Tag Archives: children

The Personal Puzzle {31 Days of Life. Contained.}

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This post is part of a series called 31 Days of Life. Contained. Want to catch up on the entire series? Click here. Want to stay connected and not miss another post? Follow me on facebook.


The kids are screaming in the backseat and Mom and Dad are staring at the 5.3 hours left on the ETA, ready to pull their hair out.

“Are we there yet?” “He’s touching my sleeve.” “I’m starving.” “There’s nothing to do.” fills the air and turning on classical music doesn’t always help.

Mozart does not solve everything.

A diversion is desperately needed, but you have nothing in your car.

Sound familiar?

Ok, maybe this scenario will ring a bell.


You are racing against the clock as you browse the clearance racks at Target. Lunch time was forty-five minutes ago, the normally scheduled nap time is in twenty, the baby needs to be nursed and you have a thirty minute drive home.

As a result, you’re shopping like a crazed woman. You are on a mission—hunting for bargains, browsing through the 70% off racks and stuffing necessary coupons in your pockets to give to the clerk later at checkout.

You’re doing it, though. You’re getting it done.

All noises have faded to mere background cacophany as you try to serve your family by being the best financial economist you can be, a true Proverbs 31 woman, a wise steward of your hard earned cash.

Then one lone cry pierces through your trance-like shopping expedition.

“Mommy, my pants are wet.”

Grrrreat. And you forgot to add a change of clothes for your three-year old to the diaper bag this morning.


I’ve been there.

I’ve apologized to the Burlington Coat Factory employee as I sheepishly pointed out the wet puddle on the carpet behind me.

And at Babies R Us.

Yes, my face was pink.

It happens.

I’ve stripped my kids of their wet clothing and squeezed them into a size 2 diaper meant for a baby twenty pounds lighter than them. Or worse yet with no alternative action, I’ve simply lined their car seats with brown paper towels from the public bathroom and plopped their wet tushes down for the ride home.

I have totally been there.

Why do I find myself in these frustrating mom moments?

I’m not always as prepared as I should be.

After over a decade of motherhood and five kids, I’ve learned a few things along the way—most of them from embarrassing issues like those mentioned above. Here’s my emergency zone to remedy these situations.

the personal puzzle

This is a handy dandy car organizer that I purchased on clearance at Target a few years back. It is stuffed with all the necessities of those life emergencies that we sometimes find ourselves in.

Puzzled about what to put in it?

creating a kid zone for the car

I have an extra change of clothing for my three youngest children (5, 3 and 1). This entails a full outfit change with socks—underwear for the five and three year old.

Select a seasonally appropriate outfit and remember, it is a spare change of clothes in case of an emergency. Don’t pick an outfit that will be missed from their wardrobe.spare kids clothes in the car

Diapers and wipes for the baby. car storage for moms

Hand sanitizer and pocket tissues for dirt, germs and sticky situations.car organizer for mommies

Small toys, books and healthy snacks can also go a long way in maintaining peace while traveling. I try to select snacks that will handle storage in the car well, the elements and lots of bodies pressing in.

car organization for mommies

Here’s my complete list for surviving life with little ones while meeting their personal needs.mom storageThere you have it. My answer for solving the little personal puzzles in life…well, in my car, actually.

A car organizer for moms—because my purse just isn’t big enough for all of this. 😉


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Ever find yourself needing something personal? Do you have a dedicated spot for helping with those unexpected moments in life? Any other mortified moms out there? Take a moment to pack some extra gear in your car for emergency purposes. This post may have been written for mommies, but it really applies to anyone. What are some things in your life that you may need to have handy? Wipes. Snacks. Gum. Socks. Clean t-shirt. Tylenol. Create an emergency zone in your car to meet personal needs.

Thanks for reading,


The Hair Bow Hole {31 Days of Life. Contained.}

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This post is part of a series called 31 Days of Life. Contained. Want to catch up on the entire series? Click here. Want to stay connected and not miss another post? Follow me on facebook.


Hair bows. Hair bands. Head bands. They are everywhere.

the hair bow hole

With four girls and a mama under one roof, I guess that this is bound to be an issue.

You know those adorable hair bow organizers made from ribbon or chicken wire and a picture frame that you see on Pinterest? Don’t you love those? Me too.

kid-friendly hair bow storage

Only I don’t have one.

My organizational system is in their bathroom closet—behind closed doors. I like to call it the grab-n-go method. The drop-n-run method. Selecting and storing hair bows has to be quick and simple.

hair bow storage

I’m using some of my favorite baskets from Target and a tall glass jar that I had. Using what you have certainly works well.

The girls know exactly how to tidy up and store their hair things. Notice I said know, not that they do.

creating a zone for hair bows

We’re working on that.


Do you lose hair bands constantly? Have a solution to plug the hair bow hole? If not, any container or drawer will do. And perhaps—if you are like me—one day you may make a fancy decorative one. Complete with chicken wire. Who knows? I may make one myself yet. For now though, simple may be best.

tip 22



The Daily Dilemma {31 Days of Life. Contained.}

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This post is part of a series called 31 Days of Life. Contained. Want to catch up on the entire series? Click here. Want to stay connected and not miss another post? Follow me on facebook.


the daily dilemma

Managing the schedules of seven people can sometimes be overwhelming. My Mom Binder has been a huge help, however, there are times when I just need a daily reminder staring me in the face.

I needed that reminder for my kids to wear pink on Tuesday. For Fuzz to bring in paper towel tubes on Wednesday. For Bunny’s science and social studies tests on Thursday. For working in the church nursery on Sunday night.

creating a command center

Trying to keep it all straight makes my brain hurt and I inevitably forget something. Sometimes that one little thing can be huge. Yikes.

A family command center helps contain all of our scheduling needs and organize my reminders for me.

I’ve had this bulletin board almost since we were first married. I go through spurts of hating its cluttered presence in my home and removing it-to loving the organized feeling it brings me when I walk by. It is definitely a love/hate relationship.

organizing a family command center

I pulled it back out a month or so ago to help us stay on top of school schedules. This was the main culprit coming back to bite me every week.

With a family our size—perhaps any size family—a command center was an absolute must. This is a landing zone for flyers, school tickets, forms to return, church special events, etc.

Obviously from the photos, my command center is not perfect, but it does the job. For now I just have the bulletin board leaning against the wall until I’m finished with painting and trim in the kitchen. My push-pins are stored in the top drawer of the dresser.

family command center organization

Like I said it’s not perfect, but this board is saving my sanity. For this, I can look past any and all minor flaws.


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How about you? Do you have an area to remind you and your kids about specific details and events? Use a command center in your home? Consider the benefits of possibly instituting one in your home. As you have seen with my current one, it doesn’t always have to be pinterest-worthy. Perfection is not the goal—organization is.

Thanks for reading.


The Polish Predicament {31 Days of Life. Contained}

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This post is part of a series called 31 Days of Life. Contained. Want to catch up on the entire series? Click here. Want to stay connected and not miss another post? Follow me on facebook.


Today we are stepping out of the kitchen for a change, but mainly because it’s a mess with a painting project.

Yes, I’m random like that.

Since paint was the reason we left the kitchen area, I thought that I’d show you my caddy for another type of paint.

the polish predicament

Nail polish.

Most of us ladies enjoy a bit of brightness on our nails from time to time. As a busy mom, I must confess that I don’t wear it on my fingernails that often. I struggle to just find the time to keep them trimmed and filed, let alone freshly painted. Chipped nail polish is not my thing.

I do, however, try to keep my toenails painted and if the paint begins to chip there, I simply wear closed shoes, socks or pretend not to notice.

FYI: I have socks on today. You can guess why. 😉

My girls love pretty polish as well. Over the years, they’ve loved it a little too much.

nail polish storage

There was the time that Bunny painted her stuffed animals- that was really fun.

There was also the time that Fuzz painted her hands and her feet, but why stop there? Why not paint your arms and legs while you are at it? And she did. (In my defense here, I was busy packing for us to move.)

Here’s proof from the summer of 2008.

Fuzz with polish

Or there was the time that Zip painted streaks in our walk-in closet.

Not to be outdone, Pop also experimented with this glorious product by dumping an entire bottle of clear polish on our living room carpet. Thankfully, we have since put down hardwood flooring.

organizing nail polish

It’s safe to say that I had had enough mishaps with nail polish and needed a safety zone for every single one of them. Kid-proof.

Target had a nice stainless steel mesh caddy for under ten dollars that I thought was perfect. It was a little nicer looking than plastic and very sturdy. I also didn’t want it to be huge so that my polish collection would remain on the small side. Less is best.

I store everything related to hand and foot health/care in this container. Nail clippers, nail files. cuticle sticks, foot cream and pumice stones to name a few. Cotton balls and nail polish remover are also available when needed. Lastly, as you can see. I keep a small assortment of nail polish choices. I have a few colors that I really love and don’t venture out beyond them that often.

create a nail caddy

I am happy, thrilled actually, to report that over the past six months since implementing this system we have not had a single painting incident.

Success is a such beautiful thing.


 Gather all of your hand and foot care items in one spot. You will never lose your nail clippers again if you have a designated home for them. Containers can be tremendously helpful for small items that are easily lost. I was constantly buying another pair, only to find all fifty-three that owned when I deep cleaned the bathroom cabinet as well as the couch in the living room. Go figure. They can drift everywhere sometimes.

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I hope that these posts are inspiring you to make your life easier and creating zones in your home. This is what it’s all about –putting every day living back in its place.

Thanks for reading, now go save your walls, kids and/or carpet.