12.31.2013

The Clutter in My Mind

I admit the clutter and accumulation of stuff in my home has become unmanageable.  The many piles of school papers, junk mail, small toy parts and so much more are messing with my mind.  The lack of storage in my house is also going to make me crazy.  Every time I open the "junk" drawer(s) I feel like my life is out of control.


At one point during the holidays I felt like I was going to break down because I was so overwhelmed.  When I feel overwhelmed I am frozen and depressed!  I even started googling personal organizers in the Houston area.  I just need help!  I have a hard time deciding what to keep and what to discard, I have a hard time getting rid of gifts I don't use, I have emotional attachments to things and staying organized is not a strength.  I just want somebody to tell me what to do!  Can the real Peter Walsh please stand up and come over here?!!!

Do you know Peter Walsh?  He's the organizing Aussie you've seen on Oprah, Clean Sweep, Nate Berkus or Rachel Ray.  He's also an author.  I like him because he's gentle.  If he were here, he could get to the psychological reasons for the clutter in my house without destroying my ego. :)  I follow him on facebook and he's been posting about his "31 Days to Get Organized" he does for the month of January. 



I remember this challenge from last January.  I also remember halfway through the month wishing I had participated.  This year there will be no wishing, I am doing it this year!  I can only hire a personal organizer in my dreams so this is the next best thing.  Would you like to do it with me?  Every day Peter gives a 10 minute task or challenge.  For example, a challenge for the day would be to go through every sock drawer and discard the socks that don't have a match.

I sure could use some teammates to do this with me!  If you'd like to join me, I'll be sharing his tasks on the tell it to your neighbor facebook page.  To get updates like my page or Peter Walsh's page. Then I'll be sharing my experience with each challenge on instagram, find my profile here.  I'll be using Peter's hashtag #31Days2GetOrganized and adding #TITYN.  Tag me @tellittoyourneighbor if you participate so we can share in the experience!  I think by day 31 our minds will be clear and free of clutter and our house will be too!

12.25.2013

Merry Christmas!

The other day I heard the end of this Christmas song said aloud as prayer.  I felt it in my heart, maybe you will too:

O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel


Amen, tell it to your neighbor!

Merry Christmas!


Minted by cadence paige design


12.19.2013

Easy Christmas Cookies

I am about to blow your mind with the best tasting and easiest Christmas cookies ever!  These cookies involve kids, sugar cookie dough, icing and sprinkles and they are still the easiest!  With all those ingredients, would you believe this was the small mess after we finished:


"Huh?  How is that possible?"  Are you wondering this?  I shall show you how it's possible!  Here's your short grocery list:


Now to start, have the kids tackle the dough.  (This is in lieu of the rolling pin, flour and cookie cutters.)  Have them place the cookies on the baking sheet:
  

You may need to make a few adjustments if yours look like ours.


Next, bake them as instructed.  It is important not to over bake these, so watch your oven!  Then take them out and let them cool completely.


As you can see (in the above picture) they may get a little misshaped with the spatula but that's okay!  Next, decorating is done in 3 simple steps.  

#1.  ICING - Ice the backside of a cookie by holding it in the palm of your hand and swirling it on with the other hand.


#2. SANDWICH - Set the iced cookie on the plate and let the kids close the sandwich with a top cookie. 


#3.  DIP - A little icing will ooze out the side, so when you dip the cookie onto the sprinkles they will stick.  Dip and turn until you have sprinkles all the way around the cookie.



These will be finished before you can take a picture to post on Instagram.  


They are so good!  My sister came over the other night and said, "I'll take some of those!" We've been making these for years and everybody loves them!


So if you're planning on baking with young kiddos, don't get halfway through the process and wonder what have you gotten yourself into.  Save yourself and go the easy route for a few years!  


Did I mention these taste good?  They're sooooo good!

12.17.2013

Best Kid's Watch Ever

Have you ever heard of Flik-Flak watches for kids?  If you haven't, please keep reading!  If you have but you're not sure why they're so special, please keep reading too!


The first reason this watch is so special is for it's unique way of teaching time.  Check out the picture below.  The red hour hand is the girl (Flik) and the blue minute hand is the boy (Flak).  And... ladies first!


When the kids get a little older, they can tell time by matching the color of the hand with the color number:


Second reason, these watches can go in the wash!  They recommend putting the watch in a sock, knotting it at the top and adding it to the wash.


Last, they come with a two year warranty on the interior mechanics from Swatch!


They range in price from $40 to $65 for ages 3 to 7.  Some come with a flashlight.  Check out all the cute styles!






My daughter has had a Flik-Flak watch for two years and we've loved it!  Santa is sliding an older kid version in her stocking this year.  So, we are repeat customers of the Flik-Flak watch from Swatch!

12.16.2013

Free Shipping for Christmas Delivery

I am a big time online shopper, especially at Christmas.  Because when the parking lot is crowded and the check-out lines are long, I run the other direction!  But I don't like to pay for shipping when I could go to the store if I wanted to avoid a $20 charge.  Do you feel the same way I do?  I hope so because I've compiled my TOP 12 sites offering FREE SHIPPING, tell it to your neighbor!  I'm also including their order-by cutoff date for December 24th delivery.  The list, in my professional opinion, starts with the best offer and then the next best and so on.


1. Mark & Graham - Free Shipping, Free Monogramming and Free Gift Wrap!  These three things are normally all up charges!  Use the code: DECEMBERFS.  (watch out for backorderd items)
Order by Dec. 18th, 5 PM PT.



2. Nordstrom - Free Shipping and Free Returns.  EASY!
Order by Dec. 21st, 11 PM EST.



3. Zappos - Free Shipping and Free Returns.
Order by Dec. 23rd, 4 PM PST.



4. Kickboard USA - Free Shipping and Free Returns.  Home of the One and Only Scooter.
(couldn't find an order by date)



5. Land of Nod - Free shipping entire order, ends 12-16, 11:59 PST.
Order by Dec. 19th, 12:30 CT.



6.  Target - Free Shipping with Target Red Card.  Do you have a Red Card?  You can do debit or credit and save 5% every time you shop!  Do it and stop donating 5% to Target every week. :)
Order by Dec. 19th, choose seasonal shipping.



7.  LLBean - Free Shipping on every order.
Order by Dec. 22nd, Noon ET.

8.  Urban Outfitters - Free Shipping till Dec. 17th 3 AM EST.
Order by Dec. 18th, 10 AM EST.



9.  HearthSong - Save 15% off entire order, this might as well be free shipping.  Use code DASHER, ends 12-16, 11:59 PM EST.
Order by Dec. 17th, 11 PM EST.



10. CB2 - Free shipping no minimum.
Order by Dec. 20th, Noon CT.



11. Serena & Lily - This too might as well be free shipping, 20% off sitewide!!!  Plus free shipping and gift wrap on their holiday collection.  Use code CHEER20, offer ends Dec. 18th, 11:59 PST.
Order by Dec. 18th, 5 PM PST.



12. One Kings Lane - If you've ordered from OKL since the end of Oct, then you're account has free shipping for the holidays!  If not, all you have to do is: "Purchase any standard shipment items today for just $9.95 flat-rate shipping on your order. Then get free standard shipping on all qualifying orders placed by 23:59PM PT on December 31, 2013. "
Order from the "Arrives in time!" sales (see above picture) for Christmas delivery.

FYI - All of these sites have their own exclusions and restrictions.  For example, furniture is not included in free shipping and some jewelry styles have a longer personalizing lead time.  Also, the "order by" dates are based on standard shipping to be delivered on December 24th, Christmas Eve.  And always read the fine print when checking out to make sure your Christmas dreams can come true, I don't know about Hawaii and Alaska!

12.12.2013

Old Tradition New Spin

Are you feeling pressured to fit in every holiday tradition before Christmas?  You might feel pressured because you've been doing this tradition since you were a kid.  And you're not willing to give it up because it is so fun!  How about this?  Tweak your tradition and save your sanity!  By tweak I mean, save it for later when you have more time and then add a new twist.  Meet our old tradition with a new spin:

The New Year's Gingerbread House


Last year we built and decorated a ginger bread house during our downtime, a few days before New Year's Eve.



Then on New Year's eve the kids loved destroying it.  TEAR DOWN, DEMOLITION!  DELICIOUS!  We ate it for days, it was so good!


They can't wait to do it again and we don't have to squeeze it in before Christmas!

Extra info:

We got our house from IKEA, however sold out at the Houston Store, it was $3.99.


I was excited to find my Mom's platter fitting in more ways than one:


This guy could not stay away from the icing drippings:


The sweetie pies could barely handle the anticipation:


Old tradition new spin and a little bit of sanity saved!

12.09.2013

Tiptus Finds

I never want to forget the way my 3 year old says Christmas, "Tiptus."  So now it will forever be the title of this post!

Casa Tissue Box Cover
I found a few things over Thanksgiving I felt worthy of a shout out to my neighbors.  First, while we were in Dallas I found the Nasher Sculpture Center store is back at North Park Center!  I found it 15 minutes before the mall closed at 10 pm on Black Friday, ahhhhh!  They had these fun Casa Tissue Box covers I thought would be a cute something extra to give to a teacher for the classroom, to a "secret Santa" or just to leave on a co-worker's desk as a surprise.  I got one for mi casa!  Urban Outfitters has them available online in green and white (while you're there, they have the copper wire lights from last weeks post!).  CB2 has black and Linens 'n Things has purple.  I love how Nasher put them on display:


Now check out these amazing fresh wreaths from Central Market!  They range in price from $15 - $40.  My picture doesn't do them justice:


Next, I had a problem.  My copper wire lights turn on at plug-in and the plug is behind a big piece of furniture.  So I found this Indoor Wireless Remote System at Target.  I can control 3 things with one remote.  It has a transmitter so I can turn on the Christmas Tree in the living room from my bedroom.  Also, if I misplace the remote, I can turn it on/off at the source with a button on the plug.  Very useful:


If you follow on facebook then you already know about this next find.  Ted Baker has a kids line at JCPenney!  All of it is on sale and with the code UNDERTRE, it's an extra 15% off!  The clothes are so cute and affordable.  I think the clothes are perfect holiday attire for kids, comfortable.  My daughter is very excited about her Christmas Dress and I got it for a steal!:


And my son is so happy about his Christmas Sweater, he says it's "so soft!":


My last two finds are from Anthropologie, a one stop shop.  Are you looking for a creative hostess gift?  Check out these Snowscape Salt & Pepper shakers!  They are $10 each.  Your host will smile every time they pick up to shake:


This last find is the MOST GLAMOROUS CANDLE EVER!  It is the Voluspa Grand Jar and it's nice and big at 5.5" in diameter and height.  This would be a very nice gift for the gal on your list who already has everything or who is asking for nothing. :)  The candle's wintry scent is lovely and the mercury glass jar is beautiful:


Oh!  And these Paris Texas ties I think are perfect for the Texas guy on your list who already has everything or who is asking for nothing.  Red fish!:

In summary online, click on the pic and I'll take you there: