Monday, August 11, 2014

Back to School Command Center

Kids in our area go back to school the week before Labor day. Addie starts her second year of preschool mid-September. The laid back, long weekend days of my summer are starting to wind down. Ever since kindergarten my favorite time of year has always been "back to school." There is a reason I am in the field of education and to this day I still anticipate and love opening day! 

As my own kids get older and more involved with school, ballet, sports and their busy social calendars it is becoming harder and harder to keep us all organized. During the school year Sean and I juggle our late nights at work, sitters and daycare, activities with the kids and our own responsibilities at home through emails, text messages, scribbled notes left for each other in the kitchen and in passing at 4:30 in the morning. Bills, party invitations, preschool newsletters and other important information end up buried in a pile of paperwork in the corner of our kitchen counter. This school year I want to create a command center to corral and keep track of our comings and goings. The bare wall next to our garage door (here) is the perfect spot. I have an idea of what I want to create in my head using these pictures as inspiration. 

I love the framed look, it is so clean and polished looking. I could see framing a weekly or monthly calendar, meal plan, or cute printables to motivate us on our way out the door each day.

Dry erase boards make it easy to add, delete or move around events on the calendar. My only fear is one of the little ones getting a hold of the marker and adding his or her own to do list on our paint!

If my husband would let me get away with it I'd have a chalkboard in every room of the house. The bags with kids' names on it is a great idea to help keep items organized. 

I already have these two hanging file holders and since I can't shop until September I'm leaning towards a similar style. I have tons of empty pictures frames in storage that I can pull out to complete the look. I also really love the basket as a catch all for bigger things that need to go out the door with us in the morning. 

I see these rustic looking baskets at stores like Marshalls and HomeGoods all the time. And I absolutely love, love, love the map bulletin board! 

This style combines it all: chalkboard, dry erase, frames, for a fun but completely organized look. 

How do you keep your paperwork and busy schedules organized? Snap a picture and post it to Instagram with the hashtag "keepcalmandgetorganized2014." Be sure to tag me (@keepcalmmommyon) for a chance to win a $25 Staples gift card! Winner will be picked, at random, on Friday, August 15, 2014. Good luck!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Flashback Friday: Baby Girl's First Road Trip

Looking back, life with one baby (who was a pretty good sleeper) seems so easy compared to the crazy life we're living now. I wouldn't trade a thing, of course. But, looking back at these pictures brings tears to my eyes. My sweet, beautiful, tiny little girl is growing up way too quickly for me. 

Her first few months I was always the one behind the camera so Addison and I don't actually have a lot of pictures of the two of us. These pictures remain some of my most cherished. Her face, the ocean, everything so calm and serene.

These pictures were actually taken at a wedding on the coast of Maine in 2010. It was the trip from hell for me and my two besties, but this moment, forever captured, made it all worth it. Apparently similar pictures, taken by the wedding photographer, ended up on a wedding website. Imagine the surprised look on my friend Kate's face when, last week (2014), she was randomly sent a link that had a picture of her Goddaughter! (The person sending her the link has no idea who I am!).

Small world, isn't it!?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Summer Fun with Forts

I am really enjoying my week off of work and being able to just play a l l  d a y  l o n g. Earlier this week Addie and I built a fort in the dining room and it is still up! She has pretty much taken up residence in it and more and more of her toys are slowly making their way downstairs to her fortress.

Sometimes Addie just wants a little time to herself to look at books or play in peace. But, she also invites Mason in to play with her and boy does he love it! This morning the kiddos even sat and ate their breakfast together inside their fort. Melts my heart that these two are becoming better friends and playmates.

Making your own fort is simple and fun to do. I used sheets and a set of curtains we still haven't hung up and draped them all over our dining room table. Inside I set down a spare comforter and pillows to lay on. Addie asked if she could decorate it and set off around the house looking for pretty things to hang all over it. We strung white lights around the inside (held up with painters tape) and used decorations we had in the basement from her 3rd birthday party to jazz it up with a fairy-like feel to it. Prancene the unicorn guards the entrance, of course.

What are some fun indoor activities your little ones like to do to beat the summer heat? 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Confessions of a Working Mama | No. 2 |

Hi friends! I'm back after a little blogging hiatus! I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. I have taken a lot of long weekends but am now off for the next week and a half before it is time to start gearing up for another school year. I am looking forward to a fun week of just me and the kiddos while I pretend to be a SAHM! But first, some more confessions!

|I eat a lot of chocolate|

I don't want my children to eat unhealthy to share so I may or may not send my kiddos on a wild goose hunt around the house while I sit in silence and savor my favorite dark chocolate with sea salt from Lindt. Sometimes, I even get away with it and get to eat the whole piece.

|Sleeping in|

I would give anything, anything for a few days to sleep in. I love being a mommy and I love my job, but the absolute latest I can ever sleep in is 5:30am. Usually, though I am awake up much earlier than that. I'm just not a morning person. One of my favorite teachers from high school, Mr. T, to this day still calls me Grouchy. He had the privilege of teaching me first period my senior year. Apparently I was not a peach. My super amazing hubby is up and out the door by 4:30am and doesn't get home until at least 8pm. So I know I really have no room to complain here, but it is my blog and I am going to anyway. 

Scratch that. I can handle the early morning wake ups. I might not be the most pleasant person to be around, but I can at least function. I'd rather get up early than have to get up throughout the night. It is the breaks to my sleep cycle for things like changing wet sheets or, my absolute favorite, middle of the night jam sessions when Mason thinks it is time to play trucks and cars, that really put me over the edge. 

Do night nannies still exist? 

|Sick Days|

I do not know how all of you amazing stay at home mamas do it. When I get sick I have two options. Usually, I still go to work (apologies to everyone I work with whom I then infect) because it is easier than staying home and trying to keep up with my two little loves. If it is really bad, though, I still take the kids to daycare and I go home and crawl back into bed. If it is the weekend, I suck it up and put my happy mommy face on. #keepcalmandmommyon