Friday, March 29, 2013

April's Getting it Done Goal


Every month as part of my 12 Months of Getting it Done I choose one goal to work on.


April is going to be time management month!


I am and have always been terrible at time management and something needs to change. I have tried lists and charts and schedules but I have never stuck to the things on the list.


I know this will be an ongoing goal, but if I can find something that works during this month, I can just work to stay on track.

I am going to be working on balancing the kids, school, housework, blogging, and Me time.

I will keep you posted on how it goes and welcome any and all advice, planner ideas, suggestions, and input! Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

March Goal Complete


My Getting it Done goal for March was to work on my blog. I think I got a lot accomplished and joined a lot of link parties.

I also have joined a few Google + communities and have over 60 Facebook friends which is exciting!

I haven't fixed my Pin It button yet but I'm working on it! I have also decided how I will be handling my blog from now on and you can read about that here.

Thanks to everybody who has been reading and commenting on my posts. I love reading your comments and look to other bloggers for inspiration.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Planting Seeds



A few weeks ago my son wasn't feeling well enough to go anywhere, but he was going stir crazy sitting on the couch so we decided to plant seeds!  It was great time for it, it was a little chilly outside, but it was sunny and nice.  We got all of the stuff together and set up a planting station for when he woke up from nap.

He was thrilled when he woke up and saw it all ready to go.  We worked on filling the holes halfway to leave room for the seeds.








This gave him a chance to practice measuring because he tried a measuring cup and it filled it all the way up, but a tablespoon worked perfect. After he filled it part way he put the seeds in and filled it the rest of the way with soil.


















We also quickly learned that potting soil will not go through a funnel because of the sticks mixed in.  It was a lot of fun and we even made our own labels.







We had some popsicle sticks, glue, and the pack that the seeds came in.  We cut the name off of the pack and glued it to the sticks and we had labels!  He has been watering his seedlings with his new container that we made, and watching them grow.


 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Wonderful Pizza Cutter


Does anybody else own more than 1 pizza cutter?

The first time I had went to a friend's house in MN, I was shocked to see her multiple pizza cutters!  I asked her what she could possibly need so many for. 

Well, surprise, it is great if you have a toddler, a baby, or anybody who needs their food cut up. 

I thought I would write this post because I had been hand cutting my son's food for 2.5 years and never thought of this, and I didn't want anyone else to suffer unnecessarily!  Here is a short list of things you can cut with a pizza cutter, but the possibilities are endless!

Pizza
Sandwiches
Waffles
Pancakes
Toast
Lunchmeat
Thin Cheese


Monday, March 25, 2013

Creamer Container Repurposed



My son has been wanting to water the plants inside and every time I give him a container to water them  most of the water ends up on the floor.  Monkey is very into reduce, reuse, and recycle so we repurposed our coffee creamer containers.



We have a small one and a large one.  The small one is for indoor plant watering and the large one is for outdoor plant watering.  We washed them out and took off the plastic label.


Monkey just couldn't wait to use them so he used them before he colored them!  He used Sharpie permanent markers and TaDa! beautiful, kid-friendly plant watering containers.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Kid Quotes



I don't know about you, but my kid says some funny stuff.  Here are a few things he has recently said to me.  Keep in mind that he is 4 years old.

As we were discussion cage free chickens
Him "Did you know chickens can't play in the mud?"
Me  "Why not?
Him "Because their legs will come off because they will get stuck in the mud."


When the baby is trying to sit on him or with him, wherever
"Bubba, I need my space!  I just want 5 minutes of quiet time!"  (not sure where he got that one from! :))

I walked into the room and he was doing something he wasn't supposed to do
Me:  "Monkey, why are you doing that?"
Him: "Because that is how I roll"  (how can you be mad at that reasoning?)

He was 'helping' me cook dinner and we had finished what we were doing and he put his hands on his hips and said
"What's next Chef?"

Have any funny things your kids say?  I would love to hear them!



Plastic Grocery Bags

Picture retrieved from Here
My name is Jes and I am Leah's sister. I am going to be contributing to her blog on a weekly basis with some green tips for everyday life. The Green Room will introduce easy, helpful tips to get you on the path to be being more aware of what you put onto and into your body and tips to help keep our Earth a healthier place to live!
This weeks topic covers a no-cost way to start making a difference!!

Plastic bags!
We all know that plastic is not the best choice for taking home your goods from the store. Cloth bags are so awesome for bringing home your purchases! They hold WAAAAAAY more stuff, You can heft them onto your shoulders (so you are able to bring more stuff into the house in ONE or TWO trips instead of 8 when you use plastic) and they last practically forever.

The main reason I hear that people don't use the reusable bags is this; "I FORGET I HAVE THEM"!

It took me a while to get into the habit of not forgetting them, but once it becomes second nature...you will never forget!

You won't even remember what life was like before cloth bags.

Here are a couple of tips I can give you to help you remember to use your cloth bags...this is what I do;  
1) you get money back at a few grocery stores for using them (5 cents a bag at Target and Kroger)
2) after unpacking all of your groceries at home, hang the bags on your front door knob. If you leave the house, you can't miss them! They are right there!
3) Keep them in the front passenger seat of your car if possible. That way, you are looking right at them  before you get out of your car! (after a while, you can keep them in the back once it becomes a good habit)
4) (most importantly) Remember it is better for the environment! Plastic bags put such a damper on our waters and ecosystem! They end up in our oceans tangling up with wildlife and confusing fish into thinking that the bags are their next meal.  They never degrade...so once they are in the landfills, that's it, they are going nowhere. Thus, filling up our precious land space.
5) You can get them CHEAP!  Most stores have them for under $1 each and they last forever!

Sometimes, I end up with plastic bags...I will go into a store not anticipating buying something or I will sometimes not bring enough bags with me to the grocery store.

What I do is just reuse the plastic ones for household tasks, namely doggy doody. They work wonders for that!  They also make great small trashcan trash bags.
Picture retrieved from Here



Also, keep in mind that if you do happen to use them sometimes most stores provide a recycler for those and your newspaper bags. This is great, but keep in mind there is a lot of pollution caused by the recycling factories themselves. So reducing usage overall is a great way to start. This includes everything...drive with less of a heavy foot=better gas mileage, eating less=weight loss & healthier body etc...

The Green Room

Picture retrieved from here

Hello everybody, I am introducing a new feature to my blog, The Green Room (does anybody else think of Goodnight Moon when they hear that?!). 

My sister is great at living Green and has a ton of good tips for health and the environment. Once a week she is going to be posting useful tips in The Green Room! If you have a question for her, just address it to Jessica and she will be able to respond. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the helpful advice!

Picture retrieved from here

Thursday, March 21, 2013

First Silhouette Creation!

Inside
Front




















I was jumping out of my skin wanting to use my new Silhouette to actually make something, but so was my son!

I took out my scrapbooking paper that hasn't seen the light of day in about a year and we got to work!

My baby's first birthday is on April 1, so Monkey decided he wanted to make Bubba a birthday card.  Monkey picked out everything that went on the card and he glue everything himself with a little direction from me.  He picked out the colors for everything also.


He was so excited waiting for the Silhouette to cut the paper and to see it when it came out and then he drew a beautiful picture on the inside of the card and even tried to write Bubba's name!


He is so proud of his card he hid it so the baby doesn't see if before his birthday!

It is a close tie between me and him on who likes the Silhouette better!

Decisions Decisions

I have been trying really hard to 'build' my blog and get my name out there.  I have only been blogging for about 3.5 months and I love it.  But I have been spending way too much time getting other people to love it too!  I have been trying to be successful at blogging, because nobody likes to fail, but who says I fail if I am at about 100 pageviews a day?

I think success depends on what you want.  Yes, I would love to make money with my blog and not have to be concerned that over the summer I won't have any money coming in from watching the baby, but I am spending more time blogging than doing my homework, and that is something that I really need to be successful in.

I was reading a post recently (on It's a Dome Life) and it was very true.  It was about striving to be fabulous and losing yourself in trying to do so.  I have about a trillion things going on every day in my house and my mind, and I am constantly trying to document the crafts, and pretty much everything I do with my kids.

I normally do at least 1 craft a day with them and I have about a trillion pictures on my phone and camera of crafts that I will one day get to blog about.

I started blogging because I like to write and I think I have enough things to talk about that others will relate to me.  I was striving to get into my niche and pick a topic that my blog can be about, but I just have too many interests!

I love doing crafts, I love writing about family life, I love trying to constantly better myself at being frugal, I love setting goals for myself (even if I never reach them!), and I love just writing about whatever tickles my fancy at the time!

I think the most time consuming part of blogging is the pictures.  Taking them, downloading them, editing them, and adding them is very time consuming.  I can write a post from my iPhone throughout the day, but I can't make it look pretty!

So from here on out (at least for now), I can only say that I will be posting 1 to 2 crafts a week and anything that tickles my fancy!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cage Free Chicken Eggs

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I never understood the difference in regular store bought eggs versus cage free eggs. My dad has raised chickens for years and when they were producing a lot of eggs I would grab some from him whenever I was able to.

One time I had a few regular eggs left and used his cage free chicken's eggs and the regular ones at the same time.



The difference is amazing.

First, the yolk in cage free eggs is a dark yellow as opposed to the pale yellow if store bought eggs. Second, the cage free eggs are much richer tasting. And most importantly, cage free chickens are not given hormones so you don't get hormones from the eggs.

I think everybody has had those times where eggs have upset their stomach. Since my husband and I have been eating cage free eggs, we haven't had that problem and it didn't even occur to us until I had to buy regular store bought eggs because they were out of the cage free.

If you haven't tried cage free or fresh eggs, pick some up the next time you are at the store and let me know what you think.

Where Does the Day Go?


I keep wondering where my day goes because it seems to go by so fast and then I end up getting nothing accomplished.  So I decided to write down my entire day to see where it went!  Baby #2 is a 9 month old baby I watch Monday through Friday from 730-430 and baby #1 is my 11 month old.  My 4 year old son does have preschool on 3 days so on those days he is not home from 8:30 to 11:30 and  every day is a little different, but this is what happened yesterday.  Sorry it is such a long post!

Woke up 7am.
4 year old downstairs by 705
Get coffee 710 and start 20 minute show for 4 year old so I can mentally prepare for my day.
725 baby # 2 arrives
730 baby #1 wakes up
730-8 hubby helps with kids and then off to work
730-750 play with babies, feed 4 year old, cook breakfast for myself and baby #1
750-840 feed babies
840-850 change babies diapers
855 Rock baby #2 and put for nap
855-910 nurse baby #1 and put for nap
Baby #2 asleep by 9
910-920 get dressed and pee while helping 4 year old race plastic bugs and start a craft.
920 Baby #1 poops (never fell asleep)
920-925 change baby 1 diaper and try to get to sleep
925-935 baby 1 plays and whines in bed and doesn't nap
930 baby #2 up from nap
940-1010 babies snack while I finish a craft I started with 4 year old when the babies "napped".
1010-1055 play with and entertain 3 kids, today this involved 3 booboos, keeping babies out of the 2 areas in the whole room they aren't allowed, keeping 4 year old from getting too excited and accidentally hurting babies, playing in the tent and tunnels, and changing drool covered clothes on the babies.
1055 put babies in stuff so I can pee
11-1110 prepare lunch while babies are content but halfway through babies start crying so I send the 4 year old to entertain which included yelling and running around (but the babies were entertained until I was done!)
1115-1135 kids eat and decide to have a screaming contest.  When I say screaming contest, I mean high pitched scream where they look at each other and laugh afterwards.
1135-1155 entertain and play with everybody.
1155-1205 prepare babies for nap
1205 baby 2 gets bottle and baby1 nurses while 4 year old watches bedtime show
1210 baby 1 goes for nap bc exhausted from no am nap
1220 baby 2 goes for nap
1220-1235 sit with 4 year old and cuddle while he watches rest of his show
1235-1250 read bedtime books and put 4 year old in for nap
1250-115 clean up from lunch, breakfast, and craft and eat lunch while checking email and writing a quick note to my school learning team, put out dinner ingredients to thaw.
110 reheat coffee for 2nd time and hope I remember it this time!
115- check baby 1 video monitor because he's coughing and hope he stays asleep through it!
115-205 work on homework downloading books for the upcoming week, printing required info, ensuring the team assignment is broken down and update the team chat because I am team leader this week.
125-130 fix printer that isn't printing
140-145 fix printer again because refusing to work
205- 225 Take a break and check Facebook, Link up to some link parties, and check out a few other blogs.  (This long of a nap break is very uncommon!)
220 I got my Silhouette Portrait that I won on A Pumpkin and a Princess Giveaway!
225-235. Restart dryer (stuff is still in the dryer because I forgot about it) and eat snack
230 baby 2 wakes baby 1 up. Mental note to move baby 2 downstairs to prevent this in future
245 baby 2 falls back asleep.
247 cat who locked herself in our bedroom with baby 2 scratches at the door and meow waking baby back up!
245 get baby 1
250 get baby 2
250 4 year old up
250-3 change diapers and get 4 year old out of pjs
3-310 get kids ready to go for walk
310-335 take walk around neighborhood
340-4 snack time
4pm baby 2 got picked up a half hour early
4-440 played with my boys in the tent
440-525 cooked dinner while 4 year old played out back and baby sat in high chair whining
530 hubby got home and convinced baby to eat some applesauce
525-550 dinner time convincing and bribing 4 year old to eat his dinner
550-610 played outside with family
610-620 gave baby bath
620-635 watched hubby and 4 year old practice tball
635-650 fed baby bottle and got him ready for bed
650 baby spit up a lot in the tent on himself and daddy
650-7 cleaned up baby and put to bed
7-730 Cleaned kitchen from dinner
730-745 installed software for new silhouette
745-810 put 4 year old to bed
810-10 Played with my new Silhouette and watched a show with my hubby.  (Yes, I should have been working on the blog or doing homework, but I couldn't just leave the Silhouette sitting in the box on my couch!)
10pm Headed up for bed

Where does your day go?


Monday, March 18, 2013

Gourmet Coffee



I don't know about you, but I love my coffee.

I love it in the morning, the afternoon, and sometimes even at night!

ROASTe has a ton of different coffee selections.

They have dark roasted, whole bean, organic, decaf, flavored, or espresso.


I am putting in my first order with a $5 off coupon code and Free Shipping on orders over $39.

Click here to order your gourmet coffee too!  Use coupon code BLOGME5 to get $5 off your order.

Enjoy!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Birdhouse Creation

The weather was so nice today, we just had to get out. Every time we go for a walk, my son gathers and collects everything in sight. Today he focused on collecting sticks.

Normally a day or 2 after our walk we decide on a craft and start creating. Today was such a good day that I decided we would create something after the baby went to bed but before his bedtime. We have had a birdhouse out back that my husband and son made a few months ago (but you can get a similar, already made one at Wal-Mart in the craft section) and we never got around to painting it.

We decided to make it a birdhouse creation that the birds will fight over!

We had sticks and pine needles galore and a hot glue gun (upon suggestion from my friend at The Happier Homemaker who said I need to always have glue in stock!).

My son broke the sticks into manageable pieces, and unfortunately learned a little lesson on termites while he was at it!

We glued sticks up the sides and glued pine needles on the roof.


We glued more sticks on the front and my son picked buttons to add to it and told me where to put them to 'invite' the birds to the house!  He also kept reassuring the birds who were talking outside that they would have their house soon.



Thursday, March 14, 2013

Mission Sanitization

So my 4 year old has the Flu.



Yes, he got his flu shot and still got it!




Definitely has not been fun, but I also have an 11 month old to worry about. So as soon as we got back from the doctor with the diagnosis I started sanitizing.





I took all of the solid toys and soaked them in hot soapy water (I used Dawn), took the stuffed animals and threw them in the washing machine, and used Lysol Disinfecting Wipes on everything non-porous.



We set my son up in a different room with the TV and my husband entertained him while I took care of the baby.

That worked fine for the first day, but the doctor said it could be 10 days until he isn't contagious and my husband has to work the rest of the week! So every day I have been switching out toys and rotating them and washing and sanitizing.

I've also been stripping all of the beds and washing sheets, pillow cases, and comforters. My sister also suggested to change the hand towels in the bathrooms and kitchen frequently because they can hold germs.  I think my washing machine has been running for 4 days straight!

How do you try to keep sickness contained to only one person in your house?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

CrockPot Roast and Gravy


Today I had cut a shoulder roast in half (because we never eat all of it) and put half in the crockpot and half in the freezer.  After about 5 hours in the crockpot I checked on it and realized it wasn't tender yet, but was already getting a little dry.  I flipped it over and put the fat side down and cooked for about another hour.  I thought for sure this roast was a goner!  So here is what I did.

Ingredients

1.5 lb Shoulder roast
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp Garlic powder
1 tsp Onion powder
1 tsp Salt
1 can Beef Broth
1/2 Onion Sliced
1/2 Cup Mushrooms chunked
1 TBS Minced garlic
3 TBS Butter

Painting Options!



We always try to come up with new ideas for painting.

I decided to let my son pick out 4 things he wanted to paint with.  


He came up with a scrub sponge, a regular sponge, twine, and cotton balls.  


He had a lot of fun painting with all of the things, but his favorite was definitely the twine! 



And of course, what 4 year old can resist doing handprints?


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Baby Play


Do you ever run short of things to do with your baby?

I have my own 11 month old and watch a 9 month old all week and playing with 2 babies and a 4 year old all day can get tedious, but it helps to introduce new games and ways to play.

We played with tupperware, measuring cups, puppets, play dough, and pom pom balls!



Hiding things in the tupperware and having him find them was a hit, as was him putting his face in the containers!


He loved exploring the play dough (and since it was homemade, I figured it was ok for him to taste it too!).  He also tried tasting the pom pom balls, but wasn't very thrilled with the taste of those.

We also found a shaker that my older son and I made when he was younger and the babies liked exploring with that as well.


It's also never too early for learning their alphabet!


We also made Baby Egg Carton Balls and everybody loved these.  The babies and my 4 year old could throw them without fear of getting hurt.  They had a blast!

We experiment with different things all week and the favorites were experimenting with tupperware and measuring cups and the puppet show!