Day 28: The Car

My car is gross.  I’m pretty sure there are enough crumbs on the floor to feed my kids for a week.  And hair bands, various wrappers and school stuff.  Let me correct myself – WERE.  I cleaned and organized the car.  Yippee!

On any given day I could have up to 4 kids in my car.  And the ones that don’t belong to me probably go home and tell their mothers how disgusting my car is.  Sorry, was.  I was embarrassed but never took the time to do anything about it. 

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I vacuumed and scrubbed.  I think I filled the garbage can!  But now it is clean.  My children have been warned.. they must keep it that way!!

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I even went as far as organizing the center console!  I bought a canvas container from Target that has collapsible compartments in it.  Brilliant!  Now I can keep the hand sanitizer separate from my car phone charger.  And…  I bought some car games and contained them in another canvas container from Target.  I just felt like every time my kids were in the car they were glued to their iPads.  Now they have a mini Bop-It game, car bingo (yeah!  remember that one?), and some question and answer activities. 

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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 4: The Fridge

Have you ever found a science experiment growing in the back of your refrigerator?  I have.  I’m not proud of it.  But I vow to not let it happen again.  Unless it IS a science experiment.  Then I plan on getting an A!

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I took everything out.  I wiped down every shelf and surface. 

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I bought this lazy susan at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  It is a great tool to have in the refrigerator.  Just give it a spin and see what’s there!  Small jars of things don’t get hidden behind large jars of things.

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I love my refrigerator!  It is the new Samsung with the multi use drawer in the middle.  Seriously, it’s genius!  And my freezer has two compartments, too.  The top one rolls like a drawer.  Awesome!

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Furball!

No, I did not get a furry friend for Christmas, thank goodness!  I already have 3!  But right now I am dealing with more fur because my parents’ dog is visiting as well.  And he sleeps on the bed with them.  And my cats do too!  They also allow him on the furniture, which my dog IS NOT allowed to do.  Sooo, my house is truly covered in fur.  I have been looking for some solutions for this issue and have found a few.  If you have the same problem, give these a try.

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1.  The Furminator!  This has to be the best pet brush ever.  It really gets every bit of fur, but you have to brush often.  When I take my yellow lab out it the yard for his visit with the furminator, it looks like he shed an additional dog!

2.  Launder often!  My bedding gets gross with cat hair.  I have a short haired and a medium haired cat.  My medium haired cat sheds like crazy and she hates to be brushed.  I have a blanket on the bed that she lays on and it is easy to wash.  Before I wash it, I usually tape it off with a lint roller to get a good bit of the fur up.

3.  Tape Roller!  As I mentioned above, I tape off my cats blanket before washing, but I use it on clothing, furniture, just about anything.  I go through a lot of the tape rollers so I buy them in bulk!

4.  Rubber gloves!  This one is amazing!  Its so easy I can’t believe it!  Wear a pair of rubber gloves and rub them over the furniture in one direction.  You can watch your fur ball grow!

5.  Invest in a good vacuum!  This one saves a whole lot of trouble.  We blazed through a cheap vacuum that said it was good for pets in no time.  Spend the money and buy a good one.  Preferably one with a warranty in case it breaks down. 

And if you see me out and about just laugh at the amount of pet fur I have on me.  I know it’s there, but some days it’s just a battle I don’t have the energy to fight!

Refrigerator/Freezer Concoction

OK, so I never, NEVER, create my own recipes.  I’m just not that good.  But we are leaving town tomorrow for Thanksgiving and I didn’t want to do any grocery shopping.  I looked in the refrigerator this morning and found some fresh (sort of) sage, one onion, a half empty bottle of white wine (how did that happen?) and garlic.  In the freezer I had chicken thighs.  Soooo I had an idea – white wine braised chicken thighs with sage!  Now, when I say braised, I mean a 30 – 45 minute braise, not the 6 hour kind of braise.  I know, low and slow is better, but I didn’t have that kind of time.  So here it goes:

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4 chicken thighs – bone in, skin on

12 – 15 fresh sage leaves

1 small onion

1 clove garlic

1/4 C white wine

1/4 C chicken broth

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter

salt and pepper

 

Rinse and pat dry the chicken thighs.  Salt and pepper both sides.  Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add chicken thighs and brown on both sides.  Once both are browned, leave skins side up.  Add onion, garlic and sage.  Sauté for 1 –2 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium.  Add wine and broth.  Stir and cover for 30 min.

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It was actually pretty good.  My son and husband both asked for seconds.  I served it with roasted carrots and sweet potato in a maple syrup glaze.  By glaze, I mean drizzled over the top.  I do what I can.   

Happy Thanksgiving!  I wish everyone safe travels and enjoying their family!  I am thankful that you are reading my blog.

House for Sale!

About 2 years ago I gave up my career in real estate to be a full time mother and wife.  While I do miss the thrill of the sale, I do not regret my decision to watch my children grow and to care for my family the way I’ve always dreamed of.  That being said, I cannot avoid the allure of buying and selling houses.  My dream has always been to buy a house with “good bones” and make it beautiful.  Well, I am working hard to make my dream come true.  My husband and I have found a beautiful house in a wonderful neighborhood that is perfectly plain and in need of updating.  We have dubbed it “Vanilla House”.  The kids even call it that!  But first, we must sell our current home.  Anybody interested?

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We built this house and made changes along the way.  Our first improvement was the back yard with a stone paver patio and fire pit.  We added the retaining wall in front for curb appeal.

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I adore our kitchen and breakfast area (and the wine bar!).  Our kitchen is huge and has a ton of cabinet space.  But my internal wannabe interior designer is calling me to “Vanilla House”.

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Our living room and screened porch are both located off of the kitchen.  These 3 rooms are probably the most lived in and most loved.

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Here is our craft/laundry room.  We tiled the floor in an extra bedroom and made it into this.  Who really needs 2 guest bedrooms?!  I love the tile we used.  It looks like white-washed wood.  And of course, the back yard.  Our fire pit has seen a lot of roasted marshmallows and will see some more before we go.  Hooray for fall!

I hope you like my home.  If you live in North Carolina, please send me a buyer!  And if you come look at my home, please don’t open any cabinets or closets.  The amount of clutter I have tried to hide is atrocious!  I cannot be responsible for falling objects! Smile