Taking Back My Twenties

Posts Tagged "Organization"

What I’ve Been Up To

Posted on Aug 9, 2012 | 9 comments

After sittin around in Atlanta and not being able to get anything done around the house, I’ve been a machine this week. I completely reorganized my kitchen cabinets, scrubbed the bathtub on my hands and knees, and got rid of some old clothes while improving some of the cheap hangers in my closet.


And I put every CD I’ve ever owned into iTunes. This.took.forever. But it was a fun project because I got to listen to some classics.


I’ve also been shopping! For secret wedding things…


And plants!


I had an empty pot from my grandmother, so I filled it with this guy!

Oh, and I’ve also been enjoying having TV again. House Hunters has been on continuously:)

What have you guys been up to?

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All By Myself

Posted on Jun 5, 2011 | 3 comments

Hello, Hello. I’m just getting around to posting because I’ve been busy as a bee today. Matt was out of town at his 5 year college reunion so I had planned on doing a lot of lounging around. I started the lounging with a rum, triple sec, and lemonade cocktail creation (the only options in house) on Saturday, which was surprisingly fantastic.


And a good ole helping of veggie burger + fries for dinner.


Plus some amazing graduation cake from the freezer.


And then I got tired of lounging! I ended up tacking a million projects this weekend, and I finally feel like I’m on top of things. While I missed hanging out with Matt and doing fun things like eating out and drinking pints, I feel like I actually took advantage of free time for once and didn’t waste away on the couch. I used to be more of a project person, but since beginning to work full-time, I’ve found myself craving couch time even more than I used to and I haven’t been very productive on weekends since last fall.

My apartment was a mess, as I sorted through three years of graduate work. I kept the most important things, but took three bags work of paper to the recycling bin.


Looking back, I did a TON of work for this degree!


I also sold my couches this weekend, so when I was ready to take a lunch break this afternoon, I realized there was no where to sit.


So I had a picnic. It was fun at first, but got old quickly.


I ran a bunch of errands this afternoon, including recycling my broken dvd player and old running shoes, returning a pair of flats that gave me horrific blisters, and hitting up the grocery store. Warmer weather = summer salads. This was phenomenal….simply goat cheese, raisins, strawberries, and banana chips in honey, balsamic, and olive oil. I loved it so much, I made the same thing for lunch tomorrow with the addition of cinnamon almonds. Piling spinach high with sweet stuff is about the only way I’ll eat it…


And luckily, I thought of this solution for the living room. It actually wasn’t bad.


Seeing my apartment half empty is making me a little sad:( But then again, all the open space is making me excited for the increase in square footage in the new place.

After a hectic May, I’m organized and ready to finish these last two weeks!!!! Night.

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Taking Back The Rest of the Week

Posted on Feb 23, 2011 | 12 comments

A little advice from my experienced sister, aka katheats

When Larbs asked me to do a guest post for her this week about making the most of life while working at a desk job, my immediate answer was “But I don’t work one! I left mine for a different career!”

But then she reminded me that last year I completed a six month dietetic internship, where I had to work full time in four different rotations while still keeping up with my other fulltime job as a blogger and writer. And I still enjoyed life!

Similarly, when I was an account executive at a public relations firm before I went back to school, I may have not loved my day job, but my life felt pretty balanced.

So you might love your job or hate it. You may not get to decide how you spend your 40 hours at work. But you can choose what you do the rest of the time you’re alive. Here are a few of my tips to making the most of the hours you are not at work.

Have your exercise done by 5PM. One of the keys for my happiness was the freedom to leave work in the evenings and do “adult” things like meet a friend for a drink, go out to dinner on a weeknight, or simply enjoy a nice relaxed evening at home with my husband. If you have to rush to the gym and spend an hour with the other sweaty monkeys there, you’ll miss out on the rest of the world’s evening activities and feel left out! If you can’t fit in exercise on your lunch break or streamline it into your day with multiple walks or hiking up and down the stairs in your building, my advice is to workout in the morning. Here are some KERF tips from way back when! It’s not fun, per se, but it’s not all that bad. Use visualization to help picture your day when your alarm goes off. And be sure to get in 8 hours of sleep! Getting up at 5 to exercise (even if it’s just a YogaDownload.com session on your bedroom floor!) will never be fun if you stay up too late.

Which brings me to point #2: Save TV for the weekends. Yes, it’s fun to discuss last night’s shows with your coworkers in the morning, but TV is the biggest waste of weeknight time. Pick one night a week for your very favorite “can’t miss it” show to watch live. But save all the rest to watch online or via DVR on the weekends (bonus points if you fold laundry or do your weekend cleaning while you watch!)


Speaking of cleaning, Set up systems that work for you. Put your cleaning supplies near the things that need to be clean. For example, Method wipes next to your sink. Every morning when you get out of the shower, wipe down the sink and perhaps the bathroom floor. Then you won’t have to clean on Sunday! Similarly, put all of your bills on auto billpay. (Have you ever used your banks online billpay? It’s a lifesaver!) Unsubscribe to any emails you don’t LOVE to see arrive in your inbox. Go ahead and sort mail when you get it – recycle the junk and take letters out of envelopes, then recycle those. When it’s time to go through the important stuff, you’ve already gotten rid of the excess paper. Also, unsubscribe yourself to those catalogs that go straight to recycling so you won’t even have to see them! Mentally prepare extra portions of dinner so your lunchbox will practically pack itself with leftovers. The more mundane tasks you can automate, the less you’ll have to do.


If you are so lucky to have a spouse, partner or roommate who cooperates, enlist them for a little teamwork. Figure out what tasks and what time of day work best for both of you and offer to swap. For example, if you work late on Tuesdays and they have dance class on Thursdays, see if you could do a double lunch pack for each other those nights. That way you won’t have to come home late and still pack a lunch. During my internship I asked Matt to pick one night a week to make a soup for me, and put those right into my calendar. Or perhaps your mailbox is far away to pick up the mail in the evenings but the trash take out is on your way out in the morning for work. Set up a deal with your roommate so you both don’t have to go to the mailbox every day. The more tasks you can share, the less each of you have to worry about. If you live alone, see if you can recruit a friend at work to do a lunchbox swap or a neighbor who will mow your grass every other week if you alternate and mow theirs too.


Use a meal plan. The number way secret to healthy eating is a meal plan. If you don’t have healthy food in the fridge, you won’t eat it. And there is nothing worse than coming home from work hungry and not having a clue what you should make. If you have any inkling on what’s for dinner, you can double up and make extras one night. Chop all of your carrots at once and get the cutting board out only once. Double up on rice one night and put it in your soup the next. If you don’t have a plan, these little time-saving tweaks are harder to realize. I swear that the easiest lunchbox to pack (other than leftovers from dinner) is a salad. Much easier than a sandwich! And never, ever pack your lunchbox in the morning. It’s way too stressful of a time to put thought into an important meal! I packed my lunch before we made dinner each night so the cutting boards were about to get dirty anyways. And if you’re strapped for breakfast making time, you can make one giant batch of stove-top oatmeal to reheat during the week!


Lastly, and this one should come as no shock, keep yourself super organized. Use whatever tools you like. I am partial to all of Google’s organization tools – Calendar, Tasks, souped-up Gmail because they are accessible anywhere, but figure out a system based on what you prefer. [I’ve got tips for all of these in my NERD KERF video section!] Delegate tasks that can wait to a “weekend list” to look over on Sunday morning instead of worrying about something late on a Tuesday night. If they are no longer important to you on Sunday, they aren’t worth your time. Set up a multiple inbox in Gmail so you can sort important and unimportant emails as they come in. Put your meal plan right into your Google calendar.


One final thought: don’t make your life harder than it has to be. If there are things you hate doing that are somewhat optional, figure out a way around them. If they aren’t optional, figure out a way to make someone else do them! Or shift where you put them in your day. Think outside of the box – things don’t have to be done the way you’ve always done them.

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Posted on Jan 6, 2011 | 0 comments

Today was essentially the opposite of yesterday – I quickly knocked out the gym and came home and got sooo much accomplished! There’s been a pile of reject clothing in the corner of my room for a while and I finally got around to washing all the items so I can get rid of them! While I was on the project, I also cleaned out some other areas and ended up with three huge bags of old purses, shoes, and clothing. Now that I know what my future living space will be like (the closet space isn’t great, despite a lot of square footage), I want to try to cleanse some of my junk to avoid having to move it.

I also cleaned the bathroom, caught up on dishes + emails, and prepared for an IEP meeting in the morning.

And the best part of every night? dinner. (Well, aside from hanging out with the bf;)

He actually worked late today, so I made a simplistic dinner for one – roasted carrots + potatoes over rice with a leftover walnut-lentil burger.


Dolloped with bbq sauce, of course.


This burger was not very good re-heated. It was stiff and almost like a piece of stale bread:( I just piled on more sauce to make up for it…

I’m off to bed, friends,  and tomorrow’s the most exciting day of the week.
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Let the Christmas Countdown Begin

Posted on Nov 28, 2010 | 12 comments

I’m home sweet home in chilly but cozy Boston. Let’s see, where did I leave off? Oh yes, another delightful meal. I ate really well on this trip:) After some exercise in Charlottesville (I biked while they ran), we headed out to a cute bakery/cafe for lunch. Matt and I split a big bowl of veggie chili for lunch

…along with a shrimp and herb cream cheese omelet with gouda cheese grits. Kath encouraged us to get a biscuit because they are famous and it was sooooo good. A nice mix between a hearty scone and a flaky biscuit.
Our visit concluded with a trip to Sweet Frog for self serve.
I got mostly cake batter with some peanut butter and cookies and cream thrown on the bottom. They had pumpkin muffins and ginger snaps as toppings! This hit the spot but left my stomach in a knot for the ride back to Matt’s house.
Three hours later, we arrived home just in time for more food. Matt’s mom had prepared her famous chicken crepes
and turkey lasagna!
Both dishes were fabulous!! I also had one last Fin du Monde (the Belgian Triple) with dinner and it was just as delicious as it was on Thursday. This is definitely going on the very top of my list now.
My morning was a little rough because we had to get up around 5:30 to make an early flight back to Boston. The upside is that I was back my on couch my 10:30 and I actually got a lot accomplished today. I unpacked, did some serious cleaning, hit up Whole Foods, and reorganized my food cabinets. Matt and I decided not to get a Christmas tree because we’re headed to North Carolina in a little over three weeks, so I created a little center piece with a few ornaments, just so I could feel a wee bit of Christmas in my apartment.


I had also planned on spinning this afternoon, but when I arrived at the gym, the guy at the desk said there had been a problem with the system and there actually wasn’t a class today. I was pretty disappointed, and since I hadn’t wanted to be at the gym in the first place, I just climbed stairs for 20 minutes and then went home again. Dinner was a quinoa bowl topped with veggies and jalapeno hummus. It was blah in comparison to all the wonderful food I’ve been eating.


It’s back to work in the morning and I’m anticipating that things will be pretty busy until my break begins on the 22nd. The good news is that I don’t have finals for the first time in as long as I remember so I can actually enjoy the excitement and festivities of the days leading up to Christmas. Wooohoooo!

What are you guys looking forward to about the Christmas/Holiday countdown??

PS: Welcome to any newbies who may have popped over from KERF!!!

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