Monday, July 20, 2015

Whole30 Week #1

doing-the-w30-fb-cover

Well, as promised here are the meals I ate for the first week or so on whole30.  It's going good so far.  Food is great, the adjustments haven't been that difficult, and the cravings are in check.  Yeah!

LO= left overs

Day 1


Breakfast:  sweet potato breakfast casserole (I skipped her seasonings and added a southwest seasoning blend from Wildtree) DELICIOUS, coffee with coconut milk


Lunch: spinach salad with chicken, strawberries, lemon vinaigrette (just lemon juice, EVOO, S&P), almonds, and avocados.

Snack: mint chocolate Larabar


Dinner: Chicken with mushroom sauce and broccoli.

Day 2
Breakfast: LO breakfast casserole, coffee with coconut milk

Lunch: pulled LO chicken with mushroom sauce and broccoli

Snack: Larabar


Dinner: Pulled pork, avocado, Hawaiian coleslaw.  I just roasted a pork roast in my slow cooker with some garlic, S&P, and a little water. 

I had LOTS of hot flashes here.  Weather? Food?  Hormones?  I don't know.

Day 3
Breakfast:  LO breakfast casserole, coffee with coconut milk

Lunch: LO pulled pork, coleslaw, avocado, raspberries


Dinner: More LO pulled pork but on lettuce with coleslaw, avocado and green beans.


Snack: banana ice cream with nutmeg & cinnamon.  Take 2-3 frozen bananas (makes 2 servings), I find it best to cut the bananas into chunks before freezing.  Add the bananas to your food processor and add about 1/2 cup coconut milk.  Sprinkle in some freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon and blend till smooth and creamy.  This treat with satisfy the strongest ice cream craving.  PROMISE!

Still LOTS more hot flashes  here.  Hard to say if it is diet, or hormones, I did have a baby 7 months ago......

Day 4


Breakfast:  3 egg omelet with diced sweet potatoes inside the omelet, 2 slices of bacon, coffee with coconut milk


Lunch:  LO pulled pork, coleslaw, avocado, green bean.  Banana with cashew butter, unsweetened coconut flakes, and walnuts.

Snack:  2 cuties


Dinner:spaghetti squash with lamb marinara sauce (Aldi's has a sugar free marinara that is pretty good), and baked asparagus.

Still more hot flashes.  Ugh, I think it is the diet.  I think it is all the sugar being flushed from my body.

Day 5
Breakfast:  3 egg omelet with sweet potato hash with onions and 2 slices of bacon.

Snack: Baby carrots

Lunch: LO spaghetti squash and asparagus.


Snack: strawberries with unsweetened coconut flakes


Dinner: orange teriyaki turkey meatballs with carrots & Brussels sprouts.

Day 6

Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs with LO from dinner turned into a hash


Lunch: chicken salad with homemade mayo, almonds, raisins, and a side of carrots.  I'm not going to lie, I like the store bought mayo better (which I am really surprised about).

Dinner: Grilled steaks, roasted white potatoes, green beans with almonds.  Mix of fruit for "dessert" of pineapples, strawberries, and melons.

We were at my in-laws for dinner and my MIL was nice enough to make something Whole30 compliant.

Day 7
Breakfast:  3 scrambled eggs with LO fried white potatoes and carrots.

Lunch: Chicken Salad with carrots


Dinner: Jalepeno Chicken Burgers on a portabella mushroom "bun".  Sweet potato fries.

Day 8
Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs, banana with cashews, cashew butter and unsweetened coconut flakes.

Lunch: LO chicken burger topped with 1/2 an avocado, and baby carrots.


Dinner: Cod with pomegranate pear salsa with coconut "rice" cauliflower.  REALLY, REALLY good.

Snack:  banana ice cream.  Yum!

Well, so far so good.  It was a great first week of eating.  Food tasted great.  I LOVE the sweet potato hash with my eggs, the slightly spicy southwest mix from Wildtree really works well here (I don't sell it, if you don't know a demonstrator, find a blend in your local grocery store that is whole30 compliant).

The hot flashes were intense.  I think it was my hormones.  It was probably a combination of getting my period (really bad timing) paired with all the sugar and "junk" leaving my system.

I'm already feeling lighter and no joke, my pants that were too tight to wear comfortably are already fitting.  Amazing.  

Friday, July 10, 2015

Whole30 Challenge

 doing-the-w30-IG

Well, I found myself attempting something a bit crazy this summer.  Whole30.  Every heard of it?  No?  Neither did I until a few short weeks ago.  I found myself in a rut, trying to eat healthy but having this intolerable sweet tooth that was landing me with a bowl of ice cream every night on my couch.  I was tired, stressed, and I just couldn't get my hands on enough sugar.

At work, a friend told me that her sister in-law did this crazy meal plan for 30 days which has some pretty rigid rules like: no dairy, no alcohol, no sugar, no beans.  She told me her SIL lost 12 or 13 pounds (I can't exactly remember) following this plan for 30 days and it changed her relationship with food.

Ding.Ding.Ding.  That's exactly what I need.  I need to end this bad relationship with my food.  

So five days after hearing the word Whole30 for the first time, I found myself attempting this crazy 30 day journey.  And of course because I have a ton of free time (hahaha) I thought I would document what I ate along the way.  The Whole30 program actually recommends that you DON'T track your food (I think because you're over thinking it then) so I think this is one of the many reasons you won't find a lot of menu plans online.  If you're thinking about attempting the whole30 program yourself, perhaps you'll find inspiration in my journey.   

You can read about whole30 on their website here: All about Whole30.  But here is a really quick summary of what you CAN NOT eat:

1. No Sugar.  None.  Not even honey.  Read your labels!
2.  No alcohol.  Not even for cooking.
3. No grains, none of them. No rice, Bulgar, oatmeal, quinoa, noodles, etc.
4. No legumes, including peanuts and peanut butter.
5. No dairy.  This means no milk or CHEESE!
6.  No caarageenan, MSG, or sulfites.  Again, read your labels!
7.  No Paleo-fied "treats".

You might be asking, what's left?  LOTS.  I promise!  Fruits, veggies, meat, nuts, and eggs. And you'll eat a lot of these items.  You'll also learn, there aren't a lot of recipes because you really don't need any.  Cook your protein, pair it with a veggie and you're done!  And if you are wondering if this is "kid friendly".  Yes! My kids (7, 2, and 7 months) usually ate the same meal right along side my husband and I.  There's nothing crazy here folks, after all, it's whole food

Here are the reasons I wanted to attempt this program:

1.  Lose weight. 
 Ok, big elephant in the room.  I'm doing this to lose weight.

 I want to get back to a healthy weight for LOTS of reasons but here are some of my top reasons.

I got gestational diabetes with my final pregnancy.  There's a 60% chance that I'll get type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years because of that.  Being overweight is one of the biggest reasons type 2 would occur.  Obviously, I'd like to reduce my risk of type two! 

I want to play with my kids. Without getting winded, without struggling, without getting tired.  I got 3 very young children.  They deserve active healthy parents that will live for a very long time.  I want to see them grow into very old men.

I want to buy clothes "off the rack".  I don't want to go to plus size stores or sections.  I also really want to go to some trendy second hand places and buy nice used clothes at a discount (that's a lot harder to find in plus sizes).  Buying used clothes would be a huge budget saver! 

2.  Break my sugar addiction.
It's a real thing.  I love sugar more than anything.  My typical breakfast is sugar:  two cups of coffee, each with 3 tablespoons of sugary creamer, two chocolate chip granola bars (candy bar anyone?), and homemade yogurt with chocolate chips, honey, and sweetened shredded coconut added to it (again, candy bar anyone?).  No wonder I wanted sugar all day long.  I wanted this program to tame my sugar dragon. I want to be in control of me again, not my cravings.


3.  Cure my Candida.  
For the past 20 years I've had an off again on again problem with candida (skin yeast infection).  Mainly on again.  I read that this program resolved candida for some and I was hoping it would do the same for me.  

Here's a few before shots.  I wasn't going to post these, they make me cringe.  But, a friend and I have been having a lot of body image discussions and I need to start feeling good about myself, no matter what size I am.  I also need to remember that my family and friends love me for who I am and not based on the number on the scale.  They would not love me less if the scale said 900 lbs and would not love me more just because the scale says 120 lbs.  They love me for me and I need to start doing the same. 



Well, now that that is out of of the way......wish me luck!  See you soon!  I'll be back with my first week on this journey real soon. 


  • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
  • Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
  • Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
  • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
  • Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)
  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
  • Do not try to re-create baked goods, junk foods, or treats* with “approved” ingredients. Continuing to eat your old, unhealthy foods made with Whole30 ingredients is totally missing the point, and will tank your results faster than you can say “Paleo Pop-Tarts.” Remember, these are the same foods that got you into health-trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, regardless of the ingredients
  • - See more at: http://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/#sthash.WbAwOMbC.dpuf

  • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
  • Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
  • Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
  • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
  • Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)
  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
  • Do not try to re-create baked goods, junk foods, or treats* with “approved” ingredients. Continuing to eat your old, unhealthy foods made with Whole30 ingredients is totally missing the point, and will tank your results faster than you can say “Paleo Pop-Tarts.” Remember, these are the same foods that got you into health-trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, regardless of the ingredients
  • - See more at: http://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/#sthash.WbAwOMbC.dpuf

  • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
  • Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
  • Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
  • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
  • Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)
  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
  • Do not try to re-create baked goods, junk foods, or treats* with “approved” ingredients. Continuing to eat your old, unhealthy foods made with Whole30 ingredients is totally missing the point, and will tank your results faster than you can say “Paleo Pop-Tarts.” Remember, these are the same foods that got you into health-trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, regardless of the ingredients. 
  • - See more at: http://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/#sthash.WbAwOMbC.dpuf

  • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
  • Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
  • Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
  • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
  • Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)
  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
  • Do not try to re-create baked goods, junk foods, or treats* with “approved” ingredients. Continuing to eat your old, unhealthy foods made with Whole30 ingredients is totally missing the point, and will tank your results faster than you can say “Paleo Pop-Tarts.” Remember, these are the same foods that got you into health-trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, regardless of the ingredients. 
  • - See more at: http://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/#sthash.WbAwOMbC.dpuf

    Sunday, March 29, 2015

    Robert Turns Two



     Robert James turned two a few weeks ago and I thought I would take this blog post to document his past year.

    He really loves his blankey and he carries it around with him everywhere. He is particularly fond of one specific blanket, luckily we have a spare in case we lose one. He's also a fan of dinosaurs, doggies, and bubbles. Yeah, very random I know, but understanding the mind of this two-year-old is like solving the world's hardest puzzle. He still isn't talking much, but that isn't preventing him from being extremely independent. He likes to do things for himself like put on his own shoes, hat, and coat in the morning.  He's also extremely curious.  Here he is below trying to pump after he put all the pieces together himself. 


    He has the most infectious giggle but unfortunately these days we usually hear more cries than laughs coming from his tiny little terrible two body. Speaking of tiny, he really is little. He stands at least half a head (official measurement) shorter than the rest of the kids in his daycare class. But Jeez is he cute! Those round cheeks and big blue eyes get me every.single.time. It's hard to stay mad at this kid for very long.

    He knows what he wants and he often won't stop [crying] till he gets it. While bedtimes have become easier in the past year he still HATES when we leave him. He graduated from sleeping in his baby swing at 13 months, to falling asleep in our bed (with us holding him) until 21 months. It took a new baby brother to get us on the same page and start making him cry it out in his crib. Now we read him a few books and place him straight into his crib. He still cries every single night but the process is much shorter for us than the old routine and he typically only cries for 5 to 10 minutes. We are considering that a win. While he still may hate bedtime, he really does love getting books read to him. His favorites include any with Sesame Street characters in them. Sesame Street is also his favorite show and often times you'll find him dancing to their various skits.


    While I think he was the sweetest and easiest baby, he sure has given me a run for my money during his second year. He's the reason that our house has baby proofing everywhere. He's the reason all the crayons are broke in half and there are scribble marks on the walls. He's the reason our bookcases are anchored to the wall with screws. But he's also the reason I smile ear to ear and the reason my heart skips a beat. I love his little kisses.


    Despite the mess, the constant crying, and the frequent tears, I can't imagine my life without this kid and I can't wait to see what the next year has in store for us.  Bring it! 

    I love you Robert.

    XOXO mommy.

    Friday, February 13, 2015

    Frugal Friday #2: Mindless Spending


    Welcome to another edition of Frugal Friday. If you missed my first post from a couple of weeks ago, you can catch it here: Frugal Friday #1. In that post I talked about how I feel clutter is costing us money, real money. I'm guessing many of you reading can relate.


    This week I thought I would talk about another area that costs my family money: buying stuff we don't need. I can't tell you the number of times I have gone to the store (Target specifically) and bought something I didn't need because, "it was a good deal" or "it was on clearance". Well, I'm about to share a big fat secret with you, prepare yourself.



    If you don't need the item any cost above $0 is NOT a good deal. Let that sink in. It is NOT a good deal. Let me give you an example of where I purchased an item I don't need. In order to make room for a recently installed dishwasher (my first one EVER!), I lost a kitchen cabinet. With this loss, I needed to reorganize a few cabinets to make room for my homeless items. In my cleaning/reorganizing, I found fifteen insulated lunch bags. FIFTEEN! We only have two people in our house that need to even pack a lunch, my hubby and I (my oldest son gets free lunch at school thanks to a grant his school district receives for all students). I of course only use 1-2 of these bags and my husband doesn't use any, he opts for the classy system of shoving his food in his briefcase. Sigh.


    Too many hats and mittens for one family!
    Ok, so I found these fifteen bags in my cabinets in October. During the month of December I found myself at OfficeMax and they had an insulated bag on clearance for $3. It is a freezable sandwich bag.... I don't have one of those .....and it was only $3.....and it was a super cute pattern. I bought the stupid thing. Why? Why? Why? I know, it is only $3, but these little purchase are what add up and I didn't NEED the silly thing. In January I did this at Target with crib sheets. We already have 4, I bought 2 more because they were on clearance for $2.98. Ugh, why?


    I am especially guilty of these mindless purchases at Target. Their clearance aisles are so irresistible. I find all kinds of goodies all the time but before you know it, your quick run in for your prescriptions has you standing in line with $50 of "stuff" in your cart. My husband has this problem at Menard's. He goes for nails and comes home with crap we don't "need" all the time: hand soap, batteries, rugs(!),household cleaners. Heck, my garage and basement are full of these silly thoughtless spending trips.

    Look at all those lint rollers!


    So we're making a real effort this year not to make these purchases and to ask ourselves, "do we really need this item" before making the purchase. Just asking yourself that simple question before making the purchase can help. Another way to cut back on mindless purchasing: make less trips to the store. Wait till you have a list of items you need instead of going for one thing or going because you're bored. If less trips isn't enough, ask your partner to make the trip to the store for you instead. Swap trips, for us that means my husband may need to go to Target and I go to Menard's. I won't be as tempted to fill my cart with unneeded stuff at the home improvement store and he will not do such mindless shopping as I do at Target....heck, I don't think he knows where their baby aisle even is! 


    We also created a "do not buy" list that we both have access to on our phones when we are at the store. We have items on our "do not buy" list that fall into this mindless spending category and our "clutter" spending category (related to the first Frugal Friday post). Here are some of the items on our list:  batteries, hand soap, lotion, toothbrushes. Very similarly, you could keep an inventory list of items you have, I could see this being really benificial with food items. How many times have you found yourself buying a spice for a recipe because you weren't sure you had any at home but when you get home you already have 3 bottles of that same spice....Ugh, molasses anyone?....it will only take me till ETERNITY to use those bottles.

    So in closing, give some thought to your mindless spending and find ways to reduce or eliminate it before it becomes a real budget buster!



    Tuesday, February 3, 2015

    Cards for In-Betweeners


    So my six (almost seven) year old has hit that age where he isn't a baby anymore but he isn't a grown up either. He's what I am calling an in-betweener. In-betweeners don't cry when the nurse gives them a shot because they're tough, but they cry when their mommy doesn't make Mac n Cheese because....well....they can. In-betweeners don't like superheroes because those are for babies but they watch Sesame Street when nobody's watching. In-betweeners don't kiss their mom goodbye at school but they kiss their mommies goodnight at home.

    Aweeeee, Ooooohhhh, how I love my in-betweener and all the sassiness that comes with him. Finding cards to fit this age group can be challenging but I think I designed a few that will work for this age group and I thought I'd show them to you today.


    I have found that kids of all ages LOVE balloons and so I thought a card full of them would make any kid smile despite their age. For this card, I used the Sweet Cheeks stamp set from PTI to make some animal shaped balloons to create an in-betweener card with a stamp set that would normally only work for babies. This helps me get more bang for my buck with this set! Double duty, right?


    The next card was created using the Bubble Talk stamp set. This set screams in-betweener and teenager alike! This card would be perfect for those kids who just got their own phone or anyone with a bit of sass in them....speaking of phones, I says a lower El student with a phone today.....TOO YOUNG! To make this card gender neutral, I stamped it in primary colors and covered up the heart stamp with a star. This gives me the ability to gift this to approximately 50% more people and let's face it, with three boys in the house and no girls, I'm more likely to need this for a boy! Score again!


    This card uses the Simple Stars stamp set with the corresponding Stars cover plate. I love this card because not only does it work for kids, but I can use it for adults too. These are the types of cards that are great to have on hand because it works so well for everyone.


    Last but not least, I have this CAS card that uses the Random Stripes stamp set and a die from the Birthday Trio die collection. Again, another card that works well for either gender and any age because of the layout and color sceem.

    Ok, that's it for me, I need to go check MY in-betweener's attitude!  I hope I've inspired you to create a few cards for the in-betweener in your life!

    Ta-ta!

    Ericka

    Friday, January 16, 2015

    Frugel Friday #1: How Clutter Costs Me Money

    I return to work in just one week from now after having off for the last ten weeks on maternity leave to care for my third (and final) baby boy, Thomas.  I have really enjoyed my time home with him and my middle son part time for three days a week (he goes to day care for the other two days to keep some routine in his life). Our day care bill is about to go from $240/week to $635/week, so we need to be mindful of our spending.  REALLY mindful of our spending. 

    We do not have a lot of areas we can cut back on.  Our mortgage is already pretty cheap, we don't have car loans or credit card debt, we don't have cable or super huge cell phone bills.  Our family has done "no spend" months in the past and those have been popular posts on my blog (see here, here, here, and here) so I thought it would be fun to pop in once in awhile on this blog and share how we're saving money where we can.  I'm calling it, Frugal Friday.

    Frugal Friday will be a day where I can share our ups and downs, share tips on how we save, and hopefully have you the reader do the same!  PLEASE!  I love reading blogs about saving money, if you have a great tip, please share it with me.

    So let's begin by talking about one area where I think this family loses money:  CLUTTER.

    Dun dun duuuun. 

    Clutter.

    Clutter costs this family real money.  You see, everything is so disorganized in this house, I'm guessing many of you can relate.  When things are disorganized you can't find the "thing" you are looking for.  When you can't find that said "thing" you go out and buy a new "thing" to replace the "thing" you can't find.  Suddenly before you know it you have 35 of that same "thing" in the house.  For us, this happens a lot.  The "thing" is: hats/gloves, batteries, dishtowels, lip gloss, plastic containers, socks, crib sheets, etc.  I could keep going but I think you get the picture, I'm sure you all have plenty of your own "things" that multiply.  Not only do they cost you money when you replace them but the time you spent looking for them is precious time you can't get back.  I read we all waste something like 40 minutes a day looking for stuff.  I believe it.  Sometimes it is just easier to go buy a new one than to look and find the one you're looking for, right?  This mindset costs us money, real money.   So it is time to get rid of this money drainer. 

    I've been slowly working on trying to organize our house.  With three little boys in the house (and one big one), that hasn't been easy but so far I have managed to organize and group a few areas that I think were costing us money.  Here's one:

    Household Supplies


    Our entry closet has been under utilized since the day we moved into this house (11 years ago!).  Look at that hot mess!  Every time I opened that door, something fell on top of me.  This is nothing but a waste of space and a place where we were losing money.  You might be asking how this dirty closet was costing us money.   This closet was supposed to be holding our supply of paper products and cleaning supplies but you can't see them behind all the clutter....and because you can't see it, we went out and bought more.  More than we need.  We bought two huge packs of toilet paper in the last two weeks because we thought we were out.


    Seriously?  Look at this closet!  That floor mop is suspended in the air and defying the law of gravity.  Like that isn't waiting to fall and get broken and then I would have to buy a new one that would cost me more money.  


    And that poor shelf up above has so much potential but is being under utilized by disorganization.  


    I cleaned out this under utilized closet and got to work.  Usually this means a trip to target to get some new and pretty organizational crates, baskets, plastic containers ($$$), etc BUTTTT, remembering my neighbor's recent post on her blog challenging us to living simply, I reorganized organized this closet for ZERO DOLLARS!  ZERO DOLLARS people, come on, I should get a high five for doing that!


    I grabbed a shelf from the basement that wasn't being used.  My husband wanted to put this ugly beast in our tiny office off of our bedroom.......gasp......the horror..... so I needed to come up with a purpose for this shelf stat.


    So here it is, being put to use.  Isn't this closet all nice and pretty now?  Now I know just how many rolls of toilet paper and paper towel we have, the answer is too many.  Oh, anyone need a lint roller?  We have more rolls than we will ever use!


    Look at all those Swiffers!  My kids love to push those around It is nice to know how many boxes we have (enough to last us till the kids move out of the house).  I mean seriously, they don't love to push them around that much and I'm smart enough to realize their love for cleaning will wear off before the Swiffers run out)!   Oh, I even found a battery operated push broom new in the box inside this closet, I didn't know we had that! I had just added that to my "to buy" list the day before.  Score! 


    Then this morning, I found myself searching Amazon.com for pretty over the door organizers and had a light bulb moment when I thought, I bet we have one of these in the basement and I can put all of our hats and mittens in it!  Sure enough, I found one in the basement (a couple actually) and got to work. The one on amazon was really pretty but this one was free and it is going inside a closet, no one is going to see it....oh, and did I mention our increasing day care bill? 


    I gathered all of our winter hats, gloves, and scarves (you know, the ones we can never find so we go buy more of them) and now they are all nicely sorted and stored in one location.  No more need to buy hats!

    I challenge you to find the areas in your house that are costing you money because of clutter and take some action this week to organize, sort, and get rid of stuff you no longer need/use.

    Let me know what you find!

    Thursday, January 8, 2015

    Knee Deep


    It ain't no joke.  During this maternity leave I am knee deep in poop.  I'm changing dirty diapers on some kid left and right.  I can't keep up.  What are they eating?  I swear someone with an axe to grind with me gave my kids a laxative when I wasn't looking and now that person is peaking in my windows and laughing at their handy work.

    It's ironic because after delivery most women can't go.  Those of you with kids know exactly what I'm talking about.  For the next week after delivery all you want to do is go to the bathroom but you can't.  Yeah, that's right people with no kids: you can't poop.  It's your body's last "ha ha" of pregnancy.  Not being able to go #2 doesn't sound THAT BAD....maybe even quite possibly a way to free up some spare time (but then when would anyone get any reading done).  But not being able to poop is no joke, people!  No joke.  Man, I was only a push away from calling it quits and driving myself to the ER this third time around.  Luckily my body took pity on me and starting functioning again. 

    The ironic part is, while you're sweating it in the bathroom, your wee little precious newborn is pooping for the whole gull darn neighborhood.    My precious little Thomas was pooping up to twelve times a day that first week, while I cried and swore like a sailor every time I went to the bathroom. Alright, I am WAYYYY over sharing, but it is all in the name of humor.  What else would I talk about here, crafts?


    What does all this talk about poop have to do with my card?  Well, during this last diaper change.... times two poop-filled {lovely} children.... I was thinking I could really use some alcohol.  Alcohold sure would make the day go quicker and would make these poopy diapers a bit easier to tolerate....butttt..... the kids are about to take their naps and I really want to stamp, I don't have time to drink...oh.... I got a great card idea and it fits the bill perfectly for this week's Make It Monday ChallengeSEE, I wouldn't talk about poop for no reason people!  I clearly had a point to this story. 


    I got out the shakers + sprinkles dies again this week and thought I would make some bubbles to go along with my new Uncorked set.  Yeah?  You see them?  I know, I know, wine doesn't have bubbles, champagne does.....don't get hung up on the details, please?  I think this is a swell card, despite the technicality and any of your friends that are knee deep with their own problems will think so too!

    Cheers!