Teddy (Bear) Claiming Prime Spots

What does it say about an adult who has a hard time letting go of your child’s precious stuffed toys? I don’t remember having to do that growing up because I didn’t really have any attachments to my animals. I had favorites yes, but then my mom would grab the toys we never played with anymore and send them to the Philippines where our cousins were more in need of them. Of course, how could I be selfish? It would be cruel of me not to share. Yet, with my toddlers, I feel more of a sentimental attachment because it’s the Pooh Bear I never got as a kid, or my husbands hulk hands that were given to him as a joke, but I love them. The start of a collection of dolls that I can totally see getting out of hand.

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So where do I go from here with this collection? My hope is that I will slowly get rid of things that either get dirty,  my child loses interest, or I have multiples of the same type. For example, in the bin of stuffies you can see that I have multiple turtles. This is my personal collection that I started with my then boyfriend (now husband). I just love turtles! I want to swim beside them and visit them in their element. I don’t want to have a pet turtle, mind you. I don’t like pets because I personally didn’t grow up with pets and I have no need for them. But turtles I will visit and it would be great. In the mean time, I have my collection… but I could probably get rid of them. I don’t need ALL of them.

This organization post is starting to look like it needs an intervention, lol. Hello, my name is Sherie and I love turtles! I have a problem. :/ ANYWAY, the simple thing to do is to group like items. All dogs, bears, dolls, turtles, and other categories and only choose one of each group. The hard part is that you usually play with more than one doll as a child… So set a limit like 4 dolls = a tea party. Two dogs = guard dogs during fight play, and so on…

Good luck with your own personal stuffed animal collection and purge. Mine will probably not happen for a while.

 

All my best,

Sherie Signature

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Spending Quality Time

Whidbey Island Deception Pass

Whidbey Island Deception Pass

I’ve wondered on occasion if I use my time wisely throughout the day in matters of cleaning, cooking, crafts, taking care of child(ren), my spouse, friendships, etc… The list goes on and on. Yes I would hope that I do manage my time well but I’ll let you be the judge of that. Here is my typical day in bullet points:

  • Wake up to my husband getting my daughter, hear them playing, changing diaper, and coming into our room. At this point I still almost always have my eyes closed until she is sitting in bed with me and we say “Morning” to each other.
  • Then as I slowly peel my eyes open, put on my glasses, and get out of bed I begin my day. Usually I head to the toilet first, deposit any change (aka #1 or #2), followed by brushing my teeth. At this point my daughter has noticed this, puts down my cell phone (my husband usually gives her the phone first thing as a distraction… not what I’d like to do, but I’m not the one waking up to get her) and comes to get her toothbrush too. We brush our teeth, I make the bed, and get dressed and then I usually grab some clothes for her on the way down the stairs.
  • Breakfast is always so hard for me. I’m not a cook at all. I get inspired here and there, but it does not come naturally to me. I love to eat, not to cook. So its either cereal, eggs, or bread with fruit. I feel really badly for my baby. I’m not really into reading about every health story and whats best. I’m lazy when it comes to that. Sorry, its the truth. I’m all about convenience. But I do try, trust me. Fruit is my go to healthy food.
  • When she is all done “al don”, I take her out of the high chair, kiss, put her down and she has been so trained by now that she will bring me the PS remote if I’m too slow to put on her “show”. Frozen has been played every day since we came back from Washington (unfortunately for my stepdad). So I’ve been asking her what she wants to watch. I start naming off shows like “Super Why”, “Croods”, “Caillou”, “Tinkerbell”, etc… and she will say “uh uh” which means no. Once I find one she likes she says some jibber-jabber and I start the show
  • I clean up dishes while the show is playing and then go to my To Do list that I’ve prepped the night before. Depending on the day I have certain tasks I’ve assigned to days of the week. Monday – start laundry, Tuesday – Toilets, Wednesday – more laundry, Thursday – Craft day, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – depend on if I’m cleaning up a certain room and I will try to focus on that.
  • After I have started my To do list, I then sit down at my kitchen work area where my computer is, open the tab to Facebook and get sucked into the abyss. Facebook has been horrible and its my own fault. I am part of garage sale groups so I am constantly searching for great deals or posting my own things to sell. This takes up most of my morning. My daughter will come over to me once in a while to get my attention. I want to say that I do give her my attention too. She will climb up on the chair next to me and I will hand her a pad of paper and pen. She will sit with me scribbling for a good 5-7 minutes, then move on.
  • I do play with her. We play chase, tickling, and going through her ABC. Unfortunately she has not wanted me or my husband to read to her before bed time for the past month. She wants to read the book herself. I haven’t done too much research into whether this is normal or not. But I figure she still is grabbing books all the time, so they must interest her. She just wants to be independent.
  • Lunch time starts between 11 – 12 depending on the day. Its either nuggets, hot dog, mac n cheese, or something left over from dinner the night before. She is pretty independent when it comes to feeding herself. And I’ve learned to let her be messy. She actually doesn’t like it when she gets messy now because of me. If she has sticky fingers she’ll whine until I wipe them clean.
  • Naptime is 1-3, which means quiet time for me. I reset the toys, do any dishes, and work on my to do list. My To do list consists of projects I’m working on like birthday gifts I may have to sew, little home decor projects, or de-cluttering zones in my home. I really look forward to the 2 hours of quiet time too because I don’t have little fingers getting into everything. Sad, but true.
  • After naps, snack time and playing outside in the backyard with bubbles or ball or the cozy coupe cars. I haven’t been taking her to the park lately because of windy weather, but when I can we’ll go to the park and let her slide, swing, or walk around.
  • Then its dinner time, bath, and bedtime routine.
Fox in Cozy Coupe Ride

Fox in Cozy Coupe Ride

The day goes by so quickly some times that I feel like I haven’t really had any quality time with her. I wonder what would happen if I just disconnect from Facebook for a week and spent real quality time with her. I honestly think I would be ok. I would have to do more play time with her and schedule learning time. I have tried to do that in the past but have always gotten off schedule. What if my day went more like this:

  • Wake up, Breakfast, Dishes, Start To Do list cleaning
  • Reading time with toddler
  • Activity to associate with book
  • Lunch
  • Play time – puzzles or play house
  • Nap
  • Snack
  • Play time outside with bubbles or ball
  • Dinner
  • Reading time
  • Bath and Night Night
Snack time and Play

Snack time and Play

See, it looks so easy on paper. But then I check my darn email (54 emails to check, I MUST LOOK), get stuck on Facebook, and I put on another show for her. I’m being realistic here. My life is not how I wish it could be, but its also not terrible. My daughter loves to play chase with me or get tickled. She’ll sit in my lap while we watch her show and we’ll sing “go” together (frozen movie). I guess I’m trying to validate my current schedule.  But what’s wrong with it being not so perfect?! Its mundane but it has routine which is good for her and when I do go off schedule is when she gets cranky.

So in conclusion, quality time is based on my daughters needs and mine. I’ll keep tweaking the schedule and trying new things. But overall, she is happy, so I am happy. We enjoy our time together and that’s the quality that I’ll try to achieve.

Bouncy House Play

Bouncy House Play

 

Sherie Signature

Trial and Error with Play Dough

February 26, 2014

Pinterest Play Dough Recipe

Since my daughter turned one last April, I have been pinning like crazy different recipes of play dough. There are (too) many to choose from that are edible, some require cooking, and others are no cooking recipes. I aim for the easiest of it all and since I prefer cooking as little as possible; I found this great recipe at Fun at Home with Kids.

I had everything the recipe called for in my kitchen and so I thought I’d share with you my process and thoughts on making it. The pictures provided for this post are my second attempt at making the play dough. Our first time was on February 15 and my girls only played with it for about 5 minutes before moving on. But I did do some things different each time and I will share what I liked and what I didn’t.

First you will need:

  • Baby Cereal (1 cup)
    • The original recipe said rice cereal, but I only had oatmeal. It still works!
  • Vegetable Oil (3 Tablespoons, Tbs)
    • I just used Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • Cornstarch (1 cup) or Gluten Free Cornflour
    • I’m not sure if its corn flour, but the second test I used Almond Flour.
  • Unsweetened Applesauce (1 – 2 packs) or water
    • The first attempt I used about 1.5 packs of applesauce. The second time I only used one, but it was strawberry flavored.
  • Food coloring (optional)
    • I think my food coloring must be bad because it hasn’t blended well with any of the projects I’ve done in the past couple years… then again it may be about 5 years old…yikes!
Bowl, measuring cups, measuring spoons

Bowl, measuring cups, measuring spoons

applesauce, cornstarch, baby cereal, almond flour, vegetable oil, and food coloring

applesauce, cornstarch, baby cereal, almond flour, vegetable oil, and food coloring

First Batch/Attempt:

On my first trial of the play dough I used cornstarch instead of almond flour, about 1.5 packs of applesauce, and added red food coloring. Because this is edible, I tried it before my girls did just to make sure it wasn’t yuck! It actually was bland at first and had a sweet after taste from the applesauce. I thought the cornstarch would make it cakey, but it was really smooth in texture. Also I initially added only one applesauce pack (1/2 cup), but it wasn’t mixing well. I added ½ of the second cup and mixed slowly. The instruction from Fun at Home with Kids says to either add more flour or water depending on dry or wetness. Overall it was easy to mold in my hands and the babies loved playing with it. My only fail was the food coloring. As you can see from the picture below, it didn’t blend well for me. I think either the food coloring is expired or I mixed it in at the wrong time.

I had this in the fridge since I made it on the 15th and opened it up again on the 25th. 10 days is truly too long for its shelf life. It had a smell when I opened the container, so I threw it in the trash immediately. I will watch more closely with the second batch when it starts to turn.

First batch made 2/15/14, food coloring not blended well

First batch made 2/15/14, food coloring not blended well

Second Batch/Attempt:

My second attempt I changed a few things. I used almond flour instead of cornstarch, no food coloring, and I used strawberry flavored applesauce (that’s all I had). My thought process was that if I used already colored applesauce, it may help turn the color of the play dough more pink-ish. Nope! I think because I used almond flour, which is much heavier in texture than the fine cornstarch; my plan failed again. But then again, it may have just not worked because it wasn’t food coloring… uh. Yea, here is the step by step pictures I took. Pretty self explanatory and please refer to original post for all the details.

PD steps1

PD steps2

I used alphabet cookie cutters. My little bunny is really into her letters as of late. Although she is starting to call almost all her letters “W” which she learned from her daddy. Its OK though, she’ll have fun playing with all her “W’s” in the play dough.

PD steps3

Hope my trial and error in play dough making helps you make yours better the first or second time. I always like to see the trials and what needed to be fixed. Anytime I attempt a recipe through Pinterest, it doesn’t always work out perfectly for me the first time.

Thanks for reading along. I’ll be posting a DIY tutorial this Friday.

Sherie Signature

Resources

–          Fun at Home with Kids

–         My Pinterest

First of the Month

February 24, 2014

First of the Month

Good Afternoon! Welcome to my take on Organizing, Playing, and Creating. My goal for this blog is to share my organizing journey.  As a mother to an almost two year old and homemaker, I have increased the amount of my time spent trying to organize our home and create a welcoming atmosphere. The playing aspect is all the learning and developing tools that occur with my growing family.  I hope to create a naturally curious place for my child through indoor and outdoor activities. Lastly, my creative side is inspired by my friends and family, Pinterest, and many other social media. I enjoy almost all crafts including sewing, woodwork, scrapbooking & journaling, and much more.

I honestly don’t remember what happened to January and February of 2014. With the first of March approaching quickly, I have decided to dedicate some certain activities to the first of each month. What do you do the first of the month? Whether it’s paying your mortgage, restarting your exercise goals, or grocery shopping for the month, the first of the month is really important in my book.

I declared to myself for a 2014 New Year’s resolution to change our bed sheets on the first of the month. This is a big declaration…to me at least. Before, I probably would remember to do it every 2-3 months. And I don’t know why it never occurred to me to have a set routine for it. My husband sets a reminder to change out our air filters (every 3 months). And he does an excellent job following it.

Yet there are some reminders and declarations that I set for myself or my family and they get pushed aside. I tried doing a monthly review of our financial budget. The first time the reminder pops up on my phone calendar, I ignore it and head over to Facebook or Pinterest. What I realize now that I should have done was have a trial period or probation period to test how well my reminder system works and if it’s not, readjust the setting.

So instead of a monthly financial budget review with hubby, it should be a quarterly (every 4 months) to make sure we are following our goals. Now that I look back, I was already doing a quarterly system. But because I also kept a log of our spending, the longest part of budget review was the journaling. That got annoying fast! Finding a system that works on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis is tiresome. For the most part all our bills are on auto pay. There are a select few that I have to remember to go in to pay.

Financial Budget Review Outline:
– Budget Review (Quarterly, every 4 months January, May, & September)
– Log Journaling (Biweekly)
– Other Bill Pay (Biweekly or  the 1st & 15th of the month)

The execution of the new financial budget review can only be accomplished if I have an office space set up to its specifications.  Setting up my office to pay bills and address certain items is important. My goal for the next couple of months is to have a working system and review if it works well with you.

What is your first of the month routine? Here are a few ideas and suggestions of what your first of the month can be. Also, include family members in your first of the month concept and find a special duty they can fulfill each time.

–          Refrigerator & pantry sweep of foods expired

–          Deep clean the showers

–          Sterilize the washing machine

–          Have your child wipe all the blinds of dust.

–          Wipe down baseboards and sterilize doorknobs.

–          Clean fans and lamps of dust

–          Sterilize garbage can

–          Attack handyman tasks that have piled up for months like tightening screws on loose items, painting unfinished areas, putting up curtains, etc…

All these and any others you can think of would be great ways to start the next month in a productive and fulfilling manner. Hope you get inspired to find your first of the month tasks!

Sherie

Links
Facebook – Sherie’s Craftagious Corner