Thursday, August 25, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
5 Ways to Simplify School Day Mornings
The alarm clock is buzzing, and everyone is stumbling blindly into the hallway. It's the first day of school, guys! If your house becomes a chaotic place in the hours before everyone leaves for work, school, and any other stops along the way, you need a new method to your family madness.
Rather than hire a personal assistant for everyone in your household, take control of the daily goings-on between your walls. There are a few simple but very effective ways to simplify your morning routine. Avoid the early a.m. meltdowns, and give your kids a great start to their day by making these five changes:
1. Pack the Night Before
Just like you would for a flight, make sure the backpack and lunch box are ready to go before everyone gets into bed. Grab and go makes it unbelievably easy in the a.m. and eliminates the big scramble.
2. Healthy & Quick Breakfast
Have at least three go-to fast, easy, and healthy breakfast recipes on hand, with all the ingredients you need fully stocked. Three suggestions: Steel cut oatmeal, salsa baked eggs, fruit-filled yogurt & granola.
3. Get a Bathroom Routine
If mom showers first, kid #1 second, dad third, and the other one takes a bath the night before -- keep this schedule every single day. That way everyone gets into a groove and knows how much time they have before they can claim the bathroom and/or breakfast table.
4. Streamline the Commute
You may love hanging out with the kindergarten moms, and he may prefer to pick up every Thursday. But no matter who usually takes whom, map out the work and school routes and see if maybe you've been creating more drive time for yourselves by ignoring an easy commuting solution.
5. Family Board
Whether it's chalk, erasable marker, or a giant note pad, create a central writing space that everyone must consult before going to bed. This is where you'll write down any appointments, school supplies needed, or permission slip reminders for the next day. Use it, write it, read it, and don't feel the last-minute panic ever again. (thestir.cafemom.com)
Monday, August 22, 2011
-This time of year we try to fit in all sorts of appointments. I went to the doctor and discovered I had read every publication there cover to cover--including one coined WebMD: The Waiting Room Publication! Yikes! If you're fitting in physicals and dentist appointments with your kids, I feel for you!
-VW Beetle is getting a remake as it tries to overcome its reputation as a "girl car" (I guess those red ladybug cars with the black dots would do that for you!) Anyway, we should see a new sleeker, upscale model for 2012.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
-The 1980s classic film Back to the Future depicts a future with flying cars and "skyways." So when you were a kid thinking about the year "2011," what did you think we'd be doing by now that we do not have the capability to do? (By the way, the internet is way cooler than anything I did come up with when I was a kid, but I did hope we'd have flying cars!!)
-On January 1, 2011, it was announced that Nicole C. Mullen was being inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame. She will be formally inducted on November 5, 2011.
"Lunch for a Bunch" contest resumes next week!
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Men's Health asked men, "What scares you most about aging?"
Feeling old physically, 32%
Declining in mental health, 15%
Outliving savings, 12%
Closer to death, 10%
Losing looks, 8% (This one most definitely would be higher if they had asked women!)
Seeing my loved ones go before me, 8%
So, what about aging scares you?
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
August 8-14 is Romance Your Spouse Week. I was excited to find this list because my husband Andrew and I are celebrating our 15th Anniversary today (and yes, there are some things here I need to work on!). Here are a few ideas to try today from the book Living Romantically Every Day:
Make a list -- Make a list of the special days on the calendar that you celebrate together, such as the day you met, your yearly anniversary, or even the anniversary of your first kiss.
Reach out and touch her -- Use the power of touch to make a lasting impression throughout the day.
Create a photo album -- Take pictures often; don't save the camera for holidays and special occasions. Create a visual scrapbook of your everyday life together.
Take note of significant things -- Set something aside for her every day. It might be a newspaper article you read during your commute, a link to a web site you came across, or even a story you heard by the office water cooler.
Be thoughtful -- Do something thoughtful for her every day. Whether it's making her a cup of coffee in the morning, sticking a surprise note in her bag, or leaving her a chocolate "kiss" on her pillow before bedtime.
Keep up your appearance -- Let her see you at your best. It's ironic that we dress up to meet total strangers but let ourselves go around our nearest and dearest. Most women love to see their men clean-shaven, in great clothes and perhaps wearing a hint of her favorite cologne.
Tell her about your moods -- Be honest if you are feeling stressed or under the weather. Your woman will appreciate your honesty and will know not to take it personally when you come home in a bad mood.
Discuss your day -- Sit down together when you get home and relate your daily experiences. The best thing about spending time apart is that it makes you appreciate each other more.
Friday, August 5, 2011
You may be in the process of back-to-school shopping, but save some of it for Tax-Free Week in Maryland (August 14-20). While many states may have a tax-free weekend, this full week is a great time to stock up on clothing for the kids--and yourself!
One trend I've noticed is school uniform prices are actually going up, so be sure to check that items are a real deal before filling the cart to the top! I love shopping consignment shops tax-free--now that's a bargain!
Monday, August 1, 2011
What to do with the kids when it's 100 degrees:
If you have a trampoline and a sprinkler, put the sprinkler under it and jump with the water on.
Take a video of yourself outside with a thermometer and record your thoughts. You can say that you were there in the Heat Wave of '11.
Do the experiment: See if it is actually hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk. Need melted chocolate (let’s say to dip those strawberries)? Trying putting it in a bowl and sticking it in your car to see if your chocolate will melt.