Easy Patriotic Drink

Easy Patriotic Drink Idea

Here is a quick and fun Patriotic Drink perfect for the upcoming 4th of July, but great for any patriotic holiday. If you have a star mold ice cube tray, even better, but it’s not necessary.! Such a simple drink to make and my kiddos were so excited or maybe it was the fact that I let them have soda. That’s usually something they expect from Dad!

 

What You Need:

Yummy Patriotic Ice Drink

  • Any lemon-lime soda of choice – chilled ahead of time is best
  • Red and Blue drink mixes, like Kool-Aid or Fruit juice
  • Ice trays – star shaped is awesome but regular is perfect, too
  • Cups
  • People to share it with. :-)
  • Enough time to make ice for your gathering

 

Directions: 

Step 1: Mix drink mixes separately, pour into ice trays and place in freezer to form.

Yummy Patriotic Ice Drink

 

Step 2: Remove new ice from freezer and let them sit out for a few minutes before removing from the trays. They will pop out with very little fuss.

Yummy Patriotic Ice Drink

 

Step 3: My kiddos’ favorite job is to pop the ice out, so we pop it into a separate bowl to save a stick mess.

Yummy Patriotic Ice Drink

 

Step 4: Pour soda into glasses. If it is chilled beforehand, the ice won’t melt as quickly. But we discovered a fun sizzle effect with the warm soda!

4th of July Drink Idea

The kiddos thought the stars were so neat. I scored some Cool Mom Points with this one!

Yummy Patriotic Ice Drink

 

Step 5: Enjoy! And I quote for my kiddos, “This is the best drink ever!”

Yummy Patriotic Ice Drink

 

Holiday Yummy Drink

 

 

Operation Organization: Pantry

Easy Pantry reorganizing before and after

Many of you remember my original post about Operation Organization! My house was in complete chaos and I needed a plan. I started with my pantry because it is something that I use everyday and it drives me crazy when I can’t find things. After having my kids and husband be in charge of grocery shopping and putting groceries away for two months it was a mess!!

  Best way to organize your pantry

pantry reorganizing tips

I started this project not exactly when I had planned on it. I may or may not have thrown a temper tantrum and just started chucking stuff out of the pantry when things kept falling on my head when I was trying to bake something.  I remembered about half way through my temper tantrum to take a picture. hahaha We all have our days, right??

This project I didn’t work on 15 minutes at a time because I ended taking everything out and completely starting over. 4 bags of trash and recycles later I am in love!!! This picture makes it look like we have no food but I have shelves in my hall closet that holds all of our can goods and boxed things. I must admit I do want to go to the grocery store now that I have all this room.

 how to reorganize your kitchen like a pro in less than 15 minutes

Tips and Tricks

A few months ago I decided I was going to clear off my refrigerator. It was always littered with papers and pictures and it made my kitchen seem so cluttered. I came up with a fabulous place to keep all the pictures of our family that we don’t know what to with but we don’t want to get rid of them. I made a picture door on the back side of my pantry. We can enjoy looking at them whenever we want and they don’t clutter up the front of the fridge!! My kids love opening up the pantry and looking at the pictures of their cousin and family they don’t get to see very often!

personalizing the pantry door with family pictures

Operation Organization has spilled over into lots of other areas of my house. I try to everyday spend at least 15 minutes working on something and I love all the organized areas I am leaving behind. This is my Tupperware cabinet which, is a funny name since I only have probably one real piece of Tupperware in it but that is what my mom called it so that is what I call it. Now I forgot to take a before picture but just close your eyes and picture a cabinet overflowing with bowls, lids, water bottles, pitchers etc. Every time you opened the door things came tumbling out at your feet and when you put things away you  throw stuff in really fast and then slam the door shut as fast as you can. Yep it was that bad and I am not even exaggerating.

Kitchen reorganizing

Now it is beautiful and I love it! This really only took me 15 minutes and I can’t believe I didn’t do it years ago! I hope you are enjoying Operation Organization at your house! Please share with us how it is going for you!

Tips for Surviving Summer at Home with Kids

Product has been provided to assist in this review. All opinions are 100% my own.

cleaning with children

We are a good month in to our Summer Break and I have come to realize that I have my own survival tips for spending the summer at home with the kiddos.

 

Tip #1: Reduce

One of my first successes, was reducing all the kiddos clothes down to the minimum. Each are allowed 7 shirts hanging in their closet. The rest we have hung higher up in the closet or folded and put away in boxes. I’ll admit, the putting away was not my quickest moment. It took a couple of weeks! Reducing the clothes has reduced the chaos in their rooms and has definitely reduced the amount of laundry I need to wash AND fold. Laundry for the whole house can be done in less than 5 loads a week. It’s been heaven!

Laundry with children

 

We’ve also taken the same theme to our pantry and toys. It’s so nice!

 

Tip #2: Give Everyone A Chance To Help

Too often I try to do everything myself, which leads to one crazy mama! When we work together we can get so much done. I’m constantly reminding the kiddos (and myself) that it takes 5 people to make our house a mess and if there is only me to clean, it takes WAY too long and we miss out on doing fun things.

To make helping happen, I have learned it easier when I am able to provide easy and safer ways for the kiddos to help like using Ology All-Purpose Cleaner and Paper Towels. My girls are always trying to clean the counters, but I never let them for fear of the chemicals in most cleaners. With Ology I do not have to worry about that because their cleaner is free of harmful chemicals and it does not contain any harsh solvents, dyes, ammonia, or artificial fragrances. And the Ology Paper Towels are tree free, which means they are made from readily renewable sugar cane husk and quick-growing bamboo that regenerates in as little as six months. Pretty cool! Both products can be found at Walgreens and are a great price of $3.99 per bottle and $3.99 per 2 pack of towels.

How to get your children to clean

 

My oldest daughter was super excited that I even let her spray the cleaner on the counter. So, this is a win, win for us!

 

Tip #3 Consistency

I get a lot less resistance from the kiddos to do chores (or anything else) when I am consistent. First thing in the morning they have to eat, make their beds, and straighten up their rooms before they can watch anything on Roku. At night, they each have a room they are in charge of cleaning…you get the picture.

 

Tip #4 Remember to Have Fun!

And above all, fun is a great motivator and we don’t always have to wait until we are done with our chores. Our favorite way to clean lately has been a 5 min clean up, where we try to spend 5 minutes in every room of the house to do a quick clean up. Seeing if we can beat the timer has turned out a lot more fun than we expected.

Learn more about Ology at Walgreens on Facebook and Twitter

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet SM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meets SM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product. 

 

Budget Friendly Phoenix Family Fun with Pogo Pass Giveaway- Win 2 Passes

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No Yelling Challenge Update

Last month I introduced the No Yelling Challenge! Be sure to check it out and print your free printable. It has been a fabulous challenge for me and I can’t believe the difference it has made in my house. Even my kids are getting along better!!

They say it takes 21 days to make a habit and I definitely think after a whole month of no yelling it is part of my routine. I definitely didn’t succeed everyday but I had more successful circles than black “X’s” so I’ll take that as a win! Here is my finished chart.

how to stop yelling at your kids

I earned $26 to take to the store of my choice and am excited to go out for an outing on my own. I am going to keep the challenge up because the reminder on the fridge is always good. I would definitely recommend doing this to anyone who wants to work on yelling or really anything you want to do to make a change.  Working on one thing a month to improve is a great way to accomplish goals and getting a reward at the end definitely doesn’t hurt!!

How We Survived College Family Life on a Budget

From the moment my husband and I got married we were living the college student life on a budget. You see, he started school in another state a month before we got married and we were all for taking new adventures. We had plenty of ups and downs financially, but we survived! I can’t toot that we got out of school debt free, but we did our best to take minimal student loans along the way. This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust Bank. The opinions and text are all mine.

Here are 3 tips we learned while being a student family on a budget:

Set A Budget and Stick to It

One of the most important things for us to do was to set a budget and stick to it! AND we had to decide together on the budget. If I did all the planning, then my hubby was in the dark and did not know what he was supposed to stick to, which would cause major contention. It was a tight budget with lofty goals, but we learned to go without. For instance, sometimes the budget only allowed $25 a month for date nights, which was a stretch for us, but we felt date nights were important even if they were small. We also spent minimal on clothes, with only one or two pairs of pants per person and one pair of shoes, which saved a ton in our budget if we didn’t have to buy clothing.

One thing I had to keep reminding myself through our student years (and still do) is, “you never know how in debt someone else is.” So, even though it seems like someone is doing better off, they might be in more debt than you and choosing to live a different lifestyle. Remember it and repeat as necessary. It helps during those wishful thinking times!

Take Advantage of Free Resources

You can never learn too much in my opinion and it is always a great idea to check out free financial resources like the SunTrust Bank’s Resource Center where you can find financial calculator’s, tips and plenty of interesting article and podcasts. Next to listen to on my list is their podcast titled, “How To Become Financially Fit”.

Other free resources that are great to take advantage of are Hand-me-downs for the kiddos, free activities on campus=great date nights, and coupons for foods at your local food store.

Build Credit

Just because we were on a budget did not mean we could not build our credit. For the most part, while we were in school we lived in student housing and rented. Our goal was to get into a house after my husband graduated and in order to get into a house, we needed to have good credit. I had really good credit, but what we found out a few years into our marriage is that my husband’s credit needed work. It was not bad, but it was not as great as we hoped.

When we got married my husband received his first credit card, or so we thought. We added him onto my card and got a card in his name. The mistake we made was assuming that having that card would build his credit. Luckily, we found out in enough time to help us that he needed to have his own card in his own name/under his account to build his credit. We then put away my card I had been using for years to help make sure we did not spend too much. By the time he graduated, we both had awesome credit which later helped us get a great loan to buy a house.

What are your budget survival tips?

At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well being. They help you get organized, make a plan, and stay on track so you can get and stay in control of your finances. When you are confident about your money, you can save for your goals and splurge knowingly on what matters most to you.

 

To get started visit suntrust.com/getorganized

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

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