31 August 2016

Fake a Clean House in 6 Steps

 Keeping it real, some weeks or months are just rough! Things aren't how we want them to be, we are tight on time, or patience or both in my case! When we are in one of those seasons of life this is how we do life. Or if you forgot you were having company and it's 30 minutes until they arrive. It's not ideal, it's not organized or perfect, but when you just need to make it through today, this works! 

1. Make the Beds
 I know I am not the first to say it, a made bed just has some special powers!
And really, when you look at a room with a made bed it looks cleaner, even if it's not really.

2. Clean the Toilet
Not even all of them, just the main one. 

3.Candles, Windows and Flowers
Yummy smells and breezy air and some fresh flowers from the yard make things look, smell and feel put together, even if they aren't!

4. Clear the Clutter
Just grab a laundry basket or box, run around real quick and grab anything that isn't where it belongs. They aren't going to get hurt in the box, and you aren't spending time putting them away right now. These are my favorite, so simple and don't take up room when not in use!

And if you are like us, kids toys everywhere, a basket and blanket combo will hide SO MUCH! It's nice to have a spot that still looks pretty but has function too! Easy squeezy! 

5. Dishes
Just load them in the dishwasher, out of site for now.
Quick wipe down of counter and sink while you are in there.

6. Entry
If you have time, sweep the porch off real quick.
For me, cobwebs/spiderwebs have to go. They creep me out.

And if you STILL have time, wipe down light switches and doors that people might see.

*May contain affiliated links* I participate in Amazon Associates Program occasionally. I won't recommend a product I wasn't myself interested in trying or have tried. I may receive monetary compensation for participating. This does not change the price for you.
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30 August 2016

How We Keep a Clean (Enough) Home

 This will be a multi-part post so it doesn't get too long and boring, it's already a boring subject!
My GOAL is to have it Clean, Welcoming, and Comfy. Of course there is a BUT to that. 
BUT, it can't take too much time. Family time is our most important thing! We don't want to spend it cleaning. We have 4 busy kids and plates that are a bit on the full side. 

Think I am crazy? Think this balance doesn't exist?  
I'm going to share how we do it.

1. Fake It When Needed
2. 15 Minute Tiding
3. Weekly Cleaning
4. Seasonal Cleaning

I'm not telling anyone their business or how their home should look, or anything like that. I'm not judging anyone who doesn't care so much about housekeeping. It's not something everyone spends time thinking about. I get that, I promise! So if that's not you, totally ok! 
If you already feel led to keep a tidy, clean, or clean enough home, then great! Let's chat about that!
 I wouldn't claim that our home is spotless, not ever. It varies on a week to week basis on if I would even call it clean.

*May contain affiliated links* I participate in Amazon Associates Program occasionally. I won't recommend a product I wasn't myself interested in trying or have tried. I may receive monetary compensation for participating. This does not change the price for you.
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26 August 2016

Thermos lunches

Our kids are picky (and school lunches are spendy) so we do a lot of thermos lunches. We save sandwich lunches for extremely busy days and field trips. 


Here are some common thermos lunches  around here:

-Quesadilla triangles
-Pasta with some veggies and cheese 
-Teriyaki chicken and rice
-Deconstructed burrito (filling but no shell)
Taco meat
-Send stuff for nachos or a taco
I make an extra batch of sauce, freeze it in ice cube trays and just make the pasta in the morning, thaw a cube in the fridge or microwave and done!
-Soup and stew 
Easy to make extra! 

What do you put in yours? 

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15 August 2016

Back to School Snack Mix

This is a fun, easy, not terrible snack for after school. The first day of school makes me think of apples and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches 🍎🍞

I don't usually measure but made some guesses this time! Add more of your favorites, you really can't go wrong!

3C Chex (or crispix or life, whatever is on sale!)
1C Freeze dried apples broken into little bites
1C Peanuts
3/4C PB chips 
3/4C Pretzels 

You can add dried strawberries too if you want to make it even more sweet. We didn't have any or I would have halved the PB chips and added some dried strawberries. Yogurt peanuts are a good alternative too. Might make it look a little less monotone hehe

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11 August 2016

Updated Homework Setup

I have no idea if any of our older 3 will have homework. I am assuming the 6th grader will and probably the 1st grader, going to set up for that and change it if we need to. Oh how I miss the last time I shared our work set up. 2 tiny elementary students and a pre-preschooler :(

We already have a drawer for colored pencils, crayons, art supplies and that kind of stuff. It's just not very conducive to homework, too many fun distractions. I don't want to do anything TOO over the top or crazy. I'm just tidying the drawer that already has all their other stuff. Journals, devotionals and such, stuff we ideally use everyday. Added a little basket with plain pencils (no one comes looking for those) and a few crayons. I might add their workbooks, once we know who has homework and how much. 

This is also where we will keep their reading logs and folders, if it's like years past where they bring them home Monday and return Friday. 

I don't know if there is anything worse than a frantic type A kiddo who doesn't know where their homework folder is and it's time to go. I'd love to eliminate that whole dilemma with this! 

 It's not a huge drawer, but I am also hoping to have room for 1st grade library books. He is NOT of the type A variety and really has no desire to keep track of anything.
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09 August 2016

*Updated* Breakfast Plan

Breakfast time can be a disaster, mornings are rough, having a plan makes it a little easier, not easy, but a teeny bit easier.

I don't love the idea of something super rigid, but mornings here need just a little bit of structure.
 I plan to make the same things each week.  Our kids are getting old enough that a lot of mornings they can do it themselves, I am usually up before them though and like to do it! I'm not talking some crazy elaborate breakfast every morning. I am just picking the 5 or 6 things I know the kids like, are not going to kill our budget, will keep them full enough to make it to snack time and not full of sugar or junk. 

Kodiak Cakes and Fruit
We LOVE Kodiak Cakes!

Yogurt and stuff
We add stuff like nuts, granola, seeds, fruit

Oatmeal and fluff, fruit and all that. Steel Cut Oats in the Instant Pot are AMAZING. Definitely my favorite!

Waffles and fruit
Usually with PB for some protein

Bacon or Sausage and Eggs with toast.
Especially now that our chickens are finally laying!

**I also have stuff for protein smoothies pretty much all of the time, for busy days or if we are low on something**

We keep our breakfast fluff, like granola, cinnamon sugar, oatmeal they can do themselves etc. all together and easy to get out and put away.  

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08 August 2016

Keeping Home Pretty & Organized

Alright, I got everything, and I mean every.single.thing gone through and I purged a bunch! Look at these empty containers from just 1 day!

I haven't put it all back where it needs to be but now there is SO much less to deal with, should be much easier!

 Step 1 is done ✔️
Step 2 is making a place for it that is smart and pretty! 
Clutter isn't pretty, crock pots aren't either.

Making things pretty for me is the use of a wide variety of things, I use bins, baskets, boxes, whatever we already have on hand. But first, I have figured out where the *good* spots are and use them! These are spots that are easy to access, no furniture moving to get to them. They are in rooms you are in often, and that can HIDE stuff. So drawers, cupboards, cabinets etc. That is where the ugly stuff goes. BUT, it has to be ugly stuff that gets used often. Remember that quesadilla maker? Did you keep it? Do you use it more than once a month?  For us, the instant pot, amazing and ugly and used 4+ times a week gets residency in a GOOD spot. 

There isn't some magic list of what you should store in your good storage spots. I don't know what you think is ugly, how much you have storage for etc. Organizing is pretty individualized, it's not going to be some cookie cutter list for everyone.  

These are our GOOD hiding spots, besides closets. But those get some special treatment too.

~Old trunk
 I am hesitant to put anything in here that isn't plastic, because it's old and weird and smells a little. I've got this empty bin, from all that purging, and it fits perfect.

~Hall Built In
This is where our printer, filing, sewing machine and my home office are. The lower drawers store fabric, puzzles, gift wrap supplies and a couple are empty! WOOHOO

Hopefully painting these will be in the cards soon! 

~Kitchen Cupboards
This one is a common one, we all use them. Ours have the blenders, pots and pans. Although we do have a few empty drawers!

Food, it's not all pretty! Some of it can be, but most is not. I'm hoping to make it prettier in here soon!

We also hide our toaster and ugly microwave in there!

Besides clothes, we use dressers in other rooms.  I have my "Mom Drawer" in there, kids daily stuff. Their chore cards, journals and that stuff. And then the bottom 2 drawers are craft stuff and decor.

~Entry Table
This is a SUPER spot to get some extra storage. We chose this one, with 4 drawers (1 for each kid) and a whole other side.  The kids have so much random junk in there. I don't care what is in there, as long as its not food. Wallets, gum, change, nerf darts, socks etc. They each have a drawer and I don't deal with it. I ask them to clean them out every once in a while.
The other side is empty right now, thanks to purging!

Where are your good hiding spots? What do you keep in them?

*May contain affiliated links* I participate in Amazon Associates Program occasionally. I won't recommend a product I wasn't myself interested in trying or have tried. I may receive monetary compensation for participating. This does not change the price for you.
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Snack Prep to Save Time & Money

It's been 5 long, but fast, years and SO much has changed!
For 1, none of that would last a week anymore! These growing kids and growing appetites!
Also, the actual snacks have changed a bit as well as the containers.

Now I snag these and give myself a little time, usually on Monday's when I am working in the kitchen quite a bit anyway. 

I just fill while I can, between reading to the baby and coloring or Skip Bo with the big kids. It doesn't take a terribly long time, just repetitive. I have been doing a terrible job at it all Summer. Working on making the school year as smooth running as I can though, getting back in to the habit!

And we use a whole drawer in the fridge. This fridge is new, so I am not sure if this is how this set up will stay. We aren't used to it yet. Let me get a couple times of grocery shopping in and see what happens.
Normally I wouldn't buy individual apple sauce or yogurts, both were less than big containers at our outlet. 
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05 August 2016

Weekly Outfits for Kids

Now that I have all their stuff organized, gonna straight ruin that and make a week + worth of outfits.
Last year I was too tired to care much about what they wore, wasn't worth the battles. 

This year I have had a bit more sleep. I don't want it to be a battle, but I'd also like some more of her clothes to see sunlight.

These fancy schmancy dollar tree hangers are perfect! 5 slots to hang outfits. I am planning on doing 2 weeks at a time and adding this task to my Sunday night routine until I either burn out or feel like she can do a little better job not wearing her 4 favorites. I haven't found the hangers lately, but amazon has some HERE

I also just clipped the matching hair bow or headband right onto the shirt or hanger! 
This will probably save me a few minutes each morning. Once the weather is more varied I might have a little bit of hard time getting her to choose the weather appropriate one.

*May contain affiliated links* I participate in Amazon Associates Program occasionally. I won't recommend a product I wasn't myself interested in trying or have tried. I may receive monetary compensation for participating. This does not change the price for you.
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