Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A DAY IN THE LIFE: OPERATION ORGANIZATION BACK TO SCHOOL SERIES



I was so honored to be invited by Christy and Amy of 11 Magnolia Lane to participate in this Operation: Organization Back to School series today.  Honestly, I'm not the most organized person and am constantly fighting certain problem areas like I'm sure many of you do, so I wasn't sure I had much to share on the topic.  However, I've found a few small things here and there that help our family and me personally stay on track,  so I'll include those throughout the details of my day.  If you're a new visitor today, welcome!  I'm so glad you stopped by and hope you find something that you can relate to here.


*Affiliate links may be used in this post for your shopping convenience.  I earn a small commission through these links at no extra cost to you.  Thanks for supporting Dimples and Tangles to keep great content coming!


Here's my disclaimer for this post:  This is the typical "schedule" I shoot for, but all of these things don't always happen in my day.  I don't keep a disciplined time schedule for my days, more of a routine of different things that need to be done day by day.  Some (more than I like) days I don't exercise, I spend all day running errands and have to cram in computer work at night.  Some days if I have a big project in the works I barely get anything done besides feeding my family (and ordering pizza totally counts as feeding your family!).   I know you all who are Moms can totally relate, your schedule can never be too set in stone.

My day begins around 6:45 a.m.  Since my kids are older, they are responsible for getting themselves up and going.  My son has early morning band practice every day and leaves the house by 6:30, so I don't see him before school most days.  When I get up I fix a quick breakfast for my daughter (she's not a big fan of breakfast) and pack her lunch.  One thing that we did last year that made packing lunches so much easier and faster was to set up a lunchbox station inside the pantry door.  When almost everything we need is right in front of us it's so much more efficient!


My husband usually takes her to school by 7:15.  When he leaves to take her I slip on my tennis shoes and go for a walk- usually 30-45 minutes.  I know myself, and if I don't go first thing it usually won't happen at all.  I generally listen to my playlist as I walk, but I've also been enjoying listening to some podcasts during that time to shake it up a bit.  I have to be careful, though... if I get too intent on listening to a podcast I end up leisurely strolling instead of walking fast.  ;)



When I return from walking my husband has returned from drop-off and is usually about ready to go to work.  I'll make breakfast for the two of us, usually some sort of eggs/protein.  This quiche is in the rotation about once a week, and if we're especially conscious about carbs I'll make it without the crust and just decrease the cooking time.  Always a family favorite!


He usually eats quickly and heads out the door, while I sit down and eat and do my quiet time.  If it's the time of year when I'm in an organized Bible Study I'll work on it during this time, or if I'm in between studies I like to occasionally go back through studies I've already done or do a simple devotional book (I especially like this one and this one).


After that I usually putter around the house a little, cleaning up dishes, watering pots outside, straightening up.  This was watering day!  My tropical plants and succulents get watered about once every 3 weeks or so, I don't really have a set schedule for them.  That's the beauty of those plants... they tolerate infrequent watering and can take lots of abuse!  If I have fresh flowers I change the water in them and re-cut the stems every 2-3 days.



I finally hit the shower at some point after that (yay!) and get ready for the rest of the day.  If I know I'm not going anywhere that day, top knot, no makeup,  and comfy clothes it is!  If I do have plans to be out I'll get completely ready.

At this point I'll hop on the computer and check e-mails, read a few blogs, and work on posts if needed.  If I have a specific project going on I'll use this time during the day to work on that as well.  On this day in particular, I had a phone interview scheduled for our upcoming feature in Better Homes and Gardens (eeeek!!). That's a huge reason to love blogging... I can do business interviews at my kitchen table...with no makeup and wet hair!  ;)  And did I ever think I'd be posting a photo of myself on the internet with no makeup and my hair not done???  Nope!  You can bet I slapped a filter on there, though!  ;)


It's probably obvious, but the thing that keeps me the most organized with my work is a planner.  A good old write it down with pencil and paper planner.  I've tried several different ones, but I really like this one lately that I bought from Target.  It has a large monthly grid, then a page for each week adjoining a "this week" and "reminders" list page.  I keep our family calendar and my blog calendar all in one spot with this one, and these are my favorite pens to do a bit of color coding.


Somewhere around noon I stop for lunch.  Some days Ray comes home for lunch and some days I'm on my own.  I usually have some sort of quesadilla or salad with leftover chicken or taco meat and watch a bit of tv or read while I eat.  Today, it was Taco Salad! I'm not a coffee drinker, so by lunch I'm usually ready for a little boost.  I stick with my favorite iced tea or a soda.



After lunch I do a little more computer work.  On this day I knew I'd be doing a lot of sitting, so I multi-tasked and did a foot treatment at the same time.  I don't find going to get pedicures especially enjoyable or relaxing, but I tried Baby Foot last Fall and I'm hooked!  After a long summer of going bare foot a good deal of the time, let's just say my feet needed some smoothing.  If you can get past the disgusting before and after advertising photos, you might like it too!  You can read my tips for using this product in this post.



Also around this time in the afternoon I start to think about dinner and the kids getting home from school.  I'll do whatever initial prep is needed for dinner, and occasionally get something ready for a snack for the kids when they get home, although half the time they just grab a quick snack.  But, today I made Pumpkin Bread.  I love this recipe because I can throw it together in about 5 minutes, stir everything in one bowl, and pop it in the oven.  It comes in so handy for after school snacks and breakfast as well.


Some days I'll run a few errands before the kids get home from school, or if I need them for the errands we'll go right after school.  Here's another tip that I just recently started doing, and I don't know why I never did it sooner!  I keep a sturdy basket or tote in the back of my car to contain things I need to return or throw small sacks in after I make a purchase.  It helps so much to keep things from sliding around all over the back of my vehicle.


I don't know about you, but I have a love/hate relationship with my kids and their phones.  Not my kids.  I always love them.  Just their phones.  ;)   I don't feel good about letting them have free reign with them, mainly because they can be so distracting and time consuming.  A very useful tool, but distracting.  I know from experience!  And I HATE policing their time on their phone.  So, at the beginning of our school year a few weeks ago I implemented a simple system.  When they get home from school, they get 20 minutes of phone time, which they are responsible for monitoring their time (I technically keep an eye on their time too because if they go over they lose phone privileges for a while).  Then, it goes on the kitchen counter while homework and other chores are done.  After all of their responsibilities are taken care of, they can have them back for a while, but I want them back on the counter at 8:00 p.m. for overnight.  They've gone back to using regular alarm clocks rather than their phones and so far we're doing okay with this system but are still working on it.  Any suggestions?  What works well for your family?


One last tool that has helped us tremendously over the past several years is a large family chalkboard calendar hanging in the kitchen.  I have always kept my personal calendar with all of our events, but it's helped so much to have all of our activities visible for the whole family to see and know what to expect.  This chalkboard was a DIY project from an old piece of artwork and has been one of my hardest working projects!


Dinnertime varies for us depending on activities, but most nights we do sit down for dinner together regardless of the time.  Tonight I worked on dinner while Emily worked on her homework.


We had this yummy chicken dish, one of her favorites!



After the hustle and bustle of after school, homework, dinner, and family time many evenings you'll find us right here on the patio.  I hardly ever have a blog post finished until the night before it goes up, so I'm usually putting the finishing touches on those at night.

DIY Striped Pots  ||  How to Paint Ceramics (painted garden stools)


Finally time for bed!  No matter how tired I am, 99.9% of the time I read before turning out my light.  Sometimes it's 2 pages, sometimes it's multiple chapters, but it's what shuts my mind down.  Right now I've been re-reading a favorite series and am still enjoying it even though I know what's going to happen.  Does anyone else do the same thing?


There you have it.  Nothing terribly exciting or earth shattering to report here, but I love my family and our little life and try hard to keep everything running smoothly.

Thanks so much for joining me today, I hope you enjoyed the personal peek into my days and picked up a good tip or two.  If you're new here today, I'd love for you to join my email list!  You'll receive a notification straight to your inbox any time there's a new post on Dimples and Tangles, simply enter your address below.

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Be sure to head over to these fabulous blogs and check out their Day in the Life posts today too.  I know they'll all have some wonderful organizing tips for us as well!

Christy  — 11 Magnolia Lane
Amanda — Dixie Delights
Rebekah — A Blissful Nest
*Megan from Honey We're Home is a Houston area resident, and although she was scheduled to post today I'm sure everyone understands that she needed to re-schedule her post to next week. She and her family are safe and are lending aid where they can to help their neighbors in need.  She wrote a great post from an insider's perspective of how you can help!

Check back next week for round 2 of the series!

September 6th

Amy -11 Magnolia Lane
Sam - Simply Organized 
Erin - Sunny Side Up
Mallory — Style Your Senses
Julie — Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss
Haneen - Haneen’s Haven
Megan — Honey We're Home



If you enjoyed this post, you might like this one too!
So I Married A Blogger (An Interview with my Husband)





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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

HAPPENINGS ON THE HOMEFRONT | 4 | AND EXCITING NEWS!


Our hearts continue to go out to our family and friends in Texas who are devastated by Hurricane Harvey.  Please do what you can to help.  Here are just a few ways you can help monetarily: We personally contribute to Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, but Samaritan's Purse and the Red Cross are also worthy organizations providing help to those in need.  My thoughts and prayers are with you all. 

* * * * * * *

Well hello there!  Long time no post, right?  I absolutely did not intend to only post a handful of times this Summer, but boy, our schedule over the past few months just about did me in!  Nope, no slow, leisurely Summer with afternoons at the pool here... we were WAY too busy and unfortunately when I did have a day or two to catch my breath blogging was not at the top of my priority list.  However, the kids are back in school, we're easing back into a normal routine, and I'm ready to get back to it!  Since it's been so quiet around here I thought I'd catch you up on what kept us so busy all Summer (one thing in particular...keep reading!), and a few other random tidbits.


We kicked off the summer with a giant Garage Sale- check out my post on how to have a great one if you missed it earlier this year.  It was SO nice to clear some space and get rid of things we don't need anymore (not to mention make some extra $$!).  The day after we wrapped that up we took a trip to Phoenix and thoroughly loved it!

These chairs that I got for a steal on Craigslist have been hanging out in our garage for a few years.  I've kept them stashed planning to redo them some day, and I finally started making some plans for them.  I was thinking navy velvet, but before I committed I pulled them inside to get a feel for them in the room, and draped a throw over one of them to test out the color.  I liked the color ok, but after having the chairs in the room we decided they weren't quite right.  The shape of the back and wings is great, but they were better suited for an office since the seats weren't very wide or deep.  I want a set of chairs I can curl up in!  So, they're out and now I have even more room in the garage!  ;)


We also spent some time at the beginning of the summer digging out some new flower beds across the back of the house.  Once we finally got the patio all finished, we knew we were going to have to focus on some fresh landscaping back there.  We still have a long way to go, but it's a start!

We dug out two new beds that are actually much deeper than they appear.  It doesn't seem like that big of a project, but by the time the grass is removed, they're shaped and prepped, shopping is done for plant selections, and they're actually planted, it took quite a bit of time.  They are a hot mess right now, but I added some foundation plants and then experimented with some seeds and bulbs for the Summer.  The lantana and zinnias have gone crazy, so next summer I'll have a better idea of how to plan for and plant those.  I also hope to build up the base of perennial plants/bushes/trees in the beds a bit more this Fall.





A few days after we returned from Phoenix, we all left for youth camp at Falls Creek.  Ray was a High School sponsor, and I helped cook for our Middle Schoolers.  We took over 400 students and adult sponsors altogether, with about 185 of those being middle school, so there were lots of hungry mouths to feed!  I've done this job two different times in the past and it's a work out, but so much fun!


One late night snack...


Our June was back to back events, and two days after we returned from camp we had a week of Vacation Bible School.  My teen kids worked and I always organize the teachers' break room and keep it stocked with yummy snacks that church members donate.  There's not much better than tables full of snacks made by church ladies!

The Fourth of July is always celebrated at my parents' house, and our son marches with the band in our town's parade.  He moved to snare this year and is loving it!



I took on one big project over the summer (more to come on this one),



and we continued to work on outdoor projects as well.


Our pool days were few and far between!



As we moved into August I spent a week helping at the school run a merchandise booth for a band fundraiser as kids rotated through to pick up their schedules.  She's moving to High School this year so they're both in the same building again... woo hoo! 


We were finally able to squeeze in a quick family vacation right before school started, and even though we only had a few days it was unanimous that we should head to one of our favorite vacation spots.




Everyone else practiced their new hobby of fly fishing this year, while I watched from the sidelines with a book.  Perfection!





We had one day when we returned home and then poof!  The summer was over and the kids went back to school.


On top of our busy schedule that kept me from blogging, I'm working behind the scenes on lots of changes to my site to update the look and to make things more organized and easier to navigate.  I'm hoping to have that ready for you very soon!

Now, on to the big exciting news...

the reason that almost every spare day that we weren't out of town was filled with a big to-do list...

We had a photo shoot in our home at the end of July!  A CHRISTMAS photo shoot!!!  Yep, we were sweating away while decking all the halls during one of the hottest weeks of the summer.  Fa la la!  Sooo.....keep an eye out for the Griffin family in your December issue of BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS!!!  (Can you tell we're just a bit excited?)  I'll do a big behind the scenes post when the issue comes out, but for now all of the photos are top secret.  ;)  I will say the best part of having a photo shoot in your home is all of the flowers that are left over after the shoot.


So, there you have it, you're all caught up.  I've been storing up lots of things to share with you, but for now I'll see you back here tomorrow for a fun special post.



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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

MY FIVE FAVORITE BEFORE AND AFTER PROJECTS


Welcome to My Five Favorites today!  Pam from Simple Details, Lisa from Shine Your Light, Kris from Driven by Decor and I are all so excited to share our five favorite before and after projects with you this month.

We're welcoming Shelley at Crazy Wonderful as our guest today, and I think she must be pretty humble because she should have named her blog Crazy Talented!  Case in point, that stunning black botanical wall (psst... they're DIY!!) in her gorgeous dining room.


I'm anxious to see what she's sharing with us today for her favorite B&As too, so join me and be sure to stop by, say hello, and take a peek!




One of our biggest before and after projects has been the Patio makeover that we started two summers ago.  We removed the pergola and added a solid roof in it's place, extended the existing roof and floor area, and added a fireplace. The after truly feels like we've added a whole new living area to our home, and we're using it every chance we get!  Check out the reveal post to see a closer look of all the details we changed as well as links to all of the projects along the way.







I'm probably teetering on the verge of y'all being tired of seeing the Powder Bath makeover, but it's probably the most dramatic before and after in my house!





It's tempting to only include big, dramatic, full room makeovers in my favorites today, but small projects that don't take much time can be just as satisfying!  These sad thrifted lamps are still one of my all time favorite B&A projects- all it took was some paint, new shades, and a little bit of time.





And guess what?? Surprise, after 4 years they just got another makeover last week...now they're pretty in pink!




Of course, a good furniture trash to treasure transformation is always a winner in my book.  These nightstands are one of my favorite before and afters, because I figured out a simple way to change the dated look of the top drawer into a classic, timeless style.





These Vintage Wingback Chairs took years for me to actually get them from the before to the after, but it was worth all of the effort! Love them flanking my dining room table.





Goodness, once I started digging through the archives, I couldn't stop at 5 today!  Here's a few more I'll just give you the photos of, click the link below the photo if you want to see project details.  More of my favorites!










Lastly, I've got one big before and after bonus for you today.  A few months ago we reached 10 years of living in this home (unbelievable!).  If you missed it, I did a big post on where we started, progress, where were are now, and how my style has changed through the years.  It's full of lots of good before and after photos!




Do you have a favorite before and after project from your home?  I'd love to know what it is!  Be sure to head over to check out these before and after transformations, too.



Missed any previous My 5 Favorites posts? Catch up here!

My 5 Favorite Tips for Organizing Your Home
My 5 Favorite Home Decor Accessories
My 5 Favorite Ways to Decorate for Spring
My 5 Favorite Pillows
My 5 Favorite Ways to Decorate an Outdoor Space
My 5 Favorite Fabrics
My 5 Favorite DIY Projects
My 5 Favorite Ways to Use Mixed Metals
My 5 Favorite DIY Artwork Projects
My 5 Favorite Tabletop Accessories
My 5 Favorite Recipes for the Holidays
My 15 Favorite Favorites- Holiday Wish List
My 5 Favorite Organizing Tools
My 5 Favorite Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day
My 5 Favorite Thrifted Finds
My 5 Favorite Ikea Products
My 5 Favorite Paint Projects
My 5 Favorite Home Gadgets
My 5 Favorite Summer Accessories



I'd love for you to join my email list!  You'll receive a notification straight to your inbox any time there's a new post on Dimples and Tangles, simply enter your address below.

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