Archives For On a Personal Note…

More than a year after embarking on this gig called motherhood I am still struggling with the task of keeping my little man organized. Poor Nick can’t keep up with all the new systems I put in place to try to streamline the clothes, the toys, the diaper bag, etc. We’ve reached a breaking point and I am on the verge of a big purge. The guest room is packed with piles of stuff I need to sort through to store or donate, but before I tackle it I want to make sure I’ve got everything in his room exactly how I want it. No sense in storing away all those outgrown clothes only to find something I missed at the bottom of a drawer, right? Leave it to the perfectionist in me to rationalize why I should be making cute closet dividers instead of sorting through the pile of crap in the spare room.

The closet dividers are necessary because until recently we’ve kept the majority of Jack’s clothes in his dresser. I don’t know why I ever thought that was a good idea. Especially as we move into the unpredictable fall/winter, I need to be able to see his clothing without rifling through piles. It’s not at all uncommon in Louisiana to be bundled up in October but wearing short sleeves on Christmas, so bring able to assess what’s warm and what’s not at a glance is key. The second problem is that I have had a hard time to date with keeping track of what’s almost too small, what fits just right, and what’s not yet grown into. Enter the closet divider. There’s a vast selection of cute ones on Etsy and The Container Store has some blank ones for only .99 each, but with no Container Store near me and no patience for waiting for shipping I decided to make some myself with supplies already had.

I’ve got a huge stack of these blank CD’s that I bought years ago because I needed just one. I feel certain I’ll never use them all, so I didn’t mind sacrificing a few to the cause. If you don’t have any CD’s you don’t mind ruining, you could use cardboard, foam core, or even thick cardstock instead.

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I used a set of wire snips to cut a slit at the bottom, then a circle from the center. If you don’t have wire snips some sturdy scissors or some sort of scoring tool may work even better.

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The metallic film came off in large chunks under warm running water, then I used a magic eraser to scrub away the blue-green coating and any bits of foil that remained.

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With the plastic all cleaned up, I used a nail file to smooth the edges that I’d cut. I’m not trying to win any beauty pageants here; I just wanted to remove any bits that might scratch me.

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I repeated this process on three disks, then used scrapbook letters to label them with the three sizes that are most relevant to us right now–the size he’s growing out of, the size he’s currently in, and the next size up.

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AND THEN I flipped them over and labeled the reverse with the next three sizes. When he completely outgrows all his 12 month clothes I’ll steal the 2 (I ran out of 2′s on my sheet of scrapbook letters), stick it next to that T, and put it at the other end of the closet to be 2T. Likewise, 18 months will become 3T and 24 months will become 4T. Genius, no?

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Here they are in his closet! I’m pretty sure this system will be easier for Nick to keep up with than “the ones I like best go on the right side of the drawer, the ones that are kind of ugly but I need for when I’m behind on laundry go on the left side of the drawer.” If he can just read the labels and put them in the proper sections I can pick out what’s cute/weather appropriate easily and also see when it’s time to go ahead and pack away that outgrown size. Here’s to hoping.

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If you have any tips for managing the chaos of kid clothes pleeeaaassse share. I’m drowning in hand-me-downs to-be-handed-downs.


toddler boy wardrobe

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Until recently we really haven’t had to buy much clothing for Jack–gifts and hand me downs constituted the bulk of his wardrobe and we just added in a few things for fun or necessity here and there. But as October loomed near I realized I had nary a long-sleeved shirt in his size, nor much else to fit him over the next few months (but once he gets out of the toddler sizes he is SET with hand me downs from every male member of Nick’s family dating back to the early 90′s. I have more boxes full of boys’ clothing than I know what to do with). I actually had a lot of fun doing some online shopping for his fall wardrobe last week. Is it just me or is boys’ clothing getting cuter? Or maybe I’m just getting better at finding what I like–simple colors and patterns that are easy to mix and match and not plastered in cheesy graphics (though I couldn’t resist that lettered hoodie).

Top row: I may have gone a little overboard with gray shirts, but they’re just so practical! Gray doesn’t stain as easily as white but still goes with almost everything, and with simple basics like this I can easily layer more colorful short-sleeve shirts left over from summer to make his wardrobe more interesting.

Second row: I love a good stripe. All of these shirts are casual enough for play but still cute enough for pictures, and in colors that I know will flatter Jack’s warm coloring.

Third row: I about died when I saw that Old Navy carried baby skinny jeans for boys. He’s gonna be so cute I could just eat him up. I may still pick up another pair of pants if I see some at a good price. And as for outerwear, it doesn’t get too cold in Louisiana but a light jacket and hat are necessary for outdoor play. I’m hoping to get some extra use out of that plain gray hoodie by incorporating it into a Halloween costume (more on that if I’m successful). The hat + mittens was a total splurge. I needed to get my Old Navy order up to $50 to qualify for free shipping and, as mentioned above, I’m partial to a cute stripe.

Fourth row: Old Navy pajamas were way cuter, but about $5 more expensive each and since pajamas are worn almost exclusively while sleeping I couldn’t justify the extra cost just for cuteness. We have a couple of pairs of soft pants that we’re hoping to match with some of the long sleeve shirts pictured above to stretch us to a week’s worth of pajamas.

After using a couple of coupon codes I was able to get all of this for only $153! It was actually $159 if you count shipping from Carter’s, but I’m still calling it a win. The first package arrived yesterday, just in time for the decidedly autumnal weather we’re expecting this weekend (low of 54° on Sunday, BUNDLE UP PEOPLE! Nevermind that the high will be 79°, haha).

Here are a couple of coupon codes to try out if you’re doing some kids’ clothing shopping of your own:


Carter’s: GBS9131, SH813C15, SHOPSAVE

Have a great weekend, y’all, and thank for reading!

After Jack turned one I decided that photographing him every month might be a little bit of overkill–even I think he looks pretty much the same from one month to the next these days–but I still wanted to take some not-on-my-phone photos at least a couple times a year. I think every three months is a nice middle ground.

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This kid is not as easy to photograph as he used to be! He has no interest in sitting still and when I do catch him looking up I’ve got mere seconds before he makes a grab for this interesting contraption I’m holding up to my face. No time to elicit a smile!

222 (380x570)He’s trying to learn how to get up into the child-size chairs on his own. I’ve got my old laptop set up on the play table and he likes to sit there and pretend that he’s typing–just like mama. On numerous occasions I’ve turned around to catch him standing on the chair and looking out the window. I’m not sure whether to applaud or scold him. I’m leaning toward applause.

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His interests these days include: toilets, anything that can be reimagined as a phone, being carried around, cuddling, sleeping, and, as always, eating. He still takes two naps (knock on wood that that lasts FOREVER because mama likes to write in the mornings), breastfeeds twice a day (first thing in the morning and right before bed, though I think he may give it up completely soon), and says four words: mama, daddy, dog, and hey. As I mentioned recently, he still doesn’t walk, and I’m completely okay with that. We’re going in for his checkup this afternoon and hopefully the pediatrician doesn’t make a big deal out of it either. His legs and hips seem to be working just fine, he just needs to work on his balance I guess.

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I hope this week is treating you well! Thanks, as always, for reading and have a fabulous Wednesday!

Happy Friday, party people! My brain is absolutely fried after a week full of math and science and very little creativity. I can’t wait until the first of the month when I have some money and can just go freaking shopping again. I’ve had my eye on this from Target for over a month but since it’s only available online I decided to get a Target debit card so I could get free shipping, which required a trip to the store to apply in person and then a week long wait for the card to come in and by then I was of money (note: I have money to spend on other things, like food and necessities, but my home decor budget is usually blown early in the month). Well, now I just found the same exact ottoman on Amazon where I could’ve gotten free two-day shipping without all the hassle.

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Seville Classics Rush Cube Storage Ottoman, Mocha
In case you missed it, I finally got around to making a facebook page for my blog! You can “like” it to keep up with blog posts and photos I post to Instagram. What else do bloggers do with their facebook pages? I’m sort of at a loss here, which is why I didn’t create one sooner. But I wanted a way to connect with readers on facebook while keeping my personal account to people I know personally so here ya go. Still working on the perfect cover photo, obvs.

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Living Well on the Cheap on Facebook

Are you familiar with TED? It’s a nonprofit that puts on conferences where speakers from various fields are asked to give “the talk of their lives” in 18 minutes or less. Videos of the talks are put online for the whole world to watch at their leisure. I’ve been hitting the gym every day and watching TED talks using the iPhone app while I work the elliptical. This one was especially inspiring to me.

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That’s all I’ve got for today. I hope you each have a wonderful weekend! I’m hoping to put my coding woes behind me (the navigation bar at the top of my blog is black and I want it to be white, total first world problem) and knock out some projects that have been on my to-do list for weeks. Wish me luck!