Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bathroom 101

Okay, I'm no organizational expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I actually do have some tips that have helped me keep my bathroom organized for months now.

I have 2 major issues that were standing in the way of me keeping an organized, tidy bathroom. The first issue: hair combing stuff, as we like to call it at our house. This is all the stuff I use for doing hair for myself and my 4 kids. Obviously we don't use everything every day, but I use all of it at different points, depending on the day, and where we're going. Oh, and I let my husband use some of it too!
The problem was this. I was trying to keep combs/brushes, hair accessories, etc. in the drawer. I kept the curling irons and other tools in the cupboard below the drawer. So I was always having to get down on the floor and dig around for whatever I needed that day. If it was way in the back, then the stuff in the front got knocked over, or pushed out onto the floor. Then whenever I got around to putting it back, it got shoved in and was a mess all over again for the next day. The drawer got pretty messy as well. Now I keep EVERYTHING (hairspray, combs, brushes, tools, gel, clips, elastics....) in this handy little tote.
I put the combs and picks in a gallon size freezer bag, and the clippies and elastics in little lunch baggies. When the bags wear out I just replace them (not really too often). I stick everything in the tote, and it doesn't matter if it gets messy, I can dig for what I need from the comfort of the counter top, and nothing has to get knocked onto the floor! When I'm done with hair, I just pile it all back into the tote - nothing is breakable so I don't have to organize it in the tote or anything! It fits perfectly under my sink, out of sight and just waiting for me to pull the whole thing out again the next morning! It has worked like a charm in keeping my counter top uncluttered, and my floor as well! My second "issue" is the bathtub. It was always full of shampoo, conditioner, bodywash, loofahs, toys and probably other stuff that I'm forgetting! I buy the HUGE bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and bodywash at Costco. I don't have a shower shelf, and those I looked at wouldn't fit my huge bottles! So I now stick all those things in this dollar store plastic basket. It's small enough that it stays out of the way when you shower, and the holes allow the water to drain through. When the kids bathe, I just take it out and set it on the floor. It works great, and is out of sight in the tub so the bathroom is tidy.

I used to do the same with the toys. But I hated those toys! You could never get all the water out of those squirt things, or boats, and they got all scummy looking. And the squirt toys would eventually start to grow mold inside from the moisture, and that's just gross.

Santa brought this little gem to my youngest for Christmas. It's a Boon Frog Pod. They had them at Costco for about $36.00 during Christmas time. A little pricey, I know - but I think Santa got his money's worth, and it WAS Christmas after all.
It holds all the kids' loofahs on it's toes, and there's a small shelf where his "mouth" is where I keep some smaller bottles of cleanser and kid shampoo. The best part is the toys and their scoop. These foam decals stick to the wall, or tub and don't absorb the water and get all stinky and germy. And the kids LOVE them. Even the older ones think they're great! And please excuse the red grout in the picture, the bathtub crayon doesn't come out of grout too well!
When bath time is over, you just "scoop" up the toys, rinse them under running water and hook it up on Mr. Froggy's back. The holes allow them to air-dry and no mildew or mold! I chucked every single one of our other bath toys! Plus it looks so dang cute!
You can probably find the Frog Pod online, I got the tote at Walmart (make sure to measure under your sink first so you make sure you buy one that will fit), and as I said before, the shampoo basket is from the dollar store! Happy organizing!

Recipe of the Week 1/31/09

Just a little disclaimer - my recipes of the week are not necessarily part of my current, more "weight-conscious" menu. These are recipes I love, that I fix for my family and watch enviously while they enjoy! And I usually sneak a bite or 2 off my 2 year old's plate!

This week: Easy Alfredo Sauce
Found this recipe on allrecipes.com and my family really enjoyed it - plus it's super easy!

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup heavy cream

DIRECTIONS
In a medium bowl, beat butter and Parmesan with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add cream, a little at a time, until mixture resembles softly scrambled eggs. Toss with hot pasta to serve.

It really "creams" up when mixed with the hot noodles. We like to mix in some grilled chicken and serve with a healthy spinach salad!

The first time I made it, thought it wouldn't be enough and I doubled the recipe - there was no need! I ended up calling my friend/neighbor and told her not to bother making dinner, just come over and grab the other half of mine!

Friday, January 30, 2009

First Give Away!

Okay, I know I said recipe of the week and organizing tips for my next post, but I just got word that my first Give Away starts today! Go here to check it out, and you might win a fluffy tutu and pixie wings matching set! Scroll down to see pictures!

weigh-in day

Friday is weigh-in day for The Biggest Loser online. Down 11 lbs so far! Yay!

Also, on my other goals...

Today I will utilize my first food storage deals list and get some great grocery deals, plus stock up on some important items for my food storage...another Yay!

My next organizing monsters are the game closet and the bookshelf - both victims of my family's laziness in putting stuff away! I'll make sure to post my progress!

Sorry for the boring post...In our next episode...Recipe of the Week, and some tips and tricks that have helped me keep my bathroom organized!

Toilet Head


This is what happens when you are taking a 2 year old to the bathroom and you leave the room for a minute. Yes she actually dunked AFTER she had gone. EWWWW!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Business Spotlight


Just wanted to do a quick spotlight on my small business venture. Being the mother of three little girls can be overwhelming and exasperating! But also rewarding and inspiring. My little girls are my inspiration for Ribbon Blossoms Chic Boutique. I have joined forces with a wonderful friend who has 3 inspirational daughters of her own. It started out with hairbows and headbands, but is quickly expanding as we learn new ways of doing things, and get fun new project ideas. Everything we make is something we know our own little girls will love, so we are confident in the smiles our items will bring to other little girls.

Our line has grown to include bow holders, bracelets, bibs, tutus, pixie wings and more. We have many new ideas in the works as well! Our website is currently under construction, but in the meantime we have several listings on daisycraft.com. Here is a small sampling of some of our products. Click any of the links in this post, or our button to the right to see our listings on Daisy Craft! Also when you visit our Daisy Craft page, feel free to take one of our buttons for placement on your blog!

























We also are more than happy to do custom orders. Whether you know exactly what you want, or you are looking for some help creating the perfect design - we are here! ribbonblossoms@aol.com

Monday, January 26, 2009

as promised...

The pantry is the place in my house where everyone shoves anything that they don't want to bother finding a place for. But no more! We are going to find a home for every item in this house, or we will sell, give or throw it away!

before
after

reaching my goals

So, in my first post I mentioned 3 goals I have for myself this year. Any of you who know me know that there are 3 things I am NOT! Those three things are: organized, prepared, and in shape!

So what am I going to do to change this? Well, I will tell you.

I am going to get back in shape! I never really struggled with my weight or fitness until I was an adult and married. Then with each new child came a whole new set of pounds that stayed with me after delivery! After baby number 3, I had had enough! (pounds, not babies) I worked really hard at being healthy, through both my diet and regular exercise. It was wonderful! Eventually life distracted me from my newfound healthy lifestyle. I had a little one in the hospital with pneumonia, 2 deaths in the family, followed soon by the holidays, and I allowed all this to interfere with my committment to daily exercise. Once the exercise went out the window, the healthy eating habits soon followed. When I became pregnant again - I was doomed!

Well, baby number 4 is now 2 years old, and I have had enough again! (pounds, not babies - maybe) This is the year I will get back in shape!

How am I going to do this? I have already begun my daily exercise program. I also am working really hard to eat a healthy diet. To help me stay motivated, my really good friend (we'll call her T) and I have entered The Biggest Loser online competition. The entry fee goes into a pot, and after 12 weeks, the pot is divided between the 3 biggest losers. This round, the 1st place pot is over $1300!!! Now I have to tell you, the money doesn't motivate me nearly as much as the weekly "posting" of everybody's progress, and the ranking of each competitor. There's nothing like seeing it all spelled out in black and white to keep you motivated for the next week. We are just beginning the third week of competition.

Progress: Down 9 lbs so far!

Next - I will build up my food storage. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. To find out what that means go here. For generations our prophets have counseled us to be prepared. Specifically we have been asked to gradually build up a year's supply of food storage. This will help us be prepared for the possibility of an emergency, or just unexpected life circumstances. I know I am not the only one who has great intentions regarding this counsel, but just doesn't seem to be able to get it together enough to really build up that year's supply. This is the year I will build up my food storage!

How am I going to do this? I have recently become a member of myfoodstoragedeals.com. I am so excited about this service. This woman is an EXPERT in the area of food storage, comparison shopping, and organizing and tracking all the relevant information. For a small (and I mean small) fee she sends weekly emails with all the info you need to get your groceries on a smaller than you can believe budget, plus acquire items for your food storage, at a time when you can get them for the best deal. She calculates how much of each item you should get for your year's supply, gives shelf life and has recipes on how to use it all! There is so much more, I can't even begin to tell you how much is included with this service. You'll just have to check it out yourself. Now I know this information is out there, and I could access it all for free, but that would entail so much time, and expertise that I really don't have. This small fee is so worth it for the headache it saves me, and gives me real confidence that I can do this.

Progress: I got my first Newsletter and my first sale lists!

I will organize every room in my house. As I said, I am NOT an organized person. That has to change, because a chaotic environment just makes me ORNERY! And when I'm ornery, I yell. And not only do my kids and dear husband hate it when I yell, but I hate it when I yell. I will not rest until I feel that there is order in my surroundings.

How am I going to do this? I will go through my space, room by room and put it in order. There is a fabulous book called Organizing From the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern. I adore it. It really breaks down the reasons behind disorganization and clutter. Then there is a very in-depth process to organizing your space. It includes many steps, but the end result is a system that you can really stick to. I've found this the most helpful thing for me so far. For many people, like my really good friend T, these systems and steps are part of their nature, and they surround themselfs with order. I need to have it spelled out for me step by step in a book, and follow the recipe exactly. Not everything she says is relevent to me and my situation, but the majority of her advice has really helped and I am doing it!

Progress: I already went throught the process with my son last year, and he has been able to stick with it and keep his room clean for months! I also got my bathroom de-clutterd and organized down to the very last drawer. Last week I cleaned out and organized my fridge and freezer, and today I am tackling the pantry. I can do this! I will post some pictures shortly.

Well this concludes my very long post detailing my goals for this next year. I will keep you updated on my progress! I welcome any and all advice, tips and tricks that you all may have for helping me get there!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My Joys...


What more can I say?


A shout-out to emmybphotography.blogspot.com for the beautiful pictures of my girls. Emily does a fabulous job so check her out!


Sorry son - my handywork just isn't quite as impressive.

This is the year...

This is the year I will...

get back in shape....

build up my food storage...

organize every room in my house.

Don't beleive me? Just watch!