Wednesday, August 19, 2015

And the whoosh begins

If today were the 18th, thus marking 3 months of the weight loss reboot, I could had another 1.5 pounds to the weight loss. Sigh... Just means I'll show a big weight loss for next month (hopefully).

I could tell last night that things were changing as despite moving furniture around all day, my ankles were slimmer in the evening. I could tell there was less puffiness. My rings this morning were sliding around a bit where they were feeling snuggish the last few days. Sure enough, scale showed a 1.5 loss from yesterday. Thus, my monthly WHOOSH!!! has begun!

What am I going to do to stall it a day? I'm going to eat canned beans and salsa tonight for dinner which ALWAYS make me hold water weight! Yay!?!!? Looks something like this:

Super yummy, super healthy, a bit high sodium.

Then this weekend I'm going to a training where they are feeding us. That should be interesting. I'll bring my own lunch and just deal with their dinners. I have no idea what it will be, but I can keep it within calories if I don't eat their provided lunch.

I'm just ready to move beyond this weight.... 1 pound to get to a new low!!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

3 months into this reboot and what a disappointing month

Quite literally I've lost .2 of a pound in this month. That is freaking ridiculous. Yes we had a vacation. Yes, I wasn't "perfect" but I was pretty darn good during vacation. I gained a few, I lost those few, then I started to gain again for my ovulation gain for the month, but to show only .2 loss for the entire freaking month? ARGH!!!!!

No worries... I know that my monthly weight gain will be passing soon, but I wish I had SOMETHING to show for the month besides .2!!!! That is so, so, so annoying!

Nothing to do but just keep on doing what I've been doing. And I have no doubt next month will show a good loss!!!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Never thought I would feel so happy about a weight gain!

I have been bouncing around the same 5 pounds for nearly a month now. I was going down, down, down... then vacation where I thought I had an ovulation (maybe?) and then I had a very, very slow loss from vacation time, but did finally manage to get back down to prevacation weight by a smidgen. Then, I got my period and then started to lose a bit and then stall and then slowly a gain.

I was hoping it was an old pattern returning of no weight loss between my period and ovulation, but because I don't ovulate regularly at all any more (I am 45.5 years old), I just never know. Well, I now know that ovulation is impending as all my old signs for ovulation are there - slow, steady weight gain (for no reason), increased sexual desire, change in cervical fluids. All of that points to hormones at work trying to get me pregnant. (Which aint happening!) So, as much as I hated, hated, hated my old weight loss pattern. Now I find comfort in it as it means I have an explanation of the last 12 days of no weight loss and some steady weight gains despite being 100% on plan with nary a stray meal. Even on the day we went out for dinner, I kept within plan!!!

What it will mean? A huge whoosh hopefully really, really soon. But what else it will mean is that for tomorrow on my three month anniversary of this weight loss reboot I'm not going to see a very big loss for the month, but that's OK. It's not going to be a consistent, steady loss. The body just doesn't work that way!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Why do we keep "stuff"?

Right now, at home and at work is all about purging materials/things we don't need. At home, a lot of stuff we are getting rid of is laziness of not getting rid of things in a timely manner. We had it, we used it, we liked it, but now we don't use it or like it or need it. Or, if it's clothing, we outgrew it (or grew too small for it in some adult cases). I am usually not guilty of keeping things just to keep things for "just in case". My husband will be slow to get new things, but slow to part with them too. His clutter is minimal in the house, but it's harder for him to say, "OK, let's toss it" if there is even a remote possibility he'll need it 2-3 years down the road. OR, if he can make a bit of money from it if he sold it. Hence, we have 3 turntables we've moved 3 times that he plans to sell, 2 boxes of cords that we don't need and a couple other electronic pieces and speakers. Though, that's it for his stuff. I'm far more likely to get stuff and then ditch stuff and MOST of the stuff we need to get rid of is from the kids rooms and from my stuff and kitchen stuff. I need to get better about not getting stuff in the first place! My husband needs to get better at parting with stuff period.

Other people, get really attached to things and have a hard time letting things go - especially if they fear the option is that it will go to trash when someone else could use it.

I have been the recipient of many, many, many gifts from other people's purgings. Some of it has been for my work (so not a gift to me, but to the Sunday School) and some other things have been gifts to me as they feel perhaps I'll use it and oftentimes I do! Much of the craft room die cut dies were gifted to me by a fellow crafter who was downsizing to a condo from a big house. She saw my interest and felt better about giving them to someone who might use them versus donating them and not knowing how/where they would end up. She also didn't want to bother with trying to sell them (as that really is a time suck and hassle), especially as she didn't need the money.  It was a wonderful, generous gift. There are many items I might never use and if I see that's so, I'll eventually give them to someone else who will, but at least their 'clutter' is small space taken. The giver, in this case, was attached to these items, so finding a proper home for them was important to her. I can understand that and appreciate that.

But people get attached to stuff that I don't quite understand. I'm not judging. or maybe I am, but I'm not trying to. Sometimes I think people just like to have stuff around them. It comforts them or something. Or, they find it easier to have things ready at the fingertips than to go and get it again or to be without. They feel guilt if they threw something out and then find, that in fact, they do need to go buy it again down the road. They feel wasteful.

I think a lot of people keep materials because they feel it's wasteful to toss things. It pangs them to see things being tossed. They will literally go through the trash to pull stuff out that someone else has thrown out to find another purpose for it. I've been gifted with several of these things too. Now... some of it is useful. I'm not going to knock all such gifts, but so often it's not useful and discreetly I will throw away (or recycle) the items the giver could not bring themselves to do. I was once gifted styrofoam that was from meat - like, you know, what your steaks and pork chops are sitting on, wrapped in plastic wrap at the grocery store. They couldn't bring themselves to toss them, so they gave them to me to use for a project - it was well meaning, but now what do I do with 20 styrofoam platters that used to hold raw meat? I was also gifted a dozen or so empty, flattened tissue boxes as perhaps I could make something with those. No. I can't use those - into recycling they went.

True the answer should be that we should reuse and repurpose as much as we can and I do that a lot!!! But there has to be a limit on how much and what we can keep and there has to be a specific plan to use it and by when to justify storing it and keeping it.

It's ironic I say this as I just installed a craft room with huge amounts of storage and I do have a lot of stuff in there - but it's all stuff I have plans for using. I have a stack of egg cartons, but I put a limit on how many I will store and I have a specific plan for using them. I have a ton of ribbon, but again, I have a plan for using it, etc. I do not store paper scraps or ribbon scraps or yarn scraps. Why? because how do you store that stuff and remember you have them? And how much time and effort and space (which is money too) is wasted on storing scraps you will never use?

The real goal should be to not buy more than we need and I'm working on that as it's a good goal, but my next goal is to not keep more than I need. And gifting someone else junk that you cannot part with, is, many times, passing on the problem. Now someone else is storing too much stuff and getting bogged down. So was that gift helpful or harmful?

I didn't realize I felt weighted down by having too much stuff around me, but I really do. I get overwhelmed when I see disorganized messes of whatever. And instead of dealing with it, I turn my back to it and do something else as I can't deal with the shear enormity of it. Once it's weeded through, is organized, and is easy to find, I feel free and more relaxed.

Maybe that's why my house is feeling stifling right now as we are mid several projects. (one done about 3-4 to go). I'm weeding through similar things at work too, but I have to take it in pieces/chunks and not all at once too as I just find it bogs me down.

So, note to myself - and it is weight loss related... Too much stuff around me makes me feel bad. A well organized, slimmed down space makes me happier. A happier Melissa makes better life choices - which includes eating better and exercising more, etc.

Therefore, let the purging continue both at home and at work. Once it's done, it will feel and look and work great!

Only took me 6 months, but my craft room is done!

YAY!!!! It's done!!! Sort of... I have to label all the boxes and bins, etc, but it looks about the way it will look except for labels. THAT will have to wait as I have a basement to do and I have to declutter the house! BUT... here's the super, duper heavy photo post all about the craft room/writing room ALL FOR ME!

So, here's the history of this room. We live in a big house and we needed such a big house because my mother in law lives with us and she wanted all her living space on the main level. In order to have a living room, bedroom, and bathroom for her on the main level, that meant we were very likely to end up with a lot of house - and we did. We live in a traditional colonial which has a full basement and an addition over the garage. Upstairs in this house were 6 bedrooms. We only needed 4 with one being an office. So, we made what was the master bedroom (the addition over the garage) into a big family room. And the room that is over my mother in law's bedroom (formerly the dining room) was the spare bedroom. What it should have been called was the junk room. Some people have junk drawers. We had a junk room. You'll see that fits when you see the photo.

Now, it was supposed to be a guest room and craft room. We put all the stuff in that room that was leftovers from our previous two homes. My mother in law's spare twin bed, or spare small bookcase, our now not needed buffet table, rolling drawers that had gone from kitchen carts, to my oldest son's toy/art cart, to now live in the craft room. And it housed all these striped fabric bins that used to hold out of season clothes. Literally everything put in that room had no home - but also no reason to get rid of it. It looked OK, but it wasn't overly functional. Here's a couple of shots of before the transformation:

Not too bad for a cobbled together room right? But... how useful is a twin bed for a guest bed? I thought about getting a trundle, but we almost never, ever have overnight guests, so for whom is this room? The guests we get once every 3 years? or us?

As I said, it became a junk room. Too small clothes waiting to be donated? Gets thrown in the room. Spare chairs we are too lazy to carry to the basement? get put in there. Papers we need to organize? Gets put in the room to do until later. Craft things people give me because they know I work with kids, goes in there. Boxes from deliveries - get set aside to get out of the way until we can take them out get forgotten, and then once the storage areas are blocked, things just start piling up. Unless we were having a party, that room pretty much consistently looked like this:

It didn't even have an overhead working light. It was truly junky. Ok, that was the junkiest it ever got, but it was my breaking point. We needed to find a way to make this not a junk room by making it into a usable room.

I have that wall of storage in the closet I was mostly satisfied with. But the rest of the room was a bed, a too small bookcase, a buffet table, a big chair no one ever sat in and a writing table and terrible lighting. I needed some storage for all the die cutting stuff I had been given by a retiree. I needed room to have stuff that didn't involve unburying 5 things to get to it.

Initially, I looked at a few secondhand shops, but no matter what I did for looking, it would cost about one grand just in furniture to get the craft room functional. I didn't want to spend a grand on craft furniture - and I would need things to organize it, lighting, etc. Plus, vintage stuff while cool looking, wasn't going to add as much space as I would like. For that, I would need to spend even more money.

For months I looked and then one day I went to IKEA and I saw all these cabinets hugely marked down because they were phasing out the Akurum kitchens to put in the new Sektion kitchens. And then it came to me - starting with these seven display cabinets.

They are 15" wide and about 13" deep and PERFECT for along the wall that is straight in through the door. And they were selling them for $10 a piece!!!! You know what these are, right? These are the display cabinets that IKEA has to show the different door styles. Like this:

I decided to change around all the drawers and then add eclectic fun knobs:

That night I bought just the display cabinets as they were the things that would tie together the old and the new in that room. They were the touch that would make this room feel OK to have IKEA mixed with vintage wood pieces and other eclectic items. AND they were great storage and horizontal space. I played around with my design software and then next morning I went in and got these cabinets and 3 wall cabinets with glass doors (shown later) all of it together for under $500:

Now, these cabinets were not in perfect condition. Internally, structurally, yes. But... there were cosmetic things. Scratches, a big drilled hole in the top corner of the one cabinet, small drill holes in the side of the other, but that was actually perfect for a craft room. And that they didn't have matching handles? WHO CARES? I was going for a miss-mash of styles and having nearly nothing match worked best.

So, I started to piece things together. I had a used Pottery Barn wrapping station to re-use. I had two wall cabinets I had planned to use in the mud room, but they could go here (also as-is purchases from IKEA).

On the opposite wall I hung the wall hanger and placed the cabinets for size. Yep! It was going to work!

I needed a few new things to make it all flow together and be organized, but mostly I re-used things I had from there on out.

Now remember what it used to look like when you stood in the doorway. That was my before. Yikes! Now when you stand in the doorway of that room, it looks like this:

Here's a tour of the room - night and day. The entrance to the room (reusing the sun that used to be the ceiling light, but it stopped working):

The back wall between windows.

Next is the far wall. I couldn't get it on one frame. There is the vintage writing/sewing desk and then the IKEA kitchen cabinets with wall cabinets above (3 with glass fronts and one with wood doors). Organizers abound!

Next is the closet wall - the shelves were there when we moved in. I just removed the closet doors years ago.

And then the wall with the mini cabinets.

And then details of the room:

This here is they only area that is 100% new and even that isn't completely true. The striped bins used to hold socks as our old bedroom set was too small for two people to share. I mixed three different styles of boxes and put them on the IKEA Besta wall frames. The frame can't hold a ton of weight, so things like this are inside each of the bins (all the black bins are currently empty and a few others are too):

Then I wanted to add a wall of picture rails to act as easy to see storage - punches, stamps, and small paints. So, those are new from Ikea too. Flanking them is the wall cabinet I had purchased a year earlier for the mud room but never hung (glitters and glues inside), the pottery barn wrapping station that used to sit on the buffet table, and paper sorters that used to be in my older son's room, but he didn't want them any more. I think it turned out pretty nicely!

Can't forget the hedgehogs - they are all over the room - there are NINE of them hiding about the room!

On the opposite side, the wall cabinets were for books and die cut shapes. One entire cabinet is empty. The others have a lot of space:

Then there was the need for buckets and bins. IKEA has this great (though hard to hang) rail system. I used 5 of them in the room. Three are here with different pieces, but mostly bins and trays. For more color, I swapped out a few plastic bins for red and robin egg blue tin ones.

A mirror on a rail and more hedgehogs!

The closet side I didn't touch much from before. Though I moved the tall cabinet (that used to house ALL my craft stuff once upon a time and even that was an IKEA as-is purchase about 10 years ago). This also gave me a neat way to tuck away the ironing board. Another as-is find was the alex drawers from IKEA. It now holds LOTS of card making materials and other paper stock.

The rolling carts with plastic fronts were bought for our kitchen for the house we bought in Canada 14 years ago. They've been in constant use somewhere in the house since then. This cubby shelf I bought used the same time I got the PB wrapping station. It needs to be re-organized, but it's functional.

I also added some picture rail for storage above the closet for two reasons - storage, and to hang more LED lighting. The room is FULL of light now with LED tape light under each long picture rail and every cabinet:

The rest of the paper is here. I've had those rolling ikea bins for probably close to 10 years too, but were initially used for toys. Oh, and these trash/recycling bins (there are two in the room) can double as stools:

What else is in the room worth looking at? Oh, yes these things! First is this cart (from ikea bought secondhand). It now houses all the components of the small die cutting machine. The large die cutting machine lives on the buffet table next to it.

And, all my beloved handbags, evening bags, camera bags and work bags will go here on this coat tree that used to be our coat tree in our previous house.

Of this area, currently empty on the left are stacking boxes on wheels (might go to my husband) and 2 stools new from IKEA. These are just great for sitting on for short projects and they take up so little room in the room. Big die cutter on the buffet table.

Oh, and this light! Well, this was a bit of creativity on my part. I had this Pottery Barn Kids mobile with paint brushes that I loved and have had for about a decade. Bought that new at the PB outlet that used to be in Leesburg, VA. However, with all the wall cabinets, it could only go in the center of the room, but I also needed a light there. So, I found a light at IKEA that I could hang above it that would make it look good. I think it's so fun and so completely perfect for the room. 

And, behind the door, a magnetic wall to hold all the thin steel dies. I might add something similar on the opposing wall or back of the door for cling rubber stamps, but we'll see! That can wait! It was hard to get this picture, but it's floor to ceiling. Here shows about 50% of the wall.

Now to the vintage wood pieces and why I didn't want to get rid of them. They're cool!!! And multifunctional. This buffet table is half storage, half table. It can extend all across the room if needed. 

Here are some shots of it open at different levels. This is halfway open:

Mostly open (one leaf still out):

The small writing table, the other vintage piece, also expands. First, it's a flip top - so it can do this. (Please excuse the support leg, I didn't both with fully engaging it for the photos).

But it also has two leaves that I store in the closet, easily accessible, that can transform it into this:

So, this room, with the tables expanded is now ready for some meet-up crafting and/or craft parties! Now to make time for that to happen????

Phew! There you go folks! My craft room and all said and done - furniture, furniture delivery. storage bins, lighting, trash cans and stools it came to about $1000. Sounds a lot, but it's a LOT of savings with the as-is items and a few second-hand items in addition to all the repurposed items. Just the new stuff I bought for this room, at full price, would have cost over $4000. I can handle the few nicks and scratches for a 75% savings.

And I'm oh so happy. I finally have my own space. First time since college when I had my dorm room when I was an RA.