25 hacks in January 2011

10 January 2011

Uses for old telephone books: craft and cutting surface

Who uses a paper telephone book anymore? We don't, yet we can't seem to get our phone company to stop leaving them on our doorstep. Now that leaf-pressing season's behind us, what to do with these behemoths? Use them as a cutting surface! My daughter has taken to using a...

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06 January 2011

This year, let your calendar remind you to try new seasonal activities

That's right, remind yourself to remember things! A brilliant use of the electronic calendar, from Anne: This morning I had a whole list of "next year for Christmas I want to ...." things I want to change/try/do better. But I can never seem to remember the things that I wanted...

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06 January 2011

Turn a secondhand evening dress into a winter cape

via gogingham.com My friend Sara of Go Gingham made this elegant cape for her daughter out of a dress found in the Goodwill bin. Yes, one must sew, but it sounds pretty easy for a beginner. Lovely! If you're a secondhand shopper, I imagine January's a good month to hit...

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05 January 2011

A "tape trick" for keeping your kid in her room at bedtime

via www.prudentbaby.com If you spend your evenings putting your kid back to bed (because he keeps getting up for water, potty breaks, etc.) this simple "tape trick" from Jaime at the lovely site Prudent Baby might just be the ticket. Your mileage will vary (as always) based the temperament of...

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05 January 2011

Thank you notes: quick ideas for kids

It's tempting to relegate thank you notes to the dustbin of outdated ettiquette. Busy schedules + email make physical paper notes (with actual postage stamps!) seem extra inconvenient. But the lesson they teach our kids is too important to ignore -- that time spent expressing gratitude is time well spent....

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04 January 2011

Rain gutter bookshelves!

via www.2dolphins.com In the comments of our post about using wall-mounted plastic file holders for toddler-friendly book storage, Rob shared a pointer to his homemade rain gutter bookshelves. Functional, elegant, cheap! So smart.

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04 January 2011

Never again will your kids ask: "Are the dishes in the diswasher clean?"

My kids are responsible for clearing their dishes after meals. In an effort to shrink the constant pile of dirty dishes next to the sink, the dishes are supposed to be scraped and placed straight in the dishwasher. Problem: the kids rarely notice if the dishes already in the diswasher...

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03 January 2011

Empty raisin boxes + LEGO parts = a train set!

via www.filthwizardry.com Look what some people make out stuff pulled from the recycling bin! Unbelievable. Visit Filth Wizardry for more photos, step-by-step instructions, and ideas for DUPLOs. Thanks for passing this along, Tamara!

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03 January 2011

Wall-mounted plastic file holders create toddler-friendly book storage

Bookshelves seem like a given in a kid's room, but really, does that make sense? Keeping books spine-out, sorting them by size, keeping them from falling over...it's not as easy, especially for little kids. Here's Dana's smart, simple solution: My son always pulled out every book on his bookshelf every...

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01 January 2011

Parenting lessons learned in 2010

2010 was a year of immense growth for my family, and for me as a parent. You never stop learning on this job. Parents of babies and toddlers, take note: it gets easier, and it also gets more complicated.

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