Monday, August 25, 2014

1 Evening + $40 Materials= DIY Tote Storage Rack

Why do we keep so much stuff? I ask myself this all the time! Nothing like moving to a new house to really spotlight how much (or little, as your case could be) you have. Most of our storage stuff includes baby items, baby clothes, and maternity clothes. We are hoping to one day need this all again but until then, in storage it sits.

Since we have moved recently, we quickly figured out that we need a spot to put our storage items. Don't get me wrong, we have an unfinished basement, but just tossing totes wherever they land left me with a bad feeling. I strongly dislike the feeling of being disorganized.

After doing some shopping, I was about to purchase this tote storage system for $90. It would hold 12 totes. Okay, so I was really considering impulse buying 2 of them! My hubby laughed and said he could build me one for cheaper than that.

We got right to work and I was so excited I didn't even take pictures along the way. We used:

* 1- 4x8 sheet 
* Half a 4x8 sheet of osb particle board
* 12- 2x4s
* 3 inch deck screws
* Nails

We spent right at $40 and here is what we ended up with:

Bear with me, these shelves were put in an unfinished basement. The perfect place to store items you aren't using, but poor choice for the perfect picture!

It didn't take long to become this:

Organizational peace! 

Now, I am so glad I didn't spend the $180 I was so tempted to impulse buy! $40 and one evening of DIY was all we needed.

How do you store your totes?

Monday, August 18, 2014

365 Days of Becoming Parents

This post has been a long time coming! As all things in my life since the birth of my child, this post comes to you much later than I intended!

A few months ago (okay 4 to be exact), I was preparing for my baby to turn 1. This was such an exciting time and, hey, we survived! Learning about raising a child was full of ups and downs. 

One evening, my husband and I sat outside discussing the blessed 365 days we had (almost) completed. I started to think about how we should document our lessons as our life will never be the same. Already, at 15 months, a day in my life with a toddler looks much different than it did with an infant. Sure, another kid may come along but we think we will have a better idea of what comes with a baby. Adjusting from 1 child to 2 kids, now that may be a different story!

After that evening with my husband, I got to work writing down all of our life lessons for our child to read one day down the road. Want to know what we learned? Take a look!
365 Days of Becoming Parents

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Day In My Life...

Back in March, I shared a day in my life. That was only 5ish months ago, yet so much from that schedule has changed!

Let me update you on the major changes: we moved, we switched from a daycare to a sitter that watches my child at my house, I went from full-time work to part-time work, the weather warmed up, and (most importantly) we now have a toddler on our hands! So, an updated day in my life post is due! Here we go:

10 AM: wake-up

Gotcha! Okay, who didn't need a little humor?!?! Now, let's get serious, because you know life with a toddler rarely means sleeping in daily!

7:20AM: Wake-up. Get my hubby up, pack his lunch, see him off to work. I either lay back down for the glorious 5 minutes before my child wakes or unload/load dishwasher. 

8AM: Payton is typically up and going at this point. She rocks the messy hair and pajamas look while I pull together breakfast and feed her.
Isn't she cute? After we eat (today banana bread and a banana...she loves bananas). We get dressed and head outdoors.

9AM: We walk. After our walk we play a bit more outside until snack time.
With a toddler on my hands, sometimes I have to catch her before our walk officially starts. You could view it as a nice jog before a long walk, eh?

10AM: Snack time and then nap time. Today was a smoothie on the patio (see our custom made kids table she is sitting on here).

12PM: Morning nap is done by this point and I throw together lunch (almost always leftovers, today was leftover beef strogonaff). Our weather is typically cool in the mornings and hot in the afternoon. We change clothes to match the temps! We then walk to our mailbox to get the mail.

A 5 minute walk is easily 20-30 minutes with a curious toddler next to you!

We head back indoors and I typically try to get a shower in and makeup on. Lately, I entertain Payton during this time with bathroom crayons and bath toys! She loved writing on the bathtub walls.

1-2PM: This is typically a very quiet hour for us. We read some books and play in the living room. If I think about it, I turn on the tv. Normally, Law & Order: SVU is on during this time. Payton spends a lot of time chasing her dogs around.

2PM: Afternoon nap

3PM: Payton typically wakes between 3 and 3:30. We then have snack, normally eaten outside (especially if messy). Today, we had an apple from one of our trees after another outfit change (sometimes we have messier days than others). We were so happy to discover we had apple trees at our new house.

We then make funny faces, send to her Daddy, and play in the shade. I turn on Pandora and we jam out to music!

4-6PM: The hubby is suppose to get off work at this time but rarely does.  Our sitter comes today (here a few times a week) to watch Payton while I try to get some work done in my home office.

6PM: I wrap up work, relieve the sitter, and attempt to make dinner (tonight is brinner). As the hubby arrives home, he entertains Payton while I finish cooking. We eat and then typically have about 20 minutes to enjoy each other before we start bedtime routine.

7:30PM: Bedtime for Payton! Her routine is this: bath, put pajamas on, hugs and kisses, rock in the chair for a few minutes, and then lay down in crib. This routine works very well for us and Payton is typically asleep between 7:30 and 8.

8-10PM: Tonight I work some more. I vary nightly what I do during this time. Sometimes we have DIY projects to work on, sometimes I lounge, sometimes I clean, other days I continue working, it really depends. I wrap up my night with loading and running the dishwasher. I prefer having this done before the chaos of morning.

10PM: Bedtime! I don't typically fall asleep right away, sometimes I watch tv or get on my phone. In any case, this is my quiet time until I fall asleep.

4AMish: Payton seems to ebb and flow with sleeping all night and getting up. She is currently going through a phase where she wakes and needs help falling back to sleep at about 4am. That time greatly varies, but that's about the most common time.

My days are busy and very routine! It's also a lot of time outside. I have no idea what we will do when the weather is cold again. In any case, I wouldn't trade these moments for anything!

What does a typical day look like for you?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Calling All Females- Plan for Your Retirement NOW

I am slightly embarrassed to admit that one of my guilty pleasures is watching Bravo's Real Housewives series. Although I don't watch all of their locations (just New Jersey and Orange County... okay, and sometimes I catch a bit of Beverly Hills), I watch enough to feel ashamed!

One of the housewives (of Orange County) recently released a new book. Have you heard of it yet?

You can find it on Amazon. I haven't read it and don't plan to (I am not so addicted to the series to completely throw out my frugal ways), but a few statements from the description of the book caught my eye:

 "Women face a unique set of challenges when saving for retirement and building an income that lasts. With the Administration on Aging reporting that 70% of the seniors who live below the poverty level are women and the National Women’s Law Center revealing that extreme poverty rates for women 65 and older rose 18% in 2012, these unique struggles aren’t just a concern—they’re practically an epidemic."

Can you believe those facts? A few weeks ago, I recommended a few financial books and The Five Lessons A Millionaire Taught Me for Women by Richard Paul Evans hit hard on this topic.  How does this affect you?

1. Are you a female?
2. Do you know a female?

Chances are, you know a female that isn't preparing for retirement. Yes, even in our twenties we should be thinking of retirement and starting to build a little nest egg.

I keep wondering why so many females could end up in this position at retirement? Then, I realized that I could be in the same position. I have been creating our retirement through my husband (he holds the 401(k), we have a rental, etc.). So, say something like divorce happens (no plan of that), I could potentially be left with almost nothing for retirement.

As women, we tend to be the caretakers for everyone around us, that we sometimes forget to prioritize for ourselves. We need to be reminded that we are a priority, too. So, start planning and working towards your own retirement TODAY!

Popular Posts