What I’m Doing to Prepare for Baby Number Two

What I'm Doing to Prepare for Baby Number Two

Nothing! Ha! Well actually that’s not true, but let me tell you, things are different for me with the second baby. I don’t have huge urges to go shopping or decorate a pretty room. (This baby won’t actually have a room of their own…) However I am a list maker at heart and love to be prepared. :)

This time around, I’m mostly concerned with having things in order for after baby’s arrival. So, here you have today, my brain dump of things to prepare for baby #2:

Wash the newborn clothing

I will pull out all the itty bitty clothes, blankets and swaddling blankets that I have from my daughter so I can wash them. They’ll be going in an empty dresser drawer I have.

Buy batteries for the swing and bouncy seat

I picked up a swing and a bouncy seat for this baby (they were free!) that need new batteries. So I’ll be sure to pick some up :) I’ll also check our baby monitor, though I can’t remember if it’s battery operated or not.

Possibly buy a stroller

I’m toying with the idea of purchasing a double stroller, either new or used. My daughter still loves to ride in the stroller, especially if we’re on a long outing. So I think I could get my money’s worth by the amount we would use it. Plus, if I get a “good quality” one, I can resell for a great price.

Pack an overnight bag for my daughter

She’ll be staying with grandparents so really all she needs is her special blankets, PJ’s and clean clothes.

Pack diaper bag

I’m sort of dreading lugging around a big bag again, but really what can you do! The bag will come with me to the hospital, of course. Here’s what I’m planning on having in it:

  • sleepers
  • diapers
  • bum cream
  • muslin blankets
  • wipes
  • snacks

Set up the car seat

Obviously most of these things on my list won’t be done until closer to baby’s arrival, but still they need to be done! Setting up the car seat in the car needs to be done. (Fingers crossed if fits in the car with the other seat!)

Set up the playpen

My daughter slept in our bedroom for the first few months in a playpen beside me and I intend on doing that again. Makes night time a lot easier, plus, the baby won’t have its own bedroom in this small place of ours! And I definitely don’t want a tiny baby sleeping with the other…that just speaks of unrestful nights for everyone in my mind!

Set up the diaper changing station

I have a drawer in an end table in the living room that I stock with some change mats, diapers and wipes. We don’t have a change table due to space constraints and the fact that I find it easier to do diaper changes downstairs.

Stock up on household essentials

I’ll be taking inventory closer to my due date to see if we’ll be needing any toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap…etc. Mind you, my husband or other family members can go out for me if need be 😉  I also want to have gripe water, diapers, wipes and other things on hand.

Pack my overnight bag

I’ll need stuff for the hospital too I guess!  I’ll pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, comfortable clothes, makeup, chapstick, hair brush, phone, camera and possibly my laptop. I’m sure there’s something I’m forgetting, but I’ll figure it out.

Freezer cooking

This is a BIG one on my list!  My plan is to spend the month of February stocking the freezer with some delicious freezer meals.  I’d like to have at least 20 dinners on hand. I’ll be mixing up some homemade freezer meals with some store bought pizza, lasagnas and other things that catch my eye. I plan on having my freezer meal plan available for you all to enjoy, including the recipes, shopping list and labels!

Blog scheduling

Another big one on my list. Even today as we “speak” I’m behind the scenes getting things ready on Simply Frugal so that I can take at least 2 weeks completely off after the baby is born. I’ve got some great articles and other things in the works that I hope you’ll really enjoy!

Whew!  I’m sure there are some things missing from my list, or I went overboard in some areas, but the list keeps me sane :)

What are some things you did to prepare for baby number two (or more)?

Free 4 Week Simplify eCourse

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Get The Motivated Moms 2016 Printable Chore Planner for Only $6

motivated Moms

What is Motivated Moms?

Motivated Moms is a chore planning system to help you have a clean and organized home and still have time for yourself! Available as a printable ebook, or an app for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch or Android.

Motivated Moms is a great idea for anyone who would like an easy system to help them to know what to do each day. Just consult the list, do the work, check it off for the day and enjoy your free time!

Are you looking for a planner that tells you exactly what you need to do every day to keep your home and life in order? Motivated Moms Chore Planners might be just the thing you need!

The Motivated Moms Chore Planners lay out a plan for what chores you should do each day to stay on top of your household organization and help keep your home looking great.

I used this planner last year and found it extremely helpful. I definitely recommend it! Especially if you don’t have the time or desire to create your own home cleaning schedule.

There’s no coupon code needed. Sale is valid December 29, 2015 – January 4, 2016.

motivated momsapp

Also for a limited time only, you can get a One Year Subscription to the Motivated Moms app for only $5.99! (No code needed.) Get it from iTunes, Google Play or Amazon. Plus: with purchase of year subscription of app data from the website only, a free 2016 ebook download will be included!

Make Over Your Mornings eCourse only $9!


Have you ever had one of those days? You know the kind I’m talking about.  Where you’re literally scrambling from the minute one of your kids wakes you up in the morning — until the time you fall in bed that night. 

You know you’ve worked hard and taken care of needs nonstop throughout the entire day, but it seems like there is very little to show for it. 

Well, I am excited to introduce you to a course that will free you from that hamster wheel of exhaustion!

Crystal Paine of MoneySavingMom.com has created the Make Over Your Mornings course to help you revolutionize your productivity, streamline your days, eliminate decision fatigue, cultivate your soul, and MORE!

Some of the topics covered in the 14-day course include:

  • Discovering why a well-planned morning revolutionizes your whole day
  • Establishing bedtime routines
  • Designing a morning routine centered on your biggest priorities
  • Goal-setting
  • Setting up a task management system
  • Prioritizing exercise and healthy breakfasts
  • Creating internal and external motivators
  • Establishing accountability
  • Building stamina when things get tough

Crystal has created this AMAZING 14-day course that takes a unique three-fold approach:  a chapter to read, a video to watch, and a project to complete – all of which will take no more than 15 minutes of your time. 

We all have time for that!

A tiny investment — just 15 minutes of your day – can yield potentially amazing results for yourself and your family. 

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7 Simple Tweaks for an Easier Day

7 Simple Tweaks for an Easier Day

7 Simple Tweaks for an Easier Day

Do you wish you had more hours in the day? Does your energy level not match the number of tasks you have to complete? If you are feeling like you need a break, you may just need to be working smarter, not harder. Take a look below at 7 simple tweaks for an easier day so you can start feeling less stressed and more effective. Here is how you can get started.

1. Make your to-do list the night before.

Before you go to sleep, make a to do list of all the items you need to do the next day. Not only will this help you feel more relaxed at bedtime, but it will give you a solid and focused foundation to work on as soon as you wake up. The end result is feeling more accomplished at the conclusion of the day.

2. Let the light in.

As soon as you wake, start bringing natural light in. Open your curtains or take a quick walk outside. It will help wake your body and let your brain know it is time to get to work. This is a simple step that can help get your day off to a strong start and help you be more productive.

3. Keep tasks in the car.

Keep a basket of quick tasks in the car that you can work on when waiting in the car pool line or for your child to get out of practice. Tasks can include a daily journal, items you need to read, paperwork that needs to be filled out, your daily calendar to update, etc. This can help you make the most of those spare minutes.

4. Carry a water bottle.

Not only can staying hydrated keep you more productive, but it can save you time from having to stop and look for drinks. If possible use a measured water bottle so you can keep track and make sure you consume enough water each day.

5. Set realistic goals.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Set realistic goals that you can achieve over the course of a day. This way you will feel success at the end of the day when your list is able to be checked off. Try making a list of 5-7 goals for the day and then gradually work your way up as you get into a groove.

6. Don’t leave loose ends.

Many times we move onto another task before finishing the one at hand. Get into the habit of not leaving loose ends. That can just lead to you feeling frazzled and overwhelmed. Instead, finish one project or task before moving onto a second so you can feel a sense of completion and accomplishment.

7. Utilize helpful apps.

There are thousands of apps out there that can help make your day easier. You can find everything from time saving apps, to digital calendars, reminders, to even apps that send you daily inspiration. Try experimenting with some new apps and see if you can find any that are helpful to you.

What are your techniques for making your day run smoother?

Free Printable 2016 Weekly Household Planner

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Here’s a GREAT freebie from The Confident Mom! It’s a FREE printable 2016 weekly household planner!  If you are a day planner user you’ll want to check out this free (and pretty!) 2016 planner!  You receive two versions with your download: a ‘blank’ version and a ‘just tell me what to do’ version.

If you’d like to build a complete home management binder, you can also purchase a special supplement pack for only $6.00.

The Weekly Household Planner Supplement includes the following digital fill-in forms:

  • Master Family Planner. Keep track of the entire family’s activities on a daily/weekly basis all in one convenient place.
  • Special Occasion Calendar/Gift Planner. You’ll always be prepared for the next birthday or special occasion.
  • Holiday Gift Planner Worksheet. Keep track of your holiday shopping list and purchases and what still needs wrapped or delivered. Never forget that well-hidden gift again!
  • Babysitter Information Form. This form makes it easy to provide your sitter with all the information he or she needs so you can relax and enjoy your time away.
  • Quick Contacts. Helps you keep important emergency contacts available for easy reference when you need them in a hurry as well as frequently used numbers.
  • Family Emergency/Medical Information Form. Record your family’s medical and insurance information on this form—it will be easy to find and share with those that need it.
  • Website/App List for Kids. An easy way your kids can list the websites they want to visit, or apps or songs they want to buy. This gives you a chance to review first and make sure the content is age appropriate!
  • Website/App List for Me. A place to record websites you want to visit or apps you want to buy during your downtime.
  • Account Keeper Sheet. Keep track of online accounts, including usernames and passwords. Never get locked out of your account again!
  • Household Maintenance Log. Record when you did routine maintenance items, such as changing your furnace filter.
  • Special Occasion Reminder Chart. To help you plan card gifting for birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions.
  • Gifts Received List. Record gifts received which also creates a log for thank-you cards you need to send.
  • Let’s Plan a Party Form. Keep track of party planning details such as guest list, menu, party favors, and activities.
  • Blessings For Your Home. Because everyone needs some daily inspiration.
  • Weekly Menu Planner/Shopping List. So you arrive at the store prepared and don’t over-purchase.
  • New – Monthly Bill Schedule. Never miss a payment again when you record your monthly bills and payments on this new form!
  • Bible Bookmarks. Use these monthly reading bookmarks with suggested reading each day of the month, enabling you to read the entire bible in a year.

The printable 2016 planner is free, but you can add the supplemental home management forms (which are editable) for only $6.00!

8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas: Order Christmas Cards

Buy those Christmas Cards

It’s about this time of year when I really start to get excited about the Christmas season.  I get a bit of an urge to turn on the Christmas carols and swap out my fall decor for some winter decorations.  Also, have you seen Pinterest lately?  This is the time of year when amazing Christmas stuff gets pinned!

Alas, it’s so easy to get carried away dreaming about all the projects you want to do.  Adding too many crafts, baking and activities can be overwhelming!

Every year I struggle with wanting to make all sorts of neat things to feature on Simply Frugal.  But the reality is, I have limited time with a very busy little girl underfoot and other responsibilities to deal with.  So any project I do accomplish has to be simple and quick.  Preferably something I can do in about an hour, including picture taking!

All this to say, you don’t have to pack your schedule full of Christmas activities, baking, crafting and shopping in order to have a festive and memorable season.

This is why I’m breaking down the steps to an organized Christmas by one task a week.  It’s good to have direction and a plan in place!  I know without a plan, I become quite scatterbrained! 😛  8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas is about creating a more relaxed Christmas season with just the right amount of extra projects and activities.

Here’s this week’s task:

Order Christmas Cards

Now, I realize that many of you are not likely to order custom Christmas cards but for those of you that do, now is a great time to do so!  Custom Christmas cards can take a while to arrive in the mail and if you want them to be sent out to friends & family in a timely fashion, I’d get on it this week. :)

Here are a few designs I love, along with some deals!

vistaprint

Vistaprint Canada has a great selection and currently offering their Christmas cards at 60% off for a limited time with the coupon code STOCKUP. (expires November 22, 2015)

snapfish

Snapfish.ca is offering 70% off cards (set of 10 or more) with the coupon code DANCER until November 23, 2015.  Also, get 20 free prints if this is your first time ordering from Snapfish.

shutterfly

Shutterfly usually has some great coupon codes going that should save you a bundle on high quality cards!

pinkdotdesign

Pink dot Design has a wonderful selection of Christmas cards!

etsy

Etsy also has a ton of shop owners who create beautiful custom cards and templates!

If you aren’t the type to order custom cards you can of course buy a set of boxed cards and add a photo and a letter if you wish!  That’s what I’ll be doing this year.  I bought a box of cards last year on clearance so I’ll be sticking in our family photo and hand delivering to friends and mailing to out of town family.

Oh, and I’ve got a post telling you how you can create your own FREE custom photo cards.  You won’t want to miss it!

This week along with ordering/buying Christmas cards, take care of these tasks as well:

  • buy stamps, envelopes, if necessary
  • write Christmas letter, if desired
  • put family photos inside, if desired

Do you send out Christmas cards each year?

Here are the posts in the 8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas series so far:

8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas

8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas: Plan your Holiday Calendar

There are so many fun things to do throughout the Christmas season. There is so much to do, there may not be enough time to do it all! Here are the steps to take if you want to get as many fun things in as possible.

There are so many fun things to do throughout the Christmas season.  Gingerbread house making, caroling, Christmas plays, cookie exchanges, dinner parties, Christmas light looking, craft making and even holiday movie watching.  There is so much to do, there may not be enough time to do it all!

Why won’t you be able to do everything you want to do?  Well, because there’s grocery shopping, laundry, dinner making and everyday life stuff that still has to happen!

This is where planning comes in really handy.  After all, life is busy, and it’ll be hard to get the fun things on the schedule if you don’t plan ahead.

Here are the steps to take if you want to do a lot of fun holiday things this year:

Grab your Calendar

First of all, grab your calendar and mark down all the things you know will be happening regardless of the holidays.  Doctor’s appointments, school activities, office parties…etc.

Talk as a Family

Next, you’ll want to gather the family to discuss all the activities each of you want to do.  Sledding? Cookie decorating party? Christmas play watching?  Brainstorm to your heart’s content.  Make sure to write down all the Christmas movies you want to watch and even the crafts you want to do. (I have a cool Holiday Bucket List included in the Holiday Planner that’s available in the new Simply Frugal store that should come in handy!)

Prioritize

Since there are likely more ideas than time, take a look over the calendar again and plan for the activities you can realistically accomplish.  Even with the regular everyday life stuff added in.

Back to the Budget

Before you get carried away with grandiose plans, go back to your budget.  What did you allot for fun?  The case may be that you’ll have to save some activities for future years.

Fill in your Calendar

Now fill in your calendar with all the activities that you can set in stone. Buy those concert tickets and finalize plans with friends, then put them on the calendar.  Make sure to allow for some quiet nights/days at home!

Holiday activities are supposed to be fun so don’t stress about doing everything.  Just make a point of doing the things you want to do instead of wishing they would happen. Planning in advance will make the season more relaxing.

I’d love to know, what’s one thing you’ll be adding to your calendar this year?

Sign up for the 8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas newsletter to receive a FREE Christmas Dinner Checklist!  This checklist is quite detailed and will help you remember all the details needed for a memory filled dinner with family and friends. You’ll also receive a weekly email with each week’s “task”.

Here are the posts in the 8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas series so far:

8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas

Free Online Decluttering Workshop

Free Decluttering Diva Workshop

Mridu, the Decluttering Diva, is offering a free online 7-day decluttering workshop!

Sign-up and you’ll receive a simple step-by-step email each day starting November 17, that will help you focus on decluttering a specific area of your life for just 30 minutes.

You can sign up for free through November 14, 2015. The online workshop will begin on Monday, November 17, 2015 – just in time for the holidays!

Click here to sign up for the free online decluttering workshop.

11 Tips for Sharing a Small Home with Children

11 Tips for Sharing a Small Home with Children

Tips for Sharing a Small Home with Children

Living in a small home with children doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Living in close quarters is possible, if you have the right tools to help get you through. Check out these 11 tips for sharing a small home with children.

1. Less stuff=more room – This is a tip that everyone should already know. However, when you have less stuff in your home, you always have more room.

2. Bunk beds or triple bunk beds work wonders – When you have kids and they need beds, going “up” is always the answer to leave the floor space open. Triple bunks work wonders if you have more than 2 children sharing a room.

3. Utilize closet space as much as possible – Closet space can be a real nightmare, but if you have limited room, that’s where the clothes will have to go. Keeping it organized is key.

4. Have strict rules on keeping items off of the floor – When you have a small home + children, things have to be off of the floor or your home will end up looking messy in no time.

5. Purchase items that have double uses – Purchasing items that have two uses is genius. For example- an ottoman that has storage space within is a smart idea!

6. Get rid of any bulky items – Is your sofa too bulky? Trade it in for a slimmer version. Is the coffee table taking up precious play space? Maybe it’s time to donate.

7. Slim down the amount of clothing items everyone owns – If the drawers are stuffed full of kids’ clothing, it’s time to eliminate some items.

8. Utilize storage in the attic, garage, or shed – There simply isn’t enough room in your home for your everyday stuff and stored items. Try to store stuff in another area of the home if you can, like a garage or attic.

9. Stay as organized as possible (Everything needs a spot to call home) – The rule in our house is that everything has a spot or a “home.”

10. Use wall space as much as possible – There’s always room on a wall for storage. If you’ve run out of room, use wall space.

11. Reevaluate the way you have items set up in your home – Maybe the current layout isn’t working in your home. Reevaluate your home’s setup to see if there could be a better way. then change it!

Making room for everyone in your home shouldn’t be a problem if you follow these tips. I’ve noticed that the less items we have, the less frustrated we get.

What are some ways you deal with living in a small space with children?