apps every mom needs!

Oh how I love technology! Sure, it keeps us connected and plugged in and more busy, but it also allows us to keep life organized. So I thought I’d share some of my favorite apps with you and I hope you find them helpful in making your life easier and more organized.

 

GoogleKeep. FREE. Someone introduced me to it 2 years ago and since I became a mom I really appreciate having it. Mom brain is a real thing and I can’t wait to get my “sharp” edge back, all you moms know. So this app is awesome for helping me keep up with life, to do lists and everything that needs to be done on a daily basis.

Sworkit. A really cool way to work out with a trainer, with a plan. It’s free (also an upgrade option available for a price, well worth it in my opinion!) I like how its easy and very user friendly with reminders to be able to be keep up your motivation. The app allows you to pick your work out and 7 day free trial to check it out to make sure you love it. After 7 days you have the option to pay $9.99 a month or $4.99 a month if you choose to pay for the full year all at once, which is an amazing option to have access to so many work outs on your phone for only $59.99 a year.

Amazon. FREE. I had to add this one to the list! If you’re a mom you know how long it takes to go to the store and pick up just some of the essentials, and amazon prime comes in so handy it’s unreal! I will admit, I use amazon for reviews on products, ideas for gifts, shopping and price comparisons.

Sweat. I know so many women who use this app and love Kayla’s training system. The work outs are great and one of my favorite things is the video where it shows you how to do the work out if you’re more of a visual person and pictures aren’t enough. I like the clock going during your work out and showing you how much time you have (suggested) to finish your work out. This app comes with resources for food and more education – definitely a lot to read up on, and is worth the money, as it’s a little more cost then the first app I mention, at $19.99 a month.

p.s. If you follow other blogger moms, you probably heard of Kayla Itsines and her BBG 12 week program. This app is super in helping you follow the plan.

Expensify. FREE. If you’re a mompreneur, you need this. An easy way to track your milage, copy of receipts and everything business expenses related when you travel + work from home + hate keeping up with papers and receipts. It has an option to email the spreadsheets at the end of the year to make it easier for taxes.

TheWonderWeeks. FREE. An absolute must have for first time mamas with infants. I feel more educated on the stages of development my baby is going through and follow along with his stages and new skills. I wish I downloaded this app sooner and knew when to expect the stage of sleep regression or tantrums.. So definitely get it into your phone now!

Poshmark. FREE. A perfect spot to sell clothes, shoes and accessories for you and your kids. It takes a little time to navigate it, but you find things to buy quickly! I was able to make some money selling items from my closet that no longer fit (hello postpartum body) and get some shoes and purses for myself. I haven’t bought any baby items yet but I have seen a lot of them on there. The biggest thing about this app is understanding the way it works and making sure that the quality of the product you receive as the purchaser is the way it was described.

Quora. FREE. I just recently discovered this website and app. It seems like the best spot for forums, questions to ask and give advice. I love how easy it is and how many questions you’re asked at the beginning when you’re setting up your profile. The app allows you to add topics of your interests so what you see are topics you’re an expert on or interested in learning about. A new mom or a mom who is going through something new with her kids (teenagers or potty training..) would love this website! It’s definitely better then all the Facebook mom groups because there are more opinions and more people to gain from.

Photofy. I like this one for all the editing on photos. We are in the world of Instagram obsessed moms and this app helps! It’s easy to use to edit photos and overlay with words (for those weekly updates). AND then some! If you work from home and need an app for backgrounds for your quotes, Facebook posts, etc., you’ll love it! This app will give you a lot and allow you to choose what you need and how much you’d choose to pay for the services.

Pinterest. FREE. Every woman’s best friend for ideas, because how else will you spend your nights feeding the baby? Enough said.

VoxerFREE. Perfect for the organizer mom. This app will make a walkie-talkie out of your phone. When you’re constantly on the go and still need to keep up with your tribe, get them all on the app and it will allow you to send quick voice messages with ease. SO much faster then texting even! It also allows you to create groups so that more then one person can hear you. I have used it to communicate for my business so far (my business mentor made me get it but now I love it) but I see a lot of value in it for moms when you need to be hands free and get a message out to a group of moms quickly. There is also an upgrade option available depending on your needs.

MY NUMBER ONE Must have app for newborns!

Baby TrackerFREE. This app SAVED me in the beginning! One of my mom friends introduced me to it and I am so thankful! For the first few months after my baby was born it was hard to keep track of anything let alone keep up with his feeding schedule, poop diapers, sleep and everything else! This app allows you to keep track of EVERYTHING baby related, add pictures, and even keep track of how much breastmilk you have in your storage. You have to have this one with a newborn! I especially loved it when traveling, because then everything kind of blended together and it was very helpful to have a tracker of my baby’s activities to make sure I didn’t miss something. I used the app religiously until about month 7/8. My baby got on a regular schedule then with diapers and with naps, so one day I decided to stop and we have been on a good routine that’s easy to keep track of since.

 

I hope you found some of these apps helpful and they can make your busy life easier! If you already use some of these or if you download it and think its amazing, please come back and tell me, I’d love to know your thoughts!

Maybe you thought of your mom friend who needs one of these – do her a favor and share this on her Facebook wall, she will thank you!

xx

L.

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5 tips to keep a clean house

Have you struggled with keeping your house clean and organized ALL week and ALL the time instead of just only the day that it gets cleaned?

I’ve been there and lived through it! In the last year I made it a goal to live in a decluttered house and keep organized! It does good for my soul! So here are my 5 tips that have proven to work for me every single day, making sure that if someone stops by my house I am not embarrassed to welcome visitors!

  • Make the bed firs thing in the morning. This needs to happen before you get dressed, sometimes before you go down to get a cup of coffee. If you run a little behind or the kid(s) drive you crazy, just make sure it’s done before you leave the house! I think that having a made up bed is SO important for your mind! It just starts out the day with the mindset of get it done and it certainly pays off!

 

  • Open the curtains as the second thing in the morning. Ok, so this one I do after I have my coffee made, but definitely most often it’s while I am still in my PJs hanging out with baby R in the living room waiting for the caffeine to kick in. We have curtains in our house and I absolutely love the character curtains bring in! At night we close them for privacy since we live in a neighborhood with people walking on our street in the evening, but in the morning there is just something about opening curtains and having the light flow into the room that wakes you up for the day! It’s a gesture of being ready for the day, even if the coffee isn’t working yet, I always find that my mind is accepting of the day’s work load ahead and I usually accomplish more!

 

  • Distribute household chores between the days of the week. It seems so simple, but this one was the hardest for me to get into a habit of doing. I grew up in a family where Saturday was cleaning day, the kind of day where the whole house is turned upside down and every corner cleaned with dust bunnies picked up from under the bed. I sometimes will still do that, but mostly when I am dealing with some sort of frustration and cleaning helps me clear my mind. Having a chore assigned to each day allows you to have 30 minute cleaning sessions a day (a lot of times less then that) and your work load is much lighter to keep everything looking good throughout the week. For example, Monday is when I clean the bathrooms. So I don’t do any other house work except bathrooms and it feels very manageable. If you need to combine days, move things around, it’s all flexible of course, but having a day dedicated to a room or a chore is definitely what helped me!

 

  • Laundry. The enemy of every mom? The least desired task in the home ever? I remember a woman once told me she hates doing laundry so much she will go out to buy new underwear and clothes just so she doesn’t have to do the laundry. Now, that is wasteful in my opinion, it probably takes more time to drive to the store to pick out a new outfit then it would take to do a load of laundry and fold it into the closet! I have experimented with doing laundry all in one day and then leaving it all to be folded on a different day, or having to do it all at the same time and all in one day (yikes!) but what I found that works best for me mentally and physically is spreading it out. Here is what I mean!

I split the laundry into 3 categories: all whites (which basically includes towels and bedding), gentle cycle clothes (typically baby clothes and dress shirts), and everything else.

I spread out laundry over the week days, for example on a day that I don’t have a lot of house hold cleaning to do I do 2 loads of laundry, so the total amount of chore time is still the same day-to-day. On a day that I have more work – like cleaning the floors, I focus on doing 1 load of towels, which usually is run while I do the floors, and then I fold them and put them away after. Since it’s towels usually it’s the fastest to fold and put away as far as any laundry item.

The most helpful tip for me when it comes to laundry is putting it away within 24 hours of it coming out of the dryer. I find that if I don’t do it the same day then it will probably not get done for a while. The best thing you can do for yourself is build in time for tasks like laundry so it feels less overwhelming and very manageable.

Clothes that you see in your closet will get worn, clothes that are put away into your closet will keep better in long term then being tossed into a wrinkly pile in the corner of the room, and clothes that are easily accessible in your closet will save you money to not have to go search for new things at the store to avoid laundry days.

  • 5 minute check at night. You can create your own name for this part. In my opinion how you start the day and how you end the day is THE key to cleanliness and organization of your home!

At the end of the night before I go upstairs to get ready for bed (or just get ready for bed when you don’t have a multi level home), I take 5-10 minutes to just straighten things out. I have a hard time putting into words but you all know exactly what I mean.

It looks exactly like the 5 minutes you take to make your house look good when you get a call that your in-laws are coming over or your husband is brining a colleague over after work. It’s the 5 miraculous minutes it takes to take your house from a complete mess covered in toys, pillows in the wrong spot of the couch, and random shoes on the floor to a presentable home establishment.

Except, this time you take 5 minutes to do it for YOU! So that what you wake up in the morning to come open the curtains and let the sun into the home, you will find peace when you turn around to face your living space picked up. It gives me hope and energy for the new day and it jump starts my next productive day.

 

Let’s have a quick reality check here. Is my house perfectly squeaky clean all the time? No. I wish! Is my laundry all done on time every week? Nope. But I am ok with that! These 5 rules I created for myself to help me keep accountable and get things done in a timely manner. I am not perfect and when I slack off and things don’t get done it’s hard to get back into the flow. When my system works however, I am at my happiest and I am in my best mindset to be there as a wife, mom, friend and business owner.

I hope you find this inspirational to strive to change 1 thing at a time to a more organized life and home. Don’t strive for perfection, make it a goal to becoming better over time.

 

L.

From vacation to work mode

Have you ever felt like you need a vacation day to come back from vacation? And then another day just to unpack, clean and restock your fridge?

I’ve been there. Practically that’s what I’ve done after coming back from vacation every time, and I have the luxury of doing so because I have my own business and make my own hours. This year I had a full scheduled booked after vacation so I needed to be WORK MODE ready! That includes unpacking, laundry, food, and most important – MINDSET!

So here are some tips and tricks I learned so you don’t end up feeing this way:

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I think coming back from vacation starts before you leave. Preparing your mind and knowing what to expect when you are gone, and when you come back. Being surprised with an accident or an unpredicted event is one thing but coming back and staying to yourself “I knew it would happen this way” is another! Don’t make it your fault, make it your victory!

  1. Mindset. Have the right expectations for what you will need to do and give yourself room for error. In other words prepare to let things not be perfect, it will be less stressful. Plan an extra day just for your mind to come back to normal routine, and schedule a day for yourself when you should ‘feel’ back. Knowing that’s when you need to be really “ON” will help the process. Write it down in your planner, or set a reminder in your phone calendar and it will allow you to have room to not feel like you’re back.
  2.  Checklist the crap out of your life! Ok, so we all hate doing the list, but making them is easy. I recommend having 3 lists. First write out everything you think that you will absolutely have to do after you come back. Then make 3 separate lists (literally rewrite them): *1st day back *2nd day back *3-5 days after coming back. Give yourself slack and put the to-do list on your schedule so you have 1-2 hours each day to do each item.
  3. The J-O-B. If you know that you have to be at work the day after or the same day after a vacation, prepare ahead of time. Set your day up with no appointment or the absolute minimum of meetings. Schedule 1 hour slots, literally schedule them into your calendar with reminders, to check email and 1 hour slots of time to return phone calls/conference calls. If you work in an environment where you have a lot of data to evaluate and to catch up on, make sure to schedule time to review the data and spread sheets you’ve missed. The 2nd day back at work start with an easy morning (by easy I mean spend more time with your computer then people) and continue the afternoon with meetings and social engagements.
  4. Food, because you will have to cook after spending your savings on food while on vacation. Again, the point is to prepare before you leave. Shop for some freezer meals, or make up your own freezer meals. Schedule what food you and your family will eat for each day of the week (or 2 weeks if that helps) and freeze as much as possible of it. Allow it to be an easy transition and get your crockpot ready. Be sure to throw out all the food that will expire and throw out all left overs before you leave. You will feel SO much better when you come home to a clean fridge (that doesn’t smell) and all it takes is some clorox wipes. P.s. If all else fails, stash a stack of take out menus on the fridge with an envelope full of cash ready for you when you come home. Sometimes cooking is hard to come back to. Leave cash, thats going to be important when you just spent everything shopping on your vaca.
  5. Cleaning the house. Once again, prepare before you leave, if at all possible clean the house the day before you leave and then it will be less work when coming back. If you need to, hire a maid. It is ok. You cannot do everything especially if you have kids. Or pay your kids to clean! They will need the cash before a vacation. Make this one as easy as possible so you don’t have to think long about it, just decide.
  6. Laundry. Seriously, don’t you hate this one the most of them all? This one is my personal least favorite. I don’t mind it, it just takes so much time that when I’m trying to get back into work mode, it seems like I don’t have patience for it. First, do all the laundry necessary like underwear and socks for 3 days after coming back, then schedule a day (day 4 or 5 after coming back) to do all the laundry you need to. Pick a favorite movie and spend a couple hours doing laundry, folding, with your movie on. Maybe a Starbucks would be a perfect fit with that! It will be very confusing for your brain, you will be doing something you hate but it won’t hurt as much. But definitely put it all away, nothing feels worse then the clutter of clean laundry pile.
  7. Unpacking. This one depends on how long you are gone and how many suitcases you have. Weekend trip, unpack right away. Short trip – unpack in 1-2 days. A week or longer trip – unpack 1 suitcase a day, or set up a rule that it all has to be done, put away, suitcases back into storage after 4 days. I find that scheduling these things helps a lot! And I promise it will make you feel better.

 

I hope yo find these 7 tips helpful!

Here are a few extras! Some of my personal favorite tips to make you feel welcome when you come back home. The extra is for someone OCD like me.

 

 

  •  Traveling for a week or longer? Ask a family member, trusted friend or coworker to stop by your home/apartment every couple of days. Not just to take care of your pets and plants, ask them to open the all windows and let the house air out. There is nothing worse to come home to then that musty smell of you’ve been away too long and your house smells like an old lady. Don’t trust anyone?Get some air freshers to be plugged in while you’re gone.
  • Hide an extra key. It may be better to give it to a neighbor. Just in that case when you lose your luggage or just loose your keys and still want to get into your home without breaking any windows.
  • If you have serious symptoms of OCD and usually feel overwhelmed coming home to a lot of work and back to work, I recommend some of my favorite therapy sessions. Free of charge.
    • fluff some pillows up by pounding all your energy, anger, feelings of sorrow from leaving the beach, frustration and whatever else you may feel. You will feel better and your pillows will feel great when you go to sleep!
    • spray up the shower with that bleach that makes you cry because its so strong! Scrub that bathroom up and just cry your heart out! After all, its the bleach that made you cry, not the stress. Totally normal. Total therapy sesh.
    • take a long shower, have pity city time while in the shower and once out, you are all good to be an adult again and deal with the problems life sends your way!

 

Coming back is hard, so don’t be too hard on yourself.

At the end of the day when all is done, everyone is fed, you’re caught up, reward yourself!

 

I hope you find some of these tips helpful! Subscribe to get more tips to beautify your life and your home!