Posted in family, summer tips

Road trip!!

Are you planning a road trip with children?

Here are a few things to keep the kids entertained and hopefully avoid the dreaded, “Are we there yet” questions .

two boys leaning on classic teal vehicle
Photo by Victoria Borodinova on Pexels.com

Try these awesome ways to get the kids involved.

I’m of my mom friends said, she made a travel binder for her then 6 yr old last summer. They drove to Florida. She had maps printed with their route highlighted every day. He loved being able to follow along. And then she printed out free road trip games from online. Put them in sheet protectors so we used dry erase markers on them. (License plate game, bingo, tic tac toe, battle ship, etc).I

Make busy bags

Busy bags and activities are a great way to keep kids unplugged, but for a change of pace, try these games I remember from my own childhood that require zero supplies.
  • Count the cows- this game is simple. Count the cows in the fields on your side of the road. If you pass a graveyard, your cows die and you have to start over. You can end the game either when one person gets to a certain number of cows, when you get to your destination, or when you get tired of playing.
  • Abc game- take turns finding letters on road signs on your side of the road. You must go in order.
  • Quaker Meeting (aka the quiet game) – I’m not sure if my mom made this up to get a little peace- but the object of the game is to see who can stay quiet the longest.
  • Rhyming- Sometimes we just take turns rhyming and see how many we can come up with in a row. Or make up new silly lyrics to our favorite songs.
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Photo by SplitShire on Pexels.com

Also don’t skimp on Snacks, Water and more Snacks!

We always make sure to stock up on some of our favorite snacks.  Don’t forget to take plenty of water.  This is some that we find travel travel well: string cheese, rice cakes, pretzels, bagels, sandwiches, carrots, apple slices, bananas, crackers with cheese or nut butter, granola bars, cookies, raisins, dry cereal, jerky, and pop corn snacks.

Remember to relax and enjoy the journey.  Barf happens! So be prepared. Gallon zip lock veggies and disinfecting wipes are strongly suggested.

Maintain your chill and be flexable!

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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.

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Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

So go make memories. Good or bad they will be the things you will talk about for years and years to come.

I can’t wait to hear about your road trips!

Thanks Pamela

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#roadtrips, #travelwithkids, #travel , #traveltips

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Posted in family, Organizing

How to organize all the stuff you kids bring home from school.

Now that school is almost out for the summer,  you know it’s going to happen…

Last day of school they will bring home papers, art projects and test papers. It may have already started and you have to decide what you are going to do with them.A photo by Tim Arterbury. unsplash.com/photos/VkwRmha1_tI

Of course almost every parent’s refrigerator is an art gallery. But want about giving their masterpieces a more prominent place? You can use clipboard and create a gallery wall that are easily changeable. You can read more about using clipboards to create art galleries from Houzz.com. click here

Or Love Grows Wild shows you how to make rustic but elegant clipboard frames http://lovegrowswild.com/2013/08/diy-photo-clipboards/

There are lots of amazing ways to display your children’s artwork out there all you have to do it look.

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Another fabulous option that answers the question of what to do with all the treasures they bring home every day.

SCAN or snap a digital photo of them.

Set up a digital photo frame for each of your children.

Digital frames can now share photos without a computer. It connects to the Internet via phone line to download new pictures and information to display on the screen. Basic digital frames have internal memory and just a USB port; some can use a memory chip. They are not complicated to load your pictures on. The most basic digital picture frames contain a certain amount of internal memory and a USB port. You simply connect the frame to a computer via USB and the frame shows up looking like a flash drive, and then drag and drop images to the frame until the memory is full.

You can enjoy their treasures every day and not have lots of clutter – Bonus.

The grandparents love getting these.

Give them a digital photo frame for each of your children.  We have given our parents a digital frame from each of us. That way they can update our photos and share our candid pictures with them on a regular basis. We just load the flash drive and sent it to them.

Grandparents, parents and siblings appreciate getting more pictures from you and that they don’t have to find a place for a new frame.

If you choose not to go digital you can set up albums, boxes or folders for your children. At the end of the year you can choose the best or your favorites and have them made into a book.child_scribble_age_1y10m

What are your thoughts? Digital or hard copy? Really it does not matter as long as you organize them and make sure you give your kids the proper amount of ooohs and ahhhs.

Thanks Pamela

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Photo credit Unsplash and Wikipedia

#organized #kidsart #momlife #livingwithkids #endofschool #parenting #overwhelmed

 

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing

Do you Pile it? Stop being a Pilot.

So unless you are might be licensed to fly a plane you are not a pilot.  But that is not what we are taking about. What do I mean by Pilot? Do you make piles of stuff?  Do you pile it up.  Stop it.

Here it the rule ~

Don’t be a Pilot! No Piles allowed.

No Piles of Anything! No, not even neat ones.

This rule will save you hours of wasted time when you learn to follow it.

Stacking things develops bad habits. Stacks of items tend to grow into unmanageable piles of clutter and chaos that then takes hours to clean and sort them.

Looking a stacks or piles of stuff is stressful. It is a constant reminder that there is something to be done.

Look at areas of your home where things tend to be “stacked” or piled up. This could be your mail, the laundry, dishes etc.

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I have said before that if you will fold and hang your laundry when you take it out of the dryer it is easier to put away – Do not let it pile up.  If you need more tips on this go to my prior post on laundry tips do-you-have-a-monster-in-your-house.

Mail has the ongoing potential for a pile up. Clutter can be due to indecision. Be brutal,  make a decison about  your mail and bills then they come in.  Deal with them right away or place them only temporarily in the inbox.  Read more about dealing with mail and papers Click here.

Better yet go paperless.

You will always know where to find your statements. I am a huge fan of online banking. Most banks offer online banking. If you are not taking advantage of it you are wasting money. By using online banking don’t have to order as many checks or pay postage to mail your bill payments.   Your bank may even offer electronic reminders, you can avoid the hassle of paper bills, making extra trips to your bank or worrying about checks being lost in the mail. In addition, paying your bills online keeps all of your billing records in one easy-to-find place. You can also set up automatic payments using your debit or credit card. Banking online can make your banking life much easier and reduce your paper clutter.

Dish Issues = clutter

In my house I am cooking all the time. Dishes are another area that could create a pileup. All dishes go immediately into the dishwasher or get washed in the sink after use. Don’t  leave them in other areas or allowing them to pile up. When Mr. Man cooks he cleans as he goes which is wonderful. Unfortunately he does not cook enough, in my opinion.

Don’t put things down put them up.

The next time you are piling things up, stop and ask yourself how much longer it would take to put things away. It may take a couple extra minutes now, but will save you even more time and effort in the future.

You can do be organized and I’m here to help.  I love your comments.

If you like what I have to say feel free to re-blog.  Help yourself, help me and help others.Pam's Bee.jpg

 

#organized #disorganization #clutter #family #momlife #parenting #dadlife

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing

Simply Sunday – living with kids

A question that keeps popping up is how to contain the toys in the living room?

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An answer is a piece of furniture that has closed storage. That might be your accent table with a basket below or a storage ottoman if you have room.

Don’t allow you living room to become the toy room. Limit the amount of toys allowed there at any time. There is no reason you can’t have your kids store their toys in their room or their playroom. They can bring toys into the living room and then take them back when they are done with them. Or you put them in a tote or basket and put them away.

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Another thing I find frequently is kids have too many toy options. Limit their options. Try rotating their toys. Let them choose say 10 to play with and you put the rest in a tote. If you do this say every month your kids will feel like they are getting new toys without you spending any money. Plus you limit the amount of clutter. Kids don’t play with all their toys. Think about when you go to grandma’s house. She has limited toys and they play just fine with those.

I see lots of stuff you buy your kids when you are shopping as a bribe to “be good.” Stop doing this! You are wasting money and adding lots of clutter to your life. While they may scream and carry on that they want a toy in the store how long does that toy entertain them after you get it home? Right there is no need for this. Just say no. Your kids have trained you that every time they go with you they get a toy. Guess what you are not doing them or you any favors. So you buy them a cheap toy that is cheaply made. It breaks soon after they bring it home. Another melt down that it is broken. I bet if you added up all the money you have spent on cheap toys you would be able to pay a sitter.

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Just like don’t shop when you are hungry don’t take your kids when they are hungry or tired. Give them a snack before.

Take something with you to keep your child engaged. Younger kids need one of their toys or a book. Older kids can help you shop.

I love the tips and ideas from creative with kids. I have attached a link

13 ways to make grocery shopping with kids less torturous or maybe even fun

One of her tips is to Indulge in Grocery Store Fantasy – Good for when the “I wants” come up. You ask questions like: “OK, if the grocery store only carried three things, what do you wish they were?”  “What if we could only eat candy? Wouldn’t that be funny? What would you eat for breakfast?” Of course you are not going to let them eat marshmallows with chocolate for breakfast but it is a fun game.

Another parent suggested that her kids love to guess how much fruits and vegetables weigh and then put them on the scale. As a result they eat more fruits and vegetables.

Now in most places you can do your grocery shopping online. You know that must be something that was invented by a mom, to which we say thank you.

What are your tips for living and shopping with kids.

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#momlife #clutter #organized #livingwithkids #shoppingwithkids #grocery

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing, Uncategorized

Are You Facing A Paper Avalanche?

Paper work. Paper avalanche. Paper chase. Whatever you call it I know papers they are the downfall of many of you.  What to do what do you need to keep?

Most financial papers fit in to one of 3 categories

  • Keep indefinitely
  • Keep for 7 years
  • Keep for a year or less

Keep For A Calendar Year Or Less

ATM receipts and deposit slips –  when you receive your bank statements you can shred them.

Charge slips (unless it is for a major purchase), for minor purchases once you are satisfied with the purchase. Shred the receipt when your credit card statement.

If you do not have a home office you don’t need to keep your utility bills, monthly  mortgage statements or quarterly investment reports.

Keep your pay stubs, credit card statements and investment reports until you receive the W-2 or year-end summaries. Once you have those you don’t need the monthly statements.

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Photo by Mari-Helin-Tuominen

Keep Seven Years

Year end credit-card summaries, along with your W-2s and 1099s.

If you itemize your tax return you need to keep all documents you utilized to determine your deductions. These additional documents you should retain include: canceled checks and receipts for all deductible business expenses (such as those for entertainment, home-office equipment, and professional dues), retirement-account contributions, charitable donations, child-care bills, out-of-pocket medical expenses, alimony, and mortgage-interest and property-tax payments.

After 7 years you should scan the actual tax returns or the year-end summaries of your investment accounts as they can come in very handy for future financial planning.  Then you can store them on a flash drive or a CD in a safe place.1024px-Usb-thumb-drive

Infinitely:

Keep receipts for major purchases and receipts that show how much you’ve paid for home improvements as long at your own your home. This will satisfy three things: Insurance claims, potential buyers and when you sell your home to reduce possible capital gains.

Keep beneficiary designation confirmation and purchase price slips that show beneficiary designations and the purchase price of stocks, mutual funds, and any other investments you hold.

It goes without saying that you need to keep your will, birth and marriage certificates, insurance policies, property deeds, and other permanent records in a safe but accessible place near your other financial documents, so you and your heirs will always be able to get to them quickly, if they need to.

Invest in a fireproof safe or a safe deposit box for your forever documents.

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I  suggest scanning and digitizing your important personal documents as a back up copy. More info on this by News Leavitt Just remember a digital copy is not the same as a paper copy but it is much easier to obtain a replacement copy of you have a photo copy.

Also, invest in a shredder.  In today’s world you really don’t want personal information floating around out there.  You can find them for not much money.

For more information  how long to keep your documents check here for more info from bankrate.com.  They have a very detailed list.

Now that you know what to keep and what to shred, I have a post on how to deal your paper as it come in the door.  If you would like to read it here is the link  Did you get Stacked?

I hope this helps you let go of your papers.  I love your comments.

Pam's Bee.jpg

 

 

#organize, #clutter, #paperwork, #documents #taxtime

 

Posted in family, Organizing

Are you a Procrastinator or Just Overwhelmed?

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If you procrastinate, you put off until later what you should probably do right now or you wait until the last-minute to start a project.

Stop me if this it you:

  • You know you have to make dinner every day. (I know right, why does my family feel like they need to eat every day.) But you do not even think about what’s for dinner until 7:00 pm.
  • You know your husband only has 7 pairs of underwear but you don’t do laundry until the 8th day. Can you say commando?
  • It’s December 24 and you have not started shopping? I personally love gifts from CVS.
  • The school bake sale is today. You have no plans or baked goods?
  • Your vehicle gas is on empty and the low fuel light came on yesterday morning. You know your drive is 42 miles from the school to work and home. So does the light mean you have 50 miles to go before you run out of gas?
  • You are possibly overwhelmedoverwhelmed 5-1 a

Putting this off until the last-minute is stressful. Wondering if you will make it to the gas station or not with your kids in the car…yep, that is stressful.

Are you the type of person who thrives on adrenalin and intentionally puts off what they know needs to be done for the thrill? Probably not intentionally. More likely you are overwhelmed.

So do you procrastinate or are you overwhelmed?

You have too much to do and not enough time to get it done.

Try doing the following:

  • Delegate some of the responsibility. I know your kids may not load the dishwasher the way you would but it’s OK. The dishes will get clean. Also, so what if your husband does not fold the towels the way you would. They will still dry you off.
  • Make the most of your time. If you could get organized you will find you have more time.
  • Don’t assume. Have clear expectations and responsibilities.  You may have heard the saying, if you assume you make an ass out of you and me.
  • Make time for you. Mom is a 24/7 job and you deserve a break even if it is only taking a shower without interruptions.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Set up a support system
  • It’s OK to say NO. You don’t have to do it all.pexels-photo-907486.jpeg

Remember

  • This is a phase. It’s OK  and you will get through it.  Your kids will get older.
  • Each Mom has their favorite phase of Motherhood and that is OK too.
  • Take Joy in the moments.  The moments your little one hugs your neck and gives you messy kisses.  Each moment is an opportunity to make a memory.

Mom’s now it’s your turn share or vent about your personal experiences.

Thanks Pamela

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#overwhelmed #procrastinate #motherhood #parents #momslife

 

 

Posted in clutter, family

Greeting Card Quandary

Now that Christmas is over and you are putting away the decorations, I have a question? Do you still send Christmas cards? I do.   For me I enjoy finding cards that say Merry Christmas with an Arizona twist. Living in Arizona I don’t think I can send cards with snow and pine trees. So, I try to find ones that have cactus and palm trees. I have found some amazing photographers who make cards. I love receiving cards.  But that presents a slight problem.  They can easily become clutter.  What to do with all those cards that are not special?

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Do you keep your cards?   Do you keep them but some are clutter? Of course some of these cards are special and you want to keep them but others…. Well they are pretty and what to do with them. I have a few suggestions for you.

Are you looking for a great way to pay those cards forward?

Did you know that St. Jude recycles greeting cards? https://www.stjudesranch.org/contribute/recycled-card-program/ More than 30 years ago, wishing to show our donors appreciation for making St. Jude’s Ranch for Children possible, the idea was conceived to turn the previous year’s Christmas cards into “new” cards for the coming season. The recipients were so delighted when they received the unique “thank you,” that they requested to purchase the special cards. The program soon expanded to include all-occasion greeting cards.snowflake-qll_mif7xjc-kelly-sikkema

Or you can donate them to a daycare or school. Cards are great for little ones to practice their skills with scissors.  (Sounds like a good way for grandparents to engage with the grand’s.)

Another thought is to turn them into gift tags or garland. What about using them to embellish gift bags.christmas-tags-1ujxuwqlfo8-ben-white

What do you do with your greeting cards? Do you think you might do any of this?

Happy New Year’s Eve. Have a wonderful and wonder filled new year.

Pamela

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#clutter #cards #greetingcards #recycle #chrismas #stjude #stnicholaseve

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing

Come on! I just cleaned that.

Do you feel like you are caught in a riptide? Swimming upstream?underwater - julian-svoboda-78075

When it comes to organization I find that sometimes only one person is really on board. Normally that person is Mom. Why? Because Mom is expected to know where everything is.

So Mom has to stop and find the missing shoe, or the homework, the favorite tie, did you pick up the dry cleaning? Did you get milk? Mom, we are out of Frosted Sugar Bits!! Mom, I need 35 cupcakes today.

Sound familiar? EEK! It’s no wonder that Mom’s are the ones primarily on board to get organized. It’s call self-preservation.

Sometimes I have mom’s that tell me I have tried this and that and no one else helps me so I fall back into my old ways and chaos ensues.

I get that the others in your house may not feel the same way. They are not seeing the big picture or getting it. Don’t assume they are intentionally sabotaging you or that they just don’t care. They probably just don’t get it.

“What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”

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You have to talk to them.

Communication is key.

Make you kids see that if they help, you will have more time to do fun things. Give them the right incentive. If you put your toys away Mommy will read you a story. (If you don’t Mommy will make your toys disappear!) Don’t be a doormat. Kids can be helpful. They can learn to put their dirty clothes in the hamper if they want them washes and their homework in their backpacks.

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Adults can understand that if you have help staying organized you can save money and time.  Saving money for maybe that dream vacation or new RV toy…

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Being positive about housework can go a long way in getting your brood to help you out.

I love chore charts for children. I also suggest for children use a 10/5 system. Clean for 10 minutes and then a 5-minute break. For adults and older children increase that to a 20/10 system. Don’t try to do it all at once.meter josh-newton-21688

Also, remember your home and organizing method does not have to be perfect, you just need to find a happy medium that reduces your stress.

Thanks and have a great day!!

Pamela

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#organized #clutter #chaos #momslife #overwhelmed #momshelper #setlimits #fixmylife

Posted in family

Happy Thanksgiving week! Did you know that November is Family story month?

How perfect is that? Many of you will be gathering together, traveling over the river and thru the woods. Some will be going to Grandmothers house and others will be hosting the parents at theirs. Others will be having friends-giving. Your family can be the tribe you choose. Share stories. Make sure you take a video of Dad’s telling stories with your kids on his knee. Don’t miss Mom’s making their secret stuffing or cranberry sauce. Let your sister in law bring the sweet potatoes. It will be OK. Play silly games with your cousins, the nephews and nieces. Don’t hold grudges, say you are sorry if you did something wrong. You never know that one little thing you do or say can make all the difference to someone.be-thankful-45b86d74eaa5c2e9df86f101215d1fb9

Be kind. Be happy and be well. Treasure these times. Remember the times past. Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Family Story Month! Thank you all for coming in to my life.

May you all have more than you need today!

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. Oprah Winfrey

I can’t wait to see and hear your family stories.  What is your favorite Pie?  We will be having Pumpkin here.  With a little maple whipped cream.  Yummy!!

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#Thanksgiving #pie #familytime #parents #bethankful #momlife #dadlife #grandparents #family #friendsgiving

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing

NATIONAL CLEAN OUT YOUR REFRIGERATOR DAY – November 15

Later this week is national clean out your refrigerator day. So you know what that means…

Empty the containers that are way in the back.

Toss out the takeout from 3 weeks ago. (You will thank me later.)

Do you have an almost empty bottle of mayo or Catalina dressing? Do you even like Catalina dressing? No? Well, why are you keeping the ½ ounce that is at the bottom of that bottle?condiments photo-1465060780892-48505fc8f941.jpg

Do you have a beer that you have been saving for the Astro’s to win the world series? They did and that beer may not be as satisfying as the last game was. Ditto for any other expired food you have in there.  Let it go.

Besides if you live in the USA, Thanksgiving is coming. You need room for all the food. The dressing, pumpkin pie and the turkey, oh my. You must make room for the goodies.

Now that you have tossed the science experiments that were growing in your refrigerator it’s time to clean all the shelves, wash the crisper drawers.  Don’t forget to vacuum condenser coils and vacuum out under the refrigerator.

Again you are welcome!  Now enjoy your nice clean refrigerator.

So Happy Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day!!!

Thanks!

Pamela

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#refrigerator #clean #thanksgiving #family #parenting #momlife #dadlife