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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day 31: Bringing it All Together

Day 31, I made it!  How about a little recap to bring it all together?  I almost felt as if this focus frenzy was anything but focused, but as I looked back on it, it actually covered the bases I had set in my head before I started.  From organization & simplification to the more important things in life like family & fun.

The goal was to create better systems and break bad habits that would give me more quality time doing the things that matter.  As I sit here today, there is a pile of dishes waiting for me in the kitchen.  Yep, a 20 minute pile of dishes.  So I haven’t conquered my bad habits yet, but I can feel them starting to disappear a little.  My awareness is keeping me in tune and more on task.  I think a look back on this series every now and then will be great reminders to me when I need a little motivation.

We all learned that there are happy messes & mad messes and how I might be like your husband.  And it’s okay to Divide & Conquer little by little, to conquer a big project and sometimes A Girl's Gotta Have Goals to get it done.  And sometimes you need to decide if it Should it Make the Cut?  I even tackled a five minute project and used some old school Sesame Street smarts to organize.

Then I got tired of hearing myself think and just had to walk away for a day to refocus and refresh.  There was even a note from my gym shoes to remind me stay healthy.

I learned some lessons from my kids on how to be decisive and how to surround ourselves with what we love.  I got real about what to buy for our home and what NOT to buy even during my brass attack.

Of course there was time to celebrate.  Celebrate the season of fall’s eye candy and the joys of Halloween.

There were moments of gratitude for rock star teachers and my friends at blugray creative.

Some wise words from Ferris Bueller reminded me to be present in the present.  I even played hooky and got away on a road trip to spend some quality time with my family.  A quick quote reminded us to make a full life.

The true goal in the end was for all these things to bring me into better focus with my family and friends – to make time for the real things in life, which brings me back to my friend Ferris Bueller.  I think it’s worth quoting again.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

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To our East Coast friends, I hope you are safe and warm.

Happy Halloween!

Kim

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Thanks for joining me on my journey through a 31 Day Focus Frenzy.

If you’d like to see the entire series, go here.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 30: Love It or Leave It

My little guy throws me for a loop daily.  Once again, he came up with something completely outside the box.  Here’s how it went.

Kyle:  Mom, look what I found on the playground today!  It’s a tag!

Me:  Really?  Why did you bring it home?

Kyle:  Look how cool the other side is!! Isn’t it cool? I want to keep it.

And you know what?  I do think it’s cool.  I think it’s so cool that he found beauty in such an ordinary thing.  And yes, it’s hanging on a nail where his calendar used to hang.  Why not?  We might even frame it.

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Another great lesson from my six year old.  Art doesn’t have to cost much.  Just find something you love and display it!

When I come home, I want my home to give me a great big hug. I want it to be a place of comfort and reprieve. And the key to that is surrounding ourselves with things we love and have special meaning to us.

These snowflakes have been on my son’s wall for about a year now. As soon as he learned how to make paper snowflakes, he made millions of them. To this day, he’ll make them as special gifts for people too. It’s his little specialty and he’s super proud of it.

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It’s what kids do.  They surround themselves with things they love or have meaning to them.  I think as adults, we sometimes forget that.

If you look inside my daughter’s room, you’ll find an ever-changing gallery wall of sorts.  It’s not how I would choose to display it, but I’ve let go of that vision (for a while anyway).  It’s her space and I want it to be her haven.  I remember doing the same thing as a kid, except I had Ricky Schroeder, Michael Jackson and Shawn Cassidy among others adorning my walls.

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On that Home Goods trip I referred to yesterday, I stumbled upon one of my favorite quotes.  It is a quote that I want my kids to remember and live by.  I planned on making it myself, but hey, if it’s already done, I’ll take it!! Love it when that happens.  Can’t wait to get it up on the wall as a constant reminder to us.

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It doesn’t even need to be something super meaningful and special.  It can be as simple as surrounding yourself with things you love.  Things that remind you of a certain time or place.  Not just something to fill an empty space.

Love it or leave it – my new mantra.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Day 29: What NOT to Buy

Well, it happened to me again…that outlet mall moment I told you about here.  I was at Home Goods a couple weeks ago and started piling my basket until it overflowed.  They must have just restocked the shelves because it seemed everywhere I turned, I liked it.  In my defense, they were big pillows, so it only took a few items to overflow my cart.

So anyways, I was losing focus quickly.  After a while, I didn’t even know what I was grabbing and why.

Then I started to reel myself back in.  I have a vision for my family room, but I was grabbing things that didn’t make sense for that, in fact things that were the exact opposite direction I was trying to go.

This little shopping trip reminded me of a post I just read.  It said to bring a word to the store with you of what you should NOT buy.  Something that you would end up taking back because it doesn’t follow the vision you have for your home.  In this case, brown would be the word.  My family room is brown, brown and brown, yet I had brown zigzag pillows in my basket.  I was just grabbing items I liked and completely falling off track.

Knowing what you don’t want is just as important as knowing what you do want.  It really works.  I unloaded my cart and came back with just what I needed.

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Day 28: Containerize to Organize

I fell off track for a minute, but it’s time to get back to organizing.  This time, kicking it old school.

Preschool, that is.  Remember when you were a kid and categorized like items together?  Good ole Sesame Street style – “one of these things is not like the other.”  That old game of sorting really works for organizing.  It’s become my “go to” technique.  But the real key is putting the categories into containers. 

I’m sure you’ve heard it before and seen it before.  I have too, but now I’m finally doing it.

In the refrigerator…

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In the pantry…

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In the cupboard….

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On the bookshelf…

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Containerization to Organization,

it’s a beautiful thing!

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Day 27: Halloween Blast

Thanks to my sister, the amazing Chef Jackie, I have some more fabulous Halloween goodness to share.  Tonight’s her Monster Movie Bash and she sent me photos of her table set up and some other photos from her FOX 2 shoot.

First, you’ve got to see this idea she learned from Bill Hamilton of Bill Hamilton Designs.  (he was also a part of the FOX 2 clips the morning my sis was there)

THE SOCK TRICK

Grab a seasonal sock, cut the toe off and slide it on a vase.  Boom, that’s it!  Genius!  Or use children's socks and slip over water bottles. Reuse every year. Buy them when they go on clearance. Works for sports parties too. This would make great koozies for your favorite college football team - Notre Dame, of course!  Love it!  Hey, I was just thinking…sleeves for “to go” coffee cups too!

fox 2 set osck trick

Eyeball Cookies

  • Melt white chocolate candy coating.
  • Dip Oreo into chocolate with a fork allowing excess to drip off.
  • Place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet.
  • Place a gummy Lifesaver in the middle and fill with a small round candy for the pupil.
  • Harden in the freeze.

Or make it an eyeball pop by pushing a bamboo skewer into the the cream filling then dip in melted chocolate. Follow above procedure to finish.  Fill a mason jar with jelly beans and place skewers in the the jar like a flower arrangement.


fox 2 set eye ball cookies and bones

BONES

Attach mini marshmallows onto thin pretzel sticks dip into melted white chocolate and place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet.  Freeze to harden . Remove from freezer just before serving.

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VOODOO STICKS

Simply make candy kabobs with jelly candy.

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CANDY JARS

Just by adding labels like “Toad Droppings” to the green jelly beans, you’ve just added the Halloween twist.

fox 2 set candy jars

HALLOWEEN BARK

Combine melted chocolate with candy corn and peanuts. Spread onto a wax paper line cookie sheet and freeze. Remove from freezer. Break into bite size pieces.

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And now for a peek into my sis’ Monster Movie Bash tablescape.

Bumpy Cake Cupcakes

halloween bumpy cakes

Popcorn, movie candy, hot dogs (stored in green cooler on table to keep them warm) and swamp water

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halloween swmp water

Fun stuff!!

Thanks for more amazing ideas, Jack!

Happy Haunting, everyone!

- Kim -

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See FOX 2 for more recipes and ideas.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Day 26: Brass Attack Update

A few weeks ago, I mentioned I was bitten by the brass bug and wanted to inject a bit into my home.  So when I saw the good old Nate Berkus line at Target, I was jazzed up and ready to pounce.  My hopes were set on these hammered gold bowls.  Alas, they were not at my Target and out of stock online.

Decorative Bucket NateBr Metal Gold Circular

Two days later, I dropped off some bags to the Salvation Army.  It was a good purge-o-rama at my house – 10 bags out the door, yay!  They have a convenient drive through system so you don’t even have to get out of your car.  I told myself I would just drop and go.  But, of course, I didn’t.  No discipline I tell ya.  I went right in with my radar up for a good find of sorts.

Perhaps some brass bowls…

…and cheaper than Nate’s.  SOLD.

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Don’t you just love that little guy’s head peeking out in the corner.  Made me laugh.

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This one is my favorite.  It’s a perfect catch all for my hubby’s keys, wallet, etc.  I threw some shelf liner in the bottom because there’s some glue and green foam stuck from its previous life as a planter.

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This guy has been put to work to hold a little reading material, but he might end up being a planter.  We’ll see.

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And I might have bought a headboard for my spare room too, but we’ll save that for another day.  Perhaps I should have named this series, “how to lose focus”?  Seriously, I am keeping focused, I swear.  There were many other things I could have brought home.  I stayed focused on the brass…oh, yeah, and then there was that headboard.  Oh well.

Happy Friday!

- Kim

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day 25: Halloween Around the House

Sometimes I just want to see pictures, don’t you?

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Enjoy the fall season!

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In case you missed them, here are some other Fall/Halloween related posts.

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