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Don’t Hate…..Celebrate!!

August 12, 2010

Hell friends!  Can you believe we are already in the middle of August?  Time flies I tell you!  As I gear up for a new career and anticipate fall organizing, I want to write about something that has been weighing on my mind lately.  To say the least, it is not helping my OM ;o)

Recently the hubs and I were on a road trip visiting friends and we got to talking about how it seems the older we get the more often we see friends competing with friends.  To be blunt, I do not get this at all.  Friends are there for support, encouragement, laughter, fun, and a shoulder to cry on.  Since when did it become about who has a nicer home, who is doing better work, who is “Keeping Up With the Jones’s” better?  Living this way is only going to cause stress in your friendships and that is not what friendships are about.

Friends are there to celebrate the victories in life…..even if they accomplished something before you did.  They are there to help out……even if you are working on the same thing.  Friendship is not about competition, we compete for enough things in life.  Friendship is something to be cherished and respected.  To have true friendships in life is a precious gift and should not be taken for granted.

Whew, I feel better!  Just a little something for all of us to think about.  We have enough in life to worry about, the last thing we should be concerned with is competing with our friends.

xoxo

d

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Time to Revamp

Hello friends!

I hope vacations, sunbathing, and all things summer are treating you well!  I know I haven’t been blogging too much this summer, but like everyone else, I have been taking a bit of a hiatus from all of the organizing to enjoy my summer break.  I realize that when life gets busy it can be hard to stick to any routine, so until Labor Day, I will be touching base a few times a week with mini tips and tricks to help you organize your OM!  It is hard to believe it is almost August and before we know our precious summer will be over!  Have no fear, we are going to take advantage of it for as long as we can!

So, my first tip for you has to do with taking advantage of our summer…..now remember, I am no professional, I am just passing along tips and tricks I have read, learned, etc.  If you are trying any new type of regimen (physical, dietary, etc) make sure to consult a licensed doctor to make sure the tips/tricks are right for you!

In today’s world, skin safety in the sun is a major concern for many (including freckle-faced me!).  I recently read an article though that took me by surprise.  This article stated that in order to get the daily recommended dose of Vitamin D your skin needs from the sun, you should spend 10-15 mins in the sun WITHOUT sunscreen.  The “without sunscreen” part is what took me most by surprise.  We always here that we should put sunscreen on before going out, no matter how long.  Looks like it is good to go out without some sunscreen to soak up a few rays.  Healthy levels of vitamin D are great for our bones and our mood!  So talk a walk around the block, water your flowers, read a magazine, etc.  Go out and get yourself a little dose of vitamin D today!

xoxo

d

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How Does Your Garden Grow?

Hello friends!  I know it has been awhile, but I hope you are all having a wonderful summer!  So much has been happening on my end and I have also been working on ways to revamp my fabu blog!

As for my summer in a nutshell…..I got a job, turned 30, was diagnosed with plantar faciatis, wiped out on cement stairs, celebrated milestones with friends,  put our townhouse up for sale, and is looking forward to 2 fabulous trips over the next couple weeks!  Oh, and we planted a garden!

Whew!!

Seriously, this summer has been amazing.  I am officially a full-time 2nd grade teacher and will be working in the district I substituted in all year.  I am thrilled, blessed, and in love with the dollar bin section at Target!  Turning 30 was a wonderful celebration with my family and friends…..the injuries, not so awesome, but with the help of my husband we came up with an awesome “How did you get hurt?” story.  Upon reading that, it may look a bit shady that my hubster is helping me with cover stories, but for all the years I was a dancer, I am the clumsiest person ever!  The story we came up with was that I was in a roller derby accident……you should see how impressed people are when I say that!  I am not the toughest looking person, so the derby thing totally takes them by surprise.  Now, I am sure you are saying to yourself, “well if you are going to use that as a story, you should probably have a roller derby nickname!”  Have no fear my friends, yours truly goes by the name EMD, Elbows of Mass Destruction…..for the record, my bony elbows can seriously hurt someone and are not to be messed with!!

One of things I am most proud of this summer (obviously aside from getting a job) is the garden that my hubster and I planted.  Living in the city, there really is not a lot of land for gardening, but an empty plot of land across the street from us was donated to us by the city for a neighborhood garden project.  We were so lucky to get a plot and we have LOVED taking care of our plants.  It makes us really excited to have our own backyard one day because there is nothing better than home grown veggies!! We have really gotten in to the whole gardening game and have been learning a lot from some of our more seasoned neighbor gardeners.  We started off small this year since we are new to this.  We chose to grow tomatoes (cherry and early girl), cucumbers, jalapenos, rosemary, basil, and Greek oregano.  So far we have eaten several cherry tomatoes (DELISH!!), 1 early girl, 3 cucumbers, and the hubster had one of our jalapenos today.  It has been so much fun cooking with our very own produce!  Once our larger tomatoes start to ripen we are going to make our own pasta sauce and salsa!!  Here are some pictures of our summer project!!

Our Garden Plot!

Early Girl tomatoes, almost ready!!

Jalapenos

1 of 3 cucumbers growing right now!

I hope you are all having a great summer and doing things that you love and relax your OM!  Next Sunday, I will debut some of the new things I am working on for this blog!

xoxo

d

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6 Month Check-Up

Hello friends!

These past several weeks have been insane, but wonderful!  I just finished teaching for the summer and I was working my second job at the bar when the Blackhawks won!  The bar I work at, The Fifty/50 is an official Hawks bar so you can only imagine the wonderful madness that ensued this week!  Congrats to the Blackhawks, Chicago is so darn proud of you boys!

I cannot believe we are 6 months into the year!  We have done so much and I wanted to take this time to check in with everyone to see how things are going.  I wanted to see what has worked, what hasn’t, what we may need to revisit, etc.  The thing about organizing our homes and our OM’s is that it is an ongoing process.  It is something we have to stay on top of or else we will end up back at square one.

As I check-in on myself I have realized that I am still struggling with maintaining a laundry schedule.  Now that I have the summer off, it is truly time for me to focus on maintaining a schedule.  That way when school starts up again in the fall, I will have already established a routine that will be much easier for me to maintain.

I have also been so proud of myself for trying several new things whether it be cooking, cleaning, or gardening (that is the topic of Sunday’s blog so I will save the details for later). Some have been successful, others, epic fails.  The important thing is that I tried something new!

I am also focusing on a major health overhaul this summer.  Not only have I cut out all greasy fast food, but Jeremy and I have decided that when we go out to eat, there will be no fries as a side.  In order to appreciate how difficult this really is, you must try the sweet potato and waffle fries at The Fifty/50.  I am working there almost full-time this summer, so to not sneak a few will be incredibly difficult.  Thankfully their grilled asparagus is amazing as well so I have a fabulous substitute.

I also started a whole new workout today that consists of swimming and yoga.  I am thrilled that I now have time for yoga classes 3 times a week now that I am off.  On the days I am not taking yoga, I will be swimming.  I tore my hamstring 2 years ago and regardless of the physical therapy I have done, running is way too strenuous on my leg.  I picked up the latest copy of Women’s Health and they have an awesome guide to swimming.  I am starting out slowly since I haven’t swam laps since high school.  I did a half hour of freestyle, breaststroke, and backstroke laps and I am feeling it already!!

This summer is a time for rejuvenation and discovery.  Don’t be afraid to change things up in your routine or try something new!  Let me know what has worked/hasn’t worked for you yet this year and we will see how we can conquer the physical and mental clutter once and for all!!  TGIF!!

xoxo

d

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Try Something New!

Sunday May 16, 2010

Hello friends!

I hope you’ve had a great weekend!  I have to tell you, I’ve had one of the best weekends ever!  It was filled with fun, relaxing, cooking, cleaning, working, working out, and TRYING SOMETHING NEW!!  Yup, you guessed it (as if the title didn’t give it a way) we are going to work on our OM’s this week and all I want you to do is try something new!

Just to try to spark some inspiration for you, here is a list of “new” things I have recently done that will hopefully help you think of something new to try!

1. I took a new gym class:  I turn 30 in less than 2 months and I have recently begun a new workout regimen that will hopefully get me fabulously fit for my 30th.  This past week I took a muscle definition class and I LOVED it!  It was only 45 mins long and it incorporated a stepper, resistance band, and 2 different sized weights.  I felt the burn exactly where I hoped and wanted and I didn’t leave this class feeling like I was going to die of exhaustion.  Am I suggesting you join a gym and start taking classes?  No way!  If you already belong to a gym, look into trying a new class.  If you don’t, think about taking a nice walk after work or dinner OR change-up the walking/running path you already take…..you never know what amazing new thing you could discover while you are out and about.

2.  Yoga:  I am sure you may find this hard to believe, but I just recently started taking yoga!  Yes, I realize that I have a blog called, “Organize Your OM,” but I have never taken a yoga class.  I grew up dancing, but the whole yoga thing didn’t appeal to me.  How is it that I can get in shape simply by posing like a tree and a dog?  OMG (and yes, I just used the phrase OMG!!)!!!  Friends, I am believer and highly recommend taking a yoga class!  It kicked my booty!  It was awesome and it felt amazing!  It is so much more difficult than just posing!  It is incredible.  I have taken a few classes now and I have fallen in love with Ashtanga Yoga.  I did a “bridge” for the first time in about 20 years last week!  Do you remember what a bridge is?  It is a back bend that starts from a ground position and you simply just push up into the bridge.  It was so much fun.  I actually started laughing because I hadn’t done one in so long and I couldn’t believe I could still do it!  There are a variety of different types of yoga.  I felt it in all the right places and it is something that is becoming a staple in my workout routine.  If you don’t think yoga is your thing, try stretching while watching tv and give a big stretch before bed and when you wake up in the morning.

3.  Jeremy and I cooked up a storm in the kitchen this weekend!  Yesterday my hubby and I went to a fresh fish market in the city and picked up some scallops ( I LOVE scallops!!).  We knew we wanted scallops and risotto so Jeremy looked up some recipes for both via the Epicurious application on the IPad (this is a fantastic application, I highly recommend downloading it).  The recipes we chose to make were seared scallops with homemade smoked tomato butter and saffron risotto. We spent the evening with some good tunes, a glass of wine, and cooked up a storm together in the kitchen.  The food was awesome!!  Tonight when I got home from work, Jeremy was already working on dinner in the kitchen and I jumped in and together we made pork kabobs in a rosemary, orange, and honey marinade (the rosemary was from our very own herb garden) and a mushroom risotto.  It turned out great!!  Even if it hadn’t, at least we tried and we had a lot of fun together in the kitchen! Do you have to cook a huge gourmet meal?  No way….it is very rare we have the time to get this fancy!  You can simply throw something new into an old recipe that you love to try and jazz it up a bit.  You may have a dessert recipe you have been wanting to try……or, maybe there is a restaurant you have been wanting to go….Now is the time!!!

Trying something new does not imply a huge commitment.  It can be a one time thing!  The important thing is that you are trying something new.  Is there a guarantee you are going to like it? Nope.  But, you are at least trying it.  Like I said, trying something new doesn’t have to imply a huge time or personal commitment.  It can be something as simple as trying a new lip stick/gloss color.  It can be adding new accessories to an outfit this week.  It can be watching a tv show that you have never seen.  The possibilities for trying something “new” are endless!  So this week, I want you to try something new!  Have fun with it and let me know how it goes!!  Have a wonderful and safe week!!

xoxo

d

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Re-energized!!

Hello my fellow OM’ers!!  Yes, I am aware that it has been way too long.  I am now back on the train and ready to get down to business.  I have been all over with a mix of business and pleasure.  I am currently working 2 jobs right now and it has been a little more difficult than I had anticipated, but I have gotten everything squared away now so it should be much smoother sailing from now on.  In the midst of my crazy work madness, I must admit my cleaning and organizing fell by the wayside and that led to me feeling absolutely overwhelmed by everything I had to do and therefore I could not get anything accomplished.  In steps Superman….or Super Bubba, my SUPER husband!  He may not share the same passion for cleaning and organizing I do, but he does know how happy these things make me and when they are not done that equals an unhappy wife.  While I do most of the cleaning and organizing, there are certain things that he must do like go though all of his mail and junk stuff.  I have a hard time cleaning when all of his stuff gets piled up.  He knew how stressed I was and went through all of his stuff which cleared the way for me to get down to business.  Our house, is now almost back to its fabulous self!   I have been a machine this week and being able to check “To Do” items off of my list has made me feel amazing!!

I am sharing all of this with you because like I said in the beginning, I am no expert.  I am trying to help myself and help you stay organized both physically and mentally.  I am only human and I too fall into slumps from time to time.  As much as I have beat myself up over this, I know it is normal and more importantly, it is OK!!  As I have worked on re-energizing myself I have discovered the following things:

1.  A cute pain of rubber gloves helps me enjoy cleaning and scrubbing!  I actually enjoy doing the dishes and dirty kitchen work because I have cute hot pink gloves that allow be to feel sassy while I clean.  It also protects my nails and wedding ring from getting all gross and you ladies know there is nothing worse than chipping a fresh manicure.  I highly suggest getting a fabulous pair of rubber gloves, they make all the difference!

2.  Never underestimate the power of paint!  My husband and I have recently redone our upstairs bathroom.  We don’t have the money for a full remodel, so we thought we would change it up with some paint.  Sweet Lord, it is amazing what some paint can do.  Our place is about 15 years old and the vanity and cabinets in the bathroom were an out-of-date oak color.  We freshened everything up with white paint and pained the walls a fabulous neutral taupe color from the new Martha Stewart paint collection at Home Depot…..the entire collection is amazing…..and obviously so is Martha!!  We are going to finish up the bathroom this weekend so I will be sure to post before and afters on Sunday.

Before moving on, I also must talk about the wonders of white paint.  For anyone that has white trim in their house, keep a call of white paint in the house.  For an instant fresh and updated look, touch up the white parts of your home.  Our whole home is trimmed in white so we are doing a little at a time.  I have done the stair case and ledges in our living room.  It is incredible how fresh and clean everything looks with a simple new coat of white paint!

3. Dyson vacuums may be expensive, but they are SOOOOOOOO worth it!  We have a dog and a cat.  Our cat is ancient and quite the pig.  We recently bought the Dyson Handheld Animal Vacuum and this might be one of the most incredible inventions ever!  The suction on this vacuum is amazing.  It picks up dirt and hair in hard to reach places.  Cleans off our couches beautifully.  I am telling you, this is a MUST HAVE for people with pets!!

If you have been feeling a bit overwhelmed or lacking the desire to do any cleaning or organizing, I hope this post has re-energized you!  On Sunday we are going to get in touch with our OM and I can’t wait to tell you about the newest thing I have discovered!  Have a safe and stress-free rest of your week.

xoxo

d

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No Thanks, Delete

Hi friends!

Well I am happy to say I am finally better.  It took until Tuesday, but I am thankful to be feeling like myself again.  This week is an OM week and it is just something small BUT mighty to save your sanity!

Is it just me or do you get more email from businesses than people you know?  For every 1 email I get from a friend, I get about 8 emails from J.Crew, Costco, Staples, Bed Bath and Beyond, etc.  It seems that all stores and online shopping require you to enter your email.  This can cause major inbox clutter.  Having so much junk (not spam) in your inbox can prevent you from seeing emails that actually matter.  I just found an email from my girlfriend Dina that she sent a few weeks ago that was sandwiched inbetween a bunch of SALE emails.  I never responded because I didn’t see it….sorry Dee :o(  It just made me really frustrated so I have two things for you to do this week…..

1.  Go through your emails and remove yourself/unsubscribe from emails that you don’t really need.

2.  Say “No Thank You” when someone at a store asks for your email address.  It may be necessary to provide when online shopping (make sure to uncheck the boxes for receiving emails), but it should not be necessary in the store.

That is all, short but sweet and definitely sanity saving!

I will have closet updates and donation tallies for you this weekend :o)

xoxo

d

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