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6 Actually Useful Things I Learned On Pinterest

standard May 9, 2013 6 responses

I’ve made friends on Twitter and deepened them on Facebook, but Pinterest is the social media network has taught me quite a few truly handy tips and tricks that have become regular parts of our daily routines.

Don’t believe that there’s actually anything of value over there? Well, here are 6 tips that I couldn’t be happier I discovered. 

1) The spoon on the pasta pot trick

My kids eat pasta… a lot… and it always drove me batty when the pot would overflow all over the stove top. Who would have thought that something as simple as just laying a wooden spoon over the top of the pot would keep the pasta water where it was supposed to be?

2) Fixing a skipping DVD with… toothpaste

Every weekend my husband gets up with the kids, eats breakfast, feeds them breakfast, pops a movie into the DVD player, and comes back to bed. We relish those lazy weekend mornings. To me they’re the consolation prize for never having had my 3rd child.

To keep the movie selection wide and the kids’ attentions captivated we supplement our own collection with movies borrowed from the library so, all too often, the kids have to come find me to tell me that the movies are freezing or skipping.

I used to shrug and say “oh well.” Now I just reach for the toothpaste.

This trick has never not worked.

3) Picking the right bell peppers

This is one of those things that I learned and would never have guessed was even possible to learn or even care about before I stumbled upon it one night.

Bell peppers have a gender. This gender affects how many seeds you’ll find inside the pepper. No. Really.

Might not be a big deal to some, but I eat a lot of bell peppers, and I’m really glad I now know how to pick the ones with fewer seeds.

4) Pretty dish soap bottle

Like everyone else, I’m constantly doing dishes. As such, I don’t particularly want to store the dish soap under the sink, because that’s a pain. But I also don’t really want to store it next to the sink, because it’s ugly.

Then I complicated things even more by starting to buy the Costco brand dish soap which comes in gallon jugs. Try fitting that on the edge of your sink.

Instead of refilling whatever last plastic bottle of dish soap I used, I inspired myself from this Pinterest find and classed up my sink. The rest of the kitchen might look like a war zone, but my sink is well accessorized.

5) Another clever use for toothpaste

Just over a year ago we moved into our new house. Some pictures went right up, others… took a while. The easy ones went up because the previous owners had kindly left from nails in the walls. The others needed a little more planning and so they languished.

Until we figured out the toothpaste trick. You and your bare walls are welcome.

6) A radically different way to organize your clothing drawers

There’s little I hate more than folding laundry, unless it’s having folded everything nicely and then messing it all up to get to that shirt on the bottom.

And then I discovered this trick and angels sang.

Okay, maybe they didn’t sing per se, but I sure whistled a happy tune as I transformed my drawers. Now I can see all of my shirts at a glance and I don’t have to go digging to see if anything good is hiding at the bottom of the pile.

Every time I try doing something in a new way my husband looks at me, raises an eye brow, and says “Pinterest?” It’s almost become a family joke. But what can I say? He’s usually right.

Coming soon? 6 recipes I found on Pinterest and actually loved.

9 Reasons I’m Sad Summer is Ending

standard August 20, 2012 3 responses

Summer vacation draws to a close on Wednesday morning bright and early at 8:15. And, well, I’m just not ready. There are 9 whole reasons why and only one small thing keeping from locking the doors and pretending that it’s not time for real shoes and new backpacks filled with crisp and new school supplies.

1) I seriously only just got the hang of summer. Between the traveling, the activities, and the children who are used to being constantly entertained or told what to do, last week I realized that we have only just now hit our summer stride. It’s lovely and I would like to enjoy it some more please.

This is what summer is all about!

2) We haven’t done all of the things we were going to do. You know, the things. Not quite sure what things exactly since we didn’t have a plan, but I know there was more we wanted to do. Like, uh, strawberry picking! And uh, uh, whatever, we would have found things to do if we’d had more time!

3) I don’t want to organize the kids’ clothes. I like that they can just pull shorts and t-shirts out of the (mostly clean) hamper and just go. People have grown. Pants are too short. And I hate taking them shopping. Hate, hate, hate it. Especially shoe shopping with Little L who is obsessed with shoes and won’t ever leave a shoe store. And of course she’s the one who needs new, practical shoes, because every pair of shoes that I have caved and agreed to buy her this summer is supremely impractical and not acceptable for school.

4) Do we really have to stop swimming? I liked all of our afternoons at the pool. It was fun to sit and work while the kids swam, jumped, dove, and just splashed around. Who’s going to distract me from my work while they’re in class? Who’s going to ask me to videotape their latest exploits? (Not the cat, that’s who. He just sleeps all day.)

The goal for the summer was to get the kids swim safe. Diving is a pure bonus.

5) OK, I have secret to share with you. I love to sleep. Wait. That wasn’t a secret at all, anyone who’s ever read this blog knows how much I love to sleep, but the whole school starts at 8:15 thing is grim and I can’t quite wrap my brain around it. In order to go to the YMCA before the kids go to school and have time to shower, make lunch for C, braid Little L’s hair, and get everyone out the door on time, I think I have to wake up at 6, which is two hours earlier than I’ve been getting up during the summer weekdays and three hours before I get up on the weekend. Oh sleep, how I will miss you.

6) It is going to be so quiet here during the mornings. And I’m going to seriously enjoy the quiet, but at the same time, I really, really, really enjoy enjoy the happy sounds of the kids playing together in their playroom or outside. The happy sounds. The crabby, snappy, cranky sounds I can’t say I’ll miss a whole lot, but the happy sounds yes. It has been a real treat to get to spend so much time with the kids at home. For the first time since they started daycare we’ve had long stretches of time together. I quite like having them home and it’s a bummer that they have to be away again.

7) Other than some sibling skirmishes there has been relatively little angst this summer. Since the whole back-to-school thing has started to rear its ugly head, anxiety levels have started rising in both children. Little L is breaking out in tantrums. Lots and lots of tantrums. C is just curling up with angst and is snapping at everyone or just melting down at unexpected times. I already miss the easy-goingness of summer and school hasn’t even started yet. Sigh.

8) OK fine. I’m anxious too. I’ve never been a huge fan of change, or of new things. I’m secretly quite shy so the whole brand new school thing is also stressing me out a bit. Ok. A lot. And I hate packing school lunches. But mostly I’m just shy. (New parent orientation is tonight. Hold me. Please.)

9) I only just busted out my summer shoes! So many cute flip flops that I haven’t had a chance to wear yet! OK, fine, this was just a contrived reason to be sad summer vacation is ending. Because, let’s be honest, this is California, I’ll be wearing flip flops for at least another two if not three months. Really this last one is about hating school lunches. Seriously, C is so picky packing lunches is a daily torture I thoroughly enjoyed not being submitted to for the last two and a half months.Today we stocked up on snacks and other lunchbox-y type things, but Wednesday I get to start playing the “Let’s see where I can hide some protein!” game again. You’d think that by now I’d be good at it, but since she keeps changing the rules on me, I never quite seem to master it.

And the one reason I’m not despondent about the end of summer vacation?
Last night I sat at my desk and made a bubble outline type-thing of everything I hope to accomplish this Fall. There is so much I’m excited to tackle: getting my novel self-published, working on the new one, plans for Splash Creative Media, and so much more. It’s a lot. It’s quite overwhelming. But at the same time, it’s really exciting and I’m a little thrilled to finally put the lazier days of summer behind me so I can roll up my sleeves* and get to work.

Plus, school supplies being on sale means I can buy new notebooks. I’m a sucker for new notebooks. They make everything seem fun again.

*Figurative sleeves, you know, since it is still August and in the 80s here so really I’m still wearing t-shirts and tanks to go with my flip flops…