Shapeways' Valentine's Day Contests

To celebrate Valentine's Day, Shapeways is holding two Valentine's Day contests for all consumers and 3D designers alike.

With the Shapeways Creator, you can create light poems and ring poems in your own words, memorializing a special memory or creating a new one. A Shapeways' light poem can be customized in minutes and hold memories that last a lifetime. With a modern and sleek design, sweet words are the perfect gift or accent for the one you love on Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day Gift Contest:
The "Valentine's Day gift" contest winner who comes up with the best, most original and most romantic Valentine's gift creation will win $300 in 3D printing from Shapeways.
To enter: Simply upload your model with the tag valentinegift.
The winner will be the highest rated model on Valentine's Day, February 14th.

Free My Valentine Contest:
Even if you're not a modeler, you can enter the Free my Valentine contest from Shapeways. Just go to the Shapeways Creator, make an original Light Poem with the most romantic text, add the tag freemyvalentine and you're in.
The winner will be the highest rated Light Poem on the 1st of February. So, tell everyone you know to go create their own and/or to vote for yours. The winner will receive (or be able to send) that very same gift wrapped Light Poem in time for Valentine's Day!


Shapeways is the first online 3D consumer co-creation community. Harnessing the power of a creative community and a global network of production service partners, Shapeways ensures the most cost-efficient, reliable manufacturing and order fulfillment for digital manufacturing today. The Shapeways CREATOR has a starting library of pre-designed 3D product templates and is expected to grow to over 100 designs by the end of 2009.


I Had a Small Heart Attack Today

Ok, first let me say, it wasn't a real heart attack. My health is fine.

However, I almost wasn't when I was looking through the multitude of pictures on my camera's memory card and instead of only deleting one picture, I accidentally deleted them ALL!

Yes, ALL, everything, 100 percent.... AHHHH!!! And of course because I am such a procrasitinator, just guess what pictures were also still on the memory card. Go on, just guess.... What major family holiday just took place? That's right, Christmas. My son's first Christmas (that we took pics and he opened his own presents)!

I died when I saw the "Deleting 100 files" pop up on my screen. What?! 100?! No, I just wanted to delete one, not all of them. I cant remember the exact number, but there were a lot of photos and videos on there.

*Breathe Breathe* There has to be a way to fix this, right? *Sob*

Ok, so dramatics over, one quick search on Google and up pops an eHow article (I love that site) about How to Restore Deleted Files From a Memory Card. Oh perfect, I hope.

Can you believe it actually worked?! Yes, one simple program that you just simply have to download (no installation needed) can restore just about any deleted files on hard drives, memory cards, etc. Terrific. And it isn't even a new program! But it's free!

So, what program is it? Well, if you haven't scooted over to the eHow article yet, I will tell you: It is Restoration available through Snapfiles.

If this has happened to you or especially if it happens often, I recommend downloading this program. I have done so, and have found no bugs or viruses. It also works well with Windows Vista.

Try using this before you do a system restore, because if you do that instead then your files may be lost forever.

Has this ever happened to you? Were you able to get your files back? Or would this program have come in handy?


Feelings of Accomplishment

I am feeling rather accomplished and proud today. I have finally gotten through to my husband that I need help around here, and it is going to happen whether he likes it or not. I got all the dishes cleaned and caught up on, and I refuse to let them get behind again. If my husband fills any with water, I stand over him until he washes them himself. I have demonstrated to him my concept of rinsing dishes with hot water instead of "soaking" them and how much more effective it is. Needless to say, he finally saw my point of view. (Now if only I can get rid of that nasty smell coming up from the sink drain.)

I have also finalized (for now) the chore list and system that hubby, Mack, and I are going to follow daily from now on. I spent an entire night deciding on the chores, frequency needed, and who can do what. I know I talked about using Chore Buster awhile ago, but that will only work if you already have everyone pitching in with the chores. No one was before, so I had to get a system in place first.

After a whole night of debating, categorizing, and analyzing I have come up with a solution.

This is a picture of the Family Chore list I posted on our fridge. Each person has their own set of chores, and even a few days off. I had to create it in a way that was fitting to their activity spans now, so as you can see my husband only has one chore a day and one day off completely. Then Mack has between 1 and 3 chores a day with the weekends off (because she spends time at her Grandma's). I know you can see that I got the sh** end, because I have at least one chore everyday and a few days I have 4 chores. However it's easy because I like dishes done a certain way, and everyone has to wash their own dishes anyways. So, really my chore of "washing dishes" entails my own dishes and any meal dishes (pots, pans, etc.). Having it written like this though and already having everyone trained to follow through and wash their own plates and stuff, they don't notice my little loophole *wink* So don't tell them.

Do you have a chore list for your family? Does it work? How is it set up?


My Struggle With Depression Goes On

This is an old post that I never published.

I am still struggling through my feelings of daily depression. I thought that moving to a newer, cleaner, better apartment would have ended most of my troubles. Unfortunately, it hasn't and I am beginning to see that most of my troubles are actually stemming from something besides my environment and money issues. I am discovering that my husband is behind a lot of my woes.

Not to bash him 100% here, but he does try and help me around the house once in awhile. However it is his lackadaisical habits that have me ripping my hair out right now. We have gotten through our money talks and he has agreed to give me all income and let me sort it out, which is a giant step for him and his 'spending issues.' Now if only I can get him to either not touch my kitchen, or clean up after himself in there, I would be all set.

Of course, every woman's dream man, right?

But honestly, how hard is it to clean up after yourself, guys? Since moving into this new apartment, I have busted my butt to keep up on the dishes each and every day. Then my one night that I talked about a little while ago, where I felt like doing nothing, resulted in a pile of dishes filled with gross water in the sink.

My husband's philosophy on dishes is that if you fill them up with water to "soak" then they are easier to wash. Ok, this may be true if the dishes are days old, with lots of caked on food. However if they are less then 2 hours old, all you have to do is blast them with hot water for about 30 seconds and the scrub with a sponge. Voila. Simple, done, finito.

But no, not him. And I have an issue (and he knows this) about touching dishes that are filled with gross, cold water and been sitting for awhile. However I have still been keeping up on any and all dishes that I use personally, plus I will wash one or two that I am not so grossed out about at the same time.

Unfortunately, any effort I make is not enough, and is always cut shorter when my husband steps into the kitchen. (For example, I had washed a bowl I used for lunch today, and he dropped some chocolate syrup on it while it was drying on the counter. Instead of quickly washing it or rinsing it, he dumps it in the sick and fills it with water! Why?)

Is anyone out there in the same boat as me? Have you and your husband gotten through something like this? If so, please let me know of some pointers. I am at a loss.


Ranting Session

I want to get something off my chest that has been bugging me for the past few weeks, and it can explain my lack of postings at the beginning of this week. And no, it is not really due to us moving, because I don't even have the energy to do a lot of unpacking or cleaning.

Most of you may not know this, but I have been suffering from what seems to be post-partum depression. I haven't really talked to anyone about it, or mentioned it at all really. I think I was either in denial, or mostly just not caring about... well anything. It hit me a few days ago when hubs and I got into an argument, and I just sat on the couch for hours afterwards. I didn't move, didn't talk, didn't eat or drink, I didn't even care to watch my son, pick him up, or giggle when he was being cute, and he was being oh so very cute.

Even as I sat there and noticed that I wasn't wanting to do anything, I was disgusted with myself for being that way, which made me feel worse. I felt like such a horrible mother, wife, and person. What was wrong with me? My son is my life, and yet I still didn't feel like living.

Well, what spurred my feelings has been my husband's comments lately. I always ask him for help with the baby while I cook dinner or finish something up on the computer (like coupon tracking or budgeting), and his way of helping is sitting my son on his lap while he continues to play on the computer. Of course, my son will always get bored, fuss, and run to bug me again. I love my son, and I would put anything down for him. But I am trying to make our family life better and I ask my husband for just 5 minutes of help, and he can't even do that. *Which by the way, my husband is disabled and cannot work outside the home presently, but he can help me with physical things around the house.*

Then when I mention how frustrating it is that my husband can't even look up from his computer games for longer than 2 seconds to help me, I get yelled at and called a 'useless blogger.' He says that I make him feel like a bad father when I mention things like that, but it's true. All he does is bury his head in an online game or chat room. I can't even get him to look up and see when my son is doing something adorable.

Afterwards, me and him talked and he apologized for what he said, but it didn't take away my feelings of emptiness and pointlessness. Here I am, busting my ass, trying to save our family as much money as I can, get us out of debt, and also finding ways to make our lives better, while raising our kids and carrying our third child. I am tired and overwhelmed. And for what? Why am I busting my ass for someone that doesn't appreciate my efforts?

Now most women in this situation that I've known are there because they don't ask for help, or whatever. But for me, that's not the case. I ask him for help, not all the time, just occasionally and only for a few minutes. Is that so hard? I try not to be nagging, but I physically do not have the energy to be standing, cleaning, cooking, caretaking, etc etc all day long. I can only do about 10 minutes of any activity before I need to sit down and take a break.

Usually in that time, my husband will grab the remote and change the channel (even though he is not even turned and watching the TV, just playing on the computer with the TV behind him). This of course upsets me, because when I go to sit down and relax until my next burst of energy I am stuck watching Chowder or some other horribly created show. (This is what spurred our argument the other day.)

Stupid things, yes I know. But I am a homemaker trying her damndest to make her house a home, and with a one year old at foot & a lil gremlin mullin around inside, I am tired all day long. I have so many ambitions, but I cannot get any of them done on my own.

I know my anger is justified and all, and that's not the issue. Hmm... I am not sure what I am trying to say here, but I am just trying to get my feelings out. I want to notice them, realize them, and hopefully find it in me to get help for myself. I dread the days these feelings come over me, but I have never been more fearful of them until the other day when I was so depressed that I couldn't even move. To have such feelings of despair, emptiness, and gloom while my son is running around, laughing, and playing peekaboo is not right. It is even worse that I do not care to get help for it. I don't want to feel that way anymore. I'm not in high school. I am an adult, a wife, a mother. I have others to care for, little gentle souls that count on me. It is not all about me.

So, why do I feel this way?

My Own Reading Program for a One Year Old

As I type, I have been in the midst of working on my very own version of how to teach my son to read. I have seen the infomercial for "Your Baby Can Read" and was astounded to find out how big of a trend this is. They have a system and it does seem to work on so many babies ages 3 months to 3 years.

I also found so many sites dedicated to Dolch words for beginner readers, word card suggestions, even a short article by Gwynne Spencer about how she taught her son to read using manicure scissors at 3 years old!

Then that got me thinking, 'If Gwynne created her own method that encouraged her son at 3, why can't I create my own method for my son at 1?' He is already interested in learning so many new things, like sign language, new foods, new places, etc. He is an open book for me to write LOL.

So, here I am, ready and willing to get started, and my first step was to identify the words I wanted to teach him. I was reading this article on eHow.com where they suggest to make 100-200 word cards and show them to your baby 3 times a day for no more than 30 seconds each. How you do it is by showing one new word a day until you get to 5 words, then retire the first word, etc etc. For more details, please go read the article, it is very informative.

I decided to identify my own 100+ words that I would like to teach my son. I started with his body and his environment. Mostly words that are easy for me to show him.

As I got over 100 words, I began thinking of an idea I had when I was younger... I wanted to write words on name cards for objects around the house and then tape them to each object, like what they do in preschools. I did this for a short while with my step daughter, however with many moves and all, the cards became torn or lost.

But that would be perfect to lead my son into the venture of reading. My goal is going to be to make these name cards again, and as I tape them up I will have my son with me. I will read the word, show him the object and then he can help or watch me tape it on (hopefully out of reach and for good, otherwise I will be replacing them often).

Then the everyday game I want to play is by making index cards with the words of the objects on them. I will show him a card, read it off, and then go show him the object. Eventually I want him to be able to run around and show me the objects as I show him the card. I have no goal for a length of time for him to learn, and I am taking a more direct approach than one word a day. I am going to treat it more like with sign language. I sign to him as often as I can.

I will do the same thing with the reading cards I make. Every time I say the word, I will show him the card (and probably sign as well). At this age, kids are sponges to information. Their brains are still developing and capable of taking in much more information than most people give them credit for. My son was able to pick up on his routine in only 2 weeks, and then we moved and he still was accustomed to his routine in the new environment.

I have been astounded by my son's intelligence and I really want to give him more credit than I have been. No more am I going to think, 'oh no he is too young for that,' because he can never be too young to be exposed to the real world and education.

Do you have any amazing teaching stories of your kids? Please share with us here. All links welcome! Videos of your kids being amazing would be great, too.


Simple, Quick, and Easy Ways to Clean Your House, Restart Your Day, or Just Feel Better

My mother told me it was always the little things that count. Sometimes, you just need some kind of pick-me-up or 'start over' button. Or there are those days that you just feel blah.

When you feel just completely dragged down, and you wish you could crawl back in bed until tomorrow morning, don't. Try these simple, quick, and easy ideas to get yourself going again.

1. Make Your Bed ~ such a small task, but your bed is usually about 75% of your bedroom visually. If you make it nice and neat, then 75% of the bedroom is clean (or at least looks that way).

2. Change Your Clothes ~ I am not big on the whole idea of getting completely dressed even if you are not going out. Street clothes are not as comfortable to me as sweats and a tank top, mostly because all jeans are too tight on my pregnant belly. So, instead, just change your clothes into a clean pair, whether it's jeans and a Tshirt or another pair of sweats and a tank top. Whatever makes you feel better, comfortable, and relaxed.

3. Do a Load of Wash ~ Sometimes I get into a funk where I only want to wear about 3 outfits. So, I have to do laundry more often. If you have nothing clean that you would like to wear, then wash some.

4. Go For a Walk ~ As long as weather permits, put on those walking shoes and get out there. Some fresh air can do loads to rekindle your spirit. You can even take the kids. That should wear them out for a good nap when you get home.

Do you have any other tips, tricks, or suggestions? Comment below with them, or email me to add them.


Decluttering ~ Day 4

If you saw me on Twitter today, then you should know about most of my progress. Oh and I have to share my ChoreBuster chores for the day:

1. Cook Breakfast & Lunch
2. Declutter House
3. Wash dishes

"Declutter house" is set to occur every 7 days, and I did not choose a start date but ironically it randomly chose today's date and me to start with. LOL.

Anywho... I had an hour of energy this morning and was able to downsize 1 giant box and 3 laundry baskets of random clothes that came over last night from the old apartment to only 2 laundry baskets (small ones) of clothes to keep. The rest will be going over to Salvation Army first thing tomorrow (they are closed today, and we just had a snow storm last night so we didn't want to leave it outside overnight).

I am also purging a small tupperware container filled with old McDonald's toys I collected as a kid (Barbies and Pokemon), two purses, and all my old Halloween outfits (yes, I kept all of them for years).

Now we are off to have dinner at a friend's house tonight. They have been helping us move, and still offer more. Once we get the house, food, etc in order over here, we will be inviting them over. Also, I am going to write a thank you note to the wife's work, Wild Side Florist. They so generously offered up the services of their delivery van and gas yesterday to help us do a day's worth of moving!


Decluttering ~ Day 3

I didn't post anything yesterday on my decluttering efforts simply because my camera died, so I could not take a pic of my efforts. However, I would like to post saying that I did end up purging two large black trashbags filled with old clothes from myself, my son, and my daughter. (The hubs barely has any clothes to begin with.)

So, keeping that in mind here I am at Day 3 and this is what has gone on today.

Hubby dragged over some more things from the old apartment, and put most of them in the kitchen instead of in the basement as per our plan. So, now I have 2 large bins, 2 large boxes, 2 boxes of baby clothes and 3 laundry baskets worth of things to go through.

I tackled the smallest and quickest thing first, the baby clothes. Hubby found these, I guess, in one of the closets at the old apartment and they contain lots of things given to me while I was still pregnant and working by an ex-coworker. I never even opened up the boxes! Needless to say, some of the items were too small for my son, however I was surprised to come across quite a few that actually did fit him.

So out of 2 diaper boxes stuffed full of baby things, I have resorted and will be keeping barely one box worth of it all. The rest will be brought over to Salvation Army first thing in the morning.

Chores Made Fair

Last night, I worked real hard on coming up with a chore list for the new apartment, so that hubby and I can keep up on all the in's and out's and keep this place looking spic and span. I didn't want it to be too complex and as fair as possible, so we alternated most chores and each had our own chores (i.e. he empties the cat box because I am pregnant and can't, while I pay the bills because I don't trust him too LOL).

Then I sat down with him (while he was playing one of his video games, so I didn't really have his full attention), and asked what he thought and if it was fair enough. I got a quick read through and an 'Uh hmm,' as if that was supposed to really give me the feedback I needed. Then I tried to ask if he thought I had forgotten anything, but the answer to that was a very simple and quick 'Nope.' But of course, after thinking for a few minutes and looking around the house some more, I had forgotten some things and proceeded to add them.

Then this morning, I woke really early (4:00 AM) and could not get back to sleep, so after some quick cleaning and toy pickup, I decided to do some Internet surfing. With the chore list still fresh in my mind from last night, I decided to read up on some household organization tips and such. Throughout my searching, I came across a wonderful review from Money Saving Pro about a unique and free website that helps organize family chore lists online! Hmm... that got my attention.

The website is called Chore Buster, and it is designed to help families or couples fairly assign the chores of the household. And yes it is 100% free. Although there are a few nice features that can be used if you donate to the site.

Even so, without paying anything, a user is able to enter the names of as many family members as they have, customize each member's chore settings (i.e. No chores on Sunday or 75% less chores for kids), and set a list of chores. This service is so helpful that it can email each member their chore lists on a weekly or even daily basis. Or you can simply print a master one out and hang it on the fridge for all.

It also lets you customize the frequency and desirability of each chore. Desirability? Yes, you can set things like pick up toys to 1 for easy and cleaning the bathroom to 6 for medium and then cleaning the gutters to 10 for extreme. You can also set certain chores as not being assigned to certain members, such as I won't let my daughter clean the cat boxes or the oven, and my hubby won't be paying the bills or folding/putting away the laundry (he can never tell who's is who's). Also, since I cannot clean the cat boxes because I am pregnant, that is all hubby's job.

You can also set rewards for each chore (dollar amounts only), and then there is a checklist that you can tally up the rewards for each person. I have this set for simple dollar amounts from $1 to $10 for each chore. Then instead of giving each person the exact amount they earned, I am using it as a percentage from our allowance fund. I am not sure about the nitty gritty just yet, but I will work it out once we get this more underway.

Some examples of my amounts are $1 for picking up and vacuuming a room, $2 for taking out the trash, $5 for cleaning the whole bathroom, and $10 for 'Surprise husband/wife with something nice.' (That last "chore" I found in the preset list, and just had to use it for us). That is another nice feature, you can search through a list of popular chores or look at other member's lists entirely. This helped me to find some things I was missing in my list.

Then after all that nitty gritty, Chore Buster will divide up the chores based on your settings for each (frequency, members, and desirability) so that each member will have a fair amount of 'points' for chores to do each day. *It even has an option to set a random quality for surprises.* The points are the ones you assign as desirability and difficulty. I set my daughter's chores to 75% less, because she is only 6 and has school. She also gets the weekends off from any chores.

You then have the option to create a chore list for 1, 2, or 3 weeks (and by member if you donate), and view it in web page, Word, or Excel form to print. There are many more unique and awesome features that are available if you donate to the site.

You can take a look at my chore schedule here, and sign up for your very own free account here. They have some advanced features, such as viewing chores via mobile or RSS feed, and also a dektop widget you can download. They also mention that soon they will be integrating Facebook with Chore Buster soon, so stay tuned on that.

Do you use Chore Buster? If so, what features do you like? If not, are you going to give it a go?


Baby Chaleco ~ Chic Baby Bibs

baby bibs
I was fortunate to be chosen to review one of the prized waterproof baby bibs from BabyChaleco.com. When I received my Baby Chaleco, I was thrilled with the stylish and fancy material used. It is paired so eloquently with the whimsical 'car into the tunnel' design, which by the way, that tunnel is a pocket. Not 100% functional for many things, but my son likes to find things himself, so I invented a fun game by hiding his spoon in there and he would try to do the same.

You could also stuff a wet nap in there for when they are finished eating to wipe down the baby's face. I know my son can never sit still while eating (especially at parties), so I would have to chase him all over, then pick him up, find my diaper bag, and struggle to get a wipe and wipe his face down. Having this simple little pocket saves me much running around.

The Baby Chaleco features an absorbent, poly-cotton blend on top, and a 100% nylon liner underneath. So, all the drool will get absorbed into the material and stay there without soaking the baby's clothes underneath.

Personally, I not only go through clothes like no one else, but also bibs, because my son will drool right through the bib and onto his clothes. I can never just put him in a cute outfit and have it stay that way for long. Or I have to cover that outfit up with a possibly, but most often not, matching bib. And let's face it, family parties/events always seem to happen right when baby is in the peak of cutting a tooth.

But let's be honest moms out there, after the age of 6 months, there are no outfits that you can buy in stores with matching bibs. Why is it only cute for an infant that can't even sit up to have a bib and outfit set? Plus those bibs are just for fashion, and barely large enough to cover their necks.

Other bibs with this same waterproof concept that I have found in stores are usually pull over kinds with no snaps or velcro. However the problem with those is that they are never snug enough to the neck and my son will drool underneath the bib anyways. So, they are just pointless. Also, my son tends to pull on bibs of any style, however with the Baby Chaleco it was just like another shirt. He didn't even realize he was wearing a bib, so he left it alone as if I had put a vest or sweater on him.

The Baby Chaleco's fit very snuggly (but not too snuggly lol) around the baby's neck with an easy-to-snap two button enclosure over one shoulder. This makes getting the bib on and off very easy because the neck and arm hole open to one wider opening. It also makes the bib what I would like to call "pull-proof." This feature also helps when the baby is done eating and covered in whatever he was eating, because you can lift it straight off of him instead of pulling it over his head, which usually causes food to get stuck in the hair or on the forehead.

The Baby Chaleco is very chic and stylish looking, and as long as my son is wearing blue/black jeans, khakis, or blue/black sweatpants (which is just about all the options he has), this bib matches all his outfits. The shirt matching is not at all an issue, because it wraps competely around him covering his entire shirt. The velvet material in back is a very fancy touch. I was able to show my son's new baby bib off at a recent family party for a very wealthy relative, and everyone was in awe at the style and craftiness of this bib. Well, that was after I told them it was a bib. They thought it looked like a little vest, but that's because it does! I can even leave him in the bib while he is running around and no one can tell the difference. He looks just as good as ever.

You would never know that he is wearing a baby bib it looks so good. I recommend this stylish baby bib for any mom with toddlers, because it is stylish yet affordable. And it will save you loads of hassle time during family parties.

Do you have a Baby Chaleco? What do you love about yours?
If not, would you want one? Why?

Visit their website to enter to win your very own Baby Chaleco.


Decluttering ~ Day 1

Yes, I will be updating my progress everyday of my decluttering project. I outlined the steps here for this, but in case you missed it, they are:

My Plan to Declutter Our New Place

1. Everything that is not 100% essential to our everyday survival is being moved into the basement here.
2. Each day, I will bring up one bag at a time and go through it.
3. I will only keep things that are essential, and not keep things simply for material or sentimental reasons.

So, that is the plan, and I am asking you all to help encourage me to keep at it. Emails, comments, tweets, anything to keep me motivated, updating, and moving. This is a new year, and I am determined to not force my kids to live in clutter anymore.

Okay, well rant over, this is supposed to be an update. What have I gotten done today? Well, I finally went through Ronin's old toys to make room for the new ones he got for the holidays. Here is a pic of the box I brought over to Salvation Army.
It is hard to tell from the picture, but this box is really deep. I counted and it is about 20 toys in all (maybe a bit more). Not a bad start in my mind.

Have you donated or decluttered anything today?

My New Rakkiddo Shoe Wheel

During my move, I finally received my Rakkiddo Shoe Wheel. Haven't heard of this yet? Well, I won mine from Mommy Daddy Blog, and it is amazing.

The Rakkiddo Shoe Wheel is made by Rakku Designs, and it is the kid's version of their regular sized adult shoe wheel. Kids sized or not, I like it because we all do not have that many shoes. My son's shoes can all fit into one compartment, my daughter has only about 3 pairs she wears on a normal basis, hubby has only one, and I have downsized to 3 pairs as well (not including my slippers).

Unfortunately, hubby's size 15 1/2 shoes do not fit in the wheel, which is ok though because he would rather just be able to slip his shoes on and off quickly. He has been doing a great job of remembering too, because otherwise I have a fit when I walk into the kitchen barefoot and step on ice and snow that he has tracked in.

My mom also brought over 7 pairs of crocheted slippers that I put into one of the compartments for guests that come over. I am not going to be very big on sweeping and mopping three times a day once the baby is crawling. So, I will be enforcing a no shoes rule.


I'm back. Did you miss me?

Of course, I have to start with a cute for the day.
Above is a pic of my son being his adorable self, playing with my cell phone.
How can you not love those eyes?

Now onto my update... we are here, we are getting settled, and the Internet is back on. *Angels singing* Very poor planning on our part, however with a 1 year old, winter storms brewing, and living in a poorly heated/insulated apartment, can you really blame us for up and leaving as soon as we signed the lease to our new place? All I needed for motivation was to wake up the next morning, realize the heat was cranked to 90, but we were all still bundled up and freezing, and to feel my son's ice cold hands that I can never keep covered.

By that night, we had the two kids beds, the couch, the spare mattress, and all of our electronics moved into the new apartment. I could barely get out a post saying that we had signed the lease. However my family's health was so much more important than any of that. I can sort of relate it to a fire, only much much colder and none of our stuff was burnt.

So now, we are here with the good majority of our things moved over, and just some more of the clutter to pack up and move over here. Yes, we are taking our clutter with us. However, we have a plan in place for getting through it all.

My Plan to Declutter Our New Place

1. Everything that is not 100% essential to our everyday survival is being moved into the basement here.
2. Each day, I will bring up one bag at a time and go through it.
3. I will only keep things that are essential, and not keep things simply for material or sentimental reasons.

I have many tools and advantages at my disposal now to help me keep up with this new plan. First, as I mentioned in my previous post, Salvation Army is right across the street! A declutterer and frugal shopper's dream, right? Also, this apartment comes equipped with a dumpster right in the complex. But of course, I think it is all possible, because of the basement storage space we have. No one else uses it right now, so we are free to store as much as we need to for now. But of course my goal is to tone it down to practically nothing within the next few months.

If you want to see some pictures of our new place, click here. So far they are all of the place empty before we moved anything in. I have a few as we started moving things in, but my flickr upload limit is practically reached just with these. So, I will wait to post better ones instead.