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5 Tips on How to Organize a Small, Builder’s-Grade Pantry

We have been in our house for about 4 years now and I am just starting to get things organized. We moved in when Hayes was 3 months old and I basically shoved things in closets and in our garage to keep them out of the way. This spring I have spent my weekends emptying out those closets and re-organizing.

One of my biggest challenges has been our small pantry. When we purchased our home, I never thought twice about the size of the pantry. Now that we have two growing kiddos, it has definitely had its challenges.

Last month I emptied out all of the food, made a trip to The Container Store, and got to organizing. Here are some of my top tips for organizing a small pantry!

Empty out all the snack boxes. Most of our pantry consists of snacks for the kids. When I was cleaning out the pantry, I had no idea how much space those boxes were taking up. Oftentimes I found a huge box with only one or two items left inside. Instead of storing all of the food in the boxes, I purchased different sized clear baskets. This way we can easily see how many granola bars, etc. we have left and they are also super accessible for the kids.

Add extra storage. One of my absolute favorite things we did for the pantry was to add the door storage. This gave us so much extra space to store items that could easily get lost in a small pantry. Now I can see what cans and jars we have and they are all really easy to get to.

Take advantage of the height. When I was organizing the pantry, I didn’t initially take advantage of the height and space between our shelves. There was a lot of wasted space so I decided to start stacking. I bought storage containers that easily stacked from The Container Store and they keep everything fresh and organized. Just make sure your containers are clear or labeled so you don’t have to take everything out to look inside.

Use the floor. My kid’s favorite part of the new pantry is our “snack basket.” We buy snack items in bulk at Costco and this basket is awesome for tossing them all in. The snacks used to live in our garage because our pantry was too small for the large, bulk boxes. Now, we recycle the boxes right away and all of the snacks go right into the basket.

Only buy/store what you need and what you will use. If you have a small pantry, you might not be able to keep a ton of non-perishables on hand at all times. We have found that if we only buy what we need or know that we will use, it has cleared out a ton of clutter and we actually use everything we have. Before the pantry clean-out, we had many jars and cans of items we hadn’t used in years. Now we only buy what we know we will use in the next couple of weeks.

Our pantry clean out has made meals and packing lunching SO much easier. I no longer despise our small space and I look forward to opening it every day. Do you have any spaces in your home that you have had a hard time organzing? What are some of your small-space tips?

Chocolate Granola Bites {Kid-Friendly Recipe}

Shirt / Belt / Bowls

If your kiddos are anything like mine, they are always looking for the next snack. I find it so hard to find kid-friendly snacks that are healthy and that keep them satisfied until the next meal. I recently found a winner with these chocolate granola bites and they are easy-peasy to throw together.

We usually have all of these ingredients on hand so, with a couple of minutes of prep and a few minutes in the fridge, they are good to go! They are also awesome to snack on before or after a workout or if you have a sweet tooth after a meal.

Kid-Friendly Chocolate Granola Bites

These homemade snacks are perfect for kids and parents! 

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 Cup Nut Butter
  • 1/3 Cup Honey
  • 1/4 Cup Chocolate Chips
  • 2 Tbsp Chia Seeds

Instructions

  • Mix ingredients together and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. 
    After the mix has chilled, roll into balls and serve immediately or place back in the fridge to store. 
    Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy! What are some of your favorite kid-friendly snacks that you keep on hand?

Does Celery Juice Really Work?

I am usually not one to jump on a health trend, especially something that requires purchasing a $200 kitchen gadget to assist me in said trend, but something about celery juicing piqued my interest.

My sister first mentioned celery juicing to me about a year ago and it wasn’t until recently that I decided to give it a try. If you haven’t heard, celery juice is causing a lot of attention for all of the health benefits it has.

Juicer / Dress / Earrings

The main source of information and attention has come from Anthony William, also known as The Medical Medium. Anthony is a bit unique in that all of his medical knowledge comes from his “unique ability to converse with Spirit of Compassion who provides him with extraordinarily accurate health information.” That being said, his celery juice movement is truly changing lives.

The basis of the program is to drink 16oz of pure celery juice on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning, every single day. You then want to wait 30 minutes before eating or drinking anything else. The properties of the celery juice are said to help with a multitude of health issues. This includes digestive issues, skin conditions, migraines, fatigue, autoimmune illnesses, brain fog, and hundreds of others.

Honestly, I was a bit skeptical and didn’t expect to see much of a change. I read multiple testimonies and stories, but I still wasn’t convinced. I myself struggle with restless leg syndrome, some digestive issues, and problems sleeping through the night. After 3 months of juicing celery, I am here to say that I LOVE it. I have seen a huge change in my digestion and sleep patterns. I also feel that my skin is clearer and my energy has increased.

I am obviously not a health professional but I am here to share what I have experienced while drinking celery juice. I would definitely recommend you check out the website and the Instagram page to learn more about the program and see how it might be able to help you!

Do you juice celery? What changes have you seen in your health?

Easter Weekend at The Renaissance Orlando at Seaworld

One of our absolute favorite hotels in the Orlando area is The Renaissance Orlando at Seaworld. I truly feel that it is a hidden gem in the middle of a city filled with hundreds of places to stay. We have stayed here a few times over the years and I love the experience and it is always such an amazing value. We can stay here for 3 nights for around the same price as we could for 1 night at most Disney properties. And as an added bonus, it is located directly across the street from SeaWorld!

For the second year in a row, my family and I spent Easter at The Renaissance Orlando and once again, they did not disappoint! The hotel is great any other time, but on Easter, they definitely make the holiday special!

Not only do they scatter eggs throughout the huge lobby for kiddos to find, but they also have an age-divided egg hunt that the kids love! Everyone is given a basket so the hunting is fair and there are more than enough eggs for everyone to fill their baskets with goodies.

After egg hunting, the Easter Bunny sat on the cutest bench for family photos.

The main restaurant on property is Tradewinds. On Easter Sunday, Tradewinds goes all out with an all-you-can-eat buffet filled with fresh fruit, hot items, a pancake and omelet bar, and many other delicious options. My kiddos especially loved the candy toppings for their Easter pancakes.

Easter was fantastic and we enjoyed the day so much. We filled the rest of our weekend with long pool days and fun activities. The property itself offers so much for the kids to do. Each day, there is a schedule listing all of the amenities available for kids and families.

We took advantage of almost everything and enjoyed face painting, a magic show, airbrush tattoos, arts and crafts and SO much more. The pool even has a DJ at certain times throughout the weekend that plays family-friendly music and hosts fun games. We all had so much fun!

I think the best thing about the property has to be the pool area, where we spent most of our time. In addition to 2 hot tubs, a large heated pool and a great pool bar/restaurant, the resort also has a great green space for kids to run and play and 2 awesome splash pads with slides! The kids played for hours!

All in all, we had an amazing staycation and we can not wait to go back! We love sneaking off for weekend getaways and The Renaissance Orlando at Seaworld definitely makes us feel like we are on a true vacation. We love the property so much and believe that you can’t beat it for value! If you are coming to Orlando and looking for a family-friendly, fun and convenient hotel, consider The Renaissance Orlando at Seaworld!

What is your favorite Orlando hotel? Have you ever stayed at The Renaissance at Seaworld?

The Secret to my Clean Car

For as long as I can remember, I have been a member of the “messy car club.” It’s definitely a thing and no matter how hard I tried, I could not manage to get out of it. The wrappers from after-school snacks lived on the floor and the junk mail seemed to always find its way to the back seat. That was, of course, until I found Mister Car Wash.

I was so excited when Mister Car Wash invited me to attend their grand opening event in Tavares, Florida. I ended up meeting the most amazing employees and I had the best time learning all about their company. They have over 300 locations in 21 states and they are constantly expanding.

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