Friday, August 30, 2013

Giving Nutritious Snacks with Champions for Kids SIMPLE Giving at Walmart

Have you seen this set up at Walmart lately? Let me tell you what it's about. It's part of a campaign organized by Champions for Kids & sponsored by Emerald Nuts, Kellogg's, Dasani, Powerade & Dole. called #SIMPLEGiving. They are mobilizing our community (Arkansas and Southern Missouri ) to give back in a simple way by purchasing healthy snacks on their pallet & then donating them in the Champions for Kids bins at local Walmarts.

add delicious flavor & sweetness to your water or any beverage, fat free,

These are my babies & before I know it, they will be in the public school system & sitting side by side with children who maybe didn't eat breakfast that morning. Every night when we say our prayers, we always thank God for our food, clothing, shelter & my husband's job. I make sure we always say each one, so that my children might realize that not everyone has all of those things. They are precious & there really is enough to go around. I want them to see that they are blessed, so that they can be a blessing to the world around them. We always have something to give. If we don't have money, we have time or love or groceries from our own cabinet. Whatever we have it's all from the LORD & belongs to Him. It's our great privledge to give of what He has given us in whatever way we can. That is what I think this campaign is so important. This is a very simple way to provide snacks to local kids.


So, next time your in an Arkansas or Southern, MO Walmart, look for this pallet:

It's full of great snacks like these:

Dole Fruit Bowls & Squish'ems Fruit Snacks - for on the go

Kellogg's Fruit Snacks - made with real fruit

Emerald Nuts 100 Cal Snack Packs - in portion controlled pouches

Dasani Drops - each bottle makes 32 8oz servings

Powerade Zero Drops - each 3oz bottle makes 24 servings

The campaign ends 9/8 & Champions for Kids will deliver the snacks to kids who really need them from the school district of the Walmart where they were donated.  Please consider getting in on the action!!!

You can read more about the campaign on the Champions for Kids website, & following
#SIMPLEGiving on Twitter, Instagram

See What others are doing here:

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Reclaiming our Spaces: Pam's Craft Area

It's been 2 weeks & now we are ready to reveal Pam's new craft area.  Here's what it looked like before:

Here's how it looks now:

She has done an amazing job! She installed shelves above her desk. On that desk she has labeled bins with all of her supplies. Her desk top is now free of clutter, so she now has a cutting area & a place for her surger. She used a cute little flower pot for pens on her desk. She also has basket there for pattern weights, shears, and french curves.
Everything that was on her desk is now sorted and put away. She emptied the loose bags & placed them in a giant laundry bin from Ikea so she can grab them as needed. She also ordered a handbag holder for her handbags. Yay for a neat, inviting space to create!!

I'm feeling inspired!

Do you have organizing dilemma? I'm interested in doing some online organizing problem-solving. Send me an email & we'll talk it over.

This week Holly worked on her kitchen. Here's a sneak peek:

Friday, August 23, 2013

5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Get More Organized

1)  Use storage furniture practically.  It feels very smart purchasing storage furniture, but if you just shove it full of whatever happens to be in the general area, you're not really any more organized.  You just have a new hidey hole.  Here's an example:

We have this HUGE storage ottoman in our living room.  It would be seriously easy to shove it full of all sorts of random things during quick clean-ups.  Before long it would be CRAZY.  Instead, we decided to fill it with all our board games.  When we have people over, it is super easy to get to them.  We are not having to dig them out of a closet somewhere.

Use your storage furniture for an intended purpose.  Fill it with things that are used in that area & do not allow it to be a place to shove stuff.

2)  Get rid of duplicates:  Once you organize your stuff, you realize just how much you have of everything.  For instance, I saw that I have like 8 medium vases!!

 When am I going to ever use that many?  At most, I would use 3 or 4 at a time.  Time to reduce.  I can start by getting rid of the ones I am least likely to use.

3)  Grab a trash bag.  Once per day, go through your house with a trash bag (Or a little waste basket or a small sack) & pick up the items laying around that are clearly trash.

4) Assign baskets.  The baskets can be labeled or color-coded for each person/room.  Let me tell you how it goes down at my house.  My 2 & 4 year olds tend to bring their items with them into whatever room they are in.  Me & my husband are also somewhat guilty of that too.  Aren't we all?  Anyway, the easiest way I have found to stay on top of this is to have a basket for each person.  At some point during the day, each person can grab their basket & fill it with items that belong in their room from all over the house.  (I take care of this for the hubs).

5)  Create a home for things that often end up on your dining room table.  We do crafts, coloring, Play-Dough, painting -- all kinds of stuff-- on our dining room table throughout the day.  If I didn't have a home for all these things, my table would be cluttered constantly.  So, I utilize the cabinets/closet nearby.  I don't just shove everything in there though.  It is organized & weeded through.


I linked up with:

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Reclaiming Our Spaces: Pam's Catch-All Space Part One

Last week Pamela Moore (an old college theater friend of mine) won the contest for some free organizing from me.  I wish I could physically go there & transform her space in person while she's out having a great time somewhere.  However, she lives 2 time zones away!!  So, we have been making due with pictures & Facebook messaging!! Ha!

She has so bravely let me show you some before pictures...

This is her catch-all room basically.  It has to work hard because this gal and her husband have A LOT of things going on. They are both burlesque entertainers! She also does costuming and he does vaudeville & writes. They are quite the dynamic duo! Always have been.

Bottom line? She needs a space to cut fabric & to be able to find everything she needs while she's working.

Her assignment has been:

1) Throw out/give away things that are no longer being used

2) Figure out what you want to keep in there & get bins to categorize it.

3) Hang a rod above the desk to clip works in progress

Next week I'll post the big reveal!

This week Holly worked on her craft closet. It turned out very cute! AND well organized. That lady's got skillz.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Peanut Butter Banana Brownie Cupcakes

Tonight I was going to make brownies.  Then I thought, peanut butter sure is good in brownies.  Then, I didn't haven't enough butter, so I decided use a banana instead of the butter.  A few recipes combined & tweaked later; Peanut Butter Banana Brownie Cupcakes were in the works!

 I had an adorable helper.  "I do it Mommy."  " I see it Mommy?  Hold you!"

We did sample the batter some together & it was really good.

Peanut Butter Banana Brownie Cupcakes:

1 banana
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill 12 cup cupcake tin with liners.
First smash the banana with a pastry blender (see first pic). Stir in sugar, eggs one at a time, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Add in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup flour, salt and baking powder. Add batter to cupcake tin with an ice cream scoop.  I used Pampered Chef's large scoop.
Bake for 20 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before adding frosting.

1 cup powdered sugar1 tsp vanilla1/4 cup butter, olive oil, coconut oil3/4 cup peanut butter3 Tbsp milk


*Adapted from these recipes from The Comfort of Cooking & Plain Chicken 

Combine with ingredients in bowl. Blend with hand mixer until creamy, but don't over mix because it will start to break up.  I used olive oil instead of butter in the frosting.

Load decorating bag.  I did not chill the frosting because it is pretty thick.  You could add a little milk if you want it to be less so.

Here it is!  It was super good.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Reclaiming Our Spaces: Organizing on the Cheap & a Giveaway! GIVEAWAY CLOSED

CONGRATS to Pamela Moore!!  She wins FREE organizing help this week!  We will be working on a section of her craft area.  Tune in Thursday to see the results!

This week let's discuss what we use to organize.  Not every little organizer needs to come from The Container Store.  (Though, their stuff is pretty fun if it's in the budget!)  Let's talk about what we can use if it aint in the budget.  Know what I'm sayin?

I use left-over perfume boxes, toy packaging, & really all sorts of random containers to contain my stuff:

This is a holiday perfume gift set box that I have been using since 2004!  I keep my jewelry in it right now:

I also like to gather fancy-looking containers to keep on my counter.  The white tray was a TJ Maxx find.  Pretty sure it was like $5.99.  Then there is a little porcelain plate & old Avon cream holder I found at garage sales.  Super inexpensive, but they make me smile.

- - -

Ok, here's the giveaway part:  I am offering to *virtually* organize a room for one of you.  You send me pictures of your space.  I will tell you what I would do to organize your space.  I will hang with you through your whole process from Monday to Wednesday.

Here's the deal:

1)  Gotta take before & after pics

2)  Gotta work on it this week, so we can post about next Thursday

I'll pick a winner Sunday night.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

This week Holly talked about Organizing your Time.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I'm a Clever Girl!

I'm not saying what you think I'm saying!

I'm saying that I was just accepted into the Clever Girls Collective blogger network!!

They are a social media agency that connects brands with social media influencers.  In their network, there is currently about 6,400 bloggers!  I'm super thrilled to be a part of that.

What that means for this blog:

Sometimes you may see sponsored posts.  I might blog about something like Starbucks (which I LOVE, y'all know that), but it will also be 100% my own words & opinions even though I am compensated for my work, influence & reach.  

This is a good opportunity for me, as a stay-at-home-mom, to be able to help contribute to our family's income.  It's an answer to prayer.  My heart is to stay at home with my children & work from there.  

So, this is one of the ways that God has worked that out for me.

I'm super thankful!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Reclaiming Our Spaces: The Flow of Paper

Now that I have organized just about every major area of my house, I'm going to switch gears for a bit and talk about how my house functions.  My house can go from sparkling clean & perfectly organized to Crazytown in the course of an hour (read 2 small children live here).  I know if I don't stop every once in awhile & evaluate how things are working, we could get all cluttered up again in a hurry.

One of the biggies for me (& probably most of us) is paper that comes into the house.  It's overwhelming!  Way too much coming in.  Here's how I handle it:

1)  Mail:

Remove the junk.  Everything that is not vital gets thrown out.  No time for it.  No room for it.

Deal with it.  Some things can be read & then tossed, no need to even bring it inside.  I go through the mail in my car or the garage.  Keep that paper from ever getting into the house if you can!  If it's need to get filed, I have a to-be-filed box on my desk if I'm feeling lazy.  If I have time, I go ahead & file it.  If it's an invitation, I put it on the fridge because they make me happy.  I don't magazines anymore, because I don't want to deal with them.  Pinterest is my magazine these days.  If it's for my husband, I put it at the computer ; which is right by my to-be-filed box.

2) Receipts!! 

There are so many!  My husband got us this great app for our phones called Home Budget:

organize home

Using this app, I can input my receipt & it synchs with his right away & I can throw the receipt away after that (unless I need to file it for taxes).  It's nice to not have a purse full!  It's also nice to be instantly balanced at all times.

3)  Papers brought home from various places:  There has to be a home for these items. maybe it's in the to-be-filed box or out on the fridge or on the desk in a "to-do" box.  If they don't have a specific home, based on what it is, it will become clutter.

4)  Kid's Art:  I have heard some good ideas about this lately.  Some people take pictures and print them in a collage.  

organize home

How cute is That?

Some people keep the best art of the year & have one binder per year.  Some people keep a large gallery wall with cute frames to display the art until new art is created.

organize home

Martha Mcglothlin posted this on HGTV's Rate My Space

organize home
Scribbles and Such

I'm sure there are other things that I didn't mention, but these are the things that come to mind right away.  They can really be stressors, right?  Keep a paper recycling bin in your kitchen that is readily accessible & toss all that extra!

This week Holly organized her kids' closet!  Brave woman!!  Here's her post.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Quick & Easy Baby Knits By Sarah White

I have a bloggy friend named Sarah White.  

Her blog is called Our Daily Craft.  Her tagline is, "Helping Women Craft Every Day."  She blogs about crafts she does with her daughter, her own creative projects, recipes & things from her own life at home.   She is an amazing knitter.

In fact, she does it all the time.  Here's some proof:

This picture was taken at a recent blogger meet-up.  I love that she brought her knitting with her!  She is  so talented.  She has inspired me to give knitting a go again.  Sitting on the table there is her latest book!

Quick & Easy Baby Knits: 21 Cute Comfy Projects.  You can also find it on Amazon, at Hobby Lobby or Joanns.  She's not a bragger, but I'm here to tell you, she is kind of a big deal.  She has put together a super book on easy knitting projects for babies.  Her pictures demonstrating technique are really clear & helpful:

This is my favorite picture in the book:

If you are a knitter already, or you're thinking of getting into it,  you should get this book.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Reclaiming Our Spaces: Organizing A Little Girl's Room

organizing tips, Home organization

This week I thought I'd share what I've done to organize my daughter's room.  

She loves books, so I had to allow for a lot of places to keep them.  The ones that she uses the most we keep by her bed in this bin:

organizing tips, Home organization

We keep all of her dolls in this large basket at the foot of her bed:

organizing tips, Home organization

I store all her shoes in this organizer on the inside of her closet door:

organizing tips, Home organization

The rest of her books are here on top of her book shelf.  The larger ones are on the bottom shelf.  The bins hold all of the smaller toys.  I used to have them them separated into categories, but it never took.  Maybe I'll try again in a year?

organizing tips, Home organization

This is her vanity.  She has a lot of fun stuff to play with, so we keep a little bin by it to store it in.

organizing tips, Home organization

That's it.  I'm still looking for a cute storage trunk or ottoman to store all her dress-ups in, but no luck so far.  It's so fun decorating and organizing a little girl's room!

This week Holly worked on her kid's creative space.  It's a super cute room.  Check it out.


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