5 Ways to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Home

This post is in partnership with CHI-CHI’S®.

On May 5th, 1862, the Mexican Army was victorious against the French forces in the Battle of Puebla. Since then, this day (Cinco de Mayo) has been commemorated (in Mexico, the U.S., and other places in the world) as a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage. From Mexican music to food to crafts and more, it’s a day that many are used to enjoying out at restaurants or bars with friends and family.

Like a whole lot of things lately, Cinco de Mayo (which is tomorrow!) looks a little different this year. But just because you can’t be out and about celebrating with groups of people doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of the day at home. My little ones and I have come up with some fun ideas to celebrate Cinco de Mayo right here in our house with our family – including the coolest live, socially distanced mariachi music brought to us by our friends at CHI-CHI’S® (more on that in a minute!). The best part is that these ideas are simple, easy, and perfect for all you last minute planners (ahem, like me).

1. Learn about the history of Cinco De Mayo.
Many of us are playing teacher right now (or at least attempting to) while our kids e-learn. We plan to start tomorrow’s school day with a lesson about the significance of Cinco de Mayo and its history. There are many online resources you can find to help your kids understand more about the holiday and the history behind it. We also talk to our little ones about the importance of being respectful of these traditions while we celebrate. Even if you don’t have kids, it’s both interesting and important to educate ourselves on what the holiday really means.

2. Dance to a live mariachi band!
You might not be able to see a mariachi band in person this Cinco de Mayo, but you can watch one - live - right in your own living room! The makers of CHI-CHI’S® products (the nation’s celebration-focused salsa, tortilla and chip brand!) are teaming up with the Mariachi Heritage Foundation to commission mariachi band members for “Singo de Maya” to continually play in a virtual celebration throughout the day on May 5. Seriously, how cool is that? You can even have the chance to experience a private 30-minute mariachi concert! So fun! All you have to do is sign up for a chance to win by registering right here (and do it quick – the chance to register closes at 5 PM CST today!). There will also be a virtual happy hour from 6-7 p.m. CT where fans from across the nation can enjoy the music together on YouTube.

The CHI-CHI’S® brand will also be donating $ 10,000 to the Mariachi Heritage Foundation, which will help its members who may find themselves losing work or struggling during these difficult times. (I love this so much.) Those of you who join us in the Zoom mariachi are also welcome to show their gratitude by donating to the foundation here while enjoying the performances.

3. Eat Mexican inspired food. 
You don’t have to be an expert chef or have a lot of special ingredients on hand to create delicious Mexican inspired treats for Cinco de Mayo. We’ll be whipping up some quesadillas, tacos, chips and salsa, and other goodies. Thankfully, we usually have several varieties of CHI-CHI’S® salsas on hand, which is perfect for the holiday. Bonus: Cinco de Mayo is also on a Taco Tuesday this year!

4. Make your own maracas/shakers.
This is a great project to do with the kids, and perfect for the Zoom mariachi bands you can watch all day, thanks to CHI-CHI’S and the Mariachi Heritage Foundation! Just fill toilet paper or paper towel rolls with dried beans, lentils, or rice, tape closed with duct tape or masking tape, and make them colorful with whatever supplies you have on hand. We wrapped ours with construction paper and taped on thin strips for more color.

5. Decorate with Mexican inspired decor.
We don’t have any Mexican inspired decorations at our house right now, and ran out of time to order or make them. But if you have the supplies around your house, you can make red, white and green streamers, pinwheels, or other fun decor to represent the Mexican flag. You can also create your own Papel Picado flags out of paper or fabric. We are big fans of beautiful, bright Mexican style table settings, so for the decor at our at-home Cinco de Mayo party, we’ll be using some bold colored bowls and table covers we already have on hand.

I hope you all have as much fun celebrating Cinco de Mayo at home as we will! And don’t forget to join us tomorrow as mariachi band members serenade us on Zoom, thanks to the CHI-CHI’S® brand and the Mariachi Heritage Foundation. You can register here. We can’t wait!


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Looking for a Star Wars Dog Name? 300+ Choices!

Are you searching for a dog name that’s truly out of this world? From the most famous fictional names in the galaxy to names that only the most doggedly devoted sci-fi fan will recognize,…

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dare by the tulips

Dare is one year old today.

COVID-19 means no dog shows for a while, but she’s maturing very nicely.

dare 1 year old

Natural History

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Friday Funny: Meanwhile at the art museum

Since art museums are closed due to the pandemic, we bring you this portrait as a customer service. Do you feel more cultured yet? Until next time, Good day, and good dog!

Doggies.com Dog Blog

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10 Spring Cleaning Tasks for Dog Homes

As we transition into warmer months, a good spring cleaning is on the list for many of our houses. But that spring cleaning extends far beyond our own needs and includes our dog’s daily lives as…

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Liver Jerky Dog Treats – Recipe

When Barli is learning a new skill–or when I want Tiki or Barli to REALLY pay attention to me, I always rely on one kind of treat: liver. The strong scent of liver gets their attention and…

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How To Easily Organize Your Pantry and Fridge

How To Easily Organize Your Pantry and Fridge
How To Easily Organize Your Pantry and Fridge

This post is in partnership with Rubbermaid. 

During this time at home with my family, I’m usually feeling one of two ways: (1) completely unmotivated to do anything or (2) overwhelmingly inspired to tackle home projects. Well last week, after trying to cram shut the doors of my messy pantry and refrigerator for the hundredth time, I suddenly felt the latter, and experienced an intense drive to make both my pantry and my fridge organized and pretty. With the right storage containers – like my favorites, Rubbermaid Pantry Containers and Food Storage Containers – and a little planning, it was much easier than I thought, and my entire family has been appreciating the results ever since.

Right now, we’re all stocking up on food in an effort to avoid excessive grocery store trips. We’re also all spending a lot of time at home. And that means most of us could benefit from an organized, efficient pantry and fridge. So today I’m going to share how I gave both of mine a makeover in hopes that my tips might help some of you out as well!

How To Easily Organize Your Pantry and Fridge
How To Easily Organize Your Pantry and Fridge
How To Easily Organize Your Pantry and Fridge
How To Easily Organize Your Pantry and Fridge

(Here are some before shots of each so you can see how things were looking before the organization process. Lots of hot mess going on. Lots of it.)

1. Take everything out.
I actually did a mini pantry and fridge overhaul about a month ago, but I wasn’t really happy with the results, and I attribute it to the fact that I mainly just moved things around instead of actually emptying them out first. This time, I removed everything and set it all on tables and counters. This allowed me to (1) wipe down all of the surfaces and (2) evaluate the situation. And I can tell you this: if you’re anything like me, you probably have a lot more expired stuff (especially in the pantry) than you think.

How To Easily Organize Your Pantry and Fridge
How To Easily Organize Your Pantry and Fridge

2. Install and/or adjust extra shelves or racks if necessary.
During my initial pantry organization, I realized that with the way we’re grocery shopping these days (less trips and buying a lot more at once), our tiny pantry just wasn’t going to cut it as it was. So I purchased a wire rack for the back of the door for canned goods, jarred sauces, etc. This was an easy way to free up quite a bit of space.  I also adjusted some of the shelving in both the refrigerator and pantry to make the spaces more efficient.

3. While items are out, organize into piles by category before putting back.
Once you’ve thrown away expired items, start grouping items by type. For example, I put all of the pasta together in a pile, all of the breakfast items together, all of the canned beans (we eat a lot of canned beans, man) together, etc. I did the same thing with the fridge items.

How To Easily Organize Your Pantry and Fridge
How To Easily Organize Your Pantry and Fridge

4. Transfer items to Rubbermaid Brilliance Containers.
If I could only give you one tip for making the most of your pantry and/or fridge space, this would be it. You can tell by the pictures alone what a massive difference it made once I moved items from their packaging into these truly fantastic, modular, stackable, simply glorious containers.

Rubbermaid Brilliance Pantry Containers have an amazing 2-latch system with a 100% airtight seal. So in addition to making organization super simple thanks to their compact, crystal clear design that allows me to easily see what’s inside, they keep all of my pantry staples – from pasta to grains to cereal to snacks – fresh.

With Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Containers (also with a 100% airtight, 2-latch design), I can neatly stack and store everything from sauces to soups to leftovers with no mess. They also have handy built-in vents that allow steam to escape, so we can easily and quickly microwave food without having to remove the lids first.

And all of Rubbermaid Brilliance Containers are thick and durable, stain and odor resistance (a must in this house), BPA-free, safe for the freezer and top rack of the dishwasher. Did I mention that they’re really pretty too? Mark my words guys, I will never go back.

How To Easily Organize Your Pantry and Fridge
How To Easily Organize Your Pantry and Fridge

5. Place items on shelves by type.
In the past, I’ve put groceries away in the pantry and fridge wherever they fit. I felt like this looked the best, but in the end, it just wasn’t practical. This time, I arranged by type. For example, I put all of the pasta and grains on one shelf in the pantry. I put all of the snacks on another shelf. In the refrigerator, I put all of the produce items on one side of the fridge. I put all of the cheese and meat in one drawer. I even tried to arrange condiments by type. It has made things much easier when we’re preparing meals, and ultimately, it’s visually more pleasing as well. Being able to see everything at a glance thanks to the crystal clear design of Rubbermaid Brilliance Containers has also been a major plus.

6. Keep the most used items at eye level.
We have been eating our weight in pasta around here lately (judge away!), so I put all of the pasta at eye level in the pantry for easy access. The Rubbermaid Brilliance Containers make it easy to quickly see what I’m working with too. (Will tonight be linguine or spaghetti?) I used the same method of thinking for everyday fridge items as well.

How To Easily Organize Your Pantry and Fridge
How To Easily Organize Your Pantry and Fridge

7. Consider kids.
This is more of a life tip than an organization tip, but if you have young kids (or fur babies who like to get into things!), make sure you take that into consideration when organizing too. The first things I put away when redoing the pantry were alcohol and candy, which I put on the top shelf in the back. Maybe this seems like common sense, but after more than too many times of catching my 4 year old with handfuls of chocolate, I finally moved it out of reach. On the other side of things, you might want to consider putting healthy snacks at their level so they can grab them themselves. (This is why we keep fruits and veggies nice and low in the fridge!) Rubbermaid Brilliance Pantry Containers and Food Storage Containers are perfect for kids’ snacks because the 2-latch design makes them spill proof. Woohoo!

8. Add bins to the pantry.
I am a basket lover, and use them around the house for everything. So for non-food items and miscellaneous items that usually get pushed to the back, I grabbed a few baskets and bins to store them within the pantry. They look nice and add an extra level of organization – sort of like built in drawers.

How To Easily Organize Your Pantry and Fridge

During these uncertain times, I have realized more than ever that bringing a sense of order and organization to our home makes a big difference in the way we all feel and operate. Small projects like these organizational makeovers of our pantry and fridge didn’t take a lot of effort, but the end result feels huge. From a practical standpoint, it’s so much easier now to see what we need when it’s time to make a grocery run. And from a visual standpoint, it is comforting to look at a space that is orderly – and pretty too.

If you decide to makeover your pantry or fridge using these tips, send some before and after pics my way. I’d love to see!


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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My Little Runaway

Smart dog! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!

Doggies.com Dog Blog

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10 Things I’m Grateful For In Quarantine

10 Things I'm Grateful For In Quarantine

I would be lying if I didn’t preface this post by telling you that my anxiety has been at an all time high the past week-ish. I mean, everyone’s anxiety is high. This is probably the most uncertain time in any of our lives, and we are being forced to live completely different lifestyles than most of us are used to living. The initial fear and stress has worn off for me though, and I honestly can’t exactly pinpoint why my anxiety has been so out of control lately. I do know that I’ve been working out less, haven’t spent as much time outside, and have been eating a lot of crap (and eating way too often). I also went from a period of several weeks where I had almost no work to being overwhelmed with work last week, and it felt kind of like a shock, especially trying to meet deadlines with my entire family here 24/7. Whatever the reason, it was really, really bad by the weekend, got better for a day or two, then started creeping in again yesterday.

I decided to sit down, take some deep breaths, and make a list of the things for which I’m grateful about quarantine. Gratitude seems to be the most effective way for me to change my headspace to positive when it’s feeling dark or heavy. It turns out that I’m grateful for a whole lot right now. And since I know many of you are struggling with this whole quarantine thing as well, I thought I’d share my list, in hopes that maybe it can help.

1. I am grateful for quality time with my kids.
My kids are legit driving me crazy (I am not cut out to home school, man), but it’s also really nice to be able to live more slowly, and actually have time for things like playing on their swing set together or having movie nights. We are normally a busy freaking family and are used to constantly running around from activity to activity. I’m learning to really love this slower time.

2. I am grateful for quality time with my husband.
My husband is usually gone half the year, working on the road with the band. It was incredibly scary and sad when he was furloughed, but it is has been absolutely wonderful to have him here. We are used to him missing birthdays, holidays, and a lot of special occasions, and we’re also used to him usually only being home a couple of days a week this time of year. More than anything, I am grateful for our family to really be able to spend time together, for the first time ever.

3.  I am grateful for our health.
I mean really, this is number 1. I am so grateful that everyone in our immediate family is in good health and that if we did get the virus, we would (hopefully) have good chances of surviving it. I am also grateful that people in my family who are high risk (especially my stepmom, who gets chemo every two weeks for cancer) do not have the virus right now.

4. I am grateful for work. 
The first few weeks of this terrified me. As a blogger (or influencer, or content creator, or whatever the F we’re called these days), I work as an independent contractor/freelancer. The vast majority of campaigns I’d been working on, most of which were completed except for posting them, were put on hold or canceled. And then it was dead for a few weeks, and with my husband laid off, that made me really, really worried. I’m so grateful to have work again right now, and hoping it continues.

5. I am grateful for health and essential workers.
Every time I get a letter in the mail or a shipment at my door I feel gratitude for the people who packed them, shipped them, and delivered them. Every time I go to the grocery store, I feel gratitude for the people stocking the store, cleaning the carts, checking us out. Every time one of my friends who work at hospitals tells me they have to go to work, I feel gratitude. We are all so incredibly fortunate to have these people putting themselves at risk for the rest of us. Please thank them often.

6. I am grateful for spring.
I thrive in late spring and summer when it’s sunny and warm, and seeing the signs of spring popping up outside makes me so happy. I’m grateful that quarantine is happening now instead of in the winter.

7. I am grateful to be saving money.
Holy crap we were paying for a lot of kids’ activities, school, etc. And while we’re technically not really saving money at all because we’re bringing in less money, there’s something that makes being unemployed feel less scary when you’re watching less money going out. (Note to self: do not resume your Starbucks habit after all of this. Talk about not saving money. Yikes.)

8. I am grateful for sleeping later.
I am not a morning person. The early morning rush was my nemesis. I am so grateful not to have to set an alarm clock – even though I technically don’t really need one thanks to my son’s ability to wake up before the rest of us. (I am also grateful not have to get up and make school lunches, aka my absolutely least favorite part of parenting.)

9. I am grateful for the positive effects this is having on the earth. 
It is amazing to see the ways that the natural environment is benefiting from humans being quarantined. I really hope this positive impact continues now that people are seeing with their own eyes how destructive humans have been to the planet.

10. I am grateful for my privilege.
I have a house to live in. I have enough food. I have a car if I need to leave. I have a kind, loving family with whom to quarantine. I have health insurance. Honestly, being able to quarantine itself is a privilege. I recognize mine. And I am grateful to be able to find ways to help those who do not have these things.


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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