Small space living is not ideal, but I make it work thanks to the abundance of helpers out there that 1) support my slight hoarding habits and 2) keep my house somewhat organized. I have a small rental kitchen, and despite the fact that I have way too much stuff (and I own it!), I stay extremely organized and you can too! These 15 products are perfect for organizing your kitchen cabinets, so no matter how much or how little space you have, you experience Zen at home.
A lot of holiday seasons go by where I am totally and utterly irresponsible with my spending habits. I think, "It's Christmas! I can spend as much money as I need to on presents. It's called the Season of Giving for a reason!" This mindset always comes back to bite me in January, because while it is fun to go shopping for gifts, it's not fiscally smart to blow your whole bank account. This year, I've decided to be more thoughtful in my gifting, while also trying to save money. Homemade gifts, if done well, are the best to receive. And what's more homey than a canned recipe? While I'm trying to decide what to can and give, I've found a lot of great recipes along the way, and I'm sharing them with you today! Keep reading for my favorite canned gifts to make and give in bulk.
While the food and decor are usually the major focus for Thanksgiving preparations, it's worth thinking about what happens on Thanksgiving Day before and after the feast. Whether you want games to keep the kids busy while the adults are cleaning up, or family activities that everyone can do together, we have some ideas for fun Thanksgiving family games that might even distract everyone from rehashing the same old arguments. (MIGHT! We can't promise any miracles.)
I don't know about you, but one of the things I hate about winter (and there are many) is the lack of fresh vegetables from the garden or local farm stand. There's nothing like a fresh tomato picked that very day. But today we have some tips for preserving that delicious bounty of produce that we will soon lack. These ideas will help you to eat healthier throughout the long run, and they'll also help you to waste less food in the short term. Read on for tons of great ideas!
While many Americans think that summer starts on Memorial Day, it officially begins on summer solstice, usually June 21 in the Northern hemisphere. The longest day of the year seems like the ideal excuse for a party, so here are some ideas for a backyard celebration of midsummer. And if you don't get around to throwing a summer solstice party, there's no expiration date on these outdoor party ideas!
Meal prep has been a popular topic in the blogospher for a while now, and with good reason... it's a great way to get in the habit of eating healthy meals and controlling portion size. But it just doesn't work for me - and here are five reasons why.
With Mother's Day right around the corner, many of us are on the hunt for gifts for those new moms out there. The best gifts usually involve something that will save her time or give her a bit of extra time to herself. So we've done the research and rounded up the best ideas from around the web. Here are 17 gifts for new moms that will put a smile on her face this Mother's Day (or any day of the year!).
Photo: Blue Apron
1. Meal Delivery Gift Card - Give mom the gift of delicious food while she's adjusting to having a new baby in the house. There are tons of great options... Blue Apron is probably the most well known, but others include Sun Basket, Freshly, Plated and Hello Fresh. And Nurture Life is specifically for kid's meals and they come already cooked.
2. Night of Free Babysitting - After weeks and weeks of all-things-baby, mom is probably desperately in need of a few hours to herself. A night of free babysitting is one of the best gifts you can give her, so she can go out on the town with her other half or just have some much-needed alone time.
Photo: Original Baby
3. Ba Baby Bottle Holder - This clever bottle attachment helps babies as young as three months hold their own bottle, allowing mom to have both hands free to do work or chores around the house while baby eats. Which may not seem like a big deal, but when you're short on time it is a wonderful help. Head over to Amazon to buy one.
4. Homemade Meals To Put In Freezer - If you like to cook, whip up a large batch of something that is freezable and bring pre-portioned servings over to mom. This will be especially welcome for brand new moms who have their hands full feeding baby and don't have time to cook for themselves. Great freezable options include things like chili, chicken soup, beef stew and lasagna.
5. Monthly Product Delivery Membership - Automating the delivery of products is becoming popular, and with good reason... it eliminates the need to remember/go out to buy large items that you use on a daily basis. Things like paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, vitamins, snacks, self care products, etc. are great things to schedule monthly delivery of. Get mom set up with Amazon, Public Goods (for self care), Petsmart (for pet food) or Grove Collaborative (for all-natural home products).
6. Jawbone Activity Tracker - Give active moms an activity tracker to help them figure out a new daily routine. Jawbone helps you track your steps, but also things like food, sleep and heart rate to make sure everything is where it should be. Other similar products include FitBit, Garmin Forerunner, and the Samsung Gear Fit2.
7. Mobile Photo Printer - We all take a lot of pictures these days, now that our smart phones allow us to keep a camera on hand at all times... but new moms may take the most! But it's difficult to find the time to get those images printed. Give her a compact photo printer like Sprocket so she can easily print out all of those adorable images and hang them up on the wall.
8. Owlet Smart Sock - The Owlet Smart Sock silently tracks an infant's heart rate and oxygen levels while they sleep so mom can rest easy. And the more sleep for mom, the better! If anything is wrong, Owlet will send an alert right to her phone.
9. Audible Membership - If mom loves to read but can't find the time anymore (because sleep usually trumps reading when you're overtired!), buy her a membership to Audible. She can listen to books in the car, or even at home while she's breastfeeding or cooking dinner. The first month is free, and it is $14.95 per month after that.
10. Swoop Toy Bag + Playmat - The Swoop Toy Bag + Playmat is a simple yet genius product that will save tons of time during cleanup... just set up Legos or blocks on the mat and then pull the drawstring when the kids are finished playing. Genius! They come in different sizes and make a great portable bag for bringing toys elsewhere too.
11. Local Coffee Shop Gift Card - Combat sleep deprivation with some extra caffeine in the form of a gift card to a local coffee shop. Mom gets a jolt of energy, and a local establishment gets some extra business... everybody wins!
12. A Storage Box Filled With Cute Greeting Cards - If mom never missed a birthday or a holiday before, odds are she'll still want to send greeting cards to her friends after she's had a baby... but the logistics of going out to the store to buys cards are much more complicated now! Buy her a large variety of cards and put them in a cute storage box with dividers for different holidays. Add a book of stamps to complete the package!
13. Workout DVDs - If she loves to work out but doesn't have enough time to get to the gym, buy her a couple of at-home workout DVDs. That way, she doesn't have to bundle up baby every time she wants to go to the gym to work out... she can simply pop in the DVD when baby is down for a nap.
14. Mani Pedi Gift Card - Everybody needs a little bit of pampering every now and then, but especially a new mom. Get her a gift card to a highly rated nail salon near her using a service like SpaFinder... you can search by location and service and then buy a gift card right on their website. Mom will feel like a queen!
15. Multi Cooker - This clever appliance does triple duty as a slow cooker, pressure cooker and a steamer... so not only will she save space, but she'll also be able to take advantage of the joys of a slow cooker - set it and forget it! Or if she's running behind, use the pressure cooker to get things moving right along. Here is a highly-rated one from Amazon.
Photo: Summer Infant
16. Pacifier Thermometer - Keep track of baby's temperature with this genius thermometer and pacifier in one! The small screen on the front glows red if a fever is detected, alerting mom right away to any problems. Check out the Summer Infant Pacifier Thermometer here.
17. Monthly Subscription Activity Box - Monthly Subscription boxes make great gifts for moms who love to buy educational toys for her kids, but may not have the time to research and purchase the best ones on the market. Services such as Milestones or Hoppi Box will do the work for you, sending curated packages monthly filled with the best educational items for the little ones.
Is there anything better than pretty decor you can eat? I'm a big fan of edible decor for the holidays! It makes me feel like Willy Wonka telling guests that things are edible, and now you can achieve that same feeling with this incredibly easy edible gumdrop garland that you can string across a section of your home for guests to grab gumdrops from while they mingle. If nothing else, these sugary candies add a little color to your holiday!
Here's the situation: It's summer. It's scorchingly hot outside, the sun is beating down, the A/C seems to be broken, and you just can't stop sweating. On top of all this, you still haven't had your morning cup of coffee yet! What do you do?? Well, if I were you, I'd whip up some of these delicious mocha caramel coffee popsicles (say that five times fast) to prepare yourself for any worst case scenario!
Don't Only Spend Mother's Day with Your Kids - This DIY Get-Together with Besties is a Special Treat
On Mother's Day, it's lovely to be the recipient of a nice gift or thoughtful activity from your child or partner. But why limit the awesomeness to a single morning? This Mother's Day, we vote to celebrate not just once, but as much as you possibly can. To start, why not have all your nearest and dearest mama friends over for a fun workshop and tasty treats? It doesn't have to be complicated or super fancy. Like all things related to the holiday, it's the thought that counts. Here's a sure way to throw a successful little celebration in honor of all those gals that need a little extra "me" time along with an afternoon of fun.
Ever since we moved into our new house, I had been searching for a fun piece of art that could hang in the empty space above the sink. And then my utensil drawer started getting too full... and I had an idea. Why not make a functional piece of artwork that could store utensils right on the wall? Then all of your often-used tools would be handy - no need to search through a drawer to find the peeler anymore. Keep reading to check out the final piece and to find out how to make one of your own.
A functional piece that looks pretty, too... what could be better than that? And here's the best part - it's incredibly easy to make.
Here's what you'll need to make your own kitchen utensil wall art:
- 16x20" silver tone frame
- 16x20" piece of wood, 3/8" thick
- Penetrating wood stain
- Rubber gloves (not pictured, but highly recommended)
- 1" long nails
- 5-7 kitchen utensils, all stainless steel (or some type of silver tone)
Begin by staining your wood according to the directions on the can. You'll want to wear a pair of rubber gloves to protect your skin from the stain. Trust me. I learned the hard way... they call it "stain" for a reason!
Next wipe off any excess stain with a rag after the proper amount of time has gone by (whatever your brand of stain recommends). Let it dry thoroughly overnight.
Next, lay out your utensils on the board the way you'd like them to look in the final piece and mark where the nails should go.
Hammer the nails into the board in their designated spots. Be sure not to hammer them all the way through, and do protect your work surface if you're using something that you'd rather not ruin. Hammer them in at a slight upward angle so the utensils don't slide off when you hang them up.
Open up the frame and take the glass out (save it for another project!). Remove the utensils from the wood momentarily and insert the wood into the frame. Bend the metal prongs down so the hold the wood in place.
And you're done! Mount it on the wall in your kitchen without the utensils on it, then hang them up after. Because I wanted to mount mine on tile, I used strong 3M Command Strips (the velcro style) to mount a 2x1/2" piece of 1' long wood which I then hung the frame on.
Now every time I go to make pancakes or open a bottle of wine, I have everything I need within arm's reach. And now my kitchen looks a little bit cooler too.
If you decide to make your own kitchen utensil wall art, feel free to share the link to it in the comments section below. Happy crafting!
Eating should be fun! (It usually is.) Get happy in the kitchen with these 15 colorful dishes that are sure to delight your diet!
It's no secret that the Super Bowl is this Sunday. Which means there will be plenty of football, crazy commercials, and a whole lot of food. If you need help with that last one, I have you covered. Here are seven super bowl recipes with beer on the ingredients list.
This eggnog french toast recipe looks so delicious. It's the perfect weekend breakfast to get into the holiday spirit, and it's actually easy to make, since it's only five ingredients.
Well, it's officially August, and the summer ice cream recipes are still flowing pretty steadily around the web (and on Pinterest). Honestly though, I never give all those recipes a second thought, no matter how delicious they may look, because I don't have that magic thing that I need: an ice cream maker. Luckily though, I have good news on that front...I will most definitely be paying more attention to those ice cream recipes now because it turns out, you can make your own ice cream without a machine. All you need is a tin can. Well, you actually need two tin cans, but I think you catch the drift. Intrigued? Click through to learn the process.
Valentine's Day is next week, which means it's time to get busy with the treat making! We're here to help with 25 simple, homemade treat ideas that will make perfect "thinking of you" gifts for neighbors, teachers, co-workers, play-date parents, kids, or anyone on your V-Day list!
A sweet and spicy combo can't be beat -- I have a feeling these coconut cayenne cacao balls will land a seriously delicious punch!
In case you hadn't heard, Halloween is right around the corner! We've decided to eat our way to the finish line with some of these sweet and savory -- and oh-so-spooky -- treats! Happy haunting!
Mmm... fruit leather. This healthy snack is a cinch to make at home using whatever fruit floats your boat!
It's time to roll up your sleeves and dust off your rolling pin because the baking season is coming. Feeling unprepared? If you need to freshen up your baking skills before the heavy-hitting months of November and December roll in, I'd start with one of the basics: apple pie. Here's a recipe to wet your appetite.