Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

So far my Mother's Day has been fantastic! I went to lunch with my family at a yummy seafood restaurant and got to finally eat some scallops. I have been craving them! They hit the spot. Now I'm home relaxing trying to keep up my swollen feet. The boys are outside cleaning my car, inside and out. And the girls are cleaning the kitchen. Soon we will be off to my mother-in-laws for dinner. No cooking for this Momma! :)

I am very thankful to be celebrated on Mother's Day, but I also am happy to be able to celebrate others! First, of course, is my Mom! Anyone who knows her can testify that she has been through her fair share of junk and yet, she never lost sight of being a mother! She has always been there for me... Which is saying a lot! I know I can always count on her! Not only does she continue to be a great mother to me, but she is the best Nana a kid could ask for! I'm pretty sure my kids would live with her if given a choice! :)

Also, I'm thankful for my children! Of course, without them I would not be celebrated today! They have taught me many things in life and I continue to learn from them! I strive my hardest to be the best I can for them! I have learned that you can not just want better for your children, you have to be better for them! I can only hope my example is what it should be.

And last, but not least, I am thankful for my husband. Although, today is technically a woman's day, without him I would not be a mother! Because of him I am a mother to 4, soon to be 5 children! He has made me confident in who I am as a mother on days when I feel I have failed. On days when I feel overwhelmed, he gives me the push I need to continue! Also, because of his determination and strive, I am able to be a stay at home mom. A gift that is truly priceless!

I hope you are able to enjoy today, whether you are being celebrated or are celebrating others! 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Pregnancy Checklist

So now that we've moved and are all settled into our new house, my nesting has kicked into overdrive! I just want to get everything done right now! I'm 32 weeks and with every braxton hicks contraction I am reminded that the end is actually near!

I have made a checklist specifically of items that need get done before baby arrives to try to help with my anxiety. I find it helps put things into perspective when I write down exactly what needs to get done, instead of just thinking "I have too much to do." Plus, I don't have to keep running things over and over in my mind. I just write it down and then I don't have to worry about forgetting.

Here's my list:
  1. Third Trimester Class - this is a class that is required through my hospital. It talks about all the logistics of what will happen when you go into labor.
  2. Childbirth class - This is completely necessary, but I would like to take a quick refresher course. I'm not going to set if this doesn't happen. I've been doing lots of reading.
  3. Dentist checkup appointment
  4. Pack hospital bag
  5. Install carseat
  6. Plan birth announcements - This way we can just upload pics & details and mail out.
  7. Get a haircut - I always get my haircut right before the baby is due. Not only do I know it will be awhile before I can make it back, but I get it cut shorter so it will be more manageable.
  8. Make list of people who need to know birth details before we make a FB announcement - This may sound silly, but it's easy to get excited and post things without thinking of the people in your life that deserve to know through a personal call or message.
  9. Finish painting the nursery - We are so excited to actually have a nursery! This is our first time being able to decorate one! We are mostly done. 
  10. Buy baby furniture
  11. Wash baby clothes - Even though we don't know the baby's gender I have a small box of neutral clothes that I have used with both of my babies that is perfect to use for the first few weeks at home & while we get the gender specific clothes ready.
  12. Sort baby clothes & wash small load - I have newborn clothes from my babies (boy & girl) that I need to sort according to age so they will be easy to pull out and use once the baby is born. Plus, I want to wash a few that could be used right away.
  13. Maternity photos - Not sure if this will happen either. We would like to, but if it doesn't happen it won't be a big deal.
  14. Have a date night - With everything going on between moving & 3 kids in baseball we have had almost no time alone, besides laying on the couch after the kids are in bed, exhausted from the day. We need to have a little time!
  15. Register with pediatrician - This will make things a lot easier once the baby is born. 
  16. Stock the house - Freezer meals, pantry foods, paper products, cleaning supplies, baby wipes & diapers, nursing supplies. The last thing I want to worry about is going shopping once the baby is here. I plan to just send my husband every week for essentials, like milk & produce. 
  17. Write shower thank-you notes - My shower is one week away! I can't wait!  
  18. Pack diaper bag - to take to hospital

This is what I have for now! If we hadn't just moved then I know that deep cleaning & organizing would be on this list, too. Thankfully I already purged & organized when we moved.

Can you think of anything that I'm missing? What is your advice for preparing for a new baby? Especially a 5th baby!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April Goals & March Recap

Here is the recap of my 2013 New Year's Resolutions so far...

  1. Organize and Print all of our pictures - No progress this month.
  2. Plan and stick to a budget - Still going well. We have only used cash and should be completely debt free in 18 months! Woo Hoo
  3. Work out twice a week - This month was not so successful. My shortness of breath got worse & I almost passed out while at the gym. So I only went a few times this past month. But mostly have been doing yoga stretches a couple times a week at home. My shortness of breath was found to be because of low iron, so now that it's under control I am planning on walking.
  4. Schedule monthly date nights and family nights - Well, sadly there have been no designated dates or family nights. But we have all spent a lot of time together during the moving process.
  5. Drink 64 oz. of water a day - While I don't always meet my goal, it has become natural to drink a lot of water. This will be a great habit once baby is born & I'm nursing.
  6. Be in bed before 11pm & shower first thing in the morning - This has become a normal part of my routine again.
  7. Declutter before we move and organize new house - We moved March 30th!! I went through our entire house & purged a ridiculous amount of stuff! I had already organized my house before we moved, so I knew where everything was going when I packed & unpacked. This house is exactly how I wanted it to be.

**Read HERE how I use checklists to break down my goals & make them more attainable!

Here is my March Goals list recap:

  • File papers at the end of the month.
  • Schedule kid’s physical.
  • Take care of gift returns – Ear buds, Shirt, Watch
  • Get college classes set. - I will be resuming classes in the Fall. I want to be able to focus on our new family & not risk lowering my GPA. 
  • Workout twice a week. - Although, I didn't make it to the gym twice a week due to my shortness of breath, I have been doing some prenatal yoga stretches.
  • Freeze one thing a week. - I did make a large batch of homemade biscuits, but that was all for this month.
  • Make one homemade item a week. - I made biscuits, granola, apple oatmeal, a few smoothies & blueberry muffins.
  • Sell things on Craigslist. - I sold a few things before our yard sale. I made about $205!!
  • Make Easter plans & shopping list. - We went to my Mom's for dinner, which was delicious and relaxing.
  • Buy Easter shopping list. - Thankfully, my mother-in-law went shopping for me. I ended up running out of time. It was such a great help!
  • Set up yard sale. - I had one failed attempt, because of rain. But then it worked out perfect! The kids, my Mom and brother & sister were a great help! We got rid of a ton of stuff and made $250!! It was such a relief to get it done!
  • Declutter & pack Greg’s nightstand.
  • Declutter & pack Greg’s dresser.
  • Fill out change of address form.
  • Notify insurance about change of address. - On the list for this week.
  • Defrost freezer. - This was a lot easier than I expected.
  • Register at Babies R Us. - This was a fun experience! A lot has changed since we've had our last baby!
  • Make all household repairs. - These all got done thanks to my husband & Dad. And because of all their work & my Mom's cleaning we are getting our FULL deposit back!
  • Clean up yard. 
  • Declutter garage. - This was easier than I thought. Every day that the weather wasn't frigid the kids came out & helped. Breaking it up into small sections made it more manageable.
  • Complete March Declutter calendar. 

**Now that my house is in order, which by the way feels amazing, I can focus on getting prepared for baby. So I have made 2 goal lists for this month. One is specifically a baby checklist. I'll post that later this week.

April Goals:

  • Schedule kid's physicals - I will get this done!
  • Returns - shirt, ear buds, watch, shirt, Target stuff
  • Clear off the Flip Camera
  • Write new cleaning schedule for our new house
  • HSA approvals for 2012
  • Clean out van & mat all weather mats
  • File papers from the month
  • Create filing system.
  • Clean up yard - pull weeds, trim bushes, plant 
  • Set up trampoline.
  • Set up swing set.
  • Stock house for baby - freezer meals, pantry items, paper products, cleaning products, baby necessities

Remember, it is hard to accomplish what you want if you are not clear on how to get there. How can you break down your goals???

Friday, March 15, 2013

20 Natural Morning Sickness Remedies

I have always heard that "every pregnancy is different". And I thought I understood that with my last two pregnancies. But boy has this pregnancy thrown me for a loop!

I have literally had just about every pregnancy symptom known.... Headaches, breaking out, sciatic pain, extreme fatigue, sleepless nights, hyper sensitive sense of smell, dry skin, varicose veins, stuffy nose, lots of braxton hicks contractions, extreme heartburn all the time, sore hips & stomach from stretching, shortness of breathe & dizziness, back pain, forgetfulness, etc.

The weirdest symptom I've had was my hearing sensitivity. Apparently, it's caused from the extra fluid & so to me it kinda mimicked having an ear infection. Noise was painful to my ears. It was quite difficult to deal with in my house as you can imagine with 4 kids all fighting to be heard, but it was also quite comical. There would be times when my kids would all be talking to me and I would just cover my ears, while shushing them. When my husband and I would watch t.v. I would make him turn it all the way down. It was literally on 1. Poor man couldn't even hear it and I thought it was still too loud.   

But by far the worst has been the morning sickness. Which, by the way, should be called all-day sickness, at least in my case! I think I tried just about every single remedy possible! Some worked. Some did not. Some helped a lot. Some I couldn't tell, but did it anyway thinking if I didn't I might feel worse.

 I have made it to my 3rd trimester and am no longer dealing with morning sickness! 
As for the other symptoms, I wish I could say the same!

So, here are some of the things I tried. I thought it could hopefully be helpful to someone!

  1. Accept it - If you're feeling like you're going to throw up, just go do it. There is no sense in delaying the inevitable. Normally, once you do it, you feel better. I promise you'll survive. 
  2. Taking Vitamin B6 - Usual dose is 10-25mg. I took 10mg with every meal. This seemed to help a lot.
  3. Rest - The less movement, the better.
  4. Nausea bracelets - These work by pressing your pressure points. These seemed to help a lot! I wore them nonstop for weeks. I was almost scared to take them off. You can buy these at any drugstore for less than $20.
  5. Sniff lemons or ginger.
  6. Eat lemons - I know it sounds crazy, but the acid helps the digestive system. I've actually grown to like the taste. Sometimes I suck on a lemon wedge after a meal.
  7. Take Digestive Enzymes - Take with each meal. This helps regulate your stomach acid and reduce heartburn. These can be for less than $10 at any vitamin shop.
  8. Sip lemonade.
  9. Sip ginger ale.
  10. Eat watermelon - I don't know why, but it was something I read somewhere. When you're desperate you'll do anything.
  11. Eat bananas or pineapple if it is cause from heartburn. - I don't know why, but these foods help.
  12. Eating salty potato chips - They have been found to help settle the stomach, especially right before or in between meals. 
  13. Eating soda crackers - It is a good idea to eat a few about 10-15 minutes before you ever get out of bed. This helped me a lot!
  14. Taking antacids.
  15. Sucking on hard candy - I liked gummy bears.
  16. Preppy Pop candy - These were good to eat before a meal or when random spells would come on. Buy at Babies R Us for a few dollars.
  17. Drink fruit juice - I would sip on apple juice. 
  18. Avoiding smells that make you sick - For me, this was bacon. Bleh!
  19. Don't feel guilty - It is easy to feel guilty, which can cause depression. It's not your fault. You're not faking it. It's not in your head. You do want to feel this way. You will eventually leave the house again. It is only for a time, not forever. 
  20. Remember the end goal and try not to complain 24/7. Stay positive.

Some pregnancies can be really difficult. Especially when you have other children. But remember that you are experiencing something so special and miraculous. You are growing a human for cryin out loud! And it is for only a time, not the rest of your life, though at times it does seem that way. It really will all be over so soon that one day you'll see another pregnant belly & wish you could do it again.

So while it may not be easy... It is definitely worth it!

What was your most difficult pregnancy symptom??? 

    Monday, March 11, 2013

    My Meal Plan 03/11 - 03/17

    Wow! It's been forever since I've written a blog post with that title! And to be honest... It's been months since I've done a complete meal plan since being pregnant. I've done a few lately that included just dinner and that is about it. Really if it wasn't for my husband, we would have been living off of PB&J for every meal and snack!

    I've definitely been reminded of why I choose to meal plan.
    • Our grocery bill more than doubled. 
    • We were constantly doing the "5 o'clock panic" trying to figure out what we were going to eat.
    • My husband made countless extra trips to the store for things we needed. Which contributed to the extra cost.
    • We ate a lot more processed foods.
    • We ate fast food a lot! Talk about expensive & unhealthy!
    • Any many other reasons... 

    But we were in survival mode, so I don't regret it, I just know it needs to change!

    While it is hard to get back into the swing of things, I know it is best. Especially with the craziness of life right now! Between moving in 3 weeks, 3 kids involved in baseball, softball & t-ball, and a baby being born in about 10-12 weeks... This is going to be necessary in order to keep some type of organization in our house.

    I have not had the time to use coupons as much I have in the past, so I'm trying to make up for that in other ways. One way is I am trying to make a lot more food items from scratch. This will not only help us save money, but is also healthier! I am starting slowly with breakfasts and snacks. I am also cooking dinner more, rather buying already made food. I intend to blog about this more in the future.

    Here's our meal plan for the week:

    Monday, March 4, 2013

    March Goals & February Recap

    Here is the recap of my 2013 New Year's Resolutions so far...

    1. Organize and Print all of our pictures - I have downloaded all my pictures from my computer, Facebook & phone to Next step is to download the pictures from my cameras. Then as they have promos I will print them individually and as photo books.
    2. Plan and stick to a budget - We have started the Dave Ramsey budget and cash envelope system. This has helped us tremendously keeping track of expenses & staying organized. As we start to "master" it a little better then I will write about it.
    3. Work out twice a week - Another successful month. There were 3 times I couldn't make it to the gym because of the kids & myself being sick, but I made sure I did some yoga stretches at home. Only 3 more months til baby.
    4. Schedule monthly date nights and family nights - Surprisingly this has been the most difficult goal to complete. This past month we did go to Great Wolf Lodge one weekend. The kids have been saving their report card money since last year & then we got a great deal from Groupon. We had a blast! The kids all got along well & it was really just a relaxing time.
    5. Drink 64 oz. of water a day - This has become easier and easier this past month. A few times I have drank more than my goal!
    6. Be in bed before 11pm & shower first thing in the morning - This is becoming a normal part of my routine again.
    7. Declutter before we move and organize new house - The decluttering is going great so far. HERE is one post I wrote about the process so far. Only one more closet and the garage to go!!

    **Read HERE how I use checklists to break down my goals & make them more attainable!

    Here is my February goals recap:

    • File papers at the end of the month.
    • Declutter master bedroom - decorations, clothes, shoes, nightstands, etc. - My husbands nightstand is still left, but he can do that in his own timing. :)
    • Pack what I can in master bedroom.
    • Declutter & organize medicine cabinet. - Our medicine cabinet looks amazing now! I'll post about this later.
    • Schedule kid's physical.
    • Declutter & pack linen closet. - The only thing left out is the kids sleeping bags. I plan on washing all our bedding the week before we move, packing that and they can sleep in their sleeping bags. Easy to roll them up on moving day.
    • Outfit vehicles with an emergency kit.
    • Begin planning for the summer. - I just made sure all the birthdays & things we've already committed to were on the calendar.
    • Make Valentine's Day plans.
    • Take care of gift returns - Headphones, shirt, watch.
    • Download photos from phone & facebook to SnapFish. - I just need to download the photos from my camera.
    • Organize a homemaking binder. - I just added to one I already have.
    • Laminate kids chore chart. - These are working great so far. Definitely helping the kids to remember to pick up after themselves.
    • Complete February declutter calendar.
    • Get college classes set. - Getting closer. Since I'm switching degrees and possibly schools it's been a bit more difficult than normal.
    • Workout twice a week. - The 3 days I couldn't make it to the gym I did some pregnancy yoga stretches.
    • Declutter magazines & pack.
    • Freeze one thing a week. - This is preparation for baby.
    • Make one homemade item a week. - This is to help cut down on grocery cost. - I made french bread, cinnamon sugar bread, peanut butter chocolate chip muffins & something else I can't remember.
    • Sell things on Craigslist. - Preparing for move. - We still have a few more things to sell.

    Here are my March Goals:

    ·      File papers at the end of the month.
    ·      Schedule kid’s physical.
    ·      Take care of gift returns – Ear buds, Shirt, Watch
    ·      Get college classes set.
    ·      Workout twice a week.
    ·      Freeze one thing a week.
    ·      Make one homemade item a week.
    ·      Sell things on Craigslist.
    ·      Make Easter plans & shopping list.
    ·      Buy Easter shopping list.
    ·      Set up yard sale.
    ·      Greg’s nightstand.
    ·      Greg’s dresser.
    ·      Fill out change of address form.
    ·      Notify insurance about change of address.
    ·      Defrost freezer.
    ·      Register at Babies R Us.
    ·      Make all household repairs.
    ·      Clean up yard.
    ·      Declutter garage.
    ·      Complete March Declutter calendar.

    Hopefully, these will all be crossed off at the end of the month. Considering I'm moving March 30th. After that the amount of monthly goals should lessen.

    What are your yearly or monthly goals???

    Monday, February 18, 2013

    Organization Accomplished

    Through this process of moving I have learned a lot about myself. I shared one post about it HERE so far.

    Another huge thing that I have learned about myself through this process of moving is that I am a great planner! It is easy for me to think ahead about an event or an activity and think about all the details necessary for execution. I can make a list like no other.... Lists of "To-Do's", supplies, schedules, etc.

    A great example of this would planning this move. I have a timeline checklist of things needing to be done & by when. Lists of where things are going in the new house, what can be packed now, what needs to wait til the last week, etc.

    So, what's the catch???

    I'm not the best "doer"! I have a hard time crossing those things off my detailed lists. I know what I need to do and how should it be done. But actually getting up and doing those things??? Eh... that takes a lot of time and effort.

    For example: In order for my new house to be as organized as I want it to be, everything has to have a place. That means I actually have to put those things in those places. As silly as that sounds, it is so difficult.

    In our house I think one of the things I say most is, "just put it on the counter." That's where things go that I know where they go, but I don't feel like doing it right away. Then when the kitchen is cleaned, they get shuffled around to another spot and eventually when I need it, I can't remember where it is.

    Here are a few tips and tricks of mine to cross those things off your list:
    • Put things into piles when cleaning or organizing and then have the kids put the items in the correct places. Just make sure you're specific about where it goes. Kids have lots of energy and mine would much rather do this than the dishes.
    • Be specific in organization. Don't just have a toy box. Have a separate container for anything that is small and/or there is a lot of... Legos, barbies, trains, puzzles, books, etc. Don't just have a drawer for all important papers. Have a filing system.
    • Make small "To-Do" lists for each day. A list of things that are necessary to get done that day. Mine normally consist of a few chores, errands and things that have deadlines.
    • Make the organization and storage easy for everyone to use. Having a drawer or a container for Barbie accessories is way more likely to be used than a container that has 10 different compartments designated for shoes, purses, brushes, etc. Let's face it... Everyone likes the feeling of being organized, but rarely likely the process it entails. Make it as easy as possible. 

    What are some of your tips to getting it done??? 

    Shared with

    The Alabaster Jar Making your home sing Mondays The Life Of Faith

    Monday, February 4, 2013

    Breaking Down Your Goals

    Last month I posted my New Year's Resolutions. And I was proud to post last week that I have stayed focused so far! Yay me! I think I am overly focused right now, because I know that once the baby comes they will probably go out the window for awhile. HERE is where you can see my progress & goals for the month.

    I mentioned some tips for how to set and keep your resolutions and one of them was to have a plan!

    How often have you thought of things that need to be done, but never devise a plan and therefore just constantly think of excuses as to why it hasn't gotten done.
    Excuses like, "I don't have time." "I don't know where to start."

    You must have a plan & deadline for successful goal completion!

    Here are a few tips to hopefully encourage you and keep you focused:  

    •  One way I have stayed focused is by creating a monthly goal list. It has smaller goals to help me stay on track with my resolutions. I got a printable monthly goal sheet HERE. Of course, you can just write your own. But using the printable list is a good way to get started. It has a few goals already printed and then a few empty spots to write your own goals. You can see my list of monthly goals HERE.

    • Another thing I'm using to stay on track is by using a printable declutter calendar found HERE. This calendar is great! It has small tasks designated for each day to check off. I mean it when I say small. Things like "Clean off one counter." "Clean out one fridge shelf." It will get you through the whole house in a year. 

    • We have a weekly and monthly cleaning checklist. It is HERE. I use it to give out daily chores to the kids and for myself. The thing to remember with these checklists is that their main focus is for organizing and decluttering... Not keeping your house clean. So, as you go through them you need to put "rules" in place to keep your house organized. Then you can focus on starting a cleaning routine. 

    • I also use daily To Do Lists. Everyday I add the kids chores, my chores and things that I need to get done that day. I use it to help break down my monthly goals. I normally never have more than 5 tasks total. Too much is setting yourself up for failure.

    I hope this doesn't sound too overwhelming!!! It really is simple... It's just a process of breaking everything down in order to get it done.

    Yearly Resolutions ---> Monthly Goals ---> Daily To-Do's

    Simple enough, right??? How do you manage to get your goals done?

    Shared with:

    Friday, February 1, 2013

    February Goals & January Recap

    Here is the recap of my 2013 New Year's Resolutions so far...

    1. Organize and Print all of our pictures - I have downloaded all my pictures from my computer to Next step is to download the pictures from my phone, facebook and cameras. Then as they have promos I will print them individually and as photo books.
    2. Plan and stick to a budget - We have started the Dave Ramsey budget and cash envelope system. So far, so good. But boy is it hard. Right now we are working on saving, tracking all spending and cutting where ever we can.
    3. Work out twice a week - This is the one I think I am most proud of to say that I accomplished this month! Only 4 more months to maintain until the baby is born. After that I will obviously take a break for about 2 months and then hopefully I can workout at home until I'm comfortable taking the baby to the childcare.
    4. Schedule monthly date nights and family nights - This one has not been so successful. Does packing together count??? We have had more time at home as a family lately, but no real family fun nights. And my husband, Isaac and I have had a few lunch dates. But that's about it so far. One thing to remember is that my husband works from home, so we do spend a lot of time.
    5. Drink 64 oz. of water a day - This is still a work in progress. So far I have gotten up to about 48 ounces. But I have been limiting sugar & caffeine drinks to about once a day. So I feel that is a good trade off so far.
    6. Be in bed before 11pm & shower first thing in the morning - I have been in bed before bed. Although, I don't normally fall asleep until close to midnight. And showers are regular again. Lol
    7. Declutter before we move and organize new house - The decluttering is going great so far. HERE is one post I wrote about the process so far.

    **I have stayed on track by having monthly and daily checklists. I'll be posting more on this later.

    Here are my January goals recap:

    • Set your goals for the year.
    • File papers.
    • Clear out holiday clutter by putting away new items received as gifts.
    • Take down and store your holiday decorations. Let go of anything that didn’t make it out of storage this year.
    • Take care of gift returns.... Still have a few things.
    • Send thank you notes for holiday gifts. 
    • Declutter and organize your storage area... I've still got a few to go and I know it will get done because we are moving in less than 60 days.
    • Organize the photos you took last year and set up an organizing system for this year... I've started this process, but still have a ways to go.
    • Declutter + organize the holiday greeting cards you received this year. 
    • Let go of something that’s weighing you down and start the new year just a little bit lighter... I organized my gift bags and wrapping paper supplies.
    • Make a new Homemaking Binder... Not yet. I have one already, but it needs some tweeking.
    • Set kid's daily chore chart & laminate.
    • Complete January declutter calendar.
    • Get college classes set for next semester... Have to get this done this month.
    • Workout twice a week... Definitely MOST proud of this goal being accomplished!! I can already tell that I'm getting stronger & am able to last longer without being winded on the treadmill.

    Here are my goals for February:

    • File papers at the end of the month.
    • Declutter master bedroom - decorations, clothes, shoes, nightstands, etc.
    • Pack what I can in master bedroom.
    • Declutter & organize medicine cabinet.
    • Schedule kid's physical.
    • Declutter & pack linen closet.
    • Outfit vehicles with an emergency kit.
    • Begin planning for the summer.
    • Make Valentine's Day plans.
    • Take care of gift returns - Headphones, shirt, watch.
    • Download photos from phone & facebook to SnapFish.
    • Organize a homemaking binder.
    • Laminate kids chore chart.
    • Complete February declutter calendar.
    • Get college classes set.
    • Workout twice a week.
    • Declutter magazines & pack.
    • Freeze one thing a week. - This is preparation for baby.
    • Make one homemade item a week. - This is to help cut down on grocery cost.
    • Sell things on Craigslist. - Preparing for move.

    Yes, this may seem a little overly ambitious, but remember... I am moving in less than 60 days so I essentially need to organize my whole house before then. Also, I'm having a baby in about 4 months and I know that after that most of this will go out the window! The more I can get done now, the less I will have to worry about later. So for anyone else not in these 2 situations, I would suggest about half of this for your monthly goal list.

    What are your yearly or monthly goals???

    Monday, January 28, 2013

    Decluttering and Organizing: Gift Bags & Wrapping Supplies

    Well as I shared last week, we are moving within the next two months and to prepare I am doing a lot of decluttering and organizing. I have gone through a good amount of things so far... Master bathroom, 2 book shelves, stored baby clothes and the latest was our gift bags and wrapping supplies.

    Through this decluttering process I have had a few epiphanies about myself. I am quick to get rid of trash, but I have a hard time getting rid of things that could be of use. Like ever of use. To anyone.

    This became completely evident the other night when I was going through all of our gift wrap and gift bags. I save gift bags & tissue paper, because when I buy a gift I would always forget to buy something to wrap it with and would have to make another trip to the store. By having them on hand it's a small money & time saver.

    I noticed that while going through all the bags I was having a really difficult time sorting through what to get rid of and what to keep. I was trying to get rid of the bags that were really wrinkled or damaged or didn't like.
    Like this bag... How embarrassing to give someone a gift in this bag!

    Or this tissue paper... It's literally about as big as my hand and ripped! What in the world would I possibly to with it???

    This really became quite comical when I came across this bag...

    I just started cracking up! How long ago had I received this bag? It looks like it's from the 80's! And why was I saving it? Who on earth would I possibly ever give it to in the future? Lol

    Another thing I realized was not only was I saving things that I would clearly never use, but why have I saved so many? Of course variety is good to have, but I probably had close to 70 bags!! When in my life am I ever going to need this many bags??? When will I ever have 70 gifts to give at a single time?

    So I have set myself a few guidelines with going forward... There has to be a need and a limit! Of course, there is no point of keeping something that is not needed. Seems like a no brainer, but it's not always that simple. But even if it is something that can be needed at some point there needs to be a limit of items. I need to decide ahead of time what that limit is and stick to it. Sometimes the limit will be a number and sometimes it will be a space.

    So now that I have gone through all the gift supplies I have decided to store them inside a large sturdy gift bag. If I want to save more, I will need to get rid of some that I already have. Yes, I do still have a considerable amount. But it's the best I can do right now and I'm okay with that.

    How about you??? Is there anything that you have saved, despite knowing it's ridiculous?

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

    Preparing for an Organized Moved

    As if our lives are not already chaotic enough with a family of 6 + 1 on the way! We will be moving in about 60 days! While I have been excitedly waiting for this day to come I am also freaking out quite a bit! We have lived in this house for 6 years. And over that time we have accumulated A LOT of stuff!

    I want this to be an organized move as possible. My goal is to purge! That way our new home can be organized. Since we will be moving into another rental, this will help with when we move in a year and a half to a home we will own. I really wish we could buy right now, so I didn't have to think about moving a second time before we've even moved the first time... But it is what it is. So, I'm trying to make the most of it.

    The upside of this is it is forcing me to accomplish one of my 2013 New Year's Resolution of decluttering! I am determined to not pack anything unneeded!

    So here is my plan so far:
    1. Sort & pack unneeded items. Example: holiday decorations, Christmas dishes, serving glassware, extra blankets & towels, all decorations (pictures frames, etc.), and books.
    2. Sort & pack kids clothes that are stored. One way that we keep our cost of living down is through hand-me-downs. Most of this is already organized, but I need to go through the things on top of the kids closets that are just now too small and see if they're worth keeping. If so, then I need to pack according to size.
    3. Sort kids clothes in their drawers & closet. If anything is too small I need to store or donate. I will not be packing any clothes in boxes, just be moving them in their drawers & on hangers.
    4. Sort & pack the majority of the kids books.
    5. Sort the kids toys. We shouldn't have to pack these either. Most things are in containers that can be moved.
    6. Sort my husband's and mine clothes in drawers and closet. 
    7. Sort & pack some of the kids art and game dresser. 
    8. Sort & pack garage items... This one I'm dreading the most!
    9. Sort & organize bathroom items & extra linens.
    10. Sort kitchen items, but pack them last.
    11. Have a yard sale!! This will happen when we have finalized the house we are moving into, so that I can sell any unneeded furniture. 

    As you can tell I have a lot to get done, but I'm confident it will happen. Even if it doesn't end up as perfect as I hoped. I also downloaded a moving checklist from HERE. That's been really helpful, too. Also, I know that my kids are old enough that they will be able to help me when necessary. And though, my husband doesn't have too much patience for organizing he does have the muscles for all the heavy lifting I'll be needing!

    Do you have any packing tips??? PLEASE, let me hear them!

    Monday, January 7, 2013

    2013 New Year's Resolutions

    The first week of the New Year is down... Do you still feel just as hopeful as you did on New Year's Eve? How about your resolutions? Have you managed to stick to them for at least 7 days? Or was it more of a good thought and intention, but you knew it was never really going to happen?

    For me I am not one to normally bother with making tangible goals every year. I never really got the point. I have never really felt any different at the start of the year. Truth be told I have probably felt more depressed than excited, because the holidays are over and I'm just waiting for Spring to come.

    But this New Year has felt different for me. Probably because we have a lot of change happening! In a few short months we will be moving (to another house in the same area) and having Baby #5! Also, since I've been so out of the loop with my morning sickness and now feeling better I am feeling very motivated to get things done! Before this week it had been a long time since I had crossed anything off of a list!

    I am feeling very excited and motivated about this year. I even had my kids each write out 4 New Year's Resolutions. HERE is the printable. They taped them to their wall so they can stay focused. 

    So I have been doing a lot of reading on how to set and stick to my goals. Here are a few pointers I have found that may help you!

    First, make sure that your goals fall in line with your "big rocks." Make sure that these are things of priority to you. That way you will stay motivated and not lose focus.

    Second, it needs to be something specific. There should always be a way to measure your success. Example: "lose 5lbs. a month" instead of "lose weight" or "do not eat after 7pm" instead of "be healthier".  Makes sense right?

    Third, come up with an action plan. Making a goal is great, but without a plan to achieve it, it is useless. Considering this is something new that you have not done previously you can't expect that it will just happen. You need to read, research and formulate a plan for success!

    Fourth, keep it to a minimal. Sometimes it's easy to get a little over zealous in writing down a million goals. Chances are the more goals you have to attain the easier it will be to give up, because it seems unattainable. If you achieve something before the end of the year, then you can always add something else in its place.

    Fifth, keep trying until the end. This I think may be one of the most important. It's easy to get off track for a week or two and then just give up. You have 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days to complete these goals. It is never too late to get back on track. Any progress counts!

    Here are my New Year's Resolutions:
    1. Organize and Print all of our pictures - I will use Snapfish to organize and will either print for an album or make picture books.
    2. Plan and stick to a budget - I have already started with the Dave Ramsey plan and envelope system. This way instead of saying save more I have an actual number goal.
    3. Work out twice a week - My plan of action for this is to tell my husband when I want to go. He is a workout nut and I know he will help bug motivate me into going. :)
    4. Schedule monthly date nights and family nights - Planning ahead is crucial.
    5. Drink 64 oz. of water a day - This is a hard one! I got a new water bottle and filter system for Christmas. Having that with me will hopefully help.
    6. Be in bed before 11pm & shower first thing in the morning - This schedule has been thrown off since being so sick, but I need to get back to the routine. Especially with a baby coming.
    7. Declutter before we move and organize new house - lots of Pinterest help.

    I will go into more detail with all of these things soon and let you know my progress!

    How about you? Any New Year's Resolutions??? How do you plan on keeping them?

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