If you’ve been around here for any period of time, you know of my love/hate relationship with laundry. More hate than love. Laundry is my nemesis, put on this earth only to make me kick and scream on Saturdays. I would rather walk naked down the street than do laundry. Unfortunately, Chris does not agree. So, laundry wins (sigh). Fortunately, Tide showed up in my life a few weeks ago and brightened this past Saturday for me. I have seen these little Tide Pods in the grocery store before and have been tempted to try them, but, honestly, I kind of thought they were more for show. I mean, how much better could a Tide Pod make my laundry experience? Couldn’t I just use the liquid? (Incidentally, I used this same philosophy when those gel packs came out for dishwashers, too. And when I gave in and tried them out, I realized that those suckers are awesome!) So, Tide sent me this cute little pouch of Tide’s 3-in-1 Detergent Tide Pods and said, “Here, Katie. Let us help you with your laundry.” …uh…Okay…
So, I tried them. The directions said to just plop the Tide Pods into the drum before loading the clothes. Really, Tide? Really? Are you sure it’s that easy? Because I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to be measuring and pouring and dripping detergent all over my feet. But, I’ll do what you say.
And I did. I dropped the little pac into my washing machine, loaded my clothes and waited.
When my laundry came out, it had that clean Tide scent that I LOVE. That one little pac smelled up my entire load with goodness. More than that, though, it had gotten rid of several stains that my regular liquid detergent hadn’t been able to even fade. I have to say, I was skeptical, but I’ve been proved wrong, my friends. I AM A BELIEVER! In summary, here are the things I have learned: 1. It is deceivingly fun to drop little Tide Pods into washing machines. Ridiculously fun. I can’t explain why. You’ll just have to trust me. Or try for yourself. 2. Those little Tide Pods clean your laundry and leave it fresher than my previous liquid detergent. Word. 3. I have a great desire to squish things that are squishy. Like Tide Pods. Those things are jelly and squishy and I almost squeezed, like, 10, in my hand just to see what it felt like. The great thing about Tide Pods are that you can pop ‘em in, then stand out in your clothes!
So, tell me. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE OUTFIT TO STAND OUT IN? Leave a comment below answering the question and be entered to win the sweepstakes for a $100 Visa gift card!
Rules:No duplicate comments.You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post.
b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “”#SweepstakesEntry”"; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post.
c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post.
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to respond; otherwise, a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 11/1 – 11/25.
Be sure to visit the Tide Pods brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers reviews and find more chances to win!
Two years ago when I had my little breakdown and hid under my covers for about six months, Chris took over paying our bills as a way to help me out. It was a HUGE load off of me. I was having trouble letting go of things, and money problems were a big stone I carried around in my pocket. Chris taking over the reins was a big switch for us. I’d handled our daily finances since we were married (we have always and still do make our family budget and big financial plans together), so giving that over to him was not easy. But it showed me how to trust him and how to ask for help. Two really important lessons I needed to learn in my marriage.
One byproduct of that transition was that Chris began to take on our mail, too. Since most of our mail deals with bills and things of that nature, he is the one who usually checks the mail and handles everything. Which is awesome. Except that Chris doesn’t like to throw ANYTHING away. He saves every flier, postcard, advertisement, or any other kind of junk mail we get. He has a few little spots he likes to collect these things in, which drives me crazy. But I haven’t said anything about it because I figured if he was handling that chore in our household, then he basically got to handle it however he wanted. He was doing me a favor, so I kept my mouth shut. But one day last week he mentioned that he hated having all these papers laying around our house. All he had to do was say the word, and I went into organizing overdrive!
It actually happened on accident. I found this amazing Pin on Pinterest about household organization, which sent me to this whole blog dedicated to organization, DIY projects, and – BONUS! – she’s a teacher! I meant to just look at the one blog post about organizing a mail center in your house, but I ended up spending almost an hour looking around her blog. If you’re interested in any kind of organization, especially in your house or classroom, this is the most straight-forward, practical, and helpful site I’ve found. I’m getting ready to share her mail center plan (because I copied it EXACTLY), but you should check her site out anyway. She has some incredible ideas that make you say, “Duh! Why didn’t I think of that!”
Most of our mail/misc. paperwork issue comes from all the junk mail that we receive. Tiffany at The Nest Effect solved this problem that I hadn’t even realized we had. She suggested using a website called DMAchoice.org. From what I gathered, this site works like that national Do Not Call list you can get on to stop solicitation phone calls, only it stops solicitation and junk mail. I went online today and registered our household. I requested all homeowner, insurance, and banking junk mail be stopped. We must have gotten on some list because we bought a home recently because we must received 3-5 pieces of junk mail about homeowners needs every day. It’s ridiculous. I also deactivated our names from the category for credit reports and credit cards. I’m guessing we got on those lists at the same time as when we bought our house because we had to do all our credit reports and things. You can get even more detailed and request things like catalogs and magazines be stopped, but I love catalogs and don’t really receive all that many magazines. If that’s a problem, though, there’s a category for that.
With the incoming mail hopefully reduced, I tackled how we should handle the loose papers that just get thrown all over our house and into Chris’s little piles. Like Tiffany suggested, I went to Office Depot and bought a pack of 12 hanging files ($7.95) and a hanging file organizer ($8.00). While I was there I also found a great coupon organizer ($4.95) which I’ll blog about later this week.
Tiffany suggested taking a look at where most of your paperwork comes from and needs to go, and then selecting your categories for your files based on that. But I found that my categories were the exact same as hers, so I just used her list. I created files for incoming mail, outgoing mail, bills to pay, coupons, to file (for things that need to go in our actual family filing cabinet down in our basement), and then I made files for each person in our family.
Then, I collected all the little piles of papers around our kitchen and the rest of the house. I took care of everything that needed attention so that we started this week with a clean slate, and things that were still a work in progress were filed into my files. By the time I was done, everything had a place and everything was in it’s place.
When I showed this new system to Chris, he was happy that we’d found a solution, but he told me flat out that he probably wasn’t going to take the time to file anything away (thanks, dear). No problem! Tiffany thought of a solution to that, too. She suggested keeping a basket or container next to your file system so that you can sort through it later. So, Chris can toss everything into this one basket and at the end of the day when I clean the kitchen, I can put everything where it needs to go.
It may not look too attractive (I do intend to spruce it up a bit later using a super cute 31 Gifts file organizer my mom bought me, but it’s at school right now. If you’re interested, it’s the Fold ‘n File for $25), but at least it will help keep the clutter out of our living space. Our biggest problem was that we didn’t have a place to put everything. And now we do! I’m hoping that this will really help us keep up with important things, and get rid of the clutter.
Stay tuned this week as I post about other organizing tips I’ve discovered in the past week to help get my house de-cluttered and better organized by the end of the year. Tomorrow I’ll share about my coupon organization, which was a complete mess before but is now so easy to use! And later this week I’ll talk about two solutions I’m using for all the kids artwork and projects from school.
I started couponing this summer when our income was reduced while I wasn’t teaching. I never intended to become one of those extreme couponers. I don’t have the time, patience, or… patience. But I did want and need to do something to help us save what we could.
The first thing I did was register for a Target RedCard. Since I do all my grocery shopping and about 95% of any other shopping at Target, it just made sense to get their rewards card. There are two kinds of cards for Target. One is a Target credit card. Do what you need, but I try to avoid credit cards. I chose the debit card option instead. This is a debit card that is linked to your own checking account. Target then issues you a Target debit card that can only be used at Target, but is linked to your own account. Every time you use this debit card, you automatically save 5% on your purchase (which ends up being pretty good savings when you’re averaging a $115 grocery bill every week). It also gets you free shipping for online purchases, and it also gets you special Target coupons. I love this card because it has no fees, and it is just as simple and easy to use as my regular debit card. Plus, the savings are instant!
Most of my grocery savings, though, comes from good old fashioned coupons in the Sunday paper. We subscribe to the paper Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays for the sole purpose of getting their coupons. We used a Groupon and got a year subscription for the weekend papers for something ridiculously cheap, like $15 or $20. I know a lot of people use websites like coupons.com and smartsource.com, but I don’t have that much time (or patience, I should say…). If you’ve got the time and patience, though, you can really up your savings using those tools, too.
Every Sunday afternoon, I sit down with the newspapers, my coupon organizer, and my scissors and get to work!
One of the things that I never knew what to do with were restaurant and other types of coupons that we get that are for things and services other than groceries. I’d always forget I clipped these because I shoved them in a drawer somewhere. Finally, I got smart and hung them on my fridge in a gallon sized Ziplock. I used a second Ziplock to store our take out menus, which are another part of our clutter problem in the kitchen. I hung them using magnetic chip clips. Now, these hang on our fridge where I am constantly reminded that they are there, but they aren’t cluttering up our counter tops. The chip clips make them easy to use, too, because I can take them down and dig through them and then just hang them up when I’m done.
I used to have a small coupon organizer. The paper kind you find in the $1 bins and check out aisles of the grocery store. But I ended up couponing more than I thought I would, and so I needed an upgrade on my system. This weekend I found a much larger, yet still compact organizer for $4.95 at Office Depot. It is plastic, which makes it more durable. And it came with organizing tabs and more space.
I labeled my tabs according to how my Target grocery store was laid out. I made a section for each aisle of the grocery store. That way, if I need to flip through my coupons while I’m shopping (which I try not to have to do, by the way…), then I can find what I need as I shop. My categories are: produce/bakery, canned goods/condiments, boxed meals/soup, pasta/Mexican/ethnic, baking/cooking, snacks/cookies, juice/drinks/sodas, paper goods/food storage, cleaning, laundry, cold/frozen foods, health/beauty, baby products, and miscellaneous.
What I especially liked about this coupon sorter was that it had a small pocket in the front. I used this to hold all my supplies. I put my pen and scissors in there, along with extra labeling tabs for the dividers in case I need to change my tabs in the future. I also keep my grocery list and meal planning notepad in there, too. I used to keep this on the fridge, but the magnet broke off the back of the pad, so now I just carry it with my coupons.
When I sit down to actually coupon, I have a specific process I’ve been using for the past few months. It’s quick and mindless, which is perfect for a Sunday afternoon. First, I collect miscellaneous coupons that come randomly in the mail or that Chris and I pick up throughout the week. I use to just throw these all over the kitchen, aiming the general direction of my coupon organizer. But now I have a file folder in my mail center where I keep them. I just throw everything in there throughout the week, and then on Sundays I go through that file first to clip and put those coupons away. I keep my coupon organizer in the same spot as my mail center to make this part quick and easy. Everything is in one spot.
Next, I go through the weekly circulars that come in our newspaper. As I’m clipping, I only clip coupons that I know we will use. I used to clip them all, but it was a mess and I ended up having to clean out my coupons all the time. Now, I only clip for products we actually use or need. As I clip, I sort them into piles according to my coupon organizer (ex. cleaning products, produce/bakery, etc.). Then when I’ve gone through all my coupons, I can just toss each pile into the right slots in my organizer. I make sure to put my new coupons in the back of each section in my organizer so that things don’t expire before I can use them. I also make sure that I go through the coupons in the front of each section each week and toss any that have expired. All total, it probably takes me half an hour to 45 minutes to clip, sort, and clean out my coupons each week. Which is well worth the savings I get, which is anywhere from $20 to $40 a week on average.
Couponing is one of those savings tools that can be as in depth and effective as you choose to make it. I know people who are extreme couponers that devote lots of time to their coupon system. I do just enough to save us some real money each week on our grocery list, and that’s about it. It was a lot more time intensive before I organized my process, though, I can tell you that. If you’re interested in couponing, I’d suggest getting a good system in place. It’ll save you a lot of time and maybe even some money in the long run!
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out my first in the “Clutter Begone” series on organizing household paperwork.
When I was a new mom, I sometimes felt like I was doing it all wrong. I worried about scheduling and diaper changing and feeding schedules. I worried about daycare and illnesses and how to use one of those nose sucker things.
As kind as my friends and family were, it was actually our first pediatrician who calmed my fears. I loved our first pediatrician. She had this awesome way of making me feel like I was part of the plan of action, instead of just standing on the sidelines. Every time we took Bean in for his routine shots in those first few months, she had something nice to say. And not just nice things about Bean, but nice things about ME. She would look him over and then stand back and say proudly to me, “You are doing a FANTASTIC job, Momma! He looks PERFECT! Way to go!” And she was so genuine about it.
Everything she said made me feel like the best mom ever, and as a new mom that was a priceless feeling. She told me one time that everything my baby needed was inside of me and Chris. As his parents, we would always know best. Coming from a doctor, that meant the world to us and reminded us that we were more than capable of caring for our children, even when they were sick.
The first time Bean ran a fever, I was hysterical and showed up at the doctor’s office at 8:00am the next morning, expecting to have to put up a fight to see someone. But our doctor led us back to the exam room herself and acted like I was totally justified to be so worried. “I don’t blame you at all!” she cooed. “I would have done the same thing!”
When she examined him, she looked him over from head to toe, and announced that she couldn’t find a thing wrong with him. She explained that it might just be a little reaction to one of his recent shots, and that we should probably wait it out a bit. And then she turned back to me and said, “Well, momma. How do you think we should treat this fever?” “Uhh… Umm…” I stammered. “I should probably keep him cool. Like, maybe put a cold wash cloth on his head?” “Excellent!” she said. “That sounds like a great idea!” She proceeded to listen while I came up with my own list of things I could do to bring that fever down. By the time we left that morning, I felt BRILLIANT. I felt like I had saved my child’s life all by myself. (Keep in mind, his fever was, like, 100F…)
I loved that doctor because she made me feel like part of the solution. She was encouraging and understanding and patient like no one I’ve ever met.
Months later when Bean was about five months old, he ended up being hospitalized because he was having trouble breathing. I try not to go into details about our family’s health issues on the blog, but it was a pretty scary time to say the least. In fact, it was the deciding factor for us moving back closer to family. While we were in the hospital for the next four days, that doctor kept encouraging us and supporting us. She was like a cheerleader and pediatrician all in one. And I can’t tell you how important that was to us as new parents.
Pediatricians are wonderful people. But they are also powerful people, too. They have the ability to lift up new parents or to crush them like a bug. I’m so thankful for our first pediatrician who gave me the confidence to be a good mom.