31 hacks in October 2010

18 October 2010

Bed bug prevention: Ziploc Big Bags or a sealed plastic storage box

As a follow-up to our discussion about avoiding bed bugs in used clothing, one of the suggestions was to seal second-hand purchases in a Ziploc bag before putting them directly into the wash. It occured to me that keeping a stash of Ziploc Big Bags in the trunk would be...

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18 October 2010

Chore cards: a creative way to break down the chore list

via blog.aussiepumpkinpatch.com My daughter finds chore lists daunting, so I came up with the idea of creating chore cards: one chore per 3x5 index card. Somehow flipping through a pack of cards feels more doable than going down a list. (Great use for my laminating machine.) I figured I'd Google...

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16 October 2010

Reinspiration: the weekly meal plan

via unclutterer.com Despite all of my crowing and encouragement about how meal planning is a Good Thing, I still fall off the wagon. It's grocery shopping day, and I'm spectacularly unmotivated to even think about what we're eating this week. On days like this, I turn to Google hoping someone...

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15 October 2010

Avoiding bed bugs in used clothing

If you're a buyer of second-hand kids' clothes, a lover of the "free bin," or a garage sale or thrift store shopper, you need to be wary about bedbugs. Bedbugs are making a comeback across the United States and can stow away in furniture, mattresses, clothing...just about anything. I'm not...

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15 October 2010

Swap Halloween costumes at ThredUP

Clothing swap site ThredUP is hosting an online Halloween costume swap! List and send your costumes for free, and get costumes for a $5 flat rate plus shipping. Go to ThredUP for details.

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14 October 2010

Birthday party idea: preportion ice cream scoops with a muffin tin

Streamline the birthday party cake-and-ice-cream delivery by scooping the ice cream into single-serving portions ahead of time! The fantastic idea appeared in the comments of another muffin tin hack (Muffin tin as drink serving tray). Thank you, MaryG (and thanks to your sister for coming up with this idea in...

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14 October 2010

Press homemade graham cracker crusts with a potato masher

Getting ready to bake your pumpkin pies? If your recipes involve a graham cracker crust, I've discovered the best tool for pressing the crumb mixture into the pie pan: a potato masher. The crust turns out smooth and even, and comes together much quicker than if you use your fingers....

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13 October 2010

12 October 2010

HowStuffWorks has podcasts!

via www.howstuffworks.com Thanks to Kendra's comment left on my recent MyLifeScoop post about smart podcasts, I've learned that the site HowStuffWorks has its own set of fascinating podcasts. Every one sounds interesting: Stuff Your Mom Never Told You, Stuff You Missed in History Class, Stuff of Genius (about inventions) and...

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12 October 2010

Old comic books are perfect for older emerging readers

With my kids, reading ability and storyline readiness haven't progressed at the same rate. One kid was an advanced reader in Kindergarten (and could read stories for which he wasn't developmentally ready), and the other has the wisdom and maturity of a 30-year old but, at 7, is still learning...

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11 October 2010

MyLifeScoop: Online discount sites help you keep your change

Who would turn down free money? In my next post for Intel-sponsored MyLifeScoop, I detail how you can save a few bucks at online discount sites. No coupon clipping required (unless you're in to that sort of thing). Let me know what you think in the comments at MyLifeScoop. Have...

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11 October 2010

Parenting a pessimist? This book's for you.

To call me an optimist is an understatement. People used to make fun of my relentless tendency to find rainbows hiding in thunderstorms. Age and experience have tempered the glare of my sunniness, but I'm still pretty damn positive. And so, the world, in its wisdom and ironic humor, gave...

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08 October 2010

Easy Halloween Tips: Best of Parent Hacks

Halloween should be easy, creative, and, most of all, FUN. Here are some of the best Halloween tips we've collected here at Parent Hacks. We add new tips as they come in; come back often! Getting ready How do you prepare a toddler for his first Halloween? Never again forget...

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06 October 2010

Turn Duplo bricks into alphabet blocks

via www.filthwizardry.com What I love about Parent Hacks: people's creativity and ingenuity never ceases to amaze me. Be sure to click through to read the full post -- there's more to this brilliant hack. Thank you, Tracy, for the pointer!

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06 October 2010

Cookie sheet as car travel tray

Brandi's simple road trip hack would work for drives of any length: In preparation for a road trip, I was researching travel trays for my kids. I figured trays would help the kids keep busy coloring or playing with their small toys and simplify eating in the car. But everything...

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