I'd Lose My Head if it Weren't Attatched

For those of you who wonder, "How on earth does she manage with 6 kids?" I offer this: The chore chart to top all others. Okay, well admittedly this won't top all others because this one is ugly. Sometimes order is ugly... this chart looks more like a Wal-Mart Organizational Flow Chart than a family chore chart.

The fact is: I forget everything. I completely forget that my kids earned themselves a whoppin grounding for 2 weeks because my intense love for these little punk-a-noodles overshadows my memory of things they've done to deserve my wrath.

I forget that a family of 8 requires laundry to be done several times EVERY DAY. Aren't we all trying to forget about the laundry... it just won't go away! I'm even at fault to forget a couple of days in a row... until I've worn that stretched out bra that I should have thrown away months ago for the second straight day and I have to start acting surprised when friends see the stains on my shirt, "Kids! Darn. I guess I'll have to get this in the wash." That excuse works incredibly well when you have a ton of kiddos. You're always bound to have something stuck to your shoulder or belly. It's sad however, when the same friends hear that excuse several times over the same shirt... BUSTED!

So here's command central at my house.

Use this link to get the PDF of our job chart.
Cuz I'm a dork and can't make it appear right on this blog.

This baby has earned it's rightful place on the fridge next to the Scouting schedule and the realtor magnets.

It's divided into 3 sections; Routines that I need to remember.
Meal schedule: For Breakfast and Lunch (dinners are always different)

Laundry Schedule: This shows me who has laundry on what day. If you want to see my octo-laundry routine check out this post.

Family Job Rotations: This is the meat of the schedule. (Applies to 4 older kids)
It details my kids daily Personal jobs, Trash assignments, Dinner Prep and Clean-up assignments, Weekly Zone, Weekly Job, and Saturday job assignments. WHEW!

Use this link to get the PDF of our job chart.

There you have it. Functionality at it's finest... you can thank the hubby for that one. I'm always worried about whether or not the colors I choose in the chart coordinate with the eyes and personality of the child they represent... and match the hues of the current season.
We're a perfect match!

Any other questions on family efficiency or routines? What are you struggling with in your home?

Photo Credits: SouthernLiving.com


Progress: A Sneak Peak at my Kitchen Cabinets

Happy Monday everyone!  Did you all enjoy your "unplugged Friday?"  If that doesn't make sense to you... go visit Kimba and check out her challenge.  I used her unplugged challenge to catch up on some much needed time with kiddos and projects.

I made sugar cookies with my kiddos... only they didn't look like these from A Dozen Eggs.

And they didn't look like these either... imagine a lot more frosting... MORE... Keep going... Now, get every color sprinkle you have on hand and cover the frosting with all of them.  Really, it looks more like the black hole than a cookie.  Next, make sure that you lick your frosting knife before you stick it back in the general bowl... this promotes healthy immune systems... oh, and add a snotty 2 year old.  I took my cookies straight up with no frosting.
Here's a sneak peak at my project....  I've been doing a little hand painting... I mean A LOT of hand painting in my kitchen.  I went to church and my daughter spent the first hour picking cream paint out of my hair.
Here are more in bad light... even went on date night with my hubby with brown hands, white hair and glow in the dark green on m'butt... he made me stay in the car... JUST KIDDING!  He flaunted his DIY thrifty bride through the grocery store... fun date eh? We needed smoothie ingredients.
The bottom cabinet doors are mounted.  If ya'll look close, I left the weeks worth of jelly and paint drips on the floor for you so you can all feel better about your kitchen floors.  Perfection is overrated... especially when you're painting a kitchen in a house of 8.  Bedtime has been after 1 am every night so I'm a loon most of the day.
Now, here's the skinny... my parents are visiting this coming weekend and the kitchen has to be complete by then.  I'll post the final project this week.

So what then when the kitchen is finished?  You got it!  The Laundry Room...  As a mother of 6, I dream in laundry.  All of life's revelations are given in the laundry (like- "oh there's that missing chapstick", which kid stole moms pack of gum, who's passing notes in class, which boy has a runny nose... hence the Kleenex all over the clothes) and most of them require re-laundering.  Give me a little time on this one because the hubby is still going though paint detox sessions and counseling for my unholy treatment of natural oak cabinets.

If you're new to this Palace, check out my Hassle Free Homemaking tips because I'll be posting my job chart that a bunch of you have been asking about.

What projects do you have up your sleeves right now?   Anyone want to send their hubby to the "Keeper of the Grain, Protector of the Natural Wood" therapy sessions with my husband and start paint'n the kitchen?  I'll offer how-to's if youre interested!  Geesh... I'm gonna get labeled a homewrecker if I'm not careful.

See you tomorrow!

Oh, I've had a few business's contact me about advertising on Pretty Organized Palace.  If you have small business and are interested in putting your button on Pretty Organized Palace email me and let me know.  There are a few bloggy changes in the works... some Palace Remodeling!


Harlequin Happens

I feel like I've been painting my kitchen since the Reagan administration.  My kitchen has taken over my life... it's even writing this post right now.  AND I hosted the Toile Soiree right in the midst of it.  So, if I haven't visited your post yet... please forgive me.   Thanks to everyone who dropped in! I'm working on getting to all 98 posts!
If you ever accidentaly paint your kitchen cabinets glow-in-the-dark green... there's hope.  As a mother of 6 I have tested and proven a well known law of humankind... "Desperation leads to Inspiration."
Desperate: I bought THE MOST expensive paint out there for my cabinets... in the wrong color and need to use at least some of it- cuz I bought me a gallon of fluorescent green yuck. (Really, I wanted it to look like the green in that chair... that $2500 children's chair!)
Inspiration: How could I make this glowing goof into gorgeous?
Inspiration: Boy, that cabinet looks sharp!  
Cross your fingers for Monday folks!  With any luck I'll have a little update on my Frenchy Twist on these Harlequin kitchen cabinets!

In the mean time- I'll be having a little "Unplugged" time on Friday to support my Pro-Family Activist friend Kimba. In this regard she and I are cut from the same cloth...so, join our movement!

 Check out her Unplugged Challenge.  Go spend some quality time with your families on Friday.  Make Spring sugar cookies and go for a bike ride.  Don't you worry, we'll all be back on Monday for more great ideas in decorating... and I'll be doing more posts on how to tame your zoo, keep the animals happy and your circus tent clean! (Said like my friend & mother of 8)  Hope to see you back here on Monday friends!

Pretty Organizer
Photo credits- Ceiling WetWalls, Candlestics- HollysPlate, Chair- Mackenzie-childs.com, Cabinet- Flickr, Kitchen Cabs- Bellingtondesigns


Toile Party

Calling all Toile-Nuts... today is the much anticipated, long awaited, and ever to be referred to in history as The Toile Party of 2009. Do you have a toile post to share? A favorite pillow, or blankie or hankie?
Kick off your boots, grab some of that chocolate that my ShabbyNest friend Wendy is passing out... don't you love our high quality party eats? I'm currently drinking a MetroMint water (how posh) which I believe compliments chocolate in a perfect way. Oh, I'm the Pretty Organizer by the way. I'm a homemak'n mother of 6 and you can meet me here.
I've put on my best hostess apron for you and hope you feel welcome here at the PrettyOrganized Palace. You can Feel free to browse around the Palace rooms and PLEASE visit all of my palace guests while you're here... because they're fabulous. This is a star studded event and my rockstar blogging friends Wendy, Nester, Kimba, Melissa, Julia, Rhoda have graciously allowed me to open for them... so go pay them a visit.
Here are the party Rules:
  • Please post a related Toile Post
  • Only use the perma-link for THAT post... no general blog addresses please. (Perma-link is the specific address for your post. Get it by clicking on your toile post title, then copy the url.
  • Remember to promote my Pretty Palace please. Please link back to this post in your Toile post so guests can return back here and party hardy!
  • Visit these fabulous blogs and leave your encouraging comments. Remember we're toile-aholics and need your support!
On to the party! Hope you enjoy your Toile Tour of Blogland!
Thanks for coming!
Pretty Organizer


Glow in the Dark Cabinets

Please understand that this lame post... is just a filler for all the good stuff I normally offer. It just lets you know dear readers that my poor paint color choice hasn't killed me and neither have my husband or 12 year old who, without complaint, have watched the kids for me as they helplessly witness the kitchen turn into something that's a cross between an Andes dinner mint and a rave party.

I sit here on a Sunday afternoon staring at the disaster I created all by myself! Independently, single-handedly I have destroyed my kitchen. All it took was 1 week and 2 cans of paint.

Think I'm joking? Here's the proof!

and another one...  Family of 8 remember?  I didn't even clean up the mess!  Sorry friends.

See? It doesn't matter what kind of light...

My cabinets are the color of Glow in the Dark Paint. Really. Period. They scream their presence. Monday will be spent at Dunn Edwards ordering another can of paint to correct my gross error.  And yes, my house is a mess... I'm keep'n it real and showing my Pretty Dis-Organized Palace in the raw today.  Forgive me?  I've decided the only thing that's worth painting Glow in the dark is the toilet in my boys bathroom.

Instead of reading my schlopp head over to Kimba's and find out why I'll be participating in her "Unplugged" challenge for this Friday.  (I'm gonna need that day in the kitchen.)

She's a doll and completely committed to spray paint and her family- for sure family comes first... unless she doesn't like the color of what they're wearing, then she just uses her spray paint.

Break out that party dress and your favorite Toile pics and get ta postin! Tomorrow is the famous TOILE PARTY of 2009! Everyone you know and love will be there! My sweet friends Nester, Kimba, Melissa, Rhoda, Julia, and dear Wendy will be there with their best Toile posts to celebrate the timeless love of Toile.

Mr. Linky will be up for our party so meet back here tomorrow and enjoy surf'n through blogland and checking out everything from Toile bedspreads, to Toile boots, plates, PJ's and Walls.

Can't wait for you to come. I'll have the kitchen cabinets re-painted by the end of the week... wish me luck!


54 Inches to Center

Now, ya'll are going to think I'm 54 inches "off center" to even mention this: I have a twitch.  So far I've been able to control it... mostly.  I have let my twitch get the best of me at my sisters house when she's not looking (okay, she looks) and I have a few minutes before I'm interrupted with kids.  What's my twitch?  I go bonkers when I see pictures hung too high. Really, it's more like a tick than a twitch... I get all fidgety and start reaching for my high heel "hammer" when the coast is clear.
Here's a typical example.  Couch and pictures tall enough to be eye-level with an NBA star or a giraffe.  It might remind you of visiting your hubby's house (the bachelor pad) when you were dating.  The walls, if it had art, were hung with 8x10 frames spaced too far apart high enough to cause a nose-bleed if you were to ever see it eye to eye.

So what's the rule?  Museums typically hang their art 54 inches to the center of the artwork or grouping.  This is prime viewing, even if you're in the NBA.  It also happens to be a good decorating rule of thumb.  
A simple change in picture height and arrangement can change and entire room!  Take it from a 64 inch woman who's 54 inches off center tonight.... hanging pictures 54 inches TO center makes the room balanced and well arranged.

If you're looking for more information on arranging displays, check out Chris Maddens article HERE.

Off to bed.  I'm going to paint the other direction tomorrow to even out my obvious resemblance to the leaning Tower of Pisa.

Don't forget to get your Toile Posts ready for Tuesday!  Meet back here with me, Nester, Wendy, Melissa, Kimba, Julia, Rhoda and the rest of the gang for a Toile Extravaganza!


Beware of Inspiration

It started with this prettied up painting project for a bathroom... I was inspired. Fancy cheap remodeling... It would work great with my Toile.... yes, we already know that I'm a Toile-aholic. This is my inspiration behind the kitchen re-paint.
This is the kitchen on a fairly good day. Most of the counter is showing.
After 3 days of prepping and painting.... Kids are glued to electronic devices- I'm afraid a couple of them were sucked into the device all together... remember Tron? (hubby laughs because I roll my eyes every time he mentions that show- I still haven't made it through without falling asleep). I still need to do a count off to see who's missing.
All I wanted was this... sort of... my kitchen needs Miracle Grow to achieve the full look.
This is what I've got so far. Don't worry all 8 are eating... something. I'm not sure what because I haven't gone shopping, done laundry, or picked anything up for 3 days.
I started with such great plans. Spring fever hit with a vengence. This no longer is nesting... unless you're a rat.
Please send chocolate... and prayers... and hope... and a handyman.
*** Please disregard that this blog is called Pretty Organized Palace. If you're looking for the Pretty Organizer, well, I'm sure I'll find her sometime at the end of the week... or weekend. In the mean time... feel free to check out her Hassle Free Homemaking ideas on the right. ya, sure... she REALLY knows what she's talking about... Painting a kitchen is NOT hassle free.


Nester, Me and Toile Makes 3

Remember I said that I loved this room so much I'd post a picture of it every month?  This is my dream room... of course, I share that dream with my pal Nester.  (Take a bird walk with me Nester girl...)

This is the room we'll share after we've both gone bonkers and eeked out our last posts at the ripe age of 94.  Nester will sit in that tan chair and figure out the next place to hang that door (which will weigh around 100lbs from so many layers of paint.)  I'll sit in the white chair amazed at how she decorated her husbands urn again with yet another nest and a few more star fish and a few sprigs of succulents.
We'll eat Toaster Strudels and chocolate on these plates... And dream of the fabulous Toile party of 2009....  Everyone who was anyone in blogland was there.
Will you be there... I mean Here Next Tuesday to post your love of Toile?
I'll sit back and wrap my gnarly hands around a paintbrush to make a few more Pretty Organizers and think about how I dreamed of a bathroom somewhere on earth where yellow belonged on the wall... {my hands continue to scrub the hatbox until the paint has worn off.}
Nester will pull out her supply of trim and work on her next tassel creation remembering how grateful she was to finally pay off her dream house in cash after her 1 million'th tassel... she's made enough now that all of blogland owns a Nester original... (the inside of our shared coat closet is filled with all the ones she could never part with- each kissed and wrapped in $100 dollar bills and packed amid moth balls.)
My room is red.  Red Toile with a Chair for my friend Kimba and Melissa to come and sit with me awhile.  They're the do gooders of blogland and bring us a little "Chicken Soup" for the soul... Melissa says, "If only we could have done more for them early on...  I never realized they were toile-aholics."  Kimba smiles, pats our hands and tells us stories of Tree houses and snow days and how to make our walkers into decorator door ornaments.
This is heaven.  
What?  Who needs a drink?... Child, for the love of Toile, GET BACK IN THAT ROOM!  Yes, my dream has ended... I am still a mostly gray 34 year old housewife and mother of 6 trying to keep my Palace Pretty Organized and my priorities in focus.  But wait... I still have great friends in blogland and the chance to host the biggest gathering of toile lovers ever!
Get your posts ready ladies!  Tell us about your love of toile.  Show us where you decorate with it... how you wear it (in good taste please) and lets have a party!  Wendy at the Shabby Nest is hosting this event with me.  She's in charge of the chocolate this time so please direct chocolate questions to her.  

See you back here next Tuesday with a linky party!  Now go invite all your readers and send 'em on over here to be inspired.  This is gonna be BIG! (If it's not, I'll feel like a total dork.)

Who's coming?  Wendy, Nester, Kimba, Melissa, Julia, Rhoda, and the list goes on.  Email me at PrettyOrganized at gmail dot com if you'd like a reminder!  Hope ya'll can come!

Caution: Wet Paint

Spring Break and I'll be up to my elbows in paint with this beauty as my inspiration! Isn't this kitchen fabulous?

So, for your reading pleasure (because I need to take 6 kids to the paint store quick) here's my first kitchen rant.

If you've got the spring break itch to paint your cabinets, here's a great how to to get you going!

I'll be sure to post a few "in the works" photos as long as ya'll promise not to judge what a slob I am (because I'm painting and not cleaning... 12 year old punky has all the little chipmunks... sweet boy- it was his idea).

AND- if any of ya feel like funding kitchen cabinet knobs or pulls, go buy something from my esty shop. It's a good cause. Well, I think it is. (Shameless plug).

Wish me LUCK and a whole lotta patience (cuz those cabinet doors are going to be off all week with 2 young'ns having free access to everything!). I'm off to find some great chocolate to get me through this project.


Touch it ONCE

I have a girlfriend who has a clean fairy who lives in her head. Whenever my friend goes to pick up something off the floor, or move a pile-that fairy whispers, "Touch it once." If she hesitates because she feels lazy or tired, then the voice screams, "TOUCH IT ONCE!" At that point, my girlfriend's grip is frozen on the object and she is compelled to put it away (or throw it out!)

This friend's house is clean. Always. Period. She rarely relocates items to another spot to "eventually" put away. She touches them once and it's done. She's brilliant!
When I grow up, I want to be just like her (or I want her fairy to come and live in my head).


Saturday Jobs Made Simple

Yesterday I preached about zones in my Palace.  All this talk of cleaning has me thinking I ought to get a nice big hunk of chocolate just so I can be in the "zone" while I write about it.  Mmm... I'll settle for some hot cocoa (even though it's like 70 degrees outside).

Here's the dealy-whopper: I can't do it myself.  I used to think I could but I've just accepted the reality... we have 8 people in a 2250 sf. house.  8!!!  I don't have the time in the day to feed, launder, dust, sweep, shop,  run cub scouting, do homework, etc.  While I do have a loose cleaning schedule, I just cant get to all of the rooms each week in detail. (Husbands laughs at my casual admission... he knows the ugly truth.)  

In steps inspiration out of desperation again: Let my little Chipmunks that I so lovingly try to herd each week- DO.  Their. Share.

Zones:  My 4 kiddos have a Zone they're in charge of keeping picked up all week.

Saturday:  On Saturday they clean their zone.  They dust, vacuum, do windows, fluff pillows, clean the TV screen etc.  From top to bottom their zone belongs to them.  Remember.... you defined the job so they know what to do.  Questions on that... see this post.

Exception: The kiddo stuck on Bathrooms and hallways gets a break... 2 bathrooms is cruel... for anyone.  For a 6 year old it's torture.  For a 12 year old... it a lot of mirror time to inspect zits and sprouting  chin hairs.  So... the bathroom kid gets 1 bathroom and the hallway.  I do the other one.

Mom advantage: Job is pre-defined and you don't have to dream up a list of Saturday chores. AND... Mom cleans kitchen, her own bedroom and bathroom, and assigns hubby to clean the other bathroom.  DONE!  Mom has the rest of the day to herself.

Actually, ladies, the strategy is to have enough kids to take care of all the zones in your house.  I'm set for now but if we end up moving to a bigger house I may need to have a few more kids.  That Duggar family... 19+ right?  You go visit their site.  (It's funny that I look to a mom of 19 for inspiration... her laundry room rocks... so does the soda fountain!)   Not a thing out of place... lots of kids is the key.  It also happens to be the driving force behind my chocolate addiction and the many clothing sizes in my closet.

Now, go put on Flight of the Bumble Bee and get those kiddos cleaning! We always blast the music, dance and make it fun around here... the 12 year old will argue that you're a dork and if he does, that means you're doing a great job!
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