Archives for August 2013

Help Your 2 to 3 Year Old Listen!

help your 2 to 3 year old listen

Sometimes getting your children to listen seems like an impossible feat, especially with young children.  When they are in that magical, but difficult 2-3 year old age.  Climbing to the top of Mount Everest seems easy in comparison.  Trying not to resort to yelling, cuz we all know, yelling is not the answer.  So, the next time you need your child to listen, try some of these easy to follow tips.

10 ways to communicate to your 2-3 year old!

(So they will listen!)


1. Settle Feelings:

No one will listen if there are lost of frayed nerves in the conversation.  Make sure that you take the 10 seconds to just breathe and think before discussing.  Helping your child to calm down is just as important, so they can focus, give them that time if possible.


2.  Avoid a Harsh or Yelling Voice:

I think it is natural in all humans, that when we get yelled at or spoken to in a harsh mean voice, we get defensive.  Instead, use a calm voice and say their name, with a simple request.  This will help them feel less attacked and they will be more willing to listen or respond.


3. Speak Eye to Eye:

Looking down at your child from full height, and commanding them to do something with a stern set in your eyes, is great for intimidation.. not for listening.  Instead, get down on your child’s level.   Ask them “Please look at my eyes”. Keep your eye’s expression soft (not hard).  You want to help them engage in the conversation and feel like they are being heard too.


4.  Short and Sweet:

Don’t rattle off a list of requests.  Make one request at a time, and be direct.  Try to keep it to one sentence.


5. Try to Avoid Negative Statements:

It seems like our first gut feeling is to tell them No.   No eating treats, no running, no hitting, no writing on the walls…  That is a lot of negative.   Next time, instead of yelling “No Running!”  try, “Let’s walk instead of running.”  Try to rephrase the request without using the word no.   If they don’t hear “No” every other word, they may actually respond to “No” when you absolutely have to use the word.


6. No If’s:

Instead of saying “If you do this… then that will happen” use the term “when”.   “When you clean up your toys, then we can go outside.”  “When,” implies that you expect them to obey,  “if,” gives them a choice as to whether or not they are going to obey.


7. Choices:

If you are leaving and they aren’t putting on their coat ask, “Would you like the red coat or the blue.”  Giving them a choice makes them feel more empowered and helps them want to be part of doing what needs to be done.


8. Help them to vocalize:

When you learn a new saying, there is nothing like reciting it out loud, to cement it in our brain.  When a child makes a mistake, you want to help them understand what is wrong.  They may not understand why they are being put in a time out, or having a toy taken away.  Discuss what happened and why they had a consequence.  Help them to apologize for what they did ” I’m sorry Mommy, I won’t hit you again.”   Having them explain why they are sorry helps them to begin to understand what they did to cross the line.


9. Follow through:

If you tell your child that they are going to go to time out if they throw their toys again, then you MUST follow through when they do throw their toys again.  If a child thinks you don’t mean what you say, they won’t listen when you say it.  Do not give empty warnings.


10.Pick Your Battles:

You don’t need to fight about everything they do.  A child needs to be able to make some choices on their own.  When my toddlers were young my doctor advised me to choose 2 or 3 things that are not allowed to do.  Be sure to discuss them with your partner, and agree that those are the things that you both will always back each other up on.  (This helps parents not to bicker amongst themselves too when a child does something that one parent tolerates but the other dislikes.)


11. Don’t be afraid to apologize:

Sometimes, A LOT of times, when we are human we make a mistake and react with a harsh voice or yelling.  Don’t be afraid to apologize to your child.  Your child need to know and see that when you make mistakes you try to make it right.


Don’t feel like you have to do them all at one time.  Just try to incorporate a few things into your day to day routine.  As they become more routine, you will see a change for the better in both the way you respond to your child and they way they respond to you!

Grey and White Painted Kitchens

Blue Grey Kitchen Cabinets

Remodeling a kitchen can be expensive.   Luckily if your kitchen cabinets are in good shape, paint can do wonders.  One of my favorite looks right now for a kitchen are a mix of grey and white painted cabinets… especially when they are working together!  Check it out!



A Clean Kitchen in 20 Minutes or Less Daily

clean kitchen in 20 minutes a day

Image Source Better Homes and Gardens


Kitchen Clean Up Tips in 20 Minutes or Less Daily

Keeping a clean kitchen is no easy task for anyone. Between the crumbs, spills and splatters a kitchen collects on a daily basis, it’s easy for it to all build up until you need to spend half your weekend in your kitchen cleaning. Here are some quick daily practices you can follow to keep your kitchen tidy in less than 15 minutes each day.


Start with a new kitchen rule:

Dishes get washed or put in the dishwasher immediately. Your sinks job is not to collect dirty dishes.


Wipe down that sink after every use – 5 minutes or less daily

Every morning pull out a clean towel or rag and hang it on the edge of your sink. Every time you use the sink whether you’re washing your hands or draining pasta, wipe it down. There won’t be time for food and water spots to dry on. A clean, sparkling sink makes all the difference in the world!


Wipe down stove, counters and dining table after each meal – 5 minutes or less daily

Spills and splatters are easier to wipe up when they’re wet. It should only take 30 seconds to a minute to quickly wipe down a surface that doesn’t have dried on drips or splatters. Remember that clean towel hanging on the edge of your sink? Use it all day to wipe down everything you use immediately.


Sweep the kitchen – 5 minutes or less daily
Grab your broom out of the garage and do a quick sweep every single day. Doesn’t matter if it’s in the morning or at midnight before bed, if you sweep everyday your floor will stay clean.


Speed clean – 5 minutes or less daily
Find that one thing that’s be bugging you and clean it as fast as you can. Spills in the fridge, dirty microwave, a few things that went bad and need to be thrown out. The key is to just do it 5 minutes a day. Don’t get sucked in to doing it any longer, 5 minutes a day will keep your kitchen manageable.


Featured Image Source

Author: Aileen is a wife, entrepreneur and animal lover. She lives in a small California town, with her husband and a handful of pets, where she spends her days designing blogs and running her online boutique. You can find more at Life by Aileen where she talks about chasing dreams and her attempts at a simpler life.

Clear out the Clutter at Home!

I think clutter is a struggle for many of us, but don’t give up and don’t let clutter win!    According to Peter Walsh, expert organizer there are two types of clutter: lazy clutter and memory clutter.

Lazy clutter, he says, “is all the stuff that accumulates out of negligence over time.”  I know I have some of that, things like unopened junk mail, old magazines and unwanted gifts. Just plain trash.

Wow, why am I allowing plain old trash to drive me crazy?  I think that is good inspiration for me to get moving.  If you need some inspiration for cleaning out the clutter in your home check out this great infographic for 15 reasons to clean up!

15 tips to clear out clutter-infographic
Clear out clutter!  Our new mantra!
Produced by SpareFoot. Copyright 2013.


5 No Heat Hairstyles

no heat haristyles


In case you haven’t heard, no heat hairstyles are becoming increasingly popular. It’s common knowledge that using any type of heat to style your hair is damaging. But you don’t have to show up with the same, undone, hair everyday just because you’re trying to avoid head. No heat hairstyles can look just as great as those that use heat tools.

5 No Heat Hairstyles

There are so many fun and different braids to choose from. French braid, fishtail braid, side braid, milkbraid, the possibilities are endless and there are thousands of tutorials out there.

Buns & Topknots
One of the quickest no heat hairstyles is the bun, also know as the topknot. These can be done to look professional and neat for work or messy and quirky for lunch with your girlfriends. Want to add a little extra personality? Add flowers or rhinestone encrusted bobby pins.

No Heat Curls
There are so many different ways to curl hair without heat. One favorite is to simply divide your hair into about four sections (depending on your hairs thickness and length) and twist it until it starts to curl onto itself. Secure it with pins or clips, sleep on it and in the morning ta-da: no heat curls!

Go Natural
There’s nothing wrong with wearing your hair natural. Whether you have gorgeous curls or sleek straight hair, going with your natural look can look just as good as any other style. Add a little product specifically made to tame or enhance our hairtype and you’re good to go.

When you think of a ponytail, you think of the typical slicked back, get this hair our of my face ponytail. However, just like braids there are several types of ponytails. Low, side ponytails or a ponytail combined with some no-heat curls can jazz up any boring hair styling routine.

Author: Aileen is a wife, entrepreneur and animal lover. She lives in a small California town, with her husband and a handful of pets, where she spends her days designing blogs and running her online boutique. You can find more at Life by Aileen where she talks about chasing dreams and her attempts at a simpler life.

Featured image source.

10 Ways to Use Coconut Oil

10 ways to use coconut oil

Coconut oil is so popular these days, thanks to its multitude of uses. Sure, you can cook and bake with it, but you can also use it for beauty purposes and even for home improvement. Read to find out about 10 different coconut oil uses.

10 Ways to Use Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is becoming more and more popular these days and for good reason. It is a great cooking oil that can withstand high heat and lends a light coconut flavor to your meat and vegetables. It can also replace vegetable oils in your baking recipes. But did you know that coconut oil can be used for so many other things that are unrelated to food? Read on to find out about 10 different coconut oil uses that you can try!


1. Use coconut oil as a deep conditioner.

Your hair will be rehydrated when you use coconut oil as a natural deep conditioner, which means less hair damage and frizz. Those who have tried this use for coconut oil report that their hair came out softer, smoother, and not oily at all.

Start with damp hair. Put some coconut oil on your hair (the amount depends on how long and thick your hair is) and wrap a warm towel around your hair. Leave the coconut oil in your hair for at least an hour. Then shampoo and condition your hair.

Other coconut oil uses for hair include using it as a hair gel, a frizz fighter, and a dry-end treatment.


2. Moisturize your skin with coconut oil.

Skip the lotion and use coconut oil to moisturize your skin. After showering, spread coconut oil all over your skin to moisturize it. Although coconut oil is solid at room temperature, leaving your container of the oil in the bathroom as you take a hot shower will soften it sightly. Your skin will be warm after showering, which will help the coconut oil to liquefy.

Coconut oil also helps reduce wrinkles and stretch marks. Some people use coconut oil as a night cream on their face. You can even use coconut oil as an eye cream if you mix it with the liquid from vitamin E capsules (3 capsules with 1 oz. of coconut oil).


3. Whiten your teeth with coconut oil.

Mix coconut oil with baking soda to form a paste that you can easily put on your toothpaste. Brushing your teeth with coconut oil will leave your teeth looking whiter and cleaner. You’ll also get that smooth feeling on your teeth that you get after visiting the dentist.


4. Try coconut oil as a shaving cream.

Spread a small amount of coconut oil on your legs and then shave them with a razor. You’ll get a smooth shave and end up with moisturized legs afterwards without the need of a lotion application.


5. Use coconut oil as a head lice treatment.

Forget the chemical-laden lice shampoo and reach for coconut oil the next time your kids get a bad case of head lice. Massage a small amount of coconut oil on the hair and use a louse detection comb to remove as much lice and eggs as you can. Shampoo the hair and then add as much coconut oil as necessary to completely coat the hair. Leave it in for at least 12 hours and comb through the hair again. Repeat as necessary and you’ll be lice-free without any need for toxic chemicals!


6. Warm up coconut oil and use it as a massage oil.

Coconut oil smells really nice and it’s all natural, making it a great choice for massage oil. Just warm it up slightly in a pot beforehand and be sure to lay down towels so you don’t stain your sheets.

As a bonus, the coconut oil will moisturize your skin as your muscles get massaged. And you’ll smell like a tropical bikini model afterwards!


7. Put coconut oil on bug bites.

Coconut oil’s antibacterial properties comes in handy when you’re suffering from millions of mosquito bites this summer. A little bit of coconut oil on your bug bites will reduce the pesky itchy feel and help it heal without scarring. Plus, coconut oil reduces your risk for infection.

You can also prevent any future bites by mixing coconut oil with peppermint oil and using it as an insect repellent.


8. Use coconut oil as a diaper cream.

Instead of buying a tube of diaper cream, slather coconut oil on your baby’s bum to treat and prevent diaper rash. It works well with all kinds of diaper rash, including the dreaded yeast rash. Parents have reported that the coconut oil heals the skin quickly and, as long as it is used every third diaper, is very effective at preventing diaper rash.

What’s more, it’s safe to use coconut oil with cloth diapers.


9. Put coconut oil on your feet.

As discussed earlier, coconut oil is great at moisturizing your skin. Thus, it makes sense to use it on your feet to make them soft and smooth. But that’s not the only reason to put coconut oil on your feet — it can also be used to treat athlete’s foot and other foot fungus issues. Just spread the oil on your feet every night and put on socks as you sleep and you’ll see a difference in your feet.


10. Use coconut oil to refinish your wood furniture.

So far, we’ve discussed the different ways to use coconut oil for beauty purposes, but the miracle oil can also be used on your furniture!

Dry and worn out wood furniture will look better after a coat of coconut oil applied with a microfiber cloth. It hides imperfections, scratches, and other imperfections. The oil hydrates the wood and brings out its natural color. It’s also great at removing strange odors from old furniture.


Whew, that’s a lot of uses for coconut oil! You’ll probably be able to free up some space in your home by replacing several products with only one jar of coconut oil.

For more tips on improving your health, check out 7 Easy Ways to Increase Your Metabolism.

 “I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”  Please check out my blog What the Vita!


6 Ways to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Summer

Keep your dog cool  in the summer


When summer rolls around it’s important to look at different ways you can keep your dog cool and comfortable. If you want to keep your dog cool this summer, I’ve gathered a few tips for you.

6 Ways to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Summer

 1. Frozen Treats & Food

Check your local petstore for logs of pet food. Most have these available and the logs can be cut into large chunks and frozen. Even better, put it in a kong toy and your dog will be entertained as well as cool.

2. Use a Kid Pool

Not all dogs love water, but it’s worth a try to see if yours does! Kiddie pools are cheap and can be filled up and kept in the shade for your dog to stand or lay in when he gets overheated. Kiddie pool too much of a hassle? Throw down a wet towel in the shade that your pup can rest on to cool off.

3. Keep Your Dog Inside

If at all possible, try to keep your dog inside on hot days. This is especially recommended during the hottest part of the day. Worried your dog will tear up the place while you’re gone? Most dogs can be kept in crates for a few hours while your gone keeping your future and your furry friend safe.

4. Time Your Walks & Exercise Right

Even though you might not feel like it, your dog still need exercise in the heat of the summer. Try to walk or run your pooch in the early morning or late afternoon when it’s cooled down a bit and overheating is less of a threat.

5. Grooming Can Make a Huge Difference

If you have a dog with long hair or a dense undercoat, a trip to the groomer can work wonders! Thick undercoats can be brushed out and long hair can be cut to increase air circulation and allow your dog to feel breezes to cool down.

6. Keep Your Dog Hydrated

Never underestimate the importance of having water available for your pet at all times!


Author: Aileen is a wife, entrepreneur and animal lover. She lives in a small California town, with her husband and a handful of pets, where she spends her days designing blogs and running her online boutique. You can find more at Life by Aileen where she talks about chasing dreams and her attempts at a simpler life.

How to Incorporate Emerald in Your Home Decor

how to incorporate emerald into your home decor

This year, Pantone has named Emerald, “a lively, radiant, lush green,” as the color of the year for 2013.  According to the Psychology of color, Emerald is a very positive hue, which feels luxurious and up-scale.  The executive director for the Pantone Color Institute, Leatrice Eiseman, explains, “The most abundant hue in nature, the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum.  Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world.”  If you could use a bit of clarity and rejuvenation, along with some luxury, adding the color of the year to your home decor may be just what you need!  Here are some simple and budget-friendly ideas for adding Emerald to your living spaces (and read this article for more tips on how to pick colors for your home!).

How to Incorporate Emerald in Your Home Decor

1. Paint!  Any DIY guru will point out that painting gives you the biggest bang for your buck as far as re-doing a space.  Not thrilled about the prospect of a green room?  Don’t worry!  Add an accent wall in a solid or patterned emerald.  Don’t want that much commitment?  Spray paint some frames for photos or a small console or end table.

2. Start small.  The easiest way to incorporate any color into your home decor is to add it in pops, here and there.  You don’t need to change your entire living space (who has the time, energy or money??) but you can easily switch out small decor items like figurines or vases.  Thrift stores can be a treasure trove of small tchotchkes and unique glassware.  Remember you can spray paint mason jars, or even use a “ DIY stained glass” technique to clear vases.  (just don’t use them for food after!)

3. Textiles.  Another inexpensive way to add pops of color is through the fabric you use in your room.  No doubt your living space has seating of some sort, and this seating is the ideal home to throw pillows.  Create your own pillow covers, or if your pillows are neutral, add green sashes, belts or bows to give them new life.  You can create your own inexpensive curtains by stenciling with fabric paint on drop cloths or sewing together flat sheets for bold stripes.  It can be pricey to find a large rug with an appropriate color and pattern, so consider painting your own or piecing together small rugs to make a large one.

4. Be artsy.  Create your own artwork for your walls.  There are many different ways to make family word art or print meaningful quotes to frame.  You can use paint, embroidery, vinyl, monograms, flowers, buttons, and mod podge on stretched canvas frames to create personalized works of art.  You don’t even need to pick up a brush to create these fabric-wrapped canvases, from Remodelaholic, and you can easily use any color or pattern will suit your living space!  Even easier, there are scads of free printables in graphic or quote form ripe for the picking – all you have to do is Google it and frame it!

5. Cover up.  Another idea to consider is how the items you bring into your room will affect the colors already present.  If your couch isn’t a neutral color, for instance, consider buying a slip cover.  You can slip cover wingback chairs, or even straight-back dining chairs if you want.

Emerald home decor product sources from image above:  Emerald rug,  lamp, geometric lamp, clock, vase, pillow, monogram pillowtable, chair, sofa, chair.  Check out this useful and easy to follow guide for changing your living space based on the season – including color combos to try out!

Author: Kimberly of Bugaboo Blog

5 Easy Zucchini Recipes

Saffron Spaghetti with zucchini

Zucchini, a delicious and healthy summer squash, is everywhere this summer. Try these five easy zucchini recipes to add some extra vitamin A to your summer diet!

5 Easy Zucchini Recipes


It’s summer… which probably means that you have zucchini in your refrigerator or your garden. If you don’t, just hop over to your local farmer’s market or grocery store and you’ll find plenty of zucchini waiting for you. This delicious summer squash is easy to grow and even easier to eat. Its mild flavor, high vitamin A content, and low calorie count make it a great addition to your dinner table. Make zucchini a staple in your diet this summer by trying these three simple zucchini recipes.


Stuffed Zucchini Boats-

Grab four zucchini and cut them in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the middle and toss half of it in a medium pot. Add frozen corn, canned chopped green chiles, Romano cheese, monterey jack cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Heat up the mixture and then scoop it back into the zucchini halves. If you like lots of cheese, go ahead and add some more monterey jack cheese on top. Set the oven to 350 degrees and let the stuffed zucchini boats cook for 10-15 minutes or when the zucchini softens slightly. Serve immediately.


Grilled Zucchini Roll-ups-

If you tend to fire up the grill during the summer, this recipe is perfect for you. Slice your zucchini thinly, lengthwise, with a mandoline slicer. Toss them lightly in olive oil, add salt and pepper to taste, and then throw them on the grill. Let cook for a few minutes on each side until they get nice brown grill marks and then take them out. Put a scoop of pesto or herbed goat cheese on the bottom of a grilled zucchini slice and roll it up. Secure it with a toothpick. You can experiment with different fillings to find your favorite roll-up.


(Not) Fried Zucchini Chips-

Fried zucchini chips, the kind you get at Italian restaurants, are so good and so bad for you. Try a healthier version at home by baking your zucchini chips instead. Start by thinly slicing your zucchini into rounds with a mandoline slicer. A thickness of around 1/4 to 1/8 inch is ideal. Toss the zucchini rounds with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread the zucchini on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and pop it into the oven at 275 degrees. Bake for around 30 minutes and then turn over the zucchini rounds. Bake for another 30 minutes or when the zucchini chips are browned and crisp.


Zucchini Kabobs-

This is another easy zucchini recipe for you to try out on your grill. Soak bamboo skewers in water for at least 15 minutes to reduce their flammability. Meanwhile, slice your zucchini into ½-inch rounds and toss them with your favorite marinade or a simple olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper mixture. Thread the zucchini slices on the bamboo skewers (through the skin, so the cut sides will be on the grill) and cook them on your grill for a few minutes until they’re golden and cooked through.


Zucchini and Shrimp Quesadillas-

Start with a large whole-wheat flour tortilla and heat it up in a cast iron pan. Spread chopped zucchini over half of the tortilla and add cooked shrimp, Monterrey jack cheese, and your favorite quesadilla ingredients. Try including avocado, green onions, black beans, cilantro, and/or corn in your zucchini and shrimp quesadillas. Yum!

Check out these other great Zucchini recipes:  Zucchini lasagna, zucchini pancakes, coconut zucchini yogurt bread and much more…. For more easy cooking tips, check out 5 Tips for Cooking Great Eggs.

About the Author:

“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”  Please check out my blog What the Vita!

Tips for Parents: Easing the Back-to-School Transition

Tips for Parents | Make the Back-to-School Transition Easier via #backtoschool #kids #simplify #tips

Summer is drawing to a close and school will be starting up again soon. We all know it’s challenging for kids to transition from the lazy days of summer back to the more stringent routines and responsibilities of school days. But it can be hard for parents, too. Here are some tips for making the back-to-school transition a little easier for everyone. (featured image via Real Simple)

7 Tips for Parents to Ease the Back-to-School Transition via


1) Supply inventory: Before you rush out to buy school supplies, check around the house for  pens, notebooks, paper, etc. leftover from last year’s supplies. You might be able to shorten or even eliminate a trip to the office supply store.


2) Checklists: Make checklists of must-do morning routine tasks for the kids (make bed, brush teeth, feed dog, etc.) and let them check each item off as it is completed. Going through the checklist each morning will help them establish a new routine and avoid any last-minute forgotten items.


3) Outfits: Over the weekend, help your child choose an outfit for each day of the coming week and set them out (grouped on hangers or in a labeled daily pile) in his/her room so there’s no agonizing or arguing over what to wear each morning.


4) Lunches: Pack lunch bags the night before so that each child can simply grab one on the way out the door.


5) Easy breakfast: Consider pre-making and stockpiling breakfast items that will require only minimal effort in the morning. Portioned baggies of instant oatmeal, yogurt cups, cut-up fruit and healthy muffins can help take the fuss out of eating a good breakfast before school – or on the go.


6) Family calendar: Start the schoolyear off right by using a wall or desk calendar to keep track of each family member’s schedule in one place (use a different color marker for each person). This can make it easier to visualize what each day’s activities will look like and who needs to be where and when.


7) Downtime: Don’t forget that part of planning the family calendar should include schedule some downtime for yourself as well as the kids.

Julianne Puckett is the creator of Yankee Kitchen Ninja, a blog about what she calls “stealthy homemaking” — healthy recipes that are quick and easy to prepare, DIY gardening tips and the occasional craft project. A designer, writer and former suburban-dwelling IT professional, she lives in rural Vermont, where she struggles to balance the siren call of her inner farmer with her love of cute shoes and cocktails.


5 Simple Sanding Tips

5 simple sanding tips

5 Simple Sanding Tips!

1. When you are building projects that needs sanding, one of the biggest mistakes a beginner might make is putting too much pressure on the sander.  Allow the sander to do the work.
2. On flat surfaces, always sand with the grain of the wood, meaning sand parallel with the basic direction of the lines of the wood grain, don’t sand perpendicular to those lines.
3. Start out with a heavy grit (which is actually the lower number like 60 or 80)  Then jump up and work your way into the larger numbers and finer grits as you go til you get to the desired smoothness.
4. For painted you need to sand to at least 120 grit.  For staining minimum 220 grit.
5. When spray painting furniture etc to get a glossy professional finish be sure to lightly sand between coats with a 320 grit sanding pad.   Do not sand after the final coat if you want to keep the finish even.  If you want a burnished effect on a piece of furniture, spray paint with flat paint, then sand after the final coat (being sure not to remove excess paint)  It is a unique smooth finish that is worth giving a try.

Tips for Organizing Kids Closets


Tips for Organizing Kid’s Closets

1. Out of Sight, Out of Mind. For your child’s favorite clothes keep them nice and close. There is no point in keeping those items out of reach. Just a few hooks, or a small basket within reach so that the kiddos can grab these things and go. It will also help to keep these items off the ground if your child can help to put them away easily!

2. Repeat: Out of Sight, Out of Mind. Don’t feel the need to keep out of season items in view, it will just be cause for extra child parent battles, or for extra mess in the space. So go ahead and put it out of reach inside a box.

3. Box it Up: Keep a look out for great boxes and baskets of different shapes and sizes, they are terrifically handy for closet storage. Whatever your shelving options are, there’s sure to be something to fit.

4. Purge Seasonally: Kids grow like weeds. Be sure that with each seasons change you also purge all the excess clothing that either no longer fits. I find that is the only way to keep my kids closets to a minimum which helps control the mess.

Follow these other great tips for organizing kids closets.

Budget Bathroom Organization

Budget bathroom organization copy

Did you know that it should take you no more than 10 minutes to find a needed item in your bathroom – less for more frequently used items?  If it’s a trek into the Bermuda Triangle to locate your round brush, you might benefit from some bathroom-specific organization.  Tip-top organization can seem a daunting task – especially when you’re on a budget – but it doesn’t have to be!  Check out these tips for making-over your bathroom on the cheap, and show off your master organizational skills!

Budget Bath Organization

1. Think double duty.  If you’re short on space and trying to stick to a budget, there’s no room for knick-knacks.  Make your organization pull twice it’s weight as ACCESSORIES.  When considering your organizational options, be mindful of form AND function.  Pay special attention to the style and feeling you’re trying to bring to your bath and make sure that all of your organizational choices complement each other.  Containers, baskets and shelves are a great way to bring pops of color into the room.

2. Think outside the box.  That is, outside the bathroom walls.  Behind the plaster and drywall, there are studs, and between those studs is – you guessed it – SPACE!  Lots and lots of unused space.  Consider opening up a box or two right within the existing walls and taking advantage of the hidden space there.  Quality DIY built-ins don’t have to be complex or cost a bundle.  With some trim and bead board, paint and the right tools you can have shelves without giving up space.  Check out this towel cubby from This Old House.

3. Think about the big picture.  Leave no stone unturned, or space unorganized.  Most people think about storing things under the sink, in the cabinets, and in cute containers on the counter.  But what about the wall space above the toilet or mirror?  What about the back of the bathroom door or the inside of the cabinet doors?  You can even mount a shelf above a shower head.  Here’s a cute idea for a storage shelf under a large mirror, but up off of the counter (from BHG).  Don’t shortchange yourself – there’s a lot of “hidden” space just staring you in the face.

5. Think UP.  If you confine yourself to “normal” organization – counter space, cabinets, shelves – you not only limit your organization, but your creativity as well.  Almost anything can be hung directly on the wall to create niches and nooks.  Think about hanging a series of baskets instead of shelves.  Or use a framed magnetic makeup board for your cosmetics, instead of taking up an entire drawer.  You can even frame your toothbrushes, as seen on Vintage Revivals!

6. Think green.  What?  Yes, that’s right, GREEN.  As in, reuse!  Take a look at items you already have around your house and try to re-imagine them.  Wooden spice rack make great shelves for small items and mason jars or wide vases are great for corralling like-items together – everything from cotton balls to nail polish.   In fact, you can use just about any container – vintage metal tins, old cans you’ve painted, glass or wooden bowls – to display and store things within easy reach.  An unused hanging wine rack can house rolled-up, clean towels.  And every bathroom has empty toilet paper tubes!  Turn them into something useful and use them to keep cords untangled, like Our Thrifty Ideas did.  In short, use what you’ve got!


For even more specific tips and tricks, check out this post from Remodelaholic!

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Author, Kimberly of Bugaboo Blog

Easy Microwaved Omelet Recipe

Easy Omelets To Go

Please do me a favor!

Fast Budget Breakfast!  Easy Microwaved Omelet Recipe

Sometimes you are in a hurry before getting out the door in the morning.  Who am I kidding, isn’t that everyday?  Well you don’t have to go without a decent breakfast even when you  are in a hurry, and you also don’t have to eat some shelf stable bar that is loaded with sugar.

Try this simple Microwave Omelet for a hardy breakfast on the go, that is also budget friendly.

If you are in a hurry but still want a filling breakfast.  Try a microwave omelet for breakfast on the go.

2 eggs

2 tsp sour cream (or substitute milk, cream or cream cheese)

2 tbsp shredded cheddar cheese

1 tsp chives (optional)

salt and pepper to taste.



Spray a coffee cup with cooking spray, beat the eggs, sour cream, cheese, chives (if adding) salt and pepper together in the cup.

Place the cup in the microwave.  Cook on high for 45 seconds.  Stir the eggs with a fork, cook again, stir repeat till the eggs are set.  But don’t overcook.

* If you know your morning is going to be hectic, try preparing the egg mixture in the cup the night before cover with saran wrap and in the morning pull out the eggs give them a quick whip and follow the cooking instructions! image source

Check out this post if you would like to see some 5 Great Tips for Cooking Great Eggs