Showing posts with label organization. Show all posts
Showing posts with label organization. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Refrigerator Snack Box

"Mom!  I'm hungry!  I want something to eat!"

Anyone else's kids constantly whine about food?

When my kids got hungry I usually gave them whatever I could grab quickly.  This included fruit snacks, crackers, cookies, and even candy.  I wanted to be better - to have healthy snacks at their fingertips.

Behold!  My solution.

I purchased this set of drawers at Walmart.  It fits perfectly on my bottom shelf.

Each child has a drawer.  At the beginning of the week I fill it with all sorts of snacks: oranges, grapes, string cheese, apple slices, baby carrots, Gogurt, etc.

Now, whenever my children are hungry, I direct them to their drawers.  Not only does it save me from the whining, the snacks are healthier as well.

This solution may not work for everyone, but it has been a marvel for me.

How do you organize your refrigerator?  What are some of your kids' favorite snacks?

You Might Also Like:
Homemade Baby Food Purees 
Easy Freezer Chicken

Organized Shirt Drawer

Monday, May 20, 2013

Giant Wall Pictures

In our home we have this giant wall.  I honestly did not know what to do with it.  How do you decorate something so big?  Browsing through Pinterest I found my answer on Sugar Bee Crafts: Giant Wall Pictures.  
I printed my pictures at Staples, bought my boards at home depot, and found the spray glue at Hobby Lobby.  I already had black acrylic paint. 

Follow the tutorial from Sugar Bee Crafts.  She is very thorough.  And here's our wall now...

Don't they look great?!  I just love having these fun pictures of the kids on the wall.  To mount our pictures I used picture hanging Command Strips.  So far we have had no problem with them falling down.

What fun home decor crafts do you like to do?

Other fun ideas on this site:
Shirt Drawer Organization
10 Things to do With Kids When Mommy is Sick
Black Light Kid Crafts

Monday, April 29, 2013

Goal #3: Nothing Past Nine

There have been many times as a mother that I think to myself, "When do I get time off?"  Between raising children, trying to be a good wife, cooking dinner, teaching piano, and the constant need to clean the house there is never any ME time.  If you're like me you probably feel a little stressed, overwhelmed, and slightly picked on at times.  (It's okay.  We all feel that way once in a while.)

So, I created goal #3: Nothing Past Nine.  It's more like a rule actually.  Once 9:00 PM hits I get to "clock out."  Everything I do after nine o' clock must be something that I WANT to do--something that makes me happy.  I can read, play the piano, watch a TV show other than My Little Pony, prep meals, plan for the week, get FHE lessons together, scrapbook, etc.  Whatever it is, it has to be something that I want to be doing.

And you know what?--the house has never looked better.  It's amazing how this simple rule has completely changed my outlook on housework.  During the day I work really hard to get things done and spend time with the kids.  Because I've worked so hard during the day, the house looks great by the time 9:00 hits.

Now, there have been times where I actually wanted to clean the house after 9:00.  For example: my hubby was called away to work and I knew he'd get home late.  I had been feeling sick most of the day, so the house was in shambles.  I decided to surprise him and have the dishes done when he got home.  Instead of being another dreaded chore, I enjoyed it--it!

Notice in the picture above I had the dishes done, but I didn't want to put away everything I hand washed.  I didn't sweep the floor either.  Who cares?  I can do it tomorrow!

So what if there are a couple of toys left to put away in the corner?  Big deal!  I'm not going to worry about it.  This goal is about lessening my stress level and feeling a better overall sense of well-being.  I'm loving it!

Granted, there are times when kids are still crawling out of bed, or are throwing up and need a bath, or whatever else life throws at you where "me time" is impossible.  But, most nights this rule has worked very well.

What do you do to lessen your daily stress levels?  Leave a comment.  I'd love to hear from you!

Turning a New Leaf Goals:
Goal #2: Drink more water - Because I never drink enough
Goal #3: Nothing Past Nine - Awesome stress relief rule

You might be interested in:
Kid Exercise Cards
10 Habits to a Well-Run Home Challenge
10 Things to do With Kids When Mommy is Sick
Shirt Drawer Organization

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Super Easy Freezer Chicken

I end up throwing out meat that has gone bad all the time.  Please tell me I'm not the only one.  What a waste!

I had eight chicken breasts that were about to expire this weekend.  There are so many great sites that teach you how to make freezer meals: A Turtle's Life for Me and The Test Kitchen of Melissa Fallis are a few of the best places that I found on Pinterest to look for freezer meal ideas.

I started by cooking my chicken breasts in a stock pot for 45 minutes.  You can add carrots, celery, or spices if you'd like.  Since this is my first time doing this I kept it very simple.

A lovely pile of shredded chicken.  Mmm!

I kept a bag of shredded chicken without any marinade so I can use it with whatever I want.  I filled each bag with 2 chicken breasts.

I didn't make any homemade marinades this time.  (Like I said, I was trying to keep it simple.)  The first chicken I made was Italian soy.  This is one of my favorite marinades (it's super good on steak).  All you do is cover the chicken with Italian dressing and some soy sauce.

Next was Honey BBQ Chicken.  Again, I just dumped in enough sauce to coat the chicken.

Then came the Spicy BBQ Chicken.

I ended up with 4 different types of meat and 3 bags of chicken stock to use for soup.  So much chicken that I didn't let go to waste.  Yay!

It can be used for so many different things:
  • Chicken and Salad
  • Hawaiian Haystacks
  • Chicken Enchilada
  • Chicken Quesadilla
  • Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Chicken Wrapped Rolls
I can't wait to try this chicken!

*Update: I tried the Honey BBQ Chicken last night and it was delicious.  So moist and flavorful!

More recipes:

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Cleaning the Vacuum Trick

My vacuum was sounding like it was having a difficult time while I vacuumed.  Upon inspection I noticed there were hairs and strings all over the spinning bristles.  Not good.  I started tugging and pulling, but those darn hairs are so hard to remove!  I had a "Well duh!" moment when I looked at this picture of how to clean a vacuum.  Why didn't I think of that?  

I grabbed my seam ripper and behold...


The vacuum is looking and running much better now.  Happy me!

More cleaning tips:
Shirt Drawer Organization
Kid Art Display and Fridge Organization

Friday, February 8, 2013

Organized Shirt Drawer

I get so tired of not being able to find my shirts when they are in my drawer.  Anyone else?  It drives me insane that I spend so much time folding, but still can't see them.  My friend who I will call "Bestie" sent me to this link on organizing your shirt drawer and it has changed my life.  I'm serious!  Simply follow the steps on that blog and you will have a nice, neat shirt drawer in just a few minutes.

Here is what my shirt drawer used to look like.  You can only see a handful of shirts.

Here it is after trying the new method.  I love it.  They are like little files of shirts and all I have to do is pick one out.

I asked Bestie if she would send me pictures of her drawer before and after.  Here's what she sent.

This is her before shot.

And here's after.  The proof is in the pictures.  Try it out.  You won't be disappointed.

I proceeded to organize my husband's shirt drawer as well.  I get an insane pleasure folding shirts now.  Weird!  My hubby thinks I'm crazy, and maybe I am, but I am looking forward to organizing the kids' shirt drawers as soon as possible.

Here's the link one more time in case you forgot to click it above: Organized Shirt Drawer.  I mean it.  Give it a try!

More organization ideas:
Kid Art Display & Fridge Organization
10 Habits to a Well-Run Home Challenge

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Piano Teaching Tools

If you are a piano teacher, I hope this post will help you get organized and give you some fun ideas for your lessons.  This is going to be a long post with lots of information, so buckle up!

Have you ever been doing something so long that you are ready to re-vamp?  I have been teaching piano lessons for over 5 years now, and my lessons are always the same.  I decided it was time to add a little spice to my piano life.

The Piano Board
First, I needed to get organized.  I wanted something that the kids could look at each time they came.  Behold!  The piano board:

Let's take a closer look at what is on this beauty.

First, I have the award system so that the students are reminded each week of what they can earn. A little motivation for them.

Next is the game area.  It has the game of the day and the time to beat for certain games.  I used Velcro to stick the marker on the board.  I cut a piece of a thick sandwich bag to cover the "Time to Beat" paper and stuck it over the top with double-sided tape.  Easy and way cheaper than laminating (plus I didn't want to waste laminating papers on such a tiny piece of paper).

This is the Picture Perfect Practicers area.  Whenever a student practices every day of the week (excluding Sunday) they get to check a star.  When they fill in 4 stars they get a big prize.  Once I figure out how to add documents I will give you the link for that.  I put the papers into sheet protectors (again, cheaper than laminating).

Finally, I have my dry-erase calendar to write down the important events and the rhythm of the day page.

I am super excited to try out my new board!

File Folder
This is how I keep everything in order:

I have folders for each student, folders for payment, folders for games, etc.  I keep them all in this file folder.  (If I was smart I would keep them in alphabetical order, but for now the things I use most frequently are in the front.)  I keep the games in envelopes and put those envelopes into their proper folder.

Repetoire Wish List
I frequently ask my students if they have heard any songs they would like to play and of course it's putting them on the spot and they don't remember when they sit down.  So, I found this cute Repetoire Wish List Sheet.

Let's look at it a little closer:

This should solve all of my on-the-spot student problems.  The students take the list home and when they hear something they would like to play they have a place to write it down.

Note Naming Card

I purchased this note naming card from Best in Music for $6.00, but you could easily make one (I was just too lazy).  It is lots easier than flashcards for note review if you ask me.

It was finally time to put together some new games.  I am really excited about what I found.  Most of these come from Pinterest, but I will give you a list of links at the bottom of this post for easy access.

Game #1: Crosswalk

What you need: Musical alphabet cards and a figurine of some sort (we like our little people police officer).

How you play: The object of the game is to get the figurine across the crosswalk (piano) starting at the low end.  You flip over the alphabet cards for the student and they move him to the correct note.  This is a link to the Alphabet Cards that I used.

For added fun, time the students to see how quickly they can get the figurine from the low end of the piano to the high end.  I give my student a minute to race the officer across the piano.  For the more advanced students I do the cards with sharps and flats.  (I particularly like watching them figure out C flat, E sharp, and so on.)  You could even use pictures of the notes on the staff for greater difficulty.

I am going to give the student with the fastest time of the week a prize.

Game #2: Truth or Dare

This game come in 3 levels from beginning to more advanced.  *A hint - If you want to save time and not have to paste card stock to the back of each card like yours truly, print them out on card stock straight from the printer.

What you need: Truth or Dare Cards and a hat.

How to play: The object of the game is to earn prizes/points for correct answers.  Put the truth or dare cards into the hat.  Color code them in some way so you know which cards are the truth cards and which cards are the dare cards.  Ask the student "Truth or Dare?"  Once they have decided they must draw a card from the hat and perform whatever the card tells them to do.  For example: A truth card may ask them to name a certain note on the piano; A dare card may have them play a certain note on the piano.  Give the student prizes for correct responses.

There are also instructions to play the game in a group setting on the Pianimation site.

Game #3: Follow the Leader Rhythm Game

What you need: Rhymth Cards, Music Staves, and pencils.  *Note: I have only made the 3 - quarter time music cards, but there are lots of others on Layton Music.

How to play: Give the student a sheet of paper with music staves on it and a pencil.  Pick out a rhythm card and play the rhythm on the piano.  Have the student try to recreate the rhythm you just played.  (For added difficulty have them try to recreate the melody as well.)  Give prizes for accuracy.

Game #4: Musical Easter Egg Hunt

What you need: Musical Easter Egg Hunt Eggs.

How to play: Hide the Musical Easter Eggs around the room.  Have the student find them.  When found the student must tell you what is on the egg.  Give prizes for correct answers.

I hope that something in this post can help you.  Happy teaching!

Layton Music Games and Resources - This site is fabulous!  There are so many fun things to do.
Pianimation - Full of great resources.
The Teaching Studio - So many fun printables!

Other things you might like:
Kid Art Display & Fridge Organization
10 Habits to a Well-Run Home Challenge