Monday, January 26, 2015

Home (and other) projects

My January organizing and de-cluttering fanaticism continued through this past week.  I just haven't lost steam yet, so I'm going to keep going until I'm over it.  

OK, this is not organizing or de-cluttering, but we did have a beautiful sunset last Tuesday.

On Saturday Maryellen hosted a Pinterest Party for my ladies group.  Everybody had to make a recipe from Pinterest that they have never made before.

And then we did a craft found on Pinterest: painting rocks.

The best part about this craft is that it puts absolutely no clutter in my house. I put my day and night rocks in the front yard.  I'm keeping my heart one to use for Valentine's Day and then it will go in the Valentine's Day box in the garage for the rest of the year.

After I got home from the Pinterest party we went to IKEA to get some stuff to organize the pantry.  I had the pantry really well under control after we first moved in, but especially in the last 6 months, things have gotten very messy in there.  We stopped at the park on the way home.

I knew exactly what needed to be done so it didn't take me very long to organize everything.  It looked fantastic when I was done.
I was able to make space on a lot of the shelves by moving stuff and getting rid of other stuff.  I decided to move our popsicle molds into the pantry from a drawer in the hutch in the dining room since there was extra space now.  When I did that I finally found the little rubber bumpers from the door stops.  I had removed them when we moved in because they are a choking hazard.

They have been replaced.
Another thing I found in the pantry was a chocolate bunny from Easter.  He was buried under all the kids snacks.  That was the main thing I wanted to organize because the snack section was such a mess.

On Sunday he got chopped up and baked into some muffins. 
After breakfast I decided that I really wanted to move this pot that sits by the front door.  I was just tired of it being in the front yard.  It's not particularly pretty and I'm tired of having to constantly plant new flowers in it.  The biggest problem in moving it somewhere is that it is HEAVY.

We rigged a dirt moving system out of the wagon and a sheet.
But even without dirt, the pot was too heavy for us to move.  So Michael went next door to see if our neighbor, Jesus, could help.  They came back with a dolly, loaded the pot and moved it to the back yard.

Ahhh.  So much better.
I had somewhat thought about planting herbs in the backyard, but Elliott had such a good time just playing in the dirt that we decided to leave it just like this for now.

Once the pot project was done we were mentioning to Jesus that we had a tree expert come over to look at our tree a few weeks ago, because it is tilting over even more than usual and roots were coming up out of the ground.  The tree guy said that the tree is still really healthy and its roots are really strong.  We're not in any danger of it falling over, but he said it was pretty bottom heavy and right heavy.  He gave us an estimate of $250 to trim it up, but he pointed out exactly which branches we needed to cut out.  Jesus said that he could help us do it, so he went home, got his chain saw and came back.  

This is before.


And after.
We re-wrapped it with lights as soon as we were done and it looks so much better now.  It's way less shady in its current state, but I'm sure it will fill in again soon.

And finally, Spencer has school pictures again on Thursday, so I found this great 75% outfit for him to wear.
The pants and sleeves are too long, but it was either go a little too big or a little too small.  I think it will look fine.  I'd like to order one 8 x 10, so it's not like I'm looking for perfection here.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Shutterfly projects

A long, long, long time ago I made Michael sign up for a Shutterfly account so that when they offered free photo books, he could order one and I could order one.  This worked for us, happily, for a few years.  Then, last summer, Shutterfly changed their rules with no notice and will only ship one photo book per billing address when they offer them for free.  Apparently there were too many people taking advantage of the system and they finally caught on and shut it down.  I did not know this until after I had made a photo book for both of us, so Michael's photo book has been sitting and waiting for months.  A few weeks ago he got an email offering him a free photo book.  FINALLY!  I jumped on the opportunity and ordered it immediately.

This is the cover.

And this is the back.
You can click HERE to see the entire book.  It's short and contains about 8 words and will take you very little time to view.  Promise.

What's very weird is that I did not get the same offer.  At first I thought that Shutterfly had banned me from free photo book offers, but I checked with some other people and none of them got emails either.  Michael seems to be somewhat of a special anomaly. 

I took the opportunity to make a photo book for myself though.  As soon as I get my offer, assuming I have not been blacklisted, I will order it within seconds. 

Front cover

Back Cover 
Moving along.

Yesterday I got an email from Cost Plus World Market.  They were offering a free mug from their valued partner, Shutterfly.  I thought, what the heck.  It's not a photo book, but I like mugs.  I use mugs.  I want a free mug.

So I logged on, uploaded some pictures and made this little gem.

The only problem is that when I went to check out, it wasn't free.  Even though I picked the 11 ounce, white, ceramic mug as specified, they were charging me $4.  Hmm.  Curious.

So, I picked a different, cheaper mug.  Still white, ceramic, and 11 ounces, but cheaper.  I came up with this gem. 

And once again, it cost an extra $4.  I refused to pay any extra money for this "free" mug, so I thought I'd give it one more shot.  That is when I realized (because I am a slow learner, I guess) that I needed to pick a mug with just one picture. 

(I didn't add any text in that white rectangle, so it won't be on the mug)

Finally!  A free mug!  It will be delivered next week. I can't wait to use it.  In 11 months.  I will certainly blog about the first time I use it for a cup of coffee or tea.  And then we'll all be freaked out about how fast the year went and how it totally feels like I just wrote that post about ordering the mug but it was actually way back in January.