I couldn’t be happier that it’s summertime!

There is just something about it that lifts my spirits and makes me smile a little more everyday. The only thing about summer that surprises me every single year is how stinkin’ busy it is! Not sure about you, but I look forward to the sunny months filled with day dreams of relaxation, fun get-togethers, awesome barbecues, evenings of giggles, and family vacations.

While these things all usually happen and are super fun, I, at times, get discouraged that most summer days are just as busy as every other day of the year. Anyone else?

Well good. Because I have found a new motivation to be positive and have rounded up ten ideas to help us stay organized and keep everyone happy at the same time. Let’s consider it a…new summer resolution, of sorts, and start fresh by Keeping It Simply Smart!

First up, the…

1. Easy Do-It-Yourself Menu Planner

Meals can be a tad more difficult in the summer, the normal school routine isn’t as set and more evening activities are happening for all members of the family. This DIY menu planner is super easy to make and can definitely help you and your family know what to expect throughout the week. A win-win for all people involved!!

2. A Visual Schedule for Your Family

For those little ones in your family, a visual schedule might be the best idea to keep them on track throughout the day. It’s a great way to teach them order, expectations, chores, and more. It’s simple enough to make one for each of the kids!

3. Great Closet Organizing and Storage Ideas

As the summer days come upon us, it’s a great time to get into those closets and get rid of those items that are not needed. Cristi has a lot of great ideas for organizing, storing, and preserving the things you want to keep. Don’t forget to donate the items you don’t use as often to those who need them.

4. Pantry Reorganization – Six Great Ideas

Another place for organization…the pantry! These little spaces can get crazy when there are more people in the house throughout the day. Follow these great tips and have everything in their place in no time!

5. Chore Chart for Multiple Kids

Keep all those kids on track with this DIY chore chart for multiple kids! It’s a cute home decor piece that allows you to mix up the chores freely and lets you stay organized about who’s doing what.

6. Gift Giving Organization Ideas

A lot of last-minute parties come up during the summer months–this party organization tip will make things so much easier for you and your kids! All you have to do is grab, go, grab, and go…you’ll see what I mean…

7. 72 Hour Kits for Kids

This is one of the most important things to organize this summer! You never know when something will happen, and being prepared will bring so much peace in a time of stress. Everything you need for the kits is included, even the pdf list. I dare you to get started today!

8. Messy Car Solution

Many summer days are spent in the car headed to and from family vacations. Take a few minutes to make this easy and cute over-the-back garbage container. You’ll be glad you did!

9. Jewelry Organization – DIY Earring Holder

This DIY organization piece is both easy to put together and looks stunning on the wall. It makes getting ready everyday…that much more glamorous!

10. Easy, Healthy, & Refreshing Summer Snack

Last, but not least, turn to healthy snacks this summer. Your body will thank you. These smoothie ideas are both healthy and delicious. There is nothing better for you and your kids. Right?

Now it’s your turn…

How Do YOU Keep it Simply Smart in the Summertime?

We could all benefit from each other’s genius ideas that make summer the best time of year!


For sharing your tips with us, you could win a $100 Cooking.com gift card!

Sweepstakes Rules:


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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. Winners will have 72 hours to claim the prize, or an alternative winner will be selected.

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This sweepstakes runs from 7/23/12 – 8/23/12

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    1. July 23rd, 2012 at 5:16 am
      Geri says:
      Love all your great ideas! Thank you!
    2. July 23rd, 2012 at 7:00 am
      danielle says:
      The kids are home and always hungry! I keep healthy choices within their reach at all times.
    3. July 23rd, 2012 at 7:25 am
      Kelly M says:
      I use crocks on the counter to keep all my cooking and baking utensils handy and in one place!
    4. July 23rd, 2012 at 7:44 am
      Whitney says:
      I do a lot of batch cooking so I can have extra meals ready in the freezer. This allows me to spend more time with the kiddos in the evenings bc dinner is already made.
    5. July 23rd, 2012 at 7:48 am
      TriciaHomm says:
      I belong to a "play group" with older kids. At the beginning of the season, us moms get together to plan group outings throughout the summer...about one every 10 days. And budget is always kept in mind, so the activities are never very expensive. It's a great way to get out & stay connected to friends throughout the summer!
    6. July 23rd, 2012 at 7:49 am
      Kelly D says:
      I keep it simply smart by having sandwich ingredients and fresh fruits available. A sandwich with a side of fruit makes a quick and easy meal in the summer.
    7. July 23rd, 2012 at 7:50 am
      Kelly D says:
    8. July 23rd, 2012 at 9:07 am
      Heidi V says:
      After washing swim "stuff" I pack everything for a day in a beach bag (towels, suits, etc). When we want to go swimming we just grab a bag and are ready to go. I pack the suits on top so we can put them on at home before we leave if we need to but that way everything is all in one place for everyone.
    9. July 23rd, 2012 at 9:27 am
      Lauren Guilbea says:
      My secret is going to yard sales that go on every weekend all summer, you can find some great stuff!
    10. July 23rd, 2012 at 9:42 am
      Livivua Chandler says:
      we keep it simply smart by eating from a lot of simple recipes and bbq-in. And sometimes we rotate the gatherings where everyone bring things to keep from cooking a whole meal by themselves
    11. July 23rd, 2012 at 9:44 am
      Livivua Chandler says:
      https://twitter.com/vivaciousgold/status/227428781227376640 - tweeted
    12. July 23rd, 2012 at 11:37 am
      Shelley D says:
      I have a drawer in the kitchen that has all of the arts/crafts supplies that my kids are allowed to use without adult supervision. I, also, keep the healthy snacks on a lower shelf in the pantry and in the fridge so that the kids can reach them on their own.
    13. July 23rd, 2012 at 11:57 am
      Jen H. says:
      I keep a bin of towels and bathing suits in my trunk. Along with water and snacks. Always ready to go!
    14. July 23rd, 2012 at 12:04 pm
      Julie says:
      We do a lot of cooking on Sunday and freeze meals so that they are available during the week.
    15. July 23rd, 2012 at 12:07 pm
      Taysha Riggs says:
      I keep it simple by stocking up on pasta during the fall/winter so whenever a BBQ or gathering pops up I whip up a pasta salad to bring along.
    16. July 23rd, 2012 at 1:37 pm
      mary says:
      We have lots of guest that come through during the summer and I make up goodie bags with water, snacks, fruit, chocolate and a fun little surprise for them to take when they leave the house. Most are traveling and they appreciate the thought.
    17. July 23rd, 2012 at 1:56 pm
      ashley says:
      I keep fresh produce on hand for quick healthy snacks, I pick uo whatever is on sale that week.
    18. July 23rd, 2012 at 2:29 pm
      Ranelle says:
      My #1 tip to stay organized all year round is to make lists! I use everything from the notes app in my iPhone to post-its... writing everything down is key for me!
    19. July 23rd, 2012 at 2:36 pm
      Tanya says:
      I love your site so much! I am always finding wonderful tips! I have 4 kids, so summer time is a busy season for me. I keep it simple by giving them spray bottles of water & letting them loose outside. It's cheaper than squirt guns & just as much fun!
    20. July 23rd, 2012 at 3:42 pm
      Monica says:
      We take an annual road trip tour to visit family in several different states. With all that time in the car, having things the kids can do is key to everyone's sanity. So I have a set of travel toys that come out just for this trip. I add something new each year and the rest seems new since it has not been played with since the last trip. The favorite things to play with are puppets, flash cards, and trio blocks. The crayola color wonder markers and coloring books are also great - no worry if you can't find a marker or a lid. We also do not allow any sugar in the car and stop at parks instead of eating out.
    21. July 23rd, 2012 at 4:44 pm
      Brandy D says:
      I like to spend sunday night making lunches for the week. M-F the kids and I can pull out our ready made lunches without having to spend time making them.
    22. July 23rd, 2012 at 5:25 pm
      jessica w says:
      We try and grill outside so our cooling bill stays lower since that way the stove and oven don't heat up the house.
    23. July 23rd, 2012 at 5:25 pm
      jessica w says:
      I tweeted too
    24. July 23rd, 2012 at 5:41 pm
      Heather Zeh says:
      Great ideas! I keep the fridge stocked with fruit and in sight so the kids can snack and be cool and be healthy thoughout the day
    25. July 23rd, 2012 at 5:43 pm
      Heather Zeh says:
      tweeted https://twitter.com/hzeh818/status/227549356948070401
    26. July 23rd, 2012 at 6:09 pm
      Theresa Sea says:
      I take advantage of all of the fresh produce that's available, and we eat more healthful-which makes life simple because there's not a whole lot of prep for corn-on-the-cob and salads! ;)
    27. July 23rd, 2012 at 6:13 pm
      kate m. says:
      batch cooking saves tons of time!
    28. July 23rd, 2012 at 6:14 pm
      Jayme C. says:
      I organized the pantry so the kids know exactly what they can have at snack time - only healthy items are allowed. :)
    29. July 23rd, 2012 at 6:20 pm
      jen says:
      my kids love 'make your own lunch' days. i toast the wheat bread so it will hold up better to spreading, then layout cream cheese, peanut butter, assorted jellies, and honey. they can make what ever combination they want as long as they eat it, and i don't feel like a waitress.
    30. July 23rd, 2012 at 6:23 pm
      Debbie says:
      I love the picture frame earring holder! I was just trying to think of a way to hang my earrings instead of keeping them in a drawer--that's perfect and cheap!
    31. July 23rd, 2012 at 6:34 pm
      Stephanie says:
      I try to have many meal options available at one time and keep a running list of groceries to buy. When we need milk, that's when I go to the grocery store (about every other week) then I buy 2 gallons 1 to freeze so it lasts longer. Fresh fruits and vegis come from the farmer's market once a week. Kids love picking out the vegetables and eating kettle corn =)
    32. July 23rd, 2012 at 6:34 pm
      Christina says:
      I puree watermelon fresh mint and a little sugar into popsicle molds for a summer fresh treat
    33. July 23rd, 2012 at 6:44 pm
      kaybee says:
      freeze in batches! thanks for the chance to win :)
    34. July 23rd, 2012 at 7:14 pm
      Tara Johnson says:
      Summer is the time to get my large freezer organized! I defrost it, then stock it to last until the following summer. I freeze the fresh produce as it becomes available throughout the summer, putting fruit items on one shelf and drawer and veggies in another. I make sure to label everything clearly so I know exactly what I'm taking out. I do freezer jelly, diced fruit, diced veggies, tomato sauce, corn, etc. It makes it easier throughout the rest of the year to know that I have the items for recipes in the freezer and don't have to spend the time remembering to put them on the grocery list and find them in the store.
    35. July 23rd, 2012 at 7:30 pm
      domestic diva says:
      We keep an extra towel in the back of the car and in the bike trailer, just in case we spontaneously decide to run in some sprinklers or play in the creek.
    36. July 23rd, 2012 at 7:38 pm
      Jana M says:
      I use baskets for seasoning packets and chips, etc.
    37. July 23rd, 2012 at 7:49 pm
      Nicole Guttridge says:
      Thank your the tips! On my way to getting organized :)
    38. July 23rd, 2012 at 8:04 pm
      Jill says:
      Create an on the go bag that has snacks, sunscreen, juice boxes and anything else you may need as you are running out the door! Would love to win!
    39. July 23rd, 2012 at 8:53 pm
      susan says:
      i take advantage of all the fresh fruit and vegetables and try to keep them handy, as well as going ahead and preparing extra for the freezer. next is staying inside out of the heat, but heating up the kitchen canning. LOL!
    40. July 23rd, 2012 at 9:06 pm
      Kim says:
      Ive been cooking a bunch of crock pot recipes recently. I don't have to slave over a hot stove or make the house feel like a sauna from the oven--and allows me to enjoy more sunshine since I can easily just throw the ingredients on the pot and forget all about it. I can scale the recipes up so I have leftovers for a few days for multiple peopl. Super simple and such a time saver!
    41. July 23rd, 2012 at 9:09 pm
      Kim says:
      Tweeted! https://mobile.twitter.com/oowidescrnoo/status/227600904164102146
    42. July 23rd, 2012 at 9:10 pm
      Elaine says:
      i make a lot of meals at once and freeze them!
    43. July 23rd, 2012 at 10:42 pm
      Amanda says:
      We tend to let the "dog days of summer" get us down. So this year we made a summer bucket list full of simple things to do once a week to make sure the summer is an extra special fun family time.
    44. July 24th, 2012 at 7:58 am
      jodi a says:
      My kids have a snack shelf in the pantry that is always stocked with healthy snacks for them
    45. July 24th, 2012 at 8:01 am
      Carissa says:
      My husband and I joined a local food co-op, so we always have tons of fresh produce to make dinner. Avoiding a trip to the grocery store after work every day makes my evenings a lot simpler!
    46. July 24th, 2012 at 9:39 am
      Pamela Foster says:
      So happy to read your (group) blog posts! Love the smoothie and healthy snack ideas from this post in particular. THANKS!
    47. July 24th, 2012 at 8:44 pm
      Tonia Jeffery says:
      Sunscreen! Sunscreen like crazy! Protect all that delicate skin!
    48. July 24th, 2012 at 8:51 pm
      Samantha G says:
      I keep it simply smart in the summer by using pinterest and finding easy healthy recipes to make! I am continually amazed at what I find on there!
    49. July 24th, 2012 at 8:55 pm
      Samantha g says:
      I tweeted about this https://twitter.com/gerbil1904/status/227960106300616704
    50. July 24th, 2012 at 9:16 pm
      Katie says:
      Simple is best especially in summer when schedules are more loose. I like to plan simple art projects simple snacks and simple outings to the park.
    51. July 24th, 2012 at 9:17 pm
      Lyndee says:
      I keep it smart in the summer by doing my water chores in the morning or late evening. I save energy and then I have the day, if I've done laundry in the morning, to get it all put away. I also never dry my dishes in the dishwasher. I hand dry them or let them air dry. No sense heating up the whole house; and I save a little money.
    52. July 24th, 2012 at 9:31 pm
      Jackie says:
      I freezer cook and make lots of homemade goodies before we go on trips.
    53. July 24th, 2012 at 9:34 pm
      Rachel says:
      We made a summer bucket list at the beginning of the summer (you can read about it here: http://birthingme.blogspot.com/2012/07/summer-bucket-list.html if you like. It's small and only the most important things made the cut. That way if we get feeling overloaded it's easy to look at our list and see if the upcoming activity is really how we want to spend out time.
    54. July 24th, 2012 at 10:58 pm
      DixiWaters says:
      Go to the dollar store, buy cheap flashlights and lots of cheap batteries, keep in a handy spot. There are few things more fun than warm summer evenings for kids than inventing night time games and adventures with flashlights, and watching them on the porch for parents!
    55. July 25th, 2012 at 5:53 am
      Christiana lane says:
      Great ideas!
      Thanks for sharing.
      Now is the time to get organized before school starts.
    56. July 25th, 2012 at 6:02 am
      Amy Kirchhoff says:
      When folding laundry, each room in the house is assigned a collapsible cube. As I fold - okay, as my husband folds...I'm one lucky girl - he puts the items in the appropriate basket. It makes putting away laundry simple. No more walking back and forth to the laundry "spot" and returning to where I just was!
    57. July 25th, 2012 at 6:16 am
      Tammy Jones says:
      I always make sure the house is in order after putting the kids to bed so that when I wake up I can feel free to go do something with the kids in the morning.
    58. July 25th, 2012 at 6:24 am
      Joanne Gregory says:
      I purchase local fruits and veggies at the farmer's market, prep them when I get home, and then we have healthy and fresh foods to pull out of the fridge and nibble on instead of junk foods.
    59. July 25th, 2012 at 6:25 am
      Joanne Gregory says:
    60. July 25th, 2012 at 8:33 am
      Tamrah T says:
      The simplicity of summer months comes in easy meals. A staple, I keep my veggies prepped and reachable in the frig for an easy snack or fast salad. I have a ice tea maker and keep a pitcher available for a cool drink.
    61. July 25th, 2012 at 10:02 am
      *°•ƸӜƷ Louis ƸӜƷ•°* says:
      we always keep the basic ingredients for a salad on hand and just add what we are in the mood for or have in the fridge or pantry

      Thank you for hosting this giveaway

      pumuckler {at} gmail {dot} com
    62. July 25th, 2012 at 10:02 am
      *°•ƸӜƷ Louis ƸӜƷ•°* says:
      I tweeted your giveaway

      pumuckler {at} gmail {dot} com
    63. July 25th, 2012 at 1:12 pm
      Anna says:
      I am so going to use your Messy car solution for our roadtrip next month!
    64. July 25th, 2012 at 1:20 pm
      Katy P says:
      I keep my freezer stocked with muffins, cinnamon rolls, etc for quick breakfasts!
    65. July 25th, 2012 at 4:30 pm
      Emily Carter says:
      With 6 kids I always feel disorganized - but the one thing that has worked the best for me taking an hour on Sunday to organize my week (schedules, meals, activities, etc.). That way I feel there is a little calm in my chaos!!
    66. July 25th, 2012 at 5:18 pm
      Ashley H says:
      I try to make a lot of meals in the crockpot so that I have more time to spend with my family instead of spending it in the kitchen.
    67. July 25th, 2012 at 9:38 pm
      Michelle C says:
      I keep a schedule for everyone and plenty of snacks in the house!
    68. July 25th, 2012 at 9:38 pm
      Michelle C says:
      I tweeted: https://twitter.com/Cuevas77/status/228332830927773697
    69. July 26th, 2012 at 1:31 am
      cindy says:
      I have a white board calendar that I use to keep track of all of our outings, to meal plan, for our Scripture memory verse and for the to-do lists for each member of the fam!
    70. July 26th, 2012 at 11:56 am
      Katrina says:
      In my house, we write on two whiteboards mounted on the fridge. One list has the things we need to accomplish and the other has things we want to get accomplished (fun stuff). We pick one from each. As soon as the to-do is accomplished, we get a want-to. We erase them as we go and add new ones as we come up with them.
    71. July 26th, 2012 at 2:12 pm
      Alice H says:
      Thanks for the giveaway. During the summer, I keep a couple of towels and a mesh like bag in the car so we are prepared to play in water!
    72. July 26th, 2012 at 2:28 pm
      Valerie says:
      We keep a travel bag in the car for road trips. It contains toys and activities that can only be played with on trips, so they're 'new' to the kiddos and entertaining on long car rides!
    73. July 27th, 2012 at 8:56 pm
      Debbie B says:
      i keep it simple in the kitchen by using my crockpot a lot and
      by grilling outside
    74. July 27th, 2012 at 8:57 pm
      Debbie B says:
      i tweeted about this giveaway!

    75. July 27th, 2012 at 11:01 pm
      Jessie C. says:
      I do easy recipe meal plan for summer time, such as fruit smoothies and salad
      tcarolinep at gmail dot com
    76. July 27th, 2012 at 11:02 pm
      Jessie C. says:
    77. July 28th, 2012 at 1:40 pm
      Tiffany Winner says:
      i save time by buying pre-chopped onions since i use them all the time and hate cutting them anyway

      [email protected]

      “I am receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for submitting this comment.”
    78. July 28th, 2012 at 1:42 pm
      Tiffany Winner says:
      tweeted https://twitter.com/thismomwins/status/229297267499208705

      [email protected]

      “I am receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for submitting this comment.”
    79. July 28th, 2012 at 1:55 pm
      steph says:
      i meal plan too! i also try to plan meals that will use each other's ingredients so i cut down on waste.
    80. July 28th, 2012 at 1:56 pm
      steph says:
    81. July 29th, 2012 at 1:24 pm
      Dernhelm says:
      Love the stuff I am watching here! so creative and soooo beautiful! thanks!
    82. July 30th, 2012 at 5:33 pm
      Katie says:
      My favorite idea: using a cleaning caddy in the car to corral sunscreen, wipes, bandaids, notebooks, diapers, sunglasses, etc. http://theterpblog.blogspot.com/2012/03/40-bags-week-four.html
    83. July 30th, 2012 at 5:35 pm
      Katie says:
      I tweeted! https://twitter.com/terpblog/status/230084089267486720
    84. July 30th, 2012 at 5:42 pm
      Genoa Blankenship says:
      Loved the pantry organization tips, especially the use of buckets. I keep things simple by always keeping our kids' towels, suits and a pack of Capri Suns in the trunks since we live at the pool!
    85. July 30th, 2012 at 5:44 pm
      Jolie N. says:
      I keep a beach bag ready. Sunscreen, towels, goggles, everything we need for a day at the beach/river. That way, when hubby says, Hey, lets go, I've got a jump on getting 4 kiddos out the door!
    86. July 30th, 2012 at 6:27 pm
      Sam says:
      All your ideas are great! We use those plastic drawers for kids toys and craft items in - want to give them a cheap face lift? Duct tape! Find the colored/pattern duct tape and wrap it around the outside frame! Of you could even use spray paint.
    87. July 30th, 2012 at 9:58 pm
      Jen says:
      I keep our swim bag packed by the door ready to go & extra sunscreen in all of our bags.
    88. July 31st, 2012 at 1:03 pm
      Nelly says:
      Awesome ideas. I use some already. Thanks for the opportunity for this giveaway!
    89. July 31st, 2012 at 1:49 pm
      Sarah says:
      I like to make meals I know I can turn into different leftovers! Like a Roast chicken one night can turn into a yummy chicken rice bake the next night!
    90. July 31st, 2012 at 4:46 pm
      Sara says:
      I would love to win!
    91. July 31st, 2012 at 6:27 pm
      Tina M says:
      Meal planning every week
    92. July 31st, 2012 at 6:27 pm
      Tina M says:
    93. August 1st, 2012 at 12:54 am
      Amy Tong says:
      I love your organizing tips. So helpful. My tip in Keep it Simply Smart in the Summertime is to keep healthy snacks around the house, such as making frozen banana Popsicle with ripped bananas. So, nothing go to waste and the kids gets a healthy treat.

      amy [at] utry [dot] it
    94. August 1st, 2012 at 12:55 am
      Amy Tong says:
      Tweeted about this giveaway:

      amy [at] utry [dot] it
    95. August 6th, 2012 at 10:27 am
      shannon says:
      I tweeted about the giveaway ! https://twitter.com/shan340m/status/232512971245486080
    96. August 8th, 2012 at 4:14 pm
      Karina Lee says:
    97. August 8th, 2012 at 4:15 pm
      Karina Lee says:
      i prep as much as i can beforehand
    98. August 9th, 2012 at 7:21 pm
      Natasha S says:
      I keep it simple by staying organized... Everything is labelled and in its place....
    99. August 11th, 2012 at 5:34 am
      sy says:
      I don't do anything special for summertime, I always put the most used ingredients in the most accessible place, and try to do things in parallel as much as possible. Thanks for the tips and giveaway.
      songyueyu at gmail
    100. August 11th, 2012 at 5:34 am
      sy says:
      tweet: https://twitter.com/syytta/status/234251133332361216
      songyueyu at gmail
    101. August 11th, 2012 at 11:38 am
      Kerry says:
      The crock pot is my biggest time saver – love crock pot dinners!
    102. August 13th, 2012 at 7:07 pm
      debbie taylor says:
      I keep it simple in the summer buy purchasing a deli (cooked)chicken and using it in different recipes. You can make chicken salad, pasta salad, shred the chicken for BBQ sandwiches etc.
    103. August 13th, 2012 at 7:10 pm
      Clever Colleen says:
      I love the ideas on this post. Bookmarked it to keep coming back to for the next 'thing'. Cool! Thanks.
    104. August 13th, 2012 at 7:17 pm
      Clever Colleen says:
      Tweeted -
    105. August 19th, 2012 at 3:57 am
      Kelly Massman says:
      I make it simple by organizing like items together! Thanks for a chance to win and have a great day!
    106. August 19th, 2012 at 10:53 pm
      Betty C says:
      I rely on my slow cooker to get meals on the table with a minimum of prep time and fewer dishes to clean afterwards.
    107. August 19th, 2012 at 10:55 pm
      Betty C says:
      Tweet - https://twitter.com/willitara/status/237412396929527809
    108. August 21st, 2012 at 6:42 am
      Becky says:
      What great ideas! I will definitely put some of these to use! :)
    109. August 21st, 2012 at 7:19 pm
      Erica Best says:
      I buy alot of summer squash and use it my recipe replace oil
    110. August 21st, 2012 at 7:19 pm
      Erica Best says:
    111. August 21st, 2012 at 11:21 pm
      Cindy Brooks says:
      I keep a basket with swim towels and sunscreen right at the back door all summer. When it's time to hit the lake, we're ready at a moments notice! In the winter, I keep snow hats and gloves in the same basket!

      someluckydog at gmail dot com
    112. August 21st, 2012 at 11:25 pm
      Cindy Brooks says:
      someluckydog at gmail dot com
    113. August 22nd, 2012 at 8:42 am
      amy Marie Ward says:
      I use the crock pot and my grill almost every other day. I can grill while the kiddos are in the pool, than once done eat outside for a no mess kitchen. EVEN better is when mom can sit on a floatie and catch some sun while dad grills Id say thats Simply smart.
    114. August 22nd, 2012 at 1:29 pm
      cole says:
      I try to move all my summe things to the front for easy access
    115. August 22nd, 2012 at 1:49 pm
      angie lilly says:
      I save my cheese rinds via freezing and throw a few chunks into my homemade soups to add extra flavor. Its easy and really adds a whole new dimension to my cooking FAST!
    116. August 22nd, 2012 at 1:50 pm
      angie lilly says:
      I tweeted here: https://twitter.com/MsTofuFairy/status/238361896514879488
    117. August 22nd, 2012 at 2:12 pm
      Amanda Sakovitz says:
      I plan dinners in the summer a week in advance so I'm not stressing out or rushing around at the last minute.
    118. August 22nd, 2012 at 2:13 pm
      Amanda Sakovitz says:
    119. August 22nd, 2012 at 5:35 pm
      ewhatley says:
      I live in south Florida where it's summer all year. I'm obsessively organized so I make the most of my time in the kitchen by having everything organized, plan meals, do ahead/in bulk as much as possible and shop with a list at the grocery store.
    120. August 22nd, 2012 at 7:51 pm
      Sarah L says:
      I redid the contents of my cupboards & drawers so that I have the things I use most closest to where I use them.
      Thanks for the contest.
      “I am receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for submitting this comment.”
    121. August 22nd, 2012 at 7:55 pm
      Sarah L says:
      blogged: http://slehan.blogspot.com/2012/08/win-100-cookingcom-gc-from-blogher-823.html

      “I am receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for submitting this comment.”
    122. August 22nd, 2012 at 11:14 pm
      Carolsue says:
      I keep freeze red & green peppers and put them in ziploc bags. Then we can grill Fajita meat and mix that with the peppers and have almost instant fajitas.
      Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net
    123. August 23rd, 2012 at 12:28 am
      LAMusing says:
      I make double batches of a few meals each month and freeze half so I can have a few nights where I just pull something out of the freezer and re-heat.
    124. August 23rd, 2012 at 12:30 am
      Norma says:
      Meal planning saves money, time and storage space.
    125. August 23rd, 2012 at 2:04 pm
      maria cantu says:
      I do the meal planning and the 30 minute meals.
    126. August 23rd, 2012 at 8:15 pm
      anash says:
      I do meal planning for every week so i get in and out of the kitchen! Thanks for a super giveaway!
    127. August 23rd, 2012 at 8:25 pm
      anash says:
      Thanks for the chance to win!
      email: anashct1 [at] yahoo [dot] com
    128. August 25th, 2012 at 8:23 am
      Lane R. Nettles says:
      My Sisters, mom, and I share a blog to stay in touch and we post our craft ideas on there. http://ourownglue.com/. This summer we went to the beach and brought some sand and shells home to use for crafting at home while away from the beach. We drew on glass, which a parent could let their child do to decorate their cup they may use all summer(less dishes piling up in the sink.) Just remember to bake it for thirty minutes on 350. My sister and I also made a stop motion video together. We had fun being creative with the drawings to go with the lyrics. It takes a while so if you have "free" time in the summer, it's perfect!
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