Friday, 31 August 2012

Library book bags

Both of my kids like to read.  Buying new books, or even downloading them onto the kindle all the time isn't financially practical.  However, a trip the library weekly, or bi-weekly is!  My kids like to max out the amount of books they are allowed to checkout at one time, so they each come home with 12 most visits.  I needed a way for them to keep track of their books and their library cards.  
The library had bags for sale (2 pounds)...I gave the kids sharpie markers and let them write their names on the bags and doodle if they wanted.  I took a binder ring (available anywhere in the US or at Rymans in the UK) and attached a velcro pocket to the handle of the bags. In it, the kids keep their library cards and the list of the books that they currently have out.  That way they can refer back to it when it's time to gather up the books at home and return them!  

Wednesday, 29 August 2012


Years ago, when COZI was just starting out, my husband and I gave it a try.  We liked the concept, but it lacked the features that we needed for it to be a truly on the go way of life.  So we dropped it... started using Google calendar (which we could access from our phones) and didn't look back.

Until....  I saw an advertisement for Cozi again and decided to check out their website.  Boy have they changed! They now have iphone/ipad apps and everything is still linked to a central database, as it should be.  They have added menu planning, to-do-lists, grocery lists (and other lists) and a host of other things ! I am impressed.

I was easily able to sync up my google calendar to my new cozi calendar (with each of the family members) and now, instead of writing my groceries on a dry -erase board and taking a picture of it before I go to the store, I simply enter it into the COZI app on my ipad in the kitchen and I have it instantly in the COZI app on my phone.

Things I would change:  To be truthful, I miss the (month view) layout of the google calendar.  It is a cleaner way to look at things.  The cozi calendar is cluttered (and yes, I keep a LOT of stuff in my day to day calendar) so it's bound to be.  However, google seemed to be able to show it off without stressing me out.   I hope Cozi makes a change at some point, but if it doesn't, I know I'll learn to deal.

I wish that the Menu planning function was available in the iphone/ipad app.

I wish that when you were in your calendar (week mode) you were able to click on your menu items and see the recipes and notes.  If it was copied from a weblink - they should allow you to copy the link into the recipe notes and when you click on it (in the app) it would take you to the internet to that recipe.   It currently tells you to sign into the web to see recipes.  What good does that do me when I sign in to my menu plan via the ipad in my kitchen?


Monday, 27 August 2012

Lego Land

We finally took the kids to Lego Land, after having yearly passes and not going once! We renewed our passes, so lets see if we can do better this year!

Little man was super excited to earn his Lego drivers licence, but had to be told that it only allowed him to drive in Lego Land!

They had an awesome day, and we brought home new lego kits to keep us busy all week long!

Make a magazine holder in a hurry!

Ever need a magazine holder but didn't want to spend the money on one?  Ever find a need for one quick, but can't make it to the store?  They are easy to make...  simply cut a used cereal box to fit!  
To make my 'book' boxes (I keep them next to the toilet for the kids to pull books from)
I simply placed a ruler on the cereal box - marked the line with a sharpie - and used scissors to cut it out.

Sometimes, I want the box to look prettier...   I simply cover it with wrapping paper and glue down.  
(here is my box for the printables that I do each month from   which is one of my all time FAV websites!)

Sunday, 26 August 2012

The birds

We went crazy yesterday. I'm not sure why, maybe it has something to do with my sis-in-law getting budgies durin our recent trip to India, or maybe not, but Hubby decided that it would be a good idea to have birds. 8 of them.

Meet the newet additions to the family..

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Family chores

Trial and error.. Thats what parentingbis all about right? You try something you think is going to work... Maybe it does for a little while, and maybe it doesnt. If your really lucky, it actually works!

Thats how its been with chores for us. Charts dont work for us, the clean room relay worked for a while, but I had to be ON IT, if you know what I mean, and our ipad app, chore hero works great, but is more for responsibilities than chores ( at least for us it is).

So, that leaves me cleaning the house or yelling... Hmmmm.. Not much fun.
I an due to start working 35+ hours a week soon, and I needed something that would last and put the owness on all of us living in the house.

Here is what I came up with ( yes, the original idea came from here- on pinterest)

For each room of the house, i printed off and laminated a detailed sheet explaining what to clean. I printed off 3 sheets each of the bathroom and bedroom ones ( one for mommy/daddy, one for little lady, and one for little man). I punched holes in them and put binder rings through them in 4 bunches. 1 set x 3 of bedroom/ bathroom combos and 1 binder ring with all the other rooms on it.

I then cut some card stock into squares, punches holes in it. Put a ring through its holes and wrote Chores for money on the first card. I wrote down on these cards a whole bunch of things that the kids could do during the week that would earn them extra money that would be paid with their weekly allowance.

I grabbed another 12x12 sheet of cardstock and with the help of the amazing 3m products stuck it to the wall. I stuck on 6 small 3m hooks to the front of it and hung all the binder rings on it. It is displayed prominently in the hallway between the kids rooms.

On saturday mornings, we will divide the 8 rooms of the house up( 2 each) and combine them with our bedroom and bathroom cards. We will then have spend time cleaning. The incentive to finish by lunchtime? The kids get to roll the dice and choose a date to do either that night or on sunday.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Our tooth fairies!

Little Lady, fast asleep....  gets a visit from her tooth fairy.
We had to see if the tooth fairy was the same for each child, or if it was 'just a job' that they got each night.  You know...  are there lots of them, and whoever's on duty gets the call, or are you assigned a tooth fairy?
Little Lady's tooth fairy in another country.....  She wanted to know if tooth fairies changed based on our location.  This one's name was Flossie!  Proving that there is more than one tooth fairy, and also that tooth fairies give money in the local currency.  
Little man's first lost tooth.  He wanted to know if his tooth fairy was a boy.  It appears that tooth fairies are assigned to families.  Note the tooth fairy here is the same as visited Little Lady in the fist two pictures.  We determined that Flossie must have been a substitute tooth fairy; either because something happened to detain our regular family tooth fairy or because they were confused because we were in temporary accommodations at the time when we met Flossie.

We have also learned that Tooth Fairies take teeth because they need it.  Children's baby teeth are the secret ingredient to fairy dust!  

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

The stray!

This little guy has been terrorizing my cats for a year!  He enters through the cat flap and corners my cats, causing our female to meow in the most awful way!  He then has to be chased out!  I have physically thrown him out of our house several times; but he doesn't take the hint!  He has even scratched Little Man!  
The other night, he must've had to much cat-nip cause he comes sauntering in the house while I was still awake and he lays down on the table!  He was amazingly friendly, letting us pet him, and purring all the while.  He stayed on the table for about an hour before we finally kicked him out so that we could go to bed.