Archive for February, 2010

02/17/10
Amy
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(Home Management) Cleaning out the Fridge


One of the best ways to establish a new habit is to build on an existing routine.

Trash day comes on the same day every week. It is a routine. Cleaning out food from the fridge that is growing as a science project is a task that you often procrastinate doing until you can ignore it no longer.  It is a task that would be the most effective as a routine. Since trash day is a routine that has already been established for you, build on that and try to make trash day (or the day before trash day) your routine day for cleaning out the fridge. This gives you a natural weekly reminder as well as an efficient way to not stink up the garage with the old food.

*Tip – To simplify this routine even more, read my easy idea for date-labeling food.

02/16/10
Amy
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(Crafts) Play Foam


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My kids play with Play-doh…a lot. It is a creative, hands-on activity that they love and a craft that requires very little preparation from me. playfoam2However, it is messy enough of an activity that it requires a certain level of commitment and some days I’m just not up to it.

Imagine my excitement, then, when I discovered Play Foam! It is not sticky, messy (no Play-doh crumbs!), doesn’t dry out or turn brown when colors are mixed. The substance of Play Foam reminds me of Rice Krispies treats without being sticky. The only downside is that it is harder to create detail than with Play-doh, but my kids still love it. It is a perfect 30-minute, no clean-up craft. Try it out!

*Tip – Play Foam can be purchased at most craft stores, but I have frequently found it at greatly discounted at stores like TJ Maxx, Ross, and Marshalls.

02/15/10
Amy
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“Not Me” Monday


We all have those days…or weeks. “Not Me” Monday was created by MckMama to give us an outlet to laugh at our own imperfections. Will you join me? When you are done here, you can head over to her blog and read about what everyone else has “not” been doing.

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I am very thorough when I cook, so I never leave out ingredients and my recipes never flop….especially when there are only four ingredients. I mean seriously, who would forget to put in one of only four ingredients?? Therefore it was not me who tried to make German Pancake this week, mixed the eggs, milk, and salt, but completely forgot to put in the flour. Nope, not me.

flop

And it was not me that, for the third time, hid something in the oven, forgot about it, and melted it when the oven was preheating. My son is not traumatized by said experiences, beginning with the time that I melted his tractors in the oven.

What did you not do this week?


02/12/10
Amy
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(Money Saving Tips) Paycheck-to-Paycheck


There are few things more stressful than needing to shuffle funds or worrying about your bank account going negative at the end of the month while you wait for the next paycheck to come in. Especially if you are self-employed, paychecks can often be delayed, putting great strain on the budget.

But with a just a little bit of organization and planning, you can easily eliminate this stress from your life.

Begin by setting up an additional checking account. This will be your “holding account” and it is what all of your paychecks are deposited into. Before each month begins, you and your spouse work together to determine your budget and the amount of money you need to meet that month’s expenses. On the first of the month, transfer the amount of money you determined that you need into your regular checking account. Any extra money in the holding account can then be transferred into savings. As that month progresses, your paychecks will again replenish your holding account and will wait for you there until you do your budget and transfer again at the beginning of the next month.

Gone are the days of living paycheck-to-paycheck. You will always be one month ahead.

*Tip – If you do not initially have the money to set your one-month-ahead-plan in motion, temporarily use your holding account as a savings account. Deposit your savings into that account until you accumulate one month’s worth of expenses.

02/11/10
Amy

(Just for Mom) Maximum Impact Clothing


I made an interesting self-discovery recently – I spend most of my clothing money on the wrong items! In the past, most of my money has been put towards shirts and sweaters. It is relatively easy for me to find ones that I like and feel good in without spending too much money. In contrast, I find jean-shopping, shoe-shopping, and coat-shopping to be much more time-consuming, overwhelming, and not as exciting.  The result is that I have a closet full of shirts and sweaters that I really love, but I get frustrated when I try to match them with jeans I don’t feel good in, a 10 year old coat, and jogging shoes. feb8

Yet if you think about it, I actually wear those despised items more than any shirt. And in the winter time, that 10 year old coat is what constantly covers the sweater I was so excited about.

So in light of this recent self-discovery, I have changed the way I look at clothes shopping. I now try to focus on purchasing foundational clothing items such as jeans, shoes, and coats, that I love and feel confident in and use those as the building blocks for my wardrobe. The accumulation of those items is a gradual process, but I have already been amazed at the difference it has made.

So what clothing items in your closet frequently put a damper on your otherwise chic ensemble? What clothes do you wear the most but don’t feel good in? That is where you can make the maximum impact on your wardrobe and your confidence.


Amy

(Photography 365) February 11


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February 11 – The kids love to lay on the bed while we are putting the sheets on. We will pop the sheet out and let it gently float down on top of them. It gets squeals and smiles every time.

Photography 365 – 2010

Photography 365 Introduction

02/10/10
Amy

(Photography 365) February 10


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February 10 – Samuel shares our love for Pandora. This morning, he spent a long time sitting in the office chair just listening to music.

Photography 365 – 2010

Photography 365 Introduction


Amy

(Photography 365) February 9


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February 9 – Scott got lots of help with one of his work projects. One of the many perks of working from home.

Photography 365 – 2010

Photography 365 Introduction


Amy

(Photography 365) February 8


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February 8 – I got my new coat today!!

Photography 365 – 2010

Photography 365 Introduction


Amy

(Photography 365) February 7


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February 7 - Every once in awhile, I will get a glimpse of myself in my children (usually they look like their father). This was one of those moments with Kaelynn.

Photography 365 – 2010

Photography 365 Introduction