Typically, we come to the conclusion that our purse has reached its expiration date for one of four reasons: a) Zippers or snaps are broken, canyon-sized holes are made, and it’s just generally falling apart at the seams; b) We’ve run out of ways to store our unhealthy surplus of bags; c) Our lives have evolved to the point where the purse size no longer works for us; or d) We’re addicted to buying them and the ‘new purse’ excitement has worn off the one we’re currently using so… onto the next one. If Option C is your reasoning, we can definitely empathize with the struggle. When things like work, family, friends, relationships, etc. change, so too does your purse size. A working mother of two is going to have very different bag needs than a single college student in her twenties. We all know and abhor the struggle of switching our purses on an almost daily basis. Constantly digging through the three or four bags that you use on a regular basis because you left your favorite chapstick behind again is the bane of your existence. But how do you find the perfect sized bag for all of your needs? Here are some tips to help:

woman holding purse

1) Consolidate and Get Organized

Prior to choosing your perfect bag, you need to consolidate your belongings and figure out what you really need. This means tossing all of the three-month-old fast food receipts, loose change adding an extra two pounds, and lonely earrings missing their other halves. The last thing you want to do when you get a new purse is transfer the mess from your old one. In addition, it’s extremely difficult to tell what size purse you need when half of your current purse is lipsticks. You may even be someone who needs to go down a size in your bag to keep yourself more disciplined. If you’re someone who’s carrying a bag that’s much too big for your needs, your bag may become 50% purse, 50% trash purely so that you’re not carrying a big bag of nothing.

2) What is the bag for?

Once you’ve removed all of the excess items, ask yourself- what is this bag for? Is it an everyday purse? A bag to take hiking? Shopping? Work? To the coffee shop to work on your screenplay? All of the above? Trying to have one purse for every occasion can be extremely difficult and likely impossible. If you get a huge purse, there will still be days where there’s barely anything in it. If you get a tiny one because you don’t carry a lot day-to-day, you’ll likely need a big one more often than you think. If you’re trying to find one that you can use as often as possible, we recommend making a list of the activities you do on a normal weekly basis and what items you bring to those events. And if there was ever a time to be completely honest with yourself- this is it. People tend to talk themselves into thinking they’re more minimalist or needy than they actually are when they’re buying a new purse. This is how wrong-sized purses are bought, only to gather dust in the closet.

woman holding small bag

3) What do you need every day?

As a general rule of thumb, your purse should be big enough to fit what you need with you on a daily basis with a little bit of wiggle room in case you need to add one or two things throughout the day. So, in addition to your previous list, make another small list of the things that you need with you everywhere you go. You could be a more minimalist person who just needs their phone, wallet, and keys and they’re good to go. On the other hand, you could be someone who likes to carry their makeup bag, phone charger, and a book with them (just in case). Now consider both lists and what type of bag would suit those items. If you generally only need your phone, wallet, and keys, for example, a small purse or wristlet would be the best option for you. If there are a few extra items you need on a daily and weekly basis, however, a medium-to-large sized bag would work best.

Make sure you go with a size that would suit you most often according to your weekly schedule. For example, if you made your list and you see for 6 days a week you’d need a tiny bag, but on Sunday you’d need a bigger bag to take to the gym, go for the tiny bag. It’s much better to have a tiny bag that works perfectly 6 days a week than a huge bag that works for 1 day.

4) Organization, Space, or both? Get the most out of your bag’s size!

Now that you have a general idea of what size bag you need, the next thing to consider is storage space. The interior of a purse is extremely important when it comes to shopping for size. You may not believe it, but (by some bizarre magic trick) there are some tiny purses that can fit more items in them than some medium-sized ones. How, you ask? Well, it’s all about the interior.

When a purse has no interior organization, your items tend to get squashed in a weird pile. We all know the struggle of trying to re-organize your items because they only fit into your purse if they’re each in specific spots. If you’re someone who often looks like they’re wrestling their purse, we recommend looking for bags with organized interiors. They’ll have pockets for your phone, wallet, makeup, and an outer pocket for easy access to your keys. This way, you’re never wrestling your bag because there’s a place for everything and everything is in its place! Beware, though, bags that go overboard with their organization pouches and dividers end up limiting the space in the bag rather than creating it. When you’re shopping for a new bag, we recommend trying it on and putting your essentials into the bag to see how efficient its space usage is and how much is leftover. Who cares if you get weird looks if you walk away with a fly new bag?

woman holding large bag

5) Shape and Weight Distribution

The last thing to consider when buying a new bag is the shape and weight distribution. Like we said earlier, the wrong purse can make your items a weird mish-mosh of pieces. If your items fit in the wrong way, there will be weird pieces jutting out and it may make the bag uncomfortable to wear. When you try on the bag with your items inside, make sure when you walk that you aren’t getting stabbed by your lipgloss or that your phone isn’t smacking right against your arm or hip. That may seem fine initially but think about that happening every day over and over. We can almost feel the bruises. And keep an eye out for any zippers that may end up ripping some of your clothes because that purse will end up costing so much more money than it’s worth.

In addition, make sure you consider how the weight is distributed on your body. For people with a lighter load of items, for example, an over-the-shoulder bag would be an excellent fit. However, for those who have several heavier items to carry each day, possibly including a laptop or camera, an over-the-shoulder bag can be grating. You’ll constantly have to switch back and forth the side you’re carrying your bag on as each shoulder grows unevenly more painful. For those who carry heavier items on a day to day basis, we recommend a stylish backpack in lieu of a traditional purse. As they become increasingly more fashionable, there are several adorable styles to choose from and you can say goodbye to shoulder pain. For those who this applies to, make sure you bring your heavier items (laptop, camera, etc.) to shop or measure them beforehand because the last thing you want is to get home to find that they’re the wrong size.

If you take each of these points into consideration as you shop, finding your perfect purse should be a snap!

Ah, the joys of cooking.  There’s just something about the food we make ourselves…it simply tastes better.

In this blog, we’re focusing on one ingredient, in particular: lemon extract, and how it can be added to your baking routine this year. As they say, when life gives you lemons, Make Life Better with homemade lemon extract!

Lemon extract can be used in recipes that need that lemon-infused flavor. Bundt cakes, cookies, muffins, and various other loaves of bread are some of the more common recipes that would require lemon extract.

We want to give you a brief rundown on this zesty ingredient. Lemon extract is a concentrated form of oil that’s derived from lemon peels and alcohol. Given the fact that oils often contain active ingredients from herbs and plants, there are health benefits that are associated with this ingredient:

  1. Stress reduction – Lemon extract is full of essential oil compounds that could help reduce both psychological and physical stress.
  2. Immune system booster – Lemons are a great source of vitamin C, which can help strengthen the immune system and prevent various respiratory system infections.
  3. Detoxification – Lemon extract has many diuretic properties that make this oil a viable solution for detoxing. Furthermore, the detoxification properties of lemon extract can help prevent urinary system infections.

Keep Moving Mama is a blog, whose author, Wendy, writes to help reach moms with her message that focuses on food, fitness and the confidence to find balance in both.

This influential blogger wrote a blog that was dedicated to making a homemade lemon extract, and she just happens to use our Citrus Pro 4-in-1 multi-tool in the process! Here’s her recipe:

Homemade Lemon Extract

  • Lemon peels from 3 lemons
  • 6 oz. Vodka
  1. Peel zest from clean lemons. (Just the yellow peel, not the pithy white.)
  2. Add lemon peels to a jar.
  3. Fill the jar with vodka and seal.
  4. Store in a cool, dark place for 4-6 weeks. Shake about once per week.
  5. Strain peels and store in a jar. Use in your favorite recipes.

Rather than choosing the store-bought variety, which can cost you more money than you’d probably like to spend, consider taking the time to make your own lemon extract.

Being an adult can be a series of neverending inconveniences. Laundry, vacuuming, doing the dishes, cleaning your closet, paying bills- all while trying desperately to find time for work, exercise, family, friends, and…well… you. It’s hard to find even a second in the day that’s not already occupied and, on the rare occasions you do, the last thing you want to do is make a complicated dish. Yes, you deserve to treat yourself, but if it comes down to whether you’re going to spend two hours cooking after a long day or eat a bowl of cereal… well… we both know which you’re going to pick.

You admittedly have some easy recipes nailed, but they can get boring after a while if you’re not ‘changing things up’. But usually, when you hear that phrase it means adding an extra three hours onto your already tightly choreographed routine. Well, what if we told you that simply basting some new sauces onto the various meats you use would spice up (literally) your cooking? Here are some of the best store-bought sauces to help make your meals exciting again without adding any extra time to your cooking routine:

1) BBQ Sauces

A genuinely delicious BBQ sauce can be hard to find straight out of the bottle. Luckily for us, some celebrity chefs and experts have made public their favorite versions so we can get that finger licking taste we love without the hassle of following a complicated recipe:

stubb's bbq sauce

Photo Credit: Amazon

a) Stubb’s Original BBQ Sauce

Giada De Laurentiis, host of the Food Network’s show Giada At Home, told The Today Show that this was her favorite store-bought barbeque sauce because it’s the “Perfect balance of sweet and tangy with just a touch of warmth so everyone in the family can enjoy it….It’s so versatile I even use it in on eggs in the morning.”

sweet baby ray's sauce

Photo Credit: Target

b) Sweet Baby Ray’s Original BBQ Sauce

This little number appears fairly regularly on any top ten barbeque sauce list- and for good reason, too. Chef Lawrence Page of WE tv’s “Hustle & Soul” told Today, “I like the fact that the sauce is sweet, hence the name, and doesn’t have a heavy ketchup-like taste. For every cup of Sweet Baby Ray’s, I add two pinches of cayenne pepper, 1/4 cup Kentucky bourbon, 1 teaspoon ground white pepper and 1 teaspoon of dark Vermont maple syrup. The maple syrup really adds a nice sweet and smoky flavor to ribs when grilling!”

c) Trader Joe’s Kansas City BBQ Sauce

Another sauce that’s made its rounds on various platforms, including coming in as the number one ranked sauce on The Kitchn. It has a solid deep flavor that is just a tad bit sweet, perfect to add to your meat of choice. According to The Kitchn, some native southerners who tasted the sauce described it as feeling like home- doesn’t get much better than that!

2) Marinara Sauces

Any Italian grandmother will tell you how tough it is to find a good marinara sauce. In fact, if she found out you were getting them store-bought, she’d probably smack you with a wooden spoon. But, despite what Nana thinks, you can actually find some great marinara sauces pre-made.

a) Trader Giotto’s Traditional Marinara Sauce

This sauce is described by Thrillist as, “A hearty sauce, with strong, unabashed flavors — black pepper, fennel, oregano, parsley, fresh-cut basil — and large chunks of stewed tomatoes that maintained their dexterity from start to finish. It smelled wonderful poured over hot pasta, its barbecue-like sweetness cut with the lovely acidity of an aged Cabernet.”

Rao's homemade marinara

Photo Credit: Amazon

b) Rao’s Homemade Marinara

Rachel Ray Every Day ranked this sauce it’s number one spot among store-bought sauces, stating, “Rao’s Homemade Marinara has a complex flavor (spiced, but not too spiced) and a smooth texture we keep going back to. This splurgy sauce is great on its own, but to make it even more impressive, add meatballs or some fresh herbs.”

riserva marinara

Photo Credit: Walmart

c) Classico Riserva Marinara Pasta Sauce

The Chicago Tribune did their own taste test for several pasta sauces and this sauce ranked among the top three that they tried. They described the sauce as having a ‘bold, earthy flavor’ and a hint of sweetness.

3) Burger Sauces

When done well, burgers are one of the tastiest food groups around. But, when you’re making them at home, it can be easy to get stuck in a routine when you like what you’re doing. You have to change it up sometime though and simply adding these sauces to your routine can help you get out of your burger funk.

Photo Credit: Target

a) Aoili

Adding any variation of an aioli (whether it’s a garlic aioli, chipotle aioli, etc.) will add a creamy texture to the burger. This one, in particular, is made with chipotle peppers and has a very natural flavor- perfect for burgers, fries, or even sliders.

thousand island dressing

Photo Credit: Walmart

b) Thousand Island Dressing

This dressing may make you think more of a salad than a burger, but according to Saveur, “The classic blend of mayonnaise, pickle relish, and chili sauce goes beautifully with the flavor of charred beef.”

vermont maple sriracha

Photo Credit: Vermont Country Store

c) Vermont Maple Sriracha Sauce

If you’re an avid spicy food eater and you’re looking for your next favorite flavor, add a little bit of sweet to your spicy with a maple sriracha sauce. This one is made in Vermont (as you could probably guess) and has a mouthwatering balance between a medium-heat spiciness and a touch of sweetness. If this one, in particular, doesn’t appeal, look around in your local grocery store for a creamy maple sauce or some other sweet sauces to add to your burger. You’ll thank us for it.