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Everybody looks forward to Christmas card photos with cute babies. You don’t need to be a seasoned photographer or Pinterest pro to take them; you just need one great photo idea. And we have 9 of them that put your baby front and center on that holiday photo.

photo: iStock


A white swaddling blanket or long t-shirt, a colorful scarf and a hat are all it takes to turn your babe into a wintery snowman, I mean, snowbaby. Pose a stuffed snowman alongside for an added touch and everyone who sees the photos will want to give your child warm hugs.

A Visit from Santa

Plan a pre-holiday visit from Santa to get some memorable photos. A beloved grandparent, friend or even dad can play the role of the big guy to create moments they'll both treasure.

A Favorite Stuffed Animal

A favorite stuffie is a great way to keep your child from howling their way through holiday card photos. Baby will love on their stuffie like they always do, leading to adorable photos. Re-create the photo with the same stuffed animal every year to show how much your child has grown.

Baby Santa

Sometimes the simplest setup turns into the most incredible photos. A Santa hat is all you need to convey the Christmas spirit and capture some snaps of your child touching it, holding it, pulling it off, or falling asleep with it on.

Santa’s Legs as a Backdrop

If your baby is still learning to sit, leaning back against Santa’s legs will help you get the shot. This photo idea from Precious Moments Photography gives you a fun new way to incorporate Santa as a backdrop. Black boots, white fuzzy fabric and red fabric positioned to look like pants are all you need for the Santa stand-in. Bonus: That person can also help keep your little one entertained and looking picture-perfect during the shoot.

Baby in a Gift Box

What better way to convey that babies are a gift? You’ll need minimal props for this idea from Laura Simson Photography. To create your gift box, cut off the flaps on one side and cover the box in holiday wrapping paper. Add a big bow—to both the box and your baby—and pop your little one inside. Babies and toddlers tend to enjoy being in boxes, so the smiles and cute expressions should come naturally. If they don't, add a few small toys that stay out of sight.

Baby’s First Sandman

Take advantage of the beach for your child's holiday card debut. Take a cue from Danielle May Photography and build a sandman that will give friends and family warm fuzzies this winter.

Beautiful Baubles

An assortment of colorful ornaments in deep jewel tones, classic red and green, or gold and white help you re-create this card idea from Shanna Simpson Photography. Mix in glittery, matte and traditional balls for extra dimension, and let your beautiful baby shine in the center.

Playing in the Christmas Lights

With white holiday lights, leg warmers and a fluffy mat, you can re-create this cozy holiday photo from Red Lotus Photography. Vary the shot by swapping out the leg warmers for other cute holiday gear.

— Natasha Davis & Eva Ingvarson Cerise



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Let’s be honest: going to the beach with the kids isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Between making sure we have all the gear we need, packing food and applying sunscreen, there isn’t much time to enjoy the scenery. But we’ve gathered up a bunch of game-changing beach hacks that will make your seaside trip a breeze. Keep reading to get the scoop.

Don’t miss a single hack! Save this list on Pinterest by clicking here.

Beach Mitt for Easy Sand Removal

We know your little beach bums can’t get enough of making sandcastles, digging for seashells and burying their friends alive, but what happens when the day is over? How do you clean off all of these tiny specs of sand? This almost magical mitt will do the trick. Not only are they practical, but they work under sunblock, so you don't have to worry that your little ones will need to re-apply every time they clean off. 

photo: iStock

Sunburn Soothers

Sunburns are one of the few things parents don’t enjoy about frolicking in the sand and surf, so when it does happen, soothing the fiery feeling is priority number one. If you’re looking for a more creative way to help kids with sunburns, try making a batch of super cool aloe vera ice cubes like the ones we spotted over at The Chic Site. The cooling effect of the ice, along with the classic healing properties of the aloe vera will bring immediate relief to the most painful of sunburns.

Homemade Cooling Spray

After an afternoon of playing in the sand, cool off with this refreshing spray from Wellness Mama. With soothing ingredients like aloe vera, witch hazel and essential oils, it’s great for post-sun recovery. Get the details by clicking here.

DIY Towel Pockets

Keep everything you need close at hand with this genius idea from Making It with Danielle. All you’ll need is an oversized towel and basic sewing skills, and you’ll have a pocketed beach blanket in no time. To get the full instructions, click here.

The Easiest Sandwhiches

A visit to the beach isn’t complete without a picnic! To go with your watermelon, whip up a batch of sandwiches inspired by Easy Peasy Pleasy. The recipe uses Hawaiian sweet rolls (and the packaging), making it easy to make enough for your whole crew. Click here to see how they’re made.

photo: iStock

Make Sunscreen Fun

Getting the kids on board with applying sunscreen every couple of hours can be tough, so why not make it into a game? Apply it in dots all over their body, and let them play “connect the dots” as you rub it in. Hop over to Simply Stacie for more smart sunscreen hacks.

Apple Cider Vinegar Sunburn Relief

If someone in your crew ends up with a sunburn, try this home remedy to help relieve the pain. Just combine equal parts apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle and apply it to the affected area. This is also a great addition to baby's after-beach bath, to help sooth insect bites and burns. 

Keep Your Valuables Safe

Take a cue from Smart Schoolhouse and use a clean plastic jar to keep your valuables safe and dry. You won’t have to worry about digging through your bag for your keys or dropping your cell phone in the sand.

Use Household Items as Sand Toys

Forgot to buy sand toys? No worries. Check your kitchen (or the rental's kitchen) and art supply bin and gather things that'll be perfect for building. We love the items that Jill of Sandy Toes & Popsicles added to her homemade sandcastle kit: measuring cups, paintbrushes and more. See everything in her kit here

Chill the Sunscreen

Once you’ve lathered your kid up, stash the sunscreen in the cooler, where it will be nice and cool for the next application. You'll lower your kids' body temperature and keep them sun-safe at the same time. Grown-ups will enjoy this welcome chill, too!

Keep Sand Out of Your Space

Keeping home base free of grit while at the beach can be a challenge, so if you want to create a large, clean space for your kiddos, try Team Johnson’s idea. Bring an old sheet, and using a cooler, beach bags or even an umbrella, stretch out the corners, and you’ll have a pretty sweet pad.

Bag Your Phone

The challenge is to keep sand and water off of your phone but still be able to use it. The solution? A humble Ziploc or similar zipping sandwich bag. Seriously, this works (although you do have to take it out to get a cute photo or two).

Bring a Mesh Bag for Sand Toys

Heading surfside means toting the gear your kids will need for sand castle construction, burying siblings, making beach art and other fun games, but when it’s time to pack up and ship out, the bottom of your bag looks like the beach came along for the ride. Not anymore, thanks to The Idea Room's sweet hack. Putting all of the toys in a mesh laundry basket gives dried sand an escape route, and there are major bonus points for being big enough to pack your kiddo’s entire supply of beach toys.

photo: iStock

Use a Chip Can for Valueables

Use an empty Pringles to stash your keys and some cash for ice cream (Bonus! You get to eat all the Pringles first!). Other upcycling ideas include: stashing a $20 in a lip balm container: watch this video for an easy how-to, or roll your cash and keys into a diaper—very few people will willingly pick up a "dirty" diaper.

Dig Out a Nap Space

A long day at the beach means your little one will need a comfy place to nap. Before you have visions of dragging a pack ‘n’ play over the dunes, consider digging a hole. Yes, just dig a shallow, wide hole, lay down a towel and after a little rocking, place your baby down. Be sure to angle your umbrella just right to ensure your ki has a shady spot for her snooze-fest.

Sand Baggies

Days at the beach can get pretty windy. There’s a simple way to keep the family supply of towels from blowing in the breeze; grab a few plastic bags (quart size should work) and, while setting up camp, fill the bags with sand, then seal and set on the corners of the towels and blankets. Your little plot will stay secure, and the days of flinging sand on your crew and your neighbors will be over.

Frozen Water Bottles

Freeze a few plastic water bottles and put them in the cooler. They’ll last longer than ice and when they defrost you can drink them. Bonus: you can roll the icy cold bottle on your neck to cool down. Just remember to recycle them after you’re done: studies show freezing and refreezing disposable plastic water bottles can cause a chemical breakdown that could contaminate the water.  And don’t try this trick with metal bottles because they can burst when the water expands.


Beached Boat

All kiddies want to wade in the surf, but taking a dip in the ocean isn’t always the safest choice. Here's one idea for letting your toddlers have fun in the water; bring a small blow up raft, fill it with water, their favorite toys and presto! Baby beachcombers get to splash around as much as they want, and you get to keep a close eye on them.

Beach-Approved Koozie

If you are determined to keep your drinks from spilling into the sand this summer, try making a few of these nifty cup holders we spotted over at The Homes I Have Made. Ideal for keeping cups and bottles clean and positioned at the perfect height, you’ll need a few simple materials including a large soup can, fabric, glue, and a threaded rod. Sail over to The Homes I Have Made for the tutorial.

—Natasha Davis & Amber Guetebier

Feature image: iStock 


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Money-Saving Tips You Can Use All Year Long

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Whether it’s trying to stash cash for the future or add to the family travel fund, figuring out how to save money is a move in every parent’s playbook. From simple hacks like keeping a change jar to money-saving apps, we’ve got some awesome tips just for you. Keep reading to see them all.


Keep a Change Jar: This has to be one of the easiest money-saving tips! Drop your spare change in at the end of each day and watch your savings grow.

Always Use Cash: Avoid using your card whenever possible. Fact: Using cash allows you to see how much you’re spending and keeps you accountable.

Time Big Purchases: Save all of your big purchases for the end of the month to get the best deals. If a salesperson is trying to make month-end goals, she might be willing to work with you on the price. 

Shopping for Supplies

School Supplies: When it comes to school supplies, the earlier you shop the better. You’ll find more options and more savings. 

Buy Themed Supplies After the Fact: Always purchase plates, cups and napkins on sale after holidays like Halloween, Fourth of July and Easter are over. You can stow away to use the following next year.

Money-Saving Apps

Groupon: This is definitely one of our favorite money-saving apps! Discover great deals for all types of events and products for your family.

SnipSnap: Ever wanted a money-saving app to keep you organized? This is the ultimate place to store all of your printed coupons right on your phone.

Honey: Install Honey on your browser and it'll automatically search the internet for all the coupons being offered for the website you're shopping on. It applies the savings at checkout. 

Coupons: Do you miss clipping all those paper coupons? Check out Coupons, where you can sift through tons of digital coupons. You might have to print out some, but many can be used via your smartphone.

Checkout 51: This cash-back app saves you money at grocery stores, gas stations, drugstores and more. Checkout 51 adds new items every week, too. 


Eco-Friendly Options

Cloth Diapers: Babies go through diapers like crazy, and if you're searching for money-saving tips that will help you save the planet, cloth diapers are the way to go. Here are our favorites. 

Wool Balls in Your Dryer: Forget that chemical fabric softener, and throw a wool ball in your dryer instead—they can be used over and over with ease.

Create a Non-Toxic Cleaner: If you want to stop using harsh chemical cleaners, you can actually keep your family healthy and save cash by making your own cleaner in a snap.

Shopping Smart

Shop Unique Sales: No need to obsess over department store sales. Look out for sample, garage and consignment sales for everything from clothes to toys.

Do Specific Searches: No more aimless scrolling! Avoid impulsive purchases by searching for the specific products you’re looking for when you shop online.


Grow & Plant Your Food: It takes a bit of extra work, but growing your veggies and planting your own trees can be a fun activity that will save you quite a bit of money in the long run.

Skip the Coffee Shop: Brew your own coffee at home and save $5-$7 every day!

Baby Food: Making your own baby food is actually surprisingly easy. Follow simple recipes to make yummy and healthy options for your little one.

Tech Money Making & Savings

Check Your Bills: Take an in-depth look at your cell phone and cable bills to make sure you’re not paying for features you don’t use.

Retail Me Not: Ever wanted to find out how to save money when you're shopping? Get paid to shop at your favorite stores by signing up with Retail Me Not.

Neighbor: Make money by renting out a spare room, garage or closet as storage space for others by downloading and registering for Neighbor

Grocery Savings

Shred Your Own Veggies: Don’t waste money on pre-cut or shredded fruits and veggies. Making your own is easy and so much cheaper.

Buy Generic: Forget about name brands and buy generic or store brand products whenever possible. 

Go Meatless: Consider adding a Meatless Monday to your recipe rotation. A study published in the Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition found that vegetarians save up to $750 a year by going meatless.

See the rest of our tips on saving on groceries here

photo: istock

Save on Travel

GasBuddy: On the road and need gas ASAP? Use this money-saving app to find the cheapest gas closest to you.

Hotel Tonight: Have an unexpected stop on your vacay? Find low price hotels your family will love (You can also use this app to get great deals in advance!).

BestParking: Going on a cool adventure to a new city? This money-saving app will help you find parking that won’t break the bank.

Open a Travel Credit Card: Many credit cards (especially airline cards) offer extra points and incentives if you spend a certain amount of money within the first few months of opening an account. Some even offer double points for travel-related expenses, so take advantage of this perk and charge away.

Buy Themed Gear Ahead of Time: Your kid will want to represent her favorite character anyway, so why not buy it and bring it along for the trip? You'll save tons by avoiding marked-up resort prices. 

See other money-saving travel tips from the web's savviest travel bloggers here

—Natasha Davis

Featured image: Nattanan Kanchanaprat via Pixabay


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23 Life-Saving House Cleaning Hacks

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Summertime (and COVID-19 restrictions) means warmer days, no school and—kids with more time in and around the house. Don’t spend your summer scrubbing! Just try these hacks to keep on top of things when everyone is home more. And, of course, follow CDC guidelines for proper disinfection to avoid the spread of Coronavirus.

Don’t forget a single hack! Click here to pin on Pinterest.

1. Get your sheets dry the first time and save time, energy and sanity.

One of those things that'll make you say, "Why didn't I think of that?" is the Wad-Free. This little device helps prevent the dreaded rolled & wadded up mess of half-dried sheets that leads to multiple cycles in the dryer and inevitably wastes energy and your valuable time. Just clip the corners of your sheet into the Wad-Free before you wash & dry, and you'll be on your way to fresh bedding in no time. Get a 2-pack on Amazon for $18.99.

photo: Gabby Cullen

2. Slime to Clean Crumbs

Have your kids become obsessed with slime? If you’ve been making a homemade version for your fam over the past year, you know that the stuff is seriously sticky. And, it turns out that it’s not just fun to play with, you can also clean with it! You can use slime to pick up tiny crumbs or dust from keyboards, counters and more.

3. Chore Baskets

Whether you’re trying to get your kids to do their chores or just want to make cleaning easier for yourself, Joyful Homemaking has an amazing idea. Create your very own chore baskets with plastic shower caddies—one basket for each room with a list of items that go in each basket. This makes replacing your cleaning supplies as easy as pie.

4. Cleaning Outdoor Toys

Keeping then out of the house is one way to minimize messes. When it comes to keeping your little one’s outdoor toys clean, you’ve got a couple of options. You can always go with a power washer for fast and easy cleaning. If you don’t have one of those, you can also use a car cleaning kit, which is great for stubborn dirt and grime, to get all of the nooks and crannies. 

5. Mesh Baskets in Every Room

Need to clean up in a jiff? Using creative storage solutions is an absolute must. Make sure you have a mesh basket in each room to throw everything in before housekeeping or a surprise visit from grandparents. When the basket is full, it’s time to put everything away. When you're on the hunt for a special item and can’t find it, it’s time to dump out the basket, find your treasure and put everything away. Buy some here

6. WD-40 on Dried Crayon

This cleaning hack is going to revolutionize laundry! If you’ve got little artists in the family, you know that their beautiful creations mean big messes. If your kid loves crayons, but you don’t get the colorful wax out of her clothes on the first wash, don’t fret. Spray WD-40 on the stain once the clothes come out of the dryer, give a little scrub and you’ll be all set. Also, make sure to use this hack outside to help diffuse the fumes.

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

7. Pipe Cleaners to Clean Straws

Sippy cups are an absolute must for kids, but cleaning them is next to impossible—until now. An easy way to clean the straw of your little one’s sippy cup is by using a pipe cleaner. The tiny hairs of the pipe cleaner create the perfect mini scrubbing action inside the straw. 

8. Socks in a Mesh Bag

If you’ve ever washed socks, you know keeping track of all of them is a challenge. But, don’t forget that you can always put them in a handy mesh bag. That way the socks can be washed and dried, and when you’re ready to put them away, you can be sure that none of them have escaped. 

photo: Gabby Cullen

9. Get Sparkling Stove Burners

Do you love to bake and cook? Want to clean your burners without scrubbing furiously? All you have to do is remove the burners, place each one in a plastic bag and add ammonia. Leave them overnight, remove in the morning and rinse. But, be careful! Ammonia is strong and using too much won’t dissolve the baked-on grime. You can let them soak outside this time of year. And make sure never to use ammonia at the same time as bleach or bleach-based product: the combo can be highly toxic. 

10. Coffee Filters for Screens

We know parenting in 2021 includes lots of screens. But, how do you keep those screens clean and free from smudges i.e. sticky ice cream fingers? One simple cleaning hack is to use coffee filters. Simply rub the filters over the screen like a regular duster, and voila! You have a sparkly clean screen ready for your family to use.  

11. Lemons for Cutting Board

Cutting boards are a great place for germs to thrive—but there's no need to freak. Try slicing a lemon in half and scrubbing your cutting board with the raw lemony goodness. The citric acid helps kill germs, and of course, this kitchen hack will leave your home with a magical fresh scent.

12. Clean Dusty Fans with a Pillowcase

Instead of using paper towels or a Swiffer (dust will get everywhere), use an old pillowcase. The dust will be captured inside! See how to do it at Happy Homemaker

13. Cream of Tartar to Clean Grease

If you've got a layer of grease that just won't budge, try Life as I Pin It's genius idea of mixing cream of tartar with water instead of a cleaning solution. Want to know more about her secret "scrubber?" Head over to Life as I Pin It for more details. 

photo: Gabby Cullen

14. Lint Roller to Pick Up Glitter

You love art projects, but you don't love the mess from art projects. Tackle the glittery stuff with a lint roller—your floors will thank you.

15. Baby Wipes on EVERYTHING

You can dust plants, condition leather, clean art supplies, wipe down the entire kitchen ... oh, and wipe little bottoms, too. They're also a safe way to get the kiddos inspired to help. They're so much closer to those baseboards!

photo: iStock

16. Water + Vinegar = Magic Potion

Anyone else use white vinegar for cleaning? Trust us, it works!  Two parts warm water, one part vinegar and wipe your way to bright and shiny mirrors, TVs, windows and more. Check out more of our non-toxic cleaning solutions here. 

photo: Gabby Cullen

17. Use Dryer Sheets to Dust the Baseboards

Give your baseboards a once over with a dryer sheet—not only will you get rid of the dust, but you'll also be giving them a protective layer against future build up.

photo: Gabby Cullen

18. Use Baby Powder on Grease Stains

Got grease? Sprinkle the spot with baby powder, wait 10 minutes and come back. Brush away the powder—the stain will be gone. Psst! Chalk works too!

photo: Gabby Cullen

19. Clean Plastic Toys in the Washing Machine with a Mesh Bag

Whether covered in sticky residue from your own kid or if you're giving a secondhand set a fresh start, plastic blocks clean right up when sent through the wash. Be sure to add items like towels or sheets to prevent banging during the cycle.

photo: Gabby Cullen

20. Clean the Humidifier with a Bottle Brush

Even if your kids have graduated to sippy cups, hold on to the bottle brush. It's perfect for cleaning hard-to-reach places in your humidifier.

21. Use Your Dishwasher for More than Dishes

You can wash hats, toys, sports gear, pacifiers, kids...just kidding! About the kid part, that is.

22. Use Toothpaste to Get Crayon Off the Walls

Your artist-in-residence can't resist a big, white, clean canvas (a.k.a. your hallway). Get rid of crayon masterpieces with a little non-gel toothpaste and a little elbow grease.

photo: iStock

23. Use Plants as Air Purifiers

Clear the air while living green, literally. Certain indoor houseplants act as super air purifiers: Aloe Vera, Boston Ferns, Ficus trees, Peace Lily and more.

photo: Gabby Cullen

24. Use Plastic Placemats to Clean Up Food Messes

And you thought they were just for educational purposes.


— Natasha Davis with Gabby Cullen


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13 Genius Organizing Hacks for the Kitchen

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With the holiday season approaching, we know you’ll soon be spending lots of time in your kitchen. Since it’s basically the heart of the house, being organized is key. We’ve gathered some of our favorite kitchen organizing tips that will keep you out of the disaster zone and help you transform the way you use the family’s favorite space. Scroll down to see them all.

1. Have a dedicated kitchen tablet.

Cut down on all the clutter that gathers in a kitchen by dedicating a tablet to the workspace. The family calendar, recipes, shopping lists and bills are just a few of the things you can take digital to cut back on clutter.



photo: istock

2. Clean out the fridge once and for all.

From where to store your milk to the best inserts to keep it all straight, check out The Kitchn's easy tricks to keeping your fridge clean.

3. Hang pots and pans.

Give yourself extra storage space for things that don't have handles by installing a pot rack on the wall or overhead. 

4. Make a can organizer.

Pantry storage can be a doozy! Something that can take up a lot of room is canned goods. From soup to fruit, veggies and stews, you need an efficient way to keep them all organized. An easy way to do this is using a magazine holder or a soda box to create the perfect DIY can dispenser. We love the one spotted over at Perfection Gone Astray

5. Craft a chalkboard cabinet.

When you combine the kitchen organization with helpful notes, you get a chalkboard cabinet. How do you create this fantastic concept, you ask? Use this cool tutorial from Tid Bits from The Tremaynes to paint the inside of your cabinet with chalkboard paint, and then add extra hooks inside for measuring cups or other goodies. See the tutorial here

6. Add a lazy susan to the fridge.

Another useful fridge hack: for easy access to all of your favorite jams and condiments, try using a lazy Susan in your fridge. The perfect swiveling action will give you constant access to all of your favorite sauces without having to take everything out of your fridge to get to them.

7. Put a shoe organizer in your pantry.

We know you love using that awesome shoe organizer in your bedroom. Have you ever considered using it in your kitchen? One of the coolest kitchen organizing tips we found is to put a hanging shoe organizer in your pantry. The endless pockets can be used to store food or must-haves like plastic bags, trash bags and foil.

8. Magnetize your spices.

Organizing your spices is a challenge because they’re so small, and you can’t stack anything on top of them. But, what if you didn’t have to store them in a cabinet? This inventive hack from Davison will show you how to magnetize each jar of spices and stick them to the side of your fridge. This gives you easy access to your spices without the wasted storage space. See how it's done by clicking here.

9. Use labels in the pantry.

We know you’re committed to having an organized pantry, but it’s not enough to just put everything in boxes or containers. To create your dream pantry, what you really need are labels. Whether you use adhesive labels or notecards, labeling all of the containers will make it easier to store, stock and find everything.

10. Properly store your cords.

When it comes to kitchen organization, one of the most important things to have is counter space. And the biggest challenge is all those appliances and their cords. (and can be pretty dangerous for the little ones). But, what if you didn’t have to worry about them? Try this awesome hack from Dreaming in DIY. All you need to do is attach Command hooks to your appliances, and you have instant cord storage.

11. Install a shower rod under the sink.

You might think a shower rod is only useful for your bathroom, but think again! One awesome way to incorporate a shower rod into your kitchen is by sticking it under your sink, like Crystal from Little Bit Funky has done. The rod acts as a hanging storage rod where you can put all of those pesky spray bottles. See how it's done by clicking here.

12. Use a tissue box for plastic bags.

You can never have enough plastic bags, but storing them is a bit of a mess. You can always bundle them together and create a bag full of bags, but that’s not the most efficient choice. One of our favorite kitchen organizing tips is to fold the bags neatly and place them in a tissue box, and voila! You’ve got a plastic bag dispenser.

13. Organize your pot lids on the cabinet door.

Pot lids are so difficult to store because they're fragile, and you need easy access to all of them. Check out this genius idea from Jayefuu on Instructables. All you’ll need to do is use Command hooks inside your cabinets to support each lid: It gets them out of the way and makes them accessible in a snap.

— Natasha Davis



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44 Life-Changing Hacks to Save Your Holiday Season

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The holidays are just around the corner! Soon you’ll be breaking out those Christmas decorations, writing letters to Santa, crafting sweet Christmas cookies, and shopping ‘til you drop. To help you sleigh this season, we’ve gathered our favorite hacks for making unique decor, keeping your house clean, saving on gifts, and even creative ways to use twinkle lights. Check out the full list below, and you can even check it twice!

Crystal Vase Cookie Stamp

Whether you’re giving cookies to friends and teachers, or just making yummy treats for the fam, it’s always fun to make them a little fancy. Using the base of a crystal vase, it’s super easy to stamp out a unique cookie dough design everyone will love.

Goldfish Container Gingerbread Support

Prevent a massive mess when your kiddos are constructing their awesome gingerbread houses by building the structure around a large goldfish container. The box is a perfect size, and the sturdy cardboard will make building these scrumptious houses a breeze.

Hang Ornaments from the Chandelier

Wreaths are cool, but if you want to bring wreath vibes into your dining room, try handing ornaments from your chandelier or classic dining room light fixture! Using ribbon, tie your favorite Christmas ornaments to the fixture at different heights to create a cool piece a decor you can enjoy all season long.

photo: Elaine Ashton via Flickr

Wrap Tinsel Around the Center of Your Tree

Getting your Christmas tree is always fun, but since they’re natural, they aren’t always perfect. Now they can be. Take green tinsel and wrap it around the center of the tree to give it an extra fluffy look.

Melted Snowman Water

Even water can be festive during the holiday season. Instead of those boring water bottle labels, use printables to create these amazing add-ons that are guaranteed to make you the hit of the classroom holiday party.

Decorated Cookie Boxes

Show off your fam’s holiday cookie recipe with these gorgeous cookie boxes. Give your friends, neighbors and teachers a yummy gift they’ll love. Find out how to create these beautiful boxes from our friend Aunt Peaches.

Twinkling Trees for Your Lawn

Decorating your lawn for the holidays can be expensive and a little complicated. But not anymore! With these helpful tips from Mary & Tim of 17 Apart, you can create your very own trees to give your lawn a little extra twinkle.

Create Your Own Festive Plates

Save money on expensive holiday table decor by crafting your own with a little help from The Krazy Coupon Lady. Grab a roll of chalkboard tape and a chalk pen to add holiday flare to any plate, platter, or mug.

Making Santa’s Footprints

Make Santa’s visit even more magical by creating footprints that lead your kiddos right to the tree. Little Hiccups has all the info you need to make your good little boys and girls extra excited on Christmas morning.

Candy Canes as Card Holders

Turn those extra candy canes into cardholders with this awesome idea from The Krazy Coupon Lady. Tie a pair of them with a ribbon, and you’ve got a festive card holder! Bonus: They are also the perfect party favor or dessert!

Mini Pumpkins as Bowls

One of the more creative ways to use pumpkins on your table is by creating pumpkin bowls for soup, dip, or as a funky ice chest. Incorporate the pumpkin into your Thanksgiving meal in an exciting way that will make your dinner a holiday hit.

Cranberry Crafts

Cranberries are a holiday must-have that are great for decor or craft projects. We love this five-minute luminary idea from Today's Creative Life. Click here for even more awesome ideas.

Condiment Bottle For Icing

Frosted sugar cookies are a holiday staple, but decorating them can be super messy. In order to keep the crazy contained, use clear condiment bottles to create intricate designs and keep everything clean(er).

Making Pink Champagne

Champagne is a must for every holiday party, and you can make this treat even sweeter in a snap. Add cotton candy to your flute and pour the bubbly over it. Bonus: Try a non-alcoholic version with 7-Up for the kiddos.

Paper Wrapped Candles Centerpiece

These DIY paper wrapped candles make the perfect gift or centerpiece for any holiday party. Pick up some winter wonderland gift wrap and dollar store sanctuary candles, and head over to Today's Creative Life for all the details.

Store Ornaments in Cups

Everyone wants to keep their ornaments organized, and it turns out all you need is a bin and a stack of plastic cups to make sure each ornament stays perfectly packed until next year. Head over to eHow for a fun video tutorial.

photo: Gabby Cullen

Make Your Own Baking Powder

Baking is one of the best parts of the holiday season, but what if you run out of baking powder for your festive confections? We have a simple solution. To get 1 teaspoon baking powder, mix ¼ teaspoon baking soda with ½ teaspoon cream of tartar, and voila!

Photos Instead of Gift Tags

Instead of using those tiny gift tags, follow Our Suburban Farm’s lead and use your favorite photos from the past year. Print and paste the pics on each gift to add an artistic and unique touch.

Hot Glue For Twinkle Lights

Having trouble getting the twinkle lights to stick to your home’s exterior? Try applying hot glue in exactly the right spot, and your lights will stick to those porous surfaces in no time. This awesome tutorial from Christmas Decorators will help you get the job done.

Wrap Your Tree Before You Toss It

The big day is over and you need to take your tree to the curb, but how do you make that happen without getting pine needles all over your house? We recommend wrapping garbage bags around both ends to minimize the mess. Simply remove and re-use the bags after (most city tree pickups require the trees to be unwrapped). You can also do the same thing with an old sheet unless your tree is extra long. 

Whipped Cream Shapes

You can make any mug of hot chocolate extra festive with this brilliant hack. Try freezing your whipped cream to make fun shapes with cookie cutters. Get the recipe and some helpful tips on An Italian in My Kitchen.

DIY Colorful Menorah

Get creative this Hanukkah with this delightful take on the traditional menorah. Grab a few extra paper towel rolls, a vibrant selection of paint, popsicle sticks and some sparkling golden paper to create the flames, and you’ll have a one-of-a-kind keepsake to add some colorful fun to your holiday décor.

DIY Cookie Holders

If you’re looking for a cute and simple way to deliver your delicious holiday treats without breaking a single one, try this cool method from It’s Always Autumn. With a paper plate and a few adorable embellishments, you’ll have one sweet cookie holder.

Hot Glue Snowflakes

Save on holiday décor by making your own snowflakes. All you need is parchment paper, a glue gun and Muslin & Merlot’s tutorial for Glue Gun Snowflakes. (Her free snowflake printable is also available here.) You’ll have wintry, one-of-a-kind décor for windows and tabletops and even the tree!

Instapot Wine Recipe

If you’ve discovered the joy of cooking with an Instant Pot, then you’ll know this little beauty can do just about anything, including turning grape juice into wine. With a little help from David Murphy, all you need to do is grab some grape juice and leave the pot on its yogurt setting, and you’ll have your very own wine in a matter of hours!

Gifting Checklist

Deciding on a strategy to deal with your kiddos' endless list of holiday gift requests is always hard. But, luckily we have a pretty genius solution. Create a gifting checklist for each person, so they know that they'll be getting a present from every category: 1. Something they want, 2. Something they need, 3. Something to wear and 4. Something to read.

Decorate Your Pumpkins for The Holidays

Save a few of your Halloween pumpkins to paint, stack, and dress up. Follow this cool tutorial from Nola Girl at Heart to create your very own snowman with painted pumpkins.

Pick Up Broken Glass

Whether you’re throwing a holiday party or just decorating the tree, you need to be ready to deal with broken glass. Instead of sweeping or vacuuming, we recommend reaching for a slice of bread. Press the bread over the glass and watch as all those tiny shards disappear in seconds.

Keep Your Chocolate Melted

Creating the gooey goodness of melted chocolate is a must for decorating your favorite holiday treats. To keep the chocolate perfectly melty, make sure it stays in a water bath in your slow cooker. You can also use The Yummy Life technique to melt peanut butter chips, milk and white chocolate to give your kiddos tons of decorating options.

Festive Trash Bin for Gift Wrap

Unwrapping presents is one of the most magical and messy parts of the holiday season. Chica & Jo came up with a brilliant idea to wrap a large box with an open top in wrapping paper and use it as a trash bin on the big day. When it’s all over, it’s as simple as carrying it out the door.

photo: Amber Guetebier

Bundt Pan Wreath

Build a cool upcycled wreath using an old bundt pan, ribbon and a little flair. We promise it’ll be nothing bundt fun for your little helpers. Click here for all of the details, and don't forget, you can always skip the painting step and go with copper or silver to make it even easier.

Get a Real Letter from Santa

Keep the magic alive for your little ones by arranging to have a letter from Santa arrive in the mail. The USPS has a Letters from Santa program; simply have your kiddo write a letter, then you write a letter from "Santa" and send them both to the North Pole by December 15th.

DIY Santa Cups

Make our drinks extra festive with these adorable Santa Cups from Monica at Homemade Parties. Consider using them for holiday gifts for teachers: one of these full of candy, bath salts or handmade cookies is cute and hassle-free!

The LightKeeper Pro

Twinkle lights make your house feel like a winter wonderland, but one faulty bulb means tossing out the whole string. That’s why one of our must-have gadgets for the season is The LightKeeper Pro. This handy little tool fixes broken bulbs is seconds, and is guaranteed to save you some serious cash.

Wire Hanger Tinsel Tree

Turn your coat hangers into holiday decor in a snap. These trees are perfect for side tables and window sills, and can even double as a seasonal hallway nightlight. Check out just how easy they are to make by heading over to Natalme for the instructions.

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

Bag Clip on Tape Edge

When you’re wrapping all those presents, losing the tape edge is every parent’s worst nightmare. But, we’ve got a hack that will change your life. All you need to do is put a bag clip at the end of the roll to hold your place.

Make a Sleigh with Halloween Candy

Don’t let your leftover Halloween candy go to waste! Use those yummy treats to create perfect gifts for teachers, neighbors and friends. Learn more about how to turn two candy canes and a KitKat into a totally adorable sleigh over at Ellyn’s Place.

Use Hot Glue on Your Gingerbread House

You can do anything with hot glue, including build an amazing gingerbread house. It might sound kinda wacky, but using hot glue will actually make your gingerbread house last way long. Head over My Little Poppies for more details on how to create the ultimate gingerbread masterpiece.

Snow Dough

Whether you’re bracing for the polar vortex or looking forward to a sunny holiday season, kiddos love playing with snow. Try creating your very own snow dough with this awesome recipe from Adventures in Wunderland. The best part, all you have to do is add water, and you’ve got instant dough!

Wine Glass Snow Globe

Snow globes always give you that classic winter wonderland vibe. Head to Consumer Crafts to learn how to turn a plastic wine glass and some miniature trees into this signature piece of decor. Also, if you don't feel like making fake snow, Miss Kopy Kat suggests using Epsom salts as a budget-friendly alternative.

Color Code the Wrapping Paper By Kid

Color coding your gifts is an easy way for your non-readers to pass out presents and figures exactly which gifts are theirs. Assign each family member a color or wrapping paper pattern, and forget all of those pesky gift tags.

Build Your Own Fireplace

Curling up next to a crackling fire gets you in the holiday spirit, but you don't actually need a functioning fireplace to enjoy the tradition. All you really need is six cardboard boxes, a roll of packing tape, and some brick covering. Learn all about building your very own fireplace with a little help from this awesome tutorial

Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate

Winter is the ultimate season for breaking out the slow cooker to help you create yummy dinners for the fam. But, this amazing invention is also great for brewing scrumptious hot chocolate. Head over to How Sweet Eats for all details on making hot chocolate everyone will love. 

Ornament Wreath

Decking the halls is one of the best parts of the holiday season. If you’re looking for something shinier to decorate your home, try creating a giant ornament wreath with this hack from Sweet Pickins.

— Natasha Davis with Jennifer Massoni Pardini


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11 Winter Holiday Traditions from Around the World

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You may look for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, but what if you had 13 Santas? Holiday traditions from around the world include floral abundance, door-to-door witches and more (like 13 Santas!). Read on to learn about some of our favorite traditions from all over the world.

Soyal—Southwestern US

In Hopi culture, the Soyal Solstice Ceremony, held in December, is a time to pray to Father Sun for the renewal of light and welcoming back of the sun. It is a time to purify and to wish for good health and prosperity for one’s family and friends and the kachinas—spirit beings who guard over the Hopi—often bring gifts for children. The start of the celebration begins sixteen days before the solstice, when one of the chief kachinas makes an appearance, and dances and sings. Families make prayer sticks to bless their friends, neighbors, family, animals and plants alike. Children are sometimes given replicas of the kachinas to learn about them—there are hundreds that represent animals, plants, and other aspects of nature.

Flores de Noche Buena—Mexico

In Mexico, poinsettias aren't just pretty flowers for the holidays. Instead, the bright petals play an important role in the holiday story about a young peasant girl, who, after setting out for a Christmas celebration with no gift to give, sees (with the help of a heavenly visitor) her humble gift of collected grasses and weeds magically transformed into 'Flores de Noche Buena,' bringing her to understand the true meaning of giving from the heart.


The Yule Lads— Iceland

In the beautiful snow covered hills of Iceland, there isn’t just one Santa, there are thirteen. Yes, you read that right. There are thirteen Yule Lads that cause mischief and decide who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. These sons of the evil troll woman, Grýla, arrive in the thirteen days leading up to Christmas Eve, and each has a mischievous specialty including stealing meat, sausages, and candles. They also give small gifts, chocolate and other sweets to the good girls and boys, and raw potatoes to the naughty ones.


Kiwi Christmas Tree—New Zealand

We love our classic evergreen trees, but for the Kiwis in New Zealand it’s all about the pohutukawa tree. This beautiful tree has deep roots in New Zealand’s culture, with several songs, poems and other cultural items capturing it's significance. It is also part of Maori culture, and is thought to be a bridge to the afterlife.


Mummers —Latvia

The yuletide season is a bit more like carnival with these Latvian party animals, except, driving out the evil spirits from the home is the purpose of this riot of color and good times. The Mummers are hilarious jokers who love dressing up and travel around in full costume as everything from bears, to gypsies and even zombies. With their help, you’ll definitely be having a prosperous new year.


Mari Lwyd—Wales

Mari Lwyd is a rare and special character. The name means Holy Mary, but it actually refers to the horse mascot that is carried door-to-door by singing groups in Wales during the holiday season. Traditional carolers usually stay beyond the threshold of your door, but, in Wales, they're trying to join the party. They sing small pieces of music as a way of asking to be let into each house, and will banter back and forth with the family before being welcomed inside to enjoy sweet cakes and ale.


photo: Marty Gable via flickr

Spider Webs in Christmas Trees—Ukraine

Celebrating Christmas in Ukraine started with a classic Christmas miracle. A penniless family decided to grow a Christmas tree from a pinecone. The excited kiddos spent months planning the perfect decorations for their special tree, but their parents didn’t have enough money to buy the extra decor. On Christmas morning, the family discovered that a group of helpful spiders had spun delicate webs through the tree’s branches. As the light hit the beautiful silk threads, their magically turned to silver and gold. Today, decorating Christmas trees with spider webs is a way to usher in good luck for the coming year.


La Befana—Italy

In Italy, Santa is small potatoes compared to the arrival of an old woman on a broomstick named La Befana. She visits children on January 6th, to deliver gifts to the good little girls and boys and lumps of coal (usually lumps of black sugar) to the naughty ones. According to legend, La Befana was invited to travel with the Three Wise Men to celebrate the birth of Jesus. She was busy cleaning her house, so she decided not to go. When she realized her mistake, she began searching high and low for the child and still wanders the earth to this day.


Junkanoo —The Bahamas

The Bahamas brings a whole new meaning to the term “Christmas Party” with Junkanoo. This riot of music and vibrant colors was originally developed by slaves, who were given three days off for the Christmas holiday. They celebrated with music, masks and killer dance moves. Today, this festival includes massive dance troupes of up to 1,000 people, elaborate costumes and gorgeous music created with goatskin drums, cowbells, whistles and horns.


St. Lucia Day—Sweden

Nordic countries have long celebrated the Winter Solstice and in modern times, on December 13, Christians in Sweden, Norway and parts of Finland celebrate St. Lucia Day with a traditional festival of lights. In each town, a representative for St. Lucia is chosen to lead a large procession through the town with all of young girls dressed in white with wreaths of candles around their heads. The tradition continues at home, where the eldest daughter dresses in a white outfit and serves coffee and yummy biscuits to the family.

KFC Christmas—Japan

When you think of Christmas dinner, turkey or ham are probably your go-to dishes. Well in Japan, the ultimate feast is none other than KFC. The Colonel’s delectable Christmas Chicken started as a promotion in 1974, and the company has seen their sales peak every Christmas Eve since. So if you happen to be in Japan for the holiday, make sure to pop in to KFC for finger lickin' goodness. But, make sure to get there early because there's going to be a line.


Which holiday tradition is your favorite? Share with us in a comment below.

— Natasha Davis & Amber Guetebier

16 IKEA Organization Hacks You Need in Your Life

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If you think organizing your home is complicated and expensive, think again! With a little help from our favorite IKEA hacks you can use their popular selection of containers, furniture and cube organizers to keep your home in order without going overboard on the budget. Scroll down to check out our favorite IKEA hacks to help your fam get organized today.

Light-Up Table

Make your kids’ activities even more fun with an awesome light-up table. IKEA’s classic LATT table can become a unique addition to the play area with LED lights, acrylic sheets and glass finish spray for a funky glow they’ll love. Check out Hobby Mommy Creations to learn more.

Mail Holders

Mail is one of the most painful things to organize, but with this hack from Jules of IKEA Hackers, it doesn’t have to be. One of her coolest IKEA transformations takes a TOSTERUP from a door handle to a mail holder. All you need are the door handles and Sugru, an awesome moldable glue, and you’ll be ready to tackle all that mail clutter.

Lego Table

Okay, let’s be honest, LEGO are every parent’s worst nightmare when it comes to organization, but with this hack, IKEA’s got you covered. With a little elbow grease, you can create a custom LEGO table with a couple of TROFAST shelf systems, LEGO base plates, brackets, glue and tape. Visit Frugal Fun 4 Boys to see how it all comes together.

Picture Ledge Library

Don’t have enough room for a bookshelf, but still want to create a mini library from your little ones? Try using IKEA’s RIBBA picture ledges. They allow you to stack books vertically and lean them against the wall for a more open concept storage solution. Take a peek at Project Nursery’s version for inspiration.

Custom Cork Board

With a little help from Betty at Oh Everything Handmade, you can make your own custom cork board in a snap. Grab budget-friendly IKEA cork rounds and a fun combo of acrylic paint colors to create a wall feature that helps you stay organized and gives you a way to display some fab family photos.  

Reading Nook

Help your kiddos get excited about reading by creating a custom reading nook (no construction permits required). By using the area under the lofted KURA bed, adding curtains, and putting a comfy chair and strings of lights inside, your little readers are going to love their sweet getaway.

Movable Work Station

Whether you need an office or your kids need a homework area, having a portable workspace could give you all kinds of storage options. Follow this super helpful tutorial from Diane of In My Own Style to see how a basic dresser can become a versatile rolling workspace. We’re not going to lie, transforming this dresser will take a little extra elbow grease, but the results are sure to impress.

Bookshelf Mudroom Lockers

Whether you have a mudroom, or just have a bit of extra space in your entry, Melissa from Polkadot Chair has a hack that will revolutionize your storage life. Using the Billy bookcase, you can actually create lockers for everyone’s coats, bags, shoes and more.

Bed Slats

Your bed slats are so much more than support for your bed. Use this awesome idea from Kristina of Ich Designer to make an amazing wall storage space for your fam. Hang baskets, magazines, notebooks and more to get your everyday must-haves out of the way.

Drawer Dividers

If you’re looking for IKEA hacks that are simple, drawer dividers are perfect. They require almost no assembly and can help you organize piles of laundry in a snap.

Bookcase Dollhouse

The multifunctional Billy bookcase can also be transformed into an adorable dollhouse, which is perfect if you’re looking to update your kiddos' play space. Head over to DIY Village for all the details!

Carseat Organizer

When you’re traveling with kiddos, it’s important to have everything at your fingertips. This car seat organizer from IKEA Hackers will allow your little ones to have some of their favorite things on every car trip. From iPads to colored pencils, this organizer is a game changer.

Shoe Rack as Paper Storage

What makes IKEA storage products so genius is their ability to capitalize on the tiniest of spaces. Whether you’re looking to store paperwork in your office or toilet paper in your bathroom, check out how Cori of Hey Let’s Makes Stuff expertly transforms this Tornes shoe organizer into a versatile storage system that fits anywhere.

Bookcase Shoe Storage

Organizing shoes in an easy and accessible way is every mom’s ultimate storage nightmare. But, not anymore. All you really need is a Billy bookshelf and you can make your very own shoe organization system without the fuss. See how fashion blogger Tatiana makes it work here

Magnetic Car Organizers

We promise, once you check out this awesome hack, you won’t be stepping on any more toy cars. Follow this tutorial and discover how easy it is to make magnetic strips to hold for your kiddies planes, trains and automobiles.

Rolling Under Bed Storage

Under your bed doesn’t have to be wasted storage space. Transform it with a helping hand from Faith at Curbly. Believe it or not, her amazing under the bed storage boxes are actually made of frames! Check out her tutorial to get started.

—Natasha Davis



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29 Storage Hacks Every Parent Needs

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Whether you’re stepping on a sea of toys or your garage is stuffed to the gills, we have 29 storage hacks that will organize your house. From garage storage ideas to toy storage ideas, scroll down and find our life-changing favorite parent hacks that are clever and easy to do.

Streamline School Mornings

Rise and shine! It's time to streamline that morning routine. We love this brilliant hack by Systems for Sensory Kids that makes the back-to-school morning routine as easy as 1-2-3! You'll need a container, cups and labels (waterproof is best) to get your little learner ready for school.

Terrific Bathtub Toy Solution

Squeaky clean! As far as cool bathroom toy storage ideas go, this one's easy-peasy. Mama Shannon over at 8 Foot Six, upcycles a hanging fruit basket to organize tub toys (genius!), which leaves you more space for other things.

Clothing Drawer Hack

Waste no space! Help half-pints get ready quickly on school mornings with The Organized Mama's twist on storing kids clothes: you can fold clothes for easy outfit picking and make more space when you use bins inside the drawers.

Play Kitchen Storage

Help little cooks organize their play kitchen with this sweet toy storage idea. Hop over to Hello Baby Brown for her clever use of a tiered rack that keeps cookware and toy food off the floor and within easy reach of little hands.

Perfect Puzzle Hack

Missing puzzle pieces? We have the hack for you. Follow the simple steps over at Days with Grey to organize all those stray (or mixed up) puzzle pieces. By taking a photo of each puzzle, then placing the pieces in a container from around the house, you'll have a perfect puzzle storage solution.

Stuffed Animal Corral

We got this stuffed toy storage idea straight from the horse's mouth. You'll need to be a little handy to complete this project and can follow the step-by-step over at Shades of Blue Interiors. Your tots can have easy access to their favorite toys through the paracord and keep their rooms clean to boot.

Clever Crayon Holder

Work of art! Finding the right crayon color during art playtime can be simple with this crayon hack from KFUNdamentals. Just grab a plastic popsicle holder and let little artist sort and draw.

Genius Diaper Holder

Double-duty! Master changing diapers with this creative storage hack from Oh Joy! Use a shoe holder to hold diapers and baby wipes for ease of use and plenty of room. It makes changing little ones a breeze.

DIY Bookshelf Crates

Stack it up! Do you need a book and toy storage idea for your kid's room? With a few crates and colorful paint, you can make a vibrant storage solution and keep a clean and easy-to-find space. Find the how-to over at Crazy Little Projects.

Dress Up Storage

Kiddos can’t get enough of dress up, but finding ways to store all of the costumes and accessories in one place is almost impossible. Luckily, this DIY Dress-Up Storage Center from Old House to New Home is an awesome fix. This piece will require some legit construction, but the final product is totally worth it!

Outdoor Toy Buckets

If your kids love playing outside, you probably know the struggle of organizing all of their outdoor toys. These labeled metal buckets are as far as toy storage ideas go from Domestic Charm to keep all of their goodies together without bringing them in the house.

Peg Board Craft Storage

To keep everything at your family’s fingertips, try this unique peg board hack (a perfect garage storage idea!) created by Cori over at Hey Let’s Make Stuff. Simply trace the outline of your most used items such as scissors, mason jars, rulers, etc., and use the holes in the board to mount each item. This is a cute way to make sure everything goes back where it belongs.

Magnetic Lego Strips

LEGO storage might be the ultimate organization challenge, but all you really need is a few key items from IKEA and some sticky glue to create these amazing magnetic strips to store all of those itsy bitsy bricks. Head over to Kojo Designs for all the details.

Barbie Shoe Organizer

Kimbo of A Girl and a Glue Gun's awesome Barbie organizer is similar to an over-the-door shoe organizer, but it is customized to fit the height and width of each doll. There is a bit of sewing involved, but in the end, you’ll have a unique holder for easy storage.

Stuffed Animal Storage Bag

Kids love their plushies! Over the years they just keep multiplying, but storing them is actually simpler than you think. Try this stuffed animal toy storage idea from Boon to store all of your kids' fluffy babies and convert them into a comfy seat in seconds.

Family Lockers

If you struggle with keeping your foyer or mudroom free from clutter, Melissa from Polka Dot Chair has an ingenious solution. Follow her instructions to transform a few Ikea bookcases into family lockers that can house everything from shoes to gym bags, backpacks, coats and so much more.

DIY Crayon Caddy

Every mini-Van Gogh needs the right tools, which means your house is full of crayons. Follow this genius hack from How Stuff Works, and you’ll have a DIY crayon caddy that makes those pesky little coloring must-haves super easy to store.

Book Baskets

This hack from VanHook & Co. is here to save the day. This budget-friendly idea only requires a couple of $4 Ikea wastebaskets. All you have to do is secure the baskets to any wall or door, and you’ve just created a cool new storage system.

Toothbrush Holders

Kimbo from A Girl and a Glue Gun offers up a creative way to use mason jars to keep everyone’s toothbrush-ing must-haves organized. All you’ll need is a mason jar for each kid and name labels to make sure each little rascal gets their products back in the right place.

Doll Clothes Storage

What’s adorable, tiny and almost impossible to store? You guessed it, doll clothes. No worries, we have the perfect solution brought to you by Karen Mother of Three. All you need is a bamboo stick or wooden dowel and a plastic laundry basket. Take a peek at the full tutorial here!

Soda Box Can Storage

It’s always hard to find kitchen storage, and something that can take up a lot of room is canned goods. An easy way to save space and stay organized is by using a magazine holder or a soda box to create the perfect DIY can dispenser. Check out the fantastic tutorial on Perfection Gone Astray to make yours today.

Shower Caddies for the Trunk

Your little ones have made your car their second home, and with that comes a whole lot of stuff. But that doesn’t have to mean the end of the organization in the mommy-mobile. According to HAPPYnings, it’s all about shower caddies. That’s right, those funny things with the big pockets that you hang in your shower. It turns out, they’re a pretty fantastic organizational tool for everything from hair brushes to sunscreen and so much more. Use these dollar store finds and large labels to keep your car in order.

Swoop Bag

If you’ve ever felt the pain of stepping on a stray LEGO, you know that proper toy storage is an absolute must. One of our favorite ways to store your little one’s toys is the Swoop Bag. This versatile bag lays flat and can be gathered up quickly to store the tiniest of toys. Of course, this is perfect for classic faves like LEGO, cars, train sets and more.

Coffee Pod Play Dough Carousel

Who doesn’t love play dough? But, storing all of those little canisters so your fam can play with any color, any time is just really complicated. Not anymore! Brilliant Mama Aimee Joraux has got you covered. Her idea to use a coffee carousel for play dough toy storage is a brilliant idea that is nothing short of pure genius.

Laundry Bags

Storage is great, but what good is it if you can’t find what you need when you need it? This simple fix from Home to Heather will allow you to do just that. All you need are mesh laundry bags, and you’ll never have to rummage for those bouncy balls again. Store toys cars, dolls, balls, and anything else you can think of in these lightweight bags. But here’s the best part, if they get dirty, just throw them in the wash.

Bathtub Baskets

Bath time is the ultimate playtime but by the end, the toys are everywhere. If you don’t know how to organize all of your bathing beauty's splash-able friends, take a page from The Inspired Home. Their fix is quick, easy and it won’t break the bank. Grab four baskets, shower hooks, an adjustable shower rod and presto! You’ve got a colorful, organized, space-saving bath toy organizer.

photo: The Thriftiness Miss

Plastic Bag Storage

You can never have too many extra plastic bags, but they always seem to disappear just when you need them the most. One of the easiest ways to make sure they’re always at your fingertips is by sticking them in an old cleaning wipe dispenser. Even more, decorate and label the dispenser for fun. You can match it to your color scheme.

Shower Rod Under the Sink

Shower rods aren’t just for your bathroom, they can be a game changer in the kitchen too! Take it from Crystal at Little Bit Funky. Use her brilliant idea to create hanging storage for all of those pesky spray bottles with a rod under your sink. See how it's done by clicking here.

Labeled Jars

Try storing your favorite art supplies in mason jars. Remove the lids from these adorable glass containers, and add personalized labels to keep just about anything organized and easy to access.

— Natasha Davis and Nikki Walsh


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First-Aid Remedies to Save Your Summer

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The summer season is filled with beach vacations, road trips, theme parks, camping and other amazing adventures with your family. And, with all of these activities come mosquito bites, bee stings and more. In order to make this the best summer ever, we found easy-to-make remedies for everything from swimmer’s ear to a sunburn. Take a look at our list of helpful first-aid summer hacks for parents and you’ll be all set.

A Fully Prepped First-Aid Kit for the Home

Before whipping up any homemade remedies, it's always a good idea to make sure your at-home First Aid Kit is fully stocked and ready to go. We did the work for you, and list everything you need to have in your kit, plus a few helpful hints, here

Homemade Sunburn Relief Cream

Problem: Your kids are burnt to a crisp after a day on the beach.

Solution: You’re definitely going to want to grab some of Freebie Finding Mom’s sunburn cream. This homemade formula includes all of your favorite sunburn relievers in one awesome cream that will give your whole family instant relief.

After Swimming Ear Drops

Problem: Swimming is one of the best parts of summer. But anytime your kids are in the water there’s a possibility they might get swimmer’s ear.

Solution: These annoying earaches are painful, and one way to make sure that your little ones don’t have issues is to try this homemade ear drop recipe from Daily Momtivity.

How to Remove a Tick

Problem: One creepy crawler you’re likely to run into this summer is the tick. Ticks are dangerous, and if your kid gets bit by one of these pesky little guys, you'll need to remove it right away.

Solution: You’ve got two options: Your first choice is to loop a small piece of floss around the tick’s head, pull tight and lift up. Another option is to take a credit card and slide it between the ticks head and your kiddo’s skin. Done! And all without a trip to the Urgent Care. 

Treat Rashes Naturally

Problem: Whether it’s poison ivy, swim trunks or an allergic reaction, rashes can really put a damper on your summertime adventures.

Solution: Try creating a paste with oatmeal or coconut oil and spreading it over the itchy area. Both of these products are natural anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory ingredients that will neutralize the itch.

Summer Cold Remedies

Problem: You might think colds are just a struggle during winter, but colds in the summer are always possible.

Solution: Have your little ones eat a spoonful of honey when they have a sore throat. Another solid choice is giving them as much Vitamin C as possible to boost their immune system. You can also use a humidifier to cleanse the air and add moisture without adding heat.

DIY Bug Sticks and Spray

Problem: Summer is a time for fun in the sun, but it’s also the time when mosquito bites or a bee sting could ruin your whole day.

Solution: If you’re not into the harsh chemicals in the run of the mill bug strays and itch repellents, try this homemade version from Little Sprouts Learning. The natural ingredients are healthy and effective!

Or Use a Nontoxic Product to Repel Mosquitos

If making your own natural repellent isn't your wheelhouse, we recently tried the PARA'KITO line of products. They offer a variety of options perfect for families; there's a roll-on stick, wristbands in cute styles and colors., and even a clip. The bands and clips are refillable, too, making them more environmentally friendly than a disposal brand. They are made from essential oils and are chemical-free. Check out more at


Stopping Stomach Bugs

Problem: With all of the awkward storage situations for food in the summer, stomach bugs are a bigger problem than you might think. Coolers aren’t as cold as a fridge, which means things aren’t quite as sterile as we’d like them to be. Plus, your kids might be taking in water from unknown sources.

Solution: In order to keep all of your food sanitary, store raw meat separately from other foods. Another way to combat stomach bugs is to make sure your kids don't swallow any water in lake or ponds.

Soothe Mosquito Bites

Problem: You're out camping or hiking and forget to pack your favorite itch cream.

Solution: If someone gets mosquito bites, and you don’t have anything to help calm the itching, simply warm a spoon under hot water and place it over the bite. The heat from the metal stops the production of the histamines that cause the itching.

Treat Your Bee Sting

Problem: Bee stings are a huge concern in the summer. Even after you’ve removed those pesky stringers, there is usually a lot of swelling and pain. 

Solution: All you need is baking soda and water. This homemade paste will neutralize bee venom and control swelling. The paste will dry and flake off, and you can always apply more if your little ones need it.

—Natasha Davis

Featured photo: iStock 

Editor’s Note: In the case of a real emergency, please consult a healthcare professional or head for an emergency room.  




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