Friday, September 13, 2013

Art Gallery

This year, my budding artist was asked to have her art work displayed at the Art Show.  She was so excited. We went to the show and saw many talented little people. We brought the art home and it felt like a shame to just put it in a folder where we wouldn't see it again until she went to college.  She was very proud of her work and wanted to put it up in her room.  Up she went with the tape and her picture.  It looked nice up on the wall, but it also looked lonely.

I started thinking about framing her art work but the thought of having to change each picture out was daunting. (She makes a  lot of pictures.) I was looking through frames that I had and found one that was missing the glass and BOOM, I thought if there is no glass it was easy to change. But I only had one :(

So I decided to ask for help. (If I have a broken frame surely others do too.) I posted my Facebook status asking my friends for broken picture frames they were willing to part with, and I hit the mother load. I easily had about 15 frames.

Alex wanted to help.

Alex picked 10 frames and spray paint and we started painting the frames. ( Remember to do this in a well ventilated area. We used the garage)

Her Art Show picture is the fish with the pink background.  She used pointillism to create the fish :)
I have to say it looks pretty good and she can change the pictures as many times as she wants to.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Laundry Room: Our Dirty Little Secret

Cleaning out the dryer lint trap is second nature to everyone. However, I am not sure when we last cleaned out the dryer vent, but when the dryer was no longer drying clothes we took a look.

Eewww, he is putting his hand in there.
First, we disconnected the vent from the dryer and the wall.. Taking off the vent may not work for everyone but our vent is short so it wasn't hard.

This is where the vent meets the wall.  I can see some light.

This is what we, I mean Jack, took out of the vent. I can't even begin to imagine what this stuff is. I think we will put this into a 6 month cleaning rotation. At least now the dryer works great again :)  

If you haven't cleaned your vents you should. It definitely helps with the efficiency of the dryer, not to mention this the stuff that can catch fire and burn down your house.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Garage Purge: Tools Corner

 We worked on a corner of the garage this weekend.  We cleared out ALL the tools and sorted them into pile.  We had: tools, painting, electrical, plumbing, and car maintenance. Then we found bins to put it all in.  I am proud to say that we used bins we already had and I did not spend a dime :)

I still have a couple of finishing touches to do.  I have to print labels, and I would like to spray paint the shelves white or brown to make it pretty.  We aren't at the pretty stage yet.  We are still at purge and organize stage.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Time to Consign

After we took all the baby stuff out of the attic the next step was to decide what to do with it all.

This is only part of the "stash", there is more in the basement and living room

Luckily, this year I was introduced to the wonderful world of consignment. What is consignment? Consignment is taking the things you have stored away and selling them at shops or events. I was introduced to this concept by Michele Fredricks from FairyTagmother. Her motto is "Turn your stash into cash".  She offers a service where she preps and sells your goods at consignment sales at least twice a year.  I love the service because all I do is hand over my "stash" and she does the rest.

So I sorted out all the "stuff" and two car loads later,

 Michelle has my "stash".  She tagging and inputting it the computer as we speak.
 The sale is in September so I will update this post afterward.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Summer Purge: The Garage

After taking everything out of the attic we decided the garge would be next.
So we stalked the weather forecasts until we had a couple of sunny days and started to empty the contents of the garage onto the driveway.

We should have had a garage sale.

Ahhh, it's empty.
We will slowly but surely put everything back BUT it will be in zones.

Garden Zone
The garage is currently in the organizing stage.  Basically, I put everything into piles and decide what kind of bins, baskets, or buckets will work best to coral like items. Then we will start the beatification stage but we aren't there yet.

I am working on the sports zone, tool zone and seasonal zone.  I'll post as I go.

So here is my To Do list for the garge:

  • create zones,ie. sports, gardening, tools, etc...
  • find a spot for the lawn mower and snow blower.
  • create overhead storage for seasonal decorations(I'm thinking loft like)
  • put up drywall and paint
  • new garage door
  • fit the car

Monday, August 26, 2013

Back to School: Week 3 Routine

During the summer we go to bed at 10pm, wake up at 8:15 am.  Sometimes we wear our pjs all day and the pool counts as bath time.  Not anymore.  This week back to school routine is in full effect.

Our routine looks like this:

                 Kids                                                                      Me

Our Morning: 
6:00                                                                          Wake up and
                                                                                 HAVE COFFEE!!!!
                                                                                  get dressed
6:30 Wake up and get dressed                     Make breakfast and lunch
7:00 Eat breakfast and pack lunches         Pack my work bag
7:30 Off to school                                              Off to work

Our Afternoon:
2:00                                                                         Leave work to pick up kiddos
2:30 Give mommy a big hug                           Pick up kids
2:35 Start bickering with sibling in the back seat car  Try not to stop car and let kids walk home
2:45  Snack                                                             Go through school folders and put in a load of laundry
3:00  Start HW                                                     Work on Blog ( help w/ HW)
4:00  Play/Read/Whatever                                  Start dinner and put laundry in dryer
4:30 Dad is home, the kids cheers!!!                        

4:35 All heck breaks loose, kids start bickering AGAIN!     I go hide in my room and let dad deal with it 

5:00 Alex sets table                                                   Dinner is ready

5-7:00 Family time.  This changes once sports start.

7:00 Bath time and Chores                                    Fold laundry
8:00 Family Time
8:30 Bedtime/Read/Study                                     Scrapbooking
8:45                                                                                Cleaning Chores
10:00                                                                              Bedtime!!!

Wow, that looks really good written down.  This off course changes as the year goes on. Eventually, Josh will start basketball, Alex will start gymnastics, Jack usually coaches, and I teach stamping classes once or twice a week.  It is good to have a basic routine and more importantly expectations.   Our routine is not written in stone and is pretty fluid, but our basic needs are laid out and taken care of :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Back to School: Week 2 Lunches

School lunch, my biggest challenge by far. I am always afraid that my little guys don't eat and will some how starve while in school. I know it's crazy. This year I have decided to include the children in the lunch process.

I gave the kids cook books, magazines and Pinterest. As they looked through the lunch ideas they wrote down their favorites. I figure if they look at it and write it down then they will eat it.

So here is what the first week of school lunch looks like:

Monday: Pizza Sticks (Betty Crockers Kids Cook)
Tuesday: PB&J Sushi (Pinterest)(Source)
Wednesday: Mini Pepperoni Pizza (mommy)
Thursday: Cube cut ham and cheese and pesto pasta salad (Pinterest)(Source)
Friday: Hot Dog Fold Up (Betty Crocker)

Hopefully they will come home with empty lunch bags :)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Back to School: Week 1- Supplies

This week the kids and I purchased their school supplies. I armed the children with their supply list and shopping cart and off they searched to find the item on those lists. They did a great job comparing prices and decided if the cheaper versions was the better choice. They also buy extra, at the cheaper price, so they can use it as they run out of supplies during the year. I am raising good consumers, pat on my back.

We brought our bounty home and sorted it in to piles.

Then we put it away to pack another day :)


Once their backpacks are packed for the first day of school, we keep the extra in these bins. I like the bins because when they run low on something during the year they know where to go to get more.


Next week we start planning lunches.


Monday, August 05, 2013

Summer Purge: The Attic

To say my house is currently a "hot mess" is putting it kindly. Every summer I do a big  house purge.  I sort, reorganize, donate, and toss clothes and toys. This year I decided now that my "babies" are ages 10 and 8 years old, it's time to purge the baby stuff.  Yes, ALL the baby stuff is the attic.  I'm talking: high chairs, cribs, bassinets, onesies, all things baby. It's time to let go.  :')  So I sent my hubby up into the 1,000 degree attic and down came the bins. 

As I look around at the MESS, I keep reminding myself that sometimes things look worse before they look better :)

We took down:
15 bins of just clothes 0-3months all the way to 4T
4  bags of toys and stuffed animals
3 bins of blankets and other bedding
2 high chairs
2 kick and play toys
1 bouncy seat
and tons of dust

My plan is to sort the bins (not the dust, we'll keep that) and give some of the clothing to my nieces and nephews.  The rest will go to consignment  ( I'll have more on consignment in another post) or Good Will.

There were a couple of things that I classified as keepsakes.  Those things I placed in a separate bin to save and give to my children when they are all grown up (tearing up right now).  I found their coming home outfit, first birthday outfit, toys that were their favorites and some other goodies.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

August 1 or D day

August 1 reminds me that there are about 4 weeks until school starts.  I know it seems crazy to think that summer is ending but I will admit that I have always loved the smell of new school supplies.  My children (ages 10 and 8) on the other hand may not share my same joy ;)

I like to break the children in slowly with the whole back to school thing.  My hubby is a cold turkey kinda guy but that doesn't work out for us.  So in an effort to ease the transition each week we tackle a back to school project.

Week 1: Supplies
This let's my little people know that summer time is starting to wind down.  They enjoy back to school shopping so I like to start there.  Break them slowly :)

Week 2: Lunches
I start to think about what they will eat.  This year I want to pack healthier lunches so I am making a list of their favorite foods.  Then I'll figure out a school lunch schedule and what to buy.

Week 3: Schedule
This week I put the kids on there back to school bedtime and wake up calls.  It takes about two weeks for us get back into the groove of things.

I also take this time to start them on chore schedules.  We have fall chores that they start.

Week 4: Clothes
I wait to last minute on this because I am terrified they will have some crazy growth spurt and they will not fit their clothes.  

Each week I will let you know our progress and how it works for us :)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Busy Chaos

It's been awhile since I have posted.  As they say, life happens.  It has been a busy couple of weeks, but I should be back in full swing soon.

Here are some post I am working on:

Turn Your Stash Into Cash: Consignment 101
Party Planning on a Budget

Back to School Prep

See you soon.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Laundry Chaos: Where do we put our clothes?

There was a time when my kids had hampers in their rooms.  That is until every time I went to do laundry I would find  legoes, stuffed animals and the occasional sneaker.  In one of my "enough is enough moments", I removed the hampers from their rooms and changed to one hamper in the main bathroom.

Well, this is what has been happening.  The dirty clothes makes it to the OUTSIDE of the hamper.  I am not sure if the lid is to heavy or maybe they are not sure how to work the lid, but they always seem to put their clothes here and not INSIDE the hamper.

So I found a new hamper.  It is a little pricey but I waited until it was half price.  You can order one here at 31 bags

This hamper is located in the spot as the old one. ( After all I didn't want to confuse the children. ) 

It doesn't have a lid to lift.

And it is split into two compartments for whites and darks.  
I must say we have had it for two weeks and so far the kids seem to be able to handle it.  They are putting their clothes INSIDE the hamper.  I guess that lid was tricky.

Added bonus: the bag has handles so it is easy to carry down the stairs.  No more transferring into a basket and THEN hauling it downstairs.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring Cleaning 101: Car Chaos

I love to clean.  Yes I know that sounds weird but I do enjoy my clean and organized house.  I especially look forward to spring cleaning.  My house never looks as good as it does on a bright sunny day with the smell of Pine-Sol in the air. 

I have a list for everything and everything on a list, and the first thing on my spring cleaning list is my car.  

With the weather being crazy this time of year; one day it's snowing and raining, the next its bright and sunny, my kids and I tend to have impromptu trips to the park.  My kids love these trips but the very first time we did it I learned we can't just stop at the park we have to be prepared. So every spring I get my car "park" ready.

 I start be emptying and vacuuming the car. I like a clean interior and after a winter of not being able to clean the car in the driveway, it gets pretty gross in there.  The kids are in charge of decluttering their sides. The rule is "If it is still there when I vacuum it is going in the trash".  The kids hate this part but I especially love when my kids clean their side of the car and find things they have been looking for all winter.  We find toys, books, socks and shoes (yes SOCKS and SHOES, I am not even sure how that happens) 

My super cute spotted bag, and not so cute black bag

Once my car is nice and clean, I refill the trunk.  I know that sounds weird but my trunk is separated into zones: shopping and play.

In my super cute spotted bag I keep all the reusable and thermal bags we use for grocery shopping.  I clean out the bags and throw out any that have wholes in them.  I also only keep ten bags. Honestly, if I didn't put a limit on how many bags I have I would buy I new bag every time I went to store and that just defeats the whole purpose of reusable bags.

Super cute First Aid kit in the not so cute black bag.

In the not so cute black bag I keep our very important First Aid kit. The trips to the park can get dangerous with fearless a 8 and 10 year old.
The First Aid kit is in a super kit bag :).  The bag is actually one of those fold out cosmetics cases, but I don't wear that much make-up (just blush, mascara and chapstick) so in the interest of being green I repurposed the bag.

This bag is the perfect size to fit a First Aid kit.  I take this time to clean out the kit and replace anything that has been used or expired.

The other thing I have is a clean up kit.  This is also super handy to have when they eat or make a mess.  The park doesn't always have bathrooms that should be used by humans so I have them clean their hands in the car. 

And last but most importantly we have a basketball, jump rope and blanket in the car.  The blanket is for me to sit and watch my little angels as they go have fun.  

My car is ready for spring!  Now we just need nice weather.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Kitchen Chaos: Oil and Vinegar

Just quick before and after in the kitchen.

This is how I stored my oil and vinegar before:

Here it is after:

 So nice and pretty.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Bathroom Chaos: Waste Not, Want Not

Sometimes it's the little things that make take the longest time to decide.

In my case it was the waste basket in the downstairs bathroom.  
 We are in the process of redoing the downstairs bathroom. We have new walls, tiles, tub, commode, my dream pedestal sink (yes, the sink makes me smile) 

 Well new everything, EXCEPT for the wire basket that is just WAY too big for the space. I had to tuck it under the sink ( yes, under my precious baby) because it was the only place it would fit. Worse is the fact that because of where it is, you are forced to stare at it while you did your business (sorry that's as delicate as I can put)  It just was not cool.  (Yes, NO WIRE BASKETS! was constantly screaming in my head)

 Don't get me wrong, I like the wastebasket, just not in this space.  For this bathroom, I knew I wanted something smaller and white.  So of to and I an 10 minutes later found the waste basket of my dreams. 
( I know I have a problem :)

Isn't it cute. It's small, it's white and fits nicely NEXT to the commode.  It's not screaming "Look garbage!"and best of all I don't have to look at the trash anymore !!! 

My new view is nice and garbage free.

What happened to the wire basket, you ask?  It has found a new home in the bigger upstairs bathroom. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

My Kingdom for the Right Chair

This is one of my favorite spots in the house. It is quiet, bright and relaxing.  Best of all, I couldn't ask for nicer view.

The chair in this picture is from my dining room.   Which means when 6 people came over for dinner I had to go get the chair.  Very tiring.  However, I didn't want to get any chair for my haven, it had to be the right chair, and more important that it had to be the right price.

I wanted a Parsons chair like this one except I didn't want the $210 price tag.  So I looked high and low and waited.  And I mean waited, like a year waited. I knew eventually my chair would find me.

And so it did, in Ikea!!!

It is the HENRIKSDAL chair with cover and it was $99.95.  Come to me baby.  

That is the good news, great chair, great price: bad news, wrong color.  We thought we ( by we I mean my husband who went to get the chair without me) bought the one with the dark legs but it turned out to be light legs.  Our Ikea is an hour and half away so we are keeping, it is just to far to return it.  When I have time I will sand the legs down and stain them a darker color, but for now I love my pale chair.  I'll give it tan over the summer.   


Monday, February 18, 2013

Responsibilty Chart

This post is an extension to a previous  Getting Organized post. 

Thank you to Leisel for asking to see more about our Responsibility chart. She wrote:

I'm interested in your responsibility chart. I'd love to see a post on that.

In the previous post I showed how I try to keep my family organized everyday. With four people living in one house heading in all directions, we need to know who has to be where and doing what.  We are lucky because we have two children, one boy one girl; so we have man to man to defense in our house :)

So here it is. This is what our fridge looks like:

We don't have a fancy stainless steel fridge so I don't mind putting stuff on it.

Our responsibility chart is the most important chart in the house. I found the chart at Target .  I chose this chart because I love that the first column is for things we do everyday, and I don't have to write it over and over again.

The everyday chores are written in wet wipe marker, so that I don't have to rewrite it every week.

On this chart I put everything that is going on for the week, ie, school, sports, classes, etc.  
It's a slow week.
 I write the weekly things in dry erase marker so that it is easier to erase and change.

This is a usually a jumping off point for the family.  We keep track of four main things on this chart:

1. School-  My children's school has a website where I can see there homework, test dates and projects.  I go there on Mondays a fill out the chart so the kids know what subjects they have to study for during the week. 
2. Sports- My children play basketball and my hubby coaches both teams so this where we keep track of games and practices.
3. Work- We put any meetings or classes on this list too.  This helps me know when hubby will be late from work.  I teach stamping/scrapbooking classes from my home, so this gives my husband warning what days the house will be full of women scrapbooking.
4. Family-  This is also where I post any plans we have for the weekend.

The chart is great because it keeps everyone in the know.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Flowers: One bouquet, Three ways

My darling hubby buys me flowers every other Friday.  Up until a couple of months ago I took the bouquet out of the paper on placed it in a large vase.  I really didn't do much with it.  Then I saw on Mini Manor Blog that her husband also brought her flowers BUT she separated the bouquet in smaller ones and placed them around house.  Well, I have a bunch of little vases that I never knew what to do with, until now. 

Here is the original bouquet.  I put it in water while I gathered my supplies.

This one found a home in the living room.

This one will make its way to the bedroom.  I love the big white bloom.

This one is next to the cookies.  Cookies and flowers, does it get any better?
Now I have flowers around the house, not just the kitchen. I have to admit it was fun putting the little bouquets together.

I linked to Tuesday Treasures