Archive for September, 2009

Feng Shui

This weekend I have been working on de-cluttering and spiffing up my bedroom. According to Feng Shui some of the best colors to use in your bedroom are ‘skin’ tones so I went out and bought some new sheets and a wonderful comforter. For a better nights sleep the space under your bed is to be completely cleared out… The under of my bed is HORRIBLE.

I plan on winning the lotto by the end of next month so, this weekend has been spent trying to up the ‘chi’ in my bedroom by clearing out and tossing the clutter… I figure I’m going to need all the chi I can get. Joking. My sudden interest in Feng Shui was inspired by my recent attempts to get ‘organized’. I needed a quick motivation boost so I went searching on the internet and came across several recommendations for the book ‘Clear your clutter with Feng Shui’. As it turns out, my home isn’t ideal for any feng shui practitioner so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to make  a few changes.

Here is a copy of my small list of ‘bedroom changes’ to do this weekend:

1. Buy an air purifier – I found one really cheap at a pawn shop.

2. Clean out under the bed

3. Hang up the two big paintings I got for my birthday

4. Dust all books and bookshelves

5. Set out new candles

6. Switch out sheets

7. Toss old, worn, ill-fitting and unused clothing

8. Get rid of all the junk…

Well, thats it for now. So far, I’ve tossed out three full bags of old paperwork, worn clothing and trash items and I’ve gathered two boxes of items to donate to the Salvation Army. Woo hoo! Go me! After this I think I’m going to hunker down with a nice cup of hot tea and a book or a pen and sketch pad… It’ll be my reward for all this work… Until next time!

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Sock Knitting

Today I have started to knit my very first pair of socks. I’m not sure how they will turn out but I hope for the best! My mother bought me some beautiful Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn in this beautiful salmon, brown and dusty rose color. I don’t think it’s self striping yarn but it is variegated. I also got some size 2 Crystal Palace Bamboo DPNs. This will also be my first endeavor with double points. We shall see how it goes… Wish me luck!

Motivation to clean

I spent the weekend cleaning house and I thought I would share some of the many motivation hacks that I use from time to time… Nothing would get done with out them!

1. Light a candle or maintain your favorite fragrance in the house. I can’t clean without a good scent going. Sometimes I even like to bake something to get that wonderful aroma wafting throughout the home. Some other ideas are incense, potpourri or you could boil spices on your stove.

2. Use appropriate clothes for cleaning, scrubbing ect… I can’t clean with out some lace up sneakers on and my favorite pair of old comfy jeans. The outfit immediatly tells my brain that it’s time to work. Plus, I feel like an adorable version of June Cleaver when I’m in my dainty feminine apron with a pretty colorful scarf tied in my hair. I even have pink gloves to use when doing the dishes. My boyfriend laughs  but he thinks it’s cute.

3. Listen to your very favorite music. I have playlists set up specifically for cleaning or for any type of mood I may be in. I also have tons of audio books and podcasts downloaded. For some books I tell myself that I can only listen to it when I am cleaning.

5. Exercise while cleaning! Kill two birds with one stone. Dance while dusting. Vigorously sweep and mop. Work out your arms while cleaning the windows. Make sure to use extra elbow grease.

6. Use a timer! I like to race myself by setting the timer for how long I think a certain task should take (making the bed: 2 min. Dishes: 15 min) then racing to beat the clock. This also falls under the exercise category because I always end up breaking into a sweat.

7. Pretend someone is coming over, your mother in law, your crush, your sibling or friend that you are in competition with ect… What don’t you want them to see? What would you want them to see? (I used to actually invite people over but this would always back-fire on me. Life would get in the way, the place wouldn’t get cleaned and I was left incredibly stressed out and embarrassed. Pretending is much better since I don’t have an anxiety attack from extreme mortification when it doesn’t work out.)

8. Meditate or contemplate a problem while cleaning. It’s a great time to get some serious thinking done. The repetitive motions are also very soothing if your trying to clear your mind and zone out.

9. Use cleaning as a great way to practice the ‘Action Habit’ or the ‘Do It Now’ principal

11. Remind yourself of all the benefits your children will have. Studies show that children respond positively to routines and organized/un-cluttered spaces. They do better in school and usually behave better in general.

12. Use the reverse box method. Put everything into a box, wipe off the counter and then sort thru all the stuff in the box and put back what you keep.

13. Set up daily alarm reminders on your phone. Have a calendar service txt you daily. Example: every day at 9pm have the service send a message saying “Laundry reminder! Put in new load, fold and put away the previous one.” Google calendars offers these ‘SMS alerts’.

14. Consolidate chores. Clean the bathroom during babies bath time, wipe down kitchen counters while cooking and fold laundry while watching T.V.

15. Clean as you go! Duh.

16. Play the “penicillin method cleaning game’. Clear off a small shelf or counter then imagine it’s been penicillin’d. Then clean areas near that spot then those spots until before you know it the whole room has been cleared!

17. Give yourself a sticker chart and keep track of your successes or get a jar and some marbles and once it’s full get a pedicure or buy a new book. You should always reward yourself!

19. Look at organizational magazines or pictures of beautiful spaces/homes/rooms to inspire you. I have an entire binder dedicated to cut-out pictures of beautiful rooms/homes and articles that I found to be particularly motivating.

This is everything that I can come up with off the top of my head for now. What are some of your favorite motivational tips?

Goal Setting

Earlier today I was thinking about my goals and how I needed to revisit them, revise them and work out a working plan for them. So, I pulled out all of my old notes from the begining of 2009 and I was pleasently surprised to learn that a few of them were well under way. The truly surprising thing about this was the fact that these were goals I had thought I wouldn’t have been able to even start working on any time soon.

Here is a copy of a rough draft goal-list:

-Get and stay organized
-Maintain routines such as cleaning for at least 15 min a day
-Find a career I love
-Finish college
-Make 200,000 a year
-Successfully raise my children to be intelligent, kind, honest and moral and happy.
-Spend more ‘quality’ time with my family
-Become financially literate/organized/fit ect…
-Live in my Dream Home – The house on Singbush Lane…
-Create my own personal “library”
-Have a wonderful closet full of great clothes and shoes and accessories
-Continue my education after college…

Some of these I have been diligently working on and have made some headway on such as getting organized and cleaning for 15 minutes a day. The ones that surprised me were ‘finish college’ and ‘create my personal library’. I thought college wouldn’t even be started for another few years. As for the library, I just looked over and was delighted to notice that somewhere along the way I had obtined 3 floor to ceiling shelves full of books that had been returned, given and bought. I started with only one shelf full. (these shelves are massive and take up a whole wall in my room.)

Re-visiting these goals reminded me how very important it is to create and WRITE down your own personal goals. I have read that the subconscious mind will work at them all on it’s own… If you tell yourself it’s a reality RIGHT NOW then the subconscious goes to work manifesting these ‘realities’.

This year is the first year I have really sat down and thought about the direction my life is going in and I’m very glad that I have taken the time to plan it out.

I believe EVERY PERSON should have clear, well thought, goals written down and they should be worked on constantly. Web sites with great information and step by step instructions are abundant on the internet. Here are a few links to some of my favorite and inspiring websites:

1. Zen Habits – this is my number one go-to site for anything goals, personal development and motivation. It’s a content rich site with wonderful insights, ideas, articles and ‘tips’.

2. Steve Pavlina – another content rich site. The post I linked to is one on manifesting. There is a wealth of information found here however, I have found that I like to pick and choose what I take away from it.

3. Synergy Institute – This site has a few good articles regarding goals. You can also peruse thru their article library for other information about manifesting, motivation, setting ect…

4. Vocational Information Center– This site has TONS of links to workbooks, worksheets ect… Most of it is geared towards school and career planning but there is a section about setting goals. The worksheets have been very helpful to me.

5. SMART Goal Planning Worksheet – Worksheet with all the basic, vital goal setting steps. It provides step by step instructions on setting SMART goals and includes examples. One of the most helpful resources for me when I first started goal setting.

I’d love to hear some of the goals you have set for yourself! Hearing other peoples goals is a wonderful inspiration and motivation to me. So, please don’t be shy and share your goals and plans on achievement! I’d also LOVE to hear what motivates you. Is it a particular web site or sites? Is it a picture you cut out of a magazine? Or is it seeing what another person has achieved that pushes you on?

Self portrait links

As promised, here are a few links that I found helpful…

1. Digital Photography School – Self Portrait photography tips – this isn’t necessarily a tutorial, just a bunch of really helpful tips. Does not really include the actual camera set-up, mainily about posing and reading yourself, creating the mood ect…

2. Memory Makers – Pose like a pro – A great scrapbooking site that has wonderful basic photography articles. This one is about posing in pictures. It has a great tip on how to rid yourself of that dreaded double chin and even how to visually slim your thighs.

3. Camera Labs – Self Portrait tips – This article is focused on DSLR’s but I find that most of the tips can also be used for a simple point and shoot as they usually include a manual function and some even let you change the shutter speed and aperture.

Well, I’m ready to call it a night so thats all for now. Hopefully, I’ll have a few more ideas tomorrow as well as a few ‘practice shoots’. ha.

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