This was another one of those "the-girls-are-already-asleep-and-I-still-need-to-take-a-picture-and-I'm-all-tapped-out-of-ideas-at-the-moment" days. At least it's done.

So.... I'm sharing a fun craft. I got the idea for this menu from my friend, Beth. I used burlap-looking scrapbook paper inside an 8x10 frame and letter stickers. I use a dry erase marker to write down the week's meals. I'm not so crafty as I used to be, but I enjoy it when I take the time!

Home Organization Binder

No more excuses. Pregnancy pains and exhaustion are past. Newborn sleepless nights have been over for quite some time. I need to start cooking meals and cleaning my house again! Feeling the need to get back on my game, I created a Home Organization Binder to help me get my head on straight.

I'd been seeing a lot about these binders on Pinterest and some completed ones on blogs I follow. Of course, every binder needs to be tailored to the user, so I created a Pinterest board to collect the different links I found. There are innumerable printable pages and suggested sections on many blogs and sites, but I thought I'd share how I chose to put my binder together.

Some people choose to have calendar pages in their notebooks, but I still use my Google calendar. I'm a monthly-view kind of girl when it comes to calendars. Always have been.

I bought my binder from Target. It's one of the cute Green Room brand ones. It was so hard to choose! I already had a few of these plastic pocket inserts. I put one in the front for miscellaneous items to keep safe. You'll see I also just did a sticky note checklist for today. I like sticky notes.

Right behind the plastic pocket, I keep the current "week at a glance" page.

I also printed this "daily do-it checklist" with morning and evening columns.

Here's how I labeled my 10 dividers:

  • agenda
  • chores
  • meals
  • blog
  • kids
  • photography
  • home
  • events
  • misc.
  • notes

AGENDA Behind this first tab is a "master to-do" list is where I'm keeping every little to-do or idea that pops into my head. I need to go through and assign priorities to them. These to-dos get transferred to my weekly agenda to set goals for completion. Behind this tab I also keep extra copies of the week-at-a-glance page. Anything calendar-related will go here.

CHORES The charts I found on many sites (like this one) had the days of the week on them for you to put the chores you want to get done each day. This was too overwhelming for me. I'd rather have a checklist of things to get done during the week, and just get them done when I can. Email me if you want it. It is very simple with four columns: daily, weekly, monthly, other. I'm adding the chores as I think of them... this list is probably not complete!

The next tab is "meals." I really like this meal planner printable. I use the pages following it (scroll down to see "favorite recipes" and "recipes to try") to start with and choose the meals for the week. It even has a grocery list starter for you. I was using ZipList on my iPhone, so I didn't write out my ingredients this time.

BLOG I printed out this basic weekly planner to plan what I want to blog for the week. So far I just have my Project 365 numbers on there, but I would like to get better about posting other content. Like this post! A sticky note is there for me to keep notes about where I am and what I've skipped with my blog restoration (after all those pictures were lost). There's notebook paper behind this planner to keep a list of post ideas to get to as I can. I also have my lists of what the girls have been up to for the month so that I can easily type up their monthly blog posts when it's time. It's nice to have a home for this. These lists were just floating around the house before!

Behind the rest of the tabs there is just plain paper with notes, so I didn't feel pictures were necessary. I'll just explain what I intend to do keep behind these tabs.

KIDS Right now I have a plain page for "activities to do" as I hear about neat things for toddlers on blogs or Pinterest. Behind that I have the girls' schedules written out and a page with the names of a few babysitters I've gotten recommendations for, should we ever need one. This is a great place to keep information about the kids for a babysitter.

PHOTOGRAPHY I have plain paper here with these headings: goals (& things to figure out), wish list, locations, and ideas.

HOME On plain paper I listed the rooms in our house. Next to some rooms are ideas I have for changes or things we "need" for that room.

EVENTS Currently blank. Here I will keep plans for parties, holidays, and vacations.

MISC. Right now I just have my neighbors' (and their kids') names written down so we don't forget! This is a catch-all tab.

NOTES As I research things, this will be where I keep my notes. I'm thinking about hiring a cleaning service to come do a one time deep clean of my house... blinds, fans, baseboards... the whole nine yards! I'm keeping notes as I do my pricing research of the recommended individuals behind this tab.

I've just started using my binder this week, and so far so good! I'm not completely where I want to be yet, but the binder is getting me on the right path. I'll have to update again after I've used it a while longer to let you know how it's all working, if I'm actually achieving these goals!

Do you have a binder (or some kind of system)? Share, please!

Clickin' Moms

Kate's New Room

Kate has a new room! We moved her to the next bedroom down the hall upstairs. It shares an adjoining bathroom with her old room (Caroline's nursery). I LOVE the results. The color on the walls (similar to the light blue/green in the blog design) is so soothing and compliments the dark furniture well. The details are old-fashioned (just like before), which makes sense since we just moved her bedding and a lot of her accessories over. Now the pink nursery is looking a little bare (accessory-wise) at the moment, but I don't think it'll take much to get it ready for baby Caroline.

The funny thing is, I think Kate really loves her new room, too. It took her a few days to get used to going to sleep in there, but she's gotten back to her regular easy-to-put-to-bed self over the last couple of days. She really enjoys being in there!

This is just a smattering of a few shots. To see more, scroll down to the Flickr slideshow.


charred yard.
I'm so glad we can laugh about this.

Yesterday Nick treated us to a yummy fajita dinner. Unfortunately, the chicken was not the only thing that got cooked.

Nick lit the fire (in the fire box of the smoker) and then came upstairs to help with Kate's bath and bedtime routine. Although he normally rocks her and puts her to bed, he passed the privilege on to me so he could go get the meat started. I came down a few minutes later to see a partially open back door and smell a burned, sooty smell in the living room. I walked out, but since it was already dark outside, I couldn't tell what I was looking at. Were those shadows across the grass? No. Nick was standing in the grass, a mess of soot all over him. I was still trying to process what I was looking at. Did the fire box open and ash blow everywhere? No, that didn't make sense. 

Nick explained that some of the newspaper must have blown out of the fire box after he had lit it. He said he walked out to a yard on fire. He quickly grabbed the hose and started spraying it all down. The dead, dry grass was perfect kindling, but fortunately the fire stayed very low to the ground, otherwise our tree, arbor, and fence could have easily caught and turned it into something much more dangerous. 

My first thoughts were 1) praise the Lord the house didn't burn down, 2) I guess Kate won't be playing outside much, and 3) oh my word, we're going to have to wipe Kirby's paws down every time she comes back in the house.

As we finished up dinner prep, Nick said, "Well, I barbequed some chicken and the yard tonight. But if you think about it, it's really good fertilizer for the grass."

I think it's safe to say we'll be more careful in the future. As Smokey says, "Only you can prevent forest backyard fires."

Arbor? Pergola?

Whatever you want to call it, ours is done! Nick's dad and brothers were here mid-May to help him build it. (Thank you!) It took Nick another weekend to put the 2x2s across the top and stain the whole thing. I love the results! We planted three star jasmine vines to grow up the posts and fill in the top, too. That'll take some time, though, so I'll have to be patient for the complete look, I guess.


Did you know that Nick's a smoker? Of meat, though, not cigarettes. :) He's had this smoker for about a year now, but only today did we finally have someone come to get it bricked in! It looks great.

Next project? An arbor over the second patio slab. Nick, with the help of his dad and his brothers, is going to tackle that project in a couple of weeks hopefully. I think we'll spend more time enjoying our back patio now that it looks nicer!