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31 December 2014

Word Of The Year 2015



re·fine
rəˈfīn/
verb
verb:

improve (something) by making small changes, in particular make (an idea, theory, or method) more subtle and accurate.


This one was easy for me this year! It's all been very clear since we started our house selling journey that we needed to REFINE our belongings to start with.
Then, the more I thought about it, the more I knew we needed to REFINE in other places, more myself than hubby. Particularly in methods, our way of doing things. Going to be working on a lot around here! Some things are going to be hard. More personal refinement sounds hard to me.

What is your Word of The Year?




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12 December 2014

34 Stocking Stuffer ideas for him!

Some years we ONLY do stockings for each other, we don't set a specific amount, but no jewelry or electronics so it doesn't get out of hand either. I still put some on here, sometimes they make their way in them anyway. What I really try to do with stockings is not JUNK, if it isn't edible it had better be relevant past January! We are on a never ending mission of reducing the STUFF at our house.

Don't know where to start? Sometimes I will go with a theme, that helps streamline all those options. In the past I have done all
Oregon Ducks Stuff (or whatever team he likes)
Baseball
Golf

Here are some things I have used in the past, and some that will for sure be in there this year.

1.Big League Chew
2. Astronaut cheese
3. Jerky
5.Wallet
6. T shirt
7. Socks
8. Tie
9. Tools (screwdriver, hammer)
10. Baseball Hat
11. Pocket Knife
12. Movie or CD
13. Key Chain
14. Travel Cup
15. Flashlight
16. Headphones
17. Workout watch or pedometer
18. Fun sticky notes
19. A nice pen
20. Grill Tools
21. Fun Bottle Opener
22. Sunglasses
23. New Hot Sauces to try
24. New Phone Case
25. Chromecast or Roku Box
26. Ice Scraper
27. Gloves
28. Essential Oils
29. Lottery Tickets
30. Date Night gift cards
31. Golf Balls and Tees
32. Specialty Beer
33. Car air fresheners
34. Car Wash certificates


We are keeping things much simpler this year than we have in the past but the Mr. will still be getting a fun stocking!
Is there something you add every year?

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08 December 2014

Week 2 of Decluttering!


Last week went pretty well! I got to almost all of what I wanted to but got side tracked by some other stuff.

My goal of a bag a day was no problem! I had about 4 grocery bags a day! This week I am hoping to get to

~My clothes
~Baby clothes
 (sad he has outgrown some already)

~Utensil drawer
That's it for the week, clothes will take me a while and we have a kind of busy week. Our kids Christmas program is this week, can't wait!
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01 December 2014

December is my month to KICK CLUTTER!

 I want to start 2015 with less than we have possession wise and more time.
 Giving ourselves the gift of a more simple day to day life this Christmas season.
This move has taught me SO much, it's been hard, like much much harder than I thought it would be.
Most days I just look around and wonder how we got here!

A BAG A DAY!
That is what I am after, not a huge bag but a grocery bag. Either stuff to donate or throw out. We just have too much stuff and even though I did some of this before we moved, it's STILL just too much.

We have already started by going through all of our seasonal decorations. Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE to decorate for each season but chances are we will be in a much smaller house than we were before and I didn't love all of the decorations. I liked a lot of them but decided if we didn't love them we didn't need them.


There are lots of plans and lists out there to help. I am making my own because I know what we need to work on. Some of this stuff I am going to try to sell. But not keeping it around in the way to make a few bucks either.

This first week I am working on

~Junk Drawer
~Filing
~Craft Stuff
~My Car
~Nightstands
 ~Cleaning Products
~Shoes

I know I can fill a bag with our junk drawer. I mean really, how many pens do we actually need? Probably not 30!

It hasn't been easy but I know we need to be real, if something can be replaced if we end up needing it again (but not now) and it isn't expensive, it's going! Things like extra binders and a cupcake stand I have used once in 4 years.

If you are on the fence about letting something go, designate a box, and label it well, put those items in, and if you don't GET THEM OUT of the box and use it in 3 months, take the whole box. Don't go through it again. Chances are you won't even miss it!

Mark that day in March on your calendar and let it go!  
Please tell me someone else heard that part ^^^ in
a sing songy Elsa voice?
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25 November 2014

Big Hunk Dip

I had a little mishap with a made up recipe in the kitchen the other day, what I was going for just wasn't happening but by a happy mistake it was still good and with just 1 more ingredient it was super!

Only 3 ingredients in this, super easy and fast dip!


1 small container marshmallow fluff
1/2C melted peanut butter
(Chunky or Creamy)
1/2C chopped peanuts

Mix fluff and melted pb then stir in nuts!
That's it, not healthy but super delish on apple slices!
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24 November 2014

Meal Plan Monday




It's Thanksgiving week, and I can't wait to hang with family and do some shopping on Friday! The kids are home from school and we have no big plans. 
This is my favorite type of week, more family time.

Monday~Ham and Potatoes
Starting off the week with a meal made to have leftovers!
Tuesday~Chicken Tacos
If I remember in the morning I am going to do crock pot shredded chicken for tacos.

Wednesday~Leftovers

Then I don't plan on cooking much. Between leftovers and activities I don't think I want to attempt to grocery shop so we will see what we can come up with for meals using what we have in the pantry and freezer.
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19 November 2014

20 Minutes to Clean Bedrooms

Bedrooms!
Lately, these have been the rooms that have been neglected big time. We have been in this house 3 weeks now and I haven't really touched them. I shared earlier this week a picture of how bad they are, SO bad, you can see them HERE.

I have been feeling anxious and sad and just not my normal. I think a big part of that is the chaos of every room so far. Getting back on track in the bedrooms with this list should help!

~Pick up toys
hopefully the kids have been sticking to the 1 toy out a time rule

~Clean off nightstands, dressers and other flat surfaces

~Dust
We have a feather comforter, SO MANY feathers!

~Wipe down flat surfaces
as needed, I just use a baby wipe
~Change Sheets/Make Bed
Then put the stripped sheets straight into the washer

~Touch up mirrors and windows
only as needed
~Vacuum
Also only as needed, we are a no shoe house so the carpet isn't horrible
I pick up each room, then dust each room so I am not picking up the duster more than once. I do each task in all 3 rooms before I move onto the next task.

Hoping I get to share nice tidy, organized bedrooms tomorrow! It's been a rough week!


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18 November 2014

Laundry Room Savings~No Coupons Required


I really meant to share each month for the whole year how we are doing with our goals, but life happens and honestly some months I didn't feel like we had made any progress or have any huge set backs, so I didn't share as much. One of our main goals is getting rid of consumer debt. We haven't made any huge progress the last couple months but I did want to share a little more about how we save money around the house. That saved money goes right to debt and can rapidly add up! I've shared some of these before, using them all together saved us quite a bit the last year!
We still don't use coupons, so keep reading to see if some of these might work for you too!

The first REAL frugal thing I ever did for us as a family was make our own laundry soap, I think this might be the go to for saving in the laundry area.

What am I doing now?
~if you use store bought soap, use a little less each time until you find the right balance to get clothes clean. For us this was just over half the recommended amount. Buying laundry soap every other month instead of every month meant a whole month of a payment to a credit card in 1 year. That 1 littttle teeny change gave us a month sooner of not owing Target anything!

~Keep that change from the dryer, cash it in the 1st and put it towards debt, maybe it's only $5, that is still $60 a year!

~We use these dryer balls! I swear they have made a big difference in the time it takes for the clothes to dry and clothes are SO soft!
 
Also safe for super sensitive skin! No icky chemicals! 

~Wash full, but not overfull, loads. Less loads=less energy and less $

~Do the quick wash or rapid wash on your machine for everyday laundry.
Save the long wash cycles for stained loads.
This one I am torn on, sometimes I do it one way and other times I do it totally opposite.

~Do all the laundry on 1 day and take advantage of the dryer being warm from the previous load
OR
~Do a load first thing every morning and let the dryer help warm the house up
They both have their pros and cons.

To help you get started on your laundry savings, I am giving away a pack of the Woolzies
Enter below through the 25th and share with your friends!
a Rafflecopter giveaway



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17 November 2014

Meal Plan Monday

I honestly am so overwhelmed with unpacking that I am not planning any meals this week. I am taking some chicken and hamburger out to thaw and I will just cook what sounds good at the time. 

This Chili has been sounding good so I am sure I will make that

All this cold weather we are having makes me want soup and hearty meals. Chicken Bacon Wild Rice Soup if we have everything we need.

Maybe I will just throw together random stuff from the pantry!

Have you tried anything new lately?
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Organizing Friday~before & after bathroom

Last Friday I showed y'all this embarrassing picture of our master bathroom counter! Ugg moving is not my thing. Unpacking seems so difficult!

I spent a little time each day sorting, purging MORE, even though I just did when I packed! Having stuff packed for a month sure is an eye opener! I didn't even THINK about one of the boxes. So much stuff I didn't need but had. This whole moving thing is surely a lesson in needs vs. wants and simplifying.

We have this very large built in cabinet. The tall shelves are perfect for keeping stuff out of kids hands! I've got medications sorted into types and together! No more digging for cough medicine at 3am! I keep supplements up there too. I fill our medicine holders up in the bathroom, it's just easier to keep them near.

I was going to get rid of a lot of towels, but there is plenty of room so for now I am just leaving them for now.


Our old house we had just enough storage for clothes in our bedroom, this one is a little smaller and we are down 2 large pieces of furniture that held a lot of clothes. Because the bathroom has so much more storage that would otherwise be empty, I moved all the socks and undergarments as well as pajamas and stuff into the bottom drawers. We each have our own space for stuff that can easily be organized and it frees up a drawer in the 1 dresser we have now.

This week I have got to get a handle on these kids rooms!  I know there are still boxes of stuff in the garage, I don't want to bring anymore in until this disaster is a little more managed.

And yes those are our sleeping babies, they each have a bed, but Finn always tries to sleep in some one's bed ❤️
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13 November 2014

20 Minutes to a Clean Bathroom

Wednesday is my least favorite cleaning day! Bathrooms.. ugg
Thankfully, I don't spend much time doing it, 20 minutes for both of them, that's it!


~Spray showers, sink and toilet with magic bathroom cleaner
(dawn and vinegar)
~Dust
~Wipe counters down
 ~Touch Up Mirror and Windows
No need to clean the whole thing, just the spots
~Change Towels
~Stock q tips and TP
~Change Scentsy
~Spray Shower Out
 ~Clean Toilet
~Shake Rugs out
~Sweep 


What is your least favorite room to clean?!
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10 November 2014

Meal Plan Monday

It's that time again already! 
I am HORRIBLE at unpacking and I am really not loving it or feeling settled at all
I've been putting off unpacking by doing so much other randoms stuff instead!

Thankfully, cooking is one of those things I would rather do than unpack!

Monday~Chicken Spaghetti
I didn't make it last week 
 
Tuesday~Spicy Chicken Quesadilla
 Red Chili sauce makes these delish and spicy!

Wednesday~Spaghetti

Thursday~Tacos

Friday~Chicken Tortilla Soup

Saturday~Chicken Parmesan

Sunday~Baked Potato Soup
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07 November 2014

Organizing Friday

I really need to get back to organizing on Friday! We don't have all the boxes out of storage yet but I have to start somewhere! There is a lot of strange storage in this new place. I'm going to start with the master bathroom. Our old one had decent storage but nothing like this one!  Y'all I am so embarrassed by this before picture!
I have just been leaving them there because I don't know what to do with them yet! And the mess underneath is even worse!

Medicine and stuff that can harm the kids has to be up for my comfort. I've used some dollar tree bins and separated each bin into type of medicine. We have
cold/cough/asthma,
stomach/heartburn,
skin, and
One for everything else

I asked on Facebook the other day about towels, how many did others have, thinking our 25+ was too many!

Hopefully now that I have shared this disaster I will be motivated enough to share the better version next week!
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06 November 2014

20 Minutes to a Clean Home~Part 3

Tuesdays for me are cleaning the Family Room, 1/2 Bath and Entryway day.
While you might not have a set day each week that you clean a certain area, I hope this 20 minute list will help someone.

Usually I try to stay in 1 room at a time, but toilets and showers can always use some time to get some cleaning action going, I start with those.

~Start toilet cleaning with whatever you use
  We use a couple different things here, but the toilet bombs are my favorite!
 Lots of different recipes on Pinterest.
~Spray sink
I use the equal parts blue Dawn and Vinegar mix on pretty much all of our sinks and showers.

~Turn Scentsy warmer off
So I can dust it and change it later

Then I get to work in the Family Room

~Pick Up
Anything that got missed during tidying

~Dust
All of the black furniture and the ceiling fan especially show dust

~Glass
Just the obvious fingerprints on windows

~Wipe down tabletops
There are always coffee cup rings :) 
I just use a baby wipe cause we always have them

~Vacuum
Only if it really needs it. We are a no shoes, no food (for kids)
on carpet so it can go 2 weeks and be fine. 

Then I get to the Bathroom, not much different order from the Family Room.

~Dust
One of my pet peeves is how much dust TP makes!

~Glass
Touch up the mirror, get any spots off. You don't have to clean the whole mirror every week.

~New Fluff
I change the hand towel and scentsy, make sure the TP is stocked.

 ~Counter, cabinets & sink
Wipe counters off then most of the time, I just rinse the spray off the sink and it's fine, but if it needs extra attention, I just wipe it out with a baby wipe. Spot clean cabinets for fingerprints.

~Toilet
Again with the baby wipes, I just  wipe down the outside and seat and then flush, keeping up on it means it never really gets bad enough to require scrubbing.

~Floors
I shake the rug out and vacuum or sweep. If the floor needs it I will steam mop.
I try to catch the wild boy messes before steam mopping is necessary. 

The Entryway is really not too much work, it's small.

~Glass
Spot Clean the windows for finger (or mouth) prints

~Floor
I just do a quick sweep, or vacuum if it's still out.

 
That is IT! You can do that in 20 minutes!
Set that timer and it will be done before you know it, and you will feel good about how it looks!


 
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04 November 2014

Office Organization

 New House means new organizing. We had our little office in a cupboard before. I needed to find a way to keep our day to day life organized. Somewhere for the permission slips to be seen, bills and calendars to be managed and our Home Management Binder to be kept. I couldn't handle the chaos, most of it in my head, that seemed to be happening so after 3 short days here, the office in a cupboard is back! I already feel a little better about the whole not being unpacked thing.
Our photo boxes are the perfect size to hold excess office supplies, extra checkbooks, envelopes and wax sealer along with other mailing supplies, and then I have one for my planner supplies and one for camera accessories. Keeping just these small boxes helps me from going overboard on the office supplies and keeps things together. I really should label them already!
The magnetic board is just a piece of tin than I put a piece of scrap booking paper over, it's only held on by magnets.  We use the command strips and the little hooks to attach it to the cabinet. 
The printer and paper are in the cabinet below, they are rarely used so I don't mind hauling them out if I need them.
 Even when the rest of the house is a mess, or in boxes, this little area usually stays tidy. I think that is why it is my favorite!

Do you have a home office? A whole room or just an area?

Linking up HERE
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03 November 2014

Meal Plan Monday

Our new kitchen is a MESS! I am slowly, very, very slowly getting it organized. The pantry is going to be a hard adjustment. I already miss our big walk in pantry!  
I am also pretty sure we still have a container of food in the storage unit. I am still going to attempt a plan this week and see how it goes. I feel like such a crazy person, haven't made a meal plan for the month, went grocery shopping and I swear I didn't really get anything. I don't think I was prepared for how hard moving was going to be for me.

Monday~Chicken, rice and green sauce
I am probably going an easier route and just using green enchilada sauce (with some blended spinach in it, don't tell the kids) instead of homemade sauce.

Tuesday~Bacon Mac 'n' Cheese
I am going to try to put together a new dish, no recipe so we will see how it turns out.
Having salad with it.

Wednesday~Chili and Rice

Thursday~Chicken Spaghetti
I love how easy this is to throw together in the day as I have time, then I can just bake it as we get close to dinner!
Friday~Grilled Cheese

 Have you tried any new recipes recently that were super? Share them please!
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30 October 2014

20 Minutes To A Clean House Part 2~ The Kitchen


 The Kitchen can feel so overwhelming but stick with a plan and each week it will be easier and you will get more done in that 20 minutes. Remember, the first few weeks it might feel like 20 minutes is not nearly enough time, even a little progress on some of the tasks that could take up all of the time is still progress and before you know it cleaning out the fridge will be a 1 minute job instead of 30.
* This is my list for our home. Make a list of what you need done weekly*

Music is a must have for me, I need the background noise
I start any job that needs a few minutes to do it's thing first so I am not wasting any of the 20 minutes.

~Start the Microwave Cleaning 
Just a damp sponge to steam it up, easy to wipe down
~Clean the Fridge
I just make sure there are no leftovers or spills
~Dust
I try to get on top of fridge every week and then any spots that are bugging me. I use a Swiffer Duster on a long handle. No time to climb chairs!
~Wipe Down Cabinets
Not all of them, just where I can really see kid prints
~Wipe out Microwave
~Wipe Down Counters
~Clean Stove Top
I don't spend too much time on this, I am horrible at letting things boil over. This alone could be a 45 minute project if I tried to get every spot off. I just get it clean enough to look good.
~Wipe Down Chairs and door knobs
Just where I can see kid prints, this is so much better since we changed to benches and white chairs instead of 8 black chairs! Our pantry door knob is always icky!
~Clean Sink
I keep ours pretty clean during tidying so it's usually just the stainless part around the drain that needs a few seconds of work. Then I clean the disposal (vinegar ice cubes)
~Vacuum
 I love our handle on our vacuum, I just take it around the room real quick
~Wipe Fingerprints off the glass doors
 ~Change Towels

Depending on what needs it more I either steam mop the floor or polish the stove, fridge and dishwasher.

That is it!
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26 October 2014

I am not even trying to plan any meals this week! 
This is what is left in our pantry



We have just a couple of days left here before we move.
I will have to do a major grocery shopping trip!

Looking to try some new recipes! Leave a link to your favorite dinner recipe!
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23 October 2014

How to keep your home CLEAN in 20 minutes a day! Part 1




I promise it's possible!
I get asked how I do it so often that I thought I would share!
I say 20 minutes because most days that is all the time I can make for cleaning. If you have more bathrooms or bedrooms it might take a little longer.

I still tidy at night and follow the general rules of get it out, put it away. This cleaning is more detailed than tidying and less detailed than seasonal cleaning.

Just my thoughts on this, before you can get, and keep a house clean, you need to do a couple things first! So, here is Part 1. These are the guidelines I guess I would call them, for how I clean.

1. Clear the clutter!
 I could spend hours on clutter if I didn't keep it in check. Managing the stuff that is a time thief will help!

2. Don't expect perfection!
Some days I spend 20 minutes on 2 jobs instead of the whole room. It's going to happen, we all have off days or sweet darling kid interruptions that take up all our cleaning time. Saying "good enough for today" once in a while is totally ok, going for a clean comfortable home, not a museum.

3. The old "A place for everything and everything in it's place"
I agree with a place for everything! Although, chances of everything being in it's place all at the same time when you have kids seems far fetched. That PLACE for everything doesn't have to be separate. At our house we mix dolls and dress up in the same container.

4. Keep Supplies Together
I could spend half my time running to get supplies. Instead I keep what I need together in a basket and get it all out the first time.

5. Prioritize
What is bugging you the most? If your shower is sparkling but your bathroom molding is making you crazy you aren't going to notice how nice the shower looks. Skipping a week of shower cleaning to tackle what is catching your eye and your attention will make the room feel cleaner.

6. Set that timer
It is so easy to get caught up in the cleaning in the beginning, and even after it's been routine for weeks.  Setting your timer for 20 minutes and stopping when it goes off is both a challenge and rewarding. I think most of us hustle a little more under pressure and if you hate cleaning you can see you only have ___ minutes left and sometimes that is just the thing to encourage sticking with it. Personally, I still do this even after years! I feel like I can sacrifice 20 minutes but I don't want to spend more than that and later on feel like I missed out on a whole day.

7. Don't Multitask
But DO start things that can work by themselves before you move to something else. Stick to your area for the day and have a basket handy for straggler items. Another thing I do is make phone calls while I clean, I can wait on hold on speakerphone while I am folding laundry or dusting.

8. Don't give up! 
When you have that day where nothing goes right. Skip that room if it's not a priority and you will catch up next week but don't give up entirely. Every time I give up (it happens once in a while) I regret it the first week! Even if you just aim for 1 month of sticking to a routine of 20 minutes you will notice a difference!

9. Delegate and Work Together
That 20 minutes does not have to be spent alone, kids can help too, even if it's not a huge job, everything they do, you don't have to do! I think it's good for kids, big and little to see what it takes to make a home run smoothly.

You might not be ready to start tomorrow, but working towards a routine that lets you have more time with your family AND a home you are comfortable with is worth it!

If you don't already have a tidying routine I would start there!
Mine is pretty much the same every morning and evening
Morning
~Start a load of laundry as soon as I get up
~Dishes as soon as breakfast is wrapping up
~A quick pick up trip around to grab things I can see are in the wrong room
If it's downstairs and belongs upstairs I make
 a pile on the stairs and go up once with it all 
Evening
~Dishes once dinner is done
~Finish up leftover laundry from the day
~quick pick up
~Sweep up the big stuff 
~Use a baby wipe and take care of food spills I can see. This saves SO much time when mopping!
~quick wipe down of bathroom counters and anything major

None of those I do alone! Our kids are plenty old enough to pitch in!

Part 2 Will be the KITCHEN! 20 minutes to a clean kitchen!


Linking up HERE
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20 October 2014

Meal Plan Monday

A little different this week, using this food we don't want to move twice!
We sold our home again (so far so good) and close next week, our rental isn't quite ready yet so we are staying with family until it is. Going to be an interesting few days!


Trying to use up open boxes of stuff like hot cereal and everything in our fridge! That should make for some interesting meals this week!

Monday~Meatball Subs
We have meatballs in the freezer that need to be used and marinara sauce I prepped before baby.

Tuesday~BBQ pork sandwiches
Using the rest of the buns and some already made bbq pork from the freezer. We also have a small package of fries that are open.

Wednesday~Stroganoff 
Have sauce and shredded beef in freezer and a package of noodles already open.

Thursday~Chicken and pasta
We have an open box if pasta and some cooked chicken. Lots of frozen veggies too!

Friday~Leftovers!
I know we will have a bit if those. I hate to waste it. Kids like to call it "a little bit of everything" we just give them a little of everything left and some extra fruit and veggies!


Lunches are going to be fun, hoping to use up most of our open sauces and fridge stuff.
Thankfully, when we did this thing in August I used a lot of stuff up instead of buying, then we had the baby so I was really specific about what we brought in the house because I had a whole month of meals made. We still haven't used all of those but it's frozen stuff and we have a deep freezer.

Have you had to move a pantry full of food? Any tips?










 
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16 October 2014

Cute Little Helper

I just got this little mason jar stamp & I love it! 
Drinking water is always something I have struggled with. I have to keep track of my intake everyday. If I don't track it, it won't happen!

I saw it on etsy and knew I needed it. Perfect and dainty and just the right size for my planer pages. I just stamp the number of jars I need for the day and check them off as I drink up!

Is drinking enough a problem for anyone else?
How do you stay on track?
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15 October 2014

3 steps to get kids to do chores

This is how we do things. Not saying it's perfect or it will work for everyone, but here it works pretty well if we do our part as parents (step 3)

Step 1. Make your expectations clear
We use these chore packs and have recently added a chalk board for jobs.


Also I try to remember kids can't do what they don't know how to do. Telling a kid to clean their room without showing them HOW and then showing them what you expect it to look like when they are done is just setting everyone up for frustration. The first couple times do it with them, talk about where things go. Make sure everything has a place. Even if that "place" is a bucket where 20 other things go too. They don't have to do it your way, they probably won't!

2. Explain WHY
Why are you assigning chores, or family contributions? It's probably similar for all of us and different in some ways too. Our kids handle things better when they know why they are being asked to do something. 
 For us, we want them to see and experience that families have to work as a team to get things done, it's not all fun and sometimes we have to do jobs we don't like to do. 
Building good work ethic, like work before play and doing your best are important too.
Step 3. FOLLOW THROUGH
Goodness knows how hard this can be! But this really makes all the difference! Sometimes as adults we get caught up in the things we NEED to get done. Taking that few minutes out of the necessary jobs to inspect kid jobs can seem like the first thing to cut out of our busy day. If you want them to be successful, they need to know when they are doing what you expect AND that you are going to check on their work. Praise for a job well done and showing appreciation for their work consistently is how they get motivated to consistently do the jobs they are asked to do.

Some tips
~don't expect perfection 
~keep jobs age appropriate 
~do them for them once in a while! It's a nice surprise for them

How we do chores
We come home from school, snack, chores then play and homework
Keeping the routine helps, kids know what to expect and hopefully they will remember work before play as adults, with the occasional exception :)


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13 October 2014

Meal Plan Monday

It's that time again! I swear the weeks are flying by since our little guy was born. I am not ready for it to go by so fast! Our kids have a lot of this week off of school so we are not as rushed for time. 

Monday~Enchilada Tater-tot Bake
 This is the recipe we use, altered a little for our family 
Since we need ground beef for this meal, I am thawing and browning enough for 2 meals. Save me a step in the next couple of days.

Tuesday~Chicken and Pasta 
I already have some baked shredded chicken in the freezer, going to thaw that, toss it with some veggies and pasta in some white sauce with herbs. Easy and everyone will eat it.
Wednesday~Taco's
Using up the other part of the ground beef!
Thursday~Meatballs and Potatoes
We all like the Trader Joe's Turkey Meatballs, Thursday is a busy soccer day for us. This is easy to toss together and doesn't require an extended time over the stove. I usually do mashed potatoes but on busy days I "bake" the potatoes in the crock pot during the day.
Just wash, poke and wrap in foil. In the crock pot for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.

Friday~Chicken Spaghetti
I started making this recipe just a few months ago. Everyone here will eat it without complaining or bribery. I do alter the recipe a little, no canned soup here and we use a bit less sour cream.

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10 October 2014

The 18 things I packed for the hospital

Organizing Friday

I planned on sharing my list before we had the baby, oops!  I had a repeat C section, so this list might not be the same as others. While at the hospital I like to make things as homey as I can, but not make too much work for myself when I get home either, no extra laundry and NO ONE likes to unpack, especially after having a baby!

My list for baby is pretty small

~Preemie Outfit
~Newborn Outfit
~0-3 Month Outfit
I say 1 of each, cause you just never know what they will fit in!
~pacifier
if you are not against them
~Baby Shampoo
We like the Honest Co. it smells delish!
~Banner for Bassinet
 ~Couple Blankets
~Car Seat

That is ALL I packed for this boy! I like to really keep it to basics

For myself I packed a little more, it would have been less if we had been having normal September weather!

~Robe 
~Yoga pants
~Something comfy to wear home x2
~Camera
~Phone and Charger
~Extension Cord
 those tables are NEVER close enough for phone chargers!
 ~Nook
Could have skipped that!
~Plug in Air freshener
Not a fan of hospital "smell"
~Blankets from home and a PILLOW!
Nothing beats comforts you are used to
~Bathroom stuff
I skipped the eyeliner but I did bring a little makeup

That is it! It took me about 5 minutes to unpack when we got home! I didn't need everything I packed but didn't feel like I over packed either.

Anything you HAVE to have when you are having a baby? Maybe something not on every other list?
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09 October 2014

Home Management Binder to Personal Planner

I've been using my Home Management Binder for a few years now.
I love it, I don't know what I would do without it, but it's also HUGE and so much of it I don't need everyday. I made a change about a year ago to a smaller planner that will fit in my purse, granted I use a pretty large purse.

Recently I have been needing my HMB less and my planner like crazy!
I need to separate them and keep my HMB in the cupboard for emergencies and back-up, instead of for everyday.

For everyday use I am going to use my small planner. I am currently using this Martha Stewart one
 It's not holding up THAT well, the edges are a little rough looking. I am hoping to be able to splurge on a Filofax soon. If only I could decide on a color, and then find a deal!
I am leaning towards this color, unless I can find the yellow somewhere!

I need to split my sections up into 2, some for my HMB, things I don't need everyday, or even every week. Then the stuff I cannot make it through the week without!

I could make this a crazy long post, I'll keep it as short as I can!

What I am keeping in my HMB?
~Kids School Calendar
~Kids School info
Financial Folder with
~Checkbook and Register
~List of the accounts with #'s and phone numbers for company
~Savings envelopes
~Monthly Debt Goals. I keep track of what we pay off each month.
Must Have Info
~Personal info, like SSN, birth certificates etc.
~Immunization Records
Goals
~Financial Goals
~Life Goals


What I am moving to my planner?
~Wipe Clean Weekly Menu
~Daily Chores
~Daily To Do list
~Meal Planning Section
~Daily Schedule
~Calendar
 And a few more I will be sharing soon!

And I may have been going a little crazy with the stamps and stickers, but it just makes it more fun to look at, and believe me, I have to look at it a TON! I have lack of sleep, new baby brain and am SO forgetful these days! There are SO many cute stickers and options for planners right now,  I am loving these!


https://www.etsy.com/listing/200011494/school-year-planner-stickers?ref=sr_gallery_2&ga_search_query=year+of+planner+sticker&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery


I can't wait to share some more planner stuff in a few days!
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07 October 2014

Halloween Decorations

I was really hoping to go all out again, we put our house on the market last week and we accepted and offer just 3 days later! We are closing just a couple days before Halloween (if all goes well this time!) So, no Halloween decorations this year! 

Sharing some from last year and the year before instead!
You can see all of my previous Halloween posts HERE

I just want to share my favorites, the things I am already missing the most!







I will really miss decorating this house, but I am also SO excited for our next adventure!

Please share your decorations too! I love seeing others Halloween decorations!
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06 October 2014

I'm BAAAACK! Meal Plan Monday!

Our sweet little Hawkins is 2 little weeks old already! It has gone by SOO fast!

We are still getting back into the swing of things and how our new bundle changes how we do things.
Thankfully, I planned and prepped about a months worth of meals ahead of time.
I still need to plan though, or we will have a whole lot of still frozen food come dinner time!

This week we are having

Shredded Beef Taco's
I just cooked a big roast in the crock pot, we used half last week and the rest for this meal.
Cooking once, eating twice is a must right now!

Loaded Potato Soup
We are eating like it's Fall around here, too bad it's still 70-80 degrees!
Crockpot Meatloaf
This is new to us, I am a little worried about how it will turn out!
Chicken Tortilla Soup
In the crockpot, Thursday is a busy day for us!
Chili & Brown Rice
Sneaking in a few ingredients the kids would normally object too!

Weekends are a little easier for us, I don't feel like I have to plan AS much!
What is on your meal plan for the week?
 
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19 September 2014

39 Weeks Pregnant, Fall Cleaning!



I cannot even believe it is almost baby day! Just have to get to next week! I can't wait to share pictures of this little boy, he is already so loved! I have a feeling I will have a stubborn big sister to pry him away from :)

Once things settle down and we are back home I am sure we will quickly get back to our routine! It will be a new and sleep deprived routine, ever changing as baby does.

Until then, even though it's not fall, I did as much of our fall cleaning (inside stuff) as I could between our garage still being pretty full of boxes and being pregnant. No climbing or painting here, hubby's rules. 

Here is the link to previous years FALL CLEANING 
It's about what I used this time, after getting ready to sell our home it was a little different, had much less cabinet stuff to clean out!

I hope to share how we prep for baby once we are home!
It's not all cribs and onesies here. I think with each baby we had less and less, this being our 4th we haven't even picked up a crib yet! 
The prep we do here is more about how we can make family life easier while adjusting with a newborn. Lists are my friend!




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