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We have just completed our first six weeks back to school, and if you’re like me, you are just now feeling like you’re settling into a groove. The kids were finally used to waking up again, then…BAM… we were hit with a 3 day weekend, throwing it all off-kilter! I am up before 6:00 just about every day, and still, roll out of the house to the drop off line in my pajamas, sometimes with my shoes and/or bra but usually not. I dread the day when the middle schooler realizes what a train wreck mom is in the morning and requires me to be more pulled together before we leave!
I feel like once a month I’m searching Pinterest for Mom Hacks but I usually only find one or two articles out of 100 that apply to me! It seems like there is a ton of information out there helping new moms save time and money, but not much for us older…err more experienced moms! I don’t know about you, but I feel like I have less and less time to get things done the older my kids have gotten. Between two schools, two sets of activities, PTA, making dinner, keeping the house cleaned, trying to write, my freelance business, family obligations, friends, and more, I do not have a spare minute all day. I am more exhausted staying home than I was when I worked full time. To make the budget work, we had to cut the cleaning lady, yard guy and a good chunk of our eating out, which means most of those responsibilities fell to me.
Not that I’m a master of time management or anything, but I have figured out a few products that I legit cannot live without to help me get through the day and my routine much faster! Some even same me money… double win!
My family gave me a Nespresso machine for my birthday a couple of years ago and I am in love with it! This little thing saves me time and money every single day!
I used to go through the Starbucks lane almost every day, costing me about $8 (I had to get a scone too), and at least 15 minutes if the line wasn’t bad. That’s $2920 and 5,475 minutes PER YEAR! And let’s be real, I didn’t plan my mornings accordingly with a spare 20 minutes to get through the line. I was usually a few minutes late to my first meeting of the day, every single day.
The Nespresso allows me to make my latte just how I like it, while I’m toasting my kids Eggos in the morning! Multi-tasking bonus!!!
Bonus tip, when I’m trying to watch my calories, I order the sugar free vanilla to mix into my latte or even a Premier Protein Shake to really cut the calories! Regardless of how I mix the latte, I am spending $8 a week instead of $8 per day and got 15 minutes back in my day.
I’ve never been much of a cook but I have always loved a good kitchen gadget. These days, my gadgets have to serve a purpose to get dinner going on a night when I don’t have time!
My favorites are my crockpot, rice cooker, and my chopper. I bought an Instapot last year and it intimidated me (haha) so I gave it to my mom and she swears by it! The fall, thankfully, brings on crockpot weather, and so I use it at least twice a week, normally on nights when we have sports so that dinner will be nice and warm when we get home.
If you’ve been following me a while you have probably noticed that I have A LOT of hair. I may not have been blessed with the skinny genes but I did luck out in the hair department. It looks great when I do it, but when I don’t, I take on the look of a deranged Cousin It!
My hair takes FOREVER to do when it’s washed and unfortunately, I have to wash it every day or I get a headache. While I have yet to find much to help it dry faster (about 45 minutes if I dry it right after I get out of the shower), I did find a MIRACLE TOOL that curls it in 15 minutes. That miracle tool is called the Beach Waver, and I’m not kidding when I say, this thing changed my life!
I tried one of those curling wand things and ended up burning my face! I actually found it when I was thinking of buying a different curling iron that I kept seeing on Facebook ads, and settled on the Beach Waver because it was about 1/3 of the price! Recently, I tried that other curling iron and was so happy I ended up with the Beach Waver as the other one left my hair a frizzy mess and did not look anything like the videos online!
Fair warning, this doesn’t look anything like beauty videos either but I thought this was best shared on a video! LOL!
I absolutely hate going to the store. I used to love to shop and take my time wandering the isles. Grocery store, Target, the mall…. you name it, I loved it! Now, I don’t have time for that sh*t! I have not figured out a fast way to shop, which is probably why I hate it. I know it can be done, but it is physically impossible for me. I get too distracted!
I can still remember taking Landry to the grocery store for the first time after he was born. He SCREAMED the whole time, and after 90 excruciating minutes, we both left the store, in tears, with no groceries.
Enter the dawn of grocery delivery! Dear Lord in Heaven, where was grocery delivery 12 years ago when I was a new mom and everything was a struggle?!?!? Now, I don’t need it to avoid the screaming baby, but delivery services do save me a ton a valuable time! I have two favorites that I alternate between.
Amazon Prime Fresh was one of the first delivery options in our area, and really has improved my life! Once it rolled out, I started actually spending time planning our meals out, conveniently as I added the items I needed for each recipe to my shopping cart! I will say that not everything is cheaper than if I had just gone to the store, BUT I do not spend nearly as much money on impulse buys as I did when they would be staring me in the face in the store. I figure it evens out!
I like Amazon Fresh for when I need a lot of pantry items and staples like Milk, Juice, etc but I have not had the best luck with their produce. Some stuff like apples or broccoli are fine, but bananas and berries usually come either too ripe or not ripe enough. If I have a big Prime Fresh order, I’ll typically hit up our farmer’s market for my produce items.
Shipt is my other favorite way shop for groceries. A lot of times, I can get items on Shipt with much less notice than I can with Amazon Prime Fresh. This comes in handy when I didn’t meal plan, or change my mind on my meal plans, and don’t have the ingredients for what I want to make for dinner that night! If I put my order in early, a lot of times I can have it by noon!
I love that the personal shoppers go to stores that I go to anyway! In our area, they can go to Central Market, Kroger, or even Target. Where I worry about Amazon’s produce, I know the Shipt shopper will have a good selection at the store I choose. They also will text me when the store is out of something to get my opinion on a substitute option.
While not a delivery service, the other Grocery Service I have started to use a lot more has been Walmart’s Grocery Pick Up. There was a day when I stayed as far away as possible from Walmart, but their grocery pick up allows me to take advantage of their super low prices without going into the store! Major win! I took care of 100% of our school supply shopping in 30 minutes on Walmart Grocery (you can order anything from the store, not just groceries), and spent much less than the school supply packs that we could have ordered.
I have always been prone to major headaches, and sinus infections. The headaches became worse as a mom. A few years ago, I went in for allergy testing and found out that I am literally allergic to the entire state of Texas. I have some kind of an allergy season all year long. Shots helped a little bit but only went so far. Whether it’s stress-related, or I’ve been hit in the face (again) with a lightsaber or nerf bazooka, I typically have some kind of a headache that needs to clear up, like, yesterday.
Advil takes time to kick in, and who in the world has time to lay down for a nap? A doctor literally suggested 3 showers and a nap each day for me when I’m at the height of allergy season and I actually laughed at them. Funny joke, right? I have found two products that this busy mom could not live without when it comes to headaches.
Have you heard of Tiger Balm? This was one of those weird products my mom always kept around the house and was the cure all. Head hurts? Tiger Balm. Bug bite itches a lot? Tiger Balm. Muscle aches? Tiger Balm. Kind of like the dad in my Big Fat Greek Wedding with all of the Windex.
Tiger Balm is kind of like Vicks but more concentrated. Rubbing just a little on my forehead when it hurts helps to alleviate the pain very quickly.
I’m not even going to play with you and pretend I’m an “oily” mom. I don’t believe oils can cure all the things, and I’d never use them in place of medical advice. However, there is a lot to be said for how scents can affect how you feel. I keep a couple of oil diffusers through the house, and if my head is hurting I use peppermint or eucalyptus to help clear my sinuses up! This also really helps if I put a few drops in my hair before I blow dry it.
Remember above where I said I hate shopping now? I really hate shopping for myself. The one thing that horrifies me more than going to the grocery store is going to the mall to try on jeans or, God forbid, bras! Noooooo thank you! Thank goodness for shopping helpers!
I’ve tried SEVERAL different subscription box companies and Trunk Club blew all of the rest out of the water in my book! If you aren’t familiar with clothing subscription boxes, essentially, a personal shopper from that company fills a box for you each month with various clothing items that they think you’ll love. I absolutely love this idea. First, other people pick things out for me that I’d never pick out on my own, and a lot of times end up liking that item more than the one I had personally picked out. Second, trying on said items in the comfort of my own bathroom, with my own slightly more forgiving mirrors, maybe with a glass of wine, is a much more enjoyable shopping experience for me than standing under the neon lights of a department store fitting room.
So what sets Trunk Club apart from the rest? First of all, they are a Nordstrom company, and while some may see dollar signs to me, I say you get what you pay for! I have so many beautiful tops from Nordstrom that have lasted several seasons, where others look worse for the wear after a few months. In my line of work, it was important to look fashionable, classic, and slightly conservative at the same time and my shoppers at Trunk Club always nailed the look without making me look like someone’s grandma. Another well-known subscription club sent me skirts that barely covered my butt cheeks, tops that were way too low cut, and insanely high heels even after I told them that I was a 30 something mother with a conservative office. Yikes! I also love that Trunk Club sends the preview to me a week before the box ships, so if there is something I really hate or a pair of $200 jeans that I know I won’t keep no matter how cute, I can ask my stylist to change the item out for something that is better suited to me.
Do you hate shopping for bras? Me too, sister! There are few worse experiences in this world than standing in a dressing room with some random old lady banging on your door with a measuring tape wanting to feel your cup size up! I dread it! A couple of years ago, a friend turned me on to ThirdLove and I have never looked back. Their bras are AMAZING! They look great under your shirts, don’t create a roll on your back, and hold up for a really long time. Best of all, when you take their quiz to determine your size, if you don’t get right the first time, you can send it back and try another size out. Again, all in the comfort of your own bathroom, in your own lighting with no one banging on your door…well maybe your child but that’s different! Try ThirdLove out and thank me later!
Prime Wardrobe is another great option for busy moms on the go! Unlike other boxes with personal stylists, you act as your own stylist here.Wardrobe
The idea is that you can pick up to 8 items to ship to your home and try them on, then you send back what doesn’t work, all before you have to pay for it. I used this right before our trip to Gulf Shores to pick up a few cheap sundresses and loved that I could try them on before paying!
My other shopping God-send is my sweet friend, Mary Cobb who runs a LuLaRoe shop. There are few moms these days who have not experienced the magic of LuLa Leggins. They are pretty much my winter wardrobe! Whether professional or casual, LuLaRoe has something that works for just about every occasion that is comfortable and flattering.
My Facebook feed gets pretty flooded with people sharing LuLaRoe videos from other reps, but do yourself a favor and shop with Mary! Let me tell you why! Mary truly has a servant’s heart and, immediately, in any of her videos, you can tell she has taken the time to get to know her customers personally, has their sizes memorized, and knows their colors. I have helped her a few times in her store and it blows my mind every time. You can even shop on her website if you’re not a fan of Facebook live!
On more than one occasion I have sent Mary a panicked text about an event I had in a few days and needed an outfit and within minutes she will have the perfect outfit picked out and pictures in my inbox. By the way, I don’t get anything in return for the promotion of LuLaRoe w/Mary. I just ask her for a hug when people shop with her because she gives pretty awesome ones!
I was talking with my sister-in-law not too long ago, sharing that, while I love my amazing Louie purse, it is so impractical to have as a mom. I HATE putting it on the germy school floor, the stupid thing spilled out all over the airplane once, and I held it in my lap through an entire soccer game because I didn’t want it to get muddy. Why was I doing that to myself for a purse??? (Cause it’s fancy and pretty, duh). I jokingly said “I need a mom backpack that doesn’t look like a backpack.” She walks away and comes back with this beautiful bag and says “Like this one???” Hello!!!
Fawn Design is a bag line that is made for moms. They have a couple of different sizes and call them diaper bags but they’re really mom backpacks. My sister-in-law ordered me one on the spot because she loves her’s so much, and it’s amazing. I’m asking my husband for the bigger one for Christmas because I want it to put my laptop and all the things I need in! It is the perfect mom bag. You can wear your Fawn Design bag like a backpack or put the strap on and carry it like a purse, and I never feel bad taking it up to the school or games or anything. It’s also cute enough to work when we go out!
I share my home with 2 boys, 2 dogs, 5 cats, and a husband who’s cleaning habits are questionable at best. Something is ALWAYS DIRTY and I am ALWAYS asking “What’s that smell?!?!?” Like for real, every…single…day… “What’s that smell?!?!?” Lordy, this place starts to stink within minutes of deep cleaning.
We have also recently entered two, very distinct smell eras! Stinky boys and geriatric cats! Yall! The middle schooler has started with body odor and both of their feet smell like nothing I have ever smelled in my entire life. And don’t get me started on the hockey bags! Then, my cat, Kitty, is about to turn 20 and she has stopped taking care of herself and doesn’t always make it to the litter box. So we’ve added puppy pads placed around for when she can’t make it, and I’ve started making her eggs every morning since she doesn’t eat her food anymore…yup. I’m that cat lady! So how do I keep (relatively) on top of the mess and smell???
My first line of defense against all the dirt is our Roomba! I know, this can be a bit of a large investment, but with as much grime that is dragged into my house, I would be vacuuming every day just to stay on top of it. Now, I will say that it does not do as good of a job as my shark that I push around BUT it does a much better job than the no vacuuming that would happen if I had to try to get it done every day.
If you are a newer boy mom, there is a chance you have yet to experience the smell that I’m about to share with you, but if your boys are over the age of 4 or 5, you will know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. It’s that smell that immediately slaps you in the face when you open their bathroom door. It seems the boys can pee everywhere except in the freaking toilet. We tried all the Pinterest ideas like Cheerio targets, but come on… really?
Much like the vacuum issue, the only way to stay on top of the bathroom smell would be to clean their toilet every day. I don’t have time for that nonsense! Enter these wonderful blue Clorox Tabs. Who would have thought something so small could be so wonderful? Simply stick one in the toilet bowl each month and it will help with the smell control! It can’t clean down the sides where they miss but at least you aren’t constantly smelling pee. It also keeps the dog from drinking out of it. Double win!
My other favorite go-to against the gross-ness that is raising school-aged boys is Lysol Laundry Sanitizer. Yall, I know, the first day of school is Day 1 of the count down to the ticking time bomb that is Strep & Flu season in our house. The boys come home at least once a month with another story of another kid who threw up all over the classroom, (and, yes, we’ve been that kid too) and I feel like I need to sanitize all their things… but especially all the things that were on their person during the puke eruption. The problem is that the sanitize cycle of my washer takes 2.5 hours and a TON of hot water. I don’t have time in the afternoon to waste 2.5 hours or that much hot water because the little germ mongrels need to be sanitized themselves! Or if there is a nighttime accident and the sheets need to be sanitized, there won’t be enough hot water for morning showers. Enter Lysol Laundry Sanitizer to save the day! It gives that extra layer of germ defense, and it leaves clothes smelling quite delightful.
So there you go. Those are my top products I use to get through my day! They don’t help put away the laundry (that would be AMAZING) but they do save me time, and more importantly, my sanity!
What do you use every day that you could not live without? Anything new I need to check out??? Let me know in the comments!
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