Monday, 22 April 2013

6 quick tips/ideas to make life easier

Pin It Now!

I think Spring is here. Kind of. Minus the ice storm that we had the other week. But the days when the warm weather has crept in have made life beautiful once again. Winter is hard to survive at home some days with little ones.

But do you know what you can do with winter-logged {is that even a word??} children? Put them outside in the sunshine! Works every time.

Even with the rain that we've had recently, it's still been fun to play outside. Give a kid an umbrella and tell them to find some puddles and it turns into endless fun in the rain.

She would have stayed out there in the pouring rain for hours if I let her.

So with rain, sunshine and my little tulips starting to sprout in our garden, I decided that spring cleaning was definitely in order.

We haven't always done a full blown spring clean each year, but since having kids it feels utterly necessary. I look around our house and I have visions of taking half of what's in it to Goodwill. It's amazing how much your house explodes when you have little children--there are days when I feel like I just can't keep up with it. I clean something up, and five seconds later it's messy again. I clean up the dishes from breakfast, and snack dishes an hour later clutter up my sink again.

I read a quote once that said "Cleaning with children in the house is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos".


But I'll still keep trying.

So I started off our spring cleaning this year with the dreaded blinds. Honestly, I don't have time to clean blinds these days. So since I needed a quick way to thoroughly wash them (other than the terrible wiping of each and every slat), I found a quick way online to get it done--and I thought I'd pass it along in case anyone else wanted to tackle their own.

It then got me thinking, I've found a lot of other ideas/tricks online or through other people that have made my life easier or just made me think "How did I not already know this?".

So I thought I'd share them here with you. I don't take credit for any of these ideas, as they've all come from either people in my life or ideas that I've found online. But I definitely take advantage of them all. All of the time.

So here you go. A few tips/tricks to make life just a wee bit easier...

1) Give your blinds a bath.


Instead of cleaning each and every slat, fill up your tub with a bit of water (you can even add some vinegar if you want) and let them soak for a few minutes and watch the dust just fall right off of them. If your blinds are like mine and get you might have to wipe a few of the slats down with a rag. But it's so much easier since the dirt/dust washes right off and they'll come out sparkling clean.

Pull them out and let them sunbath outside for a bit to dry, then put them back up.

So easy!

2) Freeze your fresh veggies. 

Terry and I have saved SO much money and time doing this. We buy certain veggies in bulk from the market (like our 10lb bag of onions for only $2.50 the other week) and spend one day cutting them all up with our beloved chopper (if you don't have one of these things, you need to buy one!).

Once they're all cut up, we bag them, label them (the number of onions in each bag) and throw them in the freezer.

 We now have enough onions in our freezer to last us for months AND meal prep is already done. You can't do this with all veggies (like cucumbers, etc), but we now always have a constant supply of onions and peppers all cut up, ready to be thrown into the slowcooker, or omelets, pasta sauce or any other meal that we're making. It feels like a lot of work having to cut so much up all at once, but it's completely worth it since   it saves us so much money and makes meal prep a breeze. 

3) To all of the parents with little ones out there: SHAKE YOUR RICE CEREAL.

We found out from a neighbour of ours who works for Healthy Babies Healthy Children that they have discovered that the iron in the rice cereal will all fall to the bottom of the box. So while you think you may be providing a good source of iron to your little one with each feed, all of the iron is actually stuck at the bottom. So your baby could be getting an overload of iron with the last few bowls that you feed him/her, which isn't good for their little systems. So before you pour it, give it a quick shake to avoid this.
Who knew?? 

4) Want boiled eggs? Cook them instead!

Put them in your oven in a muffin tin at 350 for 20-25mins and they'll come out perfectly cooked. My mom does this all of the time, and I've only just recently tried it. I now usually do a dozen at a time and then we have a bunch of eggs in our fridge to pull out and snack on throughout the day. So easy!! 

5) Use Lanolin cream (yes..nipple cream!..all nursing mom's probably know this brand) to clear up dry skin and minor rashes.

Especially in the winter time if you have a kid who licks their upper lip a lot, leaving that red rash..this works perfectly and won't sting at all like moisturizers. When Carter was in the NICU he developed a little red rash around his mouth when a damp soother was put in his mouth after being rinsed off, and when I asked the nurse what I could use to get rid of it, she said Lanolin cream. We have a constant supply in our house now for minor skin irritations, really dry skin and certain rashes on the kids. Thank you NICU nurses!   

6) Water down your dish soap.

My parents have been doing this for years and consequently we've followed suit. Dish soap is so incredibly concentrated, so we always fill our glass containers a few inches full of dish soap and fill up the rest with water. Give it a quick shake, and you're good to go. Sometimes for really really greasy pans you might need to use more soap, but in general you can save on dish soap and save money over time by just adding some water. Our dish soap now lasts forever in this house.

Alright, that's about it for now. Off to bed I go.

Let me know if you have any other quick and easy tips to share--I'm always looking for new ones!  

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Baby Boy Shower

Pin It Now!

Sometimes great, beautiful things are the perfect distraction from the stresses that life can sometimes bring. Our daily life isn't exactly predictable these days. Job loss isn't fun. Not in the least. It's a full time job to find a job, but we're hopeful, trying to be patient and keeping our heads up (most days). 

And motherhood? Well it kicked my butt today. The morning was wonderful, mind you, as we enjoyed a delicious brunch with friends--but the afternoon?..oh man. It felt like one of those days where the kids wouldn't stop screaming and whining, where I washed my face with hair conditioner since I was so exhausted from the rough night before {true story}, where the house was a mess and where you turn around to find the dog barfing on the carpet. Ya, that kind of day.  

But alas..a new day is already brewing. Tomorrow will be great. I'll make sure of it. 

So when life throws you lemons...throw a baby shower.

That's my theory at least. 

Friends, yummy food, drinks and celebrating new life helps to put things back into perspective and is a great reminder that life is so good. How can you not feel happy when thinking of a new baby?  

So after a lot of planning and organizing between mom, Jen and I...baking, making all of the signs after the kids went to bed and prepping all of the little details...  

Welcome to Matt and Amanda's baby shower.

Congrats you two! This little baby boy (to be) is going to be one lucky little guy when he finally makes his grand entrance into this world.    

Our handsome bartender..

Thanks my love!

Congrats Matt and Amanda! So happy for you both!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

A Late Easter Surprise

Pin It Now!

Easter with my parents came a bit late this year. They were invited to a wedding in Vancouver and decided to turn it into a mini vacation where they visited a dear family friend, did some sight seeing and enjoyed a 3 day wedding extravaganza.

As their week of fun and travels came to an end, they stepped onto their plane for the long ride home...not knowing that their three grand babies and four adult kids were all furiously planning to get to the airport to surprise them as they stepped onto land again.

With the timing well past the kids' bedtime, we put them in their jammies, packed them into the car and prepped them for the arrival of their beloved Nana and Papa. Although we're all a pretty routine-driven family when it comes to bedtime, sometimes it's important to throw away the schedule and let experiences drive our decisions instead. So that's exactly what we did.

So with signs in hand...

we sure gave them a big surprise when they stepped off of that plane.

Sometimes experiences mean more than knowing you'll have some pretty cranky kids the next day.

Mya and Oliver are STILL talking about how Nana and Papa were on a plane and they got to watch it land.

Definitely worth it.

And Easter? Well, we had our family dinner and hunt a little late this year...but it was well worth the wait...

You think Easter hunts are just for the kids?

...I think not.

The adult kids in this family (Jen, Jeff, Terry and I) get our own Easter egg hunt courtesy of mom and dad every with our empty yogurt and ice cream containers in hand, things always tend to get a bit you can see.

I'm sure she's thinking that this is what Heaven must look like...

We just won't tell her yet that although her and Oliver got a few special chocolate treats this Easter (and a lot of chasing after hidden plastic eggs), all of this is for her aunt, uncle, mom and dad. Let's not break her little heart quite yet. This stash will remain permanently hidden from little fingers for now...but just wait until you're older Mya!

Happy (late) Easter everyone!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...