Thursday, February 28, 2013

Day 4 - postponed

So this morning started out great and very productive. Little Miss woke up at 6:00 nursed and went back to bed so I was able to enjoy a cup of coffee, start my daily load of laundry, eat breakfast, run the dishwasher and just relax all before waking her up! That is a great start to a day! Well then it all went down here when I woke little Miss up and she had dried snot all over her face! NO GOOD! Little Miss has her first cold complete with congestion, a slight cough, and a fever! Along with all these things came a little baby who wanted to do nothing but cuddle and not nap! The only nap she took (before the nap master of a husband came home) was about 30 minutes and in her bouncy seat! While I could totally complete the days task now since hubby is home I have lost all motivation! I'm tired and just generally done with today so my tasks will just have to be postponed until tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Day 3 - Laundry

I once again didn't take any pictures before and after. Lets be honest the before was a hot mess and well the baby was not a happy camper as I was finishing up so it was on to other things before there was a chance for photos. However today's tasks were accomplished quickly and efficiently! Today was all about the laundry. Now my laundry room  is pretty small so there really isn't a lot to clean which made things easier but I gave everything a good wipe down and dusting and got the floor all swept and mopped and moved a few things that were just taking up space. The decluttering task was to declutter the laundry pile... Well that's still in progress! Laundry has always been a bit of battle for me so one day isn't going to fix it, however I have a game plan now. I plan to get a laundry sorter so that the dirty clothes are more organized which will make the task of laundry much easier not to mention on the day we tackle the closet i will have a heap of things for the goodwill. The organizing task was to create a laundry schedule that works for your family... Now I'm sure I may end up rearranging this schedule after I try it for a while but for now the schedule I came up with is as follows.

Monday - kitchen linens
Tuesday - bed sheets
Wednesday - whites
Thursday - jeans
Friday - colors
Saturday - towels and couch cover

Now I didn't schedule when to wash Peyton's clothes because it really varies each week depending on what we have going on and how messy she is how often I need to do a load so just when I notice her basket full I throw them in. Also in my house since I use cloth diapers I have a load of diapers to wash each day.
The five minute task today was to dust or polish two pieces of furniture. I don't really have two extra pieces that won't be covered in another rooms cleaning task and since I had a pretty fussy baby on my hands today I decided that I could just skip it!
So there is my day three , it was a pretty easy day which worked out great considering my baby's mood lol but this is the day that i think and hope will help the most in my house cause laundry is always the thing I never catch up on but hopefully I can get my sorter soon and follow this schedule and actually be able to keep up! Happy cleaning!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My baby food making adventure!

When I got pregnant there were a few things that I knew I wanted to do once the baby arrived. I knew I would be using cloth diapers (I'll try and write a post about that adventure one of these days) and I knew I wanted to make my own baby food. I have friends who have played around with making their own baby food and I nannied for a family who made all their own baby food and I just knew it was something that I wanted to do. Now some people do it so that their child can eat all organic and while maybe I'll get to that point right now that is not why I do it nor do I buy all organic. I'm still researching on the things that should be bought organic versus those things that don't really matter either way but I am just not on the organic train yet, maybe one day. But instead I wanted to do it because a) I wanted to know exactly what my child was eating and b) it save a TON of money! This goes for the cloth diapering and breast feeding as well! And if you know me at all you know that I am all about saving money! Blaine and I knew when we decided to have a baby that there were a few sacrifices and concessions we would have to make in order to afford to keep the same lifestyle that we had before and I can gladly say that all of these things have been super easy and really are better for all of us anyway!
So thats just a little about why I decided to make my own baby food now I'll share with you my method! Now I know that for alot of families especially those who both parents work outside the home it seems entirely to daunting and time consumng to make your own baby food but honestly its not difficult at all! It does require some time but if you could set aside one afternoon a month then you have all the time you need!

Here is my stash of produce for this month! I make baby food once a month and store it in the freezer. It stays fresh and is easy and quick to defrost and serve. I like doing it once a month because that way I can make a variety of fruits and vegetables and the thought of having to make stuff once a week or so is too daunting for me... once a month totally doable! This month I made Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, peas, apples, pears, and peaches. Peyton also eat bananas and avocado but those I mash up fresh since there is no need to cook them. I buy baby carrots because they are easy to just put in the steamer and walk away to let them cook. No need to peel and chop! Whatever makes things a little easier and saves some time I'm all about. Peas I use frozen and this is because there is just no way I'm going to cook and shuck a bunch of fresh peas. You shouldn't used can peas for this but frozen vegetables are frozen at peak freshness and they are just as fresh when you thaw them so essentially I'm getting the same quality with half the work! I used frozen peaches this time around for the same reason and also because peaches aren't really in season yet so the price for fresh peaches isn't very nice! this summer when peaches are in season and are on sale I will happily make them from fresh until then frozen is quick easy and just as good!

Now some things I boil, some things I steam, and some I bake. It all just depends on the veggie or fruit. For the most part though I steam all the fruits since they tend to get real soft I don't want then to break up in the water and then I would loose half my fruit. Steaming them gets them good and soft while still staying in tact. Carrots I also steam. I don't really have a particular reason for this except that its just easy! Carrots tend to take about 20 mins to steam nice and soft while most of the fruits only take about 10 to 15 minutes.

The squash I bake. 400 degree Oven for about an hour. I always start my squash first thing because I knew it takes the longest and I can just put it in and forget about it while I get other things going.

The sweet potatoes and the peas I boil. Some people will say to steam it all because it allows the veggies to retain more of the nutrients but I use some of the cooking water when I puree it so I figure I keep as much nutrients as possible. Plus I don't cook them to death so I they maintain plenty of nutrients!
Because I don't have a ton of big pots and only one steamer pot I have to do things in batches. Plus I only have so many ice cube trays so I have to freeze things in batches as well. Today I start the sweet potatoes, squash, and carrots all at once. While they were going I put Peyton for nap and began cleaning. When the carrots and potatoes were cooked through I turned them off and let the sit to cool down a bit before moving on to the next step. The squash stayed in the oven until I was done with my cleaning and ready to start pureeing things then it was done too and I was good to go! 

So before now I was using this little itty bitty mini food processor to make her food which took me forever but I did it and I made it work. But now thanks to my wonder Mother in law I have a full size food processor to use which made things soooo much easier! I just load up one veggie or fruit at a time add a little of the cooking water and puree it up. Veggies seem to need a bit more water than the fruit. the fruits are just naturally juicy so they take much less water so keep that in mind otherwise your fruit with be super thin. I usually mix all the baby food with cereal when I'm getting ready to serve it so if it ends up a little thin I dont mind. I'm still learning as I go at this point. 
Once I got it all puree and have made sure its all smooth I spoon it out into ice cube trays. Since my little one is just starting to eat food I still make it all completely smooth. But the great thing about making your own baby food is as your baby grows you can play with the texture of things and make it more or less chunky depending on how they like it! 

Once the ice cube tray is all loaded I tap it gently on the counter to get all the air out and just to even it all out and place it in the freezer. I only have 7 ice cube trays so I have to make things in batches which works out cause I usually only get a few things done before little miss wakes up and wants to nurse or needs a diaper or just doesn't want to be playing alone anymore so I just let what I have finished get good in frozen while I tend to her and then come back to it.

Once the ice cube trays are completely frozen I transfer them into labeled freezer bags for storage! And there you have it! This pictures is missing apples and pears because they were still freezing when I took this picture but this is enough to last my little one an entire month! She eats two cube twice a day mixed with a little formula and cereal. Each cube is about an ounce of food! So far she has like all the food I've made for her! The peaches and peas are new this month so we shall see what she thinks of them when its time to try them out! 

I hope some of you find this informative and perhaps even inspirational. I tend to lay everything out on the counter and just get to work. Between each fruit or veggie I rinse everything real good and then get it ready for the next round at the end I give it all a good wash or run it through the dishwasher and poof I'm done! I love only doing one set of dishes! It takes some time and a little prep work but the peace of mind the money you save is so worth it!! This month I spent approx. 15 dollars on the stuff to make her food for this month. Gerber step 1 costs approx 1.25 for two containers which is about 2.5 ounces so my child would eat two of those a day. Which would add up to over 30 dollars a month! That is a 50% savings!! Now I realize that some stores may have a special on the gerber or what have you but really it would have be a really good sale to make it not be a savings! And if you buy organic those jars run like 99 cents a piece! But not only am I saving money but I am also able to give her a variety of food and I know exactly what I am giving her and that makes it worth that extra bit of time it takes!!

Day 2

Another successful day on my journey through the 20 day challenge to a clean and organized home! Todays task was to clean the master bedroom. This room we tend to keep picked up and I had just cleared off my dresser this weekend so I already had a head start! But I got busy dusting, cleaning windows, washing bedding, and vacuuming. Since we don't keep a whole lot of knick nacks and things in this room either decluttering was an easy task as well today! (I guess my lack of decor is coming in handy) And the organizing task today was to organize the top drawers of the night stand. Well my night stand doesn't have a drawer so I organized blaine's which mostly just had old reciepts and things that needed thrown away so in no time I was all done! Then for the quick five minute task I gave our dining room chairs a good wipe down with some clorox wipes and I was good to go! I was able to complete everything plus make about half of my baby food batch (more on that in the next post) all while little Miss took her first nap of the day!
I am feeling so accomplished and productive through this challenge and can't wait to get all the way through so each room in the house can be nice and organized! I have always been terrible about organizing and when I finally do it it never lasts long. And then I never want to do it again because the task is so overwhelming to me but this challenge breaks it down and makes it so easy and totally doable in the time that I have during the day. I'm so glad I found it! Tomorrow the Journey takes us to the Laundry room! Stay tuned!! I'll try and take pictures each day but today I forgot!

Monday, February 25, 2013

20 day Challenge : Day 1

Well I have completed day 1 of my 20 day challenge to a clean and organized home and I am so excited about it. Blaine stayed home today in fear of getting stuck at work with the snow (that never really came) so he was able to help me out and it made it go by so quickly and we were really able to get it done well and even a little above and beyond what was on the list! So here the break down of what we did today along with a few after photos just to keep things a little more interesting. Today was the kitchen but it wasn't about going through all the cabinets or anything like that it was just a basic cleaning. Since we did our dishes last night I didn't have to worry about that so I started with wiping down all the cabinet doors while blaine cleaned the vents and the light fixtures. We wiped down all the walls, washed the windows, cleared off all the counters and wiped them down real good, gave the sink a good clean which it defintely needed, cleaned the microwave and dusted the inside and outside of the china cabinet. It sounds like a lot but with both of us on a mission to get it done while Peyton napped it only took about an hour and half!

The decluttering task for today was to declutter the countertops but my counter tops weren't cluttered. I keep a few things that I use regularly on my counters and a few pretties and thats it so there was no need for me to declutter! WIN!
The organizing task for today was to organize underneath the kitchen sink... I have organized this several times before and it always ends up being a mess again and there are always things under there that don't really need to be there so it was about time to do this anyway and since I knew I was going to be starting this challenge I stocked up on a few little basket things at the dollar tree the other day so I was prepared!! So now its nice and organized and clean!!
And the final task for the day was the five minute task which was supposed to be tidying up a bookshelf. well lets just say that our office could be a 20 day challenge all on its own so since i didn't have a bookshelf put together for me to tidy Blaine and I took that time (and then some) to rearrange and clean up and attempt to hang a shelf (need some anchors) and put together our bookshelf instead. We got a good dent done so now I won't be so overwhelmed when the office comes around in my 20 day challenge!
And on top of all those things I made dinner, vacuumed, did laundry, washed dishes, took car of peyton, and even got some relaxing time in front of the tv!! It was a very very productive day!! I am so excited to see how the rest of challenge goes and to see how much easier and simpler things are going to be to find and keep organized once its all said and done!! Hopefully my little adventure will give you some motivation to do a little spring cleaning yourselfs or just get your to do list done cause if your like me you have a to do list a mile long thats been building for months but the motivation just never found me but now it has and I am so excited!

Friday, February 22, 2013

A time for change

Well as you could probably guess since  I haven't been blogging much lately after my 2013 goals post that my goals have for lack of a better word... FAILED! I have every intention of picking them all back up and trying again though don't you worry! If I'm being completely honest I have been in a bit of a funk as of late and it has definitely affected my motivation to do much of anything other than those things are absolutely necessary. Maybe its the winter time and lack of sunshine, maybe its the whole not having a car for the past three months and counting, or maybe its just something that happens sometimes but no matter what is causing it I've had enough! I kept telling myself oh well when it gets nicer outside it'll be better or when I have a car again it'll be better, but enough is enough! No more excuses! Today is a new day and I fully intend to get out of this funk starting NOW! With that being said stay tuned for updates on the restart of my goals coming soon!
In the process of coming out of this funk I've decided that I need to get better at this whole housekeeping thing! I have no excuses anymore about not having the time I mean lets get real yes I have a small child at home with me but she's pretty easy and sleep at least 3 hours out of the day so at the very least I could get 3 hours of housework done! Well as most of us our I'm a bit addicted to pinterest and as I was enjoying some quiet time with my coffee before Little Miss woke up this morning I came across a pin about a 20 day challenge to a clean and organized home... BINGO! This things is awesome and I'm so excited about it! Its a lady for australia who does this whole blog about organization and housekeeping and she has some awesome ideas! For me the daily tasks like laundry and dishes and vacuuming (yes with my dog it is DAILY) are not a problem yeah the laundry gets away from me now and again but who doesn't it! But its the organization and all the other that I just can't ever seem to really get a handle on so I think this challenge will be perfect to get me going, get some organization in the areas that we desperately need it and hopefully kick start me to continuing these tasks in order to stay that organized! Plus this lady is genius on how she breaks it all up and she does no major cleaning on weekends! Hello break and family time! Now that is my kind of woman! So this weekend I'm doing a few prep things and come Monday I am starting this challenge! And hopefully by the end of the 20 days (4 weeks since she doesn't do weekends) by home with be cleaning, more organized, and just generally better! So wish me luck and if any of you want to join in on the fun here is a link to the start of the challenge!!