Haven Conference 2017 Recap

This has been my third year attending the Haven Conference in Atlanta, GA and it sure did not disappoint. Every year that I have attended, I have been in a different season of my life.  From deciding if I should take the leap, to have taken the leap only to focus on personal organizing, and to this year where I want to turn my focus to just the blog. (More on that at a later date.) Regardless of where I have been on my journey, I have walked away with new blogging friends, products from generous vendors, tons of information, and inspiration for days.

Why yes, yes I am!
Why yes, yes I am!

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End of the School Year Madness

I can see that some of my friends have already embarked on their summer break and I am jealous. After the amazing three day weekend we just had, the school/struggle bus arrived early Tuesday morning. As the last few days of school trickle down for my girls, the end of the year paperwork and supplies are rushing in. I mean my oldest literally dropped off an armful of graded paperwork for the whole year on my counter Tuesday afternoon and I instantly became queasy. Since this isn’t my first end of the school year rodeo, I’m here to pass on some tips that will hopefully help.

A wonderful holiday weekend before the final days of school.
A wonderful holiday weekend before the final days of school.

School paperwork and artwork
It would be extremely difficult to save every single piece of paper your child has drawn or written on in their entire school lifetime. I’m not advocating to be completely heartless and throw it all out or recycle it, at least not while they’re looking, but there are ways to manage the beast.

So. Much. Paperwork
So. Much. Paperwork

For us, each child has a folder in my daily file system where I snag my favorite pieces. At the end of the school year I’ll only keep a few items from the beginning, middle, and end of the year along with the final report card. I found clear standard paper sized envelope folder. It has a pocket where I printed out the year and the teacher name. In addition to school stuff, this is where I keep cards from immediate family or any certificates they receive through the year. I am keeping these folders in a plastic bin along with their year books.  Another great option a friend of mine suggested is to snap a picture and use a service like Shutterfly to create a digital book of all your child’s artworks and projects.

Organizing school keepsakes doesn't have to be complicated.
Organizing school keepsakes doesn’t have to be complicated.

Excess Supplies
It doesn’t always happen, but by girls may come home with the left over supplies from the year. This includes notebooks that aren’t completely used. I use a utility knife to cut the used pages out and let the girls have the remaining pages to doodle and draw over the summer and throughout the year. The plastic pencil boxes that have survived the year we have used in a variety of ways. I keep one in my glove box as a mini office. I’ve used it as a first aid kit. Or even just a box to keep markers in the car for trips. I use a caddie for all the colored pencils, markers, and crayons, which is handy for kiddos who love to draw and create. We also use supplies to make a homework station complete with glue sticks, erasers, pencils, and scissors just for the kids. If you’re lucky, any unused/unopened supplies, consider saving and donating to schools who have a greater need the next school year.

Left over markers, crayons, and colored pencils to keep those creative juices flowing.
Left over markers, crayons, and colored pencils to keep those creative juices flowing.

Backpacks and lunch boxes
Once the school year is over, I do a thorough cleaning out of the book bags and wipe them and the lunch boxes down with clorox wipes. We found that investing in good back packs, we can get about two years use out of them. Even if you do opt to buy a new one for the next year, you may be able to sell it on local mom swap sites or even consider donating to a local orphanage or homeless shelter.

Before we dive into summer break and head out on that family vacation, it’s nice to put the school year behind us and focus on the future. I hope the little tidbits I have passed along are helpful. Please feel free to pass on any other ideas you may have!

Wash, Dry, Fold, and Repeat: Our Laundry Room Stripped Down

Doing laundry is one of the chores to loathe, but if you don’t do it, will suck you in and drown you in a sea of dirty and/or clean clothes.  I have also been known to move piles of clean laundry from couch, to bed, to chair for several days only because I was hoping that the laundry fairy would fold it and put it away. Yep, that never happened. For the first time in about 4 years I finally had a real laundry room, but the functionality, not to mention the fashionability of this room, left little to be desired.

So UGLY!
So UGLY!

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Under the sea is where they want to be!

A few months before we decided to sell our house, our girls chose to move into the same room. It was after they moved in together magnified how much unused space we really had, which led to the decision to downsize and find a better layout. Even though they could each have their own room in the new house, the girls still insisted on sharing the FROG (finished room over the garage) and called it the “apartment” since it was the only upstairs room in the new house. The room the day we bought the house, was an interesting florescent lime green. I told them they could pick how they wanted it decorated and they both agreed, and wanted “under the sea”. Just when I thought that I got off easy and just as every “Little Mermaid” theme came to mind, they quickly told me, no  literally under the sea. Ooohhhhh….

Mmmm lime green, last look before the transformation.
Mmmm lime green, last look before the transformation.

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Oh what a year!

Typically for me, I start thinking back on the past year whenever I do my Christmas cards. As I flip through my address book and see the names of friends and family and all the memories we shared come flooding back. This year was no exception and boy did we have so much to reflect upon!

Best of 2016
Best of 2016

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Weathering all of life’s storms (Part 2)

A hurricane?!? This has got to be a joke. But sure enough I get on the weather channel and Hurricane Matthew is making it’s way toward Haiti and is projected to hit near Charleston later in the week. shut. the. front. door. We literally JUST moved into the new house and now this. Come on!

Watching Hurricane Matthew moving in...
Watching Hurricane Matthew moving in…

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