Tag Archives: easy

Teachers Are SO Appreciated In Our House

Teacher Appreciation Week made its appearance and disappeared into thin air. And now it’s really time to thank the angels’ teachers because it’s the end of the year and these teachers have given their blood, sweat, and tears (I’m sure they shed many. At least I know I did.) to 15-25 sweet, sweet children. Between the two angels, there are SIX teachers and as much as I want to give them a gift card to Nordstrom’s, I just can’t do it. So, I found a reasonable and creative way to thank each teacher for at least three days. We were out-of-town the last two days of the week and I took full advantage. I gave each of their teachers a gift a day and these ideas were found after a bit of late night reasearch and Pinteresting. The total cost of the project cost $15.86 (excluding the card stock, glue, and pattern cut-outs).

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“You Are Extra Special”

SUPPLIES NEEDED:

Card stock

Pack of Extra gum (I found 4-5 piece packs for $1.00 at Family Dollar)

Star (or any fitting) pattern

Glue stick/Hot glue gun

DIRECTIONS:

  • Print or write the following statements and glue to a piece of card stock:

You are extra special. Thank you for everything you do every day.

  • Glue the pattern and Extra gum to the piece of card stock
  • Write the teacher’s name and student’s name on the card stock

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“Thankful Hands”

SUPPLIES NEEDED:

Card stock

Small container of hand sanitizer (I found 3-2 oz bottles for $1.55 at Family Dollar)

Hand pattern

Glue stick/Hot glue gun

DIRECTIONS:

  • Print or write the following statements and glue to a hand pattern (trace your hand or your little one’s hand) cut out of card stock:

I am thankful for the hands that help me every day.

  • Glue the hand sanitizer to the hand pattern
  • Write the teacher’s name and student’s name on the hand pattern

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“Thank You Notes

SUPPLIES NEEDED:

Card stock

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Small Clipboard (I found these for a $1 each at Target)

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Small legal pads (I found packs of 3 small legal pads for $.94 at Walmart)

Multi-colored writing pens(I found a 10 pack of multi-colored pens for $1.67 at Walmart)

Ribbon

Heart (or any fitting) pattern

Glue stick/Hot glue gun

DIRECTIONS:

  • Print or write the following statements and glue to a piece of card stock:

Just a note to say, “You are awesome.”

  • Glue the pattern to the piece of card stock and clip to the clipboard
  • Attach a pen to the card stock with ribbon
  • Write the teacher’s name and student’s name on the card stock
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Date Jar

In the past month I’ve hosted two baby showers, so I’m in the shower/party planning mood. Last year, I assisted my mom with hosting a bridal shower for my sister and as a gift my mom gave her a dating jar. The truth is: I created the jar and gave my mom all the credit until now. Its a jar filled with dating ideas that range in spontaneity and cost. It ended up being a hit with the bride and my mom was smiling from ear to ear.

This jar is beyond easy to create. It’s so easy that I forgot to take a picture of the finished product. Seriously, I’ll say it again, crafts are not my thing, so if I can do it, I KNOW you can do it.

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SUPPLIES NEEDED:

Colored tongue depressors

Thin Sharpie marker

Decorative Jar (or create your own)

DIRECTIONS:

I color categorized the date ideas (click for ideas) for easier planning for the couple:

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  • Write one date idea per category on each depressor.
  • Place the depressors in a decorative jar and present to the bride!

Easy Berry Breakfast Smoothie

It’s been a while, but I’m ready to share a great recipe. It’s my new breakfast meal. For five years, I’ve been eating a banana and oatmeal for breakfast and I was burnt out. I love smoothies and when I buy them from the smoothie shop, it can cost me about $5-$7. After my last smoothie, I had an “aha” moment. “Make my own smoothies.” I bought an Oster MyBlend Blender which was essential to making a perfect smoothie every time.

EASY BERRY BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE

EASY-1 SERVING-5 MINUTES

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INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup apple or orange juice

1 frozen banana (chop before freezing or you will be UPSET)

1/4-1/2 cup of frozen berries

1/4 cup yogurt

DIRECTIONS

  • Place juice, banana, berries, and yogurt in the blender

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  • Blend to desired consistency

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  • Enjoy

Side Note

  • You can add any combination of fruit to your smoothie. Be creative!
  • You can add a supplement to your smoothie such as protein or vitamins
  • To plan for the week and save time, you can separate the fruit (sliced banana and berries) into individual containers and freeze

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Closet Bliss

This picture is not the best!

We have an adequate amount of shelf space in our closet and I make it a point to utilize all spaces effectively.  I despise clutter and to me, shoeboxes = clutter.  As a result, when we moved in this house, one of the first items on my to-do list was to rid my shoes of shoe boxes and purchase inexpensive shoe/boot boxes.  I am such a happier woman!  This system has also helped me purge.  Every new shoe has a plastic shoe box which means a pair is being donated to make room for  new shoes.   Now, I may have 3 flat shoes such as sandals in one box, but nothing is going to waste.

These come in a variety of sizes and colors and make great storage bins!

We are lacking drawer space and I resolved that situation by purchasing decorative plastic bins to store workout clothes, lounge wear, seasonal pjs, seasonal gear (hats, mittens, bathing suits, etc.), and miscellaneous t-shirts.  I love these bins, they are spacious and look good.  I have them on the top shelf of my closet, and I don’t think about them!  You can use these bins for almost anything anywhere in the house.

Baskets, Buckets, and a Colander

I will use a basket to organize just about anything. As I’ve posted before, the baskets do nothing more than infuriate my husband, but they assist with the balancing of my organizational issues. Today, I’m going to reveal a few of my secret weapons that I store in the kitchen and bathroom.

Baskets

Please excuse the mess. We have been on the go the last few weeks, but I really wanted to post a visual!

Baskets can be used to store a multitude of items. They can be purchased almost anywhere and can be found in several different styles and colors. A couple of years ago, I started using baskets in the bathroom to store toiletries. I am a bulk shopper which means the house is usually fully stocked and it drives me insane when random items are stored in random places. As a result, I created a simple basket organization system. (I have learned in time that to avoid frustrating myself, I just fix the issue.) I keep three plastic baskets on my bathroom shelf for my items, my husband’s items, and miscellaneous items that we both use. In my basket, I store body wash (the smelly kind that my husband prefers not to use), deodorant, extra makeup brushes, extra body wash sponges, etc. In my husband’s basket, it’s basically the same, deodorant, “manly” body wash, his prescription face wash, etc. In the miscellaneous basket, I store items that we both use such as toothpaste, cotton balls, floss, toothbrushes, etc. The baskets help me with keeping items stocked and my husband hasn’t asked me about a toothbrush or deodorant in a long time. Remember, the less questions, the better for me!

Buckets

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I have 1-2 buckets (dishwashing buckets) under my sink in the kitchen and each of the bathrooms. These buckets store cleaning items. One bucket stores all the cleaning fluids and the other bucket stores the items used to clean such as towels, dusters, and sponges. When it is time to deep clean, it is easy to pull these buckets out and get to work. They keep everything together in a neat and orderly fashion. Also, I when the cleaning monster takes over me, I don’t have to look for cleaning items, they are all in one place. I love it!

Colander

20120802-090430.jpgBath time = fun time in most households with little ones which usually means wet toys all over the tub. An inexpensive way to solve this problem is to store the toys in a colander. It’s that easy. After bath time, you can use the colander (so inexpensive) to scoop up the toys and be done with it. The toys will dry/breathe in the colander and you’ve cleaned the tub in one scoop.

Please leave a comment and let me know if you plan to implement one of these cheap and easy tips in your household.

Are You Warranted?

Side Note:  Let me begin by saying, I had this great idea for a title, and then I had to verify that “warranted” was being used in the proper context or if it was even a word.  I need to slow my roll and pump my brakes!

Warranty Binder. I am addicted to binders. I use them for EVERYTHING!

It was late at night and I was again in a cleaning mode.  Believe me friends, I really live by what I post.  We had a drawer in our kitchen that was full of every instruction booklet and extra installation piece we had collected over the past nine years.  I couldn’t take it any more.  I sorted each booklet into a different category, placed the booklet of each sorted category in a pocket sheet protector, placed the sheet protectors in a binder, and didn’t look back.  
We had so many booklets I had to use two binders, one for the kids’ items and the other for household items.  During the sorting, I trashed any booklets for items we no longer owned.  I am so embarrassed, we even had an instruction booklet for a VCR player.  Now you know, that player has been long gone.  I am once again pleased.  Now, I even have more space in my kitchen, because I now have an empty drawer.  My husband will be pleased to wake up early in the morning to find I have rearranged the cabinets and drawers again.  He loves when I do that!

My Daily Sanity

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My Daily Sanity

My baskets by the door are my daily sanity.  They drive my husband absolutely crazy.  There was a time when I had one basket by the door and it became a catchall for everything and it drove me crazy.  So, to add insult to his (not mine) injury, I added more baskets for a total of THREE!  But, oh do they help.  In the evening when the house is quiet is when I get most of my cleaning done.  The baskets help because each basket is for a different bedroom and I can clean the house with a purpose.  The baskets can hold items until a decent time and I don’t have to disturb the kids at night as they sleep.  I certainly do not want to wake the sleeping “angels”.  Now look at the baskets, can you guess who is notorious for not picking up their items??  Drives me crazy!!!

You Must Get a Calendar….NOW

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We absolutely would sink without our calendar.Our house could not function without our family calendar.

Our house could not function without our family calendar.  I found this cheap (about $10) dry erase calendar at Walmart.  At the beginning of every month I fill the calendar with our appointments, engagements, party dates, etc.  Once again, NO QUESTIONS ASKED.  The little ones can’t read yet, but my husband certainly can.  I am the Queen of Documentation and he can’t say, “I didn’t know.”  Everything is on the calendar and it is stuck to the front of the fridge as a daily reminder.  This is one tool my husband will agree is beneficial.  When I update the calendar, soon after I see him updating his phone.  It helps keep us on the same page, and we need it.

My Own Recipe Book

I love to cook.  Usually these days, time doesn’t allow for the elaborate cooking I enjoy.  Nevertheless, I collect all types of recipes and eventually, I find the time to try all types of recipes from snazzy drinks for a party to yummy cookies for the little ones and everything in between.  As a newlywed, I began sparking an interest in cooking and the organization bug quickly bit me.  I can organize anything with a binder, sheet protectors, and hole puncher, including my OWN recipe book.  It is beyond simple to create your own recipe book.  All you need is a binder (about 1.5-2 inches), standard sheet protectors, and tabbed sheet protectors.

  • Gather all your recipes and sort them into categories such as Drinks, Appetizers, Sides, Poultry, Meats, Seafood, Desserts, etc.

  • Create title pages for each category using decorative printer paper and place each page in a tabbed sheet protector.
  • Place each recipe into a sheet protector.  I double the recipes in each protector; the choice is yours.

  • Put the recipes in the binder with the tabbed sheet protector leading each category.

It’s that easy.  You can pull the the binder out when it is time to cook and the sheet protectors will keep each recipe clear of spills and splatters.  You will have a collection of your own recipes that you find anywhere for years to come.  Please excuse my recipe book it is over nine years old and time for an update.  Oh, if I could only find the time.

Kitchen Chaos

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As I’ve mentioned before, the kitchen is the hub of our house and I cannot stand clutter.  Most, if not all, of the action happens in the kitchen which means we had magnetic letters, memos, pictures, invitations, and everything else cluttering our refrigerator.  I woke up one morning and in my usual fashion, I couldn’t take it.  I got to researching and organizing.  I found a cute method using an auto drip pan from Wal-Mart or an auto supply store (They cost about $12.) and Command™ wall hanging strips.  EASY PEASY!!!!  You simply apply the strips to the drip pan, place it on the wall, stick the letters on the drip pan, and walk away.  The kids have their area in the kitchen and you are good to go.

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I even added their grill to the mix and some days, they “grill” their burgers and hot dogs and I cook dinner. Say it with me, LIFESAVER!!!

I didn’t stop there.  I took every invite, Christmas card, dentist reminder, magnet, and picture and placed it on the side of the refrigerator.  The only thing on the front of my fridge is a family calendar (I’ll post about that next week!).  The kitchen looks neater and the illusion of clutter has been removed, at least it has been moved to the side of the fridge.  It doesn’t matter, I’m a happier woman in the kitchen.