Friday, February 26, 2010

A Pocket Full of Fun

Most of my pockets so far have been either primarily functional or primarily aesthetic. My latest pocket, however, is all about fun. First, we had this empty corner in the den where we moved out a piece of furniture to make room for our Christmas tree. When the Christmas tree was gone, we decided we didn't want the piece of furniture moved back, so it's been sitting like this:
Pretty boring, huh? I sit caddy-corner from this area and every day I look at it and think there must be some better use for it than collecting dust bunnies. Then one night it hit me. After hearing someone tell my youngest children to sit or duck down because they were building things on the coffee table and blocking the viewers sight of the Olympics on the television, I got an idea.
I took a rug that was still folded up in its package, a laundry basket from my workroom, a little plastic basket from the same place and the bead and wire toy we never have a good place to put and created a kids' corner.

This is the 'after ' picture with Sweetpea enjoying the new kids' corner. This has been a huge hit with her as well as Ribbit and Ladybug. They a loving having all the Duplos available and having a place to play with them that they don't have to move out of someone's way. It's a win-win proposition.

A Taste for Something New

I had a crazy year last year. In the course of the craziness, I fell into certain routines. When I got to this year, I realized I was tired of wearing the same old clothes, doing the same old things, and eating the same old food.

As you can see from the rest of my blog, I am challenging myself to reach beyond to new things. I'm reading new books and doing new things with my house. I even started a new exercise plan and have the sore muscles to prove it. With all of that new stuff happening, I'm still eating the same old thrown together meals that I lived on last year out of necessity.

I began looking at my own cookbook shelf and the recipe files on my computer. I have a lot of great sounding recipes on there. I have a few websites bookmarked that have a plethora of wonderful sounding stuff, like The Pioneer Woman and A Year of Slowcooking. I have seen menu plans where a day a week or a day a month is dedicated to trying new recipes, but at that rate I would need to live until I'm 1000 to try them all if I quit collecting now. What to do?

My life is filled with crazy challenges of my own making, so why not add another? I'm currently making a menu plan with all new recipes on it. Breakfast, lunch, and supper are all recipes I've never tried before. Now I'm not saying there won't be any cold cereal mornings or pizza ordered, but as much as possible, I want to cook new things.

I'm having a lot of fun picking and choosing which ones to try. I'm reading reviews and whittling down my choices. I'm trying to find things that are reasonably family friendly, but some things might stretch some of them a bit. I've already warned my family that I expect them to try everything. Peanut butter will be available for those who don't like what's being prepared. This should be fun and hopefully will add some new recipes to my usual lineup.

What are you doing to shake up your routine?

I'm giving a special shout-out to all the Home Sanctuary Company Girls visiting today! Leave a comment and say "Hi".

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Food for Thought

Joy is not in things; it is in us.
--Richard Wagner

A New Challenge--Declutter!

The more I do in this house, the more obvious it becomes that we simply have too much stuff. If it was all high-quality, useful or beautiful or both, or had significant sentimental value, I could live with that. However, I'm finding that is far from reality. In light of this discovery, and inspired by this, I've decided to challenge myself to eliminate 500 items by the end of this year.

Obviously, normal everyday trash doesn't count. But clothes that don't fit anyone, school stuff we no longer need or want, books no one wants to read and the worn-out, used-up, stained, ripped, broken and just-plain-ugly are all fair game.

Anyone up for some radical decluttering?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Finally, Some Pocket Pictures

Okay, I finally got some pictures uploaded to show the pockets I've been working on. There are many areas I have to work on because my house had had so much added to it in the course of the last year. When my mom passed away last year, I inherited a lot of stuff that I am still trying to sort through.

My first project is a good example. This is the library table that's been passed down in my family. It was brought into the house and promptly stacked with other stuff being brought in.
Yes, there's actually a table under there!

 Oh, look. There it is!
 It's a well-known fact that in any busy household, any flat surface, left unattended, will immediately pile up. This is apparently not limited to height either. Hence Exhibits A and B.
Exhibit A
Exhibit B
Now they are emptier, but a little boring. I'm still looking around for things to go with the greenery.
New and improved Exhibit A

New and improved Exhibit B

Coming soon, pictures of my two mini-projects I've done.