Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pictures with the Kids

I am not one who goes to get the kids pictures taken professionally but my mother-in-law has been wanting to do it so of course I was in.  We went to Upon A Dream Photography and Boutique.  It was great.  Check out the website!

UPDATED: Brain In A Binder


Last fall (2009) I went to a Hearts At Home conference.  I did a session with Karen Ehman called "Keeping Your Ducks In A Row".  She gave all types of great tips for organizing.  One that I loved was Brain In A Binder.  It is crazy and yes I am still getting used to.  She keeps hers on the kitchen counter and I keep mine in my organizer in the back room with my desk stuff.  I have pictures below so you can see mine.

The cover is the picture of my family - My Husband Shawn and my two kids, Bryson and Keelin.
The next page is my "mission statement" - the reason I do what I do
I combined my Daily Task and Weekly Task into a spreadsheet form that I hang on my bulletin board by my calendar.  That way I can always see and so can Shawn.  I use this so now I spread out the house cleaning through out the week plus the monthly to do's are on there as well.  I really like it so far!
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

The next several pages are my Yearly items (I am still developing these because I just started)
The next page is my Weekly Menu and Shopping List.  I create several menus and rotate them so I don't have to think of new foods every week. (I am working on this still - we are changing the way we eat so I haven't got into a groove yet.)

The next section is folders - there are 5 folders - Family, Shawn, Salena, Bryson and Keelin
This is where I file all the papers that pertain to whomever.  Invites, calendars, schedules.  My calendar doesn't have enough room to put all the details so I write the basic and then put the details in the appropriate folder and refer to it when needed.

This has been helpful so far and I look forward to using it more as Bryson enters school and has more things to be a part of.

Another thing she does is a Today Clipboard.  You get a clipboard that opens up where you can store stuff.  On the clipboard is a "Todays Sheet".  You write things for that day on it.  The items inside are those that need to be taken care of that night before bed.  Example: A permission slip for school.  When you kid comes home and gives you the permission slip you place it in your clipboard and before you go to bed you fill it out and place it in his bag.
This is great because you can keep the papers all in one place.  I am sure as your kids get older they will know to put important papers in your clipboard.  I can email the sheets too so you can see what I have and start with that.  I am still forming mine but I love it so far!  (

Here's a link to Karen's page too :

Here is a link to the teaching from Hearts At Home that you can purchase (CD or MP3):
Keeping Your Ducks In A Row would be for this concept.

Below are pictures.

Front of the Binder
Mom's Mission Statement
Yearly Task (one page)

Shopping List (one page)
One of the folders
Today's Clipboard

Inside Clipboard

Organizing Meal & Some Recipes

Here is some documents of what we did in our momLife group around meals and recipes.  There is some great stuff so enjoy!

momLife Meals and Recipes- click here for document

Recipe: Hot Chocolate

Equal Parts of:
-Hot Cocoa Mix (Swiss Miss)
-Nonfat Dry Milk
-Coffee Creamer (dry)
-Powdered Sugar

A couple of tablespoons is good in a cup of water.

I usually by the big of each and mix to make a lot of the whole season
This is so creamy and yummy!

Recipe: Egg Strata

Egg Strata- A friend gave me this delicious and easy recipe
8 eggs lightly beaten
2 cups of milk
6 slices of torn bread (softer)
1 cup grated cheese extra is okay
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of mustard
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce

Add whatever you want:
1 pound sausage, browned and drained

I like to add
-Green peppers, onions and sausage style crumbles by Morning Star (vegetarian)

In a large bowl,
Add milk to eggs - mix
Add rest pf ingredients
Spray an 11 x 13 pan with Cooking Spray
Pour ingredients into pan cover with saran wrap
Refrigerate over night
Cook at 350 degrees
45 to 50 minutes

Christmas- Keeping It Organized

So Christmas can be the time of year that all craziness breaks loose.  You get overwhelmed by wrapping all the gifts and putting away all the gifts.

Here are a few tips that I use:
-A few days before Christmas I go through the kids toys and clean out what they don't play with or haven't played with in a while.  If they are done with them completely I put them in a box and will store them in the basement for either a garage sale or to give away.  If they are toys they still want to play with, I will box them up and get them out later in the year and switch something out.  This doesn't really happen to often because when my kids are done with a toy they are done (so I'm I).

-For wrapping, I use one style of wrapping paper for Bryson and one style for Keelin so I don't have to put names on all of the presents.

-I use the same wrapping paper for both of them for Santa's present.  My kids only get one present from Santa "because there are lots of other kids who need stuff and you can't take all of them."

-Also so we don't get carried away I seen a Victorian Poem that I liked - SOMETHING YOU WANT, SOMETHING YOU NEED, SOMETHING YOU WEAR, SOMETHING YOU READ
So then we buy something for each of those (since my kids are little they might get a while outfit not just a shirt because it is not that costly yet).
We also like to add give - so the kids begin to understand the meaning of giving

-When we put away all the presents there is room in the rooms because we just cleaned their toys out a few days ago.  Sometimes I may even put some of their new toys away and bring them out in the few months so they don't get overwhelmed by all the new stuff and never play with it all.

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Organizing My Purse

These are some tips that I got from a friend of mine who loves to switch purses.

In my purse I currently have:
-A notebook
-Coupon organizer
-2 sunglass cases - One has my sunglasses and the other has my ipod and headphones
-In my front pocket, I have lotion, chapstick, cell phone
-In the inside pocket, I have face powder and medicine in a case

I like to keep it clutter free but also easy if I need to switch purses.  I also like to buy purses with some organizing compartments.  REI has great purses for this - they aren't fancy but they are practical. (  Something like this.

My friend keeps her stuff in small make up bags so she can take them out and put them in another bag in seconds.

There are some cool purse organizers out there now but I thought the make bags was an inexpensive way to switch back and forth from any size purse.

Organizing Medicine and First Aid Supplies

These area of life can make me a little crazy.  Once kids arrived in the picture medicines invaded the house.

I have two small plastic boxes with lids in my hall closet.  One has first aid supplies and the other has medicine in it.  This is where all medicine is kept that can fit in a box.  On the shelf next to these two boxes are the larger bottles like Pepto, throat spray, etc...  This is very simple and keeps everything is a safe and organized place.

Every so often I pull out the box and clean out the expired meds.  I love having them all in one spot so when someone asks me for a band aid I don't have to go search the house in every cabinet looking for it.  I know exactly where it is.  Or if the kids need medicine I can go to one place and find it.

Organizing Movies

My son LOVES movies.   A few years ago I was with my nephew and he went to get the DVD out of the case and snapped it in half.  So learning that hard lesson I had to figure out something for Bryson so he would not break every DVD we bought.  Plus I would hate to have all the DVD cases out somewhere.  Not just because of looks but because the kids would spend most of the day pulling them off the shelf and I would spend most of my day picking them up.

I bought some boxes that are perfect for the DVD's. I bought them at Target - square, brown cloth boxes with CD/DVD sleeves inside.  They hang like filing folders.  You could organize by number or name but with a kid that is impossible to teach that system.  They hold a lot of CD/DVD's and works perfect for Bryson and looks good for me.

I like these boxes to because they are easy to put away if Bryson needs to have them taken away because of ugly behavior.  I just grab two boxes and put them in the closet and not tons of DVD cases.

Organizing Toys

With kids automatically toys come along with them.  With two kids, 5 and 2, we have lots of toys.  Not only two kids but a boy and a girl so we have different toys.

I have found that the fabric drawers are the best for organizing the kids toys.  Bryson has 2 shelves in his room with his boxes on them and also some under his bed.  Each box is for a certain toy group (trains, cars, woody, buzz, tech decks, tools & doctor stuff, of course a miscellaneous box for the odds and ends).  I have put all games in Bryson's closet so they are not pulled all over the place but I have to get them down for him.  With Keelin around things get lost very easily.

For Christmas, Keelin is getting her boxes now that she has toys that will fit into them. As a baby you have big toys and now she has baby dolls with accessories, doll house, kitchen accessories, dress up clothes and other little girl toys.

With the new house I am wanting to make an area in the backroom for toys so Keelin has hot pink boxes and Bryson has navy blue.  I love them and they are inexpensive too.  Target and Wal-Mart both carry them.  Target usually runs some good deals on them. (Called Fabric Drawers).

This is Bryson's room

This is in our back room.  I want to get a bookshelf or something better but this will due for now.

Update on the Begley Family

There has been lots happening in the Begley family.  Shawn and I left our jobs last week due to difficult circumstances.  Now we are beginning the next journey that God has for us.

During our break time, I want to do some organizing around the house since we have one room in our house that needs it.  With Christmas around the corner I need to do some organizing of the kids toys.  They have way to many things so I need to get that craziness together before more things enter our house.  Also I need to get into the basement and do some organizing and get rid of them or at least get them ready for a garage sale in the summer time.

I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  I am looking forward to 2011!!!!