Coffee with Me

Big Helpers February 23, 2010

Filed under: Family,Home Organization — Melissa @ 12:00 pm

Hannah is 3 1/2 and Leah is almost 2. They are big helpers all the time!! I’m sometimes surprised at what they are capable of doing. They love to help anyone, anytime. Sometimes we don’t want their help…so I really try to make sure that I find “jobs” for them that are age-appropriate.

One thing they can do is take the clothes out of the dryer and put them in a laundry basket. And then drag/push the basket to my bedroom which is where I fold the laundry.

What do your little ones do to help out around the house?


Thursday Tips – Laundry February 17, 2010

Filed under: Home Organization,Thursday Tips — Melissa @ 7:30 pm

Welcome to Thursday Tips!! I hope you’ll join us each Thursday to share tips that work or have worked in your life. Tips are hints or ideas. They are basic, practical facts. I’d love to hear yours!!

Does your laundry area/room look like this?? It doesn’t have to!

Teach your children to sort their laundry for you. I use laundry baskets with the categories written on them.

Currently my 5 year old gathers laundry and my 8 year old sorts. But everyone is responsible for sorting their laundry if they take it in there. There is also a basket labeled socks and underwear but I’m not going to show you that one!!

I love the laundry being sorted into baskets. When it’s time for me to do a load, I can just pick up a basket and dump its contents into the washing machine.

I’d love to have you join us for Thursday Tips. Here are the rules:

1. Go to your blog and do a post about a tip you’d like to share with us!

2. Use the Tuesday Tip banner if you’d like – here’s the direct link that you can use: or just link back to this post.

3. After posting your tip, come back here, and put the blog post’s link into Mr. Linky below.

4. Check out the other tips – leave comments! Spread the blog love.

5. If you link to a random post that is not a tip, I’ll delete it from the Mr. Linky. Sorry! We’re all about ideas here! Thanks!


Cleaning Off My Desk February 16, 2010

Filed under: Home Organization,Works for Me Wednesday — Melissa @ 10:56 pm

Last week I bought these fabulous bags at Costco and I briefly mentioned them in this post. They really deserve a whole post. And to top it off you’re getting a two-fer “works for me” this week!

I love these bags. They come in a pack of 4 – two large and two small. Though as you can tell the small ones are not really small.

They are very sturdy and strong. They’re made of a type of vinyl material. The label just says 100% recyclable.

We put our Costco items in the bags to cart them home and these bags can hold some weight!!

The big bags have two sets of straps as Hannah is demonstrating to you. And the smaller bags have two bottle holders on the inside. Very nice! I’m definitely taking these grocery shopping with me next time.

Oh my. Look at my desk. It’s a terrible mess. It’ll take forever to get through that pile and company is on the way.

No need to grab a laundry basket like before. I’m grabbing a Costco bag. They’re sturdy and HUGE enough for this mess!!

Look how clean my desk is now and it only took 10 seconds! Don’t mind the full bag. It really will be easy to go through…another day.

These reusable bags work for me…for grocery shopping, carrying books from the library, taking toys for an outing, and even for cleaning off my desk!


My Notebook February 2, 2010

Filed under: Home Organization,Works for Me Wednesday — Melissa @ 8:40 pm

Listen carefully! This will be the best tip I ever give you. Seriously. It is the best. This is my lifesaver and timesaver! I learned about this from Annetta Bowman back in 2000 when we lived in Utah. She is a wonderful woman who we attended church with and she shared so much with me about being a mom and wife. And I will never, ever forget her just because of this one tip she gave me (plus she’s very faithful to send me a Christmas card each year).

It’s a notebook.

Yep, folks, that’s it. A notebook. I usually just use a simple one. I have used that same size/style for years. Once in a while I get a fancy one or something different, but mostly I just stick to something like that. I have gone through a lot of notebooks in the past 10 years.

So what is so special about a notebook. Ah. It’s not what it looks like. It’s what you do with it. I use my notebook for writing down everything. Anything that comes to mind that I need to do, I write it down. No dates. Not time limits. Just a list. One after the after. Anything that comes to mind. Because then it’s out of your head and it’s on paper and you will NOT forget to do it.

That page is dated because I date the first day. As I complete an item, I cross it off. If I get to where I have 3 or 4 pages of to-dos, I’ll cross off the one or two that are left on a page and add them to the end. When I finish a whole page, I put a check mark in the corner.

The reason I don’t tear my pages out is that sometimes I’ve made little notations regarding an item or I might need to look back to see if I’ve taken care of something and I can’t remember if I did or not. So I just keep the noteback intact and keep turning pages as I need them.

I also use the notebook to write down notes of anything else that is going on in my life.

For example, this next picture shows my notes regarding Matthew’s upcoming birthday party.

And this next picture shows a list I’m keeping for some upcoming Cub Scout events. When I’m done with these events I’ll just put a check mark in the corner.

And lastly I use my notebook for shopping/errands list. We’re going to CostCo this Saturday and I started making a list of items that I don’t want to forget to buy. I also put my WalMart list and Joann Fabric list on there. And if I think of anywhere we need to stop, then I’ll write that down also. I don’t skip around in my notebook. I just turn to the next page and start a new to-do list page or start a page for whatever else it is that I need to take notes.

I do my grocery shopping list on a regular piece of paper because 1. it’s long and 2. I use a clipboard. I should put my menu in this notebook though. Then I’d have a running record (and future ideas) of what we had for our meals. Great idea! I’m going to get right on that. 🙂

And for bloggers.  Start a page with ideas for blog posts.  Add to it as you think of new things.  Cross off the ones you actually write about.  You’ll always have fresh ideas from which to choose!  I can’t share a picture of mine.  It’s highly classified!

Thanks for letting me share for Works for Me Wednesday hosted at We Are That Family.


Tablecloths and Chair Covers February 1, 2010

Filed under: Base Living and 29 Palms,Home Organization,Homeschooling — Melissa @ 10:15 pm

I was so excited to be inside a fabric store again! We live in a small town and when I go to the “city” to shop, I don’t think about fabric. I think about CostCo, Target, Borders, Kohls. Necessities. But the last time I was in the city on a field trip with the kids I thought about Joann Fabrics. Oh how I wanted to get some fabric. I was starting to feel inspired to finish this dining room/living room of mine. I have no curtains! No cute pillows! It is time.

After our field trip, I took the kids and our friends and headed to Joann Fabrics. The smell. The colors. The feel of the fabric. Cotton only, please!   I was loving it!

Then last Friday I had several women over and we sewed all afternoon. Talked. Drank coffee. And sewed. It was such a fabulous time we decided to do it once a month.

And during that time I got a tablecloth, 5 chair covers, and a pillow cover made. We won’t talk too much on how I messed up slightly. Okay, I’ll share a little bit. My last tablecloth was gold on top and green around the bottom and my chair covers were green. I loved them. I’ve had them for years. I never did make more. While I was at the store, I forgot what I did. So now I have red on top, gold around the bottom, and red chair covers. It’s a lot of red. BUT. I’ve decided to make the opposite in another tablecloth and more chair covers and now I’ll have 2 sets! See. Really. It’s genius.

Jaime making her daughter a jean skirt out of an old pair of jeans.

Heidi sewing on the cutest felt flowers onto the jean skirt that she made her daughter out of an old pair of jeans.

Kristen showing off her fun coffee making skills on my Keurig (Don’t know what that is? Come back Friday!).

Tina on the phone. Again. Tina?? Tina??? Don’t you want to sew???

There’s Tina with her finished pillow cover! It was her first time sewing and I think we have her hooked.

Almost done with the tablecloth!  And yes, Tina and I have the same gold fabric, picked out separately!!  Yes, my pictures are all messed up on the small bookshelf.  Yes, I fix them.  And then?  The little girls come and “play” with their daddy.  🙂   I’m glad you can’t see my desk that is under that sewing basket.

I realized I didn’t have a picture of Shannan. Look at the right side of the picture. You can barely make her out!  But you can see my homeschool bookshelves back there.

There’s a close up…as good as it gets! Shannan worked on her living room curtains. Then she listened as Heidi told Jaime how to make the jean skirt. She went home and made one and showed it to us a couple days later. Very cute!! Her daughter is going to love it!

My finished tablecloth and chair covers.  How I love them.  I can’t wait to sew some more!

This post is linked to A Soft Place to Land’s DIY Day. Check it out for over 300 other great DIY projects!

I also linked up with Toot Your Horn Tuesday at Silly Little Sparrow.


Homeschool Bookshelves January 26, 2010

Filed under: Home Organization,Homeschooling — Melissa @ 11:45 pm

I’m posting this for Works For Me Wednesday over at We Are That Family.

I love my Ikea bookshelf! We got this a few years ago initially to be in the girls bedroom. They used it for toys, clothes, books, and more. But after our move, the bedroom arrangements are different, and the girls have more space now. So we decided to use the bookshelf in our main room where we could store homeschool items at our fingertips.

I love having the books in separate cubbies, with labels, to make easier to find a book on a topic that we’re discussing. In future posts, I’m going to share more about the books in each section. The kids each have a cubbie with their specific books for their schooling.

I realize that each shelf isn’t full. It’s not like the other bookshelves in my house, that are crammed to overflowing. I wanted these shelves to be easily accessible. The kids know what each cubbie is for and it makes it a bit easier for even my youngest children to return resources to the shelves. This is what works for us!


Color for Living Room December 17, 2008

Filed under: Home Organization — Melissa @ 3:31 pm

Once upon a time my living room was yellow and blue. So was my kitchen and dining room since it was one big room.

Then we bought a house and the living room was separate and I never really did much in there. We did get a beige couch and 2 navy blue recliners. took on the color of whatever quilt happened to be on the back of the couch at the time.

In the meantime, we remodeled the kitchen, and I used olive green for the walls and had rose and gold as accent colors. I loved my kitchen! I was making a quilt to hang on the dining room but never did finish it. I had curtains, chair covers, tablecloths, napkins. I had a great time adding things to that room.

Now we’ve moved again and the kitchen, dining room, and living room are once again all one big room.

I’ve had a terrible time deciding what to do! Do I try to blend the rooms together? Do something new altogether? I didn’t have my kitchen colors for very long. But Roy has expressed that he is tired of seeing green. *wink wink*

Here is my chair with the quilt I started working on and the curtains from the old house.



Oh I couldn’t decide. I love those colors. I want to keep my chair covers!!! I love those colors with my black wrought iron that I have in the kitchen. And my stainless steel kitchen appliances. Sigh.

But. I have a another quilt that is almost finished. It just needs the binding. And this is what I was going to do in the other living room.


I love the red in this quilt. I would love some gold pillows for the room. Some red curtains maybe. I love red. My bedroom is red and beige. Do I want red and gold and blue in the kitchen too??? With black furniture in the dining room and black wrought iron.

I have 3 windows to cover. And lots of wall. I thought of doing them in a soft gold..with one wall red. Or maybe all beige and one red. or or …. what would you do???