Do you find that you are buying a treat every time you take your kids to the grocery store or Target? Do you feel like you have to bribe them with a new toy just for a bit of cooperation?
So what happens to that new toy? Is it a cheap something that breaks the second time they play with it? Or a sweet treat?
Try this: Reward you kids with things they want to do rather than things they want to get. You will be teaching them to value experiences or things. Bonus your house, car, and purse will not be overrun with the crap they really don’t want or need.
Clutter control in disguise. Not only will your wallet thank you, your kids will too.
Look around? Do you see coffee mugs on the table, your desk, or dishes on the counter? How about are you using your treadmill as an extra valet? Do you want an easy tip to cut that clutter out?
You need to implement the one touch rule.
What is the one touch rule?
Easy. If you have something in your hand ~ take it where it belongs. Don’t put it down.
We recently talked about laundry. Fold it when you take it out of the dryer and put it away. How about when you and come home from work or school and you change clothes? Hang them up or put them in the laundry basket. Don’t throw them on the bed or your exercise equipment. Touch them one time. If you toss them on the bed you have to come back a second time and put them away.
Let’s talk about dishes. Don’t leave them sitting around. Don’t put them in the sink, immediately put them in the dishwasher.
Who is guilty of leaving an unfinished craft project on the table? How about ingredients all over the kitchen when cooking or baking?
When you use something ~ put it back. Touch it one time.
This applies to your entire family. Kids too.
The Parent Coach, Susan Stiffelman at the Huffington Post suggests the following:
“Establish that no new toys can be taken out until whatever has been played with has been put away. Kindly remind your daughter if she forgets. And by all means, do not clean up her messes. If you cave in and do the job for her, you will have taught her that if she whines or procrastinates long enough, she won’t have to take responsibility. Acknowledge that you understand that she’d rather not put away her paints, or that it looks like it will take forever. By letting her feel heard and understood, you’ll ensure that her upset will dissolve more quickly — and help her accept that she simply has to get the job done.”
Start by resetting the rules. Explain to your kids that you’ve made some new decisions about cleaning up, and you want to share them so that everyone knows what to expect. “When you’re finished playing with something, it’s important that you put it away completely before you move on to something else. If you forget, I’ll remind you once. If you still forget, that particular toy will go in a special box for a month.” Some parents tell their children that toys that are left out will be given away. Decide how harsh you want to be — but make sure that you follow through. If you deliver meaningless threats in the heat of the moment, your child won’t take you seriously.
Break a big job down into bite-sized steps. Help your children work in manageable increments if they have a lot to clean up. “Start by putting away anything with red on it … or anything made of plastic … or whatever is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.” This will help them learn that, little by little, they can get a big job done — whether it’s cleaning up a physical mess, working on a complex report or organizing a research project.”
This is one of my favorite blog posts. So I am sharing it with you again. Enjoy and GO on VACATION!.
Should I stay or should I go was never a question in my family. The answer was always let’s go
I was reading comments on vacation memories and got to thinking about my own.
Our family motto is, “it was not a vacation until someone had a flat tire or ran out of gas”. I got to thinking about all the prior vacations. The memories ran from shortcuts that were not, in fact, shorter but may have involved some very narrow roads that may not have had guard rails that went on for miles with no place to turn around. Praying that you did not meet another vehicle since we were pulling an RV.
My granddad loved Colorado and we went there many times. I have traveled by vehicle all over the United States and parts of Canada with my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers and my husband. We have stayed in tents, a Scotty tiny trailer, fully functional RVs, hotels, and cabins.
I have seen lots of wild animals from bears, moose, and elk, to little ground squirrels. 45 years ago we fed a bear chewing gum one time. DO NOT DO THIS.
I have seen a rogue bear who he thought he could share a tent. The owners of the tent were willing to let him because who’s going to stop him.
We always went to the ranger talks. We learned about the parks we were visiting and heard some great stories. The walk back to the camp was amazing. No lights except for the stars and flashlights. If you have the opportunity to do this, do it. Take the time and take your kids.
I can’t tell you how many flat tires or times someone ran out of gas. Someone in my family has this thing about wanting to see how many miles they can get out of a tank of gas. There have been many other calamities such as the time the truck caught on fire – That was a bit too exciting! Then there was the time the mini-bike fell off the back of the RV. My uncle was following us and I think he had to change his pants after that experience. Of course, this is the same uncle whose short cuts were not shorter.
Of course, my parents will never forget the time they left me in South Dakota, which was 754 miles from home. First, you have to understand it was way before cell phones and there were 5 vehicles all traveling together. I was prone to ride with almost anyone of the 5. So it was just a matter of miscalculation on all our parts. I can tell you that now to this day. When I get out of the car to go to the restroom…I have the keys.
It was an adventure for me. Hours later when my parents stopped for the night and set up camp they discovered there was one less kid with them… Huh? What took hours to drive earlier did not take anywhere near as long back. I was fine. My parents got a few gray hair that day. But never the less vacation continued on as planned. It was an amazing time.
My cousin’s birthday was always celebrated while on vacation. One year we couldn’t find a cake so she got a cookie with pine needles candles on it. She still talks about her birthday cookie.
My husband and I took a trip with my parents to Yellowstone a few years ago. There was a forest fire blocking our way back to the DNR Dude ranch (yes, that was the name) where we were staying. So we had to take a detour of 163 miles. We almost out of gas but we saw the most amazing sunset I had ever seen. All I am saying is sometimes the detour brings a wonderful surprise just around the bend.
If you are on the fence about taking a vacation let me say, GO! They are your vacation days. Take them. Spend time with your family. Unplug and go. There are only so many summers when your kids will be little. They are growing up and you need to make memories.
So go make memories. Good or bad they will be the things you will talk about for years and years to come.
Heck, maybe one of your kids will write about it someday.
Wow, can you believe July is almost half over! Schools will be starting before you know it. For Mom, this is great news!!! Mom control yourself. For the kiddo’s not so great news. Am I right?
Summer is the time for relaxed rules and lots of fun. But with only weeks until school starts for many of you. Now is a good time to start some new habits. Did you know it takes approximately 21 days to form a new habit?
So let’s talk about what you can do now to be ready for the 1st day of school.
Right now is a good time to buy summer clothes. Since school starts so early you may be sending your kids to school in summer clothes until it cools off. Why not take advantage of the summer sales now. This will allow you to spread out your shopping and give your pocketbook a little breather.
Before you shopping, you need to know about the school’s dress code. Do they allow printed words on clothes, tank top or saggy/baggy pants? Also, before you shop you should go through your child’s closet. What still fits and what have they outgrown? This is a good time to empty their drawers and clean out their closet. It will make getting ready easier you get rid of the stuff that no longer fits or is worn out.
Do you have the right paperwork for your kids to start school? Now is a good time to gather your papers. Immunization records, birth certificates, report cards from prior school or proof of medical examination for your athlete. Preparing now will prevent a mad search or frantic last-minute trips at the deadline.
Talk to your kids to see what their expectations are? Do they want to participate in sports or other extracurricular activities? How much time are you going to be spending on evening and weekends?
Have you arranged for after school care? Make sure your child knows what the plan is and where they will be going.
Speaking of going. How are they getting to school? Do they know they way? Is there a bus or a new schedule? Are they walking? If you are driving them do you have a backup in place? If they are going to a new school a trial run a few days before will ease everyone’s minds. Trust me now it a better time to figure this out rather than the first day of school.
Let’s think about a routine
Time to start everyone on the back to school path.
Meal times, morning and bedtime will shift so if you start early and slowly implement those changes easier. Start creating good habits now. Mornings are going to get crazy – trying to get everyone up, dressed, fed breakfast, lunches packed, dinner planned and out the door…
Setting an evening routine will make your morning better.
The night before:
Determine what clothes everyone is going to wear the next day and lay out kid’s clothing.
If possible pack lunches and have a dinner plan. Do you want you your kids to make their own lunch? Well if that is the case. Let’s set up a zone with lunch items in an easy to reach kid friendly space.
Check their backpacks for homework, projects or library books. Make sure sports bags or musical instruments are ready to go.
Don’t forget your own stuff. Know where your keys, bag, and papers are that you will need for your day too.
It’s a great idea to have everything in a designated place easy to access as you walk out the door.
Keep it positive. Your kids may not be as excited as you are to return to school. Get them excited to see old friends or make new. You might want to make posters counting down the days. Plus make the back to school shopping trip a fun event. Let them pick out a few things. When the first day arrives.
Get up early, keep an excited attitude, make a good breakfast, take photos and let the kids chose where to go out to dinner.
What is your back to school tips?
Does this sound familiar? It is Thursday 5:10 and you just go off of work and you have to stop by the grocery store or your family will be eating out again. Your budget and summer body can’t handle that. But the temperature sign on the corner bank is flashing 105 degrees. (that is s cool summer day in Arizona) Your car has been baking in the sun for 9 hours and now 15 minutes of blasting the AC did not really cool it down.
You jump out and rush into the store. Hold on for a minute.
Think about a few things before you load up the cart with meat, dairy, and frozen foods. Sure your boxed foods and staples will be fine in the car but it’s not a good situation.
You know it is hot in your car. But did you think about the fact being that extremely hot temperatures make your car an unsafe environment for your food?
You can do a few things to protect yourself and your family.
Run any errands you have to before you go grocery shopping. No stops after.
If you know your ice cream will not make it home don’t buy it. Also chocolate. Of course, if you have to eat it before you get home…no judging here. You gotta do what your gotta do.
Shop smarter – first load up your staples, then your frozen, next meat and dairy. That way they will be colder since they will be the last items you pick up at the store.
Keep a cooler in your car. But if it is hot in the car the cooler is a portable oven. Take it into the store with you.
Buy ice or some stores sell ice packs or frozen water.
Take your perishable stuff in first. Sodas and pasta can wait until you have in the meat, dairy and frozen food in the house.
Put all your food in the refrigerator as soon as possible.
Hopefully, these tips will help you keep your food safe for your family this summer.
Did you set the goal that this will be the time you get organized? Now you will finally conquer your clutter? Well, today I want to share another blogger’s perspective and tips to help you set and achieve your goals. Enjoy!
Let’s talk about goals. Goals are important to have. They’re natural motivators, and they truly do help you be the best version of you that you can be! Some people are stressed out by goals, and yes! I get it. Goals can be scary, especially when they’re big goals. Here are my top tips on […]
Do you have a chest of drawers that is not really working in your nursery? How about switching the chest of drawers for a dresser. You can put a changing pad on it and it doubles as a changing table. When you are no longer in the diaper stage you can re-evaluate.
How about that sofa table behind the couch? Would a dresser be a better option? Storage, of course.
Using a dresser in the dining area of your apartment or home makes excellent storage for your candles, linens, china, and silverware. Plus if you add some trivets on the top you can also use it as a buffet. This will save space on the dining room table.
You could also use a dresser living room, a dresser makes the perfect TV stand and media storage unit. Give your living room that clean streamlined look by placing your television on top of the dresser and using the drawers to hide away and DVD’s, video games or controllers.
What about using a dresser in your entry? Think about all the storage options it would give you.
I recently saw an idea on Pinterest where they used 3 dressers and put their bed on top of the dressers. MIND BLOW for outstanding space utilization.
Do you utilize the space under your bed? Why not? Did you know you can raise your bed and add drawers under your bed? Also, a padded chest at the foot of your bed adds storage.
There is no rule that a dresser much only is used in the bedroom. It’s a pretty versatile piece of furniture. I can see one in the kitchen to add both counter space and storage.
By the way, add a power strip to the back of a drawer and you have an out of sight charging station for all your phones, tablets, MP3, and the likes.
So when is a dresser more than just a dresser? Would you use a dresser in an unexpected place? Where? Do you some unexpected places you have used furniture?
As we celebrate the 4th of July I am reminded of many summer celebrations of my childhood. The ice cream was always a part of them. With a hand crank freezer. Sheryl shares an old recipe and it brings back many memories. So are you ready for ice cream?
Today, Strawberry Ice Cream sometimes seems boring; a hundred years ago it was very special. When strawberries were in season, it was time to get the hand-cranked ice cream freezer out, buy some ice, invite friends over, and make Strawberry Ice Cream. The hundred-year-old Strawberry Ice Cream recipe that I found was easy to make. […]