Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Wishing Tree

Celebrating the New Year seems like a magical way to bubble up our dreams, goals, and what we love in life.  As 2015 approaches, I want to focus more on attainable goals that will really impact my life in a positive way.  Out with the far-fetched resolutions that never happen (like the year I made a resolution to travel to Africa....  eventually threw that one on a lifelong bucket list).  

Get Busy Living will be sharing some great ways to launch off the New Year with style, organization, and fun!  Lets make 2015 the year we make things happen!

Here's a great idea from Simplify 101 to decorate for the New Year and something you can keep around all year!  The Wishing Tree captures all your wishes/wants for the year.  This would be a fun family tradition to see what truly matters to each person. 

The best part is that The Wishing Tree can be turned into a Thankful Tree during Thanksgiving time!  I am all about recycling and reusing for future seasons.

What are some things you would put on your Wishing Tree?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

12 Days of Blogger Christmas Giveaways

 Get Busy Living is participating in the 12 Days of Blogger Christmas Giveaways.  The holidays get so busy that we need something to keep the kiddos occupied at the same time. I am giving away:

A Holiday Kit for Kids

You will receive:
*Gingerbread House Decorating Kit
*Foam Ornament Kit (makes 18 ornaments)

 A winner will be chosen on Saturday, December 13th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please check out my fellow bloggers who are participating in the 12 days of Blogger Christmas Giveaways (links will be added when their giveaway item goes live!).

Growing in Grace and Beauty
A to Z for Moms Like Me
Being the Imperfect Mom 
Shopping Kim
Simply Caribbean
Travel Mamas
Just Another Day in Paradise
Gluten Free Anonymous

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

December Sneek-Peek

This is the time of year when I want to belt out in song like Julie Andrews from The Sound of Music. Snuggle in sweats and blankets while drinking hot cocoa. See all the Christmas lights and hear Christmas music everywhere (I know, we aren't even past Thanksgiving yet). It's the BEST time of year!

As Christmas gets closer, I am becoming even more neurotic about planning and wanting to make it perfect. 

These are the things I'll be sharing with you throughout the month of December and I can't wait!!!!  

Here's a sneekpeek......

1.  I scoured all over Pinterest to find Elf on the Shelf ideas.  Then took what I liked and filled in the ideas on a calendar.  Some of the ideas are acts of kindness, activities to do with my 3 year old, or to introduce Christmas to him.  I'll be sharing the calendar and photos of Elf on the Shelf each week to give you all ideas.

2.  It has taken me a LONG time to figure out what exactly to do for Advent.   There are sooo many options for Advent.  There are advents geared towards doing something everyday for the month, just counting down till Christmas, Nativity advent, and on and on and on.  I'll share more about this next month after I get my items ready.

3.   I really want to incorporate something related to the story of Jesus and the main reason for the season. Either I'm really picky or there's not much that caught my eye.  I found a few simple ideas to share the Nativity story with my son. Last year we tried Truth in the Tinsel but my son was a bit too little to comprehend anything and would just scribble on all the paper ornaments we were trying to make. Truth in the Tinsel may have to wait another year or two so all my organization doesn't go to waste..... I know the main thing is to get the story of Christ to be the center of it, but again, my neurotic self can't stand cutting out and collecting all the craft items and then my son has no idea what we are doing. So I have a different idea up my sleeve to focus on the Nativity story.  Just waiting for Black Friday to purchase the item and then I will share what I'm thinking about ;)

And since I change my mind about 50 times, I might still do Truth in the Tinsel (especially after I just found out I won a Truth in the Tinsel busy bag giveaway...). We will see what happens.

What are some things you will be doing for Christmas?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The WhatIf Monster Military Challenge

I am asking for your help. Our troops are coming home with high rates of PTSD and other anxiety disorders due to time served in combat zones. This is causing significant stress and anxiety on their families including their children. A fellow Usborne Consultant is married to a Wounded Warrior and has a dream. She would like to get all children of military members a WHATIF Book and Monster.
The book Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster gives an identity to anxiety and fear. Having a Whatif Monster plush empowers children to tell their fears and anxieties to their own monsters. It can be a powerful tool for healing. -

  How can you help?

--Make a monetary donation. 100% of the donations, through the link, will go towards the purchase of the Whatif book and plush monster for a military child.

--Shop for yourself, your children, grandchildren, gifts, etc!

Usborne Books and More has agreed to match the donations I collect with an additional 50% for these families.

Please share this opportunity with everyone that you know. We want as many military families to be blessed with these wonderful books and plushies as possible. And if you know of any other individuals or corporations that would like to be involved in this event let me know!
Thank you for your support and please spread the word.

 I love to do fundraisers and share my love of childrens books with others. Please follow my Facebook Page for updates.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cleaning Schedule

I have been trying to find my cleaning niche and organize a routine that works for me.  With the holidays coming up, my house needs to be in tip top shape. Your routine might look different from mine, and that's okay!  Do what works for you.

How to organize a month of cleaning:

1.  Walk around the house and take note of urgent items that need to be fixed or focused on (ex: change air filter, fix weather stripping, fix closet knob)

2.  Write down certain rooms you want to focus on during the month for P.R.O.M (Purge, Remove, Organize).  Then donate the items you want to purge. I did not include a "donation day" on my calendar but figured it would happen sometime during the month.

3.  Grab a printable calendar, use your list, and start filling the calendar in. I try to focus on fix-ups for the weekends and pick one thing to do each day.  Keep it simple so you can stick with it!

Not only do I want to focus on fixer-uppers in the house, but I want to keep up with everyday household cleaning too. Clean Mama has a printable that organizes daily/weekly tasks (below).  This list might come in handy when a quick reference is needed.

Please share any helpful tips you have about staying organized with cleaning!  We would love to hear it :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Pen Pals

Get Busy Living is starting this season off with a bang!  Introducing our new idea called "Pen Pals".  I miss the days when snail mail mainly consisted of handwritten notes, not just bills.  Days when it seemed slower paced and we would take the time to diligently write to a friend.  Now it's about the hussle and bussle of everyday life, with no thought of hand written notes.  Most of us are in the tech age and send a quick text or email to our buddies. 

Well.... lets get back to simplicity!  Pen Pals was designed with you in mind.  I will pair you up with a partner.  Write to eachother at least once a month.  Keep the same partner for as long as you would like.  If you love the idea you may add more pen pals to your address book.  There are really no rules here!  Just a way to make new friends, encourage one another, and spend some time relaxing while we write away.

With this being such a new idea, please share about it with your friends.  Get Busy Living would love to get things rolling here asap.  

To participate:
-Hop onto our Pen Pals fb page and become a member (this is where most of the updates and news will take place)
-Email your home address to me ( with "Pen Pal" as the subject, and a little blurb about yourself (age, kids, hobbies, etc). 

Voila! Then I will send you your partner's information.

Have fun and remember to spend time really getting to know the other person and sharing about your life. If we keep it at "hey, how are you?  How's the weather?" all the time, then it really is not worthwhile (in my opinion).  This is gonna be great!  Lets get to snail mailin'!


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Love Books 2014 Summer Exchange

 The Three Little Pigs

This summer we were so excited to be part of the Love Books Summer Book Exchange for the second year in a row.  It is one of our summer highlights to receive a story and activity in the mail. My 3.5 year old son was napping when the package arrived, and I could not wait to see what our partner sent us.  It was exciting to get the Walt Disney vintage book of The Three Little Pigs.  Our lovely partner from Lovely Commotion created the cutest activity to go along with it!

Joshua LOVES vintage Disney clips so it was no surprise when he delved right into the story! I read the story of The Three Little Pigs.  Then I explained that we are going to create a retelling of the story, using the crafts that our partner sent us. Joshua did a great job gluing the straw, sticks, and bricks on his paper houses.  The houses were then taped onto plastic cups, and ready for our retelling!

While my husband read part of the book out loud, I videotaped our son trying to "retell" the story with his stick figures.  It was cute how he was trying to impersonate the wolf. "I'll huff and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house down!" Joshua started blowing on the brick house and knocked it over.... Well, it's the thought that counts and I know he truly loves this story.  This was such a creative way to retell the story.  I may have to do this kind of activity with other stories as well.  

Feel free to follow the Love Books Exchange on Pinterest!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Human Hamster Wheel

 As I was flipping through tv channels last night, I came across a news segment that caught me off guard. Two men living in a human hamster wheel for 10 days.  They eat, sleep, poop, read, watch tv, etc on this wheel. 

Seriously, why would anybody want to do this?  I think I would last 24 hours before snapping. The biggest thing that gets me is that if one person needs to do something then it takes both of them walking in this hamster wheel to get to that object.  It's like, "Dude, wake up! I gotta pee. Start walking so I can get to the bathroom."  That's all I picture happening in my head in this scenario.  Seems interesting but what's the point in this entire experiment? 

Watch the video:

Would you live in a hamster wheel for 10 days?  What do you think about this experiment?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Love Mercy

Mercy House is in Kenya and helps provide resources for pregnant women. I wanted to do something to help such a great organization. When I saw that they were asking for fundraiser volunteers, I couldn't resist!
Help them by purchasing a Love Mercy Bracelet for $10 each. 100% of the proceeds go back to the Mercy House. I have 49 bracelets to sell and only 20-something days to do it in!

-Paypal the $10 (add $1 if you need it shipped)
-Choose "Family/Friends" option
-In the note section, put "Mercy House"
I will be sending a check straight to the organization at the end of the month.

Lets provide Mercy House with the support they need to speak love to the women in Africa. Every dollar counts!

*When I have a bit more time, I can go into detail about why this means so much to me. My heart always goes back to Africa when I think about traveling, if I ever adopt a child, and the African culture. Mercy House stands for the same foundation and beliefs that I embrace too.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Another parenting milestone!

1,161 days of diapers
Months and Months of Training & Tears (from child and parents)
LOTS of bribing going on

First POOP in the toilet today!

Whoever said potty training would be easy and quick was joking.  It is cruel to make a first-time parent think that it's going to be rainbows and butterflies.  I took the tough route. No manuals, no 3-day training, nothing of that sort. Winging it was my idea of potty training.  I totally had this in my pocket! Just plop our little man on the kiddy toilet and let him work his magic.... 


We spent MONTHS of little man going potty in the toilet 1-2 times a day.  He never had a dry diaper. I begged. I bribed. I did everything short of crazy to talk him into being a 'big boy'.  I tried to then focus more on the pooping part and encourage him in that avenue.  My son just wanted to hide in his closet and poop in private. If I came anywhere near his room, it's a major fit of slamming doors and yelling at me to get out. So I went back to the peeing part of training and focused more on that. At least there was some progress there...

After a few months of this, I figured "oh what the heck. Lets put him in underwear! He's got this down. He pees in the toilet 1-2 times a day. He's ready!". WHAT WAS I THINKING??!!! One day of underwear and I gave up on it... 4 wet undies within an hour and 1 messy poop.  Back to square one.

For a few weeks I have not pushed Joshua to do anything. Pretty much gave up and told myself we'd start over during Spring Break. 

As I am talking on the phone today, my big boy runs up to me, butt-naked, and screams, "I POOPED on the potty!"  Seriously?! That was completely random. Kids have a mind of their own. They will do things at their own timing and when they feel like it. No matter how much insisting on your part independent kids will do it when you least expect.

I still don't understand the ins and outs of potty training, but somehow he FINALLY caught on.  We are soooo proud of him. We reached another milestone in parenting and survived :)  Now we just have to work on continuously using the toilet every time, and get him in big boy underwear.

Thank God he won't be going to college in diapers!

Next time I have a child, I will be reading Potty Training books-- that's for sure!

*The snail photo actually does go along with this post, believe it or not. I gave Joshua 2 snails a few weeks back, and told him that when he poops on the potty he will get the next 2.  He was soooo happy to have an entire collection after his efforts today! Yup, I am a bribing mom. I told myself that I never would be THAT kind of mom, but you take things back when you actually have children.