Monthly Archives: February 2010

15 Minute Rule!!

February 28, 2010

Week 8

Hello friends!  We are two months into Organizing our OM’s!!!  We have some big projects coming up in March and I cannot wait to get to them.  Before I get too ahead of myself, let’s focus on our OM this week.  This week I am instituting the 15 minute rule!  Is this some sort of adult time-out?  No way!  The 15 minute rule is going to help us abide by the saying, “Do not put off until tomorrow what you can get done today.”

How many times have you said to yourself, “I will just finish that up tomorrow.” or “I’ll get to it later.”  I am guilty of doing it several times a day and I am really trying to end that and finish up things and prep for other things when I can.  A way I have been working on this is with the “15 Minute Rule.”  The 15 Minute Rule can be used at any time and multiple times throughout the day if needed.  Jeremy and I have been using the 15 Minute Rule after dinner.  We are notorious for chilling on the couch after dinner instead of cleaning up and putting things away.  Somehow it never fails that food we were going to save and put away “later” gets left on the counter or stove until the next day.  It is frustrating and a waste of money!  In order to end this, we started the 15 Minute Rule.  After dinner, we spend 15 minutes cleaning and putting stuff away.  It is also a great time for me to get my lunch ready for the following day, fill the coffee maker, etc.  The 15 Minute Rule can do wonders!  It is amazing how simply taking 15 minutes to do some things around the house can help things look clean and help you gain some mental clarity and calm.

We use the 15 Minute Rule to go through bills, fold laundry, tidy up, etc.  It is amazing what you can get done in 15 minutes!  It has helped us so much and I hope it helps you!  My task for you this week is to initiate the 15 Minute Rule at least once a day for this week.  Keep track of how much you get done and how great you feel!

Have a wonderful week!





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Roll With It Baby!

February 21, 2010

Week 7

I am channeling my inner Steve Winwood and telling you all to “roll with it baby!” This has 2 meanings…, I realized that it is Wednesday evening and I have yet to write my organizing blog for the week!  Instead of stressing out about it, I am just rolling with it and writing now.  I am pretty sure you will understand.  I am 2 1/2 weeks away from getting married and we have been working on preparing all the little details that will make our day fabulous!  Meaning #2….we are going to “roll” those kitchen drawers out this week and get them organized.

Organizing is not only about making things look neat, it is also about taking the time to assess and clear out the clutter.  When I reorganized our kitchen drawers, I was able to put a whole box together for donation.  I mean, who really needs 4 spatulas?  Less is more my friends!  Unless you really need it or use it often, find it a better home :o)

When organizing your drawers make things as easily accessible as possible.  Again, storage/organizing containers from Wal-Mart, The Container Store, or Target work great for drawer organization.  If things have a designated place, you will be able to see them better and make them more efficient.

When organizing your drawers, think about grouping them by category.  We keep our stored cooking utensils in the top drawer for easy access while cooking, our measuring cups and bowls (mini bowls) in the same drawer for easy access, and in our bottom drawer we keep lots of our serving and bbq items.

Remember, organize your drawers according to your needs!!  Take time to assess what you need and what you can throw away or donate.  Spring is just around the corner and I cannot wait to do some serious spring cleaning with you guys!!



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New Stuff=Organizing Opportunities!

February 14, 2010

Week 7

Hello friends!

Happy Valentine’s Day!  I hope you are recognizing those you love and the special people in your life in a special way today.  I have spent mine helping my hubby-to-be nurse his hangover/lack of sleep from his bachelor party last night….so romantic!  Actually, we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day.  I feel like it is more of a stress than an enjoyment.  I feel the same way about NYE.  All the hype and often a let down.  I have watched so many friends stress out about who they are going to spend these holidays with and what they are going to go.  I will tell you a little secret…..these days are just like every other day, you are just charged a lot more for things like flowers, candy, dinner, and alcohol.  There is so much hype and expectation that surrounds these dates that I have seen too many people in tears by the end because things did not pan out like they hoped.  On these kind of holidays I think it is most important that we take time to let the important people in our lives know how special they are to us!  Enough of my sappy soap box diatribe!

So as many of you know, my work on my OM did not goes as planned last week as I spent much of it down for the count and hurt.  Who knew something that looks so pretty and fluffy could hurt me so much.  I guess that is why there are terms for different types of snowfalls, “heart attack snow, widow maker snow, etc.”  Not so pretty now, huh?  Anyways, I am thrilled to say that I am BACK and ready to rumble….no, I will not be wrestling, but I would love to think of a catchy wrestling name for myself.  It would have to involve something with my elbows since they are seriously dangerous weapons…hmmm, I will have to think about this.

I digress though.  It is back to ORGANIZING this week people!  I had lots of downtime last week so I have been thinking of all sorts of nifty things we can over the next several weeks.  I am really itching to do some serious spring cleaning, but since we just got a foot of snow this week, I think that will have to wait until spring officially arrives.  Have no fear, I have plenty of fun in store for us until then.  This week we are going to tackle the kitchen!!  I love my kitchen, not only because we got fabulous new stainless steel appliances (which are so lovely and pain to clean btw), but because I LOVE to eat!  How did your work on your fridge go?  Are you finding it easier to manage what you have and what you need my arranging your items by category?  I hope so!  This week we are going to build off of that theme and tackle our cabinets!

The inspiration for this week came to me after I completely rearranged our cabinets to get rid of old stuff and make space for our fabulous new dishes, serving items, etc. that Jeremy and I have received at our showers so far.  I am IN LOVE with our new stuff.  We love entertaining and having people over and I am so happy to have the necessary items needed for hosting a simple bbq or a fabulous soiree!  Once the weather warms up, I cannot wait to have a bbq on our rooftop deck!  As I began cleaning out our cabinets that held our dishes, I decided why stop there when I can go through all of our cabinets and do some much needed organizing.  Jeremy and I moved into our townhouse this past July.  When you first move in somewhere new it can initially be difficult to decide where you want to keep everything so you just start putting stuff in places to get it out of the boxes.  As we spent more time in our home and lots of time in the kitchen, we have realized that our initial set-up may not have been the most functional for our cooking/baking needs in the kitchen.

When Jeremy and I first moved in together last winter it took awhile to get into a groove of figuring out how we each operated and what we needed to do to live in harmony….the answer, knowing I am always right!  Ha, I am kidding.  I would love to think that, but Jeremy will quickly point out that is not true in any way, shape, or form.  It quickly became evident that we operated very differently in the kitchen.  There was NO organization whatsoever in Jeremy’s kitchen.  I am not exaggerating.  I found an Iron Man DVD in the same cabinet as Crisco….what?!?!  I believe that everything in a kitchen (or any room for that matter) has its place.  I do not like clutter…shocking, I know!  I had a really difficult time understanding why Jeremy had to keep every appliance he owned on the small amount of counter space there was.  He said it was because a kitchen is supposed to be functional and by having his appliances out, they were ready to be used when needed.  I too believe a kitchen should be functional, but the Kitchen Aide mixer that gets used a couple times a month does not need to be out all the time.  So when we moved into our townhouse in July it gave up the opportunity to reorganize things.

As I mentioned before, I hate when kitchen counters are covered in appliances and clutter.  Aside from our toaster and coffee maker, there are no appliances we use on a daily basis and therefore should be put away.  For awhile Jeremy was on a morning smoothie kick so he kept the blender on the counter (as much as I hated it)….remember, relationships are about compromise)).  When the kick wore off, the blender went away.  Now that we are one month away from getting married, we are getting all sorts of fantastic new stuff and we are so excited to use it.  We have lived in our home long enough to know how we need our kitchen set-up in order to be functional and clutter free!  Everyone is going to organize their kitchens differently, but I think it is important to keep some things in mind when organizing:

* Like Jeremy’s says, kitchen are meant to be functional.  Your set-up should reflect a way that enables you to use your kitchen in an effective manner.

* Try to group like items together in cabinets or drawers and according to their appropriate need in the kitchen.  You don’t want to keep all of your stove top cooking items across the way from the stove, keep them in close proximity so they are easy to grab while cooking.

*Keep items you use most frequently in the front of cabinets and at a reachable height.  If you use a certain bowl all the time, it makes no sense to put it on the top shelf where you have to climb on a chair to get it each time.

*Keep your cooking utensils in a container or a drawer for easy access.  All of our spatulas, spoons, and other cooking utensils are in a stainless steel container next to the stove.  As much as I hate clutter, these are necessary to keep out in order to prevent my dinners from burning while I fetch them out of a drawer.

*If you live alone, you are able to set-up your kitchen however you want!  If you have a roommate, significant other, or spouse, involve them in the set-up process.  If you do more of the baking and your partner does the cooking, talk about the ways to organize the cabinets and drawers to best suit both of your needs.  If you do the eating and your partner does the cooking, let them have the majority of the say in how things are to be arranged.  You don’t want to go hungry because they can’t find anything.

*Try and organize by category.  Just like the fridge, I find that having a system for organizing your cabinets really helps in finding things you need to use to cook, seeing what you have so you don’t waste money, and using what is available so it does not spoil.  We have a set of our cabinets dedicated to our daily cooking needs; cereals, making lunches, rice and pastas for dinner, snacks for entertaining, etc.  We also have a cabinet for all of our baking supplies; flours, sugars, powders, Crisco, baking pans, etc.  Not only does it keep things organized, but it saves us time.  We don’t spend so much time looking for certain ingredients while we are cooking, we know exactly where everything is.  It also helps with clean-up because you know everything has its own space to be put away.

This week’s task provides a great opportunity to do inventory to see what you have, what you need, and what you should get rid of (AKA donate).  We were able to box up 2 large boxes of dishes and 3 separate boxes of various utensils and kitchen items that we no longer needed, used, or had been replaced by new stuff we received.  It was quite a process, but a very satisfying one!

Tonight, start with a task list.  Write down what areas you are going to tackle and when this week.  Don’t try and do everything in one night.  Remember, the key to sticking with this is taking it one step at a time.  Do not overwhelm yourself.  This will take some work, but you will feel great when you finish!!

I will be checking in each day and posting photos of how we reorganized our kitchen!  Think of it as practice for spring cleaning!  Happy Valentine’s Day my friends.  You make my heart smile  just by reading this blog! (This is where Jeremy laughs at me and rolls his eyes!)




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Gut Check Time….Wednesday!

Happy Hump Day!

So I think that Jeremy and I are getting over the hump of being sick. I took him to the dr. today to have a strep test and thankfully it was negative, so I have continued pumping him (and myself) full of fluids, vitamins, foods, and meds.  I appreciate your comments yesterday!  Val, you are so right, you can’t push it just to fullil what I am supposed to do.  Girlfriend, I hope you counted your swing dance class as your exercise!!  What an awesome thing to do!

Your comments got me thinking that when I said to exercise for 30 mins each day, I should have said try to be active for 30 minutes each day!  Exercise is not solely allocated to the gym, free weights, and push-ups.  It can be a brisk walk outside, scrubbing the bathroom, or taking a swing dance class.  I am not a sedentary person so being down for the count the past couple days I have had lots of time to think and I have come up with some great future Organize Your OM tasks and projects!  This blog is about to take off and I hope you will all come along with me for the journey!

I am hoping by this time tomorrow to be back to my old self.  I know I am supposed to be resting, but I HAD to do something tonight…..I did 30 push-ups and 60 reverse tricep push-up things (you know the one where you are in a crab walk position)…..I am no personal trainer so I apologize for my lack of technical terms :o)  I know I am supposed to be resting, but I have a a wedding in 1 month and 3 days!

I hope you are all having a great week.  Happy Hump Day!



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Gut Check Time….Tuesday

Down for the count!

Well, I am sad to say there will be no workout for me today.  I have realized that working out while you are sick, coupled with stress does not always do a body good!  Not only do I feel lousy today, but I strained my back while shoveling snow….what, am I 80?  So sadly I had to admit defeat today and was unable to workout.  I promise to make this up.  I hope you are all trying to stay healthy this week by working on your OM!




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Gut Check Time….Monday!

Happy Monday my friends!  I hope you have all had a nice start to your week.  I have spent my day taking care of my sick hubby-to-be.  We have both come down with lousy colds, but he is faring much worse than I am.  There have been lots of soups and fluids consumed today!  As I mentioned yesterday, NO cold was going to stop me this week from working on my OM!  As promised, here is what I did for my 30 mins of exercise today.  How are you doing?  Keep me posted!  Stay positive, you can do this!!

Monday Gut Check Time!

5 mins of stretching: You should never go into a workout cold!  Always warm those muscles with some light cardio or stretching.

Sumo Squats: Using a 10lb dumbbell, I do 10 squats.  I begin with my arms raised over my head and as I squat down I lower the dumbbell in between my legs.  As I straighten up, I raise the dumbbell over my head.  Complete 3 sets

Super Squats with Dumbbell: Doing low mini squats I hold the dumbbell at chest level while I pulse 10 times.  Complete 3 sets.

Booty Workout:  Using the floor I complete 3 sets of the following exercises:

Leg Pulse to the ceiling:  Use a mat or something soft and place your hands and knees on the floor.  Raise your right foot to the ceiling (heel to the ceiling) and bring it back down to start position without resting it on the floor.  Repeat 10 times and then switch legs.  Complete 3 full sets.

Leg extension:  This exercise works the outer thigh/saddle bag area.  Again on all 4’s, raise your right knee out to a 90 degree angle and then extend your leg out to the side.  Bend your knee back in and return your leg to beginning position.  Repeat 10 times and then switch sides.  Complete 3 full sets. This exercise really burns so do NOT FORGET to breathe!!

Tricep work: Position your body into a crab-walk position with your fingers facing your booty.  Pulse up and down without letting your booty touch the ground.  Pulse 30 times.

Bicep work: Using 10 lb dumbbells, I did 3 sets of 20 arms curls (10 on each arm)

Shoulder work: Holding  a 10 lb dumbbell in each hand, I do 15 shoulder shrugs.  Repeat 3 times

Bicep work: Instead of a regular bicep curl, I hold my arms at my sides and bring the dumbbell up to my shoulder.  The flat outside of the dumbbell should touch your shoulder.

5 mins of stretching.

I tend to focus only on 1 or 2 muscle groups in my workouts, but today I did a little bit of everything.  Tomorrow I will have a longer workout that focuses on cardio, tricep, chest muscles.

I hope you have found the time to focus on your OM tonight!  Sweet dreams!



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It’s Gut Check Time!!

Sunday February 7, 2010

Week 6

Hello my friends!  I am sure many of you are returning home from Superbowl festivities.  If you are anything like myself, you ate entirely way too much!!  I have issues with saying NO to food, even when I am not hungry.  I have been doing much better curbing my desire to eat when I am bored, but sometimes I need to work on just saying NO!  Seriously though, the chocolate strawberry cake was impossible for me to turn down….still, I should have said NO!

This got me thinking about the upcoming week and how it is time for us to Focus on Our OM!  There will be NO slacking this week my friends.  This week, I am requiring that you workout for at least 30 minutes every day!!!  I know, I know, I just said every day and you have a super slammed week and really there is NO time to fit in 30 minutes of exercise.  I say BOLOGNA!!  We make time each and every day to do multiple things for others, yet we often forget to think about what we need.  There will be NO excuses this week my friends!  YOU and I will all be dedicating at least 30 minutes each day for exercise.  This is not only good for the body (and let’s be honest, I mostly workout for vanity reasons), but exercise is also fabulous for our OM!  WE are going to do it! I am holding you to an honesty policy and would even LOVE for you to send a daily report back to me with what you have accomplished!  I will be posting a daily recap of my activities for you to read as well.

Does this mean you have to go to the gym and use all sorts of fancy equipment?  Heck NO!  You can exercise in the comfort of your own home while watching a mindless reality tv show!  You can use a chair, mat, whatever is lying around the house to help you exercise.  You can take a 30 minute walk to get fresh air.  You can dance around your bedroom for 30 minutes to the radio.  I just want you to get moving this week!

Now remember, when we get moving, we must remember to keep our bodies hydrated and nourished so we do not get sick or run down.  I am suffering right now from not eating enough fruits and veggies this past week and I have come down with a cold, but sneezing my head off and a runny nose will not stop me from taking care of my OM this week!

I encourage you to all take this challenge with me.  Each day we take care of many others wants and needs, we deserve 30 minutes to take care of ourselves.  Here’s to a happy and healthy week!  I will post my workout for you to see tomorrow.  I can’t wait to hear from you!



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