you buy your tickets, scope out the other show times. I was really surprised to see how much more affordable Friday night was compared to Saturday or Sunday during the day. Our initial choice was Saturday morning, and I’m sure many people with young kids would have that as their top pick as well. But, we were able to sit a whole section closer and still come in cheaper by opting for Friday night and my frugal soul just couldn’t pass that up.

2. Smuggle in a few things. This post isn’t sponsored by Disney or anything like that so I’m going to be real with you guys–we packed snacks! Technically bringing in food is not allowed…but my frugality often outweighs my rule following. The thing is they hardly checked my bags, we saved a ton of money, and I just don’t feel too bad about this. I did a juice box, animal crackers, and a candy each. Judging by the $8 bottled water my husband bought and the $12 snacks I saw for sale I’d say we avoided a $60 concessions cost.

3. Smuggle more things in. We brought our own glow sticks and our own Disney ears (these were a deal and great quality too!). The good news is you don’t actually have to smuggle these things in, it was allowed! Tons of kid dress up in full costume. I found it was fun for the boys to each have a backpack packed up with the glow sticks and ears and candy inside as surprises. They didn’t know what all they had until we sat down and unpacked! And I slowly revealed my tricks so we could survive the two hour show.

Tom was so happy to see Mickey “Moush” he’d ask where Moush was when the others came out.

4. Arrive a little earlier than you think you need to. We planned to arrive 20 minutes early and that’s exactly when we rolled into walking distance of the venue. However, the traffic was crazy and since this was a venue 2 hours from home we didn’t have time to really scope out all the parking options. By the time we found a parking spot it was further than we had wanted. So after walking, going through the metal detectors and bag checks, letting Sam use the restroom and walking around to find our spot etc, it was about 10 minutes after show time. This didn’t really concern me since it was a 2 hour long performance, but imagine if we had hit up the concession stand as well. I’d say 30-40 minutes early is safer, unless you live there in town and know the parking situation well.

5. Spend the weeks leading up to the show refreshing on some old Disney favorites. The show we saw was 100 Years of Magic and it was really well-rounded. My 2 year old was especially happy to see Mickey and
the gang as well as Nemo. My 4 year old was into Toy Story and The Lion King, and they were both all about Frozen and Olaf—one of their favorite movies. I appreciated that is wasn’t 100% Disney Princess for my boys (even though they do love Ana and Elsa.) However, there were quite a few characters they did not know—Aladdin, Mulan, The Little Mermaid, The Princess and the Frog, and Tangled were several that were lost on them. It would be a good idea to work a few of these into your movie night rotation
before seeing the show!

Mulan was my personal favorite part!

6. Bring a coat/blanket. We saw a show in St. Louis in Feb. so it was a given that we had coats. If you went to a show in the summer time you may overlook this but we felt pretty cool drafts off the ice throughout the night. I packed each kid their special blankie they sleep with to have for warmth as well as to cuddle with since we are usually snoozing by 7:30 and this show went til 9:00! They were so excited to unpack the backpack and see they had their beloved item.

7. Set expectations. This is a borrowed tip I read before going and I’m so glad I did. We stopped for dinner on the way to the show and while eating I told the boys exactly what to expect. I told them they’d need to be good boys and stay in their seats, that they had to hold our hands and stick with us in the crowd, and that I had packed their backpacks with surprises so we would not be buying any of the toys and food there. When we walked in Sam was immediately distracted by a table of stuffed animals (aka dog bait in our house) so I reminded him—”remember we brought our own fun stuff in the bags” and he said “oh yeah!!” and that was that. Call me a mean mom, but I don’t think anyone was too traumatized.

They just don’t smile at the same time…

Overall we had such a great time celebrating Sam’s 4th birthday and they boys were so well-behaved they really impressed us. I recommend Disney on Ice to anyone and would love to hear any reader tips to keep in mind if we go back!

catching up

Well…the second half of January really got away from me. One minute I was organizing the whole house and folding t-shirts a la Marie Kondo. I was making New Years Resolutions and working out at 5am.

The next minute we were traveling every weekend to Eric Church and Disney on Ice and celebrating Sam’s 4th b-day. Then my husband and I came down with a week long cold (if you know me I am NEVER down from a cold, this one was brutal) annnnd now it’s February.

I had planned to do a post about my goal of one date night a month but we never planned one. Nothing like failing on month one! We did get an AirBNB with friends for the concert so I’m absolutely counting that as date night.

The other resolution was working out 3 times a week…it had been going SO well from November until about 2 weeks ago when I decided to start suddenly sleeping through my alarm…

We did park really far away for Disney on Ice this weekend so I closed my exercise ring, ha! I’m not sure if that’s an indication of how out of shape I am or a win but a closed ring is a closed ring (thank you Apple Watch for the visual!).

This post doesn’t serve much purpose other than to get me back into the swing of things and share about what we’ve been up to.

As much as I like blogging about MCM or DIY ideas for readers, I also like this to be something I can look back on years from now to see what our family was up to.

So, here is our life in picture highlights these last few weeks:

“Date night”..if we pretend I didn’t forget and actually go with the fact that we had a date night to see Eric Church then really January was a success!
Happy happy four year old boy and his Power Ranger cake!
Bunco night with friends! We booked a bra shop for fittings and it was really neat to hang out, get one on one service, and enjoy wine and cheese after hours!
Disney on Ice fun with these buddies
Jaycee Awards Banquet! Looking forward to two busy years as this guy is currently rodeo co-chairman!
It’s not always 67 degrees February 3rd! And this cutie with the binoculars is reason enough for documentation!
Cheers to a SuperBowl spent at home in our jammies!

I am working on kid’s Valentine’s this week and plan to post those ideas along with free printables in the days to come!

I also have a Disney on Ice tips post in the works. Since we had never been, I read several mom blogs with helpful tips to make it a great night with young kids so I wanted to share our pointers as well.

One cool thing to report is that even though I slacked on blogging the second half of the month, it was my blog’s best month ever by quite a bit. Interestingly, it is my Curly Girl posts that have really taken off on Pinterest.

With that being said, if there is ever a post you read that you think you like or want to flag or share with others, please feel free to Pin it! (most pictures on my blog should have a little Pin icon that will work to take you right there). It’s a great platform for getting my blog out there and I appreciate all of you who already have been sharing 🙂

Happy February everyone!

Two Months Curly Girl – ACV rinse

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I am right at two full months of Curly Girl method and still really happy I made the choice to pay attention to my hair.

I have grown to LOOK FORWARD to washing it. This is huge. I have always dreaded the tangles and frizz and prep work that has gone into taming my mop of hair.

In the past I’d do all kinds of different things really without thought and hope for a good hair day. I’d end up in a pony tail more often than not.

Now, at least I know that I am working towards hydrated, healthy, frizz free waves. Even on the days it doesn’t come out so great, I am having fun experimenting and I chalk it up to a learning day instead of blindly trying to make my hair work.

I won’t go into extreme detail on what exactly I’m doing with my hair because you can find that here and here.

This month I had intentions of doing a rice water rinse because I saw other curlfriends (yes, curlfriends! that’s not weird, right?) doing them. However, my hair ended up coming out super limp with few waves on day (see below) and it was recommended that I clarify.

Anyway, being frugal I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of spending more money on a clarifier on top all the conditioner I am going through, so I opted for a DIY kind of clarifier—apple cider vinegar.

The issue with my hair was most likely a build up of product since I have been using some heavy stuff like Cantu Curl defining gel and Miss Jessie’s Jelly Soft curls.

The ACV works by stripping product build up and allowing the hair the go back to being able to soak up product when used. So basically the product won’t sit on oversaturated hair and will instead be absorbed and effective on the hair. It also helps hair to look shiny instead of dull from the build up.

Here is my wash the day after the ACV rinse. The above picture was the previous wash before that. I saw a big difference! I used the same exact products and methods. I am planning to do the apple cidar vinegar rinse about once a month going forward.

The other thing I did differently this month is try out a new gel that everyone on Instagram seemed to rave about—Aussie Instant Freeze Gel. Here are the results of my first time trying it (this was a few washes after the ACV rinse):

Another great hair day trying something new. I am happy to keep on trucking with the curly girl method and learning what suites my hair best!

trying new taco nights

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Since Christmas and our family taco night box ,we have tried out a few new taco recipes and enjoyed them all.

I am going to share a few pictures…but wow it’s hard to get a decent picture of food! I have a whole new appreciation for food bloggers.

But, to document our year of new taco nights, I am going to post my crummy pictures anyway 🙂

This was our first fancy taco night – chicken enchilada tacos that were made easy by calling for a rotisserie chicken. This was a win, our kids surprised me by eating them and Tom is apparently a lover of black olives.

They looked pretty legit in the beloved dinosaur taco holders. I highly recommend these things, I think they encourage my more picky eater to actually eat.

And these grown up taco holders are handy too! I can’t seem to make our tacos look pretty but the holders help a bit. Plus, it is nice to go ahead and make your 2 or 3 tacos at once instead of one at a time like we used to.

Next up was carne asada and I messed up and didn’t marinate. My husband went to cook the steak and realized I had skimmed over the direction. Whoops! They were tasty still.

I didn’t get other pictures from this night I guess but the kids were all about the steak. I was so shocked since Sam prefers to eat bread and desserts. They even had the leftover steak the next night. Win.

Next up was a Sriracha Honey Lime chicken taco. I remembered to marinate! The boys’ chicken was prepped in honey and lime alone. Ours had quite a kick.

Again the dinosaurs didn’t disappoint. I picked Sam up this day and he asked me what was for dinner. I told him it was taco night and he said “yesssss we get to use the dinosaurs!”

Tom requested tacos for breakfast yesterday so he is equally on board.

I can’t lie, I am sort of craving the ease of making the tacos I have made 50 times and don’t need a recipe for. So we may sneak in our old stand-by soon. But overall this has been a fun way to mix up family dinners!

Random thought–I need to figure out if it’s hard to grow cilantro now that we seem to need it weekly.

Mid Century Monday #9 – Eames chairs and kitchen scores

It’s been harder for me to come up with Mid Century Modern posts these days. Not because I love the style any less, but because stuff is pricey and we aren’t buying stuff left and right.

We did find some Charles Eames for Herman Miller chairs a few weeks ago and decided to grab them up. I don’t know for sure that we have a home for all 3, so some may only be here in passing. But, at least one of these chairs is a keeper!

I really like the idea of period appropriate finds in the home, so we are always on the hunt. Just low key lately, because, well…Dave Ramsey and saving money and whatnot.

Here are the funky chairs. They belonged to Southeast Missouri University at some point, according to stickers. But they also had that Herman Miller stamp and I was so proud of myself for spying them!

Looking for makers marks on furniture is a fairly new concept for me.

These chairs are probably better suited at a desk, which works because I am in the process of looking for a desk. But, for now, they are fun in here and the orange works nicely with our vintage fireplace on the other side of the room.

Plus, they spin so the boys are in heaven.

Today was an exciting day for Mid Century Modern finds because we were GIVEN some really cool pieces. I am especially digging this atomic veggie and dip tray!

And the colors on these are so cheerful! The coral is vintage Pyrex which I love. If you haven’t ever just Googled “vintage Pyrex” and seen some of the gorgeous colors and collections, it’s worth it.

And finally a full set of these pretty patterned dishes that go perfectly in our bright St. Charles Kitchen.

Going with short and sweet this time around–happy Mid Century Monday all!

tidying up takeover

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Netflix hit the nail on the head for a lot of us by airing Marie Kondo’s series on January 1. Before I even heard about it, I (along with tons of other people I’m sure ) had mulled over the idea of a good decluttering and deep cleaning after putting away holiday décor.

I knew I wanted to tidy up things like my shoes and my medicine cabinet and a few more high traffic/quick fix areas and actually posted about that here.

But the more I watched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, the more I let myself imagine how nice it would be to truly tackle the whole house, maybe even once and for all.

I am honestly not a pack-rat type. I am lucky in that I don’t usually form attachment to clothes the boys have outgrown or too many items other than a small amount of sentimental ones.

I like to even consider myself well-organized and a quasi-minimalist (in that I don’t like things on my counters or in my line of sight). But still, tackle the whole house? Marie Kondo recommends getting this all done at once, and what better time than dreary dull January?

It dawned on me that I was like many of the families on the show with fairly tidy living areas but some truly messy closets, drawers, and problem areas. Some of my closets and cabinets really aren’t even messy, they just aren’t organized and random. Items wind up where they don’t really belong and this leads to a difficult time finding things or not realizing what you have and buying doubles.

I had some skeletons in my closets, or the closets were the skeletons.

You know what I mean.

I think Marie Kondo is smart to ask her clients to just imagine the kind of home and life that they want for themselves. I pictured tidy junk drawers and spice cabinets and for things to stop falling out of the front
hall closet when I open it.

Why does this really matter, you may ask?

I am a huge believer in the concept that visual clutter can cause stress. I have been known for years to straighten pillows and fold blankets in the living room before bed or clear out all the kids toys before relaxing with a movie. That is because I am positive I feel happier without seeing the junk.

But I am also starting to believe the invisible clutter can cause stress as well. I know for a fact that front hall closet is a disaster. It has housed some odds and ends for the 2 years we’ve lived here that really deserve their own home. I know that my sheets and comforters aren’t exactly folded in the linen closets; they are just shoved or stuck in there. I know the one junk drawer in the kitchen has turned into two.

And even though those drawers are shut and those cabinets are closed, I know it’s all there. So technically the invisible clutter is still with me. Imagine the wonderful feeling of having no real problem spot in the home.

I know… this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. A straightened couch pillow before bed might sound like lunacy and a second junk drawer may not bother you in the slightest. That’s okay!

But I think many people are like me—and we are those people who have been posting trash bags full of junk since January 1 thanks to Marie Kondo.

I didn’t follow her format or order 100% but still giving her the credit for my motivation and wanted to share some wins with you all! It’s mainly about the folding for me, it’s my favorite part!

My scarf drawer–I wish I had a before picture. It was difficult to close! I purged things with holes and stuff but really this isn’t much less than before and sooo much more room with the new fancy folding
sweat shirt drawer before–they really are sort of folded. Just rummaged through.
After with no purging! They all brought me a comfy Saturday on the couch kind of joy.
Cleaning supplies–the before was such a mess. We have 2 of a lot of things! I would have never known before.
This would be a “during” shot of the laundry room. Can’t wait to be ready with that after!
Tom’s closet before, and sideways. It was folded and fairly neat but drawers were impossible to close if everything was washed..
Tom’s closet after. If there is one thing I take away from Marie Kondo it’s this folding. It is a space saver and shows you everything at a glance! Like Tom’s 50 shades of khaki (AFTER purging many!)
Before cups/glasses. This doesn’t even show all the sippy cups that we leave sitting out on the drying mat because they don’t fit well.
I purged a ton of old sippy cups that were starting to leak or be gross. I moved seasonal to our holiday storage. I got stackables that save space and are super cheap and easy to clean. Win! Also got rid of an embarrassing amount of coffee mugs.
These are the take and toss cups and I’m a convert.
before – TWO full junk drawers.
After – one junk drawer and one drawer left for who knows what.
Paper storage was really nice to get a handle on. We did have a file cabinet and fairly ordered system, but it was a pain to get to. Now I have 4 binders: tax returns, home and auto, personal (sections for each of us) and manuals! Appliances, complex toys, the Roomba, grills–you can find the all in this handy binder. And if you ever go to resell an item, buyers may appreciate the manual!

Kids’s paper clutter is another thing all-together. I am so so happy with this system I started last year.

This pretty spice cabinet makes me happy now! Spices do expire, and we had quite a few duplicates that I combined!

My full list is a little crazy. I am not halfway finished yet but I am enjoying this process. I am spending maybe an hour after the kids go to bed as well as my lunch break most days to power through it.

I haven’t done much with boxes but I love how she makes drawers neat an organized with them. I have these soft boxes in my cart!

Listening to a podcast while organizing helps!

Could this be the last time I ever purge?!

I think a lesson you learn by cleaning out all these areas is that you don’t want to just do it again next year. How do you prevent that?

Being super conscious about what you buy. I am completely on board
for buying less because I’m ready to get back on the Dave Ramsey train anyway.

I would recommend cleaning out just one little drawer for anyone out there who thinks I’m nuts. It just feels good! And for those of you going full on Kon-Mari—tell me all about it!

So here’s to 2019 and less visible and invisibe clutter–why I’m tidying with Marie Kondo!

children’s book series

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One of my new year’s resolutions was to read a book to each child before bed each night. We were okay at this before—maybe 75% of the time. But I really want to work at making it constant.

I am guilty of choosing shorter (but still good!) books for my almost 4 year old, and I think he is really ready to move on to longer stories.

We have done a few this past week that take me a good 20-30 minutes to read and I am thinking WOW this is quite a book. But then I imagine how calming that must be to lay there in bed and end the day relaxing and listing to a nice long bedtime story and I am happy I’m doing it.

I hope to instill a love of reading in the boys and I don’t want to let a busy night lead to the bedtime story falling by the wayside.

Today I am going to recommend a shorter board book that my 2 year old loves. He gets such a kick out of it, it was a clear first choice for my children’s book series.

The book is Cowboy Small by Lois Lenski and it’s pretty simple. It does not rhyme or contain more than one or two short sentences per page. But something about it makes Tom’s face light up.

Of course this could simply be due to the fact that he is a die hard cowboy fanatic. We’ve only read it 10 times in the last few days after all. See below he is “roping” with that wild arm.

Unlike a lot of kid’s books we read, Cowboy Small isn’t really there to teach a lesson on sharing or washing hands and there isn’t much by way of a moral to the story.

Cowboy Small does fall off a horse and get back up on another one, which is nice and we have discussed why he’d try again.

I think the stand out is the illustrations. The book has a vintage feel with bright illustrations in what looks like an older hue.

When I looked up when the book was written, and Amazon said 2001. However, it’s actually a new edition since the author lived from 1893-1974. It was written in 1949. There is a series of “Small” books including Papa Small and Policeman Small that we will probably try out soon.

I would recommend this to any little cowboy or cowgirl in your life. Great as a gift and inexpensive enough to buy just because!

That’s all for this little children’s book series. I am going to do a quick recommendation each month to keep me on track with our bedtime stories, offer recommendations to my readers, and have a written record of what my kids were loving at any given time in 2019.

easy things to do around the house this January

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Do you get that itch to organize and deep clean each January?

It always feels like such a fresh start. We enter a new year with a zest to be better and with the best of intentions.

Will it last all year? Doubtful. But why not strike while the iron is hot and spend those dull dreary January days whipping your house into shape, little by little?

If you are lacking motivation to get started, there is always the new Marie Kondo Netflix series.

I love how she never forces anyone to purge-the lady who said two bathrobes sparked joy I was just sure would be urged to pick a favorite by Marie. Instead Marie seems to love when items spark joy and never suggests something shouldn’t.

It is refreshing compared to the world of HGTV where every single house is criticized for it’s “outdated granite” or bad paint colors. In this series there is never one mention of outdated color schemes or furniture or the more blandly decorated homes that could have used some art work or accent walls, only happiness for people who can tidy up.

The whole sparking joy process is a big project. If you are ready to tackle that then more power to you! I have definitely filled some trash bags this weekend, thank you to the Netflix show.

But if you want to do a little less (and still feel a big impact) here is a list of my go-to quick and easy around-the-house tasks so you can bask in a sense of accomplishment:

  1. Ligth bulbs. Is it just me or do you ever limp along with less than ideal lighting because a bulb or two has gone out? I currently have one bathroom and two kitchen bulbs out and have done nothing about it for 2 months. January is a great time to not only go ahead and swap these out, but to dust your bulbs and clean your fixtures!
  2. Junk drawer(s). If you only have one, I am impressed. Of the top of my head I have two in the kitchen, one in the utility room and one in the bathroom. And I like to think I’m a fairly organized person! Anyway, there is nothing wrong with a drawer for a few odds and ends, but when it becomes too stuffed to use it’s pointless. Cleaning these out is one of my favorite organizing tasks. They stay organized for about 5 days, but who’s counting?
  3. A place for everything. No, I’m not saying to go through your whole home with a label maker and become ultra-organized overnight. But, I do truly believe in the saying “a place for everything and everything in its place.” It is easier for me to keep the house picked up because I
    know where to put (most) things. And if you stick with this, your family members know where to put things as well. Eventually, you all just start putting items in their homes from the start! Anyway, what I mean by this task is, have you come into something new that doesn’t have a home yet? For us this year it is arts and crafts stuff for the kids. Being 2 and 3, we haven’t done a whole lot of painting or playing with clay, glue, glitter etc. until the last year. Recently it seems like we have a mountain of play-doh, coloring books, markers, colored pencils, stickers, pipe cleaners, paint sets, googly eyes, glue etc and, I love it, but I just don’t know where it goes. Whatever your odd items may be, take a little time to gather it up and create a specific space.
  4. Clean your appliances. The inside of the washing machine, the dryer lint area, the microwave, the oven, the dishwasher (if you haven’t ever cleaned your dishwasher, I’m telling you to do it now. The filter will horrify you.) You don’t have to do all this at once. But spaced out in 15-20 minute increments over the month of January, imagine how great you’ll feel with fresh clean appliances!
  5. Vacuum the edges. I have a Roombathat I love. I also have a Shark that I love. Between these two, our home is vacuumed fairly often (mainly because we have a dog).But, have you ever taken the slanted end hose attachment and run it along where the carpet or floor meets the wall in every room? A lot of dirt and dog hair can get stuck there and the vacuum doesn’t always reach it. So get the edges of the rooms as well as the corners of all your closets the next time you get the vacuum out. It shouldn’t add more than 20 mins to regular vacuuming.
  6. Shoes. If you have kids, you might have a few outgrown or worn out beyond wear shoes tossed aside in the closet. And if you are like me, the bottom of your own closet may look like a sea of shoes with some random clothing price tags scattered about. I like to pull every shoe out, vacuum, and organize them into rows. It’s an early look too on what shoes everyone needs for spring. I wear my sandals to death so don’t let the first warm day sneak up on you without a pair ready to go! I did this task over the weekend and it took no more than 15 mins for my closet and it’s so much nicer to look at now!
  7. Medicine cabinet/bathroom drawers. Wherever you keep the toothpaste, contact solution, make up remover, deodorant. This place could probably use a good purge and a wipe down. Get a new toothbrush or refill the jar of cotton balls. I sometimes leave an empty product just sitting there for whatever reason….so pitch stuff like that, check expiration dates, etc. This is a quick task but since you use this area every day you will appreciate it!

That’s my own little list for January. Of course there are a few large projects I want to tackle including finishing painting the bathroom tile I started back in March on the third bathroom. I just left the area behind the shower curtain and it’s so out of sight out of mind I have let it go 10 months…oops!

I’d love to hear if anyone else is planning any particular cleaning or organizing this month! If you have not watched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo I do recommend the quick 8 episode series or her book for some motivation!