Housewife MacGyver: Choose to Be Happy with Debra from Housewife Eclectic

Today I am beyond thrilled to have my best friend Debra here to share her wisdom with us. The only thing better than having her here on my blog would be having her here in my house instead of in the tropical land of Texas. :) She's the brains behind Housewife Eclectic and is the bee's knees, the cat's pajamas, the whole nine yards, and whatever other idiom you'd like to insert that means totally awesome. She's just finished a whole Month O' Pumpkins and is also hosting a super awesome giveaway, so go pay her a visit!

I remember when my husband and I were first married looking around our apartment and realizing we owned nothing new. Our couch had belonged to a member of my husband’s church. My mom had picked up our kitchen table at a yard sale and our washer and dryer were the ones that my parents had bought when they were first married more than 25 years earlier. We lived in a small apartment and hardly owned anything nice but we were really happy.

About a year into our marriage, the jealousy bug bit me. We went to visit a newly married friend in their new apartment and everything they had was gorgeous. They had chosen not to go on a honeymoon or have a reception, so they had a lot more money to decorate. I was suddenly no longer happy to just have a bed, couch and a washer of my own, I was bitter that my things weren’t as nice as theirs.

I eventually got over our apartment and went back to loving it for what it was, our first place together that we would always remember.

My husband and I have joked throughout our whole marriage that we are the unluckiest people we know. The star don’t align for us, ever usually. We worked hard all through college, often forgoing sleep to earn a little extra money or study a little longer, while many people we knew had parents paying for their college. Our jobs in college were both contingent on being students, so we lost our jobs the day we graduated, five days after we welcomed our beautiful daughter into the world. The economy had begun its steep decline just months before, so it was more than 9 months before we ever saw another paycheck. I could go on and list the health problems that have plagued us and other misfortunes.

Now I don’t say any of this to make people feel sorry for us -- I am sure everybody has their share of misfortune -- but to help you understand how frustrated I was with our lives. We watch miraculous jobs fall into people's laps in their hometowns while we had to move thousands of miles away for my husband to get employment. So by the time we made it to our new house in Texas, I was bitter again. I had just left the state I had lived in all my life, my parents and my best friend to live in what I thought was the worst place in the world. After a couple of months of crying on the phone to my mom, she begged me to try to be happy. Pretend to be happy for a week and see how it goes.

That night when my husband walked into the house there was dinner on the stove and I was dancing with our baby in the kitchen. He stopped and searched my face for the tears he thought had to be hidden there but I was determined that he wasn’t going to find them, even though I was crying inside. We sat down at dinner and ended up talking and laughing for hours. As I laid down to go to bed that night, I realized that for the first time in Texas, I was genuinely happy.

Now in the two years since that night, I have had to choose to be happy over and over again.

The days that huge medical bills have landed on us, I have chosen to not let something I can’t change upset me.

On the days my child won’t stop being defiant, I have chosen to play with her and let her know how truly loved she is.

On the days I have felt like crying, I have cried and then picked myself up again and decided to be happy.

Happiness is a choice, sometimes a really hard one, but one that gets easier and more wonderful the harder you try at it. Is our life better now? In some ways, yes, but even if it isn’t, it SEEMS better because I have chosen to be happy about it.

Happiness is always a choice. Stop wasting your life away wishing for something in the future. Stop saying you will be happy when you get that raise, or you baby sleeps through the night. If you keep saying that when the deadline comes for being happy you will just find another deadline to push your happiness to. Choose to be happy and choose to be happy now.

If we spend our days waiting for fabulous roses, we could miss the beauty and wonder of the tiny forget-me-nots that are all around us. Dieter F. Uchtdorf
free printable from kiki creates

This post is part of the Housewife MacGyver series on just Lu. Read more about Housewife MacGyver and see all the posts in the series here.

Last-minute Pumpkin Decorating with Mr. Pumpkinhead

If you're in a crunch for time and still need to decorate your pumpkins, hop on over to Housewife Eclectic today where I'm sharing a new friend of mine:

Happy Halloween!

The Dahlia Top {Toptoberfest}

Toptoberfest! It's the most wonderful time of the year!

In case you haven't heard, Toptoberfest is a fantastic celebration of handmade tops, hosted by Tricia of Leafy Treetop Spot. (You may recognize her from Housewife MacGyver.)

I am so pleased to be participating in Toptoberfest this year with Tricia -- if you're stopping by from Leafy Treetop Spot, welcome! Let's get right down to business and introduce...

The Dahlia Top is a reverse-applique design using two knit fabrics, both old tshirts in this case. That might sound (or look) complicated, but it's really more a matter of patience and time than talent. Trust me -- there's not a particular abundance of patience around my house (especially that's left over for crafts... I figure my children need my patience more than my other creations ;), but there is definitely more patience than artistic or sewing talent. :)

This top was inspired by this top on Etsy. I am a big fan of buying and supporting handmade, but I knew that I could put together a similar top in colors that I really loved for a tiny fraction of the cost. Of the three tops I've made, two of them were free, using only old tshirts that I wasn't wearing anymore. You can't beat free!

The tutorial and template are below -- and you can use the template for so much more than just a top! The same flower would look great on a skirt or a bag or anyplace else that you can think to put it, with any type of fabric -- or even paint! I've provided the template in several different sizes, or you can resize it to fit your projects needs. 

Social Bookmarking

If you like to save online stuff and maybe share it with your friends (online or otherwise), hop on over to Housewife Eclectic and check out my posts there last week and today, about my favorite social bookmarking sites and an intro to what social bookmarking is

And remember that time when I was crafty? I still am, I'm just even worse at sharing in a timely manner than normal. But I've got at least two great posts coming up later this week! Thanks for sticking with me. :)


It's my birthday! So far it's been great: baby slept all night, breakfast in bed and a nice long shower, and a toddler version of Happy Birthday. Life is so good. :)

I'm turning 24, and I thought I'd do some planning to preempt a quarter-life crisis... not that I actually believe I'll have a quarter life crisis, nor do I believe that 25 is in any way old. But I do plan on making myself one of these. :)

Anyway, last year on her birthday, my friend Tera set goals to accomplish in the upcoming year, and I think it's a great idea. Birthdays aren't as exciting as adults as they were when we were kids, but having a list of specific goals makes it more fun to look back over the years. At least for me, I very rarely accomplish anything major without it being on a list...

So... here's my list of twenty-five things I want to do before I'm 25... but it's not set in stone so I'm open to suggestions :)

Finish the t-shirt quilts that I've been saving supplies for since high school

Re-read all four books of scripture 
(Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants/Pearl of Great Price)

Run another 10K... and actually train for it :)

Finish reading The Screwtape Letters and All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience since I started them almost 2 years ago

Visit a state (of the nation, not of mind :) that I haven't visited before

image source

Learn to eat using chopsticks

Complete The Love Dare

Refinish a piece of furniture

Watch AMC's top ten movies of all time

image source
Ride in a hot air balloon

Improve my posture

Take a family photo in a photo booth

Complete the 200 sit-ups challenge

Go geocaching

Hike Mt. Timpanogos

image source
Get a passport

Build a website

Go star and satellite gazing with my husband like we used to when we were dating

Eat something that I grow myself in a garden of some sort

image source
Attend the temple (at least) once each month

Learn to make creme brulee

Build a snowman and go sledding with my son

Have a date night every week with my husband

Take more photos... like maybe one a day

Here's to the best year of my first quarter century of life! :)

Housewife MacGyver: After all that we can do...

Last Sunday evening, my husband and I noticed that a house that we had looked at and been very interested in was back on the market. We had LOVED the house and seriously considered putting in an offer, but, for multiple reasons, we hadn't.

Seeing it back on the market, we felt like maybe this was a divine sign that this was the house we were supposed to have... so, first thing Monday morning, we had our realtor draw up papers and I spent the morning running around to get the papers filled out -- to my parents' house to use their printer since ours was out of ink, to my husband's school to catch him on his lunch hour so he could sign each page, and then, thankfully, just to the office of his school to fax them (thank you, nice secretary!) -- all in the lunch and naptime hour.

And then, that afternoon, a call from the realtor: We didn't get the house. The sellers didn't even LOOK at our offer.

All of that work.... all of that feeling of divine intervention... for nothing??

I hung up the phone and shed a couple of tears while preparing dinner -- completely frustrated. Why did we even bother going through all of that running around and paperwork?

As I chopped the garlic for dinner, a thought came to me. Not necessarily an answer, but a comfort nonetheless:
...for we know that it is by bgrace that we are saved, after all we can cdo. (2 Ne 25:23)

After ALL that we can do. With this house that we love, we've done all that we can do, and now we have to continue on in faith and leave it in the Lord's hands, knowing that He loves us and He wants us to be happy, but also knowing that He expects us to do our very best, to work for the worthwhile things in life. Even the strongest belief can't help you win the lottery if you don't buy a ticket. :)

The concept of doing all that we can applies both to spiritual topics as well as to topics of everyday emotional and mental well-being -- which are often very hard to separate. :)

As a parent, I teach my children and love them and do all that I can for them to teach them correct principles, to raise them to be respectful and kind, to help them to not embarrass themselves (or me) in public. But there comes a point when I have done all that I can do and I have to let them exercise their agency and make their own mistakes -- and hope that they will learn to trust our Heavenly Father so that he can make up for where I lack. (My little babies won't be fully on their own for quite a while, though. :)

As a wife, I do all that I can do love my husband and keep our marriage strong. I cannot preserve and sanctify our marriage on my own. For our marriage to be its best, my husband also needs to be doing all that he can do. And, in turn, as we both do our very best and do all that we can, we rely on the Lord to help us as well. 

As a follower of Christ, I do all that I can do live the best and most virtuous life that I can, repenting and then relying on Christ's atonement to span the gap between my best and the perfection that is necessary for me to return to His presence. 

Right now, I don't know why things work out the way they do, why we would feel so strongly about that house for naught. Maybe at some point I will know, but maybe not. That's not so important. What's important is knowing that I've done my best. And what's more MacGyver than that? :)

This post is part of the Housewife MacGyver series on just Lu. Read more about Housewife MacGyver and see all the posts in the series here.

Housewife MacGyver: The Disease of Social Comparison by Keira

I'm so excited today to have Keira again! Give her a nice warm welcome back...

Hello again! I'm Keira, a frequent guest-poster at Just Lu. This is a copy of my original post: The Disease of Social Comparison. Although I never did enjoy hating my body for its tiny imperfections that I magnified my entire life, becoming a mother brought this depressing habit to the forefront of my mind for the past year. This is a modified post, intended to label for clarity what we do everyday, and hopefully we can all come up with ways to change it.

As a Psychology major, I am required to take Social Psychology, a class that has really opened my mind to a new, deliberate way of thinking. I absolutely love the insights I gain in college that I can now use throughout my whole life, things that are qualified as "the world's knowledge", but actually display vividly the truths of the Savior's teachings.

One of those psychological findings that has shown over and over again to actively depress people is just what my title states--social comparison. You are guaranteed to be a pessimist and are many times more likely to be depressed when you compare yourself to others. Not to mention the things we ALL know are true, research or not--you just feel like garbage whenever you do it, whether you compare up or down.

Whether it be someone in front of you in line at the checkout or a celebrity in a movie you'll never meet, we are always comparing, and we're obviously not any happier. Not only is it unfair, but in a comparison, someone wins, and someone loses. We are often the losers, since we know our faults and insecurities better than anyone else, and we compare to what others present in public. Comparing their best to your worst? You lose, every time.

Why do we compare, then?

Because it's addictive.

It becomes a compulsion with enough time.

Although you may only "win" one out of every five comparisons (or one out of every thousand!), the addictive part is that we win at all. Just as gamblers in a card game will win once or twice in a whole night, but end up badly in debt waiting for the next stroke of luck, so we compare ourselves endlessly, hoping for our stroke of luck. And do we have one? Of course!

There is always someone worse off than us--health issues, family dysfunction, lack of faith or joy in their lives, less education or experience, and someone is always not as well off and is wearing last year's styles. But just as there is always someone who we can look down on, there are a myriad of people who we can look up to in envy and quietly hate. Even if you lose the comparison, it feeds our pride to lose in one area (income) but gain in another (beauty), thus affording us a back-door "win".

But you know what's funny about winning and losing? It means that we are at war. When you compare yourself with another person, hoping to win (whether you do or not), you have committed an act of psychological violence on that person. Yes, even that completely oblivious woman standing in front of you in the grocery line. What is so significant about doing something to someone who is not affected and has no idea you are using psychological warfare?

It makes you a warrior.

With everyone you meet.

We women (and men) are targeted enough by the media and advertising. They strive to keep us unhappy so we will buy their products. They encourage this competition because it is profitable. And while it may take some effort and time to correct society as a whole, what we can do, right now, TODAY, is put down our weapons. Let's stop being warriors and start being comrades.

What I need help with is the how.

How do we cure this disease that permeates our (even casual!) relationships, and sickens our minds and hearts?

How do YOU suggest we become comrades? It is so easy to compare with blogs and Facebook, where every moment of life is documented--including how you looked one month after birth! It's easy to compare when we are told that perfection IS attainable--just buy _______. It's easy to compare when current instant communication keeps us distanced from people, where real change can occur. What do we do?

And by the way, this theory doesn't just apply to the interaction with one another. It also applies to how we treat ourselves. Every time you pass in front of that mirror and see your flaws and calculate them in a split second (I'm right with you all, I do it, too, unfortunately), you are at war on yourself.

Sometimes, I get so caught up in looking at myself or others that way, that I literally have to scream in my mind, "STOP!" I have to admit, it is a long-ingrained habit that I fight every time I pass a reflective surface! Isn't that just awful?

How can we all be kinder to ourselves and each other? How can we create meaningful relationships with other women that never surround a number on a scale or what we ate that day? I would love to hear your suggestions and examples! What do you do when the media insists on war?

And in case you need ideas or encouragement, I have a spiritual, emotional, AND cognitive-behavioral answer of my own here.

This post is part of the Housewife MacGyver series on just Lu. Read more about Housewife MacGyver and see all the posts in the series here.

Housewife MacGyver: Not-so-SELF-reliance with Heather

Here to add her two cents to the discussion about self-(or not)-reliance this month is my dear friend Heather. On top of being incredibly creative and awesome, Heather is one of the sweetest and kindest people I know. I'm so happy to have her here today to share!

Hey!  I'm Heather.  I document my lives adventures over at The Many Adventures of Heather and Squidget.  I love a good laugh, being creative, clearance racks, and my wonderful little family. You can hop on over some time to see craft ideas, recipes, and stories of the crazy things that always seem to happen :)  I am excited to share my thoughts with you today.  My life has been full of some pretty big challenges, and I would love to be able to use what I have learned to help make those kinds of things easier for anyone who might be going through them.

I enjoy my life for the most part, but sometimes things just become more than I can take. I am sure we have all had these moments. Just when you need to be out the door, you look down to find that you're wearing the contents of your fridge on your clothing, you drop a nice hot pan of something you have carefully prepared on the floor and burn yourself AND have to throw it all away. You discover your favorite piece of clothing no longer fits. These things happen to all of us, and we can usually cope pretty well with one or two at a time, but on occasion, life starts piling it on.

Sometimes I really feel like Lucille Ball in the episode of I Love Lucy where she gets a job at the chocolate factory. She does all right putting the chocolates in the boxes even though it is challenging. But every time she thinks she might just have a hang of things, they speed up the conveyor belt. Lucy does every thing she can think of to try and deal with the onslaught of chocolates. She tries eating them and even puts them in her hat and clothing. And in the end Lucy looses the job.

We are at the end of that conveyor belt sometimes when it's turned up to extra super fast mode. One thing after another goes wrong and it just does not seem to stop. It would be nice if our problems were as easy to deal with as chocolates (they sure would be a whole lot tastier :)

The fact is sometimes, we can't succeed on our own. We need help!

You may have heard the saying "When life gets to hard to stand, get on your knees". I find that there is great wisdom in this advice. We can all have help from our Heavenly Father any time we need it. He is never too busy. He always listens. He loves each one of us and wants us to be happy. If we ask him for the strength we need, he will help us accomplish great things. He can heal broken hearts and lead others to our aid. Reading his words in the Bible and Book of Mormon are also His way of comforting and helping us in our times of need. He is ready and willing to bless and help us, all we need to do is ask.

We also need to know when it's time to ask for help from others. It can be such a scary thing to do. It seems we need to put on a good face for people, even when we are a mess behind closed doors. Even though asking others for help seems like not taking care of ourselves, remember it takes a brave and wise person to admit when they can no longer do something alone.

We need to do our part to help ourselves by letting those who can help us know we are struggling. Church leaders, family and friends all love us. More often than not people are overjoyed to be able to lend us aid. People can receive blessings in their own lives by serving others, so when it is our turn to need help, we shouldn't deny others the opportunity to serve us.  It can also help us grow closer to those serving us.

We are not alone. We are children of a Heavenly Father who loves us and knows us perfectly. He wants to bless us, all we need to do is ask. Our answered prayers may come as a quiet comforting moment, or a feeling in our heart. They may also be answered through the people in our lives, whether a smiling store clerk or a loved one who calls at just the right time, they are blessings from our loving Father.

Don't go it alone. Don't struggle by yourself. Don't believe the lie that your problems are not important enough to deserve the help you need. Open your heart to those whom you love and trust and let them help you. No matter what kinds of troubles life throws your way, monumental or minuscule, physical or emotional, financial or spiritual, chocolate related :) or otherwise, you NEVER have to face it alone.

Thanks, Heather! Heather and I were neighbors in a former life, and often the heaven-sent smiling face for me was hers! Stop by The Many Adventures of Heather and Squidget to hear more from Heather and check out her super cute (and easy) crafts

This post is part of the Housewife MacGyver series on just Lu. Read more about Housewife MacGyver and see all the posts in the series here.

My favorite things...

Since Little Miss PiƱa was born (two months ago tomorrow! eeek! where does the time go?), I've been sharing my favorite web-things as part of my regular posts over at Housewife Eclectic. In the postpartum haze, however, I've forgotten to tell you about them! So, in case you're not a follower over there (in which case you should be, because Debra is not only awesome, she's got a whole month of all-things-pumpkin going right now), you can pop over and read up on the things I love most about this wide web world:
and, today,  Amazon Mom.

And, as a thanks for reading, some gratuitous cute pictures:
I'm sure you'll never think of chocolate frosting the same way again after having seen it dripping from my son's nose....

And this is about as close to a smile as we get on camera. : /

Housewife MacGyver: Gaining and Bearing Testimony {The Book of Mormon}

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My friend, Jocelyn, is hosting a fantastic segment right now, called the Book of Mormon Forum wherein members of the LDS church share their belief in and testimonies of the Book of Mormon and answer questions about the book.

The Book of Mormon Forum

I debated about including my testimony of the Book of Mormon here as part of the Housewife MacGyver series. How does my personal testimony of this sacred book relate to the aims of Housewife MacGyver, of helping each person reading to improve his/her relationship with God? I thought. And then the answer came: Because each individual's testimony comes through developing a relationship with God. Regardless of belief, testimony -- that which inspires action because of belief -- must come from a supreme being, whom I call God.

As a member of the LDS Church -- a Mormon -- I believe that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God in the same manner that as I know that the Bible is the word of God -- because I have acted on their teachings and prayed to know of their truth, and received powerful confirmation through the Spirit.

Both books of scripture declare that by their fruits ye shall know them:  
Even so every good tree bringeth forth agood bfruit; but a ccorrupt tree bringeth forth devil fruit.

good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

tree that bringeth not forth good afruit is bhewn down, and cast into the fire.

by their afruits ye shall know them.z
see Matthew 7:17-20, 3 Nephi 14:17-20

As I have read and acted upon the teachings of the Book of Mormon, the fruits of those teachings have been made apparent.

I struggle with daily scripture study. But as I study diligently and make the word of God a priority in my life, I see the fruits of that labor, the blessings of obedience to His words. 

Daily scripture study doesn't become any easier, but it becomes more meaningful. Daily life doesn't necessarily become easier, but it becomes less overwhelming as my ability to cope is increased, as I have His help in my trials. 

When I read the Book of Mormon, I find peace amidst the chaos of everyday life. I find that there is more to enjoy in life, because I am noticing the hand of God in my life, not because it wasn't there before. I find that there is more joy, more calm, more love, and more fun in our home when we are studying the Book of Mormon regularly and applying its teachings.

As we read, we learn of faith in Jesus Christ, and of the protection that faith brings to us. We learn of love and of service. We learn of prayer, of repentance and forgiveness through the atonement of Christ.

As we act upon these teachings, we become more like our Savior Jesus Christ -- more loving, more patient, more selfless, and more dedicated to doing the work of our Father in Heaven.  In short, as we follow the teachings of Christ, as we do good, we become good.

Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit. 

If you have questions about the Book of Mormon or my beliefs as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please leave a comment or email me at If you're interested in receiving a complimentary copy of the Book of Mormon to read for yourself, I would love to send one your way, along with my testimony and a special copy of The Ensign magazine explaining the origins of the Book of Mormon.

Learn more about the Book of Mormon here at

Learn more about this Housewife MacGyver segment here and the entire Housewife MacGyver series here.  

Read more testimonies of the Book of Mormon through the blog-hop:

Becoming the Housewife MacGyver SPIRITUALLY & EMOTIONALLY

We've come to the final segment of Housewife MacGyver... what a year it has been! Hopefully you have learned as much as I've learned and added a few tricks to your MacGyver bag... if you need to review, pop over here to see all of the Housewife MacGyver posts.

Our final segment here is all about becoming more self-reliant spiritually and emotionally, which is a far cry different from the other segments we've had this year! I saved these topics for last partly because I wasn't sure how to approach them when we started this, and mostly because I feel that they are the most important.

After all, what good is a organized, prepared household if we are deficient spiritually and emotionally? A full pantry and a balanced budget can't compare to a happy house full of love. :)

We have some great guests lined up this month who I can't wait for you to meet -- and you can still be among them if you'd like! Just email me at I'd love to have you share your thoughts and experiences about being/becoming/trying our very best to be spiritually and emotionally self-reliant.

I hesitate to say self-reliant, however, because when it comes to our spiritual and emotional well-being, it isn't about SELF. It's about relationships. Other people. Not just me-myself-and-I.

So that's really the focus of this month... talking about how we develop, maintain, and improve our relationships with God, our families, and the other important people in our lives.

Originally, these two (spiritual and emotional self-reliance) were planned as two separate topics. But as I thought more about it, they are hard to separate. Maybe it's just me, but I struggle to talk about my relationships with my family members, and the importance of those relationships, without also talking about the influence that my Father in Heaven and my relationship with Him has on every other relationship in my life. I'll share more about my own feelings later (starting later today), but for now, just a word or two more about this topic...

First and most important: respect. We will most definitely be talking about religious beliefs, but I expect each of my invited guests and each of you as readers to be respectful of differences in beliefs and practices.

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the LDS church, often called the Mormon church). Most of you are probably not. But our differences should be a source of strength to us, not a source of contention or frustration. The next 6-ish weeks will hopefully be full of discussion of how to improve our families and relationships, regardless of which building we worship in. We can always learn from others even if we don't always agree with them. :)

So, let's get this party started! Tell me... how would you describe spiritual and/or emotional self-reliance? What does it look like to you in everyday life?

This post is part of the Housewife MacGyver series on just Lu. Read more about Housewife MacGyver and see all the posts in the series here.

Housewife MacGyver: Everyday Emergency Preparedness... on the go

Oops! I'm a week behind on life... so even though it's October, we're going to finish out September's Housewife MacGyver in the car and then move on to October and becoming spiritually self-reliant starting next week. And please, drop me a line if you'd love to participate!
I grew up in a family where our cars were always prepared for your standard car emergencies: gas tank always at least half full and a tow rope, jumper cables, first aid kit and a blanket in the trunk, at a minimum.

I've continued these habits (mostly...) in our family cars since I've been married, and I've always been grateful to be prepared, even though I've never had occasion to use most of the contents of the emergency kit.

Previously, Tricia gave us some great links for how to jump start your car and create a roadside emergency kit. But how do we stay prepared and MacGyver-ish for those everyday emergencies, like errands taking longer than expected or a puking child or leaky diaper?

Enter the Everyday Emergency Kit.

Take ten minutes to think of the last few months of everyday out-and-about "emergencies" and what supplies you wished you would have had.

Then round up the items, tuck them in to a place mat car organizer like Debra showed us how to make, and toss it in your glove compartment or trunk. (If your supplies are too big for a place mat organizer, you might try a back of the seat organizer or putting the supplies in a small crate in the trunk.)

Here's what's on my list:

  • grocery or garbage bags: for stinky diapers, wet clothes, puke, trash, rounding up the umpteen toys that your toddler has brought out to the car over the last 5 trips...
  • extra diapers/wipes: sometimes I forget my diaper clutch. and sometimes the diaper clutch is just poorly stocked. but that is *always* when one child or the other has the mother of all bad diapers. plus wipes are good for cleaning up any sticky that is sure to happen when children are involved
  • deodorant and tampons: yup, sometimes I forget to bring a spare or apply before I leave the house. but at least I've never forgotten a kid... that I recall
  • granola bars or other durable snacks: for both my son and me, because when we are hungry, we are HUNgry and cranky. and that always hits 15 minutes before we're home
  • pen and paper: useful for jotting down notes or stalling a screaming toddler when you're in line at the drive-through
  • spare change: for parking, library fees, or happy hour at Sonic :)
  • a blanket: for impromptu picnics at the park (fun!) or keeping a diaper-only child warm after a blowout (not so fun)
  • duct tape: because it's just so MacGyver :)

What's on your list for those everyday in-car emergencies?

This post is part of the Housewife MacGyver series on just Lu. Read more about Housewife MacGyver and see all the posts in the series here.

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