Friday, January 27, 2012

Time to Enjoy the Little Things . . .

Ok, so this weekend I am SO jealous of my husband. He gets the whole house to himself!! He can sleep in, take the dog for a walk, sit outside and read, whatever he wants. JEALOUS!!

But the truth is, he should be jealous of me. Granted, I will be camping with 100 Girl Scouts, sleeping in a spider-filled cabin, having to walk 1/2 mile to the closest bathroom but I get to make memories and see moments being created. See the thing is, I am a Girl Scout leader of 14 Junior Girl Scouts. For the past 8 years, I have lead a GS troop (3 of those years, I had 2 troops at the same time!). My oldest daughter, now 13, no longer has a troop but still participates in scouting events as a Juliette (independent Scout). I started her troop when she was in 1st grade, built the troop up to 22 girls (way too many!!) and we closed that troop with 4 girls this past fall. I didn't realize how much I would miss seeing those girls on a weekly basis.

So my current troop has 16 girls, 14 who are camping, and I am going to stop at some point during this weekend, in between hauling girls to the bathroom at 3 a.m., looking for the owner to the Justin Bieber underwear laying on the floor of the cabin and making sure no one runs and trips over a stump, to truly enjoy and appreciate being able to do this for my girls, just like my mom did for me.

My husband doesn't get to watch his daughters make S'mores tomorrow night, he doesn't get to watch them cook their own dinner over an aluminum made box-oven, he doesn't get to hear them singing their GS chants as we walk through the woods. He is a super dad, one of the best I know, and is very hands-on but he should be jealous of me this weekend! Hopefully, when my girls think back to this weekend, they will think about the fun moments, the time spent with friends and they will picture me there with them.

However, I do think my hubby should take the girls one weekend to make some of their own memories, preferably in the summer so I can float in the pool with a frozen drink and a good book, but that is for another post!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Getting Things Done . . .

My husband knows I just love tulips so he bought me these!
I think they look gorgeous!

Ok, so I am on a one woman mission! I have a goal and I am going to meet it. My sisters and my mom are coming for a 40th (neither mine nor my mom's - sorry Mom!!) birthday party celebration the middle of February (will definitely post about that because I am super excited and can't wait!!). I am going to do everything in my power to get EVERYTHING off my To Do list between now and then!

So I got all my Valentine's Day stuff up. Yeah! Remember, I started with this . . .  

and this . . . 

and now I have this . . . 

and this little cutie . . . 

and the bragging ends there because I also have this . . . 

Not too pretty yet!

I love these shelves however, I think they may be going away or getting moved to another location but I will talk about that later, once I decide!  Right now, they are a little sad! As mentioned in a previous post,  I am planning on adding some winning touches to these shelves. The urns will get a rosette-filled sphere, the frames will be filled, I am still searching for that perfect Subway art to fill the white frame on the top shelf, the vases will be filled with some beautiful flowers and I would really like to make a banner to hang on the shelves, mixed in with my Nana's crocheted hearts. I am planning on crafting, creating and getting my glitter on this Tuesday (I am taking 14 Girls Scouts camping this weekend so no rest for the weary. This will be my first TRUE test of being off the Coke Zero!). 

So it's definitely a start and for those keeping track, this is my third blog post for the week (check that!), I have exercised 3 times (check that, and still taking a walk tonight while oldest daughter is in piano), started cleaning out the garage (half check), finished all the year-end paperwork and financial reports for my on-line store (double bonus check, balanced to the penny - must be a fluke!), but I did have a glass of wine Tuesday night. Just one and that was after Girl Scouts so that should just be a given, so no judgement!

Well, off to go tackle the kitchen, finish the laundry and clean up, and then I have a box, a very large box filled with frames. Some need photos, some don't. 

And I am going to find homes for all of them in my house (we put up a TON of photos when our house was on the market). I also have two very large walls that I am going to fill with frames, one with travel photos, one with family, but that is for another post!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Get Your Heart On . . .

Ok, so it's hard to get your Valentine's on when it's all piled on the table like this . . . 

Or this . . . 

But, have no fear. I have been working hard to get it all in place. I still have lots of tweaking, frames to fill and a few projects to make. So here's the game plan to bring it all to fruition . . . 

I like this banner. I would like to hang it on my white shelves mixed in with some of my Nana's crocheted hearts.

I have two milk glass urns that I put on my white shelves. I bought two round Styrofoam balls that I plan to cover with these rosettes. Wish me luck on this.

And, who doesn't love a whoopie pie? I plan on making these this February for my girls. If they are good, taking to Girl Scouts also!! Those girls are tough and snacks have to be good!!

My girls are already begging for my mom's special Valentine's Day sugar cookies with her special cherry icing . . .  delish!!

So, my next post will be me actually doing some of the things I keep dreaming, hoping and planning to do! So time to get my V'Day on, but that is for another post!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mission Organization . . .

Check out the great wall color and my new PB Teen duvet!
I love it, now if only I can see it!
Ok, so I have said that before, and I will KEEP saying it, until I believe it. I will chant this mantra morning, noon and night. This is THE year!! Life is SO much easier when the family, and the house, are organized. Unfortunately, I can't blame the house for it's disorganization, it's all on me (and the rest of my family, God love their disorganized little hearts!)!! That being said, I have spent countless hours (really I can't count but let's just say, I could have written the next Great American novel, removed every hair on my body with a tweezer - one-by-one, and counted the grains of sugar in our sugar bowl, with the number of hours I have spent on Pinterest! So, to make those hours count, I am using a lot of ideas I have pinned, to pull together my "From Playroom to Craft Room" makeover!

I have now painted the room (love the color!) but have loaded it with so much stuff, I need to clear it before I can continue.

This is the garage, yes, full of junk too!
To be fair on this, we have recently cleaned closets, redone
a couple rooms and I am a co-Chair for my daughter's
Winter Store this year at her elementary school, so I hit
all the stores after Christmas looking for bargains, and boy did I find them,
and filled the garage with all the goodies!!
Thank you Tar-jay for your 90% off! LOVE IT!
Sorry again for the dark photo but I am too embarrassed to open the garage door!

The bottom picture is SO me in a nutshell. I am such a more-is-more person. There is no arguing it, and definitely, no hiding it. I am going to make a bulletin board and a dry erase board for this room using frames. I have seen some great ideas on Pinterest. So what do I do, you ask? I can't decide exactly what size I would like in the frames, or the design, so I buy 3 different sizes, but I need 2 of them and don't want them to sell out of the one I like, so I therefore buy 6, 3 sets of 2!! Did you follow that logic? Half the time, I never return what I don't use and will either store for potentially future needs or find a home for it.  If you think this is nuts, you should meet my mom. She is the QUEEN of MORE-IS-MORE, so I do come by it honestly. If you want to see M-I-M  mom in all her glory (and this is one of the things we love about her the most), you should check out her blog at Decorating with Dodi. Then you will understand me a lot better.

Real quick, I am continuing for my goals for the week:
1. Exercise 3 times (last week's goal was twice and I did 3!)
2. Blog 3 times (only got in 2 last week - sorry!)
3. Try not to drink wine on school night's, just the weekends (don't need the calories)
4. Finish the year-end financials for Too Chic Gifts
5. Finish Valentine's decorations - I have them up but they need tweaking and I have a TON (remember I am a M-I-M person!) of frames that need filling.

So right now, I am sitting on my porch, overlooking the water, watching the dolphins play. There is a cool breeze, I just heard the wine cork pop and we are going to have some homemade Bruschetta, sharp Parmesan and Prosciutto as an antipasti. I made a Potato Corn Chowder (will share the recipe later) for dinner and the fresh loaf of bread is in the bread maker. Life is good! I won't think about the mess downstairs (even though I did clean up about 75% of the craft room this weekend). I will enjoy the afternoon with my family, appreciate all the hard work we did this weekend, and go to bed later tonight with dreams of organization downstairs, but that is for another post!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Time To Get My Creativity On . . .

Ok, so here's a sneak peek of OUR former playroom, turning into MY craft room! YEAH!! I can't wait to get it all organized! I have spent countless hours pouring over Pinterest for ideas.

This is where you walk in from the garage.
The girls would hang their backpacks there
and keep their calendars up to date.
Sorry for the poorly lit photos.
The large desk in the front is my work space. I designed
this space down here and made it large enough to wrap gifts
or work on a scrapbook and be able to keep all the supplies out! I just LOVE it!

This is where my parents sleep when they visit. No, they are not
little people. This is a trundle bed!
Above the bed is wonderful built in storage and the door to the left
(and there is one to the right) leads to a long storage area.

I had my carpenter add the built-in for storage
and to hold a TV and VCR (yes, we are still old school down here!)
The ceiling is a drop down and we hope to have that
removed someday.

This is where the girls used to have their desks. They felt isolated down here
so we bought desks for them upstairs (see Office posts).
Do you like the hamster racing car?

Ok, so I have my work cut out for me. I have moved all the girls' stuff upstairs. I kissed the stripes goodbye and wiped away my tears! Do you have any idea how long it takes to paint those stripes?? I think it was days! I have a slight OCD issue. Once done with the main stripes, I took small paint brushes and kept touching up paint for hours! It was, and is, an obsession. I luuurve it!

But alas, the stripes are now gone - thanks to a lot of sanding and several coats of Zinsser primer! I went with a beautiful shade of blue and will use accents of white and black. I will show you all my progress but that is for another post!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Such a Short Week . . .

Ok, so I didn't have a chance to post yesterday (NOTE: started this on Monday, but finishing it Wednesday morning!) about my plans for this week but since today is a holiday (meaning the kids are home, so not really a holiday for me!), I have a few minutes to post a quick blog.

I have the girls home today, Tuesday I am tied up with Girl Scouts all day (having a small ceremony at our meeting and I have to pull it all together!), finally getting the grays covered on Wednesday (and yes, it takes all day), field trip to the local Fine Arts Museum with an Egyptian exhibit on Thursday morning and then hopefully our new dishwasher will be installed in the afternoon and Friday, the girls are off from school AGAIN! Oh vay! Craaaazaaay week!

So my few goals for this week are:
1. Start an exercise program. I am shooting for twice a week to start. Whether it is just to go out and walk or do an exercise DVD, it will count. The weather outside is perfect here in Florida so I SO need to take advantage of it! (Did a DVD on Monday and am still sore!! Planning on taking a walk before haircut.)

2. Start to organize the playroom/garage. Yes, I admit, during the holidays, we basically shoved, stuffed and hid junk, stuff and trash down there. Time to pay the piper and get it cleaned up!

3. Catch up on all the laundry and dishes (yes, I have to hand wash now that the dishwasher is on the fritz!).

4. Post 3 times this week. Gonna have to squeeze them in!

I think that is it. This week doesn't have a lot of hours to fit in any special projects but there is always next week, but that is for another post!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Not a Bad Week . . .

Ok, so here I am, Saturday night, squeezing in my last post for the week. Remember a previous post, I said I would do 3 a week? So here goes -

So, another "issue" I would like to tackle in our house is chores! Cleaning a house, not fun. I have a zillion other things I would rather be doing! However, I forget that I have children that could serve as Mini Molly Maids on any given weekend day (weekdays, between homework, after school activities and just the basic household chores, keep the girls, and me, busy)! These girls need to be trained and they need it right now!!

We seemed to have raised smart, caring, wonderful girls who do not believe chores are for them. TIME TO BREAK THEM!! They have been spoiled a bit on that part. So how do we fix this, what can we do so it is not a full-fledged, all-out-war each time we do chores? Going back to my all time favorite site Pinterest, here are some ideas we are going to implement.

I love this idea. My kids, and hubby, when they do chores, never do a thorough job, bless their cleaning-challenged hearts, so I think this is a great idea. I will (in the immediate future) create these for every room in the house. Whoever draws that room, (we are going to have everyone pick a card, pick any card) will know exactly what the jobs are to do and what the expectations are. They can then mark them off as completed. I saw this on Pinterest but the original idea came from another mommy blog.

I am thinking about making one of the above for each of my girls. If they had their own cleaning kit, might inspire a little more? Not sure about that but might be really good for their own rooms. They can easily clean their mirrors, wipe down their baseboards, and dust their shelves whenever the urge strikes! Here's hoping it strikes at least twice a month!

We have something like the above, but our system is slightly varied. We have done allowances in the past but decided to stop them. Chores weren't being done so we were basically, each week, paying our kids just for existing! WRONG!! My husband and I decided that to live in the Maselli house, have clean clothes, a roof over your head, food on the table, and just be, there are certain chores you have to do. To make money for the mall with friends, movies, etc . . . there are 2 things to do: 1 - your regular-because-you-live-in-this-house chores, 2 - pick extra chores that have been assigned a dollar amount. If said child, does their regular chores, they can pick a chore off the chore chart to earn cash in their pocket. These chores include, wash the cars, weed, wash windows, you get the idea.

So here's to getting our "chore" act together. It's very simple. Set the expectations, let the kids know what they need to do, and hold them to it! I will let you know how it all turns out, but that is for another post!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Where Do I Stand?

Ok, so here it is Thursday and I had to pull up my previous blog to look at my To Do list and see where I stand! Let's recap and see how I have done so far:

Here's this week's goals"
1. Stop drinking Coke Zero (or any soda) and switch to green tea. It's like that old saying goes, "quitting smoking is so easy, I have done it dozens of times." That holds true for me and my beloved Coke Zero. It's a special time for each day, twice a day, when I pop one open. I love to hear the fizz! I am currently out of my beloveds so I am going to start today with the green tea.

Yeah, on this one I have held strong!! I haven't had a soda since last Saturday. I have been moody, crabby, and irritable (so basically the same as always!!). I have had some Green Tea from Panera (the best!), an energy-booster smoothie from Smoothie King (SCAM!!), some hot teas and drank a lot more water. I am still not satisfied and will continue to look for something that gives me that same happiness as popping open a soda but won't make me question if it is 5 o'clock somewhere!

2. Plan our menu. One daughter has gone Vegetarian again so we will plan more veggie-based meals with meat only once or twice a week. We also plan to work more fish into the menu.

Did this. I made Panera Bread's Mac-n-Cheese. Really good but not as good as Panera's according to my little one. The rest of us loved it (much cheaper than Martha's fabulous mac) and served roasted broccoli on the side. I mixed the two together and am literally drooling for it right now! Also made a Baked Potato Soup with homemade French bread. The soup was really good but not great. It tasted a little "sour" according to one of my girls but I used 2% milk and reduced fat sour cream so that might be a factor. Fat just tastes better!! The bread was a mix from Williams-Sonoma made in my new bread maker. We ate that dinner on the porch over looking the water. The temperature was perfect. So my girls decided we would have a hearty soup and homemade bread every Sunday. It lead to really nice conversation and we talked about where we want to go on vacation this year (more to come about that later!). Making a salad for dinner tonight with homemade croutons and Friday night is eating all the leftovers!

3. Blog 3 times.
This is post number 2 for the week.

4. Learn Excel for my on-line business, Start to gather end of the year documents.
I have been working on this last night and all this morning. It's not as easy as I thought it would be. All the tutorials I watched were for more advanced needs so this is going slowly. Up to March for the year (UGH!) but once I nail it down, will update monthly from here on out!

5. Finish organizing my closet. I will post about this but don't have Befores.
Bought perfect brown cloth containers from Target, nothing fancy, and have started the final organization. I need more of them, and a few more hooks for the necklaces I am hanging, but can't run to the store as my car is in the shop. Maybe can swing by after Girl Scout Leader meeting tonight so I can finish this tomorrow! Have made my way through all the clothes and have a pile to donate and a pile to throw away (yes, some of the clothes I have worn were that bad!!)

6. Clean & organize the playroom-now-turned-craft room.
Not gonna happen! Unless, there is another day added to this week or I find another smoothie shop with a truly powerful ENERGY drink, move this to next week. I am excited to finish this room as I want to finish the curtains, fill frames, make some pillows and add a few more organizational items to the walls. Plus, I want to clean out the drawers and filing cabinets. Believe it or not, I am so excited about finishing this project but am sticking to my guns about finishing some others first!

7. Register my daughter for high school!
Done! I had her sit down with me and make sure everything I keyed in was correct. I printed out the copy of the registration and stuck it on my bulletin board!

So all-in-all, not a bad week. I even managed to put my Valentine's Day decorations up (they are so pathetic, I now remember why I haven't put them up in 2 years!!) and finally decided what I am doing on the two large walls leading up the stairs. We dropped off some art to be framed at Jo-Ann's so I will show all of it, but that will be for another blog!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Holy Happy New Year!!

In the words of my oldest daughter, "OMG!" For the life of me, I totally can't imagine where all the time went. When December started, I had the best intentions to post regularly. I had this whole 12 Days of Christmas thing planned in my head. Then from my previous post, you can see that quickly changed to the 10 Days of Christmas. Then I never posted again until today. In all fairness to myself, I was super busy and had house guests for about eight of those days but you know, excuses, excuses!

So here's my plan for the new year. I am going to be the quintessential everything! I plan on planning like nobody's business! I feel like I have good intentions, always the best, but 90% of the time, I let things fall through the cracks because I am too lazy, too unmotivated, too whatever! So every week, shooting for Sundays, I am going to put in writing, on this blog, my plans/goals for the week. I am talking about everything - organizing/cleaning the house, losing weight, planning the menus (my kids ALWAYS complain there is nothing to eat!), our travels, etc. . . You get the idea.

2012 has a very simple goal - MISSION ORGANIZATION! If I get organized, in many different ways, then my life, our house, everything, becomes easier to manage. Nothing pleases me more than when my husband asks for something and I know exactly where it is! Of course, during the holidays, things have been "shoved" and we moved some rooms around, and more things have been shoved, stuffed, and smushed out of the way!

So here's a few goals:

Organize ALL those photos!

Come up with some sort of organization
for all that technology!

A great way to deal with all the
transient items in our house.
So my plan is simple, each week, I will list a couple of items I would like to cross off my To Do list. These will cover all aspects of my life.

Here's this week's goals"
1. Stop drinking Coke Zero (or any soda) and switch to green tea. It's like that old saying goes, "quitting smoking is so easy, I have done it dozens of times." That holds true for me and my beloved Coke Zero. It's a special time for each day, twice a day, when I pop one open. I love to hear the fizz! I am currently out of my beloveds so I am going to start today with the green tea.

2. Plan our menu. One daughter has gone Vegetarian again so we will plan more veggie-based meals with meat only once or twice a week. We also plan to work more fish into the menu.

3. Blog 3 times.

4. Learn Excel for my on-line business, Start to gather end of the year documents.

5. Finish organizing my closet. I will post about this but don't have Befores.

6. Clean & organize the playroom-now-turned-craft room.

7. Register my daughter for high school!

That's my week - in addition to all the regular stay-at-home-motherly duties: waiting in car line for the carpool, dance classes, Girl Scouts, soccer registration, school volunteering, piano lessons, grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning the house, meeting with sea wall/dock repairmen, paying bills, you get the idea. I imagine you all are just as busy as I am. So I will keep you updated on my progress, but that's for another post!