Monday, April 18, 2011

I wish I had thought of this sooner...

I have a couple of household tips to share with you today, but I must start by saying that we are having glorious weather here, and it is so nice to sit here with the windows open while I write, a cold beer, and a sleeping (or almost sleeping) child tucked safely into bed. Here in Vegas we get about two weeks in the spring and two weeks in the fall when we can actually have the windows open, so you have to jump at the chance to air the house out.

Now down to the homekeeping tips. I was washing dishes today and had a rare stroke of genius. I pre-wash every dish within an inch of it's life before loading it into the dishwasher. I am sure this is not completely necessary, but I use the dishwasher as the final sanitation process of dishes. (No, I would prefer not to hear your comments about wasting water, out here if you even water your rock landscaping on the wrong day the water police come after you, so if I want to use water in the privacy of my home leave me alone). More often than I care to admit, the dishes do not get done right after dinner, which means that there are dried bits on the silverware (especially the fork tongs) that need to be soaked off before I can wash them. By more often, I mean every night, which is a habit I would like to change, but I digress...

So today I discovered a small tip that made my life much easier. I removed the silverware basket from the dishwasher, loaded it up, and soaked the whole thing. Then, when the rest of the dishes were in the diswasher, I could just spray it down and plop it in the machine. It saved me so much time compared to washing each piece individually! It's the little things in life that bring so much joy.

The next tip is a small office in the kitchen. I have yet to find a desk I love, so I have devoted a space in the kitchen to an office space, and I try to make use of every square inch. The insides of the cabinet doors have been turned into valuable workhorses, and here is how I did it. I mounted a couple of cork strips using command adhesive so as not to damage them, and that is where I put those annoying scraps of paper that otherwise would have no home, the mail key, and other random things. Also, my mom just gave me a pack of these post it pockets that are amazing! They use post it adhesive, so they won't damage the walls or cabinets, and they are great for stashing receipts, recipes, coupons, or anything else that is in standby mode waiting for it's permanent home. They were giving them away at the last NASCAR race, but you can buy them at staples:

Here is the inside of the cabinet

Making every inch in your home count leads to a more organized home, and since I am "clutter challenged", I'll take all the help I can get!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Not Vain Enough

VAIN adj \ˈvān\
having or showing undue or excessive pride in one's appearance or achievements

I have decided that I am not "vain" enough. While vanity is often regarded as a negative trait, perhaps even a personality flaw, I have come to notice that the same can be said of a lack of vanity. Think about it: if you have or show an "excessive pride in one's appearance", it gives the impression that you actually care enough about your appearance to pay attention to it.
If this is sounding a bit confusing, let me provide you with a story that led me to think that I am perhaps not vain enough, and what I intend to do about it. About a month or so ago, I was watching "Holly's World", a reality show starring Holly Madison of former "Girls Next Door" fame. She was celebrating her birthday, and being a big Holly fan, I was surprised to realize that I never knew she was my age. "Look at her" I said to my husband. "What about her?" "She's MY age", I replied. "And she looks amazing!!". Now my husband, who is honest to a fault, not one to pump me up just for the sake of pumping me up, had just the right response, not some "you look beautiful just the way you are" BS response. He looked at me, slightly puzzled, and said "Um...yeah...It takes EFFORT to look that way".
And he was right. It does take effort, effort that I have not been willing to put forth. I am inherently lazy, it takes every ounce of energy I have simply to wash my face before bed. I look older than I am, while I am thin I am so out of shape I can barely make it up a flight of stairs, and I regularly proclaim how "haggard" I am.
Despite what anyone may say, how you look on the outside does indeed affect how you feel on the inside. It would be lovely if we all actually believed that what is inside is all that matters, but it doesn't. Who doesn't feel special when they put on a new dress, or when your face is glowing, or you have a new pair of shoes on? I'm not sure I want to look like a Real Housewife, but I do admire the amount of time they spend on themselves. So I am doing something about it. I don't want to use "I'm haggard, I have a 4 year old" as an excuse to be lazy anymore. I want to look great, spend more time on my appearance, and feel great about it.
I have joined an overpriced luxury gym that opens next month. I specifically chose this gym because I like things that are shiny and new, and I like to go where pretty people are. I could have joined the gym around the corner where it would be a drudgery, but the overpriced gym will be an experience - for heaven's sake, you can even get botox there. So if going to the fancy gym is what it takes to get me to go, get healthy, stay fit for my son who would appreciate it if I could actually play with him without getting winded, all the while getting a much better body, I'll do it. Vanity is not necessarily a bad thing, and I think that quite a few of us could use a good dose of it. My husband is right. If you want to take pride in your appearance, you have to work at it.