what to do when you are stuck inside

Gina Seleskey Longfellow Quote LoveIsn’t this a great quote … especially considering it’s now Day 3 of “Snowmaggedon 2014″ in Charlotte?  I’m so grateful that our power has stayed on, so at least we are warm and toasty on this Valentine’s Day.

At this point, however, I am more than a little stir-crazy.  I’ve always done better as a “mom on the go.”  So far I have …

Land of Nod Store More Metal Boxes First Aid… reorganized our first-aid kits and medicine cabinets.  It’s a good idea to go through those periodically to make sure that you are fully stocked and nothing has expired.  When I was expecting the boys, I created three kits — one for the kitchen, one for the upstairs (stored in a closet next to their nursery) and one for the “main” downstairs.  Need a starting point for your kit?  Here’s a great list!

Q&A a Day for Kids Betsy Franco… started this journal with the boys.  I first spotted it in my Instagram feed … and what a fabulous idea!  The premise of the book is that you ask your children a different question each day and record their answer to the same daily question three years in a row.  I love this simple and easy way to keep a journal of your children’s whimsical thoughts and feelings … and perhaps some serious ones as well.  We started the Q&A a Day for Kids on February 13.  In response to “what would you most hate to lose,” Twin A responded “you and Daddy” and Twin B responded “all my Legos.”  Harrummmpppph.

Madesmart Junk Drawer Organizer… cleaned out the kitchen junk drawer.  I use an organizer similar to this one, which means the drawer stays clean, but occasionally wayward items need to be relocated to their proper location.  For some reason, typing that reminded me of a flight attendant’s pre-takeoff announcements.  “Please return your seatbacks to their full upright and locked position.”    

Lego Movie Super Cycle Chase 70808… searched for a whole bunch of Lego pieces.  While the rest of the city was stocking up on bread and milk, I secured some emergency no-electricity-required entertainment.


Lucky Bums Winter Summer Float or Snow Tube…. snow-tubed with my kiddos down my neighbor’s steep driveway, thanks to overnight delivery of Lucky Bums gear.  The best gift for a new mom?  Amazon Prime, baby.  If they don’t already have it, they’ll want it … because nothing is more convenient than having something arrive at your doorstep in two business days.  Or $2.99 if you need it the next day.  Hallelujah.  Did you know that shopping online is actually greener than “traditional” shopping?  Of course, I still love buying local and small!

Williams Sonoma Citrus Oven Mitt… and ordered new kitchen linens.   The changing seasons remind us to swap out our closets, but the change of a new year is my reminder to “start fresh” in other areas of my home.

I am now officially tired of the snow.  So I’m asking you — any other ideas?

Graphic by the super-talented Gina Selesky, otherwise known as Letter Girl.  Check out her Etsy shop for custom rubber stamps and much more.  I love everything she does!  Store More Metal Boxes (First Aid) by Land of Nod; similar ones here and here.  Madesmart Junk Drawer Organizer; photo via Neatly Smart.   My kids loved The Lego Movie; I bought our movie-themed sets at Target, but they are also available at Amazon (photo is here) and the Lego Shop.  Thank you, Amazon, for shipping our Lucky Bums snow tubes (and the above photo).  Williams-Sonoma has my favorite kitchen linens, including this oven mitt and these organic waffle-weave towels.       

three simple steps to the fall home “changeover”

Brrrrr ….  let me try to stop my teeth from chattering.  If your hometown is anything like mine in Charlotte, North Carolina, the weather has officially turned.  Not only are we well into autumn, but we are getting a preview of winter!  Ok, ok, I did grow up in south Georgia, so I’m not exactly sturdy stock.  At least the kids won’t be sweating in their Halloween costumes this year! Of course, it figures — the one year they have flimsy costumes (Skylanders, anyone??) — it’s bound to be freezing.  Somehow I’m confident they’ll “buck up” for the sake of some candy.

Twin as Halloween SkeletonAnyhoo, I know it’s time to transition our house into fall/winter when turning on the seat heaters in my car becomes more of a reflex than an active decision.  Because I was in High Point for most of the week, my house was already a wreck.  When the cat’s away, the mice will play.  Or eat Cheetos, as the case may be. So I spent the better part of the weekend putting our home back in order and doing the swap-a-roo.  But now it’s done!  Here are the three easy steps that I’ve made part of my seasonal changeover.

(1)   Rearrange the closets and dressers.

Take a quick look through the spring/summer clothes.  Anything that is on the verge of too small, or has just plain seen better days, goes into a pile for Goodwill or a consignment sale.  Anything that is still in good shape and could potentially fit next season moves out of reach.  I then put fall/winter clothes front and center so that my kiddos can get themselves dressed in the morning.  If you see Twin B sporting a navy polo shirt and navy pants, well, now you know.  Twins or kiddos in similar sizes?  Remember to color-code the hangers … or else.

Highwater PantsFor my own closet, I also weed out anything I’m no longer loving.  Clothing, accessories, shoes, you name it.  I’m never going to pick something that I don’t love over something that I do … so why keep staring at it?

(2)  Swap summer-weight blankets for warmer ones.

Simply Shabby Chic Cozy Blanket TargetAs I type this, our cotton blankets are in the washing machine … and the cozy snuggle blankets are back!  Don’t you just love snuggling up beneath a warm blanket?  I occasionally consider buying an electric mattress pad, but — truth be told — they kind of creep me out.  How this is different than the heated car seat, I have no idea.  

Restoration Hardware Cashmere Hot Water BottleA favorite client recently told me that a hot water bottle really does work wonders.  I’m hoping Santa will leave one of these underneath the tree!  Doesn’t a “pre-heated” bed sound delicious?  Aaaaand it’s cashmere.  Enough said.

(3)  Roll up the natural fiber rugs, and bring out the wool.

True confession time again.  I’ve always thought this was a bit ridiculous.  Who has the time to swap out rugs seasonally?  Clearly that someone has a household staff.  Having no such staff, my sisal and mountain grass rugs stay out year-round.

Medallion Rug New Contemporary Tibetan Area RugUntil now.  Medallion Rugs so generously sent me a gorgeously thick Tibetan rug.  If you are in the market for an area rug — and especially a luxurious handmade one — you should check out their website.  I especially love their 30-day, no obligation, in-home trial program … because area rugs are something you really need to see in person.  Au revoir, scratchy jute in the guest bedroom!  My holiday guests will step out of bed onto plush Tibetan wool.  I suppose the better question is — will I put the jute back in the spring?  Of course, you could simply layer a wool area rug over your existing natural fiber rug.  Same result — comfy toes — with less work.  And I love the look.

1, 2, 3 … done!   I think I’ve earned my tall nonfat-milk-but-with-whip salted caramel hot chocolate.  Are you ready for winter?

traci zeller