Category: For The Home

10 Minutes to a More Organized Home

Posted on Jul 28, 2014 by No Comments

The problem with getting organized it that it seems like a really overwhelming task when your house is currently a disaster zone. But, if you break your goal down into smaller tasks, it becomes much more manageable.

Here are a few suggestions for quick 10 minute cleanups. If you do just one a day, your house will be looking better in no time!

Bathroom

  • Organize your medicine cabinet and get rid of old or expired medications.
  • Toss all of your expired or unflattering makeup.
  • Fill a bucket with disinfectant wipes and other needed cleaning supplies to keep in your bathroom so it’s easier to tidy up each day.

Kitchen

  • Organize the junk drawer in your kitchen.
  • Toss all the expired food from your refrigerator.
  • Straighten up your collection of cookbooks, getting rid of titles you never use.

Bedroom

  • Declutter the top of the dresser in your bedroom. Find a pretty cup or tray to use for temporarily dumping coins and other small items that tend to accumulate in this high-clutter area.
  • Clean out your lingerie drawer, tossing anything that doesn’t fit or has stretched out elastic.
  • Organize your jewelry box.
  • Choose five items from your closet that you know you’ll never wear again and donate them to charity.

Living Room

  • Clean the blades on your ceiling fans.
  • Recycle old magazines that you’re never going to get around to reading.
  • Find a basket to use for temporarily collecting toys that have migrated from your child’s room to the living room. Teach your child to empty the basket at least once per week.
  • Buy a storage ottoman and use it to corral extra blankets and pillows.
  • Go through your bookshelves and set aside any unwanted titles to donate to the local public library or take to a nearby thrift store.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Help Animals in Need by Donating Your Old Linens

Posted on Jul 25, 2014 by 1 Comment

I’m a big fan of fluffy towels and soft blankets, but I hate to throw anything away. So, when I’m replacing my household linens, figuring out what to do with the old stuff is always a challenge.

I used to pass along old linens to friends who were moving and needed help furnishing their new places, since I was the first one in my social circle to get married and move into my own home. However, I’ve finally run out of people eager for my castoffs.

Since I love Pinterest, I’ve seen all sorts of cool sewing projects made with recycled fabric. But, I’ve finally had to admit that I lack the skill to actually accomplish any of these nifty ideas.

If you’re in the same boat, I think the best option is to take these items to a nearby animal shelter. Animal shelters can use donations of towels, blanks, and other linens to help pad cages and make them more comfortable for animals.

If you don’t know where the animal shelters in your area are located, visit PetFinder.com to search for contact info.

If you’re trying to teach your children about the importance of giving back to the community, consider buying a few bags of pet food to take with you when you drop off the blankets. Even if your kids don’t have pets of their own, most children are sympathetic to the plight of animals in need. You can look for coupons and sales to cut costs, if you’re having your kids pay for the food with their allowance money.

Photo credit: PetFinder.com

Should You Use a Night Light for Your Baby?

Posted on Jul 24, 2014 by 1 Comment

When my daughter was three years old, all of a sudden she started waking during the night afraid of a “monster” in her room.

I finally figured out that during the winter months, the bare branches of the tree outside her window created a scary shadow on her wall that moved with the wind. I added a night light to her room and it scared the monster away.

Today, night lights can be purchased that complement your nursery décor or showcase other interests. But is it good to put a night light in your baby’s room?

Tardis night light

This Tardis night light is not recommended for children under three.

My daughter wasn’t afraid of the dark until she was three, and the dark never bothered my son. It turns out that children don’t experience night-time anxiety until they are two or three because that’s when their cognitive development has reached a stage where they can understand the concept of fear and can even imagine scary things like the monster on the wall.

Should you use a night light? Experts say that if your child fears the dark, a night light can help dispel that, but the light should not illuminate the room too much because toddlers sleep better in a dark room.

And if you decide to buy a decorative type night light, it’s important to check warnings because some include choking hazards and are not suitable for children under three years old. For instance, Dr. Who fans may love the idea of a tardis night light but it is not appropriate for young children!

If you’ve heard concerns about night lights harming your child’s vision, that belief dates back to the late 90s and has since been disproved. At that time, parents grew alarmed about night-lights and vision problems after a study found a link between night-light use for children under two and the development of myopia (near-sightedness).

Since then follow-up studies found no relationship between night-lights and near-sightedness and the authors of the original study have even backed away from those findings. Plus, kids under two don’t really need a night light! If you’re child is afraid of the dark, go ahead and get a night light.

Photo credits: Amazon, Amazon

Donate Books to Soldiers and Their Families

Posted on Jul 23, 2014 by No Comments

I have a serious book addiction. Even though I’ve been trying to stick to ebooks to cut down on the amount of clutter in my home, I tend to go a little crazy every time I get near a Barnes & Noble. Plus, I’m a sucker for ordering children’s books through the Scholastic Book Club fliers my son keeps bringing home.

When I was weeding through my book collection to try to make space for all the titles new titles we purchased, I came across the Operation Paperback website. This great charity sends books to soldiers stationed overseas, those who are in military hospitals, and military families with a deployed loved one.

They will accept both adult books and children’s books, as long as your books are in good condition. They won’t take books with missing covers; loose, brittle, or missing pages; stains; or water damage. Books that are considered pornographic or racist are not allowed and religious materials are only acceptable if the solider has specifically requested them.

The website mentions mysteries and westerns as being in high demand. The children’s books go directly to the families of the soldiers or are sent to the soldiers so they can read to their kid via webcam or DVD.

To donate books, you log onto the Operation Paperback website and list the titles you have. The books are then matched with addresses of soldiers who have requested either the specific book or something from that genre. Choose someone to mail your books to, then package them up and drop them off at the post office.

If you don’t have any books to mail out, but still want to help support the cause, Operation Paperback accepts cash donations. A $5 donation will ship one medium-sized box of books to any overseas military location. A $20 donation will help pay for the purchase and shipment of one box of high-demand special request books.

Photo credit: Operation Paperback

Link Round-up: Paid to DIY, Recipes, a Numbers Game, and More

Posted on Jul 17, 2014 by 1 Comment

Today’s round-up shares a way to get paid to DIY around the house, a few delicious recipes, a game, and more.

Amanda’s Cookin’ shared a vintage recipe for a Lazy Daisy Cake.

Army Wife to Suburban Life showed us how to get paid to DIY.

Sand in My Toes showed us how to make a number hunt game.

The Crafty Blog Stalker shared a recipe for cabbage and pineapple slaw burgers.

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Kenarry shared a tutorial for a summer burlap wreath.

DIY Beautify taught us how to make a bird feeder using thrifted plates.

The Casual Craftlete shared a recipe for lemon blueberry chia jam.

Photo credit: Amanda’s Cookin’ and Kenarry

Link Round-up: Birthday Badge, Puree, Summer Reading, DIY Sunscreen, and More

Posted on Jul 15, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s round-up has a first birthday badge, puree, a summer reading list, non-toxic sunscreen, and more.

It Happens in a Blink shared a tutorial for a first birthday badge.

It’s Always Ruetten shared her summer reading list.

Army Wife to Suburban Life gave us 15 ideas of things to do when you’re alone.

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It Bakes Me Happy shared a recipe for carrot apple mango puree.

Sand in My Toes taught us how to make a parking deck out of a cereal box and other items you have around the house.

A Mom’s Take shared her recipe for a moisturizing non-toxic sunscreen.

Carolyn’s Homework shared a guest post and taught us how to make peanut butter and jelly cookies.

Photo credit: It Happens in a Blink and It Bakes Me Happy

Link Roundup: Recipes, Wire Word Art, Summer Recipes, and More

Posted on Jul 10, 2014 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up has recipes, wire word art, fun summer recipes, and more.

Kalyn’s Kitchen shared a recipe for raw zucchini carpaccio.

The Neighborhood Moms talked about three baby gadgets that may be bad for children’s development.

View Along the Way showed us how to make easy wire word art.

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Confessions of an Overworked Mom showed us a nail-pampering DIY.

A Mom’s Take shared some ideas for a baby essentials kit.

Gingerly Made taught us how to make watermelon Rice Krispie treats.

This Silly Girl’s Life showed us how to make mini mint s’mores.

Photo credit: Kalyn’s Kitchen and Confessions of an Overworked Mom

Link Round-up: Helping Children with Learning Disabilities, First Home Purchase, Recipes, and More

Posted on Jul 8, 2014 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up has tips for helping children with learning disabilities, a slaw recipe, tips for buying your first home, protection for your pets, and more.

Confessions of an Overworked Mom shared a recipe for carrot and bok choy slaw.

The Neighborhood Moms have five tips to help children with learning disabilities.

View Along the Way gave tips for first time home buyers.

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This Silly Girl’s Life showed us how to make an embroidery hoop memo board.

A Mom’s Take shared tips for keeping pets protected from pests.

Sweet and Spicy Monkey showed us how to make homemade banana coconut ice cream with homemade chocolate syrup.

Gingerly Made showed us how to make Kool Aid lip gloss.

Photo credit: Confessions of an Overworked Mom and This Silly Girl’s Life

Link Round-up: Collecting, Recharging, Crafts, and More

Posted on Jul 3, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has collecting tips, ideas for summer toys, ways to recharge, and more.

Homemade Interest showed us how to make a personalized family handprint plank.

A Beautiful Mess showed us how to make a patterned floor with linoleum tile.

Mind Body Green gave us 27 ways to recharge your batteries.

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Chocolate Covered Katie taught us how to make chocolate covered cherries.

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom gave us the rundown on fun summer toys for fine motor skills and creativity.

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Hobbies on a Budget shared a great tip: collect e-pennies instead of expensive souvenirs.

Suzy Sitcom shared a clothespin doll tutorial.

Photo credit: Homemade Interest, Chocolate Covered Katie, and Hobbies on a Budget

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