A few shots around the store and some Link Love…

Friends, January is my LEAST favorite month. It always has been, but since staying home with the kids, it has gained a special kind of animosity from me as it’s the month right after Christmas and their birthdays, so they’re usually coming down from two weeks of over-excitement, and the weather is bad so they can’t go outside, and it’s gloomy, and cold, and there’s no good vintage shopping, and things are just BLECH. We have had a few nice days this month, an anomaly, and I’m beyond grateful, as they have gotten to the point where they like being in the backyard and I can get them out of my hair for an hour or two if the weather is just right. But still, it can be rough: Justin just left for a business trip and won’t be back until Tuesday evening, so this is a particularly rough beginning to the week and I am not looking forward to it.

I did finish a project that is making all of our lives better, January or no January: we have a bonus room — a room up about six stairs, above the garage, with odd wall and ceiling angles, that I’ve just used as a general catch-all junk room since we moved in. There’s a bed up there and poor mom has to sleep in middle of this colossal pile of junk when she comes to visit. It bothers me every time I add to the pile of crap but hasn’t bothered me enough to inspire action…until two weeks ago. I FORCED myself to start in the attic: we added plywood to the joists to maximize our storage, I went through every box, and organized everything. Then I moved some of my junk from the bonus room to the newly-created space in the attic, consolidated the rest, and freed up 2/3 of the room to use for the kids’ playroom. Before, all of their toys and art supplies had been in the dining nook off of the kitchen — but it always looked messy and didn’t afford them much room to actually play with their toys. Now they have nearly an entire room to themselves, and it’s UPSTAIRS, and I can SHUT THE DOOR. The first week, I couldn’t pry them out of there. The sparkle has muted somewhat but they are still all too willing to trot up there when they get too loud or crazy downstairs and it really has made a huge difference for all of us. Plus, all of their art supplies are out where they can see them and there’s a nice big table for them to work on. It’s glorious.

I usually do get the urge to purge at the beginning of the year, but I rarely follow through (I am intrigued by the newest rage in organization, but haven’t read the book — have you? I think there’s too much purging involved for me to actually follow it!)…still, I’m attracted to new STUFF that promises to make me a more efficient, organized person and I noticed a few things around Daisies and Olives last time I was there that would be PERFECT for someone in the thrall of a New Year’s Organizational Frenzy.

Small Town Girl, the booth on the other side of me, had a bunch of the cutest little desk-top storage items, all vintage-themed.

And Helena Handbasket, the booth that was catty-corner to me, was making me feel all organization-y with some of their items.

This wire shelf is FANTASTIC and I had to stop myself from buying it for the playroom.

And ooooooohhhhhhhhh this desk topper just begs to become part of someone’s craft room STAT.

And now I shall leave you with a few links to peruse…

Another organization book to salivate over — if only I didn’t know myself so well…I would buy it, look at the pretty pictures, and then put it down to gather dust on my very disorganized shelves.

I might check this book out — it looks like it might be fun for the kids and I to go through.

I LOVE the idea of this website. I don’t know about you guys, but I spend a ridiculous amount of time aimlessly wandering around the Internet — I’m obsessed with Making a Murderer right now, and I started a FB group just to talk about it, which results in even more time spent finding interesting articles about it. I need to get a little more disciplined about the time I waste and try and put it into something more productive! I have been thinking about taking an online course lately, either in Illustrator of maybe even a photography course — anyone ever do that?

Speaking of online courses…this guide has a plethora.  I also think Clickin’ Moms has a pretty good reputation for photography classes (I’ve never taken one, though) and I’ve heard good things about lynda.com for tech classes (again, I’ve never personally taken any from there). I would really like to research taking a writing class online. (Can you tell that my interests are unfocused and all over the place right now??)

This science website is great to have on hand for when your kids ask you tricky science questions and you want to pretend like you know EVERYTHING.

Get out of town to somewhere warmer this January, but not before you compare flight prices. 

Honestly, I was all set to make fun of this book but then I read the first review on Amazon and I’m kind of intrigued: “The book itself is basically an exercise book that allows you to move through at your own pace and fosters mindfulness which is something I think most of us toss aside when life gets busy or difficult. I’ve had some more clinical workbooks in the past and I think I actually prefer this less formal, more inviting format. One night as I was filling out one of the first exercises, my husband looked over and asked what I was doing. I told him I was listing 10 things that I do everyday that don’t cause me pleasure and then crossing out the ones that are not essential. That ended up sparking a great conversation between the two of us that lasted quite a while and we both identified small things we could each change that would really have a positive impact on our day to day happiness.” Sounds promising!

(These links were culled from Found and Forget, a treasure trove of interesting places to visit on the Web.)

Okay, friends, signing off to begin two-and-a-half days of single parenting. (I know there are people who do this on a full-time basis and never whine about it — but I’m a wimp.)  Keep a good thought for all of us and do what you can to make Tuesday come quickly! Talk to you soon.

January 20, 2016 - 11:38 am

Kim Glad to find a blogger in Arkansas that specializes in vintage junk! They are few and far between around these parts. I just got my webpage up and running and going to start blogging about my projects. I’ll be at Junk Ranch this June hope to meet you.

January 22, 2016 - 5:13 pm

Pam Hope you made it through the week in one piece 🙂 I want to read that organizing book, because one of my friends raves about how she’s so much happier now that she’s paring down her “stuff”. It sounds like a great idea, but I wonder if I’d start off all gung ho and then peter out as the weeks drug on. I think it takes MONTHS to complete. I have to do something though. OK, off to Amazon to see if they have a Kindle version (step one of decluttering for me is books).

January 26, 2016 - 9:00 pm

Shara A certain local blogger has those yellow and green bins in her kitchen. I love that rusty wire rack. SHOCKING. I KNOW.

April 11, 2016 - 7:45 pm

Lara Jo that’s the thing, Pam — I go through (very short) phases where I get so tired of all the “stuff” in my house and I want to go through it but I think that when you’re collectors like we are, when you love old stuff, that’s really a pipe dream. 🙂 If you get it, let me know how you like it and whether or not you think it’s feasible.

April 11, 2016 - 7:48 pm

Lara Jo Kim! I just bookmarked your blog and will get to reading it ASAP. And you’ve probably already visited her but if not, be sure to hit Shara’s blog at http://mydealoftheday.blogspot.com/ and Laurie’s blog at http://www.junquerethunque.com/ — two more NWA vintage bloggers. Can’t wait to meet you in June — Shara and I will be on the side of the little house that’s closest to the road. Let’s make sure we meet!!!