Clothing Chaos

  This is Post 2 for today, be sure to head back 1 post to check out some delicious and easy Creamy Italian Chicken for your Crock pot!

    Staying up on my kids clothes is a FULL TIME JOB!  It seems someone is always outgrowing something, or just when I am on top of things, its time for a Season change, and I pull out almost all of the Winter to make room for the Spring things.  These transitions are hard, because I can barely fit all of one season in the children’s shared closets, let alone leaving in half of the last season, plus the new, in one tiny space!!!

  IMG_2916 My favorite way to stay on top of things in the Clothing department, is have an empty Tupperware bin that lives in each child’s closet.  As soon as I know something is too small, whether its coming back to the room in the clean laundry basket, or whether I have deemed it too small after they put it on and it needs to come back off, it goes into said bin.  When the bin is full, I clearly label the bin with size, season and gender.  Then to storage it goes!  Easier than rummaging through drawers and closets later, trying to remember what fits and what doesn’t!

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   If my younger 2 outgrow their things, they go into a different set of bins.  These bins are full of things that will be sold next time I get around to having a private clothing sale in my home.

   Here is the current state of my bedroom:

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That’s because I am getting ready to consign all of these clothes of Avery and Paxton.  I will use the money I make from this sale to buy clothes for the big kids this year.  It is SO nice that I had girl, boy, girl, boy….the younger 2 literally have bins and bins of clothing from the older two, just waiting for them to grow into. I LOVE it!

  I just switched out Avery and Paxton’s closets, swapping out red, black and winter colored clothing, anything fleece or lined, and putting in their Spring clothes.  It stays cool (or even COLD and snowy) where I live for a good month or so, but I LOVE to see them in those bright colors, so I get them out first part of March and the kids can wear cotton long sleeves, wind breaker play pants and colorful sweaters for school and church. 

  To church now, the boys will wear cotton spring colored button downs and sweater vests instead of winter colored full sweaters and plaids.

{Good-bye Winter Clothes}

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{Hello, Spring!}

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  No more Velvet, fleece or red plaid dresses for the girls! 

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  IMG_2917They will wear bright colored spring dresses with tights and white sweaters.  Gone are the black shiny church shoes and in come the white patent leather.    As it warms up we will exchange tights for lace socks, and this summer we will lose the white sweater yet too. 

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This allows these dresses to be used for 2 full seasons: Spring AND Summer!!! Bonus!

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Avery loves all of her summer play dresses, so we have been making those “weather appropriate” by adding sweaters over or long sleeve shirts under them with warm tights and cowgirl boots.  She insists on a dress nearly everyday, this way I can say yes! 🙂

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  What are your favorite tricks for staying on top the ever-growing pile of “Too Small” Kids Clothing?!

~T

Getting Organized: Recipe Edition

  My life seems to be a series of events all based around “Getting Organized”.  No no, wait, STAYING organized might be a better title since my kids seem set on destroying said organization as fast as I achieve it!

  One area I cannot blame the kids on, is my recipe cupboards.  Yes, cupboards with an S.

As in, more than one, embarrassing, unorganized mess to be dealt with.

  I cannot be held responsible for the shocking images you are about to see:

This is my stack of “To Try” lurking in my desk to hide the shame of it’s disorder.

{hides face in hands}

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Here is one of my recipe book locations, there are two more, one far worse, and one much better than this particular one:

{I’m so ashamed.}

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See those black note books? That is how I used to stay organized.

{Before I printed off 500 pages of new recipes online.}

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Inside these particular notebooks, are all our family recipes.  Before I got married, I spent MONTHS typing out my mom’s recipe boxes, so I’d have them in my future kitchen.  I had NO idea just how much of a Foodie I was going to become, or that Dale and I wouldn’t repeat a recipe for the first 9 months of our marriage! 

And that is how my love of trying new recipes began……

This is my “To Try” drawer, it lives in my kitchen island.  Recipes are moved from the ugly stack hiding in my desk, to out here per season.  I pick the ones I really want to try in the very near future.  IF they pass the test, they will be typed out on Tasty Kitchen and shared with you.  Then printed off, with photo, from Tasty Kitchens site and moved to the new organized notebooks I am about to show you! 

Yay! A plan of action!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  My first step in organizing was to take all the recipes I have blogged and print them off of Tasty Kitchen.  (Find me here.)  I wanted them in a notebook of their own because they passed the test and had made the blog, which means we really, really liked them!  Plus, if I am going to go to all the trouble to photograph a recipe, I want to see what I am picking when I flip through my notebooks. 

  This is what my desk looked like on Organization Day:

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  I didn’t get a picture of it, but Dale helped me one evening, and there we sat in the midst of hundreds and hundreds of pages, slipping recipes into clear plastic sleeves.  There was quite a bit of muttering and mumbling under his breath, but I’d say overall he was a real trooper!!!  🙂

Uh oh! Bad news!  Apparently just ONE year of Foodie Blogging, fills up more than 1 notebook.  Time for Plan B.

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Transfer all my hard work to multiple notebooks like I did before. 

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And here they are, subdivided into separate categories:

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  I used the same system I did for my first set of notebooks. 

(I need to remake some of these labels to reflect this last-minute changes….)

This is how I break them down:

Main Dishes: Casseroles

With sub categories inside:

Italian, Mexican, Chinese

Meat Dishes & Sides
Sub categories inside include:

Chicken, Beef, Pork & Fish

Side Dishes

Soups, Salads & Sandwiches

Appetizers, Breads & Brunch

Desserts

As I blog recipes, I will print them out and slide them into a clear plastic sleeve before finding their new home in one of these notebooks.

  The “To Try” stack of shame will stay in the desk, just because I don’t know how else to do that.  I don’t want to go to the trouble of putting those in notebooks until we have tried them, because we may throw the recipe out after tasting it!

  I am a bit worried how many more notebooks I will be needing at the end of 2012’s year of sharing recipes, but I guess we’ll just cross that bridge when we get there!

~T

 

Pinterested

Did everyone have a Merry Christmas?!?!?!  We are still recovering from fun-filled family function after family function, with more to come this week!  Most years, by the time it’s all said and done, we have had 7 Christmas get-togethers!  (And, no we do not do gift exchanges at every one, thank goodness!)  I’ll tell you one thing, next week will be filled with naptimes and early bedtimes to get ready for school again!!! 🙂

   So, I recently joined Pinterest.  Oh my GOODNESS, there are so so many things on that I am interested in making, but let’s be honest, it’s just not going to happen until I have a bit more free time on my hands and some serious cash flow.  But, away I pin:  pinning it away for a future day with future extra time and future extra money, when my future kids are old enough to not need me to meet all their future basic needs.  🙂

  However,  balancing 3 different school schedules from 2 different school districts, has taken its toll on this ol’ brain, and when I forgot a school thing for the 2nd time, I knew it was time to up the Organization around here. 

  My calendar sits on my desk in the office/playroom at one end of the house:

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  My laundry room, where all the kids lockers and school notes live, is allllll the way at the other end of our very long, ranch-style house. 

(Check out our laundry room makeover here.)  

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  It is just not feasible to run to my office as they walk out the door, to make sure I didn’t forget “Bring a $1 day” or  some other event written on my desk calendar. 

  So, as I was thinking about what to do, I remembered a pin I had re-pinned to my “Home Sweet Home” board, shared by Makes and Takes.

Here is what I did:

Bought a Poster frame at Wal-Mart for around $7.50, it was a nice big 18 x 24 one, but naturally I didn’t take a photo of it, so here is the crumbled paper from inside the poster frame that I pulled out of the trash can. Nice, right!? 

  The “glass” (plastic) on these kind of poster frames will be perfect for writing on with a dry erase marker!  And they are much lighter than a regular frame for the hollow door I plan to hang this on.

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  Next, I went to Hobby Lobby and got scrapbook paper at 50% off, spent around $3.  I picked brown, cream and deep red to match the laundry room colors.

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I had Dale Spray paint the black metal frame a bronze color: this was free since we already had a can.

Then, I printed an empty Calendar page: found online for free.

  Next, I started working on paper layouts until I figured out how I wanted them.

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  I decided to do a Calendar, Grocery list, To Do List and 4 Empty Squares: 1 for each kid.  I am excited about being able to easily keep track of each child’s needs for school that week, as they empty backpacks at the end of a school day. 

Here is the finished product:

(Yes, I am aware that I do not have pretty handwriting!)  LOL 🙂

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Here it is in the laundry room:

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  My new Organization Board aka “Brain Board” is on the door of the pantry, nice and accessible to me, but high enough to not get erased by little fingers.  Plus, clever Dale found me a WET erase marker for calendar dates and the children’s names, so when I erase notes, the “basics” don’t erase too.

  Cool, right?!  I was pretty proud of it!  {Pats self on back}

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And all for around $10, too!  🙂

Find 4 little Fergusons on pinterest here, and don’t forget to “Like” our BRAND NEW PAGE on Facebook!  YAY!

Below is a little bloop from our welcome page, come see us and help us grow!

~T

4 little Fergusons

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