Pumpkin Spice Chili

Pumpkin Spice Chili

The cooler temps are here. Time to lug out the crockpot and add pumpkin spice to literally everything. This slow-cooked, chunky chili is awesome to make quickly or keep in the crockpot all day.

There’s nothing that annoys me more than a giant back story before a recipe so I’ll just get to this pumpkin spice goodness.

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:53]

We’re Back And Jumping In Feet First

We’re Back And Jumping In Feet First

Patti and Tawsha Snuggly Feet - organized chaos online

Life went nutty and happened completely out of the blue. The two of us were just plugging along and then our worlds changed with very little warning. We now live closer together (yay!), we have completely different jobs (kind of yay) and we are taking the blog to a more personal place.

Right now, though, we’re working on getting all the Elf stuff up and rushin’ our buns to get new options up as well. We want to offer really really really really (really) quick ideas for parents who are up to their eyeballs in work and home and holidays and everything else that is slammed on us this time of year. Some people have more time than others and some just like to dedicate more time to the ol’ elf. Whatever works for you is great with us – we just want to have what you’re looking for. So, if there’s something that could solve all your elf problems, let us know. We’ll have printables for you to download and just throw on the little scout elf while your child is brushing their teeth before school and you realize you haven’t moved the elf from a couple of days ago. You know that feeling, right? We’ll also have more in-depth scenes that let you can build if/when you have more time on your hands.

Mom and I will sit down and fill you in on what has been happening, what’s going on with the blog and all that good stuff. We promise not to leave out the details. We have a lot of catching up to do.

Patti and Tawsha - Walk in boise - organized chaos online

The vibe of things, like I said, is more personal. We aren’t organizational experts nor is our life in order. Ever. We are organized chaos. We can pull it together when we need to but we certainly don’t believe we have to have our life in order all the time. It’s just not realistic. We’ll continue to do organizational projects, DIY and all sorts of life stuff. If we learn something, we’ll share. If we see something cool, we’ll share. If we wonder about something, we’ll ask.

What it all boiled down to is that we were trying so hard to be everything until it led us to the edge of burnout. Since we have passion for what we’re doing here and love connecting with you, we needed to figure out how to focus on the things we loved and steer away from the things we didn’t. Perfection = don’t love (it’s too hard and it brings out the nasty). You = We love. So, here is us talking to you. Real. Raw. Honest. Transparent.

On to elf stuff. We shall return with more.

If you’re new here, comment with your name. We’d love to know you’ve stopped by. Also, if you want to contact us directly, please don’t hesitate to send us an email. Click on “contact” in the menu and get to writing!

Much love to you!

Tawsha

Why Are Things So Wonky Lately?

Why Are Things So Wonky Lately?

simplify statement organized chaos onlineThe website has been a hot mess for over a week AND we have some cool things coming up. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster here at oCo headquarters. We would have called you, but we were moody.

If you are new to the blog or read on a regular basis, you may have noticed that the site was down for maintenance, had images missing, was back in maintenance mode and now has images missing. Again.

We thought this was going to be the one thing that could send us over the edge. Our brain space and time was completely consumed by what was going on.

A little behind the scenes: We needed to make some adjustments to the structure of our site by a certain deadline (insert tech speak about hosting, web file management and primary domain rearrangement), so we contacted our hosting company. They are, in layman’s terms, the company that makes it possible for us to have a website online. It’s like owning property on the internet and they are our broker.

What was supposed to be a very simple adjustment turned into a total cluster. Our hosting company was scrambling to figure out what on earth had gone wrong on their end as we attempted to reset things on our end. Many hours were spent with tech support and, after meeting pretty much every person they have on payroll, we believe we’ll be invited to the next potluck at their office. Fingers crossed!

The whole process has been stressful. What do we do when we’re stressed? We organize. Well, we do that when we’re stressed, bored, happy, frustrated, etc, etc, etc. You get the point. This was our sign to get the website organized. It was becoming clear that all signs pointed to “get your crap in order, ladies.”

So we did… and we’re PUMPED about it!

In the coming months, you’ll start to see a different look on the site. We’re making things MUCH simpler for you. We preach the “quick, cheap and easy” which means we need to function in exactly that way. Always evolve, right?

Why are we telling you all this? 

1. Because you’re our friend and we share everything with our friends.

2. Because we don’t want you to think that we are changing who we are – it’s just the look that’s becoming more simple.

3. Because we’re adding a “services” section which has been 100% by the request of readers of this blog!

4. Because you are the reason we are here. Without you, there’s no us.

Stay tuned and, as always, your thoughts and opinions are encouraged! Either comment on a post (including this one) or contact us via email.

tawsha connell

 

 

DIY Cold and Flu Care Package

DIY Cold and Flu Care Package

 

 

cold and flu care package | organized chaos online

Who isn’t sick right now?

Good heavens, there is something going around and it’s brutal. It’s taking us all down one-by-one.

I have a friend who was fine one day and then didn’t move from her bed for three days. It’s coughing, fever, stuffy nose, cloudy head, the whole shebang.

This situation called for a care package.

I went to good ol’ Target and loaded up on all the things that are essential when you are sick:

  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc
  • Coconut water
  • Tea
  • Cozy mug
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tissues

Of course, you can go all out and add in a blanket, cough drops, ibuprofen, chapstick, a good book, a movie, fuzzy socks, magazines or anything else you love to have nearby when you’re feeling under the weather. No matter what you choose, it’s the sentiment that matters.

Stay well, friends!

tawsha connell

 

Tips on supplies:

The little bin, the filler, Airborne and the hand sanitizer was found in the deal bins right when you walk inside Target. The travel section is perfect for additional items like tissues. I made a stop at Michael’s and happened upon the chalkboard stakes in the dollar bins. God bless dollar bins. It worked like a charm.

 

How To Clean Your Computer Files, Programs and Images

How To Clean Your Computer Files, Programs and Images


How to Clean Your Computer

Do you have any idea what is on your computer? We’re talking programs, temp files, support files, toolbars,  updates, coupon printer software, registrations, enhancements and even downloads you used once a long time ago. Yeah, us either. Let’s be honest, most of us don’t know even know what half of those are.

You’re not alone.

There are so many files on your computer (likely in the folders you pass over all the time) that are sitting on your hard drive, taking up room and even running in the background. This slows everything down and takes up room.

We’re purging all month and the computer isn’t exempt. If it’s not helping us, it’s hindering us so GET RID OF IT!

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A COMPUTER GENIUS

There are so many ways you can get rid of the unnecessary files that take up memory and they are easy. All you have to know is if you have a Mac or a PC. If that question even has you wrinkling your forehead, an apple = Mac. Everything else is a PC. There, that was easy.

We’ll provide multiple SIMPLE ways to clean your hard drive. All resources will be summarized at the end with a list of links (in case you missed them the first time through).

DELETING FILES MANUALLY

A very simple way, and something that should be done on a regular basis, is disk cleanup. It’s already on your computer and it is a simple process. But no matter how simple someone says a task is, there are always questions. We’re famous for having a question that is NEVER found on a list of FAQs. WikiHow walks you through the disk cleanup step-by-step for a PC with images included. Bless their hearts for what they’ve done. Then, there’s the hard drive cleaning and physical cleaning of your PC. Don’t be intimidated by the wording if you’re not the computer savvy type. Just follow the steps and you’ll be just fine. “Shhhh shhhh shhh shhh, there-there, it’s okaaaay”. Hey, it calms my 5-year old son; I figured it would calm you, too.

FILES TO REMOVE AND FILES TO KEEP

Unless you are some computer genius or you built your own, there’s no way to know every little thing about all the programs and files you have on your computer. Some support programs you use on a daily basis while others are parts of a program you may have deleted a long time ago. It’s just taking up space. We’ve run across a FREE program for PC called Should I Remove It? It tells you exactly that. This is like a treasure hunt. Or better yet, a way of reflecting on what you’ve been doing on your computer. Sometimes our downloads get tricky and install a bunch of crap on our computer that we don’t want.

SOFTWARE FOR FILE CLEANUP AND ORGANIZATION

Talk about simple. There’s software you can download for a very reasonable price (none over $30) and even FREE that will constantly run on your computer and organize as you go. When you’re looking for a file, you don’t have to try and remember where you saved it, you just go to the folder you know it should be in and BOOM, it’s there. Think of these programs as a super-assistant. Everything you do on your computer just magically ends up in the right place without any effort on your part (after setup).

If you have a Mac: Hazel is “Automated organization for your Mac”.

  • Hazel allows you to set up rules (tell it what to do), make comments on your files, color-code your files and tell her to archive in a way that works best for your brain. She’s quite a lady, that Hazel. The Hazel software is $28, which is a one-time fee, and it does all the work for you. As far as we know, Hazel is the be-all, end-all for Mac. Nobody seems to want to take the ol’ broad on.

If you have a PC: Belvedere, FileJuggler and DropIt are options.

  • Belvedere allows you to set rules so your files go where you want them but the maximum amount of rules, at last check, was six. If you use the rules wisely, you can organize the rest on your own. Just find your trouble spots (after the disk cleanup) and assign rules to those. Belvedere is FREE.
  • FileJuggler works in a similar way as Belvedere and is being compared to Hazel for Mac (refer to the paragraph right above this one). The FileJuggler software is $25 but they do offer a 30 day free trial so you can test it out.
  • DropIt does claim to have a lot of features and is simple to download. DropIt is also FREE (they do ask for a donation if you feel so inclined – not mandatory). You can customize the options within the software to show you what it’s doing by showing you a progress bar or you can disable it knowing that it’s doing work in the background and you don’t have to deal with it.

CLEANING OUT YOUR EMAIL

This is a whole new project, wouldn’t you agree? Patti walks you through email organization and purging HERE. It’s less of a task than you might think and it’s totally necessary.

FINDING A PLACE FOR PHOTOS AND IMAGES

Photos take up a ton of room on your hard drive. Especially with all the selfies we take in one day. What? Don’t tell me you don’t flip that phone camera around to snap a shot of yourself because you think you owe it to the world. Is that just me? Whoops.

If you sync your phone with your computer, your images have to go somewhere. For iPhone users, you can put those photos on iCloud. I have yet to talk with someone who has plenty of room on iCloud for their images without paying extra. I upgraded one time and refuse to do it again.

If you upload photos from your camera on to your computer, you can literally see your hard drive shrink in memory. I was using DropBox but, again, I was having to continuously upgrade to make enough room for everything. It’s expensive!

Our solution: External hard drive and/or flash drives. It may seem old school for some but we can’t justify spending $20 or more to hold photos we will need access to maybe once – in about 10 years. While it’s not the case for all our photos, it’s the case for most of them.

We’ve purchased an external hard drive which is (in simple terms), a piece of equipment you plug into your computer. Just drag the images over to the folder created by the hard drive. It’s like packing your images in a box and taking it to storage – just digitally.

Viola, you’ve freed space on your computer. You can do the same with flash drives.

Once you’ve completed your necessary steps for cleaning, you can sit back knowing that you’ve eliminated the crap on your computer and you’re ready to add more to it!

tawsha connell

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