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ten best strategies for de-cluttering and organizing toys in your child’s playroom.

My daughter, Emily, is the queen of a messy room. We get her room picked up and she's right back in there messing it up. Then, she doesn't want to go in there because it's too messy and then she's hounding me, looking for something to do.

One day, I just got fed up with it and sat down and decided to get her room organized. We took the following steps to organize and declutter her room.

Ten best strategies for de-cluttering and organizing toys in your child’s playroom.
1. Draw a diagram of your child's room to find where to put toys.
2. Purchase plastic bins in several sizes-organize toys first by size to see what sizes you need.
3. Go through their closet and toy bins and see if there are any toys that are broken, or that they no longer play with and get rid of them.
4. Purchase a toy box with different containers and put toys that they don't play with as much in this toy box in the closet.
5. Organize toys by "topic" like cars, dolls, etc. Put these in bins that are labeled as such.
6. Go through toys monthly, cleaning out broken toys and outgrown toys to keep toys at a minimal and save time and space later.
7. Use your closet's top shelves-rotate toys to this shelf and kids will feel like they have "new" toys when you bring out the toys that haven't been played with for awhile.
8. Store bigger toys in basement to free up space in child's room.
9. Use the space under child's bed. Purchase a slider bin on wheels and keep books and crayons and stuff like that for easy access.
10. Get your child involve. Make it fun to keep their things organized and soon, they will keep toys put away and decluttered.

Things have been working out well for us and her room looks very organized and pretty. She likes that things have a place to go and makes it easy to keep her room picked up and organized.
She is excited to show her friends when they come over and they all keep the toys organized and put them back in the right bin when done. It's even taught her to read new words by looking at the labeled bins over and over.

It really isn't hard to stay organized and decluttered. You just have to make a decision to do so and stick with it!

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hot Wheels® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.” (make sure you link to


Ten time-savings tips

With running two businesses (three, really with my blogs) and being a mom and wife, I really need to find ways to make my life easier. I've learned with time what works and what doesn't.
I've listed ten time-saving tips to share for all you busy moms out there:

Tip one:

When it's school season, try to get things ready the night before. Make lunches if they take a cold lunch. Lay out clothes for next day, etc.

Tip two:

Get a chalk board for your kitchen. Writing out the schedule for the week is not only time-saving, it keeps you organized. The two go hand-in-hand to help you out.

Tip three:

Speaking of writing down schedules. Assign chores to your children-and husband. Us moms have a tendency to do it all ourselves. Ask for help if you need it. Reward everyone with a trip to the zoo with the free Saturday you end up having.

Tip four:

Shop once a month instead of weekly. Stock up on supplies and buy in bulk. This will help free up lots of time. Who really likes grocery shopping anyway? This way, you eliminate three trips!

Tip five:

Shop early for holidays. Start getting xmas gifts throughout the year. Then, around Xmas time, you will be able to sit back while others are running around.

Tip six:

Carpool with other moms. If your kids are in a lot of sports, ask other moms to share with driving.

Tip seven:

Make dinners ahead of time. Start on a Monday and make your dinners for the week and freeze them. This is an awesome time-saving tip!! You can finds lots of freezable dinner recipes online on food blogs and sites.

Tip eight:

Pick one day to do laundry. Believe it or not, some moms do laundry three or four times a week. Don't do it! Tell everyone to have their baskets in their rooms and that you will only be doing laundry on Sunday, or Monday, etc. -and stick to it!

Tip nine:

Check emails in the early morning (or, late night) when things are calm. You will find that you can answer them more quickly if you aren't being bothered by "mom stuff".

Tip ten:

Have one big party instead of many. This tip works if you have several birthdays, holidays, ect. in one month. Invite the whole family over at one time and make it a big birthday bash. This is for those big families as well. We all know how busy they must be!

"I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Starbucks blogging program, for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”


10 Tips for Keep your family safe on the road

Do you ever think about safety when on the road? Families have a tendency to think more about their destination then the trip to there.

Keeping your family safe during a road trip can mean the difference between a pleasant trip and a disasterous one.

Have you ever thought about your windshield when planning a trip? Windshields can cause major accidents and families could have avoided it by simply checking their windows for small cracks.

Here are some facts about car windshield safety:

A chip could turn into a crack at any time, often when you are least expecting it. Windshield repair is often a safe and economical alternative to a full windshield replacement.

Scheduling a windshield chip repair is easy! Companies like Safelite AutoGlass provide mobile service – wherever your car is – often within 24 hours of your initial call.

Safelite AutoGlass brings you peace of mind by emailing you a Technician Profile before your appointment, showing you a photograph and credentials of the technician coming to your home or place of business.

So what can you do to stay safe during a road trip (or any time)?

- Make sure you are well rested before taking a trip if you are the one driving.
Stay clear
-Keep your mind clear and focused on your driving to avoid going off the road.
Make stops
-Allow enough time for plenty of stops to refresh yourself.
Bring plenty of things to do
-Bring toys and things for youngsters to do to avoid fights and distractions.
Two drivers
-If you can, have two drivers to take turns to avoid falling asleep at the wheel.
Check car
-Before you go on your trip, have your car checked for low tires, chips in windshield, etc.
Bring plenty of water
-Staying well hydrated will keep you more alert.
Bring emergency supplies
-Always have emergency road service supplies in trunk in case of emergency.
Bring a cell phone
-Have a phone in case of emergency and have your insurance number and emergency contact handy.

Do a last minute check

Check your car over right before you leave to make sure tires are safe and there are no chips in your windows.

What ideas do you have to make a road trip safe?
Leave a comment and let me know!
“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Safelite blogging program, for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”


Little switches can make a difference in your life!

Sometimes, life can get a bit boring. Even if you have the perfect marriage, you are the perfect mom, and your job is your dream job. Yes, sometimes you have to "switch it up" to keep things exciting! That's why I try to change things up a bit from time to time. Here are a few things I do in our family life.
Bringing back date night. My husband and I try to go out on date night, but not just eat out like we used to. We are trying new things together (nothing kinky, dont worry!) . We never go to the movies because we think the prices are crazy, but we just recently went to a Mystery Dinner! It was a blast!

Surprise trip. We also like to plan a trip (close to home)- I mean we DONT plan it. Sometimes, it's exciting to just get in the car and go. We have map quest on our phones so we dont get lost and we look up something nearby. We ended up turning a trip to fix a phone into a shopping day and I still think about how much fun we had. A trip doesnt have to cost a lot of money. Think of something thats cheap or even free and surprise your family!

Order in. We like to try different types of food other then the normal ordering pizza, so once in awhile, we get brave and order something we've never tried before.
Going out-alone. Yes, sometimes getting away from each other can switch things up. going out shopping alone refreshes things for me.
Taking the kids. Switching things by TAKING the kids on a date night. We can have fun with the kids coming too. Let them pick what you do for a change.
Family night. We dont have too many chances for family night, so planning a game night helps keep everyone updated on whats going on.
Taking kids out by themselves. I like to surprise the kids by taking them out by themselves and letting them pick where to go. They really love this and they can be a little more nicer and willing to help out more when I do this.
What do you do to switch things up in your life? SocialMoms and Cottonelle want to know and they are giving away a $25 gift card! Stop by and find out how you can win at: .
“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Cottonelle blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”


How do you keep your family happy?

Raising a family is very hard. You need to make sure they are healthy and safe, but have you thought about how to keep them happy? I have been going through a "happy" crisis with my kids at the moment. I have a six year old and fifteen year old at home (my oldest that lives on her own is on her own for happiness-lol) . When you have a teen, happiness is so hard to come by these days. I've been trying to keep him happy lately by helping him with his new found interest- kickboxing. The cost of kickboxing can be a lot, but sacrifising so your kids are happy, is part of a parents job, isn't it? He's also discovered girls, so he has been wanting better clothes and contacts. Yikes! The thing is, I will do what it takes to help him through the dreaded teen years. I know they can be hard and can have lasting effects. My youngest is going through a boredom crisis, so we've been trying to find out what works to keep her happy as well. Summer is coming up soon and I dread having to find entertainment for her on a daily basis. Lately, I have found that she simply wants to spend more time with me. Simple, yet hard to come by free time when you have two businesses. We both like to draw, so I've found that is easy to fit in my schedule. I'm sure that lots of parents find it hard to find free time to keep their family happy. We did just take our first trip together in a long time. We didn't go far-actually, we even stayed in the same state. A little trip, but this was the best time we all had together in a long time. So, I guess sometimes happiness can cost you a lot in money, and other times, it doesn't cost you a dime to keep your family happy. Social Moms and Farm Rich want to know what you do to keep your family happy? They are even highlighting excerpts from your posts, tweets and tips to be collected and featured on, and distributed across the web for all to see! You can also have a chance to win $25 gift card from Walmart. “I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Farm Rich blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”


Redbox is cool!

Have you heard about Redbox?

My daughter told us about this awesome way to rent movies. No lines. Convience. Cheap rental.

During St. Patrick’s Day month, Redbox is having a Lucky to Have Friends Like You promotion to give everyone a chance to find out how great they are!

Sign up here and spread the word about redbox and you'll earn a free online rental credit every time a friend rents online using your referral link through March 17th.

I am entering a giveaway for free redbox movies and movie snack packs as a member of the Mom Bloggers Club.

10 tips for getting away with great family travel deals.

It's getting to that time of the year when we start thinking about vacations. Because of our schedules and limited time and finances, I have to get creative when it comes to saving money. This allows us to be able to give our kids the chance to get away once in a while.

Alamo and Social Moms have teamed up because they want to know how families beat the rising cost of everything and what deals they use to make it happen!

Here are ten tips I use to get away:

1. Go on off season. We always go off season when we travel. Especially when we go to Florida. November is the best month to go in my opinion. It's not as hot and the lines are shorter.

2. Use company deals. The company my mom worked for offers special deals to their employees. They also have nice suites and cabins at very discounted prices, which is very cool!

3. Online coupons. I love using the internet for deals. Check different travel sites to find packages.

4. Booking a package. Booking your rental car and flight together will save you tons!

5. Save up points. If you belong to My Rewards or other point rewards programs, you can save them up and cash them in at resturaunts and other places to shop while on vacation.

6. Miles. Use your frequent miles-everyone should know about this!

7. City deals. We will be going to St. Louis this summer and by checking online, I discovered that you can get a city membership/pass to go to different attractions at discounted price-oh yeah!

8. Groupon. This is becoming very popular. Check to see if you can get a deal for the place/attraction you want to go to.

9. Stay close. Going to a neighboring city will save gas and time. Find out what attractions are near to where you live and enjoy a vacation near home. Sometimes, these are more relaxing then going far away.

10. Free tickets. Buy one get one free tickets save a fortune, like Adventureland or places like that. Look at your local supermarket to see if they carry them.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Alamo blogging program, for a gift card worth $25.


What if you were abducted?

What would your kids miss most about you if you were abducted by aliens?
When we started first seeing the commercials for Disney's new movie, Mars Needs Moms, I wondered if my kids would even notice I was gone. Then, I really started getting curious about what it was they would notice that I did for them. I always tell them that I do way too much for them and they could never survive without me (my husband included).

We started to make a game out of it, by having the kids not come and ask me to help them with anything that they might come across during the day. Boy, by the end of the day, they really realized how much they would miss me if I was gone-I would hope that a simple, I miss you cause I love you would fall in the equation.

Funny, that Social Moms and Disney would have a contest to do with what kids would miss if their mom was abducted by aliens. They are asking for moms to list ten things that their kids would miss if THEY were abducted.

Here are our top ten things your kids would miss most about you if you were abducted by aliens:

1. Making them after school snacks-it's not like I don't put fruit and Little Debbies in our cupboard and fridge for easy access.
2. Finding lost toys and other items-this is a big problem in our house. If it's not right in front of their nose, they can't seem to open drawers or lift anything to see.
3. Reading games- The littlest one cant fully read her games, so mom to the rescue.
4. Taking them to the store-dad could do it, but won't.
5. Cuddle with them before bedtime-awwwww!
6. Keeping fights at bay-they would kill each other if I wasn't here.
7. Helping with homework-or, should I say, DOING homework.
8. Hugs- That one was definitely just Emily. Maybe Jordon would miss them-maybe.
9. Feed the dogs-they would miss the dogs if they starved to death.
10. Make the best desserts-They love my cupcakes.

Do I have you thinking what your kids would miss? Ask them and see what they come up with!
“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here


Simple changes

This year I wanted to change some things in my family's life to help make it better. I felt like we live a fast paced life and not the most healthy one either. I knew I had to do something when my son went as far as to have a teacher print out what healthy foods kids should eat. Oh boy what an eye opener! I knew I really didn't pay attention to our health, but I didn't know that my kids wanted to be healthier as well.

When I heard about Social Moms and Simply Orange wanting to know what simple changes people have been making in their lives, I had to get on board!

I didn't really want to make these New Year's Resolutions, just changing our way of life. Here are simple changes we made in our lives.

1. Change what we eat for breakfast. All of us either skip breakfast, or grab something fast. Usually, that meant a doughnut or fast food. Now, I make it a point to send the kids off with something nutritious, like an orange or oatmeal in a container that they can take with. On weekends, it's eggs and wheat toast.

2. Sit down for meals. Dinner was eaten in the living room in front of the tv. Now, we sit at the table, which allows us to spend time together to find out what the kids did at school.

3. Exercise. Another simple change was adding family exercising. Taking a walk together a couple of times a week allows us to spend time together and get in shape too!

4. Going on a budget. This may seem hard, but it was quite simple. Now, we have more money to spend on family night!

5. Be nicer. This is the most simple change you can do in your life. Being positive to others in your life can bring positive into your life. I've been trying to stop and take a breath before lashing out if I am in a bad mood. Not taking it out on others keeps you from feeling guilty later.

What simple changes would you make in your life if you could? Or, what changes have you made already? I would love to hear from you, or you can join Social Moms and list your own to win $25 Target card.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Simply Orange® blogging program. If I am one of the first 65 blogs received by SocialsMoms, I will receive a $25 Target gift card and a gift pack that includes a Simply Orange® cooler bag and logoed fleece."