Project Packrat

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So anybody who knows me personally knows that I am a packrat. I have a problem getting rid of stuff.  What makes it a bigger problem is that my husband is a packrat too (You know it’s true, E)!

We live in a 1167 sq ft town home and it is just full of stuff. I am exaggerating a little but the biggest problem is that everything is cluttered. It has slowly been driving me bonkers.

We will be living there for a few more years so my goal is to make it more liveable and less cluttered. Whenever I search on Pinterest for decluttering ideas, I continually see the same message: clutter = stress. So true!!  When I come home from work, I want to be able to relax but when all I see is clutter I can’t. I start stressing and think about how much I hate it in my house.

Well, it is finally time for me to do something about it! I am determined to declutter my home by the time spring comes, which will give me plenty of time because winter in Minnesota is looooooooong. I am calling this stretch of time Project Packrat. I may not be able to get E to downsize his stuff/junk but I will admit that at least 60% of the junk in our house is mine.

If I can stick to my guns and not question myself when I decide something has to go, I should be able to significantly lessen the amount of clutter in our home.  I will periodically post updates on my progress.
Here’s hoping this project is a success!

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Sick Day

I have been sick for the past week and was hoping that the weekend would have been the end of it.  But alas, I woke up this morning feeling the worst I had felt all week.  I used my last vacation day to stay home and rest up.  My voice was completely gone too so I wanted to rest my voice and not talk as much as possible.

I am not a fan of tea but knew that it was probably the best thing for me to drink for my sore throat.  Yesterday Ethan made me a cup of black tea with honey.  I did not like it at all.  It took everything I had to drink that whole cup.  So we went to Target to get some more cough suppressant (he is sick too) and I went to the tea aisle to find something I could maybe like.  The one that most intrigued me was Tazo’s Wild Sweet Orange.  It smelled good in the box and I love orange flavoring so I decided to give it a try.  I made a cup today while I was finishing Ruth’s Journey by Donald McCaig.  jjIMG_20141117_164741The tea smelled delicious as it was steeping.  When it had finally cooled enough for me to drink I was pleasantly surprised.  It didn’t taste great, but I definitely didn’t have a hard time drinking it like I did the other stuff.

One thing to help get me through this cold weather and illness was making some nice, homemade beef stew in the crockpot.  I had this cooking all day long and just had it for dinner.  So good!  Hearty and felt great on my throat.  We have plenty of leftovers for tomorrow night’s dinner as well.

Cooking away!

Cooking away!

All ready to eat!

All ready to eat!

Basically I had around 1.5 lbs. beef stew meat, 3 cans beef broth, potatoes cut up into chunks, baby carrots cut in half, a little salt and pepper, some freshly minced garlic, a bay leaf, and in the last hour of cooking we added some long grain brown rice.  Everything was so tender and had great flavor.

Astro Falls Short… Thank God!

I’m thanking my lucky stars that Winter Storm Astro fell short in my area!  There were some record snowfalls around the state but I lucked out where I live and commute to work.  We barely got 1 inch whereas other places north and northwest got up to 16.5 inches!  No thank you!  But it was rather cold so I got to test out my new Sorel’s two days in a row.  They definitely did what I needed them to do…. Keep my feet toasty warm and dry.  I took a few photos while wearing them.  They were taken at work while I helped my dad shovel the front sidewalk.  Yes, I work with my dad and I do love that, well most of the time haha.

The one thing I did notice was that they feel different with different types of socks, which is kind of obvious.  The first day I just wore regular crew cut socks.  The only issue I had was that I have large, beefy calves (I hate them… thanks Mom for the genetics on that one haha) so around the ankles the leather bunched weird and rubbed against them.  It was pretty uncomfortable.

IMG_20141111_075111 IMG_20141111_075126

IMG_20141111_075135The one thing I did notice was that they feel different with different types of socks, which is kind of obvious.  The first day I just wore regular crew cut socks.  The only issue I had was that I have large, beefy calves (I hate them… thanks Mom for the genetics on that one haha) so around the ankles the leather bunched weird (as you can see in the 3rd photo) and rubbed against them.  It was pretty uncomfortable.  Today I wore boot socks that were thicker.  That was much more comfortable.  So overall, I love these boots and so glad that I am prepared for this winter.  I’m guessing it’s going to be a bad one.

Winter Is On The Move

Well, folks, it’s that time of year now!  We’ve got a big snowstorm brewing!  I was really hoping that winter wouldn’t rear it’s ugly head until after my birthday (which is next Tuesday in case you were wondering 😛 ) but this year I’m not so lucky.  In my neck of the woods we’re forecasted to get around 8 inches or so.  YUCK!  And of course the first snow always brings about idiot drivers who seem to have forgotten how to drive in the winter.  Last year I didn’t have any winter boots.  I attempted to order some Sorel boots like the ones I had growing up but alas, they were out of stock by the time I got around to it.  Luckily I was able to get them this year!  I’ll be able to test them out tomorrow and see if they’re as good as they used to be!

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My new Sorels! Enzo approves!

I love these boots so much!  I’ve been wearing them around the house all day today.  They fit perfectly and keep my feet nice and toasty warm.  Plus, they’re pretty!

They are the Women’s 1964 Premium LTR boot.  I bought them directly from Sorel.com for $140.

Earlier this fall I went to a craft sale during my town’s annual fall festival and ended up finding a few great items for winter.  One of the booths was an alpaca booth.  They had a mama and baby alpaca along for people to pet and see where the products come from.  In a tent they had all kinds of clothing made from their wool.  I got two hats and a scarf.  What was really great was the guy explained to me why alpaca wool was so great.  He said that regular sheep’s wool has barbs on the fibers and that’s why it can be so itchy whereas the alpaca wool fibers are smooth.  Sheep’s wool has lanolin which many people are allergic to (including my dad).  I’ve never been a fan of wool.  But the alpaca wool was soooooooo soft!  He also said that alpaca wool is 10 times warmer because the fibers are hollow, providing more insulation.

From another booth, a woman had made a bunch of mittens from recycled sweaters.  I got two pairs there and a pair for my mom as well.  They are wool on the outside and lined with fleece.

My green recycled sweater mittens, one of my alpaca hats and my alpaca scarf

My green recycled sweater mittens, one of my alpaca hats and my alpaca scarf

As much as I hate winter, well I guess I wouldn’t mind it so much if I didn’t have to commute 5 days a week, I am super excited to make use of my new winter accessories!

Are you ready for winter?