Day 20: Exercise

I need 26 or 27 hours in a day.  That way I could actually get it together.  I want to be able to do it all!  When I get busy, the first thing to go is exercise.  I know that is bad.  But I’m pretty sure most people are guilty of that.  The second thing to go is laundry, but that’s another story!

I try to exercise, but with the move last year and just tossing stuff into this house, I have let it slip.  I used to run almost every day.  3 miles a day.  Even in the cold and rain.  Now, I’m lucky if I run 2 days a week, as fast as I can, just to get it over with.  I used to enjoy it. 

Hopefully, with this series on Getting It Together, I will get my house in functioning order, and make more time to exercise.  I am starting to feel the pangs of guilt for not running more.  So here is my plan: 2 days a week of Pure Barre and 2 or more days a week of running.  I think that’s a good balance, don’t you?

I am going to begin putting it in my planner.  Time to exercise.  It’s all part of the “Getting It Together” plan.


Day 19: Eating Healthy

I am not a high energy person.  I require at least 8 hours of sleep (Prince Charming will tell you I need 9 or 10) in order to be a pleasant person.  I am not a morning person.  I LOOOOOVE coffee.  Don’t speak to me before I’ve had a cup of coffee! 

funny Coffee Mug, Don't even talk ceramic Coffee Cup MUG-012

(Available on Etsy)

If, for some reason I stay up too late (the Boston Red Sox have a late game), I spend the next day eating lots of sugar and drinking coffee just to be productive.  I know this is all wrong!  I do want to change it. 

We have some very unhealthy eating habits around here.  We like junk food in this house.  We don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables.  I would like to change it.  So I’m putting it out there for everyone in blogland to see. 

We will get it together by eating healthier, as a family!

Our biggest flaw is our snack items.  My kids go straight for the chips and the crackers.  Not fruit or yogurt.  This hit me a few nights ago when I was reading to my kiddos at bedtime.  The princess had gotten a new book I Believe in Genevieve by Jenny Craig.  Yes, that Jenny Craig.  It’s a story about Jenny and her slow sluggish horse.  Through hard work, exercise and eating well, both Jenny and her horse perform better.  Yes, I thought.  That is true. 

(available through Amazon)

Now, I know its going to take some effort.  I’ll have to cut up fruit and veggies in advance so they are easy to access after school.  I will have to not buy the Cape Cod potato chips that I love.  I will have to drink more water and less coffee. (Caffeine headache, anyone?)  But I will do it, because it is good for my family.  So here are some healthy afterschool snack ideas that I have found.

Rainbow Fruit Skewers

Vegetable Crudité with Hummus

Super Smoothie (frozen tropical fruit blend, spinach and water)

Lactose free cheese and crackers (Cabot cheese is lactose free!)

Plain Popcorn sprinkled with a little butter and sea salt

Yogurt covered raisins

I think that I need to go to Trader Joe’s.  I have heard that they have amazingly healthy snack items.  We don’t live near one, so you have to plan to go there.  I will put it on my calendar. 

Then I’ll need to reorganize the pantry!

Day 18: The Linen Closet

Yes, there are many places in my house that lie behind closed doors and I hope that outsiders never see them.  Most of them are closets.  In this 31 Day series I vow to get it together.  That means organizing, goal setting and follow through. 

That even means closets. 

I decided to tackle one of the messiest first – the linen closet.

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It was a jumble of blankets and towels and cat litter and toilet paper.  It is a very deep closet so I can honestly say that I was not totally sure what was back there.

I grabbed my baskets and tags.

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I yanked things off the shelves.  I folded.  I tossed.  I now have a very organized linen closet!

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Day 17: Magazines and Catalogs

I don’t know about you, but I get a ton of magazines and catalogs.  And I love them, or the idea of them.  I imagine curling up on the couch with my new Traditional Home or Southern Living magazine and a cup of coffee, lazily thumbing through it.  How often does that happen?  Not very often.  What usually happens is the magazines and catalogs pile up on my coffee table and then I take a huge stack in the car and race through them in carpool line, dog-earing pages that I want to revisit when I have “time”.

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Now I have a system so that there aren’t so many publications lying around and I can hold on to the stuff I’ve dog-eared.  (Although Pinterest helps.)  First, I tear out the pages and sometimes I write on them: “great chair” or “lighting idea” or “artwork”, just to help me remember why I tore it out. 

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I have these large binders that I keep all of my ideas in.  There are 2 of them and I’m pretty sure I’m going to need another.  They are divided into categories such as “Living Rooms” or “Children’s Rooms” or “DIY”.  Each page that I tear out gets put into a clear sheet protector and put into the binder under the category necessary.

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Now I have a quick reference whenever I need some decorating inspiration (other than Pinterest), or I want to re-read how to paint a ceramic lamp from Goodwill.  And I can store these binders neatly in a cabinet.  My magazines and catalogs I just tear and toss.  No more clutter all over my coffee table.  Well, for now.


Day 16: The Armoire

I have very large bedroom furniture.  It is so large, in fact, that at the house we rented we could only fit our bed and dresser.  The beautiful armoire we have had to be stored in the garage.  When we moved into “Chateau Charmant”, it came back to the bedroom.  Having not used it for so long, I kind of forgot about it.  It was pretty empty. 

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And then I looked into my closet and saw this.

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Light Bulb!  (Insert best Gru from “Despicable Me” accent here.)

I got to work transferring all of my tees and sweatshirts and shorts to the armoire.  I folded and arranged.  It was such happy work!

Now it looks like this.

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And there is still more space in there!!!  And there is more space in my closet!!!  I really should have done this sooner!  Plus I sent a nice big bag to Goodwill. 

(Sorry for the awful photos.  It was cloudy and I just couldn’t get any good light.)

Day 15: The Catch-up Day

Funny Workplace Ecard: I'm taking a mental health day to evaluate why I'm still working here.

Everyone needs these kinds of days.  A day to regroup and get it together.  The laundry is overflowing.  The carpet needs to be vacuumed.  The beds need to be changed.  The dog needs a long run.  No new projects today.  Just get things done around the house so they don’t begin to consume you.

I think a catch-up day is necessary at least once a month.  Think about it.  Plans change.  Something comes up.  We get busy and the days get away from us.  Suddenly we look around and we feel chaotic again.  The best way to eliminate that feeling is to tackle the issue.  Take a day of doing nothing else but catching up on stuff that you’ve let go.

Chaos makes me anxious.  Anxiety makes me cranky and irrational.  For the well being of my whole family I need to minimize chaos.  Today I will be putting away mounds of folded laundry.  I will be wiping down the kitchen counters.  I will be generally putting items away in their rightful places.  I will be responding to emails.  And making appointments that I’ve neglected to make.  I will be catching up on those items that I have let go.  Then I will feel “together”…. Until I need the next catch-up day!

Day 14: Get Together!


The last thing I want to do when I feel like I can’t get it together is to entertain a house full of guests.  Or even host a dinner party for us and one other couple.  But that is precisely why you should do it!  Good friends, good food and good wine always lift the spirits!  Not to mention the last minute blitz to clean the place up and make it presentable!

Prince Charming and I have a divide and conquer approach to getting our house ready to entertain.  One of us tackles the playroom and the kids.  The other dusts and vacuums.  We put away laundry and clear off the counter.  We are actually really good about putting things in their proper place and not just shoving them in closets.  And within an hour or so, our house looks quite presentable.  It makes us wonder why we don’t do this cleaning blitz more often. 

Once the house is clean I begin the cooking.  I think the best way to entertain is having a larger crowd, a pot of something where guests can serve themselves and a few appetizers.  Most recently I made Brunswick Stew for a football viewing party.  We had some chips and veggies and dip as appetizers.  Some guests brought some apps and desserts.  The stew was self serve and kept warm on the stove.  It was so easy.  Everyone could eat at their leisure and I could relax.

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I always have a beverage center set up.  I have a big galvanized tub that I bought at Lowe’s when it was on sale for $12.99.  I fill it with ice and adult beverages.  I set up glasses next to it.  I also have a smaller one for juice boxes for the kiddos. 

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Sometimes it is nice to have a sit down dinner.  You know, pull out the good dishes, set the table, light some candles and really cook!  The nice wine can be served in the expensive wine glasses. 

I enjoy creating a menu.  Usually I have an appetizer, a salad and a main dish.  I don’t bake so dessert is either purchased or brought by another guest.  A really easy “go to” dinner menu is a charcuterie plate for an appetizer, kale and Brussels sprout salad and braised short ribs served with crusty bread.  Because the ribs are braised, they cook for a long time and it will seem like you slaved away in the kitchen when, in reality, they cooked while you did other things. 


I keep the table setting simple.  I try to have festive colors for whatever the time of year is.  Rule of thumb: dark napkins are better than light.  They stain less!

And once the party is over and everyone is satisfied, you’ll feel like you have got it together.  Even if the dinner is gross and you have to order pizza, you and your friends will have a good laugh.  And laughter is the best way to feel like you have it together!

Day 13: More Keys to Getting It Together

My first 3 keys to getting it together can be found here.  Over the course of this week I have discovered a couple more.

4.  Look The Part – get up, get dressed, look your best!  It helps you to feel motivated and confident and ready to tackle any challenge.

5.  Have A Plan (but know that plans get broken) – It is always easier to tackle a challenge when you have a plan.  But sometimes the best laid plans need to be changed.  We learn from our mistakes and set-backs (hopefully).  And they help us make better plans in the future.

6.  Embrace the Chaos – the house doesn’t stay messy forever.  Your children are only young once.  You only have one life, and if it is crazy then it is full.  Enjoy it all.

Day 12: The Playroom

When we moved in, Prince Charming and I agreed that we needed to gain some storage in the playroom.  It was just a long room with attic storage at the end.  We needed shelving.  And cabinetry.  Places to hide toys.  You know, junk storage. 

This is the room we started with:


This is what was behind door number 1:


So I had the great idea to recess the book cases into the eaves in the attic.  We weren’t going to be using them for storage.  And this also meant that we wouldn’t lose any usable square footage in the playroom!

So I sent my fabulous carpenter this sketch:


And he could actually read it!  So he came over and did this:



(Yerif Marin with YGM Xtrim Carpentry)

So I got busy choosing colors:

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And then he built these:

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Pretty awesome, huh?!  Now my children have a room to be kids.  They can relax and read or create or just play.  No TV yet.  They don’t need it.


And our toys and books have a nice neat place to reside.  (More to come on organizing toys!)

Wall color is Sherwin Williams North Star

Day 11: The Exterior


Just because the inside of your house looks like chaos, doesn’t mean the outside has to also!  I decided to tackle the exterior of the house.  Our patio was kind of pathetic.  Actually, it was nasty!  The finish was worn down and had seen better days.

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So Prince Charming got out his new toy, a power washer, and got to work.

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And while he did that I decided to spruce up the patio set.

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Once the patio was washed down and the old finish blasted away, we let it sit over night before putting on a new concrete stain and sealant.

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This was kind of crazy to spray on.  I ended up having to spread it around with a roller.  It looked all spotty before I did.


Not our patio looks fresh and clean.  Thank goodness!  It feels much better when you look outside and don’t see moldy mildew ick!

Then I set out to tackle the front porch.  Nothing super fancy, but enough to look like we live here!




And the Halloween decorations have started to come out. 


It feels better driving up to the house.  It is much more welcoming, even with the spooky spiders!