Sunday, January 29, 2012

Valentine Ideas

I just realized that Valentine's Day is just a little more than two weeks away and I have not done anything about making Valentines for my kiddos. I know what I want to do, but I need the time to do it. I'm sure you're familiar with that dilemma.

Not to worry, it will get done, now that I'm thinking about it.

In the process of thinking about Valentine treats, I figured I should probably remind people about my magnetic Valentine bookmarks. You know, because they are buried somewhere on this blog and Pinterest wasn't around when I posted them. And maybe you've never seen them.

And maybe you don't care, but it's nice to have options.

You can find the printable bookmarks pictured above, here.

Or maybe you'd rather have some boy bookmarks. For those, you can go here.

Or camo bookmarks, boy and girl, go here.

Or maybe you are lacking in the sugar department, a tragedy, and you might like to make these.

You know, to hold you over until the Girl Scout cookies arrive.

Now that I'm looking at this picture, I think they should be heart-shaped, don't you? What was I thinking?

These Valentine Oreos generated a lot of traffic last year, and I promise they will not disappoint, but sadly I sort of owe all the credit to Peanut Head. It's rather hard to swallow.

You see I thought it was a dumb idea when he came up with it. My bad. He can make these into little Oreo Crows and I will gladly eat them.

Caw. Caw.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Apparently I'm Not Busy Enough

Last month Laura Parker contacted me about becoming a monthly contributor on her website, The Teacher's Lounge. I have to admit that it stressed me out a little bit because I've been feeling like my brain is going to implode thinking about all of the deadlines and commitments I have to meet before Spring Break.

Then I thought about it again and I said "What the heck! It's just once a month. I should be able to manage that."

So I did it, and I'm just hoping I don't embarrass myself. I'd love it if you would pop over and visit me, read my introduction post, and even leave a comment if you're feeling somewhat social. If not, I'd even be happy if you snuck in and out, like a creature of the night. Do you ever feel like that when you're blog hopping? Like you just don't have the energy to type, and you just want to click around in sweet, lethargic anonymity? It sounds dreamy, doesn't it?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Magnetic Menu Plan Magnet Storage

I know I'm beating a dead horse here with this topic, but I promise this is going to be the last time.

I think.

It's just that sometimes things need to be tweaked when they aren't just perfect. And the magnetic menu plan, perfect as I thought it was at first, is not perfect.


The problem for me was all the extra menu choices. Having all of them on the fridge was making me twitchy because it was too cluttered.

That, and I like to menu plan sitting down, not standing at my fridge. Again with the enormous problems that must be solved.

Thankfully this one was an easy problem to solve. Check it out.
Baseball card protectors. 

I know. Doy. You can find these at Wal Mart with the Pokemon cards. Or whatever it is that kids are trading these days. I'm so out of touch, I really couldn't say.

As a general rule I'm always at least a decade behind the current trends. The beauty is that most of the time I don't know what it is that I'm behind on.

What? What's wrong with my perm? People don't wear perms anymore?

What? What's wrong with my Ray Bans? What do you mean I have bug eyes?

What? What's wrong with my tiny spectacles? People are wearing frisbees for sunglasses now? No way!

What are mom jeans? What about them makes them mom jeans?

Seriously, I could go on and on here. It's so sad.

Anyway, I don't know how I got here really, but back to the enormous problem that must be solved.

Baseball card protectors. They're way cheap. Get some, cut some cardstock for the pockets, slide your menu magnets in, and you're in business. You don't have to put cardstock in the pockets, but I found that it makes the menu magnets easier to view.

I put all my beef menu items on one page, chicken on another, pasta, and so on. Now it's even easier to menu plan, and I can sit at the kitchen table and deal out menu combos. Then when I have what I want, I get up off my bum and stick them on the fridge. Voila!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Valentine Banner Winner

Hello Peeps! I loved reading all your comments about your over due "To Do" list items. It's always nice to know that I'm not alone. Thank you to everyone who participated.

I know you just want me to cut to the chase, so here goes. Congratulations go to Jacy Rogers for winning the Valentine banner! Send me an e-mail with your mailing address and I'll pop that in the mail for you this week.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Valentine Banner

This is very likely the very last banner I will ever make. On account of the eyelets have all gone. 

I can't say I'm super disappointed because the banners don't go together all that quickly. I started this one over a year ago.

I'm using a new list app though and I have to say that I've been cranking through my "To Do" list like a madwoman. And yes, I am a madwoman, but I'm speaking relatively here.

Never mind that there are still 125 things on my list, and I keep adding new ones.

I know you want to know what my app is, right? I'll get back to the banner in a minute. The new app that I absolutely love is called Toodledo. Mattie Cake hooked me up with it, and it runs on Apple devices, Droids, and even the Crackberry.

I like it because I have the ability to categorize my tasks in multiple ways and the app prioritizes them for me based on the due date I input, the priority level, and whether or not I star it.

The part that has been super convenient for me is the ability to have things recur as a To Do item based on completion date, due date, or just a specific day or date. It's incredibly versatile. I've only just begun to scratch the surface of what this app can do.

Anyway, I seriously love it and I credit it for lighting a fire under my bum thereby forcing me to get things done this year.

Yesterday I even scraped all the old caulk from around my windows and re-caulked them, just so I could check it off my list. 

Well that and it was way overdue. We had some serious drafts whistling through our house.

But my point is that it was on my list for at least two years before I got around to it. The app made me do it.

Back to the banner. Even though it took me over a year to get this done, you know I made two so I could give one away to one of my lucky Peeps, right?

So here's what I want you to do if you want to win this. I want you to leave a comment telling me three things that have been on your list for an embarrassingly long time, and what motivates you to get things on your list done. I can't wait to read your comments. Good luck!

Oh yeah, you have until 3:00 p.m. Friday, Siberia time. Whatever that is.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Winter Wreath

I finally tackled a crafty project that has been on my list for several years. Every year I take down my Christmas wreath and I have nothing to put up in its place. Well this year when I took down my wreath, I looked at my bare door and vowed that I wasn't going to go through another winter without a wreath on my door.

Again, my enormous problems.

I don't know why I put this off for so long because I've known all along what I wanted my winter wreath to look like, and I was able to bust this out in fifteen minutes last night.

Fifteen minutes. Yeah, and it's been taking up valuable space in my brain for all that time. Crazy.

I started with a bleak and barren, prickly stick-twig wreath that I picked up at Jo Ann's. Then I cut apart a pine cone Christmas garland that I've never been able to figure out how to drape right because it was so sharp and prickly, it may as well have been a garland made of knives.

I used lots of hot glue, and I only burned myself once. The best part is that I didn't glue the wreath to the table this time. Yay!

Look closely at those little red berries though, because they are evil. I would only ever put these on a winter wreath because I had a bad experience with them once. They are made of a squishy foam-like material that melts when it gets hot. In the summer and fall when the sun is beating down on our door, it gets dang hot. I once had a beautiful wreath made of purple berries that melted right off its wreath hanger and onto my door. It left a snail trail of snot running down my front door that had to be scraped off, and the door had to be repainted, it was so nasty.

So beware of the snot berries on wreaths.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Mission Organization - Mail Station

Happy New Year! I hope everyone is pumped for a new year. I think it's going to be a good one.

Like many people at this time of year, I'm super psyched to make 2012 the year that I get my ducks in a row. A girl can dream, right?

I've been really struggling with trying to keep my house organized with kids and a full-time job, and I feel like my house is constantly in chaos. I know it doesn't have to be that way though, so this year I'm working towards making my house less chaotic and putting some FOCUS on my goals.

That's my word for 2012. FOCUS. If you've been visiting me for any length of time, you know I need that. I tend to multitask like a rabid Chihuahua, and it's proving to be counterproductive.

I hate that.

I started using a new List app though, thanks to Mattie Cake, and it's called Toodledo. It allows me to prioritize, subdivide, compartmentalize, and any other -ize I want to do with my lists. It's FAB. Anyway, I've spent the last three days doing a big 'ol brain dump into Toodledo, so every single thing I need to do is in there and prioritized, so I can FOCUS on one thing at a time without having to remind myself about fifty other things that also need to be done right now.

The first thing I'm focusing on for Mission Organization this year is mail. I know. It's a four letter word of the highest magnitude, and I'm going to whip it into shape.

With this.

Isn't it pretty? It's my new mail processing station.

I needed something upstairs, where we come in the door, because I don't have the time or the motivation to deal with the mail from start to finish when it comes into the house during the work week.

I will open and sort the mail when it comes into the house, and file things according to how I need to deal with them, downstairs, at the end of the week, when I have time. Not today. Generally it's a Friday night task for me.

Here's a peek at my hanging file sections.


 I absolutely love it, and now I don't have mail cluttering up my kitchen table, my kitchen counter, and at the top of my stairs.

I had a lot of fun CUTE-ifying my new mail station. As you probably noticed, it's just a wire hanging file jobber thingie. I added some ugly olive colored hanging file folders that I plastered with pretty scrapbook paper. I just stapled the paper onto the folders because I wasn't in a picky mood like someone else I know.

I even had these way cute red flower brads to further extend the cute.

Then I got the brilliant idea to hot glue flowers and buttons right onto the wire. It worked great because the little holes allowed the hot glue to seep in and really grab onto the file unit. I even messed up a couple times, and the hot glue came right off with a little motivation and a pair of pliers. And don't worry, it didn't hurt the mesh file thingie one little bit, although I did pinch myself with the pliers.

Smashley saw me making my Mail Station and she decided that she wanted one too. Except she doesn't like the same colors that I like. She's all about the pastels, all the time. It's like Easter in her house, all the time.

Her sections are different too, but that's because it's for her and she has different needs than I do.

Plus, she's really picky and she did not like the fact that I was stapling the scrapbook paper onto the folders. Not one little bit. So I exercised my not-used-very-often nice gene, and I used tape runner for her folders because she's so high maintenance.

I do like her flowers too.

This button came off a blouse I used to wear. I can't wear button up shirts on account of my bazooms are unwieldy.

This button was a victim.