Stock Up On Essentials For Holiday Guests – Easy Storage Hack and Free Printable

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HostingHacks #CollectiveBias  Stock up on essentials for holidays guests and use this easy storage hack for keeping it all handy!

Stock Up On Holiday Essentials for Holiday Guests – Easy Storage Hack and Free Printable

easy storage hack

We have lived in some pretty tiny spaces since we have been married and have had to come up with an easy storage hack or two along the way.  Now, we are very lucky to be able to live in a decent sized house with lots of room for us to live and play, but it gets cluttered very quickly.  It still seems that there is just no room for extra stuff, especially with the Christmas tree, gifts, and decorations out.  Last year for Christmas, my hubby installed some awesome wire storage racks in our laundry room.  The space was being wasted, so he just measured the wall, bought two 4' long storage shelves and installed them in less than an hour.  I am able to use them to store extras of everything AND hang clothes to dry on the bottom part.  It has been SUCH a nice thing to have!  He also installed one in our bedroom closet.  Basically anywhere that you have unused wall space, you can add extra storage, which really comes in handy when you have guests over.

Materials Needed:

  • wire storage rack(s)
  • level
  • electric drill
  • pencil for marking wall

[Read more…]

Every Two Minutes, A Woman Dies From Preventable Birth Complications, But We Can Help

All three times that I was pregnant, there were lots of things that I complained about.  Yes, I had morning sickness and there were times I could not think of anything to eat. I complained about having to wake up so much during the night (ha!  Little did I know what was about to come!)  I complained that I was uncomfortable in my nice, warm bed.  We tend to complain a great deal, it's true, pregnant or not.  When I take a moment to peruse the Samahope website and see what the people in other parts of the world are dealing with, my nice warm bed and the food that we DO have sound pretty good.  

And what about medical care?  I remember complaining about little things when I was pregnant, whether it was a nurse brushing off my concerns or an old, outdated sonogram machine that was fuzzy so we weren't able to make out the sex of Baby #2.  Then there was the gross stuff that I had to drink for my gestational diabetes test that made me feel absolutely gross the rest of the day.  Of course, all of these things are silly and pale in comparison to some of the real issues that pregnant moms around the world really do face.  Imagine waiting for months, worrying if you and your baby will even survive.  Imagine being in labor and not having any access to any kind of health care.  I think we can all agree that prenatal care and trained personnel during labor and delivery can be lifesavers…truly.

Every TWO minutes, a woman dies from preventable causes related to pregnancy and birth.  Something that is a beautiful gift and "routine" in America can be life threatening to those without the proper help and care.  Samahope is here to help those women who are in that exact situation.  It is a fantastic organization that allows anyone, anywhere to directly fund doctors’ life-changing medical treatments for women and children in need.  This year, Samahope is on a mission to protect even more women and children in need.  

Cigna SamaHopeThe 10,000 Lives Campaign will help 5,000 moms and 5,000 babies – 10,000 lives.  Samahope is dedicated to helping this many people and won't stop until they reach their goal of funding enough birth kits!  They are currently only half-way there.  At Samahope, $5 helps fund a birth kit that includes the sterile tools to enable a Skilled Birth Attendant to protect a mother and child from life-threatening complications during childbirth.  $5 can save the lives of a mother and a baby!

The Cigna Foundation is supporting Samahope while it focuses on helping people overcome barriers to their health and well-being related to factors such as ethnicity, race, gender, age, geography or economics. This year’s Cigna Foundation World of Difference grant to Samahope is helping to train local nurses and fund doctors in India to provide treatment and surgery for people in need.

If you want to help, $5 can buy one birth kit that will help one mother and baby.  You can donate at the Samahope site.  

Samahope is on a mission to help 5,000 women deliver their babies safely, and we can all help!  With the cost of a coffee or two, we can save two lives.  That is just mindblowing to me and gives me chills.  Can we all pitch in to help women and babies in need?

Cigna SamaHope

Pregnancy and Oral Health: Facts You Need To Know

This pregnancy and oral health post has been brought to you by Jefferson Dental.  All opinions are mine.

Pregnancy and Oral Health: Facts You Need To Know

There is so much to learn about being pregnant.  What to eat, what not to eat, what vitamins to take, what random things to avoid, what things are safe, etc, etc, etc.  It's a lot to take in and remember, especially with "pregnant brain!" Something that is just is important as prenatal doctors appointments is prenatal dental appointments and this infographic shows you exactly why.  It's imperative that pregnant women take care of their teeth and mouth because gum disease is a real problem in pregnancy.  Just let your dentist know that you are pregnant and he or she will know exactly what to do.  They won't do x-rays unless absolutely necessary, and the best part for me was always the awesome rest I was able to take while I had my teeth cleaned.  You really can't beat that!

Find a dentist near you!

Did you visit a dentist during pregnancy?

Things That Stress Me Out and How To Relieve The Stress of Parenthood

This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and RESCUE blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.  #StressLess2BMyBest  Relieve the stress of parenthood!

There is nothing like becoming a parent to quickly figure out what truly stresses you out.  For me, I have about three things that really get under my skin and have made me go a wee bit crazy in the past.  As the boys have grown older, I have learned that life happens and not to stress out about it, but it has taken some practice! 

1.  Spills and crumbs – One time the Captain spilled a whole can of salted mixed nuts all over and under and inside of our couch.  I was furious.  I tried to hold it together as I stomped to the hallway to get the vacuum cleaner.  I think he was 2 or 3 then, and he was just trying to serve himself a delicious snack.  We found nuts and salt for months after that, though.  I was reminded of this incident tonight when Baby Brother grabbed a bag of popcorn we had bought at the zoo and dumped it all over the carpet.  Instead of getting mad, I just stayed calm and vacuumed it up without yelling or stomping or anything.  I'm not sure how I reacted when D pulled this stunt and ate dirt out of our houseplant:


2.  Sick kids – I know, that makes me a horrible mother.  I just can't deal with sick, whiny kids for very long.  I love to hold them, cuddle them, administer medicine to make them feel better, but if I can't help them, I feel helpless, and that stresses me out.  And what's worse is when they're sick and cannot tell me what hurts or what would make them feel better.  Again, I've learned to be patient and do what I can and realize that I cannot always solve their problems.  Time will heal them and I just have to make them comfortable.

3.  Kids that don't sleep – Sometimes I cannot believe I'm still dealing with this one.  Seriously.  Baby Brother is 16 months old and he will go a few weeks sleeping mostly through the night and then, bam!  Newborn mode activated.  I try to be patient, but being woken up three times between the hours of 11 PM and 6 AM is NOT fun.  I think I'm patient the first two times but after that…nope.  I get mad.  And stressed.  And hubby usually gets the brunt of it.  I'm working on it!

I have learned that yelling benefits no one, kids deserve respect, accidents happen, and we are all human and make mistakes.  I have also prayed for patience and matured through my years of being a mother.  I think I have done alright, but we all have our moments!  I think a big thing that helps is to laugh it off.  If I cannot laugh about something, I'm probably more tempted to yell, so I've been trying to find the humor in all potentially stressful situations. Along with finding the humor, these are five ways that I relieve the stress when these parenting stressors come up!


1. Ask for help – We moms think that we are showing a sign of weakness if we ask for help, but really, we cannot do it all.  I've learned to ask for help from Hubby, friends, family, etc, when we need it.  It benefits my children because it allows me to lessen the stress and recharge.  Last week when I had been sick for ten days, I asked my parents to take the older two boys and I felt better because my sons were being taken care of and not forced to sit around just because Mommy was sick.  They got bonding time with their extended family and I got some extra rest.  

2.  Say no – Some may think I say  no too much, but I just have learned when I have to say no to things.  If I'm not confident that a situation will be doable, I say no.  Sure I feel guilty, but it's okay to say  no!

3.  Do whatever works best for your family.  People love to give advice and that's okay, but in the end, you have to do what's best for your family.  I had to wear Baby Brother a LOT when he was an infant because it's what worked for us.  It worked for him and worked for me and we were happy.  Same thing with when the Captain had a cot in our floor for when he was scared in the middle of the night.  It worked for him, it worked for us, it was better than the alternatives, and we all got sleep.  And you know….he did grow out of that phase!

4.  Find a hobby you love and let go of the stress.  If you have a lot of stress built up, it's important to let it go.  Whether it's gardening, cooking, watching a movie, running, or something completely different, do what you love and let go of the stress!  Channel your inner Elsa and LET IT GO!

family playdates

Be ready for anything your children throw at you with Rescue!  AND, click on the image below to download a BOGO coupon and be entered for a chance to win prizes from Bose and GoPro in the RESCUE #StressLess2BMyBest Sweepstakes.



Multi-Functional Convertible Dress by Henkaa Will Last Through Life’s Many Stages

I'm excited to partner with Henkaa for this convertible dress post.  All opinions are my own.

It's hard to believe, but I have not bought many clothes for myself over the past 6+ years.  I have bought a few pieces when I absolutely had to, like for my brother's wedding when the Captain was 8 months old, or when I needed new jeans at some point, but shopping for clothes is not something I have ever enjoyed, especially after having kids.  It's amazing the size variations that I have been through, but that is probably true of most women.  I just did not want to buy anything that I was not going to be able to wear for long.  Through three pregnancies, baby weight, and fluctuating sizes, I have made do with what was in my closet.  That does tend to get boring after awhile, however!

I was thrilled to learn about the Henkaa convertible dresses.  These beautiful, luxurious dresses are good for maternity and post partum, but Henkaa convertible dresses are great for all women, in all sizes, in all stages of life.  Another reason that the Henkaa dresses are perfect for moms is the wrinkle resistant fabric.   The signature Lenaa™ fabric has a beautiful sheen that is perfect for any occasion or photograph, is machine washable and easy to take care of.

convertible dressAs you can see, Henkaa convertible dresses are adorable as maternity dresses, and very forgiving as post partum dresses.  They can be worn in so many ways, it will definitely be a new mom's go to dress. 

Henkaa Convertible Dress

The possiblities are endless with Henkaa.  You can choose colors, lengths, styles, and on top of that, each convertible dress can be worn in multiple ways!  Sleeveless, long sleeved, halter, one sleeved, and more.  These dresses are good for weddings, church, holiday parties, formal dinners, and just about anything else.  The style is up to you!

Henkaa Convertible Dress

Learn more about Henkaa on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.  Also, make sure to check out Henkaa YouTube to see the many wonderful dresses and ways to wear each beautiful dress.

How would a convertible dress be beneficial to you?  Could you see yourself wearing one through all of life's stages?

My Quick and Easy Snack Solution for Busy Moms – With The Perfect Level of Sweetness!

This quick and easy snack shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #teastraightup #CollectiveBias  Enjoy the perfect level of sweetness!

#teastraightup #CollectiveBias

One thing about all mothers is true:  we are busy!  I have found that it does not matter what a mom does, if we have a child, our workload increases dramatically.  Some days are especially busy for me.  We are homeschooling the Captain this year for kindergarten, which some days takes more time than others.  Then there is cooking, cleaning (sometimes….haha,) changing diapers, laundry, kissing boo boos, sports practice, church, shopping, taking kids to the doctor, and much, much more.  My duties as a mom never, ever end.  I would not have it any other way, but some days are so busy, I forget to take care of myself.  Many times I am lucky to remember food and drinks for the boys, that I forget my own afternoon snack.  When we are out the door for whatever errand we have to run, I like having a quick, portable snack and drink to grab in a hurry.  

I have perfected my recipe for the crunchiest almonds ever.  I grab a handful of crunchy almonds on the way out of the house and I am good to go.  They offer a great, satisfying snack and protein.  I also like to keep some Snapple® Straight Up™ Tea in the fridge for a refreshing drink, too.  I love the real brewed tea taste of Straight Up Tea and that it has the perfect level of sweetness that I can enjoy anytime.  Depending on your mood or taste, it is available in three levels of sweetness in an 18.5 oz plastic bottle so you can pick your sweet spot!  The size is perfect for sharing with littles because, for some reason, that is what always happens in my house.  

#teastraightup #CollectiveBiasRoasted almonds are easy to make and keep for quite a while in the pantry.  I keep mine in a lidded jar and they last a couple of months.  They're delicious by themselves or with no bake mini cheesecake, as a crust or topping!#teastraightup #CollectiveBiasIngredients:

  • raw almonds
  • water
  • salt


  1. Soak your almonds.  (Not only is this the secret to maximizing crunch, it helps to neutralize phytic acid and encourage good enzymes so the almonds are more digestible, along with a lot of other benefits!)  To properly soak your almonds, put the almonds (however many you like!) in a glass bowl and cover them with warm water and a teaspoon of salt dissolved in it.  The almonds will swell, so make sure you have a ratio of 2 parts water to 1 part almonds.
  2. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave bowl on cabinet for 8-12 hours.  Check every few hours to make sure you have enough water.
  3. Throw out any nuts that float to the top because these are likely no good.
  4. Rinse, rinse, rinse.  Rinse the nuts after 8-12 hours until the water runs clear.
  5. Dry on a towel.
  6. Spread almonds on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and cook in the oven on 250° for 2 hours or longer.  Check every 30 minutes or so, stir and put back in the oven.  After 2 hours, take one almond out and let cool.  Check to see if the almonds are crunchy or still a little chewy and replace for as long as needed.  (Alternatively, you can speed up the process and cook for 30-45 minutes at 325°, but I have found that they're easy to burn that way and aren't as delicious.)  

#teastraightup #CollectiveBiasMaking these crunchy almonds is easy, but not nearly as easy as stocking up on Snapple® Straight Up™ Tea!  I found all three delicious varieties – Sweet, Unsweetened, and Sorta Sweet – in the beverage aisle at Walmart:
#teastraightup #CollectiveBias

See more reasons to love Snapple® Straight Up Tea on the Snapple® Straight Up™ Tea social hub where you can also confirm the product is available at your local Walmart and download a coupon to save on your Snapple® Straight Up Tea purchase!  It 


Moms – what is your go to snack for busy days?

Need to Keep Something Fresh, Dry, and Clean? Wrap It Up!

I have talked previously about how I am really trying to minimize the waste that our fridge produces.  (Okay, that we let happen by not taking care of it or not eating it quickly enough before it goes bad!)  I think we have done a great job at storing our food properly so we can make sure our food stays fresher, longer.  Our fridge is looking great and food is getting eaten which means, we are saving money!  Yay!  

I was on a mission to spread the food saving joy and visited the fridge at hubby's work the other day.  This fridge is used a lot.  It is used to store drinks, condiments, foods, and snacks to feed our church members, kids, and people from the community.  It sees a lot!  I opened the fridge and you know how it is, stuff just gets thrown in there in a rush because people are busy.  That particular day, I found a pitcher of juice that was covered with ClingWrap (which is great!), but there was also an opened can of chili and a package of cookies, opened, that wasn't sealed in any way.  I quickly wrapped these items up with Glad® Press‘n Seal® and put them back in the fridge.  That way, they will last longer and not have the icky fridge taste!

Glad Press'n SealI like to use Glad® Press‘n Seal® for wrapping up leftover pancakes and half eaten cups of yogurt.  It's a hassle free, simple, and even BPA free way to keep your foods fresh.

A great thing about Glad® Press‘n Seal® is for more than just food and beverages.   The boys and I brainstormed about what we could wrap in Glad® Press‘n Seal®.  The boys said it would be great to wrap their shoes and clothes and stick them in a backpack for a rainy campout.  That way, your clothes stay dry!  Also, I had the idea of wrapping diapers and tossing them in the diaper bag for rainy days.  This is even good for every day use, because I can't tell you how many times the diaper in my bag has been wet from leaky cups!  Wrapping up the emergency diaper is always a great idea.

Wrap Outside The Lines Glad Press'n Seal

Glad® is encouraging people to "Wrap Outside The Lines" with their fun contest.  Get creative for a chance to win a trip to ride a rooftop rollercoaster in Las Vegas!  Each week, you will have a different challenge.  Simply wrap it, snap a picture of it, and tweet it, along with @GetGlad and you're in!  Check out Wrap Outside the Lines for more information.

Glad Press'n Seal

Check out our fun video (and look for the awesome, unplanned "plank" from D:)

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Glad Food Protection. The opinions and text are all mine.


12 Alternatives to “Fifty Shades of Grey” To Strengthen Your Marriage

12 "Fifty Shades of Grey" Alternatives to Strengthen Your MarriageValentine's Day used to be all about love, cards, candy, and little stands popping up everywhere, selling a dozen roses and stuffed animals to men who had forgotten about this crazy little holiday.  This year, however, it seems like everything I see on social media is about the "Fifty Shades of Grey" phenomenon.  Some are adamanatly against it and some cannot wait until they can go with their spouses to see it on, oddly enough, Valentine's Day.  Wherever you stand, I am here to offer you some healthy, good for your relationship alternatives to "Fifty Shades of Grey" this weekend.  Because while there are likely a lot of men and women who are into this sort of thing, there are SO MANY other resources that I PROMISE will strenghten your marriage and help you have a healthy sex life  and fulfilling relationship long after this whole fifty shades hype is over, if you give them a shot.  I promise.

1.  The Fantasy Fallacy by Shannon Ethridge – (Kindle version on sale for only $2.99 through 2/15) great resource about understanding the true meaning of fantasies and how to deal with them.  It's a perfect response to "Fifty Shades of Grey."  Hubby and I recently took a class with Shannon and she is truly inspiring and has some awesome advice and research based, valuable information to share.

2.  Laugh Your Way To A Better Marriage DVD – Mark Gungor is hilarious and presents honest truth about men and women and how to work together to achieve a fantastic marriage.  Or if you're more into books,  Laugh Your Way To A Better Marriage:  Unlocking the Secrets to Life, Love, and Marrige by Mark Gungor is available.  We have had the great opportunity to hear Mark speak live and it was amazing!  We came out of the conference refreshed and closer than ever.  (Check out my review of Mark's DVD.)

Marriage Quote

3.  Pulling Back The Shades: Erotica, Intimacy, and the Longings of a Woman's Heart by Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery – this book promises to address your desire to be both sexual and spiritual.  These are things that the Church is afraid to talk about, even though God created it!  (read the first chapter here and read a review here and another here!)

4.  Awaken Love:  The Song couple's devotional, couple's kit, and The Song DVD – The Song is a movie released in theaters about love, marriage, and temptation.  While I have not seen the movie, I hear it's a good one.  I was able to review the couple's devotional book, which has been fantastic.  

5.  His Needs, Her Needs:  Building An Affair Proof Marriage by Willard F. Harley, Jr. – bestselling book that helps women and men understand each other and how to effectively work on their marriage to make it the best ever.

6.  The 30 Day Marriage Challenge ebook by (DFW blogger) Becky Moseley – see what a difference a month makes!  Complete a challenge every day to make your marriage stronger and better.

7.  The Sexually Confident Wife – Connecting With Your Husband – Mind, Body, Heart, Spirit by Shannon Ethridge – addresses many issues (past abuse, self doubt, guilt, etc) that cause wives to not be confident with their husbands and provides great information that is not crude.

8.  Fireproof DVD – A great movie about love, marriage, and the struggles married couples face.

9.  The Passion Principles:  Celebrating Sexual Freedom in Marriage by Shannon Ethridge – A book about what God wants for married couples.  He created sex for married couples, and Shannon honestly and frankly opens the minds of husbands and wives to celebrate the spirtual, mental, emotional, and physical dimensions of sexuality.

10. Mark Gungor's Butt-Kicking Woman Conference DVD my review – Simply put, so many women are doormats for men to use and abuse however they want.  This is a big problem, especially with "Fifty Shades."  Women expect the man to always fall in love with them, and rarely does that happen.  Mark, along with special guest speakers, shows women how to be confident and kick butt, so there's no room for abusive men.  

11. Ways to Romance Your Husband – awesome (free!) blog post from (DFW blogger) Staci from 7 On A Shoestring (Staci has many great posts about marriage, like 4 Ways To Say "I Love You" Without Saying A Word.

12.  Lastly, if you're looking for a healthy, non-erotica romance novel to read, has many great books for you.  Love stories can be fun and exciting without all of the rest.

12 Fifty Shades of Grey Alternatives To Strengthen Your Marriage

You will find that most of these are Christian resources, but you definitely do not have to be a Christian to reap the benefits.  Most Christians are anti-Fifty Shades and pornography, but I want to point out that there have been countless people write about the negative effects of pornography that are not religious at all.  

"Once the layers are pulled back, it becomes obvious that pornography brings far more harm to our society than good. Its homogenous representations of beauty and sexual activities have created a narrow sexual aesthetic that women must physically harm themselves to achieve. Worse, it consistently features the degradation and abuse of women, valuing them not as people to be respected but objects to be used and creating a climate in which violence is accepted. These negative actions and attitudes against women make it clear that pornography is against the humanist idea that all people are worthy of safety and respect."


But it really goes beyond the traditional sense of "porn."  Many women say that "Fifty Shades of Grey" isn't porn.  But…it is.  Check out this definition from XXXChurch:

"Porn is anything you use (watch, read, hear, or imagine) that’s used to illicit sexual arousal outside of your spouse."

If you have ever been to this blog before reading this post, you know that I do not typically write about things of this nature.  Also, I am not one to usually jump on the "bandwagon" of mainstream events.  But I want you to know that there is so much more for you and your spouse than this!  Your "porn," whatever it may be, is like settling for a cheap, disgusting microwave dinner when you could be going to a 5 star restaurant.  It's just not worth it.  There are FAR better alternatives than the latest erotic movie craze.  You, your spouse, your family, and your life is worth more than settling for this!  I hope you find something from the above list that is helpful.  Good luck!


**This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you, but is not sponsored.**

Hold On, Imma Take A Selfie (While My Wife Is In Labor)

After reading these hilariously funny posts about selfies and how they have gone too far on Buzzfeed this morning, I decided…it is time.  When I was looking through pictures of my labor with Captain Fussybuckets 6 years ago, I found this little gem.  I had gone in on Halloween with contractions, being a first time mom, I was not sure if it was "time" or not.  (It wasn't.)  They monitored me for a bit and were going to let me go, but they noticed that the contractions were causing the Captain's heart rate to dip unsafely.  SO, long story short, I was over 40 weeks pregnant, in labor, but not *really* in labor, so they gave me some Pitocin (a.k.a. "The Devil's Drug") and on top of that, my epidural didn't work too well.  (Apparently being a redhead with a janky spine who wasn't really in true labor affects that, but anyway.  We live and learn.)  It was a majorly horrible part in my memory, but apparently Hubby was bored and excited and on the brink, in 2008, of this big "selfie" movement.  (If only he had invented the selfie stick!)  So, I present to you…….the "Selfie While My Wife Is In Agonizing Pain" shot:

Labor Selfie

I am happy to report that he was the BEST labor and delivery coach for all three boys and I really think he was trying to capture his excitement and the moment rather than "look how cute I am" selfie.  Although, he is pretty cute, I must say.  I love you, Hubby!


This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.

Mark Your Calendar And Join Us For The #JesusCalling Twitter Party

Contains affiliate links.

#JesusCalling Twitter Party

It's time for a fun Twitter Party!  Join me (@CptFussybuckets) and @FamilyChristian as we talk about the best selling book "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young.

When: November 14th 1-2 pm EST

Prizes: 5 participants will win the deluxe edition of Jesus Calling and a $50 appreciation certificate.  5 other readers will win a $50 appreciation certificate.

How: You must follow the host @FamilyChristian

Optional: Follow these amazing co-hosts











More about "Jesus Calling" from the Family Christian Website:

In this special 10th-anniversary edition, Sarah Young shares her own prayer journal with you–including over 100 additional scriptures personally selected by the author. This beautiful keepsake edition, celebrating 10 years of Jesus Calling touching lives all over the world, also includes a beautiful redesign of high-quality bonded leather cover.

Sarah's writings are personal reflections based on Jesus' own words of hope, guidance, and peace within Scripture. As you experience the devotions and the fresh look at Scripture, you will look forward to your time with Him.

Have you read this bestselling book?  What are your thoughts?  Will you join us for the #JesusCalling Twitter party?  Hope to see you there!