Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Week #1- Organize my Kitchen

I decided to do the 14 week challenge at A Bowl Full of Lemons to help me get organized.  My house is a wreck right now.  Busy summer and trips have left it cluttered.  Not to mention 4 dogs, 1 ferret and a husband do not help!

Take a peak over at A Bowl Full of Lemons.  If you are taking the challenge leave me a comment and I will follow along.  You can follow me via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google.  Links are on the right.


WEEK #1- Kitchen (text directly from A Bowl Full of Lemons)

WEEK #1 CHECKLIST:
1. Clean out and organize all cabinets.
2. Clean out and organize all drawers.
3. Purge everything that is not used, expired, doesnt belong, collecting dust.
4. Clean out & organize fridge & freezer.
5.  Mop, wipe down cabinet doors, clean counter tops & tables.
6.  Take everything off the refrigerator door.  It makes the kitchen look messy.
7. Clean all appliances.

THE PROCESS:
1. Clear off the kitchen table. This is your dumping grounds.
2.  Empty out all cabinets, drawers, and clutter!  Place ALL items into "categories" on the table.
3.  Wipe down the cabinet doors, shelves and drawers. Add new liners if necessary.
4.  Discard (trash) old, expired, and no longer used items & food. Check the dates.
5.  Place all items that are able to fit, into baskets.
6.  Place everything back into the cabinets & drawers (in categories).
7. Take everything off the kitchen counters and place onto the table. 
8. Wipe down the counters & backsplash with a good natural cleaner. 
9. Wipe down ALL small appliances & large ones too!
10. Put back items you use on a daily basis, onto the counter top.
11. Mop the floors and wipe down the table & chairs.  
12.  Empty fridge/freezer. Wipe out. Put back in an organized manner.
13.  You may clean and organize under the kitchen sink. I will share under my sink at a later date.

************************************************
This is my normal kitchen.  We are fairly good about keeping the clutter out of sight.  Just don't open any cabinets ;) Bottles on top of cabinets. Mr. Chic's idea of decorating. Not mine.  

I have a small galley kitchen.  

After tidying up a bit I took the task of cleaning under my sink.  I will be brutally honest.  I have never cleaned under the sink and we bought our house in September of 2008.  Gross... I know... 

Before... 

Not to bad. Just cluttered. 

After.  The red bin on the left holds my traveling cleaning kit.  The blue bin holds all dish washing products.  Green bin in the middle is for scrubbers, dusters, etc. 
Yeah for a clean sink :) 

Are you accepting the challenge??











Style Me September


I love a challenge!!!!!  This month I decided to do the Style Me September challenge over at Dean Street Society. 



Visit Dean Street Society for more info.

If you decide to accept the challenge leave me a comment or follow me viaInstagram.  I love following along!!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Be Back Monday :)

We are officially off to Thrill on the Hill!  Be back Monday.

Follow us on facebook at: AbbytheFJ
Follow us on Twitter: @abbytheFJ



HECK.YES!! READY.TO.4X4!!!




Fashion Friday- JCP Haul

Am I the only one who is IN.LOVE with JCP???  I love their new clothes!  I love the new look!  I love EVERYTHING!  This evening I ran into JCP with hubby to spend my $25 gift card.  JACKPOT!!

I am a thrifty shopper by nature.  I always head to clearance racks first.  I love a great deal!  I walked away with $111 in clothes for $30!!! I saved over 73%.  Yeah!!!

Please be kind to my crummy photos.  I am getting ready to leave on vacation but wanted to share my great deals!!  :)

Originally $22 Paid $5

Originally $20 Paid $5

Originally $15 Paid $5

Originally $20 Paid $5

Originally $12 Paid $5

Originally $22 Paid $5

What do you think of the new JCP???

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

All-Purpose Cleaner Recipe and Prep for 20 Days to Organized and Clean Challenge

I desperately need to clean and organize my home.  I don't live in filth or anything like that but having 4 dogs, a husband, working full time, volunteering and my hobbies make keeping a cleaning routine or schedule hard.  I heard about The Organised Housewife 20 days to clean and organize your home challenge and decided I needed to try it!  Visit her blog for more details and if you decide to participate leave me a comment.  I love following along and comparing.  I also post pictures to Instagram of my progress :)


Pre-Challenge Day #1 was to create a binder to help you get organized for the challenge.  View my binder on Instagram. 

Pre-Challenge Day #2- Create a cleaning kit.  Visit the Organised Housewife for details and free printables. 
Contents: Micro cloths, rags, soft sponge, scrubber, large sponge, plastic bags, lint roller, water bottle, all-purpose cleaner and small spray bottle of vinegar (not pictured). 

I make the majority of my own cleaners.  In my opinion they are more pocket book friendly, smell better and  clean like a dream!!! 

There are MANY recipes for all-purpose cleaners on the internet.  If you are researching I would suggest peaking around and looking at the ingredients.  Some people want 100% natural, others want mild because of allergies and so on.  


Mandy Jean Chic's Clean Everything Cleaner 
Fits in a large bottle
3 cups warm water- Does not need to be boiling
1.5 Teaspoons of liquid castile soap
1/2 Cup white vinegar
2 teaspoons borax
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
*you can add essential oils if you want but I use castile soap with lavender so the oils are not needed :)

I store my cleaner with all my others and have found its ok to use on most surfaces.  Glass... NOT OK 




Monday, August 27, 2012

Money Monday- 5 Ways to Save Money from Your Daily Business Insight

I met Carl from Your Daily Business Insight a couple of weeks ago via Twitter.  He was one of my first followers. Thanks Carl!!  

I asked him if he would like to do a post about budgeting or saving.  I am a horrible saver!  I am thrifty but when it comes to fashion the money I save goes right back into more fashion. Horrible cycle!  I am going to try and follow Carl's 5 tips and make a promise to myself to save more.  



I love his quote "There is no shame in saving" 

Visit Your Daily Business Insight HERE
Follow Your Daily Business Insight on Twitter HERE



5 Ways To Save Money

Saving money is important. 

Ask yourself, are you a good saver?
If not, make a change and start saving more!

I am constantly thinking of ways I can save more money.
I know I have some big expenses in the future and I want to be prepared for them. Those expenses include new cars, a home, education, medical bills, children, and retirement. 

Here are 5 ways I save money. 
Pick some that work for you and start saving.

#1: Save your coins.

I love coins. I have since I was little. When I was a kid, my dad would keep a coin jar in his closet for his spare change each day and when it was full he would give it to me. Maybe a little embarrassing, but I still have him save his coins for me and every time he comes in town I get a big bag of coins from him. He sure knows how to put a smile on my face!

I have literally seen people walk out of a store and drop their change on the ground. This absolutely puzzles me, but I'm not complaining because I bolt over there and pick them right up. 

If you see a coin on the ground, pick it up! 
If you go to the grocery store and get 17 cents back in change, keep it! 

There is no shame in saving.

Starting today, keep a jar in your closet or dresser and put all your coins in there. You will be surprised how much money you can save just by keeping your coins. When your jar is full, take them to your bank or a Coin Star machine in a local grocery store. 

You will thank me for the advice!


#2: Drop the gym membership.

I grew up playing sports every day. I love being active and working out. Everyone should be active every day so they can have a healthier life. I think this is extremely important, but I don't want to pay $30/month to go to the gym to make that happen. If you want to save money, simply cancel the gym membership and find alternatives ways to exercise.


Go hike a nearby trail. Take a long walk around your neighborhood. Jog at the local high school track. Swim laps at the community pool. Use weights and elastic bands to exercise in your home. Buy inexpensive workout DVDs online. Play basketball, volleyball, or soccer with your friends.

This is an easy way to save money. 
And if you're like me, you will enjoy these activities much more than waiting for machines in a musty, crowded gym. 

#3: $ell what you're not using.

People sometimes have a hard time getting rid of stuff. I have found that getting rid of stuff I no longer use is one of the best ways for me to earn and save money. 

For example, if you have pants from when you were 5'8" and you're now 6'2", you probably won't wear them again. How about those books you read already and don't plan on touching again? Or those old CDs you never listen to anymore?

Find those items you don't use anymore and sell them!

I choose to use eBay primarily and Craigslist occasionally.


It's easy to make a profile and start selling.
Take some good pictures, list all the details of the item, charge a fair shipping price, and watch the bids start coming in. 

Selling on eBay has become a hobby for me, and it has become so lucrative that I actually sell for other people now and take a commission on the sales.

Go through your old clothes, books, and electronics today and make a pile. List your smaller items on eBay. Put the larger items that would be difficult to ship on Craigslist or another local listing site. 

And just so you know I'm serious about this tip, I shipped 5 items I sold on eBay and sold an old speaker for $75 and a used golf bag for $25 this afternoon.

#4: Buy generic.

Yes, I'm suggesting that you buy the generic, store brands rather than the popular name brands. 

And when I say this, I'm mostly referring to food items. For example, I suggest skipping the name brands for pain relievers, water, milk, butter, chips, cleaning products, and most beverages (there is no replacement for my Dr. Pepper).

Next time you're in the store, pick up Tylenol and the store brand pain reliever and compare the ingredients. They are exactly the same. The same thing goes for cleaning products and other items. They are essentially the same product, just much cheaper.


Pay attention to the price differences next time you are at the store and you will be amazed. You can save up to 60% on some items if you go with the generic opposed to the name brand!


#5: Use coupons.

I am intrigued by coupons and their role in marketing. I see how coupons are a form of price discrimination. A store will sell an item to someone for $3, and sell the same item to someone else for $2. The first person will pay the full $3 because they don't care about using a coupon for whatever reason. Maybe they don't have time, they are too lazy, or the opportunity cost of searching out the coupons makes it not worth it. The store uses coupons and attracts consumers who are not willing to pay the full $3 but are willing to pay $2. By doing so, they are able to sell to a larger market of people and increase the store's revenue. 


Take advantage of the store coupons. Most stores will even accept coupons from competitors. I'm not saying you need to become an extreme coupon shopper and make it a full-time job. Just be aware of prices and sales when they are going on and take advantage of them. 

For example, I planned a golf outing this morning with 3 of my good friends. I found a $3 off coupon online and sent the link to the 3 friends. Doesn't seem like a huge deal, but it sure adds up. Start checking for coupons before you go shopping, especially for larger purchases.

Review my 5 money-saving tips and see which ones you could improve on. Apply them and become a better saver today!

If you have money saving tips you would like to share, please comment on this post and share with everyone.

Please leave a comment on Your Daily Business Insight.  Let him know if his 5 tips helped you!  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

20 Days to Get Organized Challenge

I read about this challenge on Cherished Treasures blog.  If you have not visited please do!  

The Organised Housewife is challenging bloggers to become more organized in 20 days.  I accepted the challenge.  You can read about the challenge here

The Organised Housewife

If you accept the challenge leave me a comment and I would LOVE to follow along!

The challenge starts on Monday Sept 3rd but the pre-challenge is starting tomorrow. 


$8 TV Stand into Temporary Kitchen Storage

I love my house but I HATE dislike my kitchen!!  Its a galley style kitchen with a teeny tiny little eating area.  NO BUENO!  About a year ago we decided to make our den into a formal dining room and add cabinets to the eat in area to extend out kitchen.  

Fast forward.... a year later....

Dining furniture is in the new formal dining space.  We decided to keep our small bar set until we add the cabinets and counters but I still DESPERATELY need storage.  

Hello sad looking TV stand.  How you do-in! 

We had been using this as a junk collector but I stole it back in the name of kitchen storage today!!! 

After Mr. Chic gave her a spray with some black spray paint I noticed the top wasn't as perfect as I hoped for. 
Moments like this is why I think the Dollar Tree carries such cute contact paper!  I use this ALL.THE.TIME! Carefully measure your area, cut, stick and admire! Easy peasy!!

As you can see by the pic I folded my edges over to make them look cleaner.  Along the bottom you will see where it has come up a bit.  Just use some scotch-tape and you are good.  

All done :) 
$5 for the cart at a yard sale
$2 for paint
$1 for contact paper

Baskets are from World Market a few years ago. 

New cabinets will look better but this will work until we are ready for that project. 

LINK PARTIES:

FEATURED ON:






Friday, August 24, 2012

Finally painted the interior of the front door!!

After living with a white interior door for 4.5 years I FINALLY talked Mr. Chic into a paint color.  What actually happened was I picked a sample pot at Lowes and just painted the door. :)  I didn't think to take a before picture but here is how she turned out...

Paint color: Dreamy Caramel by Valspar

I need a bright color for the space and this color is PERFECT!!  It looks great with the darker fixtures, slate tile, wood floors and Mr. Chic actually likes it!!  No Mr. Chic just needs to finish that tile work :) Its apparently on the 10 year plan... 

What do you think??  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

August 2012 Birch Box


Birchbox is a monthly beauty sample mailing.  It is $10/month and every month you receive 4 to 5 high end samples to try.  What I like about Birchbox is you take a beauty quiz and the samples are picked out for you.  If you don't like the samples you are getting you can change your quiz and try again.  Easy peasy!!  Also if your friends sign up for Birchbox and use your link you get beauty points for products. :) 
If you are interested in trying Birchbox follow this link.  I never thought $10 would make me run to my mailbox!

I am going to be honest... Not loving this box :( I am sick of perfume samples already.  I think I am going to change my settings and see if the box improves next month. 

"The uplifting scent opens with a sparkling cascade of mandarin and wild berries. Next, sweet notes of honeysuckle, gardenia petals, and jasmine peek through, followed by a lingering trace of waterlily."
Full Size $70.00

"This water-resistant formula uses polymers that create thin films around your lashes to give them extra length. It curls lashes immediately and holds the shape with a special drying resin. Even the brush is unique — the patent-pending shape is designed to coat and curl lashes from base to tip."
I was excited to see a Stila product this month!  I love ANYTHING by them!!
Full Size $22.00

"The luxurious, nourishing oil coats dry strands, taming down frizz and flyaways to leave them silky. Antioxidant-packed Camellia Oil protects and hydrates."
Full Size $68.00

"At night, pump one to two squirts of the cleanser onto a cotton ball and gently wipe your eyes. Let product sit for a few seconds to fully breakdown lingering makeup residue. Follow with your favorite cleanser."
Full Size $25.00

"Made with an innovative compact oval-cartridge head, each razor is equipped with five blades for an incredibly close shave. The blades work with your legs’ natural curves to make shaving tricky spots like your knees and ankles a breeze. Our favorite part? The water-activated moisturizing serum has marine extracts and shea butter and hydrates your skin."
$9.99

Like I said I am kinda "Eh" on this months box.  I am excited for the Stila Mascara and the Hair oil but everything  else is "Eh". 





Sunday, August 12, 2012

30 before 30 list


30 before 30

I will turn 30 on August 15, 2013.  I have decided turning 30 really isn't that scary and it does not mean I am on a downhill slide to a slow death. I am actually excited to turn 30.  I feel like in my late 20s I was still finding myself and now by the time I turn 30 I've found what I needed to and can truly live. Hopefully....

My 30 before 30 list

  • Visit New Mexico Museums- I would LOVE to spend a day visiting museums in Albuquerque.  
  • Guest Blog- This year I would like to guest blog about home, fashion or New Mexico
  • Holiday Card- I would like to photograph, design and actually send out my holiday cards this year
  • River of Lights in Albuquerque around Christmas
  • Make 30 Martha Stewart crafts from her Crafts book
  • Take a crafting class- Not sure which one yet
  • Learn Basic Italian
  • Have Family Photos done of me, Brett and the dogs
  • Recipe Box- I would love to create a recipe box of all of my friends favorite recipes in their handwriting
  • Digital Photos- Have all of my favorite photos printed
  • Visit 30 New Mexico Historical Landmarks
  • Have a real bday party on my 30th
  • Pay off my car
  • Finish 1 room in my house completely- any room will do
  • Clean my car- Horrible as it sounds I really need to
  • Attend a blog conference
  • Buy something not on sale at Pottery Barn
  • Take the Sandia Tram at Sunset
  • Make a garment
  • Paint a piece of art
  • Start Interior Design Classes
  • Buy totally different glasses
  • New Laptop
  • Ghost tour of Old Town Albuquerque
  • Visit the Hubbard Museum
  • Watch all episodes of FRIENDS
  • Get a quote tattoo
  • Read 3 books from Times 100 list 
  • Go to The Salmon Ranch and pick berries
  • Do the Geronimo Trail by FJ Cruiser

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Happy Early Birthday to Me! My Target Haul and Minnetonka Flats

***My friends who are reading this are shaking their heads and thinking "goodness her birthday isn't until Weds and she is already shopped for herself!" ***

I will turn 29 years old on August 15th.  Normally my wonderful hubby takes me out for dinner and we do a bit of shopping.  We have a pact with each other never to buy each other anything super expensive until the birthday girl or boy picks it out.  I told him this year I would rather catch some great sales at Target during the back to school time. :)  Yeah for me! It worked!  :) :) I was able to pick out my birthday presents a week before my birthday!  :) 

I spent less than than $100!  Yeah for sales!! 

$8.98

$8.98

$6.98

$6.98

LOVE LOVE LOVE THESE!!!!  Paid full price $29.99.  Anyone who really knows me knows I NEVER pay full price for anything.  I have a hard time finding skinny jeans that fit me correctly.  I am a plus size girl with no hips or butt.  Yeah... try to fit that in a skinny jean.  I will probably go back and buy all the colors. Again. I. Love. These. 

LOVE THESE!! Cutest sandals ever!  Paid full price $19.99

$4.98

$4.98

In June we were traveling back from Amarillo, TX and we stopped to Clines Corners, NM.  For those who have traveled along I40 through NM I am sure you have stopped one time or another.  Clines Corners is pretty much a tourist trap with quirky souvenirs.  LOVE places like this! 

Mr. Chic HATES road trips with me because I want to stop at every quirky road stand, take back roads and enjoy the open road.  He wants to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible.  We've had many discussions about this.... Normally I win :) 



When we were walking around inside I fell in LOVE with these Minnetonka flats.  I thought the design was really cute and they fit my wide Fred Flinstone feet. :)  Originally $37.99 but I found them on sale for 25% off.  I told Mr. Chic these were for my birthday :) 

Have you found any great deals lately???  Leave me a link and I would LOVE to check them out!  






Sunday, August 5, 2012

New Mexico Love

Am I the only one who never gets pictures printed??  Living in the digital age has really hurt my number of framed photos.  

Today I decided to go through my photos and pick 10 or so to have printed.  I have frames with strangers in them. I am serious!  All of my frames are hanging out on a bookshelf in my room full of junk staging room craft room with pictures of people I do not know in them.  Did anyone else just get a flashback from FRIENDS when Phoebe shows everyone the picture of her Dad and he is the guy in all the store picture frames?  

I decided to do a post of some of my favorite pictures of New Mexico. Enjoy :) 

 White Mesa, NM
White Mesa, NM
 Rio Puerco
 Rio Puerco
 Rio Puerco
 Rio Puerco
Rio Puerco
 Taos,NM
 Taos,NM
 Taos,NM
 Taos,NM
Taos,NM
 Jemez,NM
 Jemez,NM
 Jemez,NM
 Jemez,NM
Jemez,NM
 Albuquerque,NM
 Sandia Mountains, NM
  Sandia Mountains, NM
  Sandia Mountains, NM
  Sandia Mountains, NM
 Sandia Mountains, NM

New Mexico truly is enchanting!