Can Hellmann's new mayo bottle simplify your life?

I've told you before that sometimes companies will reach out to me and ask for a product review.  My angle is always asking, "Does it make life more simple or help me be more organized?"

This latest review may seem strange on this site because it's for Hellmann's Mayo.  The reason I wanted to do this review is because they have a new squeeze bottle!!

I do not personally use mayo a lot. I mostly use it to make dips.

Let me just say it took me about 2 seconds to squeeze out 1/2 Cup of the mayo and I created zero mess getting it out.

Hellmann's is touting its precision tip, clean-lock cap, and sleek design.

I tried to draw and write with this bottle but I did not succeed.  Others have, I did not.  But my little one was happy with the little dab I gave her in the center of a cracker.

Does this product help simplify your life?  YES! (I wish all my condiments had this bottle now)
Does this product help you be organized?  YES!  The slim bottle takes very little space in my condiment-crowded refrigerator.  The click lock cap keeps the bottle and your fridge clean.

I compared this product with a generic brand of mayo I already had.  The generic brand contains HFCS, the Hellmann's contains sugar.  If that is an issue for you, Hellmann's has your back.  

Hellmann's also states it's on a mission to use 100% cage free eggs.  They are not there yet, but they say they are trying.  The bottle also touts that it is rich in Omega 3s.  

So, thanks Influenster and Hellmann's for sending me a complimentary bottle of Real Mayonnaise.  

Thanks readers, may your summer picnics and at-home lunches be less messy!  


Lent, #40bagsin40days, and a spending freeze

Are you observing the season of Lent?  My church spends a concerted effort in following the church calendar.  I have never been a part of a community that sincerely observes seasons of Advent and Lent like my current one.  Some times I succeed at my sacrifice and sometimes I fail.

One year I gave up High Fructose Corn Syrup because I felt I was addicted and it was bad for this temple I call a body.  I did better than I expected and appreciated having an older friend trying to give up soda at the same time.  There's something to be said about going through things with a buddy.

Another year I was going to follow Spring Cleaning 365 because I so badly needed more control of my environment.  For some reason I didn't do so well.  One hint is the tasks were decided for me and not in a time frame that worked for me and I also didn't schedule in the time for it.  However, that year I also prayed this prayer every single day.  It focused me in so many ways and enriched me.
This year I started seeing the 40 bags in 40 days challenge pop up in my Instagram feed.  It's also known as decrapifying. I love the humor in that word.

I see all kinds of photos full of bags of excess going to the landfill and charities.  While I am truly happy people are freeing themselves of excess, something else really tugs at me.  All the questions come.

Will these people change their ways?
Will these people be in the same boat next year?
Does the world really need their crap?

But I also thought, I could really stand to decrapify my own life.  And I asked myself these same questions.

My observance of Lent in 2015 is two-fold.  I have joined the #40bagsin40days, although I will not have enough to fill 40 bags. My items will go into a garage sale for our church who needs funds to renovate our new-to-us meeting place. 

But I am also putting myself on a spending freeze (I learned this from my friend Natalie).  Our biggest problem here in America is that we buy too much to begin with.  We let too much enter through our doors.  That applies to all aspects of our being: our homes, our cars, our email boxes, our phones, our heads, our hearts, etc.  Like many, money often controls me, not me controlling my money.  And I want to fight this.  I want to be a better steward.  I know more stuff means more to manage.
"Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want." Anna Lappe
There are so many reasons for each person as to why we purchase more than we need.  Sometimes the root of the action is being tired, not planning, or filling a hole we have.  Everyone is different.  I have been wanting/not wanting to put myself on a spending freeze.  So I've been contemplating it for a while.  For me it means not spending outside of my budget and mostly not making unplanned purchases.  It sounds so easy.  But it's not easy for me.  I do feel these actions of decrapifying and a spending freeze go hand in hand.

And you know what?  I am resting on that Prayer again.  My needs are provided for.  I choose to be generous.  I want to pursue what matters most in my world.  I want to live free.

Does this resonate with you?  You can join along.  Anne Marie has a free printable for you to jump in on the decrapifying.  I urge you to do more than just get rid of your junk.  I urge you to look deeper as to why you have "crap" in the first place and I urge you to examine what your days would be like if you consumed less.

I am taking this slow and I am doing it by category, not just by room.  I started with books and have only done one area of books at a time.  So far I have gotten rid of 15 books.

My list consists of books, clothing, pantry, laundry, digital photos, electronic and paper files, bathrooms, google docs, dress-up clothes, toys, playroom shelf, each daughter's room and closet.  There is certainly more that didn't make the list.  Maybe I'll keep going after Lent.  Maybe I won't.  We'll just see.

If you join along with the #40bagsin40days and/or a spending freeze.  I'd love to know!  You can always tag me on IG as @ahappyholly.

Lent, is a time to enter into the dark places within our souls. We are invited to allow the Holy Spirit to search us and to know our hearts. We call attention to the things that bind us up from living out the reality of the Kingdom of God and attempt to starve them. In a nation of affluence and values that often corrupts the beauty of the cross, sometimes our gluttonous lives need to have a time to experience a hint of starvation.

You can feel less hurried simply by having less clutter - Be Happier At Home

Many aspects of my life contributed to my feeling of hurry.  Time might seem to be a very separate issue from possessions, for example, but I'd noticed that after I tackled clutter, not only did our apartment seem more spacious and organized, I also felt less hurried, because I could find and stow things easily.  Having more order in my cabinets and closets made me feel as though I had more time in my day.  Instead of scrabbling away at high shelves in search of a flashlight, or jamming the heating pad into some odd corner, I had a place for everything, with nothing superfluous in my way, which gave me a feeling of unhurriedness and mastery of the space around me. - Gretchen Rubin in Happier At Home

10 things most people have and can probably live without

10 Things Most People Have and Can Probably Live Without

1. Carryout menus
2. Expired medicines
3. Games your family never plays or those that have missing pieces
4. Crushed or torn wrapping paper and ribbons
5. Cans of dried out paint
6. Clothing that no longer fits
7. Shoes that hurt your feet
8. Half-used or un-liked bottles of shampoo, lotion, and toiletries
9. Old magazines
10. Duplicates of anything (especially in the kitchen and bath)

Organized people

The amount of information available to people continues to grow at a rapid pace, as do the number of demands on our time. Organized people save time and money, and reduce their stress and frustration levels. Organizing systems help you deal with everything from your paper to your professional responsibilities and give you parameters on what to keep, what to toss, and where to take action.

Organize craft supplies on the cheap

Here's a simple idea for some craft supplies.  Group one type of craft together.  Layer the larger items on the bottom of  a clear tub.  On top of that, layer shoe box sized clear tubs.  This prevents a jumbled mess!

5 tips to corral the kids' craft clutter!

Toss flimsy boxes and put drawing and coloring tools into lidded boxes or bins.

Separate supplies for easier access.  We mostly use ziploc bags for this - which don't photograph well.  We have a bag for glue sticks, one for stickers, one for pipe cleaners etc.  All of those are corralled together into one cute cube.

Keep craft paper upright and together by standing up in a cube, sorted and stored in large plastic envelopes, accordian files or stacking trays.

Don't bother saving every free crayon!

Keep a vinyl tablecloth or newspaper with the art supplies!

Organizing your "needs action" papers

When Clever Container came out with their "Panic No More!" filing system I was so excited.  The most common messy issue I see in homes is paper.  Panic No More was designed to handle the ebb and flow of daily paper.  It's not a permanent storage system.  These files were created to be emptied and addressed every single day.

The Panic No More System comes with 25 color-coded folders, 25 peel and stick file labels, 6 labeled tabs and hanging file folders, and instructions.  It is quick and easy to assemble all of these supplies.  It costs $23.

After throwing away all the junk mail, and separating your catalogs and magazines you're ready to use this system.  Look through your piles a little bit and take note of what's actually there.  Here is how Clever Container's Panic No More system works.

Throw away anything you no longer need each time you touch something.

Panic No More (pink) which includes five categories ("Call" is hiding in this photo).  

Pay: put your bills in here, you could include some dividers numbered 1-31, and drop your bills in by date.

Important: Things that need attention: permission slips, checking something online, forms to make copies of etc.
Call: (or any correspondence: Doctor appointments to be made, the seamstress,etc., keep a to do list in here so you always know who you need to call.), or change this to a ToDo,
Newsletter: or if you blog and run a few facebook pages, this is a good place to store ideas.  If you send out a regular mailing, like through mailchimp, this is a great place to keep an outline of the topics you want to cover.

Funny Money (green)
Coupons: great place to keep them until you can “process” them.
Coupons Non-Grocery: Ulta, Bed, Bath and Beyond, and such go here.
UPC/Rebates: this is a good place to store box tops for education inside a baggie or envelope.
Gift Cards/certificates: also great for groupons and such.
Receipts: Use this file weekly.  Store your receipts here until you "process" them.
Food For Tho
ught (orange)
Meal Planning: Temporary place to keep this week’s recipes and plan here.
Shopping List: Keep your shopping list in here so everyone knows where it is.  This is also a great place to keep separate and specific shopping lists: Amazon, Melaleuca, Sams, Health Food Store etc.
Recipes: Store next week’s ideas or recipes you just clipped.  But this is temporary and these recipes need to be processed into your longer term storage.
Memories (purple)
Cards: Is it worth keeping and to file it?  Love it, use it or lose it.  Keeping a card you received you wish to reply to goes here.
Letters: If you need to take action in response file it here.
Photos: Store here before you put away in a memory box etc.
Now, this is where's I'd change it up. I'd actually just make one file for each of my kids as that seems to be the memory type stuff that lands in a pile.
Medical (blue)
Primary: Scripts, referrals, claim info - keep here until this claim is closed.
Dentist: This is a great place to store your treatment plan.
Vision: Keep your scripts and Doc contact info here too.
Prescriptions: Forms you have to mail, coupons for a pharmacy can go here and it's a great place to keep drug fact sheets here. Script refill information should go here as well.
Flexible Spending: Store forms and receipts for flex spending here.
Further Action (gray)
To be filed: anything that needs to go to permanent storage, Schedule time on your calendar to file or this folder will be out of control. report cards,
Phone Numbers: contact info you plan to keep and need to put into permanent storage can go here. you can also keep a hard copy of Doctor's contacts etc. here.
To Send: What goes out: bills, invites, what’s ready to go to the post office, or cards that just need addresses etc.  

kid's artwork storage

What You Need
One plastic bin per child, labels, children’s schoolwork and art projects, digital camera

Follow These Four Easy Steps

How To: Organize Kids Schoolwork Step 1
 Time Inc. Studios
1Buy one bin for each child and label it
Purchase as many plastic containers as you have school-age children. Choose deep lidded containers that are big enough to lay schoolwork and standard-size artwork flat. Label each bin with the child’s name and grade. If you wish, you can add the names of classroom and art teachers.

Tip: Select containers that come in different colors and designate one color per child.
How To: Organize Kids Schoolwork Step 2
 Time Inc. Studios
2Collect work in the bin
When your child comes home with art or class work, simply drop it in the bin, discarding anything you don’t wish to save.

Aha! The only surefire way to preserve your children’s most special works of art is to frame them using acid-free matting and UV-filtering glass.
How To: Organize Kids Schoolwork Step 3
 Time Inc. Studios
3Take pictures of oversized pieces
For items that can’t be saved—dioramas or collages made with food products such as macaroni—and for oversize artwork that doesn’t fit in the bin, snap a photograph, print it, and pop it in the bin.

Tip: Consider asking your child to hold or stand next to the art project you’re photographing. The resulting image will bring back even clearer memories of a particular time in your child’s life.
4Sort and store bin when school year ends
When the school year is over and you have the time and inclination, open the bin and leaf through everything you’ve saved. You can reminisce while deciding what’s worth saving for good and what can be discarded. When you’re finished, close the lid securely and store the bin with the label facing outward.
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