Loving these products!

I’m excited once again to be participating in the Collectively Creative blog post, dreamed up by Kelly over at Cobwebs, Cupcakes and Crayons! This month’s editions is ‘Lovey-Dovey’.

The Lovey-Dovey Edition Logo

To show my lovey-dovey side, I’m going to talk about products I can’t live without. I can hear you now….’Isn’t she such a romantic?’  I know, I know, home products aren’t exactly the most lovey-dovey thing I could talk about, but when your life is clean and organized, don’t you just feel lovey-dovey all over? 😉

There are not many products or items that I love so much I consistently recommend them to people. However, there are a few:

1) Paper Shredder – I’m KIND of obsessed with my shredder. I use it all.the.time.  I try to regularly shred anything I want to throw away that has any account number or other personal information. Also, twice a year, I go through my entire file cabinet and shred anything I no longer need. This keeps my file cabinet from getting ridiculously out of control.

Paper ShredderMy best tip for buying a shredder…get a cross cut shredder. This cuts the paper both vertically and horizontally so that pieces are much more difficult to put back together should you happen to have someone digging through your trash (insert creepy music here).

2) Vinegar –  I keep a spray bottle on my kitchen counter at ALL times. Vinegar is one of the few cleaning products I use and I use it everywhere….counters, toilets, mirrors, trash cans, dog food bowls, you name it, it’s probably getting voraciously sprayed with vinegar as you read this. It’s a natural disinfectant, a deodorant and a safe alternative to many of the chemicals used every day in so many households. Over at Pinterest to Panache, vinegar is mentioned as a great drain cleaner along with baking soda. Who knew that elementary school science fair volcano we all did could turn into a great natural cleaning product.

3) My Labeler – I can pretty much label anything. Clothes, baskets, bins, drawers, garage items, paint cans.  Now maybe if I label my dogs and kids, I’ll actually call them by the right name when I’m yelling!

4) My Kindle – I am one of those true converts who said I would never get an e-reader. I just love flipping through the pages, the smell of the books, blah blah blah. It’s all true, but I’ve also come to realize a few things. When you’re juggling baby #2 and don’t have a hand to flip the page, the Kindle is AMAZING!

kindleI have also recently jumped onto the Ipad bandwagon. I absolutely love this little machine too, but I’m still learning about it. One of the great things about the iPad is that I have downloaded the Kindle App and my husband and I can easily share books on our Kindle account.

Organization bonus!  Since we are now downloading a lot of books instead of buying the actual books, we are saving space and reducing clutter in our home.

6) My minivan – seriously, have you ever driven a minivan? If not, you’re missing out. They are not the best in the Colorado snow, but hardy nonetheless.

caravan

And it’s an organizers dream car! So many bins and cubbies, two glove compartments, enough cup holders for a football team and stow and go seating so the seats can completely disappear from view without taking them out of the van. We can fit ridiculous amounts of stuff in this vehicle and just took a cross country trip with 2 kids and 3 dogs and all of our stuff. Again, I am a true convert here. This was me 4 years ago…”I will NEVER own a minivan!” Hmmmm….here I am listing it on my favorite things post. How times have changed.

All of these things help me to stay organized and control the clutter in my life. They are useful, practical, reasonably priced and used every day at my house. What products do you use all the time that make your life easier?

And what else do I love? The posts listed below brought to you by some lovely bloggers all sharing in the Collectively Creative ‘Lovey-Dovey’ edition!

I Love You More Than… – (Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons)
Heart To Heart – (Pillows A-La-Mode)
Top Ten Romantic Movies of All Time – (The Thinking Closet)
DIY Heart T-Shirt – (NorthStory)
[DIY] 12 Pre-Planned Date Cards – (Inspire and Indulge)
The Love Letters – (Mrs. And The Misc.)
Valentine’s Day Bon Bon’s – (Happy Little Kiwi)
Lovey Dovey School Lunch Ideas – (Time With Thea)
Give a Fortune of Love – (Green Door Hospitality)
Kniting Hearts – (Gentle Stitches)
A little Lovie magic – (The Thing About Joan)
Sending hugs – (Cul de Sac)
Give a Fortune of Love – (Green Door Hospitality)
Will You Be My Valentine? – (A Ponytail Kind Of Day)
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T.H.A.N.K.F.U.L. for my Kiddos

I”m excited to be a part of another edition of Collectively Creative, thought up by the incredibly organized Kelly over at Cobwebs, Cupcakes and Crayons. The theme for this month is, appropriately, being Thankful.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I did a project using the letters in the word THANKFUL. I took each letter and did an activity with my kids represented by that letter. It was a little harder to do with my younger son since he’s only 9 months old, but we included him as much as we could!

We’re so busy that we don’t often get a chance to sit down and just talk, even with out own children! So Evan and I made some hot chocolate and had one of our ‘Hot Chocolate Chats’. If it’s not too cold, we like to sit on the front porch, but it was snowing and freezing this weekend, so we cuddled on the couch and talked about our day and what we were going to do for the rest of the weekend.

Sometimes we get so caught up in activities and schedules, we forget that the most important thing is just being together.

I talked with the kids about Thanksgiving and then they helped me go through our cookbooks to look for recipes and make our grocery list for Turkey Day! Evan got his own paper and a crayon so he could make his ‘list.’

I had to do this anyways so I just asked the kids to help. We played ‘Cookbook Dominos’ and lined up the hardback books upright and pushed them down like dominoes. Our 3 year old thought it was hilarious and it was even an activity our 9 month old could do.

I decided to do an art project that was also a game to get the kids in the Thanksgiving spirit.

This was a really cute cardboard box turkey project that I will post about soon!

This one is all about food. Evan helped me cook breakfast one day and Owen just ate!  Evan loves to help cook, even if it just means putting things back into the fridge. He also likes to pour and stir, so I try to include him as often as possible.

Then we went grocery shopping as a family to get all of the things on our list. I don’t have photos of either of these activities, but it’s nice to put the camera down every once in a while (which I don’t do often!)

The kids and I looked through some of the pictures we’ve taken in the last few days and are getting them printed. We also looked through Thanksgiving photos from the last few years and printed them for our new ‘Thanksgiving Through The Years’ album.Here’s one from last year:

I also sat and showed Evan some family videos on the computer. He loves to look at videos of our adventures. By adventures, I mean him running back and forth across the house chasing the dogs.

For this activity, Evan got to choose whatever sounded fun to him and that’s what we did! Evan wanted to roast marshmallows so we roasted them in our fireplace. It wasn’t quite the same as a campfire, but it was a lot of fun and Evan loved it!

We spent a day without computers, cartoons and video games. That is QUITE the accomplishment for us! I have to admit that there was football on tv. However, me and the kids busied ourselves with other activities and got out of the ‘technology zone’ all day long! It was great (and a little difficult). It was definitely worth it though. I need to add that to my weekly routine!

My kids love music so we spent a while listening to kid’s songs on a couple of kid music CDs we have. It allows us to dance, sing and learn about instruments. Again, there are no pictures because you don’t really need to see a picture of me dancing to ‘Sally the Camel’, do you?

This project helped me to look at different ways I could interact with my kids and I think we all benefited from it in a lot of ways. Probably my favorite part was the ‘unplug’ project. It actually gave me time to do all of the other things on the THANKFUL list. I am definitely thankful for my kiddos!

There were a lot of other bloggers who participated in Collectively Creative this month to share how they were all thankful. Click on the links below to see their posts and be sure to check out the rest of their sites while you are there!

Our Family’s Thankful Journal (Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons)
Creating a Thankfulness Photo Album (Organizing Living Essentials)
Vegan Creamed Corn Cornbread (The Pancake Princess)
Thanksgiving Requests (Ponytail Kind of Day)
~Erin