Thursday, September 16, 2010

Kids Can Clean Up Too!

If you have wood or linoleum floors your children can help you keep them dust-free. Want to know how? Well, this isn't a new tip and I guess it isn't really just for kids, either, but put on some clean socks and spritz the bottom of them lightly with whatever you use to clean your floor and then cut loose, you know play some loud music and scoot your booty over every square inch of your dusty floor and before you know it, no more dust! You won't get a good glide on if you spray too much cleaner on your socks, so go easy. You may find it works better to spritz the floor and then slide through it on your way to drier spots. It may go without saying, but I will assume you aren't using something toxic that will eat away your flesh if it soaks through your socks before you finish having fun! There are safe effective cleaners out there, so use them to make sure this stays fun and doesn't earn you a quick trip to the E.R. The point is, it can be fun and something children can help you do. It helps them become more responsible and contribute to taking care of their home, which are both skills they will need for life! Also, you probably want to use some really old socks or gray ones or ones that can be bleached or ones you were about to pitch in the garbage anyways, but you probably already thought of that, now didn't you? :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Angelic; probably best description...

Angelic is probably the best description I can give for how beautiful a young lady by the name of Jackie Evancho sounds. You can see her clips from Americas Got Talent on YouTube by clicking on her name. There are lots more clips of her on there. I am not related to her, nor do I know her personally, but I can't get over how beautiful her voice is so I am sharing it here, too. Please check her out, if you haven't already heard of her or seen any of her performances. You will be amazed! And stunned.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Creative Organizing Alert!

Just found this super fabulous idea and wanted to give it a plug...and a special place so I will know where to find it! I think it could easily be used with any sort of craft supplies that you have...check it out. People who make mega-fun stuff, like the stuff you can find at fluttering flowers, could probably use this idea to keep track of their supplies in a creative and beautiful way, if they need such a tool...I personally can't wait to get started on this project. I will try to take some pictures if anything turns out photo worthy. ;)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Activity Cue?

Ever sat at your computer for hours without even realizing it, until you tried to move and couldn't? I have tried to find some sort of alarm system or thingy I could put on my computer to chime on the hour to keep me aware of the time and that I needed to move something other than my hands and fingers every once in awhile. I could never find anything until last night! I found a site with links to free software. Software that you can download and install and it does magical things. Not really, but it will chime an alarm when you have been typing or browsing for a consecutive 40 minutes. Then it will count down a 5 minute break for you. I have been wanting to get more active, so when the 5 minute timer starts I work out like crazy. And since it is only for 5 minutes I am encouraged, as I watch the timer, that the insanity is almost over, almost over, almost over...yeah! It's over. And I can go back to playing games on Big Fish Games. It's hard work but someone has to do it! :) I will post a link here, right here, when I find it again. Okay, it's there now. These programs are called RSI Prevention Software so you can google it yourself if none of the links on the link I provided look good to you. I downloaded the Break Reminder one myself. It said something about it being a trial version but I think that is only talking about if you are a commercial user, which I am not. But I am really loving it and highly recommending it! Update: it really was only a trial! Here is another link to a program called Workrave and it is not a trial version. If you want to adjust the timers right click on the window once it has downloaded and is running. Then you will get a menu and can make the adjustments you need to. I think Workrave may also be on the first link I provided but anyways I just wanted to let you all know programs like this are out there and they can help you get more active, which really is a good thing...really.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Easy Menu Planning

Step One: Make a list of all the Main Dishes or Meats you and your family like. This is the funnest step and a great place to involve the whole family. If you already have side dishes you like with certain main dishes list them together here. You can also list special requests or desserts and whatnot here.

Step Two: Next you can download this sample menu form if you have Microsoft Word 2007, as soon as I figure out how to enable that function. Save it on your computer and then you can make adjustments and changes. You can't make changes to a read-only form so that's why you have to save it on your computer. Until then you can make your own form by opening a new blank document and creating an 8x4 or 5 or 6 or 7 table, depending on how many snacks you want to plan for in a day:
0 snacks=8x4 table
1 snack = 8x5 table
2 snacks=8x6 table
3 snacks=8x7 table
More than 3 snacks combined with 3 smallish meals is not recommended, for your budget or your blood sugar!
The 8 spaces in the top row will be the labels for all the columns below them. So the first space would be labeled MEAL, because under it you will be listing the meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus any snacks. The next 7 spaces are for, you guessed it, the days of the week.

Step Three: Take your list from step one and fill in the squares. First put a main dish then add in sides as desired. I like to make sure I have a few veggies and maybe a fruit or bread with each meal. If you make your meal plans like that you will end up with very balanced meals.

Step Four: Create an additional table or simply type in the foods needed for the menu. You can organize this list however you would like or need. Here is where I note foods that are on sale and where. I also add pantry items I like to keep on hand, if I am running low on them. For example, I like to keep nice cheeses and crackers on hand, in case company stops by. You may have other things like that and here is a good place to list them so you don't run out and can make sure you get them at the store while doing your other shopping.

You can make this menu as detailed or general as you like. I like to plan my meals with the future in mind. For example, I planned a turkey breast roast for Tuesday night and then I planned to use the leftovers to make a turkey salad, which is just like chicken salad, for lunch on Thursday. I didn't plan for us to eat the leftovers the very next day because that seemed a little repetitive. You can also plan your menu based on weekly sales and save some "dough". For example, our local grocery store had a super deal on ground beef so I stocked up and, to keep the freezer from being overrun with beef, I will use beef more than normal in this weeks menu. You can plan farther ahead than one week, though, and that will probably help with making your menus economically friendly. You will know, from the grocery list at the bottom of the menu, what you need ahead of time. So, if it goes on sale you can pick it up, knowing it won't go to waste and will be used soon.