Toddler Tip Thursday: Folding Bedclothes

I have a hard time calling what one wears to bed, “pajamas.”  I didn’t grow up calling them that.  I didn’t realize this was odd until I got to college.  After months of telling my roommates I was “going to do my hygiene and put on my bedclothes,” they busted out laughing one night.  They told me that no one says those things when talking about getting ready for bed.

Oh, well!

I am raising our girls to know both pajamas and bedclothes, but it does warm my heart when my little one says, “I don’t want to put on day clothes, Mama. I want to keep my bedclothes on.”

Regardless of what we mamas call them, keeping up with bedclothes can be a chore unto themselves.  As kids get older, they get pajama sets.  And keeping up with the tops and bottoms can be difficult.  And the result of our struggles usually ends up with mismatched bedclothes (not that it is a horrible thing) which can lead to clothes with uneven wear and fading (again, not a MAJOR concern.  But still!).

I have a little trick I use for folding bedclothes to keep them both together AND neat.  The method I use makes good use of the limited space we have for our girls (remember our shared closet for our girls?).

Fold Kids Pajamas like a Genius!  A simple tip for keeping bedclothes together and neat

Here’s what you do:

  1. As you fold clothes make a stack of pajama shirts, fully unfolded, and front down.  Also make a stack of pajama pants/shorts, folded in half, leg-wise and, for pants, in half again (top to bottom).Folding Kids Bedclothes, step 1
  2. Get the matching top and bottom together and place the bottom (pants/shorts) over the shoulder portion of the back of the shirt.Folding Kids Bedclothes, step 2
  3. Fold the back portion of the shirt in half over the pants/shorts.Folding Kids Bedclothes, step 4

Voila!  Turn over and stack with other bedclothes sets.Folding Kids Bedclothes - simple process for keeping them together and neat

If you have long-sleeve shirts in your pajama sets, all you have to do is add a step: fold the arms over the back of the shirt parallel to the bottom of the shirt.  Here’s a quick look at it:

Folding Longsleeve Kids Bedclothes - simple steps

 

I call this tip Folding Kids Bedclothes like a GENIUS! because I have another tutorial called How to Hang Clothes Like a GENIUS!; not because I think of myself as a genius.  My mother-in-law told me that these ideas for laundry are really smart, so I kind of took some liberties.  It makes me feel really smart when I am able to come up with a solution to common household problems.

Do you have household problems you have found solutions for?  Do you have a problem you are trying to solve?  I would love to hear from you!  Please leave a comment!

Shared Girls’ Closet Reveal

Oh, my!  I am so excited to share our recent overhaul of the closet in what is going to be the girls’ shared room.  I say going to be, because we are still hoping to transition them soon – it has been a long process!  The girls have been sharing a closet in anticipation of shared quarters for about a month.  And it has taken me a while to get all the organizational items I needed for the space together.  But now everything is in place and I am so stoked to share it with you.

Here’s the new shared closet:

This is W’s side Girls Shared Closet Reveal - simple closet makeover

And here are some detail photos:

Girls Shared Closet Makeover Reveal - top right

Girls Shared Closet Makeover Reveal - bottom right

 

And this is G’s side:

Closet Organization

Girls Shared Closet Makeover Reveal - top left

Girls Shared Closet Makeover Reveal - bottom right

Please check out my post for Ask Anna with tips for organizing a shared kids closet for more detail about how I organized it.  And read on to find out more about the sources for our closet.

The Details

We use tube kids hangers from Target.

We had the white storage trunk at the bottom of the closet custom-made, but you can find similar options to fit your closet.

I purchased the under-bed storage boxes from One Kings Lane.  I slit the top of the boxes open for four of the boxes.  Then I took out the cardboard, so I could fold the top of the box under the box, for easy access to the bins. These have become like drawers.  We can pull them out, get what we need and push them back into the shelf.

Shared Closet Drawer Bins with divider

I searched for what I was looking for to divide the boxes for quite some time, but drawer dividers are expensive! But while I was shopping I had a brainstorm! I took the box the under-bed storage boxes were delivered in and cut the flaps off.  I covered them in some pretty contact paper (click here for similar) and created the dividers for the inside of the boxes.

I used Washi tape (find similar here) to add a little bit of something to the white storage trunk at the bottom of the closet.  I also added it to the existing white shelf at the top of the closet.  TIP: You can make sure that your Washi tape sticks to the surface you want it to stick to by running a hair dryer over it.  The heat makes the tape stick more!

I found the grey long-term storage baskets at the top of the closet at Target on clearance a while back.  I love a good sale! And I found the hanging labels at my most recent visit there.

We added a few of the girls favorite things to the shelf, so they would have something fun to look at.

Inspiration

Here’s a little bit more inspiration for your closet organization:

Girl's Closet Organization

The girls love their new closet and G has already figured out where everything goes. Stay tuned this week for a tutorial on how I fold their bedclothes to keep them together and neat.

Do your kids share a closet or a bedroom?  How do you make it work for them?

A Shared Kids Closet Makeover reveal - tips and sources

Pecan Cinnamon-Chip Scones

As I was growing up, I don’t think I ever tried a scone.  My first experience with a scone was at Oxford when a friend of mine and I decided to find out what this “tea” thing was all about.  I discovered that tea was just not for me and I don’t remember being that impressed with the food.  But a good number of years ago I tried out an amazing recipe for scones and I really liked them.  And I think they pair better with a cup of coffee!

Pecan Cinnamon Chip Scones - easy preparation and yummy results

Scones are so easy and quick to throw together when you know you have guests coming over.  I like to make them in the morning to get the day going.  I think the procedure is almost fail-proof.  You don’t have to wait for yeast to rise.  It is literally a mix and go kind of recipe that makes baking easy – you can likely get everything prepped and ready for the oven by the time the oven pre-heats.  And my girls love them!

Who am I kidding?

I love them!

So I have been toying with an idea for a new scone recipe in my mind for quite some time. I found some cinnamon chips at the grocery store and immediately thought, “SCONES!”  And then I started to think, “Pecans and cinnamon chips in scones!”

I finally (!) gave my idea a go last week and the resulting recipe is AMAZING! I love, love these.  The girls really liked them.  And I had a group of ladies over and they liked them, too!  I hope you enjoy them  too!

Pecan Cinnamon Chip scones_ simple ingredients and preparation - amazing results!

These scones would be a great thing to have on hand (you can freeze them!) for Saturday  or Sunday brunch. Or Mother’s Day.  They would also be very nice to tuck into a care basket for a friend.

Pecan Cinnamon-Chip Scones

Ingredients

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour (you could do half whole-wheat, half all-purpose, if desired)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. unsalted butter (cold, cut into small cubes)
  • 1/2 c. whipping cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 c. cinnamon chips
  • 1/3 c. pecans (chopped)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar in the raw

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Stir together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a bowl.
  3. Cut butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly.pecan cinnamon chip scones - easy prep
  4. Stir together whipping cream, egg, and vanilla extract in a separate bowl.  Add cream mixture to flour mixture and stir until ingredients are wet.
  5. Fold in cinnamon chips and pecans.pecan cinnamon chip scones - simple preparation
  6. Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and form into a rectangle about 1/2″ thick.  Cut the rectangle into three squares.  Cut each square into two triangles.  You can cut the triangles again if you want mini scones.Pecan Cinnamon Chip Scones - simple preparation, freezable
  7. Place each triangle on a lined (parchment or Silpat) cookie sheet.  Quickly mix the egg white with about a teaspoon of water to make an egg wash.  Brush the egg wash over each triangle and sprinkle with sugar.Pecan Cinnamon Chip Scones - bake, or freeze and bake later
  8. Bake at 425 F for 14-16 minutes.Pecan Cinnamon Chip Scones - simple recipe with yummy results

NOTE: if you would like to freeze these ahead of time, I recommend that you stop after step 6 and flash freeze the triangles.  You could individually wrap the scones after flash freezing them and place them in a freezer bag.  Then you can take out a few at a time and bake them at 425F – it will take a few more minutes to bake, if baking from frozen.

Like scones?  Want another great freeze-able scone recipe?  Try these Pumpkin Scones!

Spring Cleaning: Cleaning a Ceiling Fan

I am working my way through a Spring Cleaning challenge with an amazing group of organizing and cleaning bloggers.  They send me an email each morning with the challenge for the day and I have been trying to fit in a little bit of deep cleaning each day.  The house may not be spotless, yet; but I am making progress!

I worked on cleaning our bedroom and really needed to clean our ceiling fan.  Our normal cleaning often includes cleaning the blades with a dusting cloth, but I needed to get to the more neglected portions of the fan.

Spring Cleaning How to Clean a Ceiling Fan

Here’s how to clean a ceiling fan (after you have turned it off!):

Place a towel or a sheet on the floor underneath the fan.  Then put your step stool on top of the cloth.  This will help to keep the dust that falls from the fan in a centralized area.

Dust the blades of the fan.  I hold one blade of the fan at a time and wipe from the center out on top and then from the center out on the under side of the blade.

Dust the housing of the fan, too.

If your ceiling fan has lights attached to it, take the bulbs out and dust them off, Then loosen the thumb screws and take the shade off.  Dust the shade very thoroughly with a dampened cloth.

How to Clean a Ceiling Fan

Quick tip:  If your fan has started to “rattle” or make annoying noises while turned on, it may be the shades on the light.  When you take the shades off, you will see the padding on the rim may have worn through.  To fix the problem, turn the shade a quarter of an inch clockwise and return to the shade housing.  Make sure that it is securely at the top of the housing and turn the thumbscrews so that each of the thumbscrews is gripping the shade.

How to Clean a Ceiling Fan - tip to reduce noise

Now that you have gotten the major parts of the fan dusted, go into the details of the fan.  Grab some cotton-tipped swabs and moisten them (you can use water or alcohol, whichever you prefer) and run along the tiny crevices in the fan.

How to Clean a Ceiling Fan - detail cleaning

Make sure you get the vents on the fan housing (they are really gunky!) and the attachment arms of the fan blades.

How to Clean a Ceiling Fan - Housing vent detail

After you have finished cleaning the fan, make sure all the light bulbs are securely screwed in and turn on the fan.  Pick up the towel or cloth you have on the floor and throw it in the laundry.  Vacuum or sweep the floor under the fan.

Cleaning your ceiling fan regularly can really help to cut down on indoor allergies for your family.  Our family really suffers from allergies this time of year, so I am happy we got this done during our Spring cleaning!

My Ickiest Parenting Moment

 This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Clorox.

I have been avoiding telling the story of our potty training adventures with our oldest.  In small part it is because I hope no one ever has to go through the same thing.  And for the most part,  because reliving it at this stage is just a bit too soon.  But, I found out about Clorox looking for stories of the ickies that come along with motherhood.  And I have some, but one sticks out in particular.  And I can have a sense of humor about it (to a certain extent) even as I shudder to think of it again.

But I think I could probably use a laugh or two as I go through this process of potty-training and child-raising.  The people at Clorox have teamed up with major (and legendary) The Second City improv troupe to help parents laugh through the cleaning up of the messes that fill our days.  They are listening to our stories and using them as a springboard for their comedy skits  and to give out the Clorox Ick Awards (more on that later)!

Too fun!   So, I just had to share my worst (and funniest) and ickiest moment with you.

Motherhood is sometimes icky! Check out the #ickies with Clorox and The Second CityWarning:  1. There will be a frank discussion of poop;  and 2. If you have not potty-trained at least one child, you may not want to read further.

Let me start this story by saying that we, as parents, were forced into potty training our oldest.  We did not really force the issue.  We talked to her about the potty and had fun sitting on it, but no pressure to go.  Nothing.

Then one day, we went into her room after a “nap” to discover she had pooped on the floor.  ICK

Then the next day we went into her room after a “nap” to discover she had pooped and peed on the floor.  Oh, and she had played with her poop!  Played. With. Her. Poop.

MEGA-ICK!!

We had what I would deem to be an age-appropriate discussion with her about pooping and peeing on the potty or in her diaper.

And then it happened again, and again, and again.  It was her new favorite pass time.  And it was disgusting.

Let me just pause here for a second to say that I have clearly defined limits for poop.  I honestly do not mind changing diapers (even the most awful ones).  But my patience for poop in any location other than a diaper or the toilet is non-existent. So, to say that I was the patient and long-suffering mother in this circumstance would be clearly inaccurate.  I am also a very organized person and an “everything-in-its-place” kind of person, including poop.  My husband and I were beginning to think she agreed, but had a different idea of the place for poop.

So, one day, we walk in after her “nap” to discover her latest exploits in poop decoration and rearranging.  And we set to cleaning it up.  We had honed our talents in this area by this point.  My husband was getting really good at cleaning the carpet, while I disposed of the, shall we say, “organic matter.”  And I was in my least patient mood, throwing misplaced things back into their appropriate places as I was instructing her that this was just not going to stand any longer.

I picked up item after item, straightening and placing it back into its particular place.  And then I picked up her cute little piggy bag, the one we keep small books in for her to read.  And I took my hand and quickly stuck it in the bag to straighten it out…

and touched a fresh pile of poop! 

No glove between…

no cleaning cloth in my hand…

no warning.

Just my daughter’s poop and my hand getting to know one another on an intimate level.

Yes, I told you…ICK, ICK, ICK!

And that is my ickiest story (yet) of motherhood and messes.

Clorox Wipes - for the #ickies of motherhood

Thankfully the bag cleaned up nicely and I scrubbed my hands at least 16 times.  And thankfully that has never happened again.  And the pooping on the floor thing is just a phase (that has for the most part past!).

Do you have a story about a gross moment you had while raising your little ones?  Interested in laughing through the misery?  I would love to hear them here!  And join Clorox and The Second City for a the Clorox Ick Awards on Wednesday, April 9th from 6-10 PM (Eastern) and laugh, learn, and win amazing prizes.  The Second City will be turning our moments of madness into hilarity.  Just use the hashtag #ickies and tweet your stories to nominate them for an award. Then tune into Twitter to watch the fun.  They are also giving away $2,500 in prizes!

Clorox Ick Awards #ickies

For the days when the messes are sudden and icky, I really am glad we have Clorox wipes around.  We are able to quickly clean up the messes our little ones leave behind with a nice barrier of disinfectant and cleaning solution on a cloth between my hands and whatever they leave behind. If you are interested in learning more about what Clorox can do to keep you smiling through the ickies, make sure you check out their newsletter.

Clorox wipes - barrier between moms and #ickies

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Clorox.

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