Monthly Archives: February 2011

What to Keep and What to Clear.

Thank you for the questions everybody! As you can see in the comments under The First Ever: Ask Ashley I have already answered one question which was asked by none other than my lovely husband, who appreciates my organizing very much but admits to not being the most organized himself, it equals out for a great balance, what a cutie I married! As for the other questions, I have decided to answer them one at a time, to keep this as helpful as possible. This means, this week you are all in for some serious organizing action, get ready!

Okay goodness gracious enough babbling we have some work to do…onto the next question, here it is:

Question #2: When you know you have too much, how do you know what to get rid of and what to keep?

A very very popular question in the world of organizing, good one. So I’m gonna keep this answer short and sweet (kinda) in order to emphasize to all of you how the “throw away” decision can soon become surprisingly simple.

When you know you have to much, be merciless in throwing things away! Seriously, we all get way to attached to the silliest things. So excuse me for a moment here while I can be extremely pushy in making people throw things away, I can get a teensy bit outta control here, but its for a good cause people!

Anyway….just a few quick helpful guidelines for some of the major Clutter-Causing Culprits:

  • Clothes – if you haven’t worn it in the past 6 months to a year (exception for super fancy clothes) you should get rid of it. I am currently working on my own closet and giving myself constant “just throw it away” scoldings! :)
  • Paperwork – I limit our homes paperwork/files to one drawer in our desk. This forces me to get rid of any unnecessary paper that tends to easily hide away in our file drawer. So, keep limits on your paperwork space and be a stickler about staying in those limits and you will soon find you are a “throwing-away-paper machine”, it’s a great feeling! Quick sidenote: I have a friend who has offered to write a guest blog on filing, keep your eyes peeled for this one coming soon!
  • Memories – in our home I have one box for my childhood memories, one for Eric’s and then one for our special notes and things from our 3 1/2 years of dating before we got married (we still date now too, click here for more on that). I mean let’s face it you really don’t look through your memories that often and you are much more likely to enjoy them when they are no longer just a big blob of a mess in your garage, basement….you get the idea. Limit it people! One last thing here, I read a great idea once about taking a picture of some things that are fond memories and framing them (in a very tasteful way of course) then donating it. This way you still have the picture and the stories to share about it without having to cram it away in extra space you don’t actually have in your home (I know, great isn’t it?)!
  • To read a little bit more on guidelines for sorting through the items in your home click here.

These are all helpful guidelines (sorry if they seem a bit harsh, but its the only way to clear the clutter sometimes), if you need specific ideas as you begin working on your own home, let me know!

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The First Ever: Ask Ashley.

Eric & I hoping I can answer your questions! ....nice faces we know.

I have been overwhelmed (in a good, cool, excited way) the past few weeks by the amount of compliments (whether on my blog, my facebook page, facebook messages, and face to face conversation with people) I have received from those of you reading my blog! Thank you so much to all of you, you have made this blogging thing way more fun than I was thinking it would be, I’m shocked!

Anyway…on this rainy Friday in So Cal, I thought I would try something new: letting you guys ask me your questions then hopefully giving you some quick answers, ideas, and solutions for those nagging organizing dilemmas. So, to keep it doable for myself as I try this new thing out…I will take the first three questions you readers give me, ready go!

Oh! But no worries if you aren’t one of those first three questions, I may still answer it! Plus, I will most likely take those later questions as motivation for future posts! So keep ’em coming, don’t be shy (most likely someone else has the same question you have they’re just to nervous to ask it so be the brave one, ask the question)! I’ll be checking back in for your questions over the weekend and posting the answers on Monday! Happy weekend everybody!

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A New Favorite of Emma’s.

Looking out the window!

Well….I told you I would keep you updated as Emma’s favorites continue to change and grow.

So, here is Emma’s newest favorite thing: Looking out the car window.

And here is how we came to this recent discovery:

Adoring look for daddy!

Emma has always been a pretty good little traveler in the car. However, as she has gotten older she has slowly become more and more frustrated over the fact that all she can see is the back of the seat while riding in the car. Thankfully, over this past weekend a breakthrough discovery was made!

Looking at Mommy!

On our drive up to the mountains Emma’s little carseat canopy-cover thing (I really don’t know what they’re called I just realized while writing this, hah!) was in a position that made it possible for her to look to the side and see out the windows.

She was so fascinated by everything moving by the car, I thought she was asleep till I looked back and saw her, completely mesmerized by all the things passing by(as seen in the first pic of this post). She then stayed pretty silent for most of the drive, eventually falling asleep from all the excitement of watching the world go by her windows! She also enjoys being able to see Mommy and Daddy in the car, we often look back to see her looking over her shoulder at us, as seen here in the pictures, we love it!

A new forever favorite pic of mine!

We now try to keep Emma’s carseat canopy out of her view of the windows (unless of course that would mean the sun gets in her little eyes) and this has very quickly entered into the category of “Emma’s Favorite Things.”

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A Very Important Laundry Tip.

This is a tip that I very recently (as in yesterday) failed to follow, reminding me of its importance. The tip is very simple yet often very tempting to skip over because nine times out of ten you would be okay doing without it. However, it is that one time you skip over it, that it’ll come back and getcha good.

The tip: Always check the pant pockets before putting things in the washer.

Yes, yesterday I washed a check that my husband had placed in his pocket. No worries, we got a good little laugh out of it. This is not the first time I have failed to apply this tip. Years ago I washed Eric’s cell phone…and his phone was not due for an update for a good little while. You think I would have forever learned my lesson with that one but no. Good thing I have the most wonderful hubby who loves me so dearly and thinks I’m funny because I am prone to have my blonde moments. Hope my blonde moment yesterday, improves your laundry doing today!

Quick Sidenote (since laundry is the tip topic today): I have not forgotten about the closet organizing series I mentioned last week. I am currently in the process of reorganizing my own closet (over and over again, there are so many options you know) and will post the series after I have it down just the way I like it. That way I can share all the options/tips/tricks with you!

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Our Weekend of Snow.

Our little family up in the snow!

Eric was the speaker for a church’s college retreat this weekend and Emma and I got to join him! This retreat was especially fun to be able to go up to together because the church we went up with is the one Eric and I went to while we were in college, so it brought back lots of fun memories and we got to catch up with some old friends and make some great new ones. It was so special to be up there this time with my husband and baby, seeing as the last time I was up there for the college retreat Eric and I were not even yet engaged (for those of you now wondering… it was February of 2007 when I was up there last and Eric and I got engaged in August 2007, I will share the story of the proposal in a later post sometime, video and all!). Back to this weekend….here’s my quick little synopsis of the fun we had (along with a picture at the end just to show you all how I naturally stand on my tiptoes in pictures if I think people are going for a close up of us, didn’t know that one wasn’t a close up hah!).

Friday: First off…oops didn’t do so great at packing ahead, oh well. Eventually got the car all packed up. Drove up earlier than planned because of the possibility of snow. Driving up, snow starts coming down, so pretty. Arrive at the cabin, I suddenly realize just how much a California girl I really am as I think… “wait I have to get out in the snow now?” Run up into the cabin, the snow is so pretty (looking at it from the warmth of the inside of the cozy cabin). Emma is loving meeting all the new people. Dinner, talking, laughing, meeting new faces, ooh’s and ahh’s over Emma. Sleep, freezing.

My tiptoe pose caught on camera!

Saturday: Morning, breakfast, talking, laughing, devotions, great worship music, great teaching from God’s Word. Lunch, more talking (mostly about dating, marriage and what it’s like now after college, being a wife & mommy, all favorite subjects of mine so it was my joy to sit and talk with the college girls all about this stuff) , laughing, more ooh’s and ahh’s over Emma. Looking at the beautiful snow falling. Dinner, more talking, great time of sharing how God is working in the student’s lives, more talking and laughing. Sleep, kinda freezing again.

Sunday: Wake up, breakfast, more talking, more oohing and ahhing over Emma, more great worship music, more great teaching from God’s Word. Get packed up, leave the snowy cabin, eat lunch at In ‘n Out, one last goodbye to everyone.

Then came the grand finale……get home, realize an immediate change of Emma’s diaper is necessary and as I go to remove her leggings I stick my hand right in the “business” she had been working so hard on during our drive home……home sweet home. Oh the simple joys. Love it!

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Do the Dishes in Style.

My current dishgloves, bows and all!

Just a quick tip for the fun of it today! Get yourself some fun, cute, stylish dish gloves! Thanks to my mom and mother-in-law I have had a few different cute pairs of dish gloves over the past few years and it just makes doing the dishes a little less of a job! Three reasons why I suggest them:

1) Keeps your hands softer & less wrinkly (because we all know this is a never ending job and it takes a tiny toll on your hands).

2)You can use hot water to really get the dishes clean without burning your hands (you know its happened to you!).

3) They are cute. You are way more likely to get that sink cleared out, helping you stay more organized, if you have a little bit of cuteness to help motivate!

Here’s some links to a few cute ones I found (the last glam gloves listed below are only $5.00)!

Gloveables Fashion Gloves in Pink Polka Dots

Gloveables® Black Gloves with Black Gingham

Red Fashion Gloves with Leopard Cuff and Bow by Gloveables

Kitchen Basics Professional Rubber Gloves – Paisley – Orange

Glam Gloves – Latex Cleaning Gloves (Varies) (7

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Our Valentine Weekend Fun.

Date with my Valentine!

Just a few pics of some of the fun we had over Valentine’s weekend! Friday night we had some good friends over for dinner and games. So Emma and I made a cake (ignore the deep cracks in the cake in the picture below, I’m not the most amazing baker!) and set the table all nice and fancy for everyone! I made the napkin rings out of some striped cardstock paper and pink ribbon. We also had dinner with some other friends Saturday night and Emma got to meet her new friend Aubrey (our friend’s 1 year old daughter). Then after dinner we went to a basketball game at The Master’s College (where we both graduated from in 2008, Eric played basketball there all 4 years, he was really good although he’d never tell you that!) with some other friends, super fun! We had a great time with our all friends!

Emma was exhausted from all the fun.

Monday morning I got up a little earlier and got our breakfast table a little fancied up, including Emma’s highchair. :) The “table runner” is just a simple thick piece of pink ribbon and then the heart post-it notes, each one had something I loved about Eric written on it, basically making the table like a huge valentine card for Eric! He loved it, so I did too. Then Eric surprised me by already having made arrangements for his parents to watch little Emma while we went out for a Valentine’s dinner!

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