how to pack in a way that will make your little organized soul break out in song (does this happen to anyone else?)
I've mentioned before that my husband is in the military, right? That means packers come and pack everything up and then move it across the country for us. It's an amazing perk, I'm not going to lie. All we have to do is unpack it and settle in. Oh, and transport two cars, two kids, a uhaul trailer, a cat and various items that move with us no matter what clear across the country. About a months worth of work. I need an Angry Orchard just thinking about it.
On to my part in the beginning stage of our moving journey!
I have to pack enough for for me and the kids to last a couple of weeks before we get our stuff again. Since I am a little obsessed much with having things organized into neat litttle piles I thought I would share a bit how I pack for us. P.S. Husband packs himself in the last 20 minutes before the movers come. It takes me three days to pack us. Men!
1) Depending on where we are going and the length of time I use either two large, hard sided suitcases or two large LL Bean duffel bags. Since this is a longer trip I used the duffel bags as I can fit more in. The kids are in the larger one and I get the smaller one (go figure! How times have changed...)
2) Several days before
all hell breaks loose the movers come, I get all the clothes we will take and separate them into piles on my bedroom floor so I know we have enough complete outfits for at least 7 days (doing laundry somehow in the middle.) I also do piles for shoes, pajamas, swim gear and colder weather items. It sort of looks like a garage sale in our room since I spread it all out real good. What can I say, I'm visual?
3) I like to use those cloth grocery bags to seperate the clothes in the different bags and keep items from getting jumbled up and wrinkled. I wash them, then put all of Molly's outfits in one, Brady's in another, shoes in another, sleepwear, undies, etc. I try to put them into bags by category so I can find what I'm looking for more easily on the road.
I do the same for all of my clothes as well. I also bring all my lingerie/ contents of my underwear drawer with me as it seems creepy to have movers pack it. Yikes.
4) After everything is in the cloth bags I fit them in the duffel bags and then use the handles to tie the tops so everything is really secure. They fit into the duffels really neatly and stay organized and neat. I then stuff their nighttime blankets, lovies, etc around the edges of the bags and I'm done.
5) Our other belonging that don't make it in the moving van with our household goods get packed into laundry baskets so they are easy to pick up and move around. We are renting a small uhaul to tow behind the car (fun, fun!) I let the kids each pack one of the baskets with the toys they want to bring with them and I also pack my jewelry boxes, our big bin that I store all of our keepsakes as well as my husbands work stuff he brings along.
6) Lastly, I put our toiletries into large freezer bags and different travel cases and fit it all into my carry on hard backed luggage. I have a lot of full size bottles and stuff because this is an actual move and not just vacation, so I sort those by category in the zip locks. I like to have all this stuff in one bag/suitcase so it is easily accessible and in one place.
Thats it! I won't get into all the other super fun moving stuff, like scrubbing baseboards, wearing the same gross outfit three days in a row and finding dust bunnies the size of small rodents underneath our tv cabinet, okay. It's not pretty.
Stitchfix dress (similar here and here); F21 sandals (similar); Target clutch (similar) and sunnies; Urban Outfitter's hat (similar.)
I'm sitting in my house on the last day before the movers descend and pack away five years worth of memories. One of the blessings of being in the military is having people come and pack for you. If you're going to move a lot in life, this is an amazing side benefit, right? This means my house looks just about the same as it always does, everything is in its place and to a strangers eye it doesn't look like we are moving.
I've been purging and organizing, throwing away broken toys, donating multiple bags to Goodwill and separating what will come with us on our car ride to Michigan and what will be on the moving truck. The kids have small bags (actually, I gave them laundry baskets) of their favorite items we can't bear to part with in our travels. Bags are packed (mostly) and sit at the foot of my bed, ready to be loaded into the car. We are staying with my mom during the packing process, taking time to soak in having her just a 20 minute car ride away. Missing her, leaving her, not seeing her daily is an ache in my heart that is a constant lump in my throat. It hurts to think about that part.
Now we just wait. We have our last day to eat here, as a family, for one last time. Sleep in our beds surrounded by these walls, wake up to look out these windows, be a family in this house. It takes three days to pack our things and load them on the truck, and another to touch up the house and make it pretty for our renters. Then we leave, on Sunday.
On to another place, another house to build memories in. A week long car trip to fun places along the way and friends we haven't seen in forever.
All this awaits us, but today I have one last day. I'm going to soak it all in. And enjoy.
Lemons and Lace headband; Target top (similar, similar); Kohl's skirt; F21 sandals (similar); Threads bracelets; Pink Lemonade Handmade fringe necklace.
I've been reading The Happiness Project lately and it's the type of book that gives you a lot of little bits and pieces to think about on a daily basis. I read it mostly at night before bed for a short time and find it is a great book to read in small spurts. I like books that I can learn from (not to mention romance novels that I can escape into!) I also tend to read several books at once, so The Happiness Project is one of those that works well with others.
The other night I was reading a chapter about career and work life and I was struck by the thought,
"What do you choose to do with your spare time?"
This one question fuels the answer of what you like to do for pure pleasure. I'm not talking about menial chores and things we have to do, I'm talking about how you choose to spend your time after all that is done. Do you garden? Read? Write? Shop? Create something? What is that certain something that makes you happy from start to finish? Is it more than one thing? Looking at what you like to do for pleasure can give insight into a career that could fulfill you in a way your current job does not.
1) In my spare time I love to read most of all. I have always been a reader and will always find some time in the day to open a book or read on my Kindle. Books and the characters within make me happy and I love the escapism as well as the love of words and writing that the author creates.
2) I love to write and create stories. I have multiple story ideas in my head and have always liked putting my thoughts on paper and creating something. Good writers inspire me and I think reading a lot makes me want to create better things.
3) I adore style, fashion, reading fashion magazines and keeping on top of trends. It makes me absurdly happy to shop and put together different looks on a daily basis. Reading style blogs is another thing that makes me happy and fuels inspiration for who I want to be that particular day (week? month?) Style constantly changes and I enjoy looking forward as well as studying past looks.
After looking at what truly makes you happy you can then try to find a way to create a life or occupation around that concept. I mean, think about what you would do in your wildest dreams if you had no worries (money, family, thinking about what you should do due to education...)
I have an undergrad degree in Business Management and recently got my Master's in Reading Education. I taught school for three years and worked hard to get a degree in higher education so I could go back to teaching. Now, though? I'm not sure I even want to go back to that, which is scary because we spent all this money and it took a lot of time to earn a degree I may not even technically use. I have some inner turmoil about working so hard for something I thought I wanted, but don't really anymore. I wanted a "career,"something that would transfer well with our many moves, but is it something I truly enjoy?
I really want to continue what I'm doing now, rather than going back to a traditional job. Creating daily content for this site and writing on the side (an ebook!) makes my heart sing. I like being my own boss and coming up with goals and connecting with new people daily. My blog enables me to use all the things I love doing in my spare time and in the end I do use my degrees in Business on a daily basis, as well as what I learned in Grad school. I don't believe you ever waste an education and I always have that to fall back on, but now I want to see if I can use my true passions, writing and style, to create an occupation that I enjoy doing on a daily basis. Something I never feel forced to do, or tire of.
Tell me: what is your passion? Do you use them in your daily life?
P.S I'm also reading:
Read any good books lately?
Heading to the Red Sox game.
Her favorite part, the treats!
c/o So Kate dress.
View from our hotel room. Gorgeous!
Little bits of my life so far this week:
-We got back home late last Wednesday after 9 days away, one stomach virus, one tropical storm, two Disney parks, one water park, a Red Sox game and countless dinners out. I am currently on a food detox (not alcohol, you can't make meeeeeee.) Home again for 6 days and then rolling out again for good. Who wants to make sure I don't go crazy?
-This is the week of lasts....last dinner in our home, last day at the Y, last trip to Target, last time spent with family. Luckily I'm spending it maniacally throwing out half of what we own and organizing every small item I can into small, plastic boxes. What? It makes me happy.
-Anyone want to show up on Saturday and help me clean the house? Anyone?
- I got that black dress you see above in my last Stitchfix box and it is perfection. I think it's made of gauze? Anyway, it is floaty and breezy and I love it. Score for me.
-Did I mention I am writing an ebook on everything I've learned so far about blogging? I'm about halfway done, hoping to get it finished this summer and put it up for sale on Kindle and through pdf files. Thoughts on pricing? I was thinking around $2.99. Would you (hypothetically speaking...) buy a book about blogging for that price?
-I've been watching Sex and the City reruns during my kids' nap time and keep noticing moments where it is dated (no cell phone, mentioning email is still new, etc...) Sadly, I remember not having either of these things and now it is depressing that the times have changed so much that this show is getting old. Nooooooo! I just can't.
Tell me, what is going on with you?
Stitchfix dress (similar); Target boots (similar); Urban Outfitter's hat (similar); thrifted belt (similar); American Eagle bag;Threads bracelet stack; Jewelmint Matchmaker rings; c/o Lisa Leonard necklace.
Let's pretend for a minute that I can afford Anthropologie, okay? Sort of like Free People (another post...), Anthro has amazing things that speak to me on a deeper level (really!) Then I see the price and get depressed and wish I had won that massive Powerball a couple weeks back. Can we have a little fun then, and pretend to take a little mock shopping spree through the Anthro website and pick out those things I would buy if I could? You could also say this is a list for those more blessed with extra cash than I, and to that I say...buy this stuff and enjoy it for me! Please!
Here are the items I am loving at Anthroplogie, right now:
A chambray maxi dress. Yes, you heard right. Two of my faves things in one look.
This ladder necklace would dress up a simple white tee beautifully.
The funkiest fringe tote.
A pair of leopard sandals that would go with everything (in my opinion.)
These sandals are downright gorgeous. Drooling!
I love tee shirts that are super soft, look lived in, and are longer in length.
An adorable, retro, one piece swimsuit.
A perfect pair of rolled up denim shorts.
One of my favorite things to wear in the summer is a white maxi dress. This one is perfection.
There's something romantic about an all white bed, isn't there?
This chair is dreamy!
An Ikat console table. Stop it.
I'm really into abstract art right now. I'm working on a collage wall in my Michigan house!
The home stuff! I find my home tastes are changing as I get older. I like cleaner lines, more modern touches and bits of unexpected touches. Less shabby chic, faded florals and more eclectic, I guess? I've been purging my home like crazy and getting rid of things that don't make my little heart sing. I'm looking forward to decorating a whole new space and fitting it into my new aesthetic.
Tell me, what is your favorite drool over but can't afford store? Has your style (clothing and home) changed as you've gotten older, like me?
P.S. Black and white photos courtesy of an all black outfit and white leg syndrome. I need my spray tan!
This is how I feel after 3 cities in one day. Help me. or bring me a a drink...
It's currently 8:45 pm and I am sitting here in an old as anything bathrobe (that I keep meaning to donate) and my hair is in a wet tangle down my back because I can't muster up the energy to dry it. Today was the day the we had breakfast in Tampa, lunch in Orlando and dinner in Jacksonville. I'm exhausted. Four and a half hours in the car, six hours in Epcot in the broiling sun, and then finally (finally!) home after nine days away. My house never looked better. Spacious and clean and enough room to spread out and have some time alone. I get to put the same clothes I wore for the whole trip in the laundry basket (good riddance!) and wake up tomorrow and have choices. It's the little things, I think?
The kids are thrilled to be back, playing alone in their rooms, happy as clams to be here. Our home. Yet this is only our home for another seven days before the movers come. Seven days left to enjoy our little place that had meant so much to us. Seven days to play one last time in this house of ours that had brought us joy, and love, and two babies, and so much more.
So, I'm going to bed. I have three magazines fresh from the mail (yes!), and a Jewelmint delivery to open and a fresh pot of coffee brewing tomorrow at 7am.
I am home and I am happy.
P.S. Regularly scheduled style posts coming back Friday, in case you were wondering:)