Tired Girl - Around the House

I like to know what’s going on in the world. Sometimes that means knowing about boring and important things, like a change in flood insurance in Florida, and luckily it sometimes means knowing that, apparently, zippers on things are super in style right now. Especially if it’s a zipper that serves no purpose.

It may have all started with this company -
I have no idea  - I don't know why I said that-
their site seems official (expensive).   Confetti System link
When I traveled this fall I saw and loved these tassel garlands, and eventually looked them up. They are apparently popular everywhere in the world except my own house, because I didn't know they existed until recently.

So in my effort to still have the Good Life, regardless of fatigue, I am going to show you these things - (just in case you didn't know about them either) so you can look brilliant at a party when the flood insurance conversation wanes. I don’t know what parties you go to, but at mine, flood insurance chat quickly turns to trends in tissue paper.

If you google search "tissue tassel garland" your computer will explode, maybe.
If you type in tissue tassel garland to etsy.com you accidentally spend like $63.  There are a lot of choices on etsy.  You will need to take a half day from work just to look at them all. 

Two things I love about these things:
1) They serve no purpose except to be fun.
2) The unique and beautiful color choices that are created.

Because there are so many creative people making and selling these on etsy it was hard to choose whose photos to share - because I haven't actually made and photographed any of these myself. 

Here are some photos from the shop GlamFeteByBri



Here’s a quick how to also, if you feel so inclined to make instead of purchase. In six years, when they are out of style, I will get around to making a set myself, just to solidify my ability to always be two steps behind.

HGTV DIY Tissue Tassel Garland. 

You don't have to be getting married or having a baby to use these I think.
You can just string one up because it's Tuesday. Source

There are a batrillion blog sites that show how to do this too. I just couldn't pick one so I chose none.  

Anyone make a string of these? 

Original post - http://www.thetiredgirl.com/2014/01/tissue-tassel-garland-for-tired-girls.html

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This is incredibly dumb and the Katherine Grahams, Hilary Clintons, and Sally Rides of the world are disappointed in me right now. 

But, anyway. I pull the labels off everything I can, to make them look prettier. If toothpaste would cooperate I would do that too. It makes me less tired to be surrounded by beauty.  Some things will never be beautiful, but I do what I can.

yes, I photographed this.

Also dumb is this meme, but I like it: 

Judging my own self  - 

Original post - http://www.thetiredgirl.com/2013/12/really-dumb.html
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"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.

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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.

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I don't tan and I don't like skin cancer so I don't spend too much time trying to get tan. I do love the tanning bed a lot, but it is not good for me, so I put it in the category of doughnuts and wine and candy and things on infomercials, and maybe things that are even worse - something I want, but I do not do.

"Tan fat looks better than white fat" is something I wish I didn't believe, but I do.  I feel prettier with more glow and less doughy whiteness - don't judge.  So I have my own Tired Girl tanning regimen.  It's dumb, but that rarely stops me from sharing.

I have a tube top type swimsuit cover up that I use to work in the yard. I wear it as a shirt and loosely stick it in to the top of my work shorts, just so it doesn't hang down long.  It creates a blousy top so if my stomach feels like sticking out this way or that while I am in some weird weeding position (like twister without a spinner, but with bugs) I don't worry about it.  It also creates a lack of lines across my chest and arms.  The tube topness is cool, let's the breeze (if I am so lucky) be enjoyed, and creates a bareness for getting nicely sun-kissed.

I do spray my body with spray-sun-screen (I want tan not burnt), I grab my work gloves,  I enjoy the AC for a last fleeting moment, I think about how Princess Kate never has to do competitive weeding, and then I go out to get a mini-tan.

20 minutes on the timer and my yard and I look better and I have liquid (sunshine) energy pulsing through me.  It's a twofer which is this Tired Girl's goal always.

I have one like this - mine is from Wal-Mart, but this one is from Target. I highly recommend one with ruffles across the top - the ruffles are great camoflage if you know what I mean. If you don't  know what I mean, then you are probably a boy.  I also like the hot pink "Tired Girl pink," because if I go down in the yard my body (my awesome tan body) will be easier to find. 

Original post - http://www.thetiredgirl.com/2013/09/tired-girl-tanning.html
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Sometimes it takes me a month to mail something. I write the thank you note upstairs in my office and then it sits there for a few days (or weeks), then it finally makes it downstairs where it gets addressed and stamped, but not put in the mailbox.  At some point I put a cute design or something on it, because I feel bad that it is so late, so why not make it prettier when it arrives.  Then I over think the mailman's time frame and put the note in my purse to get it mailed when I go run errands.  Then I forget about the note for a week, where I find it in my purse and finally walk it out to the mailbox.  Tired? Eh.  Lazy and unfocused?  Probably. 

So lately I have been trying to get better at FINISHING a project in one small window of time.  No more "I'll take that upstairs and put it away when I go up later."  NO!  I do it all right then - including clean up like the un-packaging of whatever it is and throwing the bag away and all of that.  Just get it all done at once.
broken-handled hanging with the makeup

This is going to sound so dumb, but I realized that I have scissors EVERYWHERE in my house.  Many drawers in the kitchen, several spots in the bedroom and bathroom, a drawer in the living room, and so on.  Apparently not having a pair of scissors is the one thing that stands between me and a totally successful life.   Sometimes the time it takes me to think about going to find scissors I am already over that task and have relegated for a later time (like three years away or never).  Dumb I know, but whatever.  And frankly having to look in two drawers in the kitchen is too much for me too - I just want a pair in each drawer. 

I wrote last year about the idea of having supplies in every room for just this purpose, but I have come to realize that scissors in particular are a non-negotiable for me.  

So from one Tired Girl to another I would like to recommend that you go buy out the discount school supply section of scissors, just in case it means the difference of actually completing a whole project.  A project in this case is something as humble as cutting the bag of green beans (or oreos) open instead of tearing in to them like a wild animal.  That is the type of basic project I am happy to complete without much effort.  

That is my second tip - set very low standards for your productivity levels and you will never be disappointed.  When your spouse gets home and asks how you are, you can share that you cut a bag open with scissors that happen to be in the drawer you were standing in front of and it felt pretty. darn. great. 

This is like a game of hidden pictures - except who cares if they find someone else's scissors in a photo?

Inspiring I know.

What helpful supply do you have stashed all over your house?  If it's cocaine, don't tell me. 

Original post - http://www.thetiredgirl.com/2013/09/the-exquisite-availability-of-scissors.html 
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As Tired Girls it may be easier to not pursue the good life. I could have called this blog just the Tired Girl, and given ideas for how to get out of things in life. Despite my tired-girlness though, I want to have it all. To feel, act, sleep, eat, look, love and live well. Eating cereal every night, not having flower planters by my front door of my house, not picking up the bits of messiness that accumulate around my place certainly would make me less tired, but - I want the good life.

For me, a huge part of my good life was my sweet baby-dog Ralphie the bloodhound. He died this past weekend. Our dear friend Dr. "Uncle" Wade performed emergency surgery to remove cancerous tumors on Ralph's spleen. The surgery was a success, but the cancer had taken too large a toll on our boy and he slipped away peacefully afterward. He was - as my husband so eloquently put it "our collective love and focus" for nine years and we are quite simply heartbroken.

The point of this post is not for me to immobilize my keyboard with tears or to slump into the unbearable pain, or to try and make you snort away tears at your desk thinking of your beloved pet or the last time you saw our Ralph.

The point of this post is to stress the idea that to pursue the good life means we are often choosing to ignore the easy life, the safe life. If my husband and I had chosen not to have a dog we certainly would have less slobber on our walls, more money, more time and a bunch of other stuff I guess, but by choosing to have a pet we truly enjoyed the good life. The joy our Ralph brought us far outweighed any of the perceived trouble. I happily hand-made Ralphies's food the last couple years of his life - certainly not a tired girl activity, but I skimped in other areas to acquire the time for what mattered to me, which was him.

I taught a student once whose mother worked from 4am-10am every day at Subway to make extra money so her daughter could train as a gymnast -- and... that mom smiled every stinking time I was with her. I bet she was a serious Tired Girl, but she was working for the good life for herself and her daughter. I would bet she thought less about Subway during her day and more about the joy she felt watching her daughter practice.

This morning I worked to compile every photo I have of Ralph onto one thumb drive. Even the photo file labeled "new refrigerator" on my computer has photos of him (of course one of him looking at the new fridge!). One short video I came across was of Ralph and my husband, Joe, lying on our bed. Ralph was barking-talking to us. In the video I can hear myself laughing. Not a giggle, but like a deep down laugh. That was how I felt about being with him - a deep, sincere sense of pleasure. That is the good life to me.

I could write a novel about what I learned from our Ralphie, what he meant to us, how he saved me, how smart and quirky and human-like he was, what we will miss the most, and to ask the questions about how I will heal.

Instead I hope you will consider what you have, or do, or work for to have the good life for yourself.

A large loving, slobbery, tail wagging, humor-inducing piece of my good life now will serve as an intangible joy in my heart, and I will continue to work for the good life in other ways as well. I will do things like refill a pretty soap dispenser by my kitchen sink instead of having a big soap bottle because I think that looks nicer. In little and big ways I am Tired Girl who wants the Good Life.

My sweet boy made my life more than good - even if he isn't here anymore to slobber on the other parts of my good life.

I have approximately 27 hundred, 2 million, 33 thousand photos of Ralph. None of them feel good enough to represent his charm.

Next time I will share more light-hearted ideas, like the great eyeliner I have discovered and crap like that. But today I am enjoying thinking about how Ralph made this Tired Girl's life good.

What does living the good life mean to you?

Original post - http://www.thetiredgirl.com/2013/07/having-good-life_25.html
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Tired or not, sometimes there is a lot to get done.

Tired Girl Jamie and I worked very closely for a time period, we were an official "Team" at the company we work at.  During that time we would email everyday about what we had done and what our goals were the next day etc.  One of us - I think it was her - said one evening that tomorrow she was going to "do everything" the next day.  Ha! 

So that became our joke - we traded emails back and forth - This week, tomorrow, on Tuesday, etc.  "I am going to do everything."  Because that is how the list feels.

Today I am going to  -
clean the whole house, get totally caught up at work, get groceries, cook dinner, run on the treadmill, pay bills, mail my thank you notes and neaten up the garage, master my new camera, iron my husband's shirts, start the book by my bed and find a good eyeliner that works.  Today I will  "do everything!" 

As a Tired Girl, sometimes I can barely change from pj's to jeans to go out in the world, and yet the list in my head is often simply "do everything today."

I don't have a solution to this.  It sucks.

So instead I do some things and other things the next day and some things never I guess, or not yet.  I literally thought to myself the other day - "I am going to send that book to that person" - a book we discussed LITERALLY two and half years ago!  Not cool.

But when things suck it feels good to laugh about them - I think.  That's my coping mechanism any way.  So when the list gets longer and longer in my head I just think: Today I will do everything!  And I realize the ridiculousness of the list (and expectations) I have created for myself. 

Here is a clip from the widely unacclaimed movie "I don't Know How She Does it," with Sarah Jessica Parker.  I like the movie because I am the target audience, but no one else in the world seemed to like it.  Regardless, you only have to watch the first 58 seconds of this clip and you will be saying - "Oh that's me.."  Or maybe you won't.  I don't know.

You'll like this clip though.  And if you are at work and supposed to be working you really don't even need the sound.  Nothing says "I'm definitely not working over here," than the sounds of Sarah Jessica Parker's voice coming from your office.

Anyone have a solution for the "Do everything today!" syndrome?

At least I didn't scratch off "do nothing."  Although sometimes I want to put the most mundane things on my list just so I can scratch them off. 

Original post - http://www.thetiredgirl.com/2013/07/just-do-everything.html
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This is one of my earliest posts, but I have re-posted today - 
I don't like to iron, so I try not to do it.  Easier said than done I know, but I rarely iron my clothes, mostly because the clothes I own don’t HAVE to be  ironed too much.  They may look better with a fresh press, but whatever.  

I RARELY buy clothes that need ironing.  Done.  I also say things like – “Oh I don’t iron,” it feels great.  I do have some tops and shorts, and especially in the summer some linen, that I bust my iron and ironing board out for (but of course I wear them a few times so one iron job lasts a while).
Here is my advice about ironing – don’t do it much.  Give away the items you have that need ironing unless you really really - really love it.

Instead, dry-clean occasionally (for special items or seasonal cleaning) or pull things out of the drier fast if possible. Sadly I do not even follow my own advice with this - some things make it out of the drier but they don't get folded, just put on and smoothed down while they are on my body.

My husband often looks band box neat however and most of that is not thanks to me.  I do iron some of his dress shirts (or just pull them out of the drier mega fast and throw them on a hanger even faster - it works better than you think). I don't think he LOVES my strategy, but he seems to like me so he goes with it.  He also gets some dress shirts dry-cleaned.

In his casual world though he is just as wrinkly as me.  

It’s survival of the fittest in my closet – if an item requires too much energy and I don’t LOVE it, I donate it.  My life style is wash and wear. 

source   This girl has it all figured it out.

I found this tip online - I feel skeptical about it:  

"Mix 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup fabric softener and 1/3 cup of vinegar in a spray bottle with fine mist nozzle. Spray onto clothing then tug and pull the item to smooth it. Hang or lay flat to dry. This really works." source

Original post - http://www.thetiredgirl.com/2012/11/dont-buy-clothes-that-needironing.html
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Years ago I visited a friend of mine after she had gotten married, and the new couple had moved in to their first place together. We were all quite young still  - this was the first couple my age to get married. I walked in to their apartment and saw a huge paining of hunting dogs or ducks or something over the pretty sofa she owned, and my first thought was "Oh my God she loves this guy."  

Our homes are a reflection of who we are and who we love, and none of these are perfect.

A few months ago my mom gave me this towel.   Pretty much sums it up around here.

And a few weeks after that my mother-in-law gave me this towel. 

Clearly I am blessed to be surrounded by women who 
a) really know me
b) accept me as I am
c) love me
d) know my house is messy


Thinking about homes that are slightly askew made me think of a book I read that addresses just that.  Homes that are lived in, decorated, messy, loved and sometimes a little off.  

The Perfectly Imperfect Home: How to Decorate and Live Well by Deborah Needleman.  
(Deborah Needleman is/was Domino Magazine, which I loved and was temporarily despondent when it went under.)

This is a super fun book that not only gives you permission to have a whacky house, but helps you turn that whack in to a well done and beautiful home.

It also has enchanting illustrations by Virginia Johnson.  

I of course checked it out at the library and did not purchase it.    

"A Bit of Quirk" is one of my favorite chapters - it helps me come to terms with the stuffed bobcat and fisherman lamp I have acquired through marriage.

 Many of the things in my house that add "charm" belong to my dog or my husband.  Nothing says "home" like a plastic squeeky that has been torn from the fluffy limbs of a toy and left where it died. Only to be stepped on later for heart stopping joy.  Or a doodad of some kind from some relative who served in some war that has been lovingly placed on a side table for me to admire. 

I am pretty sure I add some whimsy as well but I cannot identify my own whackiness, all my stuff looks beautiful to me.  But I am messy, so maybe my addition is not so much "decor," but just stuff hanging around.  I have a hard time, for example, helping my shoes in to my closet - would rather just leave them around for when I might need them again.  My dad used to say he felt like he lived in a shoe store. 

There are lots of blogs and books and pinterest pins to help us decorate and organize and all that crap.  But I find most of them to be not Tired Girly enough and basically unrealistic for me to create or maintain.  My baskets and mailroom feel awesome and about as good as it's going to get here. 

My roundabout point is that, realistically, our homes will be messy and jumbled.  And finding ways to love the charm, and in our own way, corral the clutter is the only way Tired Girls will make it.  

If collecting toilet paper rolls to put in to a drawer to divide something into tiny groups works for you ( I would die) then go for it.  If your husband's prize mounted swordfish is his most valuable possession, then that's part of the deal, and we need to make it work.  

I am happy to embrace the idea of a perfectly imperfect home.  To have a bin of pulled a part dog toys in the family room, a jar of homemade hot sauce permanently residing on the kitchen table and baskets full of stuff everywhere. Sometimes picking up all the shoes for a few shoeless days and sometimes letting it slide and stepping over them to do something fun instead. These things reflect the family that lives here and the life we have built together.  

 This doesn't mean we don't negotiate all the time.  I mean some things or amounts of mess are a deal breaker, but as my husband likes to remind me "you knew me when you married me."  Also "charming," but true, and luckily I like the person I married and the perfectly imperfect house and dog hair we are surrounded by. 

Here are a few "bits of quirk" from around my home.

My husband and I almost share a birthdate, and one year we bought each other the same birthday card.  So I framed it and hung it up.

This is my mega Eiffel Tower that sits on a side table in my kitchen.  I heart the Eiffel Tower, though this is a super lame photo of it.  It's hard to capture it's charm.  Just pretend it looks awesome. 
Roar!  This is the bobcat my husband's grandfather shot in self defense and taxidermied himself on felt a long time ago. Sir Bobcat (he actually does not have a name) lives in the media room now.  He loves Downton Abbey.

And my biggest bit of quirk is Ralphie dog, and the fact that my whole house is covered in blankets to protect itself from him.  Here he is on the guest bed, perfectly centered on "his" blanket.  He has good aim thank goodness.

My attention to detail, good photography skills and editing are all lacking in these photos.  Just want you to know that I know it too. 

What are some things that make your home perfectly imperfect? 

Original post -http://www.thetiredgirl.com/2013/06/a-perfectly-imperfect-home.html
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Sometimes 10 minutes is all you need.  
I often give myself 10 minutes to do something.  10 minutes on the microwave timer to clean up the kitchen and family room for the afternoon, so I can enjoy a clutter-free evening. 

I can get a lot done in those 10 minutes.

10 minutes to clean the whole downstairs.
10 minutes to neaten up my bedroom, bathroom and closet
10 minutes of ebaying (this can easily turn in two hours if I am not careful)
10 minutes to lay down and close my eyes
10 minutes to spruce myself up in some way
10 minutes to make myself move around the house, walk up and down the stairs, get on the treadmill, use my hand weights, or do an ab workout
A 10 minute dog walk

Obviously most the time you need more than 10 minutes to do any of these things well, but on those days when you have gone in every direction, or you are pooped from just being alive a 10 minute kitchen clean up is more than sufficient.  

Most of the time I use my microwave timer, but in other spots I have a little handheld timer leftover from my days in the classroom.  

If the timer goes off and I don't feel done then a couple more minutes pulls me home.  I trick my brain to believe that if I need more time I can have it - but I rarely need much more.  Most of the time whatever doesn't get done in that time is fine with me.

If you google "10 minute workout" you will get more than enough work out information to ignore.   

I have also been giving myself 10 minute face lifts.  Don't get too excited - it's good, but it's still hyperbole.

I have tried a new product from my favorite skincare line (that is sold in Lakeland, Florida - though I buy it online as well) - Rafa Natural

It is a "Glycolic and Rose Masque", it's $15, and it works.  

I like to use this if I am about to go somewhere - so my new uplifted face gets use.  So before an evening out, or if you have time in the morning (I have never heard of this personally), or if you have time on a Saturday.  It is good for your skin though - that's the point - so use it whenever.  

I use the Rafa Natural Clarifying Cleanser with my Clarisonic for a quick cleanse - but you can use any mild face wash - and then I squeeze two or three pumps of this glycolic mask in to my hand to spread on my face. 

It soaks in to my skin and then I clean my bathroom or put my clothes away for 10 minutes.  Then you rinse it off with water and apply moisturizer.  The directions say to only leave  on for 5 minutes the first time you use it, but then I leave it on longer after that.

My skin looks extra smooth and subtley uplifted - it looks tight in a good way.  I look rested.  I look thrilled!  I look wealthy!! Well I look rested anyway.  The rose of the mask is also a  pretty smell. 

The only two glycolic products sold at Neiman Marcus are $90 and $300.  Nordstrom's has a alot of "glycolic" products of ranging prices, percents and uses.  This mask has 10% glycolic acid which is the amount you want as well, AND it's all natural. Sold! 

My mom, who is in her sixties, uses this as well and gets the same results. Her skin is very dry to my oily and we are both pleased with our glycolic mask.

Here are some women who probably had more than a 10 minute glycolic acid facelift while they clean up their bathroom or something.  Whatever they have done is working for them though - they are aging well and beautifully.  

I chose these photos, because they were snapshots from events, and "appeared" to be not too edited.

Sometimes 10 minutes is all I need.  Maybe I will become an accomplished woman in just 10 minute increments of my life. 

Here is info on glycolic acid if you are procrastinating doing something important and would rather read this:

"Glycolic Acid is an exfoliator. It safely removes the outer layer of dead skin cells on the surface your skin, bring fresh new skin to the surface. This is beneficial for those who are looking for ingredients that help with anti-aging. Glycolic acid can also help lighten discoloration of the skin, such as sun spots or age spots and help those with acne-prone and blackhead-prone skin."  http://skincare.about.com/od/skin101/qt/Glycolic-Acid-Skin-Benefits.htm

Original post - http://www.thetiredgirl.com/2013/06/ten-minute-rule.html

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Our master bedroom has a little side room off of it. It is mirrored and I believe was designed to be a small gym. It, however, serves perfectly as a room for our dog, Ralphie, and for other necessities, that any room that has lots of activities, acquires.

The room does not have a door and both from the angle of the room and the uses it has, we are in and out of it all the time. This is going to sound really dumb to some of you and to others it will make perfect sense.  I was tired of looking at this haphazard hodgepodge space, and for my own peace I wanted it to look nice. When my house feels pretty and not chaotic I truly feel less tired.  I like pretty things - period.

So, a few months ago I started the first step in all my projects.  I THOUGHT about what I wanted to do in there. That's usually the most fun part.  I kept my eyes open for good deals on the supplies I decided I may consider, and I set a budget for myself.  As time went on and nothing was happening I decided it was time to move already and get it done so I could start enjoying it all.  I also decided my budget was like zero.  How can I justify a dog room/closet makeover? I actually decided on $20 max.

In the end I spent $15, but that could be justified as a supply I needed anyway. And the rest is sort of cheating because it was all stuff I already had.  

Get ready for slightly dull photos of pet supplies and ironing boards -

I took the fabric that I had draped over Ralph's cage and sewed seams to make it an actual cover and I added the trim that matched the window valance - just to give it a more finished look. I am not a fan of matchy-matchy, but in this case I was looking for cohesiveness. 

 I covered the earwash bottle in cute paper and put our earwash supplies in a basket. These were all supplies I already had.  Ralphie is a bloodhound and as a long-eared pooch he gets daily (sometimes hourly) ear cleanings, so these are supplies we use all the time.
I spent $12 on a new ironing board cover, which I needed any way.  I got this one at Target.  My mom bought me a cute ironing board cover a while back and of course I couldn't find it. I also spent $2 on the laundry basket fabric.  It was $1 a yard at Wal-Mart (!!!).  I liked the slight pattern, the classic stripe that looked like ticking, and the fact that it was sturdy and washable. 

Apparently if you just clean out stuff it makes the whole place look better. I threw out, grouped together, moved things to better spots in the house, and organized.  The black and white vases at the top were from elsewhere in my house. I bought these burlap bins at Marshall's with a store credit to keep store Ralph's stuff. They had some cute black and white patterned bins, but I wanted a warmer and neutral look.

I bought craft paint at Wal-Mart for $.88. I taped off the laundry basket and painted it up.  I think it went from cheapy and ugly to bold and happy.  I squeezed the paint right onto the basket and just spread it around with a big craft paint brush.

 These are the kind of activities that take up my time and energy and in the big picture aren't legacy-worthy. No one will say about me: "Wow, did she have a cute ironing board cover!" BUT these are the kind of activities that I enjoy thinking about and creating.  And when I plop in to bed at night (and my sweet dog plops in to his cage) it is relaxing to look in there and see a slightly more put-together room. 

Sometimes it's the littlest things that make me less tired. 

Ralph would not cooperate in posing for a photo of himself in his cage.  

Original post - http://www.thetiredgirl.com/2013/06/weird-room-makeover.html

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One summer in college someone set me up with a guy. 
The idea that a twenty-year-old would even need to be set up is pretty funny, looking at it from the age of 35.  Twenty somethings don't need help in this department, the world is their oyster.  Anyway, I talked to him on the phone before we went out and he said something that really stuck with me and also totally annoyed me.  He said " Europe is really fantastic.  You should go."
I mean, ok!

Oh gee really?  Thanks.  It was like saying. "Diamonds are pretty you should have some." Or "Ferrari's are neat you should drive one."

Of course Europe is great and of course I was planning to go. His statement, from my view, showed a total  lack of awareness.  He didn't know me and what I had planned, or if I could afford to go, or had the time, or whatever.  Maybe I had big things going and couldn't get away.  He didn't know my life! And his "recommendation" of a whole continent, for whatever reason, did not sit well. My mother tried to convince me to chill the heck out and give the guy a break.  Needless to say I am not married to that guy nor did we even ever actually go out.  

The tip I am sharing today feels a little like "Europe is really fantastic. You should go."  I understand that sometimes Tired Girls do not have money falling out of their wallets and that they work their tails off just to maintain their lifestyle and maybe squirrel a couple of bucks away for a secret shoe purchase in the process.  I get it. 

I have a list of services though that I pay for that make my life easier.  My husband and I happily skimp in other departments to make up for these things.  

I once knew a guy that bought EVERY dvd that had been released. He went to Target on Wednesdays or whatever day it was and bought all the "new" dvds that had come out that week.  He built dvd cases in his house and he and his wife counted and catalogued them often and rarely watched any of them according to her.  Not my bag, but his business of what he wants to do with his money.  

Here are some services I happily spend my money on:

A bug man (or bug person) -  even dead roaches are not cool with me.  I need the whole block cleared of them and a professional amount of poison around me.

A cleaning lady (or cleaning person) - I mean, this is self explanatory.  We have one, she comes once a month (we have decreased from twice a month to save some dough).  She does the big stuff like dusting, floors, the bathrooms, etc.  I still do these things in between, but once a month I know they are going to get done "Lavonia style."  Which - is awesome. 

You can't feel the heat and the distance in this photo.
Yard maintenance - My husband and I patted ourselves on the back when we bought the corner lot with an extra big yard. And then my husband almost died the first summer here when he had to trim two miles long of two mile high hedge.  It was touch-and-go for him that afternoon.  We immediately outsourced that one huge yard task and never looked back. We eventually added mowing and edging to the plan.  We still spend one day every weekend in the summer in our yard and I reluctantly do my part during the week.  Weeding, trimming, more weeding - oh God! But we do not spend two 10 hour days like we could have, and our yard always looks mowed if nothing else. I would give up other stuff to keep this.

Eyebrow waxing - I tried it myself and it went okay, but it goes a heck of a lot better when a professional steps in. Plucking isn't enough for my brows, so I go about every 6 weeks and pluck in between.  If I ever made it big I would have my eyebrows neatened up every day like J.Lo. 

Haircut and coloring- again this is a job for a professional in my opinion. A good hairdo is worth a lot. 

The dentist - sounds dumb, but when I didn't have dental insurance I decided to pocket my $60 twice a year and floss well instead.  It's not the same and I don't want teeth that look like corn, so I think it's worth it.

Exercise - I do not pay for a gym or personal trainer, but I LOVE the treadmill we bought.  Money spent on health seems like a good idea.

Dream services:
a cook
a pool man, because it would mean I have a pool
a personal assistant (I'm not that important; I'm just that tired.)

I heart Jackie Kennedy for many reasons. She read - on average throughout her life - a book a day.  She also - on average throughout her life - had house help and did not cook or clean, etc.  
Think of what could be accomplished by alleviating just a few tasks! 

 I have a happier marriage when there are no fights to be had over aspects of yard maintenance (the grass growing can sometimes be blamed on me as it turns out), and the freedom I gain from the yard man is spent on admiring my dog for example. 

Jackie reading - probably while flying on a private jet to Paris, but whatever.

Tired Girl (me!) with one of my favorite past times:  Ralphie!  Notice I am not  weeding in this photo. I was going to change this photo to black and white  to match Jackie, but I just looked drab whereas she looks historic.

What services save your day, or life, or marriage?

Original post -http://www.thetiredgirl.com/2013/06/services-for-tired-girls-and-boys.html

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There is no realistic way that grocery shopping can be FUN for me.  Maybe if the store is packed with beautiful people for me to admire,  Ke$ha songs are blasting, and champagne samples are being walked around it could be interesting.  When I think about grocery shopping, which I typically dread,  I envision myself careening through the aisles " Supermaket Sweep" style.  Just tipping stuff in and tearing around corners. I want it go that quickly.

It doesn't go like that though of course, but when I do shop, "unit pricing" saves the day for me. I assume everyone knows about unit pricing, but just in case, I am sharing.  This is a totally boring tip that makes grocery shopping, for me, much easier. 

Easier = done faster = more time for fun things

So the unit price is the little number in the upper left corner (usually) of the price label on the store shelf. It will often say "unit price" but not always and not all stores have it.  I think maybe Target does not.  Apparently Target's theory is "if you have to ask you can't afford it."  Target isn't generally more expensive - just to be clear - they just don't care to prove it.

The unit price will - ideally - tell you quickly which item is the best deal.  I use unit pricing all the time, but  especially when I am in the paper towel and toilet paper section.

The unit price will - again ideally - break down the item by price per "unit" and tell you, regardless of price of the whole thing, which one is the better deal

If you are bored already then  hold tight or I'll see you later I guess.  Whatever you do, do not look this up on wikipedia, because words like valuation and widgets and multiple variants will be used and then you will almost surely die.

Here is an exhilarating diagram to explain:

  You have to be careful though because sometimes you are not able to compare the same things - like in this image. Which is why I say unit pricing is "ideally" helpful.

I added my own arrows and notes, but this tag image is from another website - 

Honestly if there is a lot of thinking involved, a multi-step math problem to do in my head or the need for a pocket calculator - I am out.  

It's not that I CAN'T do these things, I just don't want to.  So if I can quickly glance at my unit price and compare what I am getting then, hooray.  If not, then I follow the advice I give to third and fourth graders when taking a test - "Make your best guess and move on."   

I would rather do a lot of things then think about the price of tuna fish or toilet paper and unit pricing helps me almost supermarket sweep my way through the store.   

I hope the idea of unit pricing makes shopping awesome for you.  

Original post -http://www.thetiredgirl.com/2013/05/making-grocery-shopping-slightly-less.html
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Plants do not thrive in my presence.  But I have found one outdoor plant that has done well (awesome actually) in every location despite my neglect and regardless of conditions.  It has flourished everywhere I have stuck it.  Sometimes it is all I have in the way of plant success.

It has multiple names - most popular:  Purple Heart or Purple Queen. 

This is the BEST Tired Girl plant - especially if you are a reluctant gardener like me.  I have bought it to get it going in spots, but then I just break it off and stick it wherever.  Or when it is going in the wrong direction or want to trim it or something I just break it off and stick it somewhere else and it thrives some more!   Literally break off and stick in the ground/soil. 

Water it, don't water it much - it's so laid back about it!  And the pretty purple color creates a wonderful balance to any green. 

Industrial strength, beautiful and inexpensive.  Lovely. 

Here are a lot of photos of places I have it around my house.

Hanging out next to my herbs.

Stuck in my planters and along the sidewalk.

In my other planter.
All along the path in the backyard - a wonderful groundcover.

Stuck in next to my geranium to fill out the planter.
here is some more info about it if you are bored at work :

Original post -http://www.thetiredgirl.com/2013/05/martha-stewart-southern-living-hgtv-no.html 
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Buy in twos.  Again this is not anything new, but it works well for me. I buy two of almost everything. 

Shampoo, grapefruit juice, baby wipes, egg whites, just everything. The first one disappears quickly and the second one buys me the gift of time.  

So if I am totally pooped or swamped or whatever I do not have to go to the store that instant.  I have worked in a day or five to get to the store to stock up again.  When I open the second whatever that is my mental cue to add that item to the grocery list.

I would not mind if I bought luxury items in twos.

But in reality I buy double cartons of egg whites. 

Original post - http://www.thetiredgirl.com/2012/11/buy-in-twos.html

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Supplies everywhere –   I have supplies all over my house, because even though it could be a great secret exercise to run around the house looking for things, I know realistically it’s not always going to happen. I have my favorite chapstick and hair rubberbands stashed in every room. I have a big bottle of soap refill in every bathroom. I put tons of toilet paper in every bathroom, I have baby wipes in every room because there is always an occasion to wipe something. I have toilet cleaner solution in every bathroom. I am not going to walk around my house with toilet cleaner and clean toilets, but there is a greater chance that it gets done if EVRYTHING I need is at my fingertips that second.

 This may be something that everyone does, but I just figured it out.

Original post - http://www.thetiredgirl.com/2012/11/supplies-everywhere-i-have-supplies-all.html

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Sometimes I get chubby and sometimes I get super slim.  So I will tell you I do hang on to a few items in the chubby and the slim sizes (it’s really just one size up and one size down from my usual size).  I’ve heard that if you wear ill-fitting clothes it helps you lose weight, because you are uncomfortable and you are conscious of your weight that way.   I do not find that to be true – I hate that in fact.  I never feel worse, then when I am wearing clothes that don’t fit in one way or another.  I feel bad about myself and why not eat another donut if you are already gained some weight, or whatever our terrible thoughts are to ourselves.

I do however have the motto that we only have this one life (that we know of) to enjoy and I will not spend it wearing clothes that feel awful or make me look stupid.  So where my out of season clothes are stored  I also have a handful of clothes that are different sizes.  These are clothes that I love and so if my body needs that size I am okay with seeing my old friend again.  It’s also cathartic to have to go dig out the “skinny” dress  or the “fat girl” pants.  I can wear these clothes that I happen to still like while I evaluate what the current deal is with my body. 

My last statement about this is that I haven’t visited any of these different sized clothes in many years.  Knowing they are there is security that I don’t need them.  I save many levels of energy this way. 

Original post - http://www.thetiredgirl.com/2012/11/sometimes-iget-chubby-and-sometimes-i.html
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Tired girl trash.  The Tired Girl will, at times, be so “tired” (in this case lazy) that she will rearrange the trash so more fits in, instead of actually taking it out.  I simply buy myself a little more time.  

Original post - http://www.thetiredgirl.com/2012/11/tired-girl-trash.html

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Don’t buy clothes that need ironing. Easier said than done I know, but I rarely iron my clothes, mostly because the clothes I own don’t HAVE to be ironed. They may look better with afresh press, but whatever. I RARELY buy clothes that need ironing. Done. I also say things like – “Oh I don’t iron,”it feels great – say it. I do have some tops and especially in the summer some linen that I bust my iron and ironing board out for (but ofcourse I wear them a few times so one iron job lasts a while).

Here is my advice about ironing– don’t do it much. Give away the items you have that need ironing unless you really really love it.

Instead, dry clean occasionally (for special items or seasonal cleaning), pull things out of the drier fast if possible and that’s it. It’s survival of the fittest in my closet – if an item requires too much energy and I don’t LOVE it (well I don’t buy it, but if I accidentally own it) I donate it. My life style is wash and wear.

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Speaking of giving away clothes and things - I highly recommend that too.   I do not have garage sales (unless my usband makes me - and then it is truly a hostile takeoever), I do not consign, nor do I sell little things on craiglist or ebay (these things require so much energy and you get so little money in comparison).

Keep a big sack going and when you come across something in your house you don’t need or want, that doesn’t fit you, or you never really liked - drop it in the sack. When the sack is full drive by your favorite charity’s thrift store OR not even your favorite charity, but a thrift store that is on your way to work or the grocery store. Just hand it off and you are done. You have raised money for a nonprofit (and hopefully one you support), you have made someone’s day (they can brag that they found this wonderful top at the Salvation Army thrift store for $3). And most significantly for you - you have saved yourself a world of energy AND streamlined your closet and life by not being bogged down by things you don’t really like or need. 

Somehow my body and my life continue to change, so every few months I can take a trip through my closet and always find something that no longer works for me. It can take me a few months sometimes to fill up my donate sack, so if I really miss it I can always go fish it out and keep it. But I will tell you I very rarely save anything from the giveaway sack. Once it’s in I don’t even miss it, instead I dance around my uncluttered closet knowing everything in there fits and I like it. 

Original post - http://www.thetiredgirl.com/2012/11/speaking-of-giving-away-clothesand.html

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Tilex!! I love tilex. I spray my shower down before it starts to get the pink and black mold spots (or right as they are showing up). I leave the bathroom or that area of the house for a few hours. I come back and my shower is spotless and my bathroom smells great. Sometimes if I have friends coming over I will spray some bathroom or sink somewhere with Tilex. You don’t want to spray much – it’s pretty strong and you don’t want your guests to throw up, but it smells like you have been cleaning and that smells better than the smell of a big dog (another smell I know well).

When my husband I were first dating and I would do this he would think I had worked for hours in the bathroom – making it look and smell wonderful. Now he knows the truth and is less impressed by me consequently. But I am impressed at my brilliant time saving trick.
Stock photo of Tilex Mold & Mildew -- it WILL stain as it contains bleach, so only spray on fabrics in your house you want completely ruined.

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I was drowning in mail. Some was super important and some wasn’t it, and it just kept coming – like every day!! Invitations, coupons, bills, statements - blurg!!

One sick-day home from work, I organized my file cabinet and created gorgeous little color coded files – fabulous!! But then my mail had to make it from the mailbox somehow to my files – and that was just not happening. I was stacking it lovingly by the door (I love to stack things) – bleh, with the plan to "file it" I odn't know when.

So then I repurposed this whacky little closet we have (it’s under our stairs so it has a weird shape) into a pseudo organization center!! It is right by the garage so as soon as I walk in with the mail, I can sort! Trash goes in trash right away and I have bins for everything else. So I just fling it in the appropriate bin. I have a shredder in there too if necessary. ( I love to stack, my husband loves to shred).

Once a year I distribute them to the files upstairs (if necessary) and the rest gets disposed of in some way.

The most important bin is the “needs attention”bin. That’s where anything that needs me goes – bills especially, but also things like wedding invites (RSVP and buy a gift), forms to fill out, whatever. My house is not so cluttered with mail, my husband isn’t giving me "stabby eyes" when he asked where something is and I have no idea, AND I know where my latest Joann Fabric coupon is. It’s good.

Three shots of my messy, but useful little closet – my mail station that may have saved my marriage.

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Baskets – how I love to love you. I heart baskets and bins and containers and trays. Even the weirdest combination of stuff looks fine when contained in a cute basket or nice tray. I can have a pile of stuff that makes me tired just to look at - I put a quality basket next to my sofa in my family room and voila, instant “organization.” I have baskets and bins tucked everywhere in my home. They contain the undefined stuff that my family invariably acquires and uses on a daily basis. To me baskets solve so many issues.

My husband will give me “stabby eyes” when I return from a trip to Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Target or Wal-Mart – he looks for baskets, but I do not falter in my love for them. Another bonus is you can quickly grab up a bin of stuff and stash away somewhere if guests are coming over. Containers make me less tired because (as evident in their name) they contain things that I then have access to but don’t have to have spread out all over.

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I pay my bills online, by the way, and it has really helped me out. I have my credit card and checking account through Bank of America (this is NOT an endorsement just a fact). I log in and can see the balance on both.

I have almost every bill I pay set up for online billing, even a bill I only pay occassionally. No stamps or envelopes, or checks – these are all things that get in the way of me relaxing or sewing something.

There used to be that commercial where the lady put popcorn in the microwave and pays her bills online while it pops – showing you can pay all your bills in 3 minutes. It takes me a little longer. I like to analyze each bill, compare it to the last month, look for hidden fees, etc, make sure I am not getting jipped. But for me it is still a time saver, and paying bills doesn’t hang over my head. I pull my “needs attention” bin out of my closet, go through and pull out all the bills, type it all up and I’m done and USUALLY I’m on time. J

Original post - http://www.thetiredgirl.com/2012/12/i-pay-my-bills-online-theway-and-it-has.html

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I have one credit card and therefore one credit card bill. Any big purchase or online purchase goes on this card. All the “points” are in one place. Most importantly I get one bill, so there is a greater chance that I will pay it on time. I have already told you my trouble with mail and so less bills coming in help me out. I keep an eye out for one credit card bill. It is tempting to have a Gap, Jcrew, Target and Marshalls Card.My mom gets great benefits from her Pottery Barn card. But none of those benefits outweigh the costs for me. I know my weakness and all it takes is one month of being too busy or too tired, missing the payment on one credit card, because I am not paying attention and all my points and credit and all that goes down the drain because I have to pay a late fee. Bleh. One card, one bill, one place to rack up points, one card to use when I am return something.

Original post - http://www.thetiredgirl.com/2012/11/i-have-one-credit-card-andtherefore-one.html

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Do you have more money or more time?

This is a question I ask myself almost daily.

Sometimes I have more money than time, which means I shop on the internet for a friend and have the gift mailed off to her (etsy.com and amazon prime are my faves). Probably spending a little more money, but getting it done. Also when I have more money, I would get a dress dry-cleaned so it looks perfect for an event, I buy an item at CVS because it's on my way somewhere instead of heading to Target or Wal-Mart.

Sometimes I have more time which is usually when I make a gift for a friend,shop around for an item I am looking for, or take my shopping list to Wal-Mart instead of Publix. I would hand wash, air dry, and iron my event dress (instead of dry-cleaning). These are little things that add up in my head.

It’s the whole “do the benefits outweigh the costs” idea - I base my life on that question.
Obviously having more time or more money is a perception – not necessarily reality. BUT if I feel pooped after a bunch of activities or I’m saving up energy for something else fun to do then I perceive that I have more money than time. If my husband and I just got back from a vacation where we treated ourselves to dinners with dessert, etc , than I perceive that I have less money and therefore more time to make dinner at home for a while.
This is not rocket science, but in my opinion is a very brilliant way to run your life.

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Don’t wash your clothes too often. Obviously clean undies every day and eventually everything gets washed, but I honestly don’t wash my clothes every time I wear them. Go ahead and judge – I’m good with it. When I exercise (for real - not secret exercises as discussed earlier) I walk on my treadmill or walk my dog. I will wear an outfit to exercise in, take it off when I’m done and wear the next day to walk again. I will get two or three uses out of an exercise outfit.
When I worked away from home I would take my clothes off after work and always hang up my pants, skirts and dresses. I often wore a tank/cami under my shirts and that would get washed, but oftentimes I could hang up my shirt as well. This saves so much energy – not as much washing or dry cleaning or ironing. I keep a spray bottle of Febreeze in my closet and will spritz some items right there.

Confession – I have, at times, finally decided to recycle an item (jeans, a top, etc) and put it in my dirty clothes hamper, and THEN I will realize I need that item. So I dig through, pull it out, spritz with Febreeze and hang up in my bathroom when I shower (to steam clean it maybe?? I don’t know why I do that), and the item is usually great. If not, then I really do pick something else. 

Original post - http://www.thetiredgirl.com/2012/11/dont-wash-your-clothes-toooften.html

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I have a vitamin organizer. Does my husband make fun of it? Yes. Do I care? No.

I value my vitamin regimen, but don’t value it enough to pay attention to what I have taken or when. Sometimes I don’t value my time enough, and as I run out the door I feel regretful that I didn’t take my calcium.

So I have the 7 days AM & PM set. I place all my vitamins in for the week and snap the little lids shut. If I miss a day I don’t have to load that container. If I have a pill I like to take a few times a week and not every day (don’t ask) then I can organize that out as well. I understand that most normal people do not feel the need to even come close to this activity, but in case you do I highly recommend a vitamin organizer. There are a lot of fun ones on amazon. I got mine at Target – looks like this:

oh yeah!
Original post - http://www.thetiredgirl.com/2012/12/i-have-vitaminorganizer.html

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Foil is your friend, although 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 (silently) and think of something else to recycle as I chuck it in the trashcan and relish in the possible freedom of my evening. Original post -
These are home made pizzas on foiled cookie sheets - these pizzas photograph better when they have been cooked.
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Have a repertoire of gifts and beloved go-to items for others.  I have a list in my head of all my most favorite presents for every category –hostess gifts to a baby gift to retirement gifts and so on. These are the things I store in my brain as items that are easily accessible to me at the stores close or via the internet that I am proud to give as presents and gestures to people in my life.  Here is a list of the categories of go-to items I have – I haven’t give specifics:
     Favorite red wine
     Favorite white wine
     Favorite sparkling wine
     Favorite baby gift of clothes
     Favorite baby gift of usable item
     Favorite plant
     Favorite type of flowers to have delivered
     Favorite decorative item
     Favorite home good
Almost all of the occasions in my life can fit into one of these types of gifts – weddings, retirements, housewarming, thank yous, congratulations, etc. I can also pick up these presents while running through Publix, Wal-mart, Target or ordering online.
I seriously hope this doesn’t sound insincere.  I obviously pick out items that fit the person and occasion, but the point is why spend your time and energy trying to come up with the most original gift ever that the person may or may not like, want, or already have – when a bottle of good wine (for example) is pretty much always a nice gesture (for those of us that are booze hounds anyway).  Having this repertoire of readily available, quality items that are proven to be met with joy and appreciation makes me less tired, more happy and gives me more time to spend interacting with the person instead of showing up at their home, party etc, pushing a gift at them and falling asleep in the corner (because I am exhausted from shopping for them – if you couldn’t follow that rambling scene I created).
I have a friend that would love to be given a pink, rhinestone encrusted stapler or tape dispenser – I can easily get that for her, but for many many occasions one of these wonderful items are perfect. 

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One power cord away from a tantrum.
Sometimes I have a plan and one small thing gets in my way – I shouldn’t say sometimes I should say always.  Sometimes (always) the only thing standing between me and a complete melt down is a power cord of some kind – laptop, ipad, camera, phone – you name it.  My brilliant friend (who is a new-mom), Lydia, wrote this to me about the same thing -  basically a camera cord standing between her and her Christmas cards.  I will say that as she is new mom she emailed me this in the middle of the night I think, so I have taken the liberty of correcting her typos.

 “Tired Girls think about getting a really cute photo Christmas card of the new family (complete with baby's first Christmas) but they never get around to it, and then they think about doing one of those really cute e-cards where you can post your faces on dancing elves or something (saves on addressing all those envelopes!), but then you realize that would mean you have to download pics from your camera to the laptop.  Maybe this year I will just do a "Christmas photo" Facebook post!! "

 I love this Tired Girl idea.  The time, money and especially energy saved is unmeasurable.  The important thing is telling friends you care and a facebook post counts. 

On a side note I do have a power cord basket ( I heart baskets -
Any power cord I come across, any time, goes in this basket.  The cords I use all the time (phone & ipad) are permanently plugged in at “their” spot in my house, but all other cords go in the basket.  My husband panics when he looks in there and sees a tangle of wires, but I love it because I know somewhere in there is the cord I am looking for or one that will fit atleast.

Original post - http://www.thetiredgirl.com/2012/12/one-power-cord-away-from-tantrum.html

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I try and avoid awkward dish moments at the end of any party or event. I do not like having to look through someone’s cabinets or scour the room for a Ziploc to dump any leftover food into so I can take my pretty tray home with me. I also don't want to leave my tray and take the chance that I will: a) never see my tray again or b) have to call and ask to come pick up my pretty tray – both make me feel icky so I try and skip it.

My goal is to have my food be such a big hit that there are no leftovers and I can just pick up my plate and head home. Regardless though of the over-all popularity of my food I just don’t really want to go there with dishes. I try to only bring foods that can be packaged in a disposable way or buy something cheap and cute that I don’t mind leaving at someone’s house or at an event.

Food brought on disposable items benefit both me and the host (who wants to wash a million dishes that don’t belong to you and then pass them all back out again or have the guilt hang over you that you STILL have Nicole’s plate – aaaaaaahhh - not me). I buy cute paper plates at Marshalls/TJMaxx/Target – one pack of 10 high quality, charmingly decorated, full size plates are about $3.50 and last me awhile (because I don’t actually leave my house if I can help it).When I make a casserole for a family with a new baby I buy the foil casserole tins w/ the lid – bake it and deliver in that– they throw away when they are done – everyone is happy.

Deviled eggs on a pretty paper plate -- preventing an akward moment - I can walk away from any leftover eggs and the plate.
If it’s a really good friend then either you can bring your item in a Ziploc, dig through their cabinets for a pretty bowl to use, or you can bring your own plate and know that when you see them 6 more times that week they will either bring it to you or you don’t mind asking for it. Those are the friends we all want to exclusively have.

If anyone is still awake reading this then I have one last thing to say – when I do have people to my house – that is the time I pull out my pretty stuff or fun chip and dip bowl or tray shaped like a gator (for my husband).

This small thing allows me to spend more time elsewhere - like perfecting another dip to add to my repertoire (I wanted to use that word again!) or sitting on the couch doing nothing.
Original post - http://www.thetiredgirl.com/2012/12/i-try-andavoid-awkward-dish-moments-at.html
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I have two or three passwords I use for everything online.  I understand that this is not the most cracker jack security system, but I am not sure why anyone would want to hack my Panera account (well probably to steal the points I have earned toward a free bearclaw). 

Obviously my paypal and bank accounts have unique passwords and are slightly more complicated.  But otherwise almost everything fits into two or three other passwords.  That way when I am trying to be good at the internet I pretty much won’t ever lock myself out of anything.  Try password #1 – doesn’t work, try password #2 and then I’m in.

I assume some organized people have these account/password combos programmed in their phone in code or something, or committed to memory – but that is not me.  My resources need to stay in my brain and be ready to go at any moment. You never know when you will need to access your library account in an emergency.
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Laundry is my enemy -my real nemesis -  it literally is never going to end, and I do not enjoy any step along the way (except maybe the way my laundry room smells when I am washing or drying, other than that - bleh). 

I have become obsessed these past two weeks to get ahead of my laundry.  My goal is just to maintain a manageable amount, and so I have started doing one load every day, folding it and putting it away.  All THREE horrific steps in one day, but just one load.  I've done well with it so far - only skipped one day, and my success has allowed me to envision myself, some day, writing a book instead of glaring at full laundry baskets, because I have so much free time. AND it's nice to not look around your house and see laundry baskets everywhere full of maybe clean or maybe dirty laundry. 

I ran into trouble today as I discovered that my drawers and linen closets can not accommodate everything being clean at once.  Their success relies on the idea that a fraction of stuff is always dirty and therefore stored in a basket somewhere.  It is both an epic accomplishment that I did so much laundry and an epic failure that I have discovered I have too much stuff, I guess, or not efficient enough storage.  So if I am going to stay good at laundry I need to eliminate a few things.  I need to start a new give away bag.  www.thetiredgirl.com/2012/11/speaking-of-giving-away-clothesand.html

This Tired Girl has enjoyed her one laundry-load-a-day plan for the last 2 weeks.  Does anyone out there have a laundry plan?  Throwing your husbands dirty clothes out, one pair of socks at a time doesn't count.  Here is one idea - but I need more: www.thetiredgirl.com/2012/11/dont-wash-your-clothes-toooften.html

Here is a an image I found online that accurately represents our household. I have no one to blame but myself. 

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I have a few sweatshirts, lounge pants and slippers that I live in when I feel most tired, (which as you know is most the time).  When I worked away from home these clothes were on me within minutes of my arrival home.  They are the kind of clothes that their sheer existence relaxes me, and yet their style simply does not exist. They are perfectly wonderful for wearing in the presence of people that love you, or when you are alone, but they are the type that  you hope no one drives by when you slough out to get the mail in them.  Now that I work from home there are days that these items are worn all day as my actual "outfit" (yikes). 
Sweatshirts seem to be the key for me. I would wear a sweatshirt that read " I heart sweatshirt" instead of any cool band or prestigious college,  if it had been properly washed, worn and was ill-fitting (way too big), to look almost offensive. 
I did branch out and buy a few "cuter" sweatshirts this fall.  They are my special occasion lounge wear, my "I feel especially gorgeous" sweatshirts.
I have added a blurry photo of my sweatshirt today. I did not add a photo of  my Ugg's (which I also incidentally am attached to), because even though they are only seen on my feet in the photo they are still especially unphotogenic. 

Does anyone else out there tear their clothes off when they get home and put on lovable, horrible, comfy clothing?  

Sweatshirt love

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My husband and I once overheard an awesome conversation that went like this:

Husband: while you were out I moved the coffee table and vacuumed the whole living room.

Wife: well you don’t get a medal because I do that kind of thing every day.

Awesome.  My husband and I love this, so we often, laughingly, say to each other – “well you don’t get a medal!!”  And even though we don’t (get a medal) we still routinely announce our accomplishments to each other.  
I took out the trash!
I cleaned Ralphie’s ears!
I erased the old voicemails! 
I vacuumed!  
The words – “you don’t get a medal” are our own weird private joke prize to reward each other.  We love it!!

The other night though my husband sweetly said to me:.  “I know I don’t get a medal, but I unloaded the dishwasher.”  (P.S. Unloading the dishwasher is the MOST DREADED task in our house – We. Hate. It.)  And I said to him – knowing how pooped he was from the day and how much we both avoid that chore. “Are you kidding!! You do get a medal – that is awesome!”   Because it was, and so I guess sometimes we DO get a medal.

As stupid as this may sound I understand that as adults we don’t get a reward for doing things we should do, but we should reward ourselves sometimes anyway.

Watch puppy videos on youtube, walk the aisles of Target, peruse ebay for a used Maserati, waste time, plan a sewing project you will get to in two years. Give yourself a stinking medal sometimes because being an adult is exhausting. 

I have shared some of the "medals" I give myself:

How do you reward yourself?  Tell me so I will get more good ideas.

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Dogs and kids and adults and snacks are all things that leave smudges.  I won’t tell the story about how we own the sofas we own, but if I got to pick out any sofa in the whole world it would entail washable slipcovers.  
That’s not what I have though.  So I bought two quilt/sham sets to cover my sofas.  They get washed, they get rumpled, they get dog hair on them, they get dog slobber, they get cheez-it crumbs, they get pulled off, they get washed and they go again.  When company comes over I can either a) yank them off to reveal clean, mostly hairless, sofa underneath – suitable for guests to sit on;  or I can b) yank off my grubby set and throw on a freshly washed set suitable for guests to sit on.

Will I win décor awards for my stunning use of a quilt and sham? Not likely.  But for this Tired Girl this is a way to have a still nice looking family room that is also completely livable and realistic. 
I have included breathtakingly beautiful photos. I did not straighten the quilts before photographing so you can see that they do look dishevelled when it’s just us, but if I feel so inclined I can straighten them.

I have two complete sets. I was lucky to find quilt and sham sets – less expensive than piece-mealing.  I bought two queen sized quilt sets – as we have two sofas. I fold the loveseat quilt in half – that way it doesn’t matter what blanket goes on what sofa – no thinking involved.  
I bought the first set at Target years ago and the second set more recently – super on sale – at Bed Bath and Beyond.  I like my new set because it has a pattern. I hope you don’t get grossed out by this, but the pattern doesn’t show anything – so a little dog slobber and we don’t have to stare at a spot until I wash it.  I assume some of you are judging me right now.

I believe my last two statements about this electrifying topic are: 

     1) Think about your washer before you purchase – mine is a frontload and not very big, so I can’t squeeze very fluffy or very heavy quilts/blankets in – and since I wash about every other week I needed them to wash and dry easily,

        2) When I pull a set off I pretty much immediately wash and dry it, that way if I need to pull the next set off in an emergency (guests or a spill or something) I have the next set ready to go. 

I think I hear Elle Decor and Architectural Digest calling - at the same time - they want in on this.


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Having friends over for dinner usually sounds like fun, a week in advance, and then the day or two before it sounds hard to get everything done and look and feel sparkling* as well.

My husband and I are famous (only to ourselves) for deciding the day of, or the day before, to invite people over for the evening.  We are terribly wonderfuly spontaneous people!! (No we aren't). 

We do not consciously wait till the last minute, so we have an excuse if our yard is weedy, but rather it is at the last minute that we see a possibly clean house, an easy trip to the store and an evening open itself up in front of us to entertain. 

Fellow Tired Girl Christina sent me her words on entertaining.  All very brilliant and Tired Girly.  If you are having guests over anytime here are her words to consider:

-I always serve wine/drinks right away, the more people drink, the better whatever I serve tastes in their mouths. What I lack as a chef, I make up for as bartender.

-If I really have zero time to cook I cut out side items and make up for it with easy appetizer and bread.  My blueprint for a hassle-free dinner is: easy appetizer, bread, salad, protein, easy dessert with coffee.

- Super simple appetizer is a good cheese (maybe a brie or an aged sharp cheese), some crackers and some jam. The more i provide in appetizer, the less I have to worry about with sides dishes.

- Bread can be pretty filling, and easier to prepare than cooking a starch.  I get a baguette from Publix or wherever, slice it up in a basket and pour some olive oil on a plate with Italian seasoning added to the middle of the olive oil pool.  Could not be simpler.  Much faster than baked potatos.

-Dessert  - when I have no time it is a mixture of berries with some whipped cream on top.  Healthy and EASY and FAST.  Or I get a dessert from Publix, no shame in that.

The real message, in my opinion, is that when we have people over to our homes they want to be with US, not watching me mash potatoes while they talk to each other. Less time working and more time with friends, and lots and lots of bread -booze and bread.

*I have borrowed the term sparkling from my friend Ellen - who often asked if I felt "sparkling" at work in the mornings.  Sparkling is a fun way to look and feel especially if it's real. 

Our dinners are usually so casual - I set out dishes and stuff and we do buffet style.

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I recently had to pick an  "Artist, Literary, Fictional Character or Historical Figure(s) Who Is Most Like You," to describe myself to a new administrator at work. I wished I could have said someone brilliant or powerful, but after lots of disappointing realizations about myself I decided on  Jess from the TV show "New Girl."  Not her $400 dresses that she hangs out in, her gorgeous hair or her over the top quirk - but the other stuff - for better or worse I am a lot like her and that's just the way it is.

When I was vacuuming a while back I thought about how much vacuuming is a twofer - I was straight out sweating as I heaved my vacuum around my house and my house was looking instantly better - exercise and cleaning in one easy task.  

Because it's so great you'd think I'd do it more often, but what's good about it is also what stinks - it is both exercising and cleaning - two things I do not love. (Secret exercises - http://www.thetiredgirl.com/2012/11/secret-exercises.html)

As I vacuumed though I thought that my sort of alter ego - Jess from the New Girl -would probably get really into this event - put on some 80's workout outfit complete with sweatband and leg warmers,  make a game out of vacuuming, create designs in her carpet with the vacuum, she'd make up a quirky song about vacuuming while she did it, or some other whackadoodle take on such a mundane task. 

So this is one example of where Jess and I part ways.  I do not make a game or silly sitcom plot out of vacuuming. I just get it done.  I sweat and I like it that it counts as exercise if I put enough elbow grease into it and then I am thankful when it's over and I can ignore my carpet again. 

Vacuuming is great for Tired Girls though, so whether you want to see exercise-and-cleaning-in-one  as awesome or annoying is your choice, but in the end it does instantly improve the vibe in my home, and I count it as an exercise, so I am good with it.  *Insert silly New Girl dance here.  Not really - I don't do that either.  I do like these quotes from her though:

My favorite rant from Jess that makes me feel like I'm looking in the mirror:

 I brake for birds, I rock a lot of polka dots, I 
have touched glitter in the last 24 hours, and I find it fundamentally strange that you’re not a dessert person. That’s just weird, and it freaks me out. And I’m sorry I don’t talk like Murphy Brown, and I hate your pantsuit. I wish it had ribbons on it, or something to make it just slightly cuter.

So, who is the "Artist, Literary, Fictional Character or Historical Figure(s) Who Is Most Like  You?" 

Also what cleaning also counts as exercise in your house? 
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I have one sofa in my home that is off limits to my dog.  Every other sofa is covered with something to protect it. (My strategy:  http://www.thetiredgirl.com/2013/02/tired-girl-family-room-decor.html). Every bed has layers that are easily washed and can be whisked off to reveal a clean layer when I crave a dog free space or for a poor unsuspecting guest that may come our way. 

My one lone sofa is in the living room and is directly on the right when you come in the front door of our home.  For a while this was Ralphie the dog's favorite mid-morning nap spot - where the morning light was just right. It is also the room we (the humans) like to sit to read the paper or have a drink with each other or guests.  

My mom bought me a pretty sofa cover for it that blended nicely, but the whole thing was taking a hit with Ralphie on it. I tried a few things like scooting the coffee table right up on it so that Ralph couldn't jump up there, but all of my ideas looked bad, and as I am a Tired Girl I would never un-scoot the table or take the things away I used to deter him. So, then I had one "dog free room" that looked all weird and haphazard most of the time.

One day I saw a sofa in a magazine that was covered with tons of pretty pillows, and I knew my love of throw pillows had finally found a purpose. Hooray for a NEED for throw pillows!!! I went shopping in other rooms of my house, dug through my stacks of fabric to sew two pillow covers, and treated myself to one NEW Ikea pillow. I lined them up neatly and Ralphie was immediately uninterested in such a busy sofa and padded off to one of his other nap spots.

So, though this was a new idea to ME, I understand it is not rocket science.  In the end though I  enjoy seeing my living room looking neat and guest-ready when I have to open the door spur of the moment, AND I have channeled my pillow love to an actual location.  

The many faces of Ralphie sleeping on a bed or sofa. There are 35 million more photos where these pics came from, and obviously I have an obsession with photographing my sleeping dog in bad lighting. 

My living room sofa with some of the pillows I chose to use. If I had an unlimited throw pillow budget I have my eye on gorgeous, pricey things, but I want to retire someday, so these will work.
Shopping credits: from left to right: bought at Ikea;  a gift;  made by me - fabric on clearance at Joann Fabrics; bought at Marshalls; made by me; cover bought from Big Lots (who knew!!); another gift.  These were all acquired years apart but are a happy family now.

Here are three very different formal living  rooms that I like:

A living room I love that looks nothing like what I have.  Ralphie surely wouldn't enter this room.
This would be in my country home. 

When I look at that pretty glass table I think that it would be immediately smudgy in my house.
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I work from home. I have been known to wear my pajamas to work and sometimes my closet still looks like this:
This is a for real photo and not staged to look haphazard and carefree.
When I have the gumption to actually put things in drawers and on hangers (sometimes that is harder than it sounds - any Tired Girl knows that) it makes parts of my daily routine infinitely smoother.  I am not digging around for clean pjs or searching for my other running shoe.  Most especially when I worked outside of my home like a normal person I relied on the organization of my closet.  I needed things to be where I expected them to be so I could get out in to the world in a timely fashion and start making a difference already.  

I give myself a "B" in organization. I acknowledge the idea of it, put the plan in place and most of the time keep it up, but it does not control me and I am definitely more on the "laid back" section of the spectrum. But knowing where my clothes are supposed to be is seriously helpful for me for several reasons.

1) It saves me time - no digging around for that pair of pants or top.

2) It saves me energy, when I go to put clothes away I don't have to think I just know where everything goes. 

3) It saves my marriage - there is nothing like a good old fashion wardrobe malfunction meltdown to start either side murmuring the words "trial separation" -- knowing what clothes I have and where they are helps me find them, quickly readjust them when they don't work, and get out the door on time.  

4) It saves my fashion sense - organization gives me the ability to see all of my clothes, therefore inspiring a variety of outfits and gives me the possible time to "experiment"  (watch out I'm being daring with this small belt and a different cardigan!)  

5) The biggest one - saves my sanity - see #1-4. 

So this is how my closet works:

What and How
All pants and skirts are hung together, work and causal. Jeans are on a shelf because I have more of them and they are heavy, but they are right with the pants.
All white shirts together

All black shirts together
All sleeveless tops together

All short sleeve tops together

All long sleeve tops together
All cardigans, blazers, jackets together

All dresses together

Every day shoes - running shoes, slippers, flip flops and my most valuable players of shoes go in a big basket.
All other shoes - special occasion, etc are in clear bins.  They are not labeled because then I would have to match up shoes - I just like the clear ones for a quick glance. 

In drawers are workout clothes, pjs, undies, shorts. 

I do not want too many sub categories, because then when I'm in a rush or would just rather be doing something else then putting my clothes up I don't want to have to hang my "work" pants in the "work pants" section or a t-shirt in the "short-sleeved t-shirt, not dress shirt, not going out shirt section."  You know what I mean?  There is such a  thing, for me, as too organized. I want general areas to cram stuff.   Even when my closet is a wreck like the first photo I still know where to go to find things because even when it's messy it's still organized. If that makes sense.

My  layout is not a  super wonderful plan, I am just sharing because you will either love it and it will inspire your closet or you will hate it and it will inspire your closet or you will write me with what you do and it will inspire me and I'll change my whole place around. 

My mom has hers arranged completely by color - all pants, shirts dresses mixed but color sorted.  This wouldn't work for me, but it does for her, and it is pretty to look in her closet. 

How does organization help you be less of a Tired Girl? 

I wouldn't spend the money or energy on these but they are fun.

Just wanted to redeem myself - I neatened up my closet.  A fun way to waste time is to google image search: "closet organization" - lots of fun ones to look at.
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