Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Time is precious! Save some with my top ten tips!

Moms are busy.  I don't think it matters whether you are a stay at home mom or a a mom that works outside of the home.  We have grocery shopping and cooking and transporting to do.  We pick up our husband's dry cleaning and make our children's lunch before school.  We do alot and even though it may not be noticed, I am a firm believer that our families appreciate all of the hard work that we do.  I wanted to take a moment to write down my time saving tips and hope that maybe one or two of them might resonate with you.

1.  Cook larger portions of staples and save them for later.   For example I love cooking up a large batch of ground beef with chopped onions. From there I can take a portion and sit aside for a later meal.  From one large batch of cooked ground beef and onions - I can make chili, shephards pie, sloppy joes and add some to spaghetti sauce.  It takes the same amount of time to cook a small batch as a large batch so why not?

2.  I have all of my snacks hanging inside my pantry door in a shoe organizer.  This way all of the available granola bars, bags of cookies, breakfast bags, chip bags are visible and can just be snagged in a moment.  This also helps me fit more into my little pantry.

3.  I buy in bulk and make my own snack bags.  Not only does this save money but also time.  I do a bunch ahead of time and the kids are able to grab what they want and I can make sure they are exercising portion control.  I decide how much is in each bag.

4.  I do make the children lay out their clothes for the next day before they go to bed.  That way I am not messing with one child that can't find socks when I am ready to walk out the door.

5.  I use my DVR. If you don't have one of these, well you really should.   I can knock out my favorite shows all at once while doing the laundry and my daughter is napping.  This is the only time I get to watch what I want so I really try to take advantage of it.

6.  I am a new member of Netflix.  Netflix is a wonderful tool.  They have so much programing available right at the touch of a button.  I no longer purchase DVD's only to have my daughter watch them a few times and want something else.  Any time I can save a trip to the store, well that is just heaven to me!

7.  I shower while my daughter bathes.  Sometimes it is hard for us stay at home moms to get twenty minutes to take a shower.  Now that my daughter is old enough and enjoys playing in the bath tub, I let her do it in my master bath while I take a shower.  I only recommend doing this if you can do so safely.  My shower has clear doors and is literally attached to my bathtub so I can get out in an instant if need be.

8.  I check my emails from my cell phone.  I am a smart phone fanatic.  I love having access to my email whenever I need to.  I have been able to communicate with clients while sitting in the doctor's waiting room or waiting for a prescription.  This just saves me from having to do this later once I return back to my laptop.

9.  I order pizza.  I know it sounds crazy but sometimes you need a little time to yourself.  On days when I just want to take an hour and have a nice hot bath, I order my family pizza and eat on paper plates.  Letting someone else do the work and having it ready whenever I need it puts a little bit of me time in my back pocket for later.  Plus there are no dishes!  Oh wait...are those angels singing that I hear?

10.  The last that I do to save time is use apps on my phone.  Target texts me coupons so that I don't have to clip them.  They just scan the coupons from my cell phone.

Starbucks has a great one for Blackberry, Android, iPhones and iPod Touches that allows you to do the following:

  • Pay with your phone: Enjoy the fastest, more convenient way to pay at nearly 9,000 Starbucks locations.  Just download the app, enter your Starbucks Card number, scan and go.
  • Manage your card account: Access your Starbucks Card balance directly from your phone.
  • Reload your card balance: Use your smartphone to reload your Starbucks Card using any major credit card.
  • Check your My Starbucks Rewards status: Find out how close you are to earning your next free drink.
  • Find nearby Starbucks stores: Save time by finding a Starbucks store near you.
Saving time is worth its weight in gold.  I hope that I have given you some tips that you can use to help make your day go smoother and less stressful.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Starbucks blogging program, for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Parenting other peoples kids

Do you ever feel the need to do this?  I really had a mom moment the other day when I found one of the children screaming bloody murder because she had a non-existent boo boo and instinctively I kissed her elbow and she stopped crying, smiled and went about her way.  Now this should drum up two questions.  One where is the mother of this screaming child?  And two, should I really be kissing another kids elbow?  Probably not on the second question but the more obvious first question has me thinking.  How far is looking out for other peoples kids versus just enabling them to engage in social time rather than watch their kid?  I typically don't make waves at play dates.  I want my daughter to interact with the other kids and have a great time.  I don't want to feel awkward or start any of the inevitable drama that goes along with large groups of women.  I may like to hear the gossip on occasion but not necessarily spread any of it.  So is it my responsibility to go up to that mother and say something?  The old me would have in a heart beat.  I called a spade a spade with absolutely no filter.  I guess having Samantha has softened me a bit.  So instead I take the approach of keeping an eye on my child, and those of my closer friends and well let everyone else deal with their own.  Part of me would love to go up to these women and say, WATCH YOUR KIDS! But well even when you do that, they tend to disagree and tell you that they had been watching them the whole time.  I don't usually rant but well somethings just have to be said.  Do you all have similar issues like this?  How did you handle them?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Ipad or Bust

So I never considered myself to be someone who needed the latest gadget.  My mom friends have camera based baby monitors and well mine was probably 12.99 at Toys R Us, and I am fine with that.  Some people have diaper pails, I have a trash can.   So why oh why do I want an IPAD so badly?  I laugh because I often dream of all of the wonderful apps I could finally get if I only had one.  How I am missing out on this or that because I don't have one yet and how I am secretly jealous of my recently tech savvy mother who not only just got hers but also beat me on to facebook.  How many woman do you know in their 30's whose mother was on facebook before they were?  Yeah that would be mine.  And don't get me wrong, I think it is awesome, but I think this is one place where I just can't settle.  I have never had an ipod nano, or mini or whatever they are called, never an ipod touch either.  Though I would like an ipod touch as well, my sites are currently set on an ipad.  The only thing I wonder is that if there is another tablet that is better?  All of my research says no, but you never know right?  So I will be saving and hopefully getting one soon.  Have you ever had something that you just wanted so badly?  This is the first thing that I have wanted in quite some time...

Friday, June 3, 2011

Little Looster Review and Giveaway

So as many of you know I have a two and a half year old and well she seems to pick up everything quickly.  Well except one thing.  Potty training.  We have been dabbling in potty training for the past few months now and though we haven't been super successful, I am pulling out all of the tricks.  I have learned that Samantha plus princess potty equals a mess on my floor from the sink because she only uses it as a step stool instead of of a potty. When I was given the opportunity to review the Little Looster, I was thinking...YES!  ANYTHING!  I thought that maybe if Samantha saw what I was doing, she would try it herself.  So what is the Little Looster?  It is a horseshoe shaped step stool that wraps around any toilet.  It is perfect for little ones to help them climb up on to the big potty.  It encourages them to use the potty like a big boy or girl.  The way that Mommy and Daddy does.  It also is wraps around so nicely that when I use that same toilet, I didn't need to move it.  I was able to keep the little looster in place.  I really liked that given that my bathroom is quite small. 

So how did it work for me?   Well she did climb up on it and she was able to reach.  Now as most mothers know that potty training is a process, and well we haven't mastered it yet, but my Little Looster is still in place.  I am a big believer in this product and feel that even though my daughter hasn't yet completed her potty training, that this will definitely assist her in using the potty when she does. 

Now on to the fun part.  I didn't want to make you all wait until Samantha is potty trained before I give you the opportunity to get one for yourself!

These are a great deal at 34.99 and can be purchased here on their website.  I was also given the opportunity to give away one of them to my readers.  So make sure you do the mandatory entry, and after that do all or none of the extra entries.  Good Luck!

Mandatory Entry - 
Go on the Little Looster Website and tell me one thing that you had learned.

Extra Entries
  • Follow me on Google Friend Connect
  • Follow me on twitter  
  • Like Little Looster  on Facebook
  • Follow me on Networked Blogs
  • "Like"  Homemaker in Progress on Facebook
  • Share this giveaway on your Facebook Page  (attach the link in your comment post)
  • Blog about this giveaway and post the link on your blog  (attach the link in your comment post)
  • Tweet about this giveaway and post the permalink in your post.  Feel free to use the twitter link below this post.

Disclosure Statement

This review was made possible by Mom Spark Media. However the thoughts are my own. I was given a sample of this product in exchange for my opinion

One winner  will be randomly selected from all valid entries using, and that winner will have 48 hours to respond to their prize winner email notification.  If winner fails to respond, within that time period, a new winner will be selected.  Contest ends June 11, 2011 at 11:59 pm CT.  Open to US residents, age 18+.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Keeping safe out there...

As many of you know, I am a part of a family of five.  My husband and I have three childen, three cats and two dogs.  When we travel, we have to go by car.   Airline tickets are just to pricy when you have larger family.  Even most cruise boats only are equiped for a family of four rather than five so when we travel we typically drive to our destination.  That being said, it is really important to be safe when traveling so far with loved ones, there for I have my list of ten tips for keeping safe on the wide open road.

1.  Let someone other than the driver manipulate the GPS.  Any small distraction like that could really cause an accident.

2.  Think you can ignore a chip in your windshield? Think again! The windshield provides up to 30% of your vehicles structural integrity, and a chip smaller than 6 inches (or the size of a dollar bill) can easily be repaired by filling it with a special resin.

3.  Scheduling a windshield chip repair is easy! Companies like Safelite AutoGlass provide mobile service – wherever your car is – often within 24 hours of your initial call.

4.  Forget do-it-yourself repair kits. The resin could easily shrink or yellow, lowering the quality of the repair. Safelite AutoGlass uses a patented repair process… A vacuum is created over the damaged area and the resin penetrates and fills the finest micro-cracks. The technician pulls off the vacuum changer and the UV light hardens the resin. Safelite’s resin is proven to be the strongest and longest lasting on the market.

5.  Make sure that you get an oil change and have all of your tire pressure checked.  Under-inflated tires not only use more gas, but are also dangerous. 

6.  Don't wait until the last minute before getting a refill on gas while out on the road.  Running out of gas is a highly preventable hazard by filling up when there is more than an eighth of  a tank left. 

7.  Replace your windshield wipers before leaving out on a long trip.  Driving in the rain is its own hazard.  Don't make it more difficult but limiting your vision.

8.  Remember to bring your sunglasses.  Driving in direct sunlight not only gives you a headache, but also lowers your visibility because things become too bright.

9.  Try to time out your driving.  Avoiding rush hours in big cities make save time and frustration by avoiding traffic.

10.  Lastly, remember that unexpected things happen.  Try to roll with the flow rather than getting completely frustrated.  Frustration may cause you to drive more aggressively than you normally would which increases your possibility for having an accident.

About Safelite AutoGlass:
Safelite AutoGlass® was founded in 1947. Throughout our more than 60 years of service, our company has grown from a single store in Wichita, Kansas, to a national auto glass provider, serving nearly 4 million customers per year.
Through industry-leading 24-hour instant scheduling, convenient in-shop or mobile service, top-of-the-line materials and SafeTech™ certified technicians, you’ll find that Safelite AutoGlass offers superior customer service, value and quality.
More info:
Follow Safelite on Twitter: @safelite

I hope that these tips help you stay safe this summer.  Keep your cool and stay safe.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Safelite blogging program, for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.