Thursday, November 17, 2016

Car Organization: Kids Version

I did a trunk organization blog post a few years back, which focused on keeping things in the car in case of emergency. Today's blog post is about keeping the car organized with kids. I have a preschooler and an infant, so have everything in the car according to their needs. 

Here is our car, a Mitsubishi Outlander:

Quick review - this car is working out well for us as a family of four. The car claims to be a 7 seater, but don't count on it. It's super uncomfortable in the back 2 rows, but the driver and front passenger seats are fine. I purchased very cushioned car seats for my sons so that they can feel comfortable in the back. The second row is supposed to be a 3 seater but is completely full with 2 car seats, so I can't squeeze in between them. 

Here's a view of the front row. A phone charger and phone mount for directions are two of my must haves in the front row!

And of course, a car with kids always needs tissues: 

These are my absolute favorite tissue boxes. They are made for cup holders so they are perfect for cars! I got them at Target. Also, I've seen many trash box solutions online for cars but none of them worked for us so I came up with this idea! By using an empty tissue box, I don't use up any of the floor space for a trash box and the car is constantly clean. 

A tip for the Muslim readers, keep a tasbeeh (prayer beads) in the door handle of the front passenger side of the car: 

While you sit and wait to be taken from Point A to Point B, be productive if you aren't talking to the person who is driving! Seeing the tasbeeh in the door handle will be a constant reminder to do your dhikr.

Below is a view of the second row. As you can see, completely full with 2 car seats. It's a very compact car, but functions well enough for us. 

This is the infant's side. I attached a car organizer on the driver's seat headrest in which I keep extra toys and books for both of the kids. The diaper bag stays underneath that, and I have a colorful mirror in front of the baby so that the driver can see him from the rear-view mirror. The mirror also lights up and plays music, which is great for night time drives when baby gets scared in the dark. 

If it is too sunny outside, I tie this breathable muslin cloth from 3 sides to protect the baby's eyes. I have tried many of the sun screens which are attachable to the window but they are not good enough since my eyes and my children's eyes are extra sensitive to sunlight. The preschooler wears sunglasses when we go out and I have this set up for the infant temporarily until he can wear sunglasses. I have to make sure that all 3 sides are tied properly and that the material is breathable! 

Here is the view from my preschooler's side. He uses a convertible car seat, to which we have attached a double cup holder.

For his entertainment, I kept a DVD Player and a CD organizer filled with his favorite movies. I recycled all of the individual CD cases because they took up too much space and cluttered up the car. 

In the storage area on the side of the door pictured below, I keep some of his snacks

 I keep things such as chips, fruit bars and crackers. Anything that wouldn't melt in the heat.

Finally, moving on to the trunk. We do not need the 3rd row of seats to make the car a 7 seater, so we converted it to a larger trunk instead. Here is the set up:

1. Infant stroller and umbrella stroller
2. A large umbrella for the family
3. A large tote hanging from the headrest. It contains extra clothes for the kids, diapers, wipes, and a portable toilet training seat attachment for the preschooler. 
4. Extra water for emergencies. I usually use it to wash hands or make wudhu if I need to pray somewhere.
5. A water resistant picnic blanket
6. Rolling cart to haul the large car seat at airports.
7. A tool that helps to carry multiple grocery bags in one hand.

A list of the products mentioned that can be found on Amazon:



Hope you found this post helpful! Share your ideas of how you keep your car organized, I would love to hear them!

Thanks for reading and don't forget to Follow Me on FacebookPinterest and Instagram for future posts!

Note: This is not a sponsored post, but does contain affiliate links! Thanks for your support! Also, this might be my last post for the next two months. Hope you all have a wonderful end of 2016!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Pantry Makeover at a Friend's!

A close friend of mine is in the process of organizing her home. One of the areas she wanted to deal with was her pantry. The pantry is a high traffic area that is usually used by all members of the family, and if there's no system then it's easy for this area to get messy! 

Organizing is a two step process. The first step is to purge all of the items that are not needed, and the second is to compartmentalize. My friend went through the tedious but essential process of decluttering her pantry and sent me pics. After she only had what was needed in the pantry, she asked me how to keep it organized, so I thought I'd surprise her by creating a system in her pantry for her!

Here is a picture of how it all started:

Pretty much looks like most pantries I have seen! After downsizing to only the items that are usable, she ended up with the picture below on the left. Her food products were all categorized into different zones. The pantry is actually really organized, but you can still see everything in plain sight, and hiding that is what makes the space looks orderly. You can achieve that simply by placing like items in bins. 

Here is a before and after:

The key is to have a theme and stick to that. I got bins for her that are all the same size, color and design. If you would like to go for 2 or 3 more colors then go for it, but it's best to stick to a theme to make the area look aesthetically pleasing. All of the organizational products were purchased from the Dollar General store and Target. The final step, of course, was to label the bins to ensure that everything stays in its place, and to find things at a glance. 

If you would like to check out a more thorough pantry organization blog post, check out my current pantry setup. 

I hope you found this post helpful! Let me know how you keep your pantry organized. 
Thanks for reading and don't forget to Follow Me on FacebookPinterest and Instagram for future posts!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Inkwell Press Flex Planner Review

I've been doing planner reviews on my blog since I started writing posts over 2 years ago. You can check out my Martha Stewart planner review here from 2014 and my Erin Condren planner review from 2015 here

For the year 2016, I chose to go with the Inkwell Press Planner! I've written up a detailed review of it in case you're interested in this brand. The planner is pictured above, along with the pouch I keep it in, which is the Erin Condren brand. The pouch is personalized with my name and fits the planner and a lot of other things!

When I purchased this planner at the end of last year, there was only an option of buying it online. I was a little hesitant to buy something without seeing it first, but I had heard great things about it so went for it! I was not disappointed!

This year, however, you can go to any Office Depot store and check out the planners for yourself! The designs on the cover for 2017 and even more beautiful than last year's. I'm looking forward to checking them out myself, but haven't decided which planner I'll be using in 2017 yet!

Inkwell Press is a company that designs planner for women that are made by women. Its main objective is to make you productive, and it has several methods of ensuring that you focus on your goals. 

Alright, let's get started with the review!

This is how everything came in the mail. We were given a free sample of their weekly layout for the desk notepad. Everything was well protected and there were no damages. 

The quality of the planner is its greatest feature. The paper is the thickest on the market for planners, and that ensures no bleed through. It's 140 GSM, which is 100 lb paper. The cover is matte laminate that can be wiped clean with a damp cloth, and it has mylar tabs. It comes with a snap-in ruler which can also be used as a bookmark, and the wire-o binding allows you to lay it flat while planning. I love the muted colors in the planner, as they give it a sophisticated touch. There is also an elastic band attached to this planner, which helps make sure that everything is intact. 

Here's how my planner looks after I added a few accessories. The Erin Condren sticky notes dashboards fit inside perfectly, and this was a huge bonus for me because I love planning with them. I also added a storage pocket in front with appointment cards in them, and a few sticky notes with important information.

The planner starts off with a section for important dates for the year, which is great for a quick glance. 

One of my favorite things about the Inkwell Planner is how goal-oriented it is. It helps break everything down to more manageable tasks, so you feel less overwhelmed and more likely to do them. There are six different aspects to look into for goals, and they cover almost everything you'll need for the year.

Here's a look at the month at a glance section. There's ample space to list different activities. I color code according to different themes, and you can check out what each color represents in this picture from last year: 

The planner continues on to have a Mission Board, further helping in ensuring that you're focused on your goals. I love the unique design as it makes things more interesting!

I bought the Flex version of the planner, which is the horizontal layout, as opposed to the Classic version which is vertical, so that I am able to be creative with how I use my space. 

I've attached a few pictures of how my week at a glance looks so that you can get a rough idea. I use sticky notes a lot, especially if it's an event that may get canceled due to unforeseen circumstances. Color coding is a must for me to be easily able to navigate through the page if I glance through it.  

The planner has three boxes on the side of each day, with no titles, so that you're free to use them as you wish. I personally use them for making sure I take my medicine or give my son his medicine, planning what I'll be having for dinner, and I also have a Happy Thought box. The last box is just to have a positive outlook of life. It's always nice to look back on and see your blessings. 

There's also a Notes section at the bottom, which is a great feature. I used it to track my pregnancy and wrote tasks for the week. 

There are also Notes sections at the end of every month if you need to write things in more detail. I use these sections to manage my travel plans, make packing lists for my hospital stay for baby, do party planning, and jot down ideas for my blog. I'm sure there are thousands of different ways to use these pages. Use your imagination! 

Since I DID have a baby this year and also have a toddler to take care of, I did not have enough time to completely benefit from all the pages from this planner. There are a few pages at the back of the planner that are empty, but I would definitely have used them if I had more time.

There's a Gift List with spaces for Name, Ideas, Item Purchased and Money Spent. This is great for Eid or Christmas, or in my case, traveling to meet family members. 

There's a page for listing movie shows to watch and books to read for the year, and another page for tracking bills. There is also a section for travel details that I haven't taken a picture of. All very useful stuff! 

The planner ends with a calendar of the year 2017 so that you can plan ahead, and a few pockets at the back to add papers.

I use these magnetic clips that I bought at Michael's as bookmarks for different pages and they have been holding up great! 

Another thing that I haven't mentioned yet is that there are videos online made by the company showing you how to use the planner in the most productive way. This is especially great if you're a beginner. You can find these videos on their website

Overall, I really love the Inkwell Press in Flex. It has everything you could possibly need in a planner and the quality is better than most other planners. If you buy the planner at Office Depot then the price really is not bad at $30. Buying it online last year was more expensive, and it also sold out very fast. It is far more accessible this year. The videos are very beneficial, and I love how the creator of this planner is also accessible on social media. Every time I post a picture of my planner on my Instagram page she replies with feedback! The only cons I can think of are that it may be bulky to carry around everywhere, and you need a lot of time to be able to fully make use of this planner. If those two things aren't an issue for you then I'm 100% sure that you will love this planner! 

If you would like to purchase anything from the Inkwell brand, you can get a $10 discount by clicking here, and if you would like to purchase anything from the Erin Condren brand, you can get $10 off by clicking here

I hope this review was helpful to you! Let me know which planner you will be using in 2017! I still need to decide!

Thanks for reading and don't forget to Follow Me on FacebookPinterest and Instagram for future posts! 

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