Month: January 2015

A couple of months ago, my 4-year old daughter Lucy wanted to watch a movie. The hubs and I were watching something on tv so I downloaded Netflix onto her iPad so she could watch it.

First off, yes both of my children have iPads. They have a variety of educational apps and a handful of cartoons loaded on them for car trips and times when mom or dad need a few minutes to do something. Second, everyone has their own opinion in screen time and that’s not the issue I’m here to talk about, so no lectures please.

Anyways, on another day, Lucy was playing with her iPad while I was trying to clean or do something. I saw that she was on Netflix and was watching a cartoon. She said she was watching Barbie. It was on the Netflix kids list and seemed harmless enough. Until I heard some of the dialogue and my jaw dropped.

The characters were talking about how one girl was trying to steal Ken from Barbie. They were saying words like hate, stupid and whatever and talking about how one of the girls didn’t dress well enough. I was shocked that this kind of show was considered children’s programming. I told Lucy I didn’t want her watching it anymore because Barbie’s friends weren’t nice people.

About a week ago, Lucy was watching a show called ‘Horseland’ on Netflix. I prescreened a few episodes and they seemed ok. Until I heard dialogue from one episode in which one horse had gained too much weight and wasn’t eating in order to lose weight. Excuse my language but wtf!?! Who is developing these kind of shows for kids. Needless to say we’re no longer watching ‘Horseland’ either.

I partially blame Netflix for not giving better parental controls. Their kids programming list is for ages 12 and under. There is a HUGE difference in what you let a 4 year old watch and what you let a 12 year old watch. They should allow you to restrict by age, I mean come on. Secondly, I think these topics are even too nature for 12 year olds, which is why they should also allow you to exclude specific shows.

But mostly, I blame society, for making inappropriate social issues like stealing boyfriends and being weight conscious ok to include in cartoons for kids. Growing up in a society focused on being beautiful and skinny and having a lot of material things is hard enough, kids today do not need tv shows pushing weight loss and infidelity on them. And don’t even get me started on violence in cartoons.

There are shows out their like Dora and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse that at least have a moderate amount of educational value, but once my kids outgrow those shows, then what? Brats? Monster High? Powderpuff girls? I think not!

Then you look at channels like ABC Family, which airs Pretty Little Liars (which I’ve never watched but it doesn’t look like something I ever want my girls to watch). Seriously?!? A show about being a pretty liar? Ridiculous! Oh and I’ve also been channel surfing and seen The Hunger Games (a show about kids killing each other) and Pretty Woman (a show about a prostitute and her john) on ABC Family as well.

I know this is just a rant by some annoyed mom of two little girls, and that the ultimate solution is just to not let them watch tv (ccome on yeah right). I think that parents in America need to start pushing for more quality child and family programming that enforces values and morals to help grow well adjusted, confident young girls who embrace each other’s differences, instead of inappropriate cartoons that encourage them to be pretty, skinny boyfriend-stealers.

Oh man what a hectic week! Lots going on at work and both kiddos had the flu, then I got the flu. Needless to say I did not get as much done as I had hoped but still made some good progress.

If you missed my original project post or my Week 1 post from last week, check out what 40 bags in 40 days is all about and visit the other blogs of the lovely ladies participating in this challenge. You can also find us on our 40 bags in 40 days board on Pinterest.

Here’s my progress for week 2:

Bag 8: Kids kitchen cupboard This cupboard serves as a catch all for the kids cups, plates, water bottles and other various foot storage items. Unbeknownst to me, shoved way in he back were also several old bottles, dishwasher bottle racks and a ton of bibs (my youngest has been off the bottle for a year). It was nice to be able to get rid of these since it freed up a lot of space so things aren’t haphazardly shoved into this cupboard.

Bag 9, 10, 11, 12, 13: Pantry Ok I know it seems lame to lump 5 bags into one area but take one look at my pantry and you’ll totally understand. It’s a disaster. And it’s been that way for a while but it has seemed like too overwhelming of a job to tackle all at once. This might be the most embarrassing area of my house. And I know you’re saying to yourself ‘I mean who stores DVDs in their pantry?!?’. Well I have a toddler who insists on getting into everything, so me, I store DVDs in the pantry (but I hope to find a better place for them as I tackle my problem areas next week).

In order to make cleaning out this space manageable, I broke it up by shelf so I could do one each day. Besides just cleaning it out, another goal for this space was to make it easier to see how much I had left of everything in hopes of not making a trip to the store every other day because we ran out of something. Once I got rid of all the expired food, empty boxes and stuffed animals (yeah you read that right), I made a trip to the dollar store for some cheap containers to help keep things organized (without spending a fortune). I spent $9 and got all of these containers (and yes they’re all the same color because I’m OCD).

Here is the finished product (so far). I think I may still need a few extra containers here and there. And I would like to get a larger storage container to hold the party supplies on the top shelf. Overall I’m pretty proud of how good it looks and how much more space we have now (YAY! room for more food). Let’s just hope it stays this way.

Bag 14: Portable artwork storage A few months ago, I had the great idea of using a purple plastic storage box to store art supplies (crayons, construction paper, safety scissors, glue sticks, coloring books, stickers, etc) for my girls since they use them just about every day. I envisioned it being easy to move from upstairs to downstairs and neatly contain all their craftiness. Yeah right! Lately, it’s become a staple on our dining table and it often looks more like a craft store threw up at the end of my table than the little organized box I had imagined.

While the after picture doesn’t look that drastically different, the box is now about half full (after I removed all the scraps of paper, old drawings (which I’ll be archiving with Artkive before recycling) and completely colored coloring books. I also replaced some of the coloring books with new ones from the craft bin I keep in the pantry. Also, since cleaning the pantry, this box can now live on the floor in the pantry, easily within kid reach, when not in use. No more crafty mish mash on my dining room table. Hooray!

Hoping to make more progress next week on book and dvd storage, our spice/junk cabinet and our junk drawer.

Be sure to check out the progress of the other lovely bloggers tackling this crazy challenge right along with me in my original 40 bags in 40 days post!

As a pregnant woman and new mom, you worry about nearly everything. You’re bombarded with advice, warnings and recommendations from friends, family and a host of baby books and articles, which can induce anxiety no matter how cool you are.

During my first pregnancy, I worried that maybe I wouldn’t be a good mom. Maybe I didn’t have the mom gene, maybe I wouldn’t like being a mom. Maybe I wouldn’t have a natural mothering instinct and just ‘know’ what to do like everyone said I would. I didn’t have a lot of experience with babies. I had never held more than a couple babies before my first child was born. Her first diaper change was my first diaper change. But when they laid her on my chest right after being born, I knew that I would do everything I could to give her everything. It was definitely love at first sight.

When we decided to have a second child, I didn’t have the apprehension about being a mom. I mean, I had kept my first child alive for 2 years, and while I was nowhere near the perfect mom, I wasn’t worried about surviving baby #2 (or about baby #2 surviving in our family). And we already had all the baby stuff left over from baby #1 was, so we were pretty much set.

I think there were a lot of things that I did differently with baby #2. I was also less of a mess in the weeks after having baby, which I think everyone around me appreciated.

So, as a tribute to all the soon-to-be or recent second-time (and third-time and fourth-time) mommies out there, here are 8 things that moms do differently with baby #2:

  1. You don’t stress as much about what you eat while pregnant. With baby #1, you probably followed all the rules about what to not eat and drink. I cut out everything from lunch meat to coffee to sugar. While pregnant with baby #2, I drank coffee (like 1 cup per day, not triple espressos), ate sandwiches every other day and scarfed sugary treats to my hearts content. I wasn’t chugging beer or eating sushi, but I definitely became more relaxed with my restricted pregnant diet.
  2. You stop counting your pregnancy in days. You are chasing another kid around. You don’t have time for an app or daily countdown of the number of days remaining. I also didn’t know what fruit or vegetable they’re currently the size of.
  3. You don’t rush to create a perfectly coordinated nursery before baby arrives. Our first baby had a beautiful nursery, complete with Pottery Barn bedding, coordinating wall color and custom artwork that I made (even though she slept in a pack and play in our room for the first 6 months). Poor baby #2 had no nursery. She slept in the pack and play for 6 months and then slept in office/guest room in the pack and play until she was ready to move into a big kid bed in the bedroom she shares with her big sister.
  4. You don’t worry about breaking or hurting newborn baby #2. You’ve been here before. You are probably a diaper changing ninja who can feed a baby while phone surfing Facebook at the same time.
  5. You don’t dress them like baby fashionistas. With baby #1, you carefully pre-wash (in unscented detergent) and fold/hang all baby clothes, organized by month. They’re always dressed in a new outfit, complete with coordinating accessories, even if you’re not leaving the house. Baby #2 gets a mish mash of stained, pre-worn onesies and pajamas, because they’re just going to throw up or poop on them so why get them all dressed up? Oh and no one has time to fold baby clothes when you have 2 kids, so you probably just keep them in the laundry basket.
  6. You’re a little less concerned about dirt and germs. The diaper commercial that show the comparison between your first baby (where she makes the girl cover her body in hand sanitizer before she holds the baby) vs. your second (she hands baby #2 off the the dirt covered mechanic) is a bit extreme but true. With #2, I wasn’t crazy about people washing their hands before holding her and on the occassion that she used a pacifier, a quick rinse was enough ‘sanitizing’ for my peace of mind.
  7. You take fewer pictures. You’re too busy taking care of two kids to document their every movement with your iPhone. Don’t worry you’ll still take some pictures, thought they’ll probably never make it into a baby book (at least until they’re toddlers anyways).
  8. You stop doubting yourself (as much). You act like you know what to do because you do (or at least you have a pretty good idea). You’re not as hard on yourself and you don’t stress about every single decision and how it will affect them 20 years down the road.

All that really matters is that moms love baby #2 (and #3 and #4) just as much as the first child. You just spend more time being a mom than worrying about being a mom when you’re a second time mom.

If you told be 5 years ago that I would be a ‘runner’ I would have laughed in your face. I’ve been running for the past 2 years and it’s changed my life. It keeps me fit, sane and diminishes my urge to punch people in the face. Nothing washes away stress from work or issues with my kiddos or the hubs like a good run.

During my second pregnancy, I knew it was going to be hard to lose the baby weight. I mean breastfeeding can only do so much. Plus there was also the 20 pounds I put on pre-baby because, at the time, it seemed silly to workout and diet when we were trying to have a baby (I was just going to get fat and swollen anyways right).

I had always wanted to run a half marathon, though I don’t quite know why. I had never run more than 2 miles at a time and even that was torture. I guess I saw a lot of my friends posting about finishing all these races on Facebook and I wanted to be one of the cool kids?!? And the moms I saw running with their Bob strollers always looked so strong and cool.

Just before having my second baby, I decided that I was going to be proactive about getting fit and I set the goal to run a half marathon before my 30th birthday. That gave me approximately 5 months to train (after being cleared by the doctor post baby), which seemed totally reasonable (though those 5 months were January through May, the rainiest time of year here in Oregon).

I started off by doing intervals of running and walking (there was a lot more walking than running) on the treadmill but I wasn’t really loving it. I gave running outside a shot and discovered it was a little better (not easier, just less boring).

Being the mom of a 6 week old and a 2 1/2 year old, I didn’t exactly have a ton of time to ‘train’ outside so I bit the bullet and purchased a used double jogging stroller of Craigslist for $100.

My first run with the jogging stroller was rough (as we’re many after that as well). It didn’t occur to me that pushing an extra 50+ pounds would really slow me down (and I was slow already). But let me tell you, after training with a jogging stroller, solo runs were a breeze!

In the last two years, I’ve run a half marathon, a couple 8k races and a three leg relay (Hood to Coast). This year, as part of my New Year’s resolutions, I plan to run an 8k, 2 relays and hopefully another half marathon. I gotta admit, running definitely gets addicting.

Here are my 10 tips to getting started running (whether you’ve been a runner in the past or not):

  1. Start with intervals. There are a lot of plans on Pinterest that take you from a non runner to runner. I started out with intervals. Try jogging for 30 seconds, then walk for a minute, alternating for 20-30 minutes (this can be done on on treadmill or outside). Each week (or whenever you think you’re ready), increase the time of the jogging interval and decrease the time for walking. Eventually, remove the walking all together.
  2. Don’t worry about speed. Even if you’re in really good shape, you may still start out with super slow pace times. And that’s ok. When you’re starting out, worry about building up your endurance for distance. If you start out too fast, you may run out if energy before you reach the end of your run. Once you can run 3 miles without stopping, then you can start working on increasing your pace (I do this with intervals of my current pace and my desired pace).
  3. Get outside. For me, I have a way easier time running outside. I’m not really sure why but even when it’s cold or raining, is still rather run outside than be stuck on a hamster wheel at the gym (but if treadmills are your thing then you go girl).
  4. Get a jogging stroller. Think you don’t have time because you have kids? Get a jogging stroller. Seriously just do it! And you don’t have to spend a fortune on an expensive stroller. I found mine for $100 on Craigslist and it does the trick. Your kids will nap or munch on snacks while you run (get a rain cover for your stroller if you live in an area where you might need it, like Oregon). Plus, it will help increase your endurance, since you’re pushing around extra weight.
  5. Get an app. There are lots of apps out there. I personally use the Runkeeper app. It tracks my runs to show my progress and also offers training plans based on distance or pace. I like to set it to give me updates during my runs, like current mileage and pace. Find an app that offers features that are important to you.
  6. Make a killer playlist. Nothing motivates me more than good tunes to run to. I use Spotify to create playlists but you can use whatever music you like. Just make sure it’s upbeat and fun.
  7. Stretch after your runs. Don’t skip this part! Seriously!!! Nothing will derail you faster than a running related injury. Shin splints, IT band problems and a lot of other issues can be helped or prevented with proper stretching. I personally like these stretches for runners and these foam rolling exercises (foam rolling is a runner’s lifesaver).
  8. Register for a race. Pick a manageable distance (5k is a good place to start). Don’t pick a half marathon as your first race. By paying money to run, you’re setting a goal and forcing yourself to stick with training. Even better, find a buddy to register with you. It creates extra accountability.
  9. Buy cute running clothes. Nothing makes a gal feel better and more motivated than a new outfit. You don’t have to spend a ton (I really like the C9 by Champion line of women’s activewear at Target and Miss Kate Hudson’s new line of affordable athletic wear, Fabletics). I like to wear breathable layers, especially in cold weather. If you plan on running outside in the dark, make sure to wear light colored reflective clothing. And invest in a good sports bra. You should not be flopping around while you run, not only can it be painful but it’s just not cute. Mom boobs need all the support they can get.
  10. Eat properly before and after a run. This is super important. Nothing kills a run faster than lack of energy. Try something easily digestible, like a banana and almond butter or some Greek yogurt about 30 mins to an hour before your run to give your body time to digest and convert your food into energy (running on a full stomach is no bueno). After a run, you’ll want to hydrate (coconut water is a great option because it has electrolytes without all the sugar they put in Gatorade) and have a snack/meal with protein and carbs to help your body recover. Here is a great article about what to eat pre and post workout.

Getting started with running can be tough (especially if you’ve never really run before). Stick with it. It will get easier. It’s definitely a mental thing, your body can totally do it but only you can make your mind believe you can do it.

My first week of cutting the clutter out of my life and home was hectic (with my husband and I back to work and the kids back into their routine) but still productive. As I started with my before pics, I was a little embarrassed of how bad I’d let these areas get (so no judging).

If you missed my post from last week, check out what 40 bags in 40 days is all about and visit the other blogs of the lovely ladies participating in this challenge. You can also find us on our 40 bags in 40 days board on Pinterest.

Here’s my progress:

Bag 1, 2 & 3: Toys
One of my biggest problem areas is too many toys. Everywhere. Especially after Christmas. I focused on my three biggest toy problem areas, the toy chest in our living room, the toy closet under our stairs and the girls room. I had three bags from these three areas:

  1. Toy rotation bag: I practice toy rotation with my kids. This means every couple of months, I go through their toys and take the things they haven’t been playing with much and put them in storage, then bring out some of them out a few months later. It’s like getting new toys every couple of months. This is a great article on toy rotation and organization from Hand Made Kids Art. I hope to one day be this organized but right now I just toss stuff into a giant plastic storage box in our garage.
  2. Donate bag: This bag was filled with toys that the girls had outgrown (mostly baby toys) and weren’t really interested in playing with anymore. I asked the girls to help pick out the toys they didn’t really play with anymore (which were only a few they were willing to give up but still helps them to learn to give to others). I donate these (and other household items) to a local community organization that sells them to raise money for local families in need.
  3. Trash bag: It was a little ridiculous how much trash came of these three toy spaces. Broken toys (5 broken tiaras, seriously???), little scraps of paper from who knows where and toy missing essential parts.

I didn’t include a before an after of the girl’s room as I’m nowhere near done with the organization in that disaster zone. Stay tuned!

Bag 4: My purse
Kids have turned my purse into a bottomless pit of fruit snack wrappers, single random socks and tissues (gross!). As a kid, I’d always ask my mom to put stuff in her purse (my trash, a toy, whatever) and it always kind of annoyed her. Now I totally get why! Talk about karma. Anyways, after digging out all the ‘non-essential’ items in my purse I restocked it with the things I actually need and use. And now it’s a good 3 pounds lighter.

Bag 5: The family command center
Our family ‘command’ center was in command of nothing. This once organized catch-all has become stuffed with my daughter’s school papers, old bills (that have been paid but not filed away) and 4 year old takeout menus. After weeding through the chaos, I’ve removed a bag of trash and a big stack of my daughter’s school papers that will be archived (using the Artkive app) shortly.

Bag 6: Utensil drawer
This is the drawer that contains multiples of every kitchen utensil but you can never find them. It also rarely opens or closes on the first try, which then leads to an immature struggle to get it open. Seriously sad! I removed all the utensils and got rid of the duplicates (who needs 8 wooden spoons and 3 can openers?). While it now opens and closes easily, it’s still not as organized as I’d like it to be. Might need some more work on this one.

Bag 7: Food storage/towel drawer
Everyone has those reusable food storage containers. How has someone not invented an ingenious way to organize them. I can never find the right lid for the right size, which is so frustrating when you’re already running late for work in the morning. I removed and tossed any container without a matching lid (where do the lids go anyways?). I also tossed the nasty stained pot holders that were clogging up the drawer. Now it’s much easier to get to things and find lids for the appropriate containers.

Whew! I’m exhausted!!! But I feel so good about the progress I’ve made so far and can’t wait to see how wonderfully organized my house is once the 40 days are up.

Don’t forget to check out the other wonderfully AMAZING bloggers participating in the challenge along with me!

You always hear the saying ‘Happy wife, happy life’ but what about the husbands? I’m thinking about changing it up to something like ‘Happy spouse, happy house’. Okay, it’s kind of hokey but my point is that maybe the secret to a happy home isn’t a clean house or well behaved children (ok I’m sure both if those would help) but a happy spouse who feels loved and respected, and that includes husbands.

I remember a few years ago, shortly after having my first child, I told a friend (a mother of 2) how  overwhelming it was trying to make everything work, making sure the house was clean, my daughter was happy and fed, and trying to find quality time with my husband. She said ‘Make sure your husband is happy and everything else will follow’. At the time, I liked the idea but was so overwhelmed with my new baby that I didn’t really grasp the idea or why it was important.

Fast forward four years (and another kid) later, I stumbled up on this article about spoiling your spouse on Pinterest. I read it and a little lightbulb went off in my head, remembering the conversation with my friend from many years previous. I guess if you hear something more than once, it’s probably worth giving a shot right?!?

I am totally guilty of putting my kids above all. I guess I felt like if I didn’t put them as my top priority and do everything for them, who would, ya know? This meant that my poor husband often gets put on the back burner, which is pretty uncool considering he was in my life first and is pretty much the reason my little rugrats are here.

The article also makes a great point that spoiling your children and doing everything for them “can lead to self-entitlement and teaches selfishness”. No one wants their children to be selfish. I mean come on now.

As one of my New Year’s resolutions, I wanted to make sure that I was showing my husband daily that he was loved and a priority in my life. This idea kind of stemmed from the ‘spoil your husband’ concept.

So, in honor of spoiling my husband, here are some things you are probably already doing for your kids that you should be doing for your husband:

  1. Take them to do something they want to do – you’re always taking kids to park, dance class, soccer practice or wherever their little heart desires. Now do this for your husband. Pick something
    he enjoys doing and go do it together. This shows that you pay attention to what he likes and are making an effort to take part in his interests. Go to a sporting event, movie or restaurant that he likes. Maybe there’s a boat or car show in town he’s dying to go to. Whatever it is, suck it up and go with him (and no matter how bored you are, pretend you’re loving it).
  2. Solve his problems – you spend hours solving problems for your kids every day (“I have an owie”, “where’s my purple dinosaur?”). Figure out what’s bugging your husband and find a solution. Is he stressed at work? Try bringing him lunch or getting takeout delivered. Is he having a hard time finding something? Help him look for it or find it for him.
  3. Give him a bro-playdate – your kids enjoy it when you take them to spend time with their friends (or your friends kids). Sometimes your guy just wants to go out with the guys and do guy things. Give him a night (or day) off to go do something with the boys (and make sure to not make him feel guilty about it before or after).
  4. Buy him the thing he wants – you’re always giving in to your kids when they ask for things (because honestly, sometimes it’s easier than saying no), so when your husband says he wants or needs something (a new suit, get his car detailed, tickets to an event) just get it for them. He’ll appreciate the gesture and he’ll know that you’re listening.
  5. Make him his favorite meal (or get takeout from his favorite restaurant) – if you’re anything like me, you probably cook special food just for your kids. Your husband deserves the same treatment every once in a while. Try making one of his favorite meals once a month, or if he says he likes something you eat at a friend’s or family member’s house, get the recipe and make it at home. Does he dream about chicken satay from the local Thai restaurant (my husband does)? Get take out for him on a night when you don’t have time (or the energy) to cook.

Now, it’s my turn to practice what I preach.

As a kid, the only vegetables I would eat were potatoes, corn and tomatoes (in the form of ketchup or ‘spaghetti’ sauce, not actual tomatoes). Even as a teenager, I was made fun of by friends and family for eating my sandwiches and burgers sans veggies. I’ve come to love some vegetables and tolerate most but they’re definitely an acquired taste.

My girls are pretty much following in my footsteps as not being part of the veggie fan club. I’m not one to force feed them anything so until they make the conscious decision to eat vegetables on their own, I sneak them into some of their favorite foods.

Pureed pumpkin is an easy one to sneak into Pumpkin muffins, pancakes or even Pumpkin macaroni and cheese. I’ve tricked the girls into eating these delish pumpkin pancakes from How To Simplify. Throw a little maple syrup or peanut butter on top and they eat them right up without even a second thought that there may be veggies hidden in their beloved pancakes.

My girls really dig smoothies (this May or may not be because mom occasionally refers to them as milkshakes – don’t judge). Smoothies are a great way to sneak in veggies but don’t go overboard or the kids will sniff them out. I’ll throw a few spinach leaves into berry based smoothies, cucumber slices with pineapple smoothies and shredded carrot or carrot juice in with citrus based smoothies. We don’t really do recipes when it comes to smoothies, I just throw some frozen fruit (bananas are great for added sweetness), a complementary veggie, some Greek yogurt for protein and milk or coconut water and blend into a drinkable consistency. You can also make extra and throw it in some Popsicle mold for a tasty frozen treat later.

My favorite way to sneak veggies into my kids food is through marinara sauce. Granted, marinara is tomatoes but I like to add extra vegetables on top if that. This is my favorite clean marinara sauce recipe from Skinny Ms.

I actually just whipped up a batch yesterday. I throw about half a cup of shredded carrots and half a cup of fresh spinach (you could totally use frozen) in with the tomatoes for extra veggie power.

After it cooks and cools a bit, I put it in the blender to get a smooth consistency and to erase the evidence of the carrots and spinach. I divide the sauce up into the small snack sized ziplock bags and then throw them in the freezer. I like the small snack size bags because you can always defrost more than one.

I use this sauce over pasta, with meatballs and on pizza and the girls love it.

I also find that cooking with my kids makes them more willing to try new foods, including veggies.

What are your secrets to getting your kids to eat vegetables and other healthy foods?

My house used to be (somewhat) organized and pretty free of clutter. Now, with a full time job, two kids and an overwhelming amount of stuff, my house is a complete disaster zone most of the time. It takes a pretty significant amount of effort to whip it into shape suitable for anyone outside our family to visit. There is ridiculous amount of clutter and toys everywhere and no on can ever find anything in a reasonable amount of time. As one of my New Years resolutions, I’ve decided to take part in a 40 bags in 40 days challenge. I, along with 7 other bloggers, will be whipping our homes into shape by identifying 40 areas that need a little (or a lot) of help. The goal is to eliminate one bag (large or small) of stuff from each problem area per day to be donated or thrown away. At first this sounded kind of like a daunting task (especially considering I have to find time each day to do this for 40 days). I feel good about having something that forces me to do this and gives me a pretty specific timeline (and blogging about it keeps me accountable). I’m also going to enlist the help of my family (since a lot of this stuff is theirs too), which I think we make it slightly less overwhelming. I’ve taken a good look at the stuff in my house that drives me nuts and come up with these areas as my main problems:

  • Paper – important paperwork, bills, magazines/catalogs, kids artwork/school papers
  • Toys – everywhere
  • Clothes – kids, mom and dad
  • Laundry and linens – no real functional storage space
  • Kitchen – gadgets, cleaning supplies, utensils, pantry

I started an organization Pinterest board to get some ideas for how to get my mess under control without having to spend a ton of money (cuz Mama would rather spend money on shoes than fancy storage containers). I’ll be documenting my progress with blog posts every Friday over the next 6 weeks. Next week I’ll tell you a bit about my overall strategy and how I’m prioritizing my problem areas (and my time).

My Progress
Week 1

You can also check out the progress of the other 7 amazing bloggers that are part of this challenge at the InLinkz link below. Be sure to check us out with the hashtag #40bags40days on social media or visit our group board on Pinterest.

Want to take the challenge yourself? Here is a printable list to use to help choose and prioritize your problem areas.

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