Goal Post.

April Goals

With March coming to an end tomorrow, it’s time to set some goals for the month of April.  I took some time this week to write mine down in my beloved planner.  April showers bring May flowers, so we’re possibly looking at the most “fruitful” benefits to be reaped from this month’s goals!  As you can see in the close up of mine below, I’m really hoping to put our home projects to bed (no pun intended), switch over clothes for spring, and up the ante on my training for the 2012 Broad Street Run.  I took a hiatus from racing while pregnant last year, so this year’s BSR will be big for me.  I don’t think I’ll best 2008’s 1:15, but I’m hoping for sub-1:25.  Not quite there yet but we’re working on it.  Anyone have any good goals for April to share?  What about BSR goals?  Happy almost April!

April Goals Close Up

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Halfsies!

Half Birthday HatIt’s hard for me to believe, but my little A’s first “half birthday” is tomorrow!  It totally blows my mind that she has been with us for 6 months already; how and when did that happen?!  But, I also can’t really remember life without her.  It’s a strange little dichotomy, isn’t it?  We are so lucky to have our little cute-ster in our lives, and she seems to be enjoying her time with us too.  She’s very curious about lots of different objects and noises these days, and loves putting anything and everything straight into her mouth.  She also enjoys babbling at us and has recently discovered that she can shriek really loud.  She giggles when B tickles her little neck, and is mesmerized by the noise KP’s collar makes when she does her morning scratch-and-shake routine.  Yep, life at 6 months is good.

So in honor of this major half-year milestone, I decided to come up with an official Keep It Neat list of suggested things to do every 6 months(ish) to keep your home and your life running smoothly and efficiently.  Enjoy!

General Home Maintenance:

  • Check your smoke alarm batteries – most people recommend doing this on the daylight savings dates.
  • Change the filter in your HVAC system – you can usually buy a new one at your local hardware store or at the big stores like Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Target.
  • If applicable, change out storm windows/doors and replace with screens – it’s time to get fresh air into the house!
  • Give windows a good cleaning – if they have been shut all winter then they will really need it, and if they are about to shut for the winter it’s nice to send them off in clean style.

Kitchen:

  • Go through your fridge, freezer, and cupboards – toss very old food items and make a ‘donate’ pile for the non-perishables that you don’t plan to use.
  • While contents from above are out of their places, give these surfaces a good wipe-down.
  • Pay some attention to the inside of your oven – scrape off any charred bits that have stuck around (they could be dangerous if they catch on fire), and wipe down the wire racks.
  • Run a few lemon wedges through your garbage disposal to disinfect and keep things smelling fresh.

Bathroom:

  • Check your medicines and prescriptions – toss anything that is way past the expiration date.
  • Give your shower curtain a good cleaning – you can run almost any kind through the washer on a gentle cycle, and just let it hang outside for a bit to dry.
  • Keep your pipes clean – pour some Draino or Liquid Plumr down your tub drain to keep things moving.  Backed-up drains will cause dirty water to linger which can cause bacteria to stick around and build up.

Bedroom:

  • Do a seasonal review of your closet, storing things you won’t be needing and displaying things for the current season.  More details on this here.
  • Flip and rotate your mattress, if you’re into that kind of thing.  I will admit I never do it.  Yep, you caught me.

Life:

  • Rescue your photos!  Print or buy pictures you have taken on vacations at family/friends events, or even just around town.  Put them in a book to flip through, or put them out in frames.  Sometimes we are too caught up with digital pictures and we forget to actually do anything with them, other than email, post, and tag!
  • Computer cleaning – organize and store any important documents, delete old files that you don’t need,  clean out temporary internet files, run an anti-virus scan, run any necessary software updates, back up hard drive, etc.  Think about updating your background too, your eyes could probably use a change of scenery (literally).
  • Goals – update (or create) your list of both personal and professional goals for the year.  And add new ones as appropriate – you can never have too many goals.  But be sure to set priorities if you start to have a lot.  Goal achievement should be about quality, not quantity…

Did I miss anything? Anyone have any other things they like to do bi-annually to keep things in order?

Happy 6 months A!

Spring.

Philadelphia Inquirer - Colored Jeans Trend

I know, I can’t let it go.  First the Duchess, now the Inky!  Everyone wants a piece of new fashion trends sported by the very cool friends of yours truly.  Philadelphia is definitely not the most fashion forward city (I cannot even tell you how many people I pass on a daily basis,  in the heart of Center City, dressed like “The Nest of Death” below – who, by the way, is a real life Philadelphian that I found on Deadspin, aptly named “Sweatpants Guy”), but we are apparently catching on to this whole brightly-colored-clothing trend.  Check out this article from yesterday’s Inquirer talking about the colored jeans trend, how to wear them, and where to buy around these parts.

Philly Sweatpants Guy

Now believe me I’m not one to be doling out fashion advice, but this awesome summer-like weather we’ve been having has definitely made me ready for some pops of color in my own wardrobe.  I don’t think my lower half is up for the challenge right now, but I’ll probably “spring” some of my favorite brighter J.Crew blouses free from their winter hiding spots in the attic soon.  Better yet, I may even check out my favorite retailer’s current spring selection and treat myself to a new top or two.  Or four.  No, just kidding.  Sort of.  OK maybe just one new top.  But some new cardigans and flats are probably order to compliment it.  It was the official start to spring this week.  That’s a good reason, right?

J.Crew Bright Color Tops

J.Crew Bright Colored Flats

Bibs in Hiding.

Remember a few weeks ago when I organized my kitchen cupboards?  You may recall this “after” pic of our main pantry cabinet, all nice and neat:

Pantry - After

Well, because I am obsessed with maximizing every square inch of our small, storage-less row home, I decided I could not let that giant cabinet door space go to waste.  I mean look how big it is!  So I added two stick-on hooks that I had lying around, and voila!  A perfect place to hide store A’s bibs.

Hooks

Bibs in hiding

This new system keeps them in a safe spot so I don’t misplace them, and also nicely tucked away so they don’t add unnecessary clutter in the kitchen.  And it cost me $0, and took about 5 minutes to “install”.  Can’t beat that!