Excitement in the mundane

I spent a good 30 minutes spraying everything made of fabric in my entire apartment. I got the chairs, the couch, blankets, everything hanging in my closet, my bed…

It really wasn’t necessary. Nothing smelled bad, I swear. This is not like the time I sprayed my hair damp with Febreeze to get the pot smell out.  (Kidding. I never did that! Or maybe I did. I’ll never tell. Hi, Mom!)

But I spent a tiny portion of the afternoon making my own fabric smell remover spray (Febreeze, if you will) and I had to try it out. My roommates will be thrilled, I’m sure, to find that everything now smells faintly of lavender.

I got the recipe from the Fake-It Frugal site, through Pinterest. Fake-it Frugal cites Homemade Mamas as its source.

I’m quite pleased with the results and will be happily fabric spraying my house for years since this stuff is super cheap to make and takes all of 5 minutes to refill.

Go buy some baking soda and get started!

My hands look HUGE here! Also, that's not how you hold a spray bottle to actually spray things. And I'm not wearing makeup and don't look nearly as excited as I clearly am about the magic of fake Febreeze.  ** I should really label this bottle so I don't get it mixed up with the identical bottle containing vinegar and water. **

My hands look HUGE here! Also, that’s not how you hold a spray bottle to actually spray things. And I’m not wearing makeup and don’t look nearly as excited as I clearly am about fake Febreeze.
**Remind me to label this bottle so it doesn’t get confused with an identical bottle containing vinegar & water**

Blog: Living in the Cloud

Living in the Cloud – My New Years Resolution from 2011 – Leah Culvers Blog.

In 2011 I attempted to get rid of as many physical things as I could. I took some risks and purposefully sought out new services I could use to further my cloud lifestyle. Here’s a rundown of all the cloud services I used to replace all the “stuff” in my life.

This year, I’m also moving to the cloud. Not everything. I still have  hard copies of music albums, and it’s going to be a long, long while before I embrace e-readers over books, but I am moving my photos over.

It’s taking FOREVER. I have photos back to 2002, organized by month and year. I take gigantic photos and I keep them all on my computer. Some also are on CDs but I’m not organized enough to know what is and what isn’t.

If something happened to my computer and I lost all of my photos, I would be devastated. The rest of the stuff on here I can easily replace or reinstall.

So one of my resolutions this year was to move to the cloud. I am still keeping copies on my computer. But I’m also uploading the full-size version so that I have a backup if necessary.

I looked into a few different services, and considered going all-CD too, but that would be much more time consuming. In the end, I settled on buying extra storage in my Picasa account through Google.

What do you do to ensure you don’t lose your photos and videos?

Y’all, it’s officially Fall. Sweater time.

I held off as long as possible.

Eventually, I gave in to the fact that it’s gettin’ colder outside, and my summer wardrobe was not keeping up. It’s just not cool to wear the same few outfits every week. People will start to think I have no clothes (Hah!).

So I hiked up my quarter-length sleeves and pulled the winter clothes out.

Yes, I realize I live in California, and probably am one of very few people who do this. But in my defense, I live in an apartment and even with my big ‘ol wall-length closet I don’t have space for all of my stuff to be out all year. Plus, this gives me a great opportunity to donate anything I didn’t wear that season.

There are five shopping bags of clothes and other random things I’ll be dropping off at Salvation Army this week. I also *finally* donated all my old cell phones. I knew I couldn’t throw them out because it’s not good for the landfills, and cell phone parts must be easily reusable even if you just melt them down. So I’d been saving all the cords and everything in a box, along with four cell phones. Four. Two of them from my college days and spanning four apartments.

I tell ya, the guys at the Sprint store were impressed. Either that or they think I’m insane.

So, to show off my organizational skills, I thought I’d share with you the glory of the long-sleeved shirts and sweaters that greet me when I leave the closet doors open.

(Imagine heavenly music as you scroll down.)

Looking cozy, yes?

Lovely, right? It’s like getting new clothes every six months, because by the time the weather changes, I’ve forgotten all the other things I have!

Though after a brief stint (like, 2 years) where I hung my clothing in order of both type of clothes in order of length (pants, long sleeves, short sleeves, etc.), and by color, I’ve  given up and now group everything by the type of clothes only, and not by color. This saves me time because all my weekend shirts are in one place and all my workday shirts are neighbors so it’s a little quicker getting dressed in the morning.

While we’re on the topic of organizing things that don’t really need to be organized, let’s share my bookcase:

LOVE this quote, from a birthday card from a dear friend.

A few years ago I was inspired by a friend’s bookshelves, which were organized by color. It looked incredibly more sophisticated and purposeful than the way I had done it for years — organizing by genre.

Though I no longer have all my nonfiction in one place, I actually find it easier to find books because I only have to remember what color they are. I have a six-shelf bookcase in my bedroom and a three-shelf shortie in my closet. I don’t want to spend time remembering if the romance novels (don’t judge) are near the history section or down by the cookbooks. I just think of what the cover looks like and BAM, there it is.

Plus, I think it looks better, if a tad bit OCD.

It’s been like this for a while now, and I’m about ready for a change.

How do YOU think I should do my bookshelf next time?

And don’t even joke about just throwing it all up there, because that ain’t happening. 🙂

See that gourd? Frickin' fall, that's right!

Blog: 16 Tips to Simplify Your Life (and Increase Your Productivity)

Now that we’re home from Japan, I have a few days to readjust to life before going back to work.

I’ll admit, the prospect is a bit stressful, particularly because when I think of work, it’s a huge chunk of my day leaving only my evenings to myself. And even those are filled with other activities…

So I’ve been checking out ideas for cooking meals ahead of time, ways to make more time in the day and filling in more exercise time — that last one, admittedly, I’ve been slacking on.

All the walking in Japan took the place of my regular hour workouts during the week. I think I was able to maintain and not gain weight, despite eating a pastries and dessert on vacation.

Now that it’s back to real life (groan) I’ll have to get back in the swing of my normally hectic schedule.

I found some great productivity tips here: 16 Tips to Simplify Your Life (and Increase Your Productivity) « tom.basson.

For me, the easier tips to follow are those I’m already doing.

taking one full day a week as a complete recovery day.

Those are my Sundays – church, leisurely lunch, chillin’ and chores and relaxing at home Sunday night cooking a yummy dinner.

Learn to say no.

Though not everyone will believe me, I do say “no.” To many, many things. And even with letting go of most of the guilt of saying “no,” my schedule is still packed. I’m sure there’s a lesson in there, somewhere.

Plan your week ahead.

This is one I struggle with. The evening /work day commitments make it tough to stick to home-cooked meals, for instance. One glitch, like losing my ice pack, screws everything up for the week. I’m hoping to plan out at least the last 2 days of this week, and spend time on Sunday organizing myself for the week ahead. There are times that looking at my organizer gives me anxiety, but am hoping to keep that under wraps since the holiday season is coming up.

The blog post has more tips, but those are the ones I am focusing on, for now. If you have any tips for protecting your time and not making yourself crazy, please post!