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Friday, March 6, 2015

Hallelujah! Both Kids Got on the Bus! Time to Clean the Couches!

Hallelujah, hallelujah!  Both kids got on the bus today!   It has been a looooooong week!  I have been waiting for the moment when I would be able to tear the couches apart and strip those things naked!  (nekkid, if you're in the south)  

I don't do it very often because it's tedious.  It can be very hard getting those foam cushions back into the outside covering once you've washed them.  BUT, I've never wanted to wash them so much in my life!  Apparently that stomach virus is a pretty bad one and once you have it you're not immune to it.  I know that we've already been exposed again and again, but it will make me feel better to wash the couch cushions that my little sicky has been lying on all week.  

It's always fun to see the collections in the couch when I clean them as well.  So far today, this is what I've found:
 That paper?  It's from the Super Bowl.  The Super Bowl!!!  I think people come into my house and re-hide those things after the party.  I'm not kidding.  I keep finding those things everywhere.  There was also a bracelet, a head band, chapstick, multiple LEGO bricks, a permanent marker. . . . . .

And enough popcorn to fill another bowl.  
Which leads me to ask. . . . .

When was the last time I cleaned this thing?!?!?!  I believe I'm a little off my game with everything going on lately!  Luckily there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Winter can not last forever.  In fact I found a Bible verse the other day that says that exact thing.  Sometimes when I'm going through something, I will ask God,  "Okay God, give me a number."  I'll wait to "hear" numbers in my head and then I go to that page in the Bible.  This week one time when I asked for the number, it took me to the page where this verse was:

"He sends the snow in all it's lovely whiteness, and scatters the frost upon the ground, and hurls the hail upon the earth.  Who can stand before his freezing cold?  But then he calls for warmer weather, and the spring winds blow and all the river ice is broken." --Psalm 147: 16-18  (The Living Bible)

And yes it has more meaning that just talking about the weather, but thank goodness that Winter doesn't last forever and God gives each season it's turn.  

Are you ready for Spring????

Sometime soon I'll be seeing these little lovelies again!  I can't wait.  This picture is obviously from last year. . . . .our ground is still covered in snow here.





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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

10 Things That I'll Definitely Stock in My Pantry Every Winter

The past couple weeks have hit everyone here like a ton of bricks!  This Winter has been long and tedious and we've recently been hit with colds, stomach viruses and headaches.  This past week, I've found myself running short on some supplies that would have been very helpful.  There are some things that I just don't keep in the house because it's not something that we normally eat or drink.  Some of the things I don't keep in the house because the items have ingredients that I don't want on a regular basis, but those items are still helpful during times of illness.  For instance, we don't regularly consume sports drinks because they usually have artificial colors.  But, they sure come in handy when dehydration hits from a stomach virus.  Here's my list of things that I WILL be stocking up on in January, every year going forward.  Having these items on hand will save me from having to run to the store in snowy or icy conditions when I already have to deal with a sick child.  This is what my "quick run" looked like this week:

(Okay. . . .forget the picture. . . .I'm having an I/O device error. . . apparently I take my SD card in and out of my camera and computer waaaaay to often.  Guess it's time for a new one.  You'll have to use your imagination to picture all the things I ran to the store to get.)

1. Children's ibuprofen and children's acetaminophen.  I didn't even know that we were running low on these two things until we needed them to help get a fever down.  From now on, I will automatically restock every January.
2. Chicken Broth.  I usually have a couple cartons in my pantry.  I will definitely buy more boxes to have a lot of extra broth in the pantry.  When my son was having dehydration issues, I was able to get him to eat a banana and some chicken broth and it helped get rid of his feet and leg pain (from dehydration.) 
3.  Gatorade or other Sports drinks.  This is one of the things that I never buy because we just don't use it on a regular basis.  It's more money than I want to pay, we are not super-athletes and most of the ones I've seen have fake coloring and a lot of sugar.  But, I don't mind if the kids have it when they're sick, because at least they're getting some form of hydration.
4.  Soda crackers.  Here's another thing we don't keep in the house.  I don't usually buy very many things that are made with white flour because we do a lot of whole grains.  Once again though, they come in handy when little tummies don't feel well.  I plan on buying a couple boxes in January from now on to get ready for our "sick season."
5.  Individual containers of organic apple sauce.  Apple sauce is one of the things on the BRAT diet that is recommended when someone has diarrhea.  If you've never heard of it, the items that are suggested to eat are Bananas, Rice, Apple Sauce and Toast (dry).  I read this a long, long time ago before I ever had kids, but I've always remembered it.  Applesauce is another thing that  I don't normally have in the house because my kids don't usually eat it.  I'd rather they just eat a whole apple.
6.  Real Ginger Ale.  I'm sure most of you know that ginger helps soothe stomach issues.  We don't keep any kind of soda in the house usually because we try to drink water as much as possible.  If the "bad stuff" is here, than we will drink it.  But, I might need to buy a few bottles and hide them in January for when the stomach viruses begin.    Every time one of my kids have a stomach virus, I want to give them some ginger ale, but that entails loading that sick kids in a car and going to the store.  It would be better if it was already stocked in my pantry.
7.  Name Brand Tissues with lotion.  If you've seen my post "Signs it Might be Time for a Stay at Home Mom to get a Job", you know that we won't be needing tissues any time soon.  I don't think any of those are comfy tissues for sore noses that have been blown or wiped too much though.  I even opened a box of tissues that are supposed to be lotion tissues, but they still hurt my nose.  They were a store brand.  I guess they don't compare to the national brand.  My nose still hurts!
8.  Green Tea.  I don't know if it was the copious amounts of green tea that I was drinking that helped my cold seem shorter or not, but I figure it's worth a try.  From now on, even if I don't have green tea in the house any other time, I will buy a few extra boxes in January. 
9.  Extra Toilet Paper.  Do I really need to explain this one?
10.  Bleach or bleach sprays.  I don't usually like cleaning with chemicals, but when all these sicky bugs start flying around our house in  Winter, I feel like I need to use something stronger than peroxide or vinegar.  It might be all in my head, but I feel better using something with bleach in it.  The fact that it comes pre-mixed and ready for me in a bottle that actually sprays makes my life easier. 

Do you have anything to add to this list?  These are the things that I found myself running to the store for in the past week.  It would have been so much easier if I already had them stocked and ready to go. 



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5 Kitchen Features to Whet Your Interior Design Appetite


You’re certainly not stuck for choices these days when you’re looking for ways to revamp your kitchen. There are a host of innovative and attractive products on offer for you to take advantage of. The following five features are classic examples, and they should whet your interior design appetite and give you plenty of ideas for your own cooking space.

Wooden Worktops 
 No kitchen is complete without worktops, and there are now lots of different styles and materials to choose from. Solid timber versions are popular among discerning designers, and it’s not hard to see why. Wood has a natural beauty and a versatility that means it can be used to complement any cooking area, from rustic, homely spaces to chic, contemporary rooms. As well as looking great, wood is also practical. It’s comfortable to work on and it’s durable, meaning it will stand the test of time. There are lots of different types of timber on offer too. If you’re keen to create a soft, understated look, prime beech worktops could be ideal. This elegant material offers a premium finish and it can help to give kitchens a light, bright appearance.

Imaginative Island Units
If you have the space, it’s well worth considering adding an island unit to your kitchen. This will give you more work surfaces, and it could add visual interest to the room. There’s so much you can do with these units too. Perhaps you’ll incorporate counter top burners, or fit a handy double sink. Think of all the extra storage you will get with this design feature too.

Convenient Coffee Bars 
Each morning, hurried commuters stand in line in coffee shops waiting to get their caffeine fix to set them up for the day. Why not kiss goodbye to these queues and enjoy a hot drink of your choice in the luxury of your very own coffee bar at home? As kitchen design gets ever more creative, a rising number of people are incorporating designated areas where they can enjoy their morning meal and drink. To follow suit, all you need are a breakfast bar, a stool or two and, for added luxury and convenience, a coffee machine.

Sensational Backsplashes 
You might be keen to keep your kitchen decor relatively neutral, but your kitchen backsplashes are great for giving your space a pop of color. These practical features are now available in an array of materials and colors. You can take your pick from metal, glass, tile and plastic versions. To add instant personality and flare to the room, why not opt for a backsplash in a bold hue?  


Storage You Can See
Cabinets are must in any kitchen, and there’s no shortage of designs to choose from. To give your cooking area a brighter and more spacious look, you can opt for versions with glass doors. For the best results, add some in-cabinet lighting. Just remember, if you go for glass-fronted storage solutions, you’ll need to make an extra effort to keep them clean and tidy!  



 What's the first item you'd change in your kitchen for a little extra design oomph? 
 
 
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