If you have a clothesline, listen up! If not, then invest in one!!! Did you know that line drying your clothes not only saves quite a bit of energy costs in your utility bill, but it also prolongs the life of the fabrics in your clothing and linens? AND sunshine is a wonderful, natural whitener and brightener! To keep clothes soft when line drying, simply add a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle... the scent dissipates in the air, and your laundry is naturally brightened and disinfected as well as softer!
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For those of you expecting to receive Club House packages in the mail any day now... blame my husband! I had them all ready to go, addressed and set to be mailed. I handed them to him as he was out to run errands and asked him to swing by the post office for me. Well, I should have known better. I just now found them on the back seat of his car when I was getting the extra booster seat for our trip.
We are leaving at 6 am, and the post office doesn't open until 9 am on Saturdays, so I can't get them to you until we return. And I feel horrible! But I promise you will get them. They are already addressed to you, and won't go to anyone else! Please be patient. I will get them out asap when I return. I hope you can forgive me for entrusting him with that simple task... sigh....
Attie, my oldest, was in her school play this spring. She was Snow White in "Geology Rock", a third grade production. So I spent today trying to convert the antiquated video from the camcorder into a real live video we could burn copies of for the grandparents. So, no housekeeping post today, but a heck of a solo from a 9-year-old princess! I cry everytime I watch this. I had no idea she could sing this well, and it blew everyone away. Enjoy!
Going into the oven right now: my fast & easy version of Swiss Steak. Today the weather really changed on us. It's chilly and rainy, so I don't mind doing some actual cooking in the oven for once, and this seemed like the perfect meal tonight! I've been distracted today with all of the kids being home this afternoon, now that school is out for the year, so anything gourmet and complicated was out of the question. But homecooked was still in order, and I wanted to put forth SOME effort! Here is the easiest way in the world to make dinner tonight:
Preheat oven to 350 deg. Drizzle a tablespoon or two of oil in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. I prefer olive oil for this, but you can use canola oil, vegetable oil, whatever you have on hand. Lay round steak in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle one envelope of Lipton Onion Soup Mix evenly over the round steak. I usually just use the regular mix, but sometimes have used the Beefy Onion flavor and it works well! Lightly drain one 14 oz can of diced tomatoes and pour evenly over the steak. Slice one large green bell pepper and one medium to large sweet onion. Spread these over the top evenly as well. Cover entire dish with aluminum foil, place in oven and let it go for about 3 hours to make it nice and tender and have the flavors really combine.
Serve with mashed potatoes. This dish creates a lovely sauce to pour over the mashed potatoes, and the onions and peppers really accent them as well. Add a tossed salad and ouila! Dinner is served!
Want to win a free copy of the book "Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House"? Of course you do! It's easy! Just go to my facebook page, like it, and then share the page... random drawing will determine the winner from whomever shares the page between now and July 1st! Here's the link: The Helpful Housewife Facebook Page Good Luck!!!!
Have you seen the new show on TLC, "Extreme Couponing"? I've watched a couple episodes, and honestly I just can't watch anymore. It just is not realistic. First of all, it is promoting a hoarder's mentality. Really, what are you going to do with 150 yogurts? And why do you have 75 2-liters of Mountain Dew in your closet instead of your clothing? Come on, people! Second of all, if you are someone who uses coupons faithfully you know that this show HAS to be scripted because stores have coupon policies in place that would never allow these situations to exist! I would love to see a store that lets you use 35 of the same coupon, all worth over $1.00 off, and then double all of them? Yeah, right.... in whose alternate universe is that happening in?
So, let's get real about it. Right here, right now. Full disclosure on my part: I've read several of the books out there on using coupons, and there are some GREAT tips to follow. But all of these books give you the cardinal rule up front: follow the stores' coupon policies. Learn them, know them, memorize them. Keep up to date on changes to them. AND these books are also quite honest in that they say you'll probably save 30-60% off your grocery bill on average over time. That is more realistic. And the results I've had are about that when I average it out.
I've been able to find my own system, and I will try to put it in a nutshell here for you. Obviously, everyone has to find something that works for them, but this is what I have found works the best for me. The results have been good: last week my total bill was $358 at Kroger, but I only spent $91 when all was said and done. No, I didn't have over $1000 in products in my cart and only spend $1.38. Does anyone even believe that? Anyway, here's how I do it.
Each week, when my Sunday paper comes, I go straight for the coupon flyers. If they have a good selection, I will go out and buy 5 or 6 more newspapers. Never any more than that, because there are limits on the number of coupons you can even use in the first place. For example, at our Meijer store, only the first 2 coupons double, and after that each coupon is only good for face value. And those that double are only doubled up to 50 cents. At a Kroger about 20 miles away (each Kroger has it's own coupon policy - you need to check with each one to find out what it is), they double manufacturer coupons up to $1.00 everyday, but only the first 3. After that, they are only good for face value, and you can only use 5 max. Cellfire is an online tool that lets you load coupons onto your store loyalty cards, but Meijer is not a partner, and even though Kroger is a partner, I DO NOT USE THEM, because they changed their policy. If you scan your loyalty card, the cellfire coupons will count before your regular coupons and you can't use the regular ones. And cellfire coupons are usually very low value anyway.
So, I go through my coupons, and cut all of them out. YES, I cut ALL of them out. I then put them into a three ring binder, organized by section of the grocery store, and stored in the plastic pages that are used for trading cards. Once they are organized and put away, it's easy to find them when I need them.
As I then go through each sale flyer, I match up every item on sale to a coupon. If it isn't on sale, and doesn't have a coupon, it doesn't go on the list. Simple as that. It has to be both. This maximizes the savings. I try to use the larger value coupons at Kroger, since they double a higher value. If a coupon is valued over $1.00, I use it wherever the item is on sale.
Once I have my list of items on sale that have coupons, I put those coupons in an envelope with the list, grab my binder and head off to the stores. I take the binder, because often there are unadvertised sales, and you never know when you'll have a coupon for one of those items!
Here's an example of how I made it work on some of the more expensive items I buy on a recent trip:
I had 7 coupons for $1.00 off any Colgate variety toothpaste, 4.0 oz or larger. Kroger had their 6.4 oz Colgate marked down from 2.98 to 1.98 with Kroger card. I also had 6 coupons for .75 off any Colgate toothpaste, same conditions. Since only 3 coupons double at a time, I had to split my order up to maximize it. This ultimately created 3 transactions, but worth it since 7 tubes ended up being free, and 6 of them were only .48 each! A total of 13 tubes for about $3 - the regular price of one tube of toothpaste!. With 4 kids, we go through a lot of toothpaste, so that was a great deal.
That same trip, they had Bounty paper towels on sale - an 8 pack, normally 10.19, was 5.99 with Kroger card. I had 6 coupons for $1.00 off any multipack. So, with two transactions to get the maximum doubling of coupons, I ended up getting them for 3.99 each. Savings of 6.20 per package!
Laundry detergent is another big expense in our house. Kroger had the 50 load liquid Tide, all varieties, on sale with card for $3.99 each. HUGE DEAL without the coupons! But I had 8 coupons for $1.00 off any Tide detergent. So, three transactions later, I had purchased them for $1.99 each.
I had a total of 3 transactions for all my coupons in groceries, cleaning supplies, etc. One cart, but well organized. I did find a few items on sale that were 10 for $10, get 11th free that I had coupons for as well. These are great deals to watch for. It takes some time to develop your own system, and be able to recognize the deals and savings. At first it would take me 3 hours to shop; now I am in and out in no time at all because it has become second nature to me.
I ended up giving some of the laundry detergent and toothpaste to our church for the personal needs closet portion of our food pantry. Along with a bunch of B1G1 deodorants that I had purchased with coupons. I also gave my mom some of the paper towels. So I don't have stacks and stacks of stuff in my house like a hoarder. I spread the savings to others. But I still don't have to pay a ton at the store for essentials.
The concepts I gave above work the same with any item. Pasta, canned goods, coffee, you name it. If you have coupons, use them!
It takes some work, but not 40 hours a week cutting coupons and building on an addition just for your filing cabinets and extra storage! Like I said before, let's get real. The television show is not realistic, and is not promoting responsible consumerism. And sometimes what people do to get the "too good to be true" deal is actually illegal. Both books I mentioned cover this as well...
Good luck! I know this was pretty vague, but a blog post isn't nearly enough space to really detail it!
The heat wave of late has been good to my peonies! They were all just buds a few days ago, and now they are all blooming away. I had to show them off a little bit - they brighten my day, so hopefully they will brighten yours! A virtual bouquet to my readers!
Even this planter is defying the heat and managing to stay vibrant!
My Sarah Bernhardt's are perfect specimens and there are a ton more buds on the bushes...
My peonies love this spot at the front corner of the house. They really thrive here.
Have you ever seen so many blooms at once on one plant? OMGoodness!!!! I'm in fragrant heaven...
Peonies are so hardy, and require so little maintenance. And since they are so beautiful, why wouldn't everyone have them in their yards? Easy peasy color and scent fill your landscape every June (in our area, anyway) and they come back every year. And each year brings bigger plants with more flowers!
Andy brought home a new blender the other night. We used to have a Kitchen Aid blender, but it fell apart. Literally. DON'T get me started on KitchenAid brand products..... oy vey! We've had nothing but disastrous luck with them.
Anyway, he was so proud of himself! I was a little nervous, because kitchen appliances are usually my area, but he took the initiative so I just smiled. He purchased a Hamilton Beach Wave Station Express. It is a dispensing blender that supposedly will mix anything. It retails for around $24.95 and is available for purchase at www.hamiltonbeach.com directly from the manufacturer. He bought it for $17, but I can't remember if he said he got it at Walmart, Lowe's or Menard's.... he rattled off a bunch of places he had gone. Here's the info from the website:
Wave Station® Express - Black
PRICE: $24.99 MODEL: 54615
Dispense with messy pouring. The Wave Station® Express Dispensing Blender makes drips and dribbles a thing of the past.
Wave-Action™ system continuously pulls mixture down into the blades for smooth results
Convenient spout cap replaces the dispenser for traditional blending
48 oz. dishwasher safe DuraBlend™ jar
Patented stainless steel Ice Sabre™ blades
4 speeds plus pulse
500 Watts peak power
3 year warranty
I tried it out on Monday by making strawberry milkshakes for Andrew and his friend. At first I was a little bit irate and ready to throw it out. It is loud, and the ice cream was NOT even beginning to blend. But once I pushed it down a little with a spatula? HOLY COW! It whizzed right up and in seconds I was dispensing the most perfectly blended shakes! The dispenser feature is a real bonus that I would have completely ignored had I been shopping for a blender. I highly recommend that. It's easy to clean. It really blended everything completely and smoothly - not a single lump or chunk of strawberry.
I have yet to test it on ice, and that's the real feat of strength, but hopefully it can handle it. But for now, I am sold on this blender for it's ability to mix the frozen stuff. I can see lots of smoothies in our future!
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5, 5 being best):
Ease of Use: 4
Clean Up: 5
Finished Product: 4.5 *
VERDICT: 4.3 = Good Buy! *need to test on ice yet....
Once again, it is unbearably hot outside. This is not weather conducive to cooking. I don't even want to THINK about meal prep in this heat! This is usually when I start wishing for a magic wand or a fairy godmother to come and take care of this duty for me. But we all know what happens: wish in one hand and want in the other; see which fills up first!
Over the years I have perfected my 'go-to' menu selections for occasions where cooking is either A) not within time constraints, or B) not within my desire constraints. We've all read the articles and have heard the advice about having your own no-fail recipes to fall back on in times when you need a quick dinner. Well, turns out it is good advice after all. I've relied heavily on my menus over the years as my kids have gotten older and we've gotten busier.
In the winter, they involve a lot of crock pot use, but it is much to warm to get into those. Maybe in September I'll revisit that concept! But in the summer, I tend to rely on my husband's love of the grill for a lot of our meals. I just have to supply the rest of the fare. Men always love to feel that rush of being in control of an open flame, scorching meat and bragging about their BBQ prowess. I say let them! Keeps the house cooler anyway, and less pots and pans to wash.
I try to keep chicken on hand for nights such as tonight. We buy freezer beef, so we always have a steady supply of burger patties, steaks, and such in the freezer to grill. And I stock up on brats and hot dogs and freeze them as well. Tonight, I will have hubby toss some boneless, skinless chicken thighs on the grill and coat them with barbeque sauce. My kids love this! And I found the thighs on sale for $1/lb a while ago and loaded up on them. I pulled a package out of the freezer this morning, and we'll be good to go.
As for the rest of the meal? Here's an easy side dish for you:
Cook up some pasta (any old shape - the more fun, the better for the kids). Add in about 1/2 to 2/3 cup of frozen peas & carrots just at the end of cooking the pasta to get them hot and tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. In a large bowl, mix together a large dollop (about a 1/2 cup) of mayo with an envelope of ranch dressing mix. Add in the pasta & vegetable mixture and some bacon pieces. Mix well. Top generously with diced tomatoes and serve up a yummy pasta salad!
You can also grill asparagus easily. Simply trim the woody ends, place in a large ziploc bag with a bit of olive oil and shake to coat lightly. Spread them on the grill and sprinkle with a dash of salt and pepper. Cook for a couple minutes, until hot but still crunchy. Healthy alternative to french fries!
It also helps to have extra items cooked ahead. Many times when we cook chicken breasts on the grill, I will cook a couple extra, slice them up thinly, and then freeze. I keep hard boiled eggs in the frig all the time as a healthy snack, so when it's hot like today, I can just make salads for everyone and top them with the egg, chicken, some shredded cheese, various veggies, and we've got a nice, cool, healthy dinner that took about 5 minutes to toss together.
Stir fry is a great dinner as well. You can use a wok on the grill and keep the house cool! But if you choose to make it inside, it is still very fast to prepare and uses only one pan. Even easier if you buy the veggies pre-cut and skip the rice. Toss in some of the leftover chicken or steak from a previous meal, and it's even more substantial, but still super simple.
As for dessert, there is NO NEED to bake in this heat. (Pun intended! ) Kids love fresh fruit like seedless watermelon, grapes, pineapple... simply serve some cut up on a platter and let everyone help themselves. Even popsicles can be a great dessert. Or try putting some fruit punch in the freezer for a while to get it nice and slushy for a dessert drink. Quick, easy, healthy, and cool.
Trust me, I don't want to have my oven on in this heat! And I'm using paper plates tonight, too, so the dishwasher doesn't even have to make the house any warmer!
So many times I hear the lament of "I have to go clean my house, and I'd rather do ANYTHING else." Housekeeping ranks right up there with root canals and tax audits for most people. Why? I just don't get it. I know that there are a few others out there like me who actually enjoy the tasks of dusting, vacuuming, mopping and laundry. Ironing, as you all know, is one of my favorite activities! But why is it that most folks hate housework?
I've been given lots of reasons. The most common reason is because it is never done. Once you do all of the housework, you have to go back and do it all over again. And again. And again. Well, yes, that is true. But isn't that the same for hobbies? Take golf, for instance. Golfers don't just play one hole and then never golf again the rest of their life! And most of them complain the entire round!!! lol
Another reason I hear is because when the house is finally in order, the family members who reside there just don't seem to respect the work and care that went into a job well done and just destroy the fruits of the labor. That can really be a downer. That just requires a huge kick in their pants and attitude adjustment, as far as I'm concerned! Or they refuse to help in the first place... again: kick in the pants and get them moving!
Listen, it's all in the attitude. When was the last time you took the time to step back and admire your work when you were finished? And really praise yourself for a job well done? When everything is sparkly and clean, doesn't it really feel wonderful? Aren't you full of pride and satisfaction? When you take that viewpoint, it makes you become more inclined to KEEP it in that condition, and it makes the jobs less arduous because you are maintaining rather than letting everything go to heck until the next big cleaning day. And when you put the thought in your head that "I have this home to care for, and it's a reflection of my abilities and my care and love, as well as my place to be happy and healthy", it makes the job seem more rewarding. Maybe that's why I don't really get the Cinderella blues very often. I look at my housekeeping duties as a fun hobby!
Plus, as a child, my Mom wasn't big into housework so when I got a Little Golden Book called "We Help Mommy", those pictures and the story really got to me. It was (and still is!) one of my favorite books!
I still have this book and treasure it. Just flipping through the pages now makes me want to clean my house and hang clothes on the line. Heck, it even was the impetus for me to purchase the umbrella clothesline I have today, because I had to have one just like in the book!!!! It's funny how a children's book can inspire me to get out the broom and dustpan and whistle while I work.
If you are still struggling with even remotely tolerating housework, try reading this little gem. Or even just setting the timer on the oven for 15 minutes at a time to see how much you can accomplish before it goes off, making it into a little game. Eventually, you just might find some enjoyment!
I thought I would pass along a couple things that have worked for me in the war on excess household "stuff". I am not great at the whole 'minimalist' lifestyle, as there are lots of things we do use on a regular basis that many professional organizers would probably throw a fit over us having in this house! Maybe someday I can be ultra streamlined! But I'm realistic, and we have found a happy medium for our family.
First, if you are a music lover like my husband and I, it really makes sense to invest in an external hard drive or a separate server. We copied all of our cd's onto our NAS server in mp3 format. Now we can stream them through our wireless router to the Blue-ray system in the family room, to the tv in our bedroom, or play them on any computer in the house. We can also download them to any mp3 player, and to our vehicles. I took it a step further and sold all of my cd's at a garage sale; he still has his in bins in the basement. But it's nice not to have cd's lying around the house! A HUGE space and clutter saver!
Secondly, I am a big book lover. I still buy my knitting books, because the patterns are easier to read and follow when they are full size. Plus I can write notes in the margins, etc. But as for the rest of my books? I now download them onto my Nook 3G/Wireless. I didn't bother with the color because my books are all in black and white typeface anyway! lol But what a spacesaver that has been! I did hang on to a few favorites, and a couple books that are very special to me. And, of course, our Bibles! But the rest were sold, or donated. Now I get books on my Nook. And since my Mom also has one, she and I can "lend" each other books to read. Although she still hasn't used her Nook - my Dad has commandeered it! He loves it, and has begun to fill it up with books he has read, including the Steig Larssen series. Go Dad!
Third, for an easy way to store cloth napkins, save the plastic zippered cases that sheets/pillowcases come in! You can simply pop the entire set inside and they stay folded and wrinkle free, and remain all together. You don't have to search for the missing napkin at dinner time. If you have a set of matched placemats and napkins, they will even fit inside a larger zip case from a blanket. These set well on a linen closet shelf or even in a drawer. It's perfect organization! I also use these zippered cases when we travel. I pack all of my clothing and the kids' clothes in one large case; each of us get our own zippered case for undies and socks, and one zippered case for toothbrushes and toothpaste to prevent the icky mess on everything. These zippered cases have a million uses. I'm sure you can come up with your own!
And last, but not least, some nice woven baskets are great for holding the kids' books in. I have a lovely woven basket in my family room that we can just toss the random kid books in when they are done reading. It fits the decor, but keeps reading material handy to encourage them to pick up a book. Of course, when they get older, they can enjoy the benefits of an e-reader. But for now, we love that they are diving into the stories they have. And this keeps everything corralled.
Hope these tips are helpful. Perhaps I'll make this a regular thing on Sunday nights? Maybe each week I'll post some organizational tips? Hmmm.... guess I better get organized to do that!
What a lovely Sunday morning. (You'll have to read this with a sarcastic tone, by the way!) Everyone was up by 9:00 am. The music of children screaming at one another wafting up the stairs to gently rouse the parents from their slumber. PLENTY of time to have a leisurely breakfast and get ready for church services at 11:00 am. Uhhhhhh..... huh?
At 10:17 am, one adult was finally getting into the shower as the last child was done yelling about having a third english muffin. Eventually, everyone was dressed and in the car, driving down the street, at 10:51. It takes 12 minutes just to get there, mind you! And, ironically, we get stuck behind a Sunday driver busy chatting on a cell phone! Yeah, off to a great start. Then this:
Me: "Honey, do you smell cat pee?"
A few minutes later, Me: "I swear I smell cat pee. This car stinks!"
Andy: "There are no smells in this car."
Me: "But it reeks of cat pee! I'm not kidding!"
Andy: "Maybe it's you? Maybe the cat peed on your shirt or something?"
Me: "I just took this shirt out of the dryer this morning, idiot. It's not the shirt!"
Andy: "Well, maybe the cat figured out how to get in the dryer? I don't know! You're nuts!"
Me, looking down: "Oh crap! It's my pants! LOOK AT THE FREAKING STAIN ON THE HEM OF MY PANTS!!!!! THE DAMN CAT PEED MY PANTS!" (yes, I realize the irony of that statement)
Andy: "No one is going to notice. Deal with it."
Yeah, right. Except that I noticed. And it smelled so awful. And the cat had probably done it on Wednesday when I had washed and folded those pants and left the laundry basket in our room. Son of a gun! We got to church and I made it all of 5 minutes and grabbed the car keys to drive home and change. I made it back in time for communion, but there was no way I was going to sit through services smelling like a litter box.
I can only assume that on Wednesday evening the cat was too terrified to come downstairs to use the litterbox due to all of the kid commotion going on in our home. We had playmates over and all kinds of activity in the house, and our older cat gets skittish around large groups of people. She probably felt trapped and needed to go potty, felt safest staying in our room, and used the nearest laundry basket. Lovely. I can't be angry with her for it, but I am anyway.
So, now I am re-washing the entire load of laundry. And I am adding some "Bac-Out" by BioKleen to the load. It is a great enzyme based cleaner that will eliminate the odor and completely clean the urine out of the laundry. But lesson learned? Make sure the cats are all out of the bedrooms when we have company, that way they have to be brave and come down to the litterbox anyway! And not pee my pants!
Do any of you remember "Club House"? Ah, there's a blast from the past! Anyway, I found a couple extra packets of the very first edition tucked away that I had no idea I still had!!!! (Talk about buried treasure...) If you would like to get your hands on it as a gift from me to you, please leave a comment here. I will go down the list until I run out of packets, so you are taking your chances that I have enough! So don't wait too long to leave a note here. I'll post the results when I know them - hopefully soon!
So many things have fallen by the wayside over the years that really shouldn't have. Pepsi in the glass bottles, for instance. Ahhhh, nothing better on a hot summer day when I was a kid. Especially if you had a fistful of chocolate Hydrox cookies to go with it! I digress...
It ocurred to me this evening as I was pulling a nightshirt out of my dresser that you never hear anyone addressing the custom of lining drawers anymore! I have all of my dressers lined with lovely drawer liners. Even the kids' dressers. This 'chore' started ages and ages ago when furniture was still hand made in your own barn, and very rarely purchased. The process of lining drawers with paper came about to protect clothing from getting snagged or torn on rough wood used to make the furniture, or to prevent staining from the residue of the first types of furniture stain. It also helped to absorb moisture and prevent mildew in clothing in some climates such as in the south.
Around the 1960's, this custom all but disappeared. Humidity wasn't really an issue anymore now that homes were quite a bit more energy efficient and air conditioning had been invented, and most furniture was stain and snag proof. But what about the quaintness of it? Why were we so quick to dismiss this nicety from our lives? Personally, I love drawer liners! It makes me feel like I really and truly do care for my home and my belongings, and that I have a pride in my homekeeping. And with the lovely scents you can get the drawer liners in these days, it makes a wonderful substitute for drawer sachets that just tumble around and get in the way!
Here are a few that I really enjoy. If you click on a photo, it will take you to the site where you can learn more about, or purchase that particular drawer liner. Maybe you'll be inspired to pretty up your own bureau!
Ahhh, Friday...that magical day of the week. The day we all count down to. The end of the work week, the start of the weekend, the last run through of the morning scramble for the schoolbus for a few days, the box on the calendar that signals it's time to let our hair down... or is it?
Not for me! Today I am off and running again. I am hopping in the car for 6 hours for the second time this week. I will be heading north to meet my parents to retrieve my son and bring him home from his mini-vacay with his grandparents. Then, he will head off to t-ball practice with his father and two of his sisters, while I take my oldest daughter to her girl scout cookout tonight. After that, there is a tentative bonfire with friends. All fun stuff, but definitely busy! As for the "weekend"? Well, darling hubby has his regularly scheduled monthly drill weekend so he won't be around. I will be hanging sheets out on the clothesline if the rain continues to hold off, and working on other projects around the house. We will be busy around here, being as productive as possible because on the weekend, I have more hands on deck! Yep, I'm a slave-driver!
There is a benefit to working on the weekend, you know. If your kids are old enough, you can enlist their help. And you should! Don't they help to make the messes that you tirelessly clean up day in and day out? Put them to work! And husbands are usually around most of the time, other than when they are on the golf course (or at drill, in my case). I fully encourage going into dictator mode! Why? Well, then you can get those big projects you've been putting off for so long done and out of the way. And with more hands to help, you can get them done in shorter amounts of time, leaving those warm evenings free for fun stuff. Like family bike rides down to the ice cream shop, or mini-golf, or barbeques with friends.
My weekend is going to consist of washing all of the bedding - sheets, quilts, blankets, mattress covers, pillows, everything! I'm also going to clean the deck, put in the vegetable garden (late, I know!), swap out the kids seasonal clothes, wash all the windows, and clean the garage. If I do all of this over the first weekend of June, I can go into summer vacation with a clear mind, organized home, and calmer family. An ounce of prevention... And I'm not dreading all the work. My mindset is one of productivity. I'm looking forward to all of it! I like seeing progress, the fruits of my labor. And knowing that all of this work will make my summer easier will just make me enjoy the work more.
So, how are you going to spend your weekend?
PS... I'm also going to be spending some time this weekend planning out some blog post topics to get back on track. One topic you will see next week is on summer meals. Any other subjects you may want to see? I'm taking notes!