October 31, 2014

A Very Scary Story

It was a dark and stormy night. Lightning flashed in jagged arcs across the sky. Thunder shook the walls and rattled the windows.

In the attic of an old dark house, three children lay peacefully sleeping. Their mother slept in a room only feet away, dreaming peaceful dreams. Her last peaceful dreams. Her husband was gone for the weekend, away to drink and laugh with old friends in a cabin on the Maine coast. Fleetingly, she had worried that he might be walking into a classic Stephen King story, but this was the real world, she told herself. Horror stories aren't real.

The floorboards creaked as gale raged on, masking the sound of thousands of tiny feet, even closer than the hallway beyond the bedroom door.

Dawn broke, and she heard light footsteps rushing past. A chill ran down her spine, and she shivered. It's just the children, she said. They're going to wake up Grandmommy and Poppa. I can sleep a little more...

She woke lazily, with no idea of the terrors the night had wrought upon her.

She scratched her head, lamenting how rarely she showered these days, and thinking that it must be catching up with her in the form of worsened dandruff. I'll be sure to take a shower today, she thought, ominously.

She entered the guest bedroom and curled up with her three beautiful children. Her fingers played in their thick mops of long curls, and she pressed her cheek against theirs as they laughed and kissed her good morning.

Snuggled up against them on the floor, talking with Poppa about their plans for the day, when Grandmommy emerged from the shower.

Her shadow fell long and black upon the carpet. The mother felt her skin grow cold, and shivered again as she reached up to scratch her head once more.

"I have some bad news," Grandmommy said, and the mother felt her heart freeze in her chest. Somehow, she already knew.

"No!" she gasped, "Please! Don't say it! Please no!"

Grandmommy dropped to her knees, her face ashen. With a shaking hand, she extended a wadded

And inside...

"AAAAIIIIIIIII!!!!!" The mother shrieked, her shock and fear immediately plummeting to the horror of resignation. "Please no! Please, I beg you!"

But there was nothing Grandmommy could do. The mother opened the kleenex, her own hands trembling, and saw...


The three children, their gorgeous, thick ringlets bouncing ominous close, ran towards their mother.

"What's in the kleenex? What is it? What's in there?"

"NOOOOOO!" screamed the mother. "GET AWAY FROM ME!"

"It's too late," Grandmommy lamented, her cheeks hollow, "You've probably already got them too."


In a frenzy, the mother ran to the store. Without hesitation she grabbed every box of NIX, every store
brand bug killing shampoo, stacks of combs, jars of mayonnaise, saran wrap... she stopped herself before adding lighter fluid to her heap.

She came home and stripped the bed. She stripped everything. Load after load after load of laundry, an ever growing mountain that she climbed with monstrous heaps of plus toys strapped to her back- a hopeless Sisyphus with itchy scalp.

She and Grandmommy shampooed the children, combed their gorgeous locks. Bug after bug tumbled out, caught by the sharp metal teeth of the combs.

Grandmommy smiled hopefully. "That should do it, right?"

But it was not to be. Day after day, the mother toiled. Picking nits, always picking nits. Changing sheets, spraying car seats and couches and tossing beloved toy after beloved toy into the hot dryer.

Grandmommy left, but the bugs remained.

Each time the mother thought she had finally rid her house of the pestilence, nits appeared. And the shampoo came out again, its acrid stench burning her nose and causing her heart to race in panic.

Grandma sent her and the children to a heat treatment salon, where they had their hair vacuumed and burned, and sent them home to boil their brushes and combs. And at last, the house seemed to return to normal. Finally, the bugs had gone.



Happy Halloween!

October 29, 2014

Kidecals Chalkboard Labels- A Gorgeous Way To Get Organized

This is s sponsored post- I was given Kidecals to try for free. All opinions are my own.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to be offered an opportunity to review a product I'm totally crazy about.

They're called Kidecals.

Kidecals makes a huge array of products, but what I assumed they made most of were wall decals. At first, I was hesitant to try them out- I've tried wall decals before, and almost always been disappointed. Particularly in the kids' room, where the walls have this gross texture that makes it impossible to get a decal to stick properly.

But after checking out the Kidecals website, I saw how many additional products they make. Still decals, yes, but not for walls only. They have these really cool decals for computer keyboards, to personalize your computer in a unique way. (Seriously, I may get the wood grain decals for Grandmommy and Poppa for Channukah.)

They have sheets of personalized labels for kids' school stuff. And seriously, labeling all the backpacks, lunchboxes, water bottles, shoes, sweaters, and EVERYTHING for a set of twins is a pain in butt- this is a MUCH better solution.

But what really excited me the most were the home organization decals.

I have a small kitchen. Really, it's crazy small. But I've made do with a little creative furniture repurposing and some general decorating choices.

Enter, Kidecals.

As I don't really have cabinets, I need to store my dry goods in plain sight, which means finding a way to make them both attractive and functional. When I first established this system, I bought a small package of chalkboard labels and a bit of chalkboard paint. I only labeled the things that weren't immediately obvious (All Purpose Flour next to Bread Flour, Basmati Rice next to Jasmine Rice, things like that). But it was inconsistent and I was never too crazy about the resulting look. Plus, the chalkboard paint flaked off, and the chalkboard labels didn't hold to the chalk. It was disorganized and confusing, and on many occasions a well intentioned houseguest dumped powdered sugar into my cake flour. But I couldn't get the labels off! I was stuck with them.

My old labels
So I decided to try out the Kidecals chalkboard labels, which came in a variety of attractive shapes.

Let's do a quick side by side comparison:

That's a Kidecals label on the left, a World Market label on the right.

Okay, so it obviously LOOKS better off the bat, but what about when I grab the jar I'm looking for? What happens when I touch the label? With the old labels, even the most casual, glancing brush with a stray finger, and the chalk is gone. I decided to try intentionally swiping my finger, roughly, across my old labels and a Kidecals label,

Yup. It smudged, but only just a bit.

And the Kidecals labels are CRAZY affordable! For what I spent on two packages of six blackboard labels previously, I got two sets of two sheets of Kidecals labels.

Another cool thing about the Kidecals labels? The plaque and cloud shaped came on what looked like a sticker sheet- meaning there was EXTRA LABEL MATERIAL! I of course used it to make teeny tiny labels for my salt cellars. Yes, writing legibly with chalk at that scale can be tricky, but it's also so much fun!

I got so many labels for my $30 worth, not only did I label all the beans, flours, sugars, salts, oils, and vinegars, I even went to town in the fridge. I like to re-use mason jars for things like jam (when you buy a Costco size vat of strawberry preserves, you don't always want to have to lug a four pound glass jar back and forth to the table each time your kids want a sandwich).

Now my fridge matches my counter, with minced garlic, strawberry jam, nutritional yeast, and baking yeast all clearly and attractively labeled.

These labels are not going anywhere. They are on there for good, so far withstanding hand washing of the jars and bottles without peeling or curling.

I love that people can come into my kitchen and find exactly what they're looking for. I love that I can find exactly what I'm looking for. And I love the way the whole thing looks put together.

I definitely recommend Kidecals. And lucky you, you can get your own and save!

Kidecals is a big supporter of parents, particularly parents of multiples. They understand how much more difficult the task of labeling things for kids gets when there are more children involved, and they want to help. They're offering you a discount on a sliding scale, depending on the number of kids in the house.

2 children: doubles2014 = 15% off $25 or more
3 children: threes2014 = 20% off $50 or more
4 children: fours2014 = 25% off $75 or more
5 children: fives2014 = 30% off $100 or more
6 children: sixes2014 = 35% off $125 or more
7 children: sevens2014 = 40% off $150 or more

Go forth and get yourself some Kidecals! Get organized! And get your house a little more gorgeous.

Because, seriously.

That's a kitchen I can be proud of.


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