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Posted on September 25th, 2016 by Uncategorized


September-Cleaning is Better Than Spring-Cleaning, Here’s Why!

Posted on September 24th, 2016 by Uncategorized

silver and orange dust pan and brush on white

While “Fall-Cleaning” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as “Spring-Cleaning” does, I actually prefer it for a number of reasons! For one, during the colder months you’re often stuck inside the house more, meaning you have to actually live in your cluttered house. Don’t do that. Don’t live inside a cluttered house! De-clutter that house right now!

Reason number two is this: because of the holidays, you’re likely to have more guests coming into your home in the next few months than you do during every other month combined! Don’t worry about aunt Josie seeing your messy closet when she goes to hang up her coat, clean it out now! Also, I also like to get organized as we head into the holidays so that I can make sure I know where our decorations are located, and it feels nice to get rid of all the junk I’ve accumulated during the year so far (mostly to make room for all the additional junk we’ll accumulate during the next few months of holidays).

When there’s suddenly a chill in the air, there’s less of a need for water balloons and beat up flip-flops, so those types of seasonal items get stored away for next Summer (or thrown away if they’re too beat up, like the above-mentioned flip-flops). We also often have items laying around that are still in good use, but no longer our style or useful to us, so those items get donated. That’s just about it when it comes to how I “fall clean.”

  1. I make it my goal to tackle one area or room a day.
  2. I take 3 bins with me. One for storage, another for donating or selling, and one for trash.
  3. I go through all of the drawers, closets and shelves and toss anything that doesn’t belong or suit my fancy anymore into one of those bins.

It’s ultimately very simple, but this technique helps me immensely during my deep cleaning. Trust me, if you put the time and effort into this right now, you’ll feel so much better during the hectic holiday season that is fast approaching.


Tips to Make Homework Time More Effective

Posted on September 22nd, 2016 by Uncategorized

boy struggling with his homework, holding his hands in his hair

 

Homework is often dreaded just as much by the parents as it is by the kids. School is back in full-swing, and it’s likely that your kiddo is bringing home math and English assignments everyday. Some kids are great about sitting down once they get home and completing their work before heading out to play, while others really need an extra push to make sure they get what they need to done.

You don’t need to have an office dedicated to school-work, or know all of the U.S. Presidents in order to be helpful to your kids. You simply need to make sure that you stick with a consistent homework schedule and help them with what you can. Homework is a time for kids to learn how to be more autonomous and take ownership of their own work. It can be great to help them learn how to manage their time, and practice concepts that they learned during school. As long as they have a distraction-free environment and the resources they need to succeed, they’ll do great!

Here are a few tips for how to make “homework time” more effective.

Have A Healthy Snack Ready

My mom would make it a point to have a snack made as soon as we got home, even if it was just something simple like apples with peanut butter on top. It really helped to keep us from grabbing a bag of chips as soon as we got home, and kept us full until dinner time so we could get through our work faster. After a long day of school kids are often pretty hungry, and it’s almost impossible to focus on fractions when your stomach is grumbling.

Start A Routine

If you require homework to be done before they can go outside and play or watch a TV show make sure you stick with that consistently. Getting homework done right as they get home is great because the material should still be fresh in their mind, and then once they’re finished they can relax and spend the rest of their night having fun.

Set Up A Distraction-Free Area

A quiet room free from distractions is best, meaning no cell-phones, no iPad, and no surfing the web if they’re using a computer. If they’re self-motivated enough, a desk in their bedroom would work great. But if they often get distracted by the toys in their room, maybe setting up a space in an office or even the kitchen table would work best. Make sure that the space you choose is well-lit, and stocked with any school supplies they need.

Help Them As Best You Can

Don’t be ashamed if you look at your 3rd Graders’ math book and feel completely perplexed. Trying to remember math that you haven’t used for years is not an easy task! Do your best to help them walk through the problems they don’t understand, and if you’re sure that you don’t know how to help them, encourage them to ask the teacher for help. Also, never rule out getting a tutor if you feel that your child is slipping too far behind.

 

 


3 Recipes To Convert You To Team French Toast

Posted on September 20th, 2016 by Uncategorized

 

Plate of delicious French toast with bananas, walnuts and dripping maple syrup

French Toast is one of the reasons why breakfast is the best meal of the day. It’s not even really up for any debate; it’s simply one of the best foods out there. Now, if you’re a waffle or pancake person, I absolutely respect your opinion. But I can’t help by throw a few of these incredible French Toast recipes in your face just to tempt you to join the (better) team. 😉

Coconut Cream Pie French Toast

Now I understand that not everyone is a coconut person, and while I am just as firmly Team Coconut as I am Team French Toast, I get it. It’s an interesting fruit with an interesting texture and flavor that some people just aren’t a fan of. This French Toast is dreamy though, and I believe that even those wary of coconut may love it. Try the coconut milk in the recipe, but skip the toasted coconut garnish on top. That way it’s not terribly coconut-ty (not quite sure that’s a word, but we’ll go with it). If you are a coconut fan, then pile on the coconut at the end, and maybe even try this coconut syrup! I’ve heard it’s delicious.

Strawberries and Cream French Toast

Could you think of a better brunch entrée? I think not! This is more of a traditional recipe for French Toast, but boy is it good. I love that it’s made with Brioche bread and that the berries are simmered over the stove to bring out their natural sweetness. If you’re looking to keep with the more original, but still insanely tasty, version of French Toast, I highly recommend this recipe.

 Pumpkin French Toast

Some may say that with it being the beginning of September it is too early for Pumpkin. I would have to disagree. I think that Pumpkin should be welcomed at any time of the year, but with school having started and the Halloween Decorations already popping up in some stores, I think that it’s perfectly acceptable to whip up this yummy Pumpkin French Toast this weekend.

 

Those are just a few of my personal favorite recipes if you’re craving French Toast. Go ahead and give them a try and let us know in the comments how they were!

 

 

 


Tips To Help Your Kiddos Get Quality Sleep

Posted on September 18th, 2016 by Uncategorized

The boy is afraid of ghosts at night

The beginning of school means that establishing good sleep-habits with your elementary-age child is even more important. Summer usually means sleeping in and staying up later than normal, but school requires waking up early and getting into bed early enough to get enough sleep. But how much sleep does your kid really need? The National Sleep Foundation recommends between 9 to 11 hours of sleep for children between the ages of 6-13. That means that a wake up time of 7 am should require a bedtime of at least 10 pm (though 8 pm would be more ideal). Getting your little boy or girl to head to bed when you want them to is a whole other issue. I’ve done some research and included a few tips for getting your kiddo to stick with their bedtime and get enough sleep at night.

Consistency With Bedtime

Consistency is key with kids. Pick an appropriate bedtime and enforce it each night, even on the weekends. This will get their internal clock into rhythm.

The Monster Under The Bed

Lots of kids have fears of the dark or that there may be a monster under their bed or in their closet. Instead of shrugging off their fears, hear them out and do what you can to help them feel more comfortable. This doesn’t necessarily mean letting them sleep with you in bed, but buying a fun night light or investigating their closet isn’t hard to do, and can make all the difference to them.

Unplug Electronics

Some kids may insist that watching a TV show helps them wind down, but in reality studies have shown that screen-time right before bed actually disrupts the ability to fall asleep and have a restful night. Make sure that screen-time is ended at least an hour before bed, and that other unwinding techniques are included instead.

Relaxing Before Bed

Warm showers, bedtime stories, and chatting with your child about their day before tucking them in are all great ways to make bedtime special and relaxing, increasing the likelihood that they will fall asleep faster and stay asleep through the night.

 

It’s usually the little things that make the biggest improvement for kids getting enough sleep. Simply staying consistent on bedtime and buying a night light may be all you need to help your child get the sleep that he or she needs to do their best at school the next day.

Let us know in the comments what you find is most helpful with getting your kids to bed on time, and helping them get the best sleep throughout the night!


Nestle White Chip Chocolate Cookies (AKA Sugary Heaven)

Posted on September 16th, 2016 by Uncategorized

white chocolate chips

I dare you to find a cookie recipe more delicious than this. There’s just something magical about a chocolate cookie. And don’t get me wrong, I am not a white chocolate fan, but the white chocolate chips paired with the cocoa-y cookie? Heaven.

Back in my middle school years I was quite the baker. I’d make any dessert that we had the ingredients for. As soon as my homework was done and dinner was finished I’d head to the kitchen and whip up some sugary concoction. This “Backwards Cookie” recipe came from the back of a Nestle White Chocolate Chips bag, and it soon became my signature cookie. I’d make these babies bi-weekly, and they were gobbled up so quickly!

Give this recipe a try, and it will be sure to become a family favorite.

(Recipe courtesy of Very Best Baking by Nestle)

WHITE CHIP CHOCOLATE COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

PREHEAT oven to 350° F.

COMBINE flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Drop by well-rounded teaspoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until centers are set. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.


Re-Purpose Those Pumpkin Candy Buckets!

Posted on September 15th, 2016 by Uncategorized

A couple days ago I was making my way from one side of our storage room to the other (no easy task, mind you) when I came across a couple of plastic trick-or-treating pumpkins. And by a couple, I mean 5. They were everywhere! After I saw the first one (an obnoxious purple one by the way) I ran across another, and another. Everywhere I turned there were plastic pumpkins!!!

Okay, it really wasn’t quite that horrifying. I’m being a little over dramatic, but there were more plastic pumpkins than I expected to come across on my trek through the storage space. I began thinking about what I could do with them since they no longer were going to be used. I could toss them out, or find a way to re purpose them. Since I was not feeling creative enough to brainstorm my own ideas I took to Pinterest. Once there, I found an adorable planter idea for the large buckets and just had to include this mini version for your table if you have any of these small pumpkins.

Enjoy!

pumpkins-pinterest-e1442821544638

For just a few dollars you can make this absolutely adorable pumpkin centerpiece from Up to Date Interiors. I am not the biggest fan of faux flowers, so I opted to put a little water into the bottom of my pumpkins and trim a few fresh roses. You can do it either way though, and both look great!

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If you liked those, you’ll love this larger version for your front porch from Drab to Fab! I just love the color she chose; it looks like an expensive pot! I’m sure you already have a few of those plastic pumpkins somewhere, but if not they shouldn’t cost you more than a couple dollars to buy. You can always use the same can of spray paint for both the large planters and the small pumpkin centerpieces above as well if you want to save another few dollars.

Both versions work all throughout the Fall. You can simply turn the pumpkin face away when November rolls around. Let me know in the comments below how you ended up liking these re-purposes!

Happy Fall!

 


WOW! I found some goodies on Zulily today! Go see for yourself!

Posted on September 14th, 2016 by Uncategorized


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