New Year’s Resolutions 2013…

Happy New Year!  Cheers to 2013 — it is officially here!

Before I start listing off my resolutions, I would love to hear from you!  What are you resolving to change or do better this year?  🙂

I went digging this morning.  Digging for last year’s New Year’s Resolutions.  I also came across a few good articles on “How to Start the New Year Fresh” and “How to Accomplish Your New Year’s Resolutions“.  🙂

Pure & Simple 2013 Resolutions

Jennifer’s New Year’s Resolutions {2013}

January {Take better care of my body}

I know this one is cliche, but the older I get the more I notice “stuff”.  That cookie takes a lot longer to work off than it used to.  If I eat a big greasy burger for lunch, then I feel terrible afterwards.  “Stuff” like that.  🙂

  • Drink water during the day.
  • Eat breakfast … and lunch.
    • Yes, I have a habit of skipping both.
  • Workout
    • Yoga, weight lifting, cardio, workout classes, swimming, tennis, and running will all count 🙂
  • Eat more natural.  Eat less processed.
    • When I eat fruits and veggies I notice that my body reacts in a positive way.
    • When I eat Pasta Roni and cookies, my body reacts in a … non positive way. 😛

February {Get Up Earlier}

I love the idea of being an early bird.  I wish that I was better at this.

Research shows that early risers generally have a more positive outlook on life than their sleepyhead counterparts.  Probably because they max out daily exposure to morning light, which boosts mood-lifting serotonin.

Why didn’t I accomplish this last year?  Because I stayed up too late.

This year:

  • Set a bed time and stick to it.  No matter what I am doing or what Raymond says (he is a night owl).
  • Give Myself A Break:  If I am in the middle of a good movie or show, all I have to do is hit “record”.  No need to stay up till the end. 🙂
  • Do A Little Different:  Set a wake up time and stick with it no matter what time I went to bed.  7am.
  • Take Cody for a quick walk first thing.  The movement and exposure to natural elements (air & sunrise) will help wake me up. 🙂
  • Great article on the Why and How! 🙂

March {Learn}

I love to learn which is why I think I loved being in school so much.  One way that I learn and grow is through reading.  I’m a self-help kinda book girl.

  • Books that count:  time management, spiritual growth, and business success
  • Book reviews will be completed after each book to reiterate the points.
    • This is helpful to me so I can actually put into action what the book suggests.
    • I will keep with last year’s theme of “Try It On
  • Be prepared and have books on hand and ready to read.
  • Plan to read one per month.
  • This might start before March. 🙂

April {Make Time A Priority}

I have found that I let time slip away from me because I don’t know how to say “No”.  I feel bad saying no.  I will die a slow death from a thousand opportunities.

Focus.  Streamline.  Enjoy.

May {Meditate}

Must.Do.This.  I think I’m scared of it.  What if I can’t do it.  What if it is a hoax.

Try it on for size.  If it fits, then keep it.  If not, then ditch it! 🙂

June {Be In The Moment}

I find myself worried about tomorrow and next week and next month.  I will be running down the list of what I need to do today while eating breakfast with Raymond.  Write out the to-do list and focus on the present moment.

Tomorrow will come.  Things can wait.  Things work out the way they are supposed to.

July {Try a New Hobby}

Pinterest is an awesome tool and website.  However, I find that I try to become 400 versions of myself based on Pinterest ideas.

Crocheter?  Sure.  Seamstress?  Why not.  DIY Queen? You got it.

I need a better plan.  I will spend this month trying out a few Pinterest hobby ideas like learning to sew.


I’m going to stop there for now.  I feel like that list is pretty ambitious.  If I go overboard, then I know I won’t bother with any of it.

I plan to blog about each resolution at the first of the month.  My game plan will be more specific and concrete.  This also gives me time to develop said game plan and takes pressure off from doing it right now.

I have other plans and goals for the year like take a trip to Europe (never been!) and complete apartment projects.  Our bedroom is embarrassing.  Very little decoration going on in there!  But I don’t feel like these are resolutions but more yearly goals.

I love reading about what others are striving to do.  I love reading the progress report even more.  One in particular?  Money Saving Mom.  She is very inspiring!

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

New Years Resolutions…

It is that time of year again.  The holidays end.  The glitter ornaments and garland are put away.  The alarm clock goes off on January 1st.  You wake up saying, “Must make self better.”

“Better” can include all sorts of things.  Healthier.  Happier.  More organized.  More mindful.  More money.

Whatever it is that you decide to resolve and work towards this year, realize that you don’t … and shouldn’t … do it all at once.

Cut yourself some slack right now.  Before you even make the resolution, give yourself a break.  If you don’t, then you know what will happen.  The resolutions will be soon forgotten.

 My recommendation?  Tackle something different each month. 

January … Eat more fruits and veggies.  February … Enroll in a foreign language class.  March … Workout 3 days a week.

But be sure to keep adding to the prior month’s goals.

Stay tuned … I will be posting about my New Year’s Resolutions tomorrow and a game plan for others.  🙂

Until next time and Happy New Year’s Eve…

Jennifer Signature

Christmas Recap & a Happy Birthday…

I meant to blog yesterday but I got totally wrapped up in the exercising, the picture digging, the family get togethers, and the eating. 🙂

Christmas is fairly low key around here in the mornings and I love it that way! 🙂  I opened a few gifts from the parents .. they really shouldn’t have!  Went for a good vigorous morning walk!  Came back and started digging through old photos. 🙂  My favorite part of any day!

Christmas day is also my Dad’s birthday! 🙂  So we always say, “Merry Merrimus.  Happy Birthday!”  Not sure where the “merrimus” came from.  🙂

Merry Christmas & Happy Birthday to my Dad!

Merry Christmas & Happy Birthday to my Dad!
My Grandmaw Burnham, Uncle Mark, Uncle Scott (with the hat), my Dad

My first Christmas {December 1983}

My first Christmas {December 1983}

My second Christmas {Christmas 1984}

My second Christmas {Christmas 1984}

My third Christmas {December 1985}

My third Christmas {December 1985}

Me with Santa .. not sure what year :)

Me with Santa .. not sure what year 🙂

I’ll spare you the remaining photos but I had a blast to say the least. 🙂

I headed over to Raymond’s parents for a quick visit then over to my Aunt Betty’s for the Bryant family gathering. 🙂

Raymond's Family.  Raymond's Mom, Raymond, Me, Raymond's Dad, Sister-in-law, Nephew, Brother

Raymond’s Family.
Raymond’s Mom, Raymond, Me, Raymond’s Dad, Sister-in-law, Nephew, Brother

If you were wondering … the scarf is faux fur from Restoration Hardware, coat is Jessica Simpson. 🙂


We were discussing who would stand where for the photo op :)

We were discussing who would stand where for the photo op 🙂

Mom & I having some holiday fun :)

Mom & I having some holiday fun 🙂

Raymond and I had matching hats .. well sorta :)

Raymond and I had matching hats .. well sorta 🙂

The Bryant LadiesAunt Margaret, me, Mom, Aunt Betty

The Bryant Ladies
Aunt Margaret, me, Mom, Aunt Betty

It was a great day and fairly long … I couldn’t wait for my After Christmas Present.  A day at Rock Barn Spa in Hickory, NC.  🙂  I’ll blog about this shortly!  But just to give you an idea …

Rock Barn Spa

Rock Barn Spa

How was your holiday!? 🙂

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

Making Sense of Holiday Photo Madness…

Merry Christmas Eve! 🙂  I was recently approached by Jennifer Hellickson about writing a blog post about organizing digital photos.  Jennifer read one of my guest posts over at The Charlotte Moms! 🙂   She works for a PR company and one of her accounts is Photobucket.  I must admit that I had not heard of Photobucket until she mentioned the website.  I poked around and found it be very easy on the eyes. 🙂

Making Sense of Holiday Photo Madness

The holidays are upon us!  It is a time of celebration and get togethers.  A time to visit with friends and family that you see once a year.  Time to capture those moments to remember forever.  I’m sure the camera is charged and the memory cards are empty in full anticipation.

As the season comes and goes, take some time to organize your digital photos.  If you took the time to snap them, then take some time to organize and appreciate them.

Decide what you would like to do with the pictures.

Do you want to create a holiday scrapbook?  Perhaps print them and share in a family album.  Another idea is to pick the best shots and blow them up to display in wall frames.

Create an organized system for storing digital photos on your computer.

Step 1:  Delete pictures that are blurry, fuzzy, or unattractive.  Pick the best nature shots and delete the rest.

We take pictures to create memories.  Memories of the people in our lives.  Nature shots can add a layer to the memories, but pictures are better served if of people.

Step 2:  Create folders to help organize all those images.

Start with a folder for each year.  Then create a folder for each month.  For example, you will have a folder for 2012 of which contains 12 folders for each month.  Rename the months: 1 January 2012, 2 February 2012.  This will help when searching and arranging.

Step 3:  Within each month’s folder, add folders for different events.  For example, Timmy’s Birthday, Sarah’s Dance Recital.  Place all pictures into their respective folders.

Step 4:  Backup your photos onto an external hard drive.  Photos take up a lot of memory on your computer.  Be sure to back them up in a safe place either online or with an external hard drive.

Photobucket is an option for backing up photos online:

  • Backing up online via a dedicated photo site allows you to add an extra level of security when safekeeping your digital photos
  • You can organize as you upload, and also have the ability to share albums links with others via email, social media sites and embed in blogs for convenience
  • Go with a place that’s trusted & reliable: Photobucket host more than 10 billion images from 100 million registered members, who upload more than 4 million images and videos per day from the Web and connected digital devices.

Step 5:  Print your favorite ones (see above)!

Be sure to enjoy your pictures after you have taken them.  Make sure you can easily find them when you want to retrieve later.  Make sure they are safely stored.  And lastly, reminisce about Christmas’ past.  Laugh over the hair styles and fashion choices.

Photobucket Stories is a method for doing something with your pictures:

Happy Holidays!

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

Goodwill & a Giveaway…

Goodwill LogoHappy Holidays to YOU! 🙂  I’m hosting a giveaway — my first ever. 🙂  Be sure to participate — you could win a present for yourself.  $50 Goodwill Gift Card! 🙂

I cannot say enough good things about Goodwill.  I’m hooked on shopping.  I’m hooked on donating.  I’m hooked on them. 😉

Why I Donate

I donate because it is easy.  There are so many stores sprinkled all through the area which makes donating a breeze.  When I leave a client’s home with a car full of donations I can easily swing by a store to drop them off.  There seems to be a store located in every major part of the county.  Gotta love that!

And those electronics?  Safely donate to Goodwill — all of them!  They will resell what they can (cords, monitors, speakers), donate what they can’t (non-working printer).  They also crush every hard drive for you if donating a laptop or computer!

I donate because it helps support a great charity and cause.  When you are deciding what to do with all that “stuff” you no longer want or need, consider donating.  Donating is easier than holding on to it — easier than making plans to give it to a friend or relative — easier than trying to sell every piece.  Make it easier on yourself by donating knowing that your donations are helping this charity in all they do.  And that is?  Helping individuals get back on their feet with job training and support. 🙂

Why I Shop

I shop because you never know what you might find.  I have been donating to Goodwill for years.  However, I just recently stepped into a store to shop a few months ago.  I am hooked.  I visit different Goodwill stores about three times a week.

Brands I have found:  Brooks Brothers, Ralph by Ralph Lauren, Citizens of Humanity, JBrand Jeans, 7 for All Mankind.  I love looking put together without the pain of spending a lot of money. 😉

I shop because I can decorate my apartment on a shoestring budget but still have it look fabulous.  We decorated for fall using several Goodwill finds.  Candle holders.  Pie plates.  Pictures.  Frames.  You do have to think out of the box, but you can find some amazing deals!  How about my crystal sleigh for $1.99?! 🙂

I shop because I love the thrill of the hunt.  There is nothing more exciting than a great find at a great price!  Okay maybe there are things more exciting, but on a day-to-day basis, this works for me. 🙂  I love walking into a store and not knowing what I might come home with! 🙂

Do you love Goodwill as much as I do? 🙂

Giveaway: $50 Goodwill gift card to one lucky Pure & Simple reader!

Goodwill’s Goal: Help our friends and supporters understand that their donations really do make a difference.


1. “Like” Pure & Simple Organizing and Goodwill on Facebook. (For you Pinterest lovers, PNS and Goodwill are both there, too!). *Bonus entry: Follow on both Facebook & Pinterest!

2. Check out the blog and leave a comment on this post telling us what you plan to donate this season. *Bonus entry: Share a photo of your donation with us on Facebook!

3. Giveaway is open until midnight EST on Wednesday, December 19. One entry per person. U.S. residents only.

4.  Leave comments below letting us know you are entering! 🙂

Winners will be chosen at random using

Winners must respond within 72 hours of notification.

Good luck! 🙂

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

Holiday Decorating…

Was Thanksgiving really just 2-ish weeks ago?  It feels like an eternity! 🙂  I worked 2 straight weeks on the large project I showcased last Monday.  It was an amazing project, but left little time to do much else in between.

I did manage to get the apartment decorated however! 🙂  With help from Raymond of course.  😉

Our tree came from Hobby Lobby.  We debated for weeks: real or fake?  Since we don’t do anything half way around here, I knew a real tree would require a full day of heading to the mountains … etc.  I just didn’t have the time to devote to all that with the large project going on. :/  So we went with the skinny tree — a big fat waste of $150 if you ask me.  It looks nice but wobbly and cheap!

Living Room Decked Out

Living Room Decked Out

I love our sign over the door.  Hobby Lobby. 🙂 And totally worth the $15. 😉

Patio Door

Patio Door

It’s dreary today. :/

Christmas Patio

Christmas Patio

Ornamental Style ;)

Ornamental Style 😉

I love those mirrors!  I scooped these up for $20 a piece from Colonial Manor in Dallas, NC. 🙂

Holiday Mantle

Holiday Mantle

Mantle Decor -- love the lights!

Mantle Decor — love the lights!

The stockings were hung by the ... kitchen with care? :)

The stockings were hung by the … kitchen with care? 🙂

Wreath & Mirror Obsession

Wreath & Mirror Obsession

Slight obsession this year with mirrors and wreaths.. 😉

View into the apartment from the front door

View into the apartment from the front door

Front Door Decorating :)

Front Door Decorating 🙂

The neighbor said our front door decorations made her feel bad.  Ba-humbug anyone? 😉

Coffee Table Love :)

Coffee Table Love 🙂

Lantern Obsession

Lantern Obsession

Office Decorating :) Love those colors!

Office Decorating 🙂 Love those colors!

So, what do you think?! 🙂

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature



{Inspiration} Christmas Decor…

Entrance to the Southern Christmas Show

My mom and I went to the Southern Christmas Show on Sunday.  I go because … it puts me in the spirit.  The spirit of Christmas.  I go because … it is a great way to get Christmas decor ideas.  I don’t go to buy stuff. 😉

The beginning of the show is always my favorite part.  Apparently everyone else’s favorite part as well, there is always a massive bottleneck.  Traffic jam of people, children, strollers, and rolling shopping carts.

My mom and I lingered longer than usual in this area.  We were dissecting the decor ideas.  You know:  what we liked, what we didn’t, how we could recreate.  Some of my favorite ideas:

Very traditional decor. I like the color scheme.

Very traditional table scape ideas

I loved this mantle! Peacocks were everywhere in the decor ideas!

I spy .. Barbara Green of “Ask the Design Diva

That tree was stunning! And more peacocks!

There was a massive traffic jam in the Christmas Mouse!

The Christmas Mouse Store

I had my picture taken with Santa. 😉

Hi Santa! 🙂

And I will leave you with this…. Christmas present anyone? 😉


Until next time…