Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Another Coupon...


Plus, don't forget that the original coil-bound version of Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers is ALREADY ON SALE FOR 25% OFF - NO CODE NEEDED!
That gives you 60% off the cover price - TODAY ONLY!
Enjoy!

Photobucket

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

An Early Gift!

Please enjoy this little gift from Lulu and me: 25% off when you buy any version of Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers (use coupon code COUNTDOWN at check-out), plus an additional 25% off the original coil-bound version through January 3rd (no coupon needed, discount is automatic).
I hope you have a blessed Christmas and New Year!



P.S. Are you following me on Pinterest yet? I post lots of Bootcamping Beauties over there every day!

Photobucket

Monday, October 24, 2011

Scary-Good Coupons!



Photobucket

The Leaves are Falling...Get to Planning!

We're half-way through OCTOBER again, Bootcampers! As much as the thought of Christmas planning now may shock you, it's time to begin!

As I've mentioned before, whenever Bootcampers ask me if I could print up a schedule of "what-and-when" items to accomplish in preparation for the holiday season, the VERY best advice I can give them is to use Sheri Graham's The 12-Week Holiday Planner for the Christian Family I don't think I could add anything to it (and that's saying a lot, because I'm always feeling the need to "add"!)

I shared in my book that I have used Sheri's book for a while now, and last year, she released a wonderful new 2nd-edition of the e-book, co-authored by Urban Homemaker's Marilyn Moll. The book even has its own website! On the site, Sheri asks, "Do your holidays seem to always become stressful and full of "wait to the last minute" to do items? If so, then this eBook is for you! Begin October 1st planning and organizing for the holidays."

As you've noticed, it's a bit October 1st, but it's NOT TOO LATE TO START planning for the holidays using this wonderful resource. It is chock full of wisdom and printable forms to help you plan your holiday shopping, meals, and decorations all while keeping your heart and mind on the heart of the holiday season. It's even got yummy recipes for you and coloring pages for your littles! This one, inexpensive e-book will guide you from your Thanksgiving feast through your New Year's bash.

And if I do say so myself (and I do!), it's a wonderful companion resource to Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers - which of course will help you get your home sparkling clean for those holiday events and running smoothly every day - not just holidays!

You may think you're an organized holiday-planner, but you simply don't know organized until you use this holiday planner!  It's been a wonderful blessing to me and my family, and I hope it will be a blessing to yours.
Purchase a copy of the planner and get a head start on your holidays today!

Now get to work!


Photobucket

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A September Coupon

Here's a little coupon just in time for that time of year when we want to get organized for school, for work, for life! Enjoy!




Photobucket

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Time Thyself


This drawing, created by Fuschia Macaree (but with a few pitfalls digitally added by me), almost needs no additional comment.
The internet has so much to offer: knowledge, friendship, information, inspiration...which can often add up to a whole lot of wasted time. It has probably happened to you. (It sure has happened to me.) You hop online just to check one thing...and before you know it, the day is half gone. Or all gone. And you are full of much rightly-placed domestic guilt. We simply cannot let our online lives take over our REAL ones. The simplest solution in the world is: Surfer, Time Thyself.

Use a watch with an alarm.

Grab an egg timer from the kitchen.

Set your iPhone to yell at you. (Alarmed is a great app for that.)

But do not, I repeat, DO NOT think, "I'll only be on here for a moment."

(And now, Heidi preaches to herself:)
The web is fun and educational and has its place, even for encouraging and loving one another. But the good work that God has given you to do begins in your own home, with the people and the tasks over which he gave you charge. Your children. Their education. The dishes. Even the dirty toilet.

May we always keep the first things first and the last things last!


Photobucket

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

You've Got to Pin it, Pin it!

Have you noticed the "Follow me on Pinterest" button on the left sidebar?


When I was younger, I remember my mom poring through magazines she'd kept and clipping out "inspiration". It might have been clothing,  home design ideas, or organizational strategies, but after she clipped them, she tucked them away in labeled folders. (She's very organized!) Unfortunately, after the clippings are filed away, they are pretty much"out of sight, out of mind." Not to mention that those folders begin to take up a lot of space.

Once again, the digital age saves the day with a wonderful newish website called Pinterest.

What can you do with Pinterest?
Pinterest is a series of virtual cork boards that allows you to "clip" photos you find on the web and "file" them visually in whatever categories you choose. The links are automatically saved so you can always find your way back to beautiful blogs, tutorials, DIY's and the like.

Courtesy of Pinterest





 You could plan your Dream Home!









Courtesy of Pinterest








   You could plan your Dream Wedding!







Courtesy of Pinterest








   You can plan your Dream Meal!









 The most fun part is that Pinterest is social. You can connect with your friends from Facebook, Twitter and beyond to see what they're pinning, (and they can see what you're pinning), and you can re-pin their pins and vice-versa. You can see what fun things they've repinned, and on and on into the webosphere. It's just like Kindergarten, instead of sharing paste and teddy bears, we share visual ideas. There are even mobile apps so you can pin things on the go.

There now. Aren't you Pinspired?

You can request an invite at Pinterest or leave a comment with your e-mail address and I will send you an invite ASAP. And please follow me on Pinterest as I try to find Bootcamping Beauty!







Photobucket

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pardon the mess...

Blogger in Draft, of which I've always been a huge fan (until today!) switched to a new beta format, and in trying to navigate it, I seem to have lost a lot of my blog. Not the content, just the format. I will work on getting it tidy again ASAP. Thanks for bearing with me!

Photobucket

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

That's Frugal, Baby!

Who says baby toys have to be expensive?

Our little Phia is 3 1/2 months old now, and tired of being in her swing, but not yet ready for a bouncy saucer. And when you put her on the floor, she's not quite able to reach any toys you set on the ground next to her. She becomes quite frustrated!
I always wanted to buy one of those little baby gyms, but never got around to it. It just seems like the phase when they're happy with those comes and goes so quickly that it was never worth the money.
Today it occurred to me that I already had all the fixings for a baby gym -- I just needed to be a little creative!

Here's what you need:

1. Some stretchy material. I used a Moby Wrap for mine.











2. Some jingly, jangly baby toys. If you have a baby, you'll have these. Tie loose knots through the toys with the material. They are easy to adjust if needed.














3. Something to suspend the gym from. On one side, I hammered a small nail into the back of a low dresser and looped a hair band through the sling's rings to connect it. On the other side, I draped it across our bed and tucked it in the mattress on the other side. It's easy to remove when baby's done, and it's easy to adjust the height depending on how far your baby can reach. (Don't make her reach too high- who wants a toy that taunts them?)









4. Finally, you'll need the world's cutest baby to play with it. Sorry, you can't have her. She's ours. But I'm sure yours is very cute too, and will do just fine. :)



















Have fun with your blessings! Now get to work!

Photobucket

Monday, July 11, 2011

Big Coupon!

Need a little new summer reading material? 
Use this coupon to buy your copy of Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers for 20% off!



Enjoy! Now get back to work!

Photobucket

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Coupon!

Now's your chance to buy Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers for even less!




Enter coupon code SUNSHINE305 at checkout and receive 20% off your order. The maximum savings for this coupon is $250. Offer good towards print costs only - shipping and tax amounts are excluded. You can only use the code once per account, and you can't use this coupon in combination with other coupon codes. This great offer ends on June 30, 2011 at 11:59 PM so try not to procrastinate!


Photobucket

Monday, May 9, 2011

Here's a fun deal!
Go to the Get Organized Wizard Facebook page and click the "Like" button- you'll instantly receive a coupon code and instructions on how to download her e-book, The 30-Day Organize-athon, for FREE!
I downloaded it yesterday, and spent a good while reading it last night. It is absolutely Bootcamp-style - one area a day, be ruthless, and be THRILLED with your new home! Take advantage of the free copy while you can...I don't know how long they'll last!

From the Get Organized Wizard website:

What Is The 30-Day Organize-athon?


Make a fresh start and get better organized in just 30 days with the easy and motivating 30-Day Organize-athon.


Over 30 days I’ll give you a daily 5-minute organizing or decluttering project. Each assignment will be a simple, step-by-step task to organize a small aspect of your home, time or life.


That’s just 30 days of 5-minute tasks – totally achievable!
What Do You Get In The 30-Day Organize-athon Pack?


Your 30-Day Organize-athon Pack includes:


30 x 5-minute decluttering and organizing tasks plus 1 x bonus task
Optional daily emails containing your daily task
Optional extra 5-minute tasks
128-page interactive e-workbook containing:
– All 30 tasks plus optional extra tasks
– Bonus task
– To-do list for each task
– 30-Day Organize-athon Checklist
– Comment links for commitment and motivation.


At the end of the 30 days, your home and life will be transformed – and it will only have taken you 5 minutes a day!

Enjoy the freebie, Bootcampers!
Now get to work!


Photobucket

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Back in the Saddle Again

I'm back! After almost 60 hours of labor (for a sixth child? Are you KIDDING ME?), we were blessed with a beee-uuu-tiful little girl at the very end of March. I have sincerely enjoyed my "maternity leave", which has included very little time on the computer (except for keeping up with favorite blogs and Facebook on my iPod - reading but not writing - my chubby thumbs are apparently not Mac-compatible!)

Photo courtesy of Carissa's Creativity Space
We're definitely back into the swing of things in our home now -- back to schooling, back to a regular cleaning schedule, back to sleeping during the night. Well, mostly....

And I'm very excited to get back to blogging again!

The question is...what to blog about? Apparently, every time our little pumpkin nurses, she takes some of my brain cells with her. So I'd be THRILLED if you'd leave a comment and say, "Hey Heidi, blog about this!" Because this post-partum momma needs a mental kick in the bloomers!

Thanks for stopping by!
Now get to work!


Photobucket

A Giggle for Your Tuesday

Some humor other Bootcampers might appreciate, courtesy of Kelly at Raising Rebels.


Photobucket

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mailbox Monday, March 28, 2011

Want to find some fun new blogs to read? Need to pass the hours while you wait to have your baby (Oh, wait, that's me!!)






Welcome to Mailbox Monday!!  
A blog hop to boost your subscriber count!

Here’s how to join in the fun:
  • Add your blog link to the linky
  • Subscribe by email to the two hostesses. They will return the favor.
  • Visit the other blogs on the list and subscribe by email to the ones that interest you. Leave them a comment with your blog link so they know you are subscribing from Mailbox Monday. Don’t forget to confirm your subscription!
Everyone is welcome to participate.  Each week a new linky will be generated so make sure you stop by on Monday’s to add your blog.

Your blog *must* have a place for people to e-mail subscribe.
We will be subscribing to everyone’s blog who participates.  If there isn’t an e-mail subscribe option, your link will be removed from the linky.

The Mailbox Monday Blog of the Week is Frugalopolis which takes the #3 spot on the linky. Next week, we will choose from this week’s participants for the Blog of the Week.

Help us spread the word about Mailbox Monday! Write a post for your blog and add the blog hop code.
Let’s have fun and meet (and read via e-mail) some new blogs!





Photobucket

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Post-Partum Freezer Meals: The Results!

As I wrote a few weeks back, I purposed to make a big load of freezer meals to make it easier on myself (and my family) get back into a normal rhythm after our new baby arrives (any day now!) Planning TWO months of meals in advance was a big task (though Plan to Eat made it much simpler - I just dragged and dropped and it automatically created my shopping list!) - but if planning was a big task, shopping for and actually preparing those meals was a much bigger task.

By the Numbers:
Photo courtesy of elizabethatkinson.com
Grocery carts used: 4 1/2
Hours in grocery store: 3 1/2
Total meals: 36 dinners (plus 8 breakfasts and 18 loaves of bread)
Hours spent in kitchen during post-partum freezer frolic: approx. 22 (spread over 9 days)
Cans of veggies and veggies: 79
Pounds of meat: approx. 75
Pounds of fresh produce: 52
Pounds of pasta: 36
Pounds of cheese: 30
Eggs: 78

How did you shop for that much food?
At the grocery store, my eldest son (we named him Carter, and it's appropriate - he is my number one cart-pusher!) and I took two carts and traveled through the grocery store in all the dry goods aisles…they were FULL by the time we hit the refrigerated section. We then went to the check-out, paid, and loaded the van. We had a quick snack and drink and (for me!) a potty break, then headed back in with two more carts. We then started where we'd left off before, going through the refrigerated, frozen and dairy sections, meat, then finally, the bakery and produce. I always shop these two sections last so my bread and tomatoes don't get squishy.
At the end, Carter was pushing the heaviest cart for his very-pregnant-Momma, and I was pushing one light cart and pulling a heavier one. It was a LOT of food.

How did you store all that food at home?
Once we got home, my husband and sons brought the food into the house and my eldest daughter and I began to divvy it up by type - all the canned goods and dry goods were put back in their bags and transported to the basement pantry closet, and the rest was stuffed - rather unartfully - into fridges and freezers. I actually began preparing meals that very afternoon because there simply wasn't room in the fridge or freezer for all the meat. Once I began preparing freezer meals, our purchases fit much better!

How did you organize your cooking?

Here's how I did it: First, I divided all my planned freezer meals by type -- pasta meals, ground-beef meals, chicken meals and the like -- and focused on only one type each day. I cut ALL my onions and peppers on the first day - I figured I might as well get one good cry out of the way instead of dragging it out over a week. :)
I purchased gallon Ziploc freezer bags for all my crock-pot meals and soups, and aluminum pans for all my casseroles. I also bought crock-pot liners for the day I actually prepare those meals to be served. Now, I'm fairly crunchy and not usually one to buy a lot of disposable prep-ware like that, but I simply don't OWN enough Tupperware containers or 9 x 13 pans to store up more than 36 meals, plus it will add a HUGE measure of convenience to postpartum meal preparation, which will sometimes be done by persons other than myself (like my wonderful husband and helpful mother!)

Photo courtesy of southernliving.com
I froze my casseroles with cutting boards between them so the contents wouldn't be smooshed and overflow. Once they were very solidly frozen (usually overnight), I then removed the cutting boards and moved them to the chest freezer to make more room in the refrigerator freezer. Crock-pot meals were stored in air-tight gallon-sized Ziploc freezer bags. (Make sure and squeeze ALL the air out and let them cool a bit before you freeze them if they're very hot.) Also make sure that if your freezer has wire racks, that you place something solid - like a cutting board or cookie sheet - on the bottom of the stack of meals-being-frozen. Otherwise, the bag will sink between the wires, making the pile unstable and the bottom-most bag difficult to pry out of the freezer!

For casseroles AND for crock-pot meals, I made sure to write the name of the meal and how to cook it on the pan/bag so that if someone else prepares it, they won't have to search through my recipe book to figure out the details. Simplify, simplify!

Wasn't this project a lot of work?

Yes. :)

Would you do it again?
In a heartbeat. I've had lots of friends (who have many children and who are very wise) tell me that I won't need to do this amount of work in future pregnancies because my eldest children will be able to cook. Or, that they don't need to pre-prepare meals because they handle the time after the delivery very well. And I don't doubt that both statements are absolutely true. For me, this kind of post-partum prep work is not because my children aren't helpful, nor because I can't "handle" the postpartum period, but because I want the transition period for each new child to be as stable and seamless as possible. My husband and I welcome every little blessing that our Heavenly Father sends us, but we don't intend to let them throw our home into chaos and disarray for very long. We like to keep our family schedule to the best of our ability through the whole process, resuming our chores almost immediately and our homeschooling duties within a week or two, all the while teaching our children that newborn babies don't control the home, but are an added blessing to it.
For our home, having a month (or more) of meals prepared in advance means that the time I'm spending nursing and cuddling our new little lamb won't put dinner on the table an hour late. Instead of thirty minutes of prep-work in the kitchen each evening, I only have to grab a nutritious meal from the freezer in the morning, let it thaw all day in a cold oven (which I set on time-bake, so I don't even forget to turn it on in time if I'm busy changing little bottoms…or taking a power nap with baby!) Or, take a crock-pot bag out of the freezer the night before, dump in into the crock-pot in the morning, turn it on low, and enjoy at dinner time. Too easy!

By the time my freezer stash is gone, our lives are pretty much adjusted to our newest little family member, and I'm happy to be back in the kitchen again.



Photobucket

Greens for a Green-kind-of-Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Aside from our annual crock-pot full of corned beef and cabbage, I had intended on serving up a little ice cream with green sprinkles for my children's dessert tonight. Unfortunately, we're battling colds here so we're going to skip the dairy for a few days. (I'm thinking I'll do a little green jell-o in it's place...an inexpensive but very rare dessert around here.)

Then I came across this delicious-looking mint chocolate chip ice cream recipe -- and because it comes from Jessica Seinfeld's Double Delicious, you know the green color's not from a little bottle of food coloring. Nope, Jessica is the queen of sneaking powerful nutrition into your kiddo's favorite dishes through hidden veggie pure├ęs.

Photo courtesy of lilsugar.com
Check out the secret ingredient in this tasty treat: Spinach!


Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
From Jessica Seinfeld's Double Delicious
  Ingredients
1/2 cup spinach puree
1/4 teaspoon pure mint extract
3 cups nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Directions
1. Place the spinach puree and mint extract in a mini-chopper and puree until very smooth.
2. In a medium bowl, stir the spinach mixture, yogurt, confectioners' sugar and chocolate chips. Freeze in an airtight container at least 2 hours until solid.

Serves 12

Once we're cleared for dairy, I'm going to try to modify this recipe for my Kitchen-Aid ice cream maker, and I'll let you know how it goes!


Photobucket

DIY Baby Shoes

Photo courtesy of prudentbaby.com

More from the "month of the baby": I love the look of Robeez, but not necessarily the cost. So I was excited to find this wonderful tutorial from Prudent Baby that shows how to sew Robeez-esque baby slippers out of old jeans. Too easy and just too cute!

Now get to sewing!


Photobucket

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Shhh! Free Quiet Book Tutorial

Do you have a loud household? Not louder than mine, I bet. Sometimes I really believe that, despite my training and (attempted) consistency, my children only come with one decibel level -- and it's somewhere in the neighborhood of "standing next to a jet engine while it's warming up".

Photo courtesy of http://madebyheidi.blogspot.com
With a new baby making her appearance any day now (come on, baby, come on!), I just fell in love with this crafty do-it-yourself quiet book idea by Heidi from Sew.Craft.Create.
It comes with a tutorial and a great printable pattern. Too much fun!

What a great way to spring-clean your stash and restore a little (emphasis on little!) peace and quiet in your home!


Photobucket

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mailbox Monday, March 14, 2011




Welcome to Mailbox Monday!!  A blog hop to boost your subscriber count!

Here’s how to join in the fun:
  • Add your blog link to the linky
  • Subscribe by email to the two hostesses. They will return the favor.
  • Visit the other blogs on the list and subscribe by email to the ones that interest you. Leave them a comment with your blog link so they know you are subscribing from Mailbox Monday. Don’t forget to confirm your subscription!
Everyone is welcome to participate.  Each week a new linky will be generated so make sure you stop by on Monday’s to add your blog.

Your blog *must* have a place for people to e-mail subscribe.
We will be subscribing to everyone’s blog who participates.  If there isn’t an e-mail subscribe option, your link will be removed from the linky.

The Mailbox Monday Blog of the Week is Shining to Save which takes the #3 spot on the linky. Next week, we will choose from this week’s participants for the Blog of the Week.

Help us spread the word about Mailbox Monday! Write a post for your blog and add the blog hop code.
Let’s have fun and meet (and read via e-mail) some new blogs!



Photobucket

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mailbox Monday, March 7, 2011




Welcome to Mailbox Monday!!  A blog hop to boost your subscriber count!

Here’s how to join in the fun:
  • Add your blog link to the linky
  • Subscribe by email to the two hostesses. They will return the favor.
  • Visit the other blogs on the list and subscribe by email to the ones that interest you. Leave them a comment with your blog link so they know you are subscribing from Mailbox Monday. Don’t forget to confirm your subscription!
Everyone is welcome to participate.  Each week a new linky will be generated so make sure you stop by on Monday’s to add your blog.

Your blog *must* have a place for people to e-mail subscribe.
We will be subscribing to everyone’s blog who participates.  If there isn’t an e-mail subscribe option, your link will be removed from the linky.

The Mailbox Monday Blog of the Week is Musings of a Modern Mom which takes the #3 spot on the linky. Next week, we will choose from this week’s participants for the Blog of the Week.

Help us spread the word about Mailbox Monday! Write a post for your blog and add the blog hop code.
Let’s have fun and meet (and read via e-mail) some new blogs!



Photobucket

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Repurposed Onsies And T-Shirts

I have baby projects on the brain, and since I'm making great headway in the kitchen with my Post-Partum Freezer Meal Frolic, I decided to sit down and peruse a few of my old favorite -- and new favorite -- sites.

Photo courtesy of themotherhuddle.com

A friend linked me to this GREAT tutorial for repurposing onsies and T-Shirts into super-simple no-sew (or very little sew) bibs, over at The Mother Huddle.
Because what mom doesn't have old, stained onesies or need more bibs?!


Can't wait to have a tiny baby to try this on!
Okay, now back to work!

Photobucket