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Monday, May 24, 2010

Just a few more common sense travel tips

I ran (I use the term loosely) the Walt Disney World Marathon in January. Given that the marathon was at Disney World, my parents wanted to come too and of course, they wanted to turn it into a vacation for my three year old son. Because my husband had just started a new job and couldn't go and because my parents were flying from a different destination, just my son and I traveled from North Carolina to Florida.


Traveling with a three year old isn't fun. To top it all off, for some reason I left my brain behind on this trip. Besides the typical delays and having to entertain a three year old, I had shampoo spill in my bag, had to pay an overweight bag charge, had to put sweaty marathon clothes back in my bag touching my clean clothes, left a few things in the hotel because they wouldn't fit in my bag, and the list goes on. If only I'd remembered:

  • Put your personal hygiene products in plastic bags.

  • Don't remove the plastic bags from your dry-cleaned items as they help reduce wrinkling.

  • Use grocery bags for packing shoes and bring along a few extra for damp or sweaty clothes.

  • Never pack your jewelery or medicine in your suitcase.

  • Put a collapsible bag in your suitcase to provide for more packing room on your way home.

  • Always make sure your name and contact number are on your luggage.

  • If you take a hairdryer or electric razor, make sure you pack an appropriate adaptor, if necessary.

  • Check your airline's baggage fee schedule. Sometimes the charge for a second bag is cheaper than paying the overweight charge on one big bag.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Perfect Garment

One thing I've been trying to do as we move is take stock of all the stuff I have and try to determine what I can get rid of. Apparently my husband too has been taking stock of all the stuff I have and recently asked me, "How many pairs of khaki pants does one woman need?" After counting I answered, "Apparently twelve."


What can I say? I love khaki pants. They are appropriate for most occasions (except for maybe a cocktail party). You can dress them up or down. There are so many styles to choose from, and each one has its own purpose. I can't imagine parting with one of my twelve pairs.


I think the thing I love the most is the way they look after picking them up from A Cleaner World. There is just something about that crease that runs down the front of the pants and just how fresh and crisp I look (I've mentioned how I like the crisp thing before) when I first put them on.


Of course now that A Cleaner World is 9 hours away, I am searching for a new cleaner. Recently I tried pressing a pair myself. That didn't go so well.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A New Sewing Machine

I'm awfully domestic. I grow my own herbs, make homemade bread and jelly, will only serve my family my fresh made marinara (no Ragu in my house), keep an immaculate home, and on and on. For some reason, I've never had the desire to learn how to sew. Yet for some reason, my husband, Matt, has a deep yearning for me to learn to.



Our first Christmas as a married couple taught him quickly that unsolicited appliances as gifts were a bad idea. My mom, who is great at sewing, bought a new sewing machine shortly before Christmas and still had the box. As a joke, the two of them decided to put the machine back in the box, wrap it up, and place it under the tree with my name on it. As I unwrapped the gift, I took a look at the box and hesitated. Matt encouraged me to open it, and for a brief moment I thought he'd just used the box for something else. Turns out when I opened it, there was a sewing machine. Tears immediately ran down my cheeks. I still remember the thought going through my head -- Married less than a year and he's already trying to make me something I'm not. Of course both he and my mom felt terrible. On a happy note, there were a pair of earrings stashed in the box.



Thank goodness for folks that do like to sew -- like Gladys who takes care of alterations at two of our Raleigh A Cleaner World locations and Bonnie at our A Cleaner World in Thomasville, someone I've personally used a number of times.



So several years later, Matt mentioned to his mother that he'd like to have a sewing machine. That Christmas he got one. The only person that's ever used it -- my mom.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Save Space in your Travel Bag

When I first met my husband, he traveled 60 - 70% of the time for his job. The first time I watched him pack, I was fascinated. He rolled his clothes, had small bottles of hygiene products, planned his wardrobe, and placed things in his suitcase in a way that I though was chaotic. Turns out he knew what he was doing. Here are a few packing tips to help you save space in your bag.




Roll your clothes, don't fold them.

Use sample size products for shampoo, conditioner, medicine, hairspray, and so on (and don't forget to put them all in liquid proof bags).

Wear your heaviest clothes and bulkiest shoes on the plane.

Color coordinate - Plan clothing so you can get a variety of outfits out of just a few pieces.

Try and eliminate the need for hairdryers, electric razors, etc. Call your destination to see what items are available in your room.

Make use of every inch of space - for instance, stick toiletries in your shoes and stuff socks and underwear in those outer pockets.

Still need more room? You could also try vacuum sealing your clothes in bags.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is just a few days away. I always appreciate my mom (and try to tell her on a regular basis) but even more so now that I am a mother myself. While my sister and I were growing up, my mom worked a full-time job, kept an immaculate house, and always made sure we had a home-cooked meal and ate together as a family. I now realize that was no small undertaking.



It seems fitting that we should have a day to honor a person that gives so much of themselves. Mother's Day started around 150 years ago when Anna Jarvis, an Appalachian homemaker, organized a day to raise awareness on poor health conditions in her community, a cause she believed would be best advocated by mothers. She called it Mother's Work Day.



In 1905 Anna Jarvis died and her daughter, also named Anna, began a campaign to memorialize the life of her mother. Anna began to lobby prominent businessmen and politicians to support her campaign to create a special day to honor mothers. In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a bill recognizing Mother's Day as a national holiday. Over time the holiday went from a special family day to more gift giving. Apparently Anna Jarvis didn't like how the holiday was being commercialized, and in 1923 she filed a lawsuit to stop a Mother's day festival and was arrested for disturbing the peace at a convention. Before her death in 1948, Jarvis is said to have confessed that she regretted ever starting the mother's day tradition.



Moms are happy when those they love remember them on this special day. How you remember isn't nearly as important as that you do. Keeping that in mind, here are a few ideas to help:




  • Help with chores

  • A day of rest

  • Quality family time

  • Dinner out

  • Cook dinner for her (and clean up the mess)

  • Breakfast in bed

  • Take her on a picnic

  • Home and school made cards and gifts

  • Put together a basket of some of her favorite things

  • Donate your time towards her favorite charity

You don't have to spend a ton of money to show your mom that you care. What mom treasures most is knowing that you really thought about her.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Just for Fun -- to celebrate Cinco de Mayo

There are places you always want to frequent when you go home for a visit. I am originally from a small town in Southern Indiana. As I've already mentioned, I am a big foodie. Whenever I go home, I always want to go to Hacienda Mexican Restaurant in Evansville. For whatever reason, I love their wet burritos. I don't know what it is -- the secret sauce, the mounds of cheese, or how it tastes when I use the meat and bean mixture as a dip for my chips. I just love them. My family knows how much I love them. In fact, my sister usually calls to heckle me when she goes with her friends.


Once of the things I did while working for A Cleaner World was to put together a quarterly employee newsletter. The content varied and typically included articles on equipment maintenance, employee benefits and wellness, customer service tips, and so on. Being the big foodie, I always included a recipe. I just thought it was a fun thing to do. One May I put this Wet Burrito recipe in to honor Cinco de Mayo. It turns out that it's awfully good. While it doesn't take the place of a Hacienda wet burrito, it does hold my craving at bay until I have a chance to go home again.





http://allrecipes.com/recipe/fabulous-wet-burritos/detail.aspx
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