Sunday, June 2, 2013
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
This is the before and after:
I would say it was worth the $15 and the $30 worth if cleaning product. :)
Monday, April 29, 2013
Monday, April 8, 2013
Monday -Spirit night at school
Tuesday -Hot dogs on the fire pit with fruit and yogurt
Wednesday -Cashew Lettuce Wraps
Thursday -Spicy Honey Chicken with veggies
Friday -Left overs
Saturday -Turkey with veggies
Sunday -Grill steaks or fish with veggies
I am attempting to start using the sale ads each week to plan my menus. I used to be a big coupon gal. When we moved almost a year ago I just stopped. I have tried to start again a few times but trying to figure out all the new stores and rules each one has just gives me a headache every time I do. I figured I would start small and start using the sale ads to attempt to plan our menu for the week and then hopefully work up to using coupons again. Not crazy like I was (I haven't bought shampoo in a year!), but just to help save a little money each week.
Head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie to help plan your menu this week and come up with some new recipes to try for your family!
Thursday, April 4, 2013
I have been making smoothies and other things nearly every day since I brought that baby home a month ago. I have LOVED it and it has been changing the way I am eating. Now to just find things my hubby and kids will also eat and I will be set. But I am settling for one step at a time!
I had posted a few of the smoothies I had made on Facebook and a friend of mine asked me to start posting the recipes to go along with them. Since I figure most people I know aren't really interested in my smoothie adventures I am going to start posting them here instead. If you aren't a smoothie fan then just click to another post please. But this is also part of my journey to organizing my life so I figure why not!
Yesterday I made something hoping my kiddos would eat it and at least one of them did so I was thrilled. I had a big glass of it myself and it was full of Vitamin C, perfect for this crazy weather we are having this year (cold, then hot, then cold, then hot, why the cold is back again!).
10 oz orange juice
1/2 cup frozen peaches
1 orange, peeled and quartered, seeds removed
1/2 frozen banana
1 tsp stevia (sweetener of your choice)
6 ice cubes
It turned out pretty yummy and I will make it again for sure, probably during the summer to cool off on a hot day. It made enough for 2 drinks for sure so I may try and scale it back a little next time for just me.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Let me say this first though...I am NOT a runner. As a matter of fact, I actually didn't like running at all. When I was way younger if I did run I was a short distance runner. Speed, not distance, was my friend. I was fast as a kid and competitive (still competitive but so not fast anymore!). But I found over the weeks of doing the program I almost came to look forward to getting out there and running. At first it was an accountability kind of thing. I wanted to finish what I had started (which I didn't and it still bugs me). But then, I was finally starting to hit a point it wasn't nearly as hard to run and it actually kind of started to feel, well, good.
As usual, life got in the way. I got sick and then had surgery. A very simple procedure that I was supposed to be back on my feet in just a few days ended up being a month long process of healing. Craziness. By then it was Winter and nearly the holidays so I just gave up. So here we are now in the middle of Spring Break and I am wanting to start again. I am promising myself that Monday morning after I drop the boys off at school I am going running. I am going to start the Couch to 5K program again. Maybe even try to sneak in some time this weekend if I get adventurous!
The thing is, life will always get in the way. What I need to learn is how to keep on going even when it does. Because after all, it IS going to. That has been proven time and time again to me. But where I think I differ from other people is that I give up. I tell myself it just isn't possible and so then it isn't. Must get rid of the doubt and negative self talk!
Monday, April 1, 2013
Busy weekend and I didn't get the chance to plan my menu until just now. But I did it!
Monday - Rotisserie chicken and veggies
Tuesday -Pizza (take out)
Wednesday -Chicken nuggets/mac n cheese for kiddos, leftovers for us
Thursday -Lettuce wraps
Friday - Eat out!
Saturday -Grill something (supposed to be nice weather)
Sunday - Roast with fresh veggies
I have to admit it was so nice last week having everything sketched out and ready to go each day. I did have a few curve balls thrown in but it was actually kind of funny. Like Monday I wanted chili dogs for some reason. And then the roast I had taken out of the freezer for Wednesday was not even closed to being thawed out when I went to put it in the crock pot, and it was later in the day than I had hoped to get it started. But it was super easy just to switch a few days around!
The chicken I did on Tuesday was amazingly good and I will be making that a regular thing from now on.
So head on over to this week's Menu Plan and get some great ideas for yourself!
I did well last week making the beds and need to continue doing it again this week. I am going to add another task and have been going over and over again in my head as to which it should be. I am already kind of in the habit of doing laundry nearly every day so that feels like cheating to me. The bathrooms are another area I really struggle, especially since I have boys and their bathroom can get pretty disgusting quickly. So I think what I really want to focus on this week is wiping the bathrooms down every day. I know this one will be tough for me to follow through on and keep up so that is why I have decided to just Eat That Frog and do it!
I am also going to start adding some health related goals to my big picture so will be thinking a lot about that this week as I think my new task next week should be related to that and not the house. I seriously need to get back into shape and I think weekly exercise needs to become part of my life. But that's a story for another day! Off to plan my menu for this week and get back to laundry!
Saturday, March 30, 2013
I feel like I have never ending piles of laundry right now. I don't mean just a pile or two...I mean like five or six loads waiting to be done...always. When I was single I could go two weeks without doing laundry basically. Seriously...I had enough clothes to go at least two weeks without having to do a load of laundry. When I got married I could go a week for the both of us. Now that I have kids...daily...and even sometimes then it is multiple loads daily. I can't get used to this...although one would think a person would after over six years of it!
Several years ago I made a promise to myself that unless I could actually finish a load of laundry completely then I just wasn't going to do it right then. I finally realized that by folding the laundry immediately after it was dry I no longer had much ironing to do (which is the last thing I want to be doing other than cleaning bathrooms). So, I have done really well with this up until this last six months or so. I am just laundried out (not sure that is even a real word but it is today in my book!).
A few weeks ago I decided I was going to try and do at least one load of laundry a day. I have done okay with that other than the days that are super busy. I am not sure that is going to be a great system for me, but it seems to be helping. I tend to have a few days I get a load done and then a day or two where I do several loads. It's working for me so far and while doing laundry yesterday I came up with an idea that just may make it easier for me. So the next few weeks I am going to figure out how to make that work.
I have one of those laundry sorter kind of things. The one that has three bins and you can separate the laundry as you put it in the dirty clothes. Well, I don't just do three different types of clothes. I need at least two of those sorters, possibly three. Then I think I would have the perfect set up for me to be able to do a load a day without having a ton of stuff all over the place.
One of the things that REALLY annoys me about how our laundry area in this house is set up is that my dirty laundry is pretty much right out in the open. I really don't like that. The washer and dryer are in a closet at the end of a hall in our kitchen. That whole little hall is such wasted space to me (one opf my huge pet peeves about houses is wasted space in the floorplan!). So, I have been trying to find creative ways to utilize that space without it looking cluttered and crazy. Since we are just renting I can't really do anything permanent so this has been a wee bit of a challenge. But I think after my little light bulb moment the other day I may have a workable solution now at least! The hall is wide enough for sure, so now I just have to keep an eye out for another one of the laundry sorters that kind of already matches what I have. Each full section is a load for me so it would work out perfectly to have my white, colors, darks, reds, delicates, jeans, pants, light towels and dark towels on in separate bins. I may try it out with some smaller laundry baskets or something for a while to see how it works. Or maybe I could find a way to do something like one of these awesome ideas.
Friday, March 29, 2013
This week I spent a lot of time thinking about not only cleaning up and organizing my home, but my health and health of my family as well. How can I improve this? How can I lose some weight and start eating better. How can I help my children with their needs (my kiddos have special needs, will explain all that some day I guess) and do all that needs to be done.
When you fly somewhere you will hear the flight attendant tell you in case of an emergency to put your face mask on first and then secure the face mask for your child. I never understood this before I had children of my own. Then one day it just hit me and I "got it." You must take care of yourself first, because if you aren't around then who is going to take care of your child? In my head I now get this. But it has been SO HARD to try and put this into practice in my own life. I know I need to take better care of myself. I know I need to exercise on a regular basis and eat healthy. But actually doing this has been really, really hard for me. So really I want this blog to be about that journey...putting it all together and finding what works for me. Not just cleaning up and organizing my home.
Although the last few weeks I have really been focused on my house, I need to focus on the whole picture. I need to add one thing maybe from each area of my life a week that I want to work on. Or maybe just one thing from one of the areas. I don't know. I want to take it slowly and yet I want to dive right in and do it all. So very hard to know what is right! The biggest thing I don't want to do is to set myself up for failure. I WILL get there. And with each step forward I may take a step or two back from time to time, but the important thing is that I keep on going!
So while the other day I got discouraged because I didn't pick up everything that night before going to bed like I had done every night the last week, I will just keep going. Tonight I will make sure that all the toys in the living room are picked up before I go to bed. So I missed a night, that doesn't mean I give up. That doesn't mean it can't be done. That doesn't mean I am going to fall back into the old habit of just leaving it because I figure what's the point anyway? I just take it one step at a time and keep on going!
Thursday, March 28, 2013
I am finding the more I enjoy the fruits of my labor the more motivation I am getting to keep going. I have really struggled this last year especially with just not keeping up. I clean when absolutely needed and my house isn't filthy (it's way cluttered and overrun with paper and toys), but I do have a clean freak nature about certain things. I used to never go to bed with a dirty kitchen. It was not spotless, but I would NEVER leave dirty dishes in the sink. It grossed me out.
You see, I grew up in Southeast Texas where they have huge roaches. Those freak me out...and if I ever see one in my house I REALLY freak and start cleaning like a mad woman. But what I learned over the years was it isn't the big ones you have to worry about, those get in from time to time (especially if you live near a bunch of trees), it's the LITTLE ones you should worry about if you see them. Those are the babies, which means that they are living in your house somewhere. Yuck. I just shudder thinking about it. But seriously, that was my sole motivation for never leaving dirty dishes anywhere in my house. Nor eating anywhere except the kitchen and dining areas.
Over the years I have moved, and moved, and moved some more. So the areas we have moved to don't have those pesky little things around really. They have ants instead...like crazy infestations of them (thankfully not fire ants though like in Texas!). So, I still have motivation for keeping my kitchen clean and food confined to eating areas in the house. But my kids don't really get this crazy fear of mine. So trying to teach them why we only eat at the table has been interesting.
All of that to say I have some serious motivation to get back into my old habit of always cleaning the kitchen and wiping everything down at night before heading to bed. It truly doesn't take that much time. I just have to get out of my mindset of being exhausted at the mere sight of my kitchen counters or the kitchen table. The last few weeks I had already started making the boys pick their toys/papers up from the table each day and the week before I started this blog I had started cleaning the kitchen well every night.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
So, the point is that when I find myself with a list of goals/tasks to get done I tend to get a lot more done than without that list. I am so easily sidetracked so this helps me stay focused and on task. So I have decided I need to keep a running list of things I need to get done. Seeing those crossed off things on a list is an amazing feeling for me. Heck, I have even written something on my to do list that wasn't there but I had done anyway just so I could cross it off! Yes, I am strange like that...but I know I am not alone in that one...
Now I just have to decide if this is going to be a daily, weekly, or monthly kind of thing. Oh wait...I remember when I used to be all organized I had a home binder that had all three of those lists in it. Hmm...may have to resurrect that thing in the near future. For now it is something to ponder a little longer so I will go with my daily lists I have been doing. Focus is the key for me!
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Yesterday I think I kind of set myself up for failure by the way I did my list, so today I think I am going to make a list of about 3 things that HAVE to be done no matter what, then add one or two items that I would like to accomplish or some kind of general task (like declutter one area for 15 minutes). I am going to have to try and figure out what will work best for me so it may take a few tries!
I did notice yesterday that finishing the boy's rooms was hanging over my head the ENTIRE day. But I had two things come up unexpectedly that took priority. It's those kinds of things that end up getting me in trouble. So I was thinking maybe there will be things I do every day no matter what (kind of like what Nony called non-negotiables).
I think I tend to try and bite off more than I can chew so I am trying to take a step back and think about this logically. I don't want to be too easy on myself and yet I don't want to set myself up for failure either. So one step at a time...and must have patience. If I do more that day then great! But I am not going to be able to just jump in and change everything in a day. It took way longer than a day to break so it will take way longer than a day to fix it!
So my tasks for today are:
Make the beds - Done first thing this morning!
Pay bills -Done!
Clean bathrooms (My ultimate goal is to wipe them down daily so cleaning takes less time...but one step at a time! This week I am focusing on making the beds every day a habit once again and eventually teaching my boys to make their own.) - So, didn't do this one today but did 3 loads of laundry instead.
Work on paper clutter in one part of the house for at least 15 minutes -
So the gal at A Slob Comes Clean gave me lots of wonderful ideas, I just had to figure out what will work for me. I love her Daily Checklists, but is this something I could make myself do every day? Could I get back on the computer and actually do this every day when I have vowed not to be on the computer at night? I decided it was worth a shot. Still not sure what I will actually call mine since I am doing a little different kind of thing than her, but I know it is something I truly want to try and do. It will motivate me to do something. And on more than one occasion as I was reading her blog, she pointed out how she sat to type the checklist out and realized she hadn't done something on it so it motivated her to go and do it. That is what I need...MOTIVATION! So, if I know I am going to have to actually write it down for all the world to see (not that anyone is actually reading this, but that's okay, I know it's out there), then I am going to get it done.
So, that brought me to when to start this...my philosophy...no time like the present! I know, I know, normally I would make all kinds of excuses to start on a Monday. Monday is the best time to do it, it's the beginning of the week and just easier. Well, if I wait for "easier" than I may as well just give up now before I even get started. Because you know what, next week we are on Spring Break so that is going to be a huge challenge for me having my kids home and trying to get this all accomplished. But you know what...I am going to do it...no...matter...what!
My goal for this next week is to get the kitchen and bathrooms in shape so that I can maintain and not have to start over with a massive cleaning every time I walk in there.
Monday, March 25, 2013
Finish rearranging both boy's rooms - Finished one but not the other, very close though!
Change sheets on all beds - Both boys done!
Declutter kitchen counter near stove - Done! Tooks 20 minutes to finish and so happy to have a spot for making smoothies and lunches!
Make beds - Done!
Monday - Talapia w/fresh veggies
Tuesday - Sweet & Spicy Bacon Chicken w/sweet potato fries
Wednesday - Roast w/fresh veggies
Thursday - Left overs
Friday - Tacos (I make my own taco seasoning from this recipe and LOVE it!)
Saturday - Lettuce Wraps (this has become my favorite quick meal!)
Sunday - Easter Sunday - no cooking for me!
The other day I had a horrible headache and when my hubby came home from work he ended up making dinner for us and the boys. I felt so guilty about it and a comment he made at dinner when I thanked him stuck with me all this time. I told him thank you and he said "I am used to making 3 meals a day." Well, this really kind of offended me truth be told. He has gone all Paleo on me so yes, he has been making his own meals for the most part. When he started this a month and a half or so ago, I just couldn't get on board with him.
He has gone through so many different phases and I have done everything I could to support him in the past, but this was just more than I had the energy or heart to do. Until now, when I see him actually sticking with it. I want to be supportive, I truly do. So even though I now make sometimes 4 different meals for dinner each night, I am trying. And part of that will entail cutting back making 4 different meals and trying to get it down to something everyone will eat, even if there is just 1 element each person will eat. I can't keep being a short order cook. My kids have issues, and eating for the them can be difficult (yet another post for another day). But that is no excuse as to why we can't figure this out as a family. To make a better effort at eating the same foods. It can happen. I have faith!
Linking up to Menu Plan Monday over at I'm an Organizing Junkie. My first link up since I started blogging years ago. Woo-hoo!
Sunday, March 24, 2013
I know part of the reason I struggle with this now is the frequency with which we move. It is exhausting packing and unpacking. Finding new places for all our stuff. We went from a 3,000 sq foot home to a 2,200 sq foot home to a now 1,700 sq foot home...all in the span of 3 years. And we still have all the stuff from our 3,000 sq foot house. Boxes and boxes of stuff. I feel ashamed at the fact that I have things from when the boys were 2 and 3 years old in boxes in my garage that my kids hardly (or even not at all) got to use. Wonderful things that could have helped them learn valuable skills while enjoying playing.
And so the cycle begins. I fret over the fact I need to get all that stuff out and either use it or get rid of it or put it away for when they have kids of their own. Then that leads me to thinking of if they ever will even have kids of their own. And that leads to me feeling guilty that I have all this stuff they could have used and yet it still sits in boxes and have for almost 3 years now. And that train of thought leads me back to thinking that I need to get going on cleaning out those boxes and learn to live in the 1,700 sq feet we currently have. And then I start thinking about how we are only renting this place so why should I bother unpacking all this stuff only to have to pack it all back up again because we have been here almost a year so that means in the next six months it will be time to move again because hubby will be tired of his job and so will find a new one and of course it will be in yet another state so why bother. So you see...I can talk my way out of unpacking the boxes. But I don't want to talk my way out of unpacking the boxes anymore. I am tired of the stuff everywhere. Tired. Physically and mentally. So it's now time to do something about the stuff! Step my step, little by little, I will make a difference. I have to make a difference for my own sanity.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
I stumbled on a great blog while perusing my beloved Pinterest the other day. Man, as much as I love that site it can suck hours of your life from you without you even noticing. But I will say I have done several things from the site I wouldn't have otherwise done, so no complaints on my end!
But I digress...this was supposed to be about my new purpose for my blog.
So, my new purpose for starting to blog again is to hold myself accountable. I honestly don't care if anyone reads my posts, and much like this gal, I kind of hope they won't. After reading the first few months of her blog I realized I am in the exact same boat she was in then. My reasons are very different and I have struggled with how to approach this often.
It was while reading this post about feeling overwhelmed I knew I had to go on this journey in my own life. Even if it is just for my own benefit, putting it in writing is really kind of therapeutic for me and it helps me to feel accountable.
Her fist line of the post was "I am determined to make some progress this week." Oh my, how many times have I said those words to myself or even others for that matter!
You see, I could go into all the excuses as to why my life is in the state it is right now. We moved every two years. My kids are small and they can't seem to part with ANYTHING they have ever received (a post for another day surely!). I always think I will get around to selling it online, having a garage sale, I will re-purpose it or we will actually use it once we either get a new house/organize the one we are in. But the truth is that it just keeps on growing and growing. The stuff. The clutter. It just keeps multiplying. I feel like I am buried at the bottom of everything and every time I try to start digging my way out I have an excuse as to why it just won't happen.
I am getting really tired of excuses. I want to be able to invite people to our home again and not feel ashamed of the state it is in. Right now I would be mortified if anyone rang my doorbell and I would find any excuse not to allow them in. I have never been like this in my life and it is slowly dragging me down. Little by little every day. What is worse to me, is that it is pulling my family down. I know the difference a clean and somewhat organized house makes for my children. They have enough challenges already without clutter adding to the chaos in our lives. So I am determined to make a difference. Determined!
Friday, March 22, 2013
And then came the matter of sleep. I realized the value of getting rest and that my body could no longer function on the crazy sleep schedule I kept. When we lived in Indy, I was on Lunesta for an entire year! They just couldn't figure out why I couldn't sleep through the night. When we moved from Indy to NC I took the baby monitor out of our bedroom since the boys' rooms were so much closer to ours and I could hear if they woke. That and they had started coming in our room if they woke anyway. Well, an amazing thing happened...I started sleeping through the night! I attribute it to two things really. First, no baby monitor in my ear. Even turned as low as it could go I guess it still affected my ability to sleep well. And second, I was no longer on the computer at night for hours on end. I came to learn later that I can't be on the computer past about 8:00 pm or I have trouble sleeping that night. What an amazing revelation! One I am thankful to have found, but one that has forced me to give up blogging and my digital scrapping. Two things I love dearly. But I am determined now to find a balance. I know there is one out there. And posting on a blog keeps me accountable, and that my friends, is something I truly need right now in my life.