Quick Tip Tuesday | Surprising Diaper Disposal Hack You Have to Try!

After having three kids, we've gone through a LOT of diapers.  Hundreds...thousands, even.  Ugh.  I wanted to be that mom who gave her kids organic nut milk in glass bottles and patiently washed earth-friendly cloth diapers every day...but let's get real.

To all those mothers who manage cloth diapers, you are amazing!!  For the rest of us, there's nothing wrong with saving yourself some sanity (every parent needs all they can get!) and going disposable.  In fact, even if you DO use cloth diapers, this nifty little trick will help you, too!




Every parent knows our (adorable) kiddos tend to make a LOT of messes.  So whether you're on the go and need a place for sticky hand wipes and half eaten cheese sticks, or you simply need a good way to protect your house from day old stinky diapers, I've got a fun parenting hack for you!

* QUICK TIP *
Doggy doo-doo bags make the BEST disposable diaper bags!




$1 at Dollar Tree - 80 ct. (black) (spend $2 packs of these and get 160 ct., which puts you in the ballpark of the sets available at Amazon for quantity - but definitely NOT on price!)

$5.59 at Walmart - 120 ct. (multi colored) (also on Amazon)

$7.49 on Amazon - 180 ct. (multi colored)

$8.49 on Amazon - 180 ct. (pink)

NOTE: These are the prices listed at time of publish.  There are a lot of options out there, and I even checked some big box pet stores, but I'm sorry to say that they were quite a bit more expensive for fewer bags.  Plus, I tried to find alternative examples that didn't have dog bones all over them!  But if you know of a better deal, let me know!


As you can see, these doggy waste bags from Dollar Tree are a fantastic price!  I've never had one rip, they roll up very small and don't take up much space (I keep a roll in my purse), they're black and discreet (no need to announce to the world you're using a pet product), and you can't beat the price!

These are AMAZING for yucky diapers (obvs), to corral used kid wipes (I always keep some in my car to wipe sticky hands, faces, even wipe down the car door handles, buttons, etc.), small snack trash and wrappers...basically all kinds of little icky messes that need to be contained!  And even if you're just using them to keep your kitchen or nursery trash from getting stinky, you'll love these!

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So, tell me.  What will YOU use these handy little baggies for?

Fabulously Frugal Finds | Winter Shopping Deals

There's no surprise that Black Friday and Cyber Monday store deals draw hundreds of millions of people to shop for bargains, grossing billions of dollars annually (yes, that's with a "B"), but did you know that there are some stores that really make shopping year round feel like you're getting a "Black Friday" deal?

One of my more recent discoveries has been Kohl's department stores.  I've seen them around for years, but we didn't have one near us when I was a kid doing back-to-school department store shopping, and I was more of a boutique store shopper in my twenties.  It's only been in the past few years when I rediscovered the convenience and variety found at stores like Kohl's (like online shopping, but in person - a revelation!), and I'm here to tell you, they make it real easy to want to keep going back for more!

I've been on the lookout for a few pretty sweaters (it got cold this year!) and some new jeans, so I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite things that I picked up just this last week that I know you're going to love!

First up, a handful of darling sweaters!  All of these cost me under $20 after discounts (not including Kohl's Cash) and they're all super soft, with just a little bit of stretch, and come in tons of colors!

THE GOODS




This one sold out in my size before I could snatch it, but I fully plan on getting it in pink as soon as it's back in stock!  I'm showing it here in Chic Mauve and Brick Heater (below).  They are perfect if you're taller and have long arms like me!



Here it is again but in a deep oxblood red.  I bought a medium, and it fits true to size, though it definitely isn't as long on me as it is on the model (I'm 5'9).  If you like your sweaters to be fitted, then I'd size down.




Here's another scoop neck sweater that comes in a large variety of colors.  Again, I love how long the sleeves are, and this one is a little bit thicker and extra soft!




This v-neck sweater fits me much shorter than this photo, but definitely still long enough, even on me.  The sleeves and length of this overall is quite a bit shorter on me (the sleeves don't quite cover my wrists - why does it look SO long on the model?), but that's fine if you're wearing a watch or bracelet. ;)  Again, it comes in a lot of colors, and I even ordered another one in a lovely holiday red.


THE DOWN-LOW ON THE DISCOUNTS


My favorite thing about Kohl's is the Kohl's Cash, for example: Purchase $50 worth of items and receive $10-15 in "Kohl's Cash" coupons to redeem on anything you want in the following weeks.  Yes, it keeps you coming back for more, but what I love about it is there are no gimmicks, no minimum purchases, and (get this!) you can use other sales and percentage discounts with the Cash!  It's a great system if you're a bargain shopper, and really, it makes shopping extra fun when you're figuring out how to stack all the amazing discounts!  Plus, the website is set up to easily add your Kohl's Cash (it's also stored in your online account) or discount codes.  They even list additional deals and discounts in your checkout, so be on the lookout in case you missed anything before you hit that purchase button!


I'll be sharing my favorite new jeans from my recent shopping trip very soon (if you follow me on Instagram, you may have caught my Stories singing their tummy control, stretchy, high waisted praises!).  They come in lots of colors, in bootcut and skinny silhouettes, AND in two different fits (aka. regular and curvy).  They're amazing!

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What's your favorite place to shop for awesome deals on clothing?  Have you ever shopped at Kohl's before?  Do you usually forget to use your Kohl's Cash like I do? 😂

How to Organize Your Junk Drawer For Good - Step By Step!

The Dreaded Junk Drawer


Disclaimer: Those with weak stomachs may want to advert their eyes and page down for this part.



Don't judge.  You know you have one, too.

Good news is, you don't have to have one!  I'm here to tell you that it can be done.  You can get rid of this wretched black hole and keep it that way!

About five months ago I decided that I just couldn't take it anymore.  I'd cleaned out this drawer on occasion over the years, but this time I vowed to better organize it, keep only what made sense for the space, and KEEP it that way!

via BellaStoria.net


Step 1:
Grab that drawer (maybe borrow a forklift) and haul that sucker to your family room floor.

Step 2:
Turn on a movie you've already seen (nothing nail biting, you're working here!).  Blasting upbeat Broadway show tunes is also a good idea.

Step 2a:
If playing sing-a-long show tunes, offer family members ear plugs for the next hour while you work.

Step 3:
Dump out the junk from your said drawer.

Step 4:
Start sorting.  Toss trash in a small garbage bag, plastic grocery bag, or just make a pile.  Make piles for office/craft supplies, tools, batteries, coupons, things to file (receipts, etc.), and piles for specific family members or rooms.

Step 5:
Once sorted, spend the next few minutes finding homes for the stuff that doesn't go back into the drawer.  Little Girl's crayons go to a craft box, Tic-Tacs go to your purse, extra pens and scissors go with your main office supplies; you get the idea.

Step 6:
Get rid of duplicates. You may want a nail file in your drawer for random snags while you're in the kitchen, but you don't need two or three.  This drawer is going to be functional and convenient, but the majority of your supplies need to go to a main home that makes sense.

Step 7:
Take a look at your glorious empty drawer.  Breathe a sigh of relief that the worst is over.  Take a look at your piles.  What's staying?  Why?  Think about their use and why it's important to keep them in this drawer.  Create a plan to organize them.

Step 8:
Don't go crazy making it pretty just yet.  Right now function is most important.  Grab some dollar store plastic baskets/bins for batteries, candles, and lighters; use an old cutlery divider for pens, scissors, Chapstick, and tape rolls.  Look around your house for containers and dividers that will do the job.

Step 9:
Wipe down the drawer with a damp cloth.  Maybe place colorful removable vinyl to protect the drawer.  Add containers to drawer and organize items inside.

Step 10:
If an item doesn't fit well in the drawer reevaluate if you really need it there.

Step 11:
Stand up slowly and stretch your legs.  You're not as young as you used to be!

Step 12:
Slide your fabulous new drawer back in place.  It's easy now that you've cleaned it out.

Step 13:
Before closing your drawer, admire your hard work.  Isn't it pretty?  Isn't it SO much more functional?  Not so embarrassing anymore, is it?  In fact, you might want to throw a party in it's honor.

Step 14:
Go find your family and show them your tremendous achievement.  You'll have to walk around to find them.  Calling out won't work since they still have earplugs in.

Step 15:
Practice humility as they sing your praises.

Step 16:
Take note of any organizers that aren't working perfectly or that aren't winning any beauty contests.  Next time when you're out and about, keep your eyes open for containers that fit the bill.  Then throw that party.


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P.S.  I found this post hiding in the closet of my blog...originally planned for late July 2013.  You read that right!  To this day, I still remember sitting on the floor of my family room with my drawer, trying to make sense of it all!  Sorry to say, I have no idea where the "After" photo ended up (we moved early August, just a couple weeks later), but I'm happy to announce that my kitchen junk drawer has never been this bad since, and my family continues to sing my organizational praises! 😂


post: 7/25/2013

How to Survive Your Kid's Crazy Schedule With Quick and Easy Snacks

Life with kiddos is awesome and rewarding and tender and...crazy!  Ballet lessons, soccer practice, homework, flashcards, mounds of laundry, dishes, Lego towers, dress up clothes, laundry, pillow fights on the couch, tricycle races around the kitchen...

Parenting can be hectic, but after three kids I've learned a few tricks that can help save your sanity!





There are three BIG issues when it comes to cranky kiddos:
  1. They're HUNGRY
  2. They're TIRED
  3. They're OVERWHELMED

Today we're talking about Problem Number 2: Hangry and "Dying of Thirst" kids!

Quick and Easy Snacks for Kids with Moms On the Go!


Hungry and thirsty kids are no fun, and they will act out in ways that make everyone miserable!  Make sure they're fed and watered by keeping around a small supply of simple, easy snacks for on-the-go days.  I keep chewy granola/protein bars, fruit snacks, and Tic Tac gum in my bag at all times!

A few more ideas include:
  • Raisins (mini boxes are great for on-the-go)
  • Animal crackers
  • Mini pretzels or pretzel sticks
  • Goldfish crackers
  • Almonds, peanuts, etc.
  • Protein bars
  • Hard candy *age appropriate (like mini Dum Dum lollipops, Jolly Ranchers, butterscotch rounds, Life Savers, etc.)
  • Mints and non-sticky candies (my younger kids love soft pastel dinner mints, Tic Tacs, Smarties, etc.)
  • Gummi Bears

Quick and Easy Snacks for Kids and Families On the Go!


The first list can all be kept in your purse (I use these containers from Ikea for things that might get smushed or crumbled) or even in the car for "emergency use" (if you've got young children, you know what I'm talking about), but if you've got a bit of extra time or a longer trip planned, then these are some other great options:
  • Sliced apples or pears
  • Mandarin oranges
  • String cheese
  • Grapes (you can cut them in half for the little kiddos)
  • Popped popcorn
  • Edamame
  • Baby carrots
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Cold turkey dogs (we like uncured meats so there's fewer preservatives)
  • Slices of salami or deli meat

The idea is something portable, easily prepared (aka. Grab n' Go), contained (aka. not sticky, drippy, or otherwise liable for an excess of premature gray hairs), and will last a few hours without needing refrigeration.  This second set of snacks are great for trips to the mall, t-ball practice, or any place where your kids will be away from home and might need some bribes sustenance.

Now what about when they're thirsty?

I cannot tell you how many times I've gone through a drive-thru just to get something to put in my kid's bottle or sippy!  So here's my favorite tip:


Sippy Cup + Drink Enhancer + Bottled Water = Happy Kiddos




I always bring the kids' water bottles with us in the summer, and leave a few disposable bottles in my car in the cooler months (we're careful not to use disposable plastic bottles that have gotten hot in the summer heat, or have already been opened - gotta keep those chemicals and bacteria away, right moms?!).  My youngest daughter loves simple water and ice, but for my other two, I can add some liquid or powdered drink mixes to their water and enjoy quiet, happy, fully hydrated kids forever more!

If your kids like lemonade, True Lemon is a favorite brand to try!  These lemonades come in lots of flavors like strawberry, peach, wildberry, and original.  There's also a limeade version (yum!) that comes in multiple flavors!  I love that it's not packed full of sugar or artificial dyes.  It contains lemon oil, is sweetened with cane sugar and Stevia extract, and has a very short list of ingredients, which is always good in my book!



Here's another good choice by the Great Value brand that's liquid and doesn't have artificial dyes or aspartame.


Quick Tip:  When using a liquid mix, keep the drink enhancer in a small plastic baggie for extra insurance.  You don't want that stuff leaking or spilling out all over your purse or car compartment!  FYI, I've never had an issue, but who wants to make THAT a first?!

The BEST Reusable Water Bottles for Kids!


We love these bottles by Reduce Hydro Pro Water Bottles from Costco (also available at Walmart, Amazon, etc., but the consistently best price we've found has been at Costco).  They come in 2-packs, and in different colors, so each of my kids gets a unique design.  They keep drinks cold all day.  No seriously.  Like, the ice still hasn't melted!  As a mom, I also like that they have rubber outer bases, so no slipping, and less chance of them slamming the bottles down on something and scratching it.




If you have younger kiddos that need something they can sip (instead of an open-mouth design), we love these from Contigo (we bought ours at Costco last year, but they are not currently available online - you know how that goes!  Here's the link for Amazon.).  They come in 2 and 3-packs, lots of different colors, and are very sturdy.  The kids love carrying them around because of the easy-to-hold loop handle.  They're PBA free plastic, which doesn't stay cold all day, but they're very sturdy and really great for younger kiddos that may not do well with metal bottles.



Bottom Line:  Keep your kids from having a low blood sugar melt down by storing quick snacks and treats in your purse or diaper bag that are easy to eat (and not sticky!), and keep your kids well hydrated (and occupied) with bottles of water and fun drink mixes.

Happy kids means a happy mom!  And throughout all those busy days and crazy schedules, you deserve to be happy! ;)



* 9/16/17