45 Days of Organizing: Update

The countdown is on! 20 days until we move! The movers have been booked, the day off has been scheduled, and more importantly the purge has been a happenin’. I wanted to update you with what I’ve accomplished since first launching my 45 days of organizing challenge. Now I’ve cheated a little and completed some of these tasks on the same day as opposed to completely one task each day.

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As of this past weekend I’ve knocked 14 items off this list (forgot to cross #20 & #22 off before I snapped this photo)! With plans to knock some more tasks off tonight and this weekend!

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Cleared 7 pairs of shoes as well as 2 unmatched out the closet!

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Organized the junk drawer in the kitchen, trashing included old menus, mouse traps, and empty packaging! We can now see everything in the drawer!

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I actually purged/organized everything in my two end tables and sold them on Craigslist! (What little I kept is now in a box to moved!)

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I donated sheets, belts, and a few clothing items to a Salvation Army Bin near our house helping me work towards goal #66

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Creepy Tupperware – GONE! Pots and pans organized (a few donated!) and our baking cabinet cleared out and put back together!

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My desk at work was piled high with paper, deliveries, and junk. I spent last Thursday morning organizing, purging, and finding a home for everything.

Not pictured is our donation of glassware, a few blankets, and other random things to the local Goodwill store!

I feel like we are in a great place for the move and hopefully will be all ready by the end of next weekend leaving us with just cleaning and hole patching that last weekend!

 

Does organizing your life make getting through your daily tasks easier? It does for me! 

 

Recipe: Mustard and Mayonnaise Chicken

Last night I had a little too much fun celebrating one of my new roommates 30th birthdays and was in desperate need of some comfort food to rid the last remnants of my whopper of a hangover. Enter mustard and mayonnaise chicken, my favorite food to cook (and eat!). MM Chicken is one of my mom’s signature dishes and it’s that one dish that my future husband whomever that may be NEEDS to enjoy (#dealbreaker) it’s also super easy and uses only 5 ingredients: boneless skinless chicken (breast or tenders), mayonnaise, mustard, cream of mushroom soup and stuffing bread crumbs.

photo 1(When making this for myself I usually use chicken tenderloins for easier portion control) 

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Mix Mayonnaise (3 tbsp) and Mustard (2 tbsp)  in a bowl (pardon my styrofoam bowl, I’ve packed are other bowls already!)

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Paint the chicken with mustard and mayonnaise mixture.

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Top with a can of cream of mushroom soup.

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Layer with stuffing bread crumbs (I used Pepperridge Farm)

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Bake for 30 minutes (or until chicken is cooked through). Periodically check the bread crumbs to ensure they are not burning, cover with tinfoil to avoid extra crispiness!

 

What is your favorite comfort food to cook? 

 

Fit Bit Fridays // 8.1.14

As promised (more to myself, than to you) Fit Bit Fridays are back! July was nothing more than an epic diet/fitness fail except for workouts with my trainer (more on that below..) and I was somewhat sidelined with a medical issue that is in the process of being resolved (eek, possible surgery!) but I’m determined to devote myself to the gym and healthier eating this month.

So whats up first? Friend my own My Fitness Pal (kathleenmary19) and add me on FitBit. I’m challenging myself to keep track of my nutrition and my steps for a full 31 days (apparently I like 31 day challengeswith an overarching goal to hit 310,000 steps in the month of June. Just last night I read the facebook status of a friend from elementary school who just logged their 75th day in a row of 10,000+ steps, how amazing is that!

7:18 AM Day 1: 0.00 steps
7:18 AM Day 1: 0.00 steps

And second? No cereal for breakfast. I love me some kids cereal – Trix, Lucky Charms, Fruity Pebbles – you name it (and its got sugar in it) and I love it. I’m going to and stick egg scrambles (thanks to the microwave egg cooker Danny picked up for me!), oatmeal, fruit, yogurt/granola for breakfast. I hate eating the same thing everyday, so hopefully I can mix it up enough and not get bored.

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Third? No take out for lunch. I’m cringing as I write this on Thursday night because I tomorrow is take-out day at work (every Friday is) and I’m going to be tempted. Luckily for me, I have my favorite (a potato) sitting on the counter just waiting for me to bake it for lunch – know I just need to find a protein and I’ll be able to tackle the take-out monster.

Fourth? No take out for dinner. I sometimes take the easy route on the way home and pick up a slice of pizza or take out from one of my local favorites just because I don’t want to cook. Not gonna happen this month. The only exception: Bob’s Foods on moving day #aintnobodygonnahavetimetocook

3 small dietary changes and a goal of 10,000 steps a day I think will help me get back on track. I’ll share with you each Friday a break down of my meals, my steps, and any additional workouts I’ve accomplished.

Speaking of, I recently ended my Primal bootcamp class and can’t tell you how happy I am with the results. We did a test during the first class, 1 mile – 100 squats in 5 minutes, 65 situps knee pushups in 5 minutes, 100 step ups and everything with exception of the mile time (damn tight calves) I improved dramatically (I just emailed my trainer for actual figures – if I don’t hear back by the time this posts, I’ll update it over the weekend!) the stat I most remember though is from the final class last Wednesday, this girl killed 20 real pushups. Might not seem like much to you, but to me it means the world!

Here’s the workout I’m doing this weekend: 

Burpee’s – 30x
Push Ups – 75x
Air Squats 150x
Mummy Sit ups – 150x
With these rules: Complete this workout at a track and keep time with a watch or phone. Anytime you rest more than 30’s run a lap (400meters). Burpees must be straight through but you can mix Push ups with Airsquats and Situps
(i.e. 10 pushups 20 air squats or 10 push ups 15 situps). The lap is your rest time, so if you get to a point where you can only do a few reps below 4-5 good time to probably jog a lap but again if you rest for more than 30’s run a lap. Record your overall time.
Anyone else wants to join me on this 31 day fitness challenge?

 

The Struggle is Real

The struggle is real people, its real. What struggle? The struggle to create content that people want to read, that people want to comment on, that will make people besides your group of friends come back to read day after day (btw, thanks girls (and boys!)!). Today’s prompt for the Blog Everyday in July challenge is about why blogging can be hard.

Time to Write // Finding time in your day to blog is HARD. Sometimes I do it before work, sometimes during (shhh!) and mostly at night but take last night for example, the struggle was real and I was TIRED after a day of work, my first ever dance class, and my super fantabulous Smash burger adventure that the idea of blogging when I got home made my brain hurt, literally. I popped to advil and went to straight to bed.

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Time to Research // Luckily my day job does allow me the time to read your blogs during the day (yay for social media being part of the job!) and if one your posts tips of an idea in my head I can usually bang out a post in nothing flat because YOU’VE motivated me. But then there are the days where my ideas require research, a color scheme post (usually inspired first by a sale email!), or a thematic Read with Red post (which will return this weekend/next week!), or even just finding a good picture and sometimes time just isn’t on our side.

Being open // Now the plan for this blog is not for me to get ushy gushy about my personal life but there are some days where you WANT to write about that stuff but you also want to protect the anonymity of the people you are talking about or there are times where you DON’T want to talk about the stuff but you must elude to it to get your point across. I guess you could just simply not include those things in your blog, but I don’t know about you I’m just trying to keep it real.

Laziness // Sometimes blogging is like doing laundry or cleaning my room, I’d just rather watch hours of Real Housewives instead.

 

Bloggers, what keeps you motivated to keep up with your writing?

Readers, what do you like reading the most about? Anything I can start writing on? 

 

 

 

Allieology

Sorry I’m not Sorry

Sorry I’m not sorry that I missed the #sorryimnotsorry prompt of the Blog Everyday in July challenge. I was busy becoming a dancer…

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You see I’ve been trying to write my blog posts at night so that I am a good little worker bee between the hours of 9-5 and by the time I got home last night a post just wasn’t happening. I will be doing a full recap of what last nights activities (because of course we took lots of pictures) but lets just say that this white girl has no rhythm and after looking at this picture from the be-hind, this girl also needs some serious hours in the gym and there was lots of the dancing girls emojis used after class.

Later today I’ll be posting the last of the Blog Everyday Challenge and tomorrow we’ll be back to the our regularly scheduled program.

Did you like hearing from me everyday this month? 

 

 

Allieology

What I like about me..

This prompt for the #BlogEverydayinJuly challenge has come just at the right time. I told you all last week that a situation I had hoped would go one way unfortunately went another and it was a total blow to my ego and then over the weekend I made the decision to close some doors in certain aspects of my life (sorry for the elusiveness but something things just need not to be talked about it right now) so I thinking about what I like about myself helped me make that situation and that decision a little easier today.


(Does anyone else have the Amanda Bynes/Jennie Garth theme song stuck in their head while reading this/writing their own post? No? Just me?) 

My red hair // My red hair was a major inspiration for the name of this blog. As a kid I HATED that I was one of 3 gingers in my elementary school, it made me different, it always bothered me when people asked if it was real or natural and told me how beautiful it was. Yep, I hated people calling me (ok, my hair) beautiful. WAS I A NUT CASE?  Then four years ago I was nicknamed “red” by someone I really cared about and though they don’t call me it anymore to me it still was my best descriptor. While writing this post  I googled “red hair personality traits” and came across everyday health and learned that not only am I at a higher risk for melanoma ( i <3 sunscreen!!), gingers have more sex, it will be quite some time before I see regular grey hairs, I soak up more vitamin D thus having stronger bones than you blondes and brunettes, I don’t have a high tolerance for pain, that I’m not the only ginger that fears the dentist and that I can blame my hair color on my resistance of novocain! 

My laugh // Joe wasn’t kidding when he says I laugh at his not-always-funny jokes. I love to laugh, you probably sensed that because my tag line is from a Daughtry song, all that I’m after is a lifetime of laughter. It’s not a good day if I haven’t laughed so hard I’ve cried/had trouble breathing but don’t worry that usually happens at the lunch table at work, or whenever I am with my girlfriends, or my grandmother so most days are good.

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My love for my nephews // Before my nephews were born I wasn’t always positive I wanted children and its the time, the hugs, the laughs, the mario kart races I have had with them over the last six years that has made me realize how much I want a family of my own and have made me realize that I can care about another human being as much as I care about them.

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My ability to admit I am wrong // I am the type of person who more often than not can see both sides to every story and I love that I can admit when I am wrong or that can see why another person feels the way they do. I think it makes me a good person to talk about the big decisions in your life – whether it be a job, a conversation you need to have with a loved one, or its rehashing an argument you had with someone.

My sangria making skills // I am the McGyver of sangria making. I can make sangria using any type of red wine, white wine, juice, carbonated beverage, fruit you have on hand. Red wine and gingerale, I know the perfect amounts. White wine and pineapple juice and peach? I can do that too. And you’ll enjoy every last drop of it.

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Now what is it that you like about YOU? 

Allieology

 

Blog Everyday in July: Favorite Photos

I think Allie, Juliette, and Faith now that we are all struggling for some content to finish up the #BlogEverydayinJuly challenge because we’ve got two pictures posts in 3 days. But I’m not complaining, this was one of my favorite posts because  I got to search in the depths of my facebook and instagram to find the perfect photos to share with you!

Challenge: a favorite photo, a photo you took, and a selfie

We Won the CUP!

 

WE WON THE CUP!! Last summer our bad news bears kickball team from 2012 came back with a vengeance (and some new players) to go 8-0 and bring home the cup! I spent 7 Wednesday nights in a row with these ballers and their Mighty Kicks (our team name) and it was literally like I’d won the superbowl when we brought home that W!

 

Turkey Morning Cartoons

 

Doesn’t a selfie also count as one I took?  Here’s a real selfie of my nephew Charlie, certified best hugger ever, and I watching cartoons on Thanksgiving morning.

My Favorite Photos

Two of my oldest and bestest friends in Chicago in April!  Both Jenn and Lauren were in Chicago for work and I tagged along to be a tourist! This photo was by the “Bean” that  I made them walk a million blocks to so we could have a photo op, they thanked me later.

Allieology

ThredUp

If you follow Life with Red on Facebook or Twitter (if you’re not, start!) then you know that I received my first “Clean Out” Bag from ThredUp last week! I first read about ThredUp from Tina at Carrots ‘n’ Cake back in June and so when I called a local consignment spot two weeks ago to see if I could get an appointment to come in with my summer clothes and they couldn’t see me until mid-August (kept the appointment, but I’ll be bringing my Fall clothes!) I decided to give the online consigner a try!

Ordering a “clean out” bag is super easy, all you do is log onto ThredUp select the green “Sell” tab in the navigation and hit order bag and ThredUp will send a clean out bag free of charge for those of you worried that you’d have to pay the freight to get it back to the ThredUp offices have no fear the bag includes pre-paid postage, so it can be picked up from your home (via USPS), dropped in a mailbox or brought to the post office! 

Then the fun part begins, cleaning out your drawers and closet! If you’ve been following along with my 101 in 1,001 in one goals, you know that goal #66 is to get rid of 1,001 things over 2.75 year and its not throwing away paper, its legit things (clothes, accessories, kitchen supplies, bedding, etc.) so I was happy I was going to be able to use this opportunity to knock that number down slightly!

I received my clean out bag less than a week after I ordered it and had already set aside my summer clothes to attempt to consign so getting it all packaged up was super easy.

ThredUp Mailer Front ThredUp Mailer Back

The envelope your “clean out” bag arrives in also has handy directions with reminders on how the program works.

Thred Up Folded Clothes 25

The 25 items I included (shirts, pants, jeans, dresses) were from retailers like Gap, New York and Company, J.Crew, London Times, Tahari, Loft, the Limited

Clothes in Bag for ThredUp

All 25 items fit nicely in the clean out bag, I would estimate there was actually room for another 5 to 10 more items.

ThredUp Clean Out Bag

I used the self adhesive tape provided to close up my bag and left it at reception at work for our FedEx man to pick up!

All and all I think the decision making process of what to keep and what to consign  took 10x’s longer than 5 minutes it took to fold everything up and send it off!

Have you ever used ThredUp to consign clothes? 

Have you ever bought clothes from ThredUp or another consignment store? 

 

You can earn $10 off your first ThredUp purchase!

 

 

Blog Everyday in July: Photo Every Hour

I almost decided I was going to skip this challenge because I didn’t remember I was supposed to be photographing my day one day last week until 2PM on Saturday, the day I was supposed to be posting all about it.

But I had made it this far in the #BlogEverydayinJuly challenge that I couldn’t skip so you my readers are getting the incredibly boring glimpse into my weekend.


In preparation for the move I posted some stuff on Craigslist and already sold that end table (x2) in the picture! (Don’t mind the blackoutness of my computer screen, a friend did the Party Rock Anthem across my bedroom floor two years ago and stepped on my computer a new one is on the wishlist for 2014)

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Apparently I’m having some sort of love affair with Target’s Up & Up Cleaning Products

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Packed up our dishes while binge watching Season 3 of Dallas. #wildsaturdaynight

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unday morning trip to Wholefoods: bagels, cream cheese, tomato, and guacamole #staplesunday

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Standard Sunday Night Dinner this past month.

How did you spend your weekend? 

Allieology

Blog Every Day in July: Day 27 – Interview Someone

Today’s prompt in the #BlogEverdayinJuly Challenge is to interview someone and I thought it would be a perfect way to introduce my co-worker and friend Joe to my readers! You see a few weeks ago when I created my Life with Red Facebook Page Joe came running (he’ll deny that) over to my desk after hitting like to tell me he really thought he wanted to take a stab at blogging himself, I told him if he wanted to guest post on LWR a few times to figure out if blogging was something he was really interested in he was more than welcome – two hours later he sent me the below.

Joe’s known for his witty comments (see #6 in the interview questions) and has an opinion about just about everything and if he pulls the trigger on starting his own blog he wants to write about sports, humor, fitness, women, people that piss him off, and his hatred for vegetables. If you like what he’s written, leave him a comment below!

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But first his interview questions:

What’s your hidden talent?
I can clap one-handed

What’s your favorite TV show?
Game of thrones

Name someone you admire.
Steve Guttenberg (from Police Academy)

Do you prefer cake or pie?
Cake. Definitely

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Pizzer

What’s your favorite memory of (or with) me?
Laughing at my hilarious jokes in the lunch room

Quote a movie, any movie, right now.
“If it bleeds, we can kill it”- Predator

Did the last question give you a little bit of anxiety?
No

Name something inappropriate you always laugh at.
People who trip and fall in front of me

 

And now his rant, er, I mean blog.. 

Ok so those of us who frequent the gym know (or should know) about the rules of etiquette while working out: no slamming weights, no cell phone use, making sure you wipe down the machine, etc.. . However there are some people who just don’t f’n get it.  These are the same people that Natural Selection should have weeded out a long time ago but for some reason they are still walking the earth.  If you’re one of these people please cancel your gym membership right now and start walking outside or some shit, that way you don’t bother those of us who are actually putting in work. Hell, stay home and throw that old Jane Fonda workout in the VHS, that way you can gossip all day long to your friends and family while not driving other people insane

–        The lady next to me on the treadmill who is talking on her cell phone loud as hell. I realize that you are entitled and have no concept of how to act in a public place, but spare me the gossip about which one of your friends makes a shitty casserole, or when you’re going down the cape for vacation, or about how your 15 year old son dresses up in women’s clothing (he likes the way a thong feels, get over it lady). How are you even able to concentrate on working out when you won’t shut the hell up??

–        The guy on the treadmill on the other side of me who has the incline all the way up and looks like Sly Stallone in f’n Cliffhanger. Bro, know your limits. If you need a f’n Sherpa to complete your workout on the treadmill you’re doing something wrong. Do the world a favor and move to Tibet, maybe all that practice walking on the treadmill on level 10 incline would help when your scaling Everest.

–        Old people in the free weights section: sorry gramps, you’re no Jack Lallane so give it up dude. I realize you won the arm-wrestling competition in 1945 when you were in the Merchant Marines, but that was a long f’n time ago. You’re better off sipping some Metamucil on the porch while your wife DVR’S the latest episode of Murder She Wrote. If you want some exercise do what every other grandpa in this world does: start golfing. Or hang out with your grandkids

–        The hot chick with the amazing ass: you’re not doing anything wrong, except using the elliptical machine that is not directly in front of me. Pleas move promptly so I can get a better view. Also, when you’re on the elliptical don’t do the “Riverdance’, where you have your hands on your hips the whole time. We’re not in Switzerland or some shit and there’s no need to show off, your ass is already amazing and that’s good enough for us guys

And  there we have Life with Red readers, Joe’s take on the gym. What do you think?

Allieology