Grab Bag Free Play:
This from Science Daily…. let’s just let the kids PLAY:
One way to avoid injuries in young athletes may be for them to simply spend more time in unorganized free play such as pick-up games, a Loyola University Medical Study has found.
In a first-of-its-kind study, sports medicine specialist Dr. Neeru Jayanthi and colleagues found that injured young athletes who play a single sport such as tennis spent much less time in free play and unorganized sports than uninjured athletes who play tennis and many other sports.
Read the whole article here.
Grab Bag Good Tips:
These good tips are fresh from the blog “Carolina Charm“:
1. Throw a couple of marshmallows in to keep your brown sugar soft:
2. Make a scotch tape grid across a wide bowl to make a large, low flower arrangement:
3. The next time you have green onions, don’t throw away the white ends. Simply submerge them in a glass of water and place them in a sunny window. Your onions will begin to grow almost immediately and can be harvested almost indefinitely.
4. Turn an empty ketchup bottle into a batter dispenser for perfect pancakes… less drips and less clean up 🙂
5. Use muffin tins to make large lemon, lime, orange or other fruit ice cubes.
6. Collect all those hotel shower caps and use them to keep your shoes wrapped and safely away from your clothes when packing.
7. Homemade Cooking Spray: 1 part olive oil + 4-5 parts water, in a misting spray bottle
8. Use spaghetti noodles to light multiple candles, or wicks in hard to reach places.
9. Add a small piece of plastic wrap under your lids to keep them from leaking while traveling (I did this the last trip I took…because the trip before that left me with some nasty spills….. it worked well. I saved the little pieces of wrap and used them again for the trip home.
Grab Bag Pout Polish:
Arm & Hammer….. & Face
Just read multiple testimonies on baking soda as the ultimate, natural, microdermabrasion scrub.
Using a couple of tablespoons of baking soda, add enough (pure, filtered) water to make a slurry/paste. Massage (clean) face in circular patterns, taking your time.
Some sources suggest using this as often as possible… daily is safe.
Please comment if and when you try it, and I will, too 🙂
Grab Bag Kid Stuff:
Here’s a good idea… get a plastic bead organizer with numerous compartments, label the front with kid’s name, and fill each section with little treats. On trips and vacations, kids get to be responsible for their own treat bucket. They can eat it as fast or as slow as they want, but it never refills during the trip.
Thanks to PMK Crafts blog.
Grab Bag New You:
From LifeHacker.com, a top ten lists of things you may want to fold into your life. Especially helpful for those who may be interested in changing careers… note the “Highly Desired” part of the title…
Top 10 Highly-Desired Skills You Can Teach Yourself
On countless occasions, you’ve likely said to yourself “I wish I knew how to do…….” Then, of course, life got in the way and you put it off until you could find the time. Maybe you wanted to become fluent in a language, learn a new instrument, start performing your house repairs, or a master a myriad of other skills. With the vast amount of knowledge online, you’re now your only excuse. Here are the top ten most highly desired skills that you can teach yourself—and should.
10. Repair Just About Anything
Sure, you don’t need to repair anything anymore. You can just pay someone else to do it. But where’s the ingenuity in that? Plus, who wants to waste a bunch of money on simple tasks you can handle on your own? If you’ve adopted the DIY spirit, learning to repair your own stuff is one of the easiest and more rewarding skills you can acquire. It’s especially fruitful because as you learn new things, you can put them to use right away. So how do you teach yourself? We’ve outlined tons of repairs you can learn on your own to get you started, but if you’re looking for something specific there is no shortage of how-to videos available on YouTube and VideoJug. There will be occasions when you do need to call a professional, as you’re not going to be a master repairman (or woman) instantly, but do remember that there is an opportunity when things break: you can learn how to fix them.
9. Pick Up an Artistic Skill Like Illustration, Painting, or Photography
Although it often won’t earn you the big bucks, artistic skills are highly desired because they provide you with the technical abilities required to create something beautiful. You’re going to have to find your own inspiration and subject matter, but the skill you’ll need is really just a matter of technical aptitude and practice. Picking up a book of anatomy and drawing different bones and muscles will teach you how to draw people. Drawing grids over photographs can show you basic perspective. Obviously it isn’t as simple as that, but focusing on learning to draw one simple thing, like the petals of a flower or the human hand, will help you learn how it works and get in a reasonable amount of practice. When you’re ready to move on from the basics and start illustrating on your computer, check out our digital painting lessons. For those of you interested in photography, we have lessons for you, too.
Whatever you’re looking to learn, just set aside 15-30 minutes every day to practice a very small part of that skill. It’ll take awhile to teach yourself how to draw, paint, take better photos, make hamburger sculptures out of clay, or whatever it is you want to do, but breaking the daunting task into pieces and practicing each part slowly will do the trick. Plus, it’s a really nice way to unwind at the end of the day.
8. Learn to Defend Yourself
Who likes getting their ass kicked? Probably a very small majority. If that’s what you’re into, it doesn’t require much skill—just endurance. If you’d prefer to not end up hurt or injured as the result of an unexpected attack, perhaps it’s time to pick up some self-defense skills. While you’ll probably want to have a partner around to help you out—at least when you want to test your skill—we’ve outlined several self-defense moves that you can learn on your own. Although you will hopefully never need to actually employ the techniques you acquire, if you do you’ll increase your chances of coming out of a fight unharmed. Plus, it’s pretty cool to walk around with the confidence of being able to take on most anyone in a fight.
7. Improve Your Design Skills (or At Least Acquire a Sense of Style)
Design and style aren’t an exact science, as tastes differ and change as time goes on, but there are a few principles you can pick up that’ll make your work, home, or whatever needs an aesthetic boost looking better than average. If we’re talking traditional design, you’ll first want to learn the basics of type and layout. These are skills you can employ in your everyday work to make it look a lot more attractive. This may seem like a nearly-useless skill, because spreadsheets aren’t getting entered in any beauty contests, but when something looks good it can have a greater impact. That’s always a plus in your work. If you want to take things a bit further, you can bump those skills up a notch and apply them to web site design in Photoshop. Your sense of style is even a useful thing when choosing a great wallpaper and creating a clean and organized desktop on your computer. If your home is boring, just follow these guidelines for awesome interior design. You don’t have to be a pro, but learning the basics of design can make your life a lot brighter.
6. Pick Up Just About Any Subject You Missed In College
Whether it’s science, finance, math, humanities, law, or anything else, if there’s a course you wish you took in college you’re not out of luck—you can probably find it online. To help you out, we’ve rounded up every great source of online education so you can gain that knowledge you missed. What’s great about learning online is that you can take it at your own pace and put in as much time as you can spare each day. You don’t necessarily have to master a subject, either, but learn as much as you need or want to know. While you won’t end up with a degree for your hard work, you will be a little bit smarter—and that’s the most important part.
5. Build and Hack Electronic Hardware
We love technology, and we love it more when we can make it do pretty much whatever we want. There is almost no end to what you can hack, but getting started does require teaching yourself a few skills. Learning to build a computer is a good place to start. Soldering is especially helpful, and understanding the basics of arduino can help you build some really neat stuff. One of the best ways to get started is to pick a project and learn by doing. If you’re not sure where to start, our DIY tag page can offer a few ideas.
4. Play a (New) Instrument
Whether you already know how to play an instrument and want to learn something new or are musically inept, you’ll find plenty of resources online to help you teach yourself to play just about anything. If guitar is your thing, you’re in luck as you’d be hard-pressed to not find online lessons. JustinGuitar.com offers over 500, and we’ve rounded up plenty more. The internet can also teach you piano, drums, and even orchestral instruments like the flute and violin. Just like with repair skills, you can find a lot of how-to videos on both YouTube and VideoJug.
In addition to the instrument, you’re also going to want to learn a little music theory. Ricci Adams’ musictheory.net offers a bunch of free lessons to get you started. When you’re starting to get good, you can put together a home recording studio on the cheap to start capturing your talent and sharing it with others.
3. Cook Like a Pro
With so many recipe sites and cooking skill how-to videos online, it’s a surprise that everyone isn’t a master chef at this point. There are so many simple things you can learn that can vastly improve your culinary skill set really quickly, many of which we’ve covered. We’ve written so much on the subject of learning to cook better that this little paragraph isn’t enough to cover it all, but there are a few posts in particular that you’ll want to read to get started. First, these tips and tricks for budding foodies will make your learning process easier. Second, follow this station-by-station kitchen guide to stay organized and efficient when cooking. Finally, these must-know recipes will help you round out your arsenal of cooking knowledge. For more, we like recipe and how-to sites Epicurious and How2Heroes. And, of course, you can always check our how to and kitchen tag pages for more great tips.
2. Become Fluent in a New Language
When we asked you which skills you really wanted to learn, language was at, or close to the top of many peoples’ lists. Fortunately for you, this clever technique offers a way to all but master a new language in a short period of time by teaching yourself. You’ll still have to work hard and put in the minutes every day, but you can come out speaking fluently in about half of a year. Pretty cool.
1. Make a Web Site, Create an App, or Just Learn to Code
Learning to code is something most of us Lifehackers aspire to do at one point or another, as it’s not only a great way to create cool apps and tools that we want to use but it’s also an incredibly marketable skill when trying to get a job. To get you started, we’ve put together two helpful sets of lessons: the basics of programming and making a web site.
Both sets include further resources, but there are plenty of others that we’ve learned about or have cropped up since. For starters, commenter mistermocha suggests using the “learn ___ the hard way” series. For example, if you wanted to learn Python, you could visit learnpythonthehardway.org. If you just fill in the blank with the language you want to learn and put that into a web search, you’ll likely find what you’re looking for. (You can also find most of the series here.) If you prefer more interactive lessons, you’ll want to check out one of our favorites: Codecademy. I learned by subscribing to online learning site Lynda.com (and through a few basic classes back in college), which is still excellent, but I’d probably have gone with Code Academy at this point since it’s in the free category. Regardless of how you decide to learn, programming skills are becoming more and more useful as time goes on. Code is not as complicated as you think, so go get started!
Grab Bag Brain Game:
Can you quickly spot the symbol that is the “odd man out”, or recognize that there isn’t one?
Grab Bag Funny Stuff:
Not a new video….. I must have missed it …. but over 2,000,000 others on YouTube didn’t.
I’ll have what SHE’S having 🙂