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Here’s what I’ve been up to in the last… wow, it’s been almost four months! There have been a few changes in my life, but isn’t that what life is all about?

First, we moved into a new house – new to us, that is! It’s been a project decorating it and getting everything into the right place.

But more importantly, there’s a baby on the way!

And, yes, it’s a boy! We get to meet him January 5… or sometime around then.

Check out my baby bump. ūüôā

And not so importantly, it’s fall, my favorite season! Who can resist the beautiful colors, the gorgeous produce, the change in the air?

Check out My Real Blog!

Hey, everyone! If you made it here, you’re halfway to my actual blog. Check the real thing out at My Organized Nest!

My New Canon

My old Sony point and shoot had been around since 2007 and has been used – and probably over-used – extensively. Today, I finally hit a sale and grabbed a new Canon point and shoot, the PowerShot¬†SX150 IS. Of course, in the perfect world, I would have an SLR, but my wallet and the perfect world have not yet melded. My old Sony was a great camera, but,¬†for its life,¬†couldn’t focus at close ranges. I had been using my iPhone instead which wasn’t a great a trade-off but worked a whole lot better than my Sony. This Canon has a great optical zoom although it isn’t rated very well for picture noise. Since I almost never have my pictures enlarged beyond a 4 x 6 or a 5 x 7, I’m not too worried about that. I went out exploring at dusk tonight for little things to photograph. Here is an example. So much better than what my old Sony would have done with it!

Now I think I will be creating some kind of protective case for the camera. What sort of camera do you have and what do you like best about it?

Frustration and Motivation

So, last night, I decided to make this super cute little tank top pajama top that I had a pattern for. I had picked the size, cut out the fabric, then I got to work. As I started to sew, it seemed like this top was a little bigger than it should be, but I thought perhaps I was just seeing it wrong. I pressed on. Then, I tried it on to adjust the spaghetti straps to the right length. Oh my! I looked like I was swimming in a sleeveless black trash bag! I literally had an extra 6 inches of fabric on either side of my chest, and it was supposed to be semi-fitted! Talk about frustrating!

Looks cute though, right?

Lessons learned? I will no longer blindly trust patterns. (It’s hard to trust them sometimes anyway when they barely make any sense.) And on the plus side, at least I can use the material for something else since I will no longer be using that pattern. I can understand the pattern being a little off, but 12¬†inches?!?!? If I had only been 12 inches wider, it would have been a really cute pattern. Maybe I should only buy patterns that have pictures of REAL people wearing the clothes!

I have really been getting into the sewing mood lately. It’s fairly easy to teach yourself how to do it, and it gives a great big sense of accomplishment when you make something that you’re actually pleased to wear. Now I will have to go back to a good stand-by pajama pattern to give myself that boost back up into feeling good about sewing again!

What sort of¬†homey/crafty things have you taught yourself to do? Doesn’t it give you a great sense of accomplishment to realize that you can teach yourself to do something like that, that you can use in your everyday life? And here’s a question that I would love an answer to: have any of you ever made your own sewing patterns from scratch and been successful at it? I think that would be a great talent to have! I would love any helpful hints about that that you might have.

Wordless Wednesday: Things I am Currently Loving Outside

This Wednesday will actually have a few words because I’ve never done it before and wanted to tell you what you were signing on for. On Wordless Wednesdays, I will share pictures related to a certain topic. This week, they focus on a few things¬†in my yard¬†that have been making me very happy! What about you? Have you been enjoying the beauty outdoors this week?


May Day!

Can you believe it is May? May is such a great month. To me, it signals the return of some better weather… even a little bit of summer. The days are typically consistently warm enough in Minnesota¬†to enjoy the outdoors and you get to start thinking about planting flowers or planting a garden.

The downside of May for me is the terrible allergies, especially living¬†out in the country. Lately, I’ve been loving peppermint tea which is about the only natural thing that helps me feel a bit better (and actually helps diminish my cough, left over from a cold as well!). Have you ever tried Twinings Pure Peppermint Tea? I am in LOVE with it!

Before my allergies kicked in so bad, I had started¬†doing some¬†desperately-needed¬†weeding in our yard and had started planting some bulbs.¬†For some reason, I have never before tried¬†planting bulbs so I’m interested to see how they go.¬†I have planted¬†some¬†late summer¬†bloomers; dahlias and gladiolus¬†are two of them.¬†I also discovered something interesting this spring. I had four daffodil plants this spring that I kept inside on my kitchen table to brighten things up. I had never before realized this, but in cold climates, daffodils are perennials! I’m excited to see them bloom again next spring!

I’ve also started planting seeds indoors so that they can get a head start on the growing season. This will be my first garden ever that I’m planning to plant (so let me know if you have any great ideas for me!). I’ve started a few tomato and green pepper plants, and the Roma tomatoes are doing so well.¬†Mmmmmmm, fresh tomato slices with salt and pepper – I can hardly wait.

I am also just starting a little kitchen herb garden with three of my favorite herbs to cook with: parsley, basil and oregano.

And something else coming up VERY soon… Mother’s Day. It’s just twelve days from today so don’t wait until the last minute. Need any ideas? I’ve just added a few things to my Sweet April shop that would be perfect for your mother. Check out the two Mother’s Day cards and the fabulous new coasters for all those wonderful glasses of summer lemonade that your mom will soon be drinking. Here’s a look at my favorite set that I’m thinking might look good in my living room…

Happy May!


I don’t know about you, but exercising is not something I look forward to eagerly each day! Not only that, but the part of my brain involved in exercise has the attention span of a¬†small gnat. I am not the type of person that can do the same thing over and over five days a week.

In my perfect world, I would have a personal trainer – you know, one who keeps things interesting and keeps me motivated without yelling at me. Last time I checked, I didn’t live in the perfect world so I have to be my own trainer and keep myself motivated. Thankfully, my husband does a good job of keeping me motivated since I can’t possibly let him get away with exercising more than me!

A couple of things that influence how I exercise are the fact that I live about twenty minutes from the nearest gym and Minnesota weather forces me to exercise indoors for about five months out of the year.

To deal with these factors, I have found some ways to exercise indoors that I like.¬† On my energetic days, I really enjoy kickboxing, The Biggest Loser for Wii¬†or Zumba. I also love doing Yoga and Pilates in the evenings. And yes, on my completely unmotivated days, I’ll use Wii Fit because something is better nothing. On days with nice weather, I’ll take my cat for a walk. Yes, I really did just say that… my CAT! Believe it or not, I’ve trained him so that I can just put a leash on him and take him on a twenty-minute walk, through the fields, down the side of the road, wherever! What can I say? He’s a brisk walker!

My newest exercise motivation has been to clip exercise routines from a number of magazines that I get. Of course, Health is a great option for workouts, but other magazines like Woman’s Day, Better Homes and Gardens¬† and Real Simple feature a variety of workouts. If it looks interesting and like something I can do in my own home, I clip it out.

Up until now, most of them had been hidden in a folder along with a bunch of other ideas and recipes that I had clipped out. I had put a few of them up on a poster board in my family room where I work out.

However, I really wanted to use all of the workouts I had found, so I decided to make a workout folder. First, I clipped each workout so that it would have straight edges. (Try the Fiskars brand products for this; they work fabulously!)

Then I found some bright paper I had from way back when. (Check out what amazing colors your creative kids might have!) I glued each workout to a brightly- (insert motivatingly) colored paper.

Then I slid each paper into clear sheet protectors and slipped them inside a newly-repurposed folder.

Now I have one more way to motivate me to get/stay in shape.

Here’s one¬†set of exercise routines from iTunes that I have really been loving recently. Check out Anytime Yoga by Exercise TV. I like it because it’s mostly stretching and nothing to weird or out there.

Do you have any unique ways of keeping yourself motivated to work out? Trust me, I (and other readers) would love to hear them!

On a side note, you may have noticed a change in my blog today. Due to the fact that I have opened my new Etsy shop, Sweet April Cards and Gifts, I have changed my blog up a little. My blog is now called My Sweet April and, as you can see, can be found at However, continuing to direct your browser to will still work since you will be redirected here. Enjoy the changes!

What I’ve Been Up To

I am BACK! I can’t say that I was exactly on a vacation because¬†I was actually getting a lot of stuff done.

Mostly, I was busy stocking and opening my new store on Etsy called Sweet April Cards and Gifts!! I would love it if you would check it out at and let me know what you think. So far, there are just blank note cards and Thank You cards in the shop but I am planning on adding a variety of gifts in the upcoming weeks… hopefully some in time for Mother’s Day.

Also, check out this week’s featured card, a bright design with flowing vines and modern paisley print.

I would really appreciate it if you could leave me a comment here or send me an email at to let me know what you think of my site overall, the products I currently have for sale, any similar products you would love to see, the price range for the cards or anything else that strikes. There’s nothing better than getting some advice from the public on what they would like to see, so please… advise and request away! If you like my work, head on over to my Facebook page and like me there:¬†. You can also follow my Twitter @SweetAprilCards.

I am excited to be back blogging after dedicating my time to other things. With all of our spring weather, I have so many great things to share with you about all the little changes in our yard and landscaping and the delicious foods I have been making on the grill.

Just as a little “taste” of spring, here’s one of my current favorite creations. I got the idea from a grilling recipe book but then completely changed it around. These burgers are phenomenally juicy and absolutely delicious. Sorry that I don’t have any pictures but I’ll let you use your imagination instead.

Blue Cheese Turkey Burgers


1 pound ground turkey

1/4 cup chunky blue cheese dressing

1/3 cup plain bread crumbs

6 mozzarella cheese slices


Mix the first 3 ingredients together completely with a wooden spoon. Form into 6 equal patties.

Grill over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once.

Place a slice of cheese on each patty for the last minute of grilling time.

Serve on hamburger buns (or like I did, on Grand’s Buttermilk Biscuits) with you choice of condiments.

So… head on over to Sweet April, tell me what you think and I’ll see you again soon!

Dear Rust Stains, Please Leave My House!

Back to my nasty bathroom sink. Just in case you forgot what it looked like, here it is.

After my post about getting rust stains of a porcelain sink, I got a few helpful comments from readers. Thank you so much for those! It’s so fabulous to get helpful hints from people across the country and even around the world. Let me pass some of them on!

One idea from Cleaninup Kate was to use cream of tartar along with some hydrogen peroxide if the stains are particularly bad. I did give that a shot since I had both of those products on hand. It worked a little but I think my sink was too far gone for a home remedy. On to the big guns!

Another reader alerted me to some products that she had used when she was living in northern Minnesota, land of 10,000 lakes and 10,000 gallons of hard water. She mentioned Red-B-Gone as well as Whink Stain Remover, both of which can be purchased online. Check out the Pro Products website or the Whink Products website if you are interested.

The last product that she mentioned, we actually already had hiding down in our basement. Iron Out. Why haven’t I used it before? I have no idea! The fumes can be a bit much so make sure that you have adequate ventilation.

This is a powder that can be used on many things including toilets, sinks, showers, the dishwasher and in your laundry. I first wet the sink and a scrubbing brush, then sprinkled some powder on the brush. I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed (let me tell you, I worked up a sweat the way I was scrubbing!).

Now it’s looking a lot better although it still needs some more Iron Out-ing sometime when I have regained my energy.

Thanks again to all my helpful readers! I appreciate any helpful hints and tips that you have for me!

You can email me anytime at if you have any questions, comments or tips about organizing, cleaning, cooking, decorating or crafts and do-it-yourself projects.

Cheaper But Just As Nice… Or At Least Just As Functional

I have a great excuse for why this post is so late tonight. I was paging through my March 2012 copy of House Beautiful. House Beautiful is a fantastic magazine for imagining your dream house or for discovering the newest decorating trends. However, it doesn’t usually help me out too much in my own decorating. There are two reasons for that.

Reason one: price, Price, PRICE! If I were rich, perhaps I could look at these pages with a different mindset, but until my ship comes in…

Check out that big green picture above. It is massive, over 7 feet long! And it is made out of dried sphagnum, Spanish and mood moss. Pretty impressive. But not only do I not have a wall long enough and open enough for that, I don’t have a room modern enough for it, nor do I have a bank account big enough. Would you believe $3,995?

Another example. I love the idea of the retro chaise lounge. I could definitely see one in my bedroom someday. Don’t you just love them? But I’m pretty sure I won’t be dropping $4,538 on it, which is the price of the bottom center chaise. I do applaud them for including an offering from Ikea – the center green chaise lounge. More than affordable for my lifestyle at a super-reasonable $349. Now if I only had a box of trufffles and bon bons sitting next to my chaise lounge…

Reason two: Not really my style sometimes. Now there are parts of this dining room that I do like… the Persian-looking rug, the mirror, the hardwood floors. But on a whole, I like lighter and brighter areas with a more relaxed and inviting look.

Features I like about this kitchen? I love the brightness and I love the sparkling clean look of the Lucite table and white counters and cabinets. And I love, love, love the color of those beautiful aqua chairs! However, this would never fit my lifestyle unless a) my cats never entered the kitchen, b) I never planned to have children, c) I would never cook anything with red sauce again. Oh, and did I mention that I would absolutely LOATHE dusting that… uhhh… chandelier?

And now, just because I’m so wrapped up in this issue, here’s a room I love. This is a great little reading and relaxing nook that turns into a guest bedroom when needed (check out the great daybed!). The crisp white looks great when paired with a very neutral cream. Very clean and cool looking.

And ahhhhh, check out that tub! And the woodworking! And I wouldn’t complain about having a bathroom so large that I could put a plush ottoman in the center!

Ok, now I guess I should move on and show you the not-quite-so-elegant changes going on in my house. Once again, remember I have a budget of virtually nil and an older home with small spaces.

Change number one happened in our dining room. I can’t say that I’m quite a fan of the design of the dining room chandelier (if you could call it that). It kind of reminds me of those old bathtubs with the claw feet. Anyway, more drastic changes may eventually hit it one day, but for now, I stuck with a small change of the glass pendants.

We went from this…

… to this. Not perfect, but a little more modern. And they were FREE, which is always a plus, since I had purchased them for a different light a couple of years ago.

Hmmmm, do I see some kind of spray paint in this chandelier’s future? I’m not going to change it until I have a solid idea of what I want in this room.

Change number two involved a nightstand for our master bedroom. For an older home, our master bedroom is actually a pretty decent size. However, fitting a queen bed on the one half of the room leaves very little room for nightstands on either side of it. While searching for nightstands, I discovered that most of them are much wider than they are deep. My problem was that I only had 17 to 18 inches on either side of the bed. I also wanted something with at least a small drawer to keep a few things from the reach of the kitties.

Enter this thrift store purchase. It’s an old-school living room end table with the faux-leather finish on the top. Parts of it remind me very much of a couple older pieces that were in my family’s home growing up. After cleaning all the wood up, it looked pretty awesome for less than $30. Plus, it could be rather multi-functional should we ever move.

And… TA-DA! It fits perfectly.

On the other side of the bed, I have a narrow bookshelf that works out perfectly. I am very thankful that the modern trend is to mix and match certain kinds of furniture instead of having complete matchy-matchy sets.

So, while I may occasionally like to steal a few looks from House Beautiful, I am perfectly content with the small changes that I can afford to make in my own cozy, little nest.

(Note: The first 7 pictures were taken from House Beautiful, March 2012, published by Hearst Magazines.)