Sunday, July 25, 2010

This week and the weeks to come are in a word BUSY

For some reason July is a VERY busy month for us. We spent this past week getting ready for Baby A's first birthday and party. It was a great day and she loved her cake as you can see from the picture. Tomorrow is my son's third birthday and we are leaving on a trip to visit some friends. We as in me and the three kids are going. It will be frantic I am sure, but memorable. I am really looking forward to seeing these girlfriends. I have known them since high school and elementary school. We are bringing all of our kids and meeting in a city where none of us live and will spend the next four days hanging out and site seeing. It should be fun for the kids and hopefully the adults too. We will see. We will celebrate Little A's third birthday when we get there tomorrow. I am a little behind on all of the stuff for his party. That is what I get for having two kids with birthdays two days a part. I am still wiped from Baby A's party. Well I am heading to bed soon. When I return I spend one night in my own bed and then head off to go camping with the family. Crazy! Then the following week I will be at MOPS convention in Orlando Florida. I will try to write some posts between all of the trips, but I am not sure I will have time. Enjoy the next few weeks.

Jen D.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

So Much Is Going On...

Well today has been a crazy day and this weekend may even be crazier.

Had a girlfriend over for some fellowship time. It was our Bible study day, but it was a tough week for everyone else so they did not make it. We enjoyed ourselves. Plus, she took some of my diaper stash off of my hands. I am so glad that we made the move to cloth. Wow! You can sell disposable diapers back, it just doesn't work like that. Well cloth you can sell back if you take good care of them. These diapers had so much life left in them. They were darling and I got between 50 and 80 percent of what I paid for them back. :)

After that we went over to a good friends house for lunch, swimming and AC. It was so nice of her to invite us. The kids are fishes. They swam so much in that kiddie pool. It was pretty funny to watch Big A and Little A going at it down the slide. Baby A was not excited about being in the cold water. She just cried and cried. I took out and she was content on my lap for a while. Then we went and played in a shade tent with some toys. It was GREAT, that is until I smelled something. I looked around for doggie poo, but didn't see any. I continued to chat with my other friend and then I noticed that Baby A had spit up her lunch all over me. I don't know if I will ever look at a hamburger the same way again. It was so disgusting. After that I was cranky, tired, HOT and just wanted to be somewhere cool, but couldn't stay in the cool AC house because Baby A needed to go to bed and I honestly couldn't stand how I smelled.

The kids and I left. The boy wouldn't buckles his seat belt in the car and I had to pull over and get out to help him do it. I was so frazzled having been puked on, hot, tired and just miserable in this heat. I was frazzled again tonight when I was putting the kids to bed, it was about an hour later than I would like and Little A and Big A were getting drinks of water after I told them no. I am so afraid of them wetting the bed. We really try to cut liquids off two hours before bed and they have been drinking a ton today.

So we went grocery shopping this evening as a family and a friend called that we went camping with while we were in the car. My hubby was in the car with me when she called and to make a long story short we are going on a spur of the moment camping trip. I gotta go pack...more to come later.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Meal Planning

Here is baby a ready to eat. Well this week has been one of planned and unplanned meals. I try to plan our meals because I find that we: eat healthier, spend less money and enjoy the meals more because I am calm and know what it is coming. Here is our plan this week.

Sunday: BBQ Fourth of July
Monday: Grilled Asian Chicken and Rice Stir Fry with a HUGE Green salad
Tuesday: Huge Green Salad, with left over rice and some sweet/salty pecans
Wednesday: Grilled Chicken, brown rice, steamed veggies
Thursday: Taco Salad
Friday: Chicken, brown rice, corn, black bean stir fry
Saturday: BBQ Chicken, brown Rice and Salsa
Sunday: Church Community Meal (I am bringing a green salad)

So there is my plan for the week. What is your family eating this week?


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Crafty Day...

I worked out this morning and then got a small workout in with a family walk after lunch. So during nap time I enjoyed some ME time. I rarely spend time on me and today I am spending a few hours just on me.

Here is what I created with my ME Time. This is a cardmaking technique known as a One Sheet Wonder or OSW. You take one sheet of patterned paper and make several cards using it, coordinating scraps and embellishments. My friend and Stampin Up Consultant created the sizes for this one sheet wonder and then I made it my own with my paper choices, how used the paper, the embellishments, etc. I love these OSW's. They are so easy and fun once you get the hang of it. Being creative is a wonderful thing. I always feel so much better when I have a creative outlet. What is your creative outlet?

Enjoy this beautiful summer day!


Monday, July 5, 2010

How do you keep your home clean?

How do you keep your home clean? Do you have a house cleaner come in? If so how often? Also if you have someone come into clean, do you pick up and clean before they come?

I am in search of a way to not only clean my home, but for it to be clean and stay clean for longer. I know that this is not an easy quest. I have three little ones and a hubby all home for the summer. However, I think it should be easier than it is and I am wondering am I missing something.

If you have any tips for me I would love to hear them. I just found two great posts today on Organizing Your Way. This one talks about three things you can do daily to help you feel happier when it comes to organizing. I was able to do the first two no problem. The second one is a little tricky.

Well I am off to go organize, clear some cluttered surfaces and hopefully find a chance to relax while two of the three kiddos are napping.


Happy Fourth of July on the Fifth of July!

I was a little too busy to post yesterday, but I will try to post two posts today to make up for it.

What did you do to celebrate Independence Day? We had friends and family come over. It was a small get together, but very fun. I made Ranch Burgers, a huge green salad, deviled eggs and an ice cream cake. A friend brought over homemade potato salad and my in-laws brought a yummy appetizer. We had chips, wine, beer and some mixed drinks. It made for a very full night. I decided I need to workout before the guests arrived, so it took me a few minutes to finish getting ready once they came over. I don't think it was a big deal; although, I wish everything was ready before they came, including me. We had a wonderful Fourth of July and hope that you enjoyed celebrating our countries independence in your own special way.

Potty Training Update: The boy (Little A) stayed dry all night long. We are so proud of him. Never mind that the has had two BM's in his pants today. We are focusing on the positive.


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Mini-Blog Make over

My little blog got a much needed update. I was fortunate enough to win a bloggy make over a few years ago and Deanna at Domestic Chicky did a wonderful job; however a lot has changed in two years and it needed to be updated. I actually was able to design the header using the professional designed one as my guide and My Memories Suite scrapbooking software. I then exported it to a jpeg file and cropped it in Photoshop Elements. I am a lot more comfortable designing the MMS scrapbooking program than I am in Elements.


I was so excited that I was able to do it on my own. Then when I tried to upload it to Blogspot and I ran into some difficulty. The header was really large and only partially showing up. I went back and tried again and again. The third time I got wise and looked at the exact pixels and dimensions of the previous header. Bingo, I saved my new header with those dimensions and it worked. The only thing is the crop was a little off and there is a smidge of white space especially on the bottom right, but I am okay with it for now. If I get brave I may decide to attempt to fix that. I am pretty tech savvy, but I have never been taught or shown how to do anything in the blogging world or digital scrapping world, so I am a bit of a beginner to say the least.


I hope you enjoy the new header and simple layout. I am hoping to be able to change my background paper soon. I am going to be heading to bed soon. I have been working on two upcoming posts. One is on square foot gardening and the other is on cloth diapering.

Speaking of diapers, we are potty training Little a this weekend and are hopeful to only have one child in diapers in less than 72 hours. I am prepared to change some sheets tonight though. He went to bed in just undies for the first time tonight. We will see how it goes. I am a little scared, but the book said to give diapers up completely so we are. Wish us luck. Maybe I will write a post on potty training after this. If you remember correctly it took us over a year to train our daughter to use the potty regularly. This would be a HUGE improvement if it works. I also will have a ton of diapers to de-stash. There are only so many diapers one baby needs and having gone from three in diapers to one in diapers in less than a year means I must part with some of my lovely cloth diapers. :)


Friday, July 2, 2010

Organization: a new resource inspires me to organize my way

Today I cleaned, cleaned more and then continue to clean. I like having a clean, organized, clutter free home. Unfortunately, my home is rarely the way that I like it. I have three small children and a husband that are all home for the summer. I feel like I am a maid and if I quit no one really cares, but me. I am the only one who cares because I am the one that wants a clean, organized, clutter free home...the rest of the family just makes messes and either doesn't really care what condition our home is in or expect that it will get to me and I will break down and clean. Unfortunately, the latter is usually what happens. I have tried to let it go. I am always telling myself, "Relax, just let it go...enjoy life...this too shall pass." The problem is it I really don't enjoy life with a messy house.

So since this is my problem and right now the real thorn in my side is the laundry, today during my workout warm up I was searching for videos on organization, specifically laundry and all that goes into it when I came across Mandie's vlogs and blog called Organizing Your Way. I instantly lit up and made an important connection. After watching a few of her videos and doing a more intense workout without my phone I looked up her blog on my computer. She has an amazing blog with very helpful tips. Her home is very clean, organized and decorated in a modern functional style. I am so impressed with her blog and her home. She is doing something right. It is difficult to believe that she has four kids ages five and younger. Plus, her philosophy to organizing is that it has to work for you or you won't do it and maintain it. I have tried other organization methods that all sound great, but they have not truly stuck because they don't work for me. Recently a friend commented on FB that I am always posting on cleaning and why don’t I follow such and such online. I try, but such and such just didn’t fit my organization/cleaning style.

Here is her introduction video. She shares what she is going to create with her blog and videos. I found it to be refreshing and I love her approach on making it work for you.

Here is Mandi's laundry video. I really like her system, but unfortunately, we don't have room for a family closet in our laundry room and our laundry room is not off of our kitchen.

Things I learned from her blog today that I plan on implementing this week:
1. She does a section rags and organization. I am so excited to use her system of purchasing new rags for washing hands and faces every six months and then placing the old ones in the wipe up rag drawer. I love the little three drawer organizer as well. I am hoping to find one that will fit sideways in my pantry. We will see. Tons of great ideas from that one entry.
2. I learned several principles for streamlining laundry from a link that Mandi has on her site for The 365 Day Organizer. I am not sure I will be able to make the laundry basket work for my three kids, but I like the idea.
3. I moved an Ikea chair into my office that has been sitting in our master bedroom for quite a while. I figured it will be nice for my husband to have a place to sit in there and we won't be tempted to use the chair as a clothing organizer if it is no longer in the bedroom. I will try to post a picture soon.

I am exhausted and so this post will have to be in two segments. I am enjoying getting back into blogging though and hope that you will continue to read my blog.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Lots of Jam

Today I made jam...A LOT of strawberry jam. I love making things and then having a years supply of it for my family. Unfortunately, the recipe that I used has a lot more sugar than I would like, but it is fabulous and since it is mainly for the family and not me I am okay with a treat for my kids and hubby once in a while.

My MIL and her friend came over to share in the jam making. We made 68 jars of strawberry freezer jam in less than 2.5 hours. It was great! I ordered the berries through the local rotary club. They were already hulled (cleaned and de-stemmed.) I used the food processor to chop up the berries in a chunky style...we like lots of strawberry chunks in our jam. It was really easy, just takes some time and upfront monies. My four year old, Big A helped with the first batch and then got a little tired of waiting for the berries to gel with the pectin. All in all, it was quite easy and the pay off is so big. We will make raspberry jam in a few weeks the same way.

Does anyone else make their own jam and if so what kind? I am very curious. I have only made freezer jam before and the process is so easy I can't imagine making any other kind.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Miche Bags Rock...

Michelle, the creator of Miche Bag's is brilliant. I can't believe someone did not think of this before. A purse that you can switch the look of without emptying the contents of your current purse. That is right. There is a base that holds all of your stuff and then there are shells that you can switch in under a minute to a new look. Seriously smart in my humble opinion.

Tonight I had some ladies over for a Miche Purse Party. Due to summer, it was a small crowd, but so much fun. We had wine and shopped for purses. I was hesitant at first to get a Miche Bag. I thought it would feel cheap and that I would not like it after a week or that it would be a fad. WRONG! I have had mine for about a month and I love it. I purchased the base and two shells as my first purchase and then I purchased a new shell tonight. They are so fun.

If you are local (North Puget Sound/Snohomish County) definitely contact Nikki to purchase your Miche Bag. If you are not, locate a consultant in your area. I think it is great to go through a consultant, rather than just ordering it on line. The customer service that I have gotten through my consultant is fabulous. If there is ever a problem, I have not doubt that she will make it right. Now I am thinking about the next shell I will get to add a whole new look to my wardrobe.

Have a great night!

Long Time No Write...

Hello Blog!
It so nice to see you again old friend. I know it has been a while since I spent time with you. The daily demands of life have taken over (a husband, three little kids, a house, work, commitments.) Now that it is summer and I am not working I can and will make more time for you. I think that I work better with goals and challenges so here is my goal: Post daily for two weeks. I have a lot of things that I have been thinking about posting, but just have not found the time to write about lately.

Here are some future posts that I am working on:
Cloth Diapering Journey
Potty Training Journey
Square Foot Gardening
The Simple Life
Healthy, Quick Meals
Meal Planning
Camping with little ones

I will see you later on today.