Garage Organization

A few readers have asked for tips on garage organization so the last time I swept my garage out I took some pictures to share. When we first moved into this house I didn’t touch the garage much – I figured it was Kenny’s domain. But after a couple of years the randomness of all of our stuff piling everywhere totally drove me crazy! I spent two whole days gutting out and cleaning the garage – I still remember Ellie waddling around in her little walker the whole time I cleaned. :)

(Ellie – 2004)

So – I organized everything in 2004 and since then have just worked hard to keep things clean. I usually sweep out and straighten the garage about once a month while the girls are blowing bubbles, picking flowers, or riding their bikes in the front yard. If I don’t do this, things get messy in a hurry. Garages are such catch alls for any and everything! It’s an area you definitely have to stay on top of if you want it to stay organized.
Most of our shoes are in our closets, but we have these by the garage door to hold most often worn shoes – especially for the girls. We never wear shoes in the house (best way to keep your carpets clean!) and the girls know that before they can come in the they need to take off their shoes and put them on their shelf (top is Addison’s, second is Ellie’s). Straightening all of the shoes on these shelves is also one of the little jobs my girls do to help out.

We store a lot of things on the roof and walls of our garage to save room and make more space.

Space for more important things like Christmas trees, bikes, baby joggers, and the Barbie Jeep.

Oh.. and I also organized all of the loose nails, screws, etc. And I labeled them. And I put them in alphabetical order although they’ve been messed up a bit since then. When Kenny came home from work and saw this he seriously wondered if something was wrong with me. Now years later he KNOWS something is wrong with me.

Kenny won’t admit it, but I know he loves not having to search all over the garage for a toggle bolt or a drill bit when he needs one. :)

**Re-organized shoe station here.

Our Saturday

Kenny was gone all day today so it was just me and the little ones. I had such a good Saturday! We didn’t leave the house. Not once. It was SO nice. I went into an organizing frenzy. We learned about this organizing system at the Power of Moms retreat that I am so excited to try out. BUT…to do it you need a place to put several file folders, organized cubbies, etc. I have NO SPACE left in this house! I feel like we are busting out of this place. So after doing some serious analyzing, I found a space that could work on some shelves in the closet under our stairs. BUT… I already had holiday decor there. So I moved the holiday decor upstairs to my closet which led me to re-organizing all of my closet including going through all my clothes. Then I had to move stuff I had in my closet to the closet in the guest room…which was already full of other stuff so I re-organized that closet…and moved some of the stuff in it downstairs. This went on and on and by the time the day ended I had cleaned/organized three closets, four kitchen drawers, and three other areas that needed to be straightened and sorted through. I also decorated the whole house for fall (it’s looking so festive!) and put up all of my outside decorations. Purple and orange lights and pumpkins are now covering my yard – love it! I can’t turn the lights on until next weekend though or my neighbors will get mad at me again. They always give me a hard time for starting the outside holiday decor so early. I just can’t help it. It’s too much fun. :)

So what did my kids do while I tore apart my house?

First they colored and decorated ornaments for our Halloween Tree. (Addison found Ellie’s pumpkin princess costume from a couple of years ago and hasn’t taken it off. She has to have the whole thing on at all times including the hair accessory and shoes.)

Then the girls had a fabulous time playing with all of the mess I made. They brought down all of their barbies and polly pockets and princesses who had all sorts of fun “living” in my various decorations.

And Kole? Well, I was busy so I sort of just turned him over to the girls…

Sorry little dude. I’ll make it up to you someday. How about a Thomas the Train on me? No pink involved….unless the princesses want a ride…. ;)

And the winner is…

Winner of $30.00 to Amber’s shop is…….

drum roll please……..

Johanna Markworth!

who said:

“Love your blog! Love, love, love the necklaces! Thanks!”

Congrats Johanna! Email me at and I’ll get you in touch with Amber. :)

Whew…that was stressful. So many darling blog friends who commented – I hate that I can’t send you all a necklace! Last giveaway I had around 30 comments so Ellie drew a name out of a hat. This time we had to think big and use the random number generator. Johanna was chosen – she was #37 and 3 and 7 happen to be my mom’s favorite numbers so I felt pretty good about that! Congrats again Johanna!

I wanted to let you all know that the next Power of Moms Retreat is coming up on October 22-23 in New Castle, New Hampshire. If I remember right from our days living in Virginia, the fall leaves will be absolutely beautiful! I can’t say enough about how wonderful the Power of Moms Retreats are. I am so glad I did this! I learned so much and made some great new friends. If you’re interested, you can learn more about the Power of Moms Retreats here and the New England Retreat here. Also, all of my readers can receive $20.00 off of this retreat by using this link. Go check it out!

Here are a few more pics from the retreat I just attended taken by one of the presenters –

(eating lunch)

(in the conference room taking notes)

(when we first arrived – meeting everyone)

Melissa, a new friend from the retreat, brought her baby boy. He is Kole’s exact age and every time I looked at him I missed Kole SO BADLY. Funny how it always sounds so nice to take a break from your baby but after about an hour you’re dying to hold your little one again…

Felt VERY good to come home to this smile. :)

Gotta go. It’s WAY past my bedtime. Have a great weekend everyone!

Power of Moms Retreat

Last weekend was The Power of Moms Retreat in Dana Point, CA (about 45 minutes up the coast from San Diego) that I mentioned on my blog a while ago. My friend Ann and I went and had such a great time! Seriously. This moms retreat was so much fun. If you ever have the opportunity to go to one of these I definitely recommend it! Two days of staying in a beautiful hotel, eating delicious food, and the best part – making new friends with other moms and learning SO MUCH about how to be a better mom.

Here’s the inside of our hotel room –

and here’s my cute roomie –
and here’s a picture of the outside of the hotel. It was right on the beach and the whole setting was just breathtaking. I’m so annoyed at myself that I didn’t take more pictures, but we spent a lot of the time in the conference room taking notes like crazy! I have pages and pages of ideas that I’m so excited to implement and try out with my kids. BUT – this week has been crazy getting back in the swing of things and I have been recovering from a cold that just doesn’t want to go away. As soon as I feel better and have time to try out everything I learned at the retreat with my family I will share what is working with all of you!

Some of us at dinner. Every time we ate we sat in mini groups and discussed “table topics.” Topics on things like “being enough and finding joy in motherhood,” “meaningful family traditions,” “tips for keeping up with your home (and involving your kids),” etc. Moms are a smart bunch and it’s amazing how much we can all learn from each other!

The whole group! It was so much fun getting to know all of these fabulous girls! We’ve set up a Google group to keep in touch and are already planning a reunion for next year. Ann and I voted that the next retreat should also include some spa time! :)

After this weekend I came home feeling so incredibly grateful to be a mom. There is nothing like motherhood. Nothing as exhausting. Nothing as rewarding. Nothing as wonderful. Being a mom is the best and it was so nice to spend time with other moms who feel the same. It was also so nice to have some time to share and learn great ways to be an even better mom. And of course, it was also so nice taking a break from being a mom!

I was a little nervous leaving Kenny with all three kids (first time I’ve done this since I had Kole) but I have to admit, he was pretty impressive! He sent me a text after his first night and said that all three kids had slept through the night and everything was under control so I shouldn’t worry and should have a great time. He had the house (for the most part) clean when I came home and the girls were talking non-stop about how much they missed me and the fun weekend they had with daddy. Then when Kenny and I went to tuck Addison into bed that night, Kenny put his hands in his pocket and pretended to pull something out. He explained that Addison was having a hard time the night before because I wasn’t there to give her hugs and kisses at bedtime. Kenny had thought quickly and pulled from his pocket what he told her were “hugs and kisses” from mommy. Addison felt much better and asked him to hold onto them so she wouldn’t lose them. After Kenny explained all of this to me, Addison threw her arms around me and told me that she was so glad I was home. We hugged for a long time and I totally started to cry! I had just come from a weekend where all we talked about was motherhood and how amazing it really is and then to come home to a reunion like that just felt overwhelming. I promised myself to hold onto that moment and remember it the next day while taking my fourth Tylenol because of my sweet, little Addison.

And speaking of the next day and needing Tylenol, Ellie proudly came walking down the stairs in this ensemble…


Me: “Wow Ellie! That’s quite an outfit you came up with!”
Ellie: “I know mom! I picked it out myself and daddy let me wear it all weekend while you were gone! I wore it to the grocery store and to the gym and to….”


What was I saying about Kenny being impressive??? Good thing mom’s back in town.


I am so excited to announce this giveaway! Amber, a darling mom from Kansas who reads my blog (and always leaves the sweetest comments), wants to give away something special to one of my readers. Amber has an Etsy shop and sells unique hand stamped jewelry. She has beautiful “timeless treasures” that you can purchase online or you can have her create something unique and special just for you.

I wanted something simple that included each of my kids’ names and a blue jewel stone. This necklace Amber made me couldn’t be more perfect!

I love this necklace so much! I wear it all the time and always get compliments on it. Plus my girls think it’s so cool I’m wearing their names around my neck. :) I know they feel special whenever I have it on.

This is another piece I love from her shop! You can visit her Etsy shop or her blog to see some of the beautiful jewelry she has created.
Amber is giving one of my readers $30.00 credit to her shop so you can create something beautiful for yourself! Just leave a comment to enter the giveaway and I’ll pick a winner Thursday evening (Sept. 23).
So take a peek at her shop and then go ahead and leave a comment – you have nothing to lose! And it’s so great to support mom-preneurs. Especially really nice ones. Really nice ones who also make beautiful jewelry.

Thanks again Amber!

p.s. Thinking I need to audition for a job at QVC. I’m clearly a natural at this whole jewelry modeling thing. I mean look at those freckles! Nothing shows off sterling silver like freckles. At least that’s what I always say… ;)