Friday, February 26, 2016

Clothes Organization ~ The KonMari Way!

Do you see all those bags above? Those are just from going through *my* clothes. Yep....sad but true. Typically, I am an organized person (and a regular purger)...but there are some areas I need to work on. Clothes was one of them (books is another area I will tackle soon...once we are ready to move into the addition/new living room and I will be moving book shelves around...I figured that would be the best time to go through each book and really purge what I don't love).

After hearing a lot of great things about this book...I decided I needed a copy to read. It is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.

She really makes you think about what items give you joy to own...and how much we hold on to too much stuff (for a variety of reasons). I do *not* thank the clothes for the job they have done or whatever way they "served" me before getting rid of them. I think it is silly to do such a thing. I prefer to thank God for the clothes He has given and for the purpose they served...and that they may now be put to good use by someone else as I donate them. (I love to have matching hangers when I can...I think it just looks so much neater! Mine are similar to THESE).

Look at all those empty hangers...

She doesn't recommend hanging your clothes but it is necessary for me to hang my shirts. I just don't have the dresser space unless I do. She says to roll clothes to fit more in and keep things neater. Here are my skirts and pajamas...

I realize it appears that I have a *ton* of jeans....but for me right now, I have 3 different sizes of jeans and with me losing weight, they all fit me but I am not quite ready to let any of them go yet (when my weight can tend to fluctuate often). Marie also recommends not holding onto any loungewear...I had to disagree with her there as well. I got rid of some but held onto a few things and a couple tshirts. There are simply times when loungewear is necessary (when painting your new living room, for instance, which has been keeping me busy lately!)...

I worked on Chris's clothes too (with his permission)...

He took a few things out of the donation bag unfortunately...but we still cut down on a lot of his unnecessary items. Many things I just threw away because of stains, holes and just plain icky-ness! He still has more clothes than truly necessary but he sees no reason to get rid of something perfectly usable (even if he has too many). He sees it as wasteful. I wasn't going to try and force him. People have to *want* to get rid of things or else "tidying up" doesn't truly work.

It is like a breath of fresh air to get rid of things that you don't need. How many of us hang onto stuff out of guilt or "just in case"? Homes should be filled with things you *love* and not with *stuff*!

A cat in a basket...that is something I love! ;) I was thrilled to have camera in hand when I turned and saw Stella tucked sweetly into this basket! She finds the cutest places to lay!

Do you have too much clutter? I recommend the KonMari method completely...she helps you see that you don't have to keep so much! Maybe you have already tried this method as well...I'd love to hear how it worked for you!

I hope you have a great weekend ahead! Chris and our older two children are going snow tubing tonight with friends from church (I would love to go but they won't be back until late...and my body needs *sleep*!)...and we have some busyness this weekend with our homeschool co-op meeting on Monday as well! It'll be a busy but enjoyed weekend here!

Thanks for dropping by!

Linked up to: Strangers and Pilgrims: The Art of Homemaking Mondays

This post has a few affiliate links in it. If you use those links to order I will receive a small commission. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

30 Random Facts about Me!

The sun is shining and we are all *really* enjoying it here in our little home! Sunshine just makes the day more cheerful! Don't you think? For fun, I thought I would do a "Random Facts about Me" post. I enjoy reading/watching videos of these from others ~ maybe you do too? It's so funny to hear some of them (and can be interesting too)! If you don't enjoy posts like this, maybe you will like the sun-filled pictures I posted throughout this post!? :) I hesitated a bit before actually deciding to write this post as I didn't want to sound like I am self-obsessed. But then I realized that it's truly just a *fun* here we go...

1. I am 34 years old (I still can't wrap my head around that fact...I mean, I remember my parents being this age!)

2. I have to admit that I have gray hairs. They stick out randomly from my head and are crazy. My children *love* to point them out to me. I have not dyed my hair to cover them and am not sure if I will or not eventually.

3. I struggle with perfectionism (I truly desire everything to be in its place in my home ~ you will often find me setting the couch pillows in their correct spots).

4. My left elbow was reconstructed with 2 metal plates and 17 screws after a car accident when I was 16 (I was a passenger in the vehicle and don't remember anything that happened because I went into a coma).

5. I walk like my dad. We both have feet that tend to lean out to the sides. This ends up ruining our shoes over a short time and for me, when I wear socks in my slippers (or just socks alone), they end up twisting around *all* the time. I am constantly fixing my socks everyday. I can't wait until warmer weather when I can be barefoot!

6. I despise toe socks....absolutely *can not* wear them!

7. I take a nap almost every single day. It's a little embarrassing as I feel like a young child...when the afternoon rolls around ~ my eyelids get terribly heavy and I feel the *need* to sleep!

8. When people ask me my favorite color I don't know how to answer them. It depends on what the color is used for. For example, if we are talking about clothes I prefer black because they are slimming. If we are talking about the color of walls for a room or carpets I tend to like neutral colors...etc. Honestly, I really love all colors for they all add beauty to God's creation. I will admit though that I really love a *mint* color for random things. I don't paint my nails much, but if I do, it would probably be in the mint/robin's egg blue color. If I am picking out folders or something of that nature, I lean towards a mint color too. :)

9. I am a planner...I must have organization or I feel bonkers. I need to keep things written down for my own peace of mind (thus the recent planner post I wrote). I seriously don't understand how people get things done without lists, planners/calendars etc.

10. I don't like very many vegetables. I *want* to like tastebuds just won't let me. For example, I love the smell of onions. I like to cut them and love the smell in my nostrils...but to eat them ~ no way! I totally get my lack of taste for veggies from my dad. He likes even fewer than I do. Some of my favorite veggies are cooked broccoli, green beans, sweet corn, potatoes (though I don't eat much of them), carrots, celery, and lettuce. I can tolerate cauliflower...but not peas...Eww! The only way I'll eat peas is if they are *in* something such as vegetable soup. ;)

11. My first car was a red 1967 VW beetle. :) I had a love/hate relationship with that car. I loved it...but it wasn't always 100% reliable ~ plus it had that bug "smell" to it that stuck to whoever was in it (and then lingered)!

12. I can't stand seeing chewed gum. When I was in school, I couldn't stand it when people put their chewed gum on their lunch tray to "save" it for after lunch. It just makes me gag!

13. I am an animal lover! That being said, I do not call our pets "family"...we love them but they are not equal to the status of our children or anything like that. :)

14. I love ice cream!

15. The furthest distance I have ever traveled was to Mexico on a mission trip when I was 14. I have been to a few states but I am not a big traveler. Packing/unpacking seems more stressful than just being home so we don't really go on vacations or anything (plus we save our money to use on emergencies and working on the house).

16. I would love to adopt children someday...not sure if the Lord has that in the cards for us or not.

17. I *love* the stationary/pen/pencil/marker/paperclip/etc. section of stores! I just love all things having to do with paper and supplies!

18. I love candles of all shapes/sizes/scents (ok...there are *some* scents I don't like).

19. I love theology books...doctrinally solid theology books are my favorite. I will read a fiction book from time to time though too. :)

20. I really enjoy watching documentaries. (And as a side note, my favorite part of ever watching Mr. Roger's Neighborhood was when he would put in a movie about how they make crayons or design instruments or things like that!)

21. I do not like family picnics or church dinners (or anything food-focused really). The casseroles and high-calorie food is just terribly tempting and it is such a struggle. I *do* love fellowship without food involved though!

22. I really enjoy watching Bob Ross paint!

23. I love organizing things! :)

24. When I was a teenager, my sister and I had to take turns going at 5:30am (in the dark...before school) to the barn to feed the horses. At that time, the barn was located across the street, past our neighbor's house and back through a big field. We had to carry a 5 gallon jug of water too. It was *awful*. Despite being a teen...I was always so scared out in the dark and hated having to trudge through the snow and ice in winter to the barn. *And* the truth is (my mama will admit this) the horses were *her* loves...not my sister and mine! I know it's good to have responsibilities...but I *really* disliked that one! Thankfully, I survived! Ha!

25. I taught myself to knit and crochet using videos online.

26. I don't like coffee or tea. I wish I did though.

27. My favorite pencils are clicky pencils (mechanical pencils)!

28. I call the remote control for the TV a *clicker* (what do you call it?).

29. I can sew with a sewing machine but have trouble threading the machine (despite being shown many times) and refilling the I pretty much don't sew!

30. I love watching movies and shows with accents (British, Scottish, Australian etc.! :)

So, there you have some strange random facts about me. Nothing overly exciting....but hopefully you got a chuckle out of some of them. Do you find we have any silly similarities or maybe polar opposite differences?

I hope you enjoyed your visit today. I appreciate you stopping by! I hope you have a great Monday!


Monday, February 15, 2016

With Love...

I thought I would share some of the things I have made lately with love (which seems appropriate with the just passing Valentine's holiday, right?)...

Making rolls for supper...

Tried a new recipe: *Taco Bake* seemed to be a hit with everyone (I didn't try it)...

I crocheted this ear warmer. It was a simple pattern...

Although we are homeschoolers, my children do participate in a co-op that is like a school day twice a month. :) They enjoy learning other things in the classes as well as seeing friends (our group consists of about 50 Christian homeschooling families). They had a Valentine's exchange today so here are the things we made up for the boys (Madelyn made cookies at Ma's house):

I found these cute star wars printables ("ewok my world"....SO cute!) and printed them onto sticker paper and cut them out. We made bookmarks out of them and added a small piece of candy with it. Jaxson then signed his name at the bottom. Technically, these stickers were to go onto tic-tac boxes but with 12 people in his class and each thing of tic-tacs costing $1, that would be an awfully expensive set of valentines! So, we decided bookmarks were cute and much more economical...

For Xavier, I found (on Pinterest) these minecraft printables. I print them all out on sticker paper and then put them onto card stock (pink for girls, blue for boys) and then the green minecraft guy/thing (I have *no* idea what they are actually called) got placed around a small candy bar! I think they turned out really cute...

For the kindergarten class I help with I made these (another pinterest find)...

And finally, just because it makes me smile, here is Stella, relaxing (as that seems to be what cats do best!)...

We didn't do anything *special* for Valentine's Day...we had church and just relaxed for the day (I enjoyed a nap, of course!) although in the evening, the children and I worked on purging/organizing a room upstairs (I love to get things tidy!). We didn't spend extra money on purchasing anything for one another since our money is focused on finishing the addition to our house (which is coming along nicely!).

We are expecting a bit of a winter storm in our area tonight and tomorrow. I am okay with being snowed-in (especially since I know spring isn't far away). We will work on schooling and housework (with more emphasis on organizing/purging un-needed items etc.) tomorrow. The children have their instrument lessons in the afternoon but I am not sure if they will be canceled or not due to the weather. :)

And, before I go...I want to excitedly share that since the beginning of January I have now lost 12 pounds! :) The weight loss competition I am in will end at the end of this month! It would be *so* much fun to win...but I have *no* idea how other competitors are faring at the moment. :)

If you are getting snow and ice like we are, stay warm and safe! For those of you enjoying sunshine and warmer temps, enjoy some for me! :) The guys are working on sanding the mud in the addition right now...I will soon get their dinner started (I have homemade burger buns made up and plan on making homemade sloppy joes for them). I need to work in my Bullet Journal and Planner as well. I hope you enjoy your night and week ahead! Thanks for stopping!

Katy :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Staying Organized: With Planners!

I love planners. It's true. I love to have things written out. I like order and everything in its place. I love lists and organization. There are *such* great pros to this...but also some cons (I don't adapt well to change and can feel quite overwhelmed with disorganization and such. Someone who isn't flexible can be difficult to deal with and not a good light for Christ. This is something I work on, a lot!).

I have used planners since high school and find them to be quite necessary for me. If I have my tasks/responsibilities and appointments written down then I don't lay awake fretting about them at night. Despite this digital age of cell phones and agenda apps...I prefer paper planning (to be honest, my phone isn't a smart's just a simple flip-phone I rarely use!).

 In the photo at the top of this post you will see my Erin Condren Life Planner and above it is my BuJo (Bullet Journal) which you can find here: Leuchtturm 1917 Notebook A5 Hardcover Dotted Medium Black. I have one more planner I use that I will show and explain at the bottom of this post!

In my BuJo, I keep lists to remember, monthly tracking of habits, fitness, weather and more...

(I am trying out different pens and my handwriting isn't always the best looking because of it. I would like to get a couple calligraphy pens as that would help me immensely!)...

The pages in my BuJo are numbered. There is also an index in the front so you can keep track of where everything is! (It also has two ribbon bookmarks!)...

This is just a fun *extra* in there. They are doodle prompts from HERE....

I use my Erin Condren Life Planner to keep track of daily/weekly activities such as making the bed, laundry, dishes, tidying the house, homeschooling, appointments and more...

See how much use this planner gets? It is a necessity in my life. I *truly* don't know how people function properly without some sort of system/planner!

I make the stickers in my etsy SHOP. Here is next week's spread (I love the vintage look to it!)...

And a spread for St. Patrick's Day in March...

I didn't always decorate my planner....but I must admit, it's fun! I love using stickers! The only *must* for me is that it still must be 100% functional and work for my needs! :)

I made Bible Study stickers for my planner and offer them in my shop as well! :)

And the last planner to share is my Filofax in the personal size. This serves as my wallet and goes in my purse...

I keep my checkbook, register, "bills due" section and calendar in here...

When a bill comes in, I write it in the date it is due and its amount (I cringe at how messy it looks as I am actually very particular about neat handwriting...but it just doesn't *always* happen. So, here's being real)...

In the calendar section, I keep track of things going on throughout the month. This way, I don't have to take my bigger planner with me to schedule appointments etc. Yes, it means I have to keep two planners sync'd but that is okay with me....I enjoy the *planning* process...

So there you have it! That's how I keep organized! If you have any questions or thoughts please feel free to share them in the comments below (or email me: thecountryblossom at hotmail dot com). I always love hearing from you! :) Do you have a favorite way of staying organized? I would love to hear about that as well! :o)

Thanks so much for visiting! I hope you are having a *great* week!

Linked up at: Strangers and Pilgrims: The Art of Homemaking Mondays