Party Tip

The next time you have a party try this tip I discovered last night at a friend’s house. Instead of using a sharpie to label everyone’s paper cups, try a dry erase marker on your own plastic cups. The marker wipes off at the end of the night and you can wash and reuse the cups over and over.

If you don’t have many plastic cups, check Target and Walmart for end of the season clearance. I have been able to purchase plastic cups for under $0.25 a piece and they last for years. I never thought about using them for a large party until we were eating with friends last night. She just got out a stack of her plastic cups and labeled them with a dry erase. It works as well as the plastic cups and a sharpie, but it saves money over time since you aren’t replacing cups. Even those nice Solo cups crack after repeated use, plastic last forever.

I meant to take a picture, but in my vacation laziness I totally forgot.


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Get Human

One thing I was not looking forward to regarding our upcoming move was calling all the different companies to set up utilities, internet, phone, newspaper, etc. I can’t stand wasting my time on hold, waiting for the next available representative. To solve this problem I asked my husband to call and waste his day off on hold.

But, he had a trick up his sleeve that I didn’t know about. It is called Get Human, and it is a website that has information for over a thousand businesses. Information on how to beat the annoying circle of elevator music and automated voices. Just go to their site and type in the business you are trying to contact. It will give you the information that allows you to get a human quicker than going through the normal channels.

For example, trying to get a hold of AT&T call 800-288-2747 then press 0 at each prompt, ignoring messages. How about Dial 800-201-7575 then don’t press or say anything.

My husband used this today and saved a good amount of time, bypassing much of the hold system. Next time you need to call customer service give Get Human a try.


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Cloth Diapers ~ So Easy Your Husband will be Changing the Diapers

I have been changing diapers for fifteen years! I have tried every brand of disposables, including brands they don’t make anymore. I remember Pampers before they had swaddlers and Huggies before they were supreme. And yet, after six babies I felt it was time to make the switch to cloth. Actually I started with cloth 15 years ago, but that was back when your options were rubber pants or rubber pants.

When I was pregnant with Cora I volunteered in the church nursery. I noticed during the service that there were several babies wearing cloth diapers. Being the inquiring person that I am, I asked a million questions and watched a few diaper changes. It didn’t take long before I was sold on the idea of cloth for Cora.

After spending way too much time online researching different types of cloth diapers I decided to go with Fuzzi Bunz and Bum Genius. I honestly couldn’t decide between the two. Fuzzi Bunz received a huge recommendation from Amy over at Mom Advice, and Bum Genius were the ones my friends were using.

The type I bought were pocket diapers, which basically means you slide an insert into a pocket inside the diaper. When the baby dirties the diaper you pull (or shake) out the liner and put both diaper and liner into the pail.

Here a few features I like about the two different brands I purchased.

Fuzzi Bunz

  • Softer on the inside. (The part that touches the hiney)
  • Multiple snaps make for a better fit around the leg. (A benefit for skinnier babies)

Bum Genius

  • Velcro closure makes diaper changing very easy. For the first few weeks, my dh and daughter would only use the BumG’s because they couldn’t quite figure out the snaps on the Fuzzi Bunz.

I purchased a few extra inserts, a wet bag for traveling, pail liner, and a kitchen trash can with a flip up lid. I purchased my diapers and accessories from Nurtured Family. I recommend them because they have competitive prices and fast shipping.

My neighbor gave me some cloth wipes she made from old blankets and her husband’s t-shirts. I just wet them and use like a regular wipe.

I purchased 18 diapers, which last about 48 hours. To wash them I dump everything, including the pail liner into the washer. I put them through one cold rinse cycle and then run a hot wash cycle/ cool rinse, with an extra rinse. I dry the inserts in the dryer and hang the diapers on a drying rack. The diapers are dry by morning in a few hours.

It takes an extra 30 seconds to change a diaper using cloth, if they are poopy. If they are just wet there is no time difference between changing a cloth and a disposable. It takes me about 5 minutes to start the laundry load and then hang the diapers on the rack once they are washed.

They work very well and Cora has only leaked through a few times and that was more due to user error than diaper error. The only problem I had with the diapers is that they were too big for Cora until she was about 7 weeks old. It wasn’t until she weighed about 9 pounds that the diapers fit well around her skinny legs.

If you are hesitant about making the jump to cloth, take it from someone who switched after 6 babies in disposables. It is easy, better for the environment and will save you money long term. Diapers that are well taken care of can be resold on sites like ebay or diaperswappers, or used for your next baby. I even considered using cloth on our vacation, but didn’t want to use someone else’s washing machine while traveling. I do use them when we are gone for the day and she wears them at night too.

There are many choices for cloth diapers, so check out which brand will work best for you.

I know cloth diapers are a great discussion topic so I started a new thread in my forum. Feel free to ask questions, share your favorite cloth diapers, or share why you would never use them!

Also if you are interested I can post a video of an actual cloth diaper change. I didn’t want to video it, unless there was some interest. I know for some people seeing is believing!

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Itch to Pitch ~ Ditch the Old Clothes

Like so many other Americans when we moved into a newer house a huge master bedroom closet came with the home. I then felt it was my duty as an American to fill the closet with tons of clothes. Some of them didn’t fit, some of them were stained, and some were from high school (and I’m 36 folks).

I recommend enlisting the help of a friend to help you pitch your closet. Friends tend to bring with them an unbiased perspective of your clothing, and a good friend will tell you to pitch the striped polo… or to take up a job as a referee.

Here is my advice when it comes to pitching your closet.

  • Get rid of clothes that don’t fit. If they are too big or too small pitch them. You can always get clothes at a yard sale or thrift store if you change sizes.
  • Get rid of clothes that are stained, ripped, or have issues with the elastic. I have 2 or 3 pieces that are my “painting” clothes, but everything else I pitched. I had to painfully pitch a cashmere sweater last week because of a hole in the arm. But, I was only holding on to it because it was cashmere, I didn’t wear it anymore because of the hole.
  • The same goes for shoes, if they are holey, have worn soles, stained or scuffed either repair them or pitch them. Don’t hold on to them for years because you really liked them 5 years ago.
  • Ask a friend for help. I mentioned this above, but seriously have someone help you get rid of those high school relics.
  • Get rid of dated clothes. Having a friend there (or your teenage daughter) can help determine what is still stylish and what needs to go.
  • Remember clothes are cheap, so pitch the stuff you don’t wear. If you aren’t reading Jen’s Frugal Fashionista series, you need to subscribe to her blog today! Each week she shares her latest yard sale and thrift store finds and they are awesome! Her series is proof positive you don’t need to spend a lot of money on great looking clothes. I have met her at Blissdom and let’s just say she was one of the best dressed bloggers at the conference.

I didn’t take a before picture of my closet because the light was burned out, then in my pitching frenzy I packed up all my winter clothes before I took the after picture. So here are my pictures from last week.

My closet now (minus winter clothes). Notice all the empty hangers!

The clothes that are leaving my house on the next thrift store trip.

A few more notes. I haven’t picked a winner from last week’s post yet since I was out of town. I also don’t have a giveaway for this week since I will be out of town and moving over the next few weeks, but I do have a few more goodies in store.

Time to link up your posts. I am really sorry I didn’t get to visit everyone last week. I will try to get to everyone this week while on vacation.

Remember link to your Itch to Pitch post and not your blog’s homepage. Also please link back to The Happy Housewife, so others who read your blog will be able to participate, the more the merrier, right? Finally, please visit the other Clutter Queens who link up and give them some encouragement. We all love comments!


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