Friday, February 25, 2011

What have I been up to lately?

New resolution: blog more frequently!! I hate that it's been a while since I posted last.

Hudson has had some choppy sleeps this past week, the poor thing. I think it's a growth spurt/teething/separation anxiety phase. So coffee has been my new best friend. It feels like I am getting less and less done around the house. I am not sure why but hopefully this weekend I'll accomplish more around the house.

Great news - down 4 lbs since my start date on Family Day! I am going low carb - it's just the way I feel most motivated. Though I am finding myself really nauseous after some of the meals so I am doing some meal planning at the moment to infuse some new recipes into our diet.

I will be ordering Project Life shortly and starting that so I have really started to get into taking done of pictures that encapsulate every day life around the house.

Will be tackling some organizing projects this weekend and look forward to posting pics!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Having Trouble with the Weight!!!

I have been tough on myself about my weight! Ie. Stop talking about it and start doing it!!! It's now become a pain having this weight on me and in more of a practical way than ever before. Since I am becoming more minimalist, frugal and organizational lately...the thought of having 10 different sizes cluttering up my closet is so annoying. I am desperate to lose the weight if nothing else than to have one size in my closet!!

My goal is to be down 40 lbs by the end of the year but I am actually hoping to do this by June - August. Wish me luck!


So I absolutely plan to blog more on here. Lately my obsession has been really honing in on our goals for the upcoming year! In order to fuel my "getting organized" goal I have become obsessed with reading other people's blogs!

Reading Jen's blog is so inspiring! I wait giddily for her email to arrive in my inbox each day saying she's updated with a new post.

There are two ideas she's really suggested that I am on board with! Through her suggestion I have ordered this Life Planner. I am a bit of a day planner junkie. I currently have one that I love and it's served me well but Erin's planner looks like it's the answer to my prayers. It's packed with colour and fun and everything a new Mum could want. I think I will be a returning customer. Her life planner is composed of monthly and weekly views, note pads, special dates, gift giving cards and so much more. It's personalized too so I can load it up with personalized touches!

The other project that Jen has gotten me into is this. I will be buying three boxes of Project Life One for us, one for my Mum and one for my in-laws. I will work on it all year and it will be their Christmas presents. I hope to do it every year for our family as well! :) I am not a scrapbooker but I do love to archive memories and this is right up my alley! I can't wait to order it and have it get here!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New Year Resolution Check In

Happy February 1st!

I wanted to check in and stay accountable for our goals and New Years Resolutions now that we're one month down in the year!

1. Loose 40 lbs by 2012 - well I joined WW and I worked out three times last week but I am still eating way too many calories it seems. I started Feb 1 (today) as my new start date. I am 1 lb down! That's still 1 lb I don't have to have on me!

2. Find a dog to keep Flanagan company - Done! Louis is a fabulous addition to our home!!

3. Financial Goals - we completed what we needed to in January to work towards our 2012 goals!

4. Keep a clean and organized home - I have been doing pretty well. I re-organized the pantry, bedroom and our front hall closet. They're now organized and neat. I have to keep up with the dishes a little more! But I am pleased.

5. Buy an outfit I feel confident in - won't do this until goal #1 is completed.

6. Lose the frump and be more girly! - I have been doing pretty well though my hair is awful...I have more makeup on. The losing weight will really help in this effort!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I am pretty new to the art of couponing but from all I have read if you're a frugalista and want to save money...couponing is key in helping you towards this goal. The way I view it, if you can save money on a product then do it.

Mind you, I think it's silly to spend hours mulling over coupon sites to save .50 cents on an item. I would devote x amount of time to the process per week and be done with it.

Remember the idea behind couponing is to save money, theoretically on things you need. Toss any coupons you receive that can be used towards items you will never use. Though this sounds extremely straight forward it's tempting to use a coupon for anything you can get money off on.

Last night I did my meal planning for the week but I also knew I had to get extra items for the household and baby. I sifted through my coupon organizer to see which coupons I had available and I created my list around them. Ie. We were having lasagna for dinner and I had a coupon for Catelli smart brand noodles so I put that particular brand on my shopping list with a big "C" for coupon beside the item.

(On a side note for couponing we also shopped from our pantry. Instead of buying the tomato paste and sauce we would need for the recipe I checked to see if we had it available in the house already).

If you can combine coupons on top of existing store sales, you're really maximizing your saving capability. This is where I pick up the store flyers (both the grocery store and drug store to see what items to get where).

I ended up saving $30 with $13 dollars worth of coupons yesterday by using coupons on already existing sale items.

Eg. Royale Toilet Paper was on sale from $8.99 to $4.99 plus I had $1 off coupon

Tide was $4.99 each but I had a $5.00 off when you buy two Tide products coupons

I had a $3 coupon for Hudson's formula.

Pampers were on sale from $19.99 to $15.99 and I used my $3 off coupon.

I am new to couponing but I was so happy with my success!!

As for sites I use:,,,, and

Monday, January 24, 2011

Welcoming Our New Addition!!

Welcoming Louis to our home!!

DH and I thought long and very hard about the decision to bring a new pup into our house! Flanagan has become in desperate need of a friend and companion. He got so used to our cats that without them he has really become lonely. We thought another dog would be fantastic.

After picking different breeds we narrowed down one we love: The French Bulldog!

Louis has been with us for two days and already acts as if he's been with us from day 1. He's the same age as Hudson. There's a bit of a catch up needed with potty training but he's just wonderful and I could cuddle him all day!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Kitchen Organization!

So this week I went to Solutions (an organizing store chain in Canada) and went hog wild. I am a loyal reader of I Heart Organizing Blog. She did a whole series on pantry renovations which inspired me. 

I find when our pantry is cluttered I feel almost overwhelmed!! So let me walk you through all that I did.  Our baby cupboard is one I find really overwhelming. I breastfed Hudson for the first 3 weeks and now we formula feed (though I pumped a lot in between). We are also about to start foods. So between all these and bibs...there is a lot of clutter!

Baby Cupboard Before

Baby Cupboard After - we got rid of a lot of the clutter on the top shelf and maximized the space on the upper and lower shelves

This is our tupperware storage. When we make DH's lunch in the morning we need this accessible! So happy with how uncluttered this is!

Our spice cupboard was sooooo disorganized. There was Xmas baking supplies, sauces, extra sauces that I buy on sale, spices and oils and vinegars. REALLY no method to our madness.

Before! EEK!

After! :) Spices are well organized. Some are on the lazy susan purchased at the organizing store and I bought new little spice jars and labelled them so that we no longer have loose spice packets lying around!

Pantry...AFTER! I don't have a before but we moved our extra sauces to the top of this shelf. The middle shelf are breakfast items and the last one are teas and beverages!

Lower pantry is now stocks and soups, rice and noodles and baking supplies. This is an after shot

I went label crazy and this is our front hall cupboard now! 

Close up of the spices. Labels are thanks to Martha Stewart!

More labels which I found at This awesome blog!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Organized Diaper Bag

If there's one thing you have to be when you're a Mum it's organized!! Especially on outings for the day. You have to prepare for all sorts of circumstances. Then again you don't want to go overboard. 

Here's what I pack for a typical 8 hour day out!

My Skip Hop Studio Diaper Bag - hold so much more than it looks like it would. It's a life saver and I would buy this one over and over again if I had to.

Wipes. I have a disposable container that I take with me but it's always good having a big extra pack in the car.

Nail clippers - just a good idea to have on hand

Avent (Phillips) make my favourite bottles - they're big and durable and BPA free. if we're going out for 8 hours I have usually 4 filled with 8 ounces of water and two empty 4 oz. spares.

This is my wallet. I carry my credit card, debit card and any points cards and coupons I need for the day. I don't need more than this and I refuse to carry a purse in addition to a diaper bag!

Hudson's spare outfit. You never know when diapers leak!

Pacifiers. They're good to sooth him in the car or stroller

Entertainment!! :) Sophie the Giraffe works wonders
Two formula dispensers. I carry one with enough formula for 3 6 oz bottles and another one with enough for 3 8 oz. bottles.

My Gear:

I rarely leave home without our stroller. I have the 2010 Uppa Baby's amazing!!! :) 

Money and Health

I have read a lot lately about the similarities between obesity and debt. This really is one of the reasons for this blog. As I mentioned in my first post, when I feel a little fatter it's not uncommon for my finances or house to be out of shape as well.

I think I read a quote from Suze Orman the other day saying that obese people are more likely to have bad credit. People are literally eating themselves poor - junk impulse buys or large health bills. At the same time, people are buying things they can't afford - new purses, shoes, name it. I really respect the link Orman draws between bad health and bad finances. It's all about splurging on indulgences. Instead of striving for weight loss or fiscal responsibility...why don't we just strive for all around order and restraint? Occasional splurges are ok as long as they're planned or deserved. If you steer off course that indulgence could lead to disaster. My Weight Watchers points allow for treats but I have to plan my week around that treat. Much like our budget, I have some fun money I give myself but I have to plan around that as well and not go over. That way we reach our goals.

Both healthy lifestyles and fiscal responsibility take diligence and self control - hard concepts to follow in today's world so centred around instant gratification.

There are also thousands of industries encouraging you to fall off the wagon in both regards; fast food, weight loss pills, bankruptcy industries, cash for gold and loan consultants all thrive on the idea that you are going to fall off the wagon. They are banking on you steering you off course. They want you to fail - their profits depend on it.

When we say "the diet starts tomorrow" it's usually a reactionary statement because we've eaten like a cow that day...or we plan to! The diet starts tomorrow is a disastrous cash advance on our health. We put our health on the line for what we hope to pay off tomorrow. The behaviours and consequences are no different than paying for something you can't afford.

I suggest we also surround ourselves in a universe of support! Enablers can be a tricky thing. Most of us are aware of this when it comes to eating but I think being honest about your finances is equally as noble as being honest about changing your health. It's okay to admit that you're being frugal!

We should strive to get on that treadmill in order to earn the treat just like saving up your money for that new pair of shoes. Health is an investment. You bank those hours working out or eating healthfully just the same way as you invest your money in places that will work for you. We can't have what we can't the wallet or on the body! I think that if most of us strived to change their indulgent attitude overall they would see a difference on their waistline and in their wallet.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Organized Home - Cleaning Edition

A clean home is definitely a happy home! I have done research for months on the best way to clean a home. Seems silly to research something so simple but you wouldn't believe what is out there - chore charts, timed cleaning strategies, cleaning by zone...tons of ideas. My conclusion can be summed in one phrase: "Just do it"! 

I do think it's valuable to have a set of daily chores but  it's important to fit those into your daily routine the way it works for you! It's also key to keep a tidy home as well as a clean one! However, clutter happens and that's why I have been aiming to do daily upkeep in addition to one organization project per week (more on these later)!

There is one motto I really stick too no matter when or where I am cleaning. I love the idea of "never leave a room empty handed". As I mentioned before one of my goals for 2011 is for everything to have its place. It's natural for us to put things in convenient places, it's bound to happen. So if I'm making a trip upstairs and one of Hudson's bibs is on the kitchen counter...I take it with me. I never have empty hands leaving a room. Ever. It spreads some of the work out and makes cleaning easier. 

Everything in it's place - this leaves no guess work to "making room for something". You know where the dish rags go...put them there. It just becomes automatic over time. 

Another helpful trick is that I keep separate cleaners on each floor. If I only have time for a quick clean I will just spray some bleach in the bathroom and wipe. Each sink has its own wipe or cloth and cleaners. That way I am not running all around the house. Some people prefer a cleaning caddy - it's not for me. I don' think lugging stuff around the house would motivate me more necessarily!

A timed cleaning. I know it's common to put the timer on for a clean so that you don't devote more than x amount of time to one room. I think this is key. I use a timer in my head as opposed to physical one. I find if I am lolly-gagging I have to finish up and move on. 

I think it's important to separate chores/tasks into daily, weekly, monthly or seasonal. 

For us daily tasks include:

-showering and de-frumping (ie. makeup etc)
-leave the room with used bottles, formula and pacifiers
-change the baby's diaper before he comes downstairs
-sterilize the bottles in the microwave 
-let Flanagan outside while the microwave is going
-unload the dishwasher
- if you don't have bottles in your hand I suggest leaving your bedroom with your laundry hamper....then you don't have to go back up for it. 

Breakfast Time (See My Hubby off to Work)
-Feed the baby and put him down for his morning nap
-I allow myself to sit down with a cup of coffee and catch up finances and paperwork...making sure we're on track
-start a load of cloth diapers or laundry
-let Flanagan out while I am loading the washing machines
-vacuum and wash the floors (Hudson's going to start crawling I make sure this is done)
-think about dinner - what needs thawing or chopping
-is everything in its place? If not...remedy i

Lunch Time

- wipe down the kitchen and sterilize more bottles
-dishwasher is open as I do this so I load as I go
-more laundry
-Hudson time - play and cuddle
-Hubby gets home - we catch up 
- Make Dinner

Dinner Time

-Hudson has his rice cereal
-Load dishwasher
-Sterilize and fill bottles
-Take Hudson up with his paci, bottles and formula dn rock him to sleep
-When asleep it's time for Katie and DH time or time at the computer (over time this is when I will do the dishes too)

Weekly things include sheets washes and dusting....or anything you've missed in your daily cleans!

So...what do I use to clean. I have come to love some products! As I mentioned, I keep different products on different floors. But this is my kitchen cleaning cupboard. It's accessible and convenient. 

The cleaning cupboard - the top shelf contains dishwasher fluid and dish suds. The bottom shelf includes the canister for kitchen linens and all cleaners!

My favourite cleaners for the kitchen. VIM gets our stove sparkling and counters fresh. Lysol is a disinfectant. I use it where food or formula has been.

Toy Wipes - these are key and safe for my baby boy!

Dish suds - I haven't tried this scent yet but we keep it next to the sink so it's easy to fill the sink and clean as I go.

Floor Cleaners - The VIM is amazing. I like VIM products in general. I must say that my new love is the Method Almond scented one..smells amazing. 

Disposable wipes are more convenient than good for the environment but with such a specific product like stainless steel I find it helpful to just rip one off the roll and wipe!

Resolution Check In!

So things are going really well goal wise!!! We have fine tuned our financial goals and are doing well with those. 

I have already lost 7 lbs! YAY for Weight Watchers and my hard work. I haven't been exercising as much as I'd like. With Hudson's night time routine changing even's hard to designate a time as of now to working out. That will come and I am anxious to get it in. 

As for my less's going well. I feel frumpy in my clothes but that will become less so over time as I thin out! But as for hair and make up...doing well! 

Some of our other goals are in progress too!

Friday, January 7, 2011

2011 Organizing Begins

Rome wasn't built in a day! So I took baby steps towards the organization of our home. 

First I decided to tackle the linen closet. It was all over the place before and incredibly unorganized.

Here is the linen closet. The top shelf is our crib bumper - unfortunately there is no easy way to store that. The next shelf down are the fitted crib sheets and all of our towels. The next shelf down are two baskets. One with wash cloths and the other one has bath products.

The shelf on the bottom are our extra soaps, cleaners etc that I buy when they're on sale.

Next I tackled our bathroom. I am not a big fan of our vanity because it is just one cupboard (no drawers) which makes it really difficult to organize. So I cleared a bunch of it out.



We also inserted a shelf on top of our toilet to have things we use every day accessible. 

It was fun organizing it all at a very low cost!

New Year Check In

It's been a while since I've been on! The New Year has been a busy and fabulous one so far. Hudson's started rice cereal now (hard to believe). We've been busy getting organized for the New Year.

I realized that previously I had been devoting whole posts to each resolution which is great for giving a detailed description of what I indeed to do.

I thought, for accountability's sake, that I should list them out. I have some others that I won't list and will keep private four our family but here are a bunch.

1. Everything in it's place - keep an organized house - things put away, clean and organized.

2. Double our e-fund - I have a set dollar amount to have put aside every month

3. Pay down debt - I also have a dollar amount allocated for this goal. It will take detailed recording.

4. To find a companion for Flanagan.

5. To lose 40 lbs (at least) by January 2012.

6. Buy an outfit I feel more confident in

7. Lose the FRUMP - ie. feel more girly and put an effort into looking so!

Wish me luck!