Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's resolutions....

Enjoy this article from personal trainer and certified strength and conditioning coach Larry Kaplan.

Great suggestions and tips and can be applied not just to healthy living but an organized and more productive overall lifestyle.

Staying the fitness course

Fitness-wise, the celebration of the new year is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it's an excuse to overindulge, which means launching the next 12 months in the worst possible way - with a hangover.

On the other, it's when we resolve to do better (always a laudable goal). And many of those resolutions center on the body - specifically, making it thinner and more shapely as a token of our inward and spiritual grace, not to mention overall hotness.

Making resolutions is easy, of course; keeping them, not so. That's why gym membership and attendance typically spike in January and then steadily decline.

Larry Kaplan has witnessed the phenomenon often. A personal trainer and certified strength and conditioning coach, Kaplan, 40, runs a gym called Varsity Fitness in the basement of the Cynwyd Club in Bala Cynwyd.

There, Kaplan specializes in enticing children to embrace fitness and in improving the performance of elite athletes, especially tennis players. He has an array of exercise devices designed to increase strength, power, agility, coordination, and explosiveness.

Keeping people motivated is a personal trainer's central task, and lack of motivation is the main reason so many body-improvement resolutions collapse. How to better the odds? I asked Kaplan to share his suggestions.

Be patient and realistic. Don't expect to look like a supermodel or Adonis in a week, a month, or even a year. Set modest, easily achievable goals each time you work out. Compete with yourself. Try to improve or increase one thing. For instance, boost the load, add a rep, go slightly faster.

Meanwhile, don't look at the scale. Muscle weighs more than fat, and it takes time for your body to adapt and change. How do your clothes fit? How do you feel? Those are the important questions.

Don't overdo it. Your body can handle only so much stress, especially if you're deconditioned. Many people stop working out because they get sore. Getting sore is not the object, and it doesn't mean you had a good workout. Listen to your body. It will tell you when you're pushing too far, too fast, or too hard. Pain is its way of saying "STOP!" Heed it.

Dedicate your workout to a loved one. Lift weights to make your arms and back more sexy for your boyfriend or husband. Run at a brisk pace to pare your gut and fortify your heart so your wife doesn't become a widow and your daughter doesn't lose her dad before you can walk her down the aisle.

Hire a trainer(if you can afford one). Once you've booked an appointment with a trainer, you're more likely to show up and stick to it. A good trainer will encourage you, keep you motivated, and manage your progress so you don't get injured.

Vary your routine constantly. If you keep doing the same thing, your body will deliver the same results. Change is good not only for your body but also for your mind; it will keep you from getting bored.

"If a guy from outer space went to the gym, he'd think a treadmill makes people fat," Kaplan says. "That's because so many people do the same thing - they walk for 30 minutes at three miles an hour. Something is better than nothing, but you won't lose weight or change your body unless you challenge yourself. Examples: Walk two miles at a 4 percent incline, or intersperse the 30 minutes with one- or two-minute intervals at higher speeds to add intensity.

Build your fitness regimen around something you love.Kaplan remembers hearing a trainer tell a client, "I don't care if you hate doing this. Do it for 30 minutes anyway." Kaplan was appalled. "There's always something else you can do," he says. "Find something you like and do it."

Which brings to mind my piece of advice for 2011 (and beyond), courtesy of Roger Rosenblatt's delightful book Rules for Aging. I refer to Rule No. 16: "Do Not Go to Your Left."

Rosenblatt explains: "Going to one's left - or working on going to one's left - is a basketball term for strengthening one's weaknesses. A right-handed player will improve his game considerably if he learns to dribble and shoot with his left hand and to move to his left on the court.

"What is true for basketball, however, is not true for living. In life, if you attempt to compensate for a weakness, you will usually grow weaker. If, on the other hand (the right one), you keep playing to your strength, people will not notice that you have weaknesses."

In short, in the gym, and in other realms of your life, if you do one thing very well, keep doing it. "Establish your strength," Rosenblatt exhorts, "and strengthen it."

Contact columnist Art Carey

at 215-854-5606 or

Sunday, December 26, 2010

spending money to save money

"Organized people save time and money, and reduce their stress and frustration levels. Professional organizers can help you deal with everything from your paper to your professional responsibilities and give you parameters on what to keep, what to toss, and where to take action."


Cleaning, cooking, hosting, cleaning...

This article from the NY Times, "For the Hyper-Neat, a Special Strain Comes With the Season" By JOYCE WADLER, highlights the planning and organizing that goes into many of the meals and parties we host week to week.

It seems no matter how much time you have there are always the last minute things you didn't get done in time. And when I do get everything done in time, I try to sit and enjoy it, even if for a moment. Our guests are not slobs, by any means, but crumbs get loose, dishes get dirty and counter-tops dirtied and I start thinking after the guests leave how to tidy it back up as quickly as possible.

This is 1 reason why we don't have pets, shedding/hair, not interested in cleaning that up. This article made me see that I am not the only one who enjoys entertaining and preparing but also feels that similar feeling at the party's end.

Our home is fairly organized and I think starting off on that foot makes it easier to maintain and clean up when we have less energy to put things away or clean.

Much like Vern Yip, quoted in this article "Although he vacuums around his Christmas trees at least twice a day, he will never bring out the machine while a guest is there."

*Thanks to friend (AC) to bringing this article to my attention.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Is your home cluttered?

Courtesy of AOL's homepage, and thanks to Husband who is the only person left I know who has an AOL email account, this heading caught my eye.

Take this quiz for yourself...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Another great way to sort your closet and make $$$....

Nancy Brenner, expert shopper, reports on another great way to make money of the old clothes in your closet. Enjoy the article in Forbes and happy hunting....the proof is in the wardrobe.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The UBS Dress Code: Do's and Dont's

I caught this article on "In the papers" on NY1 this morning. I couldn't believe I was hearing the "do's and dont's" see below.
To me this seems like basic life maintenence but if not could be an incentive to work with a professional organizer/LMSW to help get you set for the do's....

The Wall Street Journal

Dress to Impress, UBS Tells Staff

First impressions count. This is the message Swiss bank UBS AG is sending its Swiss retail banking staff with a 43-page code dispensing advice on how to impress customers with a polished appearance.

Echoing rules applied at Swiss boarding schools, UBS's guidelines go beyond a list of dress "do's" and "don'ts" by providing hygiene and grooming tips often dotted with aphorisms worthy of fashion and beauty magazines.

The move is part of a test UBS is carrying out in Switzerland across five pilot branches. It follows a recent advertising campaign aimed at re-establishing confidence in the Swiss bank's brand and mending relations with clients.

The UBS Dress Code: Do's and Don'ts


For women:

  • Wear your jacket buttoned.
  • When sitting, the buttons should be unfastened.
  • Make sure to touch up hair regrowth regularly if you color your hair.

For men:

  • Store your suit on a large hanger with rounded shoulders to preserve the shape of the garment.
  • Schedule barber appointments every four weeks to maintain your haircut shape.
  • Eating garlic and onions
  • Smoking or spending time in smoke-filled places
  • Wearing short-sleeved shirts or cuff links
  • Wearing socks that are too short, showing your skin while sitting
  • Allowing underwear to be seen
  • Touching up perfume during or after lunch break
  • Using tie knots that don't match your face shape and/or body shape

As if taking a cue from style manuals, which often stress the importance of well-cut basic outfits in neutral colors, the bank expects its retail banking staff to wear suits in dark grey, black or navy blue, since these colors "symbolize competence, formalism and sobriety."

Short skirts are off limits for female staff, who are told the ideal length should reach the middle of the knee. Showy accessories and trendy spectacles are a no-no. The document isn't short of handy grooming tips.

"Light makeup consisting of foundation, mascara and discreet lipstick ... will enhance your personality," the code says, while advising women not to wear black nail polish and nail art.

The hair-care section notes studies have shown that properly cared-for hair and a stylish haircut "increase an individual's popularity."

AFP/Getty Images

Oswald J. Gruebel, chief executive of Swiss Bank UBS, speaks during a press conference in Zurich earlier this year.On the other hand, designer stubble is out of the question for men, as is excessive facial hair.UBS's advice for men even extends to underwear, which should be of good quality and easily washable, but still remain undetectable. Black knee-high socks are preferable as they prevent showing bare skin when crossing legs, it says.

Strong fragrances are unadvisable in the presence of customers, along with garlic and cigarette breath, the code says. The solution: "Avoid garlic and onion-based dishes."

Accessorizing for male staff excludes items like bracelets and earrings, but wearing timepieces is encouraged, since wristwatches suggest "reliability and great care for punctuality."

UBS spokesman Jean-Raphael Fontannaz acknowledged that the code may appear very detailed and "in line with Swiss precision," but pointed out that these guidelines were originally set up for temporary staffers who may be new to working in a banking environment.

He said the dress code may be rolled out in all UBS's branches in Switzerland if the test proves successful. "Even so, only around 1,500 [employees] would be affected, less than 10% of our staff in Switzerland," Mr. Fontannaz added.

"The goal is for clients to immediately know that they are at UBS when they are entering the bank," he said. "After the test phase we may implement the dress code, or adapt it, or not use it at all."

—Anita Greil in Zurich contributed to this article.

Write to Elena Berton at

Item reccomendation of the month...

Yes, it has been a while since I my last post. I have been organizing, researching and learning new tips and ideas. I wanted to share it forward with my readers.

Ottomans. Functional, storage, additional seating and good all around for just putting your feet up. I just purchased this ottoman from Overstock. It is under $100, free shipping and very versatile. Inside I have stored blankets for the couch and guests sheets and pillows. A bonus tip about this item, you can collapse it and store it under your bed or in a closet if you need more space!

For me it's about multi-purpose. I think this item is a great addition to apartment living and wanted to share it with you.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

insight into my own inspiration....Closet Rehab

I thought I'd pass this interesting article along. Clearly I am not the only one who's hung onto old clothes.

Closet Rehab: Why We Keep Clothes That Don't Fit - iVillage: "Closet Rehab: Why We Keep Clothes That Don't Fit"

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Echos of truth from NY Times essay "Why Sisterly Chats Make People Happier"

The anniversary of my birth is this month and it could not be more appropriate that I came across the article below. Something about me...I am the youngest child with three older brothers. I think my interest in organizing and rearranging things in my childhood bedroom stem from my disinterest in GI Joes, Lego's and Lincoln Logs or more so my brothers disinterest in their little sister.

Every year on my birthday, like most parents or family members, I get asked what I would like as a gift. In my mid-adolescents the PERFECT gift came to mind. What do I want you older sister. I want an older sister. Someone to confide in, share stories, gripes about life, laughs. Someone to ask advice from or get unsolicitated advice from and know, no matter what, they love you, regardless of your decisions or actions. Don't get me wrong. older brothers are caring and supportive but there is something to be said about sisters.

This essay below validates my desire for that older sister. Now easing into my 4th decade in this world, with more than 15 years of asking for a gift that will, knowingly, never arrive, I have come to terms that this gift is unattainable, for many reasons.

I did however luck out. I do not have an older sister but I do have four amazing sister-in-laws. Each sister-in-law is different from the other, most older than me, and have full-filled, beyond my wildest dreams, my wish to have an older sister. They act as a sounding board, support, friend, listener, among many other things.

Don't get me wrong I love calling my local brother on the phone and when he gets distracted by the TV and I have to start singing my sentences to grab is attention. But sister's seem to offer that ear differently.

October 25, 2010

Why Sisterly Chats Make People Happier

“Having a Sister Makes You Happier”: that was the headline on a recent article about a study finding that adolescents who have a sister are less likely to report such feelings as “I am unhappy, sad or depressed” and “I feel like no one loves me.”

These findings are no fluke; other studies have come to similar conclusions. But why would having a sister make you happier?

The usual answer — that girls and women are more likely than boys and men to talk about emotions — is somehow unsatisfying, especially to a researcher like me. Much of my work over the years has developed the premise that women’s styles of friendship and conversation aren’t inherently better than men’s, simply different.

A man once told me that he had spent a day with a friend who was going through a divorce. When he returned home, his wife asked how his friend was coping. He replied: “I don’t know. We didn’t talk about it.”

His wife chastised him. Obviously, she said, the friend needed to talk about what he was going through.

This made the man feel bad. So he was relieved to read in my book “You Just Don’t Understand” (Ballantine, 1990) that doing things together can be a comfort in itself, another way to show caring. Asking about the divorce might have made his friend feel worse by reminding him of it, and expressing concern could have come across as condescending.

The man who told me this was himself comforted to be reassured that his instincts hadn’t been wrong and he hadn’t let his friend down.

But if talking about problems isn’t necessary for comfort, then having sisters shouldn’t make men happier than having brothers. Yet the recent study — by Laura Padilla-Walker and her colleagues at Brigham Young University — is supported by others.

Last year, for example, the British psychologists Liz Wright and Tony Cassidy found that young people who had grown up with at least one sister tended to be happier and more optimistic, especially if their parents had divorced. Another British researcher, Judy Dunn, found a similar pattern among older adults.

So what is going on?

My own recent research about sisters suggests a more subtle dynamic. I interviewed more than 100 women about their sisters, but if they also had brothers, I asked them to compare. Most said they talked to their sisters more often, at greater length and, yes, about more personal topics. This often meant that they felt closer to their sisters, but not always.

One woman, for example, says she talks for hours by phone to her two brothers as well as her two sisters. But the topics differ. She talks to her sisters about their personal lives; with her brothers she discusses history, geography and books. And, she added, one brother calls her at 5 a.m. as a prank.

A prank? Is this communication? Well, yes — it reminds her that he’s thinking of her. And talking for hours creates and reinforces connections with both brothers and sisters, regardless of what they talk about.

A student in my class recounted a situation that shows how this can work. When their family dog died, the siblings (a brother and three sisters) all called one another. The sisters told one another how much they missed the dog and how terrible they felt. The brother expressed concern for everyone in the family but said nothing about what he himself was feeling.

My student didn’t doubt that her brother felt the same as his sisters; he just didn’t say it directly. And I’ll bet that having the phone conversations served exactly the same purpose for him as the sisters’ calls did for them: providing comfort in the face of their shared loss.

So the key to why having sisters makes people happier — men as well as women — may lie not in the kind of talk they exchange but in the fact of talk. If men, like women, talk more often to their sisters than to their brothers, that could explain why sisters make them happier. The interviews I conducted with women reinforced this insight. Many told me that they don’t talk to their sisters about personal problems, either.

An example is Colleen, a widow in her 80s who told me that she’d been very close to her unmarried sister throughout their lives, though they never discussed their personal problems. An image of these sisters has remained indelible in my mind.

Late in life, the sister came to live with Colleen and her husband. Colleen recalled that each morning after her husband got up to make coffee, her sister would stop by Colleen’s bedroom to say good morning. Colleen would urge her sister to join her in bed. As they sat up in bed side by side, holding hands, Colleen and her sister would “just talk.”

That’s another kind of conversation that many women engage in which baffles many men: talk about details of their daily lives, like the sweater they found on sale — details, you might say, as insignificant as those about last night’s ballgame which can baffle women when they overhear men talking. These seemingly pointless conversations are as comforting to some women as “troubles talk” conversations are to others.

So maybe it’s true that talk is the reason having a sister makes you happier, but it needn’t be talk about emotions. When women told me they talk to their sisters more often, at greater length and about more personal topics, I suspect it’s that first element — more often — that is crucial rather than the last.

This makes sense to me as a linguist who truly believes that women’s ways of talking are not inherently better than men’s. It also feels right to me as a woman with two sisters — one who likes to have long conversations about feelings and one who doesn’t, but who both make me happier.

Deborah Tannen is a professor of linguistics at Georgetown University and the author, most recently, of “You Were Always Mom’s Favorite! Sisters in Conversation Throughout Their Lives.”

Thursday, October 28, 2010

1 large bag to Goodwill

Yesterday I sorted and dropped one large bag off at Goodwill and I think it feels great. I just needed to share.

I took all of my pants and skirts out my closet. Then took them all off the hangers, then began my sort. I know I was definitely hard to part with skirts I've had since 2005 and have not worn since well.....2005. But I decided yesterday it was time to pass it on and pay it forward to some lucky person shopping at the local Goodwill store (it's always packed with shoppers).

As soon as I sorted and downsized I knew I needed to take the bag right away otherwise I would "re-sort the bag" especially since I now have spare room on my hangers in the closet. I even thought to call a few friends to see if they would want them, which is not a bad idea but I needed to go directly to the store. I really felt that even the faintest review of the skirts might make me rethink my sort.

24 hours later, no regret. I told myself that I should only keep clothes that I actively wear on a year-to-year basis. I did hold on to 3-4 skirts that will probably go the next purge around but I made big progress. Yes there were skirts and pants that I got in foreign countries that held very nice memories but I use my own tip on myself, I took a picture of the item before I placed it in the bag. Now I will always have a keepsake of that great item.

My point is, even for a professional organizer it is difficult to part with things and find the right time even if you know it is now.

T-shirts and pjs are next week's purge project...

Friday, October 8, 2010

cash for clutter and other fun ideas.....

The current issue of the magazine "First for women" (Oct. 18, 2010) features the article "12 genius ways to turn your clutter into cash." This article offers suggestions and advice regarding how to get rid of unwanted items and get some cash or new goods in return.

1. Recyclables: Mentions the site which offers a program weighing recyclables and awarding in return points good at retailers
2. Sporting equipment: Mentions the site offering cash for up to 30% of items' resale value
3. Cosmetic containers: Mentions the facts that Estee Lauder's Origins stores accept cosmetic containers for recycling and that returning six used MAC Cosmetics containers to a MAC store leads to a free lipstick
4. Cell phones: Mentions the site which offers cash for outdated phones
5. Video games: Mentions the site which offers credit usable at local GameStop stores
6. DVDs and CDs: Mentions the site which offers cash for disks in good condition
7. Hobby equipment: Suggests that folks looking to donate used supplies or equipment reach out to special-interest groups accessible via
8. Unused gift cards: Mentions the fact that will buy unused gift cards with a minimum balance of $25 (per card)
9. Jewelry: Suggests visiting a reputable jeweler and mentions the site, where one can find names of certified jewelers
10. Electronics: Mentions the site which offers cash for electronics that power on
11. Books: Mentions which offers cash as well as free FedEx shipping labels
12. Memorabilia: Mentions which offers information on eBay's new registered drop-off locations facilitating sale of items on eBay

Monday, October 4, 2010

Safety first?

For my generation, putting a seat belt on when you get into a car is a natural instinct. I do recall our family car's in the early 80's that did not have seat belts. How times have changed for the better.

My parents always told me when I was learning to drive, they weren't worried about me on the road, they were more worried about the other people on the road. I think the same applies to adults wearing helmets.

Clearly the same idea is not translated to riding bike's. I was under the impression it was the Law that everyone riding a bike must be wearing a helmet but that does not seem to be the case. Watching people in Riverside Park and Central Park riding their bike's, I just don't get when I see the kid's wearing helmet's and the parents riding behind without helmets. What's good enough for the kids isn't good enough for the parents?

I am really perplexed when I see people riding without a helmet. Isn't it safety first?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

home craft inspiration

I have a 3-ring binder full of clippings and items I've torn out from various magazines and newspapers over the past 10 years of craft ideas for the home that I'd some-day-like-to-do. I am starting to feel that time is coming near.

Ideas for coffee tables, jewelry/makeup holders, homemade picture frames, bulletin boards of the sort. Now that we are settled I am starting to feel the craft homemaker in me starting to itch to come out. I will keep you posted on my projects and I hope Husband is on board with these ideas....

hanging up

We have now moved to the "where should we hang things on our walls" stage of our move. The boxes are gone, the clothes are put away, and things have finally found their homeOn one hand we are inclined to re-hang our pictures in similar places as they were in our last apartment. But I think we are both wavering on that option. Now I am getting to the point where I love the paint colors we picked but am tired of seeing them bare.

This got me thinking about how much hanging pictures, diplomas, etc really make a house a home. I have been looking more closely at friends apartments and how they display their things to give me inspiration. I know it doesn't sound like it is something that is so complicated but we're not moving for a long while and I have a feeling these holes we make in the wall will be there for a long while.

I am browsing my organizing sites for inspiration....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Boys?

Does anyone else watch this show, My Boys on TBS? I do and I think I am the only person I know who watches it. It's not like Big Brother, where people know it's on and trash talk it around the water cooler from time to time. My Boys was a show a discovered last summer, thought it was fresh, fun and 30 minutes.

I'm catching up on my DVR and in this weeks episode one of the characters discovers he is good at closet organizing. The friends in the group are excited and encouraging but when it comes down to him helping his friends, a lot of resistance develops. The friends aren't interested in parting with ANY item. It makes me chuckle a little bit because I see it and feel it myself often.

Me for example, I get very motivated to unpack my boxes to put my clothes away. Start with a few things on top and either 1) getting sentimental about the item or 2) don't know the best place to put the item.

Fortunately for me that feeling does not happen too often. But it's good to know it does happen and helps me related to friends, family and clients Organizing is more than just physically moving things into new places, it's about facing what you really use, what you really need and look at what you are holding on to and why. It's not always a bad thing to unpack that last box. You might be surprised what's inside.

Monday, August 23, 2010

No mad, nomad, nomaddness....

No I am not mad. Yes I was mildly disappointed our move-in ready apartment was not move in ready, let alone ready. But we are in, after a 3 week hiatus of nomaddness 2010, as I am referring to it.

Thankfully we were in a position that we had more places to stay than nights we needed. Being transient has made me appreciate sleeping in my own bed. Every 2-3 nights we were relocating, reloading our bags, searching for things and then resetting.

But now we are in, and that surprising? 65 boxes totally, 3 left (all Husbands boxes). Part of me things, yes I was over zealous with my unpacking but the other part of me was just ready to put things away and be ready to live our life in our new place. I think we are just about ready.

I am never moving again.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Personal Hygenie out of the home?

I just rode the bus today with a man who had nail clippers on his belt chain. I prefer to leave my nail clippers at home (right now who knows where home is for us as we are nomad's right now and have our personal items in storage and at Parental units homes).

I have never, not once, had the urge to clip my nails, file my nails or even bite my nails outside my own home, let alone in the presence of close family and friends.

Today I was reminded of Brother's experience with a co-worker who used to avidly and frequently clip his nails as his desk, in a cube. It was as if one goes to a barber shop or salon to get a hair cut and co-worker goes to work to do his nail grooming. It was gross and I wasn't even there. Since then, I've seen people clip on trains, on streets, in cars. Whatever happened to keeping it in the bathroom?? Now buses??

Thursday, July 29, 2010

technology downgrade?

Ok who am I kidding (husband hope you got a good laugh at that title). I have been talking, months ago, about downgrading from a Blackberry to an "old fashion" flip-phone with no bells and whistles. Yes a flip phone would make it more difficult to text, pressing each key three times to get to the letter I want, and I'd be detached from checking my ever pressing email that I could totally wait until I am home to read and respond.

Then the Apple iphone am out and I am tempted, very tempted to make the switch, to leave Sprint after 12 years of service, yes I could be the most loyal Sprint customer ever and have nothing to show for it. We switched from a Dell to a Mac and LOVE LOVE it. So why not make it seamless with the iphone. The idea was launched by Friends while running in the park. Friends said "oh we'll call you when we finish the race in and meet" to which I responded (as they were tapping their iphones/ipods) "I don't have my phone with me". It does seem practical for safety reasons to run with a phone and what better way to do so? Regardless, I will wait to see if Apple with fix the "death grip" before I rush out to get the phone with the protective cover.

Now this purchase would be the complete opposite of a technology downgrade. I would be even more connected to my email, downloading apps, texting, twittering and playing games; just what Husbands needs, me checking my phone even more than I already do when we are spending time together.

I think the iphone would make me even more organized though not a downgrade from my original intentions.

leaving it to the professionals....

I am an advocate for leaving it to the professionals. Husband works with numbers, while I am apart of number crunching, I yield to him for the cost/benefit analysis. My IT friends and entrepreneurs, I yield to you for computer advice and IT help and gadgets help; just as my friends consult with me for my opinion on organizing and decluttering.

Moving is on my mind because, well we're moving. I posted about deciding whether to higher our movers to pack us also. People have commented to me about how could I higher packers, I'm a professional organizer it should be easy to put things in boxes. Packing is a whole different league. As an organizer, I help minimize clutter, sort items, evaluate and help decide what is really worth bringing in the next move of items that haven't been worn or used in too long, put like things together and really look at the function of the odds and ends that are difficult to put in boxes or wrap uniformally.

I am going to continue leaving it to the professionals. The two packers are doing a great job. I feel confident that are items are being packed the "right" way and I will report after if anything has been broken but I have a feeling that won't be the case.

I am all for leaving it to the professionals.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It's too hot, it's too cold

All summer long you hear, "hot enough for you?"
All winter long you hear, "cold enough for you?"

Brother sent me this link and CBS news correspondent Steve Hartman sums up how I feel about weather complainers and weather comments....enjoy and stay cool or hot whatever you are trying to be.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

If only there was an App for that....

If only there was an "app" to move cars slightly forward or backward so I could park. Driving around I've seen so many near spots but the cars are all spread out. If I could create an app to just slightly move the car up I would be very happy.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Did you ever see that Seinfeld....

where Elaine leaves her Doctor and her medical records seem to follow her wherever she goes? Well I am having the exact opposite problem. I am looking to leave my doctor. I found my new doctor but they won't see me unless I have my records sent over.

Bring, bring. I call my old doctor and say I want to send my records over, I am leaving the practice, I'm over you guys. They say ok, just fax us a request stating that. I do so. I call back at the end of the day to confirm the records will be sent. The woman on the other end of old doctor's office phone said that first the doctor (whom I want to leave) must approve of releasing the records. Then it will take 7-10 business days to mail (they won't fax them) AND they is a strong chance they will charge me for my records!

Is this not insane?? Elaine is trying to get ride of her record and I am trying to bring it with me, go figure?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Texting while...

Texting while walking, texting while talking and texting while driving. Three of my latest pet peeves (though I am guilt of texting while talking, that's for your Husband).

Yesterday I had an outting out of the City that had me doing ALOT of driving. I noticed the majority of drives in the Left lane going slow where texting or talking on their cell phones, which is illegal and most importantly unsafe.

I thought Oprah and her "no texting pledge" was a little out of control. It is not. I get it and so should all those other drives on the NJ Turnpike and PA Turnpike. I was really in shock. There were lots of cars going below the legal speed limit in the passing lane completely oblivious to what was happening around them.

I do not text when I drive, I do not text when I walk, and I do not like green eggs and ham.

Monday, July 19, 2010

pack or be packed?

We're moving, when...that is to be determined.

Originally I thought we'd have our movers pack us up. With all of our books, breakables and misc mish-mash of things that always drive me crazy that can't quiet fit into a box.

The more I mentioned this to close friends their responses got me thinking...."the licensed professional organizer needs to higher packers before a move?"

The be clear we are organized, we don't have much to purge before the move, but I am concerned about the breakables (serving dishes, glasses, wine glasses, odd size platters etc).

Now I am contemplating packing myself...all of our things. I am really looking at this at a cost analysis:
1)the actual cost of buying boxes and bubble wrap
2)the mental state of knowing the professionals can handle this part of our move....

let the number crunching begin!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cleaning House

Cleaning House

Pick up the latest issue of Time Magazine for more on this interesting article about Hoarders. While hoarding is an extreme situation, staying some what organized day-to-day week-to-week can make all the difference in the long run in have an organized and more enjoyable life.

Monday, July 12, 2010

High Rise or House with Yard?

This article in the NY Times last week struck my interest as many of our friends are looking to move out of the city.

I've seen friends move closer to family in NJ, Georgia and my own Family busted out of their 1 bedroom apartment to West Chester. I struggled with Family's move because 1) they are not just family but my closest friends 2)they were taking their adorable 1 year old daughter with them and 3) they were going to be out of walking distance for us to hang out. At first I thought I would reject their move but it didn't take long for me to embrace it and was truly happy for them. Yes, more planning would be involved to get transported to spend time together but we make it work.

Now married myself people ask us, often, when are we moving? Where are we moving to? Our answer, no where, we are staying put! Why rush to move? All of our friends are near by, it's a close commute to jobs, tons of culinary options, night life, 24 hour bodegta's, why would be leave? Just because we're married doesn't mean you have to leave the city.

This article was written for our friends (I am sure for many other of the millions of readers of the NY Times) because we are always talking about the pro's and con's about living in the suburbs v the city. If you talk to Husband and I we are all about city living, we'd give you 100 reasons to stay in the city and ways to make it happen (and I'd even offer my services to help you find space for all the stuff!)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Luggage Luggage everywhere

On my way to the train, in the train, on the train and out of the train everyone seemed to have weekend bags. Girly bags, suitcases, bags on wheels, you name it. Everyone is getting out of dodge!

This to me is an obvious sign these apartments are going to be vacant for the long holiday weekend. I remember learning something in my house, mind you I remember alot of this but in relation to this topic. If you are going to a funeral or a wedding make sure you have someone at your house to make sure there are no burglars. I know this sounds so morbid but my parents have known houses that have gotten robbed while at a family members funeral or at a wedding.

Seeing all the suitcases this morning reminded me of this lesson. All of these people are leaving their apartments, clearly going out of town and everyone call tell they will not be home. I guess this is the beauty of living in the City versues the Suburbs. Neighbors can't see if you haven't moved your car in two days or that your news paper is piling up outside of your house. Granted we cancel our papers but then the NY Times and the Post knows we aren't home.

Yes I realized I am sounding paranoid but it was meant to be more insightful in what we show people as we leave our apartments and ride the trains. What we tell the people around us. I find it entertaining to see who is a light packer and who is not. I saw a woman on 86th and Columbus with her wheely suitcase, purse and large beach chair. I have had an evolution in my own packing standards. Brothers will tell you it would take weeks for me to plan, pack, repack and REPACK again. In the last 10 years I have count down on the number of repacking. Since being married we have actually managed to pack for two in one bag. Yes a shocker to me and my family.

We usually stay home on long weekends like this. We like the City when it is quiet.

Leaving our building this morning, I saw our Super and his Wife. I wished them a nice and quiet weekend (clearly indicating that I will not be seeing them as we are going out of town.)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tip shared from Brother #1

Some things can always be counted on: death, taxes, and bugs getting inside your home through every conceivable nook & cranny all summer long. But what to do when you're hosting a backyard party and are constantly opening & shutting your sliding doors? Pick up an Instant Sliding Door Screen from Get Organized, which will allow you to slip through easily, even when your hands are full, but will keep the pests out. Save an extra 10% on this, and everything else sitewide, with coupon code GETORGNZ. Coupon expiry now extended through 07/31/2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A little something about me.....

I love ABC's Wipeout (sorry Husband it's not on the network that butters our bread; and I know you love the show too). It is funny to watch, it is funnier to watch with someone. I am not someone who LOL's in real life. I don't know what it is about me but my general response when I find something funny is to say, "that's funny." Take me to a comedy club and I will spend most of the night nudging your arm and nodding "that's funny"**.

But something about Wipeout makes me LAUGH OUT LOUD. I love John Henson, the co-host, when he was hosting Talk Soup on E!. I find the female co-host very entertaining, down to earth and beautiful and I think the contestants are a riot.

We first got into Wipeout in June 2009 while on vacation in Puerto Rico. We came back from vacation and found ourselves making Tuesday night Wipeout night, sitting in front of our fans (his and hers, as most of you know we do not own an AC by choice), eating our frozen blueberries (instant air conditioning) watching the contestants wipeout.

I was so excited to see the show returning this summer. It wasn't a one-hit-wonder. Clearly Husband and I are not the only two people watching it. They are back and now I want to be on Wipeout. I am not saying I can make it the Wipeout Zone, I am not even saying I'll get past the second round***. But I want to be on it. Husband said last night we should be on it. His enthusiasm has actually got me started on this post, professing my love of this show and desire to be on it.

It's not about the money, it's about the pure laughter and joy I get from seeing the participants run the course.

**If you want to go to a comedy club with me I can control the arm nudging if need be.
***I know I will get thru the first round for sure.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Coffee Lady you have a monopoly on me....

Dear Coffee Lady,

I have tweeted how I love the way you mix the coffee, milk, sugar and ice. I have become addicted to your ice coffees. It used to be a treat to get you when it was super hot out and now I look forward to you every day on my way to work. My weekend ice coffee is never as good as yours, don't feel like I am betraying you. I always come back.

Today on my way to work I was salivating at the thought of the ice coffee, particularly because it felt like 90 degrees at 8:30am. I debated about picking up my ice coffee by my old coffee guy on 87th and Broadway but thought I would 1) finish the entire drink and/or 2) the ice would melt.

So this morning on my walk to work I searched for alternate coffee stops along my way. There was 1 Starbucks outside of the subway but I am not a fan of "fourbucks" as I call it. The Mud Truck was no where to be seen. There was nothing between Christopher Street and Washington Square North.

Tomorrow I will have to mix up my route to see what else is out there. I am just becoming too dependent on you (Coffee Lady).

Be well,


Friday, June 25, 2010

Grunting's you not me.

I am a novice runner by any means. I like running as a hobby but am also a seasonal runner. Meaning I only run when it's warm and not raining. I am ok with being a novice.

I recently joined the NYRR (New York Road Runners Club). Intimated completely by the runners involved and their advanced skill at running swiftly, I bit the bullet and signed up. What better motivation to starting moving than the NYRR. At first, I felt like I looked like a newbie because my running clothes consist of old t-shirts and target running shorts not designer brand workout clothes like most of the people zooming past me. I also didn't know anyone running that day (or so I thought). As I walk up to the 4000 section of runners, of what must have been 10,000+ runners, I see two Friends who happen to be in my running group, so random and so fun. Not like I could keep up with them or anyone else running. The first NYRR race I did it felt like everyone was zooming past me, not being polite and knocking their sweaty elbow's by me, spitting and grunting. Mind you my race time was pretty decent and I tried not to be mislead in the future by speedy runners and my pace.

I was put off. Have some respect please. It's not so difficult to mind your space and keep your sweaty elbows to yourself.

The next run was 1 mile longer. Granted the run was longer and it was very humid for this early in the morning I felt better knowing Friends were running again AND people weren't zooming past me as much. However the amount of grunting and outward coughing (without covering their mouth) was just gross. It made me wonder if these runners were going to pass out? pushing themselves too hard? were being over dramatic? or what?

We'll see what happens with the next race this weekend. It is the same distance as the last race and is supposed to be just as humid. Really cover your mouth if you are grunting or coughing please and also please keep your sweaty elbows to yourself.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

10 Extremely Simple Tips To Eliminate Stress in Your Day

How can this title not make anyone one to see the 10 easy things to eliminate stress in your day (courtesy of The Happiness Project) .

I already seem to incorporate 8 of 10 of these into my life so I hope I am on my way to a stress free day....

check them out:
1. Keep some cash in the house. For years, I badgered my husband to get cash so we had cash in the house. Finally, light dawned: Why did I get to decide that this was his problem? Now I get cash when we need a reserve, and I feel much better.

2. Never let your car’s gas level fall into the “empty” zone. Special note to my fellow under-buyers: if you can afford it, fill the tank! Save yourself from having to return to the gas station in two days.

3. Have an over-the-counter pain reliever at hand at all times.

4. Put your keys away in the same place every day. This sounds so easy -- and it is. It will make you so happy.

5. Turn out the light as soon as you’re sleepy. Since I started my happiness project, I've become a sleep nut. Getting enough sleep makes a huge difference in my sense of energy and cheerfulness.

6. Walk around the block.

7. Take ten minutes before bed to tidy up.

8. If you have to pack a lunch for anyone, get it ready the night before.

9. Have at least one good friend who lives in the neighborhood.

10. Make your bed. This sounds trivial, I know -- but try it, it really helps!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Facebook to be renamed Babybook?

Don't get me wrong I love looking at pictures of your kids and family members and I LOVE showing off pictures of my nieces and nephews (all 9 of them) but has anyone else noticed that facebook has now become a show and tell of what your friends kids are doing? Who's taking their morning nap? Who's not sleeping through the night? Who's got their first day of pre-pre nursery school? Which parent can't wait for their significant other to return from a boys/girls weekend or business trip?

My question is what would these baby's say if they knew in 14 or 15 years their baby picture's were plastered all over the intra-web? In case you are wondering, if you'd like to see pictures of my loved one's email me. If you'd like to know who is sleeping thru the night or where they are on potty training I'd be more than happy to forward your query to the appropriate parent.

I think I might be going back to friendster....when it was about my friends and not my kids.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Keep right except to pass

I learned this mantra at an young age. My family used to travel to the midwest to visit my cousins and we "east coast" cousins would always comment how things moved so slowly in the mid-west. I remember driving on the highway and seeing a sign that said "Keep right except to pass". This sign came back to when I started driving at 17.

In the past xx years I have always had that in mind, when driving on the turnpike, walking on the sidewalk and walking up stairs in the subway.

Why, I ask, are people not remembering this mantra anymore?? Today I was walking on the sidewalk on my lunch break and a man was stopped in the middle, SMACK IN THE MIDDLE of the tree lined street. I mention the tree's because they made it MORE difficult to go around the other pedestrians and the man stopped in the middle of the sidewalk tapping into his iphone, oblivious to what was going on around him.

I turned back after I passed him to see if he had moved on and he had not moved on. I don't know why it makes me so upset right now, more so than any other time. But really I wonder what was so pressing that he had to just stop.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010 should be renamed

I used to think meteorologist had the best jobs ever. They come to work every day, try and predict the weather. They could get the weather completely wrong and STILL come to work the next day as if they did nothing wrong. One might not like the weather person but for some reason that doesn't stop you from tuning in night after night to see what the weather forecast will be.

In recent years I have relied less on the local forecast and more on With some advanced features as 10-day forecasts, hour-by hour it became some fun to see what will be and seem better prepared for weekend planing or traveling outside of my region. I felt empowered by to pack accordingly for my travels or my week ahead. Forget that I felt empowered to know I will be dressed accordingly for the next day.

But I learned this month that I was asking to much. I shall explain....

This past weekend I had signed up for a run (to take place outside). I looked at and it showed me a chance of rain over the weekend. Friday I checked but knowing I will check again on Saturday night to see the hour-by-hour to clarify which part of the morning the rain is anticipated. To my dismay rain was predicted from 5am thru the morning. I was preparing myself to 1) either not run because of the rain or 2)suck it up and run in the rain what an experience it could be.

Sunday morning the alarm goes off, I look outside and not a sign of rain on the ground. I prepare for the run, at the starting line still no rain. No rain all day until 5:45pm for less than 10 minutes! you let me down big time.

Yes maybe part of me was hoping you were right and rained and I had an easy out not to run the race (I would have done it in the rain anyway).

We're over, we are through! I am going back to my local newscasters at ABC7 and WNBC(Husband that's for you). At least they are apologetic when they get the forecast wrong!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The heat is on....

The heat is on....summer will soon officially be here. After a long winter of lots of snow and rain and making small talk with elevator and door men, co-workers and close friends. Now it is supposed to be 91 degrees and people are saying how it's too hot.

What's the deal? Is it just small talk? Will we ever be happy with the weather. Me...I'm a warm weather person. I will take the heat and humidity any day over snow and cold rain. I recently traveled with Husband to the winter Olympics. Before you say anything, yes I know the winter Olympics are supposed to be cold. Everyone told me how mild Vancouver is and how lucky we are to be going to such a mild temperature location for the Olympics. I was cold, every day, bone cold. I could not warm up at all the entire time I was there. After day two I said to Husband that I think I am a summer Olympic type of person.

I went to college in a warm climate, I love to vacation in a warm climate any time of year and I enjoy New York City in the warm months.

So now begins the small talk of "did you turn your AC on yet?" "hot enough for you" and "stay cool". I have converted Husband to the dark side, there is no AC in our apartment, not in our bedroom, not in our living. We have two tower fans that cool the apartment down just fine, keeps the air moving.

There is something not normal to me when you have to sit inside in a fleece sweater in the middle of June after complaining how cold of a winter it has been!

Monday, May 24, 2010

my shredder is on the fritz....

Yes I know tragic for a professional organizer and Husband who likes destroying personal information in the shredder that is no longer of use. What are we to do?

Shredder was a gift to Husband from his siblings a few years ago. As far as I knew, Shredder remained unopened in box throughout our courtship and engagement. Shredder made a debut in March 2009 soon after our nuptials.

Needless to say, we are both serious shredders. The box says good for 10 pieces of paper at one time and has a separate slot for CD's and credit cards. The most be put in at a time I would guesstimate is maybe 4 or 5 papers.

Granted since Spatial Relations Consultants has taken off, I have used Shredder more aggressively in the past 6 months. Last night Husband could barely shredder one piece of paper before Shredder shorted or over heated.

I used to think my original shredder was the way to go. What was my original shredder you ask? The old fashion tear-up with my right and left hand.

So now we're in the market for Shredder 2.0. Curious for recommendations....

Below is a link to an interesting blog from the NY Times about what is important to shred, check it out
Financial Tuneup: What You Need to Shred

Monday, May 17, 2010

shopping lists

My shopping lists have shopping lists which have shopping list. I try to go through my bag at the end of the day so first thing in the morning I am not lugging my stuff around. Most nights I get to it but I have found in the last two weeks no matter how many times I empty my bag of lists there are always more!!!

I got fed up today. I am now that person you may have seen in the supermarket with a pen crossing things off my list after I pick up each item or maybe that person you've seen talking to themselves (me trying to count how many eggs I am going to need and how many dozens to buy). I try to limit the trips to the supermarket to two times. Once for the mega pick up and the second for the last minute additions/specialty items.

And the past two weeks I have left the secondary trip to the very last minute and had to buy the extra items at the bodega on the corner where I can't leave with out spending AT LEAST $20. I know it's a price for convenience but come on!

As an organized person I make my shopping list when I am making my menus/looking at cookbooks. But why is it getting out of control? I thinking I am trying to get into my groove of what we call in our family "the tried and true menu"*

*definition=can make the item with your eyes closed and/or have the items in stock on a regular basis in the pantry/fridge; the classics; oldies and goodies.

Here's to the next shopping list being once trip!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

What constitutes a housewife?

I am mildly embarrassed to admit I enjoy watching Bravo's Real Housewives series. I admit I am probably dumber for watching it and have been watching it secretly for seasons. But I need to know, as I am watching The Real Housewives of New York, what constitutes a housewife? I thought it was someone who has kids, a family, something along those lines. I see there are two woman on this show who are not married or divorced without kids, how is that a housewife, I thought that was just being single and living life?? Even the woman on the show who are divorced with kids the show does not depict the women doing housewife things like helping your kids with homework, juggling plans with kids and play dates with work and life and even charity events?

Someone please explain this to me, please!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The t-shirt quilt has arrived!

Yeah the quilt has arrived and we have two happy campers!! Anyone need a place to archive t-shirts, check these guys out. If you want to see ours let me know, it's AWESOME!

Use it or lose it?

I was looking in our bathroom yesterday and looking at the decorative soaps, face masks, body scrubs, bath salts, and sample shampoos. Between you and me, I also have a bottle of Dove conditioner from over two years ago that had survived my last move, which I probably had a year before that. Why did I take it with me??

I had a revelation last night I am going to use it up, all of it. I am not buying anymore products until I am finished up with what I have. done. Do you think conditioner's expire??

Then this got me thinking what are the things in our linen closet, medicine chest and emergency kit (yes I made one years ago) that might have expired. So I did a purge. What use is expired sun screen? I struggle with the question "am I being wasteful" so this I think is my solution, toss the things that are expired, vitamins, cold medicine, sun screen and will use up the shampoos and soaps before I buy more. I think it might be good to take inventor every now and kitchen pantry is next.....

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How much idling is too much?

I am sitting in Aroma cafe right now on SoHo, go ahead say it as Husband would say "who has it tougher than me" to be sitting at a coffee shop in the middle of a work day. If you must know I am in-between appointments. So I paid for my coffee, first one of the day and it's already 11:30am, and they give me a log-in slip for the intra-web for 30 minutes. I felt like they are telling me 30 minutes and that's it. They said "no you can buy a cookie or something and get another 30 minutes".

This got me thinking, how much is too much idling? I know people who use Starbucks as their living room, entire afternoons, evenings, for interviews, dates. I was at another coffee place on Friday, I was doing research and using the web, and there was this woman there conducting interviews. Ever 70 minutes a new candidate showed up. It seemed to be for some tutoring programing. I was thinking by the 4th candidate, does this interviewer get a cut from the coffee shop? Each candidate came to the table with a cup of coffee, she was improving their daily sales.

I use coffee shops as my off-site office. I can work from home, which is what I do sometimes but it is very distracting. They are doing construction outside our apartment so there is a lot of drilling and jack hammering going on, which is difficult on phone conversations. Coffee shops or library's help me focus and do make me feel more professional and productive.

How long is the longest you've idled at a coffee shop?

Monday, May 10, 2010

A closet full of memories Part I

A friend sent me this article knowing how much I would appreciate it. Thought I'd pay it forward....

The Miami Herald
Posted on Fri, May. 07, 2010
A closet full of memories

Washington Post Service
Houses start out as buildings, brick and mortar.

But at some point, if a house is any good at all, it ceases to be just a house.

Like a blood oath sworn by childhood friends, mortar mingles with memory and a home is forged. Paint color ceases to just be a hue and instead becomes the memory of the argument over the perfect shade of peach. The ragged chair in the den corner becomes the spot where on one winter afternoon a father and his two infant sons fell into a blissful, synchronized sleep. And a closet becomes, if not a place inhabited by skeletons, then one inhabited by ghosts.

Closets are odd creatures. Watch any house-buying show on HGTV, and you'll hear the ``closet conversation.'' In starter homes, newlywed husbands tease their brides that all their clothes will never fit in that closet. When the homebuyers are upscale, the closets can boast more square footage than some Manhattan apartments.

But talk to any adult child who has packed up a parent's closet after a move to an assisted living facility or a death, and you know why these small, painfully intimate spaces are the stuff of metaphor. Closets, like our lives, can be messy.

For almost exactly three years after my husband died, I left our closet untouched. There were a host of easy rationalizations. I didn't need the space. His clothes weren't bothering me; why should they bother anyone else? There were also loftier justifications. The week after he died, a dear friend offered to come over and help me go through the closet. It seemed as ludicrous to me as when the funeral director suggested that he take Bill's glasses and donate them to the Lion's Club. ``But he needs his things,'' I wanted to scream.

I would come to refer to this as my Joan Didion moment. As she recounts in her memoir The Year of Magical Thinking, she refused to give husband John Gregory Dunne's loafers away because if he came back, he would need his shoes. (There is solace, when you have lost your mind, in at least knowing that you are in such good company.)

Besides, I didn't want to do anything rash. A friend who had also lost her husband confided that she cleaned out his things very soon after his death and regretted it. In her haste, she had discarded items she wished she had saved for their daughters. Well, there, I told myself. I certainly wasn't going to be hasty. So the closet remained frozen in time.

But this winter, I decided to have our bedroom painted and carpeted. I also redecorated the largely unused sitting room adjacent to the master as a retreat for reading. But this renovation project was tackled far more out of a sense of old-fashioned necessity than any quixotic crossing of an emotional threshold.

The room turned out more beautifully than I could have imagined, with walls the color of ocean foam and carpet the color of white sand beaches and seagrass. But the master closet remained cluttered, and now, annoyingly, was out of touch with the rest of the room.

This was as much a factor of my clothes taking up too much space as it was the presence of his. So when I set out to tackle the closet on a recent Saturday afternoon, I was really only going to weed out the never-going-to-wear-again items on my half of the closet. Except that I knew the time had come.

I did not set out to displace the flannels, the polos and the khakis. I did not intend to move the Oxford shirts so heavily starched that one could imagine them as cadets standing at attention. Instead, I found my arms moving them without much intervention from my brain. There were moments that brought me back to reality. The tie with an uncharacteristic coffee stain on it was a silent testament to the moment when normalcy stopped and weekly trips to the dry cleaner were replaced by weekly trips to the oncologist.

Ultimately, I gave away far more of my clothes than his. Most of his simply got moved into another, out of sight, little-used closet. There are two 14-year-old boys who could wear those ties, I told myself. And it may be that a handful of the ties and a suit coat will get passed on. Progress is progress, no matter how small.

The master closet now sports my fall and winter clothes on one side; my spring and summer wardrobe on the other. My new closet, without his clothes, like my new life without him, is less full. But there is an order and sense of purpose to it that offers solace. I understand now, three years in, that just because his clothes are no longer in our closet doesn't mean his spirit is no longer in our home.

© 2010 Miami Herald Media Company. All Rights Reserved.

Read more:

how many layers is enough?

Yesterday Husband and I went to a baseball game. Knowing it was windy and going to be in the 50's here in NY, I prepared myself with layers. First a long sleeve heavy shirt, then a heavy zip-up sweatshirt, and then a sleeveless vest. I wore jeans and sneakers with socks*.

Let's just say, no matter what I would have worn would have kept me warm. Friends were there, in leggings, fleece blankets, mittens, hats and they were shivering as well. How many layers is enough?

We had a brilliant idea of getting hot coco to help us stay warm. I did have the thought that by the time Husband got back from so kindly bringing us the hot coco it might not be warm....I was right, it did nothing at keeping us warm. Though it tasted good, thanks Husband.

We left after the 5th inning, the shivering was too much and the team was losing (and later lost the game). But it was still fun to hang with Friends, though much nicer indoors or when it is supposed to be warm in May at baseball games.

For all I know I could have been at a hockey game it was so cold!

*I don't normally wear socks, year round, I just don't like to wear them so it is a rare occasion** that I do wear them.
** I do wear socks when I run for exercise.

Friday, May 7, 2010

My not so new sewing machine

About two years ago I set out to buy my first sewing machine. I took sewing xx years ago in Home Eco and remember making a nice pillow and remembering how to wind the bobbin.

So off to I went to research which machine to buy. One week later it arrived, I wound the bobbin and ready to make my home eco projects of the 21st century.

Needless to say, it's been two years since I attempted my projects. I needed my mom's assitance to get me started and that worked for a day. Then my good friend who is a sewing master came over to get me started and that worked for a day. I was about to be fess up and face defeat with my ability to craft projects. Husband was getting good material at watching our sewing machine sit idle in our apartment for, now years, and when friends would come over and say "oh you sew", Husband held back is laughter and comments as I replied, "I am relearning."

Well last night I got my sew on, all by myself! I fixed the problem with my bobbin, again, and practiced on a paper towel, as advised by my Sewing Master, and have now moved onto my practice fabrics. yeah!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

the closet bar fell last night..

Crawling into bed last night, I commented, as Husband was picking out his clothes for the next day, that the clothes rod in the closet looked like it was sagging. Not 5 minutes later did we hear a loud thud.

Cautiously I opened the closet door and just has I had anticipated, as did it happen 6 months ago, the bar fell. at 11:30pm what can we do. Deciding not to deal with it in the morning and take all of the clothes out and place them on the bed until the Super could do his awesome work and fix the rod.

Button downs, polo's, windbreakers, fleece zip ups, pants, suits, winter coats and my dresses that don't fit in my closet were sprawled all over the apartment. Clothes, clothes everywhere! Super, who us really SUPER, came quickly and reinforced the rod, swept and mopped up the drill remnants and was on his way.

Now all I had to do was wait until Husband came home form work and hope he'd be in the mood to put everything back, the way he likes it. (deep down I was hoping he'd feel the urge to purge some of his old polo's and pants, which did NOT happen).

There were I few, "oh I was wandering where this shirt went". And then he said, as he was holding up a fleece zip-up, "I saw someone wearing something like this today and thought to myself how nice it was." Me laughing on the inside that he already owns it...

Looking forward to expanding our closet size one day so we can see all that we have not just what's in front of us.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Organizers are not just for celebrities...

Merging styles for newlyweds is not just for real people. It seems to be for reality stars too. In the article below, courtesy of E!.com, shows the struggle reality stars Giuliana and Bill have combining their style. Watching the frustration between this couple trying to live in their space and represent both of their styles yet keep their individuality is quiet normal.

This is where the benefit of bringing in a third party, professional organizer/social worker comes in. Having someone come and listen and understand both of your needs will decrease the frustration level and increase the productivity and functionality of the space so you will both enjoy your home, together.

Giuliana & Bill Organize Their Chicago Pad & Prepare for Baby

March 1st, 2010 4:59 pm / Author: Gena Oppenheim

Bill <span class=Rancic and Giuliana Rancic Mar. 1" width="225">In case you missed last night’s episode of Giuliana & Bill, OK!’s got you covered. While Giuliana and Bill Rancic are still waiting to hear if they are pregnant, the couple try to take their mind off of the situation by hiring a professional organizer in their Chicago home.

“I want Giuliana to feel at home in Chicago so I decided to give her a gift of a professional organizer so she can have her own space,” Bill said, as he attempts to merge the couple’s lives together.

But being used to living apart most of time with Giuliana based in L.A., Bill feels a little threatened by his wife taking over the spare bedroom for an office space.

“Maybe this organizer wasn’t such a good idea. It’s getting a little out of hand to be honest,” Bill laments after the organizing gets under way.

And while Giuliana admits that, “It’s not so much about making this place organized, but I haven’t made it my home yet,” the E! News host has a few issues with Bill’s living style.

“Bill is a total neat freak. Its actually borderline annoying. To me it feels like he is the prison guard sometimes,” Giuliana reveals of her husband’s idiosyncrasies.

Luckily, once Giuliana sets up her work equipment in the spare bedroom, both sides calm down and focus on getting pregnant.

“We just did IUI, intrauterine insemination, and we are waiting for the results. We are really excited that this could work, that we are going to be pregnant and we are going to be parents,” Giuliana gushes of her impending motherhood.

Tune in to Giuliana & Bill next Sunday at 9 p.m. on the Style Network to find out Giuliana’s pregnancy results!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Home Rules!

HGTV has debuted a new show combing life coaching with home design, Home Rules. This show describes why I ended up starting Spatial Relations Consultant. With any element of home design/organizing is a huge element of personal style and functionality.

Some people thing an organizer comes in and 1-2-3 and wallah you are organized. But 9 times out of 10 the space doesn't stay organized. I feel inspired each time I speak with and meet with a client to want to help them help themselves. Sometimes it helps to have an outsider assess your space. By bringing in a life coach or licensed social worker helps shed new light on your space. I see with many friends and clients the inertia and the frustration mounting. Life Coaches like Fran Harris in Home Rules take a step back and help the client/home owner work through the inertia into something more productive and less paralyzing.

I ask, do you rule your home or does your home rule you?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Design Happens » Archive » Beauty in The Tiniest of Places

Below is a link to a reason you should know where your beauty products are and a fun way to design a easy way to create a masterpiece in your bathroom draw.

Design Happens » Archive » Beauty in The Tiniest of Places

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Metropolitan Etiquette Authority Battles Subway Nose Pickers

While this article is not directly related to spatial relations, it is indirectly related. It makes me wonder how people think it is ok to clip your nails in the subway car or platform, or at their desk at work or even in a jury room? This is something that should only be down in the privacy of one's own home and preferably in the bathroom. I think Jason Shelowitz is providing the MTA riders a huge service by reminding people where they are and how to spatial relate to others in their surroundings.

Wall Street Journal
APRIL 26, 2010, 3:19 PM ET

Metropolitan Etiquette Authority Battles Subway Nose Pickers AnimalNY via Jason Shelowitz Last week, Jason Shelowitz, 30, a Chelsea-based painter and freelance graphic designer, started hanging very realistic facsimiles of MTA service advisories in subway cars and train stations around the city. The goal: to call New Yorkers out for their inappropriate or disgusting behavior, and to make them laugh i the process. “Keep your hands to yourself, perv,” one sign says. Another: “Keep your finger out of your nose. Please.” The posters bear the stamp of the MEA: Metropolitan Etiquette Authority. Shelowitz created more than 300 posters, which he will finish hanging up over the next few days (though he plans to keep a few to sell or give away to friends). We caught up Shelowitz and asked him a few questions about his campaign for civility. How did this project come about? It came about just experiencing different things on the subway and kind of always sharing stories with friends and co-workers. I’m sure you’ve come into work before and said something to the guy sitting next to you, like “You wouldn’t believe it but this morning, someone was eating a big thing of chicken wings and making a mess and throwing bones on the floor and stinking up the whole train.” Is this a joke? It’s not really a joke, it is serious. I love New York and I love the idiosyncratic behaviors of people, but when it starts to invade people’s space…on the subway where you have no escape, it’s messed up. If someone is sitting on the train during rush hour eating a meatball sub, dripping sauce on people’s shoes and they look up and happen to see my poster, they might think, ‘This is incredibly disruptive to other people. Maybe I shouldn’t be eating this on the train. Maybe I should just wait to get off at my stop.’ So I was hoping I get through to a couple of people, but really I just wanted to make people smile and relate to it. How did you decide which behaviors to target? I sent out a mass email and asked people to send me some their subway gripes. I decided I was only going to do ten posters so I narrowed them down to the ten most occurring. Nail-clipping was a little more obscure, but I threw it in there because I just thought it was funny. Once I had them, I re-wrote them and formulated them into some clever copy so people would at least smile when they saw them. Where did you put them? Mostly on the trains themselves. I’ve done the F, V, A, C, E and L trains. I tried and put them next to the service-change posters. Brooklyn and Manhattan are the only boroughs that have them in the stations…I shuffled them so that they would be in random order. The only site specific ones are the staircase pieces, which I try and put near stairs. Are you going to make more? No. I decided I wanted to do a small amount because I believed it wasn’t going to take much to get the message out. I’m doing such a small run, I’m not really causing a pollution problem or a mess problem in the stations. Have the police contacted you? Any fines?
There are probably only ten you can see up anywhere because people are taking them really quickly. I think that’s why the MTA hasn’t contacted me yet. They haven’t really seen them. I witnessed two workers in Union Square checking some out after I put them up. And they loved them. They were laughing and kept walking. Do you think the MTA should be doing something like this? I don’t know if it would be as effective. They tell you not to hold the doors open. There are little notes on buses and there are signs on the subway that say give up your seats to people who need them. And to not throw trash around. But they are so ubiquitous that people don’t pay attention. What’s the most annoying thing that is ever happened to you personally on the train? I saw a woman eating — she had a plastic bag full of crabs. And she was straight up sucking the meat out of crab parts and then throwing them on the floor. That was probably the most disturbing, just purely disgusting, thing. I had a little turd next to me on the seat once. I was trying to figure out where the smell was coming from. I thought I stepped in something. I don’t know if it was from a baby or a chihuahua or what. That was gross. The turd was on the 1 train. The crab was I think on the F train.

Tips from my Aunts

I saw my aunts this weekend and one shared with me an article clipping and the other shared with me a tip that she found in a magazine and carried out herself and found it to be very productive.

Aunt #1 tips on organizing:

In Paula Span's posting in on 1/28/10, she writes about "Help for Hoarding" she looks at how hoarding is a disorder the slowly progress as we get older.

This makes sense in the big picture of life, the older we get the more pictures, clothes, mementos we accumulate. the problem begins, as Span discuss in her posting, when the individual becomes debilitated by the collections.

By periodically going through your closets, draws filing cabinets etc is a preventive method to becoming overwhelmed and debilitated down the road.

Thanks Aunt #1 for showing me the article!

Aunt #2 tips on organizing:

Aunt called me this morning, seemingly excited to share a tip she read about and successfully carried out at home. Aunt placed a shopping bag in the floor of her closet. Every time she went into her closet and tried on an item of clothing and didn't wear it or felt she wasn't going to wear it, Aunt placed it inside the shopping bag. Before she knew it the shopping bag was full of clothes she didn't wear and was ready to be dropped for donation.

The most helpful tips are the ones shared by friends and family because you know real people can put them to use at home.

Thanks Aunt #2 for sharing your very practical tip!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Another article of interest

The continuing popularity behind hoarding and collectors is noted in this latest article of reference. It most cases, home organizing is not as extreme "as scene on TV" but there are elements of taking collecting a bit too far.

In her book, Randy Frost, takes a similar approach to my style of home organizing. To whatever extreme an individuals collecting habits manifest into, it is important to remember as a social worker to start where the client is and not to get ahead of ourselves; long lasting success will result and best benefit the client.

Hoarding: How Collecting Stuff Can Destroy Your Life

Most of us enjoy our stuff. A new car, designer handbag, or gadget can simplify our lives and bring us status pleasure. Then there are the hoarders, those compelled by an obsession to collect and store things - even that which most of us would consider junk, such as scraps of paper, leaky buckets, and old newspapers. Homes become almost uninhabitable. Narrow pathways referred to as "goat trails" wind through piles of stuff and stacks of things cover sofas and beds, rendering the furniture useless. There are between 6 and 15 million hoarders living in the U.S., and some 75 cities now have task forces dedicated specifically toward working with hoarders in their community.

In their new book Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things Randy Frost, a psychology professor at Smith College and co-author Gail Steketee, dean at Boston University's School of Social Work, debunk the myths behind the phenomenon. Frost spoke to TIME about the sometimes dangerous power of possessions. (See the top 10 medical breakthroughs of 2009.)

In Stuff, you say that self-storage facility rentals are way up and that the average home size has increased 60 percent. Is the U.S. at risk of becoming a nation of hoarders?
All of us have special relationship with things and that relationship is in some ways magical. We get carried away with those attachments and - while that could get more of us into trouble with our possessions - most of us are able to decide when an object begins to interfere with our life. We do something about it at that point. That's the thing that's so troublesome for people who hoard: when the object begins to interfere, they simply put up with it rather than deal with the item.

So they don't realize that their possessions have this powerful effect over them?
We haven't seen too many people who have absolutely no insight. When it comes down to it, in a certain context, they are able to say, 'I've got a problem.' But when they are talking to someone who is trying to get them to throw things away, it's very difficult to say, 'Yeah, I should throw this stuff away.' If they pick up something and someone asks the question, 'Will you throw this away?' all the attachments to that thing overwhelm any thoughts of being without it. (See how to prevent illness at any age.)

You talk about treatment where you go into people's homes and help them sort through their stuff in order to get their lives back. They learn how to distinguish between what items are meant to be saved and what can be tossed. Are those who make it through the treatment able to stay clutter-free?
It's a struggle. When I asked one woman if I could describe her as a former hoarder - because she has been living pretty much clutter-free for the past six or seven years - she said no. She gave a little anecdote about her thoughts about throwing away a yogurt cup. It was [still] excruciating for her. Part of her phenomena is a tendency to anthropomorphize things and give them feelings. She felt so badly for this cup that she was throwing away. That it was the one that got rejected. That it had to go into this bin and maybe it would be humid and uncomfortable. (Comment on this story.)

What do you think people might be surprised to learn about hoarders?
There are some myths out there about hoarding - that these people are just lazy or messy - and it's really much different than that. It's layered and it's complex. It covers not only attachments to possessions, but the ability to process information in a way that's efficient. You talk to many people with hoarding problems and they'll say, 'I don't really have a hoarding problem, it's just that I don't have enough time to get rid of this stuff.' In fact what's happening, because of the way they process information, is that it takes them so much time to decide to throw something out that they can't keep up with the in-flow.

Do you ever get frustrated and just want to say, 'Oh, just throw it out already'?
I think the thing that sort of captured me and allowed me to do it was just the fascination with the nature of the attachment to the thing: What it is that causes this person to be so attached to this thing? How do they think about this thing? How is that process different from the the process the rest of us go through? It's that curiosity, I think, that keeps me from being impatient with these folks. It's very important to avoid that impatience because that's what these folks have gotten all their lives.

What is the most dramatic incident you've witnessed?
The first time I met Ralph from Stuff we were going through the house [and] his description of the clean out (when his possessions were forcibly removed from his home) that had happened to him was so vivid. And this was something that had happened three years before. The pain in his eyes struck me. He walked me throughout the house, as much as it could be walked through, and pointed out things that were no longer there. These rooms are full of things and he's talking about things that aren't there. One was a name plate off a door that he had taken it down to repair, he described it and then looked at me and literally shouted "GONE!" That sticks in my mind as such a profound experience of just how deeply this had hurt him, getting rid of all that stuff.

Do you often encounter the far extreme of hoarding, like where people actually keep everything?
Yes, we do. In fact, in one of the first groups we ran there was a woman who saved used sanitary napkins and her argument was that she was going to dry them out and use them again. We also had another person who saved everything - parts of her body, everything that came into her house. She had used band aids stuck on the bathroom wall. The first time I was there she worked on at least trying to take them off the bathroom wall and it was just excruciating for her. She was crying and just in horrible pain pulling these band aids off the wall and putting them into a box. The hair that was collected in the bathtub was equally difficult for her to get rid of.

Why do you think that we are so intrigued by this? The A&E show, Hoarders is quite popular, as is TLC's Buried Alive. What is it that makes us want to know about these people?
Part of it is voyeurism. How many chances do we get to really see inside someone's else's life? It is so dramatic to look at someone's home, see it this way, and then imagine how in the world someone could live there. How could they navigate through the rooms? What does this person have to do to get from the dining room to the kitchen?