Vacation Packing Essentials

Vacation Outfit

Pictured Above:
ASOS Tropical Floral Print Co-ord Shorts
ASOS Off Shoulder Linen Top In Tropical Print Co-ord

There is nothing quite like counting down the days until you go on vacation. For me, the excitement really sets in once I start to pack. This year my family and I will be heading to Hawaii, and I of course will be packing all the warm weather basics like shorts, breezy tops and long flowing dresses — But whenever I go on vacation, I have a few other key items that I always make sure are in my suitcase.

For starters, I love getting a little more playful with fashion and putting together looks that are truly resort wear. This year, I packed this ASOS Tropical Floral Print shorts and matching off the shoulder top (pictured above). This ensemble is not only affordable, but also something I will totally keep wearing during the summer!

My other vacation essentials include:

A great travel bag — When you are traveling with children, a good travel bag is an absolute must. Not only are you carrying around all of your important items, but you are traveling with a whole bunch of stuff for them as well. Choose a bag that is durable, comfortable on your shoulder, and can hold a lot of stuff!

Quality skin protection — Making sure my face is protected is a huge priority for me! I always invest in a high-quality sunscreen. I want to know exactly what I am putting on my skin, and on my children’s skin so I always plan ahead when buying our family’s sun protection.

Versatile beach cover up — Investing in a black or dark colored beach cover up has proven to be a very smart move for me because it doesn’t show any dirt! It also saves me from having to pack multiple cover ups.

Comfortable sandals — Of course having cute shoes is always great, but when your packing space is limited make sure you bring one go-to pair that is very comfortable! There is nothing worse than brining a new pair of shoes on vacation and getting blisters.

A few pieces of jewelry — Instead of packing the entire jewelry box, I bring just a few pieces of jewelry that are fun and more on the playful side. Bring a couple pieces that can be dressed up or down, and will look great with a simple outfit like a maxi dress or shorts and a white tee shirt.

Instant camera — I take a ton of photos on my phone when we travel, and my husband brings along his professional camera, but there is something really fun about having an instant camera. It’s small to pack, the kids love it, and the instant photos are like little souvenirs from our trip.

vacation essentials

Weekend Bag: Celia Weekender by: Cleobella
Sunscreen: Coola Suncare Classic Face Makeup Setting Spray Spf 30
Bracelet: Shashi Olivia Bracelet
Sandals: Havaianas You Riviera Sandal
Camera: Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Camera
Beach Cover Up: Stitchy Maxi Dress

Let me know what your vacation must have items are!

Xo

Tamera  

8 Tips For An Organized Kitchen

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organized kitchen cupboard

I find that the kitchen always tends to be the focal point in any home. Lots of important moments and conversations happen in my kitchen daily, and it is definitely the busiest place in my house. People are always coming and going – especially when you have children.

To say I like my kitchen to be organized is a bit of an understatement! I have learned to appreciate the fact that it won’t always be perfectly clean —  There will be new messes and activities happening there on a daily basis, and that is okay! However, I do try my best to keep a certain amount organization amongst the chaos. As busy moms know, we have a lot on our plate each day (no pun intended), and being proactive about home organization has made a big difference for me!

Here are my top 8 tips on how to keep the kitchen organized:

  1. Invest in a label maker: I know this may sound a little over-the-top, but it has been a life saver in my house! Labeling where things should go has made cleaning and organizing so much easier. When you have tons of sippy cups and thermoses and lunch containers, you need to have a proper place for each item. Knowing where everything is makes packing lunches in the morning much faster and more efficient!
  2. Use food canisters: When you keep regular snack and food items in your pantry, these BPA free plastic canisters are fantastic because they eliminate all the packaging that food comes in. They are especially useful if you are shopping in bulk because they can hold quite a lot of food. I also love that if one of my children grabs a canister and it drops, nothing spills out and we don’t have a huge mess on the floor.
  3. Dedicate each shelf for one specific type of thing: This makes opening the cupboard and quickly grabbing something a thousand times easier! If you have a dedicated shelf for food or containers, it will make finding what you need much faster.
  4. Put the kid-friendly things on a lower shelf: Kids will be kids, and they will try and just grab whatever they are going for in the cupboard. I always keep the child-friendly items on the lower shelves so that they don’t try and climb up to a higher shelf to get whatever they are after.
  5. Remove non-kitchen items: It is really easy for the kitchen to become ground zero for everyone’s stuff. I added some hooks and storage bins to my entry way to try and encourage everyone (myself included) to put their things there when they get home, and not just dump stuff in the kitchen. It has made a big difference in eliminating the backpack and purse clutter that used to gather on the kitchen counter.
  6. Keep counter-top storage minimal: Since there is so much action always happening in the kitchen, having clear counter tops is key to organization! I try to just keep a few essential items on my counter, and everything else is put away in a cupboard.
  7. Keep disinfecting wipes on hand: I keep several containers of these wipes around at all times because there is always some little mess that needs to be cleaned up! Especially inside the cupboards where things can spill and build up over time. Using green, non-toxic wipes are ideal because then I don’t have to worry about harsh chemicals in the kitchen.
  8. Use crates and tubs: Using tubs to keep awkward or bulky items together in a cupboard is an easy way to always ensure that you can find what you are looking for! For example, I love using these tubs under my kitchen sink to store cleaning products and in the cupboard to keep all my spices and seasonings in one place.

Let me know how you guys like to keep your kitchen organized!

Xo

Tamera

 

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5 Ways to Declutter your Wardrobe

Guys, I have a question for you: How many days a week do you look through your closet and think “I have nothing to wear”. All the time, huh? It’s not always about how much you have, but whether or not you actually have wearable things, those that you feel comfy and confident in. There’s a huge difference! I’ve been doing some pre-spring cleaning to simplify my life, and wanted to pass along 5 easy steps for a clutter-free wardrobe filled with ONLY what you really love to wear. Here we go….

5 Ways to Declutter Your Wardrobe

Minimize it. The most obvious route to a more simple closet is to purge everything you don’t truly love and want to keep. As much as you may dread this, you’ll feel so much better once you’ve separated what you no longer enjoy from what you really want to grab. My tip? If you have a habit of keeping things you don’t really need, make sure to go through and actually try on each piece of clothing – that way you’ll know right away whether you like it on or just think it’s fabulous… on the hanger.

Organize it. Next up is a little wardrobe rehab. Organize what’s left in a way that works for you and how you think when you’re getting dressed in the morning. This can be by putting what you pull from the most front and center, putting together outfit combos right on the hanger, separating by type of clothing, or any other way! The key is to make it work for you.

Note it. Take a step back and analyze your results so far – now what do you need? Are you missing some key wardrobe pieces that would for complete outfits you actually love to rock? If so, take a little inventory. Instant shopping list for next time you hit the mall!

Rent it. Now that you’ve de-cluttered, it might be tempting to simply fill it back up with all the clothes you’ve been eyeing. One way to make sure you don’t fall back into this cycle of full closet but nothing to wear, is to rent items you know you’re only going to wear once. Sites like Rent The Runway and Le Tote allow you to rent pretty much every fashionable item under the sun without ever going to a store. This is especially helpful for those of you who love designer clothes but hate the price tag or time spent at the mall. It’s one way to look as stylish as you want, while keeping your closet minimal and free of clothes that will just collect dust anyway.

Thank about it. Hopefully by this step you have a more clear idea of what you need to add to your closet to make it complete. This doesn’t mean you need to go on a shopping spree (as tempting as that is). But keep those notes handy every time you click “add to cart” or get in line at a department store, so you can check whether you really need something or are giving in to an impulse buy you might regret later.

When’s the last time you did a major wardrobe revamp?

Xx,
Tamera

Photo: emily @ go haus go via VisualHunt.com / CC BY

How to Simplify Your Life

With the New Year coming, lots of us have resolutions on the mind. But lately I’ve been thinking of something totally opposite: the idea of simplifying. Think about it, could narrowing your focus to what’s really important, rather than adding more to the equation, make you happier or more fulfilled? Life gets SO busy, and when there’s a ton going on, you might not even notice all the things pulling you in different directions. At the end of the year, I like to check on whether I truly need each “thing” in my life. Anything that isn’t contributing to the wellbeing of my family and I, needs to be reconsidered.

Here are a few things you might try to simplify in order to start the year off right:

How to Simplify Your Life - Tamera Mowry

How to Simplify Your Life

Clear the physical clutter. Physical clutter is a great way to start because it’s easy to see and the results are instant. Once your house, your office, your purse even are free of things you don’t need, believe me, you will let out a long sigh of relief! Physical clutter may be weighing you down and you don’t even know it.

Clear the mental clutter. List-making to the rescue! Write a list of everything weighing on your mind in this moment. You’ll be surprised at how far you can get without even looking up. Each day, cross off a few of the small things on your mind (whether that means actual tasks or working through bigger picture struggles), and work your way down.

Check expectations. Whose expectations are taking up the most room in your life right now? It doesn’t matter if you’ve put them on yourself or someone has piled them on you. Try to find ways you can keep those expectations in check – whether asking for help or forcing yourself to create more manageable goals. Cutting out unrealistic expectations will simplify your life and help de-stress.

Check your down time. How do you spend your down time? Is it actually relaxing or fulfilling? Every momma knows how important a little me-time is, but it’s not helpful if those moments aren’t spent in ways that actually put you at ease. Next time you have downtime, do something you truly want to do, rather than just vegging out or scrolling through social media.

Now that you’ve organized some of the moving parts, you’ll probably want to move onto the big picture. Is there something major that needs to take less of your attention in the new year? Now’s a great time to think of how to go about that – tough as it is. It can be done!

Now tell me, what’s one part of your life you want to simplify in the New Year? For more tips, read my post on how to save time in your day.
Xx,
Tamera

5 Ways to Keep Your Kitchen Organized & Clutter Free

If you like to cook–especially for a family–having a functioning kitchen is an obvious must. Regardless of the size of the space or the age of your appliances, if things aren’t organized and easy to find, it can be a nightmare every time you try to make dinner. Even though packing up and moving to a more functional space may seem like the best option, you might just be able to create that space with a few organization hacks and clever thinking.

kitchen organization

1. Decide what should be displayed. Your counter space could be major or minimal, but either way you’re most likely to make full use of it when whipping up a meal for the fam. That means you must play favorites when it comes to choosing what gets to take up this precious space. Keeping things cleanly and efficient is a must for me so a few of my most-used kitchen tools, like knives, the coffee pot, napkin and fruit stands, etc., are “allowed” on the counter. I also keep Aden’s trusty kids cookbook on display because when he’s hungry and refusing to eat most things, there is no time to waste!

2. Your pantry is your best friend. If you have a pantry space: Use. It. All. This will free up counters, cabinets, and unsightly junk drawers that guests seem to always accidently reveal when looking for silverware. If yours is currently a disaster zone try this: take everything out and then replace back-to-front based on the degree of use. Make sure to keep those heavy-use items on the most accessible shelf too. This keeps everything manageable and lessons the chances it will look ransacked when family members get to it! (Also, if you’re like me and try to eat primarily fresh or frozen foods, don’t let the extra pantry space go to waste – transform it into a cabinet for tools, gadgets and dishware for easy access.)

3. Hang it. Whether you have overhead space above an island or are able to install a few hooks and hangers along a wall or cabinet, any and all extra space you can muster up in a kitchen is key. If your pantry is nice and tidy, you should have plenty of room on the doors for hanging storage racks – the ideal spot for little odds and ends like extra spices and non-refrigerator items. You can also save coffee tins and hang them on the inside of doors if lack counter space for utensils but don’t want to throw them all in a drawer.

4. Be selective about what’s front and center. This makes sure you don’t have little-used ingredients or dishware to weed through daily. Another little trick? Make sure you keep stuff you always forget about – but want or need often – right in your line of sight. If you’ve been wanting to use your cookbooks more often to break out of a meal rut, for example, create space for them on the counter or a nearby shelf. Same goes for any clever kitchen gifts you tend to forget are even there for use!

5. Stack and store efficiently. Who else has had a huge mess of plastic tubs and lids taking up way more space than they’re worth? Use space efficiently by storing lids and wares separately and store lids on their sides in boxes but nest the containers together. With pots and pans, don’t just store by size, but like I said, by use as well. Few things are as frustrating as trying to hold up 30lbs of pots just to get to the biggest one that you stored on bottom simply because it fit everything else! Rookie mistake ;).

What’s your biggest kitchen issue?
Xx,
Tamera