Posted in family, Organizing, Uncategorized

Is you Pantry in a Wad?

 

Tell me if this is you..

You plan to make pasta for dinner.

Gregory Bourolias - photo-1449791898646-5a6fdfa4b4dd
Photo by Gregory Bourolias

You come home from work; start dinner only to discover you don’t have any pasta.

OK plan B you can make what????? You can’t find anything. There are cans, boxes, bags and containers in a mish mash.

You are sure you bought some mussels. Great you can make mussels marinara. Where are they? You just have to find them; they should be in the freezer. Nope there are not any mussels. Lots of chicken, but you don’t have time to make chicken.

In a rush you order pizza instead and go to the grocery store after dinner, soccer and dance.

Budget and diet blown!

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Tired, rushed and frazzled you go to the grocery store to buy food. But you don’t know what you have or what you need. You know you don’t have pasta. By the way last week you favorite store had pasta on sale.

I ask this because this has happened to all of us. But if you organize your pantry you can save money and time.

Time because you will be able to see at a glance what is running low and know what you have.

Money because if you know you are low on something you can purchase it on sale. Did you know grocery stores run sales on a cycle? They do.   Soda is always on sale near a holiday in the summer months. Sugar is always on sale near thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter because of the holiday baking.

OK lets talk about organizing your pantry. Think about what you use.

If you will take a little bit of time now you can save time later. I reorganized my pantry in less than 1 hour.

One shelf for canned goods. Put like items together in a row try to put the newest cans in the rear. Boxes on another row and so on.

Also keep your cereals and other frequently used items in airtight clear containers to keep them fresh and to easily see when you are running low.

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I have an Ikea cart that holds my potatoes and onions. When I am ready to cook I roll the cart over to the sink to wash and peel. Also, I don’t have to search the bottom of my pantry to find the lost rotten potato that is stinking up the place.

I also have a running shopping list. When I open the last jar of mayo I put mayo on the list.  I can then watch for a sale and not run out.

Here is a link from Your Own Home Store showing grocery sale cycles. Grocery Sale Cycle

I love your comments.

Pam's Bee.jpg

 

#dinner #pantry #organize, #grocery #momslife  #beeorganized #overwhelmed #disorganized #family #realmom  #motherhood # truelife; #mom #kids

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing

NATIONAL CLEAN OUT YOUR REFRIGERATOR DAY – November 15

Later this week is national clean out your refrigerator day. So you know what that means…

Empty the containers that are way in the back.

Toss out the takeout from 3 weeks ago. (You will thank me later.)

Do you have an almost empty bottle of mayo or Catalina dressing? Do you even like Catalina dressing? No? Well, why are you keeping the ½ ounce that is at the bottom of that bottle?condiments photo-1465060780892-48505fc8f941.jpg

Do you have a beer that you have been saving for the Astro’s to win the world series? They did and that beer may not be as satisfying as the last game was. Ditto for any other expired food you have in there.  Let it go.

Besides if you live in the USA, Thanksgiving is coming. You need room for all the food. The dressing, pumpkin pie and the turkey, oh my. You must make room for the goodies.

Now that you have tossed the science experiments that were growing in your refrigerator it’s time to clean all the shelves, wash the crisper drawers.  Don’t forget to vacuum condenser coils and vacuum out under the refrigerator.

Again you are welcome!  Now enjoy your nice clean refrigerator.

So Happy Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day!!!

Thanks!

Pamela

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#refrigerator #clean #thanksgiving #family #parenting #momlife #dadlife

 

 

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing

Trick or Treat! New month ~ New project 

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Halloween Graveyard ~ Photo from Wikipedia

Do you have any Halloween decorations that are broken?

Halloween is over. All that is left is the candy and the decorations. Time to put them away and get out the Thanksgiving or fall decorations. But, did you discover your Halloween or Day of the Dead decorations has seen better days? Did you have to stuff your scarecrow? Is your pumpkin flat? This is s a great time to evaluate and eliminate the broken and unused decorations.

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Anything you did not use you should let go of. If it is broken or unsafe that needs to go. Don’t let it be witchful thinking that you can’t be organized. You can and I am here to help. But there is no magic wand.

Of course now is a fabulous time to purchase your replacements ~ you know all remaining Halloween and Day of the Dead decorations are on sale.

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Box them all up and put them away until next year.

Additionally,  if you have candy you don’t want here in my area we have a program that is called Operation Gratitude. They send candy in care packages to military troops.  There is most likely a program similar in your area.

By the way Halloween day at my house it will be in the upper 90’s so there will be some melted chocolate..  We don’t buy candy we like so I am not temped.  LOL.  Do you give out candy?  What is your favorite candy?  For me it is Dark Chocolate.

Thanks Pamelabee_organizedwithpamela-jpg

#decorations #clutter #organized #candy #momlife

Posted in family, Organizing, Uncategorized

Do you have a Plan? Organize you finances ~ October is National Financial Planning Month

So do you have a budget? Do you know when you power bill is due? Does your significant other?

Yes ~no~ maybe? While for many couples money is a point of contention. Each of you needs to know what is going on with and where your money is going. You both need to know how to access to your online accounts and at the very least how much money is coming in and going out.

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Are you one paycheck away from disaster? If you are then you need to put the brakes on and talk to someone.

There are so many ways to dig you out of a hole. Such as cut up your credit cards, use cash, use the envelope system, Dave Ramsey’s, Suze Orman, or any number of other systems that are out there. They are easy to find. I am sure you can find one that you can work with. There is even the suggestion to keep only one credit card but freeze it in a freezer bowl of water for EMERGENCIES.   That way you have to thaw the card and by having it frozen limits your access. It’s really not a good idea microwave your credit card.

Everyone needs an emergency fund.

Note new shoes or a new outfit, going out to dinner or big TV is not an emergency.

An emergency is tires for your vehicle, car repair, hospital or dental emergency, job loss or home repair.

Have you thought about how you might buy a house?

Are you are looking for a house, will you buy in the city or country? How long will your commute be? Are you willing to do that? Do you have money for a down payment?   Can you handle the mortgage payment, insurance, taxes and maintenance? When you become the homeowner you also become the super. Oh no the hot water is out? That is your problem. Leak in the roof. Yep ~ that repair is on you. By the way these repairs are not covered by your standard homeowners insurance. You can purchase a separate home warranty plan that will cover some of these repairs.

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So maybe you are in the market for a new vehicle. Can you tell me how much your car insurance is?

If you are in the market for a new car would you check to see how much your insurance will cost on the new vehicle before you purchase it? Did you know that your automobile insurance does NOT cover repairs unless it was as the result of an accident? Not because you didn’t check the oil and you blew up the engine or your drivetrain just wore out. WHAT THE WHAT.

Yes ~  this is why you need an emergency fund.

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Do you have children? Are you making a college savings plan? Do you want it help your kids go to college or do you think that if they do it all themselves they will be more serious? But can they? Have you thought of this before?

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All photos from Unsplash.com

Have you got a plan for retirement? Do you have a date you would like to retire? Do you know the earlier you start saving for this the less money you have to put in? Right AMAZING. If you have not started saving, now is a good time.

If you do have a retirement date in mind will you be debt free on that date? If you have less money coming in you need less money going out.

What about where will you live? Does your house allow you to age in place? Is there are bedroom and bathroom on the main floor? Stairs are not your friend when you get older. Your knees will thank you.Lindsay-Henwood Upsplash photo-1448387473223-5c37445527e7

 

Do you have a will? Even if you are young you need a will. If you are young parents you need this more than ever.   You want to provide for your children. Who will become their guardian?

Are you single? Do you have a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care? Lets say you are in an accident, you have a life threating injury and unable to communicate? Who speaks on your behalf? Who are they going to call?

Advanced Directive? Is a written statement of a person’s wishes regarding medical treatment, often including a living will, made to ensure those wishes are carried out should the person be unable to communicate them to a doctor.

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No financial or legal advice is being give here. I only want to make you think. Organize your finances and get your financial plan started. Take advantage of National Financial Planning Month.

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”  ~ Benjamin Franklin

So do you have a plan?  I love you comments.  Please share this with your friends and family.

Thanks  Pamela

 

#organize #finances #planning #money #overwhelmed #newpost #momlife #parenting #budget

Posted in family, summer tips

Road trip!!

Are you planning a road trip with children?

Here are a few things to keep the kids entertained and hopefully avoid the dreaded, “Are we there yet” questions .

two boys leaning on classic teal vehicle
Photo by Victoria Borodinova on Pexels.com

Try these awesome ways to get the kids involved.

I’m of my mom friends said, she made a travel binder for her then 6 yr old last summer. They drove to Florida. She had maps printed with their route highlighted every day. He loved being able to follow along. And then she printed out free road trip games from online. Put them in sheet protectors so we used dry erase markers on them. (License plate game, bingo, tic tac toe, battle ship, etc).I

Make busy bags

Busy bags and activities are a great way to keep kids unplugged, but for a change of pace, try these games I remember from my own childhood that require zero supplies.
  • Count the cows- this game is simple. Count the cows in the fields on your side of the road. If you pass a graveyard, your cows die and you have to start over. You can end the game either when one person gets to a certain number of cows, when you get to your destination, or when you get tired of playing.
  • Abc game- take turns finding letters on road signs on your side of the road. You must go in order.
  • Quaker Meeting (aka the quiet game) – I’m not sure if my mom made this up to get a little peace- but the object of the game is to see who can stay quiet the longest.
  • Rhyming- Sometimes we just take turns rhyming and see how many we can come up with in a row. Or make up new silly lyrics to our favorite songs.
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Photo by SplitShire on Pexels.com

Also don’t skimp on Snacks, Water and more Snacks!

We always make sure to stock up on some of our favorite snacks.  Don’t forget to take plenty of water.  This is some that we find travel travel well: string cheese, rice cakes, pretzels, bagels, sandwiches, carrots, apple slices, bananas, crackers with cheese or nut butter, granola bars, cookies, raisins, dry cereal, jerky, and pop corn snacks.

Remember to relax and enjoy the journey.  Barf happens! So be prepared. Gallon zip lock veggies and disinfecting wipes are strongly suggested.

Maintain your chill and be flexable!

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If you are on the fence about taking a vacation let me say, GO! They are your vacation days. Take them. Spend time with your family. Unplug and go. There are only so many summers when your kids will be little. They are growing up and you need to make memories.

old photos in the wooden box
Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

So go make memories. Good or bad they will be the things you will talk about for years and years to come.

I can’t wait to hear about your road trips!

Thanks Pamela

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#roadtrips, #travelwithkids, #travel , #traveltips

Posted in family, Organizing

How to organize all the stuff you kids bring home from school.

Now that school is almost out for the summer,  you know it’s going to happen…

Last day of school they will bring home papers, art projects and test papers. It may have already started and you have to decide what you are going to do with them.A photo by Tim Arterbury. unsplash.com/photos/VkwRmha1_tI

Of course almost every parent’s refrigerator is an art gallery. But want about giving their masterpieces a more prominent place? You can use clipboard and create a gallery wall that are easily changeable. You can read more about using clipboards to create art galleries from Houzz.com. click here

Or Love Grows Wild shows you how to make rustic but elegant clipboard frames http://lovegrowswild.com/2013/08/diy-photo-clipboards/

There are lots of amazing ways to display your children’s artwork out there all you have to do it look.

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Another fabulous option that answers the question of what to do with all the treasures they bring home every day.

SCAN or snap a digital photo of them.

Set up a digital photo frame for each of your children.

Digital frames can now share photos without a computer. It connects to the Internet via phone line to download new pictures and information to display on the screen. Basic digital frames have internal memory and just a USB port; some can use a memory chip. They are not complicated to load your pictures on. The most basic digital picture frames contain a certain amount of internal memory and a USB port. You simply connect the frame to a computer via USB and the frame shows up looking like a flash drive, and then drag and drop images to the frame until the memory is full.

You can enjoy their treasures every day and not have lots of clutter – Bonus.

The grandparents love getting these.

Give them a digital photo frame for each of your children.  We have given our parents a digital frame from each of us. That way they can update our photos and share our candid pictures with them on a regular basis. We just load the flash drive and sent it to them.

Grandparents, parents and siblings appreciate getting more pictures from you and that they don’t have to find a place for a new frame.

If you choose not to go digital you can set up albums, boxes or folders for your children. At the end of the year you can choose the best or your favorites and have them made into a book.child_scribble_age_1y10m

What are your thoughts? Digital or hard copy? Really it does not matter as long as you organize them and make sure you give your kids the proper amount of ooohs and ahhhs.

Thanks Pamela

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Photo credit Unsplash and Wikipedia

#organized #kidsart #momlife #livingwithkids #endofschool #parenting #overwhelmed

 

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing

Do you Pile it? Stop being a Pilot.

So unless you are might be licensed to fly a plane you are not a pilot.  But that is not what we are taking about. What do I mean by Pilot? Do you make piles of stuff?  Do you pile it up.  Stop it.

Here it the rule ~

Don’t be a Pilot! No Piles allowed.

No Piles of Anything! No, not even neat ones.

This rule will save you hours of wasted time when you learn to follow it.

Stacking things develops bad habits. Stacks of items tend to grow into unmanageable piles of clutter and chaos that then takes hours to clean and sort them.

Looking a stacks or piles of stuff is stressful. It is a constant reminder that there is something to be done.

Look at areas of your home where things tend to be “stacked” or piled up. This could be your mail, the laundry, dishes etc.

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I have said before that if you will fold and hang your laundry when you take it out of the dryer it is easier to put away – Do not let it pile up.  If you need more tips on this go to my prior post on laundry tips do-you-have-a-monster-in-your-house.

Mail has the ongoing potential for a pile up. Clutter can be due to indecision. Be brutal,  make a decison about  your mail and bills then they come in.  Deal with them right away or place them only temporarily in the inbox.  Read more about dealing with mail and papers Click here.

Better yet go paperless.

You will always know where to find your statements. I am a huge fan of online banking. Most banks offer online banking. If you are not taking advantage of it you are wasting money. By using online banking don’t have to order as many checks or pay postage to mail your bill payments.   Your bank may even offer electronic reminders, you can avoid the hassle of paper bills, making extra trips to your bank or worrying about checks being lost in the mail. In addition, paying your bills online keeps all of your billing records in one easy-to-find place. You can also set up automatic payments using your debit or credit card. Banking online can make your banking life much easier and reduce your paper clutter.

Dish Issues = clutter

In my house I am cooking all the time. Dishes are another area that could create a pileup. All dishes go immediately into the dishwasher or get washed in the sink after use. Don’t  leave them in other areas or allowing them to pile up. When Mr. Man cooks he cleans as he goes which is wonderful. Unfortunately he does not cook enough, in my opinion.

Don’t put things down put them up.

The next time you are piling things up, stop and ask yourself how much longer it would take to put things away. It may take a couple extra minutes now, but will save you even more time and effort in the future.

You can do be organized and I’m here to help.  I love your comments.

If you like what I have to say feel free to re-blog.  Help yourself, help me and help others.Pam's Bee.jpg

 

#organized #disorganization #clutter #family #momlife #parenting #dadlife

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing

Simply Sunday – living with kids

A question that keeps popping up is how to contain the toys in the living room?

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An answer is a piece of furniture that has closed storage. That might be your accent table with a basket below or a storage ottoman if you have room.

Don’t allow you living room to become the toy room. Limit the amount of toys allowed there at any time. There is no reason you can’t have your kids store their toys in their room or their playroom. They can bring toys into the living room and then take them back when they are done with them. Or you put them in a tote or basket and put them away.

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Another thing I find frequently is kids have too many toy options. Limit their options. Try rotating their toys. Let them choose say 10 to play with and you put the rest in a tote. If you do this say every month your kids will feel like they are getting new toys without you spending any money. Plus you limit the amount of clutter. Kids don’t play with all their toys. Think about when you go to grandma’s house. She has limited toys and they play just fine with those.

I see lots of stuff you buy your kids when you are shopping as a bribe to “be good.” Stop doing this! You are wasting money and adding lots of clutter to your life. While they may scream and carry on that they want a toy in the store how long does that toy entertain them after you get it home? Right there is no need for this. Just say no. Your kids have trained you that every time they go with you they get a toy. Guess what you are not doing them or you any favors. So you buy them a cheap toy that is cheaply made. It breaks soon after they bring it home. Another melt down that it is broken. I bet if you added up all the money you have spent on cheap toys you would be able to pay a sitter.

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Just like don’t shop when you are hungry don’t take your kids when they are hungry or tired. Give them a snack before.

Take something with you to keep your child engaged. Younger kids need one of their toys or a book. Older kids can help you shop.

I love the tips and ideas from creative with kids. I have attached a link

13 ways to make grocery shopping with kids less torturous or maybe even fun

One of her tips is to Indulge in Grocery Store Fantasy – Good for when the “I wants” come up. You ask questions like: “OK, if the grocery store only carried three things, what do you wish they were?”  “What if we could only eat candy? Wouldn’t that be funny? What would you eat for breakfast?” Of course you are not going to let them eat marshmallows with chocolate for breakfast but it is a fun game.

Another parent suggested that her kids love to guess how much fruits and vegetables weigh and then put them on the scale. As a result they eat more fruits and vegetables.

Now in most places you can do your grocery shopping online. You know that must be something that was invented by a mom, to which we say thank you.

What are your tips for living and shopping with kids.

Pam's Bee.jpg

#momlife #clutter #organized #livingwithkids #shoppingwithkids #grocery

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing, Uncategorized

Are You Facing A Paper Avalanche?

Paper work. Paper avalanche. Paper chase. Whatever you call it I know papers they are the downfall of many of you.  What to do what do you need to keep?

Most financial papers fit in to one of 3 categories

  • Keep indefinitely
  • Keep for 7 years
  • Keep for a year or less

Keep For A Calendar Year Or Less

ATM receipts and deposit slips –  when you receive your bank statements you can shred them.

Charge slips (unless it is for a major purchase), for minor purchases once you are satisfied with the purchase. Shred the receipt when your credit card statement.

If you do not have a home office you don’t need to keep your utility bills, monthly  mortgage statements or quarterly investment reports.

Keep your pay stubs, credit card statements and investment reports until you receive the W-2 or year-end summaries. Once you have those you don’t need the monthly statements.

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Photo by Mari-Helin-Tuominen

Keep Seven Years

Year end credit-card summaries, along with your W-2s and 1099s.

If you itemize your tax return you need to keep all documents you utilized to determine your deductions. These additional documents you should retain include: canceled checks and receipts for all deductible business expenses (such as those for entertainment, home-office equipment, and professional dues), retirement-account contributions, charitable donations, child-care bills, out-of-pocket medical expenses, alimony, and mortgage-interest and property-tax payments.

After 7 years you should scan the actual tax returns or the year-end summaries of your investment accounts as they can come in very handy for future financial planning.  Then you can store them on a flash drive or a CD in a safe place.1024px-Usb-thumb-drive

Infinitely:

Keep receipts for major purchases and receipts that show how much you’ve paid for home improvements as long at your own your home. This will satisfy three things: Insurance claims, potential buyers and when you sell your home to reduce possible capital gains.

Keep beneficiary designation confirmation and purchase price slips that show beneficiary designations and the purchase price of stocks, mutual funds, and any other investments you hold.

It goes without saying that you need to keep your will, birth and marriage certificates, insurance policies, property deeds, and other permanent records in a safe but accessible place near your other financial documents, so you and your heirs will always be able to get to them quickly, if they need to.

Invest in a fireproof safe or a safe deposit box for your forever documents.

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I  suggest scanning and digitizing your important personal documents as a back up copy. More info on this by News Leavitt Just remember a digital copy is not the same as a paper copy but it is much easier to obtain a replacement copy of you have a photo copy.

Also, invest in a shredder.  In today’s world you really don’t want personal information floating around out there.  You can find them for not much money.

For more information  how long to keep your documents check here for more info from bankrate.com.  They have a very detailed list.

Now that you know what to keep and what to shred, I have a post on how to deal your paper as it come in the door.  If you would like to read it here is the link  Did you get Stacked?

I hope this helps you let go of your papers.  I love your comments.

Pam's Bee.jpg

 

 

#organize, #clutter, #paperwork, #documents #taxtime

 

Posted in family, Organizing

Are you a Procrastinator or Just Overwhelmed?

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If you procrastinate, you put off until later what you should probably do right now or you wait until the last-minute to start a project.

Stop me if this it you:

  • You know you have to make dinner every day. (I know right, why does my family feel like they need to eat every day.) But you do not even think about what’s for dinner until 7:00 pm.
  • You know your husband only has 7 pairs of underwear but you don’t do laundry until the 8th day. Can you say commando?
  • It’s December 24 and you have not started shopping? I personally love gifts from CVS.
  • The school bake sale is today. You have no plans or baked goods?
  • Your vehicle gas is on empty and the low fuel light came on yesterday morning. You know your drive is 42 miles from the school to work and home. So does the light mean you have 50 miles to go before you run out of gas?
  • You are possibly overwhelmedoverwhelmed 5-1 a

Putting this off until the last-minute is stressful. Wondering if you will make it to the gas station or not with your kids in the car…yep, that is stressful.

Are you the type of person who thrives on adrenalin and intentionally puts off what they know needs to be done for the thrill? Probably not intentionally. More likely you are overwhelmed.

So do you procrastinate or are you overwhelmed?

You have too much to do and not enough time to get it done.

Try doing the following:

  • Delegate some of the responsibility. I know your kids may not load the dishwasher the way you would but it’s OK. The dishes will get clean. Also, so what if your husband does not fold the towels the way you would. They will still dry you off.
  • Make the most of your time. If you could get organized you will find you have more time.
  • Don’t assume. Have clear expectations and responsibilities.  You may have heard the saying, if you assume you make an ass out of you and me.
  • Make time for you. Mom is a 24/7 job and you deserve a break even if it is only taking a shower without interruptions.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Set up a support system
  • It’s OK to say NO. You don’t have to do it all.pexels-photo-907486.jpeg

Remember

  • This is a phase. It’s OK  and you will get through it.  Your kids will get older.
  • Each Mom has their favorite phase of Motherhood and that is OK too.
  • Take Joy in the moments.  The moments your little one hugs your neck and gives you messy kisses.  Each moment is an opportunity to make a memory.

Mom’s now it’s your turn share or vent about your personal experiences.

Thanks Pamela

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#overwhelmed #procrastinate #motherhood #parents #momslife