Here's the monster blog post about my OCC (Organizing Crafting Craziness), and also a few random updates about the boys and me. So take a deep breath and get ready for the plunge!
1) Do it yourself Fall Decorations --
The bowl in the picture is the wooden one I bought from Goodwill for $1.50 and then spray painted. LOVE it. I bought this fabric and used my mom's sewing machine (thanks, Maw!) to make the runner. Altogether, bowl and pumpkins included, the whole table ensemble cost me about $8-$10, and you just can't beat that.
2) Spray painted shoes --
These shoes cost me $1 apiece at a thrift store. I've been wanting red shoes SOOOO badly and since I've been on a spray painting kick, I wondered if spray painting a cheap pair of shoes would be possible. Sure enough, a few days later I saw a tutorial on how to do it.
If used shoes gross you out, you can sanitize them, but if you still can't get past it, this probably isn't the craft for you. I personally don't have foot issues, so it doesn't really matter to me. :)
P.S. One pair worked, one pair totally didn't, but I figure the learning curve was worth the $1 loss.
3) Spray painted knife block --
Call me crazy, but my knife block looked nasty and old and not-fun. I saw another blog post from a girl who actually spray painted hers, so I decided to do the same. Yet another thing that makes me smile just looking at it now :)
1) Updated cook book (and other binders) --
I used scrapbook paper (idea taken from the CleanMama link you see on my sidebar), placing it in my main dividers, and making tabs from the paper, my new LABEL MAKER (that I'm in love with!), and clear packing tape. Now I have all my favorite recipes (and a bunch I haven't tried yet) in one cookbook. I got rid of everything else except for a couple of specialty books I won't ever throw away, mostly because of sentimental value. I did three other smaller binders the same way for other purposes, including a "Home" binder that includes cleaning printables (that I purchased from CleanMama - LOVE this lady!!), menu ideas, To-Do Lists, coupons, etc.; a binder for Bennett's school work that we're doing here at home (to be talked about later on in this post); and a binder that's organized by season, for seasonal ideas to do with the family, seasonal decorations, fun crafts to try, etc. All of these binders are papered and tabbed the same way. LOVE it.
2) Closets --
I have completely revamped the coat closet into a schooling/kids' craft/projects closet.
I've also completely redone my own closet. I bought a book shelf from a thrift store and used it as shelving to organize all my newfound projects and craftiness, and gutted the whole space before putting things back in, in an organized, clean, happy way :)
I did the same to Bennett and Jasper's closets, but I didn't take before and after pictures, and their closets are still slightly less organized than my own (as in, I still couldn't tell you exactly everything that's sitting on their very top shelves).
3) The kitchen --
I reorganized and rethought every cabinet and shelf in my entire kitchen, which isn't a gigantic project considering how small our kitchen is, but I'm still pretty proud of it because everything now has its own place, and each of those places makes sense now.
I also re-labeled and re-distributed my spice rack, and that could be a whole post in and of itself. It's spice rack L-O-V-E, people. Just look at the picture. Can you blame me?!
4) The laundry room --
I relocated ALL of my cleaning supplies to the laundry room in organized baskets and containers. It's all accessible and makes my new cleaning schedule more friendly (as friendly as a cleaning schedule can be) and easy to follow. I also emptied out all the shelves and reorganized them like I did the kitchen.
5) Our bedroom --
Reorganized every drawer in my nightstand and dresser and put everything in it's proper place. Again with the smiles, just from opening drawers...it's a beautiful thing :)
1) The boys' Halloween costumes have already been ordered off of ebay. Bennett asked to be a pumpkin (repeatedly and very insistently!), and Jasper is going to be a spider. Both costumes are from Pottery Barn and were bought at a third of the price. SWEET.
2) Bennett's school work: He goes to his little school on T-Th, and on M-W-F, I do a bit of school work (I use the term loosely) here at home. On Mondays we do language arts, fine motor and community. On Wednesdays we do math and science, and on Fridays we do our craft that ties in with the bible story we've been working on all week, along with learning a new game or sports skill. Here are pictures of the three bible crafts we've done so far (the rainbow was done after studying Noah, the tree after Adam and Eve, and the family/people collage after Abraham. We also found acorns outside and drew faces on four of them to represent our family when we were studying Abraham. Alas, Jasper got a hold of two of them, thus there are only two left.
Bennett really enjoys doing his "fun work," and I'm enjoying watching his progress and excitement grow. It also gives me a more structured time to spend time with him one on one, and goals to be working on.
3) The book -- Oh, the book. I heard back from one out of ten agents, who still has my manuscript and has yet to read it, and I will be submitting to ten more agents by the end of October. If by the end of this year, I haven't heard back from anyone who's really interested, I'm strongly considering starting up a whole new blog linked to this one that is purely for my writing, and posting the books I write a chapter at a time for anyone to read who wants to. The purpose of writing A Fat Girl's Revolution was to bless and encourage other women, but how can it do that if no one is reading it? It can't. So it is quite possible that these works will become offerings rather than an occupation, which I'm fine with as long as the glory goes to the One who deserves it.
4) I also bought a fabulous black winter hat at Goodwill for $1 - ONE DOLLAR!! (again, you can wash it if the thought of wearing another person's hat makes you squeamish). I'm not generally a hat person, but found this little gem sitting in the dressing room all by its lonesome. Tried it on just for fun and it fit me perfectly. You can't really tell in the picture, but it's winterized perfection, and though I used to avoid them at every turn, I have been officially converted to Hattism.
4) Random pictures of the boys:
(first day of school)
(small group fun)
(Sunday best with a smile)
Wowzers. If you're still here, I applaud your stick-to-it-ivness. You have the gift of perseverance, no doubt. So that's what I've been up to, and it's nothing to sneeze at - this chica has been B-U-S-Y. But it's all been worth it for the past 2-3 weeks, because now I'm kicking back and enjoying my clean, organized, decorated house (and my snazzy red shoes, and my winter-licious black hat)! I've got a few more projects waiting in line, and a thankful heart that I have the time and energy to complete them!!