Saturday, May 31, 2008

Lost and Found

My dear friends, do you know what is in your wallet? Sure there's the normal credit card/ID type of stuff. What about membership cards? Insurance cards? Account numbers? Social security numbers? Because of a small mishap I had this week, I am going to encourage you to do something you may consider a bit odd. It is not something I would have ever considered before this past week. First, I will share my story. What happened this past week? We had a holiday. (Yay Memorial Day!) My family met up with some friends at the local zoo. (Yay!) And come Tuesday morning (aka grocery morning) I could not find my purse. (Boo!) I did have my Driver's License and my annual zoo pass, (Yay!) which were in the stroller pocket, not my purse. So what did I do? After a cursory search through the house and car, I grabbed my spare credit card and headed to the grocery store. By Wednesday afternoon, after checking my accounts status and calling the zoo's lost-and-found, I had concluded that my purse was lost and gone forever. (Boo.) Thus, I canceled the cards that were in my purse and panicked about what other info may have leaked into the wrong hands. (Double Boo.) Wednesday night, by God's grace (and probably some tiny little hands), my purse materialized. (Super yay!) All of this really got me thinking... It's time to take 15 minutes and.... inventory your wallet! I will implore you to write or type a complete inventory of your wallet. File it with your other personal information or add it to your HOUSEHOLD HUB binder. Update it regularly. .

Monday, May 26, 2008

Flying the friendly skies?

Let’s get our quart sized zip top bags ready and pack for that flight!

A note on air travel… If you have not traveled our friendly skies in awhile you may want to check out the newest guidelines for what you can/cannot take aboard. Make sure to keep this list handy for packing AND for souvenir buying. In case you were curious, snow globes are a no go for your carry-on.

Many of you are familiar with the spare suit case trick. You take along an empty bag inside of a full bag so that when you are shopping on a trip you already have luggage in which to stow the loot for you return trip. I have mixed feelings about this process, but thought I would put it out there. I say, just pack some spare travel space bags and shrink you clothes down to size for the return. There is no extra luggage. This saves you money and space.

The essential carry-on and what it should contain (prescriptions and OTC medications, cosmetics, a hair tie, a toothbrush/toothpaste duo, your cell phone, a change of underwear, a spare tee, a spare pair of pants/skirt (from the girl who has flown cross county wearing an OJ soaked pair of cargos- yes this is a good idea), I also take spare socks, snacks (for when you are stuck on the runway), and entertainment (a book, magazine, deck of cards). Just in case your luggage doesn't make it when you do, you'll have your important items with you. Wearing a light sweater aboard is also a advantageous idea. (Of course if you are a handsome saxophone player just put the necessities in the horn case and pray your suitcase makes it to your final destination when you do.)

One more note... Tag Tag Tag you luggage with something obvious for baggage claim. Lime green luggage tags, the yarn atop the handle, whatever it takes to make your bag stand out and easily recognized. (I even saw animal shaped tags at Target this week. Sure they are meant for the kiddos, but why should they have all the fun?) One final note: ALWAYS check the tag before leaving the baggage claim area (or security checkpoint) to ensure that someone else wasn't like-minded in their choice of luggage and tag.

Be aware that most airlines are starting to charge for extra bags and may have weight limits or additional charges for all baggage.

It's time to take 15 minutes and... peruse the above website.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Pre-Vacation Clean Up

Why? Because it is so nice to come home to a tidy home. It is good to know that there aren't chores hanging over your head that will need you immediate attention when you walk through the door. And finally, because you will be doing so much laundry when you first arrive home you will not have time to think about doing anything else. Stick to your normal cleaning and household routine as much as possible. Three days before you leave: Put your mail and paper delivery on hold. Alert a neighbor that you will be gone so that they can keep an eye out for your home. Two days before you leave: Make sure that the house is relatively neat, beds are changed, and the major household cleaning has been accomplished. While you are away from your home, the dust will still settle, but the overall appearance of your home should be tidy. The day before you leave: Clean out the fridge. Pick up toys, put clothes in hampers, do all the major tidying so that you are not rushing to pick up and find things on the day of your trip. The day you leave: Turn off the valve for the water going to your clothes washer, especially if it is indoors. Turn up or off the air conditioner so that you are not being wasteful. Take out the garbage! .

Monday, May 12, 2008

Road Trip, Bambino Style

How do you travel with a child without going insane? Here's the scoop, keep them entertained. We do mostly car travel with our family. The main reason for this is that I have not yet been brave enough to board a plane with my son and husband. Nor have I felt brave enough to fly the friendly skies alone with the aforementioned child. Are you looking for some great travel toys beyond a favorite book or two and a lovey? I prefer car toys that do not make their own noise. Activity books for preschoolers like this one from Constructive Playthings have lots to do (and all the pieces are attached!). Our Magna-doodle is a perfect way to take art on the road without the mess. Older kiddos may enjoy a more complex etch-a-sketch. We make sure that we have plenty of music to play and the travel DVD player. We keep a ball in the car for use during our stretch breaks. Toys with lots of pieces (Legos, puzzles, etc) get left at home. It is too hard to keep up with all the pieces as we travel; I refuse to even attempt it. (Well, ever since the tragic loss of Monkey #10 - This is the rule.) Snacks are also a great way to pass the time and keep us all happy. I like dry cereal, cookies, crackers, and freeze-dried fruit for the "less mess" scenario with a small child. What are some of your families favorite travel toys/activities? What are your opinions and experiences with hotel kid packs? The coloring books and crayons are always a nice touch. On one trip to a theme park the resort included a themed (new) bath toy squirter for our child. That was fun and unique! .

Friday, May 9, 2008


I’ve decided to deem May as “Travel Month”

Keep in mind that I am only thinking of domestic travel with this list. When going abroad there are so many things to contend with, contacting you friendly local travel agent is wise.

As promised, the aforementioned packing list TA DA

One Plastic Laundry Bag per person. Put a dryer sheet in each bag. You’ll thank me at the end of the week when your dirty laundry is following you around. (If you have little ones, remember the bags for diaper disposal, as well.)

Add a separate bag for wet stuff (swim wear or otherwise).




Diapers AND WIPES/Underwear/Pull Ups





Dresses and SLIPS


Swim Wear (and swim diapers)

Swim cover-up/sarong

Light Sweater/Jacket

Shoes/Sandals/Sneakers/Dress Shoes/Flip Flops/Water Socks.


Hair dryer, if not provided



Hair product – spray, gel, pomade

Hair clips and ties

Soap/Body Wash




Cotton Swabs


Razor, Shaving Gel, After Shave

Cosmetics Bag – Don’t forget the moisturizer!

Makeup remover

Lip Balm SPF

Sunscreen AND after sun lotion

Contacts, Solution, Case, Drops


First Aid

Nail kit

Feminine items

OTC and Prescription Medications



Special blanket/Pillow, and for the kiddos stuffed animals/lovies


Tote/Day Bag



Antibacterial Wipes/gels/lotions

Snacks and drinks (and napkins)

Camera and spare batteries

Rain gear – Umbrella/poncho/hat/coat

Beach Towels

Playing cards

Zip top bags

Sewing Kit

Mosquito Repellant


Flashlight and spare batteries

Cell phone – cord and charger

Travel Alarm (if not integrated into your phone)

Palm, Ipod, etc – charger

Laptop – cord and accessories

Stamps for mailing postcards “Wish you were here!”


Hostess Gifts

Sporting Equipment/Musical Equipment/IT Equipment


Notebook and pen

ID and Insurance information

MAPS for en route

MAPS of your destination

Airline tickets or e-tickets

CONTACT INFO for your destinations (lodging) and family members. (Yes, I pack my address book)

This moves us along to ITINERARIES- two copies. Make sure to take one copy with (on your person/in your carryon) and leave a copy behind with a trusted family member or friend. This is especially important when flying. Include phone numbers of your destinations and your flight numbers on the itineraries. Make sure your confirmation numbers are recorded here. ALSO include the hours of operation and phone numbers for attractions.

Obviously we are talking about domestic summer travel. If you need to forgo the swim wear and pack the parka, then by all means make this list your own.

Take 15 minutes and customize this list! Then make sure Fluffy and Fido have their summer reservations. If pets are traveling with you, pack their items as well (kennel, leash, water and food dishes, bottled water and food, litter box, special bed/blanket/towel).

In case ya didn't notice EL, You're on your own with that whole weird "camping" thing.

Tell me fellow travelers, did I omit anything essential?

Next time:

Traveling with children.

The pre vacay clean up.


Air Travel