Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Whatever You Say by Leigh Fleming: A Review

I was thrilled when our one of our friends from West Virginia, Leigh Fleming, sent me a pre-release copy of her new book: Whatever You Say: A Highland Springs Romance.

Whatever You Say is the second in Leigh's Whatever series, and will be released one week from today, on April 4.  The first in the series is Whatever You Call Me, published last year, and the third, Whatever We Are is anticipated to be released later this year (Mrs. Fleming has been busy and productive, my friends.  Click here to sign up for Leigh's newsletter).


While this book is part of a series, it definitely stands on its own, taking a minor character, Kate McNamara, from Whatever You Call Me, and exploring her story.  Kate is an ambitious young attorney, aspiring to be the best, and fighting for a deserved promotion to senior associate, when she hears the news that her grandmother has broken her leg. Kate rushes to Highland Springs to help her grandmother recover, all while trying to keep up with her heavy case-load back in Washington, D.C.  Kate is the quintessential young professional, who is too busy focusing on her career to even think about love.

Of course, this is a romance, so we need a handsome and slightly mysterious love interest for Kate: enter Brody, a successful songwriter, who has given up his music writing career and returned home to Highland Springs, where he delivers firewood to little old ladies and serves on the community center board.  Our heroine, driven career woman Kate, just can't figure Brody out, but as she gets to know him better her intrigue increases until she can't resist.

I really liked this book.  The characters were unique, likable, and memorable, but most of all, real.  They were multifaceted: human and flawed, but also wonderful--I found myself really falling in love with Kate and Brody, and rooting for them.  The story was well planned and executed, and while I pretty much guessed how the book would end (spoiler alert--it's a romance.  It's practically required that there be a happy ending), I had to keep reading to see how the story got there.  No, seriously.  I had to keep reading.  I finished the book in a day and a half.  Yup, it was that good.

On a personal note, I loved the setting in wild, wonderful West Virginia--Leigh's descriptions of rural West Virginia were so poignant and beautiful, and it brought back great memories.  And I really loved how Leigh incorporated names of her friends and family, many of whom I know personally, into the book (feel free to write me into your next one, Leigh :-) ).

Bottom line: a fun, lighthearted, can't-put-it-down read--perfect for the beach or cabin. Book candy. 

Thanks so much for inviting me to read your book, Leigh!  I am really looking forward to reading Whatever We Are, and wish you the best.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Menu plan for the week of March 27

Hi everyone.  So we tried the Trader Joe's Mandarin Chicken last week, and it was pretty good.  Two of us loved it, one of us liked it, if there wasn't too much sauce, one thought it was ok, and the other prefered the chicken tenders from Aldi (I think he would have liked it if it had no sauce, and since the sauce is packaged separately, that would have been doable).  Of course now I'm kind of afraid to try any of the other frozen entrees from TJ's, because Mandarin Chicken is supposedly the best they have.  I probably should have started with not-the-best.  Oh well.

I think the sap season is just about over.  I'm seeing just 3 days in the 15 day forecast that are predicted to fall below freezing, and those are all just below.  I've got three more gallons of sap ready to go, but I'm going to wait and see on those few days before I cook it. Whether or not we get more, I'm happy with this year's syrup production, at just over 2 quarts.  That's enough to give some away and still have some for me to use.  So...I guess I have to start pulling out all those maple-syrup-sweetened recipes.

Here's what's on the menu this week:

Supper:

Other:

Friday, March 24, 2017

This week in crazy dreams (3)

They're baaaaack!  Well, maybe not--only one dream this week, but it was definitely crazy.  For your reading pleasure, I present: this week's crazy dream.

I brought Hubby along with me on a mystery shopping assignment and it was going poorly. I was supposed to interact with four different employees in four different departments, but there were only two employees on the sales floor.  Even if there had been more, because of the small size of the store, it would have been extremely awkward for me to try to engage with four different people.

Just when I was thinking there was no way I could complete this assignment, I noticed 4 or 5 employees congregating near the back of the store. As I made my way over, more people kept joining the meeting until there were 9 or 10 of them.  Where had these people been hiding?!  When I was close enough to hear, they opened the door and stormed out angrily because they had all been fired.  Yup, all of them, which left this tall, pale, creepy looking guy who had missed a spot shaving as the lone employee/owner.

As Hubby and I left, me contemplating how I was going to write about that in my report, Chef Robert Irvine of Restaurant Impossible burst in to save the day.  I stepped in a puddle and saw the swarm of fired-employees on and around a red convertible in the parking lot, and they started singing, Grease-style.



John Travolta was so young...

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Feeling homesteadish

I finished another 2 half pints of syrup the other day.  This is the first time that I've actually been able to keep accurate count of the number of gallons of sap I've cooked--always before it's been a best guess estimate.  So this time, I cooked 6 gallons of sap to yield about 2 cups of syrup.  Using that ratio, it would take around 48 gallons of sap to yield one gallon of syrup.  Not that we're going to make one gallon.  Nope.  I promised.  Only 2 3 quarts.

In other news, I've finally convinced myself that yes, I do want chickens, and yes, I'm willing to deal with all of the stuff that goes along with having chickens.  And by stuff, I mean more than chicken poop.  To that end, I've begun frequenting chicken keeping supply stores to get a feel for what kind of equipment I might want.  It was during one of those forays that I discovered that one can buy empty cardboard egg cartons at stores that sell chicken supplies.  The cost at my local store?  Forty-five cents each.  I bought a filled-up-with-eggs cardboard egg carton at my local discount grocery store for fifty-three cents the other day.  I just...um...I'm saving my egg cartons.

Now, just because I am willing to deal with all the stuff, including poop, that goes along with having chickens, does not mean that Hubby is.  His part is actually pretty simple (but time consuming), and mostly on the front end: building the coop.  But he doesn't have time to build the coop.  Next year, he tells me (or actually, I might have a coop in the fall, ready for chicks next spring).

One of my boys jokingly asked me if I was going to start keeping bees too, now that I've pulled the trigger on the chickens.  Little did he know that, yes, I've considered bee keeping, too, especially after I discovered that this exists:
It's a gravity-assisted-harvest bee hive.  Because harvesting is the hardest part, in my opinion.  Squee!


Guess I'd better start saving...

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Lenten Practice Update: Week 3


As I mentioned in this post, I've committed, during the season of Lent, to finding 10 things a day, Monday through Friday, to get rid of.  Here's how I'm doing.


On Wednesday, I went through the boys' bathroom.  I was absolutely shocked to see the number of medications we had that were expired.  Total number of items: 17
  • Pair of holey boots (these were sitting on the boot dryer over the register--why did I put them on the boot dryer rather than throwing them away in the first place?  Don't know)
  • 13 expired over the counter and prescription meds (our community has a drug take-back program, so I dropped mine off on Thursday.  Click here for information on safely disposing of unused medications)
  • 3 bath toys

On Thursday, I looked around the laundry room for some clutter.  Total number of items: 11
  • 2 pencil nubs not worth sharpening anymore
  • 2 dried up dry erase markers
  • 2 expired coupons
  • Empty bug spray bottle
  • Empty sun screen bottle
  • Huge paper valentine
  • Hat that I don't wear anymore
  • Mittens that I don't wear anymore

On Friday, I continued looking for clutter in the mud room.  Total number of items: 11
  • Empty seed packet
  • Discarded clothing tag
  • Pair of worn out gloves
  • 2 gloves without mates
  • one pair of fleece gloves no one wants
  • 3 winter hats no one wants
  • one poor abandoned flip flop
  • one red plastic thing (no one knows what it is--it's probably not important...)

On Monday evening, I was hanging out with AKD while he cleaned his bike, and I organized the shelves out in the garage that I think of as "my" shelves, because it's mostly my stuff on them.  Total number of items: 17
  • 2 broken sprayer nozzles (no worries, we still have three (count 'em, three) that are not broken)
  • 7 unmatched, holey, or too-small garden gloves
  • 2 pairs of ice skates (these are being donated to Bubby's school)
  • pair of rollerblades
  • 2 almost empty bottles of chemicals
  • a handful of potting soil (technically, I kept this, since I threw it out in the yard, but it's out of the house!)
  • an old iPad screen protector (this was the surprise of the day--no idea why it was out there)
  • a paper grocery bag of at least 2 dozen pinecones that I was saving for a project. 1) I can get new pinecones if I decide to do the project.  It is like they grow on trees, and 2) I had forgotten that they were even there, so if I did decide to do the project, I would have gone out and collected new ones anyway.

On Tuesday, I collected some worn out and extra sheet sets and towels.  If you have old towels or blankets you're looking to get rid of, check with your local Humane Society or animal shelter.  I also found a few other miscellaneous items.  Total number of items: 13

  • 2 sets of sheets
  • 2 single sheets
  • 2 random pillowcases
  • 3 hand towels
  • 3 wash cloths
  • picture frame
  • 4 toys 



Total this week: 69
Three week total: 232

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Uncluttering my inbox

Y'all know I'm uncluttering my house during Lent, but what I haven't shared is that I'm also uncluttering my email inbox.  Like a lot of people, I use my email inbox as sort of a to-do list.  Each email in my inbox represents a task I need to accomplish or something I need to remember.  Admittedly, this works well for lots of people.  For me though?  Not so much.

I know folks who routinely keep 100 or more emails in their inboxes.  Mine was consistently around 30 or 40, and it was overwhelming.  See, the problem is, while each of the emails represents something I need to do or remember, it's not always readily apparent from the subject just what that is.  So in order to access my "to-do" list, I need to read the emails.  When there are 30 to 40 emails to sift through, and I need to read each of them every time I want to figure out why I'm saving each one, and if I still need to save it, that wastes a lot of time.  And then there was the constant low-level anxiety because I was always afraid I was forgetting about something--I would lose important emails in the noise of dozens of less important ones.

Image Source
So I set a goal to keep my email inbox to 5 or fewer read emails.  Remember that guy, who is probably a professional at something?  You know, the one who says if a task will take you 2 minutes or less you should do it right away?  Yeah.  I'm doing that now, at least with regard to my email inbox.

So now, if I get an email that tells me the date for something, I put it on my calendar and delete the email.  Right then.  If I get an email receipt for an online purchase, or a notice for a bill that's paid automatically, I make a note of the amount, then delete the email, right then--if I need the details, I can look them up online.  If I get an email telling me that my order has shipped, I keep it until the package arrives, then delete it.  If I get an email from some company that I don't want to hear from, I unsubscribe and delete.  Right then.  If I get an email, the subject of which I need to discuss with someone, I make a note on our whiteboard that I need to talk to that person, and then I delete the email.  Right then.  Unless, of course, I need to send a response.

If I get an email that I want to be able to refer back to in the future (like travel plans), but that I don't want cluttering my inbox, I will forward the email to myself, changing the subject to something that will remind me what the email is about.  My email program is set to automatically save a copy of all sent emails, and then when I need to reference that particular email, I can use the search function to easily find it in my sent folder.

It's been working so far, and I am pleased.  My inbox has stayed below 5 emails since I started this project.  I feel so.much.better not having all of those read emails hanging over my head, taunting me.

How about you?  How many emails are in your inbox right now?  Does that number bother you?

Monday, March 20, 2017

Menu plan for the week of March 20

Happy spring, everyone!  We put away the snowblower yesterday, so I guess we're finally conceding on this supposed winter.  It's all good, though.  There are so many great reasons to love spring--I'm starting to translate amorphous wishes to specific garden plans (AKD wants cucumbers and sugar snap peas this year... Actually I should probably get started on the peas, since they like cooler weather).  And, of course, there's the sap.  The only unfortunate thing about spring is the fact that it means the hot is coming.

I went to TJ's last week.  I had dark chocolate peanut butter cups in my hand, but then I decided to go for something with maybe a little less sugar, and a lot more protein.  Every time I've asked my friends or googled, "what should I buy at Trader Joe's," Mandarin Orange Chicken has come up.  Every single time.  In fact, Mandarin Orange Chicken won favorite overall in Trader Joe's 2016 Customer Choice Awards.  So I had to buy it.  And we're eating it this week.  Let's see if the food lives up to the hype.  And I'll just have to try those dark chocolate peanut butter cups next month--they won favorite candy, after all.

Supper:



Other:

Friday, March 17, 2017

No crazy dreams this week

Hi friends.  No crazy dreams for you this week.  I am aware of having dreamed this week, but I couldn't remember any of them after waking up (except that I know one of them took place at church), so they must not have been too crazy.  I know you're disappointed, but the crazy dreams are definitely cyclical for me, so I'm sure they'll be back.

In the meantime, the sap is running again.  I guess it's fairly typical to have several distinct sap runs in one season, as the temperatures fluctuate, but since that didn't happen the first time we made syrup, it seems foreign to me.  I have to say that, after navigating through my initial surprise, I am enjoying this drawn-out, stop and go sap season.  It's nice to be able to take significant breaks in the sap-cooking schedule without having to worry about the sap piling up.  As I mentioned, I finished six half pints, plus a little extra, last week (halfway to my goal) and I'm eager to get back to work soon.

In other news, Bubby and I went out on Wednesday after school to check the taps, just in case.  The temperature Wednesday popped above freezing briefly, so although we didn't think the sap would be running, we wanted to make sure.

As we were walking from front to back, somehow the subject of chickens came up, and Bubby made it clear that he really, really wants our family to have chickens.  I'm not certain why he wants chickens--I do know he wants a pet, and maybe he's latched on to chickens as the pet most likely to be parent-approved.  He even offered to give me all his money so we could get chickens, AND offered to help take care of them, so you know he's serious.

As you may know, I occasionally chicken-sit for friends.  It's fun and all, and I love hanging with the girls, but I just haven't been ready to get some of my own.  After Bubby's announcement, I started doing a little more rigorous research into the costs involved.  Once the flock is established, costs are minimal, but start-up is pretty steep.  Not as steep as getting, say, a pedigreed dog, but definitely more involved than getting a goldfish.

I want a flock of chickens and all of their supplies, including a coop, to drop from the sky, fully formed.  I don't want to have to order chicks in the mail and drop everything to pick them up at the post office.  I don't want to have to keep them under a heat lamp, worry about them getting sick, or pooping in their food or drowning in their water.  I don't want to have to worry about the transition from brooder to coop, or deal with the first weird, malformed eggs.  I don't want to have to worry about rodents infesting the coop or predators eating my chickens.  I don't want to have to deal with spilled food and frozen water.  I don't want to have to decide what to do with the hens when they stop laying.  I just want adult hens to magically appear and start laying eggs, and continue to lay eggs in good health until they are taken up into heaven a la Elijah.

If I am going to have chickens, I want the universe to super-duper pinky promise me that the experience will be problem-free.  I cannot deal with any more yuckiness than what is already present in my world.

*Sigh*

We seem to be heading that way, toward owning chickens.  It seems inevitable that we'll have some someday.  I just don't think I'm ready yet.  So I remain ambivalent.

Happy "Everybody's Irish" Day from me, Gardening Without Skills, and this weird caped chicken.
photo credit

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Lenten Practice Update: Week 2


As I mentioned in this post, I've committed, during the season of Lent, to finding 10 things a day, Monday through Friday, to get rid of.  Here's how I'm doing.

Wednesday we did some decluttering in Bubby's bedroom, and found clothing that's either too small for him or that he would never wear.  These clothes are in good condition, and will make someone very happy to find at the thrift store, especially the pants (it is so rare to find used pants in Bubby's size with the knees still intact).  He also found a couple of toys he wanted to give away.  Total number of items: 19
  • 16 pieces of clothing
  • 2 toys
  • 1 too-small costume

Thursday I reorganized our spices--generally I buy bulk spices and refill our spice containers, so I refilled all the containers and was able to throw away some packaging.  I threw away some boxes of crumbs that someone had put back in the cupboard, and a box of crackers that had been in the cupboard, open, for a few months, with no progress toward finishing them.  I also found some miscellaneous kitchen gadgets to get rid of.  Total number of items: 10
  • 2 kitchen gadgets
  • 4 empty spice packages
  • 3 empty cracker boxes
  • 1 open box of stale crackers that no one will eat

On Thursday, I finished some syrup and canned it, which reminded me that I had too many canning rings--they're not supposed to be stored on the jars, so I keep them in a plastic canister.  My container was overflowing, so on Friday, I sorted through my canning rings and discarded those that were rusty or dented.  Total number of items: 15, and now I have room for all of the remaining rings in their container.


On Monday, I was back in Bubby's bedroom.  There were still some things stored on a high shelf in his closet that had been in the room when it was our guest bedroom, so I cleared off that shelf and decided we could get rid of most of it.  Total number of items: 30

  • Broken plastic storage box
  • Broken ceramic figure (I would have saved this and put it back together, but we didn't have all of the pieces)
  • 3 hooks
  • flannel sheet set
  • about 2 dozen wooden letters that I saved for a project that I am never going to actually do.

On Tuesday, I tackled the shelves on the right side of my closet.  Total number of items: 12
  • 2 cardboard boxes
  • 5 pieces of clothing
  • 2 packs of stale gum
  • small container of hand sanitizer
  • reusable shopping bag
  • 1 purse

Total this week: 86
Two week total: 163

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Adventure in Mexico

Last month, Sawblock and AKD went on a kayaking adventure near Veracruz, Mexico.  Here's their trip in pictures.

AKD is in the red PFD, green boat, yellow paddle.
Sawblock is in the blue PFD, white/purple/blue boat, black paddle.

Enjoy (and yes, there were definitely don't-tell-mom moments on this trip).

The Women of Easter: A Review


As y'all know, it's Lent.  For me, Lent is a time to go deeper in my relationship with God, and I do this in a few different ways.  This year, I read The Women of Easter: Encounter the Savior with Mary of Bethany, Mary of Nazareth, and Mary Magdalene by Liz Curtis Higgs.

This book recounts the story of the days before and following Jesus' crucifixion, paying special attention to the roles played by not just the three Marys, but many women, some named, some not named.  Ms. Higgs begins with the resurrection of Lazarus, and continues through Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem, His last supper with his friends, the crucifixion, following through to the resurrection. 

The book contains eight chapters, each prefaced by and titled based upon a snippet of a hymn.  The book also has a brief introduction and a study guide for personal reflection or group discussion.  In the book, the author walks the reader through the story, verse by verse, pulling in references from all four Gospels, and using many different translations for emphasis and elaboration.  Ms. Higgs' writing style is straight-forward and easy to understand, and I found this to be a quick read.

I really liked this book.  The story of Jesus' last few weeks is well documented and well known, but I think the roles that women played are often overlooked in the midst of the whole miraculous, grace-filled story.  I appreciated this look specifically at the women who were there--the women who remained faithful, even as the men fell away--that's something that I don't often think about, and something that is not often mentioned.  Ms. Higgs is adept at making the people of the Bible, who are usually just names to us, come to life in a real and personal way.

Bottom line: This easy to read book will give you a meaningful new perspective on the events that occurred surrounding Jesus' death and resurrection.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Spring Break 2017 & this week's menu plan

Well, the kids' spring break started off springy, but it went downhill from there, and now it's below freezing and there's snow on the ground.  It's been crazy weather this year, for sure.  

Here are some pics from spring break.  It was a fun and (sort of) relaxing week.









I finished six half pints of syrup on Thursday, after the cold snap halted sap production.  It was really nice to finish those off and have a bit of a break from cooking sap--special thanks to the weather for cooperating.  I'm thinking we'll have another sap run starting Wednesday or Thursday, and I'm hoping for around another 20 gallons before we're done.

Here's what's on the menu this week:

Supper:

Lunch/dessert/other:

Friday, March 10, 2017

This week in crazy dreams (2)

Here's this week's edition of the Scarlet's Crazy Dream show:

Saturday: You know those baby portraits by Anne Geddes? The ones where the babies are dressed like flowers, fruit, or cute animals? And bent at angles that would be impossible for a human adult to attain?  And they're usually diaper-less?  I was at the hospital because I had another baby (again with the babies), and I posed all of the babies who had been born that day (which was 9) into a question mark. It was super-Anne-Geddes-cute, except their skin was all mottled because they were cold. So I wrapped them all up in colorful fuzzy blankets.

Monday: I stood up to someone who had been marginalizing me for years. It felt womderful and horrible, and I was really glad when I woke up and realized it was just a dream.

Tuesday: We were at my parents' house, and Bubby needed stitches on his head.  I remember thinking, "poor Bubby. Why is it always Bubby?"  It was night, and while we were waiting for the doctor to call back (why would we wait instead of just going to the ER?  Good question), it became apparent that we had acquired several exotic pets, including a mini hippo and elephant (the size of guinea pigs), two seals, and some exotic fish that we removed from the freezer and were keeping in a pot on the stove (we were NOT cooking them, although the seals did want to eat them). Most of the dream consisted of Hubby and me sitting on the floor while new pets emerged and we fed them.  At one point, I remember thinking that we were completely out of vegetables, but then I remembered the romaine, which we then fed to a tortoise. Finally, it was morning, and we headed out to get Bubby's head taken care of.  On the way out, we passed a group having a dinner party, which consisted entirely of undercooked baked potatoes, in my parents' dining room.  Outside, the neighbor had returned from a fishing trip, so the road turned into a river and slowly drained, leaving dozens of large fish flopping around in the neighbor's driveway.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Progress on 2017 Goals: February's Trader Joe's Purchase

As I explained in my post "Resolved," one of my 2017 goals is to try something new from Trader Joe's each month.  And as I explained in my post "Progress on 2017 Goals: January's Trader Joe's Purchase," I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to continue.  

In February, I decided I needed to get something that I was certain I would like, in order to bolster my confidence, and to uncover the perseverance required to continue on this quest.  In February, I chose to purchase Trader Joe's Crunchy Salted Peanut Butter with Flax & Chia Seeds (added bonus: this jar is so.stinkin'.cute).

 (Click here to read what Trader Joe's has to say about this product; click here to order from Amazon)
I am a lover of peanut butter, and this peanut butter did not disappoint.  The ingredients are simple: just roasted peanuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, and sea salt.  

When I opened the jar, as is typical with natural peanut butters, a thin layer of peanut oil floated on top, which I stirred back into the peanut butter.  Fearing I would have to stir each time I used it, I was pleased to find that with refrigeration, the oil stayed integrated with the peanut butter.  The butter tasted intensely of peanuts, as only a simple peanut butter,with no added hydrogenated oils, artificial preservatives, or sugar, can.  The texture was stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth thick, and just a small amount was sufficient to satisfy my hunger.  There were a good amount of peanut chunks sprinkled throughout, and I loved the extra crunch provided by the flax and chia seeds.

I enjoyed this peanut butter spread on apple slices and celery sticks, in a homemade peanut butter cup recipe, and on a spoon, straight from the jar.  Right at this moment, I am fantasizing about mixing this peanut butter with some of the maple (box elder) syrup that's simmering on my stove (I've got about 16 gallons of sap in, and we're entering a cold (no sap flowing) spell, so I'm planning to finish off my first batch today or tomorrow.  I'll let you know how it goes).  Mmmmm!  So delicious. 

February's TJ's purchase was a rousing success!  I am still a bit leary of this project, but I'm looking forward to my March trip to Trader Joe's.  My fabulous Facebook friends came through with scads of suggestions for my next purchases, but I'm fasting from Facebook so I don't have access to those suggestions right now.  I guess I'm on my own.  Unless, of course, you'd like to leave your favorites in the comments?

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Lenten Practice Update: Week 1


As I mentioned in this post, I've committed, during the season of Lent, to finding 10 things a day, Monday through Friday, to get rid of.  Here's how I'm doing so far.

Wednesday I took the accumulated cast-offs, that we had already decided to get rid of, but hadn't yet, to the donation center.  Total number of items: lots.  
  • Three 50 gallon bags of clothes and miscellaneous household items
  • Two boxes of boots and shoes
  • Hose reel

Thursday I tackled my nightstand.  And can I just say?  I am shocked I was able to find more than 10 items just in my nightstand.  Maybe this goal isn't so far-fetched after all.  Total number of items: 12.
  • Three books that I've been needing to review for...um...a couple of years.
  • Packaging and instructions that I don't need
  • Two chapsticks whose flavors I don't like
  • A backpack ID tag with outdated information
  • A small cylindrical container with a lid (it pains me to get rid of this.  It is such a cute container.  And I am a sucker for cute containers.  But I have no immediate use for it, and I am certain that I will be able to find something suitable should I need such a container in the future)
  • Sample package of gummy melatonin
  • A package of pencils that I got for free but don't like the way they write
  • A Starbucks gift card (yes, I got rid of this--I bought a 3-pack with the intention of giving them away.  I had people in mind for two of them, but not this third, so now I finally put this one in the mail to surprise someone special)


Friday I found some books, DVDs and Xbox games we are ready to part with.  I'm selling these through the Decluttr app (check it out--if you sign up using my referral code, you'll get an extra $10 when you complete your first order of $10 or more, and I'll receive a nice kick-back, too.  Enter referral code: DTRFXCPJLQ during registration). Total number of items: 25
  • 9 Books
  • 13 DVDs
  • 2 Xbox games

Monday I decluttered my jewelry box.  Except for my wedding ring, I rarely wear jewelry and when I do, it's just one necklace and one bracelet.  I saved a few other necklaces due to their sentimental value.  Total number of items: 22.
  • 17 pieces of jewelry
  • 2 bouncy balls (why were there two bouncy balls in my jewelry box?  I don't know)
  • 3 baby teeth (yuck.  Why do people save those?)

Tuesday I recycled some old magazines and coupon inserts.  Total number of items: 19



Total this week: 77

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