Articles for Product Reviews

Organizing the house and the family are generally a big priority around here and we’ve taken some step to streamline that process as much as possible. We’ve found so many useful tools and online resources, many thanks to some readers for the suggestions, that we can be pretty productive and get things running smoothly. One way we’ve done this recently and found really useful online shops to get some of our shopping and gift buying done without having to worry about the quality of the product or the usefulness of the gift. A recent example of this came from the folks at Organize Beauty Now and their green and glam line.gglogo

The products they offer under this line feature both hair and skin care that is 100% natural but, as they say themselves, “does not sacrifice performance for the sake of being 100% natural.” Another nice little line of products they offer are their Eco Princess products–natural and organic play make-up that would make a really great gift for a daughter or niece. This way, the little ones can safely get dressed up lots of glitter and glam while doing so safely.

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Are you getting ready for a big family vacation and need some new headphones for the kids?  Or do you like to listen to music while you’re on the computer and can’t every hear because the kids are playing too loud?

Well, the good folks at iFrogz recently sent me a nice set of their EarPollution CS40 Headphones in order to give them a try and I couldn’t be more pleased.

Headphones in our house have been a bit of a problem for awhile. We’ve tended to use the little cheap earbuds that come with whatever equipment we’re using and they’ve never worked out well.  The kids never really liked wearing them since they were uncomfortable and the sound was never too strong.  When I used those types while on the computer, I could still hear a lot of background noise and would have to turn the volume up to an uncomfortable level.

With the CS40s, however, these problems have largely been eliminated.  The sound quality is simply amazing.  Nice and clear with plenty of bass.  The beauty of these headphones, though, is that they block out external sounds, leaving you with nothing but the output from the headphones.  And, when the kids are listening to their music or playing their games with the headphones on, you can’t hear the sound leaking out from the earpieces.

These headphones are also extremely comfortable.  I’ve found myself wearing them for an hour or more and I’ve simply forgot they’re still on my head.  I can watch my favorite shows on the laptop now while the kids play noisily around me or watch TV and the CS40s block out the sound.

Here’s my little guy practicing his keyboard with the CS40s on.  He likes to play the practice tunes over and over and now we all don’t go crazy hearing the same song all day…

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Moms need sleep

Moms need sleep

I was reading a blog written by Karlana this morning where she talks about restless sleeps and a hard time shutting off her mind at night.

When I get into a ‘to do’ frame of mind (which often reminds me of those days of nesting as a soon to be new mom), I have a hard time shutting off my brain at night as well. Leaving this mom tired and grumpy in the morning.

My tips for moms needing to fall asleep faster:

  • Turn off all TV’s off in the house by 9:00
  • Create a calm environment with more lights off (energy saving too ;) and calming music.
  • Keep your bedroom tidy and a place of sleep.
  • Turn your computer off at least one hour before heading to bed.
  • Write a mom to do list each night before bed so you are not worrying about what you will forget the next day.
  • Go to sleep when you feel tired and learn your natural sleep rhythm. Some people only require 6 hours of sleep others (like me) need at least 8 to function coherently the next day. Not getting enough sleep will reduce your productivity the next day.
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Spring Cleaning ChecklistsThe local playground has bloomed with a carpet of white tiny daisies and the sun was shining all day yesterday. Which leads me to thoughts of spring cleaning and none too soon since I see that a few of the corners of my house have some small spider webs when the sun shines through the window just right!

I can’t help but wonder why we all feel a need to spring clean, so I spent a few minutes looking up spring cleaning online to discover that spring cleaning is defined as “Spring cleaning is the period in spring time set aside for cleaning a house, normally applied in climates with a cold winter.”

This makes sense since those of us up North are limited by cold wet weather during the winter months. I can’t easily run outside with a rug to beat it with a broom. OK I wouldn’t actually ever do that. I have included some free printable spring cleaning checklists below for everyone though!

For me spring cleaning is about purging. It’s when I go through the kids clothing for summer, pack up winter items and while I am at it give the closets and rooms a good vacuum and wipe down.

ListPlan It offers a great Spring Cleaning Checklist for those of you looking for a checklist to help you get through the spring cleaning on a task by task basis.

Most of my check lists come from ListPlan it, it’s a affordable solution and definitely saves me more then enough time to justify the small membership fee.

I have three major Spring Cleaning items that have to get done in my home each spring. 1) the kitchen top to bottom. 2) My mini van – this year I am taking it in to be shampooed 3) The ceilings , light fixtures, and fans.

Here’s a list of Free Printable Spring Cleaning Checklists:

List Planit: Get Organized for Spring
Our Busy Family Life: print spring cleaning checklist
Clean and Shiny: print spring cleaning checklist
Martha Stewart: spring cleaning list


Memo To me

I have been using Memo to me for a few days in the hopes that it will help me remember all those to do items, special events, and tasks.

Short of writing what needs to get done each day on my children’s foreheads it seems something gets forgotten each day. This service is great. If you are only sending reminders to yourself the service is FREE. Need to send a reminder to more then one person or to your cell phone ? The fee is ‘negotiable’ you heard me right ‘negotiable’.

I love the ability to send my message reminders to more then one person and the ‘simplicity’ of this service. I find at times that some services are overwhelmingly full of gadgets to the point of needing two days to learn how to use them. Memo to me, is simple, fast, efficient.

My email text reminders hit my cell phone within 30 seconds ! (I am in Canada). I have reviewed and used a few other “online reminder services” and as of today Memo To Me is officially the favorite of the Almost Always Organized Mom.

I also forget birthdays. Now I am reminded to call special family and friends on their birthday!

The service allows you set up your co workers, friends, family and send your email reminders to everyone. I love that you don’t have to use SMS which can become costly.

The only thing I seem to still not remember is to get the garbage out.

So I am heading back to the Memo to me website to send myself a text message reminder for every Thursday am at 10 am.

I have not been paid for this review moms – this really is just my experience with a GREAT free online tool to help you “remember” the 9 million things on your busy mom to do list.

~ The Almost Always Organized Mom