Friday, February 27, 2015

Get More Done! 5 Tips For Busy Moms

Occasionally I get asked how I manage to get so much done. And I snort-laugh to myself. Let me tell you, I actually don't get much done around here. Most days I'm still trying to figure out supper at 5:00 with the kids screaming and toys everywhere. Perhaps it is the nature of blogging to make you look more productive than you actually are.

Getting things done is my weak spot. Half of my day is spent playing with the boys and half sitting on the couch and watching them play while I get a chance to think. Both my boys have a bit of anxiety so I don't get much time while they're awake to work on things. Lately I haven't been able to work even when they are in bed because of the Munchkin's nighttime separation anxiety.

After the kids went to bed, I used to be able to clean, make myself a mug cake, and sit down to write. Now, I'm up every 30 minutes to an hour to calm down one of the boys. Not my best working and thinking environment. It's been over a week since I last wrote anything here. Right now, that's just where I'm at.

It seems a bit silly to be writing a post like this at this point in my life but these tips still help me, even if I am accomplishing things slower than I would like.

Get More Done! 5 Tips For Busy Moms

1. Use a planner. Writing out a flexible plan for the day is my life saver. I usually give myself some goals for the month, the week, and then write out a more detailed to-do list for each day. When I get a spare moment, I look over it and decide what I'll try to do next. When it's done, I cross it off.

Sometimes days will go by without me accomplishing anything on my list except doing the dishes and making supper. Life happens. I always pull it back out the next day and try again though. So many thoughts are floating around in my head that I need to have a concrete list to look at, to bring me back to reality.

2. Get help! The biggest reason I am able to get anything extra done around here is my Hubby. He. is. awesome. We like to tag team with the boys on the weekends. He'll take them for an hour or so and then I'll take them for a bit. It's how we two introverts manage to survive.

When I've had an especially tough day or when grocery shopping needs to be done, he watches the boys after he gets home from work while I run out, grab some Starbucks, and wander around Target or a thrift store for a couple hours. I get a break and a chance to shop and think in peace. This usually happens about once or twice a week and I rarely have to go out with both of the boys in tow.

I have been known to leave the boys with their grandparents while I run to the store, go to a doctor's appointment, write for an hour, or just need to vacuum. I don't have a very large circle of good mommy friends, but I do have a few good friends that I can call on when family unavailable. Do I feel guilty? Sometimes, but my family needs a clean home and a sane mommy!

3. Lookout for a moment. When I put on the TV, I usually get 1-3 minutes before someone starts hollering for me or one kid starts bothering the other. I can stick some dishes in the dishwasher(until the baby hears), take a few ingredients out of the fridge to start supper, or run outside like a crazy person carrying a can of spray paint and a picture frame. It takes less than one minute to spray on one coat of spray paint so I'm out and in super quick. Of course, I make sure they are safe first and leave the door open where I can hear them.

4. Leave a room better than you found it. I try to pick up a few things as I walk through a room. If I'm taking the boys to play upstairs in their room, I grab some decor I want to swap out and carry it with me to put away. While I'm up there, I make my bed or bag stuff to drop off at the thrift store. Sometimes I make it worse before it gets better but at least something is getting done!

5. Meal planning. I always do better when I've planned our meals ahead. I try and have a meal planned out for each night for a week or two. Depending on how I feel, I can pick which one I want to make each day. I like to have that flexibility. Crock pots are awesome too!

None of these tips are really life-changing, but they do help me to focus. On the rare days when I actually follow all of these, I can get a lot done. Sometimes though, there is no meal plan. Sometimes, I've spent time cuddling little boys instead of washing dishes. This week I was sick and ended up with 7 loads of laundry to fold at once.

Life happens. Sometimes I choose to let life happen. There are many nights I choose to watch TV with my husband and ignore the blog, ignore the dishes, and usually I end up forgetting the laundry that I planned to fold while I was watching TV. But real life is more important than getting the pictures hung on the wall perfectly or having a perfectly styled mantel so it's ok!

What tricks and strategies to get more done would you add? I need every tip I can get! I'd love for you to share them in the comments below!



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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Kitchen Kilims

There is one kind of rug I never thought I would like. Kilims. And I want one. I've never been huge fan of oriental type rugs. Every time I see them in the store I shiver and move away quickly.

I'm not sure what puts me off. Plush, flowery, traditional...the combination is too much. I like rugs in more modern colors and prints. And here I am saying that I want a kilim rug in my kitchen. How is a kilim rug different? Basically, what makes a kilim is the style of weaving.

Kilims work for me. They're not so flowery. They're more geometrical. They're flat weave, not plush. I mean, I like plush rugs and all, but not in those more traditional styles.

And last, they are colorful.

I, the neutral queen, want a colorful rug.

I surprise myself sometimes. I discovered this while browsing through the pins on my kitchen board on Pinterest(if you're not following me already, here's the link to my Pinterest profile). It's one of the best ways I've found for narrowing down my style and what I love. One of the things(there were many!) that kept popping up, were flat weave, kilim rugs.

Now if you're wondering how I decided that these particular pins with these particular rugs were actually my style and something I want in my house, I will tell you. I have a very simple method of evaluating my pins. I call it The Coffee Method. It's very simple. When I look at a picture, I ask myself, "Self, would you pick this room to sit down and relax in while drinking the very best cup of coffee you have ever had in your life?"

And there's my answer.

Kitchen Kilims: A round-up of gorgeous farmhouse kitchen completed with a kilim rug!

Like this kitchen from Lane McNab Interior Design. White everything, marble counters, farmhouse sink, and kilim. Dreamy. All it needs is a hand scraped wood floor...  

Kitchen Kilims: A round-up of gorgeous farmhouse kitchen completed with a kilim rug!

Like this one that I found on Country Living. Gorgeous, though it lacks the marble countertops that I love. Those wood beams on the ceiling though!

Kitchen Kilims: A round-up of gorgeous farmhouse kitchen completed with a kilim rug!

Here's another one that I love from Getting to Know a Vintage Soul. If I put that rug into the next kitchen though...

Kitchen Kilims: A round-up of gorgeous farmhouse kitchen completed with a kilim rug!

That would be gorgeous, right? I love bright, old, farmhouse kitchens like this one from Design Chic(I couldn't find the direct link to this one so if anyone knows where the original came from I will link to it!). I think I've found my dream kitchen.

Kitchen Kilims: A round-up of gorgeous farmhouse kitchen completed with a kilim rug!

Oh, and I'm loving this one too that I found at Savor Home(same thing with the link thing!).

Alas, my actual kitchen looks nothing like any of these. I can dream though. Maybe I'll paint the cabinets and the counter, and then lay down a kilim. Someday. 

But not today.

Which is your kitchen style and what rug style do you prefer? I love the casual farmhouse glam look myself, as you can see!


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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

January Review {2015}

Wow, the first review post of 2015! Can you believe it? There's not a whole lot to review this month but still!

I only managed to get out 3 posts beside the last review for December. I guess I'm still trying to recover from the holidays. The baby hasn't been sleeping well so the time I usually spend in the evening writing is being used to constantly traipse up and down the stairs to calm a crying kid. It's partly separation anxiety, partly a leftover from being dangerously sick, and sometimes, just because I've been a little too liberal with my caffeine and sugar during the day.

I'm not sure when I'll be able to start posting more frequently, but for now, I may have to be content to only get out a post a week from time to time. We'll see how it goes! In case you missed the few posts I managed last month, here's a short and sweet round-up for you!

January Review {2015} A humorous poem about a mom's life after Christmas



January Review {2015} New Year Goals for 2015; should you make goals or resolutions?



January Review {2015} DIY Chalkboard Canvas Tutorial



Oh, and if you want to make sure you don't miss anymore posts, there's a Follow by Email spot up under my picture in the sidebar. Sign up and you'll get every new post delivered straight to your inbox! Easy peasy! 


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Friday, January 30, 2015

DIY Chalkboard Canvas

Chalkboard stuff is totally in right now. Or maybe it's on its way out and I'm just behind. That's a good possibility since I've been seeing chalkboard all around for a while now. Chalkboard walls, framed chalkboards, chalkboard jars...all super cute! It's very easy to make anything into a chalkboard with a little bit of $3 chalkboard paint!

DIY Chalkboard Canvas for $5 using Rustoleum Chalkboard Spray Paint!

I have a few little chalkboard things here and there, but nothing big. Pretty much all our walls are textured so no chalkboard walls, and I haven't tried turning a big picture frame into a chalkboard because I'm accident prone and clumsy. Moving a giant, heavy piece of glass around to paint just sounded like a bad idea. Seriously, I scare my husband when I use kitchen knives. My other option was a regular old art canvas.

DIY Chalkboard Canvas for $5 using Rustoleum Chalkboard Spray Paint!

Buying an art canvas at a craft store can be pricey, especially for the larger ones, but if you rummage around at thrift stores enough you will find a few here and there. Most thrift store canvases are rather ugly so I don't feel bad about painting over them. I found the above canvas at Goodwill for less than $3. It wasn't too ugly and I actually liked how the colors were used, but I wasn't a fan of the yellowy cream color.

It sat around the house for a couple months until it hit me: chalkboard spray paint.

To prep my canvas for painting, I ran a damp cloth over it to get any dust off. I didn't sand it, but I would recommend it if there are any really big blobs of paint on it, or if you just want a much smoother surface on which to use your chalk. I ignored the big blobs of paint on mine and just went straight for painting after letting the surface dry.

After prepping, I sprayed on two coats of Rustoleum chalkboard spray paint. Chalkboards have to be seasoned before they can be used so, after the canvas was dry, I rubbed the side of a piece of chalk all over it then wiped it all off. Chalk dust everywhere! You may have seen the finished project already in my Christmas Tour.

DIY Chalkboard Canvas for $5 using Rustoleum Chalkboard Spray Paint!

 About $3 for the paint and $2 for the canvas gave me a nice little chalkboard for $5! I love how it turned out! Hubby thought I'd done gone out and bought something again. It totally had him fooled!


Happy weekend y'all!



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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Top 10 New Year Goals for 2015

I am not a New Year's Resolution person. I have never understood them. The logic escapes me. Especially when only 8% of the folks that make resolutions actually keep them. Why would I want to make a resolution that, ultimately, I'll feel terrible for not keeping anyway?

I don't deal well with resolutions. I see a resolution as set in stone and unchangeable. Something that throws off my groove.


It is exactly like that.

I much prefer using the word goal. I can totally aim for a goal. With the added bonus of zero guilt if I miss it. A goal can be flexible and forgiving. It may be a matter of semantics, but it's what works for me.

Taking a few moments to jot down a few goals for the year at the beginning gives me direction. I happen to be the most intense list maker ever so it's oddly therapeutic. It's also the only way to make sure I get anything done.


I've broken my goals up into two lists: one list for the most likely accomplishable things and a second for the maybes. We are changing some of the money around because of our big ER visits last year that still have to be paid for and the washing machine is going out any day now.

Some on the list are as cheap and easy as actually hanging up frames that I already have and others are as big as a new bed(see what I did there?). Some are fun, some are practical. I'm very good at starting but not so great at finishing so I'm hoping if I put them up here that I'll be a bit more motivated to get them done.

Accomplishable:

  1. Mattress for boys to share. Our boys seem to sleep better with a person beside them. We're hoping that it works as well with each other as it does for mommy and daddy. Because I'm tired.
  2. Container garden. We did this in 2013 without a ton of success. I'm hoping with some more research that it turns out better this year. But I've managed to kill three aloe plants in the last two years so don't hold your breath.
  3. Hall/stairwell gallery wall
  4. Organize craft/exercise/guest room.
  5. Clean out shed. 
  6. More storage for downstairs powder room. A simple renter-friendly option like a behind the toilet shelf should work.
  7. New washing machine.
  8. Paint downstairs powder room. One to mark off the list already! I'll post about that soon!
  9. Window guards for boys' room.
  10. Put finishing touches on boys' room. Because I've been working on it for over a year now. I should probably finish it.

Maybe:

  1. New blinds and window treatments for kitchen.
  2. Repaint upstairs bathroom. Yes, the one I just painted a couple years ago. The color just isn't working.
  3. New bed for craft/exercise/guest room.
  4. New bathroom hardware and light fixtures.
  5. Paint craft/exercise/guest room.
I've also decided that I may never have a rug for any room ever. Rugs are soooo expensive! We have carpet but some rugs to pull everything together would be nice. That's on my definitely not happening this year list.

So what about y'all? Do you have any big plans for this year? Do you prefer the term goals or resolutions? Helpful or Not? I'd love to hear what you're up to and what you think! 



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