Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Secret Santa

Sorry for not posting.
We've been very busy organising a Secret Santa event.

Because we have to deal with two timetables: Europe and America, we had to start early.

In The Netherlands the gifts are delivered in the night of december 5 to 6.

When you want to send us something, let us know in the comments. We always forget ourselves. LOL!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Winter salt

Now it's time to buy winter salt. You know, the salt you use on your driveway when it's slipery?

You need low quality salt. Often the shops where they sell farm equipment can sell you this salt for a very low prize.

When you keep it outside your house, you need to make a box which allows no rain or other moisture to come in.

Mix the salt with sand before storing. In case moisture gets in, you can still use it. And it also works against sliding when the temparature is too low to work.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Waste thrown away

No place near the computer to put in your small waste?

No problem!

Take a small pastic bag and tape it to the side of your desk.

How do you solve the problem of small waste at your desk?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Making the bed

Most kids hate making a bed.
They make a mess of it each day, so why not leave it a mess when no one is there?

I found a trick that helps a kid make a bed in no time.

I've made ribbons on the top of the sheet and the bed cover and I tie them together after washing the bedwear and making the bed after that for the first time.

All the children have to do in the morning is to find the tied ribbons, look at what side of the bed they belong, and pull them to the top.

Looks great such a nice bed!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Plastic throw-away containers

Don't throw away the plastic containers of cookies, muffins, deserts, etc etc.

They can be used again.

When you need to freeze in vegetables or other food, you can do it in a way that you need lots of time to defrost one big lump of it, or you can freeze it in one person portions, needing little time to defrost.

I love the packages of cookies, because the portions are flat and can be put in a larger box when froozen. But the muffin packages are great too, because the froozen portions won't stick as much to each other as the flat ones.

What do you use?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Clean glass

A few times a year I clean all the glass in the house.

I put it all: vases, marbles, statues of glass, etc. etc. in the bath and put a few washing machine tablets between them.

We don't have a washing mashine, but I collect the tablets which are given for free in the shops.

I oour water over it all and stir the water when the tablets are dissolved.
I leave it there for about an hour.

Then let the water out.
Spray it with the shower with clean water and let it dry.

Additional effect: bath is clean without rubbing.
Not so nice: effect on environment.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Walking in week

A large family has advantages and disadvantages.

One of the advantages is many friends around the kids.
Disadvantage: they don't fit in the livingroom at all.

Solution: a walking in week.

Kids are allowed to bring friends in for dinner during one week of the vacation.
I make a large board with the menu of each day, so they can have a choice and they can sign in. As many kids as we have place for.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Shower gel

With men in the house, their smells are in the house.
I'm not talking about feet. but about shower gel.

That stuff in blue or black bottles smells awful!
Especially when they use deodorant too.

A while ago I took the emtpy bottle, cleaned it and had a go at a home recipe for shower gel.

Take the cheapest shampoo you can get that smells ok or is just a bit not nice.
Add just a bit of water and about 1,5 tablespoon of salt.
Mix very well.
Add a few drops of sesame oil.


Smell ok? In the men's bottle.
Smell not OK? Add a bit of your favorite essential oil.

Put it at the right place.

And just react like you always do...each day a little less, unless they think you've given up.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sorting magazines

Are you one of those people who love magazines, but always jave to look for hours for that one special one which seems to be lost forever?

Get magazine boxes or make them yourself.

Take a detergent box. Cut the top off, over it in painting, wallpaper or self adhesive plastic and put a tag at the back so you can see what's in it.
One kind of magazine in one box.

Works great, smells good.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sorting online groups in your email

I'm kind of fed up with sorting my mail, or looking through all sorts of folders.

So I made an emailadress for each online group I'm in.
Google, yahoo, and other services offer easy ways to create an emailaccount.

I love the fact that each ones has it's own signature, so that saves time too.

It also prevents me from sending mail to a wrong adress.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A costume?

Men's wear. gentlemen's wear.
Oh my dear!

Most men hate shopping for clothes and fitting jackets and trousers.

Especially when they need a suit it costs a lot of energy to get them going, and when they've finally got the suit they treat it almost like their socks.
In case you've got a guy that uses his trousers on bicycles too, you can deal with a good tip.

One jacket, two of the same trousers.

When they've spilled their coffee, sat on a dirty bench outside or just went through the whole fabric, you won't need to go shopping and buy a new jacket too. Jst get the trousers from upstairs. That's all.

This tip is only usefull for guys who are not eagerly growing a beerbelly.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Preparing to move

When you need to move to a complete new house and make it into your home, why not prepare yourself well?

Get old magazines and advertisements. Ask the shops for brochures.

Cut out what you like and put it in a box.
You can do that for years if you want to.

Go through it once a while and throw out what you don't like anymore.

When the move is coming closer you'll have a far better idea of colours, which furniture you want and where to buy it.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Peanutbutter extra

We're not living in a country of peanutbutter eaters, but there's always a jar in the house. Grwing old and grumpy.

A friend shared a tip she heard in Amwerica during her holiday there.

When the kids have eaten a good layer out of the jar, pour the rest in a bowl and a few tablespoons of honey.
Stir well and put it back.

When the peanutbutter becomes too thin and liquid, save it in the fridge.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Saving money: outdoor memberships

In an attempt to save money we all sat down and had a good talk about out outdoor memberships.

Most sports and creative activities started with friends and we stayed, while the friends were long gone somewhere else.
ofcourse it's great to be in a team, but when one is aware that expenses need to be lower, it's time to put them on paper.

  • Travelcosts
  • membershipexpenses
  • clothing
  • special events like competitions
  • birthdays and anniversaries
  • yearly trip
We found out that some were sporting at a facility that required a lot of costs for traveling.
One left for a facility nearby, saving quite a lot of money.

Others talked with their teamleaders and organised a fetch and bringservice. One car picking up teammembers on the way to the sportcentre and bringing them home after the training.

Worked well.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A simple present: tags

I'm always trying to find presents which are not given often and are inexpensive.
Not only because i don't have much money to spend, but also because I want us to get out of the spiral of escalating expenses for presents.

A friend suggested I could make tags.

Which was a great idea.

So for the ever jam making, collecting and ordering friend I made tags.

I found a nice form to cut, and painted a simple but nice design on them.

because I liked the painting I also made a few bookmarks with the same design and finsihed it all with a birthdaycard in the same style.

Fun to make, fun to give and fun for the wallet too.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A game to keep them bussy

Little ones are not often bored, but sometimes they just need an idea to keep them bussy.

Please two kids, each at a side of a door. No see through one, please.

Let one make a sound and let the other guess.

All sorts of things make noises, like clicking a pen, opening a pencil box etc etc.

Kids love this game!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Boots can have a longer life when you use inlays under your feet in the boots.
Preferably use leather ones or the soft and warm sheepskin.

When they're large enough you can make a pocket on the inside where you can keep some money.

Monday, November 1, 2010


The chinese take away comes in boxes which can be re used.

You can put them in the micro wave, but be carefull when you leave content with too high a temperature too long in the box.

You can also use them in the freezer, but when they've been used about 10 times the box might break more easily.

The boxes are also great to sort toys and other things.
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