Monday, April 11, 2011

Eyebrow Whisperer Coupon Code

Hi Friends! Due to the huge response to my previous post and in honor of her moving to a private, new, beautiful location, Heba (affectionately known by my readers as The Eyebrow Whisperer) has offered $5.00 off to my readers.  Just mention coupon code: alanabell at time of payment for your discount.   

To book an appointment call Heba at 516-444-6469.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Messy Girl's Guide: Spring Cleaning

This is how my playroom looked after I left her alone for 5 minutes!
 When it comes to spring cleaning or organization in general, things can seem overwhelming, even daunting (please Lord, I hope that's not just me).  Quite often when I used to think about cleaning out a particular closet or organizing a room the thought of the undertaking was enough to deter me all together.  By no means is my house a museum.  I live in the real world, and I have real kids who make a real mess.  They like to pull every toy off of every shelf and eat their snacks in every room. 

Let me also put it out there that I do not find cleaning or organizing relaxing.  At all.   I trust those people who say they do find it relaxing about as much as I trust the people who swear they never watch what they eat, never work out, and just happen to have rock hard abs and a shelf butt!  (Liars!)  I put the women who swear they feel even better pregnant than they do when they're not in this category as well.  (Super liars!!!)

As a reformed messy person (I started to "nest" when I was pregnant with Ruth and never really stopped, one plus of pregnancy), I understand how unappealing cleaning and organization can be to some.  And while I don't find it relaxing I do find it rewarding.  Here are my very basic building blocks for a solid foundation in organizing and cleaning your personal space:

1. Think small, very small.  I realized that a big part of what had been holding me back on certain projects previously was thinking that the task as a whole was too great to tackle in the amount of time I had.  I love a finished job, and the idea of spending the day organizing and cleaning and rearranging until every last thing is perfect is generally what I find appealing about the whole process, but most days I simply don't have the luxury of time (who does?).  I split up a job into small tasks and tackle one area of a space or one thing in the space.  (For example, clear out one piece of furniture or if that's too much, one drawer, but not every drawer).

2.  Give yourself a budget (for donating not buying).  I find that giving away clothing is a particularly hard thing for me to do.  First, because I really like the things I buy.  I have very specific taste which basically hasn't changed much over the years (I have certain items since about the 7th grade) so I have a lot of stuff.  Second, I have a lot of sentimentality towards the things I wear. I remember particular occasions or stories when I see or wear certain items.  The obvious giveaways (we have all succumbed to the passing trends, tube top anyone?) are always easy but its that next round of decisions that makes my head spin.  So I give myself a budget.  I look at my closet and I come up with a number of items that I must find to give away.  If its 10, I sometimes find myself agonizing over the last article but I always stick to the budgeted number, no excuses.

3.  Know where your items are going.  This is key for me.  I find that when I give items away to people or organizations that I feel will really use and benefit from them, I don't hesitate to part with things.  I recently gave a dress to a friend and saw her wearing it at a party.  She looked so stunning in it.   Seeing it being loved by someone else made me far happier than having it in my closet.  (The reverse is true also.  I have been the recipient of useful or needed things, most notably the bulk of Oliver's wardrobe.  That came from the always elegant Bonnie of BonniePark.  It makes us both so happy when I tell her how much use I am getting out of everything.  She also happens to have impeccable taste, so Oliver generally looks like he stepped out of a Ralph Lauren ad).

4.  Clean with purpose.  If the purpose of general neatness and order is enough to motivate you that's great.  I usually find that when I have a purpose in my decluttering I fare far better.  Passover is coming which is a great excuse to pull out every last piece of junk in the house.  Other times I want to buy a new piece of furniture or rearrange a room, so I force myself to organize everything before anything gets moved or purchased.

5.  Finish what you start.   Do not move on to another task until you complete the one you started.  I speak from experience here.  Opening up every drawer in every room usually leads to one thing: a bigger mess!  You will never be able to finish and things may get worse than they were to begin with.  If you don't allow yourself to move on it will motivate you to finish what you've started.

Next Messy Girl post will include some of my tips on storage and the products that help me help myself :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

An Ode To The Oreo

So this morning when I woke up I opened up my 90 calorie Fiber One brownie only to find an Oreo cookie stuck to the top of it.  Think I'm joking? Here's the proof...

There's my purple thumb again...looks like I need a polish change :)
I suppose this beats the time I found a spider in my unopened water bottle.  I have a photo of that too but I will spare you.  I think the universe was trying to tell me something.  Or maybe some sicko at the Nabisco factory thought that this would be a hilarious joke to play on someone trying to diet.  Either way, you know the brownie was toast and I helped myself to some Oreo's instead!

Though I hadn't intended to write a post entirely on the greatness of Oreo's, while on the topic I feel so inclined. In my house, (I am probably not going to win any parenting awards for admitting this openly) Oreo's are basically like a food group.  We are never without them, seriously.  My kids are pretty healthy eaters and I try to push fresh foods over packaged, blah blah blah, but Oreo's are simple perfection.  Not too rich, not too heavy, not too sweet.  Perfection.

Just a couple of weeks ago I was chopping vegetables for a salad in the kitchen with Ruth.  After each one was finished she asked for a taste, made a funny face, spit it out and we moved on to the next.  After a few attempts I said, "Don't worry Ruthie, we will keep trying until you find something you like."  To which she replied without hesitation, "I like Oreos."  Can't argue with that.

We generally have the Double Stuf on hand (I seriously can't believe this is my post, and yet I feel the urge to press on) but occasionally we buy the Golden Oreos.  Thinking we were being all sorts of cool we bought her the Heads or Tails (half chocolate, half vanilla).  I ended up having to make my own "all chocolate" ones for Ruth who let me know that a black and white Oreo is "ahsgusting!" (Daddy was the happy recipient of the "homemade" vanilla ones).

Got a case of the Mondays? Eat an Oreo.

PS I forgot to mention that we additionally really like the mini Oreo's in the Snack Pack container. (Just had to share).

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Weekender

Can you believe its April 1st already?  I sure can't.  I'm going to be writing a few posts on Spring Cleaning and General Organization in the coming weeks (and to my this is not an April fools joke).  As a reformed messy person striving for organization in the chaos of life, I have come up with some ways to help me stay on track.

After I got pregnant with Ruth the nesting set in and I don't think it ever dissipated.  Until next week check out these great food storage containers from IKEA.  I wish I could buy 100 and put everything I buy in them, but even at IKEA prices they add up fast!  For now I bought 6 small and 2 large (They didn't have the teeny 10 oz. ones at the store, or maybe I just missed them).

Just finished Season 3 of Mad Men...amazing season finale! So happy that Season 4 is out on DVD already...I thought I was going to have to wait really really impatiently! **UPDATE: Stepped away from writing this post to pick up the Mister from work and look what he got for me...

Check out the order date. He literally ordered it the second after we finished Season 3!  Someone is even more impatient than I am.  What an awesome much better than flowers! (Also, that's my thumb with electric purple polish from Forever21.)  Have an awesome weekend everyone.