Sunday… Lazy-day?

Hi there!

I’m really hoping that writing this short little blurb tonight will help clear my head. My 5yo only goes to school Mon-Thurs the rest of the school year, and this weekend was our first 3 day weekend winding down for Summer vacation. It was awesome! And super productive/unproductive at the same time.

 Friday was payday. I made my super frugal meal plan, dropped the girlies off with our trusty babysitter, and in just 2.5 hours, I’d hit up 4 stores and done 99% of our 2 week shopping while only spending a little less than $150! {squeal of delight!!!} Luckily we had a ton of grains in the pantry from the last time I stocked up so I mainly needed produce and perishables like milk & eggs. I visited a new (to me) store, a Green Acres Market, which sells healthy & organic foods. We don’t have a lot of small and/or health-food type grocers in town so I was very happy to stumble upon this place and for the first time in the 3 years we have lived here I found vegan cheese!!! (No I am not vegan nor do I have any true dairy allergies. However, I eliminated most dairy from my diet last year in an effort to be healthier, and I felt soooo much better! In addition to not feeling sluggish and easily exhausted, my skin was also the clearest I have EVER seen it! I struggle with adult acne, and as an esthetician, I definitely believe in the rule of ‘put good in, get good out’; lucky for me, I saw that good nutrition in my health and literally in my skin!)

Okay, anyways! Here in OK, we had an insane forecast for this weekend! They even called for SNOW in parts of the state! Thank goodness none of that started until after Friday. Let it blizzard for all I care, I just bought 2 weeks of home goods! 

Yesterday, all I could bring myself to do was alternate between binge watching old YouTube channels I used to follow before I started working a couple of years ago and cleaning. I did get a lot of deep-cleaning done all over my house, which is awesome since I start job training tomorrow for this new salon job, but today has mostly been a lazy day for us all. My husband came home early from some training for a class he starts tomorrow and it’s the first day he’s been home since Wednesday. We chilled on the couch in our jammies and watched TV and snuggled the girls. It’s been wonderful! I kinda feel like crap though. I don’t know, sometimes I just get in these weird moods where I want to relax but it bothers me to relax because I know there’s stuff to be done. Yet, I have no motivation to get up to do anything and even though I know I should be doing something productive, I can’t figure out what to do or where to start. 

Let’s see: 5yo’s homework is done. Kiddos are about to get a bath and go to bed since its a school night. I need to do laundry and make sure uniforms and nap blankets are washed and backpack is packed. I already cleaned the play room. I need to help 5yo clean her bedroom before bed, assuming she’s still cooperative by that point in the night. Hubby has dinner dishes cleaned nnd hopefully will cover the sweeping. Since I go into work at 5pm tomorrow I’m making crockpot dinner and I need to set an alarm to make sure I put it on in time. Now that I think about it, that may be all I have left to do! It just seems really odd that I’ve done nothing all day and that’s all I have left. It doesn’t help that I didn’t fall asleep until almost 3am last night and I’ve had a headache most of the day. Maybe that’s my issue; I’m just sleep deprived and grumpy. 
I’m going to go now. I’m going to get this crap over with and get into bed! I’ll drink myself a cup of green tea, get my beauty rest and hopefully wake up in the morning to finish this Etsy project I’ve been dying to put together! Wish me luck! & if you stumble upon this and it’s still Sunday, I hope you enjoy what’s left of the weekend! 

Surviving This Monday

**WARNING! There is rambling in this post! It’s Monday, I haven’t posted any mom stuff in like 2 weeks, and I’m not fully caffeinated yet! Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!**

It’s that day of the week again! Fridays I try to deep clean what I can so I can relax over the weekend with my family. Yes I’m home all the time, but my hubby and 5yo are not, so weekends are our days to not focus on much besides family. Saturday is our day to be out and about. Even if we don’t have a day trip planned we usually at least venture out to the farmers market and we’ll take our time and drive the long way and just enjoy being out of the house together. Sundays are split half and half. The first half of the day is spent relaxing. It’s my one day of the week that I don’t set an alarm to wake up for my quiet time while everyone else sleeps, and I catch up on a little extra rest. In the afternoon we double check homework, make sure school clothes and uniforms are clean for the week, and I meal plan (and budget if payday falls during the following week.) 

This past weekend, however, I just felt like crap! I wasn’t sick, I was just feeling extreme exhaustion for some reason. I did have a busier week than usual, so maybe that was just catching up with me. Who knows? Whatever it was, I didn’t get out of bed much. So today I’m catching up around the house, washing weekend laundry, cleaning the floors I neglected for 2 whole days (gasp!), and since I didn’t do it yesterday I’m meal planning and tallying up our budget. 
Payday falls on a Friday this time, but I actually just got accepted for a part time job at a salon here in town, which I am SUPER excited for. I’m hoping to be able to at least get my onboarding done this week, so I revamped the rest of my meal plan for now through Friday to accommodate for easier dinners, slow cooker ‘dump’ dinners and casseroles that way I’m not tempted to grab dinner out if I get called in to the salon last minute to finish paperwork and all the fun technical stuff! 

Today I decided on taco soup. Taco soup, I think, is a pretty common meal. I don’t think it’s ever really too complex, but my recipe in particular is super easy. Like I said it’s a dump recipe, where literally you just take all ingredients, throw them in your slow cooker, and when it’s hot you stir & eat! When I first started making this recipe I did add chicken every time. If I’m cooking chicken with other veggies/sides, I don’t like to cook it all together because even though I trim what I can off the chicken, there’s always just that little teeny tiny bit of trimmings you can’t get, and when they cook down they stick to my broccoli or noodles, and taste and texture-wise you really can’t tell, but it doesn’t make for a very pretty dish! So I would cook my chicken on the side, then shred it and mix it in. Lately I’m finally back to eating **mostly vegetarian. I love the health benefits that I personally have seen by eliminating meat most of the time, if not all of the time. But let’s be real. I like food. I like flavor and I love hearty recipes. We’re starting to see not spring but summer weather here in Oklahoma, so I’m already in the mood for BBQ. When we travel home to visit family I definitely look forward to my mom’s home cookin’! Luckily, this recipe is so flavorful I can make it vegetarian style and it’s not lacking anything in any way! Since I’ve been omitting chicken lately, I add extra beans and voila! Plenty of protein. When the kids are being picky and take the beans out of every single bite, I make up cheese quesadillas for dipping in the bit of soup they do eat and every body gets their bellies full! So this is what it looks like now.

Not the prettiest YET because I just dumped everything in. I’ll let it sit and heat through until the cream cheese is melty then I’ll give it a good stir and turn it down on warm. Then it’s just a matter of waiting for Dad to roll in from work and we eat! This afternoon when it’s finished I’ll try and get Instagram-y for y’all and get some food pics and type up the recipe for anyone who’s interested. 
Since it’s Monday, half of me wants to be productive while half of me wants to just sip coffee and crochet since my house is so much quieter than it was over the weekend! I’m in dire need of a dry erase board, but I have no clue where I would put one if I got one! So for now my dishwasher is working double duty and is also serving as my to-do list until further notice. 

I’m a visual person. Even just doing things around my house, at the end of the day I like to be able to see that I’ve been productive in some way. With kids and pets running around it gets hard sometimes. I can clean rooms, organize the play room, and scrub the floors at nap time, then a couple hours later once we’ve picked up 5yo from Pre-K, there’s toys everywhere and you can’t tell. I know first hand that it can be frustrating for parents who stay home to be busy all day and have nothing to show for it! So I use my to-do lists Monday – Friday and it just makes me feel a little better. Sometimes I add petty stuff too! Just because I can and it makes me feel better! One time I had made a full list, then woke up feeling like death the next morning, so I took off a chore and added SHOWER AND GET DRESSED in its place and checked that off! Because reality, that’s why! I might only have clean floors and wash laundry on my list. I might not do laundry after all because the dog got into the bathroom and shredded toilet paper! So instead I spent time cleaning that up! So I’ll go write in CLEAN BATHROOM and immediately check it off. It just reminds me, on days that I want to pull my hair out(!!!), that even if I can’t see my progress, even if by the end of the day you can’t see the floor or the bottom of the laundry bin, I am being mom all day. So my house can be messy but that doesn’t mean I am lazy! It just means I’m improvising, which happens a lot! No, my husband doesn’t walk in the door from work expecting a spotless house and dinner on the table, so this isn’t me proving to him, or anyone else for that matter, that I’m not sitting on my ass all day! This just reminds me that even in all the chaos , I’m still momming along here and doing what I can and that is more than okay! I am more than enough! (Also, I am forgetful so the dry erase dishwasher helps with that too! But mainly, it’s a reminder that I’m running a functioning home with a 2yo glued to my side and we’ve managed to not burn the house down yet! And that’s pretty damn good!) 

So all you mom’s out there reading this, remember that regardless of what today brings you, whether it’s blissful or chaotic, you are more than enough, you do more than enough, and you are loved for it! 

My Family’s Meal Planning Tips

It’s that time of the 2-weeks again! Every payday, approximately every 15 days, I evaluate our budget and do our meal planning. I prefer to shop for one week of groceries at a time, but my husband doesn’t bring home the bacon every week. He brings it home every two weeks, twice a month, as do most who work. We have a tight budget since we are working on eliminating our debt ASAP. So in all reality the $250 that I write in for our bi-weekly grocery budget covers so much more than groceries. Every single payday it also covers dog food & diapers. Every 6 weeks it covers a GINORMOUS case of baby wipes from Sam’s Club, and whenever it’s needed it covers toilet paper, shampoo, soap, cleaning products, etc. You get the picture. After the cost of dog food and diapers every two weeks that leaves us with about $200 for groceries and other needs from that paycheck, or roughly $100/week for our family of 4. And that is perfect for us! Most of the time we even have a little cash left over! That $100/ week covers all staples such as milk, eggs, bread, so on and so forth, in addition to snack foods, lunches for 2 every weekday & lunches for 4 on the weekends and dinner for 4 every day of the week.
Here are some things I consider when I figure up our meal plan every week:

1) What do we already have?
          If I already have noodles in my pantry and some sort of cheese and milk in my fridge, you best believe I will be writing in a dinner of homemade Alfredo, and all I’ll need to add is peas or broccoli & a couple pieces of chicken. If I have rice and beans in my pantry, it looks like I’ll spend a couple bucks on produce and we’ll have a vegetarian burrito bowl night! Which we actually are tonight!

2) What is on sale?
          I don’t always get Sunday papers. In fact, I only bother getting them if they have about $150 or more worth of coupons inside. (I’m not sure if all papers do this, but locally our paper has a red box on the front with the dollar value of coupons it has.) Any less than that and I run the risk spending money on papers on not having coupons we will use. I don’t stockpile any more, rather I just focus on finding coupons for brands of items we regularly use. I’m not worried about buying something to put back for IF we need it later just because it’s cheap. ANYWAYS! if I do buy a Sunday paper I check what’s on sale around town. We also have a Target in town so I check their add to see if I can make any purchases that will earn me gift cards! If I don’t get a paper, it takes a little longer this way, but I can check out sales online by going to each retailers website. Similar example to earlier: if tortillas and seasoning are on sale we’ll have tacos. If red sauce is on a good enough sale I’ll stock up and we can have Italian. My hubby loves Italian food, anything that requires marinara sauce, really, so I like to stock up when it’s super cheap. I always have ingredients on hand to make white sauces but he loves him some red sauce. It’s always a must to get several jars when the price is just right.

3) What ingredients can I buy in bulk for ultra low prices that will last several meals?
          Plain white rice is about $1.00-$1.25 per pound when you buy the smaller bags, yet I know at Walmart I can get a 10 lb bag for about $8.00, making it less than $1.00/lb. I noticed yesterday that our local Aldi had 10 lb bags of white rice on sale for $4.99!! That’s a stock up price to me so this weekend when I shop I will most likely be back to buy two or three bags since they will last preeettttty much forever in my pantry! (That turned into more of a sale shopping example than a bulk example. Moral of the story is the bigger your package of food, the lower​ the cost per unit.) Rather than buying shredded and sliced cheese seperately, which is $2.00+ for about 8 oz, I know I can buy a 3 lb block of cheddar cheese at Sam’s Club for just under $6.00. So I can slice and shred it at home thanks to my handy slicer/shredder combo I found at Dollar Tree for half the cost of buying it conveniently pre-packaged. Once I have ingredients such as those at home I figure, “Okay I have all this rice so this week we can have burrito bowls and chicken and rice soup, and next week we can have teriyaki chicken with fried rice.” Or, “I have 3 pounds of cheese so we can have one night of soup and grilled cheese sammiches and one night of homemade mac’n’cheese with veggies.”

Those are really my biggest considerations when I work out how far our grocery budget can take us each week. It also helps that due to our tight budget I’ve learned to cook from scratch reeeaaalllly well. I always have baking ingredients at home, flour, butter, milk, eggs, and so on, so I never buy canned biscuits or premade pie crusts. I never buy premade desserts and rarely every even buy pie filling. It makes for super cheap super yummy eating around here! During 2YO’s Naptime I’ll be writing out my meal plan for the 2 weeks following this upcoming weekend’s shopping trip, so if you’re interested in seeing my actual shopping broken down into cost per meal and what items I buy at which stores, give a like or a comment and definitely follow my blog! I know I’m still just a baby in the blogging world but I have so many more posts to come about my journey of taking care of my family while staying home. Especially once summer vacation rolls around for my 5YO and I take on the task of summer-schooling her from home so she doesn’t forget what she learned in pre-K this year by the time kindergarten starts in August! So soon I’ll be writing about the summer Pre-K program I’ve come up with! Hurray for summer! Hope you all enjoy your week; I’ll be back soon with more SAHM stuffs! 

Spring Break & Spring Cleaning! 

It is warm & sunny here in Oklahoma lately and I am LOVING it! This weather has got me in the most chipper mood! So much has been going on, but all has been great!
Last week I was tempted to write a couple of times just because I enjoy it, but I was busy and wouldn’t have had time to finish an entire post. My husband and daughter both had spring break for an entire week, so we went home to Missouri all week to visit family. It’d been almost a year, since last July, since my daughters and I had visited. It’d been even longer than that for my husband since he’d been overseas, so about 15 months for him. We were waaaayy overdue for a visit!

The first (and by far the biggest) part of Spring break was my oldest kiddos birthday. I’ve officially been a mom for 5 years now! How have these years gone by so quickly?! So. This spoiled little girl had cupcakes and presents here at home. She had absolutely no clue we were going home to see family, but for the last few months she’d been so bummed missing everyone that she would be in tears asking me if we could go home. I almost slipped a couple of times and told her but somehow I kept my big mouth shut well enough that we surprised her! She slept the whole way and was complete oblivious, which is quite the feat considering it’s about a 9 hour trip. After we got there she ended up having birthday at my mom’s with all of my family, birthday presents from my hubby’s parents the next day, then birthday cake with hubby’s family a couple of days later! Can you say spoiled?! Other than Little Miss’s 5th birthday, all we did was sit around and catch up with family, drink strong coffee, and eat Mom’s cooking. That’s all we needed!

Now that we’ve been back for 3 whole days I’m catching up around the house. I FINALLY finished and sold my red blanket I’d crocheted and my custom was over the top! It’s such a good feeling to see someone really cherish something you’ve made them! Yay! 

(This was a progress pic as I was finishing up.)

So now that I have my free time to myself again I’m trying to tidy up around the house. It’s at least 80° outside every day this week and I just feel like I should Spring clean that way once the house is done, we can spend all our time outside! The girls just got new bikes. My 2yo is just learning to ride for the first time and 5yo is training up to lose the training wheels so we have lots of work to do with that!

My craft closet here has been so full it was to the point that it looked like it was trying to projectile vomit yarn and felt into my living room every time I opened the door! Literally I couldn’t even take one step into the closet to get to what I needed the most, which for some stupid reason I can’t fathom, I’d put in the back last time I organized this thing. This closet is oddly long and narrow. It’s about as wide as a doorway, so all big tubs have to go in the back, then I have some milk crates and plastic drawers that are small enough they’re lined up along the side. It killed me to do it but last night I went through everything and threw out probably half of our supplies (the girls’ crafts are in there too so 2yo can’t get to them) just because they were random and we wouldn’t use them. I’m such a hoarder with craft supplies because I never know what I’ll need! So I tend to hold onto my scraps of fabric and remnants of yarn. However! Now I’ve realized I’m not using these scraps I’ve been burying them in there and forgetting them. So this me holding myself accountable that I’ll quit holding on to all this useless crap! Please hold me accountable!!

After this closet is wrapped up all I really want to do today beside work on yet something else for Etsy is just clean my floors and catch up on laundry. Washing it is no problem, but I feel like as soon as it’s all caught up, I turn around and there’s another heap that just poofed in out of nowhere! Who’s laundry even is this?! I’ve never seen this much clothes in our closets, only when it’s piled up waiting for me to wash it?! Anyone know how I can fix that issue?! What are your tips on not letting your dirty laundry take over half of your upstairs and putting a damper on your day?! Gah! Wish me luck! 


(Sneak peak of what I’m working on this week! Eep! Bright new baby stuff!) 

Saturday Blurb – pricing handmade items? 

Well. If this whole thing isn’t the epitome of poor time management, I don’t know what is! I started writing this on Friday, got rushed and got a little complainy sounding, put it away, forgot about it until Saturday, started over so I wasn’t sounding complainy any more, then finished it up now, 8am Sunday morning. 
I don’t know what kind of funk I’m in but I don’t like it. That’s a lie. I do know the kind of funk I’m in and it involves a big red blanket I’ve been working on too long. (See below.) I want so bad to get it done and get it to my customer that it’s all I do when I get any down time, but at the same time, that’s all I’ve done in my spare time for the last couple of weeks so I’m feeling a little burnout. Hopefully between this post getting this off my chest and the fact that I was up late the last 2 nights working so I should finish this today will make me feel a whoooole lot better. Anyways! Here’s what I wrote. Yesterday…

It’s Saturday! I have tried so hard every single day this week to be productive and somehow I have failed! Meh! Every day I had alarms set for 6. I wanted to wake up at least an hour before my girls so I could have time to have coffee and crochet and plan out my day, prep snacks, dinner, etc. I didn’t do it once! It’s beyond frustrating because I’m not a morning person at all. I never have been. But I love to wake up to a quiet house and wake up slowly and peacefully while the kids sleep rather than wake up late to the sound of them crying for cereal or chocolate milk. I haven’t been going to bed any later than usual, so I don’t know why it’s been so hard to wake up, but it has been lately.

This past week I haven’t felt like I’ve had much me time. And by me time, I mean time to crochet. The only reason crocheting is such a priority is because I’m working on a custom order, which I kinda of flubbed when I took the order, so it’s kinda been getting me down.

Now normally I love to crochet anything under the Sun. Several years ago when I first started putting myself out there that’s what I did. I took one of everything, like hats, scarves, blankets, doilies, things in adults & kids sizes alike and made one, posted photos on Facebook and it worked. It was Fall so I sold tons of hats and scarves. These days I really try to focus on baby items. They’re what I enjoy most and happen to be one thing that really sells well, frilly little baby things, so it’s become my niche. When this particular customer contacted me, she’s left me a voicemail asking if I could make a blanket for her daughter. Since the only thing I’d advertised making for years is baby stuff I assumed that’s what she meant. I sent her a text message explaining I’d call her later but yes I’d love to make something for her daughter! Turns out her daughter is full grown and she wanted to give her a blanket for her birthday, which was still awesome!

So now what I’m working on is an adult size throw, dimensions between twin and full size blanket, and this thing feels huge! I think that’s because I’m used to making much smaller items for much smaller people.

Where I messed up is in trying to figure up a price for my customer. I know I should have asked for a deposit up front just to cover cost of materials, but the way the conversation flowed, I worried if I mentioned it I would seem rude, so I let it slide. Now I’m worried she won’t want it any more and I will be out $30 of yarn on a blanket that may not even sell. If she does still want it, I only charged her $55. Which on one hand is a nice amount for a throw, but on the other hand, it’s a custom made crocheted blanket. It’s made by hand rather than machine and I’ve been working my butt off on this for just 2 weeks now. I only paid $30 for the yarn I needed, but it was also on sale for 25%. If I ever decide to tackle an adult throw again in the future, the cost of yarn for a blanket this size would normally be $40, which is a little hefty.

The amount of time I’m spending on this thing is also stressing me out. I love to crochet and really like to do it a lot. My husband says I’m mildly obsessed, which is probably an accurate assumption, but hey now! It’s productive! Anyways, I haven’t gotten to work on this as often or as long as I want to so it’s been about 2 weeks since I took the order and I’m about ¾ of the way done. Saturday is almost over and if I want to finish this before Monday I need to fit in approximately 6 more hours of crocheting in the next 1¼ days, and that’s really hard to do when I have 2 miniature peoples running around screaming their heads off because the dog sneezed or her sister breathed on her funny. I wanted so so so badly to have this to my customer already and it just hasn’t worked out like that. My schedule definitely needs some fine tuning; I just still haven’t figured out my peak times of productivity once I left my job 2 weeks ago. I feel like a mess. 

Luckily, now that it’s Sunday, I’ve woken up with a clear head. I am determined to finish this blanket today and deliver it ASAP. I know my flaws in my custom order taking & pricing, so sitting down and writing out my own guidelines is officially in my to-do list. So here I go! I hope you enjoy the remainder of your weekend as much as I hope I do! 

Blackberry Muffins!

So two things that you’ll all realize about me really quickly:

1) I like to bargain hunt and coupon and whatever else I can do to make our money go further and
2) I like to eat!

Which brings me to the subject of this post: blackberry muffins! This recipe is one that I found on Pinterest probably about a year ago. I wanted a simple muffin recipe. I personally hate when I find a recipe that looks and sounds delicious, but then it has 20 different ingredients and seasonings. I like to look for recipes that most, if not all, ingredients are already staples in my kitchen. This is one of those recipes! The only thing that I don’t have on hand 100% of the time is the fruit, only because I stock up on fruit when it’s on sale. I always have apples and bananas, but I tend to rotate through things like berries and oranges and so on.

The recipe I found, which I will link below is actually a blueberry muffin recipe, but since it is so simple, you can make so many little changes for it to meet your preferences or any dietary needs, such as swapping out non-dairy milk for regular milk, and it doesn’t affect the outcome! I have tried several variations and they come out moist and delicious each time!

The main change that I made and use every single time I make these muffins is I reduce the amount of sugar. It calls for 3/4 of a cup of sugar, but since this recipe also calls for a little bit of vanilla extract, that makes them sweet enough that I cut down to half a cup of sugar. Honestly I could probably cut down to about 1/3 cup of sugar and still be okay, I just haven’t tried that yet. You could probably replace the sugar with any other sweetener. I have replaced it with honey and that is delicious too! I have tried it with a whole dairy milk and almond milk and there was no difference in batter consistency or the final outcome. You could add oat crumbles on top. I have made this recipe with blueberries, cinnamon apples, and now blackberries! Next I need to try these with chopped banana and walnuts!

But seriously, they’re too easy to make. Even if you happen to not have fruit on hand, you can make a plain muffin and it would still be delicious! So I’ve already told you my variations. That’s really about the end of my ranting and raving, I really love this recipe because it’s simple and versatile and it feeds my family extremely well every time that I make it! I hope you guys like it just as much!

Here’s the link:

Organizing my life

I need some organization reeeaaall bad. Well, let me rephrase that. I am an organized person. During this last deployment of my husbands I became very meticulous about how I like things done. I was working full time, I had one kiddo in preschool full time and one in daycare in a different building across post, and with all of our schedules bouncing off of each other I needed to make things flow as smoothly as possible. 

Now I’m stuck in a rut. I’m home all day, just my 2yo and me, 4yo gets home around 4, hubby around 5, and somehow no matter how much I clean and clean and clean, you can’t tell. I’m serious. I need to find a way to baby proof my organization so that my kids will not cry or pout when I ask them to help. Same for my husband! I need to dumb it down so much that they almost automatically pick things up through the day.

Downstairs we have two family rooms. One is pretty small and has gone from office to craft room to play room to Christmas room back to play room. (I don’t want it to be a play room for reasons I’m sure you’ll hear later on.) In each of the girls’ bedrooms are 95% of their toys. I prefer that their rooms house their dolls and books and cuddly things. We play downstairs all day until bath time then after bath on weeknights they get about half hour of independent play in their own rooms, so with that toy selection they calm down on their own quite a bit. 

The downstairs play room is more for crafts and games and puzzles, things that I need to make sure 2yo doesn’t just throw and/or smear all over the house. It’s easier to supervise those things down here, plus there’s no carpet downstairs! 

So my first effort with this cause is: (drumroll please!) laundry baskets. Yep. Well, they’re actually my second effort. First thing I did a couple of months go is I started investing in these little plastic bins with lids, I think they’re Sterilite brand and have recently been 94¢ at Walmart.

(Don’t mind the mess, I’ll be fixing it at naptime.)     😛
They are perfect for our craft room. Right now we have one each for Legos, Lego Duplos, magnetic letters, wooden toys, and chalk for their easel. I have a larger size I got for around a couple of bucks for their play dough because they have A LOT.  I also plan on using a long, flat size, which are around $4, for their outside toys. The Easter bunny usually brings us springy toys to get the girlies outside and running around in the sunshine and I like to keep that together too. 

Now that I’ve made you read all that crap, here is where my laundry baskets come in. Throughout the week, the girls bring down a few toys a day until by the weekend there’s a heap of things that don’t belong down here. I absolutely hate making trips up & down the stairs with arms full of toys when the girls, especially 4yo, are capable of cleaning up. So now they each have their own color of laundry basket in the play room. Each day between dinner and bath time they can take all their upstairs toys and put them in their own basket. Whenever the basket is full, they’ll be taken upstairs & each girl can put her own toys away and baskets go back down. 

I think my little tote boxes with lids are going to go in a closet for now. They can still craft or play whenever they want, but this way they can’t dump all the boxes out at once (which happened yesterday. There was also a peanut butter sandwich involved, and it was NOT pretty…) They get one at a time and even for 2yo there’s no sorting or anything, it’ll all go into one box then they can trade the box for a different one. 

This is not the biggest thing in the world, but it’s a big step for me because I think its the easiest way to trick the girls into learning to clean up after themselves better. Laundry baskets are going into place in about an hour once 2yo is down for her nap, so we will see how this goes! Wish me luck that it works how I want it to! I’ll be back with this in a day or two and let you know if it works!