Monday, August 27, 2018

At Home Entertainment

With summer coming to a tragic, way-to-soon close, it's time to start thinking about bringing the entertainment inside. My niece, Stacey, came up with a great way to enjoy movie time sans theater.

She hosted a movie night! There was popcorn with every seasoning Wal Mart had to offer, movie-sized treats from the dollar store, and drinks.

And to keep it handy, she had bath caddies as snack carriers. She got them at the everything-for-a-dollar store. Everyone had their own personal caddies! They worked perfectly. The caddies are separated for use with toiletries, but we used the separations to hold the drink, popcorn, and the candy.

I was so enthralled by the carriers, I couldn't help but think of all the other uses these caddies could have, such as...

*To-go meal carriers. Forget eating out of the flimsy bags or boxes. With the caddy, you can separate food and drink in a sturdy, easy to carry unit.

*Art supplies. Use the shower caddy to keep craft items, paints, brushes, or even crayons sorted and separated.

*Cleaning supplies. Load up a caddy and you're ready to clean, carrying supplies easily from room to room.

*Manicure/pedicure time. Toss your nail polishes, remover, emery boards, and clippers all together in one easy to grab and go spot.

*Make-up caddy. Same as the manicure and pedicure idea, a caddy is a great way to keep make-up organized.

*Picnic helper. Place the utensils, napkins, and condiments in a caddy and you're ready to go.

*Car washing. Stock a caddy with the cleaners, waxes, and cleaning rags and you're ready in an instant to give your car a quick clean.

Can you think of some genius uses for these caddies?

Monday, August 20, 2018

Moving Highs and Lows

Isn’t moving fun?
No. Not really.

But there is good in it. Lots! Because of all the hard work that goes into getting a house ready to sell and getting your stuff ready to move, the good parts tend to get overlooked. Sure, it's all wonderful once you’re settled into a great new house. Think about how happy everyone looks at the end of those home-finder and home improvement shows...

So as I trudge through the muck of moving, I'll make us all feel better by sharing some of the bright spots...
  1. the Great Purge - Are you always complaining about the junk you’ve collected? My hub does all the time! Well, moving requires you to finally tackle this procrastinated chore. First we have to clear the visible clutter for showings, then the major purge of all the stashed stuff for the actual move. Sort your items as you go: Bag it for donations or trash and box it for moving - just make sure you don’t mix up your piles...
    • MOVING TIP: I got some great moving boxes from Petsmart and Target - just call ahead and they'll be happy to donate to your cause since they're just throwing their boxes away anyway!
  2. Cleanliness! - Does your house always seem dirty? With messy boys and a dog, mine is never clean for more than five minutes. But with possible showings around every corner, we are on strict keep-it-clean mode! Surfaces must remain clutter-free and anything we use regularly has to have a hiding spot in a drawer or cabinet--even the toaster and toothbrushes! Since we are purging, this task gets easier. I just hope it doesn't take long to sell as I keep having to dig through some of the packed stuff! And when a showing does come, we work together to spiffy up the house - cleanest it's ever been!
    • MOVING TIP: We rearranged furniture in some of the rooms to make them more "show-friendly" and those little indentations were all over the floors. I found if you hand vacuum with the hose on those spots, they blend better with the rest of the carpet.
  3. Spreading Happiness - I mentioned donations above, but there's more to it than just giving away stuff we don't need. As the kids grow up and move on, we donate their clothes, but also books, movies, toys, and sports equipment. I usually give friends and neighbors first pick--it's great seeing first hand that it will be put to good use. We also donate to schools and churches. Then the rest we give to the Veterans and Good Will. We have lots of stuff for all!
    • MOVING TIP: Since we are moving, we use trash bags for most of the donations and save the boxes for breakables. And I recommend having a portable dolly--it saves my back over and over. I got it for my book shows, but it comes in handy all the time!
  4. Excellent Exercise - No time to work out? Cleaning, purging, and moving are terrific for making you sweat! I look for exercise in daily activities all the time. Housework, particularly vacuuming, is a great calorie burner. And since paying close attention to my eating habits is a low priority during this busy time, extra exercise comes in handy to cancel it out!
    • MOVING TIP: Don't over do it! Listen to your body and treat it with respect. Lift things by bending your knees. Use "Moving Men" sliders for big pieces of furniture. And get help - don't move alone.
Hope your summer has been a good one! And if you have any moving tips, I'll take 'em!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Easy Crafting 

I just got in from vacation. It's early AM and my plans to pre-schedule and post ahead of time like a responsible adult blogger was forgotten as soon as my toes hit the sand! So, here's a quick tip!l before I crawl off to bed. 

(What the post lacks in words, it makes up in one doggone good idea.) 

My niece just had a baby...a real beauty, by the way! While preparing the nursery, my niece couldn't find a light switch plate that matched the pink owls, so she painted her own.

 Now, my niece makes a pretty baby, but her crafting skills aren't much better than her aunt's. So, when she sent me pictures of Ellie's owl switch, I had to ask, "How the hell did you do that?!" 

A template! She bought stencils off of Amazon and painting became as elementary as coloring. 

Have a project you want to personalize and have two left hands when it comes to creative design? Buy a stencil, pencil it on, and paint. Viola! You're making art! 

DIY Decorative Aristic Templates Stencil for Painting on Walls Wood Furniture Scrapbooking Crafts. Check it out here!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Games on a Plane - How to Pack for Flying

beach day - the other 2 went to a baseball game

I just got back from our Florida vacation, and it was awesome! We had a very nice condo with plenty of space, a few quirks, but a terrific location. We went to the Theme Parks and the Beach with some down time to play games and rest. As vacations go, this was one of the great ones!

Some of the keys to a smooth vacation are Planning & Proper Packing
But I think the most important key is Flexibility!

Here are some Travel Tips:
  • When you have a tentative schedule, it will help you plan what to pack.
  • When flying, you don't want to over pack. If you can fit everything into a carry-on, you'll save the extra money for checking a bag, depending on your airline.
  • Sometimes, we ship our stuff to the place we're staying. It depends on the cost. 
  • We love playing games, but with the tight packing for flying, it's hard to fit those clumsy boxes... so I get out my ziplock bags and cut the size of the games down by 75%!

Ziplock bags are the best! They're great for:
  • packing lotions and shower items
  • packing powders and sprays
  • packing snacks
  • keeping the phone dry at the beach or pool
  • keeping credit cards or park tickets easy to find in a cluttered bag!
And when things don't go according to plan, or if it rains on a day you're supposed to go to the beach - have a backup plan, like going to the movies or playing games! Plans change, even on vacation. There's no point getting upset when things go wrong--we just have to deal with it and adjust!

Your vacation is as fun or stressful as you make it. Don't worry about the things you can't control - like the weather, nature, and personalities! Do you have any travel tips?

Hope you've had a great summer so far!

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