Kissing Your Socks Goodbye NYT article

Witchy socks knit a few Halloweens ago. 1st & only hand made knit that I kept for myself

Witchy socks knit a few Halloweens ago. 1st & only hand made knit that I knit for myself

I read this article via Cup of Jo about Marie Kondo and her approach to cleaning and organization. I always feel better when things are organized, clean and uncluttered. I’d like to say my house, my life is always this way, but that would only be me wishing out loud.

Marie Kondo’s approach is to take out each item and assign value to it. If it doesn’t bring you joy, throw it out. A couple years ago when I was obsessed with reading articles on minimalism, I read a post of someone who called the police after they were robbed. The police came and thought the couple had been wiped out, but only a broken window and laptop were evidence of the robbery. I’ve never pared my stuff down that much nor do I really want to, but I like the idea of assigning value to the things I love and getting rid of the things I don’t.

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Thoughts on Flowers and Gardening

succulent

Bought this from Richard and killed it 2 weeks later (blame this on our dungeon apartment and not the plant)

A couple years ago, a sweet neighbor brought me an arrangement of green kermit mums that magically did not die after two weeks in my home. The husband and I unsuccessfully tried flower arranging for a few weeks after that to no avail. I do enjoy the special occasion bouquet, but I wish I could have more greenery in my home that did not consist of fake plants.

Besides being a wizard piemaker, a natty dresser, an apiarist and overall interior design expert, my friend, Richard is also amazing with plants and landscaping. His instagram and pinterest boards are inspiring.

Print Inspiration

piano_drop_mit_museum

Most of my walls are still pretty bare. The minimalist vibe the husband and I have been going for hasn’t made us rush into anything, but eventually I’d like something on the walls. As I’ve poured over 20×200 prints, Society6 and 1000Museums, we both keep coming back to the MIT Baker House piano drop which print doesn’t appear to be available for commercial sale.

Halloween Crafting Under $20

The husband and I have a family tradition of carving pumpkins. Although we are still keeping that tradition alive, I thought I would try to decorate our house a little bit to maybe prepare for trick or treaters (gasp!). I gave myself a $20 budget and took to Pinterest for ideas.

My first project was a snake wreath. I bought a wreath at Walmart for $4.97, black spray paint for $0.97 and toy snakes from The Dollar Tree which came up to $6.00 (5 medium sized snakes and 1 package of mini glow-in-the-dark snakes). Total: $11.94

The 2nd project was a floating ghost. The lil sis bought the stuff for this one so this was a total cheat. She bought two styrofoam heads from Michael’s ($4.99 each), cheesecloth, fishing wire, and dish towels from Walmart that we ended up dying with tea bags. Total: free (for me)

The 3rd project were vampire pumpkins. I bought mini pumpkins at Trader Joes for $2.07 (3 for $0.69). The lil sis bought 3 vampire teeth for a dollar each. Total: $2.07 (for me)

I also bought a couple bags of “spider webs” at a dollar each and skull faces made out of cardboard from Michael’s, 3 for $0.99. I spraypainted these with glow-in-the-dark paint (also bought by the lil sis), but I’m not sure how well this one turned out. Total: $4.97

We’re still putting together all of the projects, but I was happy to have kept pretty close to my budget.

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Family Cross-Stich Project

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My crafting experience is only gift knitter, but the Christmas season that begins right after Labor Day for all gift knitters is upon us and I have put it into my head that I’d like to start a cross stitching project that I saw on Martha Stewart.

I can vaguely remember a cross stitching project I did when I was middle school age, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t count as I quit half way through the project. I also have it into my head that I’d like to include my genealogy with this project. My mom assures me that our genealogy is “done”, but we are sometimes a family of…what’s the opposite of oversharers? Close-to-the-vesters? Secretive? That’s sounds worse than it is.

My maternal grandma died before I was born. My maternal grandpa lives in California whom we saw once a year from the time I was born until I moved out of my mom’s house. Both paternal grandparents live in New Zealand. The stories of any great-grandparents are so vague as to be barely remembered. I’d like to know those people. Even if it’s just to get an idea of who they were to include in this project. Does that sound silly?

Mustache Monday: Grocery Bill Comps on a Diet

Mr. Money Mustache has a lot of opinions about cutting down grocery bills. My own opinion is that if I had the resources, I would hire out my culinary thinking to professionals. While the husband and I have talked about growing a garden in our small outdoor space, the cooling weather has put a temporary kibosh on that idea.

The most recent US average of monthly Food Plans for a family of 2, ages 19-50 ranges from $390 (thrifty) to $774.30 (liberal). A quick Mint check of our grocery bills in 2014 shows our average monthly groceries to be $300.

The husband was concerned that our 3 Day Facelift Diet would show a big jump in grocery expenses so I thought I would do a run down of our expenses for that time.

Breakfasts: Trader Joe’s – steel cut oatmeal $3.29, bananas (7 @ $0.19 = $1.33), organic cage free eggs $3.29, frozen berries $2.99, pineapple $1.79, honey greek yogurt $4.99; Target – grapes $4.53, spinach $2.98; Whole Foods Larabar (4 for $5.00), Smith’s kale $3.99, cheddar cheese $1.79, flax seeds $2.69, heirloom tomatoes $3.49

Total Breakfasts: $42.15

Lunches: Smith’s cucumbers $1.78, Trader Joe’s almonds $5.99, lunch at Nauvoo Cafe $8.62, other ingredients already included in Breakfast breakout

Total Lunches: $16.39

Dinners: Trader Joe’s – quinoa $5.99, balsamic vinegar $3.99; Smith’s – extra virgin olive oil $6.99, frozen veggies $1.19; Costco wild Alaskan sockeye salmon $36.99

Total Dinners: $55.15

Snacks/Treats: Trader Joe’s – pistachios $7.49, pumpkin seeds (for husband) $6.99; other ingredients already mentioned

Total Snacks: $14.48

Grand Total: $128.17

As a caveat, we did not consume all of these groceries in three days. In fact, most of these groceries will last us through the rest of this week especially the snacks. The biggest expense was definitely the salmon. We were able to eat it all in three days. Given the price tag and the quantity, I’d like to be able to find other ways to get our fish consumption. We’d still be under the moderate cost plan according to the USDA weekly totals, but I want to keep our grocery bill to our usual average of $75/week. Must find the balance!

 

Office Space Ideas

The husband and I moved into our home at the beginning of the year. We were immediately bowled over by the urban style of the main level with its loft ceilings, expansive kitchen and brick wall. When we moved in we poured most of our attention to that space.

Which means the top and bottom levels felt a little unfinished. All of the necessary living stuffs are here, the furniture and major appliances. My books, my record player have homes. I really just need to stop fantasizing about the delicious rooms in Elle Decor. Currently, I am crushing hard on Emily Henderson and Jenny Komenda’s DIY styles. Both ladies are not afraid of color, which is a constant struggle for my neutral default.

There are so many ideas I have and so little time and money that I can devote. For now, I’d like to focus on the office.

My two inspirations are Ikea hacks. The second hack was from Kelli Anderson and I am much too intimidated by it to try to DIY that business. So gorgeous.

My hope is to complete something a bit more satisfying by Christmas. For now, I’m a little too embarrassed to post a Before photo until I have an inkling of an After.