Saturday, 31 March 2012

Weekend Project COMPLETE! (100 Item Purge)

This weekend we took on what I thought would be a tough challenge, to purge 100 items from our house. Clearly we have too much stuff, because it took all of 15 minutes to gather those items.

I wanted to involve the whole family, so I gathered up my girls and we started in their rooms. I asked them to help me find ten items of clothing that we could pass on to someone who may need it. At first Aidyn was apprehensive, and even got emotional when I suggested she donate a red bathrobe that she had never once used. When I explained that there are children in the world less fortunate than us, and that we should help out those in need, she reluctantly let it go.

Eila on the other hand, was a different case entirely. We headed into her room and I asked her to start in her closet and find a couple of dresses that we could donate. She got straight to work! Since we had been swimming earlier today with her little cousin, she also wanted to pass on some of her bathing suits to Bella (which is funny, because although Bella's not quite one yet, I'm pretty sure she wears the same size bathing suit as Eila!).

I had already planned out my items to purge - I knew that the waffle maker that we've used less than 10 times in almost ten years of marriage could go, along with some other small kitchen appliances. However, I rifled through what is left of my closet (I did a MAJOR purge a few months ago) and managed to find a few items to add to the purge pile.

Now the husband.... well, let's just say he's not as willing to part with items as I am these days. He tries to claim that he's not a hoarder, but any man with 35 ties, and no fewer than 40 white undershirts needs to do some letting go.

After bringing out the ridiculous string of neckties (he wears only two different ties to work)I had to B-E-G him to part with some ties. Even though there was a tie with GIRAFFES on it. When I asked him to justify it, he said "never know, might want to wear a tie to the zoo." Seriously????

Here is what our family purged from our home this weekend:

33 Childrens books (to be passed on to my neice Bella)
20 Baby blankets, burp pads, crib sheets and facecloths
2 of my bathing suits (only fair, since I bought two new ones this year)
6 Little Girl bathing suits (for Bella)
4 Hoodies/Robes
1 Dress
4 of my shirts
2 Jeans/jackets
1 Blue fleecy pillow that is a random weird size?
1 package of sports themed Chistmas decorations
3 Kitchen appliances
7 Misc kitchen items 9 YES NINE neckties!!!!
7 Pairs of kids shoes

TOTAL: 107 Items! In fifteen minutes!!
My purging assistant, Aidyn :)
Alright everyone - grab a box or bag and get to work! Gather up 100 items that are cluttering up your house and send them on their way out the door!

I think I might try this again next week too! I have a linen closet that could probably produce another 50 items all on its own!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Earlier this week, I asked Eila Bean what we should do on our day together. Her first suggestion was, of course, BAKE COOKIES!

So off to my tried and true recipe binder where the actual meal items encompass about the first 1/3 of the binder and the Dessert Section is split into its own three sections: Cupcakes and Cake Recipes, Frostings and Fillings, and Cookies and Bars.

I would love to say that my recipe binder is lovely and color coded and set up all pretty, but it's not. It's covered in schmears of butter, notes about how long to actually cook the recipe for, and how many cups of this and that you need to double or triple a particular recipe.

I have been baking these particular cookies for years. The recipe is so easy, Eila can make them almost on her own (see demo below).  They are soft, chewy and delicious. I brought them into work and they were gone in a half hour!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups chocolate chips


Cream butter and sugar together. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla.

Add remaining ingredients. Mix well. 

Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake in 350 F oven for 8-10 minutes. Makes 5 dozen cookies.

I usually store these in an airtight container, but they honestly don't last very long! Enjoy!

Friday, 30 March 2012

Weekend Challenge: Purge 100 Items

When walking through my house this morning, I came across a whole bunch of items that need to make their way OUT of our house. A couple of clothing items that are too small for the girls, a couple of books that need a new home. And I know that the kitchen cabinets contain some items that need to find a new home!

So, even though the hubs and the kids don't know it yet, they will be helping me with this weekend's household challenge:
To purge our home of 100 items!
I'm sure that it will not take long to find 100 things that could find better homes outside our house!

Normally, I have a Donation Station setup somewhere in the house - usually in a closet, or corner of the computer room, somewhere out of the way, but still in plain sight, so I don't forget to add items to the box, and to take it to the VV Boutique when the box is full.

I guess the last time I sent the donations on their merry way out my front door I neglected to create a new Donation Station, so that's the first item on the to-do list for tonight. Tomorrow morning, I'll set out to fill the box. I'll start with the stack of tshirts on the ledge outside Aidyn's room.

Then I'll head to the ottoman in our room and see what can go from there...

Are you up for a challenge? Grab a box and fill it up with items that are cluttering up your house and your life!

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Bucket List Item: Run 10km, CHECK!

At the beginning of the year, I decided that I was going to learn to run. I needed a goal and thought that completing a 10km run where I would be strong enough to actually RUN most of the race was a good starting point.

In Vancouver every year 50,000+ people all come together and run/walk in the 10km Run Run. Having attempted the insanity and claustrophobic madness that is the Sun Run about ten years ago, I knew that it absolutely was NOT for me.

I also knew that if I didn't have a race to train for, inevitably I would stop running and just become my lazy self again. So I signed up for the UBC Run for Rural Medicine. And trained. And trained. And trained some more.

Last weekend was the BIG DAY! In preparation for the run, my girls made signs to help motivate Mommy.

The weather was phenomenal. It was actually warm, there was not a cloud in the sky. This was the view I had at the start of the race.

It was a small race, probably no more than 75-100 runners. Runners had a choice of a 5km route or a 10km route. I think about 25 runners did the whole 10km.

My goal was to run most, if not all of the race ~ and I DID! I walked for a minute near the beginning to take my hoodie off because it was so warm, and then another minute around the 7km mark to let the hubs know to meet me at the finish line!

While I was running, Brett brought the girls to a little duckpond at the beach. It was so beautiful there!

Here I am at the FINISH LINE!!! I finished the race in 1:13 - not very fast (the hubs runs his 10km in about 52 minutes) but I'm more than happy with it!

Here I am with Eila at the end of the Race.

After the race, we celebrated with brunch.....Now it's time to figure out when the next challenge/race will be!

Monday, 26 March 2012

Back to Normal Weekly Menu Plan

Now that Spring Break has come to an end, and life as we know it is returning to our version of normal, I'm looking forward to adding new recipes and foods to our menu plan.

My goal this week is to add more fruits and veggies into the family menu plan. Although my girls aren't big vegetable eaters, they do love fruit, so I'm going to add a serving of fruit as one of the side dishes on their dinner plates.

I am going to take a read through some cookbooks and online and try to find some yummy salads and dressing recipes. If you have any good ones, please comment and let me know!

On the menu for this week, we'll be having:
Monday: Baked Ziti and Caesar Salad
Tuesday: Chicken and Black Bean Quesadillas and salad
Wednesday: Mini-Turkey Meatloaves with mashed potatoes, beans and salad
Thursday: Chicken Cordon Bleu Calzones with Caesar Salad
Friday: Cod with Rice and Veggies
Saturday: BBQ burgers, Corn on the Cob (hopefully the weather is nice!!)
Sunday: Chicken Tetrazzini and Rachel Salad

321-Stop Giveaway Winner!!

Good morning everyone!

I am SO excited to announce the winner of my very first giveaway

I was lucky enough to review Lorilee Lipincott’s new ebook called 321-Stop, Stop Running and Start Living. It’s a fantastic read, and I hope all of you will check it out! If you are looking for some more reviews, take a read here.

I am so thrilled to know that so many of you read my little blog! I received so many wonderful comments and I really appreciate all of them.
Now, for the WINNER!! I used a random number generator and it selected comment #4!

Here’s the lovely comment:
Yay Judy!! I will be contacting you by email to send you the prize!

Thanks so much for all of your support, I hope you all keep reading along :)

Saturday, 24 March 2012

How to Cheat on Your Hemline!

Over Christmas, I scored a pair of jeans at Jacob for a whopping $2.50!! They fit great in the waist, but the hem was waaaaaay tooooo loooong for me. Like at least 8 inches longer than my legs. I don't know what kind of Amazon person these jeans were made for, but for $2.50 I was going to grab them up!

Well, now it's the end of March and I still hadn't hemmed the massively long jeans. But I was determined to wear them before the weather turns too nice for wearing jeans (I know, wishful thinking...). 

So this morning, I found a quick fix solution. I put on the jeans, headed downstairs to put on my tall black boots and figure out how much "hemming" needed to be done on the jeans.
Then I got out the handy dandy duct tape and got to work. 
I first folded up the jeans to a length that would work with the jeans I was wearing, then took a bunch of small pieces of tape and taped down the hem. 

Then I re-folded the jeans down and off to work I went!

I'm sure that eventually I'll send the jeans to the dry cleaners to actually be hemmed, but for now, the duct tape will do! Would you spend money to hem $2.50 jeans?

p.s. Remember to check out my giveaway for 321-Stop! The contest closes this Sunday!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Hall Closet Reveal!

This week on Project Simplify 2012, the challenge was to address problem areas where stuff collects: Closets, Countertops and Drawers (Oh My).

In our house it's the downstairs hall closet where coats, hats & mitts, cake supplies, lunchbags, Christmas decorations, and storage containers are housed.

I first took a hard look at the space on Tuesday morning before flying out the door to work. When I opened the closet door, I almost drowned in the crap that came falling out of the closet!! Here's the "before":

So last night, after the littles went to bed, I spent less than ten minutes organizing.

First I took out all of the baskets and bins and consolidated them into a nice, neat, manageable stack. Then I put all of the hats and mitts from their current space at the front door back into the winter clothing chest in the closet. I also moved the excess winter jackets upstairs, since we seem to be turning the corner to spring! 

I found that having the white chest positioned across the front of the closet made for a lot of wasted space, and once the inevitable pile of stuff got piled on top, you couldn't access the chest to open it!
So, the chest was repositioned sideways, so it was accessible, and the storage bins and baskets that are awaiting homes are stacked nice and neat beside it. 

Here is the progress of my little tiny ten minute tidy:

Did you do any ten minute organizing this week?      


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