Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fall Exploring List

It's here. My favorite season of the year. I love the change of colors on the trees, a warm cup of coffee or hot cocoa and all the fun activities and outdoor things to do in the cool and beautiful days full of sunshine and light breezes.


What do you enjoy doing in the fall?

Here is our Exploring List for the fall, maybe you will find some ideas to do with your family.


apple pickin'
go on a hayride
go to Cox Farms
make apple crisp
weekend picnic at the winery
trick or treating
try a new chili recipe
watch football as a family
go hiking
make leaf art
roast marshmallows
celebrate Ben's birthday

Do you have anything to explore this fall or an new adventure for the kiddos? I would love to hear about it!


Do you have a tradition that you always do in the fall or a favorite fall activity? 





Monday, September 15, 2014

how to rest as a busy mom

"As you read before in my summer exploring list and this post here my focus over the summer was to abide and rest. So honestly, what does that look like and how does it happen when you have little ones running circles around you each day?


First, in all honesty, it's hard. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love being a mom and I feel so incredibly grateful to stay at home with them each day. My goal this summer is to abide and if I look further I want it to become a part of my daily thoughts.  So, I am starting small...."


I am over at The Purposeful Housewife's blog today talking about finding rest as a busy mom. Seems fitting after talking about staying organized :)

Go check it out and while you are over there go follow Allie on Facebook or by email.


Friday, September 12, 2014

how to stay organized {for busy moms}

One of the benefits of getting married at a young age was I was able to learn more lessons and correctly absorb the right way (is there such a thing?) to keeping a home. Since (surprise, surprise) they don't hand you a 'how to keep a home' manual the moment you get home from the honeymoon. Probably because it was the furthest thing from your mind when you planned your wedding and enjoyed the honeymoon.

I learned fairly quickly though that I needed to stay organized to keep up with bills, meal plans, appointments, etc. Even more so once the little men came along. I am quite often asked how I stay so organized at home and I can't believe friends want to here from me. I just never see myself as organized but once I told Josh this he reassured me that I do an awesome job and why not share what works in our home? So here it goes.


A few tips that I do at home to stay organized as a busy wife and stay at home mom. Because honestly, let's face it. We are busy balancing our roles as a wife, mom, homemaker and maybe even a job too. So you friend, this is for you. 

1. have a planner
Honestly. This is how I keep my daily to-do's and appointments, girl's night, date nights and more in check. A simple calendar, weekly printable from Pinterest, phone calendar or actual planner. Any or all will work to keep that part of your life semi-organized. Even this impressive frame made into an erase board for the month.


2. bill reminders
I have the Check app on my phone to remind me of upcoming bills for the month and I also have set the email reminders. It keeps me in check on when to pay a bill and when automatic payments will be pulled from the account. 

3. command center
We just moved but I am beginning to set up our command center this month. It will consist of a $16 bookcase and a place to keep my planner/calendar, latest mail/bills, current books I am reading, etc. A sort of catch all but a pretty place to enjoy and a corner I won't want to mess up with junk. This one is super cute below. 



4. cleaning schedule
I have to say I have tried countless cleaning schedules and even made one myself to follow. The one that I love the most though is Clean Mama weekly and monthly schedule. 4 main tasks a day and 1 task each day of the week. It is so simple and if I miss a day I can get to it the next week or on the catch all day! No worries, no failing. 

5. keep realistic expectations 
Just because something here works for me doesn't mean it will for you exactly. If you have a good plan for your bill reminders and it works for you, don't change it! If you aren't one that takes change well, pick one tip or task on here and conquer that one before moving onto the others. 

6. frequently used items permanent residence in the home
I keep our keys in our command center, shoes by the door, cleaning products under the kitchen sink, etc. This will eliminate the stress of finding keys when you need to run out the door. Find a place and always keep those items there.

7. eliminate clutter with containers & pretty baskets
These are your best friends in the home, remember that. I keep our "catch all drawer" that everyone always has in their home in a pretty pink basket in a closet. Every once in a awhile I will go through it. I have a closet designated with baskets and containers for all the little and big items that seem to cause clutter on tables and countertops. 

8. make cleaning fun 
You can buy a simple cleaning caddy for under $10 at Walmart. Place your favorite house cleaner, some gloves, pretty apron and the essentials for cleaning your home. It will be way more fun than just grabbing and searching under the sink for what you need to clean the counters.

9. declutter once a week
If your home is needing a major declutter job, trust me I have been there. In the rooms where you can not totally open the door, closets where items are falling out if opened. Decide to set aside 30 minutes once a week to declutter. You will get there soon enough, it took me a few months a couple years ago to declutter our home when we decided we wanted to live simply and with less. It definitely is worth it afterwards. 

10. set aside time to be creative
Set aside time for yourself to be creative and study your home. You can either love or hate your home. I can promise everyone will love their home more if they put their own creativeness, passion and inspiration into it and not browse pinterest to search for their home. You have it, right where you are. Just as The Nester says "Imperfection welcome here."



How do you stay organized at home?