Five for Friday – November 21

five for friday november 21

Who has their Thanksgiving day menu planned out yet?  I kind of do – I know there will be some turkey and stuffing involved, which reminds me that I need to stop by Trader Joe’s and do a dry run of their gluten free stuffing…I’m glad I remembered!  Before you start preparing for the upcoming eating-fest of a holiday, check out my Five for Friday!

I think I may cry.  I just read an article about rice having arsenic in it.  Seriously?!?


Some of the craziest haircuts ever…which one do you think takes the cake?


Please be sure to check out my Holiday Gift Guide page (frequently), which houses links to all of the individual guides I post!


What happens when a curious squirrel encounters a Go Pro?

Another squirrel – Go Pro encounter that ends differently!


If you are one of the many who venture out for the Black Friday deals, here is a listing of Black Friday Store Hours.  May the force be with you!  The one time I shopped on Black Friday was when we moved into our first home and really wanted to get a nice TV for the family room.  It was pure insanity…from the droves of people (that were NOT nice – where was the holiday spirit???), to the man that passed out on my shoulder from the body heat emanating from the way-too-many people waiting on line to pay.  I’ll wait for Cyber Monday.




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Advent Calendars Modernized!

advent calendars modernized

As I go through all of the holiday flyers, email ads, etc. I can’t help but to see all of the cool advent calendars out there.  I didn’t even know different versions existed aside from the cardboard version with the chocolate candy behind each day you would pop out.  So excited!

We got the Lego City one last year and it was a huge hit…I had to watch my boys because they wanted to pop out a few too many days in advance.

kids advent calendar collage

From top left, clockwise: LEGO City Advent Calendar // Eric Carle’s Dream Snow Pop-Up Advent Calendar // PLAYMOBIL Santa’s Workshop Advent Calendar // Barbie Advent Calendar

It’s not ALL about the kids is it? Here are some for the ladies in your life:

Advent calendars come in many shapes and sizes – I also like the ones that you can reuse year after year…adding your own little goodies for each day.

I think that advent calendars are a nice family tradition.  It gets everyone excited for the big day (especially me, or maybe more so me???).  Do you use an advent calendar?

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Tips for Making Household Chores “Easier”

tips for making household chores easier

Maintaining the family home is an ongoing challenge, especially for those of us with a busy lifestyle. Parental responsibilities usually come first, and home maintenance does not always get the attention we would like to give it as a result. However, keeping the home in good condition is in many ways the most important responsibility there is when it comes to properly caring for your family.

Fortunately, home maintenance does not always have to be as difficult, time-consuming, and expensive as you might expect. In many cases properly maintaining your home will simply be a matter of implementing measures now that will reduce the amount of effort required in the future, and save time and money in the long term.

Hints and Tips

 Here are some things to think about when working out ways to maintain your home with a minimum of cost and effort.

  • Open plan spaces: Larger rooms may seem as though they will require more work to care for, but in reality an open plan space will often be a lot easier to maintain as you will have a large, single space to clean rather than having to repeat the same cleaning and maintenance tasks over and over again in multiple smaller spaces.
  • Minimalist interiors: The best way to complement an open plan space is with a minimalist design. Reducing clutter and keeping surfaces clear makes them much easier to clean and maintain. The less furniture in a room, the easier it will be to regularly clean carpets and rugs, while fewer furniture surfaces will help make dusting easier.
  • Think seasonally: It is important to consider the impact that different kinds of weather can have on your home. For example, UV rays from direct sunlight can fade colors on soft furnishings and carpets – particularly darker colors. Similarly, winter brings its own share of hazards and the impact that central heating can have on your furnishings should be considered when placing items in a room relative to radiators.

Streamlining Tasks

Day to day chores are, by their very nature, not much fun. Fortunately, all it takes is a bit of planning to streamline these tasks and get through them quickly and efficiently.

  • Create a schedule: If you have a schedule that tells you what you need to do and when you need to do it, you will be able to move from task to task in an efficient manner, eliminating the wasted time that would otherwise result from wondering which chore to tackle next.
  • Little and often: Short, sharp bursts of housework tend to be far less dull and boring, while also being easier to build in to a daily routine.
  • Enlist professional help: Many individuals turn to external sources to carry out chores that can be done far more quickly – and with better results – by experts. In many cases, having professionals take care of larger, specialized jobs such as floor maintenance and carpet cleaning will actually save money in the long run. If you are looking for information about carpet and rug cleaning in Toronto, the Action ChemDry website is a great place to start.

Good Habits

Efficient home maintenance is all about developing good habits and working these into a day-to-day routine; by doing this you can get a huge amount done with a minimal investment of time and effort. This approach to properly maintaining your home is also the best way of saving money in the long-term as minor issues can be dealt with before they escalate into something far more expensive and difficult to resolve.

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Wining Wednesday – What to Pair with Your Thanksgiving Meal

Vinepair pulls through yet again with another infographic to take the guess work out of pairing your alcoholic beverage of choice with your Thanksgiving meal!

thanksgiving wine beer booze pairingI highly recommend checking out their site…it is filled with a wealth of information pertaining to anything and everything you would want to know about wine an other beverages.  I have no affiliation with them, just admiration!



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I Heart Stocking Stuffers – Container Store

I heart Stocking Stuffers
If stockings could be as big as, I don’t know, just really big…I’d be super happy!  I have been finding some of the coolest stuffers and I need to share…

The Container Store – Every year I find some really cool and different stuffers, all pleasing the recipients!  Here are some of my favorites from Container Store:

Perfect for the hostess with the most-ess!  This crumb catcher vacuum, besides being super cute, is super helpful after a long night of delicious food and drink.

container store crumb catcher
For the Type A in your life.  This weekly calendar sticky note is perfect for jotting down what’s going on for the next 7 days.  I would complete this every Sunday night and lovingly place it smack dab in the center if the fridge so everyone knows who goes where when.  Between baseball, basketball, volunteering at school, dinners, etc this would be a godsend.  Since my husband rarely reads my blog – if you know him, can you please send him this link?  I owe you!

container store weekly calendar sticky notes
This contact lens case is just cute.

container store u lens contact case
Perfect for the chef.  These adorable little sheep will help them from a major boil-over mess.

container store lid lifters
For the fashionista.  This bag holder is perfect for when she dines out and doesn’t want to place her bag on the floor.  I don’t blame her…

container store hangbag hanger
I bought this for three people last Christmas, including myself!  Crumbs and dust in your keyboard have nothing on this great cleaner!

container store electronics cleaning brush
Check out other fun stuffer ideas on my Stocking Stuffer Guide Pinterest Board!
  Any of the above fit the bill for someone on your gift list?  Are there other sites that you visit for cool ideas such as the ones above?  I’d love to know!
**BTW, I do not have any affiliation with The Container Store, I just love what they have to offer!

photo credit: dianaeberni via photopin cc

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