Sunday, February 28, 2010

Taking a "Peep" into Spring

Spring is less than a month away!!!

Soon, the weather will finally get a little warmer; well, at least here in Florida.

I am so excited about what is in the works for Spring! Although there is still much more to come, here's a peep at what I've been working on lately:

Party Princess

Church Chic

'Not So Mellow' Yellow

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Closet Organizer Tags

Speaking of Organization, check out these adorable clothes tags I found from Living Locurto.

Use these to give your kids a head start in planning their week. The best part is you can print these for free right from your home computer.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Planning Schedule

A few weeks ago, I wrote about planning and organizing schedules. A few of you asked for more information, but I have not been able to upload my excel sheets to Blogger.

So, here is a snapshot of what I do each month:

Begining-of-the-month Planning
  • Meals Assign yourself meals for the month according to your family's schedule. In my house, we eat left overs on my busiest nights: Tuesdays and Fridays. Mondays I use the crock pot, Thursdays I cook from scratch. Wednesday is breakfast for dinner night! Sometimes we bake an frozen pizza or eat chicken nugget salad. The weekends are always different. Try your best to eat dinner together.
  • Social Calendar It is so important to be proactive about keeping up with your loved ones. Each month, set time aside to spend with your friends. From going out for coffee to hosting dinner, time spend with your friends and family is time well spent. Pencil in time for hobbies and parties, but leave yourself room for spontaneous invitations.
  • Education Choose a few experiences to share with your children each month. Whether you work or stay home, it is your responsibility to educate your children. Set goals for your family's academic and spiritual education each month and plan activities that help you reach those goals.
Beggining-of-the-week Planning
  • Chores Pick a day for each chore and stick to it. Don't wait until your laundry is overflowing to do it, schedule yourself to do it on Wednesday.
  • Shopping trips Avoid going to the grocery store every day. You will end up saving money if you plan out your trips. Since you've already planned your meals, you just need to purchase the perishable items to accompany the meals of the week. Clip and gather all coupons for items you need.
  • Look over monthly planner to see what is coming up during the week. Prepare yourself mentally for what is coming up. Do you have a birthday or a dinner scheduled this week? Plan your week accordingly.
Night-before Planning
  • Outfits Choose what everyone is going to wear. Set the outfits aside, including accessories. Plan a few days in advance for special events to be sure you have all you need clean and ready. If you take a bag or backpack with you, prepare as much of it as possible the night before.
  • Make a list of errands and chores you want to complete the next day. I keep a list pad on my bedside table. In the morning, I just rip the list off the pad and take it with me, adding things I've forgotten and crossing things out as they get done.
  • Do a run through of your day in your head. Sort of like a dress rehearsal. What am I doing first thing in the morning? and then?....
Keep a running shopping list where you add items as they run out. My Running List is posted by the garage door so I can see it every time I leave the house. Also, keep thinking ahead. During my down time (mainly while driving) I plan for future events such as birthday parties, vacations, anniversaries, etc.. It's amazing how you can plan an entire party in one simple trip to Grandma's.

I hope these lists help you get a little more organized. Forgive yourself if you have slip ups here and there. The goal is to live better tomorrow than you did today. So take it one step at a time - but keep walking!


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Stop and smell the...bubbles!

Every morning, before brushing our teeth, my son and I practice hand-washing. Since we ran out of our regular soap, I pulled out a bottle of my Bath and Body Works Eucalyptus Peppermint Gel. Not only does this soap smell divine, it also lathers up and makes the best bubbles!

This morning, I squirted a dab of the gel on his hands and instructed him to start scrubbing. I started singing the ABC song, like I always do, when suddenly he stopped. Admittedly, I was a little irritated. I thought to myself, "we've done this dozens of times before, why is he giving me a hard time today?" I just wanted to get our hands washed and our teeth brushed so we could go eat breakfast and get on with our day.

In my funnest 'morning mom' voice, I tried to gently encourage him, "Sweetie, c'mon, Scrub, scrub, scrub!" But he was paralyzed. I followed his eyes and noticed that my son was staring in amazement at the growing cloud of bubbles on the sink. When I stopped rushing and joined him, I was pretty impressed myself.

I'm always teaching my son to stay on task and focus, but today, this lesson was for me. How often do I miss the little things in life because I am so focused on making progress and moving on the the next thing?

Today, make it a point to allow yourself to become distracted by the simple things: a bird, a cloud, the moon - there is so much beauty all around us! Indulge in it!


Monday, February 22, 2010

10 Things...

My fun list this week takes me far away from reality to the world of fiction. Oh if it were only true!!!!

10 things I could use a free and unlimited supply of...
  1. Milk
  2. Batteries
  3. Light bulbs
  4. Gas
  5. Eggs
  6. Pancakes
  7. Muffins
  8. Diapers & Wipes
  9. Paper & crayons
  10. Did I mention, batteries?
Happy Monday, Everyone!!!!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Practice Makes Perfect

It is hard to believe a few months ago my son could not jump. He was about to turn 2 and I wondered to myself if he would ever master the skill. I watched him squat, then lift himself with only one foot off the ground. I could tell he was not confident just yet.

A few weeks went by and he began to simultaneously lift both feet slightly off the ground.

A couple of weeks ago, he began to climb on furniture and jump off, but only while holding my hand. He would climb on the sofa or onto a step and call me "Wanna hold my hand?" Once he tightly gripped my hand, he jumped off with sheer joy.

This afternoon, as I sat in my rocking chair holding my baby girl, I marveled at how far he has come in such a short amount of time. There he was, climbing onto the ottoman and leaping a few feet away all by himself. He rolled on the carpet giggling all the way and ran back to do it all over again.

Then it hit me. This was a lesson on the power of PRACTICE. My son did not give up on jumping just because it was hard, or because someone jumped better than him, or because he fell a few times. He wanted to jump, so he continued to practice. He found a hand to hold when he couldn't make it alone and his persistence paid off.

I am so proud of my son for accomplishing his goal.
I just hope I can keep up with him!

Whatever you are trying to be successful at, I just want to encourage you to persevere! Don't be intimidated by others' performance. Rather, reach out for a hand to hold when you feel unsure. Before you know it, you will be doing that thing with confidence.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Favorite Love Songs

Monday is time for fun lists!!!
Stop your busy schedule and take time to think about your own fun list. I guarantee you will feel happier and better able to tackle your week when you are done...

In honor of Valentine's Day yesterday, today's list is

10 Favorite Love Songs...
  1. When God Made You by Newsboys & Natalie Grant - First dance at our wedding
  2. Can't Take My Eyes Off You by Lauryn Hill - My husband danced down the aisle to this song at our wedding
  3. Melt by Rascal Flatts
  4. Endless Love by Mariah Carey - Lullaby I sang to my first born baby
  5. All of Me by Hillsong - First lullaby my baby boy sang with me
  6. You are my Sunshine - Lullaby I sang to my baby girl
  7. You and I by Michael Buble
  8. Everything by Michael Buble
  9. Better Life by Keith Urban
  10. I can't get myself to just pick one more!!!! Mariah, Natasha, Buble, Rascal, Faith, .... I could make a list of 100!!!!
Can you think of a few of your top songs and what makes them special?


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Speaking Love

When we were first married, my husband and I had trouble communicating love to each other.
Every morning, he would brew me a cup of coffee, pack my lunch, iron my clothes, and turn on the seat warmers in my car. I showered him with gratitude and told everyone what an amazing man he was.

After a while, I realized that my compliments were empty words to him because they were not followed by acts of service. See, my husband feels loved when I cook a nice meal, clean the house, and do small favors for him.

My husband was shocked to find out he wasn't speaking my language either the night I cried, "I feel so unappreciated!" To me, quality time and words of affirmation equal love.

It's easy to figure out your spouse's love language - just watch which language they speak to you. Chances are they are speaking their own language.

What about children?
Children are developing as individuals. Depending on your child's age, it is possible that there is a distinct love language already displayed. Younger children tend to need ALL types of love.

Here are a few ideas of ways you can show love to your children and foster a healthy self-esteem in them:
  • Make it a habit to spend uninterrupted quality time with your child. No phones. No computer. No TV. Just you.
  • Go on a date with your child. Ice cream and the dollar store are a winner at my house!
  • While looking into their eyes, tell your children that you love them every day.
  • Buy your kids something fun for no reason at all. It can be small and simple, like a ball or a book. A hand-made tutu would make a fabulous gift too!
  • Set a beautiful table for a small family dinner to communicate to your kids that they are worth the effort just as much as your other dinner guests.
  • Hug your children daily. For 'non-huggers', a high-five or a special secret handshake will work (but I wouldn't give up on the hugging)
Happy Valentine's Day, Everyone!!
Enjoy all the love around you.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Name the Mannequin Giveaway

Hello Readers!
I am giving away a free infant tutu and 50% off certificate to two lucky readers. All you have to do is comment on this post with a suggested name for my new "model."
The person with the winning name will receive a free tutu.
All other contestants will be entered in a drawing for a 50% off gift certificate to TiTi's TuTu's.

Contestants can submit an unlimited number of names, but will only be entered in the drawing up to 3 times.

Tell your friends.
I look forward to your ideas. Good luck!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cupid's Sidekick

Who would be able to resist a little love in one of these?
The lovely Cupid's Sidekick is the perfect photo prop for a Valentine's Photo Card for a loved one.
Yards of vibrant red tulle wrapped in a soft pink satin ribbon and accented with a removable heart with wings embellishment.
more photos on the homepage slideshow

Only one spot left.
Contact me TODAY to place your order!

Monday, February 8, 2010

10 Needed Inventions

It's that time again! Monday mornings are list time for me. Before I get going with my serious lists of the week, I take my mind off work and write my own fun list.

In honor of my recent trip out of town, here is a fun list of

...10 inventions I wish existed:
  1. Play yard bunk beds or a play yard that sleeps 2
  2. Inflatable Boppy pillow that fits in your purse
  3. Cell phones that never lose charge
  4. A TV service that allows you to pick and pay for just 10-20 channels or shows that you actually watch
  5. Self-changing diapers
  6. Warning labels on children "WARNING: This child is only going to nap 30 minutes today"
  7. Built-in microwave in the car
  8. Built-in coffee maker in the car
  9. Chocolate flavored vegetables
  10. Self-packing suitcases; you just throw all your stuff into them and open it to find your things neatly organized. Ahhhhh!
I just LOVE starting my week with wishful thinking.

Have a great week, Everyone!

Monday, February 1, 2010

My Favorite Desserts

As you know, if you've been following my blog, I love to make lists. I just finished writing a number of lists in preparation for February and for my family's first out of state trip since we became a '2 under 2' household.

To get my mind off the serious planning, I started writing FUN lists on Mondays as a way to start the week on a good note.

This week, we will begin on a sweet note with my favorite desserts.
  1. Chocolate mousse cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory.
  2. Bryer's Checkered Flag, Vanilla fudge swirl, Oreo, or plain chocolate ice cream
  3. Chili's New Brownie Sunday.
  4. Vanilla, Chocolate and sweet cream ice cream sprinkled with cinnamon and brownie mix-in milkshake from Cold Stone creamery.
  5. Cheesecake bites.
  6. Edy's Moose tracks ice cream.
  7. Homemade (as in Betty Crocker) Brownies with strawberries and vanilla ice cream.
  8. Hardee's Chocolate Milkshake.
  9. Chocolate Chip Pizookie from BJ's.
  10. Cream Puffs.
  11. Bonus: Anything Pillsbury...
Go ahead, indulge yourself and make your fun list for the week. Leave it on the counter in case your Valentine needs a little help.