10 Things Organized People Do Every Day Good Food For Thought

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It feels so good to be back here with you today!

Funny thing is while I was purging, reorganizing our home and my heart, I ran across a bunch of information about how to be organized, including this list of 10 things organized people do every day. I have a file full of organization tips! LOL! Still, I struggle. I found an article titled “Give All The Things In Your Life The ‘Annoy OR Joy’ Test” that gave me some good insight!

I wish I had read this when I was a young Mommy with two small children.

Hasn’t it been said that creative humans have a hard time with organization?

Maybe I could use that as a reason for my continual struggle!

Here are a few things I did during my Pages From Joan sabbatical:

1) I rejoined Weight Watchers, with my biggest priority being not so much a smaller size, but continued good health. I have been a lifetime member since 2008, but I need some extra help now and I am admitting that out loud. (I promise that unlike Oprah’s latest ads, I will not be eating bread every day!) I will apply their latest strategy which is to add self-care to the existing list of watching food intake and increasing activity.IMG_87952) I cleaned out and purged most spaces in our home with the help of my husband and  Hand In Hand Organizing. If you need help with your home, I suggest you contact Professional Organizer, Katina. She will get in the space with you or write-up a DIY Plan for a space which includes a maintenance plan. Here are a few of our successes:

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*organized craft room shelves, including holiday decor, gift shelf, and party decor*
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*Daddy’s old obstetrical table makes a great gift wrap station*
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*game and dress-up closet has been a disaster for quite some time*
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*now it is ready for our future grands (fingers crossed!)*

3) As a huge book lover, this is big! I went through every book in our home (hundreds, likely more) and really purged, passing some on to friends and family, giving a few to Goodwill, and my favorite, donated a nice collection to our public library.

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*books set aside for our Public Library*

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Inspired by Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up, I “thanked the books for the service they gave to us all these years.”

4) I rested.

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Yes, this is me with bookend canines watching a movie with my family.

5) I tried some new recipes. With my healthy eating plan, Donny and I got into a variety of stir-fry dishes. YUMMY! And our Valentine Treat was an individual chocolate chip cookie made in a coffee mug. Find this easy, awesome recipe here at In A Southern Kitchen.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie In A Mug!

6) Lastly, I worked on my book about Lessons My Mama Taught Me and researched topics for future blog posts. It is my hope that you will continue to find musings here that inspire and encourage us and help us to learn new things. Thanks to each and every one of you for following along and sharing my Pages From Joan. It is great to be back here with you all!
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Time-Out

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Have you ever put yourself in Time-Out? I am about to do that very thing for the next few weeks. In the days ahead, I hope to pay less attention to the outside world and more attention to our household…”tidying up” each and every space…Therefore, I am taking a short sabbatical from my blog. I am hopeful the end result will be uncluttered spaces and an uncluttered mind, too!

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Meanwhile, don’t forget to pause when you see that sun rising and setting. This was a couple of nights ago here in Marietta, Georgia. Take time for breathing exercises to help you catch your breath, and Be Good to Yourself!IMG_8623Here is the book I am using for inspiration, suggested by my friend, Rebecca, writer of a great blog called In A Southern Kitchen-Doing Life Together. IMG_8625The author, Marie Kondo proposes that the reader hold up items found in the home and ask the question:

“Does This Spark Joy?”

Having raised two children in this home, we have tons of keepsakes, just as I bet you do, too…I am hoping to rid our home of the items that do not spark JOY. See you! Stay tuned! I look forward to rejoining you soon with some posts that will inspire, encourage and help us to learn new things.IMG_8637

What Memories Are On Your Tree? Don't You Love Each and Every Ornament?

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This whimsical Santa was a gift from our long-time friends, The Carters in 2000.

We’ve been admiring this beautiful Frazier Fir, we recently bought from Calvary Children’s Home, with its shining white IMG_7758lights, for a week now. Though it is already festive, I guess it is time to place some ornaments on its boughs. As we complete the decorating of our 2015 tree, as always, memories come flooding in, one-by-one as we hang particular ornaments on the Christmas tree. What memories are on your tree? I feel sure you have some tender, heart-felt ones of your own and I hope this post will encourage you to take some time to reflect on them as you deck the halls in your home.

Some may be breakable, while some may be made of paper. Some may be handmade, while some were found at Hallmark.  Many were picked up and personalized year after year and are now on our grown children’s trees. All represent precious moments and memories that will stay with us forever.

I’ve selected a few to share with you.

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In 1982, Grant Lovelace. a fifth grader in my class in 1982, gave this PAGE ball to me. I can still see his excited face as he watched me unwrap his gift engraved with my new last name…a name change from just a couple of months earlier! Walker and Jess now hang this keepsake on their tree.IMG_7794

This one shows Donny and Leah attending a Preschool Angel Breakfast when she was just four. Now she is twenty-seven and married.

I’ve always loved putting this slipper on our tree, a gift from a teacher friend of mine at Avondale Elementary. Carol Barrett and I worked together several years before I became pregnant with Leah and moved too far away to continue working with the many friends I had made at Avondale! The slipper celebrates our first-born in 1988. Now the slipper adorns Leah and Scott’s tree.

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IMG_7800This tree ornament was a gift from our friends up the street, the B’s, in 1991 when our family was a family of three. Even though I was due in February of the next year, I was great with child when we received this one.

Ornaments are a great way to remember travel adventures from our past.

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Remember Grover!?! Poor Grover got his nose bitten off by our golden retriever, Riley, and the children laughed and laughed. Their giggles will echo in my heart forever.

Some ornaments, like these we made when our children were small will remind us of how much our loved ones have grown.

Check out an earlier post with great ideas of homemade gifts. Click here.

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IMG_7793 IMG_7792 IMG_7790 IMG_7789Baby Jesus in the manger was one of the countless handmade ornaments the children made at either church or school as they grew.

And the cool camping tent was a gift from our dear friend, Sara to help us recall the fun time we had camping out on their land that was adjacent to Kennesaw Mountain.

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IMG_7803December of 2005, my friend, John gave me this in honor and memory of his wife and my dear friend, Jil who passed away suddenly on August 5, 2005 at the age of 40. She loved collecting these stunning Swarovski keepsake Christmas ornaments. You can read more about Jil by clicking here.

When our children were married in 2014, I took time to separate out ornaments from our collection to enable them to begin to build their own family collection.

Now that both Leah and Walker have homes of their own, a good number of our keepsake ornaments have been passed onto them to enjoy for the years ahead. We hope the stories will continue to be told for generations to come.

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Leah and Scott’s tree in Marietta, Georgia
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Walker and Jessica’s tree in St. Louis, Missouri

Click on the following links to read some 2014 Christmas posts which you may have missed:

Christmas Cards

Two Christmas Trees: Remembering Our Mothers

The “W” In Christmas

What memories are on your tree?