A reader recently asked me what inspires me make time for creative pursuits. Let me break it down.Continue reading “Why I Write and What Keeps Me Inspired”
It’s Okay to Use Screens
Let yourself us screens right now. Yep, I said it. And yes I know what these guys say about it. All good parents want to give their children the best of themselves. They want the time they spend together to be educational, recreational, or some other kind of high quality time.
And that’s important.
Right Now is Different
But during a time such as this, we have to give ourselves grace and prioritize. That’s why I’m writing this post. Even before all of the COVID-19 chaos, I noticed my parenting peers feeling such shame about ever using screens (myself included). And now, so many parents view other people’s quarantine schedules and beat themselves up, or strive to do things the way someone else is doing them, etc. instead of looking at their reality and making a plan that works for them. Oh and by the way, making a plan takes focus and time and how are you going to get that? There’s nothing that makes more sense than allowing yourself to use screens. (And yes high quality screen time is best , but just for now a little extra Disney movies aren’t going to have any long term damage.)Continue reading “It’s Okay to Use Screens Right Now (and Other Ways to Relieve Stress)”
I have found myself asking God this question every morning. Amidst so much chaos, what would God have me do to help someone else? I feel like anything I can do is too small to make an impact. Of course prayer is super important, but so is taking action. Here are some thoughts I’m having right now about how to help others during this time.Continue reading “What Would You Have Me Do, Lord?”
How to Find Time to Read
I was listening to the Money Saving Mom podcast and she said she read like 15 books in January…say what?! She must really know how to find time to read!Continue reading “How to Find Time to Read (Even if You Are Super Busy)”
I’ve been thinking a lot about love and marriage, especially upon listening to “The Empowered Wife” podcast, and finishing the book “The Five Love Languages”. And today is my husband and my 9 year wedding anniversary! So it seemed appropriate to share my thoughts:Continue reading “Thoughts on Love and Marriage”
Blogging has clearly not been at the top of my priority list but I thought it would be fun to do a life update.Continue reading “Life Update February 2020”
You may know by now that I love a good podcast, and it doesn’t get much better than The Clutterbug podcast , here’s the one I’m referencing:
Cass is so inspiring with how she talks about how the brain works, her story of how she went from a slob to an organized person, and how she is completely honest about why she keeps things neat and tidy- she wants more time to be lazy. Ha!
One of my favorite ideas that she talks about is toy rotation for children. She used to run a daycare, and so her house would look like there was both a tornado and frat party at the end of the day. She knew something had to change. So she made labeled bins and put one type of toy in each bin. She only allowed 2 or so boxes out at a time. Here’s a more detailed explanation of how her system works:
- All other toys are out of reach.
- Before meal times there would be a cleanup time.
- If the children wanted a different toy, they had to cleanup one box in exchange for a different box.
She found that the children were much more likely to cleanup when the mess was much less overwhelming. An added benefit is the toys are much easier to play with when the parts aren’t mixed together.
Now I’ve wanted to implement this system but I failed several times because I didn’t keep all the toys out of reach, and I also failed to print labels. To overcome these obstacles , I finally got a printer and printed labels from Canva.com and I keep my kid’s toys in their closet, and they have a child lock on their door. (That way they can’t sneak extra toys boxes and make a huge mess!)
Of course this system won’t work for everyone, especially if you don’t have much space to keep toys separate from where your kids play. But, I think it’s worth the try of getting creative. I don’t know about you, but I hate being a nag and trying to get my kids to cleanup and I would much rather do other things than get down on my hands and knees picking up legos especially when I am pregnant. I definitely want to encourage independence in my children as I’m sure most parents do.
How to Set Up Your System
- Purge any broken toys, toys your kids have grown out of, or toys your kids just have no interest in.
- Categorize all the toys. I know. For most of us, this is a HUGE process. Your kids can help you!
- Now count how many categories you have. This will tell you how many containers you need.
- Check to see if you can find any containers in your house that will do the job. This way you don’t have to go out and spend money. (unless you want a beautiful Pinterest perfect organizational system and you can afford it, be my guest!) I was able to just switch stuff around and use what I had.
- Make a shopping list if you need to. Hit up the Dollar Tree first. I like an open bin system except for the toys that are too big for it, then I use bigger tubs that I buy elsewhere.
- Go on Canva.com, find pictures that represent the toy category and print them out! You could get fancy and print them on special paper that would make them real labels, but I just printed them on regular paper, cut them out, and taped them to the boxes.
- Put one toy category per box. For example, a critter playset will be all together. Cars all together. Animals all together. You get the idea.
Here are some bins like the ones I used:
The toy system will look something like this! I also have several other toy bins not pictured. To keep things extra tidy, I try to store everything in my kid’s closet. Does it stay this way all the time? No. But if I am on top of my game, I can get most all of their toys to fit nicely in the closet. If they don’t, it’s probably time to , you guessed it, de-clutter.
I love the way my local library stores puzzles. They have these special envelopes so the board and pieces stay together. Although I couldn’t find the same envelopes, I decided to improvise and I use Ziploc bags for puzzles that didn’t have a board, and Dollar Tree wardrobe bags for puzzles that have a board.
Pretty? No. Functional? You betcha.
Though I didn’t use this envelope below, I think this would be another great option, and probably better than the garment bag because it claims to be heavy duty.
My Favorite Part
Is this system perfect? Of course not. It takes regular maintenance. Does it have it’s perks? Definitely. My favorite part of this toy system, besides less drama at cleanup time, is my kids being able to do things like this:
So what do you think? Would you ever do this? Why or why not? What has worked for you? I would love to know in the comments!
No one really talks about suffering, and since it’s a pretty heavy topic, I’ll start off with a funny story.
For some reason, when I was thinking about writing this post, I thought about a trip I had to Santa Cruz, with my Aunt and my cousin.Continue reading “Thoughts on Suffering”
Personal style is has been my hobby for many years. I have read countless books, blogs, magazines and I have watched plenty of YouTube videos. It’s so much fun to try different things and to express yourself through the way you are dressed.Continue reading “5 Simple Tricks to Instantly Elevate Your Style”
State of the Blog
The blog has been slow going lately mainly for a very good reason which has caused extreme fatigue which you will learn more about below. I have decided to shoot for one blog post a week until further notice. That way I am still making progress but in a more realistic manner.Continue reading “October 2019 Life Update”