Husbands, Wives & Chores

Running a home is a complex endeavor. Thousands of tasks and responsibilities, but there’s no job descriptions, no org chart, and usually no discussion around who’s best at what or who’s best suited for which jobs. Years can go by, with mounting resentments, chipping away at the emotional health of a marriage.

Or, you can have an explicit, clarifying dialogue about who does what, and have it be a strength of your marriage!

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The following chart is to help you get organized and have that dialogue about domestic responsibilities. Cut, paste & print. Its adapted from marriage scientist, John Gottman, and covers a lot of ground. Answer who is doing the task now, and then negotiate who should actually be doing it:

Who Does What Task List
Running Errands Now:
Taking clothes to the cleaners Now:
Washing windows Now:
Planning the food menu Now:
Going grocery shopping Now:
Cooking dinner Now:
Setting the table Now:
Clearing the table after dinner Now:
Cleaning the kitchen Now:
Cleaning the bathrooms Now:
Putting out clean towels Now:
Keeping counters clean Now:
General tidying up Now:
Getting the car serviced Now:
Putting gas in the car Now:
Auto insurance, tags and taxes Now:
Sorting incoming mail Now:
Paying the bills Now:
Balancing the checkbook Now:
Buying birthday, anniversary, “thank You”, graduation, wedding and Sympathy cards Now:
Writing and sending cards Now:
Keeping the family address book Now:
Handling phone messages Now:

Returning family phone calls/email Now:
Saving money/creating budget Now:
Taking out garbage and trash Now:
Recycling Now:
Washing the laundry Now:
Folding/putting away laundry Now:
Ironing Now:
Sweeping kitchen and eating areas Now:
Mopping and/or waxing floors Now:
Changing light bulbs Now:
Managing repair of appliances Now:
Making the beds Now:
Cleaning refrigerator Now:
Shopping for clothing Now:
Planning travel Now:

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Home Repair Now:
Remodeling Now:
Home maintenance Now:
Buying furniture Now:
Redecorating home Now:
Buying items for the home Now:

Buying new appliances/research/shopping Now:
Sewing and mending Now:
Straightening kitchen cabinets Now:
Yard and garden work Now: Lawn, tree & shrubbery maintenance Now:
Errands to the bank Now:
Houseplant Care Now:
Straightening & rearranging closets Now:
House ready for guests Now:
Party preparations Now:

Buying children gifts (Christmas & Birthdays) Now:
Taking children to school Now:
Picking children up from school Now:
Child care after school Now:
Child meals and lunches Now:
Pediatrician Now:
Child homework Now:
Child baths Now:
Child discipline Now:
Bedtime with kids Now:
Dealing with a sick child Now:
Handling child crises Now:
Dealing with a child’s emotions Now:
Teacher conferences Now:
Dealing with the schools Now:
Special children’s events Now:
Child birthday and other parties Now:
Child’s lessons Now:
Child’s play dates Now:
Shopping for children’s stuff Now:
Buying presents for kids’ friends Now:

Keeping in touch with kin Now:
Preparing for holidays Now:
Planning vacations Now:
Planning getaways Now:
Planning/initiating romantic dates Now:
Planning quiet evenings at home Now:
Planning weekends Now:
Initiating lovemaking Now:
Planning dinner out Now:

Family outings, drives, picnics Now:
Exercise & Fitness Now:
Lead recreational outings Now:

Initiating talks about the relationship Now:
Get-togethers with friends Now:
Keeping in touch with friends Now:

Doing the taxes Now:
Financial planning Now:
Major purchases (cars, researching, etc.) Now:
Managing investments Now:Legal matters (e.g. wills) Now:
Coordinating family’s medical care Now:
Coordinating annual physicals Now:
Coordinating family’s dental care Now:
Prescriptions & other health areas Now:

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Cigar Box Silhouettes

I LOVE the holidays! Out vintage shopping for ornaments, I found these 3 relics from decades ago– that I love. I wanted to create something to show them off, maybe build a little world around them. I foraged through my pile of yard sale cigar boxes, found some velvet, a piece of plaid fabric, bottle brush trees, and some old music paper.

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I imagined this pink gaudy ornament like a chandelier~

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Being a Scot, I can resist nothing Scottish. Love that thistle is “flower” of Scotland. I come from a bristly people.

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DIY: Junk Bows & Stockings

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Hey ho, I’ve discovered the frivolity of Junk Bows. What is a Junk (Junque) Bow? I’ve come across a new, comedic crafter Mary Romney-Aslett, and she lives for her Junque Bows. I love her flat humor. I love her shameless non-world changing crafting. Here are a few of my junque bows on holiday-ish things:

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A junque bow is layers of ribbons, mesh, tulle, lace, book paper, beads, pipe cleaners, wire, garden hoses (ok not those), and any other crafty material you please–bound together, to create a flare of color and shape. You can add them to anything.

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This season, I took our tired stockings from yesteryear and added junque bows. They have a whole new personality, sorta wild and sorta garish. See for yourself!

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Try one! Seriously, a junque bow can’t fail if you start with your wider pieces in the back and use a range of colors that sort of mesh. I love using book paper and pipe cleaners along with lace.

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Enjoy crafting! Its not changing the world, but it exercises the creative channels that may help out. 😉

DIY: Egg Carton Roses

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No one can imagine that these one-of-a-kind paper roses are made from egg cartons. But they are. And so easy, let me show you how:

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Start with 2 pieces of carton. Tear down the corners.

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Place one into the other~and rotate around until you get a balanced quality between the “petals”. Here’s 3 examples.

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Grab an edge from the carton. The warbly side is cool. The other flap works great too. Roll it up nice and tight and then place it inside the cup. It will unfurl. I rolled mine several times and began folding down little edges here and there for that authentic look. Then I re-rolled one last time, and used my glue gun to attach it.

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My plan is to make a wreath with this lovelies, and then spray paint them ivory. MMMM. I’ll post it soon. Are these gorgeous? Enjoy the simplicity of making them.

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DIY: White Clay Ornaments

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I absolutely love how these white “clay” ornaments turned out. My mom visited for the weekend and we kicked off the holiday crafting bonanza with these.

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This recipe produces a chalk-white dough that dries in about 24 hours, or so.

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We rolled out the dough, leaving the rest in the bowl covered with a damp towel. They rolled out perfectly on wax paper. We used stamps to create words~be sure to clean them first with rubbing alcohol.

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The recipe is almost simple:

1 cup cornstarch, 2 cups baking soda, 1 1/4 cup of cool water. Directions: stir ingredients in a saucepan, over medium heat. Stirring constantly, wait for it to bubble. Turn off heat and continue to stir into a dough that thickens as it cools. Turn dough into a bowl and cover with a towel. Wait 30 minutes of it to cool down. Then, knead it back to life. Absolutely magical, gorgeous, soft, porcelain-like dough.

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My mom made each of her friends a gift tag with their initial on it. She knows a lot of “B” people.

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I made several crazy cool Dreidels.

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We used Baker’s twine, and rolled sprigs of pine through the dough for a hit of nature. Enjoy the recipe. Enjoy your friends and family. Enjoy the holidays!