Category Archives: Organizing

30 Day Photo Challenge – Update 2

Greetings Friends,

I’m back with my 30 Day Photo Challenge Update. I can hardly believe that 20 days have gone by so quickly. You can read about the challenge here and my first update here. Feel free to follow me on instagram at #shannonsshenanigans30dayphoto.

Day 11 – Favorite Dessert 1/26/13 – Hands down it’s Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey Ice Cream. I don’t have it all that often, but it’s so good. Try it – you’ll be hooked.


Day 12 – In My Closet 1/27/13 – Here’s my master closet. You might remember it from this post back in 2010. I’m still hoping to eventually get my dream closet (and by dream closet, I mean transforming the existing space to be more functional and organized). But in case you couldn’t tell, my OCD tendencies show that I organize my clothes by color and then by sleeve length. Call it a sickness


Day 13 – My Front Door 1/28/13 – Here’s my front door, from inside my house. It was too cold to take the picture from the outside.


Day 14 – Books 1/29/13 – Here’s some of the books I’ve read. I have a strange fascination with WWII and political books.


Day 15 – Where I sleep 1/30/13 – There’s my bed, where all the “magic” happens (if you’ve never saw MTV’s Cribs, you probably wouldn’t get that reference). The bedding is a little too matchy-matchy to the walls, and I’d love to update the furniture (we’ve had it for 11 1/2 years) and get something with richer wood tones.


Day 16 – Hands 1/31/13 – three things I noticed about this picture; (1) I desperately need a manicure; (2) my ring needs to be cleaned; and (3) I’m overdue for some new Michael Kors gear.


Day 17 – Favorite Food 2/1/13 – Pizza Steaks. Yummmmm……nomnomnom


Day 18 – Clouds 2/2/13 – I took this when I left the gym Saturday Morning. It was a gorgeous sunny day, but very bitterly cold. I can’t wait until spring (44 days to go – I think)


Day 19 – Shoes 2/3/13 – I caved and bought fake uggs. I needed a warm winter shoe and most of my shoes are ballet flats. Not good in the snow. They are surprisingly comfy, but I will not spend the $$ for real Uggs.


Day 20 – Mailbox Love 2/4/13 – This is what I got in the mail. Can you pay my bills? Can you pay my telephone bill? Can you pay my auto-mo-bill? Yeah, nothing but bills and junk


I saw that my niece is doing her own challenge on Instagram – anyone else joined in?


Weeks 25-33 Update

Hi Friends…..It’s been a  long, long, long while (8 weeks…ouch), but as you know I’ve been working on my kitchen upgrade (you can read about it here, here, and here), so this project has taken a bit of a backseat to everything else (and my May 27th deadline has not it’s still not done – don’t ask).  But nonetheless, I’ve been working on it (at a tortoise pace).

#4 Run the Broad Street 10 mile run in Philadelphia – epic fail for 2011; damn shin splints. I hope to compete next year!  However, I’m thrilled for my pals @ RRCW for recording personal records!  Way to represent!

#5 Finish cleaning out and organizing the basement – this is still about 1/2 way done. I wanted to have a yard sale in June, but then decided to push it back until September.  Once the hot weather hits, I’ll make this a priority. 

#37 Have one weekend a month for an entire year without any commitmentsin process; 5/12 January/February/March/April/May 2011; I did this the last week of April and again May 21st/22nd.  Aaaah, refreshing! I really think this is my favorite task of all and I plan on doing this monthly, even after my year is up! 

#52 Go see 5 movies in the theatres  – Eddie and I went to see Hangover 2 last Saturday.  It was not nearly as funny as the first (can anyone possibly name a series where the sequel was better than the original?? I can’t), but it was still funny and somewhat graphic (yes, if you have small children, it is not recommended to bring them to the theatre – as we saw a family with children under 10 in the audience….really???).  So now I am 2/5. 

#78 Go see Mets/Rangers in Arlington June 2011 (and yes, I will be indulging in garlic fries!) – this one saddens me.  I can’t seem to find cheap enough flights, and after spending a pretty penny on the kitchen, I don’t know if I’m going to make it.  I’m not considering it a fail yet (and this will be the first fail that I can’t recover from), but if by some miracle I can score a cheap flight (and by cheap I mean really cheap, almost free).  If only I had enough frequent flyer miles???  I guess that would mean I’d have to take more trips (which I’m not one for doing).  Does anyone have any miles they’d like to share???

#89 Clean out garage – So sometime mid-March I started this and was about half way through.  Then we had a slight mouse problem (eek) as we were working on the kitchen and I found that their point of entry was the garage.  Well needless to say, I jumped all over this task and completed it (plus set up poison for the little buggers).  We only had two casualties – a mouse and a chipmunk.  Oh well, they should have known if the mess with me they’d end up defeated!

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying this warm weather.  Shout to Val as our weatherman called our recent heat wave a “Texas Sizzler”…lol!

Kitchen Update 1

Hi Friends.  Since I’m on a brief hiatus for my 101 in 1001 challenge, I thought I’d fill you in on my other big project, my kitchen renovation.  A few weeks ago, I’ve introduced you to Mary, and here’s what she looked like pre surgery:

It’s been a rocky road and we are about 1/2 way there (Cue Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer”………and that’s really how I feel at the moment).  I say ‘rocky road’ because I cannot live in a state of disarray at home.  I like everything neat and orderly, and right now not only is the kitchen a disaster,  but my family room is too.  I feel like I have no control and we all know how much I hate to not have control (ok so that’s a little exaggerated, but now I’m on everyone else’s time schedules, which suits me like a Justin Bieber haircut would suit Eddie – not good)!! 

Our kitchen plans included the following: (1) replace cabinets and countertop; (2) remove soffits (if possible); (3) remove popcorn ceiling and flourescent lighting – replace with a new drywall ceiling and recessed lighting; (4) paint a ‘bold’ color (and bold for me would be something that’s not brown or beige); (5) install a stone back-splash.

Here’s some pictures of the demolition (my favorite part, I love, love, love demolition!!):

Checking the soffits to see if they are necessary (and no, they weren’t)

The area of the soffits I removed (we did this prior to ordering cabinets because we weren’t sure if we could do 36″ cabinets and if you look closely at the ceiling, you can see why I wanted to replace the popcorn ceiling; we had a leak and had to cut into the ceiling, you can never fix popcorn ceilings!)

Eddie taking down some of the soffits

At this point, we thought we could safely remove the soffits without removing the cabinets.  Unfortunately, that was not the case so over the course of the following week (April 9th-16th), we packed up and removed the upper cabinets, the soffit structure, and the popcorn ceiling (we did the soffits/ceiling in a little over 3 hrs – not too shabby):

After upper cabinet removal/before ceiling and soffit removal

Ed removing the last little piece of popcorn ceiling (you have no idea how excited I am this is finally gone!!)

After a few battle wounds (i.e. a nail through my hand) and a fallen flourescent light box (which left us without lighting for a week – more on that in the next post), our kitchen looked like this:

Looks like a lot of fun, doesn’t it?  Until next time….stay tuned my friends! Oh and here’s me doing a little victory dance:

Weeks 17 & 18 Update

Hi Folks!  Since I’m running late with last week and I don’t have much going on this week, it only made sense to consolidate posts (see, I’m all about simplifying things, right…lol).  I’m getting to that point where I’m feeling like I’m hitting a wall with this challenge.  Let’s hope that when I get back from my trip, I’ll be more motivated (and hopefully the spring season will be a great motivator to get going). Let’s get down to business, shall we:

#3 Write& mail 3 thank you cards to 3 people I feel blessed to have in my life – yeah, so I had  this complete, until I started cleaning out the office and realized what I forgot to mail.  As my BFF Val could tell you, I’m horrible at mailing things (i.e. I had a book signed by Teresa Guidice for Val for her 30th 29th birthday – which was in August – and she didn’t get it until Christmas Eve – yes, I’m that pathetic).  So I decided I would throw them out and re-write them and I’m hanging my head in shame….whoops!

#73 Organize office; shred old bills and set up a yearly expand-a-file for all current bills, med receipts, etc – bonus if we can go paperless – this is finally done.  The old, old, old bills and bank statements have been shredded, the expand-a-file is set up, and the file cabinet is empty.  The top of the desk needs a little more organization, but there’s just stupid crap up there (like a book I want to read, extra office supplies, etc).  The babes and I agreed when we set up the file system that we really only needed to keep 6 months worth of bills on hand at any given time (really, who goes back and looks at utility bills unless you have a home based business and claim that stuff) and separated the remaining items into car maintenance records, medical receipts, tax related info, dog info, and a misc. file.  Now only if I can get him to get rid of the damn desk – I really don’t see the point.  Oh and if anyone wants to buy my used file cabinet, make me an offer.  We no longer have a need for it.  Here’s some pics so you can see the clutter and the clarity:



Well, that made me happy.  I’m happy to have another organized space.  Now onto other things, like packing for my trip to Texas.  Yes, I’m going back to visit Val with my other BFF Meg.  Poor Texas, you have no idea what you are in for.  I have no doubts that this mini-vacation will be filled with lots of laughter, memorable quotes, and a whole lot of randomness.  Don’t fret my friends, I will share!  Have a fantastic week!

Week 16 Update

Greetings Friends.  I’m back with my 16th update (and very late in the process – I’m sorry!).  Wow, time sure does fly, now only if it would fly to spring (and thank you Punxsutawney Phil for your forecast of an early spring)! Anyhow, here’s the new updates (and sadly there’s not much to report):

#73 Organize office; shred old bills and set up a yearly expand-a-file for all current bills, med receipts, etc – bonus if we can go paperless – the babes and I decided to spend a romantic Friday night in and clean out the office.  We differ on how we should attack projects. In Eddie’s mind, we should get to the meat of the problem (meat being the file cabinet), but in my warped world, I wanted to eliminate the visual clutter, so we wouldn’t be distracted when we attacked the meat (and for anyone who knows me, I like to eat my meat last – strange huh?). We ended up doing things my way and are 75% complete.  We did a lot of shredding (hello Acura bills from 2002 – ridiculous) and both vowed to never, ever allow the space to be that crammed again.  I hope to complete this project soon and convince the babes to not have a designated “office” (I really don’t see the point since we use the dining room as a makes-shift office).  That’s still up for debate.  I’ll have pictures for this Friday’s post! It was bad!

#80 Host a brunch for my girlfriends – yeah, this was slated for January 30, but Chrissy’s baby shower was accidentally scheduled for the same day (I didn’t know until her mom called; Chrissy was convinced that it was on the 23rd).  So now it’s rescheduled for 3/25.  It’s good because it will be nice and springy and I can do a more fun theme.  I have some ideas floating in my head, but if anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to comment.

I hope all is well with you and that you are surviving this cold, cold, cold winter.  Hopefully that damn little groundhog holds up to his end of the bargain!

Week 13 Update

Hi Friends – I’m back with my weekly update (and a little late – whoops).  I can’t believe it’s been 13 weeks already and as of January 12th, I’m 3 months in the challenge.  Wow, time sure does fly.  Time to get down to business, shall we:

#35 Pare down and organize my favorite articles from magazines in my hall closet – Done. Complete. I’m excited.  Now I have lots of inspiration to start planning my dream kitchen.  Say it with me now in unison, “Poor Eddie”.

#37 Have one weekend a month for an entire year without any commitments – This weekend of the January 8th & 9th was the first weekend in a long time where I didn’t have anywhere that I had to be.  It was nice and pleasant and I conquered a lot on the domestic front (endless amounts of laundry, finishing off my magazines, cleaning out the kitchen), plus Eddie took me out to lunch, made brownie sundaes, and just relaxed (or caught up on sleep).  I’m glad I put this on my list.  Everyone needs time to decompress and recharge.  Now only if I could work on that saying ‘No’ some more….

#53 Go a full day without text/e-mail/internet (work related is excluded if a Monday-Friday) – I figured since I was taking time to myself, it would be the perfect opportunity to not waste time playing online, text messaging, e-mailing, etc.  As simple as that sounds, the time I waste on Facebook, TMZ, Martha Stewart, endless DIY Blogs, or playing Majhong Tiles is absolutely ridiculous and doesn’t serve much of a purpose.  May do again in the near future.

I’d like to take a moment to wish Chance good luck on her list!!  I’m so excited for you!  Anyone else ready to take the challenge?  I hope you had a fantastic week!

Week 12 Update

Hi Friends & Happy 2011! I’m back with my weekly update (didn’t I say in my last post that I would do this).  Everything is settled down again and I’ve de-Christmassed (is that even a word?) my home, so it’s nice to be back to some form of normal.  Here’s the latest updates:

#5 Finish cleaning out and organizing basement – I started this last January, I had had enough of my basement being a ‘dumping ground’. The basement was atrocious.  Hideous.  Embarrassing. Chaotic.  The basement made me feel like Monica on ‘Friends’ with her secret closet that was in complete disarray.  I have pictures, but I’m seriously that embarrassed by my messiness.  Well, I did organize a fair amount, but things are starting to creep back in.  I decided that when I put away the Christmas Decorations, I would start there and make sure that the area that housed our seasonal decor was at least organized and efficient.  I succeeded.  I also have an area with “Yard Sale Items” for later on this year.  I’m hoping the basement can be organized by the end of March.  By the time April comes, I like to spend time outside, so I should take advantage of the winter and the impending snowstorms now considered normal by Philly/Jersey standards and get to work.  Wish me luck!

#54 Try 10 new recipes – On Sunday, 1/2/11 (seems so weird that this is 2011) I made a ham and baked macaroni & cheese.  I’ve made ham in the past, but I’ve never actually made baked mac & cheese.  That seems totally weird because it’s one of those dishes that seems pretty basic and easy (yes it was) and was always one of my favorites growing up.  I’m an experienced enough cook that I should be making more complicated things, but it still counts.  It was delicious and given by Ed’s reaction I will definitely make this again.  Here’s the recipe (and I went off of some sort of memory of my Grandmother’s recipe):

1 Box Elbow Macaroni

2 14 oz cans of stewed tomatoes, drained

1/2 lb American Cheese

Salt & Pepper to taste

*Cook the macaroni per the instructions.  Drain macaroni and mix in the stewed tomatoes.  In a large casserole dish, layer macaroni/tomatoes, then add a layer of American Cheese.  Continue layering to top (with cheese layer).  Cover and bake on 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes to brown the top.  Serve & enjoy!  **You can probably sub out the cheese for whatever your preference – mozzarella, cheddar, etc**

I do have two important tasks on file for this weekend:  #37  Have one weekend a month without any commitments and #53 Go a full day without text/email/internet.  This is the first weekend in a long time that I don’t have plans to be somewhere or do something.  I have this thing about over-committing myself and not taking downtime.  Yeah, that has to change.  And fast.  The only thing I’m ‘planning’ on is the babes taking me out to dinner (hint hint if you are reading this Eddie).

Hope you all have a great week!!