Trying to drink more water? Me too! These flavored ice cubes are the easiest way to jazz up my water and encourage me to drink more! 

try these delicious fruit and herb flavored ice cubes! perfect for a warm summer day! #flavoredicecubes A couple weeks ago I posted a project on how I make whole lemon ice cubes in attempt to drink more water. Apparently, I’m not the only one trying to kick the coffee habit. I was so surprised how popular this post was, especially considering I wasn’t planning on blogging about it (lemons and organization don’t exactly go hand in hand).

I’m loving my lemon ice cubes, but I’m also always up for ANY additional flavor that I can add to my daily 8 glasses of water. So, I’ve been experimenting with some other ice cube options.

There’s two ways to make flavored ice cubes: purée or ‘stuffed’:

To encourage me to drink more water, I stock up on these flavored ice cubes! #flavoredicecubes

Puréed fruit flavored ice cubes

If you’re looking for more of a flavor punch, purées are the way to go. I simply add my flavors in to a high-speed blender with a little water until I get a smooth consistency. Then pour the liquid in to the ice cube trays to freeze.

‘Stuffed’ fruit flavored ice cubes

This method is simply placing the fruit and/or herbs into the ice cube tray and fill up with water. In order to get a stronger flavor, I like to stuff the cubes with as much fruit and herbs as I can before filling the rest with water.

The whole point of these ice cubes is to give your water some flavor, pack in the fruit!

Tools

  • High speed blender (I like to use our Magic Bullet)
  • I’m a big fan of these silicone ice cube trays as they’re small enough to fit in the very few open spaces of my packed-to-the-brim freezer. Plus, it’s super easy to pop a cube out.
  • Cutting board
  • Knife

Making flavored ice cubes is an easy way to encourage you to drink more water!

Flavor combinations

There’s really endless possibilities of flavored ice cube combinations. I’d say that it’s really based on personal preference, so here’s my favorites:

  • Strawberry basil purée
  • Very berry stuffed
  • Stuffed cucumber mint
  • Mango purée & orange slices

Flavored ice cubes make the most delicious water! drink up! #flavoredicecubes


 

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Fruit and herbs are the perfect incredients for flavored ice cubes! This is the easiest way to drink more water each day wtih delicious ice cubes! #flavoredicecubes

Cheers to drinking more water and maybe a little less coffee!

 




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Valentine’s Day has dramatically changed for us over the years. From the days of booking the hottest restaurant in downtown Chicago to wiping the baby spit up off of my clothes before eating dinner (that’s parenthood?!). As we’ve gotten older and a little bit more domestic, nothing made me realize this transition more than taking a look at our Valentine’s Day plans!

Easy and fun ways to celebrate Valentines Day with the kids! A delicious meal, pink lighting and a little dance party will make for a fun family evening!

Our quiet dinner at home may seem like the easy way to celebrate Valentine’s Day; yet, cooking a nice meal can be a little hectic for families with kids.

You all know I love finding those simple little tricks & tips to make life easier. Whether it’s apps on my phone or cutting down on my laundry routine, I find a ridiculous amount of joy in making daily tasks simpler.

So over the summer, we incorporated smart home technology in to our house with Hive. When we first started, I was pretty eager to find ways to utilize this technology to make to make life a little easier after the birth of our son, Declan. Yet, I wasn’t exactly sure how we would incorporate it all in to everyday life. But by this past fall, we were hooked. Between preparing our home for fall and even helping with the daily light savings transition, the Hive smart home technology was a smart solution for us (pun intended 😊).

Are you too celebrating Valentine’s Day at home with the kids? Here’s some of the fun ways that we’re utilizing our smart home technology for a simple, yet festive family evening:

Cooking 

Let’s be real, cooking a nice meal while watching a very active 9-month-old isn’t an easy task. It’s even more challenging when you’re trying a new fancy recipe. My rule for any nice dinner is to incorporate ONE fancy recipe and keep the rest of the meal simple. Whether that means a new side, a fancy dessert or an expensive piece of meat. In the past I would try to throw down all the stops making a killer 4 course meal and would end up with each course slightly underwhelming.

Chasing a toddler around the house means never really giving my FULL attention to cooking. Well that’s the excuse I’m giving for my less than stealer meals anyway!

Joking aside, being able to control our appliances remotely allows me get dinner completed while Declan insists on climbing the stairs.

Using smart home automation to create a perfect Valentines Day!

Using the Hive Active Plug, I’m able to check-in and control kitchen appliances from every room in our home from my phone. #thekidneversitsstill

The slow cooker gets turned off in time (what’s worse than a burnt slow cooker meal???) and the cappuccino maker is turned on while I’m following Declan up the stairs.

For special occasions I whip out our electronic fondue maker. I plug it in earlier in the day and heat it up right before Joe comes up form work via my Hive app, making the perfect fondue while playing with Declan in the family room!

Colored lights are a perfect addition to our Valentines Day decorations

Lights

All those fun decorations that I used to put up (err… here, here and here) are permanently stored in our closet until Declan learns to not be so destructive. (So when he’s 18?) Instead, we had a bunch of fun ‘decorating’ the house with Valentine’s Day colored lighting. Declan got a kick out of the changing colored lights. (We used the Hive Active Color-Changing Lights) It’s actually a really easy and fun idea for all the holidays. (Looking at you Saint Patrick’s Day).

Color-changing Hive Active Lights let you choose from 16 million colors to find the exact hue you’re looking for. (Yep, 16 million)

Side note: we also use Hive Active Lights to adjust the brightness on a daily basis. In attempt to get Declan in to ‘sleeping mode’, we dim all the lights an hour before it’s time to go to bed.

Changing light bulbs to make a colorful display for Valentines Day!

Music

Typically, when Joe comes home from work, he enters the house as Reagan (our rambunctious Doberman puppy) is running around, Declan is getting in to his fussy evening phase and I’m struggling to balance both while attempting not be burn dinner. Needless to say, it’s not exactly the most relaxing atmosphere to come home to.

A fun surprise that Declan and I did for Joe was to use our Hive Door Sensor to set the music on our Alexa and adjust our entry way lights to turn on as the front door opens. Nothing says ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ like pink lighting and Whitney Houston’s ‘I will always love you’ playing as you walk through the front door 😊.

Utilizing smart home automation for amazing Valentines Day decorations!

Temperature 

Earlier this year, we also installed the Hive Active Thermostat on our main floor. This means I’m in complete control of the temperature in our house (much to Joe’s dismay) with a touch of a button and will keep it at a toasty 75 degrees! Perfect for a cold winter February night!

crank up the thermostat on Valentines Day!

While we may not be rocking the late night hot spots this Valentine’s Day, I’m excited for a relatively easy festive night in with the family!

If you’ve been considering home automation, now is a great time. Use the code HIVEVALENTINE to receive $40 off the Hive Starter Pack!

Hive’s got several different packages to fit exactly what you’re looking for:

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hive. The opinions and text are all mine.


 




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I’ve never been the creative type. I’ve never been the best at picking unique and creative gifts for others. So when we were invited to a Christmas party with white elephant gifts, I panicked. While I didn’t need to have the funniest gift at the party, I atleast wanted my gift to be FUNNY.

Fortunately Amazon has us covered. I found tons of hilarious gifts. I was intending to only share my top 10 favorites, but some of these were just good good to skip. All these gifts below can be delivered to your doorstep in two days. Right in time for your party! Enjoy!

the absolute funniest white elephant gifts for your next party!

Funniest White Elephant Gifts on Amazon

1 Sriracha Hot Sauce Keychain Bottle 

{get yours here}

 

2 Social Media Shower Curtain 

{get yours here}

 

3 Microwave Smore Maker 

{get yours here}

 

4 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings Book 

{get yours here}


 

5 Pick Your Nose Cups

{get yours here}

6 Muffin Top Baking Cups

{get yours here}

7 Bacon Flavored Toothpaste 

{get yours here}

8 Tool That Grabs Where You Can’t Reach 

{get yours here}

9 Potty Putter Toilet Time Golf Game 

{get yours here}




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Well, technically, here’s what THIS mom wants. Practical, useful and fun gift items. These gifts will be used well after the holiday season.

This is what every new mom really wants for Christmas this year!

What to buy a New Mom for Christmas

1 A Starbucks Gift Card

This might seem like an ehhh type of gift. But think again. There’s some days (well nights) that a new mom just doesn’t get any sleep. Something as simple as a cup of coffee can make or break that next day. It gets mom out of the house either by walk or car. Starbucks gift cards make great gifts or even stocking stuffers. Plus you can order them online.

 

2 A Portable Phone Charger

Before I had Declan, I had no idea how much I would be on my phone. It’s my lifeline to texting with other moms, Googling every parenting question in the book and late night shopping on Amazon. With that said, my battery seems to be under 20% at all times. Having this portable charger has been a life saver. No exaggeration.

 

3 Day of House Cleaning

Or week. Or month. Enough said.

 

4 Baby Registry

I know I know. Mom needs stuff for HER. But, are there items that no one bought you on your your registry that you really wanted? Or really needed? If it makes mom’s life easier, I say it’s a worthy Christmas present. Plus it’s way better than a gift she’ll never use.

 

5 Nice, New Flats

High heels got stored deep in my closet once my belly popped and haven’t been pulled out since. Most moms are worrying less about extra height and looking more for stylish comfort. These flats are an great option, especially since they slip on. Try tying your shoes with a 6 month old crawling at warp speed to chew a dog bone. Just saying.

 

6 Spa Day

Or a day for mom doing anything she likes. Spas aren’t my thing, but a day child free to oh say …. re-organize my closet is. I know. I’m weird. But giving mom a way to relax and do something she enjoys will always be appreciated.

 

7 Pretty, Flattering Top

Finding flattering clothes post baby is never fun. Maternity clothes are now too big, but pre baby clothes may not fit yet. Giving mom a top like this is dressy enough to wear out for dinner or around the house will ensure it gets a lot of use.

 

8 Comfy Sweatshirt

This fun comfy sweatshirt is perfect for those chilly winter nights or the mornings that she just doesn’t get out of her PJs until …. oh 2pm. Just saying.

 

9 Tablet

Tablets have come down in price so much lately, especially the Amazon Fires. This makes it a really nice, but not totally unreasonable gift. It’s a perfect way to read a book … or check Facebook 🙂 .

 

10 Magazine Subscription

For the mom who prefers hard copy reading or just wants a fun ‘surprise’ in the mail each month. Magazine subscriptions are constantly on sale, making it a really affordable gift or stocking stuffer.

 

Bonus …. When in doubt no mom I know has ever turned down a nice bottle of wine. 

 

 

Share with a new mom (or gift giver 🙂 ) who can appreciate!

 

 




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A little something different on the blog today to get us all in the Christmas spirit …. Santa Letters! 

I’m excited to work with Santa.com to bring you a very tech savvy way for your kiddos to interact with Santa! While most of us are still thinking about Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas is just a little over a month away.

Teaching true holiday spirit, Santa.com offers some of the most amazing Christmas services for your kids including: 

  • E-mails from Santa (free!) – Santa.com has the most genuine email Santa Service. It’s ONLY site that will send a detailed, thoughtful Santa letter reply using the email Santa@Santa.com.
  • Text Messages from Santa ($9.99) – Receive daily, personalized text messages filled with Christmas spirit, amusing facts, and positive values. It’s a great, no-stress way to enjoy some Christmas Spirit every day.
  • Handwritten Notes from Santa – Santa.com offers a new service for sending handwritten notes from Santa.

What I love most is the focus on postivive lessons, not presents. There’s a Santa’s Nice List that promotes politeness, good habits, and reading.

Your little kids can download fun Christmas coloring templates, while the older kids will enjoy reading Santa’s personal blog. Alough Santa gears his blog and texts for the kids, he’s got a sense of humor that us parents will appreciate too. Anyone can sign up for text messages or e-mail Santa!

Santa Letters Discount Code

If this sounds like something fun for you and the kids, use the code: organized to get 20% off! Don’t we all love a deal!?

Head over to Santa.com and enter organized in the coupon code! This discount is only good through the 23rd, so head over to Santa.com soon!

We all love a little free something, don’t we?

Win a bag full of Santa goodies!

Enter until November 22nd!

Santa.com Giveaway!

 




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