5 Busy Mom Hacks

 

Happy Monday!!

Boy, I can’t even begin to explain how insane life has been lately!! Our real estate business is really cranking, and we are getting better at SYSTEMS!! I must say that while I have heard all of the gurus say it, I haven’t truly mastered the ability to get systems into play quite yet.  However, I am bound and determined to make it all happen!  I am very much aware of what our reality looks like here in New York.  My children will be “distance learning’ from home this upcoming school year.  My husband and I will continue to grow our real estate company and with that will come new avenues and obstacles. How exciting!

I am implementing these top 5 Hacks starting now, so I wanted to share them in case you too find this new way of living a tad overwhelming, and maybe need a little inspiration to try something new.  It’s never too late to add a bit of structure!

  1. Menu Plan

That’s nothing new around here, but I am not 100% consistent.  I do find that when I do plan out a week, whether or not I actually follow it, that’s ok.  It keeps the stress from worrying, “What’s for dinner” happening at 4:55 pm. Here’s my idea for this week:

 

I am trying out Hello Fresh this week–I have not done a meal service since my son was born in 2015.  I am honestly in such a cooking funk, and we don’t feel comfortable ordering take out (we have only done it TWICE since Covid.). I will let you guys know what I think of it! I loved that the meals are healthy and  family friendly!  If you’re interested in trying it, here’s a $40 off code for you!  I actually love cooking, but I loathe having to think of what the heck to feed my family all of the time.  These two meals look delish!

2.  Meal Prep (for yourself!!)

Kind of along the same lines, but here it’s taking a few extra minutes and prepping at least ONE meal.  If you do more, great!! I thought making this breakfast casserole would be a great way to give me one less thing to do in the morning.  I want to start focusing on my morning workouts again, so I thought this would be a good start! PS I am going to do my first round of WHOLE 30 starting Monday July 27th.  I’m getting ready!

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Or at the very least, know what you’re going to eat for a snack!  I am loving the Medical Medium’s Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie. 

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3.  Chore charts & Chore Sticks

I can’t take credit for these cute things, but Jordan Page from Fun Free Or Cheap sure can!! She is a powerhouse mama of 8 (yup, she just had a set of twins) and she has her kids do these daily.   We just introduced the kids to this idea, and Brooke can read so this will be awesome.  She wanted to start Sunday night, but we will begin first thing Monday. You can tailor your chart to read anything you want.  As for the sticks?  Write down whatever house hold chores you need done. Now the kids can’t get on their electronics UNTIL all the boxes are checked.  It will teach them responsibility, mommy won’t go crazy trying to do everything and everyone wins.

4.  Get out in Nature (preferably first thing!)

The more we leave our home and explore our beautiful city, the better our days go!  We can’t go every day, but when we wake up early and get outside, everything seems to be more productive and better.  Whether it’s a walk in front of the mansions on the lake, a sandy secluded beach, or this cool Turning Point Park, it’s always an adventure! Even if you can’t really leave, can you take a quick morning walk around your neighborhood?

How cute is this baby deer?  Mama was right by.

5.  Choose Your WHY and focus.

We have wanted to work together full time in real estate for a very long time.  There are so many times things get hard, and it’s easy to numb the difficulties.  Don’t.  Feel the pain and work through all of the tough times.  Since being home, we have put our heads together and sat many hours staring at each other wondering what to do next.  And we would brainstorm so many ideas, act on a few and then we just kept doing them.  Small steps will get you to move forward.  You can’t accomplish every goal and dream right away, but once you start checking off some small ones, you build momentum. Late nights, early mornings, days where most people are off BBQing and playing, we are working.  Sure we take days at the beach, but a lot of the time, our phones are in hand working.  Every little bit counts and you can’t knock the hustle!!

Side note, this photo means a lot to me for so many reasons.  I had Bradley take it and even though it’s not a home we ended up not even interested in buying, it was part of our journey.  Bradley was looking off at some kids playing in a pool a few houses down, and a part of me felt a little sad.  I know going house to house is not always fun for a little kid, but this is our life and with the virus, we can’t go out and do too much to socialize.   I looked at him and explained that if we work hard now, we will be playing in a much bigger pool one day.  I know that it will all pay off, it is time to strike while the iron is hot (and the virus is around) and in the future, we will all be living our dream life.  But really, the funny thing is, even though we don’t have a pool right now or a beach house, I still am living an amazing life.  Who would have ever thought we could both be with our children this much (and it’s a lot!) when they are this young?  That is such a gift.  So while the world is wonky and coronavirus is crazy, we don’t let that stop us.  If your dreams are big enough and your why is strong enough, anything is possible.

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TV: Why I don’t Watch it

Yup.  I am one of the “weirdos.”  It seems like most people try to make small talk and ask what shows I watch and I laugh and say, I don’t have any.  (Ok, one.)

We actually have cable and to say that I never watch TV would be a lie.  I have nothing against it, but awhile back I realized I just don’t have the desire to get sucked into shows.  I feel like Steve Chandler’s 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself has something to do with it.  He said that when you watch TV, you’re watching others do what they love–they are living out their dream, while we basically sit like zombies. Now, I’m sure this post will get some eye rolls, but seriously, think about how much TV the average person watches…

l love a good movie and I do actually have one show left that I enjoy (This is Us), cue the tears– but long gone are sitting in front of the TV and watching episode after episode of The Real Housewives, or The Hills.  The kids do watch some TV, they actually prefer movies too lately which is funny.  They do enjoy Vamprina, Puppy Dog Pals & Fancy Nancy as of late.

So, what do I do with my time?  I’m usually just busy livin the #momlife #wifelife.  I cook a lot all day long, which then involves a lot of cleaning and dishes. While doing that, I try very hard to listen to books on audio, good podcasts, or catch up with friends via Marco Polo.  Sometimes I put on some music; lately I’ve been listening to country music.  (Getting ready for Luke Bryan later this month!)

I also love You Tube.  I just feel like I need to be learning things all the time so I’d rather be spending my time doing these other things.  I enjoy being inspired by other moms or women who decorate, cook, clean and enjoy life!

I also work on our Rent to Own business, read books for pleasure, play with kids, talk with my husband, walk the dogs, and honestly the only time I find to sit (or stand) to watch anything I’m folding laundry.

I also try not to watch the news.  I can’t even do the Today Show without rolling my eyes and boy I used to LIVE by that show.

I do check in here and there, but I try to fill my mind with really good thoughts, education or personal growth.  I know that we watch way less TV in the Summer because we are outside doing all the things.  Come cooler weather, we’ll throw on football games and cozy up by the fire…but even then I’m still usually in the kitchen with my jazz music going or something!

Like I said, I’m not anti-TV but I certainly think, like anything, everything best in moderation.  If you feel like you have “NO TIME” just take a look at where times goes.  I am guilty at falling down the FB or Insta rabbit hole and have to catch myself and such, but I just don’t have Netflix or find myself having that habit of being a couch potato.  Growing up I wasn’t much of a huge TV or video gamer, so I guess it may just be in my nature.

Instead of TV ideas…

  • read a book
  • go on a walk
  • cook a meal
  • listen to a podcast
  • write a blog
  • exercise
  • play with kiddos/pets
  • work on a side hustle
  • write in a journal
  • have meaningful conversations with my husband/friends/family

What are your thoughts on TV?

Enjoying the Journey

It’s a windy day here this Wednesday of “Spring Break.”  However, the term Spring must be used loosely here in upstate New York.   It’s a chilly 39 degrees and I do believe that as I type this, there are snow flurries.  Not surprised dear April…

There’s a to do list a mile long, mountains of laundry to be folded, a workout to be done, a shower to be had, but you know what I just did? I made a cup of tea.  I made a cup of English Breakfast tea with a splash of heavy cream & a drizzle of honey. (I have a disco dress I’m preparing for, otherwise I most likely would have used a teaspoon of sugar.

I woke up this morning, not really knowing where my day would take me; the blessing and curse of a “Stay at home” lifestyle.  On one hand, I feel as free as a bird and on the other, there’s so much to do I don’t really know where to begin.

Life has been quite crazy for some time now; little ones will do that to you.  We’ve been married 7.5 years and celebrated 10 years, (a whole decade!) of dating.  Yes, I do consider that even though we are married, with two children, we are still dating.  Marriage is like any other commitment in life; you get out what you put in.  There are days and weeks where we feel like we are spinning our wheels and treading water.

Raising babies, building businesses and still staying true to oneself is not for the faint of heart.   I often times ask myself wouldn’t it just be easier if…and I could list a hundred things to remove off of my plate to try and make myself feel less ‘busy’ or ‘stressed.’ But then what?  Would I be bored?  Would I feel incomplete?  Would I be searching for that “something more” that I know creeps up when we least expect?

I’ve heard it said that the devil attacks those next in line for promotion.  That when things are hard, they tend to get really hard.  You’ll want to quit, give in, stop trying and just throw your hands in the air and scream.  Go ahead and scream dear one, it may help…but do not quit.

I’ve mentioned before on my blog that the setback is often the setup for what’s next to come.  I’ve been feeling all of the things, going through a lot of emotions and feeling like OH MY GOSH WILL THIS EVER GET EASIER?  I’m talking in parenting, in relationships, in eating well, working out, feeling confident, and even in day to day things like the washing machine not working right.  I don’t know if it will get easier, but it’s all part of the plan.  If one more person tells me to “Enjoy the journey!” I may yell back “I AM!!” but that’s only because I truly am trying.  I am enjoying the snuggles of my wee ones, amongst the chaos of potty training and cleaning poo all day long.  I am loving the puppy breath and playfulness of our sweet girl, while cleaning mess after mess that she makes.  I am ecstatic to fit in any alone time with my husband, as I know that our love must come first so that our family can thrive.

But I’m also saying, damn girl, This shit is hard!

I’m just here to tell myself, and maybe you, that it’s all okay. The feelings, the tears, the stress, the laughs the joys…it’s all part of it.  One day we will look back and miss the precious moments.  I can’t say I’ll miss the poo and mess, but I will miss mostly everything else about this time.  I will probably ask myself how on earth did you not go completely insane? How did you do it?  More importantly, my kids may ask us when life is hard for them, how did it you survive?

I will them…

Faith

Gratitude

Patience 

Laughter

Love

Focus

Perseverance 

Help

The last one is the one I struggle with the most. I always try to do everything by myself, but this life is teaching me that nothing amazing is done alone.  I hope to delve further into these topics in future posts; I am always trying my hardest to be real and raw with my readers.  There is no smoke and mirrors here. No photo-shopped life snapshots. I am on this journey with you and am here with open arms and an open heart to learn alongside you.

May this first Wednesday in April bring you peace, love and comfort.

All my love,

Jenn

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