Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Outdoor Organization

The UL MarkImage via Wikipedia

I have been fortunate enough to be chosen to attned a blogging event at the UL Laboratories in Nothbrook, IL on the day before BlogHer.

Part of what we will be learning about is grilling safety.

Pretty apropo for today as part of Southern California once again is battling wildfires.

As part of the package I received today was their recipe for Safe Summer Grilling.

  • Grill in Good Working Order
  • UL-Listed Fire Extinguisher
  • Set of BBQ Tongs and Utensils
  • Set of Insulated, Flame Retardant Mitts
  • Spray Bottle of Water for Flare-Ups

  • Keep your grill at a safe distance (about 10 feet away) from your house or any building.
  • Never use a grill in a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, under and awning or any other surface that can catch fire.
  • Never leave the grill unattended, especially when young children or pets are nearby.
  • Be cautious of overhead obstructions including tree branches while grilling.
  • Use insulated, flame retardant mitts, bbq tools and utensils when grilling.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher and spray bottle of water handy when grilling
  • Never use gasoline or kerosene to light a charcoal fire. Both can cause an explosion.
  • Coals can get up to 1,000 degrees F (that is not a typo)! Wait until coals have completely cooled before disposing them.
  • When disposing, be sure to keep charcoal away from pets and kids.

Happy Grilling!

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Medicine Chest

what's in your medicine cabinet?Image by double dose via Flickr

While we are on the subject of my fantasy house and it's fantasy bathroom, let's take a look at how to organize my fantasy medicine cabinet.

First off, check all your expiration dates. They don't just put those on there to make you buy new ones every couple of years. Expiration dates serve a purpose. Some times medicinal items lose their potency after a period of time or their potency changes to a point that it could actually be harmful to you.

Do not dump medicines down the toilet anymore. Take it to your local pharmacist and they will dispose of it properly. With so many water reclaimation projects going on, it is no longer just to dump and flush.

Put things you use everyday on the bottom (usually deepest) shelf so the are readily accessible.

In that same respect, put things you rarely use or have on hand just in case on the higher shelves so they don't "get in the way".

Take bandaids and such out of their bulky boxes and put them in a clear jar (preferably with a lid to avoid accidental spilling). You can see what is inside and it will fit better and not get knocked over as easily. Ditto for cotton balls and q-tips. {{If your jars are cute enough, and you are not sharing a vanity with me, you could even place the jars on the vanity counter if these are items you often use.}}

Write a list of prescriptions including dosages and the pharmacist's phone number and tape it inside the cabinet door in case of emergency.

Keep tubes and non-standable items in an acrylic holder.

If you take a little time to put it in order and take an even littler amount of time to keep it in order, you can save yourself a lot of time.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

A File Cabinet for your Brain

Someone asked on Twitter today if it was possible to unclutter your mind. I totally think it is.

You have to be able to truly believe in the Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;

Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next.Amen.

Now, all of you who love me, know that I am not big on religion so we are going to stay away from that part of it and focus on the Organization part of this prayer.

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; This is the biggest part of having an uncluttered mind. I have acheived that. It used to bug the crud out of my friend Susan that I never worried about anything. She would constantly be stressed out about shit that there was absolutely nothing she could do about it. Why stress over something that isn't going to change no matter what you do, you have no control over it so let it go.

Courage to change the things I can; This too is huge, if you can change something, then do it. No hmmmmm and hawwwwww about it, take the Nike way and Just Do It. You can analyze stuff from here til next Sunday and nothing gets done. Look at it once, figure it out and do it. Don't be afraid of what others will think or say or do, worry only about you.

And the wisdom to know the difference; Whew, this is the kicker. This is what it all really boils down to. Can you stop the rain from falling? no, so make a plan to have a picnic inside instead. Can you choose to go to a place that will make you and others happy as opposed to one that won't? Then do that. But you have to be able to figure out, what is within your power and what is not.

Living one day at a time; This is hard because especially in the troubled times we are in now, everyone is trying to look ahead to better days. But really there is nothing you can do right this minute to make one day 5 years from now any different than it would have been had you not done something.

Enjoying one moment at a time; Stop and smell the roses. That is as simple as it gets. Somewhere down the road you don't want to say, I wish I had, I shoulda, wow, why didn't I.

Accepting hardships as a pathway to peace; Ever heard of "no pain no gain"? My mom once told me that God will never give you more than he thinks you can handle. There have been MANY times where I totally thought God was crazy for thinking I could handle all this shit, but I have made it through some pretty tough times and I am certain there will be more to come. The important part is what did you learn from those times, what can you do differently next time? There are so many anaologies that go with this; The light at the end of the tunnel; The end justifies the means.

Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; To me this is simply "Shit happens". It goes back to the beginning of this post about there are things you have no control over, so just go with the flow and accept the world around you as it is.

Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; Again, it is a reiteration that things are going to happen call it faith call it fate, call it His Will. But you and I can not make it rain or shine. You and I can only control ourselves and sometimes even that is questionable.

That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next; Let's stick to the first part of this sentence. That's really all anyone wants out of life isn't it? To be happy?

So take a minute (or 10) and summize the thoughts that are whirling around in your head. How many of those are things you can actually control or do something about? Put them in a file in your brain or stick a post it on em to deal with when the time is right. How many are things that are totally out of your control? Throw them right in the rubbish bin. Compartmentalize your thoughts like you do your files. Open the right file at the right time and put it away when you are done.

Trust me, you will be calmer and your blood pressure will go down.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009


Dina said...
I don't know which was messes or red wine on the carpet. Both were hard to clean. The absolute worst was when my hubby put clothes in the dryer and didn't check the pockets...crayons melted on clothes and the inside of the dryer!!!
April 20, 2009 9:29 AM

Friday, April 17, 2009

Bissel Giveaway

Being organized isn't always about being "clean". I used to say my desk at work was "Disorganizationally Organized". I knew where everything was even though someone else could never find anything.

Go look in your hall closet and tell me if you can pull out your vaccuum without moving something else first? With the Bissel Little Green it is compact enough to fit anywhere and do the job that needs to be done. It is perfect for big and small jobs and is handy for on the fly "oh shit you spilled what?" kind of jobs.

technical info:

strong spray and suction clean and help dry in one step
long power cord and compact design make cleaning hard-to-reach areas easy
now with PVC free tanks and hose and the carton contains a minimum of 75% recycled material

Unlike store bought chemical cleaners which are simply sprayed on a stain or rubbed in with a cloth – pushing the stain deeper into carpet and upholstery fibers – Little Green, with its powerful suction, lifts-up spills before they set-in.

Thanks to the awesome people at Walmart, one of my lucky readers will get to experience this magic machine first hand.

To enter:
Leave me a comment telling me what is the hardest thing you have ever had to cleaned.

For extra entries:
Twitter this giveaway
Facebook this giveaway

You can enter once per day. The giveaway will end on April 22 (Earth Day!) and the winner will be chosen by

Friday, April 10, 2009


A while back I received a fabulous gift from a sponsor and was asked to review it and do a giveaway of the product as well.

Today I requested to use that product instead of in a giveaway, I wanted to use it in a quick 3 day auction with the proceeds going to the Madeline Spohr funeral expenses.

So if after my review you enjoy this product, please feel free to go to Ebay and place a bid on it.

Brother P-Touch Portable Labeler

Are you kidding me? If you don't already know how amazingly fun it is to label EVERYTHING in your house yet, you don't know what you are missing.

From drawers to toy boxes, from cabinets to cubby holes. Using a labeler is the epitome of "A place for everything and everything in it's place".

I have even put a label where I keep MY towel in the bathroom, warning of certain death if anyone else uses it.

Brother has a reputation for being the first in personal labelers. I certainly remember my first, it seemed so slick and state of the art and just fit perfectly in my two hands. Pffffffffft! You've come a long way baby! This new labeler fits in ONE hand, talk about sleek and easy to use. One hand to hold it and the other is free to type. The portable handheld PT-1010B labeler with rubber grip is affordable, reliable and has a wide selection of features: 2 line printing, large 12-character LCD display, 8 type styles and 3 type sizes. The PT-1010B allows you to print your text with 6 frame options, 6 built-in auto formats and up to 83 symbols. The Time & Date function lets you print labels for leftovers and other dated items. Its compact size makes it easy to use anywhere, anytime.

Now for the imprtant yet boring part:

Technical Details

Easy to view, large 12-character x 1 line guidance LCD display
Print labels up to 1/2 wide on laminated indoor/outdoor tape
Easy to hold, comfortable rubber grip. Prints 1 to 2 lines of large crisp text
1 font, 3 type sizes and 8 type styles. Handheld, portable use for more convenience. Add time & date to your labels in 8 different formats
Built-in memory, save up to 9 of your favorite labels. Separate number keys & letter keys for easy input. Built-in manual cutter.

Operates on 6 "AAA" batteries or AC Adapter (both not included)

These retail for about $50. But you can go bid on one now, bidding is starting at 99 cents. ANd remember all proceeds are going to the Spohr family for the funeral expenses of their 16 month old daughter Maddie.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Being Prepared is Not Just for Boy Scouts

I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend a presentation by Captain Stacy E. Gerlich at Erin's house. The presentation was sponsored by California Volunteers We Prepare program.

Captain Gerlich reviewed the importance of having a plan for an emergency. Families especially need to practice and plan for any type, earthquake, tornado, hurricane, you never know what is going to happen and when. This is not news, this is something should be common place, even the Brady Bunch worked in a Fire Drill into a subplot (Episode 55).

Many questions were asked about the best laid plans for each family and how do they know. Jairo Moncada explained that the We Prepare website offers family's a chance to create a plan for their family online, and print it out in book form to share with younger children. this would also be helpful to give to babysitters and to even leave in a guestroom for visitors.

Captain Gerlich then took us on a tour of Erin's house to show what could be better secured in case of emergency. This is where the organization aspect comes in to play. Think of everything in your home office as being a projectile. Yep, your printer, your monitor, your crap! All flying at you in the event of an earthquake or a tornado. You need to make sure all large pieces are secured via straps and/or velcro and all small items are put in their proper places.
She explained the importance of having items around your water heater cleared so as to prevent fire, she showed us the usefulness of the pool as well as the potential for flooding because of the pool splashing.

She even went so far as to show us how to cover in a situation where there isn't much to cover under.

Jairo provided all of us with a preparedness backpack that includes items to use in emergency situations. One such item is an ER Bar, it didn't look very appetizing and from the look on Losangelista's face it didn't taste that way either, but heck if you are in an all or nothing situation someting is better than nothing.
They also provided me with lunchbag size emergency kits that are perfect for your car. It includes a flashlight, packages of potable water, first aid items a reflective blanket and a whistle and light stick to notify others of your whereabouts.
Twelve of my readers will recieve this kit just for asking.
Your child participates in a fire drill every month at school, how often do you do one at home?
Do you have a "meeting place" if you were to have to exit different places from your house than your children?
Do you have an out of state contact in case all of the circuits in your state are busy?
Think about it, how prepared are you?