Do you have a ton of thank you notes to write? Well we have a thank you note hack that has saved us several hours, and just might do the same for you!
Thank You Note Hack
We are in the season of gratitude and a great way to show your appreciation is a thank you note. Perhaps you are writing thank you notes for wedding gifts, baby shower, a birthday party, bridal shower or maybe Christmas – whatever the reason, if you have several thank yous to write – we have a hack that you will love!
Thank You Letter Writing Campaign
So here is the deal. Our school has a Thank You letter-writing campaign that they put on each fall before Thanksgiving break. The idea is that parents write letters of thanks showing gratitude to any and all teachers and staff that they feel need recognition and praise.
We have 4 kids in 3 schools. Our kids require a LOT of support, and our school district is amazing at doing just that. So, of course, we are going to participate and write letters of gratitude, but there are so many to write. Last year, I started using this thank you hack and it was a time saver – plus it looked so much better than my terrible handwriting. Here is how I write thank you notes in bulk.
Writing Thank You Notes in Bulk
I made a YouTube video showing you exactly how I write all of these notes in a short period of time. This is a great hack to speed up the process and yet still show your gratitude and appreciation. Again, this thank you note hack works great for any situation in where you have to write a large number of thank you notes.
We use PicMonkey in the tutorial above – and for a majority of our graphics projects. It’s super easy to use, especially if you are in need of a simple but powerful graphics utility. Click here and get a 7-day free trial.
Today I am sharing some of my favorite things that I am loving. From technology to meal planning to sweet muscat wine – here are a few of my favorite things.
I made a video over on our YouTube channel featuring things that I am loving (you can watch below) – I thought I would share with your here on the blog as well. Let’s get into it!
Carrie Elle Meal Planner
Carrie is a friend of mine that I met thru blogging. Funny story, when we met, we found out we lived just a few miles apart, in the same neighborhood. While we are no longer neighbors, we do lunch often and I always love hearing what she is designing next.
So my gal Carrie not only blogs (see CarrieElle.com) – she has a line of planners called Carrie Elle Planners. Keep reading, she is giving away one to a lucky reader! Her planners range from life to teaching to what I am sharing with you – her Carrie Elle Meal Planner. This planner has been a game changer in meal planning for our family.
First, you should know I AM NOT A PLANNER. When Carrie kindly gifted me a planner earlier this year, I thought – are you sure we are friends? Don’t you know that I DO NOT PLAN MUCH IN LIFE? But alas, maybe she had an intervention in mind or something. Whatever it was, it worked. I now live by meal planning.
Meal Planner Features
WIth 4 kids, our life is a wee bit cray-cray. You can view the complete review of the Carrie Elle Meal Planner in the video below, or here are a few highlights of things that I love about it and why it’s one of my favorite things. These features are on her new designs.
12 monthly calendar pages (blank) for those of you who like to meal plan a month at a time
60 weekly meal planning pages, with a place to plan out meals for the week and a place to write your grocery list. The pages are perforated so you can rip off the grocery list to take with you to the store, and stick the menu for the week on the fridge (although some people like to keep the menu in their planner to refer to later)! There is also enough room for most people to write out breakfast, lunch, and dinner for each day.
10-holiday meal/dinner party planning pages, with space to plan the meals (and even supplies you need to buy) and a place to write your shopping list. The pages are perforated so you can rip off the grocery list to take with you to the store, and stick the menu for the dinner on the fridge.
10 lined pages at the back of the book for notes/recipes/helpful websites
Space to keep track of your favorite meal planning resources
Freezer Inventory sheets
Pantry Inventory sheets
Pantry Inventory sheets
Double-sided pocket folder (keep your recipes, grocery store flyers, and coupons here
KEEP READING! We Have a Meal Planner AND Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!
Kindle Fire 7
So here is the deal. I had a Kindle Fire 7, loved it. Some mean person stole it, with my credit cards when in Washington DC on a road trip. It was a crappy experience, but after not having the Kindle Fire 7 – after having a Kindle Fire 7 – it was missed enough for me to replace.
While my primary use of the Kindle Fire 7 is for reading, you do have the ability to install various apps from the app store. But again, my main use for this is reading. It’s a perfect size, and hello – it’s yellow!
As I mentioned in the video, I purchased the Special Offers Kindle FIre and have zero regrets. It was cheaper and the ads are non-intrusive. So if you are debating on going with the special offers kindle vs no ads, if the savings is worth it to you – the ads are not overly annoying or anything!
Kindle Fire Stats
Here are the stats on the Kindle Fire 7:
The next generation of our best-selling Fire tablet ever – now thinner, lighter, and with longer battery life and an improved display. More durable than the latest iPad.
Beautiful 7″ IPS display with higher contrast and sharper text, a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, and up to 8 hours of battery life. 8 or 16 GB of internal storage and a microSD slot for up to 256 GB of expandable storage.
Now with Alexa, for quick access to the information and entertainment you want. Ask questions, play music, check your calendar, get the news, weather, and more – just press the home button and ask.
Enjoy millions of movies, TV shows, songs, Kindle eBooks, apps and games – including Netflix, Facebook, HBO, Spotify, and more
Prime members get unlimited access to over a thousand books and magazines, millions of songs, and thousands of movies and TV episodes – at no additional cost
Watch downloaded videos anywhere with a Prime membership, Netflix plan, or Showtime subscription
Enhance your entertainment experience with features you only get from Amazon, including ASAP, X-Ray, On Deck, Blue Shade, and FreeTime Parental Controls
If you need a good family game that injects a little humor – EXPLODING KITTENS is it. This card game was created by the dude who started The Oatmeal (Matthew Inman) and 2 other dudes who worked for Xbox (Elan Lee and Shane Small).
Exploding Kittens first launched on Kickstarter and was at one time the most-backed Kickstarter project ever. Here is how the game is described per the back of the box:
The game is a highly-strategic, kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette. Players draw cards until someone draws an Exploding Kitten, at which point they explode, they are dead, and they are out of the game. UNLESS that player has a Defuse card, which can defuse the kitten using things like laser pointers, belly rubs, and catnip sandwiches. All of the other cards in the deck are used to move, mitigate, or avoid the Exploding Kittens.
Exploding Kittens is perfect for ages 7+ and 2-10 players. We play with our 6-year-old, but we typically play in teams to make it a little fairer for him (and to help reduce meltdowns when he loses.)
We spent last weekend in the Texas Hill Country, wine tasting for my birthday. It was amazing and my favorite part – finding a new fave wine! I love my Texas Hills Vineyard Orange Moscato, but I think I may like this one a little more.
If you are a super sweet white wine lover – try the Woodrose Winery Sweet Muscat. It is delish and pairs well with cheese and crackers (duh.)
As mentioned in the video, I’ve been a Young Living distributor for the last 3 years. Love me some essential oils. We use the diffuser daily in both our office and in the bedrooms. You can learn more about Young Living Essential Oils here.
While my favorite manicure is NextGen, I just don’t have time to go to the nail salon and keep them up. I bought Sally Henson Miracle Gel nail polish and am impressed. While it doesn’t make me paint my nails any better – it stays on a lot longer than a normal manicure!
This is my favorite nail painting meme. I suck at painting nails.
Carrie Elle Meal Planner & $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway
Carrie is giving away a Carrie Elle Meal Planner to a Digital Mom Blog friend and we are throwing in a $25 Amazon gift card so that you can buy something that is hopefully one of YOUR favorite things! Enter below for your chance to win. The giveaway ends at 11:59 pm on November 20, 2017.
Our friends at WowWee just sent over the new Gigi Fingerling Unicorn! We have had a crazy response to our post introducing the Fingerlings monkey and now we are excited to now share with your this new Unicorn Fingerling.
Fingerling Unicorn Gigi
We did a Fingerling unboxing over on YouTube, so make sure to check that video out below. But in case you are more of a reader, let’s talk Fingerlings, baby Unicorns, and this craze.
When WowWee first introduced us to Fingerlings and mentioned that this would be a hot Christmas toy, I wasn’t sure what to think. After watching my kids react to the Monkey fingerling, I totally got it. Us parents can tend to forget, it’s not about our reaction to a toy – the kids are the ones that make hot Christmas toys.
Meet the Baby Unicorn
Baby Unicorn Gigi is the newest addition to the Fingerling collection. She is cute, has a multi-colored tail and mane and a yellow unicorn horn. She has eyelashes and animated eye.
Gigi is the same size as the Monkey Fingerling. She does sport a horseshoe tattoo on her rear.
How to Play with the Unicorn Fingerling
Of course, Gigi the baby Unicorn can sit on your finger, but she can do a few other things as well. Here is how you play with the Unicorn Fingerling.
You can blow air kisses to your unicorn.
Your unicorn will kiss you back.
Clap one or twice
Watch it unicorn around.
Tap your unicorn’s head
For fun reactions!
Hang your unicorn upside down
Explore your unicorn’s silly side!
Pet your unicorn’s head
You unicorn will show you love!
Press and hold both sensors below Gigi’s head for 2 seconds
For a silly surprise!
Cradle your unicorn
For sleepy reactions!
She also randomly sings. I can’t figure out if this is a timed mechanism or what but have heard Gigi belt out a few random LA LA LAs. Gigi also falls asleep if you leave her hanging too long.
And it farts
Animated Farting Unicorn Toy
That’s right, if you hold the sensors on the unicorns ears for 2 seconds, the unicorn farts.
What Are Fingerlings
First, let’s talk about what Fingerlings are .Fingerlings are little-animated toys. The tagline is friendship at your fingertips. These toys can cling to your finger, hence the name – fingerlings.
These animated toys first launched late Summer and were an immediate hit. I see posts all the time in Facebook groups announcing when they are available at various stores. Looking where to buy a Fingerling? I would first check Amazon.
Fingerling Review Video
So in conclusion, our overall Fingerling review – If the kids love it, why not. This is an innocent toy and guys, it’s not a screen! Our kids are in front of screens all day, so it’s nice to see kids playing with toys that aren’t totally technology related (though, don’t get me wrong! We love our tech!) Another bonus, is that the Fingerlings are inexpensive. They retail for $14.99.
How to clean laminate floors. You bought laminate floors, they looked beautiful – and then they got DIRTY. Let’s talk about how to clean your floors without residue!
Maybe it was the cry for help about how my house is a wreck or sympathy for the fact God gave me 2 toddler boys… whatever the reason I am super thankful for laminate floors. They are more durable than wood flooring in my opinion, and once you learn to clean them – they are a Godsend. OH, and a quarter of the price but with the same look as hardwood flooring.
The Best Way to Clean Laminate Floors
Folks, let’s be honest here. THIS mom was not equipped with the gift of being able to clean and organized. Throw in 4 kids, 3 of which are boys – and well… yeah, our house is rarely clean. I know that this chapter in my life – it is to be okay that toys are all over the floor and that I find mystery substances in random places every day. All I ask for people is SANITARY.
What to Clean Laminate Flooring With
We moved into this house a little over a year ago. It is slowly becoming home. While I really do love the house, the neighborhood, location, etc…. the top reason I wanted the house, is now one of the things I hate about the house. We have about 75% hard floors. There is a mixture of slate and laminate throughout the house, upstairs and down. It sounded like an absolute dream, right? It’s been a NIGHTMARE.
I have tried vinegar, Bruce flooring spray, Murphy’s Oil, Spray and Mop, I could go on – but my head hurts thinking about all of the chemicals I’ve tried to keep this floor clean.The laminate always looks blotchy, no matter what I used to clean it. I just want clean laminate floors, how hard can this be??
I’m not sure where I found this cleaning mixture, but I played around with the amount of each ingredient and here is what I use as a laminate floor cleaner. You can get each of these ingredients, including the squirt bottle at the dollar store. The $4 you spend will leave you enough extra ingredients to use for the rest of the year.
Here’s what I now use to clean my laminate floors:
Fill the squirt bottle with the above ingredients. Next, fill the remainder of the bottle with warm water. Shake, squirt and mop. Below is the mop that I use on our floors.
This is the microfiber mop I use. I have tried a few and this one has a big head for covering a large area – which means quicker clean time (WINNING!) Speaking of cleaning mop covers…
To clean the microfiber mop cover, I’ve found hand washing with vinegar and dish soap to be best and then throwing in the dryer. Sounds like a pain, it’s not too bad. I personally have found that the traditional detergents seem to leave crud in the microfiber mop when cleaning.
Buffing Laminate Flooring with a Towel
I have heard some people swear by buffing with a towel after as well. If you have that much time – have at it! This mom can barely get dinner on the table.
Again, this is the formula that I use. I know some people don’t like using alcohol but I think the minimal amount in this mixture works well.
All of that kid goo, you know the mysterious stuff you have no idea what it is, but either one of the tweens or toddlers or dog left it there, yep it this stuff leaves my floor the cleanest without the film I’ve seen other solutions leave.
Different Laminate Types
This is our third house with laminate. Remember, each laminate is different. Our last house had glossy laminate, this house has dull laminate. We are about to put in hand scraped laminate. You need to find the best way to clean your flooring and each type has required a different method.
I hope this helps you have clean laminate floors without much fuss, nor sticky or filmy floors!
Reader Recommendations for Cleaning Laminate Floors
This post was started as a recommendation on how to clean laminate floors. Since posting this, this blog post has gone viral! We’ve received hundreds of comments and emails in regards to how our readers clean their laminates! Here are some recommendations from our readers:
Steam Cleaning Laminates
Steam cleaning laminate floors is a hit or miss – some SWEAR by it, other’s SWEAR that it ruins laminate flooring and the varnish. We have tried steam cleaning our laminates and have had success. We’ve used the above laminate floor cleaning solution – but we do make sure that we leave NO excessive wetness. That said – I don’t have time to steam and only do this when I am in deep clean mode (once a year, if my family is lucky!)
Here is the steam cleaner that we’ve used and loved:
Bona Laminate Floor Cleaner
Bona laminate floor clean is a popular and affordable over the counter recommendation.
This from a reader: On both my ceramic tile flooring and laminate flooring. One cap full in a bucket of hot water applied with a micro-mop head. Doesn’t leave residue and shines beautifully. My favorite is Lavender. The house smells terrific on cleaning day. “Floors shine like new money”, and is cost-effective. PS shines tubs and shower stalls also.
Updated on 9/15/17 with the latest on cleaning laminate flooring. Just want to keep this up-to-date as I find better ways to clean. Remember, these are just suggestions on what has worked best for me. Check out more of our posts from Geekery.
Learn how to type guide – let’s look at various typing resources to learn the best ways to teach typing and increase you or your child’s WPM! (words per minute)
Learn How to Type Guide
Typing is now something kids and adults are just suppose to know how to do. While previously typing was a class where everyone sat behind an old school type writer and learned the asdf jkl;. While typing has gone to the way side for keyboarding, keyboarding is not a required class in many schools. Also, not all adults know how to type quickly. Let’s look at resources to help those who want to learn how to type increase their words per minute. We’ve compiled numerous resources to help you find the best way for you to learn how to type in the manner that works best for you.
There is an app for everything, including learning how to type. Here’s a list of free typing apps:
iOS Typing Apps
Tap Typing Trainer
Master typing on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch with the Tap Typing Trainer typing app for iOS. This free app features a speed test and sample of all lessons. You can purchase full typing lessons with an in-app purchase. From beginner to pro, this app serves all levels of typists.
Ghost Type app is the only typing tutor that allows you to create your own lessons with your content to suit your child or students With built-in lessons for beginner to advanced, this app offers parents and teachers a great platform to teach typing.
Ghost Type iOS Typing App offers QWERTZ, AZERTY and Dvorak keyboards.
We are HUGE fans of the Handwriting Without Tears app so we were excited to see that the same company offers an iOS app specifically to teach keyboarding. The Keyboarding Without Tears app offers effective game play to learn typing for ages K-5th grade.
From sitting posture, home row position and finger motions – the Learn to Type Android app shows you keyboarding tipes and more. Thru online speed test, ten-key test, and free typing lessons – this app will help your K-12 student learn the best practices in typing.
Using your keyboard, this game helps you improve your typing speed by competing against others. Competition can motivate! There are practice session for practicing and self-evaluation or go full-on and start competing in the Typing Master Android typing app.
If you are a teacher looking for online typing courses, check out typing.com. Typing.com is free, offering unlimited classes for both individuals and students. You can pay a small fee to have advertising removed.
There you have it, our online guide to typing. Everything you want to know about learning how to type, typing apps, speeds test, typing games and more. Have a resource we missed? Leave it in the comments!
Nap desks – that just sounds dreamy, right? Let’s chat. Remember a few years ago when we all heard how we shouldn’t be sitting is bad for hours on end and that we should adapt to things like walking desks? Remember? So do we. We get it. Sitting for 10 hours a day isn’t good for you. But guess what else isn’t good for you? Sleeping 5 hours at night or working for those 10 hours non-stop.
Nap Desks – Let’s Make This Happen!
Introducing this product design from Studio NL. It’s a desk, no it’s not JUST a desk – it’s a NAP DESK!
From first glance, it this looks just like an ordinary desk, right? Sneaky, it also turns into a nap pod.
So while the idea of sleeping at work may sound, I don’t know – lazy, there is actually a lot of benefits to power naps. If you are interested in learning about how to perfect your power nap, check out these tips for power naps.
Tips for Power Naps
Turn off your mobile phone and any other distractions (so that TV in the nap desk isn’t a great idea.)
Headphones with relaxing music.
Wear sunglasses or use an eye mask to simulate darkness.
Caffeine before your nap to improve your performance and will lessen how sleepy you are when you wake up.
Set an alarm to go off in 15-20 minutes, because it’s a power nap – not a full sleep!
Don’t sleep more than 30 minutes!
Follow your nap up with a physical activity.
Wash your face and expose yourself to bright light.
So, who’s in? Who would take advantage of a nap desk? Personally, the design could be better. The open concept isn’t great, especially as many offices are more open and less office now a days. That said, we sure hope more employers open their minds to power napping at work. That little sleep can create a big jolt in productivity and energy!
Boss isn’t buying the nap desk idea? Maybe you can talk her (or him) into one of these: