Friday, May 28, 2010

I'm Lovin' Pomegranate Blueberry Juice!

Today is I'm Lovin' it Friday over at Tidy Mom so I thought it would be a great day to share my new favorite find.

It's Tropicana's Trop50 Pomegranate Blueberry Juice! Yummy!

I first tried it when Allison and I stopped at a Sheetz for a beverage. I knew when I saw this, I would give it a try because I LOVE blueberries! I love them in pie, in muffins, in pancakes, in bagels, in cereal, with cottage cheese and any other way you want to serve them to me!

I also like pomegranates so this seemed like the perfect match for me.

It was! I love it! And it has 1/2 the sugar and calories as than regular pomegranate/blueberry juices! If you think that is can also earn Tropicana Juicy Rewards points with it too. I believe it was 6 points for the carton I picked up at the grocery store.

If you don't know what Tropicana Juicy Rewards points are, you can click here to find out and to start earning!

Now that you've read what I'm Lovin' today, click on the button below to see what other are Lovin'!
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Binders Can Organize Your Life Series! ~ Part 4

Hello Everyone!
Sorry, I'm a day late in posting this. Yesterday got away from me!

Welcome to Part 4 in the "Binders Can Organized Your Life Series." Today I'll be showing you my Home Management Binder.

If you missed Part 1, you can click on the first link below to take you there and to see why I'm doing this series and how I store my binders. The second link will take you to Part 2 and the third link to Part 3.

Part 1 ~ Manual & Warranties, Holiday Ideas, Decorating Ideas & My Recipes.

Part 2 ~ Crafts, Gifts & Tips and Christmas Planner.

Part 3 ~ The Child Edition - Girl/Boy Scouts, Catechism/Sunday School and School Information.

Next week I'll be finishing up this series with my Financial Budget Binder so be sure to stop by for a visit.

Okay. Let's get started on this week's binder!

Some of you may be asking "What is she talking about? What exactly is a Home Management Binder?"

Well before I started reading blogs, I had no idea what one was either!

A Home Management Binder is basically a place where a Mom keeps all her schedules, lists, menu planning info and any other information she needs to keep track of so she can run an organized home. They are all different . . . no two will be alike. Make yours your own. For example, you may want to keep your child(ren)'s school schedules in it while mine doesn't include any of it since I have a system that works for me. Some call it a Household Notebook or a Control Journal. Call yours whatever works for you!

Here is mine. I use a 1" binder. I have seem some online that use a 4" binder. That is just too big for me. I don't want all that stuff in it. I like using my other binders while some add what I have in my other binders to their Home Management Binder. I think it would be hard to handle if it had that much information in it. That's just my opinion so do what works for you. As you can see, I made mine a little pretty. I just used a piece of card stock, a piece of patterned paper, a piece of ribbon, a silk flower and a brad. I figure if I'm going to be using it a lot then I want something pretty to look at. Looking back, the one thing I thought was odd was that I put our name on the front. It's not like it EVER leaves this house. There is just too much personal information in it that it stays put so there is no chance of losing it!

In the front of the binder I keep a pencil pouch with a couple of pens and dry erase markers (for crossing off weekly chores on my lists).

My index tabs are: housekeeping, projects, lists, menu planning, birthdays/anniversaries, church, to-go menus and A-Z.

Directly behind the pencil pouch is a sheet protector with frequently called phone numbers. I have them grouped by categories. Those are: Mom & Dad info, Family, Neighbors, Church & School, Doctors and Friends. I also have the same list in another sheet protector on the inside of a kitchen cabinet by the phone.

The index dividers I use are made of poly and have pockets in the front and back of them. This one is directly behind the phone list. I put papers or notices of upcoming things and then I put them on our bulletin board when they become closer. Seriously. Do I really need the family reunion notice on the board for 4 months? No, but I do need to know when it is so I can plan out my summer.

The first index tab is where I keep all my Housekeeping stuff. I do better when I have a list to check off so I've been working really hard to put this house on a schedule. The items I have in here are: Daily Chore List, Weekly Cleaning List, Monthly Tasks, Spring Cleaning List for May, Fall Cleaning List for November, Allison's Daily Routines & Chores and cleaning lists by room.

These next two pictures are of one of the cleaning lists for each room. On one side it has the steps for a GOOD CLEAN and the other side has the steps for a QUICK CLEAN. I love these lists! Anyone will be able to clean any room in your house to your liking if they have one of these lists. Allison isn't quite old enough yet to do a whole room by herself but I'll be getting these laminated so she can take it with her to the room when she is old enough. Before you say that I'm a genius for coming up with these lists, stop right there. I lifted the idea from Heather D. White's blog and she got the idea from her Mom. Here is a link to where she first wrote about it and then here is the link to where she scanned hers. I took her lists and changed them to fit me.

My next tab is Projects. It's just basically a list of all the projects I want to do and more sheets where I sketch out ideas. It's nothing exciting so no pictures.

The next section is a sort of catch-all for me. It's where I keep all my Lists. Some of them are: Needs/Wants, Songs for Ipod, Movies to See (broken down into Grown Up and Family), Vehicle Maintenance Log (one for each vehicle that shows the date the work was done along with what the work was, the mileage, who did it and the cost). I also have a picnic checklist, yard sale checklist and first aid kit checklist in this section too.

This next section is my Menu Planning section. On the left in the pocket are the most current grocery ads and on the right is a calendar for monthly menu planning which as you can see I didn't do. I don't know if I could plan a month at a time but I keep trying.

Behind the monthly calendar is my "Menu Ideas by Ingredient" and on the back of that is my "Menu Ideas by Type" to aid in my weekly menu planning.

These two lists have helped me immensely! It keeps me from making the same things over and over again. It also prevents me from making for example casseroles all week. It took some time to put it together but I am so glad I did!

The next section is Birthdays and Anniversaries. I have a sheet for each month with birthdays in the left column and anniversaries in the right. I like that when I get a new calendar at the beginning of the year, I don't have to sit down and transfer them all over to the new one. I just do it at the beginning of every month.

My next section is Church. Anything church related goes here. I put our weekly bulletin in the pocket for easy reference. One a side note here...I file everything for that tab behind it. In this pic it looks like I put the bulletin in the to-go menu section but I didn't. You see when you pull the tab that is labeled "Church" and move the sections in front of it to the left, it opens the church section up which shows the front pocket of the next divider. Make sense?

This next section is for To-Go Menus. I like they are here in one place and not crushed in some drawer someplace.

Okay. My last tab is A-Z. Hmm, what do I put here? Well this is probably the best section of this whole binder. This one section purges all that information from my brain that only us Moms know. I have found putting all of that info here helps to clear my brain of all that unwanted stuff and if anyone else needs to know it, they can find it here!
A lot of it is personal information but I did find one page where I could show you how I record the information. This is my "V" section and here is where I record our Veterinarian's phone number, address and hours of operation. I also have our Vacuum Cleaners bags and belt info.

I keep this on my computer in an Excel workbook with a page for every letter. This allows me to update or add to it. Some of the items I keep in here are: When I changed the batteries in the carbon monoxide detector and smoke alarms and what kinds of batteries they take, the phone numbers to all of our utility companies along with our account numbers, all of our doctor information can be found under "D", what size filter our furnace takes, the brand, name and number of my hair color, insurance company and policy information, what magazines we receive and when the subscription expires because they always send the renewals months and months in advance, the list of the Willow Trees I already have (for easy shopping for my honey) and so much more!
See how cool this section is? Trust me, it will make your life easier!

For other examples of a Home Management Binder, click here, here and here to see how others have put their binders together. You can also google "Home Management Binder" and find a ton more links!

Have Fun!
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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Congrats Stephanie!

Last Saturday my BFF's daughter a.k.a. my beautiful niece, Stephanie, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Westminster College. It was a wet and rainy day but didn't dampen how proud we all were and are of her!

Congrats Stephanie!
It's been a pleasure watching you grow and blossom into a wonderful person!
I can't wait to see what you do now!

The super proud parents (Brian and Susan) with their graduate!

Just us girls!

This is Shannon with Steph. They met on the first day of college and has been the best of buds ever since.
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Friday, May 21, 2010

Is This a Test?

Seriously. Am I being tested?

Does someone up there want to see how much I can handle?

If so, I say BRING IT ON!

Today I am dealing with a flat tire on the van...pretty isn't it?

I am also dealing with a leaky bathtub faucet...which we found out was leaking because the ceiling in our living room started to drip. The ceiling is now water logged and that corner will need to be replaced. And before you ask...No, we didn't see a watermark on the ceiling! You see when we moved in there was a watermark from a previous bathtub leak that was fixed. We painted the ceiling with Zinsser Stain Killer Primer and let me tell you...that stuff works. It covered everything including the new leak. UGH!

They say when trouble comes, it comes in threes. Well. I also broke a nail down to the flesh. It didn't bleed but you can see it wanted to and it hurts really, really bad! And of course it's the thumb on my right hand...and I'm right handed so I use that hand a lot. Sadness.

I am hoping that's all the trouble that will be thrown my way this week because if that's what you've got, then I can handle it! Even though all of the above stinks, I'm trying to look on the bright side. First and foremost, we are all healthy, happy and together. Secondly, the tire can be replaced (I needed two new back ones anyway). Thirdly, the faucet and ceiling can be repaired. Actually, I've been on the fence about repainting the living room so now my decision has been made for me. I'll plan that for a fun fall project. Also, since the water dripped onto my silk tree (yes, I still have silk!), I took it outside to clean it which caused a domino effect and now all my silk greenery is pretty again! And lastly, I'll trim my other nails so my little nubby thumb nail won't look like a runt and with shorter nails I'll be able to type faster so I can blog more! :)

See. It's not all so bad when you break it down! Me freaking out would just make it worse and I would still have a flat tire, leaky faucet, water logged ceiling and a broken nail! So what would be the point?!?

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Flowers, Paint and a Little Handprint!

We have had rain for quite some time that I never thought I would be able to get my front flower bed done.

Thankfully yesterday we had a beautiful day so I quickly got to work!

My Mom had picked up some geraniums for me so all I had to do was run over to the nursery and get some filler flowers. I then had to clean out all the old leaves behind my lilac bush and arborvitae, lay mulch and plant all of my flowers. I also painted my little ice cream parlor chair a beautiful Blue Ocean Breeze by Krylon. It's hard to tell in the pic but it is so vivid!

Here is my finished project. The sun wasn't cooperating so the pictures aren't that bright but if you click on them, you might get a better look. Please ignore the shutters...the home owner's association still can't agree what to do with them! Geez! Just paint them or let us get new ones! It's not that big of a deal!

I can't wait for the flowers to grow! There are a couple of trailing flowers in the pot on the chair so when they fill in, they are going to be everywhere!

The gazing ball was my Aunt Carole's. She past away several years ago and it was handed down to me. I haven't had it out the last couple of years for whatever reason. I am so glad I brought it out. It makes me smile when I see it.

A close up of the pot and chair. As you can see, I didn't sand the chair or anything before I painted it. I love the rustic look and I can't wait for some of the rust to peek through!

I love to pack the pots full of flowers! I usually start with a geranium in the middle and then build around it with different levels of flowers. It is so beautiful when it fills in but you have to be sure to water it every day since there are so many plants in it.

I picked this pot up at a local drug store many years ago. It's one of my favorites. I didn't have a geranium for this one so I just planted all the leftover flowers from the six packs in it.

This is one of the rose bushes I received a few Mother's Days ago. I believe this one is cream colored and the other one on the other side of the chair is a salmon color. It was supposed to be yellow but I think it cross-bred with a red one that used to grow there.

We made this back when Allison was four, I think. It was a nice find in the basement since I never had it out before.

One of my lilacs. They are a very whitish-lilac in color. It's supposed to be a dwarf bush but gets bigger and bigger every year!

My Mom got me this chicken planter when we first moved in here. It's not very big so I only put one geranium in it.

This is another pot like the one on the chair except for the trailing flowers. I have this sitting in between our two townhouse doors.

A top view. I'll have to be sure to take pics later this season and post them. I can't wait for these to fill in!

Aww, Mr. Bunny is stopping by to say "Hi!"

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Tap! Tap!

Is this thing on? Is anyone out there?

I've been on an unplanned, self induced bloggy break for over a month now so I don't know how many of you have been stopping by or not.

I do know that I feel loved. Loved and cared for by many of you out there that have taken the time to email me and ask if everything was okay. You all have touched me dearly!

Yes, everything is okay...well for the most part. I'm not sick or anything...which of course is a good thing. I've just been looking for a job and it's not fun! I haven't job searched in over 17 years and boy, have things changed!

I'm not going to go into detail but most places want you to apply online these days which takes like 2 hours for each place...since they want more than just your resume. This, of course, is in addition to utilizing all the employment places on the web to find open positions. So, as you can imagine, it wasn't too long before I got sick of sitting here in front of the computer! At one point, I had enough of it and didn't feel like typing up any blog posts! It seemed like my only communication with the outside world was the few minutes that I would wonder over to facebook for a little friendship. Anyway. I haven't found a job yet and could really use your prayers, well wishes and positive thoughts. :)

I have missed blogging and I'm glad I'm back! I've had so much to share and hopefully, I'll be able to get caught up on things. Some of the emails have asked about my binder system. Yes. I will be finishing those over the next two Wednesdays. Next week will be my Home Management Binder and then I'll finish up with my Financial Binder.

I also have a ton of recipes to share on my cooking blog but I'm not sure how frequently I'll be sharing those. I'll let you know here when I post a new recipe over there. Speaking of which, I posted one there today so head on over and see what we had for dinner last night. Yummy!

Thanks again for sticking around, caring and making me feel special. I appreciate and love every one of you! Also, I am hoping to have another post up later today so if you feel like peeking into my relatively boring but happy life, stop by for another visit!

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