Mark your calendar.  Take a stroll around your yard.  Yep walk the whole thing.  Here is what you are looking for . . .

  1. Dead branches or bushes you need to trim off.
  2. Pull the weeds.
  3. Trim all bushes and trees that are brushing up against your house.
  4. Replace dead plants.
  5. Sprinkle everything with a little fertilizer.
  6. Add a few new plants where you have a bare spot or needs pops of color.

Yippee!  Doesn't your yard look better.

I've moved . . .

I tried to do this myself, but it wasn't happening.  So I hired my neighbor (Noah) who originally set up my blog years and years ago.  Noah came over yesterday and sat in my kitchen drinking tea and moving my blog to my website.  Now, I have some growing pains to figure out how to use the blog feature there.  Like all things it will be a slow process, but I will get there.  So be patient with me as I 'unpack my boxes and get organized at www.say-it-once.com.  Also feel free to subscribe, it looks like it's a lot easier.

Check - in

Morning!  Just checking in.  How are your patience with your children these days?  Are you remaining calm in the heat of the moment?  Are you yelling at them more than you would like to or less?  What's the vibe in your family?  Cool, hot, bored, disconnected?  Tune in.  If all is good.  Cheers to you.  If things need a little fixing, fix away.  We are always fixing or tweaking something at our house, always.


No matter whether you are heading out of town or taking a stay-cation.  Check the local listings of where you are and see if their are any events you may want to attend.  Plays, movies, fairs, art shows, exhibits, festivals, special guests.  You just NEVER EVER know what you might find out there.  Because I do this often we have attended the National Cat Show (I know, right!!!).

Turn it UP . . . continued


  1. Turn up the volume on your stereo.
  2. Crank up the level on your exercise machine.
  3. Increase the hot sauce on your lunch.
  4. Turn up the love to your partner.
  5. Crank up the number of things you get done today.
  6. Increase the duration of your workout.
  7. Turn up the temperature on your shower.
  8. Crank up the heat in your home.
  9. Turn up your smile a few extra times.
  10. Increase the pour on your evening cocktail.

Just turn it all up a little bit today and see where it leads you.

don't be mad

But here is a long list of places we often forget to clean (and cleaning these spots can REALLY make a difference in your home).

  1. All glass wear.  Candle hurricanes, glass sconces, lamp bases, etc.  Because when the sunlight hits, the finger prints and dust show up in seconds.  Don't worry you can put almost everything through the dishwasher.
  2. Dust the top of your door frames.  Get a step stool, damp rag and have at it.
  3. Clean you exterior doors.  Yes, they get very dirty with pollen, finger prints and dust.  Don't use any harsh cleaners.  I use a dry cloth to get the dust off and then a wet rag without cleaner.
  4. Dust your ceiling fans.
  5. Dust your lamp shades.  I need to do this one!
  6. Power wash your exterior cement and concrete surfaces.
  7. Clean all your garbage cans.  You can run the small ones through the dishwasher and the others you can easily was outside using your toilet brush.
  8. Clean all the door knobs in your home.
  9. Wash all your pillows.  You may need to go to a laundry mat.  If you have down pillows make sure you dry them with dryer balls (I use tennis balls) to bring their 'fluff' back.
  10. Spray with an all-purpose cleaner the inside and outside of your washing machine and dryer.
  11. Clean electronics, remote controls, screens (ipads, phones, tv's, comupters) and your computer keyboards.
  12. Clean your outdoor furniture.
  13. And finally clean the filter of your dishwasher.

That should keep you busy.



On our chore list this weekend is to flip all (but our tempurpedic) mattresses.  We are also going to vacuum each side of the mattress and wash all our comforters.  I know!  Exciting stuff!  :D  We do two hours of chores EVERY weekend (you can read more about chores in my book SAY IT ONCE The No Bullshit Guide to Parenting).  For one reason, it is an opportunity for my kids to learn how to take care of our home and two I can get a little help taking care of our home.  Have fun on (I mean flipping) your mattress this weekend. XO

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lingerie bag

I am trying something new.  I thought of it years ago, but never needed to do it.  The time has come.  I gave Teddy a lingerie bag for his soccer gear.  When he is finished with soccer practices or games he puts all his soccer clothes (including straps to his shin guards) in the bag and tosses it in the laundry.  I don't have to search for the all the pieces of his soccer uniform anymore!  I just throw the lingerie bag in his soccer bag.

Spring Sports have begun!

We all have TONS of activities and if you have kids they have even more than TONS of activities.  How do we keep everyone's gear straight?  How do we not forget our yoga mat, or swim googles, or hair ties, or baseball uniform, or shampoo, or towels, etc?  Here is a plan that works.  Purchase a sturdy bag for each of your activities.  Write the name of the activity on the bag with a sharpie, or get each bag monogrammed.  Stock the bag with everything needed for the activity.  If you take a shower at your gym, keep a small toiletry bag loaded with your favorite items in the bag (don't move your shampoo, lotion, deodorant back and forth from your bathroom).  Just buy a second lotion, shampoo, soap etc, you aren't spending any extra money because you are still using the same amount of product.  If you and your child are packing up a baseball bag, be sure to toss in a few bandaids, sunscreen and chapstick.  In my kids ski bags I put an extra pair of underwear, getting ski gear off when you have to "go" can be tricky. Once you build your individual activity/sports bags you have to teach yourself and your child to manage them.  All sports equipment, uniforms, swimsuits go through the wash and back in the bags.  If it's easier for you, keep a laundry-lingerie bag in your sports bag.  When it's time to wash everything, put it in the lingerie bag, run it through the wash and pop it right back into the sports bag.  NOTHING GETS LOST.

5-10 rule

Do you have a kid who complains about doing homework?  Fights with you to start it?  Doesn't stay on task.  Try this.  Set a timer for 10 minutes, and for 10 minutes your child does homework.  When the timer goes off, set it again for 5 minutes.  During the 5 minutes your child can do whatever they want.  When the 5 minute timer goes off your child is back to homework for 10 minutes.  And this goes on and on until the homework is completed.  Don't mention this to your child, but eventually they will ask to skip the timer because they want to 'just finish ALL their homework.'  And yes, during the timer you will hear a lot of moaning and groaning, ignore it.  They are doing it for attention.  


outdoor lighting

Next time you walk out your door look up.  Look at your exterior light fixture.  Is it covered in a light gray dust? Is the inside is filled with dead bugs? Are there cobwebs around it?  Carefully take down the glass cover and pop it in the dishwasher!  And . . . you might as well change the light bulb while you are up there.  Even if it's not burnt out, change it anyway and use that light bulb for your next interior light that burns out. XO

neighbor . . .

Look straight, look to the right or left, maybe even look behind you.  Who's your neighbor?  Do you know them?  Are they the casual 'hello' neighbor?  Whatever direction you look, invite one of your neighbors for dinner.  Community is amazing, especially when you have a good one.  And a good community of neighbors is the best.  We chat with your neighbors whenever we see them.  We buy their girl scout cookies, our kids play in the street together, but we haven't ever had them to dinner.  Last Sunday, I invited them over for tacos.  It was a wonderful evening.

test, quiz, exam

Every Wednesday Harvey has a 20 word spelling test.  Each week I have him write out all 20 words and tape them in my calendar.  I always have my calendar with me.  If Harvey is with me we can squeeze a quick spelling word session in ANYWHERE.  This little trick is also teaching Harvey he can take a few minutes where ever he is and get a few things done if he NEEDS too.  



For the next 8 weeks Teddy has homework.  He is doing a little class offered to children who are moving to Upper Elementary at his school.  When he first started I noticed he was starring out the window for most of the time.  I would walk by and ask him how he was doing and he would say, 'Do you see that bird out there?'  I thought how could I get this kid on task so he can get this done and go play?!?  Two nights ago I asked him what he needed to do.  We made a list of each problem he was to finish.  After he completed each problem he needed to check it off.  The list kept him on task and motivated him too get everything done.  It worked like a charm.  Next step, to have him make his own list.  ;)

kids clothing

Take 20 minutes this weekend and go through you child's clothing with them.  Help them organize their drawers and closet.  If you have a budding fashionista, teach them how to put together a few new outfits out of what they already have.  Spray stains with stain master (I use OxiClean) and see if you can get them out.  Get rid of clothes that are trashed.  Donate, sell or pass down what isn't worn or doesn't fit.  And make a list of what they need and how many.  Hop on line, and buy it.  REMEMBER . . . OUR CHILDREN ARE NOT BORN KNOWING HOW TO DO OR WHEN TO DO things like organize their closet . . . WE TEACH IT TO THEM.