"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." Colossians 3:17

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summer Salad Recipe

Well I have decided to start adding recipes to my blog! This is my first one, I call it Craneta Crunch and Munch. I hope that get inspired and make your very own Summer Salad Recipe!


Serves 2

2 Grilled Chicken Breast (Seasoned with salt, pepper and lemon juice)

1 Granny Smith Apple

1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries

1/2 Cup of Fat Free Feta Cheese

1/4 Cup of Sliced Red Onion

2 Cups of Romaine Lettuce sliced thin

1 Package of Prepared Stuffing Mix

1 Tbs Lemon Juice

Preheat oven or grill to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with butter spray and spread out prepared stuffing mixture. Bake until mixture is crunchy about 10 minutes and put aside.

To prepare salad,

Slice Grilled Chicken Breasts and put aside.

Cut up the granny smith apple into medium size chunks and put it into a small bowl, toss it with lemon juice.

Slice the romaine thin into slivers rather than chunks and place in serving platter.

Top with Fat Free Feta, Cranberries, Red Onion and Sliced Chicken. For the finishing touch, crumble up the crunchy stuffing and top as croutons.

Serve with a Store bought Lite Vidalia Onion Dressing or a homemade lemon vinaigrette!

Tidbit - Instead of the traditional store bought cruton, think outside the box and come up with other creative toppings. Some ideas are Tortilla Chips, Toasted Nuts and Seeds, Toasted Pita Chips and just about any kind of stuffing can be toasted then crumbled on top.

It's a refreshing salad with alot of crunching amd munching going on! I hope that you will give it a try!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Summer Room

Summer is almost here and it's that time of year where we spend more time outside than inside. Well at least I do and I hope after reading this blog you will too. In this fast paced time, it is so important to have a space to settle down in, relax and unwind at the end of a long day. Outside in the fresh air with all the sounds and sights of nature is a great place to start. Whether you live in a home or an apartment, you must have some outdoor space that you can add a little cozy, a little sparkle, a little oasis and make into your very own Summer Room!

Tidbit - With a few easy steps you can make any outdoor space, big or small, into an oasis you can retreat to. Pick an area like a deck, a patio, even a patch of grass and start your imagination.

The first step is to visualize the space as a room with four corners, walls and all, with the sky as your ceiling. This will be your outdoor canvas. This will be easy with a deck or patio, but if you are working with a grass area it will be what you put in that will determine the space.

The second step is to think of its function. Will it be a dining area, a seating area or both. Maybe you even have a deck and a patio. That's even better. Some spaces can be large enough to use as both. Once you figure out the function, the Fun can begin! Filling it up!

The Third Step comes in once you settle on the function, then it's time to pick some furniture. When picking furniture, pick items that won't rust, rot or be damaged in the elements.

There are many affordable sets out there. You don't want to spend a fortune, but you do want items that will last. Personally, I like metal and plastic furniture. Wood items tend to fade and get moldy with time. They are also way over priced. Look for Sets that offer weather resistant cushions and pillows. Make sure that they are attached, so that you can change them out when you get bored of the pattern. You may have furniture to work with already, but it's the way that you set up your area that will make it a retreat and a Summer Room. Here are some idea's on what to look for and how it will be set it up.

Bistro Sets - Two Chairs and a Table

Dining Sets - Table with 4 - 6 seats, Umbrella's are sometimes optional but always a must.

Casual Seating - Two Chairs, Love Seat, End Tables and Low Table (Like a coffee table)

Ottomans are great to have with any of the sets. They offer a place to rest your legs and they can also function as a small table when you add a tray to the top.

Inexpensive Sets can be found at Large Retail Chains like Walmart, Christmas Tree Shops, Target. I Found my dining set for less than $200.00 at Walmart. It's Metal with Mesh Seating. My last set lasted me 8 years, so I know that it will last. Lowes has great umbrellas for $50.00. Never pay more than $50 for an umbrella. They fade too quickly to pay a fortune. Pillows and Cushions can be pricey. So shop around. Online deals are the way to go for chair cushions and you get more options. My Bistro Set was $150 at Kmart 8 years ago, this year was the first time I had to replace my cushions. It was a great deal. Ottomans can also be pricey, if you can find them included in a set, Great, if not shop online for the best deals.


Pick a color theme and cozy up your furniture with cushions, throw pillows and an umbrella. Even if you don't have a dining set. An umbrella can center your space and offer some shade.

Throw Pillows can dress up any out door furniture, no matter how old. Pick Vibrant Colors and stick with a color theme.


A string of lights (Even white Christmas Lights will do the trick), Some flickering candles (Battery Operated Candles can be found at party stores and retail chains) Hurricane Lamps (Pier One, Christmas Tree Shops), Tiki Torches, A Fire Pit (a must have)

Tidbit - Look for natures sparkle, Fire flies, at the end of June through July. But make sure not to miss them, because they are gone in August.


Make your space feel like an oasis by adding some flowing plants and flower pots. Tropical plants are inexpensive and can be used to corner off your outdoor space, which makes it feel more like a cozy room. When choosing flowers, stick with your color pattern and use colors that compliment the color scheme you have chosen.

All you really need are two comfy chairs, a table, and somewhere to rest your feet. Add a little candle light or some string lights for ambiance. A few flowing flower pots and a fire pit for your entertainment. The sound of your favorite music in the background or some crickets singing will finish off the retreat. Keep it simple or make it big, either way stretch out your legs and enjoy your summer days and nights in your Summer Room!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Summer Safety by Numbers

As the summer wind comes upon us we start to plan our vacations and fill up our weekends with all kinds of activities. But, along with these activities comes stress. The stress to be prepared, organized and the stress of keeping our family safe. I have come up with a way to ease some of the stress and I call it Summer Safety by Numbers.

Going to carnivals, amusement parks, museums and zoos can be fun but it can also be stressful. In one second your little one can be off and blended into the crowd and your in panic mode. Or you can turn around and your husband is no where to be found. An easy way to avoid this stressful time is to be able to spot your loved one more easily in these situations by making them stand out.

Family Tidbit - Make your family stand out by dressing them all up in the same color t-shirt and numbering each one.

What you will Need

Bright Colored T-Shirts for each member of your family found at any craft store
Iron On Numbers found at any craft store
Fabric Paint or Iron On Letters found at any craft store
Pencil or Fabric Pencil

Choose a Bright Colored T-shirt like Yellow, Orange, or any Neon Color so that your families shirt will stand out in the crowd. Bye one for each member of your family, including any other members who frequently join your group, such as grandparents. Find Large Iron On Numbers and Number each member by ironing on their number on the back of the t-shirt. You can also put your families last name above the number like seen on sport jerseys. You can do this with either Fabric Paint or Iron On Letters. If you choose to use fabric paint, make sure to pencil your letters first so that you can trace them with the paint, to avoid any mistakes.

Extra Tidbit - Personalize each shirt with Iron On Patches. I did this by ironing on the first letter of each members name on their sleeve. The kids loved picking out their letter and color. They have all kinds of patches to choose from. You can also look for patches at gift shops from the places you visit and add them to your shirts. This would make each trip more memorable for your child. They will love to show off their memory shirt.

This works especially well for large families. You can easily spot your child and they can easily spot you. I found that this worked very well with my family and it did ease some of the stress that comes along with large crowds. I hope that you try out this method and enjoy a Summer Safety by Numbers!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bed and Bath

I have to admit, I have been outside working in the yard and I have left you all hanging in my Spring Cleaning Series. I haven't been Tidbiting at all. I am just loving this early spring that we are having. I hope that you are all enjoying it too. Well since it is going to be a rainy weekend, I figured that I would wrap the series up with the Bed and Bath areas.

Tidbit - Think Beyond your normal cleaning routine and get ready to freshen things up with a little organization.


The bedroom is the first thing you see to start off your day and the last thing you see before you go to lala land. So keeping this in mind you should understand why it is important to keep it neat, cozy and romantic. Look around at your room and see how it functions. Is it a catch all? Are there clothes and shoes everywhere? Is it cozy? Does it say romance?


Open those closets and open the drawers. It's time to put the winter things away and pull out all of your spring and summer items. Label some plastic bins, put a few fabric softeners in the bins and store them away.

- Now is a good time to throw away any stained, riped or holey items. It is also time to get a collection together for the Good Will bins (Found in most Church lots).


Your closets and drawers can always use a little TLC. So while you are resorting your things, reorganize the spaces for them. You can find inexpensive drawer dividers and closet organizers at any large retail chain. They can also be found at Christmas Tree Shops for dirt cheap.

Organizing Tidbit - To keep yourself sane and prepared during the week, find a hanging cubby for your closet. They hang in your closet and can have four or five cubbies. You can pick outfits for the week and sort them in each cubby. They can include folded pants, shirts, shoes and accessories. That way you can just get up and go.


Vacuum under your bed. Move out any end tables and vacuum under and behind them. Dust loves to live behind things. So get it all out. Wash windows and curtains that can be put in your washer. If they are fancy then mist them with warm water and vacuum them. Clear off tables and dressers and clean and polish where needed. Now is a good time to change out any old picture frames.

Decorating Tidbit - Spice things up in the bedroom by adding some candlelight. Inexpensive wall sconces can be found in any stores decorating section. Also, change up your comforter set for a quick cozy change. It is crazy to spend a ton of money in this area, because it is an item that can transform your room in minutes when you need a little change.

Kids Room

Lets take a look at the kids room. Aside from the cleaning previously mentioned. Get rid of the space fillers. Such as the stuffed things and any mismatched random pieces. Use space under the beds for books, toys, clothes and shoes. Roll out bins, baskets, even laundry baskets are a good way to utilize this space and keep it tidy.

Tidbit - Give each child their own cork or magnet board in their room. They can use it to hang up school work and artwork. They love having a creative space to call their own. Make sure that it can be moved easily, so they can work on it freely.


Well the only thing that comes to mind is put on some rubber gloves and Scrub a Dub, Dub.

Scrub the bath tub, the tiles, the sink, the toilet, behind the toilet, the floor.

Clean out and reorganize your cabinets and drawers. It is always nice to keep these secret spaces neat, because you never know what visitors will check them out, for no apparent reason. Throw out any out dated medicine or products and replenish them. Clean your brushes and combs or just get some new ones. Go through your make-up and throw out any old germy stuff and treat yourself to some new spring colors. Make sure that the company bathroom always has extra toilet paper that can be found easily and some refreshing spray for those embarrassing moments. Keep your bathroom clean and simple.

Well that concludes the Spring Cleaning Series. I know that I have gone a little Martha Stewart on you, but like I have said before, it's spring cleaning not everyday cleaning. Overall, I hope at least one Tidbit motivates you. Happy Spring Cleaning!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Living and Dining

Well now that your Kitchen is Sparkling Clean, I am going to continue on with my Spring Cleaning Series. The next areas of your home that we are going to tackle are the Living Room and Dining Room. If you don't have a dining room, then you are in luck with one less room to clean. But I am sure that everyone has a living space where a lot of living occurs. So let's move on to some Tidbits on how to get these rooms in Tip-Top shape.

- Think High and Think Low because that's where all the Dust will go!

Living Room and Dining Room

Shiny Windows

Remove all curtains and wash them. Make sure to read any labels before putting them in your washing machine. Some may require hand washing. The gentle cycle with cold water is usually the safest bet for most fabrics. Some fabrics you can just shake out in your yard and they will be fine. If you have a tailored solid treatment above your window, then just dust it with a duster through out the year to control any dust build-up from forming.

Dust any plastic or wooden window shades with a damp cloth. Some shades may require a quick tub washing if too much dust has been collected. Any other materials may just need a dusting with a duster.

Wash your windows inside and out. If you don't have the fold out windows that can easily be washed, then send hubby outside with his ladder that he never gets to use, to clean them. If you live in an apartment or you don't have the means to wash them, then don't sweat it and forget it. The inside will do just fine. Make sure to look for any dirt that may have collected at the bottom of your windows when you open them. Vacuum the area and then clean it with a damp cloth.

Dusting away the Bunny's

The easiest way to dust in high places is to use your broom and sweep along the top edges of your walls. This will remove any dust webs that have collected. You can also sweep along the top of door and window moldings while your at it. Another technique to do this is to attach a damp cloth to the end of your broom stick and go over the same areas. Look at your walls and look for any dust, especially above any forced hot air units.

Wall Hangings,take them down off the wall and dust them with a damp cloth. Wash any glass with a glass cleaner.

Light Fixtures, dust and clean them. The ceiling fixtures should be wiped down. Any lamp shades can be vacuumed and the bases wiped.

Decorating Tidbit - Lamp Shades are an inexpensive way to freshen up the mood of a room. Look around and see if there are any that you would like to change.

Furniture should be pulled out and dusted/swept/vacuumed under. While the furniture is moved out, the floor moldings can be wiped down. If you have hard wood floors, they should be washed also.

Decorating Tidbit - While your furniture is all moved out, try that new furniture arrangement that you have been meaning to try. Change it up for Spring

Decorative Floor Rugs should be rolled up and swept/washed under.

Living Room


Vacuum under all couch and chair cushions. Keep a Fabric Softener Sheet under the cushions for a continuous fresh scent. Change the sheets each time you remember to vacuum the cushions.

Wood furniture should be dusted and polished to keep it long lasting.

Remove all pictures and decorative pieces from your furniture tops and dust them. Wipe down your furniture with a soft cloth. Don't forget to dust any shelves and books.

Decorating Tidbit - When your cleaning your decorative pieces and wall hangings, put them all together on a table and look at them. See if you can move them around to different places or even different rooms. This is a smart way to redecorate without spending a cent.

Dining Room

Dining Table and Chairs should be wiped down with a damp cloth. Look for any dust or food build-up along the tables edge and on chair arm and legs. If your set is good wood quality, it should be polished.

Hutch should be emptied and cleaned. Dust any shelves and polish. Clean any glass.

Pull out any drawers and run a bar of soap along the drawer runner. This will keep the drawer running smoothly in and out.

Any other furniture in your rooms not mentioned will obviously have to be cleaned also :)

All homes are different. Some of you may do some of these things more often while others may have never done some of these things. They are only some Tidbit's on where to start if you are planning to Spring Clean. Our homes are the cornerstone to our lives, it will do you well to Freshen It up every once and a while. Happy Spring Cleaning!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Kitchen Ready

It is that time of year when you here the term "Spring Cleaning" being tossed around. I am not sure how many people actually follow this seasonal tradition, but I think that it is a wise thing to do. It goes along great with the Renewed Feeling that comes along with spring and gets you off to a Fresh Start. So I have decided to do a Spring Cleaning Tidbit Series. I am going to go through all of the typical rooms in your home and give you some Tidbits on where to begin your cleaning quest. I am going to start with the Heart of the Home, the Kitchen.

Everyone seems to gather in the kitchen, and because of this, it is one of the rooms that we should pay close attention to when Spring Cleaning. It has so many components to it and has become such a multi-functional room in every ones home. So here are some Tidbits on how to begin this seasonal tradition and get your Kitchen Ready!

Cleaning Tidbit - Be Wise, Organize and Sanitize.

Counter top
- Clear all of your counters of appliances and such, and clean them using a sanitizing solution of 1 cup white vinegar and 1 cup water. Put the non hazardous solution in an clear spray bottle (found at any hardware or dollar store) label and keep on hand for cleaning sinks, tiles and soap scum.

- Clean cabinets with a cleaning solution of 1 tsp of a mild dish soap combined with 1 quart of water. If you have wood cabinets, finish off with rubbing some olive oil on the wood to bring back the luster.

Cabinet Tops - Cabinet tops get very dusty. Be careful, get up on a chair and check out the dust factor on top of the cabinets. The best way to clean this area is with a hand held vacuum. If you don't have one, then just dust it the old fashioned way with a damp cloth.

Inside the Cabinets - Replenish your Spice Cabinet (Buy and Save at Christmas Tree Shop, CVS, Walmart Super Store or The Dollar Store) Take out your goods, wipe down the shelves, toss old stuff and reorganize when you are placing them back.

Drawers - Clean and Organize your Utensil drawers, Bread Drawer and Junk Drawer.

Use a Utensil Divider in your Junk Drawer to keep things organized.

If you have a large drawer in your kitchen, near your stove, use it for your cooking utensils. Place a small piece of rug pad (found at any Large Chain Store) in the drawer and line up your cooking tools. The rug pad will hold them in place and keep them organized so you don't have to go fishing for them every time you need them.

Floor - If you have Ceramic Tile, Clean your Grout!

Table and Chairs
- Wipe down chair legs and arms with a warm damp cloth. Look under the rim of your table for any food scum and clean it. If you have a wooden set, then replenish your set with some Wood Cream or Oil.

Clean Your Appliances

Refrigerator - While you have your chair out, check out the top of your fridge. If your fridge is not under a cabinet, then chances are it needs to be dusted. Clear off the stuff and clean it with a damp cloth.

Also, the inside of fridge should be cleared and cleaned. Remove all items and check the expiration on your dressings and condiments. Toss any that are out dated. Clean using the White Vinegar Spray. Take out any drawers and wash with warm water and soap.

Take a look at your Freezer Items also and toss any freezer burned items. Clean with a Hot damp cloth.

If you can move your fridge, clean under it and vacuum the coils behind it.

Be sure to add your dated Baking Soda to keep your fridge smelling Fresh and Clean.

Toaster - Open the bottom latch and empty out any crumbs over the sink. Take a small paint brush and brush of any crumbs from the inside. Take a damp cloth and clean the outside of the toaster.

Coffee Maker - Add 1 Cup White Vinegar to the water reservoir and then fill with water. Run your coffee maker, shut it off and let it cool, then Repeat. Finish off the process by running a carafe of clean water through.

Microwave - Clean the inside with Warm Lemon Water. Just squeeze some lemon juice into a cup of warm water and damp a cloth with it. Vacuum the back of the microwave and any vented areas. Unplug and wipe sides with a damp cloth.

Food Disposal - Throw that Lemon into the disposal to clean and sharpen blades.

Oven - Clean your oven, using the automatic cleaner, before it gets too Hot! Use Baking Soda paste (1 Tbsp Baking Soda and 2 Tbsp Water) to clean the oven's inside window, then wipe clean with a damp cloth. Take a slim duster and clean under the oven. (When it's off of course)

Creative Tidbit - Turn the inside of your cabinets into Note Stations. Paint the inside of selected cabinets with two coats of Magnetic Paint and then paint one coat of Chalk Board Paint. Use this new secret station to hang and jot down notes to self.

I know it sounds like a lot, but it's only once a year, Right? Take a week and do it in stages. It will make you feel good, I Promise :) Let's Go Ladies (and Gents) get those Rubber Gloves on, Be Wise, Organize, Sanitize and get your Kitchen Ready!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Erin Go Braugh Party

Whether you are Irish or not, you can appreciate the Irish Pride that illuminates at this time of year. As we wait for spring to finally arrive, why not join into the festivities that surround Saint Patrick's Day and plan your very own Erin Go Braugh Party!

Party Tidbit - Invite some of your friends and their kids over to Kiss the Blarney Stone, Enjoy a Pot of Gold, Follow a Rainbow, Dance an Irish Jig and enjoy a taste of Ireland.

Kiss the Blarney Stone - Create your very own Blarney Stone out of a Large Dark Postar board with a Kiss Bulls Eye in the Middle and hang it up in an open area. Create Kiss Cut Outs from Red Construction Paper and add your party guests name to each one. To play the game blind fold your participator with a long scarf, place some tape on the back of their Kiss Cut Out, spin them and then off they go. Sound Familiar? You get the idea!
Materials - One Large Dark Poster Board, Red Construction Paper, Scissors, Blind Fold, Marker, Tape, Small Prizes

Follow the Rainbow Scavenger Hunt - For this game you want a package of colored construction paper or card stock. For each color of the rainbow (Red, Orange, Green, Blue, Yellow, Purple), you will want to cut out a shape (Square, Triangle etc.)of each color for each participant. This is done so that you can assign each guest a shape to find, of each color during the hunt. If you want to be creative, you can add clues where the next clue is for the participants that can read or you can just hide them around your home randomly. Make some doubles of some of the color shapes and put some Leprechaun Stickers on it as a road block. If your guest finds one then they have to give back the shapes they have found and start all over. The object is to follow the rainbow and collect all the colors of your assigned shape, to get your Pot of Gold. The pot of gold is a bag of Gold Coins in a Small Pot, found at any party store.
Materials - Colored Paper, Scissors, Leprechaun Stickers, Small Favor Pots, Bags of Gold Coins

Irish Musical Chairs - Pretty much the same game as the original, just done with some Irish Dance Music, found at your local library. The object of the game is to get into a chair when the music ends. Always have one chair less then the number of participants. Play until there is only one chair left. Surprise the winner with a small prize.

Shamrock your Beverage - Serve your guests Green Beverages by adding a small drop of Green Food Coloring to any Clear Beverage. Serve in Clear Cups.

Irish Dinner Ideas - Irish Stew, Soda Bread, Corn Beef and Cabbage Dinner, Corn Beef Sandwiches served with Creamy Potato Soup. Look up some easy Irish recipes online.

Pot of Gold - This is a tasty treat to serve your guests. Find a plastic pot at a party store to use as the container for this dessert. Now we are going to make a Golden Trifle. Buy two boxes of Golden Cake Mix and two boxes of Vanilla Pudding and prepare them according to the box instructions. You will also need a two large containers of Cool Whip, a package of Heath Toffee Bites and a box of Nilla Wafers.

When the cake is cooled, cut it into large sections to be used to layer your trifle in the pot. Start with a layer of cake, spoon some pudding for the next layer, then a thin layer of cool whip and then top the whip with a sprinkle of Heath Toffee Bites. Repeat until you run out of your ingredients! When you reach the top, finish off with a layer of whip and then pour out the box of Nilla Wafers for the Gold Coin look!

Remember to decorate with some Shamrock cut outs. Hang them from the ceiling with some fishing wire or just tape them all around. Pick up some inexpensive Green Leprechaun Hats. Get your grown up guests to have some fun with the kids by buying some Saint Patrick's Day scratch tickets to hand out for their prize. Get Creative and party like the Irish! I hope that my Tidbits inspired you to throw your very own Erin Go Braugh Party! Ireland Forever!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Freshen Up For Spring

Spring is right around the corner and we are all coming down with a little Spring Fever. Spring is all about lightening things up, letting in the fresh air and coming out of hibernation. With one month still officially left of winter, I have some Tidbits to help you Freshen Up For Spring!

Tidbit - Freshen up your home by adding some splashes of spring color and elements through out your home. Think Pale Yellow, Earthy Green, Lavender, Creamy Orange, Sky Blue and Soft Pink.

Treat yourself to some pretty inexpensive Throw Pillows and lighten up those cozy couches and chairs. While your at it, get some to brighten up your bedroom as well.

Change up your window treatments with some airy Bamboo Shades. They add a little Tropical Feel to any room for an affordable price.

Bring in some freshness with a new Tropical Plant or two. They will add that outdoor feeling to your living space and when the warm weather arrives you can use them to decorate your outdoor patio or deck. Your kid's will also enjoy helping you water the plant.

Look for some Potted Pansies at your local Loews or Home Depot. They come in a variety of spring colors and are extremely hardy. Put them in some decorative planters and add them through out your home for an early homemade Spring . Then you can plant them outdoors when the warm weather arrives. They will continue to bloom throughout the Spring and Summer.

Grow your own Wheat Grass in a pretty outdoor planter. Wheat Grass seed is available at any health food store and is very easy to grow. The grass will grow in about 6-10 days. If you plan it correctly, you can create a nice base for a Beautiful Easter Centerpiece to show off at your Sunday dinner. You can add decorated eggs, artificial chicks and butterflies(found at any craft store). It's a great project to do with the Kids. They will really enjoy helping and they will be able to feel a sense of gratification by watching how quickly it grows.

Spring is almost here, I hope that these Tidbit's help you to hang in there and Freshen Up For Spring!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Winter Fun Before It's All Done

Well here we are approaching the end of the Winter Season, which gives me a reason to give you some Tidbits on how to have some Winter Fun Before It's All Done!

Kid's Craft Tidbit - Ice Sculptures are so beautiful to look at and very difficult to make, but with a little creativity, you can make some of this whimsical beauty for yourself, before it melts into your spring flowers.

Step One - Look through your home and find some rectangular shaped pots and pans, then look through your children's sand castle makers from the summer and you will have the basic items needed for creating your Ice Sculpture.

Step Two - Fill your containers with cold water and Get Creative! Add some Food Coloring to add that Wow! factor to your ice blocks. You can make colored ice cubes in your freezer and then add them to your containers for an ice confetti look. Also, look around your home for other items that can be trapped in the ice, such as plastic toys and figurines. Make sure that the items are not your child's favorite and that they are made from a material that won't damage in the ice and water. When you are done being creative, place the containers outside and let them freeze. The temperature must be below 32 degrees.

Step Three - After the containers have frozen you are ready to make your sculpture. Grab a laundry basket and line it with a large plastic bag. Fill your sink or tub with hot water (Remember to keep the kids away from the Hot Water of course) and submerge your containers until they loosen from their mold. Place the ice blocks into the laundry basket and bring them outside. Now you can use them to create your very own Whimsical Ice Sculpture. You can stack them or arrange them in any way you can imagine. Have Fun!

Extra Tidbit - Use this same idea to make a Sun Ice Catcher. Fill a shallow container such as a pie pan with cold water and add some colorful items. I think that natural items work best like some citrus slices, berries, small branches or you can go with the confetti idea. Add a loop of a durable rope and submerge a portion of it in the water while it freezes. Later, when frozen you can hang your Ice Catchers in your yard on a plant hook.

Go and make the best of these last weeks of cold and have some Winter Fun Before It's All Done!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Morning

When your a child, your birthday is one of the most anticipated days. My children start counting down the days to their next birthday almost immediately after their special day ends. Because the day is held in such a high regard to my precious little one's, I do my best to make it a wonderful, fun filled day and I start with the Happy Birthday Morning!

Tidbit - Make the first moments of your child's birthday, moments that will never be forgotten.

Months before my children's birthday we start talking about what kind of theme they would like for their big day, and they love to pick it out. Have your child pick out what theme they would like for their next birthday.

The night before your child's birthday decorate an area in your home that your child will see first thing. For me it's the dining room. I start with hanging streamers from the ceiling. There is something about streamers to a child, when they see them they just know that good things will follow.

Next, put out Mylar balloons of the theme they have chosen. (Note: Regular helium balloon's only last a short time, so go with Mylar which seem to have a never ending life span)

Have a table cloth on the table and birthday decorations all around and have waiting for them on the table, one of their birthday presents.

Serve a special breakfast such as pancakes with whipped cream and sprinkles. It starts their day out in a special memorable way and they will always look forward to their Happy Birthday Morning!

Extra Tidbit
- We use every birthday as an opportunity to look back at the years that have passed. We do this by looking at the video's and pictures of their birth and the past birthdays. They enjoy looking at how they have grown and we enjoy slowing down time and remembering to appreciate them before they are all grown up.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Home Made Date Night

When you have children, it is hard to make time to be a couple. Whether it's finding the right baby sitter or just finding the time, energy and motivation, it becomes a challenge to have a little romance in your life. When my husband and I find that we are having a lull in our alone time, I create for us a Home Made Date Night!

Love and Marriage Tidbit - You don't have to leave your house to have a relaxing and romantic date night. It just takes a little time, thought and effort. For starters, your date night needs to include things that you both enjoy and that you don't get to have all the time. Things that will get you excited.

First, Plan the kind of setting that you will both like and time it for when the children are snug asleep. Set up a close seating arrangement in a room that you don't normally eat in. This could be the formal dining room or even setting up a small table in the living room. Be Creative! Make sure you add table linens, candle light, fresh flowers and music. Keep the lights dim and make sure that you are dressed for the occasion. I know this may seem difficult with kids but you can do it on a night that your honey gets in late or have him do the night routine with your child and surprise him.

Second, create a menu that includes some of your favorite dishes. Start with an appetizer and a cocktail and relax on the couch (make sure if the couch is in a different room then you create the same mood with candles, flowers and music)

Next, move into the eating area and serve yourselves like you are at a restaurant with soup, salad, main course and dessert. To make it easy, splurge on some fancy plastic platinum trimmed dinner ware found at any wholesale or party store. This way you can just toss it after. Create a meal around some take out options or prepare the dinner ahead, so all you have to do is reheat it and there is little to clean up. Make the salads ahead and keep them covered in the fridge. Have all the items to make your dessert ready on the counter.

Remember that the main objective of any romantic restaurant is to give you the ambiance that creates a feeling of comfort and relaxation with your loved one. With a little thought and effort, this same atmosphere can be easily created in the comfort of your own Home Made Date Night!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Be Better On the Go

Mothers spend a good amount of the day in their cars. We are dropping, shopping, and always stopping to do something. Our cars become our home away from home, so I feel like it should have a system like our home. So here are some tips that I use to Be Better on the Go!

Tidbit - Keep you car stocked for the unexpected. What does this mean? It means be prepared for the hungry mom and child, be prepared for the boo boo at the playground, be prepared for the unexpected thunder shower and the whining child.

Always keep some nonperishable snacks in your car. Like a bag of goldfish, some granola or cereal bars. Store them in the glove box or in one of your storage areas in the front of your car. Also keep a box of juice boxes or water under the seats. It is also smart to have some stop whining snacks on hand, like a lollipop, for those breakdown moments.

Make a Kid Traveling Survival Kit - It is always good to keep some stuff in the car that is only for the car. This way your child will get excited for it when needed. When creating it keep in mind occupying your child's senses, such as sight, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling. My suggestions are some picture or reading books also look for some scratch and sniff books, children Cd's, a doddle pad or etch-a-sketch, a small map and some goggles, a kaleidoscope, a magnifying glass, a small flashlight, a Rubik's cube (for older kids) or some other mind and hand toy and of course some snacks. Keep it all in a tote in your car and bring it out when needed. I know that kids today have DVD players and hand video games, but those should only be allowed during very long trips. Kid's today are already stimulated enough.

Car Staples - A box of tissues, a package of wipes for spills and kid cleanup, anti bacterial gel for after every shopping trip, a loaded first aid kit, an emergency kit, a blanket for an unexpected picnic, a ball, a kite, a few diapers, some plastic bags for trash, and a couple of umbrellas. Keep stuff organized in a basket or tote bags, and keep the bigger stuff in the trunk.

If your a coupon mom, keep any fast food coupons, restaurant coupons, oil change coupons and car wash coupons in the car.

Keep your car clean by picking up trash and toys after each trip. Keep a few small plastic bags in your glove box for easy cleaning. Have on hand some empty tote bags just for the car. Tuck them away under your seat for easy access. Restock your car every couple of weeks. Make sure that you hang a great smelling air freshener in your car to keep you energized and Be Better on the Go!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Focus on the Inside

We are all day dreaming of warmer days and of blooming flowers. Many of us may be starting to think of our back yards and summer nights on the patio. I have already started planning my gardens and flower pots in my head. Although the Spring will be here soon, I don't want to get too far ahead of myself. In my home I like to take advantage of these upcoming months, it is a good time to Focus on the Inside.

Organizing/Decorating Tidbit - Take care of things on the inside before the time comes to focus on the outside.

You can begin this process with going from room to room with a small notebook and writing down what can be Fixed, Improved or Changed in each room. As you walk from room to room, think about whether it is serving it's purpose for you and your family and it is functioning the way that you intended. If you are not completely satisfied with the room then begin to think about what area you want to focus on the most. Such as making it more Organized, De-cluttering, and Cleaning or Painting, Rearranging or Re-Purposing the room.

After deciding what can be done to the room, make a list of supplies that you will need to get the job done. See if you have any of the supplies on hand and then estimate the Time, Labor and Cost of each rooms projects. If you can only do some of the things that you have listed, then start there and keep the list so that you can refer to it later. If you can manage more change and improvement in your home, then set some dates with yourself and plan the budget to get them done.

Extra Tidbit - When looking at each room, don't forget about the Closets, Cabinets, and Drawers. Sometimes getting those organized first can help you focus on what you really want from each room and how you want it to function.

Extra Extra Tidbit - Remember to be realistic about your goals and start with the small things that can be done in each room. Also think of Paint as a great changing tool, it can be used to give any room a Decorative Lift by the use of color on any paintable object, like the wall, Trim, Ceiling, Tables etc. And if your brave enough, be a do-it-yourselfer. It will be gratifying in the end and save you some hard earned cash.

So Get Moving and Focus on your Inside!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ready, Set, Grocery Shop

Going food shopping is quite a task. There is nothing worse than getting home and realizing that you have forgotten something that you really needed. And then there is the crowds of people, the long lines, and the whining children. Well I have some idea's that will hopefully help you out.
Ready, Set, Grocery Shop!

Organizing Tidbit

In my house we have a magnetic shopping list on the side of the refrigerator. I use it to jot down items when I notice that we are out of it or when it's running out. I also categorize it by the stores I use most often. This is one of my write it and forget it techniques. When it's time to make my shopping list, its the place I start. You can find them in the Stationary Aisle in any store. That takes me to my next tip, write a shopping list.

Look through your cabinets and fridge and clean out whats running out and put it in smaller bags or containers and throw out any out dated food. This is a good time to make the Mix (like the one I had mentioned in a previous blog) of all those goldfish, animal crackers and any other little snacks. My kids also like it when I mix all the remaining cereals into one. This helps make room and keep cabinets organized.

Now if your a coupon mom, you can check the flyer's and plan your meals around whats on sale or by your coupons.
Now your ready to make your list.

I make my list according to the Supermarkets layout. You know Dairy, Deli, Dry Foods, Produce, Breads and Freezer. This helps me get in and out. Also I try to shop on off peak days and hours. Like a Monday night or early in the morning. It's a ghost town and kind of relaxing, but beware of when your stores sales start. Because they run out of those items first, so make sure if you want something that you plan around it.

Now you're Ready, Set, Grocery Shop

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Seasons Ahead

Today it has been exactly one month since the winter season began. With two months still left of freezing cold weather, it is hard to believe that the stores are already starting to stock the aisles with their spring collection. So what does this mean for us, their valued customer? Clearance! Clearance! Clearance! It is a great time to stock up for sizes and Seasons Ahead!

Family Value Tidbit - Whether you are a brand name shopper or a large retailer customer, it is time to shop clearance. With item's 50% to 75% off, it is a great time to stock up on your children's sizes for next year. Think back to the beginning of this season and all the items that you had to purchase to keep your child warm this winter. It's all on Clearance right now! Jacket's, Hat's, Glove's, Sweater's, slippers, boots, snow suits, winter PJ's, sneakers and the list goes on and on.
(I bought two pair of leather sneakers for $9.00 today at Target)
With a little time and effort you can really get a bargain and stock up for the Seasons Ahead!

Extra Tidbit
- Some of the Best Stores to find clothes deals right now are Target, Toys-R-Us, Babies-R-Us, Disney Store, Children's Place and large department stores. Go directly to the clearance section and have in mind what it is your looking for. Make a list so that you don't splurge too much on all the really unnecessary cute stuff.

Extra Extra Tidbit - I know that most of us are sick of shopping and are up to our eyes with bills, but it is a good time to think about next Christmas. If you buy for a lot of people during the season, you should think about buying them clothes and winter accessories for next Christmas. Get them now for a steal and store them away. It is also a great time to buy toys. If you know what you might like, see if it's on sale. It may be a pain now, but you will be grateful next year when your work is much less and there is more money in your pocket.

Great Christmas Stock is still on sale on the Stores Websites. Some good ones to check out are Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, Williams and Sonoma, Pier One, Disney Store.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Defeating Your Laundry

In my house, laundry is continuous battle. Just when I think that I am all caught up, another Battle Pile appears needing immediate attention or else there will be a War Pile that never ends. As a result I have come up with some strategies for easing the pain. Here are some tips for Defeating Your Laundry.

Organizing Tidbit - Defeating your laundry takes a plan of action.

Step One - If It's Not Dirty Then Don't Wash It

*Like Towels for instance. You wipe your clean body with it, so it's still clean. Assign each person a towel and keep it for the week.
*Pajamas also fall into this category. They are worn to bed and then removed in the morning. It is unlikely that they got spoiled in that time frame, so wear them two to three times.
*Jeans and Dress Pants are also an item that can be worn more than once before cleaning. Of course at your own discretion.

Using these strategies should help with the Battle Pile.

Step Two - Create A Dirty Clothes Station

In my home we don't have any hampers, instead I use a tall laundry basket. The tall basket is for collecting the dirty clothes. I have it hidden behind my bedroom door and everyone in the house knows that that's where their dirty clothes belong. When it fills up, I do a load of laundry. Having it already in the tall basket, makes it easy for transport. Makes sense right? But I do a Full Load Cycle. Which means I Wash, Dry, Fold and Put It Away.

Make Dirty Clothes Stations in closets or behind Doors and make sure that everyone in the house knows that the floor is not an option.

Step Three - Organize Your Washes

If you read my blog, you should know by now that I am a fan of baskets. Well the same applies here. Get colored baskets for each kind of load and use them to separate the clothes by color. Think Red, White and Blue. Red for Colors, Blue for Darks and White for... Well I think you got that one.

Organize washes using the baskets when you bring your full tall basket down instead of the floor.

Step Four - Create A Folding Station

I know! I know! What is with me and these stations? But it does help. I think that the easiest place to fold clothes is in a bedroom on a made bed. To make it easy, categorize as you fold. For instance, each person should have a section of the bed and as you fold put the clothes into categories also. Like a shirt pile, jeans pile, t-shirts pile, sweat shirts etc. When it's time to put the folded clothes away, insert them by their categories into regular laundry baskets and then they will be ready to be put away neatly for each person.

Make Sure to do a Full Load Cycle Daily to minimize the Battle. I hope that these strategies help you with Defeating Your Laundry.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lifting Your Senses

Now that the Most Wonderful Time of the Year has come to an end, I don't think that we should have to say goodbye to all the Comfort and Joy. Lets face it, unless you are enjoying the snow with your children or a winter sports fanatic, the winter can seem too long and kind of dreadful. We spend most of our time indoors, hibernating. I have some suggestions on how to make the best of your indoor surroundings and they all focus on Lifting Your Senses.

Body, Mind, Spirit Tidbit - In the winter is easy to lose the satisfaction we receive when we use our Five Senses. Especially after they have been so heightened during the holidays. So if you are feeling the void try some of these suggestions to Lift them back up.

Sense of Smell - We all know what smells can do for our mood. Whether it's the scent of a Loved One's Cologne, the smell of Fresh Grass when it's cut, the Ocean Breeze on a warm summers day, or the fresh scent after a Spring Rain. All of these scents can trigger a lift in our mood. Now think of what scents make you feel good and recapture them in your home. Take a trip to a local Candle Store and Treat Yourself to a Familiar, Feel-Good Scent.

Sense of Taste - Another thing that also smells terrific, but most of all tastes terrific, is Food. The next shopping trip that you take I would like you to think about Lifting Your Senses. Some of my favorites are Fresh Herbs. The smell of Basil when you first cut into it is a lift in itself, then add some Fresh Tomatoes, Creamy Mozzarella, topped with Spices and a Sweet Olive Oil. It's a Feast for your senses. Or what about Fruit, a Delicious Bright Orange, can you say Juicy and Refreshing? One of my favorites is cooking in my kitchen right now, Beef Stew. The Woodsy Aroma of the array of Fresh Vegetables and Spices stewing comforts me on a cold winters day. Served in a over sized mug with some Fresh Warm Bread and Butter. Is your mouth watering yet? One More! Warm Chocolate Chip Cookies with some Ice Cold Milk. Go Shop for your senses.

Sense of Sight - Now that we are intoxicated with aromas and salivating lets move on to some Eye Candy. Take a trip to your local Florist or Super Market and get your self some Fresh Flowers! I like to buy a big Bouquet and separate it for different rooms.
*Use small jars or tea cups and fill three on a windowsill in your kitchen.
*Make a little bouquet in a decorative glass for your bathroom sink.
*Put a full arrangement on your table in a glass water pitcher filled with lemons or limes. It's a refreshing reminder that Spring is right around the corner.

To keep the flowers fresh change the water and add a pinch of baking soda every couple of days and trim the stems.

Sense of Touch - For me it's as simple as a Warm and Cozy Throw, some Warm and Fuzzy Slippers, a Heating Pad on my lap or shoulders, a Hot Bath or Steamy Shower, Cuddling, A Warm cup of Hot Chocolate in my hands with the Hot Steam hitting my face as I lift it up to take a sip.

Sense of Hearing - Take time to listen to your little ones as they talk. Hear the sound of their voice, the squeaky adorable little voice that won't last forever. Take time for silence, it helps you to hear what you are saying on the inside. Play some classical music and listen to the story being told. Listen to the wind on a stormy day or the rain drizzling on your window.

Do some of these suggestions and I know that you will have Fun Lifting Your Senses.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Summer Slumber Party

Well it is right about now that we all get spring fever including the kids. Mine start to bounce off the walls and they are beginning to ask "When is it going to be summer?" So to ease the Winter Blues I have come up with a Fun idea, A Summer Slumber Party!

Party Tidbit -

The Setting -
*Grab some Outdoor Party Lights or some White Christmas lights and hang them.
*Dress the kids up in some Summer Attire and pull out their Bathing Suits and Beach Towels too.
*If you wanted, buy some Hawaiian Lai's and other Hawaiian Decor at Target or a Party Store
* You can also get some Summer Music from the library or check your digital stations for some reggae.

*Let them take a Beach Bath in their suits and play with some beach toys.
*Lay out some Beach Towels and put on a Beach Theme Movie like Finding Nemo, Little Mermaid or Surf's Up.
*Purchase some Moonsand and let them play with it. I just might pull in the small pool I have in the garage for this one.
*Crank up some music and have a Summer Dance Party.

Food an Drinks
*Serve Hot Dogs or Hamburger's with some Pasta or Potato Salad.
*Cut up some melon, cantaloupe, watermelon, get some grapes and a can of pineapple and some skewers then let them make some Fruit Skewers.
Serve it with some Fruit Dip made from equal parts Fluff and Softened Cream Cheese
*Make Smores in the Microwave or Stove Top.
*Make some Yogurt Fruit Smoothies.
Mix 1 cup yogurt, with fruit and Ice and Blend. You can add some honey for sweetness and some citrus juice to thin it out.

But Most of All Let Loose, Use your Imagination, Make some Memories and have some Summer Fun with your kids at thier First Annual Summer Slumber Party!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mommy Time

As a mother of five boys, a household coordinator, a chef, a maid, a driver and so on, I need to remind myself to take some time for me every once and a while as I am sure that you do too. As mothers we tend to put everyone else's needs before our own, so to keep my stress level down and my spirits up, I schedule in some Mommy Time.

Beauty Tidbit - When I was single I used to go for mani's and pedi's and go to the spa quite often, but now when I probably need it the most, I don't. So instead I bring the spa to me. I have Saturday Spa Day for myself in my own bathroom at least once a month. I run a nice and Hot Bubble Bath, I light some Relaxing Scented Candles of lavender and chamomile, get some Magazines together that I haven't read, my MP3 player, and I lock the door for a good hour or so. I put on a clay mask, I file my nails, I use a scrub and after I lather some cream on, paint my toes and nails then Vwa La! I feel Refreshed and Beautiful! Although I don't spend the fortune you would pay on a spa day, I do treat myself to Bubble Bath, Sea Salts, Creams, Scrubs and Candles for my Spa Day. If you are one of the fortunate ones to still visit the spa, "You Go Girl!" but if your not, schedule in a Saturday Home Spa Day today and make sure to tell hubby that your doing so.

Extra Tidbit - When I have had a hard day and I am feeling stressed out I need to take some space when my husband gets home. But some days, when it's really bad. You know what I'm talking about, right ladies? Those pull out your hair days. I grab a feel good movie from my Girlie Movie Collection, I make myself some treats, I lock myself in my bedroom, light a candle, dim the lights and watch a chic flick. This is what I do to unwind and when I come out I feel so much better. Ready to serve once again! If the chick flick is not your thing, just make sure you find some kind of hideaway and stress reliever to go to when those days get tough and you need some Mommy Time!

Extra Extra Tidbit - At the start of a New Year it is my tradition to make a New Year's Resolution Collage. It is not only Relaxing and Fun, but it is a way to have a Visual Reminder of your Goals and Dreams for the upcoming year. I know it might sound too crafty or even cheesy, but it is said that having a visual reminder can help you to achieve whatever it is that you would like to accomplish.

To make the collage you will need a poster board cut to size, some scissors, magazines, and glue. All you do is flip through the magazines and find words, phrases as well as pictures of your goals and dreams for the year, then paste and fill the board. I also try to find pretty pictures and power words. My collage for last year says things like, Think Inside the Box, Save More, Worry Less, Bed and Breakfast, Some Fun for your Little One, and phrases like "when my kids need to burn off steam, we just turn up the radio and dance". It also has pictures of beaches, wonder woman, a tree house, and a revamped backyard. You get the picture. It's Fun and it's Personal so get out your creative side and start one today. Place it somewhere that you will see it daily and watch some of your dreams come true :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Family Nights

In our home I am always trying to come up with ways to make the time we have together Memorable and Fun for our children. I find this especially important during these long winter months. One way I do this is with Family Nights.

Tidbit - Today is Wednesday and tonight is Game Night in our house. We have a shelf full of games to pick from and the boys look forward to picking out a game and playing it with mom and dad. We try to be consistent with it although we may skip it once and a while. During the winter it helps make it over the hump until the weekend arrives. Play a Game with your kid's tonight!

Extra Tidbit - Game boxes can break easily. To make them more durable, support them with clear packaging tape, found at any hardware or storage store. I line the edges of the boxes inside and out and I tape off one side shut. This helps keep all the pieces inside. Also, if a box is too bulky for the game and the parts are not that big, I will put them in a large freezer bag and label it. Plastic bags and elastics are always good to use for cards and small pieces.

Extra Extra Tidbit - In our home we have also tried Craft Night on Monday and we always have Movie Night on Friday. I serve popcorn and a snack. The kids love it. The only problem is finding a movie that they haven't seen or that they want to watch again. The Disney Movie Club is a great way to start your own movie collection at a fraction of the cost. There is one downfall, just be sure to check in monthly if you join to reject the current selection, or else they will charge you and send it to your house.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


In our house I try to be as resourceful as I can. I am always trying new strategies to make or save some money. I feel that not taking advantage of all my resources is a waste. This does take some time and planning, but it does Payoff in the end.

Tidbit - My basement is full of stuff and every year my children grow out of things and get new things so I try to be resourceful with their old things. I sell it on Craigslist.com. Last year I made close to $500 and I already made $40 this year. I have sold Baby Items, Toys and Appliances. It is silly just to throw it out when you can make some money with little effort. Most of any conversation between you and the buyer is online and if you are nervous then make sure you have someone with you when you make the sale. You make more money on bigger items then you would at a yard sale and you can do it all year long for Free. If you have any questions, ask me in my comment section and I will give you some tips.

Extra Tidbit - If you don't recycle your bottles or use coupons you are wasting money. Coupons are money and so are bottles and cans. It takes very little time and effort to utilize these resources. I keep a bag in the closet near my kitchen and I put any empty bottles and cans in them. When the bag is full I return them. I make a couple of dollars each time which doesn't seem like much but in a years time it's a bill payment.

I watched the Coupon Mom buy $100 dollars worth of groceries for .25 cents. I have not mastered this technique, but I am intrigued by it. I do look at coupons now as Free Money. And with a little time and effort we could be getting a $100 dollars worth of groceries for free. That's some Payoff.

Decorating Tidbit - I have a section in the basement that has all kinds of decorating items. Such as vases, candle holders, some seasonal items and other decor that I have received as either gifts or that are the result of a room change. I use these things when a room starts to feel a little stale and I feel the need for some change. It's like shopping in my basement. You find things that you forgot that you had. It's not drastic but it refreshes me and the room, and it's Free.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Kid's Stuff

Isn't funny how Kid's Stuff things in just about any place they can. Whether it's their toys, shoes, hat's and gloves, and just about anything they can get their hands on. Well here are some Tidbits to organizing some of your Kids Stuff.

Tidbit - Now that you have gone and purged, I will let you in on one of my little secrets so that you can purge one more thing. Stuffed Animals! I know, I know! If your the sentimental type, you or your child might have some feelings about certain stuffed friends. I am not saying to get rid of them, but I am saying Get Rid of All the others. It will free up so much space and make things less cluttered. And trust me, your child will not even notice and if they do then just draw their attention to how much other stuff they have.

Extra Tidbit - In our home we have many heads,hands and feet. That means that we have many pairs of shoes, and hats and gloves. So to keep things tidy I have laundry and wicker baskets to keep their stuff from ending up all over the house. The laundry baskets I keep out of sight under their beds or in a closet. In them I keep shoes, sweatshirts, and any other bulky thing you can think of. My kids know where to find their shoes and where to put them. Wicker baskets look a little nicer and can be kept in a corner or near the doorway. I keep in them their hats and gloves. This is also handy when you come in from the snow, you can just bring the basket to your dryer and throw all the wet things in to dry.

Kids Snack Tidbit - In our house we have a plastic cereal container that holds one of my children's favorite snacks. They call it Mix. And that is basically what it is. It is a catch all for all the other small snacks in the house. Such as crackers, cookies, goldfish, chips, pretzels and even cereal. Before I go food shopping, I go through my cabinets and toss in the Mix anything that has a little or I am going to be replacing. This trick keeps my cabinets neat and my kid's happy.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Family Value

As a mother of five boys, it is good to know the deals in my area. I am always looking for ways to save a buck or two. Money goes quickly and no matter what your household income is, it is always good to keep more in the bank while you have some fun with your family. Now that's what I call a Family Value!

Tidbit - Most of the people that will ever read this blog live in my area. Here are some Great Deals that I have found. The Fun Pass, This is a booklet of coupons for attractions in MA and NH. Most deals include buy one adult admission and get a child under 12 free. Some attractions are Edaville Railroad, Storyland, Water Country, Davis Farmland and many more. If your family ski's, there are ski's passes also. It cost's $25 dollars, but it pays for itself if you use it. The coupons can be ordered online and the coupons must remain in the booklet at the time of use. The 2010 Fun Pass has just come out in December and it is good for one year.

Extra Tidbit - Going out to eat can be expensive for a family. But in my house, we love to go out to eat. Here are some Great Deals in MA.
Fuddruckers - Monday and Tuesday, kids under 12 eat for .99 cents between $pm and 9pm. Check with your local resturant to see if they participate.
Rain Forrest Cafe - Wednesday Night, Kids under 12 eat for $1.99 during the Dinner Menu.
Chunkys Cinema Pub - Kids under 4 get in for Free. And on Tuesday Nights after 5pm you recieve one Free kids meal when one adult entree is purchased. Dinner and a Movie at a Great Deal!

Extra Extra Tidbit - Entertainment Books are now out for 2010. They have great Deals inside for resturants, Fast Food, and stores. Also if your a AAA Member you can receive discounts at Payless and Target.com


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Open Windows

If your anything like me, you have a collection of pictures on your camera and computer from the past year. Most of us will never get any of them developed and scrapbook them all. So I have a solution for you. Open Windows!

Tidbit - Open Microsoft Windows and make a DVD Movie using the Movie Maker. It's really easy and fun. Now that the holidays have passed and a new year is here, it's a good time to make a movie of 2009. You can add titles and music to the background. I made one last year and my sons loved it. I am working on one now and I can't wait to finish it. It's a great way to hold on to cherished memories. Best of all when your done you can save all of your pictures on a disk and free up some space on your computer.

Extra Tidbit - Another way to take advantage of windows is to create Forget It Folders that will keep your thoughts organized. They are a great resource to use to jot thoughts down and forget them until needed. In My Favorites section I have a folder marked Summer. In it I save websites of places to visit, so that when the summer rolls around again I can refer to it and the calenders for the season. I also have one marked Vacation where I save websites of Bed and Breakfast's I would like to stay in for Anniversary's and Birthdays. This year I have decided to make a Needs and Gifts Folder in My Documents section in Word. In it I am going to put ideas for the boys and for people in our family who we buy for at Christmas and Birthdays. Hopefully this will help me when some one asks me what the boys would like or need for their birthday or Christmas next year. And I will have some ideas for others as well. I can write it and forget it all year long.

Beauty Tidbit - In this cold, cold season we can all use a little pick me up each time we leave the house. Mine is Ginger Mentha Lip Shine Shimmer from Bath and Body. I leave it in my coat pocket and put it on each time I leave my house. It keeps my lips smooth, it tastes and smells great and it makes my lips sparkle. Keep a yummy Lip Balm in your pocket and enjoy the pick me up.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Paper Trail

No matter how organized you are, paper can accumulate all over your home. Whether it's mail, magazines, kids art or school work it can be found everywhere. So these Tidbit's will help you organize it all so that you don't leave A Paper Trail.

Tidbit - Create a Mail Station in your home. A mail station could be a basket on a table, a drawer or even a table itself. In my home we have a station for bills and one for magazines. To keep them tidy, try to toss any junk mail right away. You could have a keep and toss basket at your station. Sort it when you can, but at least once a week. At then end of every month look through your magazines and toss last months issues. Try to recycle when you can.

Extra Tidbit - An Art/Work Binder is a great way to keep your kids art and school work as a keepsake. You will need a three hole punch, some folders, and of course the binder. A three ring will last a while. Use the folders as markers for age or grade and put any work that you don't want to punch in them. Keep what you think you will like to save and at every birthday or grade go through them and keep the best of the best. After the years fly bye you will have a keepsake that you can give your child when they reach a milestone in their life.

Extra Extra Tidbit - Now that it is Tax Season, keep a Tax Folder marked 2009 Taxes at your mail station and keep all the tax info you receive in it. When it comes time to do your taxes you won't need to scramble. Then it will be ready to add any paper work you receive when you do your taxes or any that you have accumulated through out the year. Now you can file it away until you need it again. If you want to get really organized you will start one now for 2010 and add to it all year long.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Everything Should Have A Home

In this New Year as we begin to take down decorations and store them away, I feel like we begin to crave organization and a new beginning. It all starts with carefully putting away each bulb and labeling them. (And if you don't you should;) And finding space for all the stuff we just accumulated. We begin to look around at our now naked and stuffed surroundings and we want change. Well Here's your first

Tidbit - Purge! If you haven't already, label a box or two Yard Sale and put any old decorations that you didn't use this year in them and any toys that your children haven't used in a while and store it until yard sale season. Make a Home for all of your New Stuff. And teach your child that this is where it's home is. For Example: Buy colored bins at your local dollar store and label them according to each toy. My Sons have bins for Dinosaurs, Cars, Train Gear, Play dough etc. It will teach your child how to be organized and they will know where it needs to go when it's time to clean up.

Extra Tidbit - If your not into Yard Sales and making Extra Cash then bring it to your local Salvation Army and get a tax deduction.

Extra Extra Tidbit - Try to incorporate this with your things as well. The Bathroom is a great place for bins. And in the kitchen have a home for all of your Kitchen Gear.