Thursday, August 4, 2011

The letdown post, plus a kitchen tip

For those of you who were excited about a special giveaway to celebrate this here 700th blog post of mine, I am sorry. My 1-year menu plan is not quite finished, and short of not blogging again until it is done, I decided to do the giveaway next month for my 4-year blogging anniversary, which should give me enough time to finish up.

When it is complete, the "book" will be letter-size, spiral bound, and contain the following: 

12 months of menus for breakfasts and dinners (meals repeat every 2 months), with season-appropriate suggestions for special meals, snacks, and desserts that are different each month

weekly shopping lists to go along with the menus

recipes for every single menu item listed (about 150 total)

blank monthly planner and master grocery list to copy and build your own menus

Plus, I am giving away a different cool prize in the next few days as soon as I can finish up a blog post about it. 

For today, a kitchen tip for those of you who have lots of people in the house that can never keep track of which drinking glass is theirs, and where it is.

In the past, I have tried and thrown out the following ideas: plastic cups that were either different colors, or had the kids' names sharpied on them (we no longer use plastic dishes), masking tape stuck to the side of cups with kids' names on them (too labor intensive to mount and remove, plus someone always loses the tape), suction-cup wine charms (yes, really, I tried that - they were just cute little plastic shapes in all different colors. So cute, in fact, that my kids lost all 12 of them the FIRST WEEK), buying each child a couple of distinct glasses with their own designs (haha - we break dishes DAILY, so within less than a month, nobody had any "personal" glasses left), and some other ideas that were not even worth remembering.

But my current method? I have been using it for about a year now, and it still works great. Quick, easy, and the kids do it themselves. Hint: a dry erase marker may be your new best friend.

Simply have each person write their name, or even just their first initial, on the bottom of the glass they will be drinking from with a dry-erase maker. Then have them write their name on a spot on the counter (make sure it's a material that works for dry-erase markers - a wooden butcher block would NOT work, but tile does). 

Voila - with any luck, this will greatly cut down on the number of cups your family will go through in one day because nobody knows which of the ten glasses on the counter is theirs, so they take down another one. 

If you have any other tips for cutting down on unnecessary dishes, please do share them below in the comments section. Exasperated mothers everywhere will thank you. 


  1. I've seen placemats with, say, big apple designs and names written on them, and cups are placed on top of their 'apple'. My inlaws line the kids cups up by age on the side of the counter. But they also managed to birth children without the clumsyness gene, so they were able to set aside specific glasses for each child, and keep this order in check lol. I don't know how that would work for you :D

    My other main idea would be for older children to use napkins or a shared bowl for morning tea and afternoon tea (you guys call those meals 'snacks' right? :D), and perhaps even breakfast and dry lunches. muffins, sandwhiches, crackers, dried fruit, whatever you eat for these meals, if they are 'dry foods' they can usually be eaten by an older child with the napkin or table as a crumb catcher. I don't understand why people don't do this, if you're all eating toast at the table together there is no need for plates, just a wipe down of the table afterwards.

  2. Your 12-month-menu-planner-plus book sounds so interesting, I'm thinking you should market it. It wouldn't surprise me if you could sell it and make some bucks! People would grab that right up.


  3. Great tip! I pray to one be as blessed as you, in having so many kiddies that I lose track of their glasses!

    I love your new "thoughtfully written, instead of doing chores by Zsuzsanna" at the end of your posts! Lol!

  4. I heard about a family (can't remember who) that used different colors of rubber bands around the glasses. Red was for mom, blue was for dad, purple was the oldest boy, etc. You have to find a big pack of sturdy rubber bands in colors, but I think it's a great idea.

  5. It's not a problem inside, but when I some of the men in the church are working on the parsonage I give them large plastic glasses and slip a different color rubber band around the glasses. All they have to do is remember their color for the day.

  6. Rubberbands can also be written on with a ball point pen if you don't have different colors. I get the really wide ones because they also help the little ones grip the cup but I've only seen those in one color.

  7. I about died laughing when I read the Title of your blog post. My first thought was more of something to do with nursing.....:-) I thought I wonder what she has to say about that?! Try nursing pads:-) haha...Sorry as a nursing mom, it was a silly thought and something that has been on my mind.

  8. I notice the new format says "lovely posts from lovely readers." Does that mean the ugly, hateful, disagreeable comments will no longer be published?


  9. I love your new comment section! Does this mean no more unlovely thoughts from vicious readers? lol I wanted to ask you if you noticed any big behavioral changes in the kids when cutting out all the sugar in their diets?

  10. I took masking tape and taped the counter that was our desk in the kitchen into six equal parts and like you everyone had an assigned place for their cup.

    I used different colors for the kids in bedding, quilts, toothbrushes, towels, and they had assigned seats at the table. That way I would always know which child left what out.

    I like your method on the counter...I did not have the counter so easily sorted!


  11. I laughed pretty good at the comment from Anon on 8/5 @ 11:58. Let-down post!! Funny how you can read something and get two totally different meanings.

    The cup idea is so fantastic. I'm definitely going to try it. Our family is the worst for new drink=new cup.

    So sad about the meal plan. I REALLY hope that we'll see it in a future giveaway!


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