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Friday Links & Things: Getting my act together edition

This week I’ve been hard at work getting our house and lives back on track as we prepare for another school year. Although we homeschool year round, We integrate our Extra Curricular activities back into our routine in September. This is always a bit of an adjustment.

Pumpkin has extremely long (and gorgeous) hair and I should really do more with it…I mean to. But I tend to give her the same hairstyle every day with just a bow or headband as an accessory. In an effort to “get my act together” I’m going to make more of an effort each morning to give her a neat style. When I saw the Big Floppy Hair Bow tutorial I knew it was something I had to try. We did a dry run during our Tropical Storm Isaac adventure. Of course it goes without saying that this would be the perfect hairstyle for ballet class. Too bad she retired from ballet after having her first and last recital.

Finding the funny in laundry duties.


Speaking of school I thought this post on Supporting other mother’s schooling choices was a timely one. We are a homeschooling family but our youngest is currently in a Montessori program because that was the best decision for her right now. We all have to make the best decisions we know how to for our children and true friends are supportive of that.

Still enjoying doing the flower arrangements

Still enjoying doing the flower arrangements


Inspiring Reads:

Fighting the tyranny of the urgent at home

5 Easy ways you can simplify in under 30 minutes

Have a great weekend!

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3 Quick Organizing Tips

I’m working on reorganizing my home office/classroom today.  Tropical Storms apparently send me into nesting mode. 

When I worked as a professional organizer I didn’t have children. So I was clueless (just clueless) about creating simple organization systems that can be created somewhat quickly and maintained easily.  I shudder when I think how often I reorganized already organized spaces in our home because I was bored.  

What I would give to have that kind of time on my hands these days!  Needless to say I’ve learned a few more things since I’ve become a Mom of 5.

4 Quick Organizing Tips

Don’t buy storage containers before you know what you intend to put in it and where it will go.  So often people say, “I’m going to get organized” and run off to the store and buy a bunch of containers, baskets and bins before they’ve even sorted, purged and categorized their belongings.  Yes, it’s somewhat of a downer to stop mid organizing and dash off with your detailed list of what you actually need—but its more efficient in the long run. Trust me.
If it is going to be in view make sure it’s pretty but still accessible.  

Store things by frequency of use. You don’t want to put something you use daily in a closed basket on the top of a shelf for example. Likewise, don’t give up your prime storage real estate for something you rarely use.

outside of the box when it comes to organizing and using containers.

You don’t always have to use something the way it was marketed to be

The Container Store’s 4 Tiered Jewelry box is my new office supply desk caddy.


Join me on Tuesday for my Home Office/School Room reveal.  I’ll have some more organizing tips for you on the Trophy Mom Facebook page too. 

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This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Friday Links & Things: 10 Blogs to Read issue

As I’ve mentioned before I’ve been slowly moving my blogs off of Blogger and onto WordPress. It has been both an exciting process and a frustrating one. Since I’ll be moving off of the Blogger platform, I thought I’d take inventory of my blog reader and update my Pulse News app on the ipad. It’s my favorite way to catch up on blogs now.

This weekend’s links are about *some* of the Blogs I’m reading. I’d love to hear about the ones you are reading. Please share in the comments. Even if you just want to tell me a little about yours. Really, I’d love to visit some of your blogs. Please share.

The Happiest Mom is a new favorite for me. She had me at: “Why do I hire help? Because I want to, that’s why.” Amen.

A blog I’ve been reading off and on is We are that Family . I’ve started reading it again mostly as I’ve become so inspired by the posts on Mercy House. This is a real life House of Mercy, birthed out of a dream following a trip to Africa with Compassion International. Her story is inspiring and posts like Motherhood is not rocket science makes me appreciate her heart for parenting too.

AddaPinch is like a Pinterest Food Board come to life. I first “met” Robin (online of course) as a homeschool blogger and I have to admit I was a bit confused when she started rebranding everything to AddaPinch…now I get it, and I enjoy her blog. She still shares some of her homeschooling journey on her blog, but you can see she has really embraced her passion and found her online voice. She also got to hang out with the Pioneer Woman at her ranch. So she’s got the cool badge now.

Sprinkled with Flour is another new food blog that I’m enjoying. Check out Frozen Blueberry Lemonade and Chunky Twix Cookies. I plan on making those recipes this weekend with my crew.

In the keeping it real with 7 kids category is Vitafamilae. I have to admit I have kid envy. I also bawled and prayed along on their adoption journey of Dear (sweet) Mira.

I’m looking forward to getting to meet Summer from Le Musings of Moi this fall. I already feel like I know her through her blog and her vlogs on The Mommalogues. She writes about faith and fashion. Who knew you could do that so well? is where I go to for a laugh. Kathy is someone I wish lived in my town (because living next door might make me her blog fodder). I’m still amazed that she can run an in-home day care and have such a popular blog! After an unsuccessful time trying to find a “summer nanny” I had to laugh about this post about email addresses people use when looking for a job. I’m sure she is already on your blog reader, but if not, you better add her soon!

I just started reading Rage against the Mini Van which chronicles one family’s adoption journey, among other things. The blog is both inspiring and heartbreaking. Read Kids Raising Kids: The reality of child-headed households in Africa and Bigotry, Blindness and Basketball and see if you don’t agree.

See Jamie Blog is another favorite. Jamie is a photographer, homeschooler and adoptive parent. She blogs about it all beautifully.

I’ve linked to Hollywood Housewife so much lately it’s becoming ridiculous. However, I love her blog and she has inspired me in the new direction I’m going with my writing and the upcoming launch of Trophy Mom Diaries. So here is another shout out!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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What the road warrior taught me about flowers

Fresh cut flowers in the home were never something I truly appreciated until The Road Warrior.  He always liked them and his “Bachelor Pad” always had fresh arrangements.  When we got married he inquired a few times why I didn’t have fresh flowers in our home. Usually after  few inquiries I would grab a mixed bouquet at the grocery store and put it in a vase in the kitchen.

Needless to say that wasn’t what he meant.

He meant floral arrangements that were an accessory to the home, not just haphazardly thrown in a vase in a random place.  But I didn’t get it then.  

Last year I decided to hire a florist to do customized weekly arrangements in the home. It was fun planning out the areas that I wanted to have flowers and after a few weeks I began to develop preferences.    Walking through a house with beautiful flowers, artfully placed, made me smile.   And no matter what was going on in our lives I believe our house looked a little dressier and neater because of the floral arrangements.

As I’m seeking to simplify the running of our home and lifestyle I’ve been looking at the services we use.  Am I being a good steward?  Is this something that really adds value to our family life? Is it something that we could do ourselves? 

This week I discontinued the flower service.  Using a wholesale flower distributor I placed my first order, took a deep breath and gave it a try.

I’ve discovered that I enjoy flower arranging.  Who knew?

The Road Warrior said he was so happy to come home to a (clean) house full of flowers. It looked welcoming and inviting after a hard week away working on the road.  My husband felt loved by this (simple) act of service.  

Now as I walk through the house, they not only make me smile, but they have become a tangible sense of accomplishment that one doesn’t always find so easily as a homemaker.

I’m adding Florist to my job description…

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The fairy tale behind commitment


This weekend the Road Warrior and I went to a wedding to celebrate the union of two friends.  As I watched the couple exchange vows I couldn’t help but think about my own wedding and all we’ve been through in the years following.

Like me, the bride is younger than her groom.  Like me, she is marrying a man who is already a father and she will have a step daughter.  I know that road isn’t easy and  I was reminded of how naive I was as I embarked on the same path she was taking now.  I fully believed our love could conquer all.  Maybe it has, but it hasn’t been without  blood, sweat or buckets of tears.
Our friends wrote their own vows and like every detail from their amazing wedding, it was them.  Laid bare in every way.  Vulnerable. Expectant.  Filled with love and hope.  The groom’s vows alone would have gone viral on YouTube, I promise you that.  

Looking around I saw the tears well up in the eyes of many of the women in attendance, including my own.

How long had it been since my husband looked at me like that? What would I give to have him say those vows to me now?

And then I stopped thinking about myself and I looked at HER.

Was I as excited as she was to marry my husband?  Did I still look at my husband the way she was looking at hers?  Truly I don’t think she would have cared, in that moment, if any of us were there.  She only saw him.
How long had it been since I only saw my husband, and not just the things that needed to be done around the house?


I remembered what it felt like to feel that way about my spouse and I vowed to get that feeling back. I don’t believe it simply goes away. I believe we bury it with unforgiveness, resentment, selfishness, to do lists, and pursuits that serve no eternal purpose.  Simply put I believe it gets buried in everything we put before our spouse, including our children & ourselves.

Without a doubt I love the Road Warrior more today than I did on the day we married.  But I’m also going to reclaim my fairy tale romance with him. I’m going to start looking at him the way a bride looks at her groom.  
My wedding day 2000
There are 5 pairs of eyes watching us and making note of what marriage is. I want to show them the fairy tale behind the commitment.

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