Today

I normally have my blog posts written a few days in advance, I don't have a huge backup of posts, but I try to get them done a 2-3 days before they publish.  It works for me.  

Today, I was going to start doing a monthly favorites.  Talking about my favorite products, toys, foods, whatevers from the previous month.  

But today, I am tired, no exhausted.  And life is only going to get a whole lot busier.  With 2/3 of the kids starting school, the other {this close} to crawling, my husband's work getting significantly busier again.   Yea, this mama is about to get a rude awakening.  No more long, slow, lazy summer days.  No more vacations, weekends as a family with no real plans.  

I go back to chauffeur, chef, tutor, groomer, tball mom, gymnastics mom, PTO vice-president, wife to a very hard working business man.  

So today, I really don't care what my favorite hair product was this month, or what toy my 7 month old chewed on all day.  Today I just want to rest.  

Basically today I am blogging about how I just don't feel like blogging today....lol.

Thankfully, we are staying in town this week, we thought about making one last trip of the summer, but I am so happy we are home.  I can prepare for the hectic time that I am about to face.  I can rest, play with my kids, get some alone time (hopefully), make some meals in advance, and maybe, just maybe get one morning to sleep in a bit.

Let the back to school madness begin.

Pantry Organization

Last year, before school started I cleaned out and organized my pantry. You can see the entire post here.  It worked, but I'm not going to lie, the bins got messy.  It was great if they were filled and my kids stayed out of them, but that doesn't work for us. 

I always say that I want an organized home, but I have to find ways to organize that also works for young kids.  I needed a solution, and I am really happy with the new set up!

















I started by cleaning out the inside of the pantry.  I just decluttered, and also added a few more containers.  I made the switch and put the cereal in clear containers.  After that was complete I added the door shoe hanger.  I have mentioned so many times, I have a love/hate relationship with this way of organizing, but it works, really well, especially for kids. 

 I love command hooks for hanging brooms.  I also have Matthew's lunchbox hanging as well.  I use these wall mounts to keep foil, parchment paper, and straws in one place.

The door organization is my favorite!  The shoe organizer works really well, and is super easy for the kids to keep neat and organized as well.
These water bottles will not fit standing up in ANY of my cabinets. I Placed them in the top row of the organizer and they fit perfectly.


 I put all of the snacky food items on the bottom rows, in the kids reach. 

I also labeled each pocket.  This may be going overboard, but Matthew can read now, so it makes it nice for him, also when a pocket becomes empty it will be easy for me to see what needs replaced.



I also have 2 pockets with snack items that the kids only get as a reward, or a bribe....yea I said it.  They are more sweet treats like m&ms Dum Dums, fruit snacks....
I finally made the decision to put our cereal in storage containers and get rid of the boxes.  It makes the pantry look so much cleaner.  This works for us because we almost always buy/eat the same cereal all the time.


The main part of the pantry hasn't really changed.  I keep paper products on the top shelf, canned good/pastas and other items on the remaining shelves.  On the floor I still have my drawer organizers (now just keeping extra bags of snacks) 

 As you can see, this really only took me an afternoon to do, I spend maybe $30.00 total and I think it looks pretty good! 


Baptism Photos

Yesterday I posted all about Joshua's Baptism, today I am sharing the cutest photos I have ever seen..... I know I am biased, but when editing these I couldn't help but just smile over and over. 


When our first boy was baptized, he wore the same outfit that my husband wore for his.  It had sentimental value, and we were so lucky that my mother had saved it, and given it to us.  For Lilly we bought a dress.  We actually found it at Burlington Coat Factory, and it was perfect.  Joshua was too big to wear his brothers, so we needed something new.  I looked in stores but we ended up purchasing off of Ebay.  It was new with tags, but perfect.  Little ones wear this outfit 1 day, for at most a few hours.  There is no need to spend a ton of money, they would look adorable in a sak. 


I will say though, make sure you save that little outfit, how great would it be if someday you see your grandchild wearing the same on their baptism day.

 

These photos are so special to me, I could look at them all day, forever. 


Trendy Tot Tuesday: Back To School Shopping

Ever have one of those completely awesome, have to leave the mall before you go in all the stores because you are finding so much, kind of days?  That happened this weekend.  It seems like it is all or nothing when I shop.  I am glad it worked out.  Best part of the day, well other than the deals, was I got to go solo, no kids, no husband.  By. My. Self.

I know I am a complete nut, but I love coming home getting everything out, going through it, having the kids try on, taking off tags and hanging it neatly in their closets....wierdo, I know!

I only ended up in 4 stores I think, at gap I got 14 items (including a pair of jeans for myself) for $100.  I mean that is pretty good.


Left: New Jacket for Matthew (I love TJ Maxx when I can go alone and have time to look!
Right: A Tiny Sneak peak at Lillian's first day of school dress.  I have her first week of school outfits picked out already, and she doesn't start for 2 more weeks.
Some of my favorite finds:
Under Armor via TJ Maxx $14.00
Gap Outlet pink heart pants
Carters Sunglasses $2.00
Gap Outlet Heart Peplum Sweater

{My Little helper putting away clothes this weekend, his new favorite activity tearing apart and making a mess of anything!}

Lastly a final summer OOTD for Lillian.  Yesterday we went to Toddler Time at our local museum, and hit up the playground after.  As you can see she loves her new shades already. 
Anchor Shirt and Shorts: Carters via Kohls / Bow: Unbowlievable / Bracelet: Carters / Shoes: Unknown


Once again I am linking up with MeganKelly, and Lindsay for Trendy Tot Tuesday!


Joshua's Baptism

{I was so proud I designed and printed the invitations myself}

This weekend was so wonderful.  Saturday we celebrated the baptism of Joshua.  Matthew and Lilly were both baptized within the first weeks/months of their life.  With Joshua due to scheduling issues, it couldn't get done until he was almost 8 months old.  It was a great day, and he was so good through it all.




Our family of 5.  This may actually be our first real picture of all of us together and JD not in the Boba.


We got to spend the day with those we love most, and missed those who couldn't make it. 




He loved the water.  He actually kept trying to squirm his way back in after he was done.  The priest did say that it was heated, so that probably helped.



Afterward we hosted a small get together and lunch at our home.  I kept it simple and went with a lot of store bought items.  I served:

Croissant Sandwich (which I bought from Costco)
Turkey Roll Ups (Also from Costco)
Home Made Pasta Salad
Potato Salad (From Target)
Home Made Deviled Eggs
Fruit Kabobs
Veggie Tray
Meat and Cheese Tray
Home Made Cupcakes
Cookies 

{Things I loved about the food: The fruit kabobs they are so pretty and a little different/ Using peppers as dip holders/ Mixing store bought and home made, keeping it simple so as the hostess I can still enjoy the day}

Yet another milestone for Joshua, and the perfect day.


Sami's Shenanigans

Five on Friday

I cannot believe it is already Friday, we are now down to just 1 more week of summer.   Linking up with my favs  Darci, Natasha, Christina, and April for 5 on Friday. 
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! 

One

This weekend is Joshua's Baptism.  I have been so busy prepping for the gathering we are having here at the house after.  Getting this house clean and ready has taken me much longer than it should.  I have been going off on these crazy detours like HAVING to go through ALL of our old boy baby clothes (6 years worth) and organizing them better for when we need them for Joshua.  I also found it necessary to rearrange the furniture in the playroom.  All of these things were completely unnecessary to do this week.

Two

I am sort of eating my words here, because I have said in the past that I HATE over the door shoe hangers, well then I used one in our hall closet and it has worked out so well I just bought another one.  This time, for my pantry.  I am still working on getting my pantry ready for the school year, and will reveal and share next week hopefully.  Let's just say, as soon as I started filling the pockets I fell in love.  

Three

One more week of summer, that's it.  I can't believe it.  Although I will say, I am a little excited to get a few hours each week with just Joshua, who usually naps during those hours, so it may actually become a little time to myself, being able to really get something accomplished.  Lately, I just feel like I move all day, work, become exhausted, but nothing gets done.  I have big plans for the first few weeks of September. The playroom is screaming for a big clean out.  Also I have been starting to make my own set of printables for my home management binder, and really want to get them finished!

Four

I am so excited this girl started a blog!  We were connected at the hip through high school, we now live hours away, and haven't seen each other in such a long time.  When we were kids we used to talk about marrying best friends, having kids at the same time and living right next to each other. She still means the world to me, and her family is so beautiful.  Oh and I think I secretly hope her Noelle marries JD someday!   Go say hi!  

{Kelly and I the day of our High School Graduation.  Oh how I loved that dress, and the body of an 18 year old who hadn't had any children....Ha!}

Five

If you haven't already grabbed my School Lunch Calendar Printable, go check it out!  I am loving it, and now just need to make some time to sit and start planning! 


Here's to hoping I get everything done today, and can enjoy Joshua baptism and time with family this weekend!  And Sunday I just may try to escape and go shop ALONE for a few hours!

Kid's Work Space


My kids have a big craft area in their playroom but I also wanted to create a space in our dining room to store craft and school supplies.  Usually while in the kitchen making dinner, the kids are coloring/ doing school pages.  I also didn't want to turn yet another room in our home into a kid zone.

So, I took a small portion of our dining room hutch and dedicated this space to kids craft supplies.  I used large pencil boxes (one for Matthew, one for Lilly) to hold markers, colored pencils, scissors, pencils, glue.  I also have a pencil box with just crayons.  The larger bin is just for Mommy.  The kids know they aren't allowed to use those items unless I get them out.  They include watercolors, glitter, paint brushes, stickers.

On the lower shelf I have 2 Melissa and Doug Stamp Sets, washable paints, and a binder with some school printables. 

The kids can easily pull out the supplies they need, but at the same time, it is all easily tucked away and you barely notice it when put back.

I love having a space from them to work where we can spread out to create crafts, work on school work together, and it be close for me to multi-task and prepare a meal/put away dishes. 


{Affiliate Links were used in this post}

Back To School 2013 - School Lunches


This year I am preparing to send 2 kids back to school.  One with preschool 3 days a week, and my 1st grader.  We don't start school until after the long holiday weekend for Labor Day.  I am down to about 2ish weeks to prepare and be organized.


Last Year, I worked really hard to be as prepared as possible.  This year I am already feeling behind, and need to get things ready ASAP!  I decided to break things down to make it easier.  I have already talked about clothing and preparing for that.  Now onto school lunches.  Matthew takes a packed lunch everyday.  Lilly won't be eating lunch at school, but will have to take a snack.

First thing I do is plan it out on paper.  Much like regular meal planning, my school lunch planner goes up on the fridge once it is filled out for the month. 


To Download and Print
**Please print to use, share with friends, on pinterest, your blog, wherever but please always link back to me!  Thanks!**

I also organize my supplies.  I am still waiting for my friendly UPS man to finish delivering things, but this is what I have gone with this year.


Ziploc Container

I follow a lot of blogs that swear by this container.  I didn't use this last year, but found myself really wanting to use more containers and less plastic bags.

  Reusable Baking Cups

In the past I have actually used paper muffin liners, and Matthew just threw them out, I am hoping to get a lot of use out of the reusable ones.

 LunchBots are on Zulily right now and I decided to order one to see if I like them.



Last year I used a PBK lunch box, but they don't fit the new Ziplock containers I wanted to try, also after a full year of lunches this lunchbox was looking a little ragged, so I went with a Lands End bag.  I hope I love it!


Rubbermaid Refill Reuse Bottle

Another new thing I am going to try this year is a reusable water bottle.  Last year I used the mini bottles of water, I would reuse them for the entire week, but this year I wanted something more permanent.


Now that I have a handle on the school lunch prep, next is finding things to pack everyday, including master lists by food group to make things easier, so stay tuned for that.

What are your favorite products/tips for school lunches?