Thursday, September 21, 2017


Yes, I know it's Thursday. But considering I was part of the way through yesterday before I realized Wednesday was half gone....

Anyhow... I'm showcasing Living Room progress this week. Keep in mind, that a week ago there was a path between stuff and our chairs, with an opening big enough to see the TV screen through.

I never seem to take 'before' pictures. Not because I'm embarrased for people to see the CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome) but because I just dive right in to the cleaning and don't think about taking a 'before' photo. I'm going to make a point to do that for the office this weekend. 

Anyhow... this is the East side of the living room. Prior to it looking like this, there was a large Sterilite tub in front of the window (which may go back because it's a favorite sleeping spot for the cats) as well as the portable kitchen island and the dog supply cart. This is also where the treadmill used to take up twice the space the gazelle does. This side of the entertainment unit holds Bob's videos and also has a couple of shelves designated for the girls' coloring books/ games/ videos. The empty shelf on the bottom is used to house the Wii board. I'm going to move the girls' videos to this shelf.

The Gazelle is heavier than it looks when it comes to folding it up. I'm going to buy short bungi chords this weekend so that when I fold it up against the book case, it doesn't roll back out on it's own. Once the office is cleaned up, I can move it in there for the holidays as this is where our big 8' tree goes.. the one I've been unable to put up in the past four years! The last time our big tree saw the light of day was in 2013. You can see it HERE

This is the West side of the living room. A little more bare. We have to have the blanket rack to keep the cats from laying on our lap blankets when not in use, otherwise I'd get rid of it. The black tripod is temporary. That's where I'm putting my blog boards this weekend while the office cleaning is in progress. I should be able to move it back to the office by the following weekend at the latest.

I have little things on the shelves that don't belong that I'll move to their appropriate homes over the next couple of weeks. This was about decluttering the big items.

The point of this first step is that I can see the floor. 

Next week - the office. And I promise... before pictures will be taken. They will come with a warning :-)  

Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, September 18, 2017

WEIGH IN 9-18-17


And I'm back up. Well, all things considered I am not surprised. I spent three days in Springfield with my sister last week. Springfield always includes food. 

Wednesday night we went to The Hill.  This is an all you can eat Italian buffet with foods similar to what you would find in The Hill district of St. Louis.... Little Italy if you will. I take a little of this and a little of that. One dish I love is their cheese ravioli in a mushroom/ wine sauce. Man, is that dish rich and full of flavor. I also tried the Tiramisu cake. Kitty was done eating and had her dessert but I gave her a taste of mine.. next thing I know she's asking our waitress, Andrea, for a new fork and was going after her own piece. LOL yeah.. the food is THAT good.

We went to Colton's Steakhouse for lunch on thursday. Just something light to hold us til dinner.I ordered the Honey BBQ Boneless wings. Kitty ordered the catfish and we shared an order of Onion Tanglers:

For dinner, she indulged my desire for seafood. We went to Hemingway's Blue Water Cafe in Bass Pro. While you won't see it on their menu, on Thursday nights they up the price of their buffet if you want the all you can eat crab legs. I am a sea food fanatic.

 I know the calories in sea food are high but I don't get to this treat in Springfield as often as it sounds by my blog posts. ;-)

She left Friday morning and I hung over an extra day to finish my errands. Friday night I had crab legs and mussels in black bean sauce at Asian King - my favorite Chinese buffet in Springfield. I will tell you this. I've read some of the reviews on yelp and I'm not sure we are eating at the same place. My servers are always smiling and friendly, the food is always good... though some days are better than others but I chalk that up to whomever is in the kitchen. Face it, some people are better at their job than others. The complaint about waiting for crab legs is legit. But that is not the only thing coming out of the kitchen and they expect you to eat other things on the buffet. One thing that would be helpful is if some people would show consideration and not pile their plate with legs as I as possible so that only 2 or 3 people get crab legs while the rest of us wait for the next round. Show some courtesy, people!

While I do eat at a lot of buffets, I am able to step away before the point of misery. I have decent self-control. It isn't the quantity that raises the scale but the types of food. And they are treats.

While in Springfield I went out to a thrift store I'd been in several months ago. They are in a strip mall across the street from my dental office. When I was their last time, they had a Tony Little Gazelle. Like a nitwit, I gave away my knock off- cloud walker several years ago, thinking I'd use the treadmill more and we didn't have room for everything. I've regretted that decision a hundred times over and wanted a replacement. This time, the treadmill is going!


While they didn't have the Gazelle I'd looked at before, they had gotten one in the day before. The price for this piece of equipment ranges from $175-$229 new. I picked this one up for $8.88 before Senior discount. I thought maybe those numbers were a code but the team member assured me that was the price! Umm... load me up please!  

Here's a YouTube video taking you through an entire work-out, with Tony!

Wednesday, I'll be back to show you what I accomplished in the Living Room yesterday. Flylady is keeping me on track and motivating me to GET THINGS DONE so I can decorate and enjoy the holidays.

Whatever's on track for your week.... Enjoy the Journey!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


While this week is supposed to be all about the Living Room - Zone 3, I am backtracking to show you what I did in the Master Bedroom last week.

I will get the zones on track the way they should be... just going to take some time. Baby Steps

I told you last week I was going to tackle the closet before Bob left back out. I knew I needed a second shelf towards the back of the top shelf and while I had everything out of the way for Bob to install that, I wanted to go through everything.  Here's the photo gallery with captions:

Top Shelf - West end

Top Shelf - East end

Full clothing rod


When we first moved in, we had 2 sets of waterbed storage bases from our old waterbed. The bedroom is too small for dressers - though we have book cases. Go figure LOL The drawer bases fit perfectly the width of the closet. Bob has the same configuration on his side. 

First, I took everything out of the closet except the drawers/ contents. I'd gone through those in the spring so didn't need to go back through them.

Loose items from shelf on bed for sorting/ trying on.

Bob's empty shoe rack with storage boxes from the shelf as well as some loose items.

Incidentally, we had taken his shoe rack apart and moved it out of the closet when the girls came. Adrian's mattress was in the open closet space. 
Abby's roll a way sat where the shoe rack is in the picture.
We put the rack back together in preparation for putting back in the closet but utilized it for this.

Then the sorting began. I tried on everything on the shelf. If it didn't fit or wasn't going to fit in the next #5 loss, then it went in the thrift store bag. I got rid of a lot of things I haven't worn in years and knew I never would. Some of the items dated back to my days as an Undercover Wear agent. I loved the pieces but they just didn't belong in my closet any longer.

This was the end result...

Look at all those EMPTY hangers!

Thrift Store
When I dropped them off, the gal asked if I'd had a garage sale!

A much more organized space! There are things to the back of the shelf yet, but those are 'keeper' things like funeral books and keepsakes.

Top shelf neat and tidy. Bulky things I wear every day easily accessed.
Jeans and the soon to be worn sweaters

A lot less crowded clothing bar. 

Next week I'll show you how I've decluttered the Week 3 Zone - the Living Room.

Are you decluttering? Should you be? Think how much easier you'll breathe!
Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, September 11, 2017

WEIGH IN 9-11-17

“One of the worst days in America’s history saw some of the bravest acts in Americans’ history. We’ll always honor the heroes of 9/11. And here at this hallowed place, we pledge that we will never forget their sacrifice.”
—President George W. Bush at the Pentagon in 2008


Down two pounds. Whoo Hooo! Well, technically I was down a pound the day after Bob and I weighed. With Bob gone I eat more of the food I like that he doesn't care for and I don't fix full meals. Mostly proteins here and there with fruits and vegies for snacks. Looks as if he'll be gone until at least the first week in October, possibly longer so I have plenty of time to stay on track and hopefully hit my goal of 165 by October 12th - in time for the Ozark Creative Writers Conference.

I apologize for not getting in here on Friday. I started out running errands and didn't get back until late evening.

The flylady program is working pretty good so far. While I'm still building habits - baby steps - I am making progress. Before I can build a full-fledged routine, I have to get the house back in a semblance of order. I've packed up the girls' toys. I need to pick up another Sterilite footlocker for their beach/ sandbox toys.  Pictured below, I bought ours at Walmart for the Home Depot price. They have inset wheels on one end to make them easy to move around. We chose this rather than standard tubs. They'll make nice 'toy boxes' for the girls' items when they come back and we know at a glance these are their things - separate from home stuff.

Sterilite Footlocker Storage Box
My focus for this week is some of the mixed media items in the office. I HAVE to have the office in a semblance of order in time for my brother -in-law and his wife to visit us the week after I get back from conference. 

Whatever you have planned for this week, remember to 
Enjoy the Journey!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


I know when we think Recipe our mind automatically goes to food. Well, there are recipes for everything - including Housekeeping. So here's my recipe for today. 

CHAOS - Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome?
FLYLADY is the answer!

Yep, that would be our house about now.  Between everything not being in place the way they should have been before the girls arrived, add in the chaos of a 5 & 9 year old with toys, constant activity and trips the house is a disaster. And shall I remind you, I've never completely put the office together the way I envision it. Angels are not singing when I open the door. Rather, they are hiding in tiny corners for fear any noise might send something toppling onto their angelic heads.

I was a Flybaby several years ago. Marla Ciley's formula was the only thing that kept our home in some semblance of order between a 7-kid daycare and six Girl Scout troops - two of which required me driving out of town an hour each way one night a week.

I came across a post on YouTube the other day that reminded me of the program and I knew that's what I needed right now. I needed to become a flybaby again.

I've spent the past week in bits and pieces putting my Flylady notebook together. Let's do a quick walk-through.

I began with a six-ring planner I found at a thrift store for $2. Just hanging out in the cabinet waiting for a use.

The front pattern is covered with a clear plastic so I slit that at the top so that I could personalize the planner a bit, using papers and embellishments from Simple Stories - Domestic Bliss line:

I used one of their embellishment packs throughout the planner, including the cover... The card actually says "Bless This Mess". Since I'm all about getting rid of the 'mess', I covered the last word up with one of the ephemera pieces:

Come on, you knew there had to be paper crafting involved! 😀

The Flylady system breaks your house down into Zone's - one zone per week. I bought a package of tab dividers. I had to trim them to fit and punch the holes.

What the Flylady system is all about!

There are specific tasks to do each week. 
Once we're past the Decluttering Process no task should take more than 15 minutes.
I've laminated all of the cards I'll be showing you. 
This made the TO DO page a great write on/ wipe off surface. I've slit the holes on both of these cards so I can move them freely through the planner without having to open the rings every time.

I printed the calendar made for a Traveler's Notebook from Scattered Squirrel. The Weekly Planner pages were inside the planner when I bought it. I'll use the weekly pages to make notes of what is on the Zone plan for that week - day by day bites.

Aside from the weekly pages that were in the planner, there was also a two-sided sheet listing each day of the month. I put one behind each monthly tab and will move this from month-to month as I meal plan each week.

ZONE 1 - Kitchen/ Laundry

ZONE 2 - Office

ZONE 3 - Living Room/ Dining Room

ZONE 4 - Master Bedroom/ Bathroom

ZONE 5 - Basement/ Pantry

I'll be using these images as post headers from here on out.

The Keys to flylady are:
1 - Declutter 
     Working within the Zone for that week, spend 15 min. each day decluttering the room

2- 15 Minutes
     Everyone has 15 minutes and by doing things in small bites, you do not get overwhelmed

3 - Routine
      There is a Morning Routine, Afternoon Routine, Bedtime Routine

If you're in a state of CHAOS - I encourage you to check out Flylady and join us! After all, isn't a clean house part of our Journey to Living Healthy?

I'll be back Friday to let you know how the week went. Until then...

Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, September 4, 2017

WEIGH-IN 9-4-17


First off, I apologize for no post last week. Sunday, when I usually weigh in and post to the blog, we were a bit busy spending the final few hours with the girls. Monday we drove to OK then Tuesday morning, up to Wichita to meet up with our daughter and hand over the girls. Was a bittersweet weekend. We miss the girls like crazy but I must get back to work.

Thankfully, I am not a stress eater. I tend to go the other direction. Rather than eating constantly, I focus on the multiple tasks at hand and forget to eat. I'm going to focus on that over the next few weeks by setting a timer. Rule of thumb to feed the metabolism and keep the fire burning is to eat something every three hours. Doesn't have to be anything big. A piece of fruit or a spoon of peanut butter will do that trick.

Bob leaves tomorrow and plans to stay on the boat as long as they'll allow. We know things will slow down this winter so we want to build up our reserve for the leaner months ahead. 

The pantry will be fine. I've been canning pints of pasta sauce with the tomatoes from our garden on a weekly basis. I'm averaging four pints a week. While Bob is gone, my first task is to clear the freezer of leftovers - my meals until they are gone - then restock with lean proteins and quick casseroles. 

Quick casseroles are important as I look ahead to November. For the past eleven years, I have taken part in National Novel Writing Month. Nano as we affectionately term the event is a month-long dedication to spewing the first draft of a new novel/ project. I'm hoping to have the mindset to write book 3 of my Seasonal Sisters series or book 3 of the Branson series. I'm spending this month revamping my very first novel - the book of my heart - to submit to Hallmark Movie channel. They've been my target for the past few years and they are finally accepting manuscripts.

So, my September:
      Put house back in order (I'll talk more about this later in the week)
      Get my job as Marketing Director for Oghma Creative Media and Saddlebag Dispatches mag
               on track before my boss boots me
      Polish A Christmas to Remember and submit to Hallmark
      Start fall yard work and begin storing straw for next spring's garden.
      Finish Office organization project (I have company coming in 6 weeks!)

See... no stress ::: gulp:::

Thankfully, most everything will fall into place once Bob leaves. It isn't about him being home so much as I just work better alone.  So, with the girls and Bob gone I can shift into my own schedule and move forward with much more productivity.

For this week:
Getting back into routine with:
       Eating Schedule
       Working Out
       Cleaning Schedule 

How does your week look?  Whatever your plans, the most important thing to remember is to 

Enjoy the Journey! 

Monday, August 28, 2017