Christmas Cookies

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Yesterday I threw out the last of our Christmas cookies. Yes, I still had some left. Store bought, major preservatives, and still yummy (unfortunately). The gingerbread cookies weren’t a big hit with anyone but looked cute on a cookie plate display I had done. The leftovers sat unopened since Christmas. The almond shortbread snowman were my weakness. I had to toss them or risk eating them long after Valentine’s day. I hate to toss uneaten food. Old broccoli isn’t a big issue. However, sweets are tough to toss. I found some peeps in the cabinet the other day. Not Christmas peeps, Easter peeps. I must confess I ate one chickie before I tossed it. Hard as a rock but it’s a peep. So, expect an entry in March or April about Valentine’s treats being tossed. And in July the Easter treats will finally disappear. Oh, the things I divulge to you.

Today I got rid of a pink basket that is more like a purse. It was in our van forever. It holds our puppets. When the kids were little, someone gave us an alligator puppet and four monkeys or bears – we still aren’t sure. When the kids were fussy or fighting, I would put on a show from the front seat. Usually the alligator would trick the brown monkey bears and eat them. It would crack up the kids. Then I’d try to get them with the alligator but couldn’t reach the back of the van. Fun road trip memories. My son pulled them out today. We had time to kill in the parking lot before school started so we checked out the old puppets. The basket however, nearly disintegrated in the front seat. I tossed it. The puppets stayed and are currently tied up in a bandana that is usually a part of the show somehow too. So the puppets live on but the basket is gone. I may have to do a show on our next road trip. Memories…

Dream Big!

P.S. Thanks for those who inquired about my health. Headache is gone but the cough is still bad and so is my exhaustion. Still resting a lot. Hope to be 100% soon.

Tummy and Tea

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Monday I got rid of the contents of my tummy. I was sick. I still am but improving. Sorry if this is TMI. I was unable to find an item to toss since I could barely move with body aches, a vice grip headache on my temples and a terrible cough. So I figured I’d go for the disgusting and say Monday I “tossed my cookies” and be done with it.
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Tuesday I had already set aside some tea to get rid of so it was easy to move them into a bag for donation since I was a bit mobile that day. A few years ago my mom gave me her iced tea maker. She never used it. I didn’t think I would until I discovered Paradise decaf iced tea. Yummy! I made several pitchers whenever we had a gathering at our home. It was gone in no time. Unfortunately, the tea is now gone at stores. They still sell the caffeinated Paradise tea but not the decaf version. No clue why. I found some online but it was a box of 50. Seriously, I don’t need 50. Then I found a pack of 6 – or so I thought – and ordered it. I misread it and got the caffeinated Passion Fruit variety. Tropical caf or decaf is good. Passion Fruit is awful. I can taste the coconut (which I detest) so it’s a no in our home. I went back to the internet and bought the 50 decaf tea bags for $80. The cool thing is that I shared my dilemma with a friend who loves it too. She took 25 and split the cost with me. Yay. I am sure our 25 will be gone in no time but I know my source now and a friend to share it with. So the 6 boxes of Passion Fruit Paradise Tea is going to the food bank (minus one pack we tried). If anyone likes it, I’ll gladly send it to you. In fact if you ever see something I’m trashing and you want it, let me know. One mans trash is another man’s treasure. No judgement here. I’m the queen of hand me downs. I’d be happy to share with others.

Still recovering from my flu/cold so I don’t know what will go in two days. Hopefully my flu/cold will be gone.

Dream Big!

3 Little Houses

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I cheated a bit this weekend. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are the three bird houses in the picture. My kids painted these about four years ago. They have been sitting in my garden window in the kitchen. I look at my cluttered garden window every morning at breakfast. My seat at the table stares right at it. Every day I think “I am going to get rid of some of those plants, empty pots and the knick knacks.” This weekend I grabbed the three houses and tossed them in the donate bag. I asked the kids first. They all said, “no biggie.” So, no biggie. They are gone and I’m a step closer to a clear view through the window. Expect a few old pots and a plant or two to appear this week on my list of things to toss. I can’t wait to see through the window again. The only problem with that, I am going to have to clean the window once it’s fully visible again. Bummer. The price of decluttering – a bottle of Windex in this case.

Dream Big!

Ah-choo

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Yesterday I got rid of a box. Yes – a box. I bought a pair of boots on November 22, 2013. Super cute boots by the way – tall, black boots with a side zipper. I wear them a lot. I saved the box because I thought it would be a good storage box for something. An oversized boot box is a rarity. It has been sitting at the foot of my bed since November. I have tripped over it. I kick it aside when I change the sheets. It is empty except for the dated receipt which confirmed how long it has been sitting there. Although it is a pathetic excuse for an item, it was not leaving my house any other way. It will be happily recycled and made into a napkin or paper straw or something. Adios boot box.

Today I got rid of my lemon scented Soft Scrub cleanser. I cleaned the sinks yesterday with it and sneezed for about 30 minutes. A few weeks ago I was low on Soft Scrub and asked my husband to pick some up when he was out running errands. After cleaning, the scent didn’t go away and neither did my sneezing. You see, I have one of the worst allergies a girl can have – anything fragrant. Flowers, perfume, scented candles, lotion, soap, fabric softers, you name it, if you can smell it, I will sneeze. My poor roommates in college had to spray their perfume outside of the house. Easter lilies are received and promptly moved outside to be trashed when the guests leave. I regift every body lotion or soap given at the holidays. Candles too. I am in torture if I sit behind a perfumed woman at church or the theater. The worst is getting a hug from a fragrant person and having to change my clothes as soon as I get home. Our laundry smells like nothing. The clothes are clean but Tide or Bounce would send me into a sneezing fit. My poor daughters who want to use their cute Hello Kitty lotion can’t. A few years ago one of my daughters took a bubble bath (I wish I could take one but I’d sneeze and itch for days) and I made her take a shower immediately to get the scent off of her. It’s terible allergy for a woman. I have had it forever. I’ve adjusted. My roommates tolerated me and my kids understand even though it’s a bummer. So be gone scented Soft Scrub. Bleach scented is the most I can take.

Dream Big!

Random

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What do reindeer ears, a popsicle maker and sunglasses have in common? NOTHING. Just my random three items from Saturday, Sunday and Monday get rid of items. The popsicle maker I pulled down on the weekend to make popsicles out of a huge jug of Hawaiian punch we have. I was smart enough to try the device in both freezers before filling it. It was too tall for either one. Not sure where I got it but obviously I never used it since it doesn’t fit. It should have been gone a long time ago. No popsicles and still a ton of Hawaiian punch.

The reindeer ears are broken. I planned to fix them for next year. Why? No clue. We have two others. I walked by them on the table every day for several weeks. I even hesitated on Sunday when I decided to toss them. They are cute. I must fix them. No, I must toss them! Gone.

Today is the sunglasses. True story – I found 3 pairs of sunglasses in my drawer. One is purple and according to my daughter, still cute. The second pair had darling bling on the side. My daughter took those. The third pair got nixed because I was told I look old in them. I replied, “they look 60s hippy style.” Her reply, “You look like an old hippy.” Gone gone gone. So there is my randomness for today.

Dream Big!

Plastic protection

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Yesterday and today are the same. It’s the same type of item but different brands. I had two cheap plastic chair covers I bought year ago and four higher quality chair covers from Bed Bath and Beyond. (Gotta love those 20% off coupons.) Background first then an explanation of my doubling up.

When we bought our dining room table many years ago, we chose white fabric on our chairs. I believe we only had one kid at the time and we bought the stain guard guarantee. The plan said to call if we got a stain and they’d come to our home and clean it at no additional cost. Great intentions but bad follow through on our part. I believe I called one time and they coached me over the phone how to get the stain out. Honestly, the chairs have held up pretty well with three kids and their friends in our home. We eat dinner every night in the dining room too. When the kids were little, I used the plastic covers daily. Eventually, I made a fabric seat cover that just lays over the chair. It’s washable, more fashionable, and still in use today. I haven’t used the plastic protectors in many years. However, they were cluttering up some prime real estate in my family room cupboards. We are done with them and off they go.

One thing I want to share about this journey of getting rid of an item today, I am not going to be legalistic about it. If I miss a day, so be it. If I get rid of the same type of item for a few days, that’s OK too. I’m not planning to count a pair of socks as two days worth (a sock a day). I feel called to do this journey this year. I don’t feel called to be a stress case or perfectionist about it. Yesterday I got rid of my cheap plastic chair covers and today I got rid of my nice ones. It counts. Even if you disagree, I feel fine about my decision. Decluttering is about removing stress. Some days I will feel anxious about my decision to let go of a long cherished item. That type of stress is going to be normal. However, beating myself up if I can’t find an item one day, isn’t going to be in this journey. So if you are joining me in this, don’t quit because of a bad day or week. Press on. It’s only January. This is a long committment I have made. I am not like a gym which empties out in February because everyone already gave up on their resolution to get in shape. You can count on me to go the distance. I hope you stay with me. I am sure some entries are going to be wacky. Others will be tough. And some will just be boring. It’s 18 days in, I’m still finding my groove.

Dream Big!

The Message

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Yesterday I decided to get rid of an old bluish purple fleece pullover. I didn’t even know it was still in there. The cool thing is I found a pair of jeans with it. They fit too. Awesome. I love fleece but have several new ones. This particular one has been washed one too many times and it’s pilly. It’s in the donate pile.

Today I found another tote to toss. (It may be a theme for a bit.) This tote was a free gift from NavPress, the company who publishes “The Message.” I was at the Christian book publishers convention that year pitching my book ideas and trying to meet editors. I got a lot of free books, met amazing authors, learned a ton about Christian publishing and enjoyed being a part of that world for a day. This tote reminded me of my passion for writing and my love of the publishing world. I am currently educating myself on Christian publishing in 2014. It’s a whole new world. I look forward to a future visit to a convention. I will enjoy the free totes, meeting authors and I plan to be one of the authors myself.

Dream Big!

Inhaler and Exhale

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Yesterday I threw out two old inhalers from when I was sick for too long a few years ago. Yep, still had the inhalers. Surprisingly they just expired this month. I wouldn’t reuse them at this point anyway. I tip my hat to anyone who has any illness that requires regular use of inhalers. Tough way to live. I am grateful mine was for a season only.

Today I got rid of the bag you see in the picture. How ugly is that? Super functional but extremely outdated. It has several zipper pockets, an attached coin purse and it’s deep. I didn’t even know I had the thing until I went digging for stuff to get rid of. That brings me to my exhale part.

I am taking my first load of stuff (14 days worth of items) to the donation truck tomorrow. I must admit minor anxiety over the trek. The Bible on tape was screaming “keep me.” I want to. The platter said, “my chip is tiny. You can still use me.” I don’t want to. I pulled each of these items out to be done with. 14 items will leave my home. (Actually a few more than that ’cause my kids outgrew a few clothing items.) I can exhale them right out the door. A cleansing release will escape my lungs when the bags are dropped off. Exhale.

Dream Big!

Red vase and bag

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I have been swamped all weekend so forgive my delay in blogging. I try to write every other day. Well, you got three days in this one. Don’t even get me started on how busy this weekend was. Let me just say I drove to the San Clemente area twice. Totally worth it but totally tiring. Back to the blog.

Friday I got rid of the red vase in the picture. See the sticks and colorful balls in it? Why I kept it this long, I have no idea. It was a gift for Christmas one year. I often displayed it at Valentine’s day as well. It is completely out of style and I haven’t used it for years. Yet I allowed it to sit and clutter up my laundry room. No more. Counter space is reclaimed.

Saturday I got rid one of our baby gates. I recently purchased two cheap wooden ones to help corral my dog into the non-carpeted area of our house. After I bought those, I found another gate in my son’s closet. It is a nice one but more gate than a dog needs. It will be a nice find for a mommy at a thrift store.

Today I got rid of the red bag in the picture. It was a gift from Parenting magazine when I ordered a subscription. I never enjoyed the magazine. The bag wasn’t worth two years of magazine clutter. I even called to transfer the rest of my subscription to another magazine in their publishing house. They said they were unable to do that. I didn’t want to lose the money so I kept it coming. When it arrived, I browsed it for less than five minutes then tossed it in the recycle bin. I know, save a tree and cancel. I literally (I mean literally not the new definition that says literally can mean not literal – what?!!! So many people used it wrong that the incorrect definition is now a real definition. Literally!) jumped for joy the day the last magazine arrived. Too bad I didn’t save a couple for the days I am stumped on what to get rid of. Oh well.

Dream Big!

Birthdays and Bed Rest

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Yesterday I got rid of an over-sized mug I received years ago for my birthday. It says “Happy Birthday to a Wonderful Person” across the front. I think the mug was filled with candy or tea. I definitely consumed that. I didn’t take a picture of this item in case the giver is reading my blog. I appreciated the giver for remembering me on my birthday. I just wasn’t a fan of the mug. I saved this mug for years thinking I may refill it with goodies and re-gift it. I never did. When I decided to donate it was when I realized, I would never re-gift it.

Today is a tough one. I literally was walking through the house trying to find something to get rid of. I walked into my stuffed closet. I knew I would uncover an item in there. On the top shelf, I saw it. My cassette tapes of the Bible. I know, I just did a cassette tape blog. However, that isn’t the important part. A friend bought me those tapes while I was pregnant with my first child, my daughter Grace. I had been put on bed-rest (really couch rest cause I could sit up, just not get up). I was down for the last two months of my pregnancy. I quickly faced boredom Only being able to read and watch TV. A dear friend came by with the Bible on tape. I listened to it every day. I found peace and rest at the sound of God’s Word being read. I listened to them frequently while I nursed Grace too. They were very helpful during that last part of pregnancy and first year of Grace’s life. I am grateful for my revelation the other day – getting rid of my Christian books and music isn’t sacrilegious, it gives another person an opportunity to be blessed by it. So, as soon as the cassette Bible caught my eye, I knew it was time. Not many of us have cassette players anymore but I trust someone does and when they find these tapes for $2 at a thrift store, they will be blessed!

Dream Big!