Cut the Clutter - Baby/Kid clothes

Friday, October 13, 2017

I am going to do a series on cutting clutter. Specifically in relation to "special" items. I have a few tips that I feel work really well for us, that I want to fill you in on because lets be honest, we all have some clutter to cut! Especially when we have kids, right? I am so big on having the memories to look back on, but I don't want it taking up tons of room in my house. I think because I started in such a small house, I became very practical and creative on how to do both!

This week I want to share one thing I did/do for my kids that helped me to cut clutter when it came to saving their stuff. Specifically clothes, blankets, etc.

What do you do with the clothes that your kids grow out of? Or special things like blankets that the kids had but, no longer use?

My system has been to go through the clothes and separate into piles. Donate/consign, trash and special. I have friends that have younger kiddos than I do, so most clothes get passed on to them. Occasionally, I will bring some stuff to the local consignment store. Some clothes, are so stained from play that I throw them, right?? Special items get placed in a bin that I store for each child in the basement.

What goes in special for me? Well, holiday outfits, special t-shirts from events or that say something I want to remember, special event outfits such as first day of school, parties, or just stuff that I thought was so cute and couldn't get rid of. In this bin are also some baby shoes, blankets and a few cute things from childhood.

I realized last year that I hadn't really been saving any of Olivia's clothes anymore. She had outgrown the stage where things were cutesy, and I had stopped making a big deal out of brand new outfits for holidays. A lot of what I would buy for holidays were outfits that could be worn again, so they held less significance.

I knew since she was young that these special items were going to end up in a quilt someday, and I decided that last year it was time. Her bin was full and I brought everything out and went through it. The only thing I kept was her coming home from the hospital outfit in the bin, but I brought all the other clothes and blankets to a quilter who made me the most wonderful blanket filled with so many memories.

Isn't it amazing? I am all about giving my kids stuff from their childhood someday, but do they really need a bin of cute clothes?? No, but was it hard for me to part with some of these things, yes. So this was a perfect solution and you know what?? Olivia LOVED it. LOVED it. I knew she would like it, but I thought she wouldn't really grow to appreciate it until she was older, but I was so wrong. She was so sweet about it and you could tell how much she loved it. She leaves it on her bed and uses it every night!

So much cuteness and wonderful memories put into something that is useful as well as beautiful.

I picked out a really pretty, really soft material for the back of the quilt that made it not only cute, but super cozy as well!!

Then with the scraps she made a throw pillow for me, so now I have a piece of the memories as well! I keep it right on my chaise and just love it!

And with more scraps and one of Olivia's blankets she made me a stuffed animal that someday I could give to my grandkids (not that I want to think about that quite yet) to have their special stuffy made with Olivia's memories! This was made with one of her favorite blankets and buttons and bow from her first communion dress. The ears and paws are made from some other special dresses!
 How special is this bear??

I have the same bin for Owen and I will do the same for him at the end of 5th grade! I hope he loves it just as much as Olivia! Speaking of Olivia, I snuck in last night to take a picture with her sleeping with her blanket! The memories continue ❤

So this is tip #1 for all of you who are like me and want to save the cute stuff, but are looking to cut the clutter! Make a blanket! And a pillow!! Have a great a weekend all! Till next time ;)

Open for Business

Friday, October 6, 2017

            You guys, I have had such an exciting week. Beautifully Organized is open for business!

The idea of Beautifully Organized has been around for almost a year. 

I have been taking an interior design course with New York Institute of Art and Design. The course is at your own pace and I am almost finished with the 4th unit out of 6 units. 

I took a Professional Organizing course with IAP career college and earned my certificate with a perfect score on the final test! 

I read a course book on Interior Redesign (using what the client has to create new looks).

I realized when taking the interior design course that although I love the idea of taking a room from nothing and adding in lighting, and furniture, color and accessories, that not everyone was going to want or need that service. I love to organize. I love the feeling of taking an overwhelming space and creating something beautiful where everything has a place and you can sit back and enjoy it. That is when I decided to take the organization course and change my track a bit. Although I will still finish my interior design course and get my certificate, (and would love a job like that), I think the people who need me the most, are the people looking for a new look or just some help making their life more efficient! That is how Beautifully Organized was born!

Last summer I redid my nieces bedroom from little girl room to “big” girl room and blogged about it here

This summer I helped out a few friends to get experience and pictures for my portfolio. 

I took a kitchen from this....

To this....

Another kitchen from this....

To this....

We have renovated our house and have been bringing our visions to life slowly, such as with these shelves (which I talked about here)...

Speaking of shelves, I have also done little projects, such as helping my sister in law with her shelves, using only what she had on hand. 

 Here are the shelves before. Not a great picture, but I got to work without taking a before picture and this is the picture she sent to show me the shelves. I have to get better about remembering the pictures! I just get so excited to get started! 

Here are the shelves after

This whole week has been such a mix of emotions. Excitement of seeing this dream become a reality as I booked my first few clients. Nervousness about putting it out there and what if nobody likes it? What will I say when I walk into my first house....eeek! But ultimately I am pretty proud that I dared to take the leap. It has been a lot of work, but I am so ready! 

I hope that you will give me a call if you need some help in your home. No job is too big or too small. I would love to come over and help you with a bookcase or rearrange and organize your whole house! 

Thank you to everyone that has been cheering me on as I got ready to launch this business! I have had some amazing cheerleaders and for that, I am incredibly grateful! 

You can find my business page on Facebook @Beautifully Organized Maine
or you click the link in the sidebar →

I have a special and a contest running over there right now! Check it out! 

If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call or e-mail me! 

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Till next time! 

Intuitive Eating, Yay or Nay?

Friday, September 29, 2017

Have you all heard the term intuitive eating? This is a relatively new concept for me. Of course their have been times when I say that I am throwing in the towel and say that I am not going to diet anymore. If I don’t diet, I won’t feel the need to eat in excess, right?? I can eat whatever I want...what does that lead to? Me putting on more weight, because of course I never truly lose the diet mentality yet.

My mind is always on a diet. My body...not so much.

What would it be like to really train my body not to think like a dieter. To eat only when I am hungry and only what my body craves? What would it be like to never deny myself food? What would it be like to not think about the food I put in my mouth, every second of every day? What would it be like to accept who I am right now and stop constantly trying to change my body?

Do you know what that feels like? I sure don’t. Even if I say I am going to lose the diet mentality and just choose good foods for me and stop denying myself stuff, that diet mentality is engrained in my person. It just is. If I crave chocolate and peanut butter and I eat it, I feel guilty. If I feel like I have been on a bad eating streak, I think “Monday I start eating better again” then of course, I eat like crap until Monday. My body is hating me, not because I am overweight as much as because I restrict and deny and then eat whatever I want. This cycle continues...over and over and over again.

So I think to myself, what is the answer for me. If I think about my weight, I have at least  60-70 pounds to lose. That’s a lot of weight. It is daunting, it really is. I have not been able to stick to a diet for longer than a few months since I put on weight 12 years ago. It is going to take a lot longer than a few months to lose that kind of weight. Can I, Will I, stick to restriction for long enough to lose that kind of weight? So, then what happens, I beat myself up more. Also, I don’t want to obsess about food anymore. I am so sick of tracking calories and counting points, taking out carbs, alternating high and low carb days, shakes, etc. etc. I have literally tried it all I feel like.

The biggest reason it doesn’t work is because of the diet mentality. I have a bad day where I don’t follow the plan and I decide to finish out the day with all the stuff I have been missing. You know, since I messed up anyway. Messed up, meaning I ate something not on the plan. Too many calories, points or something not considered “healthy.” Now I am upset with myself, what is wrong with me? Why can’t I just stick to the plan? Why do I have to love food that much? Why, when I want to lose weight so bad can I not do it? Why? Why? Why? I beat myself up and then I either get back on the plan the next day, a few days later, Monday, next week, etc. I have usually gained a little bit of weight (cue more beating myself up) so sometimes I get back at it and sometimes I just don’t. Even if I don’t though, I continue to eat really shitty because let’s be honest, I know, my body knows, that it won’t be long before I am fed up and back on a new diet.

This cycle has to stop.

I have been into listening to podcasts so last week I searched for some health and wellness ones to take a break from some of the more serious ones, I had been listening to. I came across one, called Food Psych with Christy Harrison. It has been very interesting to listen to, as it isn’t a podcast about how to lose the weight and be healthy, it is all about accepting yourself as you are, finally having a healthy relationship with food and no more dieting. She is a certified intuitive eating counselor and I am hooked!

This particular episode #51 How to Stop Dieting & Gain Body Acceptance with Kelsey Miller hit home because so many of the things talked about in this episode could have come right out of my joke!

I have worked a ton in the last two years on realizing my worth. Knowing that I am not my body, I am so so much more. If you followed me from the beginning you might remember this post, where I posted this picture from a project I did in my women’s group

This is something I am still working on to this day. I feel like I am better at this than I was a long time ago, but I am still not perfect. I still have a lot of work to do. Imagine if I could 100% believe it and not obsess about food. What would my life be like? I am not sure I even remember. I so badly want to get back there though.

I am going to continue to listen to the podcast and I think I am going to buy the book written by the guest on episode #51, Kelsey Miller. Big Girl How I Gave up Dieting and Got a Life.

I am also going to go back and finish reading Eat What you Love and Love What you Eat. I only read a little bit of this book because it didn’t feel like enough for me. I need restriction and rules, right?? I don’t think that is what I need. I think I need exactly what is in this book.

I also have the workbook because my counselor gave it to me when I was regularly going to sessions with her. She knew that is what I I need to listen!

So what are your thoughts? Anyone tried ditching the diet and developed a better relationship with food? I want to hear from you if you have!!!! Comment or e-mail me! I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend, I know I am so glad it's Friday! Till next time....

Friday Favorites

Friday, September 22, 2017

My Favorite Post to do is Friday Favorites! I love to pass along all the things I am loving because who knows who else might benefit from the ideas or the items! Linking up with Andrea and Erika for the first time in a long time for this random edition of ....

My favorite thing to do around the house is decorate and little by little different areas of the house are getting finished.There is still so much to do, but every little thing that gets done gets me excited. Today I am going to show you a few of my favorite spots around the house!

These shelves. You guys, I had a vision and it looks exactly as I expected it would. I could not love these shelves more. I had picked up some of the items used to decorate them over time, knowing I would have them someday! Then I picked up a few new fall decorations to finish it off. 

I could not be happier. And, they were so easy. So, so easy. I bought these brackets on Amazon which you can find by clicking here

Then Mike bought 2x8's and cut them to size for me. I stained them, Mike hung up the brackets and in an afternoon the shelves were done! Amazing. I would definitely recommend these rustic brackets, simple yet the whole thing really makes a statement!

Gallery walls are my favorite! I am still working on choosing pictures for this set, but the look makes me happy when I come up the stairs. 

I bought this set of 9 frames on Amazon. Perfect Gallery wall, it even comes with a template that you hang on the wall to make hanging the frames super easy, I could do it myself! I bought 2 sets of frames so that I could cover the whole wall. 

I had 3 frames left over, that for now, I put over my bed! 

That isn't their forever home because I have big plans for the wall behind the bed someday, but one thing at a time!

My favorite decorating project this week had to do with paint and a floor! If you follow me on Instagram (and if you don't, you should @slitcher) I instastoried (is that a word??) about the process when I started the other day. I am hoping to maybe finish it up today and I will probably put some updates on Instagram again! I can't wait to see it all finished.

OK, my favorites for my friends that aren't into decorating, how about some TV and book talk? 

#1 Younger

Image result for younger

Have you watched this show? If you haven't you totally should. I could not stop watching it. I love a fun 30 minute comedy. I was able to watch the seasons on Hulu, then catch up on the current season, which sadly just ended!  

#2 Ozark

Image result for ozark

This is a Netflix original that Mike and I have started watching. This is definitely one of those shows you could binge on. We have to try really hard each night to cut ourselves off after one or two episodes. 

#3 This is Us

Image result for this is us

It's almost back!! I can not wait to watch this again! If you have not watched it yet, you have a few more days to catch up on season 1 before season 2 starts!  

Book Club is my favorite! I love that because of book club, I have to read some books that are different than the usual book I would pick out. We have read books that I would never have chosen and then really loved. And who doesn't love to sit around with friends, have a glass of wine and chat? Last month we had sangria and sat out on a deck, it was a perfect fall night! This month we are reading The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas. Has anyone read this one? I am going to order it, and was curious if I could read it with Olivia? If anyone has read it, let me know if I can read it with an eleven year old, I would appreciate it! 

Some other favorites from the week...

A hike and lunch with one of my friends that I don't get to see very often. 

Date Night! We had dinner and drinks out with friends this weekend!

This boy scoring goals in soccer this year. Wow has he improved! And he ran in his first track meet!

This girl went to her first Middle School dance...what?? I still can't believe it! 

I think that about does it for favorites this week! Next week I am thinking about a health update! Stayed tuned to find out what is going on in the health department. I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! Till next time! 

P.S This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I receive a portion of the sale. This does not affect your cost, but does help to support my blog. Thanks!

It's Fall Y'all

Friday, September 15, 2017

I often wish I had a southern accent and could say y'all anytime I want, but unfortunately that is not the case. I do feel though that I can get away with the fall y'all saying at this time of year which for me, fall starts on September 1st. I know technically there are still a few weeks, but in my mind, it is here!

Fall brings cooler weather , pumpkin everything, new decorations, blanket snuggling and my favorite...back to school! Y'all, I love my kids so much and the last few summers have been amazing. They are older and able to do all of the same things for the most part and getting up and going has been so much easier so we are out and having fun a lot. By mid August though, I am exhausted and have had zero time to myself. Also, the kids are exhausted from the traveling and the late nights that they start to fight and get on each others nerves. I get it too, I really do, they have spent a ton of time together, heck, I am sick of them too #sorrynotsorry so everything goes downhill. During this downhill spiral we have to get organized and ready for back to school. This means I have to catch up on the piles of laundry so they have clothes to wear, and we have to buy school supplies and clothes, rooms need to be cleaned and backpacks and lunch boxes get brought back out. And all this occurs while the kids are whining and fighting and telling me they are bored. I swear it works out well because instead of being sad after the amazing summer, that they are heading back to school, it makes me very excited! It is a celebration! I send them off and at the end of the school day I am happy to see them come home! I love you, fall!

Enough about that, now what does fall mean for me this year?? So much! First, I am so happy to be back here blogging and filling you all in on my plans. I have had a few people ask if I was planning to blog again when the kids went back to school and the answer, of course, is always yes! I really do love this, I don't know why it is always the first thing to go when things get busy, but that is the season of life I am in right now.

Second, I just took my test for the professional organizing course (which I rocked with a 100!) that I have been taking alongside my interior design course. I am looking to link the two together in a business that I am starting next month. Yes, next month! I am not quite finished with my interior design certificate course, but it focuses a lot on big projects and I am really looking to help out with room redesign and organization at this point, so I am going to get started with the experience that I have. I did a few projects over the summer and they were all a huge success. Stay tuned to see some before and afters as well as more details on my business...coming soon!

Third, as always on this blog, I am working on getting in shape. Yeah I know, you don't even want to hear it, but it's true. The summer wasn't good to me, or I should say I wasn't good to my body this summer. So, my plan for right now is adding more fruits and veggies and drinking more water. I have been doing some tracking on my fitness pal. I am also slowly doing the couch to 5K with a friend and get myself back into shape.

So what is my blog plan? Once a week at least and you will get either random thoughts, a health update, or organization and decorating ideas and pictures! I am so thankful to all of you that follow along and wonder where I am when I fall off the blogging wagon!

I hope everyone has a great week and I will be back next week when I choose one thing to dive a little deeper into and fill you in on the details! Till next time!

#TransformationTuesday - May 2017

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Ok, here it is 4 months later, after I told you I was going to update you on my weight loss every week. Ha! First of all, I need to stop fooling myself into thinking that I have the time to take the right pictures and put up a transformation post every week, especially, if I want to continue to blog about other things as well. Second of all, there isn't a whole lot of progress to show you.

I know, I know...some of you are not surprised.

Since I wasn't blogging the posts, I decided to take the accountability to Instagram. Starting 3 weeks ago, I have talked a little about the struggles in my instastories and posted some pictures of the scale. Let  me show you a little collage from these pictures.

Do you see a trend here?? Monday - Friday the scale goes down, then I don't get on the scale over the weekend and Monday my weight is up, by Tuesday it is heading back down again. Up down, up down and essentially getting no where. Ugh.

My small goal starting April 24th was to lose 10 pounds by May 19th for a weekend trip away with Mike. I figured since I have so much to lose, it would be simple to lose weight faster at first. As of today I have lost 2.4 pounds. I still have a few days to make that a little more, but I probably won't get to 10 pounds. Ugh. Debating whether to be happy that I lost almost a pound a week?? Or sad that I didn't reach  my goal?

My next small goal is another 10 pounds by a trip we have June 29th. I really feel that if I could stay consistent on the weekends, I would be able to see a much bigger loss. How am I going to break this cycle??

Random thoughts:

1. If I could only do something that would take off 10 pounds fast... a cleanse?? I know, I know you shouldn't try fad diets and stuff like that because they don't work in the long term, but I just feel like if I could see some results, a significant loss, it would motivate me to keep going. Anyone ever feel like that? I see like a few pounds come off, but not enough to get me excited and stay on track for the weekends. I know I shouldn't, but any suggestions?? (I wrote some of this post last night, I may have woken at 4AM unable to fall back to sleep and researched some cleanses, I may have purchased an eBook on a 3 day cleanse, I may be doing it next week and if all goes well, I may tell you all about it)

2. If I could only take the weight off, I clearly have no problem maintaining! So I know that I have to put in the hard work, and then this, work hard during the week and relax on the weekends mentality will work for maintaining my goal weight. BUT I have to get to my goal weight first, that's the issue.

3. I very easily get off track. I was on a roll with walking on the treadmill. Then we went on vacation and we had people staying with us and some family stuff going on, and it took me some time to catch up on everything, so walking took a backseat. Why is working out the first to go for me? Because I hate it? Because it has never been a routine and I haven't stuck with it long enough to become a routine?  Because I am so out of shape that it makes me tired to just think about it, never mind do it?

These are all the things that go through my mind regularly lately. Same old, same old, I guess you could say. I am so tired of having to think about it. I just wish it was second nature to me, I just wish I didn't have to track, think about or feel guilty about every thing I put in my mouth. I wish I had a good relationship with food. I wish I didn't love it so much, I wish I didn't love beer. I wish I thought of food as fuel only. I wish I loved to exercise. I wish, I wish, I wish. Wishing is not going to get me to lose weight. I have to put in the hard work.

Because I love a good ecard, I have to share...

My goals for this month:

1. Track everyday, even the weekends
2. Do a cleanse
3. Meal plan every week (I have gotten off track)
4. Walk 4 days/week on the treadmill or outside (got in my walk this morning already! It helps to get up at 4AM, although I don't see that happening very often!)

If you want to keep up with the progress, you can follow me on Instagram, that's where I like to tell my stories! I would love for you to follow along!
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