Deflecto Organizing

With a small space, organizing is critical. And these cute Deflecto products help me stay organized and fun! All at the same time.

My favorite item is the chair mat. It’s so much fun and brightens my desk space in a helpful way. Their fashion mats and fun and practical!

And check out those little organizational cubbies on the left. They have several different drawer sizes and link together so I can stack them all up and store all my little stuff conveniently. How awesome is that!

Now I just need to reclaim my desk from my teen. She loves how organized it is and wants to take it from me! Actually, my girls love the fashion mat, so I did have to promise to get them each one for their school desks.

What’s one space in your house that you really want to organize?

#Deflecto #RoomRefresh #Tryazon

An Entrepreneur’s Wife

My husband has always dreamed of owning his own company, and always had his own little business that we just earned extra income from. So, a few years ago he decided to go out fully on his own and start a company. A couple of years in and he loves being an entrepreneur. I love it too, and since by now it’s fully integrated into our family life, I think it’s time to do a blog series on what it looks like to own a company, homeschool, and keep up with 4 kids.

Let’s cover a couple of ground rules:

  1. This isn’t for the faint of heart – it’s a lot of work. Hubby works 80 hr work weeks and I log a lot of hours as well. Because I work with him that means that I know what’s going on. I know if things are going well, if a client isn’t happy, etc. This is how we make money to live and knowing all the details is scary at times.
  2. It requires boundaries – Dinner turns into an executive meeting, “going out” is a dinner with clients, and pillow talk is all about how to draft the latest client agreement. We’ve had to find the line and draw it, because the kids need our attention too. We need to hear about their day at dinner, return home more relaxed after we go out, and actually be proactive about our kids needs.
  3. My to-do list is ridiculous – It reads something like: new stair rail, e-mail accountant, make banana muffins, find new math curriculum, food for office meeting, check on insurance, find flower girl dresses, review book on blog. Seriously, it’s impossible to keep up with multiple to-dos so everything ends up on one big list and it all has to happen at once. Just get used to it. Especially since I work from home, all my stuff is overlapping.

As crazy as things can get, there’s just something to be said for going out on your own. Because it’s not just “Daddy” going to work every day and coming home at night. It’s a whole family affair. From a family dinner with a client’s family, to business discussions at dinner, to my kids watching me work, to the kids helping me clean the office. It’s really shown my kids that work isn’t this isolated thing that Daddy does 8 hours every day, it’s something that you choose, you make it your own, and it’s just part of life. They keep asking when they get to work!

I love what we do, and love that as the kids get older they’ll get to be more involved as well and we’ll make it more of a whole family thing.

Healthy Baby Home Party Application


What is a Healthy Baby Home Party?

Seventh Generation’s home parties are powered by people like you who are focused on creating a healthy environment for the next generation. Developed with input from non-profit partner, Healthy Child Healthy World, they are a great way to get together with friends, share helpful information, and make an impact!

Healthy Baby Home Party kits are provided to all selected hosts and are filled with educational info about our environment, helpful tips, a fun game, and samples and coupons from Seventh Generation and other favorite family-friendly brands like bobble, American Meadows and Zarbee’s Naturals.

What is the Application Process?

  • Sign up at to join the Generation Good community, or log in if already a member.
  • Accept the Healthy Baby Home Party Application offer on your Generation Good dashboard and complete the application.
  • Applicants will be notified by mid-June if they have been selected to host a party, via an email to the email address assigned to their Generation Good member profile.
  • All selected applicants will then need to confirm their participation by accepting the Healthy Baby Home Party Mission in Generation Good and confirming their shipping address.
  • Hosting spots are open to US residents only at this time. Canadian parties are planned for later in 2016!
  • Full terms and conditions are available within Generation Good in the “Healthy Baby Home Party Application” offer.

I just did a Healthy Baby Home Party a few weeks ago and it was awesome! (my post about this is coming up this week so check back and see what all came in my box) Seventh Generation has some terrific products – especially for those of us moms who have kids with sensitive skin.

D is for Different

Recently, on a homeschool group I’m in, a Mom considering homeschooling asked a question that generated a lot of discussion.

“What’s a typical homeschool day look like?”

The responses all varied, but every experienced homeschool mom agreed that there’s truly no “typical” day.

You may homeschool with a strict schedule or you maybe be super flexible. It’s all about how your kids learn best and what works best for your family.

So, it made me ponder how homeschooling is different. Every day is different. Every child is different. And how you as the parent teach is different. One key part of successfully homeschooling is embracing the “different” and helping each child truly succeed.

For example. Here’s my schedule last week.

Monday: Homeschool co-op – leave house at 8. After co-op meet a potential renter over at our rental property. Home around 5:30.

Tuesday: Show house at 10. Run errands. Home at noon. Eat lunch. Do school.

Wednesday: Start school. Offer 2nd grader choice of staying home with Dad and doing her school or bringing it in the car. She opts for the car. Show house at 11. Run errands. Eat lunch out. Show house again at 1. Home around 2. Back out for piano lessons at 3. Finish school around 5.

Thursday: Morning meeting at 9. Home and start school at 11. Husband is hungry. Eat lunch, paint airplanes, take baths (to wash off paint). Finish school. Leave at 3 for ballet lessons.

Friday: Home all day, school done by noon.

Is my child learning? Yes! In fact, she learns more with all these interruptions. Sitting her down for 2 hrs straight and doing bookwork is tiring. But you do it in 30 minute sprints and she does better work and remembers more of what she’s learning.

Is any day typical? No, not really. But, that’s life. If she learned better by sitting down and doing it all at once, I would make more of an effort to do that. But since long sessions seems frustrating, I take the opportunities to break it up and keep her interested.

And I take advantage of something unique that homeschooling offers to my family. It lets my children live life with me. I’ve explained the concept of a rental property so many times this past few weeks – we have a rental that I’m finding new tenants for – and answered questions like, why would we let someone live in our house? If we own the house why don’t we live there? How do we own a house that we don’t live in? People pay us money to live in our house? I could just tell them about the concept of renting, but to see it in action, it’s more real to them.

So, if your homeschooling, embrace the different. Because every family is different. Every parent is different. Every child is different. And homeschooling lets you enjoy those differences.

Homeschooling Mondays – what I’m up to

This year has been an interesting year for homeschooling. And we’re only a month and a half in!

1. I have a 2nd grader and a Pre-K who’s dying to learn to read. Yay! It’s way easier to each reading when the child wants to learn.

2. We decided to do Classical Conversations this year, and I’m tutoring a class of 7yr old boys in my first year in CC. As if tutoring wasn’t enough of a challenge! Actually, we’re settling in and I’m learning a lot about teaching. Every week is better than the previous one so I think we’re going to have a great year!

3. I moved the schoolroom downstairs to our office/den. My 2nd grader has her own desk, whiteboard, and all our art and school supplies are downstairs instead of in my kitchen. It’s so nice to have all that off my counters.

4. Our first official week of school I was in the Band that Sunday so I was up at Church by 7:15 am and I arrived home around 12:30 (it’s a long morning!). We were also celebrating my oldest’s birthday with pizza and cake, so by the time I arrived home the party was in full swing.

Monday we had Classical Conversations – it’s a homeschool co-op. We had to be there by 8 and then we got home around 3:30.

As you can imagine, by Tuesday, I was super tired. Tuesday was a rough day because everyone was tired (starting school two weeks before this to settle in before CC hadn’t worked as well as I hoped). I gave up around noon because it just wasn’t worth it.

At 4:00 on my very bad Tuesday my husband called me to tell me he had been laid off. This has never happened to him before so he was pretty upset. His company was being bought by another company and they picked a bunch of people to let go, and he was one of the “lucky” ones. Needless to say, I had a pretty bad week after that. I’m not a fan of change. He was told he didn’t have to come back at all, so he was home effectively immediately.

I have my own system during the day and having him home for 2 weeks over Christmas and New Year’s last year was not fun and we had already decided to spread out his vacation days a little better this year.

So, now he’s home. All the time.

He’s always dreamed of having his own consulting company, so we decided that now would be a great time to give this a try.

It’s a month in and we haven’t killed each other yet. We’re actually figuring out a decent system. As long as the weather is good. When winter arrives I’m just not sure. Currently me and the kids take all our school stuff out to the back patio because it’s so pretty out and he can be on phone calls and such without being disturbed too much.

Oh, yes, maybe I forgot to mention, the new schoolroom setup? It’s the same room as my husband’s office. I hadn’t planned for any overlapping time in there. So, we basically haven’t used our schoolroom – or the nifty whiteboard – since school started. I think I’m just going to get the dry erase markers and draw funny pictures on there one night.

The first day he was working from home I tried to do school in the schoolroom. Right in the middle of a phone call the 2yr old decided that was a great time to have a meltdown, and the girls were working on memorization work out loud, with music. Yeah, that didn’t work so well.

IFI really, really don’t want all the school stuff in my kitchen again this year. I’m actually leaning towards “office hours”. Times when my husband can be on calls and times when he can’t. That way we can all get our work and schoolwork done without interrupting each other too much.

I had plans for this being a really great school year with fun project with the kids and lots of time spent on language arts – mainly it’s the english grammar that needs help, but if I work on all of it (reading, writing, grammar, spelling) it makes learning the grammar rules a bit easier.

On a happier note, math is going way better this year. I switch curriculums and I seem to have found the right one for my 2nd grader. She’s learning way more, doing way better, and actually enjoying it this year. Yay!

I’m excited about all the changes, but change is hard. And hopefully by next month we’ll be settled in and have some sort of schedule to our school days.

My Disney Side Party

Thanks to Disney Side @Home Celebrations for my awesome box of party supplies for my #Disneyside party! With all these snow days we’ve just been off of our schedule for weeks, so I decided to keep it simple and do a playdate. Actually, I did a playdate and a pre-playdate the night before plus a few other random things throughout the week.

The first evening we had some friends over and the kids played the disney bingo and won prizes from our Disney prize bag – I used the stickers, balloons, bracelets, tatoos, and bumper stickers. A couple of the kids that were going to come ended up not being able to come as planned but we still had a great time! We had spaghetti for dinner and monster cupcakes in our Mickey Mouse cupcake wrappers.

The next morning we had our playdate. There were 6 kids total, we decorated T-shirts, played Disney bingo, colored our race posters, ate more cupcakes, and let the kids play.

I had traced mickey and minnie pictures onto the shirts before the party so all the kids (or moms) had to do was color them in. We all had a blast! I think the moms had more fun than the kids did coloring!

I don’t have a color printer or a photo printer so I gave away all the photo card paper at the party, and it’ll definitely get used. People were pretty excited to get to print their own pictures!

Only a few of the kids wanted posters so I had a few posters left over after the party that I sent to my sisters for Valentines day.

The next day me and the kids made our Mickey Mouse cookies and shared them with some friends we had over. The cookies turned out great and the kids had a great time decorating them! I finally figured out a good sugar cookie icing recipe (water, powdered sugar, and food coloring – when it dries you can stack the cookies without the icing sticking) so now I just need to nail down a good sugar cookie recipe. My recipe was ok but I’ve had better.

We’ve had so much fun showing our #DisneySide with our Disney @Home Celebration box!