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Busy Moms: Claim Your Work Space

I am the CEO.

The CEO of the Spilsbury Home, that is.  It’s a demanding job requiring long hours and the ability to multi-task.  Someone has to do it.

For a solid decade, I held a corporate upper management position with my own office.  My office space was always important to me and met my needs for privacy, style and functionality.

So why for so long has my current position not afforded me the same perk?

With all of our responsibilities as busy moms- or CEO’s-, our space needs to meet the unique needs of this demanding role.  We need it to be visually inspiring and organized so we too are inspired to perform.

Organize your at-home office desk for success!

A nice corner office with a great view?  How about a corner nook with a view of my herb garden?  Close enough.

It doesn’t need to be expensive with custom installation or fancy desk ensembles.  It just needs to be ours.

Instead of heading to the office supply store for sterile stacking shelves, look for pieces that speak to our authentic self and bring joy.  Yes, a pencil holder can bring joy.  And don’t forget a flowering houseplant or bonsai tree.

Peruse places like World Market, Pier1 or even the dollar bins at Target. Your desk organizers don’t necessarily have to match anything, they just have to make us feel good.

After all, our job is important.  It requires it’s own space.  So claim yours.

Organizing tips for your busy-mom home office:

1. Start by decluttering your newly-claimed territory; remove all objects from the area.

2. Place only items needed and wanted for your work objectives on your desk.  Find “new homes” for anything that does not belong in your new work area.

3.  Look around the house for items that can be given new purpose in your work area: those small decorative photo clips might make great “to-do” note holders.

4. Make it inspiring.  Find items that give you that “feel good” vibe- invest in a decorative paper-weight.


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Weekend Company: Breakfast Frittata

Need an easy breakfast for surprise weekend company?  I do.

This hearty one-dish breakfast is so easy to make.

Toni’s Breakfast Frittata


You can use any combination of the sausage, mushrooms and spinach below.

  1. Breakfast sausage- 1 lb
  2. Sliced mushrooms- 1 pint
  3. Spinach leaves- 1 small pre-cut ready to eat bag
  4. Eggs- 1 dozen, scrambled, or 1 large carton of Egg Beaters
  5. Shredded mozzarella cheese- a couple handfuls
  6. Tomatoes- 1 or 2, sliced
  7. Dried parsley for garnish

Cooking Instructions:

  1. In paella pan or any large skillet that can be transferred to the oven, cook sausage with a meat masher in a couple tablespoons oil until just beginning to brown
  2. Add mushrooms and saute with sausage until mushrooms are tender and sausage is completely brown
  3. Throw a handful or two of spinach leaves on top
  4. Sprinkle cheese on top of spinach
  5. Pour egg mixture over the top
  6. Lay sliced tomatoes on top of egg
  7. Sprinkle with dried parsley
  8. Heat oven to Broil
  9. Let egg cook until it begins to set; the sides will begin to firm, approximately 6 minutes
  10. Transfer to oven and Broil until top begins to brown, approximately 4 minutes
  11. Slice like pizza to serve

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How To Make An Ocean Diorama

Ocean Diorama School Project

Ocean Diorama School Project

Ocean Diorama School Project


  1. shoe box
  2. blue paint (tempura paint is best)
  3. sand (aquarium supplies from pet store)
  4. plastic sea plants (aquarium supplies from pet store)

    ocean diorama supplies

    Ocean Diorama Supplies

  5. shells (Michael’s or pet store)
  6. glue (Elmer’s glue)
  7. plastic sea animals (Michael’s)
  8. sponge sea animals (Michael’s)
  9. jewelry fishing line string (Michael’s)
  10. metallic floral “picks” (Michael’s floral department)



  1. Paint inside of shoe box blue
  2. With box sitting on side length-wise, glue plastic sea plants to the bottom
  3. coat bottom generously and imperfectly with glue, then pour sand over the top to form ocean floor (can repeat this step)
  4. glue shells and bottom-dwelling plastic animals to the top of sand
  5. glue metallic floral picks to the back to create “waves”
  6. punch small holes in the top of box and thread strings of different lengths and dimensions through holes securing at the top with a knot, then tie foam sea animals to the bottom

How to make an Ocean Diorama for school project


Crafty Organization

Perhaps I love school projects a bit more than what is deemed normal.  Yes, I tend to go overboard, but for me it’s where creativity, fun and time well-spent with my kids meets education.

My oldest daughter will live to be 100 and never forget the edible Galapagos Island we made for her anthropology class.

This week’s mission: Ocean Diorama.  Yes!

My biggest challenge in doing these types of projects is letting my girls completely takeover.  After all, that is the point, and it is their project, not mine.  So when creative differences arise, it’s my duty to allow their drive take over.

As always, being organized is super helpful.  I’m sharing my Craft Supply Labels with friends of the The Organized Cook. Download, print and label some basic plastic storage containers with these colorful, fun labels and make craft projects a lot easier to manage.

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Keep Calm and Carry On

The time for making resolutions is upon us.

Unfortunately, my head hasn’t stopped whirling from the past couple of months.  It was like the Disneyland tea cup ride.

And while everyone else’s ride may have stopped after Christmas.  I had the one final go around for my five-year old daughter’s birthday which happens to fall on New Year’s Day.

I can sympathize with having a birthday on New Year’s Day, because I too am a New Year’s baby.  Which is why I couldn’t cheat her out of having this special day to herself; after all, it’s not her fault that the big day is just a week after Christmas.  I can really relate to what my mother went through with me growing up.

So, with Christmas wrapping paper still on the floor, I leaped into party planning mode.  “Just make it simple”, I told myself.  “Yeah, right”, my true self answered.  Sure, it may have been easier to phone in a Chuck E Cheese party or something similar, but it’s just not like me to do something so impersonal.  So, keeping in theme with the holidays, I chose (at the very last minute) to have a Sugar Plum Fairy Snowflake birthday party….simple, right?

I got the Nutcracker-themed party idea from my friends at TomKat studio, however, this party was not available to purchase.  No problem, I figured I would just do it myself and began feeling even more confident after I read this text from my friend, Jennie, “Oh the best events r the last minute ones!”.

So, with Michael’s after-Christmas sale on my side, a few bucks bought me a gaggle of all things sparking purple, shimmering pink and glittery silver.  It took me an hour to plan the party (it’s not planned until it’s on paper), an hour to confirm friends (“I know this is so last minute….wasn’t sure if you were in town……birthday party……New Year’s Day”) and an hour to decorate.  Then I was off for a trip to my favorite cupcakery.  Voila!  Now it’s a party.  Plus, I spent less than I would have given that mouse to host a party at his noisy pizza joint. My favorite cupcake stand makes any occasion more elegant and festive; it was one of those victory finds at my HomeGoods store.

Jennie was right.  The party was the best….with a bunch of simple snacks and and some “melted snowflake” punch, we had a great New Year’s Day birthday bash.  And here is what I learned:

1. For melted snowflake punch mix together 2 parts white grape juice with 1 part grape soda and throw in ice cubes made from sparkling sugar and water.

2. For events that are “the best”, mix together close friends, personal touches and a bunch of purple glitter.

3. There’s no easy way to clean up purple glitter.

Now that this ride has stopped I am taking a look around at resolution lists unmade and to-do lists undone.  All I can think to do is grab a pen and paper and Keep Calm and Carry On.

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