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31 January 2013

Spoil your Mr. this month!

It's not something I think about all day everyday but it being almost February and Valentines quickly approaching, I thought it would be a nice thing to do a little more for the Mr. He does so much for us, goes to work everyday even when he doesn't feel like it, watches Downton Abbey with me, even if I know he isn't realllllly paying attention he still pretends. He also always take the trash out and is there if I need him for silly things, like flat tires and spiders. I could make a huge list of the things he does that he doesn't HAVE to do but does cause he is a good guy!  We don't usually exchange gifts for Valentines and we don't go out that day either. So I want to do something special.. lots of somethings. Many don't cost a penny! 
I've looked all over for ideas on little ways to spoil our Hubby's. 
Here is a long list of ways we can show them they are appreciated, some will be obvious ones, that maybe you already do everyday, or often. Hopefully some of them will be a nice surprise though!

~Put the game on before he gets home (if they are into
sports).. I'm sure mine would rather walk in to that, than
cartoons or a cooking show

~Get up a little earlier than him and make his morning drink,
and bring it to him

~Get his car washed for him/or wash it yourself

~Warm up his towel in the dryer while he is in the shower

~Make him breakfast if he usually takes something to go even if it means getting up early!

~Take the kids out so he can relax after work, even a little quiet time to unwind helps

~Leave a little note in his lunchbox, briefcase, toolbox.. wherever

~I saw this comment somewhere.. super sweet! "One simple thing
I sometimes do is pre-toothpaste his toothbrush.  It saves him
just like 4 seconds in his morning routine but when I do it I
always hear him say “awww” from the bathroom.  Haha.  It’s
silly, but it’s something."  SOOOO cute!

~Get the kids involved! Encourage/help them write Daddy a
little note.. maybe their favorite thing about him

~Ask his opinion about something you normally wouldn't

~Hug him just because!

~Make him his favorite meal, without fretting about cost/calories

~Don't ask him to do anything today! No laundry, dishes, diaper
duty

~Make him a pre dinner snack.. and somewhere to enjoy it solo,
unwind from work. When I am on top of things, pepperoni,
cheese and crackers are a fave here

~Do one of HIS chores today, even if you don't like to do it

~Pick out his clothes for the day and lay them out

~Drop off a gift card to his fave bar/wing place at work with a
note so he can eat without sharing in the mayhem of kids at dinnertime

~Take him out to lunch or bring a picnic to him for lunch

~Make ALL the plans for a date.. keeping his preferences in mind

~Do one of HIS favorite activities together, even if it's not something you love

~Text him, just to say you were thinking of him

~Replace his socks with new ones.. Who doesn't like new socks?!

~Let him know you appreciate him

~Back/Foot rubs seem to be a common suggestion

~Rent a movie that is something he would like.. and watch it with him without complaining


Those are just some examples.. maybe 21 days of it will become a new habit, a challenge to do more. Not every one of them has to be over the top, small meaningful gestures will be appreciated too!
And I think the more we are thinking of nice things we could do, the more we will appreciate all that they DO for us too!

The list HERE REALLY inspires me!

I have this pinboard with other sites for suggestions too.

What are your favorite things to do for the people you love?
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29 January 2013

Light Valentines Decorations


We have too much going on to go full on crazy with decorations this year. But I did put a few out! 

I always do the wreath.. I have to look at it so often for dishes it needs to be pretty!

There is something missing here, not sure what it is or which kid snagged it though

I love using seasonal utensils. I can't leave the cupcake and kisses ones out all the time, but I bring out every pink one we own in February!

Some super pretty tulips from a sweetheart friend!
I love the fiesta pitcher, I seem to use it as a vase more than a pitcher though!


Thank you Dollar Tree picks for making cute vase filler 

See we don't always have things spotless. I think the little one was playing with the legos AND the cupcake.

I LOVE these little angel wings! I wish I would have picked up more! 

Little Pennant Banner from last year, thinking its getting either some enhancements or replaced if I can squeeze a couple crafting hours in.


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Goals.. 1 month in



The month is almost over! I haven't done everything I set out to do but I am chugging along!
I don't want to just be going through everyday with 1 goal in mind though either. We have reasons for these goals but they aren't THE reason for everything. While these goals are important, they are still a 2nd to making memories with the kids and being present in today. Sometimes it can be hard to love today when there are BIG goals for the future but today is JUST as important. Hoping we are showing our kids that in our actions and words.


How are y'all doing on your goals or resolutions?

Here is my list of things done.. not that any of them are a 1 time thing! All ongoing

~I have been organizing and decluttering every Friday! The amount of THINGS we have taken out of here just amazes me. All things we didn't need and that were just taking space and energy. I am really loving the letting go of things!

~I have been mindful of stockpiling things that won't expire when I have been to the grocery store and done a little. Peanut Butter on sale and some chicken stock. Not much but it will help down the road.

~Put our little asthmatics backpack together and hauled it all over! Haven't needed it, but don't want to need it and not have it either! His backpack has a change of clothes, a few snacks, water bottles and his inhalers.
He happily carries it with him to and from the car, it's almost as big as him but he doesn't mind!

~I've been to the gym! I can't believe how much I missed it! I haven't been good about making less trips into town and them surrounding the gym. Still working on that!

~I've already read 4 books (any suggestions?!) this year and watched very little TV. Completely stopped "reality" TV. It all just makes me sick how people can act and treat other people!

~Starbucks has taken WAY less of our money! I have had it a couple times outside of grocery shopping day, and both times it wasn't very good... so thank you Starbucks for making it a little easier for me to quit you altogether!

~Target hasn't seen me as much either! I have been SO much better about going, and when I have been going I have been very mindful about what goes in the cart!

~And I did get a part time job! It's nothing glamorous but the hours could NOT be better for our family, I know it's safe and something that will be good for my physically as well. After the first day of training I could feel some muscles in my arms that hadn't been used in a while. I will take that added benefit!


Still a LOT to work on, but managing to accomplish all those in 1 month AND still do fun stuff with the kids, we have been making an effort to do stuff as a family and individually with the kids, basketball games with daddy, roller skating with mommy. Stuff that isn't over the top, doesn't cost a lot or require much planning but 1 on 1 time is important to the kids too, undivided attention is important too.



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28 January 2013

4th Monday?!

It does not feel like there have been 4 Mondays already!
This week is going to be busy but for sure less crazy than last week so I will take advantage of that.

Meal Plan
Monday~ chicken and veggies
Tuesday~ Tacos
Wednesday~Spaghetti
Thursday~Grilled Cheese
Friday~Out for Birthday Dinner!

Weekly Plans
Lots of appointments 
Weekly Chores
Finish my Weekend Project
Finish Valentine Crafts!
Compare Goals to plan

Fun Stuff
A weekend FULL of Birthday Fun
Valentine's Crafts
Basketball


Valentine's Day Decorations coming soon!!

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25 January 2013

Organizing Friday

Last week I showed our disaster of a upstairs linen closet! It's still not perfect but a whole lot better!
Got the linen closet all done! Moved some towels into an empty cupboard in the kids bathroom, organized all the bins that had collected stuff they weren't supposed to. Moved the band-aids to a cute new little pail, with the neosporin!  Overall I am fine with it, I have an entire shelf to add some stock piling too, if it comes up. I am still trying to figure out the whole free TP thing. The kind we buy is rarely on sale and coupons are only ever .25 cents off.. I must be doing something wrong!!






And today's task will really be a weekend long one more likely. This is our garage, and I have been using these bookshelves for holding a little of everything and some stock piling. But I don't NEED to use them for that and the kids backpacks, lunch boxes and jackets are KILLING me! I am just sick of them all over!
So here are the befores..

Come back next Friday to see what I can turn this icky stack of junk into! I have some ideas.. let's hope I can make it work!

Who else has a weekend project? Or maybe just a Friday Project?



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21 January 2013

Monday with my littles!

I LOVE when they have an extra day from school! 
Starting today a little later than usual with my coffee and planning for the week.  
Today we are working on some stuff around here. It's still super cold so all inside stuff, we are all getting a little stir crazy though.

Hubby is out of town for part of this week so we are winging it on dinner those nights, the kids like to have breakfast for dinner when hubby is gone because he doesn't care for that at all. 

I didn't quite get to everything I wanted to last week, we did get to date night with my mini. Roller skating! Super fun, can't wait to go again.
Didn't get to Valentine's Day stuff.. HOPING we can do that today after resting time. I need to dust and vacuum everything before we get the glitter explosion out and have to vacuum AGAIN afterwards. That's the plan for today after putting together a couple weeks worth of outfits for these kids. Mornings have been rough with this cold weather! Even after choosing clothes the night before, matching a jacket to their clothes has been a big FAIL. The boy thinks a long sleeve T shirt is enough, and the girl thinks she can wear a hoodie over everything and polka dot leggings go with everything. I'd really like dressing in the morning to go better. SO that is a MUST for today! I put their outfits together and they get to decide which one to wear so they still have a little say in it. 

Not really doing a meal plan this week either. I know we have stuff for a few meals and I will just make them as we decide what to have.

Is it freezing where you are?
What are you doing this week?
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18 January 2013

Organizing Friday

Feeling pretty good that I am getting it done 3 weeks in a row. I am on a mission to get and KEEP this place as organized and clutter free as possible!

Last week was the closet that gets abused and has been my Friday project more times than I care to count. But I made a big difference this time and I am already loving the extra room. If I get the chance to really work on our stock pile I might be taking advantage of all this space!

I really like those green Ikea filing boxes, they were inexpensive and big enough to hold all our electronic crud, phone bases, blank cd's and stuff that NEVER looks pretty. There is just no way to make it look good so it needs a box! The other one has all of our wrapping stuff in it, tape, bags, tissue paper and scissors.

This week I am working on our linen closet. As you can see we have lots of blankets and extra bathroom products. I hate seeing boxes that don't stack well and just look MESSY! So I picked up these baskets here and there as I found good clearance prices. I have one for middle of the night kid stuff, cough meds, tylenol, thermometer all those type things. Because no one wants to be hunting for them while there is a sick kid!

The other thing I am doing while I am in there is checking all the expiration dates and amounts of the usuals, then restocking any we are in need of.
Toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and mouthwash take another basket up. Shampoo (I'm the only one giving that up) and a bunch of travel size stuff are in another basket. Hubby goes out of town pretty often so we use all kinds of travel size stuff. I am sure there is some stuff in here expired, close enough to empty or probably belongs somewhere else to make a difference in here.
I'll share the improvements next week! Happy Friday!



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14 January 2013

Cold Cold Monday


It's cold here and I don't want to go anywhere! Last week was kind of a disaster, my car was in the shop off and on all week. I feel like I got nothing done, just played taxi driver!


Meals

Monday~Chicken Tortilla Soup
Tuesday~Shepherds Pie
Wednesday~ Chicken and Pasta
Thursday~Chili
Friday~Pork Burritos
Saturday~Beef Stroganoff Soup ( new recipe, little nervous)
Sunday~Spaghetti 

Around the House

~Try one of the homemade dishwasher soaps
~Organize something on Friday

Everything Else

~Valentine's Day decorations
~Date with my mini


Trying to keep it a mellow week!




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12 January 2013

2nd Day Hair

Well now that I have been DOING my hair everyday for a week, I am learning to love 2nd day hair. My style is put together but not perfect. Nothing super fancy, more like messy but intentional.

My favorite thing for day 2 right now is this thang!
It looks weird but I love it. It's used to make a bun. I think they are called bun donuts. Its squishy and kind of rough so it grips my hair. I make a pony tail, put this on and pull it all the way to the ends then roll it down and keep tucking the ends in as I go. It's not perfect but I am not going for perfect so it works just right for me. I have some pieces that fall out and I leave my bangs out. It takes just a few minutes but it looks like I intentionally did my hair. I have added a bow or flower most days to help tuck in strays but I don't need any pins to keep it up all day!
My next favorite is twisted/braided bangs with headband and low messy bun. kinda like this

but with bangs like this


And mine never looks this good, much more imperfect but I do not care as long as it stays all day!
And even a ponytail and the braided bangs look better than JUST a ponytail. My hair is pretty short right now so I have limited options but happy I am putting the effort in!

I pretty much HAVE to do a bun of some sort because I sleep with my hair pulled back and no matter what there is a crease in it. So if I don't want to straighten it AGAIN (NO time for that) then the crease has to be hidden! I am taking full advantage of the cold weather and wearing the cute knit hats once in a while too!

What is your favorite 2nd day hair style? Websites or blogs you love with tutorials?
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11 January 2013

Organizing Friday!




Look at that, already doing better than I did all of last year! 2 weeks in a row ha!
The pantry looks so much better and I have cleared almost an entire shelf for some long term stock piling! I also did some mega purging and got rid of about half of my cookie cutters (again) I don't know how I ended up with 3 of the same ones, all varying sizes but still, unnecessary. Kids at school will love them for playdough and now I have 1 less bucket up there to deal with. Win-win!




I love using these file boxes or zip baggies and all the foil, wrap and stuff, they fit perfect!

This week I am taking on our closet that I used for Christmas gifts and cleaning stuff. If it looks familiar it is because I have NO problem organizing it and 100 problems keeping it organized ! It's been on here a handful of times (here, here and here) already, but each time it gets better and better. Hopefully this is the last time I have to fix it and we can keep it looking good!


But I am trying to be real and let some of my hoarding tendencies go. Do I reallllly need all those rags for cleaning, no I probably don't need 15. I can probably get the job done with 4 for the entire year and get some space back!

Hopefully next weeks Organizing job will have pictures of a MUCH emptier closet!
What have you been putting off organizing?



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09 January 2013

Hair/Makeup part 2

One of my personal goals I shared here was getting put together more often. 
For me makeup CAN take forever, I was able to scale it back. Checking out all those 5 minute makeup challenges on Youtube. It's amazing what some of those girls can do in 5 minutes! And they have some great multitasking resources!
But for me I think the easiest way to get makeup done faster is to have less to "fix"!  I figured if I can get my skin better I can do less to it in the mornings. Makes sense right?
I have super dry skin and occasionally break out. SO thought that would be a thing of the past once I was in my 30's! I'm ok dealing with wrinkles but BOTH, no way.

Just like I am a sucker for makeup, it's the same for skin products. I think I have tried everything! Some things that seems to work well for other people gave me such a bad chemical burn! I decided I need to find a more natural, less chemical (and expensive) way to deal with things!
I kept seeing people going on about OIL CLEANSING METHOD. At first I was like, yeah right this just sounds INSANE because of all the other products that say oil free, and talk about oil like its horrible. But I was kind of desperate, so I tried it. And after the first week where I swear my skin was WORSE, it got SO much better. Not only is my skin feel and look better, it is SO much less expensive to make these products myself! Now maybe I can afford some GOOD wrinkle cream too lol. There are SO many different options depending on your skin type. But all can be made for a fraction of the price of commercial stuff!


I also use witch hazel sometimes as a toner. I got these amazing pumps that are fast and easy to use with the cotton pads. And only $0.55!
And if THAT didn't make you think I was crazy, this might.  I also got back on board with NOT WASHING MY HAIR. Yup, sounds wrong doesn't it? But I was doing it before and don't know how I got off track but I am paying for it now. I am sure most of us have heard how bad the commercial shampoos are and how much better the natural, no sulfate ones are for us. The issue I have is the good ones are spendy. I started just mixing baking soda and water. 1 Tablespoon baking soda for each cup of water, I mix it in a big jug ahead of time. I use just a little, maybe a 1/4C at a time for my shoulder length hair rub it in well and rinse SUPER SUPER well. Some people use apple cider vinegar on the ends to "condition" them. I just use a little coconut oil on my ends, and I use a leave in conditioner that I LOVE (and won't give up even though I am sure it's not ideal) a couple times a week. My hair is SO much better when I use this method. I don't have to "wash" it everyday because I am not using chemicals to strip my hair, that makes your scalp freak and make extra oil to compensate.. vicious cycle I tell ya.
 It takes my scalp about 10 days of me being good for it to stop over producing and heal. Once that 10 days (of every 3rd day wearing a hat) are over I have super hair, shiny too! Super hair that dries faster, super hair that costs me next to nothing to keep up with and no more frizz! Not going back to commercial shampoo, no matter what it claims it can do or how it smells!

Between these 2 things I think I cut about 5 more minutes off my morning routine! And help with the budget a little bit too.

What "crunchy" methods do you use and love? I am all for trying new natural stuff !
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07 January 2013

First Monday in January!


Planning on getting back to this every Monday!
Keeping up with my meal planning and weekly plans because 
 I have to avoid extra trips into town and stick to our grocery budget!

Meals

Monday~Chicken and rice with veggies (made a big thing of chicken yesterday)
Tuesday~ Pork Burritos (made these in the crock pot, using  the frozen leftovers!)
Wednesday~Chicken Stir Fry
Thursday~Grilled cheese
Friday~Potato Soup (using leftover ham)
Saturday~Spaghetti
Sunday~Chicken Tortilla soup


Around the House

~Catch up on Weekly Chores (Anyone else have a harder time when hubby is home?!)
~HMB. Work on 1 folder (order missing vital records)
~Organize something on Friday
~Try 1 of the homemade Dishwasher soaps

Everything Else!
~Grocery Shop, and stick to my list!
~Library trip
~Birthday party planning (SO behind!)





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04 January 2013

Organizing Friday!





It's Baaaaaack!
Finally!
Well this is the first Friday in a long time where I have a plan to organize something!
The Pantry isn't horrible after the holidays but it's easy and I am easing back into things!
It is also in line with my GOALS! Financially, I won't be buying something we already have. Home goals, I will be working on our stock pile by KNOWING what we have. My goal to lose this last 15 pounds will likely be a little easier if I can make sure we have HEALTHY snacks in the pantry.
Here is what happens when kids are home for 3 weeks!




I also cleaned up and out 2 cupboards a couple weeks ago. One I don't think I had opened in a year! So I moved the pots and pans and the cookie sheets to a smaller cupboard and it made a TON of room in one of the big ones. I am going to finish moving some stuff around and see if it works better for us!

I should  have some pictures of it looking MUCH better next Friday and another area to fluff!


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03 January 2013

Hair, makeup and clothes

Since one of my goals is to put myself together more often I have to find a way to do it faster than I do now! I do my hair maybe every other day now and I do my makeup every few days. I have about 20 minutes to do it ALL in the morning, hair, makeup and get dressed!

Hair feels like the thing that takes the most time so the first thing I did to help with the time was cut my hair SHORT (for me anyway) I cut about 14" off and that alone has made it SO much faster to do my hair, no more blow drying for an hour and no more ponytail everyday! Pinterest (of course right?) has a ton of cute ways to do shorter hair that don't take a lot of time. 
This site is my favorite! She has lots of cute ideas that aren't overly perfect. I don't have time for perfect in the morning. I also spent a little time on Youtube, I don't use it often but I can see I could replace my Pinterest time with YouTube easily. I liked all of THESE too!

I have been setting out the hair stuff I will need the night before so I am not as tempted to just do a ponytail. Planning ahead is going to be the only way I can get hair and makeup done in 20 minutes! I also have been planning on setting out my clothes for the next day as part of my bedtime routine. I need a full length mirror, the 20 trips to the kids bathroom to use the mirror takes a lot of time!

Makeup is one of my weaknesses!  I just really like it. I have a few different brands/styles of the same color of eyeshadow. WHY?! No idea, sometimes I just can't help it! So I decided to go through and limit my choices to the few colors I am likely to use everyday anyway and get the clutter out of my
 "everyday" pile of makeup! I figure that will make it easier if I don't have too many
choices and can keep the others out of the way!

This is my eyeshadow stash, AFTER I went through it all and got rid of about half. This is still too many choices for everyday. So I kept out just the few I feel like I use the most down to this
I use everything in this drawer pretty much everyday. I had SO much other stuff in there taking up room and making it cluttered and hard to get to the stuff I actually use!

I also saw on Youtube there were a TON of "5 minute makeup". I seriously need to practice! It's crazy what some of them can do in 5 minutes! What I decided to do is use multitasking and basic stuff, tinted chapstick, tinted moisturizer or BB cream.. whatever it's called.
And basic eye makeup, no liquid eyeliner or anything time consuming! Pretty sure it will take more than 5 minutes still but less than it was!

I will have another post soon, on 2nd day hair, speedy makeup (I hope!) and my favorite outfit blogs!
And another on better skin and better hair! Less expensive for both and all natural! Y'all might think I am a nutter after reading that one though :)
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01 January 2013

2013 Goals ~ Home

On to #3 Home!



~Home
~Better my HMB
~Keep on eliminating clutter
~Try more homemade cleaning products and bath products
~Work on our stock pile
~Work on our emergency packs (leftover from last year..oops)

~So for the HMB my plan is to keep replacing all the handwritten with pretty printables. Use some of the many free printables around. Here is my pinboard FULL of ideas! I also need to move some folders around and organize the finance section a little more.

~Clutter is a pet peeve of mine. So to help eliminate it I have a few things I am doing. The first is to bring less stuff home! This will help with the clutter and financial goals. The other thing I am doing is taking care of 7 things every Friday. They need to either be put away in their place (and they BETTER have a place), donated or thrown out/recycled. 

~Homemade cleaning products are better for us and for our budget.  We already use Homemade Laundry Soap, and bathroom cleaner (equal parts warmed white vinegar and blue Dawn dish soap) but I am sure there are some others we can do. I want to try a couple more dishwasher soap recipes, we haven't found one that works well yet! I already have about 15 pinned to try, but hoping one of the first few is THE one. All kinds of homemade and DIY bath products! Post coming up on ones
 I have already tried and what I plan on trying!

~Stockpiling is not easy for us. We don't have a ton of extra room or money to just buy it all at once. We don't want to go all doomsday preppers or stock pile a bunch of processed stuff we won't use.
My plan is to make a spreadsheet or chart of the things that are shelf stable, best price and how many we have/need and spending a little each month to start our stock pile. I am getting that it can't be a 1 time thing and you are done, chances are we will use some, some will have to be used before it expires. I think it's a big task and even though I am trying to limit my Pinterest time, I will be heading there for a good list and ideas.

~Emergency Packs.. eek, there is just NO reason this is on my list AGAIN! I've got some ideas and Pinterest (see why it's SO hard to stop using lol) has some super lists and storage options. We have a little one with asthma and being out without an inhaler is just not a good idea, yet we do it ALL the time because we aren't as prepared as we should be. And still no doomsday prepping but I don't want to be totally unprepared either.

Sounds like I will have some lists to share soon, and if anyone has sources for any of these PLEASE share! 


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