Being Prepared: I Wish I Would Have Known About UnderJams Sooner

I have been compensated for this post, however the thoughts and opinions are completely my own.

I guess you could say I like to be prepared. I like to have things on hand for those “just in case” situations. I have always felt that even being spontaneous takes a little bit of planning so I always have some snacks in my purse, some hand wipes with me, some sunscreen in the car because you just never know when you might want to take a little day trip.

This is why I was so glad when the kids were potty trained. There was less I needed to keep on hand, and less I needed to lug around. No diapers, no diaper cream, no extra clothes. It was amazing. When my kids were all potty trained, I loved the freedom of just being able to use a bathroom when we were out.

I was still prepared, I mean everywhere you go there’s a bathroom right?

Then, a few months ago, I had a moment when I wish I was a little more prepared, and had a flashback of when I had three little ones in diapers at the same time.

I had to make a quick run to our local Big Box to pick up a few things. I had all three kids with me, and my middle son asked to sit in the cart. This never happens, but because I wanted to get in and out of there in a hurry, I was grateful to have one less dawdler. My other two chimed in, “can we ride, too?”

I furrowed my brow wondering why these kids wouldn’t want to walk around and touch everything in sight, but I didn’t question it. Oh well, I thought to myself, and quickly found a cart big enough to hold my three growing kids.

As I made my way through the store, I zigged and zagged the cart through each aisle trying to get my mopey kids to laugh, but also trying to get through the store as quickly as possible (which upon further reflection was not a good idea). This is when my middle guy spoke up again: “Mommy, my tummy hurts.”

As I was asking my sweet little angel if he needed to use the bathroom, he yelled, “Mommy, you better hurry!”

I sprinted the cart toward a family bathroom just in time for him to spew his breakfast.

We made it just in time, but that was much too close for my liking.

As I was helping him get cleaned up, my other two children clutching their stomachs said, “Mommy, we are not feeling well either.”

OH NO! I thought, I am going to be trapped in this bathroom with three kids who are ill. One more child threw up, and all of them had diarrhea.

That is when one of my sweet sick darlings with tears said to me, “Mommy, I went in my pants.”

I told my little one not to be embarrassed, and Mommy would fix it right away.

I looked in my purse out of habit and luckily found some wipes. I used an extra grocery bag with the help of a clerk to store the soiled clothes, and bought some underwear and a pair of pants to get my little one home.

When we got home, I got everyone showered up, put on a movie, and called our pediatrician. She said that a bad stomach flu was going around, and to do my best to keep them hydrated.

In the time that the kids were sick, we only had one more accident. However, I felt terrible.

When Acorn Influence and Pampers UnderJams asked me to participate in this campaign, I was eager to share this story because NOW when my kids are sick, there won’t be any more embarrassment over an accident. I have already bought a pack of Pampers UnderJams at WalMart and are keeping them on hand just in case the need arises again because honestly you never know when they will come in handy and save a little kid from an embarrassing situation.


Pampers UnderJams are discreet due to the ComfortWear quiet material that is like cloth, are super absorbent due to the NightLock core which is perfect if you are trying to #ConquerBedwetting, and they even have a lower waistband so no one has to know your child is wearing them except your child. I also liked that they come in a good range of sizes.

I have added Pampers UnderJams to my being prepared kit.

For more information about staying prepared when it comes to enuresis (bedwetting) check out the information below.

What do you do to stay prepared with your littles ones?

If you like this post and would like to read more about all things domestic with a touch of humor, become a Home Everyday follower! For blog updates or to see other places I write such as ChicagoNow or Chicago Parent follow Home Everyday on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

Spring Cleaning: What a Sham (WOW)

We are a few days into Spring, and I have not Spring cleaned a thing yet. (gasp!)

I take that back, I scrubbed the kitchen floor the other day. It was gloriously clean for an entire day for a hot minute. Then it snowed. Not just a little flurry, but a ridiculous 4 inches of heavy wet SPRING insanity, and it didn’t matter that people took off their shoes. I still had to bring the groceries in the house the day of the SPRING blizzard of 2015 and that made for a messy floor.

So here I am, a queen of domesticity about to tell you 7 Reasons Why Spring Cleaning is a Sham (WOW).

1.) Unpredictable weather: Let’s just call Spring in the Midwest what it is, shall we? Toddler of weather. I want to build a snowman, no wait, I want to pick flowers, no wait, I want to splash in puddles, no wait, I want to fly a kite. I WANT TO RUN IN SPRINKLERSSS!!! GET OUT THE SIDEWALK CHALK! WHERE’S MY SNOW BOOTS! Get in the basement there’s a tornado warning! This is currently the state of my front hall because every day there is a new kind of clothing to be worn, and I refuse to put any of it away until this kid known as weather makes up his damn mind!


2.) School is still in session: When school is going on there is homework, and papers, and activities, and so many more things to keep track of that it just doesn’t seem to be a good time to add in a huge reorganization and cleaning of the entire house. And the papers! The school papers are everywhere. You know that old saying about when you pluck a gray hair and 6 more grow in its place? I’m pretty sure that for every school paper I throw away, a million more multiply.


3.) Spring is busy: My family and I have a lot going on in the Spring and mostly we are just trying to keep afloat. Soccer, ice skating, ballet recital rehearsals, local elections, Listen to Your Mother practices, TAXES, extra writing submissions, CCD, Brian out of town, me out of town, dinners out, and that is in addition to everything else. I refuse to Spring clean. So, I do the only logical thing. I straighten up and hide things in the closet when people are coming over.

4.) When the weather actually is nice: Those first few gorgeous days when the sun is out, and you don’t have to wear a jacket and it is still light out past 4:00 p.m., I really don’t want to spend that time cleaning. I would so much rather take the kids outside (because it might be snowing tomorrow, again). See ya!


5.) Did I mention the papers? I don’t think you guys realize the papers. So, I’ll show you again.


6.) Project time: Since my house looks like a bomb of papers and weather appropriate clothing went off anyway, this is the time of year I usually do some household projects. Then, when I am ready to do a big clean and organizing project, I just clean everything up at one time. This is called not re-inventing the wheel, or something like that.


7.) Spring Break: There are very few people who have the opportunity to spend a week all together as a family. Because my husband is in education, he has an entire week to spend with us and the kids who are also off school the at the same time. We usually spend that week taking day trips to places around town and spending time together. There is no way I am trading scrubbing baseboard and organizing toys for that!

I saving the Spring Cleaning for Summer!

If you like this post and would like to read more about all things domestic with a touch of humor, become a Home Everyday follower! For blog updates or to see other places I write such as ChicagoNow or Chicago Parent follow Home Everyday on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.


What Not to Do at a Home and Garden Show

Spring is almost here, which means Home and Garden Show time! Over the weekend, I attended my first Home and Garden Show and I learned a lot.

I saw some innovative home products, took a look at some cool home services, took home some cool tote bags, and best of all ran into an old friend.


However, I am the absolute worst at trade shows. I have a guilt complex. I feel horrible for these people standing there at their little constructed booths waiting or asking kindly for someone to talk to them. I hate that they are constantly getting rejected. Their products are getting rejected. They came all this way after all. Who could stand all that drive by rejection?

As a writer who has suffered more rejection than I care to admit, I feel for these booth people. I know that rejection. So, I will talk to them for a little while. (We have no intention of getting a hot tub, bathroom renovation, pergola, etc.)

I know, I’m the worst.

However, I always say, you can never be overdressed or overeducated. I did learn a great deal about some of the products and services I don’t need such as bathroom remodels so there’s that. Let’s pretend I did this in the name of education.

I also say, there is no such thing as a free lunch. In other words there is a cost to all of this education: I will be deleting emails from people providing products and services I don’t need for the foreseeable future.

When going to a Home and Garden Show or any trade show for that matter, here is a list of DON’TS (you don’t want to be getting emails for the next month because you couldn’t say no at a trade show.)

1. Don’t go in without a plan: if you are going to just look around, want to see bathrooms, kitchens, gutters, pools. Make a mental note of what you are there to see.

2. Don’t forget what household projects are coming up: many vendors offer coupons, discounts, and even raffles for prizes for patrons attending the trade show. Make sure you visit the booths of any current or impending home projects. For example, new countertops, and a basement remodel are in our future. I made sure to hit up any booth I could that might have discounts or promotions to help us with these projects.

3. Don’t talk to anyone you don’t want to: people at trade shows are there to try and gain your business, but they also want to talk to people who are seriously considering their products or services. If you live in a condo, don’t get sucked into talking to a landscaper for an hour. A polite “no thanks” will do the trick and move on.

4. Don’t go in clueless: get a map of the convention center area or talk to someone running the trade show and get a lay of the land. This will help you find where specific booths are so that you can plan your time accordingly.

5. Don’t give out your information unless your’e ok with people contacting you: this is a no brainer, but unless you want to set up an appointment for an estimate for new gutters go ahead and take their card or pamphlet and tell them you’ll give them a call when you’re ready to do business.

6. Don’t go to a trade show without having a little fun and getting a little swag: When going to a trade show, I always leave some time at the end for visiting a few booths that look interesting or have cool demonstrations or let’s face it neat swag. I usually will hit up those booths last if I have time.

7. Don’t wear heels: Just don’t, unless they are the most comfortable shoes you own. Trade shows are for walking and gathering information and collecting tote bags, save the good shoes for date night.

Now, that you know what not to do at your next Home and Garden or trade show you should go online and see when the next one in your area is. Spring is almost here after all!

If you like this post and would like to read more about all things domestic with a touch of humor, become a Home Everyday follower! For blog updates or to see other places I write such as ChicagoNow or Chicago Parent follow Home Everyday on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

On Point Care Package Tips

Since I have lived in the Midwest my whole life, I have noticed that this is about the time I am over Winter. I like the hot beverages, and snuggling, and snow days. However, I start longing for some outdoor time. I am aching to put away the boots, get my garden going, go for a walk that doesn’t require me to put on a dozen layers of clothing, or just sit outside and soak in some rays.

I want to take a deep breath of fresh air and not feel my lungs freeze and my eyes sting.
Then, I thought if I am sick of Winter, I cannot imagine how my niece (god-daughter) away at college feels. Walking to class is just the worst in weather like this.
So, I decided to send her a care package.
Here are some tips for sending an on point care package.
Food: Send a little treat or something you know will last a few days. Perhaps some cookies, a favorite nut butter, or even some candy. You can even try and send something homemade. However, keep in mind the weather. If it the weather is extremely cold, or very warm it might not hold up, so make sure to keep that in mind.
Thoughtful: Try and send something that you know the person will especially like or need. Perhaps a favorite movie on DVD to watch for a study break, a good book, a few photos, some fancy pens for school work, or their favorite brand of coffee.
Small but Sturdy: Whatever you send make sure it is small, light, and sturdy. Remember you had to send these things through the mail so make sure it can hold up through the mail, isn’t too fragile, and  make sure it is light enough so that if it has to be carried to a class or two before headed back to the dorms it isn’t a burden. Items like snuggly socks, a favorite lip balm, new gloves would do nicely.
Note: A note is always a perfect way to tell someone you’re thinking of them and hope things are going well. Also, a few kid drawings to brighten someone’s day are nice too.
Packaging: A small box packed tightly and stuffed with tissue is perfect. Make sure to slip a piece of paper with the recipients address inside the box too. Seal it up with packing tape, label it and ship it off.
What would be in your ideal care package?If you like this post and would like to read more about all things domestic with a touch of humor, become a Home Everyday follower! For blog updates or to see other places I write such as ChicagoNow or Chicago Parent follow Home Everyday on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

Thirsty Thursday: Cocktail Terms Beginner Bartender and Mixologist Should Know

Ever watch an old movie and wonder what some of those old cocktail terms everyone is using actually mean? Ever host a cocktail party and not know how to exactly measure out a guest’s drink? Or go out for a fancy night on the town and not know what some of those “fancy” drinks like Port are?

Your Thirsty Thursday gal is here to for the rescue! While I am not a professional bartender, I know enough from watching movies and asking questions and a little research on the internet to figure it out, and I have put it all here for you in one convenient location. Also, I have my favorite “go to” cocktail recipe with a literal twist at the end to get you ready for Valentine’s Day and impress your friends.

Measurements: I will share the most basic forms of measuring when it comes to creating your cocktails. For those that read me regularly know, measuring ingredients is not my strong suit, however when it comes to cocktailing and mixology it can make or break a drink.



  • Shot: this is the size of a standard shot glass 1 1/2 oz (45mL)
  • Jigger: a special tool used to measure spirits that has two ends. The larger end has holds 2 oz (60 mL) and the smaller end holds 1 1/2 oz (45 mL)
  • Pony: 1 oz
  • Dash: this measurement is often used to describe things like bitters, tobacco sauce, or other ver strong cocktail ingredients. The bottles these drink ingredients come in often have a top that helps to control how much goes into the cocktail. However, the actual measurement is 1/32 of an oz.
  • Splash: this is for slightly larger additions to drinks such as water, grenadine, syrup, or a stronger spirit. Its actual measurement is 1/8 of an oz.
  • Barspoon: Have you ever seen one of those spoons with the long corkscrew handles? That is a barspoon and used to mix up things in tall glasses or pitchers. Sometimes it can be used to measure a bit of something too (or in my case fish out some maraschino cherries out of a jar). This is about a teaspoon.
Jargon: when you’re hosting a large party or even have a few friends over for dinner it is important to have some basic bar jargon down so as to prepare their favorite drink the way they like it. 


  • Neat: this is serving a spirit with no mixers, ice, or water. Typically it is served in a tumbler glass meant to be sipped. (“I’ll have a whiskey neat, please.”)
  • On The Rocks: this is when someone prefers to have their favorite spirit poured over ice. (“A vodka on the rocks, please.”)
  • With a Twist: this is when a thin strip of citrus peel is squeezed and put into a mixed cocktail, spirit, or even non-alcholohic beverage for added flavor.
  • Mixers: non-alcholic additions to drinks such as sodas, juices, or syrups.
  • Nightcap: a mixed drink, liqueur, or wine served at the end of the evening, typically after dessert.
What Kind of Drink is That? here are some terms when it comes drinks.


  • Cocktail: a drink made with combinations of both spirits and mixers. (Note: Not all cocktails are martinis, a martini is a specific kind of drink.)
  • Dirty Martini: A martini (a cocktail made with gin and vermouth typically served with either an olive or a twist) with olive brine stirred into it.
  • Port: a fortified wine (meaning brandy has been added at sometime during the fermentation process) that is typically served as a nightcap
  • Liqueur: a very sweet liquor or spirit often used for mixing, but can be consumed alone as well. An example is Baily’s Irish Cream.
  • Shot or Shooter: this is a combination of spirits and mixers poured into a shot glass and meant to be drank quickly.
  • Virgin or Mocktail: these are drinks that contain no spirits but often replicate a standard spirit drink.
Now that you know some basic beginner mixologist terminology, how about a recipe with all of your knowledge? A Cranberry and Vodka is one of my favorite drinks and it is such a pretty color for Valentine’s Day. It also uses a lot of the terms we talked about today, and I can show you how to make a twist! 

Cranberry and Vodka
1 jigger vodka
1 cup cranberry juice
splash of lemon lime soda
twist of lime
In a glass, add ice, vodka and cranberry. Stir. Top with splash of soda and twist of lime. Serve immediately.To make a twist, simply take a vegetable peeler and very carefully peel a small the skin of a lime, being careful to only peel the skin and not the white part (known at the pith).


Once you have your piece of lime.


Twist over your drink to release the oils into the drink and add into the drink or put on the rim as a garnish.



Enjoy!For all things beverage related, check out the THIRSTY THURSDAY page for recipes for all kinds of drinks, cocktails, and all things drinkable!


Want to read more about all things domestic with a touch of humor? Become a Home Everyday follower! For blog updates or to see other places I write such as ChicagoNow or Chicago Parent follow Home Everyday on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

My Target Addiction: 9 Tips for Getting the Best Deal at Target

If I put a band together, I will probably call it My Target Addiction.

Target is one of those places that reminds me of the the local grocery stores of the past. Our relationship with our local Target is not just commercial. I mean sure, the sweatpants I’m currently wearing and the cup my daughter is drinking out of, and the pillow behind my back are all from Target. And yes, Target is where we bought the ONLY sheets that would not slide off our mattress. We buy groceries, clothes, toiletries, housewares, and a lot of other things we need at Target. I’m typing this to you right now, and as I look around at my house I can point to everything we bought at Target.

However, we know the employees at our Target. We talk to them. When Brian and I were first married, on the nights he worked much later than me, I would grab a small cup of tea and walk around Target for about an hour because I didn’t want to head home to an empty house. Target is where I would push a newborn baby around in a stroller when it was raining. Target is where I picked up baby reflux medicine and the kind pharmacist showed us how to use it. Target Optical is where they first diagnosed me with optic nerve swelling, and I got an early diagnosis. Target Clinic is where I go to see my favorite nurse practitioner when I cannot get in to see my doctor.


However, unlike most people I don’t think I’ve ever paid full price for anything at Target. A.) I’m cheap and B.) Because at some point Target will have a deal on it.

With these simple tips and tricks you too will know how to spend wisely at Target.

1.) Target RedCard (credit or debit). This allows you to save 5% off of every single purchase made at Target.

2.) Pharmacy Rewards. Sign up for Pharmacy Rewards and have your scripts moved over to Target. Every time you move a new prescription over to Target or you have up to 6 prescriptions filled at Target you get a 5% off your entire purchase coupon.

3.) Download the Target Cartwheel App. This is a FREE app with additional offers to those to download it. There are two ways to use it. You can look through it and add certain offers offers onto your Cartwheel to scan at checkout OR you can scan the items in your cart to see if they currently have a deal. Some items are always on Cartwheel and you can save every time you shop: like milk and cheese.

4.) Clearance Schedule. I know my local Target Clearance and Sale Schedules. I also ask my sales associates or managers when this might change. For example at my Target I know

Monday:Electronics, Kids Clothes, Baby Stuff, Accessories
Tuesday:Women’s Clothes, Pets
Wednesday: Men’s Clothes, Furniture, Health & Beauty
Thursday: Housewares, Shoes, Toys, Sporting Goods, Home Decor
Friday: Auto, Hardware, Jewelry

This means if I have my eye something I wait and see what day of the week it is before I buy it.

5.) Seasonal Cycles. It is good to know seasonal cycles at Target. For example,  right now we are in the midst of what I like to call “ORGANIZE/BULK/HEALTH” time at Target. This means this is the time of year in the seasonal section at Target when organizational items, workout clothes and sporting things, and bulk foods and items are available in the seasonal section. This also means that in a few weeks they are going to want to clear this section out to make room for what I like to call “SPRING INSANITY” stuff, which is all the planters, gardening stuff, outdoor decor and furniture, lawn toys for kids and the like. So to clear it out they will put it all on sale. There is always a rotation so if you have your eye on some hand weights, wait a week or two they might go on sale to make room for some patio furniture.

6.) Shop the end caps first. Some of the best deals I have found on sheets, towels, dishes, cups, table linens, or toss pillows are on the end caps. Especially, when it comes to home decor or housewares. These items typically follow the seasons, and are switched out often. The end caps are where Target puts older sale things to make room newer non sale items.

7.) Goodwill and Target. Did you know that Target will donate things it cannot sell to local Goodwill stores who will sell it at even steeper discounts?

8.) Don’t forget your bags! Target will reward you for bringing your reusable shopping bags by giving you a $.05 discount for every reusable bag used.

9.) Text Coupons. Make sure to ask a sales associate or look on the shelf if there are text coupons available. Sometimes there are signs indicating text coupons for items available that will not exclude Cartwheel or other discounts.

If you like this post and would like to read more about all things domestic with a touch of humor, become a Home Everyday follower! For blog updates or to see other places I write such as ChicagoNow or Chicago Parent follow Home Everyday on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.


A 2015 Mantra: Simplicity, Creativity, Generosity, and Gratitude

Hello, 2015! I feel like I have been waiting for you to get here for a few weeks now.

I have never been one to wish away my days. In fact, I would consider myself to be about as sentimental as they come. Hoping to soak every last minute, second, moment out of an event or milestone.

I also always felt that a new start can begin at any time. You don’t need a new year to begin a new routine, to try something new, to start fresh.


A new desk to refinish! Hooray!

Like anyone I have always made goals throughout the year. Specifically, I do this at the beginning of every school year, or even at the beginning of a season. I know statistically I am destined to fail at the beginning of a new year, so I try not to pressure myself too much. Mostly, I am happy if I get the Christmas crap down before I start debating if I should start a new trend known as the “Valentine’s Bush.”

However, for some reason, I am feeling like 2015 was just whispering me to come along and get moving with it.

2015 just seems like a nice even number. Years from now I can say something like, well in 2015 I started my book, or in 2015 I took a meeting with an executive at Netflix about my series, etc. etc. Also, 2014 gave me some good and bad experiences that helped give me the skills I need to help me achieve those goals, and give me a little perspective.

Rather that make long list of goals with detailed milestones, and then when those goals are inevitably unmet, crying and falling into a slump an ice cream despair a Netflix binge watch session while eating Twizzlers in my bed, I decided a long list was not the way to go. Instead, I would focus on a few simple words that would become my mantra for every area of my life.

This will be the year of simplicity, creativity/productivity, generosity, and gratitude.

When there is a decision to be made, something that needs to be done, a problem to be solved, or when I am feeling aimless. I will ask: Is this simple? Is this creative or productive? Am I acting generous? Am I acting with gratitude?

Simple: Last year I think I wanted to do too much, and in doing that I got overwhelmed very easily. Whether it be with writing, responsibilities with the kids, household projects, or anything. I was overdoing it. I also think that when things become overwhelming, more waste is created, more money is spent, more time is wasted. I just want to simplify and streamline things. I consider myself to be a pretty organized person, but there is only so much an organized person can do in a day too, and I realized that everything I was doing was done quickly, last minute, and without my eventual end goal in mind. I need to simplify. So, some things will have to be cut from the list. If something isn’t for the betterment of getting my end goal (helping my family, writing career, saving money, streamlining) I have to say no or it has to go.

Creativity/Productivy: There are times, when I am the biggest time waster of them all. I was watching Aziz Ansari’s Dangerously Delicious comedy special and how he talked about how he gets distracted on the internet doing Joe Pesci research. I laughed particularly hard, because as I was watching this, I was elbow deep on IMDB looking up the complete filmography of Mary Lynn Rajskub (don’t know her, look her up) because of a very minuscule scene she was in on Gilmore Girls that I had watched two days prior. I scoff at your time wasting, Aziz Anari! Long story short, if I am not doing something to create or produce (i.e. better myself, my health, my family, my writing) I think it has to go too.

Generosity: I am bringing back the email. Remember when you’d open your inbox and there would be an email from someone just to check in and see how you are, and not a a bunch of Zappos coupons and Zulily ads? Hell, I might even bring back snail mail. The post office might even stay in business because of me this year. I just want to be more generous with my words this year as well as my time, my cooking, my baking, my comments, and Facebook shares with fellow writers. I want spread the love.

Grateful: I’m just going to say thank you all the damn time. There is always, always, always something to be thankful for. Always.

Simplicity, creativity, generosity, and gratitude. I should probably write that down somewhere.

What is going to be your mantra for 2015?

If you like this post and would like to read more about all things domestic with a touch of humor, become a Home Everyday follower! For blog updates or to see other places I write such as ChicagoNow or Chicago Parent follow Home Everyday on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

I Love Them Because You Love Them: Taking Care of Those Lovies

All three of my kids have lovies. Special friends with special names with whom they sleep, snuggle, and must have for events like shots, first haircuts, and all other things scary. They have each had their lovies for as long as they can remember. Even their baby books include photos of them with their special buddies. I had a feeling from the beginning I would need to take care of these buddies for a long time. Maybe until they head off to college (or head to their first job, apartment, walk down the aisle, or have kids of their own).


Because of the kids attachment to their special friends, it is sometimes like I have SIX kids to take care of rather than THREE. In fact, it is joked about that I sometimes worry about some of same things I would with the kids. (Let’s face it if these buddies get lost or ruined it would break my kids’ little hearts.) Hence: I worry about their location, safety, and cleanliness.

So, here are some tips that we follow to keep our lovies safe and clean.

1.) Safe Place: After too many nights searching for friends at bedtime, we have decided to keep them in their beds. This way the kids know where their buddies are all the time. The only time they are allowed to take their lovie out of bed is for an extenuating circumstances like watching a movie on the couch when sick or going to the doctor for a blood draw.

2.) Sewing Skills: When these little buddies are so loved they are bound to have a rip or tear here or there. I have learned to keep some thread on hand for such an occasion. I have also learned that small curved upholstery needled works best for mending stuffed buddies.

3.) Freeze ’em Clean: I know this may sound strange, but when the kids have been sick my first line of defense is to put their buddies in a plastic freezer bag and put them in the freezer for 48 hours. This is a tip we got from our pediatrician. Doing this will kill any germs and will also kill dust mites. It does take some explaining to the kids, but I tell them that just like they need medicine to get better, their buddies need to get well too.

4.) Machine or Surface Clean: After our trip to the freezer, it is time to wash. For those friends where it is safe to wash them in the washing machine, I always make sure to put them in a lingerie bag or even in a pillowcase. I then wash in cold on a gentle cycle with mild soap. Then, I keep the buddy in the bag and put it in air cycle in the dryer. For those friends that can only be surface cleaned, I follow the directions on the label.

5.) When All Else Fails: This may sound terrible, but when our kids started to develop an attachment to a certain lovie, we hit the internet hard and actually bought a backup. The kids know about their backups, and my youngest even keeps her backups with her. My oldest has his hidden away just in case. The kids are old enough to know that if (it hasn’t come to this yet) ever have to replace their lovies with a backup it won’t be the same as the original, but at least they will still have something similar with memories of their first buddy.

If you like this post and would like to read more about all things domestic with a touch of humor, become a Home Everyday follower! For blog updates or to see other places I write such as ChicagoNow or Chicago Parent follow Home Everyday on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

I Would Not, Could Not Skip Thanksgiving: A Holiday Planning Guide

I was just barely getting over a Halloween hangover when I was smacked in the face with a midterm election. Now, everywhere I turn there seems to be Christmas in the air.

All of my favorite stores are betraying with me holiday stuff, discounts, and I swear I smelled peppermint in Starbucks the other day. Some of the blogs I read are sharing gift guides, and things to do to get ready for “the season.”

Some people are Holiday Crazy, that is great. I applaud you. I used to be like them. In the past, I would be playing holiday music already, putting autumn decor away, buying gifts, hiding them, begging my husband to let me put out just a few holiday decorations before Thanksgiving, and coming up with schemes for that damn elf.

However, considering my Autumn Decor has not been up that long, I don’t think I should be getting out any more decorations just yet. Also, I am still getting used to the homework routine this school year, so I doubt I can add a little bit of Christmas to anything just yet. Also, I realized I seemed to be skipping over Thanksgiving. It was like a gateway holiday getting lost in the shuffle of other holiday preparations.

This was breaking my heart as I used to claim Thanksgiving was one of my favorite holidays. In the past, I would spend days preparing a Friendsgiving Meal, and making a spare turkey for leftover sandwiches. I would take the time to meet people for brunch, and go to church. I Would Not, Could Not Skip Thanksgiving. Nope. This year is going to be different.

I am going to plan ahead so that no longer happens. I can hopefully use my time wisely and knock some of those smaller things off the TO DO LIST now so that I can enjoy myself the week of Thanksgiving. I am sick of spending that week, running errands, buying gifts, and starting Christmas cards. This Thanksgiving, I will be eating turkey sandwiches and enjoying my family.

First Week of November

  • Create Holiday Card List
  • Update Addresses
  • Make Appointment for Family Photos
  • Create a gift list (family, friends, teachers, neighbors, coworkers, hostess gifts)
  • Send holiday party invites
  • Do online shopping
Second Week of November
  • Purchase smaller gifts like gift cards, bottles of wine, or other non food gifts.
  • Plan family photo outfits
  • Do a gift wrap inventory and purchase anything needed (tape, ribbon, etc)
  • Plan which cookies and treats to bake
  • Pick out Holiday Cards
Third Week of November
  • Have family photo taken
  • Purchase baking ingredients sugar, flour, vanilla, (freeze butter), etc.
  • Wrap any gifts already purchased.
  • Start addressing envelopes
  • Do a thorough clean of house to be ready for holiday decor
  • Be Thankful!
Don’t get me wrong, I will still have things to do, but everything will be ready to go. I won’t be wasting time running to Target for more tape, stopping at the grocery store for more vanilla, trying to put together teacher gifts the night before the last day of school, or addressing envelopes at 2  in the morning. Best of all, I will be enjoying my time with my family.

If you like this post and would like to read more about all things domestic with a touch of humor, become a Home Everyday follower! For blog updates or to see other places I write such as ChicagoNow or Chicago Parent follow Home Everyday on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

Thirsty Thursday: Tea

Happy Thirtea (see what I did there?) Thursday!

One of my absolute favorite beverages is TEA! Hot or cold (or luke warm because I cannot get to it quick enough after folding laundry), with family or alone, while reading or writing, at the soccer field or at my dining room table.  I drink a cup almost every single day. Some of my best conversations have happened over a cup of hot tea on a cold evening or even a glass of iced tea on a hot afternoon. Plus with all the ways there are to doctor it up, it’s no wonder over half of all Americans drink it.

I’m not sure if it stems from my Irish ancestry, my Grandma Nano always offering someone a cup when someone walked through her door, my Mom serving up a tray for us after dinner, or my sister’s desire to serve me iced tea when I walk in her home, but for me tea says hospitality, home, and love. It is the perfect beverage when you’re feeling blue, it is perfect when you’re sick, and let’s face it, it is the perfect excuse to have a treat mid afternoon to accompany your tea.


Grandma and Grandpa on their wedding day.

So, with a little help from the inter webs, here are some awesome facts about tea. Maybe you will join me in a cup today.

1. Icey: According to the Tea Association of the USA, Americans prefer their tea iced. In fact, 85% of the tea drank here is cold. I will drink it iced or hot, but if I am going to have it cold it must be perfectly sweet.


2. Caffeination: While most people like a little spring in their step and prefer caffeine in their tea, there are many decaffeinated varieties. Also, here’s a tip from my Grandma if you don’t have any decaf at home and have a guest who prefers the less zippy kind. Steep the tea for about 5-10 minutes, then reuse the same tea bags, or loose tea and brew again with fresh water. The tea will have the same flavor (you may have to steep a little longer), but will be caffeine free!


3. Leaves: I learned this fun tip from my friend Emily (a fellow tea drinker). She told me that Black Tea comes from leaves that are mature and wilted, Green Tea comes from mature leaves which are untitled and sometimes steamed after harvesting help keep their green color, and White Tea comes from leaves that are immature or barely grown.

4. Who Loves It? According to The Richest the top three countries who consume the most tea are Turkey, Morocco, and Ireland.


5. Popular: Tea is so popular across the globe and is one of the oldest beverages around. In fact, according to She-Tea it is the second most consumed beverage. Water is the first.

6. Favorite Stir Ins: Everyone has their favorites, and while I prefer my hot tea black (with nothing in it at all). Many people like to add sugar or honey for sweetness. Others add citrus like lemon or orange wedges for some flavor. Like coffee, there are even people who will add a splash of cream or milk.

7. Tea Time: When my brother lived in Ireland, he told us all about Evening Tea. Which was a light meal which would be served at a time comparable to an early dinner. The largest meal of the day was served in the middle of the day. When I would go to my Grandma’s house after school, we would sometimes have tea while she made dinner. Sometimes while the kids are having afternoon snack, that is when I am making tea for myself. My vote is tea time is anytime.

If you like Tea, check out this Julep Tea or Nectarine Green Tea. For all things beverage related, check out the THIRSTY THURSDAY page for recipes for all kinds of drinks, cocktails, and all things drinkable!



Want to read more about all things domestic with a touch of humor? Become a Home Everyday follower! For blog updates or to see other places I write such as ChicagoNow or Chicago Parent follow Home Everyday on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.