Desperate Housekeeping for busy mums and dads

From one mother to another

Archive for the category “Family”

New blog! Hope to see you there!

Hi all!
As some of you know, I recently launched a new blog: Expat Mum in Luxembourg.

At the begining, I thought it would make sense to maintain both blogs, with separate themes, but quickly I figured it out that my themes are always around Family Life and Kids.

So, I decided that the new blog will be my new online ‘home’, with new and fresh ideas. As for the Desperate Housekeeping for Busy Mums and Dads, I’ll start to gradually migrate the best contents into the new blog as well.

Hope to ‘see’ you at the ‘Expat Mum in Luxembourg‘ blog and, please, don’t forget to “Follow It”.

Cheers!
Rute

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Saving Strategies 101 – Getting Started

Today I’m starting a new series of posts regarding Saving Strategies at Home. Personally, I believe that even when you think you’re saving in everything, you can always find something more with a little imagination! So, let’s use our imagination! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ll divide these series of posts into simple lessons we could easily introduce gradually into our day-to-day life. So, grab your pencil and start taking your notes. At the end, I’m gonna ask for your contribution as well! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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The first lesson will be on ‘Decluttering‘. Keep tuned!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Luxembourg – Thank You Wort.lu!

I’m very grateful to Wort.lu and particularly to Jess ๐Ÿ™‚ who managed to write a lovely article about my recent post about Giving At Luxembourg.

You can easily find the interview in the following link:

Expat mum’s clear-out gives hope to hard-up residents

I must say that the word was really spread away as in just a few hours I got some e-mails of people interested in participate in this idea as well! It’s so wonderful! ๐Ÿ™‚

Now it’s time to continue working on helping each other as well as ourselves. And most important, to keep the project alive!

I think it’s also time to all of us re-think the way we live. The installed economical crisis is affecting most of the families around the world, not only the poorest. This shouldn’t mean we’d all get pessimist and negative. In the matter of fact, I believe it’s our chance to reinvent ourselves and be criative!

Be Creative! Be Frugal! Be Happier with Less!

So, I’m starting a new series of posts on 101 Saving Strategies on our day-to-day life. From grocery management to cleaning stuff, from entretaining to kids activities.

Let’s share some great ideas and begin 2013 on the most positive way!

PS: Feel free to send me some ideas directly by e-mail if you prefer.

Grocery Shopping with Kids

20121226-152818.jpgGoing to the supermarket with kids can be quite a challenge! However, if you have no alternative, you can take some advantage of it and even get some fun. Let me tell you my little secrets! ๐Ÿ˜‰

1. Set date and time
-The earlier you go, the easiest it gets… Go as early as you can as it won’t be too crowded.
-Avoid meal times, not only because of your kids routine, but also because it will make you buy more than you need…

2. Master your supermarket
-Design (even if mentally) a map of your usual supermarket and aisles. This step is crucial to avoid last minute going backs…
-Prepare in detail your grocery list by aisles (don’t forget to attach a list of best prices for each item of your list).

3. Teach & Learn
-Make a kids-friendly grocery list by adding some photos to each item. Allow your kid to find each item. Ask some questions about it as you go through the aisles.

4. Bribe, why not?
-Is there anything in your list that actually is your kids favourite sweet? Put this item by the end of the list and let them think they will only get it if they behave… ๐Ÿ™‚
-Have some sweets in your bag, just in case!

5. Have fun
Is there an empty aisle? Make a little cart run with your kids, they will love it, and so do you! ๐Ÿ˜‰

What about you? Any other ideas about making the most of you grocery shopping with kids?

Merry Christmas

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Dear all,
Hope you see your best wishes coming true. Have a lovely Christmas with your dearest family and friends.
And don’t forget to start your 2013 To Do List!!

Best Wishes!
Rute

Luxembourg – Giving 2 Someone – Please Help

As some of you know, I recently moved to Luxembourg to start a new life with my husband and kids. As we had the chance to move with all our belongings, I got almost everything packed and sent to our new home. As I was unpacking, I realised that it just didn’t make sense to keep everything, since there were several things we just don’t use a lot. In fact, it just clicked in my mind that it is time to make a change in my life and live with what we really need.

So than I made a list of the home stuff I should get rid off and once again I realised that was quite a lot. that stuff could really mean something for someone else.

As I am quite new in Luxembourg, I don’t have the local contacts to charity associations. So I posted on some local web forums and I got quite surprised with the amount of people who are really in need for everything you can imagine. I received several e-mails from people who came in search of a big dream with little more than their personal clothes. But I have just a few items to give away.

That’s why I writing today for you guys: if you live in Luxembourg, please do some decluttering at home and see what stuff do you have to give away. From pans to bowls, from furniture to clothes… Everything, since it’s in reasonable conditions. for example, there are 2 families in need for a washing machine and some cabinets. Than send me an email for GivingAtLux@gmail.com

Having a list of who has what, we can than arrange the contacts and delivering within the receiver.

Please note that I am not a charity associations, I’m just someone who want to help other people…

Homemade Glue for Babies and Toddlers

Following the line of Homemade Paint for Babies and Toddles, today I’m sharing other quite interesting recipe for you to make with your little ones: Homemade Glue!20121113-024346.jpg

One very funny activity is to pick one theme, like Disney characters for example, then cut several character photos from old magazines and allow toddlers to paste it into a cardboard. You can also suggest them to paint the cardboard.

Ingredients:
– 1 cup of flour
– 1/3 cup of sugar
– 1 tbsp vinegar
– water

Preparation:
Put the flour and the sugar in a saucepan. Add 3/4 cup of water and stir together until there are no more lumps. Add another 3/4 cup of water and stir until smooth. Add the vinegar. Cook on medium heat and stir it constantly. Allow it to thicken. Let it cool.
Keep it in an empty jam jar, for example and store it in the regrigerator.

Have a nice cut & paste activity!

Toddlers – Is it yealling really a solution?

Yesterday I found myself thinking about the diference it makes when you talk patiently with a toddler rather than yelling at him/her.

My 3 year old son is very sensitive to the way adults talk to him. Whenever someone call him down strongly, he gets really sad, once he is always trying to get things done correctly. On the other hand, when he accomplishes something new, he expect the adults to say how clever he is.

However, by the end of the day, he’s still a toddler. And, as Dr Peter Karp says, toddlers are like cave man. They are like cave man in the sense they all have moments when they just want something, just like that, just like now! And, of course, that would somehow turn into those tantrums… How would cave man react if you yell at them during these moments? They would yell you back, of course. On the other hand, if you relax and talk to them in a way they feel you understand their frustrations, you’ll probably be more successful.

Sometimes it is really necessary to breath deeply before dealing with toddlers actions. Explaining them the relation between action and consequence, the diference between right and wrong, the good and bad… Oh, I believe it is really, really hard to manage. No baby is born with an instruction’s book, and no parent is perfect.

In my opinion, by then end of the day, you should always folow your instinct, no matter what. Always explain everything to your kids and, most important of all, show them how strongly you love them!

Homemade Paint for Babies and Toddles

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When it comes to let babies and toddlers use their imagination, painting activities are really the best! However, it’s true not all kinds of stuff are cheap and safe for the little ones.

So, I’m really a fan of homemade great and edible solutions like homemade paints. You can simple googling it and you’ll find lots of recipes you can use. I found this one a good tip.

Ingredients:
– 2 cups of plain flour or corn flour
– 1 cup of cold water
– 4 cups of boiling water
– Liquid food colouring of your choice

Preparation:
Mix the flour with the cold water and stir together. Pour in the boiling water, cup by cup, and stir between each cup. You can add more water or flour to achieve the desired consistency. Separate it into small containers like iogurt cups or jam jars. Add colouring.

And all you need now is to have a nice and fun family activity!

Oil Cloth – One of mom’s best friend

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Are you constantly trying to get rid of those horrible stains on your dinning table linens? Are you always worried about new spots whenever your guests spoil wine or tomato sauce over the table? Are your kids always painting over your table, even if you’ve put a new cloth on top of it?

I recently found my new best friend for this matter: oil clothes. Nowadays you can easily find very nice patterns and it can be on the table all day long. Once it is dirty, you just have to simple clean it with a moist cloth, or use a cleaning product if necessary.

Some shops sell oil clothes at a very high price. I’ve found that it is cheaper to buy it from DIY stores and sew a sheath all over the cloth, if you have a sewing machine.

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