CrazyBusy Tip: Don’t Be Too Concerned About Your Late Reader


Did you know that it’s not unusual for boys to begin reading at a later age than girls? It doesn’t happen 100% of the time, but can be a source of concern if you find your son struggling in reading.

One of my sons was a “later reader,” not really grabbing a hold of it until he was about 8 years old. We went ’round and ’round plenty of times, until I finally realized one day that continuing to treat reading like a battle ground would just do more harm than good.

My “eureka!” moment occurred the day I came across a really great idea – something that gave his reading abilities the momentum they needed: I bought him a subscription to Sports Illustrated for Kids.

When the first issue arrived, he was so excited. “Mommy, will you read this to me?”

“Nope; it’s yours. If you want to know what the articles say, you’ll have to read them yourself.”

It worked like magic! He began reading to himself, with just a little help from me, from that day on.

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CrazyBusy Tip: Get Your Fruit Flies Drunk


Whether or not you drink red wine, it pays to have some in the house. It needn’t be expensive — just get the cheapest you can find. I’m not talking about pouring yourself a glass (I’ll leave that up to you): The wine is for fruit flies…if you live in an area plagued by them this time of year. Those flying, red-eyed bugs can really drive you nuts flying in front of your face, landing on your food, and multiplying like crazy, as if the survival of their species depended on it (it does). I promise that if you follow this tip, your fruit fly problems will be over…for now, anyway.

What? Red wine for fruit flies?

You bet! The little lushes can’t resist it, which makes it the perfect ingredient for a fruit fly trap. Depending on how many you have, it may take them an hour or two to find this little beacon of death you’ll be setting up, but trust me — find it they will.

And according to Hannah Holmes of Discovery Online, “Fruit flies prefer a diet of yeast, that marvelous microbe that eats fruit and spits out alcohol.” Which sort of explains why red wine — the product of red grape fermentation — works as well as it does in this trap.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • One empty 16.9 fl. oz. water bottle. You could also use another kind of bottle, just make sure it has a skinny neck and is clear — you need to be able to see if your trap is catching any flies.
  • One 4″ – 6″ square of paper. Leave the ruler in the drawer — just eyeball it. Make sure the funnel hangs into the bottle by at least a couple of inches. This will make it more difficult for them to find their way out.
  • Red wine.

Now, here’s what you do:

  • Pour approximately 1″ – 1-1/2″ of wine in the bottom of the bottle. You really won’t need more than that.
  • Starting at one corner of the piece of paper, roll it into a funnel, making sure one end is larger than the other. Don’t tape it. Put the smaller end into the bottle and gently let go — it will unroll just enough to fill any space between itself and the neck of the bottle. (*Note: You must use the funnel — if you don’t, the fruit flies will just take a sip and fly out. And the last thing you need is drunken fruit flies careening through the house, right?)
  • Put the trap wherever the fruit flies seem to congregate. They’ll be gone within days.

I’ve been told vinegar also works to attract fruit flies. Try both and use the one that works best for you.

(Thanks to my friend Deanna Morauski of The Old Hen Bed & Breakfast for suggesting I make the fruit fly trap a CrazyBusy Tip!)

©2009 Sally Dinius
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CrazyBusy Tip: How to Give Yourself an At-Home Facial


Give yourself an inexpensive, at-home facial with products from your neighborhood health store (or larger “everything” store like WalMart or Fred Meyer). You’ll need:

• A carrier oil, like olive or almond oil (or jojoba oil, which is excellent for reducing puffiness)*
Lavender essential oil**
Clary Sage essential oil**

Mix together ½ tsp. carrier oil, 2 drops lavender, and 1 drop clary sage. Rub together in your palm, then smooth over your clean face. Massage in a circular motion without pulling on your skin.

Why these particular oils? Lavender has a calming effect and is useful for healing skin irritations. Clary Sage acts as a mood stabilizer. This is a wonderful blend to use when feeling stressed or anxious.

* If you use almond oil and find yourself developing a rash anywhere on your body, you are probably allergic to it. Switch to a different oil. Never use peanut oil for a facial – it’s notorious for clogging pores.

**Be sure the oils you buy are essential oils and not fragrance oils.

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Highly Recommended:

One of my all-time favorite books is Aromatherapy: Soothing Remedies to Restore, Rejuvenate and Heal, by Valerie Gennari Cooksley.

Learn for yourself the many ways aromatherapy can soothe, treat, and heal many of the things that ail you.

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Check it out here.

CrazyBusy Tip: Baby Wipes…Not Just for Diaper Changes!


I’m starting a new feature here at CrazyBusy Mama called the CrazyBusy Tip. Whenever I can, I’ll share a tip with you (unusual or otherwise) that will hopefully make your life a little easier.

Today’s tip is about baby wipes. Now that my youngest is 3-1/2 and potty trained, we’re not using them for diaper changes anymore. I still like to keep them on hand, though, because there are so many other things they’re good for. Here’s a short list:

Take them on the road. If you’re going on a road trip, or maybe just on a field trip or to church, put some in a baggy and tuck ‘em in your purse (or keep in the glove compartment, etc.). They’re perfect for wiping off dirty hands and faces and cleaning up little spills in the car.

Company just pulled into the driveway unannounced? Use a baby wipe to quickly dust your coffee table, clean dirty fingerprints off of nearby light switches, and wipe up those dried-up spots on the kitchen floor. All in 30 seconds!

Wipe down your appliances. Baby wipes are all that’s needed to make the fronts of your stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher sparkle. Don’t forget to give your microwave, coffee maker, and blender some baby wipe TLC, too (and wipe down your washer and dryer while you’re at it). One to two wipes per week on your appliances is all that’s needed to make your friends think you’re a kitchen clean freak. It’s up to you whether or not you want to tell them it took you all of five minutes.

I like to use baby wipes to give my kitchen cupboards a swipe. The wipes help to keep your cupboard doors free of grease, dust, and dirty finger smudges. Don’t forget the drawer fronts.

Care for your car. Sure, there are special products formulated just for cleaning the inside of your car. Spend money on these if you want to; I’ll stick to my baby wipes. They’re excellent for wiping grime off of upholstery, the inside of doors, the back of the front seats, and for wiping dust off the dashboard. But because baby wipes may not give you the clearest view through your windshield (some formulations contain moisturizers), I recommend glass cleaner only for your car windows. No accidents, please!

Easy cleaning for running shoes. My 15 year-old son likes to use baby wipes to clean his shoes. He’d cringe with embarrassment if he knew I told you that, but they seriously do a great job on dirty shoes.

I hope you’ve found some of these tips useful. If you have any good around-the-house tips, send ‘em on in!

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