Quick Fixes for Busy Moms

Are you a busy mom in need of some quick fixes? …. Hahahahaha. That’s a funny question, am I right? I mean, who ISN’T a busy mom? Whether you are a stay at home, work at home, or work away from home mom – we’re all being pulled in a million directions each day, and it can be hard to keep up. I know that I struggle to stay organized and on track with the chaos of a toddler and a home business – keeping stress at bay is a must, but it’s tough. Which is why the theme behind this whole site is “Smart Solutions for Busy Moms” – finding those clever ideas that help simplify our lives so we have time for the important stuff. I recently hosted a little get together with a few of my fave momma friends, to talk about quick fixes we use to keep life running smoothly. Check ’em out:

manicure touch ups with markers [Read more…]

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How to Customize Your Smartphone to Manage YOUR Unique Life #MeetYours

“The phrase “working mother” is redundant.” – Jane Sellman… That is one of my all-time favorite quotes, and pretty much sums up motherhood for me. Every mom is a “working” mom, whether she works in a traditional job outside the home, is an independent freelancer like me working inside the home, or works as the CEO of her household. {Want to hear what other moms think about the job of motherhood? Comment on the Facebook thread.}

Moms that can do anything - mom humor

How the right smartphone can help busy moms stay organized

We all know that the key to managing the chaos that is motherhood is to simplify life as much as possible, right? Things like meal planning, weekly chore lists, and some really good daily routines can make a huge difference in how productive you are each day – and how stressed you are at the end of each day. So, to keep all those million pieces of your life organized, why not use your smartphone as that one central hub? A place where you can access everything you need at a glance? It’s the one gadget that is at your fingertips pretty much all day long – to it’s time to make it truly work for you.

Windows phone is a smart solution for busy moms

Right now you might be thinking… “Yeah right. I already have a {whichever iPhone or Android you’re currently using} phone and love it. I totally do NOT need to switch.” And I’ll admit that’s what I thought at first. I have been an iPhone girl for years, and absolutely loved it. No complaints, at all. And, like I mentioned when I switched to the new Windows 8 laptop last month, I don’t like learning new technology. But. I can honestly say that now that I’ve used it, Windows 8 – on my laptop, but especially on my new Nokia Lumia 920 – rocks my socks. What I love most is how, like the video shows, you can seriously customize your phone to be the exact type of gadget you need to guide you through your busy days. As you can see in the video – whether you’re a texter, power-app user, music-lover, social butterfly, book worm or sports nut – you can create the system on this phone that is perfect for YOU. And what could be better to help manage your busy days than that??

Why Windows phones are perfect for busy moms

How the new Windows Phone will simplify your life

Like I mentioned above – every Windows phone is one of a kind. Sure – they might be the same coming out of the box, but unlike other smartphones, you totally make them your own. To see some examples of how different they can be after setting up your own start screen, check out how Gwen Stefani is able to make her Windows phone her own, and see how Kerri Lee Walsh uses her Windows phone to keep track of what’s important to her while winning Gold Medals. And…. Check out my own start screen in the photo above! Here are the things that I love most:

  • The ability to have both of my main email accounts, and my fave social media sites, all available without even scrolling down. Since FB is my main addiction, I have it set to a larger size live tile – so it constantly scrolls through the newest comments and updates left on my page.
  • Awesome apps like One Note and AboutOne, that help me keep awesome to-do lists that I can check off each day and week, and keep things like documents, receipts, and other important info right at my finger tips – no matter where I’m at during my busy days.
  • Amazon Kindle app helps me keep on my reading – in line at the grocery, while waiting at the doctors office, or any other “boring” time. That way I’m always productive.
  • My calendar!! This is my absolute favorite! It syncs up to my Google Calendar, my Facebook events and birthdays, and more – to give me another live tile that flips through that days events and to-dos. SUPER helpful at reminding me in the morning what’s going on that day.

So… What could you do with YOUR Windows phone? Leave me a comment below telling me what your favorite features are if you have one already – or let me know what makes you excited to switch. And make sure to follow #MeetYours on Twitter to learn more – and share your own photos of your Windows phone!

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Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Windows Phone.

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Windows Phone.

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Real Kitchen Tips for Real Busy Moms

“Approach love and cooking with equal abandon.” – The Dalai Lama… Ok, it’s confession time – I’m not an awesome cook. Yep, I said it. As a mom, I feel like I should be more talented at this dinnertime stuff. But, while I may not have mad-kitchen skills, I do have enthusiasm and creativity. And those do count for something, right? Well, since I’m not a super chef – just a real mom, with a real busy life, who needs to get meals done real quick – I need a few secret weapons to help me out. I’m going to share a couple of them with you guys today, since I’m all about helping other moms get through the day a little bit easier too….

Happiness is Homemade…

So, while I may not be whipping up gourmet meals {but I do get some super awesome simple kitchen tips each week from Whisked Foodie} – Baking is still kind of my thing. I love finding new inspiration on Pinterest to create super fun goodies, especially at the holidays. {Watch this week for a BOATLOAD of cool stuff to be posted on the site. Super excited. And, get this recipe for the Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake Bread here.} Here are a couple of other things that I totally love – year ’round, but even more so at the holidays… I love giving homemade gifts to friends and family. And I love a fun way to present those gifts. {Have you seen my Homemade Gifts Rock board?} And, a trick that I rely on to help me along with both of those, as well as ensure that I have very little to clean up, is to use super sweet tools like Handi-Foil pans.

Handi-Foil cookware and why it rocks

You cook it, you clean it

Have you ever had that as a motto in your house – “You cook it, you clean it?” In my house I think it’s extremely fair – yet it also discourages me from wanting to cook sometimes, lol. Well, remember how I told you about my secret weapons in the kitchen? Well – let me give you a few awesome reasons to use the new Handi-Foil Holiday Baking Pans this season…

  • No clean up: Yep, when you use one of these super affordable – and totally disposable – baking dishes for dinners or entertaining, you have way less mess at the end of the night to clean up. Just eat, enjoy, and then toss in the trash!
  • Gifting: If you love baking homemade gifts like I do, Handi-Foil offers a ton of super festive baking pans that you can use to prepare and present your favorite goodies. You don’t have to spend a ton on buying pretty bakeware, you don’t have to ugly discount containers – you can give your gifts in great quality pans that are as awesome as your gift.
  • Potlucks: Do you have any potluck style parties on your calendar this month? If so, Handi-Foil pans can be a lifesaver! You can bake your dishes or baked goods in pans that are holiday themed and totally presentable – but can leave whenever you need to, without worry of getting your favorite pan or platter back. LOVE this.

These pans work just as well making a regular dinner at home as they do for baking up special holiday treats. See them in action, and get some dinnertime inspiration too…

Cooking is Love made visible

So, maybe I’m not the best cook out there. But I can make some pretty awesome basic meals for my family, on my frugal grocery budget, that look and taste delicious. And when I combine that with some awesome pans from Handi-Foil so that I don’t even have to clean up – I’m mom of the year, right? No more of that, “Sorry guys, after I clean up the kitchen I’ll come play.” No. Now I just throw the baking pans into the trash, and get on with my busy mom life. What’s better than that? And, if you want my super yummy Homemade Shake & Bake with Bacon and Parmesan Recipe, start with the basic mix from Kitchen Simplicity, then follow these easy peasy steps – and if you want the recipe for the yummy bread at the beginning, remember that it’s here: Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake Bread.

Homemade Shake & Bake Chicken with Bacon & Parmesan

Ingredients

  • Homemade Shake & Bake Mix: http://kitchensimplicity.com/homemade-shaken-bake/
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese {or cheat and use a can if needed}
  • Bacon. Fresh is best, but again, using a jar of REAL bacon bits is ok too. Moms are busy.
  • Dash of pepper
  • Chicken breasts

Instructions

  1. Put together the basic Shake & Bake mix.
  2. Add the additional dry ingredients, one at a time, mixing to combine.
  3. Don't feel guilty if you're not using fully fresh ingredients. You're doing your best mom - so give yourself a pat on the back for not resorting to delivery pizza.
  4. Dip each chicken breast in a bit of water, and splash it around into the seasoning mix, on both sides, to cover fully. Press in just a bit, and then lay each piece into the Hand-Foil baking pan.
  5. Once finished, use any extra seasoning coating to sprinkle on top of chicken in the pan.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees, for 45 minutes - or until no longer pink inside.
  7. Serve with your favorite Rosemary Fried Potatoes or other side, and make sure to use your other Handi-Foil pans to create your favorite dessert too!
http://sunshineandsippycups.com/2012/12/real-kitchen-tips-for-real-busy-moms/

 

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If Your Android Phone & Nikon Camera Had a Baby…

“A good snapshot stops a moment from running away.” – Eudora Welty I’ve always been a photography junkie. I took 2 years of courses in high school – you know, back in the days where we had darkrooms, developed our own film, and printed our own photos. {Do kids these days even know what a dark room is? Am I old when I talk like this?} Then I spent my last two years of high school taking independent study photo courses, or helping as a teacher’s assistant in the beginner classes. I’m definitely not a professional – But one thing that I do know is that a good quality camera makes anyone’s pictures look better. Seriously better.

Nikon Coolpix Camera with Wifi [Read more…]

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Glam Up Your Homemaking – & #Giveaway!

Who loves doing laundry?… Ok, not many of you probably raised your hands. But, um, I have a confession to make…. I actually rather like doing the laundry. It’s true! I worked in retail management for years, and could totally just space out while folding clothes. As a matter of fact, I really don’t mind doing housework at all {except taking out the garbage. Bleh.} The only thing that stops me from having a clean home is lack of time due to becoming a work at home mom with crazy hours. Oh yeah and a toddler. Toddlers are messy. One thing that I’ve mentioned before is that I truly think that the products and gear you use make a huge difference in household chores, and make things just a little more fun. Let me share a few of my faves:

Vintage Style apron from Flirty Aprons [Read more…]

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How to Make a Brownie in a Mug: Simple Tutorial Recipe

How to make a brownie in a mug… How fun is this? And what a great way to get the kids involved in the kitchen, helping to make their own quick brownies, with very little mess, and minimal clean up. Love this! I’m all about “Smart Solutions for Busy Moms” – and this is a perfect fit for my cooking style. Be sure to check out the other simple recipes at the bottom too! [Read more…]

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The Magic Way to Simplify Digital Photo Organization

“A good snapshot stops a moment from running away.” – Eudora Welty… I love photography. I’m definitely the person in my family that’s responsible for capturing those great moments we have all year – from videotaping birthdays, to snapping fun pics of the kids in the pool, to making the annual photo books for everyone at Christmas time. I have so many favorites – but I’m not always good about organizing them…

Christmas portrait - how to organize online photos

This is Abby last year at the holidays. I can’t even believe how much she has changed over the last 10 months – my oh my, where does the time go? Her hair wasn’t even long enough for pigtails last year! But I love this silly little smile and those chubby cheeks. Priceless to me. [Read more…]

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