That’s a nice way to express the frustration that you might feel when opening these “clamshell” packages. These packages that seem to mock you as you attempt to find their weaknesses. Scissors? No worries. The sharp edges turn into weapons in seconds. Knives? Ha. Say goodbye to the product the package is protecting. Mere brute strength? Think again. These things will put any ironman to shame.
But, Real Simple has the solution. A hand-held can opener. Genius. Simply clamp the opener on the top-right of the package, make sure it’s clamped appropriately, and cut your newly purchased product free.
The days of cussing plastic while bandaging your cuts are over. It’s time to celebrate with a trip to the electronics store nearest you.
In the October issue of Family Fun magazine, there was a section on how to deal with allowance. One such idea, submitted by a mom, was to keep track of each kid’s allowance in a ledger instead of actually giving cash to the kids. By doing this, the kids always have their “money” with them (on the ledger or notebook stashed in the Mom Bag), and then can be held accountable to “use their own money” when out and about with the family. She also noted in this increasingly cashless society, having a “mommy debit card” was good practice for having a mental picture of a bank account.
To me, this solution was GENIUS. We are consistently inconsistent with allowance, always forgetting to get the $5-10 cash at the end of the week to pay the little hoodlums, to instill a pattern of saving, and of course, to put some back for charity. But, this system gives me a tool to work with to be more consistently consistent, which is probably important when raising future productive members of society. Plus, I decided to put a little note on my phone instead of an actual notebook to ensure that I have their funds readily available at all times. The “Mommy Debit Card” is now set up and ready for use.
I just love good ideas.
Recently, I was talking with some girlfriends about sibling relationships. We all crave those sweet moments of calm and love between brothers and sisters. We’ve even witnessed COMPASSION, GRATITUDE, and SYMPATHY between them. I know it’s difficult to believe, but there are stories out there to prove it. Unfortunately, we witness hate and discontent seemingly more frequently than brotherly love or sisterly compassion. So, we set about thinking of ways to enhance the positive and minimize the negative.
Here are some things we came up with:
-List 10 nice things about your brother or sister everyday! (or maybe just those days were the love is REALLY hard to see).
-Be a team. I refer to our house as Team Scroggins all the time, especially when there is vocal discontent about doing chores or specific unrest between siblings. Ready….Break!
-Post a positive quotation by the kids’ beds for them to recite before bedtime. Before long, they’ll have the quote memorized, and you can call on it anytime to remind them about being “nice and loving.”
-Implement secret acts of kindness within your house. Secrets rock. Ask any kid, and to use them to foster love and joy between your kids? Genius.
-Ask siblings to support eachother in their extracurricular activties (soccer games, baseball games, 4-H competitions, etc.).
-Rose, Thorn, Bud
-Let siblings read to eachother. It’s always a kodak moment to see your oldest reading to your youngest, and they think it’s pretty cool, too.
What are your ideas? How is your family “One for all, and all for One?”
I’m no Martha Stewart. You may or may not have realized that by now, but it’s true. I’ve tried to embrace some Martha-esque qualities, but they just haven’t taken. The best I can do is buy a copy of Martha Stewart Living about once a year and realize my homemaking inadequacies in abundance.
Because of my shortcomings, I have to problem-solve through some pretty basic home economic situations. My most recent issue involved a wonderfully cute bohemian sundress, something that fit the mold of the Summer of 2009 Sundress. You know the type: long, wacky printed, empire waisted. It took me a few shopping trips, but I finally found one that captured all the bohemian hippie qualities I love so much. The last time I wore it was at a superfun festival-something I love almost as much as Bohemian inspired clothing. I tripped on the long hem, and completely ripped the fabric at the straps-not the straps themselves, but the actual fabric of the dress. I was absolutely beyond bummed, but because of the elastic smocking at the top of the dress, I thought it might be worth trying to fix. I hoped that someone with the gift of home economics would come to my rescue, and return my newfound bohemian-festival-going outfit to my wardrobe.
So, I took the dress to the cleaners, Comet Cleaners in Decatur to be exact. When I was in high school, my Dad always had to have his shirts altered, and I had a vague memory of the cleaners being involved in the process. I explained my predicament, as well as my lack of Skills. They accepted the challenge, but promised nothing.
But! I picked up my dress Friday afternoon, and it was PERFECT. The rip was seamlessly sewn back together, and the dress was RESTORED! As if that wasn’t enough to celebrate, the entire cost of the repair? $2.42! Amazing.
I may not be Martha. In fact, half the time I think she’s speaking another language, clouded in home-making terms I feel I should know. But, I am a problem-solver, and $2.42 for a repair on a wardrobe favorite works for me.
Everyday, when I check the mail, I hear three whiney voices in the background. “Is there anything for MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE?” I’m not sure what they think they should receiving, but everyday they have hope. Yesterday, they hit gold. They each received a “good luck this year” card from their Gran. They were so elated with their treasures that they carefully carried them into the house to read. The rest of the night, I heard all about their pieces of mail. “It had only my name on it!” “It had a STAMP on it!” “Mine was different than HIS!”
So, if you’re trying to think of a way to surprise a little someone in your life, maybe an actual piece of Snail Mail will do the trick. My three little someones were ecstatic, and I’m sure will continue looking forward to the daily trip to the mailbox. It was one of those simple things that went a long way.
We need more of those, don’t you think?
One of my favorite magazines is Real Simple. I love everything about it, the articles, the photos, even the font. If you have an extra few dollars, and an extra few minutes, you really should invest them both in a copy. This month, I received a bonus copy of Real Simple Family. If you have even more extra dollars and minutes, pick up a copy of this little beauty.
Anyway, one of the little tidbits of genius was nestled in an article entitled “White-Coat Confessions,” where pediatric experts gave pieces of information “every parent should know.” And they aren’t the super important pieces of information you’d think we should have, they are just little easy pieces of information that make you feel prepared, smart, and ready to tackle this whole motherhood thing.
My favorite piece of advice? “Toys can be simple.” Maia Magder, a speech-pathologist recommends a box of tissues as a present for a one-year-old. A Box of Tissues! How genius is that? She explains that it increases fine motor skills and early language skills. Just think of your one-year-old, and how much they love completely shredding the toilet paper roll. If only we knew to encourage that with gift bags full of Kleenex. Sometimes, I guess we moms just overthink things, and getting back to the Simple is just the way to go.
So, for now, I’m stocking up on little cubes of Kleenex for all those adorable soon-to-be toddlers in my life, thanks to a little Simplicity.