Archive for January 18th, 2009

Stimulating the Economy!

I’ve done my share to stimulate the economy today!  Annagrace has been a little down in the dumps lately about not getting to spend much time with me.  Between working and getting the house ready and trips to NC and the holidays it’s just been too crazy to do much together.  So today we went out to the mall to eat some lunch (Sbarro–yum!) and to do some shopping.

Annagrace normally hates shopping.  Imagine that–a girl who doesn’t like to shop!  But today she was good and didn’t complain and got several things for herself . And man did we ever find some DEALS! 

First stop was JC Penney’s.  They are having a storewide 70% off sale.  She got these new Skechers for $12 (normally $40) and this shirt for $7.17 (normally $25):


And she got this adorable sweater dress for the Fall for only $5.97!  Regularly priced at $35!


I also got a bracelet that was regularly $18 and was marked down to $4.18!
Total Regular Price for all items:  $117.98
Total Spent after discounts with tax:  $28.93

Then we were off to Bath and Body Works where we found a really great deal on shower gel and lotion.  Shower gel was $3 a bottle and lotion was $5!  I will keep a couple bottles and give the others away as gifts!

Total Regular Price:  $39.00
Total Spent after discounts with tax:  $14.70 

But there were even MORE deals to be had so we went off to Claire’s where we ran into my friend Heather where we, as Heather put it, “hit the motherload”!  I didn’t even realize that everything on this one table was 10 items for $10!  She had found these adorable little pocketbooks that were a buck each and the clerk went in the back to get a few more out for us.  I bought several things for Annagrace’s birthday party.  These bags have some lipgloss included and will be perfect for goody bags for her friends (the bottles of glittery shower gel will go inside).  The High School Musical stationary set is for a friend’s birthday that is coming up and the canvas bag, well you already know that’s for me!


Total Regular Price:  $124.50
Total Spent including tax:  $10.50

And I wasn’t planning to go in Old Navy.  I just bought a bunch of stuff from Old Navy online the other night but Heather told me they still had a bunch of stuff in the 50% clearance sale so we went in there too.   We got all this: 


That includes a sweatshirt, a long sleeve shirt, a short sleeve shirt, a pair of jeans and 2 pairs of yoga pants for Annagrace;  a sweatshirt, a turtleneck, 2 pairs of pajamas and a winter hat for Madalyn; and a “swing” 3/4 sleeve coat for me (regularly $70 and I got it for $12!).

Total Regular Price:  $147.50
Total Spent including tax:  $47.91

I feel so happy that we found such great deals!  Many of the things that I bought are for next Fall and Winter and it was nice to buy some new things for the girls for a change.  I can not remember the last time that I bought them new clothes (they are getting used to getting things from the thrift store or as hand me downs!).  Annagrace and I both had fun looking for bargains.  It was a great day! 

My total had I paid regular full price for everything today would have been: $428.98
My grand total will all the sale prices and including tax was  ……  drumroll please ……:  $102.04!   

Organization 101

I found this little gem of a book at the Office Depot going out of business sale.  (By the way, did everyone else know that Circuit City was shutting down?  I had not idea until we drove past it tonight and Aaron told me.  Kind of sad to see all these businesses going).  Anyway.  This is the book:

Of course you know I noticed it right away because it said “Simplify” on the cover!  I picked it up and was immediately drawn in.  The book is about organizing your life and using your time wisely so that you have more time to actually LIVE.  Each chapter offers a new idea that you are suppose to try for 21 days or repetitions.  It takes repeating something 21 times for it to become a habit.  So far I have picked up some very useful information!

She challenges readers to create new habits that will save them time.  I had one of those Ah-ha! moments while reading this book.  I think I always try to complicate things and then I can’t stay organized because it’s too much to keep up with.  Like with the mail and the bills.  Her solution is that you make it a habit that every evening for 20 minutes you sort through your papers and mail.  If it takes 5 minutes or less to complete a task then do it immediately.  If it will take longer or you need to think about it then file it away.  Her tips for filing include the following categories:

  • Calendar–anything that correlates to an event on your calendar (invitations, etc)
  • To Do–obvious of course!
  • To Decide
  • Information–kids school calendars, soccer team rosters, etc.

So simple right?  Then why do I make it so hard.  I wait until there are stacks and stacks of papers lying around then I spend hours trying to sort through them.  We all suffer because of this.  I lost (and then found today!) a check that Aaron needed to cash.  I have forgotten to send lunch money to school with Annagrace for several days at a time (it’s okay–they still feed them if they don’t have money on their account!), I have forgotten birthday parties, I have misplaced bills.  The list goes on and on.  I have tried so many times to get organized in this area of my life but until I read this I couldn’t find a way to do it that made sense to me and that I would be able to keep up with. 

Today I worked in the office all day straightening, decluttering, filing and organizing!  I started my files using several of her filing recommendations.  I put the bills all together and made a bill paying station in the office armoire.  I also started a family calendar so that we can all keep up with what each of us is doing.  Before Aaron would use on calendar, I would use my planner, then we would refer to the school calendar for Annagrace and Madalyn.  So now everything is in one book together.  I went through and marked all the teacher work days in it in pink for AG.  Aaron’s activities are in red, mine are in black and Madalyn’s are in blue.

I am excited about using my file system.  Marsha recommends using manila folders in her book.  I am using regular hanging files because we happen to have an area for that in our armoire.  It looks so nice and neat now!

Here is the armoire.  I even have a nice place for my work laptop to go and my work bookbag (I have to carry my laptop, BP cuff, stethescope, and notebook among other things in that bag–I love that I can put it in here out of the way!).  Excuse the little bit of clutter that still remains.  Gonna put that stuff away tomorrow!  


  CD Organization

Another BIG chore that I finished today was organizing our CD collection.  We love music.  A little too much I think.  We have hundreds of CDs and they take up so much space.  About a month ago I got the idea to get rid of all of our CD cases.  I decided to take out the inserts and put that and the CD in an organizer together.  I had no idea how big of an organizer we would need.  In the end I had to buy two large ones with a smaller one for the Christmas CDs.  I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to part with the cases (some of them have neat pictures on the back) but I was able to throw all of them out without a care.  Well–I did save one.  It’s a classic Johnny Cash photo that Aaron said we should frame.  I couldn’t part with it.  (I don’t think it is appropriate for my blog though and I don’t think we will be framing it either!)  Here are my organizers:

Found these at Walmart for a shade over $22.00.  They hold 208 CDs each but if you add the CD inserts then you will not be able to fit that many in.  My full one has 170 CDs in it and can still zip without any problems.  I divided my CDS up–one case holds our rock CDs.  Here is a peek inside:

Can you tell we like Korn?!  I have pretty eclectic taste.  You will find everything from Pearl Jam to Prince to New Kids on the Block to Fiona Apple in there!

My other one holds Christian, Praise and Worship, Country, Rap, R&B, Comedy and everything else in it.  I had to make tabs for it so it would be a little easier to locate things.

(Oooohhhh–and doesn’t our new carpet look nice in these photos!)

I can’t believe how GOOD that felt to get rid of those CD cases.  It wasn’t the cases I was attached to but the actual CDs.  I only found 2 in the whole bunch that I wanted to get rid of.  I have so many memories tied to music that I have a hard time parting with any of them!

And because I am all about reducing, reusing and recycling I am going to donate the old cases to Madalyn’s preschool.  I asked one of her teachers and she said they definitely can use them for projects.  They usually send some type of CD home each year with photos or songs on it so I am sure they can use them.  I did throw out a few that were broken but most of them were in good shape so they will be getting over 200 CD cases from us next week!

If you get rid of your cases and don’t have a school to donate them to you can also try your local library (so they can replace broken ones) or you can make a nifty calendar with it.  My mom made me one last year and hand stamped something different on each month’s card.  It was adorable! 

Here are a couple photos of some that I found online: 


(I love this photo one!  I may have to make some myself!)

I feel like I accomplished a lot today!  It feels so good to declutter and to organize.  How much time do I waste looking for things (CDs being one of them!).  With a few steps in place and the habit of putting things away when I am done I know I will save so much time! 

What type of organizational things do you do around your house?

January 2009