Finding More Use in Common Items

Bored and looking for something to do? Take a look around your house and try to see if you could find another use for something. Reduce and recycle as much as you can! There are so many household items that you could easily be looking over and not realizing how much easier they could make things for you. Here’s a quick list of items that you could do so much more with!

1.) Keep Necklaces Untangled with Straws

necklae

Image Source: http://travelfashiongirl.com/traveling-with-jewelry/

How annoying is to sit and untangle jewelry, such as necklaces? Eventually you just give up and there goes a perfectly good piece of jewelry that you probably spent a decent amount of money on. Straws are perfect to put on the chains of your necklaces, no tangles and no breakage.

2.) Buttons as Earring Holders

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Image Source: http://jewelrymakingjournal.com

Are you one to lose your favorite earrings, or even the backs? The button holes allow you to put your earrings in them as little holders. You can just keep these on your dresser or in a safe place so you never lose earrings again! Now just don’t lose the buttons!

3.) Makeup Brush Organizer

makeup

Image Source: https://wanelo.com/shop/makeup-brush-organizer

Do you have a toothbrush holder floating around anywhere? Even if you don’t, you could surely find one for a a fairly decent price. Tooth brush holders are perfect for makeup brushes. This way the bristles don’t touch one another and your makeups don’t mix.This keeps the brushes cleaner too before applying them to your face.

4.) Use a Nail File to Clean Suede

Susie-Styles-Three-Ways-To-Spruce-Up-Your-Winter-Wardrobe-Clean-Suede-Shoes-Nail-File

Image Source: http://susiestyles.com/2014/10/three-ways-spruce-winter-wardrobe/

Need to get rid of a stain on suede? Suede is one of the worst things to get stained but here we have a simple nail filer which you could easily find at your home or somewhere for an extremely cheap price. All you have to do is lightly rub the file over the suede and it’s all gone!

5.) CD Holder for Tupperware 

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Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/266064290456611268/

Finding a hard time storing your Tupperware? Look no further than an old CD rack.  Now you don’t have to go looking for containers or missing lids. You can easily store this next to your sink or somewhere else where you have room.

6.) Shoe Organizer

shoe organizer

Image Source: http://www.icanteachmychild.com

Whether it’s you or your children that are big into arts and crafts, storage for those types of things may be a bit cramped. A good idea for storing these things away would be in a shoe sleeve! There’s plenty of pockets to put all the materials and you can easily store this on the back of a door or in a closet somewhere so that it is out of the way.

7.) Pack Cleaner With Shower Caps

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Image Source: http://www.awesomeinventions.com/packing-tips/

If you’re a traveler or just taking a trip, this is perfect for you! If you can get your hands on some shower caps, you can stick these on the bottom of your shoes before putting them in your suitcase or bags with other clothing, that way if they’re dirty your clothes won’t get soiled.

8.) Keep Clothing From Falling off Hangers

no slip

Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com/bluesylk/clothes-hanger-crafts/

Do you ever have trouble keeping your shirts from falling off of the hangers? Next time you have this issue, try putting a rubber-band on the ends of the hangers, that way your shirts have something to grip onto and they stop falling to the floor.

9.) WD- 40 Is Your New Best Friend

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Image Source: http://www.wilko.com

If you have a little kid running around with crayons leaving marks everywhere, WD- 40 will surely take it right away. You can take it right to the surface where the marks were left and rub it right off.

10.) Need Extra Closet Space? 

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Image Source: http://www.theshabbycreekcottage.com/closet-hacks.html

If you’re having a hard time dealing with closet space, try using a soda tab to hook onto one hanger and use for another. You can continuously layer your hangers, as long as your clothing doesn’t weigh it down. You can even paint the tab any color you would like if you’re going for a color scheme!

11.)  Piggy Bank

gatorade

Image Source: http://www.greendiary.com/

If you have a child who wants to start saving their money up, you can easily make a piggy bank out of an old gatorade bottle or even a 2 liter bottle. You can paint the bottle with your child to have it match their room or wherever they’re keeping it. Make sure to cut slits in the top of  bottle so they can easily put money into it, and you’re set!

12.) Sand Pail

Reuse-Bottles

Image Source: http://onecentatatime.com/

Turn used milk or juice cartons into sand pails for your child. Say you have a sand pit in your backyard, or you’re going to the beach soon, you don’t need to go out and buy these for your child, you can simply make them. All you have to do it cut along the lines as shown and there you go!


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Need To Freshen Up Your Home?

Are you a stay at home mother looking for something to do around the house? Why not tidy it up a little bit? It’s important to keep the house nice and clean, and if you have the time there’s no reason as to why you shouldn’t be cleaning it. Having a clean and organized house helps you to feel better and less stressed.

Whether or not your doing your weekly or monthly cleaning or the seasonal time to spring clean, buying the best cleaning supplies, that are affordable is a key element in making your home feel fresh, smell fresh, and look clean. Whether it’s the bathroom, the kitchen, living room, there’s a supply for everything and every surface.

stay at home mom

Image Source: http://www.oprah.com/relationships/What-Not-to-Say-to-Stay-At-Home-Moms

Even if you don’t want to clean, you can freshen up the house with purchasing new homeware for anything, especially the kitchen or giving a room a new look with interior decorating. In most cases stay at home mothers are home for the sake of their children, so why not put them to work with some cleaning chores, or helping you decorate.

Bathroom Supplies

One of the best online resources for ordering bathroom supplies would be from ULINE. They’re quick with delivery and they have affordable products. It’s  guaranteed that they have almost anything that you could possibly be looking for. You want products that will last and not fall apart after a use or two. Reviews have stated that people have ordered from this company and they are truly quick with getting your products right to you. Also, they hold up of these bathroom products such as; cleaners, toilet scrub, floor shine, etc., has lasted quite a long time according to the reviews that were read over.

uline

Image Source: http://www.uline.com/index.aspx?pricode=WE412&AdKeyword=uine&AdMatchtype=e&gclid=CLn57ZPo28oCFcMRHwodjGADsA&gclsrc=aw.ds

Kitchen Supplies

Finding kitchen supplies to clean your kitchen could come from the same source, but what about if you’re looking into purchasing new kitchenware? It’s important that you keep up with new products and get rid of old ones. Out with the old and in with the new! One of the top rated sources to buy new kitchenware comes from WebstaurantStore. They carry a variety of essential supplies that you need right in your kitchen. The products are definitely reasonably priced. This resource is generally recommended for restaurants to purchase from, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your kitchenware from there too! The WebstaurantStore is rated as one of the top sites to get kitchenware and even janitorial supplies from. Mainly, the holdup of these products is what’s most important, so the company always makes sure that they are made with quality.

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Image Source: http://www.webstaurantstore.com/?gclid=CP_g48up2coCFYUYHwoduqAE9g

One customer reviewed and stated:

 “I initially stumbled upon this store when I was looking for these big glass goblets that I had seen at a Caribbean restaurant during a vacation trip. Since then, Webstaurant has become my favorite online shop for everything cooking, baking and bar related…”

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Image Source: http://lhkmarketing.com/projects/7th-generation

Looking into organic cleaning supplies for your home? Check out Seventh Generation! They have a wide selection of organic and natural products that are best to use when cleaning because they’re safe, especially if you have little ones. Seventh generation also has organic and natural baby products as well. Here’s a quick video from the Seventh Generation site itself, explaining their mission and why to go organic:

If you’re interested in Seventh Generation, below are some of their top-rated items:

disinfeting

Seventh Generation’s disinfecting wipes are their top of the line product right now.

Seventh Generation Dish Liquid, Free & Clear, 25-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 6)

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Seventh Generation’s natural laundry detergent is one of the top-rated products that they have to offer.

Seventh Generation Dish Liquid, Free & Clear, 25-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 6)

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Seventh Generations naturally scented and alcohol free wipes.

Seventh Generation Thick & Strong Free and Clear Baby Wipes, 384 Count

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Seventh Generation’s Hypoallergenic Baby Diapers. Made with no chemicals, and perfect for ones with sensitive skin.

Seventh Generation Free and Clear Sensitive Skin Baby Diapers, Original Unprinted, Size 4, 135 Count

dishes

Seventh Generation’s Natural Unscented dishwasher detergent.

Seventh Generation Auto Dish Pacs, Free and Clear, 45 Count

your pantry

Image Source: http://recode.net

If you’re looking to get a whole bundle of things from Amazon, look to this new pantry box! All that’s required is Amazon Prime. This is an awesome way to get a bunch of things in one. Let’s say you need cleaning supplies and other items, you can pick and choose what you want to go into the box, and it’s only $5.99, which is the shipping cost. It also gets delivered right to your house! What’s better than that?

Redesign and Organize Your Home

Interior decorating is another way to spice up your home and make it feel new and fresh. This gives you an open window to be as creative as you want to be! One of the best sites to look into when planning to re-design a room would be Decorating Den Interiors. They have everything from floor covering, furniture, wall designs, bedding, etc. This would be a great idea if you were planning to redecorate a kids playroom, bedroom, or bathroom. This site offers portfolios for customers to see rooms already put together and then you can pick items that you like or may be interested in. If you can’t find a local store, you are always able to purchase items from online and get them delivered to you!

Not only does Decorating Den Interiors focus on decorating, but they also have a tab for closet and storage. They can transform any tight space into something functionable for you and of course make it look nice. If you’re having trouble finding places to store things, they also have products for this and you can find it in the same place. They have various storage shelves and cabinets that you can look through and find what would look best.

Decorating your child’s room? Check out the Children’s Rooms Archives tab. There’s various portfolios to look through if you’re looking for ideas as to how you want to decorate your rooms. They have toddler style rooms, little kids, and also styles for teens. It’s all personal preference.

logo-decorating-den

Image Source: http://www.decoratingden.com

Check out this video from the Decorating Den! You can see just a view quick room portfolios, though the site has much more to offer. If you want to get in contact with someone from the Den, call 1-800-332-3367.


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Getting Work Done When The Kids Are Home

GettingWorkDonGuest Post from Susanne Myers & Tracy Roberts www.HomemakersHutch.com

Working from home has all sorts of challenges any time of the year, but during the summer when the kids are home from school, things get even trickier. Your regular work routine is interrupted and of course you want to spend time with the kids, taking them to the pool, the park, or sneaking away from work all-together for a much needed family vacation.

Aside from getting ahead before school lets out and scaling back on what you are trying to get accomplished during the summer months, there are some things you can do to make sure you stay productive over the coming months so that you’re raring to go when school starts up again.

Business can be slower during the summer months for a number of reasons but no matter if you’re Direct Sales, working as a Virtual Assistant or running a blog, getting stuff done with focused productivity now can launch you into a more productive and profitable Fall and Winter.

Get Up Early

Our biggest tip for summer productivity is to get up early… ideally while everyone else is still sleeping. Even just 30 minutes of uninterrupted work time when you first wake up can do wonders. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll get done if you sit down and focus on your most important tasks. That means don’t check email and most definitely stay away from Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Use this time for your most productive work. Write a blog post, answer lengthy emails, schedule out your day and week and if it isn’t too early, get your phone calls done without interruptions.

Work In Focused Small Bursts

Throughout the rest of the day, find little pockets of time and work in small super focused bursts. You may just have 15 minutes while the kids are playing quietly. Set a timer and get to work. Decide ahead of time what you need to get done.

You’ll find that things that often take you an hour or longer can be done in a focused 15 minute of work. Work hard, and then get back to hanging out with the family.

Divide Your To Do List

Think about what you get done in typical week (or what you would like to get done). Some tasks will need your undivided attention and focus. Those you want to deal with early in the morning or during your small bursts of focused work as outlined above.

Other things however are just as helpful, but don’t require the same amount of focus. If you’re a blogger, this may be social media, approving comments and the likes. If you’re in Direct Sales, this may be participating in forums and Facebook groups, distributing flyers or catching up on emails from your downline and potential party hosts.

Divide your to-do lists and safe the “easy” stuff for when you’re out and about or hanging out with the kids. See what you can do from your smartphone so you’re not tied to a laptop and wi-fi for as many tasks as possible. It’s amazing how much you can get done throughout the day once you figure out everything your phone can do. And don’t forget about handing out catalogues, samples and striking up conversations while you’re out and about.

Last but not least, don’t forget to let go of work and enjoy your time with the kids. They grow up fast and it’s perfectly fine to slow down during the summer and just enjoy.

partners

Susanne Myers from HillbillyHousewife.com and Tracy Roberts from MomsInABlog.com took their friendship from online to real life and then banded together to create The Homemaker’s Hutch.

They wanted to put homemakers and moms in touch with the best homemaking advice, tools, recipes & resources. But it’s about so much more than that. It’s about taking some time for yourself curl up on your couch with a cup of coffee or tea and browse through a fun and informational magazine.

It’s about connecting with other homemakers and moms just like you and the two of them. Homemaker’s Hutch is an online magazine, but it’s so much more than that. Susanne & Tracy are committed to building a thriving online community.

They would like to invite you to check out the Homemaker’s Hutch Digital Magazine. Each monthly issue is packed full of hands-on advice, delicious recipes for things your family will actually eat and plenty of support from moms and homemakers just like you.

Sign up today at www.HomemakersHutch.com

While you’re there don’t forget to sign up and get their gorgeous and Free Family Dinner Conversation Cards.


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Why we don’t “do” Santa

As moms, we make a lot of choices for our children. We are 100% responsible for so much in their lives, and the decisions we make can have life-long impacts on them.

With so much weight on our shoulders, it’s easy to second guess ourselves.  But the beauty of parenting is that each family is very different.  We school differently. We have different religious and political beliefs.  We even feed our children drastically different foods.  And that is all OK; there is not necessarily a right or a wrong way to parent as long as your children are safe, and nurtured, and in a loving environment.

What works for one family does not necessarily work for all families. And so I share with you my reasons for choosing not to “do” Santa in our family, not to convince those who do that they are wrong, but to share with you our choices and reasoning and perspective on the situation.

It Started with Me

My son was born in November, and was less than 6 weeks old for his first Christmas.  We spent that Christmas with my family, and my mother had already wrapped presents and put them under the tree for the baby, from “Santa”.  It was then that I first gave thought to the fact that whether we did or did not do Santa was a decision that I would personally be making for that little baby in my arms.  Obviously, at 6 weeks old, we had a few years to decide. But it got me thinking.

I found out when I was seven. An older neighbor told me. I remember thinking she was lying to me, and just being mean (which was odd, since she was otherwise a very nice girl).  I went to my mom to ask her, and she took me outside and said, “Yes, honey, she’s right. There is no such thing as Santa. But let’s not tell your sister. She still believes and it would be wrong to spoil her fun.  Let’s just keep this between us.”

I’m not sure how you felt when you found out about Santa. I know how I felt. I felt betrayed. I felt stupid, like everyone was playing some sort of cruel practical joke on me that I was too dumb to figure out. I felt humiliated. (And yes, as the years wore on, I got over it.) My sister, on the other-hand, believed until she was 11 and though disappointed in the truth, never felt the same way I did.

My first thought holding that newborn baby in my arms was that I really didn’t want him to go through those feelings I felt.  I didn’t want to hurt him that way later in life.

I’ve heard kids rib one another and use the term “he still believes in Santa” as an insult.  Maybe you have heard your kids, or neighborhood kids, say something similar. It stands to reason that there is a lot of emotional baggage to the issue.


Lying vs Using Your Imagination

One of the big arguments for Santa is that it encourages children to use their imagination.  I’ve never really understood this argument.  How does it help the imagination to be lied to? Do you need to be told that yes, fairies are 100% real and are, in fact, spying on you, in order to draw a picture of one or want to be one for Halloween?  Must children be told their favorite cartoon characters are real in order to want them on their bedsheets?  There is no logic in the argument.

When you stop to think about it, Santa is sort of intimidating.  I mean, here’s this big guy who is planning to sneak into your home in the middle of the night, and if you have been nice (remember, he’s watching you!) he will reward you. Otherwise, you get coal, a reminder of your failure as a child.

Oh, and you have to pay him with milk and cookies.

We’ve never told our children that Santa is real, but they have been able to use their imagination over the years.  We’ve built blanket tents as medieval fortresses. We’ve made fairy houses.  My son has created whole armies out of modeling clay that war with one another.  They’ve played house in pretend kitchens, and have dressed up as their favorite characters. My daughter went through a 3 year stretch where all she would wear were princess costumes.  She knew she wasn’t a real princess, but she used her imagination.  And she was happy.

My mother has always been very disappointed in me for my decision to not make my children believe that Santa exists.  But we’ve always stressed that if they wanted to pretend, they were more than welcome, and we’d do the whole milk and cookies thing, get some pictures on Santa’s lap, and make sure some presents are from him. Most years they didn’t see the point, but one year we went to visit my mother for Christmas.  She lives more than 2500 miles from us, so holidays together are rare.  My children were 8 & 10 at the time.  

She had expressed to me how sad she was that she was finally going to have children in the house, and no Santa.  So, I talked with the kids about it.  We decided it would be fun to pretend that year….but in a slightly different way. We decided to keep the spirit of Santa alive in Grandma.  

Instead of the kids leaving cookies that mom and dad would eat after they went to bed, Grandma left the cookies and my 8 yr old daughter came downstairs to eat them.  She even left a note. Instead of presents to the kids from Santa, my 10 yr old son signed all gifts to Grandma and Grandpa “from Santa”.  My mother spent the days leading up to Christmas talking about how excited she was that Santa was coming. Each time one of the kids would make eye contact with me and give a little conspirator smile.

On Christmas Day, my mother reacted with the enthusiasm of a 5 year old, squealing in delight from the half eaten cookies and notes, and ecstatic about the gifts left for her.  My children had a blast too.  They were able to enjoy a fun, pretend character, and had a truly memorable holiday.  They are 12 & 14 now, and this Christmas is the first since that one that they will be with my parents.  They’ve already wrapped Grandmas gifts from Santa again.

You Must Income Qualify for Santa

It’s always bothered me that Santa brings more presents to wealthy kids than to poor or middle-class kids.  Do we think our children don’t notice this?  How is it “fair” (remember, we live in a society where everything must be fair) for one child to receive thousands of dollars in merchandise for Christmas, while the kid who sits across from him at school got one $50 gift? The wealthy child is told that Santa brought him this stuff, and believes it. So he tells the less fortunate child.  

How must that child feel? Does he think that he screwed up in Santa’s eyes?

How do parents explain this one?  I’m really interested.  Please tell me in the comments if this has happened to you, and what you told your child.

Through the years, we have had Christmases where we have had very little money to spare.  We talked about it as a family, and the kids knew that presents were going to be pretty light that year.  Other years, we had the ability to get them everything on their wish lists and more.  We’ve talked about these years of plenty making up for the harder years.

Children Pray to Santa

I don’t particularly like discussing religion (or politics) on my website.  I will call our family spiritual, but not very religious.  We’ve spent many Christmas Eve’s crashing one church or another for a Christmas candle ceremony, and we’ve had stints of a few months at a time getting to know one church or another through the years, but have generally spent our Sundays together as a family.   I’ve encouraged our children through the years to appreciate all religions and those who practice them for what they are, not to judge, and to realize that their own minds might change as they get older, so to keep them open.

I have a great deal of respect for religion; I think it is wonderful when parents can teach their children a code of morals and ethics that they will take with them throughout life – even if the religious message is not something I personally agree with.

When my son was about 4, he was enrolled in martial arts and during practice, the moms and the kids in the next class would wait in the chairs off to the side of the class waiting for it to end.  One day, a couple weeks prior to Christmas, I overheard an exchange made between two boys who were 7 or 8 years old.  One was describing how he was hoping for a video game system for Christmas.  The other boy got excited, and said to him, “When I get home tonight, I’m going to pray to Santa that he brings me one too!” Does that seem right to you?

If Christmas is supposed to be a holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, does it make logical sense that we bypass that fact to teach children that some guy shows up at your house to deliver gifts, then years later, tell them that oh, he isn’t real, but remember the story about the baby?  Yeah, that was real. 

I guess if you celebrate Christmas not as a religious holiday (yes, I know it has Pagan roots) as many people do, it’s not that big of a deal, but really, it’s got to be terribly confusing to kids.

All these factors together made us decide that Santa just wasn’t for our family.  Right after the martial arts incident, we decided to talk openly with the kids.  Up until this point Santa simply hadn’t made an appearance in our lives at all.  We told them that some families tell their children that he is real, and that it isn’t nice to interfere with other families’ choices, so we must never be the one to inform another child that Santa is not real.  To my knowledge, they’ve always respected this.

But I don’t think I ever really discussed with them WHY I chose not to do Santa.  So, last night, in preparation of posting this, I asked my 12 year old daughter if she was disappointed that we didn’t do Santa through the years.  She looked at me and said, “No. Why would I be? I would have felt pretty stupid when I learned the truth.”  Yep. She’s just like me.

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