I needed new shoes for the summer (and the Savvy Blogging Summit) and I found these cute ones from Payless Shoes! I absolutely love the cork wedge on the black shoes and the cork heel on the brown!
I mean come on, aren’t these adorable? I also found out some great things about buying shoes from Payless Shoes. I had seen the black shoes a while ago but was waiting for a sale. By the time one came around there wasn’t any in my size! The cashier mentioned to me that if I ordered online and had it shipped to a store there wouldn’t be a shipping charge! She also mentioned that is I had it shipped to the store, I could try them on right there and get a refund if it they didn’t fit! How can you go wrong with that?
They say the best tips come from where you currently are in life and I hope that is true because that is where I get my tip for this week. We are leaving for a 3 day trip to LegoLand and this will be our first official family vacation. Now of course we have gone places before but this is our first vacation! But as anyone can guess, traveling with 4 kids is always an exercise in chaos!
One of the things we have done for years is to do a pack list! You simply sit down and list everything that you will need. With a trip this size I am planning on doing it on the computer with categories but it is not a necessity. My process is to sit down and write down every possible thing I can think of. Then I tend to carry it around, put it next to my , etc so I can jot down anything that comes to mind.
This time we are taking a larger trip so I am going to put it on the computer with categories. Then you can give each child a pack list and have specific ones for specific rooms (like snacks and food).
1 thing I highly recommend… Once you write out your list with every little thing you want to have I recommend that you go through it with a merciless, editing hand. Do you really need 7 sets of clothes for your kids when you are going somewhere with a washer and dryer? Are you really going to get the time to read 5 books? While it sounds great to have every convenience of home it isn’t great to unload it and pack it back up. Not to mention chasing it and trying not to lose it. So keep it as simple as possible!
A little planning can go a long way on your packing. Then you don’t have to constantly say to yourself or your husband (wife), “Remember to pack”, or worse, “Did you pack?”
I have a passel of kids…which means I have issues with food on the floor. Who doesn’t? One of the best tools NerdDad and I have found is an old school carpet sweeper, yes you heard me right. A carpet sweeper. One of the reasons that we love it is that the kids can use it all by themselves and they love it. It has no batteries or cords to cause issue. It is a simple push operated device. And it works! When I say that is works I mean it picks up dirt, hair, cheerios and just about any little annoying crumb that falls! For less than $20 you can’t go wrong. It beats all the pretend dust busters that people give kids and then the kids actually help!!!
Life creates little treasures. You know what I mean: that lost tooth, the Valentine’s Day picture, the ticket stub from that memorable concert. But I am not a big scrapbooker. So that means that things go into the boxes. But the problem with the boxes is that you end up with piles all over the house that at some point will get put into the boxes. But you need to find a place to put them, make sure that they don’t get mixed in with the other kids (I have 4 kids and all their pictures drawn at 2 look the same;), and so on. So my tip of the day is to use a filing cabinet.
If you are like me, you have a file cabinet. But your family filing probably only takes a drawer or 2. So what I do is take one of those hanging folders for each person in the family. Then you can put in sub-folders if you want. For instance I have a section in NerdPie’s folder that is just for notes and cards from her friends. Then put all of that person’s memories in it. I have teeth in a ziploc bag, cards, photo magnets from VBS, etc. Then when ever you want to do something with it all (scrapbook or just put them into a box) you know where it is and whose it is!
I am pretty sure that my Valentine’s Day looks different that many women’s and that is fine with me! NerdDad and I tend to exchange rather, well, nerdy gifts. So I was stoked when NerdDad got me a new Microsoft Wireless Mouse and yes he got me the blue! (I also got a new memory card for my camera;) I will admit, I was a little concerned that an inexpensive mouse just wouldn’t cut it. Since I was using a corded mouse at home and the touch pad out, I was willing to give it a go. I was pleasantly surprised! It connects quickly and maneuvers well. I also really like that when you aren’t using the mouse you just snap the adapter back onto it. Then you can’t loose the adapter and the battery shuts off at that point. And for under $18 you can’t go wrong!
(No, I didn’t get anything for posting this. I just wanted to share and let me hubby know how much I liked it!)
I have had 4 kids and didn’t discover the Metro Mama wrap until my last kid. Now I am not a big baby wearer but their are times when it just makes you life so much easier. But I wasted a fair amount of time and money trying to figure out how. I did a chest pack with kid #1 and it helped with his reflux but it was a pain to put on and get him in and out. I had a sling with #2 and it just didn’t seem that secure. But with #4 I used a friend’s wrap and it was awesome. I could put the baby in it and pick up another child, empty a dishwasher, whatever. I didn’t have to use a hand to stabilize her or anything! Here is a great how-to video on using the wrap.
I always get asked how I keep up on blog reading. Well the actual questions sound more like, “Where do find the time to be on the computer”. It is all about using the free tools out there. Primarily a blog reader. One of the biggest pluses is that you no longer have to actually go to each blog you are interested in to check and see if they have a new post. The reader usually tells you how many new posts there are and you can even save any posts you want to hold on to!
There are a ton to choose from, I like Google, but they are all about the same. You create an account and then just add all your subscriptions to it. Then you can organize the blogs into groups. For example I have a folder that holds all the blogs of my MOPS girls. That way if any of them post I can tell immediately. I can also click on the folder to see each person’s blog listed separately. This really helps me prioritize my blog reading. I have folders for politics, crafts and politics. Then if I don’t have time I can just pick and choose.
So how do you manage all your blog reading material?
I have talked to a few of my friends about reading books about math with my kids in the preschool, kindergarten and the early elementary years. I really like Stuart J Murphy’sMathStart series. They have them coded by level so you can slowly work yourself into more difficult material. You can start just working with basic number concepts and then do groupong, money, probability or more! These books are great because they are colorful and entertaining. It is just a great book that happens to teach math! Is there anything more you could ask for a book than both reading and math?
NerdDad and I just finished painting the office and these were a huge help! We have an l-shaped desk that had to stay in the office and then we had 2 filing cabinets and a cabinet that had to be moved out. For less than $10 bucks these saved us back aches, sprains and more! We have used these to move furniture to vacuum, mop and just rearrange. If you don’t have a set on hand it is totally worth it!