Nest Building

Home Office Planning

Decluttering Step by step Progress report

Oh, the project for decluttering and setting up my husband’s office seems like it will never end.  It seems like when I make progress, we suddenly have something else pop up in the way of more progress.  This past week my husband (rightly) decided that it was way too hot in his office and he wants to install a mini A/C in the wall.  He’s a builder and so he knows people who can do this in their sleep, but I kind of wonder how many days (and nights) it will take to actually get it done.

In the mean time, I have been in planning mode.  Because when progress on a project is just not happening, I like to keep in mind the end goal and make sure it is something we really LOVE.  Planning is my happy place!

I thought I would share with you a portion of my vision for this room. Continue Reading

Pennies from Heaven

How NOT to Sell a Home (& the Simple Way to Get it SOLD)

Living Room makeover - big change!

This post has been sponsored by National Association of REALTORS ®.  All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Selling a house is HARD!  It is a huge undertaking even in a “good market.”  And it is, honestly, not my favorite thing to do.  It has been 9 years since we sold our first home, but the lessons we learned in the process have been seared into my memory.  Because we did it wrong the first time we tried to sell it.  We learned the hard way that there are a number of things that one can do wrong when selling a home.  And we discovered that there really is only ONE way to sell a home.  Let me share with you what we learned along the way in a list entitled How NOT to sell a house (and the ONE thing to get it SOLD!)

Here’s what NOT to do when you are trying to sell your home: Continue Reading

Pennies from Heaven

The BEST New Mama Freebies

the best Freebies for new moms - the very best freebies (not coupons). This list includes things I had never heard of before!

I am not crazy, I LOVE a good deal!  Who doesn’t?  And right now it is a great time to be a new mom because there are a TON of new mama freebies to be had!  Lots of companies want to congratulate you on your mama status.  And they want you as a new (and loyal) customer.  So, they are offering lots of great things just for being you!  But not all the freebies/deals are all that great.

Here’s a rundown of the really great ones.  The ones I think are really worth your time.  And just so you know, most of them involve paying shipping and handling for the product (you know what they say about no free rides). Continue Reading

Growing Up

Favorite Road Trip Boredom Busters

free and fun road trip boredom busters - for families with preschool age kids

We are situated in a sweet spot of Southern California, located out of the big cities, but within driving distance to lots of fun spots.  In anywhere from 1-4 hours we can be somewhere completely fun and unique to Southern California.  And we love to explore with our kids, but sometimes the drive can be a drag.   One time we were coming home at the end of a long day at Disneyland and the girls (love ’em!) spent 30 minutes scream-crying at the top of their lungs.  About 15 minutes in, we just had to start laughing because it was so completely ridiculous – and one of those moments we will remember forever.

And though it was clear that our girls were over-tired after a long day of fun, we realized that they need something in the car to get their minds off of the tired long enough so they could get still and (hopefully) fall asleep.  Once we discovered the things that really make our girls happy car-campers, we make sure that we NEVER leave on an extended car ride without them.

Since we parents have to stick together in the battle against car ride boredom, I thought I would share with you our favorite FREE road trip boredom busters for kids under 5.   Some of these activities are screen-free and some require a smart phone or tablet.  And there is a reason I am sharing both.  As much, as I would like to say that we do screen-free road trips with our kids…WE DON’T!  We have those times when a meltdown is in full-effect and the only thing that will calm them down long enough to breathe is a screen (sad, but true).   Continue Reading

Growing Up

Organizing Kids Tooth Brushing Supplies

Organizing oral Hygiene supplies for kids, encouraging teeth-brushing habits

Note: I participated in this sponsored campaign on behalf of Firefly®, REACH®, and One2One Network. All opinions stated are my own.

I can still remember a time I lied to my Dad.  It was a flat-out bold-faced lie.  And it was (as all lies are) pointless.  I was spending the night at his new apartment and he asked me if I had brushed my teeth.  I told him I had.

I had not.

And he found out.

It wasn’t hard.  He walked into the bathroom and checked to see if my toothbrush was wet.

It wasn’t.

I can’t really remember the consequence for lying to him other than having to actually brush my teeth.  Not so bad.

But the lasting impact of that lie is obvious to me.  And it was an indication to me that tooth brushing was a habit I didn’t really care for.

I am trying to make sure our kids don’t dislike tooth-brushing as much as I did.  So we are starting early with the habit.  And so far, they are the ones who remind us to do this daily habit!

I have found that if I want to start a habit in our home (for myself or my kids), I need to get organized to make it happen.  I think of it as organizing with purpose.

And since we are trying to create the healthy habit of tooth-brushing with our kids, I came up with a super simple way to organize their oral hygiene supplies to encourage them to keep up the habit. Continue Reading

Growing Up

Encouraging Independent Sitting

encouraging independent sitting - help baby learn to sit independent of you without using a Bumbo seat

We have an independent sitter!  He doesn’t always remember that he is an independent sitter, but we are to the stage where he can sit on his own for over a minute!  I love this stage for kids!  It is so much fun to see them wobble and catch their balance.  And watching them get a new perspective on the world is neat.

I think we tend to forget just how much WORK it is for a baby to start sitting independently.  The muscles and balance involved is nothing short of herculean for these little five and six month old babies!  And I think there are a LOT of “helpers” on the market that don’t necessarily help baby to work out the core and find balance any faster than they would on their own.

We had a Bumbo seat with our first two babies.  And then I did the purge of 2015, weeks before I got pregnant with our third.  In that purge I got rid of almost everything baby related, including the Bumbo seat.  And when we found out we were pregnant, I had the opportunity to select the things that we would really use to purchase or put on our registry.

The Bumbo seat didn’t make the cut.  And it is not for the reason you would think.  I didn’t add it to our registry and I didn’t purchase one myself this time around; not because I don’t think they “help.”  But because I couldn’t believe how expensive they were!  I did not remember spending as much on our first one and I just couldn’t bring myself to part with the money.

So, we tried the independent sitting “training” a different way this time around.  Unaided by any baby sitting devices, our little one still reached the milestone of independently sitting at the exact same time as his older sisters (who had the benefit of the Bumbo).  And what was wonderful about this process is that I discovered some tips and tricks for encouraging independent sitting with our baby that I wanted to share with you. Continue Reading

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