Friday, June 10, 2011

Spring Cleaning

In getting ready for summer fun with Spencer here, I did some spring cleaning. Last year NO cleaning got done around spring time. I was on bedrest, and then voila! 6 more weeks of cleaning prohibition followed by I don't know how long of no time to clean. This year, ther was no spring, but there was a lot of cleaning.

For example, the office/spare bedroom.


And Jaden's closet.


Everything feels so much better when all of the clutter is GONE. Did you notice how much more light let into the rooms after they had been cleaned? I felt like I could actually breathe and think and function in my house again. It was such a rush that I cleared out nearly every room in the entire house.

I recently read a book by Peter Walsh entitled Lighten Up. The main point of the book is that our homes are often a reflection of our emotional state of mind, and that our environment affects our state of mind. Clutter can be a symptom of an unorganized personal and emotional life, and it can be the cause of one. It is a vicious cycle. Walsh empowers readers with the ability to recognize the emotional attachment to stuff and coaches them through letting go. The most important impression made on me from reading this book was that material possesions can take time away from my family and prevent me from becoming the best version of myself. It takes time to clean up my house because it gets cluttered with stuff. It takes time to fold all my laundry. It takes time to maintain my cars. If I can reduce the time I spend taking care of my stuff, I can increase the time I spend with my family and on becoming a better person.

Spring cleaning is awesome!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Becoming Cheap

Becoming Cheap was an assignment given to me in my Family Financial Management class. The task was to find ways to cut back & save money.
The assignment was challenging and competetive. The person who saved the most money got to skip the final. I did not want to take that final.
The easiest way we've found to meet our needs and be cheap is to purchase some items from the classifieds and Craigslist. Cheap and environmentally friendly. Here are some of the items we saved money on.

Oh - this one isn't on the classifieds! But it is good. Visit to the Student Health Center versus visit to our regular physician. The Student Health Center at UVU only charges $10 per visit. My physician charges $150. I saved $140 by taking advantage of my status as a student and going to the student health center when I had a nasty sinus infection.

Ok, the rest of these are deals I found on the classifieds. Woops. Nope. I lie. Just one more non-classifieds cheapie. Great Clips. I needed a haircut to trim off the dead ends. I've been burned by beauty schools. And recently, my preferred professional salon. I got a coupon delivered to my door for a $5 cut from Great Clips. Not the Ritz of hair care, but it'll do. I saved $30 by going to get my hair cut there.

Ok, here are the items we saved on in buying through the classifeds. For reals.

TI-83 Plus Calculator. My husband and I both have one. They both died. He needed one for school. These babies run $100 retail. We found one for $40. $60 under retail and it had hardly ever been used. Sweet!

Netbook. Yes, I said netbook. Remember, we are being cheap and the awesomeness of the iPad is just not something we are willing to afford right now. But we needed a second computer at home. So we bought an Asus netbook for $150 from someone in Salt Lake. That saved us a few hundred dollars. And it came with a case and wireless mouse. Bonus!

Dining room table. We bought one of these from the classifieds when we got married. But it was tiny. There was hardly enough room on it for two plates. We dished up buffet style at the counter before sitting down to eat our meals. And we only had two chairs. The table was not a recipe for successful entertaining. My parents were coming into town and I wanted to be able to host them properly. I found an awesome table at Target...but it was about $450 for the complete set. Bummer. So I looked in the classifieds and found the exact same table, used, for $60. Score!

Other things we've bought on the cheap include an armoir for the computer I'm composing this post on - $40. The cute little desk that I use for my sewing and supplies - $10.

What ways have you found to be cheap?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Nightcap Hat Photoprop

Is that not adorable? I crocheted this little hat because it reminded me of the old fashioned hats that people used to sleep in. New babies are always sleeping, so I find a nightcap inspired hat perfectly fitting.

Now available in my Etsy shop.
Photo taken by LaRee Photgraphy

Summer Beautiful

Spring is my favorite time of the year. Summer is only a fraction of any measure behind. There are several reasons Spring is my favorite. No snow, warmer temperatures, flowering trees, and the knowledge that summer is ever so close. The best part about my summers is that my Spencer gets to be here with us.

I picked Spencer up on Friday and had the most interesting rest-stop experience of my life. After having driven for 6 strait hours, I was very very tired. Despite having consumed 64 ounces of Cup o' Life ( my pet name for Dr. Pepper). So, we stopped at a rest area for a potty break, and to take a little nap. I've done that dozens of times between here and there over the years, and didn't think anything would be any different.
I forgot I was in my husband's car.
A car which has, oh shall we say *ahem* unique? license plates.
After our pit stop, Spence and I got back in the car, cracked the windows to let in a breeze, tilted our seats back and tried to catch some zzzz's.
This car of my husband's also has a very noisy alarm system. Spencer accidentally set it off. I frantically tried to turn it off, but it made a lot of noise for much longer than I would have liked. The noise probably drew the attention of the FedEx truckers who turned and began to approach our vehicle. Oh great. They think we're stealing it. Oh wait - The 11-year-old- is in the driver's seat (It couldn't tilt back as much for sleeping and he wasn't tired, so we switched). I was trying to think of what to tell them, when they let me know that they just wanted to know what the license plates meant. Oh.
"Well, my husband (yes a grown man who has a college education, a job, owns a house, is married and has a baby and a step-son) loves the Power Rangers, and so he named his car after one." (I love him for loving the Power Rangers. It's a cute quirk that keeps us feeling young.)
We all had a good laugh about that one. Thinking I could now take a nap, I layed back down. But the sun was too hot. So I got my jacket out of the back seat and positioned it in the windows to create some shade. As I was doing so, a guy walks by the car, smiles, and heads to his motorcycle parked near us. I layed back down again.
"Are you naked in there?"
What?!"Um, no...just trying to make some shade to take a nap."
"Oh, well if you decide to get naked, just let me know & I'll walk by again"

Apparently, a noisy car draws all sorts of attention. I've never been hit on like that in my life & was so completely embarrassed, I decided to skip the nap and speed to the next C-store for some more Cup o' Life and something crunchy to munch on to make it through the rest of the trip. On the way, we passed the FedEx guys, who honked their big diesel horns at us. I guess they like the Power Rangers, too ;)

Now that the ordeal of our road trip is behind us, we are settling into our summer groove. Thankfully the weather has been nice for a few days in a row (this seems normal for weather at the beginning of June, but it has been a miracle this year!) Jaden is just loving having his big brother here - he laughs at anything Spencer does & thinks his big brother is the greatest thing since sitting forward in his car seat. I am SO ready for the beauty of this summer!