How to Avoid Piles of Dirty Cups and Glasses

How to Avoid Piles of Dirty Cups and Glasses at April 1, 2015

I’m all about finding solutions for chronic messes.

Solutions that actually work.

For years now, I’ve been singing the praises of my wash-the-dishes-every-single-night-and-put-them-away-every-single-morning method. The one I blab on and on about in my e-book, 28 Days to Hope for Your Home.

That method works. It totally does. It changed the way my home functions.

But I don’t do it anymore. I don’t have to. I’ve found THE best way to avoid dirtying glasses and cups (which used to take up the entire top half of my dishwasher each and every night)!

We don’t use them.

Instead, we’ve purchased a single (affiliate link alert) Drink Funnel. Our entire family of five uses it.

Once I thought about it, I realized there were two reasons why I felt compelled to wash cups and glasses:

  1. They never get completely empty, and the small amount of milk or juice or now-germy water in the bottom of the glass must be washed out. Otherwise, ewwww.
  2. People’s mouths touch the rims of the glasses. Again with the germs.

The Drink Funnel solves both of these problems.

The liquid pours straight through the funnel, eliminating the excess that stays in the bottom of a traditional glass, and the funnel eliminates the need for the mouth to ever touch anything.

Here’s how we use it. When someone is thirsty, he/she knows to find the Drink Funnel next to the kitchen sink. In the beginning, I reminded the kids over and over that they must return the funnel to its designated space.

How to Use a Drink Funnel at April 1st, 2015

We drink mostly water, and that is the easiest of all drinks to use with the Drink Funnel. The kids simply angle the funnel to press against the drink dispenser on our fridge, and then place their open mouths under the narrow end. They’ve learned (the hard way, haha!!) to only dispense the water in small amounts. It definitely doesn’t work like a water fountain!!

One certain child (who tends to have a better way of doing EVERYthing) truly believed he could bypass the funnel and simply stick his head under the dispenser. You can’t do that. The angle is wrong. April 1st 2015

I might have been a little giddy when proven right.

Milk and juice require a little more finesse, since one hand holds the funnel while the other handles the container. Honestly, the kids usually help each other out. April 1, 2015

Hubby was most resistant to giving up his coffee cup, but when he saw how much easier it was to keep the kitchen clean, he finally agreed. Now he’s such a believer that I have to MAKE him use a real coffee cup when we’re in a restaurant!

Hubby at April 1, 2015

The final (and most important) step is to have each family member rinse the funnel after each use. Honestly, it’s not necessary with water, but the habit aspect is very important so I just have them rinse after each and every use.

This has worked so well for our family, I’m seriously considering eliminating plates as well. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.

Important facts:

The entire purpose of the Drink Funnel is defeated if anyone puts his/her mouth on it.

Children should be closely supervised until they master the art of using the Drink Funnel. They should never, ever drink hot liquids with the Drink Funnel. They can try hot chocolate at Grandma’s house.

Technically, no one should ever actually use the Drink Funnel at all, since this entire post is an April Fool’s Joke.


Happy April Fool’s Day!!! Want to play a great prank on your family tonight? See my April Fool’s Day dinner menu here.


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Super Easy (and Awesome) April Fool’s Day Dinner Prank

April Fool's Day Prank Dinner Menu at

Last year, for the very first time ever, I thought about making a Prank Dinner BEFORE April 2nd.

Go me!

I posted pictures on Facebook, and the response was great, though it was tinged with a little “Ummmm, thanks for the idea NOW THAT IT’S TOO LATE!”

So here I am, remembering to post it at the very end of March.

Again, go me.

Credit (and affiliate link) must go to FamilyFun Magazine, where I saw the peas and carrots idea years ago. I googled ideas last year, and saw general ones, but then made up my own versions of everything.

I started the meal by declaring that we were going to eat dessert first. The family was thrilled at this idea.

For dessert, we had cupcakes.

April Fool's Meatloaf Cupcake at

Meatloaf cupcakes.

You can use your favorite meatloaf or mini-meatloaf recipe. My husband claims he despises meatloaf (and I’d say the same), so I just made up a meatloaf-ish recipe. I added bread crumbs, seasoning, an egg, and grated cheese to ground beef and shaped it into meatballs. Then, I made instant mashed potatoes, colored them with green food coloring, and snipped the corner off of a ziploc bag so I could “frost” the tops of the cupcakes after they came out of the oven.

Things I’ll do differently this year (now that this is a tradition instead of a prank): I will bake the meatloaf cupcakes without the cupcake liners and then transfer them into the liners. There was quite a bit of grease, so this will allow me to lift them out of the grease and into a clean liner.

Then, we had our veggies:

April Fool's Veggies made from Starburst and Laffy Taffy at

They looked pretty realistic. My family was totally fooled. The main problem was that there were SO FEW! This was the “dish” that took the longest. A VERY long time. Longer than I expected.

I used orange Starburst candy and green Laffy Taffy. The Starbursts I cut with a sharp knife into four pieces each. I put the Laffy Taffy in the microwave for five to ten seconds and then cut off pieces to roll into peas. That was harder than it sounds.

My family was totally enthralled with this meal at this point. They had LOVED the meatloaf/mashed potato cupcakes. When they found out that the vegetables were actually candy, they cheered. I was a hero.

Best. Mom. Ever.

And then, for dessert, we had chicken nuggets.

Chicken Nuggets for April Fool's Day made from Bananas at

I’d looked up ideas that were fairly complicated, but then realized I could simply put graham crackers in the food processor and then dip banana slices in the crumbs.

Don’t those look amazingly like chicken nuggets? They really do.

They look TOO much like chicken nuggets.

Even though I was a hero for all my tricky food up to this point, my children were HORRIFIED that these were not “real” chicken nuggets. My daughter (7 at the time), was especially upset. In fact, she cried. Bawled. Hysterically.

Her disappointment was heartbreaking.

Evidently, I NEVER ever serve chicken nuggets. Ever. She was giddy with happiness through the first part of the meal, partly because of her creative mother, but mostly because she was thrilled at the thought of having chicken nuggets. At home. For dinner!

When they weren’t actually chicken nuggets (duh!), she was devastated.

Kind of ruined the mood, honestly.

FYI, I did buy some popcorn chicken and served it the next week.

What stunts have you pulled for April Fool’s Day at your house?


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Factoring in Travel Time

Factoring in Travel Time at

It was a perfectly good envelope. A perfectly good, big envelope.

There was no reason to pitch it. No reason at all why I couldn’t re-use it.

And aren’t envelopes (especially big ones) the stuff of dreams? Just imagine filling them with photos or coloring pages or full-sized papers that needed be kept together. Or sending off our tax information to the accountant.

But I’ve learned to factor in travel time.

I tend to be that person who thinks/says “Oh. I totally have time to do that!” while assuming she’s being completely realistic about how her day is going to go.

But then I’m also that person who realizes she didn’t consider travel time.

Run into “town” and go hither, thither and yon?

Sure! Sounds like a plan!

But getting from hither to thither takes fifteen minutes which makes that five minute errand take twenty minutes. And who has the time to get to yon?? Yon is, like, another 27 minutes in the opposite direction.

I generally have a list of five errands at the beginning of a day, but am lucky if I make three happen.

Travel time.

I also have to factor in the “travel time” of useful stuff that randomly ends up in my possession. Like the envelope. I got it at my kids’ basketball game when my husband asked me to pass out team photos.

But when I looked at it, I realized there was too much travel required between “Oh, look at the pretty free envelope!!” and actually putting it where envelopes go inside my home.

I’d have to hang on to it until the end of the second basketball game. If I wanted to NOT forget about it on the floor, I’d probably need to fold it up and stuff it in my purse. Then, it would no longer be pretty. And would almost certainly become one with all other other trash in there.

Even if I managed to get it to the car, the travel time between the gymnasium and my house would almost guarantee it ended up in the floorboard, ready to be muddied by Kid Shoes and forgotten by Mom Brains.

And even if I managed to get it out of the car and into the house, it would most likely end up on a pile of other randomness and not make it to the Envelope Drawer until a future Decluttering Project. A decluttering project that would likely happen just AFTER I needed the envelope, but didn’t know where it was.

Y’all, one free envelope isn’t worth all that stress.



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