[email protected]How to be a Stay at Home Mom without losing your mind

Changing Out Kids’ Seasonal Clothes

Clothing Bins

It’s finally cooling off in Nashville, just enough to want a sweatshirt in the morning, but we still have sleeveless afternoons. It’s cool enough for the children to wear pants again, and for mama to notice how short they’ve become. Twice a year, it’s time to tackle the season change and size change for the kids’ clothes. When there are multiple children, hand-me-downs can reduce the shopping list, but we all still have to assess what we have and what we still need. Unfortunately, without a bit of organization, it’s terribly easy to purchase clothing that we already own. They’re just hiding away in the attic and we just have to be able to find them when the season changes! How to find the clothes hiding in the attic I discovered that two-gallon ziploc bags are an amazingly helpful tool to organize off-season clothes. They’re air tight, transparent, and easily stacked in a labeled bin. So for each size, there is: a bag of pants, skirts & shorts a bag of shirts a bag of sweaters a bag of dresses a bag of undergarments a bag of pajamas a bag with a winter coat, mittens, hat a bag of shoes Now it’s so easy to see what we have! How to get started  Step 1: Remove Everything. This morning we began by emptying out the closet and drawers for one child. I started with the oldest, because she will need the most. Working with one child’s wardrobe at a time prevents the room from …

LauriChanging Out Kids’ Seasonal Clothes

Photo Shoot for My New Book!

Breakfast Nook

    My first book, Kitchen Rescue for the Not-So-Organized, is coming together. I’ll let you know when we have an official launch date! For the moment, though, I’ll share a glimpse of our photo shoot for it. Teaming up with photographer Kellie Mueller was a great idea. Before we got started, I shared with her an inspiration board of photographs that captured my vision for the book. It apparently communicated well, because when we got in there, we worked together seamlessly. I got to play creative director and stylist, while she clicked away. So fun! We had limited time to be in this classic kitchen, which meant there was no time to fool around. We were cordially all business. A huge thanks to the Farnsworth family for inviting us into their kitchen. It was the perfect setting. I’ve been toying with shooting some full-scale before and after kitchens, but I think that may be a follow-up to the book. Maybe yours would be one!

LauriPhoto Shoot for My New Book!

Taking a Young Family Camping for the First Time

Camping

    It’s daunting to consider taking a young family tent camping! It took us about a year to work up to it. Last summer, we bought a family-sized tent. We had also gradually acquired a few random camping items: a lantern, wedding-gift sleeping bags (that zip together!), marshmallow-roasting-sticks, but the idea took a long time to germinate before we took action. Living in Tennessee, summers are hot and muggy, and we did not relish the idea of living outdoors for several days. So we didn’t. September seemed like a good idea though. We were ready for some outside sanity-restoring time and adventure! When I was a kid, my parents took us camping. They loved it and had all the gear from camp stove to fishing tackle and everything in between. Their king-sized pickup truck (with a camper shell over the back) would be packed to the gills and we’d head into the mountains for vacations. Looking back, it’s amazing how much I didn’t learn about how to prepare for a camping trip. I should have watched and helped my mom more… sorry mom! So here we are, a family of five with kids ranging from crawling to first grade. They’ve never been camping, and we decided it’s time. Here’s what we learned: First, make a reservation We heard that campgrounds fill up, and it would be horrible to gather up all that energy and preparation to be turned away. Since we had the flexibility to go mid-week in September, there was plenty of …

LauriTaking a Young Family Camping for the First Time

How I Make Money While Staying at Home with my Little Kids

Sister Walk

    I love kids. I adore being a mother and raising my kids. Perhaps this is every modern mom’s dilemma: how to balance paycheck and mommy-ing? It manifests differently in each family (and I’m not here to judge how it looks in your family!). Let me tell you how it’s worked out for us in the past couple of years. It could change! But this is our story so far: Jon and I married young and didn’t have kids for 10 years. Now we’re pretty settled in Nashville, TN, after having moved all around the country and done lots of different jobs. I taught preschool and kindergarten, did office work and nannied (yup, I love kids!). We found that we like to work for ourselves and set our own schedules. One of our favorite things is to eat meals together. We sit around the table and practice asking questions and discussing things. Granted, with our kids currently at ages five, three and 10 months, many of those meals are filled more with NOISE than conversation, but we get glimmers of hope! For us, it’s really important that the clearest voices in our children’s lives be dad’s voice and mom’s voice. I have a friend who always asks “What can only you do?” Do what only you can do. Only I can be the mother of my children. Only I can nurse them. I love that they have other amazing adults in their lives, but I am their only mommy. We value …

LauriHow I Make Money While Staying at Home with my Little Kids