Welcome to Mama Lisa's Tips!
That's right, this is the page of motherly wisdom. You know, it's that kind of knowledge that you can only gain with age, uh I mean, experience. :)
My mother (like many mothers) can think quickly and cleverly. Her solutions are simple and creative, and we want to share them with you. Check out her tips below!
As the mother of a professional organizer, I can attest to Nealey's skills! When she was about 3 years old she began her organizing career. She would separate all of the red and blue crayons and carry them in each hand! Then she began collecting all sorts of brushes and combs! The rock and key chain collection came next!
Over the years, Nealey has always kept her room and belongings very neat and organized. In fact, her friend's parents would invite her over every weekend, because she definitely had a knack for keeping a room presentable. She would always offer and jump in to organize her friend's rooms to the delight of many a parent!
Hmmmm...I wonder where she got her craftiness from...
The Family That Cooks Together...
A great way for everyone in the family to contribute is to have each member cook one night a week. Everyone eats, so why not share in the responsibility?
This is also a fantastic way to teach your children about all that is involved in preparing a meal. If there are three children in the family, one child can set the table, one can cook the meal and the third can do the dishes! Alternate this system, so that each child does each of these tasks once a week.
Let's break this down into steps.
1. Everyone makes a list of what dishes they would like to cook for the week. There are some great cookbooks out there that only use four or five ingredients!
2. Make a list of the ingredients needed for each dish and add that to the grocery list.
3. If possible, take a family trip to the grocery store. Make sure that when picking out the items needed, you look at the ingredients on the labels. Be mindful of too much sodium, sugar, fat, etc. This is a great learning experience for your children, as it teaches them how to read labels, price items and decide what to buy. (There are only twenty different kinds of pasta sauces on the shelves!)
4. When you get home from the market, put away the groceries in the fridge by grouping the ingredients for each dish together. Again, if possible, do this with your children. This instills organizational habits and also makes it easy to find what you need come meal prep time.
5. Depending on age, experience and time, have the child responsible for that night's dinner prepare and cook one dish or the whole meal. For example, have a younger child cook one side dish or appetizer.
6. Have another child set the table and then serve dinner!
7. After the meal, everyone clears the table and brings everything in to the kitchen where another child is washing dishes.
Obviously life happens, and it isn't possible to do every one of these steps every night. Take what I said here and apply it however you see fit to your life and family routine. Bon Appetit!
DIY Holiday Accents
Hello again, it's Mama Lisa here and the holidays are approaching once again! Below I've listed some easy, do-it-yourself tips on how to infuse autumn accents into your home's decor. Enjoy!
Put pine cones and pomegranates in a decorative bowl together to make a nice festive centerpiece. When the pomegranates are ripe, peel and eat!
Place a bowl of walnuts or pecans in the center of a table. Garnish the table with pine cones and top it off with a sprinkle of pine needles. The nuts also serve as an instant treat!
Arrange cinnamon sticks on a plate patchwork-style. This serves as a great base for appetizers and also gives off a refreshing aroma! To add to the look, place anise seeds around the edges.
Have fun during the holidays!
One Man's Treasure
Whenever I visit Nealey, I always come home with some great finds from her donation pile so...
Keep a constant give away pile somewhere in your house. When it starts to pile up, don't forget to think about family and friends that might want your discards. Remember one man's junk is another man's treasure - or so the saying goes!
When loading the dishwasher with utensils, group like with like. In the compartments of the utensil holder put forks with forks, spoons with spoons and so on. This makes for easy sorting when it comes time to unload! Happy Washing!
**Remember to put knives facing downward so as not to cut yourself.**
I made Nealey's baby food when she was just a wee one! I would make chicken soup with the noodles, carrots etc. After the soup cooled down, I would take the carrots, chicken, etc., puree each separately and put them in ice cube trays. This made it very simple for me to have an instant meal for her. I defrosted a cube of each and presto! Dinner was ready in minutes, especially when she was HUNGRY! This avoided a cranky baby, and I had more time to spend with her rather than trying to prepare a meal in a hurry!
When Nealey was going to preschool, I had her pick out her clothes the night before and lay them out in the shape of a body. This not only avoided early morning "what to wear" arguments, it also taught her where the clothes should go. Hence the socks and shoes together, shirt, pants, belt, etc. This is a good teaching tool for the little ones about dressing themselves!
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