Friday, September 26, 2014

172 Happy IHeart Blogiversary: A Day In Our Life

Happy IHeart Blogiversary Day!  I started up this website of mine 5 years ago today, and I couldn't be happier that I did.  This sweet space of mine has brought inspiration, advice, friendships, discussion, ideas, growth, change, giggles, connections, eye brow raises, milestones, accomplishments, partnerships, opportunities and so much more.  It has been truly life changing and has impacted our life in endless ways. 

And because it is just too cool not to share on this very special day, a perfect example of an opportunity I was given due to my blogging venture.  This gal may have just flown off to New York, attended an inspirational Better Homes & Gardens workshop with a group of incredibly talented bloggers and friends, and chatted it up with the super fabulous Nate Berkus and his husband, Jeremiah.

#omg #amazing #giddyschoolgirl

And he actually remembered me from my little House Proud appearance which ironically also aired on my blogiversary three years ago today...  it's a good day people!


I mean really....  Never in a million years would I have thought that would happen.  Ever.  In fact, a lot of the amazing things I have experienced over the past five years leave me perma-grinning and pinching myself on a daily basis.  And I have this blog and you all to thank for that.  Without you, I wouldn't be coming back to this space to share the happenings and projects taking place within our walls.  So thank you.  From the bottom of my big overflowing heart, I thank you all for being so supportive and good to me.

To celebrate IHeart Organizing turning FIVE today, I am kicking off a small blogging series.  Over the next month, I will be sharing some things I have learned along the way {and admit to what I am still clueless about}, and will be answering many of your frequently asked blogging questions.  Everything from photography tips to lessons learned to sponsorships and monetizing, I am excited to chat about what I am still so very passionate about.

And because it has already been four years since my last "Day in the Life" post {seriously, how does that even happen?}, that is the post topic of the day today.


A disclaimer.  Although I didn't photograph every last bit of singing, dancing, giggles, bickering and temper tantrums that took place throughout the day, I did try to capture as much as possible through my DSLR and iPhone.  Maybe next time I will toss in a video or two, completely slipped my mind this round.  Because you know you want to witness a good childish meltdown.  And see me dance around my living room in my pajamas... Sorry, scratch that last image from your minds.

The day I selected to capture was this week Tuesday.  One of the reasons it has taken me so long to do this type of post again, is because no two days are the same.  It seems like we are always running here or there or working on something new or trying to hit a deadline.... So I picked a day in the middle of the week which seemed the most typical of our day to day lifestyle.  Oh!  And sorry if I get wordy.  It happens.

6:45 a.m. - The alarm starts going off.  My husband is a great morning person and pops right out of bed.  He heads up to wake the boys and start their breakfast.  I am not at all a morning person, therefore, I hit snooze three more times and try to build up enough energy to get out from under the warm covers.  Laaaaame, I know.

7:15 a.m. - I mozy on upstairs and hang out with the boys while they eat their breakfast.  By this time they are already up, dressed and teeth brushed.  I chat with them about the upcoming school day, make sure they have everything they need in their backpacks, and also make sure they know the plan for after school.  If they are eating something good, I join in.  Typically they eat cereal and fruit three days a week and we whip up eggs, french toast or waffles the other two.


I also sync my phone with our bluetooth speaker and listen to iHeartRadio, which is where the early morning dancing comes in.  This is crucial for me in getting myself in a good ready-to-tackle-the-day kind of mood.


7:35 a.m. - Once the kiddos are done eating, they grab their bags and their coats {and hats?!} and leave.  Queue my favorite moment of the day; the double hug {a.k.a. mama sandwich}.


Sorry you had to witness my morning non-showered bed-head.  The internet world will never be the same.

After the boys head out to the bus, I watch them from the window until they are safely on their way to school.  We are fortunate enough to have the bus come right to our home both morning and afternoon.

7:45 a.m.  I keep that music going because one look at our main living areas and I know I have a quick sprucing up to do.  But first, coffee!


This is a crucial moment to the success of my day.  Most days are two cup days...  As I said, not a morning person.


7:50 a.m.  I take ten minutes to clean up the breakfast kitchen mess which consists of loading the dirty dishes into the dishwasher and wiping up the table, stove and counter.  I then turn my attention to the living room which still has the previous night's reading blankets and toys.


This is something I always tried to do before I left for work when I worked full time in the corporate world, as I never enjoyed coming home to a messy kitchen or living room.  Now, I can't focus or get anything done working from home if these two primary living spaces are messy.  Ten minutes tops is all it takes to take back both rooms and I can move on with my day with a smile.  Total mood changer.


8:00 a.m. I hop in the shower and get myself presentable for the day.  Between frequent visitors, work appointments, school and sporting events, I find it easier to pull myself together first thing in the morning.  Plus, I just feel more inspired to work when I am not sitting in my yoga pants or pj's. 

Somewhere between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. I take my second cup of coffee to my studio and get to work.

(photo taken for online publication)

I typically start the day by approving comments, answering questions and skimming through my emails.  This is a great way for me to start my work day because connecting with you all is what I love most about what I do.  Then, I write my post for the day.  In the past I would stay up late and write my posts to have them ready by early the following day, but that wasn't helping my inability to wake up in the mornings to send my kids off to school.  So now I write them in the morning and try and have them published by the afternoon.  Depending on the post or project, it could take 4-8 hours to write a single post.  Crazy I know, but I timed it the day I cleaned out our junk drawer and made a few drawer dividers out of paper.  From emptying out the junk drawer, photographing the organizing process, photographing the paper folding process, photographing the afters, editing all of the photos, adding the graphics and then actually writing the post, it took about 6 total hours to clean out a single junk drawer and post about it.  I am hoping to learn some tricks to streamline the photo editing process {which seems to take the longest and becomes quite redundant}, but the additional time I take on each post is my way of staying passionate about the details and the day to day blogging process.

My Etsy shop takes a lot of my attention, so although it is hard to show in pictures the amount of time and work it takes and how my time is spread, I am grateful that you talented readers submit your projects for "Reader Space" days and for my wonderful contributing team of writers.  I have a lot of big dreams for growing my shop with new instant downloads, updated designs and formats, a slew of tangible products and a whole new website, so having time to focus my attention there is extremely important.  I also use those days to contribute to external websites, work on bookkeeping, network, catch up on reader questions and emails and focus on additional projects and collaborations.

12:00ish p.m. I feel extremely blessed when lunch time comes around because my husband works about three blocks away and can come home to eat with me.  It is our few minutes of quiet time {or most frequently our finish up a project time}, and we are grateful that we have that time to talk or just watch SportsCenter together.  Something I know we are lucky to have and that I never take for granted.  Some days we also use this time to prep our food for dinner, which we did on this particular day since we had a football game to go to after work.  Taco meat into the crock pot and veggies cut up and put into the fridge and we were set! 


12:30 p.m. After lunch, I either head back to my studio to continue my post writing / email answering / printable designing, or I get my creative juices flowing with another project.  I still find my job is about 80% computer and 20% hands on, and I am trying to find ways to change that a bit to be more projects and crafting and less administrative.  On Tuesday, I knew I had to get my 10 Minute Fall Decorating project finished and photographed because the group planned on having it go live at 5:00 a.m. the following morning.  So, that is what I worked on in the afternoon.


I worked on that up until my boys came home from school.

3:15 p.m.  The boys start rolling through the front door.  I try to have snacks planned the night before to make for easier afternoons.  This is one of the most challenging parts of my day.  Shifting from work mode back into mom mode and knowing to just shut the computer and put down my phone.  Sounds silly, but I really personally struggle with this as I tend to get into a work groove.


And seriously, I can't get over this photo.  I managed to catch them doing the same thing at the same time and I about melted inside when I loaded it onto my computer.  Wish they could stay young forever.

3:30 p.m.  The boys always bring in the mail when they come up the driveway after school, so while they eat their snack, I go through the mail stack. #poetanddidntknowit  I also use this time to go through the boy's backpacks and school papers.  I write down any special dates on our family fridge calendar {which I found at Target about a month ago} and inside of my planner and pop any important documents into our individual mail bins.


3:45 p.m.  The boys and I do a few quick chores.  This includes emptying the dishwasher, sweeping or vacuuming, taking out the garbage and putting away any laundry.


4:00 p.m.  The boys have free time to play inside or out, or they can work on a craft project.  I always let them decide what they want to do to burn off a little after-school energy.


4:30 p.m.  This time of day could go two ways.   If we don't have a sporting event to go to, we start homework at the table and start making dinner.  Tuesday night we had a football game, so we hopped into the car to go watch Preston play.


We traveled a few miles to a neighboring town, so we practiced our spelling words in the car on the way.

5:00 p.m.  We cheered on our boy!


I opted to share a night with sports because those nights tend to outweigh the nights we are home.  Especially during baseball season when all three boys play, and they all play on different nights and in different locations.

7:00 p.m. We are back home and the boys are finishing up homework while Bryan and I pull out everything for dinner.


The younger two boys typically work at the kitchen table while Preston prefers his desk nook in his bedroom.


7:30 p.m. We try really hard to eat together as a family each night.  It isn't always easy and doesn't happen every single night of the week, especially if we have long distances to travel for sports, but meal planning always helps us out tremendously in this area.  Whether we are eating turkey wraps in the car or a quick soup and sandwich at home, we do what we can to make this our one moment of the day that we are all together and sharing.  I grew up eating home cooked meals and have fond memories of that, so this moment of the day is super important to me.


We keep things casual and simple and either play a dinner game or go around the table sharing our highs and lows from the day.


8:00 p.m - 9:00 p.m.  After dinner comes showers, pajamas, teeth and reading.  Nights we don't have sports, the entire family pitches in to help clean the kitchen and then we either take a family walk or play a board game.  Nights we do have sports, Bryan and I own kitchen duty and have the kids get themselves ready for bed.


Our younger two boys share a bedroom, so they go to bed at different times to keep things easier and less chatty.  Our youngest also has a sleeping disorder, so our nighttime routine is crucial to bedtime success.  While he reads out loud to me in his room, I am pulling out the boy's clothing for the next morning and Bryan is in the kitchen packing lunches {or still cleaning up our dinner mess}.


While Parker reads and falls asleep in his room, Peyton is showering and brushing his teeth.  By the time Parker is sleeping, I head to the couch to listen to Peyton read a bit.

Once Peyton goes to bed, I spend some time with Preston, typically just chatting about homework, school and life and by 9:30, all kid's lights are out.

9:30 p.m.  I quickly wipe up the bathroom toothpaste mess and then Bryan and I work on a project together.  If we don't have a project to work on, we try and find another way to spend time together, which may be watching our favorite shows on Netflix or playing an intense game of dice.  This week, we spent our "together time" assembling a piece of furniture for Preston's room {which means he was temporarily relocated to the guest room while we worked}.


11:00 p.m.  I check back in on everything and try to squeeze in at least another hour of work.  Sometimes I end up losing track of time and it turns into multiple hours.


As I mentioned, this is a fairly typical daily routine for us, but if I am under deadline, everything looks different and my kids may fall asleep in my studio while I work.... {here is a sneak peek at all of the daily planner proofs that never made the cut}


I could definitely find things to do to work 24 hours per day, but I have gotten better about asking for help and knowing when to shut things down and put my family first.  The schedule I shared today is my current way of balancing working from home, working on our home and enjoying our home. 

I know this just scratches the surface in regards to how much time is put into running a shop and a blog so I will plan on diving in a bit deeper in some of the upcoming blogging series posts.

Have a happy weekend everyone and thank you again for being such a special part of my days!

172 comments:

  1. Congrats girl! I've been reading iHeart for years now and exactly 1 year ago I started my little blog, East Willow Grove:) Happy 5 years! Watching your boys grow up, remodel your home, organize and run your business was one of the reasons I started blogging!

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    1. That is so sweet! Congratulations for taking the leap with your blog, I hope you are having great fun with it! xoxo!

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  2. Thanks so much for sharing a "typical" day for you on your blogiversary! :) It's amazing how much stuff can be crammed into a single day and I often wonder...where did that time go? It's so nice to see how other people survive the crazy business of life with a family of 5! :) Thanks so much for being willing to share a small part of your life with us. Congrats again for 5 amazing blogging years! :) You have a fantastic blog and I love coming to read it and borrow ideas. Oh - and I love, love, LOVE your daily planner! You've done an awesome job with it. The colors are beautiful and I love the covers :) I wish I knew you in real life because I love crafting/designing things on the computer and it would be so much fun to have someone with similar creativity. :)

    On a separate note, I was wondering where you found your refrigerator calendar? I love it!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kindness and encouragement Christy! I agree it always fun to spend time with those that share similar passions. :)

      I purchased the calendar at Target about a month ago. I believe it is Dabney Lee.

      xoxo!

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  3. I have no idea how you do all of that on a daily basis. It doesn't seem that you get much sleep. But however you do it, I just wanted to let you know I appreciate all that you do for us, your readers. I follow your blog and really enjoy your posts, so thank you for sharing.

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  4. Very inspiring! Role model to us girls in every aspect of life!

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  5. This is so helpful. I have been struggling to figure out what my daily routine should look like now that I have all the kids in school for at least a couple hours a day and was wandering around my living room trying to think what I should do next when I sat down at the computer (putting of f the decision!) and saw this. It's great to see what somebody else does.

    Question: housework. It overwhelms me. Do you do that as part of your daily routine beyond the quick pick-up, or do you have another technique for getting that done?

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    1. Hi Meika! I find that homework works best for us when we can be in the kitchen nearby for questions, and after they have their free wiggle time. I try to encourage them to get through what they can independently and save all of their questions for last. xoxo!

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    2. Ok, at first glance I read homework. Haha, sorry about that. I go through phases with housework and sometimes I think how productive I am goes in line with the seasons and my schedule. I try to do little hits of housework throughout the day before anything gets too out of control, and place focus on our primary spaces such as kitchen, living room and office. Finding ways to multitask helps (keep cleaning supplies in the room they are used, clean the shower while showering, pack lunches while working on dinner, etc...) and blocking out a little bit of time on the weekend for a few extra chores also helps. A few months ago I changed our way of thinking to only focussing on four chores a day and that helps keep things from getting too overwhelming. You can find that series here: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2014/04/monthly-clean-home-challenge-recap.html. xoxo!

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  6. Thanks for sharing a little glimpse into how you balance work and life at home. And congrats on five years of blogging and all that you have done to impact the lives of others! :-)

    ~Sarah

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  7. Lucky you to meet Nate Berkus and his new husband!!! Congratulations!

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    1. I know right!? Totally an epic moment in my life. :)

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  8. This was fun to read! I love seeing 'blow by blow' accounts of people's days. It helps me think about my own routine. But, can we talk about that photo of you with Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent??? Oh my goodness, you look stunning and I am positive I would have dissolved into a fangirl puddle if that was me. For all the work you have done and all the info you provide for free I love seeing you get due rewards out of it (plus you seem like such a sweet person and good things should happen for you!). Truly, congratulations on a job well done!

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    1. Thank you so very much Catherine! And I totally was melting inside and had to do what I could to keep my cool on the outside. I really appreciate your sweet comment!!

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  9. This was so great Jen! I loved reading about your day and your family!! You always amaze me with your posts and projects. I'm most envious of your meeting with Nate and Jeremiah though!!! <3

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    1. It was pretty amazing, not gonna lie! :) And thank you for hanging out with me here for so many years now!

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  10. A big thank you for posting this! I found it to be so helpful reading about your routine. I have been struggling for a few months about how to manage my time and I really appreciate you allowing us readers to see how you organize most of your day. Three things of yours that I'm going to try right away: cleaning for 10 minutes after breakfast; getting dinner/prep started at lunchtime; and going through my children's backpacks while they eat their snack. Thank you so much for your awesome ideas! (P.S. I am not a natural organizer so I've always found your blog to be great for someone like me! Also, congratulations on your blogiversary!)

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    1. Oh wonderful! So happy you were able to take away a quick tip or two from the post. :) That makes me so happy!

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  11. Hi Jen,
    LOVE your blog! I follow you on Instagram as well and you are so inspiring! I have borrowed so many fabulous idea of yours over the years and I always look forward to what the next one will be! It is totally your fault that I returned all of the drapes for my living room and got completely different ones when I was mid-project! But I am so happy I did and the result makes me smile every day! I must say, I am completely smitten with this pink striped button down I am seeing on you. Where can a girl find it? Please keep up the great work! Lara

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    1. Great job not settling on have drapes! Glad they worked out for you. It is always interesting to discover how something so simple can have such a positive impact.

      Oh! And the calendar was from Target last month. :)

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    2. I believe her shirt was from this summer's Old Navy collection. It came in a few different colors.

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    3. Oops, read your question wrong. The shirt is from Old Navy. :)

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    4. Thanks ladies! Lara :)

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  12. I absolutely love this post Jen:) I loved seeing the pictures of the boys! AND...how awesome was your time with Nate B.!!! Congratulations on five years!

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  13. And, THAT would be why you write an organizing blog--and I do NOT :) You look like you've got it all under control. I should write a day in the life post. It would probably make a lot of mommas feel a lot better about themselves. Ha! Happy blog anniversary!!

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    1. Oh Emily! I heart you! And first of all... Give yourself some credit, you have FIVE kids!!! And secondly, you have kids home with you all day! There is a reason why I didn't do this post over the summer, things were much more chaotic when all three boys were home full time. I think you do amazing and inspiring things my friend!

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  14. absolutely love the calendar on your fridge - where did you get it? thank you so much for the wonderful insight on organizing and DIY goodness. Your blog is amazing and so helpful

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    1. Thank you Marissa! The calendar is from Target last month. :)

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  15. I love the posts where you share your life and daily routine. Thanks!

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  16. Love this post. I am truly amazing how balanced your day is. I know you mention that not every day is smooth sailing, but I applaud you for everything you accomplish in your family and work life. Having lunch with your husband (sans kids) is priceless!! I wish you the best of luck with your amazing and helpful blog.

    I do have to ask you, where are your "tinkerbell" like slippers from? They are adorable.

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    1. Thanks so much Tara! I do appreciate lunch with the hubby, I know I am super lucky for that time with him.

      I purchased my slippers on Amazon: amzn.to/ZgIoEg

      xoxo!

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    2. Thanks. Had no idea they were Uggs. I've never seen them before. Love them. Added it to my Christmas wish list for my husband. :-)

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  17. This is such a great post, its nice to know what a day in your shoes is like! As mom's our job that title forever, and I agree.. sometimes its hard to stop working and give your children all of your undivided attention! I am really looking forward to your blogging tips - I have just started a blog myself so I would love to hear what helped you along the way :)

    Thanks,
    Kassandra

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  18. This is my favorite type of post :) And I'm impressed how little screen time your kids get! Nice work, mama! AND you inspired me to finally order your meal planning bundle, rather than using the back of whatever paper I can find :)

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  19. I always leave your blog feeling like it is possible to have a life that is totally together. I know there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that we don't get to see, I love being able to imagine a totally clean and organized life and space :) Thank you for showing us what a typical Jen day looks like! Now I'm inspired to plan my blogging day a little better! Congratulations on five years!

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  20. What a fun post! Two questions! Where did you get that gorgeous red and white striped shirt? And are those slippers or flats with the white pom-pom? I love them? Where did you find them?

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    1. Thanks Emily!

      The shirt is from Old Navy {but I can't seem to find it online} and I purchased the slippers on Amazon: amzn.to/ZgIoEg

      xoxo!

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  21. I love your sectional! Where is it from?

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    1. Thank you Courtney! The sectional is a Rowe from Becker Furniture. You can find all of the details in this post here: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2014/01/our-sofa-story.html xoxo!

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  22. Congrats on 5 years of blogging. Loved the day in the life post. it's amazing how fast the day goes! Question: In the picture of you taking photographing your fall decorating it looks like the marble is not actually apart of your table but like marble paper or something for photography. Is it? I would love to know where to get something like that.

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    1. Hi Chrissy!

      I used leftover marble paper from this project: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2014/02/ooh-la-la-marble-top-coffee-table.html, and placed it on some foam board to use as a backdrop for projects. I find it typically photographs nicer than all white which can appear yellow tinted or dirty or my super dark table top.

      xoxo!

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  23. Happy Blogiversary, Jen! You are fantastic, and I just love reading your blog!

    Thanks so much for sharing a glimpse into your daily life. It's super helpful when thinking about my own schedule at home, taking care of my kiddos, and tending to my blog as well. So much can be accomplished in one day with just a bit of organization! I love how you squeeze in small amounts of time when appropriate for the housework in order to keep up with it and not let it dominate your day!

    On a side note, where did you find those cute trays that you served the afternoon snack on? I need some of those for my messy little eaters! Ha! :)

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    1. Thank you Lindze! It has taken me many years of trial and error to get my day streamlined, and I am guessing it will look different again in a year. Always evolving I suppose! :)

      Unfortunately, the trays were purchased a few years back from Target. I have been searching high and low for them since because we use ours so frequently for so many different reasons. Fingers crossed they bring them back someday!

      xoxo!

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  24. Do you exercise on a daily Basis or what is your secret to staying in shape?

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    1. I do not exercise daily {hanging head in shame}, although I really try to find ways to move or be active as often as possible. Chasing after kiddos and our morning dance session being just a few. Also, when the weather is good, I either take a walk with my family or go for an occasional run in our neighborhood when I can squeeze one in. We also have a treadmill, so I try to find my way to it as often as possible, but it typically falls low on my list of priorities on any given day. Would love to change that someday!

      I also try to watch what I eat for the most part, but those darn sweets get me every time. :)

      xoxo!

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  25. I for SURE thought someone would ask you about your darling slippers. Details please. So cute!!

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    1. Hi Rachael, I purchased the slippers on Amazon here: amzn.to/ZgIoEg

      xoxo!

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  26. Congrats on 5 years! So happy you started blogging. Yours was the first blog I ever read (I found you via Pinterest) and looked forward to your posts everyday, and from you blog I've found so many other great blogs. Also, I started my own blog - while I'm no DYI queen like you, I enjoy blogging and the community so much. It's such a great outlet for a stay-at-home-mom like myself, so thank you :)

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    1. So honored to hear iHeart was your introduction to blog world and thank you for checking in and commenting! Smooches!

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  27. Did I miss a post on a new coffee table? Love it! :) Sorry if I commented twice. UGH...computers!

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    1. The coffee table is new, I moved the other one downstairs and found this one at World Market. It is so warm and pretty, I just love it!

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    2. I came in here to see if anyone else noticed the new table. I'd love it if you did a short post about the switcheroo.

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  28. Enjoyed the post and all of the pictures! Love your outfit in your photo with Nate. Would love to know where you got the red skirt :)

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    1. Thank you Janelle! The skirt is from Express. xoxo!

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  30. Love this post and your adorable family. You have a great thing going, sounds like a well-oiled machine! Some days I'm right there with you, but some days I feel like I'm lucky we make it through! :)

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    1. Thank you Amanda! We are getting things figured out but we also have those days where everything still falls apart and nothing goes as planned and we fall behind with day to day things... Keeps life interesting right ;) All we can do is learn something from those days and start over the next. xoxo!

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  31. I enjoyed this post SO much! Thank you for that glimpse into your busy day. I can't wait for your blogging series, I need it. A LOT.

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  32. I typically don't like to comment on posts where there are so many comments because I feel like mine is "lost" but holy cow, I love this post!!! What a fun day! I just had my second boy (3 months) and run an Etsy shop as well (I blog but it's for fun) and I'm so inspired by this. Obviously mine don't go to school yet, but when they do I hope to be as productive and organized as you are. Please tell me it was hard when they were younger? :) Sometimes I feel like I'm so behind, staying up till 2am to get things done. Although I bet it's harder in the evenings with all the activities now too. Thanks for sharing your day and I can't wait to read more posts on your work balance. Your boys are lucky to have you...they will have such good memories of their family, I'm sure of it!

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    1. So happy you took the time to comment. Although I may not respond to them all, I read each one. First, congrats on your new baby! Yes, I do think younger ages pose different challenges and they require a lot of your time. Mine can each play independently, take care of their showers, teeth and getting dressed and don't have to be monitored 24 / 7 in fear of them putting little objects in their mouth and choking. However, on the flip side they need help with homework, are in a variety of activities and require our time in different ways. Finding a way to effectively balance my time with them, my blog, my shop and my husband has always been one of my biggest struggles since I started. I still pull all nighters at times, but it is also the price of being able to be home with the boys in the mornings and after school. :) Best wishes to you sweet girl!

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  33. Happy Anniversary! I enjoyed your post and the little peek inside your day. I have been reading your blog from the beginning and have loved watching your journey to where you are today. So cool meeting Nate and his husband (and they are both very handsome too!).

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  34. Loved the post!!! Thanks for sharing! Im considering a wipe off calendar vs a paper one. Do you like the wipe off better??

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    1. I have used both but prefer our current paper version because I can flip ahead to future months and writing doesn't smear or disappear over the course of the month. :)

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    2. Can you please tell me the brand of the calendar? I have a hard time finding large ones that are not hideous! Thanks!

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    3. Hi Ginni,

      It is a Dabney Lee calendar I found at Target. xo!

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  35. What a fabulous post Jen. I loved getting a peek into your day. I too am NOT a morning person, but being a sahm has definitely bulldozed me into early days and long nights. I love that you and your family sit down to meals together. We do too every night. Its such an important time for me and my family. Congratulations sweet lady. Ive loved every minute of this blog since I discovered it.

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  36. You are too cute! Loved this post :)

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  37. I love seeing your projects in use/context - like the homework boxes, or the 10 minute fall picture. Thank you for sharing your day.

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  38. Love these kind of posts and love your blog! Also, were did you get your cute shoes with the pom pom on them? Look so cute for around the house!

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    1. Hi Michelle! I purchased the slippers on Amazon here: amzn.to/ZgIoEg

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  39. Happy Anniversary! Thanks for sharing 'a day in the life' with us. Your blog is great fun and I so enjoy reading it. Thanks for the amazing inspiration :)

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  40. I need a bun tutorial;)!! I just love how your hair is done!

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    1. Me too! Please let us know your secret in getting it to look so cute, Jennifer!

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  41. Love your blog! You inspire me all the time! Just curious, what kind of dinner games do you play? sounds like I good time to me!

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    1. We play dice, I Spy, and a game actually called Dinner Games. :)

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  42. I really, really enjoyed this post. I would die to have a studio like yours to work in so I'm not constantly jumping room to room.
    Currently my office space is in the guest room - which is super small so it's very cramped. When I hurt my leg I had to move the computer downstairs so I could still get a moderate amount of work done; and that's where it's stayed since then since I've gotten into the groove of spending all my time in the living room and working at the same time.
    Then when I need to take photos or do makeup - I'm back upstairs. Ugh. One big room would be fantastic.

    Also, I love your slippers.

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    1. Thank you Cassy. I agree I am lucky to have the space. Every time we pull it apart or work on it and I move to the kitchen table, I miss having a space for all my daily clutter. Sorry to hear about your leg, I hope you are recovering well. xo!

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  43. Happy blog anniversary!

    You are gorgeous and I absolutely love this post!

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  44. Thanks so much for these kind of posts! Love them!
    Happy blog-anniversary! You have a beautiful home!

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  45. I LOVED this post! I've been reading your blog for years and I've always loved that you try to keep things real. I laughed when you talked about not being a morning person and hitting snooze, that is so me! I can completely relate to your struggle to unplug and stop working. I am a blogger who works full time and has 2 young kids and I always struggle with putting the computer away. Thanks so much for sharing your day with us! BTW, you are beautiful even in the morning :)

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  46. Thanks for this! I was really encouraged to know it doesn't just take me hours to work on a post. I'm fairly new to blogging and love the ability to write what I love and be able to look back on things almost like a journal. I thought maybe I was spending an abnormal amount of time on posts, but it is nice to know it is just part of the process.

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  47. I have been following your blog for quite some time. I love it. I also have a blog of my own. bollingwith5.blogspot.com I just read this entire post to my hubby and we got many chuckles at how much OUR LIVES (you and I) are so much alike. Now, our wake/bedtime times are way different, lol! I wake up at 4:30 am and go to bed around 10 isn (if not earlier). I got a chuckled about your comment, "I could work 24 hours a day", it's so true. So many people DO NOT understand MY PERSONALITY or how busy I am AND ALWAYS. I LOVE projects, crafts, challenges, cooking, baking, and so much more. BLOGGING IS MY GREATEST HOBBY EVER!!! Thanks for sharing a day in your life. I may steal this idea, although it will be a LONG post that I am not sure MANY would care to read. LOL! PS. I am ALSO amazed that a post takes you 4-8 hours. I have never timed mine, but from start to finish, I can definite say that you are probably dead on!

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    1. So happy to hear how passionate you are about so many areas of your life, you happy energy really shines! And I didn't think many would want to read about our not-so-exciting day to day life, but oddly it was a request I have been receiving frequently for years. I think it is just nice to see how the day to day project photos translate and see blogger homes actually being used {not just pretty pictures, but actually a lived in space}. And it tells the story of the behind the scenes and offers another way to relate to one another.
      Have a great weekend Kristin!

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  48. Hi Jen, I love your blog. Well done! Looking forward to more inspiring ideas in the next 5 years! Love this post xx

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  49. Your posts are always so informative and this is no different. I work full time and then some and also have 3 boys, 7 years between oldest and youngest. But I have to be honest, even though I work away from home, my days look very similar except it starts and ends about 2.5 hours earlier and I am in a gray cubical all day. Thanks for sharing. I learn something new here with each post!

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  50. I too am wowed by your bun. Can you do a bun tutorial?
    I've been reading your blog for over a year now. I love your studio/office space and your kids bathroom. Both areas seem to appear to function well and certainly look great. Our kids bathroom is at the beginning of a reno, from the ceiling to the floor. I really like how your stripes look and may just copy that when we finally get to the painting stage.

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  51. I'm not sure whether I'm the underachiever or you're the overachiever, but holy smokes you run a tight ship! Love your blog; congrats on the blogiversary. Also, love the photo-bomber in the Nate B. pic :-)

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  52. Thanks for sharing! It was really funny to read. I have newborn and just trying to organize my blog, house and two children. To be honest, I cannot even imagine to have 3!!!! children, especially boys:)))))) You are great mother!!!!! Today I received great inspiration! Thanks a lot! And by the way you have follower from Prague:)

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  53. I relate to SO MUCH of what you said here! From not being a morning person (my husband is also the one who gets up to the kids and fixes their breakfast), to the amount of time you spend on posts - (YES!! It is so time-consuming! Most people have no idea) - to the struggle with switching from work mode to Mum mode. I'm very task-oriented and find it so hard to snap out of blogging mode (especially when I'm not finished with something, which is always) and just be present with my kids. Working on that! Thanks so much for all the inspiration you provide. Your blog is one of my favourites. xo

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  54. Loved this post! Got so many great ideas for managing my day better! You are adorable and so is your family.

    This may be a silly question, but could you do a top knot tutorial? I loved your hair in that pic of you in your PJs. How do you do it?

    Oh, and where did you get your PJs? They are super cute!

    Shannon in PA

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    1. Thanks Shannon! The p.j. pants are from Gap Outlet. I have been getting a lot of top knot tutorial requests so I think it is time to whip out the video camera and get one made quick. :) xo!

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    2. Yay! I want a top knot tutorial as well, please! :)

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  55. you rock girl. my day flows almost exactly the same way! except my hubby hates kitchen clean up duty! so he's usually upstairs getting the girls ready for bed instead :) have a lovely weekend girlie ♥

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  56. Congrats on all your success! I love reading a day in the life posts and yours did not disappoint! ps - I am loving your hair in that topknot!

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    1. I loved this post too, and it was great to get a glimpse in to your daily life. Congratulations on the blogiversary..and like Lizzie, I am loving that top knot!

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  57. Really enjoyed this post. I totally understand how it can take six hours to prepare a post - I thought it was just me! The meaty project posts with lots of photos are super time consuming.

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    1. I am glad it is not just me also. :) We typically work on projects and photograph them as we go in spurts, then later edit and then write so I never really timed how long it takes, but those hours really add up. It was eye opening to time a beginning to end of a simple project. xoxo!

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  58. I love your blog! What crock pot do you use and what is the taco recipe? Thanks!

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    1. Hi Shana!

      We use a simple Crock Pot purchased at Target years ago. And here is the recipe I follow: http://www.rubiesandradishes.com/2013/12/07/easy-slow-cooker-taco-meat/

      xoxo!

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  59. I know that it may sound redundant, but I love your blog. I found you a couple years ago while looking for Lego storage solutions and have followed you ever since. I love that we share the same love for Target. I live 2 blocks away from one and every time I read a post that has something from Target, I want to zoom and ogle at all their cute stuff. I love your bright colors and organization and it makes me happy!! I can read and re-read your posts daily. Thank you for taking the time to read comments and blog, blessings!

    Stephanie - SAHM of 2.

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    1. And thank YOU for taking the time for reading and commenting Stephanie! I really appreciate it! <3

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  60. So proud of you Ive been reading this Blog from the very beginning you look so chic in that fabulous red skirt you are adorable.

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  61. Oof. Red Socks. I'm a Nationals fan, but still. :)

    And I LOVE that red skirt you are wearing! Looks so great on you! That visit looked so cool, I'm in NYC right now!

    Quick random question, what are your favorite shows on Netflix? I'm currently addicted to Parks and Rec, and if you haven't seen it I would HIGHLY recommend it.

    Keep on working hard, girl!

    Sarah

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    1. Funny Sarah! We aren't actual Red Sox fans, it was just his TBall team. :) But we do love ourselves some good baseball!

      Favorite shows on Netflix are Scandal, Dexter and The Good Wife. I am always a season behind on all TV and prefer to watch them in the background while I work so any Netflix and Amazon Prime recommendations are appreciated. Thanks for the Parks & Rec suggestion!

      Have fun in NYC! It is a great city!

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    2. Ooo! Ooo! Can I join in on recommendations? I've loved Psych (slapstick detective comedy), Eureka (science geek comedy/drama), and Sherlock (superfab miniseries from the UK). :)

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    3. Yay! Thank you so much for chiming in! I am excited to add a few new shows to my watch list!

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    4. I watch stuff in the background while i work too! I cant work without it! haha :)

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  62. As a teacher, it's so great to see how much your boys' learning is integrated into their everyday! I wish even a fraction of my students had that kind of parental encouragement and support!

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  63. Love-love-LOVED that post! :) You and your family is such an inspiration.

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  64. Hi I soooo loved this post . I've been a fan for over 4 years since I found your blog. I love day in the life kind if stuff. Thanks for being a blogger who still takes the time to answer so many comments. I can understand that can be time consuming work. Here's to many more fun years of blogging I know I'll tag along. X fiona Tasmania , Australia.

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  65. Thanks for writing this peek into your life. It definitely gave me a greater appreciation for all the things you pack into your day. Love seeing the real life shots of your home, too. I'm trying to comment more on blogs that I read faithfully to share my appreciation, rather than just read and move on, so here's me chiming in to say thanks for what you do. Reading your posts is a bright spot in my week.

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    Replies
    1. I appreciate you taking time to comment. It is something I am trying to be better about as well. I know that with all of the social media outlets, comments have dwindled quite a bit, but I still love that daily interaction with people {which is one of the reasons I blog in the first place} :) xoxo!

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  66. Congratulations on your blog-a-versary! I love seeing your routine for the day... both inspiring (ways to streamline my own routine) & reassuring (I juggle 3 boys & work-at-home as well!) Am jealous of the bus-stop pickup/dropoff... oh how nice that would be. :-)
    Thank you for all that you do.
    Cheers,
    Kate

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  67. Thank you for sharing your day! I totally would have guessed you'd be a morning person. Your family is cute and I love how you and your hubs work together.
    On an unrelated note, did you keep your accordion file thingy for your used often files or did you change it up? I don't think I saw it in the after pics of office. I'm always looking for new ideas. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you Audra! I still have it on a nearby shelf but have been gravitating to just using the inbox on my desk along with my file cabinet. :)

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  68. Congratulations! I purchased your 2014 planner and received a lot of compliments. Now I am back to buy the 2015. Your tips are great - I own my own business and am the mom of two boys - and they are very relevant.

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    1. Thank you so much for your support Christine!

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  69. You are one of my most FAVORITE bloggers! I am always in awe of you and your ability to get it all done. You are one that inspired me to start blogging (robynslittlenest.com). I somehow always forget my blogiversary....or remember 2 months later (hanging head in shame). Side note.....as a fellow blogger and reader I want to commend you on your willingness to connect to your audience in such positive ways!! So kuddos to you girlfriend! and a HUGE Congratulations on 5 years! xo - Robyn

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    1. You made my day Robyn! And congrats on your blog, I hope you are finding a lot of joy in the process. xoxo!

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  70. What fantastic timing because I am in desperate need of some blogging help! I am crazy excited for this series! Thank you for such a wonderful blog and all the help you give to us.

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  71. Happy Blogiversary!! I love these posts - love seeing what everyone gets up to on a daily basis x

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  72. I love this post!! You do such a great job with time management- working from home myself I know how hard it can be!
    Wondering where you bought your table centerpiece (cutting board) and salt and pepper shakers. Love them!

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    1. Hi Ashley! The cutting board is from World Market (similar found also at HomeGoods) and the salt and pepper shakers are from Target. xo!

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  73. I am so glad you did an updated day in the life post! I have looked back to your original post over the years for tips on how to keep my family's hectic schedule manageable. I can't believe how much your kids have grown! Congratulations on 5 years!

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  74. Happy Blogiversary, Jen! I've been hooked on your happy place since the time I stumbled upon it earlier this year. Keep up the good work!

    And, I do have a question. (",) I am a fan of how you edit your photos. What are their sizes? Do you host them using Photobucket?

    All the best!

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    1. Hi Lynn! I use photoshop to edit and use the "Save for Web" option to compress. I host with Picasa through Blogger. I will touch more on photography in an upcoming post as well. :)

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  75. Jen, congrats on 5 amazing years! You've certainly made an impact to my life and how organized it is now. I often read your previous posts when I am organizing a specific area in the house. You know what they say about "when the student is ready, the teacher appears"... And of course I look forward to reading new posts. Its a bright spot in my day.

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  76. Congratulations 5 years that is incredible!! I appreciated your organizing before but now that I have just bought my own house it is even more inspirational.

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    1. Yay! Congrats on your new home! That is such exciting news!! Cheers!

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    2. Thanks!! Its keeping the husband and me busy.

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  77. Agreed - would LOVE to see a top knot tutorial! Love your hair and the red skirt! :) I very much enjoy reading your blog - and especially using your ideas for my own home.

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  78. Hi Jen, thanks so much for this "reality" post! It would be fun to see a few more here & there, kind of like the "real time" posts you did a while back of the guest bathroom update...loved it!

    Speaking of Nate Berkus, I wanted to see your appearance of little houseproud, but it looks like the video has disappeared from the archives...any chance you could find a way to repost it for us? I started following you only about a year ago, so I would love to see it :)

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  79. (I tried to post this comment the other day, and I'm sure why it didn't show up. It seems I can only reply to someone else's comment, but not create my own. Hmm...trying again!)

    Loved this post! So encouraging to get a peak into the "real life" of a successful wife, mama, and blogger. :)

    When you do your "how-to-blog" series, would you please consider offering your insights on the balance of maintaining safety and privacy, while still blogging in a personal way?

    Final note (in case this actually does reach you!): My home and wardrobe is so much more colorful now, thanks to you, lovely Jen. I have always loved color, but I just needed to be taught how and encouraged to use it! Thank you!

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    1. Glad your comment made it through! Thank you for your suggestion and encouragement! So happy to hear you are having fun with color! xoxo!

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  80. Thank you for sharing and congrats on the blog-o-versary. Please don't take this as an insult, as it truly isn't meant to be. I love what you do on your blog, but have often wondered, how on earth does she have the energy to make a drawer so cute?? This was eye opening. My hubs is gone for work in the morning before any of us are awake and travels very frequently. So I don't have that partner present. I am being totally unrealistic as to the effect that has. One day, my drawers will be cute. Just not now. Keep on inspiring us with your adorable creativity!

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    Replies
    1. Not an insult at all. Although I am nutty enough to give up an hour of sleep to work on a project, I am super fortunate to have my husband's help throughout the day. We have found a good balance and I absolutely feel a bit more stretched when he is away traveling or taking on additional contracted work as well. xoxo!

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  81. Great seeing what a day in your life is like! One question though -- what about the doggies? :)

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    1. During nice days they spend a lot of time playing in our fenced backyard or basking in the sun on the deck, otherwise they hang out inside full time with the fam. They get played with in the yard, go on walks with us and occasionally join us at the boy's sporting events. :)

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    2. Yay! Would love more doggy posts too. :)

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    3. me too!! I'd also love to see them photo-bomb some pics every once in a while because they are gorgeous :)

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  82. Congratulations on your anniversary! I've been following your blog for a couple of years now and love all the helpful tips. And your planner totally makes my life a bit easier. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  83. What a beautiful post! I love all the gorgeous photos. I know this is going to sound like a really crazy question since the post is about a day in the life but I love your background you used for the fall decorating and was wondering if it is paper? If it is where do you find such a big sheet like that? Thanks for any info!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Lindy!

      I used leftover marble paper from this project: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2014/02/ooh-la-la-marble-top-coffee-table.html, and placed it on some foam board to use as a backdrop for projects. I find it typically photographs nicer than all white which can appear yellow tinted or dirty or my super dark table top.

      xoxo!

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  84. Hi, I was just curious where you got the acrylic drawers under your kitchen sink?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Amy! They are these from The Container Store: http://bit.ly/1pEEcn5

      xoxo!

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  85. Congrats Jen! What an accomplishment! I'm new to the blogging world and really enjoy your site, it's such an inspiration. You are very talented and I look forward to future posts!

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  86. I love your bun!!! Please tell how you make that happen!!

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  87. I love your blog!!!!! I found it while I was in my "nesting" mode during my 6th pregnancy and you have been such an inspiration to me! I'm lucky enough to be able to stay home and start right away, you are awesome at what you do that I'm so addicted now :) you have helped bring life back into me and my home!!!! Keep doing what you do because you are greater than great!!!! The only thing I am bummed about is that staples doesn't have the discbound planner in stock, I bought your planner pages and was looking forward to getting it and by the way your pages rock! You are such an inspiration and I'm amazed by you, congrats on the 5 yrs!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Agree that they need to keep the Martha Discbound going - it makes me sad to think they may be taking it away. And thank you for your incredibly kind comment, it really fills me with joy to do what I do and connect with people like you. :)

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  88. so fun to see what you're up to day to day - looks a lot like my house with 3 kids! the sports!!! ack! where are those puppies though? i don't know how you have time for dogs. we have a cat, and the kids are begging for a dog…but i can't imagine fitting in the time a dog needs. :-)

    thank you so much for sharing!!!

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  89. Is it strange that I love reading about your day!? Love your blog and all the color! Please do a post about how you put your hair in a bun!!!!! The top photo has a more chic looking one and one towards the bottom at the end of the day! Too cute!

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  90. Thank you for taking the time to write this. I really enjoyed reading it. Could I also please ask where you purchased your imac keyboard cover from? Thank you and keep up the fabulous work.

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  91. Sometimes you are my rock when I feel I don't want or can't anymore to put everything in order... one hour on your blog resolve this problem. :)
    I hope will not be a stupid question but... You manage to be dressed like that...so beautiful and fancy everyday? I tried but I am feeling a little bit strange to be like that just foar staying at home. Hugs from Romania! :*

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    Replies
    1. I get dressed and do my makeup at least 4 out of 5 workdays, and nothing fancy. Typically jeans and button up top. I find I am more productive and it motivates me personally. I also appreciate that I am ready at a moments notice to run out for a meeting or errands, or head to the kid's school. Just a personal preference. :)

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  92. What a lovely post. I love reading about people who manage working and at the same time spend enough time with their families! So thank you for your detailed post.
    Love,
    Svenja

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  93. Happy Anniversary Jen! I loved the glimpse into your incredibly productive day! Would love to see some pics of the puppies and hear how they fit into your day. :)

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    1. Thanks Tammy! Chatted about the pups in the comments above and you can also take peeks of them on my Instagram feed: http://instagram.com/iheartorganizing xo!

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  94. Hi there!
    I love your blog, Jen! A belated Happy Anniversary. Thank you for sharing your colorful soul! I was wondering what size planner do you use? At first I thought it was the large one, but in the photos above it looks like the half size? Do you carry it with you when you leave the house?
    Also - where did you get your acrylic in boxes?

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! And yes, I opted to try out the Jr. Size this year so that it would be more manageable on the go. :)

      Acrylic boxes can be found at The Container Store or Amazon.

      xoxo!

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    2. Thank you for your reply! Soooo then - what is YOUR verdict on the two sizes? Do you love the smaller size better for it's portability or are you missing the larger size? Or will you use both - one at home and one for on the go? Would love to know how you use it for your busy day. I love the ARC/Levenger system but can't decide on size. THX!

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  95. Loved this post! I'm trying to build a work from home career, which will include blogging. This has some great advice! And as always, I got a few ideas on ways to organize and decorate my home from looking at your beautiful pictures!

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  96. I love your kitchen table! May I ask where you got the blue bench and white chairs?! Thanks!

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    1. Hi Laura,

      The bench is from Home Decorators: http://www.homedecorators.com/P/Hammond-Bench/00/330/ and the chairs are IKEA: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S39861423/#/S29862178

      xoxo!

      Delete
    2. Very neat to read, thanks for sharing. P.S. Bryan sounds like a dream! What a helper he is! Lucky lady :-) -Casey

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