Make it a Wine Night with Mad Housewife

Most often these days I am pitched toys, games, or some other item for the whole family. Which is way cool, but every now and then an offer will show up in my email inbox that is something just for me. An offer that I have to accept, simply because I don’t have to share with my kids. Something that gives me a moment away from the madness and chaos of motherhood. (No, I’m not usually this dramatic.)

This week that moment away came in the form of wine. Two bottles of red wine – a bottle of Cabernet and a bottle of Merlot – from Mad Housewife Cellars.

Now, Cabernet and Merlot are two of my favorite types of wine to drink for no reason other than to just drink. (Okay, that sounds bad. Let me try again…) Neither bottle that I recieved did I open to drink with food, but rather after the kids were all tucked in bed and I could actually savor it. (Sound better?)

Mad Housewife

Mad Housewife wine is just fun to drink! And, wouldn’t you know that’s actually built in to the Mad Housewife philosophy…

Wine should be fun, relaxing, and something you can afford to look forward to at the end of each and every day. Wine should never intimidate, make you think too hard, or create a new line item in your budget. This is your time. Time to enjoy a moment to yourself. A moment without the madness.

There are a total of six award-winning Mad Housewife wines – Three blends and a Chardonney, in addition to the Cab and Merlot. (Which reminds me… I need to go place an order.)

The most expensive part of having kids is all the wine you have to drink

Disclosure: I received two bottles of wine from Mad Housewife Cellars in exchange for this post. All thoughts and opinions are mine, of course.

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I was compensated for this sponsored post made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.

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I was compensated for this sponsored post made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own

Time to Declutter and Organize

For quite some time now I have wanted to purge, declutter, and organize just about every area of my life, especially my house. There seems to be less and less room for us to live and enjoy life, due to the stuff that keeps piling up around us. Stuff ends up in corners, in half destroyed boxes, or just out of place. I am just tired of the stuff.

I know the problem lies with me. I have always put off organizing and can safely say it’s simply been because of lack of time and energy. Being pregnant or nursing for almost eleven years solid, and having lots of little ones has always taken a lot out of me. It was easier to drop something in a box or tuck it in a cupboard.

My babies are no longer so little. Books aren’t pulled off the shelves so much any more. It’s all the hidden places that need help.

With little bursts of energy I have began plowing through my house. My master bath and closet were among the first to declutter. It seemed to take more and more time each day to find clothes (that actually fit me), and hair products (that really worked on my hair), and I knew I needed a major purge. FOUR garbage bags full of clothes, handbags, and shoes dropped off at Goodwill and my closet is now manageable. I’m embarressed to admit to how many boxes of toiletries were either thrown away or given away, but there were several boxes of stuff I didn’t need or couldn’t use!

my organized closet

My kitchen cupboards were next. Too many chipped and cracked plates, bowls, and mugs were tucked behind those we could actually use. Out went all of the glass dinnerware and in came the more durable, non-breakable pieces.

With Zach, Julia, and Josh’s help, I tackled our shoe and coat closet today. Not only had all of our Christmas decorations just been thrown (literally!) in to the closet, every single day my children are heard complaining of not being able to find their shoes or jacket, no matter where they remember placing them the night before.

messy closet 2

We first removed every single item from the closet. Because the space is bigger than the nursery we created for baby Joshua years ago, we found Christmas decor, snow play gear, shoes, bags, and even some missing socks! Nothing was to go back in to the closet that didn’t belong.

I found some great organizational pieces at Walmart for our shoes – a fabulous shoe rack, a beautiful basket, and a table. I planned to repack all of the Christmas decor in the plastic storage containers I already had.

organization

{1} Better Homes and Gardens 16-Pair Shoe Organizer

{2} Honey Can Do Urban Table With Storage Basket

{3} Willow Basket

Once we bagged up the shoes that no longer fit or wanted by any of the nine of us, we were left with a basket full of flip-flops and sandals, a couple of pairs of boots, and a shoe rack full of shoes! We can actually walk in to the closet now, and even have a place for the vacuum cleaner.

organized shoe and coat and storage closet. 2.jpg

As I continue to purge, declutter, and organize other areas of my life, I’ll press on in my home – cupboard by cupboard, closet by closet; a little at a time.

What areas of your life – hidden and visible – need to be purged, decluttered and organized?

Disclosure: I am a participant in the Walmart Moms program. Walmart lit the fire under me to get my multi-purpose closet a much-needed makeover and has provided me with compensation for the time and effort spent creating this post. 

Baby’s Teething :: How to Soothe Sore Gums

My last little baby is cutting teeth – his last set of molars. He won’t eat, he is cranky and clingy. He is miserable and constantly has his fingers in his mouth. I should have expected this. After all, he is baby number seven who I’ve seen through this stage!

  • Baby will put anything and everything in his mouth through his teething years. As he is teething, chewing on just about anything brings relief. Always keep small objects away from Baby, as everything becomes a choking hazard.
  • Eating is one of the last things Baby wants to do when he is teething, but make sure he is taking in fluids. Don’t stress too much, but listen to your mommy instincts and call your pediatrician if you’re concerned.
  • Anything cool is soothing and brings comfort. Give Baby teethers with a cooling water-filled element – the MAM Cooler is easy to hold and completely safe to chew on. The different surfaces are fun to experiment with. In addition, the shape is such that the cooling element can comfortably reach even the molars, which makes it perfect for Timmy right now.
  • Low grade fevers are often linked with teething. Keep an eye on Baby and call his pediatrician if his fever lasts more than three days or if his fever runs higher than 101° F.
  • We not only use the MAM Massaging Brush for the first few years of Baby’s life to clean his teeth, but we have been giving it to Timmy for him to use to massage his molar gums, which helps combat itching and tingling. The shape and brush head make it possible to reach all parts of his mouth and the right spots accurately. 
  • Baby will drool. It is bound to happen while he is teething. Heck, Ray still drools while he sleeps. There really is no way to prevent the drooling, but keep rashes at bay by wiping drool off of Baby’s face quickly. (That’s what I still have to do with Ray.)
  • Teething tablets have always helped my babies during this painful time, especially at night when nothing else works. (Hyland’s Teething Tablet’s have always been our favorite.)
  • Above all, you need patience to make it through these bouts of teething during the first couple of years of Baby’s life. Patience and a good sense of humor!
How do you soothe Baby while he’s teething?

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This post has been sponsored by MAM. MAM designers have been working in conjunction with child development specialists to create an innovative range of teethers. The smart MAM teethers ease teething troubles as well as fostering your baby’s active perception skills by training the senses. MAM has the just the right teething product for every age which help to promote your baby’s development!

4 Tips For Running Errands Successfully With Your Kiddos

I am very seldom afforded the luxury of running errands alone. If I don’t have all seven kiddos tagging along for the ride, I will at least have a couple. While an afternoon of running around would be most pleasant spent alone, I’m certainly not complaining about having my young’ens in tow more often than not. In fact, I’ve become quite used to it and have some simple tips to share for making your afternoon of dragging taking your kids along for the ride a smooth one.

1. Allow yourself plenty of time

First of all, be sure you have plenty of time while out and about. Inevitably there will be a need to stop to go potty, find a drinking fountain, or wait for a dawdling child. Now, I know his isn’t always possible, but it’s a good idea to add in some extra time when planning an afternoon full of lots of stops.

Another great idea is to be sure you don’t run out the door in a hurried and stressed. There have been more times than I’d like to admit when I’ve been yelling at a child, as we’re rushing out the door, because he couldn’t find his shoes. All because I was rushed. This is not a great start to an afternoon of running errands. Trust me.

2. Lay out clear expectations

My children are required to adhere to certain rules, whether we are at home or out and about. However, there are extra rules they must obey when we are in public. Mostly because I don’t want to lose one of them, but also because I don’t want them wreaking havoc during our run. I always try to remind them of these rules as we head out of our driveway.

I also tell them exactly what I require of them before we arrive at our first destination. for one particular trip, it may be imperative, for my own sanity, that they not ask any questions about where we are going, how long we wil be there, or what we are getting. At the beginning of other trips, however, I give them an overview of what they can expect – where we will go, when we will head home, etc.

Before we even set foot in to a store, I may offer treats for good behavior. By this I mean a small reward for staying close by, helping with a younger child, not begging to be able to buy something, or just being pleasant. How does this differ from a bribe? you ask. Well, the biggest difference is that it is offered ahead of time and not in the middle of a rough time, just to avoid a scene or maintain my own sanity. (Sometimes, however, I have been known to resort to bribery.)

3. Keep everyone busy

Yesterday we had a lot to do. Just one of the things on my to-do list included finding a couple of new items for my trip to San Diego this weekend. My kids were less than thrilled as we pulled in to the Ross parking lot. I wanted to try to make this a fun shopping trip for all of us, so I created a game that got everyone excited. The goal of the game was to find the most sparkly item – whether it be a dress, a top, or a pair of shoes. Off we went, with the promise of prizes for all the winners. It worked beautifully!

I use this same idea when we go grocery shopping – I assign part of my list to each of the older kids and ask the younger kids to help me pick out certain items. Sometimes we’ll even brainstorm new meal ideas as we stroll along the aisles. Keeping everyone busy is a fantastic way to ensure they all stay occupied enough to leave each other alone. And, it assures they understand we are there to accomplish a goal and then we’re done!

4. Don’t leave home without an extra dose of patience

You know as well as I do, regardless of how many kids you have, that these afternoons of running errands hardly ever go as planned. This is where that extra patience comes to play. Don’t leave home without it!

How do you accomplish a successful afternoon of running errands with your kiddos?
Please share your tips!