Monday, March 30, 2009

More fondant...

So two weeks ago I made a cake and covered it with fondant. The post is here. Yesterday, I made another cake and used the leftover fondant.

It tasted amazing. I wanted to make a cake from scratch, so I made the chocolate cake on the box of Hershey Cocoa. It turned out OK. It called for two 9" round cake pans. I only have 8", but I figured it would be close enough. Well, it went over. Thank goodness for a rimmed baking pan below it in the oven. It tasted great, but did not end up looking pretty... It also stuck in the middles of the pan, despite a generous amount of non-stick spray in the pan. Not sure what is up with that. But I did get to eat the part that stayed in the pan, so it was fine by me! When the batter got done, it was really runny, which the recipe said, so it was not a surprise to me, but I was not sure how it would end up cake. Maybe that is why it stuck. I do not know, but I am not sure I will make it again if it matters what it looks like, but I might if only taste matters! Yum!

Then I covered it with icing. Crumb coat only. You know what that is, right? Really thin layer, on top and sides and a little more between the two layers of cake.

After the crumb coat of icing, I put the whole thing in the freezer for 20 minutes or so. It could have stayed in longer, but I did not have all day... When it was "chilled", I took out the leftover fondant and covered the cake with it.

It was not any easier to work with this time, so maybe I have the wrong recipe. It did still taste amazing. And it was much thinner this time, which is closer to what it is supposed to be, so that was good.

It was easy enough to roll out. I put it between two layers of waxed paper to make it easier to move. That went well. But when I tried to put it on the cake, it broke exactly where the paper was. (I had 2 sheets of waxed paper on the top and bottom.) Since this was just for the family, I just pushed it together with my fingers, but I would NEVER do that on a cake for others. I guess I just need a new recipe.

In the end, it tasted amazing, which was good since it was for the kids. But a new recipe is calling out to me...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday's Deep Thoughts

There is nothing that can't be cleaned with a broom and a shop-vac.

Friday, March 27, 2009

More on podcasts

I know I have already said how much I love podcasts, but I thought I would go into it in a little more detail here.

I am spending ALL my spare time (and much of the time that is not spare) catching up on old episodes of the podcasts I love. The beauty of how I am using my software to manage my subscriptions – ok,iTunes – is that I do listen to the new ones as they are available, but the time it takes to do that and listen to all the old ones means that I always have those dang headphones in my ears! I need a good long roadtrip…

What it has shown me, though, is which podcasts are the most important to me because I found that I caught up on old episodes and only get new ones now of the few that I LOVE. I am listening to the oldies now of the ones I sort of love and the other ones have new episodes rotting on my playlist. When this whole experiment is over, I can easily find out what is not worth even keeping around by the order in which I listened to them.

I would love to share with you the ones that I love, but unless you have the same interests as I do, (which is highly unlikely!) I am not sure you would also love them. But I will share some of them nonetheless. I love ManicMommies, Munchcast, and Stuff You Should Know. I sorta love anything from the quick and dirty tips network, so I am listening to the Mighty Mommy, The Public Speaker, The Get it Done Guy, the Nutrition Diva, the Small Biz Tech Girl, and the Money Girl. All the others are languishing on my ipod.

I will admit there are a few things I keep on there to keep the kids occupied when we are out and about, like the couple of songs I have on there from Blues Clues, Diego, and the Naked Brothers Band. (Yes, I have a toddler and a couple of pre-teen boys!) I do keep a few things for them, but the vast majority is all mine.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Fingerless Gloves

Last week was the first day I wore my fingerless gloves out and about and I noticed two things, besides the fact that I love them. First of all, they are kinda big. Secondly, I feel like I am homeless with them on. You know how all the stereotypes of the homeless on TV or movies have them in gloves without the fingers. I felt that way with them on today. I did end up wearing them into a store, but wondered if I even should or if they would be watching me extra hard. I figured the rest of me did not look homeless, so I ended up feeling pretty safe, but that moment of doubt is really awful.

Monday, March 23, 2009

He is hot-blooded!

One of my son's is more hot-blooded than the rest. He has been trying to get away with wearing shorts for a week now. It is warmer, but by no means WARM! Ever since that day where it got to 70 here (when he said it was 90!) he has been trying to wear them every day. As we talk about a potential move when the house sells. one of the places we talk about is much further south and I think the thing he is most looking forward to is wearing shorts more often or maybe even all year.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday's Deep Thoughts

Although I know I am in the minority here, I like Spring a lot and LOVE summer. This time of year is just what the doctor ordered!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Chocolate-covered marshmallows

Once again, I made up a recipe, but it turned out amazing. Who doesn't love chocolate and marshmallows? Together – all the better!!

I melted chocolate, the same chocolate I melted for the chocolate-covered strawberries, so I am sure anything would work. Besides, it is made up, so you can make it up however you wish!

I covered the larger strawberries with the melted chocolate. Before I covered the marshmallows, I put a piece of foil on a cookie sheet and then covered that with a cooling rack, so if anything went through, it would land on the foil and the marshmallows would not sit in it.

Anyway, I drizzled the melted chocolate over the marshmallows and then, while the chocolate was still wet, sprinkled the chocolate with sprinkles, or jimmies.

The chocolate did not cover the marshmallows, but the ratio of marshmallow to chocolate was pretty good. I did these for the kids for valentine's day and used red jimmies. The kids loved them. They always eat the marshmallows when we have them anyway, so this worked out great! They even snuck them when no one was looking, so I know they enjoyed them!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Testing my use of fondant

So I made dessert again this weekend and it turned out good. Again, no picture, because the kids dug into it too quickly...I made a yellow cake from scratch and then covered it with fondant. I wanted to figure out how to make fondant and if I could use it. The kids have birthdays coming up and I wanted to see if I could do it for that.

Bottom line - I can, but it is HARD!

So I made the cake, two layers, and let them cool completely. Then I made regular icing and did it between the layers and a crumb coat on top. For those who may have not done a crumb coat before, it is a super-thin layer of icing on the cake. I did the top and sides because apparently the fondant needs something to stick to. Then - and this was new to me - I put the cake into the fridge to chill it. What a great idea! I think I am even going to do that for regular icing from now on. It was an amazing solution.

Then, I made the fondant. I was so confused by it. Fondant is like a dough, so I went to knead it and the recipe said that if it was sticky, it may need more powdered sugar. I also read that if it cracked, it was too dry. So I went to knead it and it was sticky still, but just a little, so I went to roll it out and it cracked. It was like the fondant had multiple personality disorder!

I rolled it out once and it fell apart. I rolled it out a second time between waxed paper, to make it easier. It rolled out OK, but I was unable to get it on the cake. Then, I rolled it out again, also between waxed paper. This time, I was able to get it on the cake, but it was much thicker than fondant is supposed to be.

I left it, because at that point, I was not going to do it again! However, I have decided that although it tasted good, I am going to keep looking for a recipe so I can try it again and see how much of the frustration was caused by my inexperience and how much by the recipe!

So then the issue was how to decorate it! I was just testing it, so I did not have an occasion that would drive the theme or decorations, but I did not want to leave it plain. I had yellow gel food coloring, so I tinted the rest of the icing (from the middle and crumb coat) with the yellow in a zip-top bag. I ended up making a smiley face, which the kids thought was the Wal-Mart symbol...

Again, it tasted amazing and we are still eating off of it, but it made a coating that was too thick, so I am going to try it again.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The never-ending load of laundry,,,

I realized the other day, as I was doing laundry, that I do not mind so much the putting of the clothes into the washing machine, the moving of them to the dryer or even the taking them out of the dryer. But I absolutely HATE the folding and putting away, which depending upon the load, might be more than half the total time spent on that load. So I started just folding and putting away one load per day. So far, I have not ever gotten too far behind and on any given day, it is not too overwhelming. I realize that it might not be possible for every family to just finish one load per day (we are a family of five) and I also know that on the one day a week that I do all the sheets, making the beds is in addition to the one load that I put away. The older kids (2 of them) fold and put away their own clothes too. (Not the way I like it, but hey, it is done and it is theirs!)

On days when I have loaded the washer or dryer or both, then the job is pretty easy and I can fill up the machines or not. On days when there is nothing waiting in the dryer or washer, the job takes longer, but it still gets done.

I urge you all to try "one per day" or "two per day" on whatever your most dreaded laundry task is to get caught up and to stay on top of it...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday's Deep Thoughts

I often wonder why I can stay up until who-knows-how late and survive on a few hours' sleep, but get me up early with the SAME AMOUNT of sleep, and I am dead to the world all day. Why is that?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Gifts for the Decluttered

Since I have gotten rid of clutter, I do not want to contribute to anyone else having extra clutter, so my gift-giving has changed a lot in recent years.

Of course, the specific gift depends upon the occasion, but I do love me a food gift! I am a huge fan of food gifts because they are great to get (who doesn’t love chocolate?) and they do NOT contribute to extra clutter. Be very wary of the food gift in a tin or other decorative container. Most people feel like they have to keep the container and it just becomes more clutter, which is not a good thing.

I do the same Christmas gift for everyone on my very small Christmas list. (Non-family, that is. Friends, neighbors, coaches, and teachers of all sorts get the same thing and it is very well-received!) You should pick something you know you can do well or can make multiples of or you are known for. The same holds true for adults for birthdays. Kids still love to get toys and so I do that for them. *Sigh* I wish they understood the clutter they were creating!

For a few ideas, you can check out the following recipes:
Pretzel Turtle Bites (these are so good and so easy!)
Chocolate Cocoa Mix (and who doesn’t love this?)
Peppermint Bark (Very festive!)

If we all could do this just a few times a year, think of all the extra stuff that others would not have to organize (and that would not be in our landfills someday! This is organized and green!)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pocasts ROCK!

I have discovered that you can listen to audio, MP3s, whatever, on any budget at any time.

Let me start with the fact that I do have an iPod, which I love. I know they are a little price-y, but my kids, who I do not trust with anything over $50 have a cheap old MP3 player from Christmas last year and it works great! In fact, theirs has a digital voice recorder and I am a little jealous of that. And I think that was $15 or so. So, like I said, anyone can listen to audio.

My first iPod was old. (Yes, I have had 2.) I did not think I was an early-adopter, but I must have been, because my old one is the model before what they now call “classic” and I cannot find it anywhere, even online! It had the buttons just under the screen (not on the wheel) and it was black & white only. I had that thing for 4 years and it worked great that whole time.

When I got my first one, I loaded it up with all my CDs and proceeded to almost NEVER listen to music on it. I highly recommend audio programs. When I was gainfully employed and had discretionary money, I had a subscription to, which was awesome. There are two levels of subscriptions and I had the higher one, which was 2 book credits per month for about $25. It was an amazing deal. Most books only require one credit, although really long books might be two. You can also get a lot of newspapers, magazines, radio shows and other things.

I love listening to books on my iPod. Now I can see why kids like to be read to so much! I did that almost exclusively for years. I listened to the music a little, but not much. I listened when I was waiting (for the kids, at the doctor’s office, wherever), working out, knitting (I know some knitter have mastered the ability to read a book and knit, but I have not!) and when I was trying to sleep at bedtime. There are so many times and places where an MP3 player is just easier to take out or even listen to than a book. It has gotten to the point where audio actually puts me to sleep so if I am having difficulty sleeping, I just put on my headphones and a podcast and fall right to sleep!

I even chose books based on whether they were available on audible. I wrote down recommendations from magazines and friends and if they were not on audible, they just did not happen. I always had a backlog of books to listen to, but it was like that pile next to the bed (you know you have one!) and took up a lot less space.

Then, I became a SAHM and it got interesting. I did not want to spend the amount every month on books. (In addition to the $25 deal, I think they also have a $15 deal for one book credit per month.) That is when I got really into podcasts, which are free! Think of podcasts as blogs you can listen to. Some of them are audio, which is great for in the car or in bed or whatever. I also like to listen to them when I get out of the shower and am getting ready for the day. But I also have a few video podcasts that I subscribe to as well.

Let me define “subscribe”. I use iTunes, which is not common for those with anything other than an iPod. So this may not apply to everyone, but when I subscribe to a podcast using iTunes, it is free AND when a new episode comes out, it is automatically downloaded to my PC, which I love. I am perhaps the most forgetful person ever, so without this little feature, I would forget a lot, probably until I had nothing left and then I would spend a full day downloading everything I missed.

Video podcasts do eat up battery life, but with something that is rechargeable, it is not as big a deal. Video also requires an MP3 player that supports that medium. Not all MP3 players do that. I mentioned my first iPod above and it did NOT support video. Now I have a nano (not the new one, but last year’s model) and I love that it supports video, but if it did not, there are plenty of audio podcasts that would be just great and I have plenty to listen to, so I am sure I could fill up my time with just audio. In fact, I have the ability to listen to/watch both and I’ll bet I still do 80% audio.

I do not know a lot about finding them without an application like iTunes to consolidate them, but within iTunes, you can just find podcasts and put whatever your interests are into the search bar. The problem I had was narrowing it down to what I knew I could listen to before the new ones came out.

I am also a little anal-retentive, so when I find something I really like, I listen to all the old episodes to get “caught up” so I have a few that are current only (news and such)and many where I have listened to all the old episodes I could get my hands on.

This may not be for everyone, but it is a great way to do more than one thing at once, which I know every mom wants to do!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Should kids get an allowance?

I have waffled back and forth on this, even while the kids get one. I have no idea if I am doing it right or if you should even do it. It is so hard!

For the past few years, my kids have gotten an allowance and the more I read, I think I am doing it wrong.

I will back up. When I was a kid, I never got an allowance, but I always had money, albeit not a lot until I got a job at age 16. DH also never got an allowance, but he did not want for much. His family was not wealthy, but his parents went a little nuts at Christmas very year so he always got big items that he really wanted that way. He also worked from the time he was 16 or so, so he always had that money to get the stuff throughout the year.

So when the kids were young, we decided that they should get an allowance when they were over 5. We started out giving it to them weekly and found that we always forgot or had no cash or whatever. So we went to monthly a few years back. That works pretty well. We give them twice their age per month. (We were doing half their age per week and this was a good approximation.) The upside is that they get a raise on their birthdays, which makes them look forward to that month even more! I mean, they always look forward to their birthday, but more cash, forever, is a good thing too. We always pay them on the last day of the month and think of it as their “salary” for being a part of the family.

We have always done deductions for things that they know not to do, just to make it painful for them. But it seems they no longer care about that either. Since they do not physically have to hand over the money, they do not seem to care. I am at the point where I want to give it to them and make them actually pay me. The problem with this is that they are likely to spend it as soon as they get it, meaning they will forever be asking for an advance against next month and that has bitten us in the butt too.

I have read not to tie it to chores, but to let them practice spending and budgeting. I have read not to give them an allowance at all. I have read so many things that I can no longer read much more. (I actually read an article in a magazine about this LAST NIGHT which reminded me how little I know about this and how frustrated I am by it.)

For example, in an effort to make them more responsible for turning off the lights, I have given them each 5 light switches upstairs that they are responsible to turn off before school and bedtime, taking off $0.50 for each if they are not turned off, thinking I could nag less. But it has not worked and has only resulted in taking away most of their allowance last month.

I would like to get to a point where I was given them a set amount of cash for their own clothes, shoes, and school supplies too, but I am fearful that they would just spend it on crap and then go to school in rags. Why does that bother me so much?

And when we have a little less disposable income, the allowance amount went down too. The kids have to know what it feels like to get by on less, just like everyone else.

So we do give our kids an allowance, and I think the amount is OK, but I am not sure we have all the answers yet in the implementation, so I welcome as much feedback as I can get!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

New shoes!

What woman doesn't love a new pair of shoes?

I just joined a new (for me, anyway) shoe club at For those not familiar with it, you answer a few questions about your style and each month a team of stylists pick out 5 pairs for you. They will ship to you any of those five pairs of shoes for $39, including shipping. You can also opt out of any month you choose to. I have not yet received my first pair of shoes, but the concept is amazing and I love shoes and I need a good excuse to get a few good pairs again, so this might be it.

I seriously like the idea of a stylist picking out shoes for me - mostly because they might be shoes that look amazing but that I never would have picked out for myself. The question is whether I can get past my fears and purchase shoes online that I may not have picked out myself or even LOVE them without wearing them with something. We shall see.

Saturday's Deep Thoughts

Why is it that kids grow up so fast one minute and not fast enough the next minute?

Friday, March 6, 2009

EASY Turkey

This is not a recipe per se, but cooking a turkey in those plastic bags that you cook the bird *in* are TO DIE FOR and so easy. If you do not have a plan for the actual bird yet, pick a box of these up at the store. They come 2 or 3 bags to a box and, like I said, are SO easy! I know that many of you have found this out already.

Simply empty out the bird (and many people forget to do this, so PLEASE don’t) and then follow the instructions on the box based on the size of your turkey. They juice stays inside the bag and bastes the bird, the skin gets some color, and it turns out perfect for me every time. (Those juices make the BEST gravy, but that is another story!)

Now, if you love the skin (and I do – DH and I FIGHT over it every year) you might want to lose the top of the bag or even the whole bag for the last 30-60 minutes of cooking so the skin can really get crisp. (Taking the turkey out of the bag is tricky unless you have 4 hands, so an extra body might be helpful here unless you are a freak or have figured out a trick I have not yet.) But I know some people do not care about the skin. And although that boggles my mind, if that is the case in your house, you can leave it in the bag the whole time!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Closet shelves

One of the best things ever, and I do mean ever, is the built-in shelving in my closet. My house is currently for sale and it will be one of the FIRST changes I plan to make to a new place.

I do not use drawers at all. I have a dresser in my bedroom, but it has DH’s socks and DS’s pajamas (he is 3) in it. Most of my clothes are hung up. What does not hang (socks, undies, sweaters, jammies, etc) are on these shelves. Also, the smaller items (socks, undies, bras) are all in clear plastic containers, labeled.

I used to think I was a little anal retentive for doing this and I now I know I am and, unfortunately, it is more than just a little. That is good news for most other people, but not-so-good for my family!

Cupcake cones!

Yesterday I made cupcakes in ice cream cones and they turned out amazing!

I had to take a dozen cupcakes to school because they are having a mini "cakewalk" at school today during music class.

I read a ton of reviews online after I decided to make these.

I know you can bake them right in the cones and a lot of people do it. However (and this is a big however) the one thing a few people mentioned is that it CAN get soggy if baked in the cone. If I was going to serve them immediately or at a birthday party, I would have just baked them in the cone, BUT I knew I was going to drop them off at school the day before they would be eaten. So I just baked them regularly and then jammed them into the cones. This was to solve the soggy issue, and it also allows them to look imperfect, to boot. I love that! And mine did come out a little imperfect.

I did also look up a recipe for buttercream frosting on my favorite recipe site - say it with me -

I made a half a batch of the frosting, put it in a gallon zipper bag, smooshed (technical term) it towards one corner, cut off that corner a little bigger than normal, and then put it liberally on top of the cupcakes that had been added to the cones. I ended up using about 2/3 of a cupcake in each cone because more just didn't fit. I added the frosting in a spiral, making it look like soft serve ice cream. On top, I wanted something to look like a cherry, but wanted it to be more like candy, so I got to stoll down the candy aisle of the store, looking for something that was red-ish. I ended up buying a box of strawberry milkshake malted milk balls. So it is a cupcake in a cone, topped with icing and a malted milk ball.

Now I knew I would be doing a lot of stuff and making the icing from scratch and since I had a boxed cake mix in my pantry, I just used that to make the cupcakes. I used a Duncan Hines Devils Food Chocolate Cake and it turned out amazing!

So then the issue was how to transport them to the school... I am usually pretty creative, but I was stumped. I went to my knitting group that morning and I was sure that one of them would be able to help me. I was SO right! Someone in that group used to be a preschool teacher, so she had a great solution! Her suggestion was to use the lid of a shoe box with holes cut into it for the cones. Then when it went back onto the show box, the cones would go to school nicely. My dilemma was that I had no shoe boxes, so we decided that any box would work! So I found a box that I thought would work, I used an exacto knife to cut 12 holes in the bottom of a box, then when I was done and knew that I had all the circles out of the box, then I taped up the top of the box so that it was stable. It worked like a charm!

I never did figure out a good way to cover them without totally smashing the icing, so I just let it go, knowing that they were going to be eaten the next day.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

making valentines

Every year, I say I am just going to buy valentines for the kids and then every year I end up seeing something cute or having a great idea myself and making them. It always takes longer than I anticipate, but in the end, they turn out great and I hope the kids have great memories of making them and giving them out.

So this year, I intended only to make them for the oldest (who is 11 and in 6th grade) because he has a small class and between kids and teachers, there were only 10 required. Let's hear it for a private school!

So I found these adorable fake ipods in the Family Fun magazine and since my oldest is a boy and his class is all boys, I wanted to steer clear of anything too mushy and this seemed like the perfect answer. Then, when my middle son heard about it, he wanted them too. Now, he has a larger class (5th grade) but I wanted the teacher and the other kids and moms to know I was crafty, so I thought “What the heck?” And then, since I was going to make them for the older 2 kids, I figured I HAD to make them for the youngest, although the pre-school kids would not really be into the ipods, so I made a modified version of this other one I saw in the same issue of the magazine.

All told, I ended up making 50 valentines by hand and helping with 2 covered shoeboxes to hold them. I did finish by the Wednesday before, so I was done a full day in advance.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Organizing craft supplies

Before I put my house on the market, I did a lot of crafts. Since the house has been for sale, not so much. Anyway, I am not a big fan of things made specifically for organizing craft stuff because my stash tends to grow and most things are not that scalable.

This requires that you have shelves. Putting up shelves is pretty cheap and easy, so if you don’t have any yet, it is pretty cheap to get the wood and brackets from any home improvement store.

Once you have shelves, the clear plastic “shoe” boxes have worked great! I label each one and have a ton of them, but the beauty of the clear plastic boxes is that I can add to it whenever I feel like and if it gets smaller (as if!) then I can use the boxes for something else. You could use any size boxes too, as long as you pick a size you can use for something else. Because I am phycho about this stuff and a little anal retentive, I picked two sizes (one big and one small) and but all my boxes in one of those two sizes. Since I only use one size for this stuff, I know they will all be the same size and sit on top of each other very well. Having just one or two sizes makes storage of the empty boxes (as if!) easier as well.

I have each box labeled. I am sure you could use hand-written labels if you wanted to, but I use label-maker labels, because I like the way they look and they are all consistent. Never underestimate the power of a good-looking label! I was initially very skeptical of the labels, but I am now a firm believer.

Good mom???

I am an awesome mom! I wish there were an emoticon for an evil laugh, because I would totally put it here. I have my moments and today was one of them...

I made cupcakes. I have to take a dozen to school tomorrow afternoon because the music class is doing a mini-cakewalk. I am not quite done yet, but I will be by tomorrow afternoon, when they are due to the school.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Saturday's Deep Thoughts

Maybe you noticed (or not!) that I had no deep thought for this past Saturday. That was intentional and I was not really feeling it, so I thought it was better to not subject you to something half-a$$ed.

I do not knit socks

I do not knit socks. There. I said it. I am a knitter. I am not a great or experienced knitter, but a knitter nonetheless. I have been knitting for 5 years and have given quite a few knit gifts to friends and family. However, as a knitter it is hard to admit this, but I do not get the whole sock thing.

I know it is heresey for a knitter to admit this, but I cannot fathom spending so much time knitting something and then putting it on your own (or someone else's) feet! I understand that they might be quick and portable, but I just do not get it. I have absolutely no desire to make socks. I know that a lot of knitters LOVE to make socks. Maybe I should try it. Maybe then I will like it. But I doubt it. I have so many things I want to make and that are already in process, I have a hard time thinking I want to spend valuable knitting time on socks. And I say “socks” as if it were “the plague” or something else distasteful...

Maybe I should finish one of the 4 UFOs (knitter for “UnFinished Objects”) that I have already started. The thing is that I LOVE using larger needles because projects can typically get done faster. That is also one of the reasons I love felting. An experienced knitter will know what I am talking about, but for the rest of you, it is the act of INTENTIONALLY shrinking wool. You know how you have done or heard of someone washing and drying a sweater in the machine and it coming out half as big. There is a process whereby knitter do that on purpose. I have always done it with purses and bags, but I also have seen patterns for many other items. In that process, you knit something in wool and knit it about 1.5 times as big as you want the object. Then you put it in the washing machine (please read how to do this for real if you ever want to try it because I am not putting in all the details) and air dry it. The finished product is beautiful and the process of felting will generally hide some mistakes (another reason I like it a lot, I guess) so I have one thing on the needles right now to be felted.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Organizing Clothes

This is kind of hard to do as a mom who has to get other stuff done, but if you keep up with it, the effort is minimal and well worth it. If you do not keep up with it, it may take hours every once in a while, but keeping up with it will make it much easier!

The only stuff that should be HANGING in the closet or in the dressers is stuff that fits RIGHT NOW. It may not make sense as a mother, but the ability to know that everything in the closet fits is HUGE and makes many things much better.

The stuff that is a little too big and will fit soon should be in a container – I use a clear plastic thing – on the floor. When he needs clothes or we are ready for a change in sizes, you can either hang things a few at a time every time you are in there or if you do it all at once, it will take just a few minutes.

The stuff that is too small can go in another container – also a clear plastic one – on the floor. I do use the same container for things that are too small and too big because I am a little anal retentive and I like them to match. When stuff that no longer fits comes to your attention, you can just fold the stuff and throw it in the box. When the box gets full, you know to get a new one. If you get rid of stuff regularly, you can put the containers into which you want them to go permanently there instead. For example, if you give all your clothes that are outgrown to someone else and you give it to that person in garbage bags (my disposable container of choice!) then you can just put those on the floor instead of the containers and as your child outgrows something, you can just put things in there.

This works for any age child and makes sure that the seasonal clothing change is no big deal.