10 Simple Ways to Organize Your Kitchen

If your kitchen is like mine, it is Grand Central Station for your home. I know when my kitchen is organized, it is easier to find what I need, and to work more efficiently. Here are 10 simple ways to organize your kitchen.

Purge Your Cabinets

Take everything out of your cabinets and drawer. Think carefully, do you really need it all?  I am almost sure you will find, there are many things you need to get rid of or donate. Put back only what you need. Place the items that you want to donate in a box and put the box by your door. On your next trip out to your vehicle,  carry the box to your car, so it is ready to be dropped off.

Group Similar Items

With your cabinets empty, start to really think about the best way to group items in them. Look at the things you are keeping and arrange baking things together, serving pieces together and so on.

Think About Your Space

Next, think about the best cabinet or drawers to put those things. Drinking glasses are probably best by the sink and dishwasher. Remember, you want things to run as smooth as possible, so have your coffee maker near your mugs and your pot holders near your oven. Be mindful of this as you decide where everything you are keeping goes.

Use Clear Plastic Bins

Use clear bins and containers to organize things inside your cabinets. Small bins are perfect for containing hot cocoa packets, oatmeal packets and more. Food in tiny boxes like pudding, can be stored in clear containers, so  it does not get lost among larger items.

Another food or pantry storage idea, is to use clear mason jars. You can even vacuum seal them if you have a Food Saver with a jar device.

 

Go Through Your Food Storage Containers

Go through your food storage containers and get rid of anything you don’t have a lid for. Organize what you have left by placing the lids in a clear plastic bin, so they can be stored  vertically. If all you have is just a bunch of tired Chinese food containers with no lids, think about throwing it all out and starting with a set of quality food storage containers.

Utilize Space Effectively,

That cabinet above your refrigerator, microwave or oven can be fitted with vertical rack dividers that allow you to store cookie sheets, trays, platters and more. In my new kitchen, I chose to have these dividers built in. I can tell you, it is much easier to store cutting boards, baking pans, large platters, trays etc. I did this to the cabinet above my oven and the one over my refrigerator.

Organize Your Drawers

Pick up some bamboo drawer dividers to organize your utensils and cutlery. You can find ones that expand to fit a variety of drawer sizes.  Smaller plastic bins can help you contain pens, pencils, tape scissors etc. Allow yourself only one junk drawer if possible.

Tackle Your Refrigerator

Clean out your refrigerator. Wipe down all the surfaces inside and out. Go through all your food and condiments, and get rid of anything that is old, expired, or you don’t use. Grab some plastic bins and use them to organize your food especially smaller items like juice boxes, food pouches and smaller condiments. Another idea that can save you time is to organize items that you use to pack lunches for yourself or your kids. That way you can quickly grab things like yogurt, cheese sticks, juice boxes, fruit etc.

Get Under the Sink

Maximize your space under the sink with a 2 Tier Expandable Adjustable Under Sink Storage Shelves. This will maximize your space to store your cleaning products, soaps, sponges and more.

 

Hang It Up

Organize your mop, broom, dustpan and more with a hanging storage rack that you can mount to the inside of a closet or pantry door.

It is easy to organize your kitchen when you have the right tools. Weeding out the excess and organizing what you have will maximum your kitchen’s efficiency. With a streamlined and more organized kitchen you might find you like cooking and entertaining even more.


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“The Lion Guard: The Rice of Scar” Available Now & Download Themed Activity Sheets

Disney’s epic adventure The Lion King continues with Simba and Nala’s second-born cub, Kion, and his Lion Guard team as they continue on adventures together throughout the Pride Lands! Follow our group of unlikely heroes: Bunga the honey badger, Fuli the cheetah, Beshte the hippo and Ono the egret. Join this heroic band as they use their unique abilities to protect the Pride Lands and maintain the Circle of Life. As King Mufasa said,” Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance and respect all the creatures, from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope.”

This new movie is packed with laughs, music, beloved characters and heart, The Lion Guard: The Rise of Scar is a must-own for the entire family! Bring home this heroic adventure on Disney DVD today!

“After using the Roar of the Elders in anger, Kion unwittingly summons the Pride Lands’ greatest villain, Scar. David Oyelowo (“Selma”) guest stars as Scar and Landry Bender (Disney Channel’s “Best Friends Whenever”) guest stars as Makini, Rafiki’s spirited young mandrill apprentice. Christian Slater (Disney XD’s “Milo Murphy’s Law”) recurs as Ushari the snake.”

Check out the video clip below:

We want to share some awesome Lion Guard Activity Pages with you. Click the image below to print fun pages for your kids.

Let me know if your kids are excited to see this new Lion Guard movie?
 

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5 Family-Fun Valentine’s Day Activities

When you have a tribe of kids like I do, it can be hard to just get away with my husband. I know it is important, but sometimes, it is just not possible. We tend to embrace the time we do get alone together, no matter when it occurs. I guess, it is good that I am a, “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of girl. With Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought I would highlight some things you can do as a family to celebrate your own house full of love.

Bake Something Sweet

Set aside to bake some sweet treats. It does not have to be a complicated recipe. It should be something everyone can take part in. It can be as simple as opening up a box of cake mix and making some cupcakes. Let the kids take turns adding the ingredients and then pour the batter into some festive Valentine’s Day cupcake liners.

Make a simple buttercream frosting, or if you are so inclined, open up a can of ready-made frosting. I know it might get messy, but let the kinds help you frost the cupcakes. I like to pipe my frosting on, so it can be fun to let kids try that. Have some fun showing them the different tip patterns and let them take a guess as to what kind of design it will create.

To top your cupcakes, use candy conversation hearts, red, pink or purple sugar crystals, sprinkles, cinnamon candies or a milk chocolate heart placed in the center.

If you would rather make a cake, use heart shaped cake pans to make it fun. If you love baking like I do, you can find all kinds of festive cupcake liners, baking pans and decorative accents online or in your favorite store.

Make homemade cards for each other

Sit down at the kitchen or craft table with an assortment of cardstock, construction paper, markers, decorative paper punches, ribbons, stickers, crayons, paper lace doilies, glue sticks and scissors and craft homemade cards for each other. Have your child write a poem and print it out. Then glue the poem to the inside of the card.  There are so many great ideas on sites like Pinterest for inspiration.

Make a Fun Family Video or Photo Slideshow

Take all those great moments you have captured as photos or videos, and put them together to create a special slideshow or video. Editing software like Photoshop Premiere Elements 2018, makes it easy to make instant movies. You just put in the media, make some design choices and enjoy the results in minutes. You will love the way it turns out, and people will think you spent hours editing. If you don’t have that software, there are many other programs that will work. You probably already have something on your computer to do it. When finished, you can share it on social media, as well as, cast to your TV for everyone to enjoy together.

Make A Coupon Book

Cut out some dollar bill size strips of construction paper and then staple 10 together to form a coupon book. Give everyone a book and let the make coupons for things they would do for someone. Kids could offer to clean the bathroom, take out the trash, walk the dog etc. When everyone is finished, put the books in a bag or box and let each person pull out a random coupon book. If they pick their own, have them put it back and try again.

Have A Special Valentine’s Day Family Meal

Sit down together, and plan the menu for a special Valentine’s Day Breakfast or Dinner. Some breakfast ideas are heart-shaped waffles or pancakes. Dinner can be simple or elaborate. A heart-shaped cookie cutter can be used to create sandwiches in the shapes of hearts.

When you have decided on a meal and menu, assign everyone a part and work together to create a meal with love you can all share. Make your table super festive with Valentine’s Day linens and fun paper roses that the kids will have a blast making.

I hope these ideas gave you some inspiration on you can celebrate the love of your family this Valentine’s Day. Let me know some of your best family ideas for celebrating Valentine’s Day.


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Filed under Baking, Family Fun, Valentine's Day

The Queen and The Outcast-A Love Story from The Whole Damn Mess #WholeDamnMess

This post is sponsored by the One2One Network. As always, my words and views are 100% my own.

Do you believe opposites attract? While, it is true in magnets, there are differing opinions when it comes to finding love. How many couples do you know who split because they came from different worlds, were too different, did not enjoy any of the same things, were not on the same wavelength etc.? I am sure you can name a few.

On the flip side, you will find couples that claim the reason their relationship works so well, is due to their differences. How many times have you heard someone say their mate is the ying to their yang?

I think it is true that our differences can either make or break our relationships. I am sure many couples are in therapy seeking help because their differences are causing turmoil in their relationship. Not being on the same page when it comes to handling finances, raising children and religion, can cause a great deal of strife for couples.

As a writer, one piece of advice I give to aspiring bloggers, is to write about what you know. I suppose the same can be said to songwriters. Songs written about real feelings, issues and emotions create the music that others who have experienced the same things can strongly identify with.

With older children and younger children, I often find myself dealing with opposite ends of the parenting spectrum at the same time. In the same year, I could be found attending the preschool graduation of my youngest son and the graduate school graduation of my daughter. One week I am teaching my son to ride a two-wheel bicycle and then next cheering loudly as my daughter completes the NYC marathon.

My older kids are at the age where they come to me for advice (some more than others) on affairs of the heart. They may ask my opinion about new relationships, and differences in age, goals, religion, personalities, hobbies etc. My best advice, is not to be rigid in what they consider “their type” and instead keep an open mind. Many times, people find their true soul mate is nothing like the person they thought was “their type”.

Don Miggs, frontman for the band Whole Damn Mess, is a testimony of what can happen when you let go and stop trying to force your life in a certain direction. Caught up in the mindset of “fame and fortune” he was not getting anywhere fast. The rock star lifestyle that he thought would be a result of his fame, instead came from marrying the love of his life.

Self-admittedly, he has a little bit of a chip on his shoulder, that the mansion he lives in, is a result of who he married and not his own success. He learned to embrace his life for what it is. He and his wife came from different worlds and the band’s new album, The Queen and the Outcast is a unique love story for rock and roll dreamers.

Don along with his co-writer/producers Lawrence Katz and C. Todd Nielsen created a sound that embodies classic rock from the 70’s and 90’s mixed with modern energy. Don credits Katz and Nielsen for pushing him to keep the music and lyrics as personal and authentic as possible.

Don is not a kid, but he is not ready for the old age home just yet. He likes that this music celebrates that his generation, is not dead yet! The songs on this album are written to speak not preach, Don wants them to be part of legacy that his family can be proud of. He is less concerned with writing to get songs in the top 10, but feels it would be amazing if that happened.

My thoughts:

The songs are filled with real lyrics and emotions. You know they are coming from a person who knows has experienced what he is singing about. This makes for authentic songs filled with raw emotion and real passion.
If you have ever found yourself at a crossroads and looking for a reason to take a leap of faith, We Don’t Need a Reason, may sum up some of what you are feeling. In the end, the point is that sometimes people don’t need a reason to choose the path they do.

Another track I could identify with, and I think many of our readers may as well is, Be Good To Yourself. This song was written about Don’s wife and her struggle with postpartum depression. Even if you did not suffer from this, anyone can relate to the fact that we need to take time for ourselves. I know, I need to.

Anywhere Without You, is sweet because, it shows that even with the good and the bad, this person who loves you, does not want to go anywhere without you. Okay, as I write this, it sounds somewhat controlling and obsessive, people do need their own space, we must have boundaries, but really, it is not like that, lol. You can check out the video for this track below.

You can judge for yourself, because the album is being released today. Check out the track listing below:

TRACK LISTING:
1) And There They Were
2) We Don’t Need A Reason
3) Be Good To Yourself
4) Anywhere Without You
5) That’s Just How It Goes
6) Maybe We Should Do It
7) Helium
8) Summer Under Covers
9) When She Says
10) Got You Stuck in My Head

You can purchase this albut HERE. To purchase this album click HERE. Connect with The Whole Damn Mess on their website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Let me know what you think.


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“Fairy Mom and Me” Review and #BlogTour

I love reading to my kids, it is special time we love to spend together. I also want to instill in my children our family’s love of books. Funny chapter books are a favorite to read aloud. When I received Fairy Mom and Me, I was hooked from the first page. I loved the way it read, and my kids loved the story. The book is written by Sophie Kinsella and illustrated by Marta Kissi. 

Ella Brook’s mother is not like most moms. Ella’s mom can turn into a fairy anytime she shuts her eyes and says “Marshmallow.”  Just like magic, Ella’s mom has shimmering wings, a silver crown, can fly, disappear and do all sorts of other magic.

Ella’s mom is more of a high-tech fairy,  she just bought a new wand called the Computawand V5 that has magic powers, a computer screen and an Extra-Fast Magic button. Ella cannot wait until she is old enough to be a fairy like her mom. Ella has a dad and a one year old brother named Ollie. Most days Ella’s mom works as a boss in her office.

There is one problem, Ella’s mom always forgets the magic codes she needs to press into her computawand to cast spells. Pushing in the wrong code, always ends up in a big mess. Like the time they needed more milk in a hurry. Mom turned into a fairy and pushed a code into her wand, but instead of more milk, a cow appeared in the middle of the kitchen. The cow broke mom’s favorite cups, knocked things to the ground, and pooped on the kitchen floor.

When mom tries to fix things, it does not go much better. Another code produces a chocolate milk rain shower right in the kitchen. Trying to fix that, Mom punches in code after code, each brings another crazy mess and shows Mom needs to watch more fairy lessons on fairy tube with her teacher Fenella.

Another time, Ella was excited because Mom was learning the cupcake spell. It was Saturday and her best friends Tom and Lenka were coming for dinner along with her not best friend Zoe. Zoe did mean things to Ella, like spilling water on her lunch and pretending it was an accident. Zoe looked mad even when she was smiling. Since they lived next door to each other, their moms wanted them to be best friends.  Ella was excited about the cupcakes for dessert. If only, things went smoothly, but as usual, Mom messed up the codes and mayhem happened instead.

Each chapter is a disaster of a different kind. All start with Mom’s good intentions, but end up being disastrous. The last chapter is about field day at school. Ella’s aunt, who is also a fairy, comes and casts a spell that causes Ella to win unfairly. It leads to a squabble between Ella’s mom and aunt, and in the end, they use one more spell to rewind the whole event to the beginning. This time they do not use any spells and Ella and her friend Tom win the race because they worked together as a team. That is the best way to win!

This book is funny with mishap after mishap but in the end, kids learn they can do whatever they want with their own power, they don’t have to cheat, use magic spells or anything else.

About the Author:

SOPHIE KINSELLA is the author of the bestselling Shopaholic series, as well as the novels Can You Keep a Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, Remember Me?, Twenties Girl, I’ve Got Your Number, Wedding Night, and Finding Audrey. She lives in England. Visit her website at sophiekinsella.co.uk or find her on Instagram at @sophiekinsellawriter and Twitter at @KinsellaSophie.

About the Illustrator:

MARTA KISSI is a freelance illustrator living and working in London. She studied illustration and animation at Kingston University and completed her MA at the Royal College of Art. She now works on various children book projects as well as covers and editorial pieces for both children and adults.

Giveaway:

Delacorte Books is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings! One lucky blog reader will win their own hardcover copy of Fairy Mom and Me. Thank you to Delacorte Books for the review book and for sponsoring this magical giveaway on Mommy Ramblings! Open to US residents.

Fairy Mom and Me Book Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good Luck!!!

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Save 25% on Tickets to The Harlem Globetrotters 2018 World Tour

My kids are going to be super excited when I tell them we are going to see the Harlem Globetrotters soon. We saw them a couple of years ago, and we all loved it. Now, that they are older, I think they will be even more excited to see them and experience the action.

The Harlem Globetrotters are traveling around the country during their 2018 World Tour. Their star-studded roster featuring Big Easy Lofton, Ant Atkinson, Hi-Lite Bruton, Thunder Law, Bull Bullard and Cheese Chisholm – plus female stars TNT Lister, Ace Jackson and Hoops Green – the Harlem Globetrotters’ show is unrivaled in the world of family entertainment.

 

Their 2018 World Tour will showcase incredible ball handling wizardry, rim-rattling dunks, trick shots, hilarious comedy and unequaled fan interaction. After the game, Globetrotter stars will sign autographs and take photos with fans.

If you would like to see them, you will be happy to learn, you can SAVE 25% on tickets for ALL Harlem Globetrotters Games with promo code FUNFAM. For Tickets click HERE!


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Filed under Attractions, Entertainment, Family Fun, USFG

Baltic Amber as a Natural Teething Remedy

I am always looking for natural ways to treat common ailments. When I became a mother, I was even more obsessed in finding natural ways to help my baby deal with discomfort. The Tylenol and Motrin recommendations the doctor gives every single time I take my baby in to the doctor wasn’t cutting it for me. I don’t want to drug my baby.

Our Teething Experience

When Christina was a year old, she started having some issues with teething. She would cry for hours. She didn’t want to eat. She didn’t want to be held. She was just inconsolable.

I tried the natural ointment, essential oils and other remedies that I’ve found, but nothing worked well enough. I was starting to wonder if I needed to just let my guard down and give her the Tylenol.

Before I did that though, I wanted to try one more option – amber teething necklaces. I’ve heard of them and I had a couple of friends who swore by them, but to be honest, I didn’t understand how they worked.

How Amber Necklaces Work for Natural Teething Relief

I did some research on amber necklaces provided at www.balticwonder.com. Apparently, you need to purchase amber that is high quality. Amber is fossilized tree resin and it contains a treatment oil called Succinic Acid. When amber heats up, like with body heat, it releases the oil onto the skin, which then enters the bloodstream.

Succinic Acid is completely natural, and 100% safe for humans. Europeans and Middle Easterners have used it for centuries to cure many different ailments such as inflammation, headaches, aches, pains, and even colds, flus, and more.

Since I was able to do all my research on the Baltic Wonder site and they source their amber from Lithuania (the leader in authentic, high quality amber), I purchased a necklace. When I received it, there was a certification of authenticity inside of the package. I thought that was great. It made me feel good about the decision I made to buy from them.

I put the necklace on Christina, and she didn’t seem to notice. I guess because it’s so lightweight, she didn’t feel it. This was a relief because I thought she was going to pull on it and try to suck or bite it. She didn’t any of it. She just continued whining and playing.

I didn’t notice any changes in her behavior the first day. Of course, I realized that it needs longer than that.

The next day, I put the necklace on her again. She went on with her day, but it seemed as though she was much calmer. She ate a little bit more and her fever had decreased a little. It seemed like it was working, but I didn’t want to be quick to judge it.

It was the third day that I realized that Christina was no longer bothered by her teething. Of course, I also thought that maybe she was done cutting her latest tooth. I wanted to continue using the necklace to be sure it worked. Every day for the next three months, I placed the necklace around her neck, and guess what? We haven’t had any more teething problems. She’s a happy baby again and she has two new teeth.

I am very thankful for the amber necklace that I purchased from Baltic Wonder. It was exactly what I needed to naturally relieve my baby’s teething discomfort. I would recommend it to anyone who doesn’t want to give their baby Tylenol and/or Motrin. What’s even better is that if baby gets sick, it can help with that too. Amber is a great remedy, and I am so glad that I have found it.

This is a sponsored guest post. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Mommy Ramblings.


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Filed under Baby, Baby Gear, sponsored guest post

The Perfect Gift For the Angler in Your Life – #MTB #HappyFishing

Do you have a favorite angler in your life? Maybe you have a few. I know, I do! Living in Trout Town, USA, I have more than a few dedicated and hobby anglers on my family tree. My oldest 2 sons love fishing, Fly fishing in the Beaverkill River or fishing on the lake we live on, is one of their favorite things to do. On vacations, they  love to go deep-sea fishing too.

When I saw Mystery Tackle Box subscription boxes, I thought they were a great idea. They have 2  different kinds of boxes, the MTB Regular or the MTB Pro. In addition to the boxes, you can opt to give a gift certificate, which can bring your favorite fisherman months of excitement. The boxes come with free shipping. and you can cancel at any time.

MTB boxes are a great value, the regular box is only $14.99 and contains about $25 in products. The MTB Pro box gives you about $40 in gear for just $24.99.  Below I recorded a very short video of what we received in our MTB Regular Box. My son is going to do a more in-depth video about the products. I will share it with you soon.

 

Mystery Tackle Box also provides Happy Learning on their website in the form of expert tips and tricks to help you catch the big one!  Let me know what you think of Mystery Tackle Box in the comments, and #HappyFishing


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Filed under hobby, Outdoor, Outdoor Fun, USFG

Connecting Imaginations with Brackitz Bugz Playpark #Giveaway

If I told you about a park for bugs, would you think I was losing my mind? Probably, but I am going to tell you about something like that. The Brackitz Bugz Playpark has 47 pieces including a motorized vibrating bug, using the direction you can build over 20 different play parks and obstacles. Race your motorized bug through fun and crazy obstacles like the Toppling Tower, Super Spinner or make your own unique creation. Every race and playpark combination is different, the possibilities are endless. Best of all, no helmet required!

The bug has 2 skins that you can put on the motorized unit so you can change-up your bug’s look. This set is a lot of fun and we had a blast with it. We put it on our 2017 Gift Guide because it was such a hit at our house for kids and adults (big kids). Enter below for your chance to win this same set.

 

 

Giveaway:

Brackitz is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings. One lucky blog reader will win their own Brackitz Bugz 47 Piece Playpark Set! Thank you to Brackitz for the review Play Set and for sponsoring this amazing giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!! Open to US residents.

Brackitz Bugz 47 Piece Playpark Set Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Enter for your chance to win using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good Luck!!!

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Filed under Creative Activities, Gift, Giveaway, Holiday Gift Guide, kids, Review, Toys

Lagoonies The Under The Sea Search Game #Giveaway

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