Tuesday, February 26, 2008

WFMW - Paperback swap

Yet again, I find myself writing about something many others have discussed at length for this Works for Me Wednesday. However, I have found a wonderful use for paperbackswap if you have kids!!!

I have been tutoring the same young man for the last 6 years, since his first week of 6th grade. He's like my little brother now and I call myself a 'rent-a-parent'. By the time his parents get home each evening, the homework and projects are done, his grades checked and communication with the teachers is complete! It makes for a much less stressful family dinner time.

Well over the last 6 years he has accumulated a lot (and I mean A LOT) of reading books on the district list. Each of those has been an expense his parents have had to bear, but not this year! We listed all the old books on paperbackswap and have been able to obtain most of his reading books for this quarter in exchange. It has saved his parents money AND he was able to find some 'fun reading' books as well!

So for those of you have stacks of Bronte, Hemingway and Shakespeare from your children's English lit classes - fear not! They no longer need to take up precious bookcase or storage space - just recycle them! And the same goes for those seeking the lengthy list of AP and Honors summer reading - this is a great resource and it sure works for me!

So boogy on over to Shannon's Rocks in my dryer and tell us what works for you?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


So every week Shannon over at Rocks in My Dryer hosts the Works For Me Wednesday Blog Carnival. This week I feel somewhat silly sharing because I learned about this site and program by seeing references in SO many of your blogs!

I am a FLYLady convert!! I've been reading about her lovely little program for quite some time now and decided to go over to the site and check it out. After a week of reading about it and psyching myself up....I did my first sink shine on Saturday. Now, let me digress for a moment to say that I have been called a neat freak numerous times. I like my house a certain way and believe that doorjambs and baseboards should be dusted on a regular basis. However, my lovely fiance is a bit...well....messy. So between us now sharing an abode and trying to combine 2 homes, the large assortment of pets in our home (including our roommate Tony), the small space in which we live and my insane work schedule, the house has become ... gasp ... a total mess! There, I've said it....you can all shame me if you will now! I can take it! ;-)

Anyway....There just seemed to be SO much to do that I felt overwhelmed and couldn't drive myself to get anything done. And that is where FLYLady stepped in. OMGoodness - what a divine concept. So now I shine my sink every time I use it, spend 15 minutes decluttering, go through 27 things...etc. The amazing part is that in the 5 days since I've begun this plan I've already noticed a tremendous difference! The house is looking (and staying) cleaner, my stress has nearly dissipated and Tony and Glen are pitching in even more!

So I have to say, FLYLady works for me - go check her out. And for more great ideas, check out Works for me Wednesday over at Rocks in My Dryer

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

WFMW - Cleaning up a big mess

For this week's works for me Wednesday, I introduce you to my favorite little machine!!!"

Yep - that's right - the Bissell Little Green Clean machine. Now, why is it my favorite machine? Because it's a miracle at getting out those wonderful ketchup blobs on the carpet? Well, yes, but that's not the best part. It is, by far, the best wet vac a girl in a small place could hope for!

Just last night (at 10pm - of course) I walked into our bathroom into a big puddle! I turned on the lights to discover that the toilet had overflowed! Now while this is not, in itself, unusual, normally we catch it rising and turn off the water pipe before it's an issue. For whatever reason, we didn't hear or see this one - thank Goodness it had turned off and luckily for me - it was clean water - apparently it'd blocked up after washing the nasty stuff away. Phew! But of course, I now had a restroom filled with about an inch of water. I yelled at the fiance to get the green machine and started pumping away! After 2 empties of the reserve tank, the water was gone and all I had to do was clean the floor (and tub and toilet and cabinets) with bleach water. So -once again, my little green machine saved the day.

I know some people may have those lovely things called 'garages' to put an actual wet vac in, but we live in a 1000 square foot condo with 1 dog, 1 cat and a roommate (our 3rd pet) so having a tool that can serve multiple purposes is WONDERFUL.

Here is another time it came in handy....

"Ahhh..that's because as I was putting clothes in the washer, about to do a load of laundry, I noticed the pitch of the water sound change...hmmm, I said, something sounds odd. Let me see what's wrong. Suddenly I saw that the drainage hose had kindly removed itself from its pipe and all the water going into the washer was just as quickly exiting the machine and filling the floor! Luckily, I had to sense to slam the dial on the washer and stop more water from going through the beautiful cycle known as "make Jules life miserable". So for the next hour, I used towels, and the green machine (I have never loved that machine more) and pure adrenaline to pull up all of the liquid and reattach the hose. Of course, since we only have that lovely little cubby hole for a laundry area, to do all of this I had to remove the washer and the dryer! Woo and hoo! So we have a REALLY clean floor in our laundry cubby and I now have an extra load of laundry to do since now I have a rather large laundry basket filled with soaking, wet, dirty towels."

So, if you have one of these little monsters or are thinking of getting one - this is the best money I think I've EVER spent!!! And well, it works for me!!! (And for whatever reason, my fiance thinks the pic of the machine above looks like a meditating mutant samurai bunny - hmmmm...I wonder what a psychologist would say about that one)

To see other ideas, go to Works for Me Wednesday, which this week is being hosted by