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Showing posts from May, 2011

If You Give A Girl Some Spray Paint. . .

Remember the chicken planter my daughter and son-in-law gave me when I came home from the hospital?  I love it.  I really do.  When they gave it to me, my daughter said, "Mom, you'll probably want to paint it".  Well, she was right.  The more I looked at her (the chicken) the more I was picturing her as a solid color.  Yup, that works.  She's coordinating with the lantern and table (it has black legs). It's a good thing I always have spray paint on hand.

Monday Motivation: Creating a Relaxing Bedroom Retreat

Now that you're bedroom is decluttered and organized , it's time to look around and make it a relaxing retreat that you can enjoy.  Here are some ideas to help you create the room you've always wanted (or never knew you wanted): 1.  Choose a calming color palette.  Neutral tones are more relaxing than bright colors.  Choose colors that you are naturally drawn to.  Flip through magazines and catalogs and collect pictures of rooms that you like.  2.  Choose gender neutral colors and patterns to appeal  to everyone who uses the room. 3.  Choose simple patterns for your bedding and window treatments.  Simple patterns are calming.  Busy patterns are energizing. 4.  Provide ample lighting.  Overhead lighting can be functional but it certainly isn't pretty - or calming.  Place lighting around the room where it is needed for tasks such as near beds, dressers, desks (if necessary).  5.  Make sure every item in the room has it's own home to cut down on visua

I Was Featured On Organizing Junkie

Organizing Junkie I was featured on Organizing Junkie's blog last week.  Thanks for featuring me, Laura.  If you're looking for some great ideas for organizing or need to get motivated to tackle those tough spots, check out Organizing Junkie . 

The King Is In The Garden!

Last week while weeding the sugar snap peas, I saw a little visitor.  It was a baby Eastern King snake.  I'm not afraid of snakes, just frogs, but I did crawl away from it.  Well, Saturday, Hubs had to rescue baby's mommy (or daddy) from the bird netting we're using to cover our cherry trees with.  She (he) was caught in the netting and had to be cut out (netting was cut - not the snake).  We don't mind king snakes around our property because they are helpful.  They eat the rodents that eat my garden.  They also eat other snakes.  Sigh. . . Hubs is only allowed to wear these clothes around Brown Wren Acres (our property).  He's really good about changing his clothes before he leaves the property.  Of course, now I've posted this for everyone to see he might think he's allowed to wear them to Home Depot.  He's not. 

Wrensday: Gardener's Candy

Sugar Snap Peas. Fresh from the garden. That's all I have to say. We've serve them with our favorite homemade Ranch dressing: Ranch Dressing: 1 tsp. kosher salt 1 tsp. garlic powder 4 tsp. dried minced onion 1 tsp. ground pepper 1 tsp. sugar 1 1/2 tsp. paprika 1 1/2 tsp. parsley 1 cup mayonnaise ( homemade is our favorite) 1 cup buttermilk (make your own with 1 Tbl. lemon juice + 1 cup milk) Blend together and refrigerate for 1 hour before using. I'm linking to:

Monday Motivation: How To Have An Awesome Yard Sale

source If you've been following Monday Motivation this year, you've already cleaned out several areas of your home and may have a pile of donations or yard sale items waiting for you.  As yard sale season is starting up, I thought it might be a good idea to look at ideas and tips to make your next yard sale a spectacular one.  What to do a month before the yard sale:      1.   Pick a date.  Make sure there are no large community events happening to sidetrack potential customers.  Also try to pick a date near payday.  Here in a large military area, it's the 1st and the 15th.       2.   Look through every nook and cranny in your home for things to sell.  Don't forget the attic, basement, garage, shed, cars, and yard.        3.   Take the time to make sure all items are clean.  A clean item is more likely to sell and to sell for more money when it looks nice.  If you have the original box and or paperwork for the item, be sure to sell them together.  As you chec

Unusual Desk Accessories

 I was looking for something to dress up the desk my husband made me for Christmas.  I didn't like any of the usual containers found in the office supply stores.  I kept noticing cute white milk-glass containers in the thrift stores and decided to pick up a collection and put them to work.  The tallest one holds writing utensils (pens, pencils, markers, chalk markers and a random bone folder.).  The medium one holds scissors and hole punches.  The short one holds the fabric tags I sew onto my Etsy creations.   I little bit of pretty makes makes it so much nicer to get down to work. I'm linking to:

How To Recycle A Stained Shirt Into A Jacket

We all know what happens when I get bored and stuck in the house. . . yup, I cut up my clothes and make things out of them .  As I was doing laundry, I discovered a favorite shirt had an oil stain right on the front that would not come out even with special treatment and several washings.  I was about to toss it out but decided to try something different. The shirt is really chocolate brown, but shows up as this purplish blue on the computer.  First, I cut the shirt down the middle, trimmed the sleeves, and trimmed the bottom off.  Then, I hemmed the two sides of the new front openings on the sewing machine.  Next, I double hemmed the bottom so it wouldn't curl up.  I'm not terribly happy with how it turned out, but it ruffled it a bit which is kind of cute. Next up, the ruffle.  I cut off the hem of the bottom of the shirt and then cut the remaining fabric into two pieces, cutting lengthwise.  Then I ran each strip through the sewing machine set on the basting s

Wrensday: After The Rain

I love to walk around the garden after a Spring rain and take photos of the flowers.  There's just something special about how fresh the colors appear.  And the scent. . . oh the scent! Rose Peony Old Shrub Rose Of course, there were other precious things blooming in the garden that had nothing to do with flowers. Grandson J looking for worms.  He loves this little pitchfork and is happy to stir the compost pile with it.  For several hours he filled his little wheelbarrow with compost and added it to the veggie garden.  Every once in awhile he would eat a sugar snap pea for a snack.  You have to keep your energy up, you know! I'm linking to:

More Uses For Coconut Oil

One of the ways I'm eating healthier is choosing healthy fats.  Remember, good fats are not the enemy of our bodies - bad fats are.  We actually need to have healthy fats to orchestrate the absorption of vitamins and minerals.  Good fats are the vehicles that the vitamins and minerals ride around in (yes, I'm a visual person).  Besides Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) and Organic Butter, I also use Organic Coconut Oil.  The more I use it the more I discover it's benefits.  In recent weeks, I've been depending on my Virgin organic coconut oil a lot.  Due to the immuno-suppressants I must  take after my kidney transplant, my body is experiencing some unpleasant side effects.  The coconut oil has been a life saver, helping to counteract  those side-effects and helping my body recover.  My skin and hair were getting dry and brittle.  I've been rubbing the coconut oil on my skin twice a day and on my hair once a day.  A little goes a long way and I make sure to rub

Monday Motivation: How Do I Decide What To Keep And What To Throw Away

If you've been hanging around this ol' blog for awhile, you know that I love to clean out closets.  And as a Professional Organizer I love to help other people clean out their closets.  Whenever I help clients work in their homes, I have to put myself in their shoes and remember that they most likely Do Not Like To Clean Out Closets .  That's why they need me.  And actually, I don't clean out their closet for them.  I coach them through it.  It is impossible to clean out a closet for someone and have the closet stay organized and customized for that particular individual.  When I'm coaching clients through the purging part of cleaning out a closet, we invariably come across several items that are really tough to make a decision about.  That where gentle prodding, perspective checking, and sometimes, tough love comes in. If you're working through your closets as part of the Monday Motivation schedule , then I hope you'll find this list of questions hel

Two Week Menu: May 15th - May 28th

I haven't had the opportunity to share a two week menu in awhile because I haven't been cooking.  After I returned home from my transplant, our family ate meals I had prepared ahead and frozen for the first week and then my church family (I love River Oak Church)  filled in ever since then.   Now, that I'm a lot stronger and able to move around I'm eager to get back into the kitchen and take care of my family.  Sunday, May 15th:  Leftover Beef Stew, garlic bread, oranges Monday, May 16th:  Tortellini Salad , Melon Tuesday, May 17th:  Venison Gumbo (my son wants to cook - hmmm) Wednesday, May18th:  Orange Balsamic Chicken, brown rice, swiss chard Thursday, May 19th:  Veggie Quiche , sausage, oranges Friday, May 20th:  Chicken Fajitas with all the toppings Saturday, May 21st:  Corn chowder made with leftover ham, homemade rolls, salad Sunday, May 22nd:  Deviled Egg and Spinach Salad , popovers Monday, May 23rd:  Chicken Cacciatore with whole wheat pasta, salad

Outdoor Dining Made Simple

This past weekend found our family celebrating two special occasions.  Our daughter Ashley's 26th birthday and Mother's Day.  Due to scheduling conflicts, we decided to celebrate on Saturday night.  The weather was beautiful and I knew that meant we needed to eat outside.  That doesn't happen very often in Virginia because the mosquito is our state bird and it arrives early in the season and stays until Thanksgiving.  Our back porch was just begging for an opportunity to shine so we went for it.  First, I asked Hubs to bring out one of the umbrellas we used at Ashley's wedding .  He weighted the base down with bags of water softener salt so it wouldn't blow over in a breeze. Then I had him move a few small tables from the screened porches over to the benches to accommodate the 9 people we would be seating.  Cushions for the benches and dining room chairs completed the seating. I added blue chambray top sheets as casual table cloths.  Each table was simply dec

Monday Motivation: Closets Galore

Last year, when we talked about organizing closets, I got a lot of positive feedback about critiquing some closet pics I found online.  It's tempting to want to copy professional ideas, but as we've all discovered, some of those ideas just aren't practical.  While exploring the web, I came across some pics that I thought would be fun to give my two cents of an opinion about.  Feel free to add your ideas as well.  First up is a fun children's closet.  This is a hanging system available in a specialty children's department.  It could be easily duplicated with hanging bars and shelves found in the closet department of of Home Depot or even Walmart.  I like the way the lower rod and shelves make the clothes accessible to the little ones.  Maybe they'll want to put away their own clothes? My opinion about this closet is biased because I have installed a few of these Closet Maid systems in client's closets.  They are easy to plan out on the company

Wrensday: Out In The Garden

Our new honey bees seem very happy in their new home and are already filling the hive. My hard-working man's "honey do" list is never done.  We can't wait for the sugar snap peas to be harvested.  Sometimes we just stand out in the garden and eat them directly off of the vine.  Yummy! Our newest "girls" are out of the heat controlled nursery and enjoying their new home in the portable chicken coop.  They're too little to free range just yet.  I found a little lizard sunning himself on the Virginia-rail fence by the iris border. The potato plants are happy to be weeded.  Mr. Chive-head is sporting a fancy hair do.  The chive blossoms add just the right touch. We don't seem to have too many apples on the apple tree this year.  Oh, well. I  hope you enjoyed this walk around my garden.