Month 1 Habit Tracking

Its somehow the end of August already. Does anyone know how that happened? It seemed like it would never get here, as I was so anxious to start using my new planner, and now it’s over. Weird how that works!

First time in my life using a habit tracker and here’s what I have to say about it:

1) It is really encouraging to look at the month as a whole and see how often you do something. Normally when I’m on a streak of something (exercise or my language app), the first missed day completely ruins my momentum! With the habit tracker, you have a visual reminder that, although you missed one day, you’re still killing it this month.

2) I was adding things throughout the month. When I saw how it impacted my daily behaviors, I realized just how much I could use this for. I can keep track of my social media use (Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr were the ones I focused on), it was also a reminder to check in daily with groups that I’m supposed to be active in. The habit tracker really helped keep me in line!

3) It is shockingly motivating to check off the little boxes. I got really excited to be able to say that I exercised, or did my yoga, etc. I came up with individual ways to mark each item too, which added to my fun.

4) The habit tracker helps you not feel so bad about the things you’re not getting done. Obviously you have to prioritize what is most important to you, and I need to rearrange my priorities a bit based on how my month went. By looking at a single day though, you’re able to see that you may not have accomplished one thing, but you still see how much you did. It’s very motivating!

I am very glad I started this habit tracker and am looking forward to how it evolves over the next year. I have a really good feeling about it!

Another year begins

Another school year is off to a great start. The kids have completed their first full week back. That in itself is weird, as normally they have a short first week, but not this year!

I can only be grateful that activities haven’t started yet! I’m on a new shift, 4am to 1pm, instead of third shift. It’s been an adjustment because I’m not getting them up or ready anymore. My husband now gets them up, and they put themselves on the bus, with my brother as a backup.

The new school year, new shift at work, and a new routine for myself. I’m trying anyway…. I bought myself a planner, one that includes a habit tracker. The planner kicked off at the start of August and it’s interesting looking at my month so far. I see where I’m succeeding, where I’m failing.

It’s not easy to start a new habit. Even with a few days of maintaining, one day missed and it’s easy to feel defeated. The habit tracker is making it easier to see not just one missed day, but how many days I’ve made it.

So far I don’t have any days with every box checked off, but maybe soon….

I never do well with new years resolutions, but maybe an August start will help me out. How do you do with resolutions? Do you start at new years? Or do you make a decision and start from there?

My beautiful new planner

DIY Lego Table

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Arthur got this table for his 8th birthday. That was almost a year ago. Wow. It has been a long time, but Tony and I just figured out how to attach the top to the drawer units. I couldn’t settle on an idea for a while, then I had to wrangle Tony into using power tools for me.

I found a picture on Pinterest, but the link was broken, so I was stuck staring at a picture, then drawing my own conclusions.

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What you need to start are three of these drawer units, inexpensively found at Walmart (where I get almost everything). I used two 3-drawer carts and one 4-drawer cart. I liked the 4 drawer cart to allow a place for Lego books, although they now take up a full sized drawer, and a drawer for the mini figures. The other small drawer currently holds his Lego magazines.

Then all you need to do is select a material that you want for your surface. We chose an MDF board from Home Depot. Measurements of the board will depend on if you choose to go with the standard size drawer units or the wider ones.

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Here we are, almost a year later, Tony drilled holes through the top of the unit and through the board. Then you insert the screws and attach the washer. The third cart is meant to rest under the table, where the child’s legs normally go, when the table is not in use. When they’re using the table, the third cart slides out and can sit on the side for easy access.

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Ta-da!

Arthur loves his Lego table, it is in a constant state of use, whether he’s building on it or using it to display current creations.

Do you have a Lego lover in your house? If so, this is (about) a $40 project that will help save your sanity by keeping the mess contained! Ever stepped on a Lego? Ouch!

Happy building!

Schoolwork Memory Book

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As any parent will tell you, young children generate papers. Artwork, doodles, schoolwork that they did well on. The amount of papers that come home from school is mind boggling! I’m a saver. I want to save all the moments, but I don’t want to keep all the papers. Let’s be honest, it’s a fire hazard, it’s more clutter and once you put it away somewhere, you will probably never pull it out again!
Once again, I fell back to my dear friend Shutterfly. I’ve used Shutterfly in the past for my family yearbooks, printing Christmas cards and pictures. Coke points are great for saving money on their products too!
Before the idea fully formed in my head, I took digital pictures of every paper Arthur brought home, saving it on my external hard drive. Then it occurred to me, I could put them all in a book to have a hard copy!

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Opening page featured first days of kindergarten work, pictures he colored of the bus and his school. I also included the name of his school and his teacher.

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I had the mix pages, like this, which was just a grouping of his artwork. He went through phases in school, drawing ships for a while, then switching to bats, then a frightening looking man. I did try to group those together.

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I also did themed pages for holidays, like this one for Thanksgiving.

All in all, I loved this project! I was so happy when the book came in, allowing me to sit and look through Arthur’s kindergarten work in one setting. Now I need to do one for his first grade work, then I’m done until the end of this school year!

Water Bottle and Travel Mug Storage

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If you’re anything like me, you have a cupboard or cabinet that is filled with water bottles or travel mugs. I actually have two such cabinets.

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It starts with a travel mug or two, throw in some water bottles. Then they accumulate. For all I know, they mate at night and make more bottles! Going through my cabinets, I see bottles I didn’t know we had. These don’t even include my Starbucks cups, which get tucked into the pantry.

My kitchen is currently trapped in the 70s. I have ugly cabinets and no storage space. I need my space back! Enter Pinterest.

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I saw a picture on Pinterest of this. All you need is an over-the-door shoe organizer. I have mine hanging over my basement door and it cleared so much space in my cabinet.

The only problem with this is the noise it makes when opening or closing the door. *clunk* We’ll be adding industrial strength double sided sticky tape soon. I need to make the noise stop before Tony chucks the whole thing down the stairs.

Definitely love this idea for additional kitchen storage! Happy organizing all!

Scarf Holder

So, I’ve come to the stunning conclusion that, while completely functional, my Pinterest crafts never turn out quite as visually appealing as the original pins. First example I’ll use is my shoebox charging station, which is completely functional, but goofy looking. Today’s blog is another shining example.

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Behold, a scarf holder!
More than a little tacky, right? The important thing is that my scarves arent a wadded up mess in a drawer or bin.
The supplies you’ll need for this one are:
•1 hanger
•11 shower curtain rings (that’s how many I used)
•electrical tape
•ribbon (this is optional. Mine doesn’t have this yet, but I will be adding it later)
First step is to lay out your supplies like so:

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Tape your shower curtain rings closed. Then you just tape them to each other in a configuration, much like this:

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I went a little electrical tape happy!
Then you attach this to your hanger, like so:

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This is the part where the ribbon would come in. Wind the ribbon around the rings and hanger, disguising the tackiness!
The original pin has been blocked, so I can’t reference the original blogger, but here is their finished product:

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Much prettier, yes? Maybe when I add the ribbon…….

Shoebox Charging Station

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Mine wasn’t as pretty as the one on Pinterest, but it tends to happen that way. The site I pinned linked back to http://pinterest.com/starryskye81/ but I really just looked at the picture and guessed.

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I started with a shoe box we had laying around the house. You need to make sure there is enough room for your power strip and the excess cord that you don’t want hanging out of the box.

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I cut six holes in my box, one for each outlet on the power strip, but you need to think about what you’re plugging in. If you are plugging something in that covers an extra outlet, you may need fewer holes.

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Here’s where mine seriously veered from the pretty picture. I failed to purchase the pretty silver rings to line the holes. I was looking at quick and easy, so aside from the fact that the holes aren’t quite round, the wrapping paper is held in place with tape. You can pick any wrapping paper you want, this dark blue was the only non-Christmas paper I had.

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Here is where you see the difference this box will make! Look at all these crazy cords I am keeping confined with a simple shoebox! All that will be seen when looking at my counter is the ends of the cord, which is all I need.
I hope your shoebox charging station turns out at least as well as mine, if not better. I would recommend getting the silver rings to line the holes. I may end up adding mine later. We’ll see……