Tuesday, January 31, 2012

BodyRock - Best Home Workout Ever!


The answer to your workout woes.
If you have an internet connection and a desire to be more fit, you can do this.
Seriously...think about it...
  • It is FREE - no sign up, no monthly fees, nothing! Just log on and start your workout.
  • You can do the workouts whenever you want.
  • You can wear whatever you want, because it is in the privacy of your own home. 
  • You don't have to buy any extra equipment (unless you want to)
  • No more lengthy workouts that take forever - each workout only takes a few minutes
  • The hosts takes you through each exercise and shows modifications, so everyone, at any fitness level, can participate.
I have been doing bodyrock for two weeks and love it. This is not something that sounds too good to be true. It is work. They are quick, tough exercises that will leave you feeling tired and sore, but the reward is a healthier body.

There is no excuse now...if you want to be fit and change the way you look, you have got to try bodyrock.tv. 

Thank you to my good friend who recommended it to me. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Daily Cleaning Routine

Daily Cleaning Routine

Make breakfast
Make school lunches
Check blackboard (family calendar) for kids activities
Unload dishwasher and load breakfast dishes
Wipe down kitchen
Make beds (make sure the boys have done theirs!)
Put in first load
Drive kids to school
Another load of laundry
Make Lunch
Clean up/Sweep up after lunch/playtime with toddler
Another load of laundry
Make Dinner
Kitchen Clean up (load dishwasher/wash all dishes/sweep floor)
Finish up laundry - Scott and kids put away clean piles
Quick tidy up

This is just an example of the cleaning I do each day. I feel like doing a little bit each day, really keeps clutter under control, and my home can be ready for visitors. I know how it feels to do the same thing day in and day out, and I have my complaining time too..but my goal is to keep a clean and organized home, and cleaning every day is the way to achieve it.

Why should you do these things daily?

Under housekeeping at about.com, they say it best...

Smells, stains, and odd fungal growth usually go with forgotten dirty dishes. Cleaning dishes daily is the best choice all around.

Not every family needs to wash laundry daily, but many of us find that at least a daily load of laundry is necessary. With work clothes, school uniforms, soccer practice clothes, and sports uniforms, our families can generate a lot of dirty clothes. A daily load can help prevent a mad dash to find a baseball jersey in the bottom of a hamper.

Tidy Up:
Doing a little clutter control on a daily basis keeps your home ready for company at a moment's notice. A few minutes of picking up each day also prevent your home from turning into a disaster zone that will take hours to plow through. A tidy room makes a big difference in our motivation to tackle bigger projects. Use the 15 Minute Cleanups as a daily help to keep your main rooms ready for visitors.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Weekly cleaning routine

After discussion with some friends over how many bathrooms we clean, and how often we find urine in the toilet, I realized that cleaning bathrooms is not much of a problem for me, because I do all the major cleaning once a week, and only have to tidy up once in a while (if my little guy finds his way in and messes up a drawer, or pulls down some toilet paper).

This is my weekly cleaning routine. When I started this routine I wrote what task I was going to do that day on my blackboard wall. I found that in keeping with the routine, and not leaving things to the next day, that I did not miss cleaning bathrooms, or wonder "when did I clean the sheets last?".

Even on the days when I am busy, I make sure to get this one task done, because I know there is another one tomorrow...and I do not want a build up of chores on Saturday. I am lucky to be a stay at home mom, so I can work a schedule like this and our weekends are free for more family time.

The major weekly chores for me are the ones that take the most time to complete.
1. Laundry (wash, dry, fold and put away)
2. Bathrooms (deep clean)
3. Floors (mop/wax hardwood and vacuum entire carpeted areas including stairs and corners)
4. Windows/Walls (there are some areas that are well touched in the house..switches, door handles, walls in the hallway and stair wells and windows..these get a weekly wipe down)

Weekly Chores/Cleaning Routine
Monday - Laundry (Clothes...usually three loads...two dark and one light)
Tuesday - Laundry (Sheets and Towels only)
Wednesday - Bathrooms
Thursday - Laundry (Clothes...one or two loads) and Windows/Walls
Friday - Floors
Saturday  - FREE - Family time, Organizing Projects, Errands..and sometimes windows/walls since my kids like to help with this one!
Sunday - Are you kidding me, we all need one day of rest. No major chores this day.
*Scott takes out the garbage and recycling, since Monday is pick up*

Scott is a great help. Some days, the laundry all gets cleaned and is in a huge mound on our bed, and he will come home and start sorting and folding. The kids are great, and will often help to put away their clean piles..although when they help, I wonder why I folded it, because it gets shoved in the drawer! My youngest son often "helps" me clean the bathrooms and floors and windows. As long as he has a cloth and is right beside me, I can usually get the job done.

Give it a try.
Set up a cleaning routine for yourself, and hopefully as time passes you will see just how clean your home can be with less effort.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Raising Boys

Scott and I are lucky to have three beautiful boys. We want them to be happy, well rounded little men. We want them to be fit, smart, and polite. We want them to show good manners when they are in someone else's home..the list could go on and on.
Most parents want the same basic things for their children, and we all struggle to find ways to teach and discipline them.

Just before Christmas vacation, we read a book called: Raising Boys: Why boys are Different - And How to Help Them Become Happy and Well Balanced Men.

The book is broken up into three sections according to age. 0-6 years, 6-14 years and 14 - adult. Within each section there is valuable information on what is going on with boys during this time and what is most needed to help them grow properly. At the end of each chapter he sums things up, "in a nutshell". If you have limited time to read, you can skip to the section you need help with now and pick up the book again when they reach the next stage. In fact, since Scott and I both read the book at the same time...and this one was quite popular from the library...we only had two weeks to read it. After reading the introduction, I skipped right to the chapter on a Moms role, just in case I didn't have time to finish.

Some things that stuck with me: 

1. Boys sometimes are deaf.  When they have a growth spurt the tube connecting the ear to the back of the throat stretches and thins, and can block easily causing temporary deafness.  Once the tube grows to catch up again it unblocks and hearing is restored!

2. He suggests keeping boys out of child care until 3 years old.

3. Dads need to build a strong relationship with them, since they will be looking for a male role model. There is no room for a dead beat dad.

4. Boys need to be involved in regular sports/exercise to burn up testosterone and reduce frustration and aggression.

5. A 4 year old boy has the same testosterone levels as a teenage boy.

For those who are not raising boys...you are in luck...he has also written: Raising Girls

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Declutter Calendar

I found this calendar online and just had to share. This amazing woman put together a declutter calendar breaking down all the hard organizing jobs into small ones. There is one task a day for the whole year. If you want to take small steps, and only have a limited free time, try out this calendar and make the goal to accomplish these simple tasks each day until your home is organized and clutter free!
Go to: My Simpler Life

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Your clothes closet

To me, January is a time for new beginnings. It is time to regroup, and rethink the processes that have worked or have not worked during the last year.

The top ten New Years Resolutions are: More family time, Fitness, Diet, Get out of debt, Quit smoking/drinking, Enjoy more life, Learn something new, Help others and Get Organized.

These are the areas I am going to write on this year, since we all set goals in the same areas, I hope that you will read something that will help you towards your own personal goals.

Get Organized
Start with your clothes closet.

Do you know how long it has been since you wore that shirt? Do those jeans even fit you? Why do you have sandals at the bottom of your closet from last summer?

Scott says...Try this: 
Hang all your shirts/skirts/dresses and even pants on hangers, backwards. 
That's right, place each piece of clothing on a hanger and place it backwards on the rod.

When you wear something (after it is washed) it goes back on the hanger, which is turned around and placed on the rod the right way.

In a few months, you will see what you do not wear, because the hangers will still be backwards. 
Get rid of these items, and leave room for the clothes you actually wear.

You can see here the hangers in action...

It would be smart to do this 2 times a year. We usually choose January and July. 
This way you still have out the seasonal clothes, so you can see what you really wear.

Jenny's closet

Scott's closet

Scott and I try to keep only the clothes we wear. Usually when we buy some new clothes, we get rid of some as well, so there is always some space. We keep shoes in bins according to season, under the bed and in the front hall closet. We keep a space at the bottom of each closet for a dirty clothes hamper (one for each of us!) 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Garbage Free Christmas Morning

Scott pointed out to me that this was our first garbage free Christmas morning. Every one of our gifts was wrapped in a reusable cloth bag, even Santa borrowed some! It took me 15 mins. to "wrap" all our gifts. And when I had an odd shaped present, I just custom made a bag to fit it.
The packages looked beautiful, with all sorts of different sizes and patterns. The boys had just as much fun opening bags as they would have paper. And when we were all done, the bags were all folded up and placed into one to be used next year. I love it! And since we were travelling, the bags helped keep everything together for the trip home. That is right, we did not lose one piece of Lego, Uberstiks or Mr. Potato Head body parts. HAHAHAHA!
We even saved money this year by giving reusable bags as gifts to teachers, friends and co-workers. Then they could all enjoy a hassle free Christmas too!
If you would like to try it, check out my post on Christmas Cloth Bags. You can buy them, make your own...or ask me...I will most likely be selling them next year. They are so wonderful.