Thursday, September 27, 2012

31 Day Challenge

So this idea of doing a 31 day challenge has come up in a few of the blogs I follow. I later found out that it is being hosted by TheNester. I love, love, love the concept of taking a month and dedicating it to doing things to better your life, get things done you have been putting off, and even to just get creative and think outside the box.

So here is my 31 day challenge.


My fiance and I live in a one bedroom apartment with our 8 month old daughter and 2 dogs. When we first decided on the apartment, I wasn't worried about the space issue. We had actually lived in the exact same apartment a year prior and it was perfect. 

However, I did not realize how much "stuff" babies actually had. 

The lack of space mixed with the lack of time on my part has resulted in one very unorganized house. Boxes everywhere, piles of old school papers, clothes that no longer fit or are never worn, dog toys; its a disaster.

My house isn't the only unorganized aspect of my life. With my full school schedule, work, and time with my family, its hard not to miss school deadlines, lose homework, etc.

The house portion of this challenge will consist of purging things we no longer need. I will sort and organize every room, shelf, cabinet, drawer, etc. in my house. Once everything is said and done, I will develop and implement weekly routines to STAY organize, since adherence is the key to success.

As for the other aspects of daily life, I will get in the habit of not only filling out my day planner, but LOOKING at it everyday. I will force myself to avoid procrastination. I will teach myself to manage my time better so I can enjoy every free second with my family, rather than wondering what I forgot to do this time.

This is not going to be an easy task, but I am determined. I hope that by observing this challenge, you, my readers, will be motivated to become more organized. You will be inspired to rid your closets of the things you have been holding on to "just in case"; even though deep down you know that you will never touch them again.

But most of all, I hope that if you only take one thing away from this, is that you learn techniques to keep your lives organized so that you can enjoy your families.
My daughter is growing up so fast. I know I would much rather soak up every minute I can with her; rather than miss the little things because I am too busy wading through the puddle of disorganization I currently call life.

Challenge starts Monday..Are you ready?!

You can always come back here to find a running list of the challenge posts!
Day 1: Organized State of Mind
Day 2: Desk from Disaster to Decadent
Day 3: A Walk in the Park: Dog Leashes
Day 4: Baby's Bookshelf
Day 5: Study Successfully: Get Organized for School
Day 6: An Easier Trip to the Grocery Store; Meal Plan and Shopping List
Day 7:Bathroom Linens
Day 8: Baby Crib
Day 9: End Table
Day 10: Changing Table and Diaper Organization
Day 11: Living Room Bookshelves
Day 12: Making the Most of Your Days Off
Day 13: Under the Kitchen Sink
Day 14: Baby Dresser
Day 15: Bathroom Drawers
Day 16: Home Upkeep
Day 17: Hair Appliances
Day 18: Bar
Day 19: Kitchen Cabinets
Day 20: Organizing Your Bills
Day 21: Craft Tub
Day 22: Closet Part 1: Hang It Up!
Day 23: Around the Kitchen Sink
Day 24: Medicine Cabinet: What a Pill!
Day 25: Closet Part 2: Shoes
Day 26: Closet Part 3: Everything Else
Day 27:Baby Cabinet
Day 28: Utility Closet

Want to follow more awesome challenges?
Megan will be using her 31 days to make a house a home.

Randi  is doing 31 days of crafting

Beth is taking 31 days to living a more intentional life.

As always, dont forget to like me on Facebook, and subscribe!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Booby Cookies

It's crazy to think that a little over 6 months ago, I was a mother of a 2 month old. At this point my boobs and milk supply were still regulating and I would have given my left arm for the engorgement issues to just go away.

Fast forward to today. I have an 8 month old. I have been exclusively pumping for 8 months. As the "unofficial", 9 month, average shelf life of exclusively pumping looms near, I would now give my left and right arms (maybe even a foot) for my boobs to be engorged.

Supply issues have always been a concern for me. I would go through shortages, but they were always manageable. I would just take fenugreek for a few days, and be back on track pumping enough everyday to not only feed my daughter, but to freeze a few bottles worth as well.

Lately, my supply has been dwindling. We have been dipping into my freezer stash almost daily, and the stress is setting in. My goal was to exclusively pump for one year. It kills me that I may fall short of that, even if just by a month or two...So I have been doing everything I can think of.. fenugreek, mothers milk tea, you name it.

My friend Laura, from A Crazy Train Called Life linked me to a recipe for lactation cookies...
That help my boobies do their job?!?!
It was worth a try!

So, I gathered my shopping list and got to it.

What you will need:

    1 Cup margarine
    1 Cup sugar
    1 Cup brown sugar
    4 Tbsp water
    2 Tbsp flaxseed meal
    2 large eggs
    1 tsp vanilla
    2 cups flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp salt
    3 Cups oats (thick cut if you can find them)<---- I used steel cut oats
    2 generous Tbsp brewer's yeast<----- MUST BE BREWERS YEAST!

    1 Cup chocolate chips, raisins, etc.. As recommended by Laura, I used both chocolate and butterscotch chips in mine

What to do:

First you need to preheat your oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.
Flaxseed Mixture

In a small bowl, mix the flaxseed meal and the water and set aside for at least 3-5 minutes.

In another bowl beat the margarine, sugar and brown sugar until creamy. Then beat in eggs one at a time.

Add vanilla and your flaxseed mixture and beat until blended.

In a large bowl, mix/sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and Brewer's yeast. Once well sifted, add in the margarine mixture. Mix well.

Stir in your oats and chocolate/butterscotch/whatever-you-choose chips.

Scoop on a baking sheet. The recipe calls for it to be lined with parchment paper, but I didnt have any so I used foil and they turned out fine.

Bake for 8-12 minutes.

Do these really work?
In my short experience...yes... I have definitely noticed an increase in supply.

In more long-term aspects, I know several women who swear by them

Why do these work?

Brewers Yeast- high in iron, protein, and b vitamins, which help facilitate milk production

Oats- are good source of iron. Low iron levels can result in a decreased milk supply, so it makes sense that eating something high in iron could potentially increase milk supply


Now I am not going to lie to you..these most definitely are not the most amazing cookies I have ever eaten.. but they seem to work, which is most important anyway.

Get to baking and good luck!

Dont forget to like me on Facebook, subscribe, and share with your friends if you like what you see :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Jumping on the Bandwagon and a New Look

As you can see, we got a face lift! Special thanks to Victoria at My Little Birds for the awesome headers!
( Be patient, her blog isnt fully up and running yet :) ) She also created the Facebook cover too :) Thank you so much!

Speaking of Facebook....
In wake of all of my blogger friends doing it, I have decided to create a Facebook page for my blogs. I feel like doing so would make them easier to access and better motivate me to keep them updated!

Be sure to "Like" us on Facebook to keep up to date and ensure you wont miss any future posts!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dryer Balls

Forgive me. I have been neglecting this worse than my personal blog.. but, with some friends giving me inspiration, I'm going to try to be better!

If you have a baby, you know that fabric softener can be a problem. Babies have such sensitive skin it can irritate and cause rashes. For the first 6 or so months of Rowen's life, we kept Rowens laundry separated because I LOOOOVED my smelly detergent and fabric softener.

Then we switched to making our own detergent because of how inexpensive it was (click here for that blog). But I still wanted my soft clothes. This of course required us to continue separating Rowen's clothes...until now...

I present to you.. WOOL DRYER BALLS!!

These things are awesome. They are what they are called. Wool rolled up into a ball and felted. The idea between wool dryer balls is that they help separate your clothes in the dryer to decrease static, drying time, and soften while being more energy efficient.

I was lucky enough to be added to a co-op and got a couple at a really great price. I definitely have noticed a difference in how soft my clothes are. I can not really attest to the decreased drying times. From what I read, for optimal drying you should use anywhere from 3-6 balls.. but I only have 2.. I plan on buying more, and will report back!
OOOOO and the best part, is that they are cloth diaper safe!!

If you want to get your hands on some, head on over to Etsy and search for them! There are tons of colors, sizes, etc. You can get them scented or unscented.

Or if you are the DIY type there are a bunch of tutorials out there.
Everyday Beautiful blog has a good one.

Keep your eyes peeled...I have some exciting ideas for this blog.