Lindsay Gill: May 2015

Thursday, May 28, 2015

5 ways to instantly declutter

For whatever reason, this scenario has stuck with me.  My husband and dad were grilling.  They are always so proud of themselves next to that grill.  We buy the food, prepare the food, marinate the food, and then they stand near the food.  But they kept telling us that the way to successful grilling was that they "had a system."  I'm not even sure what they were talking about, but having a system is actually a great concept!

We now live in a ranch.  I didn't realize that this would force us to keep the whole house cleaner rather than just tidying the first floor where the guests would be.  Since I don't have a day or chunk of time for cleaning like we did pre-Luke, I've realized that we really need a system to keep things organized.

Here is the system that I'm working on:

This is a real scene from my room at work. Without a system.
1.  Unsubscribe from 5 emails per day.  My internet life is often just as crazy as my life real.  Where is that email I need?  Where is that address?  I have a separate email for stores and promotions only.

2.  I have short cuts on my computer search bar for bills that need to be paid each month.  I've got most of them on automatic payment, but my most helpful change is adding the dates that the bills have been paid so I know I am set with that bill until next month.  For example, I have "verizon 5/14" which means that Verizon is paid and I don't have to worry about it until June.  Then, go paperless for each bill so that there is not a constant flow of useless mail coming into the house.

3.  Our town has almost monthly collections from a charity.  I can spend a month filling bags and then schedule a pick up.  This has been huge!  I can help the community without even leaving our home.  

4.  Develop a photo system.  I have heard that a lot of people, including myself, have anxiety over losing pictures that are only "in a cloud."  I purchased external storage and clear them off of my computer and phone about once per month.  

5.  Start a collectibles box.  Luke has artwork, we have random photos and cards from people that we are not ready to part with.  Either take a picture of it and throw away the real thing, or have a designated spot, ours is in a bin in the basement, where these can stay safe for now.

PS This is the first time in a long time that Luke has slept in.  I've got a cup of coffee and I'm enjoying a few minutes to myself.  And I've already showered! 

Friday, May 8, 2015

DIY Mother's Day Gift: Clay hand painted jewelry holder

A big thank you to Lindsay at My Creative Days for this great idea!  I knew I wanted cost efficient, unique, and personal DIY gifts for Mother's Day this year, and Lindsay posted this idea just in time!  Last year, we made frames and Waterlogue prints.  I did vary from Lindsay's directions just a little.

You will need:

oven bake clay (I found this at Michael's)
Pam cooking spray
acrylic paints
paper and a pencil
a cupcake tin
a plastic knife

1.  Do this part ahead of time. Trace your child's hand on a piece of paper and cut out.  

2.  Without your child, if they are young, knead the clay into flat 1/4 in sheets. This took some time and some body heat to get the clay smooth.  

3.  Using the cut out as a guide, use the plastic knife to cut out the hands.  With a $13.99 package of clay, we were about to get 10+ toddler hands cut out.

4.  Spray the cupcake tin and place hands in each spot.  Lindsay had her children press their fingers into the clay to make a heart shape, cute!  

5.  Bake for 15 minutes on 275 degrees.  Our hands were a little thicker and had to go in for 20+ minutes.  I did manage to burn some thinner hands...try to keep the thickness consistent.

6.  Let cool.  Your child can now decorate however you wish!  I used a Sharpie to write Luke's name and date on the back.

If you're looking to buy a gift, too, check out my Mother's Day gift guide!