For this week's tip, I don't have a cohesive theme but rather, a hodge podge of insights and lessons learned from the last week in the Lyons Den. I hope you find them helpful and if not, well, at the very least, I hope you will be amused!
- You know that old saying "Dance like no one is watching." Well, on Saturday night, I did. And I have to say, I had a blast. For better or worse, most of my small town was watching since I chose the annual school fundraiser as my venue to "Busta Move." You know what though? It was great fun. I'd like to dance more often. Although, I admit it might be better for all involved if no one was watching!
- There's a reason they sell salty and sweet together at the movies. Friday night was movie night at our elementary school. We went for it and got the kids popcorn AND Swedish fish. When our little lady started moaning that she had popcorn kernels stuck in her teeth, we suggested chewing on a Swedish fish to solve the problem. And it did. Who needs dental floss?!
- I'm an avid fan of Real Simple and enjoy their column on new uses for old things. I've enthusiastically adopted their suggestion to use an old tissue box to hold plastic baggies. I know plastic bags are totally yesterday but, we use them to pick up copious amounts of dog poop so I somehow feel ok when I ask for plastic at the grocery store check-out. This is not my point though. My point is about baking soda; it's not just for baking anymore! If you have a tot of potty training age and find that your house and even your washing machine stink of urine, baking soda will be your new best friend. Sprinkle it on the rug before you vacuum and in the machine before washing those training pants for the umpteenth time. I swear, it works. Times three.
- Order your groceries online. I usually do but the past few weeks have been so hectic that I've fallen out of the routine. As a result, we've spent several Sundays grocery shopping. Not fun. From now on, I'm going back to my original plan and letting my fingers do the walking while my rear rests on the couch!
- Cook for a crowd and reap the rewards of leftovers. This can be hard to do for a family of seven but last week, we aced it. On Sunday night, we make flank steaks and sausage on the grill and while it made for a super Sunday supper, it was even better the next few nights as we enjoyed steak sandwiches, steak salad and pasta with sausage... yum!
- Use the grill in the winter. See above. This week we plan to add grilled chicken to the rotation... this can be easily turned into chicken fajitas, chicken and pasta, chicken and broccoli, any number of kid-pleasing, quick weeknight options!
- Make the time for the things that matter most. As you may have gathered, the new year is off to a galloping start. My job is busier than ever, my kids are busier than ever, I have great aspirations to be more active in our community, to lead a Girl Scout troop, to write more frequently and run another half marathon. Then a few things happened last week -- our close friend and dear neighbor passed away and my best friend and only sister moved back to San Francisco with her family. What do these things have in common? They are bold reminders that no matter how busy your calendar or lofty your to-do list, you must put the people you love in life first. And, that my friends, I think is the best tip of all... on Tuesday or any other day of the week!