Wednesday, September 19, 2012

An Update on Mind Organization for Moms and Link to Program Giveaway

I've done a couple posts so far on the Mind Organization for Moms system (M.O.M for short), and I am still a big fan, using it every day.  It's a great way to think of your to-do list in a less intimidating, organized fashion without too much extra work.

This week, April Perry from The Power of Moms (where the M.O.M. program comes from) did a guest post on Simple Mom titled "Eliminating the 'sticky points' of the day."  She does a great job of explaining one of the main ideas behind system that I really love - the context based lists. 

For example, I was at Target last night getting new socks for Addy.  This definitely needed to get done this week; the weather has started cooling down and the girl needs to learn how to wear shoes and socks.  Anyway, I digress.  I looked at the other items on my Errands list, and I remembered I wanted to buy her another green sheet for her new bed.  Booyah, two errands knocked out at one time.

One thing that has changed about how I use the system since my last update is that I've gone paperless with my lists.  I'm now using Astrid, a great little task app, and so far it is working out great.  The fact that I miss being able to physically cross things off on a piece of paper has been overshadowed by always having an up-to-date list wherever I am.  You can access it on your phone, your iPad, or any computer through the web.  And it's free.

Astrid makes it easy to use the context-based lists (as you can see on the left side of the screen shot below - this is actually from my iPad, but looks pretty much the same on my iPhone).  Anything that is on my list for this week gets a due date so it will show up on the top (and also in the My Tasks list). Anything I'm not focusing on this week has no due date and shows up below the line.

Simple Mom and The Power of Moms are giving away 100 free programs to boot, so click over and check it out if you are at all interested in taking some steps to organize your never ending to-do list.

To catch up on my experiences with implementing and using the system, check these out:
  • My initial post about Mind Organization for Moms talking about my experience in learning about the M.O.M. system and what I liked about it.
  • My follow up post talking about a piece of the M.O.M. system, the weekly review.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Cloth Wipes - An Update

Back in August, I posted my plan for trying cloth wipes again. Having been a little discouraged by them not working the way I wanted, I had a few more things that I wanted to try to see if it could be a more sustainable process. I am happy to report the end result a success, but I did have a few trials and errors along the way.

I made some wipes out of an old receiving blanket, and I thought they turned out rather well. I don't have a surger, so I just used a zig zag stitch and tried to get as close to the edge of the cloth as possible. It was a great little project to practice sewing a straight line. Here is how they turned out:
And here is what they looked like after they were washed the first time:

Not nearly as neat and tidy anymore! Apparently I didn't get as close to the edges as I really needed, which allowed for some unraveling.  I trimmed them up and they turned out much better after each subsequent wash. So overall, a fine tool for something that is going to wipe up poo. No frills needed, and a little unraveling isn't going to bother me.

However, these wipes have the same problem that my flannel BumGenious ones have - they just don't remove the poo very well. I'm still not 100% sure if it is the wipe or the solution, but tiny pieces/residue just hang onto Addy's skin and won't come off. I end up grabbing a disposable wipe and which finishes up the job in two seconds.

Then I stole some of the thinnest washcloths from our stash of kitchen clean up cloths. Wow, so much better! I absolutely love them, and they work fantastically, usually only requiring two washcloths max, even for the largest of messes.

I also bought two small (I think eight ounce) bottles from Old Time Pottery for $2 each to use for the solution.  They look like a sport bottle that you would drink out of, and are made out of a squeezable plastic.  Having two has been great because by the time I refill one of them, the other one is almost empty, so it gives me time to keep up with making solution.  Yes, I know this is a 5 minute job (max), so it's not hard to keep up with it, but you know how it is - anything that takes effort needs to be as simple as possible or I just do it.  I think each bottle is currently lasting about a week or so.

I've been putting washcloths in an old wipes container and then squeezing some solution on them.  The bottles are small enough to fit in the diaper drawer with the wipes box.  I have stopped folding the washcloths since I end up wadding them up in the box anyway (easier than folding them I think).  It actually ended up looking a lot like Emily's description from Simple Homemade.

So I am happy to be back to using the cloth wipes again - both from a greener living and a practicality perspective.  No more picking poopy wipes out of a diaper for me!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Owl Love and Pinterest Craftiness in Action

I love the owl craze that seems to have happened. You can find cute owls popping out in the kitchen isle, the bedding isle - basically for any room of your house. Etsy is brimming with little owl bags, jewelry, and shirts. So when we were thinking of decorating ideas for Addy's new room, I immediately wanted to incorporate owls somehow.

I found this sweet little guy on Etsy from Fancy Prints for the Home. I ended up getting the full set of three, so the owl thing didn't take the whole center stage of the room, but isn't he super cute?

And then I saw this idea on Pinterest to make a little owl out of felt, which seemed cheap and something fun to put on her shelf. And can you believe it, I actually made it the other day! I know, I could hardly believe it myself. Isn't Pinterest just for spending hours finding great ideas, and then feeling bad that you never actually make anything you find?

So check out the link for the whole tutorial, but here are a few of my own tips to add if you decide to try it:

- I think the person that wrote the instructions got a little confused with their owl one and owl two directions, but basically one of the owls has a larger mask than the other one, so you have to do more feathers for owl two (the one with a smaller eye mask).

- The instructions say to push the foam ball flat on one side. I am probably just a big wimp, but I used a bread knife and cut a little sliver off the bottom of mine instead. It made for a nice base so it didn't tip over.

- I also made my eyes/mask first and sat it on the ball to see how much I wanted to do for the chest feathers vs. the back feathers, and how far up I needed to layer them.

- I'm assuming that there is a standard size for felt squares, but I almost needed another square for the back feathers. I think for owl two, should I decide to make it, I will get two squares for that particular color, since there will probably be more feathers without that larger eye mask.

And here was my end result. Super cute right? I asked my amateur photographer husband to take some pictures for me - I loved them and couldn't decide which one to use, so you get them both. Maybe it will motivate you more to go make your own little owl.