September 28, 2011

Ten Tips for De-cluttering and Organizing Toys

Toys are a little bit like rabbits. They seem to multiply in dark corners and they make a tremendous mess. Ok, but seriously, keeping the rooms in our hose clutter free can be a bit of a challenge. My son's toys seem to creep up in every room of the house. I've even found them in my shower and under my bed. So how do we keep this toy tide under control? Here are my top ten recommendations for de-cluttering and organizing toys in your own home.

  1. Buy some baskets or buckets to help keep your kids stuff contained. 
  2. Clean out the toybox. If you child hasn't played with the item in the last two weeks consider rotating it out. Chances are they won't even notice that it's gone (that is, if they don't see you removing it, if you are caught in the act, they will claim that that toy is their most prized possession).
  3. Make your organization age appropriate. For younger kids consider placing a picture of what needs to go in the bin on the outside of the container. Even toddlers can understand this basic concept. Cars go in the container with the car picture on them, blocks, books, etc.
  4. Think outside the box. I turned an old entertainment stand into a toy center in my sons room. All of his toys are now contained in an organized space. It helps his room seem cleaner and it eliminates the cluttered feeling.
  5. Re-purpose items. I saw a mom who used those magnetic kitchen strips used for knifes to store her sons hot wheels. The magnetic strip held the cars in place and kept the organized and off the floor.
  6. Encourage your child to go through their toys themselves. Make a family trip to a shelter or donation center and explain how the toys that we're tired of can really be special to someone who doesn't have any toys. It can be a good learning experience for all involved, and can help keep the greedies under control.
  7. For every new toy that comes in, one needs to be rotated out. This helps keep the room being overwhelmed with toys. Before you bring the new item in, encourage your child to select one toy to remove. It may be an item that they've outgrown, or one that is broken. Placing a toy limit helps keep things from getting out of control.
  8. Consider selling some gently used items on e-bay or in a garage sale. Sometimes if kids can "earn" the money from the sale it can encourage them to part with the item.
  9. Don't contribute to the problem. If you child doesn't need any more toys, don't buy them. Kids don't want us to buy their affection, they want us to spend time with them. In the long run, they won't remember every toy they owned, but they will remember quality time spent with a parent.
  10. Create boundaries. It's ok to have a "no toy" space. For example, we keep toys out of the guest bedroom, so that it's clean and tidy for company when they come over. 
There are several practical steps that you can take to help keep clutter under control. No one likes stepping on toys in the middle of the night. With a little bit of practice, you too can help you child keep the toys from overwhelming the space.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hot Wheels® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

September 16, 2011

Fall Giveaway Festival

RetailMeNot has every online coupon and promo you could ever hope to find—all in one place. With the help of a dedicated community, RetailMeNot thrives as a money-saving mecca free of full-priced foes. With more than 1,000,000 coupons from over 100,000 stores, RetailMeNot is your go-to site when you want to grab the goods to create a one-of-a-kind Halloween costume, lock down the biggest savings on Black Friday and Cyber Monday or surf the Web for financial finds.

RetailMeNot is giving away an iPad2 to one lucky person! Visit Sassy Mama in LASimply StacieMakobi Scribe and Matter of Cents to enter the giveaway.

The holiday greeting card season is just around the corner! Photo Card Creations offers a wide variety of cards to fit your needs! They just introduced 50 new designs this fall, as well as a new way to preview your cards before you order them. You can zoom, re-position, and even change your photos to black and white or sepia. You can see exactly what your photo card will look like! You can choose from a variety of backgrounds and photo border colors.

The text is fully customizable, allowing you to select the font, color, and size that suits your needs!

I have used them in the past with great success. The card quality is excellent. They are printed on high quality paper using leading technology. A professional graphic designer handles each order, ensuring that your cards come out the way that you would like them to.

Once you've finished customizing your card you can place your order online, cards are shipped approximately three business days later! They even have a promotion for free shipping on orders placed before Sept. 21st!

Photo Card Creations also offers a great selection of birth announcements, thank you notes, and party invitations! There is truly something for everyone!

September 11, 2011

Mompact: Review and Giveaway of Little Looster Booster

I have two kids age two and under. I spend most of my day changing diapers. I dream of the day when my oldest is potty trained. We read books about going on the potty. We talk about going on the potty, but so far we've had no success. I've been looking into different potty products to help us with our potty-training endeavors. I recently had the opportunity to try the Little Looster and I'm a definite fan.

The Little Looster is a wraparound step stool that fits around the contours of the toilet. Unlike other step stools that may move or slip, the Little Looster remains in its place, and does not interfere with grown-ups who may also need to make use of the facilities. In my bathroom there is not a lot of space between the toilet and the door. I was initially concerned that there would not be enough room to open the door with the Little Looster in place, but it fit perfectly. I was able to open the door without any difficulty.

My two-year-old was able to easily climb up on his own. His feet did not dangle when he sat down, but they were able to rest securely on the Little Looster.

I would definitely recommend this product to parents. I love that the Looster Booster enables my son to use the "big potty" which means I don't have to spend time cleaning out a small potty (or trying to discreetly hide it when company comes over.) This is a great product for parents who are tight on space!

I give the product five stars: It's easy to use, easy to clean, and is a great resource for those with young children.

They are currently available on Amazon for only $34.99. (I think not having to clean out a tiny toilet is definitely worth the price!)

You can learn more about the Little Looster by visiting their website at

This post is part of the Mompact Blog Tour. There are 120 blogs participating with over a hundred fantastic reviews and giveaways. You can return to to find a complete list of links. (Or click on the Blog Hop Banner at the top of the page)

  I received a complimentary product to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed are my hones thoughts of the product

Continue to the next blog on the hopYummy! Yummy! Yummy's review of Bunchees


September 7, 2011

CouponCabin's 25 Crazy Dayz of Giveaways - Sign Up Now!

Have you ever visited a giveaway blog and wondered how you can build a blog following of your own? Blog hops are a fantastic way to build your followers and increase your site's stats (making your site more appealing to PR reps and companies).

Simply Stacie, Makobi Scribe, and Sassy Mama in LA are hosting the hop. CouponCabin is sponsoring the event and offering some HUGE prizes including iPads, MacBooks, and cash! Sign-ups just opened today. Reserve your spot in the hop and get a chance to earn giftcards and fantastic prizes. Thanks Simply Stacie's for sharing the info!

Are you ready for an AMAZING giveaway hop? and I mean AMAZING!!! CouponCabin’s 25 Crazy Dayz of Giveawayz is hosted by Simply Stacie,Makobi Scribe and Sassy Mama in LA and sponsored by, a leading online destination for coupons including coupon codes, printables, grocery coupons and more. Here are the giveaways for your readers:
Grand Prize: MacBook Air (11-inch, 128GB; ARV $1,199)
First Runner Up: iPad2 (16GB, with Wi-Fi +3G; ARV $629)
Second Runner Up: $250 VISA Gift Card
Other Prizes: $100 VISA Gift Cards will be given out to four (4) additional winners
Want to hear something super, duper cool? Bloggers are eligible for FANTASTIC prizes as well!!
  • The blogger who refers the most readers to the giveaway will win a MacBook Air
  • The blogger who refers the 2nd most readers to the giveaway will win an iPad2
  • The blogger who refers the 3rd most readers to the giveaway will win a $250 Visa Gift Card
Total Value of Prizes: $4,300!!
There's even more!! Each participating blogger will receive a $20 Target Gift Card for each blog that they refer who registers to participate (No, you cannot refer yourself!)
Is that cool or WHAT!
The main giveaway for these fantastic prizes will be held on the three host blogs and we will also feature a linky so that readers can hop to enter all the other giveaways on participating blogs. Reader entries will start on November 1st and go through November 25th.
Sign-up now to secure your spot!

How to Participate:

Sign up on the form HERE (Tell them Mommy's Minute you)and send a $5 administrative fee via Paypal to (This is very easy to do - this is the second hop I've participated in w/ these ladies, it's safe)


November 1 at 12:01 am EST to November 25, 2011 at 11:59 pm EST. The winner will be announced during a live event on Twitter on November 28th. Further details will follow at a later date.

Requirements for participating blogs:

  • Have a giveaway specifically for this event and cannot start before start time, or end before specified end timeMinimum prize/pack value of $25
  • Display the event button in your post so hoppers can easily identify it.
  • Display the linky in your post to encourage hopping
  • Comply with proper disclosures, no entries that violate Facebook policies (i.e. requiring comments on walls), must follow FTC guidelines (no extras for making purchases, etc.)
  • Sign up for CouponCabin’s Blogger Email Newsletter. They will send you top coupons, promotion and giveaway announcements geared specifically for bloggers. There is no cost to joining their newsletter. By providing your email address at sign up, you will be automatically enrolled.
  • Since this event is sponsored by CouponCabin, we ask that your giveaway sponsor for this specific event not be in direct competition with them (ie. another coupon website).
Only bloggers who are participating in CouponCabin’s 25 Crazy Dayz of Giveawayz are eligible for the Blogger prizes (Macbook Air, iPad2 and VISA Gift Cards).
The Blogger & Reader Prizes will be open to both US and Canada.

What does all this mean for you?

A great deal of traffic to your blog, opportunities to network with other bloggers and eligibility to win the Blogger prizes! Plus it will be lots of fun!

Want to take part in CouponCabin’s 25 Crazy Dayz of Giveawayz Hop?

Sign ups are now open! Please fill out the form (tell them Mommy's Minute sent you) and submit your administrative fee of $5 to We will email you within 24 hours to confirm your participation. Then please spread the word and tell others about this amazing hop and to say that YOU referred them!!
Thanks to Simply Stacie for sharing this info!!

Good luck to all bloggers involved!


September 4, 2011

Does Becoming a Mom Mean Giving Up Your Dreams?

Is it possible to pursue dreams and motherhood at the same time?

I just finished reading the book Quitter by Jon Acuff, blogger of Why is a stay-at-home mom doing reading a book about quitting your day job to pursue your dream job? After all, I don't technically have a day job . . .well, not a paid one at least, and motherhood certainly is not a job that I could/would quit. So, why was I attracted to this book?

Plain and simple: I'm a dreamer.

The moment I took on the title "mom" the "Sarah" part of me didn't disappear. I still have a unique set of God-given gifts and abilities, and I believe they're there for a purpose. They exist to help me fulfill my dream. Acuff doesn't word it quite in this way, but I personally believe that each individual was created by God to fulfill a purpose. If you breathe on this earth, then you have a reason for living. I believe that our "dream" and our "calling" can be synonymous. Why would God give us talents and desires if he didn't intend for us to use them for His purposes? Our task is to unite our unique selves to the work we were created to do. Does that responsibility end when we become mothers? I think not.

Don't misunderstand me. Motherhood in itself is a noble and important calling, and for some people it may be their sole calling, and there is not a thing in the world wrong with that. I know that these children have been entrusted to me for a reason and God has equipped me with everything I need to be the best mother to these particular kids. However, I also believe that it's OK to pursue our dreams, our destinies (insert dramatic music here). To cultivate our skills and abilities- to set goals and have godly ambitions.

I don't claim to have it all together, but I have observed from my own personal experience that if I don't set attainable goals I will accomplish very little. I will remain in survival mode - accomplishing only what needs to be done to make it through to the next day. I think pursuing dreams and having a plan will actually enable me to become a better mother.

Kids grow up. They leave home (hopefully not to come back and live on your sofa). Then what? Although your children are yours forever, the amount of time that they remain under your direct influence is limited in the grand scheme of your lifetime. Who will you be when your children are grown and the days of 24/7 mom duty are behind you?

As a child, I always dreamed of becoming a published author. I spent summers scribbling in notebooks and reading every book I could get my hands on. This blog is, in part, a manifestation of that dream, but I still have so much to learn. There are writing workshops that I could attend, books I could read, lectures I could listen to. Am I progressing toward my dream of writing or am I putting it on hold until it's more feasible?

I may not have the time to sit down and write a 50,000 word novel at this stage in my life, BUT I can move toward that goal. I can learn. I can hone my skills and I can take steps in that direction. Motherhood may alter the course, but I'm still capable of taking that journey. If we wait until we "have the time" we'll be waiting for decades and we'll miss opportunities along the way.

We should never offer our children on the altar of our own dreams, but if you have the desire and the ability, don't be afraid to take that next step to put your dreams into action.

Pursuing our dreams makes us better mothers. It enables our sons and daughters to see that not only are we unique individuals, but that we can make a difference. So, whether your dream is to open a bakery on Main Street or to feed starving orphans in Africa, don't be afraid to take that first small step.

So, what's my point? Don't give up on your dreams. They are there for a reason.  God has big plans for you.

Question: What are your dreams? Have they altered since becoming a parent or entering the "real world"r?


September 2, 2011

"Young Love" Mat Kearney Review

Mat Kearney's latest release, Young Love just hit the shelves and has already flown to the #1 Top Digital Album's chart in its first week. Right now it's available on Amazon for only $4.99, definitely worth the price.

The hit single "Hey Mama" is probably one of my favorite tracks on this album. I find myself walking around the house singing "Hey mama, hey mama, hey hey mama." Which is appropriate because I usually have a two-year-old walking around saying the same thing.

It's a fun album from start to finish. Some of my other favorites include the more mellow "Sooner or Later" and the upbeat "Count on Me." For some reason the sound of Mat Kearney's voice makes me think of California. It's completely illogical, but for some reason his music makes me think of hanging out on the beach.

Young Love is a great album for enjoying relaxing summer nights or driving around town. With its positive message and upbeat rhythms, Kearney's latest release is a great follow-up to his previous two albums. When the album was first released it went to #1 on the iTunes Rock album charts. It's available online and in stores. Want to see Mat Kearney in person? He is currently on his Young Love tour. Check his website for more info on if he's be visiting a town near you. 

To find out more about Mat Kearney and Young Love check out his website and Facebook page.

I received a complimentary album from the One2One network to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed are my honest thoughts of the album.