decorating

Clearing off my bedside table

I wish this was referring to my real life bedside table which is currently a metal folding chair which I thought was a genius idea a la Pinterest until I discovered almost nothing could be less functional in a tiny room where the priorities are keeping everything put away and out of the reach of little hands. As you know, folding chairs don’t have drawers. Or doors. I’m beginning to think that person on Pinterest didn’t have any children…

But I digress.

The bedside table to which I am referring is the imaginary one where I store all the posts, pictures, ideas, whatever that I want to go back to and look over or discuss or just share because it was worth hanging onto. I used to do at least one of these posts a week, then just one, then way less than that to the zero that we currently see. But while I wasn’t blogging anything from my bedside table I was still collecting things there in the form of Feedly blog posts “saved for later”. Try like 149 days later.

So instead of trying to share them in any kind of organized way I’m just going to dump it all here now, and share whatever is still worth sharing after so much time has past and I guess whatever doesn’t make this post will go the way of approximately 75% of everything in my old bedside table [the garbage] when I cleared it out before selling it to its happy new Craigslist owner.

Without further ado, the saved contents of my blog reading from the past 150 days…

+ The Dude Chilling Art Exchange in Vancouver (the name is misleading but the concept is cool and I want to see if it expands this Spring)

+ I had never thought too hard about why we celebrate Labor Day before, until I read two prayers for Labor Day

+ This was a good reminder to me that I want to be tidying as I go and building back habits I had before I started functioning in the urgent. I rely too much on an epic cleaning day when J takes the kids and not enough on being “tidy all the time”

+ Apartment Therapy’s list of 10 of the best things you can get for free online (and they’re legit and legal)

+ I want to see if I can use some of these updates to your kids’ room you can make without spending a cent

+ Obviously a juice cleanse didn’t work for me recently, but I did save this post a long time ago and it has some good tips for how to set yourself up for success when planning a juice cleanse so if it’s on your mind take a peek

+ If you have a girlie girl like me and worry that her only goal of being a princess or a ballerina might not help her in the long run check out the un-princess book list (besides the last one because Robert Munsch you teach kids to be brats and your books aren’t allowed in our house anymore thanks)

+ I saved a lot of posts around Christmas time about gift ideas for this or that family member, most of which aren’t that helpful now, but I want to remember these gifts ideas for future makers next time one of the creative kiddos in my life has a birthday

+ I’m envisioning super inexpensive Ikea or Target or thrifted glassware being transformed like this or like this or like this in one awesome ladies’ craft night (ladies?)

+ This cutting board DIY is so easy it just feels like cheating. Beautiful, display-worthy DIY cheating

+ Unstuff Gifts is a website that will help you find the perfect gift that can be experienced, downloaded or ingested. Genius. If you give it a try come tell me how it went!

+ This is just kind of random but up until I gave him a new one for Christmas, my husband had the same bottle opener in the shape of a foot keychain that he’d had since college (maybe high school?). If we ever accidentally switched keys it was embarrassing to hand them to the checkout girl when she had to swipe my grocery card. If your man’s keychain needs replacing check out this list of 8 great keychains

+ You want to DIY some gifts for kids in your life but you don’t want them to be something the parents try to throw out when you leave? Enter this list of 10 darling DIY toys

Cloud storage for your actual stuff, if this startup ever expands to Vancouver consider me in

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This post, like so many of Jami’s seemed to come right when I needed to hear it. She expresses so much of how I want to look at motherhood, my life and the why behind everything I do. I had been thinking of the word “because” when thinking ahead to 2014, and she, through her own struggles, puts words to that thought process for me.

because i love my God
from the natos

with that said, yes, i’m not my favorite person in those moments when i yell at her and shame her for not doing what i want her to do.  it’s very ugly…

and yet, even saying that phrase can’t change me. phrases have no power. but it became my prayer, my reminder, my cue for repentance. when i would cry and put in her in the bath, i would say over and over again in my head, because i love my God. because i love my God. make it true in my heart. 

On my bedside table

I have missed several instalments of this bad boy, just generally not blogging very consistently these days. But I’m doing a lot of other things with my time that I feel good about and besides, it’s summer, better to be outdoors. Or running a treadmill at the YMCA for that first swimsuit day of the season. Gulp.

Here’s what’s caught my eye and gotten my mind turning lately.

+ I’m feeling a mature, feminine vibe for summer. A wardrobe representative of my age, mummy role and city dwelling. So I’m going with skirts. Think Paris, stylish flats, natural waist, feminine shapes and fabrics. Check out my Pinterest board ME: My style for all the goodies I’m inspired by. And the beauty of a classic style is I can avoid shopping in stores I don’t want to support due to their poor human rights record (Walmart, Target, Superstore, I’m looking at you right now) and instead hit up thrift, consignment and vintage shops.

+ I bought a bathing suit. A retro white polka dotted navy number. Just walking into the store 5 months post-baby and only a couple weeks into working out was no easy feat. But after my experience at a real, honest to goodness bathing suit shop, I don’t think I could go back to trying on those flimsy afterthoughts sold at my usual clothing stores. Thanks, Swimco, the service was stellar and I left feeling good about myself which is saying something when one has just seen themselves in a a bathing suit in a full length mirror. (But after a few more months of working out I’d love to find one like this too.)

+ I’m into chia seeds. I use the information in this pin to put those powerful little things to good use. My favourite thing to do is make the chia seed pudding for breakfast. I mix up the type of milk I use, trying different sweeteners and flavours and I’m able to grab it ready-made in the fridge and feel full fast.

+ Norah’s face is a hot mess. I hate this, my beautiful baby bird looks like she’s been in a brawl. I’ve done my research (including some scary Google image searching of common baby skin condition. Yuck.) and come to the conclusion that she most certainly has bad eczema on her face and cradle cap on her head and neck (bet you didn’t know they could get it there, eh? Well they can and it looks different which is crazy confusing). I’m treating it with this, this and this and she’s a big grease ball most of the time but I’m open to any suggestions from those of you with eczema or cradle cap experience.

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+ Speaking of coconut oil (which you would know if you clicked on those links above) here’s an article listing 101 uses for coconut oil. I love using it already but many of these ideas were new to me. I buy mine on well.ca or at Trader Joes.

+ The print I ordered from Sevenly arrived the other day! It’s gorgeous, printed on a high quality paper and all it needs now is a frame and it’ll be up in our home. Check out their products, and if you aren’t into wearing messages that’s okay too, they have a collection of plain shirts, tanks, toques and bags that still benefit their causes. Can’t wait to put this baby up.

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Belated post about the time I changed my mind

Not long after Norah was born I decided the twins should be in big kid beds instead of cribs. I don’t really know why this suddenly became important to me, maybe subconsciously it was my way of trying to deal with having three under three. If two of them were in big kid beds then it would feel like I only had one baby. Or something.

But really the major motivator was the day I was rearranging the twins’ room (I’m a furniture rearranger. That’s not a real word but I am one) and moved Soren’s crib to find a support bar underneath was completely cracked in half. A broken bed plus visions of a future where I wasn’t hoisting two kids up over the side of a crib while recovering from giving birth (having a new baby sped up the need to give the twins independence to do more things themselves, a post in itself) got me browsing beds on the Ikea website that day.

After asking for input from friends and family and discussing the many options with J over the next week we decided a) we wouldn’t bother to buy new toddler beds, b) it was too soon for bunk beds, but c) we were pretty sure we’d need them eventually so if we bought twin sized beds they needed to be able to stack into bunks. The best deal for us seemed to be Ikea bunk beds that we would set up as twin beds for now. So off to Ikea went J who returned with about 15 boxes. Long story short on this part: he tried to set them up before bedtime only to discover one bed box contained wrong parts so we raced to take it all down and push their cribs back into their room for another night.

This is where the process began to get annoying and more than a little tiring.

Take two on bed building. Another trip to Ikea to retrieve the correct pieces and by nap time the next day the beds were in place. I immediately saw to my dismay they were WAY bigger than I envisioned. They took up the whole room in an already small and full room in a small and full apartment. There was only enough room between the beds to walk and their table and chairs were stuck sitting in the hallway! Not only this but we didn’t yet have a plan to prevent them from falling out of the bed AND we realized since we had to buy new mattresses none of their old bedding would fit. Annoyance increasing.

The twins handled the huge change well, Marlow only fell out once and after we rigged rolled up blankets along the edge under the sheet they stayed put. But I totally regretted my choice from the minute I saw the first bed completed and disliked it more and more every time I had to be in their room. We could hardly move in there, the kids didn’t play in there all day except for the time they spent on the beds themselves which was actually way less than I expected. They routinely spend half their day in their room, “cooking”, reading, drawing, etc. so losing this play space meant less independent play. Instead of feeling excited for the big change I felt kind of panicky and sad (hormones let’s be honest here) and within a couple days I told J I couldn’t live with it.

Bless my poor husband. He took apart two cribs, loaded and unloaded, put together, took apart, put together and then took apart two beds FROM IKEA then took the whole thing back and reassembled and repaired the original cribs. Believe me, the whole time, while taking care of a newborn and trying to keep two toddlers out of his way, I was kicking myself for not going with my original gut feeling that I wanted the kids in toddlers beds. Which our cribs actually convert into, and that’s exactly what we did in the end. J took one side off, built a support for the broken side and, thanks to a very helpful Canadian Tire employee who went down into the warehouse to find a foam pool noodle in January, I created a $3 barrier I saw on Pinterest to keep them safely in bed. They have never fallen out and they both loved how their own beds transformed into something new. They were such troopers through it all.

So now the twins are in toddler beds, their table and chairs are back in their room and there is enough space between their beds for their dresser so one whole side of the room can be a play area. Multitasking rooms in an apartment for five people isn’t optional. And we won’t be venturing back into twin beds until they are old enough for bunks. Thanks for letting me change my mind, J, I know it wasn’t the first time and you know it won’t be the last. LOVE YA.

Here’s some pictures I took shortly after things were back to normal. You can see since then I’ve added the dress up corner and their quilts hang at the head of their bed now to keep it more visually open.

This is Soren’s bed. The metal bucket is their laundry bin and the felt letters on the drawers help them know which drawer is theirs. I love all the ways this small thing has increased their independence and simplified communication.

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This is Marlow’s bed (she has always slept closer to the door because she used to nap shorter and wake up earlier) and at the foot is her doll bed. You can see the pool noodle under the sheet. I cut one in half which created just enough of a barrier while still leaving a flat space at the end to climb in and out.

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This area of their room provides the most fun an apartment kid can hope for. They cook, serve food, colour, read and pretend to grocery shop and generally try to copy everything they see us do.

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Their dresser fits between the beds but I still hope to someday sell it and get something with a smaller profile but more drawers. The Etsy art is on the wall now but we can’t put anything else on the dresser because they can reach it. They empty the drawers all the time.

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These shelves are great because they are high enough to hold sentimental or breakable items but they tend to be neglected. I can see they need some freshening up. But look at my little pants-less sweetie boy aka future chef.

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My bedside table

Just for the record I’ve been trying to write the post(s) about what’s really in my head, on my heart, going on in our lives, but I can’t seem to get the words out the way I want. I’m just too tired. Or discouraged. Or busy. Or something. I’m not sure what. I’m working on it and hopefully someday soon I can write again like I want to. Not about surface stuff but about what’s in my gut and what I’m wrestling with these days.

But for now I just can’t, the words are still all mixed together in my tired head and I’m using all the creativity I have to keep things going in my home and create life for my kiddos. And so I post links to stuff people who are getting more sleep than me are thinking up and I write the easy peasy posts about making soap so I don’t have to write about life.

I’ll get there again someday. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

+ As you know, I’m into making soaps right now. I’ve done laundry detergent and dish soap and up next I’ll need to give dishwasher detergent a go. But eventually my delicious Aveda rosemary mint shampoo and conditioner I got at Christmas will run out and I might decide to try my own recipe. Simple Mom shares a few ways she keeps her beauty natural routine sane and I think I could try some of them.

+ I love inspirational prints for our kids’ room. When the twins were smaller I picked out a print for each of them and hung them in their room. Now I’m on the lookout for something to inspire little Norah Bean as she grows. Don’t know if it’s one of these but I do love the idea of some golden nursery artwork.

+ My girl Vanessa is also a mama of a tender-hearted boy and she wrote some words to him that inspire me to cultivate and value the heart of my own little man.

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+ Easter crafts for our kiddos have been on my mind, I picked up a few supplies from the dollar store to make them easter bags, and you can check out my other ideas on my Pinterest Easter board.

I’m terrible at doing my hair. Never been good at it but these days my hair is always in a poorly executed bun on the top of my head and hasn’t been blow-dried in so long I think I forgot how. So I really want to try one of these ideas to get beyond my bun and add some style to my hair life.

 

This thought has been in my head this week as beautiful days alternate with brutal ones.

 

 

 

My bedside table

As I become more and more adjusted to life with three under three I’m starting to have some headspace and time in my day to dip my toe back into the world of normal activity. Like I cook sometimes. And clean some things. Sometimes I even get to do something that has nothing to do with the immediate bodily needs of a small human being. It’s the simple things.

This creeping back into thriving from simply surviving (though we have our moments of that pretty much every day still) means I can even think a bit into the future, beyond the next night feeding or load of diapers and on to, I don’t know, maybe fixing up those coat hooks in the front hall that never got addressed before baby girl arrived? Or going through more bins of baby items and filling some more bags of gently used toys and goodies to pass on to some mommas I know who could really use them. It feels good to clear away those little piles of baby items that collect around a house with a new baby in it, to put away and reorganize and let in the fresh air after a season of hibernation and tunnel vision. We are through the hardest part I believe, the trenches when it’s all about survival. Some days are still hard, there are tears all around (well not J of course, duh) but we’re figuring this out and we’re pretty sure we’ll live to tell the tale.

I say all this to explain why I even have material for these Bedside Table posts again. Because there are actually things on my mind again that don’t include how do I get this baby to sleep or why does my toddler get so close to her baby sister’s face I think she might eat her. I know you’re glad we can talk about normal stuff again too.

+ For awhile now, since a blogger I read went for it and loved it, I have been interested in the Paleo diet. Now Simple Mom is doing it and she shares her experience so far. My interest grows…

+ Those concrete hooks I bought on Etsy are cool as heck, but haven’t worked out the best for the kids. So I want to move them to the opposite wall for grownup use and replace them with something else. I’m thinking maybe a DIY from some Ikea as-is finds that resembles this:

Source: etsy.com via Sarah on Pinterest

 

+ I made these chocolate chip avocado muffins the other day and not only are they pretty healthy, they hid the avocado so well our four toddler test subjects were none the wiser.

 

+ When the weather is gorgeous here in Vancouver we go out every single day and often end up either picnicking on some dewy grass or playing on a sandy beach several times a week. Last year there were weeks when we didn’t eat lunch indoors even once. So I can’t think of a more useful summer DIY than grabbing something waterproof from the fabric store, a few cheap towels and whipping this up.

 

On my bedside table

five things to consider before talking to your kids about today’s tragedy
by rage against the minivan

I don’t shy away from talking to my kids about hard things when their knowledge can help prevent it. For this reasons we’ve had frank conversations about things like sexual abuse, stranger safety, and bullying. But I don’t think that talking to my kids about mass shootings would in any way equip them for such an event.

+ Apartment Therapy has put together a collection of  gifts for young book lovers who want more than just a new book. How cool is that Hobbit Lego set??

+ Huge congratulations to Charity:Water for raising over $3 million at their Charity:Water Ball 2012. That is enough to provide clean, safe drinking water for 80,000 people. EIGHTY THOUSAND. It’s on my bucket list to be able to attend this event someday, check out the pictures and you’ll see why.

+ Attention everyone, according to Pantone this will be the official colour of the year 2013. What do you think of it?

Source: pantone.com via Sarah on Pinterest

 

+ I haven’t decided for sure (it took me until the twins were a year old to decide on theirs) but I really like this placement for the ink I’ll get for our new baby. Which will require deciding on a name…

Source: bing.com via Sarah on Pinterest

 

+ John is on a roasted nuts and seeds kick and on a recent trip to the grocery store with the kids he came home with several bulk bags with plans to try different ways to roast and season them. Last week we tried this with some almonds and they were delicious. (Though we recommend checking the nuts and probably roasting them much longer if they are raw like ours are – we suspect this recipe might be for already toasted almonds).

 

https://twitter.com/Annie_Nilsson/status/277974788557922304

https://twitter.com/HonestToddler/status/278573099002232832

https://twitter.com/HonestToddler/status/278586714514141184

https://twitter.com/MmeSurly/status/278854103348686848

The Nesting Plan: The homestretch that just keeps going

Update: I posted this in the afternoon but got several more items completed shortly after so I’ve gone back and updated as of quittin’ time today.

Yep. I’m still determine to keep organizing my home up to the last minute. I might as well because who the heck knows when that last minute will come.

Having said that, organizing has definitely taken a backseat to crafting, Christmas wrapping and baking with the kids. Which I am more than okay with. They are at an age when they just need my involvement so much and I know they are soaking up everything they see my say and do (also a bit intimidating) so I want to give them what time I can. Most days we bake something like bread or meringues or shortbread and we create something like pictures or play dough or simple paper snowflakes. Nothing too complicated… yet somehow able to destroy a room in minutes…

So somewhere in there, usually in the rare moments when the twins are willing to play by themselves, or are napping, in the bath or in bed for the night, I try to hit my list. Since my last post here’s how things have shaped up. And I need to give a shout out to my helpful husband who has taken two loads to Good Will, is keeping the garbage and recycling from piling up and even tackling our messy, messy car.

The Previous Projects Remaining Tasks Lists

The Kitchen (see original list here)
Spent all of nap time today systematically working my way through the fridge, across upper cabinets and then lower. Made huge progress and feel SO much better.

  1. Wipe down oils cupboard and all the greasy bottles in it Labeled the sides to keep bottles in their place
  2. Wipe down fridge inside and out It. was. so. terrible. Now it makes me happy every time I open it
  3. Clean microwave
  4. Clean out cooking tool drawers
  5. Finally find an organizer that fits cooking tool drawer I didn’t, but I made due with a few small ones I scrounged up to keep things corralled for the time being
  6. Wipe down fronts of all cabinetry
  7. Wipe down dishwasher and run a cleaning cycle
  8. Do something about the gap beside dishwasher that looks better than our current solution Adjusted the piece of cabinetry that’s there and it looks good enough
  9. Scrub edges of floor with brush
  10. Clean baseboards, light switches, outlets
  11. Wipe down the walls, glass doors
  12. Paint chalkboard wall J finished tonight and it is so exciting. Our home just looks so much more lived in
  13. Recover kitchen chairs with wipeable fabric This will have to wait until I have time to find fabric I want
  14. *New* Hang new light fixture

The Office (see original list here)

  1. Sit down with a plan and roughly map out the look/colour scheme Not a chance this is happening; t’s a huge decorating project that will take time to develop so for now I’ll be happy with neat and clean.)
  2. Wash windows and window sill
  3. Decide what’s going over my desk For now it’s a bulletin board and Hope in Shadows calendar. To be continued…
  4. Possibly move filing cabinet into closet J likes it out so out it stays
  5. Clean out desk drawers, put in an organization system
  6. Clean out closet, decide what’s going in there and put it back together
  7. Label everything
  8. Get more bins for upper closet storage
  9. Possibly get baskets or closed storage to go on the top of the bookshelves for rarely used office items Switched out a few containers elsewhere to get a matching set that will work for now

The Storage Room (see original list here)

  1. Hang hockey sticks on wall in storage room This isn’t critical so I think I’ll back burner it until later
  2. Take items to Good Will
  3. *New* Tidy up the shelves that fell into disarray when Christmas decor and baby stuff was pulled out

The Bathrooms: The Critical List

  1. Clean out under sink cabinets
  2. Purge and organize toiletries
  3. Make bins for twins, baby and our stuff under the sink and label
  4. Stock cleaning supplies, toilet paper
  5. Move medicine box to kitchen There’s not room and the twins have stopped going in there so we’ll leave it for now
  6. Scrub shower and tub

Our Bedroom: The Critical List 

  1. Donate clothing
  2. Clean out donation items stored in closet, take to Good Will
  3. Move blanket trunk into closet
  4. Set up bassinet
  5. Wash window sills
  6. Use Magic eraser on marks on walls
  7. Clear off all piles that collected on window sills
  8. Organize jewelry on window sill and small items on bedside table into jars
  9. Move items off upper closet shelf, anything else that shouldn’t be in our bedroom
  10. Clear out space in my hanging organizer so I can share it with the baby’s clothes
  11. Put bins in closet and under bassinet for baby supplies
  12. Make sure I have all the baby supplies I need organized in our room
  13. Move air conditioner to storage room (we use its fan setting for white noise but it takes up a lot of space so I want to start using my iPhone instead)

Twins’ Room: The Critical List
This room is essentially done as we don’t know what else we’ll have to do to it once the baby is ready to move out of our room and its belongings begin to expand. Not to mention eventual transition to big kid beds…

  1. Buy bins for upper closet shelf, fill and label (beach toys, craft supplies, extra baby supplies, next size up clothing for the twins)
  2. Purge toys being stored at bottom of closet I purged all their toys in preparation for Christmas – there are empty bins!
  3. Purge hanging clothing
  4. Wash window sills
  5. Move Soren’s bed to make more room
  6. Wipe down play kitchen We even ran their dishes through the dishwasher – they loved this
  7. Purge clothing in dresser of anything that’s too small/stained
  8. Return overdue library books

One thing was clear: I had to address that kitchen. I feel like I am in there so many hours of the day yet I looked at it and had a mild panic attack at the thought of it being so gross. Check it out, I even got some extra labelling in.

The office isn’t up to snuff for the opposite reason: because I am rarely in there these days. My desk is piled high with all I don’t know what to deal with or projects on the go. Hopefully while J is finishing the second coat on the chalkboard wall tonight (more on that soon) I can finish everything else in the kitchen and the office will be the last big project left.

Or maybe we’ll just go to a Christmas Village or something instead. I’ll change any plans for the promise of egg nog.

Update: I was too physically tired after coming home from a church banquet, putting the kids to bed and proof-reading J’s 10 page paper to do any more manual labour in the kitchen. So I cleared off my desk, organized under the guest bathroom sink (easy to sit and clean up medicine bins in front of NFL) and folded laundry. J is mopping so the kitchen is in great shape. Finally.

Oh [goofy little] Christmas tree

After debating many other options to avoid using my half-sized, $15.99 Superstore fake tree and even making a trip all the way to Canadian Tire just to laugh out loud in the garland aisle at the price of terrible looking garland, I realized I was crazy to think I could get into creating new Christmas decor this year of all years.

And so I put up our tree.

J was somehow not surprised that I did this despite my insistence that I wouldn’t bother. I just couldn’t imagine Christmas without my ornament collection twinkling among the lights and our apartment just didn’t feel festive even with all my candles, Christmas towels and snowflake mugs.

So the funny little tree went up and the whole family is happy. And the twins almost never touch it. Almost.

They did “help” me by having a dance party on my holiday bins.

The tree is set up in the corner (on top of a small burlap-covered table I used to elevate it two years ago), surrounded by furniture and the window sill is blocked by a lamp to keep little window walkers from trying to tightrope walk in.

Seeing the tree all decorated for the first time upon waking up from a nap.

Here are a few ornaments in my collection (I have mine from my childhood and I collect a meaningful one each year that represents that year for our family.

The deers are the twin’s Baby’s First Christmas ornaments (purchased from this great Etsy shop).

This was last year’s new ornament to commemorate moving to Gastown.

The red ball with the blue bird is from our trip to China and the wooden heart with Mary on it was made by my friend’s mom who passed away from cancer several years ago. I bought it at our town’s craft fair when we were in elementary school.

This was our ornament the year we went to Paris.

I’m so glad I decided to just do a tree. But someday I’m going to try all those things I pinned. Aren’t we all.

The Nesting Plan: Tying up loose ends and determining priorities

In an attempt to tie up loose ends on any to do lists or task-oriented posts I’ve been running in preparation for Baby #3 I’m going to give a mass update on my Nesting Plan all at once. If you like lists and checking things off as much as I do this is the post for you. It’s time to decide what must be done, what can hopefully be done and what is going on the back burner until life settles down again. It’s just reality folks, I had high hopes but I definitely will not get to everything.

It probably doesn’t help that I keep adding things to my/J’s lists AND decorated for Christmas last week. *sheepish smile*.

Here’s what was left on all the lists of all the projects I had done and blogged. Note: this isn’t including my third trimester list/baby list. That’s for another day.

The Previous Projects Remaining Tasks Lists

The Kitchen (see original list here)

  1. Wipe down oils cupboard and all the greasy bottles in it
  2. Wipe down fridge inside and out
  3. Clean microwave
  4. Clean out cooking tool drawers
  5. Finally find an organizer that fits cooking tool drawer
  6. Wipe down fronts of all cabinetry
  7. Wipe down dishwasher and run a cleaning cycle
  8. Do something about the gap beside dishwasher that looks better than our current solution – wedged in piece of wood
  9. Scrub edges of floor with brush
  10. Clean baseboards, light switches, outlets
  11. Wipe down the walls
  12. If time allows, paint chalkboard wall
  13. Recover kitchen chairs with wipeable fabric
You already saw my neatly organized spice and baking cabinets but here’s a look at my cookbook/paper goods cupboard after I got rid of half my cookbooks and the corner cabinet I reorganized and the upper cabinet where I moved some of the appliances (which makes more sense since I can’t reach the upper cabinet and having food up there is super annoying).
I moved the blender, slow cooker and immersion blender which made room for my glass mixing bowls and food processor which in turn freed up counter space where they had been living.
This is where I moved lesser-used appliances. And this picture was taken right after squishing the food down onto the shelf below and it shows.

The Office (see original list here)

  1. Sit down with a plan and roughly map out the look/colour scheme Not a chance this is happening; t’s a huge decorating project that will take time to develop so for now I’ll be happy with neat and clean.)
  2. Wash windows and window sill
  3. Decide what’s going over my desk For now it’s a bulletin board and Hope in Shadows calendar. To be continued…
  4. Possibly move filing cabinet into closet Nope.
  5. Clean out desk drawers, put in an organization system
  6. Clean out closet, decide what’s going in there and put it back together
  7. Label everything
  8. Get more bins for upper closet storage
  9. Possibly get baskets or closed storage to go on the top of the bookshelves for rarely used office items

The Storage Room (see original list here)

  1. Hang hockey sticks on wall in storage room
  2. Take items to Good Will (did this once but another pile has already accumulated)

Overall not an insane amount left, hardly anything from early projects, though some things need to be addressed again (like a quick re-tidy of the storage room that is simply hell-bent on becoming unruly. But there’s more I want to cover in the remaining rooms if time allows. So going forward I’ll just list the critical items that I’d be stressed about if they remained undone and I went into labour. For now I’ll skip the extra wish list items and maybe someday I’ll come back to them.

The Bathrooms: The Critical List

  1. Clean out under sink cabinets
  2. Purge and organize toiletries
  3. Make bins for twins, baby and our stuff under the sink, label clearly
  4. Stock cleaning supplies, toilet paper
  5. Move medicine box to kitchen (the kids get into it all the time)
  6. Scrub shower and tub

Our Bedroom: The Critical List 
I’ve done a bunch in this room so I’m going to include those items and cross them off because that’s half the fun of doing them. Thankfully not much left to do in here and I’ll try to take pictures of what I have done.

  1. Donate clothing
  2. Clean out donation items stored in closet, take to Good Will
  3. Move blanket trunk into closet
  4. Set up bassinet
  5. Wash window sills
  6. Use Magic eraser on marks on walls (thanks, kids)
  7. Clear off all piles that collected on window sills
  8. Organize jewelry on window sill and small items on bedside table into jars
  9. Move items off upper closet shelf, anything else that shouldn’t be in our bedroom
  10. Clear out space in my hanging organizer so I can share it with the baby’s clothes
  11. Put bins in closet and under bassinet for baby supplies
  12. Make sure I have all the baby supplies I need organized in our room
  13. Move air conditioner to storage room (we use its fan setting for white noise but it takes up a lot of space so I want to start using my iPhone instead)

Twins’ Room: The Critical List
Did quite a bit in here too so once again I’ll mention what’s done and the few items left.

  1. Buy bins for upper closet shelf, fill and label (beach toys, craft supplies, extra baby supplies, next size up clothing for the twins)
  2. Purge toys being stored at bottom of closet
  3. Purge hanging clothing
  4. Wash window sills
  5. Move Soren’s bed to make more room (the symmetry was nice but the space between their beds wasn’t very useable and we don’t have that luxury)
  6. Wipe down play kitchen
  7. Purge clothing in dresser of anything that’s too small/stained
  8. Return overdue library books

So that’s that. Time to take what’s left and put it in order of priority so we can tackle it. Still much I hope to do and even more on my wish list that will just have to wait until some other day. Now is the time to prepare for having a baby and making life easier in the days following, not hanging curtains or searching stores for vintage picture frames. As much as I’d love to do all that too.

Now I just need to figure out how much of this I can pass off on my dear, hardworking husband. KIDDING. Sort of. Okay I already made him a list.

On my bedside table

+ STOP. Before you spend another dime on Christmas gifts at ANY store, check out this post on Rage Against the Minivan. I wish I had known this and next year I’ll be taking full advantage of the ability to earn money back into a personal giving fund with Pure Charity. This is, in my opinion an AMAZING way to buy the gifts you want to give (trust me, I’ve spent hours trying to find good gifts that give to a cause. Slim pickins) and still do something important for those in need.

+ My girl Emily recently did a review and a giveaway of some cutie patootie wet bags. Waaaay nicer than what you’ll find in most cloth diaper stores (is it just me or do they select their fabrics from the old school aisle of the fabric store?) and so naturally when a 15% discount code was offered I jumped right on that and got myself one. And one for my only sister who is due with her first any. minute. now.

I got this one. You have until the end of the month to read Em’s post and use the code to get your own (though side note: the full price is fantastic compared to in-store options).

Source: etsy.com via Sarah on Pinterest

 

+ I need new glasses (at the very least lenses as the coating is visibly peeling off mine) and I’m thinking about going online this time. I know about Clearly Contacts but recently read about another possible option on from the natos. Might have to give Firmoo a try.

this is love: a gratitude gut-check
by rage against the minivan

As he sat Chris down next to me, I noticed that his face looked a lot older than I’d thought at first glance . . . too old for a boy to be carried. Though he was Karis’s height, his face looked about 6 or 7. I also noticed as he sat down that one of his shoes had a 3-inch platform on the bottom. After the photo, Chris stood briefly for a moment and seeing his posture and gait, it suddenly dawned on me: Chris has spina bifida. He lives in rural Peru with spina bifida that has likely been only minimally treated and can only walk a few steps at a time. So his grandfather was carrying him. He was carrying him the whole length of the ruins so he could see Macchu Picchu.

+ Someday when I’m able to dive back into my DIY Definites Pinterest board I am doing this. Baby pictures of J and me in some random old frames would = fantastic my books.

 

+ My Thanksgiving meal contributions were a huge disappointment to me this year. My stuffing was dry and lame in the flavour department, my green bean casserole was soupy and uninspired. It was decidedly an off year. But I made this cranberry sauce (replacing the jelly with sour cherry preserves because it’s what I had but it was lovely addition) and it ended up being a winner.

Source: zestuous.com via Sarah on Pinterest

 

 

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