DIY Cat Supply Cabinet

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CelebratingMorris #CollectiveBias

If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know I absolutely adore my two cats, Edmund and Phil.  Of course, that means we have lots of cat-related items in the house.  Until recently, we always just kept cat food near the back door where it was accessible but not very organized, and other things like flea medicines just got stashed randomly on a shelf in the laundry room.  We didn’t really have a great place to keep all of our cat supplies and food in one central location.  As a bit of an organizational enthusiast, this lack of order really started to bother me, but I didn’t have any brilliant ideas about how to get it organized.

Both of our cats love 9Lives® cat food, and we always have a variety of 9Lives wet and dry food in our house.  We’re big fans of anything related to 9Lives because they are dedicated to the health and happiness of cats everywhere.  Why?  Because 9Lives believes your cat deserves to be happy.  Well, this year Morris the 9Lives cat is celebrating his 50th Adopt-i-versary!   So in honor of Morris, I decided to create the perfect organizational solution to our problem out of an old cabinet.  Using just a few inexpensive supplies, I was able to turn this…

into this…

But first, Morris has quite a story.  He was discovered by an animal talent scout at the Humane Society in Hinsdale, Illinois, who immediately noticed his charming personality.  At his audition, Morris was so charming that the art director declared him “the Clark Gable of cats”, and he soon became the spokescat for 9Lives, starring in over 50 commercials and even appearing in a film with Burt Reynolds. Despite his fame, Morris has always had a social conscience.  He has spent much of his time visiting schools to promote kindness to animals, and he also launched Morris’ Million Cat Rescue to help find homes for animals in need.   That’s worth celebrating, right?  To see more about the story of Morris and his 50th Adopt-i-versary, check out this adorable video, or get to know his Cat Pack (yes, he’s that cool) in this article.

Today I’ll show you how to make your very own DIY cat supply cabinet that will give you one place to keep all your cat food, flea medicines, brushes, and everything else feline-related. Plus, it will look nice enough to make Morris proud!

Let’s get started!  You’ll need a few basic supplies:

  • An old cabinet
  • Paint in a color you love
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Painter’s tape
  • Sandpaper (if needed)
  • A container for dry food
  • Small shelves, baskets, or bins to corral small supplies

First, remove any drawer pulls or knobs and put them in a safe place.

Next, you can sand your cabinet (if needed) and wipe clean with a damp cloth to remove dust and grime.  Then it’s time to get painting!  Paint all surfaces that will be your main color, being careful to catch any drips before they dry.

When the first coat is dry, add a second coat if necessary.  When all coats are completely dry and no longer sticky, you can tape around the areas that you want to paint with a chalkboard surface.

Chalkboard paint can be tricky to use, so be sure to read all instructions carefully.  Following the directions, paint your chalkboard surfaces with 2-3 coats, allowing paint to dry between applications.  To create the smoothest writing surface possible, start in the center with a liberal amount of paint and try to overlap all brush marks.  It should now look something like this:

Now the paint needs to cure.  This means you simply leave it alone for three days.  Three WHOLE days.  That may seem like a long time to wait, but if you rush it the surface won’t be as smooth for writing on.  After it has cured, it’s time to prepare the surfaces with chalk.  Lay a piece of white chalk on its side and rub over the entire chalkboard surface.

After a few seconds, erase this layer of chalk and you can start writing on your chalkboard surfaces!

Reinstall any hardware you removed from the cabinet.

Now it’s time to start organizing all your cat food and supplies.  A cereal container makes the perfect place for storing dry food, and it fits just right.  I also picked up a handy 3-tier pantry organizer at Dollar General to keep our wet food organized so that we can easily see all the flavors we have at a glance.

While I was there I also spotted these colorful trays that are perfect for holding flea meds, collars, etc. in the top portion of my cabinet.

After getting everything situated, I’m so happy with the way our new cat supply cabinet turned out.  Now all of our feline-related supplies are organized and in one place, and we won’t forget any important information regarding our cats!

Every time I go to Dollar General for 9Lives cat food, I can stock up on all of Edmund and Phil’s favorite varieties and have an organized place to keep them all.  Right now you can save even more on dry food at Dollar General with this coupon.

And if your cats are like mine and enjoy a variety of flavors, get this one for extra savings on wet food varieties like 9Lives Meaty Pate with Chicken and Tuna, Hearty Cuts Beef and Chicken in Gravy, and Super Supper.

Hopefully you’re feeling inspired to make your own DIY cat supply cabinet.  Leave us a picture in the comments if you do–we love cat-centric projects!  And be sure to visit 9Lives on Facebook to stay up to date on all the latest happenings with Morris.

 

 

 

How To Rock Your Back To Life Routine

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #GoldPeakLattes #CollectiveBias

We did it!

We survived the crazy that was the first week of school. Like the first week with a new baby, the first week of school is a lot of crazy, a lot of tired, and a lot of figuring out how on earth this schedule is all going to work out.

(Ok, so it’s NOT as intense as the first week with a newborn, but it gives me slight flashbacks to that time. Also, those of you dealing with Back to School/Life AND a baby right now? All I can say is a big ol’ Texas “Bless Your Heart”)

Now we have one week of normal-ness before Labor Day throws another goofy week our way. I’m in full on back-to-life mode, and so today I wanted to give you all my tips and tricks on how to rock YOUR back to life routine this year before the holiday madness hits!

The tips I’m sharing work no matter if you’re a stay-at-home mom, a homeschooling mom, a work-outside-of-the-home mom, or a work-from-home mom like me!

How To Rock Your Back-To-Life Routine

Fuel up!

Now just yesterday I shared with you just how much COFFEE gets me through these days! However, one thing about Texas is that even though the leaves are starting to change colors slightly it’s still SO HOT. So where do you turn for that much needed-energy boost? No worries, I’ve got you covered!

You see Gold Peak® has some *amazing* new products out that hit the spot perfectly! Whether you’re a tea or a coffee lover there’s a new cold brew flavor that’s perfect for you. Even better? You won’t have to wait in those looooong coffee shop lines and forgo saving for the holidays to pay for these delicious treats.

I found mine in the cold storage grab and go section of Walmart, but yours might be in the beverage aisle, too! I bought all the new flavor options (because, yum!)

The Gold Peak Tea Lattes are made with Real Sugar and Real Tea, so you can feel good about purchasing them! Also, Gold Peak Coffee is made with 100% Arabica beans, real cream and real sugar too! The sizes are perfect for single serving and will really give you that delicious cold drink to provide you with more energy and alertness–which you’ll need for the rest of my tips!

Plan, plan, and then plan some more

I have several “brains” none of which are the one found in my head. Because I juggle working from home with 2 different jobs, plus being the main care provider for the kids AND our home I have a whole lot to keep track of! I help make sure that all my plates stay spinning and not crashing onto the ground by using several different ways to track and plan all I have going on. Here’s the breakdown of what they are, and how to use them!

Create a weekly schedule

Use an on or offline Word Processing System to create a rough weekly schedule for yourself. This can either be super lax, or extremely detailed like mine is. Back when I only worked one job I just had general tasks assigned to each day of the week and a morning and evening routine for me and the kids written in. As you can see, these days things are a little more detailed!

I’m the kind of person that if I don’t have a specific task in mind I get overwhelmed. This is when I find myself mindlessly scrolling through social media. Or if I don’t have a set time to clean my house each week that slides to the bottom of my mind with my “could always be doing so much more” job. It’s not until I walk into the bathroom and go “oh, gross!” that I only realize it’s been a month since I deep cleaned it.

Setting up a daily schedule like this makes sure that those things don’t slip through the cracks. Of course, you’re going to have weird weeks and days. But this helps with the 75% of the time your life isn’t in complete chaos. Feel like your life is always in chaos? Then this will actually help that big time!

You can see by the picture above how I structure each day. On the outline section, you can see that I also use this document to help direct my flow of work each day. It’s also where I keep my Word of the Year and some other inspirational tidbits that I know I need to re-focus on from time to time!

How I keep track of making sure I’m following my schedule depends on the day. Using your phone timer is a great tool to make sure you’re sticking to those batches of time. It also really helps you keep your focus! My BIG goal this back-to-life season is to track my time at work. I’m contracted for all my jobs right now, which means that I get paid a set fee no matter how long it takes. It would be super beneficial for me, however, to “track my hours” so I can get a good grip of how much I’m even making an hour, and where I might need to tweak my time management.

Use An On and/or Offline Calendar to Track Big Events

Once you’ve got your weekly schedule/routine down it’s time to focus in on those events that don’t happen every single day in the same order. I use an online calendar that I absolutely love! It lets me create several different calendars and then I can display and share them according to what I need to keep track of at the moment, and who they’re relevant to. For example, here are the 5 different calendars I have all tied into the one, what I use them for, and who they’re shared with!

  • Personal Things — Here’s what you get a glimpse of above! This is the all-things-family calendar I keep to help me remember when the kids have special things going on, to track our vacations, days off, appointments, and all that adult-ing stuff. This is shared with hubby
  • Work Things — My job varies wildly week to week. I use this to keep track of things (like this post!) and my other job to-dos
  • Menu Planning — Exactly what it sounds like! I use this as part of my menu planning system each week.
  • Money — Helps me keep track of money that’s supposed to be coming in
  • Confident Foundation Blog Posts — This is shared with my blog contributors so we know when each other will be posting! If you have a team keeping things on an online calendar is a perfect way for everyone to stay in sync!

Use a Paper Planner to Schedule and Check off Daily Tasks

Finally, we have my good ol’ pen and paper planner! I use this each day to keep me focused on everything that needs to be accomplished within that 24-hour span. It’s where my schedule and online calendar meet into a tidy little space. Plus I love the sense of accomplishment that checking off boxes gives me!

If you use the combination of these easy and inexpensive tools, with a glass of delicious Gold Peak Salted Caramel Coffee Drink at your side, you are sure to ROCK your back-to-life routine!

Save

Save

How To Keep Your Produce Fresh & Very Berry Salad Recipe

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SeeHowFreshWorks #CollectiveBias

Summer is in full swing and our family is doing our most to make the most of it and cross off items on our Summer Bucket List! My very favorite summer tradition since we moved to Texas is picking Blueberries each year. I remember growing up reading berry-picking stories and I always dreamed of getting to do it for myself. It is just as much fun as I always dreamed and the fresh berries are simply amazing. I’m not even a huge blueberry fan, but I can eat these by the bowlful.

This year we tried out a new farm that’s closer to our new home. It was a great experience, but they sell theirs by the gallon.  Which means that we ended up with a whoooole lot of blueberries.

Another thing I learned quickly after moving to Texas is that fresh produce goes bad, sooo quickly. I rinsed and left some strawberries out and overnight from the heat and humidity they’d molded by the next day.

So when I found out about the new Rubbermaid® FreshWorks™ Produce Saver I knew that I needed it in my life in every size! Their Patented FreshVent™ Technology keeps produce fresher, longer. It does this by allowing excess CO2 to escape, delaying produce spoilage.

Then the Crisp Tray™ elevates produce away from moisture and promotes proper airflow to help prevent spoilage. My favorite part? Lid, container, and tray are dishwasher safe and BPA free. My least favorite chore is hand washing dishes so this is an absolute must for any item I’ll be using frequently. (Get $2 cash back on FreshWorksTM Now From Ibotta, offer valid while supplies last)

I’ve been making All-Things-Blueberry to use up that huge amount we picked, and as much as I love dessert I wanted to opt for something a little less processed sugary for the weekend. When I was at Kroger picking up my Rubbermaid FreshWorks Produce Savers from the food storage aisle I looked around for inspiration. This is when I discovered that they had some drool worthy Raspberries, Blackberries, and Strawberries in the produce section. They made the choice to whip up a Berry Salad a no-brainier!

I also picked up a big bunch of Kale to make Kale chips. This fits perfectly in the FreshWorks Large container which is designed for heads of lettuce or an entire bag of grapes. Me and the kids looove Kale Chips. If you’ve never made them before they are super easy, super delicious, and so much better than any packaged form of chips!

The Rubbermaid® FreshWorks™  by putting the produce into it whole, without washing it first. It basically replaces the container from the store to keep it fresh while you’re waiting to make your recipe or eat it! If you’d like to learn more about this cool new product check out the Rubbermaid® FreshWorks™  website!

Now that you’ve got everything stored freshly away it’s time for the recipe!

Very Berry Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

Use all fresh produce, if it’s a little early or late in the season for any berry try the organic section for better-looking options. If you have a U-Pick place anywhere close use those berries instead and just put them in equal amounts to all your other berries.

  • 1 Package Blackberries
  • 1 Package Raspberries
  • 1 Package Blueberries
  • 1 Package Strawberries
  • 1 Lime
  • 1/4 -1/2 Cup Orange Juice (fresh squeezed or from a container)

First, cut off tops and slice up strawberries.

Next, rinse and put in all the berries together in large bowl.

Now you’ll cut the lime in half and juice both halves over berry blend.

Pour Orange Juice over berries and stir together gently till well blended. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

This salad couldn’t be more simple but it’s absolutely delicious! The kids and I gobbled it all up! It’s so easy you probably don’t even need a printable recipe to remember–but just in case here you go!

Very Berry Salad Recipe
Recipe Type: Salad
Author: Nicole Elliott
Prep time:
Total time:
This Very Berry Salad is super simple but bursting with delicious, fresh summer flavor. Use Rubbermaid FreshWorks to keep produce fresh until needed.
Ingredients
  • 1 Package Blackberries
  • 1 Package Raspberries
  • 1 Package Blueberries
  • 1 Package Strawberries
  • 1 Lime
  • 1/4 -1/2 Cup Orange Juice (fresh squeezed or from a container)
Instructions
  1. Cut off tops and slice up strawberries.
  2. Rinse and put in all the berries together in large bowl.
  3. Cut lime in half and juice both halves over berry blend.
  4. Pour Orange Juice over berries and stir together till well blended. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Find more Rubbermaid® FreshWorks™ inspiration and learn about how the product works here

Save

Collect Memories, Not Things and Love Your Living Space

 2017 is whirling past in a flurry and before we know it it’ll be summer again! This summer will mark our 12th year together in marriage and our 15th!!!! year together as a couple!

I seriously cannot even process that. We started dating when I had just barely turned 17, so that means in two short years we’ll have been together as long as I was alive before we met. :O It just boggles the mind!

 

In case you’ve never gotten to before, you can read our entire Love Story here. After our wedding, we spent 3 fun days in Jackson Hole, WY on our honeymoon. I also like to say that really, we got to have several years worth of honeymoon, as we spent our newlywed years playing around in Washington DC, the next years on the beaches of North Carolina, and then our last jaunt with the Coast Guard in Boston.

If you’ve been a reader for long at all, you’ll know I’m a proponent of having things that fill you with joy, and hold a special meaning and purpose. One of my favorite things in life are experiences with those I love. Because of this I also love memories and anything that triggers them. If you look through our house instead of any kind of “in trend” decor you’ll find things like this wall full of Coast Guard photos, art, and mementos, along with posters made from photos we’ve taken of our favorite places.

Two of my favorites in the “things I love and fill me with joy” category are earrings, and as an adult, I still love my rock collection. Recently I was told about a company that combines all of my favorite things, so of course I was immediately in love.

Dune Jewelry is handmade with sand from your location of choice! They have a huuuuge list of popular beaches, and I noticed places we’ve been like beaches in Massachusetts and North Carolina on the list. It doesn’t stop at sea beaches, though, as they have sand from several national parks as well! They also have several different jewelry options like necklaces and bracelets, plus even things for the guys like cuff links and tie pins!

When I saw the sand from Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming, and these gorgeous drop earrings, though, the choice for me was clear!

These earrings are as gorgeous as they are unique! Now I have a little piece of home to wear, along with something that will give me amazing memories of home, favorite vacations, and my honeymoon every time I look at it! These are exactly the kinds of things I love because they combine experiences with things that bring me joy, not to mention being both small (no clutter!) and beautiful. They’re definitely making my Clutter-Free Gift Ideas list and are exactly what I was talking about when I recently shared how to purchase perfect presents in my Galentine’s Day post!

So here’s a quick checklist (you know how I love my checklists!) of ways you can start to collect memories, not things, and make sure your home is filled with things you love, cherish, and that bring happy memories!

How To Collect Memories, Not Things, and Love Your Living Space

  • For any gift-receiving occasions, ask for either an experience, something consumable, or a specialized and unique gift of something you love or that will remind you of a favorite memory-like Earrings or a Necklace with sand from your favorite beach. Even in the middle of December, you’ll have a little slice of happiness to help you smile! Need help with ideas? Here are 5 Zero Clutter Gift Ideas that are amazing for both kids and adults. Another idea? Purchasing one of these Dune Jewelry pieces as a way to announce a special, surprise vacation gift! How amazing would that be?!
  • Take the Flylady method and go through your home just a little bit at a time. Each day set a timer for 15 minutes and go through a room. Ask yourself if everything in it is used, loved, and makes you feel happy inside when you look at it? Are you keeping anything out of guilt or obligation? If so, give your permission to “let it go” and either re-gift to someone you know will LOVE it, or give it away to a thrift store where it can find a home to be cherished in.
  • Once your space is cleared of all the “guilt” objects that you “should keep” re-fill it up little bit by little bit with items that trigger smiles and memories! Don’t feel forced to follow trends. Instead, go with what you love. If rocks make you happy, then decorate with rocks! Choose art & photos that move you, or that you took! Never purchase or put anything up “just to fill a space”. Wait for the perfect item that will always bring the space joy!

Do you collect memories, not things? Do you love your living space? Where did you go on your honeymoon? Let’s chat! Leave me a comment or let me know on Social Media!

Save

Save

Save

How To Organize Your Life As a Working Mom

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PilotYourLife #CollectiveBias

How-To-Organize-Your-Life-As-a-Working-Mom

As I stood at nearby the Kindergartner’s table, watching them happily and frantically shovel their Christmas Party goodies into their mouth, I did what all good mommies who attend parties do. I swapped tales and empathetic head nods with the nearest mommy, who was also awkwardly hovering over her child.

“Do you work?” I asked, then I stopped and started laughing, “I’m sorry,” I continued, “You’re a mom OF COURSE YOU WORK! What I meant was, do you do any work in addition to the more-than-full-time-job of being a mom?”

If you’re a mom, you’re working, day in and day out 24 hours a day. I was a stay-at-home mom to my first baby for 2 glorious years. Believe me, I know that it really is work! Some of us super crazies, though, decide to add a whole other layer. In addition to being full-time moms, we also add in other jobs. That’s when things really get interesting!

But regardless of where and how you work, this post is for you! It’s for all of you, who like me, are everyday overachievers! Maybe you’re class mom, soccer coach, and play date queen extraordinaire. Perhaps you’re a corporal boss pulling the 9-5 and coming home to housework and homework. Or you could be just like me and you work from home and somehow try to smoosh those two worlds together in a glorious and utterly crazy mess.

IMG_20170114_120940

The people at Target and Pilot G2 get us. In fact, they get us so much that I just had to laugh when I saw this display at Target and read the back of the G2 Target Fashion Collection Package. They get us so much that they have created a club for us!

DSC_0235

Are you an everyday overachiever too? (If you’re reading this post that tells me the answer is most likely yes!) If so then you should also Join The Club! Be a part of the Target G2 Overachievers Club to receive promotions, product news, Overachiever life hacks, giveaways and more. Text G2CLUB to 40679 to join and we’ll send you a coupon to kick off your new club membership.

Fun right?! I joined right away because I always love finding new ways to save money and overachieve even more!

DSC_0254

I have been a deep lover of metallic gel pens for years now. Picking up my new box of G2 Metallics gave me big time nostalgia and I just had to go dig out one of my old journals. I never wrote the year on the dates (oh to be the age where a year on the date didn’t seem necessary because life was long and *right now*).  Looking at the babble on the pages about crushes and seeing cute boys, though, I believe I was probably about 14 years old when I wrote this one. So, it’s completely safe to say that I’ve been addicted to pretty gel pens for over 15 years now!!! (P.S. I was totally going to take a full page shot to let you all snoop, but it’s seriously embarrassing to read what I prattled on about as a 14-year-old, so this side view is the best you’re gonna get! 😉 )

DSC_0227

These days I have a whole lot more to yammer on about than going to the store with my mom. But no matter what you use them for, Pilot G2 is America’s Go-2 gel ink pen! Known for its smooth writing and comfortable grip, Pilot G2 is the #1 Selling gel ink brand in America (NPD, 2015).

I loaded up on both the Pilot G2 Target Fashion Collection & the Pilot G2 Metallics to help me keep my crazy life organized. Today I’m going to give you some fun, easy, and practical tips to help you do the same!

DSC_0238

Tip 1: Buy New Pens & a Paper Planner Head to Target and purchase a variety of fun Pilot G2 Pens. There are a ton of different options, because, after all, pens aren’t one size fits all. Also, purchase a paper planner. Yes! Do it! I’m a huge fan of using both online and paper planners, and I’ll give you a few more hints about them a little lower down. Also, peek at tip 2 before you head out, in case you need to add it to your list as well!

DSC_0247

Tip 2: Set Up an Enjoyable Work Space Including a Fun Pen Holder. Your beautiful pens will not do you any good if they’re scattered every which-a-way or hidden deep inside a drawer. Here are some super easy and fun ideas to keep them close and on display! One easy option is to purchase a store bought or handmade holder. This handmade clay holder is somewhat of a mystery in our family. It has the initials “MG ’87” on the bottom and none of us have any idea who MG is or why they made the pottery the year I was 2 years old, or why it’s now in our possession. All mysteries aside, it’s beautiful, and it’s also perfect for holding my Pilot G2 pens!

DSC_0248

How many of you own a zillion and one adorable coffee cups that never-ever get used? *Raises Hand* Go grab your favorite and re-purpose it into an adorable pen holder! This brings a smile to face because I bought it for myself. (5 points for the first person who gets this reference!)

DSC_0251

I’m a huge DIY fan if it’s fast, easy, and involves up-cycling. Throw in a little glitter? Even better! I made this adorable pen holder by up-cycling an old salsa jar! I just removed the label, washed it, and used glitter spray paint to coat the entire outside. Bim, Bam, Boom, Done!

((PPS Those are not Christmas Lights, they’re my Happy Lights that I keep on, around, and over my desk year round!))

DSC_0239

Tip 3: Use Your Pilot G2 Pens & Planner I’ve heard it once said that all the organizing tools in the world won’t do you a bit of good if you don’t use them and it’s sooo true! Now that you have all your tools it’s time to use them!

I’ve found for overachievers it helps to have multiple calendars and lists to help keep everything on track. For my paper planner, I always purchase one that is large and has the “month at a glance” as well as detailed daily sections.

On the month calendar I put BIG things happening–birthdays, meetings, appointments, special trips, etc.

Then on the day to day list, I split it into two categories — Work and Home. Under each, I put all the tasks that need to be done for the day.

DSC_0262

Tip 4: Define What To Say Yes To & What To Say No To This is SO HUGE you guys!! As a working mom, it is so easy to feel like we must do ALL. THE. THINGS. Then if you’re anything like me you get completely overwhelmed, stressed, and exhausted. As you’re prepping to get organized do yourself a HUGE favor and use these two printables!

Print “Things To Say Yes To” Here

DSC_0261

Print “Things To Say No To” Here

So if you’ve never done this kind of a soul-searching, priority defining exercise you might be completely lost at what I even mean. So I’ll give you my example of Things To Say No To and hopefully it’ll help you get started on your own! Remember, we most likely have extremely different personalities and values, so all of these might resonate with you, or none of them will. This is all about taking the time to stop, taking a step back and evaluating your life and schedule. As you do this hopefully you will realize what things are literally sucking the joy and life out of you at the moment (to put it bluntly!)

DSC_0263

These are my things to say No To! You’ll notice that by “things” it can be an activity or a physical thing, and I have 4 distinct overlying areas. First, you identify the thing, or the area/activity to say no to. Then I want you to narrow it down just a bit, and start to come up with a plan on how you’ll identify that in your life and how to practically say “no” to it.

I’ll walk you through this whole process with my first “No” which is Drama! Any kind of Drama gets me all sorts of upset. In my “real life,” I’m surrounded by amazing and wonderful people. While, yes, real life is always hard and it’s not always happy, there is very little drama in it.

Online, however….well do I really even need to explain this?!?!?!

So how do I say no to it? By avoiding it entirely!!! For example, during this entire election season, (pre-post-and-now) I avoided my main newsfeeds and political articles LIKE THE PLAGUE. Instead, I went to only the specific sites I needed to, to evaluate and research candidates, and I only went to my personal notifications, my work pages, or specific friend pages I knew didn’t post drama and that I enjoy talking to.

Find your things to say NO to! They will help you free up time and emotional space and energy to run toward your goals!! Going right along with that, I’ll leave you with these great tips that tie right in with everything we’ve talked about today!

Put all of these tips into your overachiever world and watch your productivity soar!! And Don’t Forget To Sign Up for the G2 Overachievers Club With Me!

Also! Go Here to find even more great tips and ideas on how to get the most out of planning and organizing your life!

Save

Save

Save

The Brilliant Way To Organize Your Medicine Cabinet Now That You’ll Thank Yourself For Later

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HealthySavings #CollectiveBias

The Brilliant Way To Organize Your Medicine Cabinet Now That You’ll Thank Yourself For Later - love this! So handy!

Tis’ the Season!! And no, today I’m *not* referring to the upcoming holidays.

Somehow it seems that we always forget that the busiest, most  festive, and most fun time of the year brings with it all sorts of nasty germs. Add on top of that chronic or surprise conditions, like heartburn, pregnancy, or a newborn, and life can get complicated quickly!

That’s why I’m encouraging you to set aside just 30 minutes of time this week to take care of and organize your medicine cabinet. Trust me, you will absolutely be thanking yourself later when you do NOT have to go fight the holiday crowds just to pick up Nexium® for your after holiday heartburn or Advil® for that splitting headache!**

Here is the brilliant way to organize your medicine cabinet, as well! When you are sick or in pain the very last thing you want is to be digging for 15 minutes past expired vitamins to find the one relieving product you need. Here’s where to start!

How To Organize Your Medicine Cabinet

The Brilliant Way To Organize Your Medicine Cabinet Now That You’ll Thank Yourself For Later - love this! So handy!

The first thing to do is clear your medicine cabinet out completely and take stock of the space that you have.

Every house will have a different setup, and whenever you move you’ll need to readjust and reorganize. Whether you’re organizing in small spaces or have a nice, big area, this system will work! Using a tape measure, see how much space you have so you’ll know what size of containers to purchase. Remember that you’ll want to leave extra space to easily slide them in and out and that if you’re going to purchase a container with a lid the top lip is usually the widest part.

In our new home, we have a nice large cabinet over the toilet and smaller one in the guest bathroom that we put up ourselves. I store all of the kid’s medicine and personal care products in the other bathroom and all the adult products in ours.

The next thing to do is to sort through all of the items you already have and toss anything that is expired.

I pride myself on staying pretty organized, but with how crazy our lives have been I was shocked to find how many items we had multiples of, half-used and expired! This new system will help ensure I won’t be tossing out 6-year-old medicine ever again! As you throw items away make a list of what you need to stock back up on, and what is missing from your stash.

The Brilliant Way To Organize Your Medicine Cabinet Now That You’ll Thank Yourself For Later - love this! So handy!

Now it’s time to head to your local Walgreens to stock back up on all those essentials! I was so thrilled that when we moved to our new town I have a Walgreens just right down the road. I pass it every day when I drop Amber off for school, which makes it oh-so-convenient for trips like these! Ever since learning how to coupon and do match ups from Thrifty Texas Penny I’ve been in love with Walgreens and use it when I need to get us medicine cabinet essentials!
The Brilliant Way To Organize Your Medicine Cabinet Now That You’ll Thank Yourself For Later - love this! So handy!

During this trip I stocked up on:

You’ll also need containers to organize everything in. You can purchase these new, or use some you already have some around the house. You can go really pretty and do baskets or cloth containers, but I’ve found that plastic bins with lids & handles are the simplest and easiest to haul out when you’re not feeling your best!

The Brilliant Way To Organize Your Medicine Cabinet Now That You’ll Thank Yourself For Later - love this! So handy!

Now it’s time to label them! Depending on your families needs and items, break them into similar categories. For our family, I came up with six that covered all the products we own and use.

  • Colds, Cough, & Flu
  • Stomach & Digestive Help
  • Pain Relief (Fevers & Aches)
  • Vitamins, Supplements, Oils
  • Pregnancy & Postpartum
  • Allergy

The Brilliant Way To Organize Your Medicine Cabinet Now That You’ll Thank Yourself For Later - love this! So handy!

How you label them will also depend on the containers that you purchase. I used large, fun labels that I had in my craft supply. Using a dark marker I wrote the different category names. I then used packing tape to secure the labels to the boxes and to also protect them against wear and tear over the years.

The Brilliant Way To Organize Your Medicine Cabinet Now That You’ll Thank Yourself For Later - love this! So handy!

Now fill the buckets back up with all the products that fit into those categories!

The Brilliant Way To Organize Your Medicine Cabinet Now That You’ll Thank Yourself For Later - love this! So handy!

With all the delicious food coming up for the holiday, it’s important to make sure that you have heartburn medication on hand! Many people hold back from enjoying some of their favorite foods because they are afraid they may experience heartburn. But no one should have to miss out on the foods they love! By keeping Nexium® 24HR stocked in your cabinet you’ll be able to enjoy all the holidays have to offer!** Just one pill a day provides all day, all night protection from frequent heartburn – no matter what triggers it*

*Nexium® 24HR may take 1-4 days for full effect. It is not immediate relief.

 

 

dsc_0563

It seems like every time I turn around another friend is announcing a pregnancy or birth on Facebook and I’m absolutely loving it! If you’re in this amazing, crazy, and complicated stage of life then you absolutely need to have a bin dedicated to pregnancy and postpartum!

dsc_0561

Some essentials you might not know you need in this bin are vitamin B6 and Ginger supplements, Iron supplements, Vitamin D drops, and Preparation H® Medicated Wipes**. As always, check with your Doctor before using anything during pregnancy or postpartum, but do your research on these items–they’ve been lifesavers for me through my two pregnancies and crazy deliveries!

The Brilliant Way To Organize Your Medicine Cabinet Now That You’ll Thank Yourself For Later - love this! So handy!

Once you have all of your items into the bins it’s time to organize them into your cabinet.

Now, stand back, admire your beautiful work, and pat yourself on the back. Your future self is thanking you right now!

Do you have any amazing products you can’t live without or some amazing organization tips I missed? Leave me a comment and let me know!

 

**This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Use as Directed.

Save

Save

Save

Save

How To Make School Mornings Run Smoothly

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BetterBreakfast #CollectiveBias

How-To-Make-School-Mornings-Run-Smoothly

Ready or not Back-To-School is now here in full force. With Labor Day over the weeks of school stretch as far as the eye can see. Each of these days brings along with them the hurry, scurry, and stress that getting ready and out the door on time causes. The more kids you have to send off to school each day, the more this hurry and stress grows. As a fellow mom, I completely understand.

This school year is an important one for us. One big change is that we moved to a new town just in time to get the kids registered for their schools. An even bigger change this year for us, however, is that Tyler is in Kindergarten which means that both of the kids are in school all day, all week for the very first time.

FirstDay

Our new school district divides its campuses up according to grades, rather than location. This means that the kids are both in different schools across town, and not overly close to one another. I drive them each day, which means we have to be up and out the door in plenty of time for both stops and to accommodate for the morning traffic and the drop off lines. With the kids gone all day I want our time together in the morning to run smoothly and be stress-free. Making sure they are able to get the nourishment they need and leave for the day with a full belly and on a positive note is so important. I know I’m not alone in wanting this for my family, so I thought I’d share my top tips with you today to help make it a reality for your family as well. Be sure to scroll aaaaalllll the way to the bottom of the post, too, a sweepstakes will be your reward!

It’s all wonderful to wish for a smooth morning, but the reality is that it won’t happen without preparation and planning. Once you establish good routines with a handy reminder, however, you’ll be amazed at just how easy it really is!

How To Make School Mornings Run Smoothly

BuildBetterBreakfast

Go Shopping

The very first step in creating a smooth school morning is making sure you have everything in stock ahead of time. I used my first solo shopping trip to Walmart to stock up on everything my family needs to build a better breakfast and create our new back-to-school routine. Here’s what you’ll need on your shopping list so you’re prepared as well:

  • Great Value 2% Milk
  • Lenders Bagels
  • Del Monte Fruit & Veggie Fusions
  • Magnetic Dry Erase Board (be sure to purchase mounting tape if it does not come with some)
  • Dry Erase Markers w/ attached eraser

While I was shopping I noticed these signs that told about an amazing charitable promotion going on right now. I absolutely love giving back and paying it forward, and when I can do it simply by purchasing items that my family loves, with *no* extra steps??? Amazing! I was so happy about it I wanted to share the information with you, too!

Childhood should be filled with playing, learning and growing. But for many children who face hunger, even basic staples like milk – and the nutrients that help power childhood activities – are missing. Milk is naturally nutrient rich and powers potential – if you have access to it. Milk’s 9 essential nutrients, including 8 grams of high-quality protein per 8 ounce serving, can help to ensure that kids have the potential to play, learn and grow. Join Feeding America in The Great American Milk Drive to help deliver highly desired and nutrient-rich gallons of milk to hungry children and families who need it most. More than 14 million servings of milk have been delivered to food banks through this first-of-its-kind initiative. Now, you can help feed a childhood – by purchasing 1 or more of these products, you are helping Feeding America provide nutrient- rich milk to kids and families in need. Visit milklife.com/give to learn more.

Now that you’ve got all the items you need, you’re ready to set up your “Command Center” that will help guide your kids (and you!) through everything you need to tackle.

DSC_0161

Set Up Routine Check Lists

Get out your new Magnetic Dry Erase Board & Markers. I decided to go with 3 colors for mine, one for the routine steps, and 2 others so the kids would each have their own color. On a piece of scratch paper list out every item that needs to be done before school each day. Next take that list and divide it into steps that can be done in advance the night before, and steps that must be done in the morning. By prepping for the day as much as you can the evening before you’ll be adding valuable time to your mornings. This allows you to make sure the most important things like sitting down to a nutritious and filling breakfast actually happen. Here’s my list and a little about each item on it, to help get you started on your own!

Evening Routine

DSC_0174

Lay Out Clothes for The Next Day — You’ll be amazed at how much time and stress this saves you each morning. Instead of fumbling through their closet, coming out in mismatched clothes, or wearing dress clothes on P.E. day you and your kids will be able to simply get dressed as soon as you’re up. You can create a special hook or place to put clothes, or you can simply hang them up on their closet or bedroom door.

Make Lunches & Snacks —  Make and pack all lunch & snack items the evening before, any food will keep well when placed in the fridge overnight.

Pack Backpacks — As soon as homework is done have the kids re-pack their backpacks with any items that will be needed for the next day (notes, lunch money, etc)

DSC_0157

Prep Breakfast Items — This is another biggy! A well balanced breakfast is much more likely to happen if you plan on it in advance. Now that you have your items, it’s just a matter of setting them together.

There are several reasons you should choose these three items to start your day. The combination of milk, a bagel, and a fruit cup gives kids protein, carbohydrates, vitamin C and other things that they won’t get with other choices. Eating them all together make this a better breakfast choice.

Lender’s bagels are filling – sustaining kids all morning — and they come in Plain, Blueberry, and Cinnamon-Raisin flavors which are completely kid-friendly & great for the whole family. Lender’s has a bagel for Everyone! They’re available in the refrigerated dairy section, which is perfect as it means you can keep all 3 items together in the fridge where they’re easy to find. Bagels for breakfast are timesaving, easy, tasty and nutritious–all things that are musts in order to keep the morning running smoothly.

To complete your balanced breakfast you’ll need Del Monte Fruit & Veggie Fusions. It’s the only fruit cup product that provides 1 serving of fruits and veggies in a single cup. The veg is in the juice but you’d never know it, and neither will your kids! Be sure to look for specially marked Del Monte Fruit & Veggie Fusions packages on shelf at Walmart for valuable coupons for Del Monte and Lenders products!

DSC_0176

Now that you have all your food items ready it’s time to prep the serving dishes as well. Just like with the clothes, if you have places set the night before all that’s left to do in the morning is to pour a glass of milk, get out a bagel, and open a fruit cup. Couldn’t be easier!

Set Alarm —  Don’t miss this last step! We each have our own alarm clocks, yes, even my Kindergartner! Setting multiple alarm clocks helps the possibility of sleeping in due to a missed alarm drop down drastically, plus it allows everyone to be up in the time frame they need to according to their personal routines and how quickly they can get things done.

Morning Routine

As promised, since you’ve done so much prep work the night before your morning routine should be a breeze and completely self-explanatory. Being well organized means plenty of time to sit, wake up, and enjoy each other and a better breakfast!

Get Dressed (including shoes)

DSC_0189Eat a BETTER Breakfast

Brush Hair & Teeth

Now that you have all your routine items planned out, you just need to write them down onto your dry erase board and add checklists for each child (you can do it for yourself as well if you’d like!) Another option would be to use your vinyl machine to create the checklist, but I love the flexibility that dry erase gives.

DSC_0166

Now mount your Command Center any place handy in your kitchen. I chose the side of our fridge, but the front of your fridge, on a wall, or on the pantry door are all great options. Use the magnets to hold anything you need that goes along with your routines like information from school or paper items to be packed in the backpacks.

DSC_0169

As the kids complete each item have them put a dot in the box (you can do checkmarks as well, but then you’ll need to re-draw the boxes each day). In the middle of the next day use the edge of the attached marker to clear out the boxes and start over again!

DSC_0184

After a week or so of following your new checklists and routine steps, you’ll wonder why mornings ever felt so frantic and stressful in the first place!  In the meantime here’s an amazing sweepstakes for you to enter!
#BuildABetterBreakfast Sweepstakes

 

Save

Save

Save

Fairy Garden Jewelry Holder Tutorial

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ItsMyMasterpiece #CollectiveBias

Fairy Garden Jewelry Holder Tutorial

Spring fever to clean, de-clutter, organize and recycle has kicked in full force and it’s all over social media and in conversations with friends. The bug has hit me, too, and I’ve been organizing, up-cycling, and prepping for the big move, which includes thinking ahead and planning for items that I know we’ll want and need since we’re about to expand into a much larger space! One thing that I’ve been looking for is new ways to display Amber and my jewelry collections. We have a beautiful display of bracelets, earrings, and necklaces between the two of us, but I’ve found that if it’s out of sight it’s out of mind and we rarely wear it, which is just sad! I was recently inspired by this awesome idea to make a jewelry stand using the Diet Coke “It’s Mine” Glass Bottles, and I decided to re-make the up-cycle using my own fun spin-offs and incorporating the super fun idea of using fairy lights that I saw in several different posts recently.

Continue reading “Fairy Garden Jewelry Holder Tutorial”

How To Organize All Your Little One’s Pool Stuff

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SwimAdventureContest #CB #CollectiveBias

DSC_0120

We hit a high of 83 today and the kids are counting down (what they hope are) hours until our pool is warm enough to splash into. They’ve already tried sitting on the edges and kicking their feet around till their teeth start chattering and I scold them out of it, there’s just something about water that little ones love!

As you might remember we were blessed to get to move into “the swimming pool house” along with my in-laws over a year ago. Last summer the kids spent hours upon hours in it every day that the weather wasn’t flashing and grumbling, and as a result, they both learned how to swim! It was an amazing time and we all can’t wait to get back to the fun, soon!

Continue reading “How To Organize All Your Little One’s Pool Stuff”

Are You Missing Out on One of These Easily Overlooked Ways to Capture Memories With Your Phone?

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Walmart Family Mobile who offer the Lowest Priced Unlimited Plans. All opinions are mine alone. #MobileMemories #CollectiveBias

Last month I shared why being on my phone for a good part of the day makes me a better wife and mom. While I focused on the work aspects of being on my phone, mostly, I believe that my Walmart Family Mobile Service actually enhances my life in far more areas than just that!

I adore modern technology and all its benefits, and have found several ways out of the ordinary that using my phone helps me to create memories with my family–so I thought I’d share them with you today in case there might be one you’re missing out on!

Continue reading “Are You Missing Out on One of These Easily Overlooked Ways to Capture Memories With Your Phone?”