Will you come to my potluck?

This is my 100th blog entry!  Woo-Hoo!   I know it’s been going since February, but I still am having a hard time believing that I’ve actually had that much to talk/write about 🙂  Anyway, I’ve been wanting to have a little potluck party of sorts, and what better time to celebrate than with my little mini bloggy milestone.

What do you bring to a blog potluck, you might ask?  Well, those who know me well know that I am not the most organized person in the world.  I’m not horrible, but I could use some help.  That got me to thinking that everyone can probably use some help in that department, no matter how “together” you may be.  So here’s my idea– let’s have an idea exchange… what little tricks/tips do you use to make your life a little easier?  This could be anything from household to kids, automotive, beauty, etc.  It doesn’t have to be an organizational tip, either, just something that others might find helpful.

I’d also like to use this as an opportunity to get to know some of my lurkers.  I know you’re there– I see you in my stats, Lexington, KY.   And you, too, Lees Summit, MO.  Don’t be shy- I love visitors! 

As incentive for all of your good ideas that I am anticipating, I would also like to mention that there will be a giveaway at the end of this post.  Nothing big, but someone will be randomly selected from the comment section at 8 p.m. EST on Friday, Oct. 24th to win something festive from me.  But you have to leave at least one tip.  If the random number generator selects a commenter who did not leave a tip, I will keep going until it does. 

So I’ll get us started.  Some of my tips are my own, some I’ve adopted from other sources.  Hopefully I can remember everything that’s been rattling around in my head for the past couple of days.  Maybe some of you already do these things, but hopefully somebody finds them helpful.

  1. First, a cooking idea- my secret ingredient to give sauces a little extra zing and creaminess?  Sour cream.  We always have it on hand here, and added to spaghetti sauce, it’s sort of like a mock vodka cream sauce.  Also, I add it to cream soups instead of milk when I’m using them for sauces for things like chicken pot pie, beef stroganoff, etc.  Yummy!
  2. That reminds me of another secret ingredient for quick weeknight meals.  What do you do when you have some leftover chicken, ham, beef, etc., but maybe not enough to make an entire meal?  Make it stretch- fry it up with some onions and/or other veggies you like & throw it all in with some prepared pancake batter & shredded cheese and fry ’em up like you would regular pancakes.  You can even throw in some sour cream 😉  
  3. I’ve probably shared this before, but I’ll include it because it’s something I use all the time.  Max is a great eater- he eats a wide variety of fruits & veggies, can be coaxed to eat his meat at dinner, and doesn’t have a problem with whole grain breads, etc.  Wyatt, on the other hand, is quite the challenge.  Apart from cucumbers and tomatoes, the boy will not eat his veggies.  He does, however, like spaghetti with red sauce, so I started cooking a whole bunch of veggies in with the sauce until they’re tender, then pureé the whole thing in a blender to give him a nice little vitamin boost.  I’ve added stuff like carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, peppers, squash, you name it.  It’s also a great way to use up that frozen spinach nobody will eat.  Just be careful with adding too many greens, because it will change the color of your red sauce to brown.
  4. In the past, I’ve been a big time waster, especially when I know I only have 10 minutes or so before I have to be out the door.  Since I hate to clean, I’m also not the best housekeeper in the world.  So I started playing this game with myself:  What can I get accomplished in 10 minutes?  I was amazed to find out that I could get the bathrooms wiped down, or all the beds made, or the dishwasher unloaded.  If I put a time limit on myself, it not only makes me work faster, but it also makes the chore seem not so daunting.   
  5. This is one I swiped from the DIY network.  My kids are really into hard boiled eggs.  I learned from DIY that if you save the water from boiling your eggs, let it cool, then use it to water your plants, they really benefit from the protein boost.  I can’t verify if this really makes a big difference, but if you’re going to be watering plants anyway, why not re-use the water?
  6. Here’s one from the Queen of Clean I plan on using, since I’ve made several scratches in our floors lately:  To repair hardwood floor scratches, simply take a crayon the color of the floor and rub it on the scratch to fill the gap. Turn a blow dryer on high, heat the area where the crayon was applied and buff with a soft cloth
  7. Finally, this one is a little gross, especially to bring to a potluck, but I can attest, it truly works.  I learned this from angry chicken.  Apparently, to get rid of a wart, you don’t need to go to the Dr. and have it burned off, dug out, etc.  Just soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar & put a band aid over it every night for a week or so & it will eventually shrink & disappear.  I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but I’ve had one on my arm for about 5 years now…. why haven’t I gone to the doctor to just have it removed?  I dunno, but I have tried several over the counter remedies, and this is the only thing that has worked.  It does sting a little at first, but within a day, I could see a difference.  A week later, it’s just little scab healing nicely.  Sorry to gross you out, but hey, it helped me!

So, that’s all I have for now.  What helpful little morsels can you bring to the potluck?  I’d love to hear!


33 Responses

  1. I’m a lurker! I’ve been reading PoopandBoogies for a few years & started reading your blog at the beginning. I have 2 girls, 10 & 7 and a boy, 4. Here’s my tip – and you’ll appreciate this as your kids get into more activities:

    I hang all our important papers on the INSIDE of my cupboard doors. How many lists can we have, right? We have the bus schedule for all 3, the monthly lunch menu, soccer, Karate, Religion class, class schedule if I want to visit the girls at school, approves snacks for a peanut free classroom, my volunteer schedule for the preschool and any party invitations….

    All that mess is out of sight, but always handy when I need to figure out what they heck is going on! Paper is my biggest battle, and this may be my only victory!

    Happy 100th!

  2. Another lurker- we’re not so bad! Also a Poop & Boogies reader that was way happy to read your side of the story. Love both, and congrats on the 100th! As I am a Mom to two active sons who are both 9 (not twins- one adopted), as well as being a full time physician, time is my enemy and laundry is the bane of my existence. I have found that color coding underwear and socks is very helpful when trying to sort from the dryer. I take a red Marks Alot marker (doesn’t wash out like sharpies do eventually) and put a line across the toes and in the waistband of my smaller son’s socks/undies. It doesn’t show when worn, but makes my life simpler cuz I am able to quickly fish all of his stuff out from the rest of the sea of white, and Dad and brother also know whose is whose.

    I also use different colored hangers- again red for one, blue for the other and white for Mom and Dad. The boys then know where the laundry goes and can help by taking it to their closets (and ours!) when asked.

    I know this is nothing new to alot of you, but it sure helps me! I am looking forward to reading the other tips!

  3. Happy 100th Blog Entry!!! What an exciting milestone to hit!

    I’m not really good with tips and tricks. I do however have one for the bathroom cleaning. I hate to clean bathrooms!

    Johnson and Johnson makes a soap for kids called Buddies. It’s a bar of soap wrapped in a green mesh beg to make it less slippery for the kiddos. Well, that little bar of soap does wonders for my bathtub! Even with Comet I always had a hard time getting the tub ring clean and such. Well, NO MORE! I use that bar of soap once a week and it takes me like 10 minutes to get the tub sparkly and clean. I think it’s a combination of the soap AND the green mesh it’s wrapped in that works so well.

    The soap bars are really cheap and always have coupons out. I think they are like .98 cents at Walmart and I always wait for the $2.00 of two coupon, which makes them free!

    I look forward to reading about other tips and tricks as I could use some advice. I really like your number 6 tip. VERY creative!

  4. Congrats on the 100th entry. I too have been reading Poop and Boogies since almost the beginning.

    I am the mother of 4, grandmother of 1. Laundry!! Bane of my existence too.

    I have 3 girls and clothes were handed down I used dots made with a magic marker on the clothing tags. 1st girl had one dot, 2nd girl had 2 dots, 3rd girl had 3 dots.

    I love Dawn Power Dissolver for dishes. It not only cleans dishes, it takes marks off of walls, floors, etc. I even used it to get black magic marker out of a hideous pink satiny comforter that my youngest wrote all over. I sprayed the comforter and scrubbed it using one of those “Sonic Scrubbers” (as seen on TV, but I got mine at Walmart). Voila! Clean as new. Be careful, it did take the melted the paint on the bedroom door.\

    My boyfriend told me about this one. Leave out a step when getting the kids to empty the dishwasher. Some mom he knew came up with the idea that instead of putting all the dishes away, the kids could just go ahead and set the table. From dishwasher straight to the table.

  5. My mom taught me this one. It takes one day of effort, and after that saves you so much time.

    Basically you head to the grocerry store and record by row the major items you buy a lot. So Aisle one: milk, butter, eggs, etc. Aisle Two: bread, etc etc. Once you get home put it in a word document with a __ in front of each item, plus an extra blank space at the end of each aisle list. Effort done…

    Now the making life easy part. Anytime my mom is getting ready to go shopping she prints out a copy, and goes down the list checking off each item she needs to pick up. That way there’s no forgetting something she wanted to add to her list. Plus, when she gets to the store, there’s no having to run back a few aisles for something you forgot… you simply work your way down the list. So easy!

  6. Congrats on the 100th post. I am not a lurker, just a fan. If it weren’t for you, I might not have pulled out the sewing machine or picked up felt for years. Thanks for the spurring on! (Does that make sense?)
    Ok my tips-
    I have been planning my menus for almost a year now. I am not always faithful and it shows when I am not. Planning my dinner meals and knowing what is needed for them and the rest of the meals helps me to keep costs down when I shop.
    I write the menu on a white board for the whole family to see so I don’t get the question of what is for dinner?

    Snack basket-a friend of mine does this and I have yet to implement it but it’s a great tip. She buys and puts foods that her kids, she has 5 of them, can eat as snacks in between meals in that basket and they know that if it’s in there, it can be eaten. She puts in a variety of foods so that her kids are healthy and not bored.

    I believe in fewer steps where ever possible so it makes sense to store items that are commonly used together in the same place. I have the coffee and filters right above the coffee maker, next to the glasses. I keep napkins on the table. I know this may seem like common sense but I have been in homes where the filters are like 6 yards away from the pot! lol…

    Ok that’s about it for now. Happy blogging. How much longer before baby boy #3 is here?

  7. Here is my little tip of the day:

    Keep a shammy (a sham-wow works well) and a Mr. Clean Magic eraser in the shower. As you shower wipe down the walls and the floor with the magic eraser, the when you are finished showering just wipe down with the shammy wring out and hang up to dry. You will never have to scrub mold and mildew or soap scum again. About once a week before I go to bed I spray the bath/shower down with an Eco friendly mildew remover and let it sit overnight.

  8. I get an email from this website Monday through Friday. It has tons of tips and such.
    Everyday Cheapskate [cheapskate@everydaycheapskate.com]
    One of my favorites was to take cereal boxes (or any kind of box) and cut it so that it fits in a drawer to use for an organizer. I use them in my kids rooms, the kitchen, & the bathroom. I have a 14 yr old son and a 5 yr old daughter. She has a ton of hair therefore we have lots of bows, scrunchies, ponytail holders, ect. I use the plastic containers with lids that ice cream comes in to store them in and keep them seperated. Hope someone uses these!

    Congrats on 100! I can’t wait til I’m there too!

  9. Congrats on 100! I’ve picked up some tips over the years and here are some of the ones that I can readily recall.

    1) Tape recipes and kitchen tips that you usually find yourself looking up over and over to the inside of your kitchen cabinets. Kind of like Anne above, except I use my inside cabinet space for recipes, ingredients, and tips (like how to make SR flour when you don’t have any!).

    2) Let the kids fill their own water and juice cups. It gives them something to do and makes them feel important. Do this with less mess by lowering the dishwasher door and letting them use the inside of the door as a table. Spills are no problem because you can just close the door after and any excess liquid just pours on into the dishwasher. The door ‘table’ is usually just the right height for small kiddos as well.

    3) I fully agree with Meegs192 above. As many times as I go to the grocery, I pretty much know the aisles by heart. However, having a master plan works wonders. I made an Excel document with all the the normal items I purchase, in the order of aisle and where they’re located. I leave a few blanks in each section for add ons. Then when I get ready to shop, or when I find I’m out of something, I use Excel to highlight the item and when I’m ready to shop, just print it out and go.

    4) I use the plastic baby wipe containers to hold and organize things. Pens and pencils, hair accessories, small toys, etc.

    5) One of my favorite tips is to save old socks from Daddy and then when you need the floor mopped, or need to let the kids get rid of excess energy do this: Stick the old socks on the kids’ feet, let them dip their feet in soapy water, and let them ice skate on the floor. Clean floor, happy kids, disposable mop/socks.

    If I can think of any more, I’ll do another post. Have to run out for an appt. 🙂

  10. When coming back from a trip to the range, and you field strip your pistols, it’s really cool to have an old tooth brush holder. You know, one that could hold like 5 tooth brushes. When you take our your barrels and spray them with bore-cleaning foam, you can set the barrels in the toothbrush holders and let the foam action clean away while you clean the frame and slide. Sorry, that’s the only practical advice I have to share.

  11. Hi there! I’m delurking as well, from New Brunswick, Canada! I’ve been following P&B for years now (I don’t even remember how I ever ended up there) and have been following your blog ever since you started. I love both yours and Bill’s blogs! Keep up the fantastic work!

    My tip is whenever I travel and am bringing necklaces with me, I cut a drinking straw to half the size of my necklace. I then slip one end of the necklace through the straw and then clasp it closed to the other side of the necklance, once it comes out the out end of the straw. It keeps them from getting knotted.

  12. Longtime lurker, first time commenter. I’m hoping the giveaway will be something crafty for my 2 year old son!

    My two tips are laundry-related….
    Use a mesh lingerie bag to wash kid’s socks. Keeps them from getting eaten by the washer and dryer, plus you don’t have to sort through to find them in a pile if they need extra drying time.

    Put “outfits” together in the drawer as you fold clothes. Match shirts and pants together….this cuts down on my “no, not THAT shirt!” whining-fest that used to come every morning.

    Forget stain stick or spray n wash. Dap laundry soap directly on stains and let it sit. Works like a charm. If, that is, you’re still buying/sewing clothes that can’t be bleached and really, why would you do something so silly?

    Happy 100th post!

  13. Meegs’ tip is something that I did before but now I have to do again and Coles tip cracked me up.

  14. I keep a sponge and a small bottle of dishwashing liquid (Dawn, Joy, etc) in the bathroom. I turn on the hot water then I put a little soap on the sponge and before I shower (yep, totally naked and while in the shower) I scrub down the shower. It really does get all the junk and a lot of the soap scum. Then I rinse off the shower and finish cleaning myself-um not with the dishwashing liquid. Although in a pinch it can be used in place of shampoo.
    I’m not a mom but I am a part-time nanny right now.

  15. I have a tip I learned over the weekend at my aunt’s house. It sounds strange, and she thought so too, but she says it works.

    Fill a plasic baggie with water (ziplock) and pin it over your doors. It keeps flies from coming in the house. She says she was skeptical, but that it really works!

    Also, an oldie.. but if you have any marks on your floors that won’t come off, lighter fluid removes them very easily.

    That said, I’ve found the Mr. Clean Dry Erasers are a gift from up above – I use them for everything now – removes pen, pencil, and crayon marks from walls.

    Gratz on you 100 posts! 🙂

  16. When the kids spill gooey rice or couscous on the dining room chairs I wait until it’s dry then dust bust it up. It smears when it’s fresh!

    It’s too late for me to come up with anything else right now. Keep up the great writing, and thanks for showing us your hubby’s BETTER half!

  17. Congratulations on your 100th post!

    Tip 1
    Since I work long hours during the week, I like to be able to come home and sit down to eat quickly. Sundays I usually prepare an extra meal or two that can quickly be reheated.
    Sunday dinner: Roast, mashed potatoes, salad.
    Extra #1: Chicken cutlets.
    Extra #2: Soup.
    I purposely make extra mashed potatoes and a large salad that I can pair with the chicken. The soup would use some of the vegetables from the salad and either some of the chicken or roast. The batch of soup is large enough so that I can have at least two bowls during the week and be able to freeze one container.

    Tip 2
    When dealing with leftovers, I try to store them ready to serve. I picked up a few sectional storage containers at the dollar store. Meat and vegetables that need to be heated go into the sections. Salad is stored seperately and added to its section at serving time.

    Tip 3
    Soup/stew/sauce! Whenever I make soup, I try to make enough so that I can freeze a container or two. I buy the containers at the dollar store. You will be happy to have the frozen soup available to you if you come down with a cold or when the weather turns frigid. Note: Don’t add noodles or rice to the portion you are freezing because these items will be mushy when thawed. Add noodles/grain to the portion being served. These will keep 3-6 months. Containers can be thawed easily in a few hours or quickly immersed in warm water. Good for a quick meal be it lunch or dinner.

    Tip 4
    My leftover meat/food solution is similar to your solution. Shredded, slice, cube, etc. the meat. Do the same with leftover vegetables. Get shredded cheese. Option 1: Put all items into phyllo/pizza/biscuit dough. You can either do it as a long log that you can slice or as mini calzones. Seal the dough. Brush top with egg wash or melted butter. Bake at 350° until golden brown. Option 2: Put items into a pie crust. Beat four eggs with a little pepper or other seasoning. Add eggs to the pie crust. Place second pie crust over the top and ventilated. The second pie crust is optional. Bake at 350° for 30-45 minutes.

    Tip 5
    Freeze meals or parts of meals. I already mentioned soup/stew/sauce. Freezing casseroles/lasagna makes it easy for you when you are out all day at a show or the day has been hectic. Instead of making one tray of lasagna make two. Making spaghetti and meatballs? Make a double batch of meatballs, so you can freeze some. I freeze the sauce and meatballs separately becuase they thaw at a different rate. (Can you tell I love my deep freeze?)

    Tip 6
    Ditto Meegs shopping list recommedation. I have a list sectioned according to where the items are in the store (e.g., dairy, meat, frozen, pantry, etc.). To save unpacking time, I place items on the conveyor belt according to where they are stored at home. More likely than not whoever is bagging (if it isn’t you) will keep the items together.

    Tip 7
    If you have a list of the items you use most frequently, you won’t miss picking up the items when they are on sale. You might not need tomato sauce this week, but it is on sale this week. It won’t be on sale next week when you need it. I think of it as storing for winter. It is less likely that I will have to run out to pick up a missing item if I have stored food.

  18. Sorry, Lauren. I got caught up in the moment and didn’t realize how long the comment would be.

  19. Hey Lauren, My only tip is that when I take my girls to use a public restroom that has the “horseshoe-shaped” toilet seats, I have my daughter sit on the side of the seat instead of in the front. This way she can sit normally instead of with her legs spread really wide & she’s not feeling all lopsided. I think that’s all that I got for you. I think everything that I do is commonsense so I expect everyone else to be doing it already. I had to leave a comment though so I can get my good luck going for bunco! Let me know what I win!!! 😉

  20. Congrats on the 100!! I may have commented before but I am basically a lurker. I am a 32 year old mom to 3 kids. I live in Texas and really enjoy you and your husband sharing your lives with us. Ok, I give my house a really good cleaning every Monday. with 3 kids and after after a long weekend the house can get a bit messy. To save my self time I take a empty laundry basket and load it with everything that I will need to clean each room and bathroom of my house. Dusting spray, dusting cloths,& cleaning products. In addition to that I have a laundry basket on wheels that I pull with me along with a trash bag( for changing the little cans or empty laundry containers,empty shampoo, etc.) Much like a house keeper at a hotel lol. I also hat sometimes how after you chop a strong onion the smell lingers on your hands no matter how many times you wash them. To get rid of that fast put a little dish washing liquid on you hands and rub a kitchen spoon and for some reason this takes care of the strong odor. I am really enjoying all of the tips, what a great idea.

  21. Okay I have another tip. This is something I’ve been doing over the past few years and it really helps me around the holiday season. I tend to try and shop for people throughout the year – and more so from October on. I often find myself forgetting what I’ve already gotten or really having no idea that I’ve already amassed quite a few items as the year’s gone on. So what I did was take the boxes that diapers come in (when you buy the mega packs) and tape a blank sheet of paper to the short side of each box. For people that I continuously buy gifts for, I assign them a box and put their name (or initial) on it. Then when I buy gifts for them, the gifts go in the respective boxes. I have a closet that pretty much no one goes in except me, and I line the boxes up on the floor or shelf. Makes it easy to see what’s in there. When I’m not using the boxes (like right after Christmas), I just stack them up so that they’re not taking up so much room. I also have a box labeled ‘other’ so that if I come across something on sale that looks nice, I can buy that, put it in the ‘other’ box, and have a gift for the inevitable surprise guest or anyone else that I originally didn’t plan on purchasing a gift for.

    Granted, this won’t work if you have hard core gift snoopers in the house. But if your house is like mine, and everyone LIKES to be surprised, then this box idea works out great.

    *I chose open boxes because I tried to wrap gifts soon after I got them, thinking that it would save me time in the long run, but found out that I would just forget what I had wrapped (even with a little label) and had to unwrap a corner anyway to see what was in there.*

  22. Oh I am so excited for this pot luck. I really want to win something you have made. LOVE YOUR Stuff!

    Ok so my tip:

    When they say paper or plastic? And you say neither, you have brought your own reusable grocery bag. My tip for keeping my wallet less full with store cards and those pesky miniature cards off of my key chain. I hole punch the corner of my cards and attach them with a key ring to the inside of one of my grocery bags. This ensures I do not forget my bags as I am very frugal and will not forget my cards. My cards and bags are always in my car. Bonus is you are saving the environment, keeping your wallet and key chain less bulky, and of course the reusable bags are way sturdier than the flimsy ones they give you at the store. It is a win win situation.

    Ah I will give another tip. Inside my pantry door I hang an over the door shoe organizer. I put all snacks and little baking items in there. You can put anything in there that you want. In mine there are things such as granola bars, fruit snacks, popcorn, oatmeal. Not only does this save a ton of space because I take things out of their boxes, things also get eaten and not hidden in the pantry.

  23. De-lurking here….

    1.) Similar to Jenine above: I shop year-round for gifts (especially Christmas). I keep a bag in my closet of lots of little gifts (soaps, lotions, bath bombs, etc..) and gift cards. That way I am ready whenever I need a last minute gift for a birthday I forgot.

    2.) When my socks get old (worn out, holes, missing one of the pair…) I keep them by my cleaning supplies. They work great as a “mitten” for dusting and polishing furniture!

    3.) Same goes for fabric softener sheets – after they have been used in the dryer I use them to dust my electronics (tv, computer). They are great at trapping the dust without leaving any lint behind.

  24. I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve written! I love reading your blog – you’re an amazing Momma!! Here are a few tips:

    1) Like one of the tips above, my mom used to write my brother’s initials on the bottom of their socks with permanent marker. It helped keep everything straight with 5 brothers in very similar athletic socks!

    2) Another sock tip – with 10 kids, there were zillions of socks in our house growing up. Dad came up with the pin-the-sock rule. Everyone had a small dish of safety pins on their dresser and had to pin their socks together (at the toe) before tossing them in the hamper. No matching necessary when they came out of the dryer!! The penalty for not pinning your socks was that you had to dig through the unmatched sock bag to find a pair – not fun when you’re running late for the school bus!

    3) Stain tip – this laundry recipe is a dream for removing those tough mystery stains (especially baby stains!) Disolve 1 cup powdered dishwasher detergent and 1 cup Clorox2 powdered laundry detergent with the hottest tap water you can get in a 5 gallon bucket. Use as little water as possible to submerge and soak the stained garments. I usually end up with the bucket about half full as I save up several stained garments to soak at the same time (the less water the stronger the solution) Leave the items to soak overnight at least, or as long as possible – I leave the bucket in the tub – and then dump the entire bucket into the washer, add your normal detergent and wash. You will not believe the many types of stains this removes! Works equally well for whites and colored items, with no color bleed.

    I’ll try to think of some kitchen tips for another entry later.

    I miss you!

  25. Delurking from Maine (I don’t think I’ve ever commented…) – been reading for a long time, P&Bs, too.

    1- My big laundry helper is for all those singleton socks. What I do is when I’m all done sorting and find the ones left over, I throw them back into the laundry basket for dirty clothes. Seriously, I just keep washing them – eventually they almost all turn up reunited with their mates!

    2- Dish-washing tip? Well for those pesky cookie sheets, broiler pans, casserole dishes that you have to scrub, or just leave the brown marks on there forever? I have found that sprinkling some baking soda on my dishcloth really helps break if up quickly. Add a little white vinegar for some extra power.

    3 – another laundry tip. Peroxide! Yeah, that brown bottle in the medicine cabinet. I swear, it takes out almost anything and is safe on fabrics. As soon as you can afterward, wet the area down with cold water, pour some peroxide on it and rub gently. Keep rinsing and using more peroxide, and it will come right out.

    4 – my favorite sauce addition (next to sour cream!) is the 1/3 less fat cream cheese. It helps thicken up even the most stubborn sauces and adds that yummy creaminess that can be missing if you use skim or 2% milk in your cooking.

    Congrats on 100 posts!! I love stopping in to see what you all have been up to. 🙂

  26. Those are some awesome tips–#4 and 7 are going to be useful! Katrina has a wart on her arm and it’s been there since birth and I don’t want to have to get it burned off–we’re going to try apple cider vinegar for a week! Thanks!

    OK–my tip: when you feel like soup and the canned stuff won’t do, but you don’t have a lot of time, fry up a bit of cold cuts or leftover meat with some onions, add chopped up veggies, some water and then simmer for a few minutes. For flavouring, squirt in your favourite barbecue sauce (not too much) and if you have leftover spaghetti sauce, now’s the time to use it. Add a clove or two, whatever spices you like and a handful of tiny pasta. This soup will be ready so quickly and everyone will eat it! To go alongside (my hubby can’t have “just soup” and I spoil him) take some pitas, butter them and throw a slice of cheese on them, slice them into wedges and broil for 5 minutes in the oven. Supper in a hurry and really tasty!

    Also, if you ever see brick cheese on sale but you don’t need any, buy it–it freezes amazingly well! Old cheddar gets a bit crumblier but it doesn’t affect the flavour at all and it’ll last for months!

  27. I thought of another tip. Being we both are sewing I thought you would like this one. Use all your scraps for stuffing material for pincushions and other stuffing needs. Recycling at it’s best!

  28. I got another tip for you. When you have a sandwich for a kid but you only have the 2 crusts left, make the sandwich so that the 2 crust-sides are facing inward. Then the sandwich will still look & taste ‘normal’ but without the kid flipping out. This works best with grilled cheese, where the kids are less apt to open the sandwich but I’ve pulled it off with pb& j; lunch meat is the hardest to fool the kid with. Happy eating!

  29. haha Michelle’s comment made me chuckle because I do that with my girls. They’ve caught on to me though. 😦 Another thing I do… When my husband accidentally leaves the chicken on the grill a little too long and I get the inevitable question, “What’s all this black stuff?” I tell them, “Those are flavor crystals. Now eat your chicken.”

  30. More here…

    Tubs – Get a scrubby and reserve it for cleaning the bath only – not you. And quickly scrub down the walls of the bathtub (where the ring usually is) before you actually get out of the tub. Keeps your back from seizing up if you’re trying to clean it from above and you’re not in it.

    Showers – Buy a miniature squeegy (sp?) and keep it in your shower. Before you leave the shower (after taking one), squeegy down the walls of your shower (if you have glass doors). That’ll help keep the glass nice and clear.

    Mosquitos – To help keep them away, wear a baseball hat and tie a dryer softener sheet (like Bounce) onto the back of the hat. I’m not sure why this works, but it does!

    Keep Your Shoes Fresh – Again, with the Bounce. Just stick a sheet of it in your shoes (especially those you don’t wear that often). It’ll help keep your closet from smelling like feet. 🙂

  31. I have been racking my brain all week to think of something. I strive to be organized but it is hard and doesn’t come naturally to me. I think I am going to print off these tips because some of them are sooo good!

    So here is mine it doesn’t have anything to do with organization per se…

    When I had baby #3 a little over a year ago, I could not have survived without my Moby sling wrap. It is a super long stretchy fabric that you wrap around your body and then you plop the baby inside. It keeps the baby super snug and your hands are free to do all the other stuff you need to do….pick up toys, take the kids to the park, sew, make lunches etc. I probably used it everyday for the first 4 months. And the great thing about it is that is is way more comfortable than a baby bjorn and much more versatile. You can wear the baby is several different ways (even on your back when the baby is a little older and can hold his head up). It costs about $40 and helped me to stay organized. You can also nurse the baby in it–although I never tried that.

    So the sling will help you stay organized by letting you use your hands to do all the other cool tips others have left!

    It looks much more complicated than it really is and the sling/wrap comes with very easy to follow directions. I lost mine a few months ago and I am about to get a new one because I still need it and would use it even though the baby weighs 27 lbs!

  32. As I’m preparing my kitchen table for craft time with the kids, I realized I got one more for you. Instead of trying to find newspaper (who even reads them anymore) or cardboard to cover your table with during craft-time, use old bed/crib sheets. For my table (seats 4 normally or 6 with the leaf in), I put a crib sheet on each half. I open the table & allow each sheet to wrap around the entire half & then I close the table again (not always enough to lock it but enough to keep it stuck closed). The elastic from the sheets keep them around the table & no one is able to pull the off because they’re held in the middle of the table. When I have my leaf in, a twin sheet covers my entire table.

    I just wash the sheets normally but just by themselves or with the kids’ smocks & I keep them separate from my other sheets so my husband doesn’t try to use them on the beds with all the paint/glitter/glue stains on them. Happy crafting!

  33. […] the spirit of my Potluck post, I’ll pose the same challenge.  Leave a comment with your strategies for keeping more […]

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