Category Archives: Tiny Tip on Thursday

Making Flowers Last Longer

For today’s tiny tip on a Thursday, I thought I’d share the little things I do to make my flowers last longer.

I love fresh flowers on the kitchen table and around the house.  I don’t love it when they start to fade away.  I find wilting flower arrangements a bit depressing so I try to keep my flowers looking fresh and “happy” as long as possible.  flowers last longer

Here are my tricks for making flowers last longer:

  • Pick the bouquets that aren’t already fully opened.  The Valentine’s Day arrangement my husband gave me had quite a few unopened buds.  I think this helped them last a bit longer.   flowers last longer

  • Water them!  I may struggle with my plants but I do a pretty good job of making sure to add fresh water to my vase of flowers.  flowers last longer

  • If a “stay fresh longer” packet came with them, use that.  If not, add an aspirin to the water.  flowers last longer

  •  Take out or cut the wilting flower heads.  Just like “dead heading” the flowers growing in the garden helps them bloom, this helps the flower arrangement last a bit longer. 

  • Don’t be afraid to break up the arrangement to make new ones to enjoy. Don’t forget to cut the stems again when separating the flowers and adding them to new vases. 

What are your tips and tricks for making flower arrangements last a bit longer?


Nerf Gun Storage

I’ve been meaning to share my simple Nerf Gun Storage solution with you for a while now.

In a house full of boys, our Nerf guns outnumber the people (and pets).  Most if not all of them are kept in J’s closet.  I’d been searching for a long time for a simple solution for storing them.

I know I’m not the only one as one of my most popular Pinterest pins is this one of a Nerf Gun  Rack.  Unfortunately, it’s something to make not buy and my handy husband has higher priorities around here than that project.

The last time I attempted to bring some order to J’s closet (I’ve given up on actually cleaning it out), I stumbled on a somewhat simple solution to storing the Nerf guns.  It used another item from the closet.

Honestly, by stumbled on a simple solution I mean I cursed, puzzled, searched Pinterest, and almost gave up.  I could have even purchased the item for this solution on-line but chose to use what I already had in the house.

Our Nerf Gun Storage:


We now store our Nerf guns and the darts in old backpacks.  It’s not a perfect solution but they’ve mostly stayed put and off the floor and random places around the house.  Basically, I gave them a proper home.

Nerf Gun Storage

Easy to reach and still off the floor and out-of-the-way

We always have extra backpacks around this house although if you don’t, they actually make Nerf backpacks. I’ve found though that the individual slots for Nerf darts aren’t ideal for impatient little (and big) boys.

I put the extra darts in all the extra pockets.  Here’s a close up of the Mario backpack:

Nerf gun storage

The guns fit easily inside.

Nerf gun storage

This backpack has a side pouch perfect for a smaller Nerf gun.

When I first “organized” the Nerf guns, I had zipped up the backpacks.  My photos above show how they look currently.  Even unzipped the storage idea is working for us.

Do you have an abundance of Nerf guns at your house?  How do you store them?



Set A Timer And Go….

Today’s tiny tip on a Thursday post is just a reminder to myself and to you.  You can accomplish quite a lot more than you think in just five minutes!

I confess I’ve been having motivation problems for longer than just today or this week or honestly, this month even.  Today for some reason I hit a tipping point and HAD to do something about the state of this house.

I went back to basics.  I knew I couldn’t do much since I had already wasted too much time on-line and had to work later this morning.  I decided to go back to setting the timer and working for just 5 minutes in each room.

In FIVE minutes I did the following in each room in our house:


  • Made the Bed
  • Cleaned The Mirror
  • Emptied The Trash, sprayed trash can with Lysol, put in new trash bag
  • Cleaned, wiped off sink
  • Sprayed cleaner in the toilet
  • Changed out the hand towel


  • Unloaded dishwasher
  • Loaded Dishwasher and started it

Living Room

  • Cleared off couch (always covered with kids and my stuff)
  • Put away paper shredder
  • Sprayed air freshener
  • Bonus:  Sprayed air freshener in all rooms!

Main Bathroom

  • Cleaned Mirror
  • Cleaned Sink and Back of Toilet
  • Emptied trash, sprayed can with Lysol, and added new bag
  • Put away all my “products” with the exception of still hot curling iron
  • Wiped off really dirty area of floor that has been bothering me all week
  • Recycled empty soap container, added new full one


It doesn’t seem like much but the house feels so much better (and so do I!) with just those little five-minute actions in each room.

I planned to write and share this post in just 5 minutes but it actually took me closer to 10 minutes.  Still, not very long at all!

What can you accomplish in 5 minutes?  I bet it


Stove-top Simmer, A Quick And Easy Way To Scent Your Home

Need to add a pleasant scent to your home?  Is the winter heat drying out the air inside?  Today’s tiny tip on Thursday might be the answer you need.

Not only is it quick and easy, it can also make frugal use of the fruit which has been hanging around too long.  It only requires a few items which you hopefully have in your kitchen:

  1. A saucepan of some sort
  2. Water
  3. Spices and/or fruits about to expire

    stove-top simmer

    the local grocery store has added an extremely cheap “ugly produce” section

Some of you probably do this all the time already.  Basically, to make a stove-top simmer, just fill a saucepan with some sliced fruits and a generous sprinkle (or two) of your favorite spices, add water, and bring to a boil.

stove-top simmer

Note: cranberries do pop open when boiled so you may not want to fill the pot this full to start if using them

Then, turn down the heat to simmer.  Wait a short time and the scent should fill your home.

stove-top simmer

Don’t forget to check the water level once you turn it down to simmer

Interestingly, I’ve found the scent to be stronger further away from the simmering pot than right next to it.  Also, when finished, I simply pour my mixture down the drain and run the garbage disposal to freshen it up as an added bonus.

My current favorite “recipe” for a stove-top simmer:

enough cranberries to cover the bottom of a pan (note: these have been cheap at the store as in less than $1)

a sliced lemon or orange or both (I always seem to have a few clementines on the table that aren’t quite edible any more)

a generous sprinkling of cinnamon

Fill pot with water and bring to boil, then turn down to simmer.  Don’t forget to check the water level occasionally.

Other Add Ins I sometimes use:

  • vanilla or almond extracts, sometimes peppermint extract
  • apples past their prime for eating
  • pumpkin pie or apple pie spices
  • a few drops of essential oils
  • a Chai tea bag (after I’ve made my tea, cut the bag open and add the tea leaves)
  • grapes (I didn’t care for this selection though)


While I do love candles, this seems to be working just as well at scenting our home and gives us the added benefit of adding a bit of moisture back into the air which is usually so dry at this time of the year.  I also like the idea that I’m using produce that would otherwise likely have wound up thrown away and it’s a bit cheaper.

What tricks and tips do you have for keeping your home smelling nice?




Impending Ice Storm: Get Ready!

We have an impending ice storm on its way here.  If you are local, are you ready?

They are comparing the conditions to those preceding the “big one” of 2002.  In our ice storm of 2002, the power was out for a few days and it took a few days for the streets to improve as well.

I’m sure schools were out although my oldest son was not yet 2 at the time so I didn’t pay attention to that detail.  This time I am busy lamenting the fact it will not hit until Friday instead of tonight.  I wanted a 4 day weekend! However, the timing should allow for more people to be home safe so I will be glad for that.

For Today’s Tiny Tip on A Thursday (I’ve decided to continue with these in 2017), it’s all about getting ice storm ready.  Hopefully, you know all the preparedness basics so I’m sharing the little things.  Things that might get overlooked.  Things I’ve certainly overlooked in the past myself.

In The Car

  • Make sure your ice scraper is accessible.  Our weather has been milder this week so it may have been designated to the trunk.  Get it out before the trunk freezes shut!
  • Check your gas gauge.  If you do have to be out running around, it’s likely you might get stuck in traffic.  Make sure you have at the least 1/2 tank of gas.  How I wish I’d have filled my up my gas tank yesterday when it was in the 60s.  Still better to do it this morning in the cold than later in the cold AND the icy rain.
  • Maybe keep an extra pair of shoes or boots in there depending on what you are required to wear to work.

At Home

  • Do a basics check for things like toilet paper.  I had to restock our supplies this morning because we were running a bit low.  Check the coffee supplies as well!
  • Take out the trash! (And the recycling if it applies) Nobody wants to hang out with overflowing trash cans because it’s too slippery on the path to the outdoor receptacles.
  • Make sure the laundry is somewhat caught up and the house somewhat clean (I’m failing miserably at following my own advice with this one)

For the Kids

  • Remind them to make sure any entertainment devices are fully charged in case of a power outage!
  • Also, be thinking of easy entertainment/energy burners that don’t require electricity.  One of J’s Christmas presents was the game Apples to Apples Junior and I’m hoping we get a chance to all play it again as we had so much fun with it over their break.
  • Are you stocked on quick snacks?  Big storms tend to equal big appetites in my experience.


I’m sure there are more tiny tips to share but I have to get ready for work now.  Fingers crossed for me that the storm really does hold off until I’m home from work at least.  What little things do you do to get ready for the potential of being stuck inside and possibly without power?

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