Tuesday, February 27, 2018

This is My Favorite

- insert video of the most awesome moment in Olympic Curling - (I would really like to actually insert the video, but seriously, just click the link and watch it over and over. I know I am.)

Watching this makes me smile every time.  Looks like Shuster was having the time of his life.
These guys were so much fun to watch.
I miss the Olympics.

Also, posting to blogger from twitter on my phone doesn't really work very well. This post is edited.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Ways to Make a Busy Mom’s Life Easier

As a mom your life is busy. Days are filled with chasing after little ones, cooking, cleaning, and driving everyone here and there. And these things are probably just a small part of your typical day. Before you become too overwhelmed, try a few of these simple strategies to lighten the load.

Invest in Time Saving Gadgets

You may already have some of these items in place, but adding a few additional conveniences is always a good idea. No mother should be without a dishwasher. This one appliance will save time, energy, and give you a few extra moments to get off of your feet each evening. Consider purchasing an extra clothes drier too. Sounds silly, but laundry goes much faster if there are enough dryers to keep up with the washer - because, no matter what the salesperson may tell you, the dryer will not dry the clothes in the same amount of time it takes a load to run through the washer. Even a Genie garage door opener can make life simpler.

Make Sure to Take Some Mommy Time

No one can care for others 24 hours a day and not feel overwhelmed. There are probably plenty of days where you wish you could have just a few minutes to catch your breath. Take advantage of nap time. If you have older children, make their TV time coincide with the little one’s sleep. Use these precious few minutes to take a break. Keep a basket on hand with things you wish you had time for like that latest novel, a craft project, or a tablet that allows you to catch up with friends on social media.

Create a Tranquil Bedroom "Getaway"

Take the time to re-do your bedroom. This area needs to be your oasis at the end of a busy day. Splurge on soft bedding and luxurious pillows. Remove all TVs, mobile devices, and computers, and most importantly, never let a toy cross the threshold. When the kids are finally asleep, turn in yourself, Keep the lighting soft and use a sound machine or relaxing music to lull you to sleep.

Sometimes you need to slow down, step back, and find a way to make life less hectic. Doing so may seem selfish or frivolous, but reducing just a small bit of the stress and chaos that surrounds you can actually make you a better mom. Having a relaxed and refreshed attitude will allow you to focus on the tasks at hand in a whole new light.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Growing Kids, Shrinking Space

They grow up so fast, don’t they? One minute, they’re a tiny bundle swaddled in your arms, the next they’re looking you dead in the eye. And then they start having kids of their own. The bigger they get, the more things they seem to accumulate, but when you live in a small house or apartment, space for all that stuff is hard to come by. If your children are starting to outgrow your home but you can’t afford to get something bigger, these space-saving tips will come in handy.

Put Sentimentals in Storage

Do you or your children have things around the house that you don't particularly use, but they still have some sort of meaning to you? Sentimental valuables like stuffed animals, baby blankets, bedroom sets, and whatever else you have can be nice to keep, but can you really justify taking up your valuable space with stuff you don't really use anymore? You can place all these things, and other items around the place that you’re not using, into storage. You’ll want to find a facility close to you so you can have access to your things when you want them. So, if you live in Hackettstown you’d search for storage hackettstown nj to find the best service providers near you. Only costing a few bucks per month, a storage unit will clear up some much-needed space for your family.

Sell or Donate the Things You No Longer Use

Kids outgrow clothing, grow tired of toys, and move on to other interests. If things are no longer being worn or used, there is no reason that they should continue to take up room that you need for the things you actually use. Put the sentimental things into storage, but get rid of all the rest. Whether you list things on eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook or donate to your local Goodwill or other second-hand store, you can be happy knowing that someone else can get some use out of the things your family no longer needs.

Buy Dual-Purpose Furniture

When you live in a small space you have to be creative with it. As you’re shopping for furniture, try to find items that can serve more than one purpose to conserve space. For instance, if you needed an additional bedroom, you could invest in a futon couch for the living room so it serves as a social area during the day and a bedroom at night. Other options might include an ottoman that doubles as storage for books, or a trundle bed which has dresser drawers, or an additional bed underneath. We just visited IKEA for the first time since they opened a new one near here, and they have lots of creative options for small spaces.

Invest in Wall Shelves and Units

When it comes to limited floor space the best thing you can do is invest in wall shelves and other wall units. For instance, putting a flat screen television on the wall eliminates the need for a large clunky entertainment center. Wall shelves are great for aesthetics and storage of everything from knick-knacks and home decor to books and toys.

If the size of your home or apartment suddenly stops being enough space for you and your family to live comfortably, these tips can help to free up some room to accommodate everyone. While eventually you may need to upgrade and relocate, for now, you can live comfortably knowing everything has a place. (now if you can just get the kids to put things away when they're done using them...)

I Love a Good Deal!

Last time I went to the grocery store, I noticed some fish and seafood that had been marked down. Way down. It was in a corner of a freezer that I had never looked at closely before, so I'm not sure what caught my eye, but there was quite a bit. It was probably those bright yellow tags; I'm kind of drawn to those tags.

I was especially interested in some salmon filets that had been marked down to 99¢ - for 2 filets which is just perfect for the two of us. They were already seasoned with a 'Stout Spiked BBQ' that sounded interesting. I wasn't sure how they would actually taste but figured for 99¢ I couldn't go wrong. So I grabbed 3 packages. There were at least a couple more, but since we'd never tried them I was afraid to grab them all. Of course, I still would have spent less than buying 1 lb. of salmon at the usual price, so maybe I should have...

When I got home, I went through the cash back apps on my phone - Ibotta and Checkout51 - and found that Checkout51 had a $2.00 rebate on that brand of seafood. So, of course, I uploaded my receipt for that - and got $2.00 credit for spending $2.97 on salmon.  Now that's a good deal!

The salmon tasted pretty good, too.

I will definitely be checking that little corner of that freezer from now on to see what else I can find.

Do you know where to find the marked down items in your store? What kind of great deals have you found?

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Enjoy Your Outdoor Living Space

Several years ago Jeffrey and Cory built a deck and pergola on the back of our house. We loved that deck. When we built the house, we just had the contractor put some rock in the patio area, waiting for a time when we could afford a nice patio or deck. We didn't get that deck quite as soon as we thought we were going to get it - in fact, we were planning a paver patio that would have been really nice, and it would have been different from what any of the neighbors had. But, the patio would have taken a lot more work, and we may have needed to hire someone, at least for part of the installation. So, eventually we 'settled' for the deck - which just happened to be the nicest deck in the neighborhood! (I may be a bit biased)

Morning on the Deck

A new deck or patio will not only add value to your home, but it will be something your family can enjoy for a good part of the year. Snow may gather on your patio furniture in winter, but the rest of the year your family can make good use of that new patio. Morning coffee, a family dinner, or just a place to sit and read a book or talk to a friend. Your new deck or patio gives you a place to get out of the house and enjoy your backyard. That area of rock we had before the guys built the deck really didn't get much use, but we ate dinner on the deck regularly once we had it. It was just so pleasant.

Boards & Shadows

One of the best parts of the deck was the pergola. It not only gave shade to the deck and made it a pleasant place to hang out, but it also helped to block the afternoon/evening sun and keep the house cooler. We hung some bamboo shades on the two sides by the patio furniture, and those could be lowered to give even more protection from the sun. Besides that, they looked nice.

Whether you need to hire a company that has an established reputation of installing patio covers Salt Lake City, or you can install your own pergola or patio cover, you will definitely want some kind of shade on your deck or patio. Otherwise, there may be times when the sun is so strong and hot that you are forced back into your house and unable to enjoy your deck. (Unless you're like me and really enjoy hanging out in the sun and heat, but I hear I'm not normal in that aspect.) The pergola didn't really protect from rain, but if you live in a rainy area, you may want to think about installing an awning or other patio cover that will keep most of the rain off.

Because, believe me - you will want to spend as much time as you can on your new deck or patio. Who agrees with me?

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Ow, Ow, Ow...

It was raining yesterday morning, so I didn't think I was going to be able to walk. When that happens I pick a couple videos from BeFit and do those. I've added several to my Workouts playlist on YouTube so I can find them easily on my smart TV. This is the one I did yesterday, and I'm feeling it today in my abs and in my legs. It's mainly when I try to sit down. Or climb the stairs.

But, of course, it's a good kind of pain.

Most days I walk 2 miles and then come back and do a 10-minute video. I have a few favorite videos I seem to do more often than the others - Ripped Arms and Abs Workout and Ab Power Workout 2 are a couple of them. My legs usually feel that 2nd one for a few days afterward too. Which is a good thing, right? If I'm not feeling it, it must not be doing anything. Thankfully BeFit has lots of videos to choose from so I can mix it up - which I probably should do a bit more so I can continue to embrace the pain get the benefits.

What are your favorite exercise videos? Do they still cause you pain?

Three Signs Your Yard May Have Poor Drainage

Drainage is one of those things that you don't think about until a storm passes through and you wake up to find your yard completely flooded. We certainly didn't think of it when we bought this house right in the middle of a very dry summer. Thankfully our yard seems to be OK, but many of the neighbors have 'lakes' in their yards every time it rains. I guess there's more than one way to have lakefront property! Though I'm sure they're not thrilled with the standing water in their yards.

Anytime it rains, the water needs a place to go. If your yard lacks proper drainage, that water will build up in an area where you may not want it. The excess moisture can kill your lawns and any plants in your yard too. In addition to flooding, there are other signs that you can look for both inside and outside your home that can indicate you have a drainage issue on your hands.

Clogged Gutters

Cleaning your gutters is something that may need to be done a few times a year, especially if you have mature trees near your house.  Gutters consist of not only the individual gutter pieces along the roof but the downspouts too. The water that moves through the gutters goes into the downspouts, which carries the water away from your foundation. If you've cleaned the leaves out of the gutters but they still seem clogged, that can indicate that your yard doesn't have proper drainage and the water in the downspouts has nowhere to go.

Interior Flooding

Another sign of improper drainage is interior flooding. The water can soak into your lawn and move closer to your home instead of away from the foundation as it's supposed to. Excess water buildup can cause cracks to form in your foundation allowing water to get inside your house. That water can seep through at a slow rate, but as the cracks expand, the water flow increases. You may begin to notice warped floorboards and woodwork, and eventually flooding in your basement or on your first floor.

Mold and Mildew

You may not have noticed flooding yet, but when you spot mold and mildew and can't find a cause for it, it's time to contact a professional irrigation St Louis company for help. Both mold and mildew thrive in areas with excess moisture. Mold needs a dark place to grow, which is why you'll see it inside cabinets, but mildew can grow in your shower and in any other room of your home. Those spores will continue growing and moving around your home until you get rid of the moisture.

Any of these signs can indicate a serious problem with your yard's drainage which you will want to take care of as soon as possible to avoid additional damage.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Olympics, Olympics, Olympics

I don't watch sports. At least, I don't usually watch sports. But every time the Olympics roll around, I just can't stop watching. I love them!

I find myself just as interested in curling as watching Shaun White's gold medal run in snowboard halfpipe. I squealed when he threw that board, and I still do every time I watch the video - which I've done a few times. (I've watched Chloe Kim a few times too - that girl can fly!) But seriously, that run! That man can still fly! His 3rd Olympic gold medal and the 100th gold medal for the U.S. in winter Olympics. How cool is that? Redemption and a milestone.

Go, Mikaela!
I pretty much leave the Olympics on all day. I watch skiers fly in the ski jump competition, watch the craziness of short track speed skating, watch some hockey (how did our U.S. men lose that game to Slovenia, anyway?), and then I check out the downhill skiing. And then I go back to curling. There's just something about that game - I just can't stop watching. Oh, and I think the weirdest sport I've seen so far in these Olympics is the luge doubles - seriously, who decided to stack 2 humans on a little sled and send them down a curving, icy track? And is there a limit to how many people you can stack on that little sled? I do think that ride down the track looks like a lot of fun. If you can keep from bouncing off the walls and crashing, which seems to be a serious risk. Oh, and then there are the guys who go head-first down that same track on another little sled...

The biggest problem with all this Olympics coverage is that it goes so late. How am I supposed to get any sleep?

Adding Quail to the Family Dinner Menu

Gambel's QuailIn many parts of the world, quail is a common and enjoyable menu item. Quail can be purchased in markets, hunted, or raised at home with the right care. For those who are talented hunters and enjoy rising early, quail is extraordinarily common game. With the many different ways to prepare quail and their eggs, it is a wonderful and affordable staple protein just as chicken is.

Purchasing Quail in Markets
When searching for quail in stores, it is important to keep in mind that most marketed quail is farmed. Therefore, it will not taste quite the same as wild or free ranged quail. I personally have not seen quail in the grocery store, but then again, I have not looked for it. Our store has a wide range of meat options, so it is entirely possible that quail is available, at least part of the time. I will have to look next time I'm in the store.

Hunting Quail for the Table
Hunting for quail is a common sport throughout the world, as quail are a very common species and a day's hunt could feed the family for a few days. For those who prefer the flavor of wild-caught game, hunting is the best method to obtain fresh quail. Quail hunting in Alabama is a popular sport, so there are many hunting spots that offer an incredible amount of game. Hunting will provide the freshest meat, aside from raising the birds at home.

Raising Quail for Food at Home
Raising quail at home is the second best way to obtain fresh quail for meals. For those who have adequate room and are not in an urban setting (unless the laws allow for raising quail), quail can be fairly easy to hatch and raise at home. As long as they are housed properly with the right feed and adequate shelter, it will only be a short time before the family is able to enjoy the very first harvest. This is the most hands-on method and it will require the most work.

Quail is a great protein to add to your family's meal rotation. Variety is key to a healthy diet, so add some leafy greens and another vegetable option for a delicious, wholesome meal!