Keeping Order in Your Home When You Live With Toddlers

I don’t deal well with disorder and clutter in my life, especially in my home – in fact in gives me an overwhelming sense of anxiety. It’s important for me to stay in a routine, because when we are home I’d much rather be spending time with my daughter and hubby or out in the barn and honestly I don’t have one of those “perfect Pinterest” houses either. But I do keep it tidy, and I do try to stay on top of things around here. Below are some of my top tips:

Isn’t this the truth?

#1 MAKE YOUR BED EVERY DAY

It’s the best way to start your day. It looks nice, and I’m just super type A in general. If my bed isn’t made in the morning, my whole day is thrown off. Period. Just trust me on this, it will set a positive, calm tone to kick start your morning.

#2 DON’T LET THINGS ACCUMULATE

This. Is. Huge.

Do a visual scan when you are in a room, especially in your more populated areas. See toys, clothes, mail, etc that don’t belong? Pick them up and return them to their rightful place right then.

#3 WIPE SURFACES

I wipe my kitchen counters and bathroom counters every day, and I give the sinks a good scrub as well. I love the Mrs. Meyer’s products as well as the Weiman granite cleaner. We have granite in our kitchen and marble in the bathrooms, which I have to be super careful with and these work wonderfully.

This is not only a good idea because these are highly trafficked, germy areas, but it will also help you remember to put things away that are on the counters as well!

#4 LAUNDRY

Do a load, every day. This routine helps me so much! I can throw a load in the washer in the am if it’s a day I’m working and then into the dryer when I get home. Fold, put away, and you’re done. Don’t let it pile up. It’s so much easier this way.

#5 KEEP UP WITH THE DISHWASHER

Load it in the evening, run, then take 5 minutes in the mornings to unload. This way its ready to go to in the evenings after you make dinner and you aren’t left with a huge pile of dishes in the sink. There are few things that can start my morning off on the wrong foot like walking past a full sink of dirty dishes. I do a lot of cooking at our house, as Mr. Pharmer has pretty severe food allergies that most restaurants don’t seem to be able to handle, so this is a daily occurrence here!

#6 SPEND 10-20 MINUTES EACH DAY DECLUTTERING

This really should be my number one tip for me with Baby Pharmer. 10 minutes in the morning, and 10 in the evening max. I grab a laundry basket and organize her toys and games. We have several of these in her play areas which makes getting the toy situation under control a breeze.

I got these from Walmart and highly recommend them

#7 SET A SCHEDULE

And stick to it. This is vital. Monday is my *bigger* laundry day from the weekend. It’s also Baby Pharmer’s gymnastics day and I try to meet my hubby for lunch after. Tuesday is meal planning. Wednesday I plan out our family activities. Thursday is grain day. Friday is for open gym and grocery pickup or Instacart (and yes, as a mama who works and lives on a farm with 14 horses, 9 goats, 4 dogs, 3 cats, and a pig I take full advantage of these services!) Saturday is Baby Pharmer’s riding lesson and fun with the family. Sunday is bed linens. Every day I do a load of clothes or towels. I don’t ever waiver from this unless I’m sick or on vacation. I highly recommend finding a good planner – the Erin Condren Life Planner has been life saver for me.

That’s basically it! Anyone have any tips I’m missing out on?

Top 7 Tips for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is one of our favorite events of the year. This is the second year we have attended and we had a blast! Here are some of my best tips for a Magical night (especially if you are like us and have small kiddos!)

Such excitement! GoldaMae Clothing made Baby Pharmer’s dress this year. If you want her, you gotta ask early. I think she made two custom Christmas dresses this year.

1) GET YOUR TICKETS EARLY:

These events sell out. I bought our tickets as soon as dates were released to make sure we didn’t have any issues getting the night we wanted. I highly recommend going on a weeknight if possible, as I’ve found the crowds to be lighter, which in my opinion makes for a much more enjoyable party. We went this year on the second night of the party, and found the crowds to be quite sparse. It was great!

2) GO ON THE FIRST NIGHT

I’m not sure if this would actually work for everyone, but it was great for us as we didn’t miss any actual “park time.” We arrived at the Polynesian around 2:30pm well rested, dropped our stuff off and took the boat to the Magic Kingdom (you can enter on your ticket at 4pm.) When we got back that night, we simply called the bell hop and had our stuff brought to our room. Easy peasy!

3) EAT A LIGHT DINNER BEFORE THE PARTY STARTS

We hit up Pecos Bill for some Feliz Navidad Nachos and the Three Caballeros Spiced Yule Log for an early dinner – split three ways.

There are TONS of treats at the party, we snacked all evening and even took a bunch of stuff back to the villa with us. Holiday themed cookies, snowman pretzels, eggnog, apple cider, hot chocolate, and a blue sno cone to name some of the offerings.

Yule Log at Pecos Bill

4) RIDES AND FASTPASS

FastPass on party nights turns off at 6pm. I set mine for 3:30, 4:30, 5:30 and that’s all we did. Lines will generally be quite short those nights, but we like to enjoy the party.

5) MEET SOME CHARACTERS

Ahh! One of my favorite parts! Several special characters are out and about on party nights. The Seven Dwarfs, Jack Skellington as Sandy Claws and Sally, Village Belle, Moana, Christmas Mickey, Santa, Ariel and Prince Eric, Aurora and Flynn Rider, Snow White and Prince, Tiana and Naveen, Aurora and Prince Phillip, Cinderella and Prince Charming, Winnie the Pooh and Friends, Scrooge McDuck, Mary Poppins and Bert, Aladdin and Friends, as well as others.

We saw Pooh and friends as they are Baby Pharmer’s favorites. They were about a 30 minute wait.
We also got to see Goofy dressed up as Santa.
And Mickey of course!
Around 11pm the line for Jack and Sally was only around 20 minutes, which was awesome! They were super awesome, and spent several minutes talking to our little girl. She was in heaven.

We checked twice, but never saw the line for the Dwarfs less than 2 hours. No way were we waiting in that! Moana was just as long or longer.

6 SEE A FROZEN HOLIDAY WISH

You must make time for this, especially if you have Frozen lovers. 6:15 & 8:15.

Elsa and Anna light up the Castle, and it’s truly magical, but mostly to watch your kid’s face.

7) LINE UP EARLY FOR THE PARADE.

We love watching the parade from Main Street, as it “snows” and it’s just truly magical. Even on a not super busy party night I would recommend lining up at least 45 minutes early if you want front row viewing. Trust me, you do!

The first parade is at 8:30pm, and the second parade is at 11pm.

For the second parade this year we went to train station, and they actually let us watch from the reserved viewing area. That was also a neat view!

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is fantastic value, in my opinion. Our family had a wonderful time, and even the littlest Pharmer made it all the way until the clock struck midnight and was still proclaiming it was the best night of her life all the way to the monorail.