Tag Archives: simplify

“I Complete You” November Update

I doubt any of you guys will be surprised to find out that while I used up stuff this month, I added even more to my list. In my defense I only voluntarily added a small amount of products: the rest were totally not my fault.

Up first, the products I used. I liked the cleanser, moisturizer and serum from Riversol: they left my skin soft and clean and didn’t have a heavy perfume smell. If they weren’t so ridiculously expensive, I’d consider using them again. Next up was something more in my budget: the Eucerin lotion which lived up to it’s promise of being good for extremely dry skin and fragrance free. The Arbonne foot cream was effective, but buying a full size would involve interacting with home sales ladies and is way more than I’d spend on lotion. Finally, I love love love the Cud-Zu Goat Farm soap. I used to buy this stuff when I lived in North Carolina and right now I have my fingers crossed that my mother will stick another bar in my Christmas stocking next month.

Now, I confess that I willingly signed up for the Target Beauty Bag and I solemnly swear that I will use up these products soon!

Then I pet sat for a friend for free one weekend so she could go to a fancy benefit with her mother. Her mother went a little crazy on the silent auction and insisted on sending a gift basket to share with me. Among a variety of pampering products, there were a number of things that definitely count as products and they’re full sized. Oops!

At least my addiction leaves me clean and fresh smelling?

Anyways, for the entire (and newly expanded) “I Complete You” Product Challenge list, check it out on its own page!

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“I Complete You” October Update

As I finish up more of the sample size products the rate at which I go through my list of “I Complete You Products” is slowing down: in the last two months, I’ve used up only a handful of products. However, I also added to the list with free samples thanks to Sweet Free Stuff. (Seriously, check this place out.)

What did I think about the products I used up? I wasn’t the hugest fan of the Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine shampoo, which left my hair greasier than usual and really flat. As for the Shiseido skincare line, I loved how soft the products made my skin feel, but they were a bit too perfume-y for my taste. The Peter Thomas Roth soap was nice, as was the Painted Earth moisturizer. I did like the Arm & Hammer Sensitive toothpaste, which I might have to check out when I run out of my current tube.

(For the record, that’s my coffee table, not a wooden bathroom counter. My bathroom counter is a weird pink-yellow-grey combo.)

For the entire “I Complete You” Product Challenge list, check it out on its own page!

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Me vs the Dresser

A few months ago, one of my dresser drawers stopped closing: my lovely high-quality Ikea particle board bureau couldn’t take the weight of all my pants in one drawer. The metal track that the drawer rests on had pulled away from the side of the dresser. I told myself that I really should clean out the dresser before I fixed it, so it wouldn’t happen again. Well, I’m finally back to my simplify project, and it was about time to get that drawer off my floor.

I pulled out all my clothes and divided them into 5 piles:

  • Keep
  • Consign (white bag)
  • Donate (brown bag)
  • Craft
  • Rags
  • Trash (trash bag)

(Yes, I know there’s still clothing shoved on the shelf on my closet: that gets tackled soon.)

I trashed things I wouldn’t buy at a thrift store myself, namely bathing suits and underwear, as well as things with stains and holes, like old socks and torn up jeans. Excess tee shirts primarily went into the craft pile if they had sentimental value, otherwise they’ve been set aside for rags. Things that didn’t fit, weren’t flattering or just weren’t my style were divided between the consignment and donation piles based on how nice they were.

Next I grabbed a screw and my screwdriver and repaired the metal thingy the drawer rests on (like my technical terminology?), and refilled my drawers with the keep pile.

With all that, what did I keep? Clothes that fit, look good, that I actually wear, with no holes or stains. They all fit nicely back in my newly repaired dresser, distributed so all my pants aren’t in the same drawer, and with room to spare. Which is great, because next week I plan on tackling the two Rubbermaid bins of excess clothing under my bed.

One of the scary parts of all this is that I haven’t done a lot of clothes shopping in the last two years, which means most of this survived the giant purge when I last moved, and I still don’t like half my clothes.

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The Black Holes in My Kitchen

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but I’m short. Not kind of short, but really short. As in I haven’t been measured without shoes on in years and I’m still only 5′ 3/4″. Even standing on my tippy toes on my step ladder, I can just reach the edge of the top shelf of my pantry and the cabinets over my refrigerator. As a result, those spaces have turned into black holes. Every time I go to put something away up there, I kind of just shove it in and ignore whatever else is getting shoved around or tipped over in there.

Yesterday evening for my last step in cleaning out my kitchen, I decided to tackle those spaces. My Swiffer has a rubberized handle which helped me to kind of push things towards me, which I set out on the counters and table to sort: 3 water bottles, 3 thermoses of various sizes, some serving dishes, a never used butterfly covered tea set, an Easter basket, Christmas cookie tins, a selection of bento boxes, paper plates and napkins, plastic cups and silverware, disposable cake and pie tins, and a ridiculous array of empty glass jars. Not Mason jars, but random jars that I’ve emptied and saved just in case.

Water bottles were put on a lower shelf where I’ll use them more often, the tea set has been set aside to give to my niece for Christmas, a Goodwill box has been started with Easter basket and some thermoses, and a lot of jars went into the recycling bin. A few tall ones from oils and sauces got set aside for a future project and everything else was returned to the cabinets within reach. Mission accomplished and all within 30 minutes.

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Land of the Misfit Condiments

Tuesday night I came home and felt ambitious. I canned 9 ½ pints of crushed tomatoes (thank you Tomato Fairy!), 4 half pints of sweet pickle relish, and baked a loaf of whole wheat bread. During the long water bath time for tomatoes, I decided to tackle my refrigerator. The shelves and drawers weren’t too bad: they just required a wiping down.

However, the door was another story all together. Apparently my refrigerator door is where unwanted condiments go into exile. I had a few jars of hot sauce with only few drops left, some sauces I bought on a whim that I never liked. Those were easy to empty, rinse, and put in the recycling bin. However, the scary parts were things I actually use. When I moved in, I bought medium sized containers of ketchup, mayo, and mustard, since they were cheaper by the ounce. Along the way I picked up a handful of salad dressings on nights when I was too lazy to even mix my own salad dressing. What’s wrong with that, you might ask? Well, I finally checked the expiration dates, and the most recent one was December of last year. Yes, they still smelled and looked ok and apparently tasted fine the last time I used them, but do I really need foods that are so processed they last for a YEAR beyond their official expiration date?

Obviously, those all got dumped. But what to do about any potential replacements? Well, salad dressing dressing takes about 10 seconds to whip together between olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, and a pinch of seasonings, so no more excuses there. Also, lately I’ve been making my own mayonnaise, which comes out in small batches and is ah-mazing. I’ve seen some recipes for mustard that seem pretty straight forward and should give me super fancy mustard for not much money.

Anyways, now I have a clean and organized refrigerator where I can actually see all the condiments I own! Hurrah! Here’s hoping I’m not repeating this experiment in a few months.

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Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

As I’m attempting to simplify my life by getting rid of things that clog my house, I’m also realizing that I need to take better care of what I already have. While confronting my pantry last week I realized the white door was getting a little grungy where I handled it. I looked around and noticed that all my cabinets were kind of grungy, particularly those under the sink.

Please note the grayish ick on the bottom. And once again, I’m really selling my kitchen, aren’t I?

Anyways, this week I spent an evening with a bowl of hot soapy water, a dish cloth, an old toothbrush, and a little bit of elbow grease. For the most part, this system worked really well: stains, grease, and dust came right off. That is, until I got to the cabinets under the sink. You see, I bought this house from some inexperienced flippers. Yes, they repainted the cabinetry, but they did a bad job of it, including painting over dirt, leaving bumps in places, and without sanding, so the latex peels off. So, yes, I managed to get most of the dirt off, but unfortunately that meant I occasionally took off a layer (or two) of paint by accident. Those brown spots on the lower left? That’s bare wood. Oops. Perhaps a future project will include properly stripping, sanding, and repainting my cabinets.

Regardless, my cabinets now sparkle, which makes my floor look dingy in comparison. Guess that’s due for a good scrubbing too.

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“I Complete You” August Update

Apparently, July was the month for finishing moisturizers and lotions: the dry heat must bet getting to me. Also, the Kiss My Face foot scrub? Heavenly. I think I might have to buy some for real. Pedicures at home due save money, after all.

The list:

  • Neutrogena conditioner
  • DHC Coenzyme Q10 eye cream
  • Up&Up make-up remover towelettes
  • Sol Terre shampoo x2
  • Citros shampoo
  • Garden Botanika conditioner
  • Kiss My Face hand cream
  • DHC Coenzyme Q10 cream
  • Oil of Olay moisturizer
  • Garnier Nutritioniste wrinkle cream
  • Bliss Shine shampoo & conditioner
  • Pureology Hydrate shampoo & conditioner
  • Peter Thomas Roth shampoo & conditioner
  • Colgate MaxFresh toothpaste
  • Clinique 7 Day scrub
  • Barbasol Sensitive Skin shaving cream
  • Portico clarifying shampoo & moisturizing conditioner
  • Revlon deep conditioner
  • Clairol deep conditioner
  • Gillette Sensitive Skin shaving cream
  • Crest Pro-Health toothpaste
  • Udderly Smooth hand cream
  • Jack Black moisturizer
  • Sephora instant moisturizer
  • Mary Kay microdermabrasion kit
  • DHC Coenzyme Q10 Facial Film Soap
  • Joel Lane Museum House Lavender body soap
  • Bath & Body Works Volumizing shampoo
  • Gilchrist & Soames shaving cream
  • Crest Complete toothpaste x2
  • Crest Whitening toothpaste
  • Clinique tinted moisturizer
  • Dr. Brandt microdermabrasion
  • Mary Kay TimeWise Night Restore & Recover
  • Garnier Ultra-Lift serum + moisturizer
  • Synora Eye of the Beholder Gel
  • Clarins Extra-Firming day cream
  • Garden Botanika body lotion
  • Peter Thomas Roth body lotion
  • Crest Sensitivity toothpaste x2
  • Aveeno body lotion
  • Calm body soap x3
  • Aquaphor advanced therapy
  • Painted Earth moisture treatment for sensitive/acne skin
  • Synora Serenity night cream
  • Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector
  • Painted Earth Vitamin C Eye Gel
  • Kiss My Face foot scrub
  • Kewl Cucumber facial bar x3
  • Venus razor blades x5
  • Aveeno Volumizing shampoo & conditioner
  • Aveeno hand cream
  • Gold Bond hand cream
  • Arbonne foot cream
  • The Body Shop Cranberry body lotion
  • Oil of Olay Body lotion
  • CST Vanilla Nutmeg hand soap
  • Asper & Jones Jasmine hand soap
  • Sephora tinted moisturizer
  • Nature’s Gate day time moisturizer
  • Painted Earth Baby Come Back age defying cream
  • Riversol moisturizing cream
  • Riversol serum
  • TimeBalm exfoliating scrub
  • Oil of Olay eye cream
  • DHC Deep Cleansing Oil x10
  • Peter Thomas Roth facial bar
  • Riversol Cream Cleanser
  • TimeBalm make-up remover
  • DHC Velvet Skin Coat primer
  • Laure Geller matte skin enhancer
  • Singer Soap Peppermint body soap
  • Cud-Zu Goat Farm Lily of the Valley goat milk soap
  • Peter Thomas Roth Massaging bath bar
  • no name soap samples x7

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