Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Weekly Chores Chart

I guess "normal" people just take care of things around the house as they need to be taken care of. I on the other hand, need structure, a system. I need a schedule. Charts, graphs, spreadsheets!

Photo courtesy of the Italian voice

Now that we've settled into the house, I have figured out a routine that works for me and I want to share it with you guys, because I hope it helps you! (I will offer it for free download once I figure out how to upload a Word document to the internet. 0_o)

I first created two columns for my rotation:
1. Rooms
2. Chores

Every weekday, I will focus on a different room:
Monday - Kitchen
Tuesday - Dining Room
Wednesday - Living Room
Thursday - Bathrooms
Friday - Bedrooms

In addition to focusing on one room, I will also have a "chore" for the whole house.
Monday - Sweep and mop the tile floors
Tuesday - Dust
Wednesday - Vacuum
Thursday - Wipe glass and walls
Friday - Paperwork (sorting bills and other important papers)

Some of these things may get done more than once. For instance, I vacuum all the carpets on Wednesday, when I am focusing on the living room, but I will also vacuum the bedrooms on Friday if they need it.

On the weekends, there are only a couple chores. I prefer to do the outside on the weekends because my husband is home and that's his domain. ;)
Saturday - Yard / mow, water, rake, trim trees
Sunday - Garage / sweep garage and porch, take trash to the curb

We also go grocery shopping and run any other important errands on the weekends so we can do it together.

Other "chores" get done daily or as needed like laundry, dishes, trash, and general straightening up.

I know this list may not fit everyone's schedule or home, but I hope this at least inspires some customized plans.

How do you clean your house? Do you have a system?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Confessions of a Mommy Blogger

     I have had a few weeks to reflect on my blog. I know it's only been live a few months, but I've gotten pretty caught up in the mommy blogosphere. I figured that if I wanted more people to read my posts, I should give something away as an incentive. Then I realized that not many companies want to give you free stuff if it's only going to promote their product to 10 people. It's a cycle. You host giveaways to prove to sponsors that you have a broad audience. You convince the audience to stay by offering more free stuff. And you get free stuff, too! People have received some pretty sweet promos. How awesome would it be to get a $400 stroller to review? Pretty awesome, right? But...

   That is NOT why I started writing, and that is certainly not what inspired me to begin writing Minimally Mama. I don't want to hustle my blog to potential sponsors JUST to get free stuff. I learned a lot from this past giveaway. It was pretty damn hard to get sponsored for two reasons:
1. I ONLY contacted companies and individuals whose product and ethos I would be excited to promote.
2. Most potential sponsors won't give you the time of day if you don't have impressive numbers to share with them.

     I was very fortunate to have a really cool eco-conscious company and a super sweet and talented WAHM give me an opportunity. That's really the way I see it. I LOVE reviewing products for you guys! I love SHARING. (Some people have even accused me of oversharing.) THAT is why I started this! So here is what I am going to do...

I am going to continue to write Minimally Mama.
I am going to write whenever I feel I have something of value to contribute--not however many times a week will make me attractive to sponsors.
I am going to review products that I use and companies that I believe in--not whoever approaches me, and not whoever I beg for free stuff.
I am going to host giveaways if any of the aforementioned companies are gracious enough to sponsor me, or if I have it in my budget to sponsor it myself. For this reason, my giveaways probably won't be very often or offering really high-dollar items.
I am going to be honest with my writing (as I have been) and not try to lure readers with promotions, and if that means I am writing to an audience of 2 and not 2000, so be it.
I hope you find value in what I share and continue to read. I've always been a better journalist than a salesman and this past month or so has validated that for me.

Thank you for reading! Please stick around. I have a lot more to say. ;)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Seven-- SEVEN months?! Sheesh.

My little Josiebean,

     It seems like just the other day I was sitting in your Grandma's living room writing you your first letter. And it really was only two weeks ago when I wrote the last one. I keep writing and taking pictures because it seems like the time is going by so fast! The first three months of your life were spent feeding you, changing you, and crying. Both of us cried... A lot. I don't want to forget how difficult it was and how little sleep I got because we have made so much progress!
     You are the happiest little baby, and your smile is contagious. I stare at you over and over again with tears of love welling behind my eyes. You are such an amazing little person! We're working on crawling right now. (I still remember the first time you rolled over without help!) You can scoot backward, sideways, and in a circle, but forwards is still a mysterious direction. That's OK. I am in no rush to baby-proof the entire house!
     I love feeding you, but you prefer to feed yourself (or at least gnaw on the spoon) most of the time. We've tried lots of different foods, but so far the apples and blueberries seem to be your favorites! You are not really a fan of chicken, peas, or bananas (oddly enough for a little monkey like you.)
     Last week Daddy and I took you to the driving range and you liked watching us hit golf balls for a while (you LOVE being outside!) but it must have gotten lonely in the stroller because you let me know very promptly and very loudly when you were ready to hang out with the big people. It occurred to me that you've never sat in grass before, so I sat you down and couldn't help laughing as I watched you pet it! It must have been such a strange feeling!
     Your first Christmas is coming up, and it will be the beginning of some new traditions (like cinnamon ornaments!) and passing on old ones, like your handmade stocking (made by the same people who made mine and Daddy's) and maybe driving to look at the lights like I used to do with my grandpa when I was little. For us, Josie, Christmas is about being able to appreciate the people who love you and to learn the meaning of giving to others. It is very important to us that you know how lucky you are to have SO many people who love you and that we work very hard to make sure you never have to worry about going without the things that you need. We also want you to develop a kind and giving heart toward those who are not quite as fortunate. When you get older, we will pick toys and books to give to children who wouldn't have a Christmas without our help. This Christmas, though, you will be smothered with love and kisses from many people who love you and I can't wait!

See you in the new year, little girl!
<3 Mama

PAXbaby giveaway!

Lots of goodies available at PAXbaby, including a Double Rainbow Diamond Weave Cream Weft 4.6! I'm sharing this because (well, it earns me extra entries in the giveaway...) but also because Jillian and the rest of her crew was so amazingly helpful when I was first figuring out what carrier would suit me and my baby the best. Not to mention, she puts out some of the BEST tutorial YouTube videos! Please go check out their website and FB page if you are interested in babywearing!

a Rafflecopter giveaway