Here's a quick tip for organizing your freezer. Use boxes. It may seem simple but it makes a huge difference when you're looking for something.
Here's what part of mine looked like before. I took all the veggies and put them in a box. I took all the packaged chicken, hamburg, and other meats, and put them in a seperate box (not pictured). Then I put all the french fries, and other miscellaneous things in yet another box. Now when I need a bag of carrots I can go grab one instead of searching through all the items. Here's what this half looked like when I was done.
Maybe you can't tell from the pictures, but it makes a huge difference. Try it and see for yourself. Let me know if you have other great organizing tips.
For the first 3 weeks after out little Princess Sunshine was born I was amazed. I couldn't believe how well I was doing keeping up with everything and still having time to do the things I love. I crocheted 2 hats for her and started a couple other projects, I sewed a nursing coverup, I read 2 books....I was amazed! I didn't realize 6 kids would be easier than 5. I was keeping up with laundry, cooking dinner, and my house wasn't any more disorganized than normal (if anything I was getting more done). I really couldn't figure it out, to the point where I kept trying to understand how this was so easy. And then it hit me!
I had decided last summer to start school early with the girls (I homeschool), for the specific reason that I wanted to take a month off when I had the baby. Here I was thinking I had my world under control, when it was all really just because I was saving myself hours worth of school work every day. I knew at that moment that I would not be as in control the following week when we started up assignments again. So, I decided to do half days the first week so I didn't shock my system. LOL
So far, so good. I don't have a spotless house and I'm not doing 2 loads of laundry every day like I used to, but we're surviving. If I ever do have time to myself again, the first thing I may do is type up the dozen or so crochet patterns that I have created. For some reason, in those crazy first few weeks, I thought maybe I could type them up while nursing my new baby girl. Never dawned on me it's a little difficult to type with one hand. lol I wouldn't change this time in my life for anything. It goes by so quickly that I want to enjoy every moment before it's gone.
Ok, so it's definately not what you think! Frugal Friday is about saving money, not spending it. So, here's my Frugal Friday tip. Power walk while you shop. Let me explain. When I'm ready to go shopping (grocery, dept. store, etc.) I make my list and I take all 5 girls with me (they are all under the age of 8). People think I'm nuts, but let me tell you.....this works. I've have learned over the years that kids have a time limit. They will behave in the store for so long, and then every mother knows what happens. They start to whine, have temper tantrums, act up, walk away from you, etc. This is exactly why I take my kids. They have their timers too. And they start ticking from the moment I walk into a store. So, here's what I do.
I make sure I have my list & I go as far as to try to put similar items together so I don't have to go back to an isle because I forgot something. (ex: frozen items, meats, etc.)
I take all my kids with me. (It's not that bad once you get used to it.)
When I get to the store I power shop! Walk as fast as you can through the store to get everything on your list. Sometimes I walk so fast my girls actually have to run to catch up to me :).
Do not stop to look at something that is not on your list!
I'm sure some of you are laughing at me :) but let me tell you this works for a number of reasons.
You will save money because you are not browsing while you shop.
Your kids timers will be ticking, so if you're smart you'll get out of there before their time is up.
You'll be getting just a little bit of excercise because of the fast pace you're keeping through the store.
Try it! I can go through Sam's or BJ's - with all 5 kids in tow - and spend $185 in 20 minutes. I know that doesn't sound like saving money, but that is for a family of 8 - for 2 weeks.
I LOVE Dunkin' Donuts coffee. We head there every Sunday after church and have some 'family time'. So, when I saw this posted on a friends blog I thought I'd pass on the good news to my fellow bloggers. Plus, FREE is great!
For quite some time now - probably the last few months - I have been feeling like things need to change. Not in a bad way, but I need to make the changes. No one else can do it for me, and they won't just happen on their own. Then yesterday, I was reading my friend Kate's blog, and it totally confirmed what I needed to do. I've been thinking, for a couple months, about the changes I need to make, and how to go about getting the results I want, but that's not getting it done. It's time for me to take action!
OK, here's the story.....
Five and a half years ago, (I'm going back this far in hopes that my story will help someone), I gave birth to a beautiful little girl. That's when our world changed. The next 1 1/2 years was pure torture. My husband used to say, "If she was first, she would have been last." It may sound cruel to some, but she was a very difficult baby. For the first 15 months she was alive she would scream from 10pm to 4am every single night. The doctors couldn't find anything wrong with her.....so we would sleep from 8:30pm (when our other children went to bed) until 10pm when she woke up screaming. Then when she fell asleep at 4am, we would go back to sleep until 5:30 when everyone had to get up for the day. We did this for over a year. I never knew the ill effects of sleep deprivation until then. I had no patience for my other children and no motivation to do anything. Even when I was 'awake' I just didn't have the energy. My hubby and I both gained 20 lbs. that year. So, because of these circumstances, I was keeping up with laundry and getting dinner on the table. Everything else took a back burner, including keeping up with my home. When she was about 2 1/2 I realized that I needed to get my house back in order. That worked for a short time, until the next baby came along. So, here I am 5 1/2 years later, still suffering the effects of long term sleep deprivation, among other things. It's been a roller coaster. I'll do good for a while, then, because of a busy week or something else, I'd let things slide & we'd be right back to where we started.
OK, back to where my story. God has been telling me to take action and get control of my homemaking skills! The problem is, I've been working on the plans in my head but have yet to make the move. Then yesterday I read Kate's blog, and she was talking about similar things. I believe she even she even said she's going to use her blog to hold her accountable. That's when the lightbulb went on for me. I've been trying to figure out a focus for my blog. So, I'm going to jump on her bandwagon (so to speak) and use mine for much of the same thing. I'll still blog about homeschooling, fun adventures with my girls, etc., but I believe we are not alone. With the help of other mom's who struggle with the same thing we can do this. I've read books on organization. Now it's time to put them to good use. I'll start sharing some of the tips I remember and hopefully others have tips too.
I've got the itch . . . . . I've wanted to excercise since our newest addition was about a week old. I decided that was a little too soon, so I waited until she was 2 weeks old. I felt great and wanted to do something.....anything. So, I decided to give some floor excercises a go. BAD idea! My back was just not ready and I could immediately tell that it was not a very smart idea on my part. So I waited another week and tried again (I'm stubborn, & sometimes I don't learn the first time:). This time I only did it for about half the amount of time as my first go around. That was on Wednesday, and I felt pretty good. Well, today it is absolutely gorgeous out. So, as the girls were outside playing, and my new little one was sleeping, I decided I wanted to go for a walk.
Walking has always been my favorite. Whether I take a walk with my family or by myself I've always enjoyed it. But, for the most part, I don't take walks anymore. My husband works crazy hours, and because we live on a windy road with no street lights for two miles in either direction, it limits when I can go. I used to take the girls with me, but once I had the 3rd girl it became to much. I had to push 2 in a stroller and carry the other one because of the hills, no sidewalks, crazy drivers, etc....
Back to my story....
While outside with the girls today I had an idea. I could walk around my house. Maybe you've done this and it's not new to you, or maybe you think I'm crazy. Either way, I was excited. So I started doing laps. One side of my house has a walkout basement, so I have 3 level sides and one side with a hill down and then a small hill up. Perfect for me, seeing as I'm really not supposed to be excercising yet anyway :). So, I kept up my laps. The girls had no clue until about lap 20, when all of a sudden my 8 year old stopped me and said....."What are you doing?" To which I responded, "Walking." I guess that was a boring answer because her only response was "Oh" and she took off, in the other direction, to find her sisters. I'm looking forward to more spring days now that I have somewhere to walk.
Irish twins are "two children born to the same mother within 12 months of each other." Technically my girls missed being irish twins by 2 months (they're 14 months apart). But, I have learned over the years that those two months don't really matter. My girls are very close and affectionate with each other, and have a sibling bond that I don't know if I've ever encountered before. I have often told people it's like living with twins, to the point where they even finish each others sentences. They have been in the same size clothes since the younger one was 6 months old, and ever since they became the same height, I often get asked if they are twins. Most recently, their newest adventure is dressing alike, in hopes that people will actually think they are. Well, yesterday was their newest "we have to do things together" adventure. They lost the same tooth, on the same day. They literally had me pull them out one right after the other. They thought it was the funniest thing ever.
My hope is that someday they will include their "Irish triplet" in their escapades :).