Author Archives: Mary

Mary
About Mary
Canadian by birth, living in the USA by choice... I am a wife, full-time homemaker and mom of three. I enjoy bible studies, cardmaking, reading, photography, simple recipes, music, and organizing. I may not always get my dishes done, cards mailed out on time or use my camera in manual mode but I try - hence it being my endeavor! You will find a little bit of all that interests me on my APE blog {hey - I like gorillas!}: AProductiveEndeavor.blogspot.com

Organizing Bins

As much as I love to organize, I am equally budget conscientious. You do NOT have to invest in pricey containers to organize your stuff! I reuse containers all the time! Here are some of my favorite ideas! Washed out kitty litter containers are great to sort my sons’ toys. They have lids and stack well too! I use fruit cups for crackers, nuts and other little snacks for my kids. {They are especially great in the summer when you go out and about! Just grab and go and who cares if they don’t come back home} Food containers like the ones from store bought cakes are for lids and tea: I use old biscotti containers to hold my flour […]

Battle of the Bells

My youngest son and I had this silent battle going on before Christmas. I hung our sleigh bells on the doorknob on the back of the door and he moved them to the front. I didn’t like them on the front because they swung in the way when I closed the door. But whenever I moved them back, it wouldn’t take long for the little stinker to move them to the front again. I told him a couple times to leave them alone. So finally after 4 or 5 times of this little “game”, I got so annoyed and raised my voice… “Stop moving the bells to the front of the door will ya!” He replied, “I like them on […]

Organizing Winter Accessories

Here’s a simple way to organize hats and mitts. My family of 5 has many pieces of winter gear. I bought one of these over the door organizers from Target. They had some beauuuutiful fabric ones but I wanted to see what was in each pocket so went with the vinyl. You could label each pocket with mini binder clips or clothespins. Assign one row per family member, with the youngest being on the bottom. Thought I’d share this lovely idea because it is so much better than digging through a bin! Stay warm, ~Mary ***The opinions expressed in this blog are my own and that of the guest bloggers. They do not reflect the opinion of the advertisers on […]

Attend to your marriage

I heard an amazing analogy about marriage a couple years ago.  I was at a local church for their mom’s group and the speaker referred to marriage like a garden.A marriage takes time and effort to cultivate like a garden. If you don’t actively attend to it, then the weeds will take over.  Weeds are a NORMAL part of every yard so expect them!  And when they pop up, deal with them! Sometimes dandelions grow in our husband’s row and sometimes they are in our own. Be careful that when they are in your husband’s row, that you don’t tear him apart and bring up a million old issues as you deal with the current day problem. This is dangerous […]

Encouraging Kids' Coaches

Last week I felt led to give my son’s soccer coach a thank you note with a coffee shop gift card.  I wanted him to know how much I appreciated the time he puts into teaching my little guy how to play soccer.  The coach works all day then gives his evenings and weekends to these kids and I am grateful for him.  I didn’t want to wait til the end of the season because we’ve been at this a few weeks now and everyone needs a little encouragement to keep going.   Do you have kids playing soccer, football, cheerleading or another sport right now? With the halfway point coming up, it’s a great idea to keep the coaches […]

Work or stay home?

My children are now all in school and my youngest is at kindergarten all day.  With that comes the question, will I return to work outside the home? Do you have an opinion about working moms vs. stay at home moms?  I sure do!  The quick answer is that I think they are both valuable and needed in our society!  Women choose to work or to stay at home based on many things such as finances, boredom, schedules, skill set, education, family dynamics, etc.  For some women, there is no decision to be made.  They must work… Or they can’t work.  But no matter what your employment status looks like, all women should know that they are highly valuable! We […]

The Mom Card

      Ever meet up with someone and wish you had a piece of paper to exchange contact info?  Why not carry a “mom card”?  Years ago, I met someone at a park and she gave me her card and I thought it was a genius idea! I made my own using a business card template in Word but if you aren’t creative you can always order them online!  It’s so convenient to have information like your home telephone number, cell number and email available to hand out.  You can add your kids’ names and ages too!  Just keep them in your wallet and if you run into someone you want to connect with again, it makes exchanging information […]

Our Visit to Quassy!

My kids and I went to Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, CT recently to enjoy their homeschool day.  A few other special groups were there too but it wasn’t crowded and a very enjoyable day! My kids are 10, 8 and 5 and this was a wonderful park for their ages!  My oldest two were tall enough so they had a blast going on all the midway rides together!  Thankfully I was able to watch my youngest play at the playscape and the “zoo” while the big kids went on whatever they wanted!  The park is small enough that my kids were able to run to various rides and meet up with me when they were done. I don’t like spinning […]

Packing List to relieve stress when traveling

One of the most stressful things about traveling with kids is packing! Many years ago I made a master “packing list” in Microsoft Word.  To this day, before every trip, I print it out and check things off as I pack. I’ve been doing this for years and it eliminates my anxiety immensely! I’ve edited it a few times as the kids have grown because I no longer need to bring all the gear that is needed for wee ones like strollers, sippy cups, the pack & play, travel highchair, etc. But it’s still a relief to have this checklist and eliminate the fear that I’d forget something. Tis the season to be traveling so thought I’d share a tip […]

Display Your Jewelry

As a stay-at-home mom of three who homeschools, I don’t wear fancy earrings most days, never mind pretty necklaces.  But I can still enjoy what I own by displaying it on my wall! This is a cork board covered with wrapping paper, pattern-side down.  I covered that with a layer of tulle so I could hook and hang my earrings next to the necklaces they match.  The necklaces hang on straight pins, sorted by color.  {If I were to do this again, I’d use fabric to cover the cork board so holes wouldn’t be so obvious when I move pins around.} Even though I don’t wear my jewelry every day, I still get to see it and enjoy the whole display […]