Monday, April 30, 2012

Stop being a perfectionist and just do it already!

I should be packing.

But I wanted to share a realization I had recently.  

I feel like I keep my act together pretty good in most areas of my life.  I think I do a good job as a mom.  When I work, I'm pretty good at that.  I manage to make and keep friends easily.  But here's where I fall short.  

I suck at keeping my house up.  

I don't suck at every aspect of house keeping.  I can organize like nobody's business.  (Remember my shoe closet, spices and linen closet?)  

I'm such a perfectionist, that it actually makes my house dirtier.  That might not make sense, but I'll try to explain.  

If I can't do it perfectly, I won't do it at all.  And with my life the way it is, I have very little time to do anything perfectly.  

My realization came when I was putting a clean load of clothes in the dryer for probably the sixth time.  I was ready to tackle the dirty laundry mountain in the loft, but couldn't because there were clean, but wrinkled clothes in the dryer.  What normally happens is, I'll be ready to do laundry, but I'll have a load that needs folded in the dryer.  So I'll turn the dryer on to unwrinkle them, with every intention of coming back 20 minutes later to fold them.  Then life happens, and before I know it it's hours later and I have to refluff the clothes again before I can fold them and put them away.  Turn the dryer on, life happens, it's tomorrow.  And I never get to the mountain of laundry.  

I got so mad at myself and thought "Oh my God.  Just put them away already!!"  So, I folded and hung wrinkled clothes, and put them away in the closet.   Without the distraction of finding something else to do while the dryer fluffed my clean clothes, I was able to tackle several loads of laundry that day.   And I honestly don't even know which clothes were in that load anymore. Obviously they weren't that wrinkled! 

I've actually been keeping up with the laundry better with this new "stop-being-a-perfectionist-and-just-do-it-already" theory.  It's funny how being okay with being a little messy has led to it actually being much cleaner!  This is definitely something I'm going to try to transfer to all aspects of house cleaning.  I don't have to make the kitchen sparkle, JUST LOAD THE DISHWASHER!

And now I'm leaving for weeks on end, with no housework to do while I'm gone (except for some laundry and just picking up the few things we will bring with us).  But hopefully I can instill this in some other aspects on the trip.  Like, maybe, exercising.  I find myself thinking "I won't have access to my gym while I'm gone.  I guess I just won't work out for six weeks".  Where as the non-perfectionist Michele would think "I don't have to run a marathon, just go for a quick jog."  I really really hate running though....
I got this picture on Pinterest, btw
P.S. I'll be chronicling our adventure on instragram.  If you want to follow me my user name is milehighmom.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Traveling Toiletries

I've been busy.  And tired.  Mostly tired.  Most days I wonder if there will ever come a time when I won't be tired.  I'm tired from the time I'm woken up every morning, until about 9:00 p.m.  From around 9:00 - midnight, I have tons of energy and am wide awake.  (Truthfully, my energy could easily go until about 2:00 a.m., but I force myself to go to bed by midnight most nights) That's how I've always been.  I'm a night owl.  And I pay for it every day.  The good thing about having energy at night is that everyone is sleeping and I can get stuff done.  Stuff that I absolutely cannot get done during the day.  Like crafting.

I'm leaving for a very long trip next week.  Like, six weeks long.  To summarize, my brother-in-law is getting married and we are all in the wedding.  In Ohio.  So, instead of going back and forth for the various festivities, with the boys in tow, we decided it would be better to just go and stay the whole time.   We will also be visiting family in Connecticut while we are there.  (I realize Connecticut and Ohio are no where near each other, but they are closer than Connecticut and Colorado, so....)  And, as if I weren't gone long enough, Eric and I will be going to Mexico for a week after the wedding.  We don't often get the opportunity to go anywhere without the kids, so we are taking advantage of us being in the same state as grandparents.

If you hadn't heard, I'm kind of a control freak.  So the thought of being away from my own space for that long, with a three year old and nine month old, makes me neurotic a little uneasy.  So, I'm coping the best way I know how.  By organizing and preparing.  And of course crafting things to help keep me organized and prepared!  Thank goodness we are driving.  There is NO WAY I could take everything we need for 6 weeks (6 weeks in various places, with varying weather) if I were limited to one checked bag and one carry on per person.  I'm going to do my best to limit what we bring though.  And keep things organized.  Including my toiletries.  It all started with this bag:
I got it on clearance for $6 at Michael's.  It's a craft bag, but when I saw it, I saw a toiletry bag.  Which was, of course, followed by going on Pinterest and finding tutorials for cosmetic bags to put in it.  (Bags inside bags.  I know....I can't help it.)

I won't give you a tutorial for every one of these, just the links I used and any little tips I have.  
This was the first one I did.  It's cute, but be warned, it's very small.  I'll probably put my random medicine and stuff in here.  I made three different sizes of these, and I used two different tutorials to help me.  Here and here.  It's not that complicated, but I thought neither of the tutorials seemed to explain it in a way that was abundantly clear to me.  I was able to figure it out by reading both of them.  
This is the medium sized version
And the large version.  

I didn't use vinyl on the insides.  It looked like a pain to sew in, and I figure if it gets dirty, I'll just wash it.  Also, in that first tutorial, she says to just pinch the corners, pin and sew them to get the box shape.  That's fine with the small one, but if you don't measure like she explains in the second tutorial, on the bigger bags, you'll end up with a wonky bag.  I almost threw this one away it was so bad, then I cut all of the corners and started again.  It's very tall, but at least I didn't have to throw it away. 

I made this gathered clutch using this tutorial.  I thought the tutorial was very clear and easy to follow.  It's a little smaller than the directions say, because that was the only size zipper I had on hand.  I wish it were a little bigger, actually.  But it does fit all of my make up in it. 
This makeup brush holder is my favorite thing I made!  It was probably one of the easier ones too!  I got the tutorial here, and I actually used the same fabric as her, but I swear I didn't realize it was the same until I started to sew it!
All rolled up!
I love this little detail at the bottom.  I've never used those decorative stitches on my machine before this project, and now I want to use it on everything!

The last thing I made was this jewelry roll up.  I didn't really use a tutorial on this one.  I just used what I already learned from making the other cases. 
Three zippers, with the tie on top.  I was thinking I could also use that tie on top to tie it to a doorknob or towel rack to hang up.
It's kind of hard to see, but I sewed the fabric to divide it into smaller sections to put smaller jewelry in, so it wouldn't tangle. 

Full disclosure, I was trying to make this all green fabric but I didn't have enough, so I used what I had.  It's not all bad, but I wish I would have been able to do only green. 

Also, I don't have a zipper foot, like all of the tutorials suggest you use.  I thought it was easy enough to just use the zipper as a guide, so don't think you have to go out and buy one (if you have an ancient machine like I do).  It's totally doable with a regular foot.

This was a fun project that only took about two night owl sessions for everything and will hopefully keep me from constantly digging around to find what I need on my long trip!

I may or may not have time to write while I'm away, but I'll be sure to let you all know how everything goes!

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