Category Archives: WFMW

Best $20 I Ever Spent!

A couple of years ago NerdDad bought me this Brother P-Touch PT-1900 Electronic Labeling System from Costco. This is the best $20 we have ever spent for any kind of home organization tool. I can label everything! We put those large plastic drawers in the pantry and labeled them. I label the bins and boxes in the garage. I label folders in the desk drawer. I labeled my cooler when we went to the Fresno Fair. I even labeled my basketball hoop when I lent it to church.

You can get refills, change the font and even the orientation! So if you don’t have one, go and get one!

WFMW: Getting Stains Off Corian

Ugly eh? Genius me was emptying my pencil sharpener on the counter. Of course it was way over full and got lead shavings on the counter. So I started wiping them with a dry cloth and it left a little cloud. Then I got a wet dishcloth, wiped it and this is what I was left with.

Nothing got it off. I used soap water, straight dish soap, degreaser, and bathroom cleaner. Nothing. Now I know that you can sand the counter down (the beauty of solid surface) but I was terribly nervous about that. So after I was done scouring my sink with Comet I used the cloth. The reason I didn’t use Comet in the first place was the Corian cleaning scare tactics. They said don’t use anything abrasive, it will leave scratch marks. They said it would be better to use a fine grit sand paper. Well, they were wrong. It took it right out! No scratches, no damage! Apparently a little comet goes a long.

WFMW: Cheap and Easy Stain Remover

Stain removers are often expensive and don’t always work. I have a great one that I use on clothes but the carpet it another matter. But I have 4 kids and a son who gets nose bleeds. So that is a lot of spots and stains on carpet to be had. That is blood in the first picture. I use a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 2 parts water. I put it in a spray bottle and shake it up before using it. I soak the area with the solution then just towel it off. Though the picture is off, you will notice that there isn’t any blood in the second picture! Now there will be a white vinegar smell but that dissipates really quickly.
For just pennys you get a great stain remover that actually works. Can’t top that!

A Water Tip

I have a little water tip for WFMW! I saw this in a magazine a while ago. They said to place nail polish on your shower dial (you know, where you turn it on and find the temp?) on the place you always land. This is so that you can go straight to the temp you want so you don’t waste water. Well, we have 2 kids who can now be left in the shower in the shower but we have issues getting them going. The oldest does pretty well but has a tendancy to get the water too warm and we are afraid his is going to burn himself. The NerdPie doesn’t like to get her face in the water to get to the dial. If we could have her set it right before she gets in she would get a warm shower. This helps the kids to know how warm they want the water but they won’t burn themselves.

Save water, prevents burns and gives parents a little more freedom. What more do you want from a tip?

WFMW: Kids and Laundry

(This is a republish because this week’s Work For Me Wednesday is an oldie but goodie call)

Moms, let me break the news to you…You don’t have to do all the laundry but you do have to invest some time in training and let go of the details. Let us first start with the dirty clothes. By the time they are a year and a half my kids are responsible to put their own dirty clothes in the hamper (and yes I remind them;). Then by 5 they can sort their clothes into color piles (I do mine just because of the gentle issue). I do a cursory look until about 6. Now I don’t really check the NerdBug sorting unless I knew there was some iffy things. They are also always welcome to ask me if they are unsure which pile they go into. Then we go onto the washing and drying. When we moved into our new house we got the new front loading washer and dryer. This is great for kids. Both the 4 and 6 year old can easily put clothes in the washer and move them to the dryer. The 6 year old can even start the loads. Then I have the kids dump all the clean clothes into a basket and move them to the loft (where I want them to be). Now my kids do all this while I am nearby usually changing a baby or something like that (my laundry room is upstairs).

Then I invested in those pop up baskets for laundry that they sell with all the “stock up you dorm” stuff for $5, one for each kids. The ones I got at JoAnns have handles, are colored (one for each kid) and have sections you can velcro up or just leave as on big long basket. I sort all the laundry and put the appropriate foldables for each kid. For the 4 year old I give her wash cloths, spit cloths and her socks. The 6 year old gets all of his clothes at this point. Now, not everything is absolutely folded perfectly but it will be ok. My rule is, as long as it all fits in your drawers it is ok. I have gone through and shown them the correct way to fold, had them show me they can and let it go. Remember, you don’t have to look at it or do it so don’t complain.

Now I can’t wait until they can iron;).

WFMW: Cookie Scoop

One of the best time saving gadgets I own is the Pampered Chef Medium Scoop. It was the best $15.50 (price with shipping) I ever spent. It give perfectly sized cookies, which are a commodity around here. My hands also stay clean so I can stop and run after the kids. It is dishwasher safe and easy action. Just dip and dish. I also use for potato pancakes.

Even cooler is the little one they sell is the same size as a mini-muffin cup and the big one is a muffin cup size. I spend forever trying to get them just right.

WFMW: Organization Tool

I love plastic drawers! These little beauties are in a cabinet in my playroom organizing my crafting supplies. I don’t if you can see that in the top drawer I have stamp pads, then chipboard/stickers/sayings and then in the bottom I have cutting templates. Now these can get pricey but go through and figure out what you need to store your junk. Then buy them slowly. I wait to use JoAnn coupons or when they have them on sale for 50% off (which is fairly often). So that is a little something that works for me!

Some Coughing Solutions

We have all found ourselves in the coughing season for our kids and man are they coughing. I have bronchial asthma (those people who cough themselves sick) and nothing ever really helped me. My kids have asthma as does my little brother. So through the years I have picked up a few tricks.

Normally I am a pro-drug person (Delsm, cough syrup, etc) but now the doctors aren’t. Frankly even Delsm didn’t always work (though I still highly recommend it). But what do we do now for our little hackers? Vaporizers don’t seem to work for my kids because it is such a big room and takes so much to make a change, but a small room with lots of steam and eucalyptus seems to help. I keep good aromatherapy shower gel on hand for such a time.

If it is day time, give them a little hot tea with caffeine, it can be green or white for less kick. There is something in it that helps open up bronchials. If caffeine is an issue, give them a little hot (or as warm as they can stand) herbal tea. I notice that the warmth helps relax my tense throat which actually helps slow my coughing. Even just hot water does wonders for me. If they won’t drink it, drop a candy cane in it and when the water turns a light pink take it out. The peppermint will help settle their stomachs (from swallowing mucus) and it will lightly sweeten the water so they like it.

Our doctor recommended a tablespoon or 2 of straight honey for kids over 1 year old. I did it with my 18 month old and it actually helped some! The other thing that seems to help with coughing spells is to tell them to think about it. Yes, that is it. I tell them to think about it and breath real slow. It seems to stop it immediately for a few minutes at least;). Then there is also the copious amount of fluid. It thins out the mucus and makes it easier to breathe.

So you have any tips? Please let me know because we are all coughers and it drives me nuts!

Great Gifts for Christmas!

Shannon over at Rocks at My Dryer asked for a list of great gifts. So here are a few we at the NerdFamily love!

First up is Blokus Classic. We all love this game. NerdDad and I can play against each other and the 7 and 5 year olds can also play. It is great!

We are also huge Mega Bloks fans! These big blocks are great family fun. They are safe for all our kids (down to less than a year and a half) and what else can you use to build arches big enough that the kids can crawl under?

SET Game is a great game because it can be as simple or hard as you would like it to be.

Quadrilla Marble Railway is an awesome family gift. It is composed of different pieces so you can make a new set up everytime. In addition to cool marble fun it also teaches logic and a bit of science. There are also many pieces so it is an awesome gift tradition to start. Then you can just gift them a new piece every gift occasion.

I also love giving books like Usborne Encyclopedias and The Chronicles of Narnia Box Set because they are books that appeal to everyone in the family and can be read (many times) together.

So there are just a few gifts I love! Click on my gift worthy category to see a few more.

The Summer Blahs

So Shannon over at Rocks in My Dryer gave us a theme for this week’s Works for Me Wednesday, “Mom, I’m Bored”. So I was really thinking about how to deal with this issue since I homeschool. But even though I school pretty much all year, a lot of our activities (both for kids and mom) stop so our life changes also. The saving grace for me is structure and a schedule.

Now, that doesn’t mean that everything is time but generally mapped out. There isn’t any sleeping until noon and staying up to midnight going on around here (don’t I wish;). We set up the basics: breakfast, errands, chores, crafts, computer, etc. I think knowing how life is going to happen and that in a set time you will change activities will prevent to much blahs. Also set up an activity day a week. Last summer my kids got together with friends every Friday (usually going swimming). It gave them something to look forward to and a motivator for good behavior.

Balance is the key. I think to many people figure that because it is summer nothing should be planned but that is just begging for a good nagging. If worst comes to worst, put them to work and do all your deep cleaning for the fall!