Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 Favorites | Tips To Make Your Life Easier

(Originally posted 4.21.14) 

Some of us create amazing weekly meal plans for the entire family.  Meanwhile, I had the following text exchange with my husband when we were making baby food:


We asked you guys for your best tips and absolutely loved your input.  The tips have been divided into a few categories and I hope they make your life a little easier!

Pour the creamer first and then add the coffee.  You don't dirty a spoon or overdo it with the creamer!

Use Reynolds Wrap slow cooker liners.  Once the meal is done, remove the liner and throw it away!  Super easy cleanup!

Have assigned spots in the dishwasher for utensils (e.g., knives always go in the far right divider).  When your dishes are clean it takes half the time to put them away.

I use a Command Hook on the back of the babies' highchairs to store their bibs. - Tori

I cook double of every recipe and freeze the other half for later. - Christina

When my twin boys started eating fruit, vegetables, and meats I had to find something that could cut the food up in little bite-sized pieces fast. With two hungry boys wanting watermelon, I couldn't chop it fast enough. I found the Vidalia Chop Wizard at the grocery store and the smallest blade it comes with was an amazing life saver. Its easy to clean, dishwasher safe. It is a must have at that age. - Kimberli

I transfer all the goldfish, Cheerios, and Annie's Bunny Grahams to glass containers (or good plastic storage containers/jars) and leave them on the counter. The girls can clearly see the contents and point (or yell or grunt) for whichever snack they want. - Daria

We love the Baby Brezza.  Now that the twins are eating finger foods it still comes in handy to steam sweet potato chunks or make homemade hummus. - Carolyn

Wash bottles on high temp in the dishwasher, hand washing is for the birds! - Brittany

I made myself a "sterilizing station" in my kitchen. In an ordered line, I would have a box for bits ready to sterilize, then the sterilizer, and then a big tub at the end to put things that had been sterilized.  - Joanna

Keep a crockpot of water on warm in the kitchen and the bedroom. Makes heating up bottles so much easier. - Nicole

If you use formula, get a protein shake shaker bottle to mix formula. Making bottles is so easy.  -@erykaann

Stock your freezer full of muffins! I lived on muffins for the first six months - easy nutrition to grab before a feed or something to eat when consoling babies. - @kbrandes 

When mine were just weeks old, I got a Keurig. I need coffee fast! Ain't nobody got time for French press anymore. - Katie

No Keurig here so I like to prep the coffee pot the night before or I don't get any!  Lately I've been making a batch of cold brew coffee on the weekend (Pioneer Woman and Velvet Bird have good recipes) and then each morning all I have to do is pour it over ice and add some cream and coffee syrup.  Just like Starbucks but cheap and fast! - Leslie

Get a jumper and a saucer! I put them in the kitchen while I cook or clean and it keeps my babies contained and happy. @mckenzeeskeen

Upon the suggestion of another twin mom friend, we also installed an instant hot water dispenser to thaw frozen bags of milk and/or warm up bottles. Way faster than having to use the microwave and more functional than a bottle warmer. As an added bonus, my husband has been able to use it for making coffee, and I think all new parents can appreciate the necessity of readily available hot coffee. - Amanda

I loved having my Ikea Spoling changing table. Mine are 12 months and I still use it daily. It folds up and has made its way to just about every room in the house over the last year. In the beginning I used it in our bedroom for nighttime changes. When they weren't mobile I kept it in the playroom so I didn't have to leave one to go change the other. Now it's just outside the playroom so I can still see the other. I love the mobility of it and being able to fold it up and put it away if we have company. It has been so helpful! - Krista

We have two changing tables - one upstairs in the babies' room and one downstairs in our room so it's convenient no matter where we are in the house to change them. - Tori

I learned to change the babies' diapers as they were drinking their bottle in the middle of the night/early morning feedings so we didn't take any more time than needed. We lay them on a Boppy, they hold their bottles, and we change their diapers. We are done in less than five minutes. - Tori

Two words: Amazon Prime. - Ashley

I used a flashlight at night when one would wake to change a diaper or get a feeding going….it helped shed just enough light to see, but not wake the babies. - CMB

I liked having a pack 'n play by the front door when my twins were young toddlers so I would have a place to corral them as I got them dressed to go out. - Samantha

Rock 'n plays and Boppy loungers for tandem bottle feedings when they are newborns. - Allison

Clean one room each weeknight.  I hate knowing the whole house has to be cleaned come Saturday. - Kaitlin

I have two-year-old twins and a new baby. The Moby wrap is the only way I get things done when I get home from work. Wear the baby and cook dinner, all while entertaining the twins! - @twinbaby0609

If something takes less than a minute, do it right then.  - Summer

Use a phone app to avoid creating a grocery list each time (also helps you to not forget anything)!  Two recommendations: Grocery IQ and Trello.

Ziplock bags in every size. Dirty diapers on the run. Carsickness (the big sister gets very carsick).  Food.  Individual outfit changes. Banana peels and other sticky food while you're out and about.  Wet bathing suit or dirty clothes. Literally anything and everything.  I pack two boxes of gallon sized bags when we travel. - Daria

Now that my babies are eating more solids we bought a Costco membership. - Christina

We moved all errands to weekdays/nights so weekends were family time and we didn't have to run around.  My husband goes grocery shopping on Monday night  and I go to Target during lunch. - Emily

Only wash your hair two-three times a week.  You have to train your hair in order to do this.  When I was pregnant I started washing my hair every other day.  After it was used to that I switched to every third day.  Not having to blow dry it every day has been such a timesaver and my hair is so much healthier!

I like Herbal Essences dry shampoo and it's a great price point! - Leslie

At first I only showered while the twins were sleeping. Big mistake! Get yourself a clear shower curtain and put your pack 'n play in the bathroom. To keep my kids happy I usually put a sippy cup of milk or water and a small snack with them in addition to a few soft toys.  - Carolyn


CLICK HERE to visit another 2014 Favorites "tips" post:  Photographing Kids | Tips From An Amateur

1 comment:

  1. “change the babies' diapers as they were drinking their bottle” – YES! Still do this to this day and it helps with especially w/ squirmy babies.

    “Clean one room each weeknight. I hate knowing the whole house has to be cleaned come Saturday.” – mind blown!!! Going to implement this IMMEDIATELY!

    “If something takes less than a minute, do it right then.” – Up to five minutes is my threshold. “JUST DO IT” is my mantra!

    “Only wash your hair two-three times a week.” – I may or may not (more likely the latter) follow this rule… and it’s because I go a little longer before washing my hair at times (YIKES! #superUNproudparentingmoment)