Solution for the Scatterbrained

Now that we’re well into September, I feel like I need a new project to tackle. Before long, the holidays will here and I’ll be knee-deep in decorating, gift giving, and all that fun stuff. Which I love, don’t get me wrong. It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Ahem…anyway, I’ve been feeling really scatterbrained lately. I have all of these great blog ideas, to-do lists on post-its everywhere…my desk and my purse are a mess! So, I need somewhere to keep track of everything all in one place. Yes, I do have an iPhone, but I’m much more of a pen-to-paper kind of girl.

After looking at blogs and Pinterest for ideas, I narrowed down my choice to a mini-binder and accessories (binder pocket for pens and highlighters, pocket dividers, and a pack of blank paper), and figured out what exactly I’m going to use it for.

  • Weekly calendar
  • To-do list
  • Meal planner & grocery list
  • Blog ideas/post schedule

My next challenge is to find some printables that will actually PRINT on a half-sheet.  I love these from One Tough Mother, but they all want to print full-size on my printer…blerg!

Maybe if I’m lucky, I’ll have this done in time to use in 2013…lol


EDIT: Got it to print the right size!  Woot!  Sorry, no color printer here…but still functional!


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Minimalist Monday – Master Bath

I should have been in birthday party preparedness mode this weekend. (This Saturday can not come fast enough! Next year…not at my house!)

But I kept thinking about Minimalist Monday and the sad state of my master bathroom (since Happy Herbivore talked about it last week!)

So, after putting little man in the “indoor swimming pool” (aka: master bath garden tub) with some new bath toys, I got down to business.

Sorry there are no “before” pics, but it was embarrassing. Trust me on that.


Yes, there is still stuff on the counter, but that’s probably never going to change. lol I need to get another basket (like the one on the far left) for Husband’s everyday stuff.

I plan on getting rid of the blue plastic drawers as soon as I find a decent storage solution for under the sink (which is currently empty!)

Is this truly minimalist? Probably not. But I’m VERY happy with the results! 🙂

Why first birthdays & weddings are strikingly similar…

Who knew that planning a first birthday party would give me flashbacks to planning my wedding? At least with that, I had over a year to plan! I have 3.5 weeks left to get this party together…and there is still so much to do!

First of all, you know those girls that say “Oh, I wish Etsy and Pinterest had been around when I was planning my wedding! There are so many great ideas there!” I am not one of those girls. I love both of those sites, but OMG they are so overwhelming. Last night, I was searching for a first birthday shirt with a monkey on it for *Hunter* to wear. The search came back with 23890283102 results, so I sat there on my iPad looking at EACH AND EVERY ONE. And of course, the one I finally decided to splurge on ($30 for a shirt he’ll wear once?!), the seller can’t have it ready for me in time for his party. Blerg!

Secondly, the guest list. Why do I feel obligated to invite so many people?! This party will be at my house. There is not a lot of room. But so-and-so invited me to her daughter’s birthday party, and these 10 people came to my baby shower. Then, five other people asked me what the kid wants for his birthday. You obviously care about my son enough to buy him a gift, so now I HAVE to invite you! This is the point my husband will step in and say, “No. X number of people. That’s plenty.” And I will cry as I try to figure out who to cut, and pray they don’t ask me why they weren’t invited… (I knew I should have stuck with my “family and godparents only” policy!)

Then, there’s the decorations, food, party favors…*headdesk*

(Serves me right for laughing at my friends who started planning their kids first birthdays six months in advance!)

First birthday party planning

With *Hunter*’s first birthday fast approaching, it’s about time I sat down and hashed out some details.

Despite the fact that it’s going to be a small party (immediate family, *Hunter*’s godfather, and possibly a couple of friends), I’m still feeling slightly overwhelmed and disorganized. The big stuff has already been decided (date, time, place), but I need a checklist to make sure I don’t miss any of the little things (oh, y’all were expecting cake?!)

Luckily, Google saved the day (seriously, what did we ever do without the Internet?) I found the checklist below at First Birthday Fun, and it looks as though I’m actually ahead on the planning. (The party is 7 weeks away.)

4-6 weeks before party Choose a theme with your child. Visit our Themes page for a list of ideas.
Select date and time for party.
Choose location for party and make reservations, if necessary.
Develop the guest list (family, friends, neighbors, etc).
Develop party agenda (example: 1-1:30 arrivals & free play, 1:30-2:15 games and entertainment, 2:15-2:30 refreshments, 2:30-3:00 present opening, favor distribution, and free play).
Book entertainment and rentals, if any.
3-4 weeks before Make or purchase invitations.
Mail invitations 2 1/2 weeks before party
Plan games and activities
2 weeks before Purchase party supplies (decorationsfavorsgames & activities). Purchase enough for siblings and a few other extra guests. See our Shopping List for help.
Plan menu and make grocery shopping list. See our Fun Party Food and Shopping List for ideas.
Arrange for help. Identify family members and friends who can help set-up/clean-up, prepare and serve food, and coordinate games and activities.
1 week before Gather up tables, chairs, toys, coolers, serving dishes, and other supplies you’ll be using at the party.
Follow-up with the invited guests who have not yet RSVP’d to determine final guest count.
Order cake & balloons.
Prepare any foods that can be frozen for the following week.
2-3 days before Charge video camera battery and make sure cameras are working.
Do grocery shopping. See our Shopping List.
Get cash or make out checks for any paid helpers.
Prepare favor bags.
Day before Prepare remaining food, including cake or cupcakes if making these.
Clean and child proof party area.
Party Day! Finish last minute food preparation.
Pick up cake and balloons
Set-up and decorate party area
Set-up games
Have fun!
Do minimum level of clean-up.
2-3 days after Finish cleanup/put-away.
Send thank you notes for gifts. Don’t forget to send thank you notes to your helpers.
Get film developed and send pictures to distant relatives, put one on fridge, save some for scrap book.


So, focusing on the current tasks!

4-6 weeks before party

  • Choose a theme with your child. – Jungle theme
  • Select date and time for party. – Done
  • Choose location for party and make reservations, if necessary. – Done
  • Develop the guest list (family, friends, neighbors, etc). – Done
  • Develop party agenda (example: 1-1:30 arrivals & free play, 1:30-2:15 games and entertainment, 2:15-2:30 refreshments, 2:30-3:00 present opening, favor distribution, and free play). – We’ll have a vague agenda, but it will mostly be eating and chatting, with some cake and presents in between.
  • Book entertainment and rentals, if any. – N/A
Now on to Pinterest for some decoration and cake ideas!  (image below is a link)


Tackle it Thursday – Holiday Joy

My Tackle It Thursday was pretty simple, yet managed to take forever.

Instead of sending traditional Christmas cards this year, I sent an email card from Smilebox (just like I said I would last year)!

Sounds easy enough, right?  But between taking care of a 3.5 month old who wants to be held ALL. THE. TIME. and trying to decide which design to pick and what pictures to use (so many options!), I finally got it done last night!

The result:


And as always, be sure to link up with my friend Denae at New Mom Survival Adventure for Tackle It Thursday!

Tackle It Thursday

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