Sunday, April 8, 2012

Spring Cleaning, Taxes & Cupcakes

Something about spring time that gets me all motivated to get things done.  I spent Saturday deep cleaning my office, organizing my taxes (and paying them), and baking and decorating birds nest cupcakes.

For the cupcakes I baked vanilla cake (with extra vanilla extract) and then mixed food green and yellow food coloring into the icing to match the edible easter grass, which I found at Target.  The grass was supposed to be sour apple flavored, but it was pretty bland.  The grass was edible, but not flavorful, it kind of had the taste and consistency of those ice cream cups.  This was good because I don't really like putting fruity candy on cupcakes even though it looks cute, as it generally makes for a nasty flavor combination.  For the eggs I used malted milk ball eggs, and Cadburry's Robin Eggs (my favorite) and added a Peep to nest on a few of them.  Everyone loved them, so I'd say it was a successful deviation from my traditional Peepcakes!

The years of tax files were taking up valuable space in my file cabinet, so I decided to transfer them to two clear hanging file boxes, labeled with a label maker as: IN CASE OF AUDIT.  After finishing up the paper work prepared by my tax accountant, I was able to file away 2011 along with the previous years, and store them away in the attic.  God forbid I will ever have to retrieve them for an audit, but if I do this should make the event less stressful.  Every year I file I can shred the oldest year in the box.  It's a good system to stay on top of paperwork.  I know people that have paperwork and receipts from the 80s which is just crazy.  I think 7 years is the furthest back you need to have records for.

Speaking of staying on top of paperwork, you know those scanning things they sell on TV to go paperless?  They really ought to do one that scans and shreds at the same time.  I should patent that idea!

Despite the fact that I haven't held on to records further back than 7 years, I still had a ton of shredding to do as my cheap shredder broke 2 years ago. I'd been squirreling away sensitive documents in a suitcase, and avoiding purchasing a new shredder, because a shredder is hardly something you can get excited about shopping for.  However I finally purchased a nice one, my motivation being it won't break and have to be replaced again (and the suitcase was getting full).  The one I bought (made by Swingline) allows you to put a stack of papers in it, close the lid, and it will automatically feed them so you don't have to stand there feeding only a few sheets at a time.

After shredding all those documents, I had a lot of paper dust from transferring the bin to the trash several times, and so I began to sweep, and decided my office needed a full once-over.  I pulled everything off the shelves to dust thoroughly and then reconfigured  the books and knicknacks for a fresh look.  Another thing that had been bugging me from the time that I ordered my glass desktop, was that it looked smeary underneath.  The glass people after putting it down had told me it was unavoidable condensation.  However I managed to carefully slide the glass top halfway off at different angles, supporting the off portion with my arm while cleaning the greasy residue that had built up below.  When I returned it to it's proper position it looked decidedly better and I felt decidedly better.

Clean desktop.

Clean shelves.

Clean office.


Next on my spring to-do list is finishing our bedroom.  I finally found charcoal curtains that match our walls perfectly.  We also received our bedside wall sconces from West Elm.  And the shelves.  Basically I have everything, I just need to hang things and get the electrician out here.  Big before & after post to come.

Happy Easter everyone!