DIY Cleaning Schedule

I've been "working" as a stay-at-home-mom for 8 months now (WOW!) I still don't have it all figured out, it's not as easy as I thought it would be, and our house is still a disaster almost all the time. I know I've talked about this before, but it's something that does really bugs me and I'm trying hard to correct.

To help feel less overwhelmed each day, I created a schedule, of sorts, to help manage what needs to be done each day and what can be left to another day in the week.

Some things are done everyday:
Some things are conquered once a week, or as needed (which sometimes is 5 times a week)
(Bonus Tip: With this being on the front of the fridge, it's not only my eyes who see it.  Meaning... the hubby might notice that I haven't gotten to wiping the counters for the evening and lend a hand)

I made some kid friendly ones as well for my little helper who is always wanting to do what I'm doing, whether it's more helpful for me or not.  I love it because it keeps her on track of what needs done in the morning before leaving for school, too, and I find myself trying to hurry her onto the next task as often - hallelujah!
These are her everyday "chores" - Brush hair, make bed, etc.
These are her extra "contributions" - sweep, change sheets, etc.  She does 1 of these a day.
Do they enforce things getting done on a daily basis?  No.  Do they help keep on track and feel less bombarded with chores? Yes.  I'll take what I can get.  Maybe when spring comes and I can open the windows for some fresh air, I'll be more apt to keep up with chores (ha). 

*The circles aren't cut perfectly, the colors are matched up well... it was a quick job.  I will probably re-make them until I'm satisfied with how they look then laminate them for longer durability from little hands that like to move them 30 times a day. 

Do you have a cleaning schedule you stick to? And how do you hold yourself accountable? 

Until next time... XO! 


Etsy Shop

It's a small step toward getting back into Etsy, but I added my first item in a long time.  I have made several school mascot shirts (ISU, Hawkeyes, NFL team - Seagulls).  If you are interested in this shirt, or a different mascot shirt, let me know!
ooooo, and notice the link to my Etsy shop at the top of my page.



Do you shopkick?

This is entirely my opinion of the application shopkick for Android and iPhone users.  I am not sponsoring shopkick in any way. 

This is something my hubby bugged me about installing on my Android about 2 years ago... I didn't understand it and kept ignoring his request because of laziness to look into what it was exactly.

Fast forward... after upgrading to the iPhone, I gave in and downloaded the app at his umpteenth request and LOVE IT!  I can use it at stores I already go to (hello Target!)

The basic idea...

  • you get "kicks" (points) everytime you walk into specific stores - Target, Old Navy, Best Buy, Macy's, American Eagle, Aerie.  That's ALL you have to do, walk in and open the app.  
  • you get "kicks" by scanning through the... I guess their technically ads.  Look for the blue star and receive your kick.  You can also unlock more kicks for your walk-ins by doing this.  
  • you get "kicks" by scanning specific items in store using your camera (these kicks are usually worth 25-100)
  • save up your "kicks" for gift cards to all kinds of different stores (Target, Starbucks, Coach, iTunes, etc)... I currently have enough kicks to "buy" a $20 Target gift card, but I'm saving up for a GoPro camera from Best Buy.  

Here's how you get it:

Click on the link: http://get.shopkick.com/magpie6684
Register online
Download the app
Shop as usual and use your app.

Do you love shopkick?



Hair Bow Frame Tutorial

Before I begin this tutorial, let me strongly suggest NOT purchasing a shadow box via Goodwill. I was trying to be green in an attempt to upcycle something from the local donation shop (not to mention save some bucks) and thoroughly regretted my decision.

Here is my brilliant idea for a frame.  In retrospect, I would go with a regular picture frame for pure ease. 
U to the G to the L to the Y
I knew this going from the moment I picked it up in the store, but I thought... what's a little hot glue, I can get that off with a utility knife, no problem.
Why yes, I am boring a hole into the back like a mouse... it was the ONLY WAY
Once I succeed getting into the frame, I pried the rest of the back up and it went much easier... until I saw the inside
MORE HOT GLUE?!?  Who put this picture together?  The inventor and tester of hot glue?!

More prying, cussing, and finally some broken glass... we were in business to begin with the tutorial. 
Little cuts keep appearing on my hands, I guess I wasn't as careful as I should have been
And now, it gets simple... 
Decide on some ribbon that you'd like to use, cut and glue into place.  I contemplated running the ribbons horizontally but am very happy with the vertical look.  
It's that easy! Just add bows, clips, headbands... whatever you have laying around getting lost.  With 2 girlys, this is a necessity! 
If you give this project a try, I'd love it see it!  Tweet me or shoot me an e-mail :-) 

Until next time... XO



I did it... I jumped on the twitter bandwagon for the first time...

Follow me @kidsbynicole
... and I'll follow you back *wink wink*


One Proud Momma

It seems crazy that my little sweet Aria is almost 5 months old! She is doing so much better with the colic that it's almost as if we have a different baby than we did the first couple of months. (Anyone who has been through colic and lived to tell about it deserves a medal. And a ginormous banana split).

She is a momma's girl, which I still have conflicting emotions about.  I love that she wants me and cuddles me and it's so sweet... except when it's not.  There are times I wish I could hand her off to the hubby and have a restful break in the bathtub or laying down reading a book, but that is simply not how she works.  She will not cuddle him and he gets very impatient rather quickly - which leads to me feeling anxious listening to the ordeal escalate in the other room so I cut myself short and try to remedy the problem (which in all actuality is probably making it worse, long term).

I know the shpeel about how every baby is different and reaches milestones in their own time... which I completely agree with, except when I feel like it's my baby that's behind.  Every time I start worrying about her not developing as quickly as she should, she shows me up and does 5 new things in a day!  It kills me.

I swore she was never going to be able to pick her head up during tummy time because she hated it so much and I was really bad at enforcing time everyday to it. And the next day, she is suddenly a pro...
Notice the constant state of her beautiful head of head.... we have a cockatoo! 
Then there was the rolling over milestone from back to tummy.  She had little to no interest it this for the longest time and I had all but given up hope that she would ever do it.  And again... yesterday morning she had her first solo roll over and by last night...
She was so determined to take that alien guy with her... she eventually ripped the string holding it onto the hook and successfully took it with her! 

She is one amazing little girl! 

Until next time.  XO



I've fallen into a funk the last few days.  I don't know what to say about it.  That's not true, I don't have the energy to say anything about it... it's that bad.

I'm trying to pull myself out but it's hard when each days seems to be the exact same thing and all I can think about it Groundhog's Day.

What do you do when you need a pick-me-up?



Working Out

If you remember my breakdown of not fitting into my clothes 10 weeks after giving birth (catch up here) I bucked up my attitude and hit the gym.  (My gym looks a lot like my living room with a Wii controller in my hand and Jillian Michaels yelling at me via Biggest Loser).  I started keeping track of everything I put in my mouth via MyNetDiary's iPhone app.  And drum roll please....

I lost 46 pounds from August 31st - December 18th!  AND MY JEANS FIT!! 

Since then... we've been through the holidays and a nasty cold for both myself and C.  I hate that I have to confess I am back up 5-6 pounds on the average day and I haven't even turned the Wii on for 2.5 weeks.  While watching The Biggest Loser today on DVR, I have given myself a challenge that I will continue to add to each week throughout this season. 

This week's challenge - begin entering all of my food and drinks into MyNetDiary again.  When I began doing this in November, it wasn't in an attempt to cut calories but in an attempt to recognize how many things I was nibbling on throughout the day that I wasn't thinking about or aware of even.  It was surprising how many times I opted out of eating the cookie I really wanted because I didn't want to see the number of calories added to my daily total - I hope it was have the same effect this time around! 

Anyone out there want to join me in my challenge? 

Until next time... XO! 


New Year Resolution

Oh yikes!  How has it been so long since my last post?!  I often think about posting, even have everything written out in my head... but I haven't gotten to anything bigger than my iPhone for what seems like an eternity.

I'm ready to change that.

My New Year Resolution:  organize my life (and my family's) throughout the months.

  • I want more time for crafting and blogging about it. 
  • I want to update my Etsy store... which hasn't had much activity in some time.
  • I want to solidify a cleaning schedule so I don't feel extreme anxiety when someone wants to drop by and I feel like I should hang a huge sign on the front door

  • I want to play with my kids more... wasn't that the whole point of becoming a stay-at-home-mom??
  • I want to declutter everything
  • I want to start working out again
Is that too many? I think I could add to it, but we'll leave it at that for now... small goals *wink*

What's your New Year Resolution? 

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