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My First Confession: No Spoons and My Shutterfly Calendar

I just put sugar into my coffee with my fingers. There are no clean spoons in my house right now. Actually, that's misleading. I have no clean silverware. I soon realized through my foggy brain that I would need to stir the coffee with something, and my fingers weren't really an option, so I used a serrated bread knife that happened to be around. There. I did it, and now you know. In order to understand what brought me to this point, I need to explain a little more. Every year I create a Shutterfly calendar with family photos that…

In this second part of the pantry post, I've included the products I used and a little about plastics and safety. Transform your pantry this week with very little money and effort.

In this second part of my pantry reveal, I'm going to include links to the products I used and a little bit about plastic and safety. If you haven't already seen it, check out The Neat and Realistic Pantry: Part 1 first. I used the following (from top left, then doors): 15 quart Clever Store Containers from Rubbermaid 30 quart Clever Store Containers with Clever Store Organizing trays from Rubbermaid 5 liter bins from Really Useful Boxes (4 liter and 9 liter available) Large Ultra Baskets from Sterilite Deep Ultra Baskets from Sterilite 2" binder clips (examples here and here) Under shelf baskets (example from…

This pantry stays neat with minimal Transform your pantry this week with very little money and effort.

  My pantry here is both a good example of a solution that maintains itself and one that has lasted without much need for reorganization. It has worked for three years now in a household with three children and two busy parents (even during the preschool years). This is the pantry for someone that doesn't have the time or will to take all of the food out of their original containers in order to put it into pretty Mason jars. I love those beautiful pantries, but they're just not practical for me. A quick sort after you get home from the grocery store…

Streamline the homework process, so your child can get it done, with a simple and attractive caddy for school supplies.

Imagine this scenario...  You're in the middle of making dinner when your 4th grader asks you for help with his math homework.  He's been staring at the same piece of paper for a while now, trying desperately to figure his latest math problems out, and he's losing steam fast.  You probably haven't even seen math problems like these for 30 years, but you know you've got a limited amount of time before your child is even able to invest in the task at hand so you stare at the paper until you go cross-eyed.  As you do your best to stay positive,…

Look like an organized mama at back to school and avoid procrastination during the year by using an index card as reference when filling school forms out. Any old basic index card will do, but printable versions available from neatontheinside.com.

There is nothing complicated about the back to school index card, but that does not mean it's any less of a game changer for me.  This practical solution has saved me time, stress, embarrassment, and procrastination-related shame.  When using it in public, I also score some major organized mama points.  Simply put, it is a basic index card with emergency contacts, health insurance information, and the name & number of our pediatrician.  Instead of gathering all of the necessary information each time I fill out a form, I now only gather and fill one of these out a year.  I bring the index card with me…

Wild Kratts Birthday Party: Part 1 (Invitations & Discs) from NeatOnTheInside.com. This post includes free printable creature power discs that maximize print space and include authentic colors and images from the show. It also includes discs made just for fun as well as blank discs so you can make your own.

My daughter has been obsessed with the Wild Kratts for two years now.  I wholeheartedly support the obsession.  Those Kratt brothers are changing how an entire generation and their parents view wildlife conservation.  And let me tell you, it's so cute to hear a 3 1/2-year-old spout off a bunch of college-level animal facts to you.  If you aren't familiar with the show, the Wild Kratts teach children (and adults) everything there is to know about certain animals in a show that is both live-action and animated.  During the cartoon portion of the show, the Kratt brothers inevitably go on an…

Some years back I lamented how, after laughing at yet another adorable thing my child said, my memory of the event would soon be lost forever.  If you're a parent, you've probably experienced something similar.  Poor sleep habits can lead to diminished memory and, let's face it, submariners get better sleep than parents do, especially in the beginning.  Even when they're sleeping through the night, the average wake-up time is pretty early even if you don't have an early riser.  Add another puppy or two to the litter and you've got 10 years of potentially terrible sleep ahead of you…

How appropriate that my very first blog entry would be about time!  One of my favorite (and simplest) solutions to my time management problem is to have a clock in every room.  We have clocks in your more typical places like bedrooms, the office and the kitchen, but we also have clocks in bathrooms, the entryway and our living room.  The living room always seemed like an obvious spot to keep a clock to me until I noticed that most people don't seem to keep one there.  I think I'll ask why the next time I notice. I start to panic a little now if…

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