where life, love and motherhood connect

Recent Posts

Chuck E. Cheese is 40! Celebrates with new look, same great family fun

Chuck E. Cheese is 40! Celebrates with new look, same great family fun

Chuck E. Cheese is 40!!! And they are updating their restaurants to celebrate I remember going to Chuck E. Cheese as far back as first grade. I have always loved them. The pizza, the games, the parties, the prizes! What’s not to love about the […]

10 Things You Need To Know Before Indoor Skydiving

10 Things You Need To Know Before Indoor Skydiving

1. The whole experience will take about an hour. The flight itself is only 1 minute long. Learn all about indoor skydiving at iFly.com 2. It’s perfectly safe Anyone in suitable health ages 3 and over can do it. There is no upper age limit! […]

A Family Guide to the San Antonio Missions

A Family Guide to the San Antonio Missions

Today’s family field guide is sponsored by Robinson’s Fruit Shoot™ – delicious ready to drink juices in fun fruit flavors with no added sugars or artificial colors. Are you headed on a family adventure? Fruit Shoot™ is Made for Adventures and they want to see […]

Save your sanity with a magical blanket fort kit

Save your sanity with a magical blanket fort kit

Guys, I have a confession to make. Something I have been feeling awful about all week. My kids get out of school for the summer next Thursday and for the first time ever … I am not super excited about it. I know. Awful mom […]

Stylish moms love ToteSavvy, the best diaper bag alternative

Stylish moms love ToteSavvy, the best diaper bag alternative

ToteSavvy is the modern alternative to a diaper bag combining the inner lining of a traditional diaper bag with your own handbag collection. The ToteSavvy insert includes an insulated bottle pocket, key clasp, changing mat, cell phone pocket, and flat pocket for paperwork. Love that […]

Grow your own green smoothie garden!

Grow your own green smoothie garden!

Hey there! I’m Jen. I blog over at Plain Vanilla Mom and I am so excited to be here writing my first post for KSW. Stacy is amazing, as are all the ladies on the KSW&Co team, and I’m so thrilled to be a part of […]

Host your own Field Day party at home!

Host your own Field Day party at home!

Our friends at Birch Lane Kids asked us if we could throw a party full of classic kid moments. We literally jumped at the chance. Take a look at all the fun we had planning this field day inspired party at home. Do you remember field day? Oh […]

Mother’s Day Gift Guide For Every Budget

Mother’s Day Gift Guide For Every Budget

I never truly appreciated my mother until I became one myself. Now that I have two little boys I have the utmost admiration for all of my fellow women who spend each and every day trying to raise these tiny little souls the best that […]

Starting a Mother’s Day Tea Party Tradition

Starting a Mother’s Day Tea Party Tradition

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Little Debbie®. But the fun we had, memories we made, and laughs we shared are all our own. My relationship with my mother has always been complicated. I left home when I was […]

One in Five Minds: What to do when you worry your child might have a mental illness

One in Five Minds: What to do when you worry your child might have a mental illness

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a local San Antonio non-profit Clarity Child Guidance Center as part of their in One in Five Minds awareness campaign. This is a cause that is near and dear to my heart, and as always my goal is to […]


LIVE YOUR LIFE

Simplify Your Life: 8 Things Busy Moms Can Do Now

Simplify Your Life: 8 Things Busy Moms Can Do Now

Are you a busy mom?

Do your days ever feel SO busy and chaotic they just seem to run together from one to the next? A permanent state of shuffling, shifting and stress?

I’m a busy mom too. (aren’t we all!!)

Life got you down? Try these simple steps to simplify your life and get back on track

My husband travels during the week. Which means more often than not, I am waking up at 5am, attempting to “work from home” while solo parenting three kids and finishing my “days” well after midnight. In fact, my days have been a bit of a blur lately and I can feel the round-the-clock pace starting to take its toll on me.

Tuesday was one of those days, too many things to do and places to be and not nearly enough time to get there
I was determined I could get it all done and then some. Ha, little did I know.

I was late for my first appointment, which would also make me behind for my second when I realized I was almost out of gas.
[Insert scowl]

I pulled over quickly, pre-paid at the pump and started in on myself for procrastinating the day before. I resolved to salvage what precious minutes I could, hopping in my car to make a quick call. I was sure an office visit would be in order, so I was pleasantly surprised when they said they could email us the documents we needed.

SWEET!

One item off my list. I had just made back some precious time for myself.
I was so excited to be making progress I grabbed my keys, turned the engine and put my SUV in drive.

Then it hit me.

I was still mid-pump!!!

Clearly, I had too many things going on.

It was time to slow down, take a few deep breaths and simplify.

What does simplify mean?

Verb:
To make something simpler, easier to do or understand.
To reduce to basic essentials
To diminish in scope or complexity

how to simplify your life, I needed this!

With busy schedules, social media and never-ending to-do lists, it’s nice to think about slowing down and simplifying just a little to connect more with our family, friends and especially ourselves. So how do you do that when you’re surrounded by chaos and overload? I’m glad you asked. Here are ten great ways to help you slow down and simplify your life.

8 Ways To Simplify Your Life Right Now

1. Learn to say “no”. I put this one first because this is so hard for me! We want to help everyone and be a people pleaser, which isn’t always a bad thing, but saying “yes” too often leads to overwhelm and stress. Trust me! Instead, try a different approach. When someone asks something of you that could take a considerable amount of time and effort on your part say “Let me think about it and get back to you”. This allows you to take a step back and decide if this is something you really want to take on.

2. Reduce Clutter. Have you ever noticed that it’s hard to focus on something if you’re surrounded by clutter and things that need to be picked up? [Raises both hands] Our eyes take in everything around us and our brain attempts to processes it all, even if you’re not aware of it. So when you’re trying to focus in a space that has lots of clutter, your brain is overwhelmed with what needs to get done. Try taking a few minutes to just pick up around you. Put the dishes in the dishwasher; pick up toys that are lying around. Make a game of it with your kids. Not only will it help them feel more focused, it will teach them the importance of cleaning up after themselves.

3. Less Multi-Tasking. Multi-tasking leads to overwhelm. Don’t be like me, try keeping a notepad in common areas of your house, in your car and in your office. Make to-do lists including small tasks. This way you won’t forget anything, the task still gets done and you feel accomplished when crossing something off the list.

4. Eat Healthier. Let’s face it, we’re busy people. Always on the go. And sometimes we just grab for the closest thing to eat, no matter how healthy it is. But think of your body and brain as a beautiful flowering plant. Your body is the soil and your brain is the flower. What you feed the soil eventually determines if the flower will thrive or suffer. If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, chances are your diet has something to do with it. Try creating a meal plan for the week. And a snack plan for healthy snacks to have available. I love apples, carrot sticks and celery, and nuts with dried fruit and cheese. I always have them around. I pre-cut the carrots and celery and mix the nuts and dried fruit together and keep them in a large wide-mouthed mason jar, and this lid makes it so easy! Then when I need a quick snack I can just grab them along with a piece of cheese. I don’t even have to think about it.

5. Less Comparing = More Contentment. Comparison is an ugly monster that can drive us to distraction. It makes us miserable and unhappy. Find contentment in your own life and your surroundings. If there’s something you’re not happy with, work towards changing it. But stop comparing yourself to others; it leads to nothing but unhappiness.

6. Save More. Stop being an impulse buyer. Instead, purchase only what is a priority in your life and save the rest to help you live a better life down the road. Give up one cup of coffee house coffee a week and put the money aside in a jar. You’ll be surprised how fast it adds up. Here’s a quick savings trick a friend just taught me . . . After each trip to the grocery store, look to see how much your rewards card and coupons saved you. Sometimes just a few dollars, other times it could be as much as $20 or more. Whatever the total is, round the savings up to the next dollar and put that money aside in a special place. Then use it to do your Christmas shopping. It may be just a few dollars a week, but it adds up to several hundred dollars over the course of the year and you can shop without accumulating any debt over the holidays.

7. Create Routines. When we’re overwhelmed with everything that needs to get done, we start to feel out of control. Put yourself back in the driver’s seat by creating a regular routine for things that have to get done daily or weekly. Choose a day or two every week that you always do laundry, create a bed time routine for your kids to help them get to bed on time and schedule time for yourself to unwind so you can release the chaos and feel calm.

8. Less Technology. Between tablets, smartphones and computers, you could be “plugged in” all day long without even realizing it. Try tracking the amount of time your online from one device to another throughout the day, chances are you will surprise yourself. Once you’ve figured out your biggest time and sanity wasters, set limits on how long you’ll be online each day. Always unplug during quality family time, especially dinner and have real face-to-face conversations instead. Plan a game day or family movie night, no phones allowed, to reconnect with each other.

I probably can’t help you make your to do list smaller, your schedule any less crowded, or your days less busy but hopefully with these simple tips you can slow down for a few minutes each day, simplify, reconnect with yourself and your family and feel a little less overwhelmed. I wouldn’t want you driving off from any gas stations mid-pump. Busy moms have got to look out for each other!

When life seems overwhelming, take a deep breath and see ho many of these things you can implement to simplify your life and take back control


RECIPES

Creamy, Dreamy Overnight Oats with Peaches

Creamy, Dreamy Overnight Oats with Peaches

The smell of cinnamon and oatmeal swirling together in my kitchen is probably one of the best smells of all time. From oatmeal cookies, to a bowl of oatmeal that soothes my soul, to breads, muffins, yes even overnight oats (see below). Oatmeal is my […]

Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberry-Apple Walnut Stuffing

Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberry-Apple Walnut Stuffing

Ok guys, I’ve got a confession for you. I am a turkey-in-a-bag Thanksgiving kind of girl. That means my bird always comes out super moist and flavorful, but it also means I can’t stuff my bird cause the stuffing just turns to mush. Sure, I […]

Gluten-Free Raspberry Coffee Cake inspired by the Artful Year

Gluten-Free Raspberry Coffee Cake inspired by the Artful Year

I don’t think she knows it, but Jean Van’t Hul is pretty much the reason I started blogging. I found her site, a long with a couple others in 2008. I was home with two young kids, still active duty stationed overseas and desperately needing […]

Pancake Recipes So Good, They’ll Make Your Whole Weekend

Pancake Recipes So Good, They’ll Make Your Whole Weekend

Pancakes. Piping hot, fluffy, good old-fashioned melt in your mouth pancakes. That’s the stuff childhood memories are made of and the kind of thing that can transport you right back to your grandma’s house when you were little with just one syrup-y bite. Mmmm, I […]

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Muffins

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Muffins

There’s a brand new muffin in town folks. And I have to tell you, she’s pretty fancy. Gluten-Free Gingerbread Muffins We don’t get sparkly adorned muffins around these parts too often. She’s a bit dark, but sweet with a killer crust. I made these bad […]