Category Archives: Tips to Make Life Easier

Labels Review – Emily Press Labels

Labels are neatly stapled in booklets.

Emily Press Labels offered a discount coupon online  recently which was $15 for $30 worth of products so I decided to give it a try.  I find kids’ labels quite costly so this was a good opportunity for me to order some since Little Patch was starting daycare.  I ordered the Popular Name Labels and the Slim Name Labels.  The photos on their website gave me ideas on where I can use them.

There was a bit of a delivery hiccup (no fault of EP) which they immediately dealt with right away.  The service was great even though we communicated through Twitter, and I felt I was talking to a mom rather than a sales rep for a corporation.  They are a local company based in Vancouver, BC.

The labels come in cute little booklets, pages neatly stapled together.  The labels were surprisingly thin and the glue is strong.  I had to re-adjust the label a few times on a sippy cup and it stayed in its place after the final adjustment.  After daily washing for over a week, the labels still stayed in place and I wasn’t able to peel them off.  However, there may be some glue residue on the edges as after a day of having the sippy cup in a backpack, there were  minor dust and crumbs stuck around it.  But after washing, it’s all good again.

As for clothing labels, if you don’t care about designs, I had an earlier post about Name Label clothing labels which is a bang-on deal.

Holiday Gift-Giving without Giving a Gift

My husband and I don’t exchange presents with each other or our family and friends.   It’s not that we don’t buy stuff for anyone, but we buy gifts when we see something that is useful for our friends.  But that’s not limited to the twelve month of the year or birthdays.

I actually love the surprise element of receiving presents but I don’t expect or want any gifts because if I want something, I buy it myself (I’m very impatient!).  And we don’t expect family or friends to get it for us.  I’m also trying to have less materials in the house and try to practice the 3 Rs Reduce (working on that right now), Reuse and Recycle (got that down pat).

Here are some things that we sometimes do in lieu of buying impersonal gifts (ie. giftcards, chipping in a set amount to get something – afterall, a gift shouldn’t be limited to “$20 per person”):

make a donation in their name.  The money goes to a charity and your friend can get a tax break too.  Remember to get a donation receipt and put it in the birthday card or holiday card.

give your time.  Offer to take a friend somewhere if s/he doesn’t drive.  Or if you go to the movies, you can treat. Offer to babysit so your friends can have a date night.

frozen home cooked meal.  Make your friend’s favourite dish and prepare it so that it’s freezer ready.

do a favour for them.  It may be something you don’t expect.  Maybe your friend needs help planning a shower or a party or chase a debt for them… who knows?  What’s important is that you will take that task off their hands (assuming that you are capable of completing it).

The point is, there are a lot more creative and meaningful ideas rather than a $50 gift card.

Making Easy Meals for Gobblers

School is back and it’s time to stress over making meals for the kids.  I don’t have any kids that are returning to school but I have neices and nephews that come over and eat a lot.  They are growing so they are always hungry.  They chow down everything without enjoying the food unless Ed, the gourmet chef and super foodie explains the ingredients to them (which one of them is starting to become interested in how food is prepared and should taste). I love to cook but I don’t want to cook a fine meal if it is not appreciated.

If you are feeding kids who think food magically appears on the table, no appreciation of how food is made or come from (can’t blame them at their age), then here are some tips on making lots of food that will keep them full and your wallet happy.

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Hidden Blocks of Gems in Whole Foods

Although I find Whole Foods expensive to grocery shop regularly, I shop there at least once a month because there’s an area where mommies and their babies hang out around lunch time (the Cambie location).   It’s a great way to meet other mommies (especially the ‘Lululemommies‘)  if you are the social type.  But I found another great reason to shop there… the Cheese Ends section!

The Cheese Ends section is found near the blocks of cheese section in the fridge area.  I love to try different cheeses but don’t want to spend $10+ on a new cheese.  The Cheese ends are smaller blocks, probably leftovers from the large blocks being cut into popular sellable wedges.   It’s in a small basket and there are many different cheeses around the price range of $1.50 – $3.00.  The sizes are enough to make a cheese plate to share and definely enough for you to decide whether that cheese is for you.   At that price, I managed to pick up a couple of cheese to try on Patch’s burgers and as snacks.

Their Milkshake Brings All the Babies to the Farm

Along with many vitamins, an omega 3 fatty acid known as DHA found in fish and walnuts is essential in your pregnancy diet. This is good for the development of your baby’s brain, eyes and nervous system and YOU. If your baby is not getting enough DHA, s/he will start sucking the DHA out of you!

I rarely had time to cook a meal that contains enough DHA but I prefer to get my vitamins through food rather than supplements so I found a local dairy farm that carries products that contain DHA.

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Getting Rid of Spit Up Smells from Clothing

Milk residue scent on clothing is hard to get off. Since Little Patch’s been spitting up a lot, many of his clothing and especially bibs have an annoying smell on it even after multiple washings. I managed to find a solution to get the smell out and the clothing smelling clean as spring.

  1. Do a rinse in the washer with a cup of white vinegar.
  2. Do a regular wash and rinse cycle. During the wash cycle, use your regular laundry detergent and add a few drops of dish detergent (I used Palmolive’s Green Apple but the clothes don’t end up smelling like dish detergent so I don’t think it matters what you use).
  3. Do a rinse cycle with water only.

This actually takes a long time and uses a lot of water so I tried doing step 1 or step 2 only to see if I can eliminate a step but the result remained smelly. I think it’s easier to just buy new bibs for him. As for clothing, I try to do this once in awhile when I have a full load of clothes with the smell.

Paperwork Checklist for Canadian Moms

Here’s a checklist that you may find useful after giving birth to your baby (links included for some forms).

Using Booties for Cooties

Kushies Terrycloth Newborn Booties

If you find baby mitts are too loose on your baby’s hands and keeping losing it (they tend to find ways to fling them off when you are not paying attention), you can use newborn baby booties that no longer fit their feet as mitts. The elastic area is tight enough to hold the mitts in place but not too tight to leave marks.