I Want Privacy in My Backyard!
Do you ever just want to carve out a chunk of your backyard that’s cut off from the rest of the world? Your very own little santuary? Yeah, me too. Last year I was determined to create my own space that I could go hide and read in peace and quiet without neighbors or passerbys distracting me. My first choice was a 12 foot fence with a moat and drawbridge…
Photo Credit: Cahir Castle Portcullis Photographer: Kevin King
What, too extreme? In looking for inspiration, I spent a few hours on Pinterest, got sidetracked, but ended up with some great appetizer recipes! Then I headed on over to Hometalk. If you’ve never been to Hometalk and need decorating, landscaping, home DIY projects and tons more home and garden ideas, you have GOT to check it out.
Combining several ideas I found there, my hubby and I built privacy panels for our downstairs patio. It worked out perfectly and we love them! I posted them HERE last year, and also put the step-by-step instructions on Hometalk. We had sooo many great comments and suggestions on the post. It seems there are a lot of us out there who need a place to hide away after a long crazy-ass workday.
Jump on over to Hometalk real quick and spend a little time looking around. I created a board there, packed with some unique ideas for outdoor privacy screens. If you click on the image below, it will take you right to the board. Hometalk is basically like Pinterest, but it’s much more focused on Home and Garden. Tons of ideas and instructions, from normal ‘ol people like us, for building, fixing, creating, and repurposing.
Board on Hometalk |OrganizedCHAOSonline.com
There’s also a really cool “Ask a question” feature. There were some nasty bugs killing my plants last year. I took a picture of those bad boys, and asked if anyone could identify them. . Holy moly! Some garden experts identified the culprits and gave me some great advice on how to get rid of them that worked like a charm. Give it a try! While you’re there, follow us!
If you’ve made yourself a cozy little haven in your backyard, I’d love to know about it. Just comment below to share it, and if you’ve posted it on your blog, include the link so we can see!
Are you doing the 30-Day Plank Challenge with us? These suckers are hard, but not impossible. It never hurts to have some tricks up your sleeve to help you hold your position when you think you can’t go o-n-e s-e-c-o-n-d longer.
When you’re starting to shake but you’re still a ways from completing your goal time, try using one of these tips…
1. Start Talking!
Yup. Out loud. Coach yourself on your plank position “Pull up your butt”, “Keep your back flat”. Give yourself encouragement “You can do this!”, “only 30 more seconds – you’ve GOT this!”.
2. Visualize Results
This is hard work, but you’re finally taking steps toward how you want your body to look. Conjure up a visual of what you’ll look like with tight abs instead of a saggy gut. What will you wear? How good are you going to feel? How proud of yourself will you be?
3. Go To Your ‘Happy Place’
Think of something that makes you happy. Spend some time remembering that vacation in Hawaii, or mentally plan the garden you’ll plant in the spring. Focus hard enough on it that you’re in that moment.
4. Catch Up On Your Reading
Grab the magazine you never have time to read. Start that book you loaded on your Kindle but haven’t gotten to yet.
5. Compete With Yourself
Set your phone timer and lay it on the floor right in front of your face. Pretend you’re in a race and it’s important that you finish. Count the timer down out loud, imagine everyone cheering you on from the sidelines. Push yourself to the finish line.
6. Use The Buddy System
Are you competitive? Enlist a friend or partner to plank with you. If you’re at all competitive, you will stick it out until your timer says 0:00. If your friend/partner starts to weaken, pump them up and encourage them to beat you. It’s a win-win.
7. Shake it Up!
If you’re really having trouble, be gentle and rock yourself a bit. Gently push yourself back with your arms and rock from your toes to the balls of your feet, then bring yourself back into position again. Slowly rock forward and backward (I found this eats up the time really quickly and is a great distraction).
8. Rock It Out!
If you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy the self talk and quiet reflection approach, turn on “Eye of the Tiger” and crank up the volume!
We can do this people! Let’s help each other out by commenting below with any tricks you have or words of encouragement.
The hardest part about purging for me, especially purging paperwork, is being afraid that I’ll get rid of something important that I’m going to need later.
With the identity theft increasing, especially the recent Target one – come ON people, really???, I’m also a little freaked out about not knowing for sure what needs to or doesn’t need to be shredded. The whole need for hyper-privacy really pisses me off to be honest, but obviously it’s a necessary evil, so we need to take steps to protect ourselves.
To make our lives a whole lot easier, I checked in with the Attorney General’s Office and found the following information. Knowing it came straight from the horses mouths (no disrespect intended), it set my mind at ease that they’re pretty accurate guidelines,
So, print these two lists out, put them somewhere you can see them, plug in your shredder, then tear through that paperwork and purge, purge, purge!
photo credit: Easy Giving
I went to a Catholic school through the 8th grade. Nuns enforced rules and punishment. It was a life of rituals, uniforms, memorizing prayers and strict education. I learned piano. I made lifelong friends. I won a National penmanship award. I kissed a boy for the first time. We hid on the back of the church steps and played poker during recess. It was a life that isn’t seen today. I went on to public school and became social. I met new friends, fell in love (several times), played sports, was a cheerleader, went to prom. I loved those years. My mementos let me relive those years of being young, having a strong athletic body, not being able to imagine myself at the age I am now, and dreamed of a future that resulted in a totally different reality.
My mom was my best friend. When i married and had kids, she was who I called first to share good or bad news, get advice, or just to gossip. We sewed together once a week in our BPFC (Be Prepared For Christmas) club. We shopped. We shared recipes. Mom died on my 28th birthday, when my kids were 2 and 3. I was devastated and it took me years to feel halfway normal again. Holding on to some of mom’s stuff, in an odd way, is holding on to a piece of mom.
I married at 21. We had a good couple years of marriage that produced two great kids. His job took him in and out of town. We grew apart. The marriage ended 9 years later. That was years ago, we remain friends, and each of us are happily remarried, but the things I’ve kept from those years are tied to a marriage and time when my kids were part of a two-parent family. So I feel I need to save those things to pass on to them.
I was a single mom for most of my kids school years. It was us against the world, creating memories, tackling life head-on, and living our lives to the fullest as best we could. Although those years were a struggle financially, they were some of the best years of my life. I’m proud of the adults my children have become, and I’m proud of myself for powering through some really difficult years that resulted in the relationship I now have with my kids. The “things” I’ve saved from those years are precious to me.
So… how do you get rid of sentimental things? First of all, who says we have to? I’m an extremely sentimental person and have trouble letting go…of anything. When I love someone (or something), I love it hard! I cry easily. My kids “I love you, mom” produces a lump in my throat. Seeing the 12th man set Guinness noise level records when watching a Seahawks (GO HAWKS!) game makes me cry. Holding a baby, ANY baby, brings tears to my eyes. I’m a sentimental hot mess. So I’m sorry to all the minimalists who advise getting rid of sentimental clutter because they’re just “things”, but there are just some things I will NOT and CANNOT let go. I say, if you’ve got the room for it, and it means something to you, keep it.
I do agree, though, that saving everything that holds a memory can get out of hand. So here are some ideas for choosing what things to keep, uses for the things you save, and minimizing the space needed to store those things you can’t let go of…
Elementary school artwork and projects, report cards, detention slips, essays, etc. Letters, cards, and notes.
- Pull out your favorite few, or one item for each school year. If you can’t dump what remains, pack them all in a storage container and label it. If you don’t revisit that storage container in the next few years, throw it away without looking through it again, or ask your kids if they’d like to have them.
- Take pictures of your favorite ones. Store the pictures on a disc or jump drive. Make them into photo books and gift them to your kids.
- Make a scrapbook or shadowbox.
Your wedding dress, the bunting your baby wore home from the hospital, the t-shirt you bought in Mexico, your grandma’s pillbox hat, your cheerleading sweater, your dad’s favorite belt buckle, your favorite jeans from four sizes ago.
- If they make you happy, turn them into display pieces. Make a shadowbox with pieces of these items grouped with pictures of you/them wearing them. Turn all those memorable t-shirts into a quilt.
- If you’re saving clothing you hope you’ll fit into again, GET RID OF THEM! Although they may be holding on to them for motivation, I don’t know about you, but if I get back down to that size, I’ll be celebrating by buying NEW clothes!
Your grandma’s china, your dad’s favorite belt buckle, the framed picture of your great-aunt, your mother-in-law’s wedding ring, your mom’s old cookie press.
- Use it. Even though these are close to your heart, they are just “things”. Things are meant to be used. Memories of those things will remain with you forever. So, use grandma’s china. If you break some pieces, it’s okay. Mom would get a kick out of you struggling to make spritz cookies using her old cookie press, and you KNOW she’d be okay with you eventually replacing it for a new one.
- Display it. Hang that old picture of great aunt Hilda. Pull out other vintage photos of relatives and group all these together on a family wall.
- Wear it. Have dad’s buckle shined and polished. Wear it yourself or give it to your brother, husband, son. Use it as an embellishment on a purse or clothing. Wear the ring on a chain, or take out the stones and have it reset in a more modern setting.
Don’t let anyone guilt you into getting rid of things that are important to you. Give yourself as much time as you need to let go. I feel that allowing yourself moments to relive and revisit memories can be healing. It can ground yourself by giving you a chance to revisit your past and pat yourself on the back for the progress you’ve made. It can remind you of plans you had for your future, and inspire and re-motivate you to attain those dreams.
I say that if you’re thoughtful about which items to keep, take steps to preserve them properly, and organize and label any containers where they live, if you have the room to store them, then do it. Who are you hurting? I don’t think it means you’re living in the past. It’s true that these things are just “things”, but things, just like smells, taste and touch, can morph you back to a memory or a time that is close to your heart. My mom touched that sewing pattern, studied it over a cup of coffee, made notes on it, and was excited to start sewing it once we were all tucked away in bed. My kids held the crayon that colored that picture of the three of us, carried it home from school and proudly handed it to me with their little 1st grade hands. I’ll be damned if I’ll let those things go.
Am I wrong?
We need motivation, and after reading your feedback, it sounds like you may need some too. Let’s help each other out.
We need to exercise, but with our crazy schedules, we know that committing ourselves to an exercise program that requires a chunk of time or a long-term commitment is setting ourselves up for failure. Sound familiar? We’ve found that exercising at home allows us to adjust our exercise times to our constantly changing schedules. We look for exercises that require a minimum of equipment, and produce quick results.
Our problem area? Abs. The best exercise we’ve found to strengthen the core that gives you ridiculously fast results is…The Plank.
What’s a “Plank”?
The plank (also called a front hold, hover, or abdominal bridge) is an isometric core strength exercise that involves maintaining a difficult position for extended periods of time. The most common plank is the front plank which is held in a push-up position with the body’s weight borne on forearms, elbows, and toes. -source: Wikipedia
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I was so embarrassed by the original photos of my side view, that my husband graciously allowed me to use him as a model.(Pleeeaase, join me in this challenge. I so need it!)
The plank engages and strengthens the muscles of the abdomen, back and shoulders. I swear it also strengthens the muscles in your butt too, but maybe that’s just in my case because my butt keeps dropping and I have to keep tightening it to pull it back up into position.
Here’s the challenge:
Do you think it sounds too hard? Don’t be a weenie. Check this out…
The current world record (according to Guinness World Records) for the plank position is 3 hours 7 minutes and 15 seconds, set in Newport, Kentucky on 20 April 2013 by George Hood.
Bless your heart, George, but with all due respect….are you frickin’ crazy?!
We can DO this!!
We’re starting next Monday, January 20th. Comment below if you’re in.
Motivation and Encouragement:
[label]Read[/label]We Can Do This! – 8 Trick for Holding a Plank Position Longer