Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ideas on How to Reuse Glass Jars

With spring just weeks away, the kids will be outside again.  One of my kids' favorite things to do outside is catch bugs in glass jars.  They love to study them and show them to family and friends. 

In the past I bought glass jars at the store specifically for catching bugs.  However, I recently realized that I throw away glass jars each week after dinners I make with pasta sauce and after emptying our jelly jar.  Why not save a buck and reuse my glass jars?  I just peel off the label, wash out the jar and ta-da:  a perfectly good jar to catch bugs in.  But there is so much more you can use glass jars for.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Potty Training On The Go

When you have a little one potty training, it can make road trips challenging.  A child that is still learning to use the potty, doesn't give you much time between letting you know they have to "go" and actually going.  You can't ask a potty training child:  "Can you hold it until I find somewhere to stop?".
The solution to this problem - keep a potty in your vehicle!  I don't mean install a toilet in your van but, store a potty training seat in your trunk.  That way you don't have to have your child hold it until you find a rest stop or restaurant.  You can pull over into a safe area and bring the potty seat out for your child to use.  I leave a space in the back of my van for our potty seat.  This way my kids still have some kind of privacy and are not exposed to the weather.

If you are limited on space for storing a potty seat, there are collapsible potty seats you can purchase online.

Travel Potty Seats

Another good idea is to use car seat liners.  There are reusable ones and disposable.

Car Seat Liners

*If you do end up with a potty training mess, here is a easy way to clean it up:  Potty Training Clean Up

Thursday, January 20, 2011

How to Revive Dry Play-doh

Like most kids, my kids love play-doh.  So, it's the always a best bet for a birthday or Christmas gift.  So, we have tons of it.  The only problem is my kids either forget to put the play-doh back in it's container or if they do, they don't seal it.  So the tons of play-doh we have in our house is mostly dried out.

A couple of days ago the kids wanted to play with their play-doh and with one color specifically (blue).  Unfortunatley, the only blue play-doh we had was as hard as a rock.  So, my husband came to the rescue and did a search online on how to bring dried out play-doh back to life.  The answer was simply - steam!  

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Natural Cough Remedy for Kids

Seems like every winter our kids come down with some kind of cough.  Whether it's from allergies, post nasal drip or a cold, the common recommendation for their cough was an over-the-counter or prescription cough suppressant.  After reading the seemingly endless list of side effects caused by these medications, my husband and I often opted out of using it and relied on cool mist humidifiers and steam baths for our kids.  However, our children still would have a hard time sleeping. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Easy Potty Training Clean Up

I was at church this past Sunday, speaking with other mothers about potty training my daughter.  I told them, I hate to use disposable training pants because they are not as effective as underwear.  But, when you use underwear, you are constantly worrying about messes on upholstered furniture, carpets and beds. 

My friend then told me that when her children had accidents during nap and the mattress protector failed, she sprinkled it with baking soda.  She would let it sit to give it time to absorb the moisture.  Later she would vacuum up the baking soda and the mattress would be dry and odor free. 

I was a bit skeptical at first but, when I had my daughter in underwear yesterday and she had an accident on my husband's chair.  That's when I knew I had to try it. 

I used the generic brand of baking soda I keep in my refrigerator.  I sprinkled it on the wet area and let it sit for about 30 minutes.  I could see the baking soda starting to clump, so I went ahead and vacuumed it.  I noticed that there were a couple of spots that were still damp and I covered them with baking soda again.  I waited another 30 minutes and vacuumed up the remains.  Afterward, my husband's chair was dry and had a faint smell of baking soda and nothing else.  I was impressed!  I'm heading to the store to stock up on this inexpensive miracle worker!

More uses for baking soda:

Booster Seat Safety

My husband and I have been waiting for the day our second child would finally be able to use a booster seat.  Where we live, children must be at least 4 years old and 40 lbs before they can use a booster seat.  Of course we want him to be safe so at each doctor's visit (beginning at his 4 year check-up) we would stare at the scale longing to see 40 lbs. 

Finally, three months after his 5th birthday he reached 41 lbs!  So, we were on the look out for a new booster seat.  After doing some research, we decided on the Graco Highback TurboBooster (pictured) which we loved so much that we bought our 7 year old one too.  (He cannot use an adult seat belt until he is 4 ft 9 in and 80 lbs based on state laws).

We were ready to set up the new booster seats.  However, when reading the instruction manual, :

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Valentine's Day Crafts and Homemade Cards

Can you believe February is just around the corner?  With Valentine's Day just weeks away, I searched for fun Valentine's Day crafts my kids and me to make. 

Along the way I found some great ideas on how to make homemade Valentine's Day cards with the kids for their classmates, teachers and friends. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Winter Fun for Kids

With the winter weather in full force and snow storms closing schools, I have had a house full of board kids.  Sure they can play video games and watch TV but, why not do something fun and creative as a family.  I found a few websites with great craft ideas to do during these cold indoor days at home.



For more indoor fun, here are some fun indoor games and activities to play with the kids this winter.

Games and Activities

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How to Declutter Your Home

One of my New Year resolutions is to declutter my home and keep it that way!  When my home is cluttered I feel out of sorts and it affects all aspects of my life.  If my living room is cluttered with magazines, toys, etc. I get frustrated and end up not wanting to clean at all.  If my kitchen counters are cluttered I usually don't want to cook and head to the closest fast food restaurant.  When my house is squared away, I feel a sense of peace.  And after the holiday rush, I could really use some peace.

I have tried to declutter my home in the past but, I would become overwhelmed and eventually give up.  This time I know I need a plan of attack.  So, I did some research and this is what I plan to do (based on what I found):
  1. One Space at a Time - No matter how big or small, only work on one area at a time (ex: the linen closet).
  2. Designate Space - Decide what the space will be used for (ex: linen closet - linens only!)
  3. Empty It and Clean Out - Remove everything from the area.  This will give you an opportunity to thoroughly clean it and evaluate how much usable space you actually have.
  4. Classify the Clutter - Categorize the clutter you are removing into boxes/bins:  trash, recycle, keep and sell/donate.
  5. Organize - Before putting items into the space, utilize and organize with boxes, bins, shelves, etc.  This will give everything it's place and make it easier to keep tidy.
  6. Maintain - Be sure not to put items in the space that don't belong.  Revisit the space - straighten it out and declutter every few months.
Helpful Links

Monday, January 3, 2011

Dress Up Date Night At Home

Being a stay-at-home-mom is an endless and exhausting job.  So, by the time my husband gets home from work I tend to look less than desirable.  I was able to remind my husband why he married me when we would go out on dates.  However, 3 kids and 1 recession later, dates out with my hubby are few and far between. 

Friday nights my husband and I tend to flop down in the family room, he on the recliner and me on the couch, and watch a DVD.  This is what we now called our "date night".   But we may have not even notice each other leaving the room if we didn't have to pass the TV on the way out.  I knew I had to do something to bring life back to our marriage.  After some thought a little bit of creativity, I decided to "dress up" date night at home.  Here are a couple of ways to bring excitement into a date night at home:
  1. Clean Up - Pick up all the kids things that may be laying around in the space you will be spending your date.  Getting your kids off your mind will allow you to enjoy each other as husband and wife rather than mom and dad.
  2. Dress Up - Have your hubby put the kids to bed while you freshen up, put some make-up on and maybe even a dress.  You don't have to leave the house to look nice.  Besides, it's your hubby you are dressing up for, not the rest of the world.
  3. Grown Up Refreshments - Instead of popcorn and soda while watching a movie, toast a baguette, slice up some cheese and open a bottle of wine.  Go ahead and have two glasses, no designated driver is needed when you stay home.
  4. Order In - Have dinner for two delivered to your house or have your hubby pick it up on his way home from work.  Even if it's just Applebee's Carside To Go, it's still nicer than mac and cheese.  Put out a nice table cloth and some candles and you have a romantic dinner for two right at home! 
More Great Ideas