Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bookclub girls

Chocolate fondantImage by CraZeeCrafteeZ via Flickr
Tonight was bookclub, one of my highlights for the month.  There's 6 of us and we take it in turns to choose a book to read.  If it's your turn you also host the evening.  I don't think I actually realised when bookclub started how important it would become to me.  I was lucky enough to be friends with the girls before bookclub (some I knew better than others)  but over the years have come to treasure our nights together.  We were at J's tonight.  I think I ate too much chocolate while we chatted about the book and then dessert was a gooey chocolate fondant with a side serve of white chocolate and raspberry mousse.  Add in the champagne and cup of tea and my stomach feels like it's expanded 2 sizes. But it was sooo good.

We do have "structure" to the evening - champagne, nibbles and book discussion then dessert, cuppa and the unveiling of the next book with plenty of chit chat in between.  I think we are getting "more brazen" for want of a better description with our chit chat and I love it.  M and C take notes in the books/journals that J made for us all.  They record key words, book details and dessert details and V maintains a running list of books read - thank goodness someone thought to do that at the very beginning.

We're all off to C's house in 4 weeks time.  In the meantime we'll be reading "A Gate at the Stairs" by Lorrie Moore.  Happy dessert hunting C.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

No time for reading....

Can't believe it's Wednesday already.  I think I've managed to read 5 pages of "Cut the Clutter" and I haven't managed to cut any more clutter.  R's brother has come to stay so I've been busy cleaning, cleaning, cleaning oh...and hiding my clutter.

A little thing called work has also gotten in the way of reading.  Just completed a workplace reconciliation for work obviously, gone online to submit it to a "24 hour, 7 day a week online service" and guess what "sorry this service is unavailable at the moment - try again later".  No I don't want to try again later, I want to do it now.  I'm available why aren't you??  I could go and declutter another shelf in the pantry but then again I've put my electric blanket on so I might go to bed and read....As my mother in law use to say every night "Night night".

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Dish pan hands

Wash, dry, put away.  
Wash, dry, put away.
Bin it.  Keep it.  Give it away.

Unfortunately not much got put in the give away pile.  Two angel tins and a white display container.  I think it was more of a sort and tidy day rather than a declutter day.  On the upside, I did get the fridge sorted.  Not too many gremlins hiding in there.  One jar of jam that was past its best before date.  No cucumbers that your fingers sink into when you pick them up. My lucky day.  The fridge is sparkly and clean.  About six bottles with a dribble of sauce in them have now been washed and recycled.  Even cleaned the plastic guard down the very bottom of the fridge and captured all those dust bunnies living underneath.

I've done the top shelf of the pantry - put all the vases in the same spot.  One of the declutter rules is if you haven't used it in a year - out it must go.  Only exception is seasonal stuff ie Christmas plates etc. etc.  I had to keep some stuff tho. like the teapot handmade by a friend for a wedding present, the candlestick with my name on it, the ice bucket and water jug I won in a raffle, and of course the silver teapot. 

I'm now halfway through the next shelf down. Medicines, sprays, candles, clutter, clutter and more clutter.  Should be easy to do, the hard thing is cleaning up after the cleaning up.  Must remember to move M's bed back the way it was as he says he's not been sleeping that well since we moved it two weeks ago.  Maybe I need to revisit those feng shui books on the bookcase.  Sleep well.


Ok who's got a, two in one get one free...don't we love those bargains.  Must admit tho that this is one gizmo that I use a lot.  Not quite sure it works as well as advertised but that's ok it still does some of it.  I read a few pages of "Cut the Clutter" last night - where to start....
  • 21 days to form a habit - only work on one habit at a time - that means you can form 17 new habits a year with 2 weeks off.  Tick.  One new habit happening...make bed every morning.
  • Declutter in 15 minutes hits...hahahaha...I'll never declutter in my life time then.
  • Make a "to do list" - morning and afternoon versions
  • Make a "Daily to do list", "weekly", "monthly" and very importantly "seasonal" as well.  And the list making went on and on and on...I'd never get anything done but make lists.
So I think I'll skip the list making and move onto "Food - plan, save, organise, store".

Tick. I do make a shopping list - one brownie point for me.  Just going to skip the rest of that section tho and get down to the decluttering of the fridge, pantry and cupboards.  Of course mustn't forget to do the washing, shopping, general housework and I do think maybe an escape into a fiction book for a while, cause a girl can't live by non-fiction alone.  Happy Saturday.

ps if you're a make a list person "Cut the Clutter" recommends OrganizedHome.Com for lots of ready to go lists.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cleaning your home...

Managed to get a few pages read while at the volleyball tonight. M's game started at 6.30 pm.  Then T had a duty (scoring and second ref) at 7.40 before playing at 8.50.  What a great way to spend a Friday night - sitting at volleyball until 10 pm.  Bit like work - no heating!!!  Only positive was getting to read while T was doing duty. 

Up to the cleaning product chapter.  I scored some "brownie points" in this one - I have a cleaning hold-all just like they recommend.  Not quite as fancy as theirs - well mine is just a bucket with cleaning stuff in it.  They have some natural cleaning recipes too.  I love watching those cleaning shows on Foxtel - some great hints and recipes on them - only problem is that by the time I find a pen and paper to write them down, I've missed it...hmmm who needs to cut the clutter???

A few years ago I bought one of those great spinning duster heads, you know the ones, advertised on TV.  The boys had a bit of fun dusting each other but other than that most of it is still in the box. Such a great time saving investment..but wait there's more....

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Never a man around when you need one

There I was head stuck in the pantry trying to find the plain flour - seriously someone has to declutter in here - when the youngest teenager  "M" comes up and says "Mum I think someone is in the back garden".  Great my husband, "R" is out with the eldest teenager "T" so that means I'm "it".  The puppies are going wild, the security lights have come on and M says he heard the gate creaking as it does when you open it.

Do I go out the front or the back?  Do I go solo or take the puppies?  Should I pretend I'm talking to someone on the phone and casually wander out or charge out?  None of those, I peeked out the curtains knowing I'd be a screaming mess if someone was actually standing there.  Nothing...feeling brave I ventured out to the back garden - every possible light on, carrying a torch, with the puppies and M for company. Nothing...that's right absolutely no-one there, both gates still shut and no footsteps running off into the distance.  Did I feel better - no - back inside, shut every window, pulled all the curtains and locked the doors.  What's that sound? Me breathing a sigh of relief when I heard R and T come home from basketball.  I so don't like being "it".

Took the quiz "Where does your family fall on the cleaning spectrum?" from "Cut the Clutter".  I'm a "moderate mopper with a house that is clean enough to be healthy yet dirty enough to be a home."  Tho it did follow up with "I occasionally slip a bit too far towards slapdash". Only occasionally, I wish...

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Monday, July 19, 2010

"Cut the clutter"

Strobist boot camp assignment3Image by el_en_houston via Flickr

First day back at work after 2 weeks holiday.  All the children were very excited and happy to be back but why did it have to be so cold...working in unheated church halls running a music and movement program (Kindergym) for Under 5's has it's moments and barefeet in winter is one of them. For safety and sensory awareness, children are required to have barefeet for the hour they are with us -  I like to set the example and have barefeet too, most days it's not too bad but today - brrrr.  The book I'm reading at the moment is one from our small resource library at work - "Cut the Clutter" by Cynthia Townley Ewer.  Started it on the weekend and have yet to read any "pearls of wisdom".

After 16 years in the same house which has limited storage - what was I thinking when we built it - I tend to create piles until I can find a home for whatever it is.  My piles are very clever, they have legs, and move freely around the house.  The goal for read
ing this book - a clear kitchen table and a study that's not an obstacle course. We'll see.
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Sunday, July 18, 2010

I've got the hang of Facebook, can I get the hang of blogging?

I've never blogged before, just had this urge to give it a try. Finding a focus was easy - books of course...

I've tried to do a page layout so I can list what books are on the go, finished or waiting, now I've just got to work out how to get the information into them. Wish me luck.
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