Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day 31: So, Is Your Nest Less Stressed?

Just joining in?  Read the entire series {HERE}.

On the last post of the series, I wanted to recap the month and review all of the ways that we can be less stressed.

As usual, I got all ambitious thinking I could do tons of projects this month, start amazing routines that will keep my house stress-free, get ready for the holidays......

I did get lots done and wrote posts that inspired me and hopefully, you, too, to have less stressed  nests.

I realized as I was writing many of these posts that I already know how to be less stressed.  I posted about taking care of myself, not letting small stuff get to me, and how stress can be a blessing.

On the project front, I organized our white cupboards in the basement,  including creating a delightful space for all of my crafting-n-creating gear:

organizing my gift wrap supplies:

the kids school pictures, awards, and special papers:

and transforming our old computer armoire into game and movie storage.

I also listed and talked about how creating routines in your house can really help reduce stress, rushing, and make you and your family feel more calm.  Things like developing evening routines, making little to-do lists,  prioritizing tasks, and combining errands are all tasks I'm working on becoming more a part of my daily life.

With the holidays coming up crazy-soon, I shared ways you can start thinking about the holidays.  I truly had intended to be able to do more posts on this topic, but time got away from me.....instead, November will be more dedicated to some posts about this topic.  

Thanks for joining in my 31 Days Series!  I am proud of myself and all of the other bloggers who made it to the finish line!  Woo Hoo!

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 30: Seeing the Finish Line

Just joining in?  Read the entire series {HERE}.

In writing all of these posts, I've really tried to write to first help myself.  Selfish, yes, but I think we are all striving to help ourselves feel better and less stressed because then we can impact, help, and love the people around us more.   Like most of us, I struggle daily with little stresses and those evil little thoughts that enter my mind.   After tomorrow I will literally go back and read what I have written and see what I have put into play in my life and what I still need to work on.  What have you started or stopped doing that has helped you have a Less Stressed Nest?  What have you organized or created that made you smile and feel proud?

I always have tried to make my crazy nest a calm, happy place.  Is it easy?  No.  But I love my hubby and kiddos to the ends of their toes.  They are what I do everything for and the reason why I strive to make our home a place of love, happiness, and peace.

Tomorrow will be my last post on this 31 Day adventure!  I can't believe it.  I hope you'll tune in to read it.  Several of the last posts have not linked to all of the other posts in the series--I am working on that, so if you've missed any of the posts, you can catch up.  I can't wait to finish all of the projects I shared and started and have in my head in the coming weeks.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Day 29: Prioritizing Tasks

Just joining in?  Read the entire series {HERE}.

Today I wanted to talk about how my little brain thinks when it comes to prioritizing tasks.   I'm curious to know how you go about your tasks when there are a lot of them.  Do you do the most pressing first? The most desirable first?  What kind of task-doer are you?

Tasks can be stressful, that's for sure.  Especially when there are many, many things going on at home or work or both and you are not even sure how you are going to get it all done.  Sound familiar?

Recently one night (okay, tonight) I had to decide whether to tackle many things that needed done for school (gradecards, reports, filing.....) or tackle many cleaning tasks that needed done in my house.  Experience tells me that I always seem to pick what makes me feel better visually.  For example,  I would clean off the counters first before doing the bills because I can't stand the visual clutter and I always have a hard time concentrating on tasks that need a lot of attention when I can see clutter around me.  

When deciding this most recent priority, I knew that lately school is really stressing me out because I always feel behind, scrambling, and like the list of things to do and that are due soon is getting out of hand.  I chose to work on my school stuff at home, even with dirty bathrooms and gross floors.  Normally this would drive me crazy, but the stress of school and the amount of work that needed to be done that I knew I couldn't get done during the school day HAD to get done at home, and SOON.  Putting off cleaning (which I do get help with, but it's more my crazy little self that has a problem with it than anything else) was difficult for me, but I had to make a choice.  The world will not end with my furry floors and icky bathroom sinks.  Will it?

Sometimes you have to weigh the tasks and figure out, in the long run, which is going to give you the most stress relief when you are done.   How do you weigh your tasks?
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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Day 28: It's Okay When Life Gets in the Way

Just joining in?  Read the entire series {HERE}.

Here I am posting for today at 7 PM.  This weekend we were able to go up and see my sweet step-daughter, Kaitlyn, up by Cleveland where she goes to school and is a senior.  It's about 3 hours away from us.  She plays soccer for her college team and today was Senior Day.  We had a nice visit with her yesterday, went to see a movie, then out to dinner and our littlest, Riley,  got to spend the night with big sissy at her apartment, while the boys, hubby, and I stayed in a nearby hotel.

Today during the game today it poured freezing rain.  We huddled together in the stands to cheer for our girl, fighting over umbrellas, grumbling when the neighboring umbrella dripped water on us,  yet giggling and cheering with numb, shaking fingers holding umbrellas and hoods up.  I have no idea how Kaitlyn and the other players played so hard in those conditions.  It was wicked-nasty out.  Riley kept saying, "I don't like that Sandy," referring to the incoming storm.

Now home, a little bit ago I was in our laundry room, sorting all of our weekend getaway items, wet clothing, blankets, gross, rolled-up socks, and winter coats.  

I could have gotten stressed and overwhelmed by those wet piles but I didn't.  I could have worried that I hadn't thought ahead about what I was going to write about for today but I didn't do that, either.  Because when life happens, those fun, memory-filled, proud moments come, you need to be 100% present and grateful and not worried or you'll miss the important stuff.  Being with family is about the most important stuff there is.

Sometimes it's hard to put things in perspective, ranking them in order of importance.  Listening to my daughter read is more important than looking at Pinterest.  Having a good conversation with my hubby is more important than folding laundry.  Showing my boys that I care by stopping what I am doing to help them or really, truly listen to them is more important than blogging.  

I hope you let life get in your way and put things in perspective.  You'll never look back and wish you had folded more laundry or were on your phone more. 
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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Day 27: Ready, Set, Go! Part 2

Just joining in?  Read the entire series {HERE}.

Yesterday I gave you 10 things you can do in 5 minutes or less to help you be more organized and feel in control of your nest.

Today, I've got 10 more!

1.  Wipe down the fronts of all of your appliances
2.  Sweep your front porch, back porch, or both
3.  Throw a load of laundry in,  fold a load of laundry, or put a load of laundry away
4.  Make a phone call you've been meaning to make that will take less than 5 minutes
5.  Go into your e-mail and delete all unwanted/old/unnecessary e-mails
6.  Go into your phone and delete all unwanted/old/unnecessary contacts, texts, voicemails, apps, etc.
7.  Read a magazine article you've been meaning to read.
8.  Sort through your magazines and catalogs--make a pile to keep and a pile to donate or pass on
9.  Wipe out all of your bathroom sinks
10.  Zip around a room in your house that has lots of misplaced items.  Take an empty laundry basket you.  Put all items in the basket that don't belong to that room and have each member of your family put any item that belongs to them away.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Day 26: 5 Minutes...Ready, Set, Go! Part 1

Just joining in?  Read the entire series {HERE}. have 5 minutes which is about how long I have to write this post.  Seriously, aren't we all running around like we're crazy sometimes?  Or if you aren't physically moving, your mind is...I made a quickie list of things you can do to feel more on top of things that take 5 minutes or less......tomorrow will be Part 2.  Set your timer.  Ready, Set, GO!

1.  Wipe off your kitchen counters.
2.  Do a quick clean-up of your junk drawer.
3.  Unsubscribe to retail e-mails that you never have any intention of buying things from.
4.  Reply to an e-mail (s) you've been meaning to but have put off.
5.  Write a quick thank-you note or 'thinking of you' note,  put a stamp on it, and throw it in your mailbox to be mailed.
6.  Get in your car and throw away any trash and remove any items that shouldn't be in there.
7.  Cross days off the calendar that have passed and look ahead to the next couple weeks and take note on what is coming up and what you need to do to prepare for those things.
8.  Open the fridge and make things a little more organized in there.  Old take-out? Throw it away.
9.  Tackle the pile of papers/mail/coupons that are sitting on the counter.  Sort them and discard/recycle anything that is junk.  Set the timer again to file or handle things that need done from that pile.
10. Open your pantry or food cupboards.  Like the fridge, go through and straighten, organize, and go through items.

Time's Up!  What'd you get done?
Tune in tomorrow for 10 more 5-minute tasks that will make you feel in control and all-accomplished!
You're on your way to a Less Stressed Nest!
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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day 25: What's Your Small Stuff?

Just joining in?  Read the entire series {HERE}.

You've probably heard the book  Don't Sweat the Small Stuff  by Richard Carlson.  If not, you've at least heard that piece of advice.  Problem is, the small stuff is what's so hard not to sweat.

I swear I am the calmest of persons when teaching during the day with special needs students all doing and asking and needing different things.  I handle chaos pretty well.  At home I can juggle 10 things at once.  In times of strife or trouble in my life, I step up and figure out what to do.  But the small stuff, I let it get to me.

I could make a list of small stuff that bugs/urks/irritates/stresses me.  I actually started one as I wrote this post but got almost embarrassed because  I realized as I was typing that my stuff isn't even small stuff.  It's MICROSCOPIC stuff.  I laughed out loud!  I allow those silly little things to steal my joy, my positive thinking, and slowly harden my heart and poison my mind.  You know those 'things'-the thoughts you know you shouldn't be thinking, but that rambling is constantly going on in your head never seems to stop.....unless you take control of it.

Love this quote:


So true!  So what's your small stuff?

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day 24: Simplifying the Holidays {What Really Matters}

Just joining in?  Read the entire series {HERE}.

In today's post I wanted to talk about how we can simplify the holidays.  So many times we don't because we worry what others will think and that we will let people down.

Think about that.  How many times do we keep up a tradition, whether it be using our best China or making 20 different kinds of cookies, just because that is what our family or friends or colleagues expect?  I think that most of us actually love traditions, for they give us those warm, fuzzy feelings that are familiar and loving for all ages, young and old.  But at the expense of our sanity?  Or budget?  Or health?  Now if you love a tradition, and it truly brings you joy, then, by all means, keep it up.  I'm talking about the ones that are a lot of work and you're doing them because you don't want to disappoint, feel guilty, or not meet others' expectations.


Keeping up the image of a perfectly decorated home, the perfect meal, 20 different kinds of handcrafted and iced cookies, different, unique gifts for each person, IS EXHAUSTING.  Stressed is not how you want to spend your holidays.

No one ever looks back on a holiday and says, "Boy those matching serving platters she had were amazing." They think about how the holidays made them feel, the sounds of sweet laughter they heard, the smells of food that were made by loving hands, and the coziness that, when spent with loved ones, enveloped them.

This year, I do plan to be more organized and on top of things.  And I do plan on making some cookies, making my house pretty, and buying and making gifts for others.  What I don't plan on doing is  rushing, worrying, procrastinating, and stressing.

What are your plans to simplify and enjoy the holidays more this year?

Sharing With:
The Inspired Room, Fall Nesting Party
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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 23: Meal Planning {Kinda}

Just joining in?  Read the entire series {HERE}.

Surely you've heard of meal planning, the genius idea of planning, prepping, and cooking meals ahead of time then freezing meals until ready to thaw and eat.  Some people do it so well they literally have it down to a science.  I'm envious of those people.  Good Lord.


I can't get into it that much.  It's not that I don't want to have my meals planned for a month and have the positive results of all that's that I don't have the brain energy or time to devote to planning that far in advance.  Call me lazy, but I can't (and I guess won't) do what these superwomen do.   Could I change my tune someday?  Maybe.  Till then I'm doin' it my way.  {Insert powerful laugh}.

Okay, my way isn't really a way but it's my version of doing something, albeit small, to semi-plan in advance (key word) what the family is eating.  I write it down on my Message Board I made {HERE}, one week at a time.

It gives me such satisfaction in my craziness to know what I am making and having for dinner.  Even if it's leftovers.  It's like one less thing to cram into this little brain of mine that is way overloaded already.

One of the hundreds of us who have been working hard on our 31 Days Series is Jessica with her
"31 Days of Freezer Cooking".  It's good.  Really good.  It made me want to venture more into this way of cooking.  You definitely need to click on over and check it out.

For right now I am content with my hubby and I sitting down and planning what we are eating for the week.  We talked about trying to "double batch" some things and make some things ahead that are doable for us.  I also plan to learn as much as I can from the experts on this topic, although you will never probably find me cooking for an entire day or  10 pounds of beef at a time. :)  Hey, baby steps.  I am finding what is making me less stressed.  Isn't that what matters?


I am totally curious about you---do you do meal planning?  Freeze-ahead meals?  Stress nightly over what to have for dinner?   Tell the kids Frosted Flakes or Cheerios?  How do you make your meals and meal planning less stressful?

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Day 22: Organizing with Labels

Just joining in?  Read the entire series {HERE}.

Today will be a short post on labels.  I am slightly obsessed with them.  They add function, organization, and style to almost any container, basket, or item.

Here is a collection of a few labeled things I found around blogland.  Hopefully, like me, you will be inspired to make or create some of these.  Many of these are from BHG and you can get these printable labels downloaded free on their site!






Awesome, right?

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Day 21: {Organized} Gift Wrap

Just joining in?  Read the entire series {HERE}.

Whew!  I can't believe it is October 21!  Where has October gone?  I have been working on those white cabinets as much as I can.  I never realized how useful those could be!  Remember my master bedroom closet that I embarrassingly showed you that used to contain my craft supplies?

See the orange drawered organizer?  That used to hold my acrylic paints, adhesives, and other crafty stuff.  I brought it down to the basement to see if now that it was empty of craft supplies it could hold some of my gift wrapping supplies.  Guess what?  It fit perfectly in one of the other tall white cabinets down there!

At the top of the this tall cabinet are all of our photo albums.  I'm not quite done with those yet.

I made labels for each drawer.

I added fun contact paper to the back of this cabinet.  It added so much color and prettiness!  It took me about 10 minutes to line the back of the cabinet--I am going to see what else in my house I can put (removable) contact paper on!  I love that stuff!  I found mine at Marshall's recently-two rolls for $6.99!  I wish I would have picked up other prints.   The tall metal container holding the rolls of gift wrap was from my daugher's room.  She actually has two of these and we have never used both.   I don't think she has realized one is gone.  :)

I love how each drawer is labeled and I can find things so easily.  All of this stuff used to be in a shallow plastic container under my bed!  I am thrilled that it is so easily accessible and looks so much better now

How does organizing my gift wrap go along with my Less Stressed Nest series?  I'll tell you how.  Organization lessens stress and saves time allowing me to enjoy my family and other things more.  Pretty, organized spaces calm and relax me and make me happy.

What have you organized lately?  What's on the list?

Sharing this project with:
The Girl Creative:  Just Something I Whipped Up
Skip to My Lou
Not Just a Housewife-Show Me What Ya Got
Bloom Designs
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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Day 20: Starting to Think About the Holidays

Just joining in?  Read the entire series {HERE}.

Whew!  My Post is l-a-t-e!  Been a busy Saturday.  Fun, but busy.

I actually did a little searching on the www today to start thinking about the holidays.  Christmas in particular.  Anyone else done that yet?

I know, I know, it's only October, but I have said every.single. year. that I am NOT procrastinating, stressing, rushing, or worrying during the holidays.  And every single year I do.  I am still out at the stores on Christmas Eve Day aimlessly gift or grocery shopping.   It totally takes away from the enjoyment, beauty, and reason for the season.  I'm taking a different approach this year, my friends!

I thought I'd share a couple links my sis sent to me that I went crazy for!

Here we go..

For great gift ideas that you can make in mass for neighbors, teachers, and the like...
The Fickle Pickle

There are so many cute ideas on just this one post.  Are are do-able, afforable, and can take care of lots of gifts you need to give.

For great new traditions and ideas you can start with your kids or family...

A sweet blog called Workman Family is behind this cute idea.  Wrap items filled with small toys, movies, family fun ideas that the kids open each of the 25 days before Christmas.  Many of the items in this bucket are ones that they already had.  It just adds to the excitement of the season!  You could adapt this to fit your family or traditions.

These are just a couple of the great sites I saw today.  I plan on doing more posts this month and next about how I am going to prepare for the holidays so my booty can stay home  and enjoy my family on December 24!  

Here is what I am going to tackle ahead of time:

Making a master gift list
Making as many gifts as possible--I always say I am going to do this-this year I am!
Nailing down cookie recipes
Shopping online as much as possible
Making or buying multiples of things I find that are affordable 
Organizing my Christmas decorations--this is a biggie!
Simplify, Simplify, Simplify---less is more--figuring out what that means to me and my family

This researching and thinking about the holidays has really gotten me excited to get organized and feel on-top-of-things this year!  I hope I've inspired you to think ahead no matter what holidays you celebrate.

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Day 19: Calming Spaces: Eye Candy

Just joining in?  Read the entire series {HERE}.
When we are overwhelmed with clutter and chaos, sometimes it's nice to have some calming eye candy to look at.  No, our homes may not look like this, but we can take ideas and clues from these spaces to incorporate piece and parts of them into our own home.  They are inspiring, beautiful, and just by looking at them, reduce my stress!  Enjoy all of these pics from the wonderful Better Homes and Gardens.

Beautiful, right?  Create that cozy spot in your home that makes you calm.

Most of these spaces I have pinned on Pinterest--feel free to click Pin It!  so you can too!

Have a happy Friday!

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Day 18: I Heart Coffee, What's Your Vice?

Just joining in?  Read the entire series {HERE}.

Mmmmm.  Coffee.  It's gets me out of bed in the morning just like the Folger's commercial.  I'm hooked.  Bad.  Mug, insulated cup, green straw,  I like it all.


When I am stressed, tired, grumpy, or otherwise I want need coffee.  I don't smoke, rarely drink alcohol, and don't do anything illegal.  But I do drink an excessive amount of the dark stuff.  Cream and sugar,  please.

I think about what this habit of mine is doing to me and I justify that anything that it might be doing to my body is outweighed by the way it makes me feel.  That sounds bad, yes?

I mean if I am going to have a Less Stressed Nest, coffee is going to be part of it.

So, what's your vice?  Facebook?  Chocolate stashes in your home that only you know about?  Pinterest?  Sweet tea?  What makes you more calm than an hour of yoga?  Do tell.   My take on this is that life is short.  Yes, take care of yourself (my post title yesterday! ha!), but also do little things that you love to do (or drink, or eat..).   All in moderation of course.  :)
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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Day 17: Taking Care of Me

Just joining in?  Read the entire series {HERE}.

Projects can wait, cleaning can wait, e-mails can wait.  None of them can be done effectively if you are tired and run-down.  I know as a mom and wife and teacher that I try to care of everyone and everything else.  Then I am a grumpy, tired, mess

Sleep well.
Eat well.
Try to clear your mind at the end of the day.
Know your limits. 
Listen to your body.  
Count your blessings. 
Look at all of things you did today instead of all of things you didn't. 

What are you doing to take care yourself?
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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Day 16: Thinking Ahead=Cutting Down on Errands

Just joining in?  Read the entire series {HERE}.

Have you ever ran out to the store to grab snacks for soccer or  a folder your kid needs at school, or to the bank to get some cash out for the football game and realize the next day there was 3 other things that you needed for the coming week that you could have picked up when you were RIGHT THERE at the store?  Yeah, me too.  

It's not like I don't want to visit heavenly Target 3 times a week, but it takes tons of extra time and effort to go multiple times to get things that are needed for you or your family.   Plus, while there I usually end up getting more than what I came in for. That only happens at Target, right?

I need to reduce the amount of time I am scurrying around getting those errands done.  I brainstormed some things I can do to help with this, and maybe these ideas will help you, too.

We can:
Look ahead.  Not to just tomorrow, but to the next two to three weeks.  Check our calendars, schedules, school and sports memos, and newsletters.  Make a list of everything that we may need to get or buy.  Keep a running list in one place, not on a gazillion post-its notes or lists.

*Look ahead on school newsletters and flyers.  Do we need special or extra school supplies?  Donations of items?

*Look at all sports schedules.  Do we need any special equipment/snacks/coaches' gifts?

*Think about work, whether you work at home or outside of the home.  Do we need items for upcoming projects or jobs?  Gifts for co-workers?

*Special occasions--what birthdays/anniversaries/other events are coming up?  Do we need to get a gift for an upcoming birthday party?  What cards need purchased?  Do we have stamps?

*Clubs/Church/Other organizations--what's coming up that will require us to bring a snack/item/donation?

*Cash--(I don't have cash often, I use my debit card for almost everything) What is coming up that we  will need cash?  Do the kids need any for school acitvities?  Do we need to go to the bank or ATM while we're out?

These are just a few areas of our lives that may require us to make a trip to the store to get items.  Wouldn't it be great if we were so prepared that we could get several tasks taken care of in one errand?  Imagine how on top of things we would feel!

 I know that rushing around and getting things last minute is stressful to say the least.  No, these are not rocket-science ideas, but if you are like me, when your head is spinning you tend to do what you need to do in the RIGHT NOW to survive.  :)

Remember, we're on this mission together, to create a Less Stresssed Nest. Are ya with me?

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Day 15: Making {Little} to do Lists

Just joining in?  Read the entire series {HERE}.

Happy Monday!

Today I wanted to stress (okay, not stress, emphasize is a better word) the importance of making yourself short to-do lists for the day.  If you work outside of the home during the day like I do, my to-do list is what I need to get done in the evening.

The key is:  make it short.  Pick 2 or 3 things that HAVE to be done or that really need done.....not those lofty ideas that you know need done but that can wait.  If I put everything on my to-do list that needed done in my home, the list would be a mile long.  

In the summer I posted about my Message Board that I made...I have one of these in the kitchen and as part of my organization station.  I make a little to-do list on the one on my kitchen counter--the couple things I would like to get accomplished that evening.  If you're a list-maker and love crossing things off, one of these would be perfect for you!  

Having an unending list is unrealistic and only leaves you feeling lousy that you didn't get more done and overwhelmed that there is so much to do.  Don't do that to yourself!  Make is manageable and realistic.  

What 2-3 things do you need to accomplish today?  What can wait?
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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Day 14: Organizing School Pics/Papers/Awards

Just joining in?  Read the entire series {HERE}.

Happy Weekend!

I am still in a sea of pictures and random stuff from those white cabinets I showed you a few days ago.  I have working on the contents of them as much as I have been able to...this morning my mission was to tackle the massive mound of photo albums, kid school and sports pics, and school awards and special papers.

Let me explain myself a bit first...I am organized to a degree.    I have always stored all of these things in the same place, but that is what the problem was, they were in the same place.  Mixed together.  With no real assemblance of order.   I could NOT put those things back in my cabinets that way.  I knew it would be a huge task, but one that once was completed, I was would oh-so-happy and feelin' on top of things.

Remember this stash of stuff from the cabinets:

For my three youngest (the oldest is a senior in college and I have her things organized in another place) I purchased 3 zip-around expandable scrapbook paper holders.  I figured these would be great to store the kids' school and sports pics, school awards, and grade cards.   They were only 6 bucks each at Big Lots and they had 3 different colors!  Bonus.  I do display their current school picture in frames and put a copy of their sports pictures in special albums I have for each of them.  (However, these are not current and will be explained in another post...)

First, I had to sort through the mound of pictures, papers, and artwork and organize by kid and type of item or photo.  I made myself quick little cards to make the sorting easier.  I even had a furry helper.

 (Adding photos to each of their albums is a whole other job.....)

I used my handy paper tape that I have used on other projects recently and made labels for each of my kiddos.  My labels were:
-Grade Cards Ele./Jr. High
-Grade Cards High School
-Sports Pics
-Sports Awards
-School Pics Ele./Jr. High
-School Pics High School

Even though my two youngest are only in 2nd and 7th grades, I went ahead and labeled for high school because then I will know exactly where these go when the time comes!  That means no excuses for me.
Now for all of you SUPER organized moms who have kept your kids things chronologically organized by grade, (know that I hate you--kidding!) you might have a divider for each grade.  Since I am just now doing this project, I am simplying it for myself.  (Luckily all of the school or sports pictures have the year printed on them already)  Here are my labels I wrote on paper tape with a Sharpie:

Then I just put the tape strips right over the plastic tabs instead of trying to insert the little paper tabs they give you inside of them.

I love the size of this because even oversized papers or pictures fit inside vertically.

I labeled the front of each portfolio with my kids' names.  This project put a big dent in my mound and I am THRILLED that these things are now organized.  I am covered for every item my kids may ever need to find about themselves.  Need your Perfect Attendance award from kindergarten?  Got it.  Grade Card from 3rd grade, 1st quarter?  That's there too.  Want to see how you have changed through the years and put all of your school pics in a row and giggle?  You can do that.

Here the portfolios are on a shelf in one of the white cabinets.  A full reveal of this cabinet will be soon.....

Going along with my series, this project, while a little overwhelming at first, has made me really feel good about how I have my kids' things organized and that helps with my stress level!   I love these portfolios and am considering other uses for them.

How do you organize all of your kids' awards, pictures, and grade cards?  Did you find any ideas here you might try?
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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Day 13: It's {Going to Be} a Good Day

Just joining in?  Read the entire series {HERE}.

My post is a little late today...I haven't felt tip-top (yucky cold) and have been extra sleepy.  Our littlest had her soccer game this morning, and BRRRRR, it was cold!  Made me want to come home and sniffle under the covers, lots of them.

I had intended to post today about a little project I had been working on, but instead shifted my gears to just enjoying the day, the weekend, the beautiful fall weather, and my family.  It's going to be a good day.

Days don't always work out in your head how you think they will.  Last night in bed I lay thinking of all of the things I was going to accomplish, cleaning, projects, blogging, all of the things I wanted to do with my hubby and kids, pumpkin patch-ing, playing a game all together, taking a walk.   Then my step-son came home from a football game he went to this morning and says he's going hunting with his uncle.  My son, who is 12, wants to go to the school's playground  in our neighborhood with his friend, and my daughter is perfectly content reading to her imaginary students (and has been for almost 2 hours!  I was her "student" last night--so fun).  The hubby is watching college football, our bellies are happy and full of lunch where we all had different remnant-type leftovers and such, and me, I am in a sweatshirt and jeans on the couch (also Riley's classroom, oops).  When I have other plans, while well-intended, I realize they may not always happen like I thought they would, and that's okay.  We switch gears, move things around.

I guess instead of stating that it's going to be a good day, I need to say, it is a good day.  God is good.  We are healthy, content, and enjoying a meaningful Saturday.   The sun is out, the leaves are crisp, and the nest is cozy.

How about you?  Are you in the frame of mind that it's a good day?
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Friday, October 12, 2012

Day 12: Make All Kinds of Date Nights

Just joining in?  Read the entire series {HERE}.

Today I want to talk about the importance of date nights, but not just with your significant other, as are other kinds, too.


Date nights with yourself:
Probably the most important!   We have so much going on in our minds and hearts all day our brains and bodies take a beating.  Sometimes I literally feel like I am spinning.  Then I think of all the things I have to do tomorrow, this weekend, this month.....and I get completely overwhelmed.  I need time to myself, doing "my thing".  That may mean taking a walk, drinking coffee while looking at other blogs (or Pinterest), being in my bed alone reading a book or magazine, or taking a bath.  It helps me recharge and feel less stressed.  FYI:  I don't do this nearly enough.  I am putting a date with me on the calendar! YOU need to do the same.

Date nights with your significant other:
Guilty on this one, too.  I can count on one hand (okay, maybe one hand and one or two fingers on the other) how many dates my hubby and I have went on since our daughter was born 7 years ago.  We have family who would watch the kids, it's just we don't even think about it.  Well, I think about it some, but that is because I am the woman and that is my love nights with the hubby make me feel happy, loved, and connected with him.  Putting this on my calendar, too.  Maybe even something overnight.  Oh yeah.

Date nights with my kids:
I love all my kids to pieces and try to spend lots of time with them.  I do my best with our various ages and personalities.  I have read before about having date nights with your kids and what a great impact that can have on relationships.  We have a blended family and it gets crazy but I know I can make this happen, even if on an informal level.  If you have step-children or maybe have a rocky relationship with one of your kids or they are going through a rough time or age or phase or maybe you are :) ... this time together is probably crucial to building the relationship and would be healing for both of you.  I'm gonna work on this in my life and let you know how it goes.

Who do you need to make a date with?  Yourself, significant other, your kids?  Put it on the calendar.

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Day 11: Taking Things for Granted

Just joining in?  Read the entire series {HERE}.

I am a little off the organizing/project posts for a couple days but will hop back on the wagon in a day or two!  I am excited to show you labels on the cabinets, fun little projects I am working on, and other ideas to help our nests be less stressed.

But today..... my twin sister and I turn the big 3-9!!!  I am even two minutes older.  So hard to believe.  I still think of us as twenty-somethings.    In honor of our birthday, we are going out to dinner together with our spouses, kids, sister and family, and of course our sweet Dad.    I am so grateful for that time together!  My twin and I have not spent enough of our birthdays together as adults, and I am so happy we get to see eachother.

I wanted to write a short post today about what I take for granted.  Little things, big things, many things.  I take for granted I have a car that will start every morning.  That I have a job to go to, a warm bed to sleep in, and a hubby that loves me.  I take for granted that I can go into my kitchen and turn on a faucet of clean water, take hot showers, and have the dilemma of what to wear tomorrow.....

As I celebrate another year, I realize, like yesterday, how blessed I am, how short life is, and how I really have nothing to complain about or want for...everything I need is right here.  Oh, happy day to you all!  When you start to complain or stress about little things, read that quote again and it puts it all in perspective.
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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day 10: Blessed by Stress

Just joining in?  Read the entire series {HERE}.

Oh Happy Day!  It's 9:00 pm and Mama is tired.  I am just now sitting down to write my post for tomorrow after being at school all day, picking up my Dad to bring him to my home for supper, taking my son to football, eating dinner, cleaning up, doing my Dad's bills and checkbook for him (which I am solely responsible for since my Mom passed away last year), taking my Dad to pump gas in his car for him (81 and has never pumped gas!), then picking my son up from football, doing laundry, reading baggie books with my daughter.....

BUT, I am going to practice what I preach.  I could get all whacked out stressed about how busy life can be, or, I can be grateful for the beautiful, blessed life that I have.

I decided to turn my stresses in to a list of blessings:

I get to pick my Dad up to bring him to my home for supper.   I miss my Mom so much I can't put it into words.  Someday I will miss him, too.  He eats dinner most nights alone.  It's a blessing that he can come to my home, play poker with my kids, and eat with us.  I love sending leftovers home with him.  He is the most grateful man I know.

I am blessed to have a son healthy enough to play football.  I love watching him get excited and be part of a team.  All of my children play sports and it makes them happy.  That makes me happy.  Someday they will all be grown and I won't have practices or games to take them to.

We have plenty of food to eat in my home.  We can make dinner and have a nice kitchen to clean up afterwards.  My sweet hubby makes more than half our meals and cleans up most of them.  I am lucky to have him.

I can help my Dad pump means he can still drive and come and see us.  Being responsible for his finances means I get to do what my Mom always used to do.  I use her same checkbook cover that sat in her purse for years.  I see her handwriting on the ledgers.  I know she would be proud of me.

Laundry, let's see.  A blessing?  Yes.  It means that my family can buy clothes and have our own washer and dryer to keep them clean.  Many people don't.

Reading with my children.  One of my great loves.  I am blessed that my kids don't struggle with reading.  I work with students with reading disabilities.  I see how hard it is for them.  I think about parents of these children and how helping them read can be so frustrating.

I could go on and on.....but want to go kiss my blessings good night.

How can you turn your daily little stresses into blessings?

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Day 9: Craft Supplies Organized=A Little Stress Relief

Just joining in?  Read the entire series {HERE}.

Welcome to Day 9!  I am ready to show you the white cabinet I turned into craft supply storage!  I am so excited about it not only because it is incredibly organized, but pretty too!

Being organized is such stress-reliever.  Before when I would go to get supplies for a project out, I would go to 3 different places in my home.   I also would keep items I had purchased recently in the bags they came in--so I had bags from JoAnn's everywhere.  No more!  I completely took everything out of bags, boxes, and containers and sorted, purged, and organized it all!  Remember this white cabinet before:

Now, with all of my craft supplies and fun-ness:

Isn't it fantastic?   I lined the back of the cabinet with cute wrapping paper and used paper tape (from the same set I used on the computer armoire that I posted about yesterday) to line the edge of the shelves.  I already had the photo boxes and the navy blue fabric containers.   Some of the containers are empty!  Empty!  That is how much storage this one set of cabinets has given me!   If you are wondering about the other cabinets, I will posting on those another day this month. :)  All those photos and albums?  On the floor in my basement.  A huge, heaping pile.  But I'm NOT letting it get me stressed because I know I will get to it soon and all of the photos, school papers, and gift wrap/supplies will be stored in the white cabinet next to my craft supplies!  Of course I will show all of this to you when I am done!

Soon I will put labels on all of these baskets and containers, as well as share with you what it is inside all of them.  I just couldn't get it done to be able to post for you today.  I had parent-teacher conferences today until 7:00 (and I am posting everyday!!!)--I'm sure you understand.   :)   I will be sure to show you all of the fun labels I will be creating for this project when I am done!

I am so excited about going right to this space and finding exactly what I need every time.  My kiddos will also be able to find things easier  (not that my boys craft, but you know, they might start now.....)  and know right where things go to be put back.

So, have I inspired you to organize something?  Let's go!  You can do it!

Sharing with:
Not Just a Housewife
A Thoughtful Place
Savvy Southern Style
Delightful Order

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