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PRODUCT REVIEW: Honest Co Shampoo and Body Wash

A few months ago the soap/shampoo combo I was using on my daughter was discontinued. It was a lovely, natural product that worked well, and smelled great. I’m not going to name names but this local company totally fell out of favor with me as this was the second popular product in their line that was discontinued within a few months.

Looking around I found other natural products that either ‘smelled like mud’ as my BF put it, or were at an extremely high price point for just a small bottle. Not wanting to use just any old soap on her I kept searching.

I’d heard about the Honest Company and had some friends who ordered them online and loved them. I didn’t want the hassle of ordering something online (actually more so the waiting for it to arrive!), so I put them out of my mind.

One day while shopping at Costco I spotted an Honest Company display! They were featuring a 2 pack of their Shampoo and Body Wash – and it was a great price – so of course I picked it up!

We’ve since gone back to buy more. We all use it! It has a gentle vanilla orange smell that foams up just enough, and rinses off cleanly. I don’t use it on my hair, but it gets my body clean – and I’ve also been using it as a shave gel for the last few weeks. We do use it on my daughter’s hair and it rinses nicely and leaves her hair fresh. The bottles are fairly large and come with pumps so it’s easy to use and each bottle lasts a surprisingly long time, even with all 3 of us using it daily.

So no matter if you have kids or not head down to Costco – or go online – and pick this up! Two Thumbs UP!honestshampoo

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Breaking Up with KonMari

Dear KonMari,

It is with deep sadness, but also extreme relief, that I feel I need to break up with you. It’s not you – it’s me. Your method sounds perfect for some, but you’re not the one for me.

You forgave me a few weeks ago when I admitted I was going to break one of your rules and hang more instead of folding, and that was kind of you…but I feel that the rest of your rules are a little too rigid for me as well. I have tried – hard in fact. I’ve tried to dive in head first on a few different occasions, even bending the rules a bit by starting in different areas of the home, and taking breaks. The pep talks I have given myself are overruled by the voice in my mind that tells me this isn’t for me.

I have admitted before that I am a bit of a hoarder – but wait – I do often find uses for things I hold onto, and truly believe that re-reading my books, old journals, old work material, and even scraps of paper I still have from 20 years ago, helps me to be the creative person I am today. Words ignite sparks in me. I have boxes of clothing that even if I could snap my fingers and magically wake up 4 sizes smaller tomorrow I wouldn’t want to wear, but since fashion cycles every 20 years my daughter may LOVE them. Maybe she will wear them, or maybe they will spark a creative project in her.

I’m reminded of 20 years ago when I was a teenager and my Mom offered me 4 pairs of knee high boots in different heel heights and colors that she had worn, and kept, from when she was a teenager. I wrinkled my nose and said ‘who the heck would wear those?!’ so she got rid of them. Fast forward a year or so to me shelling out over $200 to buy 2 pairs of knee high boots which were practically identical to the ones she had offered me. Lesson learned…and apparently never forgotten.

In this age of Pinterest we can learn to re-use almost anything in our house – and should be encouraged to do so both to help with saving money and to assist in unleashing our creative sides. Old clothes can become new clothes, or at least patchwork blankets. Art supplies and empty jars, cans, etc can be used in multiple other ways as well. And have you seen what they’re doing with milk crates and old wooden pallets lately?!

I admit I am still intrigued by your claim of feeling an incredible release, and an increase in creativity upon purging items and not having too much ‘stuff’ and yes, maybe that would work for me. My creative side has had NO problems sparking as of lately so perhaps clutter isn’t a problem for me there…as for the release, well I’ll have to find that some other way.

But the stress – oh the stress – feeling like I HAVE to get rid of everything and that I’m ruining my life by not being able to let go…I know that’s not your intention to make me feel like that – but I do. It was last night I ‘woke up’ and realized that things are working for me, my creativity is as high as ever, and I need to concentrate on being a Mom and doing good work these days – not to spending time stressing and crying over ‘stuff’ that is actually just fine where it is right now.

My last post was titled ‘my mess is waiting to be a masterpiece’…but maybe it’s not waiting for anything. I think it’s a masterpiece just the way it is. The calmness I feel right in this moment, knowing I have let go of organizing and purging, tells me that I am likely right.

Maybe in a few years I will return to you for guidance, but at this point in my life I think we need to take a break. Go on, find other people to love you – so many already do.

Yours truly,

One happy cluttered creative

My Mess is waiting to be a Masterpiece – my KonMari update

It’s been 2 weeks since I’ve officially started organizing using the KonMari method and I am starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel – as well as some floor and chair space previously being taken up by discarded clothing!

One of KonMari’s rules is to start with one item (clothes – then broken down into further categories, makeup, bags, etc) and gather every like item in that category and organize it before moving on to the next. Another rule is to hang very little – that folding is the way to go.

I admit I get distracted easily, and I’m dealing with so much clutter right now that it’s extremely hard to force myself to only work with one group at a time…sweaters, sweaters…hey there’s that book I want to read next! I can see the validity of this method however, and am trying hard to stay on track. It does suck when you get everything put away perfectly in a home…then you find 2 more items that you Just. Can’t. Fit. In. And it ruins everything.

In what feels like I’m giving the middle finger to the no-hanging method, I have bought 200 hangers. These are thinner and sleeker than the wooden ones I had before, and they all match. I own a lot of dresses, skirts, jackets, and other items that truly would look better hanging, so although KonMari asks that we hang very little – I NEED to hang! Forgive me KonMari I have sinned…but this truly is a compromise as I normally hang just about everything other than underwear, so please bear with me.

My house is a mess waiting to be a masterpiece so let’s hope KonMari is the answer! Stay tuned!hangers

LET’S DO THIS! Organizing with KonMari

A few years ago I wrote a post about how I was going to get organized and de-clutter…as you may have guessed knowing I have a toddler – that was easier said than done!

I’ve been reading a lot of organizing advice lately in hopes that something will finally snap into place. But sadly I seem to have been taking 2 steps forward – then 2, or even 3, steps back – over the past few years. My toddler doesn’t help – she believes it’s her right to dump EVERY toy out of her toy box in order to play with the one which was already on the top!

I’d also like to take this opportunity to mention that people who gift toddlers items that include many small items and tiny parts should be banned from your life immediately – unless they would like your child to play with their toys at THEIR home!

The ‘KonMari’ System of Organization entered the scene about a year ago and I’ve heard buzz about it – and seen the book around – but for the most part ignored it. Then, about a week ago, I stumbled upon a few blog posts from people raving about this system and how it actually worked for them.

Long story short – I’ve now got the book in my hot little hands and am ready to go! Am I skeptical – HELL YES! Am I hopeful – again, HELL YES! I’ve already started flipping through it and the advice IS totally different than anything I have seen before – so maybe this IS it – the solution me, and my family, have been looking for all along.

So I’m putting it to the test – and will share the good, bad, and likely ugly, as I go along.  If this works for me – after 37 years of messy, semi-hoarding, behavior, and with everything a toddler comes with – then you know it is truly a life-changing system.

Watch out closets – here I come!konmaripic

2014: Both my Best and Worst Year Ever

People have already started asking if I have made any resolutions for next year. Do we all still do resolutions? And if we do, do we keep them? I used to when I was younger – I believe I made the ‘become organized’ resolution about 10 years in a row, and did it ever work – hell no 😉

2014 was a year of extreme highs and extreme lows for me. Having Babygirl and watching her grow and explore has been nothing short of amazing. But Gran passed away at the end of March, and the months that followed involved cleaning out and selling her house – an activity that really made me feel like I was punched in the gut, as you may recall from an earlier post. To this day, I cannot drive through her neighborhood without my mind filling with memories and making tears spring to my eyes.

So in other words, 2014 was a year of HUGE change and major growth for me. I’ve lost the one family member who was probably the most important to me growing up, but I gained a new family member who IS the most important to me now! I live my life differently now that I’m a Mom. I’m still lucky enough to be able to take time for my interests and friends, but I’ve needed to adapt to my new life. I find I appreciate the little things more, and material things way less.

So to answer the resolutions question: No. I haven’t made any resolutions. I’m going to continue with the same course I’m on now. I do hope 2015 brings less change, but also more growth. And as for that organization quest – well maybe I’ll get around to that – eventually 😉

My next project – The Armoire!

You may recall from a previous post that my family house has been sold…now the closing date is near and we have been hard at work emptying out over 60 years worth of furniture, collections, and just plain clutter.

In the deep dark depths of the huge basement, in a corner that had been accumulating various family member’s no longer needed possessions for many many years I spotted IT – an armoire!

The truth is that nothing about it reminds me of my Gran, and actually no one I asked in my family seems to remember exactly where it came from so obviously there is no sentimental value, but when I saw it something just sparked and I knew I had to have it.

Now I must figure out something to do with it. It’s not in the best shape – no handles for the cupboards or drawer, the wood is quite worn on one side and the edge of the top is splintered. But it has good bones and will look like a beauty once I’m done with it. 

I feel like this is a really great project to take on. I’ve never done anything like this before. I don’t consider myself crafty and honestly I don’t have a lot of patience, but I will make it work. It will probably take a while, but in the end it will be something I can look at and be proud of doing myself!

Has anyone ever restored an armoire, or another old piece of furniture? Do you have any suggestions or ideas for me?

Clutter Busting

Lately I’ve seen more than a few blog posts and magazine articles talking about how getting rid of clutter in your home greatly affects everything from your health to your relationships with others. However I’ve always felt that I’ve thrived a bit on my clutter. Anywhere I’ve ever lived has had piles of magazines, overflowing closets and just a lot of STUFF. When I previously worked in an office my desk was usually piled high. But it always worked for me, I always knew where things were and finished tasks on time. I always figured, why bother cleaning up, I didn’t need to change anything – my life was pretty great the way it was, so obviously the clutter theory didn’t apply to me. I’m nowhere near close to being featured on that Extreme Hoarders show, but I do tend to keep a lot of unnecessary things around.

 

Now that we have a baby, who requires more stuff than we ever even imagined, AND our family home (aka our storage unit) has been sold we need to find room in our house – NOW! I’ve already been working hard on the purging part – getting rid of 23 large bags of clothes and about 15 boxes of books – and now need to find a proper place for everything that’s left. I’m working hard to make our house a home for my family and I would like to be a better role model for Babygirl and be able to teach her how to be organized.

 

I have visions of how our home will look once I finish the purging and organizing, and I like what I see. It will take a while longer but we’ll see how things turn out. Now that I have more aspirations and plans for the future, maybe this is just what I need to do. Maybe I’ll be proven wrong and there will be something to the clutter theory.