Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How I Get it Done

Homemaking skills do not come naturally to me. I was not born organized. Cleaning schedules are not pre-programmed in my brain. When I look at the mess, dirt and clutter, I get overwhelmed and don't know where to start.

So here is my secret to getting the house in line: Motivated Moms, a downloadable schedule that tells you what to do every day. As long as I just do what I'm told, things run smoothly and the house stays nice. When left to my own devices, the wheels come off.

On the left of the page for each date, there is a Daily Chores checklist and below that a place for the day's menu. On the right side is a list of miscellaneous chores; things like clean toilets, vacuum first floor, clean porch light. Below that is a place for you to write appointments and notes.

I don't always have time to do every chore each day. But who says I should have to do it all anyway? It's easy to delegate these chores to the kids. Sometimes if I know a day is busy, I do the extra chores the day before. I try not to mess with it too much, though. Keep it simple. Do what I'm told. Enjoy my clean house.

If you want one, too, click here to visit Motivated Moms. You just download it and print it. They have different styles. Some have daily Bible readings, some don't. Some are bigger, some are smaller. For $8.00, that is just a little more than 2 cents a day.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Two New Blogs You Should Visit

Back when I transplanted to Virginia from California, I started blogging because I missed my neighbors. They were some pretty awesome, talented ladies. And now two of them have blogs! Woohooo.

I used to live across the street from My Own Personal Martha Stewart (except Kristy's a whole lot sweeter and hasn't been to prison). She is good at everything, but especially cooking. She even used to make dinner for ME and bring it across the street because our husbands were both out of town. And her house is gorgeous, on a budget. Any time I needed help with something like paint color or sewing, I just walked across the street. Yes, I cried when I moved.
Kristy's family is putting a pool in their backyard, and she decided to blog about it. Fortunately for us, she's throwing some other things in the blog, too. Like this coconut scone recipe. All my best recipes come from Kristy. She's amazing in the kitchen. If you just stopped by her house unannounced with 20 friends, she would whip up a tasty lunch on the fly without breaking a sweat. She and her husband have 3 really cool kids. And she's got them cooking, too. This photo's from a blog post about cooking with kids.

Her blog is called Mi Casa - San Diego. Stop by and say "hi".

My other neighbor, Wendy, just moved to Virginia. This woman has some serious decorating talent. I would love to just walk through her house and study EVERY SINGLE THING she has done to it. It looks like a million bucks, but don't think she spent that much. Her budget would inspire you.
Here's a shot from her apartment she and her family just moved into.
Here's a picture from a post she did on updating tired furniture with black paint.

I could be wrong, but I believe this is a cheap furniture store table that she picked up and then stained. It's gorgeous!
Would I ever think to hang a chandelier in a corner that low? Of course not, but she did and it looks great. Her blog is called Simply Brookes.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Ana Caban and Pilates

Back in the summertime, I got a gift in the mail from a really cool chick. I'm such a loser, it took me this long to post a "thank you."

Have you ever heard of Ana Caban? She is a pilates instructor, and I bought a couple of her pilates dvds a few years back. More on that later. Anyway, she has a website called La Buena Life and she does great givaways. I won the giveaway for a Blush Topless Undershirt!

Do you ever put on a shirt that is just a teeny bit too short, and it does this? I'm sorry, friends, but after being pregnant with an almost-11-pound baby, no amount of pilates in the world will make my stomach presentable. So I CAN'T STAND IT when my shirt pops up.

Ana sent me this cool thingie that isn't a shirt, it's just a tube that goes under your shirt at your waist and it looks like you have another shirt on that is longer. It is sooooo soft and now I don't worry about my stomach popping out. You can wear them if you're pregnant, too.

Here's another picture, from their website. It feels good to wear it.

Look at this cute card I got with my gift, and a handwritten note too. How nice!

Now, about the pilates ... I started with the beginning pilates dvd when I had plantar fasciitis so bad that I preferred to walk with crutches (yes, this is true). I just couldn't believe the muscles that started popping out after doing this workout for just a couple weeks. Zero impact on your feet and legs. And let me tell you, strengthening your core is something that is highly underrated. It makes you look great, you have better posture, it helps you to be better at other types of exercise at every level, it helps you with injuries, and I'm sure the list is longer. I highly recommend it.
Thanks, Ana Caban! You Rock!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I'm Body for Life'n

I'm doing this again. Have you heard of Body for Life? I love it. It's all about exercising and eating a well-balanced diet. No fads or gimmicks. They have a contest every 3 months, too, and you can see the before and after pictures. Some are really amazing. You would be SHOCKED at what you can do in 3 months without starving yourself or going overboard with the exercising. I did the challenge last year, and ended up keeping the good habits I learned and not really gaining the weight back. I have lost muscle though, and I'm really enjoying lifting weights again. Women are so intimidated to do weights, but go on in the weight room girl and just do it. You belong there just as much as the guys. It's fun to see the muscle definition show up (pretty quickly).

Take the "before" picture, too. I highly recommend this. After a few weeks take another picture and you will be shocked. I still look at my before and after pictures from last year. It is so amazing.

Here's a cool blogger who talks about her Body for Life experience. She also explained Body for Life as a guest blogger here.

Anyone game for joining me?

I'll try to post my diet and exercise schedule (to keep myself honest). Here's what I did yesterday:

30 minutes cardio (on a machine at the gym)
Breakfast: Coffee, Oatmeal with protein powder
Mid-morning: Protein shake and banana right before workout
Lunch: Light sodium turkey (from deli section - it has much less sodium than the pre-packaged junk) on 2 pieces whole wheat bread, tomato slices and mustard.
Afternoon: Protein shake
Dinner: (It was a crazy night so we did breakfast again): 2 egg yolks and 3 egg whites scrambled with fresh spinach and 1 Tb. salsa, 1 piece of whole grain toast with light Smart Balance and sugar free jam (GET RID OF THE SUGAR, PEOPLE. IT'S SOOOO BAD FOR YOU), 1/2 grapefruit, 2 pieces turkey bacon.
Lots of water (about 65 ounces)
Two cups green tea

Monday, January 4, 2010

Hope you had a Wonderful Holiday!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday, friends.
Here are some pictures from mine . . .
My cheapie Target penguin ornaments and dollar store ribbon looked just right on the white tree.
It's my favorite tree now.

Yes, I have more than one.

I'm not going to confess how many there are.

My brother and sister-in-law who live in Germany brought me these German decorations (and some others).

This guy smokes incense. Apparently, Germans are REALLY into Christmas. Like, even more than beer and fabulous cars.
I put cookie cutter ornaments on the kitchen garland.
I painted a lantern I wasn't using.

This is another cheapie ornament I got from Michaels. I got the last one. 3 separate women stopped me in the store to ask where they could get one.
Time to pack it all up!
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