Another Return

April 10, 2011

Any of you still reading are probably sick of my “more off than on” blogging.

Hockey season is nearing its end and has been quite busy lately. My Kings have made the playoffs, but are with out 2 of our top offensive players. Especially depending up on our matchup, it may be a short stint in the post-season.

Anyway, with up to 4 games a week and my “new” job, the thought of blogging made my eyes cross. (Now THAT may have made for some interesting posts!) So to catch you up:

New job is going very well. First two months were insanely rough and I thought I was going to be fired! Somehow, it all clicked and now I feel relatively secure.

Hockey has ruled my life since October. Here’s hoping that will continue through June – that would mean (a very unlikely) trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.

One of my goals was to work on my health. I’ve made some small improvements in my dietary habits, but most notably I cancelled our gym membership. Before you wonder if I’m off my rocker, know that I bought a fancy schmancy new treadmill! It’s the Nordic Track x7i Incline trainer. You know, the one where you can have Jillian Michaels of Biggest Loser fame “coach” you? Mostly, we got it because it has a -6% decline and 40% incline. I haven’t managed to get beyond 20% and that totally kicked my ass.

I’ve committed to a friend to do a 5k on July 4th assuming I’m in town. It’s at a beach town near LA so it shouldn’t be scorchingly hot. And I hear it’s relatively flat, so that will be good on my knees. I want to be able to run it, but right now I’m only running for 30 seconds – 2 minutes for every 5-7 minutes I walk.

Our backyard is a DISASTER. The front is looking better. I planted Calla Lily’s last weekend. They’ve been pretty hardy and don’t require maintenance. Now if only I can keep the neighborhood cats from using the planter box as a cat box… and of course that attracts neighborhood dogs looking for “snacks”… ewww!

The hubby is off tyring to sell one of his project cars he never did any work on. So that means I’m anxiously waiting by the phone for either a SOS call, or a “come pick me up” call. Here’s hoping it’s the latter!

That friend is expecting – due in mid-August. More drama there, but I’ll have to chronicle that later.

And with that disjointed update, I’m signing off. No promises on when I’ll be back. My intention with this blog has always been to simply have fun with it and use it as an outlet. 🙂


It’s safe to say

December 30, 2010

that my efforts to simplify my life have been undermined by that pesky job. It’s been since June since I last revisited this topic.

  • Sewing machine is still gathering dust in the back bedroom. I had grand notions (ha, notions, get it?) of making cute gift bags for Christmas presents this year. Let’s just say I’m STILL shopping, so that didn’t happen.
  • I have NOT been cooking much. I do, however, have a shiny new oven. It’s not the pretty blue interiored number I drool over, but it works great. There’s a cafeteria in my building, so I often have a sandwich or tacos for lunch, although I will be making a much greater effort to cut back in coming months. Even if that simply means bringing sandwich stuff to work and doing it there.
  • Less daytime TV – MAJOR SUCCESS! (Thanks to being gainfully employed.)
  • Keeping the house tidy… I’m getting there. My kitchen is normally presentable, the bed is usually made and the living room is much less of a disaster.
  • Remembering my reuseable grocery bags: I’m normally pretty good with this since I usually remember to put them back in my car.
  • Clearing clutter: Doing well, and it seems to be rubbing off on hubby. Maybe Flylady was right?
  • Gardening: It has been raining, no scratch that, POURING more days than it hasn’t lately. This does not bode well for vegetation in my life.
  • Purchasing less: I can honestly say I really evaluate the value of a purchase (unless it’s chocolate or alcohol) before spontaneously tossing it in my cart.
  • Doing stuff that’s FUN: working cuts down on time for this… although Hockey has been my life recently, and I expect it to stay that way until spring. Other than that, I’m throwing sleep in the “fun” column because I just don’t get enough!

In this time of re/evaluation and introspection, what are your goals for the next year? What’s your focus? (Or do you have add like me?) Where have you seen success? What’s been your most important adjustment?


Holiday Thoughts

December 27, 2010

This year, my husband and I decided (before my grandfather’s death) that we would not be travelling for the holidays. Every year, in the 13 years we have been together, we have driven all over to please relatives. Sometimes this meant traversing both California and Nevada. Battling holiday traffic and navigating winter weather (okay, I know our weather is nothing compared to other areas of the world) and putting up with family drama is just not the kind of “relaxation” I want to do during my limited time off.

So the foot was put down, and the families dealt with it. And we did everything (mostly nothing) we wanted. We spent time with neighbors and at hockey. (And of course each other.) Just the perfect time off! Because it was just us, the pressure to participate in excess was much lower. I think we’ve started a new tradition.

And for the new year: I’ve already begun to purge! I’ve pulled two trash bags of clothing from my closet to either garage sale or donate. We spent several hours going though paperwork and magazines and tossing away! It feels so good to dump all this stuff. I want to continue working on this at least one day each week. (Not the whole day, just a little bit at the minimum.)

Also for the new year, I want to be healthier. This includes eating at home more and exercising more. It also includes keeping the house tidier and cleaner. Not that we live in a hovel… but we definitely have room to improve. And this will keep us in a better place mentally, plus it will be nice to open our home to friends. I think the focus of simplification remains… We did well with not bringing more clutter into the home in the form of Christmas gifts, so I call that a win!


Simplification: Check-In #2

June 22, 2010

It’s been a long while since my last check-in. What’s been going on?

  • Haven’t touched my sewing machine.  FAIL! I have, however moved it from the middle of the kitchen table to my nice guest room. (No, I do not expect guests to sew for me.)
  • I have been cooking more! Well, considering my diet, I kinda have to or I would starve! I have lost 11 pounds in less than two weeks. When I think about that, it’s kind of embarrassing because it just goes to show how terrible all the processed crap & fast food really are for you!
  • Less daytime TV – Check! More movement: FAIL.
  • Little chores: PROGRESS… Thanks to Flylady, I’m getting some basic stuff done (making the bed, keeping the kitchen sink shiny, etc.)
  • Remembering my reuseable grocery bags: I’m ROCKIN’ this one!! At Trader Joe’s, they give you a raffle ticket for a gift card drawing, and at Whole Foods, they give you a nickel off per bag. Little rewards are nice!
  • Clearing clutter: a little progress.
  • Gardening: my front planter box remains weed free and my container veggies remain alive. Yahoo!
  • Purchasing less: unless it pertains to something edible, or something to improve our house, I’m killing it!
  • Doing stuff that’s FUN: Check! I’ve seen one of my very favorite performers (twice) and have been taking walks with my borrowed doggies. Also, it’s been fun working with hubby on the house – kind of a bonding experience. We’re actually becoming quite a team when he’s more patient with whatever’s not going right, and as long as I don’t take his comments personally (they’re always directed at whatever isn’t working or himself anyway).

What are you doing/have you done to simplify your life? Are you struggling with any of the things I am? How are you decluttering your life?


BTC: Days 4-7

April 26, 2010

Whoa. Outta control here. Hubby’s truck needed to visit the doctor on Thursday. Neither one of us felt all that great (thanks weather!) so we both stayed home and power-lounged on the couch. Then, Friday, I had to drop him at work (and pick him up). Same for today, but I’m bound to start fresh this week (even if it is close to noon).

So, last week, I made progress. Cooking, cleaning, etc. I spent another hour or so in the kitchen and it looks so much better! Still needs tons of work though. But at least the junk is off the counters and the stove is cleaner. The laundry is clean, folded and put away – and even nothing in the washer/dryer (Flylady would be so proud). Got the cat box cleaned.

So this week, in addition to the regular daily/weekly stuff, I need to work on the front yard/porch, MUST SCAN RECEIPTS (due by 4/30), and throw a bunch of junk out!!

As an aside, I can see that the minimal progress I’ve made has subliminally inspired hubby to de-junk too!


BTC: Day Three

April 21, 2010

Okay, for anyone wondering, this (Bust The Clutter series) will not be a daily occurence for the long term. In order to make myself accountable, and attempt at some sort of routine, I feel I need to log my progress (or lack thereof). 

Hmph. Looking at what I accomplished and what needs to be done, I don’t know what I did yesterday! I even stayed away from Bejeweled on FaceBook until about 5pm. And I only watched 2 hours of Tivo’d TV, and that was when I was eating lunch. Today is going to be a short house day, because we’ve got another game. Not sure what brainiac decided to start them 1/2 hour earlier than normal, but I’d like to pull out his toenails. Getting hubby out of bed and off to work in time to leave early can be quite a feat. Plus, traffic is ten times worse. I swear that they named the 405 Freeway because you only go 4 o’ 5 miles an hour. Even in the carpool lane.

So. Today I resolve to throw stuff out. It’s garbage day, so I probably should have managed this yesterday so I’d have nice big empty containers for the week. Oh well. They are big.

Yesterday’s Progress: 

  • Morning Routine
  • Healthy lunch
  • Chicken Cordon Bleu made for dinner
  • Baked a cake after dinner. (Dang chocolate cravings!) Unfortunately, it didn’t even taste that good.
  • Pried hair from vacuum beater bar (chalk up one more point for going back to short hair!)
  • Laundry clean…. but that’s it
  • Kitchen – spent about 45 minutes working in there
  • Today I don’t have to worry about dinner, because we’re going to a game. 🙂

Remaining goals for today this week: 

  • Other half of weekly home blessing
  • Clean litter boxes
  • Declutter dresser
  • Spend 60 minutes in the office NOT on the computer – get rid of junk!
  • Spend 60 minutes in kitchen/dining area – FLINGING
  • PUT LAUNDRY AWAY (I really hate folding clothes)
  • Sweep front porch
  • Clean (wash) dryer lint screen
  • Bathroom counters
  • Scan & email Flexible Spending Benefits forms with receipts
  • Begin planning bathroom remodel (Dream Book) – maybe I should do a virtual dream book?

Bust the Clutter: Day Two

April 20, 2010

   

It's true! When you clear crap out of your life, you find money!

 

I’m proud of my accomplishments yesterday. I was able to do half the weekly home blessing, plus the morning routine. I ate decent food and drank a bunch of water. I even remembered my vitamins (first time since January!). I even made it to the Post Office! Also, in a stack of mail, I found a letter from the Flexible Spending Benefits people from hubby’s last job. Turns out we have $600 that was deducted last year! I gathered up all the health receipts and tallied them up, filled out the forms and they’re now ready for his signature. Yippee – $600 that we didn’t have! All this was done before my hubby got home early to go to our FIRST PLAYOFF HOCKEY GAME IN 7 YEARS!!  

Progress for today:  

  • Morning Routine
  • Dinner stuff defrosting
  • Bed MADE
  • Blinds opened! (I hate living in a dungeon.)

Goals for today this week:  

  • Other half of weekly home blessing
  • Clean litter boxes
  • Declutter dresser
  • Spend 60 minutes in the office NOT on the computer – get rid of junk!
  • Spend 60 minutes in kitchen/dining area – FLINGING
  • LAUNDRY (yes, more laundry…)
  • Sweep front porch
  • Clean (wash) dryer lint screen
  • Bathroom counters
  • Scan & email Flexible Spending Benefits forms with receipts
  • Begin planning bathroom remodel (Dream Book)
  • Cut the hair out of the vacuum beater bar (ewww)

Bust the Clutter (BTC): Day Two