This is a little late as I have been sick the past couple of days. I couldn't focus on anything close by, bend down or let alone close my eyes or lie down or I'd get very nauseous. Immediately. So I haven't been anywhere near a computer. But it's getting better, so here we go.
Obviously that means I didn't as well a I would have liked to on Week 2 of the 20/20 Home Cure. And I'm more than behind this week. But let's talk about Week 2 first. (Week 1 can be found here)
Day 6: Clean one room
As usual, Monday was a workday, so I did this on Sunday and Tuesday, and more than one room. I mean come on, for anyone with kids and/or pets, this is a daily chore. I'm sure this feels nice if you do this and it stays clean for a week. Or two. It sure does not in my house. But anyway, once it's done, it's nice at least for the next, uhm, five minutes.
I bought the flowers on Wednesday, since Tuesday was a holiday here. That green potted plant is supposed to be a type of cyprus that lives well indoors. We'll see about that. I thought it would transition nicely to my Christmas decorations later in the month and last a bit longer. I also got the red berries and so far the cats have left the vase alone. Shhh, don't tell them, but I think I tricked them with that tiny vase.
I also sat for 10 minutes where I usually don't sit, and I chose the small sofa in my home office for that, looking straight at my desk and all the things I want to change in that room. Next year, I guess. Sigh. But we can't do everything at the same time, can we? At least I can't. Let me know if you found a secret.
Day 8: Establish a Landing Strip
That's a tough one, actually. Wrong week for me, too. You see, the hallway is on my list. I went to Ikea for that a little while ago, full of creative energy. Coming back with all my supplies I realized it wasn't that easy and I wasn't going to get this done in half an hour. Let alone that same weekend. It got pushed down on the to-do list. I told myself it didn't make much sense to do something about the hallway while the pavers on the driveway still had to be put in and our street was being paved as well. Too much dirt. Wouldn't be pretty anyway. Right.
I'm still hoping the driveway will be done sometime this month. I doubt that the hallway will be done this week though. Sorry, Maxwell. But you see, in our house that is NOT a 20 minute project.
We have a tiny hallway. And I mean tiny, even by European standards. Put two people in there and it's crowded. Put two people plus kids in there and it's overcrowded. Put two people, two kids and all the cold-weather clothes in there and it gets ugly.
Actually, we did improve both looks and functionality a lot since we moved in. We got an Ikea (of course) bench with shoe storage and turned a shelf that my dad made for the kids' room in the old house and that didn't fit anymore into a coat rack. We hung another coat rack at kid level so they can hang their own jackets. We added a magnet chalkboard for messages and I even spray painted the frame white. Unfortunately I didn't cover the rest well enough so the chalkoard has an, um, custom design. Oh well. And we added three hooks that we had on hand where we hung bike helmets, big brother's kindergarten bag and the occasionally used other bags & stuff. There's a mirror on the other side, and the magnet board also hold those essentials for getting out the door quick but still looking somewhat groomed: hairbrush, sunscreen, lipstick, shoeshine. I even added two baskets to the bench that hold the kids' hats and mittens. With labels. I know, so organized. It worked like a charm.
Until this summer when little brother started kindergarten (I guess that's preschool in the US). Suddenly, there is two kindergarten bags. And big brother has English lessons Mondays, his preschool-thing Wednesdays, gym "classes" Thursdays. That equals lots of bags for three hooks. Then there are those papers they bring back from kindergarten or the signs they have up on a board there. Little brother needs to bring new diapers and wipes. Big brother's lunch money is due. Big brother got one of those friendship books and needs to return this. Now, any organized mom keeps all this in her head - or on her to do list or home binder or wherever. There's probably an app for that, too.
But it was getting tough remembering all that early in the morning. Plus, on two days a week I leave the house at 5:30 am. Yes, that is early. And my husband has to get the kids to kindergarten / grandmas on his own. Poor guy.
Clearly I needed a solution. Staring at the kids' coat rack it hit me: it has five hooks. There are five kindergarten days a week. Hmmmmm..... So, proposed solution is to take a second coat rack, hang it where the magnet board is currently sitting, label it with weekdays and use to hang all the stuff the kids need for the respective day. If little brother goes to grandma's house on Mondays, you hang his kindergarten bag on the Tuesday hook, while big brother's English bag needs to go onto the Monday hook. Brilliant, don't you think?
Now I only have to get that done. Hang the magnet board somewhere else. Figure out a cute way to store the lipstick, hairbrush and all that. Maybe add some art. I love the print above. All those postcards I put up on the magnet board look too cluttered for my taste. But that's a general problem, with a tiny hallway even the few jackets, shoes and kindergarten bags I keep there look cluttered too easily. So I try to keep stuff in baskets and keep the number of jackets, shoes and hats to a minimum. Everything else goes into a nearby closet. Still, this is a real house and not a catalog, so no, the coats don't necessarily match the interior design and there might be more than two pairs of shoes. And those are likely to be quite dirty, too. Oh well.
Let's see, landing strip: I have place to hang my coat, put my shoes, hang my keys, drop the mail and, best of all, I'll soon have plenty of space to put that kindergarten clutter. So for Day 8 of the Home Cure, a plan for an improved landing strip will have to be enough.
By Friday afternoon I was miserable. You know when you're getting a bad cold and all the vitamin C you're taking and tea you're drinking doesn't help at all? Still, I felt I needed something nice and healthy to eat. I have no idea where I got the energy from, but I ended up making a recipe that I've been wanting to try for weeks. It's simple, and although it's called Moroccan Chickpea Chili I thought it was more like the Indian vegetable curries I make, with the addition of cinnamon. I love it when all the spices (cumin, turmeric, paprika and cinnamon) are added to sauteed onions, garlic and ginger. Oh, and I used all fresh ginger and none of those (nonsense, if you ask me) bottled garlic or prechopped onions. This is old Europe, after all. Besides, I don't have these things around, but I always have onions, garlic plus some ginger in the freezer. I also added way more carrot than the recipe calls for, which was fine. Yum. Made meel feel so much better. Until the next morning. At least I tried.
Luckily I had been thinking about this Friday morning already as I came nowhere near a computer or notepad all weekend. So here it goes, my Top 6:
1) the basement (you guys are SO surprised, aren't you?). As in finish the basement. Someday. No near-term goal here. But continuous progress is the near-term goal.
2) kid's rooms: need to hang a recently finished project and finally shorten the curtains. Finally. Was going to attempt that over the weekend. Guess that's some other weekend then.
3) hallway projects: see landing strip above.
4) driveway: we're waiting for the pavers to be delivered! Last big house project open, well, apart from that basement-from-hell.
5) kitchen cabinets: the upper cabinets need to be purged and re-organized, there is too much stuff in there I haven't used since I put there when we moved in. Not good.
6) recipes and inspiration file: my eletronic inspiration file is Evernote and I recently re-sorted and cleaned that up. It also holds recipes I come across. But I also have a real-world paper inspiration file, or rather a neatly organized binder from three years ago plus a huge pile of magazine clippings ever since. Add to that all the print-outs of recipes I do since I don't like reading recipes from my phone in the kitchen. Needs to be organized and if my to do list were any shorter than it is, this would actually make a nice winter project with a cup of hot chocolate. If. Only. I. Didn't. Have. Anything. Else. To. Do. So we'll see about that one. Maybe between Christmas and New Years, between putting Christmas decorations away and making homemade dipping sauces for our traditional Chinese fondue. Yeah...
So that was my Cure week. What did you guys do while I tried to focus on some point in the distance to keep myself from getting nauseous and keeping the migraine medication down?