Organize for Pet Emergencies

It isn’t something we like to think about, but disaster preparation is something you need to do for EVERY member of your family, the four legged ones too.  Here are some steps you should take as soon as possible to make sure your pets will stay safe, no matter what.

Organizing For Pet Emergencies

Make sure you have a sticker in the window letting emergency personnel know how many pets you have and if they are cats, dogs, etc.  This will help emergency workers know how many they need to get out of the house in case of evacuation. If you are evacuated, try to leave a note over the sticker saying you took your pets with you.

Make sure you have a crate or pet friendly container handy to transport your pets to a shelter.  Even the shelters that accept pets do require animals to be crated.

Call shelters AHEAD of an emergency.  When a storm is approaching it is too late to spend the time finding some place to go.  Learn where the usual shelters are set up near your home and which ones accept pets.  Even some Red Cross shelters do not accept pets.  Know ahead of time where you can go so you can get there quickly and safely.

It is also a good idea to talk to friends and family in your area.  If you need to leave quickly for an emergency, would they be able to assist with your pet?  In a smaller scale emergency, which friends or family could “baby-sit” for you for a short time?


Just like humans, pets need an emergency supply kit as well.  According to the ASPCA here are some items you should keep inside:

  • Pet first-aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include, or visit the ASPCA Store to buy one online)
  • 3-7 days’ worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food (be sure to rotate every two months)
  • Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect)
  • Litter or paper toweling
  • Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
  • Disposable garbage bags for clean-up
  • Pet feeding dishes
  • Extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash
  • Photocopies of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires (Remember, food and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit—otherwise they may go bad or become useless.)
  • Bottled water, at least 7 days’ worth for each person and pet (store in a cool, dry place and replace every two months)
  • A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet
  • Flashlight
  • Blanket (for scooping up a fearful pet)
  • Recent photos of your pets (in case you are separated and need to make “Lost” posters)
  • Especially for cats: Pillowcase or EvackSack, toys, scoopable litter
  • Especially for dogs: Extra leash, toys and chew toys, a week’s worth of cage liner

It is also important to have a photo of you with your pet.  If you pet is taken to a rescue facility without you, at some point you will need to go and prove ownership to be able to pick up your pet.  A photo is a great way to do this.  A microchip is even better.  If your pet has a microchip, keep the chip’s number with you at all times.  Also, make note of the company that stores this number.  I keep this in my phone at all times.

Sometimes you need to take shelter within your home.  Make sure you pick out and identify areas in your home where your pet can be safe with out if you have seek shelter within your home.  If you are spending time in the basement for example, bring down their favorite toy or blanket so they will feel as comfortable as possible.  A comfortable dog will be calm and easy to manage.

In order to make sure you pet receives the best and quickest care, it is important to preregister your pet with local vet. facilities.  Many allow you to give them your pet’s history, emergency numbers, medications, etc so that if your pet needs to be treated quickly, all necessary information is already on hand.

Pet emergencies can be expensive.  It is important to have a saving fund set up.  If you don’t have a separate fund, open a seperate credit card that will only be used for pet emergencies.  The difference between being prepared and not could be catastrophic.



Posted in Pets | Leave a comment

Anthropologie Inspired Pillowcases

I’ve been seeing those designer pillows with gold lettering everywhere.  They usually have a large price tag on them.  SO, I set out to make a cheaper version that’s personalized to me.  I started with a kit of just pillow cases and iron on vinyl.  It came from Darby Smart and was delivered to my door, which you know I love.

Initial Pillows


Okay, this whole process was so easy and fast, I don’t have a lot of photos of it.  I used my Silhouette machine to cut the letters out.  I did each letter separately.  You can see it here on the Silhouette’s design software.

Silhouette Software Screen Shot

When you are cutting iron on vinyl on the Silhouette, insert it into the machine with the MATTE side up, the shiny side down.  It’s hard to pull off the sheet but the design stays in place so you don’t have to worry about pulling little details off when pulling.

The design is then on a piece of thin plastic.  Just lay that plastic down on your item where you want it, and heat up your iron to it’s hottest setting.  I used a tea towel over the plastic to make sure nothing melted or burned.

Press firmly and keep moving the iron around.  I did this for a few minutes.  Then, remove the towel, the plastic and you’re DONE!

If you don’t have a Silhouette you can simply cut the vinyl with scissors. Then, peel, iron and you’re done!

Finished Pillows

If you want to make sure your item is wrinkle free, it’s a good idea to iron your item before you begin the iron on process.

My completed pillows are 18×18.  I found inserts for them on Amazon for $5 a piece.  They are soft and fun and they match my decor perfectly.  (My room has a Maine theme of a place called Vinalhaven.)

I had some extra iron on vinyl so I had to try out decorating these little gift bags.  They are a cotton muslin and they came from an Etsy store.  The iron on vinyl worked perfectly.  It’s so easy to take these bags from bland to personalized!  I love it!Gift Bags

Here’s another example of something you could create with this kit….

Throw pillows

What would YOU put on your pillows? Tell me below!

Posted in crafting | Leave a comment

GoMacro Review and Giveaway

It’s hard to eat healthy on the go.  Finding prepackaged food that you want to eat and are good for you.  GoMacro Bars are just that.  Each bar is chewy, delicious and the flavors are decadent.

GoMacro Giveaway

Each bar is vegan.  If you’re vegan or vegetarian you have to know how hard it is to find bars like that!  The bars are macrobiotic, meaning the foods are as close to their whole, natural states as possible.  GoMacro as a company gives back to the community and only sources items sustainably.  These bars are made with natural ingredients.  There’s nothing on the label that you can’t pronounce.

The bars are just the right size for a fulfilling snack.  The flavors and ingredients range from high energy to high protein and everything in between.  Some of my favorite flavors are Protein Replenishment and Wholehearted Goodness.  Sometimes I have a hard time getting protein on the go.  These bars help me with that.  They help with making the right choices mid afternoon!

Want to try some?  Good, because we’re giving away a tray of mini size GoMacro bars! Enter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Giveaway | Leave a comment

One Pail Wonder

How can a little pail help organize your whole house?  It’s a multi-tasking wonder!  Here I show you how to use it in five different areas in your home.  This pail is from JAM paper and comes in three sizes and LOTS of different colors and patterns.  You can see them here.

The first is one of my favorites…use it in a play room to gather up all of those tiny little toys that seem to get everywhere.  Not only can little hands hold the pail easily, they can SCOOP toys off the floor.  Yu can see army men here, but they would be great for Legos, doll pieces, marbles and more.

Toys in Pail

You can also use this in the office to hold office supplies.  Buy a few and put all of your arts and craft supplies in them.  I love using pails like this that I can line up on a shelf and then take down to use when I need them.

Markers in Pail


This is also great in the entryway to hold keys.  Use this to corral those items that are always cluttering up the foyer and making it look unsightly.  Keeping your keys in one spot also allows you to leave the house with less stress in the mornings!

Keys in Pail

Need a spot to store healthy snacks to kids can help them selves?  This makes a great place to store granola bars or small snack packs.

Snacks in Pail

Use the pail to decorate for the holidays!

Eggs in Pail

I don’t know about you, but I use plastic utensils a little too much.  I like keeping them on hand in a small pail like this.  Never search again when they forget to give you forks in the take out bag!

Forks in pail

What would YOU keep in the pail?  Tell me in the comments below!


Posted in Home Organizing Tips | Leave a comment

Organizing With Trays

Trays are one of my favorite organizing tools.  They are pretty and they can serve so many purposes.  Some of my favorite ways to use them are; to hold remotes on the coffee table, by the door to hold keys and phones, corral papers on your desk or even to use to serve snacks in the living room.

Here I’m going to show you how to make a super easy tray that’s customized to your style and decor. It’s easy and you can even get the kids involved in this one!

DIY Organizing Tray

Here’s what you’ll need…

Mod Podge-I used matte.  Check here to see all of the options available!

Paint-Any choice of color you want!

Foam Brush

Wood Tray-Click here to see all the sizes available.  (Tray is courtesy of Blick Art Materials.)

Vinyl in your choice of color

Silhouette Machine

Blue painter’s tape (not pictured)

Tray Materials

Start by putting the painter’s tape anywhere you don’t want to paint.  I taped all around the edges.

Then, just paint the bottom of the tray.  I used Martha Stewart Chalkboard paint because I like the way it dried to a matte finish.

Let the tray dry completely before you move forward. I suggest leaving it alone overnight.

Painted Tray

I used my Silhouette to cut out a phrase I really like and contact paper to transfer it to the tray.

vinyl cut out

If you don’t have a Silhouette machine you could simply cut out pieces of vinyl or use paint to design the bottom of the tray. Paint KEYS or REMOTES onto the tray so everyone knows what belongs there.  Or, have your kids put their hand prints onto the tray as a snapshot in time.

Finished Tray

Once I applied the vinyl decal, I coated with with Mod Podge to seal it in and protect it.

Okay so what do you want your tray to say?  Tell me how you would use this in the comments below!

Posted in Cleaning, crafting, Home Organizing Tips | Leave a comment

Don’t Fill Your Head With Worries

Don't Fill Your Head With Worries

Posted in Quotes and Graphics | Leave a comment

A Goal Without A Plan Is Just a Wish

A goal without a plan is just a wish

Posted in Quotes and Graphics | Leave a comment

Summer Success With Mabel’s Labels

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Mabel’s Labels. I received a voucher to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

Mabel's Labels Camp Set

The kit includes the following labels and types:

  • 10 Personalized Name Stickers: 70mm x 16mm (2-3/4″ x 5/8″)
  • 24 Mini Custom Name Stickers: 38mm x 8mm (1-1/2″ x 5/16″)
  • 8 Custom Shoe Stickers: 33mm (1.3″)
  • 50 Tag Mates™ Stick On Clothing Labels: 21mm x 10mm (13/16″ x 3/8″)
  • 2 Personalized Bag Tags: 57mm x 32mm (2-1/4″ x 1-1/4″)

Mabel’s Labels are water proof, laundry safe, microwave safe, UV resistant, and can be stuck onto just about anything.  While these are amazing for kids’ water bottles and lunch boxes they are also great for adults.  Put them on the items you store in the break room fridge or on the water bottle you take to the gym.  Sports uniforms and equipment, school supplies and even toys….Mabel’s Labels will save you from losing things. These are a must have for parents (and adults).

Mabel's Labels on Kids' Clothes

At the start of any season, I sit down and label everything that’s going to be leaving the house.  It’s easier to label at the start when you have it all together.  Label after you purchase new sizes or label as you’re packing the trunk.  Taking a little time and investing a little money, can save you down the road.  Think about losing just one piece of sports equipment and what it would take to replace it.  (Never mind the time you’d spending trying to track it down!)

One of the things I love most about Mabel’s Labels is their amazing quality.  They are also 100% guaranteed.  They really do stand up to the test of time!  I also love their online communities including Facebook and Twitter.

Want to win coupons or product from Mabel’s Labels? (I know you do!)
Enter here:
Mabels Labels Camp Combo

Posted in Kids, Reviews | Leave a comment

Advice from Busy Moms

I have a lot of busy moms in my line of work.  A lot of them have their own “trade secrets” and I wanted to tap into that knowledge base and share their best tips with you.  Here is what I came up with.  Many of these are direct quotes from moms like you.  If they can do it, so can you!  Pick one tip and start there.

Advice From Busy Moms

-Use grocery delivery services such as Pea Pod.  You can set up a recurring delivery so your staples arrive automatically every single week.  Don’t spend time at the grocery store, getting the kids into the car and fighting traffic and crowds.  Often delivery fees are just $5, which is less than gas would cost to go to the store!
-We like to store the boys’ lunchboxes in their backpacks at all times — so the lunchbox comes home, it gets emptied and wiped out, and it goes straight back into the backpack, right on its hook, so we don’t have to hunt for anything in the morning.

-Do laundry once a week.  Yes, you will have more to do.  However, you can spend a day getting into the laundry groove and keep folding, switching and cleaning in one day.  It is better than having to dread the task every single day.  Use the time at home to tackle other projects, cleaning and kids’ activities.

-My daughter is responsible for helping clean up after dinner, helping make her bed in the morning, folding laundry and picking up her toys. If it becomes a habit, it’s easier to keep them involved and keep organized.

-I keep a small laundry basket in almost every room of the house, because little boys generate so much laundry (and because we try to be eco friendly, so we have lots of cloths and reusable napkins and things that we go through regularly). That way I can just grab things and chuck them straight into a laundry basket, and when each of those baskets fills up I know it’s a perfect load size of like items. No matter where the kids’ socks end up coming off their feet, there’s a laundry basket right there!

-Use a calendar app such as Cozi.  This allows all family members to update and view family activities.  If you have teenagers with smart phones include them too.  This not only teaches time management skills but everyone is always on the same page.  Many apps are free and easy to use.

-We store folded sheet sets inside the pillowcases that match, so all you have to do is grab a pillow case and everything you need to make up a bed is nicely folded inside it. Makes things much easier for every family member and keeps our linen closet more organized than with stacks of folded items.

-Attack things slowly.  Instead of ripping apart a close you want to organize, decide what small tasks you can do every day.  How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.  If you take everything out, you run the rick of getting overwhelmed, tired or pulled away.

-I have one drawer in each boy’s room that is just for school outfits (my older son has uniforms, so it’s especially important for him). It’s a drawer they can easily reach themselves and all their weekday morning stuff goes in there so they can take care of their own needs without me having to lay things out the night before, or having to hunt for what they need in the morning.

-Well, I hang up all of the children’s tops, no matter what, so things don’t get shoved away and missed. And I keep the rest organized clearly, especially outgrown things in bins. I’m not the worlds most organized person, I guess. I also keep toys each in their own seperate bins, and all put back together. Kids don’t like playing with huge toy box messes. I put all the food back in the toy kitchen properly, etc, so it’s all ready to be played with again. Each toy has a place.

-One of my favorite tricks is to reuse the zip/snap plastic bags that kids’ sheet sets, onesies, etc. sometimes come in. They’re perfectly good, so I use them to store small toys like Lego sets, art supplies for on the go, puzzle pieces, dollhouse furniture…that kind of stuff that’s easily lost and doesn’t come with its own container to keep it all together.

Posted in Kids | 1 Response

Get Organized At Target’s $1 Spot

Target has done it again…there are some awesome products to organized with at the $1 spot!  Note, not everything is really $1 in this section….some items are $3 and even $5.  This section is usually located near the door of Target.

Organizing at The $1 Target Spot

Top Row:

Cones-Plastic cones are a great way to show kids where their bikes and outdoor toys should be placed in the garage.  This avoids accidents!

Wooden Box-Not only is this cute box great for recipes, but it would be perfect for keys by the door or spare change in your closet.

Metal Canister-Not only are these adorable canisters only $1, they have a chalkboard label on the top!

Mason Jars-These jars are not only super popular right now, they are useful for on the go salads, storing grains (like rice), snacks or even salad dressing.

Second Row:

Snack Containers-These snack containers are perfect for small office supplies like paperclips.

Chalkboard Labels-Attach these to bins and baskets so everyone in the family knows what’s inside!

Snack Boxes-Of course you can use these for snacks, but they are also great for kid’s art supplies, like those little pom-poms or paint containers.

Bottom Row:

Pails-Not just for summer anymore! These are AMAZING for toys that are traditionally used on the floor, like Legos.  You can then just scoop them up with the shovel and you’re ready to place them on a shelf.

Cord Organizers-These were $5.  But compared to those available at organizing specialty stores, that’s still a great deal!

Plastic Tray-This is perfect for your night table or vanity.  It holds just the right about of cosmetics to make sure you can reach everything you need, quickly and easily.

Metal Tags-These take a little more time to “write” on, but they are really stunning.  Use a pen cap to write on them.  Or, use them in the garden!

Posted in Home Organizing Tips | Leave a comment

The Joyful Organizer


Quick Tips

There is a saying, “What gets written down gets attended to, and what gets attended to gets done.” 

Write down your organizing goals and hold yourself accountable for completing them. 

I know it seems like a big chore, but you’ll be glad you did it once you’re done!

email tips

Sign up for organizing tips delivered to your inbox.