Two Tips Tuesday – School Supply Shopping

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Hi ladies! Hope all of you are enjoying your Tuesday. It’s that time again for our Two Tips Tuesday. Today we are going to be talking about school. Not school itself, but the yearly pilgrimage to the stores to buy school supplies for the coming school year.

I was in Walmart on Saturday buying groceries and completely forgot that it was school supply shopping time. This time of the year when most everyone in the U.S. is trying to get their children ready to go back to school, the stores look like it’s Christmas Eve and everyone forgot to buy their presents, some also forgot their manners, and everybody looks like deer in headlights reading the list of all the supplies they need to get. Boy do I remember those days! I found it way more stressful than any other shopping time of the year. I felt so bad for some who seemed so lost and didn’t know where to begin.

I was in the craft aisle (where else would I be?-LOL!) and I came across a lady who looked so very desperate. She didn’t speak English well and was really struggling trying to figure out what was need on the list. Seeing her desperation and knowing what it felt like, I walked over to her to see if I could help her find what she needed. She told me she was so stressed and tired that she felt like she was going to pass out. We went over the list and I explained where she could find what she was looking for. She was so very grateful. I caught up with her again over by the school supplies and she had a smile on her face and thanked me again. I praise God that she was able to regain a little bit of encouragement to complete this task in front of her. Thinking about her struggles I felt I needed to let you ladies with young children know that there is an easier way to do this, which brings me to Tip #1.

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Tip #1 – Buy the basics ahead of time. Unless your child is starting Pre-K/kindergarten and you are not sure how all this works, you know that there are certain school supplies that the teachers request year after year. For example: wide-ruled paper, scissors, glue/glue sticks, rulers, pencils, crayons, pencil box, etc. Go through what you had left over from the year before and make a list of the things that you are missing or running low on and buy them when the FIRST sale on school supplies starts. Better yet, buy in bulk and keep a stock of the basics (which is what I did) that way you don’t have to worry about it for years! I know everybody likes to wait until the tax free days to buy everything but, the reality is exactly how much are you really saving on basic school supplies? You will get more bang for your buck when you use the tax free days to purchase the high priced items like school uniforms, backpacks, laptops, tablets, etc. Now, let’s go to tip #2 which is something that wasn’t around when I had to do school supply shopping but I think is well worth taking advantage of.

Tip #2 – Use the stores’ online websites to your advantage. Why not, purchase everything you need online and have it delivered to your home or purchase it online and pick it up in the store. Office Depot has free next day shipping on orders over $45 and also pick up in 1 hour. Walmart also has similar offers. You can take advantage of the sales without having to set a foot in the store. The value of your time, especially if you are a working mom, is worth so much more than spending 2 hours in a Walmart trying to figure out everything you need to get on the school supply list. By taking advantage of these offers, you can focus on getting the school uniforms and large purchases done without having to worry about doing everything at once.

I hope these tips help you in being able to enjoy the last bit of summer you have with your children before they are off to school again. Have a blessed day.

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Train up a child in the way he should go – but be sure you go that way yourself.

Charles Spurgeon

Two Tips Tuesday – Organizing Books

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Hi there ladies – Happy Tuesday! A couple of weeks ago we learned about the importance of notetaking. But, as you can see from this picture, today we are going to be talking about books. More specifically, how to organize them.

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No matter the size of your library, it is always nice to be able to have everything organized so you can quickly find what you are looking for. I would love to have this library. Love the hanging bulbs.

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Who am I kidding! This is what I would really like. And the next room over would be my craft room. I would need an electric scooter to get around there (with a basket of course to put my books and craft supplies in). LOL! Me and my crazy ideas.

Well, this is what my library really looks like – LOL! As my book collection grows, I will be installing built-ins on both sides which go to the ceiling and over the mantle. Before I get too ahead of myself, I need to have a system in place, like an actual library. Which leads me to my first tip.

Tip #1 – Organize by genre/author/specific area of study. Everyone has their own method for organizing. The important thing is to be consistent and intentional about how you do it. This way you will always know where everything is. Why not try a system that libraries use to organize books.

On the second row from the top shelf my books start. I prefer to have my books organized by genre/specific area of study. On the left side of the vase, I have Old Testament books. Then on the right side of that shelf I have New Testament books (I think I need more books – although I do enjoy using my Pastor’s New Testament Commentary – LOL!). On the shelf below that to the left I have specific topics within the Bible (i.e. atonement, sovereignty of God, etc.). On the right side, I have complete Bible commentaries (except for the Spurgeon Study Bible that’s out of place!). On the next shelf to the left, I have devotionals and general topics of Christian life. To the right are all of my reference books (i.e. concordance, expository dictionary, etc.). On the bottom shelf of that bookcase are all of my Bible study/sermon notes, curriculum study prep notes, and Bibles that I am not currently using but keep for reference/study/Bible journaling.

Now on the second shelf of this bookcase, I keep biographies of theologians and church history books. I also keep my vintage books here. Below that are miscellaneous books and magazines on everything from gardening to home organization (I need all the help I can get – LOL!). As you can see, I keep things pretty much organized in a certain system. So remember, organize your books by either genre, author, or specific area of study. Ladies – please remember – if your husband has a library of books, please ask him first before moving stuff. LOL! Alright, now that I’ve shared that disclaimer, let’s move on to my second tip.

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Remember back in the day when we used to go to the library and open up those long drawers that smelled old and musty and flip through the card catalog to find the book we were looking for? Well, everything now is computerized. You walk up to a computer screen and type in the search what you are looking for and instantly have the information right there. Did you know that you can have your very own electronic card catalog?

Tip #2 – Create a card catalog. There are a few companies out there that offer online card catalog systems. The one that I like is called Libib. You can create an account for free if your library has less than 5,000 items. They also have a pro account that is for small organizations, schools, etc. which is set up for multiple users. Once you create an account, you can also install the app on your smartphone. Once you are set up it’s time to start adding books. All you need to do is open the app on your phone and scan the barcode (ISBN) number on the back and it will pull up in your library the title, the author, description, number of pages, etc. Now, if your books vintage, quite possibly there won’t be a ISBN but you can always google the book title and fill in all of the information yourself. This system gives you the option to keep your library private (which is how I have mine) or make it public to be able to share or trade books with others.

Once you start adding books to your library – you have started your card catalog. Everything is organized alphabetically for you. You can also search books you have by a certain author. I absolutely love this. Especially if you are not sure if you have a certain book, you now have a card catalog system to check and see if it’s on your list.

I hope you enjoyed today’s Two Tips Tuesday. If you did, please hit the like button and subscribe to stay up to date on my posts. Have a blessed day! Jo :o)

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Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15

Visit many good books, but live in the Bible.

Charles Spurgeon

Two Tips Tuesday – Look’n Sharp

Happy Tuesday everybody! Hope you are doing well and look’n sharp. :o)

As you can see today’s tips have to do with how to keep our scissors nice and sharp. Working with dull scissors, no matter what the task, can damage your projects and your scissors.

Tip #1 – You need to keep your scissors’ blades clean, dry, and sharpened. *Please be careful when cleaning scissors – wrapping the blade with a cloth while you clean it can help. Clean/Dry – If you have sticky gunk on the blades don’t forget to use the Goo Gone I told you about last Tuesday. Make sure you wash them with dish soap to get the oil off and dry them really good. Store them in a dry place. Sharpen – You could use a sharpening stone or scissor sharpener sold in your local hardware store. A less expensive option would be the aluminum foil in your pantry. Take a piece of the foil large enough that you can fold it so you have a nice thick stack and just start cutting through it with your scissors. This is great option for sharpening your blade.

Tip #2 – Use different scissors for different projects. Never, ever use the same scissors you use to cut paper with to cut fabric. This will dull your blade. A great pair of scissors to have are ones with a titanium blade. They are stronger, sharper, and easier to clean. My favorite paper crafting scissors are Tonic Studios (Tim Holtz) brand. They have a serrated edge and cut like butter. Also, try not to use your scissors to cut thin wire (in a pinch I’ve had to use them). Try to use wire cutters. If you don’t have a choice then keep a dedicated pair of scissors just for that. The best way to keep track of which scissors are for which project, is to mark them with a permanent marker or put a label on them.

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And if I see someone (namely my husband) in my craft room trying to grab a pair of scissors to cut something. This is our conversation – Me: What do you need the scissors for? Him: I need to cut some paper. Me: Those are for fabric. Here, use these. Inside I’m saying – back away from the scissors slowly and no one will get hurt. LOL!

Stay sharp my friends!

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

Proverbs 27:17