Friday, January 15, 2010

Giving you the best of my brain power

It is not often that I have an idea so profound, so succinct, that it changes my life forever.

I know. Some of you are shocked speechless. You thought I was spewing forth genius all the live long day.

Shut up.

But I figure if Al Gore can invent the internet, I, too, can have a few contributions to my name.

And so it is that I feel compelled to document these things here. You know, as proof that my brain actually once contained some useful cells. And one day when I'm shuffling down a linoleum hallway in some nursing home, toothless and diaper-clad, it will be said that I wasn't always that way.

Idea #1: Treadmill DVR (probably my biggest stroke of genius)

About eight years ago, I decided to stick a DVR in front of my treadmill. I boldly committed myself to taping my shows ONLY on that DVR.

What that commitment meant was this: If I wanted to watch my shows, I had to exercise.

I fully credit that move for helping me to maintain my weight. I would probably be sending in my tape for the Biggest Loser today were it not for that commitment. I hold myself to it, and do not watch my shows on any other TV or DVR. I find that I enjoy my shows so much, it hardly feels like exercise. An hour goes by before I know it and my evenings are freed up to spend time with a husband who cannot stand watching any TV.

And since I just so happen to be slightly fond of the TV, it means I run six days a week. And have done so for eight years.

Idea #2:

The split-end saver

I have been doing this one for so long, I hardly know when it began. Every day after I finish styling my hair, I rub some lotion onto my hands. When the lotion is almost all the way rubbed in, I run my fingers through the ends of my hair. It makes the driest part of my hair soft, and has helped to keep split ends in check. I don't have so much lotion that my hair gets greasy, but just enough to moisturize the dry ends.

I swear by this beauty secret, and will do it until the day I die. Or until I'm diaper-clad in that nursing home. I figure by then, split ends will be the least of my worries, right?

Idea #3:

The dish soap dilemma

When we moved into this house three years ago, I found myself constantly annoyed with the dish soap. Since we use a dishwasher religiously, I don't find myself washing dishes all that often. But when I do, it's a pain to reach under the cupboard and bring the soap out. Plus, then you have to put it away again.

And that's like eight seconds of my life, people.

What's that? You say I could just leave it out all the time?

Um, have you met me? I don't like the ugly things to be left out.

So, I bought an olive oil bottle and filled it with dish soap. It's pretty enough that I don't mind it being out on the counter all the time, and yet provides me the easy access I was longing for, too.

Idea #4: Job charts

I wrote extensively about these puppies in the past. Click over for the full story.

Bottom line: We're still using them today.

Idea #5

World's Best Water Bottle

While I definitely didn't come up with this idea myself, the discovery of this water bottle has changed my life, as well as the lives of several friends I know.

What's the biggest problem we have with water bottles? The condensation that leaves ugly water marks all over the place and soaks your hands every time you take a drink.

This water bottle is genius. There is an inner bottle that is not exposed to any outside air, thus eliminating the pesky condensation. It's nicely marked to help you keep track of the volume you consume, and they offer a lovely pink shade that promotes breast cancer awareness.

(I feel like an infomercial here.)

At first, I could only find them online, but lately I've even seen them in the aisles at Target. Pick up a few today. Your dehydrated body will thank you.

Idea #6


I created this snack one day after craving chocolate and peanut butter together, but finding myself in the unfortunate predicament of trying to eat healthy.

You know. That one day. When I tried healthy eating.

It has become my go-to afternoon snack, and I've even gotten the Husband addicted to them. It's simply this: a chocolate rice cake, a dab of peanut butter, and a half a banana. Two hundred calories of bliss.

Yes, I realize that rice cakes went out of style after we all got over the low-fat diets in the 90s, but this snack is fantastic. It's sweet, salty, crunchy, and filling. I combine it with a good 24 ounces from my special water bottle, and the three o'clock munchies are no longer a problem.

Idea #7:

My favorite photos on the wall

While I can only take credit for the idea of the wall, the Husband was the mastermind behind the planning and placement of the arrangement you see here.

But I LOVE my photo wall. It's the first thing you see when you walk through our front door, and it is my favorite room in the whole house. The light in there is spectacular, and the furniture is just right. When I'm going to curl up with a good book and a blanket, this is the room I go to.

In fact, it's where I'm typing right now. Best thing we ever put up on our walls. Ever.

I guess that's it. It appears that I have only had seven good ideas in my lifetime. But considering the brain power I'm sporting, I'd say that's not too shabby.

Not too shabby at all.


Jessica said...

I have so much to say about your post; I love all of your ideas! :) 1). I *just* started doing #1 and it's motivating to hear that it has worked for you! 2). I'm so trying your rice cake snack. 3). Your chore chart is G-E-N-I-U-S.
PS. I saw your comment on Bye Bye, Pie earlier today. A dozen eggs under each breast??!! hahaha!

Annie said...

You, my dear are mighty clever. I knew about your dvr, job chart, soap, water, and picture wall brilliance and am thrilled to know your secret to fabulous hair. And the snack! Mm.Mm. Mmmmm.

I'll meet you in the linoleum hallway of the nursing home in 50 years and we'll sip diet coke and talk about diapers and denture cream and broadway shows saying over and over "now what were we just talking about?" It's a date.

Annemarie said...

1. you are genius.
2. I need one of those water bottles.
3. I hope to be in the same nursing are a lively one that would keep the place somewhat bearable.
4. I might be 2/7 genius. I do the same thing with my dish soap & have a similar picture wall... different pics, of course.

Tristan said...

1. I second the notion that you are a genius! I totally need to do that whenever I get a treadmill.

2. I use Biosilk Silk Therapy instead of lotion. But you are smart my friend! The lotion will work!

3. Awesome water bottle!!

4. Love the Job charts!!!

5. And my favorite is the photo wall!! I am SOOO doing that! Gorgeous!!

Jen said...

Love your photo wall - do you change the photos when you want or add to it?

Now if only I had a about one of those exercise desks instead so I can be online and get fit instead of growing my blogger butt? ;)

Meg said...

My favorite is the photo wall. LOVE LOVE LOVE!

Rae said...

Hey twin! :) I too have used the treadmill/dvr trick for 4 years now. It is fabulous!! I don't know what I'd do without it....probably being your partner on The Biggest Loser. And what an intriguing idea with the lotion.....I may have to give it a try. I spend oodles on hair stuff. Most recently I've been using Moroccan Oil.

Michelle said...

you are brilliant girl. love you.

diane said...

I need one of those water bottles.

My grandma had those desert rose plates. I have one which I love.

My picture wall is all catty-wampous. I love the photos but the frames don't hang straight and it bugs the virgo in me.

Lauren in GA said...

Holy Moly, Stie. I am not kidding I loved EACH and EVERY idea. You really are a genius.

I just right clicked the picture of your picture wall and printed a copy of it.

...and you know I love it when you tell us to shut up...

Becky said...

eric said to me the other day, "I just saw a girl today put lotion on her hands and then rub it in her hair." I laughed, didn't seem weird to me at all. I said, "pomade honey, pomade". I like your secrets, and I love your couch. The arms were what I wanted in my livingroom but I went with something else. Great pictures. Great tips. (I still have to put my dish soap away...)

Travelin'Oma said...

You're full of great ideas. Someday you'll have to highlight your hometown wall. It's awesome, too.

Emily said...

love 'em all. Although, I tried the dish soap in a oil bottle until Chris drizzled it all over our pasta, that was the end of that :)

Kari said...

Great post! I love the olive oil bottle idea, I might have to borrow that one. And, your snack...I eat something very similar and it's so good - whole wheat english muffin spread with almond butter and topped with sliced bananas (I really love the almond butter, it's not quite as sweet as peanut butter - discovered it when I was on the "Flat Belly Diet").

Thanks for sharing all your brilliant ideas! Have a nice weekend.

Diane said...

Thanks for the tips! Who would have thought... lotion for the ends of your hair?? I'll be on the lookout for that water bottle too!

The Franciscan wear Desert Rose reminds me of Grandma J. Love those dishes!!

Jessica said...

Of course I'm most interested in the food idea. Can't wait to eat carbs again so I can try it.

About the water bottle: I totally cannot stand the "water bottle taste". Does it have any yucky plastic-y taste?

Ilene said...

Love a picture wall. I figure that I am not much of an artist but I did create my beautiful children and so their pictures are plastered all over the house. That is the sort of art I create.

I have to get that chore chart thing going in my house. My kids inherited my lazy gene. Which turns out be a really annyoing trait in people other than myself.

Thank you for the olive oil idea. Perfect. I have hand soap, sanitizer, and dish soap all placed on a thin white rectanular plate next to my sink. I like to keep things grouped and those water rings off of my counter.

Crud, this is the longest comment. But I did try your bread recipe. What I especially like about that particular recipe is that the bread really can be used for sandwiches. Typically I have found homemade bread to dense for a pbj. Not so with yours so thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

i have a question about the photos. can you recommend a place to print my photos on good quality paper (in the larger sizes)? also, where do you get them framed & matted? thanks- patty

mae said...

You are some kind of domestic genius!

Thanks for sharing. I'm totally going to copy you :)

Robyn said...

The DVR in front of the treadmill is by far the smartest idea I have heard of YET! I'm so copying you!

gab said...

You are always idealicious, Stie! This is why I like coming to your house. And your blog.

melissa said...

i'm a DVR exerciser too!

and i'm implementing at least 3 of these brilliant beyond brilliant ideas!

Emily said...

I have always adored your photo wall!

Cindy said...

Idea # 1 is great... but my treadmill shares a room with our oh-so-comfy couches. Oh well.

danandcindy said...

You're retarded.

crystal said...

YAAAAAYYYYYYYYY!!!! Job Charts!!!! And guess what????.....


We love them. (well, i do) We use them every. single. day.

I'll document them for your benefit.

crystal said...

And the treadmill-only dvr???

Genius. Genius, I say.

I have to use the germ-infested treadmills at the gym. Ack. Someday, when I can afford my own treadmill, I will seek your advice on which one is best.

Love my Stie!

Anna said...

I promise to come and visit you every week when your kids put you into the "home". You'll be one of my assigned patients and we can play cards and talk about the cute men who live there too.

Mrs T said...

DVR to promote exercise = genius!

Mrs T said...

P.s. I've always adored your photo wall.

Jenibelle said...

I read the whole blog and the thing I am most impressed with is the snack dish. Put a piece of pie on it and it's like being a little girl sitting on the footstool at my Great-Grams. Thanks for the warm fuzzy memory.

Oh and I'll add my vote to the Stie is a freakin' genius chorus.

Cara said...

I'm loving these ideas - I use a bottle too for my dish soap, I also have a pretty ceramic pot that holds the sponge, soap and scrubber - it's pretty and functional!

I wish we had job charts - I write the girls lists and they seem to love working off those.

Loving the picture wall, I might have to start getting creative over here

love your humor - it's my favorite part!

Chatter said...

Oh Stie, you are very, very clever! I think my favorite is the dish soap in the olive oil. I will definitely be switching to that. I wish I had a treadmill (although I'd love an elliptical) and since we don't have cable I'd settle for dvd's. And the water bottle is a great idea but I just use my hand to wipe up water marks and then wipe it on my pants (because I'm gross like that). And your photo wall is brilliant. If I ever actually went to the trouble to print photo's and buy frames I think I would enjoy something like that.

Thanks for sharing your brilliance with your loyal readers. Love ya Stie!!

Natasha said...

Great ideas! I'll have to try the lotion idea- it should help with static too. Thanks!

Hollyween said...

Killer ideas. I need that water bottle. And I should really try the work out while watching TV thing.

Have you tried putting those cute little clear rocks in the bottom of your soap? I've seen a ton of people do it and it's cute.