Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Never-ending Laundry

I had to explain to JG the other day the quote, "A mother's work is never done."  Laundry is one of the reasons behind that saying!  I've attempted numerous methods to stay on top of the never-ending laundry in my home.  I've tried doing laundry ALL on one day which meant about 7 loads, and it was almost certain one or more loads would be left crumpled in a hamper waiting to be folded (for days...or in the washer or dryer...washer being the worst of the know what I mean).  I've tried designating days for which type of load.  Yeah, that didn't work at all because life gets in the way.  I've tried doing one load a day, but I am too OCD about "properly" sorting laundry to just throw all the day's clothes/towels in one load. I've tried doing laundry on just two days, but some piles weren't big enough to do; and it just got too confusing.  Frustrating.  I've also never liked having to get three different hampers and take them to one central place to sort the loads and have it all overtake my laundry room.  Annoying.

SOLUTION!  Yes, I have found one that works really well for our family and might be worth trying for yours.  A solution that does not take up mountains of floor space, tells me when which load needs to be done, AND one that my kids and Hubz can consistently help with.  Woo hoo!  Walmart has laundry hampers that are tall, thin, and white.  Simple and organized looking.  I purchased three of them (approx $18 total) to place at the top of our stairs where we have a little landing area.  They come with stickers: whites, colors, and darks.  I put two "whites" stickers on either side of the whites hamper and so on with the colors and darks.  (I REALLY wish I had room for four baskets as I am a whites, lights, brights, and darks gal... but I will take the room I can get and compromise for now!)  This spot is very central to the bedrooms in our home, so my kids and Hubz can immediately (or when reminded to) take their dirty clothing to the hampers and sort them.  This means no dirty clothes littering the bedroom floor or bathrooms.  It also means teaching them how to sort laundry.  And it means that at a glance, I can see which load must be done -- each hamper is a great size for one load of laundry.  Hamper full?  Slide that baby into the laundry room (or have a kid do it!), throw it all in the washer, start it up, return hamper.  DONE.  No gathering hampers.  No sorting into piles.  No random hampers taking up space in bedrooms or laundry room with dirty clothes waiting to be washed.  No panic that this load was not done on this day.  No zillion loads in one day.  Wash, dry, fold.  It is RARE that I have to do two loads a day.  I think this method is wonderful because it is more relaxed and flexible... and it runs me rather than me trying to control it.  If that makes sense.  :-)

(Towels are a different story -- I have one hamper in the laundry room for those.)

I.  AM.  IN.  LOVE.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Think Outside the Bag

Just a quick tip to think outside the norm when you're in search of something.  I have had the same small plastic Mary Kay bag for years to hold my make-up.  I've never really had lots of make-up, so I don't need much to hold it all.  But the bag has never fit properly in the drawer it needs to be in, nor does it keep it's contents upright or organized (which annoys this efficient-ista).  I had to get some new eye shadow today since one of my little sets has reached the point of crumbling to bits in the sink when I swipe my brush over it.  :-P  Extra tip from my Hubz: instead of having to buy a whole new trio, buy individual eye shadows to replace what is gone and keep the remaining eye shadow in the set (i.e. Almay for brown eyes trio always runs out of tan and purple shadow with PLENTY of dark brown left...).  So while I was on the task of buying make-up, I decided to "splurge" $8 and get a new container for my make-up.  Unfortunately, the store I was at was severely lacking in variety and seemed to cater to a certain group/style.  But it is SO rare I get to go shopping alone with a very loose time frame, so I didn't want to walk out empty handed.  Think, think, think!  After visiting the purses, luggage, Rubbermaid type storage, etc, I ended up in the office aisle.  And found the PERFECT solution!  A nice sturdy, compartmentalized black mesh desk organizer that slides perfectly into place in our vanity.  It has compartments for lips, mascara/liner, trios, blush, individual eye shadows, brushes, foundations, and a drawer that holds my loose powder perfectly.  All it took was a little bit of thinking outside the make-up bag!

What are some things you have used in unconventional ways?  Please share!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Pinteresting and Cute Gift Idea

Oh how I like Pinterest!!  It has so many good ideas and is a wealth of information.  If you aren't on Pinterest and you want to be just ask and Dawn or I will be happy to invite you.  Though, as Dawn said in her post about it, it can be a time consumer.

So, I have been really trying some of the things I've seen on Pinterest.  Some things have worked great, like compact packing so you only have to take a rolling carry-on on the plane.  Some haven't worked, like the "No-poo" method of washing hair.  One of my endeavors was a gift for my sweet little granddaughter, Snickers, second birthday.  She is a sweet, charming, active bundle of joy and all girl.  She "painted" her toe nails with white board marker, how girly is that!  :)  Anyway, what little girly girl doesn't need a tutu???  Pinterest to the rescue.  There are oodles of tutorials out in the land of the Internet, so I don't want to add to the oodle.  Do a search and find one that is easy for you!  But I do want to show you the finished product.  This is an easy and pretty inexpensive project.  I think it would make cute birthday/Christmas presents for little girls.  The other thing I found as I was looking at different tutorials was how creative you can get with these.  Mine is pretty basic.

Finished and ready to send to Snickers!

The Birthday Fairy (chasing her two older brothers...)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A New Friend

I'm starting to hear more and more about Bar Keepers Friend, a cleaning product.  I finally remembered to look for it at Lowes when we were there last (ok, I didn't remember... we just happened to be walking down the cleaning aisle to a different area when I realized I could look for it).  The main reason I was interested is because I saw on Pinterest that it can be used to get gray silverware marks off of white dishes.  Well, I have a whole set of marked-up white dishes!!  It did wonders, I tell you.  See for yourself!  Now I can make them sparkle like nearly-new anytime I want rather than ho-humming about white dishes that look over used.  All you do is get a damp cloth, squirt some Bar Keepers Friend on the cloth or dish, use some elbow grease to rub the marks off, rinse, and wash the dish.

Ps - Remember those knives at I bought at BJs in April and raved about how great they were though it seemed like a too-good-to-be-true deal?  Well, I hate to say it, but some of them are getting rust spots.  ARGH!  I've tried to contact the guy who sold them but to no avail.  I still love the look, feel, and quality edge of the knives.  And now, I have my new Friend to get rid of the rust spots.  Easy peasy!

Bowls - After & Before
Plates - Before & After

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Great Time Saver From Pinterest

Shredding Chicken
Kathie's Tip

Ah, Pinterest, the website that I enjoy.... too much.  It is loaded with such great ideas, some of which seem a little wacky.  Well call me wacky!!  I tried something today that I thought was crazy.  I shredded my chicken breast, for chicken salad, with my mixer.  Now I have a Kitchenaid stand mixer so I don't know if you could do this with a hand mixer or not but WOW.  (I will never hand shred chicken again.  I wonder if you could do this with beef...)  I was concerned that the chicken would wrap around the paddle but it didn't.  I used two chicken breast halves.  (Side note: you know how a chicken breast looks a little bit like the African continent?  Well, did you know that is actually half a chicken breast?  A whole chicken breast is two African continent shaped pieces of meat, joined together by some cartilage.)  So, I cooked a whole chicken breast, let it cool a little, then put it in the mixing bowl and let it go.  :)  Seriously, only about 20 or 30 seconds later.... shredded chicken.  Here are the pictures to show you how it came out.

Poaching Chicken
Dawn's Tip

If you have a recipe you need cooked chicken for, I suggest poaching it.  If you boil chicken in water until it's done, say 10-15 minutes, it will usually be a bit dry.  You've overcooked the chicken!  I saw once on a cooking show that you can actually poach chicken.  It turns out perfectly done and moist rather than dry.  Place your chicken in a pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, cover and remove from heat.  Let sit 15 minutes.  Check for white centers just to be sure it's done.  Enjoy!