Saturday, March 24, 2018


Happy Spring!

Here in the Arizona desert it's getting warm.  It's already reached 88, but thankfully
this coming week is still expected to be in the 70s and low 80s.
We don't want the heat to come too soon!

Our agaves are staring to bloom!
The hummingbirds LOVE these flowers, so I'm excited to see lots of
them hanging around and having flocks and herds of tiny adorable baby hummingbirds!

This one is cuddled up to our large spiky cactus.

Our partridge-breast agave is blooming, too,
and hummingbirds also love her.

Usually I get the cleaning bug in the fall, but this year I'm having it again now!

Greg has a wonderful method of vacuuming under the couch and having a
rest at the same time!

I suddenly NEEDED to completely clean and reorganize my office.
It hit me hard out of nowhere after lurking for a month or more.
It was *tidy* before I started cleaning, but it wasn't functioning well for my different
work tasks now and I was storing a LOT of things I used while seeing clients but
that I don't use now that I'm creating and distributing the Chirp Curriculum and filming educational YouTube videos.  It was time for some changes.

Usually I have lots of cuddle creatures in my office while I'm working.

On cleaning day, though, they had to wedge themselves in between boxes and stacks of books.
Can you see two cats on the bed?

First, empty the shelves and all containers!
This is where things got messy.
My desk was where I stored the things that still needed to be sorted.

When I was finished, here's how my shelves looked!
Curriculum binders are all lined up in the middle.
Detritus is contained in boxes so it doesn't look messy.
Paper, card stock, and binder inserts are organized like with like.
I was able to move my nutrition books into my office 
(second to bottom shelf in the middle - it's the last shelf you can see in this photo).
I also added some of my favorite photos.
There's my favorite school photo on the right between the two brown boxes.
I'm wearing an extra cute plaid dress I would love to wear today!
There's also a wedding photo on the middle shelf to the far left.
Some stuff on these shelves is still going to go . . . 
I'm going to sell some of my toys and get rid of that large "DIAL3" -
it's a developmental assessment that I don't use and don't need to store.
I just need to find out where to donate it, so it can stay there for the time being.

I made room to move my theology books into the hidden shelf  up and to the right inside my desk cubby.  I love having my resource books so close and I love being surrounded by books!!!

The white bins above my computer are all our CDs, organized by artist name
(mostly . . . newer CDs are lumped together in an unlabeled bin).

During the times I'm feeling well, I think I will be focusing this year on reorganization.
My next task will be cleaning out the file cabinet in my office
that is full of paperwork from over five years ago when I was working with private clients.
I have a bunch of printed resources that I'm sure I can bookmark online,
I have clients' reports that need to be shredded, I have license/certification data that's out of date . . . 
the paperwork can swamp a person!  Thankfully much of that stuff can take place online now so that we don't need to store so much documentation.
I'm working on developing new systems to make sure I don't keep unnecessary things
and to make sure that I keep things neat in here - 
it's much nicer to work in a tidy and organized office!

I have also been trying a lot of new recipes.
For a small group pot luck, I made cookies with no flour.
The texture came from garbanzo beans (chickpeas!),
banana, and peanut butter.  They were all gobbled up.
Some people liked them better,
some people liked my doughnuts better.
But both were popular (especially because I cook and bake with a limited
range of ingredients  . . . gluten-free + vegan).

This afternoon I'm going to try this recipe for peanut butter chocolate chip doughnuts
(also called Tagalong doughnuts after the Girl Scout cookie).
tagalong donuts
image from here

Yum yum yum!

I have been enjoying wearing some of the new things I documented
in my Spring Shopping video and blog post.
I didn't get a chance to film them, but I have a couple of photos
of outfits I created with them.

Here's the lace-up sweater with jeans
(this was a surprisingly chilly day AND I wasn't feeling great).
This was taken in my doctor's bathroom - isn't it pretty?
She's an eco-friendly sort of physician.
sweater: Tommy Hilfiger (Macy's)
jeans: inc International Concepts (Macy's)
bag: ABage (Amazon)

And here's the heart sweater:
sweater: Charter Club (Macy's)
skirt: Dani's Choice (Amazon) - I don't recommend this skirt so I'm not going to link

I got to shop with my Mom again this past Thursday
and we had a wonderful time.
We started out at Macy's because they were having a great sale. 
Here's what I wore.

blouse: Maison Jules (Macy's)
skirt: Max Edition (Amazon)
shoes: Target
bag: ABage (Amazon)

This burnout top is in my Macy's shopping cart right now,
but I'm waiting to purchase it until I get a deal for free shipping (or at least
free shipping with $50 purchase).
It's slightly blurry, but look how cute my Mom is!
You can see my new glasses pretty well in this photo, too.

My Mom found two great pairs of black pants and a gorgeous flowy boho blue dress
that looks GREAT on her.

I didn't think I was going to buy anything UNTIL I remembered
that I've been on the lookout for a new swimming suit that offers more sun protection
and that will work well for kayaking and jumping on the Rubber Dockie,
which looks like this!

My favorite suit ever was one with a little bra top and shorts on the bottom,
but boy short bottoms are HARD to find! 
Most of them are too bunchy or too unflattering.
But I finally found some!!!!
I bought this set at Macy's, but I couldn't find it anywhere online!
After some searching, I realized the shorts are made by Go Gossip

The top is from La Blanca.
Look at that beautiful pattern!

After Macy's, we went to Chipotle for lunch (yum!)
and then to Ross, where I found some cute tops I'll be debuting soon,
and where my Mom bought me an adorable blush pink bag that I'll be saving
for Easter Sunday!

It was a cloudy, breezy day (like today!), and I was all tired out,
so I watched some Diagnosis Murder on the couch with a bunch of cats
and enjoyed looking out the back at our pretty cactus garden.

Allistiar doesnt mind when I sit still for a long time.
He cuddles right in!

The cats love Spring because we have the windows open all the time!
Allistair has been feeling adventurous, and he climbed
all the way up on top of the wall between the dining room and kitchen
(obviously, that wall doesn't go all the way to the ceiling).

He sleeps a lot in between bouts of adventuring.

 Claude has been busy being beautiful and cuddly
(on her own terms!)

And Stephen enjoys looking out the window and sleeping in approximately equal measure.

I like reading in bed at night with lots of cats
and the windows wide open so I can hear the birds settling down
(usually there's a Northern Mockingbird that sings really loudly during and after dusk -
here's one that I found so you can hear the pretty sounds) and the fountain bubbling away.

I like to have the complete set (four!)


Bonus question:
Can you see the catnip toy on top of Allistair's head?

It blends right in!!!

Have a wonderful weekend! 

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