10 Mom Hacks and Proven Timesavers

13
Jul
2020


It’s time to share some sweet mom hacks and proven timesavers with you all. We are all busy and it’s a great thing when we can utilize timesavers to help with our schedules that seem to be jammed packed, right?

These are true and tested mom hacks and timesavers I have used through the years, and I am happy to pass them on to you.

Make a daily list for your kids

Who likes repeating themselves? No one—especially moms. But I found that I do it a lot. If I have some lists compiled and posted for daily occurrences, it will help everyone. Not only does it give me a break, but it helps my child learn to read and be self-directed.

We have a list for morning tasks as well as tasks that need to be completed at bedtime. I shared in a live video that I do not use a fancy chore chart; I simply type out a list on a Word document so it’s easy to change up as needed. We just edited our list for the summer months and it’s been working like a charm.  I love adding an element of positive consequence when my child is successful at following the list and completing it. This is developing wonderful habits for your children and helps mama keep a bit more sane!

Clean all produce upon returning home

This is something I only started about a year ago. But friends, it’s such a timesaver…I cannot believe I didn’t think of it sooner. I fill my large farmhouse sink up with water and my Thieves Fruit and Veggie Wash (more on Thieves here) and begin washing all the apples, berries, lettuce, and other produce. Once it’s dry, I bag the lettuce so it’s all ready to use. It may take some time initially, but when it’s time to grab a snack or make a meal, it’s so easy to prepare. You can also employ your kids to help with this task too. Give it a try and see how much time it saves!

Delegate tasks to your kids

I talk about this often, especially using my Weekly Household Planner. It’s one of the most important mom hacks and proven timesavers you can do! Just because there are tasks that need to be done to keep a tidy home doesn’t mean you as the mom need to do it all. In fact, if you are, you are doing your children a disservice. Where else will your child learn home-keeping skills? Write out tasks on a simple whiteboard or use a colored highlighter to color-code tasks on my planner. Each child gets a different color and they know what task they are responsible for each day. It’s easy and will free up your time for something else too.

Buy the same socks in bulk

Here is another tip I just started about six months ago. I buy only one type of sock for my ten-year-old and that is it. The time I have saved folding laundry and allowing him to help is way more than a few minutes. It’s been wonderful for laundry day, but also when we pack for a trip. Toss socks into the suitcase and you’re ready.

Shared digital calendar with family

I haven’t kept a paper calendar for our family in years. My hubby and I share calendars on iCal, which automatically syncs appointments so everything is kept up to date. You can add your kids to the family calendar as well—even kids that do not live at home. They can see your family plans instantly. Our ten-year-old doesn’t have a cell phone, but he does have an older iPhone that we’ve disabled cell service on. There are a few features he can use, such as texting using Internet, but only family members. He can access the local library audio book site, and he has access to our family calendar. It helps him feel a bit more grown up and “in the know,” which he finds really important. We can also easily print out a copy of a day or a month and post it if need be.

Double up dinner and freeze

This one is life-giving, friends. When you are making a dinner, either soup, like this one which is a favorite here in our home right now, or a casserole, make a double batch so you can freeze it. I have been doing this for several years, and I love knowing I have extra dinners in the freezer for times I just do not want to cook, or we get unexpected friends who stop by. I can be hospitable without all the anxiety of “what to fix.” I will often do this when I bake a pan of cornbread as well. We will not eat the entire pan within a few days, so I freeze it in small batches for later. I’d encourage you to see what you can stretch in this way.

Clean your shower while in the shower

I have a handheld dish scrubber in my shower that contains a mixture of Thieves Dish Soap and Thieves Household Cleaner. When I am nearly finished with my shower, I take a minute to scrub the shower glass and tile. I rotate areas on different days. This has helped so much in keeping the shower clean and truly cutting my cleaning of our bathroom down to a few minutes. It’s a huge timesaver, and it will allow you to savor the warm water just a bit longer too!

Online shopping

Take advantage of the many things you can have delivered right to your home without leaving! I have so many items we use consistently on Amazon subscribe and save, which truly saves me time and money. With my discount from Amazon I save money, plus my time is valuable, so I am saving that as well. I also use Amazon Prime instead of running out to a store. This can be a true money-saver, since you are not purchasing things you truly do not need because you happen to see something while out in the store.

A few more sites I use are Thrive Market, where I can get wonderful natural food items, and Stitch Fix, because I just am not a mall shopper but do like some pretty things (and they have the best jeans!). Daily Harvest has been wonderful with helping me eat healthy, even when I am busy and have a hard time keeping on track. It’s so easy to whip up a smoothie and add my favorite protein powder to the shake. Lastly, Green Chef has been my best friend the last three years. Living in a remote area has its challenges, but this was the perfect way to get meals delivered that met our specific dietary needs.  Honestly, we have so much fun trying new things. Cooking has become more of a joy with Green Chef!

Weekly meal plan

I sure hope you are already meal planning, but I know when I asked the trouble areas mamas needed help with, this was a big one. Sit down once a week, pick some recipes, create your grocery list, and just do it!! Grab this FREE meal planning sheet, get out your favorite cookbook, or go scroll through my Pinterest boards. Another idea is to snag my “Got Dinner” recipe book that contains 45 recipes that are family friendly for only $2.99. I admit, I had fallen out of weekly meal planning, but now that I am back in the groove, it’s such a timesaver and gives me so much joy to cook. I am not burdened with that “what’s for dinner,” angst that hovers over me when I do not have a plan.

Clean without thinking

Yes, I said that! One of the things I hear all the time from moms is…”I don’t know where to start.” Well, this where I have taken all of that thought process out of the equation for you. My Weekly Household Planner is FREE and it has tasks listed for the most common things you would want to check off when managing your home. It’s the motherload of mom hacks and proven timesavers! Keeping things tidy is the name of the game. If you haven’t downloaded your free copy, do so. Give it a try. Print a full week and see how it goes. I can guarantee you will not have to think much, and for a busy mom, that is total music to your ears!

More mom hacks and proven timesavers

Have you implemented any of these mom hacks and proven timesavers? What new ideas will you use? What other homemaking tips do you use in your daily routine that reduce your stress and free up some time?

5 Tips to Prevent the Summer Slide

1
Jul
2020

We are in our final days of our school year.  Like most of the country, we switched to a homeschool model back in April and were not in the classroom.  It’s been a shift for this mom, who else can feel me on that?

Now that we’ve mastered a rhythm to our day, life has become a bit easier to manage.  We still have two days left of school….. thank goodness!!

As we end the school year and to a much needed break from the learning, it’s important to keep our kids in the game so they do not lose what they’ve mastered over the last few months.   The ‘summer slide’ is the phrase used to describe the slide backwards  many children make in reading and math skills over the summer break.  But you can combat summer slide by encouraging your child to devote a small bit of time each day to keeping up skills.  I have some tips to help you put this into action.

Reading

Oh how I love that my son truly loves to read.  At ten, that was not always the case, but there is a time where a switch usually gets flipped and kids begin to read easier and it becomes more enjoyable.  We’ve been using some of his allowance, and matching it when he wants to purchase a book on amazon to read.  We love our library system, but it is currently not operating for physical book checkout.  We have used the Libby app, which allows you to download ebooks and audio books from your local library.  It is still a screen, and we do limit that time, even when reading, but are more flexible since physical books are not available right now.

We’ve taken an old iPhone of ours and disabled many features, but allowed the Libby app on it so our son can have it for reading.  It’s been a life saver for sure.  Reading really keeps their brains engaged and allows creativity and imagination.  Does your child enjoy reading?  If not, pick a few books to read outloud together, I shared some read outloud book ideas a few weeks ago.

Writing letters

Yep, an oldie but goodie, especially during this time.  Why not get your child set up to send letters or cards to family members who live far away.  This is an incredible way for them to practice their penmanship and letter writing skills, and have fun too.  Grab some greeting cards and fun stickers to help round out this experience.

Come up with a list of people to write to and they can pre-address those envelopes on a few days, and then take one or two cards each day to write a happy note in.  If the envelopes are already stamped and addressed, it goes much easier.  They might even have fun getting letters back in the mail!

A Page a Day

Since the homeschooling session began back in April for us, I have been using Education.com to find grade appropriate curriculum for my son.  You can use it for free, so I encourage you to try it out.  It’s been fun to pick different subject areas to focus on and just today I let my son choose whatever work he wanted, it just needed to be age appropriate.  So he chose, and printed some worksheets out.  It was so easy and he had fun.

We’ve also use workbooks during the summer similar to these, which make it super simple.  You can easily take these on the road as well, if you are planning to do any traveling.  It’s not quantity that matters, but consistency.  If you ask your child to do just one page of work a day, as part of their daily routine, you will see growth in their abilities, which is really empowering for them as well as you.

Flash Cards

We are all familiar with these, right?  You likely had them when you were in school and perhaps on summer vacation!!  However, flash cards are so important for recalling information quickly and for memorizing.  We are currently working through our multiplication facts in flashcards and will start division soon.  I love them for their ease of throwing in my purse when we are on the go as well as just their interaction and connection with the person who is holding the cards.

We recently returned from a road trip and the flashcards were used in the car to pass time.  It was so easy to have them on hand.

Work for Screen Time

This is a gem friends.  If you struggle with setting limits on screen time, remember, you are in charge.  You have tools at your fingertips to use to create a routine that will help your child and you interchangeably.  At our house, we have an old slogan, “work first, then play.”  You’ve likely heard it too, but have you put it in place in your home?

Pick a few of these ideas for your child to incorporate and then allow them to “earn” screen time.  You can award it on whatever level you like, but maybe 15 minutes per activity listed here?  Or perhaps thirty minutes is more your speed.  The time doesn’t matter, but the learning experiencing of working first and then receiving the award is so valuable.

So there you have it, a few ways to keep your child from sliding back in their learning.  Just implement a few key pieces into your summer routine and you’ll be making great progress.

Ready For Stress-Less Homemaking?

23
Jun
2020

Yesterday, I introduced you to the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle, but there’s one thing I haven’t told you about yet…

Did you know it comes with bonuses? Lots of them? Hooray! 🙂

Not only do the bonuses make it even easier to take care of your home, your family, and yourself… but also? They’re just really fun to redeem and receive. And who doesn’t need a little boost right now?

AMAZING RESOURCES

In addition to the 51 amazing resources in this bundle, you’ll also get 9 bonuses worth $343.96 which include:

  • Printable cards, printable calendar, art prints, and a $15 shop credit from Hope Ink Emily Hope, the artist behind Hope Ink, loves creating inspirational hand-lettered art to brighten up homes and living spaces.(Value $158)
  • Chapstick, salve, and soap bar from Puro CoPuro Co is a small-batch body care company that uses high quality, safe ingredients to create their skincare products.(Value $20)
  • $15 credit to Cultivate What MattersCultivate What Matters was created to help you live more intentionally. Use your $15 credit for their Write the Word Bible Journals, PowerSheets – the ultimate intentional goal planner, goal guides, or any of their other goal-oriented products.Value $15)
  • 4 pack of microfiber makeup remover cloths from By Jillee Jillee Shop takes pride in the exceptional quality of the useful tools, accessories, and other items you’ll find throughout the shop. (Value $19.99)
  • 10 Free Audios from Around the World Stories Around the World Stories creates fun, memorable audio stories that teach children about the world’s countries and cultures while capturing their imaginations and sparking their inner explorer. Each 30-minute story also comes with a parent guide full of activity ideas, recipes, printables and discussion topics. (Value $38)

Plus, there are 4 other bonuses from companies like Musik at Home, Strawesome, Bloom Naturals, and MadeOn Skin Care!

And there’s one more thing…

If you get your bundle by the end of today, you’ll also get a special early bird bonus designed to simplify your closet and help you put outfits together! Get Your Pretty On® is offering you one of three challenges. Pick from Kickstart & Workout ($39 value), Closet Staples ($39 value), or Bust Out of the Makeup Rut ($29 value).

Get your free bonus when you grab your bundle before midnight tonight.

Here’s how all these bonuses work: You can pick and choose whichever offers you want to redeem–as many or as few as you want. For the physical bonuses, you’ll be responsible for shipping costs. Five of the physical bonuses even ship internationally!

The digital bonuses are available to anyone in the world – with no shipping costs!
Ultimate Homemaking Bundle 2020BUDGET FRIENDLY

You may be tightening up your budget right now (which is so understandable!), but the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle has so much to offer you.

The value of the bonuses is over ten times the cost of the bundle, and when you add in the Get Your Pretty On® bonus, plus the 51 resources, it’s so much easier to discover strategies to help you take care of your family AND yourself–and that’s something we could all use right now amiright?

Check out all the bonuses and resources included in the new Ultimate Homemaking Bundle right here 

Last week I asked about the areas that those in my community needed help with.  It was meal planning, home keeping and finding time for you. This bundle is perfect!

I am looking forward to using the recipes from Garden Harvest Recipes: A Plant to Plate Cookbook (eBook) by Holly Bertone which has a value of $7.99.  Guys….. it’s all about living a healthy lifestyle and has recipes!!!  And then you also get the Uncomplicated Kitchen: 3 Step System for Simpler Weeknight Cooking (eCourse) by Ruthy Kirwin valued at $64.00.  WOW!!  Right there, with just those two things you have gotten more value than what you paid for the bundle, $29.97.   It’s a proven 3-step system that will help you streamline your weeknight kitchen, and free up your time making dinner in the evenings.  Can you say happy mama?!!!

Get on over to grab your bundle today, it runs til Friday – but get it today to snag your early bird bonus!!

Ultimate Homemaking Bundle 2020

P.S. Don’t miss your early bird bonus: buy before midnight tonight!

5 Simple Ways to Connect as a Family

21
May
2020

Summer is here…we are busting down the door to sunshine and sprinklers, right??!! However, this spring has left me a bit “disconnected” even when I have been so “connected” to my family. Can you relate?

We’ve been in close quarters for weeks, and honestly, it’s been getting on my nerves!! So I decided to be a bit more creative on finding things that can break up the monotony. As with anything, changing things up is a good thing.

I hope these ideas spark some connection in your home!

Reading Out Loud

I admit, I really despise reading out loud, but I realize it is a great way to build connection. It’s also a fun way to share a story together as a family, which can then be brought into further discussion. It expands the mind, brings on creativity, and allows everyone to experience something together.

I just ordered these Oregon Trail Books that were highly recommended by a friend of mine. My son is ten, the same as her son, and he has not been able to put them down. I am looking forward to reading them as a family. I can remember in fourth grade doing a big Oregon Trail report; I even made paper look old by soaking it in coffee grounds and warming in the oven to dry. Maybe we will do a fun project like that while reading these books.

Here is a great printable that contains some other books that have been family favorites…grab yours here!

Games

Whether you like healthy competition or not, family game time is a great way to connect. Make it afternoon or evening, it doesn’t matter, and provide a few fun snacks too. We have been especially fond of these gluten-free pretzels as of late. I have enjoyed playing enough Candyland, Go Fish, and Old Maid in my time, and now  have graduated to games that require a bit more concentration. Some of our family favorites are Sequence, BananaGrams (which we take with us when we eat out), Sorry, Uno, Yahtzee, and Exploding Kittens (which I have yet to play, the name…I just cannot get beyond the name…but my family loves it!).

Have you added a new game to your collection? We’ve had some of the best laughs over games we’ve played. They just break things up in a good way and have a way of making connection and memories.

Hike

Getting outside on a hike. It’s the best ever. When I say, HIKE, maybe that mean a walk around your neighborhood, or perhaps you live near a hiking trail or natural wooded area you can take advantage of. It doesn’t have to be a big formal activity, but getting out in nature is truly a way to connect and get some much needed exercise.

We are blessed with a ton a walking trails and opportunities to get outside where we live. We are also near some national parks, and I cannot wait until they are open again in our area. So many great opportunities to see wildlife, nature, and some great waterfalls. I just grabbed my ten-year-old a new pair of hiking shoes and he literally begs me to plan a hike and get outdoors!

Cooking

What mom doesn’t need help in the kitchen? Well, if you are like me, I tend to just prefer to “get things done” rather than use opportunity for a life lesson, but I am getting better!

We have been making almond milk together. I will share my easy recipe soon, but he loves squeezing the nut bag!! How about cutting veggies and fruit? My-ten-year old is all about using the knife. Two years ago we began using  Green Chef, and it literally has changed my game in the kitchen. I am much more relaxed and, honestly, fun to be around and will often have my son in the kitchen to help, and my husband. Honestly, my husband loves to cook the Green Chef meals. The recipes are all super easy, done within 35 minutes, and here is the best…ALL the ingredients are included for the recipe, except for salt, pepper, and cooking oil, generally.

It truly does make cooking a joy. We have been using the plant-based plan lately, but alternate with the gluten-free plan as well. It really does help our evening routine, and we have fun together in the kitchen.

Mad Libs

Ever since I was a kid, and that was a long time ago, Mad Libs has been so much fun. Great for car rides, sitting waiting for an appointment, a day at the beach, or sitting around on a lazy afternoon. You will get a big belly laugh for sure!

This Best of Mad Libs version is great, with 125 fillable pages of fun. We would collect Mad Libs and toss them in a small plastic tub similar to this and keep some easy activities in our car (when we were out and about more!), and Mad Libs is perfect for adding to that bin. Try tossing in some playing cards, like these fun unicorn cards, and you are all set.

Mad Libs will help your child learn the difference of nouns, verbs, and adjectives—all while making up a hilarious story that you end up reading out loud. The reading is truly the best part.

Do you have some fun family favorites for connecting? I would love to hear them.

Simple Steps to a New Rhythm

15
Apr
2020

How are you doing? This new “normal” is quite strange, and if I am honest, my emotions have taken a big downward spiral on many occasions. Finding a rhythm for me and our new days at home has been critical.

We mamas really are the thermostat for our homes, so what can we do to help ourselves be the best version each and every day? I have been examining this for myself.

Yesterday I had a complete meltdown with homeschooling, not feeling valued in what I was doing, and I had not created the space for me to have some much needed self-care. Today, I chose differently and I wanted to share a few tips that I know are making a huge difference in my day.

It all starts the night before

If you have been doing this mom gig long, you know this is a common theme in many tips for having a great day. You truly must look at your day’s activities and the schedule the night before. I had forgotten this amazing habit. Now, after I have cleaned up dinner, I pull up the calendar for the next day. Since I am still running two businesses from home, I have a full calendar in the midst of homeschooling our ten-year-old too. So it’s critical I know what is happening so I can be prepared. If I have a 9 a.m. Zoom call, I will need to shift my morning tasks around, and it’s best to prepare everyone in the family the night before.

I also decide what will be for lunch and dinner for the following day. With us home now for both meals, having a plan in place is such a relief. If I need to prepare or take anything out from the freezer, I can easily do this with plenty of time. Having dinner all set is huge!! Do you weekly meal plan? Here are some tips to get you started and a free copy of my fun weekly meal plan printable.

Same time each morning

This one may not be what you want to hear, but it is proven to be true and so helpful. Getting up at the same time each morning helps your body find a rhythm that sets itself up for success. Set your intention the night before with what time you will start your day. For me, my perfect window for giving me some quiet time, exercise, and focus is 5:45 a.m. If I get up at that time, I am golden for feeling good and ready to go by 7:45, when I am needed to be ready with my game face on.

Set your intention

This is KEY!! Hear me now…when you decide the night before what time you will get up, you have a 99% higher chance of making that happen. I completely feel my subconscious senses that as well. How many times have  you decided a time to set your alarm and then you wake up two minutes prior to that alarm? It happens to me often!!! When my mind is set to proceed with a said action, I am better prepared and equipped in making it happen.

Good stuff in

What does your mind need to get started each morning in a positive way? We are all different, but I can tell you, it is NOT social media! I have made a conscious effort to NOT go to Facebook or Instagram until I have fed my mind with God’s word and filled it with truth for my day. I cannot tell you how I have booby-trapped myself when I roll out of bed and open Facebook. It’s a rabbit hole I do not want to start my day traversing.

Instead, I open my YouVersion bible app, read the verse for the day, and fall into one of the several reading plans I have chosen for myself. I also daily post a bible verse in the Confident Mom Facebook page to help you fill your mind with good stuff.

Build in rest

It may seem really backwards to say to “build in rest” since it seems that we all have less to do, but honestly, the emotional toll our bodies are carrying is taxing us. We need to be sure to have some downtime in our day. What does rest look like to you? To your kids? To your partner? Figure out what nourishes you and the members of your family. Is it reading books, doing a puzzle, taking a walk, sitting with a cup of tea, or watching a movie? Have that be part of your day for sure; you will be so relieved!

Look forward to FUN

As an enneagram one, fun is not really part of my vocabulary! I used to be way more fun, but something has shifted for me in the past ten years. However, with a ten-year-old in the house who desires fun, I need to up my game. Finding silly things to spend time on is important to him. Allowing him to see me laugh and be a goofball is one way I can lighten the mood, especially now that things are so different and so unsettling.

Today, we are headed out to create some big-time sidewalk chalk art with some friends. Not really what I desire, but I know that it will be fun for him and a great bonding experience too. So I challenge you, find some fun and scatter it through your days!