Saturday, September 29, 2012

How to organize time & feel accomplished

Let's just face it... I'm not a very organized person. My house is almost always a mess & I am GREAT at wasting the little free time I have when I'm not chasing our 2 kids around the house and making sure they are happy while trying to be the best mom & wife I can be... 

I'm going to share some sites that have helped me feel more organized with my time & that just might do the trick for me if (a) our kids were older & could help out more or (b) if we had no kids at home and of course (c) if I had more motivation. Alright, so the motivation is there. It's the willpower that I lack. I end up wasting my time doing other things when I could very well be cleaning or doing something else. Granted, our kids do require a lot of attention at the moment, but I know I can get more accomplished per day if I plan my time more wisely, quit being such a lump, and JUST DO IT!

It seems like I get on a roll with organizing my time well, & then one day my drive is just gone or I get thrown off by running extra errands or something in my routine is different. Not fair. I want to be able to feel accomplished each day instead of feeling like... well, a lump.

The best way that I've found to feel accomplished is to make lists. Lots of lists. That way, when I cross something off, I feel like I got something done. Even if it's something as mundane as getting the mail. When I accomplish it, I get to cross it off & at the end of the day I get to see all the things that I actually got done.
Silly, I know... but it works for me. When I do it.

I started using this daily routine worksheet (the blank one) from SimpleOrganizedLiving last year & believe it or not, when I follow my routine my day goes smoother, I can fit more in my day, AND I feel accomplished.

I once had a boss that would always say, "When it's time to lean, it's time to clean". Super catchy... However, I don't feel like every spare second should be spent cleaning. Sometimes you just need a break! This is why I love the 15 minute pickup idea. Set the timer for 15 minutes and when it goes off, stop what you're doing & take a break (Obviously some things will need to be finished or picked up first. Especially if you have young kids or are using any sort of chemicals). Turn on some music. It makes that 15 minutes go by even faster. I try to keep my kids entertained while I'm cleaning, but if they get too impatient I just stop the timer and get back to what I was doing when I get a chance. Because that 15 minutes always ends up shorter than I think it would be, I've decided to attempt 20 minutes, 3 times a day so that I can get at least one full hour of 'productive pickup' time daily (I have 5 focus areas that I'll go further in detail about some other time). It doesn't usually happen since I can get lazy and interrupted throughout the day, but when I DO manage to get it done I can see the difference in our home, and I feel accomplished. (:

ThePickyApple has some great ideas on how to keep all of the dailies, weeklies, monthlies, & quarterlies organized when it comes to home routines with her cleaning calendar. She uses some FlyLady concepts, but makes it her own... That's basically what I'm attempting to do right now. I'm trying to take a bunch of different great ideas & create some method that will work for me... I have yet to find my perfect method, but I have faith that I'll find it someday.

One of my goals right now is to try to manage my time more wisely. Who knows... maybe I'll actually get to cross that off my list if I master it.

A wise, short, green, Jedi Master once said: "Do or do not. There is no try." I guess I'll try to remember that as I try to get better at organizing my time.

Friday, September 28, 2012

B is for Bear - Winnie The Pooh

B is for bears, beets, battlestar galactica...
but we're just gonna stick to bears.
Yeah. That's right. Bears.

My personal favorite willy nilly silly ole bear is Winnie the Pooh, so this week's movie was none other than... WINNIE THE POOH

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Our muffin tin meal was a peanut butter & hunny sandwich (since Pooh Bear LOVES hunny), teddy grahams, 'bear'ies, & gummy bears...

Primary/Church Song: 'Baptism'
Preschool Song: 'The Bear Went Over the Mountain'
Book: Goldilocks & the 3 Bears

Tumbling Tuesday:
Went on a teddy bear hunt around our house
Built a bear cave & hibernated

Word Wednesday:
Baptism Letter sheets
Bear letter B

Think About It Thursday:
Baptism math sheets
Sorted gummy bears, then counted how many we had of each color

Field Trip Friday:
Delivered a 'bear'y good treat to someone

Friday, September 21, 2012

A is for Ants - A Bug's Life

This muffin tin Monday our movie of the day was... A BUG'S LIFE

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Because of, well... Ants.

On the muffin tin menu we had ants on a log, ants on a leaf (granny smith apple), turkey, cheese, & applesauce all infested with ants (raisins & chocolate chips) headed to their chocolate pudding anthill. Next year I will probably make the anthill with pudding & then crushed oreos for dirt so it looks more realistic.

Church theme: Adam (Thanks to for the printables!)
Primary/Church Song: 'Follow The Prophet'
Preschool Song: 'The Ants Go Marching'
Book: The Ants Go Marching by Dan Crisp

Tumbling Tuesday:
Crawled like an ant, buzzed around like a bee, & hopped like a grasshopper

Word Wednesday:
Adam Letter sheets
Anthill letter A

Think About It Thursday:
Adam math sheets
We made fingerprint ants, then counted them on the paper

Field Trip Friday:
'Bug'ged our neighbors with homemade cookies

Needless to say, our week was pretty f'ant'abulous.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Poppyseed Chicken

This recipe is so yummy that I almost hesitate to share it! It's one that I grew up with & I make it enough that I have it memorized. I guess you can say it's one of our family favorites... Thanks Mom!

Mix together following ingredients, then pour into a 9x13:
3 chicken breasts, cooked & cubed (or if you're short on time you can use canned chicken, just 2 drained cans)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup chicken broth
2 cans cream of chicken soup

To make the topping:
2 pkg Ritz crackers (crushed)
2 tsp poppyseeds
1 stick butter (melted)

Crush Ritz crackers in a gallon size ziplock. Mix poppyseeds in with crackers while melting butter. Pour butter into ziplock & mix well. Pour crumb mixture onto chicken/soup mixture in 9x13 and spread evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes. Serve over rice & enjoy!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Bread tags

What do YOU do with your bread tags?

I use them to tie off open reams of crackers more than anything else...

However, you can also use them to label your cords...

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and of course you can always use your imagination 

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Yep, with all the holidays coming up... I think I'm gonna have to make some this year!

Michele Made Me shows how to make a shaker using a bread tags & a plastic jug when she was a guest blogger at The Crafty Crow.

For 10+ more ideas on what you can do with your bread tags, 
check out the whole living website.
Don't forget to check the comments since there's some great stuff including...

- counting tools for preschoolers
- guitar picks
- mini scrapers
- knitting placeholders
- rubber band holders


Friday, September 14, 2012

Crockpot Italian Chicken

I got this wonderful recipe from my friend's blog... It is way delish & super easy! She has plenty of other delicious recipes you should check out sometime. Head on over to Kaye's Cupboard to see what she's got cookin!

3 or 4 chicken breasts, thawed
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup Italian dressing (She uses creamy, but I've only tried it with regular)
10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup
salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients into a crockpot on high for an hour or two. Switch to low heat for another 2-3 hours. When the chicken is cooked, shred with a fork.

Tastes great served over rice.

{Kudos to the Kaye family!}

Monday, September 10, 2012

My version of mommy school

So I started teaching our 2 year old this past week with my own version of Mommy School. I'm a beginner at this so I figured I would just take it one step at a time & mix a bunch of ideas that I found online that I felt I could actually do, nothing too fancy. There's just so many great ideas out there & so many supermoms that seem to be able to do it all that I have a hard time picking which site to mainly follow! Not to mention, I don't feel like I have the time or creativity to come up with all of these great ideas on my own... So please bear with me since I am probably going to have lots of links seeing as I want to give credit to the sites that I got the ideas from...

I started with just playing around on the Starfall website with him & it is awesome to hear him say that he wants to play the ABC game rather than watch tv. It's on the computer, so he's still in front of a screen, but at least he's learning. I guess that means "so far, so good"... As far as starfall goes, when we move on to the other colors & numbers we won't be using it anymore since we're just using what is free. Free is good. (: Their whole alphabet section is free though, so we'll continue to play with that.

He already knows all of his colors, numbers, shapes, & most of the alphabet so I don't know how much he's actually getting from all this, but I guess I just don't want him to lose his excitement for learning. There's always more to learn & so many fun ways to do so!

I also really like the monthly theme idea from so I am going to try & use that. I'll probably just do one a month, but maybe two if there's a holiday coming up.

This is how I PLAN for things to go:

- Focus on one letter, number, color, shape, & nursery rhyme each week
- 5 to 10 minutes daily on Starfall for ABC's
- Storytime daily with a monthly theme related book (I might just get one new book a week from the library)
- Movie & Muffin tin Mondays (I'll start with just ABC, color, or shape themes in a muffin tin for lunch while having a movie picnic in the living room)
- Music Mondays (We'll have singing time Monday too... Preschool songs & primary songs from church)
- Tumbling Tuesday (somersaults, jumping jacks, & other fun/easy exercises)
- Word Wednesday (coloring, pre-writing exercises, & eventually practice writing ABC's)
- Think about it Thursday (I'll focus on easy science or math activities)
- Field trip Fridays (Picnicking & playing at the park, visiting the Children's museum, random acts of kindness, or something else fun & away from the house. I'll probably plan this for while I'm running errands so I'm not wasting gas)
- When we brush his teeth, we sing the ABC's to him so he hears it every day. (We've been doing that for a while now & it helps him enjoy it)

Hopefully this goes well since we also have a teething almost 6 month old daughter that recently discovered crawling. I don't plan on spending more than an hour or maybe two total on everything each day since I have other things to get done & I know for a fact that I will be interrupted...

I'll keep you posted on how this goes for me. Who knows, maybe aspects of it will work for you too!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Why I created another blog


I'm sure that I'm not the only one that goes on there & sees a gazillion great ideas of crafts I want to try, food I want to make, things I want to do with my kids or my husband, & who knows how many other ideas of pure genius that just get pinned to a board to look at later. Meanwhile, those boards keep on filling up & before you know it, it takes forever to go back through & organize them so you can find those great ideas easier. That is why I decided to take a break from pinterest for a while & actually try some of these things.

I created this blog so that I can easily see which things I've tried & loved, go back to them later & enjoy them all over again. Whether it be food (okay, let's be honest... I'm sure most of it will be), organization tips & tricks that I find helpful, or things that my kids & hubby really enjoy, I will be posting it on here so that I can refer back to it a lot easier.

Let's just call it what it is, my own personal pinboard...


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