This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc., Kleenex, Lipton, and Theraflu. All options are mine alone. #FluSeasonHacks #collectiveBias

Make sure you're storing and organizing medicine properly so you can tackle those colds quickly this winter! Plus super handy flu & cold travel kits!

Without fail each and every year I get the flu or whatever else is ‘going around’ several times a year. Maybe it’s a bad immune system or maybe I’m just unlucky, but I’m one of those people who gets sick often. Now with a little toddler at home who’s picking up all sorts of germs and colds, I’m going to be more diligent about taking care of myself when I get sick this year (because I know it’s going to happen).

Step by step guide to organizing & storing medicine

Before cold season is in full swing, I’m getting our medicine cabinet cleaned out and organized. It might not seem like a fun task right now, but you’ll be thanking me when you come down with your first winter cold and have all the remedies right at your fingertips.

Step 1  

The very first step is to pull out all the medicine stored throughout your home. Previously I had been keeping our medications in various locations within our house, which really wasn’t working. Instead, I decided to store all medication in ONE location (plus a couple handy on-the-go kits).

Make sure you're storing and organizing medicine properly so you can tackle those colds quickly this winter! Plus super handy flu & cold travel kits!

This makes it easier to find the medication I need once a cold hits (and I’m already feeling a little groggy). It also helps to ensure that I have everything that I know I’ll need this cold & flu season already at our home. It goes without saying that I like to be prepared.

Step 2

Now take a look at your pile and do an inventory of what you’ve got. A couple favorite products I keep stocked at my house are:

  • Lipton Soothe Your Tummy – It’s a delicious herbal beverage for those times your tummy feels less than its best.* Botanicals such as ginger and peppermint are blended with natural essential oils.
  • Kleenex® Germ Removal Wet Wipes – These safely wipe away 99% of germs from skin with no harsh chemicals. I worry about getting the rest of my family sick when one of us gets a cold. These wipes are a great way to prevent the spread of germs!
  • Theraflu Power Pods Daytime Severe Cold – This hot beverage is powerful relief by treating the symptoms of cold & flu without a prescription!

If your supply is running low, make a list of medications that you typically use during the cold & flu season (including my favorites listed above) and head to your local Kroger store BEFORE that cold starts (you’ll thank me). I made a quick trip to our location Fred Meyer.

Make sure you're storing and organizing medicine properly so you can tackle those colds quickly this winter! Plus super handy flu & cold travel kits!

Look for the $1.50 coupon on 4-pack Kleenex Facial Tissues, for Kleenex Germ Removal Wet Wipes. And, 11/4-11/24 you can get .50¢ off Kleenex 4-pack bundles and Kleenex Wet Wipes via this digital offer. You can save $2.00 on any ONE (1) Theraflu Power Pods through 12/8, via this digital offer.

Step 3

Decide where you want to store your medications. Contrary to popular opinion, the bathroom is actually the WORST locations to store medications (the heat and moisture are BAD for meds). If you’ve got young kids at home, find a place that has a safety lock or is out of reach for those little hands! A linen closet, kitchen cabinets or bedroom are all good choices.

Step 4

I categorized our medicine cabinet into 3 areas:   

  • Medicine
  • First Aid (stay tuned next week, as I organize all our first aid supplies!)
  • Children’s Medicine

You could organize these all together, but in a pinch (think- middle of the night toddler wake ups), I like to have these crucial items sorted.

It’s also, of course, another excuse for me to make some labels. You can download my medicine label container templates here.

Make sure you're storing and organizing medicine properly so you can tackle those colds quickly this winter! Plus super handy flu & cold travel kits!

Step 5

It’s no surprise that I’m smitten over the perfect storage solution, so I was ecstatic to find these stackable containers with lids. These easily fit in our kitchen cabinets and are portable enough to grab-and-go as needed.

Make sure you're storing and organizing medicine properly so you can tackle those colds quickly this winter! Plus super handy flu & cold travel kits!

Before you run out to the store to buy your containers, make sure to:

  • Measure the space where you’re planning to store your medications
  • Estimate how much space your medicine will take up. Creating a storage system that isn’t large enough to hold all your items …. well, it pretty much defeats the point!  
  • Bring that measuring tape to the store with you!

I often ‘test out’ several different sized containers to find the perfect fit. Then I return the ones that didn’t fit.

Step 6

In addition to a well-stocked cabinet, I like to have on-the-go medicine kits to take with me while I’m recovering from my cold. It’s nice to toss these in my computer bag or diaper bag. It’s also REALLY convenient to have one on the top floor of our townhouse so I don’t have to walk all the way downstairs to the kitchen when I’m sick. #justbeinghonest. Here’s what I stocked my kits with:

– Lipton Soothe Your Tummy
– Kleenex Germ Removal Wet Wipes
– Theraflu Power Pods (Powerful relief without a prescription)

Make sure you're storing and organizing medicine properly so you can tackle those colds quickly this winter! Plus super handy flu & cold travel kits!

This entire project of organizing & storing medicine only took around 30 minutes (in addition to purchasing the containers) and will pay HUGE dividends when I inevitably get sick this season!

Make sure you're storing and organizing medicine properly so you can tackle those colds quickly this winter! Plus super handy flu & cold travel kits!

Extra tips to organizing & storing medicine:

  • Every 6 months you should look at the labels on your medications and get rid of everything that is expired. (I do this each Fall and Spring.)
  • Don’t repackage medication as you would food, even to save on space. It’s important that you have the original label so you can check dosages, expiration dates, and other safety information.
  • Ditch any items that have changed color, smell or taste. This includes any colors that have faded, because they may have been exposed to too much light.
  • Remember …. Keep medications OUT of the bathroom! The kitchen, linen closet or bedroom are good locations.
  • If you want to take my tutorial to a whole other level, you could separate your medication by categories, so it’s easier to find, such as flu & cold, pain, allergies, etc.
  • Make sure your storage containers are tall enough to allow different shaped bottles to be stored upright, especially liquid medications, to prevent any spillage.

Place newer unopened medications at the back of your container so you can rotate through it easier and prevent any medicines from expiring before you’re able to use them.

Make sure you're storing and organizing medicine properly so you can tackle those colds quickly this winter! Plus super handy flu & cold travel kits!

Are you ready for flu season?! Head to your local Kroger store to stock up on the cold & flu essentials this season!

I really love when one organizing project leads to another! Next week I’ll be sharing our first aid kit storage.

Kleenex – ©KCWW, Lipton – © 2018 Unilever Theraflu – ©2018 the GSK group of companies or its licensor. Read and follow label directions. Theraflu is for use in adults 12 years and older. Use products only as directed.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent disease.

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Working from home may seem easy, but those who do it know that it can be touch. Now, working from home with a toddler: that’s a whole other story! Here's my daily scheduling working from home with a toddler. I follow a specific plan each day to working from home with a baby!

[Psst! Join me on Instagram and Pinterest to keep up with my latest posts and ideas]

I’ve been getting a couple questions from readers and friends on how I schedule my day with a little one at home. Some are just interested in what I do all day staying at home. Others are curious how ‘work from home’ really ‘works’ with kids.

Now, let me start off by saying I’m no expert on this. While I like to organize my sock drawer (and pretty much every other drawer in our house), I’ve had to learn through lots of trial and error how to manage my time running a business while taking care of a little one.

So here’s what an average day looks like working from home with a toddler:

6am | I get up. I’m a morning person by nature so this isn’t that hard for me. I pour myself a cup (or two) of coffee and either get some blog work in or miscellaneous items on my to do list that are more difficult to accomplish when Declan is awake. For example, yesterday I booked a flight to see friends in Cleveland. It’s tough for me to do ANYTHING on my laptop when Declan is up as he wants to jump (literally) on it.

7am | Declan gets up & I get really for the day. I utilize the time where Declan sleeps to be on my computer or to photograph projects (it’s wayyyyy too hard to photograph with a very active little baby climbing all over my project). This means daily tasks get done while Declan is awake: brushing my teeth, doing dishes, laundry, etc while Declan is playing near by. I’m hoping that this teaches him independent play, but at minimum it allows me to get some things done around the house without eating in to nap time.

Here's my daily scheduling working from home with a toddler. I follow a specific plan each day to working from home with a baby!

Declan is MUCH better behaved in the morning so that’s when I also try to clean the house and prep what I can for dinner. (Here’s some tips to be extra efficient with cleaning.)

8am | I  go running with Declan and Reagan. I don’t LOVE running like some people do and I’m not very fast (let’s think of it as more of a fast walk), but it’s the most effective way for me to get a workout in while Declan is awake. Plus I’m able to exercise our dog at the same time, so it really makes the most sense. Other mornings I go to the gym which also has drop off daycare. (Here’s how I pack my gym bag.)

Here's my daily scheduling working from home with a toddler. I follow a specific plan each day to working from home with a baby!

Here's my daily scheduling working from home with a toddler. I follow a specific plan each day to working from home with a baby!

9am | Declan takes his first nap and I go STRIAGHT to my computer to do work. I’m very disciplined on getting to work right away. This means no cleaning the dishes, organizing the house, etc when Declan is asleep. The biggest struggle to working from home with a baby is the limited work hours, so making the most out of nap time is KEY.

11am | Lunch for the two of us, then off to play groups, Zoo, swimming, visit with friends, etc. While we do weekly baby classes (swimming, Gymboree, etc), I love heading to the local community centers’ tot play rooms so that Declan can burn some energy!

Here's my daily scheduling working from home with a toddler. I follow a specific plan each day to working from home with a baby!

2pm | Declan takes his second (and final nap) and I go straight to my computer to work! I often do photography during the afternoon as the lighting is better.

Here's my daily scheduling working from home with a toddler. I follow a specific plan each day to working from home with a baby!

3:30pm | Declan wakes up and we play inside for a bit. Like clockwork, he hits his fussy period by 4:30 so we typically head out to a park if it’s nice. I also try to have dinner as prepared as I can by then. I’m a huge huge huge fan of meal prep and lots of organization in making dinner. If it weren’t for this, we’d spend all our money ordering out.

6pm | Joe comes home from work and we all have dinner. Then I let him play with Declan for at least 30 minutes while I go do something else, whether that’s taking a quick shower , doing a little work or a household project.

Here's my daily scheduling working from home with a toddler. I follow a specific plan each day to working from home with a baby!

7:30pm | Declan goes to sleep and we clean up the kitchen from dinner. I like to wake up in the morning with a clean slate! Then Joe & I hang out for the evening.

Then rinse and repeat. Literally.

Here's my daily scheduling working from home with a toddler. I follow a specific plan each day to working from home with a baby!

Here’s a couple things I do to help manage life at home with a 12 month old:

  • I keep Declan moving around the house. We spend probably 15 minutes in a room at a time: whether that’s doing laundry and bringing it to our bedroom to fold & put away. In all honesty I can probably find something to clean or organize in any room of our house. Oh and I also work from my phone. In fact I’m writing this blog post right now from Declan’s room.
  • I let Declan play with items around the house. Kitchen spoons while I’m making dinner, clean clothes while I’m doing laundry, etc. He finds it interesting because it’s new, while giving me enough time to get some chores done.
  • I plan out my days in advance (and even Declan’s meals). I don’t like to be ‘over scheduled’ but a little planning the night before goes a LONG way during the day.

As far as working from home with a toddler, here’s a couple of my best tips:

  • First, it’s not as easy as it looks! Just need to set the record straight on that one.
  • Find a way to ONLY work while your child naps (no cleaning, no well… anything else).
  • Before the nap, you need to know WHAT you’re going to work on so that you can dig in. For example, if I’m planning on photographing while Declan is sleeping, I pull all my supplies out BEFORE he takes a nap. Essentially I only try to do the items that I can’t do while he’s awake.
  • As a blogger, there’s lots I can do on my iphone as opposed to my computer. Personally I’d rather work on my computer, but the reality is that often I need to work via my phone while Declan is awake.
  • Work in batches: I do projects on one day, photography on another, writing, editing, etc on another. This is just a good general practice, but it’s helpful with a child.

Click here to take a look at my daily scheduling working from home with a toddler. I follow a specific plan each day to working from home with a baby!

 

 

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Does it seem like you’re ALWAYS on your phone? Constantly checking social media? Wonering where the time goes? Take a look at these tips and tricks to spend LESS time on your phone! 

Does it seem like you're ALWAYS on your phone? Constantly checking social media? Wonering where the time goes? Take a look at these tips and tricks to spend LESS time on your phone! 

After my son, Declan, was born, I started doing more and more work from my iPhone. It’s easier than pulling out my laptop, especially since Declan’s eyes light up as he crawls across the room attempting to climb all over the computer. Needless to say, it’s a disaster.

While utilizing my phone more helps me get work done while keeping an eye on Declan playing, it has also got me much more aware of how much time I spend throughout the day on my phone (and on social media).

Now as someone who makes her living hoping people spends lots of time online (especially on my blog and social media channels) I have to admit, I’m torn as one of MY goals is to stop spending so much time on my phone and social media.

Yes, I like to surf the internet reading random gossip magazines about celebrities and check social media to see what my friends across the country are up to. But at the same time, I can get sucked in and minutes turn in to … well WAY too long on my phone.

As our lives all get busier, time becomes more valuable. A couple “minutes” on Facebook turns much longer and also prevents me from tackling more productive tasks on my phone, such as emailing a friend, look up flight prices for an upcoming trip or listening to a podcast.

So given all this, I want to share just a couple things that I’m working on to keep phone usage productive.

[Psst! Join me on Instagram and Pinterest to keep up with my latest posts and ideas]

Does it seem like you're ALWAYS on your phone? Constantly checking social media? Wonering where the time goes? Take a look at these tips and tricks to spend LESS time on your phone! 

DELETE

To start off with the obvious: I delete some social media sites off my phone. Facebook specifically. This prevents me from just jumping on just a couple minutes ‘here and there’ throughout the day. If I really want to go on Facebook, I have just a couple opportunities when Declan is sleeping (which I always prioritize for doing actual work).

BOOKS

Recently I started getting ebooks from the Seattle library to download on my phone. I’ve gotten in too much of a habit of grabbing my phone to check social media for a couple minutes here and there. Now instead I pick up where I left off on an ebook. Reading books on my phone before I go to bed helps me fall asleep more than browsing social media. #justbeinghonest

EMAIL

I only check my email 3 times a day max. Now I realize not everyone can do this. Some of us are on email all day at work or need to check often on the weekend. I get that. When I’m working with sponsors for this blog, I’m often checking my phone hourly.

But here’s my rule. I ONLY check my phone when I’m in a position to ANSWER those emails. For example, I’m waiting in line at the grocery store and only have about 5 seconds before I need to start unloading groceries. That’s not enough time to respond to an email, so why even check?

Does it seem like you're ALWAYS on your phone? Constantly checking social media? Wonering where the time goes? Take a look at these tips and tricks to spend LESS time on your phone! 

TO DO LIST

I have a to do list app on my phone (appropriately named Todoist) which I sort tasks based on where I can complete the task (home, out, phone, computer, etc). This is really helpful during the times where I have a couple extra minutes and have the urge to ‘play on my phone’. I’m able to easily check my to do list and actually get something productive accomplished.

FACEBOOK

Like many of us, I use Facebook for more than just scrolling down my feed to see what my friends are up to. (Insert Instagram or Twitter if that’s your vice) I’m in several Facebook ‘Groups’: local parenting groups, blogging groups and even a Doberman group. I bookmark each of these groups in a folder on my Chrome browser so that I can check them regularly without getting sucked in to scrolling through all my feed on Facebook.

TIMESPENT ON PHONE

Now if you ever needed a motivator to get off your phone, just take a look at how much time you’re spending on it. For me, this was the kick in the butt that I needed. If you have an iPhone simply go to Settings >>> Battery >> Click on the clock icon. This will show you the amount of time you spent on each of your apps and the % of overall time in the last 24 hours.

Now, I do give myself a break because as I mentioned earlier, I use my phone to WORK. So yes, sometimes being on Pinterest helps me pay my bills. But it’s still eye opening.

How much time are you spending on your phone each day?? TOO much! Here's easy tips and tricks to spend less time on your phone!

I hope these tips are helpful, just a couple ways I’m trying to create a better balance for myself!

 

 

How much time are you spending on your phone each day?? TOO much! Here's easy tips and tricks to spend less time on your phone!

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Bottle-feeding can make life SO much easier with your new little baby! Here's the tips and tricks we learned along the way!

This post was sponsored by Philips Avent as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

When I was pregnant, I had all the questions that a new mom does: diapers, feeding, sleeping, everything. Honestly, I had barely held a baby prior to Declan. Looking back at the first month with Declan, one of the first things we mastered was bottle-feeding

Declan started bottle-feeding at a pretty early age (read: 2 ½ weeks), so we jumped right in to it. After some trial and error, we found little tricks and tips that made a huge difference in making bottle-feeding pretty easy and really efficient.

One of the questions I get from friends is how much work it really is to keep up with the cleaning, organizing and storing of the bottles. Um, hello have we met? While I barely knew how to change a diaper, let’s just say I rocked the bottle.

Joking aside, I spent a little time this past week thinking about what’s made our bottle-feeding process so easy. It really boiled down to these areas:

Bottle-feeding can make life SO much easier with your new little baby! Here's the tips and tricks we learned along the way!

Use high quality bottles

First things, first. Use high quality bottles. Friends told me stories about needing to test out multiple bottles before finding one their kiddos like.

Fortunately, we never experienced that. Maybe because Declan went straight to the bottle so quickly. Maybe, because we bought the right one from the beginning. Who knows? We’ve been using Philips Avent Anti-colic bottle with AirFree vent.

In these bottles, the nipple stays full of milk, not air, during feeding even when bottle is horizontal, so baby can drink from an upright position. While I didn’t totally appreciate this feature when picking out bottles while I was pregnant, I came to be super thankful for it when feeding Declan. It’s designed to help baby swallow less air which means baby is calm and comfortable during and after feedings (basically a win-win for everyone).

Bottle-feeding can make life SO much easier with your new little baby! Here's the tips and tricks we learned along the way!

Own enough bottles for an entire day

As a newborn, Declan was feeding about 8 times a day. You all know I’m more of a ‘less is more’ kind of gal, but I found having enough bottles to feed the kiddo for an entire day without having to clean them was worth it. From the time Declan was born we had 9 Philips Avent bottles. Which leads me to the next tip…

Get efficient with cleaning

One of the first challenges that crossed my mind about bottle-feeding was …. well ALL the bottles that we had to deal with. Our bottles went straight to the dishwasher. You can use a little basket to put the parts in, but we found that allocating one utensil holder got the parts clean.

With the Philips Avent Anti-colic bottle, the AirFree vent is one piece making it really easy to clean. This may not seem like a huge deal, but when cleaning 9 bottles a day, you’ll be happy to have fewer pieces! 

We typically run our dishwasher every day, so cleaning bottles was simply incorporated in to our daily routine.

Bottle-feeding can make life SO much easier with your new little baby! Here's the tips and tricks we learned along the way!

Prep bottles each morning

One of the BEST tips I received from a fellow mom was to make a days’ worth of bottles each morning. Then when it’s feeding time, I simply grabbed a bottle from the fridge. I found this to be SO much easier than mixing formula with a crying baby in hand. It didn’t dawn on me to do this until several of my mom friends mentioned it. #mindblown

Tracking

Since Declan was bottle-fed, Joe and my parents could also help with feedings (#amazing); but that meant there needed to be coordination of who was feeding when. Fortunately, there are so many apps that make tracking feedings so easy (we used BabyConnect).

Whatever app you choose to use, make sure it allows for multiple people to connect to the same account. That way, everyone (partners, babysitters, grandparents, etc) can enter feedings directly to the app.

Bottle-feeding can make life SO much easier with your new little baby! Here's the tips and tricks we learned along the way!

Diaper bag

Getting out of the house often was pretty important to me, especially since we had Declan in the spring and Seattle weather during that time is pretty amazing (winter on the other hand = rain). Looking back, I never really worried about forgetting a bottle when we left the house, as we always had a well-stocked diaper bag.

I included an extra bottle, formula and a small unopened bottled water. Yet the reality was when a baby is a newborn, you NEVER forget about feeding. No matter how you feed your baby, it’s always on your mind before you leave the house.

Bottle-feeding can make life SO much easier with your new little baby! Here's the tips and tricks we learned along the way!

Storage

You all know how I feel about clear counters (#lovethem) so having baby bottles sitting out all over our counters wasn’t going to happen in our house. We dedicated ONE small area of our kitchen counter for bottles.

Read: ONE.

We used a small drying rack that was place on the counter closest to the dishwasher. In my ideal world bottles would be placed in a cabinet out of sight, but realistically it was much easier to have these at arm’s reach on the drying rack (especially during the first few months when Declan was drinking up to 8-9 bottles a day).

 Now that we got in such a rhythm that I’m now dreading transitioning to a sippy cup.

Bottle-feeding can make life SO much easier with your new little baby! Here's the tips and tricks we learned along the way!

 


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These whole lemon ice cubes are an easy way to start the day off with a healthy drink! 

These whole lemon ice cubes are a perfect healthy start to the day!

It’s been a goal of mine to drink more water for YEARS. Along with eat healthier, get more sleep, exercise regularly. Yeah, you get it. Yep, all the standard ‘New Years Resolution’ goals.

But drinking more water shouldn’t be THAT hard, right?

Well, for me it has been. Maybe because I drink too much coffee. Maybe it’s because I really don’t love the taste of water. I mean, it’s so plain.

All those restaurants offering lemon water are on to something. It just tastes better. Adding fruit to water lately has really helped me drink just a little bit more each day.

Except …. remembering to buy lemons each week, slice them and squeeze for each glass of water is a little too much work for this non-water drinking gal. Oh and then there’s the dirty dishes & utensils that it creates.

Lemons are loaded with vitamins and immune boosting benefits. While it’s definitely worth the work to drink a glass of lemon water each day, I knew there was an easier way to prep this.

Here’s what I do instead: Whole Lemon Ice Cubes

Buy LOTS of lemons during ONE trip to the grocery store.

Like I mentioned above, lemons have LOTS of health benefits. But would you believe the PEEL actually contains the most? Crazy, right? No, I’m not eating the peels, but I am going to drink them.

I chop up all the lemons I purchased, place them in a high speed blender  (adding a little water )and blend until the consistency is smooth.

Blend whole lemons to make lemon ice cubes!

I pour roughly 1/2 inch of juice in each cube of an ice tray.  Then place the tray on a flat surface in my freezer.

Each morning, I pour a large water bottle full of water and toss a lemon cube in!

If you like to drink warm water instead, simply heat up your water before adding the lemon cube to melt.

freezing lemons is a perfect way to make lemon ice cubes for daily drinking!

Start your day off right with a big glass of lemon water!

Love this tip? Don’t forget to Pin It for Later!Easy freezer whole lemon ice cubes are an easy way to start the morning healthy!

 

 

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