Staying On Track Through Organizing

A Peek into my life! This was from this week 🙂

As a work from home mom staying organized and on track with ALL that I do is quite the feat. I’ve found that I can manage well if I have good structure to our days, and if I stay organized!

Recently in one of my blogging facebook groups we started up conversations on how we keep on top of everything-specifically blog posts, but also life in general. It was great seeing the different processes and tools that everyone uses and definitely gave me some inspiration!

The tools that I use to help keep “my brain” in order are Google Docs and my Plan 2 B Planner (shown above)

I love Google Docs because it’s basically the Microsoft Office Suite but in an online format–so when thing happen like you spilling a glass of water on your laptop happen (yes I just did that, yes I cried) you don’t lose ALL your documents! I use it for our finances budget spreadsheet and for keeping track of blog posts (there is a method behind the madness!!)

I’ve talked about how I have a step by step plan for every day of the week as a guideline and then for the big tasks that are needed to be done that specific day I write them out in the to do list you see above. When I get something done I get to x it off my list, if it doesn’t get done I cross it out and it usually rolls over to the following day. I really LOVE this planner as it has a monthly page and then the weeks look like this–just what I love/need!

Since I have a good system in place that just needs a little tweaking for my plan lately I’ve been turning my attention to how to manage ALL my social media accounts better. You name it–I probably have an account there! I’ve found sites like MyLife.com to be a super interesting idea and way to pull everything together and make it more manageable–instead of having the 100 tabs open like I normally do–yepp right now I have 2 email accounts, directions, a website, and my blogging tab open…….

What tools and plans do you use to keep your life organized? Anything you really love and would recommend?

Homemade Granola Recipe

Nearly every morning I have yogurt and granola for breakfast. I was just buying it from the store until they had us make these *super* adorable and *super* simple jars of homemade granola at MOPs. It is easy and soooo good! Here is the recipes and the instructions for the jar!

Homemade Granola Recipe

2 Cups Oats
3/4 Cups Rice Cereal (think Rice Crispies or a rip off)
1/4 Cups Wheatgerm
3/4 Cups Dried Fruit (craisins are my favorite)
1 Tsp Cinnamon

Add:
1/4 Cup Honey
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil (I’ve also used Olive Oil)

Optional: 1 Cup Slivered (or whole) Almonds
1/4 Cup Flaxseed (ground or whole)

 Mix and pour onto pan, bake at 300 for 17 minutes or until golden brown, stirring halfway through.

Gift Jar Instructions:

Canning Jar
Scrapbook or wrapping paper
ribbon
tag

Pop out the middle of the canning lid and trace around the scrapbook paper. Use glue to attatch it to the top and the ribbon to the outside of the lid. Glue the lid parts together. Print out the recipe and attatch it to the tag, attaching with string.

Enjoy!

The Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure In Theaters

Last week we got to get in on a special screening of  The Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure — be sure to go and read that post and enter to win the $150 Prize Pack!

Here is the preview–it does a great job of really giving you a feel for the movie–so definitely watch it before you go!

As I mentioned in my first post Amber absoutely loved the movie and kept asking when we could buy it. Then the rest of the day she spent dancing around making up songs that about balloons and adventures–you can even hear here in the video below telling me how fun it is 🙂

 So how was the movie in the eyes of the mom? I will be the first to admit that it is very silly, and yes–I’ll say it–corny as well.

But you see–that is really the beauty of this movie. This movie wasn’t designed to have “something for the whole family” in it–it was specifically targeted to 2-7 year olds–and what they find funny I just don’t (or I hope I wouldn’t, haha–though I thought J Edgard’s name as the Vacuum was cute and clever–Hoover, get it??). So by being over the top crazy and goofy it made Amber and Tyler laugh, dance, and giggle–and I enjoyed it simply because they were enjoying it–not because it would be the kind of movie I’d watch alone with Bob. (RatedGGG remember?!)

These days children’s movies act like they have to be some Blockbuster thriller that you’d go on a date, sans kids, to otherwise they’re no good. And while I’m the first one to love and watch movies like that–I really don’t feel like every kids movie can or even should meet that.

So I recommend the The Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure as exactly what it is supposed to be–a super silly, funny, goofy 88 minutes that your preschooler will love and that you can all have fun at–not worrying about having to shush or tell anyone to stop wiggling during it.

The Ooglieloves are not out in theater! If you didn’t make it last night it would be great way to celebrate the school season by doing something fun and special with your kiddos.

 Let’s show Hollywood that silly and goofy is ok–and that Moms want more Rated G options!

Smile Brilliant!

I’ve always *loved* to smile and been one of those happy go lucky, always smiling kinds of people. However I also *love* coffee…..a whole, whole lot. I’m basically one of those people that you really *don’t* want to talk to in the morning until I’m sipping my coffee and somewhat cohesive.

My beloved breakfast drink is super tough on my pearly whites, however! A while back I’d noticed that my teeth where looking a little stained and yellow-y Eww! As a self professed “tooth person” this was really bugging me!

Professional whitening is super expensive, however, and even though I use whitening toothpaste it doesn’t tackle the tough stains.

Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitener

Smile Brilliant is a great alternative because you get professional products for a fraction of the price–plus you can’t beat whitening while sitting on the couch watching chick flicks!

The pieces are straightforward and super easy to use-just paint and pop in. I did struggle with keeping it all in my mouth for longer than 30-45 minutes at a time, but that was just me getting tired of the piece in my mouth. Also after about 5 days of doing it straight my teeth started to get a little sensitive (it explains this might happen  in the instructions-it can happen with any brightening product) so I’m taking a break for a few days before starting up again.

Here are my gorgeous pearly whites! (Promise I did no photoshop magic on my teeth!) As you can see it definitely does the job. I’m very please and for $35 the Brilliantly Simple Package: LED Whitening + Whitening Pen is a great value! 

Blogfest and Book Fair Giveaway

To honor Melynda Fleury’s close call to losing her eyesight because of diabetes, Wayman Publishing is throwing a Blogfest and Book Fair Giveaway during the week of Labor Day. 

Everyone who enters will have unlimited access to download any of Wayman Publishing’s Top 10 Books during the following dates:  Sept 2 through Sept 4 (direct link will be provided to all entrants on Sept 1st).  

But wait, there’s more!  Mommy Blog Designs, the blog designer with a great reputation for her service and blog designs throughout the blogosphere, has also agreed to contribute one of her Premade Designs with full package ($269 Value) for FREE to one lucky winner!  

 And just if that wasn’t enough we are also giving away $200 paypal cash!

So what are you waiting for?! Get to entering!

Join us for the Ultimate #Blogfest Book Fair! Unlimited downloads, cash, & a brand new blog design! voiceboks.com/community/page…

— voiceBoks Giveaways (@vBGiveaways) August 25, 2012

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Easy Daysies Magnetic Schedule

Here is a re-post from a few months back–the chart continues to be a big hit at our house–for both Amber to use it and Tyler to try and steal the magnets!

Now that Amber is a “big girl” of four she has more responsibilities and things to do each day. She’s also *very* concerned about what her schedule is going to involve. Before using a chart she would always make me tell her our entire plans for the day–and then re-ask them every 5 minutes! (at least that’s what it felt like, haha) It’s so much nicer to be able to tell her to go check her chart, not to mention the feeling of accomplishment of moving something from the “to do” side to the “done” side.

The Easy Daysies chart is such a cute one! It’s magnetic and so are the tasks, so they can be used over and over and over. I love how bright and cheerful it is. Another great thing is that there are several different packs of “to do” items, so you can personalize it to your child and family. The only things I wish were a little different is that it seems a bit on the small side, it’s hard for me to fit a whole day worth of activities onto it! However I think that it probably works better to break up the day into sections anyways, so have solved this problem with breaking the day into morning, afternoon, and evening “to do” lists. Another thing I’d like to see is the magnetic to all be a little more “heavy duty” The chart has gotten knocked off our fridge a few times, and we had to get rid of some of the to do magnets when Tyler thought it would be fun to throw them away–I tried washing them off so we could salvage them but the sticker on front didn’t hold up to it.

Overall I’m very pleased with the chart and it works great for what it was intended for-I don’t think it was designed to be “Tyler proof” haha!

Mompact is hosting another *great* big bundle giveaway full of fabulous back to school products!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Over the Edge by Mary Connealy

Over The Edge Mary Connealy

As much as I try to keep up with all my books occasionally I’ll miss a book in a series–as was the case with The Kincaid Brides. You might remember that I reviewed Out of Control about a year ago. I somehow missed the middle book in the series– In Too Deep , but I was excited to pick up with the crazy Kincaid boys and their brides in Over the Edge 

One thing that I’ve really appreciated throughout this series is that the love stories are fresh and devoid of the cookie cutter love triangles and character problems that are usually so present in Christian romance. In Over the Edge  you learn more about the “craziest” brother of the bunch, Seth, and his love story–that it just happens that he completely forgot about!

In addition to the tension between the leading man and his lady problems also arise when a greedy man bent on taking what is his own targets in on the Kincaid family. Of course the ever present cave is once again almost a character of it’s own in this story.

Easy to read with tough and fun, rough and tumble Wild West flavor, I’d recommend this book if you love historical romance with a little twist.

Don’t just take my word for it! Read the rest of the Blog Tour and check out the Amazon reviews as well!

Celebrate with Mary by entering to win a Nook Color with GlowLight!

See what folks are saying about Over the Edge!

One winner will receive:

  • A Nook Color with GlowLight
  • The entire set of Mary Connealy’s The Kincaid Brides series

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 28th. Winner will be announced at the “Over the Edge” Author Chat Facebook Party on 8/29. Meet Mary, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and more. There will also be gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group.)!

So grab your copy of Over the Edge and join Mary on the evening of the August 29th for a chance to connect with her and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book – don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter


Don’t miss a moment of the RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 29th!

The Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure

Recently I had a conversation with my Mom about kid movies. Now that Amber is old enough to watch “full length features” I’ve been revisiting a bunch of old favorites from my past.

Watching them as an adult, however, I’ve come away a little shocked. Violence, drinking, killing, fighting, rebellion–all these things are present in the movies that *I* grew up with as a child. Not to mention that most of them kill off one or both of the parents part way into the movie-a situation that most children won’t (hopefully) ever have to deal with as a child. The PG movies now a day are even worse–so much so that we simply don’t let Amber watch them.

When I heard about Kenn Viselman, the creator of The Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure (due out “Oogust” 29th) and his thoughts that if you took away the animation from many films they would be rated PG 13 or R quite easily, I knew I’d found a kindred spirit–despite the fact that he is a middle aged Jewish man who likes to drop the F-bomb and doesn’t know the difference between blogs and Twitter followers (oh the gems of knowledge you find out from special blogger events!!! 😉 )

 We really are kindred spirits, however, because ultimately Kenn believes in the The Power of Mom. So much so he and his team have been traveling around the country engaging bloggers in conversations about what constitutes quality G-rated entertainment. Other than a few wildlife documentaries and a re-release in a popular children’s movie in 3-D, Hollywood has completely ignored the youngest moviegoer. The best they give us for our kids – animated PG films – are loaded with aggression and bloodshed.

With all of this in mind  The Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure was born-despite the protest from Hollywood. In addition to the concern of making a truly G rated movie that was targeted at both the correct age and audience–everyone involved with the movie was concerned with the actual experience of watching the movie. 

Kids spend a staggering (sickening??) 54.3 hours a week average amount of screen time (tv,computers,iPads, phones) compared with 11 minutes of outside play.

They actually care about that and the movie is designed to be an interactive, fun, and moving (literally!!!) experience!  There are cues throughout the movie to show everyone to get up and dance, move, wiggle, and JUMP. Not only did this keep Amber moving and giggling throughout the movie it also made it possible for me to bring Tyler along–and he’s the kid who won’t sit through a 12 minute show yet he was able to watch and enjoy the movie since jumping up and down was not only allowed, it was encouraged!

Let’s join together as Moms and let Hollywood know that we’re NOT ok with what they are offering us–and that we really do want Rated G Films!

Theaters and showtimes are available on Fandango.com and Movietickets.com Put in your zipcode and if Oogieloves isn’t coming please call and request it-if you buy your tickets in advance it let’s the theaters know to put in more cities because families will come!


On opening day each child will be given a glow wand to make the movie experience even more fun and interactive–so don’t miss out! Just a few more days till the grand Oogust 29th Premiere!

You won’t be sorry you supported this movie–Amber kept asking the whole way home when we could buy it–and then spent the rest of the dancing around and singing silly songs about Balloons.

To follow the rest of the Oooglie Buzz be sure to follow the on Twitter, Like them on Facebook, and also before you go check out the Parents Guide on their site that gives you great things to think about, ask, and do. There is also a fun photo contest going on at Celebrations.com, so don’t miss out on that as well!

One lucky reader will win this HUGE prize pack!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fearless by Eric Blehm

As you know I’m a military spouse of 7 years now. Even having my husband in a safe(r) branch with “easy” deployments has been extremely difficult at times. Because I have had a taste of all of this my heart and my admiration runs deep for the military wives who are married to US Navy Seals. Experiencing what I have–yet compounded several times over–is not a job for the faint of heart.

Fearless is the incredible, true, and deeply moving story of Adam Brown and his family. It’s one of those stories where it must be true because no movie would put someone pushing as hard as Adam did, overcoming what Adam overcame, or having the sad ending that this story has.

It was truly a book that I laughed and cried through. I love Eric’s perspective on the story. Even though it’s a book about an incredible Christian man and his deep devotion and faith nothing is sugar coated or glossed over. There is cussing in the book along with details that many other writers might have been tempted to gloss over in a Christian book. The fact that these things are included and not smoothed out make it have a very authentic and real feel. As a military spouse I’ve been around a whole lot servicemen and know how they act and talk–I can only imagine that as amazing and wonderful Navy Seals are they are not a bunch of sweet, smooth talking guys–and I actually appreciated the truth and rawness this book contained. It feels a bit rough around the edges–just like Adam Young himself was.

Through Fearless you see the God of sinners like David and Paul–a God who can take the biggest of sins and the most broken of lives and turn them around just so His amazing Glory and Power and Triumph might be shown.

An absolutely amazing story of an amazing man and his family-it is definitely a must read!

Enjoy this review? Please take a second to go rank it!

Find out more one the Fearless Website and Read Chapter One

Me Time with Julep

Ever since we met oh so many years ago Bob and I have had an on again, off again long distance relationship. A few years back I joked that we’ve been apart as long as much as we’ve been together, even while married. This isn’t exactly true–but sometimes it’s felt that way!

Many people talk about not being able to handle something like that–but the thing is that when you’re put in a situation that you don’t wish to be in (like me being apart from my hubby so often–we’re one of those couples that actually likes each other, haha) you have two choices–to be miserable and complain or to try to make the best of it.

I’ve always been a glass half full kind of gal so anytime we have to be apart I try my best to make the most of it. I see the lonely nights as much needed me time–BBC Drama, long bubble baths, and catching up on my ginormous stack of magazines.

This is possibly our last time apart for a long while since Bob is planning on getting out of the military soon. I decided to go out with a bang–and the other night treated myself to a super fun girls night in.

Once the kids were in bed I broke out the popcorn, popped on a guilty pleasure Netflix Show (White Collar…shhhhh) and gave myself a *much* need pedicure!

I was super excited to have received my very first Julep Maven box just in time! I adore products that really feel like presents–and as you can see it felt like my birthday when I opened my box!

Ever since having kids I’ve long since given up on my fingernails. As a busy work from home mommy I just don’t have the time to keep up with the chips and dents they get so easily when I paint them.

I’ve always been a stickler for a least having my toes look pretty, however. You get a lot more bang for your buck in a pedicure since it can last a lot longer–plus painted tooties are just fun!

My Julep Maven box came with everything I needed for a fun pedicure– The Best Pedi Creme Ever and two Nail Polish Bottles. My custom picked style is American Beauty so I was sent Eva and Renee (my middle name–and no I didn’t know that when I picked my style–but it fits!)

Before long I had two very cute and pampered feeling feet!
Are you a busy mom who still needs some me time? Or maybe you’re just a beauty loving gal who still has the time for regular self pedicures and actually have time to try out all those amazing techniques on Pinterest? Then you’ll want to become a Julep Maven too!
If you use Julep Promo Code: MAVENINTRO You can get your first Julep box for One Penny!!! No joke! It’s not too early to think about Christmas–this would make a great present or stocking stuffer!