I'm Really Not Type A - Assigned Towels

Remember this post? About our assigned towels. For a while, my children used their monogrammed beach towels as bath towels. That is until summer rolled around and we needed to take our beach towels to the pool (and the river - ha!).

Since I've bought towels never once in our 9 years of marriage, I thought it was reasonable to make a small purchase and lay our towel chaos to rest.

I got this idea from Design Mom. Buy the rainbow and assign each child a color.

Stephen: blue
Laurie: hot pink
George: green
New Baby: yet to be decided, but probably yellow
Guest/Extra towels: red and orange

As our family has grown, it has been such a useful system. It saves big on laundry since each child uses their towel multiple times before they need washing. Also, I like the way they look on the shelf!

Here's George, modeling a chic, green terry cloth.

I bought these towels from Target, and I love them because they are not too thick and bulky. They are a nice size, especially for children. And for $4.99!!! they are fantastic quality. I actually prefer them to our Pottery Barn towels. 


Posts like these probably make me seem very type A. I'm really not. I think I'm more of a B+.


Do your kids have assigned towels?


P.S. Color coded cups keep me sane.


Our Boat....Don't Act Like You're Not Impressed

Dave Ramsey often recommends buying a car that's a beater -a vehicle to get you by - one that goes from point A to point B, but may be lacking in presentation and luxuries like air conditioning or automatic locks. Now apply the beater concept to boats. That's us.

We have a boat, and it is a Beater with a capital B. It gets the job done by filling our "need" for a boat without threatening our finances in any way. Stephen half-owns it with a friend. And while I normally think boat partnerships are unwise, with this ol' thing....who cares?! It leaves a flurry of foam coming off the seats when it rides. Laughing at this boat is just as fun as the ride.

Saturday evening, Capt. Steve took the whole fam out for a river ride complete with a grilled hotdog picnic. I was reluctant to go for obvious reasons (surprisingly not the boat, but the final weeks of pregnancy).

I'm so glad I went! It's sad but true that we rarely set out on an adventure as a family of 5 (almost 6).

We parked at the sand bar, swam, listened to music, and dined in style. I like to think of this outing as a last little celebration of our family in this age and stage...before the newcomer arrives.

Only two weeks to go!


Dinner Deconstructed: Making Meals More Appealing to Kids

In one of my favorite cookbooks, Dinner: A Love Story, Jenny writes about deconstructed dinners for her kids.

The idea is you piece out all the components of a salad, a soup, a burrito....whatever....and serve the ingredients separately instead of tossed all together.

Monday night, Stephen and I had a fabulous chef salad. And our kids had chef salad deconstructed.

They loved it.


All the blog posts tagged Deconstructing Dinner - Dinner, A Love Story blog

My favorite book that I've never mentioned before ;) about overcoming picky eating
French Kids Eat Everything


Cheery Rainbow Bunting

I love our house, but there are some weird features that I've had to get creative with - like the corner windows. They're kinda cool. I like the light. But there is no casing or architecture to frame them, leaving them looking sort of bare.

In the boys room and guest room, it's fine. The faux wood blinds are masculine and go with the rooms. But in Laurie's room, I thought the windows needed something cheery. They are the first thing your eye goes to when you walk by or enter the room.

I decided on a this colorful flag bunting.

I wanted something inexpensive and temporary.

We are very much in a phase where we are switching up rooms a lot. In a year or so, the new baby will probably join Laurie in her room. Or who knows. Maybe not.

We may do fruit basket turnover and completely switch everybody and every room up.

I was not ready to commit to curtains.

My inspiration came from WHATEVER the shop.

This project was so simple, easy, and quick.

Cut rough squares or rectangles. Sew a continuous thread to connect them all together...using a sewing machine, of course.

We hung it using little, white hooks like these.

I love decorating kid spaces. Here is one of my favorite interweb kid bedrooms on Oh Happy Day. I think it's great how the sophisticated rug is mixed in with toddler beds, toys, and books!


My Working Vacation

Last week, my wonderful parents kept our kids for 5 days!

Stephen and I had our house to our lonesome selves. It was quiet, and I could barely scrounge up enough dirty laundry to do a full load each day. It was glorious to have time, uninterrupted and uncomplicated by the demands of children.

While they were away, I had a half mile long to-do list to conquer before school starts and before the baby arrives.

Much of my focus was on the basics, stocking up and organizing things at home. Also, I spent one entire day, 8-5, running errands. I got a lot of work done, but it also felt like somewhat of a vacation.

I went through all our kids' clothes, found new homes for everything on closet shelves and in drawers. I eliminated the need for the two huge storage boxes (one boys and one girls), and now everything is more accessible to switch out from season to season.

I got my hair cut.

I did basic budgeting, bill paying, and paperwork. I edited our files and threw away old papers no longer needed.

I bought new school uniforms. I stocked up on art supplies (markers, paper, and watercolors). I bought new underwear for various family members in need. I bought new sheets - so needed!

I tackled a couple small sewing projects, hemmed a curtain and some pants.

I walked, read, and napped. One night, we went out for a nice dinner. And one afternoon, when I was totally beat, I rested on the sofa and watched back to back re-runs of Alton Brown.

It was all so fun. But when the week was over, I was so glad to get everyone back home! We missed those children like crazy.

It's nice because the remaining weeks of summer are pretty un-scheduled. We've had several lazy mornings this week, and that's just my speed right now. The house is in order, not necessarily clean, but in order. I'm caught up on decorating and organizing projects I've had in mind for weeks.

I'm enjoying reading this series. And for the kids, I picked up Little House again. It has been well received after a nice long break. I set them up on the floor with Legos or blocks while we read.

I'm as ready as I can be to introduce another child to the mix. From experience, I know that having a baby under one is totally demanding. Life is whittled down to eating, sleeping, and if time allows, getting dressed.

Here's to doing my best!


Cutest Toddler Boys Swim Trunks

I love these Kanu Surf toddler swim trunks. Classic, and not too long. A little retro thrown in with the design on the back. $13.99! What a deal!

They come in aqua, navy, and red, sizes 2T-4T. I want every color for George to wear next summer.


Budget Billing for Utilities

Do y'all know about budget billing? I don't know if all power companies offer it, but ours does and we have been taking advantage of it for years. When you sign up for budget billing, the power company takes your monthly power usage (highs and lows) and averages them all together to give a predictable, average, monthly cost.

It is glorious to know that even though our AC has been running like mad, we won't be hit with a major power bill this month. There may be minor adjustments from month to month, but generally our bill is the same in July as it is in December. This makes budgeting for utilities so much easier!

Our gas company offers budget billing, too, but requires that we have lived in our house for an entire year before we qualify. So when the winter months come and the gas bill starts creeping up, I will definitely be signing up. August will be one year!

Do you know about budget billing? Do you do it?


The Hard Part is Finished - Family Photo Organization

The hard part is finished. I have digitally sorted, saved, uploaded and ordered prints for all our family photos through June 2015!

All I have to do put the remaining few hundred photos in albums. And to me, that's the easy, rewarding part.

I set this goal, to be up to date with photos, by the time the baby is born mid August. Here I am a month ahead of schedule! It is (nearly) finished. When I started this project, the last batch of photos I ordered was from 2009, making me 5 1/2 years behind. I did not have a single real photo of my youngest two children (besides a few my mom printed and sent me).

For the sake of thoroughness I went back and re-ordered 2009 photos so they could all live together with matte finish and white boarders in the family albums. I wanted to have the albums start at the beginning of our kid-having years.

Here are a few of me and (baby) Stephen from '09. I did not have any of these photos printed 5 1/2 years ago because I thought I looked terrible! I was in the thick of post partum-ness and felt so frumpy and broke down with the motherhood.

But now that I have a lot more perspective, I find these photos to be treasures. I feel much more gracious to myself about my appearance. I had just had a BABY! And he was not an easy going, care free, go with the flow one. He had colic, and he cried and nursed what seemed like all the time.


Other post on photo organiation:
Sorting and Organizing Photos - My Goal for 2015
On My Way to Photo Organization
Organizing and Printing Photos: Tips and Tricks


Third Trimester Summer Maternity Uniform

This ain't my first rodeo. I knew it was coming - the day that I grew too big to fit into my clothes, even most maternity things that have gotten me through pregnancy so far. Dresses were getting too tight and most shirts were getting too short to provide full and proper belly coverage.

So I made an emergency, unplanned, un-budgeted, desperate trip to Old Navy and put this "uniform" together for the homestretch of this pregnancy. I'm talking every day. I wear some version this.

Flip flops because my feet are swollen and it's impossible to bend over and buckle my strappy sandals.

I bought 5 maternity t-shirts and 2 skirts. The skirts are pitiful quality, and I don't expect them to last. In fact, I try to wash them as infrequently as possible and then let them air dry to avoid pilling

Here's the uniform in action. 

One thing I've learned from this experience is how great it is to have a personal uniform! Minimal thinking required. You get up and go.

I'm thinking something like this could be my fall uniform.


Along these lines here's a fun post, My Summer Uniform by Modern Mrs. Darcy.

This is a good one, too. Why I Got Rid of My Wardrobe

Have a great weekend! Happy 4th!


Papa, Please Get The Moon for Me by Eric Carle

Papa, Please Get The Moon For Me is one of my children's favorite books. Have you read it?

I actually discovered it through a charming little children's film, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Stories by Eric Carle (available by streaming on Netflix). The stories are animated and set to beautiful music. Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me is particularly mesmerizing. Every time my children watch it, I get completely hooked.

So, it's funny that we saw the "movie" first and then ordered the book. Ours is a used, library copy from Amazon and has large fold out pages. It's a little tricky to find a decent copy of this book that's not the board book on Amazon. But it looks like Barnes and Noble has it.

Reading to my children has been a struggle this week! Being summer, there is so much togetherness and fussing that the last thing I feel like doing is sitting down and reading to those people that drive me so CRAZY.

But all is right with the world when I take a minute and read Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me. It pleases all of us in our various ages and stages.

What is YOUR favorite children's book? Not necessarily your kid's favorite, but yours?
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