Friday, March 29, 2013

My Time Saving Tips







I've decided to share some of my tips and tricks on life. Sometimes they are going to be tips to save on time, money or just to save us some sanity. Ultimately I have some I have picked up along the way from friends, family, articles, or personal experiences.


Queen of Chaos's Time Savings Tips
 
1. One way to save time cooking is to double up. It's just as easy to cook two lbs of ground beef as it is one. Then freeze the other half cooked. Now it's ready to add to any sauce or recipe without the mess and time of cooking. Plus if you freeze it spread out on a cookie sheet, then put it in a freezer bag it won't be stuck in a big glob. This works with lots of things actually. Like:
 
               Lasagna- Make 2 freeze 1
               Soup/Chili- One for your crock pot, 1 for a freezer bag
               Shredded pork/chicken/roast (for tacos, enchilada's,bbq sandwich's etc.)
               Baked Ziti- Make 1 in a pyrex dish the other in a foil one from the $1 store
               Stuffed Shells
               Chicken Dishes
               Waffles/Pancakes (I put wax paper in between each one)
               Vegtebles- when they go on sale I dice extra and freeze some (i.e bellpeppers)
 
I think you get the idea. Basically if you are taking the time to make 1, make 2 which are perfect for one of those days. (You know the kind of day I'm talking about ;)
 
2. Park by the cart return. I know this is a simple silly one but it helps me a lot. My husband use to drive up and down to find the closest parking spot possible. In the end I would still walk farther to return the cart. Now that I have kids I hate leaving kids in the car while I return the cart. So I purposefully park by the cart return.
 
3.Rubber band socks together. Anyone that read this post knows I don't like folding laundry. My Grandpa has been trying to get me rubber band my socks together for years! I finally did it and it does save time matching socks. Even if a few don't get rubber banded together it's that mush easier to find it's match on those few.
 
4. Pre- pour my breakfast protein shake. I know I can't be the only one that has had such a busy morning that lunch time rolls around before you realize you haven't eaten anything yet! So if I know I have lots to do in the morning I pour my milk, banana, and protein powder into my magic bullet cup the night before. Then when I wake up all I need to do is add 2 ice cubs and blend it super fast. Then I can drink it while I feed the kids.
 
5. Use ice cube trays for more than just ice. I use mine to freeze extra cream of wheat, baby food or even grated ginger.  Need to use a half a lemon and don't want the other one to go bad? Squeeze the juice in an ice cube tray and freeze it. I even did sauerkraut once, who uses the whole jar before it goes bad? Now I  just defrost a cube or 2 when Grandpa comes over for hot dogs.
 
 
Bonus- I know this is on every time saving list, but keep a planner. I keep a day planner and write out my meals for the week in it. Granted sometimes I move the meals around thru the week, but I make sure in advance I have everything I need. That way on busy days I know to use one of those freezer meals from above.
 
 
What time savings things do you do that are helpful?
 
 
 
            
 
 


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Things I {Don't} Love Thursday 3/28


 
Lulu & Sweet Pea
 


It's Thursday again and I wonder, "Can I even think of something I don't love enough to write about?"  As I walk to my laptop I step into a puddle of spilled water, and  realize I now have to deal with my biggest pet peeve of all. It's not spills that don't get cleaned up, it's wet socks. I HATE WET SOCKS! It weirds me out. I am not a fan of shoes but my feet get cold so I like to run around in socks. Especially fun socks, like purple fuzzy ones. I know to be careful in the bathroom and around the front door when it's wet outside, but still with 4 kids my poor innocent socks still find some way to make me scream and want to cry.

 
Yuck, this picture alone makes me shudder.
 
 
Next I hate that my baby is growing! She has already out grown some of my favorite outfits. What do I do? She is 4 months old and is growing faster and bigger than any of my other babies. She is already more than half my 2 year old's weight! Normally I encourage growing in my kids, by fattening them up if possible. My 7 year wears 4-5 Toddler clothes he is so small, so the idea of my youngest growing faster than the rest freaks me out. So today I hate my baby growing up to fast!
 
 
Don't forget to check out Lulu & Sweet pea's blog for more things other people don't love.
 

Read my last Thursday's post here.






Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hippity Hoppity Blog Hop's




Follow this blog trail for some free and fun learning Easter activites. 

 




Here is another blog hop for free Easter activities.








This blog hop comes with Disney craft idea's. Check back with this one every Monday for new fun idea's! I'm excited I found this!
 




Post about your memorable wacky moments on your blog and share them here.

 
 



Just a fun typical share and join blog hop.
Weekend Blog Hop
 



More easter loving blogs here.
 
Easter Bunny Blog Hop
 
 
More:

Wacky Wednesday 3/27




I'm sure we all get in a wacky mood every now and then. If you have kids then sometimes your days can be filled with these fun times. I love the things kids say and do. Sometimes even we adults are fortunate to let our guard down and join in on the fun. I think it's important to not force ourselves and our kids to live inside an image of how we "should" act. Embrace these fun moments and share them is what I say. Feel free to link up your blog every Wednesday with me and write about your wacky fun times with your loved ones!


Today I want to share 2 wacky moments. The first one was a year ago, but a good example of just being our wacky selfs. My sweet husband and I got to have a weekend get away just the 2 of us. We stayed at The Anniversary Inn in Salt Lake City, ate at The Roof and goofed off around town. While at The Gateway I decided to run thru the freezing cold fountain in the middle of February. Why not?!
 
 





We had a lot of fun acting like kids with out any with us. Which just made us miss them that much more of course!

Next is something that happens randomly at our house, we break out in song and dance. I decided to go with  a clip just from last week. The kids wanted to watch Wreck it Ralph with Dad for friday movie night. We saw it in the theaters when he was out of town and they were counting down till they could show it to him. So last Friday as it was ending Adrianna starting dancing and the madness began. Since it was past bedtime, and it had been a long week I wanted to yell, "Put the pillows away, get in your pajama's, stop yelling, go brush your teeth and get straight in bed," and so on. Instead I decided to sit there and record one of those wacky memorable moments.



 


Wacky Wednesday

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cloth VS Disposable

 I just want to start out by saying this post is about my experimenting and trying out cloth diapers. It is not really meant to debate why one is better than the other. I am by no stretch a cloth diaper expert, as you will learn as you read. Cloth diapers has been in the back of my mind for a while. So after talking to a few friends and reading up on a few websites here is what I personally  have learned, tried, and decided.


So Why did I decide to give cloth diapers a try in the first place? For a few reason actually.

1- Cost. In the long run it is cheaper for me to do cloth diapers. Usually the start up cost can be expensive, however I purchased some previously owned all in ones to start out. I was very fortunate to find a good deal, even though they are boy colors. I figure I average about $8.50 for a package of 42 diapers. Granted sometimes I spend more, sometimes less depending on deals and coupons. That means my average cost comes to $.20 a diaper. It might not seem like a huge savings but long term it will add up.

2-Being prepared. I have had the opportunity to be snowed in before (Read about that here.)That was even when we lived 2 miles from a grocery store. Now that I live 15 miles from the closest store plus with the set up of homes out here this is a  high possibility. I really just want to be prepared if for some reason I don't have immediate access to diapers. That could even simply be because my husband went to work with both sets of keys, because that has NEVER happened!

3- Double duty. I currently have 2 kids in diapers. Adrianna who is almost 2 years old and Graciella who is 4 months old. This adds to the cost point I made earlier. I do think doing cloth on Adrianna she will get potty trained sooner than later. She asks to be changed way sooner in cloth than disposable. Plus Graciella's diapers aren't bad since she isn't on solids yet, so why not now if ever?

Bonus- Environmentally Friendly. This is more of an extra perk than it is one of the selling points for me. Being totally honest this alone wouldn't sell me on cloth, but it is a good benefit none the less.

If you are also weighing pro's and con's here is a link to a more thorough article on why to choose cloth.


I also want to add that I am not doing this full-time. I still do disposable when out running errands, going to church, bedtime and days I am too lazy. Plus I didn't want my husband to stress out so when he changes a diaper he does disposable. I do laundry about 2-3 times a week. Keep in mind I currently only have a total of a dozen all in one diapers, and I only do it 50% of the time. Although the more I do it the more comfortable I am with it.


I know I need more diapers, but I only want one kind of diaper. I did recently buy some off Ebay, but the more I stay home the more I will need. So if you know of any inexpensive places for bumgenius all in one diapers (preferably girl colors this time) let me know.

My first cloth diaper change with Graciella.

 
So here is what I think so far. For days like today when it's randomly snowing I don't see why not! I am home with the kids all day, why not save a little? I have discovered I change cloth diapers more often thru out the day.  I also have not had any rash problems yet. I have had a few leaks, but that is not any different than disposable diapers. I actually prefer "newborn blowouts" in the cloth diapers, they don't blow out the top, back and/or sides like in a disposable. Although My 2 year has had a few messy ones I was grateful were in the disposable. The few that haven't been I just flush down the toilet, which doesn't bother me. I read up on a few ways to do wipes and have decided to use a squirt bottle and an old receiving blanket I cut up. So far so good.
 
I was nervous about how to get my husband on board. That's also why I said he can change any diaper right into a disposable. Over time I think he will feel more comfortable using the all in one's, they really aren't that hard. His only fear and request was smell. So for $8 I bought a little garbage can with a lid, noo complaints from him so far.
 
Like I said I am new at this and still figuring it out. I would love advice, tips, thoughts or favorite blogs or websites!
 
 
 
 
I have been given and found several cloth diapering websites, here are a few of my favorite:
 
The Eco Friendly Family- Cloth Diapers This link is to their main cloth diaper page, but she has several posts I would recommend reading.
Cloth 101 This website gives descriptions of the kinds of diapers
New to Cloth FAQ Same website as above, different article
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Lowes Build And Grow Sign Up

 
 
Lowe's has fun free build and grow crafts every now and then. You do have to sign up for them in advance and they fill up fast. I try to do reminders on twitter when I come across things like this. Follow me by clicking my link on the right or look me up as @UtQueenOfChaos.

 
 

Friday, March 22, 2013

A "Maze" Ing

I was so fortunate to be a guest speaker on one of my favorite blogs Mommy & Me Creations.

You can read my post about Lego mazes here: My guest post.

 
We had a lot of fun making and playing with these. See for yourself in this video of my son trying out my maze.
 

 
 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Things I {Don't} Love Thursday

 
 
 
I teamed up with Lulu & Sweet Pea to bring to you things I don't love Thursday. I'm tempted to  add this week into the things I don't love. It has been so slow and I have felt so drained. It's almost over though so I am excited for that.
 
 
1- I don't love dried out toothpaste. Growing up my big brother would get so mad at me if toothpaste got anywhere besides inside the toothpaste container. I have been trying to get my kids to brush by themselves more often and their toothpaste grosses me out!
 
2- Right now I don't love my son's bathroom. Not only is he the only one to use it (cause it's downstairs) but I hate the prior owners paint job. It was painted poorly with this ugly pink and brown color. Hopefully by next week I have the paint job fixed. Although both my husband and I have spoke to my son about flushing and aiming, and we make him clean it himself, I still think I won't love this for a long time!
 
3- Today (and most days for that matter) I hate folding laundry. I try playing games like fold it while it's still warm, and timing myself, but lets face it folding laundry is my least favorite chore! It usually sits there till someone is coming over or I need the baskets. I have thought of buying more laundry baskets but then I would have no motivation to ever fold it. Plus I usually have to wait till kids go to bed to fold it, and usually by then all my good intentions crash with me!

What things do you not love this week? I would love to know!
 




Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What Women Want Giveaway




Every now and again we get the local Utah ladies get an oppurtunity to attend the What Women Wants show. I myself have gone to my fair share of them, and they are fabulous! They really have everything women want, whether you knew you wanted it or not.

It's like shopping heaven. Rows and rows and many choices no matter your taste or hobby. Stuff for crafters, scrapbookers, fashionistas, chefs, wanna be chefs, health nuts, junk foodies, and so much more. I'm looking forward to attending and letting you know what some of my favorite things there are.

 

What Women Wants Show is at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy, UT

April 12-13, 2013
Friday: 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

http://www.whatawomanwantsshow.com/index.php

 

Win tickets to the What Women Want Show. 

I'm giving away 2 different sets of tickets! That's a total of 4 tickets.

 

Either use the rafflecopter or leave a comment to enter.


http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2ed4ad1/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway




**I received  complimentary tickets in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received.**

Friday, March 15, 2013

Lucky Leprechaun Blog Swap

Lucky Leprechaun Blog Swap

 

I decided to try something new. I participated in a blog a swap. A what? That is what I said at first too. Someone hosts a blog swap and picks something to swap, in this case a book and a polish. Then we are given a partner who also has a blog to swap with.  We have guidelines and dealines and in the end I was VERY happy I did it.
 
Not only did I get cool new stuff I got the oppurtunity to be more aware of other things out there. For instance I am excited to try a new auther by the name of Mary Kay Andrews who I am excited to try out her "Savannah" books. I almost won a signed copy of her book to give to my swap partner but the seller would only ship media mail and I was afarid I wouldn't get it to my partner fast enough. In the end I sent her One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf (Which I also added to my Goodreads to read list.)
 
This current nail craze isn't isn't something I have gotten in to. Before I got married and started a family I had my nails done regularly but haven't been able to keep up on in a while. I was suprised how happy I was about this in the end. I picked out a beutiful light purple polish for my partner. I must have liked it so much that I keep looking for my light purple polish only to remember I don't have one.
 
My blog partner went all out with me, I got 4 polish's! I asked to not get pink because Yesenia loves to sit and put it on all at once. I first put on this color which I think will be my favorite of them all! After applying this I started to get back into having cute colored nails again. Maybe it's my new gift, or the Spring in the air, who knows?

 
These were the other colors I got, all so fun. I also was extra special to get a lip gloss, which oddly I despratley needed a new one. Then I got one of the books I have been wanting to read! Ally Condie has this series that I have been intrigued by and have heard really good things about. It skipped my to read book shelf and went right to my nightstand. As soon as I finish my book club book it's at the top of the list!

 
 
Check out my blog swap partners blog at Katers Potaters
 
Also check out more of the other swaps at Lulu & Sweet Pea
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Disney On Ice

I couldn't help myself and I got us Disney on Ice tickets. I don't regret it at all! We only needed 4 tickets since the 2 little girls can still be lap children. Yesenia ended up sitting on Dad's lap too leaving us with an open chair anyway.

 
Yesenia was so excited to dress like a princess and have permission to leave the house looking like that too! She tried to get Adrianna to dress up and all she got her to wear was a little white skirt. She insisted I wear my beautiful purple princess skirt, so I agreed.


 
I also have been to one of these before and knew to plan ahead. I know they sale outrageously priced light up toys and junk food. Even more over priced than usual food at the Energy Solutions Arena because it was Disney. For example normally cotton candy there is $6, for Disney on Ice it was $10-12 depending on if you wanted it for a boy or the girl. But how could I buy for my boy and not make the girl cry and vice versa. So here was my mischievous plan. I went to the dollar store ahead of time and purchased glow stick necklaces, bracelets and rings. They were a hit. The kids loved them and were just fine not getting any other souvenirs. Then I snuck in a water bottle in the bottom of my huge diaper bag that they never really check because I have my hands full with 4 kids when I enter. We did purchase a huge bag of kettle popcorn for $6. The bag feeds my whole family and we went home with some extra.



 I even got Steven to say he was glad that we went. He agreed that Yesenia's face and reactions was worth every penny. She was in a trance the whole time. Adrianna was too for a majority of it. Kadan was more intrigued by the tricks. He thought it was funny that Cinderella's mice were bigger than she was. The mini Tangled part was by far the best! I loved the tricks with Rapunzel's hair/ribbon, Kadan loved Flynn Ryder, and the girls loved Rapunzel.

 
At the very end of the show all the princess's came out and I got to see my Mulan! That is my favorite Disney movie. The kids loved it and were so grateful that we took them. This made out whole family want to save for Disneyland that much more!


 


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Leprechaun Traps

Since Kadan was about 2 years old we have always made leprechaun traps on the eve of St. Patricks day. Every year they have gotten more and more elaborate. We never have caught one but he usually leaves some fun treats behind.


April 16, 2009
 
 
Kadan built his first trap with his Uncle Jacob.

April 17, 2009
 Kadan and Yesenia the morning of St. Patty's day. Kadan found a whole bunch of chocolate coins.
 
April 16, 2012
 
Last year we did our traps with our cousins so there was more than one. The kids used kitchen utensils, the mousetrap game and who knows what else.
 
 
 
April 17, 2012
 
Last year the leprechaun left behind his hat, some lucky charm cereal, and green candies.
 
 
This year Kadan has been given the opportunity to make one and take it to school. This is Kadan's 5th year doing them so he considers himself an expert despite the fact he has never caught one. Naturally while he was making his, Yesenia had to make one too. He was explaining to her why we make them, that they are attracted to shiny and gold things, and other random odd facts.
 
 







 
The hardest part was having to make them portable, but In the end both kids were very happy. We will see what happens this Sunday!
 
Check out more St. Patty Day ideas at:
 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Confetti

 
As many mom's out there know silence is not golden with children. Recently I realized the girls had been playing a little too nice and quiet, so I decided to check it out. Sure enough at the same moment I stuble upon this...
 

 
 
My mind was flooded with questions. What in the world? Why is this here? Who did it? Where are they? Adrianna then came out of her sister's room with a big smile on her face. 
 
 
 
 
She then preceded to toss the contents out of Kadan's spiderman snowboot onto the floor.
What I still couldn't figure out was where it was coming from? She then ran back into Yesenia's room to only come back out with Kadan's other boot to repeat the confetti tossing.
 
I followed her into Yesenia's room this time to find out Yesenia was cutting up her coloring book into confetti and filling Kadan's boots. She then was instructing Adrianna to go have a party through out the house. What a party we had. The making and tossing of confetti was a blast, the cleaning up not so much.  I think I will still find random pieces of confetti for the next few days.


Friday, March 1, 2013

It's About Time

So I don't know if I'm upset or proud that after 7 years I finally have my first experience cleaning up permanent marker. Yesterday I decided to take a nap. Sometimes when that happens I know I'll wake up to one of these...
 
...or one of these...

 
...and usually one of these.
 


This time it was much worse. Again partly my fault for not keeping the markers less accessible but Yesenia wanted to color on the white board and grabbed the wrong maker innocently. Then not so innocently she colored on our folding chair, table cloth and under the table in addition to the white board. Yikes! After finding the white board uh-oh she confessed to the rest. The poor girl is so hard on herself her punishment was minimal. I was just happy she showed me everywhere she colored and that none of it was on walls or the couch.


So how was I going I clean it up, if it all?
With a little research an some of my own attempts the best thing was surprisingly toothpaste.






 
 
 I just rubbed the toothpaste over the stains and let them sit 5-10 minutes. Then with a white rag it mostly wipes right off!
 




 
I tried some goo gone which helped a bit on the chair but still left some ghost marks behind. In the end I was very happy with the results!