Tags Posts tagged with "chores"

chores

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It’s inexpensive, it smells good, and there are a lot more uses for Kool-Aid than just drinking it! Check out out all these awesome ways to use it, from activities for keeping kids busy to household chores, Kool-Aid can (almost) do it all!

 

 

 

Scrub away toilet bowl stains

Pour one packet of lemon or orange flavored Kool-Aid into your toilet bowl and let it sit for a few minutes. Scrub the bowl with a toilet brush. The citric acid and abrasive texture of Kool-Aid helps to break down and dissolve stains while smelling awesome! Much better than harsh chemicals!

 

Remove rust stains from concrete

Most of us can relate to these kinds of stains on our patio, garage floor or driveaway. Mix a few drops of water with a packet of lemon flavored Kool-Aid to make a paste. Rub it on to the stained area with an abrasive brush and watch it work wonders!

 

Color eggs

Never buy an Easter Egg coloring kit again! Kool-Aid comes in a ton of different colors now, and the packets are inexpensive! Mix one packet of your desired color with 2/3 cup of water and gently lower a hard boiled egg into the cup. Let it sit until desired shade of color is reached. We do this every year, and I promise they tuned out beautiful!

 

Make window clings with Kool-Aid and white glue

Pour Kool-Aid into a bottle of white school glue and mix thoroughly using a thin, long utensil like a chopstick or kebab stick. You can use the new colored glue to create art on canvas or paper, or make designs on stretched plastic wrap (tape down the sides to remove the creases) that can be dried and used as window clings! It smells good too!

 

Make scented playdough

Mix the following ingredients in a medium pot to make Kool-Aid playdough:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 Kool-Aid packets (same color)
  • 3/4 cup water

Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring until the dough clumps together and reaches play dough consistency. Repeat the process for each color. Let cool and store in plastic baggies.

 

Make scented/flavored lip gloss

Heat up one cup of Vaseline in a small microwavable bowl and microwave for about 30 seconds (don’t let the Vaseline turn into liquid). Stir in a small amount Kool-Aid mix and stir well. Experiment with how much Kool-Aid to add. Transfer lip gloss to a small, portable container and enjoy!

 

Kool-Aid colored pasta

Make pasta extra fun, colorful and smelling great! Just add pasta, water and kool-aid in a baggie, let sit until desired color is reached, rinse, and you’ve got colored pasta!  You can cook as usual and eat it or use for fun art projects!

 

Make scented bath paints

Get a muffin tin and fill each hole with shaving cream (you can get it for $1 at the dollar store), then mix in different flavors of Kool-Aid into each hole and mix it up. Kids can dip in paint brushes and then paint on the bathtub and tiles while they’re taking a bath!

 

 

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I have a confession. I really want my kids to help around the house, I really do! The problem for me has always been allowing and trusting them to do it! In the past I was such a perfectionist, that I became my own worst enemy in some ways. For example, I was the mom that would allow the kids to decorate the Christmas tree, and then when they were asleep I would fix all the ornaments so the tree looked pretty again. I would let my kids help fold towels, and then secretly refold them because they did it wrong. I would let my kids bake cookies, but insist on taking over when the batter wasn’t stirred correctly.

 

Sigh…

and the truth is many moms fall into this pattern. We have become a generation of “it’s ok, I’ll do it” moms, and our families are suffering.  It not only effects our kids and their own independence, but it typically extends to our spouse as well. How many times have you given your partner directions to do something, and after having to explain it for too long just gave in and said “never mind, I will do it”?

We think we can do it all, and honestly we probably can do it all, because let’s face it, we are superwomen! Unfortunately, doing it all does not teach our families to do things for themselves, and it can lead to resentment in our children and spouses because it tends to send the message that we don’t trust them to get the job done, or we don’t think they’re smart enough. Obviously we want to avoid those assumptions!

Here some signs you may be doing too much for your family…

You’re focused on doing things “right” all the time

If you’re obsessed with the dishes being stacked in the dishwasher right, and find yourself saying things like “nevermind, I will do it” out of exasperation…you’re doing too much for your family. It’s time to let go, and let your children (or partner) complete the task. There is nothing wrong with giving some guidance as to how it’s done properly, but doing it all yourself is not only adding to your own plate of chores, but taking responsibility away from other family members. Something everyone in the home should feel like they have.

You’re constantly questioning your family’s decisions and choices

Maybe your husband comes home with groceries after you’ve given him a list, and he buys the wrong brands. Do you say something or do you let it go? If you say something like “I usually get this brand of toilet paper instead” or “I really don’t like this brand of barbecue sauce”, guess what? After a while your husband is going to say “You know what? Do the shopping yourself!” Now that’s one less thing he’ll be helping with around the house. Learn to bite your tongue and choose your battles. Learn to allow your family to do things their way sometimes.

Picking fights

If you’re so bent on being right or doing things the “right” away around your house, this can lead to more than just resentment on your families behalf. This can start to change the entire tone of your household, with more arguments and fights over silly things. If you’re doing everything, there’s no doubt you will become resentful too and start blaming it on the fact that no one knows how to do anything right. This is a very dangerous pride cycle, and there needs to be balance. A family that’s united is much more important than how the beds are made or how dinner is prepared.

You’re always bringing up past mistakes

Maybe your spouse was late paying the mortgage two years ago, or your child put laundry soap in the dishwasher that one time… do you still belittle them for it, or have a habit of bringing up their past mistakes? And do you use those past mistakes to justify why “you’ll just do it yourself”? If this is the case, you are taking away valuable lessons from your family. Mistakes are part of learning. Allow them more opportunities to learn and grow and they may surprise you with how much they can handle! And you may just start breathing a sigh of relief that you actually don’t have to do it all…

I realize not all moms struggle with this idea of “having to do it all”, and that many families have a very healthy balance when it comes to chores, responsibilities and contributions. But if you are a mom who struggles with any of the feelings above, there is hope (and you’re not alone). It’s ok to take a look within ourselves sometimes and figure out how we can do better. Sometimes it’s not our family who needs to “see the light”, sometimes it’s us…

Do you find yourself struggling with the “have to do it all” mentality? Or maybe you have found some good balance in your family and can share some more advice. We’d love to hear your thoughts either way!

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To all the moms that are constantly on top of their kids’ clutter.  Bravo!  Truly, you have my respect. But some days I feel like the bane of my existence is the state of my kid’s bedrooms.  Most of the time I am quite happy to just close their doors and not have to look (or think) about the clutter that awaits on the other side (cue Adele)… but then the responsible mom in me harps on them to clean it up, and after a while I get really brave and check under their beds.  Shudder.  And that’s where I usually step in to help.  It’s not pleasant, but with two teenage girls and a 9-year-old son it has to be done!  During my last “Clean Fest” yesterday, I learned some things about myself and them in the process…

 

 

 

Patience truly is a virtue

It’s not easy as a mom to instill the “no eating in your room” rule, and then find 10 Yoohoo boxes, an old bowl of ice cream and a microwaveable dinner under your teenagers bed! My first instinct was to yell “Seriously?!” and lecture her for 2 hours, and then binge watch “Hoarders” together…sigh. (I’m still seriously considering the latter) But instead I used it as a teaching opportunity.  The moment you lose your cool, kids shut down and shut you out. Your goal is to get the room clean, not belittle or degrade them. Usually the good old “this is a great way to attract bugs to come sleep with you at night” is good enough to make them reconsider their choices!  Just be calm, mama.  It’s goes a long way!

 

I’m part of the problem

Clutter.  Where does it come from?  As I was sorting through clothes, and knick knacks and random accessories and sooooo many stuffed animals, I had to ask myself a sobering question. “How much of this stuff came from you?”  Most of the clutter I was sorting through were things my kids had received as gifts or from shopping trips.  We buy things for our kids, and expect them to become professional organizers.  It’s not fair.  As an adult, I still struggle with my own clutter!  How can I expect my 9 – 16 year olds to perfectly manage theirs?  They don’t always know where to put everything in a small space. They still need to be taught things that are honestly still hard for me to learn!

It also made me reconsider my gifting habits… kids hold on to things out of obligation.  My daughter had a shoebox filled with candy wrappers and old trinkets from her stocking stuffers, probably because she saw them as “gifts” and felt bad about throwing them out. We have to teach our kids that it’s ok to let things go!  My mantra is, if you haven’t used it in 6 months, it’s either trash or someone else’s treasure (give it away!)

Some questions to ask while sorting through your children’s rooms are:

  • Do I like it?
  • Do I need it?
  • Do I use it?
  • Could someone enjoy it more than I?

 

They are amazing little humans

Their bedroom is their world, and as you’re spending time in there cleaning and organizing you catch glimpses of how amazing they really are.  I loved coming across thank you notes and cards from friends telling my child how much they mean to them, old family photos stuck to their mirror, art work they’ve done that are true mini masterpieces, books they’re reading, school assignments they gave their all. Sitting there amidst my child’s “junk” was actually a treasure hunt, and I loved all the reminders of how special my little humans are.

 

Decluttering is FREEING (for the kids too)

Kids think they love living in chaos and clutter, but every time we do a deep cleaning they always say “I love how my room feels when it’s this clean”.  Hard work always pays off.  Mom feels better, the kids feel better.  Even their attitudes change when their rooms are clean! There is a tangible burden that is lifted when their rooms are organized.  Life feels lighter.  I make it a point to say “Wow, look how amazing your room looks, and I love how it feels in here”.  Helping them recognize that it’s more than just a clean room, but that it also improves moods and the feeling in the home will help them have positive feelings about cleaning and staying tidy.

 

The family that cleans together stays together

When we clean, we bond. We joke about the silly things we find, we reminisce about memories past when we come across old pictures, gifts and accessories.  We problem solve together when we figure out where to put things and what things would be good to donate.  Cleaning with the family promotes quality time and a sense of pride as you take care of what’s yours.  I am learning that cleaning is so much more than just cleaning when it comes to kids!  Remember that these moments are precious teaching opportunities and you’ll start viewing a messy room as an opportunity and not necessarily a burden.

 

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How many times a week do you make a grocery list?  They are such an important part of our regular routine. Do you ever wonder what a grocery list looked like hundreds of years ago?

 

 

 

 

 

Known as one of the greatest artistic geniuses of the Renaissance period, we don’t often think about what daily life might have been like for someone like Michelangelo.  Born March 6, 1475 in Caprese Michelangelo, Italy, Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer of the High Renaissance who highly influenced the development of Western art.

Despite his popularity, he couldn’t escape the menial tasks every day life.  Artists have to eat too!  One of the rare papers he left behind was this grocery list he made for a servant. What makes it unusual is that he not only wrote out the list, but he also drew pictures for each item listed.

michelangelo_menu_fish_bread_wine_1518

The drawings of fish, bread, two fennel soups, a herring (un aringa), anchovies, and wine (“un bocal di vino”), were actually done out of necessity because the servant asked to make the grocery run was illiterate.

The list is held at the Florence museum Casa Buonarroti, along with more of Michelangelo’s handwritten notes.

It’s a fascinating piece of history that gives us a small glimpse in to life of someone living in 15th century Italy!

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What is the best thing you can do for your child? No, it isn’t sending them to the best preschool or getting them a Chinese tutor. It isn’t take them to Disney or church. You can do it with a child as young as three-years-old.

Did you guess it yet? The best thing you can do for your child is give them chores.  A recent survey in the US found that 82% of people said they had chores growing up, but only about 28% of them give chores to their kids.

The Wall Street Journal posted an article, “Why Children Need Chores,” that explains how children with chores do better in life. According to the article, “Children who were given chores built a lasting sense of mastery, responsibility and self-reliance as opposed to those who aren’t.”

“Parents today want their kids spending time on things that can bring them success, but ironically, we’ve stopped doing one thing that’s actually been a proven predictor of success — and that’s household chores,” Richard Rende, a developmental psychologist in Paradise Valley, Arizona, and co-author of the forthcoming book “Raising Can-Do Kids” said.

Why give children as young as three chores? It means they are more likely to have positive relationships with family and friends along with greater career success.

Chores are not something kids get paid for, but something they do as part of a family. In a home there are certain things that must be done: laundry, cleaning the kitchen, cleaning the bathroom, cleaning your own room. There may be extra chores that warrant payments: raking leaves, walking the dog, dusting the baseboards, etc. However children need to learn that being a part of a household means doing your part.

What do you think: chores for kids or just let them be kids?