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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    Monday morning instead of dragging your feet over the lost hour of sleep I m hoping that my kids who wake up with the sun will sleep an hour later now The night before last I didn t sleep or even go to bed at all The kids took turns waking up every half hour By four in the morning I reached that crucial decision making point of whether I should go to bed to get two hours of sleep or stay awake and push through til morning I don t think there s a winning answer to that question I stayed awake and it felt like the longest day What do you do in that situation 19 Comments 31 Things You Can Do in 1 Minute or Less Photo by Tazmany Guests were coming over so we hurried around the house doing a last minute pick up I don t really need to explain because I know you ve done it too I had left a skirt on my hope chest for so long For weeks probably As I picked it up to hang it back in the closet it seemed so easy to put it away It took less than forty seconds to get the hanger and put it back in the closet where it was supposed to go Why had I looked at that skirt for so long instead of putting it away sooner I let it clutter up my bedroom instead of taking care of that one small thing Lots of easy things can make a real difference to your home Short on time Here are thirty more things you can do that take one minute or less 2 turn on upbeat music 3 wipe crumbs off the table 4 take something to another room where

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/91/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    Pit Chapter 4 The Last Chapter but not the end 41 Comments Repurpose a Fireplace Mantel into a Headboard A mantelpiece is grand over a fireplace but it just so happens to also be the perfect fit behind a queen sized bed Let s pull back the covers and I ll show you how we turned this mantel into a headboard We found the mantel on Craigslist It was originally in an old house in the nicer part of town and the owners were renovating The mantel was already painted white The gaping hole where the fireplace would be is covered with a piece of plywood which is padded with two layers of felt and topped with linen We wrapped the fabric around to the back of the plywood and stapled it with a staple gun Once the fabric was in place we mounted the plywood to the mantel on the back using 3 L brackets on both sides and 4 along the top The plywood only goes down as far as a couple of inches below the top of the mattress the part that you see not all the way to the floor Since we live in an apartment we didn t want to do any heavy installing to permanently mount it to the wall It s mostly held in place by the mattress and box spring and a lone L bracket attaches the top of the mantel to a stud in the wall to prevent it from tipping It s a big space spacer for our bedroom since we don t need bedside tables We just set our drinks and books on top of the mantel The bed sits on a 40 metal frame The silver serving trays were inherited from Doug s granny They still have her name written on stickers on the back from times she took them to church suppers They are hung on the wall with big plate hangers If it s pretty then we want to display it We wouldn t want to buy wall decorations while something pretty stays stored in the closet Looking for more DIY headboard ideas Wallpaper headboard from Blueprint French Inspired Fabric Covered Headboard from Centsational Girl Door headboard from Martha Stewart Grace s upholstered otomi headboard from Design Sponge Lydia s embroidered headboard from Design Sponge Burlap headboard with nailhead trim from Imperfect 31 Comments You ve Got a Budget Now What A budget doesn t help you unless you use it Much is said about making a budget but what do you with one after you ve got it Doug and I sat down together this weekend since it was the end of the month and we looked at our budget and spending It didn t take much time because there shouldn t be any surprises Here is what we discussed 1 We didn t go anywhere because it was so cold outside so my gas expenses were down 2 I think our food costs are

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/92/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    brother had to break it open to rescue the ham before it went up in flames To this day you have to jimmy the handle higher on the left if you want to open the oven door 19 Comments Eating Less and Gaining More Photo by Kanko Six weeks ago I decided to give up soda and I m happy to say I haven t had any since then What helped the most was not keeping it at home drinking water and fixing a cup of herbal tea when I wanted something other than water I don t miss it that much What I didn t know when I decided to give up soda was that a week later I would also have to give up dairy gluten and corn The baby was showing symptoms of food sensitivities which went away after I stopped eating those foods And since I don t drink my coffee black I gave up coffee too It worked out so well to give up soda when I did because otherwise I might have consumed more of it when I couldn t have other foods My husband and daughter have those same food intolerances so we went through that steep learning curve a couple of years ago At the time I gave up several foods to match them but I still had a few favorites I was hanging on to If I thought giving up soda might be hard it was nothing for me compared to giving up milk I gave away a brand new pint of Häagen Dazs It was hawaiian lehua honey sweet cream Painful I gave away a block of cheddar cheese with crumbled bacon in it Goodbye favorite snacks Now it takes a lot of salad to fill me up the way

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/110/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    nicely I could have bought trays to line up everything neatly in rows but I didn t want to buy more stuff to hold my stuff It s just one drawer and it s not out in the open Is my goal to have it look perfect like in a magazine or is my goal to be able to find something quickly when I m cooking The way it is now I can find what I need in two seconds That s good enough Having a magazine worthy drawer might impress others but it s not worth it if you spend too much time on it You don t want to become a grouch when someone else moves something out of place If you organize to perfection then you re not organizing to make your life better you re living your life to organize and nobody needs that Organize until it s good enough admire your work and then move on to something else Because even though little containers are great sweeter things are waiting 59 Comments Good Reads Granola Edition Today I m munching on granola bars made by mostly following this recipe at Smitten Kitchen and I m thinking about Linen napkin how to a quick gift idea by Organizing Life The best advice to Survive a Newborn by Se7en 1 Katie s No New Clothes Challenge at Making this Home Remembering those Milestones by New Urban Habitat And those of you who professed a love of notebooks will enjoy seeing this one A Year in the Making by Fortuosity just in case you decide to do it you have a little advance notice 7 Comments The Chocolate Notebook Isn t it hard to start writing in a brand new notebook Best to write or draw something on

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/109/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    no one had We had to talk in person and it was no problem because we saw each other all the time Home was a place where I could grow community Then I graduated got a job and moved to a town north of Houston and suddenly I was completely alone To be continued What was your own first home like What was your favorite thing about it 49 Comments Don t Try This at Home The Organizing Tip that Won t Help You As I browsed through online articles about organizing I came across a quick and easy tip that would help you to be more organized It left me frankly troubled The advice was clear you should make a catalog of your stuff specifically your books music and movie collections Then if you want to know what you have you can look at your list Keeping such a list could help you remember and prevent you from buying duplicates of a book or a movie that you already own Dear readers if you need a catalog of your stuff to remember what you have then you have too much A glance to your bookshelf should be enough of a reminder of the books that you own If you re thinking about buying something but you can t remember if you already own it don t buy it If you do own it it s obviously not useful or memorable enough to justify buying it again And if you don t have it yet it wouldn t hurt to wait a couple of days Don t let an interesting hobby of reading books listening to music or watching movies turn into a habit of buying and owning There might be a couple of instances when a list could help Maybe a list of the stuff in your attic since you don t go up there much Or maybe a list to help you remember what s wrapped in tin foil in the bottom of the freezer Even for insurance purposes a photo of a collection will generally suffice Maintaining a catalog means sitting at your computer typing it up formatting it and updating it regularly This is not true organization Why keep a list of stuff when you can just look at your actual stuff The list will keep you busy yes But productive No Every effort to organize should start with the question What problem will this solve Please don t make lists of your stuff Let s make sure all of our endeavors are worthwhile As I think back several years ago this kind of advice might have appealed to me then as if I could somehow reach the pinnacle of organization This is just perfectionism encroaching on life What are your views about organization Have they changed over time 66 Comments Lane Tom s Shared Nursery Tour In our two bedroom apartment Lane age 3 and Tom 5 months share a bedroom We call it the

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/93/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    the pipe 5 Keep adding more until you think you have enough And that s it We like it so we made a smaller easier version for the nursery too 43 Comments What is Your Absolute Favorite Cookbook photo by yomi955 on Flickr This year 2010 is the year I learn how to better cook I just know it Up until recently I ve been getting by with a few signature recipes that I made over and over again until I could get them right all the time But with my family s diet changes over the last couple of years those recipes have fallen by the wayside I ve been exploring new cookbooks from the library selecting a few recipes from each one to try My favorite cookbook and really the only one I own is The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam from Elana s Pantry We open it a couple of times a week to make comfort foods like biscuits and cookies The simple short list of ingredients makes each recipe easy to prepare and the results taste so good It s been the perfect book to cook from with my three year old daughter We bond over baking Do you keep anything inside your favorite cookbooks I ve heard from several readers who say they keep little notes photos or memory verses inside their cookbooks I love that idea So tell me what is your favorite cookbook the one that you refer to time and time again 129 Comments Staying the Course After a particularly difficult week it s easy to become discouraged Thoughts of What am I doing here and Why am I doing this start creeping in I make most of my choices by personal conviction so in moments of doubt I return back to the way I felt and the words I wrote when my choice seemed most clear When I m frustrated with the kids and our stuff is impossible to pick up when I long to have some form of visible proof of at least one thing I was successful at that day I remember the day I called work to quit my job and stay home Or when the day calls for a root beer because that s what I used to need when I wanted a caffeine and sugar boost But then I remember declaring I was giving it up in Really Doing It This Time It s been about 5 months of not drinking soda except for a couple of times we were away from home A thirty year habit takes longer than five months to completely get over When I m out shopping and the Valentine s baked goods and bread look really tempting for once and I regret not being able to have them The list of foods I m not eating includes dairy wheat corn soy green vegetables citrus wine coffee tea soda chocolate and my multivitamin But because of what I described

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/94/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    people focus Phone calls to family to arrange travel plans and who s bringing what to holiday meals Shopping lists to make trying to keep them as brief as possible And making sure that every chosen idea would bring a sense of wonder and joy to our family s Christmas holiday rather than being something extra that could lead to feeling overwhelmed What are you preparing this week 18 Comments Made With Love from Gloves This puppy used to be a pair of gloves I sewed him up with some brown thread added a button and stuffed him with cotton balls The instructions are in a book called Sock and Glove by Miyako Kanamon It has photos and instructions to make all kinds of small soft animals from old gloves and socks Guess what Two of the projects from the book are available online from Martha this dog the rabbit If you want a handmade knit gift without the knitting then this one is for you I learned how to knit a few weeks ago and I can see why people like it It s definitely a soothing process But knitters are very patient people and this little guy was quicker 21 Comments Getting Through It When I was pregnant with Lane things were ideal I was excited I felt good and I drank a chocolate milkshake every day for the final six weeks It was truly one of the happiest times of my whole life When I was pregnant this past year with Tom things were good then too but I didn t feel as good It was a lot harder to be pregnant while taking care of another little one She needed me whether I felt like getting out of bed or not It took a few months

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/108/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    than ever so we want to do a few more decorations I decided that I would enjoy making some things but I want to use materials I can find outdoors and around the house to make our home cheery When we were growing up my family had an Advent wreath made from a ring of florist foam with sprigs of ivy attached to it Florist foam isn t something I normally keep so I looked around the house for something I could use instead I found my granny s old Bundt cake pan in the kitchen Four votive candles are placed in the cake pan one for each of the four Sundays before Christmas We ll light the candles at dinner time each night starting this Sunday Cranberries between the candles hold them in place A center candle secured with a little hot glue will be lit on Christmas Eve night There s nothing much simpler and more beautiful than candlelight at Christmas time 20 Comments The Card Catalog File I first saw it on Craigslist It was solid wood and it was vintage a combination that s very hard for me to resist I jumped with glee and called the seller right away hoping that no one else noticed the pristine card catalog file before I did What are we going to put in it Doug asked I don t know I said but it s going to be awesome Trust me I borrowed an SUV and drove over to pick it up It s big and heavy but it comes apart in 5 pieces for moving which is important when you live in an apartment I bought it from a librarian who acquired it when the local libraries put all the file cabinets up for auction It became

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/107/ (2016-02-10)
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