Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring Cleaning

It finally feels like spring here in Idaho! As we are starting to get longer days, I've noticed that I've actually had more desire to do things like organize my home, garden, and just in general, haven't needed to take as many naps. It's made me curious why exactly is that? So I did a little research and found that your body produces more melatonin when the sun is not out, which explains why in the winter I don't really want to clean my house and take more naps, overall, I'm just a lot more lazy in the winter.

This makes some sense when talking about why we do a "spring cleaning." But that got me curious, where did that phrase come from? Is it because we have more motivation to clean out our dwellings when the sun comes out? It's possible. So I looked up where does that saying come from? I found a few traditions from around the world. One of my favorites that I found is that supposedly, the Chinese traditionally believe that all of your misfortunes from the previous year pile up in your home. So after the new year, to make sure that you start out your year right, they deep clean out their spaces.

Now the reason for this being one of my favorites out of the traditions of where the spring cleaning phrase and actions that takes place comes from, is because I am a big believer that our possessions say a lot about who we are. Owning too many things and not being a conscious consumer hinders our growth to become the greatest version of ourselves. So I say, that now is the time to look through those things around you and ask yourself, "Does holding onto this benefit me in anyway? OR does it make me feel heavy possessing it?" Here is a list of 101 items that you can read over and maybe find some that you don't need. The next step that I encourage you taking after your have cleared some items out would be to try and be a conscious consumer here on out. Think through all of your purchases. Where the items come from, if they are good for us or hindering us, will they soon (5-10 years) end up in the dump? Alright here is the list:

1. Glassware
2. Cookbooks
3. Kitchen gadgets
4. Kitchen appliances
5. Pots and pans
6. Mixing bowls
7. Tupperware
8. Water pitchers
9. Magazines
10. Newspaper
11. Books
12. Over-the-counter medicine
13. Make-up
14. Barretts/ hair clips/ ponytail holders
15. Cleaning supplies
16. Personal beauty appliances
17. Bottles of shampoo/ conditioner
18. photos
19. Photography supplies
20. Photos
21. Craft supplies
22. Scrap-booking supplies
23. CD's
24. DVD's
25. Decorative items
26. Candles
27. Figurines
28. Crystal
29. Vases
30. Audio/visual components
31. Audio/visual cables
32. Computer equipment
33. MP3 players
34. Furniture
35. Video game systems (yes please, get rid of them!!!!!!)
36. Video games
37. Video game accessories
38. Shirts/ shorts
39. Pants
40. Coats
41. Dresses
42. Hats
43. Clothes hangers
44. Winter gear
45. Shoes
46. Jewelry
47. Purses
48. Coins
49. Pillows
50. Towels
51. Linen sets
52. Candle Holders
53. Televisions
54. Items on your bulletin board
55. Magnets
56. Artwork
57. Mirrors
58. Home office supplies
59. Pens/pencils
60. Old batteries
61. Tools
62. Hardware
63. Rolls of duct tape
64. Coolers
65. Manuals
66. Phone books
67. Coupons
68. Sporting good supplies
69. Sports memorabilia
70. Aluminum cans
71. Glass bottles
72. Automobile fluids
73. Automobiles
74. Scrap pieces of lumber
75. Brooms
76. Rakes
77. Shovels
78. Garden tools
79. Plant containers
80. Empty cardboard boxes
81. Board games
82. Puzzles
83. Decks of cards
84. Unused wedding gifts
85. Baby clothes
86. Baby supplies
87. Old schoolbooks/ papers
88. Army men
89. Bath toys
90. Toy balls
91. Toy cars/trucks
92. Toy musical instruments
93. Stuffed animals
94. Plastic toys
95. Childrens' old school papers
96. Suitcases
97. Soda
98. Alcohol
99. Processed foods
100. Christmas/ seasonal decorations
101. Cable or satellite TV

Alright so here is my list! Hope you all have a great day, where ever you are! I'm going outside to enjoy the sun with my daughter.

Original list:
Spring cleaning origination:

Thursday, April 3, 2014

DIY: Coasters Made Out of T-shirts

 I'm trying to minimize my consumption of items in my house, as well as how many things I discard to the dump and thrift store. So I have been trying to find new uses for things before getting rid of it. It goes along with one of my favorite sayings that I could practice more:

Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.

So I made my old T-shirts into coasters. Here's how:
 1. Cut up one side of the shirt.
 2. Spread it out and cut 1/2"-1" strips length wise (the longest side).
 3. Once you've done that with 3 shirts, put them together...
 4. And make a knot.
 5. Then braid them together.
 6. Cut out a circle made from felt. The scale of my circle was just based on the widest glasses that I own. Then with a hot glue gun, wrap the braid around the felt starting in the middle out. I first took the knot out so that the coaster lays flat. 
VoilĂ ! A coaster.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Our House: Part 1

Wow, what a process it is moving into a house. It has been so great having our own place to call home. I still find myself shirking when I'm loud, worrying that I'm bothering the neighbors below me, then realizing that I don't have neighbors below me! It's awesome! Now, the houses that were in our price range were ones that needed a lot of work, so we spent a lot of time and effort in getting our house just livable before moving in. I want to thank those that helped us with this process. Those in my ward, my sister and her husband for letting us stay at their house for a week, my niece Kirsten for watching my baby a lot, and of course, my parents! They helped us with so so SO many things, from the process of finding a house, to getting into this house, and from turning this house into our home. We still have a lot of work that needs to be done, but the upstairs is at least livable, and we have been enjoying every moment of transforming the place. Here are a few pictures to show some of the work that we have done.

 Now I know it may not seem like it's been a lot of work but what you don't see in pictures is the dirt on the walls, the awful smell of dog urine that was embedded in the floors, and the dog hair that was in every cupboard, etc.

Monday, February 24, 2014

New Years & More Food

For those of you that know, I am not a night person. Even on New Years Eve, I could probably guess I've stayed up til midnight only a few times. So pulling an all nighter just as my body, and Brigitte's was getting used to the 8 hour time change was quite the experience. We partied until 5 am with Jimmy's parents, Petchaye, and Antoine, and Antoine's family. Here's an idea of what it was like...

 Brigitte at 3 am.

 More images on the food:
 This was so delicious! Mushrooms on top and the best pureed potatoes I've ever had!
 The most expensive and best macaroons ever! (Thanks Sophie!)

 A typical breakfast
 coffee and chocolate ice cream
 Notre Dome made entirely out of chocolate!

Don't forget to subscribe with your blogger account of your e-mail! Have a great rest of the day, it's sunny outside, and not too cold, so I'm heading out on a walk.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Christmas In Paris

I have been so busy since coming back from Paris, and I'll explain in a later post. But for now lets talk about Paris. So originally our flight was supposed to be 11 hours but because the wind was blowing in our favor, it was only going to take 9 1/2 hours. (I've never heard of that happening). We flew our night time and would be getting into France at around 11:00 in the morning. So I thought, "great, I'll just sleep on the plane." Worst mistake ever! I think I slept maybe 20 minutes between that and the 8 hour difference from France and Idaho, plus having a baby, I was super exhausted the first week.
 That night, December 23rd, we drove around Paris a little bit with Jimmy's parents.
 The next morning, Christmas Eve, Jimmy and I decided to go out for breakfast and get some pastries at the boulangerie. (***For those of you that know my typical diet, I ate way more meat, cheese and pastries than I ever do normally. I've noticed that many French seek for pleasure with out thinking of the consequences, and we definitely over-indulged.) ^^The photo above is the street Jimmy lives on to the left, a church to the right.
 I know, lame, Subway was everywhere, so was McDonalds. But here is a picture of Jimmy and our kaboo (Brigitte).
 Me in front of the place we got breakfast that morning.
 Christmas Eve Dinner:
 I don't even remember when it started, but after each course, someone took your plate, washed it up and brought them back for the next course and we talked (we as in them and translating for me). Dinner took many hours.
 This was appetizers. On the left is fois gras (duck liver) spread on a type of bread. To the right is a different type of bread, kind of like a small pancake, that we put smoked salmon on it.
 We had lamb, it was the best lamb I've ever had, though I'm not a fan of lamb, but this was very good. And green beans wrapped in bacon.

 Then there was cheese, lots of different cheeses. It doesn't seem like a lot of food for sitting at the table for 4-5 hours, but when you're eating slow and enjoying the ambiance, time seems to stop. Infact, I still haven't gotten my sense of time since being back.
 My in-laws, Petchaye and Antoine fell asleep while opening presents at around 2:00am in the morning.
Sohpie's birthdday, Jimmy's sister, is on Christmas eve, but we celebrated it on Christmas, since the French celebrate more the night before. Above is Antoine and Sophie.
Petchaye, Jeremy, Jimmy's brother, and Jimmy's uncle, Patrick.
Jimmy and Danielle. I tried twice to get a good picture of Danielle, but it didn't really work.
Christmas day dinner:
Yes, we had Caviar. Jimmy's dad works at a restaurant as the purchasing agent and for Christmas by the company gets some really nice gifts, this is one of them, so was the cheese.
I could see why Caviar is expensive, it has a fancy texture. (don't really know how to discribe it, but it's like salty melted butter-ish). So here we has barely cooked up eggs and Caviar,....eggs with eggs. and you pick it up with bread. Not a fan of either of the eggs, but it was a good experience.
Above is a castrated rooster. They get nice and plump and moist. It was stuffed with veil and chestnuts.
More chestnuts.
Antoine and Brigitte.
More cheese....
Sophie's birthday was very good!
So here is just part of my trip to Paris. Hope you enjoyed and I will post more soon!

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