Thursday, March 29, 2012

BTW ~ Fantasy Friday

Have you seen this? No? Well, now you have.

The good folks over at freshome like to stab my heart out with images of impossibly fantastical places that I will never go. I guess that's why we call it fantasy, right?

Enjoy your weekend friends. And get those closets cleaned out so we can move on to Step 2 in the spring cleaning posts.

See you next week.

Calling all Inventive Types

Last night, while lying in bed, I figured out what I need.

I need a sketchbook with a pen that has glow in the dark ink. It doesn't have to keep glowing in the dark forever. Just long enough for me to get my ideas down without having to get up.

Yes. I realize that I could do this sort of thing with one of those fancy pants Steve Jobs inventions or something like it. But I don't own one of those devices and probably won't any time soon.

So. Those who have the power to make things happen.......get on with it and make this happen.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring Cleaning 101 ~ Step 1

Ahhhhhhhhh, spring. The time for renewal. There is something about the warmth in the air and the sunshine illuminating every nook and cranny that just makes you want to CLEAN!!! Now I realize that the internet is full to the brim with organizing tips, magic cleaning tricks and a million and one special concoctions for every single thing that you may need to scrub. So I will skip telling you the same stuff for the hundredth time. What I am going to tell you is how I go about keeping things cleaned and organized and the plan of attack that works for me. Hopefully, you can get a few good ideas out of it, too.

If you were to walk into my house on any normal day, you may say to yourself, "Her house is pretty clean, but it's not like she's a clean freak or anything." And this would be true. I pretty much hate the mundane chores that have to be completed every other day in order to keep the home spic and span. However, if you were to open one of my closets, cabinets or drawers, you would probably say to yourself, "Holy sheesh, this girl is OCD." I am an organizer. Case in point; I ran into my aunt at the grocery store one day and she later told my mom that I even keep my shopping cart perfectly organized. So how do I go about it? Let's start with the issue of "stuff".

*If you are going to do spring cleaning (or fall or winter or whenever), you need to start by cleaning out. Always, always, always start with cleaning out. This means closets, drawers, cabinets, shelves and any other place that you may be storing "stuff". This is your foundation. You know that little adage about "a place for everything and everything in it's place"? Well, if you have too much "stuff", you won't have enough places to put it.

*It's best to go about this one room at a time. Finish one room completely before moving on to another. I know that can be tricky at times, but it truly helps. Want to start small? Go for the bathroom. Take everything out of hiding and set it all in the floor. Under the cabinet, in the drawers, baskets, bins, in the shower....everything. Bedroom? Closets, drawers, under the bed, on the dresser, the suitcase you never unpacked. Get the idea? EVERYTHING out in the open.

*Now to decide what goes and what stays. There are a million ways to do this. Normally, I go by the yearly rule. If I haven't used something in the past twelve months, it gets discarded. This works great for clothes and linens and such, but not so much for bathroom items. When it comes to toiletries, time is of the essence. A pile of samples in your makeup drawer? Lotion that you got tired of? Tweezers that you never use because you bought a new pair? Get rid of it. Bath items expire, people. Use common sense. Don't hold on to something just because you like the packaging or because you really wanted to try that new fad.

Same thing goes for the kitchen. Anything that is out of date, toss it. If it has been at the back of your cabinet for months, but you still don't want to part with it because you were going to make this great new recipe you saw online......give yourself a month. If you still haven't used it after a month, toss it. While we're in the kitchen, food is not the only thing to get rid of. Utensils, pots, pans, cake plates, dishes, table linens. If you don't use it or don't love it, get rid of it. And do I really have to tell you where you can get rid of all your lightly used "stuff"? Goodwill, consignment shops, and plenty of non-profit organizations would be thrilled to have your "still in good shape" items.

*Now that you have successfully purged your storage spaces, it's time to put them back together. Feel free to get all fancy with your baskets and boxes and labels and such. But keep in mind that all of that is not really necessary to be organized. All you really need is a system that works for you. Most used items should be the easiest to get to. Front and center. For instance, the makeup that I use every single day is at the front of my makeup drawer. Lesser used colors and products go to the back. My jeans are in the center of my closet, at eye level. Lesser used jackets and dresses are at the ends of the racks and seasonal items are in boxes on the shelf. Cleaners that I use every day are in the front of my cleaning cabinet. Sheets and blankets that are in regular rotation are in the top drawers of my linen dresser. You get the idea.

Since cleaning out is the foundation of any cleaning and organization job, and the first order of business on the spring cleaning list, I am going to give you a few extra quick tips that I find to work really well for me.

*While bringing everything out in the open seems like a bigger mess than it's worth, don't dismiss this step. It is much easier to re-organize things when you have all of your storage options empty and all of your "stuff" laying out in front of you.

*Never, ever, ever compromise a certain dreaded area. If you promise yourself that you will get to cleaning the bill drawer out later, later will probably never come. Schedule it and make it happen. No excuses.

*Sometimes it is easier to part with something you own if you know exactly where it's going to end up. Many items that I choose to get rid of get handed down to family and friends. Never push an item on someone. But if you have something that you think someone you know would like to have, simply ask them. No hard feelings. Just make it a simple offer. "I am doing some cleaning and was going to get rid of that lamp that you have always liked. I thought I would ask if you wanted it before taking it to the consignment shop."

*DO NOT, under any circumstances, go back through your "get rid of" pile!!! That second look may reel you back in. Once the decision is made, stick with it.

*Sentimental items should be kept in a special place. If it is something that you want to see every day, display it. Give it a stage. Otherwise, give it a special home. I have a box full of letters, notes, cards and drawings from loved ones that I keep. When I have a card that I want to keep, I know where it goes. It doesn't just float around the house until it gets lost.

And last, but definitely not least....
*Don't start cleaning if you are not in the mood. This is important. Cleaning out takes zeal. It takes desire and determination. If you are not in the mood for it, you will not do a sufficient job. You will hold on to everything and shortcut the big tasks. So don't play unless your head is in the game.

I hope you got a little bit of inspiration or useful advice from this post. This is a subject that I get really excited about. I know that's crazy. But it's true. And this is just Step 1!! I have even more advice to come. So stick with me and we will get things cleaned up!

*photos from here via here and here.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Fantasy ~ in the clouds

I've had my head in the clouds the past few days. I have a lot on my mind, lately, and can't seem to concentrate. Living is stressful, guys. Seriously.

Anyway.... it's spring in my hemisphere of the world, and that means it's time for renewal and all that sort of freshness. So, I am working on a couple of posts that have to do with two things that I happen to be pretty darn good at..... spring cleaning and painting walls. I may not be the best at anything, but I know a thing or two about cleaning, painting and organizing. So, if you are interested in those subjects (i know, they are so crazy fun, right?) check back in with me next week.

Until then, enjoy your weekend.

*pic here.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy Spring

Sorry I've not been around. Just trying to get some things done around here. Cleaning and drawing and painting and walking and enjoying the spring sunshine.
Hope you are getting some spring sunshine, too.

xoxo ~Jo~


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chocolate Milk

Is it really odd that I am eating pineapple and thinking about chocolate milk? The temperature soared to nearly 80 today and the thought crossed my mind that I didn't drink nearly enough hot chocolate this winter. What was I thinking? Here it is, almost spring, and I somehow seemed to miss hot chocolate season all together. In my defense, it has been a hell of a fall and winter. I am glad to see the weather change, and hopefully all the other cruddy stuff along with it.

But, back to chocolate milk. I really like the stuff. I really like chocolate Silk soymilk in particular. Is that odd for a 31 year old? I don't really care if it is or not. I love me some chocolate milk. And at the moment I'm out. And now that it's on my mind, I think I'll be making a trip to the grocery store tomorrow. Do you like chocolate milk?

I know. That is the most random bunch of blah, blah, blah you have read today. Or maybe this week. Forgive me. I'm here, so I just thought I would share what's on my mind.
Anything random on your mind lately?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Thinking About....goals and ambitions.

The past few months, my mind has been focused on what the hell I'm gonna do for an income. As most of you know, I quit my job at an auto body repair shop over a year ago. I had dreams of putting all my time and effort into my Etsy shop and, hopefully, seeing it flourish like all these other shops seem to do. But that hasn't happened. And I'm having to fall back and rethink my goals once again.

You see, the hubs and I are planning on building a house this year. The plan is drawn and the pricing is being figured. I hadn't mentioned it before because I don't like to jump the gun. I didn't want to get excited about it and then it not happen. But now that we are on the verge of getting the loan, I am panicking. I had been making a little bit of money here and there painting houses, but not enough to feel like I was contributing to our income. And, so, now I am faced with the thought of having to get another job.

I probably don't have to tell you just how much that thought drains all of the joy right out of my soul. I have never been happier than I am being able to stay at home. While other people dream of high profile jobs, making tons of money, I dream of being the artist that I was born to be. But Lord knows I have a tiny little problem with making things happen.

So, for the first time in my life, I have set some goals. And a time limit. (gasp!) I have until May to get some painting done, photograph it, weed out all the crap in my store, put together a somewhat cohesive collection, and totally re-vamp my Miz. November store. And then........well, who knows? But that is what I have so far. I have some things to discuss with you in the coming weeks, so I hope you are willing to give me your opinions and words of advice. It's now or never, people. And I hope I have your support in trying to make my dreams come true.

This is only the beginning. Maybe.

*those awesome earrings that I am wearing up there are from Tribal Style. Don't they look bad ass?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Guest Appearance

Hey! I did a little guest post for Annalise over on Little Box of Crayons. Go check it out for some tips on getting your inspiration back.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I'm still sitting here wiping snot from my nose (nice thought, huh?), trying to entertain an overactive puppy who will not stop whining because we haven't went for a walk since I have been sick. My brain is on short cycle right now, unable to process long and complex thoughts. So most ideas for blog posts are on hold for the moment. (It has seriously taken me about fifteen minutes to write this much.) But Daniella (from the Daniella Marie Blog) tagged me with a little Blogger Sunshine award. So, I am going to answer a few little questions and call it a day. How does that sound? By the way, if you haven't checked out Daniella's blog before, I suggest you do so. She has been doing a little series about film photography and talking to photographers about why they love working with film. Not to mention, the blog is full of her own beautiful photography and sweet personality.

Now, on to the questions.

Favorite Color: Yellow (at the moment. but always subject to change.)
Favorite Animal: Gus is my favorite personally, but I'm also fond of giraffes.
Favorite Non-Alcoholic Drink: Sweet Tea
Facebook or Twitter: Neither (does that make me old school or just lame?)
Getting or Giving Gifts: Giving; but who doesn't like getting gifts, too?
Favorite Flower: Impossible to choose. Climbing roses, peonies, poppies, daffodils........
Favorite Pattern: Plaids and Stripes
Passion: The Pursuit of Being Content (not complacent, but content)
Favorite Number: 7

Now. I would tag some others to answer these little questions. But to be completely honest with you, my head feels like it might split apart at any moment. So, I am going to just log off and close my eyes. Thanks, Daniella, for tagging me. I enjoyed it! Hopefully, I will see you all again soon. Hugs. (sorry. I didn't mean to get snot on your shoulder. oops.) ;)

*pic from here.

Monday, March 5, 2012

In Like a Lion

March definitely came in like a lion, kicking my ass with a helluva cold. Snotty nose, scratchy throat and the odd tendency to get dizzy easily. But, nevertheless, I feel pretty blessed. I am sitting in my nice warm house, watching the snow floating outside. I have warm food on my table and a stockpile of medicine.

My heart is heavy for those who have lost their homes and loved ones from the tornadoes across the country in the last few days. I can't even begin to imagine the horror of losing everything you own in a matter of seconds. My prayers are with them, and I hope yours are, too. Let's all hope that March goes into lamb mode pretty quickly.

Much love

*pic from here.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Friday Fantasy

Honestly, I really can't even believe that it's Friday already. It seems like it was just Friday yesterday. And let's not mention that February is over! Hello, March. It has been a hectic week here in my world. Please forgive me for being too distracted to blog.

As far as fantasies go for this Friday, this one is exactly what I need. I big field full of stress reducing, relaxing, beautiful lavender. I can just feel the warm sun on my skin and smell the heavenly aroma in my nose.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend ahead of you. I'm hoping for a little chill time, myself.

Hugs and Sunshine.

*via here.