Playroom Organizing – Part 4

More Storage Solutions

I am going to take you on an Ikea shopping trip with me.  These are all pictures I took when I went the year before last.  I love this store, but I am not getting any kind of affiliate, commission or any other compensation by telling you about them or posting this.  I just love some of the solutions they have for toy storage.

Keep in mind that there are many other alternatives for where to purchase like items. Target has great cubbies, and is where I get mine.  So look around, this is just meant to give you some ideas.

If you read me at all you know I LOVE cubbies.  There are many different styles and inserts you can get for cubbies.  Many stores have them, although not a lot of others have the full wall units like these.
Like OMG isn’t this the cutest?  These are slide out bins.  I do wish the colored ones were clear though.  But I still love it. You can mix and match and make your own set up with this system.

Here is another option with the same kind of units.

To have an art desk or homework desk would be awesome in a playroom. (Keep in mind that doing homework in a playroom is not a real good idea unless your child can really focus).

Here is another desk idea for a playroom. These also would be great in a child’s room if you had space for them.

This is a cubby unit that hangs on the wall. Then you can have storage space underneath it.  You could also use this above a desk or higher on the wall to keep the games away from the little ones.

These hanging net cubbies are cute for those little stuffed animals or trinkets.

Here are some other little cute storage ideas for the walls.  Of course these are fabric and you couldn’t hand anything too heavy in them, but wouldn’t they decorate a wall cute?

Here is something for the little bit older group.  A locker.  They could use it for game storage, DVD or CD storage like pictured. But they could also put books, have fun decorating it inside and out and use all those cool locker gadgets you see at the stores (but a lot of schools don’t allow).

I also saw these cute colorful frames there. They were only $1.99 each. What a cute way to showcase their most special artwork!  It would be another cute way to decorate the walls of the playroom and make them feel really special.

So I took you on my Ikea shopping trip.  It is to give you ideas. If you see something you like…shop around for it. There may be other places you can find it…or try ebay or amazon too.  Or you can do like me….garage sales, dollar store and Target & Walmart. Really Ikea’s prices are not bad at all….I want to take a shopping trip down to the one in Ohio again soon. The only one I went on was with my husband….and how fun is that?  LOL

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Playroom Organizing – Part 3

Toy Storage

So now that you have your toys sorted (well hopefully) you need to know where and how to put them.

My Guidelines and thoughts are Simple

I like a shelf rather than a toy box.  Toys get lost in toy boxes.  Kids don’t want to dig down to the bottom. Pieces fall down into that dark hole of toy misfitness and are never seen again.

Be sure if you use a shelf that you anchor it to the wall.  Kids like to climb on things, especially if they see something up top that they want and can’t reach.  You want to always be sure that shelf can not fall over on them.

Be sure to put the toys at age appropriate levels.  Put the toys where the young children can find them.  Put the older toys and games with small pieces up higher so the younger ones can’t choke on small things.  This toy shelf I bought years ago when my boys were young.  It had been a coat rack in a daycare.  See the smaller cubbies on the right. That was their top cubby when it was turned on its side and their coats hung in the other longer part. I probably bought this about 25 years ago (wow that makes me feel old…I still remember how excited I was to find it…and it was cheap!)

I am all for the clear baskets or like these….where you can see what is in them.  They don’t all have to match or be stylish (depending on where your playroom is). These are from the dollar store.

This one we use for the marbles. Yes…that is a big sock..filled with marbles. Don’t ask me why we keep them in a sock. I just know that my Dad put mine in a sock years ago and these are still the marbles I used to have….(yes in a newer sock)….but it works.

Think outside the box.  I had to figure out some way to hang these guitars for guitar hero.  I had this hook already and it fit perfect….solution.

Our playroom is in our unfinished basement.  We have put down a rug and have a futon, some restaurant benches that my son got from a friend, several old TV’s for the game systems.  So you can make due where you have the space.

We made a bedroom in the basement for one of our older boys (his choice). The kids used to use the “under the stairs” space for a fort. But since that was now made into his closet…we had to block the other side.  This was our solution.

Several bulletin boards did the trick. It blocked off the opening and provided a great place for the kids to display their art work.

I’ll have a list of some other toy storage solutions that you can find tomorrow!

I am all about practicality.  Make it work….think outside the box.

Linking this post to:

A Bowl Full of Lemons

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Kakadu Pet Beds

May 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Pets, Reviews & Giveaways

Sadie and Gizzy Will Review These Dog Beds


So what do you think…should dogs have a nice comfy bed to sleep in?  I say it if helps to keep them off my couch and beds (they aren’t allowed on the beds, but because we have a teenager in the basement…Gizzy goes and sleeps on his bed when he isnt’ home). I received 2 Kakadu Island Pet Beds to review


These beds are really nice. They remind me of heavy duty sleeping bag material with almost a down like squishy feel to them. To be honest I have to shoo the kids out of the bed because they like lay in it to watch TV…it is that comfortable!

Features:

It has reversible cushion for a different look

You can use the inside cushion on it’s own (which we might do)

It is washable (I have found that out ….thank you very much Gizzy)

It has the side that the dogs seem to love.

It comes in 4 sizes (and 4 colors).

I got an extra large. Sadie is about 45-50 pounds and the extra large really is too big for her. I think she would have done great in the large and she probably would have been fine in the medium.

To Purchase Your Own

Go to Kakadu Pets.com and purchase one

I was given these dog beds to review. The video and pics and opinions are all mine.. and Sadie & Gizzy’s.

Update (April 5, 2012) The dogs still have the large size bed and still sleep in it. They ended up using it more after I made the video.  The smaller bed I gave to my son for his new puppy last year. The girls always slept in the large one together anyway.

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Playroom Organizing – part 2

Do the Kids Help or Not?

When it comes to sorting and organizing – Getting through the toys and being able to discard them (donate or trash) are your kids going to be a help or a hinder?

You need to decide if you want your children to help sort and organize or not. There are pros and cons to both methods. You know your children best and know what will work for them.

Pros

*Teaches them the importance of organizing at an early age

*Teaches them others are not as fortunate.

*Teaches them that cleaning up and clearing out can feel good

Cons

*Tantrums over giving things up

*Not as productive – it will take longer to have the kids help you. So if on a limited time frame it could be a problem

*Giving in and keeping more than you should because your child decides they want to keep everything

My Thoughts on the Subject

Some children will not handle giving up their toys easily. They can sway you to keeping everything and accomplishing nothing. But….they also need to LEARN that they do have to give up things and it will help them later in life. So it is a balance. My suggestion for these kids is for you to do the bulk of the sorting before they get home. They do not necessarily need to see what you are donating or getting rid of. But I would leave several things that are broken or they have out grown and then sit down with them when they get home and have them help you sort those things. Teach them that they need to share with other children who have less. Teach them they

What worked for me

For my 4 older boys (now ages 17-26) I did all the toy sorting myself (without their help).  I get a bit driven when I am in my “organizing mode” and personally I just like to go go go…so I prefer to organize by myself at home. I can honest say that there was never a time that my boys missed something or were upset when they got home.  They were always happy to see things neat and in order. I think it was that same “relief” feeling we get when we walk into a space that has once been too cluttered and now is neat and organized.  They didn’t have problems with giving up their toys and liked that most of the things were donated to other kids.

Now with my  4 step kids (ages 9 – triplets and a 16 year old) I have had them help me.  I don’t know why the difference.  But they are very good at helping and do not have problems with giving things away.  They crack me up because they tell me their mom doesn’t want to get rid of any of their things at her house and they are the ones that want to get rid of some of the clutter over there. (they are learning!)

Which way works best for you and your children?

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Gleek Retreat 2010

Small Conferences Can Be Great



I had a great time at the Gleek Retreat in MI this last weekend.  It was a 6 hour drive for me…which I did on Friday.  I got there about 3pm and helped Jodi and Stacey put together some wonderful Swag baskets.  The location was perfect.  Into the Woods Retreat was located back in the woods and was a lovely large house that was made into a B&B for retreats.
Here my recap picture video of our weekend.

There were 30 people in attendance.  When I first heard only 30 people I thought…wow that is small.  But it was great.  I got to meet so many of them and actually talk to them. LOL

There were several very new bloggers there and for some it was their first conference. How perfect!  Courtney Velasquez had requested that I speak with her for the presentation on “Connecting Social Media and In Real Life”.  Considering there was another session going on at the same time (and remember only 30 people there) we had half the crowd at our session. I think it went fine and there were many questions, so we were thrilled.

Thank you to Collective Bias for Sponsoring me to go.

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Organizing the Playroom – Part 1

Is Your Children’s Playroom a Disaster?

“Before picture – too many toys & books”

Many times the main problem that we have in the kids playroom is that they have too many toys!! We love our kids and want to give them everything. But sometimes everything is too much.

Have you heard the phase, “Less is More” ? This can be very true in regards to this. I am not saying to throw out all they toys. Not at all. But I am saying 90% of the time that our kids have too many toys.

Are you overwhelmed when you walk into a room of your house and there is SO much Stuff? You don’t know where to start…and it almost makes you feel like just walking right back out of that room.
So why should your kids feel any different if they walk into a playroom with SO much Stuff? They can be overwhelmed by toys. I know that it seems they should be happier with lots of toys…but it can be too much.

So what to do?
Start with at the starting point. Sorting! (You knew I was going to say that didn’t you?) You can go back and look at how to sort in my “Five Steps to Sorting” post.

Sorting in a Playroom

Step 1 -
Get those black and white trash bags. Black for trash – White for Donate

Step 2 -
Make those decisions quick. Do not sit and remember each birthday party or Christmas that each toy came from. Remembering the fun, who gave it to them. Feeling guilty if you give it up. That is “personalizing” the toy. You can take a picture of it…if it is something you want to remember.

Step 3 -
Look at each toy or book. Ask yourself these questions:
1) Does it work? (broken? – trash)
2) Do they like and and play with it? (If not – donate)
3) Have they out grown it? (donate)
4) Does it have all the pieces and parts? (If not – trash)
5) Is it broken? (Trash)
6) Is it worth taking up space in the playroom? (If not – donate)

Step 4 -
Decide if YOU are the reason they have too many toys. Are YOU the one that doesn’t want to give them up? Many times we are the problem, not the kids. We remembering picking out that toy and how excited we were to give it to them. We know how much it cost and know that it was expensive.
BUT…..if they do not use it any longer, if it is broken ….it is time to give it up.

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Bathroom Organizing – Part 5

Accessorize to Organizing

There are many different items you can find to organize any room of your home. The bathroom is no exception. Do you have to spend a lot of money to do it? No way. You don’t have to buy all new cabinets or completely overhaul your bathroom (pimp your Bathroom….new show? LOL). If you are able to get a few items then it is great. There are many things that can help. I am just going to show you a few that I have in my own bathroom.

The above item is something I reviewed. It is called the Belles Dangle Organizer (the contest is closed) I hung it over my soaking tub. It was an area wall in the bathroom that I wasn’t using, but it comes in real handy now. It is directly behind the sinks. I keep my most worn accessories here. I have a jewelry box for my other jewelry. This is the fun stuff.

This is an item that I bought years ago and love. I did do a post on this slim cabinet last year. I had several responses asking where I got it. I couldn’t find this exact one, but The Container Store has several varieties. I use the bottom drawer as a trash can.

Of course the ever present (in many showers) shower organizer. There are many kinds to choose from. There are some that go in the corner on a pressure rod…or this kind. The only problem with these is they can be known to slide down the shower head and drive you crazy. But it makes a nice place for those bottles of shampoo, body wash etc.

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Card Cubby

Congrats!

Winner #1  Random.org # 127 is Cheryl G.

Winner #2 Random.org #106 is Busiemommie

A Rolodex for Your Purse

I love an organized purse and this Card Cubby makes organizing all those gift cards, reward cards, library cards, etc… easy to find.  I know that I had a pile of them in my purse before…and what do you do each time you need one? Yes….you sort through them until you find the one you need. No more!!

The other thing I think is great…what a cool gift for Graduation or a Wedding?  What does everyone give now? Gift cards right? Wouldn’t it be neat to put your gift card in this to give to them?

The Card Cubby has  alphabetized dividers. So you Target gift card goes under “T”. Your Subway rewards card goes under “S”.  Easy to find!!

I have been using one for over a year before I decided to sell them myself.  It has held up great, it has a strong magnet on the front. It is easy to clean if needed and the dividers are a sturdy and haven’t gotten bent up or destroyed.

Here is a video to show you how the Card Cubby works

In Celebration of carrying them in my “store” I am going to give away 2 of them to you!

To Purchase Your Own:

Go to my Store and order.  They cost $19.95 each.

To Win:

Go to Organizewithsandy.com/pouchee and tell me which color Card Cubby you would like if you win. **Be sure to come back here and leave me a comment.  Your e-mail needs to be either on your comment or easily accessible in your profile.

For Extra chances to Win:

**Each of these HAS to have a separate comment written please. (I know its a pain, but other wise you won’t have as many chances if you don’t)

You can find all the links in my right hand sidebar.

1) Subscribe to my Organizing with Sandy blog – 5 chances to win (be sure to leave 5 comments)

2) Subscribe to my NEW Blog Chat with Sandy for 5 chances.

3) Follow me on Twitter

4) Follow me on Linked In

5) Tweet out this giveaway up to 3 times per day. Write a comment for each time you do with the link.

6) Add any of my 3 buttons (Organize with Sandy, Reviews, Chat with Sandy) to your sidebar and come back to let me know. Separate

entry for each one you add.

See….lots of ways to enter to win!

This contest will run until 11:59pm est on  June 3rd, 2010 . THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

Any comment that comes in after the above time will be deleted.

This is open to US mailing addresses only. One person per mailing address only. Winner will be chosen by Random.org

You will have 48 hours to reply to my e-mail if you win to be eligible. If I don’t hear back then I will go to the next winner.

Disclosure Policy

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Bathroom Organizing – Part 4

Look behind your door for more Space.

Be sure to use the space behind the doors. You can use a shoe organizer. There is room for cosmetics, hair products, extra shampoos or lotions.
There are other over or behind the door products you can find. It might be hooks for your robes or towels. But it doesn’t have to be something you use in the bathroom. You could use this pantry over the door organizer.

Of course you wouldn’t want cans in your bathroom ( at least I dont’ think. LOL) …but you can use it to store soap, hair products etc.
But don’t hesitate to look for ways to use that space.

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Bathroom Organizing – Part 3

Use those Walls!

If you are looking for space in your bathrooms, don’t forget to use those walls.  It might be in the form of shelves, hooks, hangers or medicine cabinets…but do not neglect them.

Here are a few examples of how you can use wall space to your advantage.

This is in my downstairs bathroom. It is a small half bath with a pedestal sink ( so there is no cabinet storage there).  I can keep the essentials here with extra TP and hand towels. In this bathroom we don’t need storage for toothbrushes etc.

Here is another option for a shelf for storage.

This of course could be used for many other items, but it serves this purpose in the master bathroom.

The kids have this shelf/cabinet in their bathroom:

This is also over top the toilet, although it does not go down to the floor like the other.  My oldest son uses this for his things.  The next oldest has the medicine cabinet. The triplets have a shelf on the colored pegboard wall…OK…I’ll show you that too because it can make good use out of a wall.

When we got married and Dave’s 4 kids moved in, there was only 1 towel rack on this wall. I knew that was not going to work for 5 children.  So I decided to get peg board and paint it.  Before I did that, I went online and found this colored plastic pegboard and the hooks and accessory trays too. (I just looked for the site and couldn’t find it…so if anyone does go hunting and finds  - please leave a comment for others) I did a post on this early last year on solutions in the kids bathroom.

But each child has a tray and hooks for their towels and a robe. It works great!

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Build A Bear Donation

Fairy Tales, Princesses & White Horses

Today was a trip to Build a Bear for my Step Daughter.  It was courtesy of Maxine Clark (founder of Build a Bear).  You see a couple of months ago I heard about a family that had several terrible things happen all at once.

The mother had been battling a kidney disease. She was on dialysis several times a week. While they were waiting for her to get a new kidney, they found out that she has pancreatic and intestinal pcancer.  Then their house burnt down…they lost everything (other than their lives).

There are 4 children, three girls and a boy.  Toni (@totallytoni) told us about this family in the Collective Bias Community.  I talked to my s-daughter and said I was going to pack up a box of her clothes for these girls.  She came up to help me. We packed up a box of clothes and then I suggested that maybe she had some toys that she didn’t use as much and might like to donate.  She picked several very nice things ….and then handed me her Build a Bear.  She only had two of them.  I asked her if she really wanted to give it up (it was in perfect condition with a cute outfit on it). She said, “Those girls need it more than I do.”

I was so proud of her.  So we packed up the boxes and sent them off.

I then told @buildabear and also @ChiefExecBear (Maxine Clark) on Twitter.  They were so sweet.  They sent the children who lost their home and have a very ill mother all their own Build a Bears.  They also sent my s-daughter a gift certificate so she could pick out a new one.

Thank you so much!! Here is a video of her day today.

I realized that I put 3 kids instead of 4 in the video. Maxine sent them all a bear.

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Bathroom Organizing – Part 2

Organizing your counters

Ideally, it would be wonderful to have your bathroom counters completely clear. But realistically …. it rarely happens in the bathrooms. But try to limit the items on the counter to the things you use daily. If you only use it once a week or less than that, try to make drawer room for it.

Considering that your first step was already to sort through your items to keep what you really need (throw out those old lipsticks and mascaras.)

There are many different organizers you can get for your counters. Above is one that I use for my makeup. I also have a smaller one that I use.

I also use some of my Longenberger baskets (although I think these might be my knock offs) for Q-tips and a taller one for our toothbrushes and toothpaste.

Whatever method you use to organize your items just keep these tips in mind:
1) Sort through your items and dispose of old cosmetics or items you don’t use.
2) Only keep on your counters what you use daily or every couple of days.
3) Don’t keep duplicates of items out on the counters

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Bathroom Organizing – Part 1

Bathroom Organizing Can be a Challenge

Is your bathroom a “walk in mansion?” or is it a tiny sink, toilet and shower without much storage?  I would venture to guess that most of us are of the latter.  Bathrooms can be difficult to organize.  Some have very little storage available and there might be an entire family trying to use one sink.

I want to share a few suggestions I have over the next couple of days…and hopefully you will be able to pick up a few things that might make your organizing a little easier. At least that is my goal.

Sorting

As with any organizing job…the first step is to sort.  You may think that you don’t have anything you don’t need in your bathroom.  But I would bet that you will surprise yourself when you go through your things.  Here are some sorting tips if you need a refresher.

What about that suntan lotion that is less than half full from last summer (they say not to keep them too long).  Or that bath set that your 5 year old got you from the dollar store 5 years ago that you feel guilty throwing out (but you know you will never use).  Go through..you will be surprised.

I actually did some needed sorting myself before I took these pictures. I was able to get rid of a full bag of stuff.

Under the Sinks

You want to be able to utilize as much of the space under your sink as you can.  The pipes are always a challange.  But you can use wire racks to make double layers as I did in the above picture.

I love using baskets and bins. I always say to use clear ones if possbile. That way you can see really quickly what is in them.  I have my big bottles of shampoo and conditioner off to the left because they are too tall.  I have my other supplies that I will use in the baskets.  Do NOT keep expired medicines, lotions, etc… Throw them out if they are too old. Do not keep things for sentiment value (bubble bath that Aunt Mary gave you but you hate the smell). If it is perfectly good and you can donate it…then wonderful. If not..pitch it. Unless you have plenty of space to store it. But if you are struggling to make space for your things you need….don’t waste that space on something you don’t need.

There are plenty of places to get organizers for under the sink. You can check Walmart, Target or other discount stores. There are plenty of options.

Tip: Measure your space, height, depth and width before you go.

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Summer Vacation – Organizing the Car

Keeping your Car Organized when traveling

Keeping things from turning into “car gone wild” while traveling helps to keep everything a little calmer. Remember the “Clutter in your Home = Clutter in your Head?” We can change that to “Clutter in your Car = Craziness trapped in a moving vehicle with kids while traveling!”

Here is one car organizer that you can find online.   It would fit neatly inbetween 2 kids in the back seat. Looks like it might be better for the older kids who might not have as much “stuff” as some of the younger ones.

Here is another version of a car organizer that would be great for younger kids.  It is bigger and allows for a surface to draw on or play some games. It also has pockets all the way around but has an inside storage area too.

This is a car organizer that attaches to the headrests. I think it could still work on the front seats if you didn’t have a bench seat…for a trip.  I do like the idea and looks like it holds more than many of the normal ones you see that hang off the headrest.

The last car organizer is one that goes over the headrest.  This is one that I actually bought myself.  I like it especially if I am alone in the car. When I drive on long trips it is great. I can put extra drinks up there and maps etc.  When I am not alone I simply swing it around to the back seat.

There are many different styles and prices of car organizers on the market. These all happen to be from Online Organizing.

So on your next trip….find a way to organize your things and your kids things (might be a backpack or bag from a convention. You don’t have to go out an purchase something new.  Heck…a cardboard box can work great. Use a shoe box inside or cereal box for magazines etc.  Be creative!

Disclosure: I think I do have an affiliate link for online organizing but  I did not use any kind of affiliate links on this blog post. I purchased the bottom swing away car organizer myself. It was not given to me. No one from Online Organizing or any of the car organizers asked me to do this. I just wanted you to see the different options that were out there.

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Motorcycle Accident

May 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Family & Friends, Health & Safety

My Son’s Motorcycle Accident – Helmets Can Save Lives!


I got “that” call the night before last. The phone woke me up at 12:30pm. My 2nd son Drew was on the line.  “Mom, I’m on the way to the hospital. Joe has been in a motorcycle accident………..he is ok.” Drew starts crying. I’m still waking up and trying to decifer what I am hearing. So he tells me what he knows and says he’ll call me back as soon as he gets to the hospital. I hang up the phone….I start crying. The realization that Drew might not be telling me everything. That my 2 sons were in TN and I am in OH. Of course the mind goes crazy. Dave woke up and asked what happened. I am crying and trying to tell him.  He hugs me and holds me.

Drew calls again at the hospital. He handed the phone to his cousin Matt who was with Joe when it happened. Matt had been a medic in the army and his wife is actually an ER nurse in Vanderbilt Medical center where they were. He tells me that Joe has an injured ankle and shoulder and road rash. They were going to get x-rays and CT scan of the head.  He put Joe on the phone and at first he was too muffled to understand. He had to take off the oxygen mask and he said to me, “Are you going to tell me ..I told you so?” I laughed and told him no.

My son…yeah….not such a lovely pose -( I had to do a bit of photo editing).  He actually was posing for his cousin’s FB page, not for his mother. He doesn’t look bad in this picture does he? Read on…you’ll see why.

This is what happened (as best as I can tell it from what I heard)  Joe was at the motorcycle club (military veterans) with his cousin and his friends. They left there (Joe was not drunk…he passed the test without any problems at the hospital) and a group of 5 of them were heading for home around 11:00pm. Joe was the 3rd one in the single file line. I guess the least experienced rider (Joe had only been riding about 2 months) goes in the middle. The most experienced leads the way. They  were on a freeway entrance ramp increasing speed to get into traffic. Suddenly a white pick up truck stops getting on the freeway. The lady behind him slams on her brakes. The first 2 riders were able to swerve around one left and one right of the car. Joe was not as lucky. He had no where to go. He was laying  down his bike and then it flipped him over onto his left side. His cousin Matt was trying to miss hitting him and his extended foot rest hit Joe’s helmet and spun him around.  Behind them traffic was coming fast. Another one of the club  members was in a truck coming up next and saw sparks and was able to slam on his brakes and hit flashers to get the rest of the traffic to stop.

I asked Joe what he was thinking in that moment that he was rolling across the pavement. He said he was hoping all those lights he saw from oncoming cars were not going to hit him.

The white truck left the scene. They aren’t sure if that person even really knew what happened or just got scared. The woman in the car was first upset that Joe’s motorcycle had slid under her car and had caused a couple dents. But she was a nurse and did go help Joe. Matt was a medic in the army so he knew what to do. I guess his helmet broke (the fasteners to hold it on) when he ripped it off his head and threw it down running to help Joe. Another one of the club members was in a car several back and wondered why there was traffic that time of night. Then they saw Matt walking on the road  and ran to help. One of them was a Doctor. So Joe was in good hands.

The ER filled with about 20-25 of this motocycle club. They were all worried about Joe. The lead biker felt he should have been able to protect Joe somehow since he was lead biker and had the most experience. Joe’s roommate JS was upset because Joe had mentioned driving to the club that night since it had rained earlier and the roads were wet. JS talked Joe into riding their bikes. They all came in to see Joe…one by one. Telling him they were there for him..anything he needed.  Those are friends. They might have looked a little rough or scary to some in their leather vests etc…but they were there for my son …..so they are wonderful!  It was no ones fault …it was an accident – no one knew it was coming.

Hospital report showed no broken bones or internal injuries. The head CT was fine. So let’s explore how someone can be going almost freeway speed, get thrown from a motorcycle onto asphalt ….have another motorcycle foot rest hit your head and spin you around and all you have is a hurt shoulder, nasty road rash on your knees, hip and side, a hurt ankle and hurt wrist.

Proper equipment – Joe had on a full helmet, leather jacket with skid plates, leather gloves with skid plates ( I don’t know that is what they call them…but protection in the gloves), long pants (only would have been better if he had on chaps) and boots. Here are the results of what happened to those.

I know these  gloves don’t look bad. But they said the leather on the other side of the gloves was pretty messed up….see the knuckles?  Joe would have had some messed up knuckles and hands without these.

Part of the jacket. What would Joe’s arm have looked like if it made a hole in this jacket sleeve?

But this is what really got me.  Yes the face mask is all scraped up…so Joe’s face would have been a mess without the front protection. But look at the back of the helmet. Think what his scull would have looked like instead of this flap of broken helmet.  Think he would have been here today? Maybe….but also probably in a coma ….or some serious brain damage if he were alive at all.

Yes Joe was a new rider….but believe me…accidents happen. The other riders said it wasn’t anything Joe did wrong. They think the same thing would have happened to them in the same circumstance. Joe had considered getting a half helmet like the others wore….to look cool. But Matt told him for the first 2 years of riding you need a full helmet. Thank God he did.

My interpretation is….it doesn’t matter how experienced you are….you never know when or how an accident is going to happen. That wind in your hair may feel nice…but is it worth it? Simple choice to me.

Side Note: TN (where my son lives) has a mandatory helmet law.  OH (where I live) does not require helmets. So hard to believe. There is a law that you have to wear a seat belt and you can’t text while driving (which are both good laws) but no law to wear a helmet.

Thanks for sending me the pictures boys. Thanks for taking care of my boy. Love you son.

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Summer Vacation & Kids

How to you Get kids to Behave In the Car?

They look like angels here! But were they in the car?

So you are off on your vacation. Everyone is excited..the car is loaded and off you go!  For the first 15 minutes it is wonderful. You are talking about what it will be like when you get there.  Then little Jimmy takes little Sissy’s barbie doll…and all heck breaks loose….for the next 13 hours!

Sound familiar?  So what do you do to help keep your kids occupied on a trip?

Have plenty of things lined up to do.

1) Books – They are wonderful if your kids read. Make a special trip to the book store or library so that book seems really special.

2) Stories on CD – You can get at the library or bookstore.

3) DVD Players – I think this is a saving grace. We have a portable one we bought only for trips. But we don’t use it the whole way.

4) Have a pad of paper & pencil for each child. Play the License plate game (they list all the states they see) or the ABC game. Find the ABC’s on signs and the first person to get to Z wins.

5) Take non messy snacks and water. Fruit snacks are good or dried fruit. Small bite size crackers don’t make too much mess either. It is best to dole these out in individual bags for each child.

Have a Plan for Rewarding Good Behavior

Should good behavior be expected? Well sure.  Should it always be rewarded…nope . But come on, we are talking a 13 hour car ride straped in a seatbelt or car seat…we can’t ask for miracles.

1) We rewarded each child with .25 cents (yes..only a quarter and this included the 14 & 15 yr old) for each hour they behaved.  The real deal was that they had to ALL behave so that any of them could get their quarter. It worked great. They didn’t want to bug each other because they knew if they ticked that person off…they might lose their own quarter.  After a total of over 27 hours in the car (both ways) I think there was only 4 hours they didn’t earn their quarters. It gave them a little extra spending money and it was enough incentive to give them encouragement.  Did it take dollars each hour? Nope…just a quarter.

2) You can make a sticker chart or some other form of reward chart. They can do something special on the trip.

Give the kids Time Markers

Are we there yet?  How many times do you get that question?

Make some kind of visual marker so the kids can see how many hours are gone.  We have used CD tapes before. We used to have them in a console and each hour we would turn one a different direction. We only had up the # of hours we were driving. So the kids could see how close we were to the time we were to get there.  You can use lifesavers on a string. You could use beads or stickers on a chart.

I think if the kids feel a little more “in control” then they will be a little less “out of control” in the car.

Don’t forget…you can always do the old stand by = Drive at night so they will sleep.

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Wool Ball for dogs

May 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Pets, Reviews & Giveaways

Sadie & Gizzy Dog Review – purrfectpet Wool Ball

I decided that the only one who could really do a fair review of this wool ball dog toy were my dogs! So I will start having Sadie and Gizzy decide. We will measure how much the dogs and myself like the dog toy. Their decision will be made by how much they like and use the product. My decision will be based on durability, cost, longevity and how much my dogs like it. Enjoy! (There is music on the video..just a warning depending on where you are watching it from.)

I went to the BlogPaws Convention in Columbus Ohio in April. It was the first one and it was very different. There were dogs with T-shirts and cats in strollers. One of the vendors there was purrfectplay.com. She had a really nice looking display with blankets, dog balls and pull toys made from organic material.

To be honest I really had no real interest. I am not real big on the organic kick and really saw no need to buy organic for my pets. But I did go over to see her items. She started telling me about this wool ball. It looked neat…but really? Wool for a dog ball? I think I told her my dogs would have it torn up in a minute. But she then told me that I was mistaken. She explained how the whole thing is made out of wool…all done very tightly and in very many layers.

She had told me I could throw it in the washer and make it new again. I did. I used the cloth bag it came in and threw it in the washer. Then when it came out I kind of squeezed and rolled it a little …then put it back in the bag and threw it in the dryer for 5 minutes. It did help to revive it.

This is the “Before” washing picture

Going into the washer "Before"

This is the “After” Picture fresh from the Dryer

Yep….it looks better doesn’t it?

No lie…my dogs LOVE this ball! It has held up like no other tennis ball they have ever had. They have one of those apart in one day. It might seem expensive to pay $12.95 (jumbo size) for a dog ball….but it last. She gave me one to review (at no cost) while I was at the convention. You can see on the video how my dogs reacted to it as soon as they saw it. She made a convert out of me. Not for the organic part of it necessarily…but for the longevity and durability of it.

To Purchase Your Own:

Go to purrfectplay.com and purchase your own. You can also see all the different items they have.

 

Update: My dogs STILL have this wool ball, still play with it and still love it! Unbelievable! I would recommend this toy to anyone!

Another update 9/19/2012 – My dogs have had this ball now for almost 2 1/2 years and it is still their favorite toy and they STILL LOVE IT!!!  Best dog toy ever!!

 

I was given this wool dog ball to review in April of 2010. The  opinion, pictures and video are my own. The purrfect play have permission to use my video on their web site.

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Summer Vacation Planning

Have You Planned Your Vacation Yet?

This was from our trip 2 years ago.  I call this the “Ugly Van”.  I hated the looks of it, but it sure worked great for 7 people to travel in, especially when you come home with this!

Yes…hubby one him on a game. How could I say no to these kids?  Yes, after they had him a few months and realized he was more in the way than fun, they donated him.  But until then…he took up the 8th seat in the van on the way home…and he did make a good sleeping pillow.

Packing

Make a List before you start packing.

1) Write down essentials.  If you are going to a unit that you can do laundry, then plan for that. You don’t have to bring clothes for 7 days, but maybe just 3 days.  At least for the kids. You may know they have on an outfit they wore 3 days ago..but if it is clean and your on vacation…chances are that no one else will notice….or care.

2) Decided if you will need a roof top carrier or not.  Do you have one or can you borrow one?

Pack Activities for the kids

1) Do you have activites in the car to keep the kids occupied?  (books, car games, DVD, ipods)  Traveling with kids wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t fight. Many people leave at night just so the kids will sleep most of the way. I have never done that myself. But helping them to stay occupied sure helps the bordom and decreases the fighting.

2) Pack a bag for each child. It makes them feel special and gives them some “territory” that they can feel is in “their space” in the car.

3) Keep it simple. Remember there are great games you can play while traveling that doesn’t take batteries or power.

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Tips from Peter Walsh (part 4)

More Tips Directly from Peter Walsh

These Tips were given to me by Office Max to use if I wanted to.  The above picture is of the new line of products that Peter Walsh has coming out in the Office Max stores called you.organized.

Calendars: You might feel like multiple schedules lead to more confusion. For a little planning relief, combine home and work calendars. Simply choose various colors to mark important dates: one for professional tasks and meetings, one for personal appointments, one for social engagements, one for your children’s activities, and so on. (Peter Walsh)

I’m with him on that one. I have tried to keep a calendar in my purse and one at home.  I like having my calendar with me.  I have solved that problem with using a google calendar on my computer and it syncs with my blackberry.  The google calendar does have color coding for events, so that helps.  It isn’t my favorite calendar and I’m always looking for other options….but it has to sync with my phone so I have my calendar with me on the road.

Cork Boards & Sticky Boards: No need to hang lists, phone numbers and reminders all over your cubicle walls. Instead, create a one-stop message center with a cork or sticky board. Hang your daily to-do list, phone numbers, and a weekly calendar of events and meetings. That way, you’ll have all your need-to-know information in front of you. (Peter Walsh)

If you give yourself the limit of a bulletin board or magnetic board…and it gets full – then that is a sign that too much is on there and you can clean it off.

Email: Stay on top of your electronic inbox. Check email when you arrive, and immediately sort each message into an appropriate folder. Even if you don’t have time to deal with the contents of a message or even read it fully, sort it for later action. (Peter Walsh)

E-mail boxes are always a problem. It is easy for them to become very full very fast.  Do use the folders that you can create to sort e-mails you need to keep. Delete junk emails.  Here is a post I did on E-mail organizing.

  • Closing Thoughts: Remember that your desk sends a clear signal about who you are and how you approach your work. You should have an organized desk at the start and finish of every day! (Peter Walsh)

Disclosure: I was not paid or given anything to do this post. I was given the above info if I wanted to use it…and I did!

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Tips from Peter Walsh (part 3)

May 3, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Celebrities, How To Organize, Offices

Peter Walsh Shares His Knowledge

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More tips from Peter?  Here a a couple of thoughts directly from Peter Walsh. These were given to me from Office Max to use if I chose to.  I did decide to pass on this info..because I figured you would enjoy learning from him as much as I do.


Filing: Use a vertical file organizer for “active” files. Reserve your desk inbox for items that need to be dealt with pronto. Name your file folders with nouns. Use the ones that first pop into your mind when you need the material. Banish the concept of a miscellaneous file from your life. If something is worth putting in a file folder, it’s worth putting in a folder than has a specific label. (Peter Walsh)

My question for Peter on the video I did with him was about filing.  Paper work seems to be one of the biggest stumbling blocks for most clients.  How to make a file system work for you. So it is something that you will use.  A perfect system set up but unused is of no good to anyone.  Filing like anything needs to be maintained.

Binders: For travel, business and leisure create a different binder devoted to your important documents. For example, when creating a travel binder, include pocketed folders to store airline tickets and receipts, a contact section storing important phone numbers, and a location portion highlighting hot spots and destination details.

I love using binders.  I have one (color coded mind you) for different projects I am working on.  Depending on how big the project is, I can use just a folder with pockets too.  But bigger projects and for my different clients I do use binders and keep them in different colors for visiual quick identification.

Disclosure:  I was not paid to do this post. It was my decision and the information from Peter was given to me. The orange comments are my own.

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