First Aid On The Go

What To Keep In Your Kit

First Aid On The Go

The other day my husband took my 4-year old out to the park. They went to a park with a very steep hill and took the scooter. It was warm so they were in t-shirts and shorts. The Kid refused to wear knee or elbow pads and his father did not insist. (FYI – helmet is not optional.) The result…all knees and elbows completely scraped up. (But head intact!)

A couple weeks ago, the Kid learned how to climb the tree in my parents' backyard. AND shimmy all the way back down…which left his belly covered in scratches. It looked like he had a run in with a mean alley cat.

These incidents keep reminding me that I really need to put together a first aid kit to stash in the car so that when we’re out and about, I’ll have what I need to tend to my daredevil child as he climbs, rides and jumps his way through the summer.

So this week, I’m going to find a medium sized, air-tight, plastic container and fill it with:

- Band-aids
- Gauze Pads (lots of different sizes)
- Adhesive Tape
- Antiseptic Wipes
- Hand Sanitizer
- Baby Wipes
- Polysporin
- Hydrocortisone Cream
- Sunscreen
- Tweezers
- Scissors
- Safety Pins
- Instant Cold Packs
- Bottle of Water
- Kids Tylenol
- Kids Benadryl
- Ziploc Baggies

And if you have a kid like mine, may I suggest you do the same?


Clutter Got You in a Flutter? Find Storage in Small Places

Making Your Living Room Livable

Clutter Got You in a Flutter? Find Storage in Small Places

We have a small house. A semi with an unfinished basement.

That means that we spend a lot of our family time on our main floor, mostly in our little living room. Playing games. Building Lego. Racing Hot Wheels. Watching movies. Relaxing.

But the room is only big enough for a few pieces of furniture and can get cluttered with toys and stuff really quickly. So we’ve maximized storage everywhere we can in this room, tucking it in any available space. Here’s where we put it all:

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1. In the Couch
We recently bought this fab corner couch from Ikea. It has some really great features for a small space.

#1 = it has a pull-out unit that you simply slide out and in two seconds the whole couch turns into the size of double bed. Perfect for the three of us to stretch out and comfortably watch a movie together!

#2 = The other half of the couch flips up and has storage space for our blankets and extra pillows. Genius.

2. In the Ottoman
Ikea to the rescue again. We have this ottoman in the middle of the room. It is where we play games, where have races and, when a tray is set on it, it functions as our coffee table. Most importantly, the lid comes off to reveal hidden storage. We keep Lego, Lincoln Logs, DVDs and some toys in there.

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3. In the Side Table
We have a really fantastic side table. It has been in my husband’s family for a long time, he got it when he moved out and we’ve used it ever since we moved in together. It is made out of an old chicken incubator!! I love that it has a history, looks cool, is reused from something that would have likely been thrown away, and it is great storage!

Just flip down the little front door and you have access to what is essentially a big storage box. Now we use it for our family games so we have them right on hand whenever the moment arises for an impromptu round of Bingo or Checkers.

4. Under the TV Stand
We use another antique piece to hold our TV and components, again courtesy of my Mother-in-Law. I think it is supposed to be a dining room hutch. But it has found a great home with us in our living room. It has a little drawer for our remotes and other TV accoutrements.

And we found a basket (Yes… from Ikea!) that fits perfectly in the opening at the bottom. This basket holds the Kid’s fave, played with every day, toys. Each evening, we gather up the toys from around the main floor and toss them in this basket. And voila our little room is all tidy and ready to go for the next morning.

So take a look around your living space and see if there’s anywhere you can tuck a basket or hide some stuff. And I’d love to hear about how you hide away things in your living and/or family room!


Enjoyable Spring Cleaning?

Is There Really Such A Thing

Enjoyable Spring Cleaning?

It has been a long winter.

Even though spring technically started weeks ago, it sure hasn’t felt like it. Whenever we had a warmish day it was gone as quickly as it arrived. It felt like a mirage. The next day snow was flying again. Or at least a bitter wind was blowing.

I have been anxiously awaiting spring this year – even more so than usual. Mid-January we moved into our new home, in the dead of winter. We love the house and one of the key selling features for us was that the kitchen opens right up to our cute little backyard and garden, with one of those magic recoiling screens across the entire doorway. But all winter long, we haven’t been able to use it.

We’ve been cleaning and organizing but being cooped up indoors… well… it still doesn’t feel totally spic and span. I’m sooo ready for the warm weather. I can’t wait to get that kitchen door open, crack some windows, and really air this place out!

Tips for Tackling the Tasks
Who wants to spend all of those precious warm spring days inside cleaning? Contrary to popular belief, not even me! Here are some ideas for tackling your clutter and those big spring cleaning jobs so that it doesn’t seem all that overwhelming and gets done as quickly and painlessly as possible. You might even enjoy it!

1. Work Together
Why should you be the only one doing the work? I say make spring cleaning a family affair. Luckily I have a husband who cleans as much as I do. (Oh wait. Truthfully? He cleans even more than I do!) And the Kid is big on helping. He always wants a job and to feel like he is part of the family team. Getting the whole family involved and making it a team effort means you get more done in a shorter amount of time and you all share in the responsibility.

2. Focus your Time
Try putting aside a certain amount of time, choosing a specific task, and setting an attainable goal to achieve in that window – like overhauling the kitchen on a Saturday morning or clearing out your basement storage area on a Sunday afternoon. By focusing on one space at a time, you can get a single room sparkling clean and feel a real sense of accomplishment. Then afterwards, make sure you go and enjoy yourself.

3. Make it Fun
If you have to be working indoors, make it as fun as possible. Maybe “whistling while you work” sounds like a cliché – but it really does help. Turn on your kids’ fave tunes while you clean. (Taio Cruz’s Dynamite is all the rage around our house these days!) Or make it into a game for the kids if you have competitive little ones. And give them jobs they like. Some kids love the water sprayers. Mine loves to vacuum!

4. Clear the Air
If you’re cleaning on a nice day, open up those windows and doors and let in the spring breeze. Makes such a difference. And if you can’t open a window, Febreze has lots of great odour eliminating products that can freshen the air in your home. My bathroom only has a glass block window. Living with a man and a little boy… well let’s just say that it is a room that is often in need of some serious re-freshening. Trust me, I put a Febreze Set & Refresh in there and it really helps.

5. Get Excited about the Change in Seasons
At the end of a long winter, I find it gratifying to put away winter coats and boots and purge outgrown or worn out items. Digging out our spring jackets, my gardening tools and the Kid’s scooter brings the excitement of the change in the weather. Pack that winter away, celebrate the spring and maybe even start thinking about summer!