The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2013-12-15

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Working on the Malden leather, video and still images

I've been working with my Filofax Malden for almost a week, trying to get the coating off.    I did a video but am also using some still shots to try and show how it went.

Because the binder is grey it's pretty hard to see variations in anything but I think these might show a few things.

The grain pattern really varies and seemed to influence overall success.

The grain pattern on the front cover is tighter then it is on the back, denser maybe is a better word.   And the places where the snap sits is the smoothest, least grained section.  The leather looks more luxurious, higher quality.   I'm guessing the people who love their Maldens have this leather covering the entire binder.  

After days of trying all kinds of things, from hand and body lotions to a nail file to alcohol the front cover is more matte and you can see the pores in the leather.   It also feels more supple although not nearly as natural as the back cover.

You can see the pores better in this picture.

As to the back cover, it's different from any other area. It looked looser, rougher before I started.  There seemed to be actual cracks in the cover but I think it was just the finish/coating.    The grain isn't as tight  and it was much easier to get a more leathery vibe going.   It's got a worn-in leather jacket look now and it's appeal to me has gone up a lot, I love the back.

I know I've said this a hundred times already but here it is again;  I don't recommend anyone do this. The leather varies between and within individual planners.  The results are entirely unpredictable and I think having it work out in a way that makes you happy isn't likely.   I didn't like this planner at all before I started and it was either make it work for me or sell it.   I decided to go for it knowing I wouldn't be able to sell it after.   

I'm happy with the result so far and plan to do a bit more and see if I can further remove the coating but I like lived-in planners... The signs of wear are crazy appealing to me but this isn't to many people's taste.   


Monday, December 16, 2013

My big girl jingle bell cleaning panties and a partridge in a hazmat suit

I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Brother P-touch. I received a product samples to facilitate my review and promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Back in November I posted about my Brother P-Touch label maker as well as their 25th anniversary special promotions and deals at select retail locations (like Staples).   Since then I've labeled my world.   

I've wanted a Brother P-Touch label maker for years because of the many spaces in need of  sorting, simplifying and defining.   My family has a big problem with stuff; no one can   manage what they have efficiently but we all keep bringing more in. 

I work hard managing the stuff but it never lasts long. Clear surfaces disappear and freshly organized closets magically fill up before you can say, Abracadabra!  Magazines and catalogs continually pile  up and I don't feel like I'm cleaning as much as  I'm playing Jenga.  But instead of it being a game with blocks; it's life, and the teetering towers are made of shoes, guitars, dog toys, and the occasional slice of pizza.

And there is no winner.

 I got rid of a lot of stuff a few months ago and thought that would be 'the' solution but turned out that was only half the problem.  When no one knows where anything goes, it goes no where.  And everywhere.   I've reorganized over and over only to have everything devolve into chaos again.  

I was sort of dreading the holidays because of the massive cleaning it involves.   Getting the house company ready is hard and for whatever reason, I wasn't feeling the holiday cleaning spirit this year.  

Funny thing is when I put on my big girl jingle-bell cleaning panties and decided to just get on with it... the house wasn't bad.  Wasn't bad at all...

I'd accomplished a lot this Fall without even realizing it.  In November I started sorting and labeling things (as well as their homes)  with the Brother P-Touch label maker  and it's made a huge difference.   

My family still doesn't put every single thing away but knowing where things go has been huge. Spaces that used to devolve remain clear. And for sure, I'm not running across forgotten slices of pizza anymore. The house looks better on a daily basis and this year Holiday cleaning hasn't been a big bah-humbug.  

Sure,  I still had (and have) some more to do but it isn't much more then I do daily anyway. A real switch from past years when making the house company ready involved several weeks of planning, a good three days of active cleaning,  a power washer, a machete and a partridge in a hazmat suit.

I'd like to show some before pictures but the process happened easily and naturally after I started labeling things, so I don't have any.  

I can show you some places made much better through naming, sorting, and labeling.  I'm especially fond of  black print on clear tape.

brother p touch labels

It's readable but unobtrusive...

brother p touch labels

And allows for easy grouping by use within large categories for things like shoes.

brother p touch labels

Or I can manage more loosely related items... Here is a bin freshly down from the attic and ready to go through.

brother p touch labels

And there's this bin...

 With the Holidays upon me I need the constant reminder, more will be coming into the home very soon and more needs to go to accommodate all of it.   

Letting go can be a slow process but it needs to be an active one.  It isn't enough to know I need to let things go, I need to actually say good-bye before they are choking what space I have.

This bin is a great size for that; not too small but not so big that I can put off giving things away indefinitely.    And the label catches my eye when I walk past it. 


Sunday, December 15, 2013

#MC Foamy scrumptiousness ensues with the NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto and Giveaway

*I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a thank me for my participation*

 I drink coffee every day, with one exception.  Last year during Hurricane Sandy I didn't have power for over a week;  one day went by, two days... Sure it was cold without heat, and dark without lights but it was the  no coffee thing that was getting to me.... On day three a kind soul who worked in a town with electricity promised to bring me home a cup, and didn't.  I cried like a baby.

Coffee is how I start my day, as I'm thinking through all I need to tackle, and do, and face, coffee is my delicious  calm before the storm.

I like making it myself,  the process, the sounds, the smells...   I live within a few miles of several coffee houses but I'd rather stay home in my fuzzy slippers.  Why would I drive somewhere for the privilege of paying more for a cup then I'm willing to pay for an entire chicken when I don't have to?

Nescafé Dolce Gusto Genio

When Mom Central Consulting was looking for people to test drive the NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto I was on it like foam on a latte for three main reasons:

 1.  I take a coffeemaker et al. (maker, coffee, filters, scoop, cups, creamer, and all manner of coffee fa la la) on vacation which is a just a schlep.  I need a separate bag just for my coffeephernaila...  The thought of instead taking a compact, self-contained unit with me like a dream.

 2.  I own a drip brewer, two french press units and an electric tea kettle because I've yet to find a drip coffeemaker that brews at even remotely the right temperature ( I heat the water before I pour it in the drip reservoir.) With all those coffee pots why did I want this one? Simple,  holiday get-togethers. Everyone wants something different; if I brew regular the unleaded drinkers put on big sad faces, the tea drinkers don't want coffee at all and the kids want hot chocolate.

3. Occasionally I want a cup in the afternoon but don't want a whole pot and want it to be easy.

For all these reasons the NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto GENIO is crazy appealing to me.  If it sounds like your slice of coffee heaven too, I'm hosting a giveaway!  

Leave a comment on this post and tell me about your first cup of the day, or why you're a coffee lover, or just let me know you have an aversion to paying more for coffee then  chicken too. I'd like to know I'm not alone...

Visit the NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto for more information about this product and if you're thinking you need this now I have a 20% off coupon code for you, GustoGift!

I'm looking forward to setting up a coffee station this holiday season.  My plan is to set out the NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto, an assortment of flavor capsules and let my guests make their holiday coffee (or non-coffee) wishes come true while I tend to other things.   Brewing is very easy, the directions clear and simple and scrumptiousness ensues in all these flavors.

 Cappuccino Ice
 Carmel Latte Macchiato
Skinny Cappuccino 
Nestea Peach Iced Tea
Skinny Latte 
Latte Macchiato 
Chai Tea Latte 
Caffe Lungo 
Caffe Lungo Decaf 
A Dark Roast
Morning Blend 
Espresso Intenso

Each patented capsule has a suggested "scroll" setting so you can  to brew your perfect cup the same every time or vary the strength.   The NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto is the only machine that truly delivers delicious, coffee house quality creations every time with patented smart capsule technology delivering up to 15 bars of professional pressure and espresso technology.  Choose a flavor, slide in the capsule, and prepare to be dazzled!

Contest is open to US residents only. You can enter once a day until 11:59 pm ET December 28, 2013.  I will wait 48 hours for the winner to contact me, after that I will need to pick another winner so please follow my blog so you will know if you win!


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