Tuesday's Tip-Contain It

Continuing on with my theme for the Spring, Organization and Spring Cleaning, I thought I would show you ways I contain my "stuff" around the house.  I told you last week, that I love plastic and glass containers.  While, this is true, my new love is baskets.  I love the coastal feel and I just think they are pretty and organic.  I'm always on the hunt for a bargain too. 

I found this beauty while shopping yesterday at World Market.  I bought 2 of them because I loved them so much.  It's hard to tell in the picture, but this is a big basket.  It's 15 inch tall and will hold a lot of stuff.
They retail for $14.99 each (a steal I think), but they were 25% off so I got them for $11.25 each.  My plan with the basket is to keep one at the bottom of the stairs leading up to all the bedrooms and one by the door to the basement.  That way at night, when the girls clean up, they throw everything into the basket that needs to go upstairs into their rooms or downstairs into the basement.  Then I carry the basket upstairs and they can help me empty it and put things away. 

We will see how this works out.  The great thing about the basket is that if it doesn't get emptied right away, I don't mind because it's so pretty.


Good Monday morning everyone.  I hope y'all had a great weekend.  If you've been following my blog for awhile, you know that one of my favorite devotional books is "Jesus Calling".  I read this devo last week and wanted to pass it on.  It speaks to exactly where I am in life right now.  Maybe some of you can relate.  Be Blessed!

Sweet Sydney Kate

Dearest Sydney,

Happy 4th birthday my sweet baby.  How is it that you are already 4?  It seems like yesterday your daddy and I were driving to the hospital that early Friday morning in March.  I was so excited and a little nervous to have another baby in the house.  Brooklyn was so excited to become a "big sister" although at 19 months I don't think she really knew what that truly would mean. 

The moment I laid eyes on you, I just cried.  I was so happy you were here, safe and sound.  I couldn't wait to hold you.  You were so beautiful.  You looked just like your daddy and still do.
I love how sensitive and caring you are.  If you see someone hurt, you run to them and ask them if they are ok.  When you hear an ambulance, you say, "Mommy stop.  We have to pray for them".  I love how at night when I am putting you to bed you say, "Mommy pray for me.  Pray for the Holy Spirit to come and for Satan to go away".  You love me to sing Jesus Loves Me while I scratch your back.  You favorite thing to do is cuddle with me.  Will you still want to cuddle with me when you are 13?
I love how rough and tumble you are.  You will run daddy over just like a linebacker.  You fall and get hurt and you just get up and keep on going.  I think the tough exterior you put on is really just a front for the princess you like to be.  You love to dance and sing.  I love to listen to you make up songs.  Syd, it won't surprise me one bit if you grow up to be a singer and a dancer.  You love to be on stage.  You aren't afraid of people.  You love to go up to complete strangers and ask them their names.
You love your big sister so much.  When she's gone on Fridays at school you don't know what to do by yourself.  You miss her.  The first thing you do when you see her is say, "Hello sissy" and you give her hugs and kisses.  That means the world to me. 
You are so strong willed.  I know sometimes that gets on mommy's nerves and sometimes I yell and lose my patience with you and for that I am sorry.  I want you to know that I love that about you.  I love that you are fiesty, stubborn, and not afraid to speak your mind.  That will come in handy for you when you get older.
Most importantly Sydney Kate, I want you to know just how blessed I am to be your mommy.  I am so glad God gave me you.  You are my life and I love you to the moon and back.  Keep loving Jesus and keep praying for all the sippy cups. :)

Tuesday's Tip-Ready, Set, Organize

I love Spring!  I love waking up to the birds chirping outside and the breeze blowing through the open window.  Spring means new beginnings and a season of hope.  This may sound crazy but I love spring because I get to organize and clean my house.  I love to open up all the windows, turn on the music and clean like a mad woman.  So in honor of Spring, I would love to give you a tip on how to get started organizing your home.

I first have to say that I got a jump on spring and started organizing in February.  I was just ready to do it.  I couldn't handle the clutter any longer.  Notice I said organizing and not cleaning.  I think it's too overwhelming to organize and spring clean at the same time.  So, I love to organize first and deep clean second.  Here's an example of how I did it.

Scarlet Fever

I have always liked the name Scarlet, but when it's followed by the word fever, not so much.  I noticed a rash all over Sydney's tummy on Friday night when I was putting her to bed.  I went downstairs after she fell asleep and googled, "scarlet fever".  I just knew that she had it.  Thankfully the pediatrician is open on Saturday mornings so I took her in.  He looked at her throat and said, "It's Scarlet Fever".  I knew it.  For once I was right.

She had been on Amoxicillin the week before, but it didn't work and once again, I knew it.  Do you ever get those mama instincts with your children that something is just not right?  I did last week.  Tuesday I called the nurse and said, "I don't think the Amoxicillin is working".  She said, "Well we like to give it 4 days to work and since today is day 4 let's just see what happens".  I agreed with her, but was still uneasy.  Sydney wasn't complaining that her ear hurt anymore so I figured that maybe it was working.  Deep down though I knew it wasn't.  I can't really tell you why I felt that way I just did.


I tried to go to sleep tonight, but couldn't.  I decided to get up and write a blog post.  I figure maybe by venting my frustrations out here, I will feel better and be able to fall asleep.

Yesterday, my friend posted a news report on her Facebook page.  The title sounded interesting so I clicked on it.  As soon as I started reading it, I could feel my blood pressure start to rise.  How can the FDA do this?  How can a drug company do this?  I have no earthly idea, but they are putting hundreds, probably thousands of babies at risk and could possibly put the IVF world at a stand still.  Here's the article that has me boiling mad and something has to be done. 

Tuesday's Tip- Ping Pong Ball chores

Today's tip is brilliant.  I can say that because I didn't think it up.  I actually ran across this tip in a magazine this week.  Too bad I can't find that magazine right now.  Did I mention I am in the middle of spring cleaning?  Speaking of spring cleaning, starting next week, every Tuesday's Tip through May will be about how to get your house clean and organized.  I can't wait.  This really is my favorite time of the year.

I digress.  I found a fun way to make chores fun for the whole family.  I can't wait to try this on Saturday, but first I will need to run to Walmart to get the supplies.  There's actually just one thing you need: Ping Pong balls.

A Very Merry UnBirthday, To Me!

Sydney's birthday is actually next week, but since next week is Spring Break, I decided to have her party early so most of her friends could come.  I'm glad I did.  She had a wonderful ballerina party for her 4th birthday.  11 little girls came over to the house and we set up the basement so they could twirl and dance til their hearts content.  I hired a real ballerina, Ms. Callie, to come and dance with the girls.  She was fabulous!  She showed them how to put on ballet shoes and she even put up their hair like a ballerina would wear it.

Even Grandma Sara, Brian's mom, got into it.  She was helping the girls touch their toes.  She is one flexible grandma if I do say so myself.

Sneak Peak

I'm finally sitting down at the computer for the first time in 4 days.  It's been a crazy weekend, but a wonderful weekend too.  Thursday after Sydney got home from school she said her head hurt really bad.  She's never complained of a headache so I knew something was up.  I felt her forehead and she felt warm to me.  I took her temp and she had a low grade fever of 99.7.  I am fearful of fevers with her because she's had 2 febrile seizures, which are awful, and so now at the slightest hint of a fever I give her Motrin.  I hate giving her medications, but for me it's the lesser of two evils.

I took her to the dr. on Friday because she started to complain that her ear was hurting.  I also had to rule out the flu because her birthday party was on Saturday and I couldn't expose the rest of the kids to the flu if she did have it. 

Tuesday's Tip- A More Organized Purse

I am swamped this week trying to get ready for Sydney's 4th birthday party this Saturday.  My little princess is having a ballerina birthday party at the house.  She is so excited to have her friends over and I am too, just a little overwhelmed right now.  With that said, my friend Heather from The Mommyhood will be guest posting for me today so I can keep working on party stuff.  I met Heather at Blissdom this year and we just instantly clicked.  She is wonderful and I know you are going to enjoy her blog.  Thanks again Heather!

How many times have your kids handed you a candy wrapper and there’s no trashcan in site? Where does it go? Well, it goes in your purse, of course.  This is just one of the many ways my purse has become a garbage can over time.  I’m always fishing around in there for my phone or a pen and can never find what I need. So I decided to make my own purse organizer to help solve the problem. Here’s how I did it:

1. Measure the length of the inside bottom of your purse.
2. Cut the fabric to be double the length so the organizer will fold in half in your purse. (I used liner, but if I had it to do again I think I would just use a fabric that is thicker and stiffer and not line it).

3. Sew up the edges.
4. Tri-fold the fabric and sew the right and left sides to make one large pocket.

5. Then put your items in the pocket and space them out how you want them. You can use a pin to mark where to sew each strip so you create a customized pocket for each item.

I didn’t want a very deep pocket for my phone, so I added a horizontal seam to make that pocket shorter.
6. And now you have a custom purse organizer!

TIP: You could make this with a lot less sewing if you start with a fabric place mat. If somebody tries that, please drop me a note and let me know how it turns out.
Is your purse a garbage can? How do you keep it organized?

Heather Alexander is the mother of two and blogs tips, solutions and humor at www.TheMommyhood.com.

Let Freedom Ring!

Every year our neighborhood has a 4th of July bike parade. It's such a fun time. They have breakfast. This year it was yummy Chickfila biscuits and drinks. The girls love to race their bikes and our local fire dept. leads the parade around our neighborhood with their fire truck. It's such a great tradition.

It was so hot even at 9 am. It was nice to cool down with an ice pop. I use to love those things as a kid.

Later that night we went out to a local school and watched fireworks. They had an awesome show. The girls did sparklers while we were waiting for the fireworks to start.

This picture cracks me up. It's so Brooklyn. She doesn't like to be dirty and doesn't like things that stink. I personally love the smell of fireworks. It takes me back to my childhood.

I feel so blessed to live in a country where I am free to worship the way I want, free to walk the streets without fear of harm and free to say what is on my heart. That freedom comes at a cost. I am thankful for the men and women who fight for that freedom and the loved ones they leave behind. THANK YOU and GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!

Afternoon Tea-Brooklyn's Birthday Celebration

Brooklyn had her 5th birthday party yesterday and it was a blast. I asked her about a month ago if she wanted to have a tea party and she said yes. She was so excited! She invited girls from her class at school, along with her cousins and her friend Grace from next door.

I loved seeing all the girls in their pretty dresses and their dolls. Before they ate lunch we went down to the basement and made beaded name bracelets for them to wear. I think more beads ended up on the floor then on their bracelets. They had fun and that's all that mattered.

I served PB&J sandwiches shaped as hearts and ham and cheese sandwiches shaped like flowers. They also ate mac and cheese and fruit.

I'm not sure why Sydney insists on drinking her punch with a spoon. Crazy girl.

I made Brooklyn her very own cupcake. I had never done this before and had no idea how it would turn out, but it turned out fantastic. Everyone loved it, especially Brooklyn.

The beautiful birthday girl. I hope you enjoyed your party Brooklyn. Happy 5th Birthday!

What would you do to lose weight?

Last week Brian came to me and told me this grand way he was going to shed a few lbs. First let me say that my hubby isn't overweight, but he's a runner and a triathelete wanting to shed some fat and trade it in for muscle. I couldn't wait to hear what he had planned.

He said he was going to give up sweet tea and Coke for the entire month of March. I liked his plan, one because I don't like him drinking the Coke because of all the chemicals in it and two, I've always told him if he cut out the sugar, he'd lose weight. I liked his plan until he told me the rest of it.

To find out what this picture has to do with losing weight, you'll have to go to Brian's blog to find out.

Tuesday's Tip-Saving on gifts

Today's tip is not rocket science and there are probably alot of you who already do this, but in case there are a couple of you that don't, I wanted to share my tip on how to save time and money when it comes to buying gifts.

I have 3 bins in basement that look like this:
Whenever I am out and see something on sale that I love and know would make a great birthday or shower gift, I get it. I go home and immediately

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