Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tip of the Day - The Margie Edition

So, for you faithful readers it is no surprise that I have some new tips to share.  But, what you may not know is that I have an awesome friend named Margie.  She is super nice and was the first neighbor that really befriended me when we moved here.  She is a mom of 3 kids under 5 and a wealth of knowledge when it comes to parenting preschoolers.  The most amazing thing to me is she really seems to do it all with un-flustered ease.  Sad to say though, she is moving far far away to Kansas and so since I will miss her so much and you will likely never get to meet her I will be sharing just a few of my favorite Margie tips/ideas.

Tip #1 If you have preschool age kids implement this tip and your drives will immediately become more relaxing.  She didn't so much tell me this as I just noticed when riding in Margie's minivan that she has it set up 24/7 like she is going for a long drive.  Stock your car but, not just with water bottles and tissues (like I do) but, do like Margie and have special toys and activities that just hang out in the car.  She has her two oldest girls on either end of the bench seat in the back with a basket in between filled with markers and pads and books and toys.....whatever keeps the kids entertained.  So, don't hesitate...do this now!

Tip #2  If you are like me you really enjoy eating homemade cookies and if you are lucky maybe you have a few really great cookie recipes hanging around.  (I only have one really good one so feel free to share)  But, either due to the demands of everyday life I rarely seem to get around to making them.  So, Margie gave me the best tip ever that has allowed my family to enjoy home baked goodness on a much more frequent basis.  Just take your favorite recipe for cookies and instead make them into cookie bars.  All you have to do is reduce the temperature of your oven by 25 degrees, add about 10-15 minutes to the cooking time.  She also mentioned whipping the eggs and butter really well so that they stay soft and don't get too heavy.  So, go make your grandma's yummy cookies in less than 1/2 the time!

Tip # 3  Now, this is earth shattering if you have a toddler that just doesn't want to give up her binkie.  The Ogglette didn't really hang onto hers so I never got to try this technique but Margie did with all of hers and assures me it's foolproof.  You can forget being the bad guy or trying to manipulate your child with gifts/rewards in order to pry that thing from their tiny hands.  Instead, make it happen "naturally"  Just snip the very tip off of their binkie and when they suck it will no longer work right.  As a result the child just rejects the binkie on their own and everybody wins.

Last but, not least I want to share the best thing Margie ever baked for me.  They are pumpkin cupcakes with the best cream cheese icing I have ever had.  Try them:

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