Put an End to the Petty Squabbling in Your Home

I used to get so tired of refereeing arguments over little things. Little tiny things. Like who gets to drink out of the blue cup, who gets to sit by the window, who gets the last strawberry, who gets to wash their hands first.

Who cares?

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So years ago, at the suggestion of a friend, we implemented “choosing day” in our home.

The title is not fancy or terribly clever, I know. It doesn’t roll off your tongue easily, but it is descriptive. And it is the solution to all the daily, silly squabbles my kids used to have.

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Here’s how it works. Each person in our family gets 1 choosing day per week. It works out nicely in our family because there are 7 of us (yes, the husband and I each get one too). But before there were 7 of us the kids each got 2 choosing days per week and we got one.

You can figure it out, just make it work somehow.

I assigned a day of the week to each child so they have the same day every week. This makes it very easy to remember. I even started with the oldest on Sunday and went down in age each day of the week to make it really easy for myself. But you can decide any way you like.

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If you are not home on your choosing day someone else fills in for you, there are no make-ups. You can switch with someone if you pre-arrange it. You can give your’s away if you want to be nice and earn points with siblings. But for the most part if you snooze, you lose. And as a default if something goes wrong and you cannot fulfill your choosing day duties for whatever reason, it’s mommy’s choosing day.

Yes! I get to listen to all my favorite tunes in the car.

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So, in our house on your choosing day, you get to:

Wash your hands for dinner in the sink first
Pick the game
Drink from the coolest cup (ours is the marshmallow cup)
Decide what we will have for breakfast
Pick the book at bedtime
Eat the drumsticks if we have chicken
Say the prayer at dinner time
Choose the music in the car
Break any ties

You get the jist. When there is a fight over something inconsequential, and it’s your choosing day, you win.
Pretty powerful stuff.

Now, there is no fanfare about it, we don’t gloat or parade around when it’s our choosing day nor do we get mad when it isn’t our day to choose. Because your turn’s a commin’ and you don’t want to miss it.

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Just a quick side note. Your choosing day does NOT entitle you to anything you want, like all of the Halloween candy you can eat. It is just a means to settle minor arguments.

A Favorite Project of Mine

I am so excited to show you this. This is the one project that I do on a quarterly basis that I just love doing. I make serious sacrifices to do it and I unplug from my life while I work on it. But it is so much fun for those two weeks out of every quarter.

Many of you know already, but I am a graphic designer by trade. It comes with the genes, I love to make things pretty. Over the past few years I have been lucky enough to work with many fun clients, but this one…well it’s special to me.

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I am honored to be the graphic designer for vérité an online magazine catering to women in their 40’s and beyond.

“So, the spirit behind vérité and our tagline, AUTHENTIC AT ANY AGE, is…the idea of recognizing and owning that we are older, yes, but we are also just as relevant, passionate, engaged, inspired and motivated as we ever were. And the belief that the desire to remain authentic in the midst of it all is a worthwhile pursuit.”

In a world where very little is truly authentic, this read is a breath of fresh air. It is written by real women, features real women and will inspire you in many ways.

This e-magazine was started by a colleague of mine, Kelly Holden Allen, who I have been working with for several years on many of her philanthropy projects. She had this dream three years ago and is making it happen in a very big and real way today. I am excited to have been a part of it from it’s inception and look forward to where it will go in the next few years.

It began to get serious traction at the beginning of this year and it has been a pleasure to watch it grow exponentially. Our 6th issue just launched Wednesday and it is a powerful issue. From fashion, beauty, fitness to home, entertaining and travel, it has something for everyone. Please take a look.

Home Tour – The Patio

Our Patio is about to get a makeover. We want to put in a fireplace and new stone. There are some really wonderful aspects to our patio now, however, that I will miss. So here are some pictures of it now and next fall, you can see what we did with the place…DSC_0068 DSC_0005 2 DSC_0022 2 DSC_0020 DSC_0023

Girly Rooms

Today I am going to share a little home tour of our girly rooms. These are from different years and houses along our journey.

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Our first little girl room had a diamond pattern on the walls and an adorable chandelier. I painted the diamonds myself and repurposed the armoire with curtains.

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Our second little girl room had stripes and a very pretty scallop painted by some painters I hired right after we moved in.

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Our third little girl room has built-in character I just need time to make it special.

 

 

 

Just Say NO

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For all of you out there who over commit – this post is for you. If you ever take on more than you can handle, frequently want to do “just this one extra thing”, or feel compelled to help out with yet another “great” cause, repeat after me, “NO“.

Or better yet, just don’t open your mouth to begin with.

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If most of us over-committers were honest we would admit that there aren’t so many people banging down our doors asking us to volunteer for things. No, it’s that we think things sounds like really good ideas, something we would enjoy being a part of, and we can’t stand the silence waiting for someone to volunteer for it. So we shout out, “I could do that”. And even as we speak it we realize what a bad idea it was to yell out like that. But now it’s out there and we don’t think we can take it back.

We aren’t the kind of people who like to let people down, most of all ourselves.

So we say to ourselves, “it’s ok, this really will be fun; I wouldn’t want to miss out on this”. Or, “It’s no big deal, it will only take me a few minutes to do.”

Lies, all lies.

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I’m so bad at this I even volunteer myself to others before they have something to volunteer for. Like, “Hey, if you are ever thinking of starting a youth group, let me know I would love be involved.” This is basically volunteering to start it and lead it.

Or another one I did the other day. “Look and see if you could use another teacher in a Sunday school class.” As if the one I’m teaching already isn’t enough for me, I think I should take on another one. And then they replied, “Oh, you would like to switch from the class you are teaching to a different class?” Ahh, there was my out. But did I take it, no way. I said, “No I can do both.”

I want to slap myself in the face sometimes.

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My inability to curb the giving of my time to things other than my family is a real drain on me and my family. It stresses me out, it shortens the amount of time I get to hang out with friends and family. And, honestly, it lessens the enjoyment I have in life. I really need to get control of this addiction to the word yes.

For all of you with the same problem, let’s say it together:
No
I don’t think I can do that right now.
I wish I could, but I just don’t have time right now.
That sounds great, but I’m busy.
Awe, I already have plans that day.

Or, just keep. your. mouth. shut. And let the silence ring…