Ending Month 2 with a Bang…Shake the Crave Week #8

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

I am so excited.  I ended month two down a total of 19 lbs from where I began.  I was so proud of myself for sticking with things and losing weight throughout the holidays.  I actually lost 11 lbs in 8 weeks and those 8 weeks were weeks where I would not have thought that I could lose weight.  I am so excited about everything.

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Now of course I will not say that it has been all peaches and cream but the reality is that Shake the Crave has been miracle during the toughest time of the year for me and instead of gaining weight like I normally do, I have found that I am losing and losing well.  I am so excited to see where this goes and to see what type of success I am able to find in the coming months.

Here are a few thoughts on different areas of my life and an honest account of what I have been up to these past two months…

The Shakes

shake the crave

Well I still LOVE the Shake the Crave shakes.  I love that I get the variety of chocolate and vanilla.  I do choose chocolate most of the time, but I love to switch it up from time to time.  I did want to share a few notes about the different types of milk that I have made my shakes with and share my overall thoughts!

Notes on Different Types of Milk (Ranked Least Favorite to Favorite)

  • Organic Skim Milk — This was okay.  To be honest aside from chocolate flavored instant breakfast and protein shakes I have never drank a lot of milk.  So I might be an unfair judge of this one but the skim milk was honestly my least favorite and the one with the most calories so I do not foresee it being in my future.
  • Vanilla Almond Milk — I do not usually buy “vanilla” almond milk and I now know why.  My husband picked this up one time on accident so I figured that it would not be much different.  However it was and I have discovered that I honestly just do not like the vanilla almond milk much.
  • Sweetened Almond Milk — Another thing that I do not usually buy.  However in my small town there are times when the grocery stores have ran out of the unsweetened kind so it is my only choice.  While I would still buy it if the following were not available it is not something that I would go out and buy on purpose.  Plus it is like double the calories as the unsweetened kind and it really does not taste any different.
  • Unsweetened Almond Milk — This was my standard until last week.  It was the one type of milk that I thought that I would always use for my shakes.
  • Sweetened Cashew Milk — The label said that this was “creamier” than skim milk so I was drawn in (good advertising on their part).  When I picked it up and saw that there were only 60 calories in a serving I was sold.  I can be “bought” by products that are low in calories.  I was shocked as to how delicious and creamy this is.  While I am not one to like milk I always loved fresh cream in things (obviously not a good choice if you are battling weight issues so it is not something that I have had in a long time!).  This is so creamy that you feel like you are drinking something bad for you when you are not.
  • Unsweetened Cashew Milk — When I traveled back to the store the next time I found this and it is amazing!!  Same great creaminess, half of the calories, and it blends great with the shakes.

Some Notes on the Plan

I will admit that I was not great about sticking to it although I know that it is only going to get easier.  So I am starting to write out a menu and to make myself write down every single bite that I put in my mouth.  I know that this is one of the best ways for me to remain accountable to myself and do what I need to in order to lose more weight.

The idea of the plan is that you drink your shake for two of your meals.  You can have a few small snacks.  (This is the FAIL point for me…I have big snacks and I like candy…so I fail all of the time but I am working on it.)  Then you eat one healthy meal.  While I stick to the two shakes a day…I have ate entirely too many snacks and have not been as good as I should have been with choosing my meals.  These are all things that I am slowly striving to change.

I am SLOWLY trying to work my way to where I am following my goal meal plan.  I know that taking a couple of months to get to the point that I make these choices all of the time, but I think that this is why I am finding success this time.  I am taking the time to do things slowly instead of jumping in feet first.

My Goal Meal Plan

  • Breakfast — Shake the Crave Shake with cashew milk and fruit
  • Snack — greek yogurt, raw veggies
  • Lunch — Shake the Crave Shake with cashew milk
  • Snack — protein bar (low sugar/healthy) or nuts (something with protein to keep me from making poor choices later)
  • Dinner — protein (likely fish, seafood, or chicken breast), vegetables
  • Snack — greek yogurt

I think that this is a great way for me to combine the meal plan that is promoted by Shake the Crave with all of the things that I love.

 

 

10 Great Tips for Getting Better Sleep that Your Dr Would Approve Of

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Sleep issues are something that it seems like we all become plagued with at one time or another.  There are some things that you can do to help yourself get a great night’s sleep.  These tried and true tips are going to help you in this new year to get better sleep.

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Ten Tips for Better Sleep

No Caffeine

This one is tough for most of us.  Most people consume a considerable amount of caffeine throughout the day.  If you can’t give it up all together try not drinking any beverages with caffeine after a certain time at night.

Do Not Rely on Booze

It can be tempting to have a few drinks to calm your nerves and to help you fall asleep faster.  This however is not the best idea for a number of reasons.  You will fall asleep faster but you are not going to sleep as well.  You can also quickly become dependent upon alcohol to fall asleep and you are going to be more likely to wake up in the middle of the night.

Find a Healthy Supportive Pillow

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Did you know that you should not be sleeping on more than one pillow?  Did you know that this could be causing your sleep issues?  So many people sleep with multiple pillows on their bed but when you find the right pillow you are going to find that it is easier to sleep with just one.  The Proper Pillow is great for anyone who has sleep issues.  My husband is one of those multiple pillow people and had been sleeping with four or five pillows each night and then complaining of shoulder and neck issues.  When we received the Proper Pillow I figured that I would let him give it a shot first and he has nothing but great things to say.  In fact, I am a little jealous and am sure that we will be purchasing one of these for each member of our household in the near future.

Exercise

Not only is exercise good for your heart but it is also great for helping you to sleep better.  Research shows that people who exercise regularly get better sleep.

Make Your Bedroom Relaxing

If you want to sleep well you are going to have to make sure that you are relaxed.  Having a bedroom that is relaxed is very important.  You want to keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and relaxing.  Use candles and other things that are going to help make the room scented for relaxation as well.  Lavender oil is also great for helping you to relax naturally.

Eat a Healthy Balanced Diet

Eating a healthy balanced diet is key to making sure that you feel healthy.  It is also key to helping you to have a great night’s sleep.

Avoid Nicotine

Many people smoke before bed because they feel like they need nicotine to relax.  Avoiding nicotine actually helps you to sleep  better.  Not only can nicotine cause you to have a hard time sleeping but it also makes it harder to stay asleep and to fall asleep.

No Naps

No matter how much you want to take a nap you have to make sure that you resist this urge.  While many people think that naps make them feel refreshed, they are really causing you to have a harder time falling asleep and sleeping all night long.

Say No to Pets

Having pets sleep in your bed can cause you to wake up for two main reasons.  One of these is that you wake up when your pet is moving.  The other is that you might have slight allergies that are irritated while your pet is in the bed.

Know What to Avoid in Your Bedroom

There are many additional things that you should avoid when you are trying to get better sleep.  You should make sure that you are avoiding discussions that could cause strong emotions.  Additionally you should avoid having a television in your bedroom and should never eat in there.

Doing things ten things will really help you to have a better night’s sleep.

Weight Loss Highs and Lows … Shake the Crave Can Help

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

I will admit that I am Mrs NoWillPower.  That is right if I see something that I want to eat or have been craving.  I generally give in.  I don’t honestly know if this is not having will power or if it is being smart for me.  I know that everyone is different but if I am craving chocolate and do not just buy a box and allow myself a few pieces, I end up doing things like buying a giant bag (you know like the ones that you buy to fill candy jars!) and indulging in the entire thing.

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I think that there are a few things that you should know about how Shake the Crave has helped me.  First of all it is delicious.  If I am craving something sweet I usually do not have a problem with that temptation when I still have a shake or two to drink.  The shakes are also great at making me feel full.  I will admit that I might not have felt as full the first few weeks as I am starting to feel but it was not as hard as other diets have been.  For me the Shake the Crave program has been the easiest diet that I have tried in the last year and it is the one that has clicked for me and works for me.

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I knew that my jeans were starting to fit looser but I thought that it was a fluke and that there was no way that I could lose weight over the past week.  I did several “wrong” things that I am ashamed to admit to but let’s face it, I obviously still did something right because I broke through the 240s and weighed in at 239 lbs.  This is a HUGE accomplishment for me because I have not been able to lose below 240 lbs since Adeline was born, just over 3 years ago.

So I thought that I would open up about some of my dieting highs and lows that I have experienced these past seven weeks with Shake the Crave.

Highs

The highs are the great parts of being on a diet.  They are the things that keep me going and make me want to continue what I am doing for years to come.  They make this doable and are the points that I reach out to when I am struggling with the journey.

**Realizing that this is really something that I can do!  I know that this is something that comes naturally to some people but for me I have not felt like weight loss was something that I could accomplish.  I had struggled a little in the past but nothing what I have experienced the last three years and I now know that it is actually something that is actually going to happen for me.

**I can now wear clothes that I have not been able to wear for a while. I am no where near my goal clothes but feeling my jeans get loose that I could not wear at the beginning of my journey is great and very motivating to keep up the hard work.

**I have so much more energy too.  I used to fall asleep each night putting my kids to bed and now I have all of the energy that I need to stay up late with my husband.  It has been great having the energy to get everything done too.

**I feel better about myself and it is showing in so many areas of my life.  I am starting to enjoy the things that I did prior to gaining the weight and I am starting to feel good in my own skin again.

**Learning how to eat has really helped me.  I try to stay away from carbs and sugar (although I fail at the latter a lot!).  I try to choose healthier alternatives to my favorites.  I have learned to give into some cravings.  If I want a coke then I allow myself to have a coke as my snack.  Admittedly this is not the best or the healthiest snack but it is better than my alternative which is to binge drink a 2 liter because I have been craving coke forever.

**Finally my highest high was when I was out shopping the other day.  I used to love Banana Republic but have been too fat to fit into their sizes for a while.  No longer is this the case. While I will state that I am very squeezed into their largest size, I can still get them on.  Personally I do not want to look like a stuffed sausage so I will not be wearing the jeans out until I have lost a few more pounds but they are hanging in the bag on my dresser door handle to remind me each morning and each night just why I am on this journey.

Lows

There have been so many highs that I hate to admit that I have had some very big lows during my journey as well.

**One of my biggest lows has been learning that I am a binge eater.  That is right I binge eat.  I never thought this about myself.  In fact for years I lost weight when I was under high amounts of stress and to have that reversed where I shoot up in pounds when I am stressed has been a hard thing to deal with.

**I learned that my hormone issues were probably part of the problem with me losing weight but that the extra weight was probably causing me to have the problem.  For a few years I did not have regular periods.  I noticed that I really struggled with weight loss, fatigue, and acne.  What I did not consider was that the reason that I was struggling with all of this was because of the excessive amount of weight that I had put on.  I learned as I started to lose weight that I could have regular periods again and since then I have been consistent in my weight loss.

**I had to accept that my metabolism was never going to be what it was. No longer could I eat like I was eating and not have to worry about packing on the pounds.  I was going to have to do this the healthy way and that meant that I needed to be willing to make a lifestyle change or I was just going to end up in the same place that I had been in before.

**Finally I realized that I was not going to live a long life if I continued down this path.  I realized that my heart and other organs were not meant to work on a body at this weight and if I did not get to a healthier weight I was not going to make it very long in life.

**The last low and the one that is the hardest for most of us on a weight loss journey are those times when you slip up and fail.  Yes the times when you do not do what you are supposed to and you see the scale moving in the wrong direction.  Those are the lowest lows, the times when you might not feel that there is anything that you can do to change yourself or when you might feel depressed.  During those lows it is sometimes impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I spent a few years feeling sorry for myself and eating my feelings…but not anymore this is something that I am slowly learning to accept about myself and making a conscious effort to control.

Reasons I am On This Journey

Let’s admit it we all want to lose weight for different reasons.  Here are the top five reasons that I am on this journey right now, at this time in my life!

Reason # 5 — I want to feel good when I am in my own skin.  I know that I should love me no matter what I look like but I struggle with hating myself when I am overweight.  I just do not like feeling uncomfortable in my own skin.  I do not like that I can not do advanced yoga poses, not because I am not flexible enough but because I can not get past the extra pounds that are hanging around at my gut.

Reason # 4 — I want to be able to keep up with my children.  I have four young children I have spent the last few years unable to really play with them or keep up with them.  I have also shied away from activities like swimming where I have felt uncomfortable with how I look.  Instead of doing this any longer I want to be able to focus on me and how I can improve my health.

Reason # 3 — I want to climb a mountain.  One of the things on my bucket list is to hike in the mountains. We are going to Colorado this summer and I know that I will likely have to wear my three year old on my back for part of our hiking adventures.  I would really like to be able to climb that mountain and feel great when I am done.  So I am aiming to be in the best shape of my life before we go.

Reason # 2 — I want to be the type of mom that is a great example to my children.  I want to be a do as a I do mom instead of a do as I say mom.  I want to show my children how important it is to have a healthy lifestyle and to encourage that they join me on my journey towards health.

Reason # 1 — I want to live a long life.  Let’s face it obesity and heart disease are some of the leading causes of death in the US.  I do not want to be a statistic that is not around to enjoy life with my children and husband so I am trying to get in better shape to live a longer life with them.

I’d love to hear some of your reasons if you are on your own weight loss journey.  Share with me why you are trying to lose weight and let’s be a part of a network that learns to encourage one another rather than just being part of the network that is the problem and just talks bad about one another.

Tough Parenting Decisions, How Do You Know What to Do

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Since I am just a normal mom I will admit that from time to time I really struggle with how to handle something.  I am eager to do what is right for my children but I will admit that in the last few years I have gotten a bit lazy and have not been doing all that I should for them.  So I want to make the changes that are necessarily in 2015.  I am working hard to really focus on the things that matter most in life and those things are my children.  I am trying to be a good mom and to be the mom that I feel that I have been called to be.

Parenting is different for everyone which makes it so much harder to do it “right.”  I sometimes feel overwhelmed like I do not know what type of parent I want to be, what is right for myself or what is right for them.  When people said that parenting was tough, they were not joking.  I also know that parenting is the most rewarding thing that I will do in my entire life and I feel truly blessed to be able to have four amazing children…even on the hardest days.

I am not a religious person but I do believe in spirituality.  I am not a judgmental person and I believe that each person should choose the religion that they believe to be right for their family.  In my home I do practice mostly Christianity but I try to instill some of the virtues form other religions like teaching my children to focus more on giving and in taking care of those who can not care for themselves which I pull a lot from Buddhism.  I have studied multiple religions, read religious texts, and honestly tried to find my own way towards a more enlightened lifestyle.

I will admit that I have FAILED.  I have let so many things get in the way of where I should be and what I should be doing in the past few years.  I know that the only way to change these things is to start today and to really dig deep in trying to better the lives of my children and myself.  So this year I am going to be making some big changes and I thought that some of you might enjoy coming along on this journey with me.  I want to have open minded accepting children and the way to have that is to start with the things that are important at home first.  There are some changes that I need to make in my home and I know that these changes are going to have to start with me.

10 Things I Will Work on For My Children in 2015

**I will spend more time working on the things that are important.

I will admit that I get caught up in the world of social media.  I spend too much time on these things that in the grand scheme of life do not matter much.  Instead of being caught up in all of that I would like to take the time that is necessary to doing important things with my children.  Today I sat down and came up with a plan to help the younger three little ones learn 12 Bible verses in the next year.  Yes this is not a lot but it is something that I can stick to.  I also came up with 26 verses that Andrew will work on learning.

**I will start a routine at bedtime.

Bedtime at our home is often times chaotic and terrible.  In 2015 I want this to be something that I change.  So I am going to be working on being more consistent with a routine.  Doing baths after dinner, getting in their pjs, not watching TV, and picking out books.  We will also go over their Bible verse.

**I will be more organized.

Each evening while I am preparing dinner the kids will be responsible for picking up their toys and straightening their room.  I will make sure that this done before they head to bed.  I am also going to pick out clothes with them for the next day, have preparations made for lunches, and will know what is expected from school the following day and if there is anything that I need to do differently.

**I will be a more calm mom.

I am a bit crazy thanks to my severe ADHD.  In 2015 I want to try and calm down more because I know that when I stay calm with the kids better things happen.

**I will clean more.

I found a great chore chart that helps you stay on top of chores without being overwhelmed.  I am going to try and follow this chart for 2015 and see how much easier my life becomes.

**I will have reasonable expectations for the children.

I am going to sit down with my husband and come up with one weekly chore for the youngest and a couple for the middle two.  I will have a daily chore for the oldest.  I am going to work on sticking to this to try and keep our house in a more organized state so that I am not embarrassed when people drop by for a visit or someone wants to come over.

**I will de-clutter our lives.

Let’s face it when the kids have too much it is impossible for them to have fun.  I want to de-clutter our lives so that we can play more games and enjoy our time together more.

**I will have more fun.

I want to have more fun memories with my children.  I want to play more games and spend more time having fun with them all.

**I will be more consistent.

Consistency is a hard one for me and I am going to try my hardest in 2015 to be more consistent in all that I do.

**I will show more love and grace.

I feel that so much love and grace is given to me in many different directions of life.  I will start to show more love and grace to my children.  I will be more clear in directions and really work on teaching them their responsibility to our family.

While I know that I am not going to nail all of these.  They are all things that I am really going to make a conscious effort to do better with.  I am going to try and work to create a much better and happier home for all of us.

Getting Organized in 2015 — Pet Organization Made Easy

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

I will admit that I never thought that I would be one to write about or share tips on organization but with 2015 has come great strides in my journey and in my goals and pursuits to do better.  I am eager to share with you all of the great things that I have been teaching myself about getting organized.  One area where I see a lot of people struggle with organization is with their pets.  Personally I am not a pet owner but that does not mean that there is not a special pet in my life.

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I have the world’s greatest nephew dog, Dexter.  I noticed recently that my brother always had a ton of Dexter’s stuff thrown around his car because they are always on the go together.  My brother is not like me and he actually is usually really organized where as I am not.  So this made me question if there was a way in which he could be organized with this pet.  What I found was that Solvit Products offers some great pet products that will help you stay organized with your pet when you are on the on the go.

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As a mom I have always loved diaper bags.  Even now that I do not have children in diapers I still use a diaper bag with our essentials in the car when we are traveling or on the go.  I just find that it is easier to take care of things when I have everything organized for easy access.  Well I thought that it was really cool that Solvit Products offers the Travel Organizer Kit which is kind of like a diaper bag for dogs.

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What I thought was so great about this kit is that it really offers you everything that you need to get organized with your pet and to have everything on the go.  I wanted to share with you some tips to be more organized with your pet well telling you more about this great product.

Tips to Be More Organized with Your Pet

Tip 1 — Keep a Go Bag by the Door or Even in the Car

I love that my brother can keep the Travel Organizer Bag in his car ready to go.  Obviously in the winter time when water can freeze it might be best for him to keep the bag by the back door.  Either way he is able to have everything that he needs for Dexter and he doesn’t have to worry about forgetting something because he can leave it packed and ready.

Tip 2 — Always Take Water

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One of the biggest mistakes that I think that pet owners make is that they do not prepare well when they are taking their pet somewhere.  One thing is for certain if you are going to be headed somewhere with your dog, you always want to make sure that you have water with you.  The Travel Organizer Bag comes with a water bottle and a portable dish where your dog can drink the water from.  Both of these are essential to making sure that your dog always has something to drink.

Tip 3 — Pack a Snack

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I also notice that many times dogs seem to be very hungry when they are out with their owners.  The Travel Organizer Bag has a convenient food bowl.

Tip 4 — Take Along the Treats

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Dexter loves his treats and I am sure that most other dogs do too.  There is a small bag that comes with the Travel Organizer Bag that you can carry food or treats in.  This bag is perfect for making sure that your pet always has the treats that they want when you are out and about.

Tip 5 — Take What You Need to Clean Up Messes

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Finally make sure that you always have what you need to clean up messes.  The Travel Organizer Bag comes with a small dog bone shaped container that carries empty poo bags so that you never have to leave a mess behind.

The Solvit Products Travel Organizer Bag is a must have product for anyone with a pet who is looking to be just a bit more organized this year.

ZeroWater Filtering Products

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Tired of buying bottled water and spending a fortune? ZeroWater has a filtering system that will eliminate the cost of buying those bottles that most of us don’t like to handle when they are empty.

ZeroWater Filtering Products

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ZeroWater generously sent me a 10 cup Filter Pitcher to try and review. Included with the ZeroWater 10 cup Filter Pitcher was an Ion Exchange Filter and Digital TDS Water Meter.  A great feature of this pitcher is the pour spout on the end of the pitcher so you can place it in your refrigerator and get a glass full of cold water with the push of a button.

I used to think water was water except when I ran across sulfur water and then I knew it was yucky. But over the years after drinking bottled water for such a long time, I can generally tell if the water has a lot of particles in it just by how it taste and sometimes the way it smells. I figure that those sediments are what end up stuck in your ice cubes and attach to your coffee pot heating element making it burn out faster.

I have to think that all those particles floating around in your drinking water that it is kind of yucky when you think about it and not too healthy to boot. So trying the ZeroWater 10 Cup Filter Pitcher was a treat. I followed the directions exactly by washing the pitcher first then putting on the Ion Exchange Filter and gave it a go. This filtered water tasted refreshing and a whole lot better than any store bought bottles of filtered water.

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ZeroWater’s patented 5-stage filter works by removing 99.63% of fine particles and sediment so you can enjoy great-tasting water right from your tap. I first measured how many dissolved solids were in my tap water with the Digital TDS Water Meter just to see how much junk was in my tap water. There were over 800 total dissolved solids in my kitchen sink tap water. Then I filled up the pitcher and let it do its work. After the water had gone through the filter I gave it a shot by tasting it and then used the Digital TDS Water Meter on it to see if the numbers were 000 and they were.

We also have a reverse osmosis water filtration system on our refrigerator and after testing that water the reading was 004. So the ZeroWater system even removed sediments from our filtered water that is suppose to be purified. Then my curiosity took over and I thought how about testing the bottled water we had in the refrigerator to see how much junk was in that water and I was amazed at the results. I had two different brands of bottled water so I poured some in a cup and tested both. Wanna guess what the results were? Now remember this is suppose to be purified filtered water in those bottles and one had 272 ppm and the other had 43ppm (parts per million).

Doing this testing has resulted in knowing we will be saving a lot of money by using the ZeroWater 10 Cup Filter Pitcher System to fill our water bottles instead of purchasing those plastic bottles. A nice feature of the ZeroWater Filter Pitcher is you can easily find it at one of your local stores like Walmart both in the US and Canada, Target, Home Depot US and Canada, Kohls, Costco and Meijers. If you want you can even order it from Amazon and get a home delivery.

Go check out ZeroWater as well as Twitter, You Tube and Facebook to learn all sorts of valuable information about the water you are drinking out of your tap. I can honestly say the ZeroWater 10 Cup Filter Pitcher is the greatest thing since the invention of ice and I will never trade it for anything.

 

Getting Organized in 2015 — Monthly Goals

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Well our house feels like it is falling apart around us and one of my goals is to really focus on getting organized in 2015.  I would love to be able to work towards this goal and to be able to really organize the things in my life so that my home looks great.  I want a home that we can be proud of and one that we are not embarrassed of when we have friends or family randomly stop by our house.

I created a list of a few small goals each month throughout the year to get it looking stellar and something that we can do one small project at a time.  I plan on checking in each month and writing about where I am at with these projects and posting pictures of the finished projects.

January 2015 –

1.  Rehang Andrew’s door

2.  Fix Andrew’s Light

3.  Paint Huxley’s Room

4.  Hang Canopy over the girls’ bed

5. Hang stuffed animal nets in girls’ room

6. Hang stuffed animal nets in Huxley’s room

7.  Hang tension rod and find curtain between Althea/Adeline and Huxley’s room

8. Hang curtains in Althea and Huxley’s rooms

February 2015 –

1.  Paint Andrew’s room

2.  Hang pictures and paintings in the living room

3.  Find curtains for Andrew’s room and hang them up

Later in the year other things to do…

Paint Entryway

Find and Hang curtains in our living room

Figure out Downstairs Bathroom Walls

Figure out Downstairs Bathroom Organization

Figure out Downstairs Bathroom Shower

Fix Window in Downstairs Bathroom

Find and Hang Curtains in Downstairs Bathroom

Figure out Upstairs Bathroom Toilet

Figure out Upstairs Bathroom Organization

Paint Upstairs Bathroom

Hang curtains in Upstairs Bathroom

Paint Our Bedroom

Find and Hang Curtains

Hang Phish Related Stuff on Our Walls

Paint Dining Room

Hang Stuff Back Up

Find and Hang Curtains in Dining Room

Paint Kitchen

Figure Out Kitchen Floor

Find and Hang Curtains in the Kitchen

Paint Hallway and Stairwell

Scrape Kitchen Ceiling

Scrape Dining Room Ceiling

Fix Step to Basement

Fix Back Porch

Fix Front Porch

Take Down Blinds on Front Porch

Find nice indoor/outdoor curtains to hang up on porch

Organize Basement

 

 

 

Getting Organized in 2015 — Organizing Your Family Planner with momAgenda

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

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MomAgenda planners are amazing and a must have for any parent.  I am so happy that I was given momAgenda Desktop Planner ($42) because it is the planner that I need to organize everything for my entire family.  I love that it has my name on it and that there is a space for my stuff as well as one for each of the four kids’.

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I thought that I would share with you tips for be a well organized mom and how to organize your family planner just in time for the new year.

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Organizing Your Family Planner

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Step 1 — Put in the Mandatory Stuff First

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So the first thing that I did when I was organizing my family planner was go through and add in all of our mandatory things.  This included all of the stuff from the school calendar and the times when my son is with his dad per court order.  Once these were on my calendar I knew that I was ready to start writing down the others.

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Step 2 — Add in the Sports and Activities Next

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The next step for me was to add in all of our sporting and extra curricular activities for the kids.  This also included adding in my civic commitments and groups that I am a part of like the school’s parent group and the junior women club that I volunteer through.

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Step 3 — Birthdays, Anniversaries, and Special Dates

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I then chose to add in all of the special dates for the loved ones in my family.  We added in birthdays, holiday schedules with my son, and anniversaries.  This was important to me because I also work hard to celebrate holiday times when my son is with me rather than when he is at his dad’s.  This takes some creative planning on the part of myself and my family as well.

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Step 4 — Jot Down the Day to Day

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If there are goals that you have make sure that you write them on the calendar.  These can be anything from working out to having a specific room in your house organized or re-painted.  Doing this is going to really help you to plan things and make sure that your life is better organized for the new year.

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Having a creative family planner can really help you to know how to keep your family organized.  I love the momAgenda Day Planner that I received and think that it is a great tool for being able to stay organized with my family.  I really love all of the great things about the planner and how they are able to use the spaces to organize all of the different areas of your life.  It has areas that I had not previously thought about having organized in a planner and it makes it convenient and easy to have it all easily accessible in one place.

Getting Organized in 2015 — The Perfect Planner for Work and Tips to Organize Your Blog

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Dot Mine Day Planners are a great high quality planner.  I struggled with finding the right planner for years and tried to organize everything for the blog, my work, and my family in the same place.  Well that did not work.  What I have concluded is that I need a great planner separate from my family one for work.  The Leather Dot Mine Day Planner ($32.99) is my choice of work planner for 2015 and I have to admit that I love the one that I received.  I love that I can organize all of the companies that I need to contact, when I need to post my blogs, and when I receive products for review.  This is going to be one tool that I do not want to be without in 2015.

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As part of me sharing with you my personal getting organized in 2015 series, I am going to give you some tips to organize your blog.

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Tips to Organize Your Blog

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Tip 1 — Be Adamant About Organization

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When it comes to my life I am terrible with organization.  In the past year this has ended up with me messing up a few times and owning up with some big apologies.  Thankfully everyone that I have worked with has been nothing but wonderful but I know for 2015 that my goal is to no longer have this type of problem.  So I wanted to be able to offer something completely different for the clients that I work with.  I also want to do some series, work on some challenges, and the biggest one for me is getting organized.

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Tip 2 — Keep Track of Important Dates

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A planner is a must for any blogger.  It is important that you be able to keep track of all of your important dates and keep things organized.  One of the things that I have found that is working well for me is keeping my Dot Mine Planner full of all of the important dates that I need to know for the blog.  This includes following up and ideas for future posts based on seasons/holidays and more.

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Tip 3 — Find a System that Works for You

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I have tried spreadsheets, email folders, and more but there has not been a system that I have used that has really worked well for me.  The system that I like the best is a good old fashioned pen and paper and a planner is a great way for me to have that system.  So I am using the Dot Mine Planner because it is what matches my needs the best.

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When it comes to getting organized this is something that is very hard for me.  It is something that I have to try and put a lot of effort into.  I have been living in a cluttered, messy world for far too long and in 2015 one of my biggest goals is to be organized for the blog and for my house.  Stay tuned as I am going to be posting about my journey to organization throughout the year.

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Adeline’s 14 Must Have Outfits for 2015

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

I LOVE shopping for my kids.  Sometimes it has gotten me into a bit of trouble and left them with drawers that will not close and insane amounts of clothes that they just do not end up wearing. This year I am determined to do something different so I am shopping smarter and picking up 14 new outfits instead of shopping for tons.  I am still going to hit up the super clearance for a few extras here and there but for the most part we will just be buying a few pieces so that I can save money and not be such a mass consumer.  These are my favorite outfits for Miss Adeline and I think that you will LOVE them too.

Outfit 1 –

Kate Quinn Organics Lounge Dress Dog $36 and Kate Quinn Organics Legging French Clover $32

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Outfit 2 –

Lucky Jeans Zoe Rip and Repair Jegging $46 and Lucky Jeans Lace Hem Popover $39

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Outfit 3 –

Next Direct Floral Jeggings $16-17, Next Direct Pink/Blue Striped Car T-Shirt $11, and Next Direct Cardigan $16-17

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Outfit 4 –

Appaman Pipe Pants $42 and Appaman Girls Moto Sweatshirt $44

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Outfit 5 –

Kickee Pants Print Ruffle Leggings in Girl Farm Stripe $26.00 and Basic Long Sleeve Swing Dress in Bark $44

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Outfit 6 –

NUI Organics MOA Pants $28, NUI Organics Honey Vest $62, and NUI Organics Weka Dress $44

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Outfit 7 –

Hanna Andersson It’s A Playdress, It’s a Daydress $39, Hanna Andersson Opposite Stripe Losse Legging $22

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Outfit 8 –

Gap Skinny Jeans $29.95 and Gap Embroidered Graphic Tee $18.95

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Outfit 9 –

Tucker + Tate Sadie Coated Jegging $32 and Tucker + Tate Cotton and Cashmere Stripe Sweater $39.50

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Outfit 10 –

Carters 5 Pocket Bird Stretch Twill Pants $28, Carters Rosette Hey Cutie Tee $16, and Carters Lace Cardigan $28

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Outfit 11 –

Osh Kosh 5 Pocket Skinny Printed Twills $32, Osh Kosh Embellished Flutter Sleeve Top $22, and Osh Kosh Neon Hi-Low Cardi $38

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Outfit 12 –

Tea Collection Ikat Daisies Keyhole Dress $35 and Skinny Solid Leggings $22.50

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Outfit 13 –

Ruum Chiffon Back Tunic $19.50 and Super Soft Cord Pant $26.50

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Outfit 14 –

Old Navy Printed Pull On Jeggings for Baby $19.95, My Little Pony Long Sleeve Tees for Baby $14.95 and Old Navy Chunky Knit Swing Cardigan for Baby $22.94

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These are the items on my dream list for Miss Adeline.  Have something else that you love?  Please share in the comments as I would love to hear your fashion tips for a toddler girl!  Keep coming back over the next four days while I explore 14 new outfits for 2015 for each person in my family!

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