Wednesday, April 11, 2018

How We Wednesday: Organize and Spring Clean

Happy Wednesday! Today, I am linking up with Shay and Erika for How We Wednesday and am talking about how I organize and spring clean. Hello. My name is Erin, and I LOVE to organize! And call me crazy but I love to clean too! 

As with everything, I really try to keep organizing and spring cleaning as simple as I can because otherwise I just get overwhelmed and it all goes out the window. I found one book that was really helpful in getting myself organized and doing a big spring clean called Organized Simplicity. This book is broken up into two parts. The first is all about living simple in the real world. I got a lot of good tips and felt encouraged to let go of some things in this section. And then the second section is all about an organized home where the author goes room by room and gives simple tips for going through and sorting things and then deep cleaning the room. I appreciated this section because there were some things I hadn't even thought about cleaning, and she gives ways to clean, recipes for cleaning etc so it is literally all right there. If you need some guidance or even some motivation, I highly recommend ready this book.

Ok...onto some of my tips for organizing and spring cleaning!
Make a list. Making lists help keep me the most organized. I make lists of everything I want to clean (if I am ambitious I will even break it up by room) and then I can usually stay right on track and be more productive. Whenever I am working in one area, I also bring a notepad, pen, and three bins/boxes/trash bags with me. I have the notepad and pen so that I can write down anything I need to buy or replace etc. I have the three bins, boxes, or trash bags for trash, things to donate, and things that go in another room

Going room by room.  I work best and feel less stressed when I can focus on one room at a time. I do everything in that room-going through stuff, purging, sorting, and then give it a good deep clean and it's DONE .

These bins are my best friend. I buy these bins at costco for $7.99, and they are the best things ever. They are heavy duty and stack really well. I had cheap bins that made a cross country move with us 9 years ago and were falling apart so last year I started going through them all and condensing their contents into these. I love that the bottoms of these bins fit into the lid of another because they can't fall over and are very sturdy.

Give storage a spring clean. We store most of our stuff in a section of our garage so last year I started going through bins and boxes a little at a time so I could purge, condense, and get more organized.  Our garage was pretty organized but we had held onto a lot of things from college, wedding gifts that we hadn't used (8 years later...), baby stuff, and some other odds and ends. It was amazing how much stuff I came across that I had no need for or stuff that I didn't even know we had and was able to get rid of. And then I was able to condense a lot of stuff into the bins (pictured above) and everything was nice and neat. This paid off HUGE earlier this year when we made an unexpected move half way across the country. And I was so thankful I had done this.

Our holiday decorations are also stored in our garage so I went through those too, but I normally try and go through those bins and throw things out or donate things that I just don't use anymore after the holiday is over, and I am packing up.

My planner is my other best friend. As far as organization overall, I love my planner from Plum Paper! I especially love the few pages before each month that I can use for planning/goals/anything else I need to remember. 

And weekly it gives me enough space to write our schedules, meal plans, and everything else!

I really heavily on this baby to keep me organized! :)

What are your tips for staying organized and spring cleaning?! 

To check out my other How We Wednesday Posts...

In January, I discussed my 2018 Goals here.
In February, I discussed how I take care of myself here.
In March, I discussed how I momfail here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Books (March 2018)

Happy Tuesday! It's one of my favorite days of the month because I love sharing what I have been reading and then linking up and finding more books to read! :) March was a good reading month for me-I read 7 books! I really liked 5 of them (one of them is my favorite book so far this year!) and 2 were just ok. So here we go....

 My March reading started off with A Simplified Life which I loved especially because I am into all things simple.  Emily Ley went through ten different areas to simplify in our lives, and I found this book both encouraging and helpful. Each chapter deals with a different area and doesn't go to much into depth, but it is really helpful. This was a quick, easy, and motivating read!

The Last Mrs. Parrish might just be one of my new favorite books! It started out as a quick and easy read about a girl named Amber who envies Daphne Parrish and wants to become her. The book is told first from Amber's perspective and then from Daphne's (and then both towards the end). There are some major twists and once I got going I could not put this one down.

The Wife Between Us reminded me a little bit of The Last Mrs. Parrish. I'm not sure how to describe this book without giving it away so I will try my best. I assumed I was reading about a jealous wife who was distraught over her divorce and then out to get her ex's new fiancee, but there were some twists and turns and about 1/3 of the way through the book, I realized I had assumed a lot of things wrong. I really liked reading this book and although I would say I liked The Last Mrs. Parrish better, I still really liked this one too!

I started reading A Little Thing Called Life because I love reading about other people's lives. I don't know much about Linda Thompson, but am familiar with her boys, Bruce Jenner, and David Foster from reality TV. While I did find parts of this book interesting, I found myself skimming a lot because I felt like it wasn't really getting to the point and parts were repetitive. I would say this book was so-so for me.

After a few thrillers this month, I was ready for a good chick flick and Now That You Mention It was perfect for that. This book is about a doctor who returns home after being hit by a car and dumping her boyfriend. She hasn't been home (to a small island) in 15 years and her relationship with her family (and really everyone in town) is pretty distant so this book navigates through all of that, as well as, her past. I really liked this book!

I first read The Slight Edge a few years ago, and it came to mind as I have struggled to have any motivation while adjusting to a new schedule and place to live etc. Plus, I am lacking some serious discipline in my life so I pulled this out to read again. The Slight Edge is a simple concept to help you be successful in different aspects of your life. This book is a very motivating and helpful read for me! And I love the little stories at the end of each chapter from people who have applied the slight edge concepts to their lives and been successful. I find it all very encouraging.

Standing Strong was the last book I read this month. It was an easy read and I flew right through it. I love to read about people's lives, and I enjoyed reading Teresa's first book Turning the Tables so I was excited to read more about what her life has been like since her time in prison. This book is about her navigating life as a single mom while her husband is in prison. She discusses in more detail the reasons they went to prison and also discusses her mother's sudden death and how they are dealing with that. I really appreciated her honesty and willingness to talk about some tough stuff in this book, but I felt like this book was a lot of ranting with some digs at people thrown in there so I didn't really care for it all that much.

That's it for March! What have you been reading lately?!

Linking up with Steph and Jana for Show Us Your Books!

**This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog! 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

33 Things About Me on My 33rd Birthday

33 years ago I made my entrance into the world so I thought I would share 33 things about me today!

1. I hate attention so on days like my birthday, I am usually praying that people don't make a big deal because I don't want the attention.

2. I grew up in Montana. I lived in the country but went to school in a town with a population of 1,000.

3. I am a Pastor's Kid.

4. I played one year of college volleyball (more like one semester since volleyball was in the Fall).

5. Fall is my favorite season.

6. I have visited 29 states (I have had layovers in more but not counting those). My goal is for my family to visit all 50 states.

7. I love to read.

8. I can't function if I don't have 8 hours/sleep at night.

9. I love to roadtrip.

10. I have a Biology/Pre-Med degree but never used it.

11. My favorite dessert is cheesecake.

12. My first 3 semesters of college I went to 3 different schools. 

13. I love order and organization.

14. I love to write letters. 

15. My favorite food is BBQ (and all the sides!). 

16. I am an oldest child.

17. I love to explore new places and would much rather be out and about doing things.

18. I love to bake.

19. I never considered myself a Disney person until we started going to Disneyland last year and now I am all about everything Disney.

20. I've been driving for 18 years and have never been pulled over (now that I type this I probably will be). 

21. I've lived in 5 different states during my 33 years of life.

22. I've been to two countries (Canada and Mexico).

23. I love taking baths and a good face mask. 

24. I've only ever owned vehicles that are Hondas.

25. I'm a picky eater but have gotten better as the years have passed.

26. My favorite drink is unsweetened iced tea.

27. I've had 2 c-sections (one of them I consider a "natural" c-section because the anesthesia didn't work all the way and I felt everything. AH!)

28. I am deathly afraid of heights and snakes.

29. I love making lists. 

30. I am not a coffee drinker but give me a hot chocolate any day. 

31. I love living simple and not having a lot of stuff. I much prefer quality over quantity. 

32. My favorite city is Washington D.C.

33. My favorite color is pink. 

Monday, April 2, 2018

Easter 2018

We had a happy and cold Easter 2018! We always love Easter weekend and the fun activities, but we are most thankful for our RISEN Savior!

We started off Easter weekend with an Easter egg hunt at church. This year it had to be moved indoors because of rain, but that didn't stop the fun! Gabriella totally got it this year and was very into it. Madden, on the other hand,  could have cared less. He walked around giving other people eggs :)

On Sunday we headed to church...

After church, we gave the kids their Easter baskets...

Madden cared about one thing and one thing only....his cookie :)

Then we ate Easter dinner with the fam bam and had a relaxing afternoon! We had Easter eggs filled to do a hunt but never got around to it because of our 30 degree weather (and the kids never asked!). It was a blessed Easter 2018!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! It is Good Friday and Easter Weekend, and we are excited to celebrate our RISEN Savior. We have a pretty low key weekend-thankfully! We're looking forward to a few Easter egg hunts, our Easter service at church, and Easter Sunday dinner. 

Today, I am linking up with ErikaNarci, and Andrea to share my favorites this week.

On days when the weather is above 40 degrees and not windy (oh how my life has changed!), our favorite thing to do is walk a 2 mile loop and end up at the park. And the slides are a favorite for Madden!

S'mores are a favorite of mine but since the weather hasn't been cooperating to have a fire, we have been making the next best thing...baked s'mores! Yesterday, I posted the recipe here!

I ordered these Kate Spade New York Mini Square Stud earrings a few weeks ago, and they are my favorite! I wear them everyday!! They aren't too huge (but they aren't small either), and I hardly know they are on. 

Found my new favorite nail polish color (Eternal Optimist) at Target a few weeks ago :) 

Dill Pickles are a favorite of mine, and I tried these at a friend's house a few weeks ago. They are awesome! If you like dill pickles try these almonds out from Whole Foods!

 BBQ for 12!! BBQ is a favorite of ours and while driving through Chicago on Saturday, we stopped at this place!

Madden's favorite thing to do is steal food from his sister when she isn't looking :)

Well that's it for this Friday! Hope you have a Happy Easter! He is RISEN!!!!