A Denver Family's Adventure Through The Ups And Downs of Life

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Family Room Organization- Sam's Toys

I forgot to take a before shot, but believe me, Sam's toys were all over our family room.  The mat letters were strewn about and his books were on every flat surface in the room.

Office Depot did not sponsor this posting  :)
We needed a better solution.

Instead of selling an old 3-level microwave cart, I repurposed it as a toy box and book case. I put a paper box on the bottom shelf (which I will cover with paper or fabric to look pretty) to hold the small toys and cars. Then I used 2 small wood toolboxes to hold all of his board books in the middle shelf.

On top, I have the rest of his alphabet foam pad (that's not protecting the hearth) and a wire and bead toy.

I arranged the larger toys and his stuffed animals around to compliment it.

Considering what it looked like before, this is AWESOME! I hope that we can continue to use this organizational system effectively.
Like this, but purchased from Walmart.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

5 Reuses For Business Cards

My company is moving to a new location (about 2 blocks away) on September 12th, so I have a ton of business cards that would be thrown away if I didn't find another use.

Here are 5 ways to reuse your old business cards.
  1. Business cards make excellent bookmarks.
  2. Business cards with a blank side are the perfect size for short shopping or To Do lists.
  3. Bag Tags- When you're reusing gift bags and don't have a card handy, glue together two business cards with the text side facing in, leaving you two blank sides—then just attach it to the bag with a ribbon.
  4. Business cards are the perfect size for place cards.
  5. Flashcards for kids; cue cards for presentations.
Personally, I think I'm going to use them as notes on our Pottery Barn pinboard.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Surprisingly, on Saturday, I put together a menu plan for the week. I haven't determined exactly which day I'm going to make which items later in the week, but here is the names of the recipes.

Tonight- Rotisserie chicken (leftover from last night)
Tuesday- Pork Tenderloin

Other Recipes
Portabella mushroom and cracked pepper turkey tenderloin
Vegetable quesadilla
Turkey Sausage Jambalaya
Black Bean and Mushroom Burritos

Thanks I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Have a great week!

Mini Organizing Project for $2.97

I have been buried in plastic container lids for years, with never a good way to organize them.
  • Pyrex lids
  • Ziploc lids
  • Rubbermaid lids
Since moving into our house 5 years ago, they have occupied a shelf under our counter. They never balanced quite right, so they would always fall over and onto the larger shelf below. My husband just wants to empty the dishwasher and doesn't want to take a ton of time organizing them.

I finally decided that enough was enough, so I went to Walmart and spent a whole $.297 for a plastic bin to hold them all.  I'm super proud of myself and so was my husband. This will definitely make it a lot easier to find the right lid.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Yard Sale Review and Week 34 (328-1,359)- LONG!!!

Here is a review of the yard sale that we had last Sunday and an update of our Operation Minimize Project.

Items that Sold
  • 52 outfits and toys of Sam's- The proceeds will go into his college fund
  • 4 Stereo wires
    Before the sale with my ILs and Sam.
  • 5 Cd's
  • 23 Pops (Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Sprite and Sierra Mist)
  • 2 Pieces of red cookware
  • Bread Maker
  • Blender
  • Microwave
  • Portable Boombox
  • 2 Bridal magazines from 2005/2006
  • 6 Books (fiction and cookbooks)
  • 2 Rolls of ribbons from our wedding
  • 2 Drink containers
  • 1 White bow
  • Bridal Photo Holder
  • Sterling silver ring
  • VCR
  • 1st Generation iPod and charger
  • Deck of cards
  • Pack n' Play
  • Baby Gate
  • Key chain
  • 7 Shot glasses (mostly Hard Rock Cafe)

After the sale. I know that it doesn't look much different,
but we were able to get rid of a bunch of stuff.
After subtracting the initial pot of $40 in mixed change from the end total, it looks like we made $171. Yea!!

After the sale, there were so many items that didn't sell, that I packed up our SUV and drove down to Goodwill and donated a lot. 

Donation Items- I'm listing these out to remind me for tax purposes
  • 12- 2T and 24 Month items
  • 82- 18 Month items
  • 40- 12 Month items
  • 91- 6 Month Items
  • 40- 3 Month items
  • 28 Hangers that were on some of the above items
  • 2 Boppys with 1 extra cover
  • 3 Sippy Cups
  • 6 Bath toys
  • 2 Rattles
  • Rubber duckie
  • Vtech Laptop
  • Soother
  • 4 Ice cube trays
  • Stack and Roll Cups
  • Infant Bath
  • 22 VHS movies
  • 11 Place mats
  • Tablecloth
  • Law and Order board game
  • Red Christmas stocking
  • Zippo lighter
  • Large blue candle
  • TV antenna
  • 3 Gym bags
  • 3 Piece serving trays
  • 2 green fleece pillows
  • 4 Hats
  • 3 Jackets
  • CD player
  • Double cassette player
  • Knife set
  • Black purse
  • Wood shot glass holder
During the organization and purging of our basement for this sale, a lot of items from our basement were thrown away. Of what didn't sell, we decided to throw away 5 items (insulated bag, table lamp, broken microwave, Palm Handheld and a remote to a TV that we haven't owned in years. I have no idea why that was saved in the first place.

On Monday morning, I took another 3 bags to Goodwill which consisted of the following:
  • Wool blanket
  • 6 Sweaters
  • 6 Pairs of jeans
  • 1 Pair of pants
  • 1 T-shirt
  • 2 Ties
  • 2 Belts
  • 2 Sweatshirts
  • 1 Wife beater shirt
  • 30 Pairs of socks
This morning, I took 100 hardback books (mostly fiction) to ARC and another 100 will go on Wednesday.

Now, the trash stuff.
While going through our basement determining the items that would be included in the yard sale, I came across a lot of "bags of bags." These are gift bags from our wedding, bridal shower, baby shower and Sam's birthdays that I hadn't had the heart to throw away since they were so nice and I had hoped to reuse. Of course, there was no way that we would EVER reuse all of bags, so we just tossed them out. I bet there must have been at least 50 bags that were taking up valuable space in our basement. - 50 Items
Now they are GONE and good riddance.

I uncovered a few plastic bins that held scrapbook paper that was not fully utilized for our wedding. I must have thrown away 3/4 of that stuff- 40 Items

We also had a bin that was so filled with Christmas decorations that we NEVER use, that it had buckled. Getting rid of that stuff was very liberating- 56 Items

There were also about 35 boxes of things that were housing what we sold or donated. Also, 30+ hangers were on clothes that I removed before donating. I'm counting all those too.

I'm going to continue to go through the rest of the unsold items and take them to Goodwill and ARC in batches.

Also,  trash day is tomorrow, so we are going to move all of our trash items to the corner in the morning. I just hope that the garbage man doesn't have a coronary when he sees all of our items.

1,031 Items have been removed from our home.

Here is the breakdown.
Sold- 214 Items (68 from the Consignment Sale)
Donated- 595 Items (which isn't even everything)
Given to Daycare- 6 Items
Snagged by Grandma- 1 Jacket
Trash- 215

Monday, August 22, 2011

Photo Session

Due to a scheduling error (on the part of our photographer) we did not have our scheduled session at Hudson Gardens on Saturday morning.

We decided to stay and I took some pictures of my boys on my own.

Hopefully during the professional photo session, I can actually be in some of them.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Purge and Organization - This Weekend and Beyond

Sunday is the BIG YARD SALE for the Wilson Family. 

After this huge purge of items from our household, I don't want our home to go back to how it looked before; full of items that we don't use, never dust and just put up with. I would like a house that doesn't take us a few weeks to get ready to have company come over.

Because of that, I have put together a weekly checklist of things that will be done EVERY WEEK to avoid digging the same hole that we are getting out of now.

I'm going to print and laminate this sheet so that it can be reused weekly with a dry erase pen and a clipboard.

Weekly Cleaning Checklist


¬ Change and launder bath mats, towels and washcloths

¬ Clean toilets, bathtubs and sinks

¬ Wipe mirrors


¬ Change and launder sheets and pillowcases

¬ Dust surfaces, including furniture, objects and light fixtures

¬ Keep up on laundry- wash/ dry/ fold/ put away

Dining Room:

¬ Dust surfaces including light fixtures and chairs

Entryways, Stairs, and Hallways:

¬ Dust staircase banisters and light fixtures


¬ Dust surfaces and objects, light fixtures and electronics


¬ Discard food and beverage past expiration date

¬ Wipe surfaces, including sink, counter tops, vent hood, refrigerator

Living/Family Room:

¬ Vacuum upholstery

¬ Dust surfaces and objects, light fixtures and electronics

Throughout the house:

¬ Vacuum/Mop the floor and vents

¬ Wash the windows

¬ Empty the trash

Monday, August 15, 2011

Consignment Pickup and Yard Sale

Lst night, I went to pick up the items that did not sell during the weekend's JBF Consignment sale, and I'm happy to say that, most items sold; especially the higher ticketed items.
This, unfortunately, leaves me more items to sell at our ONE DAY YARD SALE on Sunday, August 21st from 7am - 4pm.

  • Biggest portion of items will be boy's clothes (sizes NB - 24 months)- hundreds!!
  • Electronics
  • Furniture
  • Toys
  • CDs
  • VHS Movies
  • Fiction/nonfiction books (paperback and hardback)
  • Shot glasses
  • Bread Maker and other small appliances
  • Kitchen and household items
Everything is negotiable!
Everything has to go!

Please e-mail me at wilberta2006@yahoo.com and let me know if you are interested and I will forward you the address.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Consignment Dropoff

During the many consignment events that I have attended, I don't think that I have ever seen the volume of goods that I saw last night as I dropped off Sam's clothes that we are selling to benefit his 529 college savings account.
I wish that they had let me shop as I was organizing his clothes by size and putting them on the appropriate racks.

I must resist!!

We are getting rid of most of Sam's outgrown stuff (and a lot of other items during our garage sale on the 21st), so that we can make room in our basement to have another playroom and a sewing desk (once Brian builds it).

Monday, August 8, 2011

Operation Minimize- Week 32 (325-327) and Consignment Update

On Friday afternoon, I received a response to my Craigslist posting to sell the Chicco Cortina KeyFit 30 Travel System. She wanted to know more about it and didn't seem to want to haggle.

I talked to her on Saturday and she came over on Sunday afternoon and purchased all 3 pieces for my asking price of $150.

What Got Sold (Proceeds Going to Sam's College Fund)
  • KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat
  • Cortina Stroller
  • Car Seat Base
3 Items

Consignment Update
I have organized, hung on hangers and tagged 180 items of Sam's (clothes, hats, socks and toys) that I'm taking over to the Just Between Friends Aurora! consignment sale.

Everything that we don't sell at that sale, will be added to our garage/yard sale items to head out the door on the 21st.

The 180 items is not everything of Sam's that we are trying to sell. That's just all I have been able to process.

If you know anyone that needs Newborn through 18 month items, let them know that there will be a ton on sale near Tower & Hampden on August 21st, ONLY!

Items at the garage/yard sale will include:
  • Toys/Rattles
  • Newborn through 18 month boys clothes (all seasons including shoes)
  • Electronics
  • Books
  • Furniture
  • Shot glasses
  • Recreational items
  • Small appliances
  • Kitchen and household items
  • And many more items!!

Everything is negotiable! Everything has to go!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Current And Next Big Project

We just signed a contract with JDI Windows to replace every window in our house. They are giving us an amazing deal!!

Our house was built in 1987 and the windows are foggy and have a grid pattern. I'm not the biggest fan of that, since I would actually like to SEE out of the windows, so we decided to finally have them replaced.

Besides the look, we wanted to check out the other benefits of replacing the windows.

Added Value
The value of your home will increase as a result of installing new windows. You will see greater resale value in your home and property.

Reduced Maintenance
You may choose windows designed for quick and easy cleaning and maintenance.

Reduced energy bills
Windows are one of the main sources for heat loss in homes. Your home can become significantly more energy efficient, saving you money on costly heating and cooling bills.

Tax Rebate
Even though the government needs to stop spending money, I'll take this rebate. According to my research,

For 2011, the tax credit for qualified energy efficiency improvements will cover up to 10% of the total cost of replacement windows, up to a total of $500 ($200 maximum for windows alone, $500 for energy efficient windows and doors).
I'll just have to find the proper paperwork.

Reduced Noise
The tighter seals of new windows will reduce street noise.

The next step is having another measuring of our windows (to within 1/8"), which will occur tomorrow, so that the windows are properly ordered and fit correctly.

We were told that the install date would probably be a month out and replacing all the windows would take a full day. I just hope that the weather cooperates.

Next Project- Bathroom
Since we are coming into the Fall/Winter seasons, I'm guessing that the bathroom will be the next project that we tackle. 
I just love the look of this double sink and hope that we can do something like that (------>) with our bathroom. Of course, now with 3 people in our house, taking turns brushing our teeth with 1 sink takes forever.

Currently, we have a single sink with a long counter on either side. We also have a huge mirror that likes to pull away from the wall and rest on the counter. It looks horrible. Plus, we don't clean it as often as we should, so it has a ton of toothpaste dots and smudges. Yuck!!

I'd also like to have the carpet taken out, linoleum installed and the wall and door between the sink and toilet/shower taken out to extend the size of the bathroom. I would even be interested in removing the pocket door to the master bedroom removed for more wall space. Convincing Brian of all this would be a job in and of itself, but here's to a girl with a dream. :)

I'm not sure how much of the plumbing work Brian could complete without professional help, but I 'd love to find out and minimize the cost.

Later this year (since I'm expecting a monetary gift), I'm hoping to start working on this by my birthday in November.

We are planning on going to the new Ikea store on Sunday afternoon, so I'm probably going to be looking over bathroom ideas there.

Don't tell Brian, but I'm hoping to find a new bedroom set as well. I'm kind of sick of the "western" theme.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Common Myth Debunked

I bet that you were told, like I was, that old glass runs and is thicker at the bottom of a window than at the top.

What prompted me to look into this?? I was watching Pawn Stars on the History Channel last night and Rick said that this was a myth. Since Rick "the pawn guy" is not the person I go to for educational information, I had to check it out myself.

According to Corning Incorporated, the world leader in specialty glass and ceramics, there are several reasons why the myth doesn't make sense.
  1. Liquids flow because there are no strong forces holding their molecules together. Their molecules can move freely past one another, so that liquids can be poured, splashed around, and spilled. But, unlike the molecules in conventional liquids, the atoms in glasses are all held together tightly by strong chemical bonds. It is as if the glass were one giant molecule. This makes glasses rigid so they cannot flow at room temperatures. Thus, the analogy fails in the case of fluidity and flow.
  2. Although the individual pieces of glass in a window may be uneven in thickness, and noticeably wavy, these effects result simply from the way the glasses were made.
  3. One also wonders why this alleged thickening is confined to the glass in cathedral windows. Why don't we find that Egyptian cored vessels or Hellenistic and Roman bowls have sagged and become misshapen after lying for centuries in tombs or in the ground? Those glasses are 1,000–2,500 years older than the cathedral windows.
  4. Speaking of time, just how long should it take—theoretically—for windows to thicken to any observable extent? The calculation showed that if a plate of glass a meter tall and a centimeter thick was placed in an upright position at room temperature, the time required for the glass to flow down so as to thicken 10 angstrom units at the bottom (a change the size of only a few atoms) would theoretically be about the same as the age of the universe: close to ten billion years. Similar calculations, made more recently, lead to similar conclusions. But such computations are perhaps only fanciful. It is questionable that the equations used to calculate rates of flow are really applicable to the situation at hand.
When all is said and done, the story about stained glass windows flowing—just because glasses have certain liquid-like characteristics—is an appealing notion, but in reality it just isn't so.

- According to the The Corning Museum of Glass

Monday, August 1, 2011

Garage/Yard Sale- Sunday, August 21st

Now that I'm getting ready to sell Sam's baby things (clothes, car seat, stroller, etc.) at the consignment sale on the 10th, I'm going to be scouring the basement to get rid of things for our Garage/Yard Sale on Sunday, August 21st from 7am to Noon.

We have so many things in our basement that haven't been touched since we moved them there from our old apartment.

If you are looking for the following, please keep the above date in mind and e-mail me at wilberta2006@yahoo.com for our address.

  • CDs
  • VHS tapes
  • Furniture
  • Cross country skis
  • Clothes
  • Computer
  • Monitor
  • Printer
  • Microwave
  • Shot glasses
  • Any leftover baby items that don't sell at the consignment sale.

Keep your calender open!