Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Foil is your friend -

Since I last wrote about a Tired Girl enemy, I thought I would remind us of a VERY IMPORTANT PERSON (not a person) in the Tired Girl world.  As us Tired Girls take on the holidays, remember foil is in our corner. And slippers and sweatshirts and not judging ourselves harshly, and cinnamon rolls.   

original post on 9.16.2012 -
Foil is your friendalthough unfortunately it is not exactly the Earth's friend.  I am a friend to the Earth in so many way, but not when it comes to foil.
I just can't quit you, foil. I use it almost every evening for dinner.  It allows me to not wash a pan (so I'm saving water right, right??) I line cookie sheets or brownie style pans to cook items of dinner on.  After dinner I will wrap up the leftover meat or items in the foil, stash in the fridge and voila no pan to wash and no plasticware to dirty with leftovers either. 

Sometimes the foil is unusable to wrap up food items and so it gets thrown out right away.  I do a rain dance (in my head) and think of something else to recycle as I chuck it in the trashcan and relish in the possible freedom of my evening.

These are home-made pizzas on foiled cookie sheets - 
these pizzas look better when they have been cooked.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

"Clutter is the enemy" -

"Clutter is the enemy." My mom read these words to me over the phone the other day - she was reading parts of a book she just got (Remodelista by Julie Carlson).  Listening to those words made my eyes go all squinty and I immediately started looking around the room I was sitting in.  

Clutter - for Tired Girls especially - is your enemy.

A book I have not read but got me thinking - 
So, I am innocently cleaning up after dinner and trying to find the right lid to the right food storage container, and cussing ensues because "Where the eff is the blue bumpy rectangular lid that goes on this thing??" Maybe we (read: me in this situation) even dump the contents in to a container where the lid is a sure thing, but then there is an extra dish to cram in the dishwasher.

Or you are heading out the door in the morning and you dig through your underwear drawer casting aside underwear that won't work for that day (or maybe any day) - too tight, too lose, those itch, the bow on those makes me look bumpy, ugh a thong, those move around all day, and so on, until you finally scrounge up a pair of "good" underwear and swear that you will throw in a load of clothes and undies when you get home that day, and of course you forget, and by the next morning you are forced to dig deeper in to the drawer or settle for one of the less popular candidates.  

These two scenarios and twenty others I can think of stand between me not resting, and me resting or doing something fun.

Clutter - for Tired Girls especially - is your enemy.

"So, great Tired Girl," you say, "I am convinced already, now tell me exactly where and when I will find the time and energy to totally de-clutter so I can have a happier existence."  

My de-cluttered underwear drawer
bought me two extra minutes which
was time I spent on the internet finding
charming photos like this one.
"Not possible," I say. I agree that the reason we are cluttered in the first place is who wants to spend their time de-cluttering the tupperware area of your home or feeling the emotional tug when you go to clean out your pj drawer and those one pj's that don't fit right anymore used to be your favorite and - you know where this is going. I am not talking about major organization here - just more basic streamlining of stuff we use all the time. 

Here are a few Tired Girl ideas though:

1) One in - one out. How fun to come home from shopping and hang up your two new cute tops and put your new flip-flops in your closet. At the very same moment you put your new things away you pull out the same number of old things. Joe and I were GREAT (just kind of good) at this at our old house where we had teensy closets.  There was just no room at a certain point.  So, anyway, two new cute tops are getting hung up, and two tops you don't like as much, have to go. You don't like walk them to Goodwill that moment, but you drop them in the "giveaway" bag you have somewhere in your house  (mine is in my closet). If you really really miss one of the tops you chose to go to a good home you can always go get it out of the give away bag and replace it with another shirt. One in - one out goes for pretty much everything - nail polish, underwear, husbands, jeans, tablecloths, tupperware containers, things with the chevron pattern (man do I love it but there is probably such a thing as too much), and of course paleo cookbooks (you really only need zero of these).  

2) Have a CAUSE that you care about. I love DOGS!! (and all animals). So for a long time all of my household stuff went to my Humane Society Thrift Shop. It was a little bit of a pain to drop stuff off there, but I made do and I loved that instead of money I was giving stuff which made them money. It was easier to part with things when I liked where it was going. Now I have a friend that takes anything I have and does good stuff with it. She does a lot with her church and she gets my items to whoever may need things. 

About a year ago, after I had given her a whole bunch of clothes, and she told me about a young girl that picked out an outfit from my clothes  - she told me the specific pieces she chose - and that the girl had worn the outfit to church two weeks in a row.  I LOVE that stuff!! That made me feel like a stinking hero, and now every time I am on the fence with an item I think about the hopefully good home it will find and I drop it in my giveaway bag.  Habitat for Humanity, tons of different churches, Goodwill, Salvation Army, Hospice, women's shelters, Boys and Girls Club - and on forever with good causes - find the ways that makes you smile (cheesy alert) and start a bag.

3) Have a giveaway bag or box or corner or whatever. When you come across something that gets in your way - that one tupperware container with no lid, grab it and do a once over in the area you are in - grab anything that stands out and then put them in the giveaway bag. Once the bag is full, start a new one and put the old one in your car. Then you have a better chance of dropping the bag off. 

4) Focus on high traffic areas. It would be awesome if my photos from high school were organized in a way besides being thrown in a box with photos from other times of my life, but that is not really something I am "in to."  I am "in to" finding a matching set of shoes, a lid to a tupperware container, my stock pot for soup making, my bills to pay, and clean pjs every night. Don't get bogged down in doing your whole stinking existence - just de-clutter the high traffic areas of your life.  The places where you get caught up, so to speak. 

Those are my Tired Girl strategies to make it palatable and easy to keep the clutter away. Maybe you love to read about de-cluttering strategies on Pinterest (I do not) or you are happy to schedule one whole day every so often to purge the whole house (I do not) or you like organize every inch of your life you weirdo (I do not).

Here are a few other posts on similar topics - 

Drowning in mail - and how to save your marriage
Closet organization Tired Girl style - 

Garage Sale - don't do it but if you do -
*OH!! - one last word about de-cluttering.  When it comes to Christmas decorating I seem to be  in kind of a hurry each year, and in my storage containers of holiday decor there were old keepsakes that I don't really put out, mixed with my tree skirt, mixed with cards from others from years past - in other words - total chaos.  So, at some point - I blocked out when and how because it was so boring - I "de-cluttered" my holiday stuff. Putting my most valued players in the same containers, and sorting them a bit within that - tree stuff, mantle stuff, other stuff, garlands, etc. Then all the other things that I haven't put out in years or don't use every year or whatever got put in other containers. Oh my God I KNOW this is like seriously basic stuff, but I just figured it out so I am sharing.   So, this way, I don't have to trash my house by pulling out all of my Christmas stuff at once. I can pull out the mantle and garland container and do that stuff and go from there. I think I hear harp music this plan is so awesome to me.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Eye cream -

Here is the deal with eye cream. It may or may not work and we will never really have the answer (once we are wrinkly we may think, "Oh crud that stuff didn't work," but maybe it DID and we are less wrinkly than we would have been - and maybe not, or maybe if we had used a better brand or more or whatever and this goes on forever).  

I don't think it can hurt to use it though. Lotion seems to soften things and softer things mostly look nice.  So here are the Tired Girl's tips for eye cream:

1) Use it - it doesn't matter what brand, just put some kind of cream around your eyes before bed at night.  Don't get it in there though.

2). Use your ring finger and tap the cream on and around your eyes - so that you don't mess up your eyes by putting too much pressure on them and all that - it's just the most gentle way to do it.

That's it. 

Well one more thing - I keep eye cream by my bed (because I like to hurry and lay down in the evenings, so it's one less thing to do standing in the bathroom, that I can instead do lying in bed). I also keep some by my computer in my office and in my travel bag. I have different brands everywhere, but I think if I have access to the stuff I will use it. I talk about that idea with other supplies - here. 

There is some dog slobber hiding here in places too, so don't look too close. Here is my Olay cream.

Here is my Yes to Blueberries Cream.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Tired Girl memory making, with children you know -

"Who wants to do some arts and crafts?"  A sentence that makes children squeal and Tired Girls cringe.  

This holiday season you will possibly be around: your own children, grandkids, kids' friends, neighbor kids, nieces and nephews, step-kids, random children around your home you don't know who they belong to or how they got there. 
Click here to read about it on
Hand Made Kids Art: 12 days of HolidayCrafting for Toddlers and Preschoolers by Jamie Hand is a craft book for seriously Tired Girls, that have access to children, that they want to be with, entertain, educate or keep busy. It's a 2.99 download and as the author 1 says the supplies are probably things you have around your houseand the activity themselves are major bangs for your buck - a big time happy memory and very small energy output - the ideal Tired Girl activity.

Here is a conversation that could happen if you use this book: 
"Remember when you came to my house and we made reindeers Aunt Carrie?"
"That was so fun, right?". 
"I named mine Felix and you named yours Cupcake!!"
"Oh Cupcake, what a sweet soul he is.  How is Felix?"
"He loves living in the Christmas closet with the other ornaments.  He is very popular."
"Of course he is - you made him."
 "I love you Aunt Carrie, you are the most fun person."
 "Wonderful!! Now please bring me my Uggs and some of Aunt Carrie's special water, and pick out a movie to watch and then later we will pick out another craft to make. 3"

I love this one.
Have you ever done something nice, like
 planned a fun project and then when it came time to do said project you were so "done" that you were maybe grumpy with 
the innocent people that were happily participating. My poor little third graders may have met with this situation, but probably not since I would never do this. Except that I do.3

This book however is totally  Tired Girl worthy. It embodies what we want - we want to have fun and create memories for our family, but as Tired Girls our skin crawls at the idea of the amount of work a craft project (with children) inevitably would be.

This download (e-book) is a quality way to spend energy and time, but not too much energy and time is needed. You will have energy left to actually be sweet and enjoy the company of the children you do these crafts with. 

If you download it make sure you read the "Tips for Crafting and Creating Art with Young Artists.  I love what she says about "the process."4

.          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .

1. my friend Jamie!  
2. depends on what kind of cool stuff you have
3. thank you for putting up with my fantasy discussion
4. no third graders were injured in reality or for hyperbole, I worked my toosh off for all my students and sometimes I - like all other adults - had my patience tested by the enthusiasm and listening skills of sweet children
5. we should all be so patient with ourselves

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Let your spouse help you -

This is one of the more condescending sentences I have thought in a while: Let your spouse help you. I bet every husband and wife out there is so pleased that I am giving permission to LET them HELP you. It is a real thing though that Tired Girls should consider.

Years ago Joe and I were having a "discussion" about "things" getting done, and in the heat of the moment he said these words:

"If you really want to help out around here you can ..." And then he named some meaningless chore that was hotly contested at the time.

We both froze at the ridiculousness of the statement - "If I really want to help out?" Where to begin.

Luckily - for everyone's safety - as the words left his lips and reached my ears we both started laughing. It is now a happy joke in our house - after working long days at home and at work we will, smilingly, say to each other "If you really want to help out around here you can --  and then we name some huge task like "invent something imperative that every human needs so we can retire wealthy tomorrow and watch movies all day."

The truth is though that it is important to let your spouse help out so that everyone can move along in life. When Joe loads the dishwasher and I later open the dishwasher, honestly, I flinch hard at the use of space and placement of the dishes. Is there a split second where I want to rearrange the whole place so things fit and work and all that? Yes! Is that a good use of time to RE-DO an already done task? Not really. Especially, for a Tired Girl. Instead I suck it up, close the dishwasher, hug and kiss him for loading it and we both skip off to relax or do something fun together. Not so much skipping as just walking, but it seems more carefree to skip. Joe has probably never skipped.

I am very sure that when I weed or do anything much in the yard he looks at my "done" area and flinches hard as well, but is thankful that one bed is less messy than it was, so he hugs and kisses me and thanks me for weeding and we drink a beer and lay in the grass and are done in the yard for the day.

I could give you a list of tasks like this - things the other person does in a way different than you would do and it's in the best interest of your life to let it go most of the time. Yes, there is a little training involved, so to speak, on everyone's part so that things get done well, but that can happen over time.  LOTS and LOTS of good can come from this and I am sure you can infer all the subtleties, and in the end, us Tired Girls get more done when we have help.
There is a scene in the movie "Date Night" with Tina Fey and Steve Carrell, where she is exhausted and he is trying to help her and she just plans to do it all herself, because he doesn't do the things "right." Later in the movie they get it all worked out, but don't make yourself go through all that.

Let some things go, let your spouse help.

Joe does our Christmas cards every year - here is our photo from 2006.
I fought him for the first few years trying to get in on the fun and and give my two cents.
Now, I have let go, it is all his, he does an awesome job,
and it's one less thing for the holiday season for me.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Garage sale - don't do it - but if you do -

A few years ago my husband I bought a model home - fully furnished. I felt like I got to move in to Barbie's Dream House.  I love it here!  Incidentally though, prior to moving in to this decked out house, we already had a home filled with our own belongings and furniture. 

Eventually we just owned one house with double the stuff.  We put A LOT of it at a consignment store where the lady promptly went out of business, donated everything of ours, and forgot to tell us any of it.  Heck of a business plan.

We have slowly donated and sold bits and pieces and absorbed the rest.  But my lovely home was bursting at the seams - yuck - mix in a huge dog, a busy husband, and a Tired Girl, and this place had the makings of a mildly gross place. 

So cut to the end of this summer where I decided I had SO MUCH sellable stuff that I would have a garage sale. My sneaking suspicion was that my stuff was not nice enough to bother with another consignment and too nice to really interest the garage sale crowd- people want a coffee maker for a quarter after all, regardless of how pricey it was at William Sonoma two weeks ago. 

Against my better judgement I was very un-Tired Girlish and had a stinking garage sale. 

Here are my tips:

1) Don't do it.  Load everything in a truck, drive it to a charity of your choice, unload it, cry a little on the way home, spin around your clutter -free home  -- Sound of Music style, and take a trip to Chicago with all the time you saved. 

Awethome thign.  I found this on Pinterest and ours did not look like that.
My dad made great arrow signs instead.
Otherwsie -

2)  Don't have one with your neighbors or your neighborhood - you don't need competition for your ratty cookie sheets.

3) Price everything.  Shoppers were "helping" me put things out the morning of our sale and luckily my stuff was all already priced.  Otheriwse I don't even want to think.

4) The smaller and more useful items went first. Cookies sheets worn hard, small appliances, and small furniture barely got set out before they were bought. 

5) DVD's - YES . VHS - NO.  Our DVD's went like crazy - even the really dumb movies.

6) Textiles were a NO.  I had several pretty and BARELY used and smelling good and high quality bedding sets, along with lots of table cloths, curtains, napkins, etc -- no one cared.

7) LOTS of people asked for jewelry of any kind, costume, junk, vintage, anything.

8) Make a deal or don't.  Doesn't matter. I had some people offer me less for things already priced low and most the time when I politely said "No, I will hold tight with my price for now."  They either bought it anyway at that price or someone else bought it for full price later. 

9) Some things I did negotiate price on, for whatever reason - either I liked their attitude or their dog was cute or their kid was polite or I had had a slow hour. Whatever.

10) Be ready to work hard, watch your items get flung around, and judged, and not make tons of money.  Enjoy that.

11) Put up signs when you are ready to start - the day of, put an ad in the paper and put an ad on Craig's List. 

12) Get your parents or close friends/family to help if they are handy like that. My parents kicked ass at this thing.

Good luck.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sunday Struggle -

There really is a thing called Sunday Blues.  "Some" (someone who studies stuff) have linked it to a mild depression caused from different sleep patterns that occur at the end of the week or weekend (blah blah blah), and "others" (most people) just dread the work and reality of Monday.

Regardless of the level of love or trauma that my various jobs have caused ( I had nightmares about my boss from Neiman Marcus for years) I spend Sunday asking myself this question:

Do I work on Sunday so that Monday is easier?  (doing laundry, making my lunch or breakfsat or dinners for the week, doing actual work work to get "ahead," etc - I have never been ahead in my life incidentally - so that one was a joke choice).   

Or do I just relax and have fun and start Monday in a deficit?"  

What do you choose? Each Sunday is different for me.

A few Sundays ago I worked all morning, took the rest of the day off and had a fabulous Monday because of it, and this week's Sunday I had good intentions, but couldn't even get close to my computer, nor could I acknowledge the laundry or the kitchen - just had fun and cruised in to Monday.

Dramatic much?  Classic "My So Called Life" teen angst.
When I work on a Sunday I feel grumpy, but prepared for the week. When I just have fun all day Sunday I feel much happier, but I have to scramble more throughout the week. 

I do not have treatment or a solution , but as a Tired Girl I am simply acknowledging the existence of this stupid Sunday struggle.  

It is days like this that I think about the movie "Bernard and Doris"  in which Susan Sarandon plays the heiress Doris Duke (serious money) and one of the most interesting parts of the movie is watching her wealth - her unbelievable wealth.  

Every so often I let my brain go that place - like "I feel so pooped and achey what if I didn't actually have to make dinner, but instead sat down in my  reading room with my ipad and someone brought me a gin and tonic and a glass of water and some grapes and then, when it was time, I was served dinner by someone else who made it and cleaned it up and before bed someone also put the air on the temperature I like to sleep at - and you see where this is going.  Do people in that level of wealth have the Sunday struggle?  They may, but I would be willing to try it out and see.

Not a bad point. My only idea for a treatment was to make sure you have a dog or cat to snuggle with.  That makes everything better. And then I thought if you have kids they may bring you comfort as well and then I realized what about the poor spouse - if they are nice they too should bring happinees and comfort, so hopefully you have one you like.  Otherwise the companiionship of a dog or cat can really be the way to go.

As a Tired Girl what do you choose for your Sundays?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Beauty substitution -

I like to shop for what I like to shop for and lots of things do not fit in to the "I like to shop for this" category. I know that a product is truly important to me if I actually leave my house to go buy it - especially if the product is NOT sold at Target.  Any boring item is less boring if you get to look at clothes or nail polish or throw pillows or clearance duvet covers at Target.

I know that I can not go more than a day or two without foil (I just can't quit you, foil) or
q-tips. But I will improv like crazy for many other items. Olive oil in brownies? I should I have gone to the store for that one - that was not a good substitution.  But, I ran out of shaving cream years ago and have never replaced it - soap works fine for me.

Tired Girl Ashley sent me a Tired Girl tip and brilliant switcharoo substitution. Here are her words:

What can do an awesome job cleaning your toilet and face? Baking Soda!!!

I was being the ultimate tired and cheap girl and when I ran out of facial cleanser, I was too tired to go shopping (even online). I had intended to by the recommended Rafa Natural (I still intend to do so) but I am too tired to even look up another thing on the internet! So I had a face full of make up because I had tried our regular Dove and suffered a major breakout reaction with no way to wash it off... I decided I had to look in my cabinets. I was going to use my coconut oil but I couldn't get it open, then I saw the unopened, forgotten about box of baking soda. I went for it, was awesome. I went for it again, this time used my Clarisonic, even more awesome!

Then I had to look it up on the internet to make sure I wasn't killing my face and Clarisonic actually has a blog where they recommend using it on the face as an exfoliator!
So I have used no soap and no cleanser except for baking soda for over a week now and I love it! Clear and smooth skin!! I still do want a simple cleanser for the morning wash since the soda is gritty. Apparently baking soda is non abrasive, good for the environment, fights bacteria, and costs .99! Hoooray!
 Also, when using it with your Clarisonic is truly feels like a spa micro derm treatment and leaves your skin super smooth! I'm in love. For a good time you can rub it in your hair, on your teeth and all over your body, heck even on the shower floor while you are showering to remove the tile soap scum!! :) ( I guess cleaning your shower and your face with the same product is not super classy, but baby soft skin is!)
I will add that I would use a moisturizer after using baking soda wash, it can be a tad drying thus causing more oil production...

Soon I will be trying my coconut oil to moisturize -after Pat opens the jar for me. :)
Here is a simple recipe:
Mix 2 teaspoons of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of warm water in a small bowl. Use a clean finger to stir the ingredients until a soft paste forms.
Splash your face thoroughly with warm water. Dip your fingers into the baking soda paste. Apply the paste to your wet face using a gentle circular motion. Cover your entire face with the paste.
Rinse your face thoroughly with warm water, splashing the water over the skin repeatedly until your face rinses clean. Pat your face dry with a clean towel.

Or you can do the Tired Girl way and dump some in your wet hand and rub on your wet face...
Some people just mix the soda with their favorite cleanser too.
Baking soda cleanser!!!

Please send me your brilliant Tired Girl substitution.

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