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Archive for October, 2009

three years ago today

I had two sweet little babies, dressed in halloween outfits, rolling around on my bed while I tried to get just the right picture. For this little photo shoot I took 20 pictures.
my boy

my girl

So sweet.

And now, they are three and a half, going to preschool, full of independence and opinions.
I love watching them grow and learn and sometimes I’m sad because they will never be little babies again, but I’m so glad I took these pictures while I could.
So right now, stop take some pictures. It doesn’t matter if you have a great camera or if you are a great photographer. Take these pictures, capture these little moments while you can.

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I have lots of stamps, I know there are others out there who have more than I do, but I still have lots. I have a few very good sentiment stamps. But sometimes I want more than a thinking of you or happy birthday. I have some other sets that have a sentiment or two included that I’d like to use separately but unless I have that set out I forget I have it. So I decided to take all of my non-sentiment stamps off the shelf and stamp any sayings or greetings, write the name of the stamp set. Now I have a quick reference to the variety of sayings I have on all my stamps. I even made a sheet for the sentiment only sets.
It’s a pretty simple system which makes it work for me.

I printed it on card stock front to back and left lots of room to stamp!

I’m thinking this could work as a way to organize all of my stamps by season, occasion, etc. This might be overkill, we’ll see.
Here’s a jpg of my chart, feel free to download and use it!

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Like most people I struggle with keeping my chaos somewhat under control. I’ve tried all kinds of approaches and have had some success. I am fortunate to have an iphone and mac computers so my hubby and I can keep out calendars shared and synched. This helps a lot. But something I’ve always done is had a daily to do list. This has changed from random sticky notes, electronic notes, scraps of paper, notebooks (cute and plain) and back again. Recently I decided what I really needed to keep track of. Here’s my list

-daily to do’s, including the must do’s like phone calls etc
– menu plan, really trying to plan farther ahead than say, 4 o’clock that day!
– grocery list, I see we are nearly out of “white dip” (ranch dressing) but by the time I go to make a list I’ve forgotten it!

So I had a plain med size notebook with 3 sections. Which worked for a while but I wanted to add pages or have pockets so I thought of making it work, and making it pretty. Then I thought, a little binder would do the trick, I have photoshop I can make my own pages. I found my old planner. Really a nice leather one I probably paid a bit too much for. But I didn’t want to go to the store and buy new pages because a) I’m cheap and b) I never find just the right page.

Here’s my basic directions for photoshop
1. create a new project that is the same dimensions as your planner insert. Mine are the 6 hole pages that are 3.5 x 6 inches.
2. Using text boxes, make your lines using the _ key, leaving space for a blank notes section
3. Make a small rectangle for the date at the top.
4. Make another small rectangle for the daily menu.
5. create a new project that is 8.5 x 11 inches
6. Select all and “copy merged” to past on your new large project. I was able to get 3 to a sheet. Do not resize these at all.
7. Print, trim to the correct size, punch holes.

These are the daily pages I made inspired by Simple Mom.

I kept them simple, added a digital brush on the pages to fancy them up a bit. The brushes are from Jason Gaylor, and if you have photoshop these are a very cool thing to have! He has a lot of designs available for purchase and free download. These are a very fun thing to add to photos before printing them! I didn’t print my pages back to back so I could have the back of each day as extra room to write a list or message, or inspiring thought. Next I made a basic menu plan and grocery list.

DISCLAIMER: I am not in anyway an expert, or one of “those” kinds of women who have it together! Ha Ha! The opposite. But I read lots of books, magazines and blogs about house keeping and organizing etc. So I’ve put the ones I like together and made my own system.

Here are helpful links to people who really do have it all together.
Simple Mom Tsh covers everything and it makes sense. Really it does. The things I’ve really taken and put to use in my life are the idea of menu planning. She has great ideas on how to get started, examples and after making my 1st set of menus for 2 weeks, it wasn’t as hard as I thought. I used her basic categories because they worked with how we eat anyway. And I like how she even does a monthly menu plan! Can you imagine not having to stress over dinner for a month? But as Tsh puts it, if you can plan for 2 weeks, you can rotate and repeat and you can make it a month! Cool! I also like her “Daily Docket”, her version of a daily planner which you can download for free from her site where she also has lots of other free downloads. And I’d really recommend checking out her categories on the side bar, lots of good info!

Fly Lady I read the book a couple of years ago, and she has a ton of info to get you started on the journey of reclaiming your life by getting your house under control. I’ve followed her systems in various ways, but what I really like are the simple things like setting a timer and cleaning/picking up a room for a set amount of time and moving on. Really great way to get a plan to get your house under control. I don’t do the zones or the set things because there are times when the kids and I just decide to go do something and leave the house stuff for another day. Plus I’m not real great about a set schedule for everything all of the time.

These are two of the sites I’ve checked the most for ideas.

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(aka “how to get out of the house before everyone goes stir crazy!”)
Here’s what you need:
1. snacks for you and kiddies. We had bags of cheerios, m&m’s, peanuts and water bottles
2. camera, you might get some special photos!
3. paper bags to collect

Today was starting to look like a pretty crappy day. Last night we’d had a horrible windstorm (that I slept right through) and we had a rainy, dreary day yesterday. So this morning I was puttering, cooking down the last of the summer tomatoes to freeze, herding kiddies, looking at the work I needed to do and felt my mood just going down the tubes. I decided to put the tomatoes in the crock pot to cook for a while, got all of us dressed, made up some snacks and water bottles, gathered my camera and paper bags and announced we were going on a leaf adventure!
I took the kids to one of my favorite places in Boise: Municipal Park with the MK Nature Center nearby.

I even gathered some chestnuts to fill a hurricane for a pretty decoration.

We fed the squirrels some of our peanuts,

took lots of pictures, walked, talked about fall, and just enjoyed this little spot of sweetness.

pretty leaves changing colors

Talking about the water cycle

Big Fish

Semi-blurry photo of the three of us (using a rock as a tripod)

I admit I took almost 200 pictures, in about 2 hours.

But I got some great shots
my girl

my boy

I feel so refreshed, recharged, like things are much more manageable, like I can handle this crazy life.
If you are in need of a bit of refreshing I encourage you to take the time and go for a leaf hunt!

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