Flower Bombs and Make Up Brushes

flower bomb

I try to set time aside when I am on break between semesters to do some deep cleaning and organizing around the house. This way it gets done a few times a year for sure and I always feel like I am starting the new semester on the right foot with a clean house.

Today I attacked our master bath. I cleaned the areas that often get missed during our weekly cleaning of the bathroom, like the baseboards –  I am a little embarrassed to admit they may only get attention during these deep cleans between semesters and when we are expecting company. After cleaning the actual bathroom it was time to reorganize and purge. I threw out old hair products from when my hair was long (I have a side tangent about that), I threw out make up I don’t wear, lotions, body sprays, a lot of random travel sized shampoos that you swipe from the hotel and never end up using later..

I reworked how I store my make up and feminine products, decluttered the medicine cabinet, and organized all the drawers. Then all I was left with was my make up brushes which I planned on cleaning before I put away. Good thing too, they were gross! It was just blush and eye shadow but I have never cleaned them before -EVER – so a lot of make up came off those brushes. I got super grossed out thinking about how I have been brushing dead skin cells all over my face each time I use one. To anyone who wears make up, I recommend taking the 15 minutes to clean your brushes every so often. It is quick and painless and will probably help your brushes stay nice as well.

I had never done it because for some reason I got it in my head that it would be involved or complicated and more worth it to go out and buy new brushes. That was not the case at all. Here is what I did:

1 cup warm water, 1 tbs of white vinegar, and 1 tbs of dish soap all mixed together in a bowl.
Each brush gets splashed around in the bowl for a few seconds and then rinsed in cool water.
Lay flat to dry, do not place the brush upside down to dry.
Change water mixture after each brush so every brush has a clean rinse.
Done.

I found the tutorial on Pinterest, it was easy and now I do not have to buy new brushes.

Okay here is my tangent about the hair products I disposed of..

My routine is much simpler with the pixie, just wash, 2 minutes under the hair dryer (if I am in a rush otherwise 10 minutes of air drying), mess it up with a little wax and I am out the door. Other than what I use in the shower to wash my hair I only use 2 products now, a leave in conditioner and the wax. When I had long hair I used a root pump/lift mouse, a regular volumizing mouse, a sea salt spray for when I was going natural, a leave in conditioner, hairspray (different kinds depending on the style), 2 different kinds of curling products if I was going wavy/curly, a heat protector.. the list goes on. I have not used any of these products for the last few years but because they were such an investment I have waited to dispose of them. My thought being that if I decided to grow the pixie out not long after I cut it I could still use these products. Well clearly I didn’t do that so it was finally time to let go and clear up space.

Many of these bottles were still pretty full. I stock piled before the wedding because my girls and I were doing our own hair, I did not hire anyone, so I wanted to make sure we had everything we would need on the big day. So the first thing I had to do before disposing of the bottles was empty them. I chose to do this in the kitchen. I stood there for about 5 minutes pouring out sprays and lotions and shooting all the mouse out of the mouse containers. By the time I was done it was like a chemical flower bomb had gone off in my kitchen! I could barely breathe. Suddenly I was very aware of the fact that all these products we use to clean our hair, our dishes, our clothes, our homes, and even our bodies are all chocked full of chemicals and fragrances.

This probably makes me seem silly right? I am sure you are sitting there saying, Yeah dumby, are you just figuring this out?! The short answer is No. I mean of course I know all these products have chemicals in them, that is how they clean. I have never given conscious thought to any of it though. For example, after I emptied and disposed of all the bottles I started a load of laundry. I was suddenly hypersensitive to the “ocean fresh” smell of our laundry detergent. Then I put Lucy’s Oatmeal Coconut dog shampoo away and was thinking about the need for the coconut fragrance..

The bottom line (for me) is I do not need my clothes to smell like artificial ocean as long as they are clean. I do not need my dog to smell like a coconut as long as she is clean. I do not need my hair to smell like a million different flowers and berries as long as it is clean. There are enough chemicals in these products without adding to them for the vanity of a smell. If I want to wear perfume I can put some on but I don’t think it needs to be added to everything else I use. If I want my house to smell a certain way I will put on oils, as long as the floor is clean I do not need it to smell like a lemon.

I am not saying that I am going to stop using all these products that are chocked full of chemicals. I like to paint my nails, I use whatever is out there to dust with and clean the toilets.. I am not planning to make any major lifestyle changes here, maybe a few small ones though, like using unscented laundry detergent. And maybe I will think twice about the soap/shampoo I use as well as what we use on Lucy. I think I will be more mindful with products that will be touching my body.

Another perspective I had not even considered until now is the environmental impact, I am sure there is one. I am not as green as some. I recycle and do all the things we were taught by Captain Planet in the 90’s but I know I probably have a rather large carbon foot print and I could certainly be doing better in that respect as well.

So yeah, that is my two cents after getting gassed in my kitchen by a flower bomb.

This was a pretty random post I must say. I think it proves that I would make a terrible beauty/make up blogger in case I ever thought that was a possible career path. I think I will stick to social work and random observations.

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Spring Cleaning and the Quarterly Purge

One of my top priorities for this weekend was to get organized. Once again I found that shoes had exploded on the floor of my walk-in and once again I felt like my wardrobe was becoming unmanageable. It was time to take action. A while back Todd agreed to build a shoe shelf for my closet but until that time comes I needed to come up with another plan. I also needed to go through and take a critical eye to my entire wardrobe. This includes clothing, accessories the works. It took me 2 hours but I am feeling pretty good about my results, so much so that I decided to share.

I have no “before” photos to share because honestly the state of things was so pitiful I would be mortified to show it off. Here are my post organization photos though.

shoes1

Let’s start with shoes, that is where the problem really began in the first place. I own more pairs that I care to admit to and they had taken over the floor of my closet. I started with my heels. I singled out a few to be sold and/or donated, the rest go on the top shelf of my walk-in. My closet has a wrap around shelf at the top, it is the perfect spot to display some of my favorite shoes as well as keeping them from being damaged.

shoes3

I have a chest of drawers in my closet that formerly held miscellaneous clothes I rarely wore. I removed most of its contents to be donated and am now using it for my flats and wedges. It serves as the perfect place to have easy access while also keeping them from being damaged.

shoes2

What is left over in my ever-growing shoe collection is my boots and sneakers. These I now keep in a plastic storage Tupperware under my dresses. I am less concerned about them being damaged, they are a bit more rough and tumble and it is a good use of floor space while still maintaining order.

jewelry

Next I attacked accessories. When we first moved into the house I mounted these racks over my chest of drawers in the closet to hang my statement necklaces on. It is the ideal place to display and store this part of my jewelry collection.

scarves

My scarves are another area of my wardrobe where I felt I had lost any sense of order that was once present. To correct this situation I went through and separated scarves I no longer wear to be sold/donated and then rolled the rest up by color and placed them into four separate shoe boxes. These shoe boxes are the perfect size to fit into a drawer again allowing practical storage and easy access.

hats and belts

Last on my list of accessories were mt hats and belts. Belts got divided up by frequency of wear and put into different baskets. Hats stacked neatly on the top shelf.

clothes color organization

The last thing to tackle were my clothes. This is always the most overwhelming part of the process though.

clothes color organization2

I started by taking everything out of my closet and going through it piece by piece. Once everything that was slated to be sold/donated was taken out I put the rest back by way of color coordination. I have two racks on the right side of my closet so that is wear my tops and blouses go.

clothes dresses and skirts

The left side has one rack which I hang my dresses and skirts on.

clothes dailt outfit

After having such success with the racks used to hold and display my jewelry I decided it might e nice to have a rack for my outfits of the week. I mounted this rack on the left side of my closet a few months ago and use it to hold an outfit or two that I know I want to wear on any given week. My closet is not that big so I try to make good use of any free space I have.

organized closet

So after a few hours of organizing and purging this is my final product. A much more organized and user-friendly closet.

donate pile

I also ended up with two heaping baskets of clothes and shoes to be sold and donated.

Hopefully these adjustments to my daily organization routine will help get me through the next 6 months until the seasons change again and it is time to reevaluate.

Getting Organized and Making Plans

organise

It has been a whirlwind of a summer, as I expected. It has been so busy the last few months at times it has felt like I am living three days at once. I start my morning at 8 usually and no more than blink to find that it is suddenly 3:00. God forbid I blink again then suddenly it’s 10:00 and time for bed. I am feeling accomplished today though. It’s just turning the corner on 12:00 and I have lined up two new volunteer opportunities for myself along with scheduling a time to interview my grandmother for a paper I have to write for class, I have my finger printing appointment for Hospice scheduled, took care of some banking matters as well as some school matters not to mention I made 20.00 selling some of my clothes I no longer wear.

Yeah, I am feeling pretty good right about now. I am going to reward myself with a bit of time to write and a bowl of Ramen noodles.

This summer I have managed to cut the contents of my closet in half and properly organize the remainder. I donated a good portion to a family member who is always happy to take unwanted items off my hands, as well as red cross. The remainder that I actually thought I could get a little money on went to Plato’s Closet. I am just glad to have the extra room. My closet was ready to burst at the seams. I started keeping a record of my outfits a while back to help me decide what I liked and what could go. This record has also come in handy when having a “I have nothing to wear” moment while getting ready to go somewhere. I have not bought any new clothes in quite a while because I can just reference the photos and suddenly I realize, Oh yeah, I liked that outfit, I will wear that.

hh

During the summer long purge I also managed to get rid of quite a few pairs of shoes I was no longer wearing. This was a huge relief as the shoe situation in my closet was almost to the point of crisis. Before this summer my clothes, shoes, hats, scarves and purses were wholly monopolizing three closets in the house. I have successfully scaled back to 1.5. And really the half closet is more of a storage situation for winter coats and work clothes that are boxed up until I need my professional clothes again. Now that we have a little extra room Todd is talking about building me a shoe shelf to help with organization in my walk in. I am thrilled! It was enough to move into this house and have a walk in closet all to myself, I am over the moon about the thought of a shelf to display/store all my favorite shoes.

So I am excited about the volunteer hours I have lined up for myself. I am going with a girlfriend of mine Sunday to do a meal at the Ronald McDonald house. It is not far from where we live (she is in college park as well) and I have been interested in  volunteering at the Ronald McDonald house for sometime so I jumped at the chance when it came up. Plus I am excited to have a friend that is also interested in being involved in the community this way. I have always just volunteered by myself. It’s nice to have someone who shares a passion for this kind of thing. On that note, we were both so excited about having someone else to volunteer with that we signed ourselves up for a city park restoration event in August. Here is the bonus, it is being handled by Budlight which means free beer when we are done working with the restoration. Volunteer work, spending time doing something I enjoy with a friend and free beer.. Not too bad for a Friday night. I am really looking forward to it.

This rest of this week is full of things to do. Tomorrow I have to get my finger printing done for Hospice then hopefully by next week I will be cleared to start. I also have dinner plans with a friend that I made in Spanish class a few semesters ago. We have kept int touch and I look forward to catching up with her. She is A Psychology major in undergrad at UCF and then  plans to do Social Work as her Masters. We are hoping to be applying to Grad school at the same time, we shall see.

Friday I am going to visit with my grandmother and interview her for a writing assignment due next week in class. I am actually excited to have some time just me and her. I don’t think I have ever spent one on one time with her as an adult plus to get to hear her life story, I think it is going to be a really nice afternoon. When I finish with her I am going to pick up my niece because Friday night is her night for a sleepover. I had dinner with them last night and she is very excited. The plan is to make home-made pizza for dinner, she likes to be hands on in the kitchen so I tried to come up with a dinner that she could easily help with. We (she and I) are also going to do some baking because the next day we are going on a picnic after we go to the farmer’s market. I think she will have fun.