Tag: household chores

How to get rid of spiders, mice, and moths — without burning down the house.

Is there anything worse than finding mouse droppings in your house? Oh, right. There is: Finding a palm-sized wolf spider in your kid’s bed. Ask me how I know. Luckily, I’ve found a company that makes all-natural pest repellent, which means you don’t have to burn your house down and move to a different country thanks to some unwelcome creature finding its way into your home. It’s called Stay Away, and it really works. Stay Away makes several different products, each crafted of all-natural, botanical, kid- and pet-safe ingredients. Whether your latest enemies are rodents, spiders, moths, ants, or beetles...

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The magic art of tidying twice a year: Spawned Episode 46

If you’ve already watched all the Rio Olympics replays and you need a little entertainment, here’s our newest Spawned episode. On this episode on Spawned with Kristen and Liz, we tackle the topic of life with mess. How do you deal with your kids’ messy rooms? What do you keep clean and what do you let go? Do you have the yearly celebratory dusting schedule like Kristen and Liz? You can listen right now on Soundcloud or through the player below, and make sure to subscribe to Spawned on iTunes so you never miss an episode. We’ll be back every...

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The Force of Nature cleaning solution: Natural cleaning supplies? You have serious competition.

My husband has a habit of calling our household cleaning supplies “chemicals” — as in, “Where are the chemicals to clean off the kitchen table?” It kind of drives me crazy because it sounds so harsh. But, of course, he’s right. So recently, I’ve started using the new Force of Nature cleaning system which I had a chance to try, and let’s just say, I’m a new covert. Force of Nature is part science lesson (I’ll get to that later) and part all-natural cleaning solution consisting of nothing but water, salt, and vinegar that you can use anywhere in your home, on anything. Toys and...

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An honest review of Marie Kondo’s newest book, Spark Joy: Does it light a fire or lack a certain spark?

It was with immense excitement that I ordered Marie Kondo’s newest book, Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up. After all, it’s been a year since I wrote about her first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, and put it to the test in my own home. Turns out, my post on whether her Konmari method of decluttering will work specifically for parents ended up being one of the most popular posts of 2015 on Cool Mom Picks. I guess “tidying” is a hot topic among us parents. Go figure. As for Marie Kondo’s Spark Joy, while the...

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Web coolness: Oscar party ideas, Oscar nights alternatives, Quidditch in the Himalayas, and one very important birthday.

Here are some of the things we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you like them too. (There are so many this week!)     Cool Mom Picks turns ten this week! Today’s the last day to enter to win 10 really amazing giveaway gifts — and it’s easy. Good luck! A magical Quidditch match in the Himalayas (above). These photos by Anshu Agarwal are a fun way to start the day. Get ready for the Oscars with 12 easy Oscar party ideas and a feast of easy Oscar party food recipes . Funny cheat sheet to the Oscar-nominated movies. Timely: What it’s like to...

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Mrs. Jones’ Soapbox: Natural cleaning products that, well, actually clean

I like to buy natural cleaning products and supplies as much as I can. In fact, I follow my mom’s mantra and use vinegar and water only on my hardwood floors. It’s partly because I get headaches when I walk in the door and my house smells like a hospital ward, and partly because I know that breathing in a lot of harsh chemicals just isn’t good for us, so I’m always glad to discover a new company that makes eco-friendly cleaning products that actually work. Mrs. Jones’ Soapbox is one of those, and it’s a great find. Related: 2 fabulous new natural laundry products that actually work I admit I...

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A brilliant little invention to get kids to remember to help out more.

Between my kids’ basketball schedules and after school activities — not to mention their homework and trying to figure out what to cook for dinner — I’ve found that it’s getting harder for me to keep track of it all. There have been times when I’ve asked, Has anyone fed the fish . . . this week? I know I’m not alone here, which is why I’m really happy to have discovered the Membo reminder tool, a handy little gadget from Dreamfarm that I think a lot of parents could use.   Related: Free labor! A helpful guide to chores for kids by...

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Should you pay your kids for chores? Ohhhh the various opinions.

Sometimes we agree on topics, sometimes we disagree, and sometimes we just figure it out as we talk it out. Sometimes, it’s all three! Which is in part why we think you’ll really enjoy this week’s discussion on the Spawned podcast about kids’ and chores. How do we get our children to do more around the house? Should we pay them or offer other incentives? What do the experts say? And do Kristen’s kids really clean the toilets? Because, whoa. Liz is impressed. Plus, we have a fun discussion about the insane names we mayyyy (ahem) use for other parents in our phone’s address...

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Free labor! A helpful guide to chores for kids by age

With four kids in the house, you can probably imagine the amount of cleaning and vacuuming and picking up (oh, the picking up) that needs to be done on a daily basis. That’s also why you can bet my kids each have their own list of chores. I’m a firm believer in getting kids involved from an early age because not only does is it a huge help (free labor!) but it teaches kids important lessons about responsibility. As our friend Asha from Parent Hacks says, “Frame your kids’ chores as move-out skills. No one wants a roommate who...

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2 fabulous new natural laundry products that actually work

With a houseful of kids with sensitive skin, I stick to my free and clear laundry detergents and skip the boosters, fabric softeners, and stain sticks just to be safe. But after discovering these two new natural laundry products, I’ve enjoyed clothes and towels that are softer, smell much nicer, and have fewer, if any, stains. Hooray! So I couldn’t wait to share them, should you also want some cool natural laundry detergents. From the folks at B&N Laundry, I’m loving the felted goat milk stain stick (above). Yes, I know that sounds totally bizarre, but wow, it really works well! This family-run company discovered that goat milk...

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