Category Archives: capture the everyday

A MANLY (minimalist) Shower Caddy

*This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and LISTERINE®. All opinions are mine alone. #BacktoBold #CollectiveBias

Most of the time being a #boymom makes everything easier. But we do miss out on some fun stuff.  Ruffles, bows, lace, and tulle when they’re little are just the start of it. Preparing for their Freshman dorm room is another big one. I’m shopping for neutral colors, essentials only (as per my son’s request). Meanwhile, #girlmoms are snapping pictures of different shades of towels, patterns of comforters, and adorable room accents to complete the theme that the roomies are texting back and forth.

They’ll probably find everything they need at Target, since after nearly sixteen years of shopping for school supplies for elementary, middle, high school, and college students I KNOW it’s the place to find what you need. So I wasn’t at all surprised to find the mouthwash he wanted there. Everyone has nasty morning breath, especially here in the Ohio Valley where we all struggle to breath through the allergens 3/4 of the year. Mornings are for LISTERINE® TOTAL CARE mouth wash. After all, I’ve already spent the equivalent of a full semester’s tuition on this child’s smile, so he’d better protect it!

Oh well, back to my small red carrier. Red is actually considered a neutral on campus since it’s one of the school colors.Here’s the basic basket:

Notice the empty space next to his HUGE flip-flops? That’s where the three add-in baskets come into play. If he has a sink in his room (which I doubt) he can just leave all the small baskets under the sink. I tucked LISTERINE® TOTAL CARE ZERO into his morning basket with his toothbrush and toothpaste.

Then he has his deodorant, leave-in conditioner, comb, and hairspray in another small basket that I bet he’ll just keep in his room. Guys don’t like to admit to actually putting a lot of effort or thought into their appearance even if they do!

He also has a bottle of LISTERINE® TOTAL CARE mouthwash in case he ate something with garlic and onions for lunch and want to be completely sure his breath is still fresh when he gets across campus for a study date. Yes, I realize I’m an overly optimistic mom.

It’s SO much better than just a quick brush and floss. He’ll get 100% coverage on teeth, between teeth, and at the gumline. Then the basket is right there again for bedtime!

Then there’s the shaving basket. Not needed every day, but needs to be handy. It also has nail clippers and a nail file. I’m pretty proud of those two little white bundles. That’s my creative and frugal contribution 😉 They are coffee filters filled with baking soda and gathered tightly with a rubber band. They are to be dropped into John’s black hi-top sneakers for odor control. I really hope he uses these!

While I was in the aisle looking at the mouthwash options two college-age girls came up, complaining about how “harsh” some mouthwashes taste. I told them I was looking for  LISTERINE® TOTAL CARE ZERO (zero alcohol) with a “Fresh Mint” flavor which I’d heard was less intense-tasting, but still just as effective. I showed them the bottle of LISTERINE® TOTAL CARE I’d just found, which lists clearly (no reading glasses needed) on the front label that when used for just sixty seconds twice a day it has SIX benefits.

It not only freshens breath and kills bad breath germs, but it also cleans the whole mouth, strengthens teeth, restores enamel, and even helps prevent cavities. Thankfully, the girls helped me find it. (The Fresh Mint flavor is in small letters on the bottom right when you’re shopping.) Seriously, what else can you do in just two minutes a day that has all those benefits? And if you really want to be productive you can review the periodic table or the cranial nerves while swishing (depending on your major).

The girls were super-sweet, and we all figured out the sales together. Target has a LOT of things on sale right now, and a LOT of $5 Target gift cards up for grabs. But you have to make sure you are buying the right items to qualify. When I left the aisle the girls were negotiating who would buy the 3 LISTERINE® mouthwashes, who would get the $5 Target gift card from that purchase, who was buying the 4 toothpastes and would get that $5 gift card. . . yeah. Plan on two trips so you can use those gift cards before they sink to the bottom of your purse and get forgotten!

BTW, the  $5 gift card offer is valid through 9/9 both online and in stores, so stock up! This is the general area (Health/Beauty) to look if you’re not a regular Target shopper. I can find things in Target easier than I can find my glasses at home!

So I guess since John is my youngest this will be my last “Back to School” shopping post. He’ll have a fridge and microwave waiting for him in his dorm room, but no roommate (yet) so I suspect his room will be the go-to place for late-night gaming on the weekends. It’s been seven years since I’ve prepped a child for their first dorm, and so much has changed! Parents of current college students: what are your best tips? I need all the help I can get – LOL!

Pets Make a House a Home!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ToPetsWithLove #CollectiveBias
hero-imageIf you didn’t notice immediately, that’s Winnie the Yorkie photobombing my carefully arranged shot. Seconds later my dogs were snarfing down the treats and food that spilled on the floor and Winnie (my mom’s dog) was finding a spot to stash the new toy that the big dogs couldn’t get to. There is never a dull moment at my house, and that’s how I like it!

We consider our dogs part of the family, and we treat them accordingly. They get healthy food, their favorite treats, a variety of toys, and lots of snuggles! Saminda (Sam for short) is our chocolate lab and resident Southern Belle. She’ll hold out a paw when it’s time for a nail trim as if she’s at a fancy salon. And she never opens her own doors. But like Scarlett O’Hara, she has no hesitation about eating her fill in public. She truly does “gobble like a hog” and I’ve seen her distract Boss at meal time and then scamper over to eat his food as well as her own! And Boss, our rescue dog, is a picky eater. So we buy the flavor food Boss likes best and feed them in separate rooms. When Winnie is here I have dogs eating in three rooms while I monitor them until everyone has eaten all of their own food. After that I don’t feel like running all over town for pet food and supplies.

my-krogerThankfully, I have a Kroger at the end of my street. We do have specialty pet stores nearby, but I can’t remember the last time I made a trip there. Kroger always has everything I need. Although you can tell from the picture below the large bags of Purina Beneful were going fast! Perhaps because of this coupon,  good for your favorite Purina pet products at Kroger only while supplies last! (Get a move on, bargain shoppers!) I’ll certainly not be going near the pet supply store anytime during the holidays. It’s less than a mile from two malls, and I do not deal with mall traffic between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

beneful-collageOn this trip I chose Purina Beneful Original with Beef as the main ingredient. Perhaps I’ll try Chicken next time. I love that no matter which flavor I choose I know it will be sugar-free and loaded with anti-oxidants. Yep, dogs need those, too!

Beggin’ Strips have been a long-time favorite for all the dogs, especially the bacon flavor. I usually tear the strips in half since I do give out treats after every potty break – check with your veterinarian about recommended treat sizes and frequencies for your own dogs. I was pretty darned excited when I saw that Beggin’ Strips had added a Beggin’ Littles option to their selection – and in bacon flavor, no less! A little less work for me, and quicker treats for the dogs. Sam is not patient about waiting for her treat. She smells that bacon aroma and will drool all over my feet if I don’t hurry – LOL! Boss, my sweet cuddle-buddy, would sit and wait as long as needed, but once he gets a taste of his treat he wags his tail so hard his whole rear end moves!

All the dogs in the family get gifts at Christmastime. I’ve had as many as five dogs in the house at one time during the holidays, but the smallest (Winnie) is always the alpha dog. I’ve heard from other Yorkie owners that their dogs have “big dog” attitudes. Winnie is fearless, and always willing to pit her ten pounds against any dog or human ten times her size. So of course the clear choice for her gift is a pull-toy!

toy-collageNeed a fabulous dog gift you can make for free with things lying around the house? It’s the ultimate in frugal and environmentally friendly living. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. To follow the tutorial in pictures start at the top right with the picture of my hand sticking through a huge hole in my husband’s Tshirt and follow clockwise.

1. Gather scrap fabric (i.e. old clothes) in a variety of densities. I selected only 100% cotton, but I had everything from thin weaves to stretchy knits to tough denim. You’ll also need a tennis ball, scissors, and a utility knife.

2. I cut the fabric at one-two inch intervals and then tore it the rest of the way. It’s quicker and there’s a more natural curl with less dangly strings.

3. Then I tied a knot in just ONE end of each strip. Meanwhile, my husband was using the utility knife to cut an “X” on either side of the tennis ball.

4. I threaded a strip through (knot first) right-to-left, then another left-to-right, trying to keep them as even as possible. I kept going until I just couldn’t fit another strip through the ball.

5. I knotted the ends without a knot up close to the ball to hold it in place, then divided the strips into groups of three and braided them.

6. When I reached the end of the shortest strip on each side I pulled the braid tight and used the longest strip to knot it in place. Then I knotted the ends of all the other strips to keep them from fraying.

It made it through twenty-four hours with Winnie without damage, and that’s pretty impressive. Anyone old enough to remember the “gorilla with Samsonite luggage” commercial? Same deal.

sam-awaiting-supperPoor, unloved Sam (who clearly needs a mani/pedi in this picture!) Our dogs get fed at 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and they get exactly the amount specified on the dog food bag. The picture above is Sam at 4:30 p.m. huddled over her bowl and watching the grandfather clock. Mealtime is serious business for her, as are squirrels and mail carriers. She likes the UPS man. Maybe it’s the brown truck.

dogs-eating-togetherPlease be impressed by this picture. At our house, it’s the equivalent of the video some woman took of her dog saying, “I love you.”

dogs-at-rest-collageWhen Winnie visits there’s a lot of playing, sleeping spots change nightly, and Michael gets growled at when he kisses me good-bye in the morning. Winnie will never admit she likes him enough to nap on his ratty socks. And after she heads back home all three dogs usually sleep twelve hours straight. It’s like sleep-away camp for dogs, and I suspect they all love it! (Click to enlarge for extra sweet doggies!)

For more inspiring ideas for pampering your pets and making cure they enjoy the holidays check out the Social Hub! Do you make toys for the pets in your family? Share your favorites in the comments!

Vacation! The 80’s ROCK!

Thanks, Kathy! *insert sarcastic tone* One of the prompts this week over at Mama Kat’s Writers’ Workshop is . . . VACATION. Ever since I read the email I’ve been hearing this song in my head. I graduated from high school in 1984 (Go, Defenders!) and LOVED the GoGos. Not as much as Prince, but I loved them. Start this at :44.

Doesn’t that feel great? Don’t you feel like you can go out and do anything? The 80’s: best music, best movies . . . and really scary hair and fashion. Thank God we didn’t have the internet then! There are very few pictures of me with my girl-mullet and miniskirts. We called the cut a bi-level and thought we looked like Pat Benatar. I still know all the words to her songs. And honey, I could rock a miniskirt. I weighed about 110 then. Nowadays I’d most likely use the same piece of fabric for a sock bun.

Back then the purpose of a vacation was meeting guys and getting a tan. I “laid out in the sun” (an activity that is nearly at the level of IV drug abuse these days) with baby oil and iodine. We didn’t have “sunscreen”. We had “tanning lotion”. Of course that’s why I’m still fighting my last bits of sun damage with Nerium – but it felt great! I saw concerts before Ticketmaster existed. I sat overnight with wet hair for Rolling Stones tickets! Sadly, it was the 1981 tour and it sucked. I went to the RUSH Moving Pictures concert in Rupp with someone else, never knowing that my husband-to-be was in the audience, too. I got thrown up on at the Stones show (I blame the sharply angled seats at Rupp), got a contact high at a Moody Blues concert (don’t ask – really), and saw Adam Ant at Memorial Coliseum. A friend of mine even got the artist to sign his painting! Then another guy dressed up as Adam Ant, kind of as a joke, for the school mascot tryouts. We had a burly cartoon guy with leather fringe (kind of Davy Crockett meets Hulk Hogan) as the “Defender” on, um, I guess orientation packets and things. But since the guy wearing the Adam Ant costume had a leather jacket with fringe and no one in charge had any idea who Adam Ant was we were extremely cool for one year. The guy was one of those seniors who actually graduated. Some stayed longer because it was so much fun 🙂

I totally can’t dance, but for many years I thought I could because in the 80’s all people had to do was hop up and down. Flinging you hair around got bonus points (male or female). Slam-dancing was a big thing, and I patched up a few friends after injuries. I was also the person who would pierce people’s ears if they wanted. It was usually guys, but sometimes a girl would want another piercing. This was before people started piercing naughty bits, mind you. I only did ears! The worst? A huge football player that ended up playing for the Bengals briefly. I thought he was going to pass out on my feet and break my toes. Thankfully there were some other really big guys there to hold him up.

I even got called in early to work one Saturday because I’d pierced the assistant manager’s ear at a party the night before and he’d changed his mind. The fact that it was a 2-inch long white glittery spiral may have had something to do with it, but they were the only earrings I had on my at the time. I work with what I have! These experiences are probably what led me to check the “College of Nursing” box on my UK application. That and the fact that Physics made my brain hurt.

Thanks for letting me reminisce. Please drop by Kathy’s place and see what inspired everyone else this week. I’m betting I’m the only one with a GoGos video 😉

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