Sunday, September 30, 2012

Thank You

Try leaving a stack of thank you notes in a prominant place in your home. Not only will glancing at them make you stop and think of things for which to be thankful, but it will also make it easier to jot down a quick note while the memory is still fresh. I loathe it when I can't remember what someone did for me or gave to me because I procrastinated in writing a note! It also increases the frequency of sending notes, which is a welcome break in the technology-laden, fast-paced world we live in. It's the simple things like this that bring beauty to an ordinary day.

Friday, September 28, 2012

This tasty dish is made from ingredients you probably have in your pantry and is a cinch to assemble. Enjoy it on a chilly autumn day!

Sausage - Sweet Potato Bake

1 pound bulk sausage
2 medium raw sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced or cubed
3 medium apples, peeled and sliced

  • Brown sausage in skillet. Break up large pieces and drain off excess fat.
  • Arrange in 2 qt. casserole: sweet potatoes, apples, sausage on top
Combine and pour over all:
2 T. maple syrup or brown sugar
1 T. flour
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1/2 cup water

Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

*My compliments to Joey for this super recipe!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

You've got a friend...

If you live far away from someone you love and would like to make their day, send them dinner! I was having a hard week with sick kids and too much to do. I jokingly likened to my brain to a poached egg to a friend recently. You get the idea! As I swam in a sea of clothes to be folded and ironed, my phone rang to inform me that dinner would arrive at my door at 5:30. I was flabbergasted! Floored! Relieved! I wanted to weep, sing, and do a jig all at once. My dearest mother, though on the other side of the state, had ordered a pizza to be delivered to our house. I can't even describe how this turned my day around! So don't feel helpless if you aren't close by when a friend needs a little help. Just send dinner their way. Trust me, they will be thrilled!

Monday, September 24, 2012

As of Saturday, fall is officially here! Celebrate with a new decoration for your door. All you need is a package of fall leaves (fake or real), floral wire, and a letter cutout.
Using the wire, wrap clusters of leaves around the letter. That's it!

Friday, September 21, 2012

I'm posting Christmas gift ideas here and there to get your creative juices flowing! This is one of my favorite gift ideas for a child (ours loves it).

A friend gave this hand-made crayon holder. It's great to toss into a bookbag for travel because the crayons don't fall out like they do in the box. Each crayon has its own tiny pocket, which makes it easier for kids to pick out which color they want. It's a big hit in our house- if you're good with a sewing machine, give it a try. It makes a great gift!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wipe out

I love all of the uses for old Lysol wipe canisters, but I have to say, the aesthetics are lacking. (I use them for holding grocery bags, and small toys.) Give yours a quick makeover with this simple method:
You'll need: cotton fabric, a sponge applicator, Mod Podge, and spray adhesive.
*The Mod Podge gives the fabric a more durable, water resistant finish

Spread a thin layer of Mod Podge over all of the fabric. Let dry.

Spray container with adhesive and roll fabric around the canister.
Other applications: baby wipe containers, plant pots, etc...


Monday, September 17, 2012

Save the ice cream!

A good friend shared this amazing tip with me and behold, it worked! Do you have freezer-burnt ice cream languishing in your freezer? Don't toss it! Remove the lid and run water (yes, I did say water) over the block of ice cream. (Make sure your ice cream is frozen solid, not soft.) Give it a shake to get the excess water off and serve. The water rinses away the ice crystals that give it that off taste and yields creamy, delicious ice cream underneath! I would never have believed this that this worked, but it does!

Friday, September 14, 2012

The second time around

My mom-in-law inspires me to try to use something at least twice before tossing. Here are a few ideas that I like to use for making sure something does double duty before it winds up being thrown out:

  • Dryer sheets: I have found that used dryer sheets are the best thing ever for making the tub sparkle!
  • Dryer lint: stuff into a toilet paper dowel for a "surefire" fire starter.
  • Mesh onion bags: fill with rocks to secure weed barrier fabric or to weigh down tent stakes.
  • Laundry detergent caps: perfect for sand and bath toys!
  • Tissue boxes and Lysol wipes canisters are perfect for corralling plastic grocery bags.
  • Used Ziploc bags are great for containing stinky diapers and biohazardous waste from cleaning out the fridge!
  • Old garden hose: poke holes into a worn-out hose for a homemade soaker.
  • Baby wipe containers make perfect banks, pencil boxes, and craft supply organizers.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Technology Tamer

Any of you who have them know that kids+Leapster, ipad, DS, etc..equals nagging and the potential for sitting for long periods of time in a vegetative state. Eliminate the nagging (and your child turning into a turnip) with a fun ticket system. Decide on how much time you would like to allow your child to play for the week and make tickets accordingly. For instance, you may start the week with 4 tickets worth 20 minutes of play time each. Place the tickets on the fridge and allow your child to have one ticket per day. He may choose when he would like to use the ticket. Let your little one know that you can take tickets away for poor behavior, nagging, etc. and "reset" on the same day each week by putting all of them back within reach. This way, your child can see for herself how much time they have to play. No more nagging!
*I would like to thank my brilliant pal Angie for this idea- I can't wait to start!!!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Cabinet Organizer

To increase the space in your under-the-sink cabinet, try mounting a small curtain rod inside. Any type of spray bottle can hang from the rod, freeing up the rest of your cabinet. This is perfect for kitchen or bathroom cabinets!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bookmark Idea

Giving a book as a gift this Christmas? Make a chic, personalized little bookmark to go with it. Trust me, it only takes about 30 seconds! Here's what you need:
Large paper clip, hair clip (found at Michael's), assorted buttons, old earrings, etc...
Clip the hair clip onto the paper clip and hot glue the embellishment onto the clip. Easy!

Done! (I'd like to have used a larger paper clip but this is the size I had.)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day to all of you hard-working readers! I hope you're not working on your day off (which you probably are). See you on Wednesday!