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Inspiring Blog Nomination

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I am grateful to have been nominated for the Inspiring Blog Award by Forcing the Bloom. I may have been quiet with the posting lately but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped reading and Forcing the Bloom has some of the best ideas and examples for implementing Montessori at home.

So, first of all, thank you so much to Forcing the Bloom for nominating me!! Please check out her award post to learn about her and see her other nominations. Here are seven facts about myself…

  1. I’m having another baby! Yes, we will be having our second child in January.
  2. I’ve dug through all my recipes that I’ve got on my computer but not on my site and have scheduled them out so be prepared for tons of recipes.
  3. I finally started baking bread again in the house. I hope that I keep it up because it tastes soooo much better.
  4. I often struggle these days to keep up with the house (laundry, dishes, toys…).
  5. No one ever warned me that the second time you are pregnant it is harder! Seriously, I get super tired and can’t take a break while little man is asking to read the 20th book for the day or just dumped out the whole bucket of Lincoln logs.
  6. I’m so thankful for my husband who has been super supportive and even though he works a busy job, he still finds time to help out with my household tasks.
  7. I’m going to be a bit selfish and not pass on the award. I know so many awesome people who have already been given it and it’s more important to post this than procrastinate another week or two while I see who hasn’t received it that I’d want to pass it on to. Don’t hate me. It’s time for this pregnant mama to get some much needed rest.

Thanks again to Forcing the Bloom for the nomination because I do really appreciate it.

I’ve Been Workin’ Hard

Hey everyone. I’ve been gone for awhile but I haven’t been idle. Nope, I’ve been working hard. What at you may ask? Well, Little Man and I have been attending a Montessori class on Saturday’s. My wonderful husband has completely embraced his bicycling hobby. He commutes to work by bicycle and then goes on great big rides on the weekend. I’ve also been working on expanding our product line with our eBay store. We’ve had appointments, taxes returns are almost due, and the house does have to stay in some type of livable arrangement. Thankfully, I’ve fully embraced something myself. I’ve fallen in love with Evernote. I’m able to keep notes on supplies, recipes, to-do lists, homeschool ideas, gift ideas (a favorite feature). I can even set reminders attached to notes. Like buy Little Man his birthday present! Anyway, it’s back to work on everything but be sure to check out Evernote. The free version is great but the Premium version allows you to upload lots more awesome stuff. Have a great day everyone!

Moving: The First Steps

So you’ve found out that you’re moving. Now what?? Well, I’ll tell you some step by step things to do in the beginning.

Step 1: Breath

Really, breath. Moving can be overwhelming and you need to remember to relax. Everything will be OK in the end. Will stuff break? Yes! Will You miss your old home, neighbors, friends, favorite store…? Yes! Will you move on and make new friends, find a new favorite shop, fill your new home with memories, and keep in touch with your old friends? YES! So, no matter the problems with moving, it will all be OK in the end and you just need to take a moment to breath and assure yourself that it will all work out.

Step 2: Gather Information

It’s important to gather as much information about your move as possible. I like to keep all of this information in my “Moving Control Binder” which is a binder in a red zippered case. We move a lot and it comes in handy time after time. You don’t need to have something fancy, but at least grab a spiral notebook, binder, or make a new notebook in Evernote to place all the research you are doing. Here are a few things you’ll want to find out:

  • When are you moving?
  • Where are you moving to?
  • How far away is it?
  • How many days will it take to get there?
  • Will you drive to your new home or fly?
  • Are you renting or buying?
  • Will you need money set aside for deposits at the utility company for the new house? (This can range from $0 to $200 per utility I’ve found based on the part of the country you’re moving to and if you have a previous history with the company)
  • Are you moving yourself or is a company moving you? (If you’re moving yourself, I recommend renting a truck from Penkse over U-Haul or Budget)
  • Do you have a set weight allowance (mainly for military moves)?
  • Are you moving with school aged children? Do you need to register the kids with the new school?
  • Are you moving with pets? Are their shots all up to date? (Make sure to get a copy of their records from your vet to take to the new vet)
  • Who do you need to notify of your new address? (Make a list of banks, utility companies [for deposit refunds], friends & family [don’t forget your Christmas card list], magazine subscriptions, health insurance, car insurance, DMV, rewards or loyalty programs, credit cards…)

There are hundreds of other questions but this is at least a start for you. As you find more information, put it in your notebook!

Step 3: Declutter and Downsize

When you are moving, it is easier to do when you have less stuff. If you know the size of your new house, you’ll know if all your furniture will fit. If some pieces won’t fit, sell or donate the pieces so you don’t have to pay to move it. With the big stuff figured out, start to declutter other things too. Go through your closet and see if there are old clothes or shoes that no longer fit, are irreparable, or just plain out of style. If you don’t need it, use it, or love it, out it goes. **Once you are in the new house, everything that gets hung up should be placed on hangers and put the hangers up backwards (hook it from behind). Once you wear something, put it back up the normal way. Then in about 6 months, 1 year, or the next time you move, you can easily see what you don’t wear. This makes getting rid of it much easier emotionally.** 

Go through other things as well, do you need all of your kitchen gadgets? tools? kids toys? seasonal decor? How about going through your papers. Now is a great time to make sure everything is filed correctly and you know where the important papers are (birth certificates, shot records, bank statements, mortgage papers, marriage certificate…) that you will want to move by hand. Recycle or shred any papers you don’t need. I like to use my Neat Receipts portable scanner to scan in the really important papers, and some that are mildly important. The less important ones I will scan and then toss/shred the original. Make sure to use a good quality Crosscut Shredder to shred your documents for higher security.

Great ways to get rid of your stuff:

  • Sell (craigslist, local classifieds, garage sale)
  • Donate (freecycle, church, local thrift shop)
  • Trash

**Please be safe if you are selling or donating your items! Be aware of your surroundings and look out for scams. Pick public places and always have someone else with you if possible.**

Step 4: Start Packing

I don’t mean start packing everything (unless you have a very short time frame). But start packing things you don’t need right now. Pack up your clothes that are out of season, extra office supplies, hobbies… If you don’t need it again before the move, pack it up. Ziploc bags are a great way to keep small things together like office supplies (pens, pencils, paper clips…), kitchen items (chip clips, corn on the cob holders…), bathroom items (hair accessories, nail polish bottles…).

Step 5: Use What You Have

A major pain about moving is that often you can’t take your half used bottles or food items with you. So, use up the last of your soaps, shampoos, lotions… and work your way through the food in the house.

In preparation for my own pending move, I’m currently working on eating us out of stock for every item in the freezer, fridge, and pantry. I took a blank calendar and started planning my menu carefully. I first took stock of all the pasta I had left and decided that every Monday we are eating pasta. Wednesday’s we are eating chicken. Friday’s we are eating sandwiches. Saturday’s we are having breakfast for dinner. Sunday’s we are having a crock pot dish. I went through my recipes and penciled in dishes all the way out to our moving date. We don’t follow it 100% all the time, but we are thinning out our stock of everything! We just finished up the last of our turkey so we won’t be eating that again until after the move. We have one ham, one pork shoulder, one pack of sausage, 3 lbs of ground beef, 3 packs of dogs, some bacon, and a bag of chicken. I have bread in the freezer, and some veggies. In the pantry I need to use up flour and some emergency food supplies we opened. There are other canned goods but they can be donated to the food pantry if we don’t eat them before we go. The fridge gets cleaned out regularly so the only foods we purchase anymore are fruits and veggies, milk and eggs. It has dramatically helped the budget. Click here to see our menu plan, in progress, for August and on with links to the recipes I’m using! 

In the bathroom, I’ve taken stock of all our open items and I’m using them up! I use up the ones with the least amount left first. I’m not opening anything new unless I have to. If I really don’t like it, I’ll either donate it on freecycle or trash it.

Moving: Inventory and Condition Report

While many people are fortunate enough to own their own homes, some people rent. I’ve rented a few homes in the past many years and one of the things that we’ve always done is fill out a condition report on the home when we move in so that when we move out, we can prove that the stain on the carpet (hole in the wall, tear in the screen…) was already there and we won’t be charged for the damage. I’d advise anyone moving into a rental house or apartment to fill out a form like this to help cover them for any damage charges (or at lease fewer charges) when they move out.

If you would like a copy of an Inventory and Condition report, click here and you will be taken to see a free PDF that I created. And always!! Always!! Keep a copy of every file and document that’s signed between the owner/property management and yourself!!

Deutsch: Adobe-PDF-Icon

Happy Fourth of July!

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Happy 4th of July to all my wonderful friends. Today we celebrate the independence of America! I am so proud to be an American. Thank you to our forefathers and thank you to our military for our freedom!

If you are celebrating this holiday today, please remember to be safe. Fireworks and alcohol are both dangerous and should be respected. So please be aware of your surroundings and drink responsibly.

Have a safe and happy 4th!

Broken Links Fixed!

Broken Link

Hello everyone! My friend Valerie recently posted a great post with some WordPress tips. See here to check out her awesome post! One of those was to find your broken links. I had no idea if I had any broken links on my site so I decided to give it a shot. What a surprise to find that it said: Processed 1538 web pages, found 48 broken links! After trying to find and fix a few links I ran the check again and found I reduced the broken links to 24. Woo Hoo! Progress! Still not done though. I ran it a third time and got my broken links down to 6!! Big progress. I did one last round of clean up and ran the search to see if I got it all. I didn’t. I got it down to 4. Ok, Ok, Ok… So I’m a perfectionist at times and I worked at fixing or removing those last four. I promise this is the last attempt at it today! I ran it and here’s what it said: “Processed 1538 web pages, found 0 broken links

I finally got them all!! Woo Hoo! The most stubborn links I had to remove I finally found in the comments! Who would have thought? Well, I feel much better that my entire site is broken link free as of now. I’ll try to keep up on the broken links on a regular basis. Also, if you ever find a broken link, let me know please. 😉

If you want to check and see if you have any broken links on your site, head on over to Free Broken Link Checker.