Posted: June 19th, 2012 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Reviews and Giveaways | Tags: City Living, Let's Dish | 1 Comment »
***I had this post all ready to go last week, just needed to upload photos and then things got crazy at home and *then* I couldn’t find my camera, still can’t! Of course! Toni- your photo was LOVELY, if I ever find my camera I will have to have a post just for you!***
We all know how much I love Let’s Dish. I love it. LOVE it.
Up until a few weeks ago, I had always gone in and prepped the meals myself (even 30 weeks pregnant with twins). I like to dish and always had a good time when I was in the Let’s Dish stores. The staff is always really helpful and welcoming and after a few dishes you pretty much know what you’re doing and can get in and out quickly.
But with the end of the school year I was having a hard time making sure everyone got out of the house with a full set of clothes on let-alone finding time to get out for an hour to dish.
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Posted: May 17th, 2012 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Reviews and Giveaways, Sponsored Posts | Tags: City Living | 1 Comment »
It’s no secret that I live in the city. I love living in the city for it’s close proximity to pretty much everything but a Taco Bell drive thru (what’s that all about?). My neighborhood is pretty quiet, we know the neighbors and it has a fairly active neighborhood watch system.
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Posted: May 15th, 2012 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Blogging, The Year of Erin | Tags: Blogging, City Living | 4 Comments »
Was pretty freaking amazing.
I’m not usually a warm weather person but 70 degrees and full sun is right up my alley.
Saturday I took the opportunity to go shopping sans kids for supplies to make a terrarium. I also ended up stopping at Home Depot for some annuals and Target for some miscellaneous items. It was great. I wasn’t rushed. I was shopping for fun- something I don’t generally do.
After I got home we hung out in the backyard and it was so nice. I planted my annuals in pots, we grilled, the boys tore up the garden. Other than the destroyed garden, it was a great afternoon. I was kicking myself that I had to leave to go pick up some diapers I bought through a co-op at 5pm.
The sun was shining. the boys were all in good moods. My hands were dirty. I haven’t had the urge to just sit in a chair, kick my feet up, drink a beer, and enjoy the sun in ages. And I couldn’t! (Note to self: don’t plan things at 5pm on Saturdays.)
After I got home from meeting the other girls from the co-op Yogi Dad and I hung out on the patio eating stinky cheese and crackers, but it just wasn’t the same. The blissful moment had kind of passed. It was getting cooler but neither of us wanted to deal with a fire in the fire pit. We were both tired from a long day in the sun. Lesson learned.
Sunday was of course, Mother’s Day.
I usually want the day to spend with my boys just me, maybe my Mom, but this year I wanted a little bit of a break. My Mom and Yogi Dad took the twins to the Twins game and it was just Judah and I. After they left for the game we walked up to a local coffee shop (Royal Grounds) for some icy cold caffeine and a cookie. Judah fell asleep about 5 minutes before we hit our driveway. Of course.
It took about an hour to get him to finally take a nap, but once he did I got down to putting together my terrarium. Or, terrariums. I ended up making four.
If you’re thinking i might have a blog post about them, you would be wrong. I am utterly terrible at thinking ahead and way to impatient to take pictures during a process. I just want to do it and get it done.
I like the end results- my kitchen window has a new look. No more terra cotta pots filled with succulents. Those all got moved to the windows in the basement. I hope they continue to thrive there. I’m also hoping I can stop obsessively checking to see if I have new shoots but that’s a different story for a different day.
After the game we had an easy dinner- pulled beef sandwiches with chips and veggies and strawberry shortcake. No muss. No fuss.
The best part of this weekend? I unplugged from my blog.
It was awesome.
I find it really hard to balance my work and my family. When you are a stay at home mom and a blogger- when are you supposed to write? I used to write into the wee hours of the morning but I felt like I was distancing myself from my husband by going to work as soon as the kids went to bed. I was also really setting myself up for rough mornings as i need a lot of sleep.
The flip side is that if I write during the day I’m writing while I am with my kids. There are no naps set in stone here- they have been fighting them for months, some days they sleep, some days they don’t. I have no guaranteed down time where I can write uninterrupted.
For example- last Monday I had four posts that were due including one about the What to Expect When You’re Expecting giveaway and I was scrambling to get it finished, get my giveaway started and drum up some interest since it was a 2-day flash giveaway. Of course the boys were firing on all cylinders and it quickly dissolved into three boys running around sans clothing, a bottle of course sea salt being emptied from one end of the house to the other and various other awesome messes.
But I had to get it done. There was a short deadline and people were counting on me. It was much easier for me to just ignore the complete chaos for the time being and clean up afterwards as long as I got those posts up. It’s not usually *that* crazy, but it was a moment I don’t want to revisit too often if I can help it.
A few years ago I wouldn’t have thought twice about it. I would write when I had the time, when something came up. Now, it’s not so simple. Now I have commitments to brands and sponsors. I have income flowing in through this site. If I have to write, I have to write. Sometimes I get behind, sometimes things fall through the cracks. Sometimes the things that I would rather write about get missed completely because I just need a break.
I didn’t expect this when I added the extra layer of sponsored posts and reviews and giveaways to my site. It’s been amazing for my family, don’t get me wrong. But it can be binding at times.
So from now on, weekends are off limits.
I’m not going to post. If it’s something that is scheduled ahead of time, there will be posts. But from here on out, I’m declaring weekends family time.
I can’t say I won’t check in on Facebook- that’s a hard habit to break. But I’m taking my weekends off- I worked 15 years in retail where weekends were a given. After a year of staying home, I’m finally taking my weekends back.
It’s kind of scary.
Posted: October 1st, 2011 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Living in the City | Tags: Cake., City Living, Cloth Diapers, fall, Minneapolis, outdoors, renting, Squirrels | 8 Comments »
What a week.
First off: Squirrels
So many squirrels. If I hated them when they were just chucking acorns down from their perch in the Oak tree, I *really* hate them when they are scratching around in my ceiling and sitting on my coffee maker. Did you catch that? One got INTO our living space!
Now, I wasn’t home when this happened. I was at Target with Yogi Dad- doing our bi-weekly grocery shopping when I get a call from my Mom who was watching the boys. Squirrel! Running around the house, There was some screaming and some OMG whatdoIdoooooooo?
You lock the kids in a bedroom, let the cat* corral our little rodent visitor into the laundry room and wait for the Handy Landlord to come over is what you do. It’s times like these when I am so happy to be a renter. I get to call someone else to deal with this kind of stuff. Stuff like sealing up entry points and pulling nests out of soffits.
Of course less than 24 hours later we had another one scratching around above the kitchen. It must be time to find a winter home.
Which brings me to apples. (Don’t worry how I got there)
Apples. Whole ones. My boys are enamored with eating them in this form. Two at a time mostly. That’s like 6 apples going at once. That is a lot of apples. I don’t know if the budget can keep up with so much apple consumption! Cut-up apples simply will not do. They are eating everything- even the core, so weird!
But, they are helping to keep everyone quite regular, which after the summer of awesomeness (no Miralax!) I am glad to have continue.
Which brings me to diapers. (It’s obvious how I got here)
I want to know what you are using. Cloth? Disposables? A little of both? I put a handy dandy poll over on my sidebar and I’ve had 3 measly clicks in a week. I know I have a lot of cloth diapering mamas reading here. So, click on that poll, let me know where you are on the diapering scale. If you use cloth, leave me a comment and tell me what your absolute favorite diaper is and why. Because I love fluff and I’ve got a little something brewing that I need a little input on 😉
My week wasn’t all bad- it started off with a Fondant tasting and some twin talk hosted by Beki over at Beki Cook’s Cakes. If you are in the Twin Cities you should check her out- she does cake decorating parties and classes. You too can master the art of the Cupcake Swirl!
Have a great weekend everyone!
*Audrey is gaining back some of her awesome points after that one. Stanley was of course barking his head off in the bedroom and Henry was nowhere to be found.
Don’t forget to follow along on Twitter and Facebook!
Posted: June 5th, 2011 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Living in the City | Tags: City Living, Duplex, Feelings, FTW, Kids, Mom stuff, Northeast Minneapolis, Old Houses | 2 Comments »
There is one thing I am going to miss from our old place.
The claw-foot tub.
It was everything you could want in a tub. It was deep and long and just right in so many other ways.
I probably took over 1800 soaks in that thing over the 6 years it was ours.
When I was pregnant with the twins and suffering from PUPPPs I would soak in a cool bath 3-4 times a day, just to keep the itching away. Sitting in the tub, sniffing my bottle of Burt’s Bees face wash (I craved that scent when pregnant) just waiting for those boys to be born.
My boys all loved that tub. It was one of the only places Wyatt would nurse as an infant. It was deep enough to keep even Lincoln’s vigorous splashing from hitting the floors. It was pretty much the only place Judah was ever bathed after his frantic 1st bath in the pod. I’ve got many memories tied to that tub.
It was simply lovely.
Now, the bathroom in which this tub sat was nothing to write home about. Unless you were writing about how horrific it was. Cracking plaster walls. Sketchy floor. No outlets. I remember going to clean it for the first time after we moved in and thinking there was no way we’d ever get it clean. Except for that tub. I could scrub the hell out of that tub.
Word on the street is they are tearing it out for a (much needed) remodel.
They are getting rid of the best thing about that place.
Posted: May 30th, 2011 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Living in the City | Tags: City Living, Day to Day, Family, Moving | 1 Comment »
Friday I walked out of our duplex for the last time. Ever.
It was so weird and uneventful. Well I guess the combined 48 hours* of cleaning we put into it before we finally walked out wasn’t exactly uneventful, but you get the picture.
Now, we are here. On the other side of town, with a somewhat new feeling life and new open doors.
More places to escape to, namely the backyard which is currently under construction.
I think it’s going to be good.
*Seriously. 48 hours. If we don’t get at least part of that deposit back after 6 years I might just go through the roof. Because #1- we were there for 6 years. #2- FORTY EIGHT hours of cleaning! And #3- 6 years! Nothing had been updated in at least 10 years (the previous renters had been there for 4 years). I seriously question the fact that I am being asked to wash 10 year old mini-blinds (I’m guessing they were more in the 15-20 years old range) in the bathtub or incur a charge for $22 per blind. That, is bullshit.
Posted: May 17th, 2011 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Stream of Consciousness | Tags: Blogging, City Living, Cleaning, Day to Day, Extreme Couponing, Feelings, Firsts, FTW, Mom stuff, money, Saving Money | 6 Comments »
Spurred on by a photo of a friends latest Target trip where she purchased among other things, a box of Tide and some various other H&B products with her total coming out to be less than the box of Tide, I made a list.
I was going to try my hand at this Extreme Couponing thing.
I was pretty excited as I hunted through my coupons. You could say I was extremely excited.
So I put the boys on the bus, strapped Judah in the car, grabbed my list and headed towards my Target. Sadly, this might be my last visit to this Target. You know, because we are moving to the other side of the city and all. (cue sad music)
But this trip! This trip was amazing. (I took pictures but our camera cord is at the new house so this will have to do for now.)
MC- Manufacturers coupon TC- Target coupon
21oz Tide Stain Release Spray sale $4.49 ($3 MC + $1 TC) total $.49
114oz Tide Powder with Bleach sale $10.99 ($3 MC $.75 TC) total $7.24
J&J First Aid to Go x2 reg $.97 ($1 off 2 MC) total $.94
Olay Silk Whimsy Body Lotion w/ free trial size lotion clearance $4.18
Olay single bar soap reg. $.97
Secret trial size deodorant reg $.97
($4 off MC if you buy lotion+deodorant+soap) total $2.12
22oz Murphy’s Oil Soap Spray price cut $2.49 ($.50 MC + $1 TC) total $.99
1Qt Similac RTF reg $5.49 ($5 MC) total $.49
And my treat for my trip was a large Cherry Limeade from Sonic reg $1.99 ($1.99 voucher from Star Tribune STeals) total FREE!
Total: $33.51 Paid: $12.27 Savings: $21.24 (63%)
I would be amiss if I didn’t point you towards my current giveaway of $50 to Tea Collection which ends 5-27 and also my Coupons+Deals page. You can find lots of things on this page- coupon generators, coupon toolbars, freebies…
Disclosure: These were the prices at the Fridley MN Super Target on 5-17-11, some of the Sale prices may have been TPC’s (I didn’t write them all down as I was shopping).
Posted: May 16th, 2011 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Living in the City | Tags: 2011 in 2011, City Living, Cleaning, Day to Day, FTW, Moving | 2 Comments »
Let’s all take a collective deep breath.
It was a loooong weekend here. Mostly for Yogi Dad. He did all the heavy lifting.
I did the panicking and freaking out and OMG we have to MOVE! NOW! PACK THE CAR LET”S GOGOGOGOGO!
Yeah, Saturday was not my best day.
Yesterday was good. Thanks to my awesome sister who let us pick her up after a long night out with her girlfriends so she could sit with the boys while we made a few trips back and forth and I could get my bearings in the new house.
What is it about moving that makes all of your stuff look like it needs to be replaced?
This is going to be a long week, the goal is to have pretty much everything except furniture and big boxes out of here by Friday night, cribs disassembled ready to go, any boxes staged in the living room. We are going to be ready.
The guy at Two Men and a Truck laughed and said that is what everyone plans on doing.
He doesn’t know just how cheap we are! Or the list of things I would rather spend the money set aside for this move on…
So, wish us luck!
And please, if you’ve got any moving tips I am all ears. Or eyes. Would it be eyes since I am reading it?
Posted: May 10th, 2011 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Living in the City | Tags: City Living, Day to Day, Firsts, MckMama, Sunshine, Weather | 2 Comments »
It is SHINING!
The thermometer finally hit 80 degrees!
For the first time in 7 months.
At least that is what Sven Sundgaard is telling me.
I really don’t have time to look through weather history….
I DO know that we have been thawed out for quite awhile, regardless of how stubborn this spring has been about sticking around for good.
It’s not like we live in the frozen tundra or something!
Yes, the weather in Minnesota is delightful.
Posted: April 8th, 2011 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Cleaning | Tags: City Living, Cleaning, Friday Favorites, Goals, Mom stuff, Moving | 2 Comments »
I just hired movers for our move in May. I’m feeling like a real grown-up adult! I’ve never moved with actual movers before. Rented a U-Haul? Yes. Hired someone to do the heavy lifting? No. So now my mind is on this move. Every time I’ve moved in the past 15 years, I’ve worked for Target. I had a steady and free stream of boxes at my disposal. I really should have stocked up before I left because now I get to hunt for boxes. I may be hiring movers, but we’ll be doing the packing and I’m not going to buy boxes. I’m just too cheap for that.
So what does this all have to do with Friday Favorites?
Cleaning and Cleaning supplies.
This place is going to sparkle when we leave- I have allotted 2 weeks to move- 1 week to move miscellaneous before the truck move, and one week after to clean.
I am serious about this.
These things have worked in the past and I hope they continue to do the trick. I’m working from the worst cleaning jobs on down to the easiest.
Oven: I don’t think I have ever cleaned my oven as long as I’ve lived here. Gross I know, but it’s not a fun job….so there’s that.
Hardwood Floors: we have a lot of them- a lot as in all except the bathroom and kitchen. I like the look of hardwoods but combined with radiators and nothing circulating the air around we get a lot of dust and dirt, everywhere. I haven’t used this product but it’s got some good reviews and I haven’t found the “one” hardwood product that I can’t live without just yet. So we’ll give this one a go.
Radiators: There has got to be some sort of tool for this. A-HA! There is:
Walls and wood work: I think I’m going straight up vinegar and water here. I’ll hit it with the dry swiffer first to get rid of the dust/ cobwebs and then go at it with some old t-shirts.
Bathroom: I grew up with Softscrub and I HATE it with a passion. I feel like you are forever rinsing and drying and wiping up that white residue, I just can’t do it. I do however, like Comet. And this is even better than Comet because it smells so lovely. I’ve been using this to clean my tub weekly and I’ve never enjoyed cleaning my tub so much! Can I say I’m going to miss my tub? My big huge cast iron claw foot tub? I’m going to miss it. Probably more than any other thing in this house.
Of course I’m a total cleaning supply junkie and I have a whole cabinet full of things from which to choose from in a pinch. From bleach and Fabuloso to Method and 7th Generation, with a little elbow grease (and maybe a few cold ones) I think I can do this.
Now, who wants to watch my kids?