The William Morris Project: 2014 | Too Many Books

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The William Morris Project

I’m pretty pleased with this one, folks! Not that it’s revolutionary or anything. I admitted to myself that every project I do will adapt as we change as a family. When I put all the books in one room, Nico wasn’t much of a reader and Mikey was reading small series books. Now Nico has interests of his own and Mikey likes big books. I can’t blame him.

BABY GOT STACKS

Between Mikey’s many series and Nico’s developing interest in reading, books started to collect in every room of the house. The fact I continue to buy books is absolutely irrelevant to the issue at hand. (HAHAHAHAHAHAA!)

Side note: I started reading most of my books on my ipad because the Mister was ready to make me sleep outside with my books and a flashlight. I love to read at night, so much so that I can’t fall asleep unless I’ve read two hours before going to bed. This is a problem when two hours means after midnight. He bought me the ipad and begged me to read with the lights off. That was fine for a while, but over time it bothered my eyes and I started to miss the experience of owning books. I like the look of books everywhere. I like going to the bookstore and searching for the perfect book. Also, and this will sound odd, but I swear my taste for books has turned tawdry now that I know I don’t have to worry anyone at school will see my copy of Gay Wizards, Consulting Detectives and the Women Who Love Them: The Best of 2014.

Children's Books

I realized believing I could store all our books in one room was like that one time the Greeks told the Trojans, “It’s just a horse!”

So I bought two cheap bookcases from Target for the boys room and had Mikey and the Mister put it together. Both went into the room and we started the book purging process. It wasn’t easy with Mikey, who is a sentimental pack rat. Nico, not so much. If he saw the movie and read the book, he was okay tossing it. I took close to 50 books to the school on Monday and, I’m happy to say, a lot of them were checked out by the younger grades.

I’ll show the boys’ new bookcases another day, but for now here is what I have done so far with my new found four shelves of space.

Cookbooks, 2

Cookbooks

Cookbooks! I finally have a place for all my cookbooks! I used to keep them in the pantry in the kitchen, which was fine, but my motivation to use them was less than zero. To access them I had to get a step ladder and forget it. I forgot which books I owned and I ended up storing my most used books in a kitchen cabinet. Now I have them all on two shelves with nine ready to go to Goodwill. Yes, I purged my cookbooks while I was at it to make room for two cookbooks I bought last month. That means I’m seven cookbooks lighter, so at least I’m going in the right direction.

The Plants I Want

Blue Sofa

Mother’s Day is this weekend, and I told the Mister to buy me a plant instead of flowers. I think he would prefer the flowers since they’re so easy to do, but too bad! My day, folks. MY DAY.

I wrote about the plants I want over at Wayfair. As always, I appreciate the support for those of you who decide to visit me over there.

The William Morris Project: 2014 | Makeup Drawer Redo

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The William Morris Project

The last time I worked on my makeup drawer, it was a total redo. I was proud of how much I had purged at the time, but looking at the after now, I see I could have tossed in the trash another bag’s worth of makeup.

Makeup Drawer, 1

My makeup drawer last week may have had less makeup than the first time I cleaned it out, but it was back to being cluttered and messy. Loose powders and compacts are dusty monsters.

Makeup Drawer, 2

Makeup Drawer, 3

I took out everything in the drawer and put it in a purge pile. The obvious items went out first. I admit, there weren’t too many obvious items. I knew I would start rationalizing, so I went into the project with some notes on makeup expiration. If it had expired, I tossed it out–with the exception of a handful of eye shadows because while the beauty editors at Allure says they expire in 3 months, other sources said 12 months. I wear eye shadow, at most, a few times per year. I don’t want to toss out everything I have and then buy replacements that will sit in a drawer. For now, some eye shadows stay until I can figure out a workable solution.

Sticking to bright line rules whittled down my makeup by at least 50%. After that, it was as simple as washing out my makeup caddy and putting the makeup back in place.

Makeup Drawer, 4

Here’s the new and decluttered makeup drawer. I admit that I will probably add some mascara to the drawer–or nice eyeliner since I shouldn’t wear mascara.

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These are my notes in case you were wondering about the expiration dates. You can see them–sans scratch outs and misspellings–in the Allure link above.

Getting birds to eat

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The other day I bought two bird feeders, one for hummingbirds and one for song birds. I filled them up immediately, but so far they haven’t had any visitors. I thought with the warm winter we had there would be hummingbirds, but I did some research and it looks hormones determine their migration, not weather. California often has year round hummingbirds, but I can’t say I’ve ever paid much attention. This bird thing is all new to me! Thanks, Nico.

Songbirds we have, because I can hear them in the early morning. I’m not sure why they won’t eat from my feeder. I did buy good quality songbird food, so I’m not sure what’s up. Time for more research, I suppose.

The above picture is from a garden that caters to birds, insects, and other wild animals. The owners joke that it’s a free outdoor restaurant. I would love a garden like this! It’s pretty, not too fussy or formal, and colorful. If you’ve never looked at the garden photos on flickr, then you’re missing out. There are some seriously talented gardeners in the world.

I did a post about gardens for Wayfair this month–this one about must-have garden tools. I would love for your to check it out–or at the very least throw me a bone and click on the link. Hah!

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The William Morris Project 2014 | Holiday Refrigerators

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The William Morris Project

Only a holiday, in this case Easter, can take a cluttered refrigerator and turn it into Monica’s closet. It never fails. I’m not fantastic when it comes to cleaning out the fridge. I have a friend who cleans out her fridge every week before going to the grocery store. Every week she washes the shelves, cleans out the drawers, and tosses out whatever needs tossing. She rarely has anything that needs tossing, as you can imagine. Insufferable organized clean person.

My fridge gets nowhere near that attention. There isn’t food molding or open cans of soup or raw meet dripping onto the vegetables, but yesterday, 3 days past Easter, it was a mess. (You can see the before picture on instagram.) Cramming the boxes of kale was the second to the last straw.

Clean Out, 4

The last straw was receiving my first order from Farm Fresh to You. I wasn’t about to stick all those vegetables in a cluttered fridge so they could get lost and spoil. I cleaned out the fridge, which wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Again. If I had a dime for every time I said that I could pay someone to declutter my house.

Clean Out, 2

So much better! I even decided to make use of the wine rack thing that I always said I would never use. I tried to use the soda tray, but I couldn’t figure out where it went. Both the wine rack and the soda tray may go back once we’re done with the wine and soda. Both reflect Easter shenanigans since we don’t drink wine or soda regularly.

Clean Out, 5

The Farm Fresh to You membership happened by accident. I opened the door to a solicitor and I signed up immediately. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years, and I’m glad I did. I know I could get everything cheaper if I did the shopping on my own, but I also know that’s not something I will do. I need it delivered to my door, and I need the weight of picking out what to buy removed from my shoulders. I do best when I don’t have a lot of options and I’m a creative cook when I’m forced to use something before it spoils. If left to my own devices, I’d forget the days the farmer’s market was open or show up and buy the same thing over and over again.

My post on skincare motivated me to tackle my diet, which I’m sure contributes to my breakouts and rough complexion. Since the boys and I are on Easter vacation, I haven’t found bought Starbucks or snacks. I already feel better. I’m going to eat at home more, plan out breakfasts (my downfall), and try out some recipes. I’ve been resistant to cooking from recipes lately, which wouldn’t be a problem if I was making nice meals on my own. I swear, if I liked quesadillas, that’s what we would be eating every night.

I’m debating buying the Bountiful cookbook. I’ve heard amazing things about it, and Andrea made a goat cheese + lemon spread recipe from the book that was incredible. Any other healthy cookbooks you recommend? I know, I know. You’re going to recommend Gwyneth’s It’s All Good. Any book but that one, even though it completely changed Andrea’s life and by all accounts is fantastic. This is going to sound horrible, but I can’t stand Gwyneth Paltrow. She drives me stark raving mad. Everything is so sui generis with that woman. She doesn’t get a headache. She gets “light-headed” and fears she’s “having a stroke.” Heaven forbid the woman decides to divorce like the rest of the plebs. No, she has to “consciously uncouple” and access her “pain toolbox.”

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I can’t handle her. I really, really can’t. She’s beautiful, though, and her relationship with her father was touching. I’ll give her that. Gotta end on a positive note.

Hi! I’m Jules.

I used to be an attorney, but it made me grumpy. Now I write about life, sweet and savory, as a wife and mother to two small boys. My knowledge of dinosaurs knows no bounds.

You can read more, including the meaning behind the name Pancakes and French Fries here. And, yes, I really am phenomenally indecisive.