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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5 Healthy Hacks

 

Since I just shared some of my workouts with you, I thought I’d compile a quick refresher on some healthy hacks for life, especially life in quarantine! If you feel like you’re falling more into the slumps or down in the dumps, you may just need a few tweaks to your daily routines.  I find that if I get off track, I need to stop and look at where my energy and time is going. 

  1.  Move your body AT LEAST 30 minutes every day.  Break it up if you have to! 5 minute stretch in the morning, 10 minute yoga break mid day, 15 minute walk after dinner. Boom, done! Or do a dance session, lift some weights, hop on your spin bike, play some tennis or run after your kids!  Just do it every single day.  You’ll quickly find how great you feel, and want to move more!  If you have a dog, make it a goal to walk the dog first thing in the morning and once again in the evening.  Once you’ve gotten into that habit, don’t count that as a workout, but just as a daily routine. Watch your body start changing immediately! 
  2.  Drink that water!! If you’re not drinking at least 1/2 your body weight of water or more, you are most likely not getting enough H20!! I’m not talking your teas, coffee, pop, whatever…straight up water yo!  Buy yourself a cute new water jug or one that keeps your water extra cold! Cut some fresh fruit, stick some mint in there, do whatever you need to do, but get more water. It will help your skin glow, your digestion flow, and you may even eat less since you’re probably more thirsty than hungry when you go grab that extra snack.  I’m also trying to drink a huge cup of water before a meal so that I don’t overeat as well.
  3. Enjoy SOME sweets. Fruit is not evil!  I find that if I eat enough fruit throughout the day or cut some up at night after dinner, I don’t find myself wanting to eat a whole batch of GF cookies.  One or two cookies won’t kill your vibe, but reign it in. I will even have a few chocolate/butterscotch chips with some tea if I really want.  Do not deprive yourself, or you will end up overeating.  Have a glass of wine or a white claw. It’s ok! Just try not to have 3+ or you’ll just undo the work you’ve done.  Remember we are in a wonky time so if you take away all the fun things, you may just quit and that’s no good.  If you do over-indulge, tomorrow is a new day.  Do not stress *we don’t need that cortisol raising any more than it is!
  4. Eat the rainbow!! No not skittles, but rather fill your plate each meal with as many colors as you can.  Breakfast I try to get my spinach (green) tomatoes (red) eggs, avocado, blueberries or strawberries….you get my drift.  If you find yourself eating all bland foods at each meal, you may not be getting all of the nutrition your body needs and you’ll crave it and cave in other areas.  Now that Summer is almost here, those fresh fruits and veggies will be abundant! Keep those carrots handy, celery, berries, and salads are so great on a hot sunny day!
  5. Gratitude.  I know you’ve heard it a million times but if you just take a few minutes in the morning, or at night, or both, to find a few things in life you’re thankful for, life does seem to have a funny way of turning around! I try to write in my Start Today Journal daily but if I don’t, I will still take time to reflect and count my blessings.  If you start focusing on all the bad, negative, how things could be better, than that’s all you’ll see.  Trust me, I know because I fall into that sometimes too.  But I try so very hard to have a happy headspace and focus on the good!  It’s amazing how much good will come back to you!

Life Hack: Habit Stacking

As most busy mamas, I attempt to “do all the things” pretty much on a daily basis.  When I start to feel overwhelmed, I do have a few tips that seem to work for me.

I heard the term “Habit Stacking” after reading the book Atomic Habits. You can find out more here.   It made total sense when I heard it explained.  It’s not simply multi-tasking.  I feel that sometimes we feel overwhelmed because we are doing too much at once and not really enjoying things.  However, when you make conscious choices of who, what, where, why and when you are spending your time on, things start to fall together a little easier.

He explains it more in a sense of cues, and moment by moment, like pour your tea, read your book, write in your journal…combine the things that you need to get done anyway, but chunk them together.  I took it a step further…

If you’re feeling like you never get to do anything for you, or that you have too many things going on, I suggest you shrink your daily “must do” to about 5 or 6 things.  From there, are any of them able to be combined?

For example, this may be a list for me:

1.) Meal prep.

2.) Spend time with girlfriends.

3.) Unwind & enjoy some delicious tea.

4.) Clean the house/chores.

5.) Read more books.

6.) Work on business training.

Taking a look at the list above, I could be negative and just cross off #2 because, helloooooo, I’m a busy mom with NO TIME!

Wrong. 

The truth is, we all have the same amount of time in a day and the glorious part is, we get to choose where we are spending that time!  Of course there are obligations and such, but overall, you are in charge people!

So a better way to look at the things I’d like to do is asking myself, is there any way I can mix some of these together, so that I actually get some things accomplished and feel great.  In the list above, I decided to join my friend Cathy at her house for a Tastefully Simple Freezer Meal Workshop.  While I was there, I got to catch up with her, meet someone new and as an added bonus, I got to try some amazing Chai!   Y’all know I love me some tea.

As for reading more books, I consider audiobooks reading as well.  Nothing beats a a good book in my hands, but again, as a busy mama, instead of using #notime as an excuse, I find the time.  I listen to audiobooks (and podcasts) while I drive in the car, grocery shop, clean the house, fold the laundry, do the dishes, walk the dog…I mean really any time I can.  I choose not to watch TV, I choose to spend most of this time reading or listening.

Working on business training, through mastermind groups or watching videos, I set aside time to focus on that (instead of TV) or if possible, I’ll do some light housework while listening too.

Another example of habit stacking would be acknowledging your wants/desires.  In this case, we wanted to be outside, eat lunch, and work on some business.  We stopped at our favorite burger joint and went to a park. Bradley was content as there was a little playground, so we could also enjoy time with him.  It was honestly a win all around!

I think more than anything, when you are optimistic and see the glass as half full, your mood shifts.  You’re in the “I get to” mentality vs the victim “I have to.”  You realize that you do have time, you just have to really think about how you’re going to spend it.  Now I totally don’t structure my days 24/7, but if I can take the time to plan them out 80% of the time, things run so much better!

PS I told my friend Cathy she was even better at habit stacking than she realized! She was making money with her side hustle (Tastefully Simple), enjoying girl time AND making meals for her family.  #rockstar

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Focus on the wins and celebrate ladies.  We really can do it all!  (Not all at once, but if you put your mind to it, anything and everything is possible!)

What are some ways you already habit stack, or is it something you may consider? I’d love to hear some different ways you are choosing to spend your time wisely!