5 After 5, Least Favorite Household Tasks Edition

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It's time for another round of 5 After 5!  In case you missed it, last week's list was 5 favorite household tasks and if you're new to this series, you can read more about it here.


Today I've got my list of 5 to share, as well as next week's topic for you to stew about over the upcoming days.


And if you've posted your own 5 After 5 list on your blog, I've turned this series into a link party - so be sure to get your own 5 things added below (or leave your answers in today's comments if you're not a blogger).  I loved reading everyone's comments from last week and I really can't wait to see what you share today!



List 5 of  your least favorite household tasks



Last week I listed what I love, now it's time for those things I constantly put off...or, let's face it, just don't do.

1.  Cleaning blinds



I already told you that I wouldn't shock you with my dirt-encrusted drapes because I don't have a single curtain in my house.

Bu-ut, I do have to cover all these windows with something, so that pretty much leaves blinds as the only option.

And blinds are way worse to clean than curtains.  

There was a time when my OCD was way out of control and I would clean every single crack and crevice of the house.  Every. Single. Week.

But then I realized that a crazy-clean house was totally overrated and my time was better spent on other things.

So now I live in a world with blinds that never get cleaned - except for some really huge event (like when G and I got married and had our reception here) - and even then, "cleaning them" consists of waving a feather duster up and down a couple of times and calling it a day.

2.  Scrubbing the tub



I don't relax easily, so things like massages and soaking in the tub tend to find their homes on the Lisa List right next to visits to the doctor or dentist.

That means I'm pretty much never going to be found taking a bath (unless I'm birthing a baby, then bring on the bubbles!), so I just flat-out don't scrub the tub.

G and Gv, however, are huge fans of a good soak, so unless G has somehow found time to grade all the papers, our tub remains in a constant state of gross, which, of course, can only be banished by the arm of a good, strong man...

3.  Dusting



You probably aren't surprised to see this one on the list (see this post and this one for proof).  


One of the main reasons I'm in love with the minimalist style is because there's less stuff laying around to have to move to dust under.

So until my home looks like this, you can pretty much guarantee seeing a layer of dust over everything if you stop by for a visit.


4.  Mopping the floor



If vacuuming is one of my favorite tasks, then mopping must be one of my least favorite - because mopping's the opposite of vacuuming, right?

The worst part is, there's not a scrap of carpet anywhere in this house - it's laminate and tile all the way.

At this point, I bet you're thinking that my floors are as disgusting as my tub and fireplace ledge, right?

But you're wrong.

Because I found something to clean my floors without once having to squeeze out a mop!

I'd tell you about it here, but that just seems silly, when I've written an entire post singing the praises of my favorite cleaning tool

5.  Cleaning out the gutters


Because wet leaves and wasps' nests are not my favorite things to blindly stick my bare hands into while perched precariously on the top no standing step of the ladder - and telling my rambunctious toddler that I am not interested in turning the whole experience into an amusement-park ride while she rocks the whole apparatus back and forth.

Oh, I know all about those things called gardening gloves, but I'm so used to my stretchy one-size-fits-all skating gloves, I can't stand having anything else on my hands that doesn't hug my obnoxiously long, skinny fingers like a glove.  (You knew I couldn't resist that one!)

Now, despite my dislike of this task, I like having a roof without holes over my head even more, so at least twice a year, I suck it up and make the climb and clean those gutters out good.




For next week:


List 5 of your favorite art pieces

Looking at all that great art during our recent Latticed Learning fun had me exclaiming, "That's my favorite!" for just about every one.

But I'm thinking that surely I can narrow down my very favorites to a list of five...

Right?

What's your list?  I'd love to hear!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

Friday Frivolity, Pigskin Edition

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At last week's party, we brought you plenty of Amy Poehler silliness that continues to give me the giggles.

This week, we're gearing up for the big game - and by big game, I mean the championship Tiddlywinks competition that's being held at the local bingo hall...

Seriously, will you be rooting for the Panthers or the Broncos this Sunday - or will you be frantically flipping over to the Hallmark channel for some other option?

I wouldn't miss the game for one reason only:  Football Fun Food.

I mean, what other event gives you the excuse to eat way more junk - most of it bacon-wrapped - than pretty much any other day of the year?


Latticed Learning: Week 18

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Welcome back to another installment of Latticed Learning!  Today I'll be sharing the eighteenth week of our journey with you.  You'll get a chance to see what we did, the resources we used (click here to see what we're using week after week), and hopefully come away with lots of fun ideas for things to do with your own little one!

Piquant Pâté

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I shared in a recent post how fond we are of picnics and how our favorite meal to bring along on these excursions is our fancy-schmancy chicken salad.

But one of our additional favorite fancy-schmancy picnic treats is this yummy chicken liver pâté.

Actually, this pâté is one of our favorite treats, no matter where we are, and it's a must for our Christmas Eve fun food spread.

Gv loves this dish, too - she'll even eat a bowl of the stuff right off the spoon!

Chicken livers might not sound terribly appetizing, but I dare you to try this spread and not fall in love with the flavor explosion you'll experience in your mouth.

Plus, you'll get a double-dose of iron to fight off anemia, which is always a good thing, unless you're working on your vampire un-tan.

And just be warned, this is a very loosey-goosey recipe.  But that's because G is the master pâté-maker around here and he's just always very loosey-goosey with his recipes, in general.


The good part about that is that you can play around with this recipe quite a bit - switch out herbs and spices and wines and just really have fun with it!



Project Snapshot Week 109

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commission at no cost to you. Thanks so much for supporting my efforts with this blog!


The goal of this post is to capture a memory from the past week, either with a camera, words, or both.  Time passes in the blink of an eye and this will create a collection of treasured memories from throughout the year.

My Snapshot(s)


Remember those New Year goals I had?


And then remember what happened the next day?

Well, last week, these beauties arrived: 


Happy Feet!

...which meant that I managed to check #1 of my list before January ended, after all.

And of course, once I got out there again, I wanted to immediately up my goal of once a month to once a week...

We'll see if I can talk G into that change, but I do have to make a few more adjustments to the positioning of my cleats on these new shoes, so just maybe it will work (at least until the oppressive heat sets in around here!) 

What was your favorite memory from this past week?  I'd love to hear about it!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

5 After 5, Favorite Household Tasks Edition

Some of the links on this site are affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and purchase something, I'll receive a small affiliate commission at no cost to you. Thanks so much for supporting my efforts with this blog!



It's time for another round of 5 After 5!  In case you missed it, last week's list was 5 favorite breakfasts and if you're new to this series, you can read more about it here.


Today I've got my list of 5 to share, as well as next week's topic for you to stew about over the upcoming days.


And if you've posted your own 5 After 5 list on your blog, I've turned this series into a link party - so be sure to get your own 5 things added below (or leave your answers in today's comments if you're not a blogger).  I loved reading everyone's comments from last week and I really can't wait to see what you share today!



List 5 of your favorite household tasks


Inspired by a recent post over at Guilty Chocoholic Mama, I started thinking of the five things I love doing the most as a wife and mom...which of course led to the topic of next week's list, as well...

1.  Boo-Boo Kisser



Not that I enjoy the idea of Gv getting hurt, but since thankfully we've had nothing to deal with but a few bumps, bruises, and scrapes, this whole scenario ends up entailing lots of hugs, kisses, cuddles, and "I'm so sorry you inherited all these klutzy genes from me."


2.  Vacuuming



...Only problem is, we don't have any carpet in this house, so I miss out on the one cleaning job I actually enjoy.

No more tracks in the pile announcing to everyone who enters that despite all other appearances to the contrary, this house has been recently cleaned.

No more watching the little red light turn to green, so that I know every last little bit of crud dust has been sucked up into the vortex.

Sometimes I get the vacuum out, just to avoid sweeping, but I usually end up having to sweep anyway, so there the vacuum sits...in the garage...waiting for someday, when carpet returns.

3.  Sustenance-Creator



This mainly involves cooking and baking, but I also enjoy creating pantry staples (like baking powder, Greek yogurt, mustard, tortillas, and cheese, to name just a few) and other forms of kitchen-puttering.



4.  Laundry



I love laundry for the same reason I get all giddy coming home from the grocery store:  putting things away.

Yep, I'm one of those weirdos who actually enjoys putting laundry away.  And the groceries.  And basically putting away and organizing anything else around here.


But laundry, oh, that's even better, because you get to put away things that were cleaned for you by a magic machine that's basically the bread machine of clothing:  you dump everything in, push start, and voilà, out comes clean clothes - ready to hang on the line or shove into the dryer for even more clothes magic! 

5.  Making the bed


This task takes mere seconds to do, yet the payoff is huge.  

What other chore can you do right after you exit the bed in the morning that allows you to check something right off the old to-do list before you even have time to enter the bathroom (I know, too much information, but just try to tell me that's not the first place you head to after you get out of bed!) 

I absolutely love our bright and cheery bedding, so making the bed puts a huge smile on my face and gets the day off to a great start.




For next week:


List 5 of your least favorite household tasks

I've listed what I love, next it's time for those things I constantly put off...or, let's face it, just don't do.

Will I shock you with my dirt-encrusted drapes?  (Nope, because I can't stand curtains.)  

You'll have to wait and see what things I avoid like the plague...

What's your list?  I'd love to hear!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.



Also, if you don't want to miss a single minute of great tips like this and all the fun around here, be sure to sign up for free updates and then look forward to having each post delivered right to your inbox.


Linked up with: Social Butterfly Sunday, Homeschool Nook Link UpHappiness is Homemade,  Merry MondayMotivation MondayThoughtful SpotWhat'd You Do This WeekendMade for KidsMeet Up MondayTotally Terrific TuesdayLittle Learning Link Up,Tuesday PinspirationTwo Uses TuesdayHip Homeschool HopLou Lou Girls Fabulous Party Tell it to Me Tuesday,  Talented Tuesday, Wordless WednesdayA Little Bird Told MeWFMWEverything Early Childhood, The Mommy Club, Creative MusterParty in Your PJs, The Ladies Collective,  A Little R&R WednesdaysThis Is How We Roll, Creative WaysHearts for HomeCreative Exchange 100 Happy DaysHomeschooling SecretsShine Blog Hop, Yum Tum Linky, No Rules Weekend Blog PartyThursday Favorite ThingsI'm Lovin' It,Kitchen Fun & Crafty, Inspiration SpotlightHome MattersPretty Pintastic PartyWeekend PotluckAwesome Life FridayCreative CollectionThe Beautifully Creative Inspired Family Fun FridayFriday FrivolityBloggers SpotlightMake My Saturday SweetWeekend Wind-Down Party,

Friday Frivolity, Amy Poehler Edition

Some of the links on this site are affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and purchase something, I'll receive a small affiliate commission at no cost to you. Thanks so much for supporting my efforts with this blog!






At last week's party, we attempted to be your best cheerleaders and share a little bit of inspiration and encouragement to help you reach your goals.

It was my turn to choose the theme for this week's little soirée and since I'd just finished reading the hilarious Yes, Please, which then led us to start watching episodes of Parks & Recreation, I decided an Amy Poehler edition of Friday Frivolity was in order.

Besides cracking everyone up on SNL all those years, she had me holding my sides from laughter with her performance in Blades of Glory, so I was excited to see what kind of silliness I could dig up for this week's link-up.


Latticed Learning: Week 17

Some of the links on this site are affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and purchase something, I'll receive a small affiliate commission at no cost to you. Thanks so much for supporting my efforts with this blog!


Welcome back to another installment of Latticed Learning!  Today I'll be sharing the seventeenth week of our journey with you.  You'll get a chance to see what we did, the resources we used (click here to see what we're using week after week), and hopefully come away with lots of fun ideas for things to do with your own little one!

Bible Lesson

Elijah & Elisha (pages 201-239 in this Bible)


Memory Verse


Philippians 2:14 - This is the seventeenth song on this album, which I've raved about before.  I also created this card:



We post it on the fridge (and then add it to a mini photo album from the local dollar store when we take it down).  I'm always amazed how quickly Gv can say her verse - minus the reference - each week!

You can download your own copy of this card for free here!  Want the whole set right now?  Get them here.

Saint

Quentin (I know nothing about the lives of the saints, but when I saw these cuter-than-cute cards, I decided they gave me the perfect excuse to learn!  They're honestly more for me than Gv at this point, although she can put the name to the card after having it up on the fridge and talking about it all week.)

Letter

(Print out your free "Q" phonics card here!)

Topic to Explore

Geography 

Shape

Square (I'm kind of going in order of vertices/sides and each one will last for several weeks.)

Number

16 (Like I said in this post about the alphabet, we'll talk about all (well, maybe not all) the numbers every week, but I'm choosing one to focus on each week and you'll see some repetition as time goes on with a few of them.)

Best Books We Read This Week

The Scrambled States of America is one that we read over.  And over.  And over.  Between it and the video, Gv pretty much learned all 50 of the states.



Me on the Map is a popular choice, but for good reason.  It really helps personalize maps for kids.



Usborne Children's Picture Atlas not only has typical great Usborne illustrations and kid-sized facts, but provides a seek-and-find aspect, as well.  



M is for Majestic highlights the National Parks - so many great places to explore in the great outdoors!



National Geographic Kids Beginner's World Atlas is an over-sized book which introduces the different types of maps in addition to sharing factual tidbits from all over the world.




Other Great Books We Read

Most of these books are some of my favorites from my classroom, but they didn't make the top five because they're just a bit too overwhelming for Gv at this age.  We still enjoyed flipping through them, though, and I know they'll be loads of fun when she gets a bit older: 

S is for Sunshine (There's a book for every state in this Discover America State by State series!)

Go, Go America

Follow That Map This was a very Where's Waldo-type book.

Ms. Frizzle's Adventures Imperial China

A Visit to Mexico

Maps & Globes Loads of information, but not too overwhelming for a little one to digest.

Harlem

My Map Book I wasn't a huge fan of the illustration style of this one, but I loved all the creative map ideas it presented.

America the Beautiful

National Geographic Kids Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas

DK Travel Guides Kids' London

Lonely Planet's Not-For-Parents London

Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America (Even the illustrations were too overwhelming for Gv at this stage, but the kids in my classroom loved to just sit with this book and soak everything in.  I love the concept of this book, with its imaginary family trip to all the states!)

Songs We Played By

I went through all the children's songs on my iPod and created a playlist just for this week.  Here are some of the best selections from our list:

Without Complaining from this album helped Gv learn our memory verse

Our entire collection of Putumayo music, many of which I highlighted in this post as well as this one.

This entire CD.

Alphabet of Nations from the albums I share here.

Name the Oceans from this disc.

The People in Your Neighborhood from this.

Alabama, Mississippi from this guy.

And so many more, but I'll let you search through your own music collection to see what types of songs you can add to your own playlist.

Videos We Explored

We did "Q" things on this site.

We watched this clip and a few of the others for the letter "Q."


This short movie goes along with the fun book. (& we watched it over & over & over...)

I sang this song to Gv all week long (& would usually point out each state as I said it).  If you don't know it, this short video will help you out.

How We Played

We did a few things to learn about Elijah & Elisha:

We used Gv's adorable nativity set to re-enact Elijah's calling down fire from heaven: 



and his ascension into heaven on the fiery chariot:



We made this fun clothespin raven (use black sharpie to color it, then glue on some black feathers, googly eyes, and a little construction-paper beak) when we talked about how God used ravens to bring food to Elijah in the desert:



I whipped up a loaf of our favorite bread for the ravens to feed us, just because I was craving the bread and it seemed like something ravens might bring.

I thought about making some sort of cracked chocolate cookies (to represent the dry, cracked earth) or a batch of these delicious homemade caramels (to build Mt. Carmel, get it?), but we still had too many desserts lingering around the house from a recent bake-a-thon, so I decided to skip it.

We made a whirlwind that was similar to the snake from this week.  I drew the spiral lines, but this time, Gv was able to do all the cutting herself.  

Then we printed out this cute graphic of Elijah and Elisha, taped it to the whirlwind, and hung the whole thing up on the mantel:
I kept hoping the whirlwind would magically blow all the dust away that you see resting on the edge of the fireplace, but it hasn't happened yet.  Guess I have to break down and do some dusting...

We also did several things (besides reading books) to correspond to our geography/maps topic:

We made our own map (I got the idea from here) to go along with this must-have book.  Gv had fun "reading" through the story and following the path of the map on her own the rest of the week:



We put together all our U.S.A. puzzles.  Many.  Many.  Many times:  

As if all of these weren't enough, Gv discovered this one at our library and we had to put it together, as well.  Each trip.  And we went there three times this week...
I took an old AAA map of the Southeastern States that we had lying around and used a highlighter to trace over all the major routes we've driven since Gv has been born.

She spent loads of time tracing the lines with her finger and exploring the map:

Yes, the floor totally looks this messy. All. The. Time.
You feel better about your own floor now, don't you?

I printed out this adorable U.S.A. passport, which could be used in so many different ways.  

I'd planned to just stick everything on a ring so Gv could flip through the colorful pages and get familiar with the outlines of each state, but then I decided to create a more permanent book for her.  I put them in one of our dollar-store photo albums and then wrote the dates of Gv's first visit to each state - this way, we can add each new state she visits in the future, which I think is really cool:



I did stick these pages on a ring.  There were several countries G or I have visited that weren't included in the set, so I'm thinking about making up my own version of this, someday.

Gv and I colored in the pages for any country G or I have visited and then I wrote "Mommy" or "Daddy" to show which one of us has been there.

I figured it would help Gv make a connection to the different countries, if she knew one of us had seen it:



I colored in the country names in rainbow colors (of course), which led to a fun, impromptu game of "what color is the letter "t" followed by "what letter is blue."


I had this plan to draw a grid on the driveway with chalk, then have Gv follow my directions to move from one corner of the grid to the other.  We had several days of rain, so I moved the plan inside and we just used our kitchen tiles as our grid (I had to stick post-its on each one, though, because she wasn't quite getting the concept of standing in the "box" of each tile).

Instead of telling her to "take two steps east" (which I'll do, when she's older), I just asked her to take one or two steps forward, backward, to the left, or to the right.

We had fun laughing through this game and I DID take a photo, but for some reason, I just can't find it, so you'll have to picture it all in your mind, until I do.

Geez, Louise, now I can't find my photo of the next activity...I am losing my mind, apparently.

We made a poster of our neighborhood.  I'd printed photos of places like our church, the library, the grocery store and G's school.  Gv glue them all down in their general locations, then we drew in things like friends' houses, stop signs and lights, our car, and even Gv.

She used a toy car to travel around town and "visit" all her usual haunts, which was lots of fun.

The remains of her poster, which she continues to play with, but has since ripped off all the photos and stuck them someplace "special" that I am not privy to at the moment...
I gave Gv all sorts of other maps to play with this week:  AAA state maps (which we marked special locations on using stickers), Google Earth maps for her to color and mark up, parks and attractions (like Sea World) for her to look at, as well as a globe.

We also had our first Passport to Fun "trip," so our "travels" to Canada worked out perfectly for this week, as well.



Finally, we did one of my favorite activities that I'd used in my classroom.  After reading Me on the Map, we created this:


I measured our paper plate, then drew circles with decreasing diameters (an inch smaller at a time) on construction paper (in rainbow colors, of course).

Gv cut them all out, we hole-punched everything to line up at the top and then threaded it all onto a ring.

I printed out a photo of Gv for her to cut and glue onto the "Me" page, then printed a zoomed-in photo of our house from Google Earth for her to cut and add to the "My House" page:



For the "My City" page, I printed a cute graphic for the state of FL (whoops, forgot a photo of that page) and stuck a star sticker on our city's location.

This graphic (there's one for all the states) went on the "My State" page:



We used this for the "My Country" page:


This went on our "My Continent" page:


And this cute graphic (page 9 of the "Continent Kids" pack) went on the "My Planet" page:

Hmmm...she colored in Africa as "hers" on this picture...clearly we have some work still to do!
I also printed out page 7 of this pack and this map to frame and hang in Gv's room.  I just love how colorful and fun each one is!

Looking for all the great posts associated with this concept in one place?  Check out my Latticed Learning page here!

What's your favorite thing that we did this week?  I'd love to hear!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

Also, if you don't want to miss a single minute of great tips like this and all the fun around here, be sure to sign up for free updates and then look forward to having each post delivered right to your inbox.


Linked up with: Social Butterfly Sunday, Homeschool Nook Link UpHappiness is Homemade,  Merry MondayMotivation MondayThoughtful SpotWhat'd You Do This WeekendMade for KidsMeet Up MondayTotally Terrific TuesdayLittle Learning Link Up,Tuesday PinspirationTwo Uses TuesdayHip Homeschool HopLou Lou Girls Fabulous Party Tell it to Me Tuesday,  Talented Tuesday, Wordless WednesdayA Little Bird Told MeWFMWEverything Early Childhood, The Mommy Club, Creative MusterParty in Your PJs, The Ladies Collective,  A Little R&R WednesdaysThis Is How We Roll, Creative WaysHearts for HomeCreative Exchange 100 Happy DaysHomeschooling SecretsShine Blog Hop, Yum Tum Linky, No Rules Weekend Blog PartyThursday Favorite ThingsI'm Lovin' It,Kitchen Fun & Crafty, Inspiration SpotlightHome MattersPretty Pintastic PartyWeekend PotluckAwesome Life FridayCreative CollectionThe Beautifully Creative Inspired Family Fun FridayFriday FrivolityBloggers SpotlightMake My Saturday SweetWeekend Wind-Down Party,