Saturday, February 27, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Everyone has one - the list of things you have to do but keep putting off. My list seems to grow with every day. Amy at Mom Advice has a post about the amount of energy a nagging-to-do list can take. I think about my nagging-to-do list ALL THE TIME but I usually don't actually do anything on the list. Not any more! I have been putting in a concerted effort to get some items checked off my list. Here is what is on it and what I have accomplished so far:
- Finish sunflower craft
- Finish burlap wreath craft - Finished!
- Call for hair appointment - made the appointment!
- Return shirt to Target - returned!
- Paint bedroom(first need to finish getting wallpaper down) All wallpaper down and walls washed - ready to be primed!
- Register son for little league - Registered!
- Email cousin about summer visit - Email sent!
- Get car inspected and oil changed - Done!
- Renew Driver License
- Finish envelop craft - Done
- Finish painting and recovering chair(got for $1 at a garage sale this past summer)
Monday, February 22, 2010
I was never a big menu planner until recently. I would halfheartedly try to think about what we were doing to eat for the upcoming week but I never stuck to any real menu plan. This led to a lot of eating out and wasted food. When my husband and I decided to get a handle on our finances, one area I wanted to focus on was cutting our grocery bill. Enter the menu plan. There are many blogs/sites out there dedicated to menu planning. I love the tips and links on I'm an Organizing Junkie. I try to post our weekly menu here to give myself some sort of accountability but I don't always get to do that. Even when I don't post it, I still am planning! Each Sunday I plan out what we will be eating for each meal for the upcoming week. This is a bit different than what I used to do. When I did try to plan our meals, I only focused on dinners. Now that two of my boys need lunches pack, I include lunch and breakfast in the plan. I take into account all of our evening obligations, whether I or my husband are going to be absent from dinner time or if we need a quick meal. I also account for any school lunches my children want to buy that week. *
Sunday, February 21, 2010
4 shirts (me)
1 pair of shoes(husband)
7 pairs of shoes (me)
3 stuffed animal toys
Letter magnetic toy
misc. small toys
Large stuffed superman
plastic floor train playset
All of these things are making their new home at the salvation army! I was able to clean and reorganize my tupperware cupboard(not that it is going to stay organized for long). It is amazing how many tops I have but no matching containers. Do they run off in the night? There are still many rooms, closets, and nooks and crannys that still cry out to be decluttered. I am trying to go slowly with this so I won't get stressed out when I don't have the time to do everything I want to do immediately.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
I have to admit, I hate cleaning. Well not actually cleaning, I hate picking up. If all I had to do was just clean the house, I would have such a sparkling clean house. It is the clutter and picking up that gets me. Anyways, enough of that rant. I found an awesome book that has helped me make my own environmentally friendly cleaners. Clean house, Clean Planet by Karen Logan has changed my thinking about cleaners. We now only use environmentally friendly, nontoxic house cleaners. At first I was a little concerned that I didn't have my handy Clorox wipes to kill all of the cold and flu germs that float around. But in the last 2 years that I have been making my own cleaners, we haven't had an increase in illnesses. In fact, we really haven't had many contagious illnesses. The recipes for cleaners are easy and quick to make. One of the best tips was using a pumice stone to clean hard water stains in the toilet bowl. You can purchase pumice stone at the hardware store. They don't scratch porcelain and work fabulous, you just have to get past the yuck factor of having to actually put you hand in the toilet bowl! One other thing that I like about the book, is that Karen Logan breaks down the cost of each recipe and compares the cost to ready made cleaners. That is one of the reasons I was able to get my numbers man on board without a lot of convincing! Go purchase a copy yourself and get cleaning!
This post is linked to Works for Me Wednesdays
I was driving to work with my youngest strapped in his car seat. It was dark and rainy. I was on a three lane highway that had the far left lane closed for construction. I was in the middle lane when out of no where there was a car in my lane coming straight at me with no headlights. Since there was a barrier to my left and cars to my right, I really didn't have a lot of options. Thankfully, the car turned into an opening between the barriers and a head on collision was avoided. Wow. That shook me up. Had me rethinking this whole unlucky thing. Really, does it matter if I win lotto scratch offs? Does it matter if I win the 50/50? Yes, the extra money would be nice but I don't need it. So I started to think of all the areas in my life where I am lucky. I have a wonderful husband and three awesome, healthy, and loving boys. My husband and I both have good paying careers. We have a house, we have food, we can pay our bills on time every month. I am so lucky!!
One of the handiest tool a busy mom needs to have in her box of tricks is the ability to plan ahead. I am a big planner and I love to make lists. Some days there is so much information rattling around in my mind that I find I can't relax until I get it all out. I find putting it down on paper helps me clear my mind and I usually find I don't have as much to do or remember as I thought I did.
Enter my weekly planning.
Each Sunday evening, I sit down and figure out what has to get done that week. I look at what activities the children might have, any evening meetings or obligations that my husband and I may have that week. I then make a list of additional things that I have to do that week, whether it is an errand that has to be run or a phone call that needs to be made. After I do that, then my husband and I decide who is going to do what. I usually am the errand runner. The area where I work has many of the stores that I would need to go to and I get out of work earlier than he does. My husband usually takes the phone calls, I don't have a direct phone line, only voicemail. I do make the appointments for me and the children since I usually take them to the appointments. An example of our weekly planning would look something like this:
- Monday: Oldest son's scout meeting(Steve take him)
- Tuesday: Middle son's scout meeting(our house, I am den leader), Steve to take youngest to run a few errands
- Wednesday: Scout committee meeting(me), Grocery shopping, Snack milk money for older two boys
- Thursday: Steve teaches a college course on this night.
- Friday: Movie night
- Return some items to Walmart
- Grocery Shopping
- Pick up Prescriptions
- Crickets for lizard
- middle son's homeroom parent (I'll take this call)
In addition to this list, I also make a menu plan for the week. I certainly keep our evening obligations in mind when I am planning our menu for the week but more on menu planning next week!
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Me: leftovers and salads with tuna or leftover chicken
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
I took a few minutes this afternoon to compare which stores have the best prices on the same items.
- Target and PC have Progresso Soups on sale this week.
That's no brainer on which is better.
- They both have Bounty Paper Towels Giant 8 Roll on sale.
PC - $10
A penny difference but you get credit towards gas if you purchase the paper towels at PC. Don't forget the the $1.00 off coupon from this Sunday's paper!
- Again, both have Yoplait yogurt on sale.
PC - 10/$5
Once again, PC gives credit towards gas.
I try to spend some time going through the PC, Hannaford, Target, and CVS Sunday ads. I could include Rite Aid too but I feel four stores are more than enough for me. I have found that the Hannaford I typically shop at does not accept Internet coupons so I usually only shop there for a few items, maybe not even every week. PC and Target tend to be my favorites along with Walmart. I have found Walmart usually has lower every day prices on a lot of items. I will make a Target run for the soups as well as Fiber One Bars which are on sale for $2.33. Go here and get a .40 off Fiber One Bars and $1.10 off 3 Progresso soups.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
- 5:30 - Wake up to the annoying alarm clock to realize my husband and I are not alone in the bed. We have been joined by 2 of our 3 boys at some point during the night. My youngest is actually completely naked! (He had wet his bed during the night. Being the very thoughtful child that he is, he stripped off all of his clothes and climbed into bed with us. He didn't even wake us up!)
- 6:30 - out the door with my youngest carrying at least 4 bags and whatever toys my son feels he can't live without.
- 7:10 - Drop off youngest at babysitter's - race to get to work
- 7:30 - 3:00 work - out out at lunch to run some errands, must eat lunch in hurried bites between classes
- 3:00 - leave work right on time
- 3:15 pick up youngest at babysitter's and go get older two at their school which is 25 minutes away
- 3:45- drag youngest into the older kids' school and pick up older two and race to get to doctor's which is 15 minutes away, give kids animal crackers in the car so they won't be cranky
- 415 - Miracle - we get to the doctor's office on time AND get in to see him on time!
- 4:45 - finish with doctor's appointment - head for home
- 5:30 - get dinner on the table (children hate dinner and begin to complain) Daddy home!
- At some point the complaining has stopped, some kids choose to eat, others will have to wait until breakfast! - time to get older 2 boys working on homework, maybe start some Valentine's cards?
- Dad is in charge of finishing homework, play time, clean up kitchen and bedtime - I leave to run errands; return library books, pick up prescription at one store, grocery shopping at another(turns out to be quite relaxing and QUIET!)
- 8:00 - errands done -go home and unpack groceries (youngest 2 make their way downstairs and chat with me while I put the last few groceries away)
- Back to bed - find Husband and oldest son passed out in our bed.
- 8:30 - everyone in bed, including Daddy - downstairs straighten up kitchen (not really needed since Daddy did this), pack lunches and bags for next day, spend some time on computer
- 8:45 - Youngest comes downstairs to tell me he needs to use the bathroom - send him to the bathroom but he did not get there in time - send him upstairs to wake up Daddy and have Daddy help him get new pjs
- Get clothes ready for next day(this could comprises of checking to see what is least dirty and wrinkled, depending on energy level!) Tonight, I iron a pair of pants.
- 9:00 - youngest downstairs AGAIN to tell me he needs me - take him back upstairs, threaten to close his door if he gets out of bed again.
- 9:15 - Check on oldest two - one asleep - oldest playing his DS. Give lecture to oldest the he is not allowed to play the DS in bed on a school night. Lecture, apparently not appreciated, oldest gets ticked.
- 9:20 Finish up downstairs, take dog out one last time
- 9:45 - Night time bathroom routine
- 10:00 - Fall into bed, asleep in with minutes (and I use to have insomnia!)
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
Decluttering accomplishments to-date:
- Linen cupboard
- Under bathroom sink
- My sock drawer
- Husband's t-shirt drawers
- Kids' rooms
- Toy/craft closet
- Family room toy box(sort of cleaned out but there were too many kids around to really get rid of stuff!)