Organization Tips and Tricks

There are few things I like better than a good organization project. Much to McDaddy’s dismay, Pinterest helps with any and all organization projects I am interested in.

In fact, I have an entire Pinterest board full of tips to help me around the house.

Most recently, I found this on Pinterest:

So, I did what I typically do when I know McDaddy will roll his eyes at my newest idea.

I went to MY Daddy.

I showed him the picture of the pin and asked if he thought it was something he could do.

And of course, he did it.

It looks almost identical to the one on Pinterest and I love it!

Basically, instead of squatting down low enough to easily wrestle with the pots and pans, all I do now is pull the entire drawer out, get what I need and then push it back in.


It is just as fabulous as it looks.

If you’ve spent any time around here, you may remember that my Dad also built a wall unit for my mudroom.

 This took organization in our home to a whole new level.

I have forgotten how beautiful this wall unit was before we bogged it down with everything it was meant to hold.

And finally, my newest organizational project makes me smile every time I open the cabinet door.

Here is the before…

which, I’ll admit it B – A- D.

And just take a look at this:


I found the basket on the right at Wal-Mart. It is really long and works like a drawer which means, AGAIN, that I don’t have to get myself down on the floor and go digging through the mess to find Bentley’s puppy shampoo.

Oh, and I almost forgot about this great storage hack,

All of those crazy plastic bags are now kept nice, neat and tidy AND they smell nice and fresh, too!

Happy Hump Day, y’all.

What I Learned This Week

I got busy last week and totally forgot about WILTW until Wednesday.

By that time, I figured everyone else was as busy as I was trying to catch up with Christmas, so I decided to skip a week and spend my time enjoying my Christmas tree, chasing Bentley and baking some goodies for the neighbors.

The boys and I are enjoying a week visiting McDaddy’s family and I can barely type because I stuck my hand down in the clear medicine bag – that I bring along every. single. time. we travel – to retrieve Alex’s inhaler and I scraped my ring finger on my razor and now I have a painful, burning cut all the way down the bottom half of my finger.

So, yeah, that’s the first thing I learned this week.

Here’s all the other things I  learned this week.

1. The “prescription cream” prescribed by the ENT for my 5th ear flare up does not help one bit. In fact, it is not even absorbed by the ear.

2. Even though Alex has been cleared to eat almonds and walnuts, I am still hesitant to let him try the almonds.

3. Stein Mart is a fabulous place to find great clothing.

4. According to the ENT, I have a clogged sinus.

5. The forties have not been great to this ol gal.

6. Barbecue chicken pizza is yummy.

7. There is a Jaguar on a lot near our house that costs $80,000.

8. I can’t imagine having the money to purchase a $80 thousand dollar car.

9. Sitting in the bed, leaning against the headboard in the hotel room to type this post is super uncomfortable.

10. Pandora has some great new charms available, as well as, a necklace that is exactly like the bracelets.

11. The “O Wondrous Night” show at Sea World is fabulous and I suggest you see it should you find yourself near Sea World during the Christmas season.

12. When you find a great pair of Crocs flip-flops and you buy them several times over the past three years, you should, under no circumstances, allow the Crocs salesperson to talk you into trying a different pair.

13. You should always double check your hotel door before leaving. They are heavy and they don’t always close completely.

14. Before getting your panties in an uproar about a story in the media, you should check it out for yourself, first.

15. Four-month old Yorkies love wrapping paper.

16. If you “lose” a check, it is a good idea to go back through your texts around the date you lost it. There is a good chance, you may find a text explaining to someone that you put it in their child’s backpack.

17. It is never a good idea to put a check in a kid’s backpack. They will likely not remember it’s there and by the time you remember it, you may also forget what you did with it.

18. It is a huge relief to discover that a $300. check you thought was lost has been found.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Easy enough?


What I’ve Learned This Week: Florida Edition

This list will be short and sweet because I am on vacation and haven’t the time for a long, windy tale. Also because Dancing With The Stars premieres a little later and I need to give it my full attention.

A few things I learned so far this week….

1. Even if you are headed to Florida for Spring Break week, it is probably a good idea to pack warm clothes because it is possible it will be 50 friggin’ degrees.

2. A 13 hour drive to Florida will be a lot less painful if you are travelling with an iPhone. Especially if you have the Words With Friends APP.

3. You know you are spending too much time on Twitter when the thoughts in your head are accompanied by hash tags.

4. It is possible to spend a day shopping at an outlet mall and purchasing ONLY 3 packages of socks. Unlikely, but possible.

5. The folks at Clarkes who designed the cute leather travel size handbag should have taken into account the size of an iPhone when designing the cell phone pocket.

6. When the wind howls at Fort Walton Beach, Florida, it will sound like a train. It may take you a fair amount of time to figure the noise out.

7. The Spinach/Artichoke Dip from David and Harry’s (or it might be Harry and David’s for all I know) outlet store  is nasty.

8. I saw two Saturn Skys today within 1/2 mile of one another. In case there is any doubt, I still love that little car.

9. Nothing motivates people to spout off on twitter or facebook like politics.

10. Even with 50 degree temps, being in Florida on Spring Break is wonderfully relaxing.

Okay. That’s all from here. How ’bout you? Anything special you learned this week? I’d love to hear all about it. You can head over to Musings Of A Housewife to see other things that people have learned this week or to join in on the What I Learned This Week fun!

Trashy Neighbors

It’s been another one of those weeks.

And by those weeks, I mean one where I learned so much stuff. I appreciate Jo-Lynne so much hosting this carnival, because the fodder? It flows so easily on Tuesdays…

1. Once the alarm clock goes off, I have about 14 seconds to get my rear-end out of bed, or else, it is likely that I will fall back asleep and wake up way later than usual therefore making our day start out in total chaos.

2. Likewise, when folding laundry while Alex is at preschool, it is never a good idea to “rest one’s eyes for a bit” because next thing one might know is her cell phone ringing to be informed that “we still have Alex here” minutes after he should have been picked up.

3. It is difficult to enjoy the sweet and spicy cajun chex mix when Jessica Simpson is on The View recalling the media announcing that “she’s gained a lot of weight” when that means that Jessica went from a size two to a size six.


4. If you own a Dodge Caravan, and happen to be driving it one day when the gas pedal gets stuck, you may want to clean the throttle body because the folks at Dodge reported to McDaddy that they “see 2-3 minivans per week because the gas pedal gets stuck” and it is always because the throttle body needs to be cleaned.

Am I the only person on the face of the earth that thinks perhaps that Dodge should get their rear in gear and do something about the whole “throttle body” business?

5. Remember these bad boys from Kelloggs?


Yeah, well, the folks at Kelloggs decided to do away with these, replacing them with the Cookies and Cream poptart mess.

Um, Kelloggs should know better than to mix the oreo, the milkshake, or the cheesecake with their poptarts. If I want a milkshake, I’ll go to the Dairy Queen. And if I want some cheesecake, well, never mind about that because I don’t like cheesecake, but you get my point, right? Please Kelloggs, if you’re perusing the internet today, please, please, please, bring back the chocolate vanilla creme poptarts.

6. When you are playing Words With Friends on your beloved iPhone, and you are looking for a boat-load of points, you might have better luck moving tiles around forming nonsense words. I scored 52 points with the word trode, which according to Google is the past tense of tread.

I say it all the time people, this blog is about so much more than just entertainment.

7. Samoas are worthy of Girl Scout goodness. Proof that one should not judge a book by its coconut cover.

8. If your neighbor has trash strung out all over their driveway, it is not because they are trashy neighbors, rather, there is a pretty good change that a crow has pecked at the bag of trash that is sitting on the ground beside the closed trashcan. While cursing the crow under your breath picking up the trash you will more than likely be thinking that you need another large trashcan.

9. Sadly, the simple fact that I titled this post ‘Trashy Neighbors’ will more than likely drive some traffic to this blog.

10. There is a new Coldstone Creamery within 30 or so miles from my home.

11. That’s How I Roll was just as delicious as I remembered it being.

12. I will now be looking for reasons to travel to a town 30 miles or so away from my home.


Because that’s how I roll!

That is all.

Another Post About Learning Stuff

I am a happy girl tonight.

The folks from Slowes, er, I mean Lowes showed up here at the McResidence with two ginormous rolls of carpet for our new playroom/rec room. Remember this red and yellow walls I showed you a few weeks ago?

Well, I learned that while the red and yellow paint does indeed look fabulous, adding the white trim will make the paint pop. And then earlier today I learned that having the carpet installed transforms the room completely. Seriously, the room looks wonderful.

Then about thirty minutes ago, I conned McDaddy into applying the Wall Words in the playroom. Great words that are so fitting for our family.

Just after that, while McDaddy showered, I decided to take matters into my own hands and hang some pictures. I am smiling just thinking about the pictures and how awesome they look hanging around in there. I don’t watch much HGTV but the room rivals (in my humble opinion, mind you) the rooms you see on that network and I’d be willing to bet that we did it much cheaper than they because we did most of the work themselves.

I would love nothing more than to post 423 pictures of the finished area but it is late and I am tired. And, on top of that, I have four boxes of girl scout cookies hiding out in the corner cabinet and I intend to show one of them some love in a bit. Taking all of that into account, I’m sorry to say that the big reveal will have to wait. And, dare I say that my mind is already racing about our next remodel project which will include new flooring in our laundry room (area?) and a newly reconditioned bathroom. After that, we’ll turn a huge junk room into a beautiful mud room which I have already decorated in my mind.

So, just to recap, I learned that fresh paint makes a room look good.

Crisp white trim makes the room look better.

Carpet, wall words and pictures make the room look better AND COMPLETE.

Oh, and I also learned that the more girl-scout cookies you buy, the more girl-scout cookies you will eat.

Just sayin.

Visit Musings Of A Housewife for more lessons learned this week.

Oh, and I also learned that when there are girl-scout cookies on the mind, it is totally possible to publish a post without giving it a title.


What I Learned This Week

what-i-learned-this-weekAs always, I have a long random list of things I’ve learned. Funny thing is that unless I write them down or note them on the iPhone notepad, I often have trouble remembering what they are. Especially if I’m hopped up on chocolate and Olympic viewing.

Most of the uniforms (costumes?) worn in the Olympics could double as body spanx.

The Skeleton is like a train wreck ready to happen a wild and crazy sport and I enjoy watching it.

I am a huge fan of ice skating, however, the Ice Dance Compulsories had me thinking my time could be better spent cleaning a toilet.

The Free Dance however is a different story.

Just because your four-year-old will not recite his Pioneer Club memory verses for you, you should not assume that it’s because he doesn’t know them.

Unless you have a lot of random time on your hands, you probably should not download (?) the Words With Friends app on your iPhone. Oh, and if you do get the Words With Friends APP you might as well go ahead and get the Lexeme APP.

It really bothers me when United States Olympic Atheletes do not put their hand over their heart during The Star Spangled Banner. And each time it happens, I am more bothered by it. Do something with those funky green flowers and show some respect folks.

I love give-aways! In fact, I’m hosting one today over on my Review Page – go have a look!

IHOP has some really good pancakes which stands to reason because they are the International House of Pancakes. It’s just that I only recently ordered pancakes there and discovered the big warm blob of butter sitting atop the stack. I can’t be sure but I think the warm butter makes the pancakes better than normal pancakes.

[NOTE TO SELF: Purchase real butter at the grocery store for your next pancake breakfast extravaganza]

#ff over at Twitter means Follow Friday. I had people on Twitter #ff’n me and I had no idea what it meant. Reluctantly, I came up with some things in my head and then remembered that my friend Google would surely know. Granted, it would have been much easier to ask the Twitter Tweeps about it, however, I feared it was something I wouldn’t want attention drawn to.

Thanks, Google.

Seeing the new Thesis Theme pop up all over the blogosphere makes me wish I had the sense to change my own theme.

And speaking of the new Thesis Theme, pop over to Musings Of A Housewife to see the new theme and to visit other What I Learned This Week posts.

If You’re In The Market For Random, You’ve Come To The Right Place!

As is usually the case, I have learned a great deal of random stuff this week. So, if you’re in the market for random, you have come to the right place my friend.

The only problem is that I have one eye on the 2010 Winter Olympics and one eye on my laptop screen. So, I hope you’ll excuse the fact that I am using the handy-dandy list to compile the stuff I learned.

1. I learned that barbecue ribs (or peas, or strawberry poptarts) is capable of causing heartburn. Really bad heartburn. The likes of which I have not seen since pregnancy. Blech.

And no, that is not a hint of any kind.

I’m just sayin.

In fact, the heartburn has reached a level that has sent me on the search for some tums.

2. A very determined stubborn four-year-old has no qualms climbing on top of a cozy coupe if it makes it possible to retrieve his beloved cowboy boots from the top shelf in his closet.

3. The very fact that my four-year-old is willing to use the cozy coupe as a ladder is proof that perhaps I should prepare myself for a future of possible probable disasters.

4. No matter how careful you are when painting, you will discover paint in places you would never expect weeks after the job is completed.

5. If you forget to add washing detergent to the load of laundry you are washing, the stains will probably not come out.

6. If your four year old is in the mood, you can get some awesome pictures of him.


7. I like the name Kessa better than the name Kaydence, but not as well as the name Kendi. Our niece, Kessa is due any day. The name is growing on me.

8. TweetDeck is a lot better than Echofon. (For those of you not in the iPhone Cult Club, Tweetdeck is an iPhone App for Twitter).

9. When one decides to change her Twitter name from ‘Inmates’ to ‘JulieatInmates‘ she should work out all possible interpretations in her head or else a concerned blog reader might come up with this mess –  ‘Juli Eatin Mates’


10. Before changing a Twitter username, one should consider the fact that she has no earthly idea how to change the name on her professionally designed Twitter home page.

Double Dang.

11. It bothers me when the outfits (costumes?) of the Olympic Ice Skating Figure Skating pairs do not match.

Yes, Russia. I’m talking about you!

12. NBC has some really clever shows on the horizon (Parenthood, A Minute To Win It, and another one I can’t think of right now!). Likewise, the new show Undercover Boss is a refreshing change in reality TV.

13. When watching the 2010 Olympic Games while doing your weekly What I Learned This Week post, it is likely, your post will be random longer than you expected.

14. Thankfully, expired Tums are better than no Tums.

Okay, I’m done!

Visit Musings Of A Housewife to find out what others have learned this week!

What I Learned This Week [About Painting]

I have been a paintin’ fool the past three weeks. I’ve painted eight walls and a set of cabinets.

I don’t so much mind painting, but I’ve learned that I may not be cut out for a career in painting. I’m a messy painter, and I’m a perfectionist, so you can understand why I have such a hard time when I paint. The messiness and the perfection just do not get along well. 

I’m am so pleased with the results. For instance, we turned this plain basement wall,


Into a new playroom wall,

Painting appeals to me because I am all about immediate gratification. This wall transformed in a matter of hours. I can’t wait to get carpet down in this room so that our boys can have a bright great place to play.

Here are just a few of the things I learned about painting…

1. A ladder is no place for a clumsy girl like me.

2. If you have OCD are particular about things it will take you longer to clean your brush and roller than it will to actually paint.

3. When painting, you should have a wet rag on hand because fresh paint wipes away much easier than dry paint.

4. For every touch-up job you do, another touch-up job will present itself. Dang.

5. Painting a ceiling is much easier during the day in the natural light than it is after dark with lights shining in your eyes.

6. If you are painting the ceiling in your laundry room, it is probably a good idea to remove all dirty clothes within a 25 foot radius.

7. It is a lot easier to paint if you know the flooring will be removed and new carpet installed in weeks.

8. It takes paint rollers a sweet forever to dry

9. Instead of attempting to match a paint color to your existing wallpaper border in aisle fourteen at Lowes while your two little boys – wound up like eight day clocks – bombard you with 327 questions about why they can’t paint the playroom Jimmie Johnson blue, how much longer you’re gonna take, and where we gonna eat at?  you should choose a stack of paint color samples and examine them in the peace and tranquility of your home after the kiddos are in bed.

10. White trim will make a bright red wall pop!

How about you? What did you learn this week?

Head over to Musings of a Housewife to see what others have learned. Oh, and this post is also linked to Oh Amanda‘s Top Ten Tuesday.

Reaching New Heights

I’m curled up in my BBB chair watching The Bachelor preparing to write my What I Learned This Week post.

I used to be a big Bachelor fan back in the days of Ryan and Trista, but I found it disturbing that every rose ceremony was slated to be the “most dramatic rose ceremony ever.” Not to mention that there were other more-worthy shows like Dancing With The Stars, American Idol, and Desperate Housewives. Clearly, something had to go. I ditched The Bachelor some years ago and only watched it this evening because there was talk of Vienna “The Vixen” and I wanted to see what all the hype was about. Jakiepoo is a cutie, but I feel like a stranger peeking in the window because I’ve not been following the show this season.

In addition to learning that The Bachelor is still as goofy as it ever was, I learned a plethora of things.

Don’t you  just love that word, plethora?

I learned that when painting your basement, there is a pretty good chance that the paint will be on every surface and every article of clothing within a ten-mile-radius, especially if you have two children under the age of seven.

Mario Cantone is annoying. Just sayin’

Lady Gaga is something else.

During a follow-up appointment with my medical Doctor today, I discovered that I am, in fact, five-foot-nine-inches tall, not five-foot-eight-inches-tall as I have reported for the last twenty-some years of my life.

Dang, who knew?

 Blog posts are typically more complete if I work on them for a day or so instead of posting them right away.

I am a firm believer that people should Google themselves monthly.

25% of all Girl-Scout cookies sold are thin mints.

Many of the items on the IKEA website are not available for purchase online which stinks because there is not an IKEA store in WV or anywhere close to us and there are a few items on their site I would love to purchase for our new playroom/laundry room project.

IF you have suddenly have major blood pressure problems, and you have an IUD, you should probably Google the IUD because it is POSSIBLE that your Mirena IUD is to blame as the source of the problem. I will know for sure in a few weeks and I will definitely keep you posted!

That’s a wrap.

Head over to Musings Of A Housewife for more things people learned this week.

Ridiculous Amount Of Stuff I Learned This Week

what-i-learned-this-weekFolks, every week I wonder if I’ll have enough junk information to share with y’all for Things I Learned This Week.

And every week, I surprise even myself with the ridiculous amounts of stuff I am still learning despite my 36 years on the planet.

And this is some good stuff, if I do say so myself.

1. The Pinewood Derby sponsored by the boy scouts is a super-duper big deal. So big in fact, that my sweet [seven year old, mind you] Stevie came home from scouts with a two page list of rules, regulations, and instructions pertaining to the design and assembly of the Pinewood derby car.

2. Likewise, the Girl Scouts are apparently pretty particular about the official start date of their annual cookie sell.  And, apparently their pushy mamas are ready to have a knock-down-drag-out if it means they can get one box ahead of the next gal.

Oh, Tagalongs, I cannot wait to be reunited with you!

In moderation, of course. (Ahem!)

3. If you are dining at TGIFridays and you decide to order the three course meal deal for $12.00, you should know that the amount of food that will be presented as part of the meal deal is more than enough for two people to share. It is a gigantic amount of food with portions large enough for two people.

4. If you and your hubby both order the meal deal at the TGIFridays and then decide that the remainder of both of your main courses will make a great lunch come Monday, you should probably remember to take the food with you when leaving the restaurant. 

5. Apparently the dryer in our home is not working properly. Because if it were, it would not be shrinking my clothes to a point that made them tighter in January than they were in December.

[McDaddy, perhaps we need to have this checked out!]

6. By clicking on the time-stamp of a tweet, you can get the URL link on Twitter.

7. When you have [dark] brown sheets on your bed, they will remind you of a Hershey bar every. single. night.

Or something else that happens to be brown.

8. If your seven year old zips his Carters jacket and the pull-tab breaks off of the zipper, the nice people at Carters will either send you a brand new jacket or fix the pull-tab and reimburse you for shipping.


If you own an iRobot Roomba and it decides to run only in a circle for the rest of its natural life, you should take the time to call iRobot and explain the situation. Once you explain your situation, you should fully expect the non-English-speaking-gal to attempt to sell you another Roomba at a discounted price. At this point, you should keep your cool, and be prepared to explain the situation again once the *English speaking manager guy takes the call.


Now, at this point, English speaking manager guy will again attempt to sell you another chassis for a discounted price. Once you let *ESMG tell you what he has to offer, you need to dig your heels in and stand your ground. After you get through the initial nonsense, you might want to mention the whole Boston iRobot Summit and the fact that you are a blogger with a blog. In a matter of minutes, ESMG will be asking where you would like your [free] new iRobot Roomba shipped to.

(My new iRobot Roomba showed up on my doorstep today!)

10. Peeling a banana from the bottom is easier than peeling it from the top and will actually cause the “strings” to adhere to the peel.

That’s it for this week.

You are welcome!


A big thanks to Jo-Lynne over at Musings Of A Housewife for allowing me to host Things I Learned This Week here at From Inmates To Playdates last week. I would also like to thank each of you who linked up to Things I Learned This Week here at my place. It was a lot of fun visiting each of your blogs.