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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Packing the kids

Me and the kids are hitting the road. I am looking forward to it, but I always dread packing, fearing that I will leave something out. After doing this a couple times, I think I have this down so I thought I would brainstorm and share. If you have any other ideas, let me know!

My biggest issue is organization. I mean, how do you organize a big bag you are planning to live out of? Little kids need so much stuff when we leave town that they have 2 LARGE bags to my 1 medium one (that includes my pillow). My biggest secret is: ziplock bags. I use a ton of them for the kids stuff. But I can use them over and over so it doesn’t seem like such a waste AND it makes life easier.
  • 1 ziplock for each day worth of clothes. This cuts down on over packing or not finding the matching whatever in the bottom of the bag.
  • 1 ziplock for each night worth of clothes.
  • 1 ziplock for toiletries. This is great so shampoo or lotion doesn't explode in the bag.
  • 1 ziplock of snacks. A must for my children. I only had one for an airplane flight, but I will end up bringing more than that this trip because we are driving so there is no limit.
  • 1 ziplock of baby feeding stuff. I won’t need much this trip since my daughter is now over the bottles, jars and formula. But I will need to bring sippy cups, forks and spoons.
Organized Chaos... 
I find disposable baby stuff is great on longer trips and at theme parks. I have only ever bought these things once since I don’t use them often. You can get disposable changing pads, bibs, placemats and washcloths. They don’t take up a lot of space. I also can’t forget the diapers and wipes (which Do take a lot of space.

Case of kid DVDs
1 bag of toys
Portable crib and baby blanket with sleeping animal
Also a couple of extra outfits is a good idea...

The first time I used this method was in August when Jeremy and I went to Mexico - our first time leaving the kids... for a whole week. In the past, when I just made a bag I would come back with my kids wearing the strangest combination of clothing and pajamas. The kids don't seem to care but... anyway, when I used my new ziplock packing with my kids clothing there was no question of what went together or if I packed enough. Mission Completion! 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

My Kitchen Island

I found a great find on Craigslist. I hadn't looked for a kitchen island in a couple of years because the size I needed in an island would cost over $900 new and I couldn't seem to find one used. But my lucky day came when Jeremy and I were waiting for a Shakespeare play to start and I was poking around on my phone trying to find a trundle bed for my son (haven't found one I like yet. Good thing it isn't an urgent matter.). I was able to find this one only a couple miles from my home!

 I was able to pick this up for $100. The problem was that it was definitely not the right color, had paint peeling and also some water damage... I also wasn't thrilled with the country look. While not really into ultra-contemporary styles, I would prefer an updated look. So I got to work...
With a little help with my munchkin. And about $30 in paint and hardware. I had to cut out the damaged wood and fill it in. Take the doors and hardware off. Sand it. Protect what I didn't want to paint with painter's tape. Paint it. I also bought new knobs and a handle to use as a towel rack... and Voila!
I still plan on sanding and refinishing the top. However, I was on a bit of a time limit and didn't want to rent a hand sander. My mother is renovating her garage, so when her things are out of storage, I can borrow hers. I also think I will stain the wood a slight shade before applying polyurethane.

I am very happy with the outcome. And the fact that it isn't white (as my husband really wanted). The last time I refinished furniture I was pregnant and thought it was a lot of work. I now acknowledge that it is a lot of work whether or not you are pregnant. Although, it was much more therapeutic without little kids crying at the window or wanting attention. But whenever I am working in my kitchen I think it was well worth it!

The Beginning

This is my first adventure in Blogging.
I enjoy reading blogs. I read ones about creative home ideas, how to patio garden, how to save money and where, getting creative with kids activities, freezer cooking, and other such such subjects as they pertain to my life at that moment in time.
I have been toying with the idea of bogging myself for some time because I love to write and the thought of sharing what I am doing and learning sounds like a great idea to me! My biggest quandary was what to focus on or name it. But as you can see, I couldn't choose only one subject. I want to write about everything and see where it goes. So here's to the new blog!