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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    If I don t need something then I don t need to container ize it or label it or make a list about it Sometimes I forget that when I see pretty editorial pictures It s organizational eye candy If you re feeling like your efforts to organize aren t really paying off try looking for ideas that solve a problem not just look pretty or add to your possessions Too many containers can make a home feel bloated I m trying but I can t think of a better word A lot of people wonder When will I finally be organized and When will I be de cluttered It s a process that is ongoing You re never really through but one sign that you re close is when you start giving away your old containers that you don t need anymore Have you found this to be true 87 Comments What to Do About Other People s Stuff I receive a question by email so often that I made a fill in the blank form for it I wish there was one common answer that would fit every scenario and relationship but so much of it has to do with your family s background communication style and level of drama Some of it you can control and some you simply can t One time Megan from Faith Like Mustard commented Unless your family is on the same page it can feel like you are getting nowhere on the quest to downsize However I admit that I could spend all my time just downsizing my own stuff That is the best strategy to focus your efforts on what you can control instead of trying to control other people Because people are precious they will always be more important than

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/47/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    Craigslist Making a donation and then keeping the tax receipt usually seems easier But still there s something about the idea of a garage sale that feels like classic summer and if you can find enough stuff to sell you might make some good cash I was wondering what you think Can we take a poll 121 Comments Saturday Morning Reads I m giving thanks for small victories today like a good hair morning that I hope will last until the afternoon I m on Pinterest now It s a place to collect ideas and inspiration with your friends Megan wrote a helpful beginner s guide to Pinterest Come take a peek at what I like Pinterest is like coffee It s a way to pick yourself up during a five minute break but don t consume it at night or you won t get any sleep A few more links Hobby Farm from The Lettered Cottage this makes for some good weekend daydreaming 5 Ways to Make the Monotonous More Fun from Steady Mom Do you have ants too I looked up an old post from the archives to remember what to do about it The black pepper ant remedy worked very effectively At AlphaMom I recently wrote This Time Last Year 5 Ways to Make Summer Reading More Fun DIY Spiral Streamers Lane was so excited about her blog post yesterday Thank you for your sweet comments My husband thinks we have the nicest commenters at Small Notebook and I couldn t agree more Hope you have a wonderful day 25 Comments Carousel Lane has been asking me all year when can she write a blog post too I said she could for her birthday Lane turns five years old today and true to my word I m

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/48/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    see how Lane gets excited about gifts even when they re not for her She mainly likes opening them but even that won t hold her attention all morning Promote Easy Gift Policies I want them to have what they want not what I like Sarah grandmother to one Enclosing the gift receipt saves your loved ones from the embarrassment of asking for it and lets them know you won t be offended if they want to return the gift Along with providing the receipt pay for gifts with cash instead of using your credit card This makes it easier for someone to receive a cash refund instead of store credit for the gift Most companies won t give a cash refund on a credit card purchase When giving a gift card check to make sure a store is located within a reasonable distance from the recipient s home If the grandparents give your child something that doesn t interest them return it and purchase something that you can say is from them Above all don t compare the price of a gift to a measure for love I know that goes without saying but it still seems like people feel that way sometimes Don t try to top last year s gift each year and don t believe for a minute that there is one perfect gift that can be found in a department store Giving gifts stirs up both excitement and apprehension How do you manage gift giving Is it a fun thing or are you glad when you re done shopping or maybe both 18 Comments Making Christmas Traditions You Like Photo by Aunt Owwee In my quest to simplify our Christmas I m paying close attention to our traditions I know traditions no matter how small go a long way to building family closeness and a sense of belonging Plus they re fun I don t want to dwell on the activities that aren t important to us Too many activitites can lead to feeling overwhelmed but I m not looking to ditch holiday celebrations completely I love Christmas and I want to enjoy the festive spirit I just want to make sure our family s traditions are truly ours and not what s recommended by a magazine s must have list I m trying to let the joy of Christmas sink in not put on an exhausting one woman show I asked Doug to think of what he most liked to do at Christmas time and I did the same As it happened our favorite things don t require much planning effort or cleaning up Doug s favorite Christmas traditions Having a fire in the fireplace Hanging up the ornaments Giving presents to me and Lane My favorites Singing Happy Holiday together when we re driving around in the car It s the song by Andy Williams but three years into this tradition we still don t know any of the words so we just

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/154/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    so don t take your eyes off of it for a second If it overheats and burns it s no problem the process is quick and the ingredients are inexpensive enough to try again if you need to David Lebovitz offers more tips to make perfect caramel When the caramel is firm enough to cut into squares sprinkle a little kosher salt over the top Melt some chocolate chips in a ziploc bag in the microwave Trust me and use bittersweet or dark chocolate Cut a small hole in one corner of the bag and then drizzle the hot melted chocolate over the caramel Keep chilled in the fridge Try not to eat it all by yourself Tuesday Ann from Vintage Mommy and One Bag Nation is featuring Food Gifts for Holidays by Hand Holidays by Hand is Ann s great idea and I appreciate her inviting me to join in I would also like to thank Kelly for her work in coordinating it And all of you for the projects you ve shared I m looking forward to seeing some delicious treats and food gifts this week I spent Sunday afternoon in bed watching movies and eating I kid you not a chocolate bacon bar Awesome What favorite treats do you munch on during the holidays 23 Comments Good Reads the So Thankful for a Quiet Night Edition We put up our Christmas decorations next week I ll get to show you pictures Lane was sick today so right now I m enjoying the peace and stillness of the night while she sleeps Before I was a mom I never knew that one sick child could create so many loads of laundry in just a few hours I didn t know that I wouldn t care about getting thrown

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/153/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    some people wearing baby carriers so that the baby was swinging down at the parent s waist and that can t be comfortable With your baby carried in front of you your baby should be high enough that you can kiss the top of his head Almost everywhere we stayed had a baby bed or a pack n play but no one had a high chair At home we use a Fisher Price booster seat and it collapses small enough to take in the car but it wasn t small enough for this trip For this trip we used a chair sling It s not my favorite but it folds up into a really small bag and that s what we needed It lacks a booster seat but it holds your child securely in almost any chair For my four year old I bought kids earphones They worked with my ipod and the airline s in flight movies I like them because they will stay on her little ears they have volume control and she could hear my instructions We also remembered to bring plastic cups for the kids and little tupperware containers that could be used for bowls On the Flight We didn t buy a seat for our child under age two Try to buy your tickets early so you can reserve the bulkhead seats They have extra room a space for the baby and fewer people walking past you If your child will be sitting on your lap during the flight let him drink only water You don t want him to spill orange juice on your lap during the beginning of a ten hour flight not that I would know anything about that For my little boy who is a light sleeper it was easier to fly during the day than through the night And when he cried people were generally nice about it For ideas about toys to bring take a look at this post and all the ideas in the comments Since we have food intolerances in our family we designated almost one entire bag for food We needed it too My kids and husband don t eat gluten dairy and most soy There was almost nothing in the airports or the flights that they could have to eat I had requested the fruit plate for them but it was tiny Our bag got us through the days of travel and when we arrived and all the stores were closed A tip to the wise a jar of peanut butter is considered a paste and thus a risk when you make your way through airport security They didn t seem to mind the packets of baby food We brought snacks with us like nuts cereal and chicken Arriving Have a plan for when you arrive We made the mistake of spending so much time packing and getting ready to leave for the airport that we forgot to print a map and the directions for

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/49/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    up a slight British accent however from all the mums and kids from the UK at play group each week What I love most about Italy on this trip time together the beauty the quiet no cars in Venice free time to write the perspective change and how surprisingly easy it was to find friends in Florence Things I m looking forward to in Texas Tex Mex food and guacamole North Dallas honey new opportunities extended family and maybe cowgirl boots in my future I ll see you in two weeks I have a lot I ve been working on in store for you 40 Comments Real Solutions New Today I m pleased to show you Part 1 of the new changes I ve been working on behind the scenes a group of links called Real Solutions on the side of the page Click through to see it on the sidebar if you re reading this in your email or RSS reader I want Small Notebook to be a resource of tips inspiration and encouragement to make life at home a little easier for you One of my goals this year is to make it a little easier to find these tips as the site continues to grow There are three years worth of articles in here If you re looking for something specific each link takes you to the articles written for that topic Are you dealing with piles of paper I ve written all about that as I ve worked through my own paper piles Trying to work out your storage space Me too as I ve lived in so many apartments I try to tackle it by getting rid of the excess and then organizing what s left And I ll even show you my Monica s

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/50/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    Still Photo by clairity My decision to not get organized for Christmas has been good so far This is the first year in a really long time that my holiday success doesn t feel measured by how many things I crossed off my to do list When someone asks me if I m ready for Christmas it no longer has to mean have I finished my shopping Which incidentally I haven t yet but I m not worried My sleep schedule is messed up Ten o clock at night seems like the perfect time to repair the tile grout at midnight I m thinking about making soap but at nine in the morning I can t even concentrate to return an email I realized today that since a cold front blew in and it gets dark so early I haven t seen the sun shine in a while No wonder everything seems off I ll have to get outside this weekend I hope it stays warm enough I hate the cold I thought about posting some links for today but I would rather just be quiet and put my computer away for now Thanks for reading 12 Comments Christmas Decorating at Our Home If you could come over and visit this morning you d get to see our Christmas decorations And have some coffee There s always coffee Hanging Christmas ornaments is one of our favorite traditions but in our apartment there is absolutely no room for a tree We do the next best thing our collection is displayed on a garland over the fireplace I love seeing them all together this way All of our Christmas decorations are stored in one blue box and it s a fun event to unpack it each year Because it s just one

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/152/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Blog - Small Notebook
    to stand I am so thankful 24 Comments Saving Holiday Memories Photo by eyeliam How do you capture those special holiday memories I try to take a lot of pictures but I also keep a notebook just for Christmas This isn t one I use for planning or lists it s an album the family can look through I try to keep it easy and simple or else I wouldn t do it Each year I add one or two pages I choose four to six photos and I spend a few minutes writing about our favorite memories from that year s Christmas What might be included Where we lived and worked Fun events and parties Recipes to make again Special gifts given Favorite traditions started and kept Christmas trees and decorations Funny things said Who was there Places traveled Blessings counted I hope I get to look through it in fifty years and see how our family has grown and celebrated one of our favorite times of the year Dear friends thank you so much for reading and sharing your ideas I have so enjoyed reading your comments I hope that you are able to find a few moments of peace this week 20 Comments Tie a Trouble Free Gift Bow Have you seen on TV when a gift is unwrapped the ribbon gracefully falls to the side Normally a ribbon tied around a gift is hard to undo You can try to unknot it slide it or pull it off the side stretching it as well as you can Men usually reach for their pocketknives to get the job done Making a great looking gift bow is actually pretty simple even without using knots I made this little video to show you how Our family also wraps a

    Original URL path: http://smallnotebook.org/blog/page/151/ (2016-02-10)
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