Category Archives: Tiny Tip on Thursday

Bag of Activities for When Mom is at Work

As much as I love working at the preschool, it is harder on days when my boys are home for the summer.  They are old enough to stay on their own and yet my youngest still misses me (shh! it’s a secret) and needs things to do.

For today’s Tiny Tip on a Thursday, I decided to share one thing I did to try to help him.

I put together a Mom’s At Work bag for him to look in and get activities throughout the day.  Sometimes, he does the activities and sometimes he doesn’t mess with the bag at all.  I’m okay either way.

While it’s for him, I admit it is also for me in that it helps a tiny fraction in alleviating some of the leaving the kids at home alone guilt.  Here’s a quick peek into what is currently in the bag.  I do try to change it up each day I work (unless J hasn’t bothered with it, then I leave it alone).  Mom's At Work Bag

My main goal is to not spend any or at least very minimal money on the bag.

Mom's At Work Bag

Our current bag

The current bag I picked up for a birthday present and then realized, it was much too big.  It makes a great “when mom’s at work bag” though.

I also make it a goal to spend as little money as possible on the contents of the bag. Most these items came from around our house with maybe 1-2 items coming from the Dollar Tree.

 What is in the Mom’s At Work Bag:

  1. Library book
  2. Note with ideas of things to do: I usually list them as challenges such as build me a bird feeder out of Lego’s,
  3. Question note (This question was why is this full moon called the flower moon?)
  4. Not pictured, a simple note from me including the times I’m working and when I’ll be calling to check in on them.
  5. Science “make your own snow” experiment
  6. 100 piece puzzle
  7. Box of mini erasers for a bowling set (I’m amazed at the creative uses I’ve seen kids around here find for these, mini bowling sets, drawing faces on them to create characters, etc…)

In the past, I’ve also given J special Lego sets (I preferred sets from the Creator series for this purpose) to only play with when mom was at work.  I kept them well-hidden. However, I prefer the Mom’s At Work bag option for the cost-effectiveness.

What tips do you have for keeping kids occupied while you are at work?


Note: I started this post last year and it sat in the draft folder for almost a year as other posts continually took precedence.  The bag is gone now put to its proper use to wrap a birthday present.  Don’t worry, I also returned the library book long ago!  J’s a year older and just slightly more mature now.

The bag may still come out as I’m scheduled to work a full week later this summer. Lately, I’ve been thinking of re-purposing it into one of those I’m Bored bags or boxes seen all over Pinterest.

Frosting Cinnamon Rolls

Hey, how about writing a post about frosting cinnamon rolls while on a sugar detox.  That’ll be fun.

frosting cinnamon rolls

Let me just apologize now for all the references to the sugar detox but it’s on my brain this week.  I have the headache to prove it!   I can’t even imagine if I’d have gone cold turkey and cut it out completely.

Just these tiny steps have been a bit hard.  Tomorrow, we’re supposed to not eat any packaged foods containing sugar so I’m thankful to be working a few hours.  Hopefully, I won’t be too cranky.

In the mean time, I’m coping by pinning way too many desserts I’ll probably never make over on my Pinterest boards.  I also thought it would be a fun week to share my tiny tip for frosting cinnamon rolls.  As you can see from the photo up there, we’re all about the Pillsbury brand around here.

I’ve just never had great luck making them from scratch.  G and I do love the Sister Schubert cinnamon rolls in the metal pan but unfortunately, we’re the only two.  I’ll try not to focus on the fact that some of those are in my freezer (forgot to make them on Easter) while I give you my tiny tip for frosting the Pillsbury rolls.

How To Frost Cinnamon Rolls:

This tip is for those of you who can’t stand dry cinnamon rolls.  You know that kind you buy at the store that are beautifully frosted on top and a sad, dry disappointment underneath.  The Pillsbury ones can get that way as well.  Frosting them my way helps avoid that disappointment.

One time my husband burned a batch of cinnamon rolls and we had double frosting.  THAT really made them good.  However, that’s not the tip.

The easy steps for adding the frosting:

  1. While they are still hot, put a tiny dab of frosting in the middle of each roll (like the photo above) so it will sink down into the middle layers.
  2. Let sit for a second or two
  3. Go back and frost the cinnamon rolls with the remaining icing

One thing to note is don’t put too big a dab of frosting in the middle of each roll or you will run out of frosting before you get to all the rolls.

What kind of cinnamon rolls do you like?


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


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