Christmas Tablescape

Yup...I told you I love doing tablescapes! Since I am pulling ideas together for this year, here are some pictures from the table last year. I love working with the silver chargers and adding an accent color throughout...and of course red works perfect for Christmas.


Molly Saves! In the Powder Room...e-digest review

Here are my favorites from the Econobusters digest of the month...

* The dresser turned into storage...for the bathroom (or any other room, really).
* Ingredients for making homemade cleaning supplies.
* A Nod to Pinterest, which I am COMPLETELY addicited to!
* and most of all...what I really need is the Winter Weather Hair Care tips!

There's something for everyone. Check it out here!


Thanksgiving TableScape

One of my favorite things to decorate for the holidays is the table. I love changing the tablescape and centerpieces. Granted, I don't ususally have something fancy on the table year round...half the time we can't even see the table with all of the games and homework assignments covering it...but October, November and December are my decorating months!!

I am on the hunt for ideas for my Thanksgiving table this year. Until then, here are some pictures from the table last year.


Molly Saves! In the Laundry Room...e-digest review

Time for another review! And who doesn't need some savings and time saving tips when it comes to laundry? My opinion is that I would want to spend more time in the laundry room if it looks great, is organized and functions as I need. Here are some great ideas from the November Digest over at Econobusters! And wait...there are even some Thanksgiving topics in here! A must read!

* Frugal ways to save by making your own laundry detergent and fabric softener
* A checklist to teach kids how to do laundry. I'm big on having my kids learn to take care of their own things.
* The suggestion that everyone has a specific day of the week to do their laundry. (Would love to implement this in a few years when both kids are old enough to do all of their own laundry!)
* Since my kids love to Up-Cycle all kinds of things from around the house, I can see the "From Soap Box to Magazine Holder" project coming up sometime soon.
* And the organizer in me LOVES the collection of links that lead to checklists to help make your holiday season relaxing.


As a wonderful side note: November 13th is World Kindness Day and the birthday of my wonderful friend that helps make this Digest a reality. Happy Birthday, TONI! I find it very fitting that you were born on World Kindness Day :)


Molly Saves! In the Dining Room...e-digest review

Perfect timing for the holidays! I love the ideas presented this month for the saving in the Dining Room. I love hosting and entertaining for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so this was perfect!

Here are some of my favorite things I found in this issue:
* Connections to some great centerpiece ideas.
* A table manners quiz for the kids...I wonder how good my kids will do on this?
* Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Impossible Pie - enough said!
* Tightwad Training Camp...Food finances. The prices are going up crazy fast on food, so I'm sure a lot of people could use this article!

As always, great job Molly and Team!!!

If you haven't yet had a chance to check out this digest and other tips from Econobusters, you should take a few moments to do so. You won't be sorry!


Molly Saves! In The Family Room: e-digest review

I've been needing some ideas about our family room, so I was super excited to see this issue come out.

Here are a sampling of my favorite things hidden in this e-digest:
* Links to make your own floor cushions. There is just something about sitting on a comfy floor with my kids or a good book that makes a home feel so welcoming to me.
* Love the "make your own board game" idea. I've been wanting to have my girls make one for a while so that it helps with studying...Since school is back in session, now would be a great time to get on that.
* I absolutely LOVE the redone coffee table. I have the perfect map! Hmmm....I don't think I need more projects on my to-do list, but it is perfect.
* And my absolute favorite are the handmade greeting cards by my amazing college friend, Toni Riggs. She has some great ideas that are really inspirational. And handmade cards mean so much more to family and friends.

If you don't already get the Econobusters digests, check out their site here. You won't be disappointed.


Back to School

In celebration of back to school, I thought I'd share a project with you that my family created for the school Basket Bingo fundraiser last year. The theme we were assigned was Crayola. Inside the crayon box is a tote full of wonderful Crayola crayons, coloring books, projects, and more. One lucky winner would get to take the entire box home.

I should also mention that we stepped up to work on this project at the last minute because the original person was unable to decorate the tote....so here is what we came up with at the last minute (ok, the night before) it was due.

Hope you enjoy! We were very happy with how it turned out.


The Entitlement Trap

It's amazing to see the entitlement that has found it's way into our culture today. I am hoping to find ways to keep this quality OUT of my children and I am excitedly waiting the arrival of my pre-ordered book, The Entitlement Trap by Richard and Linda Eyre.

Help us get this book on the Best Seller List and pre-order your copy today!!

The Power of Moms is even hosting a contest and you could win tickets to their September retreat!! That is something you don't want to miss.



Molly Saves! In The Closet:e-digest review

I have to say that an organizing digest that tells me when National Smore's Day falls must be amazing! I will definitely be celebrating that day! - Check out the calendar for other fun days to celebrate.

That's not all that you'll find in this issue of Molly Saves! Closet organization is one of my favorite things to do when I'm on a cleaning spree...when I find free time. (Just because I can't find much free time doesn't mean I don't LOVE to organize.)

Here are some of my favorites this month:

* A closet made over into an office for an amazingly reasonable price. What a great idea for a small space.
* Homemade ice cream recipe.
* and LOTS of great tips for clothes shopping on a budget!

If you aren't already a subscriber, you can buy this amazing digest here.


Note: I wasn’t paid to write this review, but received a complimentary copy of the digest in order to give you my honest opinion of it.


Molly Saves! In The Nursery: e-digest review

Ok, so I may be slightly partial since one of my best friends is the project manager for these digests, but seriously, they are filled with great ideas that are extremely useful and fun!

The July digest is about Saving in the Nursery and I sure wish I had this when my girls were babies!! Since I have so many friends that either currenly have babies, are about to have babies, or are trying to decide when to have babies, I wanted to share some of my favorite things I learned in this issue!

* The This N' That section has a great list of items that are on sale in July. So handy!
* Ideas for frugally decorating for a baby...things don't HAVE to cost a fortune to be adorable!
* A great idea for a new mom gift: A nighttime basket full of things that would be helpful while up for  middle of the night feedings. That would have been great to have!
* I didn't realize there were so many different types of cloth diapers!
* And, I love that, at the end, it summarizes all of the links referenced throughout.

There is so much great information and inspiration packet into these digests! And since the English major in me is addicted to quotes, here are my favorite that were included in this issues:

"The quickest way for a parent to get a child’s attention is to sit down and look comfortable." ~ Lane Olinghouse (This is SO true!)
“Babies are such a nice way to start people.” ~ Don Herold  (I completely agree.)

If you don't already get these Molly Green digests at Econobusters, I'd highly recommend them! Check them out here.



Own Your Weaknesses

The following is something that I try to live by: 
In order to be happy, you have to own your weaknesses and stop comparing them to strengths of others. 

And when I think of my weaknesses, I also think of my quirks. 

Today I am writing about our Family Camping Binder for two reasons: 1) My OCD with lists of one of my quirks that I "own" wholeheartedly, and 2) when I mentioned I was working on it, I had many requests of what I had in it. So here it is. Hope it helps anyone else who either loves to be organized, or really needs to get organized.  

Family Camping Binder

* A calendar of the summer month with all camping trips noted, reserved campsite information (including driving directions and other pertinent information if needed)
* A "Beginning of the Season" packing list (includes what we keep in the RV all season)
* A checklist of the items to pack for each camping trip
* Separate checklists for the girls (they pack their own stuff and are great at using mom's checklists)
* A menu for the weekend
* Grocery shopping list* A quick "Before we pull away from the house" list (all door and compartments closed, vents closed, etc)
* Activity lists for "On the Road" and "While Camping"
* Journal pages that we fill out on our drive home (who, what, where, when, favorite memories, etc)
* "What did we forget?" pages. Seems like there is always something we'd like to add to the next trip.

And of course, the binder cover and back are decorated with kid drawn pictures of us camping. 

I love it! It helps keep us organized and sane, while still letting us get the best from our family trips.

Wow! That is a lot. No wonder I get picked on so much. :)  Thanks for reading.


Happy Mother's Day - Power of Moms Style

In honor of Mother’s Day this year, I wanted to let you know about a great resource that I have been SO lucky to be working with. The Power of Moms, a website and “gathering place for deliberate mothers, ” is the “professional organization for moms who take motherhood seriously.”  They offer great resources to help moms take care of the person inside the mom while being the moms they really want to be.
Here are some of the wonderful things you can find and benefit from...
* Many (SO MANY) thought-provoking and practical articles they offer (there’s something new every day – often from some of my favorite bloggers and women I met at the Power of Moms Retreat in April).  
* I’ve also benefited from setting up my own Learning Circle (sort of like a book group, but we read and discuss an article on motherhood each month and have such a great time learning and laughing together). We still have a few open spaces in our group if you are local and interested in joining. I'd also be happy to help you set one up in your area.  
*They also have an amazing program that helps moms organize their time and tasks better called Mind Organization for Moms. I love the way it helps me clear my mind and be present when I'm doing family activities instead of worrying about all of the things on my to-do list. 
* The Bloom Game, where you get points for setting and accomplishing simple but meaningful goals each week.  Anyone want to play on my “Bloom Team” and compare points?  I've just started and really like it.
I know that as we all share the most helpful resources and ideas we can find about motherhood, we can help ease each other’s load and feel more joy and progression as mothers.  I hope you’ll enjoy the following little “gift” of links to some of my favorite articles on The Power of Moms.  Grab a favorite treat, put up your feet and read some of these suggestions! And if you are interested in more...click any of the Power of Moms link on the right side of my blog :)
Love, Chantol


Guest Post on Small Fry & Co.

I’m guest posting over at Small Fry & Co. today. Stop by and check it out. She has a lot of great ideas over there!


Thankful for Small Miracles

My hubby and I spent some time over the weekend deciding on our new systems of family chores and allowance. Mind you, our kids have always had chores and they have an allowance, we just hadn't tied them together in a consistent manner.

Well, with some amazing ideas from the Power of Moms Retreat I attended last weekend and some creative ideas of our own, we explained it all to the kids and told them that the new system would start today.

I am happy to report that morning chores, homework, and afternoon chores were all done without reminders BEFORE I got home from work! They are determined to get all of their responsibilities done so that they can get all of their pay. Now, I'm not guaranteeing that they will always get everything done without reminders, but it's nice to see that there is hope! I'll take it!

I can't wait to start teaching this system to other moms! Love it!

*** As a side note, if you haven't attended a Power of Moms Retreat yet, there is another amazing one in Park City, UT in May. It is well worth the trip! ***

Econobusters Mother's Day Giveaway!

Molly over at Econobusters has put together an amazing Mother's Day Giveaway! Stop on over and learn how to enter!!!

Many of the items were created by my college friends! So excited! They are all amazing!

Get on over there and enter!


Power of Moms Retreat

I had the chance to attend a Power of Moms Retreat in Park City, UT this past weekend. Saren and April did an amazing job putting the retreat together with many great speakers and Saren's wonderful parents, Richard and Linda Eyre, hosting the retreat in their home. To say the experience was great, is a complete understatement. 100 moms wanting to be more deliberate in their mothering, wanting to learn to “take care of the person inside the mom” and getting ideas on how to better raise children in the crazy, lazy, entitled world that we seem to find ourselves among. Those 100 moms represented 500 children! 500 little hearts and minds that will forever be better because their moms DELIBERATELY took the time to become better in their profession of motherhood.
(Saren and April, our fearless leaders for the weekend)

This retreat was far more than I had imagined it would be...and I have been wanting to attend one since I found the website.

Friday started with Mind Organization for Moms (M.O.M.), which is based on “Getting Things Done” (GTD) by David Allen. I had been using GTD for months when I found M.O.M. and was excited to see that it had been customized for moms. The presentation by April Perry was wonderful and will help so many moms clear their minds and simplify their lives so that they can be more “present” when they are with their family instead of having to always worry about what else needs to get done. ~ I highly recommend this program to all moms. I was organized before doing this program, but now my mind is organized as well and I don’t feel overwhelmed by the many projects I tackle. ~

This session was followed by a meeting of almost all of the women on the Board for Power of Moms, of which I am one of the newest members and completely thrilled to have been invited.

Saturday was the main retreat and covered a variety of topics like “Taking Care of the Person Inside the Mom”, “Effective Family Systems”, Values Parenting, and others. I have to say that I took pages and PAGES of notes (and a few pictures) and am so excited to put some of these great ideas in place with our family...hopefully helping to curb some of the issues we find ourselves faced with at this point in raising children.

I also attended the Train-the-Trainer session on Saturday evening to finish up my training and become a Certified Trainer for Power of Moms. I couldn't be more excited to work with other moms that want to become more organized and deliberate in their mothering.

In addition, I bought the book below, "A Mother's Book of Secrets" (written by Saren's mom and sister) and almost finished the entire thing on my flight home - A perfect way to end the retreat weekend.
(You can get it here.)

As a side note: The journey home was an adventure of it’s own and as I was spending my extra long day at the airport on flight standby, I shopped for mementos for my family. In that shopping search, I found something I knew my girls would love -- bright colored pencils with facts about the State of Utah...including the state flower - the Sego Lily. They were so excited about these pencils that had THEIR last name (Sego) on them. Granted, they already have the cute pencils with their first names on them, but these Sego Lily pencils had more meaning to them.

As I was searching for a magnet to add to my collection, I found two bumper stickers that summed up my weekend so well, that I HAD to get them.
~ All mothers are working mothers. ~


~ The best way to predict the future is to help create it. ~

That is what all of these mothers were doing at this retreat. Helping to create a better future by raising and leading the next generation.


Sunshine - We really saw it!

The sun outside was amazing today! I'm so glad it decided to grace us with it's presence, even with the few rounds of sprinkles in between sun breaks. We got so much done inside and OUTSIDE today! Over the last week, we have been working in the carport, so we've thankfully been under cover while tackling some of our Spring projects. But today, it was SO amazingly nice to be able to work in the sun.

Chica took this picture while not actually looking at the sun. She was trying to protect her little eyes that haven't seen the WA sun in oh so many months. (It turned out to be an amazing shot!)

So, what did we work on today? Well, Hubby mowed the lawn, Chica visited a friend, and Monkey and I worked on spray painting a few projects. The main one that we completed today was this: A kids bench for our porch...weathered by the WA, well, NOT sun. We gave it a fresh coat of royal blue paint, then distressed it. Monkey was great help with the sandpaper. Then I added some twine since we have a "beachy" type theme on our porch. (I know we don't live at the beach, but a girl can dream.) Last touch is a cute pillow from Ikea that normally sits on our porch swing. Here are the before and after pictures:

Before: Yes, I know. VERY weathered and horrible before clean up.

Paint, and some distressing

After: Twine, pillow and put in place.

During the sprinkles, we were able to put up this adorable photo gallery kit that my amazing mom gave me as an early birthday gift! We even went through pictures and printed out the ones we wanted to fill the frames. I love it!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Friday tomorrow...and hoping the WA sun sticks around for just a few more months weeks days.


Putting Up Walls

Today we built a wall. Not a majorly important wall, structurally speaking, but a wall that will help us separate carport from project area. A wall that will allow one car to actually park in the carport and allow the project builder to actually use the other space and find the tools and supplies needed. This is a MAJOR accomplishment for this space.

The great part about building the wall is that we get to do a project together. He measures, I cut. He lines the boards up, I agree that they look good. He climbs the ladder, I take a picture of my handy man. He holds the plywood in place, I use the nail gun to tack it down. I hammer, he takes the hammer away. (Evidently I am allowed to use the nail gun and screw gun, but NOT the giant framing hammer.) Once the wall is up, we add peg board to hang the tools most used. Then comes sorting ALL of the tools, supplies, and miscellaneous items that I have NO idea what they are or what they do. Hubby's rule: If you don't know what it is, it's a tool. He names the items, I organize them into categories. Yes, his work space is going to so organized that we will actually be able to create things in there. (Like how I note that it is HIS space that WE will get to work in?  ;)  ) 

We aren't quite finished with the "Organize the Carport" project, but the major hurdle has been completed. Tomorrow I break out the label maker so that all of those organized containers have names. (Yes, I know I'm a nerd.)

These are the kind of walls we enjoy building.

(After photos will be posted soon...Before photos might be posted.)

Deliberate Mothering over at the Power of Moms

Are you a deliberate mother?

The last few months, I have been getting as involved as I can in Power of Moms (a gathering place for deliberate mothers). In fact, I've probably driven Saren and April (the wonderful women that started Power of Moms) crazy with all of my questions and my excitement to learn their programs and teach them to other DELIBERATE MOTHERS. I've been so thankful to be able to write articles and assist with editing a few projects for Power of Moms as well.

The biggest of my projects right now is becoming a certified Power of Moms Trainer. I am so excited to be attending a Premium Retreat in Utah in just a few weeks. I have been reading, stalking following blogs and working toward starting Power of Mom workshops and retreats in our area. The Learning Circle that I've already started has been awesome and I really enjoy the amazing moms that I get to talk to and learn from.

If you look to the right, you can see that I've got my blog all linked up so that you can find anything you're looking for over at Power of Moms. Stop on by and see what they have going on. There are Learning Circles, the Bloom Game, Mind Organization for Moms, Podcasts, and MUCH more!


Flea Market Fun

In February, my girls and I set up shop at a Flea Market at their school. We'd been working on various projects to sell and had a great time making them. We did ...ok... at the Flea Market, but hopefully next time there will be more advertising to get more customers in the door.

Here are some of the pictures once we were all set up.

There are still some items for sale that I will be posting on the Oges Design page. Take a look and let me know if you see anything you just have to have. My 10-year old made the t-shirts and they turned out great. My 7-year old made the adorable bowls which turned out to be very popular. In addition, there are hats, ruffle scarves, Scrabble tile keychains (pick your initial), wine charms, earrings and a few other items. Feel free to look around.


Memories - Old and New

So our big project for the upcoming week, besides that it is Spring Break, is to clear out, organize and then put our carport back together...hopefully in a system where items are group together in a consistent manner, can be found when needed, and will be put back when they are not in use. I know! My expectations may be a little high for a carport, but I REALLY like to have things organized.

In the process of going through old boxes, we ran across many interesting items...an old recorder I used for college classes, sorority t-shirts, ceramics that my mom made me when I was a kid, and a box full of purple and white wedding decor from our wedding in 1998.

The "old school" mini tape recorder was a huge hit with my girls as they recorded themselves and then played it back in slow motion or in "chipmunk" voices. Kept them entertained for at least an hour and I can see many more days of fun ahead with that one.

The tape recorder was then put aside when the box of purple tulle, wedding bells and bows was opened. Whispering began and the sneaky girls were quickly grabbing items and running out the front door. Back in for more items and then back out again. They were busy for about 45 minutes when they finally came in and announced that they has remade our wedding for us...in the front yard...for everyone to see! I have to admit, it really did look like someone was setting up for a wedding! Here is what we saw when we opened the front door...
(Don't mind the little one in the robe, hat and rubber boots - doesn't look like the boots even match!
She's been sick all week and was thrilled to finally get to go outside for a little bit.)

I hope the neighbors aren't mad that we didn't send out invites ;)

Girls - Thank you for giving our wedding decorations even more wonderful memories. You always know how to make us smile!

PS - Maybe I should use them to help decorate the weddings that I help coordinate. Lol


Birthday Projects

We've been working on a few projects over here for a bunch of family birthdays that are coming up in April. Here are two of my favorites.

This one is for my mom and I saw the idea here. I absolutely LOVED the Seed String Garland and I'm hoping that Mom does as well.

The next is for my adorable little niece and still needs a few finishing touches, but I think she'll like it. Can you guess her name and how old she is turning?  ;)

A few more projects to go and we will be ready for the gaggle of March/April birthdays in our family.


Posting again...

Well, I haven't posted in a long while. However, there are many things going on lately so I'm hoping to get into the habit of actually using my blog. In my first effort of the year, I've updated the format and the name! Organized Chaos encompasses fully everything for me. All of my family projects, work, side projects and hobbies.

So, in addition to my ramblings about various aspects of my chaos, I will be using this as a space to post inspiring decor, organizing and project pictures (and linking to some of the many blogs I have been reading). I've noticed that there are SO many projects that I would like to tackle, but so little time. I'm hoping to use this as a way to capture those and many other ideas that find themselves in the middle of my organized chaos.

Welcome and enjoy. Let's see what else comes from this useful space.