Friday, May 25, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things

In my journey of being a mom and being a homeschooler, there are a few things that I don't want to do without.  Oh, I can do without a lot of things, but I am certainly thankful for the small blessings that make my life easier.  My Top 5 Favorite Things are in no particular order...I love them all.  I highly recommend these items if you are a mom, a homeschooler, or work with kids on a regular basis.  Drum roll please.....

#1 ~ My Thermal Laminator

I love laminating!!  I'm a laminating junky, I confess, but only since I bought my Scotch Thermal Laminator.  You know, the one they sell at Walmart for about $25?  Yep...that's the one.
If you don't want to spend the money on the laminator and the added cost of the laminating pages, you can use clear contact paper.  I've been there, done that.  It works. my humble opinion, it was such a pain.  I actually laminate quite a lot of things so that posters will be sturdier, and downloaded homeschool units will be reusable...saving me paper and ink.  Since the laminating pages are a bit expensive...around $15 for 50 sheets, I do try not to go overboard and spread the laminating parties out over time.  But, overall, it saves me time and a headache, and that's worth every penny to me.

#2 ~ Dry Erase Crayons

Crayola® 8-ct. Washable Dry-Erase Crayons
In my homeschool area, you will find a traditional chalkboard hanging on the wall, not a whiteboard.  The main reason for this is because, as easy as the dry erase markers wipe off of a whiteboard, they do NOT easily come out of clothing or off of walls and furniture!  When you have small kiddos, they WILL get it on their clothes and/or drop it, causing marks to get on the table or walls, or whatever.
But, last year, Crayola came out with dry erase crayons...yes, crayons!  Not only do they easily wipe off of whiteboards and laminated sheets, but they don't get all over my kiddos clothing or my furniture.  WIN~WIN!  I might even replace that chalkboard someday. 
I will say this...just last week, I found actual WASHABLE dry erase markers at Target.  Maybe enough moms and teachers had the same complaints.  I haven't used them yet, though, so I make no promises on them.  But, by all means, get some dry erase crayons for your kiddos or classroom!

#3 ~ Ziploc Bags

Ziploc® Brand Sandwich BagsZiploc Bags~not just for food!  I cannot tell you how many times I go to the Ziplocs when I need to store small toys or school supplies.  They are perfect organization tools for small spaces.  You can store a lot of them together in a larger container.  You can see see through them at a quick glance.  You can write right on the bag, or use tape to label.  And if/when it actually wears out, just go to the box and pull out another.  Cheapest storage containers ever!  We have stored everything in them...action figures of all kinds, small girly toys, crayons, flashcards, name it.  If it can fit in a Ziploc bag, we've put it in there.  And the wonderful storage bags do come in different sizes to meet any number of your needs.  My son even caught a live bee in one the other day...but that's another story.  Yes, always keep these wonderful bags on hand!  (And, no, I don't always buy the name brand, it was just easier to use that name for the sake of the blog.)

#4 ~  Disinfecting Wipes & Baby Wipes

Clorox® Disinfecting WipesThe wipes have to be mentioned at the same time.  Disinfecting wipes (such as Clorox) are great for quick clean ups in the kitchens and bathrooms, and wherever else you may need them.  They are essential during flu season to keep those door knobs and light switches cleaned, not to mention telephones and keyboards.  And, they are safe enough for my 6yo daughter to use when she wants to help clean (yes~she actually loves to clean & dust), but I don't want her to use the more powerful and therefore, more dangerous cleaners. 
Pampers® Sensitive Wipes

Baby wipes are great for quick touch ups after your children have eaten a peanut butter sandwich or other wonderful, but messy, foods.  You surely wouldn't want to use the Clorox wipes on their delicate skin!  We keep them in the baby's room, in the kitchen, and in the car...and wherever else we need them.  We panic if we leave home without them.

#5 ~ My Keurig

Keurig® Special Edition BrewerLast, but not least, I give a shout out to my Keurig coffee maker. I am inept when it comes to making coffee.  I've tried, but it usually turns out so strong, it can get up and walk away by itself.  Therefore, I never had coffee in the mornings. So, a couple of years ago, my husband bought me a Keurig for Christmas.  It has been wonderful!  Ours came with a "MY K~Cup" unit that you can use with your regular coffee grounds instead of having to use individual k~cups all the time.  I like the different k~cups, but I also like the option of regular grounds.  If you do have a Keurig, this little gadget is worth looking into.  Now, this is a little more expensive than the other items I've listed, and if you know how to make a good pot or cup of coffee with a regular coffee maker, have at it.  But, this is my list of things I don't want to live without, and I definitely don't want to live without the Keurig again! 

So there you have it.  My top 5 things this mommy doesn't want to be without and highly recommends to all the other moms out there to make your days just a little bit easier.

God bless!!

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