Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spring Cleaning Challenge

Spring.  She's two day away.  Thank heavens!

It's time to get our spring clean on, and that means that I need a plan.  I suck at planning, but luckily there are others out there who rock at it and are using their awesome blogs to help the rest of us out!

Jen over at iHeart Organizing has been challenging herself with her own Clean Home Challenge and I've been happily following along!  So I'm taking most of her list, adding a few of my own chores, and we're doing this!  Ready? 

Here is what I will be challenging myself with over the next several weeks. 

1. Clean out my truck
2. Clean out microwave
3. Wipe down trim & doors
4. Clean out one drawer
5. Clean out the fridge
6. Clean out the freezer
7. Purge bathroom toiletries
8. Attempt homemade cleaning solution
9. Vacuum under furniture
10. Vacuum mattresses
11. Wash windows
12. Clean out one closet
13. Wipe down cabinets/appliances
14. Wash out garbage can/recycle bin
15. Clean oven
16. Clean out pantry
17. Clean out one cabinet
18. Organize dog shelves
19. Go through magazine basket
20. Clean out hutch drawers
21. Purge candle basket
22. Clear end table
23. Organize/purge Frisbees
24. Clean out second cabinet
25. Contain the yarn!

These are the things that I don't want to do.  They are little chores that are easily hidden behind closed doors which makes them easy to ignore because nobody has to know about it right?  Which is why they landed on my list, because I don't want to do them.  And now I have to because you are expecting me to.  See how that works?  Peer pressure!

Which ones am I dreading the most?  Probably #15, #20 & #23.  Yeah, let's not think about those three anytime soon.

So what are you doing to kick off spring cleaning season?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My Beloved Dresser

Now that the holidays have passed and winter has come back down from her tantrum (three blizzards within a timespan of seven days) and daylight savings time is within sight (less than two weeks!) I feel like I can finally begin working on stuff.  So many projects have been put away for a later date and now I'm getting the spring cleaning fever and project tackle tickle!

For as long as I can remember, there is a dresser that has followed me from childhood all the way to present.  I can remember my little sister and I covering it with stickers when we were both still in the single digits.  Scooby Doo stickers, to be exact.  I took her with me when I moved out of my parent's house and she's made the dozen moves that I've made in the decade since.  This dresser has made more moves than any piece of furniture should have to endure.  And keep in mind, people who are moving and between the ages of 18-25yo aren't exactly careful when moving heavy stuff.  

Today, she stands proud in our bedroom, the drawers filled with clothes and the top holding our small bedroom TV and DVD player.  With the exception of removing the stickers, I have made no changes to her at all.  She's covered with scratches and scrapes, dings and chips, yet through it all, she's sturdy as ever.  Not even a wiggle or a wobble, and the drawers still open smoothly as silk.

My dresser is nearly identical to this one (the below belongs to a very talented blogger, you can see her magnificent transformation of this baby HERE! Isn't it fabulous!!).

Mine even has that scrolley design on the front and swing handles! 


It wasn't until I entered the blog world that I realized that this dresser style is actually incredibly common, and seems to be a favorite among DIY'ers for fabulous redos.  I've seen several redos that I'd love to attempt, but haven't decided if I'm willing to mess with it, and won't until I'm absolutely confident with my plan. 

Here's some other examples of what I've seen done with other similar dressers:



And these guys below took it a step further, turning these dressers into gorgeous kitchen islands! *my heart sighs*


That red would look amazing in my kitchen!


The color these DIYers used to give new life to those dressers, many of whom appeared to be on their last leg, it just astounds me! Especially that green... Yum.   Be sure to check the links to see what they looked like before their fabulous makeovers!

Unfortunately, I'm afraid of color more often than not, and my bedroom has white accents. Painting my beloved dresser white intimidates me. But the black that I've seen used several times is really talking to me.

What do you all think? Color? White? Black? Kitchen Island?

All I know is, I've gotta do this. This glorious dresser deserves a makeover after following me around for so long! I just need to find the right outfit for her!

Friday, January 10, 2014

New Toys!

Santa was good to my organizational side this year!  (and by Santa, I mean my hubby)

I've got some new toys and I am excited to show you what I've been doing with them!

First and foremost is my new label maker. 

I heart this label maker. I've had a basic $15 Dymo handheld label maker for a while and it did great things for me. But I was ready for the next step.

My other new toy is a laminator!

Thanks to several other blogs going crazy with the labels and the Washi tape, added to the fact that I've got dogs and dirt, having my signs and labels protected in some way seemed like the smart thing to do. 

Between these two babies, my office/dog room and my spare bedroom are in for a complete makeover.

I might have also spent a good chunk of my Christmas gift cards on organizing stuff, like baskets and bins. It seems kind of oxymoron-esque to be bringing all of this stuff into the house in order to make the house look less cluttered and more organized... But I have to trust the system. Plus for every single item that came in, one old item must go out. So I guess that helps.

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Dreaded Half Room

We are in desperate need of some organizing and storage solutions here in our little abode!  For some reason it seems, the harder I try to organize or at least create a plan to organize, the messier that space gets.  It seems like I can't organize even one tiny little area without completely affecting another area of the house.

It's time to begin investing in some real shelving and storage.

Our home is technically considered a three bedroom.  I call it a two bedroom (or a two and a halfer when I'm feeling sassy or irritable).  We've got the two decent sized 'normal' bedrooms, which are our master room and our spare bedroom (which is really my junk room where I throw stuff that I'm trying to get out of the way when company comes over or I'm trying to 'organize' another area of the house).

Then there is this little 'half room' thing that apparently is considered a bedroom in realty speak because it's got a closet.  And for anybody wondering, this mini half room thing has the best closet of any of the three 'bedrooms'.  *insert scrooge face here*

Let me tell you what all I've got packed into this room. This room is currently the "office/dog room/craft area/library/photography room", and the closet is being used as our coat closet. 
So basically, here's what this tiny room holds:
I've got three large crates in there, two of which are stacked up in front of half the closet
All of the dog's stuff like food bins, toy bin, grooming and training equipment, etc.
A desk with computer and printer and all other office stuff
My craft stuff is piled everywhere. 
And since I'm a book hoarder who refuses to switch to the dark side (Kindle) I've got shelves of books in there.
My camera and other photography stuff resides in here.
I must take a picture of this room so that you can see what I'm dealing with.  The way that it's set up, there is an overhang on one end.  The closet takes up the entire opposite wall.  Two windows eat up all of the wall space on another wall, and the opposite wall that is the only real, usable wall is covered from head to toe in Frisbees and dog medals from competitions won.  I have no idea where I am to insert shelves here! 

I found this BH&G photo on another awesome blog:


It's just perfect and beautiful. I love the wall shelves with all the containers. plus it even has an overhang thing like we do. But do you think I'm capable of recreating anything even close to this? Probably not.

And the stupid thing is, two winters ago we ripped everything out of this room to paint the walls and put down new carpet and I had everything looking so nice... Then I threw a bunch of stuff in there and now it looks like crap again.  Ugh!  Plus it's difficult when there are dogs filtering through a space.  There are crates to contend with and the possible use of space is difficult to manage.

I will take a photo of the room in question so I can show you.  You'll probably run away from my blog screaming at the mess.  Yikes! 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

What 2014 Holds for The Vintage Jar

Hi blogger peeps!

With a new year comes new goals, new ideas, and new motivation to achieve them all.  I was really beginning to get the hang of daily posting here, until tragedy struck our little family in November with the death of my love, Jacob.  Between the terrible grief of missing him and then trying to prepare for the holidays, plus a previous foster dog came back into our lives (and is here still), I just wasn't finding the time or the motivation to do anything, much less write.

Today I'm a little more at peace with my life.  Things are calming down and I'm excited to move on all of these wonderful idea's that I've had and the projects I've stumbled upon via you folks on your blogs and Pintrest!

Did you all have a merry and joy filled Christmas?  I truly did.  Spending that time with my family is always such a joy to me and always brings back the realization of how blessed I really am.  I'm healthy, I've got a great job that I enjoy, a warm home that I love so very much, a family who is so laid back and hilarious, yet so supportive when I need them, and fur family who make me smile every single day.  I am blessed.

Now, onto the fun stuff!  What projects are you planning?

Santa brought me a fun, new label maker.  I am over the moon about it!  I've got my washi tape and label tapes ordered and I'm ready to label my ass off!

There are three months worth of projects that I've been planning that I meant to have done already but haven't. 

Let's tackle 2014!

Happy New Year, everybody! 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Remembering Jake

On Monday evening, I lost a piece of my heart.  My faithful, goofy, affectionate Jacob crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

It was devastatingly sudden, losing him.  He still had what I refer to as his bad days, but they were few and far between.  He was still a healthy, active, funny Labrador.  For nearing twelve years of age, Jake was surprisingly spry yet.  His hips didn't cause him any issue and he would still get up on two legs to dance for a treat.  He galloped around the yard with his zoomies, wrestled with the younger dogs and still loved learning and clicker work. 

 The night Jake died, I got home and let everybody out to potty like normal.  Jake loped around the house, his Labrador tail spinning like a helicopter blade, rejoicing in being freed from the foyer where he was gated each day.  Everything was normal.  He was normal.  My husband began making dinner and I did the dishes while the dogs played in the house and got their yaya's out.  At one point, Kirby began barking and whining.  I remember telling him to shut up and go play.  (Kirby is a very vocal dog and loves the sound of his own bark.)   But he continued and Josh discovered that Kirby was staring at Jake, in his big chair, fighting for breath.  We ran to him and he couldn't even acknowledge us, couldn't look at us. He was staring at the ceiling, fighting whatever had overtaken him.

The next half an hour is kind of a blur... It was 7pm and I was calling vet after vet trying to find one who was available immediately for an emergency.  Jake calmed down to the point that I thought maybe he had just had a seizure or something, as his breathing was slightly labored still, but he was calm again and looking around and at us.  He seemed to be snapping out of it.  He still wasn't moving his body though and when we found a vet a half hour away, we loaded him into the truck and drove. 

Jake did not make it to the vet clinic.  We were only minutes away when Josh said he couldn't see him breathing any longer. 

That was four days ago. 

I am still struggling to accept that he's no longer here with me.  Jake is my heart.  He's my rock, my anchor, my love.  In all the years that I have done dog rescue and in all of the dogs I've ever fostered, I have never found another like Jake. 

The night was rough.  I sobbed uncontrollably, well into the early morning hours.  I woke up looking like I had fought a UFC battle, so I took the day off of work (thanks to my understanding boss).  I went to feed everybody and nearly put food down for Jake.  And lost it over his bowls. 

The rest of the pack and I watched Hallmark channel Christmas movies all day.  I tried to do a little cleaning, but when I went to de-hair the couch with the vacuum and found Jake's fur, the flood of grief nearly brought me to my knees. 

Yesterday, I got a phone call from the vet.  They left me a message to tell me that Jake's ashes were ready to be picked up.  When I began listening to the message, I knew why they were calling and was okay with it.  I had been eager to get my boy back home where he belongs.  But when she actually said the words, 'Jake's ashes', the stab of pain was so overwhelming. 

I picked up Jake last night and brought him home.  The techs had made an impression in clay of Jake's paw and gave it to me.  That was so sweet of them.  There is one toe that shows a nail that I'd let grow too long.  *sigh*  He used to love nail clipping day, because he would get to eat all of the clippings.  I know, eew.

I miss my Jacob.

The support I've received has been overwhelming and very much needed.  Josh and the rest of my pack are holding me together.  My friend Gayla posted this on my Facebook page and even though it makes me tear up, I wanted to share it with you.

Jake will always be my best boy. The unbearable pain of missing him will ease with time, and I know that. But for right now, I welcome the tears, because they make me feel closer to him. I'll never be the same without my Jacob.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Love of My Life

So far, the whole of November has been a rollercoaster for me, emotionally. I try to hide a lot of it because I feel like the less people know of it, the less I have to talk about it and that will result in me thinking about it less. But that it doesn't always happen that way. For every bad thing that happens or every thing that worries me, there is something great and beautiful that I have to be thankful for.

Today, I'm thankful for my husband. Josh is everything that I have ever dreamed of. He's my best friend, my prince charming, my rock, my shoulder to cry on and my partner in this crazy chaos that is life. He makes me happy, he makes me laugh. I don't have to be anybody other than myself for him.

I love you, honey!