Monday, December 26, 2011

organization love

You know those jobs that you KNOW you need to do, but the idea of actually doing it makes you tired?

My refrigerator has been a mess. I have needed to clean it out for...months. Literally. I kept putting it off and putting it off. But knowing we were going out of town, I knew I had to do something.

There was no way I was going to show you the before!!

After seeing a post on Pintrest about how to organize your fridge...I went and did it. I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am. I may be biased but I think that is one good looking fridge! I keep opening the door just to see how purty it looks (:

Mason was about as helpful as a 2 yr old could be (:

My label is a little crooked. But similar items are grouped together in these bins.

I think my favorite part are the labels. My kids know what goes in each bin and for the most part, put things back where it goes!

That blue container holds yogurt tubes but they were all eaten!

How about you? How do you like to organize your fridge? Or do you?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

The kids are busy playing with toys and awaiting a yummy Christmas dinner. So I just wanted to take a moment to wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas. I have enjoyed getting to know more of you and look forward to meeting new friends over this next year. I have so many plans and goals for this blog and I hope you will stick with me!

Saturday, December 24, 2011


"There are only two types of travel: first class and with kids."

I don't remember where I first read that quote but it still makes me laugh...and cringe. Because we all know it is true!

I am no stranger traveling with children. I have been from CA to VA, VA to OR, OR back to VA, VA to WA, WA to AZ, AZ to CA, CA to GUAM, GUAM to  OR...I could go on and on but I will spare you! Suffice it to say,  military families do a lot of traveling.

Our kids range in ages and personalities. Some get car sick, some don't. Some have teeny tiny bladders and some seem to be able to hold it forever.

We have under packed and over packed. Forgotten very important things, and remembered everything.

I have learned a lot every single time. So by the time my kids are teenagers, I should have this down. Right?!

The only way I can remember everything is to write it ALL DOWN. Even those things that you feel are no brainers. Go through every single day, and what you could possibly need for that day.

Here are a few things that I always make sure I have with me:

total score!! These are so insanely expensive! Worth it but expensive.
* plastic bags for throw up (I use the diaper sacks that come in a little roll)
*baby wipes, toddler wipes (flushable)
*an extra roll of tp (some rest areas are scary, others are 5 star, you just never know!)
*more diapers than I could possibly need
*extra clothes for all children in an easy to locate bag
*tylenol (children & adult) kleenex,
* paper towels
*towels ( I usually try to bring 2. They are good to have for cleaning up, getting caught in the rain...)
*first aid kit (with extra bandaids)
*medicines &vitamins
* I pack all of my items in zip top bags. Everything. Clothes, socks, toiletries etc. It saves space, prevents spills, and keeps like items with like items. The bags come in handy later as we get ready to go also!

* laundry soap and dryer sheets (this is where all of those free samples come in handy)

Being prepared doesn't necessarily equal a smoothe trip, but it will be smoothER. We made it through a 16 hour drive and are still alive to tell the story!

What do you think, what makes your life easier while traveling? If you are like me, and you like to have a checklist, here are 2 sites that I found with printable lists.

Flylady has a travel control journal that is a free printable and you can find it here.

You can also go to We Just Got Back for kid oriented printable checklists...those can be found here

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's coming...

The time is rapidly approaching. It comes so fast and yet I never feel quite ready.

Nope, it's not Christmas. That is what you were thinking wasn't it?

Well I am actually talking about something else.

New Years Resolutions. Yep, they sneak up on me every year. I do make them (whether or not I keep them or not is a completely different story!) as a way to make goals and better myself.

One goal that is on there every year, like many, many, many others is to lose weight. The other of course is to save money.

Saving money is easy...well not easy but easier for me than the whole losing weight one!

I have done a variety of different weight loss programs, Slim Fast, Weight Watchers, my own programs...But one of the things I find myself doing is spending Now I am sharing this as my own personal experience, not as a reflection of the program. Here are a few examples of what I would do...

I would wake up in the morning and would be in a rush. I didn't have time to make a low fat meal OR I wouldn't have anything to eat that was "healthy". So I would either a.) not eat and then be starving so I would eat whatever I could find or B) go to the grocery store and stock up on healthy items. Again.

Or, I would be trying to make dinner for the family and realize that it had too many calories/fat/points to fit into my program. So I wouldn't eat it. I would go buy something for me.

I would stock up on pre-packaged items so that I could follow my program completely.Not being willing to branch out, but just stick with items that " I know I can eat."

 That doesn't even include the actual cost of a program. Know what I mean?

Well, that is why starting on January 1st I will be starting a coupon diet. No I will not be eating coupons (I'm so funny I know!). Every January you see a huge rush of coupons for frozen healthy dinners, protein bars/shakes, all sorts of "diet foods". Coupons are seasonal and manufacturers know that everyone is making the resolution to lose weight and eat healthier, right?

Programs like Jenny Craig, NutriSystem etc. work because everything is pre-portioned. You know exactly what is in it. The trouble is when you go off those programs. So I will be making my own.

For example:

B-fast: whatever yogurt is on sale for the week, a bowl of healthier cereal or protein bar & fruit.
Snack: whatever pre-portioned snack is on sale...100 cal packs, light popcorn etc.
L-maybe a Smart Ones, or Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice etc
Snack: same as above
Dinner:  a meal that is healthy as I can make it (making small switches like using leaner cuts of meat, portion control etc.

Over the next couple of weeks I will share more of my plan, and how I plan to implement it. I will also doing more product reviews (whether sponsored or not) on "diet foods/drinks". What were hits and what were misses.

If you have made a resolution to get healthier, I would love for you to join me. You can follow whatever program you want. I look forward to saving money and getting healthier. I hope you will join me, but in the mean time, enjoy those yummy holiday goodies! I know I will!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

the busiest time of the year...

All of this holiday rushing around is making me tired!!

What a crazy time of year. I have been to concerts, parties, field trips, assembalies, presentations...I could go on and on.

Oh and lets not forget the "great lice invasion" which got every single one of us! Yuck. You never realize how many items your head could possibly touch until you have to wash them all! Pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, couches, chairs, your car, hair brushes, hats. Ugh soooo GROSS.

So all this just to tell you that I am alive and well...just crazy tired and busy!

How about you? Have you had a chance to stop and smell the roses at all this holiday season?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thomas Mega Bloks & Mommy Parties

**I recieved a box of Thomas Mega Blocks toys through Mommy Parties to test & give away to friends. I was not paid for this review and all opinions are 100% my own.**

The perfect shirt!!
When I recieved the email from Mommy Parties that I had been selected for the Thomas party I was ThRiLlEd beyond belief! Mason, my 2 year old is a Thomas fanatic. Besides the actual trains, we have movies, blankets, pillow case, dishes, clothes, Pez dispensers...I could go on and on. The kid loves trains and he loves Thomas.

So I waited for my party box to come. One morning, I walked downstairs to find a huge box in the living room! I was so excited to open it and find a huge assortment of Thomas toys & a dvd.

Trying to break in on his own!

I hid the box from Mason, until the party because I didn't want him to "steal" from his friends!

I invited friends over to play trains and to watch the Thomas dvd. Well, no one was interested in watching the movie!! With everyone having their own toy, there was hardly any fighting over the fun toys. Building tracks, and playing choo-choos was all the boys were interested in! The boys ranged in ages from 2-3 and they easily put them together. Older brothers helped a little but not much.

It was a fun time for us Moms to get together and chit chat while the kids played. What a fun day!

Some of the things I heard after everyone took the trains home...

" Brian played with his for like 12 hours straight! He loves it!"

"McClain loved his train and insisted on taking it with him on a car trip."

"Asher hasn't put it down."

I loved getting this box and appreicate the generosity of the people at Mega Bloks. If you have a little boy, or know a little boy, or maybe a kid at heart...put this toy on your must have list! They are durable, reasonably priced toys. Choo Choo!!

What's for Lunch?

Oh how I wish I were more creative. I love looking at Bento's but then get a little down on myself about what I have done. But what are you gonna do, right?

grapes, Christmas shaped pretzels, a Babybel, fruit snack, and a chocolate muffin

I try never to use baggies, but I didn't want to just put them in.

How I fit everything in (:

For more fun & fabulous lunch ideas, head on over to What's for Lunch?

31 days of organizing

So I have this teeny tiny  addiction to Pintrest. Seriously that site is like a vacum. It just sucks you in!

While I was on there, I found this great idea for doing one organizing task everyday. Unfortunately, the whole link up thing is over, but I am going to do it anyway! Because I totally need it. So today was day #1. Technically #2 because #1 was a welcome letter. So anyway day 1 is the coat closet.

Mine was a huge mess so here we go with the before pictures...

opening the door (is it just me or does my hand look weird?!)

OK so at the top we have a remote control car, a bin of cords, yoga mat, file folders...

The containers are for all my Christmas decorations

The door. My husband had a uniform on the door also

some weight stuff of my hubbys, shoes, and some Tupperware catalogs & work

Now for the fun part! The after pictures. I was seriously sooo giddy by the time I was done (:

very top R-L: exercise equipment,video camera, hubby's uniform "stuff"
my boys scripture cases, white bin for Scout stuff, blue bin for hats

a hook on the side holds scout uniforms & the black bag holds their scout books

a nice LABELED bin for church shoes
labeled bins for other types of shoes
my husbands shoes on the bottom, a basket for Mason's shoes (his or so small they get lost!)
the other bin has hats & gloves

Yay! I love my nice organized closet!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Happy Homemaker Monday (...or Tuesday...)

After a very looong weekend, I am a day late for Happy Homemaker MONDAY, so it will just have to be Tuesday instead (:

Weather in my neck of the woods: It is chilly in So. California lately! The Santa Ana winds are making it even more so!

Things that make me happy: snuggling up with my family watching Christmas movies.

Books I am reading: Mistletoe and Mayhem (I can't remember the author and am too lazy to go upstairs and check lol)

What's on my tv today: catching up on my DVR: Castle, Hawaii Five-O

On the Menu for dinner tonight: honey ham, rolls & mashed potatoes (comfort food!)

On my to do list:
organizing coupons

New recipe I tried or want to try soon:

In the craft basket: I am excited because I have been reorganizin and have a scrapbook area again. Hoping to get some major layouts done!

Looking forward to this week: annual breakfast with Santa and seeing my daughter march in a Christmas parade

Tips and tricks:

My favorite blog post for this week: I found this great blog, Organic Family, thanks to Pintrest. I love the idea of the Ransom box and have put it into action at our house!

Blog Hopping: I have this teensy tiny little addiction to Pintrest. Because of that I have found soooo many awesome blogs. It is so fun to be able to peruse and I have added so many new ones to my favorites.

No words needed (favorite picture yours or someone else's):

me with my son when he got "leopard of the month" at school (:

Lesson learned the past few days: Head lice suck. Head lice times 6 sucks even more. Yuck.

On my mind: Christmas, my hubby who is out on a field exercise, family

Devotionals, scriptures & key verses: A part of a talk that was given by a member of the First Presidency of the LDS church :

President Uchtdorf said that we, “like the Wise Men of old, should seek the Christ and lay before Him the most precious of gifts: a broken heart and a contrite spirit. We should offer Him our love. We should give Him our willingness to take upon ourselves His name and walk in the path of discipleship. We should promise to remember Him always, to emulate His example, and to go about doing good.”

While you are here, please come and enter my giveaway. You can find it here

Menu Plan Monday

I know it is late but...I still wanted to add my menu for this week. We are having a crazy busy week and so I will be using my crockpot a lot...and trying really hard to avoid the drive thru!


B-fast: triple chocolate chunk muffins & bananas
D: honey ham, potatoes, rolls

B: scrambeled eggs w/ chopped ham
D: ham sandwiches & homemade chicken noodle soup

B: waffles & fruit
D: teriyaki chicken, brown rice & brocoli

B: smoothies

B: Breakfast with Santa at church
D: spaghetti with meatballs, garlic bread, salad

B: kids choice
D: chili mac, corn bread, green beans

For hundreds of dinner ideas from, low cost, low cal, gluten can find them all at Org Junkie!

***While you are here, please enter my giveaway! Currently only one person is entered! ): You can find it here

Friday, December 2, 2011

Feminine Friday

Once again, I am joining The American Homemaker in Feminine Friday. It is a fun chance for me to think about the things that make me feel feminine. With so many boys in the house, it can sometimes be hard to remember!

This week on facebook, I was lamenting the fact that I feel like I am NEVER at home, and spend the majority of my day in the car. A friend actually told me about a bumper sticker, that says, "If a woman's place is in the home, then why am I always in the car?" I laughed at that because it is so true!!

So, basically  my car is my 2nd home. I don't think there is anything feminine about a big ol' SUV. However, I am constantly thinking about what would happen if I had all my kids in the car and something were to happen. It is my job to protect my children and THAT makes me feel feminine.

Every Friday, I have designated as car day. No matter how much (or how little) gas I have in my car, I fill up. While I am filling it up, I throw my trash bag away and collect any other trash throughout the car.

Keep track of your oil changes. The easiest way is that little sticker they put in your car. I go to a drive thru so I don't even have to get my 2 yr old out! When they ask me about the millions of different options, I just say, "sorry I need to talk to my husband about that" and they don't really ask me anything else.

I carry a variety of items in my trunk for those "just in cases"...however I am going to save that for another post. (:

**While you are here, I have a giveaway going on that you are welcome to enter! I am giving away a copy of the new Phineas & Ferb movie, the 2nd Dimension and the Phineas & Ferb soundtrack. Go here to sign up!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

another one?

image taken from

Yep, it is time for yet ANOTHER giveaway here on California Clippin'! See I told you to stay tuned!

Awhile back, had a $5/1 of the new Phineas & Ferb movie the 2nd Dimension.

At the time, this movie stayed on our dvr for weeks! My kids laughed hysterically at it almost every single day. I have to admit, that I really like Phineas & Ferb. It is so fun (:

So because I was able to print off two of the coupons, I have an extra to giveaway! I am also including our favorite Phineas & Ferb soundtrack! We listen to these in the car all the time.

If you have someone on your Christmas list that is a Phineas & Ferb fan (maybe you?!) now is your chance to see if you can grab it. What do you have to do?

*In order to participate, you have to be a follower on my blog AND on my facebook page!!
**Leave a comment telling me what your favorite cartoon is. Come on, you know you have one (:
*** Because I use to pick winners, you have to leave a seperate entry for each thing that you do. That way all of yours count.

1. Facebook it (if you have a personal page and a "business" page these both count)
2. Blog it
3. Anyone that you refer to my blog and page will earn you another entry. They will also be entered and every person they refer will get an entry and so on and so forth.

Giveaway ends next Friday (Dec. 9th) at 9:00pm pst.

On your mark, get set...go!

The icing

My favorite part of any cake? The frosting of course. No light whipped cream icing for me! Buttercream all the way!

Confession: While preggo with one of my children, I used to get frosting when it was cheap and eat it by the spoonful. I wouldn't even bother with the cake!!

When it comes to couponing, we all know that in order to get the best deals, you need to combine a sale with your coupon. If your store doubles, that is even better right?

Well as you are getting your items, make sure to pay attention to the packaging. I always see if I can get that extra little somethin' somethin'. Extra boxtops? Refund form? Coupons inside? I will always get those ones instead. It is that little icing on the cake.

A couple of the benefits of getting coupons off of packaging is this....

1. They tend to have a higher value than ones in the paper.
2. They tend to have a lot longer expiration date.
3. You have a bigger variety of coupons for your binder.

Also, as you look through the magazines that come through the mail, pay close attention. Especially this time of year as many of them have coupons in them!

The coupon on the Musselmans was .50/1. At my commissary these are only .79 bringing my total cost down to .29.

Besides, being called the "icing" these are also known as "smp's" or specially marked products. Have you found anything fun lately?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

$$ store bEnTo finds

ham sandwiches, carrots w/ ranch (in the yellow container) grapes cut in half
This year I have not been doing as well when it comes to creating fun lunches. ): I don't know why. Just lame I guess. lol Or maybe it is that my mornings are so crazy rushed? Yeah lets go with that one!!

My attempts have been kind of sad but I have tried to do something fun when a holiday comes up. Basically when an idea works itself out and I don't have to think about it.

One of my favorite parts of bento is all the cute little extras that go in. Picks, condiment containers etc.

not sure why this photo wouldn't turn

Since I am cheap, I like to look for fun things in the dollar section, or at the dollar store. While I was perusing the .99 store for Thanksgiving items, I was excited to find some fun little things for Christmas.

I grabbed 4 of these little containers. Because their sandwiches were on rolls, they fit in really well.

In the toy section, of The Dollar Tree, they had a little tic tac toe type of game, which had gingerbread and Santa (looking) picks to use. So instead of using them for the game...they were used as picks.

I also found a star sandwich cutter at the Dollar Tree. My kiddos love these (:

So have you found any fun bento items lately? Or things that can be used in lunches? I would love to know (:

Winner Winner

So we have a winner...thanks to the winner of the Carmex gift package is....

Jessica Manning (:

I recieve almost daily, items to review and giveaway. So even if you didn't win this never know when it will be you!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

PB Banana Bread

Why is it that some times when I buy bananas, they are gone 30 seconds after they hit the fruit bowl? Then others, they sit on the counter and go brown?

Well, like most women, I refuse to throw them away and either put them into the freezer or turn them into banana bread or smoothies.

Everyone in my home loves plain, ol' banana bread, but I am always trying to find ways to change it up. My children do not like nuts :( and so I usually have to make it without my beloved walnuts.

I found this recipe and we all rrrreally enjoyed it!

**Peanut Butter Banana Bread **

Preheat oven to 325*

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 bananas, mashed ( I actually used 3 because that is what I had)
2 cups flour
1 tsp soda (which I totally forgot about, oops!)

In a large bowl, cream together butter & sugar. Add eggs, beat well. Stir in peanut butter, mashed bananas until well blended. Add flour and soda. Blend until combined. Grease loaf pan and bake for 70 minutes.
* My daughter really wanted chocolate chips thrown in so we added those as well*
**My oven usually tends to be slow, but 70 minutes was just a little too long for mine. So I would recommend you check for doneness after an hour**

This is my first time linking up to Make a Home over at Linda's Lunacy. If you are interested in joining in on the fun, head on over!

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