the plans for the holidays

I have 11 days till a two-weeks break during the holidays 🙂

I sure have a lot of things to do. One thing I do not want to is to work 🙂 I will have to do light work for a couple of days, but I am okay with this. I will mainly stay away from the office and this change will feel good 🙂

As per my other plans, here is a short snap-shot:

1. Cleaning the house: Yes, yes… The dreaded house cleaning will have to happen this year too 🙂 I plan to dust and wipe very corner at home; wash the shag rugs, pillows, and everything else; wipe the rugs; wipe the stairs’ carpet; and wipe the floors.

The last one will take some time; my floors are mostly laminate, which is hard to wipe. It needs to be wiped with a damp but not wet cloth and immediately dried by another cloth… I can do this the majority of the time without much of a trouble, but the attention it requires is boring… Nevertheless, i will do this and then forget for some time 🙂

I do not enjoy wiping the rugs either; my rugs are lovely but one of them is quite thin, making the wiping a little bit difficult. I must be careful about not applying too much water – that is all. It is gonna happen 🙂

2. Decluttering and re-organizing the house: I have been excited about this! 🙂 Yes, I love to declutter. I am amazed how much I have dumped, gave away, or donated; but there is still a lot to sort out and get rid of.

I am particularly aware of the shoes and the paperwork in my storage. Honestly I dread the idea of getting into my storage area but I must do this…. There are a bunch of stuff from the past that I kept, which I am determined to get rid of this time for sure. I must leave only those that are absolutely necessary and the rest should be dumped. A couple of months ago I had one attempt and thinned things out, including 8-9 containers of half-used paint (which I air-dried prior to dumping them in the garbage). So I have had quite a progress but it was not 100%. This time I should be done with it. When I am done with it, I would like to be not scared of thinking or going through it… Wish me luck 🙂

And the shoes: I do not know what I will do with them. Among everything else I have gotten rid off, shoes were an exception. I have some quite battered shoes that should be dumped and some lovely ones that I should be using… The fact that I have not opened those boxes in many years tells all… They should be donated so that somebody else can enjoy them…. This mentality helps but I still resist the idea of departing with them. Help!!

To declutter, I will star with the easiest part, which is the bathrooms. Then I will move on the bedroom closet; I am pretty sure I will retire some of the socks, pajamas, and shirts this time too… Apart from this, I have no other decluttering planned for the upstairs ( I had decluttered the rest of the rooms/closets a few months back).

On the first floor, I will have some time spent… The study/living room has some declutering needed – it is not too much (sort of mostly paper), so I am sure it will be okay in a few hours. I will sort out the bills for this year and put them in the storage area… This always feels good, opening space for new bills :)))

The kitchen on the other hand will take some time. I bought a new set of dining plates so what will I do with the previous ones? I am planning to donate a portion of the previous set but not everything.. This means I gotta pack or find a place to put them. I will also get rid of chipped plates and some plates that I bought with joy but hardly used.. There are a number of coffee mugs that have the same fate. But more than that I want to have a good look at my kitchen cabinets and re-organize the shelves. I hope to achieve a more lean and efficient system. I have a couple of stuff, like a juicer that I use once a year or two – I must decide what to do with it. The same thing with the waffle – maker; I have not used in 3 years and I just saw it last week while looking for something. I think nobody would miss it if it was gone, right?

3. Going through the pantry and freezer: I will do that not only to declutter but also to identify what I have (and hopefully to consume them without more delay) and to sock up new stuff 🙂 I believe I have frozen veggies I had blanched last year – man, these gotta be eaten..

4. Video-typing of the house and its contents: I have a habit of video-typing the outside and inside of my house for insurance purposes. I do that twice a year to document is condition and to update the record on my stuff. Nothing major, just needs to be done.

5. Shopping!!! 🙂 Yay!! well, I kind of shopped and bought the majority of the stuff I needed, but I still need a couple of things. First pants – I cannot miss the sales and I often catch good deals during the holidays. I cannot wait. I also need socks but nothing that cannot wait – only if I can find really good deals. I will visit the thrift stores a couple of times. After last Friday’s fabric haul, I cannot wait to excitement of checking them again 🙂

6. Sewing adventures. Ahem.. i still do not have a particular project at my hand and am still trying to figure out the tips and tricks of using a sewing machine, cutting fabric, using notions, and coming up with a piece that does not fall off places :))

I do not want to just do something that will not be useful…. Do you know this feeling? I just do not want to sew to sew.. That is strange because without practice how am I supposed to get better at it anyhow?

I think what I am feeling is like I just do not want to stitch the edges of a large piece of fabric and brag that now I have sewn a table cloth… I think what I want to try is fancier, more creative stuff.. Like, I have this wonderful fabric that can be a table cloth but I want to have something sewn around the edges so that it can look more than just a plain cloth. But then I am thinking maybe I can do something at the centre to give it a more character. But what will it be? Also I have like 6 table cloths – what is the point of making another one?

I am, however, for sure sewing a dish cloth for my kitchen. I have been playing with some fabric this afternoon, but decided that I needed more vibrant colours to give it a cheerful air. I also would like to sew a lady with a hat and nice clothes on it, but I have no idea how I will be able to turn it around. This will require some research on the net and figuring out a pattern that I can work on.

I also would like to re-try the blouse I sewed yesterday. It is gonna be so nice – I am excited 🙂

I have another nice fabric that would make an excellent and cozy blouse, yet I have no idea how to design it. I am not that good at modeling or taking measures. I am only at the stage where I can try basic and un-detailed work…

And then?

I do not know… Maybe it is time that I try a quilt?

Special joy journal – July 27, 2016: things that I have acquired while I was on vacation

IMG_9218
this is what my new throw looks like. Love the colour, softness, and the little pieces on it – all made with love 🙂
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this little piece is one of my favorites 🙂
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I love this one too 🙂

 

Every time I am home for vacation, I was showered by gifts by my family and friends. I also find a chance to shop as my homeland is not only affordable but also has a variety of items that I cannot find where I am.

This year too I was blessed with many gifts and purchased items. I have been feeling pretty excited about them, which prompted me to write this special entry 🙂

1. I am grateful for the soaps I have bought! They are the softest bath soaps I can ever imagine. The bright green color gives me peace; their softness and foam are incredibly soothing; and i am lucky to have had 6 of them. I feel like I do not have to think about buying another soap for quiet a long time. I am so excited 🙂

2. I am grateful for the blouse I found. It is soft to touch, has lovely little flowers along the fabric, and is a delight to wear. It is also much more girlish than the shirts that I usually wear at the office 🙂

3. I am grateful for the winter boots and the walking shoes I have bought. This is the third year that I have been buying the same brand of shoes/boots from the same store. The winter boots are awesome; sturdy and water proof, and I could not be happier to have them here where the winter is pretty harsh. I have been using the first pair I bought three years ago in the last two years and I believe they will be good to go for another year. I have two new pairs of winter boots now, which means that I do not have to think about buying winter boots for quite sometime. I have the same positive experience and feelings for my walking shoes; the one that I am wearing is 2 years old. It has been battered a little bit, so I am happy to replace it with the new pair I bought this year. They are comfy and pretty 🙂 What a peace of mind to have all of these ! 🙂

4. I am grateful for my new throw! I used to have a nice one for years, which I kind of burnt over the stove while I was trying to help my dough get risen 🙂 So my sister bought me a nice soft fabric, cut it out for me, and fixed the corners and trims with a lovely embroidery. For some reason, I wanted to make it colourful so I knitted around 20 different, little pieces and glued on the fabric. The end result is really cool! Each piece was improvised and I love looking at them. their shapes and colour gave me joy 🙂

5. I am grateful for the spices I bought or were given by my family members: crushed chilly peppers (thanks mom), dried mint (thank you aunt) 🙂 I sure will lovingly use and consume them 🙂

6. I am grateful for the sesame, nigella, and poppy seeds that I bought to be used during my bread-baking adventures 🙂

7. I am grateful for the corn flour that I bought. I have been meaning to try corn bread for sometime. This excitement cannot be missed now 🙂

8. I am grateful for the cat figurines that my sister gave me – they are so cute I do not know where in the house to display them 🙂

9. I am grateful for the little painting in a beautiful frame that my sister gave me. She has done an amazing job with the colours as well as the frame… I will cherish it for ever 🙂

10. I am grateful for the big tea glass that my sister-in-law has given me. It is one of a kind 🙂 I guess it holds around 500 ml of liquid so that means one glass of tea will be more than enough for the day 🙂

11. I am grateful for the purse that may sister made for me. My sister has been interested in this kind of stuff for some time and I must admit she has been doing an amazing job. She made maybe 20 purses, each of which are unique and improvised. The one that I have got has 40 different and unique embroidery-like pieces on the body and the strap. The colours are all nice and joyful, too. I am so lucky 🙂

12. I am grateful for getting two memorials from my dad’s house (he sadly passed away last winter): his cell phone and an old bowl that I remember was around for decades…. I am glad I have found this chance to keep his presence around me right here in my own home..

13. I am grateful for the black sweater and the dark-reddish jacket that my mom knitted for me 🙂

14. I am grateful for the basket that I bought to proof my loafs in! I made it! I found something to do this very important job. It is lovely and my mom and sister also made clothes to put in it to help prevent dough sticking to the basket. cannot wait to try all of these 🙂 I also bought a little sharp knife that I will use to score the surface of the dough prior to baking them in the oven. I am anything but excited about everything I have to help me with the bread-baking adventures 🙂

15. I am grateful for the freezer bags that my mom gave me. well.. here too we have freezer bags, yet these are so nice and easy to use thatI could not help but pack 5 packages with me 🙂

16. I am grateful for the rice. Its grains are bigger than what we can find here – just the type that I love!

The Angel Zoe Kindness Project

What is Sparkly Shoes & Kindness day? Spreading kindness in the world however your choose. While wearing sparkly shoes of course (or some other sparkly accoutrements of your choice). And everyone’s invited!

via You’re invited: Sparkly Shoes & Kindness Day — Retro Girl & the Chemo Kid

 

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I invite all of you to read this post and wear “sparkly shoes” (or, if you are like me and do not have such a pair, wear a special pair of shoes of your choice) on Monday, April 4 to remember and cherish the 10th birthday of Zoe, a little girl  lost to cancer 4 years ago.

I have some high heels that I have not worn in the last decade or two. I will wear them on Monday for Zoe and her mom. I plan to post the pictures on Monday 🙂

Zoe’s story is narrated by her mom, Kiri, on her blog. It is a sad but also powerful story that always resonated with something in me. May Zoe rest in peace.

I hope one day we all will be free of cancer and its impact on us. Until then, be safe.

random thoughts

It was a beautiful September day today; crispy and shiny with a clear blue sky. What a delight 🙂

In addition to meeting with my friends and having lovely time, I also did some more work at the house. First I went thru the books I sorted out to get rid of. I had a feeling yesterday that maybe I overdid it and in fact there were many books that I could enjoy. So, I could not help it, went thru each of them, and decided to take back one book. Only one book! 🙂

See, I guess anyone who is parting with loved items would feel this way; did I make a mistake? should I keep them? How wise was my sorting and decluttering strategy? I am very happy to see that I did a good job with it; taking back only one book tells me that next time I can trust myself more and sort only once. Then, they will be ready to go. No looking back.

I must admit when I put the to-be-donated books away in a cabinet (till we bring them to the charity), my living room looked a lot better, more clear and organized. I could not help but move little furniture around, put a plant here and there, and vola I have a brand new living room. Is that not awesome? I think it is. Change in scenery is always good. And having the freedom to move stuff around (which you can only do if you have enough space free of clutter) is even more exciting.

I am not done with decluttering; in the last few weeks I have done great donating clothes. Now the books. The next items are the CDs and the VHS casettes that I have. I am very fond of the VHSs particularly. But I decided it was best we went different directions in life. I am not sure whether they can be donated anywhere; but it does not hurt to ask. As per the CDs, some of them I really like and would like to keep. But others need to go – there are CDs I have not listened in the last 5-10 years.

The final items to be sorted out will be my shoes… I am scared to look at the shoe boxes as I always find something that is beautiful…

There is something nice about getting rid of stuff. Today one of my friends came to choose among the books I am about to give away. She was surprised apparently and asked me “why are you giving them away?”. I said “so that I can get rid of the old and open space for new ones, new experiences, new interests. Plus, they (i.e. books) would love to have new readers that will appreciate them”.

My friend nodded in agreement.

Have a great long-weekend everyone 🙂

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