Monday, July 14, 2014

| 50 Days |

Today marks the halfway point of my shopping challenge. I crazily decided over Memorial Day weekend to give up shopping for the summer. One hundred days to be exact. 1 0 0. To read more about why I'm not shopping for 100 days click here. I checked in after the first two weeks (here) so figured it was high time I give another update! Here's how I am doing so far . . .

| via |

| clothes |

I have resisted the temptation to shop for any clothes. I am still working on getting back into shape so the motivation to avoid my favorite stores is that once I"m back to a more comfortable size I can finally wear the dresses I bought before learning I was pregnant with Mason (some still have the tags on them, oops!). I did scoop up some shorts and a few t-shirts for my little guy. This was a necessity. The poor kid was rocking belly shirts and cut off jeans on a tiny tot just didn't sit right with me! I scored all of his summer clothes for less than $20 thanks to some store credit I had and a massive sale at JCP. Addie has enough clothes to last a lifetime plus some adorable hand me downs from friends. 

| health |

I am finally getting back into a workout routine but running outside in the heat & humidity required I pick up a few sleeveless running tops. The ones I had were from before two babies ago when I used to have abs. Trust me, no one wants to see me running down the road in those! I used a Visa gift card I had gotten for my birthday (found it cleaning my junk drawer out!) and bought two for less than $15! 

| via |
| life |

The one thing I did break down and buy is my 2014-2015 Erin Condren Life Planner. It is my absolute favorite planner (and believe me, I know my planners!) My previous one ended with the month of June and I absolutely cannot function in any way, shape or form without it. After consulting with a good friend of mine who is also not shopping all summer long we agreed that it could be considered a necessity! And, to make me a little less guilty about the purchase, I had an e-gift card to use! Woohoo!

Just 50 more days to go! Who knows, maybe my shopping habits will change more permanently for the better after this summer long drought!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Junk Drawer Organization

Apologies to everyone who follows me on Instragram or my personal Facebook page for completely blowing up everyone's feeds the last few weeks with my home organization overhaul! With the kiddos spending some quality time with my mom up north I figured it was the best time to finally sort through all of our stuff crap in hopes of simplifying our life a little. Because what mom wants to get mani/pedis or read a book or take naps while her children are away? L a m e.

No closet, drawer, nook or cranny was left untouched. I went through every room and either tossed, donated or gave away anything we didn't need or use. It was so refreshing and I am loving that everything we have now is both useful and purposeful and has its own special place. No more junk crammed under beds, in closets or down in the basement. I feel like I can breathe and am no longer overwhelmed by all the useless stuff we've accumulated over the years. It took me several days and late nights but the slate is cleaned and boy does it feel good! 

Now, I'm a bit of an extremist when it comes to cleaning and organization (have you seen my weekly cleaning schedule? I'm a weirdo, I know) but sometimes even the most simple little organization project can make life more simple and less chaotic. Translation. . . more enjoyable! Do you have 15 minutes to spare? Then how about tackling the dreaded junk drawer?

Ours wasn't in too bad of shape, but only because my hubby had tackled this once before just a few months ago. (Note to reader: I am the sole person to blame for its junkiness. Hubster is even more of a stickler than I am for organization when it comes to tools & utensils. Must be a mechanic thing!)

My go-to approach and methodology for any organizational project is to dump it all out and start anew!  Remember my disaster of a coat closet last year? It forces me to re-evaluate the space, I can clean it out with a damp cloth or vacuum, and then quickly sort through the contents.

I try to sort things into three categories:

1. Things that belong
2. Things that belong elsewhere
3. Things that need to be trashed

Our "junk drawer" also houses our silverware so it was important to really decide on what was actually appropriate for this space and to keep them separated. No one wants to eat dinner with a dirty fork. I used a few small plastic cups and compartments from the dollar store to help organize everything. Hubby has his own compartment for his wallet, keys, and change. The other contents include batteries, pens, note pad, tape, timer and spare keys. Everything else was tossed or put back in its proper place.

Ta da!

It doesn't have to look all Pinteresty (though I do love the idea of putting scrapbook paper with a pretty pattern underneath as lining) it just needs to be organized, efficient and useful!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Confessions of a Working Mama | no. 1 |

|I'd say 99% of the time my children eat homemade, healthy and organic meals|

But, every once and a while when I don't feel like cooking I may swing through the drive thru for some chicken nuggets and fries. No Happy Meals. The toys are evidence. Just nuggets and fries. These same nights my hubby is impressed that the kitchen is spotless when he comes home. I just smile and pretend like I'm supermom. Usually, I've even taken out the trash. There's his first clue that something is up!
|My children brush their teeth before bed every night|

If their eyelids are dropping and they look like they are fading, however, I seize the moment and just let them fall asleep. I mean, cavities aren't instantaneous, right? I promise I don't do this more than once a week two nights in a row. I'm just soooo tired.

|I've lied to my daughter|

"Mommy, can we go to Target?" she asks on a Tuesday afternoon.
"No, we cannot."
"Why not, mommy?"
"They are closed today."
"Oh, okay. Maybe another day then like when they are open and you have to get something there off your list."

She is way more content with this response and sometimes it is just way easier than me trying to explain why we can't go to a store everyday and why I won't buy her something every time we go to a store. I'm screwed when she learns to tell time and figures out that stores are indeed open at three o'clock in the afternoon on a weekday. I should probably suck it up and just start explaining why we can't spend endless amounts of money at Target. Even though, baby girl, mommy really wants to too!

|I once let Addie watch Prime Time TV|

And by once, I mean she has watched NBC's "Chicago Fire" about 3 times. What? She loves firetrucks! Don't worry, I distracted her during the gory scenes. In my defense. . .Oh, who am I kidding? I put an end to this when we were in line at the grocery store and she said, "Look mama, that girl over there looks like Dawson from the fire tuck show!" So she is paying attention! Oops. My bad. For the record, we've since cut back on screen time, even age appropriate shows. 

What are your secrets? How do you survive motherhood? Come on, ladies! I know I'm not the only one! 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Patriotic Patio Inspiration

Summer is best spent sipping lemonade out of a mason jar on the front porch or grilling steaks on the back deck. We love sitting outside watching the setting sun while our kiddos run through the sprinkler. Recently, we set a few chairs and planters out on our front porch and spruced it up by painting our door yellow. The back of the house, however, is still in need of something. I love the idea of a 4th of July inspired backyard escape. Red, white and blue are bold colors, perfect all summer long!

Patriotic Patio

1. I'm on the hunt for some comfy (and budget friendly) Adirondack chairs. We have a few white plastic ones but the slightest gust of wind blows them away. I love the idea of adding a pop of color.

2. Pillows are one of my favorite household accessories. They are the cheapest way to change up a room or living space. I love coordinating different patterns and colors to really make an area pop!

3. Lanterns are a must-have for night time outdoor entertainment. Put a few on the table during dinner or around chairs for nighttime reading and conversation.

4. Even though you're already surrounded by the outdoors, planters give your outdoor space a more cohesive look. It helps to blend the green & concrete together.

5. Doormats aren't just for the front door! We have one by our garage door (which goes to the backyard) and by the slider on our deck. Keeps the little ones from tracking in grass and dirt!

6. My husband isn't a fan but I think wicker is making a comeback! I love this style for a side table for resting a drink or book on. Bonus if you can find one with a lid for added storage!

(for sources click here)

How do you like to relax during the summer months? What are your patio must-haves? Leave a comment below to share! Wishing my American friends a happy 4th of July! May your day be filled with parades, good food, great company and awesome fireworks! Stay safe.