So it’s January 7th yet and I haven’t really thought about resolutions yet. I thought I would use this post to carve out a few things that we have been talking about doing to our home this year. It’s so easy to forget all the things you casually toss off at dinner “We really should get a generator this year” or “What about in-wall insulation?” that having a starting list would really help.
Here are a few things that I would like to accomplish in our little dwelling in 2013.
1. Find a new way to display our kid’s artwork. As Isadora gets older, her masterpieces are becoming, well, more masterful! Right now we display the best of the best in her room, but there’s a bit too much in the mix there — what with photos of friends, local artwork and a rotating selection of posters on her closet door. (Yes, it’s starting already! Luckily we’re in the Magic Tree House phase and not a Justin Bieber one yet.) I like this wall that I spotted on Houzz.com. It has a mix of frames, canvases and cut-outs.
2. Make our attic a fun place to hang out. We finished our attic off when we moved in two years ago and honestly we haven’t done much to it since then. It holds our old couch, a cast-off rug and bare white walls. Isadora loves playing up there even though it’s colorless, and it’d be great to start moving some of her toys upstairs.
3. Organize our kitchen. Our place usually looks pretty tidy — until you open a cabinet. Pots and pans are stacked haphazardly and the pantry is worse. We keep buying foods we don’t need because they’re buried. We’re wasting time and money and it’s got to stop!
4. Make our backyard livable for the dog and us. Last year we spent a lot of energy (and money) planting pretty things around the border of our yard. Then we got a dog. Now we have a bunch of mud holes where there used to be plants and the grass is a spotty, clover field mess. How to fix? I don’t know — rocks? But we gotta figure something out.
5. Be ready for the next Sandy. This one is probably at the top of the list. We had a real wake-up call in October when the storm hit our area. We were insanely lucky to not have any property damage to our house, but we realized how little supplies we had to live without power for a few days. We are stocking up on water, firewood, non-perishables and more. We have hired an electrician to help us get set up for a generator, and must get that done before July. That’s our goal.
I could go on, but I don’t want to over-commit and then feel guilty that I wasn’t able to keep my resolutions.
What about you? Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions for your home? Please share!
The Jam Labelizeris a type A personality’s dream. It’s a free website that creates professional-looking packaging for your personal Martha-Stewart-caliber kitchen output. Enter in your jam name, type, bath date, and two taglines. Choose a label style and color and you’ll be able to print your design, save as a .jpeg, or share it on Facebook (go ahead, brag about that raspberry chutney).
A few weeks ago, an article making the Facebook rounds caught my eye. In it, author Laura Vanderkam asks “Are you as busy as you think?” Now. To hear me answer that the way I’d like to, you’d think I was giving the President a run for his money in the overburdened schedules department. I always feel busy, often without respite. And the truth is, I am busy. At least in recent years, I haven’t come face-to-face with a block of time I couldn’t fill, but it’s how we choose to use that time, and how we talk about it that matters. For starters, according to Vanderkam it’s our perception of what we’re busy with that could use some work. Most American sleep more and work less than they believe they do. And, we also fill those remaining hours with tasks that may not be in line with our true priorities. To get a better handle on what really fills our days, she suggest three simple things: keeping a time log to help really understand exactly where the time goes, to be honest about how we want to fill that time and to change the way we speak, reminding ourselves that our priorities should dictate our schedules, and not the other way around. For me, it all comes back to a quote by David Allen, (author of this insightful book on the subject): “You can do anything, but not everything.” We have to choose. It seems simple, but in reality proves difficult to put into practice. Do you agree? Do you feel like your days are packed with no escape? Let’s chat!
I call it Fridge Freeze. It’s that moment before meal time when you open the refrigerator and are stunned into a stupor, standing there in the cold glow of a bare light bulb starring at a yogurt, some chicken, half a bag of shredded cheese, and some suspicious looking leftovers with no earthly idea of what to cook for dinner. During extreme cases of Fridge Freeze, I’m driven to take out menus thanks to my indecision, impatience, and hunger. However, I recently found a cure for Fridge Freeze that does not include the Thai place down the street. At My Fridge Food, I can check off what ingredients I have at hand and be instantly supplied with yummy, easy, user supplied recipes. There is a simple ingredient list and, for you super stars who stock your pantry like Martha Stewart, a detailed kitchen list. Sort the recipe results by number of ingredients, cooking time, calories, carbs, fat, protein, or category and banish Fridge Freeze forever.
Wondering through Tarjay the other day, I was distracted by some very cute bread boxes prominently on display. Do I need one of these, I thought? Our bread storage habits are kinda haphazard. We just toss them in a wire bin tucked under a counter (along with our potatoes, dog treats, and such). My grandma always used one but never told me: Does bread really last longer if stored in a bread basket? Should it be stored in the fridge? Why do some bread bins cost so much?
Some cute bread boxes that have me debating giving up valuable counter space:
Target’s Pin Jan White Bread Box, $18.
Colorful bread bins from Wesco, about $100
Retro Metal Bread Box on Ebay, starting at $19.
— Angela M.
Previous posts to read:
I Dig The Bread Bin, But Will It Save My Loaf?