Thursday, August 29, 2013

I Got A Planner!

If you've been reading this blog at all, or have ever met me, you know I am obsessive about organizing and planning.  I don't always do them very well, but I really really want to!

In college, I purchased this fabulous day planner.  It took me a long time to find, because most people, it seems, are perfectly content having one week spread across only two pages.  And also, apparently, the only people who want a whole page for each day, have no need for pretty colors but they have large budgets.  (Okay, so a pretty color is not necessary, but it is nice!)  Eventually, I found this one at Barnes and Noble for under $15.  Isn't it lovely?  The cover is beautiful and sturdy, and it's refillable (although the refill costs only a few dollars less than the whole dealio).

The pages are perfect.  Each page has a large circle at the top with the date (it also reminds you of the month number in case you forgot), surrounded by a small scheduler.  Just below that is a box to write in that day's priorities, followed by lines that run for most of the rest of the page.  I loved that the whole page isn't taken up by scheduling, because I wanted to use that space for writing homework assignments in college (and funny quotes).  As if this weren't enough, each page also has the Julian date and what week of the year it is.  There's even a little perforated tab in the corner to act as your bookmark.  (In college, I used a binder clip instead.)

So what's my point?  I'm getting there.  Hold your figurative horses.

After college, I felt no need for a planner, so I stopped buying the refill, and I'm pretty sure I eventually threw the cover out.  It had been through a lot, though I'm sure it would have still been fine.  It wasn't even worn so much as dirty.

Until very recently, I felt like I was okay without a planner.  I used a calendar and that worked because I didn't have a lot going on - like anything... at all.  But lately, I've been feeling kind of lost when it comes to scheduling.  Someone will throw a date at me, and if it doesn't 'ring a bell' in my head, I assume I'm free that day.  This works sometimes, but as I plan more things, it will not work so well.  So I did some planner research.

It actually took me a few days to find this one again.  I was finding only ugly brown, black, or forest green ones on Amazon - and I felt like I was settling with their page layout.  So I didn't buy one, but kept looking.  I finally found this one at Barnes and Noble again.  I also checked out the Quo Vadis website (the planner company) and found that it's sold at a few other places, but it's more expensive there for some reason.  Oh, and Barnes and Noble only sells the August-July version, not the January-December version, so if you really need a January-December version, it'll cost you at least $10 extra because you have to buy it somewhere else.  Weird.

Anyway, all this to say that we ordered it and it came yesterday and I'm so excited!!!!  And now I can plan things.

Sorry if you actually read all this.  :)

Love and Turquoise,
Leah Joy

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

101 Things Update - Let's Review (August 28)

I haven't updated you all on 101 Things since the beginning of the summer. I did a couple of things over the summer (I'll review those each individually next Wednesday), but for today, I thought I'd give an update of the whole project over all.  You can totally skip this if you're not interested.  :)

Projects Completed:
3. Pizza braid
4. Make biscotti.
6. Fruit puree popsicles
7. Homemade granola bars
8. Ring hanger for kitchen
9. Towel rod/hooks in bathroom.
12. Learn a new crochet stitch and make a scarf from it.
14. Organize under kitchen and bathroom sinks.
15. Try stripping fireplace - more on this later. I have it as completed because I did try. :)
16. Starting a cleaning schedule/routine.
17. Scones.
19. Anne of Green Gables lemonade syrup - try freezing
21. Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider cookies
25. Curtains in kitchen
26. Lampshade with the tie-ons for yellow room
28. Bows from magazines
30. Slippers for me
31. To-Go Mason Jar Cup
35. Strawberry Freezer Jam
36. Organize kitchen cupboards
38. Curtains in Yellow Room
39. Make legwarmers
41. Lemon Loaf
42. Pizza Rolls
44. Homemade apple chips with cinnamon and sugar
45. Homemade soft pretzels
46. Iced Lemon Cups
47. Date Night Jar
48. Chocolate Lava Cake
49. Lava Cookies
51. DIY Flannel Infinity Scarf
55. White Chicken Chili
56. Crochet flower
57. Knit Dishcloth - new-to-me instructions
73. Read  Wheel of Time 4: Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan
77. Strawberry picking
78. Blueberry picking
79. Old Pen Cap Vase
80. High Energy breakfast balls
81. Strawberry Oatmeal Smoothie
83. Grocery List
86. White Chocolate Popcorn
88. Read Bridget Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding
89. Watch Bridget Jones' Diary
90. Pretty Pink Princess Party
91. Watch Ramona and Beezus
93. Read Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
94. Read Lady Susan by Jane Austen
95. Lemonade with Raspberry Ice Cubes
96. Nail art using tape
97. Make 2nd crochet sock
99. No-Sew T-Shirt Bag
100. Grocery Bag Basket
101. Read Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

You can read back over my 101 Things in 2013 blog posts to see reviews of each individual thing (new ones for the summer won't be up until next week, but you should be able to find everything else).  Search by clicking the "101 Things in 2013" tag at the end of this post or in the Blog Labels section in the right-hand sidebar.  You can also check out my Pinterest board for completed projects.  There is a mini-review of most projects included in the pin.

Here's what I still have to do:

Projects Still to Go:
1. Try a homemade disinfectant.  
2. Lose 10 lbs.  This is turning out to be more difficult than I thought it would be.  I may or may not share more about that later.  
5. Curtains in living room.  I am having a hard time figuring out what style of curtain/shade would look best, so I haven't done anything yet.
10. Apple pie cookies.  I'm waiting for fall apples to make these.
11. Oatmeal/Lavender Face Scrub.  I actually have all the ingredients for this at this point, so this is something I can do.
13. Corn bags.  Chloe and I have plans to make these this fall.
18. Paint living room/hallway/entryway.  When we moved in, I thought I'd want to paint this area a different color.  I even picked out a pretty green.  Now that we've lived here for several months, I realize that I actually like the color that's in here.  We might patch it up eventually, but this item will most likely not be completed.
20. Real truffles.  Still hoping to make these.
22. Mario Chain Chomp Ornament for Andrew. 
23. Homemade bagels.  
24. Get a Christmas tree.  This is, of course, waiting until we're a bit closer to Christmas.
27. Learn to pipe frosting.  I don't have the tools for this.  I'm hoping to get them for my birthday.  :)
29. Clean the Dyson.  I was waiting until after we had cleaned up a gross mess, but then we borrowed my parents' shop vac for that, so I guess I could do this now. 
32. Homemade Oreos.  This requires piping frosting.  Or is at least a lot prettier if you can pipe frosting.
33. Homemade Onion Soup Mix.  I was waiting for fall on this, because the stuff we bake with Onion Soup Mix is more of a non-summer meal.
34. Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies.  I need molasses and it's never on sale!  I may just have to buy some anyway.
37. Curtains in office.  Similar to the living room situation.  Also, we thought that if I made shades for the bedroom, we could repurpose the current bedroom blinds to the office.
40. Oil cleansing face wash.  I've had the stuff all year - I've just never done it.
43. Find quart containers for perpetual calendars.  I found one - I need one more!
50. Ice Proofing Car with Vinegar.  Not really applicable in 80 degree weather.
52. Jewelry Organizer for Mom.
53. Water Marbling on Chloe.
54. Wax Paper/Crayon Chandelier.
58. Shades/curtains in master bedroom - I've been rather trepidatious to attempt such a huge project (I want to make actual functioning roman shades).  Maybe now that summer is over I can handle it.
59. Organize master closet.  I feel like this may actually be done on my side of the closet.  It's just something for which we both have to be in the right mindset.
60. Kitchen backsplash - budget.
61. Tile above shower - budget.
62. Paint breezeway floor - Needs to be thoroughly cleaned first. :)
63. Curtains in breezeway - Not until the floor is painted.
64. Write a song.  I'm not going to push it.
65. Fix up old guitar.  This is another thing I can do now that I have time.
66. Paint office.  Like the living room, this one is probably not going to happen.
67. Batik with Chloe.  Hopefully coming soon!
68. Homemade soy wax candles - after batik.
69. Clean van.
70. Couples massage - Budget.
71. Paint/re-paint trim - Budget, since we'd have to buy more paint.
72. Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
74. Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
75. Make your own pore strips - I have all the ingredients.  I only haven't done it because it takes more time than a regular pore strip, and it's just easier to use a store-bought one.
76. Rainbow Jell-O - I have the cups now, so I can do this!!!
82. Wreath - My wreath base is done (has been done for months), I just need to make attachable doo-dads.
84. Confetti wall for holiday - I have the sticky-tac stuff, I just need to find a good holiday. :)
85. Clean grout in bathroom
87. Sock Monkey for Anna
92. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis - working on it. This is the kind of book to read slowly, one little section a day.
98. Soda Can Lanterns

If I didn't give a reason/explanation for any of these, it means I have no excuses. :)  I'm over halfway done though!  You can see these project pins on this Pinterest board.

Any questions or comments, let me know!  Have you been working on your own 101 Things in 2013 list?  I'd love to see an update!

Love and Patience,
Leah Joy

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Time on My Hands

This summer, someone asked me what I do in the off-season (the school year) when I'm not working as much.

"Umm... I clean... And cook for Caleb...."

For the life of me I could not remember how I spent my time in the Spring.  This means one of two things, I think.  One: I did pretty much nothing other than cook and clean.  Two: I did nothing memorable whatsoever.  (I guess also possibility three is long-term memory loss, but that's unlikely.)

So, I'm hopeful to use my time differently this Fall.  What do I intend to do?

1. Spend time daily in God's word and in prayer.
2. Keep my house clean.  I made a chore chart, and it doesn't take a lot of time to stick to it if I could just convince myself to!
3. Cook healthy meals and occasionally try something new.
4. Keep up this blog.  And keep it interesting.  At least to me, but hopefully to some of you.
5. Complete several more of my 101 Things in 2013 list.  There are a few of them that I know will not get done this year because they are simply not in the budget - an update on that tomorrow - but there are several I have all the parts/ingredients for, I just need to do them.
6. Read good books.  If you follow my Books Read in 2013 board in Pinterest, you'll know I've already done a lot of that this year.  (Not that I really expect people to keep up on that.  It was actually just my way of keeping a reading list.)
7. Pour back into our church body.  I have time on my hands and can help people.  I can go clean houses or type up papers for people with broken hands.  I'm a pastor's wife, for Pete's sake, I should be doing these things - and I want to!
8. Be a good hostess.  After we got settled in our house, we decided to make good on what we had said when we first got married: We want to have people over for dinner at least two times a month.  We made a list of people to start inviting, but when the first family we invited couldn't make it the first time we invited them, we kind of gave up.  Lame, I know.  So I intend to go at it with renewed vigor.  I'm sure I wasn't given the spiritual gift of hospitality for nothing.
9. Get healthy.  I know I know I know that I feel better when I exercise, but not for a couple of days.  The first couple of days are painful and uncomfortable.  But the benefits once I get past those couple of days and actually keep it up are endless: I feel better, I eat better, my skin looks better, I'm happier, I sleep better, I look better - etc.
10. But also take time to relax.  Caleb recently introduced me to the game Animal Crossing: City Folk and we've really enjoyed playing that together (well, technically taking turns, but still).  I guess reading books falls under this category, too.

So there you have it.  My 10 Fall Resolutions.  Maybe now that they're in print, I'll stick to them?  :)

How about you?  Do any of you feel like you're getting a second wind for this year?  Leave a comment and tell me about it - I'd love to read about it!

Love and Colored Pencils,
Leah Joy

Monday, August 26, 2013

I'm Back - Also, Stupid People

Summer camp is over.  I had a chance to visit my relatives in Virginia, do some Fall Cleaning (that's what it has been dubbed when you're too busy all summer to really clean your house and you have lots of catching up to do in the Fall), and then to relax for a bit.  Now I'm back with time on my hands again (hopefully to be used wisely), a renewed vigor for my 101 Things Project and this blog and lots of other things, and apparently, a skill for run-on, but technically grammatically-correct, sentences (a la Lewis Carroll).

I do have the intention of soon posting every day again as I did this Spring, but I make no promises as to my acceleration in returning to that velocity.  I have a few big projects this week yet that may consume my time.  But more on those later.  For now, it's Monday, and I have a rant.  Several, actually, since it's been a long time, but I'll save the rest for later.

I was recently looking into purchasing some books from Barnes and Noble's website.  (Long story short: I had already ordered one item but the store is not near anything else I need to do now, so in-store pick-up wasn't an option, and I got free shipping for spending a little bit more, so I was looking for gifts for people to get me up to the free shipping level.)  Of course I turned to Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott, as those books make the best gifts.  I found a beautiful volume of Austen's four most popular novels (Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, and Emma), but was checking some of the reviews to make sure this was a good volume to purchase.  And I found this 'gem':

Click it to make it bigger if you can't read it.  I'm not even going to say anything else about this because I think it speaks for itself.

The silver lining is that "0 out of 4 people found this review helpful."  So there is hope in this world.

Verily, verily, saith the Leah.  Forsooth, alack, and alas.

Love and Austen,
Leah Joy