2019: Our New Years Resolutions

Happy New Year! Hope 2019 holds many blessings for you!


This is the time of year when many of us resolve to do something better, or to be better at something. We commonly desire to do different things, like visit a new and exciting vacation destination, or stop worrying about something, or the ever popular “lose weight.” While I have some personal resolutions this year, and I will share those, I have some resolutions for my home and for my blog. Some people would just call these things a “to-do list,” and that’s accurate as well. Whatever you want to call it, I’m more than happy to share them with you.

Personal and family

  1. A healthier, more mindful, and better me

Things have not been the greatest on the homefront. I’ve struggled with mental illness and it has taken a toll on everyone. This year, I’d simply like to learn more about my anxiety and depression, and work toward finding a healthier balance. I’m journaling a lot, I’m reading a lot, I’m in therapy, and I’m learning to handle things through a different lens. And it’s helping, but there are a lot more bridges to cross.

I was in a good place with my diet and fitness journey, but my recent bout of bronchitis and pneumonia really took a toll on it. This year, I’d like to work out at least 5 days a week and get back on my Trim Healthy Mama journey. So far, I’m doing well. My oldest daughter has become my biggest cheerleader and my running buddy.

I’m also working to make more time for what’s truly important: my family and myself. I am practicing saying no and trying to do less. I’m working toward not worrying so much about the trivial things in life- the messy rooms, the dirty laundry, and the crowded to-do lists- and enjoy the little girls who made those messes and that dirty laundry.

And lastly, I’m spending more time reading. I’ve always loved to read and I often find that I’m reading things for work and things to my children, but I rarely read for my pleasure anymore unless it’s summer break. I’ve created quite the list of books I’d like to read in 2019. Will I read all of them? Probably not. My goal is to read at least 75 books in 2019.

Home and blogging

So. many. things. I. want. to. do.

First, I plan on sharing the things we NEED to do, and then I’ll get to the things I WANT to do. Doesn’t it seem we are always sharing our wants and needs, and trying to distinguish between the two?

  1. Finish our bathroom refreshers (WANT)

Currently, we have already started a small remodel/room refresh on our master bath. Last year, I installed plumbing pipe shelving, and changed out the builder grade mirrors and light fixtures for two mirrors and farmhouse style lighting. This year, we plan to change out the faucets and begin planning for our next big bathroom project: new flooring and new tubs. We also may entertain refinishing the vanity. We may even change out the mirror, lights and faucets in our hall bath this year.

2. Replace some of our lost landscaping (WANT)

We lost about ten plants in our front foundation gardens and in our backyard to the crazy, overly rainy weather we experienced in 2018. We will be replacing them this year with something new and colorful.

3. Washer and dryer (NEED)

Our washer and dryer is on the blink. We looked at several different ones this past spring, but never truly lit on one we liked. Plus, we figured we could get a few more months out of ours. Well, we did, but we can’t push our luck much longer. So, we’ll be buying a new washer and dryer soon.

4. A living room refresher. (NEED/WANT)

This one fits into both categories. Does out living room function well now as it is? Sure. But…we are still using the same furniture we bought before Emorie was born, and she is now almost 8. It’s taken a beating from both these baby girls, and it’s time to replace it. Plus, I’ve had this gorgeous antique mantle in our garage for over a year now, and I’m dying to have it installed in our living room. This should be happening soon.

Now, for the things I want to do. This list will be far less detailed.

  1. Gather quotes for new bath tubs and bath flooring
  2. Gather quotes for new kitchen cabinets
  3. Finish our built in bookshelves in the office and convert the office into a playroom
  4. Convert the current playroom into a formal dining room
  5. Screen in our back porch

Do you see now why there are two lists? I’m not saving we will do all of these things, but each year I like to decide what I want to do and what I need to do, and try to balance out the lists.

What are your home resolutions for 2019?

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5 Free Christmas Printables

5 Free Christmas Printables

You guys know all about my affinity for typographical art and quotes, and you know how much I love Christmas. What better to do than combine the two and offer you these five free printables?

1. Let it Be Christmas

If you’re familiar with this classic tune, you will love this cute and colorful printable. You can also download it in red and in green.

2. Simple Merry Christmas

I also offer this one in a few other colors as well. I love the fonts and the cute little reindeer.



3. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Sometimes the prettiest printables are inspired by songs or traditional hymns. Here’s yet another printable inspired by traditional carols.

4. Merry and Bright

I absolutely love this simple printable. The font is beautiful and I can imagine using this printable in about five different areas of my house.

I hope you all enjoyed these free printables! Visit next week for our free advent calendar.

An Organized Holiday:Christmas planning binder

An Organized Holiday:Christmas planning binder

christmasplanningbinder

Have you ever made lists for Christmas? Making lists is something most of us already do without even really thinking about it. But did you know you can create a binder to help you organize and simplify your Christmas season?

I keep a binder with a December calendar, shopping lists, recipes, grocery lists, address lists, and holiday to-do lists. I also include any pictures or magazine features I want to utilize. I use tab dividers to keep the binder organized and easier to use.

tabbed dividers
$4 at Staples

I used this cute, green polka dot binder to store my Christmas printables and goodies.

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$25 on Zazzle.com

I decided I’d share my handy printables with you all today. Below you will find recipe cards, holiday planning checklists, contact lists, and more. All are available to you for free, but you may not use them for commercial use.

Christmas checklist - Copy

Christmas checklist- BLANK

christmas party planning

Blank Christmas party planning template

Christmas Party Planner Sheet

Christmas party planner

Travel checklist

Traveling checklist

Christmas contacts - Copy

Christmas contacts

recipe card

recipe card

I hope your holiday season is off to a great start! Check back Friday and Saturday for some wonderful Christmas-related goodies!

 

Things you can do to prepare for Christmas RIGHT NOW!!

Things you can do to prepare for Christmas RIGHT NOW!!

Christmas is now a little over a month away and while some of us think nothing of starting our Christmas decorating and planning, others feel as though we’ve just set out our fall decor.

For those of us who want to enjoy Christmas with less stress, here are a few ways to plan ahead for a more enjoyable Christmas season.

1. Inventory your Christmas decorations

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Take out all your Christmas decorations and sort them in three piles: use/keep, broken, and donate. If you’re like me, you buy a few things each year, and your Christmas decor can get out of hand. Go through your things and purge them before you decorate, so you won’t have to worry about it later.

2. Decide whom you’re shopping for and map out your Christmas budget

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Of course, the easiest way to manage Christmas gift shopping is to start early and plan a budget and stick to it. I like to write out a list with the name of each person I’m shopping for and a gift idea and suggested price. I don’t always stick with the gift idea, but I do usually stay within budget.

3. Plan tablescapes and menus ahead of time

advent bake blur break
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It may sound crazy to plan ahead how you’re going to set your table, but planning your table decor and securing all needed items ahead of time will make things much easier. Planning out menu items will also help you to stick to your budget and your shopping list as well.

4. Take your Christmas card photo and order cards now

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Take your photo now so you can get the Christmas cards ordered in plenty of time. Once your cards are ordered, you can address them a few at a time before dropping them in the mail, or for a little extra money, pay someone else to address them. It will be much less stressful!

What do you do to ensure a less stressful holiday season?

Veteran’s Day

lest we forget

Today is not just a day off work. It’s not a three day weekend, or an excuse to have cookouts and tailgate. Today is for celebrating our military personnel, both past and present.

Celebrate with parties, cookouts, or fireworks if you must, but remember that today is about the selfless sacrifices of many people on our behalf, for our benefit. As you spend time celebrating and being thankful for our military ladies and gentlemen today, remember to pay it forward and do something unexpectedly kind for someone else today.

Happy Veteran’s Day, all.

 

 

 

Happy Birthday, America!

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Here at Organized and Simplified, we’re wishing you a happy, safe, and fun July 4th. Happy birthday, America. You’re looking pretty good for 242 years old.

We will see you back on Friday. Have a wonderful Independence Day holiday.

 

 

 

Why We Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Why We Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Last year, Americans spent about 19.7 billion on cards, flowers and candies for Valentine’s Day. This year, it is believed that Americans will spend on average $138 per person on the holiday.

But why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day each year? And who is St. Valentine? History.com says this:

The Catholic Church recognizes three different St. Valentines. One story involves Emperor Claudius III of Rome, who decided single men made better soldiers. As a result, he outlawed marriage. St. Valentine found the marriage ban to be unfair, so he defied the Emperor and married the soldiers in secret. When his actions were discovered, he was put to death.

Other stories suggest St. Valentine may have been killed for helping imprisoned Christians escape their harsh conditions. Yet another story says an imprisoned Valentine sent the first Valentine himself to his jailer’s daughter. He even signed it, “From your Valentine,” an expression we still use today.

While Valentines Day has pagan roots, the holiday became associated with love in the Middle Ages. The earliest written Valentines were thought to be from around 1400. The oldest known valentine in existence is from 1415, and was written by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife who was imprisoned in the Tower of London.

Today, we celebrate Valentine’s Day with festivals, parades, gifts, and spending time with our loved ones.

How will you celebrate Valentine’s Day this year?