Saturday, June 28, 2008

Organizing Reading List

If you desperately want to be organized but have no idea how it happens, I recommend these three books:

It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff by Peter Walsh (the guy from Clean Sweep)

Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern

Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan's Apartment Therapy.

I know, you don't have time to read a magazine let alone three books. Check them out from the library and just skim them or get the CDs from the library or The three books are very complementary and will give you the skills & tools you need.

Try to keep inspired by pictures in magazines or on the web and picture a home like Benita Larsson's ( and how cool it would be if your place looked like hers. I know that might not be realistic, but it's something I keep in mind while I'm purging. A beautiful, clutter-free home is a great reward for getting rid of crap I never even use.

Edit, edit, edit. Do it once with the easy stuff and then come back a few days later and do it again. Use Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan's outbox method but don't let the outbox stay around too long - get the stuff out of your house or put it back where it came from.

This post is great:

Finally, (I know, this is a super long, preachy post with no pretty pictures) if you want to take it to the next level, read David Allen's Getting Things Done. The time you spend now working on these skills will help you for the rest of your life.

Lexi & the old TV

Lexi & the old TV, originally uploaded by Cynthia in SF.

We didn't realize that Lexi was so attached to our old TV until we got a new one. It looks like she's trying to prevent us from taking it away.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Design trend?

BHGJune2008p40, originally uploaded by Cynthia in SF.

This photo is from the June 2008 issue of Better Homes & Gardens. Yesterday, Apartment Therapy Los Angeles (I'm going to start referring to the Apartment Therapy sites like this: AT:LA) posted a photo of a very similar dining room table. Am I late to this trend or is it just starting? I like the look, either way.

062508_diningroom, originally uploaded by Cynthia in SF.

[ Photo from Living Etc ] via AT:LA
href="">Apartment Therapy Los Angeles | Off-Duty Dining Room?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Products that have changed my life: SLS free toothpaste

I used to get canker sores frequently. Any time I bit my lip or cheek, it would turn into a very painful canker sore and take forever to go away. In my on-line research I did see lots about the immune system and canker sores. Anyone else with an auto-immune disease get them?

I switched to SLS free toothpaste last year and haven't had one since! I started with Rembrandt's version:

Rembrandt toothpaste, originally uploaded by Cynthia in SF.

No canker sores but no foaming or minty taste either. Almost worth it but the search continued:

The Natural Dentist, originally uploaded by Cynthia in SF.

I found The Natural Dentist at Walgreens and it foams up nicely and tastes minty. Also, it's cheaper than Rembrandt.

Then, while shopping at, I noticed that they now carry the Tom's of Maine version and tried it:

Tom's, originally uploaded by Cynthia in SF.

Tom's of Maine is now my favorite. Maybe I've forgotten the taste and feel of conventional toothpaste but I swear this one would fool you. The flavor doesn't last forever but not having raging canker sores is a good trade off.

Stay tuned for more products that have changed my life and other benefits of avoiding SLS.

New growth on old fern

I decided to cut back the very lopsided fern in front of our new place. I tried to research fern pruning before I started snipping but the Sunset Western Garden book doesn't cover fern pruning and most articles I read on the internet said that ferns don't need pruning. Mine did.

At the most, I was hoping the plant would live and the edges I cut wouldn't get too brown and yucky. To my surprise, new fiddle heads have grown on many of the pruned fronds. Amazing!

S & M fern?, originally uploaded by Cynthia in SF.

Just what I need: another tote bag!

If I didn't already have a closet full of tote bags, I'd get this one for $19.99 at the Gap:

Batik print tote bag

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Very first post!

My very first post for my own blog will actually be Apartment Therapy San Francisco's post of my garden from a couple of weeks ago.

Here's a link:
Apartment Therapy San Francisco | SF Flickr Finds: Cynthia in SF's Garden

And here's what they posted:

SF Flickr Finds: Cynthia in SF's Garden


Today we found some garden photos in our Flickr account. There aren't any captions, but it sure looks as if Cynthia in SF has a green thumb...

6-6-cynthia1.jpg 6-6-cynthia2.jpg 6-6-cynthia3.jpg 6-6-cynthia6.jpg 6-6-cynthia7.jpg 6-6-cynthia8.jpg

Thanks, Cynthia in SF!