Decluttering Project

For those that have been following my recent blog posts, you will remember I have finally taken a stab at reorganizing my craft area. I’ve also decided to try again and post more regularly or at least more often again. It’s a bit of a challenge if you have your day job, committees at said day job, family commitments, a burgeoning collection of hobbies, and many other things going on in life. Also, I found that I have inadvertently allowed myself to be designated as the responsible person in my family. Unfortunately, I have a nasty habit of forgetting things and letting things slide. This blog is living proof of that habit. I just kind of stopped posting for a while and next thing, I realize that it has been two years. So, in the spirit of keeping myself on track and getting things done, I decided to go back to the old ways and made myself a planner/ organizer.

And you would say “but isn’t there an app for that?”, and that would totally make sense. I have a smartphone that has a calendar, downloadable apps for one thing and another, I’ve even tried keeping a Cozi family calendar once. Although having the calendar on my phone is quite helpful in reminding me which days I work, what time the meetings are and where to go, and an app for making to do lists and shopping lists and such are useful as well, it just doesn’t feel the same to me. I feel I am able to think more logically and plan better when I am able to write things down. I still like being able to look things up on my phone or computer but the ability to write it down on paper really helps my brain remember things and make it feel more real somehow.

I found this on Pinterest a few years back and thought it would be a good copycat idea. I also found some sites that have free downloadable pages that you can resize to a full 8 1/2 x 11 or a half page ( 5 1/2 x 8 1/2). I also found this little binder I have kept throughout the years.

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Not quite a big fan of the purple so I painted it with gesso while I was trying to decide how to bedazzle it.

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I didn’t want to make it look too eye-catching since I might be whipping it out in public once in a while and I really prefer not to be silently judged by ┬ápeople around me when I do that. I found some pretty papers that are a bit low-key. I used some mod podge to glue it to the binder, and painted a layer over the whole thing afterwards to make the paper stronger and keep it from being torn when I am carrying it around in my bag.

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The mod podge gives the whole binder a sort of leathery texture which is perfect for the patterns on the paper.

I downloaded and printed out the planner pages, used my 3-hole puncher for the binder holes, and stuck some post-it notes in the pocket, and some of these tab thingies for flagging important things in the binder. I cut a piece of velcro in half, stuck one half onto the binder with some permanent glue dots, and stuck the other portion onto a pen. That way, I always have one accessible and I would have a spot to keep it.

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Here’s a closer look at the tabbed sections (which need a bit more work) and the different planner pages.

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I used a weekly type schedule planner, a weekly meal planner, and a weekly blog planner as well. The “projects” planner page was made a while back using excel to plan the boxes. There is also a section towards the very back for notes like websites or whatever else.

The link for the planner pages are from here. They are mostly PDF’s that can be resized to fit whichever size you make your organizer to be.

Hopefully, this little guy can help me stay organized and on track in the days ahead. It’s still a work in progress so eventually, some pages may be revised depending on what’s needed. Now, if only organizing the rest of the house were that easy.

Sibling Revelry

There are as many benefits as there are consequences to growing up with an older brother like mine. I hesitate to admit it but sometimes the benefits somehow outweigh the consequences, sometimes in ways that seem sort of wrong. Take for instance my ability to elicit a response from a very sedated patient with a slight squeeze or a pinch of the leg or arm without causing the slightest bruise. Growing up with an older brother helped me learn just where it will hurt the most. Handy knowledge to have if said brother likes to play wrestling matches or tickle fights with a seemingly puny-looking little sister.
Truth be told, my brother and I are pretty typical as far as growing up together goes. We have our ups and downs. Throughout the years I have learned his ways and adjusted myself to his personality. Not many people know when it’s ok to be around him and when to start running for the hills. I seem to be one of the very few people that do. Knowing what annoys him and when not to do it can also spell the difference between a potential all-out 30-minute war to a whole day of mindless entertainment, for me anyway.

So in the spirit of Sibling Revelry, I present you these:

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And as with all sibling relationships, be it a sister or a brother, one does have to admit there are plenty of good moments shared. I remember quite a few I shared with my brother throughout the years. I remember laughing together like two fools all night at random things on TV which would drive our parents crazy, our hearty, incessant giggles and guffaws drowning out the sounds from the tv show. I also remember exploring the backyard on the property where our Uncle’s house was (which back then was a great big no no). We would climb the trees, gather fruit, and just run around looking for adventure. I recall my brother and I discovering a litter of kittens in the crawlspace under our house, my brother giving them funny names like ganja and chronic (I found out later in life what they meant).

He was (and still is) one of my teachers in life as well. He taught me how to play chess, poker, and black jack. He also taught me that putting ketchup in pancit almost makes it taste like spaghetti, and the right amount of cheese goes perfect mixed into a bowl of ramen noodles. I have learned from him that if it’s too good to be true, it most usually is, and cartoons are closer to real life than you think.

So growing up with a big brother isn’t really as bad as I used to think it was. Looking back now with a different perspective, I can see that despite how much I deny it, my brother was (and still is) a big part of what I am now… whether I like it or not.

Throwback Thursday

I just found out a few weeks ago that another aunt of mine has started her own Facebook page recently. I found out because I saw a friend request from her. It was a mixture of pride and trepidation for me: proud that my aunt is still hip enough to be into social media at her age and trepidation that my mom might bring up the topic of helping her set up her own page as well. For now, my mom connects through my niece’s account and fortunately for my brother and I, neither one of them have access or ability to post photos without the help of my brother or his wife. And I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that sometimes it’s a good thing. I already have enough people posting incriminating photos of me online (myself included). At least my brother and I try to edit out the cringe-worthy ones. Giving a parent access to social media is dangerous indeed, especially if said parent also has access to multiple albums full of childhood photos and captured moments of adolescent and pre-adolescent awkwardness. It’s like giving unlimited ammo to your own firing squad. It’s only a matter of time until she figures out how to upload pictures to my niece’s Facebook page. It didn’t take her too long back then to figure out how to send picture messages with her phone. Next thing you know, there will be regular Throwback Thursday posts of childhood memories that are best left unremembered. For now, I am safe… I hope.
A few years ago I started a Project Me album documenting my early years all the way towards adulthood and beyond. The album itself is still in its early stages but here are a few pages to get you started.

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For now, that’s as incriminating as it’s going to get for me (hopefully), until the day comes when my dear mother joins the social media world. Until then, I will enjoy the little peace of mind I have left on that matter.

Through the Looking Glass

Found these old photos of when we went on a family trip to Baguio. As usual, my dad is not in the picture. He was the only one who really knew how to operate the camera so usually he was on the other side of it. It’s no wonder there is not that many photos of him while we were growing up. Every now and then he will set up the tripod and use the timer so he can join in. I still picture him positioning the tripod and camera just so, take a peek at the viewfinder, fiddle with the lens, push a button here and there, peek again, set the flash, set the timer, get everyone to take a pose, press the timer button, check that the red light is blinking, run and join the group, remind everyone to smile, and FLASH! Memory captured. Usually you would find him on the side of a group shot looking so nonchalant. He gets to be so good at it eventually.

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These photos, though, were as usual, taken by him. Looking at the photos he has taken of us through the years, it gives me a little perspective into what he sees, not just through the viewfinder, but in the everyday. I catch a glimpse of his view of the world and life in general. It has helped me gain a little understanding of what kind of a man he was and has made me feel closer to him each time. It’s like sharing HIS memories in the truest sense.

Not in Kansas Anymore

The Seattle Seahawks won their first game of the season against the Green bay Packers this week. Normally, I don’t follow sports events or any particular sports teams but since we moved to Seattle, I have been infected by the 12th man fever. I haven’t gone as far as dropping major dollars for season tickets, or going out to bars to watch games, I don’t even have a Seahawks jersey. I do, however, enjoy watching people from Seattle show their team pride. Their enthusiasm is so inviting and you can’t help but cheer along with them.

And then of course, there is this:

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The view of Mt. Rainier I get to enjoy most mornings while driving home.

It’s a small wonder that after visiting here for my birthday in 2011, we have since made it a dream to live here someday. Less than 3 years later, we are home.

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And there will be so much more. Now that we live here, we have all the opportunity to explore more of the Emerald City in the days and years to come.

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