Sunday, August 29, 2010

Online Organization...

 Not only is it hard to keep our homes organized, you also have to keep your computer/desktop organized. Here are a few things I do to keep my online stuff organized...

Recipes- I am constantly coming across a recipe I want to try. I started out just bookmarking but that didn't work out for me so well as sometimes I bookmark 50 to 100 things a day. So here is a couple of ways that work for me.

1. **This is my favorite** I setup a folder in my email titled Recipes and when I come across a new one, I highlight the recipe, copy and paste it into an email ( Always put where you found the recipe in case you ever want to reference it on your blog or anywhere else ) with the subject line the title of the recipe and email it to myself and then it gets moved to my recipe folder. **This works great for favorite blog posts, ideas, crafty projects, etc. as well.You can always print it right when you find it but my printer ink is pretty precious to me, so I do this method and later I will print and make a binder of the ones I have tried and liked :)

Blog Posts- When I think of an idea for a blog post if I don't put it somewhere I will never remember it. I used to write my ideas down but I go from notebook, to pad of paper, to writing on random pieces of paper I find and always end up losing it so now I go in and start a blog post like I normally would, in the title I write the post idea, then in the subject a few ideas I have if any for that post and save. Then I can go back anytime and find my ideas as well as finish the posts and schedule it.

Inspiration- I am always coming across photos that are inspiring or that I want to save to reference later on, I used to keep a folder on my desktop titled inspiration but it grew and grew very quickly and I wasn't able to write where it came from so then I seen how the Nester does it and it's perfect! She uses Tumblr to keep track of pretties she doesn't want to lose. You can check hers out here. Here is mine but it's still pretty empty as I just started doing this.

 Shamelessly plugging my own etsy shop :)

Favorite Shopping Sites- I come across new sites, shops, and pretty items all the time that I don't want to lose. These you can use tumblr as well for but I have created a folder on my desktop and when I find something I right click the page with the item or just the shops page and click 'save page as' into the folder you have created for them. It's easy and helps me keep it more organized.

Email- This one is a big one for me, as you can see I haven't kept up very well ( uh over 2400 emails? ) with getting rid of junk email and sorting the good stuff to it's designated folder but this really is a good way you just have to keep up with it. For one, you can setup folders in your email like I did for recipes above but you can set it up so that your email goes directly to your folder. Now I don't do this because I would forget to check all 99 folders everyday, so if it's something I want saved or need I simply move it to it's appropriate folder myself after I have opened it. I have lots of folders setup in my email, for my blogs, twittermoms, blog spark, pictures, shopping deals, etc. This helps and makes it a lot easier to find an email I need.

So that's a few ways I stay organized online, what about you? Any great tips that help you stay organized online?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tips for healthy smiles...

Image from Google images.

Healthy teeth are very important for our littles and of course ourselves. Here are 5 things we do to help maintain healthy teeth...

1. Make brushing fun. Anytime you take a not so fun task and turn it into something fun, the kids are going to want to do it. Have fun little timers, Let them pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste, make up a dance they can do while brushing, have a little radio in the bathroom ( away from the water please ) and they brush to a favorite song, reward them for brushing when they are supposed too.

2. Limiting the Sugars and Candies. Buy healthier snacks with less sugar. After they brush for the last time before bed, no snacks, no drinks ( except water ). Let them chew on some sugar free trident :) It comes in 11 flavors to choose from and what kiddo doesn't love some gum? It's all about limiting and making healthier choices.

3. Flossing. Flossing is important and kiddos need to floss once a day. Again make it fun for them, they have all kinds of cute little flossers for kiddos. They are more likely to floss with something bright and colorful than the plain white floss. Right?

4. Brush as a family.  Squeeze everyone into the bathroom and brush together. They see you doing it, they are going to do it too. Turn on some music and boogie down while brushing together. Haha :) Yes, you can even create wonderful memories with your kids while brushing your teeth!

5. Regular dental checkups. Kiddos should be visiting the dentist twice a year.

It's like most other things we are teaching our kids, if we teach them this while they are young and grow up with these routines and being taught healthy habits such as good dental hygeine then most likely they are going to continue it out on their own and with their own kiddos.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Trident blogging program, making me eligible to get a $25 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

Healthier eating but with flavor....

 Image from here.

My husband and I have been on a new diet. One where you can't eat much of anything ( haha ), no carbs and for the most part no sugars. It's really been teaching us how to eat healthier and it's also really opened our eyes to the JUNK we were eating before. I NEVER read labels on any food products that we bought before and now I check everything. While the kids still get to have their snacks and most of their regular foods, they can ( for the most part ) eat healthy with us. Teaching them good eating habits early :)

When I tell people no carbs, no sugars, they freak but It's really not that bad. We do also treat ourselves to a few carbs and sugars here and there. We aren't starving ourselves, we still eat our meals and they are very filling. The hardest for me is when I'm enjoying quiet time after everyone is in bed and I'm glued to the computer. That's when I want to snack.

We have been learning that you can still cook healthy and have all the flavor and yumminess. My new favorite is Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper seasoning, no carbs, no calories, and even NO Sodium. There are 15 different flavors available and I plan on trying every single one. It's a great way to spice up a meal and make it taste great while leaving out all the not so good stuff. We love the fiesta one too, yumm!

One of my favorite meals to make is this and there is no cleanup afterwards!

You'll need the following...
Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper seasoning
Raw Veggie of choice ( we like broccoli or cabbage )
foil :)

I rinse my tilapia, lay both pieces on a piece of foil rub it with a tiny bit of fake butter and season away with Mrs. Dash lemon pepper. Then I wrap it up leaving most of the top open. Next do the same with your veggies after you rinse them, put them in the foil with a tiny bit of fake butter, season and throw both foil pouches in the oven and bake it. I bake at 350 and the time varies as my oven is half dead. Just keep checking them, and take them out when they are to your liking.

When I cook a meal like this for us, I cook the kiddos a meal of the same but with chicken and corn or a veggie they prefer. They also like when I take bread and butter it, then sprinkle with our favorite Mrs. Dash seasoning and stick it in the oven. It's my oldest sons favorite and so easy! See, you can still have "Flavorful Low-Sodium Family Meals" that everyone can enjoy.

It's so easy, good for you, and guess what NO MESS to clean up! This is my new favorite way of cooking. Really. My husband loves it, I love it and even the kids love it. We cook almost all our food like this, the seasoning is great on steak, chicken, veggies, fish, bread, everything really. We eat lite, but we are full after and are eating less sodium and the other junk that's not good for us.

So how are you trying to eat healthier? Any tips? Recipes?

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the Mrs. Dash and TwitterMoms blogging program for a chance to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

5 Important Lessons for our Children...

 Google image from here.

We have two boys, one 8 year old and one 1 year old. We try to teach our kids right from wrong everyday, here are 5 lessons things I think are truly important for teaching our children.

1. Treat others as you want to be treated. 

I can't stand the thought of bullying, or someone picking on my kids. I can't stand the thought of them being the one "left out" so we try to teach him to be friends with everyone, treat everyone as you would want to be treated. If you see someone picking on another kid, you go be friends with the one always left out. It's no fun being the last one standing, so always try and make others feel loved, and special. Everyone is different and you never ever make someone feel bad because they may be a little different than you.

2. NEVER talk to Strangers.

The way our world is today, this one is definitely at the top of our list. We always stress that you cannot talk to strangers, never ever get in a car with someone you don't know no matter what they say. Make sure you have a system with your kids, make sure they ALWAYS know who will be there for them after school, make sure they know it will NEVER be someone they don't know.

3. Teaching Good Habits.

I definitely believe that teaching our children good habits they are going to grow up and follow them always. Teaching them good eating habits, hygiene such as brushing their teeth, showering, etc., keeping their rooms organized and clean, if you let them be lazy they will continue that throughout their lives. When our son gets home from school he always knows homework first, at first we had to remind him everyday and now he does it on his own. This is something that will always remain with him. Our kids are going to do better in school and get the better grades if we are making that daily study time for them. They aren't going to do their homework if no one cares if they do or not. 

4. Love

We always make sure out kids know that we love them. We tell them 100+ times a day. It's so important. It will help them in every area of their lives knowing they are loved always and no matter what. Our oldest son tells us randomly too and I love that. We must be doing something right :)It's very important to teach your kids love and affection and that it's okay to show someone that.

5. Selflessness 

Don't be selfish. Help others less fortunate. Our kids can be a bit spoiled, and I'm not saying my son shares with his little brother 100% of the time, because he doesn't. But we try to teach him not to be selfish, share, help others less fortunate, do things for others. There are many out there that don't have anything, kids with no food, clothes, and especially toys. This one goes hand in hand with #1.

There is definitely more that I could have written, but these are some that are very important to us. So what important lessons do you try and teach your little ones?

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Nanny
McPhee Returns blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift
card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

A Wedding in the works....

Meet my Aunt, She is 29 just 6 months younger than myself and got engaged a couple months ago. They have set the date for October 1st, 2011 as she wanted a Fall wedding, yeah her favorite season ( mine too )! I've been emailing her about 100 times a day since the engagement with photos, ideas, etc and even now have a folder on my desktop titled Amy's Wedding, I'm obsessed people. I never had a wedding :( so it's so much fun helping plan and throwing out ideas.

 Here's her gorgeous rock!

For her colors she wants the traditional, guys in black, her in white with purple as her other main color then there will be other fallish colors in the mix.

We definitely want to make a bunch of these to have hanging at the reception.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this cake!! Probably not her style but had to share it as it's so gorgeous!

And the vintage cake topper make my heart race.

Image from Etsy here.

We both LOVE this dress, soo gorgeous!

Image from here.

How cute are those monogrammed pumpkins? and the pumpkin centerpiece? Ahhhh, love Fall :)

Image from here.

I love the light pumpkins along the walkway, and the pumpkin ice bucket. Oh my word, so pretty, all of it.

Image from here.

Loving this Fall tree, love the hanging votives.

Image from here.

Love the wooden signs. 

Image from here.

Again with the pumpkins, absolutely a must.

So what about you, ever planned a Fall wedding? Have any tips for us?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Easy Art for the Kiddos Room...

So I know this isn't anything new but I love it so I still had to share it. I bought these cute little flashcards awhile back at Michaels for $2.49. I had been wanting them for awhile but hadn't seen them in the stores and happen to find one little pack left in a spot it didn't belong.

The frames are plastic, I had gotten a package of 8 on clearance at Target last year for about $6 and new I could use them for something. I painted them and used minwax stain to antique them a bit.

I just love how they turned out. These would be so fun to make for a new mommy as I think they would be adorable in a nursery! They would be great as well in a playroom or kids room. I think it would be fun to have them in different frames as well.

Can you imagine having a wall with the whole alphabet like this? Fun!

Just in case you want your own I searched and found them online here. They are made by K and Company, whom I loveeeee!

I LOVE these too, these just came out. I have to have them!

And the boys ones, LOVE them! Aren't they so cute? These would be adorable framed.

I keep forgetting to mention, did you notice my blog got a makeover? Sheila from DBS Designs did my makeover and she is WONDERFUL! She is affordable, super fast, and soooooo very patient! I think she did an Awesome job, I love love love my new header :) Thanks So Much Sheila! I highly recommend her if your looking to makeover your blog, you can find her on etsy here. She is super sweet!

If your on Facebook, come visit my page here.  I'm trying to reach 150 "likers" by the end of the week and then I'll do a giveawy :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Thrifty Finds....

It's been awhile since I have went to Goodwill or any Garage sales, so a few weeks ago we stopped in at Goodwill and of course I couldn't leave empty handed. I saved the best find for last so keep reading :) I found the above pillow for $1.99, it always makes me a little nervous buying pillows but I couldn't pass up the toile.

I found this big frame for .99 and have already started revamping it, Can't wait to show you!!

See, already working on it....

The porch post thingys were .49 each, and the books .99 for both. I couldn't pass up the finial things as I know I will come up with something for them.

Also got the little wooden frame for .99

This was 1.99, I loveeee these things!! There cute just sittin around and they are also great for hand soap or dish soap.

I had to get the big chunky candle holder for 2.99 as I have it's twin. The little mirrors were .49 each.

The bowl filler stuff was marked down to 2.99, this will be great for fall :)

Had to share these, I got 20 tubs of pampers wipes with coupons for .17 a tub!!! I love getting deals on these as we go through them like crazy.

My favorite find is this little table. Actually it's not my find, my sweet husband knows how I love my Goodwill junk and was in the area one day and stopped in and bought me this. It was $3!!! I love picturing him in Goodwill ( totally not his thing ) picking out some sad little piece for me to redo. It's great. He's great.

As you can see, she was in pretty bad shape.

Not anymore....This was actually a pretty eaasy makeover. I did it all while watching the Bears play their first preseason game, Sadly they lost. :(  I wanted pretty aqua color so I mixed some blue I had with some antique white paint until I got the color I wanted. These pictures are awful, I took them at night and it doesn't go so well up against my shiny red walls.

I used a little minwax stain after some sanding. I'm not so good at that technique but all in all I think it turned out great. One of my favorite makeovers.

I love it A Lot. I love this blue.

It's got a little opening on the side to store crap even.

So how did I do? How did hubby do with his find? You like?

southern hospitality
I'm linking up with Rhoda over at Southern Hospitality for her Thrifty Treasures party.

Easy Fall Pumpkin Sign....

I absolutely positively CANNOT wait for Fall, I love it and everything about it. Seriously. I love wintery snowy weather just as much but I love that in Fall there is bonfires, trick or treaters, it's sweatshirt weather, the leaves are all pretty and changing, I could go on and on...I LOVE it! I love it so much I usually bust out the Fall goodies first day of September and I'm not kidding. So while I'm patiently waiting for Fall, I thought I'd share a super easy cute little Fall sign I made with you....

This is a piece I had leftover from a 1x10, it's about 14 inches wide. I painted it Gingerbread Spice which was one of my FREE quarts from Glidden last year :)

This is seriously so easy. So I got my basecoat of gingerbread on, it's dried. Now I have a Big Pumpkin Die ( mines all painted up as I have used it a few times ) Cut and a glue stick. I got my die cut at a local scrapbook store last year, but I searched and found you one here. So turn your die cut over and paste it up with your glue stick.

No flip it over and position it where you would like it on your board, for this one I had a little more than half of the pumpkin on the board.  Smooth it out really good, I put the lid back on my glue stick, flip it over and use the top of the cap to smooth it out.

Now you need a second color, I used Dark French Chocolate, another free quart I received from Glidden last year :) I use a foam brush, don't get to much paint on it as it's like a stencil and you don't want paint seeping through. Paint your whole board with the brown, After it has a nice coat of brown peel back the die cut....

You'll be left with this! As you can see there is spots of glue, those will wipe right off. I use a baby wipe, any old rag will do. Then I go through and wipe up any little spots where a little paint may have seeped through. Then whip out your sander or some sandpaper ( sorry didn't take pictures for this part ) and sand away, I sand a lot as I like a lot of distressing. Then drill to holes at the top and use some pretty ribbon or twine, I prefer twine, it looks Fallish :)

Now you have a cute new sign for Fall!!!

I told you I'm obsessed, more board gluing. I made this one, painted the boards first, glued them together, and stenciled the letters on.

This one is my favorite, I love love love how it turned out. More board gluing, used the same technique and die cut as above, easy peasy :)

So Are you excited for Fall? Are you working on any Fall goodies yet?


Join us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap up party!

I'm linking this post to Jen over at Tatertots and Jello weekend wrap up party :)