Category Archives: Tiny Tip on Thursday

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.

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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?

Five On Friday: Ornaments And Other Stuff

Don’t you love my title?  Other stuff is enough to make English teachers everywhere cringe.

It’s my birthday today so I think I’m entitled (ha!) to have a lousy title for my blog post.  I haven’t joined in with Amy’s Five on Friday in a while even though I love to doing it.  A free morning and my birthday means a perfect Friday to join in the fun, I think.

Love Made My Home

I’m going to start by sharing my ornament story for my Tree Branch Tales series.  Yes, I’m sneaking several posts into this one!

        1. Our Kansas City Chiefs Ornaments

          These are 3 Hallmark ornaments that my husband’s mom gave him.  She used to always give us special ornaments for the tree.  A tradition that was in place before I ever arrived in my husband’s life.

          Lots of people were yelling this last night!

          This photo below will look like the same ornament but it is actually the other side of a different one.  I’m really not sure why we have 2 of these.  This is the other side of the ornament:

          Bet you didn’t know Santa was Chief’s fan!

          Just a fun fact about me for my birthday:  My mom actually brought me home from the hospital in a Kansas City Chiefs outfit.  Ironically, the team was pretty awful during my childhood years and I actually grew up cheering for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who happened to be the favorite team of one of my older brothers.

          I do now (mostly) cheer for the Chiefs

        2. J’s First Band Concert!

          Last night while the Chiefs were busy winning and securing 1st place in our division, we were actually attending a winter band concert over at the middle school.  The 6th, 7th, and 8th grade bands all played a few tunes along with some Christmas selections.  It was such a treat to see my youngest son all dressed up in fine attire for his first concert as a baritone player in the 6th grade band.

          I said no photos, please!

        3. The Christmas Break Countdown

          The last night of our Thanksgiving break, my youngest child asked if he could have the next day off school.  He needed a break.  I guess that is like needing a vacation from your vacation?   We are definitely in need of a longer break around here though.  We now have 7 days until we get there.  I’m honestly not sure we’re going to make it.  I found this fun countdown clock over here.  Christmas is 15 days away:

        4. Christmas Shopping

          Since that clock up there is giving me a bit of anxiety about the big day, I’ll likely gather up all my birthday coupons and spend some time Christmas shopping today.  I enjoy looking for the perfect gifts for my family and I am a teeny bit behind (I’m a bit of a last-minute shopper so I’m not feeling way behind quite yet).  I think it will be a fun way to spend my birthday.

        5. My Tiny Tip I Forgot To Share on Thursday: A Fun and Free App

My blurry photo of a Cedar Wax Wing bird

I love to bird watch (just no birds in my house as pets…as those kind scare me!) and shared this rather blurry photo on Facebook earlier in the week.  A friend mentioned wishing she knew her birds better and it reminded me of the great app I downloaded to my phone.  If you like to bird watch, check out the Merlin Bird ID App from the Cornell Lab.  It’s free and user-friendly!

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I’m afraid this post was tad messy and unorganized, just like the author.  How are you spending your Friday?

 

A Cookie Baking Tip And An Unrelated Ornament Story

I’m going to share my tiny cookie baking tip with you before I get to today’s tree branch tale.  This is 2 posts for the price of one (and the price is free!).

The first part of the post is my Tiny Tip on A Thursday.  tinytip Are you baking cookies for the holidays?  I’m baking cookies today for the holidays and because I am 2 lunch desserts short for tomorrow.  Sometimes the lunch items don’t make it through the entire week.  I’m also hoping to use my cookies as a bit of an incentive later.

Since I have a bit of time this morning, I’m making the family’s favorite: chocolate chip cookies and using this tip a close friend shared with me many years ago.  If you are an experienced baker, you may already know this tip.

cookie baking tip

Chocolate chip cookie

Today’s tiny cookie baking tip:

Bake your cookies for the lowest time given and then let them finish baking (and cooling) on the cookie sheet while the next batch bakes.  Don’t remove your cookies to the cooling rack until the next batch of cookies is completely cooked.  Let them stay on the cookie sheet the entire 9 minutes while the next batch bakes.  Then, remove them to the wire cooling rack.

I’ve found this tip to be especially useful if I’m using an Air bake cookie sheet.  Sometimes, I’ll even leave the cookies on those to cool through 2 batches of cookies.

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Today’s quick tree branch tale:

Rocking Horse Ornament

Rocking Horse Ornament

When I set the tree up on Sunday, I found this forgotten ornament hanging out in the branches.  I’ve had this little golden rocking horse since my freshman year of college.  An old college friend gifted it to me.  We never stayed in touch once I transferred to another college. However, I do think of her when I see this ornament and hope she is doing well.

Are you baking cookies for the holiday season or doing any decorating this week?  I’m really hoping my bribe of homemade chocolate chip cookies helps motivate my husband and boys to help me decorate for the holidays tonight.

 

Stock and Organize Your Medicine Cabinet Now

We’ve been battling the fall colds around here.  I think.  You know the stuff where you really aren’t sure if your nose is stuffy and head hurts because the wind is blowing (and is the wind  fiercely blowing today!) or you have picked up a bug somewhere.

Many of my organizing attempts fail.  However, my organized medicine cabinet has actually worked well and continues to do so.  I did recently update it ever so slightly as well as throw out some very much expired vitamins and medicines.

This is what the cabinet area looks like right now.

This is what the cabinet area looks like right now.

Why oh why was hanging on to an expired prescription antibiotic which caused me an extreme allergic reaction?  Into the trash it went.  I also devoted a bin to allergy medicines.  In case you’re wondering, my label maker broke and I haven’t replaced it yet.

I’ve learned the hard way the best time to buy new general cold and fever medicines is as soon as you run out of them.  Ever had a sick kid, need to give them fever reducer, and realized there wasn’t enough in the bottle?  It’s pretty sad and it has happened around here once or twice.  tinytip

That’s my tiny tip on a Thursday:  Buy cold (and other) medicines before you get sick.

It is so much better than standing sleep-deprived and/or sick in the store at a random hour trying to decide on the best children’s cold medicine to purchase or whether grape or cherry sounds nastier (I usually go for dye-free grape around here in the Ibuprofen choices).

Another good time to do this is right after everyone has recovered from illnesses.  I did this today at Target (Emergen-C happened to be on sale so I stocked up on that one also).  It might be the best time to restock as you have a good idea what cold medicines worked well and what ones didn’t seem to make any difference.

Also, I learned from my mistakes last year.  If you are feeling poorly, rest and take care of yourself!  It may not always seem possible but it has made a big difference for me so far this year.  I’m determined to be happy and healthy for all of the holiday season this year but the medicine cabinet is ready to go either way.

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