Odds and Ends

**I see that, yet again, my photos aren’t showing up. Unfortunately I’m at work until this evening, so I will try to fix this and re-post it later this evening or tomorrow morning. Sorry guys…Mondays are the worst!**

A couple weeks ago, I finally decided to suck it up and make a list of all the little things I needed to do around the apartment and tackle them.

I’ve been somewhat inspired by Jules of Pancakes and French Fries, and her William Morris challenges. She decided to make a concerted effort to reduce the amount of waste in her life, focus on what things she finds meaningful and important to keep, and tackle projects (both big and small) that would make her life easier and more peaceful.

So after making my list, I took an afternoon to tackle some of the things I’ve been putting off for weeks, or even months. Here are just a few!

Odds and Ends #1: Fix curtain hook that’s falling out of the wall. 

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This was by far the easiest on my list. When I first installed the tie-backs, the left one pulled out of the wall the first time I tried to use it. Our apartment has crappy drywall, especially in places that see any kind of moisture (bathrooms, around windows, laundry room, etc.), so I made sure to anchor the screws this time and try to be a bit more gentle with the curtain in the future. I still have to spackle the holes left from the first attempt, but I will get to that this afternoon…if I can find the spackle.

Odds and Ends #2: Glue down bulletin board. 

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I knew this was something that might happen when I first made my bulletin board. Since I didn’t really think that part through, I originally used mailing tape to adhere the cork tiles to the backing. That held up for all of a day, so I grabbed some Tacky Glue (my mom has used this stuff for ages for all kinds of crafts) and did it the right way.IMG_2987

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After gluing the tiles to the board, I stacked up some books on top to weigh it down and let it dry for a few hours before hanging everything back up. It was well worth the 20 minutes (plus drying time) it took to get this done. Now I have a bulletin board that works and doesn’t look like it’s falling apart.

Odds and Ends #3: Fix broken button on my beloved skinny jeans.

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If there is one skill out there I know I need to get better at, it’s repairing clothes. I’m usually one to just toss things that are broken/torn/missing a button, but since my bank account isn’t allowing that, I have to learn to fix things. My black skinny jeans would be one of them. The button popped off of these a couple months ago (cue self deprecating fat jokes), and for some reason I kept putting off this simple, cheap fix. For just over $6, I now have a new button that isn’t going anywhere, and even have a few extras stored away in case this happens again with any other pants. That’s a lot cheaper than buying new ones!

Of course, this also means I’m spending a few more minutes every day working on abs. Because who really wants the buttons to fly off their pants? No one.

Odds and Ends #4: Finally clean and organize my bathroom. 

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I’m hoping the “before” picture above looks like a lot of people’s bathrooms – that way I don’t feel too bad. After moving in, I didn’t do much in here beyond hang the shower curtain and lay down rugs. Bathrooms are the one room in a home I have almost no knack for decorating, since sharing a bathroom with my husband meant sharing the precious counter space with every.single.product he owns. Now that we each have our own bathrooms, I was looking forward to having a bit more peace and counter space.

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Pardon the terrible “after” photo – cell phone cameras suck sometimes. The first thing I did was head to my local Hobby Lobby for a small basket to go over the toilet. After the 146th time the lotion bottle fell off the back of the toilet, I knew it was time to get my stuff wrangled up better. Underneath the basket is a strip of rug backing to keep the basket from slipping around. Now everything is nice and secure.

I don’t have a lot of counter space in this bathroom, so the basket houses my face wash, lotion, and some other things I use regularly. It’s nice to have things within reach, especially the body scrubs I use in the shower (but don’t have room for IN the shower).

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The next thing I chose to tackle was the counter itself. It’s tiny, so I tried to keep it narrowed down to only the basics I use every day. The owl, if you follow me on Twitter, is something I saw at Hobby Lobby a while back and knew I was going back for someday. I noticed that it was in the holiday section the last time I was there, and 50% off, so of course I brought it home. I think it was only $6, and it’s the perfect size to hold my makeup brushes and a few other makeup-related things I use every day. The rest of my makeup is in a plastic tub under the sink…but that’s a post for another day.

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Cleaning and organizing the bathroom was probably the most dramatic change I made that afternoon. Now I feel like it’s a better functioning space for me, and makes getting ready in the morning a lot quicker and less stressful. I didn’t think something so easy would make such a big difference, but it has.

Odds and Ends #5: Repair broken thrift store necklace.

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The last thing on my list was to repair a necklace I bought at a thrift shop back in May. I  believe it cost me a whole $.69, and after a few wears it broke. So I shoved it into my jewelry box and swore I’d fix it someday. A few months later, I finally got around to it. Sure, the thread cost me 5 times what the necklace did, but for $3.69, it’s still a pretty nice necklace. It took me all of 10 minutes to repair it, and it was a nice, relaxing way to end my busy afternoon.

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So there you go – one insanely productive afternoon a couple weeks ago, finally blogged about today. 🙂

It was totally worth it to get those projects finished and out of the way, and now I get to enjoy more of my own stuff now that it’s not broken or button-less.

While I don’t live this productive a life every day (grading papers kills that most days), it’s great to have days where I feel like I’m getting everything in order for a change. I’ve worked on a few projects around the apartment since then, which I’ll share later, but know that I’m doing my best to keep this a regular thing each week.

Now all I have to do is get back to blogging more often to share all this stuff with you guys. Sigh…the “to do” list is never-ending, I swear!

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