LifeHack: Dyson Handheld is a GREAT Mosquito Catcher!

My children’s bodies don’t react well to mosquito bites :( Not that anyone does, but where I might get a bite/bump about the size of a pea, they might see a huge bump the size of a 50 cent piece for a number of days. Needless to say, when the children see a mosquito in the house, they go crazy. Whatever you image crazy is, double it.

In my whole life, I have squashed mosquitos, but only after they land. A wall. A mirror. A door. Anywhere, once they land, I’m pretty good at swatting them. But sometimes, it’s a lamp or a Lego set, you can’t just swat it. Then you’re forced to shoe it away to land on something else.

Tonight, quite by accident, I was holding the Dyson Handheld and Cameron yelled for a mosquito. It was midair … I pointed the Dyson towards it like a light saber, turned it on, and from about 3 inches away, the mosquito jumped right in! How great was that?

It didn’t die, I could see it flying around inside, so I took the Dyson outside, opened it and let it go.

I’m sure this is something millions of others had already figured out, but it was new to me, and exciting enough to write a quick post. Try it, you’ll like it, and be surprised at just how easy it is.

We have an old Dyson with a dying battery, and this is the Dyson DC34 (Amazon Referral Link) I’ll be buying as a replacement.

The Awesome WestJet Christmas Story


This was a great 5 minute video showing the great story of Christmas, on WestJet. What a great way to touch so many peoples lives.

Building a Stuffed Animal Zoo

stuffed animal zoo

Our children’s stuffed animal collection is out of control. They love them dearly. Each and every one have names, and a back story. Grandma loves Build-A-Bear as much (or maybe more) than the kids do, and with a combined 12 years of stuffed animal collecting … well you get the point. Here is the final product we built today, and below, I’ll step-by-step show you how I built Courtney built it.

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Square Drive Screws FTW

Square Head Screw

I find that a lot of friends don’t know square drive screws exist. BUT … once you have used a square drive, you will probably never want to use a phillips or flat head again.

What is a square drive screw you ask? Well, it’s a screw with a perfectly square whole in the top. Then you have a matching bit, that fits in perfectly. You’re chances of stripping a square drive screw are about one in a thousand, where conversely, your chances of stripping a phillips, is about one in one.

The screws are the same price, and the bits are as well, so if you have a choice, buy the square ones.

Oh yeah, a picture is worth a thousand words!


Tokyo – Cleanest and Friendliest City in the World


You are an awesome city. I’m sorry I have been afraid of you my whole life. Mainly my fear was of the unknown, and the language barrier. While there is still a world of Japan we haven’t experienced, what we did see in Tokyo was impressive. Jamie and I are delighted! Here are some notes I wanted to share about visiting Tokyo …. If you can …. Do it, you’ll be glad you did.

First, Everyone was nice to us, as we asked questions. Mostly we were stuck on how to navigate the trains when we arrived, but by day 3 we had them down. Though, in fairness, we only traveled to a few limited places. From the airport, we took the Narita Express, to Tokyo station, and transferred to Shimbashi Station. Our hotel, Park Hotel Shiodome (Highly Recommended) was within 3 minutes walking, and the signage and directions were very easy to follow.

If you speak English, and have never been to Japan, don’t be afraid of the travel. Most signs in the subway, and train stations are also in English. Trip Advisor gave us a lot of clues, with what restaurants to go to, stay away from, etc. Other people’s reviews are great, but it’s also nice to just get out, without an itinerary, walk, explore, find new stuff, be daring.

I was happy to find an eight story Tower Records. Confused at the same time, everyone was buying CD’s, but we never saw a single CD player, only smart phones and ipods.

Jamie found this great place, where you order all your food from a vending machine, which then prints out tickets for your purchase. Then you sit down, and they deliver the food you ordered to a window (in front of your seat). Imagine 10 library cubes I a single row, all facing the wall. Each little cubby whole has it’s own windows, that you sit in, and when you food is delivered, you stay there and eat. There is a little Service button to press if you need anything, which we didn’t. It was a little spicy, but the noodles, with sliced pork were awesome. I think the chain was named Ichiran, and they are scattered all over the city.

We also hit up a park, and stole some sun, while laying on the grass. I brought a blanket from our flight in my backpack, and aside from a pesky hungry ear eating ant (kidding) it was delightful.

We also went to the Zoo, to see the giant Pandas. This was kind of a let down, as the Pandas were a little lethargic. Not sure what I was expecting, certainly not a circus act, but something more than a small wandering panda. The gorilla was asleep as well. BUT … it was feeding time at the Polar Bear exhibit and we snapped a few worth while pictures. The elephants were playing in a pond close to the glass, and we also saw a short clawed otter that were fun to watch. Maybe I had different expectations, but I would pass on the Zoo next time.

Currency: On our trip, 100 Yen is about 1USD. So if something was 1000 Yen, that is $10. We found a few places that would take our travel card (MasterCard or Visa) but most places, even larger establishments wanted cash only.

Clean Clean Clean. So …. for a large city, I can’t believe how clean it is. The subways, the streets, the city sidewalks, the everything. The Parks, the hotel, the cabs, bathrooms, all of it was spotless. We were between the Narita Airport, and Shiodome station mostly. Bit we ventured out to the Ginza area for shopping, the Zoo at Ueno, over to Shibuya Crossing (where we found the tower records), so I think we got to see a nice variety of the City, and it was just exceptionally clean, Disneyland Clean, everywhere.

I saw signs for the Olympics as a candidate city in 2020. If the Olympics do have a home in Tokyo for 2020, I would look forward to bringing my whole family back.

So Thank you Tokyo for a great little vacation, I’m sorry it took us so long to get here, but we won’t stay away too long!