Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday Must-Haves

Monday Must-Haves

1)  A Good Supply of Soft, White Washcloths - Thanks to my mom who gave us a stack a year or so ago, we have an abundance of soft, white washcloths.  At first I didn't know what to do with all of these washcloths, they hid out under our bathroom sink with only a few of them being used and washed every week.  Then a lightbulb went on and these have become our "green" and gentle solution for wiping the kids hands and faces down after meals.  I don't know about your kids, but there are many meals where we have faces that look like this:

We used to use paper towels we would wet to wipe them down, but that was not only irritating to their skin, it wasted LOTS of paper towels and didn't even do a very thorough job in cleaning them up.  The white washcloths are much gentler on their skin, can be rinsed and reused for both children (not to mention throughout the day), are washable for infinite uses, and for those messes that really stain - the white can be bleached!  This switchover may have added a tiny bit to my laundry load, but it saves us money from buying paper towels and the peace of knowing we're taking better care of our children's skin and the environment.

2)  A Day Planner - For my 30th birthday (yikes!) this past summer, my Auntie Carla & Uncle Trevor gave me a book by organizer extraordinaire Donna Otto called, "Secrets to Getting More Done in Less Time".  Her main solution to organization seemed to be having and USING a daily planner.  She paraphrases Mark Twain in saying, "Everybody talks about time management but nobody does anything about it."  By using a daybook she encourages you to make maximum use of your time.  Here is an excerpt from the book:

    "Did you know that most people are not able to explain in detail just how they spend their days and weeks?  They just know that they are "busy" with various "activities".  Try to pin these people down though with point-blank questions like, "How many minutes did you spend on the phone yesterday?" or "How many hours did you spend watching TV last week?" (my addition:  "How much time did you spend on Facebook or checking emails yesterday?) and they won't be able to tell you.  They are just winging their daily schedules and handling things as they come."

I can tell you this is how I handle time management most of the time.  I have an idea of our schedule in my head, but plans change and I end up forgetting some things.  Having a day planner where I keep track of our schedule and activities, even mundane daily tasks such as laundry, cleaning, computer work, helps me to see JUST where our time goes.  This has especially been helpful as a stay-at-home mom in helping me reprioritize where I WANT to be spending our time (at home together enjoying this blessed time in our lives) rather than where we sometimes END UP spending our time (running errands, overcommitting to too many playdates and activities).  In the past I haven't had a good daily planner, but I just received one that I am SO excited to use this next year.  Best of all - it was only $1.49 shipped!  It has a monthly and daily calendars for each month, plus space for writing notes and keeping financial records.


  1. I always love your must haves! It gives me those "me too" moments that I cherish!
    We use washcloths a LOT around here but lately we've started using more baby wipes because I let the wet washcloths sit in the washer once and it smelled for days!! :D
    I agree with the planner. I'm a listmaker so I could not survive without my planner.
    The vacuum thing eludes me still. My story is the same. Three vacuums in three years from costco. :( sigh. I want an oreck but it's not in budget right now. I'm just waiting for my "best of a machine" to break. It already makes odd noises and refuses to pick up pieces of lint. :) It is just over a year old so it should be anyday..... :D

  2. A note to Mom Brose -

    Hi, I'm Mindy's mom and yes I do
    have a vacuum cleaner fetish. I
    can't tell you how many vacuums I
    have purchased through the years, but
    I also wanted an Oreck and so a
    couple of years ago we purchased one.
    It was too light weight for me. I
    just didn't feel like it was getting
    the dirt out. It now sits in my mother's closet. Her housekeeper brings her own vacuum. Mindy's
    right, I also love the Kenmore we
    purchased a couple of years ago.

  3. Awesome!! Love your "Must Have" List. We, too, have about 30 washcloths that we use each week. LOVE them. Don't know what I'd do without them!! And we love our vacuum too - also researched on Consumer Reports (but what is funny is that it was a CR best buy and we did get it at Costco, but have had no problems with it). I am ordering my planner right now in a separate window :) even though I spent over $80 on my Franklin Covey planner last year - this cheaper one actually seems to suit my style more!! :)

  4. Jaimie - so glad you love your vacuum too and I can't wait to hear what you think about the planner!

  5. How much was your vacuum? I have a Dyson...don't so much love it...