Thursday, January 31, 2013

Let the Decluttering Begin!

As I was in my closet choosing my outfit for the day, I suddenly became disgusted by the amount of clothing that I owned and the amount that actually wore. There were things in my closet that I haven't wore in over 5 years! I couldn't believe that I was still holding on to these things. It got me wondering about what else was lurking around the house that was just taking up space. I have so much stuff that I sometimes feel like I am living in chaos.

I decided that starting today I was going to do a whole house cleanse in an attempt to live more frugally and simply. If I was going to do this I had to set up some simple rules about what I was going to keep and what had to go. These are the guidelines I set up for myself:

  1. If it wasn't worn or used in the last six months, it was going.
  2. If an item could be repurposed into something that we could use, then I was going to keep it.
  3. Any duplicate items were going to go.
  4. During the house cleanse, I could not bring any new items into the house.

I got started right away with my closet. With our Earth in mind, I thought I should try to find all of my unwanted things new homes. As I pulled things off of hangers, I separated everything into three piles; to be donated, to be given to friends or family and to be sold. An hour later, I had finished and had 5 large bags of clothing I no longer needed. What a great feeling to be able to look in my closet and not see just a bunch of stuff in there. Everything now I knew was there because it had a purpose and it was something I needed.

From this day forward I am making an oath to live a more simple life and only consume things that we need. In doing so I hope to teach my children that things should not be the most important thing in life, but instead the relationships that we create. Please join me in this oath and help create a better world.

Check back tomorrow to see how decluttering of my kitchen and dining room went.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tips For Raising Twins

I have a very dear friend that just broke the news that she is expecting her third child this coming September. Yesterday while on Facebook we struck up a conversation about her pregnancy. It went something like this.....

Her: Wow I really don't remember being this tired and unmotivated with my other pregnancies. This is ridiculous.

ME: That's because you are having a!

Her: I like that answer :)

Friend #1: Twin girls? What?! ;)

Her: die

Friend #1: Oh thaaaats right, you wanted triplet girls. :D

Her: I mean I don't think I'd like twins :)

Me: Your twin girls can hang with my twin boys......bahahahaha

It went back and forth like that for a bit. Now she doesn't really know what she is having yet or if she is having twins, but it was fun joking back and forth. All the talk of twins did spur me to come up with a list of things I have learned while raising my twin boys. I'm no expert, just a typical mom making my way through life raising my children as best as I know how.

First, NEVER and I mean NEVER buy just one of a certain item. Whether it's a toy, t-shirt, plate, cup, blanket or any other thing you can think of, always buy two of the same thing. It never fails when one wants that plate with the race cars on it, the other wants the same thing. I have just learned that it is easier to have two on hand than to try to reason with a three year old. I'm sure when they get older I won't have to keep buying duplicates, but for the time being I am always on the lookout for those Buy One Get One deals on toddler items.

Second, when it comes to feeding during the first year, I highly recommend investing in a Boppy pillow and a good breast pump (if you are planning to breastfeed). I tried to keep my boys on the same feeding schedule so it didn't feel like I was always feeding. I had a pretty good set-up going for feeding boy would get breast-fed and the other would get a bottle with breast milk. This is where the Boppy came in handy. I could hold one and lay the other in front of me on the pillow. Then the next feeding time I would switch who got the bottle and who didn't. It is possible to breastfeed both at the same time, but let's face it, no matter how much I wanted to be Supermommy, it just wasn't happening for me.

Third, be prepared for separation anxiety. I found that my boys can't go anywhere without the other one in tow. After all they did spend 9 months curled up together inside my womb and it's only natural that they always want to be together. I can't even run to the grocery store with just one of them. It's either they both go or they both stay home with daddy.

Next, potty train at the same time. As soon as one shows signs that he/she is ready, get the other one on board with the plan. I just couldn't see stressing myself and my boys out by dragging the whole process out twice. And besides they learn from each other anyway....

And lastly, my biggest piece of advice would be don't sweat the small stuff. Raising twins shouldn't be an anxiety invoking ordeal. It really isn't any more difficult other than the fact that there are two children and a little more noise.

I absolutely love being a mommy of these handsome 3 year old twin boys! 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Knock-off Pottery Barn Pine Cone Cluster

 I'm into natural things for decorating. I just love a rustic look. When I found these pine cone clusters on Potter Barn's website I thought to myself, "self, there is no way I am going to pay $19.50 for some ribbon and a bunch of pine cones."
That's when I went on the hunt for some great pine cones to recreate this beauty. My aunt just so happened to have these majestic pine trees all over her neighborhood and there were plenty of pine cones just beckoning me to gather them up.
I purchased some ribbon from Walmart. The green was $1.97 and the red was $0.99. That's a whole whopping $2.96 plus tax and 15 minutes of my time to recreate the same thing I found online for almost 7X the price it cost me to make. I'll take that any day! I put my glue gun to work and Voila! I had a beautiful Christmas decoration to add to my arsenal.
I hope I inspired you a little to see what you over-priced item you could find to recreate. Happy crafting!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Twine Wrapped Cans

I have been MIA the past few weeks. Please forgive me. The husband's parental unit was in town and all of our Christmas festivities dominated much of my time. Well now that the holidays are over and the kids are back to school, we have settled back into our normal schedule. That means you'll see a lot more of me.

Today I felt like pulling out my glue gun to see what I could create with it. A quick trip to my box of supplies and this is what I found....

An old coffee can
2 smaller aluminum cans
some packing twine
some fabric leftover from a previous project

I began with a little drop of hot glue and started wrapping the twine around the can. Every third of the way around, I put another drop of glue.

Glue, wrap, glue, wrap, glue, wrap and so on.... Anyway you get the point. Do this until the whole can looks like this...

Here's the completed coffee can. I embellished it with a rosette and a twine bow. It now sits on my bathroom counter to hold my brushes. The two smaller cans I haven't quite figured out what to add to them yet....probably some shells I have collected from the beach and the same twine bow. They have become toothbrush holders for my husband and I.

I hope you loved what I whipped up today. Happy crafting!