Mother of Necessity

because sometimes, you just have to.

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Holiday Tips & Reminders


It’s that time of  year. The holiday season has begun. Time to start prepping for visitors, big dinners, and lots of shopping.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind for the holidays.

VISITORS: If you are making your rounds and making impromptu visits, keep in mind people may not be prepared. No judging their homes or actions.

If the home is dirty or they don’t have anything to offer you (drinks/food), don’t be mad. You are surprising them.  Remember why you are visiting. You are there to check in with them, have conversations and see if there is anything you can do to help. These are people you love and adore, please do not judge. Be kind and offer your help.

If you would like to, you can always bring a small gift when you go visit. The gift could be your help around their house, such as helping with decorations or cleaning. You could also gift them with coupons to help with cost of the upcoming events. A nice small centerpiece is always good. Bring your own snacks and drinks.

Bringing a small token is a great gesture of kindness and love.

When you have folks come to your home to visit, I recommend on Thursday or Friday night before the weekend or the day or 2 before the holiday, go through your home and do some light housekeeping.  

Make sure the bathroom is clean, dishes are done and you living room is picked up. Maybe go to the grocery store and get some snacks and extra drinks. This way you are prepared for any visitors.

Visiting is a great way to reconnect with loved ones and everyone feels good when you are able to connect.

DINNERS:  If you are hosting the dinner, make sure you have everything you need. Making that last minute grocery store run can be awful or the store may be closed and you are out of luck.

Ask for help. No need to do this by yourself. There are others that would be grateful to assist you.

Relax: Don’t pressure yourself to make everything perfect. If something doesn’t work out the way you planned, it’s ok. Remind yourself why you are hosting. It’s not for the glory of compliments (even though compliments are wonderful) but for making memories with the people you hold dear. Trust me, your guests don’t care that things are perfect, they are happy to be surrounded by folks they love too.

If you are going to someone’s house for dinner, remember your etiquettes. Be polite (please & thank you), offer your assistance, clean up your mess and play nice with others.

If you are helping with the dinner by bringing a dish (pot luck style) please bring what was asked of you or what you committed to bring. Your friends/family are relying on you to do your part.

If you are not bringing a dish you might want to bring a small gift for the host or for the home. If you are like me and can’t afford a gift, make sure you help with the cleanup. Your host will be so thankful for the help.

Send a nice “Thank You” card after the dinner. It shows your appreciation and the love you have for that family.

SHOPPING: Just a few helpful tips.

Fill up the car with gas before you leave. You don’t want to interrupt the shopping spree by getting gas. Travel with your car lights on. Even during the day. 

Have a list of people you need gifts for or a list of gift items needed. It helps keep you on your budget and reminds you who/what you are needing to purchase.

Keep your money secure. Keep your purse in your hand at all times. Wear a cross-body purse (less likely to be set down or stolen). Carry you debit/credit cards in your front pocket of your pants.

Charge your cell phone or have a car charger. You don’t want to be out shopping and not have any service to retrieve those online coupons.

Carry a small amount of actual cash. Some of those small business do not accept credit cards. It’s also nice to leave your lunch tip in cash for the wait staff.

Set a budget for how much you are spending on your spree.

I hope you have a safe, happy and stress free holidays.

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The Mighty Clothespin: 20 New Uses

Photo by: Mother Of NecessityPhoto by: Mother Of Necessity

I have been thinking about objects that I use almost every day and different ways I can use them. This week I was hanging clothes on the line because it has been beautiful here in Ohio and I love the smell my clothes have when they dry outside. So refreshing and I am saving energy and money.

I thought it would be a great blog to write about the many uses for the mighty clothespin. These ideas will be based on the spring-loaded clothespin.

  1. Use 2 clothespins to hang your skirts on a hanger. This way your skirt won’t fall off the floor or have fold marks on your skirt. You can do this with dress slacks, tank tops and strappy dresses too.
  1. They are great to use several on a hanger to hold your scarves or ties.
  1. Keep bagged food items fresh and secure. Just roll up the bad and put a clothespin on it. This is great for freezer bags as well.
  1. Clothespins are great for parties/reunions/picnics: use them to hold your table cloth in place.
  1. Glue a small magnet on a clothespin and place it on your refrigerator to keep your grocery list on or leave notes for the family.
  1. Use 2 clothespins to secure your trash bag to the trash can. Just clip the bag to the lip of the trash can and Ta Dah…. the bag will never fall into the can again.
  1. Use one or two to hold sheet music or songbook open while practicing.
  1. While in the kitchen clip a clothespin to your shirt tail or waist along with a dish towel and you will always have a towel at your disposal when cooking. Also great for project that may be messy.
  1. If you are traveling, pack a few in your suitcase. Use them to secure the curtains are closed so you won’t have that crack of sunlight or a streetlight in your face. Also good to keep the peepers away.
  1. Attach a dryer sheet to a clothespin. This way that dyer sheet doesn’t end up lost forever, in your pant leg or the sleeve of your shirt. Also a great way to reuse the dryer sheet till it is no longer good.
  1. When you are prepping for errands, use a clothespin to keep your chore list, grocery or shopping list in your purse. It’s easy to locate and organized.
  1. Put a clothespin on your sun visor in the car. You can keep your debit card handy, chore list or schedule.
  1. Use a clothespin to hold a nail in place as you hammer. This way you will save those fingers and thumbs from being smashed.
  1. They are great for craft ideas. Simple and easy to paint. Just use your imagination and have fun.
  1. If you are a city dweller and your mailbox is attached to your home, use a clothespin to secure your outgoing mail to the mailbox.
  1. Use as a bookmark and keep your place. These are great for the kids. They can decorate their own with markers or pain.
  1. Use clothespins to store your gloves and mittens. Just clip the matching pair together and they are ready to use the next season.
  1. Planning a party or event that requires name cards for the tables. Use clothespins…paint them a color that coordinates with your theme place them on their side or stand them up and put your name card in the clip.
  1. Paint clothespins brown or green and use them on your outdoor lighting project for the shrubs and trees.
  1. Christmas card display. Buy some nice ribbon and secure in a doorway, staircase, fireplace or mantel. Paint the clothespin to match the ribbon and attach your cards to the ribbon with the clothespins. Simple, easy inexpensive decoration.


What are some ways you use the might clothespin?


9 Different Ways to Use A Laundry Basket

Photography:  Mother Of Necessity

Photography: Mother Of Necessity

We all have at least one laundry basket in our homes. We typically use it for its purpose….laundry.

Did you know a laundry basket has more than one use?  Laundry baskets are inexpensive and have many uses. Here are a few ideas.

  1. Put a basket in the trunk of your car to hold your tools, windshield washer fluid, and extra oil. You can put Velcro strips on the bottom to keep the basket from sliding around in the trunk.
  2. Keep your flip flops and sandals in a basket. You can keep the basket in the entry way or mud room. When the season is over you can pick up the basket and store.
  3. If you live in a two-story home or have a basement, use a basket to carry items up and down the stairs. This way you won’t have to make so many trips.
  4. Keep a basket handy to do those quick pickups in the house, especially if you have company coming and you need de-clutter quickly. Fill the basket and hide it away. Mess is gone.
  5. Keep a basket in the entry way or mud room for the winter. All those wet, snowy, muddy shoes can be put in the basket to save you from mopping so much.
  6. Use laundry baskets for the garage or shed to store sports equipment: baseballs, gloves, cleats, helmets and gloves. Use one basket for each sport.
  7. Use the baskets to sort your recyclables.
  8. Use a laundry basket as a gift basket. For a baby shower, fill it with diapers, a blanket, baby bottles, and so on, put a nice big bow on top. A basket is a great gift idea for a wedding, bridal shower, graduation or a house warming.
  9. Use a basket for your projects. If you are making a quilt, a sewing project or crafts with the kids, you can keep all your items needed in the basket. This way you can put the project in the basket and store away till the next time.

Do you have any other ideas for the use of laundry basket?  Please share.


Family Reunion 2015: Success!!!

Our family reunion was last Saturday (8-8). I am glad to report that the reunion was a hit. We had some new faces and then the ‘usual’ yahoos were there too. We had over 60 folks come for the festivities.

It was a beautiful day. The temperature was in the low 80’s. The sun was shining, big white fluffy clouds in the sky and a cool breeze blowing. The weather was perfect. Just warm enough to break a sweat playing some games.

City Park

City Park

The reunion was held at our local city park. We have had many reunions here when I was a kid. It’s a beautiful park with ball diamonds to play on, lots of playground equipment for the kids. Big shelter houses that seat 75-100 people.

Our shelter house set on the top of the park.  I say ‘top’ because the park has 2 entrances. One part is setting on a hill, that’s where most of the playground and shelter houses are. The second entrance is for the ball fields and a shelter house. (The picture above is the ‘top’ of the park looking down onto the ball fields and shelter house.)

Our family likes to play a game called Corn Hole or Bean Bag Toss. It’s a fan came and we had a couple set up for everyone to play. Most of the second cousins played. Some of us first cousins are too old to break a sweat.

The little ones had fun playing on the playground equipment.  Well, some of the older ones had fun playing too.

jees ashan       mike connor

The food was awesome. We had one of the cousins cook up hamburgers and hot dogs. Everyone that came brought a side dish. Sorry I don’t have any photos of the food spread. Take my word for it.  It was all yummy.

We had homemade potato salad, deviled eggs, chicken and noodles, baked beans, potato and cheese casserole, mac-n-cheese, pineapple upside down cake, banana pudding and so much more.

All I can say is: we have some great cooks in this family. No one left hungry.

There was lots of catching up at the reunion. Some of us have not seen each other in a long time. Having so many cousins connecting and reconnecting with each other was a wonderful sight to see and be a part of.

Everyone sharing with the next person. Telling stories of the good old days. Sharing what has been going on in each of their lives. Making new memories with family. Can it get any better than that?

alyza jess            george cameron

One of the Aunts brought her genealogy research of the family with her. Very interesting stuff to go through. I found out I am in the 10th generation.

Also found out that we are descendants of two Declaration of Independence signers: The first being John Hancock and the second is Roger Sherman. My son thought this was the coolest information of the day. He went around telling anyone that would listen. Love my kid and how much he loves this family and our history.

Just for fun we asked the family to provide a quote that their parent said that was funny or something they still use today. Here are a couple of the quotes.

“Fish and company stink after three days.”

“Follow the dictations of your heart.”

“Don’t be ugly”….meaning do the right thing, make the right choices

“You can be in the wrong place at the wrong time and mess up your life.”

“That would gag a maggot on a gut wagon”……my personal favorite.

And last:  4 things you need when you live in Ohio:

Money in your pocket

A decent car

Good pair of boots

Good mattress

Now there’s some sound advice to everyone. Love my family’s humor too.

The photo slideshow was a hit. It ran the whole day. I had made an 800 picture show. It was fun watching everyone guess who the person was on the screen. Lots of laughter and lots of “Oh Shelly, why did you put that photo in there?”

jill slideshow   merle carly

It was a great day filled with laughter, love and lots of hugs. I am so thankful for everyone that helped make the reunion work so well. There were so many helpers that chipped in when needed. I am blessed beyond measure with my family. I can’t wait till next year.

If you want to have a great reunion too, check out the “BOOKS” tab and get your book today to plan for your next reunion.


4 Weeks of De-cluttering Your Home


We all need a little more de-cluttering in our lives. Why not start today?

I know it can be hard to keep up on chores and keeping things organized. I have made a 4 week outline to help you get back to some a lighter feeling home.

The idea here is to take an extra 30-45 minutes a day and help yourself get back into a good routine.

WEEK 1: Kitchen:

Day 1: Refrigerator: Go through your fried and toss everything that has expired or don’t need. Do this with the freezer too. Since you are taking things out of the fridge/freezer, this is a good time to give it a good scrubbing.

Day 2: Start with the biggest and messiest. Take one or two drawers and clean them out. Toss broken items, or put items you no longer need/want in a charity box or garage sale box.

Day 3: One or 2 Cabinets: do the same as day 2.

Day 4: Continue with 2 more drawers or cabinets

Day 5: Clean out pantry or food supply. Toss out everything that is expired. Wipe down the area food has been stored. If you have canned or box food that has not expired and you know you will not be eating, why not donate the food to your local soup kitchen.

Day 6: Pots and Pans/small appliances: Go through your pots, pans, and small gadgets and see if there is anything you can give to charity or sell. If not, organize them so you have better access. Don’t forget to take the time and clean out those spaces that you store them in.

Day 7: Finish up any cabinets, drawers or spaces I may not have mentioned. Give the kitchen a good cleaning

Ta-Da!!! You know have a clean functioning kitchen with less clutter.

WEEK 2: Living Room/space

Day 1: Movies: That movie collection you have, it’s time to let some of it go. Try to cut it down by ½. If this is not possible, at least go through them and organize the movies by genres: horror, love, drama, action films or alphabetically. Even if you only let go of one movie this is a great start.

Day 2: Music: If you have a CD collection (Like I do), this one can be tough. Try and let go of a few CD’s and then organize them alphabetically so they are easier to find. Maybe you could load a few CD’s to your computer or I-pod/MP3 player. This too will help with the clutter.

Day 3: Magazines/Books: Toss out those magazines you have already read or better yet take them to your local library. If you have books laying around, find a shelf to organize them on. If they are books you have read, pass them to a friend, take the books to your library or local shelter. Try and downsize these as much as possible. They take up so much space.

Day 4: Knick-Knacks: Do you have a lot of little things to decorate your place, like figurines, glassware, trinkets. Take a look around your space and ask yourself this question: Do I love this item so much can’t live without it? If the answer is “No” then it’s time to pass it on to charity or put it in that garage sale box.

Day 5: Coat Closet: Take everything out of the closet. Wipe down the walls, shelf and floor. Go through each item that was hanging up. If you haven’t worn that coat in a year, it’s time for the charity box or garage sale box. If there is anything broken like umbrellas, it’s time to toss them. Downsize as much as you can and then put things back in an organized fashion.

Day 6: Give the room a good cleaning. Move furniture so you can sweep and dust under them. Get all the cob webs off the ceiling, corners and walls.

Day 7: REST. Take a break you have been working so hard to de-clutter 2 rooms you deserve a rest. Enjoy the work you have done.

WEEK 3: Bedroom(s)

Day 1: Start with a dresser. Go through each drawer and take out what you no longer wear or need/want. Organize each drawer. But unwanted items in charity or garage sale box.

Day 2: If you have 2 dressers do the next one. If not, go to your child’s room and do their dresser.

Day 3: Closet: Go through your clothes. If you have not worn the item in a year, it’s time to let it go to charity or the garage sale box. Organize your clothes by color, season or type: shirts/pants/dresses/skirts and so on.

Day 4: Do the closet in your child’s room. If your child has outgrown item or no longer wears, you need to toss or put in charity/garage sale box.

Day 5: Under the bed: Pull everything out from under the bed. Same rule applies. If you have not used or needed in a year, it’s time to let it go.

Day 6: Give your room a good cleaning. Sweep, dust and wash curtains.

Day 7: This one is optional. Go through your child’s toys. If they have outgrown toy or no longer play with it, it’s time for a new home. If toy is broken, then toss. You can either get your child involved in this chore but you may have a fight on your hands. You might want to consider doing this one by yourself. Your choice.

WEEK 4: Bathroom(s) Linen Closet

Day 1: If you have a vanity, start with a drawer or two. Take everything out. Discard anything that is outdated or you don’t use/need. Wipe out drawers. Organize the drawers for better use and access.

Day 2: Finish vanity drawers or cabinets.

Day 3: Discard any items that are expired, broken or just yucky, like make-up, hair products, medicines, toothpaste, etc.

Day 4: Linen Closet: Go through all your towels/hand towels and wash cloths. If they are worn out or towels you don’t like or use…t’s time to let them go. If the towels are worn out, you can always cut them down for rags. They make great cleaning rags or keep one in your car (just in case).

If you have sheets in the linen closet go through these too. If you don’t use you can donate or put in garage sale box. Organize your sheets too. Fold them as nicely as you can and use one of the pillow cases to put the fitted, flat sheet in along with the other pillow case. This way you just grab the pillow case and you know you have a matching set ready to go.

Day 5: Give the bathroom a good cleaning. Wipe down walls, get the corners, mop and clean the tub/shower.

Day 6: Gather up the items to take to charity, the library or soup kitchen and drop them off. This way they are no longer sitting in your home making more clutter.

Day 7: Gather all the garage sale items and either start planning your sale or put them aside till you are ready

Shew!!! That was a lot of work. Don’t you feel better? I know I do when I do this to my house every 4 months or so. It feels good to purge the things we no longer need/want.

I know this seems like extra work, but it really isn’t. You can break this down any way you want. If you want to take 30 days just to do your kitchen. That works too. Make a plan. List what you want to do every day and check it off when done. In no time you will have de-cluttered you whole house.



4 Tips for a Rummage/Garage/Yard Sale

yard sale


Spring cleaning is done, the garage and shed have been cleaned out. Winter tools and clothes are put away. Now it’s time to tackle those boxes, bags and totes full of stuff you don’t know what to do with.

It’s time for a rummage/garage/yard sale. What better way to make some extra money for your summer then to have a sale. Another great way to de-stress by letting go.  It’s time to get rid of those boxes and make things feel fresh in your home.

My mom and aunts are/were the garage sale queens. From buying at sales to having them. My mom has a sale every year. She has been doing this for over 30 years. She has regular customers that can’t wait to look for those good finds. Generally they find them at moms.

My mom is great at setting a sale up. She has had many years of experience and has taught me how to do the same. Since I can remember I’ve have always helped. When I was old enough 8-9 years old, I was in charge of the money. She taught me how to make change. There’s a lost art in today’s world.

She taught me and showed me everything she knows about having a garage/yard sale.

Here are few helpful tips.

Prepping: Having a sale takes time, lot of time. Make sure you have time set aside to do the following. Get your tables, hanging racks (these can be makeshift). You will need bags for you customer’s purchases. Newspapers to wrap breakables in. You will need a cash box or something secure to keep your money in. You will also need startup money to make change. Get your signs and make sure you have your permit to have a sale in town.

Pricing: You will need to go through your items. Make sure items are clean, not dust or grime. Make sure everything works. If it doesn’t work either trash it or make a “FREE” box. You will be surprised how many people will take this stuff off your hands.

Price every item and price it as if you are buying from someone else. Don’t price it high just because you paid a lot for it 15 years ago. Price your stuff to sell. The more you sell the more you make. Don’t price items as if they are on e-bay. This is not E-bay it’s your garage/yard. The intent is to make a little cash not for these things to go back into the house.

Pricing has to be fair. If you’re not sure what price, ask a few friends. Look it up on E-bay and drop the price from what E-bay is selling it for. Be sensible.

Setting up: Make each table a theme. Such as, glassware, nick-knack’s, boys’ clothes, electronics, tools or books. People like it organized as if they were in a store.

If you have a clothing rack, separate by men/women. Make sure your shirts are on hangers. Most shoppers won’t purchase a shirt if it’s folded. Easier shopping this way.

Set larger items up front so people driving by are intrigued. It’s an eye catcher. More people will stop and shop.

Sales over: When you sale is done, it’s time to clean up. Hopefully you had a great sale and there’s not too much to clean up.

If items didn’t sell this is the time to think about what you are going to do with the left-overs. For me, I had the sale to get things out of my house and to make some money. So, if it didn’t sell, I box it all up and donate the rest. This way I have made some money and others can benefit from the things I didn’t sell. It’s a win, win situation.

If you don’t want to donate and you think you will have another sale in the future, you do have the option to put back into the house for storage till the next time. That is if you have room to store. The good part is you won’t have to price these items. One less step.

If you know of a family member or friend that is going to have a sale soon you can always ask them if you can add your leftovers in their sale.

These are just a few tips to help you get starting with a garage/yard sale. I hope they have helped.