Tag Archives: Rubbermaid

Rock Me Like a Hurricane…….

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……….more fun with hurricanes! Not the 75 mile per hour tropical thunderstorms, but decorative glass candleholders. I love the shape and silhouette of a beautiful piece of glass. Such a simple object, filled with so many possibilities…..

I’m a total candle junky! Since more of everything is always better, I’ve got candles stashed everywhere; under the kitchen sink, in a drawer in the powder room, in a cabinet in the family room, an assortment of votives in a bookcase drawer, several Rubbermaid containers full in my basement storage room. The candles are nothing compared to my collection of candleholders! However, one of my favorite candle holders will always be; the hurricane.

What I love about the hurricane is that it always makes a statement. It’s not so big that it doesn’t pack a punch, but it’s not so small that it gets completely lost. There are so many perfect places for a hurricane; on a side table on your front porch, on a chest of drawers in your foyer, on your kitchen island, in your powder room, a pair on a coffee table (corralled by a gorgeous tray completely sweetens the deal), by your bathtub, at your desk, on your patio, the list just goes on and on.

As much fun as a hurricane is alone, think of the possibilities for greater impact when you have a pair, which can make for beautiful centerpieces.


While I appreciate the calm simplicity of a single pillar candle, one way you can make your hurricane display more interesting and appropriate to your design or party theme is through embellishment.   


River rock provides for a serene and organic quality.


Collections are personal and charming. My Amanda collects bouncy balls (over 400 and counting…), which make for a whimsical embellishment. This would be great fun for a kid’s birthday party!


One of our favorite family traditions is outdoor movie night in the summer. We set up a screen and projector on our deck and a huge movie theater concession stand in our kitchen, complete with all the fixin’s; popcorn, Twizzler’s, Junior Mints, Milk Duds, Sweet-Tarts, Hershey’s bars, Cookie Dough Bites, pretty much everything that’s good for you. As a centerpiece, I set up two hurricanes filled with popcorn. It’s sooooo cute! For Movie Night inspiration, please visit my website:



Sometimes, I’ll simply remove the candle and fill the hurricanes with inspirations of the season; faux lemons and limes (or other fruit), decorative Easter Eggs, raffia balls, moss balls, gourds, ornaments, pine cones. Whatever makes you happy!

More decorations, more embellishments, more beautiful homes…….


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Halloween Hostess Gifts…

As the More is More Mom®, I am all about…more parties! What better way to catch up with your gal pals than with a Witches Night Out and a little ghoul talk? More of everything is always better! Completely out of the blue, I had two fun parties to attend Thursday evening. So many cocktails, so little time……


When I’m invited into someone’s home I always like to bring a thoughtful treasure. Gift giving is truly an art form. Take for instance cocktails and appetizers in my neighborhood. A few weeks ago, I was chatting with my neighbor, Mrs. Lilly, and she was lamenting that with her youngest away at college this year there was no reason to put out her beloved Halloween decorations. Always one to be thinking (about parties) on my feet, I suggested she decorate as usual and invite the neighbor girls over for wine and snacks to enjoy her spooky best. And she did! Now I know how much Mrs. Lilly treasures time with her family, so I found for her a great picture frame, with “Trick or Treat” embroidered on the fabric mat. I thought it would be the perfect place for a photograph of her grandson enjoying Halloween.


Because I love everything, I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I also love ribbon. I have bin after Rubbermaid bin full of it in my storage room. Whenever I’m at a fabric or craft store I always stock up on bright colors, fun patterns, and holiday themes. For these gifts, I grabbed a spool of 1/2” white ribbon embellished with black skulls. To add a little color and dimension to the presentation, I also used a very thin orange ribbon with white polka dots. Now, I hate to be a cheapie, but I typically don’t like to spend money on greeting cards (except that I am a total sucker for Hoops and YoYo those funny fellas from Hallmark). I prefer my vast collection of note cards and gift tags. Often times, I will even use a place card (they come in packages with very large quantities), punch a hole in the corner, lacing the ribbon through and tying a nice bow. The most important part is the endearing message you write to your hosts, thanking them for their generous hospitality.


Now, my second stop is at the home of my super fun and generous girlfriend, who is a theme girl too. Tonight, everyone must dress up as a witch! How fun is that? Witches brew and bat stew for dinner. I can’t imagine anything more delicious! She has a beautiful home, each nook and cranny lovingly decorated, so I knew at once when I had found the perfect gift for her. The petite footed, domed cake plate has so many possibilities. I’ve also have cookies for her family to enjoy, but you can get so much more creative than that. It’s a fantastic place to feature other decorative treasures. It would be darling with a collection of favorite, delicate Christmas ornaments or a bed of moss with a little birds nest with speckled eggs. In the summer, it would be fun to showcase an iron figurine inspired by nature, or even decorative rattan, grapevine or moss balls. The possibilities are endless!

More gifts, more girl time, more merry making….


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Rain, Rain Go Away….Flood My Basement Another Day!

As the More is More Mom®, you know that I love more of everything……but more rain? Not so much. During the daylight hours, Friday was the perfect day, warm and sunny. By early evening, our car was all packed up with chairs, snacks and bug repellant. The one and only Huey Lewis and the News were playing at the Morton Arboretum (which may not be The Heart of Rock n’ Roll, but it’s still pretty good). I know that the weather people had cautioned us with the threat of rain, but how often are they actually right? I mean, isn’t the Doppler Weather Tracker System really more of a guideline? Who knew its findings were carved in stone? Certainly not me; though I suppose I was entirely optimistic because I was super psyched to hear Huey (cute as he is, he’s still no Donny Osmond….Patron Saint of Teen Idols).

And then the monsoon arrived, completely uninvited. Well, when life gives you lemons, you just have to make lemonade. We diverted the caravan and instead went to a friend’s home with our picnic. They played their Best of Huey Lewis and the News CD. We had cocktails, dinner, some dancing and lots of laughs. It was a perfect evening…..

I will tell you however, when we stopped laughing; the minute the continual rain flooded our street and our sump pump gave out. Ugh! Fortunately, Chuck is a More Handy kind of husband and he tends to pay attention to just this sort of nonsense. At 7:30 AM, as Chuck raced out the door for Home Depot, he instructed me to watch the hole and if the water got too high, he told me I should start to bail. Double ugh!

Naturally, the water was on the rise and my son Nick and I got to bailing. We had a four bucket system going. I filled up the buckets and he emptied them out. This is why we have sons, to do the heavy lifting.

It seemed like Chuck was gone forever, because he was. Our Home Depot was flooded. Our Ace Hardware was flooded. Menards was not flooded, but sold out of sump pumps. Finally, he arrived at his favorite, well kept secret Ace Hardware and they had sump pumps. Who knew how excited we would be to find plumbing supplies?

As much as we bailed, water had begun creeping out of our storage room and into the finished part of our basement. Slowly it made its way around the perimeter when Chuck got the new sump pump installed. Yay! He stopped the water, but what a mess. Triple ugh!     

Why is it so much fun to collect things, but so tiresome to clean them up? Fortunately, because of my compulsive and organized nature, everything in the storage room is kept in Rubbermaid containers (I should own stock), so we didn’t lose anything. The real hassle was in clearing everything out of our finished area so we could lift up the wall to wall carpet and remove the wet padding.

Where did it all come from? The urns and knick knacks? The boxes and boxes of cloth napkins and books? The busts and statuary? The decorative pillows and artwork? Oh, don’t let me fool you. I know exactly where every last item came from and we can start with TJ Maxx & More, Target and Tuesday Morning; the triple threat.

With the carpet propped up on folding chairs and tables, fans blowing to keep the air circulating, the sea of tan carpet looks like the Indiana Dunes. Minus the fun, sand and sun.

A little mess is hardly the end of the world. Thanks to a worn out motor and Mother Nature we got to our long over due spring cleaning and had a little more quality time spent together as a family……


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The Age Of The Digital Photos……

So, I was cruising around the burbs yesterday. You know the drill; doctor’s appointment, errands, returns and window shopping for potential and inspiration, when my day suddenly brightened. I ran in to my gal pal Miss Margaret. I adore her. She’s always super fun and we got to chatting. One of her errands was to run in to Wolf Camera to order some digital pictures.


This got me thinking. While I absolutely love that using a digital camera makes capturing a moment a pretty sure thing, I must confess that I have a fondness for old fashioned film. As the More is More Mom®, I love to take photographs. Back in the olden days, whenever I would drop off my rolls and rolls of film to be developed, I would always get them printed in triplicate….just in case. The results were frequently disappointing (out of focus, over or under exposed), but there was nothing like the thrill of ripping open the packages in my car, and discovering that one meaningful and special snapshot. Now the problem, of course, with this system is the piles and piles of useless prints. As a hoarder (nearly buried alive) I can’t bear to part with even the blurry photos, thus necessitating box, after box, after box, of Rubbermaid containers stacked to the rafters in my guest bedroom closet. Perhaps this is the reason those NASA type smarty’s invented the digital camera.

The process of taking the digital photograph is really quite simple and extraordinary; point, shoot, view, erase, shoot, get your shot. You can do so much more with these digital files; download them to your computer, upload them to Facebook, upload them to your Blog page, send them in an e-mail, send them to Wolf Camera, for those that are completely impatient (like me), even print them out at home (though the quality isn’t very good). However it is a hassle committing four hours of your life, sitting at the kiosk, sorting through 500 images, cropping and enhancing your photos…..only to wind up with an $89.00 debt to Wolf Camera. Ah, the price of memories (I know I’m complaining, but it actually is TOTALLY WORTH IT!).

What a complete contradiction; someone whole heartedly OCD, like me, lamenting the loss of the element of surprise. Call me old fashioned, but I miss my rolls of film, a real live receptionist answering the telephone, and full service gas stations. But, as the More is More Mom®, I recognize that it doesn’t matter how you get those photographs, what matters is that you’re left with the most important thing…..more memories!

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Chocolate Means Love…..

Ah….Sunday morning. Sunday is such a day of transition. Most weekends we have an opportunity to sleep in a little bit and enjoy a leisurely morning. Then about half way through the day it becomes apparent that there is a mad dash to the getting-prepared-for-the-upcoming-week finish line. It would certainly be nice if we had a three day weekend every week. When I am Queen of the World, that will be my very first order of business, a Three Day Weekend (right before I make the 9th of each month Donny Osmond Celebration Day, the 9th being in honor of his birth date, FYI).

I usually start my Sunday mornings by making Chocolate Chip Pancakes for the week (I swear sometimes we eat fruits and vegetables too, but chocolate makes us happy. Recently, Nick ate a box of 36 packages of Reece’s Peanut Buttercups from Cost Co, in 9 days. I guess that is kind of gross, but he argues that the peanut butter is protein. I suppose he’s got a point.). My pals like pancakes in the morning before school, unless Nick is running on Teenager Time and requests a toasted Pop Tart for the road. Only the best…..

Anyway, I prefer Mrs. Butterworth’s brand buttermilk pancake mix, and I make a double batch. I like the batter to be on the thicker side so my pancakes are nice and fluffy, which sometimes means I add a little extra mix at the end to achieve a thicker consistency. When I’m happy with the batter, I add a heaping serving of Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Mini’s.

I store my pancakes for the week in a 13×9 glass baking dish with a lid. I line the bottom of the dish with parchment paper, and then as I flip my pancakes I place them inside, topping them off with a little bit of butter and a hearty sprinkle of powdered sugar. I fit six pancakes per layer and place a piece of parchment paper in between each layer, so they don’t stick together. In the mornings we just warm them up, and top them with our favorite maple syrup, which happens to be Hungry Jack.

If my pals are really lucky, some Sunday mornings I make bacon (actually, if I am going to make a mess I will make 2 lbs of bacon). Years ago my cousin Terri taught me the most excellent bacon making secret ever (as a substitute to frying it in the pan with grease splattering everywhere and taking forever). Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Line rimmed cookie sheets with foil (for easy clean up). For 2lbs of bacon, I need three large cookie sheets. Bake for 30-45 minutes, depending on how well done you prefer your bacon (I like crispy). Then for storage I line a Rubbermaid rectangular container with paper towel and layer the bacon with alternating sheets of Bounty (you know, my favorite…quicker picker upper) to absorb all of the grease, and refrigerate until ready for use. You’ll have days and days of savory bacon-y goodness! Just warm it up for a few seconds in the microwave and you have a tasty treat.

Greasy bacon and chocolate chip pancakes? I suppose we should just eat cookies for breakfast, but what kind of mother would that make me? POPULAR ……and the Best Mother Ever!

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