Friday, December 17, 2010

Gift Exchange Ideas

source
Most of  us are involved in at least one gift exchange at Christmas.  They can be so much fun and if your gift exchange is not fun, try to make it that way!  There are many ways to do a gift exchange, my favorite is Dirty Santa style.  This is called many things but starts with everyone drawing a number and opening presents in that order.  There are rules about stealing gifts that make it fun.  One of the most important things to do in a gift exchange is to set a price minimum or maximum or both.  Once you know how you will exchange, here are some neat ideas to get you out of your traditional gift rut.

Made in the USA - This would be fun for a proud, patriotic family.  You'll have to do your research to stay within budget and know where to look to find items Made in the USA.

Game Exchange-  New and classic board games and card games can be exchanged.

Dollar Gift Exchange- Whatever you can find that would be useful or funny for a dollar.  Shopping could be from second hand stores or dollar stores.

Has to be Handmade by You- You need to encourage other to think outside of the box.  Crafty folks will love this idea and others will absolutely cringe.  Remind them handmade can include photos, poems, songs, baked goods, home-canned items, and the list goes on and on!

Alcohol Exchange- Everyone brings their favorite drink to exchange.  You should end up with a good mix of beer, wine, liquor and even drink mixes and of course this one will not work with all groups.

Support local businesses exchange-   The rules should be you can't buy anything you could buy from a big retailer. Don't forget to check with local artists to see what they are selling.

Re-Gift Exchange- Did you plan to get together with a group and ran out of time before the holidays?  After the holidays is a great time to do a re-gift exchange.

Share your own ideas!
Thanks!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

10 Creative Way to Give Gift Cards

Music gift cards can be wrapped in CD cases, album covers, or cassette cases to represent the way you bought music

Divide the gift card amount into $5 increments and decorate a small tree with them.


Book store gift cards can be placed inside a magazine or book as a book mark.

Place gift cards inside gloves or mittens, even work gloves for a hardware store gift card.

Restaurant gift cards can be wrapped up in a take out container.


Wrap a card up with a to do list and make go shopping appear first in the list.

Any gift card can be wrapped up in a box of chocolates or a candy bar.

Gift cards for shoes can be tucked in a pair of socks.

If you are creative you can make a replica of the gift card on a bigger scale on foam core board or poster board to wrap up and present. 

Buy a nice frame or a frame that suits the theme of the card and pop the card in.

And a Bonus:

If you are buying a gift card for a clothing store, find the ugliest, tackiest, and cheapest piece of clothing for this person you can find.  Think of looking at thrift stores and dollar stores.  Wrap it up and place the gift card inside.  Let's hope you and the recipient have a sense of humor if you do this!!

Tis the Season for Gift Giving!

I plan to post a few more easy gift ideas soon! In the meantime check out my 11 other posts with gift ideas.  Some are gifts ideas that are free or very cheap, some are for kids, and some can be adapted for anyone on your list.


11 Gift Ideas on Tips and Snippets

I welcome Tips and Snippets from readers!  Consider sending me your great ideas to share with everyone.  If you don't have tips to share but would like me to consider a post about a certain topic, send me that too.  There should be a email link to your right :)

I also love comments.

Friday, November 26, 2010

One Pot Wonder: Polish Bake

Easy, delicious, and it smells great while cooking!  What more could you want in a recipe- well maybe a better "recipe" than I am going to give you :)  Just remember you can change it up and you really can't go wrong here. 

You'll need:
Potatoes
Carrots
Onion
Garlic
Polish Kielbasa or smoke sausage- 1 or 2 of those links

Peel the potatoes, onions, and carrots- the amount depends on your crowd.  Chop the carrots and potatoes in bite size pieces.  Place in bottom of 9 x 13 casserole dish.  Cut the onions into wedges.  They will cook apart get very tender and bigger pieces can be avoided by those onion phobic children and adults.  Chop a clove or two of garlic and toss in or use the kind in a jar. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and pepper.  I use seasoned salt most of the time and also add a teaspoon of dried rosemary. 
Slice the sausage to the thickness that you like and toss on top of the veggies.  Cover with foil and bake at 400 for about 45-50 minutes.  Test to see if the potatoes and carrots and tender.

Enjoy!

You can use turkey sausage but I find you need to add olive oil  or it sticks to the pan and lacks some flavor.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Top 10 Things Children Really Want Their Parents To Do With Them - Stepcase Lifehack

The Top 10 Things Children Really Want Their Parents To Do With Them - Stepcase Lifehack
 By Erin Kurt


What do you think matters most to your children? You driving them to lessons and practices, or is it the smile and hug you greet them with after school? If you guessed the latter, you are correct.
Sixteen years of teaching and giving the same assignment every Mother’s Day has led me to the exact same conclusion. You see, every Mother’s Day I would ask my students to give me advice on being a mother. They were to think about things their mother or guardian did for or with them that made them feel happy or loved. The classroom would go silent as the students wrote intensely for longer than they had ever written before. Often smiles would appear on their faces as they reflected on the happy experiences they were remembering. After reading their responses I would add to my list all the ideas they mentioned. Surprisingly, many of the responses were the same. Year after year, in every country I taught, and in every type of demographic, the students were saying the same things and had the same message: It’s the small things that their mothers did that meant the most and that they remembered.
Many moms today feel as if they are not good mothers unless they are racing around, shuttling their children from lessons, to practices and back to lessons again. I’ve had mothers tell me that they want to give their children every opportunity they did not have. While this thinking might bring the mother some comfort, it really does not do the same for their child who is potentially feeling overextended, stressed and tired.
After speaking endlessly about this topic with my students, it became clear to me that children today are involved in too many activities and are in turn becoming less in touch with themselves and their families. In addition, my students told me they really wished for more time to “just play”. Of course many of them enjoy their extra curricular activities, but it is not necessary they said to be allowed to do everything. What they enjoyed most, and what made their hearts happiest was when their mothers did simple things for or with them.
Here is a list of the top ten things students around the world said they remembered and loved most about their mothers.
  1. Come into my bedroom at night, tuck me in and sing me a song. Also tell me stories about when you were little.
  2. Give me hugs and kisses and sit and talk with me privately.
  3. Spend quality time just with me, not with my brothers and sisters around.
  4. Give me nutritious food so I can grow up healthy.
  5. At dinner talk about what we could do together on the weekend.
  6. At night talk to me about about anything; love, school, family etc.
  7. Let me play outside a lot.
  8. Cuddle under a blanket and watch our favorite TV show together.
  9. Discipline me. It makes me feel like you care.
  10. Leave special messages in my desk or lunch bag.
Children are incredibly wise and tend to see the world more simply than we do. Perhaps it is time we start taking their advice. Maybe we would all feel a little less stressed and be satisfied with the fact that doing little things really is… good enough.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Grilled Vegetable Packets

This is a highly customizable recipe- use whatever is available fresh and sounds good to you.  I don't think you can mess it up.

You'll need:
2-3 potatoes- cubed
1 small onion- sliced
1 carrot sliced
1 zucchini sliced
2 tomatoes chunked

You'll need 4 pieces of foil large enough to make packets.  On each piece of foil divide all the ingredients evenly.  You can put a pat of butter and/or a drizzle of olive oil over the veggies.  Season to taste with whatever sounds good to you, but just salt and pepper is delicious.    Fold the foil up and seal the edges tightly.  Grill for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are tender. 

Great to prepare when you are grilling meat and clean up is so easy!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Slow Cooker Long Grain Chicken and Rice Casserole: Recipe Worth Sharing

This is a recipe I have scribbled on a piece of paper years ago but I never tried it.  Now that I have it will be on our menu often, it was a hit with the kids!  It is a good, creamy, comfort food type dish and so easy.  It is not gourmet or low sodium ( but you can lower sodium levels by using low sodium broth and soup)!   See my notes at the bottom

You'll need:

1 1b chicken ( I used 2 large chicken breasts)
1 can chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 box of Uncle Ben's Long Grain and Wild Rice
1 1/2 cups water

Season chicken with salt and pepper and brown on both sides.  Add all ingredients including the seasoning packet from the rice to the slow cooker and cook on high for at least 4 hours.

That is the recipe I had, but my chicken went in frozen and it was fine.  The chicken was very tender at the end so I used my big spoon and broke in into smaller pieces.  I would say this recipe feeds 4 ( it fed us with leftovers, 2 adults and 3 kids),  and would be easy to double. 

Enjoy!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Reader Tip: Easier Mashed Potatoes

My friend and blog reader, Julie, has a new and easy way to make mashed potatoes.  Her tip is to use microwaved baked potatoes.  After they are cooked, cut the potatoes in half and let it cool enough to be able to squeeze the potato out of the skin or you can use a spoon and scoop it.  Put in in a mixing bowl,mash it up and add your usual ingredients for your mashed potatoes, milk, butter, salt and pepper.   I tried it and wow, it was easy and far less dishes to wash at the end.  I didn't use my vegetable peeler, my cutting board, my big pot that takes up so much room in the dishwasher, or a colander! 

The mashed potatoes tasted great and I will make them more often now because of this tip!

Remember the size of your potato and the kind of microwave you have will determine how long they need to cook.

Thank you Julie!!!!

Please send me your favorite tips that make your life easier and I might use them in a blog post.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Organizing Kid's Art

If you have kids, chances are you have many of their art projects, and chances are you have wondered how to get a handle on that ever growing pile!  I have struggled with this, but I finally feel like I have it under control.  I am keeping and storing some of their art.  I am displaying some art for everyone to enjoy.  I am giving away some art for others to enjoy and I am keeping some art digitally to save space.

I don't think any of my ideas are original, I have read about this topic for years and here is my attempt to pass along some of the best ideas to you.

One of my favorite ideas came from Family Fun magazine recently.  I taped some beautiful creations to the inside of my cabinet doors in the kitchen.  It makes me smile every time I open the cabinet doors and I think I appreciate it more because I don't see it all the time.  Our guests will see it too when we offer them a drink and open the cabinet to get a glass and it will be a nice surprise for them too.  I plan to add more to inside of  closet doors too!

For the kids' rooms I took large poster frames and covered the cardboard backing board with a great product I found a Michael's, a small roll of fadeless paper large enough to cover a bulletin board.  I think arranged their art pieces on the solid background color and adhered it in a collage format.  It looks great and they enjoy having some of the art work from years ago on the wall.  Everything stays put, corners of paper stay down, and the art work is protected from the chaos of kids' rooms!

I have found art projects that have cotton balls, googly eyes, lots of glitter, popsicle sticks or other dimensional qualities do not store well.  I think it is best to take a picture of theses art pieces and keep the picture, not the piece!  Digital photo frames are a great way for kids to see their art work again!  If you are going to photograph artwork, take a few minutes to set up and use a solid color sheet or towel on a table or against a wall and zoom in as close as possible for the best outcome.  It makes the creation looks even more special. You can put all of the photos together in a photo book, check out my older post on this subject here.

If you are going to mail pictures or cards to family members, throw a masterpiece in there too!  They will  love it! Look at your kid's art pieces and scribbles, you may want to cut out one part of it that will fit in a envelope.

It's important to have an area to put art for the short term, as in at least half the school year.  I have emptied a file cabinet drawer of "junk" for this purpose.  I have used a magazine holder for this too, the kind you might set beside a chair.  I have used a decorative box about the size of a paper box- TJ Maxx is a great source for pretty boxes and containers.  I put almost all the artsy stuff they bring home in my spot and then later I go through it and decide what to keep and what to toss.  After the school year ends and I have already done all the above, then I store what is left for long term storage. Don't forget to label what you are keeping with a name and year or grade.

There are hundreds of other ideas out there too!  Good luck taming the pile!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Thoughtful Homemade Gift for Kids: Card Making Kit


A card making kit makes a great homemade gift for kids, especially young girls.  To start you need a container to house your kit in and I like the desktop 3 drawer organizers like you see pictured above.  The small ones work well, it does not need to be large enough to hold full sheets of paper. Then you need blank cards, you can buy these with envelopes in most craft stores or you can make your own with folded paper.  After that, have fun filling with lots of goodies that will allow a young person to create their own cards for any occassion.  Here is a list of things you can put in your kit:

  • Cool Pens
  • Small pieces of colored paper
  • Stencils
  • Adhesive
  • Fancy scissors
  • Stickers
  • Fronts of old greeting cards 
  • Ribbons and yarn- take a popsicle stick and wind a small amount of yarn on it for the kids- less to get tangled!
  • Scrapbook accessories or other things to glue on cards like buttons
  • You could take the time to cut out some images out for them from magazines or old calendars

Include a sample card to the child using the supplies in the kit.


If you are a crafter or scrapbooker and have extra supplies on hand, this could be a very cheap gift to put together.  Remember kids don't need all the fancy things you will see in the craft stores for this, take a trip to your local dollar store and be creative while saving lots of money

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Money Saving Tips for Children's Birthday Parties

It seems every child's birthday starts with a theme and from there it can get kinda crazy and expensive. Whether you are looking online or in a store, if you choose all the items that match your theme, you could spend way too much money on things that will be thrown away.

For a fraction of the cost, you can transform a roll of themed wrapping paper into cool party decor! Forget about themed plates, cups and napkins and buy the cheaper solid colors instead. You can use the wrapping paper like a table cloth, table runner or you can cut it into rectangles for place mats.  Fancy scissors would make a pretty edge but not needed. You can also decorate the door of your house with wrapping paper (if it is a home party) or make a nice background for birthday banners and signs on the walls and even a photo backdrop. Get creative and remember it takes very little for the idea of a theme to show through.

Another money saving idea for party decor is to use what your kids already have. Young children's toys can be used to create a centerpiece for the table- dinosaurs, super heroes, princesses, trucks. Older children's sports memorabilia or bedroom decor can help create a theme around the party area.

And one last note about parties- stop the treat bag insanity!! I understand the concept, but what parent today needs a bag of small junk to trash later. If you feel you have to do a treat, do some research and be creative. Most parents don't mind a treat bag of snack type foods, they can keep these in the car or throw in lunch boxes. Photos make great "treats", a photo of the whole group, or with the bithday kid.

Hope one of these tips help you plan a great birthday party!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Shopping at Sam's Club with Selina

Most of you have shopped at Sam's Club before, it is a neat place. It is not always a place to save money, you can end up buying tons of things you don't need or don't like when you get home. Here is a list of some things I have bought at Sam's and like enough to keep buying.

Herr's Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels - 44 oz. jar $6.62
Everyone loves these!

Frigo® Cheese Heads® String Cheese - 48 ct. $7.78

I think this is a great deal, but it also great tasting string cheese. Some string cheese tastes a lot like nothing to me, this has a great mozzarella cheese flavor.

Bakers & Chefs™ Kosher Petite Pickles - 46oz $3.62

Delicious pickles in a maneageable sized jar.

Member's Mark® Whole Pickled Okra - 64oz $3.36

This is a big jar but its the same price as those little tiny jars in the grocery store. Buy a jar and split in with a friend or neighbor if you are worried about waste

Craisins and Almonds
You can buy a big bag of both of these at a decent price and I love them together for a snack. And of course throw some craisins on your salads.

Croissants and Sub Rolls
in the bakery section
You will 2-3 times as much bread as you do in a grocery store for about the same price. Next time you need lunch for a crowd grab these and save some serious money.

Deli Meats
This is sold near the meat counter and the turkey I buy is sold in 1lb 6oz containers for under $7.00. This is great deli meat! Make your own subs with the sub rolls and this meat.

I buy lots of other things too, but I can't imagine having to go back and buy these things regularly in a grocery store, I couldn't afford it!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Songs to Get You Moving

The right music can get you through a workout, whether is the last lap walking or running around the block or the last shoulder press at the gym. Here are some songs I put together when running on the treadmill, it had to be fast to keep me going. Lots of different types are in this list and some old and some newer (but nothing too current here). I hope you can find one or two to add to your workout playlist!


I'll Be There For You- The Rembrandts (This is the theme song for Friends)
Runnin' Down a Dream- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Paper Planes- M.I.A
Can't Get You Out of My Head- Kylie Minogue
I Fought the Law- The Clash
I Want You- Savage Garden
Ballroom Blitz- Sweet
Muevelo- Fey
Girlfriend- Avril Lavigne
Heartbreaker- Pat Benetar
That's Not My Name- The Ting Tings
Hey Ya- Outkast
Dancing With Myself- Billy Idol
I Want You to Want Me- Cheap Trick
Into the Night Life- Cyndi Lauper
Melt With You- Modern English
One Way or Another- Blondie
Legs- ZZ Top
My Sharona- The Knack
U + Ur Hand- Pink
You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)- Dead or Alive
Say Hey, I Love You- Michael Franti and Spearhead
Funky Town- Lipps, Inc
Wild Wild West- The Escape Club
The Obvious Child- Paul Simon

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Mom, I'm bored!



School is out!  How long until you hear, "Mom, I'm bored"?  Time will tell, but be prepared when that time comes sooner than you thought.   Recently I asked my kids what are some things they would like to do at home this summer that we don't get to do very often.  I wrote down everything they said!  And then later I looked under the beds and in closets for all those toys that need time to put together or don't get played with very often.  I wrote down everything I saw that I know they like but don't play with during the average week.

I then took ALL of the ideas and wrote them on strips of paper and put them in a jar.  Its the official "I'm bored" jar of summer 2010 and I am hoping it works.  Most are activities we can do at home with what we have.

Here are some things in our jar to get your own ideas going:
  • Make a movie ( I will gladly turn the camcorder over to them for a few moments of peace)
  • Watch old home movies
  • Paint
  • Make a dessert
  • Board games ( I have several listed by name in the jar)
  • Puzzles
  • Card games
  • Train track 
  • Water Bombs
  • Sidewalk paint and chalk
  • Legos ( I have every building set we own named in that jar!)
  • Write letters to friends and family
  • Trip to cash in our coins ( Coinstar followed by bank)
  • Art photography ( take pics of art from last school year)
  • Set up play tents
  • Art projects
  • Many  more but you get the idea, I did name toys and games specifically because we all know "Go play" does not work.....
I would love to hear your ideas too!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Easy Recipe: Mexican Pork

Use this delicious pork meat for nachos, tacos, burritos,on a bun, and so much more!

1 boneless pork shoulder roast
1 can Rotel undrained
1/4 cup chili powder
3 T minced garlic
2 T lime juice
2 T honey
1 T chopped and seeded jalapenos ( I just tossed a few picked jalapenos in there instead)
1 tsp salt

Cut roast in half and place in a slow cooker on low.

In a blender, combine the Rotel, chili powder, garlic, lime juice, honey, jalapeno and salt.  Pour over pork and cook on low for 8 -10 hours.

Shred the pork with 2 forks and leave it in the cooking liquid until ready to serve.  Place the meat in tortillas or use however you like.  This is a mild spicy meat, my kids like it!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Summer Entertaining Tip


Here is a great idea from  RealSimple.com!!  Repurpose those removable gel window decals for markers for your drinking glasses or just to suit your party theme.  Prettier than red plastic cups with names written with a sharpie, although this is a must with a big crowd!  I have spotted these window decals for every holiday in both Wal-mart and Target.

Have fun with this idea!

 Real Simple has a neat magazine too!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Spring Cleaning

I admire those who have a list of seasonal cleaning to do and hop to it the first day of Spring.  I am not one of those people!  But here are some things that do need to be cleaned so why not do it in Spring!

Clean the inside and outside of all your indoor trashcans, they can get icky!!

Vacuum your mattresses and flip them for even wear.  You can sprinkle them with backing soda before vacuuming to freshen up.

Wash all the bedding you can:  comforters, pillow, shams, dust ruffles, blankets.

Clean all your overhead lighting.  Ceiling fan blades can grow fuzz and other light fixtures can become an insect graveyard and very dusty.

Clean your coffee maker- this needs to be done more than once a year.  Follow the directions for your  model.  Don't worry if you can't find the owner's manual, Google the brand and model info and you can find it online.

Clean refrigerator coils for optimum performance.

Vacuum out the inside of the closet or area that houses your heating system.  Lots of extra dust in this area!

Vacuum the books on your bookshelves.  We often dust the shelves, but the tops of the book sitting on the shelves often gets neglected.

Okay, that is enough cleaning talk for now, I've made myself tired!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Crank Your Recycling Efforts Up a Notch

Some of us live where recycling is just too easy to not do, everything in one bin by the curb... come on people, it does not get easier than this.    Others have to have multiple bins and transport to a recycling facility.  Either way you can crank your recycling efforts up a notch with some of these ideas.

Check with your recycling service provider to see what they do and do not accept but here are things to consider placing in your recycling bin along with all the other things you recycle:

  • Envelopes with plastic windows- It takes a second to remove the plastic so do it rather than trash your envelope.  Some areas will accept envelopes with plastic windows.
  • Clothing Tags- All the paper tags can be recycled.
  • Fast Food Bags and Happy Meal Boxes-Usually they want only non greasy items
  • Empty Shampoo and Lotion bottles
  • Tissue Boxes and Toilet Paper Tubes
  • Used aluminum foil - as long as it is reasonably clean
  • Receipts- Most receipts do not have personal information on them so recycle them

These items don't go in your bin but should never be trashed, some are very harmful and some are very helpful to others.  To learn more about recycling these items, do an internet search.

  • Eye Glasses- These are collected by charities and distributed to those in need
  • Old towels and Blankets- Contact your local humane society or pet shelter, they can use these!
  • Sports Gear- Many charities refurbish used sports gear and get it into the hands of kids who need it.
  • Cell Phones- Lots of ways to recycle these
  • Electronics- Many retailers like Best Buy recycle your electronics for you.
  • Motor Oil- Most Auto parts store will accept motor oil
  • Magazines- Check with libraries or senior centers, they can often use these
  • Batteries of any kind- They contain nasty stuff so recycle them the right way

Happy Recycling and Celebrate Earth Day everyday!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Stepping Stones- A Great Mother's Day Gift

I know Mother's Day is a month away, but here is a gift idea now so you have plenty of time to get it done.  Children's handprints or footprints painted on stepping stones makes a wonderful, thoughtful, but very cheap gift for any mother or grandmother.   

You can buy the very plain stepping stones at any home improvement store and you want to pick one with a smoother finish.  You can find one that will work for under $4.00.  You can paint them with regular craft paint, those little bottles in the craft department that sell for around $1.00.   To get the best look of a handprint or a footprint, you have to paint the hand or foot and then press it down evenly.  You can not put a hand in a plate of paint and get a neat result and you will waste so much paint.  So line up the kids paint the hands or feet and let them stamp them on the stone.  Be sure to write the date and names if you choose and spray the surface of the stone with a thin coat of polyurethane.  It should last you for years!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cucumber Sandwiches

Are you looking for a great snack to take to a party?  These have been a hit everywhere I go and they are very easy and cute as can be. 

You'll need:

3 T. mayonnaise
1/2 t. hot sauce
1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese, softened
1 ( .7 oz ) envelope of Italian dressing mix
1 loaf cocktail bread- these little loaves are usually in the bakery or deli section of the store
1 large cucumber thinly sliced into about 36 slices

Combine first 4 ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat with a mixer until smooth ( you can do it with a spoon if you cream cheese is soft enough)

Spread cream cheese mixture over bread slices and top each with a cucumber slice.  A sprig of dill makes a pretty garnish.

You can make the cream cheese mixture ahead of time and store in refrigerator.

You'll end up with about 3 dozen little sandwiches and they look very pretty on a platter.

Monday, March 22, 2010

ALDI

I used to think shopping at Aldi was a well kept secret, but I do not think that anymore.  That store has been so busy lately!!!  In case you have not tried it and you you want to save money at the grocery store, please do.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised and  find huge savings even when compared to couponing and Wal-mart brand prices. 

Aldi carries mostly its own brand and there is only one of each type of product.  If you want sugar, there is the Aldi brand, no others.  I think this makes shopping there quick and easy and it is the one of the only stores I can go in without a list and come out with what I needed.  For my style of shopping I find the biggest savings on produce, snacks for the kids, and bread/bakery items.  I found big cheap pumpkins in the fall, great deals on watermelons in the summer, .99 bags of oranges not so long ago and so much more!!

When you go, take you own reusable shopping bags if you have them.  This is one way Aldi saves money, if you want their bags, you have to buy them.  Also have a quarter to "rent" the cart while you shop.  The carts are never left in the parking lot and the child straps seem to always work.  People will return the carts for a quarter!!  Also plan to pay with cash, debit card or, EBT only. Check out www.aldi.com for more information.

Their products carry a double guarantee so no harm in trying.  If you are already an Aldi shopper I would love for you to share your favorite items in the comments section    Thank you!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Used Dryer Sheets Can Be Useful!

I was surprised to see how many uses are out there for dryer sheets besides the obvious use for laundry.  I loved these ideas for reusing the dryer sheets after their time in the dryer. 

Dry erase board erasers.

Place in shoes to freshen.

Place in suitcases, purses, backpacks or anything else that get put up for a bit.

Place in hampers, bottom of trash cans, drawers and more for a fresh scent.

Use as dusters- if nothing else use them to dust the top of your washer and dryer and to clean the lint trap on the dryer.

Place in vacuum bag or the canister of a bag less vacuum to combat to the usual smell from the vacuum.

Use it to dust your television screen. The anti-static chemicals in a dryer sheet will help to repel dust and lint.

Use old dryer sheets to easily wipe up talcum powder, flour, sheetrock dust, sawdust, and other messes.

Run a sheet over a piece of thread when you're doing sewing tasks. The thread won't tangle up as easy.

Get rid of pet hair on clothes on furniture by rubbing the area with a used dryer sheet.

Keep dust and other contaminants off your glass computer screen by carefully wiping it with an old sheet.

Did you purchase some old, musty books at a garage sale or thrift shop? Make them smell good again! Simply place the books in a sealed plastic bag with a used dryer sheet. Allow the bag to sit undisturbed for a day or two, then remove the contents. The musty smell will be gone!

Are your scissors not cutting as smooth as they should? Wipe the blades clean with a used dryer sheet to remedy this problem.

Used dryer sheets make great little cloths for quick shine ups in the bathroom and kitchen too. Just use one on each of your chrome faucets and see how brightly they shine!


Some of these ideas came from 20 Innovative Ways to Recycle Used Dryer Sheets.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mr. Clean Magic Erasers: Creative Uses

 I was inspired to get out my Magic Eraser once again when my neighbor told me it was get those marks off my kitchen sink.  It did and so I looked up other uses.  I have not tried these and they all came from the link below, but I will be trying many of them!!!!!  Read the warning on the package and stay away from glossy finishes.

Mr. Clean Magic Erasers: Creative Uses For These Household Cleaning Blocks That Truly Work Magic! - The Fun Times Guide to Household Tips

What Mr. Clean Magic Erasers Can Do:

  • remove dried paint from door hinge
  • remove tarnish from silver
  • remove mold & mildew from anything plastic
  • clean & polish gold jewelry
  • remove soap scum in the tub and shower
  • remove marks on walls
  • clean splatters inside the microwave
  • remove marks on vinyl siding
  • clean mirrors in the bathroom (keeps shower mirrors from fogging)
  • remove adhesive residue after removing stickers
  • remove waterline mark around the pool
  • remove hair dye from countertops & floors
  • clean light-colored suede
  • remove black scuff marks from baseboards (where the vacuum cleaner hits)
  • clean the outdoor side of window sills stained from leaves, dust and dirt
  • clean plastic coolers inside and out (...even dirty grimey ones used by men with greasy hands!)
  • remove rust spots & stains on countertop
  • remove cooked-on stains in pots and pans
  • remove soot off the walls near the fireplace
  • clean within the grooves of lawn ornaments
  • clean sticky/dusty range hood over the stove
  • remove nail polish spills or stains
  • clean airbake cookie sheets & bakeware (the kind with all those tiny grooves)
  • clean oven shelves & the grates on the grill
  • remove wet nose marks from pets on the windows (even car windows)
  • remove toothpaste splashes from bathroom mirrors
  • remove melted plastic on the side of the toaster oven
  • remove grimey green algae from cement (bird baths, steps, ponds, etc)
  • clean stained elbows from dirty work
  • remove green mildew from siding and gutters
  • remove paint spills & oversprays
  • remove toilet bowl rings (just cut a piece off & let it set in your toilet overnight)
  • remove built-up algae, water deposits, etc from ceramic flower pots
  • clean dish drainers that are gunked with lime and build-up
  • remove bird poop from concrete bird bath
  • remove coffee & tea stains that remain inside a mug, caraffe, thermos even after washing
  • clean the plastic agitator inside your washing machine
  • clean window screens (even when they are still in the window)
  • remove built-up baked on grease inside the deep fryer
  • clean inside the crock pot
  • remove melted plastic on a glass top stove
  • clean swimming pool steps
  • remove baked on brown spots on cookware
  • clean antiques & collectibles
  • polish collectible coins
  • clean & shine things up before you sell them in a yard sale
  • clean boat & outdoor furniture upholstery
  • clean vinyl striping on motorhomes, vans, boats
  • clean car tires, including white walls
  • clean pebbled surfaces like the outside of plastic coolers
  • remove pet & child vomit from carpet or clothing
  • remove scuff marks on motorcycle & ATV helmets
  • remove grass stains from shoes after mowing the lawn
  • remove scuff marks from hangers/shoes in the walk-in closet
  • clean oven door
  • remove pollen from patio furniture, cars, etc.
  • remove soap scum and gunk from around the bathroom faucets
  • remove hairspray build-up on countertops and vanities
  • remove soap scum inside porcelain & utility sinks
  • clean stained caulking along the kitchen sink & countertop
  • clean your bicycle, even the tires & rims
  • clean tile & grout
  • remove mildew from tents, vinyl canopies, awnings, fiberglass items
  • remove paint overspray that has dried
  • remove shoe marks from the kickplate of house doors & car doors
  • clean inside your car (along the handles, window ledge, arm rests, dashboard)
  • remove scuff marks and dirt from linoleum floors
  • remove stains on leather seats, purses, chairs, etc.
  • remove food stains inside plastic food containers
  • remove brake dust from tire rims
  • remove dirt and grime on a vinyl convertible top
  • remove nail polish from walls, carpets, wooden objects, plastic
  • remove soil or scuff marks from ceramic tile flooring
  • clean non-skid surfaces with tiny grooves (bathtub floors, refrigerator handles, pool steps, cooler lids)
  • clean & shine bathroom faucets & fixtures
  • remove magic marker, permanent marker, and ballpoint ink from virtually any surface
  • clean doll faces
  • clean textured handles on major appliances (dishwasher, refrigerator, stove)
  • remove fingerprints and dirt on light-colored kitchen cupboards
  • clean inside of the refrigerator
  • remove crayon marks from walls
  • remove dirt from plastic trash cans
  • remove dark paint on light-colored carpet
  • clean soap scum and oils from hot tub
  • clean a car's vinyl interior (gets into the tiny crinkles in the vinyl armrest, etc.)
  • clean white porch railings, columns & pillars
  • remove bugs from car windshield, grille, and bumper
  • remove paint scratches on your car from minor fender benders
  • remove rust and corrosion that's built-up on the outside of pipes (kitchen/bathroom)
  • clean & shine hubcaps
  • remove built-up grime on the car steering wheel
  • remove finger prints & build-up on the keyboard and mouse
  • remove oxidized paint from an old car
  • remove built-up gunk from vinyl seats
  • remove tar from your car's paint
  • remove set-in stains inside glass and plastic pitchers
  • remove scuff marks from the back of car seats (from kids' shoes)
  • clean kids' plastic toys
  • remove dirt and grime from athletic shoes and shoes with leather uppers
  • remove stains on the underside of the toilet seat
  • remove fingerprint & handprints from light-colored doors & walls
  • remove scuff marks from your patio furniture
 HAPPY ERASING!!!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

MORE REUSE IT IDEAS

Business Card Magnets
  • Make photo magnets by gluing a picture on. 
  • Have kids make art on the back of old business cards and glue those on for great fridge art- gift worthy for the grandparents. 
  • Use your craft and scrapbooking supplies to make them pretty to match your kitchen or office or you could make a set for a gift.
    An empty condiment squirt bottle works great for cooking oils.

    Used envelopes are great for your grocery list and you can carry your coupons inside.

    Egg cartons cut apart are great packing materials.

    Empty Parmesan cheese shakers are great for baking soda, if you use it as a cleaning product- don't forget to label it so no one thinks its still cheese.

    Check out my older post, Reuse it Ideas for more!  And please feel free toshare your ideas in the comments below.

    Wednesday, March 3, 2010

    KITCHEN TIPS

    Having a birthday party with ice cream? The day before, scoop ice cream into a muffin pan lined with paper liners. Keep in the freezer till serving time.

    Put like utensils in the same section of the silverware tray in the dishwasher (knives with knives, small forks with small forks, etc.) so that you can pull them out by group and put them away fast. Just be sure your spoons aren't spooning or they won't get as clean!

    Instead of using ice cubes to chill sangria or punch, freeze grapes; they won't dilute the drink as they melt. Frozen grapes are also a great, refreshing snack.

    If you end up with extra tomato paste, measure it into individual tablespoons and freeze in plastic wrap. To use, just stir into sauce -- no need to thaw.

    Need to soften brown sugar.  Place a slice of bread in the container and the brown sugar will be soft in a day or two.

    Have a great day!

    Monday, March 1, 2010

    EASY RECIPE: Caramelized Bananas

    Caramelized Bananas are so good over vanilla ice cream and making them is easy, easy ,easy!


    • 4 medium sized bananas, sliced into rounds
    • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup butter or margarine

    Cook the brown sugar and butter over high heat in a small skillet, 5 minutes or until thickened.  My advice is don't walk away from the pan, it can burn quickly.  Remove from the heat and stir in the bananas.  Allow to cool slightly but serve while still warm over vanilla ice cream!

    I've been told this is a lot like Bananas Foster but I've never had Bananas Foster, but I really like it!

    Wednesday, February 24, 2010

    WHO KNEW?

    To keep corduroy garments from retaining lint, wash them inside out.  This will also keep acrylic sweaters from pilling.

    Keep a shaker filled with a ratio of 75 percent salt and 25 percent pepper next to your food prep area, its a good ratio for so many things you cook.

    If you wet your hands with cold water before shaping sausage or hamburger patties, the grease won't stick to your fingers.

    When you go away on a vacation, fill a zip-close plastic bag with a few ice cubes and place in your freezer.  If a power failure occurs while you are away, the ice cube will melt and refreeze in a solid block, alerting you that your frozen food has been defrosted.

    Insert paper plates (the cheap flat kind) between fine china or nice plates before stacking to prevent scratches.

    When the forecast calls for snow or ice, place two old bath towels across your windshield. When it's time to drive, simply pull off the towels for a clean, ready to go window.

    - These tips are from Who Knew II by Jeanne and Bruce Lubin.

    Monday, February 22, 2010

    FUN PHOTO BOOK IDEAS


    Photo books are very popular and for good reason, they are easy to do (not always quick though) and make great gifts.  Sizes and prices vary on how many pages and the cover, but I have seen 4 x 6 books for around $4.99 and 8 x 11 photo book for $20 and up.  Before you pay full price for a photo book do an internet search for a coupon code for the site you are using.  All of the major online photo processors like Shutterfly and Snapfish offer photo books and so do many stores that offer photo processing like Wal-mart and Walgreens.

    Custom Childrens Book- Do you want a special gift to give a child?  Write a short book about them and include pictures and art by you or the child.  If you worry you don't have writing skills for a book, just start very simple.  Write about their favorite foods, places, colors, games, subjects, or adventures.

    Cookbook-  A great way to make your own family cookbook and make it look very professional.

    Preserving Kid's Art- You can't keep everything your child makes.  Keep the special pieces and know its okay to throw away some or lots. You can take a picture of art projects and put it all in a photo book too.  You could do a photo book of art for every grade.  To get a good picture place the art on a plain background  (lay on a plain white or dark sheet on the floor and try to frame the photo so the art takes up most of the photo).  Some art can also be scanned in but I find taking a picture works great.

    Preserving other parts of childhood- If you have a lego whiz, take pictures of all his creations and put in a small photo book.  Think of other things they make or build that have to be messed up like blocks, play dough and start taking pictures of their neat stuff.  If your child loves to dress up, take pictures in all their costumes.  Hopefully you get the idea, theme the photo book!  This is a great idea for the smaller photo books because they are cheaper.  The kids will love them and you'll find yourself doing more than one.

    Reasons we love you book- This one is sweet and will make a great gift for anyone.  Include lots of great pictures and reasons the gift recipient is loved.  Great for grandparents, moms, dads and include comments for all the grandchildren/children.


    Snapfish has more fun photo book ideas for you here.


    Do you have more ideas for photo books?  Share them below!

    Friday, February 19, 2010

    Seven Irresistible Board Books for Young Toddlers

    Every young child should have a good collection of board books. They are durable and often short which is a must for busy toddlers. It is hard sometimes to find books that a young toddler will sit still for. They want some books read over and over again and others make them wiggle out of your lap before you finish the first page. Here's a list of seven board books that my three boys loved as young toddlers. These books were literally worn out by so much reading and handling. Any or all of these board books would make a great gift for expectant parents. Board books from this list would also be a pleasing first birthday present or a Christmas gift for a young toddler.

    Source

    The Counting Farm by Kathy Henderson

    This is a short rhyming book that counts farm animals up to 10. Its catchy little rhyme will stick in your head and children love the words and pictures. Be sure to make the animal sounds on each page, this takes the book from enjoyable for your child to an absolute delight.


    Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins

    This is a Bright and Early Board Book about monkeys making music. It will have you and your child tapping and drumming with the monkeys. This was probably the favorite of my three boys and I never grew tired of reading it to them.



    Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See by Bill Martin Jr. and Illustrated by Eric Carle

    This book is full of rhyming, repetition and color- three things young children love to hear and see in books. You'll find many other Eric Carle books in board book format.



    Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? Dr. Seuss's Book of Wonderful Noises by Dr. Seuss

    This is also a Bright and Early Board Book and it is full of funny sounds to make. Anytime you can add sounds to books for young toddlers, they love it and this book makes it so easy and enjoyable. You will be making sounds like lightning splatting and corks popping and so will your toddler.



    There's a Wocket in My Pocket! Dr. Seuss's Book of Ridiculous Rhymes
    by Dr. Seuss

    This is just the right amount of Dr. Seuss for young toddlers. They will love his silly rhymes and colorful pages and you will be reading about animals you have never heard of before like Bofas and Ghairs. This book is also a Bright and Early Board Book , you can't go wrong with books with this endorsement.


    Barnyard Dance
    by Sandra Boynton

    All of her books are great for young toddlers but this is my favorite. You'll feel like you are calling a square dance as you read this and your little one can't help but tap his feet and nod his head to the rhythm.


    The Monster at the End of This Book Starring Lovable, Furry Old Grover
    by Jon Stone

    This book will have young toddlers laughing because Grover is scared of getting to the end of the book because a monster awaits and he tries everything to keep you from turning the pages. Of course little hands keep turning the pages and discover the only monster at the end is Grover himself.


    I hope some of these books become well loved favorites in your home too.  Feel free to add others great suggestions in the comments for others to read, thanks!

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    FREE USEFUL ONLINE SERVICES

    My time on the internet is spent on email, Facebook, and Blogger mostly, so I love to hear about great free services online.  Here are some neat ones I wanted to share with you and if you are internet savvy some of this will be old news to you, forgive me!

    Getjar.com- Appsolutely Everything!  This is the place to go if you don't have a Blackberry or iphone but still want to find applications for your phone.

    Tripit.com- Organize your Travel!   Email tripit.com all you confirmation emails from anywhere you book and you will get an organized master itinerary sent back to you.

    Doodle.com- Doodle takes the pain out of finding the right date and time for a group of people to meet and makes scheduling virtually effortless. The basic service is a free online coordination tool which requires neither registration nor software installation.

    Springpadit.com- Springpad is a free personal organizer to save and use just about anything — recipes, products, restaurants, ideas, notes, articles, and more.  They claim to help you organize travel and planning, celebrations, and holidays, health and fitness and your collection and someday lists.

    Shopittome.com-You can think of Shop It To Me as your free personal online shopper. Select your favorite apparel brands and sizes. They willscour the websites of leading retailers and send you a Salemail™ - a daily or weekly email summary of which new items go on sale in your size. Mens, Womens, and Childrens brands for clothes, shoes, and accessories

    And my FAVORITE and I know its not new...but go there fast if you didn't know about it!  You'll be glad!
    Pandora.com- They claim their only mission its to play music you will love and they do a good job.  Just enter a favorite artist or song and something similar will pop up and you'll end up finding new music you love.  You can listen without logging in or you can sign in to create many different "stations" for yourself.

    Monday, February 15, 2010

    Top Ten Ways to Reuse Flower Vases

    Did your Valentine's gift come in a vase?   If you sweetheart gives you flowers often, you could have quite a stash of florist vases.  Here are some great ideas on what to do with those vases.

    Top Ten Ways to Reuse Flower Vases

    From Teleflora's Find A Florist web site.

    1. Design a Centerpiece

    You can reuse plain cylinder floral vases by filling them with something colorful. Oranges, lemons or limes make a great eye-catching summertime centerpiece, or fill a vase with pinecones and dried berries for a festive winter look.

    2. Create a Candleholder

    Wide-mouthed vases make lovely candleholders. Just fill the bottom half with items sturdy enough to hold-up a candle (stones, beads or coffee beans are also great ideas), then work the candle down into the container.

    3. Give a Gift

    Don’t go to that next party empty handed! Fill a vase with relevant items (i.e. Christmas decorations, holiday themed candy such as candy corn for Halloween, or seashells for a beach party) for the host or hostess as a thank you.

    4. Make Bookends

    Decorate the exterior of your flower vase to match the area of the bookcase and fill the vase with something heavy, like sand or rocks, so it can be used as a bookend.

    5. Organize your Home

    Smaller flower vases are great for holding pens and pencils or loose change. In addition, empty vases are great for kitchen utensils. Have a square vase? Try using it to hold all your remote controls.

    6. Donate to a Good Cause

    Fill your old flower containers with dried or artificial flowers, and donate them to hospitals or retirement homes and help brighten someone else’s day.

    7. Produce a Planter

    Try planting herbs or small flowers in a clear vase for a prettier alternative to plastic containers. Put rocks in the bottom third of the vase for drainage and fill the rest with soil. You can plant a variety of herbs for a kitchen window garden or small flowers to brighten up your office. The best part – you’ll always know when your plants need watering!

    8. Showcase Something Special

    Have a special memento or souvenir from a recent vacation? Tall floral containers are a great way to call attention to smaller items that might otherwise get lost on bookcases. Cover it with the vase by itself, or add similar themed d├ęcor along with the keepsake for a more intricate display.

    9. Put Pastries on a Pedestal

    Wide based, wide mouthed vases make great cake stands! Just turn your vase upside down (or keep it right side up if the base is wider than the mouth), and secure a plate on top. These stands can be used to display special pies, cupcakes, cookies and more.

    10. Apply it to Art

    If all else fails, and you can’t find any other uses for your flower vases, you can always break them up, and use the colored broken glass in mosaics or tile works.
    Receiving floral gifts is only half the fun when it comes to all the different ways you can reuse the vases. Remember: don’t just throw away your old containers, keep it green and reuse them!

    Resource Box:

    Teleflora’s Find a Florist is the leading online florist locater in the US and Canada. Want to send a bouquet for the holidays, a special occasion or simply as a thinking of you? With a network of over 20,000 caring florists, Find a Florist makes it easy to locate a flower shop, anywhere in the country.

    Friday, February 12, 2010

    64 WAYS TO SAY I LOVE YOU

    This is a great list and many of these can be used for everyone you love, not just your sweetheart.

    64 Ways to Say "I Love You"

    1. Don't compare them to anyone.
    2. Be courteous at all times.
    3. Embrace the present moments without fear or guilt.
    4. Live by the Golden Rule (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you).
    5. Give your full attention when talking.
    6. Become their biggest fan and cheerleader!
    7. Toast each other over breakfast or dinner to say I love you.
    8. Tell them how they bring love to your life.
    9. Laugh about kids quotes on love or events.
    10. Talk about your day during mealtimes.
    11. Read books aloud together.
    12. Say you're sorry.
    13. Recall good and bad memories.
    14. Let go of the past to say I love you.
    15. Do nothing together.
    16. Encourage health in all its forms.
    17. Trust your partner enough to cry together.
    18. Act silly together.
    19. Be lavish in praise.
    20. Ask questions about opinions, feelings, thoughts.
    21. To say I love you, forget about labels.
    22. Encourage adventures and risks!
    23. Show your joy when they come home.
    24. Bake cookies.
    25. Leave stress at work to say I love you.
    26. Use flannel sheets in the winter.
    27. Solve problems together - such as crosswords or Suduku.
    28. Show your gratitude for them.
    29. Be a good sounding board.
    30. To say I love you, take pride in them -- and show it.
    31. Compliment them in front of others.
    32. Spend time with them.
    33. Listen.
    34. Ask for hugs and kisses.
    35. Take vacations together.
    36. Tell the truth to say I love you.
    37. Use pet names to say I love you.
    38. Practice self-acceptance.
    39. Hunt for treasure together.
    40. Be interested in their interests.
    41. To say I love you, let go of jealousy.
    42. Accept their weaknesses and flaws.
    43. Ditch work or responsibilities to play with them.
    44. Be yourself.
    45. Share chocolates, ice cream sundaes, milkshakes.
    46. To say I love you, ignore slights.
    47. Pray or meditate together.
    48. Practice forgiveness.
    49. Watch classic movies together.
    50. Leave notes or send letters.
    51. To say I love you, buy a "for no reason at all" gift.
    52. Don't gossip or judge.
    53. Give the benefit of the doubt to say I love you.
    54. Give space when they're in a bad or sad mood.
    55. Learn something new together.
    56. Go dancing.
    57. Keep your promises to say I love you.
    58. Make them laugh.
    59. Consider their feelings.
    60. Learn ways to rekindle the romance.
    61. Hide a treat in their lunch.
    62. To say I love you, make home a fun place to be.
    63. Let them make their own decisions.
    64. Say what you mean when you say I love you. Say why.

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    WHAT'S FOR DINNER?

    What's for dinner tonight at your house, or Friday at your house?  If you can answer both of those you are probably a meal planner  which can saves lots of time and money.  I ask myself the "what's for dinner" question often but I get asked it more often by my kids.  There are hundreds of ways to plan meals but you have to start somewhere and this is what made sense to me.

    Make a list of EVERYTHING you can cook that your family will eat, and then add those things you buy ready made to feed your family.  Add side items and breads to the list the same way.  Now that you have a master list of things that you can feed your family, organize the list.  You can organize by main dish types or you can organize by how long it takes to prepare the meals.  Make a section of all the side items and bread possibilities and put your list in a page protector and keep it very close by the kitchen. 

    I think you will find you use the list often when its time to make grocery lists and plan meals.  You can also let other family members pick things from your list to add to the week's meals.  This is is where its helpful to have a "Sunday dinner" section and a "busy weeknight" section and to tell them which sections they can choose from.  Don't forget to update the list often and I think you'll surprise yourself with all the options you have when the dreaded question comes up, what's for dinner mom?

    Monday, February 8, 2010

    CHEAP DATE NIGHT IDEAS

    I know you have read and heard that date nights are needed for all couples, especially those with kids and busy lives.  Date nights are easier said than done, so many things can get in the way.  If you have to hire a babysitter, it can turn into an expensive evening.  They need to be planned and put on the calendar at least a week in advance and don't let life get in the way!  Here are some ideas for cheap date nights...

    Make a playlist of slow love songs, light a candle and dance in your house.

    Dream big together!  Plan a fantasy vacation together, go window shopping for luxury items, go test drive the car you want, spend a Sunday afternoon touring open houses for the next step up home.

    Watch a movie.  Or course you can go to the theater, but it can be expensive.  Instead send one person out for a redbox movie  ($1 rental) while the other puts the kids in beds. Have your spouse pick out something you both will enjoy but let him surprise you with the choice.

    Picnic... Go for a hike and a picnic on a weekend or long summer afternoon or have a romantic picnic in the backyard.

    Get active together- If you belong to the gym you can try racquetball together or if you have bikes try a bike ride.  Take a leisurely paced hand holding stroll around a lake.

    Reminisce- Have a nice dinner at home together and drag out those early love letters and cards to each other and all those early pictures.  It will be a fun look back.

    Volunteer together- Spend a Saturday morning or any time during the week doing something for others together.

    I'd love to know your ideas too!

    Photo info:

    Friday, February 5, 2010

    CLOSET PURGE

    Are your closets bursting at the seams with clothes? You can spend lots of time and money organizing your clothes, but the organization is easier when you have fewer clothes. So spend time weeding through them before you spend money on new containers and closet systems. Here are a few tips on how to decide what to keep and what to purge.
     


    First group like items together but put your hangers backward. As you wear an item and hang it up again, turn the hanger around. This will give you an easy way to see what you wear and what you don't. At the end of the season or sooner take everything that is still on a backward hanger and get rid of it.

    Another method is when you re-hang your clothes after wearing, hang them to the left of everything else. Shortly you will notice clothes on the right that never get worn. Unless they are special occasion clothes, your giveaways will be to the right staring you down.

    This works great for kids clothes too!