Wednesday, February 29, 2012

One Bag at a time...Right?

One Bag at A Time....Right?
This past weekend I did my huge clear out of my closet and the boys! The space looked so much different and I felt so much better afterwards. It was fun to see the before and after pics and know I was doing good stuff. Starting monday though, and during this week....I'm tackling the basement. And it's...well.....overwhelming. Seriously...What do I do with this?
Boxes and Boxes of Mess. (This is just one corner...there are 2 more like it.) Stuff still boxed from the move, stuff boxed BEFORE the move that I just moved. *sigh* and just plain old boring, no fun to show mess.
So this week I have spent a lot of my time going through this mess. One bag at a time. So, nothing really flashy to show off. No amazing work done really. Just a bunch of in the trenches kind of work.
WAIT!!!! I did Hang my Steeler Flag behind the bar! (That's exciting!) And yes, there is a bar behind that mess.
But honestly....Nothing fun or exciting to show off from the week of hard work. Everyday I spend some time going through boxes. And sorting the madness.
I did clean out the fridge and pantry yesterday. Threw away an entire bag of stuff....Boxes (I found 3 popcorn boxes, all opened with one or two taken out. lol) stale crackers, old condiments or dressings that no one would eat. Got rid of all the junk that was stopping me from finding things in the pantry.
I cleaned up the yard on Monday. Bagged up a bag of trash from debris and sticks and all those things that come along with winter.
But again....Nothing exciting. So, it's been slow going, but progress is being made...One bag at a time.
So far, the basement has produced 3 more bags for donations and 2 bags of trash this week!
Here's the donation pile I'm working on for Sunday Delivery:
I also have sold 3 bags of kids clothes! So so far my profit is $55.00 towards my $300! (Not to bad for day 7
So If you are following along or joining in the fun! (fun? right?) Here are my stats so far:
Total bags completed: 21
14 bags donated.
4 bags of trash
3 bags sold
I'm super happy that the trash is only at 4! I've been hoping to donate or sell most everything and not resort to just trash! I'm also super happy I'm on bag 21 with only 7 days fully completed.

Monday, February 27, 2012

DIY Sensory Tub

Sensory Tub Fun!
I decided to try my hand at a sensory tub! The kids love the one at playgroup and I thought it would be fun at home too. Of course I followed directions from Pintrest (See...I don't totally WASTE time there, I actually learn things too.)
I took 2 boxes (16 oz boxes) of each kind of pasta (and rice) that I had. They were Whole Grain. so if you wonder if whole grain works....It does! :)
I seperated the pastas/rice into foil pans for coloring. And then mixed together 3 tbs of rubbing alcohol and 2 tbs of food coloring. Then dumped that mixture into the pans and tossed. (Word to the wise....make sure you use gloves if you are hand mixing. LOL) You could also use Ziploc bags but I was mixing a larger amount at a time.
Then set them in the sun to dry!
While the pasta was drying I rounded up a storage tub, foam letters, and some cleaned out laundry detergent lids. Which work awesome for different things with kids!
(Remember the stack blocks from laundry lids I made....Kids still play with them)
And once the pasta was dry (Which really didn't take long at all!) I just poured it in. The great thing about this tub is it's short and long with a lid so I can store under my bed (Not in the kids room that's for sure!) when I'm not using it.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Weekend Wrap up! 40 Bags in 40 Days!

For those of you decluttering with me or just following along. Here is my week 2 wrap up of the 40 bags in 40 days project I'm doing along with my friend Anne Marie over at

So...This weekends main decluttering jobs were the two big closets in my house. The boys and mine. Now, I have excuses as to why my closets are in this sad of shape, moving, not really unpacking well, kids...On and on. But basically the main excuse is this is my downfall. We have so many clothes that we could start a second hand clothing store. And there is no need. This was super hard for me though. I have the mind set that we NEED all these clothes, and for what? We all wear the same 5-8 outfits over and over again. Why does Brother Baer need 100 tee shirts....Yes, seriously 100.

First stop of the weeknd was Friday: The boys closet!

Here is the before picture:

and the after:

Really doesn't look like a HUGE transformation. I was hoping for more. HaHa But....I did manage to rid out 3 bags full, From where, I don't know. But here's the proof:

1 bag of Brother Baer's clothes, 1 bag of stuffed animals (Which I have a hate/hate relationship with in my home) and a bag of Little Baer's clothes. and a full bag of hangers that aren't needed

So....then on to the next HUGE (did I say HUGE?) project for the weekend. My bedroom closet. Now, I have to admit, The word "Hoarder" is going to come out your mouth when you see this before picture. I really am embarrassed, really was thinking I should skip this before picture, except for the fact that that is the reason I'm doing this right? UGH...Anyways Here is the before:

Just breathe, LOL It's literally impossible for me to find anything in this closet. So, I spend a lot of my time getting frustrated and angry when I try.'s another look...Because just when you think you've seen it all there is more...

So, I got to work. It took about 3 times through my clothes. Taking everything out of the closet, sorting piles, and ridding out as I went. Then I would go through the piles AGAIN...put the wants in the closet and then sorted again...Still seemed like to much to keep. I mean really...I don't need 10 black long sleeve shirts. Or 15 pair of jeans. I had to decide what clothes I really Loved, or enjoyed when I wore them. Then I went back through for a 4th time after allowing it to "settle" in my mind for a few hours. And REALLY took at look at everything....Do I LOVE it? Do I NEED it? There are so many clothes that I have that I hate when I'm wearing them...I don't like the way they feel or look, or they don't fit right, and I spend the day readjusting my shirt or pants.

Some of the clothes I purged were clothes that honestly I don't WANT to enjoy. LOL Like those velour sweatsuits that I could find myself wearing. ACK! Seriously...I don't want to be seen in those clothes. Elastic waisted dress pants? Those scream OLD LADY AHEAD! ugh...I don't want those. Clothes that maybe were in style 15 years ago. Just becasue they fit, doesn't mean I want to wear them. Why do I have them? Why keep clothes that I can wear just because.

Here is my pile to get rid of after the first 3 times of sorting through:

And then there was the linens, and sheets, and blankets and all the other stuff that had found it's home in my closet. So...That was the next step of clearing....Sheets, I kept 3 sets for each bed in the house. Pretty sure that is enough to suffice. And all the rest went! Here's that pile of donation:

Now this process was very tedious. Over and over I would sort, and walk away. But then there was this that stumbled into my mess:

Cute as a button....YES. But that chocolate face says he was into something naughty. So...Off I went to discover chocolate fudge cookies that pappy had brought him yesterday ALL OVER THE KITCHEN floor. ALL half eaten/or totally eaten and spread around. LOL

So, After that was handled. (I know better then to believe quiet is a good sign) I got back to sorting and clearing out.

Finally! Here is the After shot:

Huge difference! Total for that project: 8!!!! yes, 7 garbage bags donated. and 1 bag of trash!

So....It was time for a trip to Thrift King! (Our version of Goodwill)

10 Garbage bags and 1 box:

The total tally for the weekend is 11 bags! 10 donated bags, and 1 bag of trash

On Monday I conquered a small project and cleaned up the yard. The winter takes it's toll here so I spent my time cleaning up debris and sticks and clearing out some flower beds of leaves. 1 bag total there!

Total Tally for project is at 16! 10 bags donated, 4 bags of trash, and 2 bags sold.

(Oh and we are down one package of fudge cookies. LOL)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Frugal Candle Saving Tip

Frugal Candle Saving Tip
So, I always buy my candles at this amazing Candle Outlet in Indiana....5 hours from home. So, needless to say I stock up big time when I'm there!
All of their candles have wonderful staying power and their scents are AMAZING! The problem? They aren't in jars, so when you get down low it seems they loose their burning ability. So, I'm always stuck with about a quarter of the candle that is unusable!
So....In order to save them, use them and enjoy the candles to the very end I chunk them up with a kitchen knife and cutting board. And place them in a quart Mason Jar! the Mason Jar fits perfectly into my Candle Warmer I have!

And now....I can savor the candles till the very end! And no more wasting the last bit of them.
Have a bunch of votives? You can also fill the Mason Jar with the votives and let them warm that way!
The smell tends to stay longer from a burner in my opinion. And....I don't have a bunch of little candles sitting around ready for one of the little baers to pull down.

Egg and Cheese Onion Bagels

Egg and Cheese Onion Bagels
Yummy, quick breakfast today! Toasted up some onion bagels. Buttered them and then added:
Soft Fried Eggs and American Cheese! YUM E! Added some Orange Slices on the side and had an awesome, filling breakfast.
Totally not healthy I'm sure. But hey...We got in our dairy, protein, fruit, and grains....Seems like a winner to me!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

First 2 days Wrap!!

So, I've been working on my 40 bags in 40 days project and have been making HUGE progress so far.

Day 1:

Day 1 consisted of my bathroom linen closet. You ready? (It's bad!) Here it is before:

Seriously. To much Stuff! And it's all crammed in the closet, so it leaves me no where to put anything and things are always falling on me when I try to get something else out. Yikes! It's madness. So....this was my first priority in my 40 days of decluttering.

I conquered this the first day and am super proud of that!

Here is the after picture:

So...I cleared out a clothes basket full (I know...seems silly) of stockpile items. Those things will have a new home in the basement on shelves. I figure...I don't need 25 tubes of toothpaste in the closet. *sigh* I also purged a clothes basket full (LOL) of bath and body products and they have new homes with Mended Little Hearts. Tons of soap, lotions, shampoos, all kinds of things that are unopened and ready to be used in Care Bags. My stockpile of bath and body stuff was a tad bit out of hand. Even for a hoarder like me.

I threw out a grocery bag full of garbage, and a grocery bag full of towels, washclothes, and baby towels that I'll free cycle!

So I counted that as 1 bag. Simply because if I filled a garbage bag it would have probably been about the right amount!

That was day 1!!

Day 2:

So, Day 2 I started tackling a small job in the morning and gathered a box of books from the living room and my bedroom. Why do I need so many books? LOL I don't even read them anymore since I bought my kindle. they went. And a bunch of cookbooks were purged too because again....If I want a recipe I look it up online. So, no need to keep junking up much needed space with books.

THEN I tackled the Laundry Area!!! WOOT WOOT!

This was my next BIG job -Here is the before (YIKES! the pictures keep getting scarier)

Who wants to do laundry there? ACK! Not me. Now...The boxes are still from my move in December. I'm still in the process of putting away and the basement is all that is left. (Except for I'm already needing to purge the house too...ack!) Although, there's a lot of boxes to go down there! So I worked on cleaning, organizing and purging this area.

Here is the After:

OK, So it's not pinworthy yet, But...I'm getting there. It's clean and organized and I have space to put my linens (when I get to my bedroom closet) and it's much nicer to work in now! The decorating part will come later! I'm thinking of fabric walls and some decor to make it really nice and peaceful...hid all those pipes and terrible walls. (Which I was trying to wash was falling off. LOL)

From this area I took out a bag of trash and an entire bag of recycling (Laundry soap containers and such). Everything else was just relocated to somewhere else in the basement till I get all the "areas" done and all the boxes sorted. *phew* I'll also be showing all the donated and stuff to sell. Who knows, maybe even trash bag pictures. So funny, posting pictures of trash. HaHa

Day 2 Tally - 3 "Bags", one from the upstairs (Which was technically a box) and a bag of trash and a bag of recycling from the laundry area.

So 2 days, 4 bags...Go me!!! (This means I can take a day off sometime.) But not tomorrow....Tomorrow I conquer the boys clothing! Drawers and closets in their room.

Homemade Febreeze!

Homemade Febreeze!
Found this on pintrest and totally had to try! I could go through a bottle of febreeze a day. It's kind of like an addiction. :) But the cost is crazy!
$4.94 for a small (in my opinion) bottle of Febreeze is way to costly to use as I like it.
So this was something I had to try and I love it! Honestly I think I like it better then the real Febreeze.
So here is the way I made it: I saved my Febreeze bottle and when empty I mixed...1/8 cup of my favorite liquid fabric softener, 2 tablespoons of baking soda, and then filled the spray bottle up with water! Shake it and you are ready to go.
Here is the blog that I found the link on pintrest:
And she is right! The staying power of this homemade version is way longer then the store bought brands. I have tried them all, and I totally agree with her. I also think that this has more of a regular house laundry :) vs. a fake febreeze smell.
Try it! you will save a ton of money and I think you will love it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Baby Baer turns one!!

My Baby Baer is One!
I can't believe she's one already!!
We threw her a fun fun one birthday party and I thought I would share some of the fun things I did to make the party special for very cheap! (Can I say cheap? lol)
So, of course one year olds don't have a lot of friends. So it was mostly family, a few of momma baer's friends, and her siblings.
Here are some pictures from the fun! And some tips on making an inexpensive fun party! Who needs to blow a ton of money when you can do it for so little!
Cupcakes and cake for adults with homemade buttercream icing. I downloaded the printables for the toppers onto cardstock at and then used toothpicks to secure them! Their website is AWESOME! And they have lots of really great printables and ideas! Check them out.

Total cost...Was the icing. Everything else I had at home. And thanks to couponing the cake mixes were here and ready to use (And were super cheap)

Water bottle labels too! Also printed from a FREE download. See...Pintrest does help me out! (As a reasoning for wasting time pinning my hours away. LOL)
Super easy! I was able to enter the name and number, save, and then print onto card stock. Cut them out and after removing the labels from the water, taped them on! And they looked adorable.
So...cost was the Water. (And ink if you're counting that)
The Cake table! - I also printed the banner at and purchased the lady bug themed items for $8!!! That included all the plates, napkins, and even the little tea lights. Work with what you have on hand and go from there! I had the red centerpiece balloon holders on hand, and then used the printables to add to the party!
Food table!
The whole idea behind the post is that you don't have to spend a ton of money. The whole party cost me $150.00!! And that includes the hall rental. And it was just as much fun as one where we spent a ton. I'm working on spending less and creating more. And I was very happy with the party. Find what you have sitting at home, and create fun from that. And coupons help a ton!

So, next time you are throwing a party try and see what you can create from items at home. And what you have to work with! No sense in spending a bunch of money on things you can do for cheap! (There's that word again! )

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

40 Bags in 40 Days!

OK my friends! Here we go!
My awesome friend, Anne Marie, over at White House Black Shutters (You can find her here: ) inspired me last year to follow along with her and her 40 bags in 40 days project!
And she is doing it again this year! And so am I. Why? You may ask? Well here's the thing.
Clutter and "stuff" has been an issue for me for a long time. I'm kind of a closet hoarder. Basically my house is clean and tidy....but underneath is a disaster. Closets, cabinets, name it. I think that whole thought from when I was a kid to "shove it under the bed" and call it clean...stuck. Forever. I also struggle with some silly reasons for keeping...well everything to be honest. LOL Even things that my real brain knows I will probably never other brain says "keep it" you may need it.
Seriously? I don't need it. And neither do my kids. I'm a disorganized mess half the time trying to find things, and stuff things away, and it's really a problem. Somedays I think I need a 12 step program. HaHa....
And then there's pintrest. I love pintrest. I could sit for hours and look and read and be inspired only to feel overwhelmed and lost when it comes to my own house. So, my first priority is going to be ridding out. So I can create something fabulous.
So...I have decided that I am totally NOT a magazine style homemaking. So I'm not looking for perfection. What I am looking for find the things I need and want. To be able to enjoy my things and enjoy my space. Be able to get to my clothes in my closet, or find my boots I want to wear, without madness and meltdowns.
So Miss Anne Marie has my number! You can find all the plans and even print your FREE printable sheets to go along with it. Plans for the 40 days of Lent and decluttering your life!
Find it here:
And then join me in the quest!
I have added an extra incentive for myself this year. I want to buy season passes for the Zoo and Aquarium and also for Idlewild park this year for us to go and enjoy anytime. And those total $300.00! YIKES! But....My plan is to sell off all my junk and reward myself with a job well done by purchasing these passes for our family.
I have my plan written. My goals set. My rooms or spaces to conquer. I'm ready.
Spaces that are on the top of my list:
Linen Closet in the Bathroom
My bedroom Closet
Kids clothes
Then there's the basement. I really really want it to be a "livable" space. I want defined areas such as an office, a tv room, a bar, and a laundry room. I have the "space" it's just full of a bunch of junk right now. needs to go! And maybe along the way I can create some pinspired things to fill my rooms!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

For the Love of God

PLEASE! For the Love of God can we stop it with the Whitney Houston stuff. Really.
I know it's not a popular stance, but really, I can't take it anymore.
Now...before you go and get all up in arms talking about me being horrible and mean and cruel....I care. I feel bad she passed away. Really I do. The same way I feel when I see the news and hear about other people passing. I'm sad for their family, sad for her daughter, for her poor momma who had to bury her daughter, and sad that a life was cut short. that makes me feel bad and makes my heart hurt for them.
BUT....She wasn't a hero fighting for our country, or a woman who cured cancer, or anyone really that important in the lives of strangers. She didn't do anything that saved the world from evil devastation. She was a singer. And a druggie. (Which btw if you don't realize this drugs kill people. Everyday...lots of people who never hear about) Which I don't judge her for, nor feel that she deserved to die. I just think that I would like to sit down and watch the news for the 20 minutes of peace I get a day and not see all the details about some washed up singers life that no one cared about until she died. *sigh* Really....a week ago no one even cared Whitney Houston was still alive. And now we can't stop talking about her? UGH....It's making me crazy. I saw her on Oprah a year ago and she was washed up then. Music was awful and she sounded terrible.
Let's get some real news the wars and our soldiers and our economy and what's happening with real things that matter in the world.
On that note...Can we please stop giving Chris Brown (who thruthfully I was getting confused this week with the Bobby Brown, Chris Brown names being thrown around) the attention. Is he sorry? I don't know. Don't care really. That's between him and God. And maybe Rhianna. Maybe he is sorry. Who knows. Maybe he's a liar and an ass. Who knows. He doesn't affect my life so I don't really care. How did he win a grammy? I didn't even know he had a new album out. I guess I'm too busy with REAL LIFE that I can't concentrate. All this talk, talk, talk about him is what's giving him the attention. And people buying his music to earn him a Grammy. I don't support him, truthfully I forgot he existed too. Just like Whitney.
If you don't like the message he is sending...then don't support him. Forget he exsits and move on. He's not a role model for my kids and he shouldn't be for anyone elses kids.....So drop him off at the front door too.
And those girls who tweeted that they would let him beat them?? Seriously?? There's something wrong with people on a deep level that I can't even fathom. Domestic Violence is no funny business and those girls need their parents to have taught them that. Course their parents are probably to busy mourning the loss of drug addict singers they don't know to worry about real life and parenting.
How many soldiers have died this past week? How many have come home? How many Americans are busting their butts to help people? Save lives? Make a difference in the world? Let's talk about them. Let's have news stories about the good people. Make them the people that we have our kids exposed too. The Media is what's making both of these things crazy, but the people who are following and getting all caught up in it are just as bad. All this glorification of people who are not worthy of it is making me a little snarky these days. Let's teach our kids who real heros are. And believe me, real heros aren't singers, or druggies, or wife beaters, or football players, or movie stars. They are the people in everyday REAL life that stand up and fight in the face of danger. People like police and firefighters and EMTs...people like surgeons and scientists trying to find cures and saving lives. People who step up and stand up and do the right thing to help others. And do so with grace and dedication. Those are the people I want to hear about.
Flags at half staff for Whitney? Are you serious? Oiy

Monday, February 13, 2012

DIY Workbench

DIY Workbench for kids!

So, for Christmas (I know...It's Valentine's Day...I've been busy LOL) I made the boys this awesome workbench! Total cost was $35.00!! Here's how:
I found an old end table at Goodwill....Cost $5.99

The end table was sturdy, but not pretty. Of course that didn't matter! So the cheap deal on it was right up my alley!

I sanded it down and took off the door pulls.

Make sure that you sand down the entire thing and rough up the finish, you need to have that for the paint to stick later!

Then I bought some discounted paint! From someone who had not liked the color....Cost $5.00 for the quart. And a can of chalkboard spray paint. $9.99 and also a piece of pegboard $6.00 and some new door pulls $4.00

I painted the table with the blue! And then used the chalkboard paint on the pegboard and the top of the table (which is the workbench area)

I used two coats of each paint. Letting it dry in between and then replaced the door pulls with metal ones! More utility looking.

Then I bought some peel and stick letters at Michael's to finish it up!

The pegboard was originally going to be attached, but once I realized it was more sturdy and durable setting behind it against the wall I left it that way. My boys are rough and the small amount of space to attach it wasn't going to be enough to hold it. And it's more movable for us! But you could attach that as well. I added some pegboard hooks to hang some tools.

Then I bought a bunch of kids tool sets and construction hats to finish it off! (Those weren't included in the $35.00 price tag!) The tool sets weren't expensive and the boys love to play building things!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Piece of our journey

As I reflect back on just how far we have come. I opened a blog I had started when Trenton was born. Most of you know our story. Trenton was born with the #1 birth defect. A birth defect I had no idea about, or even knew existed a few short years ago. After our 9 months of waiting, 5 ultrasounds, and lots of preparing.....we weren't prepared for what would be told to us 7 hours after his birth. Trenton had a CHD. An AV Canal defect which basically means he had a huge hole in the center of his heart which encompassed all 4 chambers. We were told he needed open heart surgery to survive, and that would happen at about 3 months of age. Awaiting that surgery was one of the hardest times in my life. I was lost and scared and felt completely out of control. About a month after he was born I wrote this letter to him, and felt the need to share it today.
On June 30th, 2009 our sweet Trenton was laid in the hands of an amazing surgeon and came out 5 hours later with a little mended heart. We have come a long way since then. And we are forever grateful for the surgeon, the hospital, and everyone along the way who helped us through it. Today we fight for other babies. Other scared moms. Other out of control dads. In hopes that we can bring Hope, Help, and Healing to them.
Anyway....Here is that letter from April 2009:
Letter to TrentonMy beloved son,As I sit here today, watching you sleep I can't help but think of how lucky I am to be your mom. My hopes for you are that you always feel the love I have for you and that everyday for the rest of your life you are happy and content and full of joy. You have brought so much love to our lives. Your daddy and Me. We love you very much. I struggle with the pending surgery you will have to go through. I hate it for you. I cry when I think about it. Still today. It's been almost a month since I found out you would have to endure the pain and I'm still not ok with it. I hope that God sees you through the pain and you are comforted by him being there by your side. Mommy would do anything in this world for you not to have to go through this. Your sissy said mommy the other tonight that she would give you her heart if she could. She would endure the surgery for you if it meant that you wouldn't have to be in pain for one minute. And I feel the same way. We all hate it. We all cry over it. but alas, we can't. We can't walk in your shoes. We can only comfort you and love you and try to stay strong for you. We have about two months before we have to take you to the hospital and place you in the arms of the surgeons. I'm trying hard not to think about it. Although I don't do very well with that. My heart hurts me everyday amd I hate that I have to let this happen to you. I hate that I have to put you through this surgery. At the Cardiologists office while I was sitting with you during your Ecko, I decided that I have learned more about the heart then I ever wanted to know. The heart should jsut work. We shouldn't have to worry about how it works. It should just work. Thankfully we have a great Childrens Hospital here that have excellent surgeons that do really care how the heart works. Me? I just want yours to work. That's all. I'm sure in the months to come I will write you over and over again about how sad I am about this. It's amazing the amount of strength I have found since I don't have a choice but to find it. And I hope that feeling continues so that I can stay strong and me a good mommy to you.You look beautiful today. As you do everyday. You have my nose and look so much like your daddy. I love you baby! So much more then you will ever know. Stay strong and keep on growing so that the doctors can mend your heart and we can get on with living life. Love you baby Trenton. Love forever, Mommy