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Archive for the ‘homemaking’ tag

August 18th, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Online Recipe Storage & Organization


I am a recipe hoarder. I have cookbooks, printed recipes, written recipes, and tons of bookmarked recipes stored in so many places on the Internet and on my computer.  I am in the process of trying to consolidate all these recipes in two places…on paper and online. My tried and true recipes that I make regularly are stored in a binder. These are printed and slipped in plastic sheet covers so they are easy to refer to and don’t get messy while i’m cooking.

Everything else is stored online. I also store my tried and true online so I can refer to them when out and about. Sometimes when you are grocery shopping you decide you really need to make that one favorite recipe for dinner. Here are a couple of ways you can organize your recipes online for safekeeping.


I am currently making my household as paperless as I can with Evernote, and a desktop scanner. I bookmark my online recipes to Evernote, and scan my paper recipes and save them to the app as well. I love that i’m able to add tags so the recipes are easily searchable, and if I save my scanned documents right, the handwriting or typing becomes searchable too. I use the app Evernote Food on my phone and iPad to help search for the perfect recipes and view them when i’m on-the-go.


This app can be used on mobile or desktop and is strictly for recipes. There is a nice built-in browser which helps you import recipes easily. One of the best parts is the grocery list, which adds up all your recipes and make a list from all the ingredients you need.


This is a great way to access recipes through imagery. Make different boards for food categories and save each recipe link cataloged there by picture and description. You can even add your own descriptions.

Online Storage Service (Dropbox, iCloud, or Google Drive)

Save each recipe as a file and organize by folders. This is a great way to access recipes from many different locations.

How do you organize your recipes?

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August 1st, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Displaying Medals and Trophies


With two boys who are actively involved in sports, we have to anticipate that sooner or later, medals and trophies will be won and the kids will be eager to display them. My son recently earned his first medal in a soccer tournament, and I wanted to find a fun way to display it so he can remember his accomplishments.

I took a regular towel bar found at your local hardware or department store and attached it to the wall. Then, I looped the medal over it so it hangs nicely. A quick and easy way to display! As you can see, I have displayed his trophies on a shelf underneath as well. I think I might even add some type of quote or word art about hard work or success to finish it off!

It’s important to remind your kids that with some hard work they can accomplish so much!

How do you organized/display your kids’ trophies?


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March 27th, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Spring Gardening Preparation



If you like to garden, or want to start one, now’s the time to get ready for planting! (Did we mention that April is National Gardening Month?) As the ground thaws, soil needs to be prepared in order to create the best growing medium for your plants. Different types of plants require different kinds of care, including the timing of their planting, exposure to sunlight, supplemented nutrition, watering, spacing, and harvesting. Get your kids involved and let them help you however they can. Here are some basic guidelines for starting your spring planting.

  1. Determine your frost date. If you live in an area where you get a true winter, it’s important that you know your area’s frost date to avoid planting too soon. There are quite a few online resources to help you figure it out. Try Dave’s Garden…you just put in your zip code and it tells you your frost risks and timing.
  2. Choose your plants. Gather your bulbs and seeds and determine which ones need to be planted first. Some plants can survive colder temperatures.
  3. Section your garden. Plants should be grouped by type and care. Vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers, etc. should have their own sections. Keep their “requirements” in mind when you create your sections…some need lots of direct sunlight, while others thrive in shady spots.
  4. Test your soil. You should first make sure the soil is ready to be prepared. Heavy soil that is still wet from snow and rain will not let your plants breathe. You can tell it’s ready when you pick it up, squeeze it into a ball with your hands, and then drop it, or poke it. If it crumbles into small particles, it is dry enough to be worked. If it breaks into large clumps or stays in form, it is still too moist. Not all soil is equal, so learning a bit about your native soil will help you understand when it’s ready.
  5. Prepare your soil. There are a lot of things you can do to improve the medium your plants grow in. Without going into too much detail, consider looking into the various soil-improvement methods, including pH testing, composting, fertilizing, tilling, mulching, etc. Hint: Used coffee grounds and egg shells make great fertilizers!
  6. Plant! When your soil is ready, plant your seeds and bulbs, take care of them and watch them grow! Garden maintenance can be tedious, but rewarding. Make sure you water and fertilize as needed, and don’t forget to pick those pesky weeds!

Do you have a garden and have tips to share? Post them and/or pictures of your garden on our Facebook page!


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March 20th, 2014 at 12:48 pm

DIY Cleaning Products


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Let’s face it…when you have kids, you do a lot more cleaning. These messy little creatures always seem to find a way to make things dirty! Unfortunately, all the cleaning supplies can add up. You can save money by making your own cleaning products! Some of them are so simple, requiring only two or three ingredients that you probably have around the house already, and they work just as good, if not better! Check out some of these DIY cleaning products and let us know what you think!

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February 13th, 2014 at 2:20 pm

Crockpot Meals



Parents often don’t have a lot of time to prepare dinner, especially meals that have a main dish and a few sides. The crockpot is one of the best kitchen tools for busy families. It’s a safe way to leave food cooking for long periods of time, and the recipes can be as simple as throwing the ingredients in together! You can cut your cooking time in half, or even more, by using one. Here are some great crockpot meals the whole family will enjoy.


Do you have a great crockpot recipe to share? Post it on our Facebook page and show us your delicious creations!

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October 18th, 2013 at 8:05 am

Sprucing Up Your Home for Fall

inspirationI always get in the mood to spruce up my home around this time of year. It’s kind of like Spring Cleaning, but means getting ready for the long winter we experience here in Wisconsin. Being a mom who spends most of her time at home, this place starts to get stale and I need to change things up to inspire myself!

My first act of business is some fall cleaning. One of my favorite fall cleaning checklists can be found here. It takes care of decluttering, outside tasks, and other items that are appropriate to take care of during this time of year. During the Fall, I already start to prepare for the holiday season. I think about what needs to be done and purchased  and start to make the kids wish lists. I also think about the holidays while I am decluttering. Should we just get rid of the ratty old sofa in our office  that gets moved into the playroom to make room for the tree? What does our freezer look like and what foods can we use to make the holiday season easy for dinner time? That’s what fall cleaning is all about, getting ready to survive the holidays. That reminds me, be sure to organize and declutter the playroom and leave a little extra room for all those gifts that are coming your kids way……

This year, I’ve decide to change up some home decor in my house. With the help of Pinterest and trips to local stores with the camera on my phone, I have come up with an inspiration board. Slowly I am purchasing items to spruce up some rooms. It may be a whole new color scheme, or new curtains, or even just some new photos framed on the walls that are needed to make my home a place that inspires and rejuvenates me.  I’ve slowly started painting and hanging items up and already I am falling back in love with my house. Being somewhere I enjoy helps to get through those long winter months.

How are you sprucing up during the season of Fall?

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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October 7th, 2013 at 9:16 am

Getting the Fall Wardrobe Ready

It has still been summer weather here in Wisconsin, but in a week or too fall will be in full swing! It’s time for me to make sure the kids and I are ready with our fall wardrobe. You may remember reading how I dread changing the closets over. So, this year I am going in prepared. That is why I’ve created this checklist to use in their closets. That way I don’t end up buying more than I need.

Kids Clothing Checklist 

Underwear – 10 pairs

Socks – 10-14 Pairs

T-shirts – 6-10

Sweaters/Sweatshirts – 2-3

Pants/Skirts/ Jeans – 10

Dresses – 2

Pajamas – 4 pair

Shoes – 2 pair (one dress and one sneaker)

Boots – 1 pair

Coats – 1 winter, 1 spring/fall

Hats and Gloves – endless supply (in my house these disappear all the time)

The Process

  1. Pull everything out of closets and drawers.
  2. Sort out things that are wrecked, don’t fit, or they just don’t wear
  3. Separate by clothing type (i.e. put all the sweatshirts together)
  4. Look at how much clothing you have in each category
  5. Write a list of what you need to buy including what size and possible colors you are looking for
  6. Check for coupons and online deals!
  7. Go shopping! (This is usually the fun part)

I hope your changing of the clothing gets done in an organized fashion and if you want to be super organized use this excellent Clothing Inventory Printable.

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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February 25th, 2013 at 5:00 am

Spring Cleaning is right around the Corner

The end of February is nearing so Spring is right around the corner… hopefully!

I like to start my Spring Cleaning in March, because I know once the snow starts to melt and the days get warmer I like to spend more time outside.

First, I collect supplies for the job. Here is a basic list:

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Dusting spray or furniture polish
  • Trash bags
  • Baking soda
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Kitchen cleaner
  • Bathroom cleaner
  • Sponges and scrubbers
  • Vinegar
  • Paper towels
  • Gloves
  • Glass cleaner
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Mop or other floor cleaner
  • Containers marked ‘Donate’ and ‘Sell’

Feel free to use your favorite store bought or homemade cleaner; whichever will help you get the job done is the best!

Once you have this done, it’s time to make your list of what needs to be done and where it needs to be done. I consult my favorite cleaning/organizing experts on the web for lists. My favorites include: Organized HomeLil Blue Boo, and She Knows. I print these out and pick out the items that apply to my house, then I customize them. For this I go around room by room and write things that need to be done. Here are some examples of special tasks that need to be done in my house this spring:

Boys Room

  • Paint Walls and Ceiling
  • Change all hangers from little to big
  • Sort through books



  • Price items to sell at consignment sale
  • Sort through old toys
  • Organize and rearrange books

These are only a few of the items I want to tackle this spring. It is going to be a busy time, but the end result is a huge payout. While spring cleaning I also want to do some major decluttering! I’ve hit that time of life when I really need to simplify. There is a great series on A Bowl Full of Lemons that goes through things to think about when organizing and decluttering each room. I see a lot of trips to Goodwill in my future!

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.


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January 4th, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Setting Up Your Calendar for the New Year

One of my favorite parts of the new year is setting up our calendar with all the activities. The first obvious choice is choosing what type of calendar to use. Are you a fan of a paper planner, have one big one on the wall, or are you an online user. Make sure it is big enought to hold all the obligations of each person in your family.

I personally use an online calendar for myself and my husband. I also carry a paper one that I can list things like shopping items, notes, to do lists, and menu plans. I have tried to go all digital but feel like I don’t have something that has everything set up the way I like. This method makes me do some of my work twice, but I always make sure the online one has every appointment on it.

Remember when you are adding appointments to include birthdays, no school days, practices, sporting events, community activities, and more! Always remember to add your new events as they are scheduled, so that you will be prepared. Also, add items like family game nights, date nights, and vacations so everyone has things to look forward to.

I like to use different color pens for the different people in my family. This helps me to quickly scan my calendar for a certain person’s obligations. As my kids get older it becomes easier to double-book them or accidentally schedule them to be to be picked up at two separate parts of town at the same time.

Last year I talked about the daily sheet I use to organize each day. I keep this tucked in my calendar to help schedule my commitments for each day. This is a great tool to carry around for a snapshot of the day and what needs to get done or remembered.

What tips do you have for organizing your calendar?

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.


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January 23rd, 2012 at 5:00 am

Creating a Home Management Binder

One of my goals for 2012 is to get a little more organized. My desk and all the papers that pile on it are my greatest nemesis. You may remember my version of a household notebook from this last summer. I use that daily and I am continually adding things to it. It needed to have a companion though, so I created our own Home Management Binder.

This has proved to be a great addition, especially to corral all those little notes that I am not sure what to do with but need a place to store. It has become a great place to store checklists and manage goals.

The first step in creating a Home Management Binder is selecting the binder to use. I wanted something bold that I would be able to see at a moments notice. You may want one that you can customize if you are a crafter. I also gathered up some page dividers, section dividers and folders that are meant to go in binders.

Next, I decided what kind of different sections I wanted to create. The ones I decided on were:

- Important Family Information: emergency contact information, lists of family doctors, and school information

- Our Calendar: Here I have our daily sheet, a list of important dates including birthdays and anniversaries, and a printed calendar of our week. I manage our calendars online so I find that printing the upcoming week is a good solution.

- To Do: This contains the master to do list, cleaning lists, and goal lists. I also keep papers that need to be taken care of in a folder in this section.

- Menu Planning: I like to store a calendar where I list our upcoming menu selections in this part. I also have a list of favorite “tried and true” recipes here also. Sometimes this list makes it easier to quickly select items I would like to make. A grocery list also resides in this part of my binder so I can quickly note what is needed in the house.

So far these are the sections I have, but I see some new ones in my future…

What about?
- Birthday Planning
- Home Maintenance
- Bill Paying

What sections do/would you have in your Home Management Binder?

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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