Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer Survival for Busy Moms

That's the title of today's article from OrganizedHome.com and it caught my eye right away!!! They have some wonderful tips to help busy mom's stay organized (and some-what stress free) this summer and I love how the author keeps it real. For most moms, summer doesn't look like a Kool-Aid commercial. That mom is dressed in a cute summer outfit and has her hair curled. Those kids have on clean, matching clothes and their hair is brushed. No one is fighting. Or hitting. Or whining. Or screaming. Or crying. Or bleeding. 

What the Kool-Aid marketing team should do to show a REAL summer moment is throw that mom in some dirty Target running shorts, wrap her hair up in a ponytail and remove all make-up. Then just throw on a pair of sunglasses to hide the bags. The kids...well...they shouldn't be playing outside in perfectly pressed khakis. Odds are one or both of my kids won't even have clothes on outside and if they do, they certainly don't match (because we dress ourselves around here these days) and they are mostly likely covered in chocolate milk from breakfast. Oh, and scrape the hell out of their knees and rub some dirt on their face. And instead of having the mom say, "Kids...come have some delicious Kool-Aid!" She should say,

"HEY!!! Get your hands off your sister. And put your pants back on, the neighbors can see you. NO!!! Please don't pee in the grass!! I'll give you some Kool-Aid if you come in the house and give mommy a damn break!"

Okay...so maybe I am being a little dramatic. But doesn't summer feel like that some days? We aren't even a week into our summer break yet and things already feel out of whack and a little chaotic. And man I HATE that feeling!!!

So when I read this article today, I thought it might be helpful to list some things that I hope to do this summer to make things run a little smoother around here. I've already shared some in this post, but there are a few other tips I've found on blogs or Pinterest that I think are GENIUS!

1. Save Time in the Kitchen

Good Lord do I hate meal planning and cooking. I am not kidding...I absolutely LOATHE being in the kitchen, unless I am baking or making a special meal. But for the every day breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack routine I hate it. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I have no creativity in the kitchen and I have a hard time whipping up meal ideas out of random ingredients. But I do find that when I sit down each week and PLAN what we will eat and SHOP for those items...things run a little smoother. And snack time is no different. My kids live for snacks and when you are in a pinch, it's a lot easier to grab a bag of mini M&Ms than something a little more filling and healthy. BUT...if you take the time to prepackage and portion out some snacks, kids can have a choice of what they want and you will know that they are making a healthy one.

Real Simple suggests having a Refrigerator Snack Station with portioned out fruits and veggies, lunch meat roll-ups, cheese sticks, yogurt, etc. 


And Jen, from one of my favorite blogs iHeartOrganizing, suggests having a pantry snack station as well. She also includes some cute printables for you :-)



2. Prepare & Pack Ahead of Time

Whether you are going on a family trip or just heading to the beach for the day, being prepared by having bags packed ahead to time can save you a lot of time and stress. For the past few summers, I have packed a Beach/Park Bag that is stocked with all the essentials I need like Sunscreen, diapers, bug spray, snacks, dry clothes, etc. All of these items pretty much stay in the bag (unless they are used and then switched out) so that if we wake up and decide to head to the beach, I am already one step ahead.


And speaking of being one step ahead...I also found this great blog that my SIL pinned on Pinterest, called All Things Simple, and she had a great idea for organizing and packing kids clothes. I know we all try to plan our kids outfits ahead of time, especially when we are traveling, but what about taking it one step further and actually putting outfits into separate plastic baggies. She even includes undies and accessories to make it that much easier for her kids.


And when she's not traveling, she uses a similar system in their closets.


Pretty smart thinkin huh? After the past two camping trips, I can honestly say this technique will help us SO MUCH! And then when the clothes are covered in sand, you can just put them back in the baggie to get back home. Now more sand in the bottom of your laundry basket :-)

OrganizedHome also has a great article specifically on planning for family travel and they have some awesome tips too.

3. Declutter

I hate to say it friends, but de-cluttering is a year round process that never really ends. BUT...the better you are about keeping up with this task, the less time it will take you each season. Summer really is a great time to de-clutter and spring clean your house when windows can be open and the kids are too busy playing outside to notice that you are donating their bin of Happy Meal toys and old stuffed animals. Even after all the de-cluttering I did before our garage sale and through my 40 Bags/40 Days challenge, I still feel like there is more to get rid of. 

So in my search of new de-cluttering tips, I found this cute blog called Somewhat Simple and she did a 4-week summer declutter challenge last year that would be awesome to do! She also had a lot of great free lists and printables to share.


Well I hope these little tips give you some motivation today! I am most excited about setting up our snack stations because I know that is going to save a TON of time.

So...how is everyone else making the most of their time this summer? Any tips to share?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Stop & Smell the Roses {Week 14} Potty Training

Seriously...HOW has another week already come and gone? I feel like I was just linking up with House of Rose yesterday and now here we are...week 14!


There are a few things you should know about this video:

1. I know it's supposed to be something we are thankful for and even though I can't say I'm thankful for the whole potty training process...I can say that I will be VERY VERY VERY thankful to be done with diapers one day soon :-)

2. The lighting in my office was a crazy mess, and so was my hair, but the video got done so that's all that matters :-)

3. I was serious at the end of my video...I would LOVE some boy potty training advice. Addie pretty much woke up potty trained and all it took was a few weeks of a sticker chart and she was completely out of pull-ups. Blake is not motivated by stickers and he is a stubborn little stinker. 

4. I apologize to all of you stopping by who could CARE LESS about potty training. But it's all I have on my brain this morning :-)

5. I couldn't love this thumbnail any more. Me holding a pair of little boy undies. This is going to be the story of my life this summer. Ha!



Happy Wednesday Vloggy Friends!



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Davis' Go Camping {Volume 2} Memorial Weekend

You know it was a successful holiday weekend when you gained a solid 2 pounds, all of your clothes smell like a campfire and you're still washing sand out of crevasses you didn't know you had.

This truly was our best camping trip yet. Sure...it's only our second but whatever :-)

Here was our home away from home for the past 4 days.


The beach and recreation club we belong to is pretty big, so Eric was shocked to find out from a friend LAST weekend that there were only 4 electric sites left in the whole place. Apparently Memorial Weekend is one of the biggest of the year and everyone parks their campers in advance. The only problem...you can't leave your camper unattended at night. Someone has to be sleeping in it or they make you move. Club rules.

So...Super Dad took one for the team and slept at the camper EVERY SINGLE NIGHT last week to reserve our spot. He would work, come home, eat dinner with us, play with the kids, shower and drive 30 minutes to the camper to stay the night. Such a trooper :-)

As you can imagine, he was pretty excited for us to join him on Friday. We got down to the camper in the afternoon and we sat and lounged for a while in the shade. Addie played on her iPhone (which is just my old iPhone with a few games on it)...


And Blake just chilled, taking in all the scenery....


That is, of course, until the kids realized that the camper parked next to us had two kids!! A girl about Addie's age and a boy about Blake's age! And guess what they had...a Gator :-) They were all instant BFFs...



The kids played hard that first day...and every day we were there. We have SEVERAL boo-boos to prove it...


But really...whats a camping trip without skinned knees, some mosquito bites and a little sunburn.

Luckily, we were able to beat the CRAZY heat this weekend by spending our days at the beach!!


This chick right here could not wait to get to the beach. She wanted to go Friday night. In the dark. Ha!


And this little guy, who I will refer to as "Euro shorts", was pretty excited too.


I know I'm a wuss, but the lake was freaking FREEZING!!! But it didn't phase Daddy or the kiddies. They were all about it.


In fact, you couldn't get this guy out of the water!!


Well, unless you offer to let him bury you in the sand.


Addie was definitely a water baby too this weekend, but we also spent a LOT of time building sandcastles and looking for seashells.


Here she is with her castle...proud as a peacock :-)


I was honestly pretty impressed with her little decorated castle! She has a nice touch.


Other than being on a 2-hour seashell hunt, I got to spend the rest of my beach time lounging around. It was so wonderful and just what we all needed!


I have to admit...I have always been the type of mom to stress about my kid's schedules. I was always worried to let them skip a nap or stay up later than their bedtime because I was so worried it would screw them up. But this weekend, I did what Eric asked and just went with the flow. We let the kids stay up as long as they wanted and sleep when they wanted.

And do you know what happened...

My kids both napped. Every day. In the same bed. And they both slept the night. All night. And didn't get up until 8:00 every morning.


We didn't even have to tell them to nap! We would just get home from the beach, change clothes, and THEY would go grab blankets and lay on the couch.


I am not kidding you...I am tempted to park that camper in our backyard and let them sleep in it EVERY day!!

I know that our good sleeps had a lot to do with all the excitement and sun...but it was still wonderful. And for being such good kids, we took them out for ice cream :-)



And because that ice cream was SO GOOD...we went back a second night with our friends Tim and Heather and their kids.


Our first camping trip was just the 4 of us alone in the club. It was fun and relaxing and the perfect way to introduce the kids to camping. 

But what really made this weekend SO much fun was the company of some old friends...and a few new ones. The camping community is so friendly and everyone is always willing to invite you over for a fire or offer you a beer. The kids made all kinds of new friends and it was just a lot of fun. We all can't wait to meet back up for the 4th of July :-)

So that was our Memorial Weekend!!! We had a blast and we were almost sad to come back to reality so soon. Now Eric is back to work and I have a mountain of laundry and other housework to catch up on. So I better get to it!!

Have a great day everyone!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

School's Out for SUMMER!!

I can't believe it. My baby girl has finished her first year of preschool!!!


And what a wonderful year it was. I have watched Addie grow in SO MANY ways and I just can't say enough about her incredible teachers. She's grown physically, mentally and spiritually and that is do, in large part, to all the work her teachers have put in throughout the school year. I know everyone has their own opinions about preschool, especially 3-year-old preschool, but for us...this was the BEST decision we have ever made.

To celebrate this big accomplishment, Addie's preschool put on a little Spring Program to showcase the kiddies and some of the songs they have learned this year. Addie was pretty excited to put on her new pretty dress :-) 


All of her preschool buddies have become such good friends this year. I've had the opportunity to see them all together many times when I've worked in her classroom, and I swear there is nothing cuter than watching a bunch of little girls giggle and talk like they are 30. Haha!


The Spring Program was short and SUPER sweet, which was good for all the siblings that did NOT want to be there.


Although, as soon as the kids started singing, Mr. Crabby perked right up :-)


We all laughed SO HARD watching Addison Miss America up on stage. She was waving and smiling and really laying it on thick. She thought the crowd was there just for her.


Of course, the teacher had to remind her that this wasn't the Addie show. Hahaha! So typical :-)


The kids did a few songs for us and they were just precious.



Then yesterday, for Addie's last day of class, the teachers hosted a BEACH PARTY!!

All the kids got to show up in their swimsuits and they played all kinds of games. They were still playing Limbo when we came to pick them up.





Blake and Cole love picking up the girls from school because they get to play with Car Mountain. I think I know what Santa needs to bring this year :-)


And here the kids are for their last circle time. I might have cried just a little.


Aww...sharing some hugs on our last day.


And here are two of the most patient, loving preschool teachers in the world.



God bless them both :-)

I am just so proud of my baby girl today. What a wonderful year to look back on.

And now...it's time for SUMMER!!!!!!

WINNER WINNER!!!

Good morning friends and Happy Friday!! I've just selected the winner of the My Memories Suite Digital Scrapbooking software and I did a screen recording for your viewing pleasure.



Thanks to EVERYONE who entered this amazing giveaway and thanks to My Memories Suite for giving me the opportunity to do this. I am always working on new tutorials and projects using this software so if you are bummed you didn't win but still REALLY want your own copy, head on over to their site and enter my awesome coupon code STMMMS75437for $10 off software AND $10 off your purchase of kits in their store!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

New Items at The Polka Dot Posie plus a COUPON CODE!!!

It's been 3 weeks since my mom and I launched The Polka Dot Posie and I cannot BELIEVE how much love and support we have received so far. It actually brings us both to tears when we think about how many friends and family members have shared our links, passed out business cards, posted pictures and shared WONDERFUL reviews. We can't believe how many people have purchased our goodies and then took the time to rave about everything on Etsy, Facebook, Twitter, blogs and even through text message. We are so so SO blessed to have all of you in our lives.



In just three short weeks, my mom and I have already come up with about 100 new items we want to make and sell. And the list just keeps on growing. We have also been given some wonderful suggestions from people and we want you all to know that a line of iPad, iPhone and book reader cases is on the horizon :-)

Some of the other great suggestions we have had came from our loyal customers, who willingly became our guinea pigs. Thanks to all of you, we have now made some wonderful changes to a few of our favorite products. For example:

New Adjustable Straps and Easy Closure Snaps for our Grab & Go Camera Bags

When my mom first designed our camera bags, we were under the impression that a standard strap length would work for everyone. And for the most part we think it has, especially based on some of the great reviews we've received. However, we did notice how our bags hung on some of our less-tall customers and we realized that an adjustable strap would probably be an awesome option.

And so, we are pleased to announce that from now on, all Grab & Go camera bags will come with a fabulous adjustable strap like this...


We think this is an excellent new feature, as are our new snaps. Long gone are the days of having to line up your snap to make it close. We found wonderful magnetic snaps that are built right into the fabric and catch as soon as you fold over the flap. Easy peasy!!

A More Vibrant Selection of Rosie Posie Fabrics for Necklaces and Other Accessories

Although we still love all the colors we offer in our Rosie Posie necklaces and accessories, my mom has fallen in love with Kona Cotton. Our rosettes roll much nicer and the selection of colors they have to choose from is just incredible. Here is a look at our new sample page and all the beautiful options you now have to chose from:


I am IN LOVE with the salmon, coral, canary and violet right now. Peridot is also another beautiful color for summer, as well as the deep blue, and I can't wait to "test" all these new necklaces. Ha! Please know that if you were in love with one of our other "retired" colors, or even if you have a specific color in mind for a special event, please don't hesitate to contact us. My mom can almost always accommodate :-)

And if you want to know a little secret...we will be offering MINI Rosie Posie Necklaces in the near future. They are perfect for toddlers and little girls and thy will come in all of the colors pictured above. You can see Addie is wearing one in this picture :-)


More Fabric Options for our Camera Bags and Rosie Posie Ruffle Totes

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you've probably already noticed that we've listed some beautiful new bags the last few days and there are more to come!!!




Rosie Posie Medium Zipper Bag Wristlet Option

My good friends Ashley and Carol told us that they plan to use their Rosie Posie Medium Zipper Pouch as a little clutch purse.


Carol got super creative and tied ribbon onto her zipper to make her bag a wristlet. What a FABULOUS idea! And then two days later, Ashley e-mailed me and said, "Hey...is there any way you guys can make your medium zipper pouch a wristlet?" So it was settled. Our fabulous Rosie Posie Medium Zipper Pouch will now come with a wristlet option. Sample pictures to come...

More Options in Invitations and Printables 

I have been so caught up in all the excitement of our store launch, I haven't' dedicated enough time to growing my collection of digital invitations and cupcake toppers. But just so you all know, I am OPEN FOR CUSTOM ORDERS!!! If you have a theme or color pallet in mind for a birthday, shower, graduation party, work event, etc., I am happy to work with you to design and customize the PERFECT invitation for your event.

Right now I have a small, but cute inventory of kids birthday invitations for sale on our site...


But I hope to grow this tremendously this summer :-) 

***

Do you see what a difference only 3 weeks makes? We are already trying to improve on our wonderful inventory and we hope in addition to that, we will be able to bring you LOTS of new goodies on a regular basis. Right now, we are looking to list a new item each week if possible. So...we thought we would start with this weeks BRAND NEW ITEM: The Wristlet Key Fob!!


I would say on average, I lose my keys about twice a day. They are either at the bottom of my purse or lost in my car because they fell out of my hand while trying to get the kids out. Keys are just one more thing to juggle each day so what I LOVE about these new key fobs is that you can just slip your keys around your wrist and have two free hands to load and unload. No more losing them...no more messing with them.


I know there are a lot of great key fobs on the market but what we love about ours is the clip we use, instead of those AWFUL tight rings that you can never ever EVER get open. We also have a lot of fun, bright, ready-to-ship colors for you to choose from.


We can also make these key fobs in any of the colors in our Rosie Posie collection, or you can request a specific color scheme or pattern. We will always do our best to accommodate :-) And the best part...they are only $5!!

***

We really can't thank you all enough for making our first 3 weeks SO successful!! And to thank you all for stopping by today and reading this incredibly LONG post, we would like to offer you our very first 

COUPON CODE!!!

This weekend only, we are offering 10% of your ENTIRE order when you use the coupon code MEMORIALDAY12 at checkout. This applies to all of our fabulous products, including our Grab & Go camera bags. So if you have been debating about getting one...nows the time to do it my friends!! But hurry...this offer will end at midnight on Monday :-)

Thank you all so much!! We hope you have a wonderful Memorial Weekend and kick off to summer!!!