Friday, May 17, 2019

Five on Friday - New Fave Clothing Brand, Banana Kit Kats, Fave Hair Clips, and Natural Deodorant

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through or make a purchase.

Y’all!  One week from now I will be picking up the kids from school for the last time for ELEVEN WHOLE WEEKS!  The excitement over here for summer is palpable.  I’m so ready for no alarm clocks, lazy days out in the sun with a good book, and squeezing and snuggling my babies whenever I want to.

Before I get into this week’s five, I thought I’d discuss some housekeeping stuff here on the blog.  I’ve been doing these Five on Friday posts since the very beginning of my blogging career and I’ve always used them to mention favorite products as well as fun events and special family things that happen during the week.  Well, my Five on Friday posts were getting a bit out of control as of late, and I’ve ended up having Ten on Friday posts and Twelve on Friday posts (LOL) because there’s been so much to discuss, so I’ve decided to change them a little going forward.   

From this point on, I’m going to document all of the family related stuff (events, memories, etc.) in a monthly recap at the end of each month (What’s Up Wednesday) and the Five on Friday posts will just be for sharing favorite products, discussing favorite books or TV shows, funny memes, recapping blog posts from the week, and everything else that’s not related to family stuff.  Some Five on Friday posts might even have themes.  For example, the first one of every month will always be my monthly goals posts. 

This will keep my Friday posts shorter, and it will also help me keep all of our family events/memories in one place so they’re not scattered all over creation.  M’kay?  So let’s get into my five from this week!  Here we go!

O N E – Totally Twinning

Olivia and I are known to wear outfits that match or compliment each other’s, but we’ve never actually gone so far as to wear the exact same things.  Well, I stumbled upon the best brand – Crown & Ivy – at Belk a few weeks ago and I just couldn’t resist their Mommy and me selections.  I picked up this tank for myself as well as the matching dress for Olivia and we are going to be totally twinning at the beach in a couple of weeks.  They even have a dress version for women and a romper set for babies.  Olivia is thrilled to be able to dress just like Mommy and I’m going to keep on doing this as long as she’ll let me. 

The way I’d describe the brand is preppy, beachy... lots of pastels, ruffles, and gingham… a lot of the tops and dresses for women are VERY reminiscent of Lily Pulitzer stuff.  As a matter of fact, this brand looks like J Crew and Lily Pulitzer had a baby.  Haha.  But WAY more affordable!  They have stuff for the whole family and right now the entire brand is 30% off!  Here are a few other cute pieces I found.

Love the ruffled collar on this one.



Green and gingham on this one!



Pom poms on this one!



This one reminds me of Lily.



I wish this one came in my size.



The bows on the back of this one are to die for.



And this outfit for little girls... I DIE!

And finally, they have scalloped shorts in every color and pattern you can think of!  Soooo much cheaper than the ones from J Crew!


I don't think a clothing brand has ever spoken to me more than this one!  I would literally wear every piece they offer!  And for Pete's sake, you HAVE to check out their baby selection.  I need to have another baby just for this!  Haha.

T W O – Banana Kit Kats

Yes, yes you did read that right.  BANANA KIT KATS.  Y’all they are so gooood!  B got them for me for my birthday this year, but get this – he had to order them on eBay and they had to ship from Japan because they don’t sell them here in the states.  They do have them here on Amazon, but they're $19.99 per bag.  Haha.  They were worth every penny that he had to pay for them, though.  If you ever get a chance to try them, DO IT.  And if you ever see them here in the U.S. buy twenty bags and ship them to me, please.  I literally ate my whole bag in a week or two.  Haha. 



T H R E E – Hair Clips

Olivia has worn bows and headbands since the day she was born, but the older she gets, the less interested she is in bows.  Well, she has my side part which means that her hair hangs down in her face on the left side if she doesn’t pull it back, so we still pull it back every day for school.  Since she hasn’t been digging bows quite as much, we bought some of these Ryan and Wren hair clips for her to use, and we love them so much!  They come in so many fun colors – some glitter and some leather – and they are so well-made and beautiful.  They make the perfect gift, too!




F O U R – Natural Deoderant and a Detox

I have been on a journey to cut out some of the chemicals in our household, and one of the main things that I’ve done is to start using natural deodorant.  I decided to start with Native for Target since they are probably the most well-known, and so far I’m loving it.  I use the Cucumber & Mint scent and it smells SO GOOD and not at all overpowering.  There have been a couple of days where I’ve gotten really sweaty and I’ve had to reapply halfway during the day, but overall, it’s done a fabulous job of keeping me fresh and clean!  I did do the suggested armpit detox using this bentonite clay to help get me through the transition and it worked like a charm. 

The only thing I’m not digging about the Native deodorant is that it leaves white marks on my dark tops.  So my question is this – are there any brands of natural deodorants that you’ve tried that work and do NOT leave the dreaded white stripes on your clothing?  Hit me up!



F I V E – Weekly Funnies

Here’s your weekly dose of funny!

But seriously, this meme says exactly what every woman who's had a baby was thinking!  Lol.
Any day now...

Why is this so true?!  Haha.

Seriously.  May is the new December.
Yep.  Me in one week.

And in case you missed anything this week, check out this post that I did on Wednesday.  This post right here might be one of my best posts yet!  If you're looking to get all of your kids' stuff organized, look no further!  I simplified all of my keepsake organization posts into one big post and it's all you'll ever need to create the perfect keepsake system for your kids! 


Happy Friday, y’all!


*Linking up with A Liz Adventures and Carolina Charm for Five on Friday, A Little Bit of Everything for Friday FavoritesMeet @ the Barre for Friday Favorites, and By BMG for High Five for Friday.




Wednesday, May 15, 2019

How to Organize ALL Keepsakes from Your Child’s First 22 Years of Life… Like, EVERY SINGLE THING

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through or make a purchase.

Kids consume and generate and create SO MUCH STUFF over the courses of their lives and it can be so hard to decide what to preserve as keepsakes and what to toss… their first outfits, the shoes in which they took their first steps, their favorite toys throughout the years, beloved blankets and stuffed animals, school work, art work, report cards, awards, birthday cards, sports jerseys… it can be so hard to get rid of that kind of stuff.  And that makes it so easy to get completely overwhelmed and overrun by the clutter that our kids, alone, create. 

Because it’s so overwhelming, most people don’t even know where to start, and therefore, they never do.  Then, years later when they finally decide to try to get a handle on things, they’re drowning in clutter which makes it nearly impossible to get caught up.  The very best thing you can do is to implement this keepsake method right when your children are born.  That way, you never get behind and you can just maintain as they grow.  Today I’m going to share with you the method I use to keep it all under control.

Over the past year, I’ve written several different posts on how to declutter, preserve, and organize keepsakes, and today I’m simplifying all of that information and putting it into one big post so it will all be in the same place. 

By the time you’re done reading this post, you should have a detailed plan for exactly how to declutter and organize all of your children’s keepsakes.  You may want to save more than I do, or you may want to save less, so all you’ll have to do is tweak it to suit your needs.

So, how am I preserving and organizing 22 year’s worth of stuff for each of our children?  In a nutshell, each child has four boxes:

1 box for School Papers Keepsakes
1 box for Non-School Papers Keepsakes
1 box for Clothing Keepsakes
1 box for Everything Else (Non-Papers & Non-Clothing Keepsakes)


To start your own keepsake system like this one, you will need to purchase the following FOR EACH CHILD:

2 file storage boxes (Get the ones I use here in a 5-pack, here in a 1-pack, or here in a 1-pack but there are plenty of other options here as well)
2 regular storage boxes (I love these)
Hanging file folders with tabs (I needed 26 for one file box + 25 for the other file box and I used these)
Manila file folders (I needed 9 for one file box + 4 for the other file box and I used these)
Index cards (I like these)
1 One Line a Day book (find them here and here)
1 external hard drive (this one is super inexpensive for 2 TB!)
1 infant keepsake box (find lots of selections here)
1 baby hair holder (this set is similar to what I have)
1 baby teeth holder (I have these here)
4 chalkboard labels (I love these)
1 chalk marker (I love these)

Now to elaborate on each box…

School Papers Keepsakes Box

This box will contain PAPERWORK that is only related to their SCHOOL CAREERS.  If it’s not related to school then it doesn’t belong in here!

For this box, you will use the following:

1 file storage box 
Hanging file folders with tabs (I needed 26 for this box)
Manila file folders (I needed 9 for this box)
1 chalkboard label
1 chalk marker

This box will contain one file folder for each of the following in this order:

- Young Toddler Papers (age 1-1.5)
- Older Toddler Papers (age 1.5-2)
- Twos Papers
- Threes Papers
- Pre-K4 Papers
- Kindergarten Papers
- First Grade Papers
- Second Grade Papers
- Third Grade Papers
- Fourth Grade Papers
- Fifth Grade Papers
- Sixth Grade Papers
- Seventh Grade Papers
- Eighth Grade Papers
- Ninth Grade Papers
- Tenth Grade Papers
- Eleventh Grade Papers
- Twelfth Grade Papers
- College Year One Papers
- College Year Two Papers
- College Year Three Papers
- College Year Four Papers
- Grades – this hanging file will contain two manila folders for the following:
            - Report Cards
            - Test Scores (standardized only, not everyday tests… those go in grade folders)
- Awards – this hanging file will contain three manila folders for the following:
            - Academic
            - Scholarships
            - Sports
- Keepsakes – this is for all other school related papers (programs, diplomas, etc.)
- School Pictures – this hanging file will contain four manila folders for the following:
            - Individual
            - Class
            - Dance
            - Sports

You will only keep a small random sampling of school work and art work from each school year to keep in the folders and you will toss the rest.  Then for the special folders at the end, you will keep everything for those – all report cards, all important test scores, all awards, all school pictures, etc.

By the time your child graduates college, you should have a small random sampling of their school work by grade plus all of their report cards, standardized testing grades, awards, and school pictures plus some assorted keepsakes like school programs and diplomas.

Easy.

And if you want to see even more pictures, details, and explanations for our kids’ School Papers Keepsakes Boxes, check out my original post here.  There is a ton more information and a lot more pictures as well.



Non-School Papers Keepsakes Box

This box will contain all other PAPERWORK that you’d like to save from their personal lives, NOT from school. 

For this box, you will use the following:

1 file storage box
Hanging file folders with tabs (I needed 25 for this box)
Manila file folders (I needed 4 for this box)
1 chalkboard label
1 chalk marker

This box will contain one file folder for each of the following in this order:

- Artwork – artwork they do at home that you wish to save
- In the Media – newspaper articles, newsletters, etc. where your child is featured
- Professional Pictures – this hanging file will contain four manila folders for the following:
            - Baby (professional pictures from their baby years)
            - Birthdays (pictures of them with their birthday chalkboard from each year)
            - Family portraits (beach sessions, fall sessions, Christmas card pictures, etc.)
            - Santa Visits (pictures of them sitting in Santa’s lap each year)
- 2010
- 2011
- 2012
- 2013
- 2014
- 2015
- 2016
- 2017
- 2018
- 2019
- 2020
- 2021
- 2022
- 2023
- 2024
- 2025
- 2026
- 2027
- 2028
- 2029
- 2030
- 2031

The yearly folders are for everything else that you want to save from each year – birthday cards, birthday invitations, Valentines, Christmas cards, notes from their friends, etc.  Your labels for your yearly files will obviously be different than mine as you’ll do one for each year of your child’s life. 

Again, you will only keep a random sampling of items from each year to keep in the folders and you will toss the rest.

You can see more pictures and details about our kids’ Non-School Papers Keepsakes Boxes in this post here.  Again, there is so much more information and there are also specific details of what exactly I save. 


Clothing Keepsakes Box

This box will contain all of the clothes that you’d like to save. 

For this box, you will use the following:

1 regular storage box 
Index cards
1 chalkboard label
1 chalk marker

This box will contain the following:

- All outfits they wore for the four professional picture sessions during their first year of life (newborn, 4 month, 8 month, 12 month – these are the pictures in the panels that hang in our dining room)
- First bib
- First bathing suit
- First sunglasses
- First jacket
- First Easter outfit
- First Halloween costume
- First Thanksgiving outfit
- First Christmas outfit
- First Christmas PJs
- First/favorite blanket
- First sleepsack
- All personalized birthday shirts (we had special shirts made for each of their birthdays, ages 1-5)
- Other special shirts that they made/decorated at school for special events/holidays
- Team jerseys from sports they play
- Team shirts from sports (Jacob has a couple from soccer with his name on it)
- First dance recital costume, first ballet shoes, etc.
- First school uniform
- A few other outfits/shirts they wore throughout their lives that they loved so much/that had special meaning. 

I use index cards to label each item with the date, year, or age that they used it, and I also include a brief description of each item. 

You can customize this box to suit your needs.  You might save more or less than I do.

You can see more pictures and details about our kids’ Clothing Keepsakes Boxes in this post here.



Everything Else Keepsakes Box (Non-Paper & Non-Clothing Keepsakes)

This box will contain everything else that does not go in the boxes above, so basically, everything that you want to keep that’s not paper or clothing.

For this box, you will use the following:

1 regular storage box
Index cards
1 chalkboard label
1 chalk marker
1 One Line a Day book 
1 external hard drive
1 infant keepsake box
1 baby teeth holder

This box will contain the following:

- Photo album of ultrasound pictures
- Book of their birth (I made these for our kids)
- Baby book
- One Line a Day (journals I kept from their first five years of life)
- Hard drive of all pictures and videos from their lives
- Infant keepsake box (you can see more about the contents of those here)
            - Copy of the local newspaper from the day they were born   
- Caps and shirts the hospital dressed them in right after they were born
- Flowers delivered to the hospital when they were born
- Umbilical cord stumps (yes, I saved these… don’t judge.)
- Going home outfit (you could keep this in the Clothing Box if you prefer)
- Baptism mementos
            - Shoes in which they took their first steps
            - Lock of hair from their first haircut
            - Baby teeth (yes I’m saving these and I’m keeping them in one of these)
            - First pacifier
            - First brush and comb       
- Ticket Stubs Book (binder of all tickets stubs from movies, plays, sporting events, etc.)
- Rock collection box
- Souvenir penny book
- Disney Autograph book from our Disney trips
- Mickey ears from their first Disney trip
- Diaper bag
- First bottle
- First sippy cup
- Favorite stuffed animal
- Very favorite toys through the years
- Very favorite books through the years
- Trophies/other medals that don’t fit in their school keepsake boxes
- Flowers/corsages from first dances, etc.
- Other random school projects that they want to save that don’t fit in their school papers keepsake boxes (posters, pottery, picture frames, etc.)
- Other special keepsakes, souvenirs, etc.

Just be sure to label everything with the date and a brief description of what it is… that way you’ll know why you saved everything!  Again, I like to use index cards for the labeling.

And you can see more pictures and details about our kids’ Everything Else Keepsakes Boxes in this post here.




Conclusion

So there you have it.  Four boxes for each child.  And we keep those four boxes in the corners of their closets.  That way, we have easy access to them which makes maintenance a breeze, but they’re also not in the way either.  See Olivia's in the right corner there?



When our kids grow up and move out on their own, they will each have four boxes of keepsakes to take with them when they go – a box of their entire school career, a box of their other paper keepsakes by year, a box of their most special clothes, and a box of all of their other treasures.  Four boxes may seem like a lot to some of you, but when you’re talking about 22 years worth of stuff, that’s actually not that much. 

With regard to important papers like birth certificates, social security cards, baptismal certificates, etc. we do not include those in the keepsake boxes because they are all kept in our family’s LIFE BINDER that is kept in our fireproof safe in case of an emergency.

Your child will be so thankful that you created this little time capsule for them, but they’ll also be glad that you didn’t bombard them with thirty boxes of every single thing they ever owned.  It’s the perfect balance!

Now, go buy those four boxes and get started!  I promise you won’t regret that you did!

And be sure to follow me on Instagram for more organizing tips... I post about organizing frequently in my stories!  I have an entire highlight dedicated just to organizing.  :o) 


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Monday, May 13, 2019

Our Weekend - The One with Mother’s Day

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through or make a purchase.

Friday afternoon Olivia had professional pictures for dance, so she and I made our way over to the dance studio while the boys hung back and watched Star Wars at home.  She got to wear both her ballet and tap costumes that she’ll wear in her recital and she was so excited to try them on.  We put her hair in a bun (and y’all I suck at ballet buns so I’m going to be doing some major practicing between now and next weekend) and I also let her wear some lipstick and a little bit of blush for her pictures.  When we were leaving, she told me that she wants to be a ballerina forever because she loves getting to wear makeup.  Lol.  That girl.





After pictures we headed home to grab the boys and we had Mex for dinner at our favorite place.  The Mexican restaurant is just a couple of doors down from a Burger King that put in a MASSIVE playground a few years ago, and on the way in, the kids asked if we could stop there afterward to play.  So yes, we were those people who totally used the BK for their playground and we didn’t even buy anything.  Lol.



The rest of the evening was spent finishing up Star Wars that the boys had started earlier and then after the kids went to bed B and I started watching Big Little Lies.  We finished The Handmaid’s Tale last weekend so we needed something new, and I have to say, I’m intrigued so far with Big Little Lies.  It’s pretty good.

Friday evening, it was also brought to my attention that Snapchat now has a dude filter and it makes all of the ladies look like guys, so naturally I had to test it out, and y’all, this is the thing of nightmares.  LOLOLOLOL.  What’s the creepiest of all is that I actually look like my littlest brother.  Lol.  And Brian thinks I look like Sam Smith.  Bahahaha.




Saturday we had originally planned to go to Providence Canyon for a visit (it’s considered to be the “Grand Canyon of Georgia”), but the weather wasn’t looking too promising so we decided to stay home.  This was the first Saturday that we’d had free in months, so we made the most of it and started cleaning out Brian’s office.  We’ve lived here for almost ten years and his office has literally been a nightmare the entire time.  It was kind of in order at the very beginning, but over time it became the dumping ground for junk so it was BAD, y’all.  BAD.

I never let it bother me because we always keep the door shut, plus I never had a reason to go in there for the longest time.  But a few years ago, we added on an indoor storage closet, and the closet had to be added on to B’s office.  It now houses all of my gift wrap supplies, all of our holiday décor, and some of the kids arts and crafts stuff, so I have to go in there all the time.  Well, it got to the point where I couldn’t even get to the closet, so it was time to do something because it was driving me insane.

Our goal is to get it completely cleaned out and organized this summer once and for all.  Saturday we ended up working in there for SIX HOURS and we got so much done.  Even though we got a lot done, though, we still have a loooong road ahead of us. 



Saturday evening we went to church and then to a cute little Italian place for dinner with my whole fam, and then we all went home where B and I watched a couple more episodes of Big Little Lies.

Sunday was Mother’s Day, and B and the kids were up fairly early while I slept in until 8:30.  It was a very dark and cloudy day, and I always love to sleep in during that kind of weather, so it was a nice start to the morning.

When I got up, B and the kids showered me with handmade gifts and cards, and Brian had even typed up the cutest interview that he had done with the kids about me.  After that, B went and picked up some donuts for breakfast, and then after breakfast he took me outside to his SUV and showed me that I had another gift in there… the dresser that I’ve been DYING FOR to go in the living room to house our DVD collection.  I am SO EXCITED.



I spent the rest of the morning snuggling with the babies and prepping my planner for the week ahead while B put together the dresser.  I’m IN LOVE.  And I promise to share it soon… I haven’t had a chance to snap pictures.  You can see the dresser here, though.  It is just perfect in that space. 

Sunday afternoon we went to my MIL and step-FIL’s for Sunday lunch and to celebrate my MIL for Mother’s Day.  The rain cleared during lunch and we were able to spend a good hour on the back deck soaking up the sun while the kids played.  Jacob has decided he wants to play baseball in the fall, so my nephews (who play baseball) were helping Jacob practice hitting.  My brother-in-law (who also played baseball and was really good) worked with Jacob on his batting stance for a while, too.  We’re getting him all prepped and ready because fall will be here before we know it!






Sunday evening we went to my parents’ house for Sunday dinner and we celebrated with my Momma for Mother’s Day.  My brother and sister-in-law gave me roses for Mother's Day and I thought that was just the sweetest thing!  

My Momma cooked a delicious dinner and then afterwards, my Momma surprised my Daddy with a new classic sports car!!!!  Shouldn’t that have been the other way around?!  Lol.

But seriously, my Daddy has always loved classic cars and sports cars (and cars in general), but he’s always driven something “practical” and “dad-friendly” since they’ve always had kids in the house.  Since my dad’s current car is oooold (and not in a good collector’s type of way) my Momma surprised him with a classic sports car that’s in mint condition that one of their friends was selling.  Both of my parents have always driven very modest cars, and they drive them basically until the wheels fall off, so my Momma said that my Daddy deserved to finally have the “toy” that he’s always wanted. 

He was SO surprised and all of us were cracking up because we knew about it so we were able to watch the progression from confusion to excitement on his face when he realized it was my mom in the driver's seat.  Once the shock wore off he took me for a spin around the neighborhood and I foresee lots of speeding tickets in his near future.  Hahahaha.





Happy retirement, Daddy!  And Happy Mother's Day to every kind of mommy!


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*Linking up with B Loved Boston for Weekending and HoHo Runs for Weekly Wrap.







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