09 October 2015

12 Weeks of Christmas {Week 2}

Alright, now that I have my list of things we want to do and things we will need to do all done I am moving on to week 2. I am keeping my lists of things to do on my phone, so much easier, no chance of losing it. I always have it, etc. 
 I also wrote some down though, things we need to decide on as a family.

Week 2 for me is about budgeting, and scheduling! Now that we have some ideas of what we want to do, we can narrow the budget down and start getting things on the schedule (flexible) before things get crazy!

There are a lot of methods to budgeting, or saving year round for Christmas.

Whichever way you do your budgeting, having it in place is kind of freeing and a great guideline to get started!

And if you are like me and don't like to cross stuff off in your planner, you can print off blank calendar pages and use them until things are more set in stone. We have to wait for basketball schedules, family parties we aren't hosting, etc.


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08 October 2015

Planners make me happy! Here's why

6 Reasons I use a planner!

1. I don't over schedule!
 If I make plans without my planner handy, there are bound to be overlapping things going on where I don't want them, creating stress and dysfunction.

2. I am a better friend and mom!
 I don't want to be that flaky mom/friend that is rescheduling (often) because I didn't use my planner.  It still happens when things come up last minute, but I wouldn't want it to be a regular thing.

3. I save money!
 I can group my things that need to be done in town, saving me the extra trips, and wasting gas!

4. I do my job better!
 I can prep ahead of time and spend 5 minutes instead of waiting until it's sprung on me and spend way more time, and sometimes money! Creating less stress because I can be prepared!

5. I have more time for important things!
By combining all of the above, I leave time for family, and I make time by keeping things streamlined and grouped together, like errands.

6. It makes me HAPPY! 
I am a nerd, no shame in that. I love the stickers, the great pens and I feel good knowing I have my act together (a little)

I love and USE an Erin Condren Life Planner
I can't wait to share more about how I use it!

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06 October 2015

Pumpkin Roll Truffles

I LOVE Pumpkin Roll, but I am also impatient and not so good at making them. 
I needed something easy, few ingredients that I could make a lot of in a hurry, we only get 1 good nap around here!

I had a little extra time and a few ingredients the other day, so I threw these together!
SO easy! Just a few ingredients and a little time.

1 yellow or vanilla cake mix
1/2 C water
1 Can Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
8oz room temp cream cheese
3 Tbsp Powdered Sugar
1 Tbs Pumpkin Pie Spice
White chocolate chips

Mix the first 3 together, spread in a 13x9 greased cake pan
Bake following directions on box

While that is baking, in a large mixing bowl.
Mix together the cream cheese, spice and powdered sugar.

Once the cake is done, take half of it and crumble it into the
cream cheese mix and mix it together well. 

Using a cookie scoop, scoop onto parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheet.
Freeze a couple hours

When you are ready, 
melt the chocolates, dip the truffles and put them in the fridge to set. 

They won't last long!
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Mama Capsule Wardrobe

I did it, took the plunge and am doing a capsule wardrobe. Now I couldn't just get rid of everything, so I am starting with just Fall! For Fall I have a capsule wardrobe. It doesn't feel as intimidating as going full fledged off the deep end.
I started down this path in April, HERE.
*Some pieces in the laundry
Once we moved in and got settled I was so excited for Fall, but it's been 80 so many days still that I felt like I had to leave my summer stuff out. I just packed the tank tops away that I wore, donated what I didn't!

Being a Stay at home mom and Housewife means I don't need a work wardrobe, that might make it a little easier for me. I need cute, easy care stuff to grocery shop, carry babes and sit at ball games in. Deciding what type of clothes you NEED before you start will help.
The article I read suggested 
15 tops
9 bottoms
9 pair of shoes
2 dresses
2 jackets
For me, I would have 0 problems meeting that 9 pair of shoes!
I have boots, moccasins, converse, flats, workout shoes, work boots and a pair of heels.
I also don't have a lot of bottoms. I am a pretty basic dresser and don't have a whole lot.
3 pair of jeans (all a little different) 2 skirts, 2 leggings and 2 pair of jeggings.
Dresses are another issue, I love dresses! I kept like 4! And tops is hard for me too, because a cardi is a top and I love cardigans! I kept out a total of  22 Tops! BUT, 5 of them are undershirts.
 Not sure if that counts.
I didn't buy a single thing to make all this stuff work. I wanted to find a top for underneath cardi's but I didn't find THE one at a decent price so I just went with what I had and I will make it work.

Love how they have it displayed here!

I think the key for me was making sure pretty much everything went together. So I could just mix 'n match it all. It has made laundry much easier, and we have more space in the closet!
 This graphic made it easy to imagine some outfits!

I didn't count undergarments, cami's etc. Workout clothes or pajamas, 1 special occasion outfit or swim suits.

Want some direction on what to keep?
Check out all of these options! 

Not sure how it makes laundry easier? 2 big reasons!

1. I don't try on 4 different outfits (which usually end up on the floor, then laundry) because I know everything works right now!

2. I can keep better track of how often I am wearing jeans and sweaters. So I am not washing them unnecessarily.

If you are thinking about taking the plunge, DO IT! Try it for a season.

 This for sure fits in my goal for the year to REFINE, which seemed like it was put on the back burner while we moved and packed.
 I still have a couple months to make a big difference for our family.

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05 October 2015

Meal Plan {October Week 1}

This is our last super busy week before we get a small break! Lot's of pressure cooker and slow cooker meals!!

Monday~Baked Potatoes
Pressure cooker, because they cook in such a little amount of time!
We just load ours up with leftovers!

Tuesday~Pork Burritos
I just toss a roast in with some enchilada sauce in the pressure cooker and then shred it all together once it's done!
Wednesday~Lasagna Soup
Have some leftover marinara in the freezer should make this a quick prep.

Thursday~Mac 'n' cheese
Pressure Cooker style! 

Friday~Chicken Taco's
On the fly before the football game!
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02 October 2015

12 Weeks To Christmas {Week 1} Your Plan

12 weeks is all we have to plan and prep! Why start so early? For me, I want less hustle and bustle and more time doing the things I want to do and love, and more time to be with our family!
Prepping a little at a time for a more PEACEFUL season.

So I am starting this 12 week countdown plan. Starting with a PLAN to not over schedule, over commit or over do.

I am using this week to get things planned out.
A list of what NEEDS to be done, things like.
~ Meal plan
~Cards if that is something you do

Activities we WANT to do
~New traditions we might want to try out
~Old Traditions we love
~Making cookies
~Service projects we plan on helping with

These will be different for every family but it's a good idea to get a list started! You don't want to miss out on something because time got away from you, or spend all night wrapping and be groggy in the morning.

Maybe you want to really go overboard on your planning, get a binder! There are plenty of sections you can keep organized and spend a bit more time.
Minimal effort more your style? Writing ideas on a piece of paper is a good start! 
It doesn't have to be intense and take hours of time to get organized.


Anyone want to join me?!
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6 Steps To Slay That To Do list!

 Sick of feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, frazzled by all the little misfires in the day? Me too. Letting them totally throw me off balance and ruin whatever flow I may have had going. Ending the day feeling like a failure far too often.
I have to get back to a routine and get some normalcy 'round here. Started with my To Do List

I needed to focus on what is truly important, not that I could skip the little jobs that need to be done, but being more efficient and getting to the good stuff. Being INTENTIONAL and not just haphazardly making it through the day. I have to know how I am spending my hours so I make sure I am spending them on the right things. Some things I will be able to scrap altogether and others I will have to find a better way to do, or less to do.

I am a BIG FAN of writing my list down, I love my list app too, but writing it down and checking it off just FEELS GOOD!

First and SO important, remembering that your to do list is a tool, a partner and NOT an enemy to be 
glared at and stabbed with your pen <<<<<< GUILTY over here!
 A cheerful outlook can go a long way.

Dream a little.  Put some things on the list that might seem like a dream to get to. Inspiration to get the must do's done, if nothing else. I like to see something I am looking forward to mixed in with the laundry and orthodontist appointments.

Categorize.  Here that looks like kids awake vs. kids asleep/at school
There are just some projects that are not kid friendly.
 Also, make sure you include your daily tasks. Makes it easier to get a real idea of your day.

Prioritize! This is such a huge part of making sure I get to the important stuff!
 I like to start with a huge list, everything I can think of, just get it written down.
You can always remove stuff if you need to.
 I like to color code my list, sometimes it's 3 colors. Sometimes 4. I have a few pens I use
~not urgent

 Find my fave notebook HERE

Split big things up! For projects that you are dreading or that you just can't block out an hour or more for, split it up! You can split nearly any project into 10 minute bits.  That huge laundry pile, file sorting, junk drawer clean out, writing an email or letter, you get the idea.  And schedule that 10 minutes on your to do list, even if it's on there 3 times throughout the day. 10 minutes isn't too much out of a day and getting a start on a project might propel you to add another 10 minutes of it to your to do list!

 Plan for obstacles! Because we all know there are plenty of them! Obstacles, time sucks, distractions. Whatever you want to call them, plan ahead and skip right past them.
Some of my obstacles of the time suck variety are TV, computer/phone and magazines. Some obstacles that are of the precious variety? Kids! Sometimes they just don't want to nap, or they need their 4th snack after breakfast.  Be prepared and have some options. I make sure that I have the coffee pot ready in the morning, plenty of snacks, baby's bed ready for nap and I don't even turn the TV on! I do like podcasts while I am working, nothing visual to pay attention to with those.

Be real about how long things take. Not sure how long something really takes? Use your timer and find out for next time.

Been doing this for the last week or so and already I have seen a huge improvement in the amount I am getting to each day and my perspective! It's not perfect but I don't look around at the end of the day and feel like I did nothing either.

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