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As summer finally begins to make itself known around here (I know, everyone else is experiencing record highs, right?), last week I found myself feeling outsmarted again by our stuff.

"OK, everyone outside."
"Wait, where's your hat?"
"Do you have sunblock on yet?"
"I don't know. Where IS the sunblock?"
"Who used the sunblock last?!"

I've said it a million times. But here it goes again. My job description oftentimes feels like it must read: 50% SAHM duties / 50% sheepdog. Yes. I herd people's stuff (for a nicer way of saying it) for many hours each day. Everyone's laundry. Everyone's dishes. Everyone's toys. Everyone's dishes. And, everyone's stuff.

And the summer necessities began to stand out to me. Reality check: I just had this conversation with myself  yesterday.

So, here's what I did in order to make life just a wee bit more sane this summer.

A Summer Supplies Bowl

Nothing complicated. I would have used a basket if I had one...but truthfully, there are good things about not living near a craft/hobby store anymore. No needless purchases.

So I re-purposed this bowl with lid (which works well for keeping Baby Boy out of it--He's enjoying digging his new chompers into those springy sunblock tubes when he can find them).
Filled it with items we're looking for and using often here.

Sunblock. Bug repellent. Bug balm. Itch soother. Healing balm.

And I sat down with my two little girls and we made a plan.
* Where to keep the bowl so everyone could reach it and find it.
* What was in it.
* How to use each of the items.
* When to use each of the items.

And I can happily report that it's working. My 3- and 5-year-old can now reach for the itch salve when their bug bites flare up, smear healing balm on their own little cracked toes, and rub sunblock in...with help from a parent. And at least this parent doesn't have to go looking for the sunblock...again.

P.S. The bowl is actually working well too as a travel case. If we're going on a hike or car trip, we just toss the bowl (lid keeps everything from spilling) into the car and know we're prepared.

Join me at RosieDreams, where I share my approach to frugal, simple and green family living.

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