How a Nut and a Pool Noodle saved my Bathroom Cabinets

The guest bathroom, essentially the kids bathroom, has a nice two step white wooden stool for the kid’s easy access to the sink. I never considered that the white stool would be knocking into the dark cabinets. I mean why would a toddler want to pick up a stool and move it?  Yes, genius I know.

So needless to say, the cabinet has a collection of white scratches that are very becoming. To prevent it from further destruction, as I’m sure Little Control Freak the 2nd will be more gentle with the stool than his sister, I used a pool noodle for some padding.


It was leftover in the garage from a previous cut job, for what I can’t remember, so I dug it back out and sliced and diced it to be placed on the back of the stool. Now the cabinets have a better chance of staying scratch free for a longer period of time.

Pool Noodle Stool

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No more scratches. #poolnoodlesaremultipurpose

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But how to get off those white paint scratches? I thought magic erasers fixed everything, but of course not. Didn’t remove a speck. That’s when I remembered reading an article about nuts… walnuts or almonds that is. Rub them over scratches on wood and watch them fade away. What did I have to lose?


Amazingly, it worked. At least enough that you can barely see the markings (it’s actually a walnut they recommend but the almond worked). I used a stain marker to cover the piece of wood that was chipped and I have to say it looks pretty good.

My control freak OCD saved by a nut and a pool noodle!

The Truth About Being Organized with Kids

Many say, “I don’t know how you do it,” referencing my organization with kids. Now keep in mind I may be a little OCD or anal for a lack of better terms, but it really is part of my DNA. And the truth about being organized with kids… well the truth is it’s an urban legend. Even with best intentions, two weeks never appear the same. My life is most definitely not Pinterest perfect. Yes I yearn for a clean organized home and abiding to routines and schedules, but the spontaneity of kids, and life for that matter, don’t always make this a reality. Can I get an AMEN!

This is definitely a reoccurring theme in the Control Freak house, and after years of organized living, before the Littles arrived, even hubs struggles with how our day can take a total U-turn at the drop of the dime. It happens, A LOT! So going with the flow tends to be the name of our game.

Yes we have a rigorous schedule during the week cramming in chores, work, perhaps even something called sleep, just so we can enjoy the weekend with the Littles distraction free. Do we abide by that schedule 100% of the time, hell no! Do we abide by that schedule 75% of the time? Probably not even close. The point is we have a plan, we have a schedule, we even have good intentions to do it, but life happens. Kids get sick, party invitations pop-up, work schedules get stretched, so all you can do is punt. You do your best to stay on par, but sometimes you have to give the ball up to achieve your goal. Whether that requires saying no to an invitation or leaving dishes in the sink (maybe even all over the counter), the priority is health and happiness for your family AND you. Note the emphasis on and, you can’t forget about YOU! How about all those crazy sports references, where did they come from….I digress….

So there you have it folks, confessions of an organizationaholic. Even the most organized can’t make it happen. Moral of the story, organization is great, but don’t let it get in the way of your family and happiness.  Otherwise you’ll need to invest in a time machine, chef, housekeeper, chauffeur, personal shopper……

And remember, they’re worth it, you’re worth it:)

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Made it #aceandanya #carnegiemuseum

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Buddies #aceandanya #roxytoo #kibblepants

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Being Perfect Isn’t Everything


Yes folks, the self-proclaimed Control Freak who loves a clean house, everything organized in its own place/time slot, and a person who would like to complete more projects than money allows, said it and I’ll say it again….


Almost 3 years ago, on my first maternity leave, I found this little niche of blogging. I’ve always loved writing, sharing, and of course organizing; so the three put together… winning! I had hoped to dedicate more time into growing and frequenting the blog, as do other amazing organizing bloggers I want to be like when I grow up, then reality set in. Life with kids is tough to keep up with, heck life without kids is hard enough.

The reality is, no matter how much you strive to organize and plan your days, weeks, months; they aren’t going to always go as planned. In fact you might be lucky to have 2 consecutive weeks go by without a bump in the road, but that’s life! While annoying it is also the beauty of it. And really Control Freaks, i’m not just the president i’m a member, we need to roll with the punches.

Here’s what I’ve learned as a working mom with 2 kids:

  1. Sticking to our daily schedule is crucial to get everything we would LIKE to get done. Key word being like. Time to focus on what NEEDS to get done. That’s right leave the toys on the floor eek!
  2. Always add an hour to the time you think it will take to get ready.
  3. If I don’t get up at 5 AM to start my day I don’t get my workout in to lose the baby weight. Hold the phone sista! While working out is important so is sleep, cut yourself a break, things will get better when that 3 month old sleeps better 🙂
  4. Organizing isn’t always about sticking to your plan, but how you bounce back and re-organize when Plan A crumbles.
  5. I haven’t lost the baby weight, I don’t know what to wear, I haven’t blogged, the grass hasn’t been cut, am I a bad mom sending kids to daycare, Amy you know better! CUT YOURSELF A BREAK! Let go of your woes and your worries, in the bigger picture you’re the only one sweating the small stuff. REMEMBER, you’re doing the best you can and if your kids are happy and thriving then you’re doing a STELLAR job! Everything else is just static.
  6. Learn to say NO. We cram a lot in the work week, even our errands and chores to free the weekend for family time. And as much as we love spending time with our family and friends, sometimes you just have to say no to social outings for your sanity and most importantly your kids sanity. Starting a Monday already exhausted is a recipe for disaster will be a disaster.
  7.  There is a reason and a season for everything. Always loved this saying and it reminds me that while we have hopes, dreams, goals, etc. our current season is focused on the Little Control Freaks in our house. You won’t regret taking time to spend with your kids, but you will regret the time you didn’t spend with them.

Moral of the blog, perfection isn’t everything (including good grammar #sorrynotsorry #whyiwriteblogsandnotnovels #sleepdeprived), cut yourself a break, live in the present. And no this doesn’t mean i’m done blogging, just means the radio frequency might be cut for larger chunks of time. #dontworrybehappy

Household Chore Frequency, Get it Done Schedule

I never understood the frequency, uh-huh…

We aren’t talking about the R.E.M. hit, but more so the frequency of chores. Yes chores shmores! Those annoying little tasks we can’t ignore and seemingly can never find time for. has a great commercial to promote hiring a housekeeper. It sums up my sentiments exactly. When the weekends hit, the last thing we want to do is take precious time away from our little ones for chores. #noonehastimeforthat

A housekeeper is NOT currently in our budget (hopefully that’s the PC term!), and now that we are a family of four we adjusted how we squeeze in our chores. The reality being, not everything needs a deep cleaning every week and again #noonehastimeforthat. It’s a tight squeeze, but here is how hubs and I tag team our chores to get them done and out of the way so we can enjoy the weekend. Overview then more detail of what each task includes below 🙂

Disclaimer: I am not a health care professional, clearly, this is what works for our household. If you need to disinfect or clean more frequently due to illness or other circumstances, by all means do so.

Chore Schedule Piktograph


Laundry (Daily AM & PM) – Tag Team

  • PM – Toss load of laundry in night before and set timer for 4 AM next morning
  • AM – Wake up and throw laundry in dryer and fold before going to work
  • PM – put laundry away and throw in new load for next day

Finance Check (Monday PM) – Hubs Job

  • Check budget, bills, and Amazon Shopping List
    • We created an Amazon List titled “Shopping.” This is in addition to a gift wish list for each member of the house. The Shopping List holds items we need, of different priorities, for the household. Hubs purchases as cash is available.

Meals (Monday PM) – My Job

  • Determine meals for the week
  • Create grocery list via the Wegmans App
  • Clean out fridge of old food to make room for next day groceries

Clean 2nd Floor (Wednesday PM) – Tag Team

  • Bathroom(s) Checklist:
    QUICK pick-up
    QUICK wipe down with vinegar/water solution: mirror, surfaces, toilet
    Refill toilet paper, tissues, soap, etc. as needed
    Fresh towels
    Sanitize rugs in dryer (versus washing, most dryers have this function)
    Note anything we must add to the shopping list
  • Bedroom(s) Checklist:
    QUICK pick-up
    QUICK dust surfaces with Swiffer
    Change sheets

Clean 1st Floor (Thursday PM) – Tag Team

  • Powder Room Checklist:
    QUICK pick-up
    QUICK wipe down with vinegar/water solution: mirror, surfaces, toilet
    Refill toilet paper, tissues, soap, etc. as needed
    Fresh towels
  • Living Room and Kitchen area:
    QUICK pick-up
    QUICK wipe down of surfaces with vinegar/water solution or dust with Swiffer
    Wipe down fridge and microwave handles (always get sticky in our house)
    Water plants
    Wet mop hardwood floor high traffic areas
    Fresh towels/rag
    Refill paper towels, napkins, soap etc. as needed

MONTHLY DETAILS (first week of the month)

In general, the monthly cleaning is your opportunity for more in depth cleaning/disinfecting. You know those items we don’t have time for weekly (let alone monthly)

  • Wash all throw rugs (we have them in the bathroom and kitchen)
  • Clean with disinfectant (versus our normal vinegar/water mixture)
  • Clean the showers and tubs (not necessary weekly)
  • Mop the bathroom floors in addition to vacuuming (not necessary weekly)
  • More in depth vacuum and wet mop of hardwoord floors: move furniture or obstructions, roll up hallway rugs, baseboards, suck up couch crumbs, etc.
  • Take the time to pick-up and put items away in proper homes

How to Dress for a Family Photo Session

Hubs gave me a great birthday gift this year. A family photo shoot with our favorite photographers New Leaf Photography. They’ve captured great moments in our life.

Favorite Engagement Photo Favorite Wedding PhotoFavorite Maternity Photo Favorite Newborn Photo

Great idea hubs!  For one I don’t need anything material, two we have only a handful of photos as a family, and three photos last forever! But I was faced with a dilemma, what would we wear! I know, it should be easy, but if we are getting professional photos I wanted to make sure we were dressed to impress. You know, timeless so we would never have one of those “what were we thinking” moments in the future. So what’s the big dilemma? You know the typical mom/woman panic:

Do we dress up? Will that look natural or like we are trying too hard? If we dress down does it look sloppy? Wait I have three people to dress and compliment? Summer clothing is way more exposing and I’m suffering from not much clothing after baby syndrome! Fall clothing is much easier! I don’t want to look like one of those awkward family photos!

So I did what any other mother would do. I hit up Pinterest and probably spent more time than I needed on a color scheme and plan. Which changed three times when I didn’t like how I looked in certain outfits 🙂 I am by no means a professional on this, but here is what helped me come to a conclusion.

  1. Setting:
    Keep in mind your photo session setting. You not only want to be seasonably appropriate so you are comfortable, but also want colors that will complement and stand out from your setting (not blend in and clash). Our session would be taking place outside with some lush grass, so green was out!
  2. Surf the net for examples:
    Pinterest provided me with ideas of what I did and did not like. Here are my favorites:
  3. Flattering colors and cuts:
    Think about what colors and cuts (shape of clothing) are the most flattering on not only you, but the rest of the members that will be in the photo shoot. This should help you narrow down color schemes. The control freak family looks best in rich bold colors in a tone of blue or red.
  4. No matchy matchy please! Mix and match colors and patterns:
    I did not want us to look overly staged and matchy matchy, that is so out! I wanted us to complement each other. One way to connect everyone is to ensure that each person connects to at least one family member through a similar color. If hubs is wearing blue, i’ll incorporate blue, but that does not mean that little control freak also needs blue. If I wear yellow and little control freak has yellow hair bows, hubs does not also need yellow in his outfit. That would be overkill. The more people you have in your photo shoot the easier it is to spread the wealth of colors, the less people it’s harder to hide so mix and match patterns and solids to add variety.
  5. Props:
    Planning on having props? Make sure they complement your colors and they work with what you are wearing, even your pets 🙂

Official photos coming soon, but here is a sneak peek:

Family Photo Shoot Sample

Fighting with Foil Fix

Ever feel like you’re fighting with foil or plastic wrap?  All you want is an easy clean tear and instead you are fumbling with a roll that falls out of the box and a less than stellar rip.  I had gone way too many years of my life fighting this battle until I was reminded that there is an easy fix to a smooth roll.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who shares in this frustration so hopefully making you aware of end locks saves you from future battles.

FullSizeRender (1)

You’ll notice that your plastic wrap and/or foil box has a perforated area on each side of the box.  These tabs need to be punched in to create end locks.

IMG_5037 FullSizeRender (2)

End locks pretty much sum up their purpose.  It locks the roll in place so it doesn’t fall out of the box and you can tear your chosen wrap easily.

Done and Done!

Summer Vacation Packing Tips

Every time the control freak house packs up for a trip I intend to take photos and blog about it, but then I forget….

Finally I remembered!  Last minute we decided to take a trip to the shore for Memorial Day weekend. (In case you are wondering we say down the shore, not to the beach in this neck of the woods).  Luckily we found a studio condo for a long weekend of fun in the sand and sun.

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A beach baby is born. #ocnj

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Here are some tips of how I prep and pack:

  1. Create and Save an Electronic List
    There are many fancy free printable lists out there to serve this purpose, but I use old reliable excel.  Since we pack the same items for almost every trip, I created a list in excel and saved it. The list contains a check list column for each person in the family. The best part is you won’t have to create the list for your next trip, you will already have it.Vaca List
  2. Don’t Wait Till the Night Before to Pack
    This may work if you fly solo, but definitely not with a family. Start to pull list items during the week and place in an area out-of-the-way of your daily business. This will prevent a last-minute scramble to purchase or launder needed items.
  3. Suitcases Aren’t Always Best
    This may be personal preference, but I can’t remember the last time we used a suitcase (except for when we fly). I have found Thirty One Utility Totes to be a great option for luggage.  A lot fits in one bag, they stack nicely in the trunk, and are easy to carry. Each control freak family member typically has one bag for clothing and toiletries, it’s almost always enough.  For longer duration trips shoes will be placed in a separate bag to allow for more personal item space.
  4. Load Your Car the Night Before
    First off, packing your car is like a puzzle, you want everything to fit in snug. Secondly, do yourself a favor and load the car the night before you leave. Most people will depart in the morning, early morning. Waking up early and getting a family moving and out the door is enough to tackle. If you had to load your car on top of that you’d never get to your destination. Do it the NIGHT before. Some other factors to keep in mind when loading the trunk. If you won’t be checking in to your accommodations immediately, be sure to pack items you need in easily accessible areas.  For example, hitting the beach before you check-in to your hotel?  Be sure to leave the beach bag and supplies on top so you can grab and go. That’s what we did Memorial Day weekend!
    DSC_0284 DSC_0288
  5. Pre-pack Beach Bags
    What are you taking to the beach?  Whatever it is pack it in the bag it’s going to the beach in. That’s one thing off your check list when you arrive at your destination.
  6. Clean Before You Leave
    So I know the last thing you want to do is clean, but just imagine how good it will feel to come home to a clean house! All you have to do is unpack and sit back, let’s face it coming home from a trip and getting back into the real world is enough to worry about. 

Happy Packing!

Scatterbrain: This is your brain…on kids


First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes impossible schedules with the baby carriage.  Yeah I said it.  Life is crazy good, but also crazy with schedules, responsibilities, expectations…  Balance is not only the struggle but the answer to parenting woes.

Let’s rewind.  You go from your busy single life, which at the time already seemed crazy, and in enters another busy single life individual.  Challenge accepted, conquered, enter wedding bells.  Here’s when you think you’ve crossed the finish line. Wrong.  You are not accomplished at multitasking or organizing…yet.  Reality sets in, you now have two individual lives, your life as a couple, two different families, and two different sets of friends/social lives.  See the complexity?  Although challenging this usually gets sorted out, yes there is some stress and a lot of running around, especially during the holidays, but then enters baby….


While taking care of a child, in itself, is manageable, it’s everything else around you that starts to become impossible. When are we going to clean the house? How are there so many dirty dishes? Where did all this laundry come from!? When are we going to see our family? Do our friends still know we exist and love them?  Sleep…wait what?  Enough to make your head spin.  But wait, your child becomes a toddler and already has a social life….hold the phone…WHAT?

Your toddler now gets invites to neighborhood friend birthday parties, daycare friend birthday parties, family friend birthday parties and then you are also getting invites to weddings, baby showers, your toddler’s friend’s birthday parties, parent teacher conferences, oh and yeah remember your family? Your friends? That person you live with that’s your spouse?  And what about work and all those other household responsibilities?  Oh yeah and most importantly what about YOU? STOP THE INSANITY

I realize this may all seem scattered, but for anyone who has kids, they will get it, this is your brain….on kids.

While I like to consider myself organized, realistically life can’t be organized 24/7.  It’s constantly evolving and the struggle is real. Just when you think you have it figured out with a plan and schedule that works one month, it won’t work the next month. All you can do is be adaptable, flexible, and not freak out when your life does not appear Pinterest perfect. Most importantly know you are NOT alone.

So this month’s challenge, try to create or re-establish balance in the control freak house.

  1. Sit down with hubster to look at the upcoming months commitments and come to terms with the fact that we will be super busy for the next 17 years.  Schedule in like to-dos and have to-dos then pretend we aren’t sad at the lack of free time 🙂
  2. Ensure that there is one weekend a month that the control freak household has alone time with each other (great suggestion Carrie).
  3. Schedule date nights with hubster and time for ourselves as individuals, both equally important for the balance and stability of our mental state and marriage.
  4. Living far from family and being full-time working parents makes it hard to see everyone as much as we’d like. Weekends are mainly reserved for soaking up every waking minute with our little control freak. Take time to schedule family visits in advance so they are on the calendar.
  5. Go to bed!  Don’t stay up into the wee hours of the night to get things done…currently a huge violator on this one.
  6. Be sure that our priority is always the happiness of little control freak and our immediate family, even if that means saying no. (realizing that all of the above may not be possible in one month)

Seems simple enough, but will be challenging.  Late night blog brought to you buy a mom currently on overload with an overactive mind and insomnia, I know some of you are out there reading this now can relate 😉

Desk Cord Control Quick Free Fix

The Control Freak House Office is nothing fancy.  Currently it is in Little Control Freak’s future Big Girl Bedroom.  Knowing that the office will move, we didn’t invest much time into its setup.  Takes time and money people! 🙂  It is in the plans, but stay tuned for future blogs.

Because of the set-up I needed a no fuss, cheap, quick fix for wrangling all the cords from all our electronic devices.  Our desk is not up against the wall so the cords were at one time hanging everywhere, no bueno!  Cue the binder clip!

Desk Binder Clip Office Desk

It’s not pretty, but it’s functional.  The binder clip holds all the cords in place so they aren’t hanging on the floor or in the cracks and crevices where we can’t reach them.

Temporary but free and functional!

The Power of Bargain Shopping, 89% Savings!

Many people may snub their nose to shopping at places such as Ollie’s Good Stuff Cheap!  Sure at first glance it may not look so attractive, but I’m going to prove how valuable these stores can be!  They hold super saving treasures, read below for a recent, crazy savings, find.

The Control Freak House is currently seeking a tufted area rug for our living room.  Our current hooked rug, while pretty, was a terrible choice for up-keep.  I’m actually not quite sure why many indoor/outdoor rugs choose this type of threading as it just pulls, fuzzes (yes a new word), and wears quite quickly.  Aren’t they supposed to be durable and easy to clean?  I digress…

Over Easter weekend I visited Ollie’s near my parents house.  We were seeking some kitchen supplies, however, a beautiful area rug caught my eye!  $99 for a classy tufted 5×8 area rug seemed like a steal!  Much to my chagrin, when I got home, 5×8 was too small for our living space.  Luckily my good friend will benefit by using the rug for their new home.

Area Rug Close Up Area Rug Details Area Rug Full View

But the best part is how much of a bargain it is! Since I wanted the same rug at a larger size I visited my good friend Google, and holy cow!  When I discovered how much this rug cost full price, I was pretty happy to have found the bargain even if I wasn’t the one benefiting from it. Check out the actual listing prices:  $99 vs. $931.20. 

That’s around 89% savings!  Hoping I can find a larger size for my home, but even if I don’t, it was still a great win/discovery.

#goodthingsfindyou, #whenyouleastexpectit, #bargainstorefrequentvisitbenefit