Thursday, September 17, 2009

Counter Organization and the Shopper Syndrome

My Dad lives in a nursing home. There is a tendency for some of his neighbours to collect things as they travel about. You know like visitors' purses they have set down for a moment, or the neighbours' shoes or teeth, you get the idea. My Mom calls them 'shoppers'. Sweet but very confused little old people walking around looking for something exciting to pick up. Well, as with many scenarios involving confused adults, small children act in similar ways. That is the reason anything important at our house must be put up high to keep it from walking away with the help of a mini-shopper.
The reason I mention this you ask? I am hoping it helps explain the colossal mess next to the fridge in our kitchen.
It's kinda embarrassing. But really we need to keep all these random things away from the shoppers. Otherwise you never know where things might end up. Like the slippers might be under the stove, only to be found when some rewiring necessitated the whole stove being slid out. You know, that kind of thing.
So here it is. This is my attempt to organize the mess beside the fridge. Starting with the paperwork.
The papers are my biggest issue. I don't want to loose anything important and I am visual. I need to see it or I forget it exists. But I cannot live with a disaster as that offends my visual sensibilities as well. The clip boards solve this.
One for every kid and me. A has a magnetic clip (or four) on the fridge as he handles a lot of the paperwork stuff. The boards were a dollar each and were from the big dollar store at the mall. I covered them with scrapbook paper and A hung them on cup hooks. It was pretty cheap and easy but it took forever as each step was held up by a lot of procrastination. I like them so much I might buy 2 more and make it 3 rows of 2.
The drawer unit is from IKEA, painted with black craft paint and decorated with thickers (foam stickers). And the organizer is from Home Sense also a very good deal. All the keys, cell phones and paid bills and of course the chargers and cords live here.
And that is it. The whole system.
It has lots of place to shove junk so it works well for now. Keeping those shoppers out of trouble. And looking darn cute at the same time.

added this to the Beautiful Life linky party at The Inspired Room

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

personal colour palatte

note the abundance of brown and blue- I am trying to branch out!

This idea came about when I was searching blogs to decide what the perfect capsule wardrobe would contain. This means the least amount of clothes creating the most amount of options. Most every list had a suggestion of a limited colour palette, but often it was black, white and red. Oh, and the clothes were often blazers, blouses and skirts. Not exactly what I had in mind.
I wear pajamas to work (scrubs). My hubby has it even easier, he wears pajamas and a hat (he works in the OR), so we really don't have the whole professional wardrobe thing happening.
Also we live a pretty casual lifestyle and have 3 kids and their accompanying grubbiness to contend with.
A long time ago a friend of mine hosted an image workshop at her house. We were all young teens at the time and wore jeans every day. This lady was on about hemming your skirts to be pegged in at the bottom, etc. Not quite where we were at. But we did get our colours done by seasons, remember that whole thing? My mom had her colours done in the 80's (Color Me Beautiful) I think when she was returning to work after being a SAHM. I remember at this party the consultant couldn't quite decide what I was. In the end I think they said I was a Winter. And they gave us a book of swatches of colours that would look good on us. I of course threw it away a few years after that as I had no idea what to do with it.
So I eventually found the Space Between my Peers website and instantly took to her idea of a colour palette that is derived from your own colouring: hair, eyes, skin tone. Really you can't go wrong if you use the colours God gave you.
gratuitous baby shot- I wish my skin was as smooth as hers!
For a while I was wearing only Brown and Blue as I like those colours, I have brown hair and blue eyes and it was easy to find both in the store. But with everything, I am getting a bit tired of such restriction, so I have searched the internet for info on this season thing, to see if I could figure it out. After a lot of reading I have decided I am a Summer who leans towards either Winter or Spring, can't quite decide. I have warm coloured hair and cool coloured skin. Not quite enough of a contrast to be a winter like my sis, but not warm enough to be a spring like my mom.
me and my mom- she has warm skin tones and I have cool
my sis and my mom's best friend- both Winters
The main point being I am now wearing browns (tan to chocolate) and grays (they really seem to suit me) for neutrals, and blues (turquoise, light blue, aquas, etc). My goal is to branch out to greens (I have olive accessories but need some fresh green to see how it looks) and cool red tones (burgundy, raspberry, dusty pink).
When you have a limited colour palette it makes shopping easier, and mixing and matching much easier. The whole point is to give me a wardrobe where everything goes together and one where I can get the most bang for my (limited) buck.

Some references if you are interested in this sort of thing:
Academichic (cool combos and modules on colour)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

hanging around

I have had a bit of trouble with blogger. I tried 5 times to upload pictures last week and tried twice to comment on my s-i-l's blog with no luck. There are lots of thought in my head just hanging around.
Hopefully I'll figure it out this week...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I heart shoes

At this time of year I spend a fair amount of time assessing my family's wardrobes. Moving summer stuff in to boxes, sorting out what doesn't fit and needs to be kept for a sibling or what doesn't fit and needs to be given away (sniff, my babies are indeed getting big). It seems wise also to assess my own wardrobe as the seasons change and see where the gaps are.This will lead me to write about a bunch of things that have been on my mind for a while, and they all fall under the title of wardrobe planning. And there is nothing I love more than planning.I think a great way to great the new season is assessing what I have (inventory), then assess the gaps and then make a list of what I need (shopping soon to follow!!).

So without further ado I am going to show you my shoe selections.

The dressy shoes.
My dressy clothes are mostly black and grey. Shoes are the same. Top left from my bro-il and sil's wedding last year, basically rhinestone flip flop wedges, and I like them. Top centre silver flats- I am in love. Top right black heel sandals, hard to walk in. Bottom left black peep toes, also in love, bottom centre small heel mary jane comfy but something about the heel is kinda frumpy, bottom left black moccasin slides are very hard to keep on my feet especially when chasing kids or in the winter.
The verdict: looking good (especially for the amount I dress up) but I could use more functional black leather mocs, and a pair of flesh toned low heels for all the non black dressy things I own.

The boots.
Snow boots, rain boots, fake leather boots (brown of course), and cute short rain boots (sure to be my walk to school favorites this winter. My hubby informs me that the brown ones aren't feminine enough to be worn with a dress. When did he get his degree in fashion? The same time he got his MD I guess.
The verdict: Black or grey nice boots are in order. More feminine brown ones if they are super cheap. And must resist the cute patterned rain boots I see everywhere as I really do not need them.
The dressy casual shoes.
These are shoes I would wear with jeans and a nicer top all the way up to dress pants. Cute mom look or casual church look, ya know? Too many to go into detail, but suffice to say I have a thing for brown flats. The gray ones are wedges and a bit too big so they are hard to walk far in.
The verdict: I could use some more grey or colourful flats that are good for walking.

The comfy functional shoes.
Good for any activity from chasing kids to a nice long walk. Top left tan Reeboks. Top right Clark springers, the most comfy shoes ever! but slightly outdoorsy/old lady looking. Bottom left olive green Pumas love them and they were bought on sale! Bottom right ancient NIKE runners currently used for working out and work.
The verdict: need a new pair of actual runners for work or working out, and a cute pair of coloured runners like the pumas or reeboks would be nice too since they are well used.

The summer shoes.
I actually didn't wear the crocs at all this year, although I do like them (comfy, indestructible). I found them in our shoe storage box just a few weeks ago, and put the brown pair at the back door for running out to the garden with the kids. The middle pair of flip flops are Clarks and oh so comfy. They were pricey but worth it to me as I wore them every day for 2 summers. I actually tried to buy more but Clarks didn't seem to make this simple style this year. The left flip flops are dressier and the right ones are plastic from Old Navy. I also have royal blue, gray and olive green plastic flip flops that I didn't pull out this year (I worked a lot this summer) but are still good.
The Verdict: no need for flip flops, but will replace/add to the nice Clarks if the opportunity arises.
After writing all this I realize I have indeed inherited my mother's crazy shoe obsession! But I am in pretty good shape in terms of having something to fill most needs. I will make a list and keep my eyes open for deals. It is much better for me to shop like this than to go and have to find something. Bad choices come from that type of pressure. Also to note I don't really wear heels even though I qualify as petite. I am much more interested in staying on my feet (while carrying one or more children and running after the remainder) than I am about appearing taller. I think I am generally well proportioned so why try and pretend I am tall. 5'2" (and a quarter, thank you) is plenty tall enough for me!